Tara from NC asked, Do you ever cheat with finger positions? There have been times when I am tempted to cheat with finger positions, for example going quickly from A3 to D3, I will use the 3rd finger on A3, but then 2nd finger on D3. It makes the transition quicker. Having said this, I have resisted the temptation and trained myself to use the proper fingers, however, I just wonder if this is common or taboo?

  • There is no absolute right way to do anything. Some amazing musicians have learned to play in unconventional ways.
  • And some times you need unique solutions to unique problems
  • That said, a lot of the form was developed for a reason: it works. So I suggest sticking to the standard form as a beginner.
  • This question came up when Tara was practicing this part from the Tennessee waltz E1-0-A3-D3-A1-0. Let’s break this down.
  • First practice moving the third finger from A3 to D3.
  • Once you get it in your year, try to plant it across both strings. Flatten the finger slightly. This is hard!
    • Practice A3-3-D3-3, alternating between lifting the third and keeping it down.
    • Then practice this chunk from the tune: A3-D3-A1-0. Do it slowwwwwwwly.
  • Being able to do this gives you more flexibility.
  • We fiddle with different ways to do the same thing: backwards.

Further learning

This micro-lesson is an excerpt from an office hours webinar I gave on September 16, 2020. View the entire live-stream with indexed questions here.

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