On Leveling up and Fingers

The last lesson was a whirlwind – our typical pattern is I play all my old material, from Twinkle Twinkle through my newest song, and Teacher corrects me on finer points as we go along.  The finest of the finer points is often my bow hold.  That still holds, but last week as I played, my teacher harmonized with me, playing her instrument alongside mine.  I was astonished as we stood here in my living room making actual music – a duet!

Then, we went on to a new song.  I have, on occasion and mostly in my distant past, played those little adventure video games where you choose a character and battle your way through increasingly difficult worlds – the new song is like skipping three levels.  In no particular order, new skills include high third finger, circle bow, hopping strings, and keeping my first finger down while playing third finger.  Additionally, it’s a much longer song to keep in my head.

Finally, the only formal scale Teacher had imparted prior to the last lesson was A Major.  I now have G Major and D Major as well, and I know that G Major (first string on the instrument) is marked by one sharp in the key signature, D Major is marked by two sharps, A Major by three, and E Major by four.  I didn’t really learn how to play the E Major scale because it either involves higher finger positions on the E string or starting on the E above open D string, and I’m just not there yet.

Learning all this was a tremendous joy.  In my practice sessions since the lesson I’ve especially gone over and over and over tiny little parts of the new song that trip me up, training my fingers.

On the subject of fingers, I’ve noticed mine are kind of short and fat.  I’m an athletic fellow with a pretty well maintained frame, but you can only do so much about your fingers.  I’ve been watching performances of some great players, and I can’t help but notice their long, slender digits.  Perhaps playing for a few years will whip mine into shape.

Thanks for reading.



  1. […] really not as simple as it sounds.  Contortionists, I’m sure, would have little difficulty, but my fat fingers and I are […]

  2. […] to work on.  I do think that with my current and the next couple of songs that I’ve arrived at another level-up kind of […]

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