I’m back to working on my bow hold: Bend the thumb. Bend the thumb. Bend the thumb. Touch the hair with your knuckle. Touch the hair with your knuckle. Touch the hair with your knuckle.
Playing while obsessing about bending my thumb is causing me to struggle a bit. In the last lesson Teacher really cracked the whip on this thumb business – bend that thumb, it will help relax the bowing hand which will make my control and my tone better. So I’m retraining. It’s not that I never bend the the thumb, but I tend to straighten it the more I have to focus on the music. So I’m retraining my focus for the time being – focus on the thumb.
Such a focus comes at the expense of other things, like fingering speed and precision. But it’s very important while I’m still a newbie to train correct habits – I know this from the martial arts too. It drives beginners batty, but we spend a lot of time nit-picking tiny details, because we know that poor practice tendencies over time become habits that are much harder to fix.
I mentioned that Teacher wrote “bow distribution” across the top of my new Beethoven piece during my lesson Thursday. At the end of the lesson I took the pencil from her and wrote “THUMB” across the top of my three newest pieces. I’m letting other things go and focusing on the thumb for a spell.
Thanks for reading.