Right hand position

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NutmegCT
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Right hand position

Post by NutmegCT » Wed May 09, 2018 9:12 am

I've heard from several members that the heel of my right hand should rest on the bridge while playing. Maybe incorrect hand position is part of my problem keeping my fingers on the right strings.

Bottom image shows the heel of my hand.

Other images show two different "heel on bridge" positions. One shows heel resting parallel to bridge; other shows heel resting slightly angled to bridge.

Which image (Position One or Position Two) shows the correct hand position?

Also, is thumb and thumb ring correct? Thumb is double jointed, so is tough to control. Should thumb be pointed straight out instead of bending back toward me?

Pete's overhead view on his video got me thinking about hand position and orientation of zither to body.

Thanks.
Tom M.
Attachments
IMG_0108.JPG
Heel Position Two.
IMG_0108.JPG (101.25 KiB) Viewed 574 times
IMG_0107.JPG
Heel Position One.
IMG_0107.JPG (95.83 KiB) Viewed 574 times
IMG_0105.JPG
Heel of hand.
IMG_0105.JPG (88.56 KiB) Viewed 574 times

Rudy Mueller
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Re: Right hand position

Post by Rudy Mueller » Wed May 09, 2018 11:00 am

regrets, but I must have been doing this wrong, ...too old to change..

the heel of my right hand is almost never on the bridge, but slightly over the strings.

r

kenbloom
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Re: Right hand position

Post by kenbloom » Wed May 09, 2018 10:06 pm

My hand floats depending on what I'm playing. I tend to keep my thumb about parallel to the strings. I get a better tone and attack when I keep my wrist up which means no resting the heel of my hand. I started resting on the bridge but over the years I have that to be limiting. Just my 2p.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

Musicmaker
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Re: Right hand position

Post by Musicmaker » Wed May 09, 2018 10:32 pm

Hi Tom,
You have a cracking camera!!.
The photos are as sharp as a razor.
You have achieved what I WANTED to achieve and that is a photo/ video directly on the Zither so it can be seen naturally as if playing.
I tried turning my Tablet camera around and that did not work either.
I think it may be something to do with the screen lock so will have to fathom that one out.
Anyway ...a big well done mate! As they say here in Oz.
Re your right hand position.
I am merely a beginner so no authority whatsoever but here is my two cents worth.
I think it makes sense to rest the right hand on the bridge as it facilitaes a fulcrum point to the key you are playing in.
I have also seen that view written in B/W.
My take on it is that if it helps you to LOCATE the correct chords then go for it.
I cannot see it being a problem to lift it at a later stage or as a bad habit.
Re....the right hand angle.
I notice that you have a double jointed thumb.
This feature maybe the deciding factor of what is more comfortable for you re right hand angle.
My approach would be to go for comfort.
To try out the first angle and make a mental note on how it felt and how well you played.
Then i would do the same with the other position and see if it is easier or harder to play and also did it sound better?
That is my unqualified approach to it?
Take care....
Pete

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Dave
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Re: Right hand position

Post by Dave » Thu May 10, 2018 11:33 am

Moving the right hand off the bridge to play the open strings is an advanced technique. The general effect is a more mellow tone as you approach the sound hole of the instrument. Your home plate though, so to speak, is the bridge of the instrument. Last evening, I put together a short video on the right hand position and chords, and I hope this helps. It’s my first attempt at an instructional zither video, and the price is right. ;-)

https://youtu.be/8X1E0vim_vE

Dave
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NutmegCT
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Re: Right hand position

Post by NutmegCT » Thu May 10, 2018 12:14 pm

This is excellent! Your video is so much clearer than method books or watching advanced performance. You demonstrate the positioning of the right hand on the bridge, then folding over. Does the hand remain on the bridge while playing?

Thanks!
Tom M.

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Dave
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Re: Right hand position

Post by Dave » Thu May 10, 2018 4:09 pm

Thanks Tom! Playing with the right hand off the bridge is a more advanced technique. Say, for example, when a piece requires a more mellow tone, the right hand can be shifted closer to the sound hole of the instrument to achieve this. For the most part, however, the bridge is your anchor point when playing.
We do not take humor seriously enough. —Konrad Lorenz

Musicmaker
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Re: Right hand position

Post by Musicmaker » Thu May 10, 2018 5:26 pm

Dave wrote:Moving the right hand off the bridge to play the open strings is an advanced technique. The general effect is a more mellow tone as you approach the sound hole of the instrument. Your home plate though, so to speak, is the bridge of the instrument. Last evening, I put together a short video on the right hand position and chords, and I hope this helps. It’s my first attempt at an instructional zither video, and the price is right. ;-)

https://youtu.be/8X1E0vim_vE

Dave
Thank you Dave for the excellent tutorial video.
Beautifully explained and demonstrated.
I notice you use the fourth AND fifth fingers together. I have also read this somewhere.
Another vital point I have realised myself is how you are sitting.
The Zither is not bang on in front of you but a good deal to your left so as not to have a cramped left arm.
I also like the Www.zither.us!
I tried that also but you have perfected it.
It is vital to bring attention to ourselves at zither.us to squeeze in another " few ".
Thank you Dave.
Pete

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Dave
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Re: Right hand position

Post by Dave » Thu May 10, 2018 9:23 pm

Hi Pete, thank you very much, and also thanks for your video and plug for the forum and website — I’ve linked to it on the Facebook page. Looking forward to more videos of your progress. You will get there, it just takes time.

Just a another note on the right hand position. Early zither tutorials instruct the student to lay the small finger (number 5) along the bridge of the instrument. That’s a carry over, I think, from the days when the zither was a much simpler instrument. It shows up quite a bit in old photos of zither players, like the one at the following link. Note how the Civil War soldier, with the zither resting on his lap, has positioned the small finger of his right hand.

http://www.zither.us/?q=concert.zither.civil.war

Just illustrates how things change over time.
We do not take humor seriously enough. —Konrad Lorenz

Andy
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Re: Right hand position

Post by Andy » Fri May 11, 2018 9:49 am

Dave,

Great video! I sure could have used that type of detailed explanation when I was trying to figure out where to keep my fingers and how to strike the strings.

You should put that video somewhere on the main page in learning or something, along with any other instructional videos you make. Not only could it address a lot of the common questions we all seem to have getting started, but seeing an experienced players hands also goes a long way towards avoiding bad habits at the get go.

Keep it up, looking forward to seeing more!
- Andy

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