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Practice Video - Volkstümliche Zitherschule p31 - Der erste Tanz

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 12:28 pm
by Andy
Afternoon everyone!

Putting the wraps on the first staccato lesson in the Volkstümliche series. Still working on freeing up the little finger on my right hand. It has forced me to re-evaluate how I’ve got my hand position, but I feel like its helping. Feedback is always greatly appreciated, I couldn’t have gotten this far without all of your input.

https://youtu.be/WGiQobZFVZo

- Andy

Re: Practice Video - Volkstümliche Zitherschule p31 - Der erste Tanz

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 2:28 pm
by Rudy Mueller
Beautiful!

Re: Practice Video - Volkstümliche Zitherschule p31 - Der erste Tanz

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 6:01 pm
by Evelyn
Very nicely played, Andy, just as written, including the fingering.

Re the little finger of your right hand - it would probably be better uncurled, and the longer you leave it as is, the more difficult it will be to correct. Whether you then keep it parallel with the bass finger or away from it is a matter of choice. I suggest you do what suits you best.

Re: Practice Video - Volkstümliche Zitherschule p31 - Der erste Tanz

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 9:56 am
by kenbloom
The warnings about the curled little finger are well founded. I got into the same habit and it has bothered me for decades. It takes energy to curl your little finger up and that steals energy from the rest of your hand. You are doing the same thing I did by keeping your elbow low. I used to get pains in my elbow and arm from this inefficient position. If you can elevate your wrist it will give all of your fingers better purchase for a more distinct attack and help keep that little finger straight. When you start to go for the contra-basses, having the little finger straight and ready to go will make it so much easier. Elevating your wrist and changing this hand position will be frustrating at first but it will yield much better results. Don't do what I did. Correct this now. It will save you lots of grief alter.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

Re: Practice Video - Volkstümliche Zitherschule p31 - Der erste Tanz

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 8:15 pm
by Andy
Thank you all for the fantastic feedback.

This is a hurdle no doubt. I struggle with the little finger because the middle knuckle locks and pops as I move it. My brother suggested some weird bands to help stretch the tendon. I hadn’t thought to elevate my elbow more. Perhaps I should be sitting a little higher? The curl in this video was a bad attempt at trying to keep it near the string that was being played by the ring finger, but the finger just ends up with a mind of its own, much like the left hand. I noticed in Wilfried Scharfs videos that he keeps his ridged and straight out, perhaps because of the locking I should work towards that instead instead of keeping it on the string. This is officially issue number one for me now, I will fix this! Thank you all.

- Andy

Re: Practice Video - Volkstümliche Zitherschule p31 - Der erste Tanz

Posted: Sat May 11, 2019 7:57 am
by Rudy Mueller
Sit higher...or lower table?

I'm still using the table height of 59 to 59.5 cm on tables described essentially on this site in 2011. We are all constructed differently, but with my personal geometry and a standard straight-back kitchen chair, this leaves my forearms essentially level, fingers pointing sightly downward, and hands and back comfortable. The next table rev will have the same height, but different leg arrangement and mostly open top.

By the way, I broke my right wrist 2 weeks ago (fell clearing brush) but can still practice without too much discomfort, even with the splint.

Rudi

Re: Practice Video - Volkstümliche Zitherschule p31 - Der erste Tanz

Posted: Sat May 11, 2019 4:29 pm
by Andy
So I’ve spent the morning practicing, trying to incorporate finger feedback and I think I’ve hit on something. It’s going to take a bit of getting used to but you’re all correct there’s no arguing that. The shift in my hand position to free up the little finger definitely gives a better angle of attack on the strings, I feel like I have more control when playing chords, and more reach over the bass strings. On the down side, I feel like I’m having tea with the Queen with my little finger pointed out, but who am I to argue with results.

Rudi, I’m sorry to hear about your wrist! I hope you’re doing well, and amazed you’re still playing. Love your grit.

- Andy
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IMG_1139.jpeg (2.37 MiB) Viewed 299 times

Re: Practice Video - Volkstümliche Zitherschule p31 - Der erste Tanz

Posted: Sun May 12, 2019 5:06 am
by Evelyn
Andy, the position of the little finger in your latest photo looks good, and I am glad to read that you notice the difference it makes to the mobility of your other fingers. Had to laugh about your drinking tea with the Queen comment - the little finger of my right hand is sticking out like that even when operating my computer mouse; sure that this is due to the position it (now automatically) takes up on the zither.

Rudi, wishing you a speedy recovery.

Re: Practice Video - Volkstümliche Zitherschule p31 - Der erste Tanz

Posted: Sun May 12, 2019 1:48 pm
by velocio
From what I observe when watching zither players on YouTube, the "tea drinking with the Queen" pinky doesn't seem to be a good goal. Look at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgsjl8aFvX0
(for example).
The little finger - in general - follows the ring finger and helps to push away the string on which the finger rests after the stroke, such as to avoid that the tip of the ring finger still risks touching the vibrating string and cause buzzing. Of course, this only applies as long as the little finger is not needed to hit some contra-bass string further down.

Re: Practice Video - Volkstümliche Zitherschule p31 - Der erste Tanz

Posted: Sun May 12, 2019 3:09 pm
by Evelyn
The little finger - in general - ought to be kept straight, not curled. Some players keep theirs parallel with the ring finger and others away from it. In any case, the purpose of the little finger is not to help to push away the string on which the finger rests after the stroke, but to be used when playing contrabass strings. It is entirely up to the zither player which position s/he prefers, and I don't think that there is only the one correct position. Btw, maybe you have noticed that concert zithers commonly have a groove at right, and this is where the little finger of the right hand is meant to rest. The position of the right hand (and of the little finger) is, however, slightly different when playing a harp zither, or an Arion or a Kerschensteiner, due to these zithers' different shape.