15

I am not an expert in human physiology, but I believe the constraint you describe is completely normal. I think it has something to do with a shared tendon? Needless to say, my hands behave the same way. You should be able to lift the fourth finger higher if you raise the pinky at the same time, yes? What I do know about human physiology is that each joint ...


11

There's no such thing as finger independence(read finger equality most of the time). All our fingers are different, and they're all connected too! For instance, would you ever expect any of your fingers to match your thumb in strength? Or take your index finger and press it to your palm. Your other fingers will move as well. The key to evenness and ...


10

I am not an expert in anatomy, but I believe this is because the picky and ring finger are connected to each other by the superficial ulnar nerve, whereas the remaining fingers are connected by branches of the deep ulnar nerve. The good news is, despite the fact that your pinky and ring finger seem less independent, this is not permanent. It's normal for ...


10

I don't know what style of music you're coming from, but there are a couple of books aimed more at classical guitarists, and they would require reading music. One that I use a lot is "Pumping Nylon", by Scott Tennant. I know, the title sounds really cheesy, but some of the exercises will DESTROY your left hand. There are some really great finger independence ...


9

I think the key is muscle memory. The only way to improve this is by specific repetitive movements. In your question you state: "quick interchanging between my 2 and 3rd finger." Presumably there is a song you are working on that requires this, so the part you are having trouble with, do that move over and over again until you no longer have a problem doing ...


9

This may be overkill, but I gained a great deal of insight into my own posture from The Thinking Body by Mabel E. Todd. The basic idea is that the body resists gravity in the same manner that a building does: by distributing the weight along lines of compression and suspension. For the most part the front of your body is suspended from the frame of the ...


9

This is a bad habit. Essentially, you need to reprogram your mind to stop tensing when what you really want is focus. The instinct to tense is extremely common, and, unfortunately, very difficult to override. luser droog gave a fantastic explanation of how to build proper posture. You should take his advice, and constantly check to see if you're following ...


9

Not really an exercise, though you could make this into an exercise: When you need to play certain notes louder than others when playing several notes simultaneously within one hand, make sure that you lift the finger that needs to play louder higher above the keys than the other fingers. When you then play the chord so that all the fingers strike the keys ...


8

Hand strength is important in the violin, but so is fine motor control. Why not develop both? Practicing etudes by Kreutzer (42 Studies) and Paganini (24 Caprices, Op. 1) should strengthen your fingers enough to play almost anything. Try chord and trill exercises for a serious finger workout. Here is a graded list of etudes. Archived version of above ...


8

Get a good teacher, it can really make a huge difference. Practice difficult passages slowly (surprise!) and concentrate on relaxation. Often when I get tense, it's because I play faster than I think (like, my thoughts come after my hands). So, when you practice (slowly), try to think ahead, and when you speed up, try to keep it so that your thoughts are ...


8

One "offline" (without guitar) exercise I got from my teacher is like this: Put your hand on the table. Lift fingers two or three at a time; if you are like me, combinations 1+3, 2+4, 1+2+4 and 1+3+4 will feel weird; you should try to make them comfortable. This is for both hands (you only need your left hand improved, but it cannot hurt if you train ...


8

The type of book you're talking about is called a method book and it contains exercises and home work for a student. Method books are meant to be used with an instructor. I personally favor Hal Leonard's method books but there are other good options, too. However, before you pick one up: If you need more structure, you might start by asking your teacher. A ...


8

In a sentence, mix it up and steer away from where you're comfortable. Mix it up To start with find some methods and exercises to work with. Some examples: Always say (or sing if possible) the notes as you're playing exercises like this or scales or whatever. Saying the note name or whatever you're learning helps connect your muscle memory, your mind (the ...


7

Pitching in here as someone that does have perfect pitch - however, I'm one of these people who has just always had it rather than sat down and learning it. It's as clear to me that the note being played is say an Ab than the folder currently to my right is green, and always has been. I don't profess to know this from some superhuman effort in training, it's ...


7

Both are fine. Choose one. You will not miss out on anything if you choose one over the other. The most important thing for you is daily, quality practice. Choose literature that is playable but challenging.


7

There are a couple of differences between a metronome and a drum machine. A metronome just keeps a regular beat. Some electronic metronomes give a slightly different click to indicate the start of a bar, but that's all. Drum patterns have lots more elements that help keep you in time -- for a typical rock pattern, emphasis on the first beat, snares on the ...


7

This gets easier as one's hands grow larger. One way to work on correct, relaxed finger position is to play scales while keeping the fingers curled and relaxed. She should play any kind of exercise she is already playing, or just scales if she has no exercises, while observing the following: The wrists should be above the level of the keyboard, but not so ...


7

In Slonimsky's book, page 27 (page 39 on your pdf) "Ditone Progression, Equal Division of One Octave into Three Parts" you see that Slonimsky uses the notes C E G# and C again. They all are a major third apart and they divide the octave into three equal parts. Now let's look at the sheet music of Giant steps: The piece has 3 different tonalities. It starts ...


6

Minor Pentatonic scale $6 2 5 $5 2 4 $4 2 4 $3 2 4 $2 2 5 $1 2 5 $3 ...or: 2 4 / 6 $2 5 7 $1 5 7 / 9 Try a G chord with Ring- Middle- and a Pinky-barre. %3/3.2/2.0/0.0/0.3/4.3/4 In fact, all of the CAGED shapes will work your pinky if you use the "barre" fingerings: don't use the index (1) at all and form the shape with middle (2), ring (3) and pinky (4)...


6

I have often found it helpful to use mental cues to aid pitch when I'm having trouble. I have heard many choral directors, as well as my own college voice professor, talk about 'landing on top of the pitch'. This really has to do with a sort of 'musical momentum,' almost as if our pitch were an object governed by Newton's first law. When a melodic line is ...


6

First, a warning: the best way to improve breath control is by playing long-tones on the instrument. WIthout this, you don't hear the tone quality (or lack thereof) in relationship to breath control. The next-best exercise is to train yourself to breath "down to the diaphragm" at all times, regardless of what you're doing. This means making your upper ...


5

I've tested many different things in years, from online flashcards to books to some sort of software and so one. By far one of the best options is Notable by The Noteable Software Company. It analyses your reaction time and gives you the charts and statistics of your real ability of recognizing the notes, as well as a road map to the progress. It has some ...


5

Here's some philosophy on lip slurs. I haven't played this book in particular, but as a brass specialist I can talk about lip flexibility in general; it's the same thing. The ultimate goal of this is to have a clean transition between any two notes in different partials. This is the same whether you are trilling between two partials in a high register very ...


5

It sounds like my fingers are a similar length to yours. I found that the important part of reaching the octaves confidently was flexibility rather than length. Your thumb and pinky finger (or even your ring finger) can bend back further than you might think. Never force it though. As with most aspects of playing, I'm afraid it just takes time and practice ...


5

Golden rule: When you hurt, stop! You don't want to damage your hand. It might make you stop playing music for ever! The spider as you said is for building dexterity. Hence, at first it will hurt if you are a beginner. But think of it as this: When you start running to build dexterity (and you are out of shape), you won't be able to run for a long time at ...


5

As with any dexterity exercise, slow it down! Your hands are likely hurting because you're trying to push them too hard to either: stretch while playing (you should always be doing this before playing) keep up with the exercise speed emulate the sound exactly (for a beginner, this is exceeding difficult) or fret too heavily as with the answer above me, ...


5

What it sounds like is you are suffering from tension and poor hand and arm position. Hopefully you have a piano teacher as they can help you. You are bit too early on the piano technique exercises. After you've advanced a bit more, there are some books you can purchase that have a multitude of exercises in them. Recommending them now is a bit too early as ...


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