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Check your Wrist and Elbow!

One thing I swear I tell my students every week is “don’t reach for notes.” I always insist that comfort and lack of tension is vital, no matter the tempo or difficulty; and because of this, we need to be engaging our wrists and our elbows to get where we need to be. This is why I encourage my students to always put on the most comfortable part of their fingers, rather than reaching their pinky or stretching their thumb. Observing this not only reduces the tension but increases the sound quality we get; after all, we’re playing that note to the best of our finger muscle’s ability. While I can’t recommend an easy fix for every passage, I would suggest taking a video of you playing a passage that gives you trouble, and see if any elbow or wrist involvement might loosen the tension.

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