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Left Hand Ring and Litlle Finger Finger Strength


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#1 michael sam wild

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 04:52 AM

I play a C/G Anglo and am working on tunes in Eminor like Cooley's Reel. This requires quite a bit of playing on the pull on the LHS with notes that use the Little Finger (Pinkie) for pull F#, push low B and the Ring Finger (pull D) Some of the runs are on the pull for quite a few notes as I use the Accidental G pull a lot

Is it a common feature that the Ring Finger is weak and if so why should that be anatomically?

I am getting there and using muscles and tedons and ligaments that have been less well devlped.

It's also compounded because I severed the tendon and some nerves on the Little Finger of the Left hand a number of years back but that gets stronger all the time as I use it a lot for F# pull and lowest B/A

Incidentally as a rock climber I also found the Ring Finger a weaker and untrustworthy one . Again is that common? Is it a reason that the finger would be used for a ring as it won't be such a disadvantage? It seems to cross cultures?:huh:

Edited by michael sam wild, 01 May 2011 - 05:56 AM.


#2 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 06:12 AM

Michael,
Here is the simple explanation I've heard:

http://uk.answers.ya...10034533AAc2gwa

And here is the one with probably more information than you need:

http://www.madsci.or...26759.An.r.html

Remember to do your stretching in between attempts to gain strength and more independence of your fingers. Ulnar nerves, like wizards, are subtle and quick to anger!

Greg

#3 Kurt Braun

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 09:37 AM

I play a C/G Anglo and am working on tunes in Eminor like Cooley's Reel. This requires quite a bit of playing on the pull on the RHS with notes that use the Little Finger (Pinkie) for pull F#, push low B and the Ring Finger (pull D) Some of the runs are on the pull for quite a few notes as I use the Accidental G pull a lot

Is it a common feature that the Ring Finger is weak and if so why should that be anatomically?

I am getting there and using muscles and tedons and ligaments that have been less well devlped.

It's also compounded because I severed the tendon and some nerves on the Little Finger a number of years back but that gets stronger all the time as I use it a lot for F# pull and lowest B/A

Incidentally as a rock climber I also found the Ring Finger a weaker and untrustworthy one . Again is that common? Is it a reason that the finger would be used for a ring as it won't be such a disadvantage? It seems to cross cultures?:huh:


I'm sure that with good measurement that significant (but probably not important!) differences in finger strength can be found. When I play concertina, I rarely, if ever, favor one finger over another. I see very little favoring of one finger in the pedagogy of piano, violin and most other instruments. Woodwinds, in particular, make extensive use of little fingers. For me, a finger is a finger -- at least when playing the concertina. Put another way, the effort to press a key is so well within the strength constraints of any finger, it just doesn't matter.

Edited by Kurt Braun, 01 May 2011 - 02:11 PM.


#4 otsaku

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 02:30 PM

The ring and middle finger have a shared tendon , try putting your hand flat on the table, palm down and bending your middle finger in under your hand, now try and lift your ring finger without lifting any others...

I had a similar problem when first trying to finger pick on the guitar and spent hours holding my hand vertically and then trying to bend each finger at the middle knuckle without moving the others it helped a lot being able to do that both with strength and control.

#5 michael sam wild

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 06:00 AM

Thanks folks that's very helpful and interesting. Kurt ,maybe its control not strength that is the limitation.
As I have 'default' fingers for particular buttons I have to develop the appropriate finger for those notes.

otsaku, The mobility exercise was very convincing!
Greg my money's on Prof Greinger, I think any fingery instrument tutor should have a digest on this!

I realise that on the pull I am using muscles to extend the bellows by pushing on the strapat the same time as flexing the finger.

No wonder I am all aches and pains as I'm practising Cooley's Reel almost exclusively in my campaign on Irish reels and giving real thought to each button choice and bellows direction to gain flow.

Having never had time in my working and family rearing lives I've never devoted lots of time to single tunes but now I'm retired I'm beginning to realise how professional musicians need to spend hours and hours on getting their playing right ; and not having much of a life outside music!.

Edited by michael sam wild, 01 May 2011 - 06:19 AM.


#6 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 08:25 AM

Thanks folks that's very helpful and interesting. Kurt ,maybe its control not strength that is the limitation.
As I have 'default' fingers for particular buttons I have to develop the appropriate finger for those notes.

otsaku, The mobility exercise was very convincing!
Greg my money's on Prof Greinger, I think any fingery instrument tutor should have a digest on this!

I realise that on the pull I am using muscles to extend the bellows by pushing on the strapat the same time as flexing the finger.

No wonder I am all aches and pains as I'm practising Cooley's Reel almost exclusively in my campaign on Irish reels and giving real thought to each button choice and bellows direction to gain flow.

Having never had time in my working and family rearing lives I've never devoted lots of time to single tunes but now I'm retired I'm beginning to realise how professional musicians need to spend hours and hours on getting their playing right ; and not having much of a life outside music!.


Michael,
If it makes you feel any better, no less a concertina luminary than Noel Hill told me that "Cooley's" was not that "friendly" to the concertina. That, of course, does not stop Noel from playing it, nor should it stop you. Just realize you may have a long, steady slog uphill for awhile.

Greg

#7 michael sam wild

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 10:27 AM

Thanks Greg , I have it on button box but it doesn't flow so well on C/G , ah well 'onnards and uppards,' as we say round here. What Aminor reels would you recommend?

By the way I find if I play tricky reels as hornpipes or 'strathspeys ' it helps to get the fingering and adds another dimension to practice.


It's 'The Bucks' next.See you at the end, 'I may be some time ' as Cptn Oates siad to Scott.of the Antartic!:unsure:

#8 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 05:44 AM

Put another way, the effort to press a key is so well within the strength constraints of any finger, it just doesn't matter.


Kurt,
I'm definitely with you on that point.

Where my ring finger occasionally hampers me is in situations - usually on a fretted instrument rather than a concertina - where I have to place all four fingers independently at the same time, and quick. The ring finger is sometimes slower and less accurate than the others. I usually notice this when working up a new piece, and by the time I've got the fingering into my muscle memory, the problem has gone away. Practice makes perfect!

I must point out that I've been playing the mandolin since I was about 6 years old, so at least my left ring finger never got a chance to be weak! :D However, I always messed around in the sharp keys, where the pinkie is practically never used, so when I graduated to the 5-string banjo at the age of about 10, and needed 4 fingers for chords, I initially had problems with the strength and accuracy of my pinkie. By the time I took up the concertina, at 18, the weakness of the pinkie was no longer a problem.
I believe that exercise is all-important. All of us on the forum have computers with keyboards, and this is an excellent "exerciser" for musicians! Not if you type with 2 fingers, admittedly. :o Make sure you use all your fingers, especially the "weak" ones! ;)

Nevertheless, there are still those complex chords in which ring finger and pinkie, though strong and accurate enough, are noticeably less so than the index and middle fingers. The strategy I've developed here is to place the weakest, least accurate finger a split second before placing the others. In the context of plucked strings (guitar, banjo) this is possible, because the string doesn't sound until the right hand plucks it, and the right hand can wait until all the left-hand fingers are in place, irrespective of the sequence of placing them.

On the concertina, of course, a note sounds as soon as you press a button, so all notes that should sound together must be pressed together.
However, it is possible to position the fingers one after another on the buttons, and then press them down when they're all where they should be.

Hope this helps,
Cheers,
John

#9 michael sam wild

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 07:59 AM

Thanks John
That advice about the computer is good. iImust admit I've always been a two finger tapper . must get the qwerty system worked out!

last year at Bradfield Gavin Atkin told us that he started with Duet about the time as he needed to type properly and it helped him a lot..

Maybe that is about coordination or generic finger strength and flexibility.






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