Lisa Burell - for violinists and harpers, too

This is the second in a series of lessons that explore some of the common elements in left hand tension, discomfort, and difficulty. This lesson brings awareness directly to functional properties of the hand itself. 

I have found that many upper string players struggle with speed and efficiency due to varying degrees of hyper-extension in the fingers and with antagonistic relationships between flexion and extension. Here we start with a mini lesson based on Moshe Feldenkrais’s concept of the Bell Hand, which coordinates flexion and extension throughout the whole hand. I find that the Bell Hand alone is sometimes useful to rebalance the movements in the hand in the presence of strong habitual patterns that remain even when we try to “relax.” 

The second half of this exploration looks at ways of applying Bell Hand movements to finding a neutral position on each of the fingers in playing. I take these into action with s series of exercises in chromatic patterns. 

I hope you find something new to explore!

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