Nov 22 2011, 09:02 PM
Do other recorder players have trouble with their right thumb tensing up and then that eventually interferes with the fluency and flexibility of my right hand fingers, particularly the G to G sharp (treble) movement. I tried a thumb rest but it seems to move the problem around rather than particularly help with it. I don't know if it's positioning, my annoying double jointed thumb or what, but it's really getting on my nerves not being able to find anywhere to hold this thumb in a relaxed position. Any advice?
Nov 22 2011, 10:32 PM
For nimble F/F# and G/G# I use a wrist technique - bend from the wrist rather than moving the fingers. Thumb remains perfectly relaxed then et voila, relaxed notes.
Hope that helps.
Nov 22 2011, 11:03 PM
What angle do you hold the recorder at? I found by moving it further from my body it was better balanced so my right hand didn't have to as much work to avoid dropping the instrument. I really don't get in with thumbrests on recorders and only use one on my bass. I also use my wrist to move between g/ g# and f/f#
Nov 22 2011, 11:52 PM
I'd also suggest lifting the instrument up: the problems of trying to grip it come when allowing it to droop, when you both have to stop it sliding out of fingers and articulate with them at the same time. Thumbrests tend not to help if they're in the wrong place because you still have to hold on somewhat tightly, and prevent the thumb from slipping sideways: I don't have such marked hypermobility and this is one area where the slow development of arthritis might actually end up helping me, in the end. Like Bagpuss, I also will use my wrists to do the low sharps, with the thumb becoming a sort of pivot point: for some reason flexing the fingers more to achieve those notes seems to make my thumb feel more out of kilter, not less.
What sort of angle of hold? Depends on stickiness of fingers a bit - I know one Edinburgh recorder teacher has all her pupils stick a strip of elastoplast in the area the thumb would go, but I couldn't do that to my recorders, so hold trebles rather higher than 45 degrees from vertical, tenors probably slightly lower just because my shoulders will complain if I go for the same height.
Nov 23 2011, 01:05 PM
Apparently many recorder players put their thumb too high and that might be causing the problem. I was taught to let my hand relax by my side and then bring it up to the recorder, keeping the thumb in the same place in relation to the fingers when it's on the instrument.
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