Finger fall and finger pressure with the ResoundingFingerboard

Feedback and questions from colleagues on the topics of finger drop and finger pressure with the ResoundingFingerboard is summarised, commented on and, if necessary, recommended on this ema page.

What to do with young beginners?

There are questions about what you can do with the very fresh and often very young beginners. There are reports of trying to simply place the fingers on the nodules or to grasp certain sequences of the fingers on them. The question was also raised whether it is harmful if the children do not learn the "correct" finger spacing through the nodules.

ema comment

Basically, it is possible to simply place the fingers on the nodules. If you have a correct instrumental posture and simply swing your left arm back and forth a little (e.g. sideways), you can assume that effects will already occur and that the fingers that are on the nodules will be on the strings differently afterwards. This is easy to observe from the outside. If you ask the pupils about a before/after difference (important: let them describe it qualitatively!), you can at the same time encourage them to remember the feeling of playing so that they can recall it later. The following descriptions are often heard: it feels lighter; it is easier on the finger.

For young children, however, this is not very "attractive" - after all, it's no fun. That's why the idea of having children grasp certain finger sequences is a very good one. You can link this very well to a song that they are practising, for example, by having the children grasp the required finger sequence on the noduls. But then you should think of a solution, what you do instead of the open string (e.g. clapping with the right hand on the thigh, taking a step, saying something, etc.), because this kind of practicing can be very intensive and can be very well remembered (which is a great advantage!). If you want to use this effect positively, the open string should not simply be left out. By the way: This can also be supplemented in a next step with the right rhythm (of the song)... You can also talk, walk or the like. This appeals to many children because it has an immediate link to what they are practicing anyway. From the teacher's perspective, it is valuable because the children then take it for granted from the beginning that "practicing" is more than just "playing through".

Is it harmful not to use the correct finger spacing? No! In fact, it is a very great relief not to have to pay attention to finger spacing at all. Possible existing inhibitions, uncontrolled sliding of the fingers back and forth or the fear of grasping incorrectly disappear, while at the same time they are working on an exact, flexible and stable finger technique. This is probably one of the greatest gifts that the fingerboard attachment gives, because we teachers don't have to tell our students not to think about the "pink elephant" (figuratively speaking!).

ema recommendation:

In our experience, the "simple grasping" is not interesting enough for all children, although we have not yet experienced that someone did not want to do it. We would like to recommend combining the attachment with learning rhythm or with building up the coordination for left-hand technique. There are lots of exercises that are suitable for this purpose, and: you can hear something at the same time (this may be important for the children). The best exercises are those in which one or more anchor fingers are introduced at the same time.

First, the fingerings are made at about the height of the 4th position. What is needed is a:

  1. (suitable) rhythm (from a rhythm book, the rhythm of a piece/song ...),
  2. the already installed fingerboard attachment on the instrument

Example ]BASIC 1 [rhythm written on one rhythm line]:

  • Any finger by choice is placed on any nodule. This finger remains on the nodule throughout the sequence.
  • Another finger by choice (pupil chooses) plucks the rhythm on one string.
  • Optionally: pluck each string with all finger combinations (nodule/string).
  • Optionalyl: After that, two/three/four strings are plucked alternately.

Option: Instead of placing one finger on the nodule, you can also place three fingers on nodules and then let the remaining finger pluck. Both versions have their advantages.

Example BASIC 2 [with a rhythm from a piece/song]:

  • Any finger by choice is placed on any nodule. This finger remains on the nodule throughout the sequence.
  • Another finger by choice plucks the rhythm, but this time not only on one string (would also be possible) but on the original string
  • All finger combinations are practiced
  • (Next step without fingerboard attachment): Once each finger has been the anchor finger on a nodule: the finger that is grasping plucks the string on which it would grasp the song.

Notes on BASIC 1 and BASIC 2:

Due to the immediate coincidence of rhythm, finger pressure and "release" in the original instrumental posture, it can be useful not to insist on the correct "rhythm" at the beginning, but to pluck only crochets/quavers at first (BASIC 1) (without the necessity of reading at the same time) or quavers and crotchets alternately. Children also find it great when their teacher pluck a rhythm and they get to be the echo. [There is a recommendation: when playing echos, the teacher and the pupil should have the same equipment, i.e. they should also have their fingerboard attached]. Then, in the next step, the rhythm can usually be introduced directly.

This kind of plucking is one of the best "means" to prevent the fear of playing in register from arising in the first place. If the children can move freely over the fingerboard right from the beginning and pluck their "rhythms" there, it is no longer something unknown for them to be afraid of. That's why we recommend doing exercises like BASIC 1 and 2 in different positions right from the beginning. The fingerboard attachment can of course be moved for this, but often it is enough to simply choose a different nodule for the anchor finger. A systematic introduction to that can be found here:

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