How To Play

Index

THE INDEX FINGER. (RIGHT HAND).

1. Place the pad of the thumb on any string in the mid-register. The rest of the fingers should be loose and hanging downwards.
2. Let the index finger fall onto the next string down, letting it reach down slightly to contact the string. Bring the tips of the third and fourth gently up to the palm of the hand, to rest there without tension.
3. Feel the relationship of the thumb to the index finger- the pinch and pressure that they share with one another when you press down on both strings simultaneously without actually playing them, Feel how each stabilizes the other.
4. Keeping the thumb in position to provide an anchor, pluck with the index finger by striking with the front-tip of the finger and then bringing the point of the finger through in a swinging, downward reaching arc, finishing with the tip of the finger coming into home base in the palm of the hand. This follow through of the finger is vital for the tone you produce, as well as for the strengthening of the fingers. Do not pull upwards and backwards with the middle joint of the finger when you are plucking, rather that joint should be moving downwards as you pluck lifting only when you go to replay that string, that is, after you play the string, but never when you are playing the string.
5. Keeping the index finger placed on its string, pluck with the thumb, bringing it through to its closed position on the base of the index finger. Again, feel the foundation that the index finger provides for the thumb as it strikes.
6. Play thumb-index-thumb-index, being carefully to allow for a good extension  upwards and downwards of the two fingers.
8. Do the same routine further up the instrument.
9. Do the same thing further down the instrument. In each instance, remember to watch the alignment of the forearm.
10. Play thumb thumb index index. Keep your timing even end try to keep the tone even. Play as strongly as you can, but be careful, with any repeated movements of the muscles of the body, not to over-do things, either with too much force or with too many repeats of the movement.
11.Do this routine further up the instrument, then in the high register and then further down the treble then right down the bottom of your treble reach.
12. Apply neural patterning.
With the next step the thumb remains static on a single string while the index finger “takes a walk” down the four strings below  it. For the first time we are going to a specific note, and therefore, for the first time, musical notation becomes part of the equation. The note which we require is a C natural- middle C. This is the red string more or less in the middle of your instrument’s register. Likewise, you will find that middle C is written right in the middle of the bass clef and the treble clef, sitting on the leger line that divides the two.
Firstly, the thumb plucks the C, closing all the way into the palm of the hand and then returning to its position on the string, providing foundation for the index finger to play the B below it. Ensure that the index finger plays strongly and follows through to its point on the palm of the hand, retuning, not to the same B which it has just played, but to the A string just below it. There it provides the foundation for the thumb to pluck the C again. Having done that, and returned to the string placement, the index finger is then free to play the A string on which it has been pre-positioned, using the thumb as its support again. As the index finger returns to its string placement, it does so down to the next string, the G, where it is placed ready to support the thumb replaying its C. Play the C and follow it with the G, replacing the index finger on the F before playing the C with the thumb again. See Exercise 1. From the very beginning it is wise to get used to looking at the music when you are playing the note.
Once you have some degree of competence with this downward passage, get your index finger walking back up the same passage, giving you an exercise not unlike a riff from Bach. Repeat the same exercise up the octave. But only when you are secure in the lowere octave.
When you are satisfied that you have some control over that process, move onto Exercise 2. where you are training your fingers to play non-consecutive notes, jumping over a string to play series of notes at a third.


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