Mr Kite wrote:Is it a problem doing that, or is it that you can do that but if you then bend the fingers the tips come together even though they are still splayed from the knuckle?
That's just the splay of your hand, I think. Our fingers are not parallel - if you bend them over the palm they will all point to the same spot, i.e. their lines converge. In some people that spot seems to be relatively far from the knuckles, in others it is closer, making the splay more pronounced. Another way to describe it is that your four fingers are in two pairs which oppose each other slightly, but more in some people than in others. If your hand happens to have a pronounced splay, then while you can work on separating the fingers from the knuckle, it won't help you bring the tips apart. You will just end up with a wider V shape. The movement that would be needed to bring the fingers parallel would be an anticlockwise rotation of the knuckle of the ring finger (anticlockwise looking straight down the finger at the knuckle, with the hand horizontal and the fingers pointing towards your face). Unfortunately there does not seem to be any muscle that does this without also adducting the finger (which defeats the object). I have looked for a tendon or ligament or muscle that, if tight, might cause the knuckle to rotate the other way when the fingers are spread, because if there is such a thing, stretching it might help - but I have never been able to find one.CliffP wrote:When I curve my fingers the tips of the 2nd and 3rd fingers tend to converge, held straight up I can wish Mr. Spock to Live Long and Prosper.
I think not. Certainly physiology comes into play, but your ability to spread your fingers (whether straight or curled) depends not just on hand geometry but also on the development of the interossei muscles in your hand. With training you can noticeably improve the independence and ability to spread your fingers even when curled. 1/2 and 3/4 spread more easily. 2/3 is the hardest. The composer Schumann tried to improve his 2/3 spread by doing self-surgery on the tendons in his hand, but I would not recommend that. (Schumann permanently maimed himself.)Mr Kite wrote: That's just the splay of your hand, I think.
So I agree kind of. Certainly in general the more you curl your fingers, the more the fingertips will converge. But a couple of caveats. When we play, the fingers are not completely curled (i.e. the fingertips do not touch the palm) so there is some space between the fingertips, and the more we can spread at the knuckles, the more separation we get a the tips. (Also we obviously get more separation on the 6th string than on the 1st string because of the increased extension of the fingers.)Mr Kite wrote:I would like to think that was true - but how are the interossei going to rotate the knuckle? They attach on the wrong side (i.e. forward of the knuckle) and are concerned with abduction, not rotation. They will help you spread the fingers from the knuckle, but this won't help if you have a pronounced splay. If you don't have much of a splay, then more of a spread at the knuckle will translate into more of a spread at the fingertips - in which case this method will work - but my previous post is on the basis that the OP has a pronounced splay, in which case spreading from the knuckle is just a lot of muscular effort for no end result, since the tips will stay together.
Yes, by anchoring one finger you prevent the knuckle rotating as you spread them apart. For most of us I think this is the nub of the issue. It is a different problem from the one Luis is describing. I'm sure he is right in his explanation of what makes it harder to spread from the knuckle when the fingers are bent, but (for me at least, and from the sound of it for the OP as well) the problem isn't spreading from the knuckle but the fact that when you do your fingers end up facing each other, which guarantees that the tips will come together when you bend them, a bit like frog's legs. With my fingers bent, I can spread 2 and 3 of my LH much further (from the knuckle) than 2 and 3 of my RH, but the tips are still no further apart.hpaulj wrote:I get a greater stretch if I anchor 2 and spread 3, than the reverse. So on some passages I'm learning to place 2 in advance. even if the play order is 3 then 2.