William Fitzpatrick - violin expert

The importance of where you point your fingernails

Where to point your left hand fingernails on the violin?

In this video, Prof. Fitzpatrick shows you where to point your left hand fingernails according to what you are playing.

Released on November 7, 2018

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

So, what exactly are we looking at? What exactly are we looking for? Well, you see, it's about my fingernails and which way they're pointing. Why don't I use a few arrows to show you what I'm talking about?

So you see, basically, there are two possibilities. Here, have a look. Either they point this way or that way. Well, now I guess the thing to observe, to understand, is the way the fingernails point depend on what one is doing. So, you see, if I'm playing these notes, they point to the left of my shoulder. This occurs even when I play sixths, octaves, or tenths. For example, if I'm playing an arpeggio, they point this way. This way. Now, when I play thirds, you can see that my fingers are pointed in another direction. They're pointed that way. So, as I'm sure you can now see, one of the benefits to knowing this is that you now know what to do when playing thirds, as your fingernails need to point this way. So I guess as well, you can see that to point that way, my elbow needs to be under the violin. So the majority of the time, we're pointing this way, just over my shoulder, with the exception being when we're playing thirds which are that way. Do you want to see that exception? Well, let's look at Paganini Caprice Number 13. You know the one.

Or look at this arpeggiated section from Paganini's Caprice Number 5. Do you see? My fingernails are pointing this way. See, my fingers are pointing that way. They're pointing that way. So, because we now know this, we can prepare our fingernails, our fingers, our elbows. And so this gives us more information to be aware of, to use when we are practicing. It's in that regard that this information, this knowledge has a huge effect on our ability to assess problems, our ability to determine what that problem might be. I hope this enables you to create clearer paths towards finding workable solutions, towards helping to make your practicing better so that you can have a wonderful performance.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Viulisti on November 28, 2018 @12:19 pm PST
Thank you very much for this imformation of fingernail position! I wish I could play violin as beautiful as You can. Respect! Greetings from viulisti from Holland
William - host, on November 30, 2018 @8:42 am PST
Thank you!!!
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