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Pinky Problems

I’ve been using my phone to “selfie-record” myself playing. The aim is to give our followers a taste of some of the music I’m learning. I’m also hoping that months from now, I’ll be able to see the progress and show that all this work is paying off. It’s funny though, you don’t normally see “work in progress” videos of people performing on Instagram. It is usually really top-level people showcasing their skill. Rarely do you see people play the wrong notes, struggle with speed and stumble. It’s actually quite intimidating and makes me feel really uneasy. I feel exposed, showing our followers my struggles on this platform. We aren’t used to posting moments from our lives when we aren’t at our best. It’s probably why we love Instagram so much! I’ll get over it though. I agree with Hilary when she says that this is the REAL story and it’s authentic. That’s always the litmus test.

More importantly though, one benefit I really didn’t anticipate was being able to watch my technique, body position and fingering in the video. This just simply wasn't readily available when I was learning the instrument for the first time. I would see myself on video maybe after a concert, but never record myself for the purposes of practicing. From the video, I quickly discovered I have a “pinky problem” where my pinky fingers kind of “flare out” for both hands (like I’m drinking a warm cup of British tea). I remember this being an issue when I was taking lessons. I need to have control of my pinky’s. If I don’t, they'll be working against me. The pinkies need to curl naturally with the rest of my fingers no matter what. Otherwise, it creates tension, and will impact my finger speed, endurance and accuracy. I would never have really noticed it if I hadn’t watched myself play. Better to catch it now and make adjustments before it gets too habitual!

-- Noel

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