Richard Tunnicliffe on how to develop healthy and sustainable habits in the left hand
Cellists frequently use too much energy in the left hand, whether or not they are playing modern or Baroque instruments. This is possibly as a result of a quest for security in shifting, or clarity of articulation; or it may be a habit that creeps in from trying to be accurate in terms of timing. This overuse of the hand has negative impacts, both from a musical and a physical perspective. From a musical perspective, and this must be the starting point, percussive left-hand movement results in the production of unnecessary accents that interrupt the musical line and militate against playing legato. There is also a related tendency for the fingers to pluck the strings in a lateral movement in descending passages, which has a similar musical effect…
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