Improving Fourth-Finger Intonation

For us violinists and fiddlers, the fourth-finger is kind of our problem child. Not only is it weaker and smaller than the rest of our fingers, it also seems to have a mind of its own. It can’t find the notes and stay on them as easily as fingers one through three.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, just try bending your third finger (ring finger) without bending your fourth finger (pinkie) at the same time.

See what I mean?

Here’s an exercise that will get your fourth-finger to start behaving.

If you’ve taken lessons from me before, there’s a good chance I’ve assigned this exercise to you at least once.  It’s a straightforward (though not simple) exercise that I’ve been doing for years. I’d recommend doing short sessions with this exercise, but do them often. Try a minute or two, on any pair of strings, every time you take your instrument out of its case.

Because one show is worth a whole lot of tell, here’s a video to demonstrate. This is my first foray into video, and more instructional videos are in the works.

I’m a little green when it comes to video, so please bear with me — I’m still learning…and hopefully improving!




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