Joe's Blog

Sluggish thumbs – getting older.

September 20, 2020

When the thumb has to separate from the second finger horizontally, in order to make a skip (rather than a step) to a higher or lower note, the muscles in my thumb are no longer adequate to reliably send the thumb the exact distance on the keyboard it needs to traverse in order to get to the next note it wants to play.

 

My solution has been to use more of the muscles in the palm as a whole, and in particular, the part of the palm that is constitutes the “mound” of flesh continuous with the palm as a whole, and that is situated between the second and third knuckles of thumb.  

 

By relaxing the muscles in that part of the palm, the thumb tends to drift rather than stretch or reach away from the rest of the fingers. This is a more natural route for the thumb to take to a distant key and involves no tension in the muscles in the vertex between the second and first fingers.  The thumb as a whole seems to ooze or spread like a coating over the surface of the contiguous keys between where the thumb is currently located and where it wants to sound the next note.  Accuracy and stability are increased.

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