Joe's Blog

Sometimes the hand has to figuratively divide itself into separate parts

November 24, 2019

The hand has often, figuratively speaking, to divide itself into two parts so that it can pivot from the one side to the other.   From one to four fingers lying either on its right side subdivision or its left side subdivision.  What is most interesting about this process is that there is no firm line of demarcation between the two parts of the hand. Rather ,the hand can  subdivide itself at any point along its left-right span.

List of the possible ways of diving the five fingers into two parts:

1         2345                                                                                                                                    12         345
123         45
1234         5

Whichever dividing point we choose within the hand, the two resulting parts of the hand should feel equally weighted and balanced. This is achieved mostly through the muscles of the arm and somewhat with the
muscles of the wrist and hand.

If we choose for example 1234, with 5, the fifth finger should feel that it can exert, by itself, through the directed power of the arm, as much pressure on  the keyboard as the other four fingers combined.

If we had a balance beam, and carefully placed the hand so that its five fingers distributed themselves on both sides of the pivot point, then regardless of how many fingers were on one side of the pivot point or the other, the balance beam would in equilibrium, neither tilting downwards to the left or the right.

Let us say we want to play c4 with the right thumb followed by g4 with the right pinkie. We can apply either of the four permutations listed above to  direct how we balance the two sides of our hand. It does not matter which  we try in the execution of this perfect fifth (whether there is one, two, three or four fingers in the more leftwards of the two groups of fingers, which results respectively in there being four, three, two or one finger in the more rightwards of the two groups of fingers). It is a process of experimenting until we find just the right balance in the hand to give us the greatest  security and clarity of sound when we play the two notes in succession.

If we are having difficulty in feeling kinesthetically the differences between these subdivisions, we can make the sensation more vivid by using the other hand in the the role of a ‘helping hand’. The helping hand should be turned sideways so that it is vertical, with the thumb facing up. It should lie below the target hand except for along a line of contact between the two hands that runs the length of the ‘target’ hand, between the wrist and the space between two of the adjacent fingers.

Regardless of where the division line is located, the part of the hand on one side of the line and the part of the hand on the other side of the line  should always feel equal: in the amount of physical mass each contains, and weight.

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