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It’s much easier to reach the notes on the violin if you widen your hand by opening out the spaces between your fingers. If your fingers are squashed up against each other this can cause tension and tuning problems. The following exercise will help you get used to the feeling of the open left hand shape:
1. With your palm facing you and your fingers together, straighten your fingers and then slightly separate out your 1st and 2nd fingers to form a V-shape.
2. Gently curl all four fingers down towards your palm, keeping your hand as relaxed as possible. The spaces between your fingers will open out naturally.
3. Now, with your hand relaxed and your fingers gently curved, open and close the spaces between the fingers. Imagine that you have ‘webbed’ fingers like a duck’s foot, and that you are stretching out the webbing.