Double Jointed Thumb

Posted In: Teaching the Harp

  • Participant
    Laura Wilson on #86828

    Hello! I’ve taken harp since September 2006, and I recently found out I had double jointed thumbs. I know there are different styles of playing; I’m learning the one where you bend your finger when plucking. I play classical music and hymns. How big of a problem are double jointed thumbs for a harpist?


    unknown-user on #86829

    Bend it which way? I find the thumb joints need to be slightly flexed when playing.

    Laura Wilson on #86830

    Yes, I flex it.

    liath-hollins on #86831

    I have this problem – not just in my thumbs either! All my fingers are double jointed.

    Basically, ‘double jointed’ means that your ligaments are too stretchy,
    allowing the joint to move out of what should be a normal range of
    motion. I have to be careful not to injure myself, so I spent a long
    time concentrating on precise technique and not allowing my fingers to
    bend the wrong way.

    Luckily, as I’ve got older, my ligaments have tightened up a bit, which
    helps. Also, as I’ve built up the muscles in my hands, they work to
    hold my joints in better positions.

    Go carefully, make sure your hands are staying in a strong position and be patient :-)

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