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Double jointed!

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  • #103119
    unknown-user
    Participant

    I have extremely double jointed “bendy” fingers. I can bend the top knuckle of each finger independently of the others, bend my pinky backwards and touch the top of my palm, etc, etc…. My fingers will flex backwards (instead of curving towards my palm, the top joints will bend away from my hand!) when I play the stings of my harp, especially the lower ones! This has been causing problems with my technique. My teacher was helping me correct it today, but I can see how this will be a big struggle that will require lots of practice to overcome.

    Any tips on how to fix this? Or any other double jointed harpists who understand the pain?

    I love hearing from other harpists! ^_^

    #103120
    armande-fryatt
    Participant

    I’m double jointed too. It takes a lot of discipline to make the fingers go down and not back!

    Armande

    #103121
    unknown-user
    Participant

    Think of pushing the strings instead of pulling them. I have over flexible joints as well, but I can’t remember ever having the same problem.

    ~Sam

    #103122
    unknown-user
    Participant

    It’s funny I never noticed it until my teacher pointed it out! When people find out I’m double jointed they always jokingly comment on how it must come in handy playing the harp…. They have no idea….. T_T

    Natalie

    #103123
    unknown-user
    Participant

    That’s an interesting thought, thank you! I’ve found that by slightly curving my fingers inward, instead of trying to completely straighten them, my technique improves.

    Natalie

    #103124
    Daniel ODonnell
    Participant

    Really, this is a problem you do NOT want to resolve with a music teacher. Spend the money and make an appointment with a physical therapist for sound advice (no pun intended). He or she will be able to instruct you with exercises to strengthen the interior muscles of your hand / fingers. Otherwise – and it could take years – you risk permanent damage to your fingers!

    #103125
    unknown-user
    Participant

    Oh wow, thank you for the concern! But I don’t think I could afford to see a physical therapist. I do my best to not bend them the wrong way, and to not push them to hard. Did you have the same problem? You seem to know all about this.

    — Natalie

    #103126

    No, you don’t need therapy. Squeeze a small rubber ball when not playing to build your strength. Push your knuckles against the lower string, g if you’re playing a, and that will make them curve. It’s simply a matter of strengthening.

    #103127
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Did anyone know that Alice Chalifoux had double jointed fingers?? She showed me and told me about how she had to overcome that.

    #103128
    unknown-user
    Participant

    Oh thank you that’s great advice, and just what I need! My fingers are very weak, watching me open a jar with a lid must be funny for others to watch.

    — Natalie

    #103129
    unknown-user
    Participant

    That’s amazing! She was an orchestral harpist with very strong technique right? Did she explain how she did overcome it?

    — Natalie

    #103130
    kreig-kitts
    Member

    So talking like a sailor is good for double jointed fingers?

    #103131
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    HA! HA! HA!! I could fill a book with the off color jokes and comments she shared with me.

    She didn’t tell me exactly how she overcame the problem with her fingers, just that she had in a pretty short period of time, I’m sure with Salzedo hounding her.

    #103132
    mia-strayer
    Participant

    I’m double jointed & I’m from Romania it doesn’t bother me when i play the harp I’m rather strong i do give my harp teacher a bit of a challenge because of my small hands & double joints but we always have fun together

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