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Hitchhiker’s Thumb

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  • #86697
    unknown-user
    Participant

    I’m posting this as an issue that may be giving other adult novice harpists trouble, as it is I. My teacher has always expected good hand position, and I was giving a lot of serious time to holding my thumb rounded and above my other fingers when she and I realized almost just at the same time, that it’s because I have a real hitchhiker curve to the upper joint of my thumb.

    Fortunately, her thumb is curved exactly as mine is, so this week, I’m working on holding my thumb in an unnaturally straight position. I notice a huge difference in the tone of thumb notes from a straight position as opposed to from its natural curved back position, and after 3 days of practice, it’s starting to feel pretty comfortable.

    My concern is that I do have a twinge or two when I close my thumb, not exactly pain but a little “ooph”. It seems to be getting less as I work on it. I definitely like my thumb better straight. Any suggestions for lessening the “ooph”?

    #86698
    unknown-user
    Participant

    I too have this “Hitchhiker’s Thumb.”

    #86699
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Ann- Any time you make a significant change to your technique, there will initially be some, or a lot of discomfort. It doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong. What is happening is that you have muscle memory for a certain way of doing things, and the new way is doing battle with the old. As the old muscle memory fades and new muscle memory is developed for the new way you are doing things, it will get more comfortable.

    #86700
    unknown-user
    Participant

    It’s just a hyper-extended joint. Training should take care of it.

    #86701
    mr-s
    Member

    i play the thumb up and without any bent in the middle joint,i draw a elipse or a half circle in the air and the go with the thumb up back toward my body,ohhh its a very super brillant resonating sound,that is the russian way.

    #86702
    unknown-user
    Participant

    I had my lesson today, and I was quite pleased with my teacher’s reaction. So I’m saying to all who posted “Thanks for all the THUMB TIPS!” (ouch).

    Seriously, I really like working with my thumb held in a straighter position, and it’s nice for all of you to take the time to encourage the effort.

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