DIY Violin! "The Pinky Exercise" with violinist, Alex DePue (tutorial)

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Add this exercise to your daily practice regimen, and build superhuman pinky strength and dexterity in record-time!

(After first viewing the entire video, violin in hand, then begin using it daily, beginning each rep at 12:20 into the video.)

Here's a DePue quote from a recent email sent to students.

"My students are so different with regard to personality, from one to the next! I gotta completely change hats every hour... I DO enjoy the challenge, though!

My students' moms are a great coaches, btw, and I applaud all of your efforts at being so closely involved with their violin study. Having you there to poke at that left wrist, or comment and/or remind them of certain details we cover, is so vitally important as the lessons continue.

It just so happens that there exists already, EXACTLY the exercise I introduced for you today. Here is the link to that lesson. Your time could not be better spent this week, than to simply run this video, and have play along with it repeatedly. We're looking to strengthen those muscles which operate the pinky, and really, ALL will benefit from using this video, from the beginner, all the way to the professional level.

Most of my students, throughout the years, initially exhibit exactly those reasons as to why this video is my first (and only, so far) tutorial... this is the short-cut toward having a VERY dependable and curved pinky for the rest of LIFE! Just follow along with the video, rinse and repeat.

Also, spend the week without a shoulder rest. In order to give it a fair shot, one week is barely enough time to decide whether or not YOUR life as a violinist will be better without one... and although it's certainly not a prerequisite for my students (not a "demand" by any means), I DO encourage students to give it a chance, and try life without the shoulder rest for at least one week. A month would be even better, but I've never been a huge fan of the shoulder rest, and it is just one more item to become lost along the way... left behind, or forgotten. It also sucks up the sound from the natural wood of the instrument itself. It's a sound-sucker! It also restricts a lot of freedom that would be there, naturally, without this appendage.

We'll just assume you enjoy the newfound freedom, not being bound to this "crutch" for playing the violin. I tend to believe that the shoulder rest is the result of some wise marketing, once upon a time, and not unlike the diamond "engagement ring"... when whomever came up with this shoulder rest idea, they were somehow able to introduce it to the world as though it were a necessity for playing the violin. It isn't. Actually, I believe it to be more of a hindrance than anything like an asset. Here's what violinist Eugene Fodor (one of my violin heroes) had to say about the shoulder rest... gotta love the guy...

And then here is the pinky exercise. Please have your students watch the entire 22-minute video, and then... after they've ingested the information from the beginning, they can then begin using the video this week by beginning at exactly 12:20, and running the entire ten minutes.

For each string, and as the video continues each time they go through the exercise, when it gets too fast for their little pinkies to keep with me up on each string, have them roll through anyway, giving each attempt 100% effort! If they're (you) are vigilant with being sure it happens at least once per day? By the end of the week, you WILL be able to keep up with me! Good luck! - Alex DePue"

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