I was recently teaching a masterclass and afterward, a brave young student asked about slowing down finger technique. There is so much attention paid to the topic of speeding up slow finger technique, but there are also those students who seem to have the opposite issue: their fingers move so fast that they can’t control them. Just like people who are left-handed in a right-handed world, these students feel so much frustration because most advice and exercises take the wrong approach. Here is a handy guide for evening out wild technique.
Finger Dexterity is a Plus…
…once you learn how to maneuver it. Don’t feel discouraged because your friends and colleagues seem different. Watch this video of Denis Bouriakov, there’s no limit to what you can do once you get your wild fingers under control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syUwtHlON-0
Always hear every note in your head before you play it. To practice this, try first singing the pattern and then playing it. Experiment with singing part of the pattern and then playing part.
Change the beat emphasis with your metronome. Instead of imagining that the metronome is clicking on the beats, practice imagining the metronome is clicking between the beats. Do this slowly at first, it is quite challenging!
Add rests. Keep the fingers as precise as possible, but add rests to check up on the other notes.
Add fermatas. Listen for a beautiful sustained note, and then continue with the metronome.
flutist, writer, traveler, teacher