I recently got an email from a longtime reader and friend asking for help with one of those fast and loud pieces that never seems to give you a break. He said his arm was getting tired, and I assumed he was talking about the bow arm. But actually it was the left arm that was getting fatigued!
We’ve been able to make a real difference in just a few days using a technique I adapted from Simon Fischer. I call it “Finding your MVP”: your Minimum Viable Pressure. This is an exercise I turn to as soon as I feel like a passage is “stuck”. In other words, I think I’m doing everything correctly, but it just doesn’t feel natural or easy.
You probably know already that extra tension in your playing can hurt you over time. I’m talking about physical pain and injury, not just the loss of speed and accuracy that are the first indicators of tension. So give this practice technique a try, and see if you have any extra left-hand tension that you can shed!
You can put this technique to use on any passage, and it only takes a minute. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you in the comments!