Have you ever walked a tightrope? How about a balance beam? I tried one recently, and I’m pretty sure it was easier when I was a kid.
When you watch circus performers, or champion gymnasts, though, it does look easy! One foot goes in front of the other. Why would they walk any other way?
But as violinists, our fingers sometimes “walk” more like grown-up me than like Simone Biles. And the scary part is that we might not notice… even if our listeners do!
Searching for notes, hesitating, adjusting after the fact: all of these are destructive habits that will sabotage your progress toward speed, accuracy, and reliability. Of course, Heifetz was known as the “fastest adjuster in the West”… so why was it OK for him? And how can you ditch the bad habits and build solid ones?
I lay it out in this video, set in a beautiful yet deadly gorge: