Hand angle at slide

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AndrewMeronek
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Hand angle at slide

Post by AndrewMeronek » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:19 am

Lately I've been thinking about ergonomics and moving the slide, and observing that the hand always moves in arcs whereas the slide always moves with the hand even though it's straight.

I've been inclined lately to turn my hand palm-down toward the floor a lot, and it's because of the angle of my finger to the slide's hand brace. With my palm more toward me, my finger curves toward me as well, which means that in large inward motions that finger (or fingers) will tend to apply sideways force on the slide, almost no matter what I do. Slow the motion down, and of course we all can get the motion to straighten out, but to move the slide really fast, I don't actually think this is possible, nor maybe even desirable. But it does cause the horn to move around. Facing my palm down and curling my finger around the bottom slide tube (not just the brace) makes the angle of my finger on the slide brace straighter, meaning that there's a bit of room for my hand to yank around before I actually yank the slide sideways due to the motion arc.

Of course, with this setup there's really no danger of throwing the slide across the room, as sometimes can happen with players who like to grip the slide brace with just their fingertips.

Anyway, there are a whole lot of different grips people use out there, and I'm suggesting that this particular grip seems like it also is pretty good. To recap: it is palm down, two fingers (or three) curled around the bottom slide tube but not gripping it, index finger sliding on the slide brace, the pinky (and possibly ring finger) underneath the bottom slide tube, thumb on the other side of the slide brace and is free to move back and forth on the brace as the hand angle to the slide changes. It's one of the 'loose' grips, meant for rapid execution rather than a 'full contact' grip meant more for slower precision.
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk
Kbiggs
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Re: Hand angle at slide

Post by Kbiggs » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:26 am

Slide hand position seems to be a controversial topic. We know there are many ways to hold a slide, and there are many ways to not hold a slide. James Markey has some similar thoughts on hand position in this youtube video starting around 5:00. His intro is also worthwhile.

I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
—Mark Twain (attributed)
AndrewMeronek
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Re: Hand angle at slide

Post by AndrewMeronek » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:42 pm

Yup, I'm in the audience for that particular lecture. :)
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk
harrisonreed
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Re: Hand angle at slide

Post by harrisonreed » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:09 pm

That is why I play using only the thumb and index finger. It allows for that natural movement, but all I knew was that it alleviated tension in my arm.
hyperbolica
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Re: Hand angle at slide

Post by hyperbolica » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:30 pm

Julie Josephson was at NEC for a year when I was there. She held the slide palm down. Probably still does. I allow the slide to float between thumb and forefinger with the ring finger under the slide.
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Wilktone
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Re: Hand angle at slide

Post by Wilktone » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:26 am

You don’t need to hold your wrist in a static position as you play. The closer the position the more my palm is ypturn downtowards the floor. As I go out towards 6th and 7th my palm turns more towards facing me.
David Wilken
www.wilktone.com
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