Why is the lowly first finger a problem? Because often that first finger is down for our D and our Eb, and it shouldn’t be.
The only time your first finger is down for D is when it’s below the staff, low register and Eb. When you’re on the 4th line D, or Eb on the 4th space, your first finger is up.
I’ve not only seen this problem with my beginner students, but all the way up through intermediate students, to college students and even adults.
You might be saying aloud right now “what difference does it make, it’s still a D?”
Well, the difference is the sound. They sound very different. One is very covered. You can tell it’s a covered sound. And the other opens the sound right up.
When I’m judging All Counties or our solo festivals here in New York State, or having students audition, I don’t have to see to know that they’re playing D’s or Eb’s with their first finger down.
It sounds as clear to me as if it’s a wrong note… and it is a wrong note, or at least, the wrong fingering of a note.
So, I want you to really make sure that when you’re playing D’s and Eb’s that your first finger is up.
Because it’s also a very difficult habit to break.
So, I recommend that if you’re having this issue and you know that your first finger is down, then on all the music that you play, take your pencil and write a plus sign over every single D, D#, or Eb that you’re playing as a little reminder to lift that first finger up.
You want to conquer this problem as early as possible because it’s really a hard habit to break later on.
If you just keep after it and you keep marking those spots, you’ll conquer this.
So, watch that first finger.
Let me know how this works for you.
Watch me demonstrate this: FluteTips 3 First Finger Problems