Know your Right (Hand Position)

There are many reasons why I wish I could observe students’ practice habits at home, but one of the biggest reasons is probably one that they think little to nothing about – their right hand position.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen students playing (either in lessons, in rehearsals, or in performances) with their right hand in a variety of “creative” positions. Fingers spread like they are palming a basketball, balled up in a fist, all five fingers meeting together like they are making shadow puppets, or even having the hand completely outside the bell.

The right hand position does many important things for a horn (and its player) – gives it a characteristic tone quality, reliable intonation (especially for notes below and above the staff), and permits easier slotting of upper harmonics (basically everything above an F or G at the top of the staff). If any of the above have been problems, you may need to look no farther than at the end of your wrist!

If you’ve not really given any thought to your right hand position today – you should! If you don’t know what a good right hand position is, check out my Right Hand Position article or just ask!