Video 5: Using the Thumbnail
The Thumbnail is used somewhat differently from the other nails and requires a different approach.
One thing that makes a difference in how you engage and shape your thumbnail is whether you play with a straight or arched wrist (two schools of Right Hand technique that I discuss in Video 2. ) In this video I give specific advice about how to shape and use the thumbnail in both cases.
I recommend experimenting a lot with the thumbnail shape and length. Keep listening, sensing, feeling, and analyzing—basically try out variations on thumbnail shape based on your informed hunches, and see how each one performs in both rest stroke and free stroke technique. As you get better and use a wider range of expression and expressive technical devices, continue to play with how the thumbnail shape and length effects the sound quality, the technique and expressive ease of what you’re going for.