Check out Jamie Fiste’s website, www.celloprofessor.com.
Jamie was also a student of Laurien Laufman’s in Champaign, and like her approaches cello technique in the style of Janos Starker. Jamie’s analyses of cello mechanics are very thorough and thoughtful. I particularly like the attention he gives to tension-free playing.
I’ve been dealing with the issue of a weak left hand pinky recently, so I can appreciate his approach to the ‘slanted’ vs. ‘box’ left hand problem. I agree that the solution lies in fluid rotation of the arm and elbow and a rebalancing of the hand, so that the more powerful upper-arm and back muscles stay engaged when the pinky plays.
Coincidentally, I’m finally getting around to reading some Strings magazines that Billie gave me, and there’s a little write-up of the same issue in one. The article recommends using a kinesthetic visualization technique similar to one used by athletes. Essentially, you transfer the sense/feeling of power in your first and second fingers to your fourth.
Pinky Power: my practice goal for the week!