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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:53 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Since you never screwed up your wrists, you probably don't have to worry about it. Maybe people with wrist problems shouldn't do them. Who knows, everybody's different.

Yes, very true. Probably should not be recommended to anyone having some kind of wrist trouble.
Come to think of it, I did have some persistent nagging wrist pain many years ago, not sure if it was piano related or not, but luckily it went away. I find many of these sort of ailments will go away on their own after a while but that may not be so in all cases.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:36 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Robert, I thought of another thing my teacher told me. Don't do pushups. At least with your hands flat on the floor. It puts a lot of strain on the wrists. You can grip a bar, like one of those bracket-shaped bars or heavy dumbells to do pushups and then your wrists are straight.

:shock: I began doing this a couple of weeks ago to keep fit. Perhaps this built up the pain and started it this time. I will make this in a different as you suggested.

Pete. No I very seldom have headache. I can get pain in shoulders but that is always from sitting by the computer too long.

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Last edited by robert on Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:46 pm 
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To summarize I will:

- Make sure I do not lift a finger with the finger but rather have the key push it up as I release the power to hold the key down.
- Make sure that my thumb does not point upwards here and there as it creates tension.
- Make sure I do not bite my teeth and keep the entire body relaxed while playing.
- Keep my RH wrist slightly lower (and perhaps LH sligthly higher).
- Rest my fingers on the keys.
- Warm up properly.
- Buy a silent piano/grand.

Should not be too hard to remember when I play ;). I think I compile a list and put it above the piano. Thanks all.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:40 am 
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I had the same problems with pain in my wrist and it does have to do with relaxation. For years I was taught to prepare but never to relex. Perhaps looser wrists? A tense wrist will cause tension to wrise from the wrist to the arm and all the way to the shoulder. I once injured myself terribly because of tension.

My father (not a pianist or any kind of musician) would always say the following about playing piano: "It is all in the wrists."

And you know, I think he may be right. :D :D :D :D

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:07 am 
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It's all in the head, really :lol:

Pete


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:08 am 
PJF wrote:
It's all in the head, really :lol:

Pete


Mmm I actually really agree. I used to have this sorta problem (though only very mild) and cos I was taught the wrong technique-not made aware of how damaging wrist pain is. Now, with my new teacher (for the past 3 years or so), I’ve learnt how to fix it. Okay, admittedly I didn’t really read ALL of what everyone wrote *blushes* cos I’m impatient so this might already be said. Well, I started off with simple excercises and consciously told my wrists to relax. When noticing wrist fatigue, I was told to immediately stop, rest a bit then continue and then consciously relaxing my wrists again. It’s sorta hard but really important to actually tell yourself to drop your wrists and relax. Okay, here’s one of the exercises I did:
<div> (in triplets)
(in triplets)
rh 4 5 4 5 4 5 etc
... 1 2 1 2 1 2 etc
(1-c, 4-f, 2-d, 5-g)
</div>
dropping wrist on the first beat, playing slowly, lifting individual fingers high and doing it heavily. Repeat lots.
Yep, that’s just one of them I did…sorta hard to tell you without physical guidance, aye…:D


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:19 pm 
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not that I am one to give feed back on this, but it looks like your are sitting just a bit too close to the piano? If you move your elbows together they should just miss your body. I think this would transission a little more weight from your wrists onto your shoulders. I think you might need to be just half an inch higher. Your elbows look like they might be just below the keys, when they should be at the height of the keys or maybe just a bit higher. If you sit to high or too far away, you will start to get back pains.

b.t.w I think you are an amazing pianist (better then me.) and your web site is amazing so if my comments are inappropriate I appologize. I battle with the same problems some times. You will also have the same problems if you sit on the computer keyboard inappropriately...

Stan


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 5:30 pm 
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s_winitsky wrote:
You will also have the same problems if you sit on the computer keyboard inappropriately...

Plus that it can't be very good for the keyboard either :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:51 pm 
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:lol: :lol: :lol:
(sorry, but that is funny)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:30 pm 
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:mrgreen:

But I understand what you mean. A proper position to the keyboard of any sort is a must. I think the angle in the video camera makes things a bit strange. It looks like I sit too close and also too high but in other videos I've made with a angle right from the side, it looks better.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:15 am 
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ok, I found you,
Tip for the day. every ones hands and lengths are different. So the palm and finger lengths ratio is different.

So its pretty hard to say. From my experiences, the knockle height SHOULD be higher than the wrist. Try to keep the wrist flat or levelled to the key but maitained a buffer relaxed position......Does this make sense??


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:00 pm 
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Here's an old trick which can tell a lot. Even though it can appear difficult to understand clearly without actually being there. And not to mention my mother tongue is french. But I'll try anyway. :)

Ask someone like your teacher to flip your hand/wrist/arm away while you're playing. All of a sudden. Without warning (that's the tricky part).

If your hand/wrist/arm fly away from the keyboard, your technique is OK.

If your hand/wrist/arm stay locked on the keyboard, you're too tense and/or not using the right set of muscles. For example, if you play too much from the hand, your hand/wrist will be locked to the keyboard when the flyaway wrist test is applied.

If you feel tension or pain in the top forearm muscle, chances are you're playing too much from the hand and/or fingers alone and/or using too much effort.

For example, in Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu, a pianist will feel exhausted playing the score at the written tempo before the finale, if he/she plays too much from the fingers. You need to release the tension in the fingers by using the available weight in your arms. In other words, use your fingers more as pivots/fulcrums (not sure how you say that in english) with your whole forearm and arm weight being the available power source to help you play with minimum effort.

I'm sure you already know that, but this test can remind any pianist if he/she is too tense. Good to use before a concert.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:09 am 
Hi all,

I have all of Robert's problems too, most of which surfaced since working on Chopin's Grande Valse Brilliante (esp the last bit with the full octave chords) + Liszt's La Campanella.

I've been with my teacher for almost a decade and she taught me to keep everything but my fingers stiff. After reading all of the stuff in these forums I realised (albeit too late) that my technique is completely wrong. How long does it take to switch to this proper technique?? I must state that my piano is quite rubbish (it never fails to crack up my tuner) -- its an Indonesian made Barrett & Robinson which has different feel in the upper range than in its lower range (almost like its on the soft pedal permanently), and I can't seem to let its keys push my fingers back up (but it could probably be just me).

Quick question: do you all hunch or sit straight at the piano? I find it incredibly tiring to sit straight, and when I couple this with the proper technique I end up with a terrible upper body ache after going through the piece about ten times.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:05 pm 
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Hi audiophile,
In my opinion, one should sit straight at the piano, but loose at the same time so that you are free to move with the music. Maybe since you are used to sitting hunched, your back isn't used to being straight and you need to work up to it. And as I am another one with problems in arms and wrists, I think it is very good that you have found this forum, which has made you aware of these things. The past years, I have known about keeping loose and playing without too much tension, but didn't realize I was doing it so much. Having someone point it out (these discussions and my teacher) has helped immensley.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:30 pm 
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Hello Robert,

I just saw the videos. I agree with your teacher. There is to much tension.

Instead of lifting your arms into the right position, like a conductors, you seem to hold them in position with force, more like an acrobat does. The acrobat has to be able to use force in any direction, whereas the conductor has only gravity to overcome.

I think this is the key to solving your problem. Never use force to move in an upward direction. Not with your arms, not with your hand, not with your finger. You only have gravitiy to overcome! Once you've learned this, you will see that your wrist will start to exhibit subtle upd and down movemenst as well.

Greetings from Peter


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