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Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? #1720517
07/25/11 11:13 AM
07/25/11 11:13 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 14
Molly Kate Offline OP
Junior Member
Molly Kate  Offline OP
Junior Member

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 14
Sorry guys, I'm not sure if I'm in the right forum.

I am currently playing the second movement of Beethoven's
Pathetique sonata. This was a rather large jump for me, seeing as I had previously been playing a relatively easy Diabelli sonatina.
I can only reach a ninth, so, not knowing how to relax when playing such large intervals, I began to tense up. This has SEEMINGLY caused bad pain in my arms, especially my wrists and elbows. I am finishing up the 2nd movement, and starting the 3rd movement in preparation for a Christmas recital, and I was wondering if anyone out there has had personal experience with this kind of problem, and how were you able to fix it? I must also mention that I have Lyme disease, which can cause inflammation.Perhaps should I see a special piano doctor? A teacher who specializes in piano injury? Or maybe could I possibly cure this on my own, and with the help of my teacher?

Thanks so much!!!

Molly

Last edited by Molly Kate; 07/25/11 12:29 PM.
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Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720570
07/25/11 12:36 PM
07/25/11 12:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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Hi Molly,

Welcome to the forum! Yes, you are in the right place.

As the owner of small hands, I understand what you mean about having to use some tension to open your hand wide enough to reach an octave or more. The fix occurs between the notes. Relax and make your hand small immediately after you play the stretch. Try this: put your hand flat on a table with the fingers spread but completely relaxed. Keeping your fingers completely limp, slowly raise your knuckles and watch what happens to your fingers. Your fingertips should slide gently on the table while your fingers come slightly together. That's the motion you want to occur between notes.

If you are playing many octaves in a row, practice slowly and relax between each octave - open/play - relax - open/play - relax etc. It will be slow at first, but eventually, you will be able to do it up to tempo. Also, when you play the stretches, make sure your strength is coming from your upper arms and back, not your hands.

I'm sorry to hear you have Lyme disease. It must be hard to live with and I hope they find a cure soon. Yes, get a good piano teacher!


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720602
07/25/11 01:40 PM
07/25/11 01:40 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 14
Molly Kate Offline OP
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Molly Kate  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 14

Thanks so much Deborah!

I noticed on your profile that you've read grand obsession. What did you think of it? I've only just started it.


"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."
-Victor Hugo

https://twitter.com/MollyToombs
Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720608
07/25/11 01:55 PM
07/25/11 01:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,349
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline

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Monica K.  Offline

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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,349
Lexington, Kentucky
Welcome to the forum, Molly Kate. smile

Over in the Adult Beginners Forum, there is a long-time member (mr_super-hunky) who suffers from Lyme Disease that went undiagnosed and untreated for much of his life. You may want to try shooting him a private message or searching the archives for the posts where he talks about it.

Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720625
07/25/11 02:24 PM
07/25/11 02:24 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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gooddog  Offline
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Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted by Molly Kate
I noticed on your profile that you've read grand obsession. What did you think of it? I've only just started it.
I enjoyed it very much and learned a great deal about pianos and voicing from it. I was introduced to PianoWorld by that book. I've learned a tremendous amount here and have made some wonderful online and in-the-flesh friends. I no longer feel alone in my love of the piano and classical music.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720632
07/25/11 02:31 PM
07/25/11 02:31 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline
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FYI - Lyme disease is treatable, so I'm assuming you've been treated since it was diagnosed. There are complications that can linger, and a rheumatologist can best give you advice on how to alleviate the symptoms.

That being said, a teacher with Taubman credentials may be helpful, and at a minimum, I would suggest an approach that's based more on your current abilities than on which piece you want to play. I'm inclined to believe that the "big jump" in repertoire you mentioned is more at fault than complications from Lyme's.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Kreisler] #1720637
07/25/11 02:34 PM
07/25/11 02:34 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22,391
New York
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
....I'm inclined to believe that the "big jump" in repertoire you mentioned is more at fault than complications from Lyme's.

+1

And, as they say, "speak to your doctor." smile ("Piano doctor" not necessary.)
The doctor probably won't be able to say for sure, but that's really where to start when anyone wonders about something like this.

Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720640
07/25/11 02:36 PM
07/25/11 02:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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gooddog  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
Kreisler and Mark are probably right about the leap in repertoire but eventually you will have to face the small hands + octaves problem so I hope my suggestion helps.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: gooddog] #1720642
07/25/11 02:39 PM
07/25/11 02:39 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22,391
New York
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted by gooddog
Kreisler and Mark are probably right about the leap in repertoire but eventually you will have to face the small hands + octaves problem so I hope my suggestion helps.

+1 to that too!

The problem doesn't necessarily mean that the "leap in repertoire" needs to be avoided, but maybe just that adjustments in approach are needed.

But IMO the first thing to do, in terms of the playing, is to take a little rest from it and see what happens -- and not to feel dead-set on playing that piece at the recital. See what happens.....

Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720665
07/25/11 03:07 PM
07/25/11 03:07 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,828
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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If you're having bad pain, Mollie, then that means, "Stop right away." If ordinary home cures don't help within a few weeks then yes, you need to see a doctor.

It would be better to find something to practice that doesn't kill your hands, until you can get the technical help from a good teacher and a treatment plan from a doctor. All pianists have some kind of limitation. You may need to ramp up in technique to do this piece safely.

Small hands are not such a bad thing. Alicia De Larrocha and Maurice Ravel both had tiny hands. People with very large hands say that it is a problem for them, too. But look at Rachmaninoff.

"I wept that I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet."


Clef

Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720680
07/25/11 03:41 PM
07/25/11 03:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
G
Gyro Offline
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This whole business about "Lyme disease" is controversial. My opinion of it is that it's something resembling mass hysteria. No one ever heard of Lyme disease until about 20 yrs. ago, when some magazines ran articles about it and then scores of people suddenly started to have "symptoms" of it. Any little ache or pain was then interpreted in terms of "Lyme," resulting in actual incapacitating "illnesses."

Moreover, ticks carry a host of noxious things besides the Lyme bacillus, for example, the babesia parasite. How are you to tell if it is "Lyme" and not babesia that's "affecting" you? In my view, you need to just buck up and forget about "Lyme." People have been getting bit by ticks for thousands of yrs. with no really serious problems; the immune system can fight off all those things ticks carry, unless you get obsessed by them and let them affect you psychosomatically.

Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Gyro] #1720697
07/25/11 04:12 PM
07/25/11 04:12 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22,391
New York
Mark_C Offline
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New York
Gyro: THE TIME HAS COME. smile
Because now you've gone too far.

You need to give us an answer.

Are you really serious in all your posts?
In at least some of them, like the above, do you not actually know better, and are you not just being purposely provocative?

This has been raised a number of times, and as far as I've noticed, you've never replied, at all.

That last post of yours, like more than a few of your others, unfortunately is not merely absurd; it could be positively destructive to people who might read it and not have the benefit of being familiar with your posting style. Whether you're doing it on purpose or not, it's bad, but it's worse if you are. Either way, it seems you need to have a frank exchange with us about it. Perhaps the moderators have already attempted this -- I don't know. All I know is what we see -- and a lot of it is pretty bad.

Cliff's Notes to anyone: Please don't take the above post seriously.

Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720749
07/25/11 05:05 PM
07/25/11 05:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
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Gyro Offline
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I was going to reply to you: "Learn how to read and write English you dolt." But then I noticed that you're apparently Dr. Mark Cannon, the psychiatrist and amateur pianist extraordinaire, and a veritable fixture at the VC Competition for Outstanding Amateurs.

Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720752
07/25/11 05:07 PM
07/25/11 05:07 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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gooddog  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
Gyro, you are being utterly heartless about a real and debilitating condition. Shame on you for suggesting an illness is psychosomatic and the sufferer should just "buck up". By the way, the diagnosis for Lyme Disease is not limited to symptoms alone. If the bacterium can't be found in the blood, antibodies against B. burgdorferi confirm its presence and the diagnosis. Where did you get the idea that the immune system can fight off all those things ticks carry? People do indeed die from tick borne illnesses but rarely from Lyme.

And what Mark said..


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720755
07/25/11 05:11 PM
07/25/11 05:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 14
Molly Kate Offline OP
Junior Member
Molly Kate  Offline OP
Junior Member

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 14


Thanks { almost } everyone, for your tips. I will certainly apply them to my playing, and will definately get back with you if [ and when{: } any of them are successful.

As for you, "Gyro", you have not only insulted me, but you have misused this forum, and have acted as if you were an expert on Lyme, when in fact, I must assume you are not. If people who are infected with Lyme disease are, as you think, delusional, then they are delusional in the masses. You have judged me, and MANY other people who have suffered considerably.
I believe that I must remind you that this is a PIANO forum. You could have considerately kept your opinion to yourself, and not said anything all! I think everyone realizes that you knew EXACTLY what you were doing. And isn't it strange that you refused to believe that Lyme is a disease, yet you admit that ticks carry it?

And just FYI, I have been tested for Lyme.

It came out positive.


"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."
-Victor Hugo

https://twitter.com/MollyToombs
Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720758
07/25/11 05:15 PM
07/25/11 05:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 14
Molly Kate Offline OP
Junior Member
Molly Kate  Offline OP
Junior Member

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 14

Thank you all for your support.


"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."
-Victor Hugo

https://twitter.com/MollyToombs
Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1720759
07/25/11 05:15 PM
07/25/11 05:15 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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gooddog  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
Hurray for Molly Kate. She's new. She's articulate. She takes advice graciously. She is good at sifting through the nonsense and she's got teeth! Again, welcome!


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Gyro] #1720772
07/25/11 05:46 PM
07/25/11 05:46 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22,391
New York
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted by Gyro
I was going to reply to you: "Learn how to read and write English you dolt."....

I guess you mean that was going to be the sum total of your reply. ha

Gyro, I think you leave us little choice but to assume the worst, which I think probably means that you do a lot of this absurdity knowingly and on purpose.

That's been my guess almost since I first arrived on the site, because IMO your posts show too much knowledge and intelligence for you to really believe some of the outrageously absurd things that you say. And in a way this should please you, because I'm giving you credit for having qualities that many other members assume you don't.

In a way the members here have given you a hard time, but I think that in the most important ways, you've been given a free ride. I hope that'll stop, at least to the extent that people will be less hesitant to confront you like this when it's called for. And eventually I hope you'll have to deal with these concerns meaningfully.

Originally Posted by gooddog
Hurray for Molly Kate. She's new. She's articulate. She takes advice graciously. She is good at sifting through the nonsense and she's got teeth! Again, welcome!

+1

Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Molly Kate] #1721175
07/26/11 10:56 AM
07/26/11 10:56 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,828
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,828
San Jose, CA
The worst I've seen so far is that some poor newbie actually bought a keyboard Gyro recommended, and of course it was awful. The guys on the DP/Synth forum gave him plenty of heat about it, and I haven't noticed him over there much since.

Dispensing harmful medical advice to a forum newcomer (his typical target) is a new low. This time I've protested to the forum moderator. There used to be people who had the same thing to say about AIDS ("it doesn't exist, just buck up"). Haven't heard much from them lately.

Being a crank is not the same as being stupid; I don't believe 'twisted' is listed in DSM IV, but there probably is some disorder with a medical name that covers it.

I'm surprised you got as much of an answer as you did, Mark. Usually he just attacks then steps back, enjoying whatever gratification he derives...


Clef

Re: Really bad Tension caused by Lyme disease? [Re: Jeff Clef] #1721284
07/26/11 02:53 PM
07/26/11 02:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22,391
New York
Mark_C Offline
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New York
Jeff: Thanks for weighing in. And very well said.

I think the 'staff' has pretty much assumed he's at least being sincere and doing the best he can. They may want to rethink that -- and it may call for a different approach. Not necessarily time-outing or banning him (I'm with those who feel that's probably overdone), but at least confronting him about it and insisting that he discuss it directly and meaningfully -- and then weighing carefully whatever he may say.

Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
....I'm surprised you got as much of an answer as you did, Mark. Usually he just attacks then steps back, enjoying whatever gratification he derives...

Actually I was too! I'm not sure how right he is that my reading and writing are real bad grin ....but yeah -- it was more of a reply than I had expected, which was zero.

Maybe it's a start. smile

Last edited by Mark_C; 07/26/11 03:00 PM.
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