Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Piano Tuning
How to Tune Pianos
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Who's Online Now
95 registered members (accordeur, anotherscott, anamnesis, Agent88, andrea monza, 30 invisible), 1,477 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#1909310 - 06/06/12 10:59 AM Pain and gain  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 14
Brahms4 Offline
Junior Member
Brahms4  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 14
Europe
I'm trying to get my left hand as agile as my right hand but I'm not sure what is the best way to go about it. I'm playing scales and have access to lots of exercises - finding something to practise isn't the problem. The problem is that when I put my left hand through its paces playing quickly (with metronome) after a few minutes my arm begins to ache. Does this mean that I'm doing something good or something bad, and should I stop as soon as I feel the ache starting or try to play through it? I tend to stop, wiggle my arm a bit then carry on when it's feeling better, but I can't say I'm seeing any improvement in stamina/speed/smoothness! Thanks

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1909331 - 06/06/12 11:21 AM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 622
samasap Offline
500 Post Club Member
samasap  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 622
UK
It sounds like your posture may be wrong? Have you checked the height of your chair you are sitting on, and how close you are to the keyboard?

You should be positioned in the centre of your piano, so use Middle C as a guide for this, your arms/wrists/fingers should all be relaxed your fingers should be curled as if you are picking up a tennis ball as an example.

Look at how close you are to the keyboard. You should be an arms length away approximately, and almost at a right angle!

Also make sure your shoulders are relaxed as this can cause you pain if you are tense. Sometimes you don't even realise it!


#1909350 - 06/06/12 11:53 AM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 325
albynism Offline
Full Member
albynism  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 325
If your left arm begins to ache usually it means there is tension. try to relax more. If you are playing scales try this. Divide the scales into groups of four notes. Using left hand only, Play the first four notes, then hold that last note and relax your arm, play the next four notes, then relax, dont continue the next four notes until you are completely relaxed, and repeat until you have completed the scales, repeat a few times and hopefully you can play the scales normally without any undue tension.

#1909356 - 06/06/12 12:00 PM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 14
Brahms4 Offline
Junior Member
Brahms4  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 14
Europe
So are you saying that I shouldn't experience any discomfort at all, even though I'm deliberately doing exercises that are pushing me? Doesn't everyone get aches when playing more quickly than you can manage comfortably? I'm not sure that my posture is perfect by any means, but when I play with my right hand I can play for longer and faster comfortably. So I'm playing single hand scales of 4 octaves and with my right I can do 12 scales consecutively at 4 notes per click on 132. I can do that with no real problem and without any tensing. I want to be able to do the same with my left, but at the moment I'm on 120 and after about 4 scales the aches start. If it doesn't happen with the right, can it be posture related? Or perhaps I am more tense when I play with my left! Should I start doing them more slowly or do fewer at a time?

(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#1909372 - 06/06/12 12:10 PM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 325
albynism Offline
Full Member
albynism  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 325
Ideally it is not normal, but is is a common problem for the left hand to get tired first because it is the non-dominant hand for many of us. I'm still learning how to control the tension myself (with the help of a teacher of course).

#1909423 - 06/06/12 01:31 PM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 83
NWL Offline
Full Member
NWL  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 83
I believe it should never hurt to play the piano. If something is causing you pain, there is likely a healthier movement you could be using.

Do you always play scales ascending first, then descending? I find that all of my students play ascending scales more naturally with the right hand, and descending scales more naturally with the left hand. If you can discover whether it's ascending or descending that gives you trouble, you may be able to hone in on a solution.

In any case, I hope that you are under that guidance of a teacher who can help you work this out. I would advise you to never practice "for stamina;" instead, work to achieve better coordination and simplicity of movement. Videotape yourself and watch for strange or uncoordinated movements. Brainstorm alternatives.

Good luck!

#1909443 - 06/06/12 02:01 PM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 95
Praeludium Offline
Full Member
Praeludium  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 95
Besançon, France
Pain = no gain

#1909448 - 06/06/12 02:07 PM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 14
Brahms4 Offline
Junior Member
Brahms4  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 14
Europe
Thanks! Unfortunately no I don't have a teacher and yes I always play my scales ascending first - I will do as you suggested. I'm working on Chopin Nocturne op.9 no.3 in B minor and I have video-ed myself but I couldn't pinpoint anything that is wrong (except notes :haha:), other than that my hands/movements don't look like professional pianists hands lol! When I play the agitato middle section my left hand (arm) gets tired by the end and I was looking for a way to "beef it up" a bit. Perhaps I should just carry the shopping with my left hand more often....

FWIW I had lessons up to the age of 18/19 (and then did a degree in music but the clarinet was my first instrument) and got to grade 8 without anyone saying much about my posture or hand position or anything like that really. I'm nearly 40 now so it might be a case of old dog new tricks frown

#1909450 - 06/06/12 02:08 PM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 14
Brahms4 Offline
Junior Member
Brahms4  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 14
Europe
* B major :dohh:

#1909647 - 06/06/12 07:38 PM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,655
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member
jdw  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,655
Philadelphia, PA
Originally Posted by Brahms4
Perhaps I should just carry the shopping with my left hand more often....:(


I know this is a joke. But seriously, carrying weight or looking for ways to "strengthen" the hands will not help and could actually make things worse. Your hands don't need to be stronger, they just need to move correctly to avoid causing discomfort.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
#1909667 - 06/06/12 08:26 PM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,734
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Orange Soda King  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,734
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
1. You need to make sure your hand position and fundamental technique for playing is correct.

2. You need pay attention to all of this constantly when practicing.

3. You need to practice SLOWER until you can play it PERFECTLY at that tempo (not just technically perfectly, but be able to make the music EXACTLY how you want it performance-time, but at the slow tempo), and then speed it up one tiny bit at a time. Use a metronome.

BTW regarding posture and hand position, I'm a piano performance major in university, and I still have very basic issues that need fixing and checking up on and things like that. It's okay if they need fixing; they just need to be fixed!

Last edited by Orange Soda King; 06/06/12 08:27 PM.
#1909712 - 06/06/12 10:19 PM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,671
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member
RonaldSteinway  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,671
Several reasons:

1. By feeling ache, it means your LH does not have enough strength to play as fast as you want. Therefore, you should not force it, you need to be patient. Eventually, it will be better.

2. People always say relax...relax...blah blah. Easy to say, but not easy to do it if you do not have somebody (teacher or friend) who knows how to do it so that he or she can show you what relax is. Many teacher cannot show this too. However, once you know how to do it, you can really improve your speed dramatically, but still usually not as fast as your right hand.

3. You need to practice slowly for the passages that you are not familiar, then speed up once you are comfortable.

Bottom line, if you feel ache, you basically forcing yourself to play beyond capability.

#1909718 - 06/06/12 10:36 PM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 751
Skorpius Offline
500 Post Club Member
Skorpius  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 751
Originally Posted by Brahms4
I'm trying to get my left hand as agile as my right hand but I'm not sure what is the best way to go about it. I'm playing scales and have access to lots of exercises - finding something to practise isn't the problem. The problem is that when I put my left hand through its paces playing quickly (with metronome) after a few minutes my arm begins to ache. Does this mean that I'm doing something good or something bad, and should I stop as soon as I feel the ache starting or try to play through it? I tend to stop, wiggle my arm a bit then carry on when it's feeling better, but I can't say I'm seeing any improvement in stamina/speed/smoothness! Thanks


It means your developing tension which is the worst thing, technique-wise you can do. Make sure your posture is good (back straight, chest up), then slowly play it with no effort at all. I takes some adjusting, as I've learned, but it's totally worth it


Working On-

Deux Arabesques, Debussy


On Queue-

Danse Russe from Petroushka, Stravinsky
Toccata, Ravel




#1910460 - 06/08/12 10:56 AM Re: Pain and gain [Re: Brahms4]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 14
Brahms4 Offline
Junior Member
Brahms4  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 14
Europe
Thanks for all the comments. So basically then I need to slow down in order to speed up! I suppose I am just frustrated that my left hand seems so clunky compared to my right.

Is a straight back really important? I do have a straight back and find it comfortable but I've noticed that a lot of excellent pianists hunch themselves over the piano quite a lot - like in this pic of Lara Omeroglu http://i.radikal.com.tr/644x385/2010/05/17/fft5_mf436881.Jpeg

would that be considered "bad" posture?


Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Pearl River Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Climate in London
by David-G. 10/19/17 07:30 PM
Realtek ASIO. Anyone used it?
by Marcos Daniel. 10/19/17 04:35 PM
Damper lift adjustment
by Beemer. 10/19/17 03:56 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics182,381
Posts2,665,752
Members88,990
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0