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#1933167 07/27/12 01:48 PM
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Hi
I feel bad pain over dorsum of my thumb when I play arpeggio over 4 octave.my teacher said it should not be painful but it is.any suggestions?
Thanks

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drazh #1933296 07/27/12 05:53 PM
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This is something that is extremely difficult to diagnose online, but we can give it a shot. What notes are you playing that cause you this pain? And what fingering are you using?


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Hi
Thanks for help
It is hanon #41- C major key.C -E -G notes
Lh :4-2-1
Th:1-2-3

drazh #1933445 07/28/12 12:46 AM
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Very tough to make random guesses at what might actually be going on, but we can look at some basic troubleshooting.

First question, can you post a video? If yes, we can see exactly what is happening.

If not, here are some quick ideas:

1. Make sure that you are not "twisting" your wrist. Your entire hand-arm mechanism should remain straight from elbow through fingertips.

2. Make sure you're not "reaching" for notes. If your fingers are stuck on a previous note, and you are reaching to get to the next note, you may be stretching tendons/muscles that could cause inflammation/damage from repeated exposure to this type of movement.

3. Make sure your arms are moving up and down the keyboard. If your arms are stuck while your hands are moving, this could be cause 1 or 2.

4. Make sure your body is moving with your arms. Otherwise, the arms may not be moving far enough to get to the keys, and you could be cause #1 or 2 to occur, which can cause pain/discomfort.

Those are the quickest/easiest to spot ideas. Others may suggest more, but I would like to start with that and see what happens. Let me know if any of them seems to be the issue.. smile


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Dear derulux
Thank you so much for advices.I will try to post my video
Thank you

drazh #1933601 07/28/12 01:20 PM
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No problem at all. I hope it helps. Let me know when you have the video posted and I will take a look.. either reply to the thread or send me a PM. smile


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drazh #1933684 07/28/12 05:17 PM
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Slow, slow, slower, really slow. No tension.

It really helps but it must be slow.

Only then speed it back up.


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drazh #1933747 07/28/12 07:26 PM
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Derulux gave some really good advice. I'll add that:

1. for practice purposes, start not to join the 4-1 fingers RH and 1-3 LH for now. After you play 4 on RH, move your arm and hand to the new position before play 1. Feel the new arm and hand position.

2. Once you are comfortable with 1. above, now as you play 4 (not after you play 4) rotate your forearm outward (rotate right). Open up your other fingers (they should be "in the air"). Stop there, as you move your arm and hand to play 1, rotate your forearm inward (rotate left). Your other fingers are also "in the air". Don't join the notes still.

3. Once you are comfortable with both arm/hand positions and rotation, make the movements of 1. and 2. above small and join the notes 4-1.

Do LH and RH separately. Don't twist the wrist sideways as Derulux suggested. Practice slowly. By slowly I mean once you play a note, stop, settle your finger/hand/arm before you start prepare for the next note. The movements in between the notes should be fast.

The 1. - 3. Above describes R-H ascending. It is the same for descending and also for LH.

If you want to watch a video, search for "Taubman Rotation" in YouTube.

Good luck.


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Dear tubbie
Rh fingering is123
Lh fingering is 124
Thanks

drazh #1934013 07/29/12 07:41 AM
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My mistake. Regardless of 1-2-3 or 1-2-4 you use for RH, the excercise is the same.

One more technique you can apply after the above: in-out

Basically this technique helps you avoid clawing your fingers (instead have a natural curve), and also avoid hitting black keys accidentally without having to twist your wrist.

1 (hand in), 2 (hand out), 3 (hand out further), 1 (hand in) etc. use your arm to move you hand in and out of the white keys. Practice this separately first (without the previous exercise). Once you get the hang of it apply rotation as well then start to play legato.

When you apply all of the above plus the hand in and out motion, your arpeggios will flow very smoothly, like waves. Of course, the faster you go the smaller these motions will be. Nonetheless there are there.

Good luck!

Last edited by Tubbie0075; 07/29/12 07:56 AM.

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drazh #1934154 07/29/12 12:35 PM
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If you're really in pain, drazh, do not keep doing it. You could buy some serious trouble for yourself. There are other things to work on than arpeggios.

No doubt your teacher is right in saying that it should not be painful, but that is not enough. You will have to work together on this specific movement until you discover why it is painful for you, and how to do it properly.

I suspect the previous posters are right when they suggest 'too fast, 'improper posture or attack,' and 'too much tension.' These are the usual guilty culprits.

When I say 'really in pain,' I don't mean the slight discomfort or little bit of soreness that comes with making an effort. That is ok. If you have actual pain, especially if it doesn't stop when you stop playing, that is the danger sign that you are injuring your hand or wrist. These injuries can be unforgiving and long-lasting, so if that's the story please don't keep it up... at least for now. You can come back to the arps. I like the Hanon book, but it is not the Holy Bible.

One other thing: the arps on the triads can go easier if you do them at the same time you practice their scales--- just turn a few pages. Then your fingers will be warmed up, and the muscle memory will help you do them in a more relaxed and confident way. The C scale is not the easiest on your hand, BTW. You might try a scale with three, four, or even five accidentals.


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Dear Jeff
The pain is only when I flex my thumb under the palm.
I read somewhere hanon may be dangerous. is that the case?
I wanted to laterally rotate my elbow not to flex the thumb but my teacher disagreed.he said it is unnecessary movement
Thanks

drazh #1934676 07/30/12 11:49 AM
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Anything can be dangerous if you over-do it, or do it in a way that is unnaturally or unnecessarily stressful for the body. That includes the Hanon exercises (though they are also good for you). And the big clue is: pain.

Hanon's instruction at the front of the book to "Lift the fingers high and with precision, playing each note very clearly," suggests a dangerous exaggeration of the movement, which can injure the hand. They didn't know about RSI's 112 years ago, and technique has come a long way since then. Taken as a whole, what he is trying to explain is the value of balanced exercise and of stamina.

I think what he's trying to say is, "don't play like a slob," which is ok to say. Articulating the notes crisply and striking them accurately is ok; that is what you want--- or rather, the control is what you want. Cocking the fingers back like little hammers or prancing ponies is not necessary; it is an unnatural movement which, if you do it enough times, can irritate the tendons and even create scar tissue. And then you have a real problem.

If you're having pain, take a look at the basics starting with your feet and legs, seat height and seated posture, and go right through the whole body to the tips of your fingers. We all need to refresh our posture sometimes, or shake the tension out of our hands and arms, make sure we're breathing... stress comes in many guises, and that is usually the root of pains in the hand and wrist. Possibly, you may have misunderstood some instruction your teacher has given. And sometimes they don't know how to teach you to protect yourself. I would certainly let the teacher know, more emphatically, if necessary, that this movement is painful for you.

Only you know how the inside of your body feels... and only you have to live with it, if you injure yourself.



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Dear clef
Thanks for useful comments.
And what about swinging motion of elbow to keep forearm in line with the palm?and reduce the flexion angle of thumb ?

drazh #1936029 08/01/12 08:44 PM
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My piano teacher used to laugh at it when I was learning to play scales, the way my elbows swung, just as you're describing. I don't do it any more, though, and I can't really say what happened. Maybe my hands and wrists became stronger and more flexible, or maybe my body just settled into the more efficient movement after doing it over and over and over. Maybe a light bulb went on, and I realized the way they teach it really is the easy way (compared to my way).

I'm sure it was pretty funny-looking. I looked like I hated scale-playing and was trying to fly away from the piano. But no more, now I love the technical exercises and appreciate their value. Another revolution in my musical education. Easy to say, not so easy to get there!

Given a choice between seeing you hurt yourself and seeing your elbows wag, I guess I'd take the elbows---any day. I watched my teacher demonstrate the movement as it should be (sometimes over and over), and that was quite helpful... though it takes time and lots of practice to master a movement that looks very easy--- until you try it.

"...And what about swinging motion of elbow to keep forearm in line with the palm?and reduce the flexion angle of thumb ?..."

Your body is going to move as you play, that's the long and short of it. It's fine; we're made of bones, not rubber, and that's how it has to be. Look up some U-Tube vids of concert artists, Valentina Lisitsa comes to mind. Watch how the great players move; there's a lot of variety, and a lot of elasticity in "the" way to move or hold the hands and arms. I'd just say, as long as your home posture is good and you come back to a strong and relaxed position, these excursions are fine. Especially if they keep you from pain and injury.

You sound like a serious and dedicated student.


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Dear clef
Thanks a lot.very helpful

Last edited by drazh; 08/01/12 11:08 PM.
drazh #1938653 08/07/12 07:33 AM
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It sounds like your technique isn't right if you are experiencing pain.
Ensure that your fingers are completely relaxed and your hands are low over the piano including the top part of your hand, your shoulders are relaxed and that you are sat at a right angle to your piano in the centre....

Also make sure your chair isn't too close or equally too far back.
Try making these changes, practice the arpeggios in one/two octaves see if this helps and then extend the octaves once you are feeling happier and more comfortable.

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Dear Samasap
But my teacher said hand should be high
Thanks

drazh #1939862 08/09/12 01:16 PM
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The hand will be somewhat higher when playing the arpeggio than at other times. That is part of the arpeggio technique--- learning to make that stretch, keeping your coordination, and hitting the keys accurately across the span of the keyboard. The movement actually begins all the way back in the shoulder blades; you could even say, all the way up from the hips. If we're trying to do it only with the hand, or the hand and forearm only, there is not enough flexion available--- and yes, it will hurt.

That doesn't mean an extreme position is good, and samasap is right about the relaxation, the posture, the seat position, the pain as the danger sign, and playing comfortably in a smaller range before extending to the whole keyboard. I'd temper it by saying that there is some acceptable variation in the seat and arm position, depending on the body type and maybe even on the keyboard's characteristics. For example, I sit a bit higher than my teacher (who is much more accomplished--- and also much younger--- than I) to prevent back pain and to keep an old tendon injury in the left arm from flaring up. I do have to watch it when working on new or difficult material, because I tense up the hands, the posture goes south, and I forget to breathe. But on pieces being polished for performance, he describes my technique and posture as 'excellent.'

So... the basics help with everything, and neglecting them can ruin everything. I also find that staying in playing condition, warming up, pausing to stretch, breathe, and shake the tension out of the hands occasionally helps me be a lot more comfortable. While playing, I have to remember to once in a while, breathe deeply in, picturing the breath going all the way to the fingertips and letting it lift the posture. These simple things fight my bad tendencies.

It's so hard to out-guess, at a distance, the teacher who is right there with the student. Not all teachers have the training to prevent injuries--- having learned the hard way, I think I'd ask in more detail about it. It would be a good time to study the movement and the posture with the teacher, and experiment to see if a different seat height, or other adjustment is helpful. Possibly, playing more quietly could lessen the impact stress or tension build-up.

"...I feel bad pain over dorsum of my thumb when I play arpeggio over 4 octave.my teacher said it should not be painful but it is...."

I have even wondered if this discomfort might be an early sign of osteoarthritis, rather than an RSI in the making. Only a doctor could tell you that... but if it is, the treatment is the opposite of "rest and don't do it anymore" that they prescribe for repetitive stress injuries. With arthritis, they want you to keep moving as much as you can, even if there's some discomfort. It preserves the ability to move, while inactivity destroys it. So if it doesn't clear up by attending to good posture and technique, or gets worse, a visit to the doc will be necessary.

If a smaller keyboard range for arps is comfortable, just do that for now. Come back to the extended range in a year. Four octaves is fine for learning the arps.


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Hi
Thank you all for your helpful advices .I feel much better now except a little discomfort.I'm working on it
Thank

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