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#1987058 - 11/15/12 01:06 PM Have you hurt yourself while playing?  
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As we know, composers tend not to be considerate of us poor pianists, especially if they have no intention of playing the music they write grin - whether placing exorbitant demands on our technique, or size or shape of our paws, or flexibility of our joints, etc, etc.

I've been looking at Youtube recordings of the finalists of the 2010 Chopin Competition to see what paths their careers have taken since, and discovered Hélène Tysman's fine performance from December 2011 of Ravel's D major Piano Concerto with a student orchestra (Liszt School of Music, Weimar). I noticed her bleeding middle finger during the closing cadenza, and realized that the injury occured during the ff upward glissando at the end of the opening cadenza, after which she grimaced and wiped her fingers on her handkerchief. In the subsequent glissandi, she used only her thumb.

When I practise pieces with glissandi, I usually 'play' them silently, sliding my fingernails lightly over the keys without depressing them. Do you do the same, or have you sustained injuries similar to Tysman while playing or practising them?


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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#1987059 - 11/15/12 01:09 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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I stubbed my toe playing once, oddly enough.

#1987062 - 11/15/12 01:17 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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Originally Posted by bennevis

When I practise pieces with glissandi, I usually 'play' them silently, sliding my fingernails lightly over the keys without depressing them.


Me too. I ripped up my finger on Alborada del gracioso, so I quickly learned how to practice with gliding over the notes.

I also sneezed while playing one time and messed up my shoulder pretty bad.

#1987070 - 11/15/12 01:38 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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I wore the wrong shoes once and thought I felt a calf cramp coming on during pedaling. Agh. I think it would've sent me right off the bench.

Isn't it better to play in a flat shoe than a heel? (I assume only females will answer this, but......ya nevah know.)


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#1987085 - 11/15/12 02:14 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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Often, during the dry winter months, my skin will crack and separate from the nail, causing pain and sometimes bleeding. It's not really a "piano" injury, per se, but it certainly causes problems. When I had more time in front of the keys, this problem used to occur with greater frequency, and I used a liquid band-aid product religiously during those months.

Lately, since I have no performance obligations, and no piano, when I notice it happening, I just stop and wait for it to heal.


I've never cut my hand open on glissandi, despite playing some nastily sharp old/cracked-ivory-key pianos. If that's a major issue, you can try the rock-n-roll solution: thumb rings. I tend to use my nails--middle finger on the way up, thumb on the way down (opposite for LH). Make sure you have a nice angle on the keys so your hand glides easily and doesn't "cut" into any one key.


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#1987089 - 11/15/12 02:24 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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Funny story. I was playing Jeaux D'eau in a masterclass a couple years back. The teacher demonstrated how the black key glissando should be played. And he demonstrated over...and over again. Eventually some skin tore off and he started to bleed on the piano. It wasn't much and I didn't notice until he asked me to play it again...which I did -_-


"I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well."

J.S. Bach
#1987092 - 11/15/12 02:27 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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I remember watching an old movie about Chopin - he coughed blood onto the keyboard with his TB. Bleeding onto the keys after playing glissandi can be even more messy....


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#1987093 - 11/15/12 02:28 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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"A Song to Remember" is what the movie is called I believe. Love that movie!


"I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well."

J.S. Bach
#1987174 - 11/15/12 06:06 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: Cheeto717]  
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Originally Posted by Cheeto717
"A Song to Remember" is what the movie is called I believe. Love that movie!
Oh me too! I've always remembered the (rather apt) description of it I once read: A wild piece of gorgeous junk.


Du holde Kunst...
#1987222 - 11/15/12 08:34 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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My third finger is cursed I think. Two weeks ago I shut it in a heavy door giving me a bruise on either side of the knuckle; last week a binder of music falling on it cut it, and I was afraid it would start bleeding during a performance just 30 minutes later ; and yesterday something started hurting internally, either because of playing some Prokofiev too aggressively or because of a nerve problem that I had a while back.

There was another performance I went to in which two pianists had to perform. When the second pianist came out, he sat down at the piano, looked at the keys and then went back offstage. He came back with a wet rag and proceeded to clean the blood off the keys from the previous performer.


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
#1987223 - 11/15/12 08:41 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: Arghhh]  
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Originally Posted by Arghhh
There was another performance I went to in which two pianists had to perform. When the second pianist came out, he sat down at the piano, looked at the keys and then went back offstage. He came back with a wet rag and proceeded to clean the blood off the keys from the previous performer.


Sounds like the first guy snapped a nail off maybe?

#1987248 - 11/15/12 09:58 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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I "stubbed" my RH fifth finger on the sloped front of a black key practicing the last mvt. of Mozart K. 283 several years ago. Stayed sore for a summer.

It didn't help holding a violin bow, also, as the pinky often supports the weight of the bow.

The end of Debussy's "L'isle joyeuse" is notorious: I bruised a finger tip firmly hitting wood a few times instead of that A at the end of the keyboard when I played that work several decades ago.

#1987274 - 11/15/12 11:34 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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Accidental injuries are mostly what I'm seeing...am I the only one who bruises my fingertips from hitting notes too hard? shocked

#1987281 - 11/16/12 12:15 AM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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I tried to pull a Lang Lang and I got a severe muscle cramp in my face.

#1987298 - 11/16/12 02:29 AM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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I've hurt my own morale when I've played terribly.

#1987319 - 11/16/12 04:47 AM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: currawong]  
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Originally Posted by currawong
Originally Posted by Cheeto717
"A Song to Remember" is what the movie is called I believe. Love that movie!
Oh me too! I've always remembered the (rather apt) description of it I once read: A wild piece of gorgeous junk.


Could also have been La Note Bleue, a French Chopin "biopic" (a weird piece of grotesque junk) In that one there's a positive gusher onto the keys which he frantically attempts to mop up with his hankerchief.

I've transiently injured both wrists from too enthusiastic reaches, nothing that hasn't gone away by itself.



Slow down and do it right.
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#1987327 - 11/16/12 05:37 AM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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I have developed painless, situation specific involuntary movements, restricted to piano playing, on two occasions. Both took a lot of discipline and time to get rid of. The funny thing was that they were inaudible and invisible to everyone but me. Of course through the internet I know now what they most likely were, but not knowing, I devised methods for myself which fixed them. I have never experienced pain through playing and hope I never do.


"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows
#1987329 - 11/16/12 06:07 AM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: Cheeto717]  
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Originally Posted by Cheeto717
"A Song to Remember" is what the movie is called I believe. Love that movie!


I do love those melodramatic movies, especially when pianists and l'amore are involved grin. They don't make 'em like that anymore, more's the pity - probably because few people play the piano these days and don't understand the looniness (sic) of the long-distance pianist. Thanks for reminding me what the title of that movie is - must get the DVD for Christmas - need a break from the umpteenth viewing of The Sound of Music....


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#1987336 - 11/16/12 06:33 AM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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I can't play a glissandi yet, I am a beginner - I can barely a tuck a thumb under !

I do experience great pain everytime I play a wrong note.


I have had the piano only a few months and they told me it was tuned recently but for me to tune after it turns cold and I turn the heat on in the house. So I haved tuned it yet - probably later this month or in December.

When I play two notes together and one of the notes is wrong - I stupidly think immediately that my piano needs to be tuned!

#1987457 - 11/16/12 01:34 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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Just my pride ha


Ragdoll

At first, she only flew when she thought no one was watching.

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#1987491 - 11/16/12 03:10 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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The edges of my nails sometimes split and crack, and the dermatologist says that's just a byproduct of aging. He had no remedies except to suggest a couple of skin creams...yeah, that will really help me slide around on the keyboard.

One 20th-century piece I play a lot demands really rapid leaps all over the keyboard, and those especially are hard on the nails. Fast leaps, hard landings. Probably has to do with hitting the edges of adjacent keys inadvertently.

#1987507 - 11/16/12 03:54 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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RP and others...

Have you ever heard of BagBalm?

It was mfg for cracks in cow's udders and now used by humans.

Does the trick for cracks on the tips of fingers for gardeners.

Cheap too.

Use it at night and wash with hot water and soap before playing.

Might take a few days to really heal, but it will feel better in 24 hrs.







"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
#1987546 - 11/16/12 05:59 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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Worst piano injury ever!


#1987550 - 11/16/12 06:07 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: Damon]  
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I not sure if this one counts but...

I was practicing and a car alarm went off outside that sounded like my car. I jumped up really quickly, lost my balance and accidentally kicked the table next to my piano. I ended breaking a toe. D'oh!

#1987595 - 11/16/12 08:46 PM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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Damon -

HA HA HA!!!


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
#1987664 - 11/17/12 12:58 AM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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Quote
Have you hurt yourself while playing?

I have sometimes wanted to. frown

A couple of years ago while learning the Bach Partita #4 Ouverture, I made a poor fingering choice that required the LH thumb to pass quickly under 2 & 3 while 5 was holding a note. I later found a better fingering but not before the thumb had endured too much stress. It is sore off and on to this day.

#1987681 - 11/17/12 02:22 AM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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Actually I haven't. I have also hardly felt any pain. And I feel pain even if I use a pair of scissors, so it's a good sign. smile



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#1987686 - 11/17/12 02:34 AM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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There's the feeling of working muscles (and overworked sometimes) but rarely is it outright painful.

#1987691 - 11/17/12 02:55 AM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: bennevis]  
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The flute and the guitar were much worse for me in the first few days. The flute felt sooo heavy and I had to take breaks all the time, and the guitar also felt heavy and caused pain on my leg. It was only for the first few days though, maybe a week.



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#1987699 - 11/17/12 04:09 AM Re: Have you hurt yourself while playing? [Re: Damon]  
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Originally Posted by Damon
Worst piano injury ever!


Yeah, that happened to me once. Took a full month to recover. Horrible experience...


On a serious note, this did remind me of a real injury I once sustained. I was playing at a hotel, and apparently no one told the security guard I was supposed to be playing. He thought I broke into the piano to vandalize it by playing a Chopin nocturne (C-minor). Instead of simply asking me to stop, he walked up from behind me and closed (read: "slammed") the lid on my fingers. I barely had time to react, and bruised my knuckles where the lid rapped them. Took three weeks to heal. I repaid the security guard in kind--that was his last day of employment there--but that injury really ticked me off because it was 100% avoidable.


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
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