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#2322017 - 08/30/14 09:10 PM special gloves to reinforce good hand position  
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Will1 Offline
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I'm a self-taught beginner piano player, and I struggle to keep my hands curved enough while playing. I've tried several reinforcement tactics such as holding silly putty in my palms and rubber banding the fingers of each hand around half a lacrosse ball. These tricks have major drawbacks, so I'm wondering if a better solution already exists. I'm picturing a special kind of glove with springy material that keeps the hand in the classic position. The resistance of the glove shouldn't be too high because players need to move their fingers, but it should be high enough to penalize flat hands and flat fingers. Does this already exist? If not, the implementation could be a worthwhile enterprise.

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#2322018 - 08/30/14 09:19 PM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: Will1]  
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keystring Offline
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Oh goodness, you don't want to aim for that at all. There are still some old fashioned books around, and some old fashioned instructions on-line, that have this "ball-holding, "curved hand" idea. It's caused problems for quite a few people.

When you hang your arms down with your hands down relaxed, that's the starting shape you want to have. As you play the piano, the shape will keep changing. For example, if you spread your hand to cover a whole octave, they would be rather flat. If you had them on 5 white keys from C to G it would be rounder because the fingertips are closer together. If you covered some black keys, you'd have another shape again.

Asking a moderator ---- There used to be basic lesson that was stickied - did it get unstickied, and could it get restickied, I wonder? It was by a teacher, and highlighted by Dave Frank, as I recall.

#2322040 - 08/30/14 10:18 PM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: Will1]  
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Forrest Halford Offline
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Listen to keystring.

No gadgets, just what your body does naturally.

Forrest


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#2322043 - 08/30/14 10:30 PM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: Will1]  
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fizikisto Offline
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Yes. Keystring is exactly right here. I'll add that rather than worrying about keeping some particular shape, you should be focusing on being comfortable and relaxed. You want to eliminate unnecessary tension wherever it might rear its ugly head. It often shows up in the shoulders, or the lower back, or the wrists. Focus on finding a comfortable position (right height, right distance from the piano, etc...) and just focus on playing in a way that is relaxed without collapsing your joints.

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#2322047 - 08/30/14 10:36 PM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: keystring]  
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Will1 Offline
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That comes far more naturally, and it's the way I play now. I got rid of collapsed knuckles within the first month or so with Leschetizky's solution, but I was having a really hard time maintaining the "ball-holding" that my old-school book recommends. (I have big hands.) Now that I search around, I see that there's a lot of debate about neutral hand position. Thanks for the tip!

#2322073 - 08/30/14 11:51 PM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: Will1]  
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Will1 Offline
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Thanks, everyone, this makes a lot more sense. Gotta work on loosening up.

#2322089 - 08/31/14 01:07 AM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: Will1]  
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BDB Offline
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Many people have ruined their hands using devices to hold them in unnatural positions while playing the piano. Robert Schumann comes to mind.


Semipro Tech
#2322222 - 08/31/14 12:21 PM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: BDB]  
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carlos88 Offline
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Time, patience, and slow playing helped me. My thumbs and pinkies used to stick out at all angles.

For about a year, I spent 10-20 minutes per day with slow playing, mostly Bach 2-part inventions, and tried to keep my hands relaxed, with fingers in control. When my pinkies started to point outwards (which meant my hand was tense again), I'd slow down more.


Fingers, hands and wrists are delicate things, stay away from the gadgets.

Last edited by carlos88; 08/31/14 12:22 PM.

I'd rather play badly than not at all...
#2322231 - 08/31/14 12:37 PM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: Will1]  
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keystring Offline
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The upsetting thing is when people use their hands naturally in the first place, and then some stupid book or instruction gets them to try to do something unnatural because supposedly that's how it's supposed to be done - and then they ruin something that was fine.

#2322250 - 08/31/14 01:51 PM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: keystring]  
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Brian Lucas Offline
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Originally Posted by keystring
The upsetting thing is when people use their hands naturally in the first place, and then some stupid book or instruction gets them to try to do something unnatural because supposedly that's how it's supposed to be done - and then they ruin something that was fine.

Complete agreement here. The one I use as well is reaching out as if to shake someone's hand, then rotate your hand and drop down to the keys. This will also help you figure out if you're too close to/too far from the keys. The ball thing never made sense to me.

I'm also curious why hand/wrist problems usually tend to be left hand issues. I initially thought it might be a right-handed thing, but I've had leftys also drop just their left wrist.


-Brian
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#2322279 - 08/31/14 03:17 PM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: Will1]  
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Charles Cohen Offline
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One problem with the original "gloves" suggestion:

When you take the special gloves _off_, to play something seriously, your muscles are going to have to develop new habits! The "glove resistance" will be gone.

All-in-all, not a good idea.

. Charles

PS -- there is a classic S/F story by Kurt Vonnegut, about a world in which every person who is talented is forced to have a 'handicapping machine' which reduces him/her to "average ability". It's not a pretty story.


. Charles
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#2322508 - 09/01/14 05:21 AM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: keystring]  
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casinitaly Online blank

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Originally Posted by keystring
Asking a moderator ---- There used to be basic lesson that was stickied - did it get unstickied, and could it get restickied, I wonder? It was by a teacher, and highlighted by Dave Frank, as I recall.


Are you talking about the videos? I don't remember the fellows name. I think they got unstickied a while back when folks were complaining about too many stickies. smile

If you can help me remember what the name of the fellow was, or what the thread title was I can insert a link into the "Important information" thread.

BTW: moderators don't read every post in every thread - I just happened to see this by chance. If you have a request of this nature, it's ok to "report" the thread with a note to get our attention smile , or to PM one of us and flag the thread.





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#2322517 - 09/01/14 05:55 AM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: Will1]  
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Michael Sayers Offline
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I've read elsewhere about pianists taking their gloves off, I don't think the expression always is meant to be interpreted literally wink.

What you don't want are joints that indent during playing. When starting out it can take deliberate practice to achieve this.

#2322641 - 09/01/14 12:37 PM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: Will1]  
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carlos88 Offline
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Is this the video/topic?

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubb.../all/A_New_PW_Video_on_Proper_Hand_.html

(If it's not, I still think it's another great video by Robert Estrin)


I'd rather play badly than not at all...
#2324187 - 09/04/14 09:40 PM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: Will1]  
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Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted by Will1
Thanks, everyone, this makes a lot more sense. Gotta work on loosening up.

One way to do this is to go so slow you prevent tightening in the first place. It's not very glamorous, but it is very effective. smile


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.
#2324193 - 09/04/14 10:02 PM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: carlos88]  
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keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by carlos88
Is this the video/topic?

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubb.../all/A_New_PW_Video_on_Proper_Hand_.html

(If it's not, I still think it's another great video by Robert Estrin)

That's the one I was thinking of. That's the one that used to be stickied.

#2324223 - 09/05/14 12:00 AM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: Will1]  
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imustlearn Offline
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Having a support tool/device to keep your hands in position sounds horrible . The more you play and practice , the more comfortable your fingers will become .

When I first started I had a really hard time as well , it feels unnatural and weird but after a while it becomes alot easier.

Piano to me , is like learning to touch type from the beginning.


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#2324287 - 09/05/14 05:51 AM Re: special gloves to reinforce good hand position [Re: Brian Lucas]  
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JohnSprung Offline
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Originally Posted by Brian Lucas
The one I use as well is reaching out as if to shake someone's hand, then rotate your hand and drop down to the keys.


Yes, but most important, use only the minimum necessary rotation. That's the comfort zone, and an added bonus is that it gets big 2, 3, and 4 fingers between the black keys a little easier. That puts the contact point a little toward the outboard side of your fingertips, not absolutely square on, like getting fingerprinted by the cops. ;-)





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