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Jerold Offline OP
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When playing cords and even just single notes keep hand cup shaped and wrist and forearm level and do not let wrist sag. Do you when playing the note or cords move the arm, hand and wrist downward? Do you move the fingers downward curling them in cup formation without moving arm down or rotating hand down from wrist? Do you rotate hand down from wrist joint and not move forearm down?

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That sounds wrong right from the idea of keeping the hand cup shaped, or "keeping" it any kind of shape. Everything should move and nothing should ever be locked into any kind of shape. Can someone else expand on this?

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Jerold, it is so hard to explain this over a forum.

There is no one principle that applies in all cases. Any serious discussion of how a pianist plays in general will end up with many different if this then do that type scenarios.

As keystring is pointing out, flexibility of your body is the first principle. So you don't lock your fingers or wrist. That said, you do need to hold the shape (not locked) for just long enough to play the specific notes or chords. How much you hold and where you hold depends on the context. Regardless, the goal is to get back to being loose and flexible as soon as possible after you have completed the motion.

It would be much easier to explain in person with a specific piece in mind. Do you have a teacher? This is best left as a discussion from someone who knows where your development is, what problems you are needed to address, and the specific example of the piece you are working on. If nothing else, give us more information about you. How long have you been playing, what piece are you working on, what are you using to learn piano from, etc.


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I had a similar concern and this thread helped me understand better. Thanks!



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I keep it simple at the beginning. I grab my cat and show my student the perfect little rounded paw. Then I tell them to male a paw and slide it freely up and down the keyboard a few times. "Make a paw" to start with.

Then I point out a possible mistake .... I have them bend their hand up from the wrist and wiggle their fingers. Obviously this is uncomfortable. Then I have them lower the hand level with the wrist and wiggle their fingers. This normally suffices to prevent the "wrist drop". Don't "wrinkle your wrist" .... when you see those wrinkles your wrist has fallen too low.

Much later I teach them a classical technique from my teacher who traced her teacher back to Lizst. That is a complete relaxation from the shoulder right down to the hands. Done improperly it could case injury. Without a teacher not possible. When you are extremely relaxed and quite advanced you will find your wrists do drop from time to time as you relax onto chords. But not at the beginning.

There is much too much fuss made over the "correct position" ... when you already have a lot of other things going on as you play. " Make a paw and don't wrinkle your wrists" is enough to start with. And if something is uncomfortable, it's probably wrong. Playing the piano shouldn't hurt your hands .... your brain possibly but not your hands. laugh

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Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse
Playing the piano shouldn't hurt your hands .... your brain possibly but not your hands. laugh


Loved that one LOL



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Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse
I

Much later I teach them a classical technique from my teacher who traced her teacher back to Lizst. That is a complete relaxation from the shoulder right down to the hands. Done improperly it could case injury. Without a teacher not possible. When you are extremely relaxed and quite advanced you will find your wrists do drop from time to time as you relax onto chords. But not at the beginning.


Terminology very often deceiving, what do you mean by" complete relaxation of hand ", it is not something that the student can understand . For example, total relaxation of paralyzed hand of who suffered a stroke. There's a subtle point: complete relaxation hands with fingers sustainability; which requires special exercises. You can search for 50 years near the piano, be of closely and do not find it.
Only a qualified teacher, autodidact this will not reach!

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look at the hands of this kid (he posted here), especially the pinkies. there is so much tension there that they bend backwards but even with that incredible amount of tension he play the etude at speed.

http://youtu.be/-Pqdbm3KrUw?list=UUi4dZDGxVhC4RTXOzFPkIqA

the point being... sometimes it might be useful to "get there" and later fix a problem... than spend too much time thinking about an issue that can be fixed later on and never get to the target.

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Originally Posted by Ataru074

the point being... sometimes it might be useful to "get there" and later fix a problem... than spend too much time thinking about an issue that can be fixed later on and never get to the target.

Any pianist - beginner, adult, professional - should know the following facts:

1. The correct result on the piano can be achieved by both the correct and incorrect movements - in compliance or non-compliance with the anatomical and physiological nature of the human body.
2. Right and wrong movement may look exactly the same on the outside.
3. Constant wrong movements inevitably destroy the gaming machine pianist; although severe results can come out even after 20 years (usually much faster).
As regards the student on video - worth returning to him after 7 years ...

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Originally Posted by Nahum

1. The correct result on the piano can be achieved by both the correct and incorrect movements - in compliance or non-compliance with the anatomical and physiological nature of the human body.

To a degree, yes. I had no instruction and no model when I taught myself to play as a child and teen. I could hear expressive things in my head, and "by hook and by crook" I did whatever to reproduce that sound. Decades later when I resumed piano, there were things I could not do. I could play loud, but not loud and fast, because my "loud" was produced by making my hand and arm stiff - I had really crisp nice slow staccato notes. But you can't play fast if you made your arm stiff, and "loud" can be produced through swift motion rather than brute force. Without relearning technique - how to use the body effectively - how I played would have been limited. Additionally, at 20 you can get away with things. In your 60's and 70's you want to have efficient body motion.
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2. Right and wrong movement may look exactly the same on the outside.

I understand what you mean. Following a model or a picture is like playing statues. Playing is active and it is movement. Also at least in part it has to be felt inside, and we have to balance that part out. If you've always done something a certain way, that will seem "normal" and "comfortable" until you actually experience what comfortable can actually be.

I think, though, that an astute and experienced teacher can see signs of something being amiss even if a student is "picture perfect", or conversely, that everything is fine even if the student doesn't seem to be following the norms. What I would stay away from is any teacher who goes by 'the book' (any book) - who has one rigid set of standards of how things are "supposed to be" and tries too mould every teacher into a cookie cutter pattern.

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Originally Posted by keystring
Additionally, at 20 you can get away with things. In your 60's and 70's you want to have efficient body motion.

This seems to be the current philosophy for some of the early/high achieving guys right now and I think is also professed by teachers eager to show how their pupil can master fast and difficult etudes at younger ages more than the longevity or the musicality of the same student.
Besides, if you want to have a musical career, you better play certain virtuoso pieces in your youth. at 20, you are out of the game. Plenty of time to recover -later- when you are a known artist.

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Originally Posted by Ataru074
look at the hands of this kid (he posted here), especially the pinkies. there is so much tension there that they bend backwards but even with that incredible amount of tension he play the etude at speed.

http://youtu.be/-Pqdbm3KrUw?list=UUi4dZDGxVhC4RTXOzFPkIqA

the point being... sometimes it might be useful to "get there" and later fix a problem... than spend too much time thinking about an issue that can be fixed later on and never get to the target.


That left wrist is working up a case of screaming carpel tunnel bent like that and going up and down repeatedly.


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I need to remember this thread, My hands should not hurt. I've practiced several times and it has hurt to the point I had to take a break.


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Originally Posted by Ataru074
Plenty of time to recover -later- when you are a known artist.


Unless you do so much damage to your body that you can't? Seems like a high-risk strategy.


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Originally Posted by Ataru074
the point being... sometimes it might be useful to "get there" and later fix a problem... than spend too much time thinking about an issue that can be fixed later on and never get to the target.

I very rarely do this, but I am going to say it here: please do not follow this advice. Ever. I would hate to see you get injured.

As an aside: the "target" should be to get there without problems. If you "get there" with problems, you haven't actually reached the target.


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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