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Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778121
11/04/18 03:43 PM
11/04/18 03:43 PM
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Yes, Tai Chi will teach you how to hang your hands from your wrist. Also how to stand.

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Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: chopin_r_us] #2778131
11/04/18 04:05 PM
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Found on my hard drive: https://app.box.com/s/h2sgsffcvbbsfqm3egu0fq97hjp7u6q8 Any use? I've not read it since Andy sent it to me.

Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778134
11/04/18 04:07 PM
11/04/18 04:07 PM
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Called "beautiful lady's hands" Chopin. The hands do not hang from the wrist, however. That implies a broken wrist which is generally a no-no in tai chi. The graceful curve allows chi to flow unimpeded to the fingers and back again ultimately into the earth around and back up again. Yes, standing, sitting, reading, punching a cash register. That and a heck of a lot more.

Last edited by IosPlayer; 11/04/18 04:14 PM.

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Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778197
11/04/18 05:46 PM
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In the Tai Chi I was taught by a doctor from Bejing, in the first form the arms are at the side hands hanging. Next you raise your forearms whilst hands remain hanging.

Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778222
11/04/18 07:14 PM
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Perhaps we are not understanding each other in the matter of degree, Chopin. Sounds like you learned the short form as I did from a senior student of the master Chen Man Ching. You can look him up and see photos of him doing the form if you are curious.

Aside from that, does it match your technique of playing in principle and form?


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1915 Steinway B, Kawai MP11se, Casio AT5
Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778273
11/05/18 12:43 AM
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Obviously! smile

Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778289
11/05/18 02:57 AM
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I've just found my copy of Cheng Man Ch'ing's Cheng Tzu's Thirteen Treatises on T'ai Chi Ch'uan. I'd have to disagree with him. I don't think I was taught to hold the hands out as the arms rise though it was over 20 odd years ago. My hands hang from the wrist as I go towards 'holding a ball'. I don't see that in this book.

Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778307
11/05/18 05:42 AM
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Well, Chopin, I am happy you are practicing tai chi. I only hope the OP will investigate it. We would both agree, I am sure, on the benefits if not the practice.


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Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: IosPlayer] #2778317
11/05/18 07:00 AM
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Actually I don't and haven't for decades. I do yoga everyday (Iyengar).

Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778330
11/05/18 07:56 AM
11/05/18 07:56 AM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by IosPlayer
Brian, this may sound off the wall and totally out of left field, but I recommend learning tai chi ( from a reputable teacher).

Alan Fraser regularly applies Taijiquan principles to piano techniques. For example:


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Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778331
11/05/18 07:57 AM
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Perhaps it was your teacher, Chopin.


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Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2778345
11/05/18 08:54 AM
11/05/18 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by IosPlayer
Brian, this may sound off the wall and totally out of left field, but I recommend learning tai chi ( from a reputable teacher).

Alan Fraser regularly applies Taijiquan principles to piano techniques. For example:

Is he still around? Last person to go to about relaxing!

Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: chopin_r_us] #2778346
11/05/18 08:58 AM
11/05/18 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by IosPlayer
Brian, this may sound off the wall and totally out of left field, but I recommend learning tai chi ( from a reputable teacher).

Alan Fraser regularly applies Taijiquan principles to piano techniques. For example:

Is he still around? Last person to go to about relaxing!

He travels around and gives his seminars, so yes.


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778352
11/05/18 09:38 AM
11/05/18 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
so I bought the U3 and I guess I got a little carried away. What else could I do? I didn’t have a TV anymore so I basically practiced every waking hour of every day. I think I put one of my neighbors in the hospital.

So no, I don’t think this is teacher error, it’s my own fault. Thanks everyone for your help.


Thank you Brian for clearing up the erroneous "Hanon is the problem" issue. And the claim that Hanon's obsolete "Lifting the fingers high" instruction is also the issue. That instruction is very dated, about 150 years old, and is well-documented as not a good thing to do.

Bottom line is that your injuries occurred due to massive over-practicing, and would have occurred not matter what you practiced, be it Hanon, scales, repertoire, etc, and whether or not you practiced by lifting your fingers high.


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Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778490
11/05/18 04:53 PM
11/05/18 04:53 PM
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Might be worth the OP noting that there is no one 'true way' of playing (or learning) the piano. Some of the advice here is kind of sound, but when people start telling you that your teacher is clearly wrong, and the only way forward is the such-and-such method, then they are not actually helping, let alone being fully truthful.

Of course there are some 'basics' to do with relaxation and necessary tension that must be sorted out if you are in any kind of pain. But only by trial and error will you discover exactly where you're going wrong and how to solve it - often that trial and error might see you working with a variety of teachers before you find an approach that works for you.

I say 'approach' above - there are SO many approaches and none will work for every person. Every hand is different, each person is physically different. No one piece of advice will solve anything for you unless it is given by someone who has observed your playing - and, even then, as I said before, you may have to work through many teachers before you find one that works for you.

There is no single, 'perfect piano technique' to be learnt. That is a myth.

If it hurts, stop! Find someone you're happy working with.
Good luck




Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: precise] #2778628
11/06/18 03:40 AM
11/06/18 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by precise
often that trial and error might see you working with a variety of teachers before you find an approach that works for you.


Yes. Easily you can (and should) work your way through half a dozen teachers before you can say a particular one is good or not.

Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778643
11/06/18 05:34 AM
11/06/18 05:34 AM
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May not be one way to play piano but 10 to 16 hours per day is just asking for trouble. It's punishing and a recipe for serious injury. Once you are seriously injured you won't be doing 10 hours, you'll be doing 0 hours. It can even end playing forever. Don't take this stuff lightly. even focal dystonia has been linked with over practice. You wouldn't want numbness in the hands either (nerve impingement) - which I had for 6 months. Even that can be dangerous if it gets severe.
I don't know about pianists but many violinists think that 3 or 3 1/2 hours should be enough to do everything, maybe a bit extra when learning a concerto. Perlman and Heifetz both said as much. I suppose you could increase that to 5 hours if you really must - with plenty of breaks between.

Last edited by Michael P Walsh; 11/06/18 05:40 AM.
Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778764
11/06/18 02:04 PM
11/06/18 02:04 PM
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I very much appreciate everyone's input but I really think it's unrealistic for me to start doing Tai Chi at this point and to have to go through a bunch of teachers before I get a good one? No, I really don't think so. I think it's unrealistic. It would take too long and I live in the country, where am I going to find a teacher up here? Does anyone have a more simple less time consuming was of fixing this? Thank you all for your time, thank you! Brian

Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778785
11/06/18 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
I very much appreciate everyone's input but I really think it's unrealistic for me to start doing Tai Chi at this point and to have to go through a bunch of teachers before I get a good one? No, I really don't think so. I think it's unrealistic. It would take too long and I live in the country, where am I going to find a teacher up here? Does anyone have a more simple less time consuming was of fixing this? Thank you all for your time, thank you! Brian

Sent you a PM


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Re: Help with relaxing hands please help! [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2778789
11/06/18 03:14 PM
11/06/18 03:14 PM
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One thing I have seen mentioned is that after the note has been struck, all your finger is doing is holding the damper up, so you can ease up on the tension then. Practice by playing non-legato or staccato.


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