We all know that keeping that wrist loose is key in piano technique. The problem is that it is not so simple to do so, especially with the complex movements we need to do.
I was hoping to make this thread a place to share advice and tips about the mindset which is required for that (i.e. how should I be thinking of the wrist's role in playing) and for clarification about correct use of the wrist in general.
I know that words can be misleading and I do consult hands-on teacher(s), but sometimes online tips can clarify what the teacher meant, using different words.
To be more specific, I'll give my own experience and raise specific questions.
My conclusions so far (I've been playing for 2.4 years) are the following:
1. letting the hand rest on the keyboard helps
2. bringing the arm behind the hand helps.
3. keeping the weight off the hand/wrist during any time except key depression helps.
Still I find myself locking the wrist far too often, although it does get better with time.
And now for specific questions.
Let's say I want to play a chord. Now, weight has to be transferred somehow from the arm to the fingers. If the wrist is completely loose, all the weight will sink there and not reach the fingers. So there's got to be an exertion at the wrist for a brief moment.
The questions are:
1. how do you dissipate that exertion and return to the loose state, and how do you make this a one continuous motion?
2. after you bring the chord down, how do you keep it down with a free wrist? I have no problem keeping one and two notes down effortlessly, but with chord I find I have to leave some arm weight on the hand to keep it down and this automatically makes the wrist less free.
I've seen several opinions on this:
- my teacher said there should be no locking at any time and that the motion should not stop and any point. She advised to let the arm go forward and to push the hand and bring the chord down (a bit like pushing the piano)
Given that advice, I developed a habit of bringing chords down with a forward arm motion, and continuing the motion slightly towards the fall board, after the chord has been sounded (while removing the arm weight from the hand and letting the wrist rise), instead of simply stopping the motion. It's like the hand is rolling forward with the wrist as a hinge.
This way has no down-give in the wrist (though you can say it's a give upwards)
- I'm now consulting with another teacher, which says my wrists are too high and that I should play with my wrist lower than the knuckles, and also that I should let it sink a bit after sounding the note, rather than letting it rise. He also says that the motion should somehow continue. And when he plays I see no forward arm motion there.
This way has some give in the wrist.
Both ways seem valid but I'm not sure I fully grasped any of them.
- I've also seen someone here mention using the wrists as shock absorbers (Morodiene?) and it made me re-think of how we should use the wrist. I could use some elaboration.
Again, I know online explanation is very limited, but I'm still interested in your opinions (especially experienced players). Teachers can be very good and yet not fully analyze their own motions in a way that can be explained to problematic students like me