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issue with student's pinky #2855921
06/06/19 12:35 AM
06/06/19 12:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6
J
JRIII86 Offline OP
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JRIII86  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6
I have an intermediate student who's made a lot of progress with his technique but still can't seem to curve his left pinky finger. Interestingly, he's fine with the right hand one, but the left one always sticks straight out while the rest of the fingers are curved. At our last lesson he described it as having to "strain" his left pinky in order to make it curved. I'm wondering A) if anyone has an idea of what the problem might be, and B) whether it really matters that much anyway. Most of my students have been elementary level and are not playing repertoire that will be greatly hindered by a straight pinky, and the more advanced students I've had haven't had this problem, so I'm unsure about how much I should press the issue. I'll also mention that his hands are perfectly symmetrical so I know it's not an issue of one pinky being shorter than the other.

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Re: issue with student's pinky [Re: JRIII86] #2855940
06/06/19 03:05 AM
06/06/19 03:05 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,173
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Online happy
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AZNpiano  Online Happy
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Orange County, CA
If there is no pain, don't mess with it.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: issue with student's pinky [Re: JRIII86] #2855942
06/06/19 03:23 AM
06/06/19 03:23 AM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 1,148
Moscow, Russia
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Offline
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Iaroslav Vasiliev  Offline
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Joined: May 2016
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Moscow, Russia
Does he have general difficulty curving the pinky or does it only concern the piano?

Re: issue with student's pinky [Re: JRIII86] #2856470
06/07/19 05:37 PM
06/07/19 05:37 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,812
The Heart of Screenland
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KurtZ Offline
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KurtZ  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2010
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The Heart of Screenland
Tension coming out of the shoulder can easily make a pinky feel locked up. I'd start with checking that the neck shoulders and upper back are relaxed.

Kurt


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Re: issue with student's pinky [Re: JRIII86] #2856650
06/08/19 11:21 AM
06/08/19 11:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,206
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Candywoman Offline
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This is a non-issue. And I really doubt it has anything to do with his neck, shoulders, or upper back. If it did, then the other pinky would also be affected. How is he supposed to relax those anyhow?; who says they aren't already relaxed?

My right thumb always makes my right index finger bend at the same time that it's bending. These are just normal quirks.

Re: issue with student's pinky [Re: JRIII86] #2856689
06/08/19 01:25 PM
06/08/19 01:25 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,281
Maine
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PianoStudent88 Offline
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Maine
People can have uneven tension anywhere in their body, for example on one side more than the other of their neck, shoulders, or upper back.


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Re: issue with student's pinky [Re: JRIII86] #2856755
06/08/19 07:28 PM
06/08/19 07:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,064
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bennevis Offline
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Both my pinkies curve at the DIPJ but not at the PIPJ (unless I'm playing very softly), which I only discovered recently when I saw a video someone else made of my playing.

None of my four teachers ever mentioned the fact, much less tried to "correct" it, and I can pretty much play anything I set my mind to. And I've never suffered from tension, nor ever had any injuries from piano playing.


"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."
Re: issue with student's pinky [Re: JRIII86] #2856797
06/08/19 10:38 PM
06/08/19 10:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 370
USA
A
Andamento Offline
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USA
I can't play 4th finger and keep the 5th finger perfectly still. The pinky always does some little "kick" move. Neither my pre-college teachers nor my university professors said anything about it, so I don't worry about it. I don't want to try to rigidly keep it from moving. If anything, that would probably cause injury, to forcibly restrain one's hand from doing what it naturally does.

Re: issue with student's pinky [Re: JRIII86] #2856919
06/09/19 10:48 AM
06/09/19 10:48 AM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 1,148
Moscow, Russia
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Offline
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Iaroslav Vasiliev  Offline
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Joined: May 2016
Posts: 1,148
Moscow, Russia
If I understand the situation correctly, when other fingers are playing the student is holding his pinkie in straightened out, not-ready-to-play position. Holding any finger in not-ready-to-play position is a clear technical flaw that needs to be corrected.


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