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Pinky trouble....
#2997944 07/02/20 04:48 PM
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Hi everyone! I’m so glad to rediscover this forum, as I am really rediscovering piano playing again as a 51 year old guy.

I never left playing completely, but I also run a small recording studio and compose for small film projects, and the other things associated with those activities really filled my creative void, but now I have really been returning to playing and learning new pieces and new styles. I am more of a keyboard player and have been in many pop or country bands over the years.

Anyway, I use a Yamaha S90xs as a controller and have many piano VSTs, but mostly play my Pianoteq Bluethner or Steinway.

So as I’ve been trying to learn new things, I have been working on two pieces that have a really wide stretch on the left hand. I have been playing root-5-10 for decades and that’s comfortable, but one of these songs has me stretching a 6th and the other a 7th, between my pinky and my index finger. After an hour or two a day of working on these songs, I have suddenly developed pain in my pinky, I assume from that stretch. Also, I find myself letting the last knuckle of that pinky hyper-extend when using it that way, like that last joint is trying to bend backward instead of being slightly curled or straight.

Can anyone lend me some advice on how to rectify this issue? I’ve never had a piano related injury and it’s a little scary that I’m getting one now, as I am getting serious all over again. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you!

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Re: Pinky trouble....
Eric Watkins #2997974 07/02/20 05:58 PM
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Well, the standard advice for now .... is stop doing that. LOL ....

Not sure what you can do to improve your flexibility in that area.

Generally, exercise does work for piano related issues but not sure what they would be for that area.

Sorry, that's all I have.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Mackie MIX 5 Compact Mixer.
Re: Pinky trouble....
Eric Watkins #2998077 07/02/20 11:17 PM
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Unless you have huge hands it's going to be hard to have any kind of structural arch in your pinky on that stretch. It'll collapse & compress. Not good.

Find a different fingering or arpeggiate or stop doing it. Since this sort of thing can get really bad if you keep pinging away at it, work on something else until the soreness goes away.


With new students Chopin was chiefly anxious to do away with any stiffness in, or cramped, or convulsive movement of the hand, thereby obtaining the first requisite of fine technique "souplesse" (suppleness). -- Carl Mikuli on Chopin the teacher.
Re: Pinky trouble....
Eric Watkins #2998089 07/03/20 12:42 AM
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I'd like to see these scores. Could you, please, post here a picture?

Re: Pinky trouble....
Eric Watkins #2998326 07/03/20 04:01 PM
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Thanks everyone. I don't have scores because I am learning by HDPiano dot com. It's video based learning. I should have specified. It is arpeggiated, so maybe I need to just stretch less and get more comfortable with that pattern. It's probably especially because I am so slow learning the piece, I am really taking my time and trying to bridge that gap instead of gliding up the keyboard from one note to another.

Re: Pinky trouble....
Eric Watkins #2998340 07/03/20 04:26 PM
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If it's arpeggiated then you need to find a movement that makes this comfortable. It's more about rotating your hand slightly from side to side than pure finger stretch. Explore lateral and inside out rotation of the hand.

Re: Pinky trouble....
Eric Watkins #2998423 07/03/20 08:58 PM
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It's not a good camera angle, but here is an arrangement of Over the Rainbow with the 7th stretch on a few of the left hand parts between pinky and index finger.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4prWw0AK30

Re: Pinky trouble....
Eric Watkins #2998580 07/04/20 09:35 AM
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If you do the arpeggio, move your whole hand / arm along with it. You don't have to / shouldn't play an arpeggio with your hand in a static position. If you move along with it, then the time span where your fingers are stretched will be much shorter, the positioning of your fingers will change all the time in a fluent way, and your tolerance will improve.
I used to have the same problem with a Chopin piece. You must change the way you play it, or else it will get worse. Pain is always a warning.


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