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Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
#3010870 08/06/20 03:13 PM
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Hi!

I have a hard time keeping my the end of my fingers straight, and when I try to I hit the keys with my nails. It's like there nothing in between, either I curve my finger or I hit it with my nails. Maybe I have very pointy fingers?

Here is a picture (it's not my hand):
[Linked Image]

Maybe the overall curvature of my hand is wrong? Any advice?

Thanks.

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Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3010878 08/06/20 03:46 PM
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Regarding the nails, I’m constantly trimming mine short enough so that they can never hit the keys.

Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3010881 08/06/20 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kangarooster
Hi!

Here is a picture (it's not my hand):
[Linked Image]

Maybe the overall curvature of my hand is wrong? Any advice?

Thanks.

Have You considered lopping off the end joint

Just Kidding

Not really

Maybe


~Lucubrate

ps - I have the same issue


Bösendorfer 280VC
Steingraeber 130

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.“ ~Epictetus
Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3010886 08/06/20 04:12 PM
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I have the same problem as you.

Number 1 - Trim your nails. You might need to trim it every day. I have to trim mine every 3 days. If you land on your nails, you will slip.

Number 2 - You may not be able to hit the keys with the tip of your fingers because your nail bed is too long. That is an anatomical possibility. If this is the case, I'm not sure what you can do. Maybe someone has a suggestion/solution for this? Do you have a teacher that you could ask?

Number 3 - You just have to be very aware that your joints bend like that and whenever you notice it, make an effort to keep it from bending. It is an un-ending battle for me too, but it does get better with practice.


Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3010897 08/06/20 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by kangarooster
Hi!

I have a hard time keeping my the end of my fingers straight, and when I try to I hit the keys with my nails. It's like there nothing in between, either I curve my finger or I hit it with my nails. Maybe I have very pointy fingers?

Here is a picture (it's not my hand):
[Linked Image]

Maybe the overall curvature of my hand is wrong? Any advice?

Thanks.

What happens when you do the other option - 'hit with your nails' is not clear ? I think this is a common problem. I really have no idea how you can get help for these piano difficulties online and it normally ends up in piano wars here so I wont go there again ! I fixed it with my teacher but I'm not sure it'll help you with your difficulty as you are a different pianist and may have a different problem. Have you a teacher you can ask ? If not maybe it'll be a good option.

Last edited by Moo :); 08/06/20 04:48 PM.
Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
Lucubrate #3010900 08/06/20 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucubrate
Have You considered lopping off the end joint

It is an excellent suggestion. I would suggest a surgical wheel inserted instead which is really helpful for glissandos and also would stop this difficulty. I imagine we will have some 'expert' video coming soon which I wont watch due to allergy x

I have also suggest a teacher is advised so I am allowed to make silly suggestions. cool

Last edited by Moo :); 08/06/20 04:54 PM.
Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3010903 08/06/20 04:59 PM
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It's possible to play with the fingers only slightly curved and many pianists do that at least on some passages. It's not necessary to play with ones fingers nearly as curved as the third finger in the picture you posted. That, together with trimming your nails should solve the problem although for most people it wouldn't necessary to avoid the problem. Try playing very slowly and not collapsing the last joint.

Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3011055 08/07/20 05:39 AM
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You need to train your fingers. Find some staccato pieces and start your every practice session with playing them. Then proceed to non legato pieces.

Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3011244 08/07/20 04:14 PM
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Thank you. I think my nail beds are long after comparing my fingers to other people's. Using staccato pieces sounds reseaonable though, I will try it!

Regarding chopping off my finger tip. Thanks for the advice, I will take it into consideration.

Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3011253 08/07/20 04:30 PM
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When I’m playing music, I doubt that my fingers are perfectly curved as I’m not looking at them.
However, when playing scales, I watch my hands meticulously.

Over time, I hope that my brain will find a happy medium between the two.

Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3011254 08/07/20 04:31 PM
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One of my kids had the same problem playing piano and it was not from long nails. She has hyper-extension of her joints. Maybe that is not the correct medical term but it has to do with her tendons being very loose and flexible. Do you have this issue with other joints? Probably your best bet is to get advice from a piano teacher on how to deal with this issue.



Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
PianogrlNW #3011259 08/07/20 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
One of my kids had the same problem playing piano and it was not from long nails. She has hyper-extension of her joints. Maybe that is not the correct medical term but it has to do with her tendons being very loose and flexible. Do you have this issue with other joints? Probably your best bet is to get advice from a piano teacher on how to deal with this issue.

I have the same flexibility/hyper-extension in My fingers


~Lucubrate


Bösendorfer 280VC
Steingraeber 130

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.“ ~Epictetus
Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3011261 08/07/20 04:41 PM
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I had the same problem but my teacher fixed it. If you have a teacher, ask. I think people who don't have the same problem don't always understand it (unless they have taught students with this problem) So if you take a side view of the fingertip, it tapers to a point where it meets the nail. There is very little flesh or padding at the fingertip. If you cut more nail off you'll be cutting into flesh and blood everywhere.

Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3011346 08/07/20 08:14 PM
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Trim your nails.

Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3012469 08/10/20 09:27 PM
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From the photo, it seems like your wrist is too low, forcing your finger to press on the key and your finger joint to collapse.

Your arm needs to be at an optimum level so that your wrist doesn't collapse forcing your hands and fingers to do all sort of funny things to compensate. That said, the finger itself does need to be trained to have a certain level of resistance from collapsing at its joint.

I'd suggest that you check your sitting position so that it is at the right height and distance from the keyboard. That way, your arms are at the optimum position to supports your hands. In turn your hands are at the optimum position to supports your fingers.

All the best!


Be yourself

Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
Tubbie0075 #3012476 08/10/20 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tubbie0075
From the photo, it seems like your wrist is too low, forcing your finger to press on the key and your finger joint to collapse.

Your arm needs to be at an optimum level so that your wrist doesn't collapse forcing your hands and fingers to do all sort of funny things to compensate. That said, the finger itself does need to be trained to have a certain level of resistance from collapsing at its joint.

I'd suggest that you check your sitting position so that it is at the right height and distance from the keyboard. That way, your arms are at the optimum position to supports your hands. In turn your hands are at the optimum position to supports your fingers.

All the best!


The picture of the hand is not the OPs hand
(Not sure why he did this)


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3012477 08/10/20 10:07 PM
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One or two of my fingers are inclined to do that when playing exceptional positions. If it happened all the time I might do something about it but provided I am generally fluent and things sound all right I ignore it.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3013050 08/12/20 02:01 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I am on vacation right now so I don't have access to my piano, that's why I used an image I found online.

I do however have access to my fingers so here are some photos of my middle finger (the nail bed is the same for all fingers).

https://ibb.co/5WgtBht
https://ibb.co/v3P0MXj
https://ibb.co/yWhcNxq

Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3013093 08/12/20 03:59 PM
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Haha Kangarooster, there is no problem with your fingers! You do have flesh at the tip. You should see mine.

Re: Can't keep my fingers straight (collapsing joints)
kangarooster #3013122 08/12/20 04:55 PM
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I agree with wszxbcl. I cannot see flesh behind my nails, even if they are cut as close as possible. So yes, you should be able to play on your finger tips!


Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
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