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#3082320 02/14/21 01:08 PM
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Janiceb Offline OP
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Any suggestions for someone who fractured their right dominant wrist? I am around an RCM grade 6. I practise scales, arpeggios etc but would like a full piece using only left hand.

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This is a particular fascination of mine.
A good starting point might be these etudes by Bonamici. https://ks4.imslp.net/files/imglnks...i_Exercices-Etudes_main_gauche_Score.pdf
They are not especially difficult and focus on specific technical points.
If that's too easy, there is the Scriabin Op. 9, which I consider to be intermediate in terms of solo left hand difficulty.
You might want to take a look at Adolfo Fumagalli's IMSLP page. There are a number of works written for left hand solo, including a transcription of Bellini's "Casta Diva" from Norma.
Saint Saens also composed some studies for left hand solo that might be appropriate for your level.
Reger did as well--they're of varying difficulty.
Of the Godowsky etudes, you might try Godowsky-Chopin Etude 5 on the "Tristesse" etude, which is probably the most accessible of the set.

If you're mainly looking to work on technique I recommend Isidor Philipp's Exercises et Etudes pour la Main Gauche Seule ( https://ks4.imslp.net/files/imglnks/usimg/b/b4/IMSLP165997-PMLP296063-Exercices_et_%C3%89tudes_Techniques-I._Philipp.pdf ). It runs the gamut of solo left hand technique, uses a lot of examples from familiar repertoire. Last year I worked my way through it, and now my left hand is technically far more ahead than my right.

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Janiceb, I am so, so sorry to hear this!!!

Did you tell your doc you play piano? Did they say you could come in for PT or anything as you heal? Also, what kind of cast/brace do you have? Would thermotherapy be an option? My husband injured his wrist and has been going to PT and they also have him doing thermotherapy at home: heat in the morning (he uses a heating pad), and a bucket of ice water at night. The therapist said the thermotherapy improves blood circulation to the area and that promotes healing. I actually did something similar years ago when I fractured a bone in my finger.

Obviously, don't do these things without doctor supervision!

BTW, plunging your forearm into a bucket of ice water has got to be one the most unpleasant things! Mr. SK does that for 3 minutes in the water, 1 minute out, repeat three times. I can barely stand to have my arm in there for 10 seconds! It's a gazillion times (that's the scientific measurement) colder than just using an ice pack.

Anyway, I hope you heal quickly!!


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How did you break your wrist?

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Janiceb, I am so, so sorry to hear this!!!

Did you tell your doc you play piano? Did they say you could come in for PT or anything as you heal? Also, what kind of cast/brace do you have? Would thermotherapy be an option? My husband injured his wrist and has been going to PT and they also have him doing thermotherapy at home: heat in the morning (he uses a heating pad), and a bucket of ice water at night. The therapist said the thermotherapy improves blood circulation to the area and that promotes healing. I actually did something similar years ago when I fractured a bone in my finger.

Obviously, don't do these things without doctor supervision!

BTW, plunging your forearm into a bucket of ice water has got to be one the most unpleasant things! Mr. SK does that for 3 minutes in the water, 1 minute out, repeat three times. I can barely stand to have my arm in there for 10 seconds! It's a gazillion times (that's the scientific measurement) colder than just using an ice pack.

Anyway, I hope you heal quickly!!

Used bold on the take home message of this reply (not trying to be snide, but unsolicited medical advice can be harmful)

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unsolicited medical advice can be harmful

Point taken, but far too many people are passive in the doctor-patient interaction, and miss out on important information (that can speed healing) by not asking questions or explaining the details of their own situation.

Pianists need to be proactive about taking care of our arms, wrists, and hands, and the doctor needs to know that they're treating a pianist, not just someone who wants to be able to type on a computer.


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Music for the left hand alone is a lot more devilish than you would think. A few years ago, I decided my left hand (my dominant one) was being quite lazy and I played a couple of Godowsky’s waltz poems. Harder than they look to pull off. My left hand got the idea it better pay attention so it didn’t need to play everything alone again.

You also might do an internet search for ‘easy piano left hand alone’. It will be enough of a challenge.
Composers and teachers are now recognizing there are budding pianists that only have one hand and are writing more music for single handiness.


"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

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I’m right handed, about the same playing level, and broke my right wrist a couple years ago. I have a plate and 11 screws in it. The X-ray is terrifying to look at. I also have osteopenia.

I missed two weeks of playing.

After the surgery to reassemble the pieces, I had a hard plastic removable brace. Since it was held together with hardware, a plaster cast wasn’t necessary. My dr said I could remove it for brief periods, including gentle piano.

My dr told me he thought playing gently would be fine as long as I didn’t over stretch or over exert. My teacher recommended that I NOT play scales, due to the thumb-tuck movement. Instead, I played some drills with 1-3-2-4-3-5, and she selected pieces that didn’t have much stretch. No staccato for a while.

I went to a month of PT and was DILIGENT on the exercises from that. Especially the one where I would roll a piece of clay into a snake.

They told me that the right ulna is the most common broken bone, typically from people falling and reaching a hand out.

I have on occasion smacked my arm and pinched the area where the plate is, and I can readily say that doing so hurts more than the original injury, as the metal plate doesn’t budge, so it’s a nasty pinch, similar to smacking the shin bone. After a couple months, I learned not to do that.

As for my playing, I don’t think it’s made any difference, I’m just as bad as ever!


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Quote
unsolicited medical advice can be harmful

Point taken, but far too many people are passive in the doctor-patient interaction, and miss out on important information (that can speed healing) by not asking questions or explaining the details of their own situation.

Pianists need to be proactive about taking care of our arms, wrists, and hands, and the doctor needs to know that they're treating a pianist, not just someone who wants to be able to type on a computer.

I agree that it's very helpful if the patient explains their situation, especially if their livelihood is affected. But the poster haven't explained their situation to us enough to give any medical advice really, apart from maybe to not smoke if they're a smoker which is always important in fracture healing. We don't know the type of fracture, location, severity, how long into recovery the poster is, etc. I've seen way too many patients that have tried something they read online that worked for someone with a totally different condition and ended up being worse for wear. You don't know how the person will receive the information, even if you write "please talk to your doctor first" trust me that it doesn't always work that way. Advice like "tell the doctor you're a pianist" is great! Specific treatment advice without knowing anything more than at some point in time the person has had some sort of fracture.... less great.

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I amputated one of my fingertips last summer. It was horrible and not fun. Don’t do anything to lengthen your healing time, you WILL heal, but it will be slower if you do things that are not advisable. Check with your doctor, don’t do anything that hurts. Luckily I healed up fine, and it didn’t take me long to be back up to speed. Don’t rush yourself, and trust that your brain and fingers will remember! ❤️


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Make sure you do all the necessary PT right after your cast/brace is removed. It's very important.

MH1963 #3083065 02/16/21 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by MH1963
I’m right handed, about the same playing level, and broke my right wrist a couple years ago. I have a plate and 11 screws in it.
Aren't these metal constructs supposed to be removed after maximum 12 months? I read they start to poison organism if they are not removed in time.

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Janiceb Offline OP
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Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it. I have a colles wrist fracture. I was hiking up a slippery muddy slope, slipped and landed on a bent wrist. I would like to clarify something. My wrist and arm is in a rigid cast that restricts most movement. I am looking for music to play with my left hand only for the next 4 weeks. I anticipate a full recovery as it is a very straightforward fracture that is healing well. I actually had a similar injury years ago and playing piano and Penny whistle was extremely helpful, after the cast had been removed, to achieve a complete recovery in a short period of time. I agree with MH1963, sadly I was not a better musician.

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I fractured a bone in my right hand last March and was in a fiberglass cast for 7 weeks. It was, to say the least, no fun at all. At the time, I ordered a "one hand solos" book from Amazon, but ended up not using it much at all. Instead, I found the most satisfaction from working on the Bach Brahms chaconne for Left Hand. I only made it about halfway through--it gets pretty difficult at that point--but it was quite doable until then. And very rewarding.

Good to hear you're healing well. I had never had a cast before my injury, and boy was it a challenge doing the littlest things! Ugh. One thing I learned quickly was to not overstress my left hand by doing too much with it (I was attempting to do housework, cook, play piano, etc. with just my left hand). I started to get tendonitis in my left hand and realized I'd soon have zero good hands if I didn't take it easy.

Also, PT is good. I had a couple of tele-health PT appointments after my cast came off, and they were helpful. A year later though, I still have stiffness and not as much stretch in that hand at the piano. But I also wasn't consistent with the PT exercises, so I have only myself to blame for that.

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Originally Posted by Janiceb
Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it. I have a colles wrist fracture. I was hiking up a slippery muddy slope, slipped and landed on a bent wrist. I would like to clarify something. My wrist and arm is in a rigid cast that restricts most movement. I am looking for music to play with my left hand only for the next 4 weeks. I anticipate a full recovery as it is a very straightforward fracture that is healing well. I actually had a similar injury years ago and playing piano and Penny whistle was extremely helpful, after the cast had been removed, to achieve a complete recovery in a short period of time. I agree with MH1963, sadly I was not a better musician.
So glad to hear this, sending you healing vibes! ❤️


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Janiceb, I’m sorry to read that your cast prevents use of your hand. Don’t press your luck, just do what the dr says. One thing that I found was that having one hand immobilized made it incredibly difficult to do a thorough job of washing the other one. Lots of sanitizer and wipes, but even with that, it was difficult. I had a small spray bottle that I put rubbing alcohol in, that helped some when I could not rub my hands together to wash them.

Laroslav Vasiliev inquired about removal of the metal. I suppose in some cases, there might be a need to do that, but in my case, the dr says to leave them in. I think that the surgery to remove all that stuff would probably be a lot more invasive than it was to put it in. Maybe it depends on what the material is. In this case, it’s a permanent thing.

In any event, I’m glad Janiceb found our forum!


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I immediately printed up Bach Brahms Chaconne for left hand, 14 pages and am totally excited about it. It is just what I was looking for. Thank you for the suggestion and again, many thanks to everyone else for the kind thoughts.

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Thanks from me too, I've been struggling with tendinitis / strain injury in my right hand for nearly a year now so I've been trying to figure out how I can start again, albeit just with the left hand. The Bach / Brahms Chaconne seems a great piece, albeit it looks very difficult?

On a related note, for anyone with hand injuries in the past, did you continue with lessons? I'm thinking of getting back in touch with my teacher and perhaps asking if we can work exclusively on scales / arpeggios, octaves, scales in thirds etc... Perhaps also aural training could be useful?


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