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Will Rock Climbing Affect Fingers/Piano playing? #435007
07/03/06 12:00 PM
07/03/06 12:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 70
New England
reliv4all Offline OP
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reliv4all  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 70
New England
Our pianist son has been invited to go on rock climbing with some other kids. I believe this will be an indoor type of thing (I don't know much about it). Is this something a pianist should avoid?

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Re: Will Rock Climbing Affect Fingers/Piano playing? #435008
07/03/06 12:04 PM
07/03/06 12:04 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 918
Ede, Netherlands
lol_nl Offline
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lol_nl  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2006
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Ede, Netherlands
Only if you hurt your fingers I guess... I've climbed "rock" a few times (indoor, plastic wall with rock-like structures), and I didn't have any bad experience.


Yiteng

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is never enough for music."
-Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Re: Will Rock Climbing Affect Fingers/Piano playing? #435009
07/03/06 09:23 PM
07/03/06 09:23 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 314
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Silent Thoughts Offline
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Silent Thoughts  Offline
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When I go rock climbing (once in a very blue moon), my fingers tend to be sore for a few hours afterward. Nothing permanent of course, and really nothing to worry about. Just don't plan on rock climbing right before a recital. :p

Re: Will Rock Climbing Affect Fingers/Piano playing? #435010
07/03/06 10:17 PM
07/03/06 10:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 921
P
phonehome Offline
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phonehome  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
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I rock climb all the time. It has never given me any problems.

Re: Will Rock Climbing Affect Fingers/Piano playing? #435011
07/03/06 10:39 PM
07/03/06 10:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 10
Southeast U.S.
Margo Largo Offline
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Margo Largo  Offline
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Southeast U.S.
I do a lot of rock climbing too and haven't had any problems.


"In life one must decide whether to conjugate the verb to have or the verb to be." --Franz Liszt
Re: Will Rock Climbing Affect Fingers/Piano playing? #435012
07/05/06 10:56 AM
07/05/06 10:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 70
New England
reliv4all Offline OP
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reliv4all  Offline OP
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New England
Thank you for all your replies. I figured it will make his fingers stronger but also less flexible. Thanks again.

Re: Will Rock Climbing Affect Fingers/Piano playing? #435013
07/05/06 11:02 AM
07/05/06 11:02 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 918
Ede, Netherlands
lol_nl Offline
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lol_nl  Offline
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Ede, Netherlands
In that case, I wouldn't climb rock. Flexibility is harder to get I think (you can do lots of exercises on the piano to strengthen your fingers).
But as long as you don't over-do it, I don't think it will really harm you.


Yiteng

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is never enough for music."
-Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Re: Will Rock Climbing Affect Fingers/Piano playing? #435014
07/09/06 07:01 PM
07/09/06 07:01 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
D
Derulux Offline
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Derulux  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
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Philadelphia
Playing the piano is more damaging to the "playing mechanism" than rock climbing is. Perhaps, if you're worried about injury, he should avoid playing the piano. wink


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: Will Rock Climbing Affect Fingers/Piano playing? #435015
07/10/06 02:29 PM
07/10/06 02:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,372
Urbandale, Iowa
S
Steve Chandler Offline
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Steve Chandler  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,372
Urbandale, Iowa
Quote
Originally posted by reliv4all:
Thank you for all your replies. I figured it will make his fingers stronger but also less flexible. Thanks again.
Quote
Originally posted by lol_nl:
In that case, I wouldn't climb rock. Flexibility is harder to get I think (you can do lots of exercises on the piano to strengthen your fingers).
But as long as you don't over-do it, I don't think it will really harm you.
This is an example of someone responding to speculation as if it's fact. Lesson to Yiteng, when someone says "they figure" it means they don't know.

Re: Will Rock Climbing Affect Fingers/Piano playing? #435016
07/10/06 11:37 PM
07/10/06 11:37 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 200
Oakland/Santa Fe
B
barganax Offline
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barganax  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 200
Oakland/Santa Fe
I've climbed for 25 years. Started playing piano again 3 years ago.

Rock climbing and playing piano do not go well together, but it is possible to do both. As has already been alluded to, climbing can cause tenderness on the pads of the fingertips, but this usually goes away within hours or at worst a couple of days. And, if a person climbs several times a week, the skin will get tougher and not feel tender afterwards.

The real issue, as it pertains to piano, is injury to the finger tendons. Many advanced climbers tape their fingers between the joints, because they have injured their fingers in the past and/or want to have added support to protect them. One reason for the injuries is the strong temptation to "pull through" a hard sequence of moves that you have been trying to work out, even when you know you are on the verge of maybe doing something damaging to your fingers. If you want to play piano and be a serious climber, I would say it is important to have the discipline to back off before such injuries occcur.

As for the person whose son wants to go to a climbing gym, I would not worry about it. The climbs that beginners start on have big holds, injuries to the fingers would be very unlikely.


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