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#518972 - 08/15/01 03:48 PM right hand problem
ron Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6
Loc: Canada
I have a problem in my right hand. Namely the fourth and fifth fingers of that hand and namely that when I
play, particularly long legato runs, the fifth finger sticks out and up instead of being curved downward like
the rest of the fingers. As for the fourth finger, I cannot play any repetitious sections for any length of time
without the sensation of a lot of tension in the knuckle joint of this finger and the nearby tendons and
ligaments. As I mentioned, this only happens in my right hand as I have been playing the guitar for years
and have used the left hand for fretting (fingering); it seems more limber. I have been playing piano for
almost five years and this problem in my right hand has not really been a bother until now that I am playing
progressively more demanding pieces. Could someone please tell me what I can do to help cure this
problem. Is it a matter of a weak fourth finger (traditionally the weakest finger) or just too much tension in
my hand as a whole or is it something else mechanical? Please advise as I feel this is a real hindrance to
my progress.



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#518973 - 08/15/01 04:10 PM Re: right hand problem
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
It might be that you just haven't learned how to press the keys down with your fourth and fifth fingers without tensing up the finger that isn't being used. I would recommend starting small. With all fingers just touching the keys, play a very simple five finger pattern very slowly, one finger at a time. Slowly press the note down with the finger, and then lift it up so that it is lightly touching it's key. At the same time, concentrate on not contracting the muscles of any of the other fingers. You may not be able to play the note with enough velocity to make it sound, but that's ok. You are just learning how to move one finger at a time. Go slowly and don't try to do too much at one time. Over time (probably months), you will learn how to better control your fingers, and you will be able to play without one or more fingers "flying away".

If that doesn't help, don't be afraid to say so. Sometimes suggestions work and sometimes they don't, even when you can see the person play first hand. Trying to trouble shoot on a written forum like this is that much harder. \:\)


#518974 - 08/16/01 08:12 PM Re: right hand problem
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
this only happens in my right hand as I have been playing the guitar for years

Ron, I don't want to sound like an alarmist but since, as you say, you've been playing the guitar for a long time and you now have a lot of tension in the knuckle and nearby tendons, I would consult with a doctor. He should be able to direct you to someone who can evaluate your condition. Although only you know what it feels like, and perhaps you've judged that it is not serious, I wouldn't take any chances. Sometimes, horrible situations can creap up on us without our being aware of it.

Be safe. Ask an expert to evaluate your hand (arm, upper arm and shoulder, back, ...). Maybe there is something from the way you play the quitar that is at the root of this.
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

#518975 - 08/16/01 08:25 PM Re: right hand problem
ZeldaHanson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/01
Posts: 276
Loc: Cape Cod, MA, USA
My 5th finger also sticks up sometimes, it doesnt bother me though.
Glenn Gould in regards to music:

The problem begins when one forgets the artificiality of it all, when one neglects to pay homage to those designations that to our minds-to our reflect senses, perhaps-make of music an analyzable commodity. The trouble begins when we start to become so impressed by the strategies of ours systematized thought that we forget that it does relate to an obverse, that it is hewn from negation, that it is but a very small security against the void of negation which surrounds it.

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#518976 - 08/17/01 08:07 AM Re: right hand problem
magnezium Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 722
Loc: Singapore
Originally posted by ZeldaHanson:
My 5th finger also sticks up sometimes, it doesnt bother me though.[/b]

yah me too... but it's sticking up less now... when i first started playing about a year ago, it was pretty obvious and humorous...=] but now it's almost completely gone, but it does crop up sometimes...=] i think if u keep playing it'll just go away...

#518977 - 08/17/01 08:20 PM Re: right hand problem
PianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 902
Loc: Philly, PA
I have that same problem...but it is genetic. I have a shorter pinky than is normal. most pinkies go up to the 2nd joint lines of the 4th finger. mine goes just past the knuckle! could this possibly be your problem? just this little in my pinky causes me knuckle pain, wrist pain, arm pain and back pain. i wish i could change it!

[ August 17, 2001: Message edited by: PianoMuse ]
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff


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