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Finger strengthening exercise #576065 05/04/08 06:09 PM
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Libraboy Offline OP
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Hey,

Has any of you used this hand/finger-strengthening device? It is made for athletes and golfers but my piano teacher said he used it to strength his fingers when he was performing too. http://www.prohands.net/?gclid=CIzQ99rtjZMCFR8ragodPRpMfw

For those of you used it, did it help to strength your fingers? I want to try it out but I don't want to injure myself too, so what's the best weight for pianists? (they have 3, 5, and 10 lbs and up)

Thanks

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Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576066 05/04/08 06:27 PM
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keyboardklutz Offline
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Time spent strengthening away from the keyboard is worse than useless. You should be reinforcing fine muscle control not adding tone where it will get in the way.

Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576067 05/05/08 12:38 AM
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Cheeto717 Offline
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klutz is right. it's all about muscle control, not strength. think about all the child prodigies. Are their fingers 'stronger' than yours or mine? i doubt it.


"I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well."

J.S. Bach
Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576068 05/05/08 01:52 AM
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keyboardklutz Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Cheeto717:
klutz is right. it's all about muscle control, not strength. think about all the child prodigies. Are their fingers 'stronger' than yours or mine? i doubt it.
Sorry Cheeto, my 'reinforcing fine muscle control' includes building strong tendons, ligatures and muscles. It's just that the control is so specific to the task in piano playing that doing anything away from the keyboard is more likely to hinder. The flexor muscles are naturally very strong and combined with arm weight enable children to do extraordinary things. That doesn't mean they won't get even stronger with age and practice.

Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576069 05/05/08 05:15 AM
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Jesika_Mesika Offline
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i have heard a rumour about a yoga excersize designed with pianist's in mind...it might be something worth looking into

Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576070 05/05/08 06:54 AM
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keyboardklutz Offline
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That's worth checking out. It is probably a matter of stretching the extensors both with fingers together and splayed out so that they point upwards. then doing a tight claw.

Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576071 05/05/08 07:00 AM
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Genaa Offline
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Some people find that these exercises are useful. They are apparently used quite a lot by musicians, surgeons and anyone requiring fine control.

At present I am just using Hanon exercises in addition to lots of scales and general practice playing but thought I would add the Cowling exercises here to gather folks' opinion.

http://www.questx.com/tables/cowling.html

Enjoy!


Sauter Masterclass 130
----------------------
Currently working on:
Bach: French Suite no. 4
Beethoven: Op 10 no 1
Schubert: Op 90 no 3
Debussy: La Cathedrale Engloutie, Golliwog's Cakewalk, 'Clear the Room'
Balakirev / Glinka: The Lark
Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576072 05/05/08 07:46 AM
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AJB Offline
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Strengthening fingers is largely a misnomer as there is minimal musculature to build. This topic has been explored at length in the past - complete with diagrams of the hand that show the tendons in the fingers (and for the most part, absence of muscles).

Exercises to achieve dexterity are a different matter. I suspect that the best exercise to achieve dexterity in playing the piano is....playing the piano.


Currently playing 2017 C212 with carbon fibre soundboard, WNG action. Working on Bach, Beethoven, Grieg mainly.
Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576073 05/05/08 07:54 AM
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Genaa Offline
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it's the one I am going with AJB as it allows me to address other issues at the same time smile


Sauter Masterclass 130
----------------------
Currently working on:
Bach: French Suite no. 4
Beethoven: Op 10 no 1
Schubert: Op 90 no 3
Debussy: La Cathedrale Engloutie, Golliwog's Cakewalk, 'Clear the Room'
Balakirev / Glinka: The Lark
Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576074 05/05/08 08:11 AM
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keyboardklutz Offline
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I have the original Cowling course. It has over 37 photos in 12 lessons with commentary. I'm glad someone is re-doing them though I wasn't overly impressed with the results. I do (but haven't for a while) yoga and find it doesn't increase strength but rather muscle 'tone'. I'm not sure how that helps piano playing but a 'Yoga for the Hands' is over due.

Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576075 05/05/08 01:46 PM
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So what are the structual changes in the fingers that allow a pianist to prefrom extremely fast trills with the 4th and 5th fingers?


Currently Working on:
Beethoven : Piano Conerto No.2
Mozart : Piano Sonata No.6
Schubert : Moment Musicax No.3
Chopin : Black Key Etude
Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576076 05/05/08 02:21 PM
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keyboardklutz Offline
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I would say endurance of the ligatures where the tendons attach to the distal and mid joints and strengthening the intrinsic muscles of the palm. I wouldn't be surprised to find the tendon sheaths playing a role. The point of Yoga would be to improve the blood flow to ligatures and tendons - they are normally poorly supplied.

Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576077 05/05/08 10:33 PM
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wr Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by virtuoso_18:
So what are the structual changes in the fingers that allow a pianist to prefrom extremely fast trills with the 4th and 5th fingers?
A good deal of it is "waking up" the nerves and brain so that the body then knows it is possible to do them.

Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576078 05/05/08 11:10 PM
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i would play Chopin's etude in 6ths and staccato the upper line while making the lower line legato...

at least that is what i have been doing recently. it is very helpful.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576079 05/06/08 03:19 AM
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keyboardklutz Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by wr:
Quote
Originally posted by virtuoso_18:
[b] So what are the structual changes in the fingers that allow a pianist to prefrom extremely fast trills with the 4th and 5th fingers?
A good deal of it is "waking up" the nerves and brain so that the body then knows it is possible to do them. [/b]
Do you mean creating autonomic responses?

Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576080 05/08/08 08:52 AM
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mozartian18 Offline
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While I agree completely that piano playing is not about strengthening(it's about good coordination), you do need strength to play the piano. Child prodigies who are really young, for example, don't play the Tchakovsky concerto, because they don't have the strength(and reach) yet to play that piece. In general, they play a limited scope of repertoire as they grow(pieces with lots of passage runs, 3rds, some easy to reach octaves and chords). Eventually, their musculature grows, their bones become stronger, their hands become bigger, and they gain the strength to play a heavy concerto like the Tchaikovsky.

Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576081 05/08/08 09:14 AM
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Dan101 Offline
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Scales in thirds with one hand are a big strength booster. As for exercises away from the keyboard, anything that makes you use your grip muscles is of benefit. Having said that, there's no real substitute for long hours of practice. Good luck.


Daniel E. Friedman, co-owner of www.pianolessons101.com
You CAN learn to play the piano in a fun and positive way.
Re: Finger strengthening exercise #576082 05/09/08 05:15 AM
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wr Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Quote
Originally posted by wr:
[b]
Quote
Originally posted by virtuoso_18:
[b] So what are the structual changes in the fingers that allow a pianist to prefrom extremely fast trills with the 4th and 5th fingers?
A good deal of it is "waking up" the nerves and brain so that the body then knows it is possible to do them. [/b]
Do you mean creating autonomic responses? [/b]
I think it is probably more than just that, but I really don't know all the details, just the basic concept that a lot of frustrations with the so-called "weak" fingers really comes from nerve/brain activity rather than some strength-related issue. That's the way it feels to me in my own practice, anyhow. The issue seems to usually be about getting the right signal to the muscles to make them precisely twitch on cue, rather than the muscles themselves not being developed. Plus, trying to get rid of any ingrained resistance. Flexibility within the hand itself does count, too.


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