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Estonia Pianos
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Joined: Jan 2009
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I know that fingers that aren't playing anything are supposed to be relaxed, but my ring finger and pinky can't seem to move individually unless held down. When I try to move my pinky, my ring finger moves the exact same way. However, I can somewhat move my ring finger w/o pinky movement.

Is this a biological flaw, or can it be fixed?

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It is a common problem my teacher addressed just yesterday. Do pages 74-75 in Hanon to build strength in those fingers.

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Funny. I was just working on this problem this morning. Place your hand in position with each finger lightly touching the key of five adjacent notes. Then press one key at a time very slowly concentrating on the other four and their light touch not changing. At first my little finger always moved with the ring finger. But if you do it VERY slowly you might be able to make four of the five hold still. It worked for me!

Now of course, when I speed up, I loose the concentration and the two fingers start to move together again. But with repetition, it starts to improve. In fact with only about 10 minutes of working on it this morning, I came back this evening and found that I seemed to have better finger independence in that hand then I obtained in the morning. (Meaning I could play a little faster without moving the wrong finger.) Seems like this might really work, but I am sure like everything else it will take a lot of repetition and practice.

If you give it a try, let us know what happened. I don't think I am imagining the improvement but it does seem like magic after such a short bit of practice.

-SoundThumb


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They're supposed to do that! Their tendons are fused on the way to the muscle.

What is fascinating is when the other hand's fingers move - weird or what? Must be a brain thing.

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By the way. I don't want to take credit for the technique described above. Went back and looked for where I had read it. It was from Andy Platt in the "Relaxing Fingers During Play" thread. His explanation is much better than mine and now that I found it, I can see that it may be more involved than I remembered.


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Originally Posted by SoundThumb
By the way. I don't want to take credit for the technique described above. Went back and looked for where I had read it. It was from Andy Platt in the "Relaxing Fingers During Play" thread. His explanation is much better than mine and now that I found it, I can see that it may be more involved than I remembered.


I think you mean this:

Originally Posted by Andy Platt
One simple exercise that I find useful. Rest all fingers on keys (C through G). Now, one finger at a time. C-D-C-D-C-D-C-D,E-D-E-D-E-D-E-D,E-F-E-F-E-F-E-F,G-F,G-F-G-F-G-F and back down. Make sure only one finger goes up and down at a time and that it returns to it's starting position. It's harder than it sounds.


  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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Here's another one you can try:

For right hand, place fingers 2 and 3 on D and E pressing all the way to the keybed and hold them there without sounding the notes. Keep holding 2 and 3 down and then play (slowly and legato) 1-C, then 4-F, then 5-G. It will take a few days of trying, but eventually you will be playing that smoothly without lifting 1 or 2. If you have a lot of tension in 4 or 5, then just relax your hand and start again trying to do it without tension. You can then do the mirror image in the left hand. Try to use your hand and arm weight to hold down the two held notes, rather than pressing hard continuously with the fingers.

Next try holding down fingers 2 and 4 (RH) placed on E and G. Now while holding these down try to play 1-D, then
3-F#, then 5-A. Try to make it legato with even tones and durations. Then do it left hand, then try both.

Have fun and don't get frustrated. Just do these for a few minutes per day for a week and you will see remarkable progress.


Jim


Sonata Pathetique-Adagio LVB
Its All in the Game- KJarrett trans.
Gnossienne No1 E.Satie

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