2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
62 members (cygnusdei, Bill McKaig,RPT, Damien PG, CyberGene, CharlesXX, clothearednincompo, 12 invisible), 1,357 guests, and 513 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
#2195678 12/10/13 06:33 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
I still have stiff clumsy hands- I don't know if it because my hands are small or something, but the backs of them seem to "lock" when playing chords- doesn't seem to happen as mucb when I have like all my fingers on the keys and are playing say for example: C, E F, G, C

Anyone else had this and know what to do about it? I do of course try to relax my hands but it never happens.


Last edited by EdwardianPiano; 12/10/13 06:36 PM.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
D
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
There's quite a bit you can do. Can you post a video of you playing, so we can get a better idea what's actually happening? smile


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.
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
Originally Posted by Derulux
There's quite a bit you can do. Can you post a video of you playing, so we can get a better idea what's actually happening? smile


Argggh no- I won't let anyone see me plonk about- I am so bad and very embarrassed!! I haven't got any video recording device anyway...

It's just as I said Derulux- the backs of my hands seem to lock and go tight...you cannot see anything by looking- I have looked at many people playing and cannot see what is different except my very small hands- they are the size of a 12 year old's I think!

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
D
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
That is unfortunate. The symptoms are there, but they don't tell us what's causing them. There could be a number of different reasons, some of which may have nothing to do with the piano (or your hand size). And yes, a video would help; unfortunately, it's the only thing that will really help, given how little we have to go on here.

I could wax poetic about the many different things that might be causing your specific pains, but without seeing what you're doing, I couldn't narrow it down. And you've already pointed out what most pianists who get a good teacher already know -- you usually can't see this stuff yourself. Sometimes, you can't see it at all, but you can hear it. Sometimes you have to feel it. But we can't get into that without a lot more sensory information..


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.
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
Originally Posted by Derulux
That is unfortunate. The symptoms are there, but they don't tell us what's causing them. There could be a number of different reasons, some of which may have nothing to do with the piano (or your hand size). And yes, a video would help; unfortunately, it's the only thing that will really help, given how little we have to go on here.

I could wax poetic about the many different things that might be causing your specific pains, but without seeing what you're doing, I couldn't narrow it down. And you've already pointed out what most pianists who get a good teacher already know -- you usually can't see this stuff yourself. Sometimes, you can't see it at all, but you can hear it. Sometimes you have to feel it. But we can't get into that without a lot more sensory information..



Yeahhhh...the piano teacher I had didn't seem to notice anything odd about my hands when playing chords, except using the wrong finger patterns (at first, until I learned them). Maybe I should have talked about the locking thing I have more.

I have got a new guy friend who plays keyboards- he is pretty good- played my old Cecil very fluently last time he was here. He doesn't read music, plays by ear and writes music, but I bet he might be able to help me with technique.

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,734
J
Gold Level
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Level
6000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,734
Well, whatever it is, small hands aren't the base problem laugh *I'm* the size of a 12-year-old - I can only reach an octave off the ends of the keys, and that only after several years worth of practice. And whatever it is that is happening to you doesn't happen to me.

And getting any notes in between the octaves generally doesn't happen. They're too far.

But *worrying* about having small hands and octaves/octaves with chords, might cause you to tense up, so maybe there's something there.

For a *long* time I only played octaves very slowly, and always relaxed in between. I play them some better now, and have a much more relaxed hand.

In the mean time, for performance, I'd play 6ths, or 3rds, or whatever variant of what was on the page that gave me some of the harmony without the tenseness of the (mind and) physical stretch.

I don't think overall I lost much, really. And now, several years later, I can approach more of the octaves.

May not be your problem at all. But in and of itself, I don't think it's the small hands that does it. Whether it is your response to what happens when you try to stretch to the octave I have no idea.

Cathy


Cathy
[Linked Image][Linked Image]
Perhaps "more music" is always the answer, no matter what the question might be! - Qwerty53
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
Thanks Cathy. I found this article:

http://www.jazclass.aust.com/piano/


It is useful, though I shall have to read it many times to underastand the anatomy of the hands and arms!

I will try to follow the advice in this article- I am surely using the wrong muscles and joints!


Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,496
A
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,496
Relaxing the hand, and the wrist, and the forearm, the elbow, oh the upper arm, the shoulders ...
...
... well, it all takes a lot of time.

A while ago I told one of my fellow students, in a workshop, who said I should work on my trills that I agreed but had tried and I was too old. Well, guess what - they are now tons better. Still a lot of room for improvement but the truth is my hands were too tense to trill properly.

Besides everything my teacher has helped me with (a lot!) I really found the book, "What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body" very helpful. And learning about the Alexander technique.


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

Kawai K3
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
Funnily enough, when noodling last week I found myself doing trills just like that lol...didn't hurt and I wasn't stiff- maybe it is a mind thing, as I was just noodling and not thinking about anything in particular.

I know an Alexander Technique practioner funnily enough!

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,734
J
Gold Level
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Level
6000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,734
Wow, that articles has some words in it I don't use very often! Interesting.

Andy's right. It's not just the hand. It's the wrist (I'm pretty good about that now), all the way up the arm to the shoulder (I've just figured that out laugh ) and for the whole body.

It's so easy to get tense when doing new stuff. And so mandatory to notice and not do it laugh

Cathy


Cathy
[Linked Image][Linked Image]
Perhaps "more music" is always the answer, no matter what the question might be! - Qwerty53
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,765
O
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,765
I too have stiffness problems. It gets better and worse, but with patience and time I have got some positive results and the times with problems are a bit less frequent. The basic problem is that my forearm muscles are too tight. All the time, not just when playing the piano. That causes stiffness to wrists and the tendons on the upside of the hand are really tight which makes it difficult to use the fingers.

You would probably need a good teacher to help you assess the problem. Because I am so used to being stiff, I do not even notice it always until my teacher tells me I don't use my hands or fingers in the correct way.

I have found it very helpful to play faster pieces where the wrist needs to be flexible (but they only work when I am taught to play them in a way that first seems to be uncomfortable and "wrong"). Usually the first day or two I get a burning sensation on my forearms when I practice, but when the muscles start getting better it stops.

I have noticed that the stiffness often returns when I am trying too hard to play pieces with uncomfortable large chords. So I am trying to listen to my body and just drop things that clearly are too much at this stage.

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
R

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014
2000 Post Club Member
Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014
2000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
The only thought I can add to anything already said is:
When you experience stiffness. Move back away from it. Don't just stop. While stiff. Lessen what you are doing. Do less of that movement until you don't feel stiff. Till you feel loose again.
Then...approach it and back off.
This will work you into doing that without stiffness.
Whatever you do...Don't work your way into stiffness, then stop, stiff. Back off, move away from stiffness. Don't ever leave stiff.

I've had all kinds of things happen physiologically. Been a big change that way for me. I've talked about mobility movements before and physiology. The only thing I can see here to add a plus to is Alexander technique. I've looked at it and it all checks out with what I know physiologically.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
[Linked Image][Linked Image]
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 935
M
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 935
Playing well without mistakes, means whether you have stiff clumsy hands - means you have to think of yourself as a watchmaker - because lots of piano players who are mechanics and have rough, stiff clumsy hands - regardless of their age - can and do make beautiful music without mistakes.

cheers,


Last edited by Michael_99; 12/11/13 11:30 PM.
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
I am keeping trying- played more seventh and split chords tonight. What was truly embarrassing, was that I had my violinist friend over earlier, and she cannot play piano. I was struggling reaching a chord cos of my stupid small hands and she could do it no problem!!! And had to show me a solution, that I did not think of- move my hands up the keys (upwards).She is about 3 inches taller than me and her hands are so much bigger! I swear mine are the size of a child's- I can fit into child's gloves! You know those "magic" stretchy ones.
However as I was noodling with C7 , Cmajor 7, I found a very nice sounding chord- Bb, E, G. Anyone know what it is?

Last edited by EdwardianPiano; 12/12/13 06:48 PM.
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,496
A
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,496
Originally Posted by EdwardianPiano
I found a very nice sounding chord- Bb, E, G. Anyone know what it is?


It's a diminished triad. E -> G is a minor third and G -> Bb is a minor third. If Bb is on the bottom it's just inverted.

Throw a Db in there too and you have a diminished seventh.

It will behave very much like a C7 and want to move to F.


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

Kawai K3
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 9,328
P
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 9,328
Originally Posted by Andy Platt
It will behave very much like a C7 and want to move to F.

Or B minor. Or Bb7. Or A7. Or Db. Or B. The possibilities are endless. Explore them. smile


Regards,

Polyphonist
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,272
J
Unobtanium Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
Unobtanium Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,272
Also try inversions. With small hands, you may find C7/E easier to play than C7. I have wide fingers, so I sometimes have to arrange my way out of trouble like that.


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
People, in general, who experience stiffness and a sensation of locking during chord playing, in general, often are lifting the knuckles higher than the back of the hand. Without seeing you play it's hard to tell, but this is a common problem. In my studio we call it "dead spider" smile


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 808
Hey thanks guys for that- the chords and the last comment! Yes, I might well be doing that with the knuckles. I am just going to do a little practise... smile


Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
Pianos - Organs - & Keyboards, Oh My!
Our Fall 2021 Free Newsletter is Out , see it here!
---------------------
Selling my Hammond & Leslie!
---------------------
My first professionally recorded piece
---------------------
Visit Maine, Meet Mr. Piano World
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Effect of volume on experience of action
by op299 - 10/17/21 04:35 AM
A la recherche du Pete14 perdu
by Fleer - 10/16/21 11:57 PM
Jazz piano chord progression Mary did you know
by Nicepianoman39 - 10/16/21 10:17 PM
Climate Change & Boom
by Xam - 10/16/21 08:18 PM
Upright Piano Decisions… - Boston vs Schimmel
by Pianofly - 10/16/21 08:16 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics209,627
Posts3,140,250
Members103,025
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5