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Estonia Pianos
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In my case, I found the answer lay in forming collections of remedial thoughts and movements rather than expecting a single factor to fix it. How I perceived the music was equally, if not more important than physical actions. I found that fact to be a key to recovery. To take a simple example, thinking of a passage in a new set of rhythmic or phrasal groupings frequently caused the issue to vanish even though the aural result might be indistinguishable from before. Of course the result might not coincide with the accepted musical interpretation, and that could be a major mental block, I imagine, for an established player, but for me it didn't matter. Many of these remedial movements proved counterintuitive, the opposite of advice I was given. For instance, fast, light, detached finger work was fine. Weight legato, as it turned out, exacerbated problems far more than speed. Unfortunately, highly individual problems need highly individual solutions, that is probably what makes these things so difficult.

Last edited by Ted; 09/19/16 08:53 PM.

"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
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Originally Posted by EDV
One a more positive note, I went back to practicing today, and successfully managed to play a few scales slowly and at moderate speed. It seems that I have to concentrate in breathing, posture, relaxation and not trying very hard, to get the desired result. It even helps to close my eyes and look up. Silly perhaps but it helps me focus on breathing and that helps with a more relaxed approach to playing. And no, my index finger was not going up like it did in the videos... otherwise playing a two octave scale would h ave been impossible. Going up was trickier than coming down, but that has always been the case with my right hand.
I also tried more relaxation emphasis on my regular pieces, noticed the finger going up a lot, but trying to play as relaxed as possible and again, focusing on breathing and posture helped relax the finger a bit, although it always wants to come up.


Good luck, keep up the good work!


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It took me over three years to drop my general tension level down to a manageable level in the most basic of play. I still struggle at times but my left side is almost 100% free these days. My right hand and arm still stiffens up at velocity and/or at crucial moments of phrasing (the cruddy portion of that second cause is that just when I feel I have the most to say, I'm least capable of saying it!!!!)

Anyway, I can tell you that the ONLY thing that has EVER worked is slow, deliberate practice of basic movements, feeling the right weight, connection, and relaxation even if I have to stop between every note. Anything less than that and I will simply coast with no improvements, or even go backwards.

I'm almost done "retraining" my left side. My right side is almost there, and then I can simply improve technical facility inimpeded by the heavy yoke that unmanaged and unintentional tension places on things.

It's like trying to run a marathon while dragging an enormous weight behind you tied to your ankle. Sure, you could just push through it, but your time might be better spent at a full and complete stop if the result is that you leave the weight behind you for good. And just slowing down might not give you enough capacity to untie the knot.

Your brain has to be repatterned to let the finger do its job properly. It obviously can because every once in a while your second finger goes where it should.

I definitely agree with those who say that your problem is not really the second finger in isolation, but that its behavior is just the most visible symptom of a larger tension issue in the hand and arm.

I did not use any name brand approach. I just worked with a teacher that turned out to have a freakishly and seemingly limitless ability to adhere to the message of basic freedom of movement without losing patience or letting the lesson water itself down. We still do slow scales just to work on the way the arm moves through space, efficient navigation, and weighted keyboard connection.

I wish I could say the solution was easy. Well, the solution WAS easy, it just takes a long time. Patience and perseverance were the major obstacles, not the difficulty of the job itself.

My brain spent 40 years learning how to control my hands and arms the way I found things when I decided to change things, and viewed in that way, I'm simply grateful it's only taken three years to make the progress I have made.

There are plenty of times now that I achieve good, effective relaxation in my play WITHOUT deliberately choosing to do so, so I quite literally feel the shape of things to come.

I'm wildly excited about it and I wish you the same!


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I'd abandon your previous pieces - old habits die hard.

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There is another factor, which is described by Kenny Werner in his Effortless Mastery   , but without calling exactly : Ideomotor phenomenon - body movements as a result of intensive mental image.For example, clasped both hands - as in photo

http://www.segodnya.ua/img/forall/users/532/53203/new_image4_190.jpg

you can not divided hands,if you imagine in a head very tense fingers; or vice versa: imagine how completely relaxed finger is raised - and this happens!Ideomotoric movements can occur only under the condition that the relevant muscles are relaxed; and by this way you can learn to control different groups of muscles .


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Called Ideokinesis and developed by Bonpensiere.

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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Called Ideokinesis and developed by Bonpensiere.

Bonpensiere just improved the terminology (I never heard of her).


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideomotor_phenomenon

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpenter-Effekt

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Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
It took me over three years to drop my general tension level down to a manageable level in the most basic of play.......my left side is almost 100% free these days.


Nicely done.


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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Called Ideokinesis and developed by Bonpensiere.

Bonpensiere just improved the terminology (I never heard of her).


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideomotor_phenomenon

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpenter-Effekt
Him, and he died in 1958 and it's nothing to do with Ouija boards.

Last edited by chopin_r_us; 09/20/16 11:53 AM.
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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us


Him, and he died in 1958.
So ?
Quote
The term Ideomotor was first used in a scientific paper discussing the means through which these spiritualistic phenomena produced effect, by William Benjamin Carpenter in 1852

Last edited by Nahum; 09/20/16 11:57 AM.
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Spiritualistic phenomena?? You'd have to show me the relevance re: piano technique.

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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Spiritualistic phenomena?? You'd have to show me the relevance re: piano technique.

As seen, someone even more illiterate in English than I; had to be written: Spiritually

https://www.google.co.il/webhp?sour...&ie=UTF-8#q=spiritualistic%20meaning

https://www.google.co.il/webhp?sour...;espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=spiritual+meaning

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Getting back to the Focal Hand Dystonia topic...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZLvhZvO2v4

One of the few documented cases of concert pianists that have suffered from Dystonia.
Again Botox treatment was mentioned in this report as part of the "known treatment". This kind of worries me since I imagine this kind of treatment would cost a lot, maybe around $10 000. Watching him play now, I am not sure he got 100% better, I saw his fingers still curling up a bit while playing.

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You know, when you go to the gym there is a warning sign on the exercise machines: WARNING! Over exercise may cause severe injury or death. On computer keyboards there is also warning for injury of hands, wrists and joints. Likewise there should be a such sign on the piano!

I have a wonderful lesson on DVD by Yoheved Kaplinsky (who studied with Dorothy Taubman) where she lists three main things that causes focal dystonia. Number one was extreme motions of fingers and wrists. Never ever you should rise your finger like you did on those videos. That causes inflammation. Are you experiencing pain when you play? Do you perform stretches? (Without piano, normal basic stretches) Not only fingers and hands but the whole body. I teach kids and make them to do stretches on every lesson. I notice that I'm getting stiffer and stiffer as I age and it doesn't feel nice at all! That's why I and everybody should do stretches.

Last edited by Molto lombardo; 09/23/16 03:39 PM.
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Originally Posted by Molto lombardo
You know, when you go to the gym there is a warning sign on the exercise machines: WARNING! Over exercise may cause severe injury or death. On computer keyboards there is also warning for injury of hands, wrists and joints. Likewise there should be a such sign on the piano!

I have a wonderful lesson on DVD by Yoheved Kaplinsky (who studied with Dorothy Taubman) where she lists three main things that causes focal dystonia. Number one was extreme motions of fingers and wrists. Never ever you should rise your finger like you did on those videos. That causes inflammation. Are you experiencing pain when you play? Do you perform stretches? (Without piano, normal basic stretches) Not only fingers and hands but the whole body. I teach kids and make them to do stretches on every lesson. I notice that I'm getting stiffer and stiffer as I age and it doesn't feel nice at all! That's why I and everybody should do stretches.


That reminds me of this stretching routine. I did it for a while.


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Originally Posted by phantomFive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYLHJqnzpxU]That reminds me of this stretching routine[/url]. I did it for a while.
Thank you for reminding! It is very important before the concert!

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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by phantomFive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYLHJqnzpxU]That reminds me of this stretching routine[/url]. I did it for a while.
Thank you for reminding! It is very important before the concert!


That is pretty much what I do also. Not only before concert, but every day. You could add push ups with fingers on the floor if you can for fingers strenght. Kids or beginners can do push ups on the wall. Building muscles is also important. It's even mentioned in the Heinrich Neuhaus' book. (Although some things he writes in that book are a bit controversial for me. Playing too loud and too fast is a sure way to injure your hands and ears)

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Originally Posted by Molto lombardo
It's even mentioned in the Heinrich Neuhaus' book. (Although some things he writes in that book are a bit controversial for me. Playing too loud and too fast is a sure way to injure your hands and ears)
As I remember Neuhaus wrote: "The most difficult thing on the piano - to play very loud, very fast and for a very long time."For a printed translation do not warrant.

что является самым трудным в фортепианной игре (опять-таки только с точки зрения физического процесса): самое трудное_= играть очень долго, очень громко и очень быстро

.

Last edited by Nahum; 09/24/16 04:14 AM.
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That's the quote. One couldmisunderstand that and start to bang the he** out of the piano in order to get "big, golden piano tone" which Gilels had or "better technique" (At least I did for a period when I was younger) Now I know some things better. For example it's no use to play too fast with a bad piano with a poor mechanism. Or in a small room you can't play as loud as in a big hall.

One thing more, regarding to the original post. The examples were played on an electric piano. In my experience it's more difficult to maintain a good posture and hand/finger position while playing an electric than on a regular piano. (Of course there are all kinds of pianos, bad acoustic and better electronic).

Last edited by Molto lombardo; 09/25/16 05:08 AM.
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Bolshoe spasibo.

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