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) Piano Sight Reading
train piano sight reading with your iPhone or iPad
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
49 members (brdwyguy, Damien PG, BWV846, danno858, Alex Hutor, CaseyVancouver, Bruce In Philly, Abdol, 11 invisible), 806 guests, and 569 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
I have a problem. Can anyone help me? smile
When I play music with lots of large hand stretches (basically an octave lol .. I don't have large hands I guess) and they are supposed to be somewhat legato or there's a melody line going on inside of the octave there that makes it somewhat legato .. as in part of that hand stretch is being held down while your other fingers move...

think Chopin's Nocturne in Bflat .. the fingering is written so that you switch from 4-5 quickly to maintain the legato melody line...
and Moonlight Sonata's first movement

I start to have pain frown particularly in the base of my thumb area I think or the sides of my hands. Is there anything I can do? I mean my hands aren't that big and my thumbs are double-jointed so they tend to tense into funny positions.

I can reach a 9 if my fingers are at the edge of the piano, but I don't find octaves very comfortable either for my right hand.

I took lessons for about 14 years, and it has been about 10 years since my last lesson. I'd really like to get back into piano, as I am starting to teach (beginners, nonetheless), and I'd like to get ready for an audition eventually and apply to join MTAC. I'm afraid though of injuring myself, since it has been a long time since I have played seriously.


~piano teacher in training~
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,031
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,031
I reach 12 with the height of 6ft2


Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,997
J
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,997
I have not played that nocturne, but looking at it, I think you need to forget the fingering that's written and devise something more suited to your own hand (with creative use of pedal as needed). I have heard Edna Golandsky say that 1-4 octaves can be a real source of injury. They are a problem for small hands, but even those with larger hands may need to be careful because of the way they can encourage excessive deviation at the wrist.

If you are having pain, it would be good to consult with a teacher versed in ergonomic technique.

The legato of that line is an illusion anyway, and I think it can be done with 1-5 octaves.

Last edited by jdw; 03/09/17 06:28 PM.

1989 Baldwin R
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 6,192
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 6,192
When you play successive octaves wish a smallish hand, you must rest your hand between each one. By this I mean, you slightly close your hand. The hand closing will seem like a gross movement at first. Practice slowly. Eventually, you will able to play the octaves up to tempo without pain and your resting periods will be minuscule but still there.

As far as playing legato octaves, other than playing some with 1-4 and 1-5, if you can, you can accomplish the legato with artful pedaling.


Best regards,

Deborah
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 8,172
Silver Subscriber
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 8,172

If you are discussing Measure 15, the octave is 5-1. It starts with 4 in the RH with a finger switch to 5 to make it a 5-1 octave. I do play this nocturne and don't immediately see another fingering that will maintain the legato line. What is puzzling is why a 5-1 octave causes finger pain.... do you rotate your wrist to the left? Rotation is needed for both hands in this nocturne, IMHO.

I agree that nothing should be done that causes pain

Last edited by dogperson; 03/09/17 07:12 PM.
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
I suspect what is detailed here is my problem,
http://www.pianoteacherlosangeles.com/2013/08/forearm-tension.html

does anyone know what this actually looks like
"Octaves are played by means of a plucking action from the key, hinged at the fifth finger, which throws the hand to the next octave, a passive action facilitated by a slight rotation of the forearm back toward the thumb. I know, words usually fail without a visual aid. "


~piano teacher in training~
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
Sorry dogperson i'm not sure what you mean by rotate. Playing regular octaves causes my hand to tense up a bit. I'm not sure how my wrist factors into the picture.


~piano teacher in training~
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 8,172
Silver Subscriber
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 8,172
Originally Posted by hello my name is
Sorry dogperson i'm not sure what you mean by rotate. Playing regular octaves causes my hand to tense up a bit. I'm not sure how my wrist factors into the picture.


After you play the top note of the octave with the '5', try rotating your hand to the left (by rotating your wrist) to play the bottom note with the '1' rather than keeping your hand straight on the keyboard. The thumb would then hit the key at an angle.

Note that I am just an adult student, but this is how I play a lot of this nocturne to keep the legato line for the stretches.

Last edited by dogperson; 03/09/17 07:52 PM.
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 6,192
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 6,192
Originally Posted by hello my name is
"Octaves are played by means of a plucking action from the key, hinged at the fifth finger, which throws the hand to the next octave, a passive action facilitated by a slight rotation of the forearm back toward the thumb. I know, words usually fail without a visual aid. "
Sure, this works great when you have big enough hands. I don't. No way I'm going to "pluck" an octave. For me, necessity makes it more like a straight, flat finger stretch. I can play octaves if I stay relaxed and take tiny rests between notes.


Best regards,

Deborah
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 8,172
Silver Subscriber
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 8,172
Originally Posted by hello my name is
I suspect what is detailed here is my problem,
http://www.pianoteacherlosangeles.com/2013/08/forearm-tension.html

does anyone know what this actually looks like
"Octaves are played by means of a plucking action from the key, hinged at the fifth finger, which throws the hand to the next octave, a passive action facilitated by a slight rotation of the forearm back toward the thumb. I know, words usually fail without a visual aid. "


The scenerio I gave you does not involve 'plucking nor a passive action of rotation... I very actively rotate toward the thumb

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
Hello Hello,
Get a coaching with a teacher who's experienced in the area of injuries/injury prevention. You need someone knowledgeable to look at you in person and give you some tips. Maybe a coaching and then a follow-up a few weeks later.
It's well worth doing.


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: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,765
O
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,765
The usual octave technique does not work if the hand is small and the thumb is hypermobile to the extent that it is not possible to play both keys except from the very edge and with the hand streched to painful extreme. In some parts of the keyboard I even notice a tendency to twist the wrist, otherwise my thumb cannot reach the key at all. To avoid this I need to lean far back or to the side, which is difficult because of my back deformity. I don't really know of any easy solution (except a smaller keyboard), neither does my teacher. So far the best option has been to avoid repetitive practice of such things and avoid pieces with fast long octave runs.

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
P
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
Originally Posted by hello my name is
I suspect what is detailed here is my problem,
http://www.pianoteacherlosangeles.com/2013/08/forearm-tension.html

does anyone know what this actually looks like
"Octaves are played by means of a plucking action from the key, hinged at the fifth finger, which throws the hand to the next octave, a passive action facilitated by a slight rotation of the forearm back toward the thumb. I know, words usually fail without a visual aid. "

I don't think that quote is very helpful.


Poetry is rhythm
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
Originally Posted by hello my name is
Moonlight Sonata's first movement

I've taught that piece several times to little kids who could barely reach an octave. The piece is slow enough that all octaves can be played "safely" without injuring the student. The 9th intervals can be split into two hands (L.H. crossing the R.H. to play the top note, while keeping the pedal down). There is only one place (m. 59) where you'd have to arpeggiate the R.H. notes because the L.H. is also playing notes at the same time.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
P
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
Originally Posted by hello my name is
I start to have pain frown particularly in the base of my thumb area I think or the sides of my hands. Is there anything I can do? I mean my hands aren't that big and my thumbs are double-jointed so they tend to tense into funny positions.


My guess is that you are pointing your thumb away from your your hand. If that's the case, let your hand rest (so it doesn't hurt anymore) then start pointing your thumb towards your hand. It will take a while to get used to but then you will feel better.

I took some pictures to give you an idea. These pictures are exaggerated, so do what is comfortable.

Not like this.
Like this.

If that doesn't help, then it would be good if you uploaded video of yourself playing. We can give better advice that way.


Poetry is rhythm
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,765
O
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,765
Originally Posted by phantomFive


My guess is that you are pointing your thumb away from your your hand. If that's the case, let your hand rest (so it doesn't hurt anymore) then start pointing your thumb towards your hand. It will take a while to get used to but then you will feel better.

I took some pictures to give you an idea. These pictures are exaggerated, so do what is comfortable.

Not like this.
Like this.

If that doesn't help, then it would be good if you uploaded video of yourself playing. We can give better advice that way.

I would love to play octaves the way you suggest. But your first picture shows exactly how a hypermobile thumb behaves when opened up to a certain degree. It is an anatomical variation that cannot be "practiced away". It's less of a problem when the hand is large enough, but with a small hand like mine the thumb is only able to keep the shape of your latter picture when I play 7ths and even then with considerable effort. An octave requires me to open the hand more than is normal for my hands, and I can only do it because my other joints are hypermobile as well. The hand structure is severely distorted when I strech an octave and the 5th has to take a lot of the pressure. My left thumb can open up just a little bit more, so with the left the octaves are less "unhealthy".

I assume the OP has similar problems.

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
P
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by phantomFive


My guess is that you are pointing your thumb away from your your hand. If that's the case, let your hand rest (so it doesn't hurt anymore) then start pointing your thumb towards your hand. It will take a while to get used to but then you will feel better.

I took some pictures to give you an idea. These pictures are exaggerated, so do what is comfortable.

Not like this.
Like this.

If that doesn't help, then it would be good if you uploaded video of yourself playing. We can give better advice that way.

I would love to play octaves the way you suggest. But your first picture shows exactly how a hypermobile thumb behaves when opened up to a certain degree. It is an anatomical variation that cannot be "practiced away". It's less of a problem when the hand is large enough, but with a small hand like mine the thumb is only able to keep the shape of your latter picture when I play 7ths and even then with considerable effort. An octave requires me to open the hand more than is normal for my hands, and I can only do it because my other joints are hypermobile as well. The hand structure is severely distorted when I strech an octave and the 5th has to take a lot of the pressure. My left thumb can open up just a little bit more, so with the left the octaves are less "unhealthy".

I assume the OP has similar problems.

It is important that hypermobile individuals remain fit - even more so than the average individual - to prevent recurrent injuries.


Poetry is rhythm
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,765
O
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,765
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by phantomFive


My guess is that you are pointing your thumb away from your your hand. If that's the case, let your hand rest (so it doesn't hurt anymore) then start pointing your thumb towards your hand. It will take a while to get used to but then you will feel better.

I took some pictures to give you an idea. These pictures are exaggerated, so do what is comfortable.

Not like this.
Like this.

If that doesn't help, then it would be good if you uploaded video of yourself playing. We can give better advice that way.

I would love to play octaves the way you suggest. But your first picture shows exactly how a hypermobile thumb behaves when opened up to a certain degree. It is an anatomical variation that cannot be "practiced away". It's less of a problem when the hand is large enough, but with a small hand like mine the thumb is only able to keep the shape of your latter picture when I play 7ths and even then with considerable effort. An octave requires me to open the hand more than is normal for my hands, and I can only do it because my other joints are hypermobile as well. The hand structure is severely distorted when I strech an octave and the 5th has to take a lot of the pressure. My left thumb can open up just a little bit more, so with the left the octaves are less "unhealthy".

I assume the OP has similar problems.

It is important that hypermobile individuals remain fit - even more so than the average individual - to prevent recurrent injuries.


of course. I just wonder what it has to do with the issue discussed here?

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by phantomFive


My guess is that you are pointing your thumb away from your your hand. If that's the case, let your hand rest (so it doesn't hurt anymore) then start pointing your thumb towards your hand. It will take a while to get used to but then you will feel better.

I took some pictures to give you an idea. These pictures are exaggerated, so do what is comfortable.

Not like this.
Like this.

If that doesn't help, then it would be good if you uploaded video of yourself playing. We can give better advice that way.

I would love to play octaves the way you suggest. But your first picture shows exactly how a hypermobile thumb behaves when opened up to a certain degree. It is an anatomical variation that cannot be "practiced away". It's less of a problem when the hand is large enough, but with a small hand like mine the thumb is only able to keep the shape of your latter picture when I play 7ths and even then with considerable effort. An octave requires me to open the hand more than is normal for my hands, and I can only do it because my other joints are hypermobile as well. The hand structure is severely distorted when I strech an octave and the 5th has to take a lot of the pressure. My left thumb can open up just a little bit more, so with the left the octaves are less "unhealthy".

I assume the OP has similar problems.


Hi Outo, yeah I have similar problems. My thumb does exactly that, but to a greater degree, and my RH is worse than my LH too. My 7ths are okay as well..interestingly enough! I always thought my thumb was kind of funny.. especially in fast passages it would flex outward. In fact, even when I use my touchpad on my laptop with finger 3 and 4, my hands can get weird tension, I think because of my thumb again.

Sigh.. I'm really hoping I can get back into piano lessons and be able to play repertoire that would work for auditions for MTNA.. but this might be a big frustration


~piano teacher in training~
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,765
O
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,765
Originally Posted by hello my name is
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by phantomFive


My guess is that you are pointing your thumb away from your your hand. If that's the case, let your hand rest (so it doesn't hurt anymore) then start pointing your thumb towards your hand. It will take a while to get used to but then you will feel better.

I took some pictures to give you an idea. These pictures are exaggerated, so do what is comfortable.

Not like this.
Like this.

If that doesn't help, then it would be good if you uploaded video of yourself playing. We can give better advice that way.

I would love to play octaves the way you suggest. But your first picture shows exactly how a hypermobile thumb behaves when opened up to a certain degree. It is an anatomical variation that cannot be "practiced away". It's less of a problem when the hand is large enough, but with a small hand like mine the thumb is only able to keep the shape of your latter picture when I play 7ths and even then with considerable effort. An octave requires me to open the hand more than is normal for my hands, and I can only do it because my other joints are hypermobile as well. The hand structure is severely distorted when I strech an octave and the 5th has to take a lot of the pressure. My left thumb can open up just a little bit more, so with the left the octaves are less "unhealthy".

I assume the OP has similar problems.


Hi Outo, yeah I have similar problems. My thumb does exactly that, but to a greater degree, and my RH is worse than my LH too. My 7ths are okay as well..interestingly enough! I always thought my thumb was kind of funny.. especially in fast passages it would flex outward. In fact, even when I use my touchpad on my laptop with finger 3 and 4, my hands can get weird tension, I think because of my thumb again.

Sigh.. I'm really hoping I can get back into piano lessons and be able to play repertoire that would work for auditions for MTNA.. but this might be a big frustration


But can you not choose your repertoire? I find my thumb is not much of a problem anymore in music where there are no fast octave runs and less white key octaves. I can manage black key octaves just fine.

I think you might benefit from lessons with someone very skilled who has small hands as well. My teacher has small hands and always has a trick or two in her sleeves...what cannot be reached can often be cheated in some way.

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Juggling Piano!
by Sam S - 06/14/21 07:25 PM
Please help: Kawai ST-1 (institutional) or K-300?
by SantaCecilia - 06/14/21 07:11 PM
Kawai VPC1 velocity curve
by luigigiul76 - 06/14/21 06:17 PM
Quality of the piano dealership shop
by lct14558 - 06/14/21 05:58 PM
Studio piano vsts? eg Ivory, Alicia's Keys
by MarkOfJohnson - 06/14/21 05:30 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics207,515
Posts3,103,690
Members101,811
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