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 Post subject: MY ARMS HURT!!!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:37 am 
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Soooo....I'm practicing the Chopin 25/12. I can barely play it all the way through at performance tempo (which, for the moment, is about 60 to the half note, even though it's marked 80 in Mikuli. Hey....Ashkenazy recorded it at about 66 or so).

Anyway, I have to perform it in the beginning of December. There are still some kinks at performance tempo, but there wouldn't be ANY if my arms didn't hurt so bad while playing it! lol...I'm making sure to try to relax as much as possible while playing it. But I'm starting to wonder if I will ever build up strength in my arms. I try practicing it in intervals. I'll practice till my arms hurt, and then I'll play Bach for a while, take a break for a while, play Rachmaninoff for a while, take a break for a while, and then come back to it. But I usually can't get any more than 15-20 minutes of practice on it at a time, and that tends to decrease as the day goes on. :( I should start playing it between classes or something...as often as I can...and see if that helps me build strength in my arms.

Should I try weightlifting? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: MY ARMS HURT!!!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:20 am 
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Terez wrote:
Should I try weightlifting?

Some will argue this does not help. But I have lifted dumbbells and/or done push-ups most every day for the past year, and I find it does help build up stamina in the arms. I especially notice this while organ playing - when one voice is continuously on the second clavier, as in the Bach Trio Sonatas, this used to be very tiring on arms and shoulders alike (not to mention the poor back). Not anymore now, so I guess it does help.

Having said that, I recently tried out the Chopin 10-1 again, and was disappointed to find it was just as painful as ever. I guess there's arm pain and arm pain... depending on what particular muscles are protesting. Thought I can't help believing that, generally speaking, any excercises will help.

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 Post subject: Re: MY ARMS HURT!!!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:41 am 
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techneut wrote:
I recently tried out the Chopin 10-1 again, and was disappointed to find it was just as painful as ever.


At least that's just one arm. :lol:

Truly, it's probably too late to resort to weightlifting for this one. I'm just going to have to pray that I make it through come jury time without my arms giving out in the middle. It will be even worse when I'm at jury, because nerves make me tense. I'm going to have to meditate on stage for a minute before I play it. :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: MY ARMS HURT!!!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:08 am 
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Terez wrote:
At least that's just one arm. :lol:

Oh yeah, I've mastered the LH part quite well by now :lol:

Terez wrote:
Truly, it's probably too late to resort to weightlifting for this one.

Probably so. But why do you choose such a hefty piece then ? Or is it mandatory ?
I haven't played the 25-12 for a long time (was never much good at it anyway) , but I can't remember it being especially physically demanding. Perhaps tension is your problem.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:31 am 
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I chose it because I've been tinkering with it forever and I got tired of tinkering and wanted to play it. :lol: And I don't really regret choosing it - it's really exhilarating to finally be able to actually play it at performance tempo. I had to commit to performing it before I was ready to take the tempo leap, I guess. It's just painful!

And I don't understand how the 10/1 could be painful for you, but not the 25/12, unless you were playing the 25/12 at a slower tempo. They're both marked at about the same tempo (well, 176 to the quarter note for 10/1 and 80 to the half note for 25/12), and both involve sixteenths moving all over the length of the keyboard. The pattern is of course different, but each has its quirks.

And tension does pop up every now and then of course - I have to make a constant effort to stay as relaxed as possible.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:42 am 
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Terez wrote:
I chose it because I've been tinkering with it forever and I got tired of tinkering and wanted to play it. :lol: And I don't really regret choosing it - it's really exhilarating to finally be able to actually play it at performance tempo. I had to commit to performing it before I was ready to take the tempo leap, I guess. It's just painful!

So is running a marathon :lol:

Terez wrote:
And I don't understand how the 10/1 could be painful for you, but not the 25/12, unless you were playing the 25/12 at a slower tempo. They're both marked at about the same tempo (well, 176 to the quarter note for 10/1 and 80 to the half note for 25/12), and both involve sixteenths moving all over the length of the keyboard. The pattern is of course different, but each has its quirks.

It's the constant and sometimes near-impossible stretching in the 10/1 that does me in. The 25-12 is hard too but does not present a stretch problem.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:06 am 
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I guess the quirk for me with the 25/12 is the contract-and-flex movement - each time you contract and move to a new position, the stretch is the same width (octave). It's the sameness of it that causes tension for me - like my hands are rigid, even though the fingers are constantly moving and the position is constantly ascending and descending. And my hands aren't actually rigid, of course, but they begin to feel that way after a while. :lol:

Now my shoulders hurt, too. Probably means it's time to give up and go to bed....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:31 pm 
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I would break up into 6 sections as ABCDEF. and master one section at a time without any orders. That wise your arm wont hurt...slow down abit


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:00 pm 
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I think I know what your problem is. I'm willing to bet you're trying to contract opposing sets of muscles at the same time, hence the pain.

Weightlifting might be a good idea, just make sure to use a weight light enough that you could do about 50 reps per set. (You'll also get to show off your bod at the beach) :lol:

John is right, slow down.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:05 pm 
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Terez wrote:
I guess the quirk for me with the 25/12 is the contract-and-flex movement - each time you contract and move to a new position, the stretch is the same width (octave). It's the sameness of it that causes tension for me - like my hands are rigid, even though the fingers are constantly moving and the position is constantly ascending and descending. And my hands aren't actually rigid, of course, but they begin to feel that way after a while. :lol:

Now my shoulders hurt, too. Probably means it's time to give up and go to bed....


If the sameness is what's hurting you, undo it. Practice in a way that creates a constant, yet smooth change of angle-of-attack. Hands-separate practice might also be of some use. The LH is doing something very different than the RH.

Pete


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 Post subject: Re: MY ARMS HURT!!!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:49 am 
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Terez wrote:
Soooo....I'm practicing the Chopin 25/12. I can barely play it all the way through at performance tempo (which, for the moment, is about 60 to the half note, even though it's marked 80 in Mikuli. Hey....Ashkenazy recorded it at about 66 or so).

Anyway, I have to perform it in the beginning of December. There are still some kinks at performance tempo, but there wouldn't be ANY if my arms didn't hurt so bad while playing it! lol...I'm making sure to try to relax as much as possible while playing it. But I'm starting to wonder if I will ever build up strength in my arms. I try practicing it in intervals. I'll practice till my arms hurt, and then I'll play Bach for a while, take a break for a while, play Rachmaninoff for a while, take a break for a while, and then come back to it. But I usually can't get any more than 15-20 minutes of practice on it at a time, and that tends to decrease as the day goes on. :( I should start playing it between classes or something...as often as I can...and see if that helps me build strength in my arms.

Should I try weightlifting? :lol:


Its always the very same rule, practice very slowly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:40 am 
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I can't practice it slowly. It's not really the technique I've got a problem with - it's the endurance needed to play it at performance tempo. I can play any given section perfectly at performance tempo. It's just playing the whole thing that I have problems with. :lol:

I'm way past the point of practicing hands separate and slow. I'm at the point where speed is required.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:09 am 
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Terez wrote:
I can't practice it slowly. It's not really the technique I've got a problem with - it's the endurance needed to play it at performance tempo. I can play any given section perfectly at performance tempo. It's just playing the whole thing that I have problems with. :lol:

I'm way past the point of practicing hands separate and slow. I'm at the point where speed is required.


Slow practice never outlives its usefulness. Speed will benefit from the relatively frictionless motions of slow, fluid practice.

Have you ever considered bringing up the tempo one hand at a time? When you can go full speed or faster hands-separate, the full performance will go much better, I promise.

Pete


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:22 am 
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PJF wrote:
Slow practice never outlives its usefulness. Speed will benefit from the relatively frictionless motions of slow, fluid practice.

I always start out slow each day. But I can't limit myself to slow practice with the performance so close.

Quote:
Have you ever considered bringing up the tempo one hand at a time? When you can go full speed or faster hands-separate, the full performance will go much better, I promise.

It's the same problem. Either one arm hurts or both arms hurt. ;) If I practice it hands separate, it doesn't accomplish anything but making each arm hurt separately so that I can't get any good hands together practice done, which is what I need. I have to perform it hands together, after all.

The only time I ever practice hands separate any more is if I want to work out a kink - lately, that's just the left hand parts that are black key octaves with a white key tritone in the middle (there are two measures in the piece where that occurs, and those are the hardest bits) or one measure in the 'recapitulation' at the end that sometimes gives me trouble. To practice the whole thing hands separately is just a waste of strength.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:40 am 
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Sounds to me that practicing this piece is exercise. You are working muscles that don't get the same kind of workout on other things. So perhaps you will gradually get them in shape by the time December hits and it won't be as painful. Also, I have heard that you are supposed to skip a day in between working certain muscles. When you work muscles, it puts tiny tears in the tissue, and this gives them a chance to heal. Since you have the notes down, maybe this is the answer? Keep us posted on your progress. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:54 am 
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You know, I've experienced this problem too. I didn't play the piano hardly at all for almost 10 years and when I got a piano again, my first piece I wanted to play was the Liszt Dante sonata. Of course, the notes and all were there, but I couldn't play all the way through for a long while. All those little muscles needed time to get back in shape I guess. I can play it through now and seem to be getting stronger all the time.

Keep going ... it'll happen!!

Have you tried practicing in different rhythms?? I found it helped me a lot on the 10/4 Etude to build speed. (16 notes = 1 beat + triplet)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:01 pm 
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Terez wrote:
I can't practice it slowly. It's not really the technique I've got a problem with - it's the endurance needed to play it at performance tempo. I can play any given section perfectly at performance tempo. It's just playing the whole thing that I have problems with. :lol:

I'm way past the point of practicing hands separate and slow. I'm at the point where speed is required.


slower playing not slowly. many loops will build up your endurance just like the weight training....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:00 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
I have heard that you are supposed to skip a day in between working certain muscles. When you work muscles, it puts tiny tears in the tissue, and this gives them a chance to heal. Since you have the notes down, maybe this is the answer?


I do skip a day fairly regularly to let my muscles rest, but I don't feel comfortable skipping every other day. I hope it's enough. :)

nathanscoleman wrote:
Have you tried practicing in different rhythms?? I found it helped me a lot on the 10/4 Etude to build speed. (16 notes = 1 beat + triplet)


No, I haven't done that - I've practiced without pedal, I've practiced in spurts, for example: only the upward notes, and then only the downward notes; and then upward, pause, and come in on the second beat of the next measure through the upward, repeat. Stuff like that.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:26 pm 
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johnmar78 wrote:
Terez wrote:
I can't practice it slowly. It's not really the technique I've got a problem with - it's the endurance needed to play it at performance tempo. I can play any given section perfectly at performance tempo. It's just playing the whole thing that I have problems with. :lol:

I'm way past the point of practicing hands separate and slow. I'm at the point where speed is required.


slower playing not slowly. many loops will build up your endurance just like the weight training....


Find the fastest tempo that you could play the piece continually for 15 minutes without pain. That's your tempo.

What tempo is it Terez?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:46 pm 
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So if none of above can solve your pain... just play loud on piano..keep it going and let the bodys natural morphine to overcome that pain. And your problem will be solved. Sometimes it would be nice play hard and break the strings. When that happens, you know this is not the right piece for you.


you need a rest and good luck.....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 1:23 am 
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Terez, have you found the tempo at which the pain begins?

Pete


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:45 pm 
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No; I'm sort of busy trying to perfect the Bach for an early performance in a couple of weeks, so I'm only playing through it twice a day - once at warmup tempo and once at performance tempo. Calling the piece ABA form, I start to feel pain in the B section but it doesn't get really bad to the point that I can't play the right notes any more until the return of the A section.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:02 am 
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Okay, take your time! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:08 pm 
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Have you tried moving the bench out just a little? If you are even just a little too close, the arm weight can work against you rather than for you.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:58 pm 
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mary wrote:
Have you tried moving the bench out just a little? If you are even just a little too close, the arm weight can work against you rather than for you.

Yes, definitely. It freaks my teacher out how far back I sit on this one (probably at least 6 inches further back than I sit for other stuff). Most of the reason for that is my bra size, though - I have too much interference sitting close to the keyboard (the interference is bad also for hand crossing).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:16 am 
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Quote:
I have too much interference sitting close to the keyboard (the interference is bad also for hand crossing)


OMG! I'm having the exact same problem ... except I have to try reaching around my belly ... not usually that big of deal ... but Liszt has this ridiculous hands crossed section in the Dante sonata ... it's killing me ... seriously, I may have to think about diet and exercise soon ... ugh!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:11 am 
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Yeah....it's no surprise that most of the great pianists are slender, and the females relatively flat-chested. :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:11 am 
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Terez wrote:
mary wrote:
Have you tried moving the bench out just a little? If you are even just a little too close, the arm weight can work against you rather than for you.

Yes, definitely. It freaks my teacher out how far back I sit on this one (probably at least 6 inches further back than I sit for other stuff). Most of the reason for that is my bra size, though - I have too much interference sitting close to the keyboard (the interference is bad also for hand crossing).

Yeah....it's no surprise that most of the great pianists are slender, and the females relatively flat-chested.


Hmmmmm..........DISCLAIMER TO ALL MEN WHO ARE UNCOMFORTABLE with such things as FEMININE product commercials, (except Nathan who admits to similar frontal obstruction problem, so may benefit from reading), you may not want to read this post.

But.......I feel compelled to reply because I have similar, shall we say "features" as Terez, and yes it can be embarassing but hey, genetic disposition cannot be fought against. So....this is an issue for me when it comes to playing and now for some of my teenage students, and it deserves to be addressed. What I've discovered for self and what I tell the more voluptuous gals in the studio is that you simply will NOT be able to avoid "bumping or leaning into/onto" these features, at least not without using incorrect arm/wrist positions and movements, so get comfortable with the inner part of the upper arm often contacting and even pushing onto/against them.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:56 am 
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I don't have any sort of prudish issues with the touching, at all. But you can only squish so much, you know? :lol: The first time I realized that my chest was going to be a problem playing piano was a dozen years or so ago when I was playing Beethoven's Sonata in D Minor 31/2 - the second movement. It was sad when I realized I would NEVER be able to play it. :(

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:16 am 
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Hey, I like boob grazing as much as the next guy! :lol:

My problem is the angle it forces my arm into ... puts tension on elbow, torques wrist ... not a problem for short forays across, but for extended periods ... not nice.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:24 am 
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nathanscoleman wrote:
Hey, I like boob grazing as much as the next guy! :lol:

My problem is the angle it forces my arm into ... puts tension on elbow, torques wrist ... not a problem for short forays across, but for extended periods ... not nice.

Right...and that's my problem with this etude. Even though it's not arm-crossing, it moves back and forth quickly over the whole length of the keyboard, both hands moving parallel to each other. I couldn't make it through the first section sitting as close as I usually do. I feel like it causes extra strain on my back and neck, too, because I'm short. My keyboard in my room is set a good few inches higher than the pianos over at the school, and I can get comfortable there, but it's awkward going from that to one of the school pianos.

So, sitting as far back as I do, I'm sort of hunched over the keyboard, so it's like I have to move farther to cover five octaves than I would at normal position. Back and forth, back and forth...no matter how well I can stay relaxed through it, it still puts strain on a lot of things.

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 Post subject: Helpful website
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:13 am 
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Get in touch with and visit http://www.paulmanley.co.uk/Musicians/treatment.html
as he is a top hand specialist and very helpful.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:05 pm 
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That's a useful link, Doxy, thanks.

If I don't at least walk 2 or 3 miles every other day, my technique suffers. Regular low-impact exercise and a balanced diet are crucial, esp. when a pianist is attempting really difficult repertoire.

Of course, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise routine. (My lawyer said I should say that)

I'm starting to feel like an after-school special... :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:09 pm 
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I think you should lift weights ... but only with the fourth and fifth fingers! :lol:

Mendelssohn's 53-3?? Wow, that's not beginner stuff ... have fun! And upload for us when you get it!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:23 pm 
Wow indeed.

My old Augener's edition (ed Franklin Taylor 1909) gives a metronome marking of dotted crotchet (quarter note) at 104 which I think is editorial. It seems a sensible speed though IMO, and shouldn't really be causing any major fatigue problems with the right hand. The left hand is another matter.

Something you might try - in the LH figure Mendelssohn very generously gives you a whole quaver (eighth note) at the end of each bar up until the pattern changes at bar 24 or whatever. At the suggested tempo, that gives you just enough time to flex (bend) the fingers while you're moving the hand down to the first note of the next bar. Although this does involve an extra couple of movements it might be less tiring than playing with the fingers constantly extended if that's what you've been doing.


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 Post subject: Re: MY ARMS HURT!!!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:43 pm 
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What is a good weight lifting plan for a woman trying to lose weight? I'm a 23 year old female wanting to find an effective weight lifting plan that will complement a 6 day a week running plan.
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 Post subject: Re: MY ARMS HURT!!!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9579
Location: Netherlands
richtera wrote:
What is a good weight lifting plan for a woman trying to lose weight? I'm a 23 year old female wanting to find an effective weight lifting plan that will complement a 6 day a week running plan.

Huh... why on earth are you asking this in a piano forum !?????

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