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MY ARMS HURT!!!

Discussion in 'Technique' started by Terez, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Terez, have you found the tempo at which the pain begins?

    Pete
     
  2. Terez

    Terez New Member

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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.
     
  3. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Okay, take your time! :wink:
     
  4. mary

    mary New Member

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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.
     
  5. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    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).
     
  6. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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    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!
     
  7. Terez

    Terez New Member

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

    Nicole New Member

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    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.
     
  9. Terez

    Terez New Member

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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. :(
     
  10. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  11. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    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.
     
  12. Doxy

    Doxy New Member

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  13. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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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:
     
  14. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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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!
     
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    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.
     
  16. richtera

    richtera New Member

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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.
    _____________________________
    market samurai ~ marketsamurai ~ marketsamurai.com
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Regarding "Arms Hurt!!!":

    Should you sit high on the bench like Rubinstein? No. Should you sit low on the bench like Horowitz? No.

    You see, there must be consideration to "piano ergonomics". Basically, the pianist should sit only on the front half of the bench. If it is an artist bench, one would do well adjusting the height such that the forearms are level and parallel to the floor. Why is this? Because sitting higher means a down-flex in the wrists which is unnatural. Similarly, sitting lower necessitates an up-flex in the wrists which is also unnatural. The ideal of arms parallel to the floor is that the extended forearm is flat, the relaxed wrist is as flat, and the back of the hand is flat--all three in a straight line. That is to say, virtually no up-flexing and no down-flexing of the wrists. Not paying attention to ergonomics can invite pain and the danger of carpal tunnel syndrome. I'm suggesting that one beware an unnecessary risk of a potential injury.

    David
     

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