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strength and stamina

Discussion in 'Technique' started by claudiogut, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. claudiogut

    claudiogut New Member

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    I recently bought myself a digital piano with weighted keys and I discovered that my arms get tired and start hurting easily. I know this is because my fingers and forearms are "out of shape" and that constant exercising and playing will eventually build up my endurance.

    Is there any way to speed this up? Like, do weights or other physical activities increase my performance quicker? I want to get back to how I used to play years ago before college.

    thanks
     
  2. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Swim.
     
  3. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    me too.
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Make sure you are sitting at the proper height.
     
  5. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    What was your piano prior to this one?
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've been doing weight training since I started fitness last year, and it feels to me like it improves strength and endurance, as well (strangely enough) relaxed playing. You could give it a try, it's fun to see these muscles appear where you never knew there were any :wink:
     
  7. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    oh c'mon, don't be so hard on yourself. I'm sure the Misses appreciates the new, hammer forged Christopher Breemer 8) ....*insert Schwarzenegger accent here* Ja, das ist gut!
     
  8. claudiogut

    claudiogut New Member

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    During college I hardly ever played. And for the last 2 years I've been playing on a Casio keyboard... no key resistance at all. The most obvious shortcut to endurance I can think of is to excersize my forearms with weights and use that contraption that guitarists use to strengthen their fingers...

    As for swimming... I'm at a loss, both logically and because I don't have a swimming pool in my bvackyard.

    Thanks for the tips, everyone!
     
  9. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I too play on a keyboard without any weight on the keys, I can't last, or do as much, when I am playing on weighted keys. I think that if you diligently practice the strength and endurance will come naturally.
     
  10. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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  11. jlh

    jlh New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Weights will NOT make you faster. Anyone that says that doesn't know what they're talking about. Bulking up can only make you slower. You play slow because you have tension in your arms and hands. Get rid of the tension and you will play fast - simple as that. That's what your practice should focus on -- not on strengthening your hands for more endurance, but in relaxing so you never get tired in the first place. The absence of tension will also get rid of the soreness that may happen as you mention.

    When you don't play for awhile, the muscles are not as coordinated as they could be, and in haste to play faster, you are using your muscles in an inefficient manner. Don't worry so much about speed right now. Take care of the coordination and tension issues and speed will happen on its own.

    Have fun and make sure the bench is the right height!! lol

    Josh
     
  12. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    YES, YES, YES!!! You are absolutely right, Josh! (Your playing is evidence of that!)

    I can preach this to my students 'til I'm blue in the face! Coordination is EVERYTHING!

    Far too often, the novice practices futility over utility. Attempts at "building strength" are often made by putting a constant downward pressure on the keys. To cite the metaphorical beaten dead horse, Chopin's 10/1 (the 10/2 even more so) is mistakenly played with this great downward friction and therefore great difficulty. This practice of keybedding is the single most destructive (not to mention frustrating) activity in which a pianist can engage. The correct technique is not one involving brute force, in fact the polar opposite is true! We must strive toward a technique of kinetic minimums. Imagine the greyhound; with perfect coordination, it can attain astonishing speeds with, what at first glance, is a terribly frail carriage.

    Coordination over force. I shall repeat that. Coordination ALWAYS takes precedent over force.

    In case you missed it....

    Coordination over force. Coordination over force. Coordination over force. Coordination over force. Coordination over force. Coordination over force. Coordination over force.
    They still won't get it. :lol:

    Pete
     
  13. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Get what? :lol:
     
  14. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Who? :lol:
     
  15. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

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    HUH?

    What was that? Coordination over WHAT?
     
  16. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

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    muscles?

    I believe relaxation and flexibility are of utmost importance. I'm still working on both of them as well as coordination.
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Huh ? :?
     
  18. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    here is my saying... and welcome to correct me if you think I am wrong..

    You know I actually add weights to my keys...for last 15 years.....this is differnt to your adding weights to your forarm or some kind of weight training. You can call me a crazy weird pianist.

    Up to these days, I can still play fast and relaxed, as I walked to a paino show room, I soon relalized, my "finger strengths/arm, trainings resulted in a great benefits.. But the cordination do come first before power. Another word, "Power without control, its nothing....."


    Can you imagine, if I took off these weights(only apprx.10% heavier than standard full size yamaha grand), you reckon my hands will play faster?????.....perhaps one day, I will take it off to see.

    The best way, is to have ANOTHE pianio with a ligter touch....and you have the both world.
    FF and PPP playing......practice smarter not harder...
     
  19. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Johnmar78...how do you weight your piano keys?! I assume that this means they are harder to press down? Can I do this on a Yamaha clavinova?

    People have mentioned that relaxation is more important then strength, which I have found to be true up to a certain extent, but it doesn't seem to work for me on pieces where either hand is constantly playing over a wide range - e.g. Chopin's op10 no1, or the last 5 min or Liszt remininscences of Norma (i.e. 5 min of fast arpeggios and scales). In the Chopin study, I start out relaxed, but by the end my arm is killing me! I find that in order to hit the notes you need to have a certain amount of tension in your muscles. Maybe I've got it all wrong?! From watching a recent video of Earl Wild play Ravel's Gaspard, he looks so relaxed it seems he might fall of his chair, yet this piece is horrendous?? :?:

    Andy
     
  20. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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