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#1013701 - 04/03/05 11:53 AM For the practice gurus
newpianoplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/01
Posts: 362
Loc: CANADA
For those of you who practice really long hours , do you play your pieces at full tempo or is it mainly slow practice. Have you developed strong back, shoulder and arm muscles. Does your Butt or lower back get sore.
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Please excuse me. I have to go practice

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#1013702 - 04/03/05 01:42 PM Re: For the practice gurus
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
SOmetimes I'm playing at full tempo, but often not, as I am working on just a part of a piece. I used to get sore when I was experiencing more tension from having to work so hard. I find as my reading has gotten much better I am more relaxed and don't get the sore shoulders. I try to make sure I am sitting the correct height and distance always and sitting up straight, always.
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#1013703 - 04/03/05 01:53 PM Re: For the practice gurus
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3202
Loc: Midwest U.S.
 Quote:
Originally posted by newpianoplayer:
For those of you who practice really long hours , do you play your pieces at full tempo or is it mainly slow practice. Have you developed strong back, shoulder and arm muscles. Does your Butt or lower back get sore. [/b]
Slow practice measure by measure, phrase by phrase or stanza by stanza, leading to pages. Repeated till accurate. Then up the tempo. And over and over until it's still accurate at any tempo, including faster than desired. And still accurate even if I change the rhythm accent every which way. I don't proceed until I own that bit well enough to do it a dozen ways (and one right one) at will.

And yes, the backside gets sore. Padded leather helps the posterior (the bench, not me!), but when that valley between the shoulder blades starts cramping, I give it up for the day.

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#1013704 - 04/03/05 05:26 PM Re: For the practice gurus
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I only play about 20-25 minutes at a time (I was tempted to say "at a crack," but since we're talking about sore butts, I quickly realized that would be a poor choice of words... \:\) ). After that I get up, walk around, get a drink (not necessarily alcoholic), stretch a bit, then set down again for more.

I am bad about trying to play up to tempo too early, and try to keep things slow as much as possible.

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#1013705 - 04/03/05 05:43 PM Re: For the practice gurus
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3407
Loc: not in Japan anymore
I also do various kinds of practice (slow, at tempo etc) depending on the stage I'm at with the piece.

I don't know if I count as a practice-guru (probably not!) but I always get up and move around. Lately I've gotten into the habit of getting up after I finish working on one piece. I'll get up, walk into the kitchen, and then back to the piano. This takes maybe 30 seconds, but it seems to really help. Then I take longer breaks each hour, 5 to 15 minutes depending on the overall time I'm going to be practicing. And I often have a big glass of water during one of these breaks, that also seems to help a lot too. Or if it's cold, hot chocolate! \:\)

When I first started playing, I rarely practiced so long in one sitting, but my practice time sort of naturally increased over the years, so maybe I was able to get my body used to "playing position" slowly over time.

That being said, I notice I get sore shoulders when I am working on a piece for the first time. And depending on the type of practice I'm doing, and how attentive I am to maintaining good posture, I get more or less sore. When I feel stiff, I make it a point to stretch more during the break. And I try to always stretch and do arm rotations at the end of practice.
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Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
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#1013706 - 04/03/05 05:46 PM Re: For the practice gurus
newpianoplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/01
Posts: 362
Loc: CANADA
One day I did really slow practice and was able to continue for several hours otherwise my wrists and fingers ache. There has got to be a reason for my joints aching. Maybe it's posture.
_________________________
Please excuse me. I have to go practice

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#1013707 - 04/03/05 05:58 PM Re: For the practice gurus
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3407
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Make sure you take lots of breaks, that might help. People (me included) tend to say take a break after an hour, but maybe that's too long to play for you. Try the mini-break thing, where you just get up and walk around for a minute. Also take your main breaks (at least 5 mintes) after 20 minutes of practice as opposed to after a whole hour.

And try to be relaxed, having a lot of tension is a sure way to create aches and pains.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1013708 - 04/03/05 06:11 PM Re: For the practice gurus
Cindysphinx Offline


Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
I try not to go for more than one hour at a sitting.

The more relaxed I am, the more I can do, generally.

Hey, does answering this thread mean I'm officially a "practice guru?" Awesome!
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Vote For Cindy!!

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#1013709 - 04/03/05 06:56 PM Re: For the practice gurus
Ratdart Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 98
Loc: Florida
This one article about people who play video games and get back aches and the sort because they play 7 hours straight said to stop and walk around after 20-30 for about 5 minutes and get something to eat/drink. Try the walking around part so you don't stay stuck in one position for a while.

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#1013710 - 04/03/05 08:19 PM Re: For the practice gurus
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
the key to avoid back pain is to always check your posture, no matter how you are practicing, slow or fast. the correct posture is supposed to be straight back, with your waist and spine aligned in a straight line and your shoulders totally down (when you could even feel your shoulder blades are little compressed). if such a posture is maintained throughout your practice (it doesn't matter how long you play), you will be perfectly ok after practice. at least that's what i do, and have never got any back problem!

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