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#1246499 - 08/10/09 12:30 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Horowitzian Offline
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Your overbearing, bombastic grandiloquence is tiresome.
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#1246569 - 08/10/09 06:15 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Good one eweis!

Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
My honest opinion is that you could free yourself up a lot more if you followed the Tai-Chi principles- by aiming to move slowly and comfortably ie. without sudden tensions or release but with constant control.
You obviously know nothing about Tai-Chi either. It's a fighting system based on sudden tensions and release, dummy!
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#1246595 - 08/10/09 08:23 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Good one eweis!

Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
My honest opinion is that you could free yourself up a lot more if you followed the Tai-Chi principles- by aiming to move slowly and comfortably ie. without sudden tensions or release but with constant control.
You obviously know nothing about Tai-Chi either. It's a fighting system based on sudden tensions and release, dummy!


Fighting? I thought it was based on exclusively on defence, not fighting. Isn't the emphasis on smoothness and control? I've never seen anyone jerking uncomortably, before flopping about. It always seems very smooth to me. That smooth quality of movement is what you are lacking.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (08/10/09 08:25 AM)
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#1246604 - 08/10/09 09:00 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
keyboardklutz Offline
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You haven't studied Tai Chi so you don't know what you're talking about, but then that's very much the Fraser Method. All that glitters isn't gold. If you don't know what's going on that is invisible to the eye you shouldn't be making judgments. That also follows for piano technique.
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#1246615 - 08/10/09 09:32 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
You haven't studied Tai Chi so you don't know what you're talking about, but then that's very much the Fraser Method. All that glitters isn't gold. If you don't know what's going on that is invisible to the eye you shouldn't be making judgments. That also follows for piano technique.


Are there any films on youtube of a Tai Chi master who does not move smoothly, but where an alternation between clenched muscles and limp ones can be readily perceived? By all means point me in the right direction,

True, about internal issues. That's why it's important to know how forces balance. It gives you a good idea what's going on unseen by the eye eg. the substantial effort that you're having to use to compensate for your hand never being at rest. Although, that is actually rather evident on the surface, at least to my eyes. The lack of smoothness in the movements is a big give away.

What is always readily in evidence is the sound however. Sorry for being honest, but your lack of control over the sound matches with the immediate exterior. If your playing sounded comfortable, I might not worry about this 'relaxation' approach. When an unusual approach doesn't even produce results for the person who preaches it, I'm afraid that I'm inclined to wonder why anyone else might want to have anything to do with it.

If a cricketer who employed an usual grip had yet to score a single half-century, I wouldn't be particularly concerned by the internal workings. I'd simply start by wondering why he's not tried holding the bat in a comfortable grip. If he was one of the top-scorers in the league, I'd be a little more inclined to consider the inner workings that went into it.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (08/10/09 09:53 AM)
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#1246629 - 08/10/09 10:05 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

Are there any films on youtube of a Tai Chi master who does not move smoothly, but where an alternation between clenched muscles and limp ones can be readily perceived? By all means point me in the right direction,

True, about internal issues.
Therefore you have to do it before you comment!






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#1246653 - 08/10/09 10:50 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

Are there any films on youtube of a Tai Chi master who does not move smoothly, but where an alternation between clenched muscles and limp ones can be readily perceived? By all means point me in the right direction,

True, about internal issues.
Therefore you have to do it before you comment!








Interesting certainly. However, even there the quality of movement doesn't suggest uncontrolled tension followed by limpness. Even at speed, it has a poise, that could hardly compared to the way your fingers tense and then collapse in that Schubert.

If you could put the qualities that are seen in the typically slow, solo Tai-Chi movements into your playing, I'm sure you'd find a lot more control. Would I be mistaken in assuming that they teach very slow controlled movements first, before anything explosive?
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#1246658 - 08/10/09 10:55 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
keystring Online   content
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Found about a month ago:

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#1246663 - 08/10/09 10:57 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keystring]
keyboardklutz Offline
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So I take it ks you've studied Tai Chi too? Is there some meaning here or just more of your 'research'??
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#1246667 - 08/10/09 11:00 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

Interesting certainly. However, even there the quality of movement doesn't suggest uncontrolled tension followed by limpness. Even at speed, it has a poise, that could hardly compared to the way your fingers tense and then collapse in that Schubert.
N, to paraphrase Hilary Clinton - If I walked on water, you'd say I couldn't swim"

Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Would I be mistaken in assuming that they teach very slow controlled movements first, before anything explosive?
Hey, they do that for piano as well!
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#1246670 - 08/10/09 11:05 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keystring]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: keystring
Found about a month ago:


That certainly looks like the kind of quality you could apply to piano playing. Obviously muscles are being relaxed but there's scarcely any perception of that release to be seen in most of the movements. You certainly don't see anything collapsing, after having been abruptly released after an unmanagable tension. Everything is under control and everything is efficient. Above all it's balanced.

I'm afraid that if I were to compare that to the way kbk moves in his Chopin Etude (and above all the Schubert), I'd really struggle to draw a comparison.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (08/10/09 11:08 AM)
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#1246671 - 08/10/09 11:09 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
keyboardklutz Offline
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I CANNOT believe you sit there pontificating on Tai Chi! Knowing everything must take all the fun out of life!
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#1246673 - 08/10/09 11:11 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
keystring Online   content
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I do not want to be drawn into the debate and would hate to have this link used for launching criticism against this or that party. For me this video shows a well integrated and balanced body use which happened to correspond to my own needs at the time I created a link to it for myself. If it's useful to anyone - good.

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#1246679 - 08/10/09 11:18 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
I CANNOT believe you sit there pontificating on Tai Chi! Knowing everything must take all the fun out of life!


I cannot believe that you regard yourself as being well-versed, yet move at the keyboard in a manner that looks so strenuous and uncomfortable. I make no such claims. I'm just interested in the quality of movement.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (08/10/09 11:19 AM)
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#1246682 - 08/10/09 11:20 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
I CANNOT believe you sit there pontificating on Tai Chi! Knowing everything must take all the fun out of life!
This is the limit. I've ignored you.
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#1246684 - 08/10/09 11:23 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

Interesting certainly. However, even there the quality of movement doesn't suggest uncontrolled tension followed by limpness. Even at speed, it has a poise, that could hardly compared to the way your fingers tense and then collapse in that Schubert.
N, to paraphrase Hilary Clinton - If I walked on water, you'd say I couldn't swim"

Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Would I be mistaken in assuming that they teach very slow controlled movements first, before anything explosive?
Hey, they do that for piano as well!


Flopping your hand onto every individual chord in that Chopin Prelude (with your knuckles collapsing by different degrees every time) is supposed be regarded as a 'controlled' movement?

If you should happen to walk on water, I'll happily proclaim you be the Messiah. However, if you struggle to swim more than two or three lengths, I'll question whether you're in much of a position to preach a radical new theory on the secrets of swimming.
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#1246687 - 08/10/09 11:31 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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*Ignoring the above user*
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#1246712 - 08/10/09 12:12 PM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
So I take it ks you've studied Tai Chi too?

Yes, I have studied Tai Chi, though for martial arts proper it was Tae Kwon Do which was for a much longer period.
Quote:
or just more of your 'research'

I have no idea what you mean with the quotation marks or what you are implying. Can you elucidate?
Quote:
Is there some meaning here

Tai Chi, body use, etc. were under discussion. That's what this is. Can you do anything with it?

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#1246715 - 08/10/09 12:19 PM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keystring]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring

Tai Chi, body use, etc. were under discussion. That's what this is. Can you do anything with it?
If I'd wanted to display one of the thousands of videos demonstrating the 24 forms I think I could have managed that all on my own.
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#1246720 - 08/10/09 12:22 PM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: keystring

Tai Chi, body use, etc. were under discussion. That's what this is. Can you do anything with it?
If I'd wanted to display one of the thousands of videos demonstrating the 24 forms I think I could have managed that all on my own.


Keystring, are you starting to see why I chose not to hold back from launching an honest criticism?
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#1246721 - 08/10/09 12:23 PM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
No need to read that one to know what it says.
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#1246735 - 08/10/09 01:08 PM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
If I'd wanted to display one of the thousands of videos demonstrating the 24 forms I think I could have managed that all on my own.

It is unfortunate if that is all you could understand from my act of posting that video in particular. Thanks anyway.

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#1247806 - 08/12/09 09:12 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Phil Best Offline
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Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 27
Loc: Fulham, London, UK
This is an interesting topic and a very useful discussion.

For me the trick is to undo the cause of the tension. Poor rhythmic awareness creates tension as does the feeling of pressure to “get it right” or too much critical thinking.

Lack of awareness of technique can also be the cause. A strong but relaxed claw-shaped hand is necessary. Often there is too much finger movement and pressing down on the keys; also supporting the arm weight with the finger rather than with the arm itself creates problems especially if there is insufficient arm rotation.

But poor rhythm remains the primary cause of tension in playing. A natural, flowing sense of pulse coordinates body and mind and generates a relaxed but focused attitude.

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#1247814 - 08/12/09 09:21 AM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: Phil Best]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Phil Best

Lack of awareness of technique can also be the cause. A strong but relaxed claw-shaped hand is necessary.
No such thing as a relaxed but shaped hand.

Originally Posted By: Phil Best
also supporting the arm weight with the finger rather than with the arm itself creates problems especially if there is insufficient arm rotation.
Yes

Originally Posted By: Phil Best
But poor rhythm remains the primary cause of tension in playing. A natural, flowing sense of pulse coordinates body and mind and generates a relaxed but focused attitude.
Catch 22 here, though more likely the other way 'round - tension leads to poor rhythm.

Thanks for the input!
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#1247912 - 08/12/09 12:15 PM Re: Tense hands in beginners. What's the trick? [Re: Phil Best]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Phil Best
This is an interesting topic and a very useful discussion.

For me the trick is to undo the cause of the tension. Poor rhythmic awareness creates tension as does the feeling of pressure to “get it right” or too much critical thinking.

Lack of awareness of technique can also be the cause. A strong but relaxed claw-shaped hand is necessary. Often there is too much finger movement and pressing down on the keys; also supporting the arm weight with the finger rather than with the arm itself creates problems especially if there is insufficient arm rotation.

But poor rhythm remains the primary cause of tension in playing. A natural, flowing sense of pulse coordinates body and mind and generates a relaxed but focused attitude.




I can't really agree with that. An unsupportive hand can cause poor rhyhm, through insufficient control. I've heard this stuff from Abbey Whiteside, but she really seems to be describing the end product that can result when the means are working adequately. When those means are not working (and tension is poorly controlled, rather efficiently deployed for its purpose), you end up with a lack of 'rhythm'. It's a two way equation where either side can be the source of a problem.

I totally agree on the hand though. It's not strictly 100% relaxed but when properly managed, what matters is that it does still feel very comfortable- provided that you've learned exactly how much grip is necessary. Any hand that actually IS relaxed is no use, because it collapse into the keys. Far better to maintain a small focussed tension, than to have to try and make an enormously intricate adjustment every time you strike a key. That level of control is only available to a true genius. Those who don't have that level of control frequently end up with tensions that are vastly greater than in those who simply maintain a slight grip. That was certainly the case with myself, when I use to aim for a 'relaxed' hand. I alternated between destructive tensions and release. Far better to maintain light tensions, that do not stress the muscles to the point of any discomfort.

Also, I believe that the fingers can be asked to support too much of the arms weight, but it always has to be a balance between support from different areas. The arm takes some and the fingers take some. There are many different balances that can work. However, stretch the equation too far either way and you can overwork one. It all depends on the individual student.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (08/12/09 12:23 PM)
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