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#2118943 - 07/17/13 07:39 AM Pain in wrist and fingers
SMT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/12
Posts: 33
Hey everybody,

I've been playing keyboard professionally for many years, now I moved to a DP with weighted keys. Unfortunately I have problems with weighted keys:
1. My wrist and fingers get tired and painful after 10 minuts of playing.
2. I can't play scales, arpeggios, repeated notes, loud notes, etc.

What do I do? Is my fingers weak? Should I play Hanon everyday? How many times per day? .... I'm confused!! please help me. Thanks.


Edited by SMT (07/17/13 07:41 AM)

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#2118947 - 07/17/13 07:42 AM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
malkin Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2674
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Find a teacher who specializes in this sort of thing!
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2118948 - 07/17/13 07:47 AM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: malkin]
SMT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/12
Posts: 33
Originally Posted By: malkin
Find a teacher who specializes in this sort of thing!

I can do play scales, arpeggios, repeated notes, loud notes, etc easily on keyboard.... I have problem with piano keys.

Is it impossible to learn without a teacher?

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#2118961 - 07/17/13 08:13 AM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5255
Loc: Italy
No, it isn't impossible to learn without a teacher. However, clearly something is going on that is causing you pain and a teacher would most likely be able to tell you (very quickly) exactly what you are doing to cause this pain.

If you have been playing without a weighted keyboard all this time, you have some adjustments to make, to the feel of the new keyboard. What was familiar and easy before feels totally different now and it is a weird feeling.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2119014 - 07/17/13 10:46 AM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
SMT, I have read your post, here:

I've been playing keyboard professionally for many years, now I moved to a DP with weighted keys. Unfortunately I have problems with weighted keys:
1. My wrist and fingers get tired and painful after 10 minuts of playing.
2. I can't play scales, arpeggios, repeated notes, loud notes, etc.

What do I do? Is my fingers weak? Should I play Hanon everyday? How many times per day? .... I'm confused!! please help me. Thanks.

__________________________________________________

First of all, anyone who hammers nails for a living, operates a jackhammer, can have pain in the hands and arms, if they do it enough. It is true, also, if you type, play drummers, play guitar, play a piano you could have hand pain.

I have been typing since I was 13, and have been playing the piano, digital and acoustic for 2 years - am 64 in about 30 days.

You have to be kind to your hands and actually, your whole body.

For instance, I would NEVER play forte unless I had an audience of a million people and I was being paid a billion dolllars, because there is never any reason to play forte or to play forte when you are practicing the piano - pounding the keys forte is never good for the hands. I only ever play ppp!

Whenever you type, play the piano, or do anything with your hands, you must do in a very relaxed fashion. You can type or play the piano Presto, 200 beats a minutes, but you have to do it in a very relaxed way. If you don't do it that way, you risk pain.

The other thing that is critical is hand position and most digital keyboard stands are at the wrong height. The piano bench should be at 20 inches from a wood floor not carpet, the top of the white keys of the piano should be 29" from the wood floor not carpet.

If you are playing chords, as opposed to classical music, pounding out the chords, is hard on your hands, fingers, and wrists. Are you playing rock or are you playing slow pieces. When you play the piano digital or acoustic, are you playing 2 hours a day, 10 hours a day. Do your play rock 18 hours a day? You see, I don't know. But I think you have a good idea of what it is you have to do or change your ways if you are having pain. If you are very, very, very kind to your hands, it could take a year or more for things to improve. Of course, you should see a doctor because you may have a medical problem that needs to be attended to. So I am justing telling your as a old man that if you don't treat your hands well, the hands can't speak, so they send hand pain - so you get the message.

cheers, and good luck.

I am a beginner piano player, but I don't believe playing Hanon or Czerny pieces called velocity are anything but trouble because unless you are doing those pieces or exercises in a very loving and relaxed way, they may be great for the brain, but they are not good for the hands, if you are not relaxed when playing them.

It just hit me when I was eating my breakfast that I think that some people who play a piano face the problem that everybody does who plays a digital.

If you go to a guitar store and pluck on the string of an acoustic guitar, you will hear the sound for a little while. When you pluck a string on an electric guitar, it will not sound for very long. The same situation with an digital not strings and an acoustic with strings. So it is nothing against digital pianos, they are different like both kinds of guitars. And electic guitar players use a pick in the same way that digital piano play have to use more force to have the sound last longer.

When you play an acoustic piano, you can play it slowly and quietly, ppp, and it will be beautiful. When you play a digital, the sound will quickly die or they call it in the piano world, decay. So when you play a digital, you have to play louder - so the sound last longer and does not die - and playing louder mean playing harder - pounding the keys.

So I think that is why digital players have more hand problems not because digitals are designed badly - not at all - it is because if they don't hammer or bang out the sound, the squeak the mouse - will die way too soon compared to an acoustic piano - if you will.





Edited by Michael_99 (07/17/13 02:34 PM)

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#2119017 - 07/17/13 10:56 AM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2416
Loc: Virginia, USA
The basic problem is that you have tension you have never noticed in your arms somewhere (multiple points likely) - wrist, shoulders, maybe further. This restricts the amount of weight you bring to bear on the keys. Now piano playing doesn't take much weight, but it's enough.

So you need to locate that tension, and get rid of it. That's way easier with a teacher but possible on your own too. I like this book:

What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebestrume No. 3, S541
  • Schumann - Ende vom Lied, Opus 12.8
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3

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#2119027 - 07/17/13 11:19 AM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
Derulux Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5344
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: SMT
Originally Posted By: malkin
Find a teacher who specializes in this sort of thing!

I can do play scales, arpeggios, repeated notes, loud notes, etc easily on keyboard.... I have problem with piano keys.

Is it impossible to learn without a teacher?

I'm confused.. you're a professional pianist who's asking this question? I would think if this were impacting your livelihood, you'd be asking every professional out there, medical to pedagogical, how to solve it, no?
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2119068 - 07/17/13 12:48 PM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
Whizbang Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 815
Originally Posted By: SMT
Hey everybody,

I've been playing keyboard professionally for many years, now I moved to a DP with weighted keys. Unfortunately I have problems with weighted keys:
1. My wrist and fingers get tired and painful after 10 minuts of playing.
2. I can't play scales, arpeggios, repeated notes, loud notes, etc.

What do I do? Is my fingers weak? Should I play Hanon everyday? How many times per day? .... I'm confused!! please help me. Thanks.


At this point, playing more will likely make your problem worse, possibly much worse.
_________________________
Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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#2119073 - 07/17/13 12:55 PM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: Derulux]
SMT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/12
Posts: 33
Thanks a ton for the kind replies!

Drulux,
Sorry I was meaning Arranger Keyboard (with no weighted keys) by the word keyboard !!
A better sentence would be this:
I cant do trills, scales, etc on weighted keys.

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#2119076 - 07/17/13 01:06 PM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
Derulux Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5344
Loc: Philadelphia
Is there any chance you can post a video of you playing something you consider difficult and possibly even unfinished? I have some ideas what is causing your pain, but I want to see it before I assume it.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2119125 - 07/17/13 02:51 PM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: Derulux]
SMT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/12
Posts: 33
Here's a video of how I train....
http://youtu.be/vu7MqxNiJRI

My hand feels fatigue after about 10 minutes and it gets painful specially after high finger forte playing.

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#2119129 - 07/17/13 03:03 PM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3796
Loc: Northern England.
What piano do you use, by the way? Not all weighted keyboards are equal . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2119130 - 07/17/13 03:08 PM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: peterws]
SMT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/12
Posts: 33
Originally Posted By: peterws
What piano do you use, by the way? Not all weighted keyboards are equal . . .

I use Yamaha Clavinova GH3


Edited by SMT (07/17/13 03:08 PM)

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#2119135 - 07/17/13 03:16 PM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
Derulux Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5344
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: SMT
Here's a video of how I train....
http://youtu.be/vu7MqxNiJRI

My hand feels fatigue after about 10 minutes and it gets painful specially after high finger forte playing.

I see a couple things.

1. Possibly low wrist. Angle was a little tough to tell, but I thought I saw a slight inverse arc in your knuckles that would help to indicate a low wrist and/or collapsed hand.

2. The way your fingers stiffen as you play, it appears that you are isolating motion. A major source of tension.

3. In conjunction with #2, when you played the trills, I noticed you have a small amount of oscillation in the hand, which is good, but your fingers otherwise remained still. The whole hand and arm should be moving together (albeit in a very small movement similar to the one your hand is making). This lack of movement was even more obvious during the octave tremolo.

4. When you play the scale up, I noticed you "crunch" your fingers in so you play outside the black key area. On the way down, you had a little more movement into/out of the keys, but not nearly enough. This "scrunching" is another source of tension.

These are just some diagnostic things I saw. If you know how to fix them, have at it, and I hope it works out for you! If not, that's an entirely different discussion.. PM me if you want, and I'd be happy to keep talking about it. smile
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2119221 - 07/17/13 06:16 PM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: SMT
Here's a video of how I train....
http://youtu.be/vu7MqxNiJRI

My hand feels fatigue after about 10 minutes and it gets painful specially after high finger forte playing.


That looks like a treatise on how to practice if you want to tire or injure your hands or fingers. Exactly what are your goals and how do you presume that practicing like this will help you reach them (serious question, not derogatory)?

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#2119275 - 07/17/13 08:15 PM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
John_In_Montreal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 402
Loc: Montreal Canada
Hi SMT,

Not long ago there was a thread here about the suitability of a synth style keyboard for beginners in piano and I kept this quote from it (sorry I forgot who was the poster):

Quote:
Organs and synths are played with the fingers and a quiet hand. Pianos are played with the arms and fingers with most of the force coming from the shoulder. If you want to play piano expressively, whether digital or acoustic, you need fully weighted keys.


This got me thinking because I practice mainly on a quality synth/piano weighted board (a Kurzweil PC3X & before that on even heavier keys, the K2500XS) and, also having interest in organ and synth sounds, I sometimes practice on synth keyboards & unweighted controllers. My problem looks like its the opposite of yours - I can zip thru scales, arps, getting quite good at chords, etc on the piano keys but if I try that on the synth keyboard I lose about 50% accuracy in notes, my speed fails, fingers slip and my tone is often quite terrible.

So it seems there are probably different techniques to use and apply depending on what "hardware" you are playing on. Most forum posts I've read over the years mention the time factor in getting used to a keybed - so you are going through "growing pains" so to speak. And as others have mentioned (I didn't watch your video) even though you have been playing for years, you might have to revisit your playing technique or lack thereof. A good teacher will undoubtedly spot the problem(s) you need to address.

Meantime, try to have a look at professional piano players & see what's different from how you play. Whatever you do, go slow to accustom yourself to the feel of the piano - you need to anyways if you are to develop good tone! If you are in pain - STOP and try again later.

I've also found a while back a good series of videos on playing technique by a guy called Frank; he has a series of videos on his YT channel called " Piano-Ology ". Don't despair when watching some of the videos, Frank sometimes rambles on but the message is still there! There are about 30 clips to watch. Quite a few people on the ABF have watched them and say they got quite a lot out of them. I know I sure did!

I hope this is of help to you, best wishes on your journey wink

John


Edited by John_In_Montreal (07/17/13 10:57 PM)
_________________________
"My piano is therapy for me" - Rick Wright.
Instrument: Rebuilt Kurzweil K2500XS and a bunch of great vintage virtual keyboards. New Kurzweil PC3X.

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#2119314 - 07/17/13 09:41 PM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: John_In_Montreal]
Palmpirate Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/13
Posts: 229
Loc: B.C.Canada
[quote+John_In_Montreal]Whatever you do, go slow to accustom yourself to the feel of the piano - you need to anyways if you are to develop good tone! If you are in pain - STOP and try again late[/quote]r.


THE BEST ADVICE!

Try and discover why, and gain finger strength if you need to , change your positioning to best use your arms and shoulders etc.
Heal yourself first. life is a journey and music is eternal. you want to be able to play as long as you can!
_________________________

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#2119321 - 07/17/13 09:52 PM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
Tubbie0075 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 544
Stop immediately! Get a teacher and have the playing problem fixed before you injure yourself further.

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#2119389 - 07/18/13 12:55 AM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
lyricmudra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/10
Posts: 182
I heard about the Taubman piano technique from a friend. It is designed to prevent or rehabilitate injury and pain. Perhaps you need someone trained in it to diagnose your problems. Here is an introductory documentary to the Taubman approach that I recently saw online. It is shown in four video clips here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/urwyke/videos

Looking at your video, to me it looks like your wrist is so stiff all throughout. Maybe you were purposefully exaggerating, but from 0:55 of the video, you seem to be isolating your fingers. As you press one on the keyboard, you are unduly lifting the others away. This kind of isolation is partly addressed in the documentary above.

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#2119460 - 07/18/13 04:05 AM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
Tubbie0075 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 544
I just watched your video. It looks like you rely solely, if not mostly, finger movements.

Piano playing involves the entire body, from sitting right (hight and distance from keyboard), dropped shoulders (at least not clenched up) and foot balancing your sitting posture etc. The playing itself involves your arms, hands and fingers. Taubman has many videos on YouTube that explain these.


I am studying with a teacher who was also trained in the Taubman approach. Before lessons with my current teacher, I didn't realise that I was pressing the keys (instead of dropping into the keys). I had not much arm movements. The structure/shape of my hands were constantly broken, and my wrists kept twisting from side to side and dropped too low. This made my fingers (which have the smallest muscles) do all the work to compensate. you can imagine the problems I had with slightly technically demanding pieces.

My first few lessons with my teacher were learning how to drop my arms, hands, fingers on the keys while maintaining the structure of the hand and wrist level. My teacher called it the walking arms. He taught me that the arms, hands and fingers are one unit (from the top of the arm to the tip of your finger). Once that connection is broken, that's where injury starts to happen and playing becomes difficult. That alone took me a while to get used. Then it was arm rotations. Then it was shaping (under and over). Then it was different touches to get the different tones. Once I had these basic techniques, I was learning when to use what techniques, and to make the combination of movements so small you could hardly see them but you could feel them (especially when you are playing in faster tempo).

These techniques are very hard to learn on your own. Many times I thought I understood it just to be told that I was doing it wrong and had to go back to basic. Even now after 3 years, sometimes my teacher brings me back to walking arms.

With the right playing techniques, not only you don't feel pain, you'll be able to play pieces you never imagine you could, and a lot easier than it looks.

Good luck!

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#2119544 - 07/18/13 10:25 AM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
Tubbie, I love your advice. I find myself doing the movement with my fingers as well and I understand what you mean about the arms 100%. thank you!
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

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#2120213 - 07/19/13 03:19 PM Re: Pain in wrist and fingers [Re: SMT]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
This might be of interest.
http://www.amazon.com/Freeing-Caged-Bird-Well-Coordinated-Injury-Preventive/dp/B0013C7YLM

Also, maybe have a muscular therapist work on you neck harms and shoulders. Tightness in those areas can affect your hands.

My hand used to get tired as well but over time they were fine. But pain I would not ignore.
Also a diary allergy caused some pain in my hands for me.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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