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#2132605 - 08/14/13 03:15 AM RSI and the piano?
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3867
Loc: Northern England.
Perhaps it should have been "RSI or The Piano?" although I do think it`s the former. Having been engaged in finger torturing Grieg "lyric" pieces, you may perceive I have a (smallish) problem the a lot of people here may be familiar with!

Any suggestions for a new mouse, or mouse replacement? Any other suggestions? (I have sloping shoulders ha ha)
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2132625 - 08/14/13 04:27 AM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: peterws]
de cajon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/13
Posts: 190
Loc: London, UK
If not already, become ambimoustrous. Not only can you then swap shoulder aches, but when using the left hand, you don't have to stretch so far since you don't have the numeric keypad secion of the keyboard between you and the mouse.
_________________________
Yamaha C3X SH

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#2132649 - 08/14/13 05:57 AM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: de cajon]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
I think it is a matter of luck, as with any ailment. You either get them or you don't. Some concert pianists who play a lot of concerts and do a lot of practice (and by a lot of concerts I mean three to four concerts a month) and they don't get RSI. It is luck of the draw really.

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#2132692 - 08/14/13 08:41 AM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: peterws]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1037
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
There have been some recent threads about this in the Pianist Corner. You can check out the piano injury first aid thread that's been stickied near the top.

Piano RSI comes from non-ergonomic motion and can be corrected by retraining your technique. Meanwhile, you could use dictation software to take it easy on your hands.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#2132695 - 08/14/13 08:51 AM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: peterws]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12205
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Ug, sorry to hear about this! I'm sure it's the piano that is the problem, not the mouse, so why not see if you can address some of the piano issues?

First of all, Grieg had large hands and so wrote insane stuff. Try to modify - I did early on because I knew it was going to be a problem for me at tempo! If you need suggestions, please post on here and I'm sure we can help you figure out something that will sound just the same but feel a whole lot better!

Secondly, you may want to reduce the amount of time you play this piece. I know we're all gearing up to record, but it's not worth killing your hands over! Practice in short segments, 10 or 15 minutes max, with long breaks in between if you can do that. Only practice the measures that really need the work, and every few day run straight through the thing.

Lastly, do you own a laptop? Maybe use that instead for a while since it's mouseless and less likely to exacerbate the problem.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2132718 - 08/14/13 09:52 AM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: Morodiene]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1098
Loc: Southern California
I came to piano with RSI. A smaller mouse (think laptop mouse) works better for me. I also like to wear fingerless gloves while working on the computer. Some like the IMAK brand, but I have had good luck buying inexpensive gloves from the big box stores and cutting the tips. The thin Hand-Eze brand gloves have also been mentioned, and I like them.

I also do cold packs, soaking in warm water, and have yet more gloves for piano. My current favorites are full fingered gloves designed for touch screens. I also limit my practice time to about an hour a day total. More than that, and I often start to feel it.
_________________________
my piano uploads

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#2132731 - 08/14/13 10:43 AM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: peterws]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3867
Loc: Northern England.
Thanks for the suggestions! At this stage I`m in complete denial that the problem won`t go away on it`s own . . .just needs a bit of respite, or pushing down the line, or a special Mouse or no mouse at all. Piano playing doesn`t seem to bother me too much (tiring on the fingers but nothing more) But the mouse button does! It`s that index finger . . the one that gets the most hammer anyway. It might be good old fashioned arthritis . . .the onset of Old Age no less. I`ve never been old before so I don`t know.
Guess I`ll find out sooner or later! What fun smile
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2132837 - 08/14/13 02:53 PM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: de cajon]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1022
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: jdeacon
Become ambimoustrous.


Wow! You English speakers have a word for just about anything! shocked
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2132914 - 08/14/13 06:27 PM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: sinophilia]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
Originally Posted By: jdeacon
Become ambimoustrous.


Wow! You English speakers have a word for just about anything! shocked


No, but we'll gladly make up one on the spot. wink
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#2133139 - 08/15/13 03:26 AM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: -Frycek]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3867
Loc: Northern England.
Americans make it into a condition, by adding "ment" to it . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2133206 - 08/15/13 08:35 AM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: -Frycek]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12205
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: -Frycek
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
Originally Posted By: jdeacon
Become ambimoustrous.


Wow! You English speakers have a word for just about anything! shocked


No, but we'll gladly make up one on the spot. wink
Not as bad as the Germans do! wink
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2133450 - 08/15/13 04:20 PM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: peterws]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
I've had a ganglion cyst on my left wrist for almost a year now. I wasn't playing much piano when it arrived, but I was doing lots of knitting, and I'm a continental style knitter so I tension my yarn via my left hand. But I think the real problem is that our cat loved to prop her chest up on that wrist while I netsurfed on the laptop.

But now I've just moved in with a different cat, with different habits. Then, to help with the rigors of moving boxes full of books, I bought a wrist brace for that left wrist. I tried the thing on in the store, and it felt so great, I've hardly removed it since. I left it on in the store and we just handed the empty box to the checker.

Fortunately, as of this morning I have figured out how to disassemble and wash it. It had gotten pretty grubby during the move.

It still feels so great to wear that I think I'm going to get one for my other wrist, which could probably use it too. I messed them both up doing ceramics, back in the dark ages when carpal tunnels and RSI were only just beginning to become an issue.

A lot of words to say that a well-fitted wrist brace can be a wonderful thing.
_________________________
Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

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#2134011 - 08/16/13 07:32 PM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: peterws]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1535
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: peterws
Thanks for the suggestions! At this stage I`m in complete denial that the problem won`t go away on it`s own . . .just needs a bit of respite, or pushing down the line, or a special Mouse or no mouse at all. Piano playing doesn`t seem to bother me too much (tiring on the fingers but nothing more) But the mouse button does! It`s that index finger . . the one that gets the most hammer anyway. It might be good old fashioned arthritis . . .the onset of Old Age no less. I`ve never been old before so I don`t know.
Guess I`ll find out sooner or later! What fun smile


If it's arthritis (I'm just becoming familiar with that feeling!), ibuprofen, tylenol, and lots of ice may be your best bets.

_If_ the pain is felt only using the index finger on the mouse:

a) Switch hands, learn to "mouse" left-handed;

b) Switch fingers -- use middle finger and ring finger on the mouse, rather than index and middle finger;

c) Get a different "mouse-like" interface -- a trackball, or a trackpad. Those should be available with USB (or Bluetooth) interfaces, and will be compatible with most hardware. And they're not expensive. Use it without tapping with your index finger.

. Charles


PS -- I've used wrist braces in the past -- they can be very handy!

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#2134023 - 08/16/13 07:56 PM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: peterws]
Oongawa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 292
I vote for becoming ambimousetrous.

I did that when I started having carpal tunnel issues at 29. I'm 53 now, and the ability to switch back and forth has helped tremendously. I prefer to mouse left handed now, but can use either. Make sure to switch the mouse button to left handed. It isnt hard, it took me a couple months. I do computer support so I'm on the computer all the time.

Or, Consider using a track ball - i used one for a while. Get one where the ball is large.
_________________________
Oongawa

'69 Mason & Hamlin Model A

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#2134177 - 08/17/13 03:21 AM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: Oongawa]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Oongawa
Or, Consider using a track ball - i used one for a while. Get one where the ball is large.


Those large track balls are really great. I had one. Was the most comfortable, ergonomic mouse I ever had.

Now I'm using a magic track pad. I really like it. Flick your fingers this way or that. Different numbers of fingers doing the same thing does different things to the screen. It's a Mac thingy.
Another which is close is a Bamboo Track Pad. I really liked the one I had.
I like the pads.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2134187 - 08/17/13 04:07 AM Re: RSI and the piano? [Re: peterws]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3867
Loc: Northern England.
Thanks for your responses. A trackball sounds good; I`m using a drawing pad (Bamboo) which isn`t bad either. So I`ll see how I get on.
But I seriously think my problems may cease after I`ve finished with Grieg . . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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