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#962641 - 02/17/08 02:51 AM Collapsing nail joints
rintincop Offline
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Why do the nail joints collapse on so many kids? What is the solution for students with chronic collapsing joints? It's foreign to me because my nail joints have never collapsed and won't even if I try to force them to do it.
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#962642 - 02/17/08 03:25 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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There is a similar thread 'Physiology of the hand/arm' started by Morodienne. As I said thee, it is nothing to do with strength, all to do with coordination. If, after beginning flexion with the nail phalanx, you concentrate only on flexion of the middle phalanx (especially when encountering resistance) it will break in. Many teachers aren't concerned about this but you do lose about half your flexor capability. The answer is to work the brain hard on this 'grip' or 'scratch' until it's a conditioned reflex.
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#962643 - 02/17/08 10:07 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Morodiene Offline
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This is good advise until the child is able to play without the collapsing joint. Then they can relax the scratch without totally caving in.
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#962644 - 02/17/08 10:30 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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The relaxed scratch I call a 'grip' and has very little if any sign of joint movement. To the uninitiated it looks no different from the 'playing from the knuckle' most people advocate, but it is a very different (I would say it is the better) finger coordination.
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#962645 - 02/17/08 12:57 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
rintincop Offline
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"Scratch" the key is a good description. I am not sure kids will get the "grip" description. How do you further describe "grip" to kids?
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#962646 - 02/17/08 01:05 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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It has also a lot to do with hand position.
Working with posture and proper height of the bench I noticed that when this has found the nail joint don't collapse anymore. In fact I have often seen that in a proper sitting height and position it's hard to make the nail joint collapse even if you want to.

Tyr to have the student laying the whole arm by the side of a table. In this way both the fingers and the elbow are resting on the same surface.
Tell him or her to adjust the arching of the fingers so that elbow, back of the hand and forearm are all in straight line. Also have the thumb slightly touchig the index while both rest on the surface. Now apply several kinds of pressure from very light to very very strong with your hand on the knuckles. You'll see the nail joint won't collapse even when you apply a lot of weight pressure. If you experiment with different positions (different wrist, elbow level, thumb position and finger curvature) you'll see that the nail joint tend to collapse very easily even when the weight pressure is small.

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#962647 - 02/17/08 01:06 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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After they've been successfully scratching for a few weeks you tell them to do the same but now once the sound has happened to stop moving the finger. As I said 'scratching' and 'gripping' are exactly the same coordination; it's just the later is, you could say, the short form.
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#962648 - 02/17/08 04:21 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
rintincop Offline
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Excellent advice, all try all of those. Thanks
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#962649 - 02/17/08 05:11 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
pianobuff Offline
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Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by rintincop:
"Scratch" the key is a good description. I am not sure kids will get the "grip" description. How do you further describe "grip" to kids? [/b]
It is important to have flexible fingertips and nothing is wrong with hyperextending the first joint of each finger but like others have said students then need to "grip" or "scratch."

I prefer to use the word "take", taking the notes from each key and putting it in the palm of your hand. Or "taking" and getting stuck in the cement.

It is a sweeping action used by extending fingers to sweep with pads, (yes, first joint is hyperextended but then becomes firm.)
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#962650 - 02/17/08 08:14 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
rintincop Offline
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That sounds confusing to me.

I mean I think kids would be puzzled by "stuck in cement" and "take the key" and put it in your palm. "Scratch" the key is a simpler image and gesture for a kid.
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#962651 - 02/17/08 08:24 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
currawong Offline
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Posts: 5958
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by rintincop:
That sounds confusing to me. [/b]
It's interesting, isn't it, about word-pictures. What confuses one person enlightens another and v.v. For me, I very clearly got the idea of what pianobuff meant. Just shows we probably should have more than one illustration handy for what we're trying to get across, so if one doesn't make the penny drop, another might \:\) .
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#962652 - 02/17/08 09:13 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianobuff:
It is a sweeping action used by extending fingers to sweep with pads, (yes, first joint is hyperextended but then becomes firm.) [/b]
It seems to me that this motion allows the hand to position itself in the way I described above.
In other word it sounds like an extra addition that could be avoided by making sure to maintain a natural hand, wrist and arm position. I imagine it is delying and a bit confusing. I think it's important to coney the idea that the "grasping" comes from the whole finger (which would slighly raise the back of the hand) rather than the fingertips (which would cause tension induced claw-curling)

The idea of grasping the keys and bringing them towards the palm is interesting but imo only as a preparatory measure to align the bones and the joints before playing.

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#962653 - 02/17/08 09:57 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
rintincop Offline
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Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1564
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianobuff:

I prefer to use the word "take", taking the notes from each key and putting it in the palm of your hand. Or "taking" and getting stuck in the cement.

It is a sweeping action used by extending fingers to sweep with pads, (yes, first joint is hyperextended but then becomes firm.) [/b]
I understood what pianobuff was trying to say. But I meant I think it would be a confusing image for a kid" "taking the key" and putting it in your palm....or getting stuck in cement (more confusing). I think kids would get the simpler idea of "scratch" the key as a gesture much easier.
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#962654 - 02/18/08 02:23 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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'Take' the key is a Suzuki Method term ('caress' is CPE Bach's) and I do agree with it, though 'scratch',as rintin says, is easier understood. You can get the pupil to scratch their arm - instantly transferring the movement to the key or 'brush some fluff of a baby's nose without waking her up' for the tiniest sound. They must not move their arm/hand when doing this.

I disagree with any hyper-extension before hand. Fingers/hand/arm are absolutely at rest.

When 'caressing' I often ask them to play as if stroking a pet rabbit (not poking it).
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#962655 - 02/18/08 04:38 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
pianobuff Offline
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I said taking the note and putting it in the palm of your hand. Not the key.
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#962656 - 02/18/08 04:43 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by pianobuff:
I said taking the note and putting it in the palm of your hand. Not the key. [/b]
Interesting. Where do the notes go from there?

I often ask the students to imitate the gesture the wicked witch from Oz uses when she says 'Come here my pretty". That's perfect piano playing.
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#962657 - 02/18/08 01:56 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
pianobuff Offline
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Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
It's connecting ear with tone and the physical aspect of how it is produced, but said in simple terms.

It's okay if you don't get it. You would have to take a lesson to understand.
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#962658 - 02/18/08 01:59 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
[QUOTE]
I often ask the students to imitate the gesture the wicked witch from Oz uses when she says 'Come here my pretty". That's perfect piano playing. [/b]
I was under the impression that this way something to use for few days or a week to ingrain a certain good habit. But I can't imagine playing advanced repertory with all the extraneous motion of moving the fingertips towards the palm by stroking the key surface all the time.

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#962659 - 02/18/08 02:29 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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From a few days to advanced repertoire. That's kinda sudden isn't it?
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#962660 - 02/18/08 02:37 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
From a few days to advanced repertoire. That's kinda sudden isn't it? [/b]
But if the motion is used for a long time doesn't it becomes such an habit that when it's time to abandon it, the student can't because is too ingrained?

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#962661 - 02/18/08 03:12 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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Maybe you haven't read my posts too well. The knuckle player and the wicked witch player can be indistinguishable to the untrained eye.
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#962662 - 02/18/08 03:44 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Maybe you haven't read my posts too well. The knuckle player and the wicked witch player can be indistinguishable to the untrained eye. [/b]
How? In knuckle motion there's no gripping/curling motion towards the palm. There's just a downward motion, the fingertips don't slide.

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#962663 - 02/18/08 03:56 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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In a 'grip' the fingertips don't slide.
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#962664 - 02/20/08 12:57 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
bukopaudan Offline
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Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 506
Loc: USA
It happens to me too, but I think it's because of the size of our hands. I'm probably wrong, though. For me it happens when I can't reach the right notes while my hand is holding the rest of the notes down--usually in chords or running-notes passages. This is when my joints collapse into flatness and it's bad, but I'm learning how to prevent it.

Hope I explained it okay. =D
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#962665 - 02/20/08 04:53 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by sweet_melody:
It happens to me too, but I think it's because of the size of our hands. I'm probably wrong, though. For me it happens when I can't reach the right notes while my hand is holding the rest of the notes down--usually in chords or running-notes passages. This is when my joints collapse into flatness and it's bad, but I'm learning how to prevent it.

Hope I explained it okay. =D [/b]
It's not bad. Round arched fingers are usefull in certain passages and flat fingers in others.
For example over the black keys the fingers should be flatter. And if you must hold a key down and play a 7th or 8th up it's normal and benign that your fingers and hand will flatten. The correct position is a basis to maintain and return to as often as possible but you can devert from it when needed. I wouldn't try to play octave with the same round arched fingers and high palm. I would instead opt for long flat fingers and palm.

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#962666 - 02/21/08 01:35 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
sunshineA1A Offline
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Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1
Loc: New York
I'd like to reinforce what Danny Niklas wrote on 2/17 about the importance of proper seating. You might explore the photos demonstrating how to make some adjustments at TheBalancedPianist.com.

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#962667 - 02/21/08 03:31 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Morodiene Offline
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sunshine: welcome to the forum. Could you expound a little on the proper posture and seating for pianists?
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#962668 - 02/22/08 03:52 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
In fact I have often seen that in a proper sitting height and position it's hard to make the nail joint collapse even if you want to.[/b]
You claim to understand the physiology of piano playing. Could you please, in less than 2,000 words, explain the mechanism for this? It is one of your more bizarre statements.
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#962669 - 02/23/08 02:39 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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Danny!?
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#962670 - 02/23/08 03:00 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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I missed this post. I don't know of any "specific" mechanism for that nor I claimed there's a "specific" mechanism for that. It is just empirical observation. The reason is probably that is far easier to compensate by collapsing the nail joints when the hand is not in the proper position, actually when the whole body and arm and wrist are not. A very low wrist for example helps the collapsing of nail joints. In other words there are positions that direct the pressure in a way that it doesn't promote the collapsing of joints. It seems to me like joint collapsing happens when pressure is put on the nail joint itself and the knuckles are let free to collapse. The finger is somewhat divided in two units when this happens: the nail joint and the other two phalanges. When pressure is directed towards the knuckles and the finger contract as a whole unit and no individual pressure is put on the nail joint it doesn't collapse that easily. In fact a conscious redirection of contraction and pressure must be then used to allow the nail joints to collapse.

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#962671 - 02/23/08 03:11 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
It seems to me like joint collapsing happens... [/b]
That's not quite physiology is it? Thank god you aren't studying medicine - "It seems to me the heart should be round the..."
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#962672 - 02/23/08 03:46 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
It seems to me like joint collapsing happens... [/b]
That's not quite physiology is it? [/b]
No it is not. I don't think this can be explained by physiology being a completely different mechanism involving balance and alignment.I don't think you can provide a better explanation either. And your example with the heart is clearly absurd. We're not dealing here with correct anatomical information but with a multi-factorial mechanism.
For example an uncorrect height promote the collapsing of the wrist which promotes a different kind of use and different focus of pressure of the playing apparature. It is compensation when balance is lacking. Have you found a reason yet as to why you can't tolerate pulses or just resort to sensations and observations?

Would you relax a moment? You seem always to look for a fight or to suffer from an excess of pungent sarcasm. Find a way to control your emotions and your mood swing. I feel sorry for you. Maybe you should remove also dairy and wheat.

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#962673 - 02/23/08 04:32 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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Danny, I'm not quite sure anything calls for getting personal.

The problem is you are handing out advice left, right and center, which, frankly, you just make up. I'll ask just once more - What is the physiological mechanics of body alignment wherein 'it's hard to make the nail joint collapse even if you want to'?
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#962674 - 02/23/08 05:07 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Danny, I'm not quite sure anything calls for getting personal.

The problem is you are handing out advice left, right and center, which, frankly, you just make up. I'll ask just once more - What is the physiological mechanics of body alignment wherein 'it's hard to make the nail joint collapse even if you want to'? [/b]
Why you are looking for an anatomical tendon-ligaments based mechanism? It is simple.
Compensation by wrong posture and alignment creates a different conscious use of pressure and of contraction. The collapsed nail joint belongs to a person who is collapsing the knuckles and putting pressure on the nail joint rather than treating the finger as an unit and directing the pressure on the knuckle. There's no reason to hypothesize predictable and specific physiological pattern. If you sit too high you will compensate by collapsing the wrist. The person sitting too high might focus on preventing the wrist from collapsing but it will be very hard to prevent.
Once the person is put on the correct posture the wrist in such a balanced position that it's very hard for it collapse. It's a bit like cables above and below keeping something balanced. As long as the tension is even there's an extraordinary balance which is hard to disrupt. If you change the tension from the cables the tendency is not anymore over balance but over compensation in one direction with weight and pressure directed toward that. This is not a specific anatomical principle of the fingers or hand skeleton so stop pretending I should explain anatomy to explain this observation of mine. Don't look for tubianan pertinence when there isn't any.

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#962675 - 02/23/08 05:54 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
Why you are looking for an anatomical tendon-ligaments based mechanism? [/b]
Because it is the tendons that support (or don't in the case of nail-joint collapsing) the structure. No amount of sitting high/low/'on your head' is going to change that.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
Working with posture and proper height of the bench I noticed that when this has found the nail joint don't collapse anymore. In fact I have often seen that in a proper sitting height and position it's hard to make the nail joint collapse even if you want to.[/b]
This is total nonsense. For over 200 years piano teachers have wrestled with this problem. Suddenly a Swiss teenager just thinks up the answer? Get real.
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#962676 - 02/23/08 06:57 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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You're wrong on this matter. What I said, and someone else confirmed, is that how you sit makes a difference in the way the whole playing apparatus feels, function and compensate. Hence how the muscles contracts, how our mind control contraction and release, how and where we apply pressure and whether we develop a correct kinestetic sense and body map of our fingers, hand, arms and their position is affected by how we sit and balance at the piano. This is not to say that IT IS the only solution. You are a poor example of balance and good posture so don't seem like you should comment with such arrogance.
If you want my opinion I'm happy to spend time writing it and you are free to disagree or agree in a civil manner. If you just want to harass find someone else who wants to play this pathetique game of yours with you. Stop acting like and old frustrated bitter man with misanthropic tendencies.

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#962677 - 02/23/08 07:02 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
Working with posture and proper height of the bench I noticed that when this has found the nail joint don't collapse anymore. In fact I have often seen that in a proper sitting height and position it's hard to make the nail joint collapse even if you want to.[/b]
So this is a different Danny Niklas?
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#962678 - 02/23/08 07:09 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
Working with posture and proper height of the bench I noticed that when this has found the nail joint don't collapse anymore. In fact I have often seen that in a proper sitting height and position it's hard to make the nail joint collapse even if you want to.[/b]
So this is another Danny Niklas? [/b]
I confirm that a proper position of the playing apparatus makes nail joints collapsing hard because it changes the whole control of the whole playing apparatus. I confirm that this is not everything there's to it and the only solution to the problem. In fact I said it is worth checking this aspect. I confirm that there's no excuse for your obnoxiousness and rudeness and that there's nothing sane or normal on you reacting like this to my claims as if your personal honor is being threatened. **** your honor, is there anything more useless?

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#962679 - 02/23/08 07:25 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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Civility, as Tony Hancock once famously observed, costs nothing my man.
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#962680 - 02/23/08 08:30 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keystring Online   content
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Loc: Canada
Yes, indeed in regards to civility. Could those of us reading silently be permitted to consider the suggestions by merit, without being peppered with words such as "total nonsense", sarcasm, or non-pertinent information in regards to the contributor's age or nationality, as though that were a factor. It is unfortunate to see the other party then goaded into responding in kind. It is distressing to watch people with contributions of merit water down that merit through a style of argument. Others are watching on the sidelines, hoping to learn a thing or two.

I suggest the following: two sides of a same puzzle. While some participants may consider it to be a debate of opposite, I am busy collecting the Commonalities, tossing them together with a grain of salt, and I am feasting on a delicious Common Sense Salad. Want to join me? Look at each other's contributions again - look for what makes sense rather than what refutes your point of view - and enjoy the expanded perspective.

I would also suggest that if one tends toward intellectual argument, and the other toward the method of having something tried out physically, to adopt each other's style. If the argument is in the doing, then "do" to find out. I am no expert in this field, but in those areas where I am expert, I have yet to cease learning from others.

The principle of posture, height of the arm, are not the new inventions of a young man who in his particular environment must have spent almost a young lifetime with excellent teachers. I have ben taught some of these things by someone much older. It's also on page 3 of my grandmother's piano book, printed in something like 1895. That book holds a bit of what both of you are saying - a point to ponder. In fact, it begins with a drawing of the structure of muscles and tendons which I would like to scan when I have my equipment working again, in case it is of interest. That book would tend to encompass the viewpoint embraced by either of you, in one lengthy treatise that precedes the exercises.

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#962681 - 02/23/08 09:25 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
It is unfortunate to see the other party then goaded into responding in kind.[/b]
I'm sorry but I'm just an human ... I get irritated too sometimes
I know, I know ... count to ten ...

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#962682 - 02/23/08 12:40 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Danny,

I must say I am a little confused by your postings because they differ so much depending on whom you are talking to.

In the pianists forum and piano teachers forum, I find you aggressive and quick to strike, almost a challenge to a duel, and I find you ever present.

When telling us about how you work with your students, it sounds like a pedagogue wrote the answers, not a young person, coming to teaching while still in his teens.

It makes me doubt that you are an 18 year old student, for instance.

I have trouble believing that you have come to these conclusions from your own experience, since this kind of growing has it's questioning period and testing period. You come fully expounding on so many subjects.

I also think it's unfortunate that you challenge so strongly and insult some of the very people who have earned their "badges" in music or music teaching.

We're just human too. Some things cause me to react too. I make mistakes in discretion. I very much learn from reading PWF postings. I don't think you've learned it all yet, because I'm still learning, too.

Please don't use your verbal power against us. It alienates rather than brings us together. Discussion is better communication possibilities.

I may regret being so clear here, but the subject is coming up here, so I'll take the opportunity to say something that has been bothering me for a while. I more than counted to 10, and it is still with me as a concern.

So here it is - expressed.

Betty

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#962683 - 02/23/08 01:04 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
nutchai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Australia, Western Australia
Hear hear Betty,

Just like in high school, using long words doesn't make you cool. \:\)

And try not to be so agressive. Would you talk to someone like that in real life?

If you would, you're not exactly a very likeable person are you.

This is totally off-topic but I can't stand it when someone talks as if they own the place. Even if you really did own the place what gives you the right to talk to someone like that?

Because of your attitude, you're now being treated like the 18 year old teenage boy that I highly doubt you are.
_________________________
nUtChAi

Kawai K-5

"You are the music while the music lasts" - T.S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)

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#962684 - 02/23/08 01:10 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Could those of us reading silently be permitted to consider the suggestions by merit, without being peppered with words such as "total nonsense", [/b]
Keystring, I appreciate your good intentions in this debate but I can only repeat - If anybody says that posture (apart from something totally bizarre) can have an effect on the breaking in of the nail joint they are talking total nonsense.[/b] The only influence on that joint is the tendon which attaches to it. To think anything else affects it is to believe in some sort of mumbo-jumbo.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#962685 - 02/23/08 02:43 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
I'm sorry Betty but you're being unfair.
I noticed you got kind of offended by replied to your point in the other threads when you said that "I forgot to disagree with a point of yours" and yet you're the one who started disagreeing with a point of mine. So why the double standard? Why am I supposed to accept disagreement (and I do regardless) but you are supposed to get offended by mine?

I have replied all your questions without compaining. And if I have "insulted" it was directed are people who (I don't care if they earn their leaving teachhing or cooking hamburgers) showed disrespctful and discriminative attitude against the very people they should respect and trust. If you have no problem with teachers discussing of their students as little brats, feeling superior or talking about breaking fingers to boys who wants to reason with their own minds then your sensitivity is very differet than mind. You think that respecting creepy behaviors and ideas from teachers (for the sake of them being teachers? do you want to build an elite?) is more important than defending the people who must endure such behaviors and ideas?

I'm very strong about discrimination of any kind. The idea that I shoulnd't react strongly to racist remarks for example and be nice is insulting to the victims of those remarks. Should the respect for people discriminative opinions be more important than defending who is harmed and belittle by those opinions?

My age is the one I have written in my profile.
My profile is the one I have created when posting on this forum for the first time about playing by ear. I didn't know circumstances would eventually bring me to discuss different matter so there's no reason for me to lie, because nothing about these discussions and the controversial on the teachers forum was planned. We could have a video audio conversation so you could see that I'm indeed a young man, as in fact I have still some growing to do.

Your idea that you can't have certain ideas when you're young is completely flawed. Not only because children as young as 2 year old have the mental and emotive ability to contemplate about life, its meaning and people. But also because there are many adults out there who everyday for 30 years have worked in the same factory and consumed in the same bar and there are kids who in their first 10 years old their life have made lot of experiences and travelled a lot or get involved with many concepts and tasks. Even one year when many things like the illness of your mother, the death of your aunt, the loss of your house, three journey on foreign families, an after school in a bakery can teach you more than 30 years lived in a predictable and repetitive way.

I have been taught to be responsible and I thank my family for such a gift. I used to take my own bike and go at the supermarket at 8 year old to make my own food shopping and cook my own food. My mother would go to work at 5.30 am and I learned at 7 to wake on my own, prepare my breakfast and go to school walking for 2 kilometers. At 10 I had already been involved with the green party spending the weekend clensing rivers of the junk people and industries would throw, with trascendental meditation and reiki, with yoga and international competitive gymnastic, with hygienism and alternative medicine and with hospital volunteering work. My father chose to give up any chance to earn any money and make a career by becoming a volunteer in Africa eating nothing but rice and sweet beans everyday. My mother studied medicine and renounced a career to be a volunteer. I was playing the piano to accompany my aunt towards death the day that cancer take her away in the sofa of a living room and I have been plagued with heart disease. I chose to spend less time with my classmates to offer my company and friendship to down children and I experienced the death of four of my best friends. I have interacted with lot of people of any age and listened them talking and teaching me things for hours, I have read and travelled around a lot.

I don't find anything remotely strange in a mature young people and most young people are way more mature than older and their parents to begin with. But if the problem is one of time available to make experience then let me tell you that within two years I have made more experience than the average adult do in 20 years.

Besides I have provided links to books and websites that show that when given a chance, when treated seriously as individuals and when given freeomd and allower to make good choices children of very young age are capable of extraordinary maturity.

But oferring a video/chat to show how young I am sounds like one of those absurd offers created to proove something that we have heard about lately. Please notice that I never emphasized my age and in fact you're the one who focused on it with your questions which I have kindly answered to. The post I'm replying to sound actually discriminative and if you can't sense the discriminative vibes on it I understand why you feel more like defending the teacher priesthood more than protecting the victims of harmful and shamefull discrimination.

There no "us" Betty. People who teach are individuals and each of us is different and have different ideas. So there's no reason to depict a "you vs. us teachers" scenario because there's no unifying group of teachers, there are just different people and I treat and react to them differently according to what they say and what their attitude is. So of course Betty my posting differ so much depending on whom I'm talking to.
I don't want to fix myself into some kind of constructed fake personality. I am elastic enough to be able to react differently according to unique nature of each circumstance and each individual.

The cutest cat can become the worst beast to deal with when you try to harm the kittens and I do become aggressive when I see people or artifically contructed groups of people being discriminated, patronized, insulted and treated without an hint of respect. Discrimination and hypocrisy are what I never tolerate and the only things that make my blood really boiling. And I don't plant to forgive for this.

It is clear that keyboardklutz is a leg puller that gets turned on by harassing others and it is clear that I have all the rights to react (sometimes excessively but again I'm just an human) when my legs are pulled. It is also clear that some of his ideas are questionable and that people have the right to disagree with him just like people have the right to disagree with me.

I answered kindly to keyboardklutz and he is the one who forgot to treat me in a civil manner and indulge in his hideous bitterness and sarcasm he must believe to be very funny.

Your unbalanced support of keyboardklut unforgivable attitude and blaming it on me just tells me that you really believe in this "teacher elite" nonsense to the point that klutz for being part of this elite is without sin and always right and defendible and while I (being new, young, atypical or just a liar ... depending on what's going on in your mind) am the one to blame, the one that should respect arbitrarily the holy klutz without expecting the same respect in return.

I'm very disappointed and offended by your post and I'm don't believe I will trust again the well-meant nature of your questions or intentions. I rest my case that my reply to keyboardklutz was not at all inappropriate and that many others would have reacted in way worse ways. Keyboardklutz just wasted my time and was just throwing a bait at me looking for a chance to act as a clown to attract attention and feel so funny and I don't accept being used in such a way. Seeing how you got so easily offended by a post of mine just because I dare not to agree with your words I don't how how better your reaction to klutz leg pulling would be. I would think twice about throwing stones and would first try to imagine myself in someone else shoes.

I will keep helping the people who appreciated my help and getting help from people who appreciate helping me. I'm not here to create controversies, to feel superior, to promote my theories or to prove anything about me. I'm here to learn what I can learn and to help when I can. But if along the way I see injustices and discrimination and sick patronization I will react because every cell of being tells to and I would feel disgusted at the idea of ignoring that and stop reacting just I like I would feel disgusted at myself if someone on the street would being attacked and asking for help and I pretended I didn't eat and nothing happened just to be safe.

Some of us prefer prefer to be everyone's friend, popular, nice, esteemed and not react to injustices. I prefer to react to injustices even if that means collecting enemies, being criticized, threatened, insulted and called aggressive and a liar.

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#962686 - 02/23/08 02:53 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
If anybody says that posture (apart from something totally bizarre) can have an effect on the breaking in of the nail joint they are talking total nonsense.[/b] [/b]
And yet I have never dared to call many of your questionable superficial claims "nonsense". I haven't because I know what respect is, all you know is loving yourself and mistreat other people just for the sake of showing-off your witty sarcasm.

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#962687 - 02/23/08 03:02 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by nUtChAi:
Because of your attitude, you're now being treated like the 18 year old teenage boy that I highly doubt you are. [/b]
What's the different between claiming that someone is "treated like a teenager" or claiming that someone is "treated like a nigger"? I'm just appalled by how you are unable to see how discriminative your words are and how painful they are for someone who can tell discrimination when he hears it.

Please nUtChAi this discussion is not your business and it's not very mature of you to intervene when you're not part active of it and you never had a chance to interact with me in the forum.

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#962688 - 02/23/08 03:37 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
 Quote:
Originally posted by nUtChAi:
Because of your attitude, you're now being treated like the 18 year old teenage boy that I highly doubt you are. [/b]
What's the different between claiming that someone is "treated like a teenager" or claiming that someone is "treated like a nigger"? I'm just appalled by how you are unable to see how discriminative your words are and how painful they are for someone who can tell discrimination when he hears it.

Please nUtChAi this discussion is not your business and it's not very mature of you to intervene when you're not part active of it and you never had a chance to interact with me in the forum. [/b]
You really ought to go cool off there Danny. There are no keep out signs here.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#962689 - 02/23/08 03:47 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Danny said at the end of his posting directed to me:

"Some of us prefer prefer to be everyone's friend, popular, nice, esteemed and not react to injustices. I prefer to react to injustices even if that means collecting enemies, being criticized, threatened, insulted and called aggressive and a liar."

My reply:
Injustices really are my melting point, it's the dynamic that makes me pursue the situation, not to win, Danny, but to help provide a place where each member of the situation can find some thing to agree about and to look at the contributing parts for what the disagreement is about. I hate it when someone gets hurt by things said - I hate it when I do it (inadvertently, believe it or not)and I hate it when it's done to me.

You have disclosed a lot about yourself in your post and I would like some time to read carefully and understand what you have said.

nUtChAi is representing himself - he is a reader and a poster here. I don't know nUtChAi well either, but let's not scold him/her for what he has posted. I take it this way, you are saying to us - What audacity that he gets into something he knows nothing about, wasn't involved with, and certainly because you do not know him. - You say "it's not your business, it's not very mature of you". What are we to think - this seems like a control issue - and this is an integrated forum for the most part.

The most discomforting part is that we go to devices that undermine our own integrity when we use them.

I hope nUtChAi is not intimidated to receive his/her public scolding from you. I think nUtChAi simply said what he felt for whatever reason he/she had. From the birth date given in the profile, you and nUtChAi are contemporaries in age.

I am sorry to see you upset over so many things, Danny.

Betty

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#962690 - 02/23/08 04:07 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:
I hate it when someone gets hurt by things said - I hate it when I do it (inadvertently, believe it or not)and I hate it when it's done to me.

I am sorry to see you upset over so many things, Danny. [/b]
Let's make a summary here so it can become clear why I'm upset.

I have never disagree on technical, musical and theorical matter calling someone else ideas, beliefs and tastes "nonsense" or "idiocies".

When I have disagreed I have pointed out it was my personal opinion and did it politely and respecting the person I'm talking about.

The only instances in which I have become more aggressive in my disagreement is when Gyro claimed that people who suffered from tendonitis faked it and when I saw people discussing of students if they are worthless brats without brain to patronize and turn into submission. They were all strong discriminations and injustices and I'm a bit more outspoken and tough when I deal with those and when the person/people I feel the need to defend are not there to defend themselves or have been made unable to defend themselves.

You questioned things I have said and disagreed with me and I accepted your disagreement but felt the need to respond myself with respect and in a civil manner again pointing out that everything was "in my opinion". You got offended by the fact that I replied to each of your point but I didn't say anything and replied nicely and politely to your provocation. I still find strange that I'm not supposed to be offended when you disagree with me but you are when I disagree with you.

The last thing occurred here with keyboardklutz expecting a reply for me as if it was my duty to.
The truth is that when I reply I use my time and I hope to use it constructively. keybordklutz is free to disagree with me but not to insult me and reduce all the posts into a "you're wrong and I'm right" superficial concept because I do feel that my time has been wasted and I hate wasting time.

nUtChAi post finally has not been very polite or respectful. He is free to disagree with me and I'm the first one to be grateful to people who are able to show me my mistakes. But the way she phrased the whole thread as if I were the rude troll and seasoning it with a good dose of ageist discrimination wasn't nice at all and that's why I asked him, if he has to insult and make easy judgements, to refrain from such lack of respect at least till he doesn't interact a bit more with me and get aquainted with the circumstances.

This is all.
In all other posts I have both offered my help or have been helped. I'm neither rude or aggressive for the sake of it. But I'm a very frank, genuine and direct type of person and very pretty outspoken. I hate hypocrisy with a passion.

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#962691 - 02/23/08 04:57 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11800
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Keystring, I appreciate your good intentions in this debate but I can only repeat - If anybody says that posture (apart from something totally bizarre) can have an effect on the breaking in of the nail joint they are talking total nonsense. The only influence on that joint is the tendon which attaches to it. To think anything else affects it is to believe in some sort of mumbo-jumbo.
I disagree, because of what I, in turn have been taught and shown outside of this forum. However, I believe that what is happening is that people are talking past each other. It is a very common thing to do, because there is nothing as faulty as human language. We use words as primitive, imperfect symbols locked within coding devices called syntax and grammar, locked within our expectations created by our backgrounds, and then we attempt to codify our thoughts, and decode the thoughts of others. We do not understand what others say: we understand what we interpret others to say. The bulk of communication often lies beyond words, yet we believe in the words first. In fact, we believe in our interpretation - the decoding - as being the understanding. THEN we react - not to what has been said - but to what we have decoded. It is a most frustrating thing to see people talking past each other, and thinking they are communicating, and being able to see commonalities.

I will not presume to argue the issues, because I am beginning my journey, and you are all experienced pianists. However, I believe I do understand what Danny is saying, it does make sense. But I am probably not understanding it in the same way, and possibly in a less exaggerated manner. If I'm understanding this, there is no contest between your two views. They are different aspects. As far as my being a student is concerned, my learning path lies outside this forum with a competent teacher who can watch and guide me. EVEN if someone is teaching the proper thing, the chances are they will not be understood through the medium of words and outside of observation. EVEN if the person on the Internet does manage to understand, chances are that he or she will not reproduce what he understands. In my mind, the most dangerous of all to experiment with unguided are those which lie at the foundation of our playing.

I do know this: I have been told in the live world to sit at a height that will allow my forearms to be even with the floor, to have a relatively straight line (no big curve at the wrist), to not hunch my shoulders, and that there is a strong arch immune to collapse which has its high point at the knuckles. Here I am coming from what I have been taught - not what I'm reading on the Net. That's as far as I will go. But you can see perhaps why this discussion has interested me.

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#962692 - 02/23/08 05:22 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
It sounds like you've been taught very well!

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#962693 - 02/23/08 05:30 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11800
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 Quote:
It sounds like you've been taught very well!
I spent most of my first years doing the wrong thing, paying attention to the wrong thing, tying myself up in such knots that it took over a year to function anything to normal. Piano is my second and recent instrument. It is only dawning on me recently where wisdom lies. Yes, it seems that I have. \:\)

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#962694 - 02/23/08 05:32 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keystring Online   content
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Um, Mr. Kitty, were you one of the folks stressing the arch a while back? I was still so new to all the avatar-faces.

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#962695 - 02/23/08 11:06 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Mr_Kitty Offline
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Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
I personally consider the arch to be the only way.
The Russians tend to think differently and we all know they've produced many of the greatest pianists.
The arch IS godly.

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#962696 - 02/24/08 03:43 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
Arch?

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#962697 - 02/24/08 04:21 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Mr. Kitty: So you were the arch-person. And it's stressed by the Russian pianists? I have a reason to ask.
Danny: Somewhere in one of the threads that I think you participated in as well (?) there is mention of the arch (of the hand?) (by Mr. K?) which explains an arch. Intuitively, knowing the arch is a strong supporting shape that holds up bridges, and the more force that is applied, the stronger it gets ... which I think somehow ties in to your non-collapsing nail-joint if you follow the various dotted lines. My salted salad from reading you guys. Keyboardklutz is either the sliced tomatoes, or the main greens in the mix. Everybody gave a different side of the puzzle. Or, taking your earlier metaphor - turning a 3D object round and round and round.

There is the parable of the three blind men who argued about the nature of elephants.

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#962698 - 02/24/08 04:39 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Keystring, I think you missed out on this thread (edit - Sorry, I see you didn't):
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/2/16856/3.html
Here are some extracts:
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
 Quote:
You can approximate this position by forming a triangle with your hand, the knuckles being the top of the pyramid,
Disciple, if you are 'forming' your hand you have tension there. [/b]
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
"forming" the hand does not necessarily mean tension. Many great pianists appear to have flat, square-looking palms (Horowitz, Michelangeli, many others) . They were not born this way.
I was taught to call it support from the INSIDE of the hand. Support comes from having feet flat on the ground, the pelvis tilted forward so that you are sitting properly, (not "slouching"). The shoulders support the arms, which hang free completely free of tension. Lastly, support comes from the centre of the hand (this takes the most training) so that all 5 fingers are equally supported.
You can see this type of technique in Disciple's playing-palms flat, knuckles raised. You can see it in Horowitz, Oscar Peterson, and Martha Argerich as well (especially in her earlier performances from when she studied with Maria Curcio) . [/b]
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
"forming" the hand does not necessarily mean tension. [/b]
If you have any idea of a 'shape' for your hand, you have tension. Anything other than total resting of the hand on the keys will involve tension. I don't know why you're so defensive about it, nearly every pianist does (though I don't).[/b]
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
yes.
the natural shape of the hand is simply NOT suited to playing the piano.
With this technique things like the Ossia Cadenza from Rachmaninoff 3rd concerto FEELS EASY AT FULL SPEED. So do things like Scarlatti and Haydn. The dynamic range available at the fingertips seems almost superhuman to people hearing it for the first time. As for speed.... lol.... things get pretty darn quick.
Over time the "unnatural" shape becomes less and less noticeable-right now in my playing it is fairly easy to spot, but in the playing of someone like Disciple, who is much more advanced, the shape is more subtle. Give me a few months \:D [/b]
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#962699 - 02/24/08 04:46 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keystring Online   content
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Didn't miss it - just didn't remember which and where it was. I read that, and a few other threads, with interest. I stand by my salted salad.

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#962700 - 02/24/08 04:56 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keyboardklutz Offline
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Sorry, I just noticed you were in on it. It's worth keeping an eye on, I think it is Mr_Kitty's, Disciple and my final words on the subject. Not to mention excellent contributions from Jerry, secondo and Jazzwee.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#962701 - 02/24/08 05:30 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Mr. Kitty: So you were the arch-person. And it's stressed by the Russian pianists? I have a reason to ask.
Danny: Somewhere in one of the threads that I think you participated in as well (?) there is mention of the arch (of the hand?) (by Mr. K?) which explains an arch.[/b]
I mentioned the arch but I didn't know if Kitty was talking about the same arch. The whole forearm is in the form of an arch. It is not structurally an arch like the bones of the feet or the pelvis arch but it is close enough. You can see it better by placing your whole forearm at the side of a table so that elbow and tips of the fingers rest on the same plane. Fingersa and elbow are the pillars of the arch and wrist is the is the apex.

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#962702 - 02/24/08 08:52 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keystring Online   content
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If the wrist is the apex of your arch, what role do the knuckles play - or is there a secondary arch in that respect? I believe that in Mr. Kitty's construct, it's the knuckles which I suspect lend a springiness.

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#962703 - 02/24/08 09:19 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
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Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
The apex of the arch is the part that goes from knuckles to wrist. So in that respect even the back of the hand belongs to the apex. If you observe your forearm while in the position I described you will see that both the forearm (its bottom) and the fingers with their round lines act as the sides of the arch white the straight zone on the top which is comprised of the wrist, hand and knuckles; act as a big keystone.

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#962704 - 02/24/08 12:43 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11800
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Now I'm curious to hear Mr. Kitty's arch - I have a feeling it's a microcosm to your macrocosm, and Kbk has some pulleys to add.

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#962705 - 02/25/08 04:27 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
sorry for any misunderstanding.
It's a bit of a generalization but Russian pianists tend NOT to play with a pronounced knuckle arch.

The wrist is low, in a straight line from the elbow to the bridge og the knuckles running parallel to the floor.

Look at Disciple's video, or just about anything by Michelangeli and you'll see what I'm talking about.

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#962706 - 02/25/08 05:19 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11800
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
sorry for any misunderstanding.
It's a bit of a generalization but Russian pianists tend NOT to play with a pronounced knuckle arch.

The wrist is low, in a straight line from the elbow to the bridge og the knuckles running parallel to the floor.

Look at Disciple's video, or just about anything by Michelangeli and you'll see what I'm talking about. [/b]
Yes, I see what you mean. I'd say his wrist is not low so much as the forearm into hand make one straight line. (Michelangeli)
So is what you favour like what the Russian pianists do, or different, but you find strength in what they do anyway? I seem to remember that you have found something about a "square" which is sort of like a lifting of the fourth finger side - sorry, I have more of an image than words. And if so, does that go toward those pianists or unrelated?

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#962707 - 02/25/08 10:41 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
The way I was taught to play is very different, almost opposite, to the way [most] Russians play.
Two performers with very "typical" Russian-style technique are Boris Berezovsky and Nikolai Demidenko.
Both are pianists on a titanic scale.
Very different approach to the physicality of playing the instrument than the one I adhere to.
Those two sit a bit higher, keep their wrists higher, and do not play with a pronounced knuckle arch.
I find a truly bizarre type of strength in the technique I was taught.

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#962708 - 02/25/08 11:25 PM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
I still don't see this difference.
Kitty seems to play with the forearm parallel to the floor and wrist in a straight line with the hand and the forearm.

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#962709 - 02/26/08 12:00 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11800
Loc: Canada
Knuckles?

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#962710 - 02/26/08 12:37 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
pronounced arch:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=W8LoC3siqIY
http://youtube.com/watch?v=GmAQJYPAwAU&feature=related
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4wdJ5fj7REI
http://youtube.com/watch?v=kql_ztVUjOA

less arch:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=fb_dY864OJY
http://youtube.com/watch?v=G7y8zLnQi-M
http://youtube.com/watch?v=O5raMK4Z9co

It you look very closely, you'll see that Beresovsky has the arch going on there but it's much less pronounced than young Martha's in the Chopin Prelude.

When the arch is pronounced the palm has a flat, square shape to it. You can REALLY see it in the 2nd video when Chico Marx plays, particulary during his trills.

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#962711 - 02/26/08 12:49 AM Re: Collapsing nail joints
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
Yuma Osaki knuckles don't seem very pronounced and he hand, wrist and forearm look like your explanation of the "Russian" way.
The same for archerich.

It seems to me that shape the hand like an arch with pronounced knuckles one should have the wrist below knuckles level while all these examples had their wrist below knuckles level. The lower the wrist the more pronounced the knuckles and viceversa.

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