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#985084 - 02/10/09 12:56 AM Hand Strength
joehempel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
I'm wondering what anyone does for hand strength. I'm working my way through Alfreds All-in-One book 1, and with my right hand I'm having extreme, and I mean stop playing extreme pain when going from C to F, the left hand is fine. After a couple of sets of 4 quarter notes going from C to F, forget it, I'm done for the next couple of hours, can barely get through When the Saints Go Marching In with the right hand chords more than twice.

I do consider my hands to be pretty limber, I play the guitar, and can type about 80 words a minute, but this is different I guess
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#985085 - 02/10/09 01:00 AM Re: Hand Strength
AnotherSchmoe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 499
Loc: Arkansas
This could be more of an issue with fingering and piano technique than hand strength. Obviously you will gain more endurance as you become accustomed to playing the piano but you should never feel the sort of pain you are describing, especially only playing for a few minutes.

I will let someone more knowledgeable chime in here, but it sounds to me like you might just be positioning your hands and fingers in an awkward fashion. As silly and absurd as it sounds, it's possible to seriously injure your fingers and hands if you play the piano with bad posture. Granted I don't know if this is the case for you specifically, but in general this is what's usually happening when people complain about their fingers hurting after only a few minutes of playing. Typically you should be able to play for hours before getting sore. It might be worth getting a teacher (at least for a month or two) to help you work out the kinks as you start on your piano journey. ;\)
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#985086 - 02/10/09 01:03 AM Re: Hand Strength
YD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 590
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
You are doing something wrong. Strength has nothing to do with playing piano; the idea is to use weight to hit the keys. My 7-year old daughter (when angry) extracts deafeningly loud scales from the piano. Do you have a teacher that can help you set your hand motion right?
You can buy yourself some technique book (Sandor or Fink, for example), but they are mostly concerned with advanced techniques; nothing can replace a good teacher's guidance in the beginning.
_________________________
Yuri
FWIW; YMMV

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#985087 - 02/10/09 01:13 AM Re: Hand Strength
joehempel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Wow, that was fast!

I thought something might be wrong, I'm using a Yamaha Keyboard Pre313, and not a true Piano, but I don't know if that's the problem. Maybe I'll upgrade to something with weighted keys if it's not too much.

I'm going to do a video diary of the Alfreds All in One Piano books, so I'll post the first 50 pages tomorrow, maybe you guys/gals will be able to help me out.

I don't have time for a teacher or instruction, so I'm doing this on my own, much like the guitar. But I'm confident that I'll be able to learn it on my own, I already know some theory and what notes make up the chords since they are the same no matter what music you play.
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#985088 - 02/10/09 03:06 AM Re: Hand Strength
mcasl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Spain
Hi!
I started learning three months ago and I did it with a keyboard. I felt pain in my left hand and I thought it was due to an old injury that cut a muscle and a nerve in my left hand. A few weeks ago I bought a digital piano with weighted keys (a roland HP-207e) and now I can play several hours in a row. I definitely feel more comfortable in the new piano. It was the keyboard action what was killing me as I felt my fingers making too much force against an unmovable wall. While pressing the keys of dp you feel like you are moving a mass which absorbs the impact. I guess it is something like having a car crash with or without an airbag. In that comparison, the dp has the airbag installed :-).

I would recommend yo to give it a try with a piano or a digital piano and check whether it happens the same to you.
Best wishes
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#985089 - 02/10/09 03:12 AM Re: Hand Strength
joehempel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Thanks alot!

I'm looking at the Yamaha YPG-535 that has Graded Soft Touch with different levels of resistance, it's about $500, it's a bit more than I wanted to spend but it comes with a stand and sustain pedal and power supply.

Either that or the YPG-235, it's got 76 keys rather than 88, but no stand, power supply or pedal, but has all the functions I believe. Its also $320
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#985090 - 02/10/09 03:32 AM Re: Hand Strength
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by joehempel:
I'm looking at the Yamaha YPG-535 that has Graded Soft Touch with different levels of resistance, [/b]
Yeh, right.
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#985091 - 02/10/09 03:35 AM Re: Hand Strength
joehempel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
 Quote:
Originally posted by joehempel:
I'm looking at the Yamaha YPG-535 that has Graded Soft Touch with different levels of resistance, [/b]
Yeh, right. [/b]
I'm guessing that's not a good keyboard then?
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#985092 - 02/10/09 03:42 AM Re: Hand Strength
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
It's just that the pressure needed to depress any of the keys can't be altered. GST is just some Yamaha digital gimmick. I'm sure you'll get your money's worth though.
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#985093 - 02/10/09 03:47 AM Re: Hand Strength
joehempel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Ah, I'll check it out when I get into the store to look at them, I'm still deciding on if I even want to up grade from my PRE-314, I don't know jack about actually playing. LOL

Also figured it was a Yamaha gimmick as I didn't see it on any of the others. Thanks!!
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#985094 - 02/10/09 07:10 AM Re: Hand Strength
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
joehempel,

Welcome to the forums,

Try looking for the DGX630, YPG635, P85, or P85S if you are wanting to look for Yamaha DP's with weighted action. The DGX530, YPG535 and NP30 are not hammer action, they won't feel that much different from the keyboard you are using now. Graded Soft Touch is Yamahaese for having larger springs in the bass.

For Casio's look at the Casio Privia PX120. You may be able to find some older Privia models as well. They all have weighted action and most people consider them heavier than the Yamaha's above.

The Korg SP250 is another model to look at if you can find one. I've not seen one here in Denver.

M-Audio makes semi weighted and weighted keyboards at the lower end. I've never been impressed with the consistency of their actions, at least on the demo models I've played in the stores. The ProKeys 88SX and ProKeys Solo 88 are semi-weighted and the ProKeys 88 is weighted
You can also search the threads over in the digital forum and post there if you can't find the answers you are looking for.

Gyro will suggest Williams pianos. I think he just holds a secret admiration for John Williams' or Ralph Vaughn Williams' music. The general consensus on the forum is that these models are not very good.

There is also a digital forum to search through and post in for further information.

Rich
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#985095 - 02/10/09 07:14 AM Re: Hand Strength
joehempel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Thanks! The digital pianos are out of my price range though, I'd love to have one. Although the Casio is the same price but doesn't have the stand.
I'm still not sold on the fact that it's the keyboard that makes my hand cramp up that bad, I think it may have to do with the fact that I've got small hands. I'll post a you tube video tomorrow night to see if anyone can help me out in that respect.
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#985096 - 02/10/09 07:34 AM Re: Hand Strength
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11688
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
It's just that the pressure needed to depress any of the keys can't be altered.
As a general question, can the auditory feedback you get from these devices eventually affect you physically? I'm assuming that in the above example it's the "adjustment" actually involves the way the instrument responds to touch, without changing the action of the key itself.

The DP that I have responds in an uncomfortable manner. This is especially so when I don't use earphones. I must depress the keys "gingerly", like walking on eggshells with hidden explosives in some of them. The three notes around middle C are finicky. I "hold back" or "hold in" when I play this instrument, and that creates tension.

I practised on a rather horrendous acoustic during the holidays, and freedom came back into my hands. The response was a true response. Even if some keys were sticky (one had to be pinched between two fingers and lifted) or loose, or produced two tones, there was something that responded to my touch. I could let go in my playing.

Yesterday I practised using ear phones and then removed them in order to record. Immediately I had notes that shriveled and others that exploded. I could feel myself "holding in" in order to gain control, and a certain amount of tension from doing so.

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#985097 - 02/10/09 08:37 AM Re: Hand Strength
DaveInMichigan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/09
Posts: 307
Loc: SE Michigan
 Quote:
I'm still not sold on the fact that it's the keyboard that makes my hand cramp up that bad....
I don't think so either. Are you hitting the keyboard too hard? Are you playing too long (like you are just starting but you play a few hours each time)?

Going from C to F has a natural fingering, so I doubt you can stretch your fingers that badly. What is your fingering for going from C to F? Maybe a youtube video will get your more help as people can see what you are doing.
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#985098 - 02/10/09 09:12 AM Re: Hand Strength
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
 Quote:
It's just that the pressure needed to depress any of the keys can't be altered.
As a general question, can the auditory feedback you get from these devices eventually affect you physically? I'm assuming that in the above example it's the "adjustment" actually involves the way the instrument responds to touch, without changing the action of the key itself.

The DP that I have responds in an uncomfortable manner. This is especially so when I don't use earphones. I must depress the keys "gingerly", like walking on eggshells with hidden explosives in some of them. The three notes around middle C are finicky. I "hold back" or "hold in" when I play this instrument, and that creates tension.

I practised on a rather horrendous acoustic during the holidays, and freedom came back into my hands. The response was a true response. Even if some keys were sticky (one had to be pinched between two fingers and lifted) or loose, or produced two tones, there was something that responded to my touch. I could let go in my playing.

Yesterday I practised using ear phones and then removed them in order to record. Immediately I had notes that shriveled and others that exploded. I could feel myself "holding in" in order to gain control, and a certain amount of tension from doing so. [/b]
Oh yes. This is why I no longer practice on my DP. I actually had pain in my finger joints from practicing on that - I don't know what it was about the action that was so hard on my fingers, but it hurt. I was terrified; I thought I had arthritis. I started practicing on a real piano, and the pain went away.

And I have a high-end DP - Yamaha P120.

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#985099 - 02/10/09 09:50 AM Re: Hand Strength
bluekeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 1337
IANAD,NDIPOOTV, but I can't believe any technique problem alone could cause "extreme pain" after just "a couple of sets of 4 quarter notes going from C to F." It sounds like something that might benefit from medical attention.

As for the Yamaha adjustable touch, I have it on my DP, and what it does is adjust the sensitivity so you don't have to hit the keys as hard to invoke higher velocity digital samples. As you probably know, most DPs produce sound by playing samples from an acoustic piano recorded at various key velocities. I found that at first I liked the lightest setting, but now that I split my time between DP and acoustic, I like the medium setting.

GL \:\)

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#985100 - 02/10/09 10:17 AM Re: Hand Strength
YD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 590
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
If you are at all serious about piano, you really need weighted action keys. If the new DPs are out of your price range, get used one. On the other hand, your can get a stand sufficient to support Casio PX-120 for $30 or even less... Or if you want to order online, PX-120 can be had with stand for about $550, shipping included.
_________________________
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FWIW; YMMV

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