Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video!

Posted by: keyboardklutz

Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 01:30 PM

Here's what happens when the weight of the arm has to be supported by the fingers - some pretty major tensions in the arm! (look away ladies of a delicate disposition)
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 01:58 PM

Right, which is why one needs to be careful when using arm weight that they do not continue to press or use the weight after the key has been struck initially. smile
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 02:05 PM

Quite so! Release immédiatement!
Posted by: Nyiregyhazi

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 04:56 PM

????????

That certainly doesn't happen when I rest the weight of my arm on my fingers. The elbow is visibly fixed in position rather than adequately released and so is the wrist. It looks far more like pressing through a hand with an arm that has NOT adequately released its weight in the first place. If that's truly "supporting weight", why are you moving around and seizing up so much? That's supporting heavily sustained muscle pressure, not relaxed weight.

If desired to do, for some perverse reason, I could make a video of myself moving my fingers while making an effort to seize up my wrist in response to every action (a trap that all too many sadly fall into) and say "here's what happens when you try to move the keys with your fingers" However, it certainly wouldn't reveal anything terribly worthwhile.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 05:08 PM

First you get me banned for two weeks because I dared to find your physics laughable then, as soon as I'm back you want a debate! Sorry mate, you're being ignored - please go back to your own thread.
Posted by: Gerard12

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 05:14 PM

Posting that video on Youtube under the moniker of 'keyboard class' is pretty irresponsible.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 05:19 PM

Any chance you'd enlighten me?
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 05:25 PM

But all you're doing is tensing up. I don't understand why you would do that? You're not supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers because the weight is stuck in your forearm and not moving due to you seizing up.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 05:35 PM

Have you tried it yourself? I mean raising your arm from your finger tips and not taking the weight at the shoulder?
Posted by: Nyiregyhazi

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 05:41 PM

If you can do a press-up, it's hardly that big an ask is it?
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 05:47 PM

Yes? I don't see what that does have to do with anything..
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 05:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Yes? I don't see what that does have to do with anything..
I just find the arm a very heavy thing to lift up onto the fingers - the resultant stress in the muscles just corroborate that.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 05:54 PM

Why would you? The weight goes into the keys. It doesn't seize up and stay in your arm or fingers. I'm talking about when you actually play, not use a table..
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 05:56 PM

Yes but the fingers still handle as much weight. The only difference is the damaging bump when the key beds.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 06:01 PM

I don't understand why you would find it so difficult. It's simply the weight of the arm, and most times not even all of it, not ADDED weight from tensing/seizing up. That's how I've played and still play and haven't had any problems..
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 06:04 PM

The less weight from the arm (and it isn't a 'simple' weight it's quite a heavy one) the more weight supported at the shoulder. The video is not about what happens if you only hold up some of the weight.
Posted by: Nyiregyhazi

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 06:09 PM

It's not about what happens when you hold all of the weight on the hand either. It about what happens when you hold most of the weight back stiffly and then press stiffly.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 06:10 PM

Yeah, when you play a fortissimo in something like Brahms or Rachmaninoff, how would you go in about it? How could you not have supportive fingers? How would you produce the sound at all?
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 06:15 PM

Of course you'd have supportive fingers and as Morodiene says 'do not continue to press or use the weight after the key has been struck initially.'
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 06:34 PM

Basically what you are seeing are the flexors having to pull from their origin (the other side of the elbow (medial epicondyle) - so that stiffens), through the wrist (which has to stiffen other wise it gets pulled up by the flexors) through to each joint of the fingers (which are obviously tense as they support all the weight). Off to bed.
Posted by: Nyiregyhazi

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 06:53 PM

There's a simple way of avoiding all that. The upper arm releases enough for the elbow to be pulled backwards. The fingers exert enough of a forward pull upon the arm to cancel that. Hey presto- you have a totally free wrist and a forearm that is free enough to absorb the reaction forces. The wrist need not stiffen AT ALL if the elbow is being pulled lightly backwards by gravity, to counter it.
Posted by: Canonie

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 10:29 PM

The position looks a bit awkward - maybe you are sitting too low? I am sure that my muscles don't do all that squirmy stuff when my fingers are supporting the weight of my forearm plus the pull of the upper arm backwards. I'm not sure that my muscles could do that!

If the finger has a lovely curve and is still it's amazing how much weight it can take. My cello teacher has an interesting excercise:

Let your arm hang by your side, your fingers will assume a natural curve.
Maintaining this curve, place a finger under one end of the piano bench,
straighten up a little and you will be able to lift the end of the bench with one finger acting as a hook.

Try again but this time lift the bench only using some kind of flexion of finger - and you can't do it!

I like to think of my hands as resilient, springy, curvy, athletic, and perfectly able to take the weight of arms at piano. After all there are lots of moments of rest:- after every staccato, every phrase end, big chords that you bounce off.
Just IMO, but that's the way I play.
Posted by: jazzyprof

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 10:57 PM

Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
I just find the arm a very heavy thing to lift up onto the fingers -

Really? How about balancing the whole body on the fingers? smile
Posted by: david_a

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 11:13 PM

A man's arm weighs about ten pounds.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/29/10 11:13 PM

^ ^ ^
WIN.

EDIT: DANG IT DAVID. That meant to go to jazzyprof's vid. HAHA
Posted by: david_a

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 12:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
^ ^ ^
WIN.

EDIT: DANG IT DAVID. That meant to go to jazzyprof's vid. HAHA
Heh. I'll take the WIN anyway. My post was, like, uber-worthy. smile
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 01:42 AM

Thanks Dave. If any of you have a 10 lb bag of potatoes go give it a lift. Maybe balance it on your arm or hand/fingers.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 02:01 AM

Originally Posted By: jazzyprof
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
I just find the arm a very heavy thing to lift up onto the fingers -

Really? How about balancing the whole body on the fingers? smile
I knew an octogenarian who did pushups on his fingertips - as many as you'd like! I do this daily:
Posted by: Canonie

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 04:20 AM

well that explains your rippling muscles kbk laugh
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 04:56 AM

Not the undulating tummy though!
Posted by: Canonie

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 05:02 AM

Your tummy kbk??

Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 05:07 AM

Its all the organic chocolate - I tried fruit instead but carrying it all home everyday was a nightmare!
Posted by: Canonie

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 05:10 AM

OMG!! There is organic chocolate in my mouth Right Now!! What a cooincidence. (Green and Blacks organic chocolate (blue packet) Mmmmmmmmmm.

Just finished rest of packet laugh
Posted by: jazzwee

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 05:21 AM

Now why would it be 10lb of dead weight? It's hinged to the shoulder, kbk. As your other earlier illustration shows, you are just fighting the force that keeps it from falling down straight.

I'm able to support some weight on the fingers without locking the wrists (no rippling muscles for me either smile ). And I can feel the that the resistance is coming from my intrinsic hand muscles which are plenty strong now.

Obviously the shoulder has to carry some of the other weight so it's in neither extreme of all fingers or all shoulders for me. The elbow can firm up too. I don't find this particularly tiring but I just feel my fingers are a tad more active than just a passive drop.

I don't always play like this for everything but it appears to work for me for doing something fast.

From what I feel, I think I still start of a phrase with an arm drop and then I let the fingers pull a bit or add wrist rotation. My teacher and I worked on this and there was some tension until I moved closer to the keyboard. You mentioned that and of course that automatically drops the weight since the arm is already down. And there's less pull backwards on the fingers.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 06:26 AM

Originally Posted By: Canonie
OMG!! There is organic chocolate in my mouth Right Now!! What a cooincidence. (Green and Blacks organic chocolate (blue packet) Mmmmmmmmmm.

Just finished rest of packet laugh
Why! That cannot be! I've just now taken a piece of my Green and Blacks organic (blue packet) to have with my coffee!
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 06:33 AM

Jazzwee, you're very much on to the right track. As an illustration total weight on the fingers vs total weight hanging from the shoulders is a good place to start a discussion from. Notice though, which will involve less tension hanging or supporting? I've published a paper on how the shoulders hang down the back (of the spine) and how the torso 'hangs' off the femurs (just going to the printers) - I'll PM them to you. Hanging seems to be what nature intended.

Originally Posted By: jazzwee
My teacher and I worked on this and there was some tension until I moved closer to the keyboard. You mentioned that and of course that automatically drops the weight since the arm is already down. And there's less pull backwards on the fingers.
Good point.
Posted by: Canonie

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 06:51 AM

Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Canonie
OMG!! There is organic chocolate in my mouth Right Now!! What a cooincidence. (Green and Blacks organic chocolate (blue packet) Mmmmmmmmmm.

Just finished rest of packet laugh
Why! That cannot be! I've just now taken a piece of my Green and Blacks organic (blue packet) to have with my coffee!

On the other side of the world. I didn't even know you had it over there! This is too strange kbk. At least you're drinking coffee (I'm having tea).

Right, back to arm weight. I have enjoyed thinking about these things over the past week. I definitely (for better or worse) support arm weight with my fingers, i.e. I don't hold the weight up using elbow flexors, except after any note or chord where I float or rebound upwards (e.g. at the end of phrases).
Thought I should contribute something on topic again wink
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 07:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Canonie
Right, back to arm weight. I have enjoyed thinking about these things over the past week. I definitely (for better or worse) support arm weight with my fingers, i.e. I don't hold the weight up using elbow flexors, except after any note or chord where I float or rebound upwards (e.g. at the end of phrases).
Thought I should contribute something on topic again wink
Actually I've given up coffee - it was the first one in over a week. I drink a lot of green tea (organic of course). Cello is fascinating for me. I had one of the world's top oboists as a teacher. She insisted on resting the weight of the left arm on the instrument. It took me years to get the hang of it but it really works! She was a student of Janet Craxton whose dad, significantly, was a big friend and exponent of Matthay (Harold Craxton). My teacher says there was no connection though I wonder. I took the technique over to the guitar - really makes a difference to apply the weight into the instrument! It also applies to vibrato on the violin - you play with the weight that only just keeps the string down. You want my articles?
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 07:49 AM

I can do this, does this count for something?

Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 07:52 AM

'Fraid not, I'd see someone about that nose though.
Posted by: Nyiregyhazi

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 07:56 AM

Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Notice though, which will involve less tension hanging or supporting? I've published a paper on how the shoulders hang down the back (of the spine) and how the torso 'hangs' off the femurs (just going to the printers) - I'll PM them to you. Hanging seems to be what nature intended.


When relaxed downward, hanging sounds fine. The joints CAN relax so they "hang". Do you still refer to them as "hanging" when you hold your arms horizontally out in front of you, with every joint unsupported by anything but muscular activity? I can't see how "hanging" can even come into it, unless the shoulder and elbow etc. are able to release some of the activity by which they support the arm's weight. The only way to do that is for the finger to support it (or to collapse everything down by your side). Anything without finger support requires large internal forces- that seem to contradict the entire nature of "hanging".

When playing the piano, we can only get the benefits of the "hanging" approach if the joints are able to relax in the same way. When unsupported by the fingers, they simply are not. It becomes like the scenario of holding the arm out.

Thanks for suggesting that. It gives me a good idea for a rather practical exercise that would help to distinguish between the truest hanging state and the lowest possible effort self-supporting state of holding your arms out with the lowest possible effort. Neither state is possible for actual playing. The "feel" of playing the piano then lies somewhere in the middle. No support at the finger means no hanging but instead an arm that is full of ongoing muscular activity. But no internal efforts at all and you fall off.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 07:59 AM

Still on ignore list yawn Why do I have the feeling my life is flashing before me? (rhetorical)
Posted by: Nyiregyhazi

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 08:06 AM

Also, I think this sheds a lot of light kbk's idea of keeping the upper arm vertical. Seeing as it cannot "hang" when out forwards (due to gravity trying to bring it back to equilibrium) the internal forces would be highly tiring without decent finger support. Sitting closer to the piano would leave the elbow closer to equilibrium with a lower effort. The closer it is to vertical, the less effort to keep it in position. Personally, I'd be far more interested in gaining some much needed support though, rather than trying to take the workload of the elbow with a vertical upper arm.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 08:16 AM

Listen, I'll say it again - You can't get someone banned and expect them to entertain any of your ideas. I've stayed out of your thread(s) - you're no gentleman that's for sure!
Posted by: Nyiregyhazi

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 08:20 AM

Strictly speaking, I believe that's a "personal attack" but I'll let that one go and hope for your sake that the moderators don't spot it. I'm not interested in getting into personal battles, but there are a lot of interesting issues here that are raised by what you have said. You're welcome to contribute to my thread, as far I'm concerned.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 08:20 AM

Go on....have the last word.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Supporting the weight of the arm on the fingers - a video! - 11/30/10 08:29 AM

*sigh*