Poll: do you wash your hands before playing?

Posted by: plays88skeys

Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 11:41 AM

I always do, and insist that everyone else do the same before they lay hands on the keys.

My teacher doesn't ask her students to wash up, but she does wipe down the keyboard after each one leaves and before the next one plays.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 12:13 PM

True story - I spent 20 years as a jazz pianist for a military big band. The piano in the rehearsal room was considered to be a 'public access' instrument (unlike the personal trumpets, saxes and trombones). Every day for those 20 years of rehearsals I would Windex the keys. I wouldn't dream of playing someone else's instrument but a piano is fair game.

I really hate oil or a film on any piano keys I play and always bring along Windex when I have to play an acoustic piano. If I'm using my own equipment, nobody touches it. I also have the same thing about the steering wheel on my car. I no longer care if anyone thinks this is compulsive or neurotic behavior. If you've ever used a public telephone or a computer keyboard at an internet café, you know what I'm talking about.
Posted by: Matt G.

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 12:19 PM

Aww, do I have[/b] to? My hands are already clean! Oh, man[/b]!!!! ;\)

Funny thing is that I almost always play just after I wash the dishes. My piano, however, is not in a publicly-accessible place.
Posted by: sleepingcats

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 12:26 PM

Yes, I always wash my hands before I practice. And sometimes when I wasn't planning on practicing, I play just because I happened to wash my hands after doing something like washing dishes/cleaning house, scooping the litter box, etc.
Posted by: pianojuggler

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 12:36 PM

Almost always. It's just that I rarely 'sit down and practice'. I'm doing several other things, and each time I pass by the piano, I plop down and run through my pieces once or twice, then get up and do something else.

My piano teacher insists that all of her students wash their hands before touching the piano. With up to ten different people a day playing it, a teacher's piano could very well become second-most active germ-exchange in town (after the day care center).
Posted by: jdsher

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 02:16 PM

My teacher doesn't insist on any hand washing before playing and I wish she would. Like Matt G and Sleepingcats I usually play after washing the dishes. My son is supposed to wash before playing, but sometimes I'll sit down and see slime on the keys. I usually just wipe down with a chamois.
Jon
Posted by: netizen

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 02:19 PM

No.
Posted by: signa

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 02:20 PM

i don't usually do unless my hands are not clean and dry. but, to me, the important thing is actually a clean keyboard to start with (just like computer keyboard). i don't like to play on dirty and sticky keys.
Posted by: cathys

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 03:12 PM

Same as signa but I do ask the boys to wash before they practice. They always have dirty hands and like Jon I know they sometimes slip by because I find the results. The teacher doesn't ask them to wash before lessons but if we are just coming from school I will make sure he takes a quick trip to the bathroom first when we arrive to wash up.
I hate dirty/sticky keys too.

Cathy
Posted by: plays88skeys

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 04:05 PM

When I visit my mother for more than a weekend, I usually get piano withdrawal syndrome; the cure most readily available to me there is the Kawai grand in her club. But...the keys are absolutely filthy! They are dingy with whiter spots where fingers have been. I've been pretty desperate for a practice to play this instrument! I can't believe the piano isn't better maintained. And I immediately wash my hands after playing it, telling myself over and over "don't touch your face!"

But I have a much rosier future ahead for withdrawal fixes. Mom's moving to a retirement community in November that has three Steinway grands -- 2 Ls and a B. And they are spotless! \:\)
Posted by: Ben D.

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 04:13 PM

Nope. Too lazy. And my piano has developed immunites to that sort of thing anyways.
Posted by: pete

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 04:31 PM

Yes!
Posted by: MitchE

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 05:01 PM

I try to remember to wash my hands, but I often forget. It's not like my hands are very dirty, anyway. Plus, no one else uses my piano.

One thing I cannot[/b] stand is when people eat chips at the computer and grease up the keyboard and mouse.
Posted by: kathyk

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 05:03 PM

Only if I've been ... oh, never mind.
Posted by: kathyk

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 05:04 PM

Plays, you ought to take a little stash of moist wipes next time you go. Do them and yourself both a favor!
Posted by: Shrek

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/27/04 06:47 PM

My teacher insists on his students washing their hands before they play. I do it just to warm up my hands.
Posted by: Hammerklavier

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/28/04 10:15 AM

Yes, and I hate it when the tuner comes!
Posted by: Roxane

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/28/04 10:39 AM

To those who wash your hands, why do you do it? I can understand asking children to wash their hands before playing, but unless my hands are moist or sticky, I don't see the need. After 3 years, my piano does not seem the worse for wear. Is it a psychological aversion to germs or something? If anyone says it is because a sticky keyboard is a hinderance to playing, then I would say that their technique is probably questionable!
Posted by: HermanM

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/28/04 10:53 AM

I do it every time out of respect for the instrument, basically. I'd like to keep the keyboard in as good a condition as possible. By the same token, I close the fall board after I'm done playing - I've got a bunch of cats and a dog, so pet hair is the one ubiquitous thing in my life.
You're saying a sticky keyboard is not[/b] a hinderance? WOW. I've never played on one, but if I did I think I would indeed find it a hinderance. How many recitals by professionals have I seen where they wipe the keyboard down with a cloth right before playing - maybe they've got an issue with sticky keyboards too.
Posted by: teachum

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/28/04 11:55 AM

If I know I have been doing somethng slimy or dirty - yes. Otherwise I just check them out. However, when new piano comes I think that will change. I will require the kids to wash their hands before playing piano when I take my spinet to my classroom this year. One of the rules! I also make them wash their hands quite often before reading groups! \:D My hubbie says they are walking germ bags!
Posted by: jazpianizt

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/28/04 04:40 PM

I'm with HermanM - out of respect for the instrument.
Posted by: Roxane

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/29/04 01:22 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by HermanM:
How many recitals by professionals have I seen where they wipe the keyboard down with a cloth right before playing - maybe they've got an issue with sticky keyboards too. [/b]
Maybe not sticky, but oily (from finger oils). Oily keyboards would be a problem since the fingers would have less grip but not sticky ones.
Posted by: lkplatow

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/30/04 12:09 PM

Has anyone seen the lysol commercial where the mom has two little kids playing her piano, then she takes a can of lysol and douses the entire keyboard. Yikes!

Oh, and to the question, no, it never occurred to me to do so. I'm the only one who plays and I have little kids who require multiple diaper changes so I wash my hands about 300 times a day anyhow.
Posted by: 5418

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/31/04 01:30 PM

I usually do only after playing with my dog \:\) , except for those few days a month when he's actually clean.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/31/04 01:47 PM

I wash my hands, and my keyboard, everytime before playing.
Posted by: MusicMagellan

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 08/31/04 02:31 PM

Always wash my hands first. Just an automatic habit.

Frank B.: I read somewhere that Arthur Rubinstein preferred to play unwashed piano keys because he felt it gave him a better grip on the keys. But I, like yourself, prefer washed keys. They just feel better to me that way. However, I find washing then about once a week is sufficient for my needs. (I'd guess regular hand washing helps in this regard.)
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 05:21 AM

Yes.

But what is funny - for me - is I live in a shack (let's call it a studio) with holes in the walls. My computer keyboard and screen have layers of moon dust. I will stop there.

But the grand piano is cover with a beautiful piano cover that came with the piano, keys are exposed only when I play - else closed. The piano "lid" will remain closed until I can play Fur Else. And then only to play special pieces I have learned.

I keep the keys covered of the keyboards - and now that I have a piano I generally wash before playing the keyboards, too.

Fingerprints are created by oils released from the skin, but I don't need oil on the keys to move around!
So I like to key "it" clean.

I would hate to slip on a key, sharp or flat, of an otherwise perfect performance as a beginner ! ! ! - even though I never have an audience.
Posted by: Stephen300o

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 06:11 AM

I play so badly, I wash my hands after I play.
Posted by: jdw

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 07:45 AM

No, not unless my hands feel dirty. But like signa, my hands are usually pretty clean and I can't stand any dirt on my piano keys.
Posted by: StefaanBelgium

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 07:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Stephen300o
I play so badly, I wash my hands after I play.

That was funny smile
I wash my hands often before playing. I don't like a slippery keyboard...
How do you guys clean the keyboard? Can alcohol swipes be used or only water and soap ?
Posted by: manyhands

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 08:10 AM

I've resolved to not use a hose to clean either my motorcycle or my piano.
Posted by: Farmerjones

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 08:31 AM

Short answer, no.
While i wouldn't play any piano with dirty hands, dry hands trump washed hands. It's a violin thing. Depending on the weather, it can take hours for my hands to dry completely.
Also, this is not a public piano. Aren't escalator rails the nastiest things? Sorry for the OT. smile
Posted by: R0B

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 08:42 AM

I don't make a point of it, but I may have randomly washed my hands before playing.
Having said that, I don't remember the last time I had a cold, or gastro.

Life's too short...
Posted by: Barbareola

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 09:27 AM

I always wash my hands.

Part of me it is habit. Getting into the piano playing mood, so to speak.

The other reason... in my student days I worked at a call center, luckily one of the better once. They took great pains to clean the computer keyboards and computer mice, due to studies about the transmission of illnesses at the work place. Those studies showed that between sharing a bathroom, sharing keyboard and computer mice and shaking hands, the most common way to catch a cold from somebody was to share keyboard and computer mice, then shake hands and sharing bathrooms came last.

So, a lot more than we like to think sticks to those things. That kinda stuck in my head. So the idea is basically to make sure there is as little as possible to leave behind before I touch the keys.

And yeah - it is also out of respect for the instrument....
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 10:22 AM

No, only when they feel or look dirty
Posted by: PaperClip

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 11:41 AM

Only when I visit my teacher. I ride to her on a bicycle which is always left outside. And I never clean my bicycle. I always clean my hands after riding my bike anyways.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 12:44 PM

I'm not in any other sense obsessed with cleanliness, but I am regarding the piano keyboard. I wash my hands before every practice session, and I wipe down the keys at least every other day.

Maybe I just have oily fingers, but I definitely notice an increased slipperiness on the black keys if I go even one day without cleaning the keys.

The fewer obstacles I have, the better!

I agree with FarmerJones, though, that when it comes to playing my stringed instrument, I'm much more sensitive to problems of wet hands than any issues about cleanliness. I hate to touch the strings on my bass -- or even the bow -- when my hands are wet.
Posted by: jdw

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 01:34 PM

I've had some guests who seemed to think I was neurotic about the piano because I wouldn't let them put their drinks down on it. Guess I can tell them they're lucky I don't make them wash their hands!
Posted by: outo

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 02:05 PM

I do wash my hands if I haven't done it recently. But that presents a problem, because during the winter time my hands get so dry that my fingertips are really slippery. So I wash my hands, put lotion on them and then end up washing them again because I don't want that on the keys frown
Posted by: Roger Ransom

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 02:27 PM

I never do unless my hands are truly dirty (working in the yard or on my cars etc.). But then, I'm the only one playing it.

When I worked for a school district once, a Science class swabbed various things in the buildings, analyzed the results and found that the computer lab keyboards were the filthiest things in the school. Interestingly enough, the bathroom facilities were among the cleanest, whatever that means. Maybe it means most people wash their hand there but not in the computer labs.

After that, all the computer teachers cleaned the keyboards with alcohol pads in between classes.

I guess if I had a piano studio or lots of people playing my piano, my priorities would change.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 03:56 PM

I throw my digital on the back of my pickup truck and then drive through the automatic car wash with the windows down so that I too get scrubbed along with the truck and piano - once a month, whether we all need it or not... smile

However, every time I play lately it's been "gurgling" loudly and making a lot of bubbles - just like the machines that Lawrence Welk used to use for his "champagne music" way back in the day on B&W TV... laugh

I guess I'm going to have to start taking my leaf blower along to give it a blow-dry afterwards each time...good idea, huh? I'll bet that Disney's "Colors of the Wind" would sound great on it after that!
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 04:03 PM

I only wash my hands of posting in threads that are eight years old
















...oh, wait
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 04:58 PM

Usually.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/16/12 06:18 PM

No
Posted by: BenPiano

Re: Poll: do you wash your hands before playing? - 11/17/12 12:02 AM

The question should be:

Do you wash your hands after playing another piano?

(at the piano shop or out in public, or whatever)

My answer is - immediately!