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Topic Options
#368594 - 04/19/05 03:14 PM Help! I cant warm up
C.V. Alkan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 827
Loc: Denver, Colorado
I often spend hours at the piano before my hands warm up. Throughout the day, my hands are pretty warm, but when I start playing they become ice cold. It has become a real problem for me. I have started warming up hours before I perform, and I'm still cold when I sit down at the keys. The only method I have found that does me any good is putting my hands under warm water - but the warmth doesn't last long. I know that when I'm really warmed up I can play much better, I only wish I could warm up before a performance better.
I'm supposed to perform this saturday. does anyone have any advice?
_________________________
- Zack -

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#368595 - 04/19/05 03:34 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
DaWF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 233
Loc: Wisconsin
Here's my method:
1.)Every scale - Major/Melodic Minor
2.)Every Arpeggio
3.)Bach. Anything polyphonic would work, I use bach, try a fugue or something to get ready (Chopin did 8 before he played)
4.)Czerny

Works for me good luck

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#368596 - 04/19/05 03:44 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
C.V. Alkan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 827
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Thanks.

I embarrased to say, but I havn't played scales for years. It's a mistake I know. Perhaps I should relearn them and use them to warm up.
_________________________
- Zack -

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#368597 - 04/19/05 03:45 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
C.V. Alkan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 827
Loc: Denver, Colorado
How long does that normally take you WF?
_________________________
- Zack -

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#368598 - 04/19/05 03:45 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
DaWF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 233
Loc: Wisconsin
yes, all of music is made up of scales and chords, no exceptions, so scales are a bit important.

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#368599 - 04/19/05 04:09 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
Requiem Aeternam Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1395
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Make sure your wrists/forearms are covered, your wrists have some arteries close to the skin, this area and the neck apparently have them the closest to the skin in our entire body and if you have these areas covered the blood doesnt get cold from contact to outside air. I had a method I used to use where I cut out the bottom parts of 2 socks and put them over my wrists/forearms so they kept them warm and it seemed to work for me.
_________________________
"He who turns himself into a beast, gets rid of the pain of being a man."

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#368600 - 04/19/05 04:16 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
Rodolpho Portamento Fritzweil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/04
Posts: 340
 Quote:
Originally posted by C.V. Alkan:
I often spend hours at the piano before my hands warm up. Throughout the day, my hands are pretty warm, but when I start playing they become ice cold. [/b]
Perhaps it's the Raynaud' syndrome. My son (16) has it. His hands are constantly cold - yet he manages to play.

See http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/47/112.cfm

"Chill out to warm up. Staying cool and calm may help some people stay warm. Why? Stress creates the same reaction in the body as cold. It's the fight-or-flight phenomenon. Blood is pulled from the hands and feet to the brain and internal organs to enable you to think and react more quickly.

Calming techniques abound. Some, like progressive relaxation—in which you systematically tense, then relax the muscles from your forehead to your hands and toes—can be practiced at any time, in any place."


Search with Google for more information. As far as I know, there is no treatment for Raynaud' syndrome.

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#368601 - 04/20/05 01:48 AM Re: Help! I cant warm up
Sviatoslav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 97
Loc: Italy, Torino
It happens frequently also to me. I noticed that it's not only when I play piano but it happens also when I play chess. It seems related to an intense brain effort. And many times also my feet are cold as ice. Usually warm water helps (not for feet :-D). Trying to relax and to wear warmer clothes it's another option that usually helps to solve the issue.

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#368602 - 04/20/05 03:14 AM Re: Help! I cant warm up
Ronel Augustyn Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/05
Posts: 527
Loc: Bloemfontein,SA
Hi CV - I really hope that doesn't stand for Curriculum Vitae? Ha-ha: just a joke!

How about playing a few of your favorite pieces. first a few quick ones, then some slower stuff to get in the mood. Ive also heard that you musn't eat a lot before you play, otherwise a lot of your blood flows in your stomach and then there isn't enough blood in your fingers...

Are you a big eater?

pianist greetings
_________________________
lallie

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#368603 - 04/20/05 03:15 AM Re: Help! I cant warm up
Ronel Augustyn Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/05
Posts: 527
Loc: Bloemfontein,SA
Hi CV - I really hope that doesn't stand for Curriculum Vitae? Ha-ha: just a joke!

How about playing a few of your favorite pieces. first a few quick ones, then some slower stuff to get in the mood. Ive also heard that you musn't eat a lot before you play, otherwise a lot of your blood flows in your stomach and then there isn't enough blood in your fingers...

Are you a big eater?

pianist greetings
_________________________
lallie

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#368604 - 04/20/05 03:19 AM Re: Help! I cant warm up
Ronel Augustyn Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/05
Posts: 527
Loc: Bloemfontein,SA
Sorry guys, I really meant to post only once...
Don't know what happened?
_________________________
lallie

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#368605 - 04/20/05 03:35 AM Re: Help! I cant warm up
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
Warm water is not the best solution. Evaporating water has cooling properties, so when you take your hands out of warm water, they will cool off more quickly no matter how well you think you dired them.

Apple has a really good suggestion that she uses, you can do a search for it - upper right of screen. Also, fill a water bottle with water, heat in microwave, and use to warm your hands as you play.

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#368606 - 04/20/05 08:21 AM Re: Help! I cant warm up
TS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 869
Loc: Canada
Im pretty sure this is only a personal thing, but Ragtime really helps me warm up, or any piece that I know really well, and can play well without being "warmed up" for that matter. It seems to get the blood and confidence flowing.

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#368607 - 04/20/05 09:12 AM Re: Help! I cant warm up
NAK Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 2561
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by TS:
Im pretty sure this is only a personal thing, but Ragtime really helps me warm up, or any piece that I know really well, and can play well without being "warmed up" for that matter. It seems to get the blood and confidence flowing. [/b]
That's what they mean by relaxation. Never warm up by playing a very difficult piece. You can limber yourself up by blasting out some presto agitato octave passage, but to warm your hands up, play something that you know well and can play with little effort.

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#368608 - 04/20/05 02:07 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
C.V. Alkan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 827
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Thanks for the help everyone. I will try all of these methods. I often try to warm up with Chopin's revolutionary. It only works half the time. Perhaps I'll try ragtime instead... I found your comment on evaporating water interesting NAK, seing as how that has been my primary method. Ill try the water bottle instead.
_________________________
- Zack -

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#368609 - 04/20/05 03:37 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
C.V. Alkan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 827
Loc: Denver, Colorado
 Quote:
Originally posted by Phlebas:
Apple has a really good suggestion that she uses, you can do a search for it - upper right of screen.[/b]
I searched for this post, but couldn't find her suggestion. I found some other posts that referred to her suggestion, but not the suggestion itself. I would really like to read what it is. Do happen to remember what the thread was or could you give me a search term?

Thanks in advanced
_________________________
- Zack -

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#368610 - 04/20/05 04:43 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
I'm not positive, C.V. but I think she put (pre-cooked) rice in a sock and microwaved it for some (unremembered) period of time. The rice keeps its heat for quite a while, and the sock can be wrapped around your wrists or hands or whatever.


I hope I'm not gettng this confused with the "kitty-liter recycling contest" thread. \:D

They DO make those gelatine heating pads that can be warmed up in the microwave and hold their heat for 15 or 20 minutes.

The frontier solution for cold bed feet was to bake a potato because they hold heat for a long time too. (mashed don't work so well)

I think hot water works ok IF you have a towell to dry your hands/arms/whatever.

Bob

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#368611 - 04/20/05 06:04 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by C.V. Alkan:
I often try to warm up with Chopin's revolutionary. It only works half the time. [/b]
Oops... \:D

Lately I've been doing this:

Bach: Invention No. 1 in C
Bach: Invention No. 8 in F
Bach: Fugue in C Minor, WTC I
Bach: Prelude and Fugue in E-Flat Minor, WTC I
Bach: Prelude and Fugue in C Minor, WTC I (yes, again, but with the prelude this time)

That's a good warmup for me.

Then I lately seem to be going into two fast sections of the Beethoven Appassionata 1st movement (polishing it up for a recital next month), and occassionally I'll do some relatively slow work on the Revolutionary as well (should be polishing it up for a recital next month), speeding it up by increments.

These sort of add to my warmup, in addition to being some good practice.

The Bach pieces work really well for warmup, because I know them well, and they aren't terribly hard, technically. Although, the C Minor Prelude is a bit dextrous for me, so I can't start with that.
_________________________
Sam

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#368612 - 04/21/05 03:45 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
C,V. Now I use field corn in a tube sock secured with a rubber band... 2 to 3 minutes in the microwave and voila you have instant heat for about 30 minutes. I like rice too... You have to choose which you want to smell.

It was fantastic this winter.. I add scented geranium now to the grains.. You need new grains every 20 heatings. I like the corn after its' been heated several times.. it smells very natural.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#368613 - 04/21/05 10:50 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
C.V. Alkan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 827
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Thanks!
_________________________
- Zack -

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#368614 - 04/23/05 03:08 AM Re: Help! I cant warm up
Wombat66 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 262
Loc: Cornwall UK
I'd discuss it with a doctor. If your problem is due to peripheral vasospasm (Rayanuds disease)there are various drugs that may help.
Alcohol is a good vasodilator. But if your like me you'd have problems stringing together more than a few notes after a couple!

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#368615 - 04/23/05 09:12 AM Re: Help! I cant warm up
C.V. Alkan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 827
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Hah! I can't play at all after drinking.
_________________________
- Zack -

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#368616 - 04/24/05 09:49 AM Re: Help! I cant warm up
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3914
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
C. V. Alkan:

I suspect you're unable to warm up because you've been dead for 117 years:

Alkan biography

I'd restrain my efforts to traditional ghostlike activities, such as making eerie noises or rattling chains in the middle of the night.
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#368617 - 04/24/05 09:53 AM Re: Help! I cant warm up
LaPianista Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 89
Loc: New York City
Change your mindset to relaxed. Warm up is not all in the fingers, some is your mental attitude. We are all stressed from previous activities and things on our mind.. the quiet and relaxed mindset is best to accommodate music.. Also, hand lotion or moisturizer can help for dry hands, which sometimes causes you to slip off the keys.
I agree playing scales is excellent and especially running through the scales related to the piece you are going to play.
Play a few easier sonatas before attacking what you really want to lay for your piano session.
_________________________
To play the piano is to live again!

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#368618 - 04/24/05 12:51 PM Re: Help! I cant warm up
valeriu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 5
Loc: bucharest,romania
try to play 3 part voicing chords,c,d,e,f,g,a,b,c,like a bal,in staccato.

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