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Topic: cold hands  (Read 4494 times)

Offline Tash

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cold hands
on: April 25, 2004, 02:49:07 PM
hi, as the weather starts to get colder on this side of the world (australia), i have a problem with my hands in which they tend to get really cold and i have a bit of trouble trying to get the warm enough when starting to play in some form of fluent manner.
i was wondering if anyone has any tips on how to get my hands less stiff before i start my practice or performances (like before i do scales) other than just sticking my hands over a heater or something?

thanks
tash
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Offline newsgroupeuan

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Re: cold hands
Reply #1 on: April 25, 2004, 02:58:31 PM
Put your hands in your pockets.  I have cold hands also.

Offline bernhard

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Re: cold hands
Reply #2 on: April 25, 2004, 07:32:10 PM
Glenn Gould used to put his hands in warm water.

Here is an alternative:

Make big forward circles with your arms (with closed fists - with open fingers there will be too much blood pressure). Start slow and build up speed utill you are doing it really fast (as fast as you can). This will bring blood to your hands and instantly warm your hands. As you finish open and close your fingers several times.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline squinchy

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Re: cold hands
Reply #3 on: April 25, 2004, 09:09:46 PM
What a coincidence-I'm recovering from a nasty case of pernio (A mild frostbite that occurs in preteen girls, apparently). It took half an hour at the dermatologist's office-25 minutes to wait for her, 3 minutes to diagnose me, and 2 minutes telling me to wear gloves and keep my hands warm.  ::)

Some more innovative options:

1. Use a cream that has ginger in it. I use badger balm (www.badgerbalm.com). It smells awful but produces a warm-ish feeling that does warm the hands slightly. It also makes your hands soft and improves the cuticles.

2. Make hot tea/milk/water/cider and wrap your hands around it as you slowly sip.

3. Do jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and other forms of vigorous exercise.

4. Learn a bowed stringed instrument and practice that with cold hands. I find that a few scales on the viola warms my hands enough to practice the piano.

Good luck..and stay pernio free..
Support bacteria. They're the only type of culture some people have.

Offline donjuan

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Re: cold hands
Reply #4 on: April 25, 2004, 09:43:48 PM
Cold hands are, for me, a part of stage fright.  When I get nervous, my hands sweat.  The sweat evaporates stealing the heat from my hands.  since they are cold, I put gloves on them.  They then get sweaty again so I take the gloves off.  The sweat evaporates and...on and on...

What I have come to do before a performance is sneak off to the washroom to use the hand dryer.  I then come back ready to perform.

but.. you wanted other methods to warm hands up....well Bernhard probably knows what he is talking about..although it would be sort of a weird thing to do if you are coming from the audience to play on stage...
donjuan  

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: cold hands
Reply #5 on: April 26, 2004, 04:38:57 AM
Don't neglect cold muscles.  Since all but two of your finger muscles are in your hand, warming up the hand won't warm up the muscles.  The muscles that move your fingers are in your forearm.  (Go ahead and wiggle your fingers while looking at your forearm and watch them squirm!)  So what i did during the winter months was run warm water over both my hands and forearms.  Then I did what Bernhard had suggested, swing my arms around.  But I didn't stop there, I also exercised my entire body to warm up which was important for moving my arms over a wide range.

If you have a thermometer, you can check the temperature at which your hands feel cold.  And if you also have a heater, you should use it.  A difference of 2 degrees can make a lot of difference in your comfort.

Offline DarkWind

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Re: cold hands
Reply #6 on: April 26, 2004, 07:04:10 AM
Quote
The muscles that move your fingers are in your forearm.  (Go ahead and wiggle your fingers while looking at your forearm and watch them squirm!)  


Omg creepy, I never noticed that! :P

Offline Tash

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Re: cold hands
Reply #7 on: April 27, 2004, 02:21:15 PM
wow! now that is some interesting advice that i will try! thanks heaps all of you i'm sure i'll be free of cold hands from now on!
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Offline jeff

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Re: cold hands
Reply #8 on: April 27, 2004, 02:50:04 PM
schnabel apparently reccomended to his students that they put their hands under cold water  :-/

Offline janice

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tRe: cold hands
Reply #9 on: May 08, 2004, 08:27:50 AM
I wear mittens before I play, if it is winter.  I wear them as I am sitting there before I play.  Yes, I look dorky, but mittens are so much better than gloves.  My hands are more on the dry side than sweaty, so the "moisture" that comes with wearing mittens vs. gloves is a good thing for me!
Co-president of the Bernhard fan club!

Offline edouard

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Re: cold hands
Reply #10 on: May 08, 2004, 10:43:06 AM
I agree with Bernhard about the arm rotations which definitely work. A friend told me that putting your hands under hot water can be bad for the joints but that would have to be confirmed by some medic out there !
I find that cold hands can only be annoying at a recital which is why i never warm up my hands with anything normally (cups of tea, gloves, water) but on a recital day i make sure that i wear gloves before i play if the weather is cold to keep the heat. My old piano teacher who was a pupil of Cortots had this little metal round-shaped thing which had mercury inside (quite old) and which she put in the oven and then fitted in some pouch. You would put your hands on that and thaw out :)
hope this helps,
edouard

Offline CW

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Re: cold hands
Reply #11 on: May 08, 2004, 05:27:44 PM
I know this may sound a little weird, but to keep my hands warm, I sit on them (like place them under your thighs) or place them under your armpits or knees (not against bare skin of course!
Btw, I'm from australia too...freezzinnng as I type this :)

Offline Tash

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Re: cold hands
Reply #12 on: May 09, 2004, 02:28:49 PM
well i've been testing out the various methods of keeping my hands warm and i must say that they've been quite effective! especially the arm rotations (haha my sister walked in on me randomly swinging my arms around and was like 'what on earth are you doing') and holding a warm cup (mmm hot chocolate!). so i think my problem has been solved, so thankyou all!! oh and also, mittens are the bomb i love them! definately better than gloves, or better yet wear them over gloves and get double the warmth!
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Offline Jemmers

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Re: cold hands
Reply #13 on: May 10, 2004, 05:34:39 PM
Lol... i found this topic rather amusing because I live in Singapore (points if you know where it is). And over here it is unbelievably hot and humid. All year. Conducting science experiments at "room temperature" here involves adding ice to tap water to bring it down from 33 degrees celsius.

Anyway, at these temperatures you wouldn't think I'd need to keep my hands warm, but..... as it turns out, the whole friggin' country has some sort of a fetish for unbelievably cold air-conditioning... which totally freezes me out. I normally just try to stand OUTSIDE in the sun... which helps. If that's difficult, I'll warm them up by sitting on them, hot hand-dryers, wiggling, etc. I make it a point never to use water... because it gets warm, and then it evaporates and gets cold again... which quite defeats the purpose.

Offline ahmedito

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Re: cold hands
Reply #14 on: May 10, 2004, 11:36:57 PM
you know, for me, cold hands are a part of stage fright. I live in a subtropical zone, but my hands still used to freeze. For me, any handwarming method that involves water I hate, becaus my skin gets all sticky and I cant play well.... I Started the arm rotations a couple of years ago and they work wonders for your hands, apart from helpingyou relax your shoulders before playing. of course, the rotations should also be acompanied with forearm and wrist rotations (really slow so you dont hurt yourself)
For a good laugh, check out my posts in the audition room, and tell me exactly how terrible they are :)

Offline Bob

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Re: cold hands
Reply #15 on: May 12, 2004, 12:10:00 AM
I've noticed the past few years that my body has to adjust to  the cold weather.  My muscles are little more tense all the time with the cold weather.  Warming up is more important then (and depending on what you're playing...).

By the time you adjust to the weather and don't notice the cold, the seasons change...
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline krenske

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Re: cold hands
Reply #16 on: May 12, 2004, 07:19:46 AM
i can think of another option
"Horowitz died so Krenske could live."

Offline janice

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Re: cold hands
Reply #17 on: May 12, 2004, 09:13:58 PM
Quote
  Lol... i found this topic rather amusing because I live in Singapore (points if you know where it is).


Singapore is in Malaysia.  Where's my prize?!  LOL
Co-president of the Bernhard fan club!

Offline Noah

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Re: cold hands
Reply #18 on: May 12, 2004, 09:45:24 PM
Quote


Singapore is in Malaysia.  Where's my prize?!  LOL


The only prize you'll get is the one for the most ignorant person in this thread because Singapore is not in Malaysia... it is in the Republic of Singapore.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: cold hands
Reply #19 on: May 12, 2004, 10:29:55 PM
Singapore is right next to Malaysia.  It's hot and humid there.  Who the heck is complaining about it being too cold in Singapore? ;)

Offline Jemmers

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Re: cold hands
Reply #20 on: May 15, 2004, 09:56:46 AM
I am. This place has an insane amount of air-conditioning. If every air-conditioned room opened it's doors and windows we'd have a blizzard here.

Offline trunks

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Re: cold hands
Reply #21 on: May 30, 2004, 07:53:59 PM
Hong Kong is predominantly hot (at least very warm) and humid. Our winters are hopelessly short - usually from mid/late December through mid/late February - and have never plunged below freezing (0 degree C). It rarely plunges below 6C, if ever. The hands and feet, however, can be quite cold and stiff especially if the low temperatures are reinforced by wind.

On the long term, I take tonic herbal supplements (the main ingredients being ginseng, chia and Peruvian maca, among others). That could help to prevent the extremeties of the limbs from being cold even under chilly winters.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline StoreBrand

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Re: cold hands
Reply #22 on: June 02, 2004, 08:27:44 PM
They sell hand warmers (that last about 7 hours) in the fishing/hunting section of any department store.   My hands sweat a lot and my finger tips turn blue in the winter so I stock enough of them to last all winter.  

I don't know if they would help you much for performance but they make great mini-gifts for the winter!

Oh, and by the way, you'll never have problems with your hands getting cold in the winter if you stock up on these sort of hand warmers (found in the department store)...  but here is the website www.grabberwarmers.com

Offline goansongo

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Re: cold hands
Reply #23 on: June 10, 2004, 11:32:08 AM
Sit on your hands.  You could also try something like touching your stomach and leaving it there.  You need heat, and your body has plenty of it.  you just need to find a place that has plenty of heat.  

Offline Bob

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Re: cold hands
Reply #24 on: March 30, 2008, 01:15:10 AM
(Bob drags out another old thread.)

This also looks like a revived current topic.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."
 

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