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Topic: Help with technique and tension issues?  (Read 1797 times)

Offline cyray7

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Help with technique and tension issues?
on: July 18, 2016, 07:13:42 AM
I have been learning to play piano for a while now but I've been having a lot of problems lately continuing to make progress. I can't afford a teacher right now so it is hard for me to get good consistent feedback on my playing.

I've noticed when I'm playing faster songs, or songs with a lot of big chords and octaves, my arms start to feel tired and a little sore afterwords. They don't hurt per se, but it feels kind of like the same feeling after you lifted weights at the gym (maybe it is lactic acid buildup?). I feel tired after playing for about 20 minutes but  I can keep playing for over an hour if I take breaks. Any advice you have on reducing tension or improving my technique would be great.


Chopin's Nocturne in C# Minor:

Handel's Passacaglia:


Thank you for any tips you have! I always tell myself to relax and go slowly, but I'm still experiencing so much fatigue.

Offline marijn1999

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Re: Help with technique and tension issues?
Reply #1 on: July 18, 2016, 07:52:37 AM
Well, I'm not a teacher so I won't be able to give you "professional" advice (whatever that means, I think a lot of piano teacher teach by ways of their own experience).

You should always stop playing for at least five minutes when your arms start to feel tired. Soreness afterwards might be a sign of myalgia (muscle pain). If this is caused by playing piano, you're either doing something wrong, or you simply play more than your current physique allows you to (in regards to piano). To make sure your arms won't get tired after playing, you should always have a feeling of flexibility and freedom of movement in your arms. As soon as they will tighten up you will indeed most likely experience muscle soreness afterwards.

I watched your videos and your playing is fine however, and mostly in the nocturne, your movements seem like they're very exorbitant. Try keeping your hands in more closed positions, that is, only move your hand to another positions when your forced to. Also make use of more fingers. In the right hand you just jump around your hand so you can play the notes with more easy and more controlable fingers. I know it is more easy to control your 2nd and 3th fingers, but as soon as you'll play even faster pieces (btw, please don't say songs  :'() you simply won't be able to play this way.

Now, that's about it. Remember, I'm no teacher and I'm me and you're you. What I'm trying to say with that is that whatever might work for me, doesn't neccesarily has to work for you to. But these are pretty general applicable advices an I hope they'll help you.

BW,
Marijn
Composing and revising old pieces.
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Visit my YouTube channel! (https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCR0LNNGEPY002W1UXWkqtSw)

Offline kuska

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Re: Help with technique and tension issues?
Reply #2 on: July 18, 2016, 11:41:47 AM
As far as I can observe you're very strung up. Look at your shoulders. It's all like a piece of wood and only your fingers (not even the wrists) move. Not sure how much is the stress of being recorded and what is usual.

I have also problems with tension but I'm quite stressed out. All I can say from my experience, it only helps practising being relaxed. Focus on your muscles and experiment a bit. A good exercise is to conduct an invisible choir with your hands using soft, relaxed moves. If you're getting more stressed out once you sit by the piano I guess some mental work is necessary also. It's not that simple but we can fix many problems by just talking them through in our heads ;)

Offline kav3nrhul3

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Re: Help with technique and tension issues?
Reply #3 on: July 18, 2016, 02:55:30 PM
if you cant a afford a teacher try out Piano Marvel.  Its 12 dollars  a month.  no i dont work for them but i do use them even in my classes with my students. 

Like the previous statement stated, take at least a 5 minute break.  Eventually you will not get this feeling anymore.  Keep up the good work, your hard work will pay off.

Offline kuska

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Re: Help with technique and tension issues?
Reply #4 on: July 18, 2016, 05:20:37 PM
if you cant a afford a teacher try out Piano Marvel.  Its 12 dollars  a month.  no i dont work for them but i do use them even in my classes with my students

Interesting. How does it compare to Synthesia? I'm also looking a teacher so it might be a help. What grades of students you think can work with it?

Offline pianoplayer002

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Re: Help with technique and tension issues?
Reply #5 on: July 19, 2016, 11:20:35 AM
Looking at your video I can see your triceps flexes almost every time you play a note. This indicates you are pressing down with your forearm instead of letting your fingers sink like weights into the keys. In other words what you are doing is every time you play a note you are consciously moving your forearm down to help the fingers get the key down, but it should be the fingertips that start this motion, and the forearm should just passively follow. It also indicates that your shoulders are tight. They need to be absolutely loose. You can test this by grabbing your right elbow with your left hand and try to move it around while playing something with your right hand (and vice versa). If you feel any resistance in any direction you are too tense. The same goes for the wrist.
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