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Topic: Wrist, forearm, and shoulder tension on right arm  (Read 3401 times)

Offline yechanee

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Wrist, forearm, and shoulder tension on right arm
on: March 16, 2017, 04:06:22 AM
Hey guys! Look time lurker, first time poster :)

I'm a 17 year old pianist who has been playing for around 10 years.

Three days ago, I was speeding up the presto con fuoco (ending) section of Chopin's Ballade #1. I made a mistake of jumping too fast on the metronome - to the point where I neglected any kind of pain or discomfort.

Though my left arm seems to be fine, the next morning I noticed a substantial stiffness to my wrist/forearm area. Being cautious, I only practiced for 10 minutes to see if I can play or not. I decided not to play for the next couple of days and have alerted my teacher about the issue.

I noticed later on in the day both my shoulders have some kind of tension to them as well. I've looked around in the forums but I desperately want to get help from this forum.

The stiffness is still there - I feel like relaxing is a bit impossible as of now. Do you guys have any suggestions towards what I should do now/in the future?
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Offline louispodesta

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Re: Wrist, forearm, and shoulder tension on right arm
Reply #1 on: March 24, 2017, 11:42:08 PM
Hey guys! Look time lurker, first time poster :)

I'm a 17 year old pianist who has been playing for around 10 years.

Three days ago, I was speeding up the presto con fuoco (ending) section of Chopin's Ballade #1. I made a mistake of jumping too fast on the metronome - to the point where I neglected any kind of pain or discomfort.

Though my left arm seems to be fine, the next morning I noticed a substantial stiffness to my wrist/forearm area. Being cautious, I only practiced for 10 minutes to see if I can play or not. I decided not to play for the next couple of days and have alerted my teacher about the issue.

I noticed later on in the day both my shoulders have some kind of tension to them as well. I've looked around in the forums but I desperately want to get help from this forum.

The stiffness is still there - I feel like relaxing is a bit impossible as of now. Do you guys have any suggestions towards what I should do now/in the future?
Here we go again with what I suspect is another fake Pianostreet post.

Okay, then let everyone assume that the OP (playing after 10 years) just got to the point in his/her pianistic development wherein he/she could even learn, much less play this particular work.   Then, let us assume that he/she has no current teacher, and maybe has never had a teacher, etc.

Accordingly, then just let those who post on this website just "fix his/her problem;"  that is without any associated video exemplifying exactly what the actual problem is.  Hey, I do not know what so-called "stiffness in the wrist" is unless I am actually looking at it.

Conversely, my video, before you Trolls even think about going there, is professionally produced and edited.

Please, let us have the OP show us the same, which has been consistently demanded of LHP!

Offline dogperson

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Re: Wrist, forearm, and shoulder tension on right arm
Reply #2 on: March 25, 2017, 12:07:06 AM
Here we go again with what I suspect is another fake Pianostreet post.

Okay, then let everyone assume that the OP (playing after 10 years) just got to the point in his/her pianistic development wherein he/she could even learn, much less play this particular work.   Then, let us assume that he/she has no current teacher, and maybe has never had a teacher, etc.

Accordingly, then just let those who post on this website just "fix his/her problem;"  that is without any associated video exemplifying exactly what the actual problem is.  Hey, I do not know what so-called "stiffness in the wrist" is unless I am actually looking at it.

Conversely, my video, before you Trolls even think about going there, is professionally produced and edited.

Please, let us have the OP show us the same, which has been consistently demanded of LHP!


Louis, before you get on your 'troll behind every bush' you should re-read the original post.  He has  a teacher but wanted to know if anyone else has had this issue and what they did.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Wrist, forearm, and shoulder tension on right arm
Reply #3 on: March 25, 2017, 01:43:05 AM
Here we go again with what I suspect is another fake Pianostreet post.
Oh good you finally realize your posts are so fake.

Okay, then let everyone assume that the OP....
We need to assume you are not delusional to take your posts seriously... nah far too many assumptions required.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Wrist, forearm, and shoulder tension on right arm
Reply #4 on: March 25, 2017, 01:54:08 AM
I was speeding up the presto con fuoco
From slow and controlled movements you can generate a lot of speed. You should not practice speed as such but controlled motions which are controlled by movements that correlate with the faster movements. Ask your teacher how slow practice leads to fast. Do not try to generate fast movements if you cannot control what you are doing at slower tempos, you merely play with unnecessary tension. Don't use technique within slow tempo that do not relate to faster movements.

I neglected any kind of pain or discomfort.
You mean you neglected to pay attention to any kind of pain or discomfort that you had while playing. That is your problem clear and simple. When things start to hurt or you feel tired you need to stop and rest. Anyone who pig headedly pushes through this and doesn't listen to their body sets themselves up for pain. This can occur in any physical activity you do.

Though my left arm seems to be fine, the next morning I noticed a substantial stiffness to my wrist/forearm area.
This is simply normal, you get the same problem playing sports and not stretching properly beforehand or pushing yourself too hard.

Being cautious, I only practiced for 10 minutes to see if I can play or not. I decided not to play for the next couple of days and have alerted my teacher about the issue.
Not playing is wise, take this as a lesson not to push yourself and play with pain.

I feel like relaxing is a bit impossible as of now.
Why bother playing if you are in pain you merely will aggravate the damage you have done.

Do you guys have any suggestions towards what I should do now/in the future?
Listen to your body, if it hurts you are doing something wrong. Technical acrobatics can always be trained with soft slow motions. You can always simplify the score and still preserve movements relating to the complete score, this is wise when practicing large intervals or exhausting passages. When playing with efficient technique what you are doing feels easy on the hands there is little tension or fatigue no matter how difficult the passage is, so if you feel tense don't think that is normal it is evidence of inefficient technique.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
www.pianovision.com

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Wrist, forearm, and shoulder tension on right arm
Reply #5 on: March 25, 2017, 10:59:00 PM
"I was speeding up the presto con fuoco."  Okay, as I stated before, if there is no accompanying video, just what does that mean.  I do not have a crystal ball, do you?

I do not have the faintest idea what his right hand is "actually" doing, properly or improperly.

Therefore, I suppose that in a mythical universe I, or anyone else, can post an interrogatory on whatever topic because I say so.  Personally, I cite, and always cite, source and/or sources.

If, after ten years, this pianist has never met obtained a video camera, AND HAS A TEACHER, then what is the problem with just showing the rest of us totally untrusting/ignorant trolls (not me) what exactly the problem is!

Offline keypeg

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Re: Wrist, forearm, and shoulder tension on right arm
Reply #6 on: March 26, 2017, 03:54:14 PM
There was a time when students were totally on their own.  When I started taking lessons on the first instrument on which I took lessons, forums were still in their infancy.  Problems surfaced about a year in that got rapidly worse, and could not be solved in lessons.  I joined my first music forum at that time.  My questions were awkward, confusing, circular, because I was a novice and lost.  A lot of the advice I got was off the mark, but a few were given with expertise, and were enough on target to help me gradually see things properly.  It even helped, eventually, for a better interface with the teacher I had.
At that time when I was new, vulnerable, and lost, there were also some characters in that forum who were nasty, unfriendly, threw accusations at me.  As a novice you are in awe of all these "superior" folks with years of experience, who may be teachers (authority figures with both meanings of "authority") or full musicians, so such accusations are both hurtful and intimidating. Some were due to jaundiced suspicious natures of people who had seen bad things in life, and some were simply due to power hungry folks who liked to put down others in order to make themselves feel big.  Regardless, there was nothing helpful in this.  I went through stages of feeling like I was a "bad student", a person with character flaws, and whatnot - all of it wrong - and all of it due to that.

I am GLAD these forums exist.  I am glad that people are no longer condemned to ignorance and lack of resources in their little corners.  I want anyone who needs help to be able to ask for that help without being intimidated, belittled, or whatever else.  Those who want to help, can help.  Those who don't want to, shouldn't.  Asking a question does not harm anyone.  Suppressing their sense of freedom to do so can create harm.  Receiving the wrong kinds of answers and applying them without question can also create harm - but that is up to the asker.

Offline mrcreosote

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Re: Wrist, forearm, and shoulder tension on right arm
Reply #7 on: April 16, 2017, 08:04:37 AM
Baloney... ignorance still abounds!

I'm 64 years old and have been playing since I was 6 and not even one year ago I learned about arm weight and rotation (and also "playing outside" in jazz 2 weeks ago which really pisses me off.)

I had teachers into my 20's and they had no clue about technique:  "just practice slowly and make your fingers little pistons."  Arghhhhhhhh....

About 10-15 years ago, I had an epiphany that playing piano was like sports and Marshall arts where everyone knows you have to be completely relaxed to do anything related to speed, power, and accuracy.

It is my fear that there are still teachers out there that don't know how to help someone "perfect their swing."

Seriously, studying wing chun will help. 

AND learn to play a fine pianissimo.
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