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2nd and 5th finger raising as I play scales. (Read 386 times)

Offline mila5405

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2nd and 5th finger raising as I play scales.
« on: May 05, 2021, 11:11:31 AM »
When I play a C scale and the thumb strikes F my 2nd and 5th finger suddenly raise above the keys while the 3rd and 4th finger hardly move at all. When the 2nd finger reach the G it is high above it and the 3rd finger somtimes strike first.
Someone who have/had the same problem and what to do about it?
/Mikael

Offline lelle

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Re: 2nd and 5th finger raising as I play scales.
«Reply #1 on: May 05, 2021, 10:42:48 PM »
Things like this are hard to diagnose just based on a written description. Can you post a video of you playing the scale when it happens?

My first instinct would be to investigate if you are tensing up in some way when you use the thumb and shift position with the hand.

Can you have a naturally relaxed hand when you play the first three notes, C D E with 1 2 3? Can you then move your hand, still naturally relaxed, to the new position with the thumb on F, and play F G A B with 1 2 3 4, keeping it relaxed and supple? If so, can you keep this relaxation in the hand as you pass the thumb and shift the position? Sometimes we can kind of awkwardly try to force the thumb under the hand and press down to heavily on the thumb, but I don't know if that's your issue.

Offline mila5405

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Re: 2nd and 5th finger raising as I play scales.
«Reply #2 on: May 06, 2021, 06:05:11 AM »
Hi! When i try to move the thumb towards the 5 finger (whithout playing) ,compared with the left hand if definetly get more tense. The right thumbs bigger muscle somewhat restrain it from moving with ease . The same happens when I play. Using more rotation of the forearm I can minimise the tension and play relatively fast up to 144 beats keeping the fingers from raising but im losing force instead. Is there any exercise to make the thumb more flexible? Thx for answer Mikael

Offline lelle

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Re: 2nd and 5th finger raising as I play scales.
«Reply #3 on: May 06, 2021, 03:05:54 PM »
There are exercises but more importantly holding tension in your thumb is a habit that can be broken just with some awareness. In your daily life, is your right thumb loose and relaxed in all joints in all directions at all times? Use your left hand to check. If it feels stiff/sluggish to move using your left hand, figure out how to relax it until it becomes easy to move. Then go to the piano and check as you work on your playing - is the thumb as relaxed as it was away from the piano or are you stiffening it now? Then train yourself to let go of the tension again just as before.

Cortot has some exercises for stretching/loosening the thumb in Rational Principles of Pianoforte Technique but I'd advice against using those without teacher guidance as they can be dangerous without proper guidance.

That a change to your technique enabled you to play them at 144 without raising your fingers is a good sign. Be patient and allow yourself to not play with full force right now if that's what is needed. Adding power should not feel like using more force/effort. It should feel as effortless as playing softly. Figure that out and you'll be good to go.

Offline brogers70

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Re: 2nd and 5th finger raising as I play scales.
«Reply #4 on: May 06, 2021, 04:10:24 PM »
A gentle exercise for the thumb is simply to play chromatic scales 1-2-1-2-1-2....without regard to whether the thumb is on a black or white key. If you stay relaxed I don't think you can hurt yourself doing it.

Offline mila5405

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Re: 2nd and 5th finger raising as I play scales.
«Reply #5 on: May 06, 2021, 08:35:18 PM »
Hi! I'm grateful for all your advices. My right thumb is stiffer than my left from time to time. Im also very stiff in the hand between  2nd and 3rd knuckles and bones in the hand. I try your advice lelle. Thumbs up for advice/Mikael

Offline lelle

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Re: 2nd and 5th finger raising as I play scales.
«Reply #6 on: May 06, 2021, 10:01:27 PM »
Do you use a computer mouse a lot? I know that can make my right hand a bit tense.

Offline mila5405

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Re: 2nd and 5th finger raising as I play scales.
«Reply #7 on: May 07, 2021, 06:36:45 AM »
Yes I use the datormouse a lot as I arrange music. Regarding 2nd 3 finger i can easy take a 5th interval whereas the right can take a 4rth. I also have broad fingers who not easily fit between the black keys.