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Topic: Polonaise obstacle!?  (Read 1071 times)

Offline billybraga

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Polonaise obstacle!?
on: May 13, 2021, 01:34:34 AM
Hi, im currently studying Chopins Polonaise op. 53, and im kinda stucked in the E major octaves. The problem is that even with 50% speed practice, my left shoulder hurts only in this part, dont know why. Has anyone ever experienced this or have tips to pass through this specific situation? Did I end up getting too far ahead? (keeping in mind that Ive finished reading this polonaise in 1 month more or less)
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Offline getsiegs

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Re: Polonaise obstacle!?
Reply #1 on: May 13, 2021, 03:20:04 PM
Quick disclaimer - I haven't learned this piece - but I have an idea about where that might be coming from. Perhaps you are playing these octaves with your forearm, meaning your wrist and elbow may be locked and your whole forearm comes up and down with every octave. When I make octave motions in this way, I can feel the tension in my upper arm and shoulder, which is why I think this could be the problem.

Maybe try playing these octaves more from the wrist. Your elbow should feel loose and there should be no stiffness from elbow to shoulder. While you're playing the octaves, let your wrist make a circular/flowing up-and-down motion because that should help you avoid tension and serve as a sort of micro-relaxation in between each octave.

Offline lelle

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Re: Polonaise obstacle!?
Reply #2 on: May 13, 2021, 10:51:02 PM
Hi, im currently studying Chopins Polonaise op. 53, and im kinda stucked in the E major octaves. The problem is that even with 50% speed practice, my left shoulder hurts only in this part, dont know why. Has anyone ever experienced this or have tips to pass through this specific situation? Did I end up getting too far ahead? (keeping in mind that Ive finished reading this polonaise in 1 month more or less)

Those octaves are a well known stunt that require a certain refinement of technique to pull off. Even if you can play them in tempo they can be very tiring for the forearm if you don't know how to be relaxed enough. That was the case for me when I first played it a few years ago. I have subsequently learned how to play those octaves without hurting or getting tired. Unfortunately I can't offer a quick fix as it has to do with your general technique. Things to look at include is your wrist stiff? Is your hand tense? Can you hold the octave span without tensing any of the fingers or the thumb? (Check that they are all soft even as you hold the span) I also found it helpful to use fingerings such as 5 3 4 5 in E major and 3 4 5 4 in D sharp major for the bottom notes, but realistically it needs to be possible with 5 5 5 5 or 5 4 4 5 etc as well.
 

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