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Piano question

  1. Apr 17, 2008 #1
    Does anyone here play piano?

    I recently learned Fur Elise but the more I play it the more my pinky muscle gets sore and usually I just have to quit in the middle of the song from these weird pinky muscle spasms. Does anyone know how I can make my pinky muscle stronger? Will it eventually be easier to play? I speak of the pinky on my right hand.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2008 #2
    Right, when you're playing take a look at what you're pinky is doing. If while playing the notes using other finger, you're pinky is making up-right posture (not curled or relaxed in as usual) you're tiring your pinky when not using it. Hmm....it's very difficult to explain but let me try one more time. Put your right on top of the white keys, just relax your hands on the keys. Now with your thumb, press Do. Then with your index press Re. and so on. As you do this exercise, watch your pinky. Your pinky should not move much as you're going from Do, Re, Mi and until you're using your pinky to press Sol key. But if you find your pinky going straight up along the key side, you need expert's help. Get a piano teacher. If you can't afford to have piano teacher and you just want to learn to play easy peaces, then practice Hannon's Study for fingering enhancement.
     
  4. Apr 17, 2008 #3
    Piano is not my forte. I've heard that using Hannon's book for finger exercises will increase the strength of all of your fingers evenly.
     
  5. Apr 17, 2008 #4
    My piano teacher made me play Hannon at least one hour a day, before practicing actual pieces, for a couple of year or so. It makes wonders from a technical pooint of view. If you want to play piano seriously, you need to practice everyday, a fairly long amount of time. It is very enjoyable.
     
  6. Apr 17, 2008 #5

    tiny-tim

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    Hi ehrenfest! :smile:

    First … stop doing it (at least until you've taken professional advice).
    Second … if you're getting muscle spasms, you should consult a doctor or an occupational therapist, preferably one with experience in music, before you do any permanent damage.

    Third … I assume you're playing with curved fingers. Have you tried playing with flat fingers (like some famous rock pianists).

    Fourth … hold your hand out flat. Bend your index finger to meet your palm (leaving the others still). Then the next one. Then the next one. Now the pinky … does it go straight down like it should, or does it hit the next one and refuse to move off it?

    Fifth … are you right-handed? Do you relax your pinky when you're writing, or do you clench it against your hand?
     
  7. Apr 17, 2008 #6
    Can anyone bend their middle, ring, or pinky fingers down towards their palm leaving the others still?

    I clench it against my hand. Is that bad?
     
  8. Apr 17, 2008 #7
    I googled "Hannon's Study" piano and the only thing I got was this thread.
     
  9. Apr 17, 2008 #8
    Not absolutely still, but nearly so. But my pinky drags the ring finger with it, even though the ring finger does not drag the pinky.
     
  10. Apr 17, 2008 #9
  11. Apr 17, 2008 #10

    brewnog

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    Assuming you don't have some musculoskeletal problem, get a finger exerciser; usually sold in rock climbing shops; and strengthen that little bastard up.
     
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