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Thread: Indirect piano exercises

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mesa's Avatar
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    Default Indirect piano exercises

    Does anyone else practice non-musical (away from a keyboard) exercises?

    I was recommended one, the classic ambidextrosity increaser of consciously attempting most activities with my weak hand, in my case the left. I try to use my mouse, roll cigarettes, draw and drink/eat with the focus on the left whenever i remember. It works rather well, my left hand is gaining on the right in terms of unconscious control and general speed.

    I use one of these things:


    Which has resulted in my forearms being strangely large, but my grip strength and finger power are much greater, and i can play for easily twice as long without fatigue before i started using one. 20 minutes a day usually, alternating arms for a few months.

    Anyone tried any others?
    You're a crazy, penniless lobster doctor. No combination of you should be a comedian.

  2. #2
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    This is a bit more 'direct' but is often, to the uninitiated, counter-intuitive.

    On a flat surface, place your hand in that natural 'rounded' position, the basic 'piano position' - be sure your forearms are held about parallel to that plane, just as you would sit at a keyboard.

    LIFT - one finger at a time, as if you were preparing for a note strike.
    COMPLETELY RELAX ANY AND ALL TENSION SO CREATED - then 'drop' the finger to the surface - NO MUSCLE EFFORT AT ALL SHOULD BE INVOLVED WITH THE RELEASE OF THE FINGER FROM THE RAISED POSITION, the release of the tension and gravity should do all the work.

    Repeat, finger by finger.

    WHAT IT IS FOR:

    The 'supple' hand - the taking advantage, at split-second speed, of any relaxation which can be had at any given moment, even between two sixteenth notes in a rapid passage.

    Chopin was huge on the supple hand, most of the Etudes addressing the problem quite specifically. The moment the hand is not spread, or between playing an octave passage, for example and / or any and all other activity, the hand should tend to 'drop back,' as much as is possible, to its natural and relaxed position.

    Practiced correctly, eventually you will feel the 'drop' of the above exercise as near an executed 'snap' when it falls back into position.

    Can be done just about anywhere, the ideal in the position suggested, as you would sit at a piano. Opportunity abounds while in transit on a bus, subway, wherever basically, you don't need full concentration on, say, driving a vehicle or operating a chainsaw (LOL.) - to grab a moment here, there, and cumulatively, the time put in will start to show in your keyboard habits.

    The goal of this, the relax at any given opportunity, is well-known in all sports training. It has everything to do with not getting tight and or locked tight during performance: not expending unnecessary energy is very much part of what adds up to Stamina, the stamina required to perform longer complete works, or, brief as it is, something like the Prokofiev Toccata.
    Last edited by PetrB; Apr-16-2012 at 21:15.

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