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When I studied piano my teacher told me about the same problem he had when he was practicing a couple of hours a day. Sounded very similar to your problem. He couldn't play anymore after a while, the pain in his fingers became too strong for him.

He then developed a special playing technique he simply called "shift of emphasis", which basically means using the natural weight of your arm for playing instead of only using the movement of your fingers for the attack of each note.

He let me do special exercices for more than 6 months. I had to learn how to use the weight of my arm and how to benefit from gravity instead of pressing keys with my fingers. It was all about consiousness and awareness of tension in your body. I almost stopped playing during that time and trained myself in awareness and relaxation at the right moments while hitting a key. When I started again after 6 month I was able to adapt that exercises to my playing and suddenly the whole instrument felt and sounded completely different. I'm grateful for what he showed me and it still works today when I practice, although I'm not practicing that much at the moment.

There are lots of pianists working with comparable or similar techniques, most of the ones I know coming from a classical music approach (like most of Claudio Arrau's students for example).
My teacher completely recovered from his sufferings and played the late Beethoven sonatas until he was in his eighties. So maybe as long time perspective it's a good idea to find a teacher teaching that method ... just an idea.

Get well soon!
Jo
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
When I studied piano my teacher told me about the same problem he had when he was practicing a couple of hours a day. Sounded very similar to your problem. He couldn't play anymore after a while, the pain in his fingers became too strong for him.

He then developed a special playing technique he simply called "shift of emphasis", which basically means using the natural weight of your arm for playing instead of only using the movement of your fingers for the attack of each note.

He let me do special exercices for more than 6 months. I had to learn how to use the weight of my arm and how to benefit from gravity instead of pressing keys with my fingers. It was all about consiousness and awareness of tension in your body. I almost stopped playing during that time and trained myself in awareness and relaxation at the right moments while hitting a key. When I started again after 6 month I was able to adapt that exercises to my playing and suddenly the whole instrument felt and sounded completely different. I'm grateful for what he showed me and it still works today when I practice, although I'm not practicing that much at the moment.

There are lots of pianists working with comparable or similar techniques, most of the ones I know coming from a classical music approach (like most of Claudio Arrau's students for example).
My teacher completely recovered from his sufferings and played the late Beethoven sonatas until he was in his eighties. So maybe as long time perspective it's a good idea to find a teacher teaching that method ... just an idea.

Get well soon!
Jo
Thanks Jo! I'm seeing a pretty famous teacher Monday in NYC, John Bloomfield. He's from the Golandsky Institute, they teach a lot of pianists with injuries and retrain them. Thanks again and have a great holiday. Phil
 

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My stupidity is unbridled.

I got a harmonica when I was forced to remain supine for several hours a day, and could not practice sax.

Small, light, what could go wrong?

So I practiced harmonica 10 hours a day for two days in a row and gave myself "harmonica elbow" (tendonitis).

That may sound like a joke (well, it IS a joke), but tendonitis is a real thing and a very painful and limiting thing.

It took me 3 MONTHS to recover. My left arm was in a sling for 2 weeks.

From that experience I learned to take it easy, work up to any new task gradually, and to remember moderation in all things.

[I wish. Now that is a real joke.]
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
My stupidity is unbridled.

I got a harmonica when I was forced to remain supine for several hours a day, and could not practice sax.

Small, light, what could go wrong?

So I practiced harmonica 10 hours a day for two days in a row and gave myself "harmonica elbow" (tendonitis).

That may sound like a joke (well, it IS a joke), but tendonitis is a real thing and a very painful and limiting thing.

It took me 3 MONTHS to recover. My left arm was in a sling for 2 weeks.

From that experience I learned to take it easy, work up to any new task gradually, and to remember moderation in all things.

[I wish. Now that is a real joke.]
It doesn't make you stupid, just passionate. I was practicing as much as sixteen hours a day. You can't help loving something. Phil
 

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Are you still on the quinine and prednisone? If so you might want to consider stop taking them. A lot of times taking multiple medications ends up with side-effects piled upon side-effects until you lose any semblance of a baseline. And have you tried things like stretching as part of PT? Might alleviate some of the cause of cramping that started the whole pack of dominoes. I’ve even found that sometimes when I’m prone to cramping eating bananas helps (potassium levels can be a factor in cramps).
 
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