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#22130 - 05/24/02 07:57 PM Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
MM Offline
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Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 348
On measure 11 in the 1st movement, it starts the Allegro di molto e con brio section. Most of the LH does octave tremolos? Anyway, my left wrist is relieved by the time it gets a break on measure 27. By the time I get to measure 132, I have to start that Allegro di molto e con.. section again, along with more octave tremolos. The problem is, my wrist starts hurting so much, that I can't finish out that section. I just have to skip it. I'm trying to make sure that I rotate my wrist, and to transfer the weight from my thumb to my pinky, but it still hurts. What am I possibly doing wrong?

M.M.

[ May 24, 2002: Message edited by: Miss Misti ]

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#22131 - 05/25/02 09:06 AM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
Eric Offline
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Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
Miss Misti,

Practice the octave rotation very slowly and check to see if the middle three fingers are relaxed while the weight shifts from 5 to 1. If fingers 2,3, and 4 are lifted, and if your knuckle is collapsed rather than arched, then that may be the source of the problem.

The remedy would be slow attentive practice as you re-learn how to play tremolos or broken octaves correctly. Verrrry slowly, try to master playing them with a supported arch and middle fingers like dough.

Good luck!

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#22132 - 05/25/02 09:47 AM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
Jason Offline
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Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I practice this passage in these ways:

1) In triplets instead of 16th notes, accenting each beat. (Accenting first the 5th finger then the thumb, etc...)

2) In rhythms - especially four sixteenths followed by a quarter. Relax completely when your 5th finger hits the quarter...this helps to reset the hand.

3) With light accents on each beat

Also:

Keep your thumb light.

Don't forget to use your little finger and thumb to help produce the sound - going wrist or arm only on this doesn't work. The wrist helps, the the fingers still need to be nimble.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


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#22133 - 05/25/02 01:13 PM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
MM Offline
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Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 348
Thanks guys! I tried the suggestions out today, and making sure my middle fingers were supported and that my knuckles didn't cave really helped. My fingers are almost double jointed, and they cave in a lot - I've had to work to make sure they stay supported.

The curiosity in me has to know, why keeping the middle fingers (that you're not using) supported, helps keep your wrist from hurting?

M.M.

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#22134 - 05/26/02 11:15 AM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
Eric Offline
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Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Misti:

The curiosity in me has to know, why keeping the middle fingers (that you're not using) supported, helps keep your wrist from hurting?


From page 99 of "The Art of Practicing" by Madeline Bruser:

If one finger is up even a millimeter, the lifting muscles (extensors), which are on the topside of the forearm (the side in line with the back of the hand), are contracting to hold it up. Since you are simultaneously contracting the bending muscles (flexors), which are on the underside of the forearm (the side in line with the palm of the hand), to press down a key, your entire forearm becomes unnecessarily tight. The phenomonon of "co-contraction" creates a harsh tone and limits speed and expressiveness.

[ May 26, 2002: Message edited by: Eric ]

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#22135 - 05/26/02 11:50 AM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
MM Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 348
 Quote:
Originally posted by Eric:
From page 99 of "The Art of Practicing" by Madeline Bruser:

If one finger is up even a millimeter, the lifting muscles (extensors), which are on the topside of the forearm (the side in line with the back of the hand), are contracting to hold it up. Since you are simultaneously contracting the bending muscles (flexors), which are on the underside of the forearm (the side in line with the palm of the hand), to press down a key, your entire forearm becomes unnecessarily tight. The phenomonon of "co-contraction" creates a harsh tone and limits speed and expressiveness.

[ May 26, 2002: Message edited by: Eric ]


Wow! Thanks! I wasn't expecting such a detailed answer! I've got to get that book - I've tried getting it on inter-library loan, and they've been hunting for it since February... Maybe they'll get it in before I save up $$ and by myself a copy!

M.M.

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#22136 - 05/26/02 01:09 PM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
CR Offline
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Registered: 03/18/01
Posts: 289
Loc: Idaho
 Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Misti:
My fingers are almost double jointed...
M.M.


haha, Misti, I'm the same way!!!

Eric, thanks for that excerpt!! I've had the same problem as Misti in other pieces, and I will definitely keep all that in mind. \:\)
_________________________
It goes without saying that technical proficiency should be the first acquisition of a student who would be a fine pianist.
~S.Rachmaninoff~

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#22137 - 06/01/02 10:22 AM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
Piano lady Offline
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Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
Another suggestion: instead of rotating the wrist, rotate the entire forearm and keep those fingers loose. It's very fast and less tiring. Begin slow with an exaggerated motion. Don't worry if your elbow moves outward a bit when you play the fifth finger. The motion will minimize as you go faster and faster. By the time you hit quarter note at 144 you won't even notice it yourself.

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#22138 - 06/01/02 08:19 PM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
MM Offline
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Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 348
On measure numbers 189 - 196, where should the impulse be? On every set of 16th notes? Beginning of every measure?

MM

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#22139 - 06/02/02 12:28 AM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
Josh Allen Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/15/00
Posts: 534
Loc: East Texas, USA
I agree with Piano Lady about the forearm rotation...I insist that you do that "old lady flabby arms" routine--distributes the stress throughout the whole forearm to the fingers and really cuts down on the intense wrist work...I've started concentrating on using the whole forearm when doing octaves and it has really helped with my former carpel tunnel pain...plus, I take a little advil when it starts hurting ;\)

Josh, good luck, Allen

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#22140 - 06/13/02 12:19 PM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
Piano lady Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
If we're talking about the same piece, my edition (Wiener Urtext) shows the passage in question in 8th notes. It is that right hand alone descending. You won't accent, just pulse. Okay, it isn't even every measure. At the start with the third in the right hand and the octave in the left. That's your first pulse. Your second pulse is the A-flat in the third measure. Your third pulse on the A-flat of the fifth measure; third pulse the A-flat in the 7th measure; fourth pulse the B-natural in the 8th measure. Those are your phrases. And hit that return to the main theme flying.

Watch out for tension in the right hand. Work on the forearm rotation (double and single rotations) on this passage. Be careful of the claw hand. The passage should be light and fast.

Also, because I've taken the time to develop an effortless technique, I mark in my books performance appearance queues. For example in the most difficult passages, I mark "lean back." It makes it look like the passage is easy for you. Also put a mirror, or have your teacher watch your facial expressions. Watch out for scowling during very beautiful sections. Your facial expressions should reflect the music.

Note on the flabby arms: I won't wear a gown or dress when I perform. I wear a plum long jacket Chanel knockoff pants suit, with a white blouse (collar over the lapels), and French cuffs (flipped over the jacket sleeves), and black flat Capezio jazz shoes. It presents a more commanding image.

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#22141 - 08/08/02 09:02 PM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
MM Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 348
Well, I've had several lessons w/ my teacher, talked to other teachers before she got back, and we've worked on the wrist pain every lesson. The suggestions have been helpful - keep the thumb from bouncing off of the key, keep it light, accent pinky, see how much the upper arm is rotating, etc...

In discussing it with my mom, we're starting to think that it's not a Technique thing, but maybe something wtih my left wrist. (There are some RH tremolos, and they don't give me trouble.) anyway, we got a wrist brace today and that seemed to help - no pain, it just got tired... probably from the little bit of extra weight. It still allows full movement, so playing is not a problem - I may use it in recitals/competitions, but a lot of professional sports players have to wear knee braces and such when they play, so I don't think it is much of a problem.

MM

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#22142 - 08/15/02 03:54 PM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
CR Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 03/18/01
Posts: 289
Loc: Idaho
 Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Misti:
In discussing it with my mom, we're starting to think that it's not a Technique thing, but maybe something wtih my left wrist. (There are some RH tremolos, and they don't give me trouble.)


ack, I have trouble with my left wrist, too! :rolleyes: It's kind of like when I do r.h. octaves - they don't really give me trouble, but when it's the l.h.'s turn, ouch. Lately we're doing wrist exercises (Hanon) but my LH is stiff as a poker. Then the tension builds and pain creeps in. \:\( Don't know if I'd be straying off topic here, but does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep my left wrist loose and floppy?

[ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: chopins_raindrops ]
_________________________
It goes without saying that technical proficiency should be the first acquisition of a student who would be a fine pianist.
~S.Rachmaninoff~

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#22143 - 08/15/02 06:55 PM Re: Pathetique Sonata (Beethoven)
Jason Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Pay attention to it while you're practicing. If a piece is so difficult that you can't give some attention to technical issues, then it's probably not a good piece to be working on.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


www.pianoped.com

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