Antti Hernesniemi

Good for pianists to avoid hand and finger stress symptoms


Something which I think is good for pianists with hand and finger stress symptoms : I tell my own piano player’s experience. My hands - which concerning their grip are not very broad - got quite sore and swollen in 2003. I sometimes even had had to put my hands in cold water to ease the soreness. I had to take some weeks' break in playing. The reason was, I had done too much conventional (monotone) piano training and tried to play music with too broad and large grips. That stressed especially my right hand fourth and fifth fingers. I decided to leave that kind of music aside and to play o n l y with narrow grips. 

At the same time I began to use the fore-arm support I have presented here. I began to massage my hands. Moreover I began to make certain arm-wrist-hand-finger dance-like plastic movements - I train myself now and then in modern dance - which enhanced the movement ability especially in my finger root joints, the so-called proximal finger joints. Well-being in my hands was enhancing and mine too. 

On the basis of these experiences I began to believe in the following things concerning a pianist’s well-being :

- It is good for the pianist to learn to massage hands him/herself. This is done with a “thumb root procedure” and “two fingers together” technique. 

 - It is good for the pianist to learn to use body and especially his/her upper body, arms, hands, wrists and fingers in another and for him/her more proper way than before. Part of this is a plastic and joints releasing “arm wrist hand and finger dancing” manoeuvre. It does not take long and it is pleasant. It is good to perform few times a day. 

  - It is good for the pianist to play resting his/her arms with a fore-arm support now and then. 

 - There are a couple of instrument and keyboard adjustments which the musician can make and try with the piano too.

   I'm planning to make a video about items above.