#11 in Books about pianos

Reddit reviews on What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body

Sentiment score: 5
Reddit mentions: 9

We found 9 Reddit mentions of What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body. Here are the top ones.

GIA Publications

Found 9 comments on What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body:

u/krostenvharles · 13 pointsr/piano

I'd seriously consider taking a break from playing for a while to let yourself heal. I know it isn't your favorite option, but it is the best long-term solution to tendinitis. I had friends in the piano world who had multiple surgeries, had to take months to years off, and had constant pain/reinjury in their wrists and backs due to stress injuries. It's no laughing matter.

That being said, I understand why you won't/can't take that much time off. Seeing a medical specialist is your best bet, so I'd advise asking for a referral to physical therapy and follow the recommendations. In addition, here are some things that have helped me with my own chronic-use injuries over the years:

  1. Ibuprofen regimen, as prescribed by my old doctor - 800mg, four times daily. It's the max dose and shouldn't be taken for more than a week. But a week of that plus rest/wrapping my wrists would really help.

  2. Hot/Cold water baths. You can alternate between them, as it increases blood flow. So I'd usually do 5 minutes hot, then 5 minutes cold a couple of times, for about 20-30 minutes total.

  3. Massage. It worked wonders for my back pain. Seriously, well worth the money. Also, my massage therapist did some myofascial release techniques around the carpal tunnel area, and it was awesome. I have been able to replicate it myself at home, though not as well, but I feel the knowledge I've gained through getting massages has helped me self-massage effectively to keep things loose between sessions.

  4. Body mapping and mindfulness while playing. Learning to be aware of my body and practice safe techniques. As a teen, I was told I "move too much" at the piano, so I stiffened up. It took years to un-learn that stiffness and return to healthy playing. I'd recommend What Every Pianist Needs to Know about the Body by Thomas Mark. I met him for a couple-hours consultation once, and he's awesome. I learned so much, and it really helped my chronic pain.

    Hopefully some of these help! But, again, I'm not a doctor, and talking to a medical professional about these options is definitely the way to go. Good luck!
u/saichoo · 5 pointsr/piano

In addition to a teacher, there are:

  • Mastering Piano Technique by Seymour Fink (video.) A good resource of various movements we can do to achieve our musical goals.
  • What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body by Thomas Mark. Helps to update the conception of your whole body, not just the fingers, hands and wrists.
  • The Craft of Piano Playing by Alan Fraser. Start with the section on Natural Hand shape first.

    Other technique books I haven't read or had a glance at:

  • On Piano Playing by Gyorgy Sandor.
  • Abby Whiteside on Piano Playing.
  • The Art of Piano Playing by Heinrich Neuhaus.
  • Chopin: Pianist and Teacher: As Seen by His Pupils. An insight to how Chopin taught.
  • Twenty Lessons in Keyboard Choreography by Seymour Bernstein.
  • The Physiological Mechanics of Piano Technique by Otto Ortmann.
  • The Visible and Invisible In Pianoforte Technique by Tobias Matthay.
  • The Art of Piano Playing by George Kochevitsky.

    Your mileage may vary. These books I haven't read are often very expensive or out of print, so you may need to go to a library.
u/dankturtle · 4 pointsr/piano

Definitely get an adjustable bench/chair. Also read this book: What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body https://www.amazon.com/dp/1579992064/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_6e9uCb201PZ5C

u/Nickolai1989 · 4 pointsr/piano

I recently read What Every Pianist Needs to Know about the Body (https://www.amazon.com/What-Every-Pianist-Needs-About/dp/1579992064) for help with proper posture and all that, and it was a really great read. Super important to get posture right to prevent injury. If it hurts after an hour I dare say you're doing something wrong, and I hope you take it serious before it starts to hurt even sooner and impacts your playing!

Even after reading the book and trying to be conscious of all its teachings, when I went to see a teacher for some help she immediately pointed out that I needed to raise my right wrist more (I'm a lefty, not sure if this is a non-dominant hand thing, since you mentioned your left wrist).

So anyway, good playing, but take from someone who's been injured (weightlifting, not piano), it's really important to take form seriously :)

u/fancy_pance · 3 pointsr/musictheory

Does the pain begin immediately when you start playing? Are they sharp pains? At specific points or all over?

Assuming your bones healed properly, I would guess that the pain is related to your muscles and/or nerves and not the bones themselves. If that's the case,then some combination of stretching and strength building will probably be your cure. (although you said grade 4 was just four years ago, so your bones are still growing and that may change things).

In any event, you should make sure to start slowly each time you play. Give yourself some time to warm up before you go after a demanding passage.

I would also highly recommend you pick up and read Thomas Mark's 'What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body'.


u/elbmuhdnawen · 2 pointsr/piano

Glad to hear. This book might give some insight along the away.

u/chinchelli · 1 pointr/classicalmusic

I recommend taking a look at this book. Relatedly, you could talk to a teacher of the Taubman Approach, or as someone already mentioned, the Alexander Technique, which is a more general application of healthy motion.

This will require you to rework your approach to the keyboard, which I can attest is no easy feat. It's based on the premise that what you're currently doing is not healthy (given that you're injuring yourself) and that there are more efficient ways to produce the same, or better, musical results.

It's important to stress that unhealthy playing is not an indication of bad musicianship - many of the greatest pianists have experienced related injuries (Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Gould, Schnabel). Regarding the Taubman Approach, I think the most famous beneficiary is Leon Fleisher, who regained the use of his right hand, although there are countless pianists who never get injured in the first place because of this.

The book I mentioned has a quote I like: "Some people believe pain comes from being unlucky. Lucky pianists can play as much as they wish whereas unlucky pianists get injured. But that is also false. Musicians' injuries are not booby prizes in a lottery."

Hopefully this information nets you a better-than-expected Christmas gift!

u/ashthegame · 1 pointr/piano

Probably not. You should consult someone who knows something (I don't) or try this book https://www.amazon.com/What-Every-Pianist-Needs-About/dp/1579992064 which has helped me a ton.