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#3085620 02/22/21 07:29 PM
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I pulled out Chopin's 2nd Ballade a few weeks ago. Despite chronic sciatic nerve pain, I started practicing again in May 2020, since I have the time to try to work through it.
There are 2 10 note stretches in th coda, twice in different octaves that I have great difficulty playing at all let alone quickly. I'm 5'10" with very long fingers and somehow did it when I last performed it 30 years ago. My hand hurts, but I still can't do it! Help!

Last edited by Miriam L; 02/22/21 07:30 PM.
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I vaguely remember playing this a long time ago, and I think I just took the upper notes with the right hand instead of stretching a 10th in the left.


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At speed, I don't know that taking the upper note in the RH would help, and IMHO it is more awkward.

I just played this recently and thankfully 10ths are no issue for me. I would say to slowly try to do some stretching exercises to see if you can get to a 10th - if you said you were able to do this years ago and were able to make the stretch then, then your hands should be physically big enough to handle a 10th, you may just need to stretch and work up the flexibility to get there comfortably again.

Worst case, if a 10th just isn't going to happen, I would say leave out the upper note in the LH and just go with the bass note. You could _possibly_ try to play the bottom note as a grace note and jump to the upper note, but I don't know that I'd recommend it - at the speed that coda moves at, plus with the alternating hands in that section, it might just come out muddier than you'd like.

Good luck!


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I think a quick roll sounds better than omitting the top note but that’s just me.

I agree that trying to hit the E with the RH is asking for trouble given the accent on that subsequent A octave.


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With my hands, I can barely reach the 10ths in my left hand by playing on the outer edges of the keys, so I need time to prepare the stretch. What I think I did was play the F with my right hand since the 9th stretch is easier on my right hand, giving me time to play the second 10th with my left.


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If you want meaningful help, post a video.

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My partner visited a hand therapist recently, and she gave me an exercise to loosen up my hand and increase my reach a bit.

She had a special peg, like an ordinary peg but at least twice the width and fairly strong. Maybe two pegs side by side might work.

I had to place the peg on the fleshy area between the thumb and index finger. It has to be fairly firm but not so that it hurts.

Just leave it for a minute or two and then see how it feels. I was pleasantly surprised at how my hand felt more relaxed after.


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