2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
39 members (BravoRomeo, AndrewJCW, Bett, Chris Pringle, Alex Hutor, FrankCox, I. Bruton, CentauriB, 6 invisible), 400 guests, and 313 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 13
M
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 13
I'm recovering from tendinitis in my right thumb* and am looking for suggestions for some new pieces to work on. The main criterion is that the RH be physically easy -- not too many jumps/chords, minimal twisty fingerings, etc.

I'm currently working on Field's Nocturne No. 5 in Bb, and it fits this description quite well. In this piece, for the most part, the RH is playing a simple melody with few chords/jumps (the circus-y B section notwithstanding -- I've only just been able to start working that back in, though, surprisingly, it's not causing me as much tension as I would have thought). The simplicity of the RH part makes it easy to make sure I'm playing without unnecessary tension, while the busier LH keeps things interesting.

The most important quality I'm looking for is physical simplicity in the RH part, though that doesn't necessarily mean TECHNICAL simplicity. As an example, for me, Einaudi's Dietro Casa is technically easy but (at least in the RH) physically difficult for me to play without excess tension. That is, I don't find it difficult to play the right notes and rhythms, but doing so with my New and Improved Proper Technique is challenging (mainly the repeating thirds, especially those I play with 2/4 or 3/5). On the other hand, the Field Nocturne No. 5 RH, while physically quite easy, has some trickier polyrhythmic/expressive bits, and I appreciate the opportunity to develop those skills without hurting myself.

I have no idea what level I'm at (played for a while when I was younger, started up again last January**), but for reference, here some of the other pieces I've worked on in the past year:

  • Bach - WTC Book 2 No. 12, Prelude/Fugue in F minor
  • Scarlatti - Sonata K87 in B minor
  • Schubert - Impromptu No. 3, Op. 90
  • Schumann - Träumerei


I have been especially enjoying Romantic pieces, though I'm open to anything. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

* I have been seeing a musician-focused OT about this and have the go-ahead and encouragement to continue practicing (and, of course, I'm no longer in pain; I wouldn't go forward with playing if I were).

** I do have a teacher, by the way, and she is also helping me with repertoire suggestions, but I wanted to do a bit of exploring on my own.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 3,042
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 3,042
It's hard to suggest something because we don't know what is physically difficult for you. Fast scales? Octaves? Large chords? Finger twists ala Bach? At the level of those pieces pretty much every piece is going to have some sort of tricky passage even if the whole piece is rather easy so which kinds of physical movements are you trying to avoid?

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 984
C
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 984
You know sometimes there are gems to be had in Czerny etudes. The Op. 740 has etudes dedicated to left hand technique, for example nos. 8 and 12 (RH still plays but not demanding).


A rising tide lifts all the boats
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,694
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,694
Try these:



Chopin by Schumann (an unbeatable combination wink ):


Something Spanish, perhaps?


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 13
M
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
It's hard to suggest something because we don't know what is physically difficult for you. Fast scales? Octaves? Large chords? Finger twists ala Bach? At the level of those pieces pretty much every piece is going to have some sort of tricky passage even if the whole piece is rather easy so which kinds of physical movements are you trying to avoid?

One major contributing factor, interestingly enough, is what my thumb is doing when it's not playing. I have a tendency to hold it up and back -- ironically, I think this is a subconscious effort to keep it out of the way. This comes up in a variety of situations -- thirds with 2/4 of 3/5, twisty passages, any sort of going back and forth quickly. It's hard for me to give a hard and fast rule here -- any of these things are okay in moderation, but not if they compose the bulk of the piece.

Examples may be easier -- here are how the pieces I mentioned stack up:

--- The (Currently) Feasible ---

  • Field - Nocturne No. 5 in Bb: This piece is ideal. The RH, for the most part, comprises a simple melody -- few chords, not too many jumps, no fast passages. The LH, while not exactly difficult, has more going on, which I like not only because it keeps the piece interesting but also because it allows me to lengthen my practice time, with a decent amount dedicated to LH-only work. (Of course, this is always an option, but I find some types of pieces lend themselves more to it than others.) The big asterisk in this piece is the section starting on m. 18 (1:08 in this recording), but because it's quite distinct from the rest of the piece, I was able to omit it earlier on in my recovery and add it back in as I've been able.
  • Schumann - Träumerei: This is the only other piece I mentioned that I feel comfortable playing at this time. It's short and simple, and although the RH does have more chords, I don't find them too onerous. I think the lyrical nature of this piece (combined with the fact that it doesn't sound wrong or unfinished at a slower tempo) helps.


--- The (Currently) Unfeasible ---

  • Bach - WTC Book 2 No. 12, Prelude/Fugue in F minor: Admittedly, it's been a while since I've gone back to these -- I learned them before I was injured -- but I suspect I won't be able to play them anywhere in the near future. The thirds in the prelude are iffy right off the bat, and the tempo of the fugue (and the fugue-ness of the fugue) make it currently undoable.
  • Scarlatti - Sonata K87 in B minor: Similar to the Bach because of the multiple voices. The tempo is certainly easier to handle than the Bach, but I find many RH sections to be twistier than they look.
  • Schubert - Impromptu No. 3, Op. 90: This is my favorite piece to play and it breaks my heart that I can't play it anymore. It requires maintaining an octave (or going back and forth quickly) in the RH for the the entire piece, and the melody is mainly carried in the 4th and 5th fingers, which also contributes to thumb tension. (In fact, my teacher suggested the Field nocturne because it was stylistically similar to this piece but with a much less demanding RH part.)
  • Einaudi - Dietro Casa: Another shame; this piece used to be a favorite warm-up. The repeating thirds going between 2/4 and 3/5 make it a no-go -- those ones in particular really trigger thumb tension for me (actively working on this, but not ready to go back to a piece that is basically 5 pages of that).


Originally Posted by cygnusdei
You know sometimes there are gems to be had in Czerny etudes. The Op. 740 has etudes dedicated to left hand technique, for example nos. 8 and 12 (RH still plays but not demanding).

Thank you for the suggestion -- these look great! I would love to be able to still develop musically despite the current limitations, and it looks like there's a lot of material to work with here.

Originally Posted by bennevis
Try these:

Thank you for the suggestions!

[Faure - Romance sans paroles, Op. 17, No. 3]

Oh, this is lovely -- beautiful, and looks doable. I will definitely be working on this one.

[Chopin by Schumann (an unbeatable combination wink )]

I quite like this one too -- it has a somewhat different feel than the pieces I've worked on so far, and I appreciate that.

[Something Spanish, perhaps? "Epilogo" from Escenas Romanticas By Enrique Granados]

I hadn't heard this composer before (my knowledge of composers is woefully inadequate), but I'm glad you shared -- this is a beautiful piece I will be adding to my list.

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,430
I
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
I
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,430
Originally Posted by Mr Baker
One major contributing factor, interestingly enough, is what my thumb is doing when it's not playing. I have a tendency to hold it up and back -- ironically, I think this is a subconscious effort to keep it out of the way. This comes up in a variety of situations -- thirds with 2/4 of 3/5, twisty passages, any sort of going back and forth quickly. It's hard for me to give a hard and fast rule here -- any of these things are okay in moderation, but not if they compose the bulk of the piece.
This is an evident sign of undeveloped thumb and tension. You need to work on relaxation of your thumb first of all.

Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 13
M
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by Mr Baker
One major contributing factor, interestingly enough, is what my thumb is doing when it's not playing. I have a tendency to hold it up and back -- ironically, I think this is a subconscious effort to keep it out of the way. This comes up in a variety of situations -- thirds with 2/4 of 3/5, twisty passages, any sort of going back and forth quickly. It's hard for me to give a hard and fast rule here -- any of these things are okay in moderation, but not if they compose the bulk of the piece.
This is an evident sign of undeveloped thumb and tension. You need to work on relaxation of your thumb first of all.

I absolutely do! That's why I have an OT (and why I'm being so particular about what I choose to play). smile

Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 7
L
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
L
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 7


my wonderful piano is a upright Blondel By Bechstein
this is my 5e year of piano playing.
In France smile
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 3,042
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 3,042
Originally Posted by Mr Baker
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by Mr Baker
One major contributing factor, interestingly enough, is what my thumb is doing when it's not playing. I have a tendency to hold it up and back -- ironically, I think this is a subconscious effort to keep it out of the way. This comes up in a variety of situations -- thirds with 2/4 of 3/5, twisty passages, any sort of going back and forth quickly. It's hard for me to give a hard and fast rule here -- any of these things are okay in moderation, but not if they compose the bulk of the piece.
This is an evident sign of undeveloped thumb and tension. You need to work on relaxation of your thumb first of all.

I absolutely do! That's why I have an OT (and why I'm being so particular about what I choose to play). smile
I think Iaroslav's point is that you shouldn't shy away from pieces you like because of this thumb tension issue but rather work on your technique so that you can play them without tension. That means you will probably have to go extremely slow, working only on small sections, and focus specifically on relaxation and the physical movements you are executing. With the correct technique you can play legato thirds all day without tension in any fingers because the movement comes mostly from the wrist and weight balance in the hand.

BTW, I had a quick look at the Einaudi and I think the fingering 2-5/1-4 might be more comfortable than 3-5/2-4. Just a suggestion, I haven't really tried playing this piece.

Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 3,042
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 3,042
How do you feel about Mozart? For example, the D minor fantasia K 397 has a fairly simple right hand. There are some faster parts but you can take the "presto" with a big grain of salt and play it more freely. It's a fantasia anyway so it should have a more improvisational feel.


Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
On-Stage KB9503B Adjustable Height Piano Bench
by TheophilusCarter - 08/12/22 10:15 PM
Cant i identify a piano, need help
by Orisolo - 08/12/22 09:34 PM
1983 Yamaha C7 Concert Grand Piano
by Joshua Lauriston - 08/12/22 05:39 PM
The Fugue, a Form or a Technique ?
by Sidokar - 08/12/22 06:34 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,369
Posts3,215,890
Members106,074
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5