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#3218844 05/24/22 09:12 AM
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I purchased a P515 3-4 years back, and during the pandemic I developed a hand injury which has been intermittent to this day. I suspect it was due to using either a computer or my piano virtually every waking hour during the various lockdowns. I'm now able to play for a reasonable amount of time each day, but any longer and the pain starts to build up again.

I always suspected the P515 has a heavier key weight than other pianos - is this true? Could this possibly be an aggravating factor for my hands?

Also on a related note - has anyone tried to do glissandos on the P515? I seem to be completely unable to do them on the P515 - I need to press the keys too deep to trigger a sound, causing the skin of my thumb to crash into the (sharp) edges of the keys! shocked

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it's a combination of heavy key touch AND improper technique. never alone. proper technique relies managing the momentum of the hand as much as possible, using gravity to do the work instead of pushing power against the keybed, you're managing your hand's weight falling into the keys. if you are Not doing this, a heavier keybed will be an especially big trigger for repetitive stress injury. a lighter keybed could be better, but you can still get RSI from improper technique, but more slowly. search Alberto Guerrero technique, he taught Glenn Gould the finger tapping technique, which is the idealized form of managing finger/hand weight/ momentum.

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I thought I’d heard it all, but now we’re accusing the P-515 of ‘aggravated assault,’ and I simply can’t sit by and let this pass.

The P-515 didn’t damage your hands; you did this all on your own!

Am I supposed to blame the asphalt for burning my feet simply because I decided to walk barefoot for three hours on a super-hot day? No! the asphalt was simply there doing what it does day in day out: sitting quietly; minding its own business.

Glissandos? Yes!

There’s absolutely nothing that cannot be performed on the P-515, and this thing about ‘heavy keys’ is simply not based in reality; if anything, we should say that other key(boards) are just too light. shocked

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alexii ----- I've never done glissandos before on my keyboards. It's not an OCD thing. But then again - it could be heheh. I just don't want my keyboards getting scratched up or damaged etc.

As for the P-515. I play that same instrument every day. No problem with my hands at all. I really like the P-515 key mechanism behaviour. I would have purchased something something else if I didn't like it. And I bought a second P-515 half a year after the first.

But this doesn't mean that your instrument didn't contribute to the hand issue. It could depend on various things, which are uncertain at the moment. Yamaha certainly wouldn't have put this one out on the market if their group of testers thought that the key mechanism was unsatisfactory and result in high risk of hand damage.

Did you go to the doc to get the hand(s) checked out?

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Originally Posted by Pete14
There’s absolutely nothing that cannot be performed on the P-515, and this thing about ‘heavy keys’ is simply not based in reality

As much as I'd like to agree with Pete14 ...... well ... I agree with him.

Also --- alexii -- just take it a bit easy for the moment. Allow the hands to recover - giving time for healing/repair - and get strong again.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
But this doesn't mean that your instrument didn't contribute to the hand issue.

It sorta does; because instruments are inanimate objects literally incapable of injuring a human being.

If I decided to pounce on a wall, and injured my hands in the process, should I then say that the wall contributed to my injuries?

The question should not be whether the P-515 contributed, but rather, “should I change something about the way I approach practicing the piano (any piano)?”

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Originally Posted by Pete14
If I decided to pounce on a wall, and injured my hands in the process, should I then say that the wall contributed to my injuries?

The wall definitely didn't instigate it hehe. It would have 'contributed', but wasn't the wall's fault for sure.

For alexii - if the hand is improving, then that's great. Otherwise, probably worth it to get it checked out.

Too much uncertainty about what happened to the hand(s). Both hands developing issues is a bit of a worry. Maybe a video of how the keyboard is being played - could provide some clues.

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Definitely agree that I cannot put the blame squarely on my P515!

My teacher has not brought up any systematic issues with my technique though other than a tendency to play with fairly flat fingers in slower / more expressive parts of a score, although perhaps receiving more opinions would help. I'm almost certain I developed a chronic issue from intensively playing during the pandemic - I went from ~30-40 minutes a day to upwards of 5 hours a day, and in that time I stupidly attempted pieces way out of my league & unsupervised, i.e. pieces with rapid double thirds (a Clementi sonata)!

2 years on, even 4 months out of work entirely dedicated to resting & strengthening my hands in accordance with my physio, and my injury is still easily triggered. Whether that in my day job from keyboard use, from lifting weights or from playing piano. I think I've just accepted I may have to manage the injury & play around it.

Sadly the doctors I've encountered haven't been too helpful, supposedly I'm too young to be checked for arthritis, it's just a case of physio and rest - albeit that has done nothing. And of course I cannot rest indefinitely until it recovers as I need to use a (computer) keyboard in my profession smile

As part of that managing process, I've started to wonder if a lighter action would reduce the fatigue encountered by my hands - despite the fact that I very much like the P515 action even to this day.

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Originally Posted by alexii
As part of that managing process, I've started to wonder if a lighter action would reduce the fatigue encountered by my hands - despite the fact that I very much like the P515 action even to this day.

talk to your teacher about technique and using gravity. lighter keys may help, but it's only half of it.

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[quote] As part of that managing process, I've started to wonder if a lighter action would reduce the fatigue encountered by my hands - despite the fact that I very much like the P515 action even to this day.[\quote]

Yes the p515 is heavier than average. It certainly could be a contributing factor.


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Definitely - maybe even on a lighter one --- playing extensively for 5+ hours a day --- could possibly lead to fatigue and strains etc.

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Originally Posted by Pete14
Originally Posted by SouthPark
But this doesn't mean that your instrument didn't contribute to the hand issue.

It sorta does; because instruments are inanimate objects literally incapable of injuring a human being.

Like how falling off a building on to a spiked iron fence cannot hurt you? smile


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May be it comes from the P-515 but surely not.
May be it is a sum of different factors that put together have created your injury.

Some peoples here (Peterws and others) have said that they developed some hand injuries and they could pursue to play the piano by switching from the P-515 to a DP with lighter keys.
It is not optimal but life is full of arbitrage.

Last edited by playplayplay; 05/24/22 11:12 AM.
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Maybe there is some carpal-tunnel-like causation playing a part here?

Last edited by drewr; 05/24/22 11:30 AM.

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Since you also are using a computer at work you are not truly resting your hands. I have gotten pains from computer keyboards and the wireless mouse. It's not the P515 - you can get just such an injury playing an acoustic piano 5 hours a day plus computer keyboard work. You need yo stop both the computer keyboard and the piano to heal and then learn the proper piano hand technique to prevent re-injury

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When my college students get sore as a result of suddenly upping their practice time, I find a couple things can help:

1. Placement of a mirror, perpendicular to the keyboard, so you can see you finger/hand/wrist position at all times in a profile view. sometimes a decently-trained player can spot technical issues without a teacher present, and this can help.

2. Modifying what you carry and how you carry/use electronic devices. My students lug around heavy backpacks on one shoulder all the time, and have enormous cellphones that they type on constantly, which are not ergonomically comfortable to use. And sometimes, they're also typing on laptops, placed in their laps (a horrible wrist position, bad for your tendons). I had one of my piano majors make their smartphone background screen say "PUT ME IN YOUR LEFT HAND", and a couple weeks later things had calmed down for her right hand, without reducing practice time.

I do not have hours and hours of playing time on the P515 to establish if it's too heavy, but I have played some NWX actions before on other models that weren't a problem. But I have fairly decent technique and am not injury-prone. The Bluthner I had before (one of the Fatar actions) was definitely too heavy and I would quickly get tired, practicing on it for any serious length of time. You can methodically eliminate variables and see what works for you (even the piano, if you can get access to something else for a long practice session or two).

Glissandi on digital pianos aren't a good idea, for two reasons:

1. The action doesn't get lighter when you use the damper pedal (typically used when playing a glissando), except for the Novus models.
2. DP actions aren't as sturdy as acoustic piano actions and you greatly increase the instance of clicking noises/action looseness by doing them often.


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Originally Posted by alexii
I purchased a P515 3-4 years back, and during the pandemic I developed a hand injury which has been intermittent to this day. I suspect it was due to using either a computer or my piano virtually every waking hour during the various lockdowns. I'm now able to play for a reasonable amount of time each day, but any longer and the pain starts to build up again.

I always suspected the P515 has a heavier key weight than other pianos - is this true? Could this possibly be an aggravating factor for my hands?

Also on a related note - has anyone tried to do glissandos on the P515? I seem to be completely unable to do them on the P515 - I need to press the keys too deep to trigger a sound, causing the skin of my thumb to crash into the (sharp) edges of the keys! shocked

Each body reacts differently to a certain effort and the duration of that effort. You just got a signal that you can't keep going at that pace and that you have to reduce your effort. It may help to buy a piano with an easier key action, but it will not cure you if you continue to exhaust yourself to the extent that your body can withstand. Poor technique can lead to injuries, but in your case, I think you just need to rest. I'll give you an example of a guy who's my friend's son. Educated pianist, winner of numerous awards and one of the flagships of the new wave of young pianists in my country. Unfortunately, the inflammation of the tendon has taken on dimensions that have taken him away from the piano and he can no longer maintain the level of a professional pianist. He hasn't played in years.

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Originally Posted by playplayplay
Some peoples here (Peterws and others) have said that they developed some hand injuries and they could pursue to play the piano by switching from the P-515 to a DP with lighter keys.

Alexii is a young person in their 20’s. How does this compare to the onset of Peterws’ P515’itis?


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Originally Posted by drewr
Originally Posted by playplayplay
Some peoples here (Peterws and others) have said that they developed some hand injuries and they could pursue to play the piano by switching from the P-515 to a DP with lighter keys.

Alexii is a young person in their 20’s. How does this compare to the onset of Peterws’ P515’itis?

It was only to highlight the fact that by having a lighter keys DP was a way to pursue to play the piano.

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Okay playplayplay, my friend 🙂

It is always nice to read some success stories here. I count among these Peterws’ pain problem subsiding with a different DP.

As for alexii, so far, not so nice to read about. It seems that in early 20’, they were advancing through ABRM studies and learning some advanced pieces while already experiencing some RH pain 🙁.

It seems hard to say if there is one or more definite factors as a cause. Worse, the kind of ‘itis / inflammation pain involved with repetitive body/limb movements, in the short term, is relieved by either reduced activity or a period of resting the involved bones/joints/ligaments and related articulations.


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