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So, I started playing piano again after a long (~10 year?) break.

I get very fatigued, very fast playing simple stuff. Not pain, just fatigue, as if I were doing a lot of pushups.

The fact that my hands and arms are not what they were as a kid, as well as spending many hours a day on a computer keyboard probably doesn't help - both in a physical sense (it's stressful) and in the sense that I may be "typing" on the piano without realizing it - that is, using "typing" movements that I have internalized over oh-so-many-years.

All in all, I have the suspicion that my technique is... what is a synonym for the f-word, in English?

I am almost certainly using force somewhere, rather than weight, or I'm unnecessarily tense.

I can't understand where, though, so I suspect I'll have to relearn the movements from scratch.

Can you suggest any good basic physical exercises, books, methods to regain a correct, relaxed technique from the basics - besides "get a teacher" and/or a physiotherapist and get it from the horse's mouth?

  • (I have actually spent my whole lunch break doing this, looking silly: youtube.com/watch?v=OjSWu8ZADzI ) – Some Dude On The Interwebs Mar 27 '15 at 9:05
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    Sounds like a lot would be gained by just relaxing. Doing a lot of typing shouldn't be detrimental. Although adding keyboard playing to a lot of typing could add up to too much. But it sounds like a lot of your problems are from tensing up. Maybe the easy stuff is not as easy as you thought? Play it slower, making sure that there is no tension. – Meaningful Username Mar 27 '15 at 9:24
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    A picture of you playing may help - it could be that your elbows are level with or lower than the keys, resulting in extra muscle power holding up your wrists. – Tim Mar 27 '15 at 9:53
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    In my experience, just being aware of tension helps. You notice when you tense up, right? When that happens, stop, and make sure that when you start again you are relaxed. Sounds overly simplified, but it worked for me. – Meaningful Username Mar 27 '15 at 10:44
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    As far as book goes, as always The Musicians Way by Gerald Klickstein. Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner can be useful. It's got some almost new age stuff going on, but if one can overlook that, there are some nuggets. – Meaningful Username Mar 27 '15 at 10:48
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If you're spending a lot of time behind a computer you might have started slouching when sitting. This posture can result in reduced blood flow to your arms causing them to fatigue more quickly when strained.

If this is the case you could try the Brugger's Relief Position, and try to be more aware of your posture (also during other activities). If this is not the case than you can disregard this answer. Good luck!

  • Is it me or you are basically thinking of the Alexander technique? Anyway great advice, thanks. – Some Dude On The Interwebs Mar 28 '15 at 10:58
  • No I was unfamiliar with that technique but found it interesting to read up on! My advice was more based on personal experience with arm, neck and shoulder complaints. – ScootCork Mar 30 '15 at 11:31

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