Is there a specific technique that safely allows for fast repetition of thick chords on the piano?

I was practicing a passage a while ago which consisted mostly of repeating Gmin7 (3rd inversion) chords and some other chords.

After a while of practicing, I found that my wrist and arm started to hurt quite sharply, probably due to the constant 'shaking' motion I had been making.

Is there any way to practice/play repeating chords safely, or are they just supposed to be evil?

  • It is well known that Schubert's "Der Erlkönig" is dreaded by pianists for this very reason -- some will even just outright refuse to play it. You need to be studying with a good teacher to know if you've reached your physical limit or if you just need to work on your technique.
    – NReilingh
    Feb 17, 2016 at 22:41

1 Answer 1


Everyone has a little different technique, of course. In my case, I'm doing it right when I find that a point in the middle of my forearm is relatively stationary, my elbow rises as my hand drops, and my upper arm rotates from the shoulder. This way, too, the large muscles in the upper back can get involved for power.

It's very important to make sure all your muscles get out of one another's way. If you start feeling tension, look at whether you have two sets of muscles working against one another. Keep in mind that you need to learn the difference between this and muscle fatigue. If the muscles get tired, then stop for a while.

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