I have recently discovered this problem where after several days of practice on keyboard, my fingers would get sore and tired and as a common sense would tell me, I would take rest. But after a few days of rest (2-3 days), my fingers do feel light, but they are so light, in fact, that I start making a lot of mistakes and my fingers seem to be uncontrollable and they fly everywhere all over the keyboard.

Are my fingers still tired? Or did they have too much rest? What the hell is going on? I am trying to understand this as this happened to me several times and because of this my progress has stalled for several months now and I have no idea what to do. I was wondering if anyone had this sensation in their fingers after rest period of 2-3 days. What should I do about it? Should I give it a few more days of rest? Should I exercise? And if you are wondering about the exercise regime - I play keyboard every day for 2 hours on average if not more and it's intense playing - trying to develop speed and accuracy.

Any responses would be highly appreciated.

  • 2
    I'm pretty sure you want to practice more often with a shorter duration and less intensity per practice session. Cut back to an hour every day and only 10 to 15 minutes of high intensity but don't skip days. Also dedicate yourself to maintaining all other areas of your health (exercise, sleep, nutrition). Feb 21, 2016 at 21:04

2 Answers 2


If you're hitting wrong notes after resting, you are probably hitting wrong notes when you are practicing tired as well, while being less aware of them. If your fingers get sore and tired after two hours of practice every day for several days, then you are likely trying to force a technical goal to happen with extra effort, rather than becoming aware of the most technically economical way to realize the musical task at hand.

I would first advise you to pay closer attention to the music, even the music in five-finger exercises. If there is a wrong note, even to the point of hitting a note louder or softer, or sooner or later, than you intend (and do you know exactly what you intend? Where the mind leads, the body follows), go back and correct it. As I'm sure you have heard many times before, you will develop a great deal more speed by slow practice with the goal of making everything exactly as you intend than by putting out maximum physical effort towards the goal of playing fast. The fact that you say that your practice sessions are "intense playing - trying to develop speed and accuracy" suggests that you have relegated the primary goal of playing music to a secondary one behind playing with speed and accuracy.

What is "accurate" playing? I believe you will profit from thinking more about this. How much time and thought do you give to musical considerations rather than technical? The technique follows the musical purpose, and the biggest mistake we pianists make (and we all do to one degree or another) is to believe that we will first develop the technique and then put the music into it. That is very much putting the cart before the horse. So first, reevaluate your priorities.

Now, some purely technical considerations to think about. (Which again, you must think about only in the context of how to realize musical ideas--I can't repeat this often enough!) An important principle is to get all your muscles out of one another's way. If you start feeling strain, it's because you are making unintended isometric muscle movements (one muscle working against another, as when you push both palms together as hard as you can). This happens more as the muscles become tired, but to some extent it always happens.

Part of technical improvement is to continue to eliminate isometric exertion at finer and finer levels. Part of it is to strengthen weaker muscles, of course, but this should always be done in the context of getting muscles out of one another's way.

Another consideration is to work to position yourself (whole body, from fingertips to feet) in such a way as to realize technical goals with the least effort. It's particularly important to be aware of the limitations of tendons and ligaments, and work to keep everything in the most natural alignment. I will say that I rarely got any sort of repetitive motion injury from playing piano, but I did when I first took up computer programming for a living. I applied principles that I had learned from studying piano and found that they went away.

So again, where the mind leads, the body follows. Find the music, imagine how it will sound, let that sound come out on the piano. Conflicts in the mind become conflicts in the fingers. Clarity in the mind becomes clarity in the fingers. Keep working on it, and when you are old you will have something that is worth working on still.


Well, first of all, no this should not be happening. I would ask a few questions: what keyboard are you practicing on? What type of music are you playing? What types of exercises are you doing? And what is your overall experience level? With answers to those questions, we could likely drive toward a better answer.

Overall, playing a keyboard does not require an extreme degree of strength, especially an electronic keyboard. Piano requires a certain amount of coordination of body weight and core strength through the hands and wrists to the keys, but it still should not be overly taxing. I'm thinking of even difficult "heavy" repertoire (Bartok, Prokofiev, etc)... this is probably the most athletic playing you will do and it still should not leave your fingers fatigued. "Big" romantic repertoire might leave you physically tired, but more back shoulders and neck. Even playing 8 hours a day, actual finger fatigue should be minimal imo. These are small muscles that recharge quickly and it is not at all about building "strength" in the fingers. Read that again... it's not about building strength so much as coordination.

I suspect you are tensing and working against yourself. Finger muscles work in antagonistic pairs so if you are tightening both sets of muscles you are greatly increasing the stress on your hands. This will, over time, lead to a number of problems (carpal tunnel, etc)... so it's worth figuring out how to do it right.

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