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I have a big problem when playing piano. I took a break from playing for a while, and now when I play, there is almost no space between my index finger and my middle finger, so I can't even play a c minor chord.

What exercises can I do to fix this. My index finger is also incredibly weak; it bends to the right every time I hit a key.

Would something like the product above help?

I'm a teenager and don't have anything health problems like carpal tunnel.

Thanks

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    Most times a C minor chord is played with pinky/middle/thumb (l.h.) or thumb/middle/pinky (r.h.). Don't understand. Also which hand is in contention? – Tim Dec 28 '17 at 11:31
  • @Tim maybe he wants to play it using an octave: RH: C1 Eb2 G3 C5? – nath Dec 28 '17 at 20:04
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    @nath - sadly, we may never find out... – Tim Dec 28 '17 at 20:05
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    For a short time, I did a lot of exercises with the hope of strengthening my fingers and it had negative consequences. I developed some weird forearm muscles that actually impeded my speed and made it harder to play fast. – jdjazz Dec 29 '17 at 15:47
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Pianists don't need special exercises or devices to strengthen their fingers. First, your fingers don't have any muscles. Your fingers are moved through somewhat of a pulley system. Flex your forearm muscles (flexors on the belly side of forearm) and they pull a tendon which is attached to your finger bones in various locations. The muscles on the top of your arm are your extensors and their tendons run on top of your hand and fingers and straighten those out. These muscles also move your wrist. Think of your arm as being robotic.

Strength and power in playing come from gravity or the weight of the arm. If you are pressing into the keys with your "fingers," you will inflame your long flexor tendons which will then press on your median nerve (carpal tunnel syndrome).

I don't know what you mean by space between your two fingers. You don't want space between any of your fingers when you play. First, the hands/fingers can only go in one direction at a time and when you abduct your fingers (spread them out) you create vector pulls (uneven playing/illusion of weakness) because your hand/arm is being pulled in two directions simultaneously. This results in uneven playing and the illusion that the fingers are weak. They are, they have no muscles. When you walk, how hard do you have to press into the ground to walk effortlessly? None, gravity holds you down. It is our up muscles which make walking effortless. That is why walking downstairs is easier than walking up: Gravity. The piano is the same. There is never any reason to press into the keys or require more strength. This is why 5 year old prodigies can play better than most of us, they have mastered gravity and weightlessness (which is not the same as 'relaxation.'

Also, when you abduct and flex at the same time, you are using two muscles to move one bone in two directions at the same time and that results in the tendon getting pulled in two directions resulting in uneven playing but also will inflame your tendons giving birth to median nerve entrapment (carpal tunnel syndrome). Here is a video which sort of explains it:

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I wouldn't go that far unless you have health problems which you clearly mentioned that you don't. So I'd recommend to keep practicing until your fingers get used to it again. It also depends if you're playing on light- or heavy-weighted keys (as it's normal for beginners to get used to the latter). So keep practicing playing chords and scales and you should get used to it again.

Another thing to keep in mind is to remember to posistion your hand in the correct-posture to avoid such problems or wrist-/finger pains after a while. Check out this article on how to sit and place your hands/fingers if necessary: https://www.wikihow.com/Place-Your-Fingers-Properly-on-Piano-Keys

Last but not least: Try some stretching exercises with your fingers before you start playing. Here are some references: http://bestdigitalpianoguides.com/exercises-and-stretches-for-professional-pianists/

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    I really don't think the first link you gave is a very good reference. The way he is showing how to play scales is rather how I would show pupils not to do it even though I'd accept it when they are really young. (the wrist turn he does when he changes position will not allow him to ever be very fast!) I don't think this is a very decent learning recourse! – nath Dec 28 '17 at 20:01

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