Vidas: Hi guys, this is Vidas!
Ausra: And Ausra!
V: Let’s start episode 552 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Joanna, and she writes:
The little finger on my right hand is giving me problems. It has been like this for a few years. I am afraid I will have to give up organ playing in a couple of years’ time because it is stiff, and it clicks and makes a jumping movement at the knuckles. It is a problem to play fast passages because of it. Is there anything I can do… practise more? Practise less? Exercises?
V: Have you ever encountered, Ausra, such a condition?
A: No, actually I haven’t. And what I would advise to Joanna is that she might consult a physician first.
V: Yeah, because it might be unique to her situation, and since we haven’t encountered it, we cannot really advise anything specific.
A: Yes, but I would suggest definitely not to practice more, because it might do things even worse. So she really needs to consult her physician and to see what he or she will say.
V: Right. But practice less, probably is a good idea.
A: For right now… until she will get that consultation.
V: Sometimes these problems might be because of overworking certain joints.
A: Yes, it might be. But definitely, she needs to consult a physician because she hadn’t had that problem earlier. She was developing it for the last few years, so…
V: And I think she writes the little finger of her right hand is giving her problems. I would suggest maybe doing a test while playing only the right hand part, and doing it really really slowly. It means probably that her little finger is quite tense. Maybe she can relax it, see if she can relax it and place it on the keyboard instead of lifting in the air. That helps.
A: Yes, that’s often the case, that the fifth finger is sort of looking…
V: Like a piglet's tail, right?
V: Curled. So if she can relax it and place it on the keyboard, maybe the tension can also diminish somewhat. Right?
A: Yes, that’s a possibility, but I think it’s wise to check up with a doctor to see if there’s a serious problem with it.
V: Right. But for example, I have a thumb, for example, and my condition of the thumb is that it’s kind of curved in the wrong direction. The tip of the thumb is looking outward, not inward. And this is because from an early age I was taught to play correctly, but I didn’t pay attention, and today, if I want to correct this finger’s position, I need to do a very conscious effort, and it’s not natural to me. You know, I have to even probably hold my hand a little bit in order to relax it. So maybe Joanna can also see with her left hand, feel if there is a tension on her right hand little finger. Right?
V: And then see if she can relax it and place it on the keyboard. Maybe Alexander Technique would be helpful to her, right?
V: Okay. This was Vidas,
A: And Ausra.
V: Please send us more of your questions; we love helping you grow. And remember, when you practice,
A: Miracles happen.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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