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Limited left hand problem

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Limited left hand problem

Post by chopsticks on Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:17 am

I have taken some lessons as an adult and reached about grade 2 (without taking exams). At the beginning of this year, though, I lost the top joint of my left thumb. I'd really like to take up music again but can't find any pieces that don't require a left thumb! Even practicing scales on the left hand is virtually impossible. Are you aware of anything that could help? Many thanks.

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Re: Limited left hand problem

Post by VictorCS on Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:45 am

You'll have to use the other fingers then. Since i'm not familiar with loosing fingers, even tho i did work with saws for a couple of year, i dont really know how it feels, and what you can do with what's left.

But what I know is that most songs do contain parts where it's easiest to use the thumb, but you dont need to use the thumb. In the big picture it's not a problem, but you need to develope a way to play without the thumb.
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Re: Limited left hand problem

Post by chopsticks on Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:04 pm

Thanks, VictorCS. The problem is that I have no reach with my left hand now for chords. Whereas I used to be able to cover an octave, I can now only reach a couple of keys. Pretty well everything I've looked at playing since ends up with no depth in the left hand if I take the thumb out. Which might, of course, be when I end up with. It would be interesting if there were other ideas, though.

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Re: Limited left hand problem

Post by chopsticks on Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:16 pm

I guess I wasn't taken seriously. It was a serious question hoping for an answer. Never mind, I'll just have to give up thoughts of piano.

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Re: Limited left hand problem

Post by Thomandy on Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:14 pm

Its not that the questions isnt taken seriously, but might be that we dont got any good answers! But I think that if you really want to you can do jsut about anything even with a shorter thumb.. You have to work for it though. You can arrange sheets to fit yourselfe if you learn how to, and you dont have to do octaves, it works with only the one note in that octave...

Just look at this girl:
She only got 4 fingers!! ... 2 on each hand!!



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Re: Limited left hand problem

Post by Admin Andrew on Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:04 am

Sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really didn't mean to ignore your question. I was on vacation and didn't know you posted this. Please accept my appologizes. I'm also very sad to hear what happened to you.


My suggestion is that instead of focusing on what might be hard to do with your left hand, focus on what it can still do. You might not be able to play big chords anymore or octaves, but you should still be able to play triads, and if you can play triads that means you can play arpeggio's quickly So my suggestion is that you focus not on playing scales in the LH but practice on triads solid and broken and also on quick arpeggios, that should fill out your sound and provide enough to do.

You might have to alter favorite pieces to accommodate your hand. That's all I can think up at the moment, good luck and if you have questions we're here for you!

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Re: Limited left hand problem

Post by chopsticks on Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:49 am

Brilliant, thank you. Andrew. Sorry I sounded grumpy... it's just a bit of a frustrating phase at the moment. I'm not very good at accepting limitations, sometimes.

You're right, I think I have been focussing on what I can't instead of what I can. My previous teacher was very "keen" on scales - without scales you aren't a pianist, she would say - so that does stick in your mind as what you HAVE to do. Triads and arpeggios here I come instead, though!

Wow those vids were amazing. Puts me in perspective...

Thanks, guys.

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Re: Limited left hand problem

Post by Christian on Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:20 pm

Those vids are amazing. Really amazing. Made my jaw drop.

Its what they say. Being handicapped is not about what you can't do, its about what you can do. Smile


I hope this isnt taking the wrong way, but if you have lost one joint, is it not possible to attach a prosthetic extension of the thumb? You dont need to use the top joint of the thumb to play. Smile

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Re: Limited left hand problem

Post by Admin Andrew on Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:50 pm

Hey, it's understandable why you'd be "grumpy". I know what it's like to suddenly have limitations you're not used to. When my heart went all funny and i got tendonitious in both hands, I used to practise 4-5 hours per day without any problems. After that suddenly I could only practise 5 minutes a day. It was a really tough time. 3 years later i'm still battling it, but i think i'm slowly gaining back what i lost suddenly.

If you keep the right mind set you'll be ok Smile We're here for you to, so you can talk out your problems with us.

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