Reply To: Tension in the back of the hand

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I played like that all my teens, thinking I needed a crab like hand to approach the harp, obviously it went unnoticed, and when I resumed playing I carried on in the same way then got RSI big time due to my car’s heavy steering and in a bad way late 90’s, and on the PC all day. My tutor tried to showed me how to relax at the steering wheel but my brain didn’t know how to let go..I squeezed anything I held. and I concluded the Salzedo approach wasn’t helping me, so I think it takes ages, years to unlearn this automatic tension, and now I’m fine and can draw an analogy with motor skills for washing up or using a screwdriver . You pick something up, then when you apply pressure to clean/screw but you mustn’t FIX and force the tension in your hand or forearm, that’s what gets stuck and can hurt momentarily and if repeated becomes the injury. I couldn’t hold a cup or write & concluded I’d give up the harp. My Salvi too seemed hard to play with this attitude, even with ‘light’ strings at which point I wished for an L&H. Now that I’m okay, a note can be played with a confident light action closing properly into the palm, no ADDED work is necessary, no forcing from the shoulder thro’ the elbow. My chiropractor helped the most, you should also use the little-finger-to-thumb pull test, which indicates whether the elbow tendons through the carpal tunnel are ‘working’ properly in the muscular-skeleto system, requiring simple wrist bones manipulation and neck too. Perhaps tinkling on the piano would be a better way to retrain your action whilst you are ‘off’ the harp, because you don’t have to place ahead, which I think is the seed of misuse, so don’t lose all hope, I know it took ages to correct and I am still sensitive to overuse and tendon soreness.