While practicing, if you feel like you need to shake your wrists, you need to stop what you are doing. If you continue practicing the way you are doing, you will develop tendinitis in your wrist(s). Often the situation happens when you are playing a lot of octaves, tonic 4-note chords, and wide arpeggios. It never happened to my wrists in my entire life. But then, why some intermediate students, advanced students, or even professional players get tendinitis? It's because they don't have a proper technique to relax to play those wide intervals repetitively for a long time.
Pretend you are going to play a blocked octave. Just open your hand wide. And if you are supposed to leave it open like that for a while, you may start to feel the tension inside your wrist. The tension gets stronger gradually when you try to stay in that hand position longer. This tension starts to create a very small amount of inflammation inside your wrist. Also, the energy stops flowing inside the wrist as well. These things happen if you don't know how to relax.
I can't go deeper in to "how to relax your wrist" today in this blog. It is a huge subject. So, I'll definitely write about that in my later blog. But even if you read "how to relax your wrist," it's going to take a long time for people who tend to tense up inside the wrists to learn to relax. So, today, let's talk about what you should be cautious about until you can relax your wrists. If you start to feel like you need to shake your wrists, stop what you are practicing. And practice something else that doesn't require your hands to be widely spread out for a long time.
You may think it's OK to hurt a little bit. But that "little bit" will lead to serious inflammation and that leads to an official "tendinitis." You don't want to get there. It's not fun at all. A doctor may give you a steroid shot inside your wrist or forearm. And the doctor may tell you not to play the piano for a few months. "What? Serious?" Yes. I'm serious! So, protect your wrist each time.
I've seen so many piano practitioners who hurt their wrists. That's why I came up with arrangements of music such as "Moonlight Sonata" and "Clair de lune" that a lot of people want to "challenge." I like their enthusiasm. But if you have a habit of tensing up inside your wrists, I recommend you to enjoy playing the slightly arranged versions where one of the octave notes is removed. These arrangements still sound very close to the originals. But they won't give your wrists trouble.
I can suggest those arrangements below that are available from Galaxy Music Notes:
- Moonlight Sonata, Mvmt-1 by Beethoven: Level 4
- Clair de lune by Debussy: Level 5
- The Entertainer by Scott Joplin: Level 5
- Liebestraume by Liszt: Level 3
- Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin: Level 3
- Jupiter Theme by Holst: Level 4
- Piano Concerto No. 1, Mvmt-1 by Tchaikovsky: Level 4
- Turkish March by Mozart: Level 4