Improving the practice and performance of contemporary music

Physical difficulties

Avoiding pain and dosing energy
The playing techniques that are described above (especially the glissando techniques) are sometimes very extreme for the joints and hands. Be careful to train you arms and hands for these extreme techniques so you don’t hurt yourself while performing the piece. Also make sure not to overplay your muscles and joints. Try to find a good balance between playing all the way and saving yourself. One golden rule is: never continue playing if something starts to hurt anywhere.
Some solutions that could avoid these pains:
  • Use Compeed plasters, which work as “second skin” for fingers where the mallets rub the skin while playing dead strokes and violent glissandi
  • Don’t play the most physically demanding passages fully all the time, but in a way “acting” them, with smaller movements, smaller distances, etc.
  • Try to visualise the different passages in your head instead of playing them, like playing a video of yourself inside your imagination.