Greg - (I'm a HUGE fan btw) - have you ever gotten tendonitis from practicing too much? A couple years back i did the foolish thing of not taking breaks while practicing and really screwed my right arm up. Now when i practice my right arm seems to have 1/3 - 1/2 of the endurance of my left arm, and i find myself resting it alot. i am genuinely concerned. My technique itself is fine but do i still have a chance in becoming a concert pianist? I love to play and don't want to give up.
Can I call you Rachmaninoff?? j/k
I don't have much personal experience to offer you; I've been really, really lucky that I've never had any problems. My teachers worked for years (and years and years) helping me develop a technique that fosters relaxed muscles and avoids pinched nerves.
I've seen a number of pianists come back from the gates of hell to pursue very successful careers as pianists. Some teachers are very good at helping injured students recover. A few words of advice:
- give yourself a 5 minute break for every 20 minutes of practice
- ALWAYS stay relaxed, even in the most grueling passage-work (this is harder than it sounds)
- keep your hand parallel to your arm (or pointing downward); i.e., avoid bending your wrist upward
- instead of stretching your fingers, ROTATE your entire hand
Best wishes to a speedy recovery!