I am 16 and have been learning piano for 10 years and i am a chopin lover. I have just completed his 1st ballad but i am having trouble with the ending (my hands get tired). Are there any exercises that i could do to loosen up my hands or maby a good etude that could help. thanks.
Aw man! Exercises! Etudes! Those are no fun! The first time I learned the 1st Ballade, I had similar trouble with the coda -- my hands got really, really exhausted. I worked really hard on it, always making certain my hands were relaxed and rotating properly (don't try to do it all with your fingers; use your arm and wrist to your advantage!) and always listening carefully to the beautiful textures and harmonies. In the end, it wasn't perfect and I still struggled.
A few years later (and many pieces later) I worked the ballade up again for a concert. Low and behold, the coda came very easily to me! My technique had improved sufficiently to render the coda's difficulties obsolete. Soooooo -- work hard, but be patient as well.
- Greg (Oct. 23, 2009)