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I returned to playing at Christmas after replacing my old piano with a Yamaha U3.
Now hotter weather is here an old problem I remember from 30 years ago when I last played. The only temporary help after washing and drying is to dust with talcum powder, but this only helps for a time.
There is slight moisture or sweat on my fingertips this just makes my fingers stick to the keys, it's hopeless playing then. Is it my 'lack of' technique or fingers not strong enough to move against the sticking ?
Any thoughts very welcome please.
1 Keeping the keys as clean as possible. If the piano is new or newly sold then they should be spotless now.
2 Always washing my hands before playing, if there is any doubt that they might be anything other than pristinely clean and dry.
3 NEVER let anyone go near the piano with any sort of polish/spray/Mr S**** or any other artificial gunge. Putting it on the case is just as bad, unless it's completely rubbed off. I have reduced many cleaners to despair in the schools where I have worked by banging on about this.
4 Ideally keep children well away from pianos. Not always possible, especially as I am a teacher, but they are mostly disaster areas when it comes to clean hands.
I think these precautions should do the trick. I have played in some hot and unpleasant environments over the years, but have never had a problem with fingers sticking to keys. The technical people will confirm or otherwise, but I would think that talcum powder could be a risky answer to the problem; I'm sure it could get between or under the keys and play havoc!
Best of luck!
It's the moisture that produces fingerprints, I've scrubbed my hands, but as soon as I get warm my fingers sweat, when it's cooler there's no problem. It's such a slight amount of moisture only noticeable when trying to play and my fingers just seem to get glued to the keys. I assumed that it would have been a common problem.
Should I be able to move my fingers against this, finger strength or technique lacking ?
What about using some sort of alcohol rub on your hands, like the stuff they use in hospital? That might help.
The alcohol sounds a good idea which I'll try, thanks for that.
I've just got a desk fan and stood it next to me and so far that seems to be keeping my fingers a lot cooler and stopping them sweating.
I'm still curious though if it's a technique thing that is stopping me from being able to move against the resistance of the sticking effect, or am I the only one to have fingers that have slight sweating causing it ?
It seems when the temperature goes over about 72f I get the slightly damp fingertips. I think it's nothing more than the 'normal' moisture that produces fingerprints and that gives the grip when grasping anything, but it sure has given me a lot of annoyance since the Summer has arrived.
I know lots of people have very sweaty hands, I've been in the retail trade until retiring and have had to wipe my hands down my trousers after shaking hands with people who's hands were horribly wet countless times, mine are thankfully nothing like that !!!
Going back to my question on how others manage with playing in hot weather, is there no one who has the slightest moisture from their fingers that causes the fingers to stick to the keys ?
I've read on an American forum of people having fingers sweating so badly that their fingers slip off the keys.
However, you ask how widespread the problem is. I have never found it a problem myself. (OK, my piano has got ivory keys, so that probably helps, but I haven't experienced it elsewhere either - even in a hot and stressful situation.) More importantly, I've been living with pianos and pianists for most of my life. I never recall any fellow pianists mentioning the problem (either when we were students, or since) and I've never had a pupil who seems to suffer with it. (Though many need to be reminded about clean hands.) I hope this puts your situation in perspective - at least as I see it. Anyway, it seems as if the problem's solved!
In the USA there is one keyshop that does a perfect job.
Rochester Piano Key
55 lois St
Rockester, NY 14606
Phone ... 1-585-647-1933
I gave a recital recently and it was so hot that my hands were almost dripping sweat, and I slid off the key a couple of times. It happens I guess. Ivory keytops are better for this, and feel much nicer all in all. Not for the elephants mind... Perhaps if you found an old piano with the same size of keyboard, bought it for not very much, swap the keytops and sold the piano? I don't know if this is possible you could ask on the pianos forum?
The fan is cheaper...