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Playing piano and knuckle health
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Jan 29, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: Me.
I've been playing piano most of my life, went through some serious training, and got very advanced at one point. But due to climbing taking up most of my spare time, I had not been practicing consistently in the past couple years. Recently though, I started to play more often, like an hour a day, doing finger exercises (scales, arpeggios, chords, etc.) and other pieces for pleasure. This small and fun (at least for me) effort seems to help reduce the discomfort and swelling in the knuckles of my middle and ring fingers from climbing.

I'm guessing that playing piano increases blood flow in the fingers and works many small muscles in fingers, hands, and arms. Not sure whether this would work for other people, but I'd like to share my experience here.
From Brattleboro, VT
Joined Nov 24, 2012
648 points
Jan 29, 2014
Talk to Frank Sanders, the owner of Devil's Tower Lodge and Climbing Guides, he plays piano better than anyone I know and he climbs harder than most people half his age. My guess is if you use it you won't lose it. I've noticed that guitar playing helps my aching hands and fingers too. B. Climbin'
Joined Apr 6, 2009
10,332 points
Jan 29, 2014
^+1. I also found that climbing has helped build stamina for the dreaded barre chord. I believe they compliment each other nicely, music and climbing, as both are so finger-dependent. Ari Kantola
From Raleigh, NC
Joined Mar 26, 2013
25 points
Jan 29, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: Buffsta
I've found the same thing; playing guitar and piano seem to increase blood flow and dexterity. Climbing strengthens, the guitar and piano keep things fluid. It's a nice combination.

Also, apparently practicing both activities regularly helps to stave off dementia and alzheimer's.
Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Joined Aug 15, 2008
364 points
Jan 29, 2014
I had to take a couple of years off climbing after having my knee rebuilt a couple of times. I found that my finger dexterity for piano seemed much better than when I climbed often. I'm kind of a punter though when it comes to piano. Able to play some easier Chopin nocturnes and polonaises, movements of Beethoven sonatas but not the entire sonata, etc., so my experience may be pretty different than yours. Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Joined Nov 9, 2007
146 points

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