It happens so quickly! One minute you are skiing or playing basketball, and the next moment finds you in deep pain. If you are a piano player, one of your first concerns will be how the fingers and hands have come through the accident. Survival instincts make you send out your dominant arm to rescue the situation, so often enough it is the dominant hand that is the injured one. This could mean your strong, mainly used hand or arm will be neutralized for a couple of weeks or even months and will require a great deal of adjustments in your everyday life.
Once it comes to piano playing, this is obviously extremely frustrating. You won't be able to continue with your normal practice routine. You may have to cancel planned rehearsals and performances. But must you stop playing altogether until your hand has recovered?
If you know it is only a matter of time until the hand is back to normal, it will be worthwhile to keep up the playing and not take a long break. The following ideas will show you how you can do this one handed:
When you do your normal practice, a high percentage of the work should be done on the mental level. Playing with no mental engagement is far less effective than concentrated and focused playing. If you can't use both your hands (or don't have an instrument to practice on) doing mental practice is a lot better than doing nothing at all.
In the case of a hand injury, you could try playing the one part with the functioning hand while imagining the sound and finger movements of the other hand.
Pieces written for one hand
There is a surprisingly large repertoire of pieces for one hand only. The IMSLP has a whole page dedicated solely to piano pieces in the left hand.
Maurice Ravel wrote a beautiful piano concerto for left hand only, composed for his friend who lost an arm in World war one. (The piano can be seen from minute 3 in this youtube video.)
The German composer Stephen Benking has written pieces for LH solo or RH solo which he offers for free downloading on his website.
Improvise with chords from lead sheets
You may also want to use the time gap you have from your routine practice for playing from lead sheets. You could hum the tune and try out different patterns of chords and accompaniments.
Do some Theory exercises
Music theory work often gets left behind and this would be the chance to sit down and figure out some of the next chapters in your Theory book. It is best to sit at the piano while doing the exercises and play the examples in the book.
Once your hand has recovered, you will be fully "in the zone" and all you will need to catch up on will be the physical rehabilitation of the hand.
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