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#1021392 - 10/08/04 07:49 AM Finally doing the HT thing!
Jerry Luke Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 969
Loc: Tillamook, Oregon
I began studying piano 7 months ago and I'm almost through the Alfred's Book One for adult beginners (no teacher yet). Anyway, I have almost nailed "On Top Of Old Smokey", which is really the first "piece" that uses LH & RH in something other than straight chords. The LH plays broken chords (I, IV, & V7), while the RH plays melody. I much prefer broken chords over regular chords, which sound much rougher.) I have been using Chang's methods of intense repetitions of the RH then the same with the LH, then putting them together. I played it fairly well several times last night and was ecstatic! Maybe I can get the hang of HT play after all. \:\) Now, I realize that this piece is not at the same level as the actual pieces you are all playing, but I wanted to share my excitement, and the Adult Beginner's Forum seemed like the place to do it.
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#1021393 - 10/08/04 08:58 AM Re: Finally doing the HT thing!
sleepingcats Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 982
Loc: Oregon
That's great Jerry!

Hey, we were all in your shoes in the beginning, so don't worry about your level here in the Beginner's Forum. We're here for support! Sometimes I hit a roadblock trying to learn a piece, but then suddenly I can finally do it, and it's exciting to get over that roadblock! I really do find improvement the next morning on what I intensely practiced the day before.

Yes, the broken chords do sound nice. On a piece I'm learning now, my teacher has me adding a little bit of the damper pedal just on the broken chord to add a bit of richness and beauty.

Keep practicing and having fun! \:\) \:\)
"Cats make purrfect friends"

#1021394 - 10/08/04 09:46 AM Re: Finally doing the HT thing!
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
Congrats on the breakthrough Jerry! It's those little victories that keep us all going. How long have you been incorporating Chang's techniques into your practice?
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

#1021395 - 10/08/04 10:12 AM Re: Finally doing the HT thing!
Jerry Luke Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 969
Loc: Tillamook, Oregon
I've been using Chang's technique for about 2 weeks. A lot of what I read in his book (so far) was a bit over my head (like the 'gravity drop' method & relaxation techniques...whatever...), but the HS/HT techniques were very intriguing and fairly easy to understand. What I found on this piece while playing HT was I was focused on getting the LH broken chords right, and I realized all of a sudden that the RH was just automatically falling on the right notes...without any conscious thought on my part. I was actually "hearing" myself play, rather than focusing so intently on my fingering. I can only assume that I am seeing some of the "muscle memory" spoken of by Chang. In any event, it's exciting! \:\)
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#1021396 - 10/08/04 01:09 PM Re: Finally doing the HT thing!
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
excellent! by the way - Chang didn't invent any of this stuff, he just did a good job of presenting it.

Also, if the concept of "gravity drop" and relaxation techniques went over your head, take a look at it again. Do you have a teacher? Those are probably two of the most important concepts in developing good healthy piano technique and tone.

"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

#1021397 - 10/08/04 04:33 PM Re: Finally doing the HT thing!
HermanM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Newport, VA
Just wait, Jerry, it'll just keep getting better. I'm in the second Alfred book now, and there's some fun stuff in there that makes Old Smokey look easy - and in a short amount of time, it will be to you.
Good stuff, this. Studying piano, that is.
I played it better at home.

#1021398 - 10/09/04 09:28 AM Re: Finally doing the HT thing!
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Just wait.. you get to about three years and it will AMAZE you what you will be able to play. Like Hermann points out.. the more you play the better you will be!


He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

#1021399 - 10/09/04 09:04 PM Re: Finally doing the HT thing!
Jerry Luke Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 969
Loc: Tillamook, Oregon
Thanks, everyone for your encouraging words. I appreciate the comments!
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#1021400 - 10/10/04 03:00 PM Re: Finally doing the HT thing!
Cindysphinx Offline

Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
You *go,* Jerry! Getting the hang of hands together is really an awakening, isn't it?

Keep it up!
Vote For Cindy!!


#1021401 - 10/11/04 08:38 AM Re: Finally doing the HT thing!
Jerry Luke Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 969
Loc: Tillamook, Oregon
Absolutely, Cindy! It was one of those moments when a person catches a quick glimpse of what might be. I started learning with the idea that doing different things with each hand was something 'other' people could do, but likely not me. Although broken chords are not all that difficult, getting the timing right with the notes on the melody line was quite a feat. It was then that I started thinking maybe...just maybe... \:D
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