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#1040305 - 12/18/04 09:40 AM How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
I would be interested in responses to technical methods dealing with double note scales and passages, i.e., finger variants, mode of practice, books/compositions to gain facility, and actual keyboard approach.

Thanks!

Ralph

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#1040306 - 12/18/04 03:11 PM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
Varcon, was there a specific passage you were thinking about? The general nature of your question makes it challenging to answer. IMO
Jon
_________________________
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

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#1040307 - 12/18/04 03:20 PM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
are you talking about double 3rd, 6th, octave, etc.?

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#1040308 - 12/18/04 03:50 PM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Yes! Double note scales (3rds, 6ths, chromatic) etc.

How do you (anyone) actually play them--i.e.--what do you do to execute them?

Octaves are not a problem. Just wondering what 'systems' for doing the double notes are available.

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#1040309 - 12/20/04 10:13 PM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i play the 3rds with the fingering from Hanon actually, which is standard i suppose. what do you mean by 'chromatic', single chromoatic scale or double ones like in Chopin etude op.25.6? i use basically standard fingering for all such scales, except the scale passages in actual pieces, in which fingering usually depends on what is before and after such a passage.

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#1040310 - 12/21/04 03:42 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Thanks, Signa! I use the fingering in Cooke's Mastering the Scales and Arpeggios which is about as complete an exposition of them available. And I use his fingerings for the chromatic scales (minor, major 3rds; minor, major 6ths). I have the Moszkowski School of Double Notes too and practise one the four Advanced pieces (Ab). Double note scales, etc., really help develop technique as all the fingers are used more often. I do double notes on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Single note scales on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Yes, I do mean double note chromatic scales as in the Berceuse or the Op.25, Nr. 6. The fingering of particular passages can vary as you indicate and I, too, make that adjustment.

Thanks for your response.

Ralph

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#1040311 - 12/21/04 06:56 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
I never really thought about a "method" or "system" for playing them (I could just be naive) - I play them using the same fingering I would if I were playing a single note scale with one hand.

That is, just because my RH is starting and ending on the 3rd degree of the scale (while the LH simultaneously starts and ends on the 1st) - the finger that hits each note is the same that would hit the note had I started and ended on the 1st scale degree.

Take for example Fminor.

One possible fingering to play the scales as octaves might be (spanning 2 octaves lets say):

RH: 123412312345
LH: 543213214321

That is simply a 2 octave going up, F minor scale played with each hand.

Now, if I want to play double note scales as 3rds I would play both hands exactly the same, only instead of starting with the 1 on my RH an octave up from the LH, I'd start with the 3 on my RH a third up. Starting and ending points are different, fingerings are exactly the same.

Therefore play it like this:

RH: 341231234123
LH: 543213214321

RH and LH starting a third apart.. Or, put a 10th apart, same thing.

Note also the relative major/minor here - how I'm playing an F minor in my LH and a G# major in my right hand (same notes, different start/stop point..)

This, as well, shows me that the fingering for the G# major is scale is going to be the same as the fingering for the Fminor scale (if you don't consider the difference in start/stop point)

I'd also note that this subsequent fingering I use while playing "the third of Fminor" (ie. G# major) is of course the same fingering I'd use in my RH for a G#major scale if I were practicing it alone.

So, long winded answer I guess. The "system" I guess is that the fingering is the same.

-Paul
_________________________
"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

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#1040312 - 12/21/04 07:51 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Paul,

Your exposition for scales at intervals is quite correct but double note scales are two notes in one hand, i.e., c-e (1-3) d-f(2-4) e-g(3-5) f-a(1-3) g-b (2-4) a-c (1-3) b-d (2-4) c-e (1-3) and this is one octave for the right hand. Left hand is something similar but adjusted for it. So each hand is playing two notes simultaneously in sequence.

The term is not quite 'on the point' so to speak but the general term is 'double note'. Your exposition is playing one note sequentially in each hand either at the octave, 3rd, 6th, or 10th. That's a normal and very useful sequence to practise as well. That's what I do on M/W/F and the double notes on T/T/S.

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#1040313 - 12/21/04 07:56 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
And I might add this comment too, Paul. The fingering for diatonic scales (major/minor) is 12312345 but the starting point can be any finger and then the normal sequence of fingering, i.e., 123 1234 is followed. Since 5 is not always used then 123 1234 is the sequence for either hand--it just depends on whether one is ascending or descending. You're quite right about the fingering tho.

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#1040314 - 12/21/04 07:58 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
ahh, it appears I misunderstood you sir!

The key is to use your arms, not your fingers alone.

Here is some good stuff on the matter by Bernhard on pianoforum:

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2477.msg21404.html#msg21404

-Paul
_________________________
"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

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#1040315 - 12/21/04 08:00 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by Varcon:
And I might add this comment too, Paul. The fingering for diatonic scales (major/minor) is 12312345 but the starting point can be any finger and then the normal sequence of fingering, i.e., 123 1234 is followed. Since 5 is not always used then 123 1234 is the sequence for either hand--it just depends on whether one is ascending or descending. You're quite right about the fingering tho. [/b]
Indeed. That's why I said "One possible fingering to play the scales might be".. most of my scales do not begin with 1 or 5 and 5 is generally not used in multiple octave runs except perhaps for the turnaround point.

Thank you though for the clarification.

-Paul
_________________________
"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

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#1040316 - 12/24/04 04:17 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
Hey Varcon -

I was just reading "Chopin, Pianist and Teacher as seen by his pupils" by Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger and I came upon this bit, which reminded me of this thread. Look at his fingering for the chromatic thirds in the Etude Op. 25/6

_________________________
"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

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#1040317 - 12/25/04 04:09 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
For the legato effect desired some fingering has to be changed to facilitate that. Something similar in chromatic thirds is found in the Berceuse as well. Thanks for the input, Paul. Every tidbit helps! \:D

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#1040318 - 12/25/04 04:24 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Luckychwee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 231
Loc: Singapore
Wow !!! Are these beginner's stuffs ???
_________________________
An apple a day keep the doctor away,
A smile a day chase your sadness away,
A chat a day drive all loneliness away,
And a prayer a day never keep our Jesus away
And let's praise our Lord, our King, our God all the way ....

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#1040319 - 12/25/04 04:58 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Luckychwee! No, definitely not beginners material. Very advanced as a matter of fact. However, it's something you'll run into if you keep studying (since you ask, I assume you're something of a beginner?) so pre-knowledge won't hurt you! Eventually you'll have pieces with double-note passages and need to execute them properly. There are different ideas on how to execute them so find what works for YOU!!

In the meantime, enjoy your piano studies and keep moving forward!

Ralph

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#1040320 - 12/25/04 11:53 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
Varcon, my Dover edition of Chopin prelude and etudes has this one with exact fingering. is this etude really hard? i only tried at most one page or less of a very few etudes in the book (not this one though), and it seems every one i tried is hard to play through. i don't know if this one is a must-do etude for technique? it looks pretty hard anyway.

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#1040321 - 12/25/04 03:51 PM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Signa,
Each of the Etudes of Chopin has some technical purpose besides being a wonderful musical composition, and, no matter what others might say about them--they're HARD~ To have them in your repertoire--some of them anyway--is pretty much a given for piano students. Do you need a stronger wrist and fingers? Then try Nr. 7, Op. 10. Do you need to develop the roll and stretching? Nr. 11, Op. 10 would be one. Others might develop tonal control, left hand facility, or arpeggio playing.

Are you taking lessons? If so, then your instructor might assign one that has a problem that would help you in a specific area. It would be difficult to advise you on which one would be best for you at this point as you haven't indicated the level of achievement you've reached.

This one is the famous one in double thirds and, yes, it's quite difficult to play. Nr.8, Op. 25 is for double sixths and also quite difficult.

I played Nr. 11, Op. 10 and Nr. 8, Op. 25 in high school. I still work on them as they are very useful in maintaining technique and are great in ones repertoire.

Nr. 12, Op. 10 is great for developing the left hand facility. So, pick one and stick with it.

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#1040322 - 12/25/04 04:20 PM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
thanks, Varcon, for advices. i am not that advanced, and see that's why i was usually wondering at this forum. i don't have a teacher and in fact never have had one. i could only estimate my level at perhaps late beginner, since i've played or am playing at best some pieces like these:

Bach - invention 4,13 & sinfonia 2, prelude 1,2,20 from WTC1; Beethoven - op.49 mvmt1, op.79 mvmt2, op.31/2 mvmt3(not yet finished), fur elise; and some other short pieces from Chopin, Scalartti, etc.

i do want to play through at least 1 or 2 etude, but so far i only tried without completing any of them. i guess that you're right, i should just pick one and stick to it.

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#1040323 - 12/25/04 04:36 PM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Then you might want to do some Cramer Etudes to prepare for the Chopin Etudes. Henselt, Moszkowski, and others have etudes that are wonderful and, in a way, more accessible than the Chopin Etudes at this stage in your development. You might ask someone who is a respected musician in your area about it--play for them, get their opinion, and then make a selection. Bach is always good--Nr. 8 Invention is very good for finger facility like Nr. 4.

You might consider guidance from someone, as I mentioned, with 'conferences' every now and then if you don't want to take regular lessons. If there is a College, University there or close enough, you could consult the piano person there. They are usually qualified so it would be a reasonably safe bet that the advice would be reasonable and good.

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#1040324 - 12/25/04 05:56 PM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
thanks, i'd take those into consideration. yes, Bach is always good, and i'm going to learn Bach's fugue no.2 WTC1 as soon as prelude no.2 is polished. it's the first fugue i'd do.

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#1040325 - 12/25/04 08:22 PM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Luckychwee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 231
Loc: Singapore
 Quote:
Luckychwee! No, definitely not beginners material. Very advanced as a matter of fact.
Yes, I am a complete beginner and thanks for the explanation. I mistakenly thought that these double 3rds etc etc are during the 1st or 2nd year of piano learning but as you say that it's very advanced so I presume it's like after 4-5 years of studies. Am I right or wrong ?

There are still many terms like these which I am not familiar of and pardon me if I seek and ask around here.
_________________________
An apple a day keep the doctor away,
A smile a day chase your sadness away,
A chat a day drive all loneliness away,
And a prayer a day never keep our Jesus away
And let's praise our Lord, our King, our God all the way ....

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#1040326 - 12/26/04 03:03 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Luckychwee, the time of introduction to compositions on the level of the Chopin Etudes depends, in large part, how fast you make progress in your piano studies. Since piano playing is a very personal thing and progress is dependant on the individual, when you would be ready is questionable and somewhat up to your
instructor's assessment of your ability. You don't need to rush into them but prepare by studying scales, arpeggios, and other technical devices as well as compositions for musical development too. If you're doing that now and make rapid progress then soon you'll be ready for things like the Etudes, Polonaises, etc. Just be steady in your practice and work diligently on whatever your present assignments are and then you'll get there. Good luck.

Oh--and don't hesitate to ask about things here. Someone will respond with advice or direction--that's sort of what this Forum is about I think. You need to know? ASK!! You're not imposing on anyone as I think they like to share their knowledge and learn themselves.

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#1040327 - 12/27/04 06:18 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
Hi signa, I agree with Varcon - he has much good advice.

You mentioned that you have learned some of the Bach inventions and sinfonias plus material from the WTC.. That's impressive as a self-taught beginner. But if you enjoy playing that type of material, you'd be doing yourself a great service in finding a qualified teacher who can properly guide you. Much of Bach is deceptivly difficult, not so much in the notes or getting the coordination down (though that in of itself is a good challenge) rather, the difficulity lies in proper articulation and phrasing, and you'd be extremely lucky to "get it right" on your own. There is a world of depth to those pieces that is likely completely unknown to you, and if you enjoy those pieces now, you'll be blown away with some more advanced guidance!

Happy Holidays \:\)

-Paul
_________________________
"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

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#1040328 - 12/27/04 07:49 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
thanks for advises, Paul. i'm doing well (if not by your standard) by myself so far and would only consider a teacher when i'm ready for that later. Bach is difficult, but i've been mainly playing his and Beethoven's pieces and learned to deal with the technical parts. moreover i have a lot of technical reading to do, which would take me a while before needing a teacher for guidance ;\) .

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#1040329 - 12/27/04 09:47 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
I'll add another comment, Signa. In studying by one's self, it's possible to develop some habits that would be considered by trained pianists to be unacceptable. Habits, once established, are extremely difficult to overcome and, under pressure, the tendency is to revert to them. Many teachers will not even remotely consider working on something with a student if they have worked on it before with or without a teacher. The reason: habits are already there and any effort to change to something better or different will result in mental conflict in the students thoughts about how to do it and the new ideas are difficult to accept.

Point: A good teacher can guide the student along good lines of development and avoid bad habits. Self-teaching, which might be very productive, can lead to problems. That's why I suggested that you at least confer periodically with someone qualified so they can review your progress and give you good advice as to how you should continue. Realize also, that I nor others can know what you're doing since this forum doesn't allow us to see or hear you and a very present instructor can observe and hear.

I think what Paul is attempting to tell you is that you won't realize the full potential of some of the pieces you work on perhaps until you have some guidance because of the subtleties and nuances necessary. Oh the other hand, you might be a very careful listener and judge everything you do very closely.

Anyway, enjoy playing and keep at it! \:\)

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#1040330 - 12/27/04 11:18 AM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by signa:
thanks for advises, Paul. i'm doing well (if not by your standard) by myself so far and would only consider a teacher when i'm ready for that later. Bach is difficult, but i've been mainly playing his and Beethoven's pieces and learned to deal with the technical parts. moreover i have a lot of technical reading to do, which would take me a while before needing a teacher for guidance ;\) . [/b]
Oh don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say anything about your progress or the worth of what you're doing.. Nor do I have a "standard" - all I'm saying is that my teacher opened my eyes to a much greater depth in Bach's works, with regards to articulation and phrasing that I would not have realized on my own. Perhaps this too would be the case with you. Perhaps not, I have no way of knowing! Only offering friendly advice

-Paul
_________________________
"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

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#1040331 - 12/27/04 02:46 PM Re: How do you approach double note scales/passages?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
don't worry about it, Paul, and you certainly misunderstood what i mean by 'your standard', which simply means that by any standard your progress is faster or better than what i have done that i cannot be compared with. i guess that everyone is different, some learn better with teachers and some without, and i do better on my own without outside presure. it by no means is against having a teacher, but so far i learned much and am still learning from some of the best teachers in the books i have. i'm sure some day i'd seek some guidance from a teacher live when i need to.

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