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#1058673 - 10/26/04 07:33 AM Inadvertently pressing 2 keys
Jerry Luke Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 969
Loc: Tillamook, Oregon
When I am playing a piece that has a 6,7, or octave jump, with either hand, I often land my finger in between 2 keys, and end up pressing them both, getting a double-note. Is there a practice routine that I could do to develop the ability to know the exact spacing of the keys on the keyboard? Does this make any sense??
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#1058674 - 10/26/04 12:48 PM Re: Inadvertently pressing 2 keys
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210
practice, practice, practice \:\)

I find it helps something like that to play only those few notes over and over, dozens of times, for a couple of minutes. Maybe just it and the one note preceding it, or maybe the whole measure, but just that one little part that gives trouble. [Edit - and the entire point is to do this slow enough that you can do it well every time]

A couple of minutes of that, and then this span just sort of becomes automatic habit. I'm always amazed the next day, that part is simply no longer a problem.

#1058675 - 10/26/04 02:52 PM Re: Inadvertently pressing 2 keys
mikewu99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 314
Loc: Audubon, PA
Concentrate on two hand positions: the starting position right before the jump and the finishing position right after the jump.

Put your hand in the starting position, with the appropriate key(s) pressed by the appropriate finger(s).

Look at the keys you need to jump to. Relax your wrist and hand. When completely relaxed make the jump to the finishing position, watching the keys to make sure you hit the keys squarely. Relax your wrist and hand, then jump back to the starting position. Repeat.

Eventually you will burn the movement into your muscle memory and you will look at the keys less and less (although it is perfectly acceptable to peek at the keys during a big jump).

#1058676 - 10/26/04 04:00 PM Re: Inadvertently pressing 2 keys
Cindysphinx Offline

Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
All good advice so far.

First, you can practice doing your scales as octaves. I am supposed to be doing this, but somehow I never do!

Second, I was having this problem in a piece that had jumps on the left hand and a challenging single-note melody in the right hand. I was, of course, looking at my right hand and missing the jumps too much. My teacher held a sheet of paper over my right hand and asked me to play the melody. Lo and behold, it was no trouble at all. That was the only way she could convince me that it was OK to trust the right hand and look at the left hand and get the jumps.

Third, there are many times when I still play two notes instead of one. When this happens, don't panic -- get in the habit of just sliding your finger off the offending key and going right along as though nothing happened. Think of it as giving the piece "additional depth!"
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#1058677 - 10/27/04 05:44 AM Re: Inadvertently pressing 2 keys
Jerry Luke Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 969
Loc: Tillamook, Oregon
Thanks, everyone, for the replies. I now have some strategies to work with, and at the very least, I find comfort knowing that my problem is not all that unusual, and can be overcome with proper practice. \:\)
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