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#1235765 - 07/23/09 07:10 AM tactical piano awareness
pianostoolie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Glendale RI
Hi, my name is Mark I'm 49 years of age who always played by ear and now learning to read. My question is, playing, say right hand two octaves C-C-C. Is it better to use the octave span of my hand as a guide feel, or visualize the octave span and do it on the fly. I've tried it both ways and the feel works 100% but puts a limitation on speed and visually on the fly maybe 65% accuracy. I do have a teacher she's 85 yrs. of age. I don't know how other teachers are but she never really has pat answers as to what she's developed as to the system she uses. Like walking I guess, after a while it just and it's hard how one does it. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated !

Thanks,
Mark (Glendale RI 401-710-7966)

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#1235775 - 07/23/09 07:55 AM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: pianostoolie]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Hi Mark and welcome to PW!!

I'm not exactly sure what your question is...but I think you're asking about fingering...? I'll have to go look up "fly" in my music dictionary, too technical. lol.

C to C to C I teach RH 1(thumb), RH 3, RH 5 (pinky)
If you're going more than 2 octaves, it would be C 1, C 3, C 1, C 3 until the last one, which would be a 5 again.

Helpful? I hope so wink
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1235863 - 07/23/09 11:08 AM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
There are a number of ways this could be done. Say
you want to play middle C and then the next two higher
C's as rapidly as possible in succession.

One way might be to use finger 1 on middle C, 5 on
the second, then quickly replace 5 with 1 and play the
third with 5. This is secure, because you have the
octave span of your hand to judge the distance, but
substituting the fingers takes time.

Another way might be to use 1 on middle C, 5 on the
second, and then hop wholesale with the hand and
play the third with, say, 4. Judging the hop by
feel. The fact that the third C is to the left of
a black key can help, because you can use
that black key as a sort of "backstop" that when
you hit it you know where the third C is. This
is fast, but less secure, but with practice you
can hit it every time.

Or you might use 1 1 1, or 1 5 5, judging the distance
by feel. And so forth.

Blind pianists do this kind of playing with no problem.

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#1235952 - 07/23/09 01:20 PM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: Gyro]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7418
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
When I read this topic, I thought it was going to discuss assault pianos! laugh
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1235963 - 07/23/09 01:43 PM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
It all depends on context - speed, tone, and what comes before and after.

If all I had to play was C-C-C, I'd use 1-5-3

(Yes, 1-5-3, sorta like Harpo Marx.)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1236049 - 07/23/09 03:59 PM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: Kreisler]
Susan K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/09
Posts: 192
Loc: Central California
Kreisler - Why would you play 1-5-3? Is that to get you into position for what comes after? It feels very good for me to do that. I'm just very curious, because I'm starting to do jumps...

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#1236058 - 07/23/09 04:11 PM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: Kreisler]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
It all depends on context - speed, tone, and what comes before and after.

If all I had to play was C-C-C, I'd use 1-5-3

(Yes, 1-5-3, sorta like Harpo Marx.)

Also: 2 1 5, and if you return back again, it becomes obvious why. But context is everything, and we don't have any.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1236313 - 07/24/09 02:05 AM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: Gyro]
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 435
Originally Posted By: Gyro
There are a number of ways this could be done. Say
you want to play middle C and then the next two higher
C's as rapidly as possible in succession.

One way might be to use finger 1 on middle C, 5 on
the second, then quickly replace 5 with 1 and play the
third with 5. This is secure, because you have the
octave span of your hand to judge the distance, but
substituting the fingers takes time.

Another way might be to use 1 on middle C, 5 on the
second, and then hop wholesale with the hand and
play the third with, say, 4. Judging the hop by
feel. The fact that the third C is to the left of
a black key can help, because you can use
that black key as a sort of "backstop" that when
you hit it you know where the third C is. This
is fast, but less secure, but with practice you
can hit it every time.

Or you might use 1 1 1, or 1 5 5, judging the distance
by feel. And so forth.

Blind pianists do this kind of playing with no problem.


This is the first time I agree with comments from Gyro. And this worries me. Either he is improving, or I'm going senile.
_________________________
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------


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#1236421 - 07/24/09 10:30 AM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: Susan K.]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: Susan K.
Kreisler - Why would you play 1-5-3? Is that to get you into position for what comes after? It feels very good for me to do that. I'm just very curious, because I'm starting to do jumps...


It's the fastest way I can play the three C's. I may or may not completely change based on what comes after.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1236730 - 07/24/09 05:03 PM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: Kreisler]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
There is a passage in the Mephisto Walzt where the RH has to play notes with the 2nd finger, then leaps up to octaves (the next two keys, octaves, are played AS an octave), and those leaps have to be played almost blind. The LH is also jumping.

That's why I found 2 1 5 to be fastest, even as separate notes.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1236733 - 07/24/09 05:05 PM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
When I read this topic, I thought it was going to discuss assault pianos! laugh


Yeah, me too! I think it's really supposed to be "tactile" instead of "tactical." smile
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1236815 - 07/24/09 07:38 PM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: Minniemay]
Susan K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/09
Posts: 192
Loc: Central California
I tried both 1-5-3 and 2-1-5 and found I had more control with 2-1-5 (thank you, Gary D.). To master 1-5-3, I need a finer sense of the geography (which I hope will come with practice) because I couldn't land reliably on that last C. (Though, 1-5-3 worked much better on the black keys.)

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#1236890 - 07/24/09 10:42 PM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: Susan K.]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
The nice thing about 2 1 5 is that you can go both ways:

2 1 5 1 2, returning to your starting place. smile
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1237034 - 07/25/09 10:32 AM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: Gary D.]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
But I don't think the OP was really asking about fingering.

I can't be sure, but I think his real question is how to learn keyboard geometry (or geography as some of you say).

He used the octave C's as an example. And he mentions that he's been playing by ear, and now is learning to read, so in the past he's been looking at the keys. Now he has to know where the key is - either by tactile feel or by spatial orientation, or by some other method. Not surprisingly his teacher hasn't explained it well yet.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1237175 - 07/25/09 03:19 PM Re: tactical piano awareness [Re: TimR]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
I interpreted his question as one about how to get from location 1 to 2 to 3, what happens when the fingers are not able to stretch from one note to another. If the question is about something else, it may need a different answer. smile
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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