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#1244468 - 08/06/09 04:25 AM Arpeggios Question
Gerry Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
I working through the Grade 5 ABRSM syllabus at the moment, and I have a question about the arpeggios.

If I take C Major as an example, the standard fingering is 123 123 1235 on the way up. Am I supposed to perform a thumb under movement when I go from finger 3 on G to my thumb on the next C each time to ensure they are played legato, or is the norm to jump my whole hand to get my thumb up to the next C?
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#1244570 - 08/06/09 09:39 AM Re: Arpeggios Question [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
Jeffers K A Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 3
Loc: BRecon, UK
I'd like to hear an answer to this also - my piano teacher says 'thumb under' but (seemingly like all her child students - I'm 50 by the way and have spent 35 years playing guitar and mandolin - mostly semi-pro)my elbow sticks out like a broken drainpipe performing this manoever :-)
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#1244717 - 08/06/09 12:38 PM Re: Arpeggios Question [Re: Jeffers K A]
aEquals440 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 47
Loc: Richmond, VA
I've always been told that "thumb under" is the preferred way as well. I think that the motion is more in the wrist and hand than the arm.
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#1244721 - 08/06/09 12:41 PM Re: Arpeggios Question [Re: aEquals440]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I've always used a bit of rotation to accomplish the thumb movement, and it's one of those things that's not really an "either/or" proposition.
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#1244732 - 08/06/09 12:47 PM Re: Arpeggios Question [Re: Kreisler]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Doesn't the consideration of thumb under vs. thumb over apply to arpeggios in the same way as to scales, i.e., it's primarily a question of the speed at which they're played?

Steven
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#1244880 - 08/06/09 04:03 PM Re: Arpeggios Question [Re: sotto voce]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Doesn't the consideration of thumb under vs. thumb over apply to arpeggios in the same way as to scales, i.e., it's primarily a question of the speed at which they're played?

Steven


That's the answer I've had from another source, and it confirms my original suspicion that once you go beyond a certain speed it is not only very difficult but also dangerous from the point of view of injuring yourself to attempt to continue with the thumb under technique.
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#1245217 - 08/07/09 06:10 AM Re: Arpeggios Question [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
Jeffers K A Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 3
Loc: BRecon, UK
I'm obviously not 'up to speed' yet (ha! ha!)
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#1245219 - 08/07/09 06:16 AM Re: Arpeggios Question [Re: Jeffers K A]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Chopin said to leave a break in the sound rather than do thumb under. Do not stick your elbow out all all!!
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#1250087 - 08/15/09 11:19 PM Re: Arpeggios Question [Re: keyboardklutz]
TonyY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
I recommend you to do the "thumb under" technique, as it will make the arpeggios sound more legato. I'm not really familiar with the ABRSM examiners but I believe they will take off marks for that.
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#1250195 - 08/16/09 07:54 AM Re: Arpeggios Question [Re: TonyY]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: TonyY
I recommend you to do the "thumb under" technique, as it will make the arpeggios sound more legato. I'm not really familiar with the ABRSM examiners but I believe they will take off marks for that.


A few months ago I probably would have disagreed, but I recently realised how important it is to do standard thumb under first. Skipping does not build support in the fingers or flexibility in the thumb. I've discovered that one of the reasons for a weak right hand 4th finger (and limited range of motion in the thumb) is the fact I always flicked across, rather than ever joining.

A good exercise is to hold onto the thumb (while under) at the same time as the third or fourth. If you squeeze very lightly in an inward direction, the keys push you back out. If the flexibility is inadequate for comfort, this will improve it very quickly. Soon the position will be more easily obtained. However, if you already feel fully stretched when doing this with arpeggio positions, it's probably best to begin with a more comfortable interval, so you're not straining the limits of your motion early on. Once you reach comfort, you can either flick across at speed or get a comfortable legato connection at a slow tempo. It really is important to have the ability to manage either equally well. Flicking will usually start to occur of it's own accord (when movingat speed) but traditional thumb under can only be more willfully mastered.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (08/16/09 08:01 AM)
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#1250297 - 08/16/09 01:33 PM Re: Arpeggios Question [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
TonyY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Originally Posted By: TonyY
I recommend you to do the "thumb under" technique, as it will make the arpeggios sound more legato. I'm not really familiar with the ABRSM examiners but I believe they will take off marks for that.


A few months ago I probably would have disagreed, but I recently realised how important it is to do standard thumb under first. Skipping does not build support in the fingers or flexibility in the thumb. I've discovered that one of the reasons for a weak right hand 4th finger (and limited range of motion in the thumb) is the fact I always flicked across, rather than ever joining.

A good exercise is to hold onto the thumb (while under) at the same time as the third or fourth. If you squeeze very lightly in an inward direction, the keys push you back out. If the flexibility is inadequate for comfort, this will improve it very quickly. Soon the position will be more easily obtained. However, if you already feel fully stretched when doing this with arpeggio positions, it's probably best to begin with a more comfortable interval, so you're not straining the limits of your motion early on. Once you reach comfort, you can either flick across at speed or get a comfortable legato connection at a slow tempo. It really is important to have the ability to manage either equally well. Flicking will usually start to occur of it's own accord (when movingat speed) but traditional thumb under can only be more willfully mastered.


Well said! laugh
This should become a habit very early on. Its hard to fix these bad habits once you get used to it, especially that its the technical stuff.
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