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Topic Options
#1885924 - 04/24/12 08:35 PM Playing Thirds, Need Help
JulianG123 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/12
Posts: 48
Loc: NJ
Im learning George Winston's Canon. It has a lot thirds. I can Kinda of play them but they sound uneven, and strained, i guess lol. Any tips or tricks to learn thirds smoothly. I can do Hanon's Legato Thirds pretty good, but when it comes to applying it to songs it isn't working? thanks
_________________________
Julian

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#1886264 - 04/25/12 11:44 AM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
samasap Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/10
Posts: 607
Loc: UK
Make sure you are using the fingering they have given you, and adapt it slightly if you need too to create smoother transitions.
Look down at your hands and check your technique and where your fingers are placed on the notes...Also when going between thirds try to avoid taking your hands of the keys and almost glide in & out of the notes.

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#1886270 - 04/25/12 12:04 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
Main tips:

-- Same as how to get to Carnegie Hall. grin (y'know.....)

-- Thirds are just hard.

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#1886292 - 04/25/12 12:45 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: Mark_C]
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Main tips:

-- Same as how to get to Carnegie Hall. smile (y'know.....)

-- Thirds are just hard.


As are 6ths--major and minor! Keep the hand light(arm)and practise them slow and staccato.

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#1886294 - 04/25/12 12:48 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
slava_richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 164
Loc: Providence, RI
As with many other technical problems, the most important thing is to make sure your hand, wrist, and shoulders are free of tension (easier said than done). If you play with a strained mechanism, the thirds will come out uneven no matter what hand positions or fingerings you use. Even then, as Marc said above, long passages in double thirds are just damn hard.

Also, in playing double notes in general, I think it helps a great deal to keep the wrist (which shouldn't be tight) moving up and down. It's hard to explain, but this video shows it perfectly:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBz02Q-p7KU

Man, he had some of the best double-note technique in recorded history; this Toccata and Feux Follets are prime examples (and this is even later in his career, his Toccata from the 50s is outrageous).

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#1886307 - 04/25/12 01:07 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
I know Winston's Canon. It's in C major and it's all white keys which makes it somewhat easier. The fingerings are not written on the score I have, but it's mostly standard fingerings like in Hanon (1-3, 2-4, 3-5). Figure out the fingerings first and pencil them in. Then Practice it one phrase at a time slowly and without tension as s.t.richter advised.

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#1886317 - 04/25/12 01:31 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3191
Joseffy has an entire section on chromatic exercises for thirds.

They advanced; they require the player to hold one note while playing the two that compromise the third. Practice them very slowly, re-relaxing the hand between each note.

When my teacher gave them to me, eons ago, I could not play thirds much at all, and when I did, it was with tension, and lots of unevenness. That exercise made such a difference; I still use it about once a week as a tune-up.

Here is a link to the book:

http://www.amazon.com/School-Advanced-Pl...4852&sr=1-1
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

Free Tune from my Blues & Boogie-Woogie Piano CD:

https://app.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_2665138101

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#1886399 - 04/25/12 03:32 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
JulianG123 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/12
Posts: 48
Loc: NJ
Thanks everyone smile

@Mark: I agree I haven't been playing to long but thirds are the hardest thing that I have encountered

@St. Richter: He's awesome, Definitive the master at thirds. I like "Chopin's etude op25 no 6" too. I couldn't imagine all those thirds shocked . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpgjTR6p6oA
I find it easier to play thirds when I move my wrist but my piano teacher says it's not the best technique, he says i should only move my fingers. I guess if it works for me then what difference does it make. Going back and forth with 2-4 and 3-5 is really hard lol. Thanks for the tips.

@Jazz: Mine has the fingering on it already thank god.

@rocket88: Thanks for the book suggestion I'll check it out. I'll be nice to put down the Hanon book and try something new for a little while laugh

How long have you guys been playing?
_________________________
Julian

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#1886402 - 04/25/12 03:35 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
One of the best ways to even out a passage is to count it differently. Try counting 3 beats per measure, then 4 beats, then 5, 6, etc. Also, make sure you are balancing your weight over each note evenly.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1886459 - 04/25/12 05:11 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2393
Loc: San Jose, CA
Practice slowly and listen carefully to whether you are producing an even tone as you move across the keyboard. Your ears will guide you and your hands will adjust. If you do this enough your thirds will become perfect little jewels.

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#1887137 - 04/26/12 07:57 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
"Stick" to the keyboard-- make sure your notes glide into each other, i.e. press the next notes down before you lift.

Use pedal. Keep your wrist and arm relaxed.

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#1887726 - 04/27/12 08:32 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
JulianG123 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/12
Posts: 48
Loc: NJ
Thanks guys i'll put a video on youtube to show you guys my technique now, and hopefully you guys can give me some critiques
_________________________
Julian

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#1887765 - 04/27/12 10:08 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6160
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Try some technical exercises to get more confident with thirds. Most books of technical exercises have some thirds exercises and once you master them they will come much more natural and effortless to you.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1888547 - 04/29/12 07:46 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
JulianG123 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/12
Posts: 48
Loc: NJ
Ok, thanks guys I'm playing through them a little better I still stumble on them but it's better. Keeping my hand loose and not tensed is a lot harder then I thought it would be, but I'm getting there.
_________________________
Julian

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#2004899 - 12/27/12 11:14 AM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: JulianG123]
spk Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 7
"One of the best ways to even out a passage is to count it differently. Try counting 3 beats per measure, then 4 beats, then 5, 6, etc. Also, make sure you are balancing your weight over each note evenly."

++1

I agree, playing in different rhythms can help immensely.

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#2004963 - 12/27/12 01:43 PM Re: Playing Thirds, Need Help [Re: rocket88]
DanS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 568
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Joseffy has an entire section on chromatic exercises for thirds.

They advanced; they require the player to hold one note while playing the two that compromise the third. Practice them very slowly, re-relaxing the hand between each note.


exactly.

Very slowly practice playing the top note legato and the bottom staccato and you'll get it!
_________________________
"Most pianists are poor musicians, they dissect music into bits-and-pieces, like a roast chicken" -Debussy

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