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Topic Options
#1964871 - 09/26/12 04:27 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Olly Wedgwood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 51
Loc: UK - London
Excellent video! I've been playing for over 20 years and nobody really explained this to me... Thanks so much for sharing!
Writing fun and original jazzy, bluesy, soulful and latin piano sheets at OllysPianoSheets.com smile

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#1967558 - 10/01/12 10:42 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 643
So far I have watched every video Robert Estrin has done this past year or two and I love them. I just wish there were more and perhaps a well-illustrated book for sale because I am self-taught and can use a lot of help.

#1985523 - 11/11/12 09:06 PM Re: A New PW Video on Proper Hand Position for Piano Playing [Re: Stephen300o]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 512
Originally Posted By: Stephen300o
My inspiration to take up the piano is Tom Waits, but he doesn't exactly have textbook technique..


So many things to say...

Do you think they brought out the tuner/tech between numbers?

Wouldn't you love to tag along with Tom for piano shopping?

Hopefully you don't emulate on your own piano!?!

Ever wonder what feedback you'd get if you posted this to the Tuner/Tech Forum?
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"


#2014631 - 01/14/13 08:40 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
Daniel Johnson III Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/15/12
Posts: 9
Loc: Maryland, Resident of the U.S.
Visit My Website For My Free Piano Training Course

#2016806 - 01/18/13 04:31 PM Re: A New PW Video on Proper Hand Position for Piano Playing [Re: Piano World]
Bruce Siegel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 46
Loc: Los Angeles
Hi everyone,

I agree that Robert's video is excellent. I particularly like that he stresses the importance of getting maximum results with minimum effort.

And there's another aspect to this: using the weight of your arm to produce tone. When you stop pushing downwards on the key, and instead, let gravity do the work, you stay relaxed, and you also gain greater control over dynamics.

Here's a video I created that demonstrates this approach. I hope some of you find it helpful!

By the way, someone here talks about a problem with their pinky sticking straight up. Using arm weight may help to overcome this problem. And that's because when you play by releasing weight (rather than pushing), you're constantly sending the message to your body: Release. Let go. Relax.

And that includes even your pinky. :o)

So relaxation gets "built into" your technique in the most fundamental way possible, and that can only be a good thing!

DoctorKeys Online Piano Lessons ---- http://doctorkeys.com
Piano Blog --- http://doctorkeys.com/piano-blog/2011/10/the-top-3-myths-about-learning-to-play-the-piano-2/

#2050835 - 03/19/13 01:26 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Mark Green Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/17/13
Posts: 16
Loc: Jamaica
This is quality.thanks guys smile
Be The Piano Genius You Have Always Been Dreaming About:

#2057590 - 03/31/13 11:41 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
ElleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 248
Loc: NJ, USA
wonderful video! especially helpful for adult beginners like myself. thank you!!
Adult beginner since January 2013. My only regret is that I didn't learn sooner.

#2088453 - 05/25/13 07:31 AM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Daniel Corban Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 215
Loc: Canada
I also have the problem of the "teacup pinkie" on my right hand only. I'm wondering if it will cause trouble down the road. I am not currently noticing any problems.
Playing: Yamaha GC2

#2088478 - 05/25/13 09:42 AM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 457
Loc: Europe
My teacher told me about the "pinkie", that it would the result of a too tense hand. I think that it could disappear by having much more routine in piano playing, and thus approaching it much more relaxed. My teacher advised me to routinely do some excercises (scales and arpegios) in which I fully concentrate on posture (full body to finger tip), and within this of course concentrating also on hand and finger posture. I get corrected on this each lesson again. Corrections became by time so subtle, that I sometimes wonder what it would be what is still not good, but my teacher really insists on it to maximum detail. It´s hard for me to say WHAT I changed over time, but yes, the pinkie is disappearing. I now only suffer it on new pieces and hard passages, which supports my teacher´s view that it is all about playing relaxed.

#2089005 - 05/26/13 04:11 AM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Clayman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 300
Loc: Prague, Czech Rep.
I enjoy these videos very much. Robert Estrin is a really cool guy that knows how to make learning fun. I hope you keep these vids coming. smile
-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown

#2101487 - 06/12/13 01:54 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
music producer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/14/11
Posts: 13
During my years taking piano lessons, I had some good teachers, and one great teacher. His name was Alexander Mlynarski; the piano teacher lineage went back through Paderewski, and on back many generations to Beethoven, according to my teacher (whom I have no reason to doubt).

He taught that my hand should be shaped as though I were holding a large orange. Wrist low, knuckles high, elbows out slightly, hand always relaxed when possible between playing and sustaining chords.

#2110941 - 07/01/13 01:12 AM Re: A New PW Video on Proper Hand Position for Piano Playing [Re: Piano World]
Palmpirate Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/13
Posts: 317
Loc: B.C.Canada
Thanks robert . Video lessons on these aspects of piano really help. I recently came back to piano playing and my new teacher as an adult taught me about playing with 'calm hands' I was quick to get his meaning since I've done a lot of yoga and body training. I know what releasing tension feels like but never thought about it in my piano playing before. It is true you really can play for hours without getting fatigued. Now I am no longer with that teacher your videos help re-inforce the great lessons I have learned lately. I will look forwar to more of your tips and tricks!

#2124008 - 07/27/13 10:40 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
Steve Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/13
Posts: 21
I know this is very late but I think you will find helpful...

I say fix. For your finger to stick up, it must be tense, tension = bad tone and damage to muscles. It is also inefficient. You just need to strengthen it with isolation exercises, which, of course will take more than a couple of weeks before you have some marked improvement.

e.g. 1. play a triad and while holding the bottom two keys down, play your fifth several times, slowly, but firmly. Then once comfortable, double-tap your fifth with dotted rhythms i.e. dotted-quaver and semiquaver and then reverse. (double-dotted is even better). You MUST lift your fifth straight up and curved, DO NOT flap it out in an arch. Pull it straight up.

The fifth finger itself, however, is not the only problem. The 3rd and 4th fingers are very lazy and very clumsy.

E.g. 2. Download Delioux op. 86 from imslp.org and flick through that. Part I Series I is very good. (Pick out exercises for 3,4, and 5 individually and also combined).

If your 5th finger lifts to help your 4th lift and then relaxes as your 4th finger strikes then that's ok: holding it up and straight is not ok. If it helps your 4th then it must play exactly with your 4th as though strapped to it.

I hope that helps smile
Prokofiev Seventh
Franck Prelude, Choral and Fugue

#2138858 - 08/25/13 04:03 PM Re: A New PW Video on Proper Hand Position for Piano Playing [Re: Piano World]
Philm35 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 44
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Thanks, Robert, for this enormously helpful video. I look forward to seeing more!


Rank Amateur Noodler
Howard/Kawai 550 "Tier 5"
Yamaha Motif XF-8

#2139391 - 08/26/13 08:09 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Ahmediy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/13
Posts: 43
These videos are wonderful.
Robert is a very good player and teacher.

#2143683 - 09/03/13 09:51 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
howtotuneaguitar Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/03/13
Posts: 2
Loc: New Zealand
Online learning provides many advantages to everybody. First of all there are numerous software packages to choose from, which provide the required help in playing the piano. Online piano lessons will work out to be cost effective and provide an effective way in mastering techniques which relate to this musical instrument.

Another major advantage of an online piano lesson is that you can do it from any part of the world. You also do not require superior hardware configurations to download the software packages for online piano learning. What is even better is that you can access the various piano lesson packages from the online “shops” any time of the day or night.

#2151099 - 09/16/13 08:07 AM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Andy Platt]
Doritos Flavoured Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/12
Posts: 436
Loc: Brazil
Originally Posted By: Andy Platt

It does make me laugh a little bit when people talk about no longer playing as if there is a ball in your hand and similar things which must have gone out of style 30 years ago ... unless there are some really bad teachers out there!

it's specially laughable when we know that Byrd and his contemporaries used flat fingers to play the keyboard

unlocked by keys
wordless poetry sings free
- piano music -

#2154339 - 09/20/13 10:33 AM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Barry1963 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/25/13
Posts: 84
Loc: Nashville, Tennessee
appreciate the video !!
start date: August 25th 2013
currently Alfreds book #1
Hallet & Davis Co , spinet

#2154969 - 09/21/13 11:13 AM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Steve Warner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/13
Posts: 23
Loc: New York, New York
Excellent video!

#2179411 - 11/09/13 01:54 AM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Berb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/06/13
Posts: 1
Loc: Malaysia
Hi, thanks for the video sharing, Seems like finally i've found the right
info. Kindly share more info soon

#2179631 - 11/09/13 02:44 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Carlinton Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 4
Loc: Jamaica
I love this video! I enjoy every minute of it! laugh
My students would benefit greatly from this video. So the question is --> Can I share it on my website?

Thank you!
All the best!


Edited by Carlinton (11/09/13 02:44 PM)

#2181820 - 11/13/13 05:32 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
careezma Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/08/13
Posts: 9
Loc: Banned
“The Easiest and Most Effective way to Learn Piano & Keyboard Online” http://pianoforallbuy.blogspot.com/

Edited by careezma (11/13/13 05:32 PM)

#2213971 - 01/13/14 12:36 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20773
Loc: New York City
At the beginning of the video Estrin mentions Horowitz's flat fingered playing but then Estrin seems to recommend a more curved fingers approach. Does this mean he thinks Horowitz played incorrectly or was some kind of exception to the rule or was able to play the way he did despite some technical flaw or...? I think leaving an explanation of this out makes the video somewhat unclear.

There are also other pianists who use a more flat fingered approach although none as famous as Horowitz.

Edited by pianoloverus (01/13/14 12:40 PM)

#2214576 - 01/14/14 01:03 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Miguel Rey Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 450
I think he fails to mention that both curved and flattened fingers can be used depending on what is being played. I've read books and have noticed some professionals using both.

The Melody Hand is weighty and 'dead,' so to speak. The touch is made with flat fingers; the ball of the finger comes in contact with the key, the whole arm, hand and fingers are relaxedas loose as possible. You caress the keys as though you loved them, as though they were a very part of you; you cling to them as to something soft, velvety or downywith pressure, pressure, pressure, always."

The technical hand employs finger touch and finger action; the hand is held up, in military position, so to speak; the finger movements are quick, alert and exact; the hand is alive, not dead and heavy, as is the melody hand. The two ways of playing are quite opposite in their fundamental character, but they can be modified and blended in endless ways."For the technical or coloratura touch, the hand is in arched position, the five fingers are well rounded and curved, their tips are on the keys, everything is rounded. When a finger is lifted, it naturally assumes a more rounded position until it descends to the same spot on the key from which it was lifted, as though there were five little imaginary black spots on the keys, showing exactly where the finger-tips should rest. The fingers are lifted cleanly and evenly and fall on the keysno hitting nor striking. I make a great distinction between the coloratura touch and the melody touch. The first is for rapid, brilliant passage work, sparkling, glittering, iridescent what you willbut cold. It is made, as I said, with arched hand and raised finger action. Melody touch expresses warmth and feeling; is from the heart. Then there are the down and up arm movements, for chords, and, of course, scale and arpeggio work, with coloratura touch

Thuel Burnham
Bechstein B c1905

#2217215 - 01/19/14 03:52 PM Re: A New Short PW Video on Piano Playing Technique [Re: Piano World]
Dave B Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 2342
Loc: Philadelphia area
Great video, thanks! "The magical line where the white keys meet the black keys." Amazing.
"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams

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