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#2010569 - 01/07/13 12:30 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: keystring]
maduro Offline
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Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
It's all good Ando

I wish I had that teachers info so I could have her demonstrate

but I will keep working on it.

and like others said I will continue to observe and evaluate my results.

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#2010578 - 01/07/13 12:49 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: ando]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ando

Maduro, I'm quite sure that you have included my posts in the "attacking" category, but if that's what you took out of it you are not listening properly. I am concerned with the fact that your videos don't seem to match what you describe as a stated aim of your new approach.

Ando, I'll address you as a teacher. I'm in a bit of an awkward position since I am at the same time a student getting basic technique - remediation, but I am also getting piano pedagogy along with my training. Since in my other work as a professional teacher (non-music) I've done remediation, worked outside the box, this all flows together, so pls bear with me.

Maduro is a student. His former teacher is the person who gave the instructions, and only she can know what the purpose was. The student might have been given a partial explanation about the purpose, which he may or may not have understood. There may be another purpose, and it could be part of a larger plan - we can't know that. So we should discount the purpose he describes. You should not make him accountable for proving a purpose which he probably doesn't understand. If you were to discuss purpose and method, you would have to discuss it with this teacher - whom we have no access to.

So the only thing we can really do is observe what is happening and what the student says he is experiencing. In the long run he should be working with a teacher in order to further direct this. Right now something cool has happened - he is using more than just his fingers. But how will it develop if left unguided?

I ran into "counterintuitive" and "indirect" some years ago as a student. Some things are not as they seem, or for what they seem to be for. (And some things that seem that way are in fact whacky and dumb.) When you have that, it's between the guiding teacher and the student, and you can just hope that it's going in the right direction. (That it's not the whacky and dumb variety).

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#2010602 - 01/07/13 01:31 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: ando]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Originally Posted By: ando
I'm not specifically commenting on the validity of this technique, only that I see some discrepancy between the stated aims and what is actually happening. I feel that you are having to be quite generous in giving this the benefit of the doubt. At the very least, I don't think this process has been well explained - nor the evidence compelling enough to be championing it as strongly as he is.
There is a huge discrepancy between both the stated aims and the position of his hands in the demonstration video when he stops to show his hand and finger position compared to how he actually plays the scales in all the videos.

When he plays scales his fingers are nowhere near straight, in fact they are curved and only his finger tip is straight. Nor are the fingers anywhere near vertical, they are curved. It's impossible to play scales with the fingers completely straight and vertical as he endlessly insists.

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#2010610 - 01/07/13 01:44 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: pianoloverus]
ando Offline
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Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: ando
I'm not specifically commenting on the validity of this technique, only that I see some discrepancy between the stated aims and what is actually happening. I feel that you are having to be quite generous in giving this the benefit of the doubt. At the very least, I don't think this process has been well explained - nor the evidence compelling enough to be championing it as strongly as he is.
There is a huge discrepancy between both the stated aims and the position of his hands in the demonstration video when he stops to show his hand and finger position compared to how he actually plays the scales in all the videos.

When he plays scales his fingers are nowhere near straight, in fact they are curved and only his finger tip is straight. Nor are the fingers anywhere near vertical, they are curved. It's impossible to play scales with the fingers completely straight and vertical as he endlessly insists.


If you read any of my other posts, you will see that I said exactly the same thing!

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#2010616 - 01/07/13 02:00 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
maduro Offline
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Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
hands separately
my fingers are pretty straight here
next video in 7 days

hands separately

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#2010620 - 01/07/13 02:03 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: keystring]
ando Offline
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Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: ando

Maduro, I'm quite sure that you have included my posts in the "attacking" category, but if that's what you took out of it you are not listening properly. I am concerned with the fact that your videos don't seem to match what you describe as a stated aim of your new approach.

Ando, I'll address you as a teacher. I'm in a bit of an awkward position since I am at the same time a student getting basic technique - remediation, but I am also getting piano pedagogy along with my training. Since in my other work as a professional teacher (non-music) I've done remediation, worked outside the box, this all flows together, so pls bear with me.

Maduro is a student. His former teacher is the person who gave the instructions, and only she can know what the purpose was. The student might have been given a partial explanation about the purpose, which he may or may not have understood. There may be another purpose, and it could be part of a larger plan - we can't know that. So we should discount the purpose he describes. You should not make him accountable for proving a purpose which he probably doesn't understand. If you were to discuss purpose and method, you would have to discuss it with this teacher - whom we have no access to.

So the only thing we can really do is observe what is happening and what the student says he is experiencing. In the long run he should be working with a teacher in order to further direct this. Right now something cool has happened - he is using more than just his fingers. But how will it develop if left unguided?

I ran into "counterintuitive" and "indirect" some years ago as a student. Some things are not as they seem, or for what they seem to be for. (And some things that seem that way are in fact whacky and dumb.) When you have that, it's between the guiding teacher and the student, and you can just hope that it's going in the right direction. (That it's not the whacky and dumb variety).


I think you are missing my point, Keystring.

For the purposes of argument, I'm indifferent to whether Maduro has understood what the teacher wanted or not.

What it comes down to is this: a poster comes onto PW with a theory about an unorthodox technique, then proceeds to demonstrate it at slow speed with fairly straight and vertically oriented fingers, then outlines a plan to instil this into his technique with the aim of developing faster, more precise scale work.

Then, a second video appears playing scales at a much faster speed, but the straight/vertical fingered technique is no longer in evidence. It simply doesn't prove the point of the whole exercise.

I think we are talking past one another to a degree here. You are striving to find an explanation for the whole approach - and you may well be correct about its long-term plan and remedial capabilities. I'm not speculating as to what gave rise to this type of technique or whether it's remedial or not. I'm more interested in the discrepancy between the aims described and what I'm seeing in the videos. I feel some attempt should be made to unify this thing. Either by acknowledging that this technique is having some remedial value, or that Maduro is having trouble executing these scales with the level of straightness/verticalness that was aimed for. What doesn't wash with me is if he says, "here's a video of me playing fast scales with straight/vertical fingers", but then the video shows clearly curved fingers. That is a schism that can't be rationally accepted. Some sort of acknowledgement must be made about this discrepancy.

As a teacher, I'm well aware of the ideas in pedagogy concerning short, medium and long-term technique development and the value of not complicating things any more than necessary, whilst still ensuring that the necessary changes are made. I don't believe we are dealing with such a case for the simple reason that Maduro actually observed his past teacher using this unusual technique. He observed her doing it very well, and he heard her saying this is how he should try to do it. I'm choosing to give Maduro the credit of knowing what he saw and heard because if I don't do that, I would be speculating far too much. Generally adult students don't respond well to the concealment of purpose in exercises. They need to know the whole story before they'll buy into it. I believe Maduro has understood what was being presented to him, but is simply struggling to make it work in the way he saw it and how it was described to him.

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#2010622 - 01/07/13 02:09 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: maduro
hands separately
my fingers are pretty straight here
next video in 7 days

hands separately


Ah, we have some progress now! I don't think it's working, mind you, but at least now we are seeing some visual evidence of the approach you are working on. This is exactly what I was hoping you would do - so thank-you. smile

I still don't think it's going to work - but at least you are testing the actual theory as described. The main issue seems to be that the thumb and 5th finger are so much shorter than the 2,3,4 fingers, so there is an awkward (mostly wrist) movement to compensate between the different lengths of certain fingers. I'll be interested to see if you can make progress with this.

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#2010628 - 01/07/13 02:15 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
keystring Online   content
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I'm thinking mostly as a teacher here, even if I am not yet qualified to give piano playing advice. Even if I were, I would never do it on this medium in a public forum. But as a teacher I am more concerned about a student being guided, than correcting him on terminology and concepts which he cannot be expected to know. The most pressing thing on my mind is that this gentleman find and work with a good teacher, and that he will properly guided rather than misguided. I am relieved to see apparent improvement as far as I can tell, and that he hasn't injured himself. The rest of it doesn't seem important.

Meanwhile if you are the earlier ends of learning, you will often think you are doing one thing while you are doing another. As long as the student ends up in the right direction, it's all par for the course. I mean, you follow instructions that you understand well enough, your teacher is observing you and checking that it's going in the right direction. How you understand it intellectually matters less than that you are doing the right thing. Eventually, maybe years later, you may get, "Ah, so THAT's what my teacher was really doing with me back then!"

Quote:
What doesn't wash with me is if he says, "here's a video of me playing fast scales with straight/vertical fingers", but then the video shows clearly curved fingers. That is a schism that can't be rationally accepted.

Here's what makes sense to me. He had very curved fingers. When he tries to make them straight, he ends up having the right kind of curvature and relaxation, and motion in the rest of the arm. I happen to be following something similar .... NOT these instructions, you must understand .... and it is with understanding. When I "try" to keep my fingers straight, I am finally getting movement and ease in them. I know that the result will be curvature of a good kind, which comes about from my trying to make them straight. So reading a student explain these things and give these demonstrations make sense to me. If this is going where I think it might be going, then I'd think his teacher would say "Good, you've stopped the excessive curvature. Now here is what is really happening from what I told you to do."

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#2010631 - 01/07/13 02:18 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: keystring]
ando Offline
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Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3508
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I get what you are saying Keystring, and I don't necessarily disagree with it either. I think we just have a different approach to the thread itself! smile

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#2010632 - 01/07/13 02:19 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: ando]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ando
I get what you are saying Keystring, and I don't necessarily disagree with it either. I think we just have a different approach to the thread itself! smile

Just what I was going to say. smile

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#2011063 - 01/08/13 08:34 AM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: ando]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11422
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: maduro
hands separately
my fingers are pretty straight here
next video in 7 days

hands separately


Ah, we have some progress now! I don't think it's working, mind you, but at least now we are seeing some visual evidence of the approach you are working on. This is exactly what I was hoping you would do - so thank-you. smile

I still don't think it's going to work - but at least you are testing the actual theory as described. The main issue seems to be that the thumb and 5th finger are so much shorter than the 2,3,4 fingers, so there is an awkward (mostly wrist) movement to compensate between the different lengths of certain fingers. I'll be interested to see if you can make progress with this.


I agree, and because of this extraneous movement, the scales are very uneven. I can wait another 7 days, but the jury is still out on this "technique".
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#2011110 - 01/08/13 10:36 AM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19227
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: maduro
hands separately
my fingers are pretty straight here
next video in 7 days

hands separately
Absolutely disastrous scale playing. Uneven rhythmically and tonally and an obviously incredible amount of awkward movement every time he passes the thumb.

But besides all that he is not coming close to playing with straight fingers held vertically as he has been advocating since the beginning of the thread.

I wouldn't spend even a second more on this silliness.

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#2011114 - 01/08/13 10:39 AM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
maduro Offline
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Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
LOL

you guys are that daft

uneven scale playing?

those are swung 8th notes
lol

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#2011134 - 01/08/13 11:27 AM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
GeorgeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 635
Even swung they are incredibly uneven. As in, a few notes are incredibly loud whilst others you can't listen to them.

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#2011166 - 01/08/13 12:28 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: GeorgeB]
maduro Offline
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Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
see side view video link at the bottom of this post

I feel somewhat pressured to prove a system that I know is valid because I saw it executed when I was a student at a top conservatory with a graduate student of that top conservatory (Aaron Copland)
to people who are so much on a higher level than I am
I am an intermediate player at best. you are criticizing things that are normal when adopting a new technique

so you have to look at a few things
first my scales were garbage before I started see original video

second it is a very unfamiliar method that I am trying to retrain my fingers and hand too I havent done this since 2008

third
if I make mistakes a large part should be attributed to the performer (me) lets not blame the method technique hand shape whatever

that being said
here is another video from a different angle

Bear in mind my fingers are not as straight as I want them to be
the faster I play the sloppier the technique gets

this video is taken from the side at three speeds
the metronome is at 120bpm

there are some fudged notes at slow speed primarily the thumb because I just remembered today that she had me do this very exxagerated twist of the hand so the thumb would stand out almost like you were shaking someones hand upside down so some of the thumb mistakes is because of the over exxageration
i need a little more time with the technique
but those more objective viewers will have to acknowledge some improvement
over the very first video
where i compare my two methods
my scales have improved a lot over the past few days
some of you say it just my opinion

sideview




Edited by maduro (01/08/13 04:48 PM)

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#2011195 - 01/08/13 01:19 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
pianoloverus Offline
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Loc: New York City
"Swung eighths" or not the technique is clearly wrong and incorrectly described verbally in the extreme. It's not working at all and looks awkward and silly. None of the OP's descriptions of what he thinks he should be doing match what he actually is doing(which looks very bad also). Even what he is actually doing incredibly awkward, and completely unsuccessful.

But I'm sure he will continue to waste his time.

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#2011200 - 01/08/13 01:40 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: pianoloverus]
maduro Offline
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Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
exploration is never wasted especially if it is done with good methodical observation.

I play in church every sunday and can instantly see what is going on with my technique
because I often have to improvise and create spontaneous embellishments

so trust me if what I am doing is not yielding results on sunday I will know it and make adjustments.

time will tell all

I am not claiming anything but just saying give me a chance to learn and develop it.

all you have said pianoloverus is how wrong
first you said it was impossible to play like that
now you say it looks silly and awkward
well no duh i am just learning to do it
but at least I have shown you it can be done and at a decent tempo
and you say i am not doing what I described
I am doing exactly what I said my fingers are straight like posts standing on the keys

(did you think i meant I keep them straight?)
I mean they are straight when they depress the keys


but to be honest it doesent feel all that awkward

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#2011262 - 01/08/13 03:49 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Here's the question in my mind - what is the purpose of the extremely high wrist and vertical hand?

Obviously, it's impractical to actually perform with that kind of hand position - it would make simple chords, octaves, and extensions impossible in context. So...what do you take away from practicing in that manner that you can use in performance?
_________________________
"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)

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www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2011321 - 01/08/13 04:46 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: Kreisler]
maduro Offline
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Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
as far as I can tell from practicing and remembering that my teachers main thing once I had it fairly correct slowly was to have me play as rapidly as possible

in retrospect and after reading keystrings post and a couple of others

it seems that the hand has no choice but to relax back to a normal position
although still somewhat high no where near as high as what you see me doing.

I think that there are muscles that are being trained
and after remembering the upside down hand shake thing

I can see a lot of rolling going. on

so to sum it up

it is preparing the hand and wrist to move and be flexible
as well as the shoulder and forearm

but this is coming from the student and my own observations
of the practice.

sideview


Edited by maduro (01/08/13 04:49 PM)

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#2011341 - 01/08/13 04:57 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: Kreisler]
maduro Offline
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Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
I am watching my hand now and there is a lot of movement from above my wrist is rolling around now

I am not sure that my hand is supposed to be vertical but I am sure my fingers are supposed to be straight by the time the key gets to the bottom of the keybed

I think we just have to see what things happen to my technique as I continue to play with this thing

side view with lots of mistakes

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#2011342 - 01/08/13 04:59 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
maduro Offline
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Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
already as mentioned my hand has curved instead of curled fingers
a big plus already
there is a lot that is going in the past few days
so I am looking forward to further improvements

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#2011344 - 01/08/13 05:03 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
keystring Online   content
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Maduro, what is your purpose in this thread? What are you trying to achieve with this thread and the posts?

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#2011354 - 01/08/13 05:24 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: keystring]
maduro Offline
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Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
the original purpose was to ask if anyone was familiar with such an application
of the straight fingers.

once no one knew of it or was familiar
and coupled with the gauntlets being thrown that this was an impossible method

I took up the challenge to say
i would try it for a month
and then come back to see if there was any improvement.

simply an experiment at this time.

if in fact there is improvement and some things going on
perhaps one day someone will say I know what that is

it is blah blah blah
or something like that

I would like to vindicate myself
so that I can walk away not feeling like a dope
which people like pianoloverus would have me believe.

really at this point I want to prove that there is something to this method

I was there with the teacher and I heard my scales improve under her teaching

I was with her for at least 3 months and already came to the table able to play
for goodness sake I am a church musician with multiple choirs under my belt
so I am no newbie.

so to sum it up

I just want to validate the technique or find some understanding as to its purpose
since no one knows I would like to find out.

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#2011372 - 01/08/13 06:12 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
GeorgeB Offline
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Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 635
if you can't play a scale that slow with the right notes and decent rhythmical accuracy and if you can't see that, then there is something wrong.

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#2011373 - 01/08/13 06:13 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19227
Loc: New York City
"No one knows" about this ridiculous secret technique. That in itself would make any reasonable person doubt it made sense. Unless. of course, the whole thread is trolling.


Edited by pianoloverus (01/08/13 07:11 PM)

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#2011374 - 01/08/13 06:14 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: pianoloverus]
maduro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
sigh

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#2011377 - 01/08/13 06:20 PM Re: is there a european technique difference with hand position [Re: maduro]
GeorgeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 635
somebody should just post a video doing the exact same scale and that exact same speed but properly for the other person to realise.

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#2011603 - 01/09/13 08:23 AM finally the answer is emerging final video clip [Re: maduro]
maduro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
So guys it has been a long road with many horrible things thrown around

I never wavered and my tenacity has paid off

I think I am understanding both the reason for the straight fingers and why it is so effective

As I was trying to execute this "horrible looking technique
my wrists were high
because my muscles and tendons along the meta carpals were not strong or strengthened enough to be able to straighten my fingers without lifting my wrists high

pianoloverus was on me because my fingers werent straight but if they were not straight it is because my muscles were not strong enough to be straight.
this is important I never said that the wrists should be high i was aiming for straigher fingers which cause stretching along the fingers and hand

It also created resistance

my teachers encouragement when played scales in front of her was to straighten the fingers

why because it strengthens the fingers a lot
it also forces a stretch of the muscles and tendons
creating a more relaxed bridge eventually

while I was doing this exercise or experiment
I was trying to recapture the feelings and memories from those practice sessions.

I am now able to recapture at least a part of the essence of this method.
see :56-1:03
here you get an idea what it will look like after a few months of practice

straight fingers is a goal that can only be realized through much time with this method

the results are that the fingers are stretched and strong and the bridge is both supple and strong.
as your fingers become stretched the bridge will come down to a normal position
although the fingers still stretch out. and be able to reach the key bed from a higher height making it look rather strange to me

my fingers may not be completely straight while doing scales for some time
but the goal is there slow and fast practice
fast practice is essential with this method she constantly encouraged me to play to my limit.
once the accuracy was there. with the slow practice

I only apologize I could not render a better video example

final

I miss that woman and wherever she is I send her blessings

thank you all for participating in this experiment



Edited by maduro (01/09/13 08:27 AM)

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#2011612 - 01/09/13 08:47 AM Re: finally the answer is emerging final video clip [Re: maduro]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11422
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I see lots of tension in the thumb and pinky, the tone is uneven, with some notes not even being heard at times. Lots of extraneous finger movement when not pressing a key (lifting them way off the keys). And really what is important is the sound. Why do you make mistakes sometimes in playing a C major scale, one hand alone, one octave? The thumb crossing under sometimes missed the key, and like I said, some of the notes don't sound. These things should not be happening, I don't care what technique you play with. If it doesn't sound good, then whatever you're doing isn't working.

Please seek out a good teacher and submit yourself to what they have to teach over a period of years. This has been said time and again on this and other forums, and you are being belligerent in insisting that 1) you can teach yourself something you don't know how to do and 2) that you are improving. If you are happy, that is wonderful, but please understand if you were studying with a GOOD teacher, you would be much better.
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#2011632 - 01/09/13 09:31 AM Re: finally the answer is emerging final video clip [Re: Morodiene]
maduro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
beligerant is a pretty strong word

first of all I havent practiced in months I am rusty as heck just getting back on my game
second
I am an organist more than a pianist I played hammond organ in service
for the last 12 years the approaches are completely different
the piano is very precise where on the hammond the sloppiness adds to the performance further my playing is more about chordal melody playing
and so i rely more on chordal playing then scalar passages

now that I am playing more piano I am interested in getting back on my scales
were there mistakes sure there were mistakes but even when I had teachers
slow playing always revealed such weaknesses

moreover I am a gospel player who has spent most of his time in Db and Ab and Eb and Gb then I have in C
professor Austin from Queens borough community college music program
often stated that C was a harder key to play scalar because there were no reference points.


are there holes in my lawn yes

do I get paid to play every week
am I making a living yes I am do i need to grow
yes but I have come all this way with my ability to both read and improvise
and arrange and play both organ and piano and direct choirs and be payed for it enough to not have to work any other job

so if I am beligerant as you say it is because well
there are many teachers who cant do all that I can do.
many can play from the book but cant improvise
and many can improvise but cant read
many can do both but cant arrange
and play by ear.
since my paycheck relies more on the arranging and choir teaching
that is where my focus lies

but here is a sample of what this self taught musician does every sunday
amazing grace improvisation

will I look for a teacher
perhaps
I am not adverse to it
but right now
my priorities are teaching the choirs and doing nice arrangements.
for service

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