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#2026761 - 02/04/13 08:49 AM Trill from black key to white key
JanVan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/13
Posts: 51
Hello,

I'm currently practicing the G Minor Menuet (BWV Anh 115) from Bach's Notebook for Anna Magdalena and have some trouble with the RH trills in bars 8 and 9.

The trills are from B-flat to A and that appears to be much more difficult for me than trills on 2 white keys or from a white key to a black key.

Using fingers 3 and 2 is awkward because the finger on the black key is longer than the one on the white key.

Is this a problem most pianists encounter and, if so, how do they usually solve this?

Thank you for sharing your ideas on this topic.

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#2026765 - 02/04/13 08:52 AM Re: Trill from black key to white key [Re: JanVan]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12679
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
You should trill from fingers 1 to 3 instead.
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#2026851 - 02/04/13 11:46 AM Re: Trill from black key to white key [Re: JanVan]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20167
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JanVan
Hello,Using fingers 3 and 2 is awkward because the finger on the black key is longer than the one on the white key.
Although the trill may be more awkward for you or for others, I'm not sure this explanation is why.

You could try other fingerings as have been suggested or perhaps just practicing it more will solve the problem. Any new technical situation will normally require some additional practice, and trills are in general not easy except for very advanced pianists.

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#2026880 - 02/04/13 12:25 PM Re: Trill from black key to white key [Re: pianoloverus]
jeffreyjones Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2442
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: JanVan
Hello,Using fingers 3 and 2 is awkward because the finger on the black key is longer than the one on the white key.
Although the trill may be more awkward for you or for others, I'm not sure this explanation is why.

You could try other fingerings as have been suggested or perhaps just practicing it more will solve the problem. Any new technical situation will normally require some additional practice, and trills are in general not easy except for very advanced pianists.


Yes. We play on instruments with much heavier action than Bach's, and it takes some practice to adapt the delicate muscles to rapidly alternate while still pressing hard enough to sound the keys every time. Sometimes doing drills like Hanon's trill exercise in different keys can be a good way to learn how you need to approach the different combinations (I don't recommend just grinding it out mindlessly to 'strengthen' your fingers).

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#2026888 - 02/04/13 12:32 PM Re: Trill from black key to white key [Re: JanVan]
wouter79 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3890
Bflat-A trill with 2,3 should be no problem, I think you have some technical problem. Do you have both fingers into the keys when you start the trill? Do you have your hand curved in the right amount?
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#2026963 - 02/04/13 02:49 PM Re: Trill from black key to white key [Re: wouter79]
JanVan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/13
Posts: 51
My hand is curved with a somewhat higher wrist to accommodate the elevation of the black key.

At the start of the trill, my third finger touches the B-flat key while my second finger is hovering some distance (maybe 2 cm) above the A key.

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#2026970 - 02/04/13 03:11 PM Re: Trill from black key to white key [Re: JanVan]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18744
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: JanVan
My hand is curved with a somewhat higher wrist to accommodate the elevation of the black key.

At the start of the trill, my third finger touches the B-flat key while my second finger is hovering some distance (maybe 2 cm) above the A key.


That may - I say: may - be part of the problem. Make sure that both fingers are close to each of the keys as you start the trill, and don't raise them any more than you have to to make the notes repeat. Moreover, the trill does not have to be a very rapid trill; in some contexts in Baroque music, it is better that the trill be measured rather than a fast trill with an indeterminate number of notes. This could well be one of those instances.

Regards,
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#2026971 - 02/04/13 03:12 PM Re: Trill from black key to white key [Re: JanVan]
bennevis Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 6207
Originally Posted By: JanVan
My hand is curved with a somewhat higher wrist to accommodate the elevation of the black key.

At the start of the trill, my third finger touches the B-flat key while my second finger is hovering some distance (maybe 2 cm) above the A key.


It's something that every pianist will eventually have to learn and get used to - the positioning of the black keys in relation to the white ones, and using all the fingers on both. When you start playing block chords, you need to position your fingers in all the right positions, and then drop your hand with all fingers pre-positioned so that all the notes sound at exactly the same time, black or white notes, whichever fingers are on them (and thumbs and little fingers also play black notes in chords too). There is no time like the present to learn to play trills properly with 2-3 with one of the fingers on a black key.

Relax your hand so that your second (index) finger is resting on the A, and the third finger is resting on the B flat, and get used to that position until you feel comfortable, then play one note after the other slowly and evenly, back and forth......
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2027022 - 02/04/13 05:03 PM Re: Trill from black key to white key [Re: JanVan]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2516
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: JanVan
Hello,

Thank you for sharing your ideas on this topic.


Hello JanVan, and welcome. I'll happily share my ideas ... my idea, rather, because I have only one: take it easy! Don't try to play these ornaments like an experienced pîanist. Don't stress. Forget the word trill, and cease to try to trill, just play them easily, nicely, slowly, as with every note in the piece. You can even not play the ornaments at all, and the music will sound marvelous!

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