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#2113978 - 07/06/13 09:54 PM Chord Attacks
JosephAC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/12
Posts: 168
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Last night, as I went out for a run, I listened to some of the podcasts on the controversial Fundamentals-Piano-Practice by Chuan Chang.

His section on Chord Attack intrigued me. When I was playing a specific song this morning, I realised that I should be playing some broken chords measures at a much faster rate, after all they quad notes. But I could not get to achieve any result and this must be due to my misunderstanding of this method.

I wonder whether anybody has looked at Chord Attacks and your thoughts and your experience on how you went about it.


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#2113985 - 07/06/13 10:07 PM Re: Chord Attacks [Re: JosephAC]
Andy Platt Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2486
Loc: Virginia, USA
Practice, rotation, relaxed forearm, patience ...

As with a number of piano related technical issues, this is something I just picked up naturally with my right hand .... taking me ages to learn it with my left.

Try this. Take a C major chord. "Attack it" (really the wrong word because we want to do it with great care and gentleness) with your hand very slightly rotated towards the thumb. Bear in mind rotation is along the axis of the outer arm, not the inner arm, so it's very subtle.

Anyway, as you are coming down into the chord, rotate back out and almost bounce off the G with your pinky.

I'm not sure if any of this is useful, but it's what you do.

The hardest thing isn't the chord attack, it's getting to the next chord efficiently and accurately.
  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3

#2114069 - 07/07/13 04:52 AM Re: Chord Attacks [Re: JosephAC]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014

Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1389
Loc: Cameron Park, California
I find most explanations of the method cumbersome, but the logic behind its purpose is rather infallible. Its premise is that to play any sort of swift passage effortlessly and without tension requires a certain set of motions. Ideally, the pianist will have a comprehensive technique and intuitively be able to discern the motions required behind executing the passage in the aforementioned manner. When this is not the case, what better a way to figure out the motions than to play the passage at several times the required speed (i.e. a broken chord accompaniment as a chord) and then steadily breaking it up as written and slowing it down from there in order to familiarize with the required motions. Then go back to slow practice and steadily speeding up, but this time with the knowledge of the motions required in order to play fast (i.e. slow motion practice).

Chang's own introduction to it: http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.II.9

A very good and comprehensive explanation of the topic (far better than mine) as well as the topic of how to get any piece up to speed can be found here: http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,4282.msg39831.html
Bernhard - Always Have a Plan


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