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#2189512 - 11/28/13 06:09 AM Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension.
ZikO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 31
Hi.

I have recently bought a piano. I started straight from scales, particularly from C major. The book regarding scales I bought suggests to play two octaves, similar and contrary way, thirds, sixths, and double thirds and double octaves. I think the two latter are to advanced to me at the moment.

I am doing all right when I play one octave. I fairly quickly learned how to use cross over to jump from Middle finger (3) back to Thumb (1) on both hands, both directions.

I struggle to do cross over from a Ring finger (4) to Thumb on both hands, though. I feel like I don't push keys enough and my playing is not even in terms of sound intensity. This is really bad if I have to do crossover playing around D1, C1 relatively distant keys on the left.

What techniques do you use to train this? Or perhaps someone has found a video that would actually describe how to correctly train this. I feel moderate tension when I do cross over especially at lower sound keys.

Thanks

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#2189528 - 11/28/13 07:28 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11922
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
You should not feel tension. Is it possible for you to post a video? It's almost impossible to know what you're doing wrong without seeing it, only to know that you are doing something wrong.
_________________________
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#2189547 - 11/28/13 08:54 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
JanVan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/13
Posts: 51
I also have a lot of trouble going thumb under from 4 to 1 and going back over the thumb from 1 to 4, especially in the right hand.

Are there any good videos on YouTube or elsewhere demonstrating the proper technique for these difficult crossings?

I saw a video from Graham Fitch on how to play arpeggios where he also talks a bit about scales but I could not fully understand how exactly to accomplish a smooth and painless thumb under.

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#2189623 - 11/28/13 11:58 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
If you post a video, we can help diagnose what you're doing. Most youtube videos, etc, will tell you to "move first, then play," but if you're experiencing tension, you're probably not moving correctly as it is. wink
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#2189750 - 11/28/13 05:53 PM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
ZikO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 31
Hello again.

I have uploaded Video in Youtube. Please bear in mind I started playing 1 month ago smile it is probably dull to listen. You can turn off sound :p

I played the same C major scale and I have chosen sixths playing with both hands in contrary manner because I found this most difficult. I played rather slowly to hopefully show how my fingers do.

Thanks for any comments and criticism. There are always welcome smile

http://youtu.be/5klNOAY_FsY

EDIT: I played again the scale and I just realised I cannot fully reach the C1 with my thumb when I play C major scale down with my left hand. I don't know I may be doing something wrong. If I reach it, I am limited, I cannot move thumb and therefore the sound is many times weak. This is also why I feel tension.


Edited by ZikO (11/28/13 06:42 PM)

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#2189834 - 11/28/13 09:10 PM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
I apologize -- I didn't have a lot of time to study your hand motion, but I got a quick break inbetween Turkey Day courses, so I took a quick look.

I see two things on my first 10-second glance. First, your left wrist angle looks very pronounced, so I would guess that you are moving more with a twisting of the wrist than a moving of the arm. The camera angle doesn't allow me to see up to your elbow to tell, but it seems fairly likely.

Also, I noticed jumping ahead to the opposite camera angle, that your right thumb didn't really move when playing a note. Up and down were largely controlled by dropping your arm into the note. You do need an active finger when playing, so be mindful of that.

I'll try to give it a more detailed look later, but I hope this is a good start. smile
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2189850 - 11/28/13 09:58 PM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
hreichgott Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1004
Loc: western MA, USA
A couple of suggestions to try. Just to try. If ANYTHING suggested by any of us random people on the internet doesn't make things better, scrap it. Even better if you can go work with a good teacher in real life!

1. When crossing, twist less and squeeze the thumb more. Like trying to grab a tiny piece of paper between your thumb and the joint where finger 5 meets the hand.
2. Do not bounce the hand when playing, except to create accents on purpose in a piece of music. Bouncing makes your physical movements much more complicated.
3. Keep an eye on the tendons on the back of the hand while you play. Anytime they stick up from the hand, as they do most of the time in your video, there is too much tension in the hand. Those tendons are the ones that pull your fingers *up* -- so if you are trying to press down on the keys and those tendons are working, you're working against yourself. Those tendons also work against the muscles that squeeze the thumb under the hand and limit your range of motion. Try to relax the muscles on the top of your forearm as much as possible, except at times when your intent really is to pull your hand/fingers up (preparation for a wrist staccato for example).


Edited by hreichgott (11/28/13 10:03 PM)
_________________________
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Sounding the depths of small pieces: Beethoven Op. 33
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#2189938 - 11/29/13 03:21 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
ZikO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 31
Hello,

This is amazing that from this short video so many problems could be spotted. If that's ok, I could upload anything else to show more so I could get more feedback.

From what I have understood:
- I should not bounce and twist forearms but "squeeze" thumbs to reach the next key
- My thumbs are not active and they should move up and down to play a note
- I should relax forearms - I know I pull my fingers up. I'll try to work it out smile I think I need to practice slower to start controlling it.

I'd have a request. I think I understood the comments but if someone could make a video and show how to overcome these problems, it would be great. Sometimes pictures/videos are much better than words smile

Thanks.

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#2190252 - 11/29/13 08:13 PM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
check your shoulders for tension as well. When I was a 1month noobie i know for a fact my shoulders were tense as rocks. Trust me, relax them and KEEP staying diligent in checking that.
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

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#2190384 - 11/30/13 03:29 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: ZikO
I'd have a request. I think I understood the comments but if someone could make a video and show how to overcome these problems, it would be great. Sometimes pictures/videos are much better than words smile

Thanks.


If you have the funds to afford a piano, why not invest in regular, in-person lessons? Far better than having a piano is having a piano and being to play it, as well as being able to effectively self-teach and improve without having to rely on input of others over the internet (only possible after several years of working first-hand with a good teacher).

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#2190444 - 11/30/13 08:09 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2370
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Now that the teachers have had some input here's an analogy to show how I read the OP:

Quote:
I have recently bought a car. I started on doughnuts and handbrake turns.

I am doing all right on my driveway.

I struggle in high speed corners with opposite lock.

What techniques do you use for ice-racing?

I would suggest you drop the scale book for a couple of years and concentrate on pieces. Take up scales when you have a teacher and a year or two of playing experience.

The correct technique for playing scales involves transferring weight by co-ordination of the hands, wrists and arms. Oh, and some fingers (as an afterthought). The movements are too quick and too subtle to pick up from a video, you need personal instruction for this. Scales do not confer basic technique, they exercise it. They are not finger exercises.
_________________________
Richard

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#2191700 - 12/03/13 02:15 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: zrtf90]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Now that the teachers have had some input here's an analogy to show how I read the OP:

Quote:
I have recently bought a car. I started on doughnuts and handbrake turns.

I am doing all right on my driveway.

I struggle in high speed corners with opposite lock.

What techniques do you use for ice-racing?


laugh

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#2191711 - 12/03/13 03:05 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
ZikO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 31
Just to let you know Bobpickle and zrtf90, I attend Yamaha Music School and I have a teacher, not personal because I am in a group of 6 ppl. I don't understand why this is a problem that a beginner asks for simple problems.

If I ever reach a certain level to be able to help, I'll read a post to understand it, not assume things.

I don't want to open this sort of strange conversation and argument what I meant and what I have asked for because I am pretty sure I have asked for help towards a specific detail and help to overcome that just one problem. I put story that's all whereas both of you (2 latter posts) simply assumed that I'd demand techniques to learn, I don't know, Chopin??? Because Chopin would probably be the best equivalence to your strange sort of driving(ish) example, and ice-racing would definitely be ice-racing. Am I right?

At this point, I'd like to thank to those who really gave some clues and put effort to help. The points were valuable smile

ZikO

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#2191744 - 12/03/13 05:21 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Neither of us meant any offense.

And the point still stands that there's no replacement for regular one-on-one lessons in which you can ask such questions and receive specific advice tailored to your needs and your needs alone. While group lessons are a great way to begin playing and acquiring experience - I personally also began in them - there will eventually come concerns such as those you have right now that will be beyond the scope of your group lessons (such concerns were certainly beyond the scope of mine). The fact that you're invested enough in the lessons to ask your question here means that you're like I was and probably a lot more serious/ambitious than your peers. We simply express such concerns because we're well-acquainted with the potential for and potential severity of various playing-related injuries. Many a forum member here have suffered injuries severe enough to incur surgery, and oftentimes afterwards, the problem is still very alive and in the way (if they're fortunate enough to be able to even try playing again at all).

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#2191783 - 12/03/13 07:51 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11922
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: ZikO
Hello again.

I have uploaded Video in Youtube. Please bear in mind I started playing 1 month ago smile it is probably dull to listen. You can turn off sound :p

I played the same C major scale and I have chosen sixths playing with both hands in contrary manner because I found this most difficult. I played rather slowly to hopefully show how my fingers do.

Thanks for any comments and criticism. There are always welcome smile

http://youtu.be/5klNOAY_FsY

EDIT: I played again the scale and I just realised I cannot fully reach the C1 with my thumb when I play C major scale down with my left hand. I don't know I may be doing something wrong. If I reach it, I am limited, I cannot move thumb and therefore the sound is many times weak. This is also why I feel tension.
I had guests for Thanksgiving so I didn't have a chance to watch the video until now.

It appears that throughout playing the scale your thumb is tense. Not just in crossing under, although you probably feel it more then. You will have to do some very slow work, one hand at a time. Play your first note of the scale, and then hold it down. Relax all of your fingers, and the one holding the key should remain firm, but not pressing too much - only enough to keep the key down. Of course, focus on the thumb relaxing. You can let it rest on the keys. Then play the next note and hold it, relaxing. Continue this but don't go any faster than you are able to fully relax. Get an idea of what it feels like to be relaxed while playing. This will be a process you will have to do with your pieces I'm sure, and it will take weeks, and even then, you may catch yourself doing it after that.

As for the comments being made, there are so many people here who aren't taking any lessons and think they can play Chopin right out of the gate. Since your OP sounded as though you were self-teaching, that was the reason for the comments. Did your teacher recommend doing the scales? What other pieces have you played? Depending on what you've done and how long you've taken classes for, scales may not be appropriate right now, but I certainly think you can resolve your issue. You may need one-on-one lessons though. Perhaps approach your class teacher and see if she or he teaches privately.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2191795 - 12/03/13 08:48 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: hreichgott]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: hreichgott

1. When crossing, twist less and squeeze the thumb more.

Omg, NO!!!!!!

Put tension in the thumb, and you have put tension everywhere. I know what you are talking about. I have had to work very hard with my teacher to overcome the effects when I was without a teacher. I thought that scales, at least, were "safe", if I had a "good book". What you describe is one of the things I did and undoing the habit of tension in the thumb has been one of the hardest things in remediation.

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#2191797 - 12/03/13 09:07 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2370
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
ZikO, your OP says that you recently bought a piano and started with scales particularly with C major. You also stated that you had trouble turning your thumb under your fourth finger.

I offered an analogy to show how I read that post and offered a better alternative, drop the scales and concentrate on pieces, until you had more experience and a teacher. Not one or the other, but both experience and a teacher.

I repeat some constructive suggestions, drop the scales and concentrate on pieces until you have more experience and a personal teacher - who will show you exactly how to turn your thumb under your fourth finger. If you current teacher, a group teacher it seems, is not helping you with this then your current teacher is not helping you.

The worst thing you could do when you start playing piano is to play scales over pieces because the finger actions are too restrictive, too narrow and repeated too often. It's not so bad if you already have a wide technique but if you develop your technique from scales then you could be at serious risk of permanent injury.

The worst scale to practise when you start playing scales is C major. B major for the right hand and D flat major for the left hand are better because they put your hand in a natural configuration where the long fingers are over the black keys and your short thumb and little finger are over the white keys. Turning the thumb under the third and fourth finger is eased by the finger being raised on a black key and the thumb goes under the higher bridge to a low white key. The C major scale offers no such convenience and is treacherous for an untrained hand that may acquire debilitating habits.

Going back to my analogy, it's like learning to corner from Trophée Andros ice-racing before you've learned it on tarmacadam.


Develop your technique naturally by attacking notes from a wide range of angles and a wide range of touches and your subconscious will develop a natural technique while you sleep.

Starting work on scales for several minutes a day playing the same repetitive actions will increase the likelihood of bad habits, poor technique and, at worse, serious and permanent physical injury.

I had a concern for your welfare and offered good, constructive, helpful and, if I may say so, wise advice. You seem to have taken offence and I cannot see why.

I mean this in the most constructive and helpful way possible:
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
drop the scale book for a couple of years and concentrate on pieces. Take up scales when you have a teacher and a year or two of playing experience.


Originally Posted By: ZikO
What techniques do you use to train this? Or perhaps someone has found a video that would actually describe how to correctly train this. I feel moderate tension when I do cross over especially at lower sound keys.
I repeat, the correct technique for playing scales involves transferring weight by co-ordination of the hands, wrists and arms. Oh, and some fingers (as an afterthought). The movements are too quick and too subtle to pick up from a video, you need personal instruction for this.

In addition I will add that turning the thumb under the fourth finger will be better learnt from playing a wide range of pieces where the brain can sort out a natural solution while you sleep and not by practising a restricted and narrow method where constant repetition, as in scale practise, will ingrain a bad and possibly injurious habit, as your default technique.

Originally Posted By: ZikO
If I ever reach a certain level to be able to help, I'll read a post to understand it, not assume things.
I read what you wrote and explained, by analogy, how I had understood it so that you could see clearly whether or not I had misunderstood it or read things into it.

Originally Posted By: ZikO
...I put story that's all whereas both of you (2 latter posts) simply assumed that I'd demand techniques to learn...
I made no assumptions. I saw no demand for techniques only a cry for help. I offered good, solid, helpful and considered advice - advice that I would offer to my best friend and advice that I follow when instructing my sons - id est, drop the scales and concentrate on pieces.

Am I casting pearls before swine?
_________________________
Richard

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#2191799 - 12/03/13 09:22 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Canada
Ziko is taking lessons and has a teacher. He is doing what he is told to do, and following instructions in full trust. How would you guys feel if you came into a new group as a newbie, asked a question, and got this kind of reaction? I do know how he would feel, because quite a few years ago I took lessons on a different instrument and then consulted a forum when I was having problems a year in. Instead of anyone looking at what I was and wasn't taught (at least that is happening here smile ), I got blamed for my "attitude", the "hastiness" in which I wanted to "run before I could walk" and similar. How would he know that something as simple as scales are advanced, esp. if it is not seen so in lessons?

Ziko, there is a lot more to scales than finger placement or tucking the thumb under. There are other things you should be learning first, and it is not your fault if this hasn't been taught. Group lessons are not ideal because there is no one-on-one observation. And even in one-on-one lessons, you have to be lucky enough to get a teacher who has his or her priorities straight.

I'm in remediation on two instruments atm. I played piano decades before when I was young, and at that time I was self-taught. When I resumed it, I had had the experience on the other instrument and knew how important physical instruction was, but could not get a teacher right away. The one "safe" thing seemed to be scales. I found a book that (mis)taught the physical too (Cooke), using outmoded ideas. I did all the things you described: thirds, sixths. In fact, I wonder if you are using the same book. One of my hands became numb.

I am with a teacher now. He could give me the right motion for chords rather quickly, since I had not done much with chords. I have learned to allow all the joints to move - this took time. Anything that had notes resembling a scale: melody notes as opposed to chords, were messed up physically because of the habits that I acquired. I could play them, but lock up, and this would hamper what I could do at the piano if I tried to go further. I am in the beginning stages of remediating this - relearning how to move. It is much better to start off the right way.

I agree with the others that it is too soon for scales after one month.

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#2191813 - 12/03/13 10:05 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2370
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
My first post wasn't rude. It shows that I first waited for teacher input, demonstrated by analogy how I interpreted the situation and offered an alternative suggestion. I really don't see what was wrong with that response.

Despite what the OP responded with I made no assumptions. I had not been rude. I had not suggested he had been demanding.

The OP chose then to ignore the good advice.
He chose to read something offensive into it.
He chose to respond in the thread.

Look at this again:
Originally Posted By: ZikO
I have recently bought a piano. I started straight from scales, particularly from C major.
This is dangerous. It is common.

Originally Posted By: ZikO
I struggle to do cross over from a Ring finger (4) to Thumb
Despite struggling he continues to practise. This is dangerous. It is common.

Originally Posted By: ZikO
What techniques do you use to train this?
Playing pieces over scales.

Originally Posted By: ZikO
Or perhaps someone has found a video that would actually describe how to correctly train this.
You can't learn the subtle and quick movements from a video.

Originally Posted By: ZikO
I feel moderate tension when I do cross over especially at lower sound keys.
Should this happen with a teacher? He may be employing one but does he have one? Did I assume in my response that he didn't have a teacher.

Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Play pieces over scales
Is this unsound advice? Is it rude? Does it make assumptions?

Originally Posted By: keystring
How would you guys feel if you came into a new group as a newbie, asked a question, and got this kind of reaction?
What kind of reaction?

What kind of reaction? I really don't see what was wrong with my response. Perhaps you could explain it to me so that I don't make the same mistakes again.
_________________________
Richard

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#2191817 - 12/03/13 10:09 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
My first post wasn't rude.

I didn't use the word rude, and I also did not refer to your post. Essentially however, when there are analogies to stunt driving, this will be incomprehensible to the OP, because as far as he is concerned, he is doing what he is told, and it has bee presented as beginner material. It makes him appear to be silly, when he asked for advice. If we drive a new beginner away, then he definitely won't be helped. I have been in those shoes, as I explained. Any one of us who is experienced in piano will understand your analogy, because we know what is involved. But someone coming in fresh will not understand it.

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#2191818 - 12/03/13 10:12 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Canada
If as a beginner you are told to do something, and you are having trouble doing it, then you might go to a forum to ask for help with that thing. You are still trusting that you are supposed to be doing it. It is a huge paradigm shift to go from "help me do a thumb cross-over" to "should I be following instructions at all"? It hasn't even been a week since the question was asked. Paradigm shifts are very hard, because we always build ourselves on some premise. That's how we function.

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#2191845 - 12/03/13 11:15 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2370
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
My first post shows that I first waited for teacher input, demonstrated by analogy how I interpreted the situation and offered an alternative suggestion.

Was there something in my post to suggest I had made assumptions or something else to elicit his response?

Originally Posted By: ZikO
Just to let you know Bobpickle and zrtf90, I attend Yamaha Music School and I have a teacher, not personal because I am in a group of 6 ppl. I don't understand why this is a problem that a beginner asks for simple problems.
Did my first post suggest that there was a problem in his asking for a solution?

Originally Posted By: ZikO
If I ever reach a certain level to be able to help, I'll read a post to understand it, not assume things.

Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Now that the teachers have had some input here's an analogy to show how I read the OP:
Did my analogy not show my attempt to understand the situation? Should I not teach in parables? Did my advice not come with sufficient sugar-coating? Was the advice inapplicable. Did it suggest he not question further if it didn't make sense to him?

Originally Posted By: ZikO
both of you (2 latter posts) <Bobpickle and myself> simply assumed that I'd demand techniques to learn
What part of my response showed he was being demanding? What was wrong with the advice I gave that elicited such a rude response from him?

Originally Posted By: keystring
How would you guys feel if you came into a new group as a newbie, asked a question, and got this kind of reaction?
And what evoked this from you?

Originally Posted By: keystring
It makes him appear to be silly, when he asked for advice.
I don't see this. I simply offered advice. Does that suggest he's silly? Should we stop giving advice in case the recipient thinks we think he's silly?


_________________________
Richard

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#2191865 - 12/03/13 11:50 AM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Canada
Were in I the situation of the OP, as a beginner having taken only a month of lessons, I would not have understood the parables in the way they were intended. The analogy to doing wheelies when learning to drive makes sense if you know that scales are advanced. If you think scales are basic beginner things, then it is confusing. The idea of someone doing wheelies when learning to drive is also a silly thing to be doing. If the OP had come in and said he wanted to play an advanced piece of music, then he might grin with chagrin at the wheely idea. But since he asked about something that appears basic (as presented in school) it will be confusing. You did get a reaction, which seemed confusing or unexpected. Can you see it from that perspective? I'm trying to help - you were perplexed by the reaction. Things come across differently depending on where you're coming from. I was in that position once, so I'm describing what I see from that angle - maybe I'm wrong.

The actual advice is spot on.

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#2191908 - 12/03/13 01:25 PM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2370
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
I still fail to see how my post warranted insult.

I can understand the OP not understanding the analogy.

I cannot understand that Bob finding it amusing would be offensive. It wasn't intended to be amusing but was simply used to demonstrate my understanding. And it stated clearly that's what it was.

I cannot understand how the OP's ignorance or confusion should imply that I was being unhelpful or making assumptions.

That's all.

Should I second guess future posters and qualify all the things my posts do and do not cover before I give an answer? Was I wrong in not taking into consideration all the garbage the OP would throw into the equation and assign his confusion to my being rude? Is that it? Should I add obiter dicta like "IMO" and "no offence intended but" to everything I post?

Or can I expect a modicum of intelligence on the part of the reader that they may question or ignore what they don't understand before they assume their own infallibility and respond with insults?

Originally Posted By: keystring
The actual advice is spot on.
Thank you for this. smile
_________________________
Richard

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#2191927 - 12/03/13 02:14 PM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
I cannot understand how the OP's ignorance or confusion should imply that I was being unhelpful or making assumptions.

I think keystring is saying the exact opposite of what you're presuming here, that it's not your fault at all; the OP simply didn't understand what you were saying because of a preconceived notion about the perceived difficulty of scales.

I think if someone had said from the start that scales were among the most difficult technical feats, it may have made more sense to the OP, but the rest of us who are more experienced got exactly what you were saying.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2191967 - 12/03/13 03:14 PM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: keystring]
ZikO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 31
Hi Guys,

I apologise if I upset someone with my answer. What I basically meant was claiming for a better approach to beginners and understanding, especially understanding because I don't really know, yet, what and how I should ask for help as a fresh piano player. I can only emphasize that I am doing my best. As to the example / analogy to my "fingering", one has to realise that when I trust I ask for something basic and fundamental and get the answer in form of analogy to ice-racing, then it may be read with implied meaning even being silly. I do believe that I should have had an argument about it. Perhaps the way I have answered was not appropriate. Then, I apologise for it, once again.

It is true that I did believe scales exercises were for beginners. Otherwise, I would not even thought about them. Neither the books nor people in comments (Amazon) did emphasize the minimum experience with a piano. I have started with what I thought could be the best.

Originally Posted By: keystring
In fact, I wonder if you are using the same book.

"The Manual of Scales, Broken Chords and Arpeggios for piano" with introduction by Ruth Gerard - ABRSM
and
"The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpegios & Cadences ...", Willard A. Palmer, Morton Manus, Amanda Vick Lethco.

Also, what's more important from this discussion, I did not really realise that I could injure myself. Thank you very much for this valuable information. I am very happy I have opened this discussion. I have just realised the importance of the proper steps in right time.

BTW, I have to admit am still confused about the fingering but I don't want to ask about it here. I will try to get help from the teacher I mentioned.

Thank you

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#2191991 - 12/03/13 03:52 PM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
What fingering is troubling you?
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2192007 - 12/03/13 04:21 PM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
I still fail to see how my post warranted insult.

Richard, this puts us in the same position, because you misunderstood my post and its intent, which was meant to be helpful, just like part of your earlier post may have been. I did not insult you and did not intend to do so, and your analogy of wheelies also was not of that nature. But where a person is coming from may make it seem so (in either case). I hope it's more clear now than it was. I see someone else tried to explain. smile

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#2192024 - 12/03/13 04:56 PM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: Morodiene]
ZikO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
It appears that throughout playing the scale your thumb is tense. Not just in crossing under, although you probably feel it more then. You will have to do some very slow work, one hand at a time. Play your first note of the scale, and then hold it down. Relax all of your fingers, and the one holding the key should remain firm, but not pressing too much - only enough to keep the key down. Of course, focus on the thumb relaxing. You can let it rest on the keys. Then play the next note and hold it, relaxing. Continue this but don't go any faster than you are able to fully relax. Get an idea of what it feels like to be relaxed while playing. This will be a process you will have to do with your pieces I'm sure, and it will take weeks, and even then, you may catch yourself doing it after that.

Thank you for this clue. I'll try this asap.

Originally Posted By: Derulux
What fingering is troubling you?
The cross over. I need to be shown that. Otherwise, I'll be doing this wrong way all the time. Thanks for asking.


Edited by ZikO (12/03/13 05:01 PM)

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#2192028 - 12/03/13 05:00 PM Re: Cross over from 4th to 1st finger - feel moderate tension. [Re: ZikO]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Canada
Ziko, on the surface, what you've been trying to do seems a simple standard thing. That's the fingering, the thumb passing under, etc. The fact that you are feeling some tension in the 4 to 1 crossover is also logical, since it's such a large distance. The thing is that 1. there is a lot more to it. When we play, our "playing mechanism" is more than just the hand or even the fingers. The whole body and all its joints are involved in a sense. This working together can make the difference between efficient easy movement, or possible injury. 2. Some older ways of teaching how to play have proven to be injurious, and they are outdated. There was a time, for example, that Chopin railed against it in his day. Some of the older books still teach this older way. (In fact, I saw a video by a teacher who taught it - made my hair stand on end. shocked ). Your book isn't the same as the one by Cooke that I used while self-teaching, but possibly it could be similar. I think I recognize one author, who I think is of the older generation.

Richard (Zrtf90) is more experienced than I am though I'm catching up rapidly. wink When he is suggesting that you first play pieces, this makes a lot of sense. In pieces, there is variety to the notes, and thus your hand keeps moving in different ways. In scales, the movement is constantly similar which doesn't do much to train your hands, and if your movement is not efficient, then you are drilling yourself into poor movement that becomes permanent. That is what I am getting out of right now personally. I think I'm saying the same thing Richard did, but using more words.

Thumbs are marvelous things. The thumb has a huge powerful muscle at its base. In addition, we in the company of squirrels and monkeys have movable collarbones, which allow us to grasp things. The thumb is part of that too. So if you tense your thumb with that strong muscle, or misuse it in this complex manouver of the crossover, you're messing with quite a mechanism.

Those who understand something about it saw you trying to do a rather complex thing where things can go wrong. Understandably for you they were "just scales". In fact at one point I wondered what all the fuss was about. Now I know better.

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