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#346309 - 02/01/05 12:01 PM Re: Thumb Over??
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I don't like the term "thumb over" either.

Most teachers I've come across speak in terms of forearm rotation (as per Matthay and Taubman...)
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"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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#346310 - 02/01/05 12:26 PM Re: Thumb Over??
Ted Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 1500
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Both these techniques have smoothness and flow as their objective but I can think of quite a few places where I enjoy the direct opposite of smoothness and flow. In this case the "thumb over" trick can be used to attain this too. Last night I was playing Mary Lou Williams' "Walking and Swinging" and noticed how dreary it sounded when fingered to produce flow in the right hand. When I inserted lots of awkwardly chosen "thumb overs" the resulting off-beat rhythmic kicks were most attractive.

In improvisation too, non-standard fingering of passagework can produce spontaneous accents and phrasing which push the mind down another track. The difference in this latter case is that the end effect is not known in advance and certainly not desired to be known.

In either case the "thumb over" exhibits amazing versatility. Of course I'm speaking for myself and my own musical ends, which are most likely anathema to many trained nusicians.
_________________________
"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows

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#346311 - 02/01/05 12:56 PM Re: Thumb Over??
Rockitman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 284
Loc: Central Calif
I give up. It seems everyone has something to offer about TO, but noone can seem to offer resolution to the specific problem I have with TO.
Making the transition sound even! From E to F in the C major scale, and from B to C if continuing another octave.
Whether I play it slow or lightning fast, the E sounds like a stacatto note.

Again, DOES ANYBODY HAVE SOME INSIGHT TO THIS PROBLEM AND A POSSIBLE RESOLUTION?????????

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#346312 - 02/01/05 01:38 PM Re: Thumb Over??
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
From my point of view, Rockitman, skipping/shifting the hand like that is simply not viable. The 'thumb over' in a scale, as you mention is too awkward. I play scales at 8 notes per beat at 208/216 (depending on which metronome I'm using) and practise the prepared thumb (turning the thumb under) and the effect is legato, which is what you want to achieve. I doubt you're going to need to go any faster than that. Personally, I think you're being mis-led with this approach--especially if you want to maintain a legato line.

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#346313 - 02/01/05 03:03 PM Re: Thumb Over??
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
Rockitman,

I guess I should have been more basic. The only way to make a note less stacatto is to hold it longer. You are letting it go too soon. And, you are possibly making it stand out by either accenting it or by underplaying the thumb. Also, you need to make sure that you play every note in very strict rhythm.

Make sure you turn your thumb under to some extent (as Varcon said). I mean, your thumb has to actually play its note and not just be forced down onto it by the motion of your hand. Also, make sure you move your arm smoothly along with the scale so that your thumb can reach its note without forcing the previous finger to lift so soon.

Guess I should read about Thumb Over. I thought I knew what it was, but from your description of it I don't think it is a very good way to play scales.

Ryan

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#346314 - 02/01/05 03:15 PM Re: Thumb Over??
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
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#346315 - 02/01/05 03:50 PM Re: Thumb Over??
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Good one, Gregjazz!! Makes about the same sense! \:\)

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#346316 - 02/02/05 09:46 PM Re: Thumb Over??
kraniak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 153
Loc: SW Florida
Groan. Isn't there someone who can demonstrate, with a camcorder, even do a slo-moe?

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#346317 - 02/03/05 05:21 AM Re: Thumb Over??
simon_bacon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Belfast, N.Ireland
Hi,I've been lurking for a while now but felt moved to make my first post - searching for information on the "thumb over" technique was how I discovered this excellent forum.

I've been working on this, trying like Rockitman to smooth out the hop. At the moment I'm experimenting with curling my middle finger in towards the ball of my thumb as I rotate my wrist. So, as I move up to play the 4th note of the scale, my thumb is in fact momentarily over the first joint of my middle finger. So far this has been hit or miss, but when occasionally I get it right I'm achieving seamless scales at higher speeds than I have before.

Bear in mind I'm not an experienced pianist. I've been making music all my life though (violin's my first instrument), so I think I'm pretty good at breaking down technical problems. I'll be interested to see whether I've provided food for thought here, or whether I get shot down in flames by someone less ignorant than myself. \:\)

Oh and here's another vote for a video demonstration.

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#346318 - 02/03/05 04:25 PM Re: Thumb Over??
kraniak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 153
Loc: SW Florida
Here that? We need the video! C'mon, someone geek out on us and do the video thing. You'll be a mighty thumb-over hero

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#346319 - 02/03/05 11:03 PM Re: Thumb Over??
Rockitman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 284
Loc: Central Calif
whoever has the balls to throw us a video of a good thumb over will be ridiculed by the "elite" on this board as I have come to believe that this technique is one of the major "trade secrets" that must NOT go out to the masses lest they learn to develop technique on a par with their elitist selves. :>
But, with this post, I believe there is one brave man/woman out there who will forsake their guild and provide the unlearned with a coherent video that will show us all "the way". Remember, we are not all as fortunate as most here in that we have the funds to be taught "the trade".
Just do it.
This is a hero's calling.
And if you are going to do it, we want a "run time" version and then an ultimate slomo version on the same video.
i've made a legitimate request. Who's man/woman enough to show us their wares?

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#346320 - 02/03/05 11:08 PM Re: Thumb Over??
Rockitman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 284
Loc: Central Calif
"in that we have NOT the funds to have a professional demonstrate this technique to us"

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#346321 - 02/04/05 06:05 AM Re: Thumb Over??
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
why don't you just ask any piano teacher you know to demonstrate it for you? there is no secret about it. as you practice it you'd eventually get it anyway. it's an obvious technique to many people here.

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#346322 - 02/04/05 06:38 AM Re: Thumb Over??
simon_bacon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Belfast, N.Ireland
Rockitman, with all due respect, referring to the very people whose help you're requesting as "elitists" probably isn't the best way to get them on side. \:\)

signa, you're quite right. I don't have a teacher at the moment, but it may well be time to look for one again. Still, I hope this topic won't end here, video clip or not. In my experience on fiddle related boards, if it's difficult to describe an aspect of technique which I take for granted, then finding the words can be beneficial for myself as well as others.

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#346323 - 02/04/05 07:44 AM Re: Thumb Over??
Rockitman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 284
Loc: Central Calif
Simon, can't you see "tongue in cheek" when you read it? I did put a smiley face after the statement.
And I do not have a teacher nor do I know one. Why do you think I'm asking on this board? Some of us have mortgages and other bills to pay which prevents me from aquiring formal lessons. Sucks to be poor.

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#346324 - 02/04/05 08:25 AM Re: Thumb Over??
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
my advice: practice!

the point of making the jump/hop less visible is to shift your thumb to next position as fast as possible, which at beginning would sound like 123-1234. the problem here is your speed at 123 or 1234 alone can be extremely fast, but the question here is if you can shift your thumb also as fast? as you practice the 'thumb positioning' speed, you let your 123 or 1234 speed slowed down to the same speed as your thumb shift's to obtain the evenness. if you play with both speeds long enough, you will eventually find out the best way to play this fast and evenly.

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#346325 - 02/04/05 01:37 PM Re: Thumb Over??
kraniak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 153
Loc: SW Florida
OK, there's a first time for everything. I'm going to make a criticism of the forum. Hopefully, it's viewed as constructive.

I came, like many, to the Pianos forum to get advise about buying a new grand piano. A handful of folk were quite helpful. There are many, however, that continually blow off the newbie seeking info by telling them to go read Larry Fine's book. Hello? People come to the forum to exchange information. Larry's book is great, but folks come here for info as well, and often, info of a greatly reduced scope compared to the book. Imagine if you tuned into NPR to hear the news and they told you to go login to cnn.com.

Now, there are a few of us seeking some assistance on the Pianist forum and some will no doubt say "go ask a teacher". If you cannot be bothered with helping someone that is many levels beneath you, why not simply move on to the next thread and save room for someone who is here to help.

There, I did it. I criticized. Whew, I feel much better. :p

Now, who's gonna do the video? \:D

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#346326 - 02/04/05 02:02 PM Re: Thumb Over??
Rockitman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 284
Loc: Central Calif
My setiments exactly. Thanks Kran.
We'll get somebody to show us, one day.
I can't stand Thumb under and can't wait to figure this TO thing out. Any piece I play that has a long ascending right hand run sounds like I'm "skipping through the park". If I could only sound near as well as I do on descendings.

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#346327 - 02/04/05 02:13 PM Re: Thumb Over??
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
I'm sorry, I don't have the means right now to post a video.

Don't even lift the thumb so much off the keys - don't move it over any other fingers. Just move the hand, so that you end up with your thumb on the correct key.

With this method, you're not moving one finger individually. You're shifting the entire hand.

Example: You have your right hand in five-finger position, with the fingers on C-D-E-F-G. To play the A with the thumb, just shift the entire hand to the right so that your hand position is on A-B-C-D-E.

Another example: You have your right hand in five-finger position, with the fingers on C-D-E-F-G. To play the E with the thumb, just shift the entire hand to the right so that your hand position is on E-F-G-A-B.

It is only called "thumb over", I think, to differentiate it from "thumb under", but again, you are not moving the thumb individually.
_________________________
Sam

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#346328 - 02/04/05 03:16 PM Re: Thumb Over??
gordonf238 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 283
Loc: NYC
lol pianojerome, i seem to have evolved this technique naturally as i played my scales faster and faster.

when playing them in slow legato, i inherently thumb under.. but when you start playing them really rapidly, you are naturally forced to skip the thumbing-under, and shift your whole instead.

i still hit the wrong keys fairly often until i'm warmed up.. and i gotta tell you, it puts significant strain on your muscles to tack the keys that fast for a period of time.. i usally switch between my two hands, and play scales very rapidly with one hand at a time.

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#346329 - 02/04/05 04:11 PM Re: Thumb Over??
simon_bacon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Belfast, N.Ireland
Thanks pianojerome and signa, you've given me things to mull over. No doubt I'll have questions later. \:\)

Rockitman, sorry I missed your old skool smiley face, but yes I can see "tongue-in-cheek" when I read it. Can you?
;\)

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#346330 - 04/23/05 04:15 PM Re: Thumb Over??
SinspawnAmmes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/04
Posts: 147
Loc: Houston, TX
Video!!!
_________________________
Demi me, please!

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#346331 - 04/23/05 10:33 PM Re: Thumb Over??
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Sinspawn:

Here's exactly how you do "thumb over":

Pick up your hand. Move the entire hand over to the right or left. Put your hand down.

That is thumb over.

It has absolutely nothing to do with your thumb moving over your hand. The thumb does not move at all over any other fingers. If it did, that would be both awkward and counter-productive. The thumb does not pass over any finger.

The name of this technique is merely a contrast to the name of the 'thumb under' technique, by which the thumb actually does pass underneath other fingers.
_________________________
Sam

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