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Topic Options
#560444 - 03/07/08 03:35 PM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
What constitutes a sensitive, experienced... soul? Like anything else touch needs to be learned and practiced a million times until it feels "right". Then you can start varying the kinds and the depthness of touch. A proper technique includes touch. Hell, a proper technique is touch.

How would you go about teaching someone without the sensitive, experienced soul how to create a deep and carrying tone?
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina

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#560445 - 03/07/08 05:50 PM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
Cultor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 342
Loc: BsAs
 Quote:
Originally posted by Minaku:
What constitutes a sensitive, experienced... soul? Like anything else touch needs to be learned and practiced a million times until it feels "right". Then you can start varying the kinds and the depthness of touch. A proper technique includes touch. Hell, a proper technique is touch.

How would you go about teaching someone without the sensitive, experienced soul how to create a deep and carrying tone? [/b]
I would say: “Go, have a proper technique, and live.”
To me, touch is not a mechanical artifact you can teach or learn.
Each person will find his/her own touch, or not, as a result of each life’s unique journey.
But it’s just my 2 cents.

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#560446 - 03/07/08 05:54 PM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
jasperkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/05
Posts: 411
Loc: Safford, AZ
 Quote:
If you're vocally inclined, sing as you play the melody.[/b]
Well Minaku, seeing as how I'm not really vocally inclined; that probably wouldn't work for me. If I had a piano at the house using this method; one of my thoughtful neighbors would probably call 911 to help an obviously suffering man. Just kidding, but I'm willing the try the slow forte, with exaggerated depth. Thanks.

 Quote:
When you play it back, listen to yourself with a critical ear, as if someone else was playing it.[/b]
You know Akira, that's just what I try to do. I try to imagine what my thoughts would be if I were hearing someone else play it. I sometimes think 'Man! This guy will never make it.'
_________________________
"I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them." Andy Bernard

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#560447 - 03/07/08 11:47 PM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
Even if you have the world's worst voice, it still helps to sing out loud when you practice. It makes your fingers become 'vocal'. Also, try to experiment by 'drawing sound from the piano', rather than pushing into the piano. This will create a warmer sound when you have the concept of drawing sound from the instrument.
_________________________
www.jeffreybiegel.com

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#560448 - 03/07/08 11:56 PM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
Loki Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/09/05
Posts: 1035
Loc: Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBiegel:
Even if you have the world's worst voice, it still helps to sing out loud when you practice. [/b]
It seems to work for Van Cliburn. \:\)
_________________________
Houston, Texas

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#560449 - 03/08/08 12:10 AM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
DDS24P&FOP87 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/07
Posts: 374
_________________________
She was with me even in my grave
When the last of my friends turned away,
And she sang like the first storm heaven gave.
Or as if flowers were having their say.

- Anna Akhmatova, "Music"(Dedicated to Dmitri Shostakovich)

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#560450 - 03/08/08 02:18 AM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
I travel by train quite a bit. Trains in this country have a 'quiet' carriage where mobile phones and ipods are not allowed. Last week a women sat a few seats away and took about 30 minutes to eat her lunch - all of it wrapped in some extremely crackly cellophane. Every few seconds a huge storm of crackles engulfed the carriage. It was obvious she couldn't hear the noise as effectively as we others. I've always noticed the same thing with children unzipping bags in classrooms. Just as the body does with tension, our ears shut out habitual noise. I think this is why people can't hear themselves play the piano - they're so wrapped up in the mechanical doings (like the lady with her lunch), they have difficulty focusing on the sound.

This also explains why Hanon et al are so injurious - the sound becomes habituated; it begins to always sound the same. Yet no repeated passage can ever sound the same. [/b]
Very insightful post!

Our sense of hearing shuts out habitual noise.
Our sense of feeling shuts out habitual tension.
Finally, our sense of self and ego-protecting wishful thinking can convince us we hear ourselves playing better than an objective listener can hear. Recording oneself for objective listening later is a great reality check.

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#560451 - 03/08/08 07:08 PM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1244
Loc: London
I still think Kenny is right, it is all about listening. I have been thinking about this, and come up with the following theory.

The total experience of playing the piano is a combination of hearing the music and feeling the movements and sensations in the fingers, hands and arms. It is fundamentally different from the experience of hearing the music as a listener. In order to develop "touch" and to analyse one's playing critically, it is necessary to act as a listener. This means that as one plays one has to separate mentally the aural experience from the tactile experience, and concentrate on the former.

This requires considerable concentration, which I find difficult to maintain over a long span. I do feel however that this is the key to assessing one's tone, and thereby improving. The process is of course easier when one can rely on "finger memory" to find the notes, thereby leaving the conscious mind free to concentrate on the task of hearing and assessing the sound of the music being created, while rejecting the seductive enjoyment of the movements and sensations of the fingers.

When one concentrates on listening, one can try subtle variations to the way one plays notes, and assess the results. The feedback is immediate, which with recording it is not. I find it somehow a strange and rewarding experience to really listen to myself when playing.

And it helps enormously to have a well voiced and regulated piano.

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#560452 - 03/08/08 10:40 PM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7974
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:

This also explains why Hanon et al are so injurious - the sound becomes habituated; it begins to always sound the same. Yet no repeated passage can ever sound the same. [/b]
But of course, it is possible to work on Hanon without it becoming any more habituated than anything else. That's what I try to do, with a fair amount of success. One thing I do when I am Hanoning is constantly trying to listen very closely. The lack of "musical" information in the exercises actually helps for some kinds of listening.

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#560453 - 03/09/08 01:16 AM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
PassionatePianist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/09/07
Posts: 61
Loc: New Jersey
Some interesting posts above.

In order to excel as a pianist, you must really truly WANT it with all you heart more than anything! This may sound funny but think about it. Everyone that I know who is successful in music is very passionate about it. They are almost obsessive about it. I admit I am. This love for the music is what drives me to keep on doing what I'm doing. Yes, it's tedious and yes, its a rough life, but I feel like my soul will be empty if I stop doing what I do.

So...ask yourself this question and be completely honest with yourself..How bad do I want this?

If the answer is somewhere along the lines of..."I'll do anything to make it happen."...then you must be prepared to work your *** off. I'm not kidding, every good pianist that you've heard play, whether a tennager or an amateur, has worked up blood in that practice room trying to acheive what they have dreamed. It is this fire, this passion that drives us to work.

I think to achieve good sound, everything I previously said has to be 100% true. If this applies to you, chances are you already have this "listening" ability inside of you. You just need to find a way to apply it to you practice time.

Playing with good sound is much more than just technical excercises and practice. It's dedication.

Thats my 2cents. Hope it helps
_________________________
"Simplicity is the final achievement." - Chopin

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#560454 - 03/09/08 01:24 AM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by wr:
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:

This also explains why Hanon et al are so injurious - the sound becomes habituated; it begins to always sound the same. Yet no repeated passage can ever sound the same. [/b]
But of course, it is possible to work on Hanon without it becoming any more habituated than anything else. That's what I try to do, with a fair amount of success. One thing I do when I am Hanoning is constantly trying to listen very closely. The lack of "musical" information in the exercises actually helps for some kinds of listening. [/b]
If you're going to do this you must hear how different each repetition is. Not sure about your last statement unless you mean 'less' rather than 'lack'.

Passionatepianist, it' more than a bodily desire. It's the entering into angst out of free will that defines the musician.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#560455 - 03/09/08 06:29 AM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7974
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
 Quote:
Originally posted by wr:
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:

This also explains why Hanon et al are so injurious - the sound becomes habituated; it begins to always sound the same. Yet no repeated passage can ever sound the same. [/b]
But of course, it is possible to work on Hanon without it becoming any more habituated than anything else. That's what I try to do, with a fair amount of success. One thing I do when I am Hanoning is constantly trying to listen very closely. The lack of "musical" information in the exercises actually helps for some kinds of listening. [/b]
If you're going to do this you must hear how different each repetition is. Not sure about your last statement unless you mean 'less' rather than 'lack'.
[/b]
It was clumsily stated, what I meant about Hanon and musical information. It might be more accurate to say that the musical information in Hanon is relatively static and formulaic, compared to "real" music. I think that helps me to listen to some baseline aspects of my playing as they are changing from day to day, or even moment to moment, in contrast to music in which flux of musical information can prevent me from focusing so closely on that kind of thing. In a way, I think doing Hanon exercises (or scales and the like) may be the pianist's equivalent of what breathing is to a person doing breath-based meditation.

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#560456 - 03/09/08 08:59 AM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by wr:
It might be more accurate to say that the musical information in Hanon is relatively static and formulaic, compared to "real" music. I think that helps me to listen to some baseline aspects of my playing as they are changing from day to day, or even moment to moment, [/b]
Try listening to some baseline aspects of the music rather than your playing.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#560457 - 03/09/08 10:59 AM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
arrsr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/14/08
Posts: 2
Loc: Wisconsin
Did anyone mention listening to really good music as often as you are able? As important as it is to listen to yourself, you cannot teach yourself everything. If you listen to good performers you will have a pleasing sound in your mind. And then if you mental practice with the sound you want you will be able to replicate that sound at the piano.

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#560458 - 03/09/08 11:42 AM Re: How does one develop 'touch'?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by arrsr:
Did anyone mention listening to really good music as often as you are able? As important as it is to listen to yourself, you cannot teach yourself everything. If you listen to good performers you will have a pleasing sound in your mind. And then if you mental practice with the sound you want you will be able to replicate that sound at the piano. [/b]
Good point. Listening to good performances is important but your search is for your own voice, one that's never been heard before.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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