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#931503 - 03/06/08 03:16 PM Re: Velocity
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
I just sat down and played through a few scales at a decent clip, and I can see how you describe it as the fingers leading the hand. When you look at it without thinking about where the energy is it definitely looks like your fingers are leading. But the wizard behind the show is definitely the arm. I suppose I approached it from the player's POV rather than the watcher's POV.

All in all I think we're talking about the same thing. I will say that before I knew how to do it, I watched a pianist for many months before I finally figured out what it was she was doing. Gaining this skill is, I think, relatively difficult, but once it's attained it feels so easy.
_________________________
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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#931504 - 03/06/08 03:41 PM Re: Velocity
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7355
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Back from shopping and discover that there is quite a bit of discussion while I was out.

Actually, all the best/advanced teachers I know, like Leon Fleischer, for example, or Veda Kaplinsky, use the concept of wrist leading. So I don't think that's my students' problem.

None-the-less, I find the discussion interesting.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#931505 - 03/06/08 07:07 PM Re: Velocity
ftp Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/05
Posts: 2365
Loc: Philadelphia
John,

Sorry if my question is off topic but I am curious why you did not mention arpeggios when discussing scales and velocity?

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#931506 - 03/06/08 07:12 PM Re: Velocity
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
fathertopianist

All of the points I have talked about apply to arpeggios as well as scales. They are the same thing from a physiological perspective. The only difference is that the notes are further apart.

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#931507 - 03/06/08 07:41 PM Re: Velocity
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7355
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I didn't mention arpeggios for two reasons - first, because I figured if I could find a way to help my students increase their velocity, it would apply to those as well, and secondly, right now, at the level they're at, I'd be happy if I could just get their scales faster.

I'm beginning to think it's just time and practice more than anything else.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#931508 - 03/06/08 08:23 PM Re: Velocity
lalakeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
Sometimes my students and I use creative fingering approaches to scales, when velocity is important. For example, for a 2-octave D Major scale passage (this only works when there is no harmony or counter-melody), I would play the first 5 notes (DEF#GA) with my L.H. (54321), then the next 5 with my R.H. 12345 (BC#DEF#), then the last 5 with my L.H. (GABC#D). Voila--a super-fast, even scale with no tucking or crossing issues!

\:\)
_________________________
Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir

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#931509 - 03/06/08 08:28 PM Re: Velocity
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
interesting, lalakeys.
By far the fasted fingering for a C major scale is 12345123451234512345.
It doesn't work well for longer scales, but for 2 octaves it can produce glissando-speeds with incredible evenness!

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#931510 - 03/06/08 08:31 PM Re: Velocity
lalakeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
Actually, Mr. Kitty, I think the fastest fingering for a C Major scale would be a glissando.

I used D Major as my example because it includes black keys, which would make a glissando impossible (or at least very awkward/painful)!
_________________________
Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir

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#931511 - 03/07/08 01:36 AM Re: Velocity
Ferdinand Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 941
Loc: California
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Kitty
The fingers never ever crawl ahead. When I play my knuckle bridge is always in a perfectly straight line with my elboy. I never bend my hand to one side or the other (sort of like waving goodbye). The fingers are never "ahead" or the hand or the arm.
Mr. Kitty, thanks for the detailed description of your scale technique.

To check whether I understand you about the knuckle bridge staying in a straight line with your elbow - if you are playing a RH descending scale starting at C two octaves above middle C, you start out with the bridge perpendicular to the length of the keys? And as you descend, and the forearm is no longer parallel to the key length, the angle of the knuckle bridge to the key length shrinks from a right angle to about 45 degrees when you get to an 8ve below middle C?

The opposite of the above would be to keep the knuckle bridge and key at a right angle, by bending the wrist to the right with respect to the forearm (which it sounds like you are NOT doing.)

Sorry about all the geometry, but that's the clearest way I could think of to phrase the question.

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