Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#937647 - 07/07/08 11:12 AM Playing Octaves - Relaxed?
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
I'm sure playing octaves has been discussed before, but I couldn't find the answers doing a search.

There is a fun old Billy Joel piece I like to play at parties, called Root Beer Rag.

(You can see/hear Billy play it hear)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VB1_aZ-Psk

I can get through the piece ok, although admittedly not as well as he can :-)

But...
I find my wrist tightening up on the octaves.

Suggestions for how to loosen up my wrist when playing octaves?

_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
Facebook.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Twitter.com/PianoWorld
www.youtube.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#937648 - 07/07/08 11:37 AM Re: Playing Octaves - Relaxed?
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10763
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Try playing them very slowly, allowing your hand to relax back to normal in between each octave. Also make sure your wrist mobile. Continue this slowly until you can do it easily, then gradually increase the speed (use of a metronome can help). As it gets faster, your movements will be less exaggerated, but the feeling should remain the same.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#937649 - 07/07/08 12:29 PM Re: Playing Octaves - Relaxed?
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Oh, just do it like Lisitsa in the Rach prelude in G minor.

.
.

Prelude in G Minor

.
.
.
\:D


A little more seriously, my son was recently taught exercises to essentially drop in to the octaves so that the weight of the arm is doing the work. The wrist is just a hinge, and in fact he is supposed to be able to bounce a little on drop in so that the wrist doesn't tighten. It worked for him on that piece.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

Top
#937650 - 07/07/08 01:13 PM Re: Playing Octaves - Relaxed?
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
Try playing them very slowly, allowing your hand to relax back to normal in between each octave. Also make sure your wrist mobile. Continue this slowly until you can do it easily, then gradually increase the speed (use of a metronome can help). As it gets faster, your movements will be less exaggerated, but the feeling should remain the same. [/b]
Thanks Morodiene,

As an old rock musician I tend to try to play evertything too fast. I'll try slowing it down.
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
Facebook.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Twitter.com/PianoWorld
www.youtube.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!

Top
#937651 - 07/07/08 01:18 PM Re: Playing Octaves - Relaxed?
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano*Dad:
Oh, just do it like Lisitsa in the Rach prelude in G minor.

.
.

Prelude in G Minor

.
.
.
\:D


A little more seriously, my son was recently taught exercises to essentially drop in to the octaves so that the weight of the arm is doing the work. The wrist is just a hinge, and in fact he is supposed to be able to bounce a little on drop in so that the wrist doesn't tighten. It worked for him on that piece. [/b]
Nice performance, and I like her prom dress :-)

So, are you saying the wrist should be stiff, and the arm doing most of the work, or is it a combination?
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
Facebook.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Twitter.com/PianoWorld
www.youtube.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!

Top
#937652 - 07/07/08 04:19 PM Re: Playing Octaves - Relaxed?
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Stiff? Oh no. Flexible.

I'm not a piano teacher, and I don't want to get arrested for practicing the art without a license! ( \:D )

I'm just relaying what I observed at lessons devoted specifically to the relaxed playing of very fast moving chords and octaves. The first thing she had him learn was just 'dropping in.' She had him put his completely relaxed hand six or eight inches above the keys and just drop into the keys. At first, she didn't much care what notes he dropped on ... a sixth, a fifth, heck, a seventh would do! She wanted to see two things. First, as he made contact with the keys she wanted a slight grabbing of the keys from the side. That allows control. Secondly, she wanted his wrist loose enough so that when he made contact his wrist would bounce a bit, i.e. the wrist shouldn't be stiff and rigid as you are playing the moving chords or octaves.

cheers,


Oh, here's his version of the same piece after training:

Prelude in G Minor

Not all the tension is gone. Developing relaxed playing is a multi-year task.


P.S. One of MY favorite Joel tunes is another piano killer .... Angry Young Man. That piece has an entirely different set of technical challenges.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

Top
#937653 - 07/07/08 04:44 PM Re: Playing Octaves - Relaxed?
Jim Frazee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 392
Loc: Westchester County, New York
Frank,

Try this: put your hand, all fingers down, on a desk, table, piano, whatever. Now, move your wrists up and down in a "wave" motion, roughly 3" to 4", top to bottom, per wave. Let your wrists just bounce up and down until it feels comfortable. You will notice that the strongest part of the wave is at the bottom and the lightest part is at the top. Now, take that same technique to the piano, up/down, up/down, up/down, slowly at first then a little faster, then, ultimately, (meaning after a week or so) up to tempo. Never let tension into your arm or wrist - you can play octaves without tension or pain for hours. If you want more help, contact me off line.
_________________________
PianoPerfection
Teacher, performer, technician
Westchester County, NY

Top
#937654 - 07/07/08 06:02 PM Re: Playing Octaves - Relaxed?
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
Thanks Jim (and Piano*Dad),

One of the problems of being essentially self-taught is I've managed to develop bad habits, and my own way of doing things.

Now that I'm in my middle age years (or is it I was born in the middle ages?), I've finally realized I should clean up my playing.

Suggestions are much appreciated.

Best,

Frank B.
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
Facebook.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Twitter.com/PianoWorld
www.youtube.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!

Top
#937655 - 07/08/08 12:16 AM Re: Playing Octaves - Relaxed?
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
For the page you posted, practice the inside and the outside. Play the octave without the middle note, and practice the middle note without the octave.

When you practice the middle note by itself, be sure you use a knocking motion.

Also, pull the hand up a little higher than normal while you're practicing slowly. You want to train your "pickup" muscles. With both the wrists and the fingers, I've found that many people are very good at the "down," but not as good at the "up."

Another common octave culprit is the thumb. Practice the thumb notes by themselves, being sure to play it on the corner (not the knuckle) and with a light touch.
_________________________
"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)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

Top
#937656 - 07/08/08 09:36 AM Re: Playing Octaves - Relaxed?
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10763
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Frank,
It's good that you are working on pieces that challenge your technical abilities. I was self-taught for about 10 years after 10 years of piano lessons, and did pretty much the same thing. However, I did get to a point where I felt I couldn't progress without the guidance of a teacher. I'd recommend it, just because it's so much easier to have someone watch you and get feedback and watch them do it correctly. Just a thought \:\)
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#937657 - 07/08/08 10:04 AM Re: Playing Octaves - Relaxed?
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
I wanted to chime in with a comment for Piano*Dad's Youtube video. Since Valentina plays the prelude more quickly, she ends up having to utilize a technique called double bouncing (and sometimes triple bouncing) where the chord is performed as normal, with the wrist used as a shock absorber, except that one movement turns into two or three bounces.

In addition to the slow practice, I'd suggest creating a warm-up exercise for this piece for both hands. Do a chromatic scale in octaves with the minor sixth, ascending and descending, for two octaves. Start slowly, telling yourself to relax between each chord and to allow the momentum to transfer fully into the keybed. Speed it up once you feel you're able to play the exercise without undue amounts of tension.
_________________________
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

Top
#937658 - 07/08/08 02:24 PM Re: Playing Octaves - Relaxed?
MasterofHarmony Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 24
how can we play the detached notes on left hand in measure 6.Some teachers says detached notes must be played non legato some teacher says detasced notes can be play two ways legato or non legato

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
157 registered (Alex Hernandez, accordeur, Adam Coleman, 36251, 47 invisible), 1623 Guests and 33 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74248 Members
42 Forums
153580 Topics
2250844 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
This day, last year...
by TwoSnowflakes
04/19/14 01:17 PM
the government and tuning.
by kc_lee
04/19/14 12:33 PM
Midi controller with a good keybed under 1000$
by Ov3rload
04/19/14 11:55 AM
Bösendorfer vs Steingraeber
by Keith D Kerman
04/19/14 11:51 AM
Keyboard stand
by david_ka
04/19/14 09:42 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission