Obtaining correct non-legato touch

Posted by: Daniel Brag

Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/05/12 06:35 PM

Hi guys.I need some help here, to obtain a good non-legato touch, especially during fast passages.I can easily obatain legato or staccato, but when it comes to non-legato, I get completly lost.
Let me give you an example of what I am talking about:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HZRB-x5LNgw

When I try to play using a touch like this, it simply doesn't come out!It seems strict legato or staccato ech give me a specific feeling, which helps archiving what i want.Problem is this simply doesn't happen with non-legato!
Could you guys give me some orientation on playing with a non-legato touch, similar to the video I posted?
Thanks a lot
Posted by: BDB

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/05/12 06:44 PM

First of all, practice without pedal!

I read somewhere the recommendation of practicing passages by holding the chord that you are playing silently and lifting your fingers when you need to. That is, practice the release rather than the attack. It will not sound right, but you will learn the technique.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/05/12 07:47 PM

Here is a link to the file that the OP indicated in his post : Bach Prelude No 6 in D minor, BWV875

Bach Prelude BWV875

Regards,
Posted by: Vid

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/05/12 07:49 PM

To master articulation play like Gould! cursing
Posted by: Daniel Brag

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/06/12 07:21 PM

Well could anyone give me a more objective answer?Please guys, I really need help!
Posted by: currawong

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/06/12 10:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Daniel Brag
Well could anyone give me a more objective answer?Please guys, I really need help!
Did you not find BDB's reply helpful?
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/06/12 10:43 PM

You can always "cheat" by playing staccato with your foot resting very lightly on the damper pedal.

Otherwise, there really is only one solution: slow practice until you get a feel for how long you want to hold the note. Try practicing with something simple, like a five-note scale or a C-major scale. Just get the feeling under your fingers, then go back to the piece.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/07/12 12:19 AM

Originally Posted By: Daniel Brag
Well could anyone give me a more objective answer?Please guys, I really need help!


If you can't get the sound you're looking for, intuitively, you'll have to work at getting it, I guess, but there's no great secret.

Presumably, you know how to play legato and you know how to play staccato. What you are aiming at is somewhere - and the somewhere is your choice - in between. Try a simple five-finger exercise, very slowly, clearly imagining the sound you want to produce and then keep working at it until you get the sound and you have the "feel" that produced that sound.

I don't know how to verbalize what "mechanics" you have to employ to get what you're after, because I really don't think there's any great mystery about producing variances of touch. Simply stated, you don't hold the note as long as you would to obtain a legato sound, but you hold it longer than you would to produce a staccato sound.

Regards,
Posted by: Ian_G

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/07/12 03:03 AM

Finger tapping! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finger_tapping_%28piano%29
Posted by: Daniel Brag

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/07/12 09:35 AM

Thank you very much Bruce.I will take your advice.And BDB's aswell.Also, I will take a look at this finger tapping.
Posted by: landorrano

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/07/12 10:39 AM

Hi Daniel, and welcome to the forum.

I think that the formulation "non-legato" in itself poses a difficulty. It says only what you don't want to play, and the problem isn't what you don't want but what you do want, what the composer wants.

Portato or porté. Tenuto. These words express something.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/07/12 10:50 AM

Playing the piano has two essential sides to it: knowing what kind of sound you want to produce or is the right one, being able to physically produce that sound. I would not be able to produce what Gould is doing for more than three seconds because my hand would cramp up. I have a teacher for the first time and we're sorting out basic things that I have been doing and replacing it with other things. Without seeing the OP play and knowing what he has tried, can advice really be given?
Posted by: landorrano

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/07/12 11:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Derulux
You can always "cheat" by playing staccato with your foot resting very lightly on the damper pedal.


Hi. This isn't cheating at all, it is simply a gross misunderstanding. It has nothing to do whatsoever with tenuto or portato or stacatto or anything "non-legato". Legato and non-legato concern exclusively the use of the hands.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/07/12 01:49 PM

Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: Derulux
You can always "cheat" by playing staccato with your foot resting very lightly on the damper pedal.


Hi. This isn't cheating at all, it is simply a gross misunderstanding. It has nothing to do whatsoever with tenuto or portato or stacatto or anything "non-legato". Legato and non-legato concern exclusively the use of the hands.

While that can be agreed upon, I am a believer that the method of sound production is less important than they type of sound produced. wink
Posted by: landorrano

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/07/12 05:50 PM

No.
No!
No no no no! Nononononononononononononononononononononononononononononononononononononon ...

NO!
Posted by: debrucey

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/07/12 05:51 PM

+1
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/07/12 06:05 PM

Originally Posted By: landorrano
No.
No!
No no no no! Nononononononononononononononononononononononononononononononononononononon ...

NO!

Care to explain or just whine? (sarcasm) wink
Posted by: Daniel Brag

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/10/12 10:36 AM

Could someone give me some examples of non-legato touch?It would really help me.Thanks a lot,

Daniel
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/10/12 02:12 PM

OP, this great recent blog post by established pedagogue Graham Fitch might be of use: http://practisingthepiano.com/?p=2073
Posted by: Daniel Brag

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/10/12 04:42 PM

Thanks a lot.As far as I understood, portato should be played by distinct arm motions , but not deliberately aiming at separating the notes.Is that right?Also, should my fingers stick to the keys all the time?I still seem not to be quite exacly getting to this baroque/classical non-legato sound.I don't know what is wrong,maybe I don't even know what am I looking for?
Posted by: woodog

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/10/12 11:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Bobpickle
OP, this great recent blog post by established pedagogue Graham Fitch might be of use: http://practisingthepiano.com/?p=2073


Sometimes there are jewels.. this is one. Thank you for this link!!

I watched his series about chords and then went and had a much better time with Mr. Brahms than I've had in a while. :-)

Forrest
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Obtaining correct non-legato touch - 12/10/12 11:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Daniel Brag
Thanks a lot.As far as I understood, portato should be played by distinct arm motions , but not deliberately aiming at separating the notes.Is that right?[...]


I think you are wrong on both counts.

First : You certainly don't need "distinct arm motions" to play a portato passage. Whether the passage is a simple four- or five-note portion of a scale passage or something longer, you certainly aren't going to move your arms to play such a passage portato, just as you wouldn't, necessarily, if it were a legato or a staccato passage. In other words "distinct arm motions" don't produce portato.

As the dictionary defines portato, it is "a musical articulation midway between staccato and legato. It is indicated by a slur over notes bearing a staccato dot or by a tenuto marking combined with a staccato dot." Often, in the case of Baroque music, portato isn't even indicated - except, perhaps, in heavily edition editions - since portato is often considered standard performance practice in much of Baroque music, depending on the context.

Second : In effect, then, there is a slight separation of notes when playing portato, otherwise you are playing legato.

Regards,