When are you supposed to tuck your thumb during scales?

Posted by: Nicholas Mihaila

When are you supposed to tuck your thumb during scales? - 11/10/12 09:29 PM

It’s a bit ridiculous having to ask this, but apparently I’ve never played any pieces with scales fast enough to pose a barrier. Anyway, I’d like to know exactly when you’re supposed to start tucking your thumb under while playing scales (ascending motions with the RH, or descending with the LH). Obviously there are lots of different ways to play scales smoothly at a moderately fast speed, but once you exceed a speed greater than one octave/second, your options—less than perfect techniques without consequence—go down.

I can really sum this up in a single question: If you were to perform an ascending scale in they key of C major (starting on C) with your right hand, would you start tucking immediately after you release the first key (while D is being held)? If the answer’s yes, then it’s an easy fix because I’m tucking my thumb under too late. A bit of experimentation seemed to confirm this.

Thanks, guys!
-Nicholas
Posted by: wj3

Re: When are you supposed to tuck your thumb during scales? - 11/10/12 10:26 PM

Yes, as soon as you press the d, your thumb should be moving under your palm.
Posted by: Nicholas Mihaila

Re: When are you supposed to tuck your thumb during scales? - 11/10/12 10:51 PM

Originally Posted By: wj3
Yes, as soon as you press the d, your thumb should be moving under your palm.


Awesome, thanks! It's funny, because if you compare the movement I described with my current technique, they're nearly identical, but that little change makes a big difference.
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: When are you supposed to tuck your thumb during scales? - 11/11/12 03:14 AM

what wj3 said

Posted by: aTallGuyNH

Re: When are you supposed to tuck your thumb during scales? - 11/11/12 08:05 PM

At first glance I saw "suck your thumb" rather than "tuck your thumb" in the subject line.

Was going to say "when it's going really poorly, you need a break, and you want to cry." eek
Posted by: Nicholas Mihaila

Re: When are you supposed to tuck your thumb during scales? - 11/16/12 08:25 PM

Just thought I'd report my progress. It's been great! My speed (with fluidity) is excellent now. And now I'm working on doing some slow practice to perfect the movement (using a bit of wrist rotation, etc.).

Originally Posted By: Bobpickle
what wj3 said



Very helpful video. Thanks!

Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
At first glance I saw "suck your thumb" rather than "tuck your thumb" in the subject line.

Was going to say "when it's going really poorly, you need a break, and you want to cry." eek


lol