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#1042632 - 08/25/04 10:45 AM Accidental breakthrough!
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
Pun intended. \:D

Today for the first time, I'm now able to play the C scale up and down in the black keys!!!

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#1042633 - 08/25/04 11:21 AM Re: Accidental breakthrough!
Frank R Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 569
Loc: Anaheim Hills, CA
Good job Bob. All our small victories start to add up. It has something to do with persistence
Keep a song in your heart!

It's not who we are that holds us back, it's who we think we're not!

#1042634 - 08/25/04 11:41 AM Re: Accidental breakthrough!
Cindysphinx Offline

Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
Aren't those "Aha!" moments wonderful?

And there are so darn many of them!

Good work!
Vote For Cindy!!


#1042635 - 08/25/04 03:03 PM Re: Accidental breakthrough!
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2918
Loc: idaho
Isn't it great to have somewhere to share this stuff where someone really understands and cares?

Bob - was it you that suggested Seattle Adult Beginners or retreads should meet at Nordstrom and play the piano? I thought of it when I was there last week in Bell Square talking to the woman who plays the Steinway there.

Yesterday, my teacher suggested that she and I go to a nursing home to play for the folks. She says someone will always clap even if others are nodding off.
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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#1042636 - 08/25/04 04:28 PM Re: Accidental breakthrough!
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
No, someone else suggested an area adult beginners group but nothing's been organized yet. I did suggest nursing homes though. ;\)

"Aren't those "Aha!" moments wonderful?
And there are so darn many of them!"

Yeah, too bad there is so much time between them. \:\( \:\)

#1042637 - 08/25/04 09:48 PM Re: Accidental breakthrough!
sleepingcats Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 982
Loc: Oregon

That's great that you've discovered something new - every bit helps and I'd be happy to!

My lessons with my new teacher are going great! I had my third lesson with her today. She is so helpful with the little tips and tricks on technique. I told her I don't mind spending a lot of time on one piece - I want to do it with feeling and musicality and she has provided so many "aha!" moments, including music theory.

I just drove right through Lakewood yesterday on I-5 while driving home to Portland from Seattle visiting piano showrooms! I guess I should say I "crawled" though, since I happen to drive through at the peak traffic time!
"Cats make purrfect friends"

#1042638 - 08/26/04 04:12 PM Re: Accidental breakthrough!
plays88skeys Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 3091
Loc: Richmond, VA
quoted by Bob:
Today for the first time, I'm now able to play the C scale up and down in the black keys!!! [/b]
Bob, do you mean a chromatic C scale? I'm confused.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. - Beverly Sills

#1042639 - 08/26/04 04:34 PM Re: Accidental breakthrough!
LudwigVanBee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/04
Posts: 83
Loc: USA
I share your confusion. At first I thought you meant the C sharp Major scale which is all black keys but you said you are putting your fingers between the black keys so I assume you are indeed playing the C Major scale. So what is the purpose of playing/practicing it with fingers so forward they are in between the black keys?
_ _ ___________________________ _ _
"There are no shortcuts to anything worth doing." Beverly Sills

#1042640 - 08/26/04 05:00 PM Re: Accidental breakthrough!
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
"Bob, do you mean a chromatic C scale? I'm confused."

No, I mean the C-Major scale.

"what is the purpose of playing/practicing it with fingers so forward they are in between the black keys?"

It's not so much for practice, just the fact that I can do it. Although it probably wouldn't hurt to practice it, although there are plenty of scales and arpeggios that require it; I just haven't gotten to them yet.

The first time I ran into it was the first inversion of the D7 arpeggio (the #2 arpeggio for the G-Major scale), which goes F#, A, C, D, and back to F#. In order to get your thumb/little finger to F#, I had to play the others between the blacks which I couldn't do at first without hitting black notes. Once I was able to do that, I thought it would be neat to see how long it would take to play the C-Major scale keeping my fingers in the black area.

#1042641 - 08/27/04 05:19 PM Re: Accidental breakthrough!
MitchE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 271
Congrats, Bob! I'm having the same problem right now, as a matter of fact. You will find it to be quite a useful skill when you start to do trills and chromatic ascending chords, as you wont's have to angle your wrist or move you arm in and out to play them. Could you please describe again how you managed to do this?

#1042642 - 08/27/04 07:07 PM Re: Accidental breakthrough!
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
There are three things I'm focussing on:

1. Relaxation, which almost goes without saying;
2. Flexible wrists, which smooths out the finger attacks; and
3. Noticing how the fingers are attacking the keys, both up and down the scale. You may notice sometimes that you completely change the attack going one direction from the other.

If you can try as much as possible to keep the same angle from the easier direction, then the more difficult direction becomes easier. In other words, when you walk forward, you walk heel->toe. If you were to try and walk backward heal->toe, it would be much more difficult.

When my left hand is moving up the scale, which is easier, I try to focus on how the fingers are moving so I can step into the same positions going back down the scale.

Also, like anything, it takes a lot of practice. It took some time before I was able to do that D7 arpeggio (1st inversion) without tripping over the black keys. And then it took some more time, but not nearly as much to do the C-major scale up in the blacks. I'm still hitting wrong keys on occasion, but I do that no matter what I'm doing. I know it'll get better with a few years of practice. \:\)

Of course I'm a rank beginner, so it may be that I'm over analysing things and it's possible I'm doing it completely wrong. I'm going to go over it with my teacher on Monday.

#1042643 - 08/28/04 06:40 AM Re: Accidental breakthrough!
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Bob... you should always celebrate victories.. and this is one. In my three years of lessons I see all the small steps forward adding up to where I can actually play some pretty good stuff!

Congratulations! If you can't share it gladly on this forum, then where?


He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

#1042644 - 08/29/04 05:03 AM Re: Accidental breakthrough!
MAK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 155
Loc: New York Metropolitan Area
I can recall many times during my first few years of lessons when I felt that I had hit a brick wall, that there was "no way" I could play a series of notes correctly. This feeling went all the way back to the early days of lessons and continued for several years. But in each case, by effort, I was able to not only play the notes in question, but they actually became EASY. Now, I am no longer intimidated by any particular piece or series of measures because I KNOW that with effort, I will get it, sooner or later. Which is not to say that I will ever be a great pianist, only that the idea that the idea that we are limited in our progress is an illusion.

Bosendorfer 175


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