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Where to align middle C #1099717
02/07/08 07:44 PM
02/07/08 07:44 PM
Joined: May 2007
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sun4384 Offline OP
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Well, just from the question, you will know that I'm a true beginner. When I sit on a bench, where on my body should be aligned with the middle C? Is there any strict rule like "your belly button is aligned with the middle C", or is it different from songs to songs?

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Re: Where to align middle C #1099718
02/07/08 08:05 PM
02/07/08 08:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,896
Puyallup, Washington
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Betty Patnude Offline
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You have (and everyone else!) a symetrical dividing line going through the middle of your body from your head. (A zipper?)(Sorry, being silly.)

Aligh your nose with Middle C and when you reach out with your hands as far to the sides as you can on the keyboard, you should be equidistantly placed.

I stay in this position for all songs, because you have been learning to reach for specific notes thoughout your learning career or your professional career. Why move? In fact, don't even change your seat on the bench one iota!

Good question for a true beginner to ask! It is relevent and important. I would think most teachers would cover this, but they don't and neither do the method books.

Good luck! Keep asking Q's. I'm one who loves to A. Lots of responsive people here in the forum.

Betty

Re: Where to align middle C #1099719
02/07/08 09:08 PM
02/07/08 09:08 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,645
Los Angeles, CA
Akira Offline
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Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I've been sitting about an inch to the right, aligned with middle D. Not sure if that makes a huge difference.

Re: Where to align middle C #1099720
02/07/08 09:31 PM
02/07/08 09:31 PM
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Puyallup, Washington
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Betty Patnude Offline
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There are lots of people who have never given it a thought about where to sit on the bench, or why..

Akira, let's ask others that as a question: Does it make a huge difference about where you sit on the piano bench? What would the advantages and disadvantages of it be?

PS. Think symmetry, equalization,patterning, and comfort level.

There may be some old, old pedagogy books that address it, but I haven't found one yet.

I'd like to know what people do.

Betty

Re: Where to align middle C #1099721
02/07/08 09:56 PM
02/07/08 09:56 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,645
Los Angeles, CA
Akira Offline
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Some have said it makes sense in front of middle D, since that is the center of the piano. I don't think I've ever come close to playing the leftmost or rightmost keys, so from that standpoint, I don't think it matters so much for a beginner. Maybe that changes, as one advances.

To me, the point is to sit at the same spot every time for obvious reasons. So whether you sit in front of C or D, sitting consistently in the same place seems to make perfect sense.

I just recently read something very funny about aligning a certain key with your belly button. One poster remarked, "Sadly, my belly button is no longer at the center of my body, so that doesn't work for me." smile {a visual image I didn't want stuck in my head}

Re: Where to align middle C #1099722
02/07/08 10:02 PM
02/07/08 10:02 PM
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Spokane WA
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gmm1 Offline
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Hey Betty and Akira.

In Richmon's "Super Sight-Reading Secrets", he teaches always sit with belly-button pointed at Middle D. That is what I do. I may lean either way as necessary, but always return to center.

Before reading his book, I did not pay it any mind, although I think I was reasonably close to middle only because everthing I was doing was centered as well.

Richmon says the same as you Betty. The only way to learn to not look at your hands is to quit moving around and shifting the targets.

I don't think midde C or D or whatever is as important as being consistent...


"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro
Re: Where to align middle C #1099723
02/07/08 10:29 PM
02/07/08 10:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,363
Twin Cities
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TonyB Offline
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Twin Cities
Hi:

Just for the record, Duane Shinn talks about this and similar issues in his 52 week course. He says to align your belly button with middle C and proceeds to explain what middle C is and where to find it on your piano. There is a lot of stuff he talks about that one would not expect to get unless one were taking lessons from a "live" teacher (i.e. stuff that usually seems to "fall through the cracks" as it were, yet begs to be asked by most beginners).

Tony

Re: Where to align middle C #1099724
02/07/08 10:56 PM
02/07/08 10:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,420
Dallas, TX
packa Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:
I stay in this position for all songs... In fact, don't even change your seat on the bench one iota!
Well, I don't actually change my seat location, but I sure do lean a lot when both hands move together to the higher or lower registers. smile


Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718
Re: Where to align middle C #1099725
02/07/08 10:59 PM
02/07/08 10:59 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,645
Los Angeles, CA
Akira Offline
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Los Angeles, CA
I don't lean enough. Sometimes my teacher physically pushes me off to the side and says "Lean!"

Re: Where to align middle C #1099726
02/08/08 12:04 AM
02/08/08 12:04 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 285
Missouri USA
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faucon Offline
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Missouri USA
Quote
Originally posted by Akira:
Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I've been sitting about an inch to the right, aligned with middle D. Not sure if that makes a huge difference.
This is what a concert pianist recommended to me in his course: middle D.

Re: Where to align middle C #1099727
02/08/08 12:08 AM
02/08/08 12:08 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,023
Not in Texas
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BB Player Offline

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Not in Texas
Middle D here as well. I don't think C, D or even E will make that much of a difference for most people in terms of reach. Instead, I think the important thing is to be consistent in your positioning so that you can develop the needed muscle memory of how far to move your hands and arms to reach a given note.


Greg
Re: Where to align middle C #1099728
02/08/08 12:52 AM
02/08/08 12:52 AM
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bluekeys Offline
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Like gmm1, I sit at middle D because it was recommended by Howard Richman for consistent keyboard orientation. But if you actually count keys, the center of the keyboard is between E and F above middle C (26 white keys on each side). Anyone line their nose or naval up with that?

Re: Where to align middle C #1099729
02/08/08 01:20 AM
02/08/08 01:20 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 28
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sun4384 Offline OP
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Wow! Thank you all for the advice!

So, the consistency is the most important thing, because as I progress, I may not need to look at the keys to find which to hit: instead, my body/arm muscle will do the job.

Now, I only need to pick either C or D smile .

Re: Where to align middle C #1099730
02/08/08 01:24 AM
02/08/08 01:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 590
San Francisco Bay Area
YD Offline
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Yep, middle D for me too. In fact, if I sit anywhere else, I loose my sense of the keyboard...


Yuri
FWIW; YMMV
Re: Where to align middle C #1099731
02/08/08 08:28 AM
02/08/08 08:28 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,553
Jacksonville, Florida
Oxfords Gal Offline
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Jacksonville, Florida
I sit at middle C since my first teacher told me to sit at middle C.

I may try middle D to see what the difference is.

I don't even have to look at the keyboard to know where to sit. I have a puppy beard spot on my bench that marks it.

My pup now 10 months old always touches me with his nose when he wants me to know he's back in the room and leaves a beard spot (he usually does this after a drink of water). laugh


Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster
Re: Where to align middle C #1099732
02/08/08 11:45 AM
02/08/08 11:45 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,896
Puyallup, Washington
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Betty Patnude Offline
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Puyallup, Washington
I still think C is the preferred sitting place -
because the written music page as symetrics as well as the keyboard having octaves and registers.

D's do nothing on the on the music compared to C's. Lets try to take a look with graphics.

____
____
____________________
____________________
____________________
____________________
____________________

- - - - -
____________________
____________________
____________________
____________________
____________________
____
____

The C's are Middle C (put a 0 on the line)
The next C's are the 3rd spaces away - up/down
The next C's are the 2nd ledger line - up/down
(Put 0's on each of these places too.)

Turn the diagram so the left is at the top. Do you see the equidistance?

This does not occur with Middle D note.

If your body is to be aligned, should not the music be aligned too? So using the C's as a GUIDE makes sense to me

The Keyboard Charts are written with C's as the lowest note and the highest note by the way - so visually this is important. We need those C's in place - (Orientation).

And, don't forget that the music when on 2 pages, Left and right pages spread open, the fold should be aligned with your nose, too.

My explanation works in each dimension of explanation. I'm not recommending anyone changing, I think it would make a big difference for many, too big of a difference. But perhaps you might like to test it out for yourself as a possible change to make.

The D note works wonderfully well as one of the two places you can do a mirrored D chromatic scale in contrary motion. (Ab is the other.)

Symmetry is the key word.

Betty

Re: Where to align middle C #1099733
02/08/08 01:05 PM
02/08/08 01:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 658
Central Texas
epf Offline
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I was always taught to sit in front of middle C because it was the "center" of the grand staff. By placing myself in this "home" position the distance up and down the keyboard was equal and that's important if one is not going to look at the hands while playing. Instead, the interval is made clear by the music. If one is offset to "D" or "E" this direct interval relationship up and down the keyboard no longer exists.

Ed


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Re: Where to align middle C #1099734
02/08/08 01:16 PM
02/08/08 01:16 PM
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Posts: 1,674
Spokane WA
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gmm1 Offline
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Spokane WA
Well, I hope you are happy, everyone.

Between this thread and the "MAD at ratings" thread, I have managed to spend my morning posting, changing positions (back and forth), checking for replies, etc.

I have come to the decision that time spend at the keys is almost required if I want to get better.

Betty, I see what you are saying, and now that I am thinking that way, hmmmmmm... maybe, but D is "comforting" in a way for now.

Now, that's weird. Moving approx. an inch to the left, and I'm lost and uncomfortable.


"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro
Re: Where to align middle C #1099735
02/08/08 02:45 PM
02/08/08 02:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 922
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Lisztener Offline
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I believe this is making a major excavation out of a minor lint trap. Whatever feels comfortable and works best for each of us is the proper place. Whether that place is middle C, middle D or middle B, if it works, use it. wink

I use all three at different times, probably, because I don't take a bunch of measuring devices with me to the piano when I play. I just scootch my little bony butt to the most comfortable position for me...and go! :t:

Belly up to the board boys and girls. laugh

Lisztener


Re: Where to align middle C #1099736
02/08/08 02:53 PM
02/08/08 02:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,167
Blackpool, UK
Seaside_Lee Offline
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Blackpool, UK
I sit nose to middle C like Betty

I think so long as you always sit in the same place you'll be fine laugh


Lee smile


Twitter: @Seaside_Lee
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