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#1311887 - 11/25/09 12:04 AM Octave arpeggio stretch  
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I'm an adult beginner with current limited reach. I can reach a root octave with no problem, but I have to move my wrist slightly from left to right to stretch a root 3rd 5th octave arpeggio. I don't think my wrist should move at all. I realize my hands have not yet conformed to playing the piano, just like a new guitar student cannot barre a chord right away. Should I expect my hands to go through a metamorphasis of stretching as I practice? I posted this question here because I thought perhaps teachers see this problem all the time.

BTW... as soon as I am able to hire a real teacher, its gonna happen...Thank you...Patrick

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#1311896 - 11/25/09 12:23 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Originally Posted by MovementCode9
I can reach a root octave with no problem, but I have to move my wrist slightly from left to right to stretch a root 3rd 5th octave arpeggio. I don't think my wrist should move at all...

BTW... as soon as I am able to hire a real teacher, its gonna happen...
And the Real Teacher will say to you: "Where did you get the idea that your wrist shouldn't move at all when playing an arpeggio?" smile



Du holde Kunst...
#1312018 - 11/25/09 08:31 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: currawong]  
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And the Real Teacher will say to you: "Where did you get the idea that your wrist shouldn't move at all when playing an arpeggio?"


I got the idea from watching a video demonstration.

Last edited by MovementCode9; 11/25/09 09:44 AM.
#1312048 - 11/25/09 09:31 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Well, perhaps that experienced pianist didn't have to because of his large hands. However, it is wise to take into consideration your own hand size, finger length, flexibility, etc. Obviously your wrist needs to move while doing these, so let it.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#1312083 - 11/25/09 10:40 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: Morodiene]  
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I have no idea what you're talking
about. In any case, I would recommend
not trying to copy the way any
pianist plays, even a top concert
pianist. How a particular pianist
plays is the way that happens
to fit him individually, and this
way is not going to suit your
individual physiology and psychology
(the psychological aspect of
playing is just as, or even more,
important as the physical, in my view).
This why I contend that no
teacher is qualified to correct
things like posture and hand
position, etc., because these
depend on the individual's
unique physiology and psychology,
which no teacher can have a clue
about. And yet teachers go
right ahead and insist that a
student sit in a certain way
and use his hands in a certain
way, etc.

For example, the concert pianists
Glenn Gould and Wilhelm Backhaus
used to sit with the keyboard
at chest level. No teacher
would allow this, and yet it was
the way that best suited Gould
and Backhaus.



#1312548 - 11/26/09 12:42 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: Gyro]  
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Sorry to be such a bother. I'll try to address my questions to a more appropriate forum in the future.

#1312558 - 11/26/09 01:07 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Gyro, by his own admission, is neither a teacher nor an advanced player. I think it's safe to say that his views are not generally supported smile

In other words, don't worry too much about what he says.

And as for the original question, Morodiene and I agree that you should move your wrist if you need to. The only things I can see resulting from trying to not move it are strain and tension. Neither of which you want, believe me.


Du holde Kunst...
#1312563 - 11/26/09 01:23 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Originally Posted by MovementCode9
I'm an adult beginner with current limited reach. I can reach a root octave with no problem, but I have to move my wrist slightly from left to right to stretch a root 3rd 5th octave arpeggio. I don't think my wrist should move at all. I realize my hands have not yet conformed to playing the piano, just like a new guitar student cannot barre a chord right away. Should I expect my hands to go through a metamorphasis of stretching as I practice? I posted this question here because I thought perhaps teachers see this problem all the time.

BTW... as soon as I am able to hire a real teacher, its gonna happen...Thank you...Patrick
Your question was hard to read for a minute, but now I get it.

Your hand will get more flexible and more used to piano coordination, but it won't go through a big metamorphosis. The use of that slight wrist adjustment you're talking about, REALLY depends on what you're playing and how fast it goes. Sometimes you might use it, sometimes you might not. Probably the guy in the video had to play faster and lighter, and that move was getting in his way.

One important thing that a lot of people new to piano might miss: Don't try to keep all your fingertips at the front edge of the keys. Your longer fingers should be way back in between the black keys when you play your arpeggio.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1312564 - 11/26/09 01:24 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: currawong]  
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Originally Posted by currawong
Gyro, by his own admission, is neither a teacher nor an advanced player. I think it's safe to say that his views are not generally supported smile
Safe indeed. Safety first, folks. smile


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1312567 - 11/26/09 01:30 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: david_a]  
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Originally Posted by david_a
Your hand will get more flexible and more used to piano coordination, but it won't go through a big metamorphosis.
Sorry to quote myself but I want to add something right there. Your hand will hardly change at all, unless you practice hours a day for years. But what DOES change is the way you think. Learning to play non-advanced piano music is physically easy work (very low muscle exertion, little strength required, no sweat), but it's potentially very weird for someone not used to it. Getting your brain and your hands to coordinate in the right way feels odd at first. That gets easier as you go along.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1312712 - 11/26/09 10:24 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Originally Posted by MovementCode9
Sorry to be such a bother. I'll try to address my questions to a more appropriate forum in the future.
Just curious...what makes you think you are a "bother" and that this isn't an appropriate forum?


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#1313033 - 11/27/09 12:16 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: Morodiene]  
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Morodiene This forum contains a vast array of piano related subjects. It can be the best thing an adult beginner can ever find on the web, but it can also be overwhelming. Especially for someone like myself, in my mid 50's and persuing something I never had the priveledge of learning in my youth. There's no doubt this forum is filled with wonderful people from all over the world, sharing a common passion, whether they be beginners, late beginners, early intermediate, intermediate and so on into accomplished pianists and teachers. When I post a question here, I already have an anticipated respect for the answer I'm likely to receive. However my communication of this question may be extremely hard for myself to put into words on a forum like this and expect anyone to fully understand what I'm trying to ask. I read an article a few years back about how personal communication through email can be extremely dangerous because computer text does not contain any accents or other human sounds that aid in the process of understanding a language. The email recipient can perceive whatever is written by the mood he or she is in at that moment. The same appiles here. The fact that I'm a grownup in piano kindergarten makes me ocaisionally prown to oversensitivity, even at my age. OK I'm gonna say it. I don't like to be yelled at! And I don't mean by Gyro! Now that I got that off my chest, back to practice.

Last edited by MovementCode9; 11/27/09 12:43 AM.
#1313046 - 11/27/09 12:33 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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OMT... Thank you david a for an excellent reply to a rather vague question...pat

#1313159 - 11/27/09 07:20 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Gyro's response was amazing - and wrong. shocked Yes people have different physical qualities and obviously some people will stretch an octave easier than others will.. (I can stretch an 11th!)

This doesn't mean they will necessarily be better players but it is an advantage. The fastest runners however don't always make the best soccer players - it's only a small part of the total package (same with hand size)

However some basic techniques like overall hand shape and posture make playing the piano easier than it is with incorrect hand shapes or postures so if possible always start off the correct way. I am also a Professional Brass player and the same applies there too. Dizzie Gillespie was a great trumpet player but you wouldn't advise a beginner to emulate his technique!

Whatever works for you is great - move your wrist! Some will, some won't.. But overall try to keep somewhere within what are accepted as advantageous hand positions and postures. cool

#1313192 - 11/27/09 08:56 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: PianoManUK]  
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Originally Posted by PianoManUK
Gyro's response was amazing - and wrong.
However some basic techniques like overall hand shape and posture make playing the piano easier than it is with incorrect hand shapes or postures so if possible always start off the correct way.


Gyro's point makes some sense, it is his conclusion that is wrong.

Any sport, for example, has great variation in individual mechanics. I have a book on the golf swing that has photo analysis of hundreds of pro's, and they're all different.

And yet, they're all the same as well, in just a few fundamental essentials. Some of the variations are adaptations to individual physiology, but some are just ideosyncractic. There are a million paths to impact, but the alignments AT impact are the same.

So gyro's point about great individual variation isn't necessarily wrong. What's wrong is the conclusion that therefore you cannot teach the essential common fundamentals.

Most likely in any art we also teach elements that we think are essential but are actually not.


gotta go practice
#1313237 - 11/27/09 10:30 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Originally Posted by MovementCode9
Morodiene This forum contains a vast array of piano related subjects. It can be the best thing an adult beginner can ever find on the web, but it can also be overwhelming. Especially for someone like myself, in my mid 50's and persuing something I never had the priveledge of learning in my youth. There's no doubt this forum is filled with wonderful people from all over the world, sharing a common passion, whether they be beginners, late beginners, early intermediate, intermediate and so on into accomplished pianists and teachers. When I post a question here, I already have an anticipated respect for the answer I'm likely to receive. However my communication of this question may be extremely hard for myself to put into words on a forum like this and expect anyone to fully understand what I'm trying to ask. I read an article a few years back about how personal communication through email can be extremely dangerous because computer text does not contain any accents or other human sounds that aid in the process of understanding a language. The email recipient can perceive whatever is written by the mood he or she is in at that moment. The same appiles here. The fact that I'm a grownup in piano kindergarten makes me ocaisionally prown to oversensitivity, even at my age. OK I'm gonna say it. I don't like to be yelled at! And I don't mean by Gyro! Now that I got that off my chest, back to practice.


Just a couple suggestions, and belated welcome to the Forum:

- Your statement - to paraphrase - "in the future I'll address my question to the proper forum," was posted as a reply to Gyro's post, so that's probably why people didn't understand it.

- I find the teachers here provide direct and concise advice to students who post post questions, and I've never seen anyone "yell."

- Questions that are more wordy tend to be harder to understand. You said: "I'm an adult beginner with current limited reach. I can reach a root octave with no problem, but I have to move my wrist slightly from left to right to stretch a root 3rd 5th octave arpeggio. I don't think my wrist should move at all. I realize my hands have not yet conformed to playing the piano, just like a new guitar student cannot barre a chord right away. Should I expect my hands to go through a metamorphasis of stretching as I practice? I posted this question here because I thought perhaps teachers see this problem all the time."

I found your question to be difficult to follow. I'm not trying to be critical, but a less wordy post would have been easier to understand, IMO.

Another way to post the question would be: "Is it ok to move your wrist from left to right in playing a major arpeggio? I find that I need to do this because I can only reach a ____. BTW, I'm an adult beginner, who has been playing for ____."

Anyway, continue to read here, and post your questions. I'm sure you will get good advice, and replies - as you already have.

Cheers.

#1313241 - 11/27/09 10:42 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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In the interests of research, I tried playing the OP's arpeggio, with a fixed wrist. ( I used a C major arpeggio, and the center of my wrist was roughly lined up with F.)

Whilst it was no prob to play once only, repeated arpeggios, resulted in tension in the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow and shoulder.

My hands are not large. More square, and 'sausage fingered' ( think Elton John, minus the talent :-) )

As Gyro rightly says, we are all different physiologically, and so, what didn't work for me, might easily be more comfortable for another.

I suppose, in the end, it all comes down to playing in a manner that is comfortable for you and there is not a 'one size fits all' solution


Rob
#1313626 - 11/28/09 12:29 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: Phlebas]  
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I find the teachers here provide direct and concise advice to students who post post questions, and I've never seen anyone "yell."


With all due respect Phlebas, I doubt you will ever be on the receiving end of a perceived "yell" in this forum from a teacher. Also, why would you suggest how I should ask a question when you obviously did not understand what I was trying to ask? "All seriousness aside" ( quote from the late great Steve Allen), you're yelling at me too! But like a good listener, I'll keep it brief. Thank you...pat

#1313653 - 11/28/09 01:26 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Now I'm confused, MovementCode9. Are you saying that you consider one of us was "yelling" at you? Tone of voice can be easily misinterpreted of course, but I didn't think anyone could be said to have been "yelling" in any sense. confused

(Sometimes Gyro's posts can come across as a bit harsh, which is why I pointed out that he's not a teacher so you could discount his contribution if you were only wanting teachers' responses.)


Du holde Kunst...
#1314167 - 11/29/09 01:07 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: currawong]  
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My dear currawong. I am currently on a quest to learn something that some children are blessed to be able to learn at a very early age. As a child, I was educated at a Catholic school that was strong on discipline and short on funds for music education. Being taught "new things" by Nuns was both exhilarating and perhaps short of "worldliness" for lack of a better word. I already know you are a wonderful person, because you took the time to aknowledge my post and offer an answer which was" And the Real Teacher will say to you: "Where did you get the idea that your wrist shouldn't move at all when playing an arpeggio?". To me, this sounded like Mother Superior reprimanding me for asking a stupid question. My intended question was about the ability for a human hand to stretch for piano playing abilities. I hope you understand. Thank you ...pat

#1314169 - 11/29/09 01:25 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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There is in my opinion a responsibility on the part of people posting advice to treat people posting questions with at least the respect they deserve, and to err on the side of a little extra respect just in case.

But if that is true, then there is also an equal responsibility on the part of people posting questions to treat those posting advice with at least the respect THEY deserve, and a little extra just in case.

I am guilty of occasional yelling on forums, that's for sure. But I can't find any evidence of that from anyone on this thread, and I think it's disrespectful in this particular case to claim that there was.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1314172 - 11/29/09 01:32 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Originally Posted by MovementCode9
I hope you understand. Thank you ...pat
Well I understand that you completely misunderstood the intent of my answer, for one thing.
In all my years of teaching, I can't recall ever reprimanding anyone for asking a stupid question, or any other sort of question.


Du holde Kunst...
#1314610 - 11/29/09 05:45 PM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: currawong]  
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Pat,

There's no such thing as a stupid question. A question asked by one person in a forum or classroom is usually being asked mentally by a lot of other people that are too shy to ask the same question themselves. The end result is one person asks the question, and the others silently learn from it. smile

Regarding moving your wrist when playing arpeggios. Yes it is sometimes necessary and can depend upon the physical make-up of the person, their flexibility, and even their finger length and hand size, or even the speed that is required to play them in sequence.

I've been shown many methods over the years on how to play arpeggios, and among the most useful does involve some wrist rotation. When you are playing an arepeggio, you want to rotate your hand and wrist in the direction your hand is going while at the same time preparing for the thumb to move under the outside fingers. Essentially you don't want your hand to play an arpeggio, stop to move your thumb under, then play the next one. You want this to be a fluid motion. To achieve the fluid motion, start moving your thumb once you've played it and then the 2nd and 3rd fingers. Kind of like sneaking it under as you move towards your pinky and 4th fingers. It's actually easier to show than it is to explain in typed words. Perhaps someone else could pitch in here to help clarify the movements.

Now the most important aspect of this is to keep your hands and wrists as relaxed as possible. Piano playing should never hurt or cause stiffness. If you ever feel the slightest twinge of pain, STOP! In piano there is no such thing as no pain, no gain.

John


Nothing.
#1314615 - 11/29/09 06:01 PM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: John Citron]  
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Nice explanations, John.

Actually, on rereading the original post I think Pat wasn't talking about arpeggios over several octaves (ie with thumb under) but an arpeggio over one octave and back again, and was primarily concerned because he couldn't do this in one stretch without moving his wrist. Hopefully that's now been cleared up for him.


Du holde Kunst...
#1314643 - 11/29/09 06:44 PM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: currawong]  
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Let's hope he did get an explanation for a single arpeggio after all. smile They can be tricky too especially if they are new to someone. smile

John


Nothing.
#1314796 - 11/29/09 11:37 PM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: John Citron]  
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well...

let's say you are learning a C major arpeggio.. in the right hand the conventional fingering would be 123 123 123 123 - going up etc... and 5321 321 321 321 going down..

this web page explains

http://www.robertkelleyphd.com/arpfing.htm

i think if you simply practice over and over, your hand (right) will automatically choose the least difficult position after a while. willing the hand to do something it will learn automatically is over thinking

(somehow i sound like gyro)

practice really does make perfect.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
#1314811 - 11/30/09 12:12 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: apple*]  
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Unbelievable. I'm really sorry I posted a question here. This thread ends here.

#1314819 - 11/30/09 12:38 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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What? You asked a vague, difficult, and open-ended question on a public web forum. Some people tried their best to answer. What exactly did you expect?


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1314821 - 11/30/09 12:48 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Originally Posted by MovementCode9
Unbelievable. I'm really sorry I posted a question here. This thread ends here.


What is unbelievable, is that you have received many helpful and constructive replies to your original post, and yet you treat them with contempt.

If you simply wanted everyone to agree with you, then yes, this is the wrong forum for your questions.

There is a wealth of experience and expertise, in this forum.
For myself, I have learned much from this forum, and respect the knowledge of those far better qualified than I.

If you find a better one, be sure to let me know.




Rob
#1314838 - 11/30/09 01:27 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Originally Posted by MovementCode9
Unbelievable. I'm really sorry I posted a question here. This thread ends here.



[Linked Image]


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#1314850 - 11/30/09 01:47 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Originally Posted by MovementCode9
Unbelievable. I'm really sorry I posted a question here. This thread ends here.


We can continue it if we want to. Nya nya!

I mean, really. Who's the mature one here?


B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano
#1314869 - 11/30/09 03:37 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Originally Posted by MovementCode9
I'm an adult beginner with current limited reach. I can reach a root octave with no problem, but I have to move my wrist slightly from left to right to stretch a root 3rd 5th octave arpeggio. I don't think my wrist should move at all. I realize my hands have not yet conformed to playing the piano, just like a new guitar student cannot barre a chord right away. Should I expect my hands to go through a metamorphasis of stretching as I practice? I posted this question here because I thought perhaps teachers see this problem all the time.

BTW... as soon as I am able to hire a real teacher, its gonna happen...Thank you...Patrick


..I think I might have figured it out. In Patrick's quote above there is one actual question
Quote
Should I expect my hands to go through a metamorphasis of stretching as I practice?
but most posts responded to related issues, probably because the sentence that follows indicates a problem, whereas the small increase in flexibility and reach of the hand is not a problem but a good thing!
Many posters responded to "..I dont think my wrist should move at all" because they wanted to save a beginner from the unnecessary pain of a held wrist.

My advice to the OP (from someone who remembers being new) is to not be surprised if a thread takes off in random and bizarre directions, to nudge or redirect discussion if you want (and if you can!), to ignore any rudeness or abruptness whether real or percieved, and to spend lots of time posting in the ABF especially on other ppl's threads. And even more advice: use those posts that you believe will help and ignore the others. With opposing viewpoints you can't do much else.

And it was great that OP thanked david a for understanding the question and giving good answers. So take that answer and use it and hope you enjoy learning piano smile
PS ignore my post if it's no use to you, or you think I am a moron, or even a half-moron, I really don't mind... much.. whome


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#1314872 - 11/30/09 03:47 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: Canonie]  
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Yes, I think you're right that that was in fact his question, Canonie. I responded to the moving the wrist aspect because it seemed that the stretching question was only there because of his inability to play the arpeggio without moving the wrist. Hence I considered that was the basic issue. I also think your advice about posting is valuable.

I hope Patrick is able to find your advice helpful. I have to admit that I'm still at a loss to know exactly what it is he finds "unbelievable". smile

[not yelling]Good luck, Patrick[/not yelling] smile


Du holde Kunst...
#1315006 - 11/30/09 11:19 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: currawong]  
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I indeed did answer his real question, as best I could anyway. Not good enough, apparently.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1315579 - 12/01/09 12:22 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: AZNpiano]  
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I want to apoligize to everyone who posted a reply here. I am currently overwhelmed with my quest to understand music. Instead of embracing all of your thoughtful replies, I sunk into a sea of frustration, which is certainly not your problem. As I read through this thread, I'm not sure how I took such a wrong turn. But wrong it was. I'm sorry and thank you for putting up with me.

#1315584 - 12/01/09 12:37 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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OMG! I just read the last couple posts before my apology. You people already know me, so to speak. Amazing!

#1315702 - 12/01/09 08:58 AM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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And I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. We teachers can sometimes be a crotchety old bunch, but I really didn't know where we went wrong this time! I hope that you persevere in your piano struggles, and don't let the frustration get to you! smile


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#1316062 - 12/01/09 04:24 PM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Originally Posted by MovementCode9
I want to apoligize to everyone who posted a reply here. I am currently overwhelmed with my quest to understand music. Instead of embracing all of your thoughtful replies, I sunk into a sea of frustration, which is certainly not your problem. As I read through this thread, I'm not sure how I took such a wrong turn. But wrong it was. I'm sorry and thank you for putting up with me.
Accepted. smile Best of luck.
A few things many of my adult students need to be told - some of them may be applicable to you: [1]be patient [2]enjoy the journey [3]it's never too late to learn to make music [4]don't be too hard on yourself. smile


Du holde Kunst...
#1316094 - 12/01/09 05:13 PM Re: Octave arpeggio stretch [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Best of luck movementcode9, and thanks for the aplogy. Remember, making music is fun!

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Alex Ross.
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