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Is there a HD video about "thumb over"?
#1514604 09/13/10 08:48 PM
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I can't find anything where I can play the video in slow motion and see the thumb over motion.

Have you links where the scales are played hyper fastly?

By analysing and trying to understand the principle and watching low quality video with a thumb over technique, I have discover that there is REALLY a sort of thumb over and it's not just a pun in contrast with the thumb under technique. But I have to experiment more things before posting my observations.

Here is a very fast scales thumb over motion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhrlOyFhrOA
(since 1:21)

Thx!

Re: Is there a HD video about "thumb over"?
RationalPianist #1515083 09/14/10 03:17 PM
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Hi Rational,

I imagine you recently read about "thumb over" in Chang's book (not one of my favorites). This technique is nothing that Chang discovered. I first encountered it back in the very early 1980s in the book "On Piano Playing" by Gyorgy Sandor, a concert touring and recording artist, and I immediately converted over to it.

You really don't need to see a video. The things to remember are simply: 1) For scales (and scalar passages in pieces), do not pass the thumb under the palm--ever. 2) Instead keep the thumb parallel to the hand. 3) In playing the scale, the arm simply moves the hand along the keyboard timing it so that when the thumb is to play a key, at that moment the thumb is parallel to the hand, not tucked underneath the hand, and executes in that position.

The same is true of playing arpeggios. It's all in quickly taking new hand positions in the sense of continually moving the hand along the keyboard so that when the thumb is to play its notes, it is exactly in position at the proper time to do so while it is parallel to the hand. That's basically it. Of course you have to get used to it, as it feels different at first.

There is no mumbo jumbo to this, rather it's just a matter of common sense. There has been a pedagogical approach for generations passed down from teacher to teacher about passing the thumb under. We just need to replace that erroneous approach with the concept of the thumb remaining parallel to the hand.

Last edited by RachFan; 09/14/10 03:28 PM.
Re: Is there a HD video about "thumb over"?
RachFan #1515151 09/14/10 04:28 PM
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Thx for the answer.

I have the Sandor too wink

The thing I have found is that for arpeggios for example C-E-G..., when you pass the thumb, you really pass over (in the front of, in fact) the 3rd finger, fingers are never really one behind the other at the same time, but the thumb lands on the keyboard on the same place that if there was a real crossing in the front of, this allow you to keep the same angle with the wrist during argeggios (if you pass under, you have to move your wrist to the left and to the right)... The 3rd finger bent over and continue his motion "towards the palm", this last point is hyper important. Generally, you push the finger and raise it in the opposite direction, the motion is discontinuous. But if you pursue the motion towards the palm, it makes a circle with your finger. This give you space for the thumb to pass in front of.
For arpeggios, it doubles up your speed immediately in comparison to the thumb under (try the Op10/8 from Chopin etude).

Thus the key is for me make this circle motion, and playing the thumb with a diagonal motion (to the right here and towards the hood) + a rotation.
During this thumb motion you have the time to reposition the circled finger by ending the circle.

For scales, you can do a thumb "in front of" for the 4-1 passage, but for the 3-1, this is doable but hard.
Thus I considere scales like a particular case of argeggios, an hard case.

It gives the sensation of never passing under the palm because when you pass in front of with the thumb, others fingers pass in front of too. And yes, there is probably almost no lateral motion of the thumb.

Makes sense?

Last edited by RationalPianist; 09/14/10 04:44 PM.
Re: Is there a HD video about "thumb over"?
RationalPianist #1515199 09/14/10 05:28 PM
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Hi Rational,

Yes, it makes sense. For the scales, there is no true crossing over the third finger by the thumb, because it is physically impossible as you point out. It's the landing in the very same place by the thumb that is key. So as the thumb approaches, the third finger is already out of the way, airborn, and being repositioned by the movement of the hand. So if you examine the hand at that instant where the thumb is taking the key previously occupied by the third finger, the thumb is then substantially parallel to the hand. I would agree that with the 4-1 maneuver (say the D# scale), the thumb assumes a very slightly diagonal angle toward the hand, but if the hand is moving at anticipatory speed to prepare for the thumb playing the A#, the angle of the thumb at the moment of execution is slight indeed, being almost parallel. You're right that the wrist no longer having to weave right-left-right-left to accommodate the passing under of the thumb (caused by the anticipatory pivoting of the third and then the fourth finger) is a good improvement. Playing with a quiet hand is always preferable.

Last edited by RachFan; 09/14/10 05:32 PM.
Re: Is there a HD video about "thumb over"?
RachFan #1515568 09/15/10 05:31 AM
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Look for any videos of Tatyana Nikolayevna - wonderfully efficient playing.

John


Vasa inania multum strepunt.
Re: Is there a HD video about "thumb over"?
drumour #1515613 09/15/10 07:35 AM
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Ok, forget what I said. I was wrong for the most part. I have perhaps speaks a little bit too early this time.

Sorry

Re: Is there a HD video about "thumb over"?
drumour #1515617 09/15/10 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by drumour
Look for any videos of Tatyana Nikolayevna - wonderfully efficient playing.

John


Nikolayeva was a classmate of my teacher's, both of whom were pupils of Goldenweiser at the Moscow Conservatory.

Very efficient playing - it never ceases to amaze me how little contortion occurs in the hands when she demonstrates rapid passages. It sounds like what you guys are talking about here.

Re: Is there a HD video about "thumb over"?
RationalPianist #1515913 09/15/10 03:05 PM
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Basic question but is TO only applicable at a speed where gaps between finger and thumb are negligible?


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