2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
46 members (Cutec, danyrc, butchkoch, Beowulf, Burkey, clothearednincompo, David B, aphexdisklavier, Arthur18, 14 invisible), 478 guests, and 476 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6
Two conflicting techniques?
#1623685 02/19/11 01:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 158
tnew Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 158
On one side I hear that you should move the wrists while you play.

On the other side I hear not to move those wrists and to even put on coin on top to keep them level.

Which is correct, is it a matter of opinion, or is either correct depending on the piece?

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1623690 02/19/11 02:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 798
J
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 798
They are two sides to the same coin.

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1623692 02/19/11 02:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 798
J
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 798
Some pianists live more on one side than the other, and certain repertoire calls out for more of one side than the other.
Great pianists who play a wide variety of repertoire must be well-versed in both ways, to the point of integrating both in almost all of the repertoire that they play.

I hope that helps.

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1623694 02/19/11 02:14 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Playing Bach or Mozart you should be able to keep a coin on throughout. In Chopin I doubt you'd get past the first bar.

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
keyboardklutz #1623697 02/19/11 02:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 270
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Playing Bach or Mozart you should be able to keep a coin on throughout. In Chopin you wouldn't get past the first bar.


I wish this piano forum can be like Facebook so that I can click "Like" on this comments.

Thanks

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1623709 02/19/11 02:41 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Thanks back!

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1623716 02/19/11 02:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
G
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
In the 17th to 19th centuries students were taught to play with a coin on the back of the hand. This limits extraneous body movements and forces you to play mainly from the hands and fingers, which is the simplest and most efficient way to play. Today this old method is mercilessly ridiculed as out-of-date, but note that Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, etc. all learned like this.

Today students are taught to use the whole body when they play--wrists, forearms, shoulders, torso, butt, etc.--because this makes playing easier; of course, if you have the weight of the wrist, forearm, etc. behind your fingers, this will make playing easier. But note what happens when you do this. If you add the wrist to your playing, this makes playing easier, but now you've increased the complexity of your playing motion by a factor of two; because now in addition to the finger movements you've also got to learn the wrist motions that you've made an integral part of your playing. Add the forearm to your playing and you increase the complexity of motion by a factor of three. Etc.

With easier pieces, the physical assist you get from adding the wrist, forearm, etc. will seem to outweigh the disadvantage from the added complexity of motion, but as the pieces get longer and more difficult, the added complexity of your playing motion will begin to tell, and there will come a point where your playing motion is too complex for playing and you will stall and be unable to make further progress. You see this in classical piano. Students can reach a relatively high level using whole-body playing, but gradually they stall and are unable to make further progress; and only those with tons of talent will be able to keep progressing.

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1623752 02/19/11 04:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,464
N
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,464
Originally Posted by tnew
On one side I hear that you should move the wrists while you play.

On the other side I hear not to move those wrists and to even put on coin on top to keep them level.

Which is correct, is it a matter of opinion, or is either correct depending on the piece?


If a wrist is moving, it depends whether its moving for a good reason or flailing about due to lack of control. If a wrist is still, it depends on what is keeping it still. I've started writing a blog post about what a huge difference this makes, which I really must get around to finishing sometime soon. A wrist can be completely relaxed yet very still, if you know how to create the right state of balance.

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
Gyro #1623753 02/19/11 04:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,464
N
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,464
Originally Posted by Gyro

With easier pieces, the physical assist you get from adding the wrist, forearm, etc. will seem to outweigh the disadvantage from the added complexity of motion, but as the pieces get longer and more difficult, the added complexity of your playing motion will begin to tell, and there will come a point where your playing motion is too complex for playing and you will stall and be unable to make further progress. You see this in classical piano. Students can reach a relatively high level using whole-body playing, but gradually they stall and are unable to make further progress; and only those with tons of talent will be able to keep progressing.


I actually agree with this entirely (owing to the absence of your usual thing about how you shouldn't be relaxed). As long as the wrist is indeed properly relaxed while being kept still (due to its place in the middle of a supported chain), I think pianists achieve far more consistency by keeping it still and using their fingers properly. However, the means of keeping the wrist still yet relaxed is one of the most woefully absent things in the majority of teaching. Thinking "keep the wrist still" gives you no chance. A coin on the hand is especially likely to cause seizure- at least, if you don't know what to aim for, it is terrible way of trying to get the instincts to figure out the right way. A flopping wrist is equally hopeless, if taken literally (rather than as a practise exercise) for all the reasons Gyro mentions.

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1623803 02/19/11 06:00 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Hey, don't worry about flopping!

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1623868 02/19/11 07:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,421
T
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,421
Now I understand why piano tuners talk about finding coins in the keybed.


gotta go practice
Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1623938 02/19/11 09:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Contrary to the posts of some, I'm from the school which believes we have joints for the purpose of using them. Or perhaps we have joints because they gave us an advantage over others that lacked them. Over use for the sake of show is to be avoided just as underuse due to some mistaken believe that Bach or Mozart wouldn't have used them on a modern piano.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1623963 02/19/11 10:39 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,692
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,692
As in most cases, it depends on what you are playing, how fast it is, and the sound you want to produce. If you watch youtube videos of great pianists playing the same pieces, you will see that they each vary their amount of wrist movement to suit their own physiology and personalities.

What I CAN say is that the wrist is the bridge between the hand and the rest of the the arm (very important), and it thus needs to be always supple in order for the weight and tension in the arm to flow through it and into the fingers.

A stiff wrist likely would not move...while a "flexible" one would coul be bouncing and cascading around like a ballerina...

Just my 2 cents

Last edited by Opus_Maximus; 02/19/11 10:47 PM.
Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1624006 02/20/11 12:39 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
Originally Posted by tnew
Which is correct, is it a matter of opinion, or is either correct depending on the piece?

They are both correct! A lot depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the music.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Two conflicting techniques?
Opus_Maximus #1624120 02/20/11 08:18 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,464
N
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,464
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus

What I CAN say is that the wrist is the bridge between the hand and the rest of the the arm (very important), and it thus needs to be always supple in order for the weight and tension in the arm to flow through it and into the fingers.


That's not strictly true though. A relaxed wrist actually impedes the transfer of forces that are initiated from further back- except in situations where you are pressing forwards with the arm. In those situation, the freedom of the wrist turns a forward force into a downward one through the key. But the problem is that this raises the wrist and hence limits you. You can only do it for a few notes. It's very hard to execute things like rapid scales if you are pushing forwards- and as soon as the wrist is up is it likely to turn into a locked wrist, if you have more notes to execute.

When the forces are initiated at the fingers, the wrist can be as relaxed as you like (provided that it is suspended in the middle of the chain that the arm forms). However, it's frequently because people try to source the energy too much from the arm that they have no choice other than to stiffen their wrists. Other than in the forward press, a relaxed wrist inhibits energy transfer from the upper arm- which is why so many pianists are incapable of releasing it.

Imagine trying to push through a various planks of wood connected by hinges. The further back the energy comes from and the more released joints occur in between, the more erratic the movement and the less energy passes through. It's far easier if the movement is initiated closer up. This does not require joints to be stiffened, as the force never passes through them anyway.

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1624124 02/20/11 08:28 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
thinking about the how the hand, wrist, fingers and arms work and trying to explain succintly, really detracts from learning how to play. Personally, I learn far more from watching the the hands of a pro, listening to the execution of a master, and actually practicing.

Nyir.. (edited)


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

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1624126 02/20/11 08:33 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 798
J
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 798
apple,

To a certain extent I agree with you.
Behold the wonders of the master.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfDjtOGkjPU

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1624127 02/20/11 08:34 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
'The wrist: respiration in the voice.' - Chopin

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1624129 02/20/11 08:35 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,464
N
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,464
Sorry, but I really disagree. She's a good player, but relative to the highest standards possible I see a lot of wasted effort in her films. The constant forward movements are unnecessary and actually require a lot of work from the arms. Her hand is stable enough for her to play well still, but I think this would put a real limit on the ability to play the most difficult music. Her left hand looks like it's working really very hard in the Chopin waltz. I used to find such things really hard work myself, until I started using my fingers to balance the arm. Slow chords were often the most tiring of all, before.

Since I started analysing with physics, my technique has improved immeasurably. My wrist is now starting to stay completely aligned and comfortable. I used to use those bigger movements myself and I got tired very quickly and had very weak, slow fingers. You're welcome to be skeptical, but I'm only saying these things because the results have been so consistent with the theory. If I were currently learning from that style, I just wouldn't be learning anything. I'd be exactly where I had been before.

Personally, I found that years of vaguery and imprecise expression had stopped me from "learning to play". Understanding technique with regard to a few simple principles (that do not claim to fall outside of the laws of physics) has enabled me to get on with learning to play.

Re: Two conflicting techniques?
tnew #1624142 02/20/11 08:42 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,464
N
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,464
By the way, looking at the exterior can be misleading. I want to post a video sometime, to illustrate slurs. One movement is done by pulling a loose arm with the finger. The other (more traditional) is done by rolling the arm through a much more passive finger. When I show this to students they can rarely perceive any visible difference at all. However, the difference I feel (and the mechanical difference between the arm "push" and the finger "pull") could not be any greater. You cannot see these things on the surface unless you look exceedingly acutely. In some cases, I doubt whether anyone could honestly tell the difference.

However similar they look, anyone trying to do the arm slurs in the Tempest would really be pissing into the wind. There's no way to get speed and clarity without using the finger initiated action. This seemingly minute difference makes a world of difference to the results.

Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our October 2020 Free Piano Newsletter is Here!
---------------------
3,000,000+!
------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Ivory ACD install without discs
by mwf - 11/28/20 06:52 AM
Mixing VST audio with external hardware audio
by Andrew_G - 11/28/20 02:42 AM
File, sand and/or needle inside my Baldwin?
by DanD - 11/28/20 01:18 AM
Hybrid piano too loud for my neighbor :(
by kiwibd - 11/27/20 07:19 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics203,090
Posts3,028,018
Members99,391
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4