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FWIW, Pianist magazine covers some of the stuff discussed here. Sure, the music and examples are often snippets from advanced pieces, but the principles/ideas are what counts here to make the point at any level. Graham Fitch covers various techniques here.

I've found them useful anyway smile





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Thanks for responding Leo smile your comments are always insightful! I tried it last night; specifically to a low C chord and to an F chord several times without looking and I wasn't too far off - only one note generally. Maybe I'll work on this some more for a few minutes / day until I get it right.

Good videos Alexander Borro - watched them both. Second one was more instructive.


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A good tip I got from Philip Fowke was to use octaves if they are not already there. For example, I have a piece where the 5th right finger is going very high and then I jump 3 octaves down for the thumb, and then back again. He taught me to use an octave chord which makes the jump just 3 keys if you look "in the middle", if you understand what I mean. I have a good feeling of how to play an octave so this made everything easy. Then, when you have practiced this and feel secure, you remove the octave tone again of course.

Sorry for my very crazy explanation, but it should be evident at the piano. Maybe Fitch is also mentioning this in the videos above; I just didn't bother to check it out right now.

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Originally Posted by RVDowning
Is there any good way to practice jumps? Like left hand note A then jump to a chord, then jump to note B then jump to a chord, etc. That is why I ended up memorizing some pieces, just so I could look at my hands. But I am trying to break myself of that bad habit and keep my eyes on the music.


One thing you should try not to do is force the speed.
There should be a nice arch to the next position on the keyboard as Morordiene points out. This supports a steady flow and touch and can be practiced slowly. Accuracy has to be secured first and foremost with the timing. Speed can come only after it is very secure. The motions then remain the same when bringing up to performance tempo.

I've no issue glancing at the keyboard for leaps and isn't a big concern. Accuracy is the most important.

Also prefer a good mix of repertoire over exercises and like the sounds of ghosting method.

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Well, I'm not having much luck with any of the suggested methods. I guess I'll just keep doing the jumps while slowly playing the relevant sections. I think that I am hitting the wrong keys less frequently than I was a week ago. I wonder if I will EVER get to 100% accuracy. Sigh....

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I've been working on it also as I've read this thread. I get close but it seems like getting to 100% accuracy really just seems unlikely! Probably a great skill to add to the set though so I'll give it a few minutes a day for a while.


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Try exaggerating the lift/push off. Your hands need this information just as much as the landing point to judge and memorize the distance. For jumps, I usually exaggerate by pretending my hand is an astronaut hop-walking on the moon. Except I'll really push off the current key by reaching for the next note and only take off when I can't reach any further. And then I also exaggerate the landing (sometimes by doing the equivalent of a super-hero landing).

... try it in addition to Morodiene's excellent suggestion of using extra vertical movement! The two techniques work well with each other.


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Originally Posted by RVDowning
Well, I'm not having much luck with any of the suggested methods. I guess I'll just keep doing the jumps while slowly playing the relevant sections. I think that I am hitting the wrong keys less frequently than I was a week ago. I wonder if I will EVER get to 100% accuracy. Sigh....
How long have you been playing piano for? Is it possible you are playing a piece that is too difficult for your current abilities?

Whenever I played a piece that was beyond my abilities at the time, certain passages would never get smoothed out no matter what. Revisiting them a year or more later I could definitely tell that some of those passages became much easier because I had improved. It's hard to resist the temptation to play some of those tough pieces, but I now see the wisdom in only playing those pieces that add only one or maybe two new skills. That keeps things manageable, and I know eventually I'll get to those other pieces if I keep adding the skills needed to play them with ease.

Plus, I tend to like success rather than hitting my head against the wall all the time. wink


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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by RVDowning
Well, I'm not having much luck with any of the suggested methods. I guess I'll just keep doing the jumps while slowly playing the relevant sections. I think that I am hitting the wrong keys less frequently than I was a week ago. I wonder if I will EVER get to 100% accuracy. Sigh....
How long have you been playing piano for? Is it possible you are playing a piece that is too difficult for your current abilities?


Ha! It is a totally trivial piece. And to answer the question I have been playing for about a year. The piece is just a classic "In the Good Old Summertime," (with summer starting in another week or so) a slow lazy piece in 3/4 time.

For example, from a chord of F/Bb/D one has to hit the next lower F, or from a chord of G/Bb/D one has to hit the next lower G. (Plus one has to hit the chord coming back.) So, these are only 1 octave jumps. I do hit it often, but certainly not with any confidence, and miss it often also.

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If four days is all you are willing to allow for all of the quality advice you have been given, then I am afraid you are in for a long road of displeasure and suffering with the piano. Go look at a bridge or magnificent building and honestly and seriously contemplate how many years of hard study and practice went into those monumental achievements. Piano is no different. No shortcuts. No magic "app". to push. Just hard and devoted work and study.

Good luck to you.


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I repeat the advice of the well-known European stride pianist : "Take yourself a period of several months when you play only blind jumps in left hand. Be ready for the stage of frustration that needs to be crossed, and move on. "
A little child learns In this way to walk.

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Originally Posted by Ralphiano
If four days is all you are willing to allow for all of the quality advice you have been given, then I am afraid you are in for a long road of displeasure and suffering with the piano. Go look at a bridge or magnificent building and honestly and seriously contemplate how many years of hard study and practice went into those monumental achievements. Piano is no different. No shortcuts. No magic "app". to push. Just hard and devoted work and study.

Good luck to you.
This is very well-put. This is obviously a new skill for you, and some skills take a long time to really get comfortable with them - a long time of encountering them in several different pieces of music. So you will most likely only get so far with this piece. Spend as much time on these techniques as you can handle. You may progress but not get it to be as automatic as you'd like. Set the piece aside and move on to a new one. It might even be beneficial if the next piece does not contain this same kind of issue (large leaps), but reinforce what you already can do well.

Then after a time away, choose a piece that addresses large leaps again. Apply these techniques from the onset of the piece to those passages, and you will notice a much faster progress. It may even take more than 2 pieces to really nail this technique, but it does require patience.


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Ok, I developed a technique that I'll recount there in case it helps anyone else.

My problem was jumping to a base note. I'd often go too far or not far enough. So, I folded up a piece of paper and stuck it between the F that I wanted to hit and the E below it. It was wedged between the keys so that it stuck up a couple of inches, but not so tightly that the F wouldn't sound when struck.

So, if my hand wanted to go too far I would feel the paper and hit the F. It also helped with coming up short and hitting the G by accident, because since I didn't have to worry about going too far I didn't have to be hesitant about going far enough.

After using this technique for a while I find that I am much better at hitting that F consistently even after the piece of paper has been removed.

Just passing it along.....

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Interesting technique!

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The Graham Fitch videos posted by Alexander Borro are fantastic. I've had them in my "how to" arsenal since they came out and they work.

I will add these since chordal landing is often the endgame of leaping around

Graham Fitch, Chordal playing, the basics
https://youtu.be/FhlbTTKtFhk


Graham Fitch, Chords in depth
https://youtu.be/Hh23Ox_L7gA

Working this way takes time and concentration.

good luck!
Forrest


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I want to thank all the members who have posted great advice and great questions in this thread. At about the time this thread started, I started what I hope will be my next ABF recital piece, and it involves jumps, which were completely new to me. Your advice has been very helpful, and I can see progress already. smile

Great forum!!!!!! thumb


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Originally Posted by Forrest Halford
The Graham Fitch videos posted by Alexander Borro are fantastic.
Forrest

Of course! But, unfortunately, this is not the whole truth. There are a number of factors that are not taken into account, for obvious reasons, by educators for young students, and which interfere to play precisely the jumps. All of them are related to age-related changes:

Age-related astigmatism , which leads to narrowing of the field of peripheral vision. Only when this happens, we begin to understand how much information from keyboard caught our eyes, even if we looked directly at the sheets . The glasses narrow more the field of view and distort the proportions on the sides. Until now, I play jumps on the piano, without looking through the glasses; otherwise I miss.

Age hands problems , accompanied by their trembling or involuntary uncontrollable movements.

Age changes in different kinds of memory - this also applies to muscular memory.

In everyone this can happen in different proportions ; but this takes place and requires an attitude towards it .

In addition, there are additional reasons for misses:
You are working on a jump with one hand, and it turns out ; then adds another hand, and again miss.Or you add the previous bar, it changes the configuration of the movement - and bum , beside !.




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I used to practice with my eyes closed, and also while having a conversation with a bass player while we were jamming together. This helped a lot. I find that while my hands make a big jump, my fingers automatically graze some of the black keys to get their bearings. I'm not usually aware of this while I play, but a few of my students have asked about this so I've actually studied it while I play.

It takes some time to get comfortable with this, but it does get easier over time smile


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Originally Posted by RonDrotos
I used to practice with my eyes closed, and also while having a conversation with a bass player while we were jamming together.
It's possible work on jumps while reading book (but not working on the music!).

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I agree with this skill taking time to acquire. I think that is what happened with me. I sometimes feel the keys around the one I'm aiming for sort of like reading brail I imagine. It also helps if you don't take your eyes off the music.

Good luck / Steve


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