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Little Pischna
#2750053 07/07/18 04:18 PM
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So I have had this book for a while. But as I hate doing technical stuff, I’ve sort of conveniently forgotten about anything assigned.

Today I looked at exercises 33 and 34. Just looking at the right hand in 33. You go from 1-4 on E and C, to 2-5 on F and D. That’s not too bad. Then each measure goes up a half step maintaining the same fingering. So eventually we have combo like 1-4 on C# and A.natural to 2-5 on D natural and B natural!

These stretches are brutal if your hand is not totally relaxed. I spent 5 minutes half on the right hand of exercise 33 and half on the left hand I’d 34. And that still might have been too much!

These are going to be a challenge.
Anyone else with this book doing them?


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Re: Little Pischna
dynamobt #2750062 07/07/18 05:12 PM
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Nope, but "Little Pischna" would make a fabulous username!


Learner
Re: Little Pischna
dynamobt #2750106 07/07/18 08:29 PM
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Just be careful. You can hurt yourself with these.


1989 Baldwin R
Re: Little Pischna
dynamobt #2750457 07/09/18 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by dynamobt

Today I looked at exercises 33 and 34. Just looking at the right hand in 33. You go from 1-4 on E and C, to 2-5 on F and D. That’s not too bad. Then each measure goes up a half step maintaining the same fingering. So eventually we have combo like 1-4 on C# and A.natural to 2-5 on D natural and B natural!

These stretches are brutal if your hand is not totally relaxed. I spent 5 minutes half on the right hand of exercise 33 and half on the left hand I’d 34. And that still might have been too much!

Anyone else with this book doing them?


Not playting these but some similar motions from heller (but much more musical and not repetitive like this)

Yes it is a bit of stretch but I dont get it when you say it gets worse, as the intervals remain the same? Some are slightly larger but not so much? Maybe you are just tense to start with, and then it starts playing up after some minute? Make sure your hand is balanced towards the top note (your RH pinky) and check you relax the fingers between notes


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Re: Little Pischna
dynamobt #2750472 07/09/18 06:33 PM
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Yes, very difficult to stay relaxed throughout the exercise. I’m working on it.


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Re: Little Pischna
dynamobt #2750532 07/10/18 07:17 AM
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The way to solve this problem, Marilyn, is to rest all four fingers on E, F, C and D, and hold them as relaxed as possible. You might shake the tension out of them in this position (there's a Josh Wright video about this somewhere but I can't find it at the moment). Holding the fingers in position for a period over a number of days will gradually familiarise them with the stretch. Alternate this chord with the one in the second half of the first measure, E, G, C, E, which may already be familiar and easy.

When you're ready, slowly and easily move from one chord to the other, holding 1 and 4 and moving 2 and 5. Hold (and shake) each position for a few seconds and watch for tension in 2 or 4.

You can tackle other changes of harmony similarly by holding 2 and 5 and moving 1 and 4. When you're free of tension you may proceed with the exercise but keep it slow until it's easy. Note the two note slurs (drop-roll) where they occur at the chromatic changes. Somewhere in the repertoire is a delightful passage you've just made easier for yourself. Unfortunately, this exercise isn't it.

Playing the exercise through will more likely build tension rather than stretch the fingers - making worse the very problem it's trying to improve.

Solving technical issues is an intellectual exercise not one of excruciating repetition.


Richard
Re: Little Pischna
dynamobt #2750593 07/10/18 12:53 PM
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Wow! Great advice, Richard! I’ve begun to actually “work” away from the piano. I hesitate to call it work as it is the exact opposite. I have achieved what I think is total relaxation in my right hand. Now trying to mimic the same feeling in my left hand.

My level of coordination is not the same. So tension enters in quickly with the left hand. If I can’t achieve relaxation in three tries I quit. I don’t know if I can get the same results at the piano. At least I have it in my head what it should feel like.

You are so correct in that if I don’t create relaxation immediately, repetition isn’t going to help!!


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Re: Little Pischna
dynamobt #2750602 07/10/18 01:41 PM
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The point with Pischna is to go super slow, relaxing the hand / arm / fingers and body (take a deep breath) between each note group played. It is similar in focus to a careful and relaxed and focused yoga or zen or tai-chi style of movement.

Always keep in mind, this is not music...it is an exercise, so don't go at a tempo; instead go so slow that you can focus upon relaxation. "Slow" as in one note group, then count to 5, then slowly play the next note group.

Pischna (and Joseffy, which is somewhat like Pischna) has several exercises designed to stretch the hand, they work because they actually do stretch the hand but you have to be very focused on not stretching too much, and on relaxing the hand as much as possible. Only super slow is the right way until you can do an exercise without more than a little bit of stretching feeling. Careful as in doing one measure for a week or more, then adding a second measure. Usually each measure stretches a bit differently than others.

When I came back to the piano in my 20's, my hands were full size, yet I could only stretch an octave. After Pischna (the original one), and lots of other technique work (Joseffy, Hanon, scales, arpeggios) and repertoire I can easily stretch a 10th, and barely a 11th. And play very relaxed, for 4+ hour gigs, etc. And never a injury.

Just be super careful...I had my teacher coach me through this. This is industrial-strength work; I would never give it to a beginner or early advanced student, and I would never ever have someone do it without knowledgable supervision. Primarily because everyone goes too fast, and everyone goes at playing with undue tension. At least that is what 15+ years of almost full-time teaching has taught me. Everyone. Telling students to slow down, and to relax, is a constant daily thing.


Piano teacher.

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