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Re: pain from playing piano [Re: petebfrance] #2812607
02/09/19 08:58 AM
02/09/19 08:58 AM
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Online content
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anamnesis, I'm not sure that I understand the table and a concept of double rotation correctly. Could you, please, check out my understanding.

Let me abbreviate 'clockwise' as CW and 'counter-clockwise' as CCW for brevity.


When playing CEG with the fingers 135 by the right hand, accentuating each note, you firstly make a small swing by rotating the forearm CW, then play С by rotating the forearm CCW. Then you make a second swing CW, play G by rotating the forearm CCW, then there is a small pause ('sense of repose'), and then the forearm rotates CCW once again using 3rd finger as a hinge (is this called double rotation?) to make a swing, and then the pinky finally plays G note by CW rotation.
Do I understand this correctly?

Alternatively, playing by single rotation means that the momentum of CCW rotation when 3rd finger plays its key will be used as a swing for the pinky, right?

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Re: pain from playing piano [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev] #2812649
02/09/19 11:35 AM
02/09/19 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
anamnesis, I'm not sure that I understand the table and a concept of double rotation correctly. Could you, please, check out my understanding.

Let me abbreviate 'clockwise' as CW and 'counter-clockwise' as CCW for brevity.


When playing CEG with the fingers 135 by the right hand, accentuating each note, you firstly make a small swing by rotating the forearm CW, then play С by rotating the forearm CCW. Then you make a second swing CW, play G by rotating the forearm CCW, then there is a small pause ('sense of repose'), and then the forearm rotates CCW once again using 3rd finger as a hinge (is this called double rotation?) to make a swing, and then the pinky finally plays G note by CW rotation.
Do I understand this correctly?

Alternatively, playing by single rotation means that the momentum of CCW rotation when 3rd finger plays its key will be used as a swing for the pinky, right?


Not anamnesis but have done a lot of Taubman study so will chime in. You have some extra movements in that description. In your terms it would be rotate CW (preparatory motion), play C with CCW rotation, play E with CW rotation (there is no additional CCW movement between C and E-you already moved CCW to play C and you just reverse the direction to CW, what Taubman calls single rotation, to play the E). Then having finished the movement on E, there is CCW and CW (double rotation) to play G.

If you were playing 3 on the E with a single rotation, that would be a situation where you had not played 1 or 2 first and were starting on 3. So you would have a preparatory motion CW, play down CCW on 3, then play CW on 5.

I do think that calling it "swing" may make you think of it as too large. Taubman teachers use a swing in the initial stages of teaching to get people able to feel the rotation, but in advanced playing it's tiny.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:​
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Sinding, Frühlingsrauschen (Rustle of Spring)
Beethoven, Sonata no. 14 in C# minor (Moonlight)
Re: pain from playing piano [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev] #2812955
02/10/19 01:36 AM
02/10/19 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
anamnesis, I'm not sure that I understand the table and a concept of double rotation correctly. Could you, please, check out my understanding.


I think jdw covered the main points, but just clarify further, I'll go line by line.


Quote
When playing CEG with the fingers 135 by the right hand, accentuating each note, you firstly make a small swing by rotating the forearm CW, then play С by rotating the forearm CCW.


Keep in mind that the initial preparatory motion from the right (CW) flows into the articulation to the left (CCW) as if in one gesture or in one breath.

The timing and aiming of when/where you land on the key and the speed at which you pierce the escapement point and thus your ability to affect the sound of "C" is almost entirely modulated by your manipulation of that initial CW release.

One thing that probably isn't nearly as explicit as it should be, is that the ballistic timing inherent in Taubman training often requires people to change/shift the timing of how they manipulate sound. In this particular example, if you do it upon articulation of the C, you're already at least a split-second too late.

Quote
Then you make a second swing CW, play G E by rotating the forearm CCW,


Here you're adding an extra movement if I'm reading you correctly.

Upon the previous articulation of the C~1 (I'm using ~ to indicate fingering) to the left (CCW), we can continue to use the momentum from that left rotation to power the articulation to the right on E~3 (CW). 1 to 3 here is a single rotation, so again, it needs to be done as if in one breath.

Remember, it was the preparatory motion before C~1 that we used to manipulate how/when it landed on C~1 and how it sounded. When you time and sequence it correctly, the sound of C~1 was already determined; hence, what we're really doing with the follow-through rotation on C~1 is actually being used to manipulate the timing/landing/sounding of the next note, E~3.

This is potentially a very confusing point, so re-read this a couple of times. How you react to the stimuli from C~1 (both the contact reaction forces and the sound made) is information your brain gauges and processes to modulate the amplitude of the rotation that will get you to E~3 and how it sounds.



Quote
then there is a small pause ('sense of repose'), and then the forearm rotates CCW once again using 3rd finger as a hinge (is this called double rotation?) to make a swing, and then the pinky finally plays G note by CW rotation.


This is basically right as long as you time the CCW -> CW as if in breath/gesture for the double.

We arrive upon articulation on E~3 to the right (CW). Stop. Release to left (CCW) and use that release to determine how/when/where you land on G on the right (CW) and how it sounds.

Remember, what you did on C~1 determines how well you arrive on E~3 and even determines when it should stop (whether or not you actually wait for that moment is what happens on E~3). This is important to understand because can help you figure out when the technical issue is actually occurring. Too many people try to fix things or try to manipulate expression "mid-flight" or at the onset of articulation when it's already too late. They then end up just running into and negatively affecting the next note.

One cue that helps some people to get the timing of the double correct, is to imagine the release happening on top of the next note so that the follow-up rotation that articulates lands exactly where the finger needs to be.

So here, when I'm on E with 3, I "feel" the magic moment of repose that lets me know I've come to a stop and I'm free to move again. I then imagine a "left" (CCW) with the pinky occurring somewhere above the G so that in one gesture it lands on the right (CW) in exactly the spot it needs to be.

The tricky thing here is that the 3 on E is indeed a fulcrum we use for the movement; however, I'm not imagining the left occurring from the 3 because that tends to hold the the weight backwards rather than projecting it forward.

Quote
Do I understand this correctly?


I think you just had one definite extra movement, you will end up with "more" only if you don't do the ones pointed out within a single gesture.


Quote
Alternatively, playing by single rotation means that the momentum of CCW rotation when 3rd finger plays its key will be used as a swing for the pinky, right?


jdw summed up the situation here. Singles occur when you can take advantage of changes of direction (with regards to the "order" of fingers in the hand) also occurring on articulation (when it plays).

I will make one minor clarification; however, this leads into grey areas that only make sense to venture into after experience with strict/clean rotations.

It's not that you can't get into the situation that I think you're trying to describe, but you would basically have to sacrifice/alter the single from the 1 to the 3 to do so.

3 is still position-ally to the right of 1 in the right hand, so you still have to initially go CW to get to the 3 coming from playing 1.

However at the last split second you can actually articulate on the left CCW (which you can then use to go CW to the pinky). The rotation from 1 to 3 basically combines aspects of the single and double into a "hybrid rotation", which is what lets you do the single on G~5, which would not normally be what should happen.

Not everyone is universally fond of it, or at least not the addition of more terminology. My teacher thought the people gung-ho about it were being too "legalistic" but she still points it out in certain cases where it is needed.

(It's entirely unnecessary in this case. I've played around a lot with what I call "extended Taubman", and 95% of the time the strict/clean rotational rules work better. The 5% I've deliberately 'broken' the rules were virtually always in situations where I wanted a sloppier/less even sound. )

[Example of a case where you need it: Chopin Op 25 no 6 measures 25-34 alternates between hybrids and doubles. It's needed because of the way that all chords and intervals have to articulate in the direction of pronation.]


Last edited by anamnesis; 02/10/19 01:44 AM.
Re: pain from playing piano [Re: Hengsen10] #2812963
02/10/19 02:25 AM
02/10/19 02:25 AM
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I have refrained from commenting because it is not my area of expertise, but the one thing that I noticed from the video of the C major scale is that you are not using your hand to its best advantage. You are not preparing your thumb to move from C to F. There is very little side to side movement of the thumb, and that is what helps it work with the rest of your hand.

So here is an exercise that may help. Place your fingertips on a table, as if they were on piano keys, with the thumb beside them. The tips of the fingers should be curled slightly, so they are pointed nearly vertically down, just at the reach of the thumb. Then move your thumb from fingertip to fingertip, back and forth. Do this until the motion feels natural. Then, starting in the same position, keep your thumb in the same position, and move the rest of your hand so your fingers go past your thumb, back and forth. You will need to rotate your wrist a little. Do that until the motion feels natural.

Then take it to the keyboard.


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Re: pain from playing piano [Re: Hengsen10] #2813361
02/11/19 03:29 AM
02/11/19 03:29 AM
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Thank you very much for clarification, anamnesis and jdw. I think now I understand the concept of double rotation completely.

But I need two more bits of clarification, if you don't mind. In the first part of the table at Reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/piano/comments/9bajy4/hand_gets_tense/
the rotation directions are specified as:
1 - 3 - 5
(pR)-L-R

This is what made me think initially that the 3rd finger should play CCW. Is it a mistake there?

And did I understand it correctly that a hybrid rotation is actually a double rotation that is done in one motion without pause? Like some kind of spiral motion? Otherwise I can't imagine how hybrid rotation is possible physically.

Re: pain from playing piano [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev] #2813505
02/11/19 11:23 AM
02/11/19 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Thank you very much for clarification, anamnesis and jdw. I think now I understand the concept of double rotation completely.

But I need two more bits of clarification, if you don't mind. In the first part of the table at Reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/piano/comments/9bajy4/hand_gets_tense/
the rotation directions are specified as:
1 - 3 - 5
(pR)-L-R

This is what made me think initially that the 3rd finger should play CCW. Is it a mistake there?


Is the table showing/formatting for you correctly? It doesn't say that. I listed the initial preparatory swing ahead of the columns with fingerings.

[img]https://imgur.com/a/3EEn81D[/img]

All the directions of rotations I listed except for the initial preparatory one, are upon articulation. The preps for the doubles are unstated because I thought it would clutter the table up and negate my purpose of getting people to think through how fingering determines the rotation (It has entirely to do with their order and thus how they relate to each other in space relative to each other).


Quote


And did I understand it correctly that a hybrid rotation is actually a double rotation that is done in one motion without pause? Like some kind of spiral motion? Otherwise I can't imagine how hybrid rotation is possible physically.


I guess? Even the regular coordinations are hard to specify verbally and visually without kinaesthetically passing it down in person to some degree.

I mean it is possible to several "flowing" changes of direction in the air on the way kind of like a double/triple sommerault, which is what you mean by one motion. It flows, but it is very precisely timed and aimed in how the direction changes.

It honestly just comes down to making the distinction in directions between how the rotations affects translation horizontally versus how it enters the keys vertically. You can learn a lot about what's "tricky" about cleaning up passage by clarifying those distinctions (as well as the interactions between directional issues with regards to the fingers which determines the rotations versus the directional changes at the actual keyboard).

If you decide to mess around with it more, I'd suggest working on it on a passage that actually requires it like the Chopin passage I mentioned above. You'll clarify what we mean by the hybrid once you understand how it alternates between pure doubles and hybrids.

--------

I should state that even after clarifying all the verbiage involved, it's still very difficult to pick up all the little things required to get this all working perfectly. I know not everyone is able to get or can even sit through the original Virtuosity in a Box videos without falling asleep, but the Golandsky Institute streaming is incredibly affordable and worth it.

I really recommend the Teaching Strategies for the Basic Taubman Work lecture that Bob Durso does from the Philadelphia workshop, and also see him working with beginning students in the morning lectures from that series of videos. Taubman skeptics should see those videos at a bare minimum in order to really give the work a fair shot. There's a lot to pick-up from it that can be integrated even if you don't decide to heavily incorporate strict Taubman.

Re: pain from playing piano [Re: BDB] #2813764
02/11/19 07:58 PM
02/11/19 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB

So here is an exercise that may help. Place your fingertips on a table, as if they were on piano keys, with the thumb beside them. The tips of the fingers should be curled slightly, so they are pointed nearly vertically down, just at the reach of the thumb. Then move your thumb from fingertip to fingertip, back and forth. Do this until the motion feels natural. Then, starting in the same position, keep your thumb in the same position, and move the rest of your hand so your fingers go past your thumb, back and forth. You will need to rotate your wrist a little. Do that until the motion feels natural..


If I'm reading this right, I can touch my thumbs to the 2 and 3 fingers, but going to 4 hurts, and 5 is impossible. Maybe this is arthritis?


-- J.S.

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Re: pain from playing piano [Re: anamnesis] #2813961
02/12/19 08:40 AM
02/12/19 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by anamnesis
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Thank you very much for clarification, anamnesis and jdw. I think now I understand the concept of double rotation completely.

But I need two more bits of clarification, if you don't mind. In the first part of the table at Reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/piano/comments/9bajy4/hand_gets_tense/
the rotation directions are specified as:
1 - 3 - 5
(pR)-L-R

This is what made me think initially that the 3rd finger should play CCW. Is it a mistake there?


Is the table showing/formatting for you correctly? It doesn't say that. I listed the initial preparatory swing ahead of the columns with fingerings.

[img]https://imgur.com/a/3EEn81D[/img]


Indeed, the table is distorted in my Google Chrome browser! Not sure why.
In Microsoft Edge the table is shown correctly.

Quote
I should state that even after clarifying all the verbiage involved, it's still very difficult to pick up all the little things required to get this all working perfectly. I know not everyone is able to get or can even sit through the original Virtuosity in a Box videos without falling asleep, but the Golandsky Institute streaming is incredibly affordable and worth it.

I really recommend the Teaching Strategies for the Basic Taubman Work lecture that Bob Durso does from the Philadelphia workshop, and also see him working with beginning students in the morning lectures from that series of videos. Taubman skeptics should see those videos at a bare minimum in order to really give the work a fair shot. There's a lot to pick-up from it that can be integrated even if you don't decide to heavily incorporate strict Taubman.

No, no way I'm going to pay for this. The total commercialization of Taubman approach is one of the points that make me very skeptical about it.

Re: pain from playing piano [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev] #2814082
02/12/19 01:59 PM
02/12/19 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev

Quote
I should state that even after clarifying all the verbiage involved, it's still very difficult to pick up all the little things required to get this all working perfectly. I know not everyone is able to get or can even sit through the original Virtuosity in a Box videos without falling asleep, but the Golandsky Institute streaming is incredibly affordable and worth it.

I really recommend the Teaching Strategies for the Basic Taubman Work lecture that Bob Durso does from the Philadelphia workshop, and also see him working with beginning students in the morning lectures from that series of videos. Taubman skeptics should see those videos at a bare minimum in order to really give the work a fair shot. There's a lot to pick-up from it that can be integrated even if you don't decide to heavily incorporate strict Taubman.

No, no way I'm going to pay for this. The total commercialization of Taubman approach is one of the points that make me very skeptical about it.


I do understand your point of view. I want to say, though, since it's often misunderstood, that the Golandsky Institute is neither a wealthy institution nor a commercial enterprise. It's a nonprofit organization. Its income (from donations as well as sale of materials) goes toward supporting its educational mission. Its director and faculty are hard-working musician/educators. They are not making buckets of money from this.

I remember that during one of their symposia a couple of years ago they had free streaming going, but they lost the funding for that. We all want stuff for free, but there are real costs to these things. So, I hope anyone who likes will feel free to make a donation.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:​
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Sinding, Frühlingsrauschen (Rustle of Spring)
Beethoven, Sonata no. 14 in C# minor (Moonlight)
Re: pain from playing piano [Re: jdw] #2814140
02/12/19 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jdw
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev

Quote
I should state that even after clarifying all the verbiage involved, it's still very difficult to pick up all the little things required to get this all working perfectly. I know not everyone is able to get or can even sit through the original Virtuosity in a Box videos without falling asleep, but the Golandsky Institute streaming is incredibly affordable and worth it.

I really recommend the Teaching Strategies for the Basic Taubman Work lecture that Bob Durso does from the Philadelphia workshop, and also see him working with beginning students in the morning lectures from that series of videos. Taubman skeptics should see those videos at a bare minimum in order to really give the work a fair shot. There's a lot to pick-up from it that can be integrated even if you don't decide to heavily incorporate strict Taubman.

No, no way I'm going to pay for this. The total commercialization of Taubman approach is one of the points that make me very skeptical about it.


I do understand your point of view. I want to say, though, since it's often misunderstood, that the Golandsky Institute is neither a wealthy institution nor a commercial enterprise. It's a nonprofit organization. Its income (from donations as well as sale of materials) goes toward supporting its educational mission. Its director and faculty are hard-working musician/educators. They are not making buckets of money from this.

I remember that during one of their symposia a couple of years ago they had free streaming going, but they lost the funding for that. We all want stuff for free, but there are real costs to these things. So, I hope anyone who likes will feel free to make a donation.



They've also recently had issues with regards to funding the location of their symposium, which is why it shifted locations recently the past year and the upcoming.

---------

I'd also like to state that when I make recommendations for "products/services", to a certain extent I'm putting my name on the line (though mitigated under a pseudonym) for something I make zero money from even tangentially (my day job has nothing to do with music). I don't do it lightly, and I try to account for genuine value and means.

I'm very aware that not everyone is in a location or in a situation that allows access to information, and yet I've been fortunate to have some level of access despite my location. I've tried to share what I've learned (mostly on reddit if you check my post history) to the best of my ability, and I spent free time and at least some intellectual currency doing so. I do it because I genuinely think the information is good and worth spreading, and I'd like to think that the small part I play in communicating this information with zero financial interest would also be taken into consideration.

If you think anything I write or that what you've seen so far of the "content" of the approach is utter bunk and reject looking at material on that basis, fine.

If you can't afford it, also fine. I'm happy to point out free resources. I only pointed out this particular resource out because it's (relatively) cheap, not many people are aware of it, and it has plenty of content (which I'd be happy to curate for someone who only wanted to subscribe for 1 month and wanted the best bang for their buck in terms of time*).

I'm just not sure outright rejection of the content as a whole (rather than just a very specific "product") based on financial-moral grounds is well-considered for the reasons jdw pointed out. I'd feel much better if the rejection was over a genuine disagreement about the content rather than something that on something that implies on some level (intended or not) I'm just some dupe to a financially unscrupulous organization.

----------

*My initial recommendation for the most useful information to someone taking a fresh look already consisted of ~2 hrs of 'lecture' + ~3 hrs of lecture-teaching those working with the introductory material of the approach. Bob is an excellent teacher, and not many people are familiar with him nor with how much the pedagogy of the approach has improved since the original videos filmed in the 70's. I personally thought that $15 for this is actually very generous and is alone worth paying for a single month that one can easily cancel after.

Re: pain from playing piano [Re: Hengsen10] #2814654
02/13/19 03:58 PM
02/13/19 03:58 PM
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anamnesis, please, don't take this personal. It is very kind of you to share your knowledge for free, I value your efforts highly and in no way I imply that you make money on it or that you are a dupe to a financially unscrupulous organization, not at all.

I just said that I find unacceptable the situation when I can't find even the basic information about a pedagogical approach for free. And being enthusiastic about piano playing physics and piano exercises for many years I must say that this situation is not typical. I've never spent more than $10 on a book to find all the necessary information about a specific approach and all the masterclasses, lectures and open lessons that I have attended in Moscow were free of charge. And it often seemed to me that many brilliant pedagogues looked happy to share their knowledge for free and they did it without the foundation of any institutes of their names and without branding approaches with their names.
By the way, now when I see that that 'rotational' approach was taught by Matthay long before Taubman, the Taubman/Golandsky branding seems to me even more inappropriate.


Speaking about the content of the rotational approach, I have doubts about its real-life application. I can admit that it may have pedagogical value, i.e. it may be useful on a certian stage of learning to free the hand and make fingers more relaxed, but I don't think that any pianists really play mainly by hand rotation. That's probably why the rotation becomes 'invisible' at some point of technique development, it's because at some point the rotation just vanishes away and normal piano technique takes its place. Rotation does its job and goes away. That's what I think.
But I guess it's a topic for another thread or two. wink

Re: pain from playing piano [Re: JohnSprung] #2816218
02/16/19 03:55 PM
02/16/19 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by BDB

So here is an exercise that may help. Place your fingertips on a table, as if they were on piano keys, with the thumb beside them. The tips of the fingers should be curled slightly, so they are pointed nearly vertically down, just at the reach of the thumb. Then move your thumb from fingertip to fingertip, back and forth. Do this until the motion feels natural. Then, starting in the same position, keep your thumb in the same position, and move the rest of your hand so your fingers go past your thumb, back and forth. You will need to rotate your wrist a little. Do that until the motion feels natural..


If I'm reading this right, I can touch my thumbs to the 2 and 3 fingers, but going to 4 hurts, and 5 is impossible. Maybe this is arthritis?


Yes, quite possibly. I have a history of osteoarthritis in my family. I saw an orthopedic hand surgeon several years ago, and after x-rays and MRIs he diagnosed serious osteoarthritis in both my thumb joints near the wrist -- as well as in several of my finger joints. I had surgery on the right thumb, which helped a lot, but the recovery is lengthy (3-6 months) so I didn't have surgery on my left hand. If you suspect arthritis, see a hand surgeon and get the diagnostic test done at least.

Osteoarthritis in these thumb joints makes it painful to do motions that require passing the thumb under the palm, so arpeggios are particularly difficult. Scales are more doable, but my untreated left hand lags behind my right because of the thumb joint stiffness and pain. However, I find piano playing generally therapeutic for my arthritis, as not using the joints causes them to stiffen even more.


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Re: pain from playing piano [Re: AaronSF] #2816635
02/17/19 03:54 PM
02/17/19 03:54 PM
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,204
Oakland
Touching the fingers like that was something that I learned about in childhood when I dislocated a thumb. The doctor tested my flexibility by seeing if I could touch the tip of my pinky. I can actually touch the base of that finger.

It is possible to play a lot of music without that motion. That was taught in the early baroque. But later music requires the thumb, which has the most lateral flexibility of all.


Semipro Tech
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