Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 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!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Who's Online Now
126 registered members (Abdol, Apache, AdagioLearner, Animisha, AWilley, AndyOnThePiano, Ankee, accordeur, 36251, 31 invisible), 1,368 guests, and 511 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 2 of 3 1 2 3
Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: OscoBosco] #2841287 04/21/19 07:50 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,029
WhoDwaldi Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,029
Kharitonov has really great "modified flat" technique, I would say. Not totally flat or curved.



There are other approaches. laugh



WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items, digital piano dolly, music theme party goods
Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: OscoBosco] #2841291 04/21/19 08:13 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,029
WhoDwaldi Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,029
(I'm "Mr. Video Poster," today. ha) I think this is the flattest pianist I have ever seen:







WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: pianoloverus] #2841310 04/21/19 11:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,668
O
outo Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,668
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by outo
Unfortunately the thumb also must visit the black keys often... that can cause a collision with the fallboard...
With the thumb on a black key some pianists(even those who play with flat fingers at other times)will be forced to curve their fingers to some degree to avoid the fallboard whether it's a modern grand or Chopin's grand with shorter keys.

I have a more or less average hand size for a male with a reach of comfortable tenth. On my Mason BB with my thumb on a black key I can just avoid the fallboard with the rest of my fingers flat and on black keys. Those with larger hands would have to curve their fingers to some degree.


It's not simply a matter of size, but also shape. Our thumbs are not located equally. The tip of my thumb barely reaches the knuckle of my 3rd finger when my hand is relaxed.

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: pianoloverus] #2841312 04/21/19 11:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,668
O
outo Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,668
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
That's one reason most excellent pianist's hands look similar when playing.


How odd that you would say this... Because I don't think it could be much further from the truth, the variation in the way their hands look is huge.

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: OscoBosco] #2841362 04/22/19 06:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,951
T
Ted Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,951
I have tried flat fingers many times on and off over the years. Initially it feels easier for certain movements but after a day or two I find myself losing control and revert to my usual moderately curved position. Whether this is general or just me I haven't a clue. I don't consciously think about it while playing though.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: OscoBosco] #2841419 04/22/19 11:42 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,409
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,409
I have been having a general thought about this: namely that the idea of "positions" itself is wrong. For example, if you've been taught to have round fingers, and you decide that you should have flat fingers instead, you're still in a world of positions - that there is a position. What if there isn't one? What if your hands and the whole playing complex (arms etc.) were one single shape-shifting amoeba that is constantly adjusting to what you are playing? What if any "rules" are simply some guidelines according to what gets seen in / or felt by, good players, for us to play with ... but not "shape ourselves according to"?

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: OscoBosco] #2841554 04/22/19 10:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 174
F
Fidel Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
F
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 174
Having been trained in both, curved & flat, I think flat is the more versatile technique. Flat isn't an end in itself instead it's more like an avenue to teach weight transfer, rotation, speed and tone control. Plus when you go flat you end up with a great deal of palm awareness which can look like you're "pulling" the sound out of the piano.

In classical music your hand has to take all sorts of shapes to navigate the keys. Curved feels intuitively correct and so most play curved. I play curved when I have to. There's nothing wrong with that. Everybody has to figure out what works best for them.


"the lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne." -- Chaucer.
Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: OscoBosco] #2841581 04/23/19 03:53 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,197
J
joe80 Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,197
I'd like to add just as there isn't one technique that fits every pianist, there isn't one technique that fits every piece. Horowitz sometimes played with very curved fingers too.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezSD4i9YCTE

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: OscoBosco] #2841661 04/23/19 10:21 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,418
C
chopin_r_us Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,418
My 1840's piano (notice my 3rd finger is touching the fallboard): [Linked Image]

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: chopin_r_us] #2841678 04/23/19 11:29 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,148
pianoloverus Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,148
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
My 1840's piano (notice my 3rd finger is touching the fallboard): [Linked Image]
I'm curious how long the visible part of the while and black keys are on your piano?

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: OscoBosco] #2841690 04/23/19 12:15 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,418
C
chopin_r_us Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,418
White 5 1/4" black nearly 3 1/2" . And there's me thinking a picture is worth a thousand words!

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: chopin_r_us] #2841698 04/23/19 01:02 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,201
BruceD Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,201
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
White 5 1/4" black nearly 3 1/2" . [...]


On my Estonia 190: White = 15cm (5.9"). Black = 10cm (3.93")

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: OscoBosco] #2841714 04/23/19 02:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 266
MichaelJK Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 266
Try it and see if it works better.

Personally, I don't have much use for concepts about how my hands should look at the piano. There was a time I was obsessed with this. Then, I realized that the task here is to get the key to go down at the right time, not to "look" a certain way.

If you pay super-close attention to whether you're getting the results you're looking for, your brain will automatically learn how to get those results.

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: MichaelJK] #2841719 04/23/19 02:32 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,148
pianoloverus Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,148
Originally Posted by MichaelJK
Personally, I don't have much use for concepts about how my hands should look at the piano. There was a time I was obsessed with this. Then, I realized that the task here is to get the key to go down at the right time, not to "look" a certain way.
But the whole idea of any technical approach or idea i(including flat vs. curved)is not how the hands look but how the technical approach aids what you want to be able to do at the piano.

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: chopin_r_us] #2841724 04/23/19 02:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,048
M
MikeN Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,048
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
My 1840's piano (notice my 3rd finger is touching the fallboard): [Linked Image]


You can get around that, depending on the context of what the left hand is doing, by moving the torso over toward the left so the thumb is closer to the fallboard and the rest of the fingers aren't bumping into it.

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: MikeN] #2841740 04/23/19 03:51 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,148
pianoloverus Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,148
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
My 1840's piano (notice my 3rd finger is touching the fallboard): [Linked Image]


You can get around that, depending on the context of what the left hand is doing, by moving the torso over toward the left so the thumb is closer to the fallboard and the rest of the fingers aren't bumping into it.
Even if this works it's incredibly inefficient since it would involve constantly moving one's torso unless the entire piece was in one area of the keyboard. The simple solution is to curve one's fingers as much as needed to avoid the fallboard. Not many pianists play with totally flat fingers like in the picture.


Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/23/19 03:53 PM.
Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: pianoloverus] #2841755 04/23/19 05:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,048
M
MikeN Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,048
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
My 1840's piano (notice my 3rd finger is touching the fallboard): [Linked Image]


You can get around that, depending on the context of what the left hand is doing, by moving the torso over toward the left so the thumb is closer to the fallboard and the rest of the fingers aren't bumping into it.
Even if this works it's incredibly inefficient since it would involve constantly moving one's torso unless the entire piece was in one area of the keyboard. The simple solution is to curve one's fingers as much as needed to avoid the fallboard. Not many pianists play with totally flat fingers like in the picture.



I assure you my suggestion is more efficient. Actually, in my experience and from what I've observed in other pianists, it's quite possible to make adjustments of the torso constantly throughout any piece of music and not tire.

If you observe carefully, it's unlikely you'll find any high level who isn't adjusting their torso throughout a performance. Some move more, some move less, but almost all of them do. Also, certain pieces are nearly unplayable without this movement. Chopin Op. 10 No. 1 and Op. 25 No. 12 come to mind.

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: MikeN] #2841775 04/23/19 06:50 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,148
pianoloverus Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,148
Originally Posted by MikeN
If you observe carefully, it's unlikely you'll find any high level who isn't adjusting their torso throughout a performance. Some move more, some move less, but almost all of them do. Also, certain pieces are nearly unplayable without this movement. Chopin Op. 10 No. 1 and Op. 25 No. 12 come to mind.
But in those pieces are they moving their torso to avoid hitting the fallboard or for the more usual reason, i.e. to be able to reach notes in the extremes of the keyboard easily and have their hand in a comfortable position? I think it's for the second reason.

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: pianoloverus] #2841782 04/23/19 07:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,048
M
MikeN Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,048
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MikeN
If you observe carefully, it's unlikely you'll find any high level who isn't adjusting their torso throughout a performance. Some move more, some move less, but almost all of them do. Also, certain pieces are nearly unplayable without this movement. Chopin Op. 10 No. 1 and Op. 25 No. 12 come to mind.
But in those pieces are they moving their torso to avoid hitting the fallboard or for the more usual reason, i.e. to be able to reach notes in the extremes of the keyboard easily and have their hand in a comfortable position? I think it's for the second reason.


I think your missing my point.

You suggest that constantly moving the torso is an inefficient movement if used in the context of avoiding the fingers hitting the the fallboard.

My point is that if one can constantly move their torso to reach extremes of the keyboard in a comfortable fashion in situations involving continuous, unrelenting passagework, how is it reasonable to say that one can't move their torso farther to the left so that one's fingers can avoid the fallboard in the situation presented in the image where the torso would be moving to a single stationary position?

Surely if the use of the torso in the more involved former situation is an effective and well used solution, surely the latter situation, which would require less movement, should not be consider ineffective, especially when the alternative involves using a potentially excessive curling of the fingers unless one raises the wrist to avoid this situation which would create a harsher potentially unwanted sound.

If the next chord or passage is in a higher register, then one can keep the torso more or less stationary while the arm and elbow move to the right, up the keyboard, to get there. If the next chord or passage is in a lower register, then one moves the torso further down the keyboard and likely farther back from the keyboard to accommodate the likely situation of the arms having to come in front of the torso as the left and right hands come closer together. Both are more natural to the hand and body than an unnatural curling of the fingers which would engage the muscles used when gripping something which inhibits the flexibility of the tendons.

Of course this is an oversimplification and finding the most reasonable solution would involve a more in depth consideration of what the left hand is doing.

Re: Aren't flat fingers the secret? [Re: MikeN] #2841783 04/23/19 07:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 369
A
anamnesis Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 369
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
My 1840's piano (notice my 3rd finger is touching the fallboard): [Linked Image]


You can get around that, depending on the context of what the left hand is doing, by moving the torso over toward the left so the thumb is closer to the fallboard and the rest of the fingers aren't bumping into it.
Even if this works it's incredibly inefficient since it would involve constantly moving one's torso unless the entire piece was in one area of the keyboard. The simple solution is to curve one's fingers as much as needed to avoid the fallboard. Not many pianists play with totally flat fingers like in the picture.



I assure you my suggestion is more efficient. Actually, in my experience and from what I've observed in other pianists, it's quite possible to make adjustments of the torso constantly throughout any piece of music and not tire.

If you observe carefully, it's unlikely you'll find any high level who isn't adjusting their torso throughout a performance. Some move more, some move less, but almost all of them do. Also, certain pieces are nearly unplayable without this movement. Chopin Op. 10 No. 1 and Op. 25 No. 12 come to mind.


It took me a long time to accept it, but yes one needs to make constantly make torso adjustments all the time in order to account for every single change in direction in all three planes. This is not the same as needlessly waving around. It's often subtle and gradual and needed to account for the subtle changes in one's center of gravity that occur due to arm movement akin to what happens in gait. It's a constant act of perfectly timed and refined destabilization and stabilization in all three planes of motion, and arguably every articulation which involves entering and escaping a different sagittal plane (even on repeated notes with the same finger) should be an opportunity to do so. [Of course people, start balking at an approach that attempts to teach this, but that's another topic entirely. Admittedly, there are other issues going on that can't be solved by that approach alone.]

The reason people "tire" out is that they are stuck in certain neuromuscular, movement patterns that they can't get out of and end up fighting with compensatory movements. These patterns also happen to desensitize you to even "noticing" all those subtle torso adjustments and their necessity by using a strategy of over-stabilization in a single sagittal plane at the cost of movement in frontal and transverse planes.

Last edited by anamnesis; 04/23/19 07:50 PM.
Page 2 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
Christmas Ornaments Music Theme
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Bechstein
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
'Re-Shaping hammers and shanks'?
by LS35A - 12/08/19 12:28 PM
Inevitable progress
by Animisha - 12/08/19 11:50 AM
Like Forscore but for Mac suggestions please
by dhts - 12/08/19 09:38 AM
Help determine knuckle-center pin distance
by Apache - 12/08/19 04:37 AM
“Sit-stand desk” type keyboard stand?
by Elphaba - 12/08/19 02:23 AM
What's Hot!!
Our August Newsletter is Out!
------------------
Mason & Hamlin Piano Factory Tour!

-------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics195,570
Posts2,899,658
Members95,180
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


 
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 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3