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Black Key Arpeggios
#2997767 07/02/20 06:44 AM
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My teacher suggested using flatter fingers but I still keep missing the keys. Does anyone have other suggestions?

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Re: Black Key Arpeggios
Qazsedcft #2997771 07/02/20 07:08 AM
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If you make mistakes, play slower until you can play it without mistake.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Re: Black Key Arpeggios
Qazsedcft #2997780 07/02/20 08:41 AM
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Play them as full chords to get used to the the 'shaping' of your fingers. Make sure fingers are 'centred' (= "centered" in US-speak) on the keys. The positioning has to be more precise on black keys, because they are much narrower, and it's all too easy for individual fingers to slip off onto the adjacent white keys.

Also get used to the smooth lateral movement (as opposed to the twisting involved in thumb-under and finger-over movements) of the whole hand when playing arpeggios faster. Practise playing a one-handed arpeggio swiftly with minimal 'under'/'over' movement and using lateral hand movement instead, and see how smooth you can get it to sound.

In real music, you'd rarely be playing unpedalled arpeggios slowly......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Black Key Arpeggios
Qazsedcft #2997879 07/02/20 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
My teacher suggested using flatter fingers but I still keep missing the keys. Does anyone have other suggestions?
I assume that OP does not apply to the thumb. Do you know, why? The thumb does doesn't press on the black key parallel to it. So the rest of the fingers fall on the black keys slightly obliquely.

Re: Black Key Arpeggios
Qazsedcft #2997882 07/02/20 01:40 PM
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Flatter will increase the chance of hitting the key, but you do need to have higher accuracy.

While what bennevis suggests is a good idea, arpeggios are a little different from chords in that your hand should shift weight and move a little during an arpeggio, so being able to drop your hand on a chord accurately doesn't translate into accurate arpeggios. A good exercise is practicing them staccato, making sure you hit every single key very precisely (if you can feel the edge of the key, you messed up).

Re: Black Key Arpeggios
Qazsedcft #2997903 07/02/20 02:36 PM
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Most probably the reason is tension. Try to find where it is.

Re: Black Key Arpeggios
Qazsedcft #2997984 07/02/20 06:21 PM
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these were the hardest arpeggios I had to learn and took a lot longer than any others. I don't have any secret I just did a lot of slow practice and a mix of single and double handed practice


Following Trying to follow the Ling Ling 40 hour method

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: Black Key Arpeggios
bennevis #2998106 07/03/20 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Also get used to the smooth lateral movement (as opposed to the twisting involved in thumb-under and finger-over movements) of the whole hand when playing arpeggios faster. Practise playing a one-handed arpeggio swiftly with minimal 'under'/'over' movement and using lateral hand movement instead, and see how smooth you can get it to sound.

I have done that for years, avoiding passing things over or under, not only with arpeggios but with just about anything. It took me some time initially to get the knack but once established, lateral movement is so simple and relaxed it makes the other way seem superfluous to requirements. I often wonder why I was taught as a child to twist things over and under at all as it never did me any good.


"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: Black Key Arpeggios
trigalg693 #2998107 07/03/20 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Also get used to the smooth lateral movement (as opposed to the twisting involved in thumb-under and finger-over movements) of the whole hand when playing arpeggios faster. Practise playing a one-handed arpeggio swiftly with minimal 'under'/'over' movement and using lateral hand movement instead, and see how smooth you can get it to sound.

In real music, you'd rarely be playing unpedalled arpeggios slowly......

Indeed you are correct. I'm asking specifically for playing the arpeggios in Clair de Lune which have to be fast and light. I'll practice each hand position separately and practice moving quickly between hand positions.

Originally Posted by trigalg693
While what bennevis suggests is a good idea, arpeggios are a little different from chords in that your hand should shift weight and move a little during an arpeggio, so being able to drop your hand on a chord accurately doesn't translate into accurate arpeggios. A good exercise is practicing them staccato, making sure you hit every single key very precisely (if you can feel the edge of the key, you messed up).

I saw the same advice in one of Josh Wright's videos. I'll try that too.

I also found this:
https://www.key-notes.com/blog/accuracy-on-black-keys
but I'm not sure what fingering I'm supposed to use for this exercise.

Re: Black Key Arpeggios
Qazsedcft #2998122 07/03/20 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
I also found this:
https://www.key-notes.com/blog/accuracy-on-black-keys
but I'm not sure what fingering I'm supposed to use for this exercise.
The same fingering as you'd use for straightforward arpeggios, but with the 'middle notes' turned into two-note chords.

That is, for the G flat exercise shown, 1-2/3-1-2/3 etc for RH going up, 5-3/2-1-3/2-1 etc for LH going up. Again, it's basically an exercise in developing proprioception by turning individual notes into chords.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Black Key Arpeggios
Qazsedcft #2998262 07/03/20 01:20 PM
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If you're playing on a digital piano:

. . . "black-key arpeggios" put your fingers close to the fallboard,

. . . and lots of DP's need higher key-pressure there, than they need on the white keys.

You'll adjust to that, but it's good to be conscious of it.

That's true for acoustic pianos as well, but they tend to have longer keysticks, and the effect is less obvious.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker

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