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Hand Independance Breakthrough
#3013051 08/12/20 02:03 PM
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Hello all. I'm a 54 year-old beginner. I got a Kawaii E8 maybe a year and a half ago. I was watching In Bruges once again and absolutely had to learn to play Prologue, the theme music by Carter Burwell. I had never come anywhere near complete hand independence. I have to admit, at times I relegated myself to accepting it just wasn't in the cards. Finding this piece so hauntingly beautiful caused me to practice more than usual.

I am not a whole lot closer to hand independence; but I came to a realization. It isn't a matter of hand independence as much as it is knowing the piece, one hand at a time. For me, each hand is completely reliant on the other. Each singular note on the bass clef is waiting for the treble hand to relinquish the piece, and vice-versa. Realizing this, I understand I was holding myself back. The irony of knowing I want to become proficient, while being my own greatest impediment!

When I first started playing, Riders On The Storm was my first undertaking until I gave up in frustration. I could play the left hand bassline almost without looking, and same with the right hand, what I call "the rain" that comes right before the thunder in the song. I now realize this wasn't the case. I need to practice until I can play each hand almost perfectly, or at least as well as I'm capable.

Having gained a small measure of competence with Prologue, if I move forward accepting that the hands play off each other, I will become a better player without subjecting myself to such anguish. I'm guessing I'm not the only one who got a little better by accepting a few truths. My desire to play this song contributes to my ability to read music, and the notes of the grand staff are coming with a bit more ease. Prologue has to be the one piece that brought me closer to becoming adept on the piano.

I realize there are more than a few experienced players who already knew this, but coming to understand this on my own--is a hurdle that I had to overcome. Thanks for listening, all.


He not busy being born is busy dying.
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Re: Hand Independance Breakthrough
SparkyLB #3013078 08/12/20 03:37 PM
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Congrats on thinking this through. Finger independence is relatively easy compared to hand independence. Having to keep time and maintain voicing forces the hands to work as a unit while playing different parts. For me it's always been a challenge. Long, long ago I thought I would develop natural hand independence without working at it...still waiting. God I can't tell you how hard hand independence was for me last week when I was fighting Schumann's Op 12.

Some people always learn hands together because in the end that's how it has to be. I'm halfway in that camp. When the different hands are too complicated I work them separately (single task) then blend them together (multi-task). In those cases, I try to put them together asap.

Last edited by Fidel; 08/12/20 03:38 PM.

With new students Chopin was chiefly anxious to do away with any stiffness in, or cramped, or convulsive movement of the hand, thereby obtaining the first requisite of fine technique "souplesse" (suppleness). -- Carl Mikuli on Chopin the teacher.
Re: Hand Independance Breakthrough
SparkyLB #3013101 08/12/20 04:10 PM
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Thank you for the insight, Fidel. I'd call it more of a realization than thought process. It became apparent. I think the thought part was after the fact reflection. I'm thankful that I don't have to focus so much on "how in the world am I going to get this hand to do this while that other hand does that." In my realization, each hand works off the other. Certainly takes a big load off the process.

Again, I appreciate your thoughts.

By the way, I meant to include this in the OP. Here is the piece I'm referring to. It's played by a YouTube artist performing a cover. I don't know the quality of his fingering. I've never had lessons. I do know that music has a most profound effect on my brain.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SxzynJw8Pk

smile

Last edited by SparkyLB; 08/12/20 04:15 PM.

He not busy being born is busy dying.
Re: Hand Independance Breakthrough
SparkyLB #3013261 08/13/20 12:07 AM
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I have been watching some master classes on YouTube and Facebook, and one teacher was telling a young student about hand independence and suggested this exercise which I thought was pretty hard:

Right Hand plays an E major scale ascending and crescendo at the same time your Left hand is doing a Descending E major scale while diminuendo. That means by the time you finish the scale, your RH pinky should be hitting the E extremely loud while your LH pinky plays the E really soft at the same time.

And if you really want to challenge yourself, add the extra mental element of holding down the sustain/una corda pedal each time you hit the G in each hand-

Last edited by AssociateX; 08/13/20 12:10 AM.

~~~~~~~
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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNj0Yha5exOWuJMTezV3t8Q
Re: Hand Independance Breakthrough
SparkyLB #3013301 08/13/20 03:44 AM
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In my opinion the best thing for hands independence is playing polyrhythms.

Re: Hand Independance Breakthrough
Iaroslav Vasiliev #3013315 08/13/20 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
In my opinion the best thing for hands independence is playing polyrhythms.

This is exactly the challenge I am trying to work on right now. I would dearly like to one day be able to play Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu, but I find the polyrhythm feels almost impossible. I know that some people manage to get it in a fairly short time, but I am not one of them as I have spent many hours trying to do the polyrhythm using various advice

The most useful exercises for this I found recently in the YouTube video by Graham Fitch: https://youtu.be/U5itLZaqYx8 (If you are impatient, skip to 3:40 to get to the really interesting stuff)


1971 Bernhard Steiner U-131 upright
Re: Hand Independance Breakthrough
SparkyLB #3013328 08/13/20 07:11 AM
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My experience is that hand independance has several aspects to it, which all need some practice. Loud in one hand and soft on the other, staccato and legato, both combined, different rythm in each hand, ...for the polyrhythm, my suggestion is to work it out on scales, starting with the simple one C major and initially restrict it to just enough notes to play the pattern. Start with 2 vs 1, then 2 vs 3 then 3 vs 4. So for 3 against 4, play 4 notes in one hand and 3 on the other until you get the pattern working and then start to extend to larger chunk of the scale until you can play 3 full scales in one hand while the other does 4.


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