2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
83 members (Bruce In Philly, Bruce Sato, bobrunyan, brdwyguy, Alfred La Fleur, brennbaer, 36251, benQF, 12 invisible), 673 guests, and 461 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
#3140584 07/26/21 12:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 17
T
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
T
Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 17
I've seen it referred to here and there, but for a while I didn't really "get it"

Now I'm studying anatomy and one day after learning the structure and actions of the forearm it just clicked better.

But when I've tried to incorporate it with piano, it feels very awkward sometimes. I'm sure a bunch of repetition is needed, but am I the only one who feels less control and accuracy?

I know health-wise it's not ideal but I feel so much more precision stretching my pinky and thumb to reach a note.

When are the best times to use it? Is it correct to say this technique is used a lot in advanced pieces? And if so, how do you use it with such accuracy in fast passages with lots of big reaches?

Summary:
-Am I the only one who feels uncoordinated using forearm rotation?
-Is it something you want to be trying to use most/all the time? Or is there very specific instances it is called for?
-How do you use it at a fast tempo, accurately?


Thanks in advance for all insight!

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 4,403
N
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 4,403
---

Last edited by Nahum; 07/26/21 01:46 AM.
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 4,403
N
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 4,403

from 6:21

The movement of the underside of the triangles reflects the rotation of the arms. Notice the size of the movements and how they interact with the movements of each finger.

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,239
S
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,239
As a mouvement, it makes sense to talk about forearm rotation. But my view is that approaching piano playing from the angle of one particular arm mouvement to see where it could be used is not very fruitful for a beginner. There are different ways to play scale, arpeggios and other basic music components and that is where one can discuss possible ways to execute them. The focus should be how to play vs isolating a particular mouvement to see where it could be used.

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,238
I
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
I
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,238
As you probably know, in good piano technique all arm is involved in playing, nothing is stationary, and the forearm rotation is constantly utilized, too. The question is if it must have a leading role in a keystroke or not. There are different points of view on that.

There is an approach called Taubman approach or Taubman technique which has gained some popularity in the US and which forearm rotation is a keystone of. AFAIK training in Taubman technique begins with forearm rotation exercises and tries to ingrain forearm rotation as a main momentum generator for a keystroke. There is a detailed system of rotation directions for different situations that a Taubman student must learn.

On the other hand Russian piano school has never viewed forearm rotation as the main momentum generator. And I think no other major school ever did.


Forearm rotation has very significant role in playing tremolos, trills, arpeggios, and generally it is a key to fast hand position changes.

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 4,403
N
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 4,403
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
On the other hand Russian piano school has never viewed forearm rotation as the main momentum generator. And I think no other major school ever did.

.
Not certainly in that way . The outstanding teacher of the St. Petersburg school, Felix Blumenfeld, with his demand for the most singing sound, considered the physical process of playing as a combination of circular movements of different parts of the hand.

Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 17
T
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
T
Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 17
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
As you probably know, in good piano technique all arm is involved in playing, nothing is stationary, and the forearm rotation is constantly utilized, too. The question is if it must have a leading role in a keystroke or not. There are different points of view on that.

There is an approach called Taubman approach or Taubman technique which has gained some popularity in the US and which forearm rotation is a keystone of. AFAIK training in Taubman technique begins with forearm rotation exercises and tries to ingrain forearm rotation as a main momentum generator for a keystroke. There is a detailed system of rotation directions for different situations that a Taubman student must learn.

On the other hand Russian piano school has never viewed forearm rotation as the main momentum generator. And I think no other major school ever did.


Forearm rotation has very significant role in playing tremolos, trills, arpeggios, and generally it is a key to fast hand position changes.


Thanks for the detailed reply! I've been self-teaching myself and definitely missing a lot along the way. I've never even considered it as "generating a keystroke" - which goes to show how little I've read into technique(s).

So what do some of the other major schools of thought prioritize instead?

Nahum #3140727 07/26/21 04:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 17
T
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
T
Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 17
Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
On the other hand Russian piano school has never viewed forearm rotation as the main momentum generator. And I think no other major school ever did.

.
Not certainly in that way . The outstanding teacher of the St. Petersburg school, Felix Blumenfeld, with his demand for the most singing sound, considered the physical process of playing as a combination of circular movements of different parts of the hand.

Can you elaborate on that? When you say circular movements of different parts of the hand, do you mean something similar to the forearm rotation?

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 4,947
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 4,947
It's important to make sure that the rotation is done properly. If you put your arms on a table and rotate around the outer bones in the forearm you should feel your arms rolling back and forth on the table. If you feel friction, you are rotating about the wrong bones and this can cause injury.

Alternatively, if you rotate one forearm and put the other hand on the outer wrist, you should feel no friction (just rolling), and you should feel friction if you put your hand at the thumb side of your wrist. If you feel friction on the outer side (and rolling at the thumb side) you can get inflamed tendons in the forearm.

"Good" rotation is a very efficient movement.

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,856
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,856
Dogmatic approaches to piano technique are counter-productive. "You must concentrate on making this particular movement all the time" rather than just 'Play those notes using movements that feel right for you' is a sure way towards tense, stiff, jerky movements that impede the acquisition of a proper fluid piano technique that a student can keep building on as he advances towards super-stardom.

For instance, a good mountain-biker negotiates his route through rocky terrain by looking at the line he wants to take, not by looking at the big unstable loose rocks that he wishes to avoid - because if he looks at them, he'll end up riding towards them and hitting them.

No piano teacher (- and no pianist) I know of - ever teaches, or think in terms of, specific movements in isolation when teaching students, or when playing. In fact, unless the student is obviously using awkward and strained movements which impede fluency (then or later on), it's best to leave well alone.

Beginners will play with stiff awkward fingers (often with non-playing fingers sticking out) because they haven't got any finger control, but almost all will eventually play with more fluid movements, and their fingers will start to become naturally curved with less unnecessary tension, and their movements smooth out, encompassing all relevant joints - as the weeks go by - provided they aren't attempting play something completely beyond their skill level (like big 4-note chords at full stretch). There is a good reason why good method books - and good teachers - don't have their students playing more than two notes simultaneously in each hand until they have developed reasonable control over each individual finger.

Forearm rotation (pronation/supination movements) is just one of many movements that pianists have to make in conjunction with finger and wrist movements when playing, and it is a big mistake to concentrate on one particular movement instead of the 'whole picture' (i.e. moving efficiently to where your finger(s) need to go to press the keys, and then playing those keys).


"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."
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 30,843
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 30,843
I don't know much about rotation. I only watched one video from John Mortensen about it. I can see where it would be useful for trills, tremolos, and alberti basses but don't understand why some see it as a much more universal part of technique useful for scalar passages, for example. Can someone either explain this or point out a basic video that explains it?

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,239
S
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,239
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I don't know much about rotation. I only watched one video from John Mortensen about it. I can see where it would be useful for trills, tremolos, and alberti basses but don't understand why some see it as a much more universal part of technique useful for scalar passages, for example. Can someone either explain this or point out a basic video that explains it?


Joined: May 2001
Posts: 30,843
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 30,843
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I don't know much about rotation. I only watched one video from John Mortensen about it. I can see where it would be useful for trills, tremolos, and alberti basses but don't understand why some see it as a much more universal part of technique useful for scalar passages, for example. Can someone either explain this or point out a basic video that explains it?
Thanks, although I found the parts on double rotation a little unclear for me on the first listening, that's by far the best video explanation ofc rotation I've seen.

Instead of thinking about the double rotations how valid would it be on the C major scale to think of the first three notes as one large rotation from inward to outward? I guess the same question could apply to the diminished chord in Op. 109.

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 4,403
N
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 4,403
Originally Posted by TORaptors2019
Can you elaborate on that? When you say circular movements of different parts of the hand, do you mean something similar to the forearm rotation?

The play movements on the keyboard are adaptations of the various hand(and body) movements learned by the student prior to learning. In this sense, the pianist's activity includes the greatest variety of hand and finger movements. The principle of economy says that in order to achieve a goal, one must use the appropriate muscular efforts - no more, and no less; and each of us does it instinctively, without a teacher. Until the student sits down at the piano for the first time ...

- from 0:30 and further

All hand movements of students and teachers include specific movements of each part of the hand, natural coordination between them in the size of movements, trajectory and speed ( I would say that the right student has clearly impaired coordination of the face, whole body, arms and legs): and each of them in a different plane is just a belly dance performed by the hand!

Just as we see rotation of the whole body (and it is completely natural), the movements of the pianist's forearm contain rotation, inevitably combined with other movements. However, there are no isolated movements and this applies to the whole body. However, there are exceptions regarding rotation: it is strictly forbidden to use rotation instead of independent finger movements, if they are required; and also, there may be cases requiring neutralization of rotation - however, this immediately causes tension in the arm.

Last edited by Nahum; 07/27/21 02:31 AM.
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,239
S
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,239
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Instead of thinking about the double rotations how valid would it be on the C major scale to think of the first three notes as one large rotation from inward to outward? I guess the same question could apply to the diminished chord in Op. 109.

I am not an expert in the Taubman technique, but what I understand is that the double rotation adds more leverage which makes it easier. I find that using simple rotation only in scale (in particular fast ones) does not work for me except for relatively small intervals. I unconsciously use it in certain mouvements, but it is more a natural outcome rather than an engineered action. A Taubman expert would better answer your question.

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,001
J
jdw Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,001
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Instead of thinking about the double rotations how valid would it be on the C major scale to think of the first three notes as one large rotation from inward to outward? I guess the same question could apply to the diminished chord in Op. 109.

I am not an expert in the Taubman technique, but what I understand is that the double rotation adds more leverage which makes it easier. I find that using simple rotation only in scale (in particular fast ones) does not work for me except for relatively small intervals. I unconsciously use it in certain mouvements, but it is more a natural outcome rather than an engineered action. A Taubman expert would better answer your question.

Yes, the "double" rotation engages the arm so that you don't have isolated finger motion. I agree that Taubman's terminology can be a bit confusing and make it sound like something harder to do than a "single" rotation, which it really isn't. I find it helpful to think of it like a ratchet, a tiny reset motion so the arm is ready to support the playing of the next finger.


1989 Baldwin R
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,238
I
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
I
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,238
Originally Posted by TORaptors2019
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
As you probably know, in good piano technique all arm is involved in playing, nothing is stationary, and the forearm rotation is constantly utilized, too. The question is if it must have a leading role in a keystroke or not. There are different points of view on that.

There is an approach called Taubman approach or Taubman technique which has gained some popularity in the US and which forearm rotation is a keystone of. AFAIK training in Taubman technique begins with forearm rotation exercises and tries to ingrain forearm rotation as a main momentum generator for a keystroke. There is a detailed system of rotation directions for different situations that a Taubman student must learn.

On the other hand Russian piano school has never viewed forearm rotation as the main momentum generator. And I think no other major school ever did.


Forearm rotation has very significant role in playing tremolos, trills, arpeggios, and generally it is a key to fast hand position changes.


Thanks for the detailed reply! I've been self-teaching myself and definitely missing a lot along the way. I've never even considered it as "generating a keystroke" - which goes to show how little I've read into technique(s).

So what do some of the other major schools of thought prioritize instead?

There are two main priorities: arm weight and finger work. Arm weight is required for deep and rich, singing sound. Finger work is required for bright and airy sound, the famous extreme example of it is a technique called "le jeu perlé" (pearly playing), it's a staple of French school, played with no arm weight.

In my opinion forearm rotation as the main technique is largely incompatible with both finger work and the use of arm weight. It can give striking power at a fast speed, but it leads to sound that I dislike.

Last edited by Iaroslav Vasiliev; 07/27/21 03:29 PM.

Moderated by  BB Player 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Yamaha GT20 versus NU1X
by Music_with_emma - 09/20/21 08:09 AM
Player pianos
by Selencious - 09/20/21 06:52 AM
What's this bit do?
by chopin_r_us - 09/20/21 03:14 AM
Ivers and Pond Full Upright vs Steinway K52
by Pianolance - 09/19/21 11:25 PM
could you judge my playing please.
by daoc2009 - 09/19/21 09:31 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics209,200
Posts3,133,710
Members102,777
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

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
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 | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5