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Re: Lifting the Fingers #384857
08/20/07 08:25 PM
08/20/07 08:25 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,822
rintincop Offline
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Technique is effected by the action of the piano. For fast light linear type playing, less than 1/4" of lift should be the maximum. Playing at the key surface is ideal (no noticeable "lift"). For forte and at moderate or slower speeds, the arms lift and drop the fingers (Whiteside tried to explain it).


Casio PX-360 digital piano, Mojo 61 digital organ, 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.
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Re: Lifting the Fingers #384858
08/20/07 08:37 PM
08/20/07 08:37 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,645
Los Angeles, CA
Akira Offline
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Akira  Offline
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Los Angeles, CA
I'm also on Hanon exercise 1.

This is tough to learn properly without a teacher or having someone who knows what they're doing guiding you.

When it says in the book about lifting the fingers is correct in part, but the fingers don't do all the work. As you approach four and five, the wrist should be rolling slightly outwards in unison to the notes being played, then rolled back to an upright position as you approach one and two -- at least this is the way I'm being taught.

I think I know what to do, but my fourth and fifth are retarded and won't listen to me. I feel your pain. Hopefully time and about 1,000 more tries will make the awkwardness I'm feeling go away.

Very difficult to describe in words.

Re: Lifting the Fingers #384859
08/20/07 09:32 PM
08/20/07 09:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,896
Puyallup, Washington
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Betty Patnude Offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
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Puyallup, Washington
Hanon Ex 1:

Since it is repetious, 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 fingering is a constant given avoiding the issue of "who" plays next (who being your fingers).

I teach students to put their hand first in a 5 finger position and then adjust the hand to fit the pattern.

This one's range is C-EFGA. So you could approach it at least two ways as RH DEFGA and move the thumb to the left - or as CDEFG and keep the thumb in position moving all of the other fingers (2-3-4-5) away from the thumb into place on their keys. Either gets the keys under hand.

I also like to combine this one with the 5 Finger C position. It would go like this.
CDEFGFEDC-EFGHGFEDEFGAGFED-FGABAGFE-G...etc....
This allows for an easy and planned extension of the 2345 away from the thumb. I think this combination of both helpsthe hand prepare for the Hanon 1.

From the top descending the spacing will occur between the 5-4 fingers.

Any exercise you are doing should feel fluid and easy to do. You should not do it if you have starts and stops and uncertainty.

If you are finding any exercise hard to do, playing a game of "Adding One New Note At A Time would help you learn the sequence or pattern.
Play first note/Play first, second note/Play first, second/third note/etc. This really helps shapes things up fast.

Re: Lifting the Fingers #384860
08/21/07 09:30 PM
08/21/07 09:30 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 85
Bonn, Germany
S
schmickus Offline
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Bonn, Germany
Hi,

1) there is no need for actively lifting your fingers at all. When the key is supposed to lift just RELAX the muscles of your finger. The key will travel upwards. Thus your fingers, hands, arms and shoulders will stay free and flexible

2) Why wasting your time and energy with stuff like Hanon??? Is it good music? No. Will it improve your technique? Maybe, but only slowly, and you are allways at risk hurting your hands.
Get yourself the 2 and 3-part Inventions by Bach, practise hands-separate until you play the piece perfectly, then start with hands-together. And enjoy the music!

Good luck!

Schmickus


physicist, hobby pianist, lyrical tenor.
As a student I used to broker pianos

Mason&Hamlin AA, 1908
Blüthner 190, 6ft3, 1903
J.L. Duysen 195, 6ft6, 1897, (under construction)
Re: Lifting the Fingers #384861
08/21/07 09:54 PM
08/21/07 09:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline
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Kreisler  Offline
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I've always found it fascinating how many people dislike Hanon given the number of excellent pianists who practiced it during their student years.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Lifting the Fingers #384862
08/21/07 09:58 PM
08/21/07 09:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 20
Ireland
A
Alan G Offline
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Alan G  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 20
Ireland
Quote
Originally posted by pianojerome:
I'm told guitarists are careful about this, too -- to keep the fingers as close as possible to the fingerboard.
Oh yes - as I know from my own guitar experience. I find it quite obvious with playing the guitar, that if you don't play with a close left hand when doing fast scales or arpeggios, they won't happen!

As for this technique with the piano - Well generally the set/home position for the fingers should be close to the keys, and not lifting too high. There are times when it's allowable, for me; playing some staccato notes for example.

However for playing a fast scale or something, obviously lifting fingers high can prevent speed.

Re: Lifting the Fingers #384863
08/21/07 10:28 PM
08/21/07 10:28 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,645
Los Angeles, CA
Akira Offline
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Akira  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,645
Los Angeles, CA
Shouldn't the technique be identical, whether you play it at (M.M.) 60 or 108? It seems to me if you lift your fingers high at 60, the 'exact same technique' would not be possible (or perhaps 'difficult' might be the better word) at 108.

Re: Lifting the Fingers #384864
08/21/07 10:54 PM
08/21/07 10:54 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
London, UK (though if it's Aug...
keyboardklutz Offline
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London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Well said Schmickus!


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

Re: Lifting the Fingers #384865
08/22/07 09:23 AM
08/22/07 09:23 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 85
Bonn, Germany
S
schmickus Offline
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schmickus  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 85
Bonn, Germany
Hi

Kreisler, good point. But these great pianists you mentioned would have become great without Hanon too, and even quicker and safer. Practising Hanon is some kind of tradition, and not every single tradition is worth sustaining


Akira,

while walking, jogging and sprinting you use different kinds of movement and muscle coordination, don't you? Well, the same goes for playing the piano at different speeds.

keyboardklutz,

thank you!


Schmickus


physicist, hobby pianist, lyrical tenor.
As a student I used to broker pianos

Mason&Hamlin AA, 1908
Blüthner 190, 6ft3, 1903
J.L. Duysen 195, 6ft6, 1897, (under construction)
Re: Lifting the Fingers #384866
08/22/07 09:34 AM
08/22/07 09:34 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
London, UK (though if it's Aug...
keyboardklutz Offline
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London, UK (though if it's Aug...
The tradition is the Stuttgart school. Young people spend 8 hours a day for years doing these. Many were damaged for life. It's all in Amy Fay. I also remember reading warnings about the school from a turn of the century English doctor.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

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