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#481282 - 02/05/02 07:47 PM Technique.
okat47 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/01
Posts: 193
Loc: Canada
I witnessed an interesting phenomenon at Piano masterclass the other day (well, it was interesting to me, anyway). It was a technique class where we had to critique each other's playing of various tech. We were all pretty rotten. I thought I was the only one who was struggling with it, because I'm only in 1st year and I hadn't practised technique seriously before university. But the 3rd & 4th year students were having the same trouble I was, even the ones I would consider to be really solid players. I got the impression that they didn't really work on technique at all. This really startled me because I assumed that scales and arpeggios etc. were the foundation of good playing. I always hear brass players doing exercises more than repertoire, but with pianists it seems to be the other way around. How widespread is this? Does everyone ignore technique?

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#481283 - 02/05/02 08:17 PM Re: Technique.
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
I can't resist working on technique; it is usually what I start with each day and it works it's way into everything that I'm working on. Currently, that would be quite a bit of work on arpeggios: Chopin's Etude #1 in Cmaj. I also find it very helpful to work on a diminished 7th chord up and down the keyboard along with the major and minor chords up and down. I'm currently concentrating this work in my right hand. My left hand gets worked on when I turn to Etude #12 (Revolutionary).

I work on technique quite a bit through the pieces I'm working on. For instance, I'm reviving Beethoven's Pathetique, and have spent the last 4 weeks re-memorizing the 3rd movement. There are many occasions to stop and work on technique while on this piece. Something's not smooth, something's not clear, something's angular, some notes get missed or nearly missed, all these are reasons for me to stop and work on my technique in those places.

Then there's an opportunity to work on technique for large sound and bigger movement when I work on Rachmaninoff's Prelude in Gm which I am also reviving.

It's very gratifying when this type of work starts to pay off.
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

#481284 - 02/05/02 09:07 PM Re: Technique.
iamcanadian Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1893
Loc: Canada
I can't stand technique and i will do whatever i can to avoid it, and im sure my playing suffers because of it. But i can't take the frustration

#481285 - 02/06/02 10:49 AM Re: Technique.
Kurwenal Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 14
Loc: New York
Whenever I practice, I start by playing all twenty-four major and minor scales (4 octaves.) Then I go through all twenty-four major and minor arpeggios. I also do some Chopin Etudes to help my technique (I have the Revolutionary Etude learned and right now I'm working on the Wrong Note Etude.) I spend quite some time on these. I not only view them as repertoire pieces but also as exercises; therefore I not only practice them as repertoire pieces but also practice them as exercises (i. e. hands separately, different speeds, etc.)

But keep in mind that technique is important and that it is a good thing to have excellent technique, but it's not nearly as important as the incorporation of a sense of flow and direction as well as your ideas and emotions into your playing

#481286 - 02/06/02 01:33 PM Re: Technique.
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
About a week ago I dug out the Hanon book. It has been quite some time since I have used it. I'm trying to work on one different technique a week. This week I have been doing arpeggios and cadences. I'm going to the trills next! I think that technique is really important because you find all of it in the pieces you play. Its easier and quicker to learn a piece if you already know the techniques for it.
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#481287 - 02/06/02 06:41 PM Re: Technique.
Rodion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/01
Posts: 296
Loc: Salt Lake City
Originally posted by Kurwenal:
But keep in mind that technique is important and that it is a good thing to have excellent technique, but it's not nearly as important as the incorporation of a sense of flow and direction as well as your ideas and emotions into your playing[/b]

technique is exactly what allows you to express the music properly. technique is pressing down a simple whole note, or it's playing lightning fast double octaves or passages in thirds. stressing the importance of technique shouldn't mean only developing mechanical abilities, but being aware of every aspect of your motions while playing anything and everything.
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. - Hector Berlioz

#481288 - 02/07/02 11:28 AM Re: Technique.
decibel101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/01
Posts: 289
Loc: Manhattan
I work on technique quite a bit through the pieces I'm working on. For instance, I'm reviving Beethoven's Pathetique

May I just say that it is my dream to be able to play the first movement to that piece. The first time I heard it I was immediately in love with it. It must be so hard to learn!

Me on the other hand am coming back from leaving the piano when I was very young. Been back on track with lessons since about Auguest. My teacher is very strict on technique, which is good, but makes things a little more difficult.

In the end I know that it is only doing more good than anything else. We do alot of scales (4 octives), and Hanon excercises. Also started working on some etudes and minuets with ornaments.

I think you really do need the technique to be a good pianist because with out it you really can't express the music fully.

It's also a good thing to study and know because when you do play one of those really hard pieces with the proper technique for one of your friends you get to see their mouth drop the the floor when your done.

Visit my website to learn more about me, pieces I am currently working on, and videos of performances.


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