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#931503 - 03/06/08 04:16 PM Re: Velocity  
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,226
Minaku Offline
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Minaku  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,226
Atlanta
I just sat down and played through a few scales at a decent clip, and I can see how you describe it as the fingers leading the hand. When you look at it without thinking about where the energy is it definitely looks like your fingers are leading. But the wizard behind the show is definitely the arm. I suppose I approached it from the player's POV rather than the watcher's POV.

All in all I think we're talking about the same thing. I will say that before I knew how to do it, I watched a pianist for many months before I finally figured out what it was she was doing. Gaining this skill is, I think, relatively difficult, but once it's attained it feels so easy.


Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina
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#931504 - 03/06/08 04:41 PM Re: Velocity  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
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John v.d.Brook  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Back from shopping and discover that there is quite a bit of discussion while I was out.

Actually, all the best/advanced teachers I know, like Leon Fleischer, for example, or Veda Kaplinsky, use the concept of wrist leading. So I don't think that's my students' problem.

None-the-less, I find the discussion interesting.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#931505 - 03/06/08 08:07 PM Re: Velocity  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,365
ftp Offline
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ftp  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,365
Philadelphia
John,

Sorry if my question is off topic but I am curious why you did not mention arpeggios when discussing scales and velocity?

#931506 - 03/06/08 08:12 PM Re: Velocity  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 667
Mr_Kitty Offline
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Mr_Kitty  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 667
Toronto
fathertopianist

All of the points I have talked about apply to arpeggios as well as scales. They are the same thing from a physiological perspective. The only difference is that the notes are further apart.

#931507 - 03/06/08 08:41 PM Re: Velocity  
Joined: Mar 2006
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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John v.d.Brook  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
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Olympia, Washington, USA
I didn't mention arpeggios for two reasons - first, because I figured if I could find a way to help my students increase their velocity, it would apply to those as well, and secondly, right now, at the level they're at, I'd be happy if I could just get their scales faster.

I'm beginning to think it's just time and practice more than anything else.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#931508 - 03/06/08 09:23 PM Re: Velocity  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 286
lalakeys Offline
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lalakeys  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 286
Chicago 'burbs
Sometimes my students and I use creative fingering approaches to scales, when velocity is important. For example, for a 2-octave D Major scale passage (this only works when there is no harmony or counter-melody), I would play the first 5 notes (DEF#GA) with my L.H. (54321), then the next 5 with my R.H. 12345 (BC#DEF#), then the last 5 with my L.H. (GABC#D). Voila--a super-fast, even scale with no tucking or crossing issues!

smile


Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir
#931509 - 03/06/08 09:28 PM Re: Velocity  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 667
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member
Mr_Kitty  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 667
Toronto
interesting, lalakeys.
By far the fasted fingering for a C major scale is 12345123451234512345.
It doesn't work well for longer scales, but for 2 octaves it can produce glissando-speeds with incredible evenness!

#931510 - 03/06/08 09:31 PM Re: Velocity  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 286
lalakeys Offline
Full Member
lalakeys  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 286
Chicago 'burbs
Actually, Mr. Kitty, I think the fastest fingering for a C Major scale would be a glissando.

I used D Major as my example because it includes black keys, which would make a glissando impossible (or at least very awkward/painful)!


Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir
#931511 - 03/07/08 02:36 AM Re: Velocity  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 962
Ferdinand Offline
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Ferdinand  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 962
California
Quote
Originally posted by Mr. Kitty
The fingers never ever crawl ahead. When I play my knuckle bridge is always in a perfectly straight line with my elboy. I never bend my hand to one side or the other (sort of like waving goodbye). The fingers are never "ahead" or the hand or the arm.
Mr. Kitty, thanks for the detailed description of your scale technique.

To check whether I understand you about the knuckle bridge staying in a straight line with your elbow - if you are playing a RH descending scale starting at C two octaves above middle C, you start out with the bridge perpendicular to the length of the keys? And as you descend, and the forearm is no longer parallel to the key length, the angle of the knuckle bridge to the key length shrinks from a right angle to about 45 degrees when you get to an 8ve below middle C?

The opposite of the above would be to keep the knuckle bridge and key at a right angle, by bending the wrist to the right with respect to the forearm (which it sounds like you are NOT doing.)

Sorry about all the geometry, but that's the clearest way I could think of to phrase the question.

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