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Joined: May 2007
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As the key goes down does your finger shape stay firm (preserve the initial shape of the last two joints) or compromise (change shape i.e curl by even a tiny bit)? Another way to put it - do you push the key down or pull the key toward you?

No doubt I'll get a lot of 'It depends'!

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I do both, but the scratching is unintentional. My teacher is trying to remove the scratching from my playing, so I guess the short answer would be poking.

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Here's the first - unless someone posts in the next few seconds - "it depends".
Usually pokes, although I wouldn't use that word, sometimes scratches (prefer "strokes") Can't immediately define why and when I stroke. Time for a play and a think.

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Thanks, strokes as in stroking a pet I assume.

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almost every stroke i use is scratching. sometimes i poke and scratch for certain things, but the scratch is always there

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"It depends" on the tone quality I'm going for.

Tomasino


"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

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it does depend.. at least for me. it depends on the what the next note is, how I am going to play it.

simply allowing the finger to fall upon the key is sometimes an appropriate way to play. 'Scratching' is often too much effort and an octave played with pomp, stength and aplomb, doesn't need to be scratched. When trilling, i think 'scratching' would be particularly counter productive.

i don't know that 'poking' describes the motion of depressing the key without redundant or superfluous motion.

I'm thinking kbk, that the harpsichord and baroque music has influenced your technique. I know that incorporating organ technique into my piano playing has influenced me.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

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Originally Posted by apple*
i don't know that 'poking' describes the motion of depressing the key without redundant or superfluous motion.
Put your hand on your thigh - do you stroke it or poke it?

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neither really.. my hand happens to be above where i want to place it.


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Move your finger into your thigh - does your first phalange (the one connected to you knuckles) initially move up or down?

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Re harpsichord and organ point. The "claw" hand position for Baroque music on baroque instruments certainly needs to be thought through in piano music. The flatter position suits the piano, but you can scratch/stroke with either hand position. The flat position becomes more clawlike, the claw position becomes even more clawlike. I use the claw without stroking for trills except, except sometimes I do stroke!

Maybe poke vs scratch is simply down to how we wish the note to sound, how it sounds and then how we adjust/experiment to get nearer to the sound we want.

kbk: yes, stroke as in stroke a pet, but I could also have said "caress". I caress my wife, my piano, not my pet, but my caresses of my wife are different from the caresses of my piano ...............
I'm sure all pianists caress their pianos in spirit, if not physically.

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30 seconds in is the stroke action I'm referring to (best I could find):

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It would be interesting to perform various maneuvers on the piano, record them and see if anyone can tell what was what.

This could in fact be done an an AvantGrand since the information can be recorded as a midi file. It would be interesting to look and hear the results.

....


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Dave, if you're referring to differences in tone the whole acoustic environment would need sampling.

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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Dave, if you're referring to differences in tone the whole acoustic environment would need sampling.


You think so? I'd be curious to learn how it looks from the felt hammer's point of view. Does the hammer see a difference ... or not?

At any rate, I'll leave it to others to make the measurements and discuss the subtleties.


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I tend to 'scratch' when I want to bring out a melody, and poke with the remaining fingers.

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I don't have much independent movement of my distal phalanges. I keep the distal and medial phalanges rather firm, and most of the motion is from the bridge of the hand (the joint between the proximal phalanges and the metacarpals.)


"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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Originally Posted by Kreisler
I don't have much independent movement of my distal phalanges. I keep the distal and medial phalanges rather firm, and most of the motion is from the bridge of the hand (the joint between the proximal phalanges and the metacarpals.)
That's what I always see. I'm surprised to get such varied answers.

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All that poking, scratching, caressing and stroking made think if I understood it right... By poking I mean that the fingertip doesn't move horizontally when playing, only up/down.

Last edited by mps989; 12/07/10 12:01 PM.
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Yes, but when a scratch is a pure grip they're hard to tell apart.

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