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I had a revelation recently -- I had been trying to internalize the feeling of arm weight, and I realized that when it all comes together, it feels like your fingers are actually dancing on the keys, in a rather direct, tangible way. I go into it in more depth on my blog. Please let me know what your ideas are on the topic.

https://blizzardpiano.wordpress.com/2021/05/15/day-15-dancing-on-the-keys/

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In fact, the fingers never hold the arm, it is the musles of the arm that keep it in balance, even if you dont even notice it. Relaxed does not mean inactive. Even when one uses the arm weight, ie simply speaking the gravity, the mouvement is also controlled by the arm. The gravity provides an additional help, but if not the arm musles, you wouldnt be able to play. And when you stand still, the vertical position is achieved by using your leg musles and other musles of your body (back and front). If not you would fall immediately, it is just so natural that you dont even notice your musles are constantly working. The concept of relaxed is relative.

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I agree, and I think that the state of equilibrium which occurs while you're standing still is quite similar in principle to the state of equilibrium which occurs when you're "resting" on your fingers while playing the piano. The actual muscles that keep the fingers held are located in the forearm -- but I think it's fine to say that the arm is kept up by the fingers in the sense that it is the perception you have while playing.

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Interesting video. I'm struggling knowing if I use the proper arm weight technique. I've typed for DECADES and I suspect I started playing piano with a similar technique which is to let my fingers do most of the work. As I am typing now I have my arms above the keyboard of the laptop, and I can feel the weight of my arms. Maybe I should try to translate this to the piano keyboard.

Where I run into trouble is my body tries to translate this information into thinking the fingers aren't allowed to move - which I KNOW isn't right but it can't reconcile the concept of using arm weight and the real role of the fingers.

I will try the exercise outlined in the video when I practice today. E major here I come.


Thanks for the post and information.


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I think you're on the right track, BlizzardPiano, the feelings of standing on keys and walking on keys are the necessary basic components for acquiring arm weight technique. One more feeling that needs to be acquired is the feeling of immersion of your hand into the grand.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
I think you're on the right track, BlizzardPiano, the feelings of standing on keys and walking on keys are the necessary basic components for acquiring arm weight technique. One more feeling that needs to be acquired is the feeling of immersion of your hand into the grand.
I am glad to hear that! As I understand it, immersion into the grand is the feeling of having contact with the "bottom of the key" as people put it, and not having a "shallow" approach. Is that what you mean -- and could you go into some more depth about what it means?

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Thanks for posting the YouTube video. I do think I'm on the right track. His video made sense to me.


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Along the lines of this "immersion of hand into piano" my teacher tells me his teacher used to say: "Think as if you're dipping your hands in melted chocolate." That's a visual I like to use. Mmmmm.... chocolate....


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Originally Posted by BlizzardPiano
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
I think you're on the right track, BlizzardPiano, the feelings of standing on keys and walking on keys are the necessary basic components for acquiring arm weight technique. One more feeling that needs to be acquired is the feeling of immersion of your hand into the grand.
I am glad to hear that! As I understand it, immersion into the grand is the feeling of having contact with the "bottom of the key" as people put it, and not having a "shallow" approach. Is that what you mean -- and could you go into some more depth about what it means?
Yes, the key bottom. Blumenfeld, a teacher of Neuhaus and Horowitz, used to say to his students that they must imagine that the piano has no mechanics and when they touch the bottom of the key they touch the string itself, and that they must play gently as they were playing directly on the strings, striving for pure "stringy" sound and avoiding any mechanical clicks or finger slaps when they play.

Czerny is probably not a good choice for this, you probably need to get some slow Romantic material with long legato phrases. Try to feel how your hand immerses smoothly into the keyboard with the first note of a legato phrase and then flows seamlessly from one note to the next staying fully immersed, reaching the very key bottom every time and feeling full control over every key movement. The goal of this, besides getting that "stringy", singing sound, is to feel deep connection with the instrument like if it was a part of your body and the keys were the continuation of your fingers.

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Fascinating, I should look into that more.

I'm still trying to figure out how exactly you can affect piano tone. Do you think that the effect is purely psychological, or do you think that there is more to playing a single note than just pushing the key down with some velocity? As I mentioned before, I tried it out, and it seemed like there might have been a little wobble which affects the sound with a shallow touch, but I'm not decided either way.

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Originally Posted by BlizzardPiano
Fascinating, I should look into that more.

I'm still trying to figure out how exactly you can affect piano tone. Do you think that the effect is purely psychological, or do you think that there is more to playing a single note than just pushing the key down with some velocity? As I mentioned before, I tried it out, and it seemed like there might have been a little wobble which affects the sound with a shallow touch, but I'm not decided either way.

Look at how the mechanism work and you will know ....

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Originally Posted by BlizzardPiano
Fascinating, I should look into that more.

I'm still trying to figure out how exactly you can affect piano tone. Do you think that the effect is purely psychological, or do you think that there is more to playing a single note than just pushing the key down with some velocity? As I mentioned before, I tried it out, and it seemed like there might have been a little wobble which affects the sound with a shallow touch, but I'm not decided either way.
It's all psychological, but there is nothing wrong with it, we are psychological beings.


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