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Posted By: GreenCheck How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/28/21 02:41 PM
I am an early beginner (about 1.5 months of self study) who is struggling with moving my hands without looking at the keys. I realize this is a skill that will take years to fully develop, but I feel like I'm at a loss regarding how best to approach practicing this skill.

Perhaps my most fundamental question is this: should I be thinking of jumps in terms of how far I need to move my hands, or in terms of the absolute location of the key I will strike? That is, say I'm moving from C4 to C3 - should I be be trying to mentally encode "this is what it feels like to move my hand down an octave" (this is how I've been thinking about it), or should I be thinking "this is where the C3 key is on the keyboard"?

I have also been surprised that I've found very few exercises designed to hone this skill. I was thinking of just moving up and down the keyboard with different patterns, but thought that instead of reinventing the wheel, surely there is already an established approach that I just haven't come across.
Posted By: Bart K Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/28/21 02:54 PM
Don't worry about it and just look down. Seriously, getting the feel of big intervals is something that develops naturally over time as you play lots and lots of music with jumps.
Green check
You are combining two different issues;
Find a single note: it is very important that you work on ‘seeing a note on a score and being able to instantly play the right key’

Jumps from one chord or note to the next:
First. You need to instantly know where you want to go. That means you are good at seeing the note on the score and then playing the note

Then, Q’s advice, as above, not to worry about it. Just play. Your body will develop the proprioception to go from one note/chord to the next.

How do you get there? Play a lot of music at your level
Originally Posted by GreenCheck
I am an early beginner (about 1.5 months of self study) who is struggling with moving my hands without looking at the keys. I realize this is a skill that will take years to fully develop, but I feel like I'm at a loss regarding how best to approach practicing this skill.

Perhaps my most fundamental question is this: should I be thinking of jumps in terms of how far I need to move my hands, or in terms of the absolute location of the key I will strike?
It's quite straightforward: don't jump before you can walk.

Get used to intervals first. (Look it up if you don't know what an interval is.) Get very familiar with spaces between your fingers, with your hand in the same position. Your fingers just move to the right keys - after you've gotten very familiar with 5-finger positions. Remember, you didn't run before you could walk, and you certainly didn't jump before you could stand.

But now - after years of walking, running etc - you can jump over a cat that's just run in front of you while you're walking, without having to stop and think: how far, how high?.....am I going to end up stepping on it, because I can't react instantly??

Then, get very familiar with the keyboard. Can you instantly strike all the C's on the keyboard - with any finger - without having to 'think'/'count'? How about A's? How about all the other white notes (stay with the white ones for now)?
There is a pedagogical reason why blind jumps are not taught to beginners. Because first of all a beginner needs to develop a confident touch. You won't feel confident in your blind jumps for many years to come. Besides proprioception and spatial feeling it requires arms being flexible and deft like tentacles, and now your arms are like crab's claws. Everything that brings uncertainty to playing is considered undesirable at the beginner stage.

Answering the question, yes, you need to think about keys, like C3 and D4, not about abstract distances.
Thank you all for the feedback, it has been really helpful. I think the consensus is that the proprioception will come with time, and that I should make sure I am mastering the basics before trying to jump (ha) to blind hand movements.
I'd start with some Count Basie in C. Why would your arms be like crab claws? Take it as slowly as you need to.
Posted By: ranjit Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/29/21 09:59 AM
Well certainly don't overdo it, but attempting to play without looking at the keys for a few minutes might be helpful. If you're curious about blind jumps, it's about remembering the layout of the keyboard, and judging distances/hand positions. For example, you can think of an octave in terms of playing it with fingers 1 and 5. An exercise which helps is to try to visualize the keyboard in your head, and then visualize your hands on the keys. You may eventually be able to play entire pieces in your mind's eye like that. And I think that's a large part of developing proprioception and feeling a sense of oneness with the instrument.

Start with trying to imagine yourself playing a small section of a piece in your head. At least that's what I did. Now I can play a lot of things comfortably without looking at the keys and it's very useful in some ways.
Oscar Peterson was famous for never missing a jump. On a show once though he was missing right, left and centre. Someone fortunately noticed the flap had been left down on his Bosondorfer ! All was well once it was flipped back up.
I have been practicing to play ragtime and stride for a few months now. Everyone has always said go slow at first until you build muscle memory. Go so slow that it is impossible to make a mistake. Speed and ability to play without seeing the keys comes automatically over time. That is good advice. I can now play a C bass note and go up an octave and play the chord in most inversions most of the time, but,not always I am still learning. Just look at the keys and play a C bass. Then move up an octave and play a C chord. Go slow over and over and you will notice your improvement. Do not do but a few minutes a day so as not to make your hand or arm sore.
Originally Posted by GreenCheck
I am an early beginner (about 1.5 months of self study) who is struggling with moving my hands without looking at the keys. I realize this is a skill that will take years to fully develop....

should I be thinking of jumps in terms of how far I need to move my hands, or in terms of the absolute location of the key ...

Like you said, it takes years, don't bee to harsh on yourself. I have 4 years under the belt and I still fail occasionally even simple jumps.

As for you practical question: relative, by all means, in time you will have a strong feeling of how distant an octave is, how distant a tenth etc. and you will be able to reuse that knowledge in all instances.
Originally Posted by john fh
Do not do but a few minutes a day so as not to make your hand or arm sore.
If one can only do a few minutes before one's arm is sore, one should try to figure out how to change one's technique to avoid soreness so quickly.
This is something that will come to you over time. I remember when I first started out I tried to play Satie's Gymnopedies because it was supposed to be easy, but the jumps seemed impossible because I was still having to look at what my right hand was playing. It's a part of developing familiarity with the geography of the keyboard and your relation to it. There are a lot of pressing foundational skills for a beginner, and if you're receiving instruction you probably won't have too much material with lots of jumps to it at this stage. If I were practicing it I'd probably stick to within an octave's range at first, jumping to different notes of an arpeggio and using different fingers (1 and 5 the most since these will be used the most in jumps, 4 and 2 to a lesser extent, 3 rarely and mostly for marcato playing in my somewhat limited experience). Do it pretty slowly--you don't want to tense up your forearms, nor do you want to lock your wrist, and I would aim keep a pretty relaxed hand. I'd also try to center my sounding finger over the key so you can have a controlled attack. The benefit to sticking to arpeggios (or notes of a chord) is that a high percentage of jumps are to notes of a common chord, and as you gain more experience and comfort you can gradually extend the range of your jumps. This is something you should probably talk about with your teacher, because a lot is going on when you jump, and you don't want to habituate something you will later have to unlearn in order to progress.
Posted By: ranjit Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/29/21 06:24 PM
Originally Posted by john fh
I have been practicing to play ragtime and stride for a few months now. Everyone has always said go slow at first until you build muscle memory. Go so slow that it is impossible to make a mistake. Speed and ability to play without seeing the keys comes automatically over time. That is good advice. I can now play a C bass note and go up an octave and play the chord in most inversions most of the time, but,not always I am still learning. Just look at the keys and play a C bass. Then move up an octave and play a C chord. Go slow over and over and you will notice your improvement. Do not do but a few minutes a day so as not to make your hand or arm sore.
Just a few comments:
First, I don't think your arm should be getting sore at all even as a beginner. This would mean that you are tensing up your hand, which isn't good.

Second, I think one of the most effective way to practice jumps is shadow practice. Play the first note, then move to the new position very quickly but do not press those notes. In my experience, you get a feeling for the new position quite quickly. That said, it improves with time and keyboard familiarity.
Originally Posted by GreenCheck
I am an early beginner (about 1.5 months of self study)

Perhaps my most fundamental question is this: should I be thinking of jumps in terms of how far I need to move my hands, or in terms of the absolute location of the key I will strike? That is, say I'm moving from C4 to C3 - should I be be trying to mentally encode "this is what it feels like to move my hand down an octave" (this is how I've been thinking about it), or should I be thinking "this is where the C3 key is on the keyboard"?

1.5 months of study... there is nothing wrong with being aware of the things you're thinking of - but if that is your most fundamental question, then you're overthinking it, and you're misguided.

At this point you should be following a syllabus of some sort which will put your focus where it should be, which is playing actual beginner pieces (which do not involve jumps), rhythms, scales and maybe for you some Czerny. Avoid Hanon for now; all you'll get there are bad habits.
And if you're very proactive lots and lots of theory.

If you're doing jumps, then I'll venture a guess that you're already turning into a Beethoven / Chopin drone. Playing nonsense like Fur Elize, the Moonlight Sontate and Etude's. It's a disease. Spend enough time on forums like this and you'll find lots of talk in the beginner forum by muppets flexing their muscles. It doesn't matter why, there are idiots everywhere.
In fact, the minute you read anything to do with Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Chopin etc.... just ignore the post, log off and go back to what you should be doing. The stuff I've already mentioned.
It's is extremely frustrating, yes I know.
It will get much much more frustrating and unless you start slow you will get nowhere, and give up.
Whether you say you can, or say you can't either way you're right. Ford.
Originally Posted by ranjit
Second, I think one of the most effective way to practice jumps is shadow practice. Play the first note, then move to the new position very quickly but do not press those notes. In my experience, you get a feeling for the new position quite quickly. That said, it improves with time and keyboard familiarity.
Why not play the note also? I think practicing what will actually be done makes more sense that practicing something close to/related to what will be done. Also, moving reasonably quickly may make more sense than moving very quickly.
Posted By: ranjit Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/29/21 08:46 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by ranjit
Second, I think one of the most effective way to practice jumps is shadow practice. Play the first note, then move to the new position very quickly but do not press those notes. In my experience, you get a feeling for the new position quite quickly. That said, it improves with time and keyboard familiarity.
Why not play the note also? I think practicing what will actually be done makes more sense that practicing something close to/related to what will be done. Also, moving reasonably quickly may make more sense than moving very quickly.
There are two things that go into a jump. One is the arc you go in while you move from one position to another and getting your hand shape correct corresponding to the target figuration. The second part is getting the articulation of the second group of notes. It's very useful to practice both separately. Moving very quickly makes you freer because you can't move quickly if you waste energy. You need to reach the target some time before you play it so that you have enough time to articulate it properly.
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by ranjit
Second, I think one of the most effective way to practice jumps is shadow practice. Play the first note, then move to the new position very quickly but do not press those notes. In my experience, you get a feeling for the new position quite quickly. That said, it improves with time and keyboard familiarity.
Why not play the note also? I think practicing what will actually be done makes more sense that practicing something close to/related to what will be done. Also, moving reasonably quickly may make more sense than moving very quickly.
There are two things that go into a jump. One is the arc you go in while you move from one position to another and getting your hand shape correct corresponding to the target figuration. The second part is getting the articulation of the second group of notes. It's very useful to practice both separately. Moving very quickly makes you freer because you can't move quickly if you waste energy. You need to reach the target some time before you play it so that you have enough time to articulate it properly.
You say it's useful to practice the two things separately but without giving a reason. Just because one can describe something as being composed of two parts doesn't mean it makes sense to practice them separately. One could break the jumping movement into more than two parts, but it would likewise make little sense to practice each part separately.

I get the impression you are an intermediate player, but think you have all kinds of secrets to technique. Am I correct about your level?

Likewise, I don't think your reason for moving quickly makes much sense. I see no reason why moving reasonably (fast enough for the passage in question)as opposed to "very quickly" would cause one to waste energy. I don't think wasting energy is even a consideration.
Posted By: ranjit Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/29/21 09:28 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I get the impression you are an intermediate player at best, but think you have all kinds of secrets to technique.
You can judge all you want. Yes, you can say I am an intermediate player if you wish, I am certainly not very advanced. But what I'm talking about here is standard fare and a very common practice strategy. Just because you may not have been exposed to it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I have consistently got the impression from your posts that your approach to the piano is quite dogmatic, and you appeal to authority way too much. If you want demonstrations of what I'm talking about here, just Google/YouTube shadow practice, and how to learn jumps on the piano. I think I have seen at least a dozen excellent pianists talk about it. Enough said.

Moving fast, well I'm talking about the transitions during shifts in hand position. If you're playing scales for example, the best strategy may be different.
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I get the impression you are an intermediate player at best, but think you have all kinds of secrets to technique.
You can judge all you want. Yes, you can say I am an intermediate player if you wish, I am certainly not very advanced. But what I'm talking about here is standard fare and a very common practice strategy. Just because you may not have been exposed to it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I have consistently got the impression from your posts that your approach to the piano is quite dogmatic, and you appeal to authority way too much. If you want demonstrations of what I'm talking about here, just Google/YouTube shadow practice, and how to learn jumps on the piano. I think I have seen at least a dozen excellent pianists talk about it. Enough said.

Moving fast, well I'm talking about the transitions during shifts in hand position. If you're playing scales for example, the best strategy may be different.
There is nothing in my comments on this post that is dogmatic or an appeal to authority. It seems to the contrary that you are the one appealing to authority by referencing YT videos.
Posted By: Moo :) Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/29/21 10:12 PM
I think most pianists quickly look for where to place hands for jumps. I can't play jumps accurately with eyes shut. Blind pianists struggle with jumps. Therefore there needs to be some expectation you can't get a skill that's impossible. certainly there are etudes designed to build this skill. Check out this monster. Horrendous difficult this one.

Posted By: ranjit Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/29/21 10:16 PM
Moo -- you're sort of correct, but it depends on the nature of the jump. You see masters of stride piano seldom look at their left hand when playing standard patterns, for example such as octave + chord or bass note+chord.
Posted By: Moo :) Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/29/21 10:20 PM
Could you not just isolate the jump you are struggling with. Play the note, look down where you need to move to, and then jump. I'm not sure you should practice this not looking at the notes. It's simple but what I do and seems to work. I tend to play them quicker or play the passage in difficulty in rhythms can help. I managed quite a difficult passage in July Tchaikovsky with this strategy. Perhaps similar for even a complex piece like above isolated practice for each difficult jump and then play jumps together. Then in rhythms. Playing piano can be boring, lol, but doesn't necessarily have to be complicated. Good luck!!
Tricky things jumps. If you are reading then it's either quickly glance away from the score. Judge the jump and hope for the best. Or if it's a slow jump feel for the key. All difficult skills.
If it's a regular piece then you can just practice that jump seperately without looking. Practice it as slowly as is necessary to gauruntee that you hit the note. If you start missing slow it down.
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by ranjit
Second, I think one of the most effective way to practice jumps is shadow practice. Play the first note, then move to the new position very quickly but do not press those notes. In my experience, you get a feeling for the new position quite quickly. That said, it improves with time and keyboard familiarity.
Why not play the note also? I think practicing what will actually be done makes more sense that practicing something close to/related to what will be done. Also, moving reasonably quickly may make more sense than moving very quickly.
There are two things that go into a jump. One is the arc you go in while you move from one position to another and getting your hand shape correct corresponding to the target figuration. The second part is getting the articulation of the second group of notes. It's very useful to practice both separately. Moving very quickly makes you freer because you can't move quickly if you waste energy. You need to reach the target some time before you play it so that you have enough time to articulate it properly.
I'm sorry, but this is incorrect. In a jump the landing on the keys and playing the keys must be done in one continual motion. Breaking that motion, that is stopping the hand on the keys and then playing them, is a technical flaw, one of the most widespread ones. It may work well in the medium tempo, but the faster you play the more that habit will hinder you.

That said, before practicing a jump I often touch the target keys, too, in order to remember where the targets keys are spatially. I guess that tactile feeling of the keys helps the brain to better remember their position. But when I practice a jump, I try not to slow my hand in any phase of it.
Talking about jumps and stride I think you need to see this guy. I verify that it's his real playing speed, the playback speed was not changed in any way. The stride begins at 0:53.

Posted By: ranjit Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/30/21 03:31 AM
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by ranjit
Second, I think one of the most effective way to practice jumps is shadow practice. Play the first note, then move to the new position very quickly but do not press those notes. In my experience, you get a feeling for the new position quite quickly. That said, it improves with time and keyboard familiarity.
Why not play the note also? I think practicing what will actually be done makes more sense that practicing something close to/related to what will be done. Also, moving reasonably quickly may make more sense than moving very quickly.
There are two things that go into a jump. One is the arc you go in while you move from one position to another and getting your hand shape correct corresponding to the target figuration. The second part is getting the articulation of the second group of notes. It's very useful to practice both separately. Moving very quickly makes you freer because you can't move quickly if you waste energy. You need to reach the target some time before you play it so that you have enough time to articulate it properly.
I'm sorry, but this is incorrect. In a jump the landing on the keys and playing the keys must be done in one continual motion. Breaking that motion, that is stopping the hand on the keys and then playing them, is a technical flaw, one of the most widespread ones.
..
That said, before practicing a jump I often touch the target keys, too, in order to remember where the targets keys are spatially. I guess that tactile feeling of the keys helps the brain to better remember their position. But when I practice a jump, I try not to slow my hand in any phase of it.
Yes, it's a bit tricky to discuss technique over words. I was talking about what you say in your second paragraph. What I meant is that you shouldn't just flop your hand onto the new position, but think about the articulation as well in order for it to go smoothly. So for that you need to reach a little bit before you actually play in order to be in control. But it should be one movement in total. I have heard it called shadowing the new position, where you reach the new position but don't play it and it's very good to develop proprioception in my experience. That, and trying to visualize the distance in your head if you can was very useful as well for me at least.
Posted By: ranjit Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/30/21 03:42 AM
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Talking about jumps and stride I think you need to see this guy. I verify that it's his real playing speed, the playback speed was not changed in any way. The stride begins at 0:53.

That's wild! I think that jumping at that speed is probably a gift. I have also seen places where Cziffra does it (and faster!). Even concert pianists such as Yuja Wang struggle with those kinds of insanely fast jumps.
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Talking about jumps and stride I think you need to see this guy. I verify that it's his real playing speed, the playback speed was not changed in any way. The stride begins at 0:53.

That sounds quite horrible. It's hard to tell how technically difficult the passage is because it's not clear if he's playing single notes or octaves in the bass and how many notes are in the chords in the mid range. But I don't that matters because it's such ugly sounding playing. Tatum's LH stride playing was light years beyond what's shown in that video both technically and musically.
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Why not play the note also? I think practicing what will actually be done makes more sense that practicing something close to/related to what will be done. Also, moving reasonably quickly may make more sense than moving very quickly.
There are two things that go into a jump. One is the arc you go in while you move from one position to another and getting your hand shape correct corresponding to the target figuration. The second part is getting the articulation of the second group of notes. It's very useful to practice both separately. Moving very quickly makes you freer because you can't move quickly if you waste energy. You need to reach the target some time before you play it so that you have enough time to articulate it properly.
I'm sorry, but this is incorrect. In a jump the landing on the keys and playing the keys must be done in one continual motion. Breaking that motion, that is stopping the hand on the keys and then playing them, is a technical flaw, one of the most widespread ones.
..
That said, before practicing a jump I often touch the target keys, too, in order to remember where the targets keys are spatially. I guess that tactile feeling of the keys helps the brain to better remember their position. But when I practice a jump, I try not to slow my hand in any phase of it.
Yes, it's a bit tricky to discuss technique over words. I was talking about what you say in your second paragraph. What I meant is that you shouldn't just flop your hand onto the new position, but think about the articulation as well in order for it to go smoothly. So for that you need to reach a little bit before you actually play in order to be in control. But it should be one movement in total. I have heard it called shadowing the new position, where you reach the new position but don't play it and it's very good to develop in my experience. That, and trying to visualize the distance in your head if you can was very useful as well for me at least.
When you say you have to think about the articulation, that makes no sense. There are just two notes or chords involved in a jump, IOW it's a two note phrase. So there's almost nothing to think about articulation wise. It goes without saying one shouldn't "flop" your hand onto the new position since "flop" implies a lack of control. You say "it should be one movement" but that's why it makes the most sense to practice it as one movement.
Posted By: ranjit Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/30/21 06:24 AM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
When you say you have to think about the articulation, that makes no sense. There are just two notes or chords involved in a jump, IOW it's a two note phrase. So there's almost nothing to think about articulation wise.
And how are you so sure about that?
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
When you say you have to think about the articulation, that makes no sense. There are just two notes or chords involved in a jump, IOW it's a two note phrase. So there's almost nothing to think about articulation wise.
And how are you so sure about that?

Ranjit, if you’ve found this is a method that is generally taught, why don’t you post a link to the training? I’ve never heard of stopping to think about articulation, and seeing the context of the training would be helpful.
Posted By: Bart K Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/30/21 08:26 AM
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
When you say you have to think about the articulation, that makes no sense. There are just two notes or chords involved in a jump, IOW it's a two note phrase. So there's almost nothing to think about articulation wise.
And how are you so sure about that?

Ranjit, if you’ve found this is a method that is generally taught, why don’t you post a link to the training? I’ve never heard of stopping to think about articulation, and seeing the context of the training would be helpful.
Maybe he means voicing not articulation.

I know what pracice technique ranjit is talking about as this is how my teacher showed me to practice jumps - you play, jump, and prepare the next chord without playing it, then play and prepare the next one, etc. Unfortunately, it has certain limitations at a faster tempo. I recently posted a question about this and I think for really fast jumps you need to practice falling directly on the keys and not stopping at the target.
It comes in time, only by practicing. Just tale your time. It came for me with self-confidence.
Posted By: ranjit Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/30/21 08:52 AM
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
When you say you have to think about the articulation, that makes no sense. There are just two notes or chords involved in a jump, IOW it's a two note phrase. So there's almost nothing to think about articulation wise.
And how are you so sure about that?

Ranjit, if you’ve found this is a method that is generally taught, why don’t you post a link to the training? I’ve never heard of stopping to think about articulation, and seeing the context of the training would be helpful.
Maybe he means voicing not articulation.

I know what pracice technique ranjit is talking about as this is how my teacher showed me to practice jumps - you play, jump, and prepare the next chord without playing it, then play and prepare the next one, etc.
Yes, I think this is essentially what I was talking about. I used it with the Brahms op 118 which I worked on briefly.

I'm not too sure about the terminology. What I'm referring to is whatever happens in the few milliseconds it takes to actually depress the keys. It involves using arm or body weight, an action at the fingertips which somehow adds clarity to the sound produced, and may involve finger strength (from forearm muscles) or rotation etc. Voicing is definitely related to this as well, but it goes deeper than that.

On whether this works for fast jumps, it probably works for most jumps. I know someone who used it to learn the finale of a Chopin concerto with the contrary motion double handed jumps, if you know what I mean.

It's kind of hard to find out what works at high speed. 'Articulating' the notes does take a few milliseconds of time, so if you have to go all guns blazing like in the video Iaroslav posted it may not be possible to do. However, most classical music including the harder standard repertoire are meant to be controlled and usually does not involve playing at that kind of speed. One thing I've realized recently is just how much control the pros have over the articulation of the individual notes even at very high tempos. It makes it much harder to play those pieces at tempo *well* than it is to just play them. On the other hand it's often not impossible but merely extremely difficult to learn to do.

For the Rach prelude snippet you posted in the other thread for example, I would think a lot about how high the hands go and the arc which they follow to land on the upper chords. There will probably be some degree of compromise involved because your hands will still be moving laterally due to inertia as you play the higher chords if you're jumping very fast. This will make it tricky to feel the "bottom of the keys" and give it a weighty, supported tone. So yes in this kind of case you'll probably just have to aim your hands correctly and land on the target notes. However, this is the exception rather than the rule imo. Also from what I've seen, professionals will often cleverly take just enough time to avoid that kind of situation, and when I've asked teachers about pieces like those, they've usually suggested tiny changes precisely to avoid that kind of uncontrolled very fast shift you mention.
Ranjit
You posted that stopping for articulation is a common strategy and you have seen discussions about it. Please post a link from a respected pianist. I don’t understand the reasoning or the need to stop and think about the tone or articulation or whatever it might be termed.

Here is your original post of the frequency of the teaching of this practice

http://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthr...without-looking-at-keys.html#Post3174049
I can’t do it either. If I’m learning a piece by reading the music then il aim to memorise at least the section around the jump/jumps in order to take my eyes off the music. It’s not always necessary, other times I can look at the keys and pick the score back up
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
When you say you have to think about the articulation, that makes no sense. There are just two notes or chords involved in a jump, IOW it's a two note phrase. So there's almost nothing to think about articulation wise.
And how are you so sure about that?
I explained in what you quoted why my conclusion is obvious. As some others have suggested, it seems like you do not understand what the word articulation means.
Originally Posted by ranjit
So for that you need to reach a little bit before you actually play in order to be in control.
I don't really think so. You need to prepare fingers during the landing phase of a jump and learn to produce the desired sound right "attacking from the air".
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It's hard to tell how technically difficult the passage is because it's not clear if he's playing single notes or octaves in the bass and how many notes are in the chords in the mid range.
There is a single bass note and then a chord. The main difficulty is that a bass note is in most cases two octaves lower than the chord.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Tatum's LH stride playing was light years beyond what's shown in that video both technically and musically.
Art Tatum you say!
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by ranjit
So for that you need to reach a little bit before you actually play in order to be in control.
I don't really think so. You need to prepare fingers during the landing phase of a jump and learn to produce the desired sound right "attacking from the air".
One only has to watch the best pianists to know that this approach is correct.
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
When you say you have to think about the articulation, that makes no sense. There are just two notes or chords involved in a jump, IOW it's a two note phrase. So there's almost nothing to think about articulation wise.
And how are you so sure about that?

Ranjit, if you’ve found this is a method that is generally taught, why don’t you post a link to the training? I’ve never heard of stopping to think about articulation, and seeing the context of the training would be helpful.
Maybe he means voicing not articulation.

I know what pracice technique ranjit is talking about as this is how my teacher showed me to practice jumps - you play, jump, and prepare the next chord without playing it, then play and prepare the next one, etc. Unfortunately, it has certain limitations at a faster tempo. I recently posted a question about this and I think for really fast jumps you need to practice falling directly on the keys and not stopping at the target.


I was never taught to pause and prepare but to prepare during the jump. So, in effect, fast and slow jumps are played identically.
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
I know what pracice technique ranjit is talking about as this is how my teacher showed me to practice jumps - you play, jump, and prepare the next chord without playing it, then play and prepare the next one, etc. Unfortunately, it has certain limitations at a faster tempo.

It is something that is done when you start learning the jumps. But otherwise the jump is done in one single mouvement and you form the shape of the hand while doing the mouvement, the fast or slow tempo has no role. If you can do it in fast tempos, you can also do it in slow ones obviously, even better. The voicing of the chord is something you work out before hand.
I would certainly play the low bass notes on their own just with the pinky for a bit. Like F, D, G, C .
Here is Graham Fitch on what he terms "Quick Cover."
Originally Posted by Graham Fitch
Quick Cover

--Play the bass note and hold it. Prepare yourself to move to the chord that follows it.
--When you are ready, in your own good time, use a fast but free and loose motion of the arm to move like lightning to the surface of the keys of the chord. Do not play it yet!
--Before playing, check to see that you arrived at the centre of the keys, so that no finger is in the cracks between the keys and no finger is hanging half over the edge of a black key (where appropriate). You are aiming for a millimeter-accurate measurement of the distance involved across the keyboard and within the hand.
--If you were 100% accurate, and you got there fast, then go ahead and play the chord.
--Sit on this chord, and prepare for the next quick movement down to the new bass note. We are not playing rhythmically here, our only concern is to form the reflexes involved in making the jumps very fast and very accurate.
--If your measurement was not 100% accurate, or if you overshot, undershot or otherwise fumbled, then do not play the notes. First, learn from your faulty measurement so that you can make the necessary adjustments when you try it again. Perhaps the span between the second finger and the thumb wasn’t quite wide enough, so that the second finger was too far to the right? Diagnose where you went wrong before trying it again.
Originally Posted by GreenCheck
Thank you all for the feedback, it has been really helpful. I think the consensus is that the proprioception will come with time, and that I should make sure I am mastering the basics before trying to jump (ha) to blind hand movements.
This.^^ It's way too early in the game to be spending time working on jumps. I doubt much if any early beginner music has jumps of any sort. Proprioception will come with time and practice. Work on the fundamentals and play pieces appropriate for your level. Good luck!
Originally Posted by GreenCheck
Perhaps my most fundamental question is this: should I be thinking of jumps in terms of how far I need to move my hands, or in terms of the absolute location of the key I will strike? That is, say I'm moving from C4 to C3 - should I be be trying to mentally encode "this is what it feels like to move my hand down an octave" (this is how I've been thinking about it), or should I be thinking "this is where the C3 key is on the keyboard"?
Like most things about the body it (this one's called called proprioception) is mostly a mystery. That's the reason there are few exercises as 'what to exercise'? Proprioception is not a conscious process so it's not available to inspect!
Here's a good LH to memorize. Pinky only on beats 1 and 3 apart from the 3 on the Bb. Memorize the chord names too and know you are going from chord I to VI to II to V. Some beginners could manage it. The thing is, the wrist goes up on the 4 bass notes and lands downward on the short 2nd notes. I'll post a vid if it helps. Lovely tune by the way.

[Linked Image]
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Here's a good LH to memorize. Pinky only on beats 1 and 3 apart from the 3 on the Bb. Memorize the chord names too and know you are going from chord I to VI to II to V. Some beginners could manage it. The thing is, the wrist goes up on the 4 bass notes and lands downward on the short 2nd notes. I'll post a vid if it helps. Lovely tune by the way.

[Linked Image]
To my eye that left hand seems much too advanced for someone with 1.5 months of piano. Self-taught, so teacher feedback.
There are beginners and then there are beginners. Whatever Lois B Mayer may have said underestimating students is close to criminal. You don't know till you try.
Posted By: Bart K Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/30/21 06:07 PM
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
I know what pracice technique ranjit is talking about as this is how my teacher showed me to practice jumps - you play, jump, and prepare the next chord without playing it, then play and prepare the next one, etc. Unfortunately, it has certain limitations at a faster tempo.
It is something that is done when you start learning the jumps. But otherwise the jump is done in one single mouvement and you form the shape of the hand while doing the mouvement, the fast or slow tempo has no role. If you can do it in fast tempos, you can also do it in slow ones obviously, even better. The voicing of the chord is something you work out before hand.
The point is to prepare mentally for the next chord and move there without hesitation. In a piece with lots of chords in sequence this serves to solidify the piece.
Because I have seen different opinions on whether a piece like this is too advanced for a beginner, I thought I would post a screenshot of the first several measures of the song that was the impetus for my post:

[img]https://imgur.com/a/RLUhICA[/img]

I know it is easy to overextend oneself, and I have tried to keep that in mind. And philosophically, I'd rather plan a level 1 piece with level 5 technique than a level 5 piece with level 1 technique. Nevertheless, when I look at the piece I feel like it is appropriate for my level. That is of course something that you could not judge without listening to me play, but just thought I would throw it out there since I did see some discussion on whether pieces with jumps are appropriate for somebody less than 2 months in.

Thanks again to everybody who provided feedback. I have read and re-read every post many times.
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
I know what pracice technique ranjit is talking about as this is how my teacher showed me to practice jumps - you play, jump, and prepare the next chord without playing it, then play and prepare the next one, etc. Unfortunately, it has certain limitations at a faster tempo.
It is something that is done when you start learning the jumps. But otherwise the jump is done in one single mouvement and you form the shape of the hand while doing the mouvement, the fast or slow tempo has no role. If you can do it in fast tempos, you can also do it in slow ones obviously, even better. The voicing of the chord is something you work out before hand.
The point is to prepare mentally for the next chord and move there without hesitation. In a piece with lots of chords in sequence this serves to solidify the piece.

In fast tempi you dont have the time to do that and once you get used to jump you dont need it in slow ones either. But it is fine when you start.
Originally Posted by GreenCheck
Because I have seen different opinions on whether a piece like this is too advanced for a beginner, I thought I would post a screenshot of the first several measures of the song that was the impetus for my post:

[img]https://imgur.com/a/RLUhICA[/img]

I know it is easy to overextend oneself, and I have tried to keep that in mind. And philosophically, I'd rather plan a level 1 piece with level 5 technique than a level 5 piece with level 1 technique. Nevertheless, when I look at the piece I feel like it is appropriate for my level. That is of course something that you could not judge without listening to me play, but just thought I would throw it out there since I did see some discussion on whether pieces with jumps are appropriate for somebody less than 2 months in.

Thanks again to everybody who provided feedback. I have read and re-read every post many times.
The piece that you link to seems appropriate for you, in my opinion. The left hand has just one chord per measure and the chords are fifths. They move by mostly thirds up and down. While you should be able to play the right hand by "feel" (without looking), it's okay to take a quick glance at the keyboard when making the the left hand moves from one chord to the next. It is in fact a valuable skill to be able to glance down at your hands and then immediately find your place back in the score.
Posted By: Jethro Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/30/21 08:27 PM
Originally Posted by Stubbie
Here is Graham Fitch on what he terms "Quick Cover."
Originally Posted by Graham Fitch
Quick Cover

--Play the bass note and hold it. Prepare yourself to move to the chord that follows it.
--When you are ready, in your own good time, use a fast but free and loose motion of the arm to move like lightning to the surface of the keys of the chord. Do not play it yet!
--Before playing, check to see that you arrived at the centre of the keys, so that no finger is in the cracks between the keys and no finger is hanging half over the edge of a black key (where appropriate). You are aiming for a millimeter-accurate measurement of the distance involved across the keyboard and within the hand.
--If you were 100% accurate, and you got there fast, then go ahead and play the chord.
--Sit on this chord, and prepare for the next quick movement down to the new bass note. We are not playing rhythmically here, our only concern is to form the reflexes involved in making the jumps very fast and very accurate.
--If your measurement was not 100% accurate, or if you overshot, undershot or otherwise fumbled, then do not play the notes. First, learn from your faulty measurement so that you can make the necessary adjustments when you try it again. Perhaps the span between the second finger and the thumb wasn’t quite wide enough, so that the second finger was too far to the right? Diagnose where you went wrong before trying it again.
I wouldn’t be surprised that there are many methods to practice jumps of which this is one of many. Practicing slow with accurate landings would I think be just as effective. Even more effective I think is to learn all the different ways in which one could practice jumps and use them all. That variability insures you are not just relying on muscle memory but have a firm grasp of what you are trying to do. What all methods should have in common as the one described by Fitch is that you are not ingraining the wrong motions or in this case the wrong notes. He wants you to be sure you land correctly so that each time you practice you are always aiming for no missed notes. So he would rather you stop and check your landing site before you depress the key. This can also be accomplished by playing relaxed and slow checking your distance throughout the motion and just make sure you are landing on the right key. You could even practice eyes closed without depressing the key to really determine how accurate your jumps are. I say mix it up but always aim for complete accuracy.
May I be facetious and suggest the following fingering? It's what I'd expect my students to do.

[Linked Image]
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by Stubbie
Here is Graham Fitch on what he terms "Quick Cover."
Originally Posted by Graham Fitch
Quick Cover

--Play the bass note and hold it. Prepare yourself to move to the chord that follows it.
--When you are ready, in your own good time, use a fast but free and loose motion of the arm to move like lightning to the surface of the keys of the chord. Do not play it yet!
--Before playing, check to see that you arrived at the centre of the keys, so that no finger is in the cracks between the keys and no finger is hanging half over the edge of a black key (where appropriate). You are aiming for a millimeter-accurate measurement of the distance involved across the keyboard and within the hand.
--If you were 100% accurate, and you got there fast, then go ahead and play the chord.....
I wouldn’t be surprised that there are many methods to practice jumps of which this is one of many. Practicing slow with accurate landings would I think be just as effective. Even more effective I think is to learn all the different ways in which one could practice jumps and use them all. That variability insures you are not just relying on muscle memory but have a firm grasp of what you are trying to do. What all methods should have in common as the one described by Fitch is that you are not ingraining the wrong motions or in this case the wrong notes. He wants you to be sure you land correctly so that each time you practice you are always aiming for no missed notes. So he would rather you stop and check your landing site before you depress the key. This can also be accomplished by playing relaxed and slow checking your distance throughout the motion and just make sure you are landing on the right key. You could even practice eyes closed without depressing the key to really determine how accurate your jumps are. I say mix it up but always aim for complete accuracy.
Yes, I think there are a number of ways jumps can and should be practiced. If your voicing or dynamics is/are off, they are not show-stoppers; you can work on those as you go along. But if your accuracy is off, if you hit a wrong key, that clunker will haunt you forever.
Posted By: ranjit Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 11/30/21 09:36 PM
Over the course of this discussion I've realized that it's very tricky to talk about technique in words and very easy to be misunderstood. Also, whatever advice you give assumes something about the student which may not be correct. For example, in my case I usually don't have a problem with accurately landing while jumping, so I focus much more on making the motions smooth and controlled. Since I have been working on that so much, I realize I may have forgotten that most intermediate students possibly struggle much more with getting to a new position in the first place, which I don't struggle with unless it is a very hard or awkward jump.
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
I know what pracice technique ranjit is talking about as this is how my teacher showed me to practice jumps - you play, jump, and prepare the next chord without playing it, then play and prepare the next one, etc. Unfortunately, it has certain limitations at a faster tempo.
It is something that is done when you start learning the jumps. But otherwise the jump is done in one single mouvement and you form the shape of the hand while doing the mouvement, the fast or slow tempo has no role. If you can do it in fast tempos, you can also do it in slow ones obviously, even better. The voicing of the chord is something you work out before hand.
The point is to prepare mentally for the next chord and move there without hesitation. In a piece with lots of chords in sequence this serves to solidify the piece.
There's a big difference between preparing mentally and moving to the chord, pausing there, and then playing it which seems more like some kind of physical preparation. I think the second approach is almost always awkward and rarely done by advanced pianists even if the tempo is slow. For fast tempos I think it's clearly not even possible. It might be a reasonable practice technique for beginners.
Do everything in slow motion. Practice the spot where the jump is starting from the notes before and after. If you're playing an interval or chord and there is a repeated note, that note is your reference point for the next set of notes... such as from CEG to GBD chord with the G repeated. You know where the G is and need to get the B & D.

When I play pieces with big jumps, I rely on feel (muscle memory) most of the time. If a jump is too big that you're going to leave a gap between notes, take off early and use pedal as filler so you can play the next notes on the beat.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Talking about jumps and stride I think you need to see this guy. I verify that it's his real playing speed, the playback speed was not changed in any way. The stride begins at 0:53.

That sounds quite horrible. It's hard to tell how technically difficult the passage is because it's not clear if he's playing single notes or octaves in the bass and how many notes are in the chords in the mid range. But I don't that matters because it's such ugly sounding playing. Tatum's LH stride playing was light years beyond what's shown in that video both technically and musically.


So how about this guy, Bram Wijnands, real present day stride expert.



It brings a big smile on my face, and wants me to quit piano. I think the key is to be relaxed; just let the fingers fly and keep smiling :-) Yeah, I know, I am of no help here, sorry.
Originally Posted by Kepijapa
So how about this guy, Bram Wijnands, real present day stride expert.



It brings a big smile on my face, and wants me to quit piano. I think the key is to be relaxed; just let the fingers fly and keep smiling :-) Yeah, I know, I am of no help here, sorry.
He is really good but it's "only" 140 bpm with short jumps. Not enough. laugh
Originally Posted by JohnnyIssieBangie
Originally Posted by GreenCheck
I am an early beginner (about 1.5 months of self study)

Perhaps my most fundamental question is this: should I be thinking of jumps in terms of how far I need to move my hands, or in terms of the absolute location of the key I will strike? That is, say I'm moving from C4 to C3 - should I be be trying to mentally encode "this is what it feels like to move my hand down an octave" (this is how I've been thinking about it), or should I be thinking "this is where the C3 key is on the keyboard"?

1.5 months of study... there is nothing wrong with being aware of the things you're thinking of - but if that is your most fundamental question, then you're overthinking it, and you're misguided.

At this point you should be following a syllabus of some sort which will put your focus where it should be, which is playing actual beginner pieces (which do not involve jumps), rhythms, scales and maybe for you some Czerny. Avoid Hanon for now; all you'll get there are bad habits.
And if you're very proactive lots and lots of theory.

If you're doing jumps, then I'll venture a guess that you're already turning into a Beethoven / Chopin drone. Playing nonsense like Fur Elize, the Moonlight Sontate and Etude's. It's a disease. Spend enough time on forums like this and you'll find lots of talk in the beginner forum by muppets flexing their muscles. It doesn't matter why, there are idiots everywhere.
In fact, the minute you read anything to do with Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Chopin etc.... just ignore the post, log off and go back to what you should be doing. The stuff I've already mentioned.
It's is extremely frustrating, yes I know.
It will get much much more frustrating and unless you start slow you will get nowhere, and give up.
Whether you say you can, or say you can't either way you're right. Ford.

Great commentary, thanks for your input.

I've been playing for well over 5 decades, and it's been my observation these days that much of the younger generation thinks all that's required to learn to play the piano is an XBOX console and a video game that you just play and play until you conquer a level and go on to the next, or if they're older all they have to do is simply watch 10,000 YouBoob videos on the piano - and they'll be Wang Wang in 6 months. Reality check: the piano is an immensely complicated musical instrument that requires the student to possess excellent hand/eye coordination, along with good stamina, and there must be dedication through much practice before any notable degree of skill can be learned...if at all.

And the OP is talking jumps at the 1.5 month mark, of "self study"? Honestly. This business of "jumping ahead" of one's skills can only lead to one thing...disappointment. If a person is not willing to take the required steps/prerequisites to learn to play the piano correctly, they might as well stop now because they're only kidding themselves wasting their time and money.
Posted By: Bart K Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 12/01/21 01:05 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
I know what pracice technique ranjit is talking about as this is how my teacher showed me to practice jumps - you play, jump, and prepare the next chord without playing it, then play and prepare the next one, etc. Unfortunately, it has certain limitations at a faster tempo.
It is something that is done when you start learning the jumps. But otherwise the jump is done in one single mouvement and you form the shape of the hand while doing the mouvement, the fast or slow tempo has no role. If you can do it in fast tempos, you can also do it in slow ones obviously, even better. The voicing of the chord is something you work out before hand.
The point is to prepare mentally for the next chord and move there without hesitation. In a piece with lots of chords in sequence this serves to solidify the piece.
There's a big difference between preparing mentally and moving to the chord, pausing there, and then playing it which seems more like some kind of physical preparation. I think the second approach is almost always awkward and rarely done by advanced pianists even if the tempo is slow. For fast tempos I think it's clearly not even possible. It might be a reasonable practice technique for beginners.
I think you are misunderstanding what I meant. The mental preparation that I'm talking about is preparing for the next chord that will be played not the one you just jumped to. So, let's say you have a sequence of chords A, B, C, etc. and you have to jump between them. You play A then jump quickly to B but don't play it yet, but in your mind you have C as the next chord to be played, and then you play B and quickly jump to C, etc. I mentioned it in the context of jumping but it's just as good for other kinds of quick position shifts.

And I disagree that only for beginners. I saw both Josh Wright and Graham Fitch demonstrate this technique and it wasn't in beginner pieces. IIRC one of them was Mendelssohn's Rondo Capriccioso.
Originally Posted by Kepijapa
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Talking about jumps and stride I think you need to see this guy. I verify that it's his real playing speed, the playback speed was not changed in any way. The stride begins at 0:53.

That sounds quite horrible. It's hard to tell how technically difficult the passage is because it's not clear if he's playing single notes or octaves in the bass and how many notes are in the chords in the mid range. But I don't that matters because it's such ugly sounding playing. Tatum's LH stride playing was light years beyond what's shown in that video both technically and musically.


So how about this guy, Bram Wijnands, real present day stride expert.

The elements that make for difficult stride are:
high speed
octaves/tenths/filled in tenths followed by big chords on the jump
long jumps.

It seems like this pianist isn't doing much or any of that. He's kind of a beginner compared to pianists like Tatum, Waller,James P. Johnson, Wellstood, etc. Here's an example of one of Wellstood's "easy"(compared to other examples of his playing) performances which is still far more difficult than the one you posted:
Originally Posted by DrewBone
Great commentary, thanks for your input.

I've been playing for well over 5 decades, and it's been my observation these days that much of the younger generation thinks all that's required to learn to play the piano is an XBOX console and a video game that you just play and play until you conquer a level and go on to the next, or if they're older all they have to do is simply watch 10,000 YouBoob videos on the piano - and they'll be Wang Wang in 6 months. Reality check: the piano is an immensely complicated musical instrument that requires the student to possess excellent hand/eye coordination, along with good stamina, and there must be dedication through much practice before any notable degree of skill can be learned...if at all.

And the OP is talking jumps at the 1.5 month mark, of "self study"? Honestly. This business of "jumping ahead" of one's skills can only lead to one thing...disappointment. If a person is not willing to take the required steps/prerequisites to learn to play the piano correctly, they might as well stop now because they're only kidding themselves wasting their time and money.

As I mentioned earlier, here is the piece I am talking about:

[img]https://imgur.com/a/RLUhICA[/img]

The other piece that is giving me trouble in this regard is on page 51 of Book 1 of Alfred's All-in-One Adult Piano Course.
Originally Posted by GreenCheck
[img]https://imgur.com/a/RLUhICA[/img]

The other piece that is giving me trouble in this regard is on page 51 of Book 1 of Alfred's All-in-One Adult Piano Course.
and just in case you missed my post the piece in question doesn't require any jumps. Please post the Alfred piece if you'd like further advice.
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Originally Posted by GreenCheck
[img]https://imgur.com/a/RLUhICA[/img]

The other piece that is giving me trouble in this regard is on page 51 of Book 1 of Alfred's All-in-One Adult Piano Course.
and just in case you missed my post the piece in question doesn't require any jumps. Please post the Alfred piece if you'd like further advice.

Thank you chopin. I did see that post and it was helpful. I have been trying out your suggestion. Regarding the Alfred piece, it requires playing 8 measures, and then repeating them with the left hand 1 octave lower. Based on feedback I've received in this thread, I think I am going to simply take a quick glance down at the keys at that point, forgetting the notion that looking down at the keys is always and everywhere a cardinal sin.
If you've memorized something you look at the keys more or less 100% of the time. What else is there to look at? When I'm sight reading I'm 100% on the sheet, practicing a piece 100% on the hands/keys.
Posted By: ranjit Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 12/01/21 06:00 PM
Originally Posted by DrewBone
Originally Posted by JohnnyIssieBangie
Originally Posted by GreenCheck
I am an early beginner (about 1.5 months of self study)

Perhaps my most fundamental question is this: should I be thinking of jumps in terms of how far I need to move my hands, or in terms of the absolute location of the key I will strike? That is, say I'm moving from C4 to C3 - should I be be trying to mentally encode "this is what it feels like to move my hand down an octave" (this is how I've been thinking about it), or should I be thinking "this is where the C3 key is on the keyboard"?

1.5 months of study... there is nothing wrong with being aware of the things you're thinking of - but if that is your most fundamental question, then you're overthinking it, and you're misguided.

At this point you should be following a syllabus of some sort which will put your focus where it should be, which is playing actual beginner pieces (which do not involve jumps), rhythms, scales and maybe for you some Czerny. Avoid Hanon for now; all you'll get there are bad habits.
And if you're very proactive lots and lots of theory.

If you're doing jumps, then I'll venture a guess that you're already turning into a Beethoven / Chopin drone. Playing nonsense like Fur Elize, the Moonlight Sontate and Etude's. It's a disease. Spend enough time on forums like this and you'll find lots of talk in the beginner forum by muppets flexing their muscles. It doesn't matter why, there are idiots everywhere.
In fact, the minute you read anything to do with Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Chopin etc.... just ignore the post, log off and go back to what you should be doing. The stuff I've already mentioned.
It's is extremely frustrating, yes I know.
It will get much much more frustrating and unless you start slow you will get nowhere, and give up.
Whether you say you can, or say you can't either way you're right. Ford.

Great commentary, thanks for your input.

I've been playing for well over 5 decades, and it's been my observation these days that much of the younger generation thinks all that's required to learn to play the piano is an XBOX console and a video game that you just play and play until you conquer a level and go on to the next, or if they're older all they have to do is simply watch 10,000 YouBoob videos on the piano - and they'll be Wang Wang in 6 months. Reality check: the piano is an immensely complicated musical instrument that requires the student to possess excellent hand/eye coordination, along with good stamina, and there must be dedication through much practice before any notable degree of skill can be learned...if at all.

And the OP is talking jumps at the 1.5 month mark, of "self study"? Honestly. This business of "jumping ahead" of one's skills can only lead to one thing...disappointment. If a person is not willing to take the required steps/prerequisites to learn to play the piano correctly, they might as well stop now because they're only kidding themselves wasting their time and money.
You're misunderstanding the OP. They were actually talking about small shifts in hand position in an early beginner piece and are not trying something difficult. The rest of the discussion was started by the other members.

Plus, I really dislike all of this hate against students who are ambitious at the piano. I was trying to play without looking at the keys after 1 month. I was also able to coordinate left hand jumps (lh octave + chord two octaves above) along with a melody in one hand position after about 1-2 months. I still think jumps are one of my strengths, I can play for example the jumps in Jarrod Radnich's Pirates of the Caribbean pretty confidently now. If I had taken seriously the amazing advice of players such as yourself, I would have never challenged myself and would probably still be an intermediate player. smh
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Kepijapa
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Talking about jumps and stride I think you need to see this guy. I verify that it's his real playing speed, the playback speed was not changed in any way. The stride begins at 0:53.

That sounds quite horrible. It's hard to tell how technically difficult the passage is because it's not clear if he's playing single notes or octaves in the bass and how many notes are in the chords in the mid range. But I don't that matters because it's such ugly sounding playing. Tatum's LH stride playing was light years beyond what's shown in that video both technically and musically.


So how about this guy, Bram Wijnands, real present day stride expert.

The elements that make for difficult stride are:
high speed
octaves/tenths/filled in tenths followed by big chords on the jump
long jumps.

It seems like this pianist isn't doing much or any of that. He's kind of a beginner compared to pianists like Tatum, Waller,James P. Johnson, Wellstood, etc. Here's an example of one of Wellstood's "easy"(compared to other examples of his playing) performances which is still far more difficult than the one you posted:


Haha, not going to give up that easy. Here you can see him from behind, see his hands. I know, easy stuff, sure. Don't know if the jumps are big enough for you, but the speed is certainly there.

Originally Posted by GreenCheck
... Based on feedback I've received in this thread, I think I am going to simply take a quick glance down at the keys at that point, forgetting the notion that looking down at the keys is always and everywhere a cardinal sin.

If you play 100% from memory, you can look anywhere you please--at your hands, at the ceiling, at the cat, etc. If you have a score in front of you, it's fine to glance down occasionally. Being able to glance down and find your way back to the score is a valuable skill to learn and will serve you well throughout your piano life. It is also possible, under some circumstances; to use your peripheral vision to help with a jump or other difficulty. For example, witlh many uprights and digitals, the music desk is lower (closer to the keyboard) and you can use your peripheral vision.

For relatively small intervals, becoming at ease with the geography (proprioception) of the keyboard is a must--some people may have it immediately; for others it comes with time and practice.
Originally Posted by Kepijapa
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Kepijapa
That sounds quite horrible. It's hard to tell how technically difficult the passage is because it's not clear if he's playing single notes or octaves in the bass and how many notes are in the chords in the mid range. But I don't that matters because it's such ugly sounding playing. Tatum's LH stride playing was light years beyond what's shown in that video both technically and musically.


So how about this guy, Bram Wijnands, real present day stride expert.

The elements that make for difficult stride are:
high speed
octaves/tenths/filled in tenths followed by big chords on the jump
long jumps.

It seems like this pianist isn't doing much or any of that. He's kind of a beginner compared to pianists like Tatum, Waller,James P. Johnson, Wellstood, etc. Here's an example of one of Wellstood's "easy"(compared to other examples of his playing) performances which is still far more difficult than the one you posted:


Haha, not going to give up that easy. Here you can see him from behind, see his hands. I know, easy stuff, sure. Don't know if the jumps are big enough for you, but the speed is certainly there.

[/quote]The general distance of the jumps is FAR less than in the Wellstood video which makes them MUCH easier even at a fast speed.
Posted By: ranjit Re: How to make jumps without looking at keys - 12/01/21 10:30 PM
When I think of fast left hand jumps, I think Cziffra. He had God's own left hand lol.

(At 1:29)


And I have never seen anyone else perform his Tritsch Tratsch Polka jumps at tempo with that kind of articulation.

(At 2:56)
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