Piano Forum

Topic: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this  (Read 2698 times)

Offline stevie

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2803
the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
on: February 19, 2006, 07:18:12 AM
you may think you can play fast, but try this simple thing

place a hand on the standard CDEFG position, with 12345 fingering

hold down the thumb all the time, and just trill with between  24 and 35

in this position, no wrist assistance is really possible, and everything is dependent on the raw dexterity and coordination of the fingers, a missing link in the chain of fingers will slow the whole thing down

trill using this fingering as fast as possible, with either hand, you will notice that it is very hard

i see

Offline stevie

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2803
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #1 on: February 19, 2006, 07:27:49 AM
the point is, that theoretically, the person who can do this the fastest, has the greatest overall finger dexterity, and therefore has potentially the greatest piano technique(naturally this excludes the thumb and octaves, etc, which can be assessed in other ways)

Offline brewtality

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 923
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #2 on: February 19, 2006, 07:44:19 AM
I didn't find it so hard, it was just as fast as usual. So I looked closely and noticed that I don't actually use my wrist when trilling normally. There is a Dohnanyi exercise which I practised to help my 4-5 strength, it basically involves the same principle of holding down a chord and trilling with the free fingers.

Offline mikey6

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1406
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #3 on: February 19, 2006, 08:39:25 AM
It's easy if all you do is hold the thumb down (well for me).  If you trill (tremelo) between 2 and 4 whilst holding all the others down, it's a bit tougher.  Doing this with 3 and 5 is rather difficult coz the 5th finger uses the same muscle as the 4th.
Never look at the trombones. You'll only encourage them.
Richard Strauss

Offline pianistimo

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12143
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #4 on: February 19, 2006, 10:01:35 AM
i tried stevie's and thought, wow, i really am a good pianist.  then i tried mikey6's.  the missing link indeed was missing.  i don't like that 4th to 5th finger involvement.

Offline thalbergmad

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16689
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #5 on: February 19, 2006, 10:18:26 AM
This is a great excercise that my teacher had me doing when i was about 6.

I anticipate that there will be further posts telling me that I am wasting my time and my hand will drop off if i continue to do it.

Go and play Scarlatti and read Chang etc..................
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline pianistimo

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12143
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #6 on: February 19, 2006, 10:22:05 AM
usually trills are done with two fingers side by side and we forget what we tried as six year olds.  but, then there's the paganini variations with those wretched thirds.  i think i practiced them for six months. (or at least three).  that was hard. 

Offline maul

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 591
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #7 on: February 19, 2006, 10:39:44 AM
I think this is more of a test to determine how bad you are rather than how good. 8)

Offline pianistimo

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12143
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #8 on: February 19, 2006, 10:42:27 AM
yes.  i think the secret is lightening up the touch.  just as someone said about murray perahia's master class -where the fingers were held down and then told to go 'up' instead of down.  this is bicycling at it's best, too.  you don't think about the down pedal.  more the up.

Offline stevie

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2803
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #9 on: February 19, 2006, 03:10:22 PM
It's easy if all you do is hold the thumb down (well for me).  If you trill (tremelo) between 2 and 4 whilst holding all the others down, it's a bit tougher.  Doing this with 3 and 5 is rather difficult coz the 5th finger uses the same muscle as the 4th.

no fingers use the same muscles as eachother, some are just connected with the same tendons, etc.

the reason for this is that it adds strenth for when humans would be doing normal movements with hands, but when dexterity is required, these tendons are the reason the outer fingers are so slow.
I didn't find it so hard, it was just as fast as usual. So I looked closely and noticed that I don't actually use my wrist when trilling normally. There is a Dohnanyi exercise which I practised to help my 4-5 strength, it basically involves the same principle of holding down a chord and trilling with the free fingers.

its not necesarily meant to be hard to execute, just surprisingly slow

it shows theres a difference between technique and dexterity

Offline maxy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 650
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #10 on: February 19, 2006, 04:15:18 PM
single trills or double trills?   

Offline stevie

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2803
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #11 on: February 19, 2006, 08:40:55 PM
double, 2and4 against 3and5, while thumb is held down

other combinations are hard, but this demands the most independance of all digits

Offline maxy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 650
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #12 on: February 19, 2006, 08:59:31 PM
heh, similar to Petroushka 3rd mvt LH.  yup, rough.  But being very good at doing that means pretty much nothing.  :P  there is more chance of getting hurt working on this than actually getting better at it.   :P

Offline stevie

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2803
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #13 on: February 19, 2006, 09:09:16 PM
heh, similar to Petroushka 3rd mvt LH.  yup, rough.  But being very good at doing that means pretty much nothing.  :P  there is more chance of getting hurt working on this than actually getting better at it.   :P

yep, similar to dohnanyi exercises and petroushka

it doesnt mean pretty much nothing, its a way of testing the dexterity of your fingers, the faster and more even you can do it, for the longest times, shows on a raw level what your fingers are capable of.

Offline pita bread

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1136
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #14 on: February 19, 2006, 09:52:12 PM
Well, if you want to play Petrushka, make sure you can play tremoli with 24 and 35 and  melody with the thumb in the left hand.

Offline lostinidlewonder

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 6809
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #15 on: February 19, 2006, 11:24:51 PM
There is (THANK GOD) not a lot of music which is written with the purpose of making our hands uncomfortable. Good piano writing in my mind is music written in such a way that the desired sound required is written in the simplest way possible (even if it is hard to play) and piano friendly. That means not forcing our hands in stupid situations like if 123 is held down and 45 must trill in one hand.

It kills the very enjoyment of playing the instrument if we are forced to do things which go against our natural physical ability and more importantly I think that it is BAD piano writing. This is not to say that we should shy away from music like this, but what is the point? There is so much more music out there which doesn't force your hands into cramp positions and challenges your musical ability a great deal more. This I think is much more rewarding and useful that being able to control tough obscure and rare positions.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
www.facebook.com/groups/348933611793249/

Offline montiverdirocks

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 43
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #16 on: February 21, 2006, 01:42:45 AM
just make sure to stay loose and relaxed when you do this. Don't hurt yourself! Piano injuries are a lot more common than you might think.

Offline crazy for ivan moravec

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 604
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #17 on: February 22, 2006, 01:13:18 AM
the point is, that theoretically, the person who can do this the fastest, has the greatest overall finger dexterity, and therefore has potentially the greatest piano technique(naturally this excludes the thumb and octaves, etc, which can be assessed in other ways)

IMO

i believe technique is all in the mind. i can't exactly explain it, but everytime i encounter a difficult passage, it all boils down to how i think of it, or how i approach it mentally. sometimes it'as a matter of grouping the notes/figures/etc. so that we'd have to think of less things at a time, meaning, we can go faster. the dexterity of fingers i need isn't that much, it is more of the dexterity of my brain that i need to practise on becoming faster (esp with transitions of thoughts), thus doing the repetitive exercises which makes me think, instead of mechanically repeating it... (if anything physical, maybe it's my arm so that i can shift hand positions swiftly without tensing up.)

as for prodigies, sometimes we tend to think that everything is physically automatic for them. but in reality, everything that they have play had been there in their brains as techniques ever since they were a kid, and they don't even know it's technique, and it's just advantageous for them that they're not aware of it. when they encounter a difficult passage, they would know how to deal with, simply with the mere subconscious.

dexterity is partly mental, too. how fast you move those fingers is remembering/thinking how fast switching should be with those digits. but it's mostly automatic, coz we supposedly have learned it as kids (for those who started early). for those who started late, like moi, i'm just starting to gather and form good habits of the correct movements and it's taking a little bit of time because my brain isn't in it's prime for learning. but i know i'll get to that technical level and be able to play rach 3.
Well, keep going.<br />- Martha Argerich

Offline debussy symbolism

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1853
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #18 on: February 22, 2006, 04:57:23 AM
It kills the very enjoyment of playing the instrument if we are forced to do things which go against our natural physical ability and more importantly I think that it is BAD piano writing. This is not to say that we should shy away from music like this, but what is the point? There is so much more music out there which doesn't force your hands into cramp positions and challenges your musical ability a great deal more. This I think is much more rewarding and useful that being able to control tough obscure and rare positions.

I personally enjoy the thought of such a challenge. Afterall it can only make a better technique. :)

Offline pita bread

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1136
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #19 on: February 22, 2006, 05:04:43 AM
There is (THANK GOD) not a lot of music which is written with the purpose of making our hands uncomfortable. Good piano writing in my mind is music written in such a way that the desired sound required is written in the simplest way possible (even if it is hard to play) and piano friendly. That means not forcing our hands in stupid situations like if 123 is held down and 45 must trill in one hand.

It kills the very enjoyment of playing the instrument if we are forced to do things which go against our natural physical ability and more importantly I think that it is BAD piano writing. This is not to say that we should shy away from music like this, but what is the point? There is so much more music out there which doesn't force your hands into cramp positions and challenges your musical ability a great deal more. This I think is much more rewarding and useful that being able to control tough obscure and rare positions.

You can't handle the girth of Petrushka.

Offline musicsdarkangel

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 975
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #20 on: February 22, 2006, 05:12:51 PM
uhm.

That is basically a simplified version of a Liszt excersize..... not to mention several Liszt excersizes are based on that technique in every variation imaginable at the first part of the book.


The book covers everything, I swear by it, and I am able to do things like that now, and music is coming to me technically a lot easier - which is why I praise this book.

... ok i'll stop ranting

Offline henrah

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1476
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #21 on: February 23, 2006, 11:50:26 AM
uhm.

That is basically a simplified version of a Liszt excersize..... not to mention several Liszt excersizes are based on that technique in every variation imaginable at the first part of the book.


The book covers everything, I swear by it, and I am able to do things like that now, and music is coming to me technically a lot easier - which is why I praise this book.

... ok i'll stop ranting

What book?
Currently learning:<br />Liszt- Consolation No.3<br />J.W.Hässler- Sonata No.6 in C, 2nd mvt<br />Glière- No.10 from 12 Esquisses, Op.47<br />Saint-Saens- VII Aquarium<br />Mozart- Fantasie KV397<br /

Offline stevie

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2803
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #22 on: February 23, 2006, 11:56:17 AM
uhm.

That is basically a simplified version of a Liszt excersize..... not to mention several Liszt excersizes are based on that technique in every variation imaginable at the first part of the book.


The book covers everything, I swear by it, and I am able to do things like that now, and music is coming to me technically a lot easier - which is why I praise this book.

... ok i'll stop ranting

yes, im not saying its anything new, just that it should technically be the hardest trill possible, and for a simple trill, youd be shocked how deficient people may be at it, even if they have really great technique.

Offline m

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1107
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #23 on: February 23, 2006, 06:07:00 PM
yes, im not saying its anything new, just that it should technically be the hardest trill possible, and for a simple trill, youd be shocked how deficient people may be at it, even if they have really great technique.

?????

Piano literature is full of such examples. Just take Arietta from Op.111, or Finale from Op.106, along with LOT of Bach, Brahms, or Lizst, where along with fast trill in upper fingers there is a melody in lower ones (which BTW, is much harder).
In whole my life I don't remember anybody saying ability to play those is an ultimate showcase of technique or dexterity.
 
I am surprised, you still cannot get the idea that technique is not a simple mechanical task, but is a very complex case of emotional, mental, and physical processes.

Offline maxy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 650
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #24 on: February 23, 2006, 10:35:41 PM
?????

Piano literature is full of such examples. Just take Arietta from Op.111, or Finale from Op.106, along with LOT of Bach, Brahms, or Lizst, where along with fast trill in upper fingers there is a melody in lower ones (which BTW, is much harder).
In whole my life I don't remember anybody saying ability to play those is an ultimate showcase of technique or dexterity.
 
I am surprised, you still cannot get the idea that technique is not a simple mechanical task, but is a very complex case of emotional, mental, and physical processes.

nicely said! so true!

Offline clef

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #25 on: February 25, 2006, 10:24:51 PM
you may think you can play fast, but try this simple thing

place a hand on the standard CDEFG position, with 12345 fingering

hold down the thumb all the time, and just trill with between  24 and 35

in this position, no wrist assistance is really possible, and everything is dependent on the raw dexterity and coordination of the fingers, a missing link in the chain of fingers will slow the whole thing down

trill using this fingering as fast as possible, with either hand, you will notice that it is very hard

i see

that is quite hard...

Offline stevie

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2803
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #26 on: February 25, 2006, 10:28:26 PM
?????

Piano literature is full of such examples. Just take Arietta from Op.111, or Finale from Op.106, along with LOT of Bach, Brahms, or Lizst, where along with fast trill in upper fingers there is a melody in lower ones (which BTW, is much harder).
In whole my life I don't remember anybody saying ability to play those is an ultimate showcase of technique or dexterity.
 
I am surprised, you still cannot get the idea that technique is not a simple mechanical task, but is a very complex case of emotional, mental, and physical processes.

it is the ultimate basic showcase and test of dexterity, its very pure, just a simple trill, whoever can do this fastest has the best dexterity...simple.

dexterity is the foundation that physical technique is based on, dexterity doesnt guarantee great technique, but it indicates the potential.

Offline m

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1107
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #27 on: February 26, 2006, 04:44:51 AM
it is the ultimate basic showcase and test of dexterity, its very pure, just a simple trill, whoever can do this fastest has the best dexterity...simple.

dexterity is the foundation that physical technique is based on, dexterity doesnt guarantee great technique, but it indicates the potential.

I won't argue with you.
Obviously we are speaking different languages. If you were a concert or at least professional pianist, you'd understand how silly is what you just said.

Offline contrapunctus

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 408
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #28 on: February 26, 2006, 04:57:54 AM
Extreme technique is utterly useless. I would much rather listen to pianists with great tones than with extreme technical abilties. I would rather play music that requires a great tone than a great technique, also.
Medtner, man.

Offline stevie

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2803
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #29 on: February 26, 2006, 12:14:03 PM
Extreme technique is utterly useless. I would much rather listen to pianists with great tones than with extreme technical abilties. I would rather play music that requires a great tone than a great technique, also.

then i would assume you would appreciate my toned BUTTOCKS

Offline crazy for ivan moravec

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 604
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #30 on: February 27, 2006, 01:41:31 AM
haha
Well, keep going.<br />- Martha Argerich

Offline mike_lang

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1496
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #31 on: February 27, 2006, 01:50:01 AM
.

Offline lufia

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
Re: the ultimate test of raw dexterity - try this
Reply #32 on: February 27, 2006, 05:59:39 AM
repeat  2435 extremely fast and their u have it  ;), if u think of trilling 2-4 while doing another trill with 3-5 its very bla..
musicality
 

Logo light pianostreet.com - the website for classical pianists, piano teachers, students and piano music enthusiasts.

Subscribe for unlimited access

Sign up

Follow us

Piano Street Digicert