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Topic: Hammer technique  (Read 2720 times)

Offline Magnus

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Hammer technique
on: October 25, 2003, 02:52:50 PM
I have noticed those great pianists in the world.
When they are playing fast up and down. They hold a solid permanent octave. And then they play quick as hell. They hammering up and down, so quickley that u almost dont see her/his hand.
I work with Beethovens op.54 no.22 where I am going to use this technique. How do I practice it? How should my arm act?

If u have seen the Pianist. He play this teqnique in the end of the movie. (A little bit)

Magnus  :D

Offline Hmoll

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #1 on: October 25, 2003, 04:32:35 PM
I'm sure these great pianists would be flattered to have their playing described as "hammering."

Anyway, playing fast octaves require combined and relaxed use of torso, shoulder, upper arm, forearm, wrist and fingers. They all work together, and there should be no "hammering" or up and down with any one part of the playing mechanism.
Btw, the octaves in Op 54 are not so fast that you wouldn't see the hand moving - as opposed to the Chopin octave etude, for example.
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Offline Magnus

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hRe: Hammer technique
Reply #2 on: October 25, 2003, 10:59:45 PM
hehe  :D "Hammering". It's look like they are trying to destroy the keyboard  :D.

Yes, I know its not that fast. I just mention it because its the same kind of technique anyway, just in slow motion.  I have the same problem with Polonaise in A major. I get so tired in my arm   ???

Which etude is the octave etude? opus?

Thank u so much for the tips?  ;D

Offline dj

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #3 on: October 26, 2003, 05:40:46 AM
correct me if im wrong but i think the octave etude is op. 25 no. 10
rach on!

Offline Wired

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #4 on: October 26, 2003, 04:07:26 PM
Octaves are a strange beast. Until recently when I started playing Chopin's Polonaise #53, I didn't realize there was technique involved. I had played songs that had nice runs of octaves, but none had fingering to them. And since i don't have a piano teacher, perhaps people here can answer. Is the most correct fingering technique for scaling octaves to play one and five on white keys, and one and 4 on black keys? That's the way my particular arrangement of the Polonaise has it, so I forced myself in to learning it that way. I can't tell whether it's easier or more accurate for me or not.

Offline Magnus

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #5 on: October 26, 2003, 05:54:33 PM
Wired: Hard to say. Its seems like it may be right since its easier to hit with 1 and 4 at the black. I havent tried that so much. Thanks for the tip :)

Magnus

Offline arcadi

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #6 on: October 26, 2003, 08:58:33 PM
it's easy to look at different pianists and see them playing octaves and then think it can be done in a particular way. but we all have different hand shapes - perhaps a good way is to find a pianist similarly built to you, and study his or her playing. i know this isn't a great method, but it can spoil your technique if you try to learn from something that is just not right for you.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #7 on: October 26, 2003, 09:23:03 PM
1 and 4 are used on the black notes because of the basic shape of the hand - the fourth finger being considerably longer than the fifth,
Ed

Offline Magnus

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #8 on: October 30, 2003, 08:54:24 PM
But I want to know how my hand and arm shall move and act?? How to practice? That was idea!!  :-/

Offline meiting

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #9 on: October 31, 2003, 02:38:17 AM
lol. Hammer technique - I almost thought this was a thread about "Hammer"klavier.. but to no avail.

Octave technique is actually rather simple. Keep your wrists somewhat lose, use your forearm to "bounce" the wrists up and down. Regarding fingering, use 1-5 1-4 fingerings for basic octave playing, but for those with bigger hands (or more flexible ones as the case may be) you might want to consider 1-5 1-4 1-3 for those cases when you play two white key octaves followed by a black key one. Also, make sure you have good balance on the keyboard, so as not to make awkward twists and turns with your hand (which can injure your fingers, hands, wrists, or arms, I am told). If you need STRONG octaves, even if it's quick, sometimes it's more effective to simply play 1-5 all the way through, as I do occasionally in op. 25 no. 10, which, btw, is the octaves etude (you're correct, dj)

mt
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Offline Magnus

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #10 on: November 01, 2003, 01:04:47 AM
Thank u sooooooo much for the advice  :D

Magnus

Offline allchopin

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #11 on: November 01, 2003, 01:07:31 AM
I use 1-5 all the time (mostly for convenience) and I havent noticed any problems.  Why is this incorrect?  Wouldnt your accuracy have a greater chance of decreasing withn using your fourth (or third) finger?
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Offline eddie92099

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #12 on: November 01, 2003, 01:28:42 AM
Quote
I use 1-5 all the time (mostly for convenience) and I havent noticed any problems.  Why is this incorrect?  


It is of course not incorrect although it is not always the easiest solution on black notes due to the fifth finger being the shortest,
Ed

Offline jonathandodd

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #13 on: November 01, 2003, 03:50:22 AM
Tbh, octave technique is best learnt for yourself. At the end of the day, I think you've got to 'discover' the feeling for yourself. At the beginning, you may have a stiff wrist, a bit of a stiff arm etc, but after using the movement, along with thinking about the, very good, advice that has already been given in this topic, you should develop the necessary muscles to cope with octaves and begin to really get the movement from the whole arm. If you can't do it to begin with, don't worry at all. It will come with time.

I played La Campanella by Liszt recently, which has a tricky repeated chords passage at the end. I was ok with my right hand, but I have never really done this in the left and so my hand was reletively undeveloped in this respect. I tred to emulate the action in the right hand, but found it almost impossible because my right hand wrist was far stronger than my left hand (possibly from playing cello as well). So I simply tried playing the notes (slowly at first) just as my left hand would do them naturally. Slowly but surely, I locked on to the necessary action, and could eventually play the passage without a problem. Actually, my left wrist still isn't as quite strong as my right, but it's getting there. I thought it might be helpful to tell you that to describe more fully what I was trying to say to begin with. Anyway, good luck with the technique work.

Jon

Offline Magnus

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #14 on: November 05, 2003, 10:57:05 PM
thank you jon

Offline allchopin

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #15 on: November 06, 2003, 01:18:24 AM
Ed- Why is it a problem to play pinky on the black keys?  The distance betw two black and two whites is the same, after all... supposed you had really big fingers- would this still pose a problem?
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Offline johnreef

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #16 on: November 06, 2003, 05:23:05 AM
Good octaves are in some sense dependant on arm strength, I believe. Since I started lifting weights my octaves have gotten much faster. Relaxation aside, if one's arms are getting tired, maybe they're not strong enough.

I know this idea pisses a lot of people off  ;)

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #17 on: November 06, 2003, 08:26:40 PM
quote author=allchopin link=board=perf;num=1067082772;start=0#15 date=11/05/03 at 23:18:24]Ed- Why is it a problem to play pinky on the black keys? [/quote]

It is not a problem, it just makes more sense to use the fourth finger in most cases as it is longer.

quote author=allchopin link=board=perf;num=1067082772;start=0#15 date=11/05/03 at 23:18:24]The distance betw two black and two whites is the same, after all... [/quote]

Go and look at your piano!
Ed

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #18 on: November 06, 2003, 08:29:16 PM
Quote
Ed- Why is it a problem to play pinky on the black keys?


It is not a problem, it just makes more sense to use the fourth finger in most cases as it is longer.  

Quote
The distance betw two black and two whites is the same, after all...


Go and look at your piano!
Ed

Offline Hmoll

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #19 on: November 06, 2003, 11:02:31 PM
Quote



It is not a problem, it just makes more sense to use the fourth finger in most cases as it is longer.  



Go and look at your piano!
Ed



Ed, you're right, but you should have said "look at your hand, and then look at your piano. "

Allchopin,
The reason a lot of people find it easier to use 4 on black keys instead of 5 is because the forth finger is longer, and is usually over the black keys when playing octaves. If you use 5 on black keys, you have to use an in/out motion to reach the black keys with five.  If you try to keep five in a position that it is always over the black and white keys, you will have accuracy problems playing white keys between two black keys.

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Offline Magnus

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #20 on: November 09, 2003, 06:08:40 PM
hmm, I think 1 and 5 can be a problem for people with small hands, and about the in and out motion. It is a very small motion. I dont see it as a problem. Only if u play very fast then. But I see what you mean.

Magnus

Offline TwinkleFingers

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #21 on: December 07, 2003, 05:17:43 PM
also using 1-5white 1-4black makes the transition smoother. a silky smooth transition.
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Offline Pianist

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Re: Hammer technique
Reply #22 on: December 07, 2003, 08:43:48 PM
The key to playing fast ovtaves is to practice the thumb alone.  You will see how difficult it is to play a single scale quickly with just the thumb.  As you improve your thumb-alone technique, work on the outside note (finger 5, 4, or 3) alone.  Once you've improved both parts, try it together.

Another point is to not "hammer" the keys.  You must lightly "bob" up and down on the keys.  The more you practice, the more natural it will feel.

On the question regarding fingering, you generally try and avoid playing the same finger twice in a row.  For example, if the keys are G, G#, A# and B, you would play 5, 3, 4, 5.  From one white key to another, I recommend playing 5-5.  Keep in mind that alternating fingering is ideal for creating a legato sound also and makes playing staccato notes easier.

I also suggest making octave practice a small part of your warm up everyday.
 

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