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On Being a Pianist in Kenya - Against All Odds

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How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE (Read 26790 times)

Offline bachopoven

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How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE
« on: November 04, 2003, 11:15:03 PM »
In my short experience with piano techniques, the most useful skill to have is HAND INDEPENDENCE.

I have been able to gain some degree of finger independence through practice, but my mind can't MANAGE BOTH HANDS MOVEMEMENTS AT THE SAME TIME.


Of course the importtance of this skill varies from piece to piece. Some pieces have some simple chord progressions on the left hand.

But others, such as the ones that got me thinking about this topic - Chopin Nocturnes and Preludes left hand movements -  move up and down the keybaord pretty fast in some cases.

Yes, you can get both hands separatelyd down in a short time. The trouble is when putting hands together. Your mind, or at least mine, wanders, if you tried to quickly go back and forth thinking about the hand movements separately, you are most likely going to get lost.

It's just not the untrained mind's nature to be able to perform such difficult tasks effectively. So now, things get better with practice, which is going to be a big part of your responses, but how about some tricks you've learned to improve fast?


"In the beginning was rhythm." - Haydn.

Offline Noah

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Re: How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE
«Reply #1 on: November 04, 2003, 11:35:45 PM »
Dohnanyi -  'Essential finger exercises for obtaining a sure piano technique'
It's a bit like torture, but it's worth it.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline Hmoll

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Re: How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE
«Reply #2 on: November 05, 2003, 04:07:56 PM »
You have to realize that your  two hands are naturally independent of one another - unlike your eyes that move together, or your feet that maintain balance in walking, running and standing in a dependent manner with one another.

In terms of piano: Have you played much Bach or other contrapuntal music?  If you can play Chopin nocturnes and preludes, you may be able to tackle some of the two part inventions. They are great for developing independence.

When you practice, make sure you have hands sep. secure before you try hands together. When putting hands together, start at a much slower tempo, and practice small sections - even as small as one measure.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline bachopoven

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Re: How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE
«Reply #3 on: November 05, 2003, 06:51:53 PM »
Great tips! Any more?

I have tried just couple of Bach two-part inventions. Maybe I ought to go back and play them to speed to get my hands trained.

I will try the exercises mentioned as well.
"In the beginning was rhythm." - Haydn.

Offline bachopoven

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Re: How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE
«Reply #4 on: November 05, 2003, 07:18:51 PM »
I would say you still have a big problem when putting hands together even if you secure hands separately. You get lost. How do you improve that?
"In the beginning was rhythm." - Haydn.

Offline Noah

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Re: How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE
«Reply #5 on: November 05, 2003, 08:32:19 PM »
I think it really is a question of educating your brain, not so much your hands. Practice very slowly and speed up progressively should help.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline eddie92099

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Re: How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE
«Reply #6 on: November 07, 2003, 12:50:14 PM »
Quote

and by saying this, you are giving us a "brain" education, right? DUH!!! :-/


Not in your case for your cranium is diaphanous,
Ed

Offline bernhard

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Re: How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE
«Reply #7 on: December 20, 2003, 03:03:36 AM »
Try this. I call it "dropping notes".

Choose a short passage. (Better to go by phrases than by bars).

First make sure hands separate is completely mastered. You should be able to play each hand separately while holding a conversation. In other words, hands separate must be completely ingrained in your subconscious.

Choose a hand, say the right hand. Play the right hand. Now play it again, but this time "drop" the first note /chord of the left hand. Your aim is to keep the right hand going no matter what. In other words, the "dropping" of the left hand note should not interfere with the right hand ongoing movement. Repeat as many times as needed to be able to drop the left hand note without interfering with the right hand movement.

To start with, it is all right to make mistakes in the left hand. But it is totally forbidden to make mistakes in the right hand.

Once you master the first note/chord of the left hand, drop the second note of the left hand. Again, your aim is to keep the right hand going. Keep adding notes to the left hand until you complete the passage.

Now do the reverse: Keep the left hand going and drop the right hand notes.

You are trying to avoid the usual approach of joining notes (The A in the right goes with the C# in the left). Instead you are aiming for co-ordination. Both hands play independently and yet co-ordinated. You will be amazed how well this works with Bach.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline bernhard

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Re: How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE
«Reply #8 on: December 20, 2003, 03:04:41 AM »
By the way, who is Konstantinos?
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline eddie92099

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Re: How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE
«Reply #9 on: December 20, 2003, 07:30:31 AM »
He left through shame,
Ed

Offline thracozaag

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Re: How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE
«Reply #10 on: December 20, 2003, 07:05:09 PM »
Quote
Dohnanyi -  'Essential finger exercises for obtaining a sure piano technique'
It's a bit like torture, but it's worth it.



 I'm glad someone else suffered through those ;D  Seriously, they must have worked, because my double notes are actually half-way decent.  Bach is also great for finger independence (especially the fugues)
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: How to gain HAND INDEPENDENCE
«Reply #11 on: December 21, 2003, 01:21:15 AM »
Bach has helped me tremendously on hain independence. also anything that has melodies in both hands.

boliver



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