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Technical exercises, back to basics, etc... (Read 4169 times)

Offline Binko_Binobo

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Technical exercises, back to basics, etc...
« on: July 25, 2002, 02:52:38 PM »
Hi,

Thank goodness I found this lovely forum! I have so many questions to ask. I'm 27-years-old, and I have a lot of free time on my hands, so I've gone back to relearning classical literature. For the last several years I've been playing blues and jazz without practising, so the improvisatory nature of these forms allowed me to improvise around my strengths and weaknesses. Now, I figured, it's time to work through my problems.

So I've picked up a couple studies, as well as a few Fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier and the such. Here's what I have thus far:

1) Clementi's Gradus ad Parnassum
2) Brahms' 51 Exercises
3) Bach's Inventions & Synfonias & Well-Tempered Clavier
4) Hanon's The Virtuoso Pianist

Is this a pretty good regiment for strengthening my basic technique? Are there any other exercises you could recommend? My main problem now is evenness of scales, evenness of trills, a sluggish left hand - the typical.
And how fast should the first exercise of Gradus ad Parnassum be played?

Also, in Brahms' 51 exercises, the 4-over-3 parts are not so difficult for me, but how in the world does one practice the 7 over 6 parts?

And when I practice Hanon, should I "lift fingers high" as instructed, though this seems contrary to current pedagogical trends?

Thanks,
Pete

Offline Diabolos

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Re: Technical exercises, back to basics, etc...
«Reply #1 on: July 25, 2002, 05:04:10 PM »
Hi.

The exercise books you mentioned are all quite useful, especially Hanon which I played a lot while I was a kid. But you should remember that these exercises are mostly supposed to support your ability of moving your fingers fast, and to strengthen them.
You should give Dohnanyi, or however this guy's spelt, and his 'essential finger exercises' a try, since they represent quite odd and/or very difficult movements which are required in many works of classical literature.

However, good luck 8)

Offline MikeThePianist

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Re: Technical exercises, back to basics, etc...
«Reply #2 on: August 07, 2002, 08:04:34 AM »
The books you mentioned are excellent to work on technique.  I also suggest the Czerny School of Velocity.  Also remember that the importance of these exercises is not necessarily the notes you're playing, but how you're playing them.  You should always be examining how your playing equipment (the fingers, etc.) are working together.

I would also like to comment on something Diabolos said in response to your post.  I disagree with the statement that Hanon, etc. strengthen your fingers.  In reality, there are very few, small muscles within the hands and it would be extremely difficult to strengthen them.  My teacher likened it to strengthening the muscles in the eye brows.   ;)  Instead, I believe the these books work on the interdependency of the fingers, and allow one to be more coordinated and effective in the movements of the fingers, hand, wrist, and arm.  

Mike
Michael Fauver is pursuing his bachelors degree in piano performance at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Offline Binko_Binobo

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Re: Technical exercises, back to basics, etc...
«Reply #3 on: August 07, 2002, 03:08:38 PM »
Thanks for the responses. Anyhow, my regiment seems to be working well, and there's certainly improvement. It's amazing to me just how much finger dexterity I've lost over the years, but it seems to be coming back slowly.

Now the first exercise of Gradus ad Parnassum is a finger breaker for me. What tempo am I supposed to get that up to? The problem at the moment is that I have difficulty keeping all the notes even in some of the more contorted hand positions (like thumb, 2nd, 3rd and 5th fingers on black keys, and fourth finger on a white.) Now, it seems that if I play it fairly slow, it comes out even, or if I play it fairly fast it comes out (relatively) even. It's the mid-tempos where all the problems start occuring. I assume this is because I'm using two different kinds of motions at these two tempos. (or tempi for you Latin purists.) I've never learned this before, so I have no idea what it should sound like, or what tempo. The only hint I have is "Veloce" which I assume should mean around quarter note = 120-140 or so.

Anyone particularly experienced with this volume?


Offline RhiAnne

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Re: Technical exercises, back to basics, etc...
«Reply #4 on: October 21, 2002, 07:18:56 AM »
Binko_Binobo,

 We have brought up technique at another forum at pianoteaching.com

 It has been helpful, and there are some great decisions that were given to me from somone.  I do not remember the suggestions off the top of my head, but it is there for the looking.  Look under technique in the "Are there any great books out there",  also there are many opnions given on Hanon and some others.

 As to the Donhayni yes they are great. I have begun to work on them.

 Have a nice day and see you later.

Offline Bob

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Re: Technical exercises, back to basics, etc...
«Reply #5 on: July 26, 2004, 02:27:15 AM »
hahaha....

Any thoughts about this?
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."