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trills with 3 & 4 (Read 2606 times)

Offline mozartnoob

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trills with 3 & 4
« on: June 12, 2016, 03:33:10 AM »
I came across a difficult passage that involved a trill with the 3 & 4 finger. I have noticed this in a lot of Mozart sonatas, especially k331 and 332. I just changed the fingering and got on with it. But now i regret it and i need some advice on how to srengthen and speed up 3 and 4 finger trills

Offline georgey

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #1 on: June 12, 2016, 04:39:03 AM »
I came across a difficult passage that involved a trill with the 3 & 4 finger. I have noticed this in a lot of Mozart sonatas, especially k331 and 332. I just changed the fingering and got on with it. But now i regret it and i need some advice on how to srengthen and speed up 3 and 4 finger trills

“343” means play notes with fingers 3 then 4 then 3 as rapidly as you can with good sound.
“Rest” means rest for about a second (or two)
PLAY:
343 rest 343 rest 343 rest 343 rest – call these 3’s A
434 rest 434 rest 434 rest 434 rest – call these 3’s B
3434 rest 3434 rest 3434 rest 3434 rest – call these 4’s A
4343 rest 4343 rest 4343 rest 4343 rest – call these 4’s B
Then do 5’s A and 5’s B, 7’s A and 7’s B, 9’s A and 9’s B
Then do following with metronome:
3/4 time: 3 4 3 4 3434 3 4 3 4 3434 etc.
3/4 time: 4 3 4 3 4343 4 3 4 3 4343 etc.
4/4 time: 3 4 3 4 34343434 3 4 3 4 34343434 etc
4/4 time: 4 3 4 3 43434343 4 3 4 3 43434343 etc
“3 4 3 4 ” means play as 8th notes, “3434” means play as 16th notes
Do on table top and at piano.
I just made these up and I am self-taught beginner.  I mention so you may chose to ignore.  
See what others have to say please!

Offline adodd81802

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #2 on: June 12, 2016, 11:17:33 AM »
.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline georgey

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #3 on: June 12, 2016, 02:48:11 PM »

good practice for either hand, hold down the thumb, 1st finger and little finger.

Then with your 3/4 practice 3-4-3-4-3-4 whilst keeping your other fingers down.


Good idea.  You can do this with 1st, 2nd and 5th fingers held down with these 3 keys depressed (be careful) and also with 1st, 2nd and 5th fingers lightly on keys with keys NOT depressed.

Also, during the 1-2 second rest that I mention in the original post, RELAX your hand maybe with all 5 fingers lightly on keys in good hand position.

Offline mozartnoob

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #4 on: June 12, 2016, 11:18:01 PM »
Thanks for all the ideas. I ll practice theese and my trills will get better. thank for the suggestion

Offline kawai_cs

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #5 on: June 12, 2016, 11:29:13 PM »
My teacher always says that it is to be avoided to trill with 3rd and 4th fingers unless it is inevitable. Those two fingers' tendons cross in wrist causing limitation of 4th finger's motion.
If your trill has to end in a way that you have your 2nd finger free then instead of trilling just with 3rd and 4th you can try changing finger's on the trill using the most dexterous combinations. You can post the specific trill you mean and we can figure out what possible finger combinations might work.
Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #6 on: June 13, 2016, 01:19:07 AM »
My teacher always says that it is to be avoided to trill with 3rd and 4th fingers unless it is inevitable. Those two fingers' tendons cross in wrist causing limitation of 4th finger's motion.
If your trill has to end in a way that you have your 2nd finger free then instead of trilling just with 3rd and 4th you can try changing finger's on the trill using the most dexterous combinations. You can post the specific trill you mean and we can figure out what possible finger combinations might work.
Listen to kawai.. She's a master of trills.
Work in progress:

Rondo Alla Turca

Offline adodd81802

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #7 on: June 13, 2016, 08:42:05 AM »
.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline kawai_cs

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #8 on: June 13, 2016, 11:17:04 AM »
Sure adodd, you can check his view on etude no 2 here: :D


The exercises are certainly a good thing however I wanted to give OP more options.
I have played a piece recently where I [thought] I had to trill with 3rd and 4th and it was never reliable (at least not for me). It was only when my teacher gave me an alternative fingering changing fingers on that trill that it has become reliable.
Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20

Offline timothy42b

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #9 on: June 13, 2016, 12:00:37 PM »
Good idea.  You can do this with 1st, 2nd and 5th fingers held down with these 3 keys depressed (be careful) and also with 1st, 2nd and 5th fingers lightly on keys with keys NOT depressed.



I am not so sure that is a good idea.

That will lock the hand and forearm and isolate those two trill fingers. 

But that's not how you do a trill.  A trill requires forearm rotation (though it may be small enough to not be obvious.)

Tim

Offline anamnesis

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #10 on: June 13, 2016, 12:13:04 PM »
This is true, however I would wonder the thoughts of your teacher regarding the Chopin etude no.2 :D

No getting around that and the speed it has to be played, makes me think the only way you really can work at it would be little exercises as suggested above.

One useful thought process from Alexander technique is making a key distinction between the ends and the means to getting there because many times people conflate the two when that is truly not the case.  

Many times things are more easily done indirectly with focus on other means with intent and direction focused elsewhere that just so happens to end in the result you want.  

I'm pretty sure all pianists have been exposed to some version of this sort of exercise.  I certainly did, and I had a difficult time doing them.  Later on I would have lambasted these sorts of exercises as unhealthy and not useful.

Now a days I'm full capable of doing them, but I never actually directly practiced them.  The way I would have thought how to do these exercises when I was younger are completely different than how I would do them now, which is why I still have my doubts about the actual use of them.  The way I would them is essentially a completely round about way of doing it that just so happens to get the result I want.  At least for me personally, the cues to simply just do the exercise and "relax" don't work, and yet I can do them now without any excessive tension quite fast.

Offline anamnesis

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #11 on: June 13, 2016, 12:20:33 PM »
I am not so sure that is a good idea.

That will lock the hand and forearm and isolate those two trill fingers.  

But that's not how you do a trill.  A trill requires forearm rotation (though it may be small enough to not be obvious.)



It's fully possible to do forearm rotation and still "coincidentally" have those fingers "down" and yet not fixated and isolated.  I won't say that it is easy to figure how to do or that this sort of exercise sets you up to figure it out, but it can be done. 

Offline adodd81802

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #12 on: June 13, 2016, 01:13:53 PM »
.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline timothy42b

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #13 on: June 13, 2016, 02:19:10 PM »
I firstly think it is possible to rotate the arm muscles whilst keeping some fingers static. If you have active forearm muscles, you can feel where the movement is coming from regardless of how it looks to others

My thought between the 3/4 exercise was to strengthen the co-ordination in preparation for the trill.  It is also a good practice to help isolate the 2 fingers and get them more independent.

I doubt it is possible for a beginner to do this without introducing a lot of unnecessary tension.

I suggest the opposite approach. 

Avoid finger independence when learning this trill.  Instead, trill 1-4 with as little finger motion and as much forearm relaxation as possible.  Don't force your forearm to rotate but allow it to.  then proceed to 2-4 trills, and only when these are relaxed and smooth proceed to 3-4 trills, trying to maintain the feel of the relaxed forearm based motion.  Your forearm will rotate less, of course, because the fingers are closer together, and only because the fingers are closer together. 
Tim

Offline adodd81802

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #14 on: June 13, 2016, 03:15:36 PM »
.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline timothy42b

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #15 on: June 13, 2016, 03:37:06 PM »


I also disagree with both of your trill suggestions by the way - Personally I find either 1/3 or 2/3 the most comfortable.

Maybe I didn't explain well, or maybe you misunderstood.

I recommended starting with 1-4 and 2-4 as preliminary steps on the way to learning 3-4, not as alternate fingerings for that trill.  The reason is that 1-4 and 2-4 trills will naturally be done with a hand rotation rather than an attempt at finger independence. 
Tim

Offline anamnesis

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #16 on: June 13, 2016, 03:39:33 PM »
I don't believe I suggested a beginner to do this... But suggested the exercises itself was good to help those first hoping to comfortably trill 3/4 as good foundation blocks.

I also disagree with both of your trill suggestions by the way - Personally I find either 1/3 or 2/3 the most comfortable.

I have no issue with your suggestions on relaxation or even your comments on finger independence, but it does no harm to improve finger independence whilst building good co-ordination in those 2 fingers?



Independence is a loaded term.  You have to acknowledge the paradox in your post:

How can something be independent and yet coordinated?

And what exactly do we mean by independence?  What exactly are we trying to accomplish aurally at the piano?  Ignoring the human factor and just objectively looking at what has to happen at the piano, for that intended aural sound, what has to happen in terms of timing for the hammers and keys when looking at onset, duration, termination while recognizing the effect of decay?  

Offline rmbarbosa

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #17 on: June 13, 2016, 06:58:38 PM »
You may try paralell sets as Mr Chang teaches them. Have a look to his "fundamentals of piano practice" (free download)

First you play 3-4 in unisson, very fast.
Then, you lift one of this fingers and let them go down. As one of them is a higher position, they dont sound in unisson now but one after the other in a quick sucession.
you must play this many times.

Then you play 4-3 instead of 3-4

After do this, you play 3-4 but only with a quick rotation of the arm. Then 4-3 same way

After, you play 3-4 and 4-3 with your fingers and with the arm rotation

after all this, you play 3-4-3 and 4-3-4.... 3-4-3-4-3 and so on

But as many others I dont like 3-4 trills. I do prefer 2-4 or 1-4. Even 2-4 is better than 2-3 because 2 and 4 have <> the same dimension.

Best wishes
Rui

Offline louispodesta

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #18 on: June 13, 2016, 10:23:20 PM »
My teacher always says that it is to be avoided to trill with 3rd and 4th fingers unless it is inevitable. Those two fingers' tendons cross in wrist causing limitation of 4th finger's motion.
If your trill has to end in a way that you have your 2nd finger free then instead of trilling just with 3rd and 4th you can try changing finger's on the trill using the most dexterous combinations. You can post the specific trill you mean and we can figure out what possible finger combinations might work.
Very well put.  My late teacher Robert Weaver taught all of us to play 2-4-3, if it is a short trill.  If it is a long trill, intro into the trill and then play 1-3, until you exit (2-3 may be used as a substitute).

Like "kawai_cs"says, the 3rd and 4th finger share the same joint.  So "NEVER" play a 3-4 trill on a Hammerklavier, unless you want to permanently wreck your hand alla Schumann.

Mozart was playing on a feather-light touch solid wooden sound board pianoforte, so the trill was no big deal.

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #19 on: June 14, 2016, 03:35:06 AM »
Sure adodd, you can check his view on etude no 2 here: :D


The exercises are certainly a good thing however I wanted to give OP more options.
I have played a piece recently where I [thought] I had to trill with 3rd and 4th and it was never reliable (at least not for me). It was only when my teacher gave me an alternative fingering changing fingers on that trill that it has become reliable.
4 and 2 is best
Work in progress:

Rondo Alla Turca

Offline louispodesta

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #20 on: June 15, 2016, 10:47:35 PM »
4 and 2 is best
Sometimes it is, and then sometimes 1 and 2, and 1 and 3, and finally 2 and 3 work just as well.  It all depends on the particular passage and also the morphology of the pianist's hand who is playing.

Very rarely does:  "one size fits all."

Offline storyseller

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #21 on: June 18, 2016, 05:01:16 PM »
Totaly agree with avoiding 3-4 trill... My teacher said once that it was the only thing that Richter couldnt do on the piano!

Having played k. 310 by Mozart quite a few times I realize why you think you definately need 3-4 trill to keep some other notes down because it says so in the score... But dont loose the forest for the tree... there are lots of ways to avoid whrecking your hand and producing the sound the score demands (pedaling, accents, dynamics etc...)

Offline louispodesta

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #22 on: June 18, 2016, 10:14:20 PM »
Totaly agree with avoiding 3-4 trill... My teacher said once that it was the only thing that Richter couldnt do on the piano!

Having played k. 310 by Mozart quite a few times I realize why you think you definately need 3-4 trill to keep some other notes down because it says so in the score... But dont loose the forest for the tree... there are lots of ways to avoid whrecking your hand and producing the sound the score demands (pedaling, accents, dynamics etc...)
Thank you, and in case you didn't get it the first and second time:  DO NOT EVER TRILL WITH 3-4 !!

If a score (for all you URTEXT people) told you to play a particular passage with a gun stuck up your nose, would you do it?

Offline timothy42b

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #23 on: June 19, 2016, 12:03:15 PM »
Thank you, and in case you didn't get it the first and second time:  DO NOT EVER TRILL WITH 3-4 !!



Let me fix that for you.

It is inadvisable to rely on a 3-4 trill when performing, because there are almost always alternatives that are more musical to perform.  3-4 trills are inherently limited because the tendon attachment to those fingers interferes with independence.

However, practicing 3-4 trills can be a good idea if properly done.  While a trill that relies on finger independence is not going to work, the heart of trill technique is not finger independence anyway, it is forearm rotation.  With 3-4 trills you are forced to do it with rotation, and it can be a good way to get the feel of it. 
Tim

Offline louispodesta

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #24 on: June 19, 2016, 11:12:09 PM »
Let me fix that for you.

It is inadvisable to rely on a 3-4 trill when performing, because there are almost always alternatives that are more musical to perform.  3-4 trills are inherently limited because the tendon attachment to those fingers interferes with independence.

However, practicing 3-4 trills can be a good idea if properly done.  While a trill that relies on finger independence is not going to work, the heart of trill technique is not finger independence anyway, it is forearm rotation.  With 3-4 trills you are forced to do it with rotation, and it can be a good way to get the feel of it. 
[/quote)  Compositions written for the modern hammerklavier, as opposed to the solid wood sound board pianofortes of Mozart and Beethoven, have a significant pedagogical epistemology in terms of keyboard technique.  And, trill fingering is also a part of that associated logic.

2)  To say:  that suggesting a fingering, or an exercise, in the guise that it directly relates to the same composition for a piano manufactured over 200 years ago, is at best suspect.  At most, you are grossly mistaken.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #25 on: June 19, 2016, 11:19:14 PM »
Correction from prior post, which got weird for some unforeseen reason:

"1)  Compositions written for the modern hammerklavier, as opposed to the solid wood sound board pianofortes of Mozart and Beethoven, have a significant pedagogical epistemology in terms of keyboard technique.  And, trill fingering is also a part of that associated logic.

2)  To say:  that suggesting a fingering, or an exercise, in the guise that it directly relates to the same composition for a piano manufactured over 200 years ago, is at best suspect.  At most, you are grossly mistaken."


Offline maestroanth

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #26 on: June 20, 2016, 07:31:45 AM »
Nice exercise idea from the above considering they're self taught.

Another thing is strengthening the co-ordination between those 2 fingers.

with your hand either on a table or piano, (i think table co-ordination is good initially but if you're going to be doing it on the piano as an end result, you may as well just start on the piano)

good practice for either hand, hold down the thumb, 1st finger and little finger.

Then with your 3/4 practice 3-4-3-4-3-4 whilst keeping your other fingers down.

Your end focus here is to make it feel relaxed, your hands shouldn't be too tense. inevitably they will at the start, and you'll keep pushing the speed, then you could slow down and see how easier you then find it.

Interestingly I can do this much much better in my left hand than my right, but freely, I can trill faster in my right.

That's a good exercise!

Offline adodd81802

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #27 on: June 20, 2016, 09:00:01 AM »
.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline timothy42b

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #28 on: June 20, 2016, 12:22:13 PM »
That's a good exercise!

Yeah, for people who don't know how the tendons attach to those fingers. 

You're trying to do something anatomically not possible.

On another note, one of the things that limits trills is arched fingers.  Flatter is better. 
Tim

Offline adodd81802

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #29 on: June 20, 2016, 02:11:07 PM »
.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline brogers70

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #30 on: June 21, 2016, 12:01:15 AM »
Just to clarify about those tendons. There is a shared extensor tendon between 3 and 4. That's the tendon involved in lifting the fingers off the keys. The flexor tendons are not shared (those are the tendons involved in striking the keys). There is thus a limitation to lifting 3 or 4 high without lifting the other, but generally you don't lift the fingers high when trilling anyway. There is no limitation to striking the keys separately. 3-4 is not the easiest trill to do, but there's no firm anatomic limit to it.

Offline adodd81802

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #31 on: June 21, 2016, 08:42:56 AM »
.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline jimroof

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Re: trills with 3 & 4
«Reply #32 on: June 22, 2016, 02:41:13 PM »
I came across a difficult passage that involved a trill with the 3 & 4 finger. I have noticed this in a lot of Mozart sonatas, especially k331 and 332. I just changed the fingering and got on with it. But now i regret it and i need some advice on how to srengthen and speed up 3 and 4 finger trills

Can this trill not be played with 3-5?

Much easier to trill 3 and 5 for me than any other combination of 3, 4, 5.
Chopin Ballades
Chopin Scherzos 2 and 3
Mephisto Waltz 1
Beethoven Piano Concerto 3
Schumann Concerto Am
Ginastera Piano Sonata
L'isle Joyeuse
Feux d'Artifice
Prokofiev Sonata Dm