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Re-learning / developing new (proper) technique (Read 322 times)

Offline timtim

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Re-learning / developing new (proper) technique
« on: February 11, 2020, 11:40:18 AM »
Some month ago I made here a post about going back into piano after years, but since then was reading and learning a lot and my views completely changes. I understood that I have to re-learn my technique from absolute zero. I was taught by primary school teachers in my youn, but the only advice I got from them was “loose wrist” and “your technique is weird”. Non of them never spend any time with me correcting errors and so on. And I was very much learned on the finger strength and told that I have lazy fingers and should practice Hanon and Etudes more.  As a result, I finished with playing the easiest of Chopin Etudes, Rachmaninov Preludes, Brahms Rhapsodies op79 and so on, but at the end of those pieces my hands were tired and full of the tension. Partly responsible for it was my old upright, with absolutely worn out action, in which my parents never invested, as this was only hobby for me.  But what I started to realize when I grown, was that my technique was getting much better if I was spending time on piano with good action.  Now I will have my piano regulated, but it will be sold till end of the year and I will buy or used upright or some top-notch digital. No place for grand ☹

As far as it goes, my biggest problem was lack of proper technique and constant tension (of which I always thought were just muscles tired of practice….). Yes, so much things done wrong. Yes, I know it’s mammoth job to get out of old habits an acquire new. For the next few month I will have like 10-15 minutes daily to practice only, but maybe it’s better as my piano action is not good. 

Therefore I wanted to ask you few questions, which should help me develop a very fine technique and pianistic abilities. I know that teacher is best, but I have mostly really negative experiences, due to also other reasons that stated before (if you are not very young at piano no one cares of you, they just make you learn anything they have, but they will not truly care about your development, technique, and so on. There is a lot of envy and extreme competition between who and how teachers here teach young students. For them if you play the piano for your pleasure they will teach you what you want, and not teach you correct habits and so on. Very sad). So I will and even want to stay alone for like a year.  OK, time for questions:

1.   How many piano technique books I should have? I know some titles from RCM syllabus, I am reading Gieseking’s book right not and there is so much information on each site, that it is really slow read. But it’s not intended for beginners, but developed pianists. Also, there are no photos or drawings. Therefore, do you think I should buy one or two books and perfect them, or have a bunch of them and read whatever is there? I am a bit overwhelmed by the amount of them – Whiteside, Lhevinne, Neuhaus, Taubmann, Great Pianists on PIano Technique (sorry, do not remember the exact title) and many more.

 I do not know whether there are also reliable online resources? The only one I found is pianoplaying.co.uk from Graham Fitch, I seen his videos on youtube, and they seem to me very good, and are combining different aspects of modern playing. Even Gieseking is writing that you should play using weight-arm, wrist and fingers technique, and you can’t be good player using only one.  Any advices here would be welcome, there is just too much of it

2.   What repertoire I should go with? I do not want to play anything of Chopin and similar stuff, too complicated and do not have time to learn it properly. I have some easy Bach pieces (and two part inventions as well), Schumann Album for the Young, some Tchaikovsky children pieces and bunch of Etudes.  I wanted to initially start with Mikrokosmos, to get hands used to the very basic position and play properly single notes, and I do now want to the pieces, which will be even a bit over my new technique habits.  Can you recommend any nice pieces to play, or I should just read ABRSM or RCM Syllabus and take inspiration from there?


I will appreciate your help, as I am overwhelmed on the technical book stuff and just do not know which route to take, and on the other hand side I am missing that easy repertoire.  And overthinking will not take me anywhere. Alberto Jonas exercises are well above my needs right now. And I want some modern piano school approach. I even wanted to study closer Arrau’s technique, but looked through some videos, and being over 30cm taller than Claudio, I am not pretty sure whether it will work. And he always seemed to me to have quite specific piano position.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Re-learning / developing new (proper) technique
«Reply #1 on: February 11, 2020, 12:02:43 PM »
I do not know whether there are also reliable online resources?

Also take a look at Josh Wright and Paul Barton.

Offline visitor

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Re: Re-learning / developing new (proper) technique
«Reply #2 on: February 11, 2020, 02:59:51 PM »
Also take a look at Josh Wright and Paul Barton.
2nd
The only book really appropriate would likey be the mcoharren scales and aroegio manual,
For applying works yes the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook,.  And 2 voice inventions and supplement for variety and help with reading and note fluency Milan Dvorak  ETUDES books I and ii, physical bad habits will need an Instructor live or a Skype like Dr Josh Wright to help.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.l0069917417