\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Practicing "Stride" Leaps (Read 578 times)

Offline donovan8892

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Practicing "Stride" Leaps
« on: December 17, 2020, 04:13:53 PM »
I am primarily a classical pianist, but I have been trying to imrpove in other genres such as stride. I have always struggled with left-hand leaps. I once played Chopin Etude Op. 25 No. 9 thinking it would help my left hand technique. I do feel as though it helped me, but not as much as I would have liked. Any tips on practicing large left hand leaps? Any specific books that might be of help?

Thank you all!
Donovan

Offline perfect_pitch

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 6654
Re: Practicing "Stride" Leaps
«Reply #1 on: December 18, 2020, 01:48:19 AM »
I had a piece that had constant Left hand leaps, check out 8:43 on the video.



The key for me was to do long-shorts and short-longs. What I mean by that is if you have quaver vamping (similar to stride I believe); you do dotted quaver and semiquaver (slowly) rhythms to get the hand used to going up to the chord by giving it more time to prepare, then you do the opposite where you do semiquaver and dotted quaver pairs to help your hand prepare going down to the bass note.

I spent hours doing that, and that's how I managed to nail that passage above.

Offline timothy42b

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3271
Re: Practicing "Stride" Leaps
«Reply #2 on: December 18, 2020, 02:39:32 PM »
Accurate left hand leaps without looking? 

Maybe some advice from the juggling world.  There's a process they use.

(I saw an interview with Sergei Ignatov, juggler with Moscow Circus. He said there was a level of skill available to us all if we put in the disciplined effort, and there were higher levels only open to people with special talent.  That available level of skill was 8 balls - beyond that only a few could go.  I found that encouraging as a musician, because I'm one of those without natural talent.  Many of us accept limitations less than necessary.)

Anyway, in learning to juggle, the requirement is to make a very precise throw from one hand to a point in space where the other hand will soon be.  That seems somewhat similar to what we do with a left hand leap on the piano.

So here is how a juggler learns that precision.
Throw one ball from right hand to left hand. 
Catch, moving your left hand as necessary to where the ball goes.  It won't be correct for a long time.
Freeze.  Relax.  Wait to let your body sense where you caught it.
Now, in slow motion, move your left hand to where you should have caught it.
Hand the ball back to the right hand and do it all again.  Many many times. 

I never got up to the higher numbers of balls but I did once run a 10K juggling three balls without a drop.



Tim

Offline quantum

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5806
Re: Practicing "Stride" Leaps
«Reply #3 on: December 18, 2020, 03:25:17 PM »
Know where you want to go, and get there before you need to play.  The previous posts also refer to this concept. 

To practice leaps: think slow tempo, quick decisive movements.  Slow tempo does not mean an excuse to move the body slowly, the music moves slow while the body moves quick.  When practising this way, at first it may feel that you are moving your body too fast for the tempo of the music.  The goal is that you need to get your hand in place before it is time to play. 

Another exercise at performance tempo.  Group leaps into two pairs of notes/chords.  Play note 1, jump to note 2 touching the correct keys with your fingers but not sounding the pitches of note 2.  This enforces learning the distance and location of the leap, developing the discipline of landing on the correct keys, and removes the serendipity of relying on a random plunk in a general direction on the keyboard in hopes you hit the correct keys.  You need to envision the pitch you want before the physical action of landing on that corresponding key with your fingers. 

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline ted

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3853
Re: Practicing "Stride" Leaps
«Reply #4 on: December 19, 2020, 01:01:14 AM »
What I used to do to practise that was similar to around 1:10 in this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyCTyRRtHPU

I kept extending the jump by one or two notes each time until everything became easy. Any chord will do at the top and anything will do in the right hand.
"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline j_tour

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2219
Re: Practicing "Stride" Leaps
«Reply #5 on: December 19, 2020, 03:53:26 AM »
[To enforce] learning the distance and location of the leap, developing the discipline of landing on the correct keys, and removes the serendipity of relying on a random plunk in a general direction on the keyboard in hopes you hit the correct keys.

I couldn't have said it better.

IMHO it's really as much an exercise in theory as it is in technique, at least in jazz practice:  there can't be any wrong notes, neither in the bass nor in the middle of the keyboard.  People won't stand for it:  there just cannot be any wrong notes.  Unless you're a famous player and knows how to do it.  Regular people:  can't be any wrong notes.  Impossible.

At the very least, if you're in a passage in Ab, you should be able to manage from the lowest Ab to some kind of inversion of an Ab triad in the middle of the keyboard, even if it's not exactly what's written.  That's not what I would call "playing by ear" but just "playing by common sense."

And, if in the middle of a "leap" or a "jump," one is not well disposed, well, one has a few milliseconds to correct it in one's mind before changing voicings so that the sound is acceptable.  Or, in the worst case, one misses the bass motion, one should be listening, so you possibly change that as well to an alternate line in bass.

For popular music like this, you really can't have wrong notes:  it's not like playing Webern ; ) where you can pretend you meant to do that.  So, it has to sound good.  By hook or by crook.

You need a backup plan for your backup plan and a backup plan for your backup to your backup plan:  either way, failure is not an option.  If you're on stage, what are you going to stop and start again?  No.  Play it.

I don't know:  one has to think fast and act fast, and have a bunch of tricks in case one makes a mistake in order that one make it sound good.

Sounds a bit cynical, but that's what I know how to do.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.