Thumb over. How important is it really?

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How do you evaluate the importance of the "Thumb Over" versus the "Thumb Under" motion?

I regularly use "Thumb Over" and agree with Chang; "Thumb Under" should only be used for slow, legato passages.
It's a matter of taste. Both motions can be studied, mastered and made to suit any situation.
I only use "Thumb Under". I know about "Thumb Over", but consider it inappropriate or wrong for most situations, since it does not allow for elegant legato playing.
I've heard about "Thumb Over", but I haven't felt the need to incorporate it into my technique for any reason.
I hadn't heard bout the "Thumb Over" movement until today.
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Postby PJF » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:53 am

I don't care if one plays with his nose, just as long as it sounds good! :wink:

Pollini has played with his elbows... :lol:

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Postby nathanscoleman » Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:22 am

I sometimes use my 'eleventh finger' .... :shock:

...... and returning to the topic: I still don't understand the advantage of OT. I've been fiddling with this now since Monday, and I have a question for all you guys. When you UT in a passage, say a scale, does your wrist lurch? or do you bend thumb and smoothly pass it under other fingers without moving wrist?

My wrist moves not at all, or maybe just a teensy imperceptible bit. Following the Whiteside principles, I do "draw circles" a lot with my wrist as I play, but there's still no lurching. Maybe I have long thumbs??? and you know what they say about guys with long thumbs!! :lol: :P ...... he can't wear normal size gloves! hehe

anyway, perversities aside ... I'm really curious about this.
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Postby pianolady » Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:57 am

PJF wrote:I don't care if one plays with his nose, just as long as it sounds good! :wink:

My teacher says the same thing.

And I'm with Terez that TO makes no sense. How do you guys even do that? My thumb can not get close to going over my other fingers. Weird.

Nathan - my wrists start moving to the side - moving horizontal before I actually do move my thumb under when playing scales. So if I'm playing a traditional 12312345 scale, my wrist is already moving over right after I get off the first key. My thumb does not bend at all and it's barely going under any fingers except maybe the third finger.
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Postby techneut » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:19 pm

PJF wrote:I don't care if one plays with his nose, just as long as it sounds good! :wink:

My teacher said exactly the same to me, as was said to him by his teacher (the famous Jan Wijn, with whom nearly all Dutch pianists of this generation have studied).

PJF wrote:Pollini has played with his elbows... :lol:

I guess he did not want to hurt his delicate little nose :P
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
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Postby François Micol » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:11 pm

I seriously think the scale video alone should be reason enough to disqualify this guy as a piano teacher.

If it's not enough, have a look at the preface to his "piano fundamentals". Or pretty much any part of the book. Such arrogance...

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