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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:55 am 
indeed ... relaxation is the key to fast octaves... but does the type of the piano (grand or upright) affects?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:13 pm 
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Stephen Farrugia wrote:
indeed ... relaxation is the key to fast octaves... but does the type of the piano (grand or upright) affects?


not really, a reasonable good piano-upright,,can acheive almost the speed of grand, any faster,,is that necessary..I doubt that would make any better. but perhaps for your own ego and satisfaction... But what affects the speed is the key weight and resistance. like mine is 10% heavier and modified. so if i play on standard grand or upright. I can PLAY faster... I hope this helps....


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 Post subject: Re: Fast Octaves
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:16 pm 
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hunwoo wrote:
Practice slowly and absolute relaxation on your wrist (actually your whole arm) :)


Mega bump!

As of lately, I've been practicing Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody and during the final ~2 minutes you have to play lots of octaves at a high speed. However, even when practicing relatively slowly my hand starts to hurt due to the repetitive motion. How exactly can I relax my wrist ( while having a rather small hand ) and still play these octaves?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:59 pm 
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no woories adam, small hands,,,,just like mine....I will prove to you something in near future taht a small hands could do.

You need to cheat by switching your playing from using fingers instead of USING YOUR UPPER BODY WEIGHT..another words, lean the fingers on the keys with body weight behind it....its NO EFFORT at all. Sometimes you need to switch your wrist to finger or arm weight..body. By switching or alternating in between all your body parts can reduce lots of stress......di you get it>???or pm me.

Unfortunately, or fortuatelly, I rarely use wrist to play octves..I keep it as last resort,,,


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 Post subject: Re: Fast Octaves
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 5:51 am 
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Adam wrote:
As of lately, I've been practicing Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody and during the final ~2 minutes you have to play lots of octaves at a high speed.

Just out of interest, is that #6 or #4 ?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:27 pm 
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if you merely use your arm's natural weight, the only motion you have to worry about is lifting the arm, along with other tiny motions in the wrist.

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 Post subject: Re: Fast Octaves
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:26 pm 
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Hmm, thanks for the replies. I think I know what you mean, Johnmar78.



techneut wrote:
Just out of interest, is that #6 or #4 ?


That would be Hungarian Rhapsody #6. I've wanted to be able to play this piece ever since I heard it.. ( about 3 weeks ago :lol: )


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:51 pm 
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Adam, keep up the good work and welcome to piano society.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 12:34 am 
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OK like all have said, definitely use the 4th finger for black notes, and the 5th finger for white notes.

My hands are a little bit bigger than normal, so I actually sometimes find myself using sort of both the 3rd and 4th finger at the same time on black notes. Also, on repeated octaves (as in the same note over and over at a fast speed) I put all three of them on the key: the middle, 4th, and 5th fingers... it seems to help.

What I HAVENT seen anybody say yet (very surprisingly...) is that you need to almost completely eliminate all vertical motion. Your fingers should be touching the keys at all times while playing fast octave passages. When you practice slow, your 5th/4th/whatever finger you're using with the thumb should almost just sort of roll from one note over to the next one. This makes your octave technique so much more efficient, and you can speed up a lot that way.

Another thing I find very helpful, is this: put your hands on your knees. Now, keeping your arm, hand, and everything totally relaxed, raise up the base of your hand (sort of your wrists I guess), and then slap your legs with them (but your fingertips should always remain on your knees), in a tremolo type motion. Do this as fast as you can, while keeping everything completely relaxed. Now, try making octaves feel that way (rather than playing them "with your fingers" think of only making the motion with the base of your hand while your fingers happen to be in an octave position). In fact, practice whatever octave passage you're playing, and play each octave with the base of your hand like I just said, and smash all the notes in between the octave with your hand (like a cluster technique sort of). Always keep everything relaxed (I can't stress this enough :P). Now, take away the notes from the middle, and just play the octave notes, making it feel that way.

The last thing I think about, is playing the octaves without your thumbs. I mean, not REALLY without your thumbs, but only think of playing with your pinky/4th finger/middle finger. In other words, put most of the weight on the outside of the octave. This not only helps you to stay relaxed, but it forces you to voice the octaves well too.

(this is all stuff I learned at a piano camp I went to this summer... One of the master classes was focused on octave technique and I feel like I really gleaned a lot from it... I can probably play octaves at least 50% faster now than I could before)

Hope this helps!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 12:36 am 
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Ah, I hadn't seen the second page. So somebody finally DID mention relaxation :P good, good.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:51 am 
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In doing octave work, I think it makes your hand less tense if you have a relaxed wrist and let the wrist turn as you play the octave. The point is to keep the arm and hand relaxed so as not to build up tension and the wrist allows that to happen by turning it towards the note you are playing first in the octave.

Happy playing!
Mozartiana :D


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:03 pm 
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to make things simple, play octave with ur wrist.
Don't use ur arm.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:23 am 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
go to Youtube.com and search "Alkan + Jack Gibbons + Allegro Barbaro" sheesh! that man is incredibly fast.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:29 pm 
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hunwoo wrote:
to make things simple, play octave with ur wrist.
Don't use ur arm.


Quoted for truth! I found out that playing fast octaves is surprisingly easy when I use my wrist rather than my entire arm. I can play the final section of Hungarian Rhapsody #6 without getting tired/a sore wrist. :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:14 pm 
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my teacher has been teaching me how to use my arm+hands to play octaves. I find it much easier.

if you use your wrists alone, you can injure your hands.

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Carrying on to work on Schubert Impromptus op.9 nos.1,3&4 after competition. Going to learn no.2 to complete the set. Carrying on with Czerny op.299 from Bk 2 & working on a couple of Bach P+F's


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