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 Post subject: Octave 1-4
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:01 am
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I have been playing piano for more than 20 years. A few months ago I realized I started to play octaves with my 1st and 4th finger. I do not do it on purpose. i do it without even noticing it! I have very big hands as well. I can reach from a C to an F sharp ( 18 half steps!) Will this affect my hands/ playing in any way? Is this a bad habit? Am I most likely to make mistakes while playing octaves? if this is a bad habit, how can i change it? I dont know how long I have been playing like this, but I noticed this a few months ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Octave 1-4
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:32 pm 
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Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
I have small hands, and I also sometimes use 4 on white key octaves, though I imagine you meant you use 4 all the time. I say, do whatever feels most natural, so long as it works at performance tempo. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Octave 1-4
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:05 am 
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Terez wrote:
I have small hands, and I also sometimes use 4 on white key octaves, though I imagine you meant you use 4 all the time. I say, do whatever feels most natural, so long as it works at performance tempo. :wink:

Terez.
Performance tempo ahh ;) One day at home the passage will play perfectly, but one night on the concert stage I might just slip and play the wrong notes. Thank you for your advice
Nikolai


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 Post subject: Re: Octave 1-4
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:50 am 
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Hi chopininoff,

As a matter of technique, most pianists with sufficient hand span routinely play chromatic legato octave passages with 5 on the natural keys and 4 on the black keys. It should not cause you any injury or bad habits. In fact, in chromatic octave passages it's a huge benefit in ensuring a legato touch and sound.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Octave 1-4
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:13 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Using 1-4 and 1-5 alternately is also good for reducing tension in prolonged octave passages, both for chromatic octave scales or for the likes of the Liszt 6th Hungarian Rhapsody.

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 Post subject: Re: Octave 1-4
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:01 am
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Thank you all! Just wanted to make sure that it will not become a bad playing "habit"
Nikolai


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 Post subject: Re: Octave 1-4
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:53 pm 
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Hi Chopaninoff,

It may come as a surprise to you that you can beneficially use the 1-3 combination for octaves as well.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Octave 1-4
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:45 pm 
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Hi,

If your working on a piece that' s meant to be played at a fast tempo, you can eventually use 1-4 and 1-3 as a habit, meanwhile I recommend it only for exercicing octaves passages, this practice may help for other octaves passages, not specially chromatics ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Octave 1-4
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:59 am 
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Thanks, I know what you mean. But for instance when I play Rachmaninoff prelude op 23 no 5 in G minor, i use 1-4 for the octaves in the left hand. Or when playing Chopins nocturne op 48 no 1 in the middle section I use 1-4 for the octaves, even after the chromatic buildup to the FF.


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 Post subject: Re: Octave 1-4
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:40 pm 
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I looked on my National Urtext Chopin edition, in the middle section it's mostly 1-4 on the black keys, sometimes 1-3; or 1-4 for withe keys chromatics. If you're following the composers fingering it may differ. Liszt, per exemple is totally a different way on approaching the octaves, just look at his Rhapsody in F#, the 4th I think. But as I said already it depends on the composer, and even on the editor.


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