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Help!! (Brahms op.120-2)

Discussion in 'Technique' started by hyenal, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I come late to this topic, but from my very first lessons I learnt not to see f clef = LH and g clef = RH. Very often the way a score is written does not imply that the hands are distributed this or that way. My main concern is always to make sure the voices are not broken and that finger legato is assured. If this means dividing a voice between the hands, so be it. The aim is to play something well with the minimun risk of going wrong. At present I am practising a piece (4 parts) where at times one of the voices may go: LH LH RH LH RH RH LH and so on. All this to avoid as much as possible the use of the pedal.
     
  2. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    This is a little dangerous! I used to do similar things frequently, but found that I tended to make too many mistakes in performance. Depending on the piece in question, it's often better to use a simpler fingering plus some discreet pedal.
     
  3. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    In fact I do not think I do it quite as much as written here! But yes, when I notice too many errors that always come though in the same places...
     
  4. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    I'm actually curious not about your hand width, but the angle between fingers 1 and 5. Both the photos of your hand positions show almost a V-shaped angle made by your thumb and pinky (if you imagine imaginary lines running down the thumb and pinky and meeting in the middle of your hand). To get maximum reach, we want as close to a straight line as possible.

    It's hard to tell only seeing the position from the top. Most of us have more reach if we round the hand by lifting the large knuckles slightly. In this position, spreading the fingers increases the angle of fingers 1 and 5 towards a straight line. Again, it's hard to tell from the photos, but I wonder if your hand may be flattened out, so that the large knuckles and palm are almost touching the keys? In that position, spreading the fingers actually causes them to reach up toward the ceiling, which doesn't help with horizontal reach on the keys. That means that with a flat hand, getting fingers 1 and 5 into a straight line is next to impossible. Then, people start pulling their hands toward themselves so that they are playing only the very tips of the keys. This does keep the palm off the keys but it reduces the options for sound quality (as well as the ability to hit black keys.)

    In a rounder position the hand really has to be above the keys, not in front of them. You will be making a very long, low archway above the keys, instead of a V in front of them. You may find yourself hitting extra notes as you get used to that. But in the long run you'll develop a wider reach--and the whole white vs. black key issue won't be an issue at all since you'll be working much closer to the black keys.

    Good luck! Enjoy the magnificent Brahms!
     
  5. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi, hreichgott! Thank you very much for your helpful comment. I didn't see it before, and realized that this was posted a long time ago... Sorry.
    Yes, you are right. My hands were flat and I could not produce a full sound. I saw the problem, but didn't know how to solve it. So you believe repeated practice in a right hand position will bring me a success... I hope so :)
    Thank you for your detailed reply again!
     

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