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Octave 1-4

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by Chopaninoff, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Chopaninoff

    Chopaninoff New Member

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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.
     
  2. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    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:
     
  3. Chopaninoff

    Chopaninoff New Member

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    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
     
  4. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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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
     
  5. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    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.
     
  6. Chopaninoff

    Chopaninoff New Member

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    Thank you all! Just wanted to make sure that it will not become a bad playing "habit"
    Nikolai
     
  7. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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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
     
  8. ryan

    ryan New Member

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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.
     
  9. Chopaninoff

    Chopaninoff New Member

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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.
     
  10. ryan

    ryan New Member

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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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