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Repeating notes

Discussion in 'Technique' started by lol_nl, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. lol_nl

    lol_nl New Member

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    I'm having some problems with Czerny Etude no. 22 from op. 299, with repeating notes, like these:

    [​IMG]

    And these in the left hand:

    [​IMG]

    My teacher explained something about the repetition system of Erard or something. She also said something about repeating while the hammer is half down, but not too much, because otherwise the distance is too short and the tone wouldn't sound or something like that.
    I can do them slowly, but when I speed up, I either can't do that (left hand) or get stress and there are many notes that don't while I press them (right hand).

    Can anyone help me with repeating notes? Practising slowly doesn't seem to help, because of the hammer half down thing I guess.
     
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I see the logic in the fingering when thinking about the hammers being half down. When each finger comes off the note, the hammer has a chance to get back. Its probably a way to just avoid that accidentally not happening when you rapidly pluck it with a single finger.
    But yeah, I find changing fingers like that annoying (and really confusing), especially when its just on one or two occasions. However, if the etude is focusing on this repeating-changing-fingers thing, then you should definately follow it, slowly if you have to. That's my two cents anyway.
    And it looks cooler when you keep changing fingers. Makes it look harder than it is lol :D
     
  3. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    The Erard repetition system your teacher mentioned, is the double escape mechanics every good grand piano action has. That means, an upright piano does not have this feature normally. The feature is, that you can repeat hammer strokes very fast while keeping the key halfway pressed. It is enough to release the key for one or 2 millimeters, and you can hit again. This way you can perform repetitions very fast AND very soft.

    To use this feature, I would NOT change fingering.
    The interesting thing is, e.g. Chopin did not have a double repetition mechanics on his Pleyel pianos, however he promoted not to change fingering for repetitions. Conclusion for me: maybe one some circumstances it has advantages to change finger on the same key, but it is not a must. However it is surely not bad to learn fast finger changes.
     
  4. ben

    ben New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Repeated notes

    Try flicking the corner of the key with each finger. Also, try accenting the first note of each group of four. Also, once you work out how to do it with one hand, copy exactly the same movements with the other hand. Get one hand to teach the other.
     
  5. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Repeated notes

    Thank you for that advice, will help to develop the normally weaker (at least in my case) left hand!
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Repeating Notes -- Very difficult to play on upright pianos

    By chance, are you attempting to play the Czerny piece on an upright piano? If so, then no amount of practicing or technique enhancement will help your problem, because the non-repetition problem rests with the piano's action mechanism.

    It is the nature of most upright pianos' actions that they cannot re-set themselves until the keys have completely returned to their original positions. On a GOOD grand action, however, the back check slips underneath the hammer very quickly, and facilitates repeated notes without the key having to return to the full upright position.

    Cheers,

    Joe <jcfeli>
     
  7. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Repeating Notes -- Very difficult to play on upright pia

    That is correct and if you go to a piano store and try on a good grand and press the key very slowly down, you can feel the action. You will learn that repeating keys is a lot easier.
     
  8. lol_nl

    lol_nl New Member

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    I noticed that it was just a matter of practising. I play on a grand, a Yamaha C-3 btw, and the action is pretty fast. I just had to find the right way to play them, which is, I think, more or less like Argerich plays in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcsRl_LIJHA
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    repeated notes

    I am glad to read that you have access to a Yamaha C3; indeed, this model (6'1") has a rather fast, responsive touch.

    Part of your practice regimen might be for you to determine the height of the key return that facilitates the note playing again. Restated, if your fingers only allow the key to return, say, 1/8" (3mm), then it is possible that the double escapement action might not have enough clearance to re-set the hammer to play the repeated note.

    For your information; no need to reply.

    Cheers,

    Joe <jcfeli>
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Please forgive me if this already been discussed, but can the escapement mechanism be adjusted?
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    escapement mechanism adjustment

    Yes, Pianolady, the escapement action can be adjusted via screw-type mechanism by a piano technician.
     
  12. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    The double escape mechanism on my Renner action works that good, that even less than 3 mm are enough to repeat the note again (not easy to measure, but maybe 2 or even 1 mm, it is very small). The repetitions can be that way very fast and very soft.
    For using the double escape mechanism it is in my opinion not usefull to change fingers, it is faster and easier to do it with one finger.
     
  13. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm surprised to hear you say you do not change fingers on repeated notes. I never used to, but over the past couple of years, I made myself change fingers, and now I am so used to doing it, that I don't think I could go back to not changing fingers. (did that make sense). I thought it was a matter of physics, example: it's easier to push down repeated notes with changing fingers, than it is to push down, raise, and then push down again on the same finger. I could be wrong. I never took a physics class when I was in school. :)
     
  14. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I only say, the double escape mechanism eases the use of the same finger since if the key is pressed the finger must only be raised by some millimeters. This way one gets fast and soft repetitions. For fast and loud repetitions, or if there is no double escape mechanism it is better (I think so) to use different fingers as you said. Mostly I try to repeat (for multiple repetitions) fingers 4,3,2,4,... with RH in that case.
     
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I have a problem recycling to the 4th finger. I can repeat the 3-2-1, but I can never get my finger back quickly enough to make it sound smooth. What am I doing wrong? :(
     
  16. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    It's due to the anatomy of the hand. Place your fingertips firmly on a tabletop, hand in a dome shape, as though in five-finger position. With steady downward pressure on the fingertips, lift only the thumb. It should easily fly up, independent of the rest of the fingers. Return the hand to the original position. Now lift only the index finger, this is easy. Do the same to the middle finger, it also can move upward independently. Now, try to lift only the fourth finger, somehow it is paralyzed! Moving on to the fifth finger, it easily pops up on its own.

    It is extremely difficult (nearly impossible) to lift the fourth finger over the third finger. Keep that in mind when practicing coordination.

    You may also be breaking the legato when going from 1 to 4. Keep it connected, without applying excess force; and don't lift the fourth finger in an attempt to reach the next note; just gently move the whole hand into position, using the arm as a lever.

    For repeated notes, I prefer the fingerings 3-1-2-1 or 2-1-2-1 or 3-1-3-1. To me, a repeated note is simply a trill played on the same key. The common motion is forearm rotation. Using the thumb every other note, facilitates this fluid rotation. Of course, use the fingering that's best for you; it may be different than what the score indicates.

    Pete
     

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