Thank you to all those who donated in 2015!



DONATION STATUS
Needed before 2016-12-31
$ 2,500
So far donated
$ 595

Thumb over. How important is it really?

Discussion in 'Technique' started by mgasilva, Aug 24, 2008.

?

How do you evaluate the importance of the "Thumb Over" versus the "Thumb Under"

  1. I regularly use "Thumb Over" and agree with Chang; "Thumb Under" should only be

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. It's a matter of taste. Both motions can be studied, mastered and made to suit any situation.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. I only use "Thumb Under". I know about "Thumb Over", but consider it inappropri

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. I've heard about "Thumb Over", but I haven't felt the need to incorporate it into my techn

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. I hadn't heard bout the "Thumb Over" movement until today.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Physician
    Location:
    Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    LOCATION:
    Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    In his book "Fundamentals of Piano Practice" Chuan C. Chang can't seem to emphasize enough the importance of what he calls the "Thumb Over" movement. According to him, it is a different movement than the more widely known "Thumb Under" movement, that can be used for playing fast scales, arpeggios and runs. Below is a link to a section of his book that has an explanation, complete with video, of this particular motion:

    http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.III.5.2

    Still according to him, scales and arpeggios must be practiced with both motions, since for most situations "thumb over" is actually better; "thumb under", the more widely used motion, is only suitable and should only be used for slow, legato passages.

    What are your thoughts on this, and do you regularly used "thumb under" or "thumb over"?

    Thanks a lot,

    Marcelo
     
  2. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Fournet
    First Name:
    Pierre
    I'm not 100% conscious of every motion I make 100% of the time but now that you mention it, I do this all the time. Didn't know it had a name! :lol:

    Any motion (or omission of motion) that reduces friction between the ears and the piano has to be a technically sound choice, IMO. (Although I would never force anything of this sort on a student, if it was unnatural to him or her.)
     
  3. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    AOL:
    nathanscoleman
    LOCATION:
    Louisiana, USA
    I must confess .... I can't find the advantage to TO. other than an unbent thumb, (?) what is the difference?

    Now, Abbey Whiteside's wrist and shoulder movements I found immediate use for.

    Btw, I'm not mocking, I'm genuinely interested in any technical improvements to be made, 'cause that 10/4 Chopin etude is having horrible problems progressing past 144MM.
     
  4. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Physician
    Location:
    Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    LOCATION:
    Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    Friction between the ears and the piano.

    PJF, do you use your ears to play??? That's a new technique!!!

    :)

    Just kidding, I think you must mean "friction between THE FINGERS and the piano".

    Marcelo
     
  5. Terez

    Terez New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    Gulfport, MS, USA
    WLM:
    terez2727@hotmail.com
    AOL:
    terez2727
    LOCATION:
    Gulfport, MS, USA
    You're working on 10/4?? I'm jealous!

    Thumb over seems like it would be very awkward. I'll have to play with it some...
     
  6. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    AOL:
    nathanscoleman
    LOCATION:
    Louisiana, USA
    Don't be! :p "working on" was highly over-optimistic phrase I used there. "playing through once every third day" would probably be more accurate. :cry: At least I have it memorized!
     
  7. alf

    alf New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Piemonte, Italy
    Last Name:
    Bertazzi
    First Name:
    Alfonso
    LOCATION:
    Piemonte, Italy
  8. alf

    alf New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Piemonte, Italy
    Last Name:
    Bertazzi
    First Name:
    Alfonso
    LOCATION:
    Piemonte, Italy
    Re: Friction between the ears and the piano.

    Were it even a lapsus calami, it'd disclose a certain exactness of thought. :wink:
    Everybody should use their ears to play.
     
  9. Terez

    Terez New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    Gulfport, MS, USA
    WLM:
    terez2727@hotmail.com
    AOL:
    terez2727
    LOCATION:
    Gulfport, MS, USA
    More Rosen, eh? I did what everybody (I'm looking at you, Nathan) told me to and ordered The Romantic Generation. It's probably already in but I didn't have time to go by the post office today...
     
  10. alf

    alf New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Piemonte, Italy
    Last Name:
    Bertazzi
    First Name:
    Alfonso
    LOCATION:
    Piemonte, Italy
    That's the finger. Lipatti is the Moon. :lol:

    Well done, Terez, you won't be disappointed.
     
  11. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Fournet
    First Name:
    Pierre
    Re: Friction between the ears and the piano.

    No, I very clearly mean friction between ears and piano. The ear/brain is the first link in the music-making chain, the piano is the last. Believe me; there are many different sorts of friction to be found along the way!
     
  12. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    AOL:
    nathanscoleman
    LOCATION:
    Louisiana, USA
    well, as long as you're looking baby, let me put on a show! :p :lol: :shock:

    In any case, it's a great bk ... definitely a good read and a great reference for years to come! you'll love it
     
  13. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Physician
    Location:
    Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    LOCATION:
    Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    Thanks!

    Thank you for your input on this.

    Marcelo
     
  14. Terez

    Terez New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    Gulfport, MS, USA
    WLM:
    terez2727@hotmail.com
    AOL:
    terez2727
    LOCATION:
    Gulfport, MS, USA
    So, this "thumb over" thing is really not making sense to me.

    This makes sense to me:

    When you're not playing legato, there's no need for your thumb to actually cross under your long fingers, because there's no reason for those fingers to still be there when they're done playing the notes. So the whole hand moves across in a relaxed position rather than unnecessary twisting of the hand to pass the thumb under the long fingers.

    Is this what "thumb over" means? Because "thumb over" as opposed to "thumb under" seems to imply that the thumb passes over the long fingers. That makes no sense, because it's the same problem as "thumb under", but with added difficulties.
     
  15. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Physician
    Location:
    Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    LOCATION:
    Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    Exactly!

    Terez,

    When I first read the name "thumb over", I thought exactly the same thing you thought at first, that the thumb would cross OVER and ABOVE the long fingers, but that is not the case.

    I thought, "how awkward that must be, worse than trying to play with your ears!!!"

    It turns out it is a misnomer, and I think it corresponds to the motion you described when not playing legato.


    Marcelo
     
  16. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Fournet
    First Name:
    Pierre
    I don't care if one plays with his nose, just as long as it sounds good! :wink:

    Pollini has played with his elbows... :lol:
     
  17. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    AOL:
    nathanscoleman
    LOCATION:
    Louisiana, USA
    I sometimes use my 'eleventh finger' .... :shock:


    ...... and returning to the topic: I still don't understand the advantage of OT. I've been fiddling with this now since Monday, and I have a question for all you guys. When you UT in a passage, say a scale, does your wrist lurch? or do you bend thumb and smoothly pass it under other fingers without moving wrist?

    My wrist moves not at all, or maybe just a teensy imperceptible bit. Following the Whiteside principles, I do "draw circles" a lot with my wrist as I play, but there's still no lurching. Maybe I have long thumbs??? and you know what they say about guys with long thumbs!! :lol: :p ...... he can't wear normal size gloves! hehe

    anyway, perversities aside ... I'm really curious about this.
     
  18. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,702
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    My teacher says the same thing.

    And I'm with Terez that TO makes no sense. How do you guys even do that? My thumb can not get close to going over my other fingers. Weird.

    Nathan - my wrists start moving to the side - moving horizontal before I actually do move my thumb under when playing scales. So if I'm playing a traditional 12312345 scale, my wrist is already moving over right after I get off the first key. My thumb does not bend at all and it's barely going under any fingers except maybe the third finger.
     
  19. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,930
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    LOCATION:
    Netherlands
    My teacher said exactly the same to me, as was said to him by his teacher (the famous Jan Wijn, with whom nearly all Dutch pianists of this generation have studied).

    I guess he did not want to hurt his delicate little nose :p
     
  20. François Micol

    François Micol New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Last Name:
    Micol
    First Name:
    Francois
    LOCATION:
    Lyon, France
    I seriously think the scale video alone should be reason enough to disqualify this guy as a piano teacher.

    If it's not enough, have a look at the preface to his "piano fundamentals". Or pretty much any part of the book. Such arrogance...
     

Share This Page