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 Post subject: Glissando advice
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:20 pm 
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I'm practicing a piece that has a glissando at the very end. It goes from low on the keyboard to the top and the RH has to pop off a little note at the end. When I try doing it with my RH turned over so the backs of my finger tips are on the keys, I get too much clicking sound from my nails. I'm now trying to do it without turning my hand over - using the tips of my fingers with my palm facing down. Is this okay? It feels a little weird. Is there a better way?

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 Post subject: Re: Glissando advice
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:59 pm 
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Hi Monica. If you've ever played an ascending glissando in octaves (like in the Weber Konzertstuke) then you know that the 5th finger is doing it like you did, and the thumb is doing like your doing it now, so I guess either way is acceptable. If it were me, I would just do it "normal" with the dorsal (back/top) side of the ends of the fingers. Remember, that your ears are closest to your fingers, but other listners (and maybe your microphones) would be farther from the keys so would likely hear the harp far better than your fingers.

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 Post subject: Re: Glissando advice
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:42 am 
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Thank you, Eddy. I did not consider the mics not picking up the clicking sound because they are farther away than my ears. That makes me feel a lot more at ease. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Glissando advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:51 am 
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I must admit I think it's much easier to play this sort of thing as hand turned over, finger 2 for the gliss, then as you reach the top, flip the hand over and use the thumb for the top note (also helps create a sense of arrival). Are you prepared to suffer for your art: have you considered cutting your nails? :)


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 Post subject: Re: Glissando advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:00 pm 
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andrew wrote:
I must admit I think it's much easier to play this sort of thing as hand turned over, finger 2 for the gliss, then as you reach the top, flip the hand over and use the thumb for the top note (also helps create a sense of arrival). Are you prepared to suffer for your art: have you considered cutting your nails? :)


When I flip my hand over so that the backs face the keys, my 3rd finger is most logical to use because it's longer. You use your 2nd finger, which means you have to tuck in your other fingers a little, right? I suppose it doesn't matter which finger you use. But the landing in this piece is critical, as I have to stop on a high G and then pop off a G-sharp without hesitation.
(oh, I just made a joke but no one will get it...)

Suffer for my art...that's funny... :)
My nails are very short, but when I flip my hand over, the nails touch the keys. Doesn't everybody's? I don't have time to put on a glove like I did with this one other piece I recorded that has a glissando. In that case, I had about two beats rest, so I could quickly put on a glove and then slide up the keys without any nails noise. No time to do that in this piece. But I'm experimenting with the angle of my arm in relation to the keyboard. Plus the fact that the mics aren't super close to the keys and therefore (hopefully) won't pick up any extraneous sounds, so I think I can make it work.

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 Post subject: Re: Glissando advice
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:44 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Finishing on a black note? Must admit I hadn't considered that! I tried the gliss you're wanting: I found the most effective method (for me) was to tuck 3,4,5 into the palm of the hand, leaving 2 and 1 pointing out of the hand, the thumb pointing, as it were, towards the left hand end of the piano and 2 pointing down at about 45% to the keyboard (so 45% between 1 and 2). Now lower the thumb till it's almost but not quite touching the 2. This is the position I would adopt. Keep the hand absolutely steady, gliss the 12 unit up to the G with the hand well into the keys and, because you've cunningly arranged for the 1 to move up the keyboard at the level of the black notes, it should be easy to flick the thumb inwards a touch to the right and land convincingly and quickly on the G#. Everyone's technique's different though.


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 Post subject: Re: Glissando advice
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:48 pm 
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But you do get some clicking sound from your nails, don't you?
I'm still not sure if I want to use my 2nd or 3rd finger, but in either case I find that I have to flip my hand back over to pop the G-sharp. At least I thought so, until I just read what you wrote. I will practice tonight and try it without flipping my hand over. Also, turns out I am suffering -- after practicing last night I now have a sore spot right below my 3rd finger nail.
Poor baby :P (razzing myself)

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 Post subject: Re: Glissando advice
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:49 pm 
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It occurs to me you could also use a 2nd/3rd finger combination in much the same way as I was using thumb/2nd and instead use the 3rd finger for the gliss and the 2nd for the G#.

You do get some noise but I doubt it shows up when recorded. Glisses are often quite loud anyway: not by dint of individual notes, but cumulatively. I can't hear anything on my Cziffra Il Trovatore on this site (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfqCJC2x6Os two glisses, both just after halfway; I think I might even be following my own advice for arrival on a white note in the upward one @ 4.40, haha). Probably helps if the mics aren't too close to the piano tbh - might be worth a little experimentation beforehand with mic position and recording just the gliss.


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 Post subject: Re: Glissando advice
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:18 pm 
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After practicing last night, seems using both 2 and 3 fingers is the way to go. But it's still tricky when you have to stop on a certain note. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I really have to practice this more. I do wish there was something a pianist could put on a finger like a thin, rubber thimble-like thingy so the clicking sound would be muffled. Making test recordings is a good idea. Thanks, Andrew! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Glissando advice
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:26 pm 
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I don't think nail noise is anything to worry about. No one will hear it over the sound of the glissando except maybe the pianist. I have never heard of anyone putting on gloves or anything else to play glissandos.


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 Post subject: Re: Glissando advice
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:47 pm 
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I am very sensitive to extraneous noises and try hard to eliminate all that I can. Of course, this is only when I'm recording.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Glissando advice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:22 am 
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Hi Monica,

Here are some options for the RH glissando on the natural (not black) keys gleaned from Piano, The spirit of Technique and Interpretation by Rosa Antonelli:

All are done with the RH.

1. Make the upward glissando figure with palm showing up and using the index finger only.

2. Play it with the palm showing with the middle finger only.

3. Play it with palm showing using the index finger and middle finger together with the thumb pressing atop both to support them.

4. Play #3 above but without any support from the thumb.

5. Play it with palm showing using the middle finger, fourth and fifth fingers together.

6. Play it with palm showing using the index, middle and fourth fingers together.

7. You could experiment using the side skin portion of the thumb while the fingers glide above the black keys during the ascent. This might be hard to do.

I believe the others are right. You can hear the nails on the keys because you're right there. Listeners would be farther away as would mics. I wouldn't worry about it.

As far as the last note goes, experiment to see which finger would be the best after the glissando. The third might be a good choice as it's the longest finger and also a strong one.

Sorry I'm three months late, however if you encounter another glissando problem, this might come in handy later.

David

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