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 Post subject: The craft of piano playing
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:30 pm 
Hi all!

Have you ever read this book?If you have, the dvd version was released a month ago, so i thought you might find it interesting.
Here is the link:

http://maplegroveproductions.com


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:45 am 
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Havn't read it but a sentence on the site caught my interest. "...replaces both tension and over-relaxation with effective hand activation..."

Everyone else preaches how you should be perfectly relaxed but this has never really worked for me. Once I really try to relax my hands, shoulders, arms while keeping my fingers stiff, my playing get sloppy and I make more slips. When I do not relax that much and even phase lock the wrist for trilling really fast or make short but very fast runs, I get a much better result. Yes, I get more tired and one should not do that but for very short moments but from what I have been taught, one should never be tired in the arms from piano playing or one is doing something wrong.

I believe this is a misunderstanding originating from that one should never feel pain. But there is quite some difference between being tired and feel pain. I believe that when pushing the limits, really powering up in your entire body is not wrong while there are many ways to do this wrong.

I actually outrange my piano teacher (who has been a eurpoean touring concert pianist) in the speed of trills with my method. I am faster and can even keep the trills more consistant and also keep the speed up for a longer time. However, that is the only thing I am doing better than him ;).

But back to subject. It seems like Alan Fraser is addressing this issue and it could be interesting to watch. But the speed when trying to download the 88 MB demo is ridicolous low. In 1 hour, it will be on my hard drive (I have 24 Mbit/s so it is not because of me).

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:55 pm 
Thanks for the perceptive comments about effective activation. As for the slow download rate, I am afraid it might be due to our location in Serbia, however we are looking into it and have some new solutions in the works!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:46 pm 
Video on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLg3XqQi3No


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:07 am 
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Agreed, coordination should be the technical aim. I've gotten into my fair share of arguments with teachers who advocate extreme relaxation. Motion is impossible without some tension somewhere. The problem most people have is holding simultaneous tensions in opposing muscle groups, this creates an enormous amount of friction. Often times, pianists become overly concerned, obsessed even, with downward motions while completely ignoring the fact that there must be a finely tuned mechanism in place to release the finger from the key. Developing that release mechanism is an art in itself. Letting your fingers ease up with the keys instead of actively lifting them will put you on the right track.

Pete


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:28 am 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
looks like an interesting DVD. I can't counter with any ideas which point out "flaws" with the demo because my technique is not the greatest. What I can say is that with the short clip on octave-ing was wild. That was extremely fast.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:23 pm 
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I wonder if he has any thoughts of "curing" tendonitis. I've been told you can't.
I liked the concepts in this video and may purchase it. Except maybe my new piano teacher will teach me the same things, so I better wait.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:40 pm 
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juufa72 wrote:
looks like an interesting DVD. I can't counter with any ideas which point out "flaws" with the demo because my technique is not the greatest. What I can say is that with the short clip on octave-ing was wild. That was extremely fast.


haha yeah thoses octaves where extremely cool I think it's a interesting dvd but don't have any money on this moment to buy it :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:55 pm 
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I looked through the demo and everything he says makes sense to me and fits pretty well with what my piano teacher points out to me when there are flaws in my technique. I especially have a problem with relaxation as my hands often collapses when I try to do that. My teacher puts it "Your arms should feel like spagetthi...and your fingers like steel".

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:00 pm 
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What I have read and watched so far sounds very interesting to me too. Will read more later on.

robert wrote:
I especially have a problem with relaxation as my hands often collapses when I try to do that. My teacher puts it "Your arms should feel like spagetthi...and your fingers like steel".


It is so easy to say "Relax"! This will also not work this way. Because relaxing can't be demanded. I read somewhere, better replace the word "relax" by "release". It is because what we need to do to relax is to UNDO something instead active DO something. That is the important thing.

It can be that in my case normally my hands and shoulders are relaxed while playing piano. However, I get voice lessons and constantly my voice trainer have to remind me to release tensions in the throut, neck and everywhere. It is soooooo difficult to relax if someone demands to "execute" relaxing...

Sorry for coming off topic.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:01 pm 
pianolady wrote:
I wonder if he has any thoughts of "curing" tendonitis. I've been told you can't.
I liked the concepts in this video and may purchase it. Except maybe my new piano teacher will teach me the same things, so I better wait.



Tendonitis certainly CAN be cured, once you address the root cause, which is an improper use of self and especially of structure and function. As for the DVD, it costs less than half what a single private lesson with Prof. Fraser costs, but is worth literally dozens of lessons - don't wait!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:32 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
I sat at the keyboard placed my 5th finger (right hand) on a D# and tried to stretch my 3rd finger one octave below to a D#. I could not; I can barely stretch a 7th using this technique. It is because my 5th finger (on both hands) is small-- 2&1/4" long (5.7cm) at the base to tip. I believe that to use this technique, or many of the lessons shown, you are better off with longer fingers.

I'll sit this DVD out and wait for one to come out which targets small hands and small hands only.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:58 pm 
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joca_hdj wrote:
Tendonitis certainly CAN be cured, once you address the root cause, which is an improper use of self and especially of structure and function. As for the DVD, it costs less than half what a single private lesson with Prof. Fraser costs, but is worth literally dozens of lessons - don't wait!


I appreciate your enthusiasm for this man and his teachings. I need a master teacher to watch me play and show me one-on-one how to correct my bad habits. I'm still interested in the video and may purchase it someday. It can't hurt to hear advice from two different teachers.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:24 pm 
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juufa72 wrote:
I sat at the keyboard placed my 5th finger (right hand) on a D# and tried to stretch my 3rd finger one octave below to a D#. I could not; I can barely stretch a 7th using this technique. It is because my 5th finger (on both hands) is small-- 2&1/4" long (5.7cm) at the base to tip. I believe that to use this technique, or many of the lessons shown, you are better off with longer fingers.

I'll sit this DVD out and wait for one to come out which targets small hands and small hands only.

I think the DVD has a chapter addressing small hands. I tried and I could reach on octave that way, but not comfortable and I believe it is just an example. I also can reach an octave with any finger combination of the thumb and both 2-5 and 3-5 on white keys. Heck, now when I try, I can reach an octave with any finger combination but for 4-5 and 3-4 (yes I reach with 2-3).

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:35 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
I appreciate your enthusiasm for this man and his teachings.

I believe joca_hdj is Alan Fraser. Either that, or he's got shares in Mr. Fraser's business :wink:

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