TIPS FOR PIANO
Practise every kind of stuff with closed eyes. With one hand or with both.
Use your imagination to visualize the movements of your fingers, hands, arms,
shoulders - your whole body - without playing on your instrument.
Try (Learn) to breath as deep and relaxed as possible.
Record yourself playing etudes, scales etc on a midi-piano. Then have a look at the "piano-roll"
view and see how even the VOLUMES of your fingers are.
In the same way you can study the DURATIONS and the rhythmical evenness.
Transpose the Hanon exercises into all keys.
Play the Hanon exercises in thirds, sixths and duodecimes. First in C major then in all keys.
Some words about FINGERING:In
the real world there is no "ideal" fingering for a certain piece.
Simply because humans have small hands, huge hands, slim fingers, thick
fingers - it even makes a difference if you have long or short arms.
a good fingering must fit to the anatomical specifications. Fingerings
in piano books must be seen as pure suggestions - not more. It is the
teacher´s job to find a good fingering for his student. And a good
teacher accepts suggestions of his student whenever possible. In case
you have no teacher: try out the suggested fingering and then go for
your feeling - what feels good can´t be bad. Change the given fingering
when you feel it´s better in your way. Of course this is a critical
point: you should not immolate the fingering to technical deficits. But
have faith into your feeling and your brain.
Don´t be a slave of "traditional" fingering:
It is not forbidden to use the thumb on black keys (yes, lots of
demanding piano pieces aren´t playable without the thumb on black keys).- It is not forbidden to turn the longer fingers over the fifth finger (J.S.Bach did so).
Claudio Arrau and A.B.Michelangeli avoided fast changes between 3rd and
4th fingers - the used 3rd and 5th fingers for this whenever possible.
and get yourself a copy of Leopold Godowsky´s "Etudes d´Aprés
Chopin" - in case you are serious about getting a piano virtuoso. Not
only those pieces are extremely useful, but also the practicing
suggestions of Godowsky. A milestone. The work of a visionary.
it is a riddle to me why this excellent pianist, composer and teacher
is so relatively unknown or disliked, even among professional pianists. One reason
may be (quoted from Marc André Hamelin) "that the effect (on the audiences) of
those outstanding difficult piano compositions stand in no
relation to the amount of work that is necessary to get them into your
fingers". In other words: they are too unspectacular - there are lots
of much easier pieces that sound (and look!) much more sensational.
Sadly I haven´t yet found any piano composer who followed Godowsky on
his path and continued these visionary ideas. So please wait a few
hours - I´ll be back with more such stuff...harhar, how knows...
reading and listening to these pieces I feel that it truely was
Godowsky´s intention to enlarge the piano playing technique for
creating new "never-heard-before" sound creations and piano specified
compositorial inventions. And not as kind of "Wow, look how difficult I
can write (and hopefully play)!". No, not this guy. I tip on my head.
As denoted before
even "only" the practicing suggestions offer many great tips that are
useful not only for those pieces but for advanced piano playing in
often goes into the molecular structure of a technique and here he
tweaks things in a very intelligent way. Which gives the student an in
depth view of what is essential and how it can to be worked out in a very efficient way.
If you love the piano - go for this stuff!
Thank you Mr. Leopold Godowsky.
Cortot´s edition of the "Chopin Etudes" - a treasury of useful
exercises for the advanced pianist. Cortot didn´t write new etudes
based on the originals as Godowsky did, but as an introduction to every
Etude he offers a bunch of exercises dealing with the special
difficulties of each one. His practising suggestions also often go on
the molecular level of a certain pianistic problem. And often his
exercises are more difficult than the original etude. So when you
managed to work through Cortot´s pre-exercises, you won´t have any
problems with Chopin´s magnific compositions. And of course you will
benefit for other virtuoso piano compositions...