Tag Archives: piano technique

Reviewing Chopin’s Nocturne in C# minor, Op. Posthumous (MOVIE THEME, THE PIANIST)

We have to give credit to movie-makers for putting this hauntingly beautiful composition on the popular marquee of Classical music favorites. It shares notoriety with Mozart’s middle movement theme of Concerto no. 21 in C, which recurred throughout the film, … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Staying CONNECTED while playing staccato

I’ve picked the B Major Scale with 5 sharps distributed through double and triple black note sequence, to demonstrate wrist, forearm, and finger staccato. In these forays through detached notes, I emphasize how to stay “in touch” and not lose … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: C Major Scale Mapping

Most students think of C Major as the easiest scale around the BLOCK. But in fact, it’s not nearly as patterned or symmetrical as the double and triple black note content scales, B, F# and C# Major (Or their equivalent … Continue reading

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Piano Technique Tips: Leaning toward the piano in contrary motion

One of my wise colleagues tipped me off about moving toward the piano when playing scales and arpeggios in contrary motion. After trying it, I integrated the leaning forward motion into my own practicing and naturally, it trickled down to … Continue reading

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Chopin’s Nocturne in E minor, Op. 72, No. 1: Rotation, voicing, phrasing

Many students believe their hands are too small to navigate the E minor Nocturne. Seeing awkward intervals inside of broken chords that often span beyond an octave, they have a fixed mindset that the Left Hand (in this composition) must … Continue reading

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A Romp through F# Major scales and arpeggios

F# Major, from a certain perspective, happens to be one of the easier scales to play because it falls into patterns of triple black and double black keys with thumbs meeting in between. In fact, both hands have mirror fingers … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Practicing Arpeggios in 10ths, and in Contrary motion

I’ve selected broken chord chains or arpeggios (harp-like figures) that have symmetries between the hands when played in 10ths, and separately in contrary motion. Taken together, these are not pedantic exercises, but expressive romps over many octaves culminating in a … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: How to organize and practice a Major scale in 6ths

I chose the Ab Major scale as my springboard for this demonstration. Its KEY SIGNATURE has the mnemonic BEAD (Bb, Eb, Ab, Db) I recommend practicing the scale hands alone at first in its Root position to clarify fingering. Then … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: A styled staccato with a dipping wrist

I find that adding supple wrist dips to staccato within any dynamic range helps to style and shape lines, phrases, etc. Here’s it’s first executed within a scale framework. A cat cameo appearance is the opener. Now a sample of … Continue reading

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Instruction and Comparative performances of Beethoven’s Bagatelle in G minor, Op. 119 No. 1

Wikipedia: “The Eleven Bagatelles, Op. 119 were written by Ludwig van Beethoven between the 1790s and the early 1820s. By the end of 1803, he had already sketched Bagatelles Nos. 1 through 5 (along with several other short works for … Continue reading

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