arpeggios, athletic coaching, athletic training, California, cdbaby,, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, Domenico Scarlatti, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Elaine Comparone, essercizi, Facebook, Fig Garden Village, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, fresno filmmakers alliance, gymnastics, harpsichord, humor, Internet, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, mind body connection, MTAC, MTAC Baroque Festival, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, pianist, piano, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano room, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World,,,, ping pong balls,, scales, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonatas, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sports, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano,, Teach Street, technique, Theory, trills, uk-piano-forums, video performances, videotaped replay, whole body music listening, word press,, you tube, you tube video

Piano Technique: Big Leaps, Crossed Hands, and shifty eyeballs (with slow motion video replay)

up tempo:

Be prepared to exercise your eyeballs minus head movements when tackling large leaps, especially those hand-over-hand acrobatics that are intrinsic to many of Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas.

In the first video I’ve isolated a few of these jumps from Sonata K. 113 in A Major, demonstrating what I’ve found to be the best approach.

While I’ve crashed and burned on more than one occasion, a new consciousness emerged through trial and error.


1) No bobbing head back and forth when playing crossed hands.

Use your shifty eyeballs, if necessary, to target the destination notes going back and forth over your right hand.

There are two places that stand out in this sonata. The first involves two octave, crossed-hand jumps. The Left travels back and forth over the right multiple times.

In the second instance, there are jumps of four octaves, and these can be suicide trips, unless mediated by shifty eyeballs.

2) Use an arc-like motion back and forth, but not too high, or you’ll lose contact with the keys.

3) Block out the broken chord progressions in the right hand as they move in sequence. Then unblock them before adding in the left hand.

Be calm, relaxed, and breathe deeply but not anxiously.

Finally, say a prayer..

CLICK to enlarge (page 1 and 2, Sonata, K. 113 by Scarlatti)

5 thoughts on “Piano Technique: Big Leaps, Crossed Hands, and shifty eyeballs (with slow motion video replay)”

  1. Loved this- as always. I know you are your own person- but you give me back my amazing Mom like nobody else can.
    I now have 2 of my Dad’s 3 CDs mastered.
    I know- I still have to buy yours- I will.
    Thanks for sharing your work.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.