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Piano Technique: Nifty warm-up routines (Videos)

Phase one of lessons is a lively romp over the 88s. It sets the geography of the piano through a host of keys. Establishing a “feel” for the instrument with a supportive knowledge of key signatures, framed in buoyant rhythm, kicks things off.

Here are few examples from Claudia’s lesson. At age 11, she’s advanced to a rigorous technique-building program after about 5 plus years of study.

We usually devote 15 or so minutes to these romps that encompass scales, arpeggios, chord progressions, etc. in parallel and contrary motion.

Here’s a sprinkling, with a staccato flight of fancy following a legato stream of notes in G minor:

Now, four-note chords rolled out as arpeggios in G minor, starting with CHORD BLOCKING. (We start by “shaking these out,” setting “patterns” through a sequence of chord inversions)

G Bb D G, Bb D G Bb, D G Bb D, G Bb D G

To play these as broken chords requires a circular arm swing and supple wrists. It’s not brute strength or power that are needed, but instead, a finessed, artful, motion that includes a “roll” into each arpeggiated figure as the wrist is pliant and “dips.” Locking up elbows, wrists, and arms impedes fluidity. A go with the flow “feeling” and natural, relaxed breaths make the escapade across the keyboard a delightful one.

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