French Suites by Bach, J.S. Bach, piano, piano instruction, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

Practicing J.S. Bach’s Gigue from French Suite No. 5 in G, BWV 816

My “block-headed” journeys continue. They take me through landscapes of chordal outlines solidifying my learning.

In J.S. Bach’s A minor Invention 13 I’d recently absorbed organized clusters of notes in my palms as they moved in harmonic rhythm, while featherweight thumbs became little rulers, measuring and spacing out distances between inverted chords. Once unraveled, these chunks of notes would morph into well-contoured phrases.

Likewise, I applied my blocking approach to Bach’s ebullient Gigue with its relentless strand of broken chords in imitative counterpoint.

Equally important to my early learning phase, was forging a relationship between legato and detached note playing. (Staccato was best felt as a “snip” away from its connecting counterpart, moving along horizontally.)

In truth, Gigue needed a buoyant lift that demanded an attentive ear, relaxed arms, supple wrists, and gently curved, flexible fingers.

Naturally, what ensued in the video instruction is a synthesis of ideas previously referenced.



Bach Gigue French Suite in G

Bach Gigue French Suite in G p 2


Be a Blockhead when learning Bach

2 thoughts on “Practicing J.S. Bach’s Gigue from French Suite No. 5 in G, BWV 816”

  1. Thanks Shirley! I’m wondering if you could share your fingering for part II of the Gigue. Regards from Buenos Aires, Argentina!


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