Technique - arpeggios

Technique, methods and advice for learners

Postby LK123 » Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:16 am

I really enjoyed Dr. Leland's article on the "Twists and Turns of Playing Scales", and have found the exercises to be quite helpful. Any suggestions for playing arpeggios? I seem to have too much movement in my wrist/arms, especially when I am playing them at the required speed.
LK123
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:12 pm
Location: Alberta, Canada

Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:53 pm

LK, you can apply much the same kind of movements to arpeggios: hands "pigeon-toed", thumb under, shifts between positions without twisting.

One other thing that should help: most people think you have to spread the hand out over the entire chord at the beginning of an arpeggio, but this is not the case. Begin with the hand in a comfortable, semi-closed position and let the fingers touch their keys as the hand moves along. Coming down, let the hand pass over the thumb while staying level--no pole vaulting!

A good maxim for ANY figuration is "keep the hand small". even when we have to spread out, we should always have a brief recoil to a more relaxed position immediately.

B. L.
Technique is 90 per cent from the neck up.
Dr. Bill Leland
 
Posts: 548
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Las Cruces, NM

Postby 108-1121887355 » Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:36 pm

Working on this but the students with small hands have trouble keeping arpeggios smooth on the thumb under. Any other tips for them?
Thanks
User avatar
108-1121887355
 

Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:49 am

Joan, arpeggio playing is one of the big problems for small hands, especially if they extend over one octave. My suggestion is to work to keep the rhythm and sound as smooth as possible without being too fussy yet about making a perfect legato connection. As with smooth scales, that comes from a combination of moving the thumb under and making a kind of quick shift in which the sideways movement is distinct from any downward hand dip, and the new note is played only with the thumb itself. This is a very difficult coordination to perfect, and can take years.

Again (and again!), the EAR must first have a firm perception of what a smooth arpeggio sounds like. It might help to play the passage with two hands, just to be able to hear a seamless connection between the positions, then hold that aural concept as a mental goal to be imitated.

I've had good luck doing this with places where the right hand must play a melody and an accompaniment at the same time (e.g., the opening of the second movement of Beethoven's "Pathetique" Sonata or the Adagio of the "Moonlight"); playing the melody in one hand and the accompanying figure in the other makes it easier to play them at distinctly different volume levels, and the student can really hear him/herself make the desired sound before trying to reproduce it in one hand.

Dr. B.
Technique is 90 per cent from the neck up.
Dr. Bill Leland
 
Posts: 548
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Las Cruces, NM

Postby 108-1121887355 » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:00 pm

Thanks. The scales she does well. She has done arpeggios with two hands and hears the sound - just cannot produce it yet. I will not be concerned, now. The Beethoven pieces may be beyond her as she cannot reach an octave yet.

Your expertise is always welcome.

Joan
User avatar
108-1121887355
 


Return to Learning Piano

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron