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Thread: Finger Exercise

  1. #1
    Member fox_druid's Avatar
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    Default Finger Exercise

    http://www.modernpianoplaying.com/te...no_playing.htm

    Do you think so?

    It says that hannon, czerny, or cramer etudes are just waste of time because it's a stupid idea to let the finger mechanically works without concsiousness.

    It's so confusing, sometimes i find it easier to just practice repetitively with rythmic variation or accent just to smooth movement of a passage without having to mind every notes... it's just so difficult to consciously control all the key being pressed at a time. what's your opinion about this?

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    if one can't make an etude sound musical, one needs to work on that!!

    different techniques work for various players (obviously). technical prowess is to be desired and to be made as musical as possible regardless of method preferred.

    i think you keep going as you are and expand the musical horizon when appropriate

    dj

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    Quote Originally Posted by fox_druid View Post
    It says that hannon, czerny, or cramer etudes are just waste of time because it's a stupid idea to let the finger mechanically works without concsiousness.
    How else do you plan on acquiring finger elasticity and control?


    "The studies of Czerny, Clementi, Cramer and the like I have never practiced. They are bad for the ear and bad for the touch, because they are not alive: they are merely mechanical. No mechanical playing assists the technique."

    - Quote from Vladimir Horowitz
    "Technic the Outgrowth of Musical Thought" -- The Etude, March issue of 1932


    You need to be very careful with musician quotes. In Monsaigneon's Enigma Richter appears saying he didn't really dedicate many hours a day to playing the piano, that he didn't need that. However, someone later is screened testifying Richter did spend A LOT of time at the piano, not only studying but also building his huge repertoire, and perfecting it.

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    Member fox_druid's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for the advice

    I almostly lost my faith in Czerny after reading that.

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    Senior Member Methodistgirl's Avatar
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    I will say that it's a good idea to warm up. For me that just enough to get the feel
    of the instrument. For even pipe organs the one I play at church and the one
    at Krummhorn's church are the same in size but they might play different.
    The same goes with any instrument.
    judy tooley

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    Member Azathoth's Avatar
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    The simple Hanon stuff I've done has been very useful for focusing on all aspects of technique. Usually it's just something simple that focuses on a simple new skill (playing a third with 4 and 5 on the right hand, or something) and I master that quickly, so what I end up focusing on is that particulars of hand position and things like that. When I'm playing an actual piece, I focus much more on the musicality.

    I'm stiff by nature but sometimes some emotion slips in to what I'm playing.

    Of course, if all you ever do is play Hanon and approach everything as a technique exercise, you're a moron. However, I doubt that's common practice.
    Weep not for little Leonie,
    Abducted by a French marquis!
    Though loss of honor was a wrench
    Just think how it's improved her French.

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    It says that czerny, or cramer etudes are just waste of time because it's a stupid idea to let the finger mechanically works without concsiousness.
    You should only be worried if that's the way you play czerny and Cramer, mechanically. If you manage to pull all the musicality out of them, then you'll realize that phrase is nonsense. If you are playing a Czerny Etude that consists only of scales (like the Op.299 Nº 25, I think, and the Nº 22) you can take the additional challenge of adding the musical sense to it: creating phrases, creating accents, describing covered motifs, etc. My advise is: make those etudes sound like Mendelssohn's Song without words, i. e. apply all the recourses in hand (no pun intended ) to extract as much music as you can from them.

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    It says that hannon, czerny, or cramer etudes are just waste of time because it's a stupid idea to let the finger mechanically works without concsiousness.

    I thing this is a wrong type of view.
    You will always improve your fingers technique with any music. However, there are special ones where you can focus just the fingers techniques.
    Etudes from Cramer and Czerny are a very good way for that.
    There are millions of types of viewing for what is better or not so good to practise the fingers mechanism, but if you study a etude calmly with the correct finger to the correct key, inventing rithms more or less dificult to you, and try them on etude..., you'll see your fingers and all your hand will improve a lot.
    But attention: any piece, étude, sonata... needs time and pacience. You'll need lots of time to get your fingers well mechanised and the étude well known.

    It's so confusing, sometimes i find it easier to just practice repetitively with rythmic variation or accent just to smooth movement of a passage without having to mind every notes... it's just so difficult to consciously control all the key being pressed at a time.

    I don't know if you are learning piano by a teacher or by your own, but, if you have a teacher he's probably said to you some techniques to improve you fingers mechanism and to play better and better the etudes.
    If you are learning by your own, you should start with simple things:
    1. Before you play any etude, you need to know some scales and play them correctly.
    2. Then, you can choise an etude. There are simplier and more difficult etudes:
    Simplier: Opus 299 Czerny
    More difficult: Cramer and opus 740 Czerny.
    Anyway I just think that if you have the correct form to study etudes they won't be more difficult or simplier.
    3. Start by playing "lento" the etude. Then use as you said different rithms whith the right hand and then put the left hand too. Do all this stuf realy slowly. (this is really difficult to do if you are not concentrated and your fingers will not improve if you arent focus. This stuff needs to be worked abou 1-2 hours a day by 2 or 3 weaks.)
    4. After you have all this well done, you can see dynamics, do it whith the right time...
    5. Finally you will see that you have improved much more.

    BUT ATTENTION: all this needs lots of time more than one month if you want to improve your fingers and have the etude memorised and well played.

    Good luck and loads of pacience.

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    Member fox_druid's Avatar
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    oh my God, 1-2 hour for 3 week. I really have to be patient by now

    Well, I'm learning by a teacher and she always put me to the boring rythmic variation plus her metronome. But she never told me how long I should have those kind of pratice, and after few times of practicing I couldn't see much progress and it made doubtful about this, but now i realize that my problem is only about not being patient. Currently i'm still doing Czerny's school of velocity and it really take so much patience!

    I thought there are another better method... it's just my lazy mind

  10. #10
    Senior Member Methodistgirl's Avatar
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    Really the finger exercise is so that you can get the feel of the instrument.
    I know as also a guitar player that I need to warm with a finger excercise
    so that my fingers don't get stiff while learning.
    judy tooley

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    I have always started my practice routine with major & minor scales 4 octaves up and down in all keys, Hanon exercists 1 through 31 (incrementing a helf step for each exercise), and Russin arpeggios 4 octaves up and down.

    I was always taught that I should do this each day. And regardless of how much time I have to practice, do these exercises first because if you only have 45 minutes to play, you're better off doing these exercises than playing the pieces you're working on.

    And I believe this to be true for me personally. I have tried to prepare for a performance by only practicing the pieces I'm playing. But I feel MUCH more prepared if I have been doing all of these exercises.

    Part of this may be mental. Maybe I think that I am more prepared because I know that I have been doing technical exercises. But if doing the exercises builds and tones muscles and helps with coordination, how could this NOT help?

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    I feel strongly about exercising my fingers. Hanon (1-58) has been my musical bible for the past few years with the addition of Liszt, recently. A good butcher cannot do a good job if his tools (knives) aren't sharp, and it is no different with the musician. You can have all the talent in the world, but if your hands aren't in shape, then what good is talent. Of course, too much exercise can hurt you. This has happened to me in the past.

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    Senior Member Rasa's Avatar
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    All technical exercise is pointless if you don't start with a concious and mental approach. I start with scales in all modes, finger exercises by cortot. These pure technical exercises are useful because it makes it much easier to have a concious approach to technique.

    The etudes can do the same thing, but it depends on how you use them. The mechanical playing has nothing to do with it. Infact, I'd daresay that mechanical playing is a consequence of bad technique. It's the point to play musically. If you don't, you're doing it wrong and it's most probably due to a wrong technique (too direct touch etc...)

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    Senior Member Edmond-Dantes's Avatar
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    Though I think that you need to keep your hands loose and not loose sight of the feeling in music, thinking that drills and exercises are useless is very wrong. It's like thinking you can run without learning how to walk first.
    "Birds sit motionless on their branches. The world is slumbering! It grows cool in the shade of my fir-trees. I stand and await my friend, I wait for him for our last farewell. O friend, I long to share the beauty of this evening at your side. Where do you linger? Long you leave me alone! I wander here and there with my lyre on soft grassy paths. O Beauty! O endless love-life-drunken world!" ~ Das Lied von der Erde - Der Abschied (Li Tai-Po/G.Mahler) <---Click to Listen

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    I used to use Czerny and Hanon, but now prefer to warmup on passages in my repertoire.
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

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