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4th right hand finger (ring finger) stays low - lesson 2


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#1 frankukai

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 05:27 PM

Hi there,

I have a problem while playing the chords progressions from lesson 2.
In that lesson, you need to play C - F - G
But in all these chords, the ring finger (4th right hand finger) touches the white piano key and sometimes even presses it down (producing an extra note in the chord).
I have tried in vain to get it up higher. Is this something that will improve over time? Are there some exercises I can do to make that finger more flexible or so?
Who has experiences the same problems when he/she started playing and how did this progress?

Frank

#2 JleoLegacy

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 06:33 PM

Frank, I'm just now voicing those chords on my keyboard and the only way I get to happen what you are experiencing is to have my wrist and hand not level, wrist higher than my hand with the finger length nearly vertical to the keyboard which restricts the ring finger lift height.

_john




#3 frankukai

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 06:50 PM

Hi John,


Thanks for your reply.
I really try to put my hand in the shape of a tennis ball and not flat. Maybe I do keep my wrist too high. I thought I was doing it right though, lol.
But if I do drop my wrist a bit, I can get it a millimeter (or 2) higher. It only does not feel like the right position to hold your hand, as explained by Will in the DVD.
Of course, I could be doing it wrong from the beginning and just need to adjust myself to the new (lower) position of the wrist. It feels a bit awkward for now.
I will give this new hand position a serious try though. Thanks for the advice.

Frank


#4 Mystery

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 11:56 AM

Hello Frank (a.k.a. "frankukai") and All Other Interested Readers,

Hi there,

I have a problem while playing the chords progressions from lesson 2.
In that lesson, you need to play C - F - G
But in all these chords, the ring finger (4th right hand finger) touches the white piano key and sometimes even presses it down (producing an extra note in the chord).
I have tried in vain to get it up higher. Is this something that will improve over time? Are there some exercises I can do to make that finger more flexible or so?
Who has experiences the same problems when he/she started playing and how did this progress?

Frank

Developing appropriate independent movement of each finger on each hand takes practice over time. There are several exercises that should help to build that skll. Here's a simple one that you may choose to try.
1) With the RH, alone, starting with the first C above middle-C, play the sequence of notes C, D, E, F & G (using fingers 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5, respectively), first ascending from the C, then descending from the G, repeating the note that ends each ascending and descending sequence. [i.e. Play C, D, E, F, G, G, F, E, D, C, C, D, E, F, G, G, F, E, D, C...] While one finger is striking a key, keep each of the other fingers on or very close to the surface of the key to which it has been assigned. Begin at a very slow pace of 60 notes per minute and gradually increase the pace (by about 30 notes per minute) until you can play comfortably and flawlessly at about 240 notes per minute. Use a metronome (set to five beats per measure) for each of the paces I've suggested and try to play the notes evenly in sync with the metronome.
2) This step is the same as the first step except that you are to use the LH, alone, start with the first C below middle-C and play the sequence of notes C, D, E, F & G (using fingers 5, 4, 3, 2 & 1, respectively), first ascending from the C, then descending from the G, repeating the note that ends each ascending and descending sequence. Use a metronome as described in the first step.
3) This step combines the first two steps. Play the same sequence of C, D, E, F & G notes with both hands simultaneously (i.e. both hands are playing ascending and descending sequences in sync with each other). Don't forget the repeated notes at the ends of each sequence. Use a metronome as described in the first step.
4) This step is similar to the third step except you are to use the RH to play the ascending sequence of notes (C, D, E, F & G) while the LH simultaneously plays the descending sequence of notes (G, F, E, D & C), and vice versa. Don't forget the repeated notes at the ends of each sequence. Use a metronome as described in the first step.

It is essential to be appropriately positioned when seated to play a keyboard/piano. The photograph on the first page of Session 1 in the L&M Piano Lesson Book depicts an almost perfect sitting position. IMO, your keyboard/piano bench should be adjusted horizontally (parallel to the front face of the white keys), vertically, and toward or away from the instrument's keyboard, so that all of the following conditions are met before you begin to play.
1) You're seated upright (i.e. not slouching) near the centre of the bench except that most (if not all) of your thighs are not resting on the bench;
2) Your upper arms are vertical and held loosely at the sides of your body;
3) For each side of your body, the bottom of your forearm, your hand (palm down) and your (side-by-side) fingers are all horizontal and in line with each other (i.e. your hand is not flexed laterally);
4) A straight horizontal line from the point of each elbow to the tip of the same-side middle finger is perpendicular to the plane of the front (vertical) face of the white keys;
5) Your fingers are flat on the surface of the white keys with the tip of the middle finger touching the front edge of the nearest black key.

Also keep in mind that most of the time, when playing a keyboard/piano, the fingers not striking or holding down a key will be lightly touching other keys or be very close to doing so.

By way of replies to this post from all interested readers, I would appreciate learning whether or not the information provided here proves to be helpful.

Make mellifluous music!

Mystery


#5 Pierre340

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 12:22 PM

Practice man, practice , practice , practice
Cheers
Peter

#6 frankukai

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:49 AM

All thanks for the support.

I do think now I started with a wrong positioning. It is already somewhat better after adjusting the wrist position and hand/finger shape. My wrist must have been too high (in relation to the keys) and my fingers too much curved.
Thanks, Mystery, for the advice on positioning and the finger exercises. About those exercises: I find it easier to do exercise 4) than exercise 3). Was exercise 3) supposed to be less challenging then exercise 4) ? Because with me it is the way around.

Frank

#7 Mystery

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 08:41 PM

Hello Frank (a.k.a. "frankukai"),

...
About those exercises: I find it easier to do exercise 4) than exercise 3). Was exercise 3) supposed to be less challenging then exercise 4) ? Because with me it is the way around.

Frank

In the four step simple exercise I described in my previous post to this topic thread, the third step may indeed be more challenging than the fourth step. I suspect that is because in the fourth step the same finger on each hand is being used simultaneously when each plays a note. However, in the third step of the exercise, the only time the same finger on each hand is being used simultaneously when playing a note is when each middle-finger is playing a note.

I'm pleased to learn that you found the information in my previous post to be helpful.

Make mellifluous music!

Mystery


#8 frankukai

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 11:00 PM

the only time the same finger on each hand is being used simultaneously when playing a note is when each middle-finger is playing a note.


Indeed. It is after playing the same finger in both hands that I often fail to continue correctly: my brain tends to try to move the same fingers again. I know, practice, practice and practice.

#9 lafferty

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:02 AM

Frank, i am having EXACTLY the same problem...and only with my right hand.

I was about to ask the same question, then I saw your post here and the responses.

I am able to play the major chords for awhile, but as soon as my hand starts to tire - that 4th figer comes down and starts to hit the key.

I have been stretching and exercising my hand and fingers throughout my day as I work...I have been assuming I can overcome it.


The keyboard exercises you guys have recommended should help too.


Thanks !

Lafferty

#10 frankukai

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 04:35 PM

Hi Lafferty,

Last week I have had a visit of a professional musician and she agreed to look at my technique from time to time to see if something needs to be corrected.

Apparently there are different thoughts in the way how your hand and fingers should be positioned at the piano keyboard. She was convinced the right way - for us - was like this: let the fingers you do not use rest on the keys. This way you do not stress your fingers too much. Since we both have serious health issues, this seemed to be the proper technique - according to her opinion.

So she asked me to do the exercises that Mystery suggested, but in this specific way: the fingers that are not used to press a key down should be comfortable and relaxed resting on the keys. I started playing it this way and I was stunned to see how difficult that was. There is always some other finger that moves a bit while I am pressing down another finger. She argued this was a very imported exercise and I should stick to it until I was able to move only the finger that presses down a key, while all other fingers remain totally relaxed laying on top of a key. It should be my main exercise and I should not do anything else until I master this. So, this is what I do now, until I get it right.

Hope this is a useful reply to my own topic. I wonder what other piano players think about that technique… Feel free to share your thoughts.

Frank

#11 Mystery

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 03:40 AM

Hello Frank and All Interested Readers,

... While one finger is striking a key, keep each of the other fingers on or very close to the surface of the key to which it has been assigned. ...
...
Also keep in mind that most of the time, when playing a keyboard/piano, the fingers not striking or holding down a key will be lightly touching other keys or be very close to doing so. ...


... She was convinced the right way - for us - was like this: let the fingers you do not use rest on the keys. ...
...
So she asked me to do the exercises that Mystery suggested, but in this specific way: the fingers that are not used to press a key down should be comfortable and relaxed resting on the keys. I started playing it this way and I was stunned to see how difficult that was. There is always some other finger that moves a bit while I am pressing down another finger. She argued this was a very imported exercise and I should stick to it until I was able to move only the finger that presses down a key, while all other fingers remain totally relaxed laying on top of a key. It should be my main exercise and I should not do anything else until I master this. So, this is what I do now, until I get it right. ...

I'm pleased that you "had a visit of a professional musician" and that she agreed with the finger independence exercise and finger placement suggestions I provided to you in my initial post to this topic thread.

Make mellifluous music!

Mystery


#12 frankukai

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:43 PM

Very true Mystery.


I must confess though I concentrated too much on the exercise and less on you additional comments (about letting your fingers rest on the keys etc...) to that exercise. My mistake.

It makes me think you are a professional musician too, or at least a highly skilled piano player.


Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#13 Mystery

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 07:23 PM

Hello Frank (a.k.a. "frankukai"),

... It makes me think you are a professional musician too, or at least a highly skilled piano player.


Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

That's part of the mystery about Mystery!

Make mellifluous music!

Mystery


#14 Mystery

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:43 AM

Hello Frank (a.k.a. "frunkukai"),

There's a PM waiting for you to read that is a response to your PM to me.

Make mellifluous music!

Mystery





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