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Shirley S Kirsten

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Braving the Slippery Slope of Black Keys: Practicing the F# Major Arpeggio
by Shirley S Kirsten   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, October 30, 2011
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011

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Unshackled of a learned prejudice against black notes, I forge ahead to teach mastery of the F# Major arpeggio.

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/piano-technique-braving-the-slippery-slope-of-black-keys-practicing-the-f-major-arpeggio-video/

Why all the prejudice against black notes? I, for one, avoided them like the plague for years. And my teachers were enablers, keeping me and  other students contentedly in C Major to avoid widespread unrest. Their benign neglect of the blacks, in the the end, came at great cost. We teetered on the edge when a sharp or flat crept into the score, and never expected to make peace with them.

***

Decades later I find myself miraculously liberated from the tight grip such keyboard apartheid had on my hands and psyche. It's because I realized that if I remained regressed in a white note universe, I would deprive myself of a vast literature of heavenly piano music.

***

In the video below, I elevate the F# Major arpeggio to a status it deserves by practicing it in "chunks."

Since the thumbs meet in the course of playing this particular arpeggio, the "tunnel" fingers through which they pass are reciprocals or <em>mirrors.</em> This allows the brain to more easily digest the concept of the same fingers being in an <em>inverse </em>relationship, while thumbs play on either side. So blocking out these middle notes imbues a consciousness of "spacing," geographic "feel," and advances muscle memory.

F#   <strong>A#   C# </strong>  F#  A#   C#   F#
1    <strong>2    3 </strong>     1   2    3    1     etc
5    <strong> 3   2  </strong>    1   3    2    1

Chunking each hand alone with thumbs in between is demonstrated in the video.

Chunking, hands together is next explored.

Picking a rhythmic framework to advance fluency, shaping, and tempo building is the culmination of all the GROUPING or chunking activity.

The Routine:

Start with a singing tone legato and play deep into the keys.

Practice Quarter quarter notes (sub-dividing the beat) for three octaves
Then Eighth notes for three octaves
Followed by Tripets for three octaves
Then Triplet 16ths for FOUR octaves
Progressing to:
Triplet 32nds for FOUR octaves
Triplet 32nds staccato Forte, FOUR octaves
Triplet 32nds, staccato piano, FOUR octaves

If 32nds are bit of a stretch, then make 16ths your peak, but remember to end with a pair of arpeggios in staccato (F/p)

Know that staccato is only a snip away from legato, so let your relaxed and buoyant arms keep swinging away just the same. And never lose your psycho-physiological <em>connection</em> to the notes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgC7ObEJDtU


<strong>RELATED:</strong>

<a target="_blank" href="http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/piano-technique-tackling-the-bb-major-arpeggio-in-chunks-video/">http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/piano-technique-tackling-the-bb-major-arpeggio-in-chunks-video/</a>

 

 

 

 

Web Site: Piano Technique: Braving the slippery slope of black keys



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