Thursday, June 14, 2007

The relationship between right and left hand technique

So I've been getting back into piano lately... about time!! Anyway, one of the results of this is re-exploring the Jordan Rudess Online Conservatory - wow!! amazing stuff to say the least ( Jordan Rudess has basically reduced a lot of technique to the bare mechanics of the techniques and has then come up with exercises to tackle these mechanics as efficiently as possible (plus there's all sorts of videos ... go check it out!!)

Anyway, getting to the title of the post, my cello technique has sorta gone down over the last few days, which sucks because for a while it had really been going up (over the last week though, I haven't been practicing much for various reasons...). Anyway, one of the things I noticed is that my bow technique has especially gone back down (I *still* can not play the part with the running triplets from the Haydn C well...) and that a result of it was that I tried to compensate more by tensing up my left hand (which is ultimately somewhat assenine, since that will only make everything sound worse...). But anyway, I realized that technique in both hands basically comes down to the following principles:

finger strength
finger independence
hand independence

So far, I've been making the best progress with finger strength and independence in my left hand. The way I look at it, left hand finger strength is essentially presence of callouses, left hand finger independence is the flexibility between fingers (hard to define independence without creating a tautology...). My right hand needs a bit of work, and then on top of that, I need to develop the independence of them.

On a basic/foundational level, these things are best developed by patterns. This is where I think most classical etudes/technical studies fail (they seem to be more oriented around developing mental as opposed to physical flexibility and foundation).

Anyway, What I'm basically trying to do is come up with exercises to do things as efficiently as possible & basically (eventually) push my technique to the highest level. I've come up with some exercises already, and I'll be looking to Jordan Rudess' method for some more guidance on this... the next couple of posts I'm gonna focus on jotting down some of those techniques...

Also, the Yampolsky method is incredibly helpful in pushing myself, though I really need to get past the C Major exercises and onto some of the other keys...

In other news, I've got to prepare Beethoven A Maj. 1st mvmt. & a CPE Bach piece by next week... ahh!! May have some other neat little jamming or music things going on soon... if I do, I'll post...

Looking forward to hearing any comments/ideas.


1 comment:

Emily said...

I have noticed that the right hand freaks the left hand out. One thing that is often times curative has to do with the index finger of the right hand. If you look at the bow grip of professional cellists, you'll notice that even though have different physiologies, everybody looks just about the same, with a special emphasis on the rotation of the forearm and hand onto the index finger. If your elbow is above your wrist, and the weight of your arm is able to travel down from your shoulder, through the elbow and wrist, loosely through the fingers onto the bow, then you are more likely to play 'in" the string, with a more solid feeling technique. Also, think of your bow as digital (I am going to do a blog about this). Either it's moving, or it's not. On or off. When you cross strings, are you pivoting (good) or sliding (not so much)? Hesitation and changes in pressure and speed will vex you and your left hand. Check back later today, and I will try to be more descriptive. This is something I make sure I practice every day, and it really is one of the pillars of great bow technique. I hope you kick the Haydn C's ass!