Discussion:
advanced classical piano instruction video -- does it exist???
(too old to reply)
Jason W
2004-09-24 22:09:04 UTC
Permalink
Is there a DVD video that shows very specific and close-up techniques.
Something that shows exact fingerings for advanced mechanics such as:

scales: chromatic, major, minor, etc
arpeggios
hand over hand
etc...

Has any classical pianist created a video to show exactly how to play
material that's harder than Fur Elise? (e.g. Chopin etudes, etc.)

The only videos I see on a Google search are things like, "Learn Piano
in 1 hour", or "Fun with Piano", or "Play Piano like Steve Allen". I
can't believe there's no such thing as hard-core classical piano
instruction!

I see Taubman might have some videos but none of the links on that
website work http://www.taubman-institute.com/home.html

Yes, I know I can (should?) get a piano instructor, but I learn SO
MUCH FASTER from a video.
LEC
2004-09-24 23:47:02 UTC
Permalink
The scales and such can be learned from any number of scale books, there
really isn't any mystery to those. If you're interested, the full Hanon
book has all the scales and arpeggios; also Kjos publishes "Scales, Chords &
Arpeggios" edited by Bastien (aka the Waterfall book, for the illustration
on its cover). Those, and some home-made materials, are what I use with my
students.

As far as advanced repertoire goes, you can get recordings of master classes
of major pieces. They aren't addressing routine mechanics per se though.
They focus more on interpretation, and perhaps specific problems that one
would encounter in a piece. Check out
http://www.pianovision.com/shop/index.php?task=cat&parid=2&tree=0-2
they have a good selection from their conferences and other sources.

Also, check out
http://www.freeingthecagedbird.com/
the focus is on basic movement and relaxation during playing. It won't
teach you fingering, but it will help with hand, wrist, arm, body position
while playing them.

The Taubman videos are good (at least a couple of them are), but I don't
think they'd mean much without a 'Taubman teacher' reinforcing the concepts.
Post by Jason W
Is there a DVD video that shows very specific and close-up techniques.
scales: chromatic, major, minor, etc
arpeggios
hand over hand
etc...
Has any classical pianist created a video to show exactly how to play
material that's harder than Fur Elise? (e.g. Chopin etudes, etc.)
The only videos I see on a Google search are things like, "Learn Piano
in 1 hour", or "Fun with Piano", or "Play Piano like Steve Allen". I
can't believe there's no such thing as hard-core classical piano
instruction!
I see Taubman might have some videos but none of the links on that
website work http://www.taubman-institute.com/home.html
Yes, I know I can (should?) get a piano instructor, but I learn SO
MUCH FASTER from a video.
Jason W
2004-09-25 00:03:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by LEC
The scales and such can be learned from any number of scale books, there
really isn't any mystery to those. If you're interested, the full Hanon
book has all the scales and arpeggios; also Kjos publishes "Scales, Chords &
Arpeggios" edited by Bastien (aka the Waterfall book, for the illustration
on its cover). Those, and some home-made materials, are what I use with my
students.
Sure still seems like a mystery to me!

I happen to have the Hanon book but since it's not a video, I can't
see the nuances of how "experts" finger them for fast competent
playing. For example, how deep the the fingers reach into the black
keys...or the rotation of wrists, elbows, etc. Of course, some of
this is personal preference/comfort but I gotta believe there's an
"optimal" way that applies to most people. I don't want to learn any
bad habits.

Anyways, I order the following DVDs from Amazon,
"The Cliburn - Playing on the Edge"
"The Art of Piano - Great Pianists of 20th Century"

... maybe I can slow down the videos a little bit and pick up some
knowledge along the way.
Post by LEC
Also, check out
http://www.freeingthecagedbird.com/
the focus is on basic movement and relaxation during playing. It won't
teach you fingering, but it will help with hand, wrist, arm, body position
while playing them.
That link seems to be a static page that doesn't jump anywhere.
Post by LEC
The Taubman videos are good (at least a couple of them are), but I don't
think they'd mean much without a 'Taubman teacher' reinforcing the concepts.
Post by Jason W
Is there a DVD video that shows very specific and close-up techniques.
scales: chromatic, major, minor, etc
arpeggios
hand over hand
etc...
Has any classical pianist created a video to show exactly how to play
material that's harder than Fur Elise? (e.g. Chopin etudes, etc.)
The only videos I see on a Google search are things like, "Learn Piano
in 1 hour", or "Fun with Piano", or "Play Piano like Steve Allen". I
can't believe there's no such thing as hard-core classical piano
instruction!
I see Taubman might have some videos but none of the links on that
website work http://www.taubman-institute.com/home.html
Yes, I know I can (should?) get a piano instructor, but I learn SO
MUCH FASTER from a video.
LEC
2004-09-25 01:47:58 UTC
Permalink
I've embedded some comments, hope they help.
Post by Jason W
Post by LEC
The scales and such can be learned from any number of scale books, there
really isn't any mystery to those. If you're interested, the full Hanon
book has all the scales and arpeggios; also Kjos publishes "Scales, Chords &
Arpeggios" edited by Bastien (aka the Waterfall book, for the
illustration
Post by Jason W
Post by LEC
on its cover). Those, and some home-made materials, are what I use with my
students.
Sure still seems like a mystery to me!
I happen to have the Hanon book but since it's not a video, I can't
see the nuances of how "experts" finger them for fast competent
playing. For example, how deep the the fingers reach into the black
keys...or the rotation of wrists, elbows, etc. Of course, some of
this is personal preference/comfort but I gotta believe there's an
"optimal" way that applies to most people. I don't want to learn any
bad habits.
I don't think you will find a video of this (although there is some on the
Lister video). You need to strive for accuracy and relaxation. Speed will
come from these factors (accuracy is more important). The key signatures
played primarily on the black keys are played deeper into the keys, but you
just have to get a feel for it as your hand size and finger length will
dictate some of this.
Here's what I advise for scales (major keys)
- Start with the key signatures which go 123,1234 (RH); C, G, D, A, E, B.
Get that pattern really soaked into your brain.
- Then work on F (1234, 1234, 123)
- Then look at the others
- Play slowly enough that you never make an error at first. Get the
patterns wired into your hands and brain
- Play 2 octaves up and down. Later, increase to 4. This is to get the
full fingering of the pattern.
- Increase speed slowly. Play with a metronome to get a very exact measure
of speed. Start very slow, maybe 60 notes/min until you absolutely can't
make an error. Then increase maybe 4-8 notes. Play at least 3 repititions
at the new speed in a row without error, if you make an error, slow down to
the previous checkpoint.
- Ensure that your touch is consistent throughout, no thumpy thumb or
crossover fingers. If you thump, you're playing faster than your ability
(maybe try a higher wrist).
- Move your arm and wrist as you move up and down, keep a (near) straight
alignment; the thumb shouldn't have to tuck too far under since you are
moving along with the scale.

Mr Chang may check in on this thread too. He has written an on-line book
which is pretty useful, but does differ with my approach somewhat; here is a
link
http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm
Post by Jason W
Anyways, I order the following DVDs from Amazon,
"The Cliburn - Playing on the Edge"
"The Art of Piano - Great Pianists of 20th Century"
... maybe I can slow down the videos a little bit and pick up some
knowledge along the way.
Post by LEC
Also, check out
http://www.freeingthecagedbird.com/
the focus is on basic movement and relaxation during playing. It won't
teach you fingering, but it will help with hand, wrist, arm, body position
while playing them.
That link seems to be a static page that doesn't jump anywhere.
At the bottom of the page are links to the other pages. See the video link
at the bottom.
Post by Jason W
Post by LEC
The Taubman videos are good (at least a couple of them are), but I don't
think they'd mean much without a 'Taubman teacher' reinforcing the concepts.
Jason W
2004-09-25 03:54:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by LEC
I've embedded some comments, hope they help.
THEY DO!
Post by LEC
Post by Jason W
I happen to have the Hanon book but since it's not a video, I can't
see the nuances of how "experts" finger them for fast competent
playing. For example, how deep the the fingers reach into the black
keys...or the rotation of wrists, elbows, etc. Of course, some of
this is personal preference/comfort but I gotta believe there's an
"optimal" way that applies to most people. I don't want to learn any
bad habits.
I don't think you will find a video of this (although there is some on the
Lister video).
This is so strange to me. I'm more familiar with guitars, bass, and
drums and they all have advanced videos showing "shredding" and all
sorts of wild technical playing. I'm amazed there's no equivalent in
the piano world! (Especially considering that piano is older than
those other instruments.) It would seem like there's a market for
classical piano videos since so many students (and/or parents of
children) are dissatisfied with their piano instructors.
Post by LEC
You need to strive for accuracy and relaxation. Speed will
come from these factors (accuracy is more important). The key signatures
played primarily on the black keys are played deeper into the keys, but you
just have to get a feel for it as your hand size and finger length will
dictate some of this.
Here's what I advise for scales (major keys)
This is the exact helpful information I'm looking for. How about a
hand-over-hand exercise up and down the keyboard? I've seen that done
on TV and I've ALWAYS wanted to do that because it looks like fun.
Although, I'm not sure there is any piece of music that actually
requires it. Is there?

Relaxation is not a problem for me... it's the fingering.

Btw, I'm using those scale exercises to learn of pieces like:
Chopin: Op #10 Etude #4
Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata (3rd movement)
Schubert: Impromptu in Eb major Op #90 N #2

For example, I look at the opening of Schubert Op90N2 and I'm not sure
what fingers go where for all those long runs. I basically would have
to dissect the first 80 measures and pencil in the numbers 1-2-3-4-5
above each 8th note before I even start to practice it. Maybe the
sheet music version I have is bad. Is there a published version with
all the finger assignments written out?

I learned Linus and Lucy from sheet music without premapping the
fingers to each note but the density of classical stuff makes me
unsure of which fingers to put where.
Post by LEC
Post by Jason W
Anyways, I order the following DVDs from Amazon,
"The Cliburn - Playing on the Edge"
"The Art of Piano - Great Pianists of 20th Century"
... maybe I can slow down the videos a little bit and pick up some
knowledge along the way.
Post by LEC
Also, check out
http://www.freeingthecagedbird.com/
the focus is on basic movement and relaxation during playing. It won't
teach you fingering, but it will help with hand, wrist, arm, body
position
Post by Jason W
Post by LEC
while playing them.
That link seems to be a static page that doesn't jump anywhere.
At the bottom of the page are links to the other pages. See the video link
at the bottom.
Stupid alert: I have this Samsung LCD monitor that I use in
"portrait" mode. It's great for writing documents and viewing
webpages. That webpage is authored to show the links anchored to the
very bottom of the page regardless of window size. On my portrait
screen, I saw this huge pink space ad thought that was it. Had I
turned my monitor to the typical landscape mode, I would've seen it
write away.

Thanks for all the advice.
LEC
2004-09-25 04:55:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
This is the exact helpful information I'm looking for. How about a
hand-over-hand exercise up and down the keyboard? I've seen that done
on TV and I've ALWAYS wanted to do that because it looks like fun.
Although, I'm not sure there is any piece of music that actually
requires it. Is there?
Hand over hand is easy. In it's most basic form it is just the repetition
of the same chord up and down. For starters, do C Major; (LH)C-E-G,
(RH)C-E-G,etc, (LF)C, (RH)GEC, etc down.
Its fun to do (IMO) in all the keys major and minor just as a warmup.
The trick, if there is one, is common to piano; move fast, play slow. As
soon as the LH is done playing, move it up (in a quick movement) while the
RH is playing, repeat. Make the notes uniform in tempo so there fluidity
(use a metronome again while developing your skill). I think I play them
all with 1-3-5 normally.
Post by Jason W
Relaxation is not a problem for me... it's the fingering.
Chopin: Op #10 Etude #4
Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata (3rd movement)
Schubert: Impromptu in Eb major Op #90 N #2
You have picked some pretty advanced stuff for a beginner. Sometimes there
are tricks to a specific work or passage, but I wouldn't try to teach that
through the internet.
One 'trick' with the Beethoven would be to initially play the RH in blocked
chords; i.e. all four notes of the broken chord simultaneously, played with
the correct fingers as quarter notes; then jump to the next chord.
This will get you accustomed to the fingerings and the overall timing of the
movements. When you are around half-speed (accurately) start arpeggiation
rolling your hand and wrist; and if you can high hand position at the start,
lowering into the 2nd note and rising through the 3rd and 4th (which will
help provide some lightness and natural forward movement to the hand). Use
your arm weight and just stiffen your fingers (for the most part), your hand
is not a spider crawing up the keyboard.

If you can get all your scales and arpeggios (and maybe the rest of Hanon),
under control. You should consider some lessons. There is a lot which
can't be well explained on line.

These books are very good, but I think it would be too much without
direction.
"20 Lessons in Keyboard Choreography", by Seymour Berstein
"Mastering Piano Technique", Seymour Fink
"On Piano Playing", Gyorgy Sandor
All available from Amazon and elsewhere. Now that I think of it, I think
one them comes with a card to order an accomanying DVD, but I don't recall
which and didn't buy it.
Post by Jason W
For example, I look at the opening of Schubert Op90N2 and I'm not sure
what fingers go where for all those long runs. I basically would have
to dissect the first 80 measures and pencil in the numbers 1-2-3-4-5
above each 8th note before I even start to practice it. Maybe the
sheet music version I have is bad. Is there a published version with
all the finger assignments written out?
Work in small sections, a phrase or less at a time until you are proficient.
Fingering is usually quite logical, but can vary sometimes for a performers
hand and preferences. Editors of these editions can make mistakes. If you
are looking at scales or arpeggios, make them match to standard fingering
(eg if it's a (RH) C scale starting on E start with 3 and cross with y