-- Play Piano Nature's Way
Brain and Ear
Hand & Wrist
Great Lived pianists
Technique --> The Upper Arms are Generals:
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE UPPER ARM:
(1) Produce simplicity in coordination - from center to periphery:
Upper arm has the longest lever starting from the shoulder joint. It is moved by the strongest muscles in our chest and back. The shoulder joints allow myriads movements. (The Pianist) The upper arm can freely move horizontally along the key board, in-and-out the black key area, vertically depressing the key through the fingers, rotate toward and out from our body. help to bring the fingers into play position. Once the upper arm is in control, the forearm, wrist, hand and fingers will cooperate naturally. With the control from center to periphery (Whiteside), piano playing can be enormously simplified.
(2) Provide continuity in musical statement and phrase wise rhythm:
The circular shoulder joint provides continuity in action, thus the continuity in musical statement; It initiates the phrase-wise rhythm. It is like the bow of the violinist and the breathe of the singer. Upper arm is a very important playing mechanism when you want to make the piano to sing.
THE USE OF UPPER ARM:
(1) Control of distance: horizontally along the key board, in-and-out the black key area, vertically depressing the key through the fingers, rotate toward and out from our body. Use the upper arm to find the key in long jumps, never reach the key by the fingers.
(2)Control the key depression and the articulation for the important tones. Have the feeling that the arm is one bone from shoulder to tip of the finger, cultivate the sensation of playing from the shoulder joint. It does not necessarily mean the moving of upper arm; it may mean simply holding the lever in alert readiness for movement. Upper arm shares with the rest of the playing members in the blend activity in key depression (produce tone) and takes care of the important tones.
(3) Act as a fulcrum (the support, or point of rest, on which a lever turns) for the fast articulation by the forearm, letting the forearm up and down and rotate so that the forearm will feel light, like floating in the air. When acting as a fulcrum of the forearm, the upper arm is steady and passive but remain alert.
Depending on tempo and speed of sequence of tones, one stance of the upper arm may serve as the fulcrum for many articulations by shorter levers. Then it will take over the production of another important tone and , in so doing, assume another stance.
(4) The upper arm is like a whip, the shoulder is like the handle of the whip.