Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today I’m going to share an important tip with you. More motion equals more volume and less motion equals less volume and more speed. It’s as simple as that. This applies not just to finger work, but to wrist technique as well. I’m going to illustrate both for you today!
The answer is, it really depends upon the context.
Sometimes you want to be able to play delicately and quietly. For example, in the B flat minor Nocturne of Chopin. If you play it with a lot of finger motion, not staying close to the keys, with raised fingers, you will hear a great deal of sound generated from the sheer motion. But if you want to achieve a real pianissimo, you’ll use less motion and stay close to the keys. You don’t even need to use the una corda pedal, the soft pedal! You can get so much control when you’re close to the keys! You get a really soft sound. Now the converse of that, if you want more volume in your playing, simply use more finger motion. Raise your fingers higher. It’s very simple physics really. If you want to bang a nail into the wall, you’re not going to strike from right next to it. You’re going to give some momentum and strike from above. Well the same thing is true with chord technique on the piano.
How does this apply to wrist work?
Let’s say you want to be able to play light and fast chords in the Military Polonaise of Chopin. If you try to use a lot of motion, it’s going to be very loud, but it’s going to be difficult to play fast. You get a lot of volume, but you can’t achieve much speed. Speed is related to how much motion you use in your playing. Staying closer to the keys, using less wrist motion, you have more control, more speed, with less volume.
The amount of motion affects the volume and speed of your playing.
This applies to the wrists as well as finger technique. So remember: when you want to play a true beautiful pianissimo, stay close to the keys. The same is true of anything with staccatos. If you want light action from the wrist, staying close to the keys is going to give you a crisp light sound, whereas more motion is going to give you more power. For fast playing, stay close to the keys and use a minimum of motion in fingerwork or wrist action.
So now you know how to get power and how to get lightness and speed. Staying closer to the keys enables quieter playing and quicker response. To achieve greater power, use more motion. That’s the tip for today! Try it out in your piano playing! Let me know how it works for you in the comments below here on YouTube and LivingPianos.com. Thanks so much for joining me. I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.
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