The question today is, “How do you deal with page turns on the piano?” This can be a real problem. One solution that works great is simply to memorize your music! When this isn’t the case, in some pieces, you might be lucky enough to have rests in just the right places giving you time to turn the page. Or, perhaps there’s a place where the left-hand doesn’t do anything and you have a moment to grab the page. But most of the time, this isn’t the case.
That’s why in a lot of concerts of chamber music, when you have a pianist playing with other musicians which is generally done with the score, you’ll see a page-turner on stage. If you don’t have that luxury? Is there anything you can do?
I’ve got some pointers for you! First of all:
You must practice your page turns!
Make sure to fold over the bottom of the pages so you can easily grab them. Then you want to really work on those sections so you can get through them. You may have to take your left hand up just for a moment and leave out a note or two. If you learn the part well enough, you might know a little bit past the page turns or you might have parts memorized just a bit before the page turns so you can get through the piece without disrupting the music.
Another trick that I have done is to copy parts of the score and put them above the pages or on the side of the pages. I have had some scores that I will copy all the pages and put them all the way across in one long sheet taped together. If the piece is too long, at a certain point with perhaps four or five pages taped together, I’ll (somewhat violently) rip off the top set of pages, revealing another set of pages underneath! So you have one disruption instead of several every time there’s a page turn.
For solo repertoire, there are so many benefits to memorization, aside from the issues of page turning. I recommend it really highly. But when you’re in a pinch and you don’t have a page turner, these are some solutions.
What about technology? Well, fortunately,
You can use on iPad or other tablet
and you can turn the pages very quickly, or even use a pedal to turn the pages for you! If the music you’re looking for isn’t available online, you can scan it and turn it into a PDF to have on your device.
A great product is a pedal by AirTurn for turning pages.
VirtualSheetMusic.com also has great technology. You not only can use AirTurn pedals to turn the pages, you can actually use your head! You set how much range of motion it takes to turn the pages, so you don’t accidentally set it off, and whenever you want the pages to turn, you simply move your head to the side and your page turns for you!
So there are solutions for you when memorization isn’t in the cards for you. I hope this has been helpful. Thanks for the great questions. Again, Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, your Online Piano Store info@LivingPianos.com 949-244-3729