Monday, January 9, 2012


     I posted a video (below) that AJ made for me to demonstrate the principle of rotation. Before watching it, it will be helpful for you to review the information that AJ has provided about it:

     Firstly, this is a SERIOUSLY in depth demonstration. I would probably not have addressed it this way in person. I think the depth of explanation is warranted because it's in a video, whereas in person I could have made a better judgement on exactly which part is difficult for you and focused on that.

     As you watch the video, you may find that it makes sense, but when you go to apply it that it feels odd or you don't quite know how to execute the rotations. Particularly when the direction is going the same as on the previous note.. for example..  if you have a phrase that goes "left, right, right, right" - you may feel as though you don't really have to rotate right each time to play the note. This is because those rotations are incredibly small, especially between fingers 2,3 and 4.

     With that in mind, I think you need to think about and focus mainly on the changes of direction - make sure these are done correctly, as this is where the problems occur. Example, if you go left when you should have gone right you will place your hand/fingers significantly off balance. Where the direction is not changing (ie. left,left or right,right), you are likely doing it correctly already so I don't want you to dwell on that and over think it.

On the amount of rotation -

Each of your fingers has a balance point, - loosely explained, the 3rd finger is the middle point and each of the fingers either side of it have varying degrees of rotation in order to keep them balanced. The 2nd finger will be slightly more to the left than the 3rd, the thumb will be more so that the 2nd finger, the 4th and 5th go to the right. When the amount of rotation is correct each finger will be placed in a comfortable supported position over the key - what this means is that there will generally be no tilting of the fingers when you rotate in a given direction. The movement is small enough that  each finger will land vertical over the key. I know this is likely a little confusing, so maybe I'll do another video later about balance and such. When you attempt to do it you should be able to feel if you are going too far one way or another as it will feel wrong and difficult to play.

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