Notions About Motions
Some technical principles are basic. Establish good habits—right from the start.
Arm Weight and Firm Fingertip (Braced Finger 3) are two of the five Technique Secrets addressed in the correlating Primer Level Technique & Artistry Book. These techniques come alive with the varied fingerings found in the Primer Lesson Book. This page conveys the integration of Arm Weight, Braced Finger 3 and Varied Fingering, as per the Piano Adventures® Primer level. (For more details, download the Faber article Synergy at the Primer Level
Technique Secret: Arm Weight
- Basis for good tone production at the piano
- Takes the burden off the fingers
- Uses gravity to overcome the weight of the key
Exercise: Heavy Wet Ropes
- Let the arms hang from the shoulders
- Arms remain heavy while the arms are lifted
- Arms drop into the lap
Technique Secret: Braced Finger 3
- Useful to support a weak fingertip
- Rounds the hand and the arch
- Invites a drop of arm weight
Exercise: Making O's
- Bring any fingertip to the thumb. Look for the "O"
- Ideal hand position for dropping arm weight into the key
- Helps to align the arm, hand, and finger
- Tall knuckles over the playing finger provide a platform for balancing the arm
- Arm, hand, and playing finger need to be in a straight line (in alignment)
- Then arm weight can flow into the fingertip
- Bracing a finger with the thumb can help find optimal alignment
As new notes are introduced, fingerings vary to promote note reading and proper technique.
- Middle C March uses fingers 1, 2, and 3 for Middle C.
- Treble G and Bass Clef F are played with finger 3 as often as with finger 5 (Best Friends, My Invention, and others).
- Frogs on Logs uses a sequential fingering to promote note reading over hand-position dependence.
For note reading
- Varied fingering prevents the student from equating notes with finger numbers.
- The student is presented with a limited set of notes to learn, but without a fixed, preset hand position.
- These are sophisticated concepts that will be revisited in different ways at higher levels
- At this stage the student need not be concerned with technical details
- Don't expect perfect execution every time
Bracing fingers 2 or 3 for the first week on these pieces builds good hand shape and invites use of arm weight.
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