I would like advice, please on how to play 3 and 4 octave arpeggios on piano fast and accurately without my eyes glazing over, or getting fixated! Does muscle memory eventually take over? I thought a C major arpeggio would be easy, but the faster I get, my eyes cannot keep up! Thanks.
Posted 10 January 2019 - 21:27
If you are looking then your eyes need to be ahead. Aim for it to be only the changes of hand position where you might need to see ahead where you need to land.
Otherwise yes, it's better to know the way without looking.
Posted 11 January 2019 - 22:28
That's very helpful sbhoa - many thanks. I will try what you have suggested.
Posted 12 January 2019 - 15:22
With these longer arpeggios, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that just because the same 3 note pattern is repeated over and over, it should be relatively simple. In fact it's actually quite tricky, because of the differing spatial relationship between the hand and the body.
Try sitting at the centre of the keyboard and looking at the black keys immediately in front of you. Notice how widely spaced they are. Now look at the top end of the keyboard. Visual foreshortening makes the black keys appear closer together. Next play a chord, firstly straight in front of you, and then about 3 octaves higher. This will feel quite different, because the hand is in a different spatial relationship, and also the angle of the wrist has adjusted. So, things aren't really all the same. William Westney explains all this in his important book, The Perfect Wrong Note.
Next, try playing a RH arpeggio at medium tempo - A, E and D major are better ones to start with than C! - and notice exactly where you are playing wrong notes, and whether it's always in the same zone. Once you have tracked the problem area, it should become easier to fix. Also practise 'chunking' - playing each triad as a blocked chord rather than with separate notes. And use dotted rhythms! I give my students some of the Czerny 8-bar apreggio exercises to consolidate their arpeggio playing.
Posted 12 January 2019 - 17:08
Move the stool a little further away, it helps with the angles. Same for 4 octave scales. 2 octave scales/arps can have stool nearer.
Posted 12 January 2019 - 17:29
Lean to left and right on the piano stool so that the angle of your wrist is not as acute when you are at the ends of the runs.
Posted 20 January 2019 - 20:25
Posted 20 January 2019 - 20:26
Posted 20 January 2019 - 21:30
I can't say I am looking forward to this either. I have my Grade 2 Piano performance exam in March. I have just about cracked all the scales and arpeggios with 2 hands together at a good fast-ish pace. I am still occassionally clipping the key next to the key required. Hoping that keeping practising will mean I don't do this in the exam.
Good luck with your grade 2, YL!
I'm absolutely not an expert but my take is to just remember the minimum speeds are very generous at grade 2 so it may be better to go for fluent, accurate and well-shaped than speedy where you might clip adjacent keys.
Posted 21 January 2019 - 10:12
Posted 21 February 2019 - 20:41
Thank you very much for all the help and advice which is greatly appreciated and invaluable. Having experimented with all the suggestions, it has made a huge difference.