The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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24                              DIRECTIONS FOR LEARNERS.
GENERAL DIRECTIONS.
a)  To make sure of obtaining what you want from the in­strument, you must always watch for the "giving-way point" of the keys, so that you can judge how much has to be done to them; meanwhile listen carefully for the beginning of each sound, so that you do not "key-bed":—
b)  You must therefore never really hit the key down, nor hit at it. The finger-tip should reach the key-surface gently, and you may follow-up this contact by acting against the key. This action should be for the purpose of making it move in one of the many ways which each create quite a different kind of tone. This action you must also always direct to the point in key-descent where sound begins, and not by mistake to the point of key-bed resistance.
c)  Remember, if you hit the key, you cannot feel how much it wants doing to; and if your action is too late during key-descent, you can neither obtain the sound you want, nor any Ease in performance.
d)  For Singing-tone, do not allow yourself to think of Finger-action or Hand-action. Think of Weight, and use the flat finger too. Everything will then feel elastic.
e)  For brilliance of tone, use the sudden " Muscular-touch " instead, and use the bent finger too.
f)  If you find it difficult to "get along," or find the passages "sticky," remember, that for Agility you must always (for every note) accurately cease all you do to make sound, the moment you reach it; and to enable you thus to "aim" prop­erly, remember you must neither use continuous arm-force, nor even continuous arm-weight:—
g)  Weight "off," and careful "Cessation" are the two tilings that render Velocity easy; and you must practise Exer­cises and Studies, so that you may learn to apply these two laws, and that you may gain Endurance.
h) For Staccato, the rules are the same as for Agility—you
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