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Finger Staccato comment 1

9 months ago by PLAINE

Hi!   I believe ”finger staccato” is quite widely used method for making passages clean or activating and strengthening fingers. I am just wondering here that how well does it fit to Alan’s method? Obviously you can do it more with fingertips or more with knuckles. I assume tha...

1 year ago by ANNE MOORE

What a shock to watch Alan's update this morning, recounting his struggle with injury. He is so honest about this, and it is hard to watch because he is obviously in real distress. I hope Alan knows that he is joining a long tradition of brilliantly creative people who  re-invent themselves over and over, alway...

1 year ago by GORDON

I've been gradually retraining myself after years (like 40) of wrong approaches starting with being taught to "strike" the keys at an early age.  One thing that I notice is that I have much better elasticity and range of motion (with my fingers) in my left hand whereas my right hand I have trouble playing third...

1 year ago by PLAINE

Hi!  I am still quite unfamiliar with this technique, but I think I am gettin the idea little by little... Few questions about Thumb Corkscrew: Does it often start with curved thumb and then straighten when it hits the key? We know Alan has taught a long time that thumb is most powerful...

1 year ago by SIMON CHU

Hello,   So I've been exploring Op.10 No.1, not really intending to perform it but interested in the technique. One of the hardest arpeggios I found was the A major, particularly ascending and the major 3rd of A-C# between the 4th and 5th fingers was really difficult. Having a play around with i...

1 year ago by PLAINE

Hi,   One thing I've been thinking lately (and it's related to my "Bone Ropes" -thread and latest "How To Practise Scales Slowly" -video) is about hyperextended fingers. Alan teaches here and there that we should be practising (and sometimes even playing) with straight fingers a...

Bone Ropes comment 3

1 year ago by PLAINE

Hi, Another concept which have appeared couple of times recently is "Bone Ropes". This is also a technique which I believe I allready have some idea, but it still needs clarification. To me this is mostly an elastic feeling in which fingers feel like ropes contacted to keys. You get this feeling i...

More Push-ups comment 2

1 year ago by PLAINE

Hi all! Alan has shown us "thumb push up exercise" which I use quite a lot in my own practising and teaching. Recently I’ve been thinking that how about developing similar exercises for other fingers too, especially 5th and 2nd? If I am right lateral movement of the finger wakes up interossei m...

3 years ago by A Pianist

Hello everyone, Just to let you know that I have finally booked my flights home for the summer and so I have a schedule to offer of where I will be and when, for anyone interested in having some lessons. Please visit for all the details! Pianistically yours, AFF

Strange Dichotomy comment 4

3 years ago by A Pianist

Dear Mr.Fraser, Please forgive me to write to you so unexpectedly.I have aquestion for yo. I have been your admirer for many years, I studied your wonderful book, which helped me and my friends a lot..I traveled to see you in Montreal this summer...then i realized you can't play sweet dick at all. How is that possible...

3 years ago by A Pianist

I would like to know your thoughts about the following: what is missing for you in the book and the DVD? What needs to be addressed more fully, or in a different way? What hasn't been addressed at all that needs to be? If I were to do another film (or book), what would you like to see included in the material?

3 years ago by A Pianist

I was just browsing through my old mail folder and found a message about the lobster claw and the seeming contradiction between relaxation and activation. A GREAT question that deserves a new answer, as I see my thinking has changed from almost a year ago when it was first posted! I'm in the midst of writing about t...

3 years ago by A Pianist

Here is something from a very early book of Moshe Feldenkrais, ABC of Judo (Paris, 1938). Feldenkrais was a student of Jigaro Kano, founder of Judo, and Kano said that Feldenkrais’s books on judo were the best in any language other than Japanese. I have translated this from the French. I hope you will meditate on th...

3 years ago by A Pianist

Communication is a 2-step process. First the information is presented, second, it is understood by the receiver. I have always seen it as my responsibility as a teacher to ensure that the student gets it and can use the material I give them effectively in their own playing. If I give a wonderful lesson but the student...

3 years ago by A Pianist

That’s right… As you sit and read this, move one knee slightly forward. You may notice that it is impossible to do it without a slight movement of the pelvis as well. Lately as I have returned to some thorny passages that over the years have obstinately refused to become easy to play, I notice that although I have cult...

3 years ago by A Pianist

YouTube has an amazing wealth of piano videos. It occurred to me to create a thread where I post some of them and we start talking about how these wizards are doing what they are doing. To get the ball rolling, check this out: It's Martha Argerich playing the Scarlatti Toccata in D minor, K.141. The first t...

The Thumb comment 21

3 years ago by A Pianist

How many of you are aware that the thumb is virtually a hand in itself? It totally opposes to the rest of the hand, and its musculature is almost as big as all of the other fingers' put together? Have you felt how, when you can really feel your thumb's fundamental functional difference from the rest of the hand, it off...

3 years ago by A Pianist

I've been browsing through a long exchange between cziffra and arhidesign about this and that, and amongst other things, arm weight. I have always enjoyed cziffra's real dedication and highly perceptive understanding of what's going on physically when we play piano, but have also always been a bit worried about the con...

3 years ago by A Pianist

British Pianist Rayond Banning and myself have been engaged in a stimulating debate on the Arm Weight School vs. my Hand Structure & Function school of thought. It is all too long to put on the forum here, but I have created a page on my website with the complete transcripts for those of you who are interested... i...

3 years ago by A Pianist

I recently received this email and thought it would be a good thing to answer these points here on our forum. Read on... "Dear Mr. Fraser: I downloaded your video preview. A few thoughts: 1) Monkeys do have opposable thumbs and can grasp branches. 2) Your wrist is too high on the legato demo, and I've nev...

3 years ago by A Pianist

My last couple of entries touch on the problem of how most freely and effectively to manipulate the piano keys for beautiful and variegated sound. Another way of describing unstable equilibrium (see previous post) is “empowered neutral,” the neutral point being the point at which the greatest amount of potential energy...

3 years ago by A Pianist

I thought it might be good to post this clarification, prompted by a recent email from an American doctor who has my book and film. He asks, "By the way, I have a question with which I hope you can help me: I never really quite understood the SECOND arch of the hand from your book and DVD. I DO understand the othe...

3 years ago by A Pianist

Hi, I'm an amateur pianist from the United States. I've owned The Craft of Piano Playing for about six months, and the concepts in the book have been very helpful in my technical development. I'm especially satisfied with the improvements in my right hand. It was my stronger hand to begin with, so it didn't take an awf...

3 years ago by A Pianist

Yesterday in our lesson I wasn’t happy with the left hand of Jovan’s Winter Wind etude (Chopin Op. 25 #11) – it lacked a real desperation of expression. His left hand was good and bold, singing well, but it wanted that incredible intensity of emotion and phrase line that makes this etude sound great. I noticed that as...

3 years ago by A Pianist

Recently I received the following letter, which was so pertinent that I thought I should post both it and my reply here on the forum. Any further insights about this? "Dear Sir! I should, firstly, think a little about your website's contents. You doubtlessly are a truly gifted pianist, but your piano technical...