Search found 254 matches

by Jonathan the 2nd
11 Aug 2012, 20:28
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .
Replies: 9
Views: 5889

Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

But it gets worse. I move on to other Mazurkas and when I return,like a dog who has buried a bone,I hear more details and the piece seems to have changed again. I will need to make up a picture book to help me with this .
by Jonathan the 2nd
07 Aug 2012, 16:13
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: What Sounds mean a Piano Needs Voicing ?
Replies: 19
Views: 12110

Re: What Sounds mean a Piano Needs Voicing ?

There seems to be a move towards better quality wool fibres in top range pianos. I learned there is a big difference between hair and wool fibres.
by Jonathan the 2nd
07 Aug 2012, 16:09
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

The rather expensive alteration of a piano to fit narrower keys sounds appealing from a playing ,if not financial , angle. I had a nasty thought today . My "friend " , when I was about ten , told me to rub some live Poppy seeds on my hand . He said it would make a wart. Damn me it was true . How abo...
by Jonathan the 2nd
31 Jul 2012, 01:04
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .
Replies: 9
Views: 5889

Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

One interesting part of this Mazurka topic is that I began playing recently at 69 but had a very clear idea of the musical keys. So I have never practised scales. I just learn each piece directly without worrying how many sharps or flats are involved. I am at home with occasioal double sharps and fl...
by Jonathan the 2nd
21 Jul 2012, 12:34
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

Sadly my attempt to design a thumb splint for the violin player caused an abusive sarcastic post from Australia that seemed at odds with my good intentions . The traditional splints look unbelievably clumsy .Double jointedness , (hypermobility) leads on to a lot of pain on later life . I tried to he...
by Jonathan the 2nd
14 Jul 2012, 23:54
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

An interesting diversion occurred on a violin site where a player has a thumb joint that collapses and makes holding the violin difficult. I recommended a splint made of --- siliconed cloth and a stiffener attached to his thumb just to restrict the backward abnormal movement . I advised him not to d...
by Jonathan the 2nd
12 Jul 2012, 17:59
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .
Replies: 9
Views: 5889

Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

I asked the Head Librarian at the local library one day what was the best book he had ever read. He gave me a copy of Italo Calvino`s "If on a Winter`s night ,a traveller ". ( Just corrected the exact title ).One chapter has the writer discussing the idea of collecting all the words that start with ...
by Jonathan the 2nd
10 Jul 2012, 01:08
Forum: Idle Chitchat
Topic: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?
Replies: 21
Views: 16796

Re: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?

Gizzy , I`m glad you mentioned the French musicians as they seemed hell bent on changing keys .I admire the technical ability to compose like that . I suggested on the violin forum to try to copy some Well tempered intervals to see if solo violin gained a new expressive quality .( A classic lead bal...
by Jonathan the 2nd
09 Jul 2012, 00:23
Forum: Idle Chitchat
Topic: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?
Replies: 21
Views: 16796

Re: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?

The subject of key colours is mentioned in the archive to this forum . It tells us that the keys with more sharps or flats sound progressively more strident. That`s just not true . Go back to the 48 compositions by Bach and you find out it`s not true . This ET poison has ruined music for too long. A...
by Jonathan the 2nd
08 Jul 2012, 01:03
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: What Sounds mean a Piano Needs Voicing ?
Replies: 19
Views: 12110

Re: What Sounds mean a Piano Needs Voicing ?

Since the addition of the fibres the notes have all settled down and sound good. That`s a few months now . I don`t keep noticing the harsh sounds that were there with the bare hammers. A thorough job by my tuner is on the menu soon .
by Jonathan the 2nd
08 Jul 2012, 00:58
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .
Replies: 9
Views: 5889

Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

I hope the comments and question about musical analysis don`t offend. I need to know why they do that . Reading them is a mixture of obvious and inorganic chemistry. Two extremes that don`t move me forward .
by Jonathan the 2nd
07 Jul 2012, 01:29
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

The real fingertip needs to feel the contact coming upwards onto the pad and not pushing against the nail . The pad shape was altered to remove the silicone layer touching the keys. it was too skiddy . The cork is closer to the grip of a fingertip . But , on removing the silicone the pad is not shap...
by Jonathan the 2nd
06 Jul 2012, 13:57
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

I have to drag in a permanent part of this problem that has been hiding round the corner and sniggering. How can you feel the key with a lump of cork in the way ? Some kind of mechanism to let me know when contact was made ? A pivot would press down instead of up . So a double pivot (what`s that ?) ...
by Jonathan the 2nd
06 Jul 2012, 02:10
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .
Replies: 9
Views: 5889

Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

The F minor has an analysis on the web and after reading it I wondered why they do an analysis of these pieces. I only learned that this F minor piece has no proper ending . None of the technical phrases do anything to expand my feelings about the music. It seems like a chemist writing a chemical an...
by Jonathan the 2nd
05 Jul 2012, 17:14
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .
Replies: 9
Views: 5889

Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

I have an odd problem with Chopin Mazurkas lately . I am learning these wonderful pieces ,but there are 51 in the book I have .I can pin them down by page numbers or Opus numbers but they each have a special character and beauty which only reveals itself as I play the first few notes . How do experi...
by Jonathan the 2nd
04 Jul 2012, 15:01
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

I have left the false finger alone for a while. As a beginner I needed to enjoy some more slow Chopin Mazurkas . Slow by me but making some delicious chords . The thumb may be the only addition necessary for the small extension I need for a comfortable octave . Bb below middle C is a busy note for a...
by Jonathan the 2nd
26 Jun 2012, 01:13
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

I try to record all the impressions that occur as this progresses. It gives a better trace of the making process . Nothing was changed today but when I tried on the thumb extension after leaving it alone for a week it seemed very squashy compared to the small finger . The faults are glaringly obviou...
by Jonathan the 2nd
24 Jun 2012, 15:35
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

Some useful information comes from this experiment. The new stiffer , lighter version is very easy to fit. There is nothing like an elastic band around the small finger . It just fits very exactly . All the forces in use are pushing it onto the finger . if you flap the hand rapidly as if flicking wa...
by Jonathan the 2nd
21 Jun 2012, 17:07
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

The normal fingers have a fingerprint area that is padded ,curved and lower than a straight out shape. All are worth copying . The small amount of flexing as pressure was applied was reduced by adding a kind of splint all along the top edge like a double thickness matchstick .I wound two pieces of l...
by Jonathan the 2nd
21 Jun 2012, 12:13
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

The small finger piece was made again with just one thin cloth layer and one side coated with a thin silicone layer. The tip was snipped to fold round the end without overlaps. A blob of silicone attached a shaped cork end in line with the normal finger and no hammer shape. (That hammer shape was a ...
by Jonathan the 2nd
18 Jun 2012, 23:19
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

I made a more accurate cast of my small finger in a black rubbery material that will not stick to silicone. I took longer than overnight to dry and will simplify new versions. It`s very creepy the way every detail of my fingerprint and nail is shown in black . The real fingertip with a curved tip is...
by Jonathan the 2nd
16 Jun 2012, 22:54
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

I think there`s still some mileage in these extensions. Comparing the small finger piece with the thumb , I have much less soft flexibility in the small one with thinner outer cover and cork. The thumb is very squashy and needs to be built around a plaster of Paris mould so I can use two hands . Now...
by Jonathan the 2nd
14 Jun 2012, 23:59
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

None of it takes long . Longest time is letting it dry . All the materials are Cloth ,cork and silicone . One pair scissors ,a sharp knife and a spatula . I`ve got the basics now. The thumb can be made shorter . I may not have a lot of natural skill with this combination. Some people can draw pictur...
by Jonathan the 2nd
14 Jun 2012, 01:00
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

I just used the small finger extension today . It feels less complicated although , overall , I much prefer bare fingers. It`s starting to annoy me even though progress is being made. The big danger with these addons is that a piece of music already learned will have to be altered in the fingers so ...
by Jonathan the 2nd
13 Jun 2012, 00:56
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

A sudden switch happened today . I started exploring a longer small finger too. That was amazingly easy. I just wrapped the silicone cloth around the cork and finger first. The first attempt starts loose. When dry the space can be taken up with 2 strips inserted above and below the finger. Start wit...
by Jonathan the 2nd
12 Jun 2012, 13:07
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

Yesterday I cut a wine bottle cork in half and trimmed it thinner to make an extension shape for the small finger. The 3 middle fingers may be fine as they are. I won`t have so much lattitude to fit a loop around each finger. The thumb is a unique case . The friction and clutter rules out a repeat c...
by Jonathan the 2nd
10 Jun 2012, 23:32
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

The slimmer end works well but having the shape like a rubber hammer may be a drawback. I may try a longer reach with more of a normal finger shape later . Even with the one extension the fingering is far easier and the sound is well in line with the normal fingers . I shall look for a picture of Ra...
by Jonathan the 2nd
10 Jun 2012, 15:40
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

Doubling up today . The bump to clear the keys either side ( now giving 1/8th inch vertical clearance ) has been narrowed to fit the horizontal gap between the black notes. I tested my small finger between the group of 3 blacks but learned that that gap is a bit less than the gap between the pairs o...
by Jonathan the 2nd
10 Jun 2012, 15:19
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Learning the Keyboard
Replies: 3
Views: 3228

Learning the Keyboard

Apart from learning scales I have found one very useful Prelude from the Bach 48 book for showing how to get around the piano keys . Prelude No 6 in D Minor seems to teach me such a lot , I wanted to ask what others are especially useful and what they teach you in particular ? What point does each o...
by Jonathan the 2nd
10 Jun 2012, 13:40
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

Just a few good alterations this time . The bump to avoid adjacent keys was sliced off and rotated to suit the actual angle the thumb presents to the key ,most of the time .The cutaway across the thumb pad ( the fingerprint area ) was too short so a layer was added for the pressing down action A gen...
by Jonathan the 2nd
09 Jun 2012, 15:07
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

I`m getting down to the mechanics of this thumb extension now. The loop at the thumb base is extended along the sides with nothing above or below. That part needs to be firm enough to hold it`s shape. The flexing part needs to be kept level with the joint . At present the two connections to the "bas...
by Jonathan the 2nd
08 Jun 2012, 22:05
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

I can`t promise much on the photos but my son may be good at that . The combination of cloth and silicone is very useful as it has so much elastic memory but holds the basic shapes . It`s uncannily like real skin .Did I mention what material I use ? I don`t think so . It`s just a roll of decorating ...
by Jonathan the 2nd
08 Jun 2012, 14:27
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

Gizzy I was just talking to a chap in the Diy shop yesterday about the Thumb and he mentioned a few wood machinists he knew that had two or three fingers missing. Then I remembered the toe being stitched onto a hand on tv . I wonder what the emotional shock must be to loose a finger . The latest rol...
by Jonathan the 2nd
07 Jun 2012, 21:18
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

The thumb-- under aspect was sorted today. I cut another section off the inner soft part of the thumb where the hand creases. So there is an opening front and back . Then I added a thin piece to fit the second crease running up to the sides of the thumb joint. You see that kind of pivot in American ...
by Jonathan the 2nd
07 Jun 2012, 12:56
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

Hi Gizzy . The totally encased thumb felt uncomfortable so I cut out a section just about the width of the tumb to allow complete bending freedom. I needed to have a sesnse of contact when the end touched the key so I cut off the solid tip and slimmed that down a bit. Then I cut back the rest about ...
by Jonathan the 2nd
06 Jun 2012, 15:51
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

Day 3 . The reach with a longer thumb makes it seem remarkably easy . But the lack of feel plus me being a newish player is a double drawback. The lack of feeling could be improved with a looser fit at the tip to let the thumb have some feedback when contact is made. Just a fraction of an inch betwe...
by Jonathan the 2nd
05 Jun 2012, 14:06
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: What Sounds mean a Piano Needs Voicing ?
Replies: 19
Views: 12110

Re: What Sounds mean a Piano Needs Voicing ?

(Late reply. ) Yes it was the Young Musician Final . I used to watch this competition all the way through but my wife and I agree that the presentation and in between psychology completely ruins the program. Some years we see about 5 seconds and then switch it off . Pity .Then you get the Final Winn...
by Jonathan the 2nd
05 Jun 2012, 13:59
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

Re: My Frankenstein Thumb.

Second day . The "Thing" is dry now. It stays in place with no bother but flexing the first joint is a bit restricted. Seeing how stable the material is I shall make one without any copper and just use one layer of cloth. The end section could be lighter too with something hollow in place. The top (...
by Jonathan the 2nd
05 Jun 2012, 00:52
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: My Frankenstein Thumb.
Replies: 57
Views: 63106

My Frankenstein Thumb.

Last night I read about players with small hands who struggled with octaves. Then I looked to see if anyone made finger extensions. (??) .There is a Prosthetic site where they replace missing fingers so you can play the piano again. Just for a laugh I had a go at making an extension. First thought w...
by Jonathan the 2nd
03 Jun 2012, 16:25
Forum: Idle Chitchat
Topic: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?
Replies: 21
Views: 16796

Re: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?

Different kind of colours chosen to confuse ? How would you explain key colours to a child ? Key colours are possible on a piano . I asked if the basic idea was possible on a violin --- on a Violin Forum ----and it got a fairly cold , hostile reaction . Yet comparing famous string players they all s...
by Jonathan the 2nd
02 Jun 2012, 00:27
Forum: Idle Chitchat
Topic: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?
Replies: 21
Views: 16796

Re: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?

Yes but everyone knows the "story" they tell about different key colours. Is that now relegated to the Fairytales and Father Christmas ? Is that when the wicked Stepmother has to dance in red hot shoes till she falls down dead for not tuning the piano properly ?
by Jonathan the 2nd
22 May 2012, 11:04
Forum: Idle Chitchat
Topic: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?
Replies: 21
Views: 16796

Re: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?

Oh dear . What a state to be in .
by Jonathan the 2nd
21 May 2012, 11:57
Forum: Idle Chitchat
Topic: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?
Replies: 21
Views: 16796

Re: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?

In contrast to the acceptance , by so many , of ET on pianos , is the statement that a string player (unfretted fingerboard ) cannot play in ET anyway . Do tuners feel as if they are the Conscience of music that preserves a vital heritage ? Is the idea that Bach invented ET taught in Tuner Training ...
by Jonathan the 2nd
20 May 2012, 20:52
Forum: Idle Chitchat
Topic: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?
Replies: 21
Views: 16796

Re: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?

So the official line is Tempered = Equal Temperament.
They would be the people that claim Bach invented ET?
So why would a teacher reject the Bach Keyboard "invention " to play a Cello piece by Bach?
If it works in any key it should work for a cello too .
by Jonathan the 2nd
19 May 2012, 14:59
Forum: Idle Chitchat
Topic: Copyright --Quoting from a magazine .
Replies: 2
Views: 3048

Copyright --Quoting from a magazine .

If I quote a sentence from a magazine , is it against the copyright rules ? What can be discussed if you disagree with a sentence?
by Jonathan the 2nd
19 May 2012, 14:54
Forum: Idle Chitchat
Topic: Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?
Replies: 21
Views: 16796

Is the phrase -Tempered Instrument - too vague?

If I read an explanation that contrasts string instrument intonation to a Tempered Instrument is there a gap that needs to be filled? If the explanation adds in commas that the Tempered Instrument is a "Piano ( Equal spaced semitones )" does that clarify the idea or confuse you ? Should the word Tem...
by Jonathan the 2nd
19 May 2012, 14:42
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: What Sounds mean a Piano Needs Voicing ?
Replies: 19
Views: 12110

Re: What Sounds mean a Piano Needs Voicing ?

Well it`s a month since I added my tiny patches of black felt fibres to the hammers. None of the notes are harsh .None draw attention to themselves. One evening I listened to a Grand Piano on Young Musician of the Year and heard a harsh sound from one key. I think the idea has some value. It`s very ...
by Jonathan the 2nd
26 Apr 2012, 11:31
Forum: Idle Chitchat
Topic: POLL: Future of the Piano Lounge
Replies: 11
Views: 7843

Re: POLL: Future of the Piano Lounge

One reason this section is neglected may be the way the forum works as you log on. It needs a fair bit of jumping up and down with the top logo getting in the way. Then the headings are limited in the section where you start off. You have to know where the topic choices are located . It`s like a wei...
by Jonathan the 2nd
16 Apr 2012, 14:19
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: What Sounds mean a Piano Needs Voicing ?
Replies: 19
Views: 12110

Re: What Sounds mean a Piano Needs Voicing ?

What I wanted was a temporary reversible fix that would last till the tuner did his stuff. But the tiny amount of fibres make it sound better . Use fingertips to pull the fibres out of a felt strip . The single fibres seem to be about an inch long. I`ve no idea what piano makers use on their hammers .
by Jonathan the 2nd
15 Apr 2012, 13:56
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: What Sounds mean a Piano Needs Voicing ?
Replies: 19
Views: 12110

Re: What Sounds mean a Piano Needs Voicing ?

I had a notion before the last , recent , tuning that the harsher sounds were connected with the string pitches. In fact the effect remained after the tuning.This is a Hohner upright over 20 years old and I have read that they can be on the bright side to start with . Then I read a few days ago that...