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Piano Lessons: Lyrical Wrists

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want to talk to you a little bit about how
to use your wrists when you're
playing a lyrical piece.
So, this is a piece that's going to be
very melodic and
maybe a little bit slower.
When you're using your arm and your wrist
with playing the piano.
Because it is a percussion instrument,
it's easy for pianists to lose, their ear
on their sound.
Meaning [SOUND] Once I play a note, I
don't really need to think about that note
any more because there is nothing I can do
to change the note, as a piano player,
whereas if I were playing a violin or any
woodwind instrument or brass,
I can still manipulate the note after I
first attacked it.
Through either the rate I'm bowing, or my
But pianists, we have to
Kind of work a lot on our approach, and
then our attack.
And then once we've attacked, it kind of
stays there.
So when we do a lyrical pieces, where were
holding notes for
a long time, it's important that, we keep
our arm and our wrist in motion.
So we need to kinda think of our arm as if
it were our bow.
So for example, let, let's look at the
Chopin Prelude in E Minor.
Think this is from grade seven of the
I'll just play the first, first phrase.
So, I don't know if you noticed, but
my wrist was always in motion.
So it was never stopped.
There are two reasons for this.
So, one, if your muscles know that they're
going to keep continuing on,
the attack is actually different.
So your attack,
is going to be different than if your
muscle knows that it's gonna stop.
It's a little rounder.
And the way the hammer strikes the key,
creates a sine wave actually,
that doesn't, that takes longer to
So it creates a more round tone than a
Sharp sound which starts really big and
then dies away very quickly.
So it really does affect your sound.
And the better piano you have, the more
you will hear that.
So it's a really good reason to get an, a
great instrument.
Cuz if your instrument isn't great, you
won't be able to hear so
much of a difference.
So, that's number one.
So if my muscles know I'm gonna keep
going, it attacks the key differently.
Number two, is if people are in the room
listening to you,
it kind of creates an illusion.
They watch the arm go and
you can tell that the line keeps going
just because the arm keeps going.
So let me just show you the difference I'm
not going to move the arm,
so, try and hear the difference and notice
the difference in the line.
That my line won't seem as long because my
arm is not going to keep moving so
[LAUGH] That's very hard for
me to not move at all.
So as you can see it, it, kind of breaks
the line up into note, per note, per note.
Let me do it one more time now that I've
talked about it.
And you can see how little cuz we don't
also want this kind of
like moving around cuz this is also very
Also, when it looks.
It's like I'm really feeling the music
when I do it that, no, I'm not into that.
So, we'll just watch it.
It's very, gonna be very subtle, so, you
have to move very slowly,
because this is a really slow line.
I'll do a little bit faster line, where
you can see the difference, but
So, it's still in motion.
So my arm is always leading up to this,
then it goes in motion, circle around.
you see, it's very slow, not a big motion.
If you do too big, again, it chops up your
Let's go to measure 12.
Oh, actually let's start on measure eight,
hear this where it kind of speeds up here.
So measure eight.
So, here we have a bunch of eight notes
And my, my arm is gonna follow,
the line around.
And it changes direction,
Again, it's slowly in motion,
following the line.
So when you have a,
a line with faster notes, you still keep
your wrist following around it.
So, you wouldn't do
Because again, it does two things.
It changes your attack, so, it changes
your sound, and then, it also changes
the way you're visually seeing it, so that
translates into how you're hearing it.
So, really watch as you play lyrical
pieces, that you always stay in motion,
be thinking of your arm as your bow.
If your bow stops, your sound will stop,
you'll be able to get a really gorgeous
sound out of all of your lyrical pieces.