when playing and repeating a fast lick, is it improper technique to slide your finger from a black to white key?  i do this a lot, but i've been watching others play, on video also, and i don't see the pros doing this a lot.  for example, let's say you're playing a bluesy song in f, and you want to repeat this lick really fast:
ab-a-f
i'll usually slide my index finger from ab to a and hit the f with my pinky.  i'll repeat this fast.  is it better to use your thumb on ab and the index finger on a (and same pinky for f)?  obviously, using individual fingers gives better control and intellectually speaking, seems less sloppy.

i also finger slide a lot when doing fast runs.  i think i do this because i am unsure of the fingering and it's a lazy way to give me some room for error without completely messing me up.  what do you guys think?  is it better to spend some time on fingering techniques and make sure i'm not sliding around a lot?
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i think you answered your own question :)  there are times however, when it may be stylistically appropriate to do the slides - blues and such.  

i avoid it though.  what happens if you have to play that lick in e or f#?
sigh....yeah, i know.

ok, now i have to purge this habit out of my system.  it's been years in the making.  i've been slippin and sliding all over the place for a long time.

i was watching some oscar peterson, and he hits each note so cleanly and never slides.  he always has his fingering under control.

there is this one very common blues lick that everyone does, and i use it a lot.  i'm very curious if other people slide on it because it's just so so easy with the slide and so natural.  here it is, it's with chords, so it will be harder to describe but everyone knows it:
c-e-g (chord)-->c-f-a-->c-e-g
so, for this lick, it's very common to stick an eb accent before doing the c-e-g chord.  i always slide my middle finger from the eb to the e for that.  please tell me that's the pro way of doing it.  and yes, it is harder to do it in e or f#...much harder.
what's so hard about using 2 on the eb? i mean, the finger is right there already. you can use the same fingering in any key that way.

working out good fingering is about making things easier and more efficient. it may seem harder to go against something you've allowed to become a habit, but that's all in your head, it doesn't have anything to do with what is actually, physically going on with your hand's movement.
if you're talking about your left hand, it would be 4 on the eb. if you have problems using the 4th and 5th fingers of your left hand, which are physically weaker fingers, that has more to do with posture, arm and wrist position, bench height, and keeping your shoulder relaxed. if all of that is going right, you are able to use the weight of your arm to play, not the strength of each individual finger. gravity does the work.
so,how much weight should one use from the arm? did you know there are no mushles  in the fingers?


i don't know if that's how the pros do it, but i'm a professional piano player and i often do it. it depends on the particular lick. if it's in chords, like that c-e-g--> c-f-a figure, then i think i always slide if i'm in a key that allows it. and of course when doing two or more notes at the same time, for example, in c-e-g to c-f-a you may may want to lead into both the e and the g from eb and gb. then sliding is pretty well necessary.

another common phrase is the one that goes c(low),e,g,a,c(high) played in 8th note triplets, like in the first bar of charlie parker's "kansas city blues". if you're going to attack the e from eb (and the phrase is pretty dull if you don't) then sliding into it is about the only practical way to do it, especially when played fast and repeatedly.

as you noticed, sliding may work on the ab-a-f thing, but it's not as clean and precise as with individual fingering, and is useless in other keys. i think it's best to work out for yourself which way works best in whatever key, and consider the context you're playing in as well. i mean, if you're playing a down-home gritty blues, maybe "clean" is the last thing you want. but be sure to explore the options. blues originally came from people who broke all kinds of "rules" to get sounds out of their instruments that they weren't designed for. to paraphrase the hippies, "if it sounds good, do it"!
sliding from an eb to an e over a c chord in the blues idiom is called a "crush". it is perfectly kosher.

in order to achieve a similar effect in the rh when moving from a g to a g# over an e chord (for example), strike both the g and g# simultaneously (3rd finger on g, 4th finger on g#) and then quickly release the 3rd finger.

i call that technique an "upward crush". while it is not as convenient as falling off of a black key onto a white key, it does the job quite efficiently.

all instruments use similar "appogiatura"/"grace note" techniques to achieve that bluesy sound. although as far as i know the term "crush" only applies to piano.
i use the 2nd, 3rd and 5th fingers on the ab-a-f blues lick. however, if i add a g before the ab i would slide the 2nd from the ab-a and the 1st on the g. it's a "crush" technique that 7 described. +1
finger sliding or the "crush" is an essential part of piano technique.  when listening to and transcribing piano you will find it used far more often than any hanon exersise or for that matter just about anything else talked about in this forum.  i however prefer the elbow "slam".  it involes hitting several keys at the same time with your elbow.  rhythmic placement is key with this technique.  i much prefer this over the knee "smash" because i do not like having to get up from the piano bench..
err..mike...you're being sarcastic, right?

mojazz, you use the 2nd, 3rd, 5th finger for that lick?  that's pretty good, because that's a long reach.  i can't reach that, no way (and i'm 6'3").  how fast can you do that?  i was talking about doing it really fast and repeatedly like machine-gun fire.
the elbow slam has a long and distinguished history in the jazz legacy.

while not its first use, jelly roll morton (the inventor of jazz) uses this technique in the third movement of his pivotal work "granpa's spells".

it is also essential for any authentic rendition of the jazz classic "tiger rag".

it is most important to "roll" the elbow to achieve the effect of a trombone gliss.

as regards the "knee smash" i am unaware of any pianist that uses this on a regular basis other than cecil taylor.

i have heard that on occasion scottish pianists will use a modified version of the "head butt" (not to be confused with a "butt head").
i've heard tell of a jerry lee lewis heel-to-toe crush as well.  as difficult as it is to play in time using this technique, it is imperative that both the right and left hands pound open fifth eighth notes that push the time (rush) with each approaching measure, creating a sort of rock n' roll counterpoint.
oh man!  i totally thought you were joking.  that's very funny and interesting.

speaking of cecil taylor...for me, he's the worst.  he represents all the worst things about jazz for me personally.  i remember my friend was all into him several years ago, and i didn't know about him.  i listened to him and i had the opposite of an epiphany.
i can play the lick pretty fast using that fingering, however i'll use the thumb, 2 and 5 to play it "really fast and repeatedly like machine-gun fire".  

i like using an open-hand octave position because it lets me use  the thumb to play additional keys like the g and f for that lick. the open-hand postion might take you out of the comfort zone with awkward fingering, but it sure has helped me improve my technique and reach.
you need to talk less and listen more. accentuate the positive

lambone
finger sliding is a great technique to master.
i love cecil taylor.  that stuff excites me.
cyn - he's in portland this year.  you should come down.  ornette opens and cecil closes.  lots of good stuff in between! https://www.pdxjazz.com/
i don't fully appreciate cecil.  i know he has quite a following.
(i don't fully appreciate caviar either.)
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