i was watching monk perform on some old youtube videos.  i notice
when he does a run up the keys he uses his left index finger to jab at some of the notes and help out his right hand.  is anyone else familiar with this technique or is it strictly a "monkism"?
There are 7 comments, leave a comment.
interesting question.

first off, it's not specifically a monk technique.

i've seen a lot of performers do this, and it occurs in one section of eubie blake's monumental "charleston rag" (written in 1899, long before monk was even born).

it can be used to ease a difficult fingering, for example try running up three octaves on a c minor pentatonic blues scale ( c eb f f# g bb ) with a triplet feel, using the third finger of the lh on the white notes and the third finger of the rh on the black notes.

not that that's any more efficient than doing it the normal way, but it sure is a lot showier.

other times when i'm in the middle of a solo and don't feel like comping chords in the lh, i'll poke my lh finger into the rh lines just to give some extra rhythmic groove.

and sometimes i'll just pretend like i'm throwing in notes with my lh while soloing in the right, waving my lh around as if i'm actually playing (am i giving away too many trade secrets here?)

it's a show biz trick mostly, more for the eyes than for the ears.
what can i say?  it caught my eye.  so... unique but not really new.
thanks 7 for some background and explanation of this interesting  
phenomenon.
what is everyones definition of technique?  thanks
a technique is a procedure used to accomplish a specific activity or task.
source:  wikipedia.org

the method of procedure or way of using basic skills, in rendering an artistic work or carrying out a scientific or mechanical operation.
source:  webster's new world dictionary, third college edition
the manual that chick corea wrote has his various two handed single note techniques.
i recently saw chick corea perform and he used some "two handed single note techniques" that i had never seen before, it was kinda cool.
yes im pretty sure i've seen chick do the same thing. didn't think it was anything more than helping out the right hand rather than any musical technique.
but it does work well...and maybe i should practice it more..
the only monk technique i want to master is the one where he stands up and starts dancing around while the band still plays :) i must work that one in at the next church recital ;)
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