i stumbled upon this book in an oxfam shop at the weekend and bought it.

i've read most of it now and am finding it very interesting. abby's writing style doesn't make for the easiest of reading - apparently she only wrote the book after persuasion from her students - but i have made reasonable sense of quite a lot of it i think. it has really made me stop to consider how i apply physical power to the keyboard, what muscles i am using, how the joints function etc.

has anyone else read this book?

i am glad i found it anyway. funny how fate (or coincidence) puts things in our paths... on saturday fate put me (on a morning run by the sea in southport, lancashire) in the path of a cyclist (who was kitted up like lance armstrong and going at a clip, with the wind behind him), who fairly launched me over the sea wall. just a few grazes thankfully, but i'm hoping i will have learned the lesson to look over my shoulder before cutting across a cycle lane again!

anyway, 7, have you read this book? - i ask you specifically because i noticed on your promo video there were one or two occasions where you ended a song with a series of notes played with a single finger locked in position, using your arm muscles rather than finger action.
There are 6 comments, leave a comment.
- only its mobility.

anyway, that's my take on it.

and thanks for watching my video!
"pinky: weak and stupid" - ha ha, a good description.

it's interesting what you say about the ring finger and it's role in guitar playing. i don't play the guitar but i don't have too many issues with my ring fingers. the little finger - pinky - seems generally to have about as much power as a supine wood louse.

interestingly, that's a large part of what abby talks about in terms of technique - the fingers are not all equal and even with finger training they never truly will be, so better to channel the power of the arm - which is a consistent power -  to the fingers, rather than overuse or develop the fingers' own unequal power.  

the premise is that the power of the torso and the upper arm is the central controlling force which is driven by the player's body rhythm - as well as being a more consistent source of power it is also more reliable in terms of keeping time.

abby sees the hands as at the periphery of the playing mechanism, whereas the torso and 'top arms' are at the centre. so she de-emphasises the importance of the fingers and even  to some degree the hands in playing.  

it's interesting anyway...
the fingers are also different lengths.  you can use your arm to help level the playing field. for example, moving your right elbow to the right when using your right pinky brings it to the center of the key and allows you to use the weight of your arm in it's favor.  

since the weight of your arm is not likely to change too much during a performance, using that weight more than finger power makes it easy to play evenly...
@dr. whack:

correct! however, i would rather use the term "wrist movement" to describe this way of playing(naturally, your ellbow will also move slightly to the right!), but i find it useful to think of "my wrists moving ahead of my fingers". it would also be very helpful to go "deep into the forest", by that i mean making great use of the space between the black keys...

"my wrists moving ahead of my fingers".  
yes, but that mean up and down no sideways.
"lift and drop, don't press"
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