Joe’s Blog

Welcome to my blog!

A reminder that these blog entries are not ‘timely.’  They do not address issues that relate to the present news of the world.  They address perennial issues faced by most pianists when striving to excel in their playing.  I encourage you to search through the posts to find the ones that will yield the greatest benefit to you.

You can also use this list of all blog posts in order of keyword, which you can also sort by title.

You are also welcome to contact me to suggest a topic that you would like to see appear on the site, or ask questions or comment below each entry. Enjoy!

“CLUSTER” OF SMALL ENTRIES

November 18, 2020

1. SPEAKING OR SINGING THROUGH ORNAMENTS

Singing, enthusiastically, any upcoming ornament, just before I play is frees my body to execute the ornament in a very clean and clear way. Whatever it was I captured (more easily) by singing it carried over into my physical piano playing moments later.  We know how to use our voice, singing or speaking, to express the shape of a phrase, the rhythm of a phrase, the emotion of a phrase.  This comes naturally to us, even if we have the worst singing voice in the world.

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SPEAKING OR SINGING THROUGH ORNAMENTS

November 14, 2020

Singing, enthusiastically, any upcoming ornament, just before i play is frees my body to execute the ornament in a very clean and clear way. Whatever it was I captured (more easily) by singing it carried over into my physical piano playing moments later.  We know how to use our voice, singing or speaking, to express the shape of a phrase, the rhythm of a phrase, the emotion of a phrase.  This comes naturally to us, even if we have the worst singing voice in the world.

This sing-then-play procedure can be extrapolated beyond just ornaments, and any next note, or coming up notes, chords; to the feeling of any next emphasis of the beat.  IT is as if we are singing, identically, twice in a row.  Only in one case, we activate our vocal chords and in the second case, we activate the piano keys.

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THE FLAP IN THE PALM

November 9, 2020

The longest and the strongest mechanism within the hand as a whole.

 

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THE UNITY OF THE HANDS

November 9, 2020

By the “helping hand” I mean a hand that is momentarily not playing

notes, or is momentarily exempted by the pianist from playing its

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The A Minor Fugue from Book Two of the Well-Tempered Klavier.

October 4, 2020

I think of this fugue as being somewhat like someone who takes a new deck of cards and throws them in the air and then picks up the individual cards off the surface they have fallen on.hoping to find the cards thoroughly shuffled.  Only to find out, when he begins picking up the cards lying on the table that the shuffling was not complete.  There are still adjacent groups of cards like a 3, 4, and 5 of clubs followed by a seven and 8 of diamonds, etc..   Substituting rhythmic patterns and motives for cards in a deck, we say: well, I tried to randomize the order of the notes’ rhythmic values throughout the piece but find that there remain smaller but intelligible repeating segments of “DNA”.  And they appear over and over again.

 

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