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Practice Technique 26: Crossing hands second technique

April 7, 2017

Whereas in the first technique the hands remained as far as possible from each other until the moment before playing the notes in the crossed-hand position, in this technique the fingers, or the hands, or forearms, always remain in contact with each other.

The hands start with horizontal space between them.  The hands slowly float towards each other.  The first things to make contact are the two thumbs.  One slowly slides into the notch between the thumb and the second finger of the other hand.  When the second knuckle of one thumb has already slid between the two fingers of the other hand, the thumb that is part of the ‘notch’ slips on top of the other hand towards the ‘third’ knuckle of its thumb.   The hands continue to try to converge and meld with each other, advancing away from the body as they do, with the elbows un-flexing.   They should do so in such a way that the point here the centers of the two hands cross each other, the point where the two lines of the letter ‘X’ cross each, gradually shifts in the direction of the wrists.  The location of the cross point continues past the wrist and moves gradually up the forearms, until reaching a final comfortable point half way up the forearm between the wrist to the elbow.

All of this can occur in a level, horizontal plane, on or in the vicinity of the keyboard.

Even though, at different stages, the positions taken by the hands, relative to each other, look very different from one other, they actually result from one smooth and continuous motion.  The continuousness of the process is all important.  So is how far the crossing of the hands needs to migrate.  It may be enough for just the thumbs to slide somewhat past each other (the first stage of the procedure as described above).  It may even be enough for just parts of the thumbs to slide by each other.

One continues the overall process only until the fingers that need to play the next note(s) find themselves already resting over those notes. At that point we cease proceeding any further with the overall crossing process.  Then a judgment is made whether the process should continue further or reverse in order to place the necessary fingers over the next notes.

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