Joe's Blog

THE FLAP IN THE PALM

November 9, 2020

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

 

If you look directly at the palm (or the ‘underneath’ side of the

hand), and flex fingers 2 – 5 simultaneously, you will notice an illy

defined and sometimes a very clearly defined crease in the skin

running laterally (left and right) across the width of the palm.

Usually the older you are the more pronounced is this crevice or

geological canyon running along the surface of the palm.  Place the

length of the pinkie side of the other hand into the crevice.  Try to

flap the original hand along the length of the crevice, using the

other hand to anchor, steady or define the motion.  it may help to

juxtapose the sides of the adjacent fingers in the hand that is

flapping.  IF you flap the hand without the external help of the

other hand, then by suddenly collapsing the around the crease, causing

the underneath sides of the fingers to slap down on the palm, you

should be able to produce a “popping” due to the sudden compression of

the air pocket in the bowl of the palm.

 

I learned about this feature of the body when I was about 18 from my

second teacher, Edwine Behre.  Now that I’m 73, and the physiology of

my body has changed, not for the better, I found myself today reviving

the use of the “crease” in the palms.  To steady the fingers

neurologically, I added to the “flap” an awareness of the weight of

the underneath of the finger about to play, but just the weight of the

underneath part of that finger and from just the third knuckle to the

second knuckle.  I consciously used the muscles in that part of the

finger to lead and impel the motion of the rest of the finger

including the qtip of the finger as it approached and depressed the

key on the piano.

 

Playing while using the crease of the palm as the hinge of the action

full length of the fingers – which can then act as one – is one of the

techniques that serves the overall purpose of unifying rather than

separating or isolating the parts of the playing mechanism,

contributing to the overall harmonization and unification of the body

as a whole at the piano.

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