The Pianist's Guide to Practical Scales and Arpeggios

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About the author:
Unlike life, playing the piano is easy and doesn't hurt. This mantra has carried Neil Stannard through what might seem to others like several lifetimes-performing as a collaborative pianist, occasional soloist, symphony bassist and, through it all, a dedicated teacher. He has performed in international venues with distinguished artists, appearing in all 48 of the contiguous United States, across Canada and in many of Europe's important concert centers from London to Moscow, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the White House, Vienna's Musikverein, Berlin's Hochschule and Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. He has taken part in the Great Performers at Lincoln Center series, the Berlin Festival, the Vienna Festival, Tage Neue Musik (Bonn), Marlboro and the Newport Festival.
After graduating cum laude from the University of Southern California, a scholarship student of Muriel Kerr, Jacob Gimpel and John Crown, he received a Naumberg scholarship to play double bass at the Juilliard School (M.S.), during which time he performed in the American Symphony with Leopold Stokowski and in the Marlboro Festival Orchestra with Pablo Casals (Columbia Records). It was also during this time that he made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Recital Hall as a pianist with violinist Christiane Edinger, leading to a lifetime of exploration at the piano. In the early 1970s he took part in the first Dorothy Taubman Institute at Rensslaerville, NY, and studied privately for five years with Edna Golandsky. Later, he studied piano on a German government grant with Gerhard Puchelt at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, completed a doctorate in piano at the University of Arizona with Nicholas Zumbro and for 13 years taught graduate and undergraduate piano at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he was a tenured professor. He now teaches, writes, paints and attempts to capture the world in photographs in Los Angeles, where he also plays the cello.

The Pianist's Guide to Practical Scales and Arpeggios

As They Occur in Pieces You Want to Play

Authored by Neil Stannard

Rarely do scales and arpeggios occur in music the way we learn them in books, that is, until now in this book. When we encounter a scale or an arpeggio in a piece of music, we should be prepared to first notice that it is a scale or arpeggio, or part thereof, and consider it on its own terms. Does a particular routined fingering work here? How can we efficiently negotiate its twists and turns? I promise you the scale in your piece will not proceed innocently from G to shining G with a prescribed fingering and no detours. At least, not very often.
But, really I hear you ask, are scales and arpeggios a necessary part of our pianistic diet? Well, yes and no. We need to understand the topography of the keyboard and elementary keyboard harmony in order to navigate the keyboard's shoals and depths. Since we propel our hands laterally up and down the keyboard by means of certain navigational tools, of which the thumb is one, how when and where to activate the thumb has always been and remains a primary issue. So a clear feel for the relationships of white to black keys and the appropriate digits for depressing them is essential. Learn the patterns.
But do we really need to drill these learned patterns on a daily basis as, for example, in a technical exercise? Once learned and worked-in to the point of being automatic, it is no longer necessary or even desirable to repeat them in their root positions for the purpose of gaining finger "strength" or "agility" or "independence." (If you find this notion intriguing, have a look at Piano Technique Demystified: Insights into Problem Solving, 2nd Edition.") So instead of blindly drilling scales hands together, in rhythms and with varying articulations-or whatever devices we have heard about since childhood-why not practice them as they appear in the music? Here you will find nearly 800 such examples, just waiting to be explored.

Publication Date:
1503344738 / 9781503344730
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Music / Instruction & Study / Techniques

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