Please take a look at this guide to some of my important posts.
I would like to address some of the rationale behind the principles of the waterfall technique. The technique is seemingly too simple, but every aspect of it exists for a reason. Hopefully, this will address many common concerns.
I’d like to demonstrate some practicing using the waterfall technique. I chose the B major fugue from Book 2 of the Well-Tempered Clavier. Although I have played many Bach fugues, this particular one was completely new to me. It is a 4-voice fugue, with a lot of complexity. Here, I show how the fugue can be learned without ever trying to unravel that complexity.
I’d like to argue for a concept that I believe is sadly lacking in most music studios. For lack of a better term, I will call this rhythmic flexibility.
Many pianists struggle mightily with scales. They struggle to play them fast, evenly, cleanly, and comfortably. Scale-playing certainly did not come easily to me, which is why I spent the time thinking about how to re-approach the whole issue. Hopefully, you will find my explorations useful.
Many pianists complain of excess tension while they are playing. It seems to prevent fluid playing, causes pain and injury, and basically ruins any chance of fun at the piano. What can we do about this problem?
Do you have a clear set of rules you follow when you practice? It may be worth experimenting with this concept: think of practicing as a game. Here are some rules I follow. This isn’t a complete list, and you certainly don’t have to follow them. But I invite you to consider them, and to find your own rules.
The waterfall technique is designed to solve all technical problems at the piano. This means all issues regarding fingering, speed, comfort, control, forearm rotation, dynamic control, weight distribution, posture, everything. That is a bold claim, I know.
The basic movement in piano playing is dropping the forearm. When I play a difficult piece, that’s what it feels like to me, just dropping my arms to the beat. Very easy.
What does it mean to “play a piece”? Often, this concept is viewed as either being too obvious to discuss, or treated in near-overwhelming complexity. I might suggest, however, that we can think about this in a way that is both clear and helpful.