RUSSELL SHERMAN's RULE OF THUMB...

...and other ruminations on (pianistic) 'SLEIGHT OF HAND'
(excerpts from his book entitled
"Piano Pieces")*




Click on a finger for more finger talk.

The fifth finger - more pink than plucky. The fourth finger - the weak sister. The third finger - a fraud? The second finger has many guises Rule of thumb

Sherman's Anatomy of Piano-Playing:

"The hand should be quiet, tranquil, floating. It is supported by the spine, whose stable strength is cantilevered through the shoulders and elbows, which, in turn, support the weightless and buoyant hand at rest. But in motion the hand channels the torso's energy, echoing and concentrating the body's disposition, the heart's disposition toward contraction and release."

"The fingertip sinks into the key, secure but free. The entire apparatus, from tip to toe, through the arms, torso, and legs, hangs gently off the nexus between flesh and key. The motion is up and down, north and south, lined up on the axis formed by key, finger, and elbow. The fingertip adheres possessively (but tenderly) to the key, like a child suckling, like a monkey swinging off a branch firmly grasped by its limb or tail. The contact is sealed, flowing, momentarily eternal."


*"Piano Pieces" - by Russell Sherman, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (NY) 1996, 244pp.
Illustration: © Zann (Courtesy - ML Falcone)





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