I use a three-part process for measuring distances at the keyboard, to make sure all jumps are precise, secure and foolproof. We build in the precise measurements in our practising so that when we play, we don’t have to give them any thought. The secret at that stage is to let go, keep loose and allow the music to unfold.

I’ll talk more about Quick Cover and Springboarding in future posts, today I would like to say a little about Selective Landing.

Selective Landing

When we have to move from one position and land on a chord, we might select those notes of the chord we wish to land on first, and then fill in the remainder afterwards. This is a particularly useful process when we wish to see (and feel) how an especially awkward chord is built up, or simply to negotiate a new hand position. We can effectively play the chord in stages. Note that you do not have to do this rhythmically, although you may!

Let’s take a very short example from Schumann’s Fürchtenmachen from Kinderszenen, op. 15, as this has been known to cause a stumble or two. I am speaking of the last two bars of this extract:

Schumann Fürchtenmachen

Having practised the LH alone using the Quick Cover and Springboarding techniques, we might want to put it hands together in ways like this. Here are but three of several possibilities:

1.

schumann3

2.

schumann2

3.

schumann

You might also want to practise landing on the middle note of the chord each time, dropping in the outer two afterwards. There are various other permutations, and my advice is to have fun with it and see how many different ways you can find. If you struggle with this spot, don’t forget to quarantine it. Begin your practice session with this sort of work, and when you move onto another piece, come back to it once or twice.

Here is Vladimir Horowitz…

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