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I'm not sure what character is meant to be represented by @

It would appear to be the letter ash with an accent above it to indicate length, ie .
I've assumed that it was an acute, but it may have been a macron.

Andrew Gwilliam
To email me, replace "bottomless pit" with "silverhelm"
Side anecdote: as a jazz pianist, I have tried to ... it's very hard to compare the skill required for each.

Yeah, but listen to a little piece called "Bud on Bach". There's overlap. Well, if you want there to be. You can hear just a smidgeon here: http://musicdownloads.walmart.com/catalog/servlet/ArtistServlet?id=22250, or buy it for 88 cents.

Yes, but that's plain jazz. It's good jazz too, but then you'd expect that from Bud Powell. Most of the time, anyway.
Or Villa-Lobos' "Bachianas Brasileiras" (not classical and jazz piano, but classical and Brazilian folk rhythms and melodies). Here's a link ... Alternatively, you could just check a CD out of the library or buy one from amazon.com or any other retailer.

Without the link, my speakers are silent. Shame, it's Monday 2:22am GMT now, and I like Brazilian influences.
Thanks for the recommendations, though.

John H
Yorkshire, England
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IMO for jazz you need a special talent. Anyone could play classical with a good teacher, practice and motivation. But ... play it correctly, following the instructions, etc. It was fun, I tried to add some personal touches, which were also...correct.

I'll tell you my own, personal theory about jazz players who don't quite make it: they lack humour.
Even if you've studied, and you know your jazz harmony, and you've listened to the greats and know how they do what they do - if you don't have a metaphorical grin on your face while you're playing, it's all going to fall flat.
This applies as much to plaintive and melancholic jazz as to the more up-beat stuff - the best jazz ballad players or singers had an ironic (metaphorical) smile. Too many jazz players forget that and get all serious about their art, and forget that jazz, fundamentally, is dance music, and dancing should have life. To have life, you need to smile, even if you don't feel like it.
Anyway, after ten days or so, I gave up in ... something called (if memory serves): "Six Little Pieces For Beginners".

I'm sure the title was chosen by the publisher. There were probably something from "Anna Magdalena Bach", a primer for ... wouldn't use the word "beginner" since Album was for his wife, Anna Magdalena, whom he taught piano from the scratch.

I'll trust you on that one. If you like, I can dig out the book and see if there are any more details - I just moved onto simpler stuff and then decided that I'd never really do anything with classical piano other than pretend to play short excerpts.

John H
Yorkshire, England
How, in the world, do you play chords? Since I ... fingers I have, thumbs included all the time. Both hands.

OK. I should have written at greater length. Clearly, for octaves and many other chords, the thumb is frequently required, but when fingering a 'run', it is better technique to keep the thumb away from the black notes.

Agreed. For some runs, you can't avoid it, but if I find I'm fingering a black note with my thumb during a run, a little alarm bell goes off that says "maybe there's a better way".
For chords, that alarm bell is a lot fainter, and I tend to ignore it.
John H
Yorkshire, England
John Hatpin typed thus:

You know, that's the most impressive thing I've heard all day. You're certainly an ubergeek if you can do that. I'm jealous.

Doesn't everybody do this? I'm a second generation such counter. I swam a mile for charity in about 1969, which ... watching, and told me afterwards that he'd used this method to count the number of lengths I'd done.

I still find it amazing that anyone can do this. Envy may be one of the seven deadly sins, but sometimes it seems appropriate.
John H
Yorkshire, England
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I had never seen nor heard of that until you ... could turn into a sort of STS of the fingers.

You know what they say: a junkie's always seeking to introduce somebody else to the habit!

When doing so with at least two drugs, nicotine and caffeine, they're doing their fellows a service. Both promote improved thinking, concentration, and, in the case of nicotine, even memory. The social, interesting people of the world tend to partake of both, the unhappy loners of neither. I'd never trust a man who didn't enjoy either coffee or tea, and I'm always highly suspicious of non-smokers, knowing what many of them are like, although I admit that ex-smokers often make acceptable company.
Actually, it was guitar. You could play the first Prelude with all your five fingers (in piano notation: 12345345-12345345 etc.)
You are correct, SOM.(?) Pinkies it is. But those are white keys, note.

You are also correct, SIR. But this discussion diverged from the black keys.

And from thumbs, as I see. Anyway, to get back: I guess Areff really had /runs/ in his mind. There's no chance to play the F major scale as usual (12312345), you have to change to 12341234 here. And you shouldn't start scales like C# with the thumb, but with the index finger.

But Brahms's "Waltz In A Flat" has to have thumbs on the black keys. By the way, has no one ever wondered why this guy called the piece like that? Brahms always lived in a house, according to his biographers...

Best regards
And from thumbs, as I see. Anyway, to get back: I guess Areff really had /runs/ in his mind.

Not necessarily. Scale runs are one extreme.
There's no chance to play the F major scale as usual (12312345), you have to change to 12341234 here.

You could use the thumb on B flat there, but it would be very awkward and clumsy. It would probably be difficult to play it with speed, so to say. The 12341234 fingering is traditional, but it's otherwise arbitrary in the sense that other 'correct' fingerings (observing the no-thumbs-on-black-keys rule etc.) are possible. The standard D natural minor fingering is 12312345, so conceivably you could do F major as
31234123. Another possibility might be 31231234. Anyway, givenall the possibilities that don't have the thumb on a black key, there's no reason to use the thumb on a black key, in such an example.
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