Managing Leaps: Selective Landing

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:







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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Last week I launched Volume 3 of my ebook series and I have been delighted by your positive feedback. Here are details of how you can obtain your copy…

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Buy Volume 3 now for a special introductory price of £2.99 until 31st May (Full price £4.99) or click on the button below for a free preview.

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© Graham Fitch 2013.

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6 Responses to “Managing Leaps: Selective Landing”

  • Hi Graham,

    Great article on the leaping techniques. It reminds me a bit of a master class I saw in which Nelita True from the Eastman School had students make very, very, large leaps with a relaxed arm and hand. Here, I see you having the students change the rhythm too. So effective. Thanks for the post!

  • Hi Graham, Great volume 3, am doing a piece with leaps and jumps, so this is just what I need. The videos are playing much better than in the first 2 volumes as well. Would it be possible for the person who is filming to do it above your head as well as to the side then it’s really easy to see what your fingers and hands are doing.
    thankyou again Graham, your teaching is so good!
    Best wishes

    • Thanks for the feedback, Jules. I was also thinking it might be good to film the keyboard from above, so you look straight down and the keyboard. I’m going to experiment with that!

  • Dear Mr. Graham,
    Evidently you are in England.
    I will ask my husband to figure out the conversion from Pound to American dollar!
    I do like to hear your performance!
    You have this fabulous gift, the music you play truly speaks!!
    I will get back to you in a few days.
    With great admiration for your art,

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