Time, stubbornness, and fingertips

On the assumption that writing this dreck down will keep me from forgetting it:

  1. Splayed fingers indicate a lack of confidence. When you play with your fingers splayed — where by “you” I of course mean me — it’s because you lack confidence in that passage. You are fairly sure that you can’t hit the note with 100% certainty, so you’re increasing the surface area of the contact point in order to boost your chances. This is sloppy. You need to slow down and get it right so that you don’t have to cheat and hit the keys with the underside of your outermost knuckle. If you don’t use the pad of the finger, you won’t have the dynamic control and clarity you need to avoid sounding like you’re underwater.
  2. Remember when Mrs. Myers told you to arch your hands, and that counterintuitive as it felt, it would increase your reach and nimbleness? She was right. Do it.
  3. To make large leaps accurately, you need to feel them before you do them, both the hand as a whole and every finger in the phrase.
  4. You need more weightiness in your left hand playing That Nasty Part to keep from cutting off the sound because of the pedaling. Less pedaling = clarity, especially in the right hand.
  5. You thought you couldn’t do this at all when you first wrote it. You were wrong. Time and stubbornness cure (nearly) all ills.
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