#AskVidasAndAusra 20 - How can I play consecutive black keys on the pedals in a legato articulation especially if going down the keys?
Is easy after you hear
Lonely crane trumpets.
Today's question was send by Levi. He wants to know how he can play consecutive black keys on the pedals in a legato articulation especially if going down the keys.
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Vidas: Hi, guys, this is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
Vidas: And let's start Episode number 20 of #AskVidasAndAusra podcast. Today's question was sent by Levi. And he asks, "How can I play consecutive black keys on the pedals in a legato articulation, especially if going down the keys?" Legato, right?
Vidas: Ausra, have you played two consecutive black keys recently on the pedals?
Ausra: Maybe not recently, but I have definitely played it many times because if you are playing romantic or modern music, French symphonic music you definitely have to use this technique quite often.
Vidas: Which one of your current pieces would be more suitable for this technique? Probably Franck, right?
Ausra: Well, I don't think you know, you'd have to use it in Franck as much because if you know talking about sound, sounds better, Franck is quite easy actually. Compared to other French composers, so I'll see that you know, you will get to use this technique than playing Widor, Durufle, Vierne.
Vidas: Unless your right foot is busy with swell pedal right?
Ausra: Sure, but you know, somehow you can manage that, too.
Vidas: Right, so you're playing Franck's B-minor chorale right now and the pedal line is not too complex, right?
Ausra: Yes, it's certainly easy. Actually, I haven't found it, you know, hard or tricky. But I remember in playing Vierne’s 3rd symphony that would have really hard pedal part.
Vidas: Yes, third symphony.
Ausra: And especially that middle movement, because I had to play chords in the pedal. To play three or sometimes even four notes at the same time. And that was very difficult because I don't have very long foot. So, it was really hard for me to do it. When you have for example, to play an interval of the third in this one foot at the same time.
Vidas: Oh, you need to have heels right?
Ausra: Yes, definitely, yes. And you have to play two, four notes together in the pedal, at the same time.
Vidas: Like a chord?
Ausra: Yes, it's exactly a chord, that's what's very hard. But here the challenge is to know to play legato two consecutive black keys. And basically do you know the foot position very well. Because if you would go upwards, you would have to put the weight of your body on the big toe, and then to switch smoothly, sliding, in the sliding motion to the outer part of the foot. And to do exactly the opposite if you're going down. And if you're going from down you have to also to switch position off your foot at the same time.
Vidas: Right. So, in order for me to understand and visualize it correctly, let me repeat what you are saying and paraphrase.
Vidas: If you're going upward with the left foot, right? And let's say you need to play F-sharp into G-sharp, right after the other. So, F-sharp would be played with the outside portion of the left foot, and the next note G-sharp would be played with the big toe, with the inside portion of the foot, left foot. Then, if you do this with the opposite direction, right? The G-sharp to F-sharp you switch inside to outside, and exactly the same is with the right foot too.
F-sharp to G-sharp, big toe, and then outside of the foot, G-sharp. Or, G-sharp to F-sharp outside and inside. And so, Ausra it's a good advice I think, and Levi and others could practice isolating. Just this passage maybe one measure at a time and to play repeatedly, very, very slowly. And maybe 10 times, and get it right. Get it smoothly with legato, legato articulation.
Vidas: Probably one of the biggest mistakes people make here is to start playing the next passage right away and not correcting the current measure, right? If you feel mistake, you have to go back and make it really solid, reinforce it right away. That will help in the long run to build your solid and efficient pedal technique. So, Ausra, I hope with this answer will give our listeners more opportunities to practice the efficient way.
What will be the easiest way for them to ask more questions?
Ausra: We'll ask you to visit our webpage, www.organduo.lt and to send us the email with their questions.
Vidas: But first they have to subscribe, right?
Vidas: Enter their first name and email address, become subscribers, then they will get our tips and blog posts daily and can reply. And that would be the best way to connect.
Wonderful, guys I hope you will benefit from this answer and practice today with your feet, with your pedals.
And remember when you practice …
Ausra: Miracles happen!
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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