By Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene (get free updates of new posts here)
Have you noticed that some organists make their staccato sound too short, almost comical?
I'm not sure they're even aware of this but the pipes don't have enough time to speak, especially in the bass.
I guess this habit comes from playing the piano for years: it sounds good to shorten the notes on the piano quite a bit and it doesn't seem to hurt.
But on the organ, the rule is to shorten the staccato notes by exactly half value. So if you see a staccato sign on the eighth note, make it a sixteenth note and add a sixteenth note rest, but not more.
This habit and keeping the fingers on the keys at all times will make your playing more organistic.
Of course, this implies you are very conscious not only of the attack but also the precise releases, but that's part of the fun of playing the organ anyway.
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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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Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.