Surf’s Up!

Waves. The word immediately triggers images—motion, undulation, sweep, curve. It’s natural to describe waves as rolling in. The perfect wave is every surfer’s dream, the anticipation of the buoyancy supplied by the wave that carries you into the shore. Surfing the keyboard begins as early as Level 1. Learning to move into the keyboard with a Wrist Float-off is a natural gesture because the float-off note is a black key. After an initial drop, consecutive fingers move gradually up to gently release all the energy on the float-off note. As Dr. Faber demonstrates, it’s a matter of moving through the motion, letting relaxed flat fingers rise to a curved hand position at the moment of take-off. The technique secret—the ideal—is maintaining a relaxed and flexible wrist. Guiding the fingers forward and up to the fall-board will promote the buoyancy needed to create a rolling wave. By the time the young pianist is ready for a Level 5 “Jazz Reflection,” the relaxed wrist is prepared for big-time surfing!

3 Responses to “Surf’s Up!”

  1. Karen B. Holden August 14, 2018 at 8:15 am #

    I am working my way through Adult Piano Level II by myself, and it’s slow but rewarding. Right now, I can see I need to speed up my fingering so I can do arpeggios, etc. I have Hanon-Faber and your Level II Intermediate fingering book, but I am wondering where to start. I have been working through Hanon-Faber from the beginning but wonder if it’s necessary to proceed in order. What would you suggest? Thanks, Karen B. Holden, PS – Yours are the best Adult Piano methods books I’ve ever tried. KBH

    • Jon Ophoff August 14, 2018 at 11:58 am #

      Hi, Karen, congratulations on your progress! If you’ll pardon the pun, there’s no need to be in a rush to build speed. Read this article by Randall Faber on Playing Fast and learn how slow practice, using appropriate gesture, is the secret to building speed. Use the correct gesture depending on the type of passage: closed hand for scales, open hand with wrist circles for arpeggios.

      In the Hanon-Faber book, I recommend going in order, as later sets combine earlier skills. As a self-directed learner, I think you would enjoy our new Technique & Artistry video subscription online at . You’ll find video models of all of the Hanon-Faber exercises in the Teaching Library, and much more.

  2. Lisa Adams August 14, 2018 at 10:43 am #

    “Jazz Reflections” is the reason I bought Piano Adventures Level 5. It’s such a lovely song and I’m happy that I could hear you play it in the video.