The secret of octaves

well, do u know it? personally, I think my octaves are fast, but it gets tiring after not very long. If I really push it and play the octaves really fast…and I mean FAST, I get tired even quicker. Also, imo, the octaves are just as fast as u r able to move ur hand from key to key. I can play as fast octave with the fingering of using pinky in every key, even the black keys, as playing it alternating 4-5. Or, imo, octaves r just as fast as u can make ur thumb more from key to key.
What do u think? I feel like it is the thumb that keeps me behind, because it lags and does not help the 4-5 fingers at all.
Also, for me the high wrist does not work at all. When playing octaves, my wrst is flat as my forearm…its confusing…

you iz just too sl*w

I must have known when posting in this forum that all i was gonna get is shit replies…nobody here can ever be serious…it gets rly old…fast…

there’s a secret to every success.

u need to reserve ur energy and use it wisely. playing fast octz izn’t necessary bad, but if u put all yo mightily force, datz not a smart idea imo. an easy example is chopin etude 25-10. Say u can play octz at da presstisimo zpeed, how far do u think u can go in 25-10. Im sure not even a page and then u will automatically slow down. We are not Berman/Gav (they have their own ways to unleash). Likewise, chopin etude 10-1, though it’s not an octave study. It still gives u the same concept idea. u can’t put all ur power and bang at 10-1 at a lightning speed. the outcome will definitely turn out like sheeyat after a while. u can never maintain ur strenght. Anyway, I apologize in advance if this doesn’t answer ur question since i don’t know exactly what you are asking really.


The fact that you’re getting tired so quickly probably means you’re not utilizing larger muscle groups.

And do you normally practice fast octaves? Because you shouldn’t be surprised if you get tired after short octave sessions if you haven’t even put down a lot of time to work on them.

it has helped me practicing octaves really slowly with overexaggerated relaxation. like your hand is completely numb when you play them, and you sort of lift up your wrist inbetween the octaves to make sure that they are completely relaxed (of course you don’t do this when you play them at normal/high speed…). when i play my octaves at high speed after practicing a lot like that, i feel the same relaxation and it doesn’t tire or me or put tension on my wrist/hand/arm at all.
there are probably better ways, but this has helped me the most. it probably also helps that i can reach octaves without even trying, i can span a 10th quite easily now.

and like you said, a lot depends on your fingers themselves, practicing octave runs with your thumb and pinky alone can really help.

and do some wrist exercices. stuff like thirds/fourths/fifths/… only on white keys with all diff fingerings like 13, 24, 25, 14, etc… and then do chords. i even prax ninths on white keys and fill up all the thirds so i play with all 5 fingers, my octaves are a cinch now. (here scales with just 1 finger all from the wrist are also helpful)

hope this helps a bit, this is just what i found out from doing tech on my own for a very long time, it’s probably far from good heh.

thanks a lot guys. and to who asked, i pracice ovts slowly, and u guys guessed it, i am working on chopet oct. And yea, i know the notes, i just need the constant speed. soometimes when i m just doodling on the piano and decide to say fuk it and play it rly fast, all i get to is a page and a half. my arms start to get tight and so do my wrist. how do the pianists keep da energy? :ho: plays it insanely fast in da art of piano…

many great pianists never tell the truth about how they achieve certain techniques. though some of them issue a book and it seems like you might get something out of it, u still think to yourself where’s the answer really. Sometimes, practice never makes perfect.

hahaha, da zecret iz to go inzanely FURIOUZ n wear yozelf out completely, u vil eventually build up da ztamina, zo dat u can unleazh effortlezzly on ztage.

da :ho: z zecret iznt about relaxation, tiz all about controlled tenzion

tru, but u can really hurt urself trying to “build up stamina”… just don’t kill ur hands

trying “to build up stamina” doesnt seem safe to me. If u mean i have to keep playing it fast until i cant take it anymore, then i am out, because the tension on the forarms will prolly cause an injury…i just wish i knew how the pros :ziff: :doc: :lib: :rectum: :chop: :whale: :ho: :rudy: :dong: :kan: :brotha: :pimp: :rock: do it…

What part of your arm is the motion coming from?

hahahaha no, if u know yo limitz dere zhud be no dangah

da moz important sheeyat iz to be able to develop a zenze fo da difference between tendon pain(which iz bad), n fatigue (which iz GUD).

I’m gonna try to describe to u how i play octaves. sry if its a shit description:

-pinky white, 4 on black…but ofcourse this changes sometimes to 3.4.5 when going from black, white, white
-With that in mind, the hand movement and kinda some from the forearms makes me go form key to key, that is why i think i am playing wrong. I mean, I can play octaves using only the 1-5 fingering as fast as i can when changing from 1-5 to 1-4…isnt that wierd? That tells me its just my arm and hand movements doing the work, not actually the fingering.
-Wut i believe rly kills the speed is the thumb. it is just not as flexible to keep going up and down very quicly…

so there u go…i hope u understand it. :smiley:

What kind of hand movement are you using? You should only be using arm, with the wrist as a hinge for the hands to “dangle.” Also, when you want to play faster (this applies to octaves, double notes, etc), you need to group the notes, starting from small groups and then moving onto larger ones.

i think that you mus practice in rhythms, and groupings

it IS about tension and release, AND relaxation.

In between octaves, you should be relaxed, not using your arms so much but lifting, and dropping. You mus use weight.

Do octave etude a tempo, but do only 3-5 octaves at a time, then go on to next 3-5. This way, you dont get tenz.

Thumb alone is alzo great

I believe that playing octaves very lighly, and coming right out of the keys, instead of going in, help conserve alot of energy. Some octaves require a rigid wrist, while others need a lose one. The sound is important as well, the 5th or 4th fingers need to be brighter than the thumb (in terms of sound)

do it da :comme: way

Masturbate more than 20 times a day, EACH HAND

it will build up your bicep/tricep muscles REAL quick.

you most likely have the physical means to play what you want. if you have a clear musical idea the physical end will come into place by virtue of your body’s natural understanding of comfort. overpracticing the physical end will only stiffen you up.
be very clear on where the passage starts and ends, and what route (musically speaking) it takes to get there. hear every note and feel every beat (that doesn’t mean that you must emphasize every beat, though).
horowitz’s octaves are often not the fastest, but just the ones with the most substance. he wasn’t banging the piano. he knew what every last note was going to sound like.

that’s fucking brilliant

why didn’t i ever think of that.

I’m going to try that out, sounds like it would work quite well.