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Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!

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  • Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!



    I think I can safely say that we all have bad playing habits, I'm sure even the pros on the concert circuit must do things occasionally that are traditionally frowned upon.</P>


    My bad habit stems from being self taught...and that is bottom octave pedalling. I can actually use the pedals "properly"and to a high level,but from time to time, especially with hymns I find myself slipping back into bottom octave pedalling.</P>


    I've had my organ teacher try and "drive" it out of me by taking apart my complete pedal technique but alas it seems unwilling to go...bad habits die hard etc. Any other part-time "bottom octave pedalists" here?</P>


    I've told you mine, now tell me yours! [] Don't be shy, we're all humans - well some of us anyway...</P>


    PS. Any tips regarding our respective bad habits are welcome on this thread, collectively we can try and help each other play that just bit better!</P>
    1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
    Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

  • #2
    Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!



    I can identify with you there. I learned to play a spinet organ in high school, with, of course, onlythirteen pedals, and using only the left leg.When I started playing professionally in churches, just about all of them had organs with thirty pedals. It was a long time before I felt comfortable even using the middle range of the pedalboard, much less the top notes to the right. Frankly, what got me really used to using all of the pedalboard was a serious working through the eight little preludes and fugues of Bach (I know that there are arguments over who actually wrote them!). Just playing through the pedal parts of any Bach organ piece will help with the tendency to play left foot only. You can't do it in Bach!</P>


    Another problem was knowing when to connect notes versus when to repeat them in hymn playing. That also took a long time to work out. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to hear enough good organists, either in person or by recordings, to understand that I needed to clean up my style of hymn playing.</P>


    I also have had to work on registration. I have a tendency to over register in church-too many mixtures, too many stops.</P>


    Like you, I have had the problem of being, for the most part, self-taught</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>
    Mike

    My home organ is a circa 1990 Galanti Praeludium III, with Wicks/Viscount CM-100 module supplying extra voices. I also have an Allen MDS Theatre II (princess pedalboard!) with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!



      Let's see. . . I have many. . .

      I don't bother to develop good fingerings which leads to my using finger glissandi and damn whats the technical term for holding out a note while switching fingers? Substitution I imagine. This goes for pedaling as well.</p>

      </p>

      I also have a bad habit of not stopping to actually fix tiny mistakes when 30 seconds of spot work would get rid of the problem. I just kinda say "eh it's good enough."</p>

      </p>

      Registration I wouldn't say is a bad playing habit because it's more of a simply don't-know-a-better-way-to-do-it than a know-a-better-way-just-dont-bother-to-actually-do-it thing.

      EDIT: Oh, and I don't use my expression pedals enough.
      </p>
      Finally self-published some of my compositions! https://www.createspace.com/3734555
      Piano and organ videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/CurtisBooksMusic

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!



        I haven't thought much about it but don't most of us organist pedal hymns from about G2 down? I can't imagine pedaling above that for a hymn!?!?
        </p>


        </p>

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        • #5
          Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!



          Ipedal the bass notes exactly as notated in hymns; however a colleague of mine says he was taught that it was OK totranspose an octave down(to the bottom octave), because singers need to hear &amp; feel the bass.</P>


          My bad habit is that I procrastinate learning the music. [:|] I'm a good sightreader though, and that usually [:$] saves me.</P>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!



            If I'm in a particularly lazy mode, I'll sometimes leave out passing notes in the pedal and play them on the manuals. [um] </p>

            A good example would be measures 2 &amp; 7 in Liebester Jesu. (No one ever notices. [:S])
            </p>

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            • #7
              Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!



              I can find that I end up playing for lines and lines with just one foot in the pedals, even if there are big leaps to do! I would say that that is my greatest habit....</P>


              Jezza</P>

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              • #8
                Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!

                I'm sure I have bad habits, and in fact, I know I have bad habits, many of which carry over from viola (I got problems there, but that isn't the point), for instance, I often don't do enough spot work, and try to run through an entire piece in practice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!



                  [quote user="soubasse32"] Ipedal the bass notes exactly as notated in hymns; however a colleague of mine says he was taught that it was OK totranspose an octave down(to the bottom octave), because singers need to hear &amp; feel the bass.[/quote]</P>


                  I agree with the colleague. My organ instructor taught me to use registrations with the 32' pedal almost always on, and to play the pedals as written in the center of the pedalboard. I only go down the octave at the end of a piece, or if I want to rattle the rafters. He always told me it was the bass that moved the hymn forward, and I've found that to be true. When I was in college, I regularly played for a chapel of 7,000, and WOW did they ever try to drag things out! It was like pulling hens' teeth, but we kept 'em movin'![H] Had to stay with the piano too, and it was about 200-300 feet away--so I just followed the director, and left the pianist to fend for him/herself.</P>


                  Michael</P>


                  P.S. What I really enjoyed is when the music director asked the instruments to drop out, and they'd sing a verse a cappella. Imagine 7,000 people singing RIGHT AT YOU in a good balance of all 4 voice parts. Must be what heaven's going to be like![A]</P>
                  Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                  • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                  • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                  • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!



                    [quote user="Jason E"] If I'm in a particularly lazy mode, I'll sometimes leave out passing notes in the pedal and play them on the manuals.[/quote]</P>


                    I wonder how that would work with the Protestant hymn, Wonderful Grace of Jesus?!!! [chorus melody for men in the pedal in dotted eighths and sixteenths, for those who don't know].[]</P>
                    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!

                      [quote user="myorgan"]


                      [quote user="Jason E"] If I'm in a particularly lazy mode, I'll sometimes leave out passing notes in the pedal and play them on the manuals.[/quote]</P>


                      I wonder how that would work with the Protestant hymn, Wonderful Grace of Jesus?!!! [chorus melody for men in the pedal in dotted eighths and sixteenths, for those who don't know].[]</P>


                      [/quote]</P>


                      In all my years of playing, it never occured to me to play that in the pedals! I have always played it as a solo with the left hand, right hand playing the ladies parts with a softer registration on another manual, and playing a suitable bass in the pedals. Come to think of it, that is how I learned it originally, as that arrangement was in the hymnal I was playing from at the time. I must go and practice it the way you suggested!</P>
                      Mike

                      My home organ is a circa 1990 Galanti Praeludium III, with Wicks/Viscount CM-100 module supplying extra voices. I also have an Allen MDS Theatre II (princess pedalboard!) with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!

                        [quote user="m&amp;m's"]


                        I can identify with you there. I learned to play a spinet organ in high school, with, of course, onlythirteen pedals, and using only the left leg...&lt;SNIP&gt;</P>


                        I also have had to work on registration. I have a tendency to over register in church-too many mixtures, too many stops.</P>


                        Like you, I have had the problem of being, for the most part, self-taught[/quote]</P>


                        It too took me sometime to playing in the upper right regions of the pedalboard, some Bach fugues soon put that right. </P>


                        Ditto with the registrations, I too tend to over register - that I think comes from being self taught as well - just grabbing a handful of stops and pulling them out. My registering has improved somewhat, its not totally there. For example I'll still have to play a few chords with some stops out just to get my "bearings" and until I think I've got the right combinations. I envy those who can sit at a strange organ and pull out appropriate stops and start playing Bach for example. Me? Its a bit of trial and error before I can start.</P>


                        Heres a new one...and this is shear laziness on my part I suppose.Ocassionally Iwill "roll" my foot when playing adjacent pedal notes. For example I'll cover half of my foot on D and the other half on E and just roll, rather than heel and toe/all toes/all heels/using both feet. I was told off many times by my teacher, but he did say its acceptable sometimes in very fast passages where perhaps heeling and toeing is just too cumbersome. Does anyone else "roll" their foot on adjacent notes?</P>
                        1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
                        Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!



                          Yes. My pedal technique is quite unorthodox at times; whatever works and sounds right . . .</P>


                          []</P>

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!



                            [quote user="nullogik"]Heres a new one...and this is shear laziness on my part I suppose.Ocassionally Iwill "roll" my foot when playing adjacent pedal notes. For example I'll cover half of my foot on D and the other half on E and just roll, rather than heel and toe/all toes/all heels/using both feet. [/quote]</P>


                            What?!!! [:O] You mean I'm not supposed to do that?[:$]</P>


                            Michael</P>
                            Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                            • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                            • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                            • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Bad Playing Habits - Confession time!



                              One of my bad practice habits is failure to stop where I have a trouble spot and work it out. When I get to the end of the song, I usually forget about the problem areas. I am trying to do better with that.</P>


                              As others have stated, my pedaling for the hymns isn't the best. I don't have a 32' stop, so I don't always play the bass note where it is written. I agree, the bass is very important for hymns.</P>

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