I don't use any fingering technique, is that bad?

Posted: 3/29/2009 1:26:13 PM

Joined: 1/24/2009

I've had my theremin for a few weeks and I've learned how to play it for the most part. However, I don't use any set fingering technique. I bought I theremin because I'm fascinated by unique instruments that have continuous pitch like aluminium slide whistles, musical saws, and theremins. I try to find these instruments these devices in everyday life, such as floppy disc drives and doors that creak when you open and close them. I've also played a piano for many years without a single lesson in music theory. I'm planning to explore music theory academically as a hobby but nonetheless I have developed a sense of relating distance to a pitch that allows me to play the theremin without fingering techniques. Basically, if I can play the song in my head exactly, I can do the same thing on the theremin for awhile. But if you ask me to play a note, I can't.

Any ideas on how I can join my odd playing style with the conventional playing style?
Posted: 3/29/2009 2:12:50 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

All depends from where you want to go.

There are pieces of music which require a more or less advanced fingering technique in order to be played well, while others may perhaps be played only with arm movements, assisted by a waving hand.

You should go on YouTube and look and hear at different thereminists and you will understand that your fingering/forearming technique will not only affect your virtuosity but also the sound quality and expression of what you play.

Playing a cello-like piece such as "Après un rêve" from G. Fauré will sound fine with a wide arm-vibrato Francisco Isla (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCevRccyPKI), while a more flute-like piece as "Clair de Lune" from C. Debussy played in a very high register will ask for a quiet arm and very subtle wrist movements Lydia Kavina (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn4TgYkqdi8). Some pieces could not be played at all without a minimum of fingering Thereminstrel's paunch (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUSknzdpJkE). I never saw his face in his videos...

So after discovering the style you want to adapt, you should find a fitting method and/or a teacher in order to discover the way which leads to this style.
Posted: 3/31/2009 8:12:07 PM

From: UK

Joined: 4/15/2008

If you can hear a tune in your head and replicate it on the theremin, it sounds like you have a knack of playing instruments "by ear". Perhaps you may be able to use this knack to help you find aerial-fingering that works for you. Search for tunes that you are thoroughly familiar with that start with an opening two note jump (for each of the different intervals you might wish to settle finger positions for). For example, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" opens with a jump of a fifth. For each jump/interval try to settle on a finger shift that you can comfortably and reliably reproduce, then practice each one over and over.

There's a lengthy thread here (http://www.thereminworld.com/forum.asp?cmd=p&T=1391&F=780)that's well worth reading through, (in several sittings!) One thing I remember from it is the observation that each thereminist's style of aerial-fingering is as unique as their hand-writing! Given time, you'll find your own style that works for you!

Paunch? Hmmm ... actually, it's a cunning disguise. By removing my necktie, and the large pillow stuffed inside my shirt, I'm suddenly impossible to recognise! And believe me ... my face is best concealed; one glimpse of it has been known to stop clocks, sour milk and turn small kittens to stone! ;-)

Posted: 3/31/2009 8:51:41 PM

From: new haven ct.

Joined: 7/8/2005

Are you sure your playing what you think your playing?


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