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Author Topic: Ocarina Fingering Dexterity Exercises  (Read 32747 times)
Cliff
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« on: December 08, 2008, 08:06:17 pm »

Fingering dexterity exercises are fun... and can improve your ability to play fast and challenging ocarina music.

Please note: our goal in making these videos is to help you to enjoy your ocarina and to grow as a musician. Unfortunately, the production quality is rather poor. Please feel free to post questions and to offer any feedback or suggestions that might increase the helpfulness of future videos. With your input, and as time and resources permit, we hope to get better and better.



Please reply and let us know your thoughts.

Thanks.

Cliff


« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 11:12:44 pm by cliff » Logged

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Spatolo
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2008, 11:47:49 am »

This is a VERY interesting and important video and it's about something that was never discussed before.

I already did some exercises on my own; since I've read (or listened? don't remember) this nice tip on the curriculum!

What I usually do is to practice passages from a fingering to another (for example from D to F) trying to be less sloppy as possible and caring that all the fingers involved are lifted or reach the body of the instruments toegether. If you tongue every note is easy to cover a sloppy fingering when the fingers involved go into the right position in a few milliseconds of distance each other.
But, if you're playing legato those notes, there's no escape! You will hear any imperfection if your movement is not accurate as a surgeon. So those exercises helps a lot. Definitely.

And now, too, I have a question.  Grin
I tried the roll on G exercise on the warmstone ocarina I wear.
And, I just can't keep the ocarina steady with one hand like Karl does in a certain passage. I detail this:
If I try to keep the ocarina only with third and fourth finger and the thumb (counting from the thumb = 1) it slips, moving towards the bottom part of the instrument. There ARE moments in which, to show the exercise, Karl just keep the ocarina with those fingers easily and steadily.
Of course during the roll you have to be fast so there's no time for the instrument to move, but in the beginning when you learn you have to practice slow as you know and I find that precise exercise to be unpractical, if the instrument it's not in your mouth.
Of course if the ocarina is between my lips too there's an extra point of contact between me and the ocarina so the instrument remains balanced and I can practice the exercise slowly as necessary.

Thank you for reading!

I hope it's clear.


« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 11:50:37 am by Spatolo » Logged
Laurent
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2008, 11:51:11 am »

For those not having the curriculum, could you briefly explain what a G roll is?


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Karl
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2008, 12:43:03 pm »

Spatolo and Laurent, you have both raised important issues. 

Laurent, a roll (and there are various types) is an ornament --a type of finger articulation-- that is used widely in traditional Irish music. I may even introduce rolls today in a "Quick Thoughts from Karl" video. This morning I have a doctors apointment, but it's just routine. I suppose I could skip it and get right to the video if you guys want me to...  Wait... no, my wife tells me I can do the video AFTER the doctors appointment. Smiley

Spatolo, you are on the right track. Just remember that I am only able to perform those fingering dexterity exercises that way because I have practiced many times over a period of time. Also, I started with much simpler exercises and gradually worked up to that point. Some time ago, I could NOT do some of the things I show in the video. This demonstrates how powerful these exercises are. The great thing is that I only do these exercises when I am otherwise occupied: while hiking up the trail, riding in the car, watching a movie with my family, etc.  You are way ahead of where I was after just a few months, but things still take time. I'll revisit this issue in another video.

Also, I'll soon demonstrate how to do rolls more easily than in the video (or than on an Irish flute or tin whistle). I tend to do the exercises with one hand because my other hand might be occupied and because it is great for balance and finger dexterity. However, I'll demonstrate how to execute ALL the rolls more easily with two hands.   

By the way, I don't fill every spare moment with fingering exercises. Rather, from time to time I go through little fingering dexterity phases. This can make a big difference. (Little by little, you'll go a long way!)



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Spatolo
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2008, 12:48:58 pm »

For those not having the curriculum, could you briefly explain what a G roll is?

Here's a GREAT website for ornamentations on the whistle which applies well to the mountain ocarinas too.
http://www.rogermillington.com/siamsa/brosteve/rolls2.html


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Spatolo
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2008, 12:53:23 pm »

Spatolo, you are on the right track. Just remember that I am only able to perform those fingering dexterity exercises that way because I have practiced many times over a period of time. Also, I started with much simpler exercises and gradually worked up to that point.

Of course but... would you just try the same stuff on a WarmStone and please tell me if it feels the same for you? I think that there's more apart of experience here, a matter of balance. In fact, I can keep a polycarbonate ocarina in balance only on my thumbs when they are over their holes - look mom, no mouth, no other fingers, only the thumbs! - while I just can't on the warmstone. With the fingers in proper place the ocarina slips down. I think this can affect the finger dexterity exercises too if you do them (as reasonable) without the ocarina in your mouth or even with only one hand.

I hope you're OK. Go kill the doctor and get back to us healtier.


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Karl
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2008, 01:00:13 pm »

Thanks, Spatolo.  The info on that whistle website does apply, in part. However, we can actually execute many of the cuts and rolls more easily on our ocarinas than on a whistle.  I'll show you soon!  Also, I think you'll find that, with practice, it won't matter whether it's a polycarbonate or Warmstone ocarina. I switch back and forth between polycarbonate and Warmstone ocarinas.


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Karl
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2008, 02:22:25 pm »

I'm back now. The doctor suggested muscle relaxants, but I explained that I didn't have a nervous twitch. I was merely doing fingering dexterity exercises on my ocarina. Smiley

I thought of a couple tips that might help.

In my videos, notice how short the neckcord is on my ocarina.  I keep my neckcord short to prevent my ocarina from falling into my food during meals or flying around and bumping into things.  However, a shorter neckcord also makes it easier to balance my ocarina with one hand while I'm doing finger dexterity exercises. 

One more thing. Start out with simple exercises. If an exercise feels very awkward, try exercises that feel more natural.  It is a very gradual process!  My quick video wasn't nearly as helpful as it could have been because I couldn't think, on the spur of the moment, of many of the simpler exercises I started with a while back. I just wanted to introduce the concept because people have asked me about this recently on the phone. I'll revisit this topic sometime soon.


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Spatolo
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2008, 02:30:13 pm »

Thanks Karl.
You're a kind man, very nice and humble: you invented a musical instrument, a beautiful one, and you don't even show off.
Also, Cliff is a VERY beautiful person; this means that you Karl are also a good slave trainer.

Now back to the topic. I would suggest (once again) to use various ocarinas in your videos. If not else, that would somehow change the video layout (since you don't change your t-shirt... at least change the ocarina).
 



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Karl
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2008, 02:54:22 pm »

Spatolo, you have made me laugh out loud twice today--with your comment above (about my shirts) and when you described your technique of carrying around a washing machine for vibrato purposes. Of all the humourous comments on this forum, that was the funniest to date. http://www.ocarinaboard.com/bb/index.php?topic=103.0   topic # 15  (You were kidding about that, weren't you?)

I will try to use other ocarinas in my videos.


« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 03:21:38 pm by Karl » Logged
Spatolo
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2008, 03:22:30 pm »

Spatolo, you have made me laugh out loud twice today--with your comment above (about my shirts) and when you described your technique of carrying around a washing machine for vibrato purposes. Of all the humourous comments on this forum, that was the funniest to date. (You were kidding about that, weren't you?)

I were kidding: the doctor forbid me to do that.

I noticed that you didn't counted the Cliff training as a joke. I must think that it must be for real. I knew it.


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Karl
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2008, 03:29:43 pm »

Cliff is certainly not our slave. We grant him significant freedom, at times, when we see fit. Smiley  But I do agree that Cliff is one of the nicest, most consistantly pleasant people I have ever met. 


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Spatolo
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2008, 03:31:48 pm »

You both form a very nice pair!


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Cliff
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2008, 04:25:47 pm »

Quote
We grant him significant freedom, at times, when we see fit.

I finished my programming. Can I use the restroom?


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Lord Oblivion
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2008, 05:12:09 pm »

lol you guys just made my day  Cheesy


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