CHAPTER II – ARPEGGIOS
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The exercises in Chapter II are intended to improve sound equality and rhythmic stability in arpeggios. Below are three essential ways of practicing arpeggios:
– with preparation – full plant or sequential plant
– with fixed fingers
– with exaggerated movements
A very effective way to play arpeggios is to practice them with a form of preparation known as planting. This stabilizes the right hand and allows for better control of its movements. The two basic types of preparation are the full plant and the sequential plant.
In a full plant there is constant contact with the strings and each movement initiates the next. There are therefore two simultaneously occurring movements – one from the finger playing the given note, and the other from the finger which touches and simultaneously prepares the next note.
In a sequential plant, there is a moment in which the fingers are suspended in the air before touching the string again.
The difference between the full plant and the sequential plant is comparable to the distinction between walking and running. In the first there is constant contact with the ground, whereas in the second there is not (rather, there is a moment of suspension in the air).
While planting is a helpful practice tool, it has the potential to be disturbing at the same time. Practicing with a full plant is essential in some cases, but it is also necessary to be able to detach oneself from thinking about it.
In principle, as tempo increases, the amount of thinking about planting decreases.
To completely comprehend the distinctions between the full plant and the sequential plant, refer to the detailed explanations which are found in the glossary.
Practicing arpeggios with fixed fingers encourages tendons to stretch and strengthens the fingers, significantly improving their independence and flexibility.
Practicing arpeggios with exaggerated movements requires ample strength and highlights the simultaneous opposite movements of the fingers. As previously described with the full plant, each movement initiates the next, but here more attention is given to the vertical movement of each finger.
This way of practicing increases finger strength and helps to develop a better understanding of the nature of each movement. Furthermore, it draws attention to the balance between the fingers’ movements while improving finger coordation and hand stability. These movements should not continue to be exaggerated in faster tempos.