Robert Estrin - piano expert
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RICHARD B on February 8, 2016 @8:14 am PST
Hello Robert. I have a question regarding scales. Every day I try to learn a new scale until I am able to get them all. Currently I'm on Bb flat and notice that the fingering is a bit odd. Is it ok to change the fingering to make it simpler for the player or should you always keep it the same as Hannon or other standard pianists?
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Robert Estrin on February 8, 2016 @11:22 am PST
Learning proper fingering is intrinsic to developing good piano technique. There is nearly universal agreement on what fingering to use for scales and arpeggios on the piano - with the exception of "Mirror Fingering" which is used by a small percentage of pianists:

http://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/experts/robert/practice-scales-arpeggios/

http://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/experts/robert/hanon2/

While initially you may find some fingering to be strange, there is great collective thought and experience in the fingering for scales and arpeggios which is contained in Hanon 60 Selected Studies for the Virtuoso Pianist
Bryan Nguyen on January 24, 2016 @9:45 am PST
Hey Robert, I have a question for you: I want to know how you can approach one of Chopin's famous pieces: Scherzo No. 2 in Bb minor?
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Robert - host, on January 24, 2016 @12:34 pm PST
This is a monumental work with many technical and musical challenges. Each section has unique requirements. I will offer a multi-part video tutorial on this piece in the future.
Alice Ledesma on January 15, 2016 @8:10 pm PST
Hello, i asked you in a video before (but the video is 2 years old so..), i'm learning a Fantasy in D minor from Mozart, K 397, but the pedal isn't marked, i looked in internet the piano sheet and no pedal, hope you can help me, thanks! wonderful videos.
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Robert - host, on January 17, 2016 @12:10 pm PST
During Mozart's lifetime, the piano didn't have pedals. So, when playing on a modern piano, it's important to practice playing Mozart with no pedal at first. Then you can use small amounts of pedaling to enhance the sound without washing over the music as is more appropriate in some later Romantic period music of Chopin, Liszt and others.
Alice Ledesma on January 18, 2016 @12:28 pm PST
Thank youuu! :)
Glo on January 13, 2016 @5:15 pm PST
Should I buy a clavinova electric piano
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Robert - host, on January 15, 2016 @5:13 pm PST
There are benefits to both acoustic and digital pianos. However, if the primary purpose is learning to play the piano, an acoustic piano is best. A digital piano has many features that are useful for other purposes such as working with music software, practicing with headphones, and playing a wide variety of sounds. But the piano action of an acoustic piano has nearly 100 parts for each key which provides a much higher level of performance. The subtleties of touch and pedaling enable much more expressive performance on an acoustic piano.

Here is a video on this subject:

http://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/experts/robert/digital/
Richard B on January 6, 2016 @11:38 pm PST
Hello Robert. I have a silly question to ask. How do you count a measure that has an 8th note followed by a quarter note? Usually there is another 8th note after an 8thnote or subsequent 8th rest, which I can count fine. But in this particular measure it is just one single 8th note (not dotted) and then a quarter note. Hope I made sense.
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Robert - host, on January 8, 2016 @3:13 pm PST
The secret to figuring out rhythms is to count. With syncopated rhythms as you describe, counting with "ands" enables you to figure out exactly where the notes play. Here is an article and video describing the process:

http://livingpianos.com/general/how-to-count-rhythms-in-music/
Richard B on December 24, 2015 @8:22 am PST
Hello Robert. I'm having trouble with triplets. I seem to understand 8note triplets, but when I see quarter note triplets, I get confused. Is there anyway you can help me with this?
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Robert - host, on December 24, 2015 @1:22 pm PST
If you have a piece in 4/4 time with quarter note triplets, the 3 triplets are played within 2 beats. So, you must understand how to play a 3 against 2 rhythm.

Here is a video on this subject to help you:

http://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/experts/robert/polyrhythms/
Laurene on December 21, 2015 @8:01 pm PST
why does the piano have 88 keys and why start with A and end with C
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Robert - host, on December 23, 2015 @3:11 pm PST
This is a great question. You can read about the history of how 88 keys developed and watch this video:

http://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/experts/robert/88-keys/
Laurene on December 24, 2015 @10:52 am PST
thanks now I have an answer for my inquiring students
Richard B on December 16, 2015 @6:03 pm PST
Hello Robert. I injured my middle finger and it looks like I have mallet finger. I have to wear a splint. What can I do to continue my piano playing? Or what can I do to practice?
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Robert - host, on December 18, 2015 @1:47 pm PST
You may need to allow your finger to heal first. You may work on just your other hand in the meantime. There is a wealth of left hand piano music in case the injury is on your right hand.
willy janssen on December 10, 2015 @8:23 am PST
do you have a book to learn children to play the piano . I am a teacher in Brazil ... I like to find a book .. portuguees . com symbols etc.
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Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on December 10, 2015 @9:03 am PST
Hi Willy and thank you for your question. We are working on a specific piano introduction book as the one you are looking for, but at the moment I can suggest downloading my free Basic Music Principles e-book at the link below:

http://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/score/BasicMusicPrinciples.html

It gives basic music theory concepts that can help your students anyway. I'll keep you posted on the release of the above mentioned basic piano book.
Carolyn Keeler on December 7, 2015 @7:36 am PST
I am having a big problem with my violin going out of tune when the temperature changes rapidly. I can be playing/practicing and all a sudden the strings/pegs pop. I have tried having a professional violinist fix the pegs so they will not slip. How do I keep this from happening constantly. If I try to tune the violin a dozen times in one day I mess up the strings and bridge. What can I do???
Carolyn Keeler 1928-767-4494
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Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on December 7, 2015 @9:31 am PST
Dear Carolyn, thank you for your question to Robert, but I think Prof. Fitzpatrick, our violin expert, can probably help you better on answering your question:

http://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/experts/william/

Being a professional violinist myself, I can suggest to put some Rosin on the pegs to make them more "firm". Please, let me know if that works.
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