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(Slide quickly from Fto F)
(Slide quickly from C to C) (Slide from C to your choice)
When the composer specifies both the beginning and ending of the gliss, all I can advise is practice, practice, practice. Starting on a specific note is easy, but stopping on the right note is like trying to stop a car on a dime.
Depending on the direction of the gliss and the hand you use, different fingers do the job. Figures 13-5 through 13-8 show you the correct hand positions for each of these glisses:
.h Downward with right hand: Gliss with your thumb (RH1) as shown in Figure 13-5.
* Upward with right hand: Gliss with your middle finger (RH3) and perhaps a little help from RH4, as shown in Figure 13-6.
.s Downward with left hand: Gliss with your middle finger (LH3) and perhaps a little help from LH4, as shown in Figure 13-7.
js Upward with left hand: Gliss with your thumb (LH1), as shown in
Chapter 13: Dfwsiaf Up Y«ur Music ] S 1
Take away the gliss from rock ’iT roll and you might as well give artists like Jerry Lee Lewis or Dr. John a copy of Job Hunting For Dummies. (Chapter 18 tells you more about these artists.) The effect of a glissando is altogether powerful, energetic, and just plain rocking! Play a Jerry-sounding song along with Track 62 to experience this sound sensation.
182 Fart V: Technique Counts for Everything
Ta Gtiss Is Bliss
(Gliss with RH1)
Chapter 13: Dressing Up Your Music
After several times raking your fingers across the keys, you may begin to curse my name when your fingers start hurting. It’s not my fault! You’re using the wrong part of your finger to gliss: Use your fingernail. Of course, many hard-nosed perfectionists say to use the cuticle to avoid the sound of your fingernail clicking against the keys. But I say, “That hurts!” Besides, the volume from a glissando is more than enough to cover the sound of your nail clicking. And above all, don’t play a gliss with your fingertips. Not only can this cause a blister (ouch!), but the squeaking sound is worse than scraping a chalkboard! You’ll thank me for this someday.
A trill occurs when you flutter your fingers very quickly between two notes that are close together, either a half step or whole step apart. (1 explain trills earlier in the chapter.) So, what do you call fluttering between two notes that are farther apart? Well, you call it whatever you want, but the world of music calls it a tremolo.
To play a tremolo, pick an interval, any interval larger than a whole step, and alternate playing the two notes as quickly as possible. (Chapter 10 tells you all about intervals.) Like a trill, this sounds as if you’re playing a bunch of 32nd or 64th notes. But unlike the notation for a trill, which just puts the letters “tr” above one note, the notation for a tremolo actually shows you both notes that your fingers rumble between. (See Figure 13-9.)
Too many notes?
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In Figure 13-9, you see that the two notes of a tremolo are shown with the same note length. At first glance, this notation looks like too many beats are in each measure, but the three diagonal lines between the notes signal you that this is a tremolo. These two notes share the note length. Therefore, you only count the beats of the first note.
Tremolos of any size sound great played by either hand. Probably the most popular left-hand tremolo is the octave tremolo. Stretch your hand over a C octave and let this interval rumble in a familiar melody. After one listen to Track 63, you may know this as the theme to the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
186 Part V: Technique Counts for Everything
Also Sprach Zarathustra
You can also play tremolo chords. All you do is break the chord into two parts: a bottom note and the remaining top notes. Tremolo these notes by alternating between the top and bottom notes as quickly as possible. Tremolo chords may look intimidating, but if you can play the chord, you can play the tremolo. (Chapter 12 acquaints you with chords.)
Figure 13-10 gives you a chance to play a few tremolo chords. For the first measure of Figure 13-10, put your hand in position for a G major chord and rock between the top notes (B and D) and the bottom note (G) very quickly. Move to the next measure and do the same with a 2nd inversion C chord, and so on, and so on. (See Chapter 12 for more information on inversions.)
GkapHrtl; Brets»« Up Your IMc
In the 20th century, many composers and pianists became bored with the normal sounds of a piano. No longer satisfied by the effects of trills, glissandi, and tremolos, these brave (and misunderstood) pioneers started tinkering around under the piano lid.
Try it yourself. Open your piano lid and pluck the strings with your fingernail. Now try a gliss across all of the strings while holding down the sustain pedal. The sound is mysterious and a bit creepy.