Getting to Grips with Octaves

Technical Training for Octaves (1)

Octaves should only be introduced when the hand is large enough or sufficiently developed, the knuckles strong enough to support the octave span. Before embarking on octave work, I recommend playing scales in sixths as well as a few studies in sixths using a mixture of wrist staccato (when soft) and forearm staccato (when mf or above). In octave passages it is the thumb that steers the hand, the 5th finger (or outer finger) remaining firm. We need to develop lightness and agility in the thumb and a...

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