Welcome to this lesson on the Advanced Octaves Exercise.
Octaves. They make anything sound bigger and flashier. And, they’re all over the place in music. Getting solid octaves is a key pillar to your piano technique.
Advanced Octaves: The Notes + Movement Pattern
Advanced Octaves: Accelerated Learning Techniques
Key points from the lesson:
1. The biggest thing to mastering octaves is learning to RELAX. This is challenging, but once you got it, you got it. So, focus on relaxing as much as possible (this is tough for octaves!).
2. If you have big hands, use your 4th finger on black keys. Otherwise, just use your 5th finger on everything.
3. Start with a one octave scale “in octaves” and gradually move onto 2 octave and 3 octave scales “in octaves”
4. The motion should come primarily from the wrist, not the arm. Using a smaller lever will help you play octaves faster.
5. Try the Octave Accelerated Learning Techniques (The Outsides Method & Floppy Wrist Drill) as well as the others you learned in the course (Rhythmic Variation, Metronome, Added Note, etc)
PDFs and Cheat Sheets
Frequently Asked Questions (optional):
Ok, so the reason this s so confusing is the word “Octaves” has two meanings – the name of the EXERCISE and also the MEASUREMENT of how far up and down the keyboard you go.
So basically, when you start this drill, start out playing 1 octave “in octaves”. For example, if you’re in the key of C, start with your right thumb on middle C and your right pinkie on the C above. Then play up 8 notes and back down to the bottom. So it would look like this:
One Octave Scale “In Octaves”
Up: C D E F G A B C
Down: B A G F E D C
Of course, for each letter above you’ll be playing two notes. So for the first “C” you’ll be playing a C with your thumb and the upper C with your pinkie at the same time, the D you’ll play your thumb on D and your pinkie on the upper D, and keep this same pattern going up and down the scale.
Once you have that down pat, do the same thing but play 2 octaves “in octaves”. So still playing two notes at a time (thumb and pinkie) you’d go up 15 notes and back down. It’d look like this:
Two Octave Scale “In Octaves”
Up: C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C
Down: B A G F E D C B A G F E D C
Then once that’s good, you move onto playing 3 octaves “in octaves”, which looks like this:
Three Octave Scale “In Octaves”
Up: C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C
Down: B A G F E D C B A G F E D C B A G F E D C
Once you have 3 octaves “in octaves”, you’re done! You don’t have to go to 4 octaves “in octaves” or you’ll start going off of the piano.
For fingerings, octaves always use 1 and 5 on white notes or 1 and 4 on black notes (if your hands are too small for 1 and 4 on black notes, you can just use 1 and 5 on everything).
For the notes, you’re basically just playing a scale two notes at a time with each hand. So the notes are the same notes as a scale, just played “in octaves.” So there’s no separate sheet, use the same notes as the scales fingering cheat sheet and just ignore the fingering.
Main Technique Mastery Home Page
Advanced Intro & Training Plan
Advanced Four Octave Scales
Advanced Four Octave Arpeggios
Advanced Broken Chords
Advanced Training Plan
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