Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Jordan Rudess--hand position


ksoper

Recommended Posts

Last night I saw the high-def presentation of Dream Theatre's Octavarium show at Radio City Music Hall. This is actually the first time I've had a chance to watch Jordan Rudess play.

 

He's obviously got great facility, but I have a question about his hand position. As he ripped through those amazing solos, the heel of his hand almost touched the key rail of the Oasis. This created a "V" at his wrist--his hand was almost vertical, though his fingers were beautifully and uniformly curved. I haven't had a chance to try this on my own keyboard, but it doesn't look particularly comfortable. It didn't seem to slow him down at all.

 

My own training was focused more on repertoire than the mechanics of technique, so I was curious as to whether this is something that's taught, or is it just something that works for Jordan?

 

k.

9 Moog things, 3 Roland things, 2 Hammond things and a computer with stuff on it

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 7
  • Created
  • Last Reply
It doesn't sound like anything I would recommend. That's strange, because I've seen videos of Jordan playing and I don't remember seeing anything like that. I'm guessing it had more to do with the location of the keyboard in relation to his body. He plays with multiple keyboards live, right? In a situation like that, you can't really have all your keyboards at optimal height, so you have to adjust a little when you switch from one to the other. Maybe that's it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm guessing you're referring to this hand position:

 

http://media.musictoday.com/store/bands/633/product_medium/JUAM07DVD.jpg

 

Nothing I've ever seen from any teacher, nor from any written discussion of technique... but how can you argue with his chops? ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Bridog6996:

He plays with multiple keyboards live, right? In a situation like that, you can't really have all your keyboards at optimal height, so you have to adjust a little when you switch from one to the other. Maybe that's it.

Actually, no. The vast majority of the time, he plays a single keyboard on a swivel stand (Oasis?)

Moe

---

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by mate_stubb:

Actually, no. The vast majority of the time, he plays a single keyboard on a swivel stand (Oasis?)

Yep, Jordan's currently gigging with a Korg OASYS on a custom column stand that rotates.

 

Check out

of Jordan giving a tour of his current rig, including his Haken Continuum. :thu:

 

(It's pretty interesting to watch him talk about how he solved the intonation challenges on the Continuum...)

 

Edit to add: The bonus footage from an earlier DVD is also on YouTube, with Jordan showing his Kurzweil K2600-based rig (same stand)... click here .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Judging from the videos I've seen, Jordan likes to keep his wrists a little lower than usual, but nothing to do with the exaggerated position shown in that picture. He seems to dig in that special way when he leans for aftertouch, or sometimes (but not on that level) when he's playing fast lines that require a more or less fixed hand position and clear note articulation. He then seems to partially block the arm on position, and rely on his long, strong fingers to do most the job.

 

Anyway, I've noticed that often, pianists with big, strong hands *and* long fingers (not a very common combination) tend to keep their wrists a bit lower than normal. I guess that's because their big hands give them all the weight they need to transfer on the keys, without the need to call the whole arm into the picture. I wouldn't recommend it as a general-purpose playing position, but I guess it can work as long as you don't have to make big jumps, or play something that's physically difficult like fast octaves or sixths. That said, I really envy Jordan's hands. ;)

 

BTW, many great pianists use 'impossible' playing positions. Gould, Horowitz, Jarrett and Monk among them. I guess when someone has started playing at a *very* early age, like four years, their hands have grown around the physical shape of the keyboard, so any *bad* habits they could have picked up have become an integral part of their entire physical behaviour. Maybe, those elements are also a part of what makes them so unique!

 

And hey, Jordan has posted on the forum before, so maybe he will step in with his own considerations! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by mate_stubb:

Originally posted by Bridog6996:

He plays with multiple keyboards live, right? In a situation like that, you can't really have all your keyboards at optimal height, so you have to adjust a little when you switch from one to the other. Maybe that's it.

Actually, no. The vast majority of the time, he plays a single keyboard on a swivel stand (Oasis?)
I guess that shows how little I know about him. He's playing a different keyboard in just about every video I've seen of him, so I just assumed that he goes Wakeman style with millions of keyboards on stage. BTW, what's the purpose of the swivel stand?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Bridog6996:

so I just assumed that he goes Wakeman style with millions of keyboards on stage. BTW, what's the purpose of the swivel stand?

It's really supposed to be the complete opposite of the Rick Wakeman style. This and the swivel stand and more are explained in the second link Sven posted. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiSNgSVxBeQ)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdlRcK3cJ4A goes into how he did setups on his Kurzweil. (Apparently "real men" DO use appeggiators!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...