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 Velocity Studies by Opperman
Author: kfrank1 
Date:   2006-05-31 16:37

I'm about to buy one or more of these books, but was wondering which one to pick (elementary, intermediate, advanced, master, virtuoso, or contemporary chordal sequences).

Is the elementary book really elementary i.e. for beginners or would it also be suitable for intermediate players which is probably where I am (I've done the Langenus Method books up to book III)


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 Re: Velocity Studies by Opperman
Author: hartt 
Date:   2006-05-31 17:29

....nothing Kal wrote was for beginners [grin]

I've several of his study books which, as my teacher, he autographed for me. He and Hadcock were my teachers at Hartt.

My suggestion is to get 2 books you did not mention:
Modern Daily studies Bk 1 and Bk 2. ( pub 1952 )
These books take one thru studieeees of LH, RH, Staccato, Grace notes, Octaves and Chord .

The Master Studies you refer to is also good. There are only a couple of studies in this book where portions of the notes are in the stratosphere.
Technically, it's not a too difficult book. However, when you apply the exactness of legato, staccato, tonal concepts, etc......that's where the value lies. Bear in mind, this type of application pertains to most any, if not all study books.


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 Re: Velocity Studies by Opperman
Author: GBK 
Date:   2006-05-31 17:48

hartt wrote:

> My suggestion is to get 2 books you did not mention:
> Modern Daily studies Bk 1 and Bk 2. ( pub 1952 )
> These books take one thru studieeees of LH, RH, Staccato, Grace
> notes, Octaves and Chord .

The first 2 volumes of the Opperman Modern Daily Studies give your technique a nice workout, but Book 3 (Intervallic Permutations) will have you talking to yourself.

Book 3 consists of many arpeggiated patterns which, for the most part, you have never encountered before and your fingers (and ear) do not want to accept.

They are truly a test of one's concentration and finger discipline. Done in very small doses (a few pages each day is probably all you can take) they keep both your fingers and mind limber.

Just in case you master the patterns, Opperman gives 12 different articulation ideas to further frustrate you ...GBK

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 Re: Velocity Studies by Opperman
Author: DAVE 
Date:   2006-05-31 19:00

I agree with the above regarding the notion that nothing he wrote was for beginers. The velocity studies are pretty hard, even book one. I have played from the first velocity studies book but prefer the books GBK mentioned. I love the first book. Book two is okay. Book three, the Intervallic permutations is just strange. I like it, kinda... It does make you think. You cannot mindlessly play through it like you can the Baermann. Great stuff to play from.

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 Re: Velocity Studies by Opperman
Author: kfrank1 
Date:   2006-05-31 19:19

Thanks, that was helpful.

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 Re: Velocity Studies by Opperman
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2006-05-31 22:08

Kal says even Harold Wright had trouble with Intervallic Permutations. Nevertheless, he worked on them to teach his fingers to play unfamiliar patterns.

Intervallic Permutations consists entirely of arpeggio sequences on altered chords that do NOT appear in the standard exercise books. You feel like a beginner, because it's full of things you've never played.

The Opperman books are highly "medicinal." They're no fun to learn, and not much fun to play, either. They're strictly for learning how to play accurately.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: Velocity Studies by Opperman
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-02-04 01:24

The Velocity books may look simple to an advanced player who does not know about Kal's teaching but they are extremely valuable for 'binding', which was only one of the purposes of his study books. Binding is a term coined by Marcel Tabuteau, principal oboe in the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1915 to 1954.
It is the smooth connections of any two notes on any instrument. The Intermediate Velocity book has a CD with Adam Ebert playing every study. I remember the first time looking at one of the studies I thought, this is impossible. But the CD proves that they ARE possible. Kal always said, "the only difference between you and the best players is hours". I do not have as many hours as Adam Ebert I must confess!

PS Get the Kal Biography to learn about his pedagogy. "Kalmen Opperman: A Legacy of Excellence"

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 Re: Velocity Studies by Opperman
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-02-04 04:14

I have most of my students work through the Elementary studies, regardless of level. When done attentively they really refine the hand position. I have to admit I didn't really 'get' this until I played through the book myself. Kal really knew his stuff.

"Always hope, but never hope more than you practice." - Kal Opperman

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 Re: Velocity Studies by Opperman
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-02-04 19:23

nellsonic wrote:

> When done attentively they really refine
> the hand position.

I don't dispute that hand position and other technical issues can be addressed using the Elementary Velocity Studies volume, but I would argue that no book of studies is capable of "refin[ing] the hand position" or anything else. The student has to do the refining, with whatever guidance the teacher can offer, and there's an endless variety of material that can be the focus of that process, which is in any case ongoing. I still find myself making adjustments after 60 years of playing to correct creeping bad habits I've formed out of carelessness, usually ones that I notice when a passage comes up that that the bad habit interferes with.

The Velocity Studies are well constructed and systematic, which gives them definite advantages as study material. But technique can corrected or refined with every note of music we play. There's no magic amulet.


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 Re: Velocity Studies by Opperman
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-02-07 09:15

Karl, this seems to be a distinction without a difference. 'When done attentively' was the key phrase. The point I was trying to make is that there is more to these than one might expect just glancing through the book. They are exceptionally well designed in ways that may not immediately be obvious to a simpleton like me. The proof for me was in the playing.

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