MTG Page Three

Now for the MTG8, the Mind the Gap master exercise.

Look closely at the first line of the full MS and see if you can tell what's happening.

The numbers give it away! You play pattern 1 (1-2) first, then pattern 2 (2-3) on D, pattern 3 (3-4) on E and pattern 4 (4-5) on E.

For the first half to finish nicely, then reverse through patterns 3 and 2 to end neatly with pattern 1.

Doing this at speed is an exercise in concentration as much as anything else! Practice slowly to start with.

Coming down from note G, you will play through the patterns mirror-image, that is, starting with pattern 4 (RH5-4, LH1-2), the 3, 2, 1, 2, 3 and 4 to finish 'normally'.

Here is the shorthand MS and the video.

A very demanding and useful exercise.


Finally, two very different variations on the Mind the Gap idea.

These two variations take MTG6 and 7, chop off the last four notes, and divide the remaining 3 x 4 = 12 notes in four groups of three.

The result is that the rhythm is 'across' the grouping - a great technique for making patterned music sound more interesting.

Because we've cut the connecting run at the end of the bar, our pattern now rises by fourths - another surprise after the predictable up-one-note-at-a-time of the regular Hanon exercises.

The pattern starting notes are C, F, B and e ascending, and C, G, D and A descending. Knowing that will help with the sense of disorientation!

MTG8 practices the 1-2 and 5-4 gaps of MTG6 in the new cross-rhythm. MTG 10 practices the 2-3 and 4-3 gaps of MTG7.

Here both exercises in shorthand MS form with their respective videos.

Make an effort to stress the first note of the tuplet grouping (as shown).


It's interesting how putting the rhythm at odds with the more obvious four-notes-up and four-notes-down grouping challenges our presumed fingering skill.


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