Just got a theremin, and the hand gestures are driving me nuts!

Posted: 2/6/2019 9:31:16 AM
vespertine

Joined: 2/6/2019

I'm having trouble with hand gestures. The 8 point is kind of a lot even though I could see myself using it later, when I'm any good. Are there other methods and if so, can I get pics? I've read so many descriptions of the subtle movements of the fingers and the wrist and I have a lot of trouble learning anything that way .So thank you if you can help, no worries if you can't .
Btw this is my first post 🙂

Posted: 2/6/2019 11:50:46 AM
Valery

From: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Joined: 6/6/2016


Hi vespertine! I recently played for the first time on the Theremin Phoenix, invented by Christopher. In this thread there is a video that clearly shows the movement of the hands. " Build an Analog Theremin that Rivals a Modern Day Classic for about $100" I recommend to look. The rest depends on practical exercises. Each performer develops his own convenient technique, but this comes with time. Clara Rockmore wrote a lot about the technique of playing the theremin. I advise you to find her articles on the Internet.

Posted: 2/6/2019 12:09:07 PM
Thierry

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

Hi and welcome in the Theremin family.

The finger positions are well documented and explained in Carolina Eyck's theremin method which you can order here: https://www.carolinaeyck.com/method

Unfortunately, your profile does not show more about who you are and where you are based, so I can't point you towards an approved theremin teacher in your region. But you should understand that, since the theremin is a rare instrument, teachers are rare, too, and you most probably won't find one just round the corner.

That's why we have set up the system of the Theremin Academies in Western Europe. These academies are organized 4 or 5 times a year in different European towns (i.e. Oxford, Lippstadt, Berlin, Lausanne, Colmar) during a long weekend. This gives Thereminists of all playing levels the opportunity to meet and exchange with other players, to have individual or group lessons, partake in workshops or ensembles, etc. Normally, people make great progress during that weekend and return home afterwards with enough homework to do until the next academy. More info here: https://theremin.academy

Posted: 2/9/2019 3:09:35 AM
vespertine

Joined: 2/6/2019

Hi vespertine! I recently played for the first time on the Theremin Phoenix, invented by Christopher. In this thread there is a video that clearly shows the movement of the hands. " Build an Analog Theremin that Rivals a Modern Day Classic for about $100" I recommend to look. The rest depends on practical exercises. Each performer develops his own convenient technique, but this comes with time. Clara Rockmore wrote a lot about the technique of playing the theremin. I advise you to find her articles on the Internet.

Thank you! I have started reading Clara Rockmore, I have a PDF of her book but I'm trying to get as much as I can and video helps a lot. Thank you for the link and I will keep practicing.

Posted: 2/9/2019 3:21:52 AM
vespertine

Joined: 2/6/2019

Hi and welcome in the Theremin family. The finger positions are well documented and explained in Carolina Eyck's theremin method which you can order here: https://www.carolinaeyck.com/methodUnfortunately, your profile does not show more about who you are and where you are based, so I can't point you towards an approved theremin teacher in your region. But you should understand that, since the theremin is a rare instrument, teachers are rare, too, and you most probably won't find one just round the corner.That's why we have set up the system of the Theremin Academies in Western Europe. These academies are organized 4 or 5 times a year in different European towns (i.e. Oxford, Lippstadt, Berlin, Lausanne, Colmar) during a long weekend. This gives Thereminists of all playing levels the opportunity to meet and exchange with other players, to have individual or group lessons, partake in workshops or ensembles, etc. Normally, people make great progress during that weekend and return home afterwards with enough homework to do until the next academy. More info here: https://theremin.academy

Thanks for the reply! I live in the US and not in a major city .I never figured lessons would be an option for me. I did check around where I live just in case. I couldn't go to Europe for a lot or reasons, most financial, although that sounds more helpful than anything I can pull off on my own. But I'm really good at teaching myself things as long as I have some kind of guide. I did get Carolina Eick's book, her gestures are what I'm working with. I think I might need to go with fewer movements, maybe 6 . Thank you again .is there another part of the forums that would have more answers/resources?

Posted: 2/10/2019 10:09:06 AM
mpampouras

From: Lausanne, Switzerland

Joined: 3/15/2005

Just practise and be patient. You'll eventually find how many hand movements fit you best, depending on what you're playing etc..!

Posted: 2/10/2019 10:54:05 PM
pollyanna109

From: New Zealand

Joined: 2/10/2019

Hi - I just got my first theremin too and I was having the same problems. Partly I think because I have quite small hands. Yesterday I really worked at it and had a breakthrough. My gestures aren't 'perfect' but I can now play a scale in a way that works reliably for me. Just stick at it!

My biggest issue is getting mine tuned just right

Posted: 2/19/2019 12:05:13 AM
vespertine

Joined: 2/6/2019

Thank you both for your replies! I really appreciate it, it's not easy finding help.  

@mpampouras I think I'm used to catching onto things faster but I was convinced I wasn't letting that thinking affect me. But I think it does a little. I have a Moog Theremini so the display tells me which notes I'm playing, I can use pitch correction, and it's set up very well for beginners without sacrificing the sound. I usually don't correct the pitch because I know how it should sound, it really is a matter of the gestures . I guess it doesn't matter if I follow one person's style exactly, as long as I can get a decent flow .And practice!

@pollyanna109 luckily I don't have to tune mine, I wanted to see if I could be any good at this without spending more money (the rarest and most expensive instrument!) But it looks difficult .My hands seem like a problem, too but they are different than yours, so maybe most hands are good? I have kind of long palms and my fingers are really long and the joints are weird .They're what people call "double-jointed" but it's actually a genetic disease I have. I've found incorporating my wrist is helping me because it can move more subtly than my fingers sometimes . I can almost reliably play a scale of literally no one is watching and I can go back when I mess up. I still feel like I'm getting lucky when I pull off a scale . Congrats on getting yours down so quick!

Thank you both, I am so used to Facebook/Instagram, I keep trying to find a ''like" button near your posts .

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