Anti-Aerial Fingering Technique

Posted: 2/27/2006 5:56:50 PM
kill_pop_tarts

From: West Palm Beach, FL

Joined: 2/14/2006

Greetings. This is my first post here. I bought a B3 theremin on ebay a month ago. I'm experimenting with several techniques and getting pretty good results. My question is, does anyone play with their pitch hand sitting ON the theremin box? A very accomplished friend of mine plays with his hand mostly anchored in one place and rocks it back and forth. I find this technique quite helpful when playing the very high notes (working within an inch of the antenna) or when I've had too much coffee.
Posted: 2/27/2006 9:32:23 PM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

Hello KPT! Welcome to Theremin World forum.

Yes, I have a theremin that I occasionally play that way. It has a limited range and is a little unstable at the high end. Putting my hand on the case makes the pitch jump up a half of an octave or so and extends the playable range a little, although it would take some practice to play it that way with any precision.
Posted: 2/28/2006 8:36:40 AM
omhoge

From: New York, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Excellent topic, thanks.
Can't wait to hear about more successful indivitual technical approaches! BTW is that you in the picture?
Posted: 2/28/2006 10:40:24 AM
kill_pop_tarts

From: West Palm Beach, FL

Joined: 2/14/2006

Thanks for the responses. No, that is not me, it is Alice Babs. I like to practice along with her music. She has some lovely melodies and a large vocal range which makes for a good work out. Haven't quite yet gotten the hang of theremin-yodelling though.
Posted: 2/28/2006 6:38:56 PM
omhoge

From: New York, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

I forget where I saw it, maybe in the documentary about Moog, a rock musician was playing touching the top of the cabinet (think it was an ethervox).

I guess it's kinda like emulating the tannerin.

The "wing" technique in the Sexton method could be adapted to this as well by moving the hand to the cabinet side of the pitch antenna.
Posted: 2/28/2006 10:07:17 PM
Thereminless

Joined: 4/28/2005

I have a friend who has limited finger movement due to a nerve disorder, and it is breaking his heart, as he was a long-time guitar player. I would guess that, other than the human voice, about the only instrument available to him, is a theremin...perhaps with a "Hoffman" type technique?

Before I suggest this to him, I would be interested to hear from others who play with very little "fingering".

Thereminless

Posted: 3/2/2006 3:30:11 PM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

I think Lev Termen played like this in the video footage in the film "Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey". Kinda like you're making a duck puppet with your fingers. I wouldn't call his playing outstanding, but it was pretty good...

If it works for you and you like the way it sounds, then go for it!
Posted: 3/3/2006 10:18:08 AM
DiggyDog

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

I use the "duck-puppet" method a lot.

I did not get the video with my Etherwave since i got it second-hand in a trade for an International Scout truck.

I am going to order the Pringle DVD soon so I sould be trying some fingering techniques soon.


Posted: 3/3/2006 2:41:40 PM
omhoge

From: New York, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

I've been wondering, with the touching the top of the cabinet (aka Tannerin Technique?) how does the vibrato work? Do you have as much control and variation as the non-tactical methods?
Posted: 3/3/2006 7:48:21 PM
kill_pop_tarts

From: West Palm Beach, FL

Joined: 2/14/2006

With the tactile method I use, I place my hand on the center of the theremin case and roll my hand clockwise to the right and counterclockwise to the left. As the B3 case is fairly small, I generally don't move my hand from the center.
An advantage of the tactile method is that you can get a very quick and tight harmonica-like vibrato effect by tensing up your muscles. But you can also get a smooth, flowing vibrato effect if you wish. I have pretty good control using this method, but I usually prefer an aerial fingering. However, sometimes I will switch from aerial to tactile mid-song to hit the very high notes with vibrato that I can't control in the air. Maybe I will post some mp3s in the future.

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