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Playing piano in high heels

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at9    59

Apparently effortless performance of a very tricky piece. While wearing high heels.

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Thighbootguy    1,125

Great performance.  Some peoples minds handle that kind of syncopation so effortlessly...(read green with envy). :penitent:  The audio folks did a really good job.

Great heels too.

Edited by Thighbootguy
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at9    59

I first encountered Bugatti Step on a piano roll - I know the guys who did the arrangment and cut the rolls. The piano roll version is also on youtube though a great roll based performance on a rare "Photoplayer" piano has disappeared from Youtube.

Bugatti Step is rarely heard in the UK.but I'll be hearing it live later this week: http://www.cadoganhall.com/event/barry-humphries-weimar-cabaret-2016/ suspect this will be an arrangment for a small group rather than a piano solo.

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freestyle75    62

I don't want to derail this topic (playing in high-heels), but Thighbootguy: You are totally right when you say that "some peoples mind handle that kind of syncopation so effortlessly". I did play piano when I grew up, but once I started studying, I didn't have access to a piano anymore, and since then, my abilities faded. Nonetheless, I was never very good at these kinds of pieces that require your left hand to play something that is basically "separate" from your right hand, as it is often the case in Jazz. My favorite piece (I tried and failed miserably) is this one - it picks up speed at 0:31 and basically becomes totally unplayable for me at 1:14... enjoy...

 

Edited by freestyle75

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Thighbootguy    1,125

The version @freestyle75posted is a Germany only video.   Here is one licensed for the USA (on a bigger piano).  Hang on to your seats, this is a great tune and performance.

 

Edited by Thighbootguy
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Carherine    55

I play music at church. So have to dress to impress, so to speak. I always wear a nice dress. I wear 3 or 4" heels. Well, my comfortable herls(if there's such a thing). It's probably no different from driving a car in heels. I play rock and ballads mostly. Heels are something I don't really think about. I love them, but I wear them usually every day. They make me feel special, and of course feminine. I I wear running shoes at some event where others are dressed up, I feel unkept. 

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JeffB    446

That was a cool performance to say the least. As for the heels, that's no different from driving a car and working great the pedals of a manual transmission.

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Jkrenzer    224

May even be easier, she is able to rest her foot on the heel and push with her toes By simply rotating her foot forward. She does not have to hover over the pedals. 

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HeeledSlides    39

My passions are music and heels. I play piano, Hammond and church organ. So playing in heels is like combining these passions. Playing the piano pedals is indeed comparable with driving a car. You can use the heel as a pivot. It works very well with my heels which are inbetween 2" and 4". There are concert pianists who perform in heels. A few years ago I found this article:  http://thethingsienjoy.blogspot.nl/2013/01/two-wonderful-pianists-and-two-pairs-of.html

Playing organ pedals is completely different. You have inbetween 25 and 32 pedals and one or more volume pedals played with both feet. You need to be very precise. I play barefoot or in pantyhose mostly because I can really feel the pedals. Basically there are two pedal techniques:  playing with the toes only, and with toes and heels. I can't play in chunky male shoes. Female shoes often work well because they are more narrow, and some (but not too much) pointy toes are very helpful. And yes, you can even use heels !  There are special organ shoes with 1.6" heels designed for the heel-toe technique. But larger heels work well for me, as long as they are not too narrow. Otherwise the heel will end up between two pedals. Below 2 pics of my favourite pumps. 

But now the surprise: there are female organists who can even handle stiletto's !  One of them is Kimberly Marshall. On her website you can find a pic showing her heels on the pedals:  http://www.kimberlymarshall.com/arnolt-schlick-and-meantone-repertoire

And I also found this video: 

You may not want to watch the whole video, but have a look at 0:55 -1:05, 1:17 - 1:21 and 1:36 - 1:56 showing her incredible pedal skills in stiletto's 

 

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DSC0854.JPG

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Thighbootguy    1,125

What great organ video! Thanks for sharing.   The instrument seems to be the Richards, Fowkes & Co. organ in Scottsdale Arizona.  As well as playing the pedal board and expression pedals with her feet, there are a series of black toe buttons above the pedal board that are presets for registrations.

As for playing in her heels... it just seems like it is making a difficult task harder without obvious gain.  Most organist change into their playing shoes while sitting on the organ bench and then change back to their regular shoes after their performance.  Organ shoes don't wear out from walking, rather they eventually fall apart form old age.

The heels on the shoes in the last two pictures are typical for organ shoes where the player uses both the heel and toe to play notes. Are they yours?

Again thanks for sharing.

:wavey:

Edited by Thighbootguy
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mlroseplant    316

I looked up Kimberly Marshall, and not only is she a highly accomplished organist and teacher, but she evidently plays in high heels a lot for some reason. Some pieces almost seem to require high heels:

Then I ran across this video, where she's wearing pretty doggoned high heel (albeit thicker heels). However, upon closer inspection, she is using Baroque pedaling technique, using only the toes (organ pedals used to be much shorter than they are today). So super high heels in this case are no impediment to an experienced heeler. I still can't figure out how she plays that Alain piece using heel-and-toe pedaling technique in stilettos!

 

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Thighbootguy    1,125

In the first video "Diapason Channel" (Diapason is a type of organ pipe) the heels are probably coming in handy as she plays a four note chord in the pedal.  Rarely in the organ literature is more than one not played at a time.  By the way AGO stand for American Guild Organist.  You have to be good to be invited to play for an AGO gathering.  

In the second video, Bach (and I'm embarrassed that I can't identify the piece) the camera angle shows her pedal work.  For folks that don't play the organ, please note that not only is she not watching her hands, she is not watching her feet.  Just like a keyboard is standardized, so is the pedal board both in size and in placement (known as an AGO pedal).   If you can play one instrument you can play another.  This was not the case before AGO defined the pedal size and placement.  I help on an organ rebuilding project where we had to move the pedal almost 8" to get it to conform to the standard.

:wavey:

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mlroseplant    316
23 hours ago, Thighbootguy said:

 

In the second video, Bach (and I'm embarrassed that I can't identify the piece) the camera angle shows her pedal work.

The piece is Toccata & Fugue in D Minor "Dorian". It's the OTHER Toccata & Fugue in D Minor. In this video, the fugue is cut off for some reason. The whole piece runs about 13 minutes, depending on tempo. 

I can't play this stuff, but my sister can. She is a regular heel wearer, but only for dressy occasions. And not to play the organ. She has normal organ shoes, with about a 1" heel. 

Edited by mlroseplant
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HeeledSlides    39

Miroseplant,

your sister has probably a pair of OrganMaster shoes:

http://store.organmastershoes.com/index.aspx/ImageGallery/Index?productId=1

Many female organists play in them. They are specially designed to play the organ pedals. I like the basic design, but I don't have them myself. 

Thanks for posting more videos from Kimberly Marshall. It's really amazing what she's doing in stiletto's. Tried this myself too but of cause I can't....... But block heels, or slightly tapered heels with 3" inch work very well for me for heel-toe pedalling.

 

 

 

Edited by HeeledSlides
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nyenor    7

A brilliant version of a great song. I almost found myself singing along.

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mlroseplant    316

Here is another young pianist I found on Instagram. If you want to see a lot of pictures and videos of an attractive young woman playing in heels, visit @lolaastanova on Instagram. I looked up her YouTube channel, but it seems that channel is much less about fashion than is the Instagram account, which is only natural, since Instagram videos are one minute or less.

Here is a video I found on YouTube, showcasing her talent and her fashion. She's obviously enormously accomplished, but I have to say that Yuja Wang pretty much owns her in the classical genre.

 

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Thighbootguy    1,125

A treat for the ear and the eye.  If you don't watch the whole video, be sure to go to 10:42.

It appears that there is an YouTube channel devoted to Piano in High Heels.

:wavey:

Edited by Thighbootguy

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alphax    54

If you saw Tori Amos in concert, she had an interesting sitting position:  She straddled the corner of her piano bench, pushing her right leg all the way behind her while her left foot stayed forward for the pedals. 

She said this enabled her to see her audience while she was playing, which is difficult to do in standard playing position, if you think about it.

And of course, she wore very high heels

 Best examples I can find of her seating position and heels at the same time, but you'll have to scroll through the other pictures:  http://www.gettyimages.com/event/tori-amos-celebrates-official-album-release-party-at-spotlight-live-74029075#singersongwriter-tori-amos-poses-during-the-official-release-of-her-picture-id74046029

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