You may want to find a specific tutorial or you may want to work from the very first beginner
lesson in The Fundamentals, then then go lesson by lesson, in order. To do this, go to the
Complete Tutorial Listing. Locate the lesson you’d like to access in the listing, then type the
lesson number (for example, “Lesson 22″) into the SEARCH field above and press ENTER. The
lesson heading will appear (note that others may be listed to, but you will see the header for
the lesson you want). Click on the header and the lesson will come up.
This is the final lesson the “The Complete Theremin” course, and hopefully, a real challenge
for everyone. Let’s go out on an Xtreme note. The melodic and rhythmic sequences in this
tutorial require speed, accuracy and persistence. And they just might be things you already
know but have never attempted to play. Have fun!
In continuing to work with the precision fan, this lesson introduces two short, briskly paced
melodic sequences. The first is a sequence that is primarily a melodic descent, while the
second is a melodic ascension. They’re both designed to test your ability to simultaneously
hit precise pitches and synchronize them with rhythm. In addition, since the pitch hand moves
back and forth in relation to the pitch rod and the fingers on the volume hand move back and
forth through the threshold, this will intentionally challenge your coordination as they move
sometimes in the same direction and sometimes in opposition.
In Part 4, pitch is added back into the mix exclusive of rhythm. In an evolution of Lesson
45, the challenge is to see if hitting pitches in a scale is possible in one unbroken movement of
the pitch hand, while the volume hand articulates each one. This is the precursor to playing
challenging and/or rapid melody lines during which there’s a minimal amount of time to hit a
pitch before moving on to the next. Lessons 63 and 64 will put this to the ultimate test.
Transition out of the “hand fan” to the more challenging “precision fan.” In preparation
for incorporating melody, we’ll continue to disregard pitch and take on complex and rapid
rhythms; You’ll build endurance and accuracy as you work at the threshold.
First, be sure to work with Part 1 of this series; that is where you learn the basics of the “hand
fan,” and you’ll need to be proficient with it when tackling this lesson. We’ll experiment with
rhythms that get progressively more rapid and complex. Be sure to record yourself when
working on this and the tutorials that follow; it’s the best way to determine when you’ve
become skilled enough at the technique and can then move on.
In the first of this four-part sequence of lessons, we’ll review every volume hand technique
and begin working toward techniques that help with greater relaxation while playing,
cleaner articulation, and the ability to play more rapidly. The new “transitional” technique
shown here lays the groundwork for what’s to come, so, make sure to record yourself in
order to track your progress.
Under the auspices of the New York Theremin Society, I was privileged to be part of an
evening with four other thereminists. Cinematographer, Kasper Tuxen was on hand and
although he shot only very brief sequences of our performances, the celebratory
atmosphere and overwhelming audience enthusiasm in very much in evidence. So, here’s a
little bit, live.
We usually think of the pitch hand primarily as the source of muscle memory, intuiting the
actual location of any given pitch as well as the guide for intonation – the ability to stay on
pitch. However, using a very simple hand movement, the hand can also aid in articulation.
Try it out.
Lesson 9 from Lessons from Vinegar Mother. This version features new original video as
intended for the performance piece. The spoken material is also clearer than the Asheville
footage. The Cornelia Street Café is a much more intimate setting (with a much smaller
stage) and it certainly captures the immediacy of the experience. A thousand thanks to friend
and owner, Robin, as well as curator Angelo for a fantastic evening.