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#1019749 - 08/04/04 10:08 AM valuable advice to copy/pasted for browsing and reference
apple* Offline

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
I thought it would be nice to save posts that were particularly valuable for later. I do that on my own computer.
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1019750 - 08/04/04 10:09 AM Re: valuable advice to copy/pasted for browsing and reference
apple* Offline

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
from Ryan:

Hi Apple,

I'm not ignoring you, I just haven't had a chance to sit down to organize my thoughts and type something up. I've got a few minutes now, so I'll jot down a bit of what I do.

First, I want to explain what I mean when I talk about playing "cleanly". To me this means absolute accuracy and evenness as well as achieving the desired tone and expression at all times. Knowing that on a good night I can only play maybe 75% as well live as I do in the practice room, I am ruthless in the practice room. I use my metronome to help ensure that I'm playing evenly and if I play the same wrong note or the same bad timing twice in a row then I zero in on that fragment until I can play it cleanly.

I work on my pieces one section at a time, and I work on each section one measure at a time. First I choose a section based on either natural boundaries or arbitraty boundaries that are based on how much I feel like I can tackle at once. I then start at the first measure and take off a very small bite. Maybe one or two measure, or maybe only a beat or two if the writing is very dense or virtuosic. I start by playing the notes slowly enough that I can learn them. I speed up that fragment as I can without introducing mistakes. If necessary I will use rhythms, especially if it is something I am having trouble remembering or playing. Once I can play that fragment cleanly at a comfortable tempo I move onto the next one.

After I have worked my way through the section I try to piece the fragments together and play the section all the way through. Often I have to start out at a very slow tempo. As I am putting it together if I run into a spot where I am not sure of the notes or cannot play them cleanly I stop and work on that spot until I have it down. Once I can play the entire section through at a comfortable tempo I move onto the next section tackle it in the same way.

Note that my time frame for each section is not as long as it sounds. I try to learn each fragment as quickly as possible, maybe 5 to 15 minutes at the most, and shoot for having the section memorized in an hour or two. Since I don't have to try to play it at tempo this isn't as difficult as it sounds.

Once I move onto the next section, I continue to spot check the previous sections and if I find problems (I try to be ruthless!) I spend time ironing out those problems so they don't bite me later.

I've got to run, but I hope that helps. Please feel free to question anything I typed and I'll do my best to answer. Hopefully it made some sense!
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)


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