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#1114576 - 12/03/06 09:40 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
Great, Connor, we can form our small "latecomers" study group here on this thread. I think it's better to be late and have all these experienced Rhapsodians to help us. Too bad Santa can't bring that Yamaha a little early!

So many people recorded after they began working on this, but I'm thinking about recording the third measure of section I at many stages of work with it, sort of like a time lapse recording of one measure. This seems to be the most difficult measure, and maybe a short snippet like this will make for interesting listening later. I'll mess around with Audacity and see if this is possible without too much trouble. I'm not sure if it will be as interesting as time lapse photography, but you never know until you try it.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1114577 - 12/04/06 10:08 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dk21208 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 339
Loc: FL
Welcome to all newcomers of the Croation Rhapsody learning group!

Nancy, thanks for your kind words about my recording. Yes I can still play it, and actually I try to remember to play it at least once every other day. There should be some links of Mel's (dannylux) progress recordings too. Mel was the master of section I, cruising through the section at full speed while it seemed the rest of us were still playing it at a snail's pace just not to stumble through the timing.

In answer to your other questions here was my approach:

1-Did you just work one section at a time, speed it up, and then move on, or did you try to keep all the sections together in tempo and then move the whole piece up?

I normally work through a piece all at once, but I did break it into sections. The I section did require isolation and rigorous practice in order to learn. I also had everything else down pat before finally forcing myself to finally learn the whole key change at the end. I felt like it was easier to effectively tackle the ending without trying to learn the original key at the same time.


2-Is there any pedaling in this piece? I can't tell from the recording because my computer speakers make everything sound run together.

I am probably an example of the pianist who over uses pedaling, but I did use the pedal pretty extensively throughout. There are actually a few sections that I still play with the timing of the pedaling because I do think they get a little muddy.


3-Those of you that got it pretty much up to tempo--did it have to be memorized for that? I'm pretty sure I'll memorize it as I go just from repetition.

The repetition did pretty much force me to memorize this piece. A good thing because I typically play fast pieces better if I memorize them before working them up to full speed. I memorized this piece faster and easier than anything I have ever memorized. Not sure why that was. I possibly had some sections memorized before I could even play them.

I haven't been very active on the forum lately, but if you hit any snags along the way I will be happy to try and help you through them.
_________________________
Dean

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#1114578 - 12/04/06 06:26 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
musicman915 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/02/06
Posts: 5
Loc: West Virginia
A latecomer's group sounds wonderful! And yes, i too wish I could get my yamaha a little bit sooner \:\) but as long as it comes i'll be happy! Nancy, just curious are you using the Burrows version or not? I'm using the Burrows version, but from reading earlier posts it sounds like they're very similar. I think I'm going to go up to the college tonight and try to work through section I, doesn't look too difficult, but then again seeing and playing are two completely different things \:\)

Connor

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#1114579 - 12/04/06 07:14 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 920
Loc: North Carolina
 Quote:
NancyM333
I did remember you saying that magazine was in Japanese, which brings a question to mind--is the information on the music in Japanese also? I'm not worried about the musical information, but most especially about the copyright stuff at the bottom.

I want to play this for the Federation of Music Clubs event that my teacher tries to get all of us adult to enter in March. However, they are very picky about you having a legal copy of the music, and they are not hip to the new technology of sheet music download. I got the Rachmaninoff Prelude I'm playing as my required piece from everynote.com, and they are having to take it up the chain of command to see if I can use it or if I have to buy the book. I mean, I did buy the piece ($1.86), but it's printed out from my computer and could be a copy for all they know.
I just checked the magazine and it does contain the Copyright information (in English) that you are looking for.

This is the Copyright infomation for the CROATIAN RHAPSODY:

Music by Tonci Huljic
Copyright by UNIVERSAL MUSIC PUBLISHING LTD.
All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.
Print rights for Japan controlled by K.K. MUSIC SALES[/b]

By the way, for anyone else reading this who would be interested in purchasing published copies of the CR:

Unfortunately I have no more available copies from the pack of magazines we ordered from Japan when this learning group was first organized. I suppose if you're sufficiently motivated, you might be able to find more magazines, or other sources that would also have the CR in print form, from the limited information I was able to provide in this post.
_________________________
Jeff

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#1114580 - 12/04/06 07:38 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
Thanks, Jeff. It doesn't look like I'm going to be able to play this for the judges as they require the pieces to be from "established" composers, but I am going to try to have it ready for my teacher's spring recital. I also play for her high school students from time to time, and this would be a fun one to let them hear.

Connor, I'm doing the Kanemasu version. I listened to the two versions that people had posted in this thread (Dean's and P*S Anthony's), and I think the Kanemasu version is what I am looking for.

And hearing you talking about walking up to the college on a cold December night in West Virginia makes me pretty glad I just have to get my tail off the couch and go to the living room! You are dedicated.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1114581 - 12/04/06 08:00 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 920
Loc: North Carolina
You're very welcome Nancy. I just placed the magazine in my car so I will remember to get it to the post office ASAP.

I'm looking forward to reading about your progress, and maybe you might consider sharing a recording with us?

Connor: Your motivation is really remarkable!
_________________________
Jeff

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#1114582 - 12/04/06 09:52 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
musicman915 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/02/06
Posts: 5
Loc: West Virginia
Thanks for the K-version Jeff! I'm going to look over it tonight to see if i should shift over, hopefully it's not too significant of a jump. And yes, it definately was a cold December night in West Virginia. I believe it was in the mid/low 20's while i walked the 2 blocks to our music hall. Thankfully playing is always worth it!

Nancy- hope all is well and the Rhapsody is coming along nicely! \:\)

Hopefully (when Christmas comes and i get my Yamaha \:\) ) i can record a little bit!

-Connor

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#1114583 - 12/05/06 03:56 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
Mel--I finally went through the posts again and found your last recording of this piece. Great job! I love your crescendo going to the C# section, and your section I was very clear. Are you still playing this at all?

I just wonder how much tempo and certainty of notes goes up for people as they let this piece simmer a bit. That would be hard to measure if you're already at tempo, but maybe it could be measure a little by the number of times it takes to record it. Fast pieces always give me a hard time when the red dot is on.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1114584 - 03/16/07 01:24 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
I'm resurrecting this thread because I'm finally getting some time to work on this piece. I started fiddling with it around Christmas, then put it aside for a deadline piece I had going, and I came back to it about three weeks ago. I've been surprised how well it's been going. I just got to the black notes section, which is making me crazy when I go back to the white notes section, but I'm sure it will come together. I'm actually a little hopeful I will have it ready for my teacher's next recital, which I think will be in June. I've got a lot of work to do before it's up to tempo (which will definitely require memorization), but I think I can do it if I give it enough time.

Here is my question: I would like my teacher to hear the Kanemasu recording of it that is in ShiroKuro's first post to this thread, but it's not a file I can play from my computer without being hooked up to the internet. How else can I let her hear it? Is it on Rhapsody? I have a neighbor who downloads from there for me. I really like this Kanemasu version, so I'd like her to hear that one if possible.

This piece is so much fun to play! It's very rewarding after spending months on a piece that I never got quite right.

Thanks,

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1114585 - 04/22/07 11:31 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
I'm reporting in to say that I have almost every section of this piece up to time. That's the good news. The bad news is that each section is a bit disconnected from the ones before and after it (a problem that comes from dissecting a piece too much, I guess), so now my short-term goal is to play it straight through.

Even at tempo, it doesn't sound like the recording. Maybe I play with too much pedal, or I'm not emphasizing the main melody notes enough. Maybe I'll record myself and see if I can detect the problem.

Once you start playing fast, Croatian Rhapsody is just as much of a workout as Hanon (and sounds a lot better!)

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1114586 - 04/23/07 10:08 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
It DOES have some of the character of an exercise, doesn't it! You even get to transpose up a half step.

You can work out the transition between sections. It's just a matter of slow practice over the joining measures.

I would certainly drain off the pedal between chord shifts. Otherwise you'll have a very muddy sound. But I think judicious use of the pedal is needed in this piece. It's not Bach, and I think the pedaling allows you to pick out the melody note more effectively over the residual sound of the harmony.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1114587 - 04/23/07 11:02 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17786
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by NancyM333:
I'm reporting in to say that I have almost every section of this piece up to time. [/b]
Wow!! That's impressive, Nancy! I can't wait to hear your recording.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1114588 - 05/01/07 02:01 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Amaiakuyume Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 69
Loc: Australia
Hey, sorry for butting in here, but I have a question...

Does anyone know how I could get my hands on the version from the Japanese magazine and how much it would cost me? My teacher likes the song but is rather critical of the transcription, so I wanted to show her the other arrangement to see what she thought of it.

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#1114589 - 05/02/07 08:46 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dk21208 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 339
Loc: FL
I sent you a PM on the issue. ShiroKuro and Opus45 did all the leg work to provide about 20 copies of the magazine to the US. Opus45 then mailed out a copy to anyone who wanted to purchase it. It looks like Nancy got the last copy from Jeff a few months ago, but you might want to check with him to be sure. I don't remember the cost, but I think it was about $17. I still have the pdf file from those of us that didn't step up to the purchase price. It states it is for personal use, so even though I guess you could say that it is a grey area of interpretation it is seemingly not copyright infringement to possess or share with someone else interested in studying the piece. If need be send me your email address via PM and I will pass it along. Good luck.
_________________________
Dean

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#1114590 - 05/02/07 01:55 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
I have a question as I finish this piece up. My section D just doesn't sound right. The recording we have (I forget the artist, but it's the one at the beginning of this thread) sounds a little more jazzy or syncopated or something, and I can't figure out how he does it. I have tried playing the CD and then playing it right afterward, but I still can't quite get the beat right. Maybe he's not playing it as it's written, but I thought this version was written by the computer directly from the CD.

It's very hard to push myself up to time on this piece. I've started playing the recording and playing along with it. It goes pretty well until I start tiring at about section L (about 2/3 through), and then I begin to break down and can't keep up with him.

Thanks for any ideas you all have on section D. I know it's been a long time since many of you have looked at it.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1114591 - 05/02/07 09:33 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 920
Loc: North Carolina
Nancy, what helped me with section D (and the other sections for that matter) was listening to recordings from dean (dk21208) and Mel (dannylux)...they are posted in this thread somewhere.

Amaiakuyume, I wish I could help you, but unfortunately I mailed the last copy of the magazines we purchased to Nancy.
_________________________
Jeff

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#1114592 - 05/02/07 11:11 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
brazospiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/06
Posts: 307
Loc: College Station, TX
The song is very beautiful.... I would love to learn it.

I am not that good.... I struggled through the Entertainer but have the notes down in about 2 weeks although I still make mistakes and am only about 1/2 - 1/3rd up to speed. Is this song a lot harder, or just longer? I don't mind a challenge, but don't want to bite off more than I can chew.
_________________________
Wade

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#1114593 - 05/03/07 12:13 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
It is a beautiful song, Wade. I don't know how to advise you. It's not that hard, but then I've been playing it since late February. I think I will have it down and memorized by mid-June. It sort of rolls of the fingers (after hours of practice), so I would say it's definitely not as hard as it sounds. On the other hand, it must be played cleanly to sound good, and that's a challenge at that speed.

Every person's time and ability make this different for them. I think if it takes me four months or less from start to performance (usually memorized), then that's an easy piece. From four-six months is a moderate piece (I'll put this one there). Six to nine months, a difficult one. More than nine--either exptremely long or probably way too hard for me. You might want to define the terms easy, medium and hard for yourself, then you can decide how pieces fall. I never quite know until I'm into them.

Let us know if you decide to start it. Reading the pages of this thread has been very helpful to me.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1114594 - 05/03/07 05:13 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1820
Loc: Connecticut
 Quote:
Originally posted by brazospiano:
The song is very beautiful.... I would love to learn it.

I am not that good.... I struggled through the Entertainer but have the notes down in about 2 weeks although I still make mistakes and am only about 1/2 - 1/3rd up to speed. Is this song a lot harder, or just longer? I don't mind a challenge, but don't want to bite off more than I can chew. [/b]
Wade,

No, Croatian Rhapsody is not a lot harder than The Entertainer.

I would say it's about the same difficulty level.

As I remember, it took me about 4-6 weeks to learn, before I posted my last recording in this thread.

In contrast, each of my last three Recital pieces took me 12-20 weeks to learn.

If you look back in this thread, you'll see that we learned the CR in sections, and posted recordings of each section as we progressed.

This was a great motivator, as well as great fun.

It's also an excellent experience to post imperfect, sometimes wildly imperfect, recordings.

This can help overcome the character flaw of perfectionism.

Mel
_________________________
My Recordings

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn

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#1114595 - 05/03/07 11:09 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dk21208 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 339
Loc: FL
Nancy,
I too like the sound when it is played with a jazzier more syncopated sound. I frequently struggle with syncopating my rhythms and just have to take it as slow as needed to be able to feel the groove between the beats. This helps because it gives me time to over exaggerate the offbeat emphasis and get a more solid sense of the rhythm. Does that make sense?

As far as getting it up to speed it just takes time and repetition. I used a lot of metronome work so I could gauge my progress each day. I also worked without the metronome so I didn't become reliant on it. Each day I ranged the tempo from so slow I can't take it anymore to so fast that my mind wanted to shut down and quit sending the right instructions to my fingers and then back down again. It seemed like a good way to stress my brain, then let it relax. Rinse. Repeat. Just don't be discouraged with the tempo because I never really felt like I realized the fruits of my labor until the following day when working on this piece.
_________________________
Dean

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#1114596 - 05/03/07 11:19 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dk21208 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 339
Loc: FL
Wade,
You will find that this song sounds hard and looks hard. Give it a chance. Learning the notes is not as challenging as you might think. The biggest barrier to success is the speed. I would guess I spent 10-20% of my time just learning the music the rest was all on building up the tempo. There is a lot of repetition to the point that I couldn't help but memorize the notes. Which was important to me because I don't think I could have reached the correct tempo while still trying to actually read the music each time through.
_________________________
Dean

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#1114597 - 05/05/07 12:02 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
brazospiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/06
Posts: 307
Loc: College Station, TX
Thanks for all your encouragement! I looked at the sheet music and all the flats always intimidate me, but at least you rarely have to play more than 2 notes at a time, so I am rolling up my sleeves for this one. I know I can learn it if I go slow and keep plugging away a little bit each day and then slowly getting up to speed bit by bit.
_________________________
Wade

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#1114598 - 05/08/07 03:22 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
I wanted to report in that the advice I got here from Piano*Dad and Dean has made a huge difference.

First, P*D, you were absolutely right about the pedal. I recorded myself again, this time with more pedal and only refreshing with the chord, and it sounded so much better--fuller & livelier, and the melody stood out a lot more. It seems counterintuitive that the melody could stand out better with more blending, but it definitely does.

Dean, I used your excruciatingly slow then lightning fast practice method, and I can see a big difference in a week of doing that.

I still don't have the syncopation right, but I am going to spend the next few days finding all the recordings of this piece and listening to each several times. I plan on submitting it to the May Recital (better start now getting a clean recording of it), and then I'm playing it for my teacher's summer recital on June 16. I think it will be a big hit.

By the way, I heard Croatian Rhapsody last week between stories on Morning Edition, a National Public Radio program here in the states. I almost dropped my coffee cup when I heard it!

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1114599 - 05/08/07 10:25 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
 Quote:
By the way, I heard Croatian Rhapsody last week between stories on Morning Edition, a National Public Radio program here in the states. I almost dropped my coffee cup when I heard it!
Did NPR play the whole thing or was it a snippet between news stories?

Glad the pedaling idea helped. It does indeed seem counterintuitive at first, except that the pedal allows the voiced melody to linger longer above a quieter arpeggiated chord structure.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1114600 - 05/08/07 10:27 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17786
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
But what about the dreaded section I? It would seem like pedalling would turn that into mush...
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1114601 - 05/08/07 10:30 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Indeed it would! That's not the section I'm thinking about.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1114602 - 05/08/07 11:13 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
brazospiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/06
Posts: 307
Loc: College Station, TX
I have gotten most of the notes down the first two pages. There are only two sections where the bass suddenly matches note for note to the RH where I have a lot of trouble. Other than that it is slow but sounds decent.

I think the piece is def. easier than the Entertainer... Of course I only have 2/6 pages down so far. I am not sure which version I am learning... I have two copies but think I am working on the version Dan posted, as I listened to it several times and his play seems to match it as far as I can tell. I think this is the version from the Japanese magazine...
_________________________
Wade

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#1114603 - 05/09/07 09:56 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
Great work, Wade! That's very fast learning. I agree about the places where the notes are exactly together--an arpeggio in the left hand. I have a hard time keeping my hands together there, even after all this practice.

I've now got it totally memorized and totally up to time, except that I seem to start slowing down about halfway through, even though I don't intend to. Maybe it's stamina or something. I have a few places where the notes I play differ from what's on the page, and it's hard to go back and relearn it the way it is supposed to be.

Piano*Dad--It was played as the interlude between stories on Morning Edition. They also included one by the same composer and same performer called "Hana's Eyes." Here\'s the link to it.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1114604 - 05/14/07 09:39 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Nancy,

I don't remember whether you've recorded it already. If not, do so and put it in the May 15th recital!

Cheers,

David
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1114605 - 05/14/07 10:49 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
David,
I did just record it this weekend and have submitted it. I'm not too pleased with it, but I still have a month to work on it before I play it for my teacher's recital. My fingers sound sluggish to me, and it was much worse on her piano today that has stiffer action than mine.

I got a pretty good take early in the weekend, but I recorded next to an open window with the dog barking, so I redid it. There are a few missteps here and there, but it's okay. Recording yourself is very humbling.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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