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#1114396 - 06/21/06 07:30 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1817
Loc: Connecticut
Jeff,

Same fingering as dk suggests with SK's modifications, except:

G2: 5-2-1, 5-3-2-1-2

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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#1114397 - 06/21/06 07:37 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1817
Loc: Connecticut
 Quote:
Originally posted by dk21208:
Hmm... how many kiloweeks in a metric month? [/b]
There are 2 avoirdupois weeks in a metric month.

2 avoirdupois weeks = 10 days, US time.

I don't know what the Japanese would be.

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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#1114398 - 06/21/06 07:53 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1817
Loc: Connecticut
Is anyone else noticing a tremendous amount of tension in their shoulders when playing, especially with sections G, H, and I?

I even notice it in my left leg and foot.

I'm reading a book on tension while playing and how it leads to injuries, so I'm becoming aware of the importance of relaxing the whole body when playing.

The problem is, that with so much happening in the music and so much to concentrate on, it's hard to spare some concentration to notice tension in the body.

The usual rule is to slow down, relax, and be aware of body tension as it occurs.

But the music is like a Siren's call, beckoning be, not to the island, but to play ever faster.

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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#1114399 - 06/21/06 08:18 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1817
Loc: Connecticut
OK, let's laugh.

My 1st attempt at the whole thing:


http://www.box.net/public/0s2lysn48t


What's good:

Section I came out really good.


What's not so good:

My right hand touch is uneven in all the 16th note phrases, and I keep going faster and faster.


What's a disaster:

1) The whole c# minor section.

2) Long pauses for page turns.

3) Mistakes too numerous to mention.

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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#1114400 - 06/21/06 08:25 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dk21208 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 339
Loc: FL
No problems here. Are you tense in both shoulders or is it more to one side or the other? I think I am staying nice and loose on this one because I am actually swaying back and forth while I play. Must be quite entertaining to sit in my living room.
_________________________
Dean

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#1114401 - 06/21/06 08:28 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dk21208 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 339
Loc: FL
Wow, I am about to listen. I just touched on the key change for about five minutes last night otherwise I have been avoiding that section to date.

You are cruising along!
_________________________
Dean

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#1114402 - 06/21/06 08:35 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
No kidding, section I came out great!

Are you tensing up in the parts you say are "not so good?" My old ears tell me that's a possibility. Tension in the forearm is the evil companion of uneven playing.

BTW, Anthony has decided to use B until section I, and K starting with section I. He's also decided he doesn't like the LH of section I played in that bottom octave and he raises it up an octave. Each to his own tastes, I guess.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

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

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#1114403 - 06/21/06 08:46 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dannylux Offline
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Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1817
Loc: Connecticut
Piano*Dad, I tense up in all the places I'm not comfortable, which is essentially the whole piece, except the first page.

After a 15 year absence from the piano, I've only been playing for 4 months, so pretty much everything is not comfortable for me to play.

How does one relax the forearms?

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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#1114404 - 06/21/06 08:51 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 920
Loc: North Carolina
Thanks for helping me out with this fingering folks, I thought my left hand fingering seemed a little uncertain in those sections. You can bet at the first opportunity I'll be at the piano trying out your fingering suggestions. Mine actually feels physically comfortable at a slow tempo (no hand fatigue), but I'm not sure I could pull it off at faster tempos (would require a "hand lift and drop" leap of faith. I'll see if I can comfortably "walk it up" as you guys (and gals) are doing.

Mel, I'm anxious to hear your recording but I'll have to wait until after work today. I hope it really does have some uneveness, pauses and mistakes...that will make me feel better about my own playing ;\) .

Each of you are so far ahead of me, which is probably a good thing for me I suppose (maybe that will translate into a faster learning curve for me, since I'll be able to read & learn from your own experiences?), but still, I can't help but feel like the "slow one" .

As with the Chopin Group, it seems the only folks posting are those who have blazed ahead, and all the other participants have gone relatively silent \:\( . I didn't fully anticipate this for the groups, but I suppose that's the way it will be .
_________________________
Jeff

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#1114405 - 06/21/06 09:05 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Mel,

Only four months back in the saddle! Wow!

There are a lot of ways to combat tension, but the first requisite is knowing when it begins and combating it immediately. Slow those parts back down until you have them more perfectly under control.

I like to think of proper arm technique as dropping a relaxed hand (often deeply) into the note. The only tensing should occur as a slight stiffening as you make contact with the key in order to deliver the precise amound of force. If you feel that forearm tensing, I'll bet that tension is being transmitted to the wrist and to the back of your hand. Those muscles tire quickly and the tension gets shifted up into the shoulders as well. Its dang near impossible to play once all this starts to happen.

When I feel tension in my own playing I always stop and do a "note to self" moment. I shake out my arms, relax my shoulders, and perhaps get up from the piano to do a little stretch. Then I sit back down and try to play the offending passage more slowly and without tension.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

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

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#1114406 - 06/21/06 09:09 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dk21208 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 339
Loc: FL
Bravo! I can't believe you maintained that pace through the entirety of the song.
_________________________
Dean

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#1114407 - 06/21/06 09:27 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
ShiroKuro Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3407
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Mel, great progress! I think you'll be finished *practicing* this piece long before the rest of us, and quickly move into making it your own. Excellent!

Re tension, if you're interested in doing some reading, I could recommend some books (I have to look and see which ones addresses tension the most.)

I haven't noticed too much shoulder tension, but that's probably because I'm not playing fast enough yet. But recently I've noticed that I'm kind of pressing my entire weight down onto my left foot and it feels like I'm going to put a hole in the floor! When I tune in to that and release the tension there, I can feel my whole body relax. I also make it a point to drop my shoulders at certain times while playing, I like to breathe out while doing that, it's like a little recentering, re-relaxing trick. I find that if my shoulders aren't too tense, then it's easier for me to keep the rest of my upper arm and forearm loose.

Jeff, one thing my teacher said about fingering is that for sections where it's essentially the same thing (like most of G in the LH) it's easier if you use the same pattern throughout. So G4 is an exception, but she recommended I do G1 and G2 the same, where I had them a little different initially.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1114408 - 06/21/06 09:38 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dk21208 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 339
Loc: FL
Now that I think about it, I think this tension thing could be serious problem. Maybe you should take maybe a 3 week break while the rest of us catch up... I mean so you can heal \:\)

Actually I agree with Piano*Dad's recommendation of slowing down. It always seems to work for me because it allows my brain extra time to think about those other things like tension and posture. You could proably apply ShirKuro's Crank-and-Drop method in order to evaluate and remedy where tension builds.

Speaking of Piano*Dad.... do you have any more audio progress reports coming our way?
_________________________
Dean

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#1114409 - 06/21/06 10:23 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Agilita Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 476
Loc: Missouri
Opus: "As with the Chopin Group, it seems the only folks posting are those who have blazed ahead, and all the other participants have gone relatively silent."

I'm still here and I imagine others are "lurking" too. Can't comment on fingering or anything when I'm not there yet! I was moving along on the B version but decided to change to the K version (thanks again!) and that slowed me down. But I'm following your conversations.

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#1114410 - 06/21/06 11:05 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
Originally posted by dannylux:
Nina, how's your finger now?

Better, I hope.

Mel [/b]
Thanks for asking! It is getting better, but slowly. I've been really laying off of it out of paranoia. Today I'll try to play the Croatian Rhapsody again...the full arpeggios (the one that isn't the Piano Life version) was really painful before. Crossing my fingers.... ouch! ;\)

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#1114411 - 06/21/06 08:33 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 920
Loc: North Carolina
MEL, BRAVO!!!![/b]

I just listened to your first recording of the entire Croatian Rhapsody, and I am just insanely jealous of your progress! (but, mostly in a good way ;\) ) I love the key shift in this piece, very dramatic. It was nice to follow along with the music while listening to your recording, and I can fully appreciate any "flubs or hesitations," believe me.

It is going to take me so much longer to get through this piece, but I am going to get through it!

Thank you so much for sharing this recording. I think it's awesome that we're willing to share these recordings during our learning process (well, at least from the star students...you guys would NOT want to hear a recording of me trying to get sections D through H up to [1/4=50] tempo!).

I hope you appreciate how helpful it is for me to hear these recordings!
_________________________
Jeff

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#1114412 - 06/21/06 08:52 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Progress Report? Well, Piano*Son has it sort of finished. There are a couple of rather rough spots, and he managed to misplace the last page. I'll reprint it for him tomorrow and maybe he'll record what he's done tomorrow or Saturday morning. That'll be it for piano for him for about six weeks! He has a three week summer course up in PA and then we head off for Germany. Perhaps we'll find some pianos over there!
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

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

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#1114413 - 06/21/06 09:11 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 920
Loc: North Carolina
Another comment regarding the left hand fingering for sections E, F, G & H.

I tried the suggestions that everyone is using. I know fingering is individual, unique, & whatever works is okay, etc.., but this really interests me. If I may:

It seems to me that using 5-5-1 fingering for the repeating note patterns on the 3rd & 4th beats (F-C-Ab, & C-G-Eb stretches) would prevent what seems to me would be hand strain from walking your left hand using 5-2-1 fingering (strain between the stretch from 2 to 1?). Additionally, it seems that using the 5-5-1 pattern eliminates the need to "read" the upper note (instead, I know it's a fifth).

Has ANYONE else tried the 5-5-1 fingering pattern for these sections? Am I overthinking this? One of the reasons this interests me is that I want to get better at developing reasonable fingering patterns on my own.
_________________________
Jeff

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#1114414 - 06/21/06 10:00 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dk21208 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 339
Loc: FL
I think that fingering ultimately needs to be something that you are comfortable with. I would not be able to do that fingering, it just doesn't feel natural to me. You obviously are clinging to the hope that it will work. As long as you feel you can be effective at full speed I don't see a problem with that. My intent would certainly not be to discourage you, but definitely make sure that you consider the potential of playing those notes quickly. Because it will be much harder to learn a new fingering at that stage of the game. Way to straddle the fence, eh?
_________________________
Dean

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#1114415 - 06/21/06 10:09 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 920
Loc: North Carolina
 Quote:
You obviously are clinging to the hope that it will work.
No, not at all. (but, that is funny \:D )

I'm wondering if there might be something technically wrong, or something else I haven't considered with the fingering pattern I developed for those note stretches. [F-C-Ab, & C-G-Eb]
_________________________
Jeff

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#1114416 - 06/21/06 11:18 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1817
Loc: Connecticut
Thanks everyone for your encouragements.

It actually feels like a healing process to post a piece that is clearly 'in progress'; in other words, filled with errors.

I am going to take all of your suggestions and practice slowly, so I can be aware of tension when it happens and release it. Thanks so much for the help.

Opus, I don't think I'm the only one who would like to hear your sections A through H at quarter note = 50.

And I agree with dk about the 5-2-1 fingering for F-C-A flat.

It's not a stretch to have your 2nd finger on C and then play the A flat with your thumb. (Since you've already released the low F, after playing it with 5.)

5-5-1 is extremely awkward to play at, say, mm = 90.


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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#1114417 - 06/22/06 12:02 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dk21208 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 339
Loc: FL
Yeah, I'll second that. Let's hear some progress recordings! Speaking of which, I took a night off from the piano. So don't expect anything from me. I recently got to purchase a new laptop for myself with work funds and it arrived this week. I am going to get loaded down with business software tomorrow and prob start loading up all my personal stuff after work. Next recording I post will be on a brand new laptop!
_________________________
Dean

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#1114418 - 06/22/06 08:58 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 920
Loc: North Carolina
...speaking of recordings dk, I forgot to mention that your recordings sound extremely nice in my speakers (quality of sound as well as the quality of playing).
Reminds me of the old "Is it live or is it Memorex" commercials...really good sound!

And...you guys have convinced me to give your fingering pattern a more serious effort. After all, if ALL of you are using this fingering, then it must be the most efficient. 5-2-1 it is!
_________________________
Jeff

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#1114419 - 06/23/06 12:30 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1817
Loc: Connecticut
I practiced sections E through H slowly, all the while noticing any tension in my body and releasing it.

It became really clear why I would stumble on some parts. I hadn't sufficiently learned some passages, so the added anxiety of recording myself caused problems. Now those sections are starting to feel secure.

I also spent time practicing slowly the c# minor section, especially the transition section M, and the very tricky Q, with its own transition back to the repeat.

This is certainly an incredible amount of fun.

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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#1114420 - 06/23/06 08:38 AM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
I'll put up a progress recording of Piano*Son tonight. He leaves for a three week summer course at Franklin & Marshall tomorrow, and we head off to Germany after that, so he'll be out of action for six weeks. We'll see how much rust accumulates on our hands!
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

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

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#1114421 - 06/23/06 05:38 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
I've completed the first page for anyone that wants to no.

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#1114422 - 06/23/06 05:50 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
dk21208 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 339
Loc: FL
Let's here it!!!
_________________________
Dean

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#1114423 - 06/23/06 06:47 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
ShiroKuro Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3407
Loc: not in Japan anymore
A little late reply.

Mel, yes, this is an incredible amount of fun!! Thank you everyone, it' really great to have so many practice-partners!!

Jeff, since I started with my current teacher a year ago, fingering instruction is one of the main things where I feel this teacher is so great, because she has helped me and taught me so much about fingering. Last year was the year of my fingering-revolution even! \:\)

So, based on the things I've learned from her, here are some more random comments of fingering...

I think it's safe to say that there are two main reasons why certain fingerings are chosen over others. (Sure, there are other reasons, but IMO two really major ones)

1) To keep your hands in a good place to go to the next note, both allowing smooth playing and preventing finger/physical strain.

2) To get the best sound, or the desired sound, out of each note.

So a particular fingering might feel good, but is considered not the best choice if it doesn't produce as good a tone as a different fingering. One really common guideline that my teacher has drilled into me is to not use the same finger for two consecutive notes if at all possible.

Would everyone like to comment on this, perhaps add more guidelines? What do you use for your own guidelines when picking out fingering? I'll try to see if I can do a better job of verbalizing some of the other things she's taught me.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1114424 - 06/23/06 06:48 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
ShiroKuro Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3407
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Debussy, glad to hear you're making progress. Any comments, what was easy? Difficult? I've forgotten, are you using K's version too?
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1114425 - 06/23/06 07:35 PM Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
Im learning both. Ive mastered both versions first page and started the Burrows second page

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