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#1704553 - 06/29/11 08:40 PM Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5
AlphaTerminus Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
I am in my 2nd year of lessons and finally can play Rondo Alla Turca without sounding like a drunken sailor! I was so proud until I listened to Horowitz play it!

Anyway the simplest thing in the piece is frustrating me the most. I cannot consistently play the rapid GAB sequence at the beginning with fingers 3 4 and 5. Sometimes the notes are just right but often are just crushed or sound like 2 notes. The 4th and 5 th fingers won't behave. If I do it with fingers 2 3 and 4 it sounds great but it complicates the fingering.

My teacher has introduced me to Hanon... Yuck!

Fine I am doing Hanon. Anyone have any other tips?
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#1704593 - 06/29/11 09:45 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
Sparky McBiff Offline
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Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 1112
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Are you talking about the B-A-G#-A for the right hand in the first measure?
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#1704652 - 06/29/11 11:47 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
david_a Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
(I think the discussion would be about the grace notes at the beginning of the fifth full bar.)

There's a just-right amount to roll your hand to the side, and a just-right amount of finger action for each finger; you need both of those things in order to make this successful. The crushing effect usually comes from not enough finger action, especially regarding the finger that plays the middle one of the three notes. And even if your finger action IS enough, if you roll your hand violently it will still sound crushed. The hand-roll is going to be pretty gentle and fairly small.

If I were you I would change the fingering, but I'm not you.
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#1704668 - 06/30/11 12:04 AM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
AlphaTerminus Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
Yes David the 5th bar grace notes are the ones. I will try not rolling the hand so much. I have a teacher and want to listento her fingering but may change it if it doesnt work.
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#1704719 - 06/30/11 03:24 AM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Hi AT, I'm also learning this piece right now! Not an easy one. I do this with fingers 2, 3 and 4, but it's possible your teacher wants you to strengthen 3, 4 and 5 and this is why she is asking you to use these fingers. I would agree with the above - not too much roll - it will give a bad effect and leave your hand in the wrong position for the next notes.

Hanons are the way to go, I'm afraid. Don't expect immediate results. But they do work if you do it consistently.

The other thing you can practice is just two notes (A and B) for a time before adding the G.
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#1705286 - 06/30/11 10:09 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: ten left thumbs]
Sparky McBiff Offline
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Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 1112
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Ah yes, I see, the grace notes.
When I started playing this I always had to use 1-2-3 (or maybe it was 2-3-4, don't quite remember now) for fingering but after I found out about Hanon exercises and started doing those (I'd actually never heard of Hanon before) I am now able to do it with 3-4-5 without much difficulty and it makes the rest of the measure that much easier.
Hopefully it will come in time for you, but for me the Hanon exercises really helped.
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#1709189 - 07/07/11 04:04 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
Sean M. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/16/09
Posts: 97
I had real trouble with controlling the 4th and 5th fingers in the Rondo alla Turca. I started doing Hanon exercises, and noticed a difference in my ability to control those fingers in the Rondo alla Turca. I know people badmouth the exercises and would say I should have just practiced the piece, but the repetitive exercises really did strengthen the fingers and help me learn to control them much faster, I believe.

(FYI I'm only up to exercise 10 so far. Don't know how far I'll go, but definitely to 20!)

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#1709192 - 07/07/11 04:23 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
Pie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 66
hm, i'm having the same problem with my left hand, pinky and ring are always so weak! I managed to get it a bit stronger by practicing some chords in reverie but still not really comfortable. I'll look those Hanon things up.

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#1709561 - 07/08/11 09:25 AM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: Sean M.]
Ataru074 Offline
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Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 392
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: Sean M.
I had real trouble with controlling the 4th and 5th fingers in the Rondo alla Turca. I started doing Hanon exercises, and noticed a difference in my ability to control those fingers in the Rondo alla Turca.


I think the only thing to "badmouth" Hanon is that it's F* boring and if you don't keep your "neck to wrist assembly" flexible you can stiffen too much and pick up bad habits very quickly...

My teacher when I was a child made me study it but: go slower than indicated tempo, mark each note exactly, accent one hand, the other than both together... after you get at the end of book one start increasing speed... play once slow, once quick as possible without slurring or losing control every day for about 1 more month or until you can get decently quick keeping everything flexible... also use wrist "rotations"... up on the pinky, low on the thumb...

my 2c.
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#1709569 - 07/08/11 09:40 AM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: Ataru074]
Andy Platt Online   content
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Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2424
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Ataru074
Originally Posted By: Sean M.
I had real trouble with controlling the 4th and 5th fingers in the Rondo alla Turca. I started doing Hanon exercises, and noticed a difference in my ability to control those fingers in the Rondo alla Turca.


I think the only thing to "badmouth" Hanon is that it's F* boring and if you don't keep your "neck to wrist assembly" flexible you can stiffen too much and pick up bad habits very quickly...


This is actually one of the reasons my teacher wanted me to do Hanon. So we could work on relaxing through it. Because in a lot of pieces you have long runs where if tension builds up, there's no good "release point" and it's the same in Hanon. Plus they are so simple to pick up and memorize you can concentrate on all the things you need to.
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#1720290 - 07/24/11 11:16 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
AlphaTerminus Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
This is a 3 week progress update. I made this video for my piano teacher tonight to go over it next week.

Any constructive tips, I know it's not good yet. I zoomed in on parts I was having trouble with, mainly about 1 minute and 3 minutes.

Still doing Hanons, still missing some notes in this piece!

Also I think on this recording I finally got my 4-channel Zoom h4n with 2 external Behringer C2 mics just right! So at least the recording is good even if the content isn't ready for prime time yet!

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#1720458 - 07/25/11 08:23 AM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Hi AT,

You need to slow it down. I mean, really slow it down a lot. Slow, and with a metronome. Just now you are teaching your fingers to play inaccurately. The bit with parallel octaves is good.

I will post a recording later to show you what I mean by slow.

I'm glad you posted, I wondered how you were getting on. smile
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#1720564 - 07/25/11 12:23 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Here's a recording I did at around 60bpm.

http://www.box.net/shared/b5xbny8fqni4fsipagmb

You'll notice I skip the repeats and the staggered octaves (life's too short). This is a realistic speed for you to work to. Don't advance any section beyond this speed until you can play it accurately. That is the hard part. Once you've done that, it will be relatively easy to speed the whole thing up, say 5bpm at a time. All sections need to be the same speed. It's a march. You don't want your soldiers to fall over and break their legs, do you? wink
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#1720584 - 07/25/11 12:56 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
AlphaTerminus Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
Thanks. It's my first classical piece so I appreciate the input!

I play it about 75 percent speed well... So baby steps until i get it to full pace!
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#1720594 - 07/25/11 01:16 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
You're welcome!

Originally Posted By: AlphaTerminus

I play it about 75 percent speed well... So baby steps until i get it to full pace!


OK, can we hear it please?
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#1720612 - 07/25/11 01:56 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
Ataru074 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 392
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: AlphaTerminus
Thanks. It's my first classical piece so I appreciate the input!

I play it about 75 percent speed well... So baby steps until i get it to full pace!


if you can play it at 75% speed well.. than do it at 70 and keep doing it... use the "usual" rhythm variations to build up speed.

and please, don't get it in the wrong way... but build some posture at the piano.. you look like this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOQaK7NHY-4
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Brahms: Op 118
Mozart: Kv330
Beethoven: Op 14 #2
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#1720613 - 07/25/11 02:00 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
AlphaTerminus Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
Yeah I noticed my posture on the recent vids too!
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#1721005 - 07/26/11 12:45 AM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
AlphaTerminus Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
Ten Left Thumbs. Thank you for going above and beyond with your soundfile and everything. Thanks everyone else too. Clearly I hadn't a clue as to what I was doing. I have a teacher but am a rare adult student (the only one who actually plays in her recitals!) This is my first classical piece and I think she sometimes is just gentle and nudges me rather than tell it like it is. I've never played anything other than Hannon with a metronome but find that I really helps me along in this piece. Now I can hear my scattered baseline mistakes better. I also miss fewer notes as they are more automatic.

I just got off after starting an E.R. shift 15 hours ago and have been playing around this piece with the metronome since getting home. I find I can do 90 bpm without making any rip-roaring mistakes, 80 bpm without missing any notes.

I'll practice with the metronome some more and post something at 70 or 80 bpm once I get truly familiar with it.

For now I'm going to sleep about 12 hours I think!
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#1721258 - 07/26/11 01:52 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
AlphaTerminus Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
Ok I turned the metronome on 92 when I woke up and played this, is there something wrong with practicing at this pace? It feels very comfortable:
(the first couple seconds I was adjusting to the metronome which is an alien object to me... it's my digital piano so obviously you can't hear the metronome)

Shortened Rondo Alla Turca (no repeated phrases):

http://www.box.net/shared/v94r9spohuhvz4m5rior

Recorded with Synthogy Ivory Italian Grand


Edited by AlphaTerminus (07/26/11 03:31 PM)
Edit Reason: link corrected
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#1721296 - 07/26/11 03:12 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
AlphaTerminus Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
Vladamir Horowitz was kind enough to give me a lesson and do duet with me. In a concert hall no less.

He even slowed his pace down to 92 BPM. He plays a section first on his Steinway D, then I play on my Fazioli. He lets me play the last part by myself but comes in the last 5 seconds to get the applause... darn him!
http://www.box.net/shared/18yiaymu7qi6gff2e4rf


Edited by AlphaTerminus (07/26/11 03:31 PM)
Edit Reason: link corrected
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#1721346 - 07/26/11 04:44 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Hi AT,

This is a little better. There are still too many mistakes, sorry. You need to play it slower and get it right before speeding up. By mistakes I mean specifically:

1 - Playing the wrong note. e.g. in the first 16th note section (RH has a run of semiquavers) bar 4 the bass note is an E#, otherwise known as F natural. You play the F# of the previous bar. This is just one example.

2 - Mis-hitting notes, not being sure which note you are hitting, or hitting two at once.

3 - Rhythmic errors - semi-quavers aren't even. I feel this is probably a function of the fact that you are new to the metronome, so you speed up, then you slow down to compensate. It will get better in time and with more experience of the metronome.

4 - A different rhythm problem - missing a beat between sections, as you adjust mentally to the next line, next theme. If your mind needs this time, then you need to do it slower. Maybe you need to count aloud while playing, if you can't hear the beat internally, I don't know.

You need to practice at 60. I promise you once you do that you will be able to bring it to speed fairly easily. What's wrong with practising at 92, is that your fingers are learning the mistakes.

I don't like slow practice either, for what it's worth. wink

PS - glad you survived your shift! smile
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#1721349 - 07/26/11 04:50 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
AlphaTerminus Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
Ok thanks I will do that, practice at 60. I do not like it much!
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#1721364 - 07/26/11 05:14 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: AlphaTerminus
Ok thanks I will do that, practice at 60. I do not like it much!


No, I can't imagine you do! smile

That's the difference between fun and practice.

I'm hoping you have something else, perhaps something easier, and more fun, while you're working on this.
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#1721378 - 07/26/11 05:51 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: ten left thumbs]
AlphaTerminus Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs


1 - Playing the wrong note. e.g. in the first 16th note section (RH has a run of semiquavers) bar 4 the bass note is an E#, otherwise known as F natural. You play the F# of the previous bar. This is just one example.


I didn't even hear that one. That's the reason I put the Horowitz silly link: http://www.box.net/shared/18yiaymu7qi6gff2e4rf (It was originally for my own ears to just hear differences but I posted it because I thought it was kind of neat and kind of funny!), his and my playing in the section from 1:15 to 1:30 (semiquavers) sounded identical to me. Now you point it out I hear that one note (I memorized it wrong of course). My first instinct is "so what it sounds pretty good." But then I realize in a Mozart piece that is not accepted. I grew up never listening to Classical music or playing an instrument. This is all alien to me.

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs

2 - Mis-hitting notes, not being sure which note you are hitting, or hitting two at once.


Yes that was just pure laziness doing it in one take first thing in the morning, esp during the octaves, and something that's getting better over time.

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs

3 - Rhythmic errors - semi-quavers aren't even. I feel this is probably a function of the fact that you are new to the metronome, so you speed up, then you slow down to compensate. It will get better in time and with more experience of the metronome.

This is what I consider my biggest issue from the start with this piece. The semiquavers is the hardest section because I've never learned any fingering and doing 16th on the a minor scale is very difficult and I hope playing slow helps me when I play it faster eventually. In the Horowitz section after 1:30 I can hear the difference between mine and his. I am proud of my ending after the broken octaves though! (That's what I worked on the most the last few weeks)

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs

4 - A different rhythm problem - missing a beat between sections, as you adjust mentally to the next line, next theme. If your mind needs this time, then you need to do it slower. Maybe you need to count aloud while playing, if you can't hear the beat internally, I don't know.

Part of that is not playing the whole song in this case , no repeat measures, but I probably would have done it some on the full song too.

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs

I'm hoping you have something else, perhaps something easier, and more fun, while you're working on this.

Yes getting the last parts of Maple Leaf Rag (a whole other rhythm and different set of problems but easier for me because I think I truly hear it, the syncopation nuances, etc.), The Dance by Garth Brooks, and some other non classical pieces.

I will master Rondo Alla Turka eventually, but don't know if I will make classical music a habit as I simply don't think I have it inside me to hear the difference between rubbish and excellence.

To my ears the Horowitz / Me duet sounds different only in minor ways when I reduce his pace to 92 bpm. But I know to a trained ear it's like looking at a painting from Michelangelo compared to a finger painting by a pre-schooler.

I am finding it almost therapeutic playing Rondo at 60 bpm, though, not as boring as I anticipated smile
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#1721624 - 07/27/11 03:06 AM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
No question, classical takes a lot of discipline. I am puzzled that you say this is your first real classical piece, as there is a lot out there that is very enjoyable and much much easier. I do think you've been thrown in at the deep end.

Your musical ear (=ear for mistakes) will sharpen but only if you pay attention - go slow enough to pay attention and notice if correct or not. Go fast enough to glide over the mistakes, and you will (pardon me) sound like a drunken sailor! Mozart is particularly unforgiving, and this piece especially so as it is so well-known.

There is a meditative quality to slow practice. It's not great to hear, or so my husband tells me! smile But if you can get yourself in the zone, if only for a short time, it makes it much more bearable.

I'll be happy to critique recordings at 60bpm, even section at a time. PM me if you want to do it in private.
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#1721626 - 07/27/11 03:39 AM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
AlphaTerminus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
-
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#1722054 - 07/27/11 08:20 PM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
Ataru074 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 392
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: AlphaTerminus


(First 30 seconds playing at 60, second 30 seconds playing at 90)


My honest 2cents is that you should practice it between 20 and 30. Or even slower.
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#1722167 - 07/28/11 12:59 AM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
AlphaTerminus Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
It is set to zero since that is clearly what you meant which is fine. I have gone from loving piano to hating it over the course of trying to learn this piece since April. I never want to hear it again. About 200 hours wasted.

Life is too short to please others.

Thanks anyway ten left thumbs, sincerely you are an angel. I will play for my own enjoyment, and not this freaking Turkish March.
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#1722172 - 07/28/11 01:13 AM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
BenPiano Offline
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Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: AlphaTerminus
Life is too short to please others.


Whoa dude. Don't be harsh on yourself for running into a brick Mozart wall with this piece, as it is *really* tough - Mozart tough.

If you're ready to "give up", just set this piece aside for a while and progress with other pieces. Eventually it will come - and on the bright side, the next time you attempt it a lot of it will come back very quickly (trust me :D).

And if you're like me, the next time you try it, it will still seem impossible. But this process of learning and relearning will really solidify it for you once you can get it under your fingers (at least that's my theory).

In the meantime, there's lots of other music out there to tackle, one page at a time. wink


Edited by BenPiano (07/28/11 01:14 AM)
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#1722321 - 07/28/11 10:09 AM Re: Rondo Alla Turca and fingers 3 4 and 5 [Re: AlphaTerminus]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Did I miss something?

Turkish march is a seriously tricky piece and your energies may well be better spent on something else. You have considerable technical skill and I hope you find some of the other brilliant music out there.

I do hope this hasn't put you off Mozart.
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