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#2024644 - 01/31/13 01:11 PM How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes)
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 513
Loc: California
Since we've been talking about cheating, I want to come clean! I cheat!

For example, here's what I do for Chopin 10/1



Top is as written, bottom is what I do.

I don't play the "C" 8ve in the bass then try to repeat that C again in my right hand. I simply play the lowest C, then repeat the other C again with my left hand, a 16th note later. The pedal is down and nobody suspects a thing.

There are a few other cheats I do in this one, a couple even omit notes. I will notate them and post here when I get another break today.

(Maybe I can go on Oprah and, tearfully, admit to cheating!)


Edited by Thrill Science (01/31/13 01:12 PM)
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#2024646 - 01/31/13 01:22 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5240
Loc: Europe
OMG!

Ban him NOW!

NOW I TELL YOU!

grin
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#2024650 - 01/31/13 01:32 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 513
Loc: California
It's interesting seeing what other pianists do. I like this "suspicious cut" on this Garrick Ohlsson video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdCObCqE7ek

They switch cameras so you can't see exactly what he does, but his left thumb is on that "C" so he either didn't play it twice, or re-held it.

I can't tell what Valentina Lisitsa is doing either

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROVy9PC8_8A

I'll stick with my solution.


Edited by Thrill Science (01/31/13 01:36 PM)
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Robert Swirsky
Thrill Science, Inc.

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#2024652 - 01/31/13 01:34 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Vid Offline
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Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 826
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
I'm not sure why you use cheat at the beginning as I don't find that part a challenge. Keeping your right hand relaxed at speed however is the challenge! Omitting notes? Inexcusable!!!
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#2024654 - 01/31/13 01:36 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Vid]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 513
Loc: California
Well, what are you going to do? As written, the same note is to be played with your right hand, and your left-hand is already on it. You're not leaving out any notes....
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Robert Swirsky
Thrill Science, Inc.

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#2024660 - 01/31/13 01:45 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Posts: 19265
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Leaving out that one note goes way beyond "cheating" and is totally inexcusable. Shocking really. For ethical reasons you should change the title of thread immediately.

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#2024661 - 01/31/13 01:46 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Vid Offline
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Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 826
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
My comment was a bit tongue in cheek. I probably do the same thing but am not aware of it.

I certainly can't play it up to speed so any pedantry on my part is entirely without merit.
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#2024675 - 01/31/13 02:30 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4526
Loc: in the past
PL they're not leaving it out but simply redistributing between the hands. I don't see the point though.. it potentially disturbs the musical line and doesn't really make it much easier..
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#2024680 - 01/31/13 02:39 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19709
Loc: New York
LOL!

I assume this is mostly a "LOL," including because as Vid said, that's hardly one of the hard things about the piece.

Oh -- in case you were half serious about "Well, what are you going to do? As written, the same note is to be played with your right hand, and your left-hand is already on it" grin or for anyone who wonders: You can immediately release the note with the LH to allow it to be played by the RH, and then the pedal sustains it. (Since I doubt there would be any Bach-thread-like opinion that you don't use pedal.) ha

BTW I worked out a cheat where you never have to stretch more than a 7th with the RH in the whole piece. Playing it that way really would be grounds for execution. smile

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#2024686 - 01/31/13 02:43 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Mark_C]
Vid Offline
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Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 826
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

BTW I worked out a cheat where you never have to stretch more than a 7th with the RH in the whole piece. Playing it that way really would be grounds for execution. smile


How do you manage that? Can you post the fingering (if you dare)?
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#2024698 - 01/31/13 02:53 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Vid]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19709
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Vid
How do you manage that? Can you post the fingering (if you dare)?

OK, you dragged it out of me. ha

All I need to do is say the first few notes, and you could figure out the rest. First of all I do what Thrill said grin and then on the next 4 notes (G-C-E-C) the RH does 1-2-4-2, then shifts up to play the next 4 notes the same way, and so on. Sometimes it's 1-3-5-3 or 1-2-5-2 or whatever, depending on how the notes lay out. And where you can't take the first RH note of a figure with the LH, you use 2 and then jump the thumb to the next note. (And BTW maybe sometimes you actually have to 'stretch' as much as an octave, don't remember for sure, glad to say I haven't done this stupid trick in years.)

It's a genuine felony. grin

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#2024705 - 01/31/13 03:02 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Mark_C]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 513
Loc: California
I actually do that same move in quite a few places. Let me mark up a manuscript later today and show you what I mean.
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#2024731 - 01/31/13 03:46 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2460
"How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes)"

*I* don't cheat in Etudes.

Why would *you* want to cheat in an Etude?
Doesn't it make studying the Etude meaningless?

The only reasoning I can think of why you would want to do such things is that:
- You don't actually want to study the etude and gain the skill intended by the composer,
- However you want to hear how it sounds live on your own piano, from the players position.

If you are okay hearing it live on your own piano from a listeners position, find someone who can play the Etude as written and intended by Chopin, and let him/her play it for you.
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#2024752 - 01/31/13 04:31 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Hakki]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2306
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Hakki
"How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes)"

*I* don't cheat in Etudes.

Why would *you* want to cheat in an Etude?
Doesn't it make studying the Etude meaningless?

The only reasoning I can think of why you would want to do such things is that:
- You don't actually want to study the etude and gain the skill intended by the composer,
- However you want to hear how it sounds live on your own piano, from the players position.

If you are okay hearing it live on your own piano from a listeners position, find someone who can play the Etude as written and intended by Chopin, and let him/her play it for you.



I'm in this camp. The reason to work on an Etude is to improve some aspect of your technique. Finding a way to eliminate the primary challenge in an Etude is like attaching a motor to a bicycle and then going out for a fitness ride; it's not going to do you any good.

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#2024762 - 01/31/13 04:48 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Hakki]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 513
Loc: California
Quote:
Why would *you* want to cheat in an Etude?
Doesn't it make studying the Etude meaningless?


Sometimes the goal is to make music!
_________________________
Robert Swirsky
Thrill Science, Inc.

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#2024784 - 01/31/13 05:19 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
GeorgeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 635
It is intended you put the thumb on the second semiquaver and the fifth on the beat when going up and the fifth on the beat and the fourth on the fourth semiquaver group when you go down.

I've seen people do in bar 11...
2-1-2/3-5-2-1-2/3-5 etc, because their hand is too small and they can't play what's written.

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#2024802 - 01/31/13 05:44 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5294
Loc: Philadelphia
I cheat by letting someone else play them for me..

I learned a couple of them years and years ago, but haven't touched them since. Incidentally, I remember using Mark's cheat to reduce the span because my hands at the time were too small to play it as written.
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#2024803 - 01/31/13 05:44 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 777
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Quote:
Why would *you* want to cheat in an Etude?
Doesn't it make studying the Etude meaningless?

Sometimes the goal is to make music!

I'll even double down: Most often the goal is to make music! smile

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Finding a way to eliminate the primary challenge in an Etude is like attaching a motor to a bicycle and then going out for a fitness ride; it's not going to do you any good.

Chopin's etudes reduced to mere "fitness exercises"????

Czerny, Hanon, Duvernoy ... and ... and ... Chopin??

Yikes! shocked

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#2024820 - 01/31/13 06:01 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2460
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Quote:
Why would *you* want to cheat in an Etude?
Doesn't it make studying the Etude meaningless?


Sometimes the goal is to make music!


Aren't you aware that by dropping that note, you are already ruining one of the most musically profound element of this etude? The majestic opening octave.

Redistributing the notes between hands/fingers to achieve your goal of making music? Maybe (still it will be your music but not Chopin's, because the sound will change dramatically).

But dropping notes and making music? No way!
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#2024833 - 01/31/13 06:28 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Damon Online   happy
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6102
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Quote:
Why would *you* want to cheat in an Etude?
Doesn't it make studying the Etude meaningless?


Sometimes the goal is to make music!


Then you should be playing the Liszt etudes.
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It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2024842 - 01/31/13 06:54 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Mark_C]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19709
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
....Oh -- in case you were half serious about "Well, what are you going to do? As written, the same note is to be played with your right hand, and your left-hand is already on it" grin or for anyone who wonders: You can immediately release the note with the LH to allow it to be played by the RH, and then the pedal sustains it....

On second look....I blew it there -- that's not at all how it's usually done.
Never mind. smile

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#2024876 - 01/31/13 08:12 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7784
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Quote:
Why would *you* want to cheat in an Etude?
Doesn't it make studying the Etude meaningless?


Sometimes the goal is to make music!


That doesn't negate the fact that it is still an etude.

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#2024881 - 01/31/13 08:25 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7784
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Well, what are you going to do? As written, the same note is to be played with your right hand, and your left-hand is already on it. You're not leaving out any notes....


It doesn't seem all that confusing to me. You play the octave with the left hand - it is sustained with the pedal - and you bounce the left thumb off the key to allow the right thumb to restrike the note. The fingering given is Chopin's own, so I imagine that is what he had in mind. To me, repeating the C with the left hand thumb is far more difficult than using the right. I think that a slight agogic stretch at that spot is okay, too.

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#2024890 - 01/31/13 09:06 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: wr]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5294
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Well, what are you going to do? As written, the same note is to be played with your right hand, and your left-hand is already on it. You're not leaving out any notes....


It doesn't seem all that confusing to me. You play the octave with the left hand - it is sustained with the pedal - and you bounce the left thumb off the key to allow the right thumb to restrike the note. The fingering given is Chopin's own, so I imagine that is what he had in mind. To me, repeating the C with the left hand thumb is far more difficult than using the right. I think that a slight agogic stretch at that spot is okay, too.



If you're not going to regroup the notes (ie Mark's alternate fingering), then I definitely agree. It makes the passage more difficult. But if you do regroup, then striking the C with the LH makes sense.
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#2024894 - 01/31/13 09:13 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: wr]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19709
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: wr
....You play the octave with the left hand - it is sustained with the pedal - and you bounce the left thumb off the key to allow the right thumb to restrike the note.

That's how it's done. thumb
Not what I said. ha

Quote:
....I think that a slight agogic stretch at that spot is okay, too.

That, on the the other hand, is not how it's done. grin

IMO you can't afford any break in the rhythm there, at all -- because it's where you're establishing the tempo and rhythm. That is, immediately.
I don't think I've ever heard anyone do an 'agogic stretch' there, and I think I'd fall off my seat if I did -- not from being aghast, but from losing my balance. ha

Originally Posted By: Derulux
If you're not going to regroup the notes (ie Mark's alternate fingering)....

You're absolutely not going to do "Mark's alternate fingering." grin
It's not an alternate fingering, it's a farce.

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#2024901 - 01/31/13 09:30 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: wr]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19265
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Quote:
Why would *you* want to cheat in an Etude?
Doesn't it make studying the Etude meaningless?


Sometimes the goal is to make music!


That doesn't negate the fact that it is still an etude.
I think the point is that if one is playing an etude that is also a a great musical work, making music can supersede the fact that the the piece is an etude. Even if one is focused only on the technical benefits of playing an etude, what about the benefits of playing the rest of the etude as written? Should a student miss out on all the technical and musical benefits of playing the etude (with some minor alteration) just because they don't have the time or skill to play a few notes as written? Some posters seem to act like some has suggested playing an octave etude in single notes throughout.

I think, quite frankly, that any discussion of redistributing a single note in any piece, etude or not, is very silly and almost infantile. As one poster's teacher called similar thoughts "majoring in minoring." An extreme example of missing the forest for the trees. Not the thing that I can imagine really good pianists ever do.

Many students study some Chopin etudes at one point but many never play them at a professional speed. This kind of "alteration" makes redistributing a single note look like a single grain of sand on a beach yet I think most students still benefit from doing this kind of practice. This is why teachers assign the Chopin Etudes to pupils so frequently.



Edited by pianoloverus (01/31/13 09:51 PM)

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#2024914 - 01/31/13 10:12 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: pianoloverus]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Leaving out that one note goes way beyond "cheating" and is totally inexcusable. Shocking really. For ethical reasons you should change the title of thread immediately.


Funny.. cause when we were talking about Bunin purposely leaving out a note, you said it was just one grain of sand on a giant beach.

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#2024916 - 01/31/13 10:13 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Damon]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3455
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Quote:
Why would *you* want to cheat in an Etude?
Doesn't it make studying the Etude meaningless?


Sometimes the goal is to make music!


Then you should be playing the Liszt etudes.

laugh
LOL

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#2024940 - 01/31/13 11:18 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19709
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Leaving out that one note goes way beyond "cheating" and is totally inexcusable. Shocking really. For ethical reasons you should change the title of thread immediately.
Funny.. cause when we were talking about Bunin purposely leaving out a note, you said it was just one grain of sand on a giant beach.

....and funny that you call changing the entire nature of a phrase "leaving out a note." grin

(Leaving out the note was the least of it. It was a tiny detail that helped enable him to do his very different interpretation of the phrase.)

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#2024944 - 01/31/13 11:30 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Jonathan Baker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 284
Loc: New York City!
Of the C major etude, Chopin said to a student, "If you study this as I intended it, it widens the hand and enables you to play runs of wide broken chords like bow strokes. But often, unfortunately, instead of making people learn all that, it makes people unlearn it."

I suppose that different hand types have different issues with this etude. Both Horowitz and Rubinstein refused to record it. My hand is a virtual photocopy of Van Cliburn's (we are the same height and build) and one might presume that this etude is a mere lark for me, but not at all - measure 30 has been my bĂȘte noire for many years. The fifth finger descending to the fourth finger (E-flat to B-flat) certainly does not compliment my hand (yes, I have tried the third finger, but that is worse). I have seen pianists with smaller hands negotiate that passage with greater ease. But I don't utilize two-handed 'cheating' because I want to solve the riddle on its own terms.

I have followed Cortot's edition (among others, of course) and with all due respect to that noble artist, I find his preparatory exercises, which often utilize a fixed-grip, in direct contradiction to the greater purpose of the etude, which is to achieve elasticity and flexibility while 'under duress' of wide stretches that are unrelenting in ever-varying repetition.
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