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#2176640 - 11/03/13 08:35 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 256
Feel better soon Richard! smile

My hopes for this week:

Tchaikovsky 10/1- Start working on those groups of 5 notes and the rhythm of those measures.

Bethena-sections D and E. Time to get going on this piece!

Mazurka 17/4: Little notes (each 3 groups of 5)-play faster (same tempo as rest of piece) and lighter! I must have played these 100 times today. Sigh. Still little improvement in the lightness department; Page 3—how to make it musical? Also trouble spots page 3 (measures 2 and 4 on that page and their 3 reappearances that follow); Memory last half of last page plus 37-44; Legato throughout.

Mazurka 68/4-Same as last week--Legato for the middle section, and legato before that in bars 32-39. Also some dynamics.

Moonlight-3-This week I worked on a lot on the development section. I’d like to get each section in the piece to a tempo of at least 72-80 per quarter note. I can play faster than this for some sections but for others my memory in particular holds me back. Probably the biggest trouble spots are the turns in M30, 32, 125 and 127, and then the same place in both the exposition (53-56) and (especially) the recap (148-151) where my memory slows me down tremendously!

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#2176654 - 11/03/13 09:27 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
I really like the rhythm of this thread, most of us updating each weekend. It has a nice pulse to it that drags me along to look at my progress (or lack thereof) on a more structured basis.

I'm not happy with progress on BWV 846, but it's mostly a lack of time vs. poor habits (although those don't help). I've got it mostly memorized, i.e. I know it but not with full confidence. I have to stop and ponder the next measure sometimes.

Not much time left to get it up to speed. 2nd half still needs a lot of work to get up to even a slow speed consistently. Haven't even set a target tempo, maybe 30 bpm? Blech.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#2176663 - 11/03/13 09:49 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5659
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
(The management requests that you please refrain from Bleching in this thread. Other people use it, too. Thank you for your consideration.)

I have no idea what got into me there. . .

laugh

Cathy
_________________________

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#2176680 - 11/03/13 10:52 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: jotur]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Originally Posted By: jotur
(The management requests that you please refrain from Bleching in this thread. Other people use it, too. Thank you for your consideration.)

I have no idea what got into me there. . .

laugh

Cathy

LOL
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#2177109 - 11/04/13 06:27 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2465
Loc: Minneapolis, MN


Welcome Dipsy! I hope you find this thread as helpful as I have.

Most of my time was spent last week on Clair de Lune. I am making a lot of progress with memorizing. This week my goals are pretty much the same as last week. It's pretty repetitive stuff, yet so important. Today I had the pleasure of practicing it on a grand piano. I sure found this helpful. I'm so close to getting it memorized.

I also decided to spend more time practicing O Holy Night. Last week I recorded it on my piano to get a sense of how much more needs to be done with it. This week I'll spend half of my practice time getting it done. I hope to be able to record it late next week.

This morning I practiced Prelude in D-Flat Major, Opus 28, No. 15 (Chopin) on the grand piano. I have far more work to do with this. I have decided to change my goals with memorizing this piece until after the holiday season. As Cathy said, I'm an adult now and I get to decide. Especially since I'm paying for this and not Mom and Dad! laugh

Gymnopedie 1 - I will just do a few small practice sessions this week. I'm not setting any immediate goals with this for now.

That's it for me. Have a great week! smile
_________________________
Carl


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#2180263 - 11/10/13 06:49 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2458
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
I'm fine now, Valencia, thank you.

It wasn't easy finding the thread this week. I used to be near the last to post on Sunday nights but there's been little to read this week.

Recording the Ballad hasn't gone as well as hoped. I've a take ready but I'm hoping for better. I'd like to take the piece slower but I don't seem to have the tone to do that.

More work on Child Falling Asleep but the last phrase (3rd phrase, last to learn) is more elusive than the others. I may need another week at this. Schlummerlied is making progress but I'm not sure it's enough. I've taken my first tentative steps at Heliotrope Bouquet.

The Ballad will take all my attention now until I submit it. Strangely, this has been the easiest recital piece to learn and the least punctual to submit.
_________________________
Richard

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#2180505 - 11/11/13 08:08 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2465
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
I like the rhythm of this thread too TallGuy. Richard, I suspect that there's less and shorter posts here because lots of folks are preparing for the various online recitals.

Last week my teacher and I discussed my work for the next few weeks. Right now it's difficult for me to do much justice to the Chopin piece because I'm naturally wanting to spend lots more time with Clair de Lune. The majority of my work on Clair this week will be continuing the work on memorizing and working on dynamics. I'm only doing minimal amounts of work on the Chopin piece because it's not nearly as close to completion as Clair de Lune is.

O Holy Night is a much easier piece and I'm having fun with this one! I'll be doing a private recording of it by the end of this month for my friends.

My teacher liked the Christmas song book I selected and suggested I play some of these pieces in my practice sessions this month to help me advance my sight reading skills. That's what else I'll be doing this week and through the month.

That's it for me this week. I hope things are going well for others.




Edited by griffin2417 (11/11/13 08:12 AM)
_________________________
Carl


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#2180572 - 11/11/13 10:46 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: griffin2417]
SwissMS Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 853
Loc: Switzerland
This is "reset" week for me, adding some pieces and putting some others in the drawer. I played Chopin Mazurka 6 2 and Villa-Lobos Na Corda da Viola in recital yesterday, so they are ready to move to repertoire maintenance status. I still am trying to get a perfect recording of the Mazurka for the Pianist Forum Mazurka Recital. I am a little afraid of submitting anything less than that! I decided I should organize my pieces by due date going forward.

Feb 15 - Mendelsohnn 30 6: I worked out the left hand fingering with my teacher today, and worked on LH choreography. This week I will practice HS, working on phrasing and ingraining fingering and preparation.

Mar 15 - Joplin Chyrsanthemum: Slow play HT "A" section until memorized. Begin "B" section HS until fingering in locked in.

April 15 - Tchaikowsky March: Work HT through m6. Make a decision whether to play melody in baseline with RH (crossed hands) or to switch to LH. Work out fingering through entire piece, HS.

Kuhlau Sonatina - This went on hold last week while I focussed on recital preparation. Now I need to bring it back. 1st & 2nd movement: focus on accuracy gradually increasing pace. 3rd movement: basically start over with HS and slow play.
_________________________


Working on ABRSM Grade 6
European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2180673 - 11/11/13 02:59 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Congrats SwissMS on the live recital... sounds like it went well.

Griffin, I'm looking forward to hearing your Clair de Lune at some point in the future. My bunglings can be heard here, liberally redacted.

I've been totally overwhelmed with work, hardly any sleep and hardly any bench time. I slept ~28 out of the 48 hours from Saturday morning to Monday morning in order to catch up.

I don't really have any time available to record before Thursday evening, but today is a holiday here in the USA, so I decided to record today and see what I come up with. So far, one half-decent take -- a couple flubs, but I plowed forward so they don't sound as bad as they would have if I had stopped to correct. Biggest issue with the recording is that I have the sniffles... I should have just let myself drip (ewwww, I know). Oh well.

Hopefully I'll have a shot to improve on it later today.

One thing I'm happy about though, I figured out that my phone only records in VGA when flipped around to record from the front, and the sound suffers as well (see link above). By using the "normal" way I can get HD+, and it sounds a whole lot better as well. A little awkward to line it up "just so" prior to recording (I don't have a stand of any sort, just leaning it against stuff on the mantle), but worth it.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#2180803 - 11/11/13 10:52 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 256
Hope everyone is having a great week! My main focus the last week has been the mazurka for the upcoming recital. For the next few days I will focus on:

Mazurka 17/4: First and last bars—bring melody out, legato; use RH and LH together; add rubato to ‘little notes’; slow down 37-42; delicate and legato for repeated Ds in M62 and M64 and their reappearances through the section. Subordinate D to E also. Do a practice recording.

Moonlight 3: Exposition-try to get all bars to 84 per quarter note with metronome; reinforce memory bars 53-56 and 148-151. Figure out how to approach turns on the octaves! Fingers 5, 4, 3, 4, 5 make for a weak turn for me and I can’t get my fingers moving fast enough! I fear no amount of practice will make it so. Maybe I should practice 3, 5, 3, 2, 3, 5? Also for alberti bass, practice away from the piano with metronome. I can do a simple pattern sans piano pretty well up to about 100 but at 108 it starts to come apart.

Nocturne 10/1: Bars 1-24 familiarity and prelim thoughts on shaping; Bar 68-get familiar with.

Bethena: Section B-ID stumbling blocks. Decide whether to memorize parts in order to play it.

Mysterious Barricades: Part B and C-work on trouble spots and try to get each section smooth in entirety. Might need to memorize at least a few spots so I can watch my hands.

For fun: go slowly through some troubling arpeggios from Ocean etude.

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#2180867 - 11/12/13 04:43 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1022
Loc: Italy
In the last two weeks I've been working almost entirely on Joplin and Tchaikovsky.

I finally have the A section "understood" and memorized, but I need to work on smoothness and speed. I started the B section and well, the rhythm doesn't sound right yet. It's a repetitive section so it shouldn't be so hard, I just haven't got it yet. I hope to get it by the end of the week.

Tchaikovsky's "Italian Song" is all memorized and I'm currently working on the few tricky bars in the second half, with the 16th notes and a couple of odd chords. It's not too bad though and I can play it through at half tempo. Lovely piece. I'll need to work on this for another couple of weeks, then I will probably attempt a first recording.

Since I was forgetting all the little pieces I had learned in the last couple of months, I devoted some time to recovering them. I must remember to play through the "keepers" at least once a week.

I started a new piece, "just for fun": Bach's Little Prelude BWV 939. Just worked out the fingering and got a feeling for it, but this has already become a terrible ear worm. I'll pick it up once or twice a week just to feel I'm learning something new.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2181485 - 11/13/13 09:33 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Got a take of BWV 846 that is good enough to submit for the recital...

My new focus going forward will be "O Come All Ye Faithful", which my daughter would like to sing with me in church for Christmas. I think playing the piano will be about all I can muster in this endeavor, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#2181845 - 11/13/13 05:51 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5304
Loc: Italy
Well I haven't been focused on anything much in the way of piano for a couple of weeks. I've been pleased to have maintained my MOYD status (being excused for a few travel days).

We've been renovating the kitchen and we also went away for a long weekend ... I've had to ask my teacher to bear with me - but now I'm ready to get back on track.

I'm working on Clementi OP 36 N2 (3 movements).
So far I have figured out the fingerings for the first movement. I'm playing hands together, but slowly.
Focus for this movement this week is to respect the rests and dynamics, and to play it with more fluidity (albeit stil under tempo) .

Second movement has a tricky (for me) pattern in the right hand and my teacher suggests going HS while getting comfortable with the notes, fingerings and timing before putting them together.

Third movement I've already started on HT as it is similar to the first movement and not as tricky as the second. At this point I'm only working on the first page of 3.

This will be the longest work I've ever studied - 5 pages.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2182903 - 11/15/13 03:39 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5659
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I'm glad to see others working with their Joplin piece smile Of course, I'm biased -

Now that the ABF quarterly has debuted I can turn my attention to other repertoire and Joplin. One of my long-term projects is to be so familiar with the chord progressions and what's happening in the "background" of every piece that it makes perfect sense and is conscious the whole time I play it, rather than being something in the background that I've studied for the piece, and recognizing only the "benchmark" chords on the fly. It's the being conscious of what is going on the whole time I play - not in the "studied" kind of way, but in the "aware of" kind of way that marks true familiarity, that is what I call "focus" and is what I want my playing to be so that it is and feels "easy." Making a piece part of the whole surroundings, integral. I can do it sometimes with just oom-pah playing with the band at a dance - I can play, be aware of the changes, know where the dancers are in the dance, tell the lead fiddler how to correct it if we're off, etc, just being "one with the universe" as a friend of mine puts it smile But on solo pieces with more complexity not as much, although I can occasionally look up at the listeners and smile, or check out who's coming thru the door.

So, I'm swapping out about half the tunes I played for gigs this month for others in my repertoire, so they all get more in to the familiar mode. One piece is a Scottish strathspey in Bb that uses the 3-6-2-5-1 and variations in more subtle ways than I use chords when I play oom-pah smile Intellectually I know, or can find, those chords in the key of Bb, and I've figured them out in this piece before. But today I sat down and "mapped" them for the A part - played them in progression for Bb just to see them related to Bb, and then in blocks underneath the melody of the tune. Then I played the tune while reading the sheet music, and payed attention to recognizing the way they're laid out on the staff and how they feel in my hand, and which notes of them the composer uses in the bass to lay out a bass line. Then I played thru the A part and tried to recognize and say to myself each chord as I played it - pausing if I wasn't sure in the heat of the moment laugh I chunked one 4-note part that goes F-D7-Gm (V-III7-vi, 5-3-6) in which the bass is octave F-F#-G, so that I recognized each chord as I did it.

One of the advantages of this is that I rely less on muscle memory - as long as I play F or D or Gm, in whatever inversion or set of pitches, the harmony works - so it's much easier to fake if I otherwise forget! A desired outcome, I assure you smile

I'm also, of course, spending time on Original Rags. I can play each section thru and I hear the whole piece in my head pretty well, in the right order! It's the octaves that will keep the tempo down, but I hope to be lively by the time the recital opens.

Cathy


Edited by jotur (11/15/13 03:42 PM)
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#2183708 - 11/17/13 12:17 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: jotur]
carlos88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 95
Loc: Colorado
I feel guilty for not posting in my favorite thread this year...

Currently wrapping up 3 main goals for this year, started in March since leaving the demonic merry-go-round of adult piano lessons:

1) Learn all of the Bach 2 part inventions, then the 3 part inventions next year
2) Learn 6 Debussy Preludes and 6 other Debussy pieces
3) Memorize 10 pieces


I didn't put any time limits on learning anything, unlike lessons where there was a maximum of 4-5 weeks per piece. Especially with the Bach, I tried out the practice techniques often discussed here - hands separate, very slow practice, starting on the hardest sections first...

For the memorize 10 pieces, 8 of them have had a 1-6 month gap between the current 2nd memorization attempt and the first. This second round of memorizing is far easier, as people have described in this forum.


The biggest learning mistake I made this year was not focusing on learning chord names and analyzing piece structure, until recently. Like Cathy, I've found this has helped immensely with memorization and learning a piece. I used to think that this analysis meant you were supposed to be consciously thinking about the chord names and structure while playing, but really, it's turned out to be more of a background thought process, a lifesaver in moments of memorization panic.

Just being able to remember that the next chord is an A minor followed by a G7, even if the notes aren't quite where they should be - let's you get through a piece without a noticeable disaster. So the conscious thought is usually "Crap, what comes next? Oh yeah, relax, it's an A minor."


Currently working on:
1) thumbs forward and relaxed instead of hitchhiking. (5th finger control was last year's main hand control goal)
2) Debussy
Serenade for the Doll
2nd book of preludes: The wine gate
Suite Bergamasque - Prelude

For the first two pieces, focused on the hard sections, plus 1 easier section per day. For the last, focused on the second half memorization this week. Also trying to get better at half pedaling technique.

3) Bach - Memorizing 5 of the 2 part inventions: 3, 5, 6, 10, 15
4) Bach - Wrapping up 1st 3-part invention
5) Bach - Starting 2nd 3-part invention,
this week is all hands separate and super-slow playing
6) Tchaikovsky - December
Just starting this week, 1 section per day working out fingerings, slow playing
7) From the wish-to-learn-someday pile, 2nd week on all of these:
George Winston: Graduation, and The Snowman's Music Box Dance
Philip Glass: Mad Rush
Elgar: Nimrod, wanted to learn this since hearing Gandalf play it this summer.


My forearms keep getting that awful muscle burn in Mad Rush, which seems to mean that I'm not using my fingers enough, and am instead relying too much on forearm rotation. So this week is almost all slow controlled playing for the middle sections. Fingers glued to the keys, relaxed arms.


It's been 9 months since I've played anything in front of another person. But it turns out there's a new teacher near by, who also has and teaches harpsichord, so I'll probably investigate that more this week.
_________________________
I'd rather play badly than not at all...

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#2183713 - 11/17/13 12:37 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
ElleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 248
Loc: NJ, USA
since I fell off the face of the earth for a little bit and just recently gotten back on the saddle... I am only working on Waltz in A minor (posthumous) by Chopin. I'm 3 weeks in but my progress is slow because quite frankly I haven't been making time to practice. Though after the recent recital, listening to you guys again gave me a much needed motivation. I'm hoping it'll be ready come December piano bar. I'm also now looking into other pieces to learn.
_________________________
Adult beginner since January 2013. My only regret is that I didn't learn sooner.

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#2183717 - 11/17/13 12:57 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5659
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
carlos88 - that looks like an ambitious plan to me! I, too, like not having time limits, except those imposed by me that I can move the goal posts on if I need to smile If I have a gig coming up I can sub older repertoire, if it's a dance with the band I can do a simpler version and count on the band to cover the rest. I am so not good under "pressure" pressure - I like challenges, but not deadlines that are fatal if you don't make them! And I really enjoy knowing the chord/piece structure.

Cathy
_________________________

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#2183886 - 11/17/13 12:10 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: jotur]
SwissMS Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 853
Loc: Switzerland
I am really happy to see the continuing progress in this thread. It is nice to see everyone's goals, and how their week went. I find it really helpful to look at my previous week's goals and see that I made some progress (sometimes!)!

I made a final recording of the Mazurka for the Pianist Corner Recital, and I am ready to submit. I am more than a little nervous that it will not be up to the standards over there, but what the heck. It is the best I can do.

1. Venetian Boat Song 30 6: I have HS working well through the entire piece, and the 1st 1/2 combined. The keys to the LH is to keep the rocking movement, and not let the thumb "thump" the upper C#, and also to voice the motiv well. That will be my focus this week. The second goal is to shape the trills in the second half better, and get it HT.

2. Chrysanthemum: Yeeah, the C section is a challenge for my little hands! A section is memorized, B is getting close to memorized, and C is HS until it falls under my fingers a little better. I think I will hold off of D until I get C under control!

3. March: This has some tricky rhythms, and a whole lot of 32nd notes. HS on this actually seems more difficult than HT because of the rhythms. This week I will work on combining page I.

4. Sonatina- The Rondo is turning out to be more difficult to ingrain than I expected. It is not technically difficult, but it isn't making musical sense to me at slow tempo. So, this week I will bring smaller sections up to a faster tempo and see if it comes easier, and then combine the sections
_________________________


Working on ABRSM Grade 6
European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2183905 - 11/17/13 12:33 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1022
Loc: Italy
In spite of a work surge I managed to practice about an hour a day.

I'm pleased with the Tchaikovsky, my tempo is increasing overall and I can play little bits fast. Today I recorded a test video with Wally, mostly to check sound and hand position, and it wasn't too bad. Still lots of hesitations - I wish I could read faster so the music would help me more.

The B section of Maple Leaf Rag is more rhythmic now, except for the last four bars that I just can't figure out. Maybe listening to the real thing and comparing scores will help. It will take another week or two to have this section learned. In the meantime I keep playing the A section and I think it's fast enough now, but I need to work more on leaps and connecting the different parts.

In search for novelty, I started Schumann's Melodie, which looked almost sight-readable. Well I'm still trying to memorize the first four bars! I can't remember that LH arpeggio for the life of me, the notes are just not what I would expect. I'll try harder and see.

I really need to do some sight-reading every day again.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2183951 - 11/17/13 02:35 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2465
Loc: Minneapolis, MN


It's tempting to skip doing a weekly posting because I'm still working on the same stuff. I appreciate this thread because it gives me a chance to assess what I've done, and what I'd like to get done this week. Even if I don't accomplish everything I do seem to make decent progress.

Tomorrow will be a grand practice session! I'm going to get to practice on an acoustic grand piano for two hours. I'll get to see how the dynamics I'm working on for Clair de Lune are coming along. It's also a great motivator for me to stay focused with the details I'm working on. I'm going to be able to get to do this two or three times monthly.

Later this week I'll be meeting with my teacher. My goal this week is to successfully play at least the first four pages of Clair de Lune by memory for my piano teacher on Thursday.

Over the weekend I'm hoping to have a fairly decent recording of O Holy Night to review. I'm not planning to memorize this, however.

I will be doing a lot of review of my existing repertoire this week. I'm not setting any other goals right now, however. I've got enough to work on right now.

I hope everyone else is doing well! Have a good week!
_________________________
Carl


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#2184078 - 11/17/13 06:00 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2458
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Griffin, I'm looking at next year's pieces and might consider the Rachmaninoff Prelude in C# minor as a follow on to the Brahms Ballad. When are you planning on starting that and how long do you think you'll be at it - if you plan that sort of thing? I was considering starting it in parallel. I've been listening to it since you first mentioned it and I have no Rach in my rack as yet. I thought this might be a good time. Mayhap we could start a thread with it and share the learning process, either specific to that piece or practical analysis (as opposed to harmonic analysis) in general. What d'ya think?
____________________________

Welcome to the thread, Carlos and Elle.

With the Ballad now out of the way I'm spreading my efforts over future recitals and reviewing this year's pieces more than learning new ones. I've just a few small trifles left to wrap up this year, the others are being set aside for next year.

Our resident chess champion is retiring very shortly and I'm in the running for getting my name back on the Company Chess shield next year. This may have an adverse effect on my piano time. I must get a book on juggling!

The two Joplin pieces are quite manageable, especially in the time available, the Tchaikovsky piece because of the time available and the Chopin Nocturne will be a stretch regardless of it. The Nocturne is tough on the left hand even though the right can go on vacation.

I need to catch up on some Bach as well. I dropped a lot of Bach pieces for the Mendelssohn and Grieg recitals this year. I have started but am not ready to finish the Prelude and Fugue in D, Book I No. 5. I thought I might have a bash at the E minor from Book I. The fugue is only two voices and should be relatively easy. These things are tough without a teacher or coach and an easier piece seems more appealing right now. I see joangolfing has just started this but I won't be able to go before January.

I have two major classical pieces lined up for next year, the first movement of Clementi's F# minor sonata, Più tosto allegro, and the second of Beethoven's D major Op. 10/3, Largo e mesto.

After the Chopin Nocturne I was thinking of Liszt's Sposalizio for the second half of the year or Brahms Intermezzo Op. 117/1. Finishing the Ballad has given me a bit of a boost and I'd like to explore a bit more of Brahms - no scale work with Brahms! smile

Clearly a lot of my focus is in long term mode at the moment. This week's agenda is Liszt's Schlummerlied and various little pieces. I'm refreshing the Allegretto from Mozart's Fantasy as well this week. It didn't go too well over the weekend (some days it's like I've never played it before!) whereas Trolltog flew; it seems to have benefitted from the two rags and the Chopin Nocturne I've been subjecting my left hand to. I played all twenty pieces from my main repertoire group in one sitting this morning (the ones I keep for drop of the hat moments). I haven't done that for a long time.
_________________________
Richard

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#2184267 - 11/18/13 12:34 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Richard... apparently there are others who have faced the chess vs. piano conundrum:


...and decided to have their cake and eat it too:
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#2184301 - 11/18/13 02:22 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2465
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Griffin, I'm looking at next year's pieces and might consider the Rachmaninoff Prelude in C# minor as a follow on to the Brahms Ballad. When are you planning on starting that and how long do you think you'll be at it - if you plan that sort of thing? I was considering starting it in parallel. I've been listening to it since you first mentioned it and I have no Rach in my rack as yet. I thought this might be a good time. Mayhap we could start a thread with it and share the learning process, either specific to that piece or practical analysis (as opposed to harmonic analysis) in general. What d'ya think?



Richard, I am definitely interested in your idea about working in parallel on Rach. However, I'll need to discuss this with my teacher later this week. He had planned to start me on Rach in December. However, he decided to put it on hold until I finish my work with Clair de Lune. He also wants me to start work on Bach Invention #8 in F Major. I'll need to discuss timelines with him when we meet. I'll let you know next weekend. smile
_________________________
Carl


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#2184343 - 11/18/13 06:49 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2458
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Griffin, I'm easy on time and can wait for Clair de Lune.
I'm glad you like the idea.

Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
Richard... apparently there are others who have faced the chess vs. piano conundrum
Beethoven played Maelzel (of the Metronome). Brahms played Schumann.
Mendelssohn and Chopin both played. Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin and
Moussorgsky played chess, as did Dvorak. Prokofiev played Kasparov and
keeps a set on his piano. Arthur Rubinstein was an avid player, Horowitz
only played for fun.

More recently, Bowie and Bob Dylan love chess. Bono was the school
champion, Sonny & Cher both played as did John and Yoko and their son
Sean. Sting has played Kasparov.

Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
...and decided to have their cake and eat it too
I chess want to say thanks for the cake. (Sorry, it's Monday morning.)

Why's the White King on a light square?
_________________________
Richard

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#2185023 - 11/19/13 09:54 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 698
Loc: Illinois
Well, talk about focus... I just spent 45 minutes on three consecutive measures of my current piece. The most troublesome ones, and I'm happy to report great improvement on these. Yay!

It's a good day today so far. This much time spent on three measures is hard thing for me to do but I can see the value in doing it. Now I need some practice on my other pieces. Lucky for me I have no pressing chores today. grin
_________________________
Ragdoll

Never get directions from someone who hasn't been there.


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#2185027 - 11/19/13 09:58 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: jotur]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Originally Posted By: jotur
Then I played thru the A part and tried to recognize and say to myself each chord as I played it - pausing if I wasn't sure in the heat of the moment laugh I chunked one 4-note part that goes F-D7-Gm (V-III7-vi, 5-3-6) in which the bass is octave F-F#-G, so that I recognized each chord as I did it.

One of the advantages of this is that I rely less on muscle memory - as long as I play F or D or Gm, in whatever inversion or set of pitches, the harmony works - so it's much easier to fake if I otherwise forget! A desired outcome, I assure you smile

I'm very far away from being able to do this in real time, but at least have the knowledge at this point re: the principals behind the idea.

Any tips on speeding up the ability to play a chord instantaneously without having to think about it? I have to sit there and think about each note...i.e. my internal dialog goes something like this: "OK, so the 7th is a whole step below the root, but the melody uses the 5th, so I'll use my thumb to play the 7th"... it's an extremely slow process.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

Top
#2185030 - 11/19/13 10:08 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
...and decided to have their cake and eat it too
I chess want to say thanks for the cake. (Sorry, it's Monday morning.)

Why's the White King on a light square?

Good question on the king... maybe the person setting up the board thought like my best friend? When we played as kids he always insisted on setting up the board this way. He liked it better because he thought he'd be able to get his queen attacking my king more readily. smile
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

Top
#2185070 - 11/19/13 11:38 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: aTallGuyNH]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5659
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH

I'm very far away from being able to do this in real time, but at least have the knowledge at this point re: the principals behind the idea.

Any tips on speeding up the ability to play a chord instantaneously without having to think about it?


For me there was nothing like playing oompah with a band for getting chords to be part of my base knowledge. It might not be for you, but I used to record a melody and then play along with the oom pah in the bass.

I use the Fiddlers Fakebook - it's traditional tunes with guitar/piano/backing chords, just like a fakebook.

But the trick, for me, was not playing the melody at the same time. So all I had to focus on was the chords. But since the melody was being carried by the tape recorder or the fiddlers it still sounded like music and was great fun.

The first time I learned I had to figure out all the chords, and then I had to figure out what inversions to play them in that allowed me to not have to move my hand very much from one to the other - G in root position to D as A-D-F# or F#-A-D, for instance. Because I was going to play for dancers and it had to be a tempo, so necessity was the mother of short cuts laugh

But I spent a week on three tunes, each in a different but closely related key, just figuring out the chords that were on the lead sheet, and practicing playing oom and pah in my left hand and the chord in my right hand. But since the key of G and the key of C both use C and G chords, I already had some familiarity with the second tune when I finished the first. That helped.

But all that work *really* helped in getting the feel of a chord and transferring that to other chords. *And* in knowing them when they showed up in, say, Bach smile I remember the first time I was playing something from Anna's notebook and thought - oh, this is in F! - not because I read the key signature, which I knew how to do, but because my fingers was using chords from the key of F, even tho not in root position, or leaving some notes out.

So that's what worked for me. I first figured out what the first chord was, and once I knew G in root position all the other major chords in root position were accessible, then I figured out the next chord in some inversion that made the transition easy, and then I practiced slowly, and eventually with a metronome, to get the whole (32-bar, with repetitive parts) working, and then I recorded the melody at whatever speed I could play it (not usually to tempo at first) and played along as it played.

Playing backing for melodies was really key for me. Even chords in keys that don't come up much in trad music - Bb for instance - were much easier to visualize and came more easily. And once I started playing old standards, Bb, Eb, and Ab became "often used" keys.

Don't know if that would be your bag, but it's how I learned. Even doing it for one or two tunes might be helpful

Cathy
_________________________

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#2185463 - 11/20/13 01:27 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: jotur]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509

Thanks Cathy for sharing your experience in such detail!

Originally Posted By: jotur
For me there was nothing like playing oompah with a band for getting chords to be part of my base knowledge. It might not be for you, but I used to record a melody and then play along with the oom pah in the bass.

Maybe a dumb question, but what exactly constitutes "oompah"? If I'm doing octaves in the left hand, is it just low followed by high note? Or something more specific to certain styles of music?

Originally Posted By: jotur
But the trick, for me, was not playing the melody at the same time. So all I had to focus on was the chords. But since the melody was being carried by the tape recorder or the fiddlers it still sounded like music and was great fun.

I don't have a fiddler smile but I agree that dropping the melody will make things simpler for me. Hard to do that when I really want to hear the song when I'm practicing, but this makes sense to me. I'll have to try your "record the melody and then play along" method.

Originally Posted By: jotur
The first time I learned I had to figure out all the chords, and then I had to figure out what inversions to play them in that allowed me to not have to move my hand very much from one to the other - G in root position to D as A-D-F# or F#-A-D, for instance.

Yes, I've heard of this (from reading an intro to fake books that I got for my birthday) as a good practice for accompaniment in general, i.e. for purposes of keeping the tonal center of the music fairly stable -- so being easier on the hands/mind is a nice byproduct of that.

I'm just learning the chords in general though, so I'm tending to do everything in root position. I think I need to stop that though, as it's just going to slow my learning process. The analogy I'm thinking of is that learning only in root position would be like learning to speak words by only saying syllables individually.

Originally Posted By: jotur
Because I was going to play for dancers and it had to be a tempo, so necessity was the mother of short cuts laugh

But I spent a week on three tunes, each in a different but closely related key, just figuring out the chords that were on the lead sheet, and practicing playing oom and pah in my left hand and the chord in my right hand. But since the key of G and the key of C both use C and G chords, I already had some familiarity with the second tune when I finished the first. That helped.

But all that work *really* helped in getting the feel of a chord and transferring that to other chords. *And* in knowing them when they showed up in, say, Bach smile I remember the first time I was playing something from Anna's notebook and thought - oh, this is in F! - not because I read the key signature, which I knew how to do, but because my fingers was using chords from the key of F, even tho not in root position, or leaving some notes out.

I've had a little taste of that... not re: the key of the piece, but in messing around with Andrew Lloyd Webber's "All I Ask of You" from Phantom of the Opera there is a Cb chord in a number of places, and because I had worked on a Billy Joel song in the key of B, it was easy to just play the chord without reading the notes individually. That was nice to be able to do that (rare, but nice).

Originally Posted By: jotur
So that's what worked for me. I first figured out what the first chord was, and once I knew G in root position all the other major chords in root position were accessible, then I figured out the next chord in some inversion that made the transition easy, and then I practiced slowly, and eventually with a metronome, to get the whole (32-bar, with repetitive parts) working, and then I recorded the melody at whatever speed I could play it (not usually to tempo at first) and played along as it played.

Playing backing for melodies was really key for me. Even chords in keys that don't come up much in trad music - Bb for instance - were much easier to visualize and came more easily. And once I started playing old standards, Bb, Eb, and Ab became "often used" keys.

I'm nobody's prize, but I've got a general sense of what I'm doing in C, F, B, Db, G, and A (sorta). So basically, if it's all black, or just one black, I've got a clue. If it's some but not all black -- I get confused easily. Just need more time working on songs/pieces in those other keys.

I tend though to go for songs where I really love the sound, so I get to exotic chords pretty quickly. For instance, I'm toying with doing a Phil Collins tune for the next ABF Recital, in Db (where I'm very comfortable, more so than C actually), that includes such gems as Ebm7(add4) shocked wow aka Ebm11, Ab7sus, Ab(add2)/C, and so on. Not so easy to get quickly under the fingers, but sounds amaaaazing (to my probably very biased ears) on Mabel.

Originally Posted By: jotur

Don't know if that would be your bag, but it's how I learned. Even doing it for one or two tunes might be helpful

I'll start!

One aspect where I know I really need a clue (and have none whatsoever) is on what to do with the chords though. If I just play the chord, it's very plodding, and the melody is plinking along at the top... can't repeat the chord on each melody note either, except maybe for emphasis in certain spots where it is done to make a musical point. Any tips on that? Or should I learn to crawl and walk before thinking about running? cool
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

Top
#2185867 - 11/20/13 05:43 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2458
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
Originally Posted By: jotur

The first time I learned I had to figure out all the chords, and then I had to figure out what inversions to play them in that allowed me to not have to move my hand very much from one to the other - G in root position to D as A-D-F# or F#-A-D, for instance.

Yes, I've heard of this (from reading an intro to fake books that I got for my birthday) as a good practice for accompaniment in general, i.e. for purposes of keeping the tonal center of the music fairly stable -- so being easier on the hands/mind is a nice byproduct of that.

I'm just learning the chords in general though, so I'm tending to do everything in root position.

I'm the same. I do chords in RH, bass in LH - I sing. My initial recipe (example in C major) is:
I - tonic (root), C-E-G-C, 1-2-3-5
ii - supertonic (root), D-F-A, 1-2-4
iii - mediant (2nd inv), B-E-G, 1-2-3 or (root), E-G-B, 2-3-5
IV - subdominant (2nd inv), C-F-A, 1-3-5
V - dominant (2nd inv), D-G-B, 1-3-5
V7 - dom. 7th (2nd inv), D-F-G-B, 1-2-3-5
vi - submed. (1st inv), C-E-A, 1-2-5
vii - use dom. 7

Fingerings and inversions stay the same regardless of key; just have to learn where the black keys occur. If I was moving often from, say, subdom. to dom. I'd change subdom. from 1-3-5 to 1-2-4.

Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
I get to exotic chords pretty quickly. For instance, I'm toying with doing a Phil Collins tune for the next ABF Recital, in Db (where I'm very comfortable, more so than C actually), that includes such gems as Ebm7(add4) shocked wow aka Ebm11, Ab7sus, Ab(add2)/C, and so on. Not so easy to get quickly under the fingers, but sounds amaaaazing (to my probably very biased ears) on Mabel.
Notes on terminology: 'add' chords are where notes from second octave are used (9, 11, 13) without the 7th.
'sus' chords are where the third is dropped to accommodate a close 4th or 2nd without as much rubbing.

Using C maj as example:
I sus 4 = C-F-G
IV sus 2 = F-G-C

I sus 2 = C-D-G
V sus 4 = G-C-D

V sus 2 = 1-2-5 (G-A-D)
V add 9 = 1-3-5-9 (G-B-D-A)
V9 = 1-3-5-7-9 (G-B-D-F-A)

Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
One aspect where I know I really need a clue...is on what to do with the chords though.
If you're playing chords in LH and melody in RH it may help to drop notes and use only two note chords or stay high up the keyboard so that there's enough space between frequencies. Notes close together in the bass sound like treacle. Arpeggio patterns work better, e.g. walking bass or boogie woogie. Variety of patterns and rhythms come with time and experience, listening, just messin' or friends+alcohol. smile
_________________________
Richard

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