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#2187745 - 11/24/13 02:01 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

I hope everyone is doing well. I had a good week. My session on the grand piano went very well, as well as my piano lesson. I'm still working on getting Clair de Lune fully memorized. There are some technical matters in a few small sections my teacher is working with me on to soften the volume a bit in my left hand. Other than that, we both agree that I should be ready to start playing this for individuals by Christmas. I probably won't record it until early next year, however.

I won't have time to record O Holy Night this weekend. However, I'll get back to that after Thanksgiving weekend.

My goal for next week is to memorize two critical sections of Clair de Line that my teacher identified at our last session. Also, I hope to get a decent recording of O Holy Night done.

That's about all I can realistically commit to this week. We have guests coming for Thanksgiving and we have lots of preparation to do in advance. Have a nice week!



Edited by griffin2417 (11/24/13 02:02 PM)
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Carl


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#2187757 - 11/24/13 02:32 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

Richard, this is to follow up on your suggestion of studying the Rach piece in parallel. My teacher liked the idea as well. He thinks I should be able to get started in February.

We can exchange PMs to discuss starting a thread if you are still interested. Let me know what you decide.
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Carl


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#2187771 - 11/24/13 03:01 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: griffin2417]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 503
Originally Posted By: griffin2417
My goal for next week is to memorize two critical sections of Clair de Line that my teacher identified at our last session.

Just curious... what are the two sections?
_________________________
"...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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#2187798 - 11/24/13 03:52 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5497
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
(Tall Guy - check your pms smile )

The distractedness is getting more persistent - ah, life cycles, sigh. So I'm trying to find ways to distract the distractedness smile It is obvious that on many of my pieces there isn't a "physical" limit to the tempo - I'm perfectly capable of having the distractedness interfere at slow tempos smile and perfectly capable of playing at tempo if I didn't keep having my brain interrupt itself.

So one thing I experimented with today was playing the bass note that's on the beat loudly to anchor me where I was. That seemed to help. I also noted when my brain was saying "why was I playing a Gm chord there?" or, "was that a Gm or an Eb chord I played (now at two beats ago laugh )?" and went back to that place and played it to understand exactly what was happening, and play the progression in different inversions, and play and see the roots in relation to each other, etc.

Muscle memory and some idea of the chords works fine in my less distracted stages, but I really need to zero in on all during my distracted ones, it seems, so while this may be frustrating for the next, oh, five or ten years, I suspect I'll learn a lot smile

Cathy
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#2187903 - 11/25/13 05:07 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2323
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
The site was down last night so I'm updating at work and measure numbers are to the best of my knowledge.

I've spent this week on the climax, M49-52, of the Chopin Nocturne and going over the last section before the coda, M84-94. The Tchaikovsky Album Leaf I've worked on the little section from M8-M16. I've started the Largo e mesto from Beethoven's Sonata in D, Op. 10 No. 3. There are only three measures up to M21 that needed working over, the rest are playable from the score and are being memorised. I should memorise M22 as well and that'll save me a page turn when I get there.

I'm on the second section of Heliotrope Bouquet and just started the third, the C section, of Pine Apple Rag for the Joplin recital.

I'll spend another week on the Allegretto from Mozart's Fantasy then it should be recoverable from weekend workouts by year end.

I've gone over the three phrases of Child Falling Asleep that I've done to date and will start the last one over the coming week. I've started the last section of Scarlatti's Kp. 159 and it looks easier than the first so these two pieces will be easy to wrap up by year end.

Schlummerlied hasn't gone so well and I think it's time to pull the plug on it until next October. I won't be able to do it for this Christmas.
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Richard

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#2187908 - 11/25/13 05:15 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2323
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Griffin, a start date in February will be fine with me.

How do you normally go about things? If you're going to start working on Measure 1 in Feb I have things to get done first.

I plan on analysing the structure of the piece first (practical analysis not harmonic) and seeing what sections I'll break it down into, what size to make them, what measures repeat, what order to start learning them in and so on.

I may go through each measure for two to five minutes each sorting out the fingering first or I may leave that until I start each section. The first way gives me a better idea of the technical difficulties and a better order to work in. I use the latter approach if I'm sure the piece holds no surprises from a cursory perusal of the score but I imagine Rachmaninoff will have hidden treasures.

I've already started memorising it, singing it in my head, and I'll need that done before I start at the piano but February gives me plenty of time for that.

If you're going to start prep work in February we can start a new thread then but if you're going to start practising it in February I'll start one sooner and get the prep work detailed in it before Feb.

I'm easy either way; I'm planning to do this specifically with you, sharing and comparing methods and ideas and helping each other out. I'm not doing it for any other purpose or time frame.

I can press to keep up with you if needed and can slow down to keep pace with you either. It's a tough piece and most of the hard work will be up front. I imagine it will be memorised long before it's playable and the longest time will be at the end, playing it slowly and steadily from memory, mostly in sections, until the whole thing is playable in one go at tempo. That initial process of learning it and tackling technical hurdles is where I expect the joint venture will pay most dividends.

I have the Chopin Nocturne for the ABF recital in February, two Joplin pieces for March, the Tchaikovsky Album Leaf for April and Beethoven's Largo e mesto for the ABF in May. I've nothing else planned so far so I have three months (albeit busy ones) to get most of the hard work done on those by Feb. then I'll be ready to go.
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Richard

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#2188473 - 11/26/13 06:48 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 971
Loc: Italy
Update on my progress and my goals for the week:

- Tchaikovsky: it's basically finished. I sit down and play it cold and it's okay! So I started doing some videos, and of course the little passagework parts fall apart in front of the camera. I will try and record all my next sessions and see if I can get a good one and put this piece away for a while. Also, I found out that the iPad mini makes decent recordings. Just a few weeks ago I had the feeling that every note sounded harsh on the acoustic piano, now it's the opposite. It seems easier to make things sound good on it!

- Joplin: The B section is killing me, but I have it memorized and it gets better. I'll just keep playing it, trying not to think too much. I may also start the final section, for variety.

- Schumann's Melodie: I haven't spent much time on it, and I still don't get it. But I can play the first part, and it's just 12 bars overall so I will try to hang on.

- I don't care much about the holidays, but I have to learn part of a Xmas song for a supposed violin/piano duet, so I have to learn that. Just 16 bars with simple bass & melody and a middle voice here and there.

- Today I'm starting a new piece from Pianist magazine: Bischoff's The Industrious Student, a little study in held bass notes. In the next days I will also do the warm-ups and exercises in the magazine.

smile
_________________________
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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#2188516 - 11/26/13 08:46 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5497
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Ah, for sinophilia it's the B section of Joplin. For me it's the D section. I'm thinking about playing the rest of it at a good tempo, and just doing the D section andante laugh

Cathy
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#2188925 - 11/26/13 08:45 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: jotur]
SwissMS Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 711
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: jotur
Ah, for sinophilia it's the B section of Joplin. For me it's the D section. I'm thinking about playing the rest of it at a good tempo, and just doing the D section andante laugh

Cathy


For me it is the C section, with the D section as a close second! I thought my piece was going to be a piece of cake until I reached those sections. Fortunately Chrysanthemum is a slow march, not a fast rag.

I am in the states visiting family until after Christmas, so I am practicing on a new digital, but it seems pretty good. So, I hope to be able to keep moving forward on my pieces.

Venetian Boat Song 30 6: I am pleased with how quickly this one is coming together. I hope to finish memorizing it this week. I still need to shape the trills better dynamically. I will not try to bring it up to tempo for another two weeks.

Chrysanthemum: The previously mentioned C and D sections are now HT, but extremely slowly. I am continuing HS as well to ingrain proper fingering and movement.

March: Still HS on this one, until fingering is solid.

Kuhlau Sonatina: I was "called on the carpet" on this one by my teacher. I brought it up to tempo too quickly, and the runs became uneven. So, I am doing some remedial work. I am using this peice specifically to retrain my hand position, how I play my 5th fingers, improve my Alberti base, and improve running passages. The 1st and second movements are memorized, but need more slow play time with drops on 1's. then 2's.. I am about 1/2 way through the Rondo, and hope to finish the rest of it this week. The Rondo has been slow going!
_________________________


Working on:
Handel - Allemande in A Minor
Bach - Inv. #14
Beethoven - Sonata #79 2nd mvmt
Kuhlau op. 88 - 3

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#2189551 - 11/28/13 09:16 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Richard, I'm planning to start my preparation work in February. I doubt I'd have time to start any sooner. This should be a very interesting process because we have different music experiences. Since I've only been back to the piano for only a few years (after a 35-year hiatus) I am relearning the whole process of preparation. My teacher will be immensely helpful with getting me off to a good start with some of the things you are already doing.

Right now I'm simply listening to various recordings. I'm also very carefully examining the scores to make sure I have accurate sheet music. I want to avoid the surprise that happened with Clair de Lune frown.

You are right. This will be a tough piece to study. I was surprised my teacher suggested I take this one on. However, I'm thrilled to be given the challenge. I have no idea how long it will take to get it to a satisfactory level. I am much more interested in the journey of learning it. I'm delighted to have you as a musician friend to study it with. I've never done anything like this before.

I agree with you about starting a thread in February. We can get into the details about this later in December. Right now I'm doing some finishing work on Clair de Lune, starting to record some holiday music for a few friends. In December I'll be getting back to my work on Prelude in D Flat Major (Chopin) and Gymnopedie 1 (Satie). I'll also be starting work on the Invention in F Major (Bach).

Right now I must get back to preparing for our holiday dinner today at home! smile






Edited by griffin2417 (11/28/13 08:54 PM)
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#2189746 - 11/28/13 05:34 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2323
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Griffin, that's fine with me. I've plenty to do before February. This means I can simply substitute the Prelude when I submit the Chopin Nocturne for the Feb. recital and start on prep work then. In the meantime I can just enjoy listening to it.

I've just downloaded the score from freescores.com following a link at the end of the wikipedia article.

My goodness! Four staves at the end to accommodate all the notes!

On the other hand it breaks into sections quite easily and like Brahms, makes little demands on scale playing or 'small technique'. This won't be as hard as I first thought.

I'm really looking forward to this now (I was anyway but more so now).

I'll scrutinise it more carefully over the weekend but it ain't sight reading material that's for sure!

Enjoy your holiday and your meal!
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Richard

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#2190191 - 11/29/13 05:54 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: aTallGuyNH]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
Originally Posted By: griffin2417
My goal for next week is to memorize two critical sections of Clair de Line that my teacher identified at our last session.

Just curious... what are the two sections?


TG, I haven't gotten as far along as I would have liked on this so far. However, the two sections I'm working on are measures 35 thru 39 and measures 51 thru 58.
_________________________
Carl


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#2190247 - 11/29/13 08:01 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 248
Hi Everyone! How is the practicing coming along? Here is what I've been up to and where I am going:

Mazurka 17/4: This piece is for the Mazurka recital on Dec. 16th. Tried recording this week and while itís not great it is at least something. Maybe I can get a better one before recital time but if not at least Iíve got this. I'm really happy that I took on this piece to study.

Moonlight 3: Experimenting with increasing the tempo in places but whether I should be yet is questionable. Itís just so much fun to try to push the tempo a little. Iím still trying to get many sections to 84 per quarter note. The biggest hindrance is my slow memory and some of the jumps that have to be made in the time of a 16th note. For the octave turns, I decided to do the first one 3 (with the octave), 5, 3, 2, 3, 5(with octave). For the second one, I will do the same but drop the octave on the first note. I stopped practicing the alberti bass away from the piano because I found at the piano it was creating problems. Or was it? Maybe itís just problems with alberti bass in general. Itís so challenging to keep it even, and can seem even harder at the slower tempos. My alberti bass really needs work but I worry about driving my downstairs neighbour crazy with the incessant thumping of the digital keys.

Bethena: The piece is starting to flow a little betterósort of. The trickiest part is watching the score and my hands at the same time. I have to learn to find the notes without watching my hands all the time to get the jumps. Some sections are harder than others. Most of last week was spent on A-C. Really Iím still trying to get the piece to a point where I can just play it through with the score and without a serious trainwreck or major hesitations.

Tchaikovsky Nocturne 10/1: Will have to memorize portions of this to play it. This week, continue work on bars 66- 68, start memorizing bars 5-8 , 14-17, 18-24. Iím finding this piece challenging to get going for some reason. I absolutely love it though. Hope I can get somewhere with it by recital time.

Beethoven Op. 109 Theme only-I may try to prepare this for the Feb ABF recital. Only the theme, which is about half a page. (but with repeats).

Chopinís Ballade 1: I have that book out of the library and I can have it for 2 weeks (Play it Again), so now Iím thinking to plan out how I might approach the Ballade over the year. Perhaps first Iíll refresh my memory of the coda since at one time I had that memorized. Thought maybe Iíd get some ideas of how to approach the piece from this book.

That's it for now. Happy practicing! smile

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#2190464 - 11/30/13 09:21 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2323
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Valencia, those Moonlight trills are absolute beggars (he says politely). I play the first three (M30, M32 & M125) with 5-4-3-4-5 and hit the lower octaves in synch with the 5's. For the real sod, M127, I drop the lower B# and play 4-3-2-3-4 and hit the low C# with the last 4. If you're playing with an audience that might notice you could grimace at the dropped octaves as if they were a mistake smile

You should be increasing the tempo in short or very short sections. Short enough that memory isn't an issue. Slow playing will be. You must practise the techniques for fast playing not those for slow playing. Pushing the tempo is something else. Just work enough that tempo rises regularly from practise not from 'speeding up'.

You might try practising the jumps by holding down the upper G# octave (M14) and looking at the lower G# then close you eyes and make the jump in an instant. Where are the leaps done in the time of a semi?

The Alberti bass shouldn't be slow (in either hand). What tempo do you use for, say, Mozart's K.545? Are you playing them with fingers? There should hardly be any finger movement other than the inner finger. It's nearly all wrist rotation.

D'you want to start a thread on this one too? smile I think it's the future of learning long term pieces - with or without a teacher. The themed recitals hit it home for me.
____________________________

I couldn't do the G minor Ballad in a year but I could do some of its sections from April onwards if it's any help. I have it in ten parts (roughly easiest to hardest - for me):
M1-35; 194-207; 65-100; 238-264; 35-65; 166-193; 126-149; 150-166; 101-125; 208-237.

I treat these as individual sections and haven't touched some of them for years. I wouldn't want to bother with the Presto until there was enough incentive, i.e. if it was the only bit left to finish the piece - it's more speed than technique, I think, and the first few sections won't need much by way of practise but the rest I could put some time and energy towards. After April, that is.

If you get a plan for the year I'd be interested to see how I could fit in with you. This was one of the last pieces my teacher gave me in the mid eighties so very little of it was actually done under tuition and some of it has barely been touched since then. Rusty doesn't begin to describe my relationship with it.
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Richard

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#2190673 - 11/30/13 06:47 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 248
Originally Posted By: zrtf90

I couldn't do the G minor Ballad in a year but I could do some of its sections from April onwards if it's any help. I have it in ten parts (roughly easiest to hardest - for me):
M1-35; 194-207; 65-100; 238-264; 35-65; 166-193; 126-149; 150-166; 101-125; 208-237.

I treat these as individual sections and haven't touched some of them for years. I wouldn't want to bother with the Presto until there was enough incentive, i.e. if it was the only bit left to finish the piece - it's more speed than technique, I think, and the first few sections won't need much by way of practise but the rest I could put some time and energy towards. After April, that is.

If you get a plan for the year I'd be interested to see how I could fit in with you. This was one of the last pieces my teacher gave me in the mid eighties so very little of it was actually done under tuition and some of it has barely been touched since then. Rusty doesn't begin to describe my relationship with it.


Richard, I'd love to work through the ballade with you. I'm not in any big hurry and I'm sure it will take me more than a year as well. When you say the first few sections wouldn't need as much practice for you, which sections do you mean? Perhaps i could start working on those until April when you will have more time to work on this piece.

Section 101-125 is one I'll have to be careful with to avoid injuring my hands. This may mean not taking it on intensely all at once. Hmm...well i don't need to figure that out now, or practice any of it yet for that matter. But I think that is the section I'm most intimidated by.

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#2190689 - 11/30/13 07:10 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5497
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Well, the focus has been much better this week - Twosnowflakes' "dreaded recital" thread was a great help laugh Also thinking of some new venues to play in has helped - a little injection of some new horizons - including e-mailing a senior center in the town I'm going to over the Christmas holiday to see if they'd like an hour of piano music a couple of days before Christmas.

I'm not surprised that the Joplins aren't just falling in to line laugh I haven't played Joplin in a few days, since I have a gig Tues afternoon that I want to do well at, but I'm hoping a little time off is one of those things that helps it come more fluently when I go back to it - several of my pieces work that way. It is all memorized, tho a couple of places may need some refreshing when I get back to it, but mostly I can play it my head and know where my fingers are going, and how it sounds, so I think that's good, and there was the one section that was at tempo that should come back with a little work.

But mostly I'm relieved the focus has come back. I was a little afraid it might not there for awhile :\ but at least I was thinking of some strategies to help with it, and those will come in handy, I'm sure.

Cathy
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#2190781 - 11/30/13 11:39 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: griffin2417]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 503
Originally Posted By: griffin2417
TG, I haven't gotten as far along as I would have liked on this so far. However, the two sections I'm working on are measures 35 thru 39 and measures 51 thru 58.

Hopefully your teacher doesn't have you quiet the left hand too much from 51 through 58. It's such a shame when the main theme is overemphasized there, covering those gorgeous left hand arpeggios.
_________________________
"...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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#2190880 - 12/01/13 09:28 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2323
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Valencia, the first passages I listed are quite easy by comparison to the others. I wouldn't need to practise M1-35, M65-100 or M194-207 very much until near the end. There are few technical difficulties there. M208-237 is, I believe, more speed than technique and will need more time in that regard. The remaining sections, M35-65, M101-125, M126-149, M150-166 and M166-193, all need technical expertise before regular practise was even feasible and it's these I'd want to be working on first.

Only when I've solved all the technical issues would I be interested in preparing this piece for performance. Getting M1-35 up to performance level before solving the problems of M101-125 would frustrate me too much.
_________________________
Richard

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#2190957 - 12/01/13 01:25 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: aTallGuyNH]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
Originally Posted By: griffin2417
TG, I haven't gotten as far along as I would have liked on this so far. However, the two sections I'm working on are measures 35 thru 39 and measures 51 thru 58.

Hopefully your teacher doesn't have you quiet the left hand too much from 51 through 58. It's such a shame when the main theme is overemphasized there, covering those gorgeous left hand arpeggios.


Nope, nothing like that. Just a few things I want to do in order to improve the flow. smile
_________________________
Carl


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#2191067 - 12/01/13 06:14 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2323
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
I got sidetracked with the Beethoven 10/3 sonata this week and have done nothing on Child Falling Asleep or Scarlatti's Kp. 159 so these are up again for the coming week.

I played over the Silhouette 8/1 again this week and since I dropped the Liszt I'm thinking of making this do for my Christmas piece. I think it could pass as seasonal fare.

Nocturne 27/1 has gone well. I've extended the climax M49-52 up to M66. This leaves me with the stretto, M67-83 and the Piý mosso M29-48 to be memorised then it's about getting the parts up to scratch before putting them together. There's no real speed requirement here so it's about having security in the fingers and eliminating the hesitations that develop when I do too long a passage at once. The left hand has to be watched constantly so I can't play much from the score and I struggle to remember what chord comes next even though my hand seems to know when it gets there apart from a couple of alternate renditions my hand seems to know of!

I've nearly finished the C section of Pine Apple Rag and I'm about half way on Heliotrope Bouquet B section.

The Allegretto from Mozart's Fantasy has gone well. I'll keep that going each weekend for the rest of the year.

The new year is already filling up with pieces. Some of this years pieces had already been started many years ago but the current lot are harder and all new to me. Better still, I'll be working in tandem with others. I'm looking forward to 2014.
_________________________
Richard

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#2191187 - 12/02/13 12:36 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
carlos88 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 86
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: zrtf90


My goodness! Four staves at the end to accommodate all the notes!

On the other hand it breaks into sections quite easily and like Brahms, makes little demands on scale playing or 'small technique'. This won't be as hard as I first thought.



I ended up learning the Prelude in C# minor in 4 sections: a few years ago:
1) the first part, with the quiet chords, (through about measures: 1-14 or so)
2) the agitato section with the accelerating rolling triplets
3) the manic alternating chords for about 10 measures at the end of the agitato
4) the 4 staves final part

I ended up learning the final 3 sections in parallel, after learning the first section, mostly because they are three entirely different techniques that all took me a long time to get working.

Keeping the manic alternating chords from getting ragged was probably the hardest part for me, along with making all of the jumps accurate in the 4 staves section.


It really is a great piece to learn - when else do you get to play at sffff level?
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#2191318 - 12/02/13 09:48 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 971
Loc: Italy
I managed to practice every day except yesterday. Such a beautiful sunny day in the country, picking kaki smile

- I have a first (digital) recording of the Tchaikovsky, at 110 bpm. I just sat down and recorded it, amazing! Then I tried with the metronome and couldn't hit a right note for the life of me. Will need to bring this to 120/130 and then record it on the acoustic, which (I know I repeat myself) sounds so much better! This week I will keep doing a short recording session every day, because I terribly need to get used to just play through something without stopping.

- Joplin. Ha! Still that B section. I can do it. It's almost there. I guess.

- Schumann's Melodie: I am finally learning it properly. I will keep working on the 2 trickier bars and on keeping my left hand soft.

- The Bischoff is definitely not a keeper, just a nice little exercise. And since Bach's BWV 939 is too infectious, I started a much easier Musette in G major which should be almost to tempo by the end of the week.

Oh, and the Xmas song. I'll have to spend more time on that, my violinist is making good progress! That thing no longer sounds like a cat being skinned alive.
_________________________
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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#2191492 - 12/02/13 03:26 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
ElleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 248
Loc: NJ, USA
Chopin Waltz in A minor --- adding the trills is messing up my rhythm. Not sure if there's improvement this week but I'll just keep at it and hope for the best.

Burgmuller Op 100 No 9 --- I've gone to memorize this piece, dynamics are ok, working increasing the tempo now.

Clementi Sonatina Op 36 No 1 --- Brushed up on the first movement. Started working on the 2nd movement this week, a lot easier than the 1st...so it seems. But I haven't shown my teacher yet, I'm sure she will have lots to say and I can't wait for her much needed critique.

Cristofori's Dream --- my hands & fingers are most certainly getting an exercise on reaching the octaves. I can reach an octave with no problem, the difficulty is having a series of them and it's hard to maintain that gap.
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Adult beginner since January 2013. My only regret is that I didn't learn sooner.

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#2191510 - 12/02/13 04:01 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: ElleC]
SwissMS Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 711
Loc: Switzerland
Things seem to be coming together better this week on everything, which is a surprise, because my over all practice time is down. Maybe there is a lesson in there somewhere.

Kuhlau Sonatina: The runs in the 1st movement are sounding more even, and I have improved on the fifth finger problem. I have sure learned a lot from this seemingly simple movement. I completed learning the Rondo in sections. Between the Alberti base, the runs, an fifth finger held while playing chords with the rest of the hand, this movement is going to be a good teacher too. This week I will continue to work problem sections and put it all together at 1/2 tempo.

Joplin Chrysanthemum: The C and D sections are finally coming together at slow tempo. This week I will work on finalizing memorization and focus on maintaining accuracy as the speed comes up.

Mendelssohn 30 6: This is in the "hold back and maintain accuracy" stage. I have managed to be disciplined enough to learn it without making errors for the most part. This is where my impatience usually leads me to playing to fast too soon. I should complete memorization of this one too.

Tchaikovsky March: OK, those 1/64th notes freak me out. In reality they are just played like a group of grace notes, or a little trill, but I am having trouble executing them and maintaining the rhythm. So this week I am focusing on mastering them and turning them into a bird call. It will happen.

Christmas carols: I received a new book "Christmas for All Time" that is really nice. I am familiarizing myself with pieces so I can play at family get togethers.
_________________________


Working on:
Handel - Allemande in A Minor
Bach - Inv. #14
Beethoven - Sonata #79 2nd mvmt
Kuhlau op. 88 - 3

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#2191855 - 12/03/13 11:32 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: SwissMS]
carlos88 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 86
Loc: Colorado
Signed up with a teacher, who has a harpsichord, and is very enthusiastic. First lesson is Saturday. Her scheduling is through takelessons.com, which I was a little leery about until reading the thread on it last month in the teachers forum.

Main focus this week is to prepare my current pieces for the initial teacher meeting (audition?!), when nervousness will make everything a lot worse.

Bach
----------
1. 1st 3 part invention (C major)
Playing through 5-10 times per day at a slightly slower speed to play in the lesson.

2. 2nd 3rd part invention (C minor)
Learning slowly with hands separate and hands together, and focusing on the 6 trouble sections (1-2 measures each). Each of these gets 5-20 repeats per night at different speeds.

Bach seems to throw in a new technique in a lot of the inventions. This one has:

while playing a trill with your 3rd and fourth fingers, play a second voice with your thumb using the same hand. Third voice is in the other hand.

This is the first piece I've ever had to do something like that, and my thumb is currently sounding like dropping an elephant on the keys while the trill is going on.


Debussy
------------
1. Prelude: The wine gate
Mostly wrapping up the notes, except for a run of thirds towards the end that I can't play fast enough.

2. Children's Corner: Serenade for the Doll
Memorizing, still working on the harder first two pages every night. It took a while to figure out how to play the grace note section at the start, which seems more like a bouncy, fling your hand at the keys kind of playing.

3. Suite Bergamasque: Prelude
Playing through 3-5 times a night plus 1 different focus section per day. I'll play this first for the lesson this week.


Others
------------
1. Tchaikovsky: The Seasons, December
Mostly learned, starting to memorize. I haven't played any waltzes before so that's been fun. The piece could have come straight from The Nutcracker, so it fits in with the season.

Still haven't figured out how to transition to the Trio section, which changes keys to B major from Ab.


2. Philip Glass: Mad Rush
Memorizing the coda section this week. Trying to minimize the thumb sounds in some sections, and trying to make the middle sections sound like waves crashing.

3. George Winston: Graduation, Lullaby, The Snowman's Music Box Dance
Mostly playing these in-between the Bach pieces during each practice session.
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#2192276 - 12/04/13 06:14 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 971
Loc: Italy
I have a couple of things to add.

I started the third and final section of my Maple Leaf Rag arrangement. This doesn't mean I have the B section done, but it's starting to sound like something familiar. And I'm still practicing the A section to make it smoother and faster. There is a four-octave run that wasn't good enough, so I just stopped and played it very slowly, and realized that my left hand wasn't in the right position at one point. I thought - okay, now I'll have to play it a thousand times slowly to correct this movement, but no! I played it once, then sped it up a bit, and it was still okay, and then faster and faster, and it was still right! Wow! So I just corrected the wrong movement like that. This has already happened to me a few times now, but never in such an obvious way. You gotta LOVE slow practice!

As for the Tchaikovsky, I am now playing it at 120 bpm, which is the minimum speed, and guess what? I no longer mess up the fast passagework, but the easier parts. Maybe I don't concentrate enough or it's just that I practiced the hard parts more. Now I'll have to balance that out.

So, a couple of self-teaching beginner realizations. Piano practice is always full of surprises.
_________________________
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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#2192315 - 12/04/13 08:09 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: sinophilia]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 503
Diana, your slow practice story is a good reminder. I need that reminder constantly.

My focus at the moment is to find a focus. I've been messing around with bits and pieces of random songs, and not even touching the piano for days at a time, since the ABF recital. Also, my daughter decided she doesn't want to sing O Come All Ye Faithful with me after all, and I don't have any interest in doing it solo.

If I start working on something for Feb 15th already, I'm liable to drive my family crazy in the interim. I may just focus on sight reading and fake book basics for a while.
_________________________
"...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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#2192347 - 12/04/13 09:57 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11647
Loc: Canada
My big goal was to get a handle on a healthy way of playing melody notes as opposed to chords, and move this to scales. When I self-taught as a teen, it was mostly Kuhlau sonatinas - so melody and Alberti bass (no chords i.e. notes played together). When I got back to piano before I had a teacher I thought scales were "safe" and spent 10 months heavily in scales. What I was doing was bad and entrenched: motionless hand where a penny wouldn't fall off, round fingers that kept that shape and went up and down like hammers. I got numb hands. The first thing I learned was how to use the wrists and arms and relax the hand for chords, but I didn't "have it" yet for melody notes. I literally didn't know how the fingers can move, and how this works together with the arm mechanism. I avoided music that had such notes. If there were melody notes, it was in slow music so that I could use the chord motion and just transport the fingers passively.

So that's what I'm getting a handle on now. In the last few weeks I've explored how a finger can relax in all its joints, and that the three joints can actually move. I've put a finger on a key and then swished the hand around in a circle, getting the joints and wrist to move. I've rotated the hand and forearm along the axis, and other things; gradually stuff started to unlock.

My big achievement: Itsy Bitsy Spider, in slow speed, accompanied by whole note chords. I got through the whole piece without ever having a moment where any finger felt like it was seizing up or turning into a piece of wood, for even a microsecond. It took huge concentration.

Itsy was partly correct, and partly I had the wrong concept, so back to the drawing board. The next piece was also a beginner piece, this one in Cm so I had one black key. This time I noticed tension in part of the arm. I'd been shown a way of relaxing the arm and flopping it into your lap - got that sensation and the whole thing came together. I got a "bye Jove, she's got it" type of response.

2. Debussy's Feuilles mortes (Dead Leaves) is a piece that I get at, up to my level, and leave again. I went at parts of it once before, and visited it now for a few days, a year later. I was especially interested in the melody-type notes where they occur, to practice what I had just learned. My reading improved, and so did "theory". It was easier to get a handle on augmented chords. Feuilles has a lot of a kind of cluster chord that is spaced in major 2nds (like CDE), moves along a whole tone scale, and it's chock full of augmented chords. I'm leaving it aside again, until I get more technique.

So there's Itsy Bitsy Spider and Debussy.

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#2192377 - 12/04/13 11:38 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5497
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
carlos88 - sfff! That's great. Even forte has been a long time coming for me - I was your local wimp piano player until just recently smile Good for you!

sinophilia - what a nice read! How cool that you "got it in one". i can't tell you how many times I slowed down this last couple of weeks on pieces I've been playing 3 or 4 years, to figure out exactly what was going on (yet again), and it paid off - I was totally out of it for a gig, but played pretty well any way!

SwissMS - When I was ski racing and something finally came a little easier without me noticing that I had done anything to make it happen I called it "grace" smile It's such a nice experience - one of Diana's little surprises. I always like your insights, too.

Mr Tall - post season let-down? smile I get like that sometimes, too. Enjoy the time off laugh

And yes, for me, the slow practice, the awareness of detail, etc, really did pay off in a gig yesterday. I knew going in I was pretty fragmented, so I didn't expect much (which, in itself, is a good thing to remember - expectations will kill you laugh ), and even tho one of the residents spit on me/the keyboard (at least they aren't drunk bar patrons) which was distracting - hmpf - and I cut short the gig by about 10 minutes by leaving out a couple of pieces, I played really well! Even forte in a couple of appropriate places!

So soldier on, all, there are good times ahead! laugh

This is a great thread -

Cathy
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#2192416 - 12/04/13 12:54 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: keystring]
carlos88 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 86
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: keystring


2. Debussy's Feuilles mortes (Dead Leaves) is a piece that I get at, up to my level, and leave again. I went at parts of it once before, and visited it now for a few days, a year later. I was especially interested in the melody-type notes where they occur, to practice what I had just learned. My reading improved, and so did "theory". It was easier to get a handle on augmented chords. Feuilles has a lot of a kind of cluster chord that is spaced in major 2nds (like CDE), moves along a whole tone scale, and it's chock full of augmented chords. I'm leaving it aside again, until I get more technique.

So there's Itsy Bitsy Spider and Debussy.



Feuilles mortes is fascinating to listen to, and is one of the next 6 Debussy preludes I'd like to learn next year.

Your analysis is quite interesting - in my first attempt at sight reading it, it seemed like a completely alien language, and I didn't initially grasp any of the underlying patterns in the sheet music.
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