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#2169877 - 10/22/13 04:22 AM Re: Scherzo 4 help [Re: JoelW]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Slow practice, slow practice and slow practice... and concentration (which is something you must train yourself to do). The inconsistency you're experiencing isn't from some mental "block", but because the physical aspect isn't there yet. When we "get it" part of the time and "know" we can do it and the rest of the time we're frustrated, because we can't replicate what we've done when successful, it means that we don't know exactly what needs to be done yet to properly execute said passage. We're only guessing. This is where a good teacher pays off in dividends. We need to learn, and learn how to employ, the proper technique for said passage and mentally learn how to concentrate our focus so that we consistently do the same thing each time we're presented with said challenge.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

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#2169912 - 10/22/13 07:57 AM Re: Scherzo 4 help [Re: stores]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10747
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: stores
Slow practice, slow practice and slow practice... and concentration (which is something you must train yourself to do). The inconsistency you're experiencing isn't from some mental "block", but because the physical aspect isn't there yet. When we "get it" part of the time and "know" we can do it and the rest of the time we're frustrated, because we can't replicate what we've done when successful, it means that we don't know exactly what needs to be done yet to properly execute said passage. We're only guessing. This is where a good teacher pays off in dividends. We need to learn, and learn how to employ, the proper technique for said passage and mentally learn how to concentrate our focus so that we consistently do the same thing each time we're presented with said challenge.
This is a great explanation of how the physical and the mental are so tied together. Playing piano is a physical act, but we first have to wrap our minds completely around what we need to do physically. That doesn't mean we micro-manage every physical component - that tends to be slow and stiff at best. But understand the parts that we play consciously and letting the unconscious parts go. If you don't completely understand it, you may have success now and then but not be able to replicate it every time. It is really important to process after the fact how something felt, to analyze what you did - and better, when you try again and it fails, to analyze what was different and why it failed.

I agree, having a teacher is so valuable for these things.
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#2169997 - 10/22/13 11:27 AM Re: Scherzo 4 help [Re: Morodiene]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19292
Loc: New York
....and IMO what it shows is the divergent ways of seeing this, and how one can possibly miss the boat if he just dismisses one of them.

Most here approached it as though it's primarily a technical thing. I'm saying it's hardly that at all. You're tying the ideas together nicely. I think that for most people who have a problem like what Joel described, all the slow practice or fast practice or medium practice in the world wouldn't straighten it out unless he also realized aspects of the passage like the ones that were noted. It would enable him to play it better, but not totally reliably, plus it would be a much less efficient approach.

I'm not saying it's necessarily right to look at it mainly this other way (although I think so) grin i.e. that it's mainly a failure to grasp that what's going on in the passage is deceptively confusing -- but I'm saying that it's a big mistake to dismiss this. It's at least a useful additional approach -- to wonder, why is this passage giving me so much trouble, and that sometimes it's conceptual things about the passage that one hasn't been realizing.

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#2170198 - 10/22/13 05:53 PM Re: Scherzo 4 help [Re: JoelW]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2594
Loc: Netherlands
Having practised, played and performed the Scherzi quite a lot, I must say that your problems with the ascending/descending chordprogressions as you mentioned bewilder me a bit, the whole problem of the 4th Scherzo shouldn't be in being able to play those accurately, it's much more in the the 'asides' that the problem lurks, and in maintaining a basic tempo for the whole piece, even in the first half of the coda, the sunny trills that even might evoke Siegfried's Waldvogel...If you have trouble in playing the chordprogressions, well, do try a bit of Saint-Saens's 2nd concerto, 2dn mov, or even Pierné's concerto, and concentrate on the trills in thirds, those are rather difficult to keep even and soft, harder than all those chords and all those tricky rubs up and downs that have to sound so lightweight.
_________________________
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Chopin op.28/20/31/39/54

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#2170203 - 10/22/13 05:57 PM Re: Scherzo 4 help [Re: dolce sfogato]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4149
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Having practised, played and performed the Scherzi quite a lot, I must say that your problems with the ascending/descending chordprogressions as you mentioned bewilder me a bit, the whole problem of the 4th Scherzo shouldn't be in being able to play those accurately, it's much more in the the 'asides' that the problem lurks, and in maintaining a basic tempo for the whole piece, even in the first half of the coda, the sunny trills that even might evoke Siegfried's Waldvogel...If you have trouble in playing the chordprogressions, well, do try a bit of Saint-Saens's 2nd concerto, 2dn mov, or even Pierné's concerto, and concentrate on the trills in thirds, those are rather difficult to keep even and soft, harder than all those chords and all those tricky rubs up and downs that have to sound so lightweight.


But I don't have a problem with that stuff. The thirds trills are easy for me and all of the runs are relatively easy except for a certain one and the ascending half of the run in the codetta, but those just take metronome work for me to get faster. I was making good progress with those. The descending chords are seriously the hardest part of the whole piece for me.

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#2170256 - 10/22/13 08:00 PM Re: Scherzo 4 help [Re: JoelW]
pianist.ame Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1164
Loc: Singapore
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Having practised, played and performed the Scherzi quite a lot, I must say that your problems with the ascending/descending chordprogressions as you mentioned bewilder me a bit, the whole problem of the 4th Scherzo shouldn't be in being able to play those accurately, it's much more in the the 'asides' that the problem lurks, and in maintaining a basic tempo for the whole piece, even in the first half of the coda, the sunny trills that even might evoke Siegfried's Waldvogel...If you have trouble in playing the chordprogressions, well, do try a bit of Saint-Saens's 2nd concerto, 2dn mov, or even Pierné's concerto, and concentrate on the trills in thirds, those are rather difficult to keep even and soft, harder than all those chords and all those tricky rubs up and downs that have to sound so lightweight.


But I don't have a problem with that stuff. The thirds trills are easy for me and all of the runs are relatively easy except for a certain one and the ascending half of the run in the codetta, but those just take metronome work for me to get faster. I was making good progress with those. The descending chords are seriously the hardest part of the whole piece for me.


Like I said, practice those descending chords legato. That's the advice I got from my mentor when learning the Scherzo and up till now I still practice it that way.

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#2170260 - 10/22/13 08:04 PM Re: Scherzo 4 help [Re: JoelW]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4149
Okay I will.

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