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#2206411 - 01/01/14 03:00 PM help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...)
Lorcar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/12
Posts: 34
hello everyone and happy new year.
I am studying the first little prelude 924
and having trouble with fingering at bars 11-13, where there is a wider gap in RH between finger 5 and 3

http://erato.uvt.nl/files/imglnks/usimg/d/d2/IMSLP03292-Bach_-_BGA_-_BWV_924.pdf

any suggestion/tip?

thanks in advance

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#2206419 - 01/01/14 03:13 PM Re: help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...) [Re: Lorcar]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Which group specifically are you having trouble with?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2206481 - 01/01/14 04:54 PM Re: help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...) [Re: Lorcar]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Assuming it's the 3rd beat, C-F? First, stop on the C. Look at your hand. If it's very far to the left, so that you're reaching for the C, you'll have a hard time getting back to the F (mostly because your hand isn't prepped to move that way). If that's the case, get your hand all the way over to the C so you can move back to the F.

If you have a tough time with that, you can also sub 212 for the FED, as long as you're okay with a 2-5 from D to B.

If you can post a video, we might be able to better-diagnose the issue. My first response was a best-guess, but there are other things that could be giving you trouble.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2206580 - 01/01/14 08:17 PM Re: help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...) [Re: Lorcar]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2397
Loc: Virginia, USA
Like others I need a little more detail about what is specifically tripping you up.

I will say that one of my problems, now corrected, was that I would leave my pinky tense on the top note, after it had finish playing, nasty tension all around. Releasing and letting the hand settle to a natural position gets rid of that and makes the stretch less of a problem.
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Scarlatti - Sonata in D minor, K. 213

Kawai K3

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#2206830 - 01/02/14 10:49 AM Re: help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...) [Re: Andy Platt]
Lorcar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/12
Posts: 34
thank you guys. I think you already helped me. I have to move the hand more, cant pretend to do everything with fingers only, have to move the wrist, going up towards C or B, then down closer to F or E.

I guess the trick here is always the same: repeat repeat and repeat again...

how do you memorize a piece like this, still dont know...

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#2206869 - 01/02/14 12:32 PM Re: help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...) [Re: Lorcar]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2397
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Lorcar
thank you guys. I think you already helped me. I have to move the hand more, cant pretend to do everything with fingers only, have to move the wrist, going up towards C or B, then down closer to F or E.

I guess the trick here is always the same: repeat repeat and repeat again...

how do you memorize a piece like this, still dont know...


I find baroque fairly hard to memorize, compared to classical, because it's harder to analyze harmonically. But I do try to analyze it harmonically, also look at patterns - there is often repetition and sequences that will help.

For many of us, nothing bits repetition though the more "non playing" memory you can do, the stronger the memory will be. I'm soon going to be tackling one of Bach's French suites (haven't decided which one) and that is going to be a major part of the difficulty - remembering it all.
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Scarlatti - Sonata in D minor, K. 213

Kawai K3

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#2206879 - 01/02/14 12:45 PM Re: help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...) [Re: Lorcar]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1006
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Hands differ, so I don't know if this is a problem for you, but one spot where I wouldn't use 5-3 is the second beat of m13, F# to C. I'd try 15212521 for beats 2 to 3 there.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#2206914 - 01/02/14 01:53 PM Re: help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...) [Re: Lorcar]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: Lorcar
how do you memorize a piece like this, still dont know...
Patterns and changes of pattern. Notice the first measures are all groups of four notes. The more each group means to you the easier it is to remember them. Look for patterns between the groups, how the first notes of each group move, how the last two notes of each group move, etc.

In the meantime start with the first group of four notes plus the first note of the next group. Read the notes from the score, name them, look at the keys, play them in your head, think what finger you're using on each, play the notes, close your eyes, name them again, play them in you head, activate each finger in your lap, play them again, repeat as necessary. Practise these five notes until you can play them from memory then move on the next group of four and include the first note of the next group. Work these first four groups to the end of the measure then start on the next measure.

You might work up one measure at a time up to M8 (the first chord of M9) and then repeat working two groups at a time. Repeat with three or four groups at a time and so on.

When you start working one measure at a time you might start with just the five bass notes first, then add just the first note of each RH group before adding the remainder.

I would treat the piece as two separate and distinct sections, M1-8(9) and M9-17 until I could play each from memory.

The second half will be easier if you emphasise the beat at the start of each group, so don't accent any of the first three notes in M9 - or strongly emphasise the pause with a head nod, foot tap or similar.

You might remember the groups more easily as extensions of the bass note, as chords leading to the last note (of each group), as a progression of arpeggiated block chords, as movements of individual notes or even just as sound that you can effectively play by ear as long as you can remember how the tune goes. Your memory will get better with use, with experience, with theory and understanding, with practise at pattern recognition, etc.

Keep working only with as much as you can remember (or less) at a time.

Originally Posted By: Lorcar
I guess the trick here is always the same: repeat repeat and repeat again...
If you just keep playing it until you can play it from memory that's muscle memory and it isn't reliable. If you know each note that's cognisant memory. It's hard work, thinking and knowing, but it's pretty much bulletproof in performance. The trick, then is repeat, think, repeat, think...

The advantage is that you can do just the thinking away from the piano and improve just as much as if you were actually playing.
_________________________
Richard

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#2206935 - 01/02/14 02:20 PM Re: help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...) [Re: Lorcar]
Lorcar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/12
Posts: 34
RIchard,

thanks a lot, what you write makes a lot of sense.
But as a 38yo who started playing again a year ago, and with just 1 hour a day to practice, it seems them memorizing is too much work. This would mean for me staying on the same piece months and months, while at this stage I think it would be beneficial for me to study as many pieces as possible, even without memorizing them

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#2206942 - 01/02/14 02:34 PM Re: help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...) [Re: Lorcar]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Lorcar, I mostly agree with you (but then again, I hate memorization, so I would). It is useful to practice reading music as well as memorizing, and to work on lots of pieces. However, even though I hate memorizing, I think it's useful to learn how to memorize, and have some memorized pieces, so you might choose an easy piece to work on memorizing, as you continue playing lots of other pieces. I'm thinking of doing this myself (I go in fits and starts with my motivation for memorizing; I'm emerging from a long hiatus into wanting to work on it again). I'm thinking of starting with something *really* easy -- from the simplest levels of my method books, for example. This is because I think learning how to memorize is probably best done by starting simple and working up, just as learning to play the piano works that way (imo).
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2207060 - 01/02/14 06:14 PM Re: help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...) [Re: Lorcar]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Four groups of four notes at 30 seconds a group is two minutes a measure. You might memorise four measures in ten minutes doing M1 in two minutes, M1-2 by five minutes, M2-3 by seven minutes and M3-4 by ten minutes. If you're struggling, just do two measure a day in five minutes. I'm assuming you've either overcome any technical hurdles or you're going slowly enough that they aren't an issue.

If you start Monday you might add a measure each day and get to M9 by Friday.

The second week just run twice a day through whatever you can remember without the score and no more than that; less than a minute a day.

Repeat the learning again on the third week. You should be quicker second time through, say eight minutes a day. The fourth week just run twice through whatever you can remember without the score, again less than a minute a day.

Repeat until you can run though all eight measures for the non-score week then start on the second half as a separate entity and just use the weekends to run two or three times a day through the first eight measures.

If you've made no progress after a month you can give up with a clear conscience and will have spent no more than ten minutes a day. But if you start on January 6, you'll have learnt something about yourself by February 3.
_________________________
Richard

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#2207284 - 01/03/14 04:44 AM Re: help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...) [Re: zrtf90]
Lorcar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/12
Posts: 34
thanks really a lot again

so I guess it's like memorizing a poetry?
The goal is remembering the exact notes and being able to "tell" (without the score) the piece like "C G C E E G C E...."? or muscle memory still has to play a role and one needs the actual keyboard?

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#2207309 - 01/03/14 07:03 AM Re: help fingering (5-3 RH too wide...) [Re: Lorcar]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
It's a combination of things, Lorcar.

I like to be able to sing a piece in my head, from memory, before I start learning it at the piano.

In Bar 1, the left hand is knocking out a C major triad with an octave drop at the end and in Bar 2 it's doing the same thing with D minor. In RH the C major inversion falls from E to D before jumping up to G major. In the second measure the fall is from the G to F to E before the jump up to A minor. That's enough for me to be able to play these two measures from memory in C or transpose it on the fly to G major or another familiar key whether I'm at the piano, at my desk in the office or stopped at traffic lights.

This is why many use harmonic analysis before starting work. It makes it easier to remember and easier to find patterns.

Up to bar 8 the left hand is playing a melody with chordal accompaniment the way I'd play it on guitar taking the melody with the thumb and picking chords with i,m,a all leading to the dominant G. The falling progression (the upper note of each group) is another memorable progression. The inner notes I'd probably rely on finger memory until they'd all been learnt.

The first note of each RH group is also a memorable line and for memorising this piece I'd play the bass melody with just this first RH note as accompaniment before adding the other two notes either as another two notes or as a simple RH block chord (or both).

The advantage of the block chord approach is that your hand learns to move from one chord to the next in a snap instead of finger by finger. This is useful when you start playing larger arpeggios in bigger pieces. Remember that the trick for chord playing is not practising the chord itself but the move to it. Compare BWV 999. It's really easy on page 1 where the patterns change gently but in the second half where the hand has to start leaping it's a different matter.

Again in the second half the first note of each measure forms a memorable melody (and pattern) from M11 and a simple three note accompaniment which also has a memorable upper note pattern I can use before adding the inner two.

There is also a fingering change from 5-3-2-1 to 5-1-2-1 which would be easy for me to develop into a simple scale descent technical exercise to facilitate learning this in both legato and staccato with a very relaxed hand after each note.

You can do it all by finger memory, which is a cue system, but if you make a mistake all your cues are thrown and you 'fall apart'. If you 'know' the right notes and have practised starting at every beat in the piece any mistakes you make are lost at the end of that beat and you're back on track. In many cases the audience don't even notice these slips and few can remember them at the end of the performance (I sometimes can't remember if I've screwed up myself if I haven't recorded it).
_________________________
Richard

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