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#2222501 - 01/29/14 12:12 PM How to practice trills
Danijelcro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 71
Loc: Croatia
I have problem of playing some fast thrillers, is there any book or some exercise for improve thrillers?
Any advise will also be good


Edited by Danijelcro (01/29/14 12:27 PM)

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#2222508 - 01/29/14 12:17 PM Re: How to practice thrillers [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
What do you mean by "thrillers?" Pianistic pyrotechnics?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2222511 - 01/29/14 12:23 PM Re: How to practice thrillers [Re: Danijelcro]
Danijelcro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 71
Loc: Croatia
When you have over a note sign Tr (or like Bach have his own signs for his thrillers)

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#2222512 - 01/29/14 12:24 PM Re: How to practice thrillers [Re: Danijelcro]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Trills.

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#2222515 - 01/29/14 12:27 PM Re: How to practice thrillers [Re: Danijelcro]
Danijelcro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 71
Loc: Croatia
yeah sorry i made a mistake when was writing post I met trills yes

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#2222517 - 01/29/14 12:29 PM Re: How to practice thrillers [Re: Danijelcro]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Are you throllering?

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#2222521 - 01/29/14 12:33 PM Re: How to practice thrillers [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
I would recommend practicing them by just alternating between two notes, slowly at first, and then very gradually increasing the tempo, say by a metronome notch every 10 seconds. When you get to a point where the trill becomes uneven, stop, go back a few notches, and practice it at that speed until you can do it cleanly and evenly however high you want it. Once you learn the measured trill, then attempt the unmeasured one.

Click to reveal..
They can be quite thricky, but I'm sure if you thry hard enough you'll master them in the end.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2222524 - 01/29/14 12:37 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5524
Slow, even, and rhythmic. Then build up speed. No rushing.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2222525 - 01/29/14 12:38 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
JoelW Offline
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA

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#2222559 - 01/29/14 01:10 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
phantomFive Offline
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Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1770
Loc: California
Hanon could help. Several of the exercises are titled 'preparation for the trill'


Edited by phantomFive (01/29/14 01:11 PM)
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2222560 - 01/29/14 01:10 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Starting slow and building up speed is a terribly inefficient way to acquire trills. This is because trilling uses the interossei muscles of the hand in order to isolate the movements from affecting the wrist. This means that trilling has a very specific sensation that is best acquired not by building up tempo, but simply by "note dropping".

Practice a quick alteration of just two notes. Do this until it is fleeting, easy, even, and you can feel freedom in the wrist (freedom in the wrist means you are correctly activating the interossei muscles). Then do this with three notes, and so forth. This is the quickest and most efficient way to acquire trills. You'll find the sensation very quickly and the rest will follow.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2222565 - 01/29/14 01:22 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18287
Loc: Victoria, BC
Whatever method you use, whether it be gradually increasing speed or whether it be "note dropping" as Atrys calls it, make sure that at some point you are grouping (accenting) your trills in odd number of notes. That way, the accent isn't always coming on the same note in the trill; this will help even out the execution .

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2222567 - 01/29/14 01:28 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: BruceD]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: BruceD
make sure that at some point you are grouping (accenting) your trills in odd number of notes. That way, the accent isn't always coming on the same note in the trill; this will help even out the execution .

This is completely true and very important. I should have mentioned: when acquiring the trill by incrementing the number of alterations, make sure you can play the current number of alterations evenly by starting the trill on either of the fingers.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2222570 - 01/29/14 01:36 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
The methods discussed at ~6:10 (sparing the anecdote start at ~7:35) in this video are the most scientifically-aligned and effective methods of acquiring the trill that I've seen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANaWudjhJkw
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2222599 - 01/29/14 02:29 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Great advice here. I'll add - stay completely relaxed and if possible, trill from your wrist rather than from your fingers - like the motion you use when opening a door knob.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2222664 - 01/29/14 04:20 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
ScriabinAddict Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 335
Trills (for me anyways) = relaxation + weight transfer + wrist at the height of your knuckles. They'll get better with time as you become more relaxed. Working on your finger independence can help a bit (i.e. through dohnanyi, liszt exercises, hannon etc.).

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#2222676 - 01/29/14 04:38 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19640
Loc: New York City
I love Friedrich Gulda's Aria:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m017xsXZTNc&feature=related

but could not quite master the trills. Maybe I'll try again in the future.

If anyone is interested in the score, please send me a PM with your email address.

A few basic questions:

1. I tend to do a lot of trills with alternating fingers(forgot the name for this kind of trill)e.g. 13231323. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this fingering?

2. What are some causes for trill breakdown? By this I mean the trill starts out quite well but eventually the fingers get "stuck" and kind of stop.


Edited by pianoloverus (01/29/14 04:41 PM)

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#2222694 - 01/29/14 05:00 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
The really difficult thing to do well is playing a trill while carrying a melody with other fingers of the same hand. I've just started practicing the Beethoven 106 - finally - and there is quite a bit of that, and it's a pain in the rear...
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2222697 - 01/29/14 05:07 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
anrpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 174
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The really difficult thing to do well is playing a trill while carrying a melody with other fingers of the same hand. I've just started practicing the Beethoven 106 - finally - and there is quite a bit of that, and it's a pain in the rear...


I think this is the piece which puts to bed all trill problems. All the fingers get their turns while the rest of the hand is usually quite occupied. Fun stuff.
_________________________
Andrew Remillard
http://www.ANRPiano.com
http://www.AndrewRemillard.com
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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#2222713 - 01/29/14 05:36 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
And the trills aren't even the hardest thing in the fugue, which in terms of technical difficulty is total insanity. And let's not even get started on the musical difficulty.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2222732 - 01/29/14 06:33 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
anrpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 174
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
And the trills aren't even the hardest thing in the fugue, which in terms of technical difficulty is total insanity. And let's not even get started on the musical difficulty.


But worth every one of those hundreds of hours! Time, extremely well spent.
_________________________
Andrew Remillard
http://www.ANRPiano.com
http://www.AndrewRemillard.com
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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#2222749 - 01/29/14 06:59 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
There must be better ways to spend time than studying the Hammerklavier sonata. However, just now I can't think of what they are.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2222759 - 01/29/14 07:15 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
There must be better ways to spend time than studying the Hammerklavier sonata. However, just now I can't think of what they are.

Suggestion: Spend more time with the score away from the piano. You can notice all kinds of helpful things that you'll miss when actually playing.

-J
_________________________
Schubert Immersion: Bb Impromptu; C# minor and Ab Moments Musicaux; accompanying four songs (Suleika II, Rastlose Liebe, Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Im Fruhling); listening intensely to Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise

Chopin: first Ballade; Mozart: D minor concerto;

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#2222762 - 01/29/14 07:20 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
How did that follow?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2222780 - 01/29/14 08:11 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The really difficult thing to do well is playing a trill while carrying a melody with other fingers of the same hand. I've just started practicing the Beethoven 106 - finally - and there is quite a bit of that, and it's a pain in the rear...
I've encountered that in the Chopin Barcarolle and in the Waldstein. Practicing below tempo with measured trills, then gradually speeding up broke the barrier. For double trills - same thing.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2223216 - 01/30/14 03:03 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
slava_richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 164
Loc: Providence, RI
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The really difficult thing to do well is playing a trill while carrying a melody with other fingers of the same hand. I've just started practicing the Beethoven 106 - finally - and there is quite a bit of that, and it's a pain in the rear...


Late Beethoven is the apotheosis of the trill. Treacherous difficulties in Op. 106, 109, and 111. I think the worst of it is in Op. 106 first movement, where you have to play octaves around the trills. Even when listening to Gilels, you hear a very slight hiccup before each octave where he has to stop trilling momentarily to play the octaves. Op. 109 has its brutal difficulty where you have to do trill+melody in both hands; Op. 106 also has this in the first movement. I'm toying with the idea of learning Op. 111 but I first have to see about those trills at the end...

Speaking of which, how do people generally play these trill+melody passages? Do you play the melody note 'in-between' the trill notes, or do you play the melody note together with one of the trill notes and just bring it out? I've been practicing it the former way. In some pieces - the trill+octave in Op. 106, or in Op. 109 where the melody is a 10th away from the trill - I don't see any other choice. Even when reach is not an issue, I find that it sounds much better when the melody note is played 'in-between' the trill notes.

In response to the OP, as others have stated, the hand must be completely free, especially the knuckles where the fingers meet the hand. Otherwise, you will lock up after a while (the length of this 'while' depends on how tense you are). If the hand and knuckles are perfectly free, you should be able to keep trilling without any unevenness or locking up.

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#2223219 - 01/30/14 03:14 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: slava_richter]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: slava_richter
Speaking of which, how do people generally play these trill+melody passages? Do you play the melody note 'in-between' the trill notes, or do you play the melody note together with one of the trill notes and just bring it out? I've been practicing it the former way. In some pieces - the trill+octave in Op. 106, or in Op. 109 where the melody is a 10th away from the trill - I don't see any other choice. Even when reach is not an issue, I find that it sounds much better when the melody note is played 'in-between' the trill notes.

I never play the trill note simultaneously with the melody note, even if it's feasible reach-wise. I just don't have the technique for it, and the approximation (leaving the trill note out when the melody sounds) sounds very very good.

I'm influenced here by my teacher, who takes the view that all music is a sequence of aural illusions, and focusing extensively on playing every black dot exactly as written is often not the best approach for most of us.

-Jason
_________________________
Schubert Immersion: Bb Impromptu; C# minor and Ab Moments Musicaux; accompanying four songs (Suleika II, Rastlose Liebe, Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Im Fruhling); listening intensely to Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise

Chopin: first Ballade; Mozart: D minor concerto;

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#2223221 - 01/30/14 03:21 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: slava_richter]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: slava_richter
I'm toying with the idea of learning Op. 111...

Unless you are absolutely committed and sure, AND have the immense requisite musical capacity, you will butcher it. Please don't play it unless you really feel you want and need to. One does not simply "toy with the idea" of playing late Beethoven sonatas.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2223229 - 01/30/14 03:43 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Is Op. 111 his greatest sonata?

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#2223244 - 01/30/14 04:35 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
slava_richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 164
Loc: Providence, RI
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: slava_richter
I'm toying with the idea of learning Op. 111...

Unless you are absolutely committed and sure, AND have the immense requisite musical capacity, you will butcher it. Please don't play it unless you really feel you want and need to. One does not simply "toy with the idea" of playing late Beethoven sonatas.


You're absolutely right. Perhaps the word 'toy' is a poor choice since it suggests a lack of seriousness. What I really mean is that I am indecisive: I badly *want* to play it and if I chose to do so, I would be committed, but I fear all of the things you have mentioned (having the musical and technical capacity, not butchering it, etc.). I think that my fear of butchering it will probably keep me from starting work on it (this has happened in the past as well). It's too sacred a work.

I don't like to make statements of 'greatest' anything in music, but Op. 111 is my favorite piano sonata in the entire literature, not just by Beethoven. So in that sense, according to me, yes, it's the greatest of his (and everyone else's) sonatas!

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