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#2258666 - 04/08/14 12:55 PM Help on Ave Maria
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1202
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Hello fellow PW members, I need some help on how to approach Ave Maria. I find the some arpeggios in Bb difficult, because in that key you have to squeeze the fingers in between black and white keys more often.

What is the best approach, start with the arpeggios very slowly, and try to get the transitions right, then do the same at more speed?

I'm not even close to achieving hands together, because the piece has triplets (kind of "sixlets") in the bass, but the notes in the treble are of various lengths and the beats come in between the triplet notes of the bass. I find it very hard.

Edit For notes and videos, the website below, scroll down to MEDIUM LEVEL, the second last piece on that list. Thanks in advance.

http://freesheetpianomusic.com/


Edited by TheodorN (04/08/14 12:58 PM)
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#2258682 - 04/08/14 01:36 PM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12056
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Guess it should be noted that it is the 2nd Ave Maria (Schubert) not the Bach/Gounod.

You have to work on putting 3 vs. 2 when putting the hands together. Before doing that, I recommend blocking the arpeggios in the LH (playing all the notes at one time) first. If you encounter a pattern that it not possible to play all at once due to an awkward stretch, splits it up into halves with the two lowest notes followed by the upper two.
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#2258708 - 04/08/14 02:52 PM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1202
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Thank you Morodiene, will try this. I found out it helps to count for the right hand six beats in the beginning, of which the first is a rest. I count 1, 2, 3, up and down, because the fourth beat is the last one on the way up and after that you're making a turn, playing down again. It helps me remembering the arpeggios, otherwise I tend to start on the first note again, after reaching the top note.

I have some pain in my left shoulder now, so I can only sit for a few minutes at a time, at the piano, not good, but hopefully I'll get better.
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#2258875 - 04/08/14 09:48 PM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12056
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I always feel this in 6/8 time where you feel tow very strong beats on 1 and 4, except given that you have 2 sextuplets in a measure it's more like 12/8, but still...putting the 3 vs. two is a tricky thing and perhaps an arrangement of a vocal song is not the best one to cut your teeth on with this particular skill. Be sure you've done enough work on going from triplet 8ths to even 8ths for example to get an idea of how the counting of each works individually, fitting into one beat.

Do a search on this site for 3 vs. 2 or triplets vs 8ths or something to that effect - I know it's been covered a lot.

Do *not* try to do hands together just yet. Your body being so tense is a big warning sign to you that you're going too fast too too. Keep it simple for now until you can be good at it.
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#2258898 - 04/08/14 11:32 PM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1202
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
I found this video sort of by accident, by visiting a site I had bookmarked earlier.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF5CLjNa2lU

It's quite simple, though it probably takes considerable practice to get it fluently. Just count from one to six, play the triplets on beats 1, 3, and 5, but the two notes of normal length on beats 1 and 4.

This YouTube channel has loads of other valuable videos, and seems to be something I was looking for. It has very good tutorials on the Moonlight Sonata. I recommend it very much, this may be something a lot of beginning and intermediate pianists are looking for.

You're right, I'm nowhere near ready for hands together. Those arpeggios are complicated enough, and the transitions between different chords. I've hardly practised anything in B-flat major, and my fingers keep sliding off to neighbor notes. Although this piece seems like a good practice in exactly that key.

Still, I've been wondering if I should put it aside, for the above mentioned reasons, and concentrate on the easier keys, C, G, F and D major. How can I tell if I'm not ready for a song?


Edited by TheodorN (04/08/14 11:39 PM)
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#2258944 - 04/09/14 02:47 AM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1396
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: TheodorN
. . . How can I tell if I'm not ready for a song?


A few indicators:

. . . You cry, regularly, when you're frustrated by it.
. . . (Occasional crying is normal.<g>)

. . . No matter how slowly you play it, you can't get it right.

. . . You can get it right at a very slow tempo, but you
. . . can't play it any faster after hours and
. . . hours of practice.

One thing a teacher can do for you, is to say:

. . . "That one is too hard. Wait a while before trying it."

Note that "too hard _now_" doesn't mean "too hard _forever_".

I don't like that video. There's a good idea in it - one hand on the keyboard, one hand tapping. But it doesn't give you the _general rule_ for figuring out "N against M" rhythms:

. . . Find the least common multiple (LCM) of N and M;
. . . . . For 2 and 3, LCM is 6.
. . . . . For 3 and 4, LCM is 12.

Then divide each pattern repetition into LCM beats.

Each individual part (either N notes, or M notes) will fall _exactly_ on a count of the LCM division.

You learn the polyrhythm like that, counting LCM beats, _very slowly_. And then you speed it up, _very gradually_.

I can show you how to do this in person, faster than I can write it down here.

I bet that "learning polyrhythms", on Youtube, will get you some hits. Many will be for drummers -- they have exactly the same problem as pianists.

. Charles

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#2258948 - 04/09/14 02:59 AM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1202
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Charles, I'm arriving at the conclusion, that in spite of the good help I'm getting on Piano World and all over cyberspace, being under the wing of a teacher, is a no-brainer. It's just that the current financial situation won't allow it. I'm even considering taking piano along with music theory as a full time study and get a musical degree. I'm becoming that much interested in music, just about every other profession bores me.

I have a pretty good idea how I'll tackle this polyrhythm issue now, but if the individual sections of Ave Maria prove to be such a stumbling block, that your descriptions apply, I'll put Schubert in the drawer. Hopefully I'll be able to swallow my pride. cool


Edited by TheodorN (04/09/14 03:16 AM)
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#2258999 - 04/09/14 07:07 AM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1396
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
. . .
Do *not* try to do hands together just yet. Your body being so tense is a big warning sign to you that you're going too fast too too. Keep it simple for now until you can be good at it.


+1.

You're trying to tackle two problems at once -- the 6-against-4 rhythm, and getting the LH arpeggios working smoothly. That's really hard to do. Pick one, and work on it.

My pick would be to learn the LH patterns until you could do them without thinking, and without getting physically stressed. When you're secure, slow it down, and add the RH part.

Developing technique is a slow process. There's no shame in saying:

. . . I can't play it, yet.

Tim Richards has a good book -- "Improvising Blues Piano". His practice instructions _always_ specify "First, learn the LH part by memory."

That's easy for a blues pattern, not so easy for Schubert!<G>

. Charles

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#2259025 - 04/09/14 08:27 AM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12056
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: TheodorN
Charles, I'm arriving at the conclusion, that in spite of the good help I'm getting on Piano World and all over cyberspace, being under the wing of a teacher, is a no-brainer. It's just that the current financial situation won't allow it. I'm even considering taking piano along with music theory as a full time study and get a musical degree. I'm becoming that much interested in music, just about every other profession bores me.

I have a pretty good idea how I'll tackle this polyrhythm issue now, but if the individual sections of Ave Maria prove to be such a stumbling block, that your descriptions apply, I'll put Schubert in the drawer. Hopefully I'll be able to swallow my pride. cool


There are two issues with this piece you've chosen. One, it's an arrangement of a piece intended for solo voice and piano, so the arranger has tried to condense it into solo piano. Some arrangers are better than others, but you can't get past the fact that you are doing double-duty. Two, it's presenting you with too many challenges all at once - key, complexity, and polyrhythms - that you're not ready to tackle at one time. Pick one of these aspects (I recommend finding easier pieces in B-flat and D major keys) and learn to do that well.
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#2259067 - 04/09/14 10:44 AM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1202
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Charles, I've been working on the Piano For All books every now and then, and they cover blues quite a lot. What Robin says in the beginning coincides well with what Tim Richards says.

The easiest way to learn Blues piano is to learn the LEFT HAND rhythms LONG before you learn all the fancy licks in the Right Hand.

You need to be able to play these Left Hand rhythms in your sleep. Play them over and over THOUSANDS of times. Watch TV while you play them - just get your mind and fingers used to them - build those Blues muscles!


If the blues rhythms are considered easy compared to Schubert, that's a good indication this Ave Maria should wait, because I don't even find the blues rhythms that easy. I might work on the arpeggios though, and see about the rest. Eat this elephant one bite at a time.

Morodiene, what I would like to do most, is jump right into Bohemian Rhapsody (it's in Bb and one reason I wanted to be at home in that key.) Just kidding, that one is miles away, I'll find other pieces.

Thank you for your help both of you, very much appreciated.

There is one thing I've learned through this. A piece can be so much more difficult than it appears at first sight. This one is not so horrible I thought first, pretty clearly strutctured.

Arpeggios with a one note melody. Mostly home chords, major, minor, sevenths, about a couple sus or dim chords (I think) and that's it. Can't be that hard.

Not so much so when you start trying to play it. Polyrhythms rear their ugly heads, and the chord transitions are not all that easy.
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#2259144 - 04/09/14 01:38 PM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1396
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
. . . Eat this elephant one bite at a time. . . .


Yup. You won't get indigestion, that way.

. Charles

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#2259871 - 04/10/14 04:49 PM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
wayne33yrs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/11
Posts: 1865
Loc: Sheffield UK
Hey up Theodor wink I love Shubert's Ave Maria, and have been trying/giving up/trying on and off for a good while. Now I don't have as much time as I used to have with the old piano practice, I've decided to spend the time I do have on this - no giving up ;)The score I've got is in G major and you're welcome to have a copy if you wish (I'd have to scan it in though, so would be after the weekend)

This is the closest I can find on youtube to the score (although in a different key) and I think this guy did really well wink

If you wanna learn this together (to help motivate/support each other) I'd be up for it wink


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#2259888 - 04/10/14 05:24 PM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1202
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Thanks for the offer, wayne33yrs, I'd like very much to have you as a practice partner. We can communicate on this thread or in PMs, either way is fine by me. Maybe others will join us!

This guy played it very well, but this version is more complex. He's playing chords on every beat and crossing 2 (or 3?) octaves in the bass part. He seems to be playing it in B-flat, the same key as the freesheetpianomusic.com version is in.

I transposed that version to G and it came out fine, fewer black keys. You can get the MIDI file from freesheetpianomusic.com and transpose it in MuseScore, if you wish.

I'll probably not touch the keys until Saturday (pain in shoulder and busy tomorrow) but feel free to contact me (here or in PM) and yes, I'd appreciate to see your G major version after the weekend. If you like, I can send you the transposed version I have (to G major) just let me know if you want me to.


Edited by TheodorN (04/10/14 05:25 PM)
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#2259907 - 04/10/14 06:05 PM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
wayne33yrs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/11
Posts: 1865
Loc: Sheffield UK
That sounds great smile ....an exchange of scores, agree on one, then lets go for it wink Best wishes for a rapid shoulder recovery x I'm just doin' supper lol, be in touch real soon smile

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#2259984 - 04/10/14 09:36 PM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1202
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
_________________________
My YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/thenorbass1

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#2260763 - 04/12/14 05:35 PM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
wayne33yrs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/11
Posts: 1865
Loc: Sheffield UK

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#2260809 - 04/12/14 07:03 PM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: wayne33yrs]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12056
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL


There is so much wrong, I don't know where to begin lol
_________________________
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MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
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#2260815 - 04/12/14 07:10 PM Re: Help on Ave Maria [Re: TheodorN]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1202
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Thanks Wayne, just took a brief look at it. Doesn't seem all that different, instead of simple arpeggios, it has the chords arpeggiated two notes at a time. I'd prefer simple one note arpeggios, but there should be no need for us to tackle exactly the same version. I can take the one from Galya, and you can stick to this one, whatever you prefer. I'll see if I can make a MIDI file out of your music sheets, so you can print out a new one, nicotine free. smile

I'll probably be very busy tomorrow, and I'm setting up a 2.1 speaker system with my piano, hopefully it'll be ready on Tuesday, for me to start practising.

About the piece, what causes me the most trouble, is that the treble and bass parts are so different from each other. It will probably take me some time to practise hands seperate, before I can take sections of hands together.

I think it's best to view one's hands as two workers doing their jobs! Each one is not worrying about what the other is doing, but if they both do their jobs well, the joint outcome will be one good product, as a whole. cool
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