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#2264131 - 04/19/14 03:29 PM Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help
YoungNoir Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/06/14
Posts: 13
Hi everyone,

Basically I'm just wondering how everyone who plays this piece goes about playing the 11-6 notes, for e.g the 2nd bar. My teacher says only the first note should 'match' the left and all the others should be played seperatly. My question is what is the most effective way to practice this?

Thanks
_________________________
Working on:
Schumann - Op. 15 No. 1 & 13
Bach - Prelude in E flat minor BWV 853
Chopin - Op. 25 No. 1 & 12

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#2264132 - 04/19/14 03:34 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: YoungNoir]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4826
Loc: USA
Play it slowly until it works itself out.

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#2264141 - 04/19/14 04:00 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Play it slowly until it works itself out.

Bad advice. Practice the passage hands separately and then combine them at tempo.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2264145 - 04/19/14 04:04 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: Polyphonist]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Practice the passage hands separately and then combine them at tempo.

This is highly inefficient and mostly a waste of time when not using this method to sort out technical issues. The coordination between the hands of a conflicting bimanual task is a cross-talk event of the brain hemispheres and putting the hands together should be done from the onset.

The "practice hands separate then combine" method is profoundly not backed by science.
_________________________
"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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#2264147 - 04/19/14 04:07 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: Atrys]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Practice the passage hands separately and then combine them at tempo.

This is highly inefficient and mostly a waste of time when not using this method to sort out technical issues. The coordination between the hands of a conflicting bimanual task is a cross-talk event of the brain hemispheres and putting the hands together should be done from the onset.

If one can, yes. But evidently the OP is not able to do that yet.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2264152 - 04/19/14 04:13 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: Polyphonist]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

If one can, yes. But evidently the OP is not able to do that yet.

Not at tempo, but JoelW is correct to say to practice slow and work up; this is how the brain best works out the coordinated motor sequences of conflicting bimanual tasks. Hands separate practice is best used to sort out specific issues of one hand apart from the other, but as far as getting the two hands to "work together", there is no better substitute than to practice the conflicting bimanual task itself (under tempo, if needed).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14697399
_________________________
"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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#2264154 - 04/19/14 04:16 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: Atrys]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

If one can, yes. But evidently the OP is not able to do that yet.

Not at tempo, but JoelW is correct to say to practice slow...

How will that work with this passage?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2264158 - 04/19/14 04:23 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: Polyphonist]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

How will that work with this passage?

How do you mean? In the beginning stages, rhythm and tempo is not important; what is important is to play hands together such that the notes that ought to be played at once in both hands are indeed played simultaneously. Any notes in between can be played however you'd like.

The purpose is to teach the brain how to handle a new conflicting bimanual task. Once the prefrontal cortex and other critical regions of the brain begin to delegate the coordination of the task, capacity is "freed up" to allow you to integrate higher tempo and rhythm, this is how one is able to play without thinking of the motor actions, and focus more on higher level details at your will.


Edited by Atrys (04/19/14 04:24 PM)
_________________________
"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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#2264163 - 04/19/14 04:33 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: YoungNoir]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
That's a terrible idea. Ignoring rhythm? That's going to get you nowhere.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2264165 - 04/19/14 04:37 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: Polyphonist]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
That's a terrible idea. Ignoring rhythm? That's going to get you nowhere.

Your position is not backed by science and you offer no evidence but "that's a terrible idea". Ignoring rhythm in the beginning stages of learning a new conflicting bimanual task is highly efficient and is aligned with how bimanual tasks are adapted into the human brain.

Remember that just because an idea is "new" and different than what you're used to doesn't mean it isn't true. It's science.
_________________________
"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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#2264168 - 04/19/14 04:43 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: YoungNoir]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5265
I recommend that you learn each hand's part thoroughly (HS if necessary) until you can play each automatically, whatever else is going on (e.g. try playing a scale with the other hand, totally out of rhythm with that part). Then with the complete hand independence achieved, you'll find it easy to fit the two hands together.

Adjust the speed of your RH notes while keeping LH in strict time until you find the
'compromise' that fits, and practise that. Don't forget that the RH part can be played quite freely, with rubato.
_________________________
"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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#2264170 - 04/19/14 04:46 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: Atrys]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
That's a terrible idea. Ignoring rhythm? That's going to get you nowhere.

Your position is not backed by science and you offer no evidence but "that's a terrible idea". Ignoring rhythm in the beginning stages of learning a new conflicting bimanual task is highly efficient and is aligned with how bimanual tasks are adapted into the human brain.

Remember that just because an idea is "new" and different than what you're used to doesn't mean it isn't true. It's science.

ha

Okay, Mr. Science.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2264172 - 04/19/14 04:47 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: YoungNoir]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
@Poly
Ignorance is bliss, isn't it wink You're simply being left behind, kiddo.
_________________________
"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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#2264175 - 04/19/14 04:50 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: YoungNoir]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Why don't you try learning the passage using your brilliant method, and playing it for us?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2264180 - 04/19/14 04:54 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: YoungNoir]
YoungNoir Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/06/14
Posts: 13
Cheers for the advice guys, yeah I can play hands seperatly fine at tempo, I'll take all of your advice into account whilst practicing.

All the best
_________________________
Working on:
Schumann - Op. 15 No. 1 & 13
Bach - Prelude in E flat minor BWV 853
Chopin - Op. 25 No. 1 & 12

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#2264181 - 04/19/14 04:55 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: Polyphonist]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Why don't you try learning the passage using your brilliant method, and playing it for us?

That has nothing to do with anything. Notice how I've already provided to you the latest in conflicting bimanual task research and how to best leverage this research as it applies to the conflicting bimanual task of piano play, and you have done nothing to support your position but stand in ignorance.

Can you not see this? Do you not have the awareness to realize that you have not offered any evidence, and all you're doing is plugging your ears and closing your eyes? Your opinion does not hold up against the research.

A simple example: draw a triangle with your left hand. Now draw a circle with your right hand. Now try to do both tasks at once; it's difficult and the best route to improving this is to practice doing both tasks at once, not by practicing the tasks separately.

Again, all you're doing is acting child-like by plugging your ears and not offering any evidence that is contrary to the latest research in conflicting bimanual tasks.
_________________________
"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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#2264188 - 04/19/14 04:58 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: Atrys]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Atrys
A simple example: draw a triangle with your left hand. Now draw a circle with your right hand. Now try to do both tasks at once; it's difficult and the best route to improving this is to practice doing both tasks at once, not by practicing the tasks separately.

I agree. But the analogy to the Chopin breaks down because simply performing the tasks simultaneously is not the only object.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2264191 - 04/19/14 05:02 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: Polyphonist]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

the analogy to the Chopin breaks down because simply performing the tasks simultaneously is not the only object.

You are correct to say that it is not the only object, but the untrained brain doesn't have the ability to integrate all that entails a piece. The first step is to get the coordination of the bimanual task in place so that prefrontal cortex activity can non-discreetly integrate other components (rhythm, etc.) while the practiced coordination is delegated properly.
_________________________
"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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#2264209 - 04/19/14 05:33 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: YoungNoir]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1303
I will say that I have needed to do both: Sometimes I cannot master a passage unless I put both hands together right away and work it out so that the essential coordination is being learned from the get-go. If I wait, I have to basically relearn the passage WITH the major coordination in both hands, so I tend to just go as slowly as I need to in order to start with both hands together.

However, just the other day I encountered a passage that I could not break through until I finally practiced one hand separately until it was just on autopilot and I could drop the other hand in and focus on nothing but it. It was a right hand running set of chromatic sixteenth notes which moved up and down dissonantly and deliberately independent of the underlying rhythm, and the left hand moves on a strong regular pulse and has the melody, more or less. Could not get them together until the right hand could just go, and the left hand had my attention.

The same thing happened a while back with a Chopin polyrhythm, which is similar to your problem here (but different piece). I just went slower and slower with two hands until I thought "uh, any slower and I'm not playing anything anymore" and it still wasn't working. So I went about it another way: I brought the tempo up to a more workable speed (not full speed, but a speed that had a good pulse) and looping the measures in the left hand, until it didn't require any attention whatsoever to do it.

Then, and only then, with the one hand on absolute autopilot, and nodding strongly at the common beats, I tried dropping the other hand in with the different rhythm, trying only to arrive at the common beats at the same time--which in one place was at the beginning of the measure. Loop, loop, loop. If it didn't work, cut the cord and retreat hand immediately, while continuing to keep the other hand looping, then wait until the next entry point, jump back in and try again. Like trying to jump in on a double dutch jumprope thing. Eventually, my brain caught onto the essential shape of it, and after that it was in there.

Other polyrhythms were solved by mathematically splitting beats, but the ones that don't have a lot of common beats tended to get solved by the looping process.

Something's bound to work for you.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2264226 - 04/19/14 06:16 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: YoungNoir]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1303
Got it!

Ok, just loop that second half of the first measure with the 11 over 6 over and over and over until the notes fit. It gets there; it's not fast. Just feel it as one thing. It comes. Then just rinse and repeat the same for the next measure, twice. It's almost entirely a downwards chromatic scale, so it shouldn't be THAT hard to apply the same shape to it once you're feeling it well from the first set.

I haven't yet done it, but I think it'll get there.

It took about 40-50 loops of the first set of 11 over 6 until it fit, running the left hand over and over, until both hands arrived back at the first beat together again, neatly.

I got the shape after I focused on making sure the left hand reached its highest note (F) juuuuust before the right hand climbs back up to the C. They cascade back to the start nicely from there. In the next measure, that same place is somewhere near that g flat in the first half of the 22 over 12, and then in the second half, the right hand hits that F riiiiight before the left hand hits its own F. It's not a science, but it seems to give a nice pace to it all.

As far as I can tell, after that, you're almost home free, polyrhythm-wise since four out of the six times this pieces lapses into those free form phrases, it's the same 11 over 6.

Technically speaking, there's a few 3 over 2, but those are pretty common everywhere and if you're playing this piece I'm guessing you don't consider those hurdles.


Edited by TwoSnowflakes (04/19/14 06:34 PM)
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2264248 - 04/19/14 07:05 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: YoungNoir]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2151
Loc: Canada
Make sure you line up the downbeats, and remember that 11/6 is almost 12/6, or around 2 notes in the RH per 1 of the left.

Once it's at tempo, you'll be able to make it more flexible by introducing rubato.
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin - Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante
Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2264279 - 04/19/14 07:35 PM Re: Chopin - Op 9 No 1 help [Re: YoungNoir]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 383
Loc: India
I'd like to weigh in about the Hands separate thing:

http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.II.7

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