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#450688 - 12/03/07 01:24 PM chords with notes to be stresses more
hopinmad Offline
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Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
when playing a chord where one or more notes are part of the melody, what do you concentrate pon doing?? simply thinkinjg, play this one louder doesnt seem to do anything . .. ..

im finding chopins op10 no3 terribly difficult bcause of it.
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Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#450689 - 12/03/07 01:27 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
keyboardklutz Offline
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Simply listening.
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#450690 - 12/03/07 01:41 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
8ude Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2050
When playing a chord, while you play all the notes simultaneously, that doesn't mean you play them all exactly the same. It is certainly possible to exert different force on a particular note or notes within a chord so as to emphasize them.

As you've pointed out, the slow sections of Chopin's 10/3 are a great example and study of this technique. If you're having trouble with it, you might try distilling the problem down to its basics and working it that way. Try creating some simple exercises for yourself where you play a chord and try to emphasize each individual note. For instance, play a chord in root position and try to emphasize the root more than the other notes. Then do the same, but emphasize the third, and then the fifth. Do the same with different chords/inversions/hands. When doing this, make sure to listen carefully and try to hear yourself emphasizing the given note. If you can objectively hear that note as standing out, then you've got it.

While it may not seem to do anything, you definitely need to think about playing one note louder than the others, it sounds like its just you need to work on the technique to actually make it happen. It will come.
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What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.

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#450691 - 12/03/07 01:50 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
keyboardklutz Offline
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Are you sure you wouldn't rather just listen? If you don't hear what you want be a bit more demanding. I've never had to say much more to a student than - can you bring out this, don't cover that, blend this,...
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#450692 - 12/03/07 02:01 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
hopinmad Offline
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Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
ive been trying to riase the finger of the note to be brought about but thats terribly difficult
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Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#450693 - 12/03/07 02:08 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
keyboardklutz Offline
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If you mean raising individual fingers above the keys, that type of exercise can be injurious.
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
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#450694 - 12/03/07 02:13 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
hopinmad Offline
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thats what i menat!
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Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#450695 - 12/03/07 02:23 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
Varcon Offline
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Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
See my PM hopinmad. There is a technique to bring out different tones in a chord but it does take practice, careful concentration and especially careful listening until it becomes somewhat easier to do. The emphasis has to shift and takes great control of the playing mechanism to do so. Hofmann was a wonderful master of this ability as my teacher told me he would bring out different voices each time he played something and cause wonder in the listeners. Wouldn't it have been wonderful to be able to hear him play with this amazing facility?

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#450696 - 12/03/07 02:31 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
hopinmad Offline
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Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
but what exactly happens; the finger comes down faster? meaning it has to start form a higer position or at a different time?
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Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#450697 - 12/03/07 02:34 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
tomasino Offline
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Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
I hesitate to get into these discussions, because I think many PF members are much more technically proficient than I am. Nevertheless, here I go:

Sometimes it is in the fingering. You may have some alternate choices of fingers on the notes you want to bring out. Maybe worth a try.

Also, I've found that if you bring your elbows out, you change the angle position of your hand, emphasizing the outer voices. If you bring your elbows to your side, it tends to emphasize the inner notes. And then there's an elbow position in between which emphasizes the middle fingers. You might want to play around with that idea.

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#450698 - 12/03/07 02:36 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
keyboardklutz Offline
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I don't understand what your trying to do with your fingers. Bude's best advice was: 'If you can objectively hear that note as standing out, then you've got it.' I'd go straight there. Allow your body to do it.
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#450699 - 12/03/07 02:39 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
Varcon Offline
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Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
You should have my PM by now. The fingers all play at the same time but it's the CONTROL of them that allows one to do what I suggest.

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#450700 - 12/03/07 02:47 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
keyboardklutz Offline
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I've just played the first page. I think I know your problem. You can't use arm-weight. The arm plays the tune (and the bass) - the fingers the accompaniment.
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#450701 - 12/03/07 03:05 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
tomasino Offline
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Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
hopinmad,

I'm not sure what you're trying to do by raising the finger

"ive been trying to riase the finger of the note to be brought about but thats terribly difficult"

"but what exactly happens; the finger comes down faster? meaning it has to start form a higer position or at a different time?"

Either what your attempting to do doesn't quite make sense, or your explanation is unclear.

If you're attempting to emphasize the fourth finger in the chord, and you raise it above the others fingers, and then drop onto the keyboard, it seems to me that the fourth finger will play both late and with less velocity. It doesn't benefit from the gravitational force of the drop.

Why not try the opposite. As an excercize, as you drop your hand onto the keyboard, lower the fourth finger, so that it plays just a fraction of a second before the remainder of the chord.

Try that as an excercize for a few days, and then forget the excercize, and see what happens if you just "think" more emphasis on the fourth finger. That seems worth a try too.

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#450702 - 12/03/07 03:17 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
keyboardklutz Offline
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Tomasino, dropping the hand from a height not only loses control but can lead to injury. Make sure your fingers are ON the key, then using weight from the arm (ignoring other fingers, they'll take care of themselves) drop into the 'tune' finger, then instantly allow your hand to flop.
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#450703 - 12/03/07 04:33 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
iconoclast Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 389
Loc: Ancramdale, NY
Generally I use arm or wrist weight for a chord where I want to make all voices equal. For instances where one voice needs to predominate I fnd that a scratching or pulling motion of the finger combined with the arm or wrist motion works pretty well. It should feel like the finger is kindof pulling the rest of the fingers down and forward with it. I'll usually practice just the melody using the pulling motion (w/o the rest of the chord) to build the muscle memory before adding the rest of the chord notes.

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#450704 - 12/03/07 04:56 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by iconoclast:
Generally I use arm or wrist weight for a chord where I want to make all voices equal. For instances where one voice needs to predominate I fnd that a scratching or pulling motion of the finger [/b]
Interestingly I'm the opposite. I use scratching for the non-tune notes. The point is the hand is still when the fingers scratch. The wrist needs to move (drop) on the tune notes.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#450705 - 12/03/07 04:58 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
I lifted a finger playing a louder note higher so that it would have to travel faster to reach the note the same time as the other notes.
I didn't know what else to do.
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#450706 - 12/03/07 06:46 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
What do you know about using arm-weight?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#450707 - 12/03/07 07:41 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
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Loc: Victoria, BC
For me, it's a question of weight distribution; the note to be brought out gets more "weight". Whether, in the strict physical analysis, that's actually what I do, I can't guarantee it, but that mind-set helps me all the time when voicing something like the right hand of the Chopin Op 10, No 3 Etude.

On the other hand - well, not really because it's the same hand \:D - in the Brahms Intermezzo, Op 117, No 1, where the melody is an internal line between 5/1 octaves the "scratch" method described above combined with "weight" seems to give me the best results.

Regards,
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#450708 - 12/03/07 07:56 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
Silent Thoughts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/05
Posts: 314
Iconoclast has it right (from my own experience anyway). "Pull" the note you want voiced and it'll be voiced.

You can practice this by playing a simple C major chord while voicing an arpeggio going up and then down in it. You should hear the arpeggio clearly while repeating all the notes in the chord.

- Silence

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#450709 - 12/03/07 08:17 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
There are a couple of good exercises for this in Dohnanyi's set that I've used quite a bit.
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#450710 - 12/03/07 09:00 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7844
A couple of etudes for this are the Saint-Saens op. 52, no. 2 and, if you really want to get fantastically accomplished at it (and possibly drive yourself mad in the process), there's Alkan's op. 35, no. 11.

wr

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#450711 - 12/03/07 09:49 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2629
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
 Quote:
Originally posted by hopinmad:

im finding chopins op10 no3 terribly difficult bcause of it. [/b]
Ah, I happen to be working on polishing this piece right now and I can share with you what works for me.
1. Visualize yourself as a diva on stage singing the melody. You are trying to project so that the folks in the cheap seats way at the back can hear you. Your bosom heaves as you sing your heart out. You can hum along with the diva if you wish. Keep your ear fixed on the melody line.
2. Lean on the melody note. This can mean making your little finger (if it's carrying the melody) stiffer than the other fingers. It also helps if you practice playing the chord by having the little finger slightly lower than the others so that it will make contact with its key before the other fingers. Of course, ultimately you'll want all the notes in the chord to be struck simultaneously but this practice of leading with the little finger will help you internalize the sensation of bringing out the melody.
3. Practice this: Play the the melody line by itself (with the fingering that you will use later when you add the other voices.) While playing the melody, play the right hand accompaniment (the remaining notes of the chords) using the left hand. This will train your ear for the ultimate sound you want to get when you play both melody and accompaniment in the right hand.

Your mileage will of course differ, but it seems to be working for me. Here's my recent recording of the piece (...it's still a work in progress but see if the melody rings true.)
Chopin 10.3 in progress
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"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#450712 - 12/04/07 08:27 AM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Quoting Keyboardklutz:

"dropping the hand from a height not only loses control but can lead to injury."

How so? I get better contol. Injury? Been doing it for years. Never scrached a knuckle.

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#450713 - 12/04/07 09:03 AM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
Jan-Erik Offline
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Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 1302
Loc: Finland
BruceD's weight distribution theory sounds correct to me. To get more weight (= to get a greater force accelerating the hammer and hence building up more energy) means keeping that finger a little stiffer than the other

At the same time all notes in the chord must sound simultaneously. It can be really hard to get out the desired effect, especially if the stressed note is part of of a three or four notes' chord and is played with 2nd, 3rd, or 4th finger

Special finger exercises stressing finger independence will help. And the approach of jazzyproff also seems very useful, as this is a mental issue as well as a physical.

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#450714 - 12/04/07 09:36 AM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by tomasino:
Quoting Keyboardklutz:

"dropping the hand from a height not only loses control but can lead to injury."

How so? I get better contol. Injury? Been doing it for years. Never scrached a knuckle.

Tomasino [/b]
You'd have to read Otto Ortmann, 'The Physiological Mechanics of Piano Technique' or some of the many other good books on technique. There are only a few books that recommend attacking the keys from the air.
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#450715 - 12/05/07 07:25 AM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
JohnEB Offline
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Registered: 04/20/06
Posts: 754
Loc: Belgium
I agree with jazzyprof - sing the melody and it will naturally come out more (at least that's how I was taught and it works for me). And I agree with the concept of leaning on the required key - I don't know if physically that's what's really happening, but that's the image I have in my head when trying to bring out individual notes in a chord.
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John

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#450716 - 12/09/07 03:44 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
drumour Offline
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Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 859
Loc: Scotland
I have been thinking about this, and I reckon that, with this particular piece, you're perhaps approaching it from the wrong angle. None of it is written as if it were chords with melody on top, or wherever. The piece is written, and is in fact a study in the playing of, 4-part counterpoint. Not only is this counterpoint relentlessly in 4 parts throughout the outer sections, but there are several places where a line is temporarily thickened. I think if you come at it from this angle you will get much more out of this study and sound balance problems will sort themselves out.


John
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#450717 - 12/09/07 05:18 PM Re: chords with notes to be stresses more
hopinmad Offline
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Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
This was a piece which only confirmed to me that I couldn't bring out some notes that I wanted to more than others. The piece does ask for that. I didn't put much thinking into the exact wording of the title of this thread.
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Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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