LH from Bach Partita 5, 1st mvmt

Posted by: RollingTenths

LH from Bach Partita 5, 1st mvmt - 12/02/12 06:23 PM



I have some trouble playing this left hand sequence. It's like the weight of my hand after the first 3 arpeggio notes and the location of the F# black key prevents me from playing it with speed. I currently finger it 1-2-5 1-2-3-4. I can play it no problem if the F# were F-natural (a white key), but since the F# black key is up there it's hard to reach and it takes a moment.

When I try to play fast, either there's a short pause between the G to F# (screwing up the rhythm), or I crush the E-flat key with my 2 while trying to hit the E (screwing up the tune), or the F# is super loud because I'm trying to play faster and my hand is so stiff (which screws up the musicality)

This passage is from the 9th measure of Bach's Partita 5, 1st movement (Preambul). I've been working on this movement for the past few months and can play the first half of it with good speed and musicality, except for that short sequence.

Any practice tips?

Thanks.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: LH from Bach Partita 5, 1st mvmt - 12/02/12 06:53 PM

Practice playing the 2nd G (3rd note) and F# at the same time, this will help you relocate your thumb more quickly.

So the notes will be G, D, G&F#, E, D, C#.

To avoid hitting the Eb, do the same with the F# and E. This will insure that while your thumb reaches for the F# your 2nd finger will also be moving for the right note pre-emptively.

So the notes will be G, D, G, F#&E, D, C#.

This stuff is so hard to explain in text lol.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: LH from Bach Partita 5, 1st mvmt - 12/02/12 08:16 PM

I find it easier to play the F-sharp with 2, rather than have to shift my hand from and outer position with the thumb on G, then move my hand inwards to hit the F-sharp with the thumb. For me, it's also more accurate that way.

My fingering would be : 1, 2, 5, 2, 1, 2, 3.

Regards,
Posted by: Ferdinand

Re: LH from Bach Partita 5, 1st mvmt - 12/03/12 12:27 AM

I use 125 1234. I find it works OK if I play the first three notes with the hand well in toward the black keys instead of at the edge of the whites.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: LH from Bach Partita 5, 1st mvmt - 12/03/12 11:16 AM

Everyone here has probably already answered the question about this passage. I'll add some possible causes you may want to check out, but the other posts are dead-on.

Like Ferdinand and Bruce said, you are feeling this most-likely because your hand is too far out on the keys. That means you have to "reach" in to hit the F#. I'm going to add another possible symptom here: stretching. Due to the reaching issue, you may be holding onto the keys too long, and stretching your hand out to "muscle" the next note.

This could have a lot to do with why you miss the E, and maybe not so much the F#. Your hand never gets completely to the right to play the four down notes. It stays to the left, where you just played the G, and now you're reaching to get up to the F#. Debrucey's exercise is one way to check for this hand position issue and combat it.


Other possible symptoms you may want to check for: a low wrist. If your hand is getting well into the black key area, you could be missing the E because of a low wrist. You're playing 1-2-5 on the G-D-G, and if you truly are in the black key area, you'll have to get your 2 over the Eb to play the E. A low wrist will hinder this.

Also, twisting. If you're truly outside the black key area, you could be twisting to get from the low G to the F#. This would cause you to miss the E also.

These are the "major" issues that are pretty visible and easier to check. Give it a shot and let us know if it doesn't improve your passage.
Posted by: woodog

Re: LH from Bach Partita 5, 1st mvmt - 12/05/12 10:21 AM

This little thread has so much of value in practicing method it boggles the mind. I would use BruceD's fingering and apply Debrucey's practice method while remaining very aware of what the hand is 'up to' as per Derulux's observational advice.

I will add - get the two practice snippets (below) to speed (and faster) as quickly as possible, and once those motions feel correct to your mind and your hand and your ears, THEN practice THOSE motions slowly (the ones that worked well at speed)

snippet one in this instance the low G (5th finger) to the f#/e (2nd & thumb, played together)

stop on the f#/e and relax the hand completely.

snippet two is the f#/e (2nd and thumb, played together) and then d/c# (2nd & 3rd fingers, played together) as fast as possible and pianissimo.

Stop on the d/e and relax the hand completely.

If the mind is tired or the hand is tired... STOP and do something else.

Continuing to practice with a tired hand or mind will only cause you to practice and reinforce in the hand(s) those things that won't work. (I really should follow my own advice with this... but hey, do as I say, not as I do) :-)

as always, have fun!

Forrest


Originally Posted By: BruceD
I find it easier to play the F-sharp with 2, rather than have to shift my hand from and outer position with the thumb on G, then move my hand inwards to hit the F-sharp with the thumb. For me, it's also more accurate that way.

My fingering would be : 1, 2, 5, 2, 1, 2, 3.

Regards,
Posted by: debrucey

Re: LH from Bach Partita 5, 1st mvmt - 12/05/12 10:41 AM

I prefer the OP's fingering, but either is fine.