pathetique tremolo troubles

Posted by: ptu2slp

pathetique tremolo troubles - 12/08/07 10:37 PM

i am curious if anyone has some suggestions for building stamina to conquer this 1st movt's demanding tremolos. i have heard that it is good to play the maple leaf to warm up, so to speak. but i do not find it difficult to play octaves simultaneously, it's those tremolos that give me trouble. after i tire, i can no longer keep the rhythm. i started playing them simultaneously at first, to learn the right hand and learn the rhythm. i suspect my metacarpals may be too stiff. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, perhaps you once were doing the same thing as me, and could tell me how you kicked this bad habit?
Posted by: Kevin88

Re: pathetique tremolo troubles - 12/09/07 06:25 AM

they key to this is to focus on relaxation, not necessarily stamina. Also make sure you're playing the tremolos p, most people screw this up by playing the left hand too loud, which means the right has to play f to make the melody come out. A good way to do this is to keep your arm/hand a little higher above keys than usual.

I remember learning this - at first it was hard to keep the left hand relaxed at tempo, but constantly focussing on relaxation worked for me. Good luck
Posted by: thepianist2008

Re: pathetique tremolo troubles - 12/09/07 07:35 AM

He's right. I'm almost done with this movement, and the parts that need cleaning up now aren't the tremolos but the two closing themes. If you don't have to play it immediately, I recommend taking a break for a while. I took a break from them, not because I thought it was a good idea, but because I was scared. Looking back though, I think those two months were helpful to getting the technique down. That being said, I can tell you that rotation is necessary, which comes from the whole arm, not the wrist. There is a little finger movement, but I'd recommend relatively flat fingers with small movements for this one. Also, keep the accent on the beat, it'll help you keep it steady.
Posted by: ptu2slp

Re: pathetique tremolo troubles - 12/10/07 03:02 AM

thanks guys, i'll try it
Posted by: signa

Re: pathetique tremolo troubles - 12/10/07 11:07 AM

generally speaking, playing tremolos needs: place your hand close to keyboard with relaxed/supple wrist and play with slight rotation from your wrist/forearm (just enough to press keys) while maintain your hand shape. basically, you use your hand rather than fingers to play tremolos.
Posted by: Loki

Re: pathetique tremolo troubles - 12/10/07 01:06 PM

To add to what everyone else is saying, if you're getting tired on the tremolos, then you are probably tensing up.
Posted by: Kevin88

Re: pathetique tremolo troubles - 12/10/07 02:22 PM

Another thing to do: If you feel like your left hand is tensing up, take a 5-10 second pause and shake your left arm until it feels limp and supple, then go on practicing. if you continue to practice while feeling tense, muscle memory often incorporates incorrect (in this case tense) motions which are hurtful in the long term (or so I've read) You'll also find that you can play much longer and much better after taking such short breaks, which become less and less necessary as time goes on.
Posted by: ptu2slp

Re: pathetique tremolo troubles - 12/10/07 10:10 PM

i honestly believe that is my problem, i think i've been try to play with my fingers. funny a technique for playing the piano involves not playing with your fingers.

thanks for all your kind suggestions!