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#1042295 - 03/02/07 11:26 PM Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
hobo57 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 97
Loc: Quad Cities, IL/IA
I'm still very new at learning the piano, but Joplin's Entertainer has always been my desire. My teacher gave me a simple version, but I'd already order the Schirmer's Library version. I looked at two simpler version, and figure I could do them, but they are so lacking.

Is anyone else currently working on the original version? And willing to trade fingering suggestions, especially the baseline?

I'm just hoping to get the first section during the next month or two. This is my "for fun" piece. My teacher said that as long as I don't get too frustrated, have fun with it.

I'm doing Bach Minuet in G and Beethoven Fur Elise (simplified first section) for my teacher, along with Hanon and Scales.

Thanks...
_________________________
There is nothing to it. You have only to hit the right note at the right time, and instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

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#1042296 - 03/03/07 08:47 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
Hobo - I have a copy of the orgiginal version I got from sheetmusicplus. I think it's the original.

That said, I am not ready to start it yet, but will be watching this thread for fingering advice for when I am (I hate music without fingering....).

Good luck.
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#1042297 - 03/03/07 10:58 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
vanityx3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 269
I remember seeing the original score to Joplin's Entertainer once. It looks nothing like the easier version. The hands have to move all over the piano, and all the harmonies were 6 parts if I remember correctly. It scared me. lol I love the piece though
_________________________
well I'm 20 years old, and I'm teaching myself piano.

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#1042298 - 03/03/07 02:32 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
I know this one, if my fingerings are helpful I`d be happy to give them. Which bit is it you need?
_________________________
Will

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#1042299 - 03/03/07 07:14 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5529
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I've been working more on Easy Winners, but here's a couple of things that have made a difference to me when attempting to play Joplin.

On the jumps from an octave to a chord in the left hand I use my thumb as "target" going from the octave to the chord. For instance, in the first measure after the intro, when there is an octave G in the bass (which I have to do with my pinky and thumb because on white keys I have to octaves off the end of the keys), I remember the feel of where my thumb is in order to judge how far I have to move my hand (not very far) in order to get the C7 chord that follows. That's the way I was taught to learn the positions of guitar chords when I first started guitar - establish a base from which to move, and move the easiest amount possible. It's helped me a lot over time. But there have been several discussions on playing octaves and playing jumps in the forums - here, non-classical, teachers, and classical, and it would be worth searching them to read the tips.

Another thing that's made a difference to me is knowing that the chords and progressions aren't "random" \:D - many of them are in the I-IV-V tradition of much of western music, surprise surprise, and identifying the chords as well as whether they're I (tonic, C in this case), IV (sub-dominant, G in this case) or V or V7 (D or D7 in The Entertainer) means that I have intellectual, visual, and muscle memory to use when I'm going for them. And I need everything I can get.

Now to just keep using all those hints from the other threads and practicing, practicing, practicing, and some day I might be able to do a Joplin piece in public.

Cathy
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#1042300 - 03/03/07 07:51 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
I`m trying to get one spot on so I can upload it but it`s a nightmare to play the whole thing, no mistakes, with the light on my piano blinking at me :-(
_________________________
Will

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#1042301 - 03/04/07 12:16 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
hobo57 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 97
Loc: Quad Cities, IL/IA
Thanks all for the replies.

My first question is base clef bar 5, just after the intro. When I play the C chord (E on the bottom, G, and middle C) do you use fingering 541 or 531?

It seems more efficient to use 541 and easier on the wrist, but my middle finger likes to be in charge. But this chord is used so often, I want to make the right fingering choice. If it's 541, then I'll push myself in that direction.

Thanks much,
Mark
_________________________
There is nothing to it. You have only to hit the right note at the right time, and instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

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#1042302 - 03/04/07 02:41 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5529
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Well, what I do is spread my hand out to cover the octave from c to c, so my pinky plays the bass c, and then I play the chord e-g-c with 3-2-1. I don't have to move my hand at all, and I don't have to spread my hand out again to reach the g octave on the next beat - just move to it. For me the spreading my hand out to reach an octave and then bringing it in to do a chord is almost as hard at any kind of speed as moving my whole hand to get to something in a jump, so I try to leave it as close to the next position I have to use it in as possible. I don't know if that will work for you, but that's the way I do it.

Cathy
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#1042303 - 03/04/07 03:28 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5529
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Fraggle - you can improv on Joplin?!? ;\) I try to play piano the way I used to ski race - a series of "linked recoveries."

Cathy
_________________________

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#1042304 - 03/04/07 05:07 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
I use 4-2-1 there, then you have less distance to move your hand.
_________________________
Will

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#1042305 - 03/04/07 05:46 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
hobo57 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 97
Loc: Quad Cities, IL/IA
Thanks for the tips Cathy. I'm focusing my efforts on the e-g-c with 3-2-1 option. I'm practicing hands separate (HS) mostly, and then hands together (HT) very slowly. But, I'm so new at it, I'm just trying to be patient. The RH is not really too difficult, though I have a ways to go to get to tempo.

Thanks again...
Mark
_________________________
There is nothing to it. You have only to hit the right note at the right time, and instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

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#1042306 - 03/04/07 06:48 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
Ok, I'm in. I haven't played this thing for many years and I never could play it very well so now's the time to learn it properly. I just played the first few bars to see how I do the fingering. I do the 3-2-1 on the first c chord. It seems very easy and natural so I'm sticking with that.
_________________________
Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#1042307 - 03/05/07 11:03 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5529
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I'll be the first one to admit to cheating \:o . If I'm going to play this piece in this lifetime I'm going to have to leave out the bottom octave note in the octaves with the third on the bottom starting in the 2nd measure after the intro (the A phrase - this rag is AABBACCDD, as are many rags). I'm willing to practice it with all the notes but reaching that in-between note may never be a possibility, so - I'll play the 6ths, e-c, f-d, etc - which is a skill of it's own that I can use in other pieces I play. It seems to me the high note and the harmony are what makes this passage go anyway and the least of the evils is leaving out the low note of the octave. Maybe not the hint of fingering that's expected, but I've only got about a quarter of a century left to do this!

Cathy
_________________________

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#1042308 - 03/05/07 03:25 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
hobo57 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 97
Loc: Quad Cities, IL/IA
LOL! Thanks Cathy. I'm not sure how far I'll get since I'm such a beginner, who doesn't have a clue just how clueless I am yet. And I hope I have 25 years or so to learn it. I turn 50 next month!
_________________________
There is nothing to it. You have only to hit the right note at the right time, and instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

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#1042309 - 03/05/07 10:55 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
I just looked at the first page of the Schirmer version on the SheetmusicPlus web site. It is slighty different from my version which is the original John Stark and Son sheet music from 1902. The main difference in the first theme (which is all I can see of the Schirmer version) is that the right hand in my version is made up of larger chords, full octaves instead of 6ths. The chords in the left hand are simple but a little more complicated than Schirmer. I just spent about 1/2 hour cycling through the first theme, hands separate. Important to stay relaxed when plowing through the octaves at the end of the first theme - 24 octaves in a row. Tensing to keep the proper spacing makes things worse. Will keep working this.
_________________________
Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#1042310 - 03/06/07 12:23 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Famous Pies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 82
Loc: Santa Fe NM
I think "The Entertainer" is among the more difficult of Joplin's rags. Although it is surely appealing, other rags of his are delightful and easier to learn... especially for a beginner!

"Sunflower Slow Drag" is intended to be played slowly; "Weeping Willow" is lovely and far less difficult than "Entertainer"; try "The Favorite" or "Paragon Rag."

After your skills improve, and you are really ready, then you might try "Entertainer" again. I think you will be happier if you do it this way.

Consider getting John Arpin's recordings (4 disc set) of Joplin's rags to hear how each sounds.
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M&H "A" #92414

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#1042311 - 03/06/07 06:12 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
Well, I just went to work up this piece up for my recording thread and discovered that I don`t actually know the last two sections, only the first two, so it looks like I`m in this with you after all :-)
_________________________
Will

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#1042312 - 03/06/07 08:09 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
guidovivaldi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 43
The whole thing with the base line is minimizing movement. Personaly I use 1-2-3 for that C chord you were refering to, but if you had smaller hands than I did 1-2-4 may be neccesary.

Whenever it is possible to not move you should avoid it.

I found the middle sections to be harder than the opening and ending.

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#1042313 - 03/06/07 01:08 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5529
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Say hey, Famous Pies, who is also from Santa Fe, NM. The "band" I play with, Roaring Jelly (really a bunch of musicians who play for the fun of it on Sunday nights in Los Alamos), is playing the Catamount on St Patrick's Day. They are "encouraging" me to play the folk/fiddle tradition version I do of George Botsford's Black & White Rag as a country-western dance interlude (for St Patrick's Day!?!). Come on down!

And what has this to do with this thread? Well, I tried Maple Leaf years and years ago (go listen to Fraggle's recording on the Members Recording thread - yum), and it seems that the way I learn is in spirals - something too hard, back to something I can play, then to something I can make up (Black & White's bass), then back to something almost do-able (Easy Winners, The Entertainer) - so hang in there, Mark - everything you play that's fun will make a difference in the long run!

Cathy
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#1042314 - 03/06/07 01:39 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Famous Pies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 82
Loc: Santa Fe NM
jotur: will try to make Catamount on the 17th... what time do things start?
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M&H "A" #92414

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#1042315 - 03/06/07 02:09 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5529
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
The Catamount - probably between 7:30 and 8:00 - after we've muscled Dusty's bagpipers out of the way so we can finish setting up the sound system (laughing). Dusty's bagpipers don't seem to need a sound system -

Cathy
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#1042316 - 03/06/07 04:11 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
I would love to hear a recording of your Black & White Rag Cathy, it`s one of my favourites. You may not know this but in the U.K. it is very well known as the theme tune of a popular snooker programme (now long gone of course).
_________________________
Will

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#1042317 - 03/07/07 01:32 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5529
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
The Entertainer - I worked on the B and C parts this eve - it's sure a lot easier to do 3rds on top of the octave than on the bottom. The really big jumps in the left in part C might be easier if they were octaves since I could use my thumb as a place marker and I might use it as a "phantom" marker - sort of keep it above the octave just as a help. I also tried using more peripheral vision to keep track of where my left hand is - slow but sure slow as my brother used to say. But doing octave runs fast in either hand is really hard. I can do them one on each beat at 112 (in Black and White) but my right hand isn't as experienced. Maybe I'll need 30 years for this piece.

Will - maybe when March is over I'll try to record Black & White. St Patrick's Day is kind of a zoo for bands that play even a little of Irish music, so we have rehearsals several nights next week, and then I have to figure out how to do the initial sound set-up for a dance the next week. But the caveat is that it *is* a "country rag" version - closer to Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys than a George Botsford classic rag styling. I grew up listening to Bob Wills/western swing and this rag entered that fiddle tradition, so I learned it from a lead-sheet and play it in that style. It's fun, but it's not like your Maple Leaf! Maybe I'll do it for the may recital. gulp - was that a commitment?

Cathy
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#1042318 - 03/07/07 06:44 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
Well, if it`s a bit different then it`s all the more reason to have a listen :-)
_________________________
Will

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#1042319 - 03/07/07 07:53 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
guidovivaldi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 43
The jumps become second nature with enough slow and correct practice.

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#1042320 - 03/07/07 11:43 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
Hobo57, how are you making out with this? I'm wrestling with the octaves, as are others on this thread. I'm into the second theme now. It's actually easier than the first - the octaves come at you in shorter strings - easier. One tricky bit in the middle of the second theme with the bridging 7th.

Slow, but sure slow as Cathy's brother says...
_________________________
Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#1042321 - 03/07/07 10:31 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
hobo57 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 97
Loc: Quad Cities, IL/IA
I'm crawling along through the first section. I can hit the notes with one hand or the other, but putting them together is not yet possible for me. I'm so far out of my league to be attempting this version, but I'm going to stay with it for a while.

Nice to hear that the second theme is easier. Perhaps I'll work on that for a while.

My hand can reach the octaves, but needs control. The slow and steady are words to live by. I read somewhere that the last practice run should be the slowest and I'm finding that helpful - though my fast is still very slow.

So much to learn... So much fun along the way...
_________________________
There is nothing to it. You have only to hit the right note at the right time, and instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

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#1042322 - 03/08/07 01:25 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5529
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
School time -

Starting Over - which chord in the second part is the bridging 7th? Is it the right hand D7 that's voiced C-F#-B that comes after the G that's voiced D-G-B?

And my version is from Scott Joplin King of Ragtime, Lewis Pub, 1972, and it says play the 2nd/B part an octave higher on the repeat. I've tried this on some other tunes I play and for me it's not trivial to move it up an octave. I have to practice almost as much as I do in the regular octave.

I'm like you, Mark - it's fun to be "out of my league" sometimes.

Cathy
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#1042323 - 03/08/07 07:01 AM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
Jotur, yes, the chord you describe is exactly the bit I was referring to. Not sure if "bridging" is the correct term there but that's all I could think of to describe it. Not exactly a D7 either - what chord is C-F#-B? The chord on the next beat immediately after it is D7 for sure. This phrase looks trivial but I just keep stumbling over it and the following bar for some reason. Practice.

Interesting that you mention the 8va on the second repeat in the B theme. Seems like it should be easy to move up an octave but it's not for me either. The shifting hand position along with the different sound is the reason I think.
_________________________
Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#1042324 - 03/08/07 01:25 PM Re: Joplin Entertainer: Study Group?
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
Don`t be afraid to lean over to get in front of it when playing further up the keyboard. I just love that tinkley ragtime sound you get on those repeats, I`m always tempted to play it all up there :-)
_________________________
Will

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