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Topic: Technical deficiencies  (Read 1344 times)

Offline exigence

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Technical deficiencies
on: June 19, 2005, 10:49:59 PM
Well, as mentioned in an earlier post, my unusual "piano upbringing" has both pros and cons.  Unfortunately, technical development isn't exactly in any sort of advanced state.

Case in point: Give me something, say, like the Military polonaise, Scriabin's 8:12, or what have you, and I can play them with reasonably good results.  But, when it comes to something of a more delicate nature, the cards come tumbling down.  I was just at the piano (Kawai CP150, digital for convenience (and I didn't buy it), not for preference...), toying with Chopin's 2nd scherzo, and I was amazed at my relative lack to handle the slightest things.  The intro is all fine and dandy, of course, but as soon as the right hand gets into it - descending F - Eb - Db - Ab - F - Eb - Db - Ab - F - Eb - Db - Ab - it gets choppy, inconsistent, and unreliable, performance-wise, and the same is true with anything of the sort - even the easier ascending C - Db - Eb - F - Gb - Ab - A right after.  Missed notes, slipped keys, you name it.  Of course, this is assuming a run at-speed, or slightly below it; anyone can play it slowly with ease. :)

Maybe I'm just too harsh about it, but have you ever found yourself in a situation like that, and other than constant drilling, is there anything that can help me along?

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Technical deficiencies
Reply #1 on: June 20, 2005, 05:33:25 AM
Rather recently, I learned and understood something very important in regards to piano technique: piano technique is more mental than it is physical.  If you force your fingers to make music, you may sometimes be successful in making music but more often you "Missed notes, slipped keys, you name it."

When I realized this through a lot of trial and error, I simply changed my thinking and accepted that I would not be able to make music the first time reading it through and learned to feel when I was forcing it.  If I forced it while practicing, I simply stopped practicing it that way and practiced slowly so that tension would not be in my body.

However, I also have a significantly better understanding of piano technique which made the above much easier.  In fast pieces where the hand must be displaced across a wide range, the only effective technique was the "thumb-over" technique - I refer to it as "hand displacement" since it is much more descriptive. 

"anyone can play it slowly with ease."
- a very important part about practicing technique is that you must know the motions of the hand, wirst, arm, shoulder, torso, core, and legs, when a passage is played at proper speed.  If you practice a passage slowly and are using the technique required to play it slowly, you will not be practicing the technique required to play it at speed.  But how do you know what the proper technique is at speed?  Play it at speed, even if you have to force it.  At this point, you will be sloppy, but it gives yourself a vague understanding of what your body must do.  This is difficult to describe.

However, some people who do force it are eventually able to force music to come through but with considerably practice.  "You play very well considering how badly you play."

When I stopped forcing it, It took longer for me to make music, but I was much more relaxed and comfortable and the results were much more gratifying as I didn't miss notes or feel so tense.

Offline totallyclassics

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Re: Technical deficiencies
Reply #2 on: June 30, 2005, 08:34:22 AM
i seem to have the opposite problem...when it comes to playing more technical pieces for me, the faster mozart, clemeniti, beethoven, and bach, i seem to be fairly inconsistent with technique...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and i never know when the "doesn't " is going to happen....however, when it comes to chopin or the very emotional and "feeling songs, in particular for me the nocturnes (even the more difficult runs), i tend to be more consistent...the feelings take over, and i'm not thinking about the notes anymore...it works better for me..i've tried to put the feeling into the other faster pieces, it's to fast and overwhelming...no time to stop and feel anything, have to concentrate too hard!  good luck..

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