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Topic: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff  (Read 1881 times)

Offline mandel

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Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
on: June 21, 2005, 07:20:14 PM
I'm having little bit trouble with fast Chords jumping around the keyboard, and I have 2 different ways of practise: Please tell me what you think is best.
If we take the Rachmaninoff G minor prelude as an exellent example, (I'm having trouble with the other section startin with an big Eb-chord, trouble getting it in fast tempo)

1. After hitting a chord, you move the hands Extremely Rapidly to the next Chord, so the hand is already lying on the next chord. Quickly relaxing before hitting next chord.
In other words: you play the section very slow but your hands are moving very fast in beetween the chords.

2. This is more like playing in slowmotion, also wih the hands and arms. Your hands are not in place when next chord comes, your hands FALL in place. More Like throwing your hands, learning how hit chords, more like an blind man.

Please tell me what you think is best.
Personaly, I feel that the first alternative seems more smart way of practising jumping chords, but on the other hand, when it comes too playing the piece, and the jumping chords in full speed, It seems as the second alternative is more the way it happens in realtime!
You see my dilemma? Whats Best?
Regards //David

Offline 6ft 4

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #1 on: June 21, 2005, 10:14:13 PM
play it slowly until u get it perfect.

Just play the chord jump to the next chord, make CERTAIN your on the right notes and play this chord. REPEAT many times until u can "feel" the chord under ur hands.

Im also learning this piece, have almost mastered it: i can tell you these chords are the least of your worries.........
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Offline puppetmaster

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #2 on: June 21, 2005, 10:17:34 PM
The second one. Letting your hands fall in place, atleast that is what i prefer.
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Offline mandel

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #3 on: June 21, 2005, 10:48:26 PM
Thanks you guys.
6ft 4: What do you mean by:  "i can tell you these chords are the least of your worries........."?

How long do you did it take to master this piece?,
I can play it flawlessly at maybe 80 bpm now, but It's to slow, And I need it mastered in 2 weeks, playing it in my summer-recital. And I really are getting nervous:

At first this prelude seemed to come to my hands very quickly, and I got it up to 70-80 bpm very quickly, but now It's seems to have stopped. And I can't practise this piece for hours like other pieces, After a while I'm always exhausted!
Please give me more tips 6ft 4, and all you others who have played it.
How do I practise it at best?

Offline rob47

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #4 on: June 22, 2005, 12:36:42 AM
IN a way it's a combination of both.  Like most jumping chords at some sort of velocity you must train your muscle memory to truly nail them.

What I do in these situatations is first practice playing the chord and immediately relaxing when your fingers reach the bottom of the keys, remember that as soon as they reach the bottom there is nothing else you can do to change th sound.  So to train your muscles i would:

1st- Practice playing the chord and immediately relax. (in actual performance this will help your stamina greatly)

2 - Practice playing the chord and as quickly as possible, moving to the next chord but not playing it.  JUst getting to it with your fingers above the right notes.  Rememebr while doing this to move extremely horizontally to each chord with little vertical movement.

3. Combine the two.

4. take it to the next level by plaing the chord relaxing, moving to the next and playing it.  Depending on how many chords there are just keep using these techniques to move from one to the next.

Eventually the relaxing part is so slight you won't notice it, but having practiced relaxing between each chord has huge benefits.

I hope this is somewhat clear, english is not my first language. Well, yes it is.

 
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #5 on: June 22, 2005, 01:26:14 AM
Use guiding fingers to control your movement and the shape of your hand when you play the chords. That is, choose one finger which you use to position the hand. Ensure that is always at its target instead of the entire shape of the hand, the entire shape should be suggested just by this one guiding finger. For example, Cminor in Rh, you may use the 2nd finger as the guide so that you aim for the Eb. One might constantly use the thumb for positioning but it is sometimes handy to use the middle fingers to crack the form.

If you have Chord X to Chord Y and there is a big jump, play X and hold it, pause and dont let the fingers leave the notes. Look where you must move to next, then move to it and strike straight away. Hold the position at Y and then look how you should go back to X and continue. If you pause at the end to calibrate your fingers, the movement isn't targeted.  Pause at the start while you hold your first chord then you offer no hope to pause when you move to the next chord. Look while holding your first chord where you guiding finger has to fall to for the next, then the large movement is starting to be targeted.

Guiding Fingers
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Offline steinwayguy

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #6 on: June 22, 2005, 04:14:19 AM
Rob is the most correct of the previous posters, I feel. You need to do both; the two most important things to keep in mind are relaxation (No. 2) and that the most efficient path between two points is a straight line (No. 1).

Offline Barbosa-piano

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #7 on: June 22, 2005, 04:54:07 AM
I give one suggestion before all: you have to break the "core". I mean that, at first, you will feel a lot of tension while practicing those chords and octaves, but first, memorizing it will help you a lot, so you do not have to keep reading the score (The arrangement of harmonies is easier than it looks: E flat- B flat- D minor- F major). Practicing slowly and accurately and than increasing the speed is in my opinion the best approach in overcoming the passage. I hope this was helpful.
Enjoy practice!  ;)

Mario Barbosa
Feel free to follow my music blog! themusicalcause.blogspot.com[/url]

Offline thalberg

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #8 on: June 22, 2005, 05:32:53 AM
I've found that with sudden leaps, the problems are more mental than physical.  As you're playing the chord prior to the one you miss quit paying attention to where your hands are and put your MIND where you're hands will be going.  It's like sending your mind ahead of you.

Offline 6ft 4

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #9 on: June 22, 2005, 10:03:10 AM
Thanks you guys.
6ft 4: What do you mean by:  "i can tell you these chords are the least of your worries........."?

How long do you did it take to master this piece?,
I can play it flawlessly at maybe 80 bpm now, but It's to slow, And I need it mastered in 2 weeks, playing it in my summer-recital. And I really are getting nervous:

At first this prelude seemed to come to my hands very quickly, and I got it up to 70-80 bpm very quickly, but now It's seems to have stopped. And I can't practise this piece for hours like other pieces, After a while I'm always exhausted!
Please give me more tips 6ft 4, and all you others who have played it.
How do I practise it at best?

took me about a month and a half mainly concentrating on this piece and one other (dr. gradus).

Dont worry about it seeming to "stop" as in you see no improvement.....it happens to us all.
Yeh doing the fast octaves is exhausting lol!!
i find that when playing fast octaves and fast jumps u really have to "think" about what ur doing, sort of "imagine" the distance of the jump and then my hands miraculously seem to hit the right notes!! (As thalberg said)

I found that if u play it perfectly and slowly eventually it just naturally improves and u can gradually move up the tempo.

But yes it is a very hard piece....there are no "harder" sections to concentrate on: the whole thing is difficult!!

Make sure to bring out the middle interweaving melodies in the middle section.....they are SO beautiful.
I wish i was what i was when i wanted to be who i am now.

Offline shasta

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #10 on: June 22, 2005, 11:10:26 AM
I hope this is somewhat clear, english is not my first language. Well, yes it is.

LMAO.

Your advice was dead-on, Rob.  Those millisecond moments of relaxation are critical.  Nice post.
"self is self"   - i_m_robot

Offline 6ft 4

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #11 on: June 22, 2005, 11:52:35 AM
try playing the chords with ur eyes closed so that u can truly feel them.
I wish i was what i was when i wanted to be who i am now.

Offline mandel

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #12 on: June 22, 2005, 12:14:33 PM
Thank you for all the advice. I guess I need MORE practise and MORE patians.
Patiens makes Perfect  ;D

What if I'd get bitten by a mutated Spider, As in Spiderman?
That "slow-motion-spidersense" would be awsome in the G minor Prelude.

Offline rebel1ns

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Re: Jumping Chords in Rachmaninoff
Reply #13 on: June 27, 2005, 12:43:40 AM
yea the prelude is real hard to get at first, but its just doing them slowly over and over again, and your hands will remember where to go during those huge jumps eventually..it just takes time, but you'll get it
 

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