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Topic: getting it up to speed  (Read 1963 times)

Offline aki

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getting it up to speed
on: September 28, 2003, 10:09:41 AM
I'm playing the Moonlight Sonata and I'm having trouble with the 3rd movement, getting to the right speed.  Well it goes pretty fast, and I lose control when I play the alberti base.  How can I fix this?

Offline tempo

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Re: getting it up to speed
Reply #1 on: September 28, 2003, 10:10:44 PM
You can try playing a bit louder. Rise the level of what you think pianissimo is. Thus your whole playing sounds a bit louder.
Playing louder gives you more control in rythm.
Your "piano" has to be easy to play. Then adjust all the other nuances to that "piano".  Try it.

Offline amp

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Re: getting it up to speed
Reply #2 on: September 29, 2003, 06:37:40 AM
I think it is important to paly it smooth and comfortably at a slow tempo first. Then bringing it up to speed will be much easier. A lot of us try to rush a piece up to speed. Try it slow for a week. You'll probably be surprised in a weeks time with the improvement.

Offline bobo

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Re: getting it up to speed
Reply #3 on: October 01, 2003, 10:56:49 PM


A revered way to improve evenness and velocity is
to practice the passage with varying rhythms.  This
works for both piano and stringed instruments.
There are several ways to describe the technique,
my favorite being the following.

Consider a passage such as the 16th note alberti you
mention in M3 of Op 27 #2.  

Here is the idea.  We want to pick 4 notes out of
each measure, and then pause whenever we reach one
of those notes.  All the other notes are played
rapidly and in time.  Then we want to pick a different
set of 4 notes, again in each measure,  and continue
until we have paused on each note.  Pause just means
when we get to that note we pretend it is a whole note stuffed in among the other 16ths.

More precisely and considering groups other than 4 notes,

1.  Select a few measures in an area where you have
   problems.  In this case it is easy to find
   several measures together that are uniformly 16th
   notes.  Do this.

2.  Select a grouping of notes.  This can be 2, 3,
   4, 5, etc.  We'll take 4 for this example.  We
   don't have to.  3 or 5 works for this as well,
   but 2, 3, and 4 are probably the most important.

3.  Divide the passage into groups of the above number.
   We took 4, so the grouping is already explicit in
   that each group of 4 16th has a common beam.
   There are 4 such groups to each measure.
   (Beam is the pair of horizontal lines that indicate
   two "flags" for each 16th).  

4.  Pick a number from 1 to 4.  Call this number n. Suppose
   we take n = 3.  Within each group of four select the
   third note and when practicing the passage, pause
   for at least one beat every time you play the third
   note of a 4 note group.  You will pause, holding the
   note down, on 3 notes in each measure.  


 Repeat step 4 so you get all the numbers from 1 to 4.
 You will then have paused on each note of the passage.
 Typically you will stop first on the first note of
 each group, then the second, etc.

 Do this with a metronome, never sacrificing clarity.
 Measure yourself against target (playing normally)
 each session.

 Accumulated tension is your enemy.  It impairs your
 ability to acquire coordination and it is actually
 dangerous relative to injury.  At each pause note
 be sure to release all accumulated tension.

 The common "play it short-long, short-long" is 2 note
 groupings selecting the second note in each pair as the
 note upon which to pause.  long-short is selecting the
 first note.

This approach can result in very rapid improvement and is
especially applicable for passages such as those you mention.

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