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Repeated Notes (Read 6524 times)

Offline dinosaurtales

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Repeated Notes
« on: July 09, 2002, 08:43:19 AM »
Still trying to figure out the Beethoven Appassionata Sonata.  In the First Movement there are several sections of repeated triplets in the left hand, mostly single notes.  These are fast enough that I would like to know if you guys alternate fingers on this, or use the same finger for all occurrences of one note.  I am not much good at the alternating finger technique, and I am trying to tell if it's worth pursuing on this section, or if that technique is best kept for other passages.
So much music, so little time........

Offline Diabolos

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #1 on: July 09, 2002, 09:54:01 PM »
Hi.

I'd stick to using different fingers for different keys - if you're not comfortable with alternating fingers you shouldn't waste too much time on that. Besides, alternating fingers always adds a level of potential risk to your playing since you can easily hit the wrong not when playing fast.

Good luck with the Appassionata. :D

Offline 88keys

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #2 on: November 14, 2002, 02:43:37 AM »
Everything Diabolos has said is true to some extent. It is, indeed, tricky to alternate fingers on the same note. But there are cases where you simply don't have a choice.

The Appasionata is one of those cases. It is nearly impossible to play the triplets in the 1st movement at tempo without alternating fingers. And even if you succeed in doing this, it is totally impossible to do it the "piano" dynamics required. It might be instructive to actually attempt this (at tempo), and see just how unrealistic this fingering is.

If you want to avoid alternating fingers at all costs, your only option is to slow down the tempo a bit at those passages. Needless to say, this will reduce the overall quality of your performance, but without alternating fingers it is the best you can do.


Offline robert_henry

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #3 on: November 14, 2002, 08:06:38 AM »
Alternating repetition is a skill you are going to have to learn sooner or later, so why not use this piece as an excuse (reason) to work on it?

Some hints for practicing them:  

There needs to be some subtle wrist rotation involved (per group of notes).  You might need to have a teacher show how to do it.

When changing fingers, stroke the same area of the key each time - like a target.  You can practice this by "playing" on an eraser or a finger on your unused hand.  Your sound and control will be more consistent.

Your hand should be fist-sized.  Keep close to keys and keep your hand compact.  A spread-out hand will cause fatigue.

You must think of the time BETWEEN each note, and relax during these micro-moments.  

Robert Henry

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #4 on: November 14, 2002, 09:00:51 AM »
Hey there Robert Henry!   Excellent tips - I'll work on them.  So are you back in Atlanta, or are you in love with New York?  What was it like to play in Carnegie Hall?  Cool, eh?  You lucky dog.  Welcome back to the board!
So much music, so little time........

Offline artist

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Alternating
«Reply #5 on: February 19, 2003, 12:55:54 AM »
I have to agree that alternating fingers to get the most even and controlled repition of a note at a rapid tempo is a necessary skill for advanced piano playing. It begaqn with Beethoven and many people in B's time could not play his music. Karl Czerny, therefore, wrote many exercises and Etudes in order to strengthen his students skills, largely for the difficulties found in the Beethoven Sonatas.

My first introductuion to a light repeated alternating fingers on the note were in Czerny exercises i played in my teens. Several of them feature this technique, I believe. It is much better to learn them there first. Especially since Liszt , for example often requires this same  technique in his music.

Sorry, there are very few "short Cuts' in Beethoven..
Good luck

m

Offline trunks

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #6 on: April 19, 2004, 11:00:03 PM »
I insist on using the same finger for slow repeating notes. The alternating finger method is reserved for rapidly repeating notes that would cause prompt fatique in the hand if played with the same finger. A good example is the passage towards the end of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No.13. Try that thing and you'll find the repeating notes in the Appassionata slow and easy - which I always play with the same finger (left thumb, to be exact)!
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline green

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #7 on: April 20, 2004, 06:12:56 PM »
Lizst says that the wrist should rise and fall under which a group of 4 notes, for example, the fingers quickly 'pull' towards the body. (I have found my fingers getting a little 'warm' from the friction of pulling...when u say 'target', or 'aiming for the same spot', this does incur greater wrist motion, more motion, more fatigue...is this what u mean???)

Wrist rotation? R u sure u meant rotation? O rather a loose wrist which moves symathetically to the motion of the fingers?

When explaining to a std, would u say that this was wrist or finger motion?

Anybody know bartok's 'Barentanze'? How would u explain to play the repeated notes there?

Offline DarkWind

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #8 on: April 20, 2004, 06:58:15 PM »
Barentanze? Does that translate to Bear Dance? I've played that piece, pretty simple. For the left hand, I usually use either just my thumb or both my thumb and index finger. It works quite well. Also, I find's Liszt's technique quite effective, where you just pull all the fingers towards you. You can give off an extremely fast tremolo.

Offline green

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #9 on: April 20, 2004, 07:52:13 PM »
Yes, bear dance. Bartok write to use 4321 in LH repeated eigth notes. Half note =120-130. Its very fast, how do u manage with just your thumb? :o

I have a std whos previous teacher told him to play this with wrist motion. Yes, on each eigth=one bouncing wrist motion. Anyone ever seen a rapidly flailing hand?

Offline DarkWind

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #10 on: April 20, 2004, 08:57:59 PM »
I'm not sure really! I have extremely rapid trills and tremolos. I was playing through the piece, usually the hand doing the chords can barely keep up ;), and I noticed that what I sometimes do is, I start off using my thumb. As it gradually tires, I use both my thumb and index finger and make a gradual change to just using my index finger. Then, another gradual change goes from both to just my thumb. That suites me perfectly enough. Also, my right hand's tremolos are like 25% much more faster than my left hand. I need to strengthen my left hand! Anyone have any suggestions?

Sidenote: My edtition of Bear Dance says halfnote= 102-120.

Offline donjuan

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #11 on: April 21, 2004, 03:17:57 AM »
Hi DarKWind,
If you want to strengthen your left hand, play pieces incorporating the left hand Eg. Liszt's Ballade No.2 or Chopin's Revolutionary Etude (Op.10 No.12).  A great piece to learn how to repeatnotes evenly, quickly, and lightly, I recommend Liszt's Tarantella.  I just finished it and now I can play repeated notes much more comfortably.

Hi PeterHK
You own a PLEYEL P124 upright.  I used to have an upright, but replaced it with a grand because the Upright couldn't repeat notes very quickly or evenly.  You play a lot of liszt.  How can you play Liszt's music, which often requires repeated notes?  If you found a way of playing repeated notes quickly and well on an upright, you should write a book or something about it.
donjuan

Offline trunks

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #12 on: April 21, 2004, 09:02:32 AM »
Hi donjuan,

Some uprights have very nice action. You need careful selection and careful trying out. The PLEYEL upright has quick response and quick rebouncing action. But then not much Liszt requires repeating notes as crazily rapid as those in his Hungarian Rhapsody No.13.

The alternating finger method is useful in this situation. I listened to Nicholai Demidenko's recital last evening. He gave 2 Scarlatti sonatas as encores. One of them requires very rapid repeating notes and I could clearly see him using alternating fingers. He has a rich, mellow tone.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline donjuan

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #13 on: April 22, 2004, 03:36:06 AM »
Hi PeterHK,
You are right- some uprights are better than others, however, all uprights dont have "aftertouch", a special feature specific to the Grand Piano action.  Aftertouch enables you to play the note again without fully letting the key recover.  Reapeated notes on uprights will always be slower because they lack this technology.  Hungarian Rhapsody No.13 only requires repeated notes in that one passage near the end.  I bet you would have trouble playing Liszt's Tarantella, Mephisto Waltz No.1, or Schubert Transcription-Erl King at normal tempo, because repeated notes are everywhere.  Same with Prokoviev- Toccata Op.11.  
but then again, maybe you aren't interested in playing those pieces...
donjuan

Offline trunks

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Re: Repeated Notes
«Reply #14 on: April 22, 2004, 06:25:48 AM »
Hi donjuan,
Not quite 'uninterested'. The Tarantella and Mephisto Waltz, or the Prokofiev Toccata are some pieces with which I am familiar, albeit not my top favourite. I am planning to learn them after having acquired all my favourite ones - even including the Liszt B minor Sonata - on my fingers and memory.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist