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Full speed Chopin 10/1 etude [[Newest Video: March 9]] (Read 5402 times)

Offline violinist

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Full speed Chopin 10/1 etude [[Newest Video: March 9]]
« on: February 28, 2008, 09:07:46 PM »
I'm a piano God (well.... not yet):

FIRST ATTEMPT in Feb 2008 (see other attempts below)
 


(mainly just sound, digital picture of my violin stand, painted cello, and end of my piano).

Seriously, I'm just kidding about the piano God thing.  It's more like G-aweful.

Well, I wanted to celebrate by recording this, I just learned all the notes (well at least I can read them off the page now) of the Chopin 10/1 Etude.

It got very G-aweful towards the end - sorry, I learned it from beginning to end.

I do need comments because I intend to improve !


UPDATE (MARCH 1, 2008) ATTEMPT  #2
I included a video that now shows my hands (I suspended the camera on my violin music stand).  And now I can play it a bit faster and the end isn't as messed up.


(this is try #2 of Chopin Etude Op. 10, No. 1 recorded 10pm March 1, 2008).  Comments?
 
 
UPDATE (MARCH 8, 2008) ATTEMPT  #3
Now this is a little faster and I put the camera further back.  It is still suspended on the music stand.


(this is try #3 of Chopin Etude Op. 10, No. 1 recorded midnight March 7, 2008).  Getting faster...


UPDATE (March 9, 2008) Full speed with wrong notes here and there



Metronome 176 :)
Practice!

piano sheet music of Etude


Offline counterpoint

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Nice music room  :)

But it would have been even more interesting to see your hands... ;)
If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline violinist

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I'm going to get a tripod soon.  I had the camera on the edge of the piano at one point, but I was afraid it would fall.
Practice!

Offline feddera

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I can't give you any tips on how to play it faster, as I'm nowhere near the level of this piece. However, I really enjoyed listening to this. I am in fact listening to it for the second time while writing this. :P It was nice to hear every note so clearly articulated, too often is this etude played as one big blur. I'm sure you'll get it up to tempo soon enough  :)

Offline violinist

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Thanks feddera for the encouragement.  I can't wait to play it faster :)  I still feel like I'm improving everyday.  I'll post another one in about a week or 2 to see where I am.  I'll post it as March efforts.  I already feel like I've gotten the ending a little better today after practicing it for another 30 minutes.
Practice!

Offline feddera

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You're welcome. Just out of curiosity, how long have you been playing, and do you know any other Chopin etudes? I just got my Cortot-editions of the etudes (got carried away when ordering the preludes, lol), and it is soo tempting to try one out. I will, however, wait  a little longer. The day I can play just one of these, I will be a happy man.  :)

I'm looking forward to your updates, good luck!

Offline gyzzzmo

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Keep practising and dont hurry, you'll be able to play it faster and faster :)
It is good that you play it at a speed at wich you hardly make any mistakes, playing it too fast will screw the piece up.
good luck,
gyzzzmo
1+1=11

Offline violinist

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out of curiosity, how long have you been playing, and do you know any other Chopin etudes?

Feddera,

I'm not entirely sure how long I've played piano.  It's hard to say what my experience has been for this instrument.   The story I remember and with my parents recollection is that I started when I was 5 and then stopped when I was about 9 or 10.  I stopped because I wasn't making any progress with my teacher at the time (in other words "fired.")  I then took up violin full time which I had started when I was 7 years old.  I had played violin through the end of college then pretty much stopped when I entered medical school.  But I've always felt I was very comfortable with the violin, and had always identified myself as a violinist.  Then November 2005, my wife decided to buy a piano because she wanted an instrument she could play - she had played as a child as well.  So she bought this great steinway B piano which we now fight to play when we have time.  I didn't know much about the piano literature at the time because I had mainly ignored piano music (thinking that the world revolved around violin stuff only).   So I thought, well, where should I start and I decided to print out the free archived music for Chopin Etude Op 10, No.1 thinking well, where does one start?  "At the beginning."  I had listened to a recording of the etudes and thought they were all hard but heck, they should be easy enough at a slow tempo.   So my first piece that I started on the piano again as an adult was this piece.  But after playing the first page, I decided to give up.  About a few months later I decided to learn the second page, then I gave up after that, and then I had lost the music until recently when I downloaded and printed out the music all over again and now I finally "learned" the notes to the last few pages.   So what did I try after discovering the shock that the Chopin Etude Op 10 No 1 was hard even at a slow speed?  I decided to try a Bach invention which I just (guess what ? the first one) which just was still hard for me, so I gave up on that one as well.  Then after that I played the Debussy Arabesque, which I posted on here in the Audition Room somewhere in the past... I wonder if it is still on here.  So really the Debussy Arabesque was the first piece I learned after quitting / being fired at age 10.  I could really say that my fingers were not working at all back in Nov 2006, but I gradually and steadily improved.  I'm sure there was some component of finger dexterity memory for the piano stored in my head.  I just recently caved in and decided I needed some teacher guidance for piano and had two lessons so far since getting our Steinway Piano.  I'd like to think that some of my violin experience bleeds into piano playing.

So perhaps one could say that I've been playing for 7.5 years adding all the years of piano?

As for how long I've worked on this piece.  My guess is a little each day for about 3 - 4 months so far.

Initially I thought I needed huge hands to play this piece (Chopin 10/1 Etude) - somehow large hands aren't really needed for this piece, as I'm starting to find that I can do it!  I can only reach a 9th - I can't bang out a 9th, I can stretch my fingers slowly into the 9th - sad I know, but I do what I can.  For those of you who do surgical stuff - I wear size 6.5 gloves - now that's good for a surgeon and the patient because I make smaller incisions than most other surgeons.  I can get my hands in through small openings!

Enough said!
Practice!

Offline violinist

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Keep practising and dont hurry, you'll be able to play it faster and faster :)
It is good that you play it at a speed at wich you hardly make any mistakes, playing it too fast will screw the piece up.
good luck,
gyzzzmo

Gyzzzmo!  Thanks for your tips.  I feel that playing too fast will screw up my hands too!!  I'm trying to stay relaxed when I play this.  Thanks for listening. 
Practice!

Offline violinist

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You're welcome. Just out of curiosity, how long have you been playing, and do you know any other Chopin etudes? I just got my Cortot-editions of the etudes (got carried away when ordering the preludes, lol), and it is soo tempting to try one out. I will, however, wait  a little longer. The day I can play just one of these, I will be a happy man.  :)

I'm looking forward to your updates, good luck!

And... no, I don't know any other Chopin Etudes.  My current teacher thinks that the black keys etude would be playable for me.  It will be a while before I get to that one.

So.... Feddera, have you started on any of the Etudes?  You have a great edition book of etudes.  I challenge you to play the first 2 measures (first arpeggio up and down).  That's what I said to myself and that's how I got started.  Even if you just played the first two measures, it's a good exercise for the fingers, and it will get you ready for the day you play these etudes.  Just stay relaxed when you play and injury free - I won't take any blames for injuries!!!

Piano is so wonderful, and I'm just speechless about Chopin...
Practice!

Offline feddera

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Well, allright, I guess 2 measures can't hurt?  ;D If you have been reading at the students corner, you've surely read my tread about the arpeggios of the last movement of the first Beethoven sonata. This could possibly be a good exercise for the lateral hand shifts found all over that piece. I will try those 2 measures right now and report back later. :) My hand size are the exact same as yours, so I guess I can't use my small hands as an excuse either. On the bright side, playing octaves feels pretty natural when you only reach a 9th.

I started listening to Chopin just a couple of months back, and I have really missed out on a lot! Thankfully he wrote plenty of easier pieces, so I will have my hands full (literally, lol), while I gain enough technique to play the etudes. 

Offline gyzzzmo

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By the way, read this thread for general tips for chopin etudes. Following these advices will help you not screwing it up  ;D : http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,28636.0.html
1+1=11

Offline feddera

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Thanks for the guide gyzzzmo! This forum surely contains lots of wisdom. Anyway, I gave the two first measures a shot. I can't understand how anyone can play this at 176 bpm, which is the metronome-mark at the start of my score. I guess I have some more practising to do. :P

I'm uploading this only to show that I'm a man of my word, I do not intend to hijack your tread violinist!  :)

Offline violinist

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Thanks for the guide gyzzzmo! This forum surely contains lots of wisdom. Anyway, I gave the two first measures a shot. I can't understand how anyone can play this at 176 bpm, which is the metronome-mark at the start of my score. I guess I have some more practising to do. :P

I'm uploading this only to show that I'm a man of my word, I do not intend to hijack your tread violinist!  :)

Wow Federa!!!!  That sounds so smooth, and I love the tone and even-ness.  No need to keep you left hand light on this etude.  You got a start!  Before you know it you'll have two more measure down.  I can tell you that those first two measures get used a LOT in that piece, so I would say that you know quite a bit of the piece already!!!

You can hijaak the thread!  It would be more interesting that way!
Practice!

Offline feddera

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I must warn you, I am very good at hijacking forum treads!  ;D

Fine, let's join forces and make this the legendary super op10/1 ultra-tread!

First, let me thank you for changing my mindset from "I better play 5 more years before even saying 'etude' out loud" to "hmm... maybe with some work... ;D". I guess there is a certain psychological barrier, an intimidating aura of some sort, surrounding these etudes. Many, myself included, look at these etudes as the pinnacle of achievement on the piano, and I suppose they really are a benchmark for piano technique. But, seeing as these are "etudes", not waltzes or sonatas, the name sort of implies that one should work on these to gain technique, not gain technique to work on them. Besides, there are some really insane works out there, like the Godowsky studies on these etudes, which makes this look easy in comparison. I am now convinced I should start working on this etude, but not like I would work on any normal piece.

There are several ways to learn a new piece, I usually pick one of these:

1) Sightread through the piece as slow as you must in order to not break the rythm, and gradually increase the tempo until you can play it as fast as it should be.

2) Start with a couple of measures, memorize it until you can play the section without the score, then proceed in the same manner until the whole thing is memorized. Then start eliminating mistakes and difficult passages.

3) Start with the most difficult sections. When these are mastered, memorize the rest of the piece.

I tend to pick the number 2, but I really tend to get lazy when the score is memorized and I can play the entire thing, no matter how bad it sounds. I am now trying to get into the habit of doing method number 3. If the score is really easy, and I don't see any reason to memorize it, of course I'll just sightread through it a couple of times.

Anyway, I don't think any of the above methods will do me any good with this etude. I mean sure, I could spend 30 minutes each day memorising two bars for a month or something, but that would only result in me being able to play this at one third the final tempo. It would also be an excersice in memorizing, not in executing insanely fast lateral shifting arpeggios. I could sighread it at like, 20 bpm or something, but that would be even more pointless. As for my method number 3, there aren't any sections sticking out as more difficult than the rest in this piece, the whole thing is just way out of my league.

Instead, I am proposing something similar to what I'm suggesting in my op2no1-tread, just in a more "extreme" way. The Cortot-edition has 15 exercises for this piece, each to be modified to each measure. I can write these exercises here if you do not have the Cortot-edition and want them. They are similar to what I did to learn these two measures, just more throughout. To give you an idea, what I did now, was to learn the sequence of notes, ECGce etc. I then set my metronome to 176, and tried to play ECGce as 16th-notes (ascending), which I could not do no matter how much I tried. I then lowered the metronome to 140, and tried the sequence again, which i did manage. I proceeded to play the 5-note sequence starting on the three other positions. It was then not so difficult to link them together and play the four ascending octaves at maybe 2/3 the final tempo. At this point, my hand started getting tired, and I didn't do anything with the descending arpeggios, which is why the speed of the two measures is way slower than my speed of the first measure alone. This takes me to my next point.

For me atleast, two measures is too much to focus on in one practise session, especially if I am to do 15 exercises on each measure. Now, I am not sure if Cortot's intention is to master ex 1 on every single measure before starting on ex 2, or if he means one should master 15 exercises on each measure before tackling the next. If it's the former, then I guess more than one measure per session is fine, if it's the latter, one measure is more than enough. As this etude has 78 measures, spending two days on each measure means spending 156 days to get through the entire thing. One can then start at the beginning, this time doing two measures each session, then starting over doing four, etc. At some point, after like a year of practising, one can do the entire piece in one sitting, and it should sound pretty good too!

Now, I'm not entirely sure if this is the precise order I'll do it in, but something along those lines seems to me to be the best way to really master this. This is getting pretty long, and I've not even gotten started on the details of the hand movements etc. I think I'll save some of that for later.  :) What do you think of my plan, and how did you organize your practising violinist?

Offline violinist

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Well Feddera, sounds like you are going to come up with Feddera's method of mastering this etude.  I've not heard of Cortot's methods of mastering this.  I think we all come up with our own way of doing it.

There are certainly hard parts in this piece that occurs in the very middle (lots of black notes) and then at the very end when it breaks the up and down motion of the right hand (where I couldn't even figure out the notes).

I like your method #2:
2) Start with a couple of measures, memorize it until you can play the section without the score, then proceed in the same manner until the whole thing is memorized. Then start eliminating mistakes and difficult passages.



I used method number 2 to learn this and when the music went back to C major again, I just started at the beginning of the beginning of the piece.  There are certain sections of the piece that lends itself to "looping"  I practice my violin pieces in this looping fashion and it seems to work for me, thus I end up practicing the same section over and over and over.

In the end, I think we should just have fun working on this and not kill ourselves over super mastery of this piece.  I think we would gain some technical skills and strength by working on this etude.  I actually think my left hand octaves got better as a result :)

And um.... I would love to see the cortot 15 exercises, wow 15?!!!!!!!  I was looking on the web to see if it existed anywhere already, I couldn't find it on the web.  If it wouldn't trouble you too much to give me some hints on these 15 exercises.

Violinist principles of learning this piece:

1. Get into preparatory position.  While practicing slowly, I get my hand positions in place as soon as possible for the right hand.  When I'm playing something with the pinky, I get my thumb in position (and vice versa when coming down on one of these modified arpeggios)

2. I think of the right arm as the bow arm of a violin.  It can shape (dynmaics and tone) the melody and provided by the left hand.  This is in effect very much like playing the violin.

3. I play it soft and loud, this allows me to use different skills needed to play the piece - it helps with my accuracy I believe.

4. I exeriment with different ways to bring out the tone quality of an octave with my left hand - this has kind of been a new experience for me.

5.  I try syncopated rhythms when learning the arpeggios on the right hand, and then I reverse the syncopated rhythms - something I commonly used in violin practice

6. I try even other rhythms with the right hand, resting on different notes, that I use as "target" practice and the when I reach the target, I  make sure I give my hand a momentary relaxation point.

7. I practice with accents on the downbeat and also on other beats (especially trouble notes)

8. I practice without the pedal to see how even and accurate my notes are.  Eveness is a big challenge of this piece

9. I practice the hard spots in loops where I repeatedly repeat these sections without stopping and they don't necessary sound like I'm playing something over and over and over and over - it sounds like it just flows into the same part..

10. I cut my nails short so they don't get stuck in between the blackand white keys - very painful!

11.  I try at times for fun playing with my eyes closed to see if I can access my inner keyboard.  Violin playing is very much into knowing where every note is located - looking doesn't help a violinist.  The location of the notes are inside one's mind

12.  Slow practice is fun!  I listen for the vibrations and overtones this piece creates!  Like I said, this piece makes the piano seem like a violin to me.  The right hand moves back and forth (bow arm) and the left hand has the melody

13.  I practice this piece intermittently with some other piece so I don't go crazy hurting myself playing the 10/1 over and over.  After about 10 minutes on the 10/1 I go and try something else (another piece) and then I go back to the 10/1 again, so that my muscles are hurting.

Stopping at 13 sounds like bad luck... but oh well... that's all for now.

- Violinist--> pianist
Practice!

Offline feddera

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Those are excellent principles! I liked your point 13, this piece is really tiring the hand. And yes, as my technique is so far away from this piece, I must use all the tricks I can think of while learning this.  ;)

As for the 15 exercises, one could say there is really 5 exercises, at least 5 groups of exercises to be practised at the same time. I can't see how describing exercises would be illegal, as long as I'm not copying Cortot's (translator's) excact words. I don't have the time to write all 15 right now, but I will start with the first one.

Ex1) The movement of the hand as a whole (my modified title :P)

As I said, each exercise is to be modified to each measure. This exercise is really just a way of outlining the piece. Instead of playing the notes CEGce etc., one is playing just Ce (a 10th), up and down the piano for four octaces, as 8th notes. This has many advantages. For once, even I could play 4 octaves ascending at 180 bpm with this, after practising it for 15 minutes or so. You then apply this to this to the next two measures, which means Cfc etc. This way, you get used to the final tempo and "feel" of the piece right away, and you are really working the frame of the piece without the fine coordination. After some thinking I came to the conclusion that Cortot's intentions are in fact to apply this exercise for every measure of the piece before moving on to exercise 2. This is were having the piece allready memorized would be helpfull, as this is just a matter of simplifying the score and increasing the tempo.

Let me know if my description was unclear! The rest of the exercises are just building up the complexity gradually until one is playing the entire thing at tempo. That is what I like the most about them, the goal is always to play them at the final tempo.

I seem to have some trouble executing the descending arpeggios. My thumb gets stiff and in the way, sort of. I hope your next video captures your hands!  ;D

Offline violinist

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Those are excellent principles! I liked your point 13, this piece is really tiring the hand. And yes, as my technique is so far away from this piece, I must use all the tricks I can think of while learning this.  ;)

I seem to have some trouble executing the descending arpeggios. My thumb gets stiff and in the way, sort of. I hope your next video captures your hands!  ;D


I don't know if Ex1 is going to help me much.  I guess it's nice to see what a "simplified" version of the piece sounds like.  You could still just frame the whole piece by playing the left hand alone.

My opinion is to still plow through this piece one measure at a time.  There were days where I made a goal of learning 2 measures per day.  I'm in the process of figuring out the framing and lines of the whole piece now.  I just finished my 2 measures a day/plowing through method when I video taped the piece the first time (February 2008 efforts video).

Well... about your thumb getting in the way.  I use the thumb as a lauching pad on the way down from those right hand stuff.  The thumb helps to drag my hand into the new position as the pinky gets ready to strike the next note.  Because you asked this, I attempted to do what I could to video tape my progress so far and I tried to get the video to capture my hands.  It doesn't do a good job looking at the thumb per se, but you can get the gist.  I'm by no means a piano expert, but having thought about hand motion effiency in my work and my violin playing, I have some of those basic principles down.  I really haven't had formal lessons on this piece of music.

Video is here on youtube (or you can search for user name Piano5050):


(this is try #2 of Chopin Etude Op. 10, No. 1 recorded 10pm March 1, 2008).  Comments?
Practice!

Offline feddera

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #18 on: March 02, 2008, 08:19:21 AM »
After watching your second video, I agree, exercise 1 probably isn't going to help you much! Maybe you won't need any of them, but I can still post the rest if you'd like. Wow, that was really good. Are you practising with a metronome? That had to be like 130 bpm+

Watching your hands was really useful, your technique makes this look so effortless, I tensed up like crazy playing those 2 measures. Seems like this etude is not about stretching the thumb and pinky, but rather about moving the entire arm.

Your technique seems to be more composed and on a level above mine, how much did you struggle with this in the start? Maybe I'll just learn four more measures and do a video myself.

Again, excellent job, this is really inspiring me!  :)

Offline violinist

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #19 on: March 02, 2008, 09:29:43 AM »
After watching your second video, I agree, exercise 1 probably isn't going to help you much! Maybe you won't need any of them, but I can still post the rest if you'd like. Wow, that was really good. Are you practising with a metronome? That had to be like 130 bpm+

Watching your hands was really useful, your technique makes this look so effortless, I tensed up like crazy playing those 2 measures. Seems like this etude is not about stretching the thumb and pinky, but rather about moving the entire arm.

Your technique seems to be more composed and on a level above mine, how much did you struggle with this in the start? Maybe I'll just learn four more measures and do a video myself.

Again, excellent job, this is really inspiring me!  :)

I occ. practice with the metronome.  But today I decided I was going to practice more with the metronome.  I've decided today that I must as a rule keep the metronome a tool in my musical arsenal.   I don't think that was 130+.  But I'll get there and probably pretty soon if I keep working at it.

When I first started, there was a lot of tension until the notes were found and the motion became more familiar.  You can get used to the motion with just the first two measures if you play them over and over again in my favorite "looped" nonstop fashion.    To get past my struggling phase, I tried to picture in my mind my right hand floating over the notes and letting the piano do most of the work rather than my hands.  I did this in a slow fashion and tried to consciously make my arms, wrist and fingers relax.

You mentioned something about arm motion.  Moving the arm is involved for sure, like drawing the bow across the violin strings, but there is a big contribution from wrist motion as well.   Keep wrist motion in mind.  I believe the arm will gracefully lead the way and the wrist will accomodate and the fingers will fall into place.  Keep those wrists relaxed.


Please someone correct me if I'm wrong.  I've only been playing for a pretty short period of time.  I may have played piano from age 5-10 but I couldn't play much then because my fingers were so short and hands so small - I never played an octave until we got a real piano about 2 years ago.  And I really don't practice all that much piano.  But I do have my experience in other fields (ie violin) that apply to piano and music.

I can tell you that I started this piece with very awkward arms, wrists, and fingers.  I have access to some Alexander Technique teachers (body positional balance and advantage) and I have had them show me a few things with this piece.  I will continue to ask them for guidance.  I've actually have had a series of Alexander Technique lessons - more than my recent piano lessons.  Although, once again, that does not make me an expert on Alexander Technique.

You're also inspiring me as well.  I thank you for that.  I need all the inspiring I can get, and I'm glad to share.

Post us some more Cortot and Feddera wisdom!  Thanks for watching my second video.  I was a little nervous about dangling the camera on the wire metal music stand, but it did fine!  I might be onto something: a cheap tripod replacement.
Practice!

Offline counterpoint

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #20 on: March 02, 2008, 11:03:16 AM »
UPDATE (MARCH 1, 2008)
I included a video that now shows my hands (I suspended the camera on my violin music stand).  And now I can play it a bit faster and the end isn't as messed up.


(this is try #2 of Chopin Etude Op. 10, No. 1 recorded 10pm March 1, 2008).  Comments?

 :o :o :o

What an improvement!!!

Your playing is very relaxed and natural. Sometimes (only sometimes!) the highest note of the arpeggio is a bit too direct (too loud, too strict in time) for my taste. Perhaps you heard Pollini, who does this to the extreme  ::) :D
If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline feddera

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #21 on: March 02, 2008, 03:31:43 PM »
About the metronome speed, I calculated your bpm average to be 119. You did deaccelerate a little bit, so the start is at least really close to 130 bpm!

Thank you for writing those details on arm motion, they proved useful this morning. I don't know how much 'wisdom' I can share, but here is what I did on todays practise session. I had the choice between learning two new measures, and practising the two I know. I chose the latter, so I could try out your suggestions right away without memorizing any new notes. Besides, I'm not in a hurry. I don't mind spending a year on this.  :)

I sat the metronome to 180, and started working exercise 1 in fractions. First I did ECe (the arpeggio minus the G and the second c), then Cec. In case you are wondering, I use capital letters to indicate a note on the octave group below. So Ce is a 10th. I then did the same the opposite way, to emulte the descending arpeggios. Afterwards it was just a matter of connecting 4 of those ascending, and 4 descending. While just half the notes, the arm as a whole still has to move as fast as it will when playing everything, and the wrist has to be loose to do this. Even if I could do it, it still felt a little akward, though your suggestions has given me something to think about while doing this. Especially your description of the thumb motion, that made quite the difference!

Then I tried the same thing I did on my first session, setting the metronome to 180 and playing the whole broken chord. Believe it or not, i actually managed to play ECGce at 180 bpm! It was akward and tense, yes, but it was still a fourth of a measure of this piece 'above' final tempo!  :D I could not link two of those together. However, this has made me realize two things:

1) I am physically cabable of playing this.
2) When I learn to relax and integrate all the needed motions, I will be able to play it too.

Of course, point #2 is really what playing the piano is all about. ;D

Finally I lowered the metronome to 120, and played trough the two measures a couple of times. It went much smoother than it did yesterday, a combination of a good night's sleep, your suggestions and the Cortot-exercise. Tomorrow I will try two more measures!

Offline violinist

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #22 on: March 02, 2008, 08:15:35 PM »
:o :o :o

What an improvement!!!

Your playing is very relaxed and natural. Sometimes (only sometimes!) the highest note of the arpeggio is a bit too direct (too loud, too strict in time) for my taste. Perhaps you heard Pollini, who does this to the extreme  ::) :D


I have not heard Pollini.  Sadly, I have not heard much legendary piano stuff.  My life had been seriously messed up thinking that the world revolved around violin.  I hope to hear the recording some day.  I think I have seen a recording somewhere (CD).

Thanks for the tips.  I'm thinking that I would like to play the piece a bit more steady... That's my next goal, after actually learning the last 10 measures better (the notes, etc)
Practice!

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #23 on: March 02, 2008, 08:18:33 PM »
About the metronome speed, I calculated your bpm average to be 119. You did deaccelerate a little bit, so the start is at least really close to 130 bpm!

Thank you for writing those details on arm motion, they proved useful this morning.

Then I tried the same thing I did on my first session, setting the metronome to 180 and playing the whole broken chord. Believe it or not, i actually managed to play ECGce at 180 bpm! It was akward and tense, yes, but it was still a fourth of a measure of this piece 'above' final tempo!  :D I could not link two of those together. However, this has made me realize two things:

1) I am physically cabable of playing this.
2) When I learn to relax and integrate all the needed motions, I will be able to play it too.

Of course, point #2 is really what playing the piano is all about. ;D

 Tomorrow I will try two more measures!

Feddera,

Even if you're not ready to play this at full tempo (yet), you can still learn the notes and play at at 100 bpm (a nice relaxed slow pace) as your goal not 140 or whatever.  I don't think 140 is my goal.  I'm not sure what my goal is.  I just wanted to learn the notes and then use this etude as one of my daily exercises to keep my fingers nimble.

The secret to sounding fast is even notes - that applies really well to violin passages, and I'm sure it does so for any musical instrument.

Have fun with it, don't let this etude kill ya.

About the arm motion.... like the bow, watch the elbow and make sure it doesn't "drag" behind.  It should "lead" especially when going up the higher notes. (or the violinists here would call it a "down" bow)
Practice!

Offline feddera

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #24 on: March 02, 2008, 09:58:22 PM »
Don't worry. I am practising some Bach minuets, a couple of Chopin preludes and a Beethoven sonata every day. This etude is just my new warmup routine. :) Maybe my descriptions gives the impression that I am trying harder than I am. Also, overanalyzing every little thing like this, is believe it or not one of the many ways I have fun! ;D

I should make a disclamer before getting started on my new practise philosophy, and my plan of attack for this ettude. I have used this method for just one week, so this is fairly new to me too. You can play this and I can not, so anyone reading this should not put too much weight on my words. To those of you who can play this at tempo (yes, I know you are reading this ;) ), any further opinions would be awsome!

We shared the slow-play philosophy until one week ago. That was when I started the tread on the Beethoven sonata. Some of the answers there has made me progress much faster than the way I was practising before. I read somewhere, possibly on this very forum, that one should never be afraid of the notes. It is the metronome-markings that are scary. In other words, what makes this etude so hard, is the tempo mark of 176 beats per minute.

If I were to memorize, say, the first page, i could probably not play that page any faster than 100 bpm. This is because I would have to play "safe", so I won't miss any notes, and thus making it and exercise in memorization until I know it well enough to speed up. Making matters worse, playing at 100 bpm does not require the same relaxed playing and extreme coordination of the entire body playing at 176 bpm would. It is therefore easy to integrate bad habits one would have to correct later, playing that way.

When I reduse it to two measures, there is less to remember, and I allow myself to take more "risks". Playing the 4 ascending and descending arpeggios of the two first measurses at 120 bpm is therefore possible. Reducing it to the 4 ascending arpeggios only, I am able to play it at 140 bpm. Finally, when reduced to one chord only, a group of 5 notes, I can play it above the final tempo, at 180 bpm. Playing those 5 notes at 180 bpm does not feel natural or easy at all. To be able to play this etude at 176 bpm, I have to find a way to make them easy. Then, it would only be a matter of linking 4 of them together, and doing the same thing backwards, etc. A similar method made me play arpeggios (as triplets) at 208 bpm, easier than I could at 160 bpm in less than a week. This is my third day practising this etude, and I still have a lot to figure out.

To conclude, I could learn to play this at 100 bpm, but I already have the technique required to play at that speed. It would only be a matter of memorizing the notes. What I try to practise instead, are the big arm movements, the wrist motions, etc., the things stopping me from playing at the final tempo. And now I know what to focus on tomorrow: the elbow! :)

That should do for now. More feddera wisdom/random babbling later!  ;D

Offline violinist

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #25 on: March 03, 2008, 05:55:12 AM »
And take that elbow thing with a grain of salt.  It comes from a violinist who thinks that this etude is like playing the violin (even the horizontal wrist motion that develops)....

Strange... I wonder if any other violinist/pianists have thought of that with this etude.



Gosh 176 bpm... I checked my music and indeed it really is 176 bpm.  I didn't look at the metronome marking.  That's crazy :)

Maybe I'll get there, maybe not, but if I improve a little every day, maybe I'll get there (in a month - just kidding - or maybe not?)

I wanted to ecourage you to try the syncopated rhythms.  I know you like rag time...  These syncopated rhythms has helped me get these notes down more than any other idea we tossed around.

Practice!

Offline feddera

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #26 on: March 03, 2008, 08:57:06 AM »
Syncopated rythms are a great idea, I will try that too.

I have heard some more recordings of this etude now, and none of them had a tempo of 176 bpm. Idil Biret's recording had a tempo of 147 bpm, and I thought that sounded insanely fast! To play this at 176 bpm, would mean to play the whole thing at 1 minute and 46 seconds. I think you are right, if 147 bpm is good enough for Idil Biriet, it should be good enough for me too, at least for a while.  :)

I'm still basically just fooling around with the first two measures, we'll see how much I can do with it. I am sure you will get this at the tempo you want it pretty soon, your playing looked so effortless!  :)

Offline feddera

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #27 on: March 03, 2008, 04:10:17 PM »
I left my recorder on while practising this morning, so here's a couple more attempts at the first two measures!

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #28 on: March 05, 2008, 05:06:27 AM »
I left my recorder on while practising this morning, so here's a couple more attempts at the first two measures!

Hey! It's sounds pretty good!  It's not a bad idea to just use that first two measures as an exercise.  You already have it at a pretty good clip, thus I think you can make this whole etude sound like music!

Two more measures please for the next week!  I want to hear a recording of the first 4 measures !!

I've been busy, and away from the piano...  but I'll get back to it this weekend!!!!
Practice!

Offline feddera

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #29 on: March 06, 2008, 06:47:35 PM »
Yes, if I can make it sound like that every time, then I might be able to finish this etude! What I lack is consistency, I take too many risks. I got the big motions down pretty good now, but I miss the notes too often. Maybe it's time to take your slow-playing advice more seriously.

I looked at your Mozart performance on youtube, that was amazing. How are you able to play so effortlessly and accurately at the same time? Mozart seems to be my biggest weakness, I can't play anything by him. I startet on the Turkish March half a year ago or so, but I didn't learn more than the first page, as I could not get it to sound crisp and even like it should. It still annoys me, because it looks so easy on the score. :P If you could write more on your practising routines and your step-by-step process of getting a piece to perfomance level, it would be very appreciated!

I started the next two measures today, we'll see how good I can get them in a week!  :)

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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #30 on: March 07, 2008, 11:43:59 PM »
I believe I'll have some time to practice Saturday afternoon, I'll video some practice tips - such as my syncopated practicing.

I plan to play this at tempo - soon too.  Lofty goals :)
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Re: Chopin 10/1 etude February 2008 efforts. [New Video: March 1)
«Reply #31 on: March 09, 2008, 01:55:20 AM »


For what it's worth, 3rd video on this great etude (Chopin Op 10, No.1 Etude C Major)
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