\"\"
Piano Forum logo

clementi sonatina in c (Read 6734 times)

Offline db05

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1908
clementi sonatina in c
« on: June 25, 2008, 03:09:32 PM »
I've been studying the first movement for 2 months now. I can play separate hands with no problem at speed, but with both hands i simply can't do it even at half speed. It is such an easy piece. Am baffled as to why i can't play it despite practicing and memorizing.

Help...  :'(
I'm sinking like a stone in the sea,
I'm burning like a bridge for your body

piano sheet music of Sonatina


Offline emmas_dad

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 14
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #1 on: June 26, 2008, 01:41:54 PM »
Maybe the problem is the easiness of the piece. I had the same problem; it's so easy, it's seems ridiculous to make any mistakes. I think I subconsciously told myself, "If you make a mistake in some this simple, you must be a lousy pianist." So I naturally tensed up, afraid to make a mistake, which of course made me mistake-prone.

If you keep making mistakes, this will reinforce your negative thoughts, and lead to further mistakes. Try letting it go for a while; play other pieces and let that one rest a little. When you go back, you'll play it with ease.

Offline syncope

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 41
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #2 on: June 26, 2008, 04:00:42 PM »
maybe you should try it even slower than half the tempo and try to figure out/hear first very patiently where left comes in and right, how they interact. As soon as you understand how it works with both hands togther, and your hands get it too, gradually play little faster every few days. I think maybe impatience may be part of the problem because it seems so simple to play, but well, sometimes you have to take a step back and go through it really slowly to get it with the hands together.
Good luck!

Offline db05

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1908
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #3 on: July 07, 2008, 06:20:50 AM »
Thanks for the advice. It's probably a psychological thing.

My teacher checked my work last week, made me play it at half speed. Good thing is I was able to do it then. Sounds weird but meh. She didn't mind. Said I could move on to 2nd movement. Should I move on, or should I finish the first one first?
I'm sinking like a stone in the sea,
I'm burning like a bridge for your body

Offline emmas_dad

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 14
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #4 on: July 07, 2008, 12:59:40 PM »
I would go on the next movement; it will distract you enough from the first movement that it will feel fresher when you go back to it.

Offline syncope

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 41
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #5 on: July 07, 2008, 01:23:41 PM »
I agree.

Offline timothy42b

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3141
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #6 on: July 07, 2008, 02:42:48 PM »
Am baffled as to why i can't play it despite practicing and memorizing.

Help...  :'(

Could be a mental block, I suppose.

But sometimes when you can't play something, that is a helpful diagnosis that tells you a critical skill you need to master.  Really you should always be pleased when you find something you can't do, because it helps figure out what you need to work on. 

So I would not give up on it, until I'd tried at least two methods of getting hands together.

One is "dropping notes."  You could search here and find a better description than I can give, but I'll describe it.  Take your right hand and play one measure (or a short phrase) over and over.  After a few times through, use your left hand and add just one note, in rhythm, every time you come back around.  You don't have to do this too slowly - maybe not at full tempo but easily above half.  Now two notes from the left hand.  Every four or so times around add another left hand note until you are playing the whole phrase.  Now reverse it and try again, starting with the left hand cycling. 

The other is linking very short cycles.  Play, at tempo with both hands, just notes 1 &2, or beats 1 &2, lots of times.  Then 2&3, then 3&4, etc.  Then start again and do 1, 2, and 3; 2, 3, and 4; etc.  Keep adding one note or one beat at a time and playing all the way through.  Takes forever, but it's pretty much foolproof. 
Tim

Offline db05

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1908
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #7 on: July 07, 2008, 03:54:55 PM »

The other is linking very short cycles.  Play, at tempo with both hands, just notes 1 &2, or beats 1 &2, lots of times.  Then 2&3, then 3&4, etc.  Then start again and do 1, 2, and 3; 2, 3, and 4; etc.  Keep adding one note or one beat at a time and playing all the way through.  Takes forever, but it's pretty much foolproof. 

That's what I've been doing all week.  ;D

Dropping notes sounds interesting, but I've never tried it yet.
I'm sinking like a stone in the sea,
I'm burning like a bridge for your body

Offline db05

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1908
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #8 on: July 09, 2008, 01:24:15 PM »
 ???

This feels pretty weird now. Apparently I memorize pieces too quickly, long before I can play anything properly. Working on 2nd movement now, and a Polonaise by Bach. I find the 2nd movement a lot harder than the first because it's slow. I'm used to playing as soon as I read; if it's too easy to read, I play too fast. The Polonaise is the opposite; I can't play fast enough because I can't get the hands to cooperate while figuring out the timing. The rhythm would always throw me off.

This is really frustrating. I don't particularly like my pieces but I'm stuck. And life is too short to play only First Lessons in Bach and Clementi Sonatinas.
I'm sinking like a stone in the sea,
I'm burning like a bridge for your body

Offline posteroto

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 7
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #9 on: July 09, 2008, 03:59:03 PM »
I'm a beginner myself so I'm posting out of curiosity, but, isn't allegro in this piece a very fast speed for a beginner? That's at least 240 quarter notes, not exactly a slow speed for somebody of our level - if my assumption about your piano experience is correct, otherwise correct me please.

Offline gerryjay

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 829
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #10 on: July 09, 2008, 04:09:01 PM »
dear db:
although i respect the opinion of people who think that's a psychological issue, i must completely disagree. i really think you're only approaching it in the wrong way, and looking for the wrong results. don't think that's something about you, because something similar happened to me years ago, and i see it in some friends and pupils.

let's see.
I've been studying the first movement for 2 months now.
this is why i think you're approach is not good: if you have never ever seen a piano before, after two months you might play this movement complete with no problem. i'm not saying it is a complete piece of cake: it's just a matter of how you deal with it, and what are your goals.

I can play separate hands with no problem at speed, but
well, well: two mistakes, i must say. first: if you can play, after those two months, HS perfectly at speed, you prolonged too much this practice. when did you play HS flawlessly for the first time? that was the day you should start practicing HT.
second: why did you concern yourself about playing HS at speed, before attempting HT?

with both hands i simply can't do it even at half speed.
play HS and play HT are completely different tasks. when you play HS, you're dealing with notation, finger-hand-forearm-arm movements, details of technique, fingerings and - then - control of one hand at a time. when you play HT you're dealing with coordination first and foremost. only when you're able to coordinate, you can even think about speed, expression, pedalling, and the like. of course that, as you get experience, you can read at sight with all those elements, but i'm talking about a piece that one can't handle.

It is such an easy piece.
there are no such a thing, like a standard easyness grade. in spite of the fact you think that are thousands of "gradus ad parnassum", or if you simplify repertory as "easy or impossible", it's a very personal matter. to some people, this movement is very hard; to other, it's very easy; to even other, it's ok. just don't bother yourself with such a thing: love what you play and enjoy it. there is nothing particularly wonderful in playing complex/difficult pieces. it's just a sort of benchmark if you're going to pursue a career, nothing else. btw, if you change perspective, it's very very hard to bring to life "easy" pieces. first example that came to my mind: mozart's 545, second movement. the easiest sonata movement he ever composed. well, listen to a regular pianist playing it, and then listen to mitsuko uchida or andras schiff.

****

i don't have a more precise description of your study technique, but i'd say to you try something. choose the part of the first movement that seems to you most complex to join hands.
two recomendations: don't cut large, and respect musical divisions (phrase, section). playing several times each hand, from memory, at some speed (don't worry about the ultimate speed, just don't play HS too slow).
when you think you're OK, start playing HT very very slowly and see what happen. notice that it will be uncorfotable in the first attempt, not so in the second and so on. perhaps, you'll must repeat it a hundred times, but eventually it will work.
here that come the two gold rules:
 1 - don't push speed unless it's perfect;
 2 - don't add another part unless it's perfect.
try that and tell me what happens then.

one final word: if you can't solve a part (either HS or HT) in three or four days, there is something very wrong. perhaps the part is too large, perhaps it's not time to join hands, perhaps it's too fast.

best!

Offline gerryjay

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 829
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #11 on: July 09, 2008, 04:16:42 PM »
a final word about speed.

listen to several recordings of a standard piece, let's say a beethoven's sonata or a chopin's etude, and notice how different are the tempi choosen. near always, you'd think that - for you particular judgement - some are playing it too slow, some are playing it too fast. and then what? a lot of people are playing it basically at the same speed! and not only that: same speed, same touch, same everything. quite annoying.
although sometimes it's really interesting to listen to a damn fast piece, to me is as good as that listen to a pianist who have the guts to play it slow. listen to arrau playing waldstein's first and tell me what you think.

best!

Offline db05

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1908
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #12 on: July 09, 2008, 04:54:51 PM »
I'm a beginner myself so I'm posting out of curiosity, but, isn't allegro in this piece a very fast speed for a beginner? That's at least 240 quarter notes, not exactly a slow speed for somebody of our level - if my assumption about your piano experience is correct, otherwise correct me please.

Yes, 1st movement "spiritoso" is really fast, but then again, I've never heard of a simpler fast piece. Then again, I'm not exactly new, having studied for a year now.

I might have confused some of you. I find the 2nd movement, the slower one, more confusing. I don't know if I'll still press 1st movement to final speed, I don't like to leave things unfinished but I also hate to feel I'm not progressing. I want to study in Conservatory in the future, if that's even possible.


gerryjay:

Thanks for the input.


well, well: two mistakes, i must say. first: if you can play, after those two months, HS perfectly at speed, you prolonged too much this practice. when did you play HS flawlessly for the first time? that was the day you should start practicing HT.
second: why did you concern yourself about playing HS at speed, before attempting HT?

What I did, if I remember correctly, was play small segments HS perfectly at speed. I put off HT until I could put the segments together, into larger segments at least. Otherwise the segments would sound incomplete.

only when you're able to coordinate, you can even think about speed, expression, pedalling, and the like. of course that, as you get experience, you can read at sight with all those elements, but i'm talking about a piece that one can't handle.

I'm understand it's easy for most people. Coordination is the thing I'm worst at, so it's the last thing I learn. Perhaps I made the mistake to put it off, but even if I didn't, it would still drag me down. So most of the time I can read and think even if I can't play. Am still trying to figure a way around that one...

there are no such a thing, like a standard easyness grade. in spite of the fact you think that are thousands of "gradus ad parnassum", or if you simplify repertory as "easy or impossible", it's a very personal matter. to some people, this movement is very hard; to other, it's very easy; to even other, it's ok. just don't bother yourself with such a thing: love what you play and enjoy it. there is nothing particularly wonderful in playing complex/difficult pieces. it's just a sort of benchmark if you're going to pursue a career, nothing else.

Now that you've mentioned it, I do want to pursue a career and I wonder if I should still dwell on these easy pieces or start preparing for the hard ones. By hard I mean those pieces required in a conservatory.

Thanks a lot!
I'm sinking like a stone in the sea,
I'm burning like a bridge for your body

Offline syncope

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 41
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #13 on: July 10, 2008, 05:56:02 PM »
Hi db05,

Playing hands together is really important and not something you can go around for long - especially since you say you like to finish a piece, and not leave it unfinished, then this is pretty crucial :)

I think in the future when you study a piece, when you´ve learned left hand and right hand apart (slowly, not at speed) imediatly start with hands together, the sooner you begin with that, the more days you study HT - and you will progress in that aspect (but you have to give it time, and not postpone it).

Coordination of the hands is for everyone difficult in the beginning, but extremely important to learn.

Don't skip the easy pieces and go on to the Conservatory level pieces. The reason why Clementi is one of the first sonatinas to play is because the coordination is relatively easy. If you want to study at the Conservatory one day and play more complicated pieces, especially the coordination will get more and more difficult - what to think of the three-voice/four-voice Bachs you'll have to play at the Conservatory?

I think it might be a good idea to perhaps put Clementi away for a while and start with a new piece, but not a more difficult piece, the same level just different. Start all over. And start playing hands together as soon as possible so you give your hands and muscles the most time to get used to it.

The progression in the beginning stage seems to be the slowest, but it is very important to be patient, because what you learn then will be the basis for later, and you'll curse yourself for never having been patient learning for example playing hands together confidently.

Offline db05

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1908
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #14 on: July 11, 2008, 11:12:43 AM »
Coordination of the hands is for everyone difficult in the beginning, but extremely important to learn.

Important, yes. I doubt that it's difficult for everyone, as I'm the only one I know personally who can't play a whole piece hands together from the start. I feel embarrassed that I ever have to practice hands separate, and in segments.

Don't skip the easy pieces and go on to the Conservatory level pieces. The reason why Clementi is one of the first sonatinas to play is because the coordination is relatively easy. If you want to study at the Conservatory one day and play more complicated pieces, especially the coordination will get more and more difficult - what to think of the three-voice/four-voice Bachs you'll have to play at the Conservatory?

I think it might be a good idea to perhaps put Clementi away for a while and start with a new piece, but not a more difficult piece, the same level just different. Start all over. And start playing hands together as soon as possible so you give your hands and muscles the most time to get used to it.

You're right. Regarding pieces, what do you recommend? Also, are there exercises for this?
I'm sinking like a stone in the sea,
I'm burning like a bridge for your body

Offline syncope

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 41
Re: clementi sonatina in c
«Reply #15 on: July 16, 2008, 08:41:52 PM »
Sorry for my late reply! I cant really suggest any particular pieces because I don't know how you play etc. Ask your teacher, or maybe someone around here will give a suggestion, someone who has more experience in teaching and has a whole database of beginners/intermediate pieces and can pick one more easily.

Good exercise is by sightreading. Take a beginner book, something way under your level, and start playing every piece very slowly through (make sure you never stop to correct but play it through).  Before you start playing look at the score and see if you find any logic. For example, maybe left hand plays all quarter notes all through - is easy, don´t have to think about the rhythm. Or it only plays on every first bieat - is easy! or it has scale movement - is easy! And be patient :)

Hope it helps!