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Wilhelm Backhaus – Technical Problems Discussed

The legendary German pianist Wilhelm Backhaus (1884-1969) shares his thoughts on piano technique in an interview with Hariette Browner, published in her book Piano Mastery (1915) Read more >>

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Author Topic: Triplets against quavers in Chopin's (Posth.) Nocturne in C#m - Help!  (Read 2261 times)
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« on: December 29, 2004, 06:38:27 PM »

Hi, does anyone have any tips on how to practice the triplets against quavers in Chopin's posthumus nocturne in C# minor?  They occur once in bar 7 (1 set of triplets against 2 quavers), then the same in bar 15, along with 5 notes against 2 quavers, then 2 sets of triplets against 1 quaver each! It's really stressing me out.
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piano sheet music of Nocturne
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2004, 07:22:49 PM »

Well, just practice it slowly and make sure every note is played at the right time.

You'll see that somewhere near the end there'll be parts where you have to play 18 notes with your right hand, four with your left... 

The best thing to do is to take a piece of paper and draw two horizontal lines of equal length, one below the other.  Then divide the upper line in as many pieces as you have notes to play with your right hand, divide the lower line in as many pieces as you have notes to play with your left hand.  This will show exactly when you have to play each note. 

When playing triplets against quavers (are you British?),  the second note of the quavers has to be played between note two and three of the triplet, and if you look at the drawing, you'll see that this is exactly in the middle. 
To practice this it might help to only play the first note of the quavers at first and only "think" the second note between note two and three of the triplet.  When you're used to that, you can then really play that second note. 

I hope I didn't bore you with theory that you possibly already knew Wink
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