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Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat? (Read 2087 times)

Offline pjjslp

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Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
« on: April 19, 2016, 01:12:55 PM »
Just for fun, I picked my way through this for the first time last night. Even if I can't ever play it well, it seems like it may be fun to try.

Anyway, there is literally only one chord in the entire piece that my small hands will never be able to reach - measure 27, that Eb-F-A natural-D in the right hand. As I see it, there are three options for cheating: Leave out the Eb, leave out the F, or roll the entire chord. Which of these seems the least offensive?

Thanks!

piano sheet music of Etude


Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #1 on: April 19, 2016, 01:14:26 PM »
Roll that ish
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Offline adodd81802

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #2 on: April 19, 2016, 01:40:24 PM »
.
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Offline mjames

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #3 on: April 19, 2016, 02:22:48 PM »
#babyhands

just roll it, sounds cooler.

btw its not cheating, it's just compromising. Some things are just impossible. One day like 20 years or so from now I'd love to learn Medtner's nightwind sonata however there are quite a few places in it that are beyond my hand span...passages filled with 12th chords xD

Offline spenstar

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #4 on: April 19, 2016, 05:10:54 PM »
Just roll it. You'll eventually get to the point where you can roll it fast enough that its barely noticeable

Offline pjjslp

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #5 on: April 19, 2016, 05:42:15 PM »
There are many things wrong with your statement. But I could write an essay on it, and it would be pointless either way.

Anyway setting yourself up for failure aside, I don't like the term 'cheat' when it comes to piano playing.

Cheating is acting dishonestly or unfairly to gain an advantage. This implies that it is an act that you could do honestly or fairly. You can't magically grow bigger hands and so cutting a note or rolling the chord is not cheating, and you should not consider it that way.

You must have pretty small hands anyway, assuming you're approaching this chords as 1,2,3,5.





Yes, I do have very small hands. I can reach a ninth but not easily, and I simply can't make that stretch if my second finger is on the F. I tried and it was both painful and impossible. The size of my hands, I think, is why I always preferred zippy Mozart sonatas when I was young. I couldn't do "big" but I could move fast.

I suppose "workaround" would have been a better word than "cheat." Point taken. Sounds like the general consensus is to roll it, which is what I was leaning toward.

Not setting myself up for failure, by the way. I have no plan to play for anyone besides myself at this time, and I will enjoy working on this piece even if I only ever get it to half tempo.

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #6 on: April 19, 2016, 06:17:16 PM »
There are many things wrong with your statement. But I could write an essay on it, and it would be pointless either way.

Anyway setting yourself up for failure aside, I don't like the term 'cheat' when it comes to piano playing.

Cheating is acting dishonestly or unfairly to gain an advantage. This implies that it is an act that you could do honestly or fairly. You can't magically grow bigger hands and so cutting a note or rolling the chord is not cheating, and you should not consider it that way.

You must have pretty small hands anyway, assuming you're approaching this chords as 1,2,3,5.





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Offline pjjslp

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #7 on: April 19, 2016, 07:09:06 PM »
#babyhands

just roll it, sounds cooler.

btw its not cheating, it's just compromising. Some things are just impossible. One day like 20 years or so from now I'd love to learn Medtner's nightwind sonata however there are quite a few places in it that are beyond my hand span...passages filled with 12th chords xD

Yikes, 12ths? Yeah, I can reach a 10th on a toy toddler piano, not sure I could get a 12th even on that!  ;D I am not familiar with that piece but now you have me curious.

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #8 on: April 20, 2016, 08:38:49 AM »
.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #9 on: April 20, 2016, 08:39:21 AM »
.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline stevensk

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #10 on: April 20, 2016, 08:58:34 AM »
Leave out the Eb, leave out the F, or roll the entire chord. Which of these seems the least offensive?

Thanks!

Leave the piece  ;)

Offline kalospiano

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #11 on: April 20, 2016, 03:29:15 PM »
You are setting yourself up for failure, and I did not once mention that it was because you are playing for anybody else.

You are simply setting yourself up for failure. Playing a piece that you can only play at half tempo, does not then suddenly unlock the ability to play at full tempo.


The OP clearly said that he would be happy even playing at half tempo, so he doesn't need to get at full tempo. This automatically means that he is not setting himself for failure.

Also, I never understood this reasoning: everything that is even slightly above our level must played slow before it can be played fast. If the OP manages to play the full piece with the correct notes and dynamics at half tempo, first of all he will be already satisfied about it (as he already said), secondly he will have a very good base to start in order to practice a lot and slowly, progressively bring the piece at full tempo. Hell, even when I started playing Fur Elise I could only do it crazy slow. Everybody needs to start somewhere.

Also, the fact that the OP is willing to learn this piece does not mean that he's willing to only learn this piece. For all we know he could want to work on one measure only every week and learn the piece over several months while at the same time working on other easier material. I don't see why exactly he would be setting himself up for failure.


Come to think of it, your original post now seems to contradict itself, you want to try and play the chord right, but not bothered about the tempo? why not just cut half the notes out of the whole piece, play at full tempo and move on. :D

How is this a contradiction? He wants to play the full piece correctly at half tempo. From there, he can practice to bring the speed up.
If he didn't play the chords right and cut half the notes he wouldn't be really playing the piece, neither slow nor fast. He would be playing something else. Meaning that he could not really start from what he learned to progressively speed up to the intended tempo for the actual piece.

OP, I think that if you like this piece and you enjoy the challenge you should learn it. But what I wrote above is just my humble opinion and I'm just a beginner, probably more unexperienced than you, so in the end you might end up preferring to follow the other guys' advice here, it's really up to you.

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #12 on: April 20, 2016, 03:47:50 PM »
.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline mjames

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #13 on: April 20, 2016, 03:57:40 PM »
+10

XD playing it slow doesn't mean you can play it. Fast playing including ascending/descending runs requires a great understanding of how to use your body (arms, wrist). If you don't know, you won't be able to play it quickly. Trust me, I've been there.  :) OR playing a bunch of octaves at a quick tempo WITHOUT experiencing muscle fatigue. I had to learn this while playing Rach's prelude, and it's a definite requirement for what I'm currently learning (polonaise op. 44).

Playing piano is not just about playing the notes, you need to know how to use your body. It's something that'll become more apparent when you work on more advanced works.

Offline kalospiano

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #14 on: April 20, 2016, 04:32:55 PM »
If you have already admitted to being a beginner, what experience could you possibly have when making your points I wonder?


very easily said: no one would have probably advised me to start playing Mozart's Turkish Rondo in my first year of studies. I did and I don't regret it one bit. I don't play it perfect, I'm always practicing to perfect it, some rare time I even manage to play it almost completely correct. But I'm very happy to play it the imperfect way I do, for my personal own satisfaction, and I would learn it again if I went back in time. I was playing it slow at the beginning, oh, so slow. But I managed to bring it up to speed, all while learning some other simpler pieces at the same time.

You really really need to understand that other people might have different objectives than you. You wouldn't be happy playing a very slow version of this etude. The OP would. You would prefer to learn faster some easier repertory while the OP would prefer to take more time to learn this particular piece. Your vision and the OP's seem to be very different. So why are you advising the OP according to YOUR own objectives instead of his?



Your final comment on tempo, sums up your misunderstanding of what slow practice is. "correctly at half tempo from there he can practice to bring the speed up"

How do you propose this is done? Just increase a metronome and hope for the best? I can show you countless examples on here of people that will tell you they have 'practiced over and over' but always hit a wall of speed where they try and go faster and it loses all structure.

It worked for me on many pieces. Probably wouldn't have if I tackled pieces way too above my levels, but we don't know for sure what the OP's level is. We're just assuming stuff here.


We must presume by the OP's own admission that they are not ready to actually learn this piece, and I personally could not understand why they would not want to learn difficult pieces that are within their actual skill set and have a real and deserved sense of accomplishment.

I repeat, the OP's ojectives might be different from yours. What you think would give you a sense of accomplishment might not be the same for the OP.


lol, I end with your summary "Everybody needs to start somewhere" ....  So yeah I know let's start with the Revolutionary Etude, why not!

Possibly I didn't explain myself very clearly. I didn't say that a total beginner must start with the Revolutionary Etude. I said that everybody needs to start a new piece at a very basic level.
You implied that playing the RE very slowly would be just wrong, while instead playing the RE very slow is simply the very starting point of the process of learning. Once you master it slowly, you can work on it to bring it up to speed. For sure you can say that playing a piece slowly doesn't mean that you can play it fast, but it is definitely a necessary step to playing it fast. I don't think anybody has ever learned playing a piece fast before they could play it slowly.




@mjames: playing it slow doesn't mean you can play it. Of course, it doesn't. It just means that you can play it... slow. Which is exactly what the OP said he would be happy with... So, why advising him not to do it? Different strokes for different folks.



In the end, the OP simply asked advice on how to play a chord, he didn't ask whether he should or should not play the piece, did he?

Offline pjjslp

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #15 on: April 20, 2016, 08:21:01 PM »

You are simply setting yourself up for failure. Playing a piece that you can only play at half tempo, does not then suddenly unlock the ability to play at full tempo. Why would you not want to learn pieces that you can perform full tempo and have an actual sense of accomplishment, and possibly in the long run work your way up where you can actually learn this piece in general?

You are going to spend grueling months trying to learn a piece you simply cannot play yet, just to go "well I got half tempo, that was WELL worth it..."

In no other hobby, sport, profession, do we just bump straight to the top and hope our way through it. You wouldn't start an art class trying to paint the Mona Lisa (see attachment). I appreciate you're not a beginner (from your account of playing Mozart), but the Chopin Etudes are for very technically competent pianists, however, they are also far from the nicest pieces one could learn.

I honestly am not even fond of the Revolutionary Etude myself, and I'm a massive Chopin fan.

Come to think of it, your original post now seems to contradict itself, you want to try and play the chord right, but not bothered about the tempo? why not just cut half the notes out of the whole piece, play at full tempo and move on. :D



OK, I am choosing not to take your comments as hostile, since you say they weren't intended that way.

Note to self: in the future, choose your words carefully, as they will be taken quite literally. I guess I'm still figuring out this forum.

I did not say I would only be capable of playing at half tempo, nor that this is my goal. When I initially said I may not be able to play it "well," I meant when compared with professionals. Half tempo was an exaggeration. I will never play it as fast as Valentina, but my intent is to get it to a reasonable tempo. I am a technically competent pianist. I chose to stop studying seriously my freshman year in college but have played off and on for about 40 years. I am generally pretty good at knowing what pieces are beyond my capabilities. However, I am developing arthritis in a couple of fingers and also have a mild tremor in both hands which sometimes conspire to make things that I used to find easy more difficult or impossible.

I'm genuinely interested in your take on where the cutoff is for when a person shouldn't even make an attempt at learning a challenging piece of music? I have been working on the 3rd movement of the Moonlight Sonata. At the moment, I can play it accurately and musically at about 90 bpm. At about 120, it would still sound impressive to someone who doesn't know it well but posters here would wince several times, and at about 145 the wheels fall off completely in a couple of spots. I'm still working on it. It will never sound as good as the pros, or likely even a conservatory student. I'm enjoying the process thoroughly, so it has been and continues to be an extremely worthwhile endeavor. In fact, learning the 3rd movement prompted me to go back and relearn the 1st and 2nd, and it's also been rewarding to see how much my musicality has improved since I first played them.

Anyway, sorry to ramble, but how good is "good enough" to learn a challenging piece if the process itself is satisfying? For example, I am a runner, and a fairly slow one. No amount of training will make me elite, yet I've done several half marathons and am training for my first full. My time will not be impressive, but I will cross the finish line with my best possible effort. There are younger, faster runners who don't think people like me should run marathons, but then I also think they don't understand the enjoyment of the process and not just the end result.

Thank you for your feedback. It's an interesting conversation. Maybe I fit into that category of people you find frustrating  :) or maybe you are just making assumptions because I didn't choose my words carefully enough.

Offline pjjslp

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #16 on: April 20, 2016, 08:26:07 PM »
Also, I never understood this reasoning: everything that is even slightly above our level must played slow before it can be played fast. If the OP manages to play the full piece with the correct notes and dynamics at half tempo, first of all he will be already satisfied about it (as he already said), secondly he will have a very good base to start in order to practice a lot and slowly, progressively bring the piece at full tempo. Hell, even when I started playing Fur Elise I could only do it crazy slow. Everybody needs to start somewhere.

Also, the fact that the OP is willing to learn this piece does not mean that he's willing to only learn this piece. For all we know he could want to work on one measure only every week and learn the piece over several months while at the same time working on other easier material. I don't see why exactly he would be setting himself up for failure.


OP, I think that if you like this piece and you enjoy the challenge you should learn it. But what I wrote above is just my humble opinion and I'm just a beginner, probably more unexperienced than you, so in the end you might end up preferring to follow the other guys' advice here, it's really up to you.

Thanks, kalospiano! For what it's worth, not that it matters, but the OP (me) is a she  ;)

I am definitely working on a few less challenging pieces at the moment, as well as building speed on the 3rd movement of the Moonlight Sonata. My time is somewhat limited, what with career and family and all that, but I love a challenge.

Offline pjjslp

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #17 on: April 20, 2016, 08:35:56 PM »

I personally do not believe one would learn the Revolutionary Etude simply for themselves with no intention whatsoever to perform for at least 1 other.

I have made this point countless times, that for some reason anybody that decides to play a piano, all listen to the hardest pieces and think "well, I can learn that surely if I REALLY WANT TO"... no it does not work like that.


1. Well, my husband and kids hear me play all the time, but I wouldn't say I "perform" for them. I really play for myself. No opportunities to perform, really, and no burning desire.

2. Believe me, I know when something is well out of my ability range. I would quickly find the process unenjoyable and move on.

Offline pjjslp

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #18 on: April 20, 2016, 08:44:20 PM »

XD playing it slow doesn't mean you can play it. Fast playing including ascending/descending runs requires a great understanding of how to use your body (arms, wrist). If you don't know, you won't be able to play it quickly. Trust me, I've been there.  :) OR playing a bunch of octaves at a quick tempo WITHOUT experiencing muscle fatigue. I had to learn this while playing Rach's prelude, and it's a definite requirement for what I'm currently learning (polonaise op. 44).

Playing piano is not just about playing the notes, you need to know how to use your body. It's something that'll become more apparent when you work on more advanced works.

Please see my above reply re: tempo.    I wasn't completely serious about "half" tempo. I know I won't fly through it like a concert pianist because I can't play anything as well as they can. I think because I'm a female and, admittedly, intimidated by many of the posters here, I tend to "aw, shucks" more than I probably should.

I do have more experience than my original question would imply. I asked it because there are posters here who simply know more than I do and I wanted opinions on the least egregious workaround (see how I avoided saying "cheat"?) I learned the hard way about using more than just my fingers to play after a nasty bout of tendinitis in my teens.

Offline kalospiano

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Re: Revolutionary Etude - least offensive cheat?
«Reply #19 on: April 21, 2016, 09:36:42 PM »
Hi pjjslp, sorry, since everybody was making assumptions about you I went ahead too and wrongly assumed that you were a man  :-)  after reading more about your story I'm even more convinced that you should tackle the etude. Unfortunately, being a silly beginner, I cannot offer you much advice on the chord, although the general consensus apparently seems to be to roll it ;-) I wish you best of luck with your playing!