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Topic: Ballade No.1  (Read 3268 times)

Offline justpianoplayer

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Ballade No.1
on: January 07, 2018, 12:05:13 PM
Hello everyone.I'm currently trying to get my Ballade on a listenable level,but i have that huge problem of technicality.Musical part i somehow manage to work out,but the technical parts are struggling me.If you provided me with the pieces to increase my endurance and technical capabilities,i'd be glad.
Thank you in advance
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Offline beethovenfan01

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 06:18:42 PM
Having played this piece (and never really mastered it to the level I wish I could), I can say that it totally lives up to its nasty reputation, and before going further I want you to examine whether or not you are actually ready for it. If not, wait and come back to it in a year. If you think you can do it, then get ready to dig in. There's a LOT of work involved in polishing this piece.

The most important way to work on something like this is section by section, phrase by phrase, measure by measure, even note by note. Repeat the fast sections as many times as you need to be able to play them perfectly three, four, five or more times in a row. Practice mindfully, watching accuracy, dynamics, shape, and touch. Vary up your work--practice a legato section staccato, block the harmonies into chords and practice it that way, play it in swing rhythm. When you're working section by section, work backwards by starting at the ends of the phrases and adding the preceding notes one at a time--slowly, not adding until you've mastered the notes after it.

Also, throughout, practice and memorize the hands alone, then add them slowly. In addition, especially in the coda, try playing the right-hand part with your left hand, and visa versa; try ghosting (playing one hand normally, the other lightly or even silently) each part; even try playing it backwards.

In the fast section at the beginning of the piu animato (specifically the run in mm. 111-118), look very carefully at the fingering in your edition, and then FOLLOW THAT FINGERING. I made this mistake repeatedly, and it sabotaged my accuracy for months before I figured it out. To be honest, when I started this piece, I had no real idea how to attain the kind of clarity that is necessary for this piece, but over the course of about two years I basically "invented the wheel" with this (and I'm still working on applying all of these in my own work). Practicing effectively will save you SO MUCH time, and MONTHS of frustration. These principles are not only helpful in the Ballade, but in all your repertoire--and it will shrink the amount of time you spend on the notes from months to weeks, or even days.

These are all just my opinions and nothing more.
Practicing:
Bach Chromatic Fantasie and Fugue
Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 1
Shostakovich Preludes Op. 34
Scriabin Etude Op. 2 No. 1
Liszt Fantasie and Fugue on BACH

Offline dogperson

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 06:32:08 PM
I would suggest that you look at the book, ‘play it again’ as It includes a large number of excellent practice and technique tips for the Ballade.  They are interspersed throughout the book, as he studies With some of the best teachers, and then included in an appendix.   You can find it used.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jan/20/alan-rusbridger-play-again-review

Offline beethovenfan01

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 05:30:46 AM
Quote
I would suggest that you look at the book, ‘play it again’ as It includes a large number of excellent practice and technique tips for the Ballade.  They are interspersed throughout the book, as he studies With some of the best teachers, and then included in an appendix.   You can find it used.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jan/20/alan-rusbridger-play-again-review

Oh yes that's a good book, I forgot about that!
Practicing:
Bach Chromatic Fantasie and Fugue
Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 1
Shostakovich Preludes Op. 34
Scriabin Etude Op. 2 No. 1
Liszt Fantasie and Fugue on BACH

Offline justpianoplayer

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 11:44:51 AM
Having played this piece (and never really mastered it to the level I wish I could), I can say that it totally lives up to its nasty reputation, and before going further I want you to examine whether or not you are actually ready for it. If not, wait and come back to it in a year. If you think you can do it, then get ready to dig in. There's a LOT of work involved in polishing this piece.

The most important way to work on something like this is section by section, phrase by phrase, measure by measure, even note by note. Repeat the fast sections as many times as you need to be able to play them perfectly three, four, five or more times in a row. Practice mindfully, watching accuracy, dynamics, shape, and touch. Vary up your work--practice a legato section staccato, block the harmonies into chords and practice it that way, play it in swing rhythm. When you're working section by section, work backwards by starting at the ends of the phrases and adding the preceding notes one at a time--slowly, not adding until you've mastered the notes after it.

Also, throughout, practice and memorize the hands alone, then add them slowly. In addition, especially in the coda, try playing the right-hand part with your left hand, and visa versa; try ghosting (playing one hand normally, the other lightly or even silently) each part; even try playing it backwards.

In the fast section at the beginning of the piu animato (specifically the run in mm. 111-118), look very carefully at the fingering in your edition, and then FOLLOW THAT FINGERING. I made this mistake repeatedly, and it sabotaged my accuracy for months before I figured it out. To be honest, when I started this piece, I had no real idea how to attain the kind of clarity that is necessary for this piece, but over the course of about two years I basically "invented the wheel" with this (and I'm still working on applying all of these in my own work). Practicing effectively will save you SO MUCH time, and MONTHS of frustration. These principles are not only helpful in the Ballade, but in all your repertoire--and it will shrink the amount of time you spend on the notes from months to weeks, or even days.

These are all just my opinions and nothing more.

Thank you a lot for taking time and giving me these advices.I do not have any reliable edition but i use this one :https://www.freesheetmusic.net/chopin/Ballade%20No%201%20in%20g,%20Op%2023.pdf
Shall i strictly follow the fingering in piu animato section in this edition? Because,i didnt find this one comfortable enough ,i use a bit different fingering.

Thanks again

Offline justpianoplayer

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 12:28:25 PM
I would suggest that you look at the book, ‘play it again’ as It includes a large number of excellent practice and technique tips for the Ballade.  They are interspersed throughout the book, as he studies With some of the best teachers, and then included in an appendix.   You can find it used.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jan/20/alan-rusbridger-play-again-review
Thanks a lot !

Offline beethovenfan01

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 03:12:49 AM
Quote
Thank you a lot for taking time and giving me these advices.I do not have any reliable edition but i use this one :https://www.freesheetmusic.net/chopin/Ballade%20No%201%20in%20g,%20Op%2023.pdf
Shall i strictly follow the fingering in piu animato section in this edition? Because,i didnt find this one comfortable enough ,i use a bit different fingering.

Thanks again

Well, the most important thing is that you do what works. Unfortunately, there's really no easy way to finger that passage, especially to be able to play it at speed.

By the way, technique in music is like grammar in writing: you can't have true artistry without technique (this I've found the hard way). The Chopin G minor Ballade really does require a prodigious technique to be played well, as well as strong intuition about note-reading and determining fingering.

What's the hardest part for you?
Practicing:
Bach Chromatic Fantasie and Fugue
Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 1
Shostakovich Preludes Op. 34
Scriabin Etude Op. 2 No. 1
Liszt Fantasie and Fugue on BACH

Offline justpianoplayer

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 10:03:01 PM
Well, the most important thing is that you do what works. Unfortunately, there's really no easy way to finger that passage, especially to be able to play it at speed.

By the way, technique in music is like grammar in writing: you can't have true artistry without technique (this I've found the hard way). The Chopin G minor Ballade really does require a prodigious technique to be played well, as well as strong intuition about note-reading and determining fingering.

What's the hardest part for you?
Well,the hardest section to play for me is the one part of piu animato,because the speed it's meant to be played is just too high for me.Even though i'm practicing presto con fucco now,i still think that this part i  more comfortable for me to practice and improve than that piu animato part.I got the fingers(which i am comfortable with) in my head ,,planted" deep enough to not think about it,but when it comes to the 4-5-4 fingering in a particular section of piu animato,i can't follow the movement up clearly.I don't know,probably because my 4-5 fingers are not strong enough.I hope that problem will be fixed after the period of practicing :D

P.S I'm not one to be preparing for concerto to play this.I'm just deeply in love with the piece.I might not be ready,by all the means,for this piece,but the will is so huge that i can't just sit at the piano and not think about this piece :D

Offline beethovenfan01

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 10:30:27 PM
Quote
P.S I'm not one to be preparing for concerto to play this. I'm just deeply in love with the piece. I might not be ready, by all the means, for this piece, but the will is so huge that i can't just sit at the piano and not think about this piece

I know the feeling!

I recommend working through some exercises that focus on strengthening the fourth and fifth fingers (check Hanon Books 1 and 2), and work through them daily for a couple of weeks. That will help a lot. I'm not a fan of playing Hanon mindlessly for hours at a time (and, to be honest, you should never approach music that way anyway), but consciously using specific exercises to develop finger strength can be very useful.
Practicing:
Bach Chromatic Fantasie and Fugue
Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 1
Shostakovich Preludes Op. 34
Scriabin Etude Op. 2 No. 1
Liszt Fantasie and Fugue on BACH

Offline dogperson

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 10:37:17 PM
.....

P.S I'm not one to be preparing for concerto to play this.I'm just deeply in love with the piece.I might not be ready,by all the means,for this piece,but the will is so huge that i can't just sit at the piano and not think about this piece :D

If you read the book, 'Play It Again' you will find comments made from top-tier concert pianists who make the same statement about how much they love this ballade;  many played it for the first time as teenagers,  then continued the work (or put it aside 'till later) over a period of time.

Offline justpianoplayer

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 10:43:03 PM
I know the feeling!

I recommend working through some exercises that focus on strengthening the fourth and fifth fingers (check Hanon Books 1 and 2), and work through them daily for a couple of weeks. That will help a lot. I'm not a fan of playing Hanon mindlessly for hours at a time (and, to be honest, you should never approach music that way anyway), but consciously using specific exercises to develop finger strength can be very useful.

Thank for the recommendation <3 I'll start working on it from tomorrow :D

Offline justpianoplayer

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 10:44:32 PM

If you read the book, 'Play It Again' you will find comments made from top-tier concert pianists who make the same statement about how much they love this ballade;  many played it for the first time as teenagers,  then continued the work (or put it aside 'till later) over a period of time.



I guess there will be a time of ,,putting aside" too,but right now i'm surely motivated to fight for the ,,victory" :D

Offline dogperson

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 10:47:19 PM
I guess there will be a time of ,,putting aside" too,but right now i'm surely motivated to fight for the ,,victory" :D
.
Even with the victory now, It will mature over time 😊

Offline justpianoplayer

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Re: Ballade No.1
Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 10:50:20 PM
.
Even with the victory now, It will mature over time 😊

Hope it will :D
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