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Keeping tempo in transitions (Read 855 times)

Offline blazekenny

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Keeping tempo in transitions
« on: April 18, 2020, 03:46:44 PM »
Hello,
as a pianist with some experience and a fair amount of difficult pieces under my belt, I am ashamed to say that there is one aspect in my piano practice which I keep struggling with - being able to cold bloodedly conduct the tempo while keeping the expressive power of the music. Especially in transitions from one note value or character to the other, in Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert sonatas. I was wondering if each of you have any own particular way of practicing such places? Thanks in advance

Offline brogers70

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Re: Keeping tempo in transitions
«Reply #1 on: April 18, 2020, 03:55:09 PM »
That kind of thing kills me in fugues with a subject with long note values and a countersubject with shorter ones (Think Bach WTC I C# minor, or the C major fugue from Shostakovich's 24.) As the texture gets more complex and the number of shorter valued notes increases, it's really hard for me not to speed up.

I've tried a couple of things that help. Metronome - it's a pain to use because it does restrict some perfectly fine bits of space or breathing that are not really a problem, but it helps. Counting only one beat to a measure - somehow feeling the big, long beats helps me avoid speeding up. Paying attention to specific rhythms that make me speed up - e.g. dotted notes that I cut just a tad short, or runs of short notes that tempt me to speed up - deliberately going slow at those spots helps.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Keeping tempo in transitions
«Reply #2 on: April 19, 2020, 02:58:32 AM »
Practice counting and rhythmic solfege, then apply that to your playing. Learning to count and feel that internal pulse and segmentations of time within yourself is a crucial skill for all musicians. Not all music though needs to be timed perfectly that would make your playing sound rather robotic but of course there are note values that need clear ratios to one another or your playing will sound very unbalanced.
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