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I broke a sweat playing this piece at tempo! (Read 231 times)

Offline 1piano4joe

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I broke a sweat playing this piece at tempo!
« on: August 05, 2020, 04:35:56 AM »
Hi all,

This has NEVER  happened before and so it seemed bizarre.

The piece was Study in C Major, Op. 24, no. 22 by Giuseppe Concone. It's only a 2 pager in rounded binary form with a coda but played with the repeats I found it demanding.

I eventually got the tempo up to 126 bpm, somehow, someway, I don't know. Lots of finger staccato with finger changing for repeated notes and wrist staccato for repeated chords made this possible but it still was no joke for me. I did end up with such a good feeling of achievement being able to play this at this speed.

Is this somewhat normal for pianists when playing physically demanding pieces?

Just wondering, Joe.


Offline ranjit

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Re: I broke a sweat playing this piece at tempo!
«Reply #1 on: August 05, 2020, 06:34:08 AM »
I've found that I can easily break a sweat playing something physically demanding in a hot or humid room. It makes sense to me that rapidly swinging your arms to one side of the keyboard or doing some kind of rapid repetition is slightly more energy intensive than playing Mozart, say. I don't think it would be enough to break a sweat in a cool room. But that's just my opinion. Feelings of excitement or nervousness also make you more likely to sweat, so if you were feeling very excited or "intense", that could be a culprit.

Offline visitor

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Re: I broke a sweat playing this piece at tempo!
«Reply #2 on: August 05, 2020, 01:23:31 PM »
You need better air conditioning

Offline 1piano4joe

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Re: I broke a sweat playing this piece at tempo!
«Reply #3 on: August 05, 2020, 02:20:59 PM »
Hi and thank you for the replies,

I did something that I would like to share. I don't know how common this is but I put a "box fan" on the floor in front of me leaning back at an angle against the piano.

Playing in shorts I found the fan blowing nice cool air upward both on my legs and upper body. It was really, really nice! I can't do this when pedaling is required though. Putting it off to the side doesn't work so nice as it's not leaning at an angle but then I can reach the pedals. It's kind of like driving in your car with the AC down at your feet. Your upper body is hot and your lower body cool since as most people know, hot air rises and cool air sinks which is why most homes have the radiators down at floor level and AC vents up in the ceiling.

There is a ceiling fan in center of the room with lights on a dimmer on it. It mustn't be very secure since at the higher speed in starts to rock 'n roll in a circular fashion. I just don't feel safe sitting near it even though I'm playing an upright against the wall. It is maybe a 10 x 10 sq. foot room.

The lights are just regular incandescent and do produce quite a bit of heat. That room does in fact get warmer than the rest of the house when I'm in there. I like that they're adjustable and I only turn on two of the four. I won't use the dimmer as it gets too dark. I have opened the blinds on occasion to let natural sunlight in. That works pretty well. I'm not sure if LED lights will provide enough light but I hear Bernhard in my mind telling me to try it, lol.

I very often just remove my shirt and play shirtless. I have found wetting my hair with cold water helpful.

We do have central AC but the wife often complains she's too cold and keeps turning it either up or off! So, I really crank the AC down when she's not around or wait till she goes to bed. She likes to keep the AC set to 73-74 degrees so that small room with my body heat and lights probably reaches maybe 78 degrees which I find uncomfortable even if I weren't practicing and just sitting there in the room. Sometimes, she is accommodating though.

Shorter sessions also seem to help. I plan to practice the so called 20 minutes but I notice sometimes these sessions are more like an hour but I set a goal and usually reach it regardless of the time. If it's 20 minutes or an hour, well, then so be it.

When I don't reach my goal which unfortunately happens more often than I would like, it's sometimes because the goal was unrealistic and "Rome wasn't built in a day".

Other times, I'm NOT practicing an "ideal" way for the passage and therefore progress will either be slower or nonexistent. This is when I have to just stop and think about a better way to get the job done. And ask myself, "Just what is the problem"? OK, good and now what are you going to do about it? Focusing in on the problem goes a long, long way but just knowing about it and solving it are two different animals.

That's all for now, Joe.

Offline j_tour

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Re: I broke a sweat playing this piece at tempo!
«Reply #4 on: August 05, 2020, 05:26:20 PM »
Is this somewhat normal for pianists when playing physically demanding pieces?

Well, it's normal for me.  But I'm a sweathog generally.  Yeah, just at home, no bright stage lights, but no AC either.

The fan's a good idea, but since for some reason my hands don't sweat, I just accepted it as part of the cost to play like a boss.

You could just be a naturally sweaty guy:  that's not abnormal, and it might even be a sign that you're properly hydrated.  Or the opposite:  I don't really know much about physiology.  I tend to think it's perfectly healthy to sweat.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline ranjit

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Re: I broke a sweat playing this piece at tempo!
«Reply #5 on: August 05, 2020, 06:17:07 PM »
Actually, now that j_tour mentions it, I never realized that my palms don't sweat as well. So, I never really have a problem gripping the keys and I just bear the heat when it regularly touches 35-40C.