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Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught (Read 1486 times)

Offline ranjit

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Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
« on: December 08, 2020, 08:18:24 PM »
I apologize in advance for the somewhat click-baity title. That said, this is one of the pieces I've always wanted to play, and I was never quite sure if I would reach a point where I would actually be able to play it. I'm pretty excited that I'm finally at a point where it seems to fall under my hands naturally enough. And, I'm not going to lie, I'm secretly proud of doing something a lot of people online have point-blank told me is impossible!

I felt like learning it a couple of weeks ago, and here is my progress so far (I could play the polyrhythm already when I started as I had taught myself how to play the first two bars or so in the past). Especially since I have not had the guidance of a teacher whatsoever while learning this, I would greatly appreciate any kind of technical or interpretive advice! :) In fact, the reason I'm posting this unfinished is so that I can get a sense of whether I'm moving in the right direction. Thank you!

&feature=youtu.be

Offline thirtytwo2020

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #1 on: December 09, 2020, 01:01:14 PM »
Not bad! You're right to be proud and excited!

I think what is most needed is a bit of careful working out of the right hand. Repeat each bar slowly a couple of times leaving out the left hand, playing with a very flexible arm and very energetic fingers. Then go back to tempo, making sure every note is still heard.

Looking forward to follow your progress!

Offline pianowhisper

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #2 on: December 09, 2020, 09:03:42 PM »
Hi ranjit,

It is uplifting to read your story and listen to your playing. Keep up with the practice and good work!
I agree with thirtytwo2020 that the RH needs a little bit more attention. Sometimes it is easy to get carried away with our emotions, especially with a powerful piece such as this impromptu, and play too fast before we're actually ready for it. We've all been there before. ;D
Every note in the passage should be heard clearly and accurately, and my advice is the same said above. With slow practice, you'll develop the muscle memory needed to play the passages not as a "run over the keys" but as a consistent and clear group of notes (if that makes sense).

Good luck! Best,
pw

Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #3 on: December 10, 2020, 07:07:14 AM »
Thank you for your helpful and encouraging responses! It means a lot to me.

When I've posted similar videos on other forums, the advice was often to quit the pieces because they were simply above my level. A lot of people just point out the missed notes -- I think a lot of people expect even the first attempts to be close to note-perfect, or else the piece is too hard and you should move on/get a teacher.

So, thank you for looking past the obvious flubs. :) You're right about getting carried away by emotion. I was trying to convey what I intended from the performance, rather than just playing it accurately at slow tempo, which wouldn't convey the direction I was taking the piece in. (I will practice slowly, of course.) I'll post an update in a while.

Offline pianowhisper

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #4 on: December 10, 2020, 10:18:19 AM »
Thank you for sharing your video!

Whether the piece is "too above" your level or not is something only you know, better than anyone else. As I always like to think, no one should be kept "away" from a piece he/she loves because it is "too difficult".
With that being said, always make sure you're also practicing simpler pieces which can help you a lot and perhaps save you from frustration that these other "harder" pieces can bring you (regardless of how much we love them). My only "extra" advice would be to take a look at some other pieces by Chopin (if you haven't already), which might help you even more to develop the style and technique needed for the Op.66.

Looking forward for the next update! :)

Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #5 on: December 10, 2020, 12:46:25 PM »
Whether the piece is "too above" your level or not is something only you know, better than anyone else. As I always like to think, no one should be kept "away" from a piece he/she loves because it is "too difficult".
Thank you for this. I know that I can improve a lot with a bit of practice, and I haven't reached a stage where my playing has plateaued.I've probably spent less than 10-15 hours on this piece as of yet (other than the first phrase, which I had practiced obsessively in the past).

With that being said, always make sure you're also practicing simpler pieces which can help you a lot and perhaps save you from frustration that these other "harder" pieces can bring you (regardless of how much we love them). My only "extra" advice would be to take a look at some other pieces by Chopin (if you haven't already), which might help you even more to develop the style and technique needed for the Op.66.
I have played through (though not completely) a couple of Chopin waltzes and a nocturne in the past. I don't actually find practicing the Fantaisie Impromptu frustrating, because I don't find myself having to grind out difficult parts (as of yet at least). I was quite surprised by how naturally it fell into place, actually. I thought I would have to work a lot on the end of the first section with the melody+accompaniment in the right hand. However, it just worked out naturally. It was an awesome feeling!

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #6 on: December 10, 2020, 01:19:05 PM »
Undoubtedly you can play this piece. The question therefore becomes what level of cleanliness are you aspiring to. The first reply definitely had good advice. If you slow this video down you'll here that there are a lot of unclear articulations, apart from the dropped notes.

I think it's the case you have basically trained yourself through improvisation. This is a very double-edged sword: it has both positives and negatives. Positives: you are liable to acquire a lot of fluency in the figuration you repeatedly use; thinking in terms of freedom of expression "playing how you feel" really does a lot for you development as a musician. Negatives: you aren't forced to play and learn in a disciplined, structured manner, unless you're really ruthless about the mechanical defects you find in your improvisations. Improvisation is often about gestures, freedom, and things which defy rigid structure. Notated music always has underlying structure and logic. The position you ultimately want to reach is one where you *can* play the pieces in a bland, strictly "as it's written" manner, and then incorporate freedom on top of that. But, unless you're going to become a totally finished, intuitive god of piano, the pedantic version needs to be attained first: you need to show you can do it before moving to the second. But the big plus will be that you can move to the second, many "correct" pianists can't.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #7 on: December 10, 2020, 02:11:37 PM »
I think it's the case you have basically trained yourself through improvisation. This is a very double-edged sword: it has both positives and negatives. Positives: you are liable to acquire a lot of fluency in the figuration you repeatedly use; thinking in terms of freedom of expression "playing how you feel" really does a lot for you development as a musician. Negatives: you aren't forced to play and learn in a disciplined, structured manner, unless you're really ruthless about the mechanical defects you find in your improvisations. Improvisation is often about gestures, freedom, and things which defy rigid structure. Notated music always has underlying structure and logic. The position you ultimately want to reach is one where you *can* play the pieces in a bland, strictly "as it's written" manner, and then incorporate freedom on top of that. But, unless you're going to become a totally finished, intuitive god of piano, the pedantic version needs to be attained first: you need to show you can do it before moving to the second. But the big plus will be that you can move to the second, many "correct" pianists can't.
This is very insightful, thank you. You're right that I've basically trained myself through improvisation. I believe that it leads to a situation where I can convey the intent of a piece of music (or whatever my intentions are) even though my playing isn't the finished article. A lot of people end up with the misconception that playing without mistakes will give your piece more "feeling", and it's not true imo. I think that as improvisation is in essence, a kind of composition, you end up with an intuitive idea of how one would go about composing something in order to elicit an emotion from the listener, and have a rather detailed intuitive idea of how to go about generating those effects. You can then apply those to a piece of music, and will know exactly where you need to emphasize things, and where you can fudge things while still getting the point across.

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But, unless you're going to become a totally finished, intuitive god of piano
That was my original intention when I started out haha. ;D I've always looked up to Cziffra, and in a sense, he was precisely that.

On the other hand, you're right that I do need to cultivate a feel for playing in a disciplined, structured manner. I don't think there's an easy fix -- I will need to figure out how to implement that while contending with my natural musical instinct. I've found that a lot of people who learn in a 'pedantic' manner dismiss such musical instincts outright, saying that musical instincts imparted by a teacher are qualitatively superior, since they have come from a lifetime of experience. However, I've found my gut instinct about a piece of music or a performance to be most valuable. It's a philosophical issue I keep changing my opinion about -- does musical education train your inherent musicality, or does it make your musicality conform to society's expectations?

Regardless -- you're right, and it's a question I've been struggling with these past few months, ever since I seriously started attempting to play classical music.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #8 on: December 10, 2020, 06:25:26 PM »

...

That was my original intention when I started out haha. ;D I've always looked up to Cziffra, and in a sense, he was precisely that.

...

I've found that a lot of people who learn in a 'pedantic' manner dismiss such musical instincts outright, saying that musical instincts imparted by a teacher are qualitatively superior, since they have come from a lifetime of experience. However, I've found my gut instinct about a piece of music or a performance to be most valuable. It's a philosophical issue I keep changing my opinion about -- does musical education train your inherent musicality, or does it make your musicality conform to society's expectations?


Cziffra was exactly who I had in mind with my description!

For people to dismiss musical instincts outright is actively stupid, imo. If a musician is naturally gifted, their instincts will be subconsciously formed from their experiences listening to the performances of master musicians. Everyone, to some extent or another, formulates their own ideas about when phrasing, progressions, certain accentuations, etc are effective and when they are not. All of this contributes to the development of a musician's persona.

The question about education v conditioning is an important one: there are times a performer does something which is simply wrong (eg defects in rhythm, wrong notes, poor control, etc) and times when the hypothetical error is more subjective (eg considerations of style, pedalling, shaping). Objective, clearly defined defects should always be addressed
directly, however when it comes to subjective errors a run of the mill education will say "do this, do that" because the teacher is not going past the regurgitation of whatever tradition they view as the "done thing". This is conditioning. In contrast, a good teacher provides you with the tools to understand why things may be right or wrong, and will also understand that there can be more than one perfectly valid way to interpret a passage: he won't force his views on a pupil, but enable the pupil to understand the options and how to formulate the arguments for and against differing interpretative views.


Offline j_tour

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #9 on: December 10, 2020, 07:52:32 PM »
I found your first attempt revelatory:  yeah, I echo what others above have said about the "clean" playing of the notes.

I'm not convinced that was the way Chopin, or Liszt, played any of those pieces according to our contemporary standards of "clean, precise, mechanical" playing on the instruments of their period.  Namely, I'm not sure they were so concerned about fidelity or clean playing, given their (i) audiences and (ii) their instruments.  (Pace Schiff performing the Ch. Préludes on one of Ch.'s Pleyels).

I think you have the polyrhythms down, no doubt down to you being first an ear-player.

BUT what I really want to know is what are you using as a sustain pedal?  For me it would seem unnatural to have it so far back from the keyboard.  But, you seem to manage.  I'm really curious about that, being, not by design but by practical matters, interested in such things.

However, while I'm still stuck on Chopin's Préludes and his variations on La ci darem, you make me want to play this piece, for some reason.  You make it seem like fun music, not endless reverb in a nameless studio.  And this from someone who has only played the bare minimum of Chopin, going from Beethoven-->Schumann, Liszt-->Debussy and onwards.

I think it's a good compliment to your savoir-faire.
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Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #10 on: December 10, 2020, 09:26:42 PM »
I'm not convinced that was the way Chopin, or Liszt, played any of those pieces according to our contemporary standards of "clean, precise, mechanical" playing on the instruments of their period.  Namely, I'm not sure they were so concerned about fidelity or clean playing, given their (i) audiences and (ii) their instruments.  (Pace Schiff performing the Ch. Préludes on one of Ch.'s Pleyels).
By all accounts, they were godly improvisers, and never really played the same piece the same way twice (at least Liszt, as far as I can tell). Imagine someone with the improvisation prowess of Art Tatum. There's no way they would sit tight and just play the notes imo.

I think you have the polyrhythms down, no doubt down to you being first an ear-player.
I've actually never played polyrhythms other than in this piece (at least consciously, and a 3:2 doesn't count). I had to work quite a bit to get it to work.


BUT what I really want to know is what are you using as a sustain pedal?  For me it would seem unnatural to have it so far back from the keyboard.  But, you seem to manage.  I'm really curious about that, being, not by design but by practical matters, interested in such things.
I'm using a shitty on-off switch. You'd be better served not thinking about it. ;)

However, while I'm still stuck on Chopin's Préludes and his variations on La ci darem, you make me want to play this piece, for some reason.  You make it seem like fun music, not endless reverb in a nameless studio.  And this from someone who has only played the bare minimum of Chopin, going from Beethoven-->Schumann, Liszt-->Debussy and onwards.

I think it's a good compliment to your savoir-faire.
Thank you! It's precious and a real measure of success when you change someone's view about a piece of music. 8)

I think I would prefer Liszt or Ravel to Chopin, but I don't have the technical chops haha.

I usually don't like a majority of interpretations of a lot of Romantic pieces, and my personal idea is that it should feel as if the music is emanating from within you, and give the impression of being composed on the spot. Most recordings sounds endlessly rehearsed to a point of artificial perfection, and it feels kind of "auto-tuned". Of course, this is highly subjective and there would be a ton of people who prefer the more "canned" sound. In some sense think of a piece of music as an open canvas onto which you can pour your own ideas. It sounds counter-intuitive, because all of the notes are already written onto the page. In a way it feels to me like a coloring book -- the pictures are drawn for you, but the point is for you to color them. It's a weird analogy and possibly flawed, because, of course, the composition of a piece affects the possible ways in which it could be interpreted. Anyway, my idea has always been to mold the way I play a piece to suit my tastes if I don't like a piece. Is it disrespecting the composer? Well, at some level, I guess I don't care.

j_tour -- Just to confirm a hypothesis of mine, could you take a listen to this and let me know what you think?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zng3E2Xzyb4

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #11 on: December 11, 2020, 12:34:23 AM »
Nice one ranjit I think you have met most of the challenges pretty well. The opening passage with the RH runs is not as convincing as the broken octave type passage. That "murmuring and volume breathing" required in the opening needs a lot of work.

When I was a kid I would learn some tough pieces and although I got my hands around them since the majority was done by ear/memorization there were difficult technical passages which were somewhat estimated, not everything was completely controlled. As I got better with the piano I found it easier later on down the track to relearn these "tough" pieces from scratch rather than depend on surgery on my old muscular memorisations which were not totally accurate.

There are stages to our development and this is one which is very interesting. To learn tough pieces with a small amount of estimations used then one day to go back and take it apart with effective tools and analysis. You will usually find that when you return to the peices with that more advanced perspective that it really is a new process, you may preserve some old movements but much is reestablished and solidified. I still go through this kind of estimation type playing especially when sight reading difficult works, and if you attempt to play these tough works at tempo then of course you are going to get very rough estimations, there's nothing wrong with this process and the way in which you do it here is not so bad since it still preserves many of the ideas.

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Offline j_tour

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #12 on: December 11, 2020, 02:12:46 AM »
I'm using a shitty on-off switch. You'd be better served not thinking about it. ;)

That's what I figured.  That's pretty good control you have on....I don't recall the various makes and model numbers, but I think I know what kind you're talking about.

[ETA:  I'd consider 3:2 a polyrythm, why not?  It's a very common one, but no more so than 5:4 in popular music or folk music.]

Quote
j_tour -- Just to confirm a hypothesis of mine, could you take a listen to this and let me know what you think?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zng3E2Xzyb4

Cziffra live performance of the Fant-Impr.  Yeah, I listened for a bit, and I can't criticize legitimately.  I've never played this piece, and I probably would have to figure a few things out if I were to learn it.

Honest opinion?  I'd rather hear you play it, once you get some technical little things sorted out.  TBH Cziffra's performance there kind of sounds like Liberace to me.  That is, very much a sort of stagey, dramatic reading of the piece. 

I want to hear the guts, not the shiny velour placed over the music.  I prefer to hear the struggle in the piece.  And, Cziffra, at least in that performance, doesn't give me that at all.

Here's a counter-example from Arrau http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GISW40umi1I which, while not lacking in technical ability, nor some small degree of showmanship, is a bit more to my liking.  It's a bit extreme, Arrau's is, but it's a pretty good contrast.  Here's an even better contrast:  Gilels playing the same http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdQMEhz-nQY
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Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #13 on: December 11, 2020, 05:10:08 AM »
Nice one ranjit I think you have met most of the challenges pretty well. The opening passage with the RH runs is not as convincing as the broken octave type passage. That "murmuring and volume breathing" required in the opening needs a lot of work.

Thank you for your feedback! I've found that voicing the right hand properly to be quite intuitive in the broken octaves section, and that is one thing which makes it sound better than it actually is haha.

When I was a kid I would learn some tough pieces and although I got my hands around them since the majority was done by ear/memorization there were difficult technical passages which were somewhat estimated, not everything was completely controlled. As I got better with the piano I found it easier later on down the track to relearn these "tough" pieces from scratch rather than depend on surgery on my old muscular memorisations which were not totally accurate.

There are stages to our development and this is one which is very interesting. To learn tough pieces with a small amount of estimations used then one day to go back and take it apart with effective tools and analysis. You will usually find that when you return to the peices with that more advanced perspective that it really is a new process, you may preserve some old movements but much is reestablished and solidified. I still go through this kind of estimation type playing especially when sight reading difficult works, and if you attempt to play these tough works at tempo then of course you are going to get very rough estimations, there's nothing wrong with this process and the way in which you do it here is not so bad since it still preserves many of the ideas.
Interesting. Yes, I presume that learning the piece from a more advanced perspective will make it feel like I'm learning a different piece altogether. I have had a similar experience with some other pieces. After a while, you get to a critical point where you reinvent your skills in some ways, and that changes how you approach pieces (even easier ones).

Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #14 on: December 11, 2020, 05:50:42 AM »
That's what I figured.  That's pretty good control you have on....I don't recall the various makes and model numbers, but I think I know what kind you're talking about.
It's the stock Yamaha pedal:
https://www.amazon.in/Yamaha-Switch-Sustain-Electronic-Keyboards/dp/B00005ML71/ref=sr_1_12?dchild=1&keywords=yamaha+p125+foot+switch&qid=1607662796&sr=8-12

I think getting a decent sound out of rather poor quality keyboards is my specialty. ;D

[ETA:  I'd consider 3:2 a polyrythm, why not?  It's a very common one, but no more so than 5:4 in popular music or folk music.]
I just meant that it's too simple, and you don't even have to practice it to get good at it. It's just a 1-2-&-3. Is a 5:4 that common?!

Honest opinion?  I'd rather hear you play it, once you get some technical little things sorted out.  TBH Cziffra's performance there kind of sounds like Liberace to me.  That is, very much a sort of stagey, dramatic reading of the piece.

I want to hear the guts, not the shiny velour placed over the music.  I prefer to hear the struggle in the piece.  And, Cziffra, at least in that performance, doesn't give me that at all.
Interesting, that gives me something to think about. I think there is indeed a continuum of how dramatized an interpretation sounds.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #15 on: December 11, 2020, 06:16:22 AM »
It's the stock Yamaha pedal:
https://www.amazon.in/Yamaha-Switch-Sustain-Electronic-Keyboards/dp/B00005ML71/ref=sr_1_12?dchild=1&keywords=yamaha+p125+foot+switch&qid=1607662796&sr=8-12

I think getting a decent sound out of rather poor quality keyboards is my specialty. ;D

Nice.  I was thinking about the same style "pedals" from Roland and such. 

Yeah, I'm right there with you:  it's the player, not the gear.

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I just meant that it's too simple, and you don't even have to practice it to get good at it. It's just a 1-2-&-3. Is a 5:4 that common?

Yeah, I would say so.  I don't know a lot about every "folk music," but, at least in jazz of the bebop era, 5:4 is incredibly common.  7:4 also.  (Yes. I'm aware of how rational numbers Q or the set N can be placed in one-to-one correspondence...just trying to get ahead of some pedants who are undoubtedly going to come in about "blah blah whatever.").  I'm not sure just playing one rhythm against another truly counts as a polyrhthym, in the sense that Elvin Jones would have played something on the trap drums, but since at the piano or keyboard, I've only got two hands (and some fingers), it seems close enough.

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Interesting, that gives me something to think about. I think there is indeed a continuum of how dramatized an interpretation sounds.

Well, you tell me:  it seems the Cziffra style is what you're after, but if I ever get around to playing this, I like more of a strong attack, like Gilels gives.

Just different styles.
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Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #16 on: December 11, 2020, 10:30:14 AM »
Yeah, you're probably right about Cziffra vs Arrau/Gilels. I liked the Arrau, not so much the Gilels, which sounds too fast and clean to my ears. He doesn't dig in to the emotion in some sense. Cziffra just seems to find it too easy, and his interpretation conveys that -- however, there is a certain element of spontaneity which I appreciate which is hard to describe but definitely present. I don't have an ideal interpretation for this piece (I wouldn't directly imitate Cziffra btw). I think you've got a fair idea of what I was actually going for, pretty much.

Offline quantum

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #17 on: December 26, 2020, 06:12:55 AM »
I think you are on the right track.  As it was mentioned in earlier replies, the advantage you possess stemming from your work with improvisation is that you can envision the final interpretation.  There are many technical students that play with ease, yet are clueless when it comes to using that technique to express an idea, they just rely on established practice to form interpretations.  You form an understanding of the music with a composition-first perspective. 

What is needed in your part is the discipline and skill set of the technical side of playing: the foundation that allows you to bridge your intuition for interpretive ideas with the physical movements that realize idea into sound. 

You have a good top-down understanding of the large phrase ideas and polyrhythm groupings.  Now it is a matter of developing control and articulation in order that you can also express the finer details of the music. 

Work on freeing up your hands so the fingers are able to articulate freely. 
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Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #18 on: February 08, 2021, 11:46:01 PM »
This was my first time playing on a grand piano, and I couldn't be more thrilled! I'd love to hear what people have to say. In a way, this effort culminates my stint at self-teaching. I finally think that I have exhausted the possibilities of what I can do purely on my own.

&feature=youtu.be

Online lelle

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #19 on: February 09, 2021, 04:36:57 PM »
Well done! I think you actually could get quite much further with a bit of work, if you are feeling up for giving it a shot! I'd first of all focus on the passages where mess-ups happen, and practise those really slowly so you get it right. Keep your lightness but focus on being very precise, and again, very slow. Take maybe a sequence of 8 sixteenth notes at a time and focus only on those, before moving on to the next group where you are having trouble. Only when you can get it right slowly, increase the speed a little bit and keep your practise tempo at such a tempo that you make no mistakes (or only very few if that seems impossible).

Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #20 on: February 09, 2021, 09:02:24 PM »
Thank you! I will probably keep this piece aside for a while, and then come back after a few months. From my experience, once learned, the fingers never forget! And I'll keep your advice in mind for sure.

Offline quantum

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #21 on: February 11, 2021, 02:03:09 PM »
You are doing well with your progress.  The A section has an improved sense of technical control which has resulted in more defined phrases.  For the B section, what you need to work on is tonal support.  It is a quieter section in the music, however that does not mean you support the tone less.  It may also be that you were still not accustomed to the response of this particular instrument.
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline pianowhisper

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #22 on: February 11, 2021, 08:01:49 PM »
Well done indeed!
The progress you've made so far is clear and one can see how much more under control the fastest passages are now. I agree with the comments above: there is still more work to be done but that doesn't mean you shouldn't feel accomplished with what you've got so far.

From my experience, once learned, the fingers never forget!
I tend to strongly disagree here ;D Once you stop practicing a piece, eventually some of it will be forgotten because you'll have lost bits of the muscle memory related to certain passages. Depending on how much you've practiced it and how long it's been since you've last played it, this will be more or less noticeable. Most of the time, pieces we learn in the past will have to be slightly "relearned" until our brain recognizes the patterns once again and our muscle memory comes back from the grave, but other times it will be like you're learning the piece from scratch all over again.
This is all completely natural. We can't keep practicing and playing all the time every piece of music we learn, so eventually, our ability to play them will get shaken. Nothing that some "re-practice" won't fix of course. With that being said, it is extremely helpful to leave some pieces aside for some time, work on something else, and come back to it later.

Good luck with further practice on this in the future! :)

Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #23 on: February 12, 2021, 03:30:56 AM »
You are doing well with your progress.  The A section has an improved sense of technical control which has resulted in more defined phrases.  For the B section, what you need to work on is tonal support.  It is a quieter section in the music, however that does not mean you support the tone less.  It may also be that you were still not accustomed to the response of this particular instrument.

Thank you! What do you mean by tonal support? I also had a tough time trying to figure out exactly how soft it's desirable to play on the piano, and the balance between the melody and accompaniment while trying to play extremely quietly.


Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #24 on: February 12, 2021, 03:36:28 AM »
Well done indeed!
The progress you've made so far is clear and one can see how much more under control the fastest passages are now. I agree with the comments above: there is still more work to be done but that doesn't mean you shouldn't feel accomplished with what you've got so far.
Thank you so much!

I tend to strongly disagree here ;D Once you stop practicing a piece, eventually some of it will be forgotten because you'll have lost bits of the muscle memory related to certain passages.
I've personally felt that it can take me a while to get it, but I don't really feel like I lose it quickly once I've really learned it. Maybe in a few years, sure, but even then, spending a few hours usually gets it back into shape somewhat. Of course, it might take more time to recreate a flawless performance, or if I actually play some hard piece, which I can not say because I have only worked on relatively easy repertoire until now.

Offline quantum

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #25 on: February 16, 2021, 02:14:52 PM »
Thank you! What do you mean by tonal support? I also had a tough time trying to figure out exactly how soft it's desirable to play on the piano, and the balance between the melody and accompaniment while trying to play extremely quietly.

With lyrical passages such as found in the B section, a supported singing tone allows one to have a full, rich and projected melody containing sufficient tonal substance that it may be shaped and sculpted.  As Chopin often modelled his melodic lines and ornamentation after vocal music, it is quite appropriate to think in terms of how a singer would project a melody.  For a singer, quiet dynamics often requires more support than loud singing. 

In quiet passages played on the piano, it is easy to get into the trap of wanting to play soft, but ending up playing so soft that notes do not sound and tone lacks shape.  Think of these quiet lyrical passage as not playing soft, but rather giving the overall evocation to the listener that they are listening to something soft.  This might equate to having a melody that in isolation may be perceived as mp stretching to f, but when phrased and balanced with the accompaniment gives the overall impression of a p dynamic that is well supported and projected to the back of the recital hall. 

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #26 on: February 17, 2021, 09:02:53 AM »
With lyrical passages such as found in the B section, a supported singing tone allows one to have a full, rich and projected melody containing sufficient tonal substance that it may be shaped and sculpted.  As Chopin often modelled his melodic lines and ornamentation after vocal music, it is quite appropriate to think in terms of how a singer would project a melody.  For a singer, quiet dynamics often requires more support than loud singing. 

In quiet passages played on the piano, it is easy to get into the trap of wanting to play soft, but ending up playing so soft that notes do not sound and tone lacks shape.  Think of these quiet lyrical passage as not playing soft, but rather giving the overall evocation to the listener that they are listening to something soft.  This might equate to having a melody that in isolation may be perceived as mp stretching to f, but when phrased and balanced with the accompaniment gives the overall impression of a p dynamic that is well supported and projected to the back of the recital hall.
I will think about this more. I like varying the dynamics a lot on the piano, but tonal support is an aspect I realize I have never had to deal with since I've never played on acoustic instruments before. On most digitals, the feeling while playing forte is realistic enough, but playing pianissimo is very different. On an acoustic, you have to kind of make sure that the string actually sounds properly. There's also the consideration of how soft is reasonable. On digital pianos, I could basically go down to something like 30-40 decibels, which is obviously impossible on a grand piano. So, I realize that I had often used the possibility of playing really softly for dramatic effect.

Offline quantum

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #27 on: February 17, 2021, 01:30:53 PM »
On most digital pianos or software sampled pianos, the sounds you can make are dependant on the amount of detail captured in the sampling process, and since piano is a velocity sensitive keyboard, how many gradations of velocity are sampled per key.  It is also dependant on the amount of gradations the keys on your digital piano are capable of detecting. 

On an acoustic your have a vastly greater amount of granularity of sensitivity available to you.  It is more akin to a fine line rather than a line of steps that appears pixelated when zoomed in.  On an acoustic, the pianist themself is in charge of making musical tone. 

There's also the consideration of how soft is reasonable.

Very important point.  One should always consider the perspective of the listener.  A good question to ask oneself is, are the musical ideas being projected, or are they only being localized to the performer?

Acoustic pianos can play softer than digitals, and do so while maintaining tonal shape, however, one needs to develop the technical control to do so. 

I like varying the dynamics a lot on the piano, but tonal support is an aspect I realize I have never had to deal with since I've never played on acoustic instruments before.

It is a matter of becoming more accustomed to how an acoustic piano responds, and every piano reacts differently.  The more you experience playing on an acoustic, the better you will get at maximizing the effect of dynamic contrasts on acoustic instruments. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #28 on: February 18, 2021, 02:40:09 PM »
Here's a 5 year old playing it. lol

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Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #29 on: February 20, 2021, 05:06:54 AM »
Here's a 5 year old playing it. lol


In some ways he clearly plays it better than me aargh. You can never beat 5 year olds!

The way he plays that octave section is crazy.



And he's playing La Campanella this well when he's just 9. Talk about soul crushing. :'( I have to wonder if you've ever seen someone like this personally. Even most run-of-the-mill prodigies I've seen take until they are about 12 years or so to be able to play like that.

I looked back at Tiffany Poon's old videos to compare, and it's the really unusual musicality at such a young age which sets her apart. But in terms of technique, this guy is crazy. I've never seen it before.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #30 on: February 20, 2021, 05:52:50 AM »
I've not personally met any. I've never seen a 5 year old play FI until that video I shared, it is just like... huh?!?  I remember one moment when I was struggling with a piece and then saw a blind teenager do it no problems -_- . I wonder how these kids do it so fast at such an early age, when I was 5 I couldn't even reach an octave!
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Offline ranjit

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Re: Fantaisie Impromptu attempt - self-taught
«Reply #31 on: February 20, 2021, 06:12:42 AM »
I think watching prodigies was something which made me push myself a lot. If 8-year olds can play these pieces, there's gotta be a way lol :P