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Please throw a bit of encouragement (Read 720 times)

Offline determined2learn

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Please throw a bit of encouragement
« on: June 15, 2021, 04:40:11 PM »
Complete this thought..."becoming proficient at playing Alberti bass is ____________ for a fledgling student. ::) :-\


Thanks! My thought, "what doesn't destroy you makes you stronger".  I'm feeling both right now.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #1 on: June 15, 2021, 05:09:39 PM »
"becoming proficient at playing Alberto bass is A SKILL WITH GREAT REWARDS WHERE IMPERFECTIONS ARE OF LITTLE CONCERN for a fledgling student."

Or, sort of "perfect is the enemy of good":  you have a lifetime to work on speed drills, but it doesn't matter here.  You'll be accompanying yourself from the beginning with a legitimate, precise, and versatile pattern.

So, just play with it and explore as much of the repertoire you can find which employs the technique, in whatever way you are able to approximate the sound.
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 determined2learn

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #2 on: June 15, 2021, 06:37:02 PM »
Thank you! I have more years behind me than ahead of me, but I certainly appreciate the encouragement!

Offline brogers70

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #3 on: June 15, 2021, 07:02:13 PM »
It gets easier. I started at age 40, and when I started I had all sorts of trouble trying to play a simple tune over an Alberti bass pattern very slowly; it seemed just about impossible to coordinate the hands. Twenty years later I can rip through rondo finales of Mozart or Haydn sonatas over a fast Alberti bass like nobody's business. Hang in there.

Offline jimf12

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #4 on: June 15, 2021, 08:51:56 PM »
Playing piano is hard.   There isn't a single person that could not use "hard" to fill in the blank for a sentence that has the structure of "becoming proficient at <X> is hard for a <Y> student.   

I look at all hurdles as opportunities to improve and another step on my journey.   Well, that's a bunch of bunk, because sometimes I get frustrated and tell myself I'm the least musically inclined person every to sit at a piano bench and I will never learn this.   But I do end up talking myself into the former mindset, and I work to keep that mindset.

Be patient, and you will get it.   And one day it will seem like the simplest and most natural thing in the world, and that will be a good day.





Offline ranjit

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #5 on: June 15, 2021, 09:16:22 PM »
Complete this thought..."becoming proficient at playing Alberti bass is a milestone for a fledgling student. ::) :-\
Once you get proficient at playing Alberti bass, I think it generalizes into an ability to be able to play accompaniment along with melody fluently, which means that most song covers or easy classical-era music is within reach.

Offline determined2learn

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #6 on: June 15, 2021, 09:25:42 PM »
Playing piano is hard.   There isn't a single person that could not use "hard" to fill in the blank for a sentence that has the structure of "becoming proficient at <X> is hard for a <Y> student.   

I look at all hurdles as opportunities to improve and another step on my journey.   Well, that's a bunch of bunk, because sometimes I get frustrated and tell myself I'm the least musically inclined person every to sit at a piano bench and I will never learn this.   But I do end up talking myself into the former mindset, and I work to keep that mindset.

Be patient, and you will get it.   And one day it will seem like the simplest and most natural thing in the world, and that will be a good day.


I appreciate your honesty! I fall down and pick myself up again and go head-long back into the brick wall!

Offline determined2learn

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #7 on: June 15, 2021, 09:28:21 PM »
It gets easier. I started at age 40, and when I started I had all sorts of trouble trying to play a simple tune over an Alberti bass pattern very slowly; it seemed just about impossible to coordinate the hands.


This is great to know it does get easier. I know there are no shortcuts, just lots of iterations...

Offline ranjit

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #8 on: June 15, 2021, 09:40:36 PM »
How long have you been attempting to play the pattern? I think almost everyone struggles for a few months at least.

Offline lelle

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #9 on: June 15, 2021, 11:23:50 PM »

This is great to know it does get easier. I know there are no shortcuts, just lots of iterations...

I think for solving any type of technical problem, the phrase "hurry slowly" applies. The more you try to force yourself to play faster than you can, the longer you have to wait before you can play it faster competently. Mindful, relaxed practice done at a slow enough pace that you don't mess up is often the fastest way to success, so enjoy the journey. You'll nail it eventually!

Offline determined2learn

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #10 on: June 16, 2021, 01:40:43 AM »
I think for solving any type of technical problem, the phrase "hurry slowly" applies. The more you try to force yourself to play faster than you can, the longer you have to wait before you can play it faster competently. Mindful, relaxed practice done at a slow enough pace that you don't mess up is often the fastest way to success, so enjoy the journey. You'll nail it eventually!
I started this piece 5/23/21. Missed a few days, but not many. Muscle memory for first set of Alberti bass measures (4 measures) HT finally being set. Yes, lots of very slow work. One more 4 measure set actually is going better, I'd like to think because the earlier work I put in. Drill, drill drill!


Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #11 on: June 16, 2021, 02:34:14 AM »
Complete this thought..."becoming proficient at playing Alberti bass is ____________ for a fledgling student. ::) :-\
Useless


Fledgling students have a lot more interesting and beneficial things to master which will incidentally solve much of the alberti pattern without tackling it head on with limited experience.
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Offline j_tour

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #12 on: June 16, 2021, 05:12:54 AM »
Useless


Fledgling students have a lot more interesting and beneficial things to master which will incidentally solve much of the alberti pattern without tackling it head on with limited experience.

Such as?

:)

It's small arpeggios in the LH and fun to explore.

No, I cannot play the standard Alberti pattern at Mach-10 or whatever the right term is for "real *** fast," not with any consistency, but for a beginner or a "fledgling," surely it's not a bad thing to recognize from any given score and gain familiarity with, yes?

In a related fashion, one can immediately recognize this pattern and abstract it away when sight reading new material.

In such a way as, for example, the arpeggiated half-note chords in the BWV 903 Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor don't need to be explicitly notated:  one can make an abstraction, such that one can concentrate on more important things.

I find it useful, but, within the context of repertoire, it's just so common that something is better than nothing.

In the spirit of the OP's question, yes, it's difficult and the relentless regularity of the standard pattern can be infuriating, but it's not without a good cause. 
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 lostinidlewonder

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #13 on: June 16, 2021, 05:41:19 AM »
Such as?

:)
Well I can't reveal the entire syllabus for all types of people at the early beginner stage its just going to be a 1000 page response lol. I would wonder why bother with alberti bass before you have fully mastered all sorts of triad chord playing patterns which are not so segmented with all sorts of coordinations with the RH, there is just so much work you can do there first.

Building up to skills from the bottom up is a very good way to go about it. Many talented people jump ahead but the vast majority of early beginners with the piano need to do things from the bottom up. Even highly talented students Ive taught who jump all over the place need to go back to fundamentals sometimes to remove the estimate type solutions they are using.

No, I cannot play the standard Alberti pattern at Mach-10 or whatever the right term is for "real *** fast," not with any consistency, but for a beginner or a "fledgling," surely it's not a bad thing to recognize from any given score and gain familiarity with, yes?
There is just much more useful pieces to learn out there and so much material that needs to be learned well that I think the alberti is low on the priority list for beginners.
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Offline brogers70

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #14 on: June 16, 2021, 10:13:23 AM »
I think for solving any type of technical problem, the phrase "hurry slowly" applies. The more you try to force yourself to play faster than you can, the longer you have to wait before you can play it faster competently. Mindful, relaxed practice done at a slow enough pace that you don't mess up is often the fastest way to success, so enjoy the journey. You'll nail it eventually!

Yes. At one point I had to learn Cambodian for my work, a language with more subtly different vowel sounds than any language has a right to. In a French book devoted to explaining the pronunciation of those Khmer vowels I found the great sentence "La persistence vaut mieux que l'acharnement," "Persistence works better than intensity." Don't try to master it all at once, just keep working patiently away without undue stress. That sentence applies to so much in life.

Offline determined2learn

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #15 on: June 16, 2021, 01:10:06 PM »
Useless


Fledgling students have a lot more interesting and beneficial things to master which will incidentally solve much of the alberti pattern without tackling it head on with limited experience.


I am playing from ABRSM Level 1 exam pieces from 19-20. Alberti bass also appears in RCM etude level 1, 2015 edition. I've been playing about 2 years so I feel this is level appropriate.


The coordination of the left hand and right hand is the major sticking point. But, that's my challenge with most pieces I attempt.


I've taken up piano late in life. It's a race between an aging body and reaching an acceptable proficiency.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #16 on: June 16, 2021, 04:46:37 PM »
I think the idea is to work on a wide array of easy pieces, and not to focus specifically on Alberti bass. It is just yet another "easy" pattern you'll encounter.

You've been working at it for about 3 weeks, right? I used to give 4-5 weeks to understand a fundamentally new pattern at the keyboard. Of course, I don't encounter many of those anymore, plus you also get quicker at learning new technical patterns with time.

I would try to focus on playing relaxed while still producing a good tone. When I started out, I remember that it took me about a month to be able to play a melody against any kind of broken accompaniment, and about two weeks to be able to play a melody against changing chords without getting confused.

Basically, don't be afraid to challenge yourself, but hold back worrying about it until about a month has passed. Try to be aware of the time it takes for automaticity to set in, and plan according to that. I've found it to be very efficient to work on a number of things in parallel instead of trying to speed up the consolidation process.

It's really hard to speed up the consolidation process, but here's what I think works. Keep repeating the correct movements mindfully at points spaced apart during the day. In the meantime, you want to not think about it and let your mind rest. You can also practice right before you fall asleep to let it "infiltrate" your subconscious -- you'll know it has when you dream about it! You can also practice the movement away from the keyboard, on a table or in your mind.

I know I'm giving advice here and not encouragement, but I hope it helps you out!

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #17 on: June 17, 2021, 02:17:21 AM »

I am playing from ABRSM Level 1 exam pieces from 19-20. Alberti bass also appears in RCM etude level 1, 2015 edition. I've been playing about 2 years so I feel this is level appropriate.


The coordination of the left hand and right hand is the major sticking point. But, that's my challenge with most pieces I attempt.


I've taken up piano late in life. It's a race between an aging body and reaching an acceptable proficiency.
Ok I took “fledgling” to mean more inexperienced. Personally I find developing with exams not as good as finding specific repertoire for your personal needs. This usually though requires that you have some advice from someone who knows your skill level personally and has a wide perspective of repertoire out there. Studying only exams really narrows ones journey it’s a good indicator of skill but I think testing heavily on it comes with a number of drawbacks notably repertoire awareness, sight reading training and practice method.

There are many coordination investigations you can go through and practice methods how to get there for given pieces. Avoid brute force repeating until you get something, playing the piano should always be quite effortless and easy to do.

Ranjit has responded well so I don’t really need to add much more.
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Offline jimf12

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #18 on: June 17, 2021, 03:31:47 PM »

I appreciate your honesty! I fall down and pick myself up again and go head-long back into the brick wall!

Sometimes it takes a few runs at that wall to knock it down.    It's important to be wise though, if the wall won't come down a different approach is needed.   I recently started playing after a 10+ year lapse, and was doing great just teaching myself.   All was well until I took on Mozart's K545 - a piece that was not considered more difficult than other pieces I have put in my repertoire over the last year.   There was no reason going into this that I didn't think I would be able to tackle this myself.

What a humbling experience this was.   After quickly getting the piece to "pretty good", I could not finish it off.    Without going into the nitty gritty, let's just say there were spots that generally weren't as clean as they should be.   I assumed repetition would fix it, that the allegro tempo just needed more time.   I spent months cleaning this up, and essentially made no progress.

I decided I needed a teacher.   A complete eye opening experience.   Her ability to tear the piece down, start over essentially in places, create exercises based on some of those trouble spots, singing or sounding out parts ... she gave me numerous methods to tackle each problem.   The progress I made was, to me, shocking.   

So, moral of the story for me, if you are stuck then look for novel approaches to the problem.   If you are having trouble with Alberti Bass, create exercises.   Play long-short rhythms, play the phrase backwards, play the left hand just as a chord at the beginning of the measure.   I'm not a teacher, I don't know specifically what would be best, but tear the problem apart and reconstruct it in different ways.   







Offline annonymouse2

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #19 on: June 17, 2021, 05:25:03 PM »

I am playing from ABRSM Level 1 exam pieces from 19-20. Alberti bass also appears in RCM etude level 1, 2015 edition. I've been playing about 2 years so I feel this is level appropriate.


The coordination of the left hand and right hand is the major sticking point. But, that's my challenge with most pieces I attempt.


I've taken up piano late in life. It's a race between an aging body and reaching an acceptable proficiency.


I'm confused, I thought Alberti Bass was a  Grade 6 , piece, but you mention ABRSM Level 1. Is level 1 the same as Grade 1. Sorry,   can you put me  more in the picture please?   

Offline determined2learn

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #20 on: June 18, 2021, 12:54:00 AM »

I'm confused, I thought Alberti Bass was a  Grade 6 , piece, but you mention ABRSM Level 1. Is level 1 the same as Grade 1. Sorry,   can you put me  more in the picture please?


I wrote it correctly! Level one. Between the 2 level one books I have, there are 3 pieces with Alberti bass. Two of the pieces have a few bars of AB. The one I'm working on now is almost all AB in left hand.
Piece is titled "Theme" by Thomas Attwood.


I will investigate about AB being more grade 6. If I can accomplish this I'll feel better. I've already decided to come back later to the 3rd piece with AB. I need a break from it!

Offline ranjit

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #21 on: June 18, 2021, 01:13:08 AM »

I'm confused, I thought Alberti Bass was a  Grade 6 , piece, but you mention ABRSM Level 1. Is level 1 the same as Grade 1. Sorry,   can you put me  more in the picture please?
There's nothing grade 6 about Alberti bass. It's a kind of arpeggio pattern, not a piece.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #22 on: June 18, 2021, 03:10:38 AM »

I wrote it correctly! Level one. Between the 2 level one books I have, there are 3 pieces with Alberti bass. Two of the pieces have a few bars of AB. The one I'm working on now is almost all AB in left hand.
Piece is titled "Theme" by Thomas Attwood.


I will investigate about AB being more grade 6. If I can accomplish this I'll feel better. I've already decided to come back later to the 3rd piece with AB. I need a break from it!


Yes, Thomas Attwood ‘Tgrme’ is Levrl one. AB does not determine the level, as it can be found in many different levels of music; it is a stylistic element.

Not sure where you are having a problem, but please be patient with yourself.  A few suggestions:
Write in the fingering for the LH and always use it.
Drawn a vertical between the notes in RH and the notes in the LH  that are played together.
Practice VERY slowly.  If you identify a problem measure, just work on that one measure until it is no longer s problem. Yes, playing the AB differently when you practice can make a big difference.  I found uneven rhythms very helpful


Offline annonymouse2

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #23 on: June 18, 2021, 06:36:06 AM »
There's nothing grade 6 about Alberti bass. It's a kind of arpeggio pattern, not a piece.


Ah, thank you for that explanation,  now I understand. I hadn't come across this before. 


Offline determined2learn

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #24 on: June 19, 2021, 04:29:29 PM »




Not sure where you are having a problem, but please be patient with yourself.  A few suggestions:
Write in the fingering for the LH and always use it.
Drawn a vertical between the notes in RH and the notes in the LH  that are played together.
Practice VERY slowly.  If you identify a problem measure, just work on that one measure until it is no longer s problem. Yes, playing the AB differently when you practice can make a big difference.  I found uneven rhythms very helpful


Update! I am noticing progress. And consistent fingering is a must! I get in trouble when the AB changes for a bar or two. IF I use the correct fingering it works out. The early bars were LH legato, RH staccato. Ugh!!! Then just the whole HT is still a challenge for me no matter what I'm learning. Yes, lots of S L O W play and repetition. It's starting to become more ingrained muscle memory. I'm not about to give up!


I feel good enough about the progress I started another piece in the book. Still lots to do on Theme but it feels nice to know lots of persistance has paid rewards. I may keep playing it for a while because of the AB for a while.


One of the online tutorials I watched for Theme,  the guy said it was a difficult piece for this level. I would prefer not to know that. It messes me up because my confidence is not strong. It's the first piece in the book (because of how it is arranged by period). Guess they will be easier after this.


I've drawn vertical lines on other pieces before. Good to know that's 'a thing'!

Offline ranjit

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #25 on: June 19, 2021, 04:34:10 PM »
Just checked it out, there's a reasonably fast Alberti bass pattern. I would focus on trying to keep the hand lose while trying to play that in the left hand.

Offline jimf12

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #26 on: June 22, 2021, 02:42:54 PM »

Update! I am noticing progress. And consistent fingering is a must! I get in trouble when the AB changes for a bar or two. IF I use the correct fingering it works out. The early bars were LH legato, RH staccato. Ugh!!! Then just the whole HT is still a challenge for me no matter what I'm learning. Yes, lots of S L O W play and repetition. It's starting to become more ingrained muscle memory. I'm not about to give up!


I feel good enough about the progress I started another piece in the book. Still lots to do on Theme but it feels nice to know lots of persistance has paid rewards. I may keep playing it for a while because of the AB for a while.


One of the online tutorials I watched for Theme,  the guy said it was a difficult piece for this level. I would prefer not to know that. It messes me up because my confidence is not strong. It's the first piece in the book (because of how it is arranged by period). Guess they will be easier after this.


I've drawn vertical lines on other pieces before. Good to know that's 'a thing'!

Glad you are making progress!    Your comment about consistent fingering is pretty much a hard and fast rule for everything.   Don't ever let yourself deviate from that.   If you are working on a piece and there is a section that is iffy, you might play it correctly with a different fingering and be tempted to continue on because it sounded ok.   I always stop, to me once I have the fingering worked out that I want if I happen to play it correctly with different fingering I treat that as big of a mistake as hitting the wrong notes.   It has to be corrected, and if you use inconsistent fingering you need to stop and fix that.   


Offline determined2learn

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Re: Please throw a bit of encouragement
«Reply #27 on: June 23, 2021, 12:13:08 AM »
Glad you are making progress!    Your comment about consistent fingering is pretty much a hard and fast rule for everything.   Don't ever let yourself deviate from that.   If you are working on a piece and there is a section that is iffy, you might play it correctly with a different fingering and be tempted to continue on because it sounded ok.   I always stop, to me once I have the fingering worked out that I want if I happen to play it correctly with different fingering I treat that as big of a mistake as hitting the wrong notes.   It has to be corrected, and if you use inconsistent fingering you need to stop and fix that.
Thank you. Yes, I did some online lessons when I first started and that's what the instructor said. If you didn't get the fingering correct, it was wrong, correct it. It's a hard lesson to not want to learn and then realize it's crucial.