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#2220873 - 01/26/14 04:35 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sand Tiger]  
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Originally Posted by Sand Tiger
On the other side, the dots and lines look so simple, so beginner-ish.

Take a look at virtually anything by Einaudi. It looks quite uninspired as rendered on the page. Even when there are sweeping arpeggios, it just appears to be so repetitive and uninteresting. And yet... it's very sophisticated and beautiful in its simplicity.

Originally Posted by Sand Tiger
It was mostly the product of hitting piano keys for hours on end, until something sounded interesting enough to keep.

Have you checked out Bill Hilton's videos on YouTube? He has a lot of content about improvisation there that can be applied to song-writing as well. He's my favorite for learning applied music theory online.


"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

[Linked Image]XXIX-XXXII
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#2220956 - 01/26/14 10:41 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: aTallGuyNH]  
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Originally Posted by aTallGuyNH

Maybe I need to tape one of these to the piano right at eye level:
[Linked Image]


I have a beanie baby snail who sits on the music desk to remind me to slow down, and a rooster to remind me that the best practice time is morning.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2220972 - 01/26/14 11:37 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: aTallGuyNH]  
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Sand Tiger Offline
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Originally Posted by aTallGuyNH
Originally Posted by Sand Tiger
On the other side, the dots and lines look so simple, so beginner-ish.

Take a look at virtually anything by Einaudi. It looks quite uninspired as rendered on the page. Even when there are sweeping arpeggios, it just appears to be so repetitive and uninteresting. And yet... it's very sophisticated and beautiful in its simplicity.

Originally Posted by Sand Tiger
It was mostly the product of hitting piano keys for hours on end, until something sounded interesting enough to keep.

Have you checked out Bill Hilton's videos on YouTube? He has a lot of content about improvisation there that can be applied to song-writing as well. He's my favorite for learning applied music theory online.


ATallGuyNH, thanks for mentioning Bill Hilton. I have watched a couple of his videos. Most are a bit too advanced for me. I can follow what he is saying, but when I try to apply it, it usually becomes a jumble. Maybe after I get past my year two, I will have another run at the windmill.

For improvisation, or writing music, it comes back to trusting my ears. Feelings aren't facts. I might feel like my composition is simple, but for Tracks in the Snow, getting the subtle phrasing the way I want it, is not for true beginners. I've been playing music for a long time, so my ears are a bit better than the average new piano beginner, even if my technical skill is still very beginner-ish.

I did want to make the point to anyone reading about inspiration. Many want to wait for inspiration before writing music. In my case, that might come once a year. If I waited, I wouldn't write very much, and writing and then performing is the most rewarding thing for me. Being able to write without external inspiration is the craft side of songwriting and composition. For those that are rarely inspired, like me, focusing on the craft side is a huge step to competency.

Also on the plus side, there are certain elements that I use a lot, so I am developing my own style on piano. I see that as a significant achievement. For some, it takes many years of writing to find a style. Like I said, the new piece is yet another mile marker on my journey. I can see the progress as I look back at the other markers.

Last edited by Sand Tiger; 01/26/14 12:01 PM.
#2221045 - 01/26/14 07:35 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sand Tiger]  
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Originally Posted by Sand Tiger
ATallGuyNH, thanks for mentioning Bill Hilton. I have watched a couple of his videos. Most are a bit too advanced for me. I can follow what he is saying, but when I try to apply it, it usually becomes a jumble.

I'm the same way. Most of it is much too advanced for me, and I don't have the time to come up that particular learning curve at this point.

However...

I was thinking of one video in particular:
[video:youtube]zrqOaHYe70Y[/video]

I had posted about this one last year. [Editorial note: this was one of my rare AOTW posts that was an actual achievement laugh ]

Unlike Bill's other videos where he's talking about a particular musical style, type of chord, progression, and so on -- this is down to the very most basic concepts. I found it to be extraordinarily helpful in opening up my mind (and fingers) to this world, without requiring a great deal of technical knowledge and terminology about music theory.


"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

[Linked Image]XXIX-XXXII
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#2221066 - 01/26/14 08:08 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: jotur]  
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Originally Posted by jotur
Being a dancer, keeping the pulse going was really my first priority.

This inspired a thought...

I think virtually all of us -- almost certainly during the very first stages of learning a piece/song -- start from the mindset of "I need to learn this sequence of notes".

How many people are taking an approach of "I need to learn this rhythm/pulse", where the exact notes and melody are of secondary importance? That would be very different, but for comp/pop it has a certain logic to it in order to emphasize the primacy of not breaking the flow.


"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

[Linked Image]XXIX-XXXII
#2221477 - 01/27/14 03:04 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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My achievement was to play for an audience - we had some rather special friends over for lunch- which was great fun!

and someone else played too.......


[Linked Image]


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#2221508 - 01/27/14 04:07 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Originally Posted by casinitaly
My achievement was to play for an audience - we had some rather special friends over for lunch- which was great fun!

and someone else played too.......


And Casinitaly played her Sonatina very nicely too! I enjoyed playing her lovely plano, and I maintained my MOYD as well. We had a great visit with Casinitaly and Mr. Casinitaly on our way back to Switzerland. They prepared a wonderful regional Italian lunch for us, which was delicious! We had great fun!

#2221526 - 01/27/14 04:48 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: aTallGuyNH]  
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Quote
quote from TG: How many people are taking an approach of "I need to learn this rhythm/pulse", where the exact notes and melody are of secondary importance?


I always focus on rhythm first and if playing it is within reach ... but the rhythm or beat is generally what attracts me to a new tune anyway.

Last edited by Rerun; 01/27/14 04:49 PM.

Rerun

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#2221540 - 01/27/14 05:12 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Cheryl and SwissMs - Thats great that you two could hook up for some playing time and lunch. thumb Way to go on the Sonatina C!!!


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


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#2221669 - 01/27/14 10:06 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]  
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Originally Posted by JimF
Cheryl and SwissMs - Thats great that you two could hook up for some playing time and lunch. thumb Way to go on the Sonatina C!!!


Awesome smile


  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3
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#2221723 - 01/28/14 02:25 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SwissMS]  
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Originally Posted by SwissMS
Originally Posted by casinitaly
My achievement was to play for an audience - we had some rather special friends over for lunch- which was great fun!

and someone else played too.......


And Casinitaly played her Sonatina very nicely too! I enjoyed playing her lovely plano, and I maintained my MOYD as well. We had a great visit with Casinitaly and Mr. Casinitaly on our way back to Switzerland. They prepared a wonderful regional Italian lunch for us, which was delicious! We had great fun!


Wow it makes me jealous.
Cheryl, I will have to go to London at the end of March. I may just fly out there if you happened to be in town. I will let you know as soon as the date is confirmed. It's the nature of business trip. I don't know until a couple of weeks before.



1) Bach c minor fantasy
2) Beethoven sonata g major 14 No. 2 (re do)
3) Chopin a flat major Ballade (schubert Impromptu A flat D935 No2)
4) Scriabin op11 prelude #2 and #14 (Re do #2, new #14)
5) Bartok. 4 old tunes and Scherzo)
#2221731 - 01/28/14 03:13 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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smile We had a blast, truly!

FarmGirl it would be a pleasure to see you --- keep me posted on your dates because we may actually be in Switzerland at the end of March !


[Linked Image]
#2221748 - 01/28/14 05:19 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Rerun]  
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Very minor AOTW -- I found my "How To Play a Fake Book" fake book, which had been missing for several months, and was driving me crazy.

Where was it, you may (or maybe not) ask?

In Mabel's bench.

Who the heck put it there?!?

whome


Also...

Originally Posted by Rerun
Quote
quote from TG: How many people are taking an approach of "I need to learn this rhythm/pulse", where the exact notes and melody are of secondary importance?


I always focus on rhythm first and if playing it is within reach ... but the rhythm or beat is generally what attracts me to a new tune anyway.

Ok, so there is at least one, good to hear!

I'll have to consider thinking in this way on my next pop music arrangement (current one is too close to complete) -- i.e. just starting with the chords and then slowly adding elements of the melody. To date I have always started from the full version and then simplify to what sounds sufficient and is within my grasp. As a result, it's very "melody-centric" in terms of actually learning to play it. If I build from the ground up, I expect that it will be easier to be "pulse-centric".


"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

[Linked Image]XXIX-XXXII
#2221761 - 01/28/14 06:18 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]  
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Originally Posted by JimF
Cheryl and SwissMs - Thats great that you two could hook up for some playing time and lunch. thumb Way to go on the Sonatina C!!!


Brilliant smile looks like you had a blast.


Yamaha MOX8 Synthesizer

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#2221780 - 01/28/14 09:02 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Oh boohoo! My lesson is cancelled! My teacher has injured his shoulder and can't drive (he lives about 30 km from here and comes in for about 6-7 hours worth of lessons).


Darn.


I know we'll make up the lesson, but that's not the point...It is one of the big highlights of my week and I'm a bit bummed out. frown

I have to say though, this is the first time in a year and a half he 's cancelled on the day. There were 2 lessons cancelled last year but they were planned absences and made up at the end of the year. My previous teacher was much less dependable.





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#2221781 - 01/28/14 09:06 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: aTallGuyNH]  
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Originally Posted by aTallGuyNH


Also...

Originally Posted by Rerun
Quote
quote from TG: How many people are taking an approach of "I need to learn this rhythm/pulse", where the exact notes and melody are of secondary importance?


I always focus on rhythm first and if playing it is within reach ... but the rhythm or beat is generally what attracts me to a new tune anyway.


Ok, so there is at least one, good to hear!

I'll have to consider thinking in this way on my next pop music arrangement (current one is too close to complete) -- i.e. just starting with the chords and then slowly adding elements of the melody. To date I have always started from the full version and then simplify to what sounds sufficient and is within my grasp. As a result, it's very "melody-centric" in terms of actually learning to play it. If I build from the ground up, I expect that it will be easier to be "pulse-centric".



Hey TG, I've used Bill Hilton's vids along the way but he can be a bit hard for me to understand too.

Back to the rhythm thing, the big payoff for me was once you get a rhythm pattern down with that LH, your ears will recognize other tunes that you can use the pattern with or you can improvise your own melodies like Hilton was doing in that tape above ... and you can improvise on the pattern itself.

Here's a classic case of everyone on the planet knowing the melody, but for me it's getting over that rhythm hurdle that's the puzzle. This guy brings a few RH fingers into the pattern at about 0:30 on the tape ... at 1:17 he stumbled a bit (like I often do) then rescued it (like I often don't grin) :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dhQYrHsdlU



Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD


[Linked Image]



#2221787 - 01/28/14 09:29 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Originally Posted by casinitaly
smile We had a blast, truly!

FarmGirl it would be a pleasure to see you --- keep me posted on your dates because we may actually be in Switzerland at the end of March !


thumb ... Hey, I don't know who invented fellowship, but I'm glad they did!


Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD


[Linked Image]



#2222614 - 01/29/14 03:48 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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This month I'm really busy because of work deadlines. So I'm always tired and my practice time dropped dramatically.
Nevertheless, yesterday during my lesson I finally got a pass on the Bach Sarabande; wonderful piece of music, but after more than six months I was a little bit sick of it!
AND during the last week or so my husband and I booked the flights and 3 nights in hotel in Lisboa fot the European Piano Party!


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#2222993 - 01/30/14 09:30 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: torquenale]  
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My AOTW- "that was MUCH better" from my teacher on my Joplin. Sweet words indeed, after last week's struggle! I played it at slow tempo for her with virtually no errors. I still have some slurs and pedaling nuances to work out, but my slow is finally slow enough! Now I am moving to half a measure slow, half fast, then reverse. Then alternate measures fast/slow, then the whole piece at tempo. I hope to get this one recorded in the next couple of weeks. It has been a good learning experience, and I am glad I decided to participate in the Joplin themed recital! This piece had a lot to teach me and it is fun!




#2223250 - 01/30/14 05:58 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I had my third lesson today. My initial impression is that we're a good match and she's working me on things I need work on. However, I can tell already that 30 minutes is NOT enough time. I'm doing these lessons through a local community college, so I don't have flexibility in lesson length and I'm also committed to a semester's worth of lessons, which should be about 10 more lessons. At some later point, if things are still clicking with us, I'll ask about private lessons with her (she teaches just one afternoon at the cc).

My AOTW: As expected,* I screwed up badly today on the first piece I played for her, but then managed to calm myself and play it through reasonably well. Not as good as at home, but definitely servicable. smile

*
Originally Posted by Ragdoll
Expect the worst and you'll never be disappointed again.


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#2223252 - 01/30/14 06:07 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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How nice to have a thread celebrating success. I have finished memorizing a Chopin waltz for the PC recital and today I played through it at about 3/4 speed. I wanted to get to this point early enough that I can go back to some other things I was working on. I just want to give it a break and come back in a week or two. Meanwhile I might polish something else to submit for the ABF quarterly. smile

#2223550 - 01/31/14 11:15 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Stubbie]  
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
I had my third lesson today. My initial impression is that we're a good match and she's working me on things I need work on. However, I can tell already that 30 minutes is NOT enough time. I'm doing these lessons through a local community college, so I don't have flexibility in lesson length and I'm also committed to a semester's worth of lessons, which should be about 10 more lessons. At some later point, if things are still clicking with us, I'll ask about private lessons with her (she teaches just one afternoon at the cc).

My AOTW: As expected,* I screwed up badly today on the first piece I played for her, but then managed to calm myself and play it through reasonably well. Not as good as at home, but definitely servicable. smile

*
Originally Posted by Ragdoll
Expect the worst and you'll never be disappointed again.



I hear you about 30 mins lessons. I am going to change to 1 hr even if I only do it half the times. I feel I will get more of one single hour lesson than 2x30mins.


And my achievement yesterday...finally finished learning the so called Moonlight Sonata 1st movement.
Now to work on making it mine and as best as I can perform it. smile


*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

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#2223672 - 01/31/14 02:57 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Italy
TallGuy - interesing links and ideas on improv. I'm not there yet but hope that as I move along this path I'll get to working on that some day!

Torquenale, it is sometimes really great to simply get a piece "off the list" so to speak! I'm delighted you and your family are booked for Lisbon!

SwissMS- I'm looking forward to hearing your Joplin!!

Stubbie- glad to hear things seem to be working out well with the teacher! That's great news.

Pathbreaker- I will be curious to see - or rather hear - what you play for the recital AND I look forward to hearing the Chopin waltz. I love Chopin waltzes

Shaolin: good for you - just one question -- why do you say the "so-called" Moonlight Sonata?

My AOTW is that I decided just to run through the whole sonatina which I had not played for about 10 days (I've only been playing the 3rd movment). I was astonished at how well it went! It just flew off my fingertips. Wow. I was so thrilled. I still can't do that consistently enough to feel confident about recording it all for the recital but I'll play it again after the tuner comes and record everything I do - who knows, I may get an acceptable recording of the whole thing!


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#2223754 - 01/31/14 06:31 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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stubbie - sounds like this teacher might stick. Hope it continues to go well.

C - Thats good news about the sonatina. Isn't it nice to put something aside for a while and then find it HASN'T disappeared. To me, that means you have learned it well.

My AOTW is I got my piano tuned today. It sounds wonderful. Actually had only moved by a cent or two, so it is really holding its tune nicely. And he fixed an annoying little squeak that had crept into my sustain pedal.


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


Estonia L190 #7284[Linked Image][Linked Image]
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#2223846 - 01/31/14 08:58 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Originally Posted by casinitaly
TallGuy - interesing links and ideas on improv. I'm not there yet but hope that as I move along this path I'll get to working on that some day!

Torquenale, it is sometimes really great to simply get a piece "off the list" so to speak! I'm delighted you and your family are booked for Lisbon!

SwissMS- I'm looking forward to hearing your Joplin!!

Stubbie- glad to hear things seem to be working out well with the teacher! That's great news.

Pathbreaker- I will be curious to see - or rather hear - what you play for the recital AND I look forward to hearing the Chopin waltz. I love Chopin waltzes

Shaolin: good for you - just one question -- why do you say the "so-called" Moonlight Sonata?

My AOTW is that I decided just to run through the whole sonatina which I had not played for about 10 days (I've only been playing the 3rd movment). I was astonished at how well it went! It just flew off my fingertips. Wow. I was so thrilled. I still can't do that consistently enough to feel confident about recording it all for the recital but I'll play it again after the tuner comes and record everything I do - who knows, I may get an acceptable recording of the whole thing!

That's awesome, I hope you can repeat this when you do your recordings. I love the process of recording my progress, I only started doing this last fall and it's been really helpful.

It's been a really great time learning this Chopin waltz. I've never really played much Chopin and this is my first waltz. I think I will be doing more of these. smile

For the quarterly I really don't know what I will do. I have one piece that I know pretty well and another that I've struggled to play decently. I'm leaning towards recording the second one because I need to get an official record of it and honestly this is about as good as it's ever been. I need about a week to get a good recording of it, I think. Whatever comes out will have to do. I'm not going to mention what they are! ha

#2223943 - 02/01/14 01:40 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Originally Posted by casinitaly

Shaolin: good for you - just one question -- why do you say the "so-called" Moonlight Sonata?

Well, I have taken a lot of interest in learning about Beethoven's life watching documentaries, reading and even the Immortal Beloved movie. In a way, I am trying to learn about the character of the man behind the music so that when I perform one of his pieces I have a better idea of what is behind it.
Aside from the "small detail" of him being a genius, gifted musician and I am not being any where near that, I find many things that I share in common with him (which for sure I wont explain here lol). And as you probably know, I only said that since it was not the name given to the piece by Beethoven so I usually refer to it by the so called now when on a forum like this so that others dont jump on me to correct me laugh

Last edited by shaolin95; 02/01/14 01:40 AM.

*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

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#2224003 - 02/01/14 06:16 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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casinitaly Online blank

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casinitaly  Online Blank


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Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 6,686
Italy
Jim, isn't it lovely to have your piano freshly tuned? My tuner is coming today! I can't wait!!
(I should also note that my husband asked how often I have it tuned "4 times a year" to which I replied..."Well I'd like to do it that often, but I have it done twice a year". To which HE replied..."Well, as you're playing more now, maybe you should have it done more". I love this man smile

Pathbreaker - try to resist the temptation to get a "perfect" recording. You can drive yourself insane!!! Give yourself a number and say - ok--- I'll take the best of 5. I find that if I keep working to get a better rendition I inevitably end up making more and more mistakes as I go on.

Shaolin, I really doubt anyone here would jump on you for that. Everyone here generally does call it the Moonlight -- just like some of Chopin's works are referred to as the "Raindrop" etc. I confess that until I joined this forum I had no idea that the names were given by other people, not the composers, --- live and learn! (Now if you posted in the Pianist Corner, it is quite possible that someone would feel the need to correct you - they are a different kettle of fish ! )



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#2224027 - 02/01/14 07:28 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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earlofmar Online content
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My AOTW is probably the same for a few of us. I managed to make a recording for the recital without too many problems. Yes there was a few takes but happy how quick and painless it was. Must be getting used to the camera or as I suspect my piece was leaned months ago and only needed a bit of spit and polish.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2224353 - 02/01/14 08:25 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Pathbreaker Offline
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Originally Posted by casinitaly

Pathbreaker - try to resist the temptation to get a "perfect" recording. You can drive yourself insane!!! Give yourself a number and say - ok--- I'll take the best of 5. I find that if I keep working to get a better rendition I inevitably end up making more and more mistakes as I go on.


You're right, I usually have trouble letting go. But I won't be able to record it for about a week because it will take that long for me to get it back in my fingers. It's memorized but I haven't really been playing it lately.

#2224398 - 02/01/14 10:18 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Pathbreaker]  
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Sand Tiger Offline
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ATallGuyNH, I watched that Bill Hilton video about beginner irmprovisation. It has some good information, thank you.

SwissMS and CasinItaly, I'm sure it was exciting to visit. I am a bit spoiled by the number of musicians that I know locally.

Week 99: I do some more recording. Like almost everyone, it is a frustating process. I continue with the Mozart Coursera, and start a new one on songwriting taught by Pat Pattison at Berklee College of Music. The songwriting course makes a lot more sense and has much more potential for application for me, than the Mozart class. The homework for the Pattison course is another matter. I am used to just dashing off a song without giving much thought to the structure or grammar. I never liked grammar, so it will be a hurdle for me.

I am picking up bits and pieces from the Singapore University Mozart class, but much is beyond my playing skill, and the notation and jargon are difficult for me to follow. Slow exposure to the jargon is how I tend to learn. I know folks that intuitively understand all the jargon, but I am not one of them.

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