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Undone,
I think you may have identified my problem. For too many years I've been satisfied with "bungling through" a piece.
And unfortunately, most of the occasional teachers I thought I could afford were happy to let me be satisfied with that.
But now I find I've been "studying forever" and still can't play a single piece--not without mistakes, anyway. Even the one time I played in a recital I bungled it. I couple years ago I even started over in book one and bungled that! But I was bungling through so successfully that in due course I find myself in book 3!

So I guess I'm back to the fundamental question. What makes the difference between being able to play a measure or phrase and being able to play a piece? I guess this isn't really a "book 3" question, but it seems to me the issue always comes up in book 3, because that's where I start having trouble with the phrases. I think it may be shifting hand positions or something like that that I never quite get. Or maybe it's maintaining concentration for an extended duration--"book 3" may be where they start to get longer.

In any event, there's no part of "Super Special Sort of Song" that I can't play,
but somehow I can't ever put the whole thing together.
I'm starting to feel like Bertie in "The King's Speech"--there's no way I'm ever going to get through a whole song!


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Hi Tinman 1943,

That piece of music is a bit tricky. It's ( i think) one of those written by Palmer that is just gives what is needed for that particular type of accompliment. I have gone back to it and have used it for the occasional filler pieces... no I don't play regularly, pieces of music that the average person listening to it, thinks it's classical.

Book three does require a bit more concentration and as my piano instructor told me when I begun pieces such as "Toccatta", Moonlight Sonata", that these are the actual pieces, nothing cut down. And I find that when i am sight reading other musical selections, away from book 3, that I find myself using the techniques from that series.

Yes, you will get through an entire song, even if it takes months. I finally got "Toccatta" down but when I went back to play it, i had forgotten some. It came back.. I have been working on "moonlight Sonata for two Christmases and I am finally getting close to the end page. It has taken time and it will take time.

Also, I am glad to see this thread continuing! This is the first time in a few weeks that I have been able to come to this site because work intervenes (smile). Good luck, take it slow and don't give up!


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Originally Posted by tinman1943
So I guess I'm back to the fundamental question. What makes the difference between being able to play a measure or phrase and being able to play a piece?


Like piano4 says, “Yes, you will get through an entire song”, it’s just a matter of setting your mind to it. What has worked for me, but is obviously not for everyone, is to get a good recording of the piece before I consider it “finished”. I’ve done this with every piece in all three Alfred books. Now what constitutes a “good recording”? Well, it’s not necessarily one without errors (wrong notes), though that’s what I shoot for. It’s more like “a recording that I would be willing to share with people here in the ABF without feeling too embarrassed about my playing”.

When I was working on book 2 there was a small group of us that kept posting our recordings of some the pieces and providing support/incentive to one another. That helped me a great deal in “not moving on too soon”. The main thing is to remember that it’s not a race, and that there is no finish line. Completing work in a method book may be a mile stone, but you’re never done, so you might as well just go at whatever pace is right for you and enjoy the ride.

Undone


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Thanks, all, for the encouragement!
I did slow it down quite a bit and now I can almost get through it without wrong notes or stutters.
So I think it's coming along. Back in Book 2, Bridal Chorus is pretty solid. I may be about ready to turn the page. So now I need to get one of those digital recorders so I can upload. Or can I use MIDI? Or make a YouTube video--can I do that with a Blackberry? All my cameras and audio equipment is analog!

Meanwhile, my piano instructor (using a different method) has assigned us the Bach Prelude 1.
It doesn't look so hard, really--just a couple left-hand notes and a right hand 3-note chord--but it offers the same challenge as Sorta Song--repetitions and then minor (or not so minor) variations in the next measure. I'm starting doing a couple lines at a time, at tempo 1/16 = 60 bpm, working up to 100. It seems painfully slow, but the mistakes are disappearing!
I'm actually working on a "secret weapon" for this one--if it works out, I'll post more about it!



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Undone,

Congrats on finishing Level 3! You should be really proud of yourself.


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Originally Posted by Cyborg
Undone,

Congrats on finishing Level 3! You should be really proud of yourself.


Thanks Cyborg, sometimes OCD can be a good thing. grin

Undone


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Originally Posted by Undone
Well gang, I’m considering myself done (though I'll still use the forum name "Undone" smile ). I finished Fur Elise, the last piece I had to go in Alfred’s Book 3, this weekend. It’s not quite at “recital level” thanks to all the repeats, but there are only a few glaring “oopses” in it and most of them are problems with dynamics. I’ll continue to work on it from time to time just as I do many of the other pieces at the end of book 3, but I figure I have it down well enough to call it finished and so will move on to other “post Alfred” work.

I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I would not have made it this far if it were not for the “Alfred Adult All-In-One” threads here in ABF and all the fine people who have contributed to them and worked along with me through many of the phases of learning. A big thanks to Mark for starting them and to everyone who has contributed to them over the years!

Undone


My Man! <Denzel voice> congrats indeed! I WILL finish book #3 sometime, hopefully this year, we'll see.

So what's next??
- Steve


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Originally Posted by TTigg
So what's next??


That's what I'm askin'...

Congrats Undone!

JF


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Thanks TTigg & JF. As for “What’s Next”; I’m first taking some time to enjoy not having my every next piece planned out for me. I have started work on another Chopin Prelude and a Vince Guaraldi piece, and I do plan to start working on one of the various “repertoire” series eventually, but first I’m going to enjoy not knowing “what’s next” for a little while. laugh

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Originally Posted by Undone
As for “What’s Next”; I’m first taking some time to enjoy not having my every next piece planned out for me. ... I do plan to start working on one of the various “repertoire” series eventually, but first I’m going to enjoy not knowing “what’s next” for a little while. laugh

Undone


Good plan (or should I say "non-plan") smile

May I humbly suggest that you might want to consider looking into the possibility of attempting one or more of the many very delightful works of the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, especially those found in the collection called "The Complete Lyric Pieces for Piano", which is a compilation of the 10 sets of wonderful sound portraits totaling 66 pieces he composed over the course of his career.

An ongoing and indepth discussion of these works with some recorded examples can be found in this thread:

Grieg's Complete Lyric Pieces

They seem to be perfectly suited to your level of play and style and I think you'd enjoy them quite a bit.

JF


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Thanks for the tip JF, I'll check this out.

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I'm working in Book 3 again with "Dry Bones".


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Originally Posted by Cyborg
I'm working in Book 3 again with "Dry Bones".


That was sort of a fun one if I recall correctly (and that’s becoming a rarity), not necessarily an easy one, but fun.

Undone


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Question about Calypso Rhumba:
On the second page, are the second ending of the middle part and the last two lines still 8va? Otherwise, the middle 2nd ending is a ti-do jump DOWN, which doesn't sound very musical.

Also, does anyone know which is the "calypso" part and which is the "rhumba"?


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Originally Posted by tinman1943
Question about Calypso Rhumba:
On the second page, are the second ending of the middle part and the last two lines still 8va? Otherwise, the middle 2nd ending is a ti-do jump DOWN, which doesn't sound very musical.

Also, does anyone know which is the "calypso" part and which is the "rhumba"?


Tinman, I don't have my music with me here now, but I'll try to remember to look at this when I get home tonight (unless someone else comes to the rescue first).

Undone


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Originally Posted by Undone
Originally Posted by tinman1943
Question about Calypso Rhumba:
On the second page, are the second ending of the middle part and the last two lines still 8va? Otherwise, the middle 2nd ending is a ti-do jump DOWN, which doesn't sound very musical.

Also, does anyone know which is the "calypso" part and which is the "rhumba"?


Tinman, I don't have my music with me here now, but I'll try to remember to look at this when I get home tonight (unless someone else comes to the rescue first).

Undone


Better yet, go to page one of this thread and have a listen to the YouTube recording for this piece (and check out the funky upside down piano). It sounds the way I remember it as far as the octaves go.

Undone


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Originally Posted by Undone
That was sort of a fun one if I recall correctly (and that’s becoming a rarity), not necessarily an easy one, but fun.

Undone


It's fun but definitely a tricky piece of music.


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Did you get the octaves thing worked out Tinman? I did take a look at the music when I went home that night and noticed another key point: it is marked (loco) at one point (I think it was at the beginning of the last two lines). This means to return to playing as written or “in their normal pitch”.

Undone


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Oh my God... I just realized...

IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING ISN'T IN THE SONG LIST! AHHHH!!!!!!!

I love that song to pieces (even though I'm not there yet. D:)

But right now I'm working on the 'Classy Rag' song. Yippee.

...
...
...

I'm dying inside because of all the flats in that song.


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Originally Posted by Gerit
Oh my God... I just realized...

IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING ISN'T IN THE SONG LIST! AHHHH!!!!!!!

I love that song to pieces (even though I'm not there yet. D:)

But right now I'm working on the 'Classy Rag' song. Yippee.

...
...
...

I'm dying inside because of all the flats in that song.


Looks like you’ll have to make a recording of “In the Hall of the Mountain King” and get it into the song list! laugh

Welcome to the book 3 thread.


Undone


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