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Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major #1713604
07/15/11 12:23 AM
07/15/11 12:23 AM
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kathy s Offline OP
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I'm having a heck of a time on this piece. I'm trying to bring out the melody which is pretty much the top note of the treble staff chords throughout. Can anyone give me any pointers on how to accomplish this? Any exercises I should be doing to improve on this technique?

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Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: kathy s] #1713610
07/15/11 12:45 AM
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Bring it out by:

-- Making that finger stiffer than the others. That will cause those notes to come out stronger.

-- Use your ear to tell you how much stiffer to make those fingers -- to make each melody note sound the way you want. Ideally you want to aim for more than just bringing out all the melody notes; you also want those notes to sound like an actual melody! smile

Exercises: I think this piece itself is as good an 'exercise' for this as any!!

If you want to do more, maybe just practice playing any chords -- random chords, any chords, maybe involving different fingerings at different times -- and bringing out the top notes, by means of what I said up there.

Feel free to create your own exercises for things like this. Like, maybe play the chord C-E-G, bringing out the top note, and go upwards with the same fingers, making a scale out of the top notes -- i.e. the next chords would be D-F-A and E-G-B, and going up the keyboard as high as you feel like, then coming back down -- slow, fast, doesn't matter. Maybe you can sometimes use the fingers 1-3-5 on the chords, and 1-2-4 at other times.

Or make up your own variations on that.

BTW: I love this piece. And it's an example of a Chopin piece that many people think is "easy" -- and of course in a way it sort of is -- but if we want to try to do the piece full justice, it becomes not easy at all.

Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: kathy s] #1713622
07/15/11 01:24 AM
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liszt85 Offline
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I have a similar issue with the Brahms Op 118 No 2 Intermezzo. I had a difficult time bringing out the melody. My teacher then asked me to imagine that my melody fingers had some sort of tar or glue under them, and that my other fingers were more like feathers. That imagery helped me a lot and it produced an immediate change and we could both hear it and so that issue took 5 minutes for us to tackle. Now, its far from perfect of course, but I have something to work with and I'm confident I'll do okay on that aspect. I write this hoping that this image helps you as well in thinking about how you want to move your fingers.. Mark's suggestions are good too. His advice to "stiffen" is akin to what I did after I imagined that those fingers had glue on them. Just play them "sticky" (also helps with legato).


Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)
Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: kathy s] #1715127
07/17/11 03:46 PM
07/17/11 03:46 PM
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Gyro Offline
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These three little etudes are very difficult, of the highest concert pianist-level. If you're an amateur of modest ability, it's no wonder that you're having difficulty with this. I've been working on the first of the three for more than a decade and I still haven't perfected it.

If you're a garden-variety amateur player, you've got your work cut out for you with this. You're tackling a piece that concert pianists have trouble with. Suggestion, before you start trying to "bring out the melody notes," see if you can hit all the right notes in the right time at tempo--for an amateur, just that alone may take more than a decade to achieve.

Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: kathy s] #1715258
07/17/11 07:43 PM
07/17/11 07:43 PM
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♪oron♪o, on♪ario, canada...
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♪oron♪o, on♪ario, canada...
A decade only? LOL


♫♫♫ ♫♫♫
YAMAHA C2M PE
Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: Gyro] #1715261
07/17/11 07:57 PM
07/17/11 07:57 PM
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PaulaPiano34 Offline
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Originally Posted by Gyro
These three little etudes are very difficult, of the highest concert pianist-level. If you're an amateur of modest ability, it's no wonder that you're having difficulty with this. I've been working on the first of the three for more than a decade and I still haven't perfected it.

If you're a garden-variety amateur player, you've got your work cut out for you with this. You're tackling a piece that concert pianists have trouble with. Suggestion, before you start trying to "bring out the melody notes," see if you can hit all the right notes in the right time at tempo--for an amateur, just that alone may take more than a decade to achieve.


Really, really difficult??? I don't think so Gyro.

Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: kathy s] #1715357
07/17/11 10:48 PM
07/17/11 10:48 PM
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Hey, Kathy S!

I am trying to learn this one, too! It is one of few Chopin pieces that I actually play.

I often do hands separate on this one, and especially with the right hand, pay attention to the phrasing. Right hand alone, over and over again, till I get that line of chords to sing.

Problem is, the Left Hand really sings in this one, too, and it almost has its own melody (imao), so I practice its line separately a lot, too, paying attention to its phrasing. (It's actually quite a beautiful piece, Left Hand alone!)

Then, there's all of those melty dissonances in the RH. Gotta get those, too.

So, basically, this is one of those pieces that you can voice to death, but, at a certain point (like a Bach prelude or fugue), you have to let if sing for itself (again, imao).

--Andy


I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.
Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: kathy s] #1718439
07/22/11 01:12 AM
07/22/11 01:12 AM
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kathy s Offline OP
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Thank you for the great input. The feather/glue fingers analogy really works best for me. And it worked for my little girl too. Gyro. I've tried to let it go, but I must say, your comments have really bothered me over the last few days. You referred to me as an amateur three times in your one post. I am not an amataur by all means and I am very offended. And yes, I can "hit" all of the notes at tempo and it only took me days to achieve. Not a decade.

Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: kathy s] #1718440
07/22/11 01:15 AM
07/22/11 01:15 AM
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liszt85 Offline
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Kathy, I see you registered in 2009 but have only 12 posts. So you might not be aware of the posting history of certain people here. Gyro is famous here for making posts that are full of nonsense. Nobody has figured out yet if he does that intentionally or not. As a consequence, people tend not to take his posts seriously and so never get offended by anything he says. Try reading his past posts and you'll see what I mean.

Glad to hear that the glue analogy worked.


Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)
Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: kathy s] #1718441
07/22/11 01:16 AM
07/22/11 01:16 AM
Joined: May 2007
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Originally Posted by kathy s
Gyro. I've tried to let it go, but I must say, your comments have really bothered me over the last few days. You referred to me as an amateur three times in your one post. I am not an amataur by all means and I am very offended. And yes, I can "hit" all of the notes at tempo and it only took me days to achieve. Not a decade.
Don't mind Gyro - he just likes to be helpful and encouraging. laugh


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: kathy s] #1718459
07/22/11 01:57 AM
07/22/11 01:57 AM
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Nikolas Offline
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Let me be the third to say that don't mind Gyro.

In fact whenever a comment on the Internet is bothering you try to think of the other guy/girl as dirty, with long toe nails, long dirty hair, etc speaking in troll language. Not worth the trouble.

It's 'easy' to tell after a little while. Some comments simply don't make any kind of sense so just forget about them!

Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: Nikolas] #1718584
07/22/11 10:38 AM
07/22/11 10:38 AM
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(deleted)

Last edited by Mark_C; 07/22/11 11:46 AM.
Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: Mark_C] #1718609
07/22/11 11:20 AM
07/22/11 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Let me be the fourth.

Because of things like this, as I've said a few times before, I've been surprised that Gyro hasn't been disciplined (or worse) more than he has. In fact, we don't know if he has been at all.

He gets away with it because he doesn't do the usual standard things that get people suspended or banned, such as obscenity, frank insults, extreme emotion, or extended fights. But arguably, especially if he does it on purpose (which I'm pretty sure he does, at least sometimes -- in at least one instance it seemed clear), his kind of thing is worse.

Kathy: Sorry that he disturbed you as he did. You're the first person I've seen indicating that he did, but I'm sure many others have felt the same. He's done it many, many times.
Kreisler already explained in a post some time ago why he has no problem with Gyro's posts. His explanation was excellent, clear, and perfectly reasonable IMO.
,
Frankly, I find it quite funny that some PW readers take Gyro's posts so seriously and get so indignant about them (whether they're meant seriously or not). IMO they're just a put on, and I can't think of a single one that does any "harm". I think most of them are quite amusing in their consistent themes
hit the right notes at the right time, it's better to spend decades working on a single piece even it's at the rate of one measure/day, an inexpensive digital is better than an acousitc grand, the best way to learn how improvise is just to let your fingers noodle around the piano
, and occasionally they even offer what most would consider sound advice. Surely, those who read posts on the Internet are intelligent enough to realize that not all the information posted is sound advice.

I think Kathy's getting upset was overreacting. Gryo didn't call her an amateur...he said "if you're an amatuer..." Probably 99.9% of PW memebers are amateurs anyway. Gyro said that he practiced this piece for 10 years, so his statement was self depricating.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 07/22/11 11:40 AM.
Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: pianoloverus] #1718622
07/22/11 11:36 AM
07/22/11 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
....I find it quite funny that some PW readers take Gyro's posts so seriously and get so indignant about them (whether they're meant seriously or not). IMO they're just a put on, and I can't think of a single one that does any "harm"....

This one did.

If you think they're a put on, we agree on that. For what it's worth, I think we're in a small minority.

Regarding Kathy 'overreacting,' while I wouldn't say that, I do think this was one of Gyro's milder posts -- and to tell the truth, at the time I thought it wasn't bad at all, because I was considering it on the 'scale' of what we've seen in his other posts.

Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: Mark_C] #1718629
07/22/11 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
....I find it quite funny that some PW readers take Gyro's posts so seriously and get so indignant about them (whether they're meant seriously or not). IMO they're just a put on, and I can't think of a single one that does any "harm"....

This one did.
It's not Gyro's fault if someone else misreads, overreacts, etc. to one of his posts. IMO there was nothing in that post to get upset or take offence at.

Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: pianoloverus] #1718632
07/22/11 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It's not Gyro's fault if someone else misreads, overreacts, etc. to one of his posts. IMO there was nothing in that post to get upset or take offence at.

While I wouldn't put it that way, your posts have made me take another look, and I realized that I went too far in an earlier post (unfair to Gyro) and so I deleted it.

Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: kathy s] #1718795
07/22/11 03:47 PM
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If you got all the notes at tempo in a few days, fine, but now the work begins. If you're an advanced player, I'm wondering why you're concerned about bringing out the melody note in the r.h. chords. This, in my view, is never an issue that needs specific addressing. With experience, you should be able to do this, if necessary, as a matter of course; but you would never, in a piece like this, concentrate on bringing out every single melody note in the r.h. That would quickly become very tedious-sounding.

Moreover, in this piece, bringing out the melody is hardly the problem. This is Chopin, and Chopin means rubato, that is, you don't play in strict time. This is not an exercise in playing 3 against 2 in exact time. That's for the first yr. of piano lessons. If you want to play this impressively, you play it rubato, and that's very difficult to do.

Re: Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2 in A-flat major [Re: Gyro] #1718812
07/22/11 04:05 PM
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Every melody note does need to be brought out.


Although, I think a better and more useful way to put it is, the rest needs to be suitably subdued.


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