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#2034631 - 02/17/13 09:19 AM Help with difficult stretches  
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I'm learning La Valse d'amelie by Yann Tiersen.

The official version is found here if you haven't heard of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyo4tNwNIvQ

However, it requires a fairly awkward stretch(e.g in the beginning it is a D octave with e-f-e-f-e.

I can't maintain this stretch for long and my fingers hurt a bit if I maintain the stretch to long.

Can someone help me with either making the stretch easier or finding a different way to do it? I really want to play this piece.

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#2034640 - 02/17/13 09:49 AM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Teenagepiano]  
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You may have to change some things:

1) Redistribute the notes so that the other hand plays part of it instead
2) Change the octave in which those notes are played so it's doable
3) Creative use of pedal - if you have to hold down the D and play the EFEF thing, perhaps you can catch the D on the pedal and let it go while you play the EFEF


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#2034686 - 02/17/13 11:36 AM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Teenagepiano]  
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Or don't hold the bottom D. This would allow playing the EFEF with 12 after the first time it appears.

#2034866 - 02/17/13 06:15 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Or don't hold the bottom D. This would allow playing the EFEF with 12 after the first time it appears.

I think your choice is between this and possibly playing the EF with just 1 (if you can reach the minor tenth). I had a hard time visualizing exactly what was written, so I'm hoping I interpreted what you're trying to read correctly.

I'm guessing letting go is probably the best option, but that's up to you.


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#2034894 - 02/17/13 07:14 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Teenagepiano]  
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Release the tension of the octave and put the weight to your middle notes. That is if I'm imagining the passage correctly.



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#2034914 - 02/17/13 07:34 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Teenagepiano]  
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The piece in guestion requires holding an octave D while playing EFEFEF many times(basically doing a slow trill) and similar passages throughout the piece. To do this exactly as written requires a big hand because of the stretch between 5-2 and 5-3 . Thus, unless the OP is very close to being able to do this comfortably as written(where a slight technical adjustment might help), I think the only solution is to not hold the lower D. If that is done I think one should use two different fingers(121212) on the EFEFEFEFE as using just the thumb (as suggested in one post) would be far more difficult.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/17/13 07:35 PM.
#2035002 - 02/17/13 10:37 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The piece in guestion requires holding an octave D while playing EFEFEF many times(basically doing a slow trill) and similar passages throughout the piece. To do this exactly as written requires a big hand because of the stretch between 5-2 and 5-3 . Thus, unless the OP is very close to being able to do this comfortably as written(where a slight technical adjustment might help), I think the only solution is to not hold the lower D. If that is done I think one should use two different fingers(121212) on the EFEFEFEFE as using just the thumb (as suggested in one post) would be far more difficult.

I suggested the thumb, but I did clarify saying I couldn't quite wrap my mind around the passage as described. Since you seem to know the piece, I'd say you are more than correct, because it would have been my first suggestion, too.

Incidentally, if it's inbetween the D's, Pogo had a good suggestion also. If it is between the D's, you may be able to do a 34 trill, but I still don't like it with the hand spread out. I would probably still release at least one of the notes myself.


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#2035012 - 02/17/13 10:58 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Derulux]  
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Originally Posted by Derulux
Incidentally, if it's inbetween the D's, Pogo had a good suggestion also. If it is between the D's, you may be able to do a 34 trill, but I still don't like it with the hand spread out. I would probably still release at least one of the notes myself.
How could you hold a D with your fifth finger(Not even worrying about holding the other D) and trill on the E and F below it with 34?

#2035021 - 02/17/13 11:36 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Derulux
Incidentally, if it's inbetween the D's, Pogo had a good suggestion also. If it is between the D's, you may be able to do a 34 trill, but I still don't like it with the hand spread out. I would probably still release at least one of the notes myself.
How could you hold a D with your fifth finger(Not even worrying about holding the other D) and trill on the E and F below it with 34?

I had a feeling that wouldn't be as clear as I hoped. Hold an octave D-D, and trill 34 on the EF between the D's. (I don't think that's what's going on in this piece, but if it was, it would be an option.)


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#2035047 - 02/18/13 12:32 AM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Derulux]  
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Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Derulux
Incidentally, if it's inbetween the D's, Pogo had a good suggestion also. If it is between the D's, you may be able to do a 34 trill, but I still don't like it with the hand spread out. I would probably still release at least one of the notes myself.
How could you hold a D with your fifth finger(Not even worrying about holding the other D) and trill on the E and F below it with 34?

I had a feeling that wouldn't be as clear as I hoped. Hold an octave D-D, and trill 34 on the EF between the D's. (I don't think that's what's going on in this piece, but if it was, it would be an option.)



I dont think that's possible... who can reach f to d with 4-5?



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#2035094 - 02/18/13 03:43 AM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Teenagepiano]  
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I tried playing those notes, and it is certainly possible to play them with 125-135. However, I think that it would be easier if your arm is to the left of the octave. You should sit more towards the treble side of the keyboard, and move your elbow outward.


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#2035142 - 02/18/13 08:50 AM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Pogorelich.]  
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Derulux
Incidentally, if it's inbetween the D's, Pogo had a good suggestion also. If it is between the D's, you may be able to do a 34 trill, but I still don't like it with the hand spread out. I would probably still release at least one of the notes myself.
How could you hold a D with your fifth finger(Not even worrying about holding the other D) and trill on the E and F below it with 34?

I had a feeling that wouldn't be as clear as I hoped. Hold an octave D-D, and trill 34 on the EF between the D's. (I don't think that's what's going on in this piece, but if it was, it would be an option.)



I dont think that's possible... who can reach f to d with 4-5?

If you're playing a Bdim chord, 1st inversion, you'd play 5421. (DFBD)


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#2035149 - 02/18/13 09:18 AM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Teenagepiano]  
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Originally Posted by Teenagepiano
I'm learning La Valse d'amelie by Yann Tiersen.

The official version is found here if you haven't heard of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyo4tNwNIvQ

However, it requires a fairly awkward stretch(e.g in the beginning it is a D octave with e-f-e-f-e.

I can't maintain this stretch for long and my fingers hurt a bit if I maintain the stretch to long.

Can someone help me with either making the stretch easier or finding a different way to do it? I really want to play this piece.



Do you have sheet music for this? I went through half this piece without any stretches at all so I'm not sure where you mean.

#2035152 - 02/18/13 09:30 AM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Damon]  
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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Teenagepiano
I'm learning La Valse d'amelie by Yann Tiersen.

The official version is found here if you haven't heard of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyo4tNwNIvQ

However, it requires a fairly awkward stretch(e.g in the beginning it is a D octave with e-f-e-f-e.

I can't maintain this stretch for long and my fingers hurt a bit if I maintain the stretch to long.

Can someone help me with either making the stretch easier or finding a different way to do it? I really want to play this piece.



Do you have sheet music for this? I went through half this piece without any stretches at all so I'm not sure where you mean.

I looked at what I thought was the first page, and couldn't figure it out, either..


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#2035191 - 02/18/13 11:17 AM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Derulux]  
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Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Teenagepiano
I'm learning La Valse d'amelie by Yann Tiersen.

The official version is found here if you haven't heard of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyo4tNwNIvQ

However, it requires a fairly awkward stretch(e.g in the beginning it is a D octave with e-f-e-f-e.

I can't maintain this stretch for long and my fingers hurt a bit if I maintain the stretch to long.

Can someone help me with either making the stretch easier or finding a different way to do it? I really want to play this piece.



Do you have sheet music for this? I went through half this piece without any stretches at all so I'm not sure where you mean.

I looked at what I thought was the first page, and couldn't figure it out, either..


The piece is copyrighted(and quite recent), so I don't think I'll be able to upload it here, but basically right after the intro you have the e-f-e-f part, the top notes must be held to carry the melody, with the left hand and e-f-e-f-e part serving as accompaniment.

It is only the first stretch(The D octave with the e-f part) that is difficult to maintain without hurting my hand, but I'll try some of the suggestions posted here.

#2035199 - 02/18/13 11:47 AM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Teenagepiano]  
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Originally Posted by Teenagepiano
Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Teenagepiano
I'm learning La Valse d'amelie by Yann Tiersen.

The official version is found here if you haven't heard of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyo4tNwNIvQ

However, it requires a fairly awkward stretch(e.g in the beginning it is a D octave with e-f-e-f-e.

I can't maintain this stretch for long and my fingers hurt a bit if I maintain the stretch to long.

Can someone help me with either making the stretch easier or finding a different way to do it? I really want to play this piece.



Do you have sheet music for this? I went through half this piece without any stretches at all so I'm not sure where you mean.

I looked at what I thought was the first page, and couldn't figure it out, either..


The piece is copyrighted(and quite recent), so I don't think I'll be able to upload it here, but basically right after the intro you have the e-f-e-f part, the top notes must be held to carry the melody, with the left hand and e-f-e-f-e part serving as accompaniment.

It is only the first stretch(The D octave with the e-f part) that is difficult to maintain without hurting my hand, but I'll try some of the suggestions posted here.

Unfortunately, this is not descriptive enough for me to be able to figure out what notes are being played. I can't figure out if you're playing a D-D octave, if the EF notes are above, below, or in-between the D's, what (if anything) can be redistributed. Hopefully, the others know the piece or have figured it out, and their advice will be more helpful.


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#2035201 - 02/18/13 11:51 AM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Derulux]  
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Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by Teenagepiano
Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Teenagepiano
I'm learning La Valse d'amelie by Yann Tiersen.

The official version is found here if you haven't heard of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyo4tNwNIvQ

However, it requires a fairly awkward stretch(e.g in the beginning it is a D octave with e-f-e-f-e.

I can't maintain this stretch for long and my fingers hurt a bit if I maintain the stretch to long.

Can someone help me with either making the stretch easier or finding a different way to do it? I really want to play this piece.



Do you have sheet music for this? I went through half this piece without any stretches at all so I'm not sure where you mean.

I looked at what I thought was the first page, and couldn't figure it out, either..


The piece is copyrighted(and quite recent), so I don't think I'll be able to upload it here, but basically right after the intro you have the e-f-e-f part, the top notes must be held to carry the melody, with the left hand and e-f-e-f-e part serving as accompaniment.

It is only the first stretch(The D octave with the e-f part) that is difficult to maintain without hurting my hand, but I'll try some of the suggestions posted here.

Unfortunately, this is not descriptive enough for me to be able to figure out what notes are being played. I can't figure out if you're playing a D-D octave, if the EF notes are above, below, or in-between the D's, what (if anything) can be redistributed. Hopefully, the others know the piece or have figured it out, and their advice will be more helpful.


the e-f notes are inbetween the D octave.

Last edited by Teenagepiano; 02/18/13 11:51 AM.
#2035213 - 02/18/13 12:09 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Derulux]  
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Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Derulux
Incidentally, if it's inbetween the D's, Pogo had a good suggestion also. If it is between the D's, you may be able to do a 34 trill, but I still don't like it with the hand spread out. I would probably still release at least one of the notes myself.
How could you hold a D with your fifth finger(Not even worrying about holding the other D) and trill on the E and F below it with 34?

I had a feeling that wouldn't be as clear as I hoped. Hold an octave D-D, and trill 34 on the EF between the D's. (I don't think that's what's going on in this piece, but if it was, it would be an option.)



I dont think that's possible... who can reach f to d with 4-5?

If you're playing a Bdim chord, 1st inversion, you'd play 5421. (DFBD)


I'm so confused.

My impression was that you were ultimately suggesting a reach of F-D with 4-5.



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#2035228 - 02/18/13 12:33 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Pogorelich.]  
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Derulux
Incidentally, if it's inbetween the D's, Pogo had a good suggestion also. If it is between the D's, you may be able to do a 34 trill, but I still don't like it with the hand spread out. I would probably still release at least one of the notes myself.
How could you hold a D with your fifth finger(Not even worrying about holding the other D) and trill on the E and F below it with 34?

I had a feeling that wouldn't be as clear as I hoped. Hold an octave D-D, and trill 34 on the EF between the D's. (I don't think that's what's going on in this piece, but if it was, it would be an option.)



I dont think that's possible... who can reach f to d with 4-5?

If you're playing a Bdim chord, 1st inversion, you'd play 5421. (DFBD)


I'm so confused.

My impression was that you were ultimately suggesting a reach of F-D with 4-5.

Once I read your reply, I had a feeling that was the case. I'm not sure whose hands would be large enough to reach that, but mine most definitely are not! laugh


OP- Okay, so the EF trill is in-between the D-octave. Great. You have quite a few options:

1. Hold the 15 octave (but release the tension in your hand, as Pogo suggested), and play the trill with 34.

2. Release your thumb, as pianoloverus suggested, but continue to hold the bottom D. Play the trill with whichever available fingers feels most comfortable. (You may have to switch fingers on the bottom D to make this more comfortable. IE, replace the 5 with a 4 or even a 3, depending on which fingers you trill with.)

3. Release your pinky, but continue to hold the top D. Play the trill with whichever available fingers feels most comfortable (probably 35 or 45).

4. Release the octave entirely, and play the trill with whichever fingers feel most comfortable (probably 23, 12 or 13).

I would not take my original suggestion that you might play the trill all with the thumb. That was under the impression the stretch was a minor tenth, which is no longer the case. That suggestion is definitely no longer valid.

Hope this was more helpful. smile


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#2035375 - 02/18/13 05:54 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Teenagepiano]  
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Originally Posted by Teenagepiano
Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Teenagepiano
I'm learning La Valse d'amelie by Yann Tiersen.

The official version is found here if you haven't heard of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyo4tNwNIvQ

However, it requires a fairly awkward stretch(e.g in the beginning it is a D octave with e-f-e-f-e.

I can't maintain this stretch for long and my fingers hurt a bit if I maintain the stretch to long.

Can someone help me with either making the stretch easier or finding a different way to do it? I really want to play this piece.



Do you have sheet music for this? I went through half this piece without any stretches at all so I'm not sure where you mean.

I looked at what I thought was the first page, and couldn't figure it out, either..


The piece is copyrighted(and quite recent), so I don't think I'll be able to upload it here, but basically right after the intro you have the e-f-e-f part, the top notes must be held to carry the melody, with the left hand and e-f-e-f-e part serving as accompaniment.

It is only the first stretch(The D octave with the e-f part) that is difficult to maintain without hurting my hand, but I'll try some of the suggestions posted here.


Could you give the point in time on the youtube video?

#2035391 - 02/18/13 06:27 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Derulux]  
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Originally Posted by Derulux
OP- Okay, so the EF trill is in-between the D-octave. Great. You have quite a few options:

1. Hold the 15 octave (but release the tension in your hand, as Pogo suggested), and play the trill with 34.

2. Release your thumb, as pianoloverus suggested, but continue to hold the bottom D. Play the trill with whichever available fingers feels most comfortable. (You may have to switch fingers on the bottom D to make this more comfortable. IE, replace the 5 with a 4 or even a 3, depending on which fingers you trill with.)

3. Release your pinky, but continue to hold the top D. Play the trill with whichever available fingers feels most comfortable (probably 35 or 45).

4. Release the octave entirely, and play the trill with whichever fingers feel most comfortable (probably 23, 12 or 13).
Not sure I should "beat this dead horse" anymore but most of these seem to make things even more difficult. I'd assume that when the OP asked his question he was trying to hold the octave and play the trill with 2323 as no other fingers seem possible.

1. If one just releases the tension but holds both notes in the octave this might help a little if the OP was already close to playing things but it still requires basically the same stretching.

2. If one releases the thumb how can one still hold down the bottom D?

3. If one releases the pinky one cannot continue hold the upper D. Perhaps you reversed upper an lower in these statements?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/18/13 06:29 PM.
#2035396 - 02/18/13 06:37 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Teenagepiano]  
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Just an observation: Derulux seems to think the passage in question is for the LH, and pianoloverus thinks it's RH. So, Teenagepiano, which is it?


Du holde Kunst...
#2035403 - 02/18/13 06:44 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: currawong]  
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Originally Posted by currawong
Just an observation: Derulux seems to think the passage in question is for the LH, and pianoloverus thinks it's RH. So, Teenagepiano, which is it?
RH, because I listened to the piece as I had never heard it before. But that probably explains why there have been different suggestions on the thread that seem somewhat contradictory!

#2035440 - 02/18/13 08:00 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by currawong
Just an observation: Derulux seems to think the passage in question is for the LH, and pianoloverus thinks it's RH. So, Teenagepiano, which is it?
RH, because I listened to the piece as I had never heard it before. But that probably explains why there have been different suggestions on the thread that seem somewhat contradictory!

It certainly does! I didn't, for one second, consider a RH issue. Absolutely my fault if it's the RH!


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#2035445 - 02/18/13 08:09 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Teenagepiano]  
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Er..., yes, I've just tried it out on my piano, playing by ear, and it's definitely in the RH. Though my fingers are obviously misshapen as I have no difficulty playing - and holding - the octaves while playing the inner bits with 2-3, despite having small hands (just about stretching to a tenth).

I wasn't going to try the music out until some of the posts left me scratching my head.... wink


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#2035473 - 02/18/13 09:12 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: bennevis]  
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Er..., yes, I've just tried it out on my piano playing by ear, and it's definitely in the RH. Though my fingers are obviously misshapen as I have no difficulty playing - and holding - the octaves while playing the inner bits with 2-3, despite having small hands (just about stretching to a tenth).

I wasn't going to try the music out until some of the posts left me scratching my head.... wink

To be honest, I'm still scratching my head.. laugh

I'll bow out, though, since you guys seem to have this figured out way better than I do.


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#2036230 - 02/20/13 05:52 AM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Teenagepiano]  
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On my transcription, from the 'official' publisher, where the piece starts 3:4 time in bar 33, it is not a D octave in one hand but rather D5 RH, D3 LH, with the D's held during E4-F4-E4-F4 in the RH.

#2036259 - 02/20/13 08:42 AM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: bennevis]  
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Er..., yes, I've just tried it out on my piano, playing by ear, and it's definitely in the RH. Though my fingers are obviously misshapen as I have no difficulty playing - and holding - the octaves while playing the inner bits with 2-3, despite having small hands (just about stretching to a tenth).

I wasn't going to try the music out until some of the posts left me scratching my head.... wink


I learned it by ear from the video. There is no reason to hold the lower D since it will be re-struck by the left hand when the right hand plays the F. My fingering for the right hand would be:

D
D E F E F E
5
1 2 1 2 1 2

#2037205 - 02/21/13 09:25 PM Re: Help with difficult stretches [Re: Teenagepiano]  
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Thank you for all the responses. The part is in the right hand. My teacher said that the top notes had to be held to carry the melody, but the problem was the stretch on the first couple of notes as I found it fairly awkward. This is probably quite hard to explain what I'm visualising so I guess I'll attempt some suggestions on here before discussing it more with my teacher.

As to the part, it is 0:42 in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyo4tNwNIvQ

The top part essentially goes to a D and moves to a C-B-A. The D part was the one I found difficult, but I guess it is hard to get proper help without the score.

Although I appreciate the help greatly.


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