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#2177923 - 11/06/13 10:53 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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I'm practicing several interesting pieces now, all classical except for the Joplin. Guess which one becomes the ear worm? The Joplin, of course...

Sam

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#2177928 - 11/06/13 11:09 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: AZ_Astro]  
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Originally Posted by AZ_Astro
Update and question:

Whew - I have the Easy Version of The Easy Money (which I now think is the Hard money). I have learned the A and B sections for both right hand RH and left hand LH and am currently playing each hand separately about three or four times a day.

I tried to put the hands together a week or so but the LH and RH were not sufficiently memorized and I stopped trying. At this point, I still marvel at the prospect of putting it all together but don't think it's possible. Thank goodness for the videos of people playing these pieces because it's amazing what they can do!

I am an early intermediate so have far to go. But this piece, I think, will really move me up a few notches.

My question is: How many times should I be playing the LH and the RH daily? Currently I play both A and B sections about 3 or 4 times, RH first and then LH.

Should I be playing them 10 times? The progress is very slow.

I imagine this is a 'your mileage may vary' type of situation and one which only a on-the-spot teacher may be able to answer. I think I'm in the slow-boat category for learning...

Anyway, any thoughts would be appreciated.

I currently try to play each section slowly, and try to hit only the right notes, with little concern for timing and pace.



I don't know the rag you're playing (can you point me to a YT performance?) but where the LH and RH have such a high degree of interdependence as they seemingly do with rags - the syncopation in one of the hands (usually RH) being grounded in the non-syncopation of the other (usually LH)- then I think hands separately is less useful as a practice strategy. Admittedly, I can't possibly put myself in your shoes or sense your difficulties but how about trying to spend a day putting two hands together over 4 bars or even just 2 bars? Start very slowly. A lot of the rhythmic ideas crop up repeatedly so getting the hang of one of them will help set you up for the others.

If HT isn't productive then revert to HS.

#2177957 - 11/06/13 12:55 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Sam S]  
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Originally Posted by Sam S
I'm practicing several interesting pieces now, all classical except for the Joplin. Guess which one becomes the ear worm? The Joplin, of course...

Sam


The C part of Original Rags is currently playing in my personal head space.

Cathy


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#2177974 - 11/06/13 01:33 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: jotur]  
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Originally Posted by jotur
The C part of Original Rags is currently playing in my personal head space.


It... could be worse. A little musical joke of mine just backfired terribly.

My teacher just found a set of variations (insanely difficult) by early 20th century composer David Guion of "Turkey in the Straw". Yes, that "Turkey in the Straw".

Now, my husband is not a particular fan of ragtime, putting it mildly, so my thinking was I could borrow the sheet for the week and show him just how much worse it could be than to hear ragtime. So I brought it home Monday and made a point to practice it when he was around on Monday and Tuesday. I was, of course, hoping that he'd make some sort of barbed comment.

Nope, not a single comment. No notice whatsoever.

However, my BRAIN apparently thinks that this "Turkey in the Straw" melody is THE BEST THING EVER, so it was me who was lying awake in the middle of the night for hours last night with the melody running on continuous loop.

I share because I care:


Last edited by Whizbang; 11/06/13 01:36 PM.

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#2177990 - 11/06/13 02:04 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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laugh I'll have to listen when I get home -

Cathy


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#2177992 - 11/06/13 02:12 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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One of my concerns in joining this recital was exactly that, that I would get a terrible ear worm! Now both Joplin and Tchaikovsky are having a great time in my head.

It took me some time to figure out the Ab key (especially when some Fb and Cb pop up!), but my A section is finally coming together - meaning I can play it fast enough that it's almost recognizable. It's fun to play on the acoustic because it's meant to be played forte most of the time anyway grin


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#2178033 - 11/06/13 03:21 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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I got to page 3 o` mine. Gradual improvements happening on p 1&2 I think. Was wondering if it`d be easier chorded . . .

It has just been chorded. And is easier. I did the same wi Tchaikovski. That`s a LOT easier now!

Last edited by peterws; 11/06/13 06:53 PM.

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#2178256 - 11/07/13 12:58 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Originally Posted by Whizbang

I share because I care:
Thanks, Whizbang. That was great! (I say that now; let's see what happens when I try to go to sleep tonight. smile ) Those must be stacks of piano rolls next to and under the piano. Wow. Any idea what the curvy blue (or gray?) line is running down the length of the roll? Also, do you know how the dynamics get encoded on the roll?


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#2178261 - 11/07/13 01:24 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Sam S]  
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Originally Posted by Sam S


Well, if hands together is still too much of a hurdle, I think I would try to play hands separately (like you are doing) but with the correct timing, even if is very slowly. Once you can play hand separately with the correct timing, then pick up the pace. Next step would be hands together slowly, but with the correct timing.

Sam


Okay! I'll slow down then and play correctly with proper timing.


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#2178263 - 11/07/13 01:29 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: dire tonic]  
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Originally Posted by dire tonic


I don't know the rag you're playing (can you point me to a YT performance?) but where the LH and RH have such a high degree of interdependence as they seemingly do with rags - the syncopation in one of the hands (usually RH) being grounded in the non-syncopation of the other (usually LH)- then I think hands separately is less useful as a practice strategy. Admittedly, I can't possibly put myself in your shoes or sense your difficulties but how about trying to spend a day putting two hands together over 4 bars or even just 2 bars? Start very slowly. A lot of the rhythmic ideas crop up repeatedly so getting the hang of one of them will help set you up for the others.

If HT isn't productive then revert to HS.


Here's a link to a fast recording.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CegOF1vEJ4

A delightful piece, to be sure!

It's not really the syncopation that I'm worried about, it's simply the independence of the two hands and the speed!

I will keep up with LH only and RH only for another week or two to cement those a bit more. Then will try to put them together, VERY SLOWLY! It's going to take time!!!!

Thx for your insights.

AZ_Astro


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#2178269 - 11/07/13 02:26 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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smile I just listened to Turkey in the Straw. I once tried to get the band to pair it with the chicken song to use at a contra dance, but I was rejected laugh

But if this becomes an ear worm I may never get back to Original Rags. Dang - and I had it memorized, too laugh

Cathy


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#2178302 - 11/07/13 05:05 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: AZ_Astro]  
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Originally Posted by AZ_Astro

Here's a link to a fast recording.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CegOF1vEJ4

A delightful piece, to be sure!

It's not really the syncopation that I'm worried about, it's simply the independence of the two hands and the speed!

I will keep up with LH only and RH only for another week or two to cement those a bit more. Then will try to put them together, VERY SLOWLY! It's going to take time!!!!

Thx for your insights.

AZ_Astro


.. that one's definitely familiar but I never knew the name. I like the guy's outfit and the hat but it's a bit like a graduation suit. I don't feel quite ready to get measured up for mine just yet.

If you can get it well into muscle memory you should be able to start moving up through the gears. Good luck!

#2178493 - 11/07/13 02:37 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: MaryBee]  
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Originally Posted by MaryBee
Any idea what the curvy blue (or gray?) line is running down the length of the roll? Also, do you know how the dynamics get encoded on the roll?


The short answer is "no" and the Internet wasn't much help in decoding the Duo-Art format.

Based off some stuff I read, the wavy blue line may be a human-readable dynamics guide for people who did not have a reproducing piano but who wanted to use manual controls on the piano to control dynamics.

I suspect that the reproducing piano-readable dynamics correspond to the punched holes on the far right side of the roll.


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#2178539 - 11/07/13 04:31 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by MaryBee
Any idea what the curvy blue (or gray?) line is running down the length of the roll? Also, do you know how the dynamics get encoded on the roll?


The short answer is "no" and the Internet wasn't much help in decoding the Duo-Art format.

Based off some stuff I read, the wavy blue line may be a human-readable dynamics guide for people who did not have a reproducing piano but who wanted to use manual controls on the piano to control dynamics.

I suspect that the reproducing piano-readable dynamics correspond to the punched holes on the far right side of the roll.


Right, some player mechanisms had a manual slider you could use to vary the volume. So you could manually follow the blue line and interpolate some dynamics as the roll played.

Sam

#2179240 - 11/08/13 06:08 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Originally Posted by Whizbang
Based off some stuff I read, the wavy blue line may be a human-readable dynamics guide for people who did not have a reproducing piano but who wanted to use manual controls on the piano to control dynamics.

I suspect that the reproducing piano-readable dynamics correspond to the punched holes on the far right side of the roll.
Thanks for the info, Sam and Whizbang. That's interesting about the manual control of the volume. I thought the dots off to the right might be for pedal control and/or dynamics, but it doesn't look like there are enough to provide different volume for each key. And I guess the manual volume control wouldn't either. Even so, it's a pretty nice bit of engineering for the time, isn't it?


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#2182332 - 11/14/13 03:06 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: MaryBee]  
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How is everyone doing with their piece? I just started the "C" section of Chrysanthemum, and now realize I should have started with that. The RH will be doing some gymnastics! I worked out the fingering for this section yesterday with my teacher, and she kept asking my why I thought this would be easy. Oh well, A and B were pretty straight forward. I am glad I still have 4 months...

#2182336 - 11/14/13 03:20 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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I'm wading through my B section, which is almost there at a super-slow tempo. The problem with this kind of fast, rhythmic tunes is that you can't even recognise them unless you play them at a decent speed, and my slow practice doesn't get anywhere if I can't reproduce the right accents and duration of notes.

I was quite reassured by this morning's Essential Classics on BBC Radio 3 - they played a recording of the Maple Leaf Rag and it wasn't fast at all, but had a nice steady pace, very light and elegant.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
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#2182338 - 11/14/13 03:29 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: sinophilia]  
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I can play it, very slowly, with hesitations and mistakes. Sort of like all my pieces!

Sam

#2182342 - 11/14/13 03:38 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: SwissMS]  
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Originally Posted by SwissMS
...I am glad I still have 4 months...


Amen smile

Now that I've submitted my quarterly recital piece I can concentrate on this one and something for the next quarterly recital. I'm glad I've got this one memorized already, tho. So now it's a matter of finding the interpretation I want, and getting some kind of tempo out of it.

Tempo seems to be a common theme - hey, it's good for us! And remember - "not fast" from the mouth of the composer.

Not fast - that's my goal smile

Cathy


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#2182356 - 11/14/13 04:14 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: SwissMS]  
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Just got two pages to go (one is pretty much a repeat). But this stuff sounds good when you take it easy. . . . Tbh it has done my head in; Not used to stride type piano . . .but I`ll get over it. Maybe . . .


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#2182479 - 11/14/13 09:30 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: jotur]  
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Originally Posted by jotur


Tempo seems to be a common theme - hey, it's good for us! And remember - "not fast" from the mouth of the composer.

Not fast - that's my goal smile



Not only is tempo an issue, I have the added issue of my tempo magically increasing just because I'm recording!


#2182483 - 11/14/13 09:44 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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I've got mine memorized (a must with this type of music, I think). I can play up to tempo (but then luckily my score is marked "play a little slow"). But my teacher wants me to make it "dirty", as in let-your-hair-down and be loose with it. Don't quite know what to do with that. I think I'll take that on after I've got it really solid.


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#2182555 - 11/14/13 10:53 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: AimeeO]  
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Originally Posted by AimeeO
Not only is tempo an issue, I have the added issue of my tempo magically increasing just because I'm recording!


Mine usually increases in the hard parts laugh NERVES!

I just did each section at about 1/2 speed from memory, several times in a row, for familiarity. The nice thing about doing several repeats in a row for a section is that I begin to hear the phrasing and the accents, and it begins to sound like music even at half speed.

If it wasn't for the parts that have octaves in the RH I'd have it up to speed faster, but since there's 3 months or so left, I don't mind taking it slow so it becomes really easy, or at least easy feeling.

As for the "let it rip" - it helps me to imagine I'm just playing in a casual environment, a family sing-a-long or something, and just let it feel easy and casual. I'm even beginning to do fortes doing it that way smile

Whoa! The quarterly recital is up! Off to deal with that now!

Cathy


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#2182559 - 11/14/13 10:58 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: jotur]  
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Originally Posted by jotur
As for the "let it rip" - it helps me to imagine I'm just playing in a casual environment, a family sing-a-long or something, and just let it feel easy and casual. I'm even beginning to do fortes doing it that way smile
Thanks for the suggestion, Cathy. I'll try that!


Mary Bee
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#2182560 - 11/14/13 10:59 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Beer and bar-b-que, maybe smile

Cathy


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#2185044 - 11/19/13 11:36 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Woot! Some of the RH octave passages came to a par with where I've gotten the rest of it!! I spent a *lot* of time on them very slow, and it's paying off. I could do the other parts much faster than I am, but I don't want to get so far ahead of the RH octave passages that it's tempting to just play them because it's so much fun up to speed laugh

There's a C#-G-C# span in the D part, tho, that I was finding really discouraging. But if I leave out the G I can just bop right along, so I think for now I will practice with the G just to see if I can eventually get it, but when I'm practicing for ultimately playing I'll leave the G out. Then if at sometime it actually works to leave the G in I'll do it.

There's also a section at the end of the A part that "suggests" it is octaves with a third added at the bottom. That's the kind of passage I just turned into 6ths finally for The Entertainer. This time it seems to be doing ok, tho not quite up to the rest. It's all white keys, and that helps. None of the long ways from the black keys to off the edge of the keyboard for octave whites.

Some of the accents are sorting themselves out, too, as the notes themselves become more fluid. I try to practice with all of that even when I'm very slow, but as a passage becomes fluent I can hear more in my head how I want it to sound, and experiment, too, with phrasing.

So I was pretty chuffed last night after practicing this smile I think it's going to be music.

Cathy


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#2185086 - 11/19/13 01:02 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Maple Leaf has left me battle-scarred but cheerful. I found that with so much pounding of the LH octaves (must control that pounding!) I’ve developed a callous mid-way across the rt-hand side of my LH thumb. It was sore for a while but now it’s armour plated. But if I’m to avoid reverting back to the thumb I used to have it means I should probably play Maple Leaf daily for the rest of my life. I haven’t yet weighed up the implications. It might be ok in the house because it’s the only piece Mrs Tonic has ever urged me to play for visiting guests. I suffered what I think might be a bout of costochondritis as a result of the Bb leaps in the trio where the only way I was able to effectively stabilise my upper body was by flapping my elbows and arms like a hen attempting flight. I’m currently taking nsaids for a terrible pain in the ribs.

Bizarrely, whenever I start to play it, I become both the Pied Piper and his hapless victim – I find it very difficult to stop playing. But at least I have that to thank for my improved performance over the last month or so. Altogether a very satisfying physical experience although my fingernails are now beginning to split so I don’t really know where all this will end…..

#2185095 - 11/19/13 01:21 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: dire tonic]  
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I think we`ll all have battle scars wi these before we`re done . . .you can`t help but enjoy the ride. Let it all out! With gay abandon . . . sugar, better find a better phrase than that . . . . shocked The Thought Police`ll be after me . .


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#2186555 - 11/21/13 09:34 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,384
jotur Offline
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jotur  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,384
Santa Fe, NM
Battle scars laugh laugh laugh

Yea! Tonight I played the B part at my targeted speed - a quarter note = 100. That's the tempo I played my recital piece at, and for a "big" piece, not just one of the single-note melody/single note bass I play dance tunes with the band, that's close to max for me right now. Although I have aspirations smile

I played the C part at my minimum-hope speed - a quarter note at 62.5 smile I put the metronome on 125, tho, and played it as 1/8 note at 125.

BUT - and this is BIG - my foot was tapping in TWO beats per measure, like I want it to feel! I'm not sure I ever got The Entertainer to do that - I always tapped it on every 1/8th note.

So somewhere along the line, over the last 6 or 7 years, I've learned something.

Still have a lot of slow practice to do, tho, to make sure the accents are where I want. I feel them as sort of a shuffle rhythm, rather than on every off-beat, and I want some syncopation even in a run of 1/8th notes, so I'm trying to pay some attention. Not necessarily my forte laugh

But I'm pretty pleased at the minute.

Of course, I'll probably blow my gig Sunday because I've spent so much time on Joplin - well, maybe not. It's only 1/2 and hour, and maybe I have 10 pieces I can review to that.

Cathy


Cathy
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Practice what you suck at - anonymous
#2186614 - 11/21/13 11:57 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Derulux Offline
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Derulux  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
Nice, congratulations! It always feels good to hit a new goal, doesn't it? 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.
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