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#2186619 - 11/21/13 11:26 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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It's nice to see others reaching goals in their pieces.

I am playing a simplified version of The Easy Money but I am using the full score and will leave out some parts. It's been a challenge but also a joy because of the inherant radiance of the music itself.

But the reason that I used the full score is because I was able to find a midi file on the internet for it.

I use the midi file with Synthesia, which is the software that allows you to see the notes streaming down the screen. (I also read from the score directly.) Anyway, to make a long story short, I can play along with the midi file at 30%, 40%, 50% speeds, and play left hand only or right hand only.

It's basically like using a metronome except you hear the other hand at the same time.

Anyway - I was delighted today because I played the RH part at 70%, with very few mistakes. And I can play the entire LH part at 50%, with very few mistakes. I haven't decided on a final pacing of the score, and may not even need to reach 100%, but the goal seems reachable now.

Of course, I haven't started to put it all together yet (I can do it but it's painfully slow so will continue working on the LH and RH separately.) I play the entire score about 3 times a day, and the score is currently AABBA, so I am seeing the A part 9 times a day and the B part 6 times a day. So I'm getting a lot of repetition. Am wondering if I need even more and that will be possible now that I've speeded up a lot!

I am wondering if it would be worth trying NOT LOOKING AT MY HANDS OR THE KEYBOARD, at least for one hand, to try and get that hand into muscle memory, so that I can focus most of my attention on the other hand when I put it all together. Any thoughts on this would be welcome.

Last edited by AZ_Astro; 11/21/13 11:31 PM.

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#2186627 - 11/21/13 11:52 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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dire tonic - if you can make noise with your flapping it'd be kind of cool - kind of a precussion part to go with the rag smile

AZ Astro - I'm impressed with your learning style. Wow, 50 - 70% is good at this stage.

I've always had to look at my left hand for jumps, which is all of Joplin laugh - after several years I'm just getting to the point where I can look up part of the time and see what that shadow was that just passed my window, or whatever caught my attention. Now, at least some of the time, I can use "looking" as just a sort of "spotter" move - just long enough to find the key I need the most.

But mostly I still watch my left hand. Apparently I look rather somber doing it, if my friends' comments are accurate. But I always laugh when I'm done.

But I think if it helps you to watch one hand and have the other memorized, in whatever places it's needed, go for it.

Others may think otherwise, of course.

Cathy


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#2186635 - 11/22/13 12:07 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Derulux - thanks. I was kind of excited about it smile

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#2186669 - 11/22/13 02:03 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Originally Posted by jotur
But I think if it helps you to watch one hand and have the other memorized, in whatever places it's needed, go for it.

This is funny to me. grin

When I first started, I almost always watched my right hand. Then, when I got into ragtime, and later stuff like Liszt's Hungarian #2, I usually watched my LH.

At some point, I tried to switch back to the RH and had a LOT of difficulty! But I persevered. Later, I worked with an outstanding classical pianist who helped me completely rework my technique, and now I look where I need to (or not at all).

But I spent a LOT of years looking only at my left hand.. so I know right where this comment is coming from!


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#2186678 - 11/22/13 02:34 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: jotur]  
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Cathy, funny you should mention the percussion thing, it reminded me of this song from the late 60’s – a huge hit in the UK, probably didn’t make it to your shores (he’s taken a few liberties with his lyrics for a non-english speaking audience). Clear evidence of flapping. I’ll need to get measured up for a bass drum harness.

#2186859 - 11/22/13 12:27 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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"Something Doing" is coming along nicely. I have it in memory now and just need to make it smooth and flowing. Practice, practice, practice!

When I read the posts about watching hands - I thought of this. Sometimes I watch my hands with a detached kind of wonder. My hands just kind of do their thing and find the right place to go. I know it's the muscle memory, but it really is an amazing thing, I think, that we can do this.


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#2186877 - 11/22/13 01:18 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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dire tonic - I laughed. Definitely flapping. And lyrics smile

dpaws - Good to hear it's working for you. I don't know that rag, so I'm looking forward to hearing you play it.

I agree about the "amazing thing" - yes, seeing the playing can be mesmerizing and it's beautiful, and sometimes I'm in awe, as you say, and when I finish playing I have to just sit there for a minute. And sometimes it's fist-pumping time. What a journey, eh?

Cathy


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#2187010 - 11/22/13 06:17 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: jotur]  
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Quote
The C part of Original Rags is currently playing in my personal head space.


Do you ever catch yourself playing it on the arm of a chair or a desk, a table, your leg with one hand or the other when you're nowhere near a piano? I unconsciously do this sometimes and get embarrassed if I happen to be in public when I "come to". blush


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#2187217 - 11/23/13 08:42 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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I think I'm almost there with my B section. This thing is hard! It's scary to think that I will need to be able play the entire piece through to tempo, with the repetitions and all, with the red dot glowing beside me eek

Well it's just November, right?


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#2187270 - 11/23/13 10:54 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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I listened to about 10 of these Joplin pieces this morning, and while I don't exactly like all of them, there are a bunch that are just delightful. I definitely hope to learn more Joplin pieces down the road!

The waltz's are particularly eloquent. They are unique and most personal. I can't help but feel that Scott Joplin was an amazing composer, even though his body of work is not particularly large.

In my view, one "Entertainer" or the like, in one lifetime, is a lifetime well spent! And he wrote many jewels.

I can't wait to hear Bink's Waltz, Pleasant Moments, and The Chrysanthemum from the industrious PWers.




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#2191695 - 12/03/13 01:42 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Whizbang - I still have lots of time before I'll pick a rag, but I checked the 1st page list vs what I know, and there are a few left (unless there's an updated list I missed). Are any of these taken:

Elite Syncopations
Eugenia
Ragtime Dance

Euphonic Sounds
"New Rag"
Sunflower Slow Drag
Wall St Rag

Edit: the bold ones are two of my favorites.. grin

Last edited by Derulux; 12/03/13 01:42 AM.

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#2191831 - 12/03/13 10:43 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Derulux]  
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Originally Posted by Derulux
Are any of these taken...


All of those are unclaimed!


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#2191892 - 12/03/13 12:59 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Great, I'm leaning towards the Ragtime Dance, but I'll have to see if you can hear the foot-stompin' on my carpeted floor..


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.
#2192471 - 12/04/13 03:08 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Making progress. Played the first part Hands Together at a slow pace this past week. Yay!



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#2192677 - 12/04/13 10:28 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: AZ_Astro]  
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Originally Posted by AZ_Astro
Making progress. Played the first part Hands Together at a slow pace this past week. Yay!


You go!


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#2192954 - 12/05/13 01:28 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: SwissMS]  
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Originally Posted by SwissMS
How is everyone doing with their piece?
... I am glad I still have 4 months...


Me, as well. And not happy with my progress to date. I've been making better progress with Tchaikovsky and as a result have been spending more time there.

What I am finding is that in one sense there really isn't much to the piece. It is a simple (often 2 note) harmony that doesn't make a lot a sense to me until it is brought up to reasonable tempo and eventually goes like blazes. When playing it in my mind, everything is fine, but at the keyboard it is not near fine. I read painfully slow and am nowhere near a tempo to bring the feel of it out.

A slump I can overcome I think, but far more dedicated focus will be required and I've been dragging my heals a bit.



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#2192959 - 12/05/13 01:33 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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With Sugar Cane, you sure picked one of the barnburners, but I've got faith in you! Still a skosh over 3 months left to work it out!


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#2192968 - 12/05/13 02:15 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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I've never played that one.. sounds a little more two-step than rag, but no matter what you call it, it sounds like fun. Can't wait to hear 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.
#2198863 - 12/16/13 11:01 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Still plugging along with the A and B sections only of The Easy Money.

I know both sections fairly well, one hand only. I have been able to put hands together for part A but part B is still a big struggle, as (I guess) that section isn't in memory quite as firmly.

But I wanted to mention that I think I'm going to play my right hand without looking at it. The right hand is easier to play because 1) I'm right handed and 2) there aren't nearly as many jumps as in the LH stride bass.

So for the past two days I've been practicing part A RH while closing my eyes and I think it has helped. I'll be putting part B together asap and after I've got that going I'll start closing my eyes for RH part B.

Crazy man!



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#2198866 - 12/16/13 11:05 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Great to hear, AZ.

Incidentally, folks, we just passed the 15th, so there's a little less than three months to go!


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#2198870 - 12/16/13 11:15 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Originally Posted by Whizbang
Incidentally, folks, we just passed the 15th, so there's a little less than three months to go!


And I just played Original Rags just a shade slower than my final tempo was on The Entertainer lo these many years ago. Wow. I guess I am getting better laugh I have a couple of gigs coming up so I haven't had as much time to spend focusing on this, but the time off has seemed to help, as it often does. It's had time to soak in smile

It doesn't feel "easy" yet, but it's come a long ways.

Nice going, AZ Astro! I pretty much do the same - just know the RH and watch the left. There are a couple of places tho, since I've played these kinds of basses so many years, that I do actually know where my LH goes and I can make sure my RH does the octaves that jump from B back up to E. Whew!

There's so much to learn from Joplin. I've been really paying attention to where I want the accents for the syncopation to be - I may be wrong, but it seems more subtle than I've played them in the past, and I'd like this turn out a little more sophisticated than I've what I've done before. It's a journey.

Cathy


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#2198914 - 12/17/13 02:06 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Originally Posted by Whizbang
Incidentally, folks, we just passed the 15th, so there's a little less than three months to go!


Gasp eek

No well, it should work... I'm struggling through the last section, then it will take me a while to put all three together at the same tempo with the repetitions and all... but I should make it!


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#2199600 - 12/18/13 09:08 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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The LH of bar 13 in the trio got the better of me in the last few days. Without realising it, after a lot of looping practice round the Bb leaps leading into the offending bar which I probably hammered a bit to bring up the volume, I've bought on a bout of LH tendonitis. I'll have to avoid playing it for a few days at least which is a pity because this is a fun piece to play.

#2199650 - 12/18/13 11:06 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: dire tonic]  
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
The LH of bar 13 in the trio got the better of me in the last few days. Without realising it, after a lot of looping practice round the Bb leaps leading into the offending bar which I probably hammered a bit to bring up the volume, I've bought on a bout of LH tendonitis. I'll have to avoid playing it for a few days at least which is a pity because this is a fun piece to play.


Heal well!


Whizbang [Linked Image]
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#2199803 - 12/18/13 04:49 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: dire tonic]  
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Maple Leaf Rag always fatigues my right hand and I can feel it in the tendons in the back of my right hand. It is indeed fun song to play, though. I do hope your tendons heal quickly!


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#2199821 - 12/18/13 05:53 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Whizbang, dpaws, thanks for your kind thoughts.

#2199844 - 12/18/13 07:16 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: dire tonic]  
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
The LH of bar 13 in the trio got the better of me in the last few days. Without realising it, after a lot of looping practice round the Bb leaps leading into the offending bar which I probably hammered a bit to bring up the volume, I've bought on a bout of LH tendonitis. I'll have to avoid playing it for a few days at least which is a pity because this is a fun piece to play.

Sorry to hear about your tendonitis! Rest up well. If there's a specific section, or anything you'd like to look at to see if there's underlying stress in the playing, I'd be happy to take a look. 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.
#2199880 - 12/18/13 09:33 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Derulux]  
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Originally Posted by Derulux

Sorry to hear about your tendonitis! Rest up well. If there's a specific section, or anything you'd like to look at to see if there's underlying stress in the playing, I'd be happy to take a look. smile


diretonic mentioned the measure--it's those challenging LH jumps (plus the rather awkward chord) in bar 13 of the C section.


Whizbang [Linked Image]
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#2199913 - 12/18/13 11:11 PM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Whizbang]  
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Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by Derulux

Sorry to hear about your tendonitis! Rest up well. If there's a specific section, or anything you'd like to look at to see if there's underlying stress in the playing, I'd be happy to take a look. smile


diretonic mentioned the measure--it's those challenging LH jumps (plus the rather awkward chord) in bar 13 of the C section.

I'm not sure I'm looking at the same arrangement.. the whole section at bar 13 isn't in Bb; it's in C.

My initial guess, without info, and based on typical rag issues, would be that when jumping from octaves to chords, the player is holding the hand open, dropping the wrist, and/or twisting between the octave and the chord. Those are the three biggest stress/tension causers in this type of bass line that I can think of, and a lot of the tension typically has to do with the 4th and 5th fingers, especially, which causes those other issues. But, to be more specific, I'd need a pretty detailed description of the exact issue, or really, preferably, a video of it. If a picture tells a thousand words, well, every second of video is 32 pictures. 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.
#2199985 - 12/19/13 03:54 AM Re: Joplin-themed ABF recital signup thread [Re: Derulux]  
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Originally Posted by Derulux

Sorry to hear about your tendonitis! Rest up well. If there's a specific section, or anything you'd like to look at to see if there's underlying stress in the playing, I'd be happy to take a look. smile


Well, the list of suspects is growing with a prescribed statin as a possible outlier. But, Derulux, that would be great if you could take a look Ill try and sort out a video in the next couple of days playing from the Bb jumps via the two Ebm bars into bar 13 - Gdim leading to Db/Ab (is this a standard arrangement or might it be written in other keys? - you mentioned Tom Brier who does it in G,A and B). Curiously, its the only LH figure in the entire piece written in single notes and where the syncopation shifts to the LH too. I know I get tension there both in trying to force the weight of the sound with fewer notes and also to balance the rhythm which is inclined to feel looser. Ive been trying also to take the level of the entire piece down a notch. Where it gets difficult I tend to be heavy handed so thats probably not helping.

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New Topics - Multiple Forums
Wavesfactory - MERCURY PIANO (Fazioli F-228 Grand)
by Max_Forte. 11/23/17 06:43 AM
An one minute survey
by Nikolas. 11/23/17 05:49 AM
PlayPianoToday - David Sprunger
by johan d. 11/23/17 04:49 AM
Which 9' Baldwin is SD-10
by Bagong. 11/23/17 02:37 AM
Dead Steinway Octaves
by musicpassion. 11/22/17 09:47 PM
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