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Trills during slow play
#2199218 12/17/13 03:48 PM
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During slow practice (actual slow practice, not just slower practice) on passages with trills, what is the best thing to do when it comes time to play the trill?

Play it full speed, or play it slow so that it matches the tempo of the slow practice?


"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
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Re: Trills during slow play
Atrys #2199231 12/17/13 04:03 PM
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Atrys :

I would venture that it depends upon context.

If the trill is a measured trill, then it would make sense to me to play the trill at the speed that would match the tempo of the slow practice. When you return to performance tempo, then your trill will continue to match the tempo of the piece.

If, however, it is an unmeasured trill, I don't see any real necessity to slow down the trill to match the tempo of the piece, although slowing it down to some degree might be an option just for the purpose of relaxation.

Regards,


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Re: Trills during slow play
Atrys #2199232 12/17/13 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Atrys
....Play it full speed, or play it slow so that it matches the tempo of the slow practice?

IMO, in between.

Mainly because....

Originally Posted by BruceD
....for the purpose of relaxation.

.....and to not disturb the basic feeling and tone of how you're playing.

Re: Trills during slow play
Mark_C #2199276 12/17/13 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by BruceD
....for the purpose of relaxation.

.....and to not disturb the basic feeling and tone of how you're playing.

Yeah, I find when I don't slow the trill down, I exit the trill much faster than I entered, and it disturbs that section for several measures. Of course, this is just me. I also find that, when I try to ramp up the tempo, my ear now hears the trill much faster than the surrounding music, so my fingers still try to do it that much faster, and things get muddled. Well, more muddled than usual.


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Re: Trills during slow play
Atrys #2199333 12/17/13 06:28 PM
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If I'm doing really slow practice I either skip the trill entirely, play an abbreviated ornament, or play a measured trill which fits neatly in whatever tempo. The nice part about playing a measured trill is that it helps keep a steady rhythm for if/when you make it a free trill. If you want to see the trill as purely ornamental, I find it helpful to not put undue emphasis on playing it a particular way when learning the piece slowly. It's better that the overarching idea for that phrase be cemented in your brain. When you know that section cold it's pretty easy to sprinkle some trill on it.

Re: Trills during slow play
Atrys #2199388 12/17/13 08:37 PM
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If it's Bach, I always slow it down - since in Bach it is almost always a measured trill and it is a great way to ensure it will be evenly-articulated when played up to tempo. If it's romantic music, like Chopin, especially with pedal, then I usually just play it at performance tempo. Usually in that instance, my problems seem to lie elsewhere than with the trill.

Re: Trills during slow play
Atrys #2199403 12/17/13 09:01 PM
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Free trills? I've found that my trills are always more even and clear if I make them measured trills.


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Re: Trills during slow play
Arghhh #2199474 12/18/13 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Arghhh
Free trills? I've found that my trills are always more even and clear if I make them measured trills.


All trills should be measured.. with a good wrist action you can achieve one that sounds like a "free trill" but is actually completely controlled.

Re: Trills during slow play
jeffreyjones #2199480 12/18/13 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
All trills should be measured....

What about trills that (for example) start slowly, like from 'nothing,' and build up gradually? Or the reverse? Do you really want to lock them into something "measured"? Or what about those trills (Scriabin I think is especially chock full of them) that have indescribable and unspecifiable ebbs and flows within them? I don't think we can consider any of those measured, because of their unfractionable (good word) smile nuance.

I have to say also that I don't think most trills should be viewed as "measured," but talked about the above things because I think the argument against it is easier to make with them.

Re: Trills during slow play
Mark_C #2199561 12/18/13 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
All trills should be measured....

What about trills that (for example) start slowly, like from 'nothing,' and build up gradually?


You mean like the trills that grow out of the center section of the Polonaise-Fantasie, which are fully written out and strictly measured? smile

Re: Trills during slow play
Atrys #2199578 12/18/13 08:18 AM
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I alternate. I need help relaxing well for full speed trills, and so even when a piece is not up to tempo I will often try to use the relaxation I've gained slow playing that section to come into a trill and execute it at full speed and aim to keep that relaxation as a means to building trill skill (hey, it rhymes!)

Edited to add:

I guess you're right though: if it's something like Bach I would probably not try that and would keep everything measured in the chosen tempo. All non extended ornaments slow down to the speed I'm playing, if I think about it.

But there are at least two Chopin pieces that I know that I was using the slow underlying tempo to test how long I could keep that trill going at full speed, relaxed and full. The slower the underlying tempo, the longer I had to do it!

Last edited by TwoSnowflakes; 12/18/13 08:22 AM.
Re: Trills during slow play
Atrys #2199579 12/18/13 08:19 AM
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Use your judgement.


Re: Trills during slow play
Pathbreaker #2199583 12/18/13 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Pathbreaker
When you know that section cold it's pretty easy to sprinkle some trill on it.


"Sprinkle some trill on it." I love it! Like a little final seasoning for the soup. MWAH! Perfect!

Re: Trills during slow play
Atrys #2199756 12/18/13 02:15 PM
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Going back to my previous comment about my preference for measured trills, I do agree with what I wrote, but I forgot that a lot of the time I prefer unmeasured trills. This is especially when they are longer trills. I just forgot about those now because all the trills I've been doing lately have been on shorter duration notes. (Sigh, I hate having to correct myself because of a selective memory)


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Re: Trills during slow play
jeffreyjones #2199779 12/18/13 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
All trills should be measured.

That's rubbish. How do you measure, just for one example, the trills in the coda of the Chopin Op39?


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: Trills during slow play
Atrys #2199818 12/18/13 05:46 PM
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Some good info in here!

I've always tried to keep them measured during slow play, but sometimes play them full speed to mix it up. Who knows...maybe that does more harm than good laugh

Would be interesting to see some research about this.


"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson
Re: Trills during slow play
Polyphonist #2199868 12/18/13 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
All trills should be measured.

That's rubbish. How do you measure, just for one example, the trills in the coda of the Chopin Op39?

What trills?

Re: Trills during slow play
Atrys #2199870 12/18/13 08:49 PM
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One trill, I guess.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: Trills during slow play
Polyphonist #2199901 12/18/13 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
One trill, I guess.

OK. smile

(Not a bad example, I guess, but IMO only to the extent that any trill in Chopin is an example. To me that's one of his more 'measured-friendly' ones!)

Jeffrey: Great answer about the one in the Polonaise-Fantaisie. I mean, I could quibble in various ways, but I'd have trouble making it sound coherent. grin

Last edited by Mark_C; 12/18/13 10:39 PM.
Re: Trills during slow play
Polyphonist #2199904 12/18/13 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
All trills should be measured.

That's rubbish. How do you measure, just for one example, the trills in the coda of the Chopin Op39?


Moreso than usual, I am really not following you here. That's a bass trill that isn't even part of the melodic material, and it's played in a presto section. You could play it as sixteenth notes and it would sound perfectly fine.

In general, what I'm trying to underline is that if you play a 'measured trill' with enough speed and evenness, it sounds faster than it actually is and you don't get the impression that it's actually measured in some way.

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