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playing with speed
#2251083 03/23/14 04:38 PM
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I have a piece which needs to be played at speed. I tried it slow and then gradually speed up faster a bit at a time unti I can do it at correct speed.

How does anyone else manage?

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Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2251132 03/23/14 06:44 PM
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Practicing in rhythms can help this too. Swinging 8ths or 16th long-short, then playing in spurts of 3 notes then 4 with a slight pause in between.


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Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2251161 03/23/14 08:15 PM
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It seems not to be something that does not comes easily to me, or to many according to historical posts here. I find the speed will increase naturally after a lengthy time of slow practice and not before the piece is learned very thoroughly.


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Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2251179 03/23/14 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by adultpianist
I have a piece which needs to be played at speed.

grin Is it possible to have a piece that doesn't?


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Polyphonist
Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2251184 03/23/14 10:25 PM
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Practice hearing the passage in your head faster.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2251188 03/23/14 10:44 PM
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I think the problem was that he couldn't PLAY it at tempo, not that he couldn't hear it.


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Polyphonist
Re: playing with speed
Dave B #2251192 03/23/14 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave B
Practice hearing the passage in your head faster.


I think this is good advice. Playing under tempo is sometimes a matter of habit, speaking from experience.

Cathy


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Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2251202 03/23/14 11:18 PM
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Here is a method that has been worked on me...
Of course you have the piece down. Just can't bring it up to speed. So...
Actually with me the teacher took the third bar of a piece. Because it was the most difficult. Then the second. Played the two. Then the first. Played all three. Then continued a bar at a time adding.
I think maybe the idea is to start with the hardest part to play at speed. ????


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Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2251214 03/23/14 11:54 PM
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One trick the sometimes can help is to play hands separate and work up to speeds that are a good bit above the tempo you're shooting for. It can be easer to play fast with only one hand to worry about. So you can get those faster speeds in your nervous system/muscle memory. When you go back to hands together practice you'll obviously slow down, but if you're used to going faster, your slower (hands together) rate might be closer to the speed you desire. Repeat as needed to work your way up. smile

Another thing is to realize that speed comes with relaxation. Before the above, play hands separate at a very slow (or even no) tempo and look for tension. If you find any, work on eliminating it, then practice hands together the same way, look for tension, learn how to relax.

relax relax relax, that's the name of the game.


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Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2251226 03/24/14 12:29 AM
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Memorizing also helps. I find switching between reading the music and looking at the keyboard often too awkward when tempo picks up.

Re: playing with speed
4evrBeginR #2251284 03/24/14 06:11 AM
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Just chiming in to agree with previous posters really!

HS is really helpful, for a few reasons. Firstly, and obviously, it allows you to eliminate a layer of complexity and focus on improving the speed with which each hand can play the piece. It helps you to pinpoint where the limitations are and then work on those. Pay close attention to fingering, sometimes a way that works ok at a slower tempo is not the most efficient when you speed up.
HS also really helps memorisation - I often find I can play HT from memory but not necessarily HS, nailing HS from memory really solidifies the knowledge. So if you are the kind of player for whom memorisation is important to play faster (I am), then HS work supports this.

When I start working on increasing tempo HT, I'm sometimes pleasantly surprised by how much faster I can play most of the piece, but there will be a number of tricky sections where I slow down, errors creep in, or the wheels fall off the wagon completely. That tells me pretty clearly where to focus!

You can probably file this whole post under "stating the obvious" :-)


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Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2253546 03/28/14 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by adultpianist
I have a piece which needs to be played at speed. I tried it slow and then gradually speed up faster a bit at a time unti I can do it at correct speed.

How does anyone else manage?


Have you taken a look at Chang's book? It's been around for quite some time and may have some ideas that will help you.

Fundamentals of Piano Practice by Chuan C Chang

sf

Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2253550 03/28/14 01:38 PM
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as Morodiene said... rhythmic patterns will do the job... sometimes, in longer runs you need to use also group of 6 or group of 8 or more... my technique is to
do all the patterns at least twice ( q=1/4,s=1/16)

if group of 4 or 8 notes
qqss, qssq, ssqq, sqqs.
qsss, sqss, ssqs, sssq.
qsssssss, sssssssq.

if group of 3 or 6
qss,sqs,ssq
qsssss,sssssq.

repeat for few days and you'll get it eventually. don't do it too much because injury are always a risk.

Re: playing with speed
Ataru074 #2253760 03/28/14 10:49 PM
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The right fingering helps and so now I can do it not quite at correct speed, but faster than before smile

Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2254030 03/29/14 06:56 PM
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I use a metronome for this. Slow it down until you can play everything correctly. Then bump it up a notch. The metronome will very unforgivingly help identify which parts you need to work on. Then work on those parts.

Re: playing with speed
Mark Davidson #2254136 03/30/14 03:18 AM
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Yes thanks that is what I do

Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2254302 03/30/14 02:11 PM
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For me, getting not to speed almost always points to slow recall of what I need to play next.

Cranking up the metronome seems NOT the right way to fix this. The approach is way slow and does not address the real problem.



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Re: playing with speed
wouter79 #2254323 03/30/14 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by wouter79
For me, getting not to speed almost always points to slow recall of what I need to play next.

Cranking up the metronome seems NOT the right way to fix this. The approach is way slow and does not address the real problem.



Well, notice I didn't say to crank up the metronome. Just the opposite. Turn it DOWN until you can play it correctly. Then turn it up ONE NOTCH and fix the issues. Then another notch, etc. The metronome is a good tool to help you find the weak spots efficiently.

Re: playing with speed
Mark Davidson #2254349 03/30/14 03:43 PM
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If a piece was supposed to be at mm=96 and after much effort I finally could play it at mm=40, then I try moving the metronome up little by little. Some times that works well, but other times it doesn't. It really depends on the music. I have found that most of the time, I had to keep practicing at about mm=40 then suddenly I find myself playing it at mm=60, then after another week I just push myself to reach mm=96, so it is in a series of a few jumps after spending what seems infinite amount of time at the slowest tempo.

One recent piece my teacher said I could put away was exact like this. After spending something like 8 weeks at mm=40 - 50, I jumped to mm=100 last week. Of course, I've tried speeding up as early as 3 or 4 weeks ago , but had so many mistakes that I was forced to slow back down.

Again, after 8 weeks of it, I had it memorized, and that's really important to reach speed for me personally. Even now, I could not possibly read it and play at speed.

Re: playing with speed
adultpianist #2254427 03/30/14 06:28 PM
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Lots of good advice already, but I just wanted to say the best way to be able to play faster is to practice SLOWLY. *Lots* of slow practice, concentrating on relaxation of your shoulders, forearms, wrists and hands, will make it a lot easier to start upping the speed. Trying to speed up too early will just make you tense up, which will make it even more difficult to play with speed.

Once you have done lots of slow practice, try playing along with a recording of the piece at tempo, but only playing one hand. It will help you see where your trouble spots are (places that you pause, or slow down), and then you can work on those small sections in isolation until the problems (fingering, jumps, changing hand position) are resolved.

Increment by around 5 beats/minute on a metronome and stay at that speed until it is comfortable. You don't want to sacrifice articulation/technique/dynamics/tone etc for speed.

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