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Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2525332
03/28/16 09:23 AM
03/28/16 09:23 AM
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Music Me Offline
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Hello Tubbie0075-

Thank you for doing this. You demonstrate just how much slow practice is vital to learning a piece. Your video is inspiring. It is Easter Monday and I will be heading home soon from visiting with my family in Philadelphia (I'm in New York). Soon as I unwind from my trip I will spend about two hours with the Bill Evans composition I am learning. No, it isn't Chopin, but it is just as beautiful, full of complicated rhythmic passages and it did for me what the Ballade does for you. And that's all that matters.

I will keep tuned! Enjoy the process!



Barbara
...without music, no life...
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Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Music Me] #2525460
03/28/16 03:24 PM
03/28/16 03:24 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Music Me
Hello Tubbie0075-

Thank you for doing this. You demonstrate just how much slow practice is vital to learning a piece.



Hi Barbara,

Thank you for following my journals. I always thought that once you become a bit more advanced, the learning process become easier. But the old tricks still apply:

- practise hands separately
- practise notes in groups
- go slow, very very slow, for a very very long time

It is interesting that when I make myself accountable for my learning progress (through journals in this forum), I practise more properly.

Enjoy Bill Evans!



Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2525484
03/28/16 05:15 PM
03/28/16 05:15 PM
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Thank you, Tubbie -

I most certainly will. And, you far from "suck".

I also love that Ballade.


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2525555
03/29/16 01:25 AM
03/29/16 01:25 AM
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Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Other than practise the difficult passages again, today I spent some time learning the notes from bars 164-191. There are some stretches in the left hand arpeggios I don't like. I am using my own fingerings for some of them and have my teacher go over them in my next lesson. The second half of bar 177 is the most tricky bit in this section. 3 voices, left hand has 6 notes, middle voice in the right hand has 4 notes and the top voice has 3 with a triplet at the end. I'll let the photo tell the story. This half of a bar is driving me nuts!

[Linked Image]



This reminds me of another bar in Rachmaninov prelude no. 4:

[Linked Image]


Anyway, I'm also starting to play both hands together in the "Presto con Fuoco" section at the end of the piece. If my translation is correct, it is "Very Fast with Fire"? At the moment it sounds like "Slowest Humanly Possible with Thick Fog"!



Last edited by Tubbie0075; 03/29/16 01:29 AM.


Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2525572
03/29/16 03:35 AM
03/29/16 03:35 AM
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Hi Tubbie,

That's amazing idea. I wish my teacher would say to take this piece very soon but I am completely aware I am still technically not ready.

I will be looking forward to reading this topic and see how you have approached the difficult parts. That will help me with this and other demanding pieces smile

Thanks.


Zbigniew

[Linked Image]
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2525575
03/29/16 04:01 AM
03/29/16 04:01 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,091
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Originally Posted by Tubbie0075
Other than practise the difficult passages again, today I spent some time learning the notes from bars 164-191. There are some stretches in the left hand arpeggios I don't like. I am using my own fingerings for some of them and have my teacher go over them in my next lesson. The second half of bar 177 is the most tricky bit in this section. 3 voices, left hand has 6 notes, middle voice in the right hand has 4 notes and the top voice has 3 with a triplet at the end. I'll let the photo tell the story. This half of a bar is driving me nuts!

[Linked Image]



This reminds me of another bar in Rachmaninov prelude no. 4:

[Linked Image]


Anyway, I'm also starting to play both hands together in the "Presto con Fuoco" section at the end of the piece. If my translation is correct, it is "Very Fast with Fire"? At the moment it sounds like "Slowest Humanly Possible with Thick Fog"!



Also, the staccato indications for the RH in that half-bar has no audible effect since all the dampers are off the strings, if you follow the pedal indication.


Czerny's Piano School Vol. 1. Reviewing basics/ear training/analysis in interesting exercises.
Opus 599. Now at #77 and giving it a break.
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: RaggedKeyPresser] #2525589
03/29/16 05:20 AM
03/29/16 05:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Tubbie0075  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by RaggedKeyPresser


Also, the staccato indications for the RH in that half-bar has no audible effect since all the dampers are off the strings, if you follow the pedal indication.


Actually it does. A pedalled staccato has a more "bell-like" sound compared a pedalled legato and difference is caused by the different "attack" on the keys. The better the piano is, the more you can use different attacks to get different sound effects.

In this context, I think Chopin wanted the middle voice to be played softly and detache (more like playing in quavers rather than staccato) so that it doesn't overpower the top and bass voices.



Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Celdor] #2525590
03/29/16 05:30 AM
03/29/16 05:30 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Tubbie0075  Offline OP
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Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted by Celdor
Hi Tubbie,

That's amazing idea. I wish my teacher would say to take this piece very soon but I am completely aware I am still technically not ready.



Actually I didn't verbally ask my teacher to teach this piece, and my teacher wasn't planning to teach it. But last lesson I brought the music book with me and "casually" left it on the piano desk while I played Liszt, a piece he suggested and I have been learning for the last 3 months. He was rather pleased with my progress.

Once I finished playing Liszt, he said, "I see Chopin Ballades there. Shall we have a look?" He took the not-so-subtle hint :-)








Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2525613
03/29/16 07:45 AM
03/29/16 07:45 AM
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Celdor Offline
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Originally Posted by Tubbie0075
Originally Posted by Celdor
Hi Tubbie,

That's amazing idea. I wish my teacher would say to take this piece very soon but I am completely aware I am still technically not ready.


I brought the music book with me and "casually" left it on the piano desk ...

You have much greater experience than me. Whether intentionally or not, that thing worked smile I would also try it. However, our teacher is very strict about repertoire saying "We must learn to walk before we can run, otherwise we fall". I trust him so I'll wait smile


Zbigniew

[Linked Image]
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Celdor] #2525781
03/29/16 03:55 PM
03/29/16 03:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Tubbie0075  Offline OP
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Celdor,

I tried that trick before about 2 years ago. It didn't work the first time probably because he thought I wasn't ready then.

This is a "stretch" piece for me but so was Liszt. I will not be able to bring it to concert performance level, but I feel I have enough techniques to at least play it through at a slower tempo.

Hopefully this will also give me a boost in confidence for my diploma exam next year playing easier pieces.




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2526287
03/31/16 03:24 AM
03/31/16 03:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Tubbie0075  Offline OP
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Melbourne, Australia
On a separate but somehow related topic, here is Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan performing his figure skating short program on this very piece by Chopin. This program has the honour of earning Yuzuru the highest short program score ever in Japan NHK trophy 2015 last year. Then he broke his own record 2 weeks later in Barcelona Grand Prix final. Now in World Championship in Boston, he has repeated this stunning performance pristine clean again!

In certain ways, figure skating is like piano the playing. There are so many difficult elements but you have overcome them and to somehow turn it into art. Don't be fooled by the ease in which Yuzuru skated. This is an extremely difficult program!

As a skater, when you can rise above all these difficult elements, link them together, make them look effortless, make the audience forget about scores and just enjoy the masterpiece performance, well, isn't that the same for pianists? Yuzuru inspires me!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this performance:






Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2526291
03/31/16 04:48 AM
03/31/16 04:48 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Back to progress report. I attempted to play the piece from beginning until the end for the first time, and I made it! Sure it's terrible and for most part it sounded like a terrible attempt at sight-reading, but from start to finish... I wouldn't be able to do it 12 years ago.

I am pleased :-)

Ok back to practise.




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2528009
04/05/16 01:40 PM
04/05/16 01:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 21
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Thank you for sharing your journey Tubbie0075! This is an extremely beautiful piece. I really enjoyed your progression videos. Can't wait for your next edit!!!

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2528311
04/06/16 03:56 PM
04/06/16 03:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
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Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Had too much of a good thing. Decided to park the Ballade aside for a week. Currently returned to my exam pieces, in particular, Ravel's La vallée des cloches and Mozart's Sonata K330.





Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2529221
04/09/16 07:21 PM
04/09/16 07:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
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Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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My teacher resumes lessons next Sunday. So I better get back to the Ballade. I plan to concentrate on bars 1-138 for a week and hopefully get to play somewhat fluently (but slow) during lesson. I doubt I will get that far during lesson. I bet I will be stopped somewhere before bar 138 and we will be going though techniques, phrasings, fingerings, dynamics, etc.



Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2531079
04/16/16 12:52 AM
04/16/16 12:52 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
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Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Lesson is on tomorrow so I've been spending quite a lot of time to prepare my first "presentation" of the Ballade. Today I've made the 3rd video learning journal, playing most of all the other parts not appear in the first 2 videos. The Presto section is really a killer!

Compared to the first 2 videos I have got more fluency now. Now that I know all the notes, I notice that I haven't been practising the difficult parts slowly (it's slow but it needs to go slower) and in isolation as much as I should. This is a timely reminder for myself to resist "playing" the piece. I am still at the very early stage where I'm still in the "learning"phase.

Now I need to attend to another recent obsession of mine: play Ooqway Ascend (from King Fu Panda) on the violin. This tune is so addictive!





Last edited by Tubbie0075; 04/16/16 03:18 AM.


Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2531098
04/16/16 03:08 AM
04/16/16 03:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Tubbie0075  Offline OP
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Distraction: Oogway Ascend






Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2531198
04/16/16 10:34 AM
04/16/16 10:34 AM
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Music Me Offline
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Thank you so much for posting this. You are very inspiring. Every time I watch your progress, I run to my piano and continue to practice, even though its not my scheduled time. I admire your openness in showing the rest of us your progress.

On a side note, can you tell my what kind of video camera/program you are using? I eventually want to do the same - maybe not brave enough to post here, but for my own education.

Thank you - you sound amazing!


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2531218
04/16/16 12:07 PM
04/16/16 12:07 PM
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You're doing so well! It would be amazing if I was able to play this someday. How long have you played?


"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine." -Beethoven
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Music Me] #2531325
04/16/16 06:07 PM
04/16/16 06:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Hi Barbara,

I use the Logitech HD Pro webcam C930e. You can see the quality is rather good for a webcam. It can record 1080p up to 30fps. This webcam is rather pricy at about A$140, but it makes recording so convenient for me because I record it directly into my computer. The sound is recorded using Zoom H4N. This is also a pricy recorder at about A$300, but it was a birthday gift :-) It also connects directly into my computer.

On the computer side, I use an iMac and I use QuickTime Player software that came with the computer. In the settings, rather than using the built-in webcam and microphone, I select to use the Logitech and Zoom connected to the iMac. All I do now is open QuickTime, select "New Movie Recording" and click the red button :-)

For editing (mostly trimming the videos), I use Final Cut Pro, a very popular video editing software developed by Apple. This software used to cost over A$1000, but the latest version was about A$300. They removed several modules so you can get the basic version at a cheaper price and buy additional modules if you need them. I wanted a good editing software because the one that came with the computer, iMovie, has too limited functions. Final Cut Pro allows you you make multiple videos that iMovie doesn't, like this one:



Ya, I'm a tech geek. I love my tech gadgets :-)





Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
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