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Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2566610
08/27/16 05:27 PM
08/27/16 05:27 PM
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Week-2 (after lost count):

Got mucked up. Teacher isn't teaching this week and will be away. No lesson until after mid-September. An opportunity to catch up with my practise for Chopin, Mozart and Bach, and attempt to record for the Russian Recital, Rachmaninov prelude no. 12 in G# minor.




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Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
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Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2567761
09/01/16 12:17 AM
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Tubbie - just read through your whole odyssey with the Ballade. Thanks so much for sharing, and you're making terrific progress! Thanks too for the videos, and the lovely photos of your visited pianos in Europe.

Curious - do you normally practice an hour a day? And what is your process for memorizing (or does it simply happen after so much slow repetition)?

I am inspired by and grateful for you!

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2567773
09/01/16 01:43 AM
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Hi Inna,

Thank you for your kind words.

When I'm learning a new piece or preparing for an exam, I would practice 1.5 to 2 hours most evenings, and 3 to 6 hours over the weekends. When I am polishing pieces and the exam isn't near, I would practice 30 minutes to an hour instead.

I don't deliberately memorise a piece. For difficult passages, I usually memorise them so that I can play them more fluently and can focus on the techniques rather than reading the notes. So, after learning a piece for a while, say 2 to 3 months, most of the difficult parts are memorised. Then I just learn the bits that I cannot yet memorise (the technically easier bits) and "link" those memorised bits together. This is especially the case for long pieces like the Ballade.

There are times where I have played a passage many times from memory but just couldn't do it anymore for some reasons. Sometimes forgetting even 1 note would throw me off. That's when I know I relied too much on muscle memories and forgot the actual notes. In those instances, I would "relearn" the passage again slowly using the scores. It's important to play with the scores once in a while even if I have memorised a piece. I don't fully trust my memory, not anymore. At this juncture, I can say that I have memorised the entire Ballade. Though, I still practise the piece using the score.

I cannot yet play the Ballade through without too many slips and mistakes. There are still several unreliable spots that I need to work on. On top of that, my teacher have only started to focus more on the musicality of the piece. So there's still much to learn. 5 months have gone. I have about 7 more months to go.

In the mean time, I try to keep practising my planned exam pieces for next year, which doesn't include the Ballade. Since my teacher is away, I can take a week or 2 off from the Ballade to relearn and polish Rachmaninov's G# minor prelude as much as possible for the upcoming Russian Recital. At this time, I'm not sure I can make it, but I will try.






Be your ♮ self
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Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2567842
09/01/16 10:23 AM
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Tubbie - that makes sense, after that much practice things would start to be in muscle memory. Good for you!

I was thinking through the night about a comment in one of your earlier posts in this thread, I think from your first lesson on the Ballade, about what your teacher said - that Chopin is about keeping the tension going, whether through slowing down or speeding up. What a terrific way to think about it! Can't wait to try some of my Chopin favorites with that in mind.

I was also thinking about what you said about Mozart being hard. It's funny, growing up playing I always considered Mozart to be "easy"; but I totally see what you mean! To play him well, you need a crispness and uniformity/evenness in the runs.

As I'm now trying to get back to piano with a chronic tendinitis injury in my hands, I'm feeling out what things I can do, and what's off limits. It's certainly a good time to reconsider "easy" in a different context, as I may not be physically/pain-wise able to tackle some of the technically more difficult repertoire. So thanks for that perspective change! smile

Oh, and I totally blame you for my lack of sleep last night - not only did I stay up riveted reading your Ballade journal, I also had a hard time falling asleep thinking about all this... haha! wink I think my version of your Ballade (i.e. "would be amazing if I could ever play it but it's just way too out of my league") is Chopin's concerto #1. Like you, I had bought the sheet music years ago, thinking it may at least be fun to follow along while listening to a recording. Alas, perhaps some day, if the hands allow.

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Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2568091
09/02/16 06:00 AM
09/02/16 06:00 AM
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Melbourne, Australia
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I have written so much I forgotten what I wrote months ago. Thank you for reminding me about "tension". 2 weeks ago when I resumed my lesson after the trip, I managed to play through the first half of the Ballade. After I played the opening passage my teacher said, "too easy". Play it with more "struggle". That alone has completely changed the way I feel and play the opening passage.

We then talked about how after learning a piece for too long, we no longer "feel" the music. And when that happens, it calls for us to exaggerate what we feel and play. I tend not not fill myself with emotion when I play, especially when all I'm thinking are the notes, and the fingering, and my arms, and my fingers, and a tricky bit is coming up, and wondering if I could get though that difficult passage without slips like I did at home etc. When my mind is preoccupied with all those thoughts, not only I still make mistakes, the music becomes emotionless. When I remember to convict myself to feeling the music before I begin the first note (usually just take a few seconds), despite the slips, I don't care so much about them and the music becomes somewhat more alive. There's also this barrier for me to open up my emotions to someone, even for my teacher of 6 years. But occasionally when I manage, when I convict myself to make him feel my music, magic happens, despite slips and mistakes.

When I practise at home, I rarely practise with my emotion. That's why it doesn't come naturally to me. In rare occasions when I do, the music and the playing is so much more enjoyable. But having to repeat the Ballade so many times, imagine each time having to play with full emotion, that would be mentally exhausting!

When I was in Edinburgh I visited my English friend who is a great music lover. Even though he doesn't play any musical instruments, he probably appreciates music more than I do. I told him that years ago I was playing Bach's Allemanda from Partita No. 2 for solo violin. I had at that point practised that piece to death. But on one occasion, it was a quite night, and I turned off all the lights. I played the piece in complete darkness and with my eyes closed. I felt every body movements, my fingers, my bow arm, I heard ever note. I felt every note. That piece of music took over my body. But my mind was not with my fingers or bow or strings or the notes. My mind was with my ears and the sound I was hearing. I was an audience and I felt the music from start to end. That was one heck of an experience! I never managed to achieve that since, not with that piece, not with any other violin pieces, not with any other piano pieces. My friend said how lucky for me to have felt music that way, and that he could listen to music forever but will never feel it like that in his lifetime. Even though it only happened to me once and so long ago, I still remember how it felt! He's right, I am so lucky! What my playing actually sounded like I don't know. It doesn't matter. I heard it with my heart.

I'm sorry about your tendinitis injury. Chopin's concerto no. 1 is not out of the question. Don't give up, be patient, don't take shortcuts, and eventually you'll get there. As I always say, there's no "impossible". It all comes down to how bad you want it. If you want it bad enough, you'll find ways, you'll persevere and you'll get it eventually. I hope you'll find your ways.

Thanks for following my journals and all the best with your journey.






Be your ♮ self
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Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: InnaGrace] #2568097
09/02/16 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by InnaGrace

I think my version of your Ballade (i.e. "would be amazing if I could ever play it but it's just way too out of my league") is Chopin's concerto #1. Like you, I had bought the sheet music years ago, thinking it may at least be fun to follow along while listening to a recording. Alas, perhaps some day, if the hands allow.

You could start by playing Balakirev's transcription for solo piano of the beautiful Romance (Marc-André Hamelin among others have recorded it), which is well-known, and shouldn't cause too much stress to your tendons as long as you keep relaxed.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: bennevis] #2568127
09/02/16 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
You could start by playing Balakirev's transcription for solo piano of the beautiful Romanze (Marc-Andre Hamelin among others have recorded it), which is well-known, and shouldn't cause too much stress to your tendons as long as you keep relaxed.


Oh my goodness! That is fantastic - going to get the music stat! smile
Thank you so much for the pointer.

Last edited by InnaGrace; 09/02/16 10:13 AM.
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2568623
09/04/16 08:25 PM
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(I don't mean to hijack this thread! Just want to say - Balakirev's transcription is no "walk in the park" in terms of difficulty either! But - have the music now; it's on the "would love to learn ... step by step" pile!)

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2569217
09/06/16 11:15 PM
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After several days of rigorous practise of the first movement of Mozart's Piano Sonata no. 10 in C, K330, Allegro Moderato, I found the problem... right hand 4th finger + lack of inward arm rotation.

Sorry you've been neglected but welcome back, Mr. 4th!

Tried out the resurrected 4th finger on the Ballade and a few problematic spots solved.

Best thing about playing Mozart is you cannot get sloppy and get away with it!



Be your ♮ self
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Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2577238
10/08/16 11:50 PM
10/08/16 11:50 PM
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Octave scales!






Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2577244
10/09/16 12:23 AM
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Amazing! It is really coming along! I'm hoping to learn this one in the new year! I hope I can do as well as you are!


Yamaha C3, Yamaha Avant Grand N1 (sold), Steingraeber 170 (family's)
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Michiyo-Fir] #2577248
10/09/16 12:30 AM
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Do join the learning-Chopin-Ballade-No.1 club! It's rather lonely learning this piece by myself :-(




Be your ♮ self
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Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2577256
10/09/16 01:11 AM
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I did try the first page and looked through the score but was slightly turned off by the difficulty haha.

I think it would take me quite a while to just get the notes down, plus I can foresee many pedaling challenges. I'm thinking of officially taking it up with my teacher after my current serious piece which is Liszt Schubert's Erlkonig. I've just been spending a tiny bit of time fiddling with Ballade 1...hopefully I can get on it soon.

I'm excited to hear you play the entire thing though!


Yamaha C3, Yamaha Avant Grand N1 (sold), Steingraeber 170 (family's)
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Michiyo-Fir] #2577282
10/09/16 04:36 AM
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I think it took me about 3 months to get the notes down. It's now roughly 6 months since I started this piece. I have 6 more months to go.

Lately I'm finding myself spending a lot less time in this piece and concentrating in other pieces instead. I'm trying not to let me passion for this piece diminish, but it's hard when you've played something so many times for so many months...




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2577447
10/09/16 08:06 PM
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I hope that you are feeling elated with all of your progress. It is a wonderful feeling!

I am grateful that you are sharing this with us!


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2577450
10/09/16 08:15 PM
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Well done, Tubbie! It sounds good, and I like your practice of breaking it up into small passages.

(In case you haven't seen it, your journal here has inspired me to start a journal entry as well, to track my injury recovery and re-training... So far so good, if slow, and thanks for the inspiration! smile

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Music Me] #2577457
10/09/16 08:43 PM
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Hi Barbara,

The progress has really slowed in the past 2-3 months: being away for a month and then my teacher was away for a few weeks. I missed a lot of lessons. Last weekend I came down with hay fever and had to skip another lesson. Sigh..

I'm now working on improving the speed and reliability of the Presto section. To do that, I have to re-examine what is slowing me down and figure out what techniques to adjust. This section is very frustrating. So far I'm practising to let go of my thumb and rotate inward further so that my 2nd finger doesn't stretch when playing 6th with 2&5 fingers. I'm also going slow to re-examining my rotations: is it single rotation or double rotation and is it rotating inward or outward. The jumping left hand doesn't make this passage any easier either!

Anyway, I'm progressing, but so ever slowly! Thanks for your encouragement.




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: InnaGrace] #2577460
10/09/16 09:05 PM
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Hi InnaGrace,

I've been following your journal too and I wish you speedy recovery.

I have to say if I didn't take sufficient lessons and attempted this piece, I'd surely injure my hands and wrists many times over by now. I have my teacher to thank for the many techniques he has taught me. While I struggle to learn and this piece, I have yet to have any injuries (touch wood!). That should be an accomplishment in itself.

I've commented in other posts before. There is no point in playing the entire piece from start to end over and over again during practise sessions. That's a waste of time. The most I'd do that is once in a practise session (ok, sometimes twice). Most of the time I don't even do it, especially now that I know all the notes and fingerings. I'd only do it to see which sections I may have forgotten some notes and then relearn those sections briefly. Most of the practise time is spent on examining and experimenting how to push the difficult sections to the next level or finding out what ways I can play with more reliability. Then there are times spent on adjusting the left and right hand dynamics, adjusting the touch and weight to get a better sound.

There's still a lot to do for the next 6 months. That said, 1 year ago I wouldn't be able to imagine playing this piece and reaching this far. I'm very grateful!




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2577509
10/10/16 04:21 AM
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A March vs October progress video...




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2577532
10/10/16 08:15 AM
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I really liked your March vs. October video!
The tempo is different, obviously, but to me the important differences are phrasing and rhythm. The March clips have a lot of notes played at more or less equal volume. In the October clips everything is shaped much better so the phrases and rhythms stand out more beautifully. You (and your teacher) are doing a great job.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
Cabaret (whole show)
12+ variations from classical ballets
Verdi: Stabat Mater
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Tangos and other fun music for piano duo

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2577539
10/10/16 09:16 AM
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What a fantastic tool, seeing your progress like this back to back! Very motivating to see so much progress. And it truly points to how much hard work goes into the satisfaction of playing something this beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2577553
10/10/16 11:01 AM
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Tubbie, Your progress on the Ballade is very inspirational. The piece has so many difficult sections and you now play them fluidly and with wonderful expression. It also seems like you have memorized the piece? Congratulations on your hard work and thanks for sharing your journey.



Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2577686
10/10/16 09:03 PM
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Your March Vs. October video is amazing! Great editing. It most certainly has to be motivating to see how far you have come. Maybe when I retire in a few months and settle into my home I will take a page from your book and video record myself while I learn apiece. Thanks again!


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2577750
10/11/16 03:57 AM
10/11/16 03:57 AM
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Thanks everyone for your compliments. The progress difference in the first 6 months does seem significant. I suspect the progress in the next 6 months will be very minimal because it's getting rather difficult to raise the bar even by just a little from where I am now.

The first 6 months was practising to get it right. I'd say that in most of the difficult passages I get about 30%-40% success rate, and 70%-80% for less difficult passages. So one of the improvement aspects I will aim for from now is try to raise that reliability rate as high as I possibly can, i.e. practise to never get it wrong.

In terms of playing from memory, I've memorised the piece around June/July. I have played the entire piece from memory a number of times. Lately, I've been forgetting some notes here and there, possibly due to focusing more on other pieces I am learning. So I'll go back to practising with the score.

As for videos, I suppose there's not much point in making more progress videos if the progression will be minimal. Rather, I should aim to record large sections, perhaps divide the piece into 3 large sections and aim to record them. I'm nearly there for the first section, and not too far for the last section. The middle section needs more work. The final goal for video recording, of course, is to record playing the entire piece from start to end!

The journey continues...





Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2577794
10/11/16 09:33 AM
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Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 3,630
Ireland (ex England)
You're doing well, Tubbie, and I don't want to downplay your achievements but I want to offer an alternative view from one old enough to have learnt many things to one young enough to benefit from such knowledge.

Originally Posted by Tubbie0075
The first 6 months was practising to get it right. I'd say that in most of the difficult passages I get about 30%-40% success rate, and 70%-80% for less difficult passages. So one of the improvement aspects I will aim for from now is try to raise that reliability rate as high as I possibly can, i.e. practise to never get it wrong.
I understand that being at a suitable level to begin studying this piece your reading should be at a high level but reading fast enough for a high error rate is not how I would approach a repertory piece - and this is definitely a repertory piece. Practising to never get it wrong is a fundamental principle in approaching a precision instrument and should be the attitude from the very first reading at the keyboard.

BTW, I seriously doubt your error rate. If you were considering the number of phrases played without error then two thirds of the phrases played wrong seems probable but two thirds of the piece played wrong is a gross overstatement, I'm sure.

Errors made in the preparatory readings are among the hardest errors to eradicate, especially when performance nerves kick in. I get the feeling you may have shot yourself in the foot with this approach. I have studied this piece myself, it's one of the last pieces my teacher gave me, and continue to work at it but I doubt that my error rate was more than 2% at any time - or I'd have curtailed the practice session. As a piece set for the long haul, the practise tempo was never of any concern so was always subordinate to accuracy.

Going forward I'd aim for getting it right, then start practising.

Originally Posted by Tubbie0075
In terms of playing from memory, I've memorised the piece around June/July. I have played the entire piece from memory a number of times. Lately, I've been forgetting some notes here and there, possibly due to focusing more on other pieces I am learning. So I'll go back to practising with the score.
Going back to the score for memory issues will weaken the memory. Forcing the memory to recover will strengthen it. This is not a piece I would countenance performing with the score and as such I only practise what I can memorise.

I work on this piece in twenty minor sections, five main sections. Joining the minor sections, for me, would mean going slower but not compromising accuracy. I have to be at 98% accuracy at worst and reduce the tempo with each amalgamation so the initial tempo would have to be very high to warrant only three main sections. At what level of accuracy is it worth getting the melody right and vamping the chords, moving Chopin from the salon to the cocktail lounge?

I'd return to smaller sections while the memory recovers - I only practise in the smaller sections anyway. Joining well oiled sections is a separate part of my practise session.



Richard
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: zrtf90] #2577914
10/11/16 04:55 PM
10/11/16 04:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Tubbie0075  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
zrtf90,

Thank you for your feedback.

The other day, my teacher explained what it is meant by technical difficulty. He said that a piece being more difficult means the room for "getting away with it" is smaller. So to me it means that the techniques have to be very precise, i.e. just the right amount of the right techniques to use.

When one starts to learn a piece slowly, one would use different amount of different techniques and one would learn the different techniques separately before putting them together, then slowly adjust those amounts and techniques as one speed up.

That said, I do agree to strive for accuracy right from the start, but allowing room for error when one is experimenting and exploring techniques. Sometimes, trying too hard to play right restrict the freedom of learning and exploring the right techniques, at least to me that is.

You misread me about sectioning the piece. My next aim for recording videos is 3 large sections, that doesn't mean I am going to practise in 3 large sections.

As for memory, I'd say each to their own approach. How my brain works differ to yours in memorising something. At this point, I don't need to force myself to memorise it. I already have it memorised more or less. Also, my ex-violin teacher gave me good but different advice to yours.

Each has their own objectives of what they want to do with the piece. If one is practising to perform the piece publicly or to perform for an exam, playing this piece, or any other pieces from memory is crucial. That is not my aim. I never learn the piano to aim for performing publicly one day. I may play something for someone in rare social occasions, but that's it. My goal may change, but playing the piano is a very personal and private thing that I enjoy doing for myself.

For the pieces I am preparing for my exam next year, I have different approach of preparing them compared to this Ballade. It is after all my stretch piece for now.




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2703593
01/10/18 03:45 AM
01/10/18 03:45 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Tubbie0075  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Rather than starting a new thread, I thought I'd just piggy bag on this thread to journal my journey on Ballade No. 4.

I started listening to this piece frequently since early 2017. Initially I was listening to Nikolai Luganski (The Poor, Sad Angel - A Chopin Recital 2007 album). Later in the year, I started listening to Seong-Jin Cho, winner of the International Chopin Competition 2015 (Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 and Ballades 2016 album). Then I was listening to Nikolak Luganski again but this time on a more recent live performance on YouTube. Lately, I've been listening to Kate Liu on YouTube, 3rd place at the same competition.

I started learning this piece around mid-December 2017 and had 1 lesson on the piece so far. Since then, my teacher has been away until February 2018. So I've been pretty much on my own.

As with all big and difficult pieces, I always spend the first 2-3 months learning notes and fingerings. So far I have reached the half way mark, the easier half. My teacher said that Ballade No. 4 is easier than Ballade No. 1. I beg to differ. In my case, for someone with terrible sight-reading skills, pieces with lots of notes are more challenging to learn, especially in the beginning.

My plan is to spend the next 6 months learning this piece, then briefly revisit Racmaninov's prelude No. 5 for 2 months, then revisiting Ballade No. 1 again for 4 months. That's my piano goals for this year, 3 pieces.

I haven't made a single YouTube video since the last one I posted on Ballade No. 1 in October 2016. Perhaps Ballade No. 4 will inspire me to post some practise videos again on YouTube.

I welcome anyone who has attempted this piece to share their learning/performing experience.



Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2719283
03/06/18 05:24 AM
03/06/18 05:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Tubbie0075  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
After 3 months, tonight I finally got to bar 210!

29 more bars to go, but this will be the hardest part of the entire piece. This 29 bars will probably take 1.5 months to learn. I'm almost there. Soldier on!

I have a bit less than 4 months left allocated for Ballade No. 4. That means I only have about 2.5 months of actually learning the piece (rather than learning notes, fingerings and techniques).

I already miss the piece even though I'm not departing it until July :-(



Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2721017
03/14/18 03:08 AM
03/14/18 03:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Tubbie0075  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
I have to say, it took much longer to learn the notes for this Ballade compared to the first one... just because there are so many more notes, and flats, and double flats... and sometimes a sharp here and there among the flats just in case you're not confused enough. My brain is so fried reading the music! I've just started learning the coda this week so I'm playing like terrible sight reading at the moment.

Technically it is less difficult than Ballade No. 1 but this Ballade contains many of my nemesis: double notes, polyrhythm, wide left hand arpeggios, one-handed contrapuntal melodic lines in chords just to name a few.

I only have 3.5 more months left for this piece. I wonder how far I will get by the end of June. Hopefully will make another video to compare.




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 [Re: Tubbie0075] #2721094
03/14/18 11:12 AM
03/14/18 11:12 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 468
PA
Music Me Offline
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Music Me  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 468
PA
You are so very inspiring to me! Thank you for posting your journey. I have been looking to see when you would post another video and you did. It would be great to see one of your playing Ballade #1. If, you are so inclined. Your piano has a beautiful tone.

I would like to know what video camera you use and what editing you use. It is very smooth. DO you use external microphones on your piano? How many? I am looking to record myself in the same manner - I believe that it will help me in my practice.

Thank you so much for your video. I would wish you luck, but, young man, you don't need it!


Barbara
...without music, no life...
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