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Regret of the week #2586582 11/12/16 10:03 PM
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Arghhh Offline OP
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Occasionally I see threads here pop up on whether or not it is useful to practice technique (scales, arpeggios, technical exercises) outside of the repertoire one is learning. Some say they only use the repertoire and create exercises out of that.

I have to say that this week I have been regretting not having a stronger technical foundation, as I have found myself having to practice octave scales, scales in thirds, and staccato scales within my pieces. It would have been so much quicker to get these pieces up to speed if I didn't have to practice those elements right now. At the moment I'm trying to put together a bunch of music for a few gigs coming up in the next couple weeks and am running out of time.


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Re: Regret of the week [Re: Arghhh] #2586587 11/12/16 11:03 PM
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Morodiene Offline
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Well, when there are deadlines, it's best to just focus on what's priority. You can pick up the technical exercises when things calm down.

Take it slow, practice efficiently, don't waste any of your time, and be sure to get plenty of rest. smile


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Re: Regret of the week [Re: Arghhh] #2586650 11/13/16 06:55 AM
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by Arghhh


I have to say that this week I have been regretting not having a stronger technical foundation, as I have found myself having to practice octave scales, scales in thirds, and staccato scales within my pieces. It would have been so much quicker to get these pieces up to speed if I didn't have to practice those elements right now.

While I can't say that I appreciated practicing all those scales & arpeggios (including staccato, thirds, octaves and in contrary motion) when I was a student - in my part of the world, ABRSM exams are part of every music student's life, and there's no getting away from scales & arpeggios (and a lot else) in them - I did find that having a fluent 'mechanism' from the hours spent practicing them did make life easier when learning a lot of new pieces. Not just the usual suspects from the Baroque & Classical era, but even all the way up to contemporary (- contemporary 'classical', that is).

Having said that, however, I've not specifically played or practiced any scale or arpeggio since then, which is not directly related to a piece I'm currently learning. And I do find that there are composers who delight in inventing new ways to torture pianists - even those who can throw off S & A with ease - with stuff that one has to practice from scratch, because nothing resembling them is to be found in any manual of technical exercises....... cry


"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: Regret of the week [Re: Arghhh] #2586774 11/13/16 01:33 PM
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Unless you are one of those people who knows all there is to know, a little program of continuing education to advance your technical foundation [or, just to put a polish on it], is an investment that pays. It can turn moments of stress, anxiety and frustration at the keyboard into moments of bright joy and pride... or moments where focus on technical challenges become times when the mind is drawn more into the music itself.

This might also apply to people whose minds are capable of forgetting what they have previously learned. I certainly belong to that party.

There is no need to let this take up more of your time than is its due. I find 15 or 20 minutes before I start with actual practice is a good goal, but if I find it running over the allotted time... probably, I would just add some more time! Cheat yourself somewhere else, or take an honest look at time you spend on things that are worthless, like watching television commercials, and...


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Re: Regret of the week [Re: Arghhh] #2586801 11/13/16 03:17 PM
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Arghhh Offline OP
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I also learned my scales for my RCM exams, but I wasn't a very good student and haven't done scale practice consistently since then.. The speed is sort of there, but the accuracy isn't.

Scales in thirds (in one hand) also wasn't on the RCM exams, so I never properly learned those. I should add those to the things to learn since they appear rather frequently in the stuff I play. If someone here can recommend a good source for fingering these that would be great!


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Re: Regret of the week [Re: Arghhh] #2586810 11/13/16 03:48 PM
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by Arghhh
I
Scales in thirds (in one hand) also wasn't on the RCM exams, so I never properly learned those. I should add those to the things to learn since they appear rather frequently in the stuff I play. If someone here can recommend a good source for fingering these that would be great!


http://www.musicroom.com/se/id_no/0443479/details.html

https://www.amazon.com/Piano-Scales...&keywords=abrsm+scales+and+arpeggios

Grade 8 includes one-handed scales in thirds and one-handed chromatic scales in minor thirds.


"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: Regret of the week [Re: Arghhh] #2586838 11/13/16 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Arghhh
At the moment I'm trying to put together a bunch of music for a few gigs coming up in the next couple weeks and am running out of time.

Know your audience.

Unless you're playing for an association of professional musicians, you can always find ways to simplify the music to make it more playable, without sacrificing style and sound. You can even revise certain passages. Always go with the most musical solution.


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Re: Regret of the week [Re: Arghhh] #2586939 11/14/16 01:25 AM
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Arghhh Offline OP
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AZN - the university juries and the couple of recitals this week need to be pretty solid. I just realized I have another week to learn the opera score, which is a relief. I'll have to take out the octaves and simplify a bunch of other stuff. Usually I try to learn what's written because even if it's difficult I figure it makes me a better pianist.

Bennevis -thanks for the links. Do you know if there are alternate fingerings in there for the thirds. I recall different sources giving different fingerings.


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Re: Regret of the week [Re: Arghhh] #2586949 11/14/16 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Arghhh
AZN - the university juries and the couple of recitals this week need to be pretty solid. I just realized I have another week to learn the opera score, which is a relief. I'll have to take out the octaves and simplify a bunch of other stuff. Usually I try to learn what's written because even if it's difficult I figure it makes me a better pianist.

If you are playing orchestra reductions, you might find that different editions have differences in notes--sometimes significantly different. Some editors had the pianist in mind when they did the writing/editing. Some editors just added as many notes as possible from the orchestra parts with no regard to playability.


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Re: Regret of the week [Re: AZNpiano] #2587242 11/14/16 10:25 PM
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Arghhh Offline OP
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Arghhh
AZN - the university juries and the couple of recitals this week need to be pretty solid. I just realized I have another week to learn the opera score, which is a relief. I'll have to take out the octaves and simplify a bunch of other stuff. Usually I try to learn what's written because even if it's difficult I figure it makes me a better pianist.

If you are playing orchestra reductions, you might find that different editions have differences in notes--sometimes significantly different. Some editors had the pianist in mind when they did the writing/editing. Some editors just added as many notes as possible from the orchestra parts with no regard to playability.


I took a course in orchestral reductions as part of my masters degree. I thought I'd get advice on how to simplify scores, but most of the time my prof told me I had to look into the orchestral score to supplement what the reduction already had in it - for example in cases where the editor focused mainly on putting string parts in the reduction and omitted crucial wind parts.

This particular opera (Filumena) is relatively new, and as of now I haven't gotten a recording to listen to.

I'll probably simplify most of the LH octave runs because I don't think I'll be able to get it up to speed (eighth notes at dotted quarter = 120). Now, if I had been practicing my octave scales, I'd know if that was possible or not. Simplifying means I have to figure out fingering for the scales in single notes.


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Re: Regret of the week [Re: Arghhh] #2587315 11/15/16 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Arghhh
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Arghhh
AZN - the university juries and the couple of recitals this week need to be pretty solid. I just realized I have another week to learn the opera score, which is a relief. I'll have to take out the octaves and simplify a bunch of other stuff. Usually I try to learn what's written because even if it's difficult I figure it makes me a better pianist.

If you are playing orchestra reductions, you might find that different editions have differences in notes--sometimes significantly different. Some editors had the pianist in mind when they did the writing/editing. Some editors just added as many notes as possible from the orchestra parts with no regard to playability.


I took a course in orchestral reductions as part of my masters degree. I thought I'd get advice on how to simplify scores

There's a book called Music for Score Reading that teaches how to simplify scores (and read in weird cleffs) if you're interested.


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Re: Regret of the week [Re: Arghhh] #2587404 11/15/16 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Arghhh

Bennevis -thanks for the links. Do you know if there are alternate fingerings in there for the thirds. I recall different sources giving different fingerings.

I've had a search, but I don't have my book of the ABRSM scales & arpeggios anymore, and I don't remember if there were alternate fingerings in it. I suspect there weren't (though of course that book was from a few decades ago - things might have changed since, in the current edition, which I haven't seen).

When I play a one-handed scale in thirds now, fingering is pretty automatic - with RH, if starting on bottom white note or two black notes, I start with 1-3 (and usually after that 2-4, 3-5, 1-2, 1-3, 2-4, 3-5 etc); if starting on a black note on bottom and white above, I start with 2-4. With chromatics in minor thirds, there're a lot of 1-3, 2-4, 1-3, 2-4.


"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."

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