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A little help please? - Un Sospiro #2652939
06/12/17 10:26 PM
06/12/17 10:26 PM
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gooddog Offline OP
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I'm having a heck of a time getting measures 46-51 up to tempo. My hands are not huge, (I've got a 9th), and I find it hard to get all the notes to sound. My teacher suggested practicing in rhythms, (did that), redistributing fingers, (did that), slow practice, did that. I'm having a hard time getting up and down the keyboard fast enough. Any suggestions?

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Last edited by gooddog; 06/12/17 10:26 PM.

Best regards,

Deborah
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Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: gooddog] #2652951
06/12/17 11:15 PM
06/12/17 11:15 PM
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New York
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Despite....
-- my not having ever worked on the piece, and
-- my not being a great fan of the Taubman school.....

I'd say that the key thing is probably getting rotation into it.

I dislike the extreme emphasis that some give to the rotation thing, and I dislike even more the fanaticism and dogmatism of some of the Taubman advocates. But for sure there's much to it, and believing in the usefulness of rotation doesn't require being a Taubman fanatic. There are many kinds of passages in which I find that a key part of the solution is using more rotation --- and, as per the Taubman approach, exaggerating the rotation during practice.

An additional thing during practice for passages like this, which can be used together with exaggerated rotation, is treating groups of notes as though they were rolled chords. We can roll chords just about as fast as we would like, right? Almost at infinite speed? (Sort of.) grin

Take the groups of notes that 'fall under the hand,' i.e. the groups of notes that are played in each single hand position, and roll them, not with your fingers but by rotation. Then rotate your hand back the other way while you shift the position of the hand to the next group of notes, and then do the same thing on that next group. Etc.

If you do some practicing like this, I think you'll be playing the passage faster and more easily very soon. You won't be using such exaggerated rotation when you actually play the passage, but some degree of the rotation will be (should be) preserved.

Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: gooddog] #2652965
06/13/17 12:42 AM
06/13/17 12:42 AM
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Just for context, how long have you been working on tempo in this passage?
that is, how long have you had it fully learned but under tempo, and working on making it go faster?

some very general ideas --
- grouping notes into larger units and listening for the larger unit/shape instead of listening for individual notes: for example, I might really care about beats 1 and 3 in the first couple of measures you posted
- whenever working on any challenging fast passage, include very slow practice of the passage every day; even when the passage is up to tempo, still do some very slow practice at least a couple times a week to keep it from getting sloppy
- if the difficulties are similar to difficulties you experience when practicing broken chords and arpeggios as exercises, be attentive to the difficulties in those exercises and work on those carefully as well
- or, if exercises don't pose a problem, that will give you a clue about what the issue is in the piece by narrowing it down
- non-sounding notes are often due to wobbly joints at the fingertips; make sure the joints are well supported
- non-sounding notes can also be caused by an unintentional upward motion of the arm where a downward motion would be more useful
- groups of notes that include quick changes of direction can often be successfully played with some gesture of the arm or wrist: a circle, a pendulum-like swoop, wrist rotation etc. try a few that fit the direction of the notes, start slow and exaggerated as suggested above, then as it gets faster the movement gets smaller but retains the same distribution/direction of weight
- notice that when you aren't playing any notes a relaxed arm can move incredibly fast up and down the keyboard, but a tense arm can't move very fast; are you unconsciously becoming tense when you have to play notes?
- keep at it every day and keep track of your progress; you may be making faster progress than you think, even if it isn't as fast as you might wish!


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Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: gooddog] #2652973
06/13/17 01:00 AM
06/13/17 01:00 AM
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Bellevue, WA
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I've been working on this piece recently and agree that this is one of the more difficult passages - especially when trying to play it ppp - I've found that one of the arpeggio notes usually jumps out dynamically when my left hand shifts over an octave (mostly an issue in measures 49 and 50).

Can you clarify, do you find both hands difficult for all 6 measures, or just one hand in particular for part of it? Personally, I've found the left hand part a lot more awkward than the right. For a while, I tried redistributing one of the D#s from the RH to the LH - it made the RH considerably easier and allowed me to focus more on the LH, but at the cost of one of the notes being a bit more accented and harder to control dynamically.

I'm not sure if there is a magic pill here, though I'm curious what other people's suggestions are. I think practicing in rhythms for this type of issue definitely helps. I've also found a metronome to help a lot in passages like these. Yes, I know it says accelerando on the page, but I've found if I can play the passage evenly at the appropriate dynamic, I have a better chance of playing it faster and even accelerating.

Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: gooddog] #2653068
06/13/17 10:09 AM
06/13/17 10:09 AM
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I've not played this, but I'm guessing that the problem is that your wrist should lead. This involves the rotation Mark is referring to. It could also be a matter of just not being able to anticipate the notes quickly enough. Have you done work with the metronome gradually increasing the tempo?

You may want to try to play it staccato as well. I was working on a passage like this and I was playing it under tempo and legato and it wasn't getting anywhere. The problem is that the stretches were so far apart that playing it slowly actually was quite hard (my hands span a 9th as well). So then I practiced it staccato and it just went flying and was much easier to negotiate a faster tempo. Then I went back to legato, of course, but not under tempo anymore.


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Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: gooddog] #2653094
06/13/17 11:49 AM
06/13/17 11:49 AM
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Victoria, BC
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Deborah:

I don't know if this is what you might be looking for, or if it's of any help. Have you tried taking the notes marked "X" with the left hand (as a two-note chord)? That means you don't have to cross over to the D-sharps with the right hand.

[Linked Image]

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: gooddog] #2653097
06/13/17 12:02 PM
06/13/17 12:02 PM
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Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline OP
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Oh wow. This is great advice, everyone! I've taken notes on what you've all said and will bring them to the piano later today. Thank you.

Heather, I started working on this piece last September. I'm not having any problem with changing direction as much as getting to all the notes going down, then all the notes going up. I performed it at tempo, from memory at a recital 5 months ago. That passage was acceptable for a student recital but just barely. Because I've been distracted by other pieces it seems to be getting worse. I want to perform it in a few weeks so I better get back to work.

I find the second half of measures 46, 47, 48 to be quite difficult but the hardest part for me is at the end of measure 49 and measure 50.

Thanks, Bruce. That's pretty close to the redistribution I've been using.

For some time, I've been disappointed by the dearth of topics that interest me at PW. The excellent, thoughtful and useful responses I have gotten to this thread remind me why I enjoy this site so much. Thanks to all!


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: gooddog] #2653124
06/13/17 01:11 PM
06/13/17 01:11 PM
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Hi Deborah,

I haven't tried this piece but I agree with what others have suggested with rotation. I may have some ideas that may help but maybe we can go over them at the academy. Its the kind of thing that needs to be demonstrated over written description.

Good luck!


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Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: Vid] #2653129
06/13/17 01:27 PM
06/13/17 01:27 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
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Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Vid
Hi Deborah,

I haven't tried this piece but I agree with what others have suggested with rotation. I may have some ideas that may help but maybe we can go over them at the academy. Its the kind of thing that needs to be demonstrated over written description.

Good luck!

Sounds good. See you soon!


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: BruceD] #2653260
06/13/17 08:21 PM
06/13/17 08:21 PM
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Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Deborah:

I don't know if this is what you might be looking for, or if it's of any help. Have you tried taking the notes marked "X" with the left hand (as a two-note chord)? That means you don't have to cross over to the D-sharps with the right hand.

This is a very bad idea. Unlike with some other redistributions, I can't see a way to pull it off and have the passage sound as intended.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: Polyphonist] #2653273
06/13/17 09:13 PM
06/13/17 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist

This is a very bad idea. Unlike with some other redistributions, I can't see a way to pull it off and have the passage sound as intended.

I have to agree with this.


Last edited by argerichfan; 06/13/17 09:14 PM.

Jason
Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: argerichfan] #2653276
06/13/17 09:17 PM
06/13/17 09:17 PM
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Victoria, BC
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by Polyphonist

This is a very bad idea. Unlike with some other redistributions, I can't see a way to pull it off and have the passage sound as intended.

I have to agree with this.



It may be a "very bad idea". It comes from an edition edited by the Austrian pianist and educator, Ernst Pauer. Don't blame me for it. I was only trying to offer a suggestion.


BruceD
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Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: BruceD] #2653279
06/13/17 09:22 PM
06/13/17 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD

It may be a "very bad idea". It comes from an edition edited by the Austrian pianist and educator, E. Pauer. Don't blame me for it. I was only trying to offer a suggestion.

Well perhaps you should have mentioned that in the first place. wink

Here is a video from which something may be learned:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po_a1SmZKLs&index=12&list=PLFjUWY4HxB4O-hKvaAGIApduP3_e-oF07


Jason
Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: BruceD] #2653298
06/13/17 09:50 PM
06/13/17 09:50 PM
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Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
This is a very bad idea. Unlike with some other redistributions, I can't see a way to pull it off and have the passage sound as intended.

Polyphonist, sometimes, when one's hands aren't large, adjustments and sacrifices have to be made. They may not be the best idea musically but are necessary to facilitate playing a passage rather than simply giving up on it.

Originally Posted by BruceD
It may be a "very bad idea". It comes from an edition edited by the Austrian pianist and educator, Ernst Pauer. Don't blame me for it. I was only trying to offer a suggestion.


Ha Ha! Someone else figured it out and published it? I was forced to figure something out on my own - which happens quite often when hand size becomes a barrier.

Last edited by gooddog; 06/13/17 09:55 PM.

Best regards,

Deborah
Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: gooddog] #2653299
06/13/17 09:58 PM
06/13/17 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by gooddog
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
This is a very bad idea. Unlike with some other redistributions, I can't see a way to pull it off and have the passage sound as intended.

Polyphonist, sometimes, when one's hands aren't large, adjustments and sacrifices have to be made.

I would question the assertion that they "have" to be made in this case.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: argerichfan] #2653300
06/13/17 10:01 PM
06/13/17 10:01 PM
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gooddog Offline OP
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Originally Posted by argerichfan

I watched the motion of his hands at 1/4 speed and noticed two things:
1. He is staying very close to the keys, (which I need to work on).
2. His hands are large enough that he can accomplish stretches that are impossible for me.

Thanks for posting this Jason.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: Polyphonist] #2653303
06/13/17 10:05 PM
06/13/17 10:05 PM
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gooddog Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by gooddog
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
This is a very bad idea. Unlike with some other redistributions, I can't see a way to pull it off and have the passage sound as intended.

Polyphonist, sometimes, when one's hands aren't large, adjustments and sacrifices have to be made.

I would question the assertion that they "have" to be made in this case.


Well, okay. I can take another look at the original fingering and give it another try, but I don't think it will work for me.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: gooddog] #2653309
06/13/17 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by gooddog
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by gooddog
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
This is a very bad idea. Unlike with some other redistributions, I can't see a way to pull it off and have the passage sound as intended.

Polyphonist, sometimes, when one's hands aren't large, adjustments and sacrifices have to be made.

I would question the assertion that they "have" to be made in this case.


Well, okay. I can take another look at the original fingering and give it another try, but I don't think it will work for me.

What, exactly, is the original fingering? Are you playing the gestures with an open hand or are you crossing to the D#s?


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: Polyphonist] #2653578
06/14/17 05:32 PM
06/14/17 05:32 PM
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gooddog Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
What, exactly, is the original fingering? Are you playing the gestures with an open hand or are you crossing to the D#s?

I worked on it this morning and tried the traditional way. Mine works better for my hands. In measures 46-49, I am picking up the left hand high D#'s with my right thumb. It works pretty smoothly. Now that I've practiced it, I'm finding the only persistent problem is getting to the A which is the last note, right hand, measure 49. I'll keep at it.

Thanks!


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: A little help please? - Un Sospiro [Re: gooddog] #2653687
06/15/17 03:05 AM
06/15/17 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by gooddog
In measures 46-49, I am picking up the left hand high D#'s with my right thumb.

What? This doesn't make any sense. Do you mean the right hand D#s with your left thumb?


Regards,

Polyphonist
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