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Hello everyone,

Decades of bad practice habits have embroiled me in many passages in many pieces where my arpeggios are uneven, both in speed and accenting. Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu is the worst offender. I dare not even approach the Revolutionary Etude lest I butcher it in like fashion.

So, my question is double-edged:

1. Any suggestions on how to correct this problem for passages that my fingers already know?

2. Any suggestions on practice techniques to prevent this for new pieces?

Thanks!

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Do you have a teacher?

If you can post a video you will probably get some specific analysis of your technical problem.

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You could practice with a metronome at a speed you are able to play evenly, correct notes and accenting, phrasing, and work your speed up from there. I wouldn't use the metronome exclusively but maybe once and awhile. It always helped me maintain the tempo when learning this piece!

Steve


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Make sure you aren't tensing up in the lower half of your body. Technique comes from the legs.

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Originally Posted by Lakeviewsteve
You could practice with a metronome at a speed you are able to play evenly, correct notes and accenting, phrasing, and work your speed up from there. I wouldn't use the metronome exclusively but maybe once and awhile. . .
Steve


+1. You need to _listen_ to your playing (or record yourself, and listen to the recording) to make this work.


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You've built wrong timing into your muscle memory. To get it out, you first have to defeat muscle memory by working very slow -- pick a ridiculously low tempo, and practice starting at half that speed. +1 on recording yourself, it's the gold standard.


-- J.S.

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I would also recommend looking at your fingering to see if it is contributing to the unevenness


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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An issue not mentioned so far is wrist/arm position and movement.

If you attempt to play an arpeggio slowly and legato with no damper pedal, you will find it necessary to pronate or supinate (depending whether you are descending or ascending) the wrist and to use slight ulnar or radial flexion to maintain the legato. Done slowly this works well and is not injurious.

At much faster speeds, this action will cause accents and uneven rhythm. One must allow the hand to float over the keys with almost no pronation and no flexion and slightly more flat, relaxed fingers. The natural resonance of the piano will create the necessary sustain. Of course, use of damper pedal makes it even easier.

Last edited by prout; 11/27/17 04:15 PM.

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

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