Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
What's Hot!!
Mr. PianoWorld - the full interview
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


Who's Online Now
75 registered members (accordeur, cathryn999, Alex873, AaronSF, bsntn99, Blues beater, Bruce In Philly, 16 invisible), 1,465 guests, and 6 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Playing Chopin-type fast runs #2730998
04/22/18 10:06 PM
04/22/18 10:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
D
Deckie Offline OP
Full Member
Deckie  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
I'm 2 weeks into learning Mikhashoff's transcription of Casta Diva after a long time thinking that I'll never achieve it. I'm making surprisingly good progress but I'm having difficulty playing the fast runs (4.58 to 5.16 of youtube.com/watch?v=OnntKrp08Bs). I can play them fluently from memory now but going at full pelt (while still maintaining accuracy) it's still only about half speed and isn’t noticeably improving as it was. I didn’t think I could play them exactly like on the recording but maybe something approaching it. I was hoping that if I continue practicing them they will gradually speed up naturally over several weeks / months but I'm starting to have doubts.

I think there are several approaches to articulating them, playing all the notes with a relaxed right hand, dividing groups of notes between left and right hands, playing the single note before the right hand thumb with left hand to give a bit of extra time to move the right hand to the next position and others. I'm currently banking on the first method.

Is there a better way? Does anyone have any tips for this or am I on the right track?

I've been playing the piano for nearly 40 years but I didn’t have my first lesson until I was 20. Is this one of those things that only those who started playing at 5 years old have the flexibility to articulate? confused

Thanks.

Last edited by Deckie; 04/22/18 10:25 PM.
Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2731049
04/23/18 03:41 AM
04/23/18 03:41 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,964
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,964
Originally Posted by Deckie
I'm 2 weeks into learning Mikhashoff's transcription of Casta Diva after a long time thinking that I'll never achieve it. I'm making surprisingly good progress but I'm having difficulty playing the fast runs (4.58 to 5.16 of youtube.com/watch?v=OnntKrp08Bs). I can play them fluently from memory now but going at full pelt (while still maintaining accuracy) it's still only about half speed and isn’t noticeably improving as it was.

Two weeks into learning a tricky piece and you're worrying about speed?

Developing speed isn't a linear progression. It comes when it comes - just don't lose control in your bid to force the pace when your fingers aren't ready. The last 10% of speed takes 90% of your practising.

Incidentally, when I was learning Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu as a kid a long time ago, it took me several months to master the RH and play it at the right speed. I tried different fingerings etc, but nothing felt secure........until it finally did. (I did put it aside to learn other stuff that my teacher was teaching me, but kept returning to it periodically).


"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: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2731120
04/23/18 10:17 AM
04/23/18 10:17 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,962
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Carey  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,962
Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted by Deckie
I'm 2 weeks into learning Mikhashoff's transcription of Casta Diva after a long time thinking that I'll never achieve it. I'm making surprisingly good progress but I'm having difficulty playing the fast runs (4.58 to 5.16 of youtube.com/watch?v=OnntKrp08Bs). I can play them fluently from memory now but going at full pelt (while still maintaining accuracy) it's still only about half speed and isn’t noticeably improving as it was. I didn’t think I could play them exactly like on the recording but maybe something approaching it. I was hoping that if I continue practicing them they will gradually speed up naturally over several weeks / months but I'm starting to have doubts.

I think there are several approaches to articulating them, playing all the notes with a relaxed right hand, dividing groups of notes between left and right hands, playing the single note before the right hand thumb with left hand to give a bit of extra time to move the right hand to the next position and others. I'm currently banking on the first method.

Is there a better way? Does anyone have any tips for this or am I on the right track?

I've been playing the piano for nearly 40 years but I didn’t have my first lesson until I was 20. Is this one of those things that only those who started playing at 5 years old have the flexibility to articulate? confused

Thanks.
Sounds like you are on the right track. Have you also experimented with the fingering to see if other combinations might work better for you? Ultimately you may need to accept the fact that you will never get these passages up to the same speed as the pianist in the video (certainly no crime in that) - but increased speed should come with more time. Just curious - have you played similar passages successfully in other pieces?


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2731152
04/23/18 12:05 PM
04/23/18 12:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
D
Deckie Offline OP
Full Member
Deckie  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
Thanks Bennevis and Carey. Interesting about non linear progression, I never thought about it like that. I realise I'm not going to achieve perfection or sound like the recording but I'd be happy with something reasonably close that sounds ok and a listener wouldn’t notice anything clumsy without making a direct comparison. I'm not worrying about speed, most of the piece is still at the very slow practice stage. Yes I've worked out and noted down the fingering that feels the most comfortable so that the right keys fall under my fingers.

The reason for the post was to see whether anyone had any favourite techniques or tips for playing these fast passages (I don’t imagine there's any big secret that would suddenly make it all happen). No, I've never attempted them before in any other pieces and it may work out practicing them as I am with just the right hand. But if not, I would have to abandon it to start again using a different method maybe after having invested many weeks and months practicing in a way that was never going to work for me. Or I may even have to abandon the whole piece which is why I was trying to concentrate on these passages first but I couldn’t help playing the rest of it as well.

I think I'll be ok with the rest of the piece, I always keep the faith that it will all come together eventually no matter how long it takes (apart from these fast passages where some doubt has crept in). I sometimes think when people say they can’t play a piece it may be because they don’t have the faith and gave up on it too soon or didn’t go for it in the first place. For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of playing the piano is that moment when a piece or a passage that I thought was way beyond my capabilities suddenly all falls into place after weeks or months of long practice (like with your Fantaisie-Impromptu Bennevis). Experience has shown me that it always does, eventually (apart from maybe these fast passages which remain to be seen heard).

Last edited by Deckie; 04/23/18 12:49 PM.
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2731162
04/23/18 12:30 PM
04/23/18 12:30 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,667
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
Gold Subscriber
BruceD  Offline
Gold Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,667
Victoria, BC
Originally Posted by Deckie
[...]
The reason for the post was to see whether anyone had any favourite techniques or tips for playing these fast passages. No, I've never attempted them before in any other pieces and it may work out practicing them as I am with just the right hand.[...]


There are some practice techniques you might try for these passage of "fioritura".

1) practice the passage in small groups with varying rhythmic patterns: short-long-short; long-short-long, etc., etc. This helps assure that all the notes are solid, and that some are not being skipped over.

2) start at the end of the passage playing only the last few notes; then, add the previous note to the passage, and continue "backing up" one or two notes at a time towards the beginning of the passage. This way you will be assured that it is not only the beginning of the passage that is secure but also the ending.

3) divide the passage into small, logical groups of notes, and play each group of notes as quickly as you can without losing accuracy. Then add two of these groups together, then three groups, and so on.

And, perhaps most importantly,

4) continue s..l..o..w practice!

Regards,



BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2731175
04/23/18 01:01 PM
04/23/18 01:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
D
Deckie Offline OP
Full Member
Deckie  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
Many thanks BruceD that sounds excellent advice and I will definitely follow your steps. By playing the sequence in a different order in step 2 I would assume I always use the same fingering I worked out initially and would use the same for steps 1 and 3. I'll let you know how I get on but it may be some time!

Last edited by Deckie; 04/23/18 05:33 PM.
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2731201
04/23/18 03:11 PM
04/23/18 03:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 387
Z
Zaphod Online sad
Full Member
Zaphod  Online Sad
Full Member
Z

Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 387
Also, metronome is your friend and also exposes the truth to you, I find.

Set slowly. Once you can play at a certain speed, bump metronome up by 5 bpm, or whatever. Rinse and repeat.

Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2731234
04/23/18 05:32 PM
04/23/18 05:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
D
Deckie Offline OP
Full Member
Deckie  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
Ok, thanks Zaphod.

Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2731272
04/23/18 08:28 PM
04/23/18 08:28 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,667
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
Gold Subscriber
BruceD  Offline
Gold Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,667
Victoria, BC
Originally Posted by Deckie
Many thanks BruceD that sounds excellent advice and I will definitely follow your steps. By playing the sequence in a different order in step 2 I would assume I always use the same fingering I worked out initially and would use the same for steps 1 and 3. I'll let you know how I get on but it may be some time!


" ... but it may be some time." That's one of the main points to consider; these accomplishments don't happen over night!

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2732041
04/26/18 04:19 PM
04/26/18 04:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
J
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member
John Citron  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
J

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Work S-L-O-W-L-Y. None of this will work if you try to take the music up to full tempo too soon, and doing so will lead to a mess later on. You'll create what I've called a hole in your performance because the more difficult part will never, ever, ever, match or fit in with the rest of the piece around it. (Learned from experience here!).

The way to overcome this is work at the piece extremely slowly. You want to focus on hand position, fingering, and note values even if you play the work well under tempo. You also have to watch that the left hand remains steady and the other bravura notes spread around those, and the only way to do this is slow.

Once you get the music all together at a slow tempo, you can then work at bringing it all up to tempo in stages. The thing is if you speed up and it falls apart, you need to work at the music slowly again.

Also keep in mind that your fastest accurate speed in music is always the fastest notes in the piece. If you can't play those accurately, then you're going too fast.


Current works in progress:

Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

Current instruments: Schimmel-Vogel 177T grand, Roland LX-17 digital, and John Lyon unfretted Saxon clavichord.
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2732136
04/26/18 11:50 PM
04/26/18 11:50 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
J
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member
John Citron  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
J

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
I'm going to add a bit more as if I didn't have a lot to say here already!

Carl Czerny has an interesting chapter on this in his Op. 500, Complete Theoretical and Practical Piano Forte School, Book 3, which is available from archive.org and from IMSLP.org

In Book 3 in Chapter 4, pp. 42 - 50, he gives some examples of those Chopinesque kinds of runs of multiple notes against a steady bass.


Current works in progress:

Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

Current instruments: Schimmel-Vogel 177T grand, Roland LX-17 digital, and John Lyon unfretted Saxon clavichord.
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2733957
05/03/18 08:23 PM
05/03/18 08:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
D
Deckie Offline OP
Full Member
Deckie  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
Many thanks John. I'm still progressing with BruceD's steps and it is slowly improving. When I've tried introducing the left hand into the passage I need to play it so slowly the left hand notes are so far apart they lose all continuity. Most of the time I'm still practicing the right hand at the fastest speed I can play totally accurately (which is still increasing). As you say, if I lose it, I slow it down again until it’s accurate again. When the right hand has reached the "automatic" stage (almost there) it should be easier to play it around the left hand notes by slowing it down again. I’ll have a look for the Czerny book.

I don’t tend to practice a new piece all at the same speed, I break it down into sections which I practice at different speeds according to their difficulty. They're all at different speeds at the moment, the easy bits I can pretty much sight read up to speed so I don’t practice those as much. The runs being the hardest are the slowest and take the most time, all the other sections are somewhere in between. Eventually when all the sections are up to speed they should fit together like a jigsaw.

Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2733974
05/03/18 11:50 PM
05/03/18 11:50 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
J
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member
John Citron  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
J

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Quote

I don’t tend to practice a new piece all at the same speed, I break it down into sections which I practice at different speeds according to their difficulty. They're all at different speeds at the moment, the easy bits I can pretty much sight read up to speed so I don’t practice those as much. The runs being the hardest are the slowest and take the most time, all the other sections are somewhere in between. Eventually when all the sections are up to speed they should fit together like a jigsaw.


This is not such a good idea. I used to do this myself, and the problem is, as my own teacher pointed out, the easy sections never quite match up to the more difficult sections as if that jigsaw puzzle parts aren't fitted very well. (Using your analogy). In the end the whole piece was never quite finished as it should be.

By playing the whole piece together slowly, you'll ensure a consistent level of solidness through out rather than have sketchy sections and smooth sections.

Another thing to keep in mind is those so-called "easy" sections can come back to bite you later on if they're not given the attention they deserve. This is most apparent when you play the piece in public, or even attempt to record the music, and most definitely if you attempt to memorize. (How would I know... ahem).


Current works in progress:

Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

Current instruments: Schimmel-Vogel 177T grand, Roland LX-17 digital, and John Lyon unfretted Saxon clavichord.
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: John Citron] #2733981
05/04/18 12:32 AM
05/04/18 12:32 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,667
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
Gold Subscriber
BruceD  Offline
Gold Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,667
Victoria, BC
Originally Posted by John Citron
Quote

I don’t tend to practice a new piece all at the same speed, I break it down into sections which I practice at different speeds according to their difficulty. They're all at different speeds at the moment, the easy bits I can pretty much sight read up to speed so I don’t practice those as much. The runs being the hardest are the slowest and take the most time, all the other sections are somewhere in between. Eventually when all the sections are up to speed they should fit together like a jigsaw.


This is not such a good idea. I used to do this myself, and the problem is, as my own teacher pointed out, the easy sections never quite match up to the more difficult sections as if that jigsaw puzzle parts aren't fitted very well. (Using your analogy). In the end the whole piece was never quite finished as it should be.

By playing the whole piece together slowly, you'll ensure a consistent level of solidness through out rather than have sketchy sections and smooth sections.

Another thing to keep in mind is those so-called "easy" sections can come back to bite you later on if they're not given the attention they deserve. This is most apparent when you play the piece in public, or even attempt to record the music, and most definitely if you attempt to memorize. (How would I know... ahem).



I agree with this, JC, that one needs to play a piece through at a consistent tempo, even while still practicing it. However, I don't think that that should imply not taking more challenging sections and working on them independently, as slowly as necessary to get them accurately before trying to bring them up to speed.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2734021
05/04/18 06:40 AM
05/04/18 06:40 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
D
Deckie Offline OP
Full Member
Deckie  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
Thanks, apart from the few parts I can pretty much sight read all of the sections are challenging to varying degrees.

Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: BruceD] #2734097
05/04/18 12:19 PM
05/04/18 12:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
J
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member
John Citron  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
J

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by John Citron
Quote

I don’t tend to practice a new piece all at the same speed, I break it down into sections which I practice at different speeds according to their difficulty. They're all at different speeds at the moment, the easy bits I can pretty much sight read up to speed so I don’t practice those as much. The runs being the hardest are the slowest and take the most time, all the other sections are somewhere in between. Eventually when all the sections are up to speed they should fit together like a jigsaw.


This is not such a good idea. I used to do this myself, and the problem is, as my own teacher pointed out, the easy sections never quite match up to the more difficult sections as if that jigsaw puzzle parts aren't fitted very well. (Using your analogy). In the end the whole piece was never quite finished as it should be.

By playing the whole piece together slowly, you'll ensure a consistent level of solidness through out rather than have sketchy sections and smooth sections.

Another thing to keep in mind is those so-called "easy" sections can come back to bite you later on if they're not given the attention they deserve. This is most apparent when you play the piece in public, or even attempt to record the music, and most definitely if you attempt to memorize. (How would I know... ahem).



I agree with this, JC, that one needs to play a piece through at a consistent tempo, even while still practicing it. However, I don't think that that should imply not taking more challenging sections and working on them independently, as slowly as necessary to get them accurately before trying to bring them up to speed.

Regards,


Absolutely spot on as always, Bruce.

Take out the hard sections and work on them as needed to get them at the same level as the rest, but we also need to keep everything consistent and well built as well. This overall is one of the most difficult things to get us to do. We're so overjoyed to be working on the music that we don't take the time out to get it right in the beginning.


Current works in progress:

Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

Current instruments: Schimmel-Vogel 177T grand, Roland LX-17 digital, and John Lyon unfretted Saxon clavichord.
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: bennevis] #2734099
05/04/18 12:33 PM
05/04/18 12:33 PM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 463
Rural UK
F
Fareham Offline
Full Member
Fareham  Offline
Full Member
F

Joined: May 2017
Posts: 463
Rural UK
Originally Posted by bennevis

Two weeks into learning a tricky piece and you're worrying about speed?

Developing speed isn't a linear progression. It comes when it comes - just don't lose control in your bid to force the pace when your fingers aren't ready. The last 10% of speed takes 90% of your practising.


I started the piano at 6, and although I've never actually stopped playing there was a period of about 30 years when I just stood still at around grade VII. Building a house, being an engineer during the day, bringing up 3 daughters and running a choir and a choral society, as well as getting involved in politics, saw to that. I stopped most of that around 10 years ago, and took up my piano playing once more until pain from tendonitis kept it bottled up. I was precribed a carpal tunnel release which I had done in 2013, with instructions to play the piano as physiotherapy.

Almost immediately my right hand (the one operated on) worked about 30% faster than it had before - it was an immediate and dramatic overnight improvement. That may strike a chord with some folk round here (no pun intended).


The English may not like music much, but they love the sound it makes ... Beecham
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2734114
05/04/18 01:42 PM
05/04/18 01:42 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
D
Deckie Offline OP
Full Member
Deckie  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
I will be practicing the piece with a consistent tempo but at the moment it's all in disarray where the maximum accurate playable speeds of the various sections are all different. I'm not playing the sections in sequence but they should all equalise out eventually after spending more practice time on the more difficult sections and less on the easier ones. Then I should be able to play all the sections in sequence with a consistent tempo but still won’t be at full speed at that stage. Does that sound like an ok approach from the advice above?

I sometimes wish I'd started playing at 6 Fareham, but didn’t have the opportunity with my parents not being very musical and having no piano. Do you mean you could play 30% faster than before the operation or before you were diagnosed with tendonitis? Sometimes when I try to play fast it feels like wading through treacle. I was never interested in taking grades after my first piano teacher (about 1980) showed me the awful modern pieces I would have to learn to play to a high standard and I was happy playing what I wanted. I'm practicing more now after I took early retirement but I unfortunately have issues with performing (playing when I know someone is listening). It means I can only practice when everyone is out or in bed when I use the practice pedal but that’s another story and maybe a different post one day.

Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2734130
05/04/18 03:16 PM
05/04/18 03:16 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
J
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member
John Citron  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
J

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Quote
I will be practicing the piece with a consistent tempo but at the moment it's all in disarray where the maximum accurate playable speeds of the various sections are all different. I'm not playing the sections in sequence but they should all equalise out eventually after spending more practice time on the more difficult sections and less on the easier ones. Then I should be able to play all the sections in sequence with a consistent tempo but still won’t be at full speed at that stage. Does that sound like an ok approach from the advice above?


What has occurred with this piece is exactly what I had expected would happen - been there and done that myself, and it's caused by rushing through the basics as my teacher has told me more than once.

Slow is the name of the game here so at this point in the game I wouldn't even think about a maximum speed. Seriously you need to start everything at the slowest tempo possible and work on it at that tempo all the way through so that all the parts fit together. There is no other way to unfix this as it is with all the parts are in various states of good, bad, and other.

With that in process you will also have to focus energy on getting those bravura sections right in addition to other complex sections. This process means you'll be disassembling the piece and putting it back together, albeit, slowly.

Once you are comfortable playing accurately all the way through, with no interpretation, you can then move on to the next level which is the expression.


As far as starting young... Some people are lucky that way that they can do that and have that opportunity to make something of a career out of it, but as Fareham said life gets in the way sometimes and it isn't until much later that one can finally enjoy something like music the way they want.

Last edited by John Citron; 05/04/18 03:28 PM.

Current works in progress:

Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

Current instruments: Schimmel-Vogel 177T grand, Roland LX-17 digital, and John Lyon unfretted Saxon clavichord.
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2734303
05/05/18 12:41 PM
05/05/18 12:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
D
Deckie Offline OP
Full Member
Deckie  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
I'm not sure what it is you think has gone wrong John but it's still all coming along quite well, there's nothing that needs to be unfixed. The different sections I'm playing are still at different speeds due to varying difficulty, slower than full speed but at the maximum speed that I can still achieve total accuracy.

I'm still devoting most time to those bravura sections and I'm starting to detect a very slight glimmer of them sounding like runs rather than like practicing scales. Still got a long way to go though. If I practiced it playing the whole piece at the same speed that I can manage the bravura sections, I would be playing the easier sections many times slower than I need to to progress.

Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2734369
05/05/18 06:21 PM
05/05/18 06:21 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
J
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member
John Citron  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
J

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Originally Posted by Deckie
I'm not sure what it is you think has gone wrong John but it's still all coming along quite well, there's nothing that needs to be unfixed. The different sections I'm playing are still at different speeds due to varying difficulty, slower than full speed but at the maximum speed that I can still achieve total accuracy.

I'm still devoting most time to those bravura sections and I'm starting to detect a very slight glimmer of them sounding like runs rather than like practicing scales. Still got a long way to go though. If I practiced it playing the whole piece at the same speed that I can manage the bravura sections, I would be playing the easier sections many times slower than I need to to progress.


I fully understand what you are doing - been there, done that, ruined, trashed, and destroyed many, many pieces of music doing it your way. My teachers said what I am telling you now for years, but like you I did it my way and never quite polished up the music to where it should be. In fact my very first teacher and family friend would visit on holidays and used to listen to me play for her. She would smile of course then throw up her hands and say do it your way. To put her in perspective, she's now 98 and retired from teaching, but in her heyday, she studied with Beveridge Webster who was one of the heads of Julliard and New England Conservatory, Isador Philippe, and others.

Oh so many years later for me, my current teacher said exactly the same thing and now I too am doing it, and what a difference it makes in the solidity of the music under the fingers.

So yeah that's good that your getting some progress in those difficult sections, but...

What you said in the last paragraph is exactly what you should be doing, which is the whole point of practicing everything slowly all the way through. Don't think about the fastest speed now, think about accuracy of both time and notation. Once you get the basics down, you can then work on the speed.

To get this into some of the details which my piano teacher explained, you are building the connection between your muscle memory and your brain. If you do this too quickly, he said in so many words, you'll end up creating faulty connections, which will lead to bad habits with the piece. By working on everything equally slow and not caring about how fast you should be going in the beginning, you'll build the connections slowly and be able to then work on faster tempos later and the more enjoyable parts like dynamics and phrasing.

Think about this....


Current works in progress:

Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

Current instruments: Schimmel-Vogel 177T grand, Roland LX-17 digital, and John Lyon unfretted Saxon clavichord.
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2734377
05/05/18 07:24 PM
05/05/18 07:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
D
Deckie Offline OP
Full Member
Deckie  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
Thanks again John but I don’t think I've been explaining it very well. When I say I practice at the fastest speed I mean it’s the fastest speed that I can play that section accurately. It’s still maybe at half the speed it should be or slower, I've never played any of the piece at the proper speed yet, far from it. It just means that because the different sections have different difficulties the fastest speeds I can play them accurately are different. So the sections with the slowest maximum speeds are the ones I'm spending most practice time on as they are probably still at quarter speed like the bravura sections or the section of rapid falling chromatic thirds. Then as the accurate speed increases I can devote more time to other sections and bring those up to speed a bit as well, still playing them slowly and accurately. If I practice the whole piece at a consistent tempo to make the sections fit together I'll end with the problem you highlighted in bold. Once the fastest speed of the various sections start becoming equalised over time I can start putting them together and play them as a complete piece. That’s the plan.

I too have spoilt pieces after being tempted to play them too fast too quickly, glossed over the bits I was getting wrong, the wrong notes ended up in muscle memory and almost impossible to unlearn. I decided to learn this piece properly from the outset and that’s when the doubts set in that I could play the bravura sections well enough. If not, I will have wasted maybe months of practice time on the rest of the piece because there’s no point playing it if I can only play some of it. So I concentrated on those hardest sections first but couldn’t help giving the rest of the piece a go as well and it’s continued on from there.

Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2734378
05/05/18 07:30 PM
05/05/18 07:30 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,667
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
Gold Subscriber
BruceD  Offline
Gold Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,667
Victoria, BC
I believe, though, in the initial post Deckie was writing about "fast runs" or fioritura, passages which in the particular example cited are not timed. Therefore, isolating them and practicing them (as I suggested and to which suggestion JC previously agreed) is not to be decried. There would be little sense, in my opinion, to try to play these passages in time with the rest of the work. In the particular video that is the source of this thread, the performer's tempo drastically changes during the fioritura and, again in my opinion, not only would it be almost impossible to play these fioritura if one kept the left hand tempo steady, doing so would contradict the nature of this type of embellishment.

So why would one suggest playing this cadenza-type passage in a tempo that is in accord with the tempo of the rest of the piece when it is a free-flowing, untimed passage?

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Playing Chopin-type fast runs [Re: Deckie] #2734380
05/05/18 07:39 PM
05/05/18 07:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
D
Deckie Offline OP
Full Member
Deckie  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
U.K.
Thanks BruceD, I did pick out the bravura / fioritura passages to practice first and figured that if I can play them evenly and fast enough to sound like a run and not a scale, I could introduce the changes in tempo later on.


Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

(ad)
Sweetwater - Keyboards
Sweetwater
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Curriculum of techniques for various levels?
by cathryn999. 11/17/18 10:25 PM
Ever heard of Yamaha SCLP-5450??
by Sean L. 11/17/18 09:39 PM
Disobedient pinkies & lazy thumbs
by Tyrone Slothrop. 11/17/18 08:06 PM
Modulation
by Alex873. 11/17/18 07:26 PM
Problem with sound on Yamaha DGX-630?
by Sophiex. 11/17/18 06:34 PM
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Petrof
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics188,391
Posts2,762,079
Members91,513
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Please Support Our Advertisers
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

Sweetwater

PianoTeq Petrof
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.2