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Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Music Me #2944474 02/08/20 07:16 PM
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Thank you Barbara.

I'm glad I made a video because I get to see some bad techniques creeping back when I try to speed it up. I also get to see some improved techniques. I'm hoping the videos is going to save me some practise time by reducing the time spent on practising wrongly.

While I can now play the whole ballade and mostly from memory, I think the my practise session and upcoming videos should be short and concentrate on one small area at a time. Otherwise I'm not going to make any improvement, which defeats the whole point of re-learning to bring it up to the next level.


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Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2944514 02/08/20 10:28 PM
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I enjoyed watching the video, you certainly seem methodical in your approach which I guess is the only way to be.


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Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2944515 02/08/20 10:37 PM
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You seem very at ease and in control with this Ballade. I would enjoy viewing a video of you performing the Ballade in its entirety.



Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
PianogrlNW #2944530 02/09/20 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
You seem very at ease and in control with this Ballade. I would enjoy viewing a video of you performing the Ballade in its entirety.


That would be the goal when I decide I can't go any further with this piece later this year, a grand finale as one would say. Until then, the upcoming videos will continue to be in small chunks. I don't want to ruin the video watching experience, e.g. no spoiler.

I could already play the whole piece 3 years ago, but my playing was fraught with errors and slips. To make a video of the entire piece, there are a handful of spots I am attempting to practise until I can never get them wrong. There are still a lot of spots where I am using excessing tension when playing at tempo. This is my main nemesis that causes errors and slips. So I need to go back to the basics and refigure out how I can achieve velocity and dynamics using the optimum but most economical and reliable techniques for my hands.

I do hope I get to make the whole video this year. Stay tuned!


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Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2947375 02/15/20 07:49 PM
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I've reached the point where I have to deconstruct my techniques and rebuild it again. It's very difficult to let go mentally since it took so long to get to where I am. But to progress further there is no other choice.

I guess it's like building a lego set. You follow the instructions carefully and things are looking really nice now. It's taking shape and you can almost see the finish piece. Then you realising the next lego piece doesn't fit. So something is not right. To go further, you'll have to deconstruct to where the mistake is and rebuild it again. It's frustrating but to get to the finish product, there is no other choice.

My teacher found my 'mistake' today and my techniques in the Coda section was deconstructed to the bare single lego brick. It was so frustrating because I felt I was getting close to where I wanted to be. But to ultimately get there, I have no choice but to pull everything apart and start over again. My teacher assured me though that rebuilding it this time won't take so long. Fingers crossed!

I think I have enough of piano today. I'm going to take a break until my drive and motivation are sufficiently replenished.


Be yourself

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2947410 02/15/20 09:20 PM
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How frustrating, but from your description it sounds essential. So taking a breather to go again sounds right.

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2947421 02/15/20 10:02 PM
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Taking a break now is a good thing. Funny, I am taking a break also. Ive been playing my electric bass all weekend


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2947427 02/15/20 10:22 PM
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I would be interested in knowing what your “mistake” is and why you need to deconstruct. I’m working on this piece as a long-term project and have only barely touched the coda. I’m having technical difficulties with other sections. It’s a reach piece for me but I feel determined to learn and play it, even if it for only my family - haha.



Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2947431 02/15/20 10:45 PM
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It takes a lot of dedication to practice methodically as you have shown on the videos. I don’t have enough patience to practice like that for long. I normally get frustrated easily so try not to pick too big challenges and often move on when I meet a skill wall. Remember your teacher is just pointing out things to improve. Often they show you mistakes your were not aware of. Sometimes you need to relearn things, sometimes i just leave it. Passages at fast speed are just very hard. I think you need to play a lot of technically hard music and I find this tough. I would try and compliment this with some easier to moderate level music so you don’t get too frustrated.

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
PianogrlNW #2947437 02/15/20 11:20 PM
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Thank you all for your encouragements.

Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
I would be interested in knowing what your “mistake” is and why you need to deconstruct. I’m working on this piece as a long-term project and have only barely touched the coda. I’m having technical difficulties with other sections. It’s a reach piece for me but I feel determined to learn and play it, even if it for only my family - haha.


Without going into too many details, in general, I tend to stay on the notes longer that they need to be (even if it is a split second longer). When that happens, I don't arrive at the next note, thumb mostly, in the optimum position (not rotating the arms inward enough). From there, it just cascades into bigger and bigger problem, making it harder to play as the passage goes on.

Today I got a glimpse of how to play the coda section fast but still feel 'light' on the hands. If I can achieve this in the coda section and apply it on the other difficult passages in the piece, I can improve my chances of playing the whole piece with relative ease, or at least not feel hard.

I suppose that's what I'm aiming for: to make the Ballade feel 'easy' to play, the path to bringing it to performable level.


Be yourself

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2947686 02/16/20 03:22 PM
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I didn't have the heart to touch the piano after lesson yesterday. Later in the evening, I took the concept to the violin instead. Then somehow I figured something out.

This morning I tried it on the piano and the strain on the fingers are gone! I play the passages in mp though, rather than full volume. I needed to 'feel' the lightness on the hands and fingers first, and I did. My motivation is back. Can't wait to try out my new technique on the entire piece! I won't be (try not to be) in a rush to play at the required volume until I really get this right.


Be yourself

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2953174 03/01/20 03:15 AM
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Got frustrated then pushed over the limit and injured my wrist.

Note to self: when feeling frustrated, step away from the piano LOL


Be yourself

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2953257 03/01/20 11:42 AM
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Oh no! Don't hurt yourself!

Please continue with your videos and your observations on the learning process you are going through with this piece. You are doing a wonderful job with this piece, even if you feel you haven't reached the goal you aspire to with it. We can all learn something from your experience, and we can be your cheering section as well.

Last edited by Stubbie; 03/01/20 11:43 AM.

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Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2953261 03/01/20 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tubbie0075
Got frustrated then pushed over the limit and injured my wrist.

Note to self: when feeling frustrated, step away from the piano LOL


I pushed myself today working on trills and a fast run. I felt fine afterwards, or at least didn't notice any pain, then I did some work in the garden and soon after that I noticed the two fingers involved in a couple of the trills were aching and same with the fleshy bit at the base of the thumb. Seems like I could have got away with the repetitive piano practise or doing work in the garden, but both were too much.

I'm not learning anything like so technically challenging as you. But some experiences seem universal no matter what the skill level.

Last edited by KevinM; 03/01/20 12:10 PM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Stubbie #2953451 03/02/20 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Oh no! Don't hurt yourself!

Please continue with your videos and your observations on the learning process you are going through with this piece. You are doing a wonderful job with this piece, even if you feel you haven't reached the goal you aspire to with it. We can all learn something from your experience, and we can be your cheering section as well.


I swear making videos keep popping up in my head whenever I sit down at the piano to practise. Then I get too engrossed into the practise and the urge to make a video disappeared. A long weekend is coming. So I'll take the opportunity and make a video.

I'm gradually digging my way out from rock bottom with the help of my very patient teacher. So things are looking hopeful again. It feels like I'm under the water beneath an ice surface and it's beginning to feel hopeful because after pounding at the ice, it's finally cracking.

Thank you for your encouragement. I'll keep pounding at the ice to break free!


Be yourself

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2957280 03/15/20 06:13 AM
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Finally, the turning point! Hands are feeling good playing difficult passages and can go faster with relative easy. Now I just need to practise precision (especially the left hand jumping bits) and I should be ready to make some longer section videos.

The next goal is to play comfortably and confidently in 3 large sections. Still not quite there yet to play the entire piece at one go.


Be yourself

Re: Learning Journal: Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23
Tubbie0075 #2957326 03/15/20 10:36 AM
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Way to go!


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