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Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2959253 03/21/20 12:09 PM
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@CognitaP, you are spot on about our group. Out here in the small rural area I don’t have a local scene of players so this forum is the scene. Have a great weekend.


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Re: Faber Graduates
HollyBytheLake #2959703 03/23/20 12:20 AM
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Holly, congrats on another milestone achieved! Scales are not easy... and I think it's a long-term effort... I went on youtube listening to the 2 pieces you mentioned... looking forward to your rendition.

CognitaP, equipped with all the knowledge you have, you are going to do great!

dobro, Sakura is the first song in my old 3A book. I'm on "Hot Summer Blues" now which isn't my type of song either...

Stay calm and safe...


The Fly's Adventure, Unit 6 (The Chromatic Scale) of Faber 3A, with performance and Christmas books
Self-studied Alfred Adult AIO Level 1; Faber Accelerated Lesson Book 2
My Recordings
Re: Faber Graduates
HollyBytheLake #2959783 03/23/20 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by HollyBytheLake
Hi everyone,
I bailed on Scale Monster after getting 2 out of 3 of the tempo goals the Faber book suggested. Glad I did. I'm now working on Chanson and Ceremony for Peace in Book 4. Love them both. Chanson is very soft and dreamy with large broken left hand chords and pedal work. Ceremony for Peace is strong and bold with a fantastic key shift in the middle to that is so heartfelt and poignant. Ceremony is only two pages so I'll likely get it in about 3 weeks. Chanson might take a little longer. They are both fantastic counterpoints to the Bach Menuet I'm working on.

I hope everyone and your families are safe. Here in our county in Wisconsin there are 32 cases, but so far no deaths, though 2 for the state. I crave my time at the piano because it is impossible to practice intently and think of anything else.

Be well,
Holly


Ohhh, I loved both Chanson and Ceremony for Peace! Ceremony is super dramatic and a lot of fun to go all in on the dynamics. Chanson was a little more difficult for me. The notes were easy enough, but I had to spend a couple weeks on the musicality before my teacher was happy with it. I also really liked scale monster, but can never get up to their top tempo. My teacher doesn't care, so neither do I smile

Glad everyone is staying safe!

Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2959793 03/23/20 11:16 AM
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Hi folks,

Just checking in with an update. My teacher of course had to cancel my lessons as of this week, she is offering to try some form of online arrangement but I don't have a suitable setup for that yet. Plus I wanted some extra practice days on last weeks "homework" to get it further along to give her something to comment on. I'm not a fan of online lessons personally in that my only point of reference is what we have done together to date, much of which cannot be done online with lag/audio issues or other problems like the fact she has none of my musics books to pick pieces from! But her livelihood is now scuppered so will try to find a way to continue with her soon, at least the next couple of lessons were pre-paid for her.

Anyways still practicing hard every day. I finally conquered the "triplets at 65bpm" or higher for all my scales so far (C Maj, A Min, G Maj, E Min) in the last few days. Arpeggios HT is improving and Kabalevsky's "Galop" while not yet "galloping" is very slowly getting faster but still a work in progress. The Hanon #10 exercise she also assigned (numbered as 6 in the Faber-Hanon book) is slowly improving but also needs more practice to move past the 60bpm without losing control particularly either through the middle transition or at the very end where the concentration from repetitively doing the same thing in one direction for so long drops off.

For Faber my focus is now on Ice Skaters and The Entertainer, both of which I need to bring the tempo up for. Ice Skaters in particular has a very fast tempo in the PA recording that is rather a challenge! I remember that being mentioned early on in this thread as one of the pieces where the book 1 progress curve also slowed down for others. Will keep chipping away on it though. The Entertainer is always a popular tune of course, with some interesting rhythms in there combined with some fingering changes to keep you thinking...

Anyways "interesting" times, my practice last night was rather poor. Hoping it was a one-off from feeling a bit mentally distracted from the sheer lack of food I have (as in enough for 3 meals total) with seemingly no end in sight to the relentless supermarket pillaging others have been doing constantly stripping the shelves bare. I've been down to 2 meals a day for the last week (cereal, skip lunch, takeaway delivery for dinner) and clearly that isn't sustainable forever. Online food shopping isn't an option - they have stopped new signups and even with an account there are no delivery slots. Not seen a loaf of bread or an egg for weeks let alone anything in a tin. What third world country do I live in do you ask? Central London, UK.


Yamaha P515, Sennheiser HD599 headphones
Trying not to annoy the neighbours with my ineptitude since Feb 2020.
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2959843 03/23/20 02:48 PM
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@kiwidude, I had to learn that every practice isn’t going to be the best so don’t let that get you down, it seems that’s the ebb and flow of learning. I do hope this current situation improves for you and everyone here. I know the markets are trying to limit stuff locally to prevent hoarding as you describe there.


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Faber All In One -Level 2
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Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2959887 03/23/20 05:20 PM
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@Dobro - thank you for the comment - indeed thankfully tonight’s practice has been orders of magnitude better, most scale triplets up to 75bpm and everything else with far less “fumbling” of catching nearby keys at speed or just brain farts of forgetting what to play next. I started last nights session later than usual (10pm) and it was intermingled with work emails etc, clearly was not as laser focused as I usually am when I sit down. Just haven’t had a session as bad as that one in my limited playing time to date So it threw me a bit. Thanks for confirming it is to be expected now and then smile


Yamaha P515, Sennheiser HD599 headphones
Trying not to annoy the neighbours with my ineptitude since Feb 2020.
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2959922 03/23/20 08:07 PM
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enw10

Thanks for that! I'm glad someone with a teacher got to skate on that last tempo in Scale Monster.

I'm also finding Chanson more challenging than Ceremony. Ceremony almost plays itself, such a joy to work on. Chanson takes a lot more chunking and work.


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Faber Graduates
kiwidude #2959925 03/23/20 08:32 PM
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Kiwidude, I’m so sorry to hear how bad things are there! Please stay safe, and hopefully things will be better soon!

Fran...


Casio Privia 160, Classic popular, Soft Rock, Studying In PIano Adventures AIO, Unit 11
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2959947 03/23/20 11:33 PM
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Hot Summer Blues

Hope hot summer will kill all the virus!


The Fly's Adventure, Unit 6 (The Chromatic Scale) of Faber 3A, with performance and Christmas books
Self-studied Alfred Adult AIO Level 1; Faber Accelerated Lesson Book 2
My Recordings
Re: Faber Graduates
Wish4 Thing #2959952 03/24/20 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Wish4 Thing
Hot Summer Blues

Hope hot summer will kill all the virus!


That is an interesting sounding piece, another that I look forward too.


Alesis Coda Pro
PianoVideoLessons.com Currently unit 4
Faber All In One -Level 2
Grateful Dead fan since 1987
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2959975 03/24/20 04:58 AM
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Hi

Kiwidude sorry to hear about your troubles re food , the UK goverment anouncend this week about setting up comunity hubs to deliver food to the vunerable hopefully this will help enable you to get the food you need as you clearly fall in the catergory of vunerable if you dont have acess to the food you need. . I would advise talking to your local council or yourdoctors about this so you get the help you clearly need .

Re practicing I agree with dobro every practice is not going to be the best . I have days when my practicing goes really well and everything seems to just flow but I also have days when nothing flows or goes right with me hitting all the wrong notes or not getting rythmns right . I find on these days its best to give up the practice for that day and come back to it the following day . Often I find these days there is a reason why the practice has not gone well, either Im tired or not feeling well or have other things on my mind . By giving up the practice and going back to it the folowing day Im often more refreshed and it flows better .

That said there is a big differnce in the whole practice session not going well and just what I am learning not going well . For individula piaces I find the answer is to break the piece down into small chunks and get these chunks right by sometimes playing them really slowly and then building them up to tempo before replacing them back into the piece by firstly including the bar or section before and after so it fits back into the piece more smoothly . This also works for me on the techical practice breaking it down and playing it slowly to get it right first before bring it up to tempo . I have done a lot of reseach about practice methods for individual pieces and this is what works best for me Ifyou want more info on these methods let me know and i will post a couple of links .

@ wish4 Thing

Thank you for sharing its a nice piece and you have played the rythmn well with what sounds like some very tricky rythmic sections. Well Done .


Using Faber Adult Piano Adventures AIO Book 1
Currently working on Unit 14
Also working with Faber Technique and Artistry book 2
Playing on a Rolands HP 505 Digital Piano
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2959987 03/24/20 07:14 AM
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Yes, as @CognitaP says, stepping away and coming back later is something that helped me on guitar many years ago. I would add to something that I’ve heard from more experienced members here is that tho we may think a practice was awful, it’s not a total loss a lot of the time. That has to do with the processing that goes on as we sleep and just the time spent at the instrument. I don’t think that’s just wishful thinking.
Along those lines, I’m happy to report a really smooth practice last night after the Sunday session was “meh”. :does the “so so” gesture with hand:
I hope everybody is off to a safe and well week.


Alesis Coda Pro
PianoVideoLessons.com Currently unit 4
Faber All In One -Level 2
Grateful Dead fan since 1987
Re: Faber Graduates
Wish4 Thing #2960016 03/24/20 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Wish4 Thing
Hot Summer Blues

Hope hot summer will kill all the virus!


Good one!!! Just enough minor in it to give that wistful sound. You are doing really well with dynamics!!!

Fran...


Casio Privia 160, Classic popular, Soft Rock, Studying In PIano Adventures AIO, Unit 11
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2960114 03/24/20 07:32 PM
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Hi Fran, yes, dynamics is my focus for now... I wasn't sure I did it right, thanks for your reassurance! Blues was not my type of music but I've gradually learned to appreciate the lively and free spirit in it along my piano journey.

CognitaP, thank you too! this is another 6/8... my next 6/8 is Funiculi, Funicula, I'm very much looking forward to it.

Take care, everyone heart


The Fly's Adventure, Unit 6 (The Chromatic Scale) of Faber 3A, with performance and Christmas books
Self-studied Alfred Adult AIO Level 1; Faber Accelerated Lesson Book 2
My Recordings
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2960927 03/27/20 08:48 AM
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I cancelled the soloists. They refused to take a cancellation fee.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2961176 03/28/20 05:49 AM
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Wish4 Thing I had not picked up it was a 6/8 piece when I first listened to it, but listening again I can hear that it is.

Thats one my challenges to get better at listening to pieces and being able to pick out what time signatures a piece is in and what scale (whether major or minor) that a piece is in.

Im busy at the moment learning being able to recognise the different intervals on the staff and developing my ear training to pick them up also.This is going well I just need to consolidate it all.

I am also learning how to get the left hand softer than the right. When I do this slowly as described in the AIO PA (book 1 Unit 11) 3 minute technique video I can get the left hand softer, but at the moment as soon as I speed it up then both hands go back to playing the same dynamics. So this is defiantly a technique that for me needs at lot more practice to get this right.

Good luck with the new piece Funicula This is a lovely piece to learn so can see why you are looking forward to it.

I hope everyone takes care and keeps well emotionally as well as physically.


Using Faber Adult Piano Adventures AIO Book 1
Currently working on Unit 14
Also working with Faber Technique and Artistry book 2
Playing on a Rolands HP 505 Digital Piano
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2961544 03/29/20 01:19 PM
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Another week races by in this upside down world at the moment...

A few days ago I put a video together to get feedback from my teacher (as an alternative to online lessons). She gave some positive and helpful comments from that which was great. She is happy to continue to work that way - sounds like she also isn't familiar yet with online lesson teaching so any feedback from her at the moment is a welcome bonus!

I got a thumbs up on Kabalevsky's Op 39 #18 Galop being done with (yay) so she picked out the next one for me - #23 Slow Waltz. I think it is an ABRSM grade 4 / RCM grade 5 piece (deep breath). I asked about the difficulty and she says she picks things for me based on skills whe wants me to work on not grades, and based on what she has seen from me so far thinks I can do it. She says I will learn faster than if she was to pick easier grade 1-2 pieces but is willing to slow down if I prefer that. So for now just rolling the sleeves up and will do my best, it worked for Galop after all so she wasn't wrong on that one.

She also kindly recorded a bunch of rhythm and ear training mp3 and video samples for me. For scales I am to add the next step of adding 1/16ths over four octaves for each plus their arpeggions, for both the major and relative minors. Also recorded for me a nice drill to help out with that Hanon exercise.

From Faber PA my main focus this week has been Ice Skaters and The Entertainer. I do spend so much time on my "homework" for the teacher each day (usually the first 2 hours of each practice) that Faber gets less time and energy to focus with at the end. So taking my time with those but perhaps those will reach their desired tempo this week, we shall see...

@Wish4_Thing - nice job, yes the dynamics did come through really well and certainly sounded bluesy to me!

@CognitaP - thanks for all your comments. I'm physically healthy so wouldn't feel right seeking special assistance at this time over food, plus I managed to get a few things today so pressure is less on that at the moment for me thankfully. Can totally relate to your hand weight comments - though for me I have the most trouble with a change in dynamics in the piece itself. Say a crescendo or a change from mp to mf - it is all to easy to find the left hand overly eager to join in with the right. One of those skills that I have heard takes a long time for us to develop. Nice job on the ear training with intervals, I confess the idea of being able to differentiate a fifth from a sixth etc seems a scary prospect to my old ears. I do dabble with an iPad app called Earpeggio some nights for both interval and rhythm training.


Yamaha P515, Sennheiser HD599 headphones
Trying not to annoy the neighbours with my ineptitude since Feb 2020.
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2961548 03/29/20 01:30 PM
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I am stumped! I have been working on Danny Boy for a little over two weeks, and can’t get a clean recording. It looks to be a simple piece, but in order for it to sound right, your timing has to be perfect! I managed to make a couple recordings with no mistakes, but they had glaring hesitations in them. I’ve been trying for a better one, but I’m going backwards!!! I can’t get through it without making all sorts of mistakes, and I’m getting worse! I am getting so uptight every time I attempt it, and have corrected these mistakes each time I err, but it’s in a different place each time. Should I just set it aside, and move on, maybe coming back to it later? I am so frustrated with it! Any suggestions would be so welcome!!!

Fran...


Casio Privia 160, Classic popular, Soft Rock, Studying In PIano Adventures AIO, Unit 11
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2961550 03/29/20 01:48 PM
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@pagirl - I remember having similar issues with Danny Boy, there was something about it that had me tripping up in different places which also surprised me. It fools us into relaxing by appearing to be simple being a slower piece without massive hand movement required etc. Though something about it meant I was still working on getting it consistently clean while other pieces after it were pretty much ticked off.

For me what worked was just dropping the tempo back down with the metronome to play it smoothly through a couple of times then parking it for that night to play other pieces rather than banging my head against it and getting more frustrated with it. The next few nights I just repeated starting from that slow tempo (basically giving it more respect than I had been) not even attempting the higher speed, just at speeds I was confident I could play it clean without hesitations. After a few days of that I started worrying less about those couple of spots where I had been randomly getting it wrong. Then I could up the tempo again and it behaved well enough by then to do a recording and move on. Certainly wasn't my favourite piece to learn from having a similar experience to you!


Yamaha P515, Sennheiser HD599 headphones
Trying not to annoy the neighbours with my ineptitude since Feb 2020.
Re: Faber Graduates
kiwidude #2961565 03/29/20 02:52 PM
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Thank you SO much, kiwidude!! Your approach sounds so much better than what I was trying to do!!! I was loosing all confidence that I could ever climb out of this mind block!!! Going to take a break, and then give it a try!

Fran...


Casio Privia 160, Classic popular, Soft Rock, Studying In PIano Adventures AIO, Unit 11
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