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Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
#3029131 09/26/20 01:18 AM
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Hello,

I am looking for technical exercises to accompany Bach’s Invention No 1. Which ones would you recommend?

Thank you

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Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
AxelAxelAxel! #3029148 09/26/20 03:01 AM
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why do you think you need technical exercises for this Invention?


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Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
AxelAxelAxel! #3029152 09/26/20 03:37 AM
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Practice trills in both hands, using different combinations of fingers.

You need to figure out the fingering entering and exiting those trills in order to connect smoothly.


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Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
AxelAxelAxel! #3029162 09/26/20 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by AxelAxelAxel!
Hello,

I am looking for technical exercises to accompany Bach’s Invention No 1. Which ones would you recommend?

Thank you

That depends on what the issues are for you. Just about anything could help in one way or another, but to be more specific, we would need to know what particular difficulties you are encountering. Otherwise, if the question is just an open one, the fact is that the invention 1 is itself an exercise !

Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
Sidokar #3029246 09/26/20 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Otherwise, if the question is just an open one, the fact is that the invention 1 is itself an exercise !


That’s true, and I see Invention 1 as an exercise, though I like it very much as a piece of music in itself. I am encountering problems with trills, yes - that’s certainly something to work on. But I meant it a bit more broadly, maybe rephrasing: What does Bach try to achieve with Invention 1 for the pianist and what other practice could accompany this piece? Not sure if that makes sense. Thank you!

Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
AxelAxelAxel! #3029250 09/26/20 10:15 AM
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Hand independence, and the ability of bringing out two voices simultaneously.

It's not an easy piece, anyway.

Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
AxelAxelAxel! #3029256 09/26/20 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by AxelAxelAxel!
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Otherwise, if the question is just an open one, the fact is that the invention 1 is itself an exercise !


That’s true, and I see Invention 1 as an exercise, though I like it very much as a piece of music in itself. I am encountering problems with trills, yes - that’s certainly something to work on. But I meant it a bit more broadly, maybe rephrasing: What does Bach try to achieve with Invention 1 for the pianist and what other practice could accompany this piece? Not sure if that makes sense. Thank you!

Well like many other Bach compositions, you have 2 voices. So many parts are in 2 notes against one and a few note against note. So you need to be able to bring out the main voice, the other being in the backgroud. A good exercice i would suggest is to play a scale in one hand with the other playing the scale 1 against 2. Then main hand loud, the other soft, legato against staccato and vice versa, both staccato, etc... there are multiple combinations. That helps to build independance and the ability to vary different effects in each hand.

Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
Ubu #3029299 09/26/20 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Ubu
It's not an easy piece, anyway.

That’s true, I am working on it for a good part of this year already. Just became aware that it is listed in the repertoire for RCM level 7, and looking at some of the other level 7 pieces, I am certain that I am a level 5, optimistically level 6 - so tht thing is quite a stretch.

Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
Sidokar #3029301 09/26/20 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
A good exercice i would suggest is to play a scale in one hand with the other playing the scale 1 against 2. Then main hand loud, the other soft, legato against staccato and vice versa, both staccato, etc... there are multiple combinations. That helps to build independance and the ability to vary different effects in each hand.

Now that’s interesting. I’ve focused on hand independence, but I was looking to augment that with great practice that is not directly playing the piece itself. Let me understand “scale 1 against 2” better: Are you suggesting to let both hands play the same scale at different start times (e.g. right hand starts, left hands set in when right hand starts the return down), one hand playing dominant and / or staccato, while the other hand plays legato?

Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
AxelAxelAxel! #3029308 09/26/20 01:34 PM
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Axel: I love this Invention, and I applaud you for trying it out.

1) Take the first RH phrase and play that alone and v-e-r-y-s-l-o-w-l-y until it feels comfortable and familiar in your RH while the hand is fully relaxed. Do the same with your LH. Make sure each phrase feels comfortable in your hands. Make note of when you need to turn your thumb under the other fingers.

2) Combining the two hands is sometimes note-for-note grunt work. It will be made easier if you have been thorough in step 1 above. Again go v-e-r-y-s-l-o-w-l-y. Sometime it requires that I go note-by-note syncing up the two hands. I don't worry about speed until the two hands are comfortable playing with each other.

3) Ornamentation. Learn the 3 finger method (for that first ornament in Meas. 1, use 2-4-3). In the beginning, don't worry about the timing; just play the correct notes with the correct finger. When you can do that smoothly while being relaxed, then try and make it work in time with the phrase.

Have fun.

Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
AxelAxelAxel! #3029360 09/26/20 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by AxelAxelAxel!
Now that’s interesting. I’ve focused on hand independence, but I was looking to augment that with great practice that is not directly playing the piece itself. Let me understand “scale 1 against 2” better: Are you suggesting to let both hands play the same scale at different start times (e.g. right hand starts, left hands set in when right hand starts the return down), one hand playing dominant and / or staccato, while the other hand plays legato?

The exercice is to play 2 notes of the scale with one hand when the other plays only 1 note and so on. So one hand will cover 2 octaves when the other will cover only 1 and then you come back descending the same way. Rythmically it is a 2 to 1 which is mostly what is in invention 1. Using different touch in the 2 hands, legato vs staccato or loud vs soft helps to build independance of the 2 hands. You can do that also with regular scales, and you can start that way, but in Invention 1 it is usefull to be able to do it within the 2 to 1 rythm.

Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
Sidokar #3030450 09/30/20 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
The exercice is to play 2 notes of the scale with one hand when the other plays only 1 note and so on. So one hand will cover 2 octaves when the other will cover only 1 and then you come back descending the same way. Rythmically it is a 2 to 1 which is mostly what is in invention 1. Using different touch in the 2 hands, legato vs staccato or loud vs soft helps to build independance of the 2 hands. You can do that also with regular scales, and you can start that way, but in Invention 1 it is usefull to be able to do it within the 2 to 1 rythm.

That seriously is an amazing exercise. I figured so much out over the past days, especially how different the abilities of my hands are, something that was never as apparent when both hands were doing the same thing, e.g. during practicing scales at the same tempo left and right. Amazing, thank you so much!

Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
AxelAxelAxel! #3034916 10/12/20 05:48 PM
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So, I am hoping someone will see this... and comment. I have to apologize beforehand, I do not know the customs here about sharing files and asking for feedback, please correct me if I do something wrong.

I’ve recorded my play of Invention No 1 at around 45 BPM as a MIDI file and have uploaded it to WeTransfer. I am asking for honest, detailed, constructive feedback. I am personally reminded of a wild boar running through the underbrush, but maybe someone is slightly more positive than I am.

Here’s the link. Much appreciated!!

https://we.tl/t-4b0zy2DafX

Last edited by AxelAxelAxel!; 10/12/20 05:54 PM.
Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
AxelAxelAxel! #3035037 10/13/20 04:49 AM
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Well, its fairly linear ... apart from the tempo which is too slow. Depending on how long you have been playing, on the positive, you manage to play end to end with minimal mistakes. On the improvement side, you need to add some articulation so that it sounds like a real piece of music with a beginning and an end. Also you should avoid emphasizing too much each group of thematic material, that just breaks the fluidity. Since you play on piano, you can use dynamics with moderation to add some highlights at appropriate places. There are some places where it is better to play legato in one hand and detached in the other hand like in bar 11 and 12

There are plenty of courses to teach you how to play it, in case you dont have a teacher. For example this one (just as an example), but there are plenty of others.

https://youtu.be/qw22OjAM3Xk

Re: Technical exercises to accompany Bach Invention No 1
AxelAxelAxel! #3035081 10/13/20 08:46 AM
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First off, THANK YOU for listening to my recording, Sidokar and providing your feedback. Second, it’s funny that you bring up specifically Sally Christian’s YouTube course at the end. I’ve been in contact with her several times over the course of learning this piece and find this video of her’s just spectacular.

I have taken the following aspects from your feedback: 1) Some technical errors 2) Speed too low 3) Missing articulation 4) Emphasize more carefully 5) Overall, not horrible.

I feel I am at around 60% of learning this piece. I generally feel I have a big problem playing in one even tempo and with all fingers at the same weight. These two are, the technical lawlessness aside, my points of focus right now. The fixed tempo at 45 and the monotony are there because I feel I first need to be able to fix these points before I can speed up and articulate. Where you hear modulation in tempo, dynamic and articulation right now, that’s all not intended, unfortunately. I hope that strategy makes sense.

Overall, I had lessons and played between 7 and 15 years old, but literally zero to show for. Reasons are manifold, mostly in my way of studying (either not or not effectively). I am now at it again with 43, this is my first piece and it took me 2-3 months to get to this point here.

Thank you again for your time and feedback!


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