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#3041730 11/01/20 11:12 AM
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toyboy Offline OP
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The trills of measure #53.

I have been playing this for at least five years, probably ten if you count off and on, and I'm still finding myself being clumsy at this measure. I can do the trills at measure 52, the first half of 53, and on 54, but for some reason when the thumb goes to the C (fourth on the F) I trip up when I try to keep the trill going and play the melody E-F-G with the upper fingers.

I have the Cortot instructions and ever so often go back and redo his exercise suggestions. I can play it slow, and even build up speed, and once in awhile play the whole phrase after the exercises. But eventually it all just falls apart again.

Any suggestions other than hiring a second pianist to come in just for that measure? smile

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What I do is that I take the F after Gb with my pinky, play the trill on that F as F-Db-Eb with 5-2-3, and then play F-E-F-G line with 5-4-5-5 (with the help of the pedal) with 1-2 trills as usual.

Though I'm not happy with the result either. It is a bit cheating and does sound clipped as well.

Skip to 3:18 for the trill part.

https://youtu.be/H5XZkO6btfg

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toyboy Offline OP
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Oh my God, I took one listen to your excellent playing of the trills and I'm thinking I should go find the beginner forum.

But aside from how well you play... I managed to figure out what you're doing, but at least at first try that doesn't help. I'll practice on that fingering, but I'm getting the feeling that there is just something wrong with my hand muscles, like a spasm that doesn't let me do that. Or am I sounding like a carpenter blaming his tools?

But thank you. I'll try!

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Originally Posted by toyboy
Oh my God, I took one listen to your excellent playing of the trills and I'm thinking I should go find the beginner forum.

But aside from how well you play... I managed to figure out what you're doing, but at least at first try that doesn't help. I'll practice on that fingering, but I'm getting the feeling that there is just something wrong with my hand muscles, like a spasm that doesn't let me do that. Or am I sounding like a carpenter blaming his tools?

But thank you. I'll try!

I think one may happend is possibly a muscle fatigue. Have you trained to play trills for an extended period of time ?

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toyboy Offline OP
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No not really. I'm what I guess you'd call a serious amateur. Playing since six years old (now 67), had about ten years of lessons but not in a conservatory.

I admittedly hate exercises, and use the pieces I'm working on as the exercise material for better or worse. In the case of the nocturnes, I go through all the Cortot exercises. But trills tend to be a weak point for me, I can only really do them well with specific fingers.

Tonight I just burned my left hand with boiling water. So maybe that is God's way of telling me to practice trills for the next few weeks.

Last edited by toyboy; 11/01/20 08:36 PM.
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Originally Posted by toyboy
Tonight I just burned my left hand with boiling water. So maybe that is God's way of telling me to practice trills for the next few weeks.

Sorry to hear that. Hopefully not too bad.

There is no particular reason why it would work in one bar but not the next one, other than fatigue or a certain lack of practice. Also since that issue comes back regularly, maybe a certain anxiety to miss that particular spot which may uncounsciously trigger the error. In any case you could try to practice long trills and similar exercices, in different configurations, to develop the resistance of your arm and hand and see if that makes a difference. You wont see the benefits before some time, so dont get impatient. Start with not too long ones and progressively increase the lenght and speed. Good luck !

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toyboy Offline OP
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The burn was bad last night, but getting better faster than I thought it would. Huge blister though.

Yes I'm sure anxiety comes into play. Not too long ago I posted another problem with another nocturne - the "famous" cluster of fast notes on the second to last page of Op 27 #2. Sometimes I get it sometimes I don't. Anxiety ALWAYS comes into play with that section as I never know if I'm going to get through it successfully or not! Or rather, I'm not confident I will.

But as I think of it, what trips me up the most with both of these is either that one trill or the part cluster when it must be played on adjacent white and black keys. I think part of the problem is in turning my hand around fast enough to be in the best position for it. Or maybe I am simply not sure what position it should be in.

Otherwise, yes, I should just dig up some exercises on trills as you suggest.

Thanks for your two responses.

Last edited by toyboy; 11/02/20 04:01 PM.
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Make sure your hands are warm.

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Originally Posted by jeffcat
Make sure your hands are warm.
But please, don't use boiling water! smile

Hope the hand is better.


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
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toyboy Offline OP
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The hand itself is better but the blister keeps growing like some sort of uncontrollable oil spill on the back of my hand.

Thank you to everyone for your responses. I'll keep working at it.


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