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help with trills and melodies
#465554 05/09/04 08:31 AM
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Hi! I'm new here smile

I'm 15 and loooove to play the piano. I'm currently learning the slow movement from one of Mozart's piano sonatas. I hope someone can help me out.

There is a secion where there is a long trill in the right hand, while the left hand is playing a fairly complicated melody lower down. I've heard recordings of this piece, and it sounds so light and elegant, however, when I attempt it, I seem to thump out the tune in the left hand and it sounds heavy and messy. I find it pretty difficult to keep the trill in the right hand going, too. Is practice all it needs, or is there something else I can do???

TIA!


Ella
Re: help with trills and melodies
#465555 05/09/04 06:08 PM
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ella,
we recently had a thread on playing trills, you might want to do a search for it. a number of techniques were suggested.

one that i've used is to play the trill very slowly first, in time with the beat, and then gradually speed it up.


piqué

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Re: help with trills and melodies
#465556 05/09/04 06:51 PM
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It is definitely not the easiest thing to be trilling madly away for bars and bars in one hand and at the same time be trying to more or less forget about that hand and play a melody properly in the other. As Piqué says, timing is key. It helps me when I 1st determine the note value (32nds, 64ths, whatever) of the trill, slow it down as required, and, while keeping the trill perfectly rythmic, pay strict attention to which notes (and beats) in the trill the melody notes coincide with.

Then just grind it out practicing day after day and build the speed up.

Re: help with trills and melodies
#465557 05/10/04 11:59 PM
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I thought there were also some good ideas for learning trills in Fundamentals of Piano Practice, 2nd Edition by Chuan C. Chang:

http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm

- eg. the RH 'teaching' the LH.

There are a lot of good ideas on practicing other things as well...

Re: help with trills and melodies
#465558 05/11/04 03:55 AM
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This problem seems to be related to what I find is the main problem of piano playing : complete independance of the two hands.

Maybe a separate thread on all the ways to develop this skill would be welcome.

I should think that if one can play stride left hand (like in Joplin or Chopin or Satie)that has a life of its own while the melody is clearly independant and at the same time in a sort of conversation with the bass, then the independance of the trill and the melody should not be such a problem.

This independance should be taught IMHO from lesson one. In fact, the emphasis on auditions or playing more difficult pieces (for adult (re)beginners) starts and roots the habit of playing with "stuck together hands". Then the only way to get these hands unstuck is to start all over again. And of course, it is more difficult and requires special pedagogical skills (including a lot of TLC laugh )


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Re: help with trills and melodies
#465559 05/11/04 07:50 AM
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Benedict:

"Stride"? in Chopin? Not quite, I'm afraid, mon cher monsieur. By definition, "stride" is a "solo jazz piano style that arose after 1910 and especially in the 1920s, in Harlem, New York. [...] It is largely derived from ragtime, adapting ragtime's left-hand paterns to form the distinctive 'stride bass'." (Groves)

I think what you may be referring to are the LH accompaniments in many of Chopin's works which are just an extension of the 'Alberti bass' from the 18th century.

If that's not it, what are you referring to? Can you give some concrete examples?

Regards,


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Re: help with trills and melodies
#465560 05/11/04 09:16 AM
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You are absolutely right : my use of the term stride is mistaken.

What I mean is when the left hand plays the root(or the dominant) of a chord and then plays the triad or an inversion of it one octave higher.
I find this very often in stride or jazz accompaniment and I find it in many Chopin's Waltzes(op 69 n°2,op 64 n°2).

Maybe Scott Joplin was inspired by Chopin's waltzes.

Isn't there a more adequate name than "Alberti bass".For me, the Alberti bass is usually more in the form of an arpeggio (like 1-5-3-5).

I wonder if "Mon cher monsieur" is not a bit on the formal side, "Mon cher", "Mon cher ami", "Mon cher Benedict" sont peut-être plus adéquats étant donné que nous passons de très agréablement sur ce forum depuis un certain temps déjà.
Qu'en pensez-vous, cher BruceD ?

Regards.

smile


Benedict
Re: help with trills and melodies
#465561 05/11/04 11:10 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by benedict:

What I mean is when the left hand plays the root(or the dominant) of a chord and then plays the triad or an inversion of it one octave higher.
I find this very often in stride or jazz accompaniment and I find it in many Chopin's Waltzes(op 69 n°2,op 64 n°2).

Isn't there a more adequate name than "Alberti bass".For me, the Alberti bass is usually more in the form of an arpeggio (like 1-5-3-5).

Regards.

smile
Benedict:

Thank you for the explanation; now I know what you were referring to. I wonder who was the first to use that type of LH accompaniment. I know Schubert used it extensively in his dances (waltzes, laendler, etc.)

Your association with jazz is probably much greater than mine; my limited understanding of it and of "stride" is that the LH often plays not just the tonic (dominant) note of the chord but often a tenth-chord followed by an inversion of the chord an octave higher, as you state.

My "Alberti bass" reference was to the writing that you find, for example in many of the Chopin Nocturnes, which can be considered a variant - or an extension over a wider range - of the basic "Alberti" figure:

Op 9, No 1
Op 9, No 3
Op 27, No 2
Op 32, No 2, and even parts of
Op 72, No 1.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: help with trills and melodies
#465562 05/11/04 04:05 PM
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Cher Bruce,

What I found is that a standard Alberti Bass does not necessarily provide an improvement in independance because it is quite easy to realize.

The formula which I mentioned of playing an octave at the bass and then the chord one octave higher is a real challenge for the continuity of the melody at the right hand.

It is even more powerful if you play the octave on the root and then on the fifth.

I have found that it helped me significantly to improve my independance.

Regards.


Benedict
Re: help with trills and melodies
#465563 05/11/04 04:53 PM
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In regards to the original post:

Think of the trill "in threes" in other words, instead of say, 12121212 etc., try 121 212 121 212 etc. Start slowly and gradually speed up.
It works very well to help with evenness.


Good Luck!


Estonia L190 #7004
Casio CDP S350

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