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#560965 - 06/12/06 01:17 PM Re: maple leaf rag do you know it
Norsecats Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Minnesota
The Entertainer, if you can stand to play it.

The Maple Leaf's pretty hard. I didn't find Bethena (the ragtime waltz; very beautiful) to be all that difficult.

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#560966 - 06/12/06 01:41 PM Re: maple leaf rag do you know it
virtuoso418 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 645
Originally posted by Derulux:
Originally posted by Herr_Gnome:
Originally posted by Derulux:
Know it? I wrote it. Hell, I invented the rag!

(And the internet.)

(And, umm...pants.)

:p ;\) [/b]
Don't be ridiculous. Al Gore invented pants. [/b]
And the internet... :p ;\) [/b]
No, Bob Dole invented the internet.

#560967 - 06/12/06 03:04 PM Re: maple leaf rag do you know it
piano_fanatic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/06
Posts: 70
Loc: Oklahoma!
OK I finnaly listened to Bethena I thought that is wasn't all that.............fast Oh well not all songs can tangle the fingers LOL
1.Stop. Break a fortune cookie... 2.Beware of grape with wooden mallet.
1.Ain't that the truth.

#560968 - 06/12/06 03:28 PM Re: maple leaf rag do you know it
Markeyz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 135
Loc: Seattle
I wouldn't say The Entertainer is the easiest of Joplin's rags. The parallel right hand chords and octaves in the left hand bass make it technically more difficult than several others.

I think the first Joplin rag I learned was Elite Syncopations. I'd say that Swipesy, Peacherine Rag, and The Easy Winners are also easier than The Entertainer.

I used to play a lot of Joplin's rags. My piano teacher in college said I should do a record of them, but I never did. The only one I remember by heart now is Maple Leaf.
Jazz pianist and teacher.


#560969 - 06/12/06 04:26 PM Re: maple leaf rag do you know it
Fredrik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/04
Posts: 57
Loc: Monterey Co., California
Originally posted by Norsecats:
The Entertainer, if you can stand to play it.[/b]
:) Yes, it was played so much after The Sting came out that it sort of marked it for (my) life.

Originally posted by Markeyz:
I wouldn't say The Entertainer is the easiest of Joplin's rags.[/b]
Whew, I wont have to learn it, then!

I'd say that Swipesy, Peacherine Rag, and The Easy Winners are also easier than The Entertainer.[/b]
Thanks for your opinions. I might schedule one of these after I'm done with the mazurka I'm working on. The left hand might make Joplin more annoying to play than to listen to, though: the back-and-forth for the Schubert waltz I'm working on can get me seasick sometimes. I want to give it a try, anyway.
I drive a Bohemia 185.

#560970 - 06/12/06 08:03 PM Re: maple leaf rag do you know it
Anne Francis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 569
Loc: Toronto, ON
Anne Francis - The Banjo can be heard at my site on http://www.perfessorbill.com/pbmidi5.shtml

Perfesser Bill, thanks for that. It was great to hear The Banjo played by someone who can really play it. If I practice it for the rest of my life I will never be able to play it as fast as it's supposed to be played. Sounds like real banjo pickin'.

I don't know the Magnetic rag. It's not in my Joplin book. Must check it out.

Anne Francis
Piano Tuner-Technician

Check out my blog! www.annefrancis.ca/blog

1906 Heintzman upright (rebuilt)

#560971 - 06/13/06 12:04 PM Re: maple leaf rag do you know it
Perfessor Bill Edwards Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/07/06
Posts: 7
Loc: Washington, D.C. area
Originally posted by Fredrik:
Slightly OT, perhaps: what are the best pieces to ease into Joplin/Ragtime/Stride? I'm probably only an "early intermediate" player, as the music editiors say: most of this material is probably a bit beyond me, but with fair persistance I think I could reach for a few. [/b]
OK. I'll try to give you some ease-ins, with some caveats, or perhaps more minor instruction on what they will do and how they will help.

The main difficulty with ragtime is the separate hemisphere thing. In other words, the logic or right part of your brain is running your left hand (right brain usually commands left body to some degree, and vice versa), and the left side is sending the more creative signals to your right hand. Even so, since ragtime is far from homogenous rhythmically, the primary difficulty is in separating from that homogeny into the separate hemispherical thinking where the right hand is doing its thing, but still cooperating with and regarding the steady left hand.

Also know that there are some things in true ragtime that are nearly unavoidable if you want to play true ragtime. Bass octaves are among those things. Not every bass note is an octave, of course. However, if your left hand is limited to (in C) playing just C3 and G2 below C4 (Middle C), many pieces will come out rather thin. Those lower octaves or even single notes like C2 will be necessary from time to time, if not frequently. So practice of bass octaves or lower bass notes with well formed three note chords in the boom chick pattern will be essential to making even simple ragtime sound like something beyond beginning piano.

Once that is established you need to work with melodic lines. Some rags will have you doing that with octaves, or notes within and including octaves, or in the case of some Joplin/Scott/Lamb pieces really stretching yourself in a two or more octave range of a long melodic line or one that has lots of call and response in corresponding octaves. The simpler pieces will not involve as much keyboard movement, and will allow you to grasp some of the tenets of syncopating a melody over a steady duple meter bass, preparing you for future endeavors into the more advanced stuff.

On The Entertainer: While being in C/F it is one of the more simple Joplin Rags, it does have that octave leap call and response, octave melodies, and moving lines throughout that require changing right hand chords as well as left. Not a great starter, but better than Gladiolus or Maple Leaf.

Start outside of Joplin. Pick some of the easier Charles L. Johnson pieces. These include Dill Pickles, Porcupine Rag, Crazy Bone Rag, and even Cum-Bac Rag which has a great rising octave pattern in the A section. You can play a Johnson rag at a moderate tempo and it will still work well. Does not have to be fast. The Dover editions have many of his pieces, and they are also available in a single volume from an independent publisher. Obtaining a CD that has lots of Johnson stuff on it (I recommend Sue Keller's Johnson CDs as well as my own A Bag of Rags) will also help in terms of placing the syncopations since you will have an audible guide.

Other rags, although some are harder to find, would be the Fischler or similar pieces from Vandersloot (some are in Dover editions) like Fashion Rag, Hot Chocolate, etc., that are based largely in the secondary rag or three over four patterns. Black and White Rag (currently hard to find in print but hopefully will be in a folio by the end of this year), like Dill Pickles, uses this pattern. It has implied syncopation by the emphasis of where the first or third note of each three note repeated pattern lands in conjunction with the bass, and provides an entry into understanding shifting rhythmic points, and therefore full syncopation.

If you REALLY want to start in Joplin I can recommend the following:
Country Club
Weeping Willow
Peacherine Rag
The Chyrsanthemum (a little harder, but not too much syncopation)
Solace (not a rag, but a good introduction to the format and the habanera rhythm)
School of Ragtime (found in some Joplin sources)

After these, The Entertainer will come more naturally.

WARNING: Do try this at home.

Hope that give some insight.
RAGards, Bill E.

#560972 - 06/13/06 12:38 PM Re: maple leaf rag do you know it
hv Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 1242
Loc: Cape Cod
Hi, folks. I just uploaded some of the youth and international ragtime performances I recorded at the Sedalia Festival a few weeks ago. Here's a link to the thread:



#560973 - 06/13/06 03:34 PM Re: maple leaf rag do you know it
Fredrik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/04
Posts: 57
Loc: Monterey Co., California
Originally posted by Perfessor Bill Edwards:
OK. I'll try to give you some ease-ins, with some caveats, or perhaps more minor instruction on what they will do and how they will help.
Gee thanks Perfessor -- and I wasn't even enrolled! I'll start on the program in parallel with my "classical" pieces. Some of this may interest #2 Son as well.
I drive a Bohemia 185.

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