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Posted By: KevinM September piano bar - 09/04/20 08:55 PM
Pretty much straight up classical here.

I have been struggling with this piece for a year with a few breaks, I've found so many aspects of it incredibly difficult. In the last few weeks I've given up on slow practise and have just been pushing myself playing at speed. I think that is starting to pay off. This is quite rough but if I can get to play it a little faster then after that I can slow it down a little and focus again on evening out the tempo, dynamics and hopefully have more control over the trills.

Mozart Sonata in C Major - first movement K545

I'm not yet comfortable enough to do a video recording.
Posted By: Qazsedcft Re: September piano bar - 09/04/20 09:09 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
Pretty much straight up classical here.

I have been struggling with this piece for a year with a few breaks, I've found so many aspects of it incredibly difficult. In the last few weeks I've given up on slow practise and have just been pushing myself playing at speed. I think that is starting to pay off. This is quite rough but if I can get to play it a little faster then after that I can slow it down a little and focus again on evening out the tempo, dynamics and hopefully have more control over the trills.

Mozart Sonata in C Major - first movement K545

I'm not yet comfortable enough to do a video recording.

Your tempo is not even. There are places where you slow down suddenly and other places where the next beat cuts in too early. I think you should work with a metronome for a while until you get the pulse absolutely solid before speeding up.
Posted By: KevinM Re: September piano bar - 09/04/20 09:20 PM
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by KevinM
Pretty much straight up classical here.

I have been struggling with this piece for a year with a few breaks, I've found so many aspects of it incredibly difficult. In the last few weeks I've given up on slow practise and have just been pushing myself playing at speed. I think that is starting to pay off. This is quite rough but if I can get to play it a little faster then after that I can slow it down a little and focus again on evening out the tempo, dynamics and hopefully have more control over the trills.

Mozart Sonata in C Major - first movement K545

I'm not yet comfortable enough to do a video recording.

Your tempo is not even. There are places where you slow down suddenly and other places where the next beat cuts in too early. I think you should work with a metronome for a while until you get the pulse absolutely solid before speeding up.

That is exactly what I was doing for months without any forward progress at all, at about half the speed of this.
Posted By: Qazsedcft Re: September piano bar - 09/04/20 09:29 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Your tempo is not even. There are places where you slow down suddenly and other places where the next beat cuts in too early. I think you should work with a metronome for a while until you get the pulse absolutely solid before speeding up.

That is exactly what I was doing for months without any forward progress at all, at about half the speed of this.

Well, if you're not making progress you should stop and analyze why that is so. What practice techniques have you been using? Do you have a teacher?

If despite your best efforts you are not making progress then maybe this piece is too difficult for you right now. Put it away and come back in a year and you may find it much easier.
Posted By: KevinM Re: September piano bar - 09/04/20 09:52 PM
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Your tempo is not even. There are places where you slow down suddenly and other places where the next beat cuts in too early. I think you should work with a metronome for a while until you get the pulse absolutely solid before speeding up.

That is exactly what I was doing for months without any forward progress at all, at about half the speed of this.

Well, if you're not making progress you should stop and analyze why that is so. What practice techniques have you been using? Do you have a teacher?

If despite your best efforts you are not making progress then maybe this piece is too difficult for you right now. Put it away and come back in a year and you may find it much easier.

I will be restarting lessons after a 5 month break due to Corona virus. But I was working on this piece before that with my current teacher and the one I had before that as well, which actually dates it to about July last year when I Started.

I have tried practising short sections, nearly all the practising was done well within The speed I could play. I would spend time focussing on the scale sections, just going up and making sure they were even, then just down and making sure they were even and joining the two together.

I practised the arpeggio section repeatedly and I have spent ages on the trill sections trying to make them nice and even.

But every attempt to just slowly increase speed failed. So for now I have just decided to go for speed. My thought was once I can play it roughly but a little faster than I need it to be I will have some spare capacity to focus on getting the details right again. The approach of trying to do everything right and slowly building up speed has clearly failed.

Speed on pretty much every piece I learn is a major stumbling block. I think I just have to push that envelope of what speed my fingers can do.

This is one of a couple of pieces I learnt as a child and had no particular trouble with it then, I would quite happily rip through it and it was an exam piece i did well in.

Over 40 years later my more cautious adult approach I don’t think is helping.
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: September piano bar - 09/05/20 04:01 PM
This sonata was perhaps "facile" for Mozart, but it still is challenging to an amateur pianist. Bearing in mind, this is a work in progress I think you did quite well already. Your runs are quite okay. But you are playing the terminating chords after the runs too loud and not in tempo (too fast) as if you wanted to say: "Thank God, the runs are over, and now I can play those easy chords." (e.g. at 0:23, 1:11, 2:22, 3:11). And then the next note comes too early (e.g. at 0:25, 1:06, 2:23, 3:06) - you did not respect the pause before. I can only repeat what Qazsedcft said, you are playing some parts faster than others, suddenly slow down (e.g. at 2:29) and take up speed again (e.g. at 2:53) for no reason. This is not yet something that is fun to listen to.
Posted By: Beemer Re: September piano bar - 09/05/20 05:03 PM
I guess you are like me in that after hearing professional pianists play this piece you want to play it at the same speed. We must resist that temptation and play within our ability. I liked that you had no glaring note errors but I heard two issues with your trills. Firstly some were too long and secondly your playing after the trills was markedly slower for a few bars. Hope some of this helps.
Ian
Posted By: KevinM Re: September piano bar - 09/05/20 09:26 PM
Originally Posted by Pianist685
This sonata was perhaps "facile" for Mozart, but it still is challenging to an amateur pianist. Bearing in mind, this is a work in progress I think you did quite well already. Your runs are quite okay. But you are playing the terminating chords after the runs too loud and not in tempo (too fast) as if you wanted to say: "Thank God, the runs are over, and now I can play those easy chords." (e.g. at 0:23, 1:11, 2:22, 3:11). And then the next note comes too early (e.g. at 0:25, 1:06, 2:23, 3:06) - you did not respect the pause before. I can only repeat what Qazsedcft said, you are playing some parts faster than others, suddenly slow down (e.g. at 2:29) and take up speed again (e.g. at 2:53) for no reason. This is not yet something that is fun to listen to.

Thanks for these precise comments, they'll be very useful.

I have no quarrel with Qazsedcft comments in terms of my playing and he may well also be right that this piece is beyond me. I chose it over a year ago because of frustration at how slow my fingers are and it seems nothing has changed in that time. I've been stuck around the 5min30 mark for so long that my thinking has become I just need to push at speed for a while. I have exactly the same problem with every piece. To go back to using a metronome stuck at 54 as has been part of my practise for this for so long just felt too depressing. I felt another approach was required and I think on this score Qazsedcft and I would just disagree.

It may well not work and that this is just beyond me. But I'd like to give my fingers a chance to play faster.
Posted By: Pianist685 Re: September piano bar - 09/06/20 10:27 AM
Dear Kevin, I did not really mean to be negative about your rendition. You know perhaps, unlike the British, the Germans are always rather direct in saying things - and they mean what they say, not more or less. When I said "this is not yet something that is fun to listen to" I meant exactly what I wrote with special emphasis on the "yet". No, this piece is not beyond you, it is challenging but not too difficult for you. You are mastering the difficult runs better than the easy parts. If you play this piece in a steady tempo (not necessarily faster) and respect the pauses, your next rendition will be wonderful. And I think you can hear whithout the help of a metronome where your tempo is inconsistent at the moment. That's all.
Posted By: KevinM Re: September piano bar - 09/06/20 02:12 PM
Originally Posted by Pianist685
Dear Kevin, I did not really mean to be negative about your rendition. You know perhaps, unlike the British, the Germans are always rather direct in saying things - and they mean what they say, not more or less. When I said "this is not yet something that is fun to listen to" I meant exactly what I wrote with special emphasis on the "yet". No, this piece is not beyond you, it is challenging but not too difficult for you. You are mastering the difficult runs better than the easy parts. If you play this piece in a steady tempo (not necessarily faster) and respect the pauses, your next rendition will be wonderful. And I think you can hear whithout the help of a metronome where your tempo is inconsistent at the moment. That's all.

I really did appreciate your precise comments, that you took the time and made the effort to identify particular points in time where things were problematic. To go to that effort indicates a belief on your behalf that i will make an effort to work to improve those things.
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