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Joined: Jul 2013
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Hi guys!

So, I've been meaning to ask what everyone thinks of the piano lessons that are provided with Apple's free Garageband software? There is a video of a guy who walks you through a few classical & pop pieces and the grand staff is on the screen as well. He talks about the history of the piece, the fingering, and in my opinion does a great job. This is the kind of thing my piano teacher would loathe, but my disclaimer is that I'm not just following finger numbers I actually can (slowly) read music.

That said, in the version of Fur Elise he has an interesting approach starting with measure 13 (the E's). It goes against the score I have, but is far easier to play. I know there is no "wrong or right" fingering, but what is your take on this?

Essentially he is playing the two E's above middle C with the RH although the score I have notates that one is with the LH and one with the RH if that makes sense. Any thoughts on this?

I'm referring to the circled section of the pic here:
http://imgur.com/mBjYoTl


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I can appreciate you may have found an easier way to play this section however the original I think works best for:

a) playing the same "e" twice with the same finger is usually avoided if possible. Played by another finger and in this case the other hand, the sound will be altered even although this may not be perceptible to most. This becomes a whole new challenge in the third section with the same note being played repeatedly but with alternating fingers.

b) the octave run in "e" in the left hand maybe more technically challenging but worth learning to do well for future works. Arpeggio's are going to come up again and again so might as well get good at them.

c) this is a piece that requires a smooth interplay between the hands as the melody moves from one to the other. Again my view is to embrace the challenge for future development.

However as you already stated fingering is personal but one has to be careful. Many times I have deviated from suggested fingering only to find after a while it may have been the best solution in the first place. If caught in time it is no big deal however the longer you work on a piece the harder it is to change.

Last edited by earlofmar; 06/01/14 02:06 AM.

Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

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I get the impression from GarageBand and instructional videos for such things as.... well... They're more for the curious. To develop that curiosity. Once established. They can move on to other more in depth comprehensive things.

I'm already there from the beginning. Instead of GarageBand, I use Reaper now. I paid for it also. I do think GarageBand is great for what it is intended for.



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What Earlofmar said. I just tried playing "the Es" using the alternate fingering and I have to agree. I can't see getting the high degree of finesse necessary if using the same finger repeatedly. The beauty of this piece come from the degree of interplay and finesse required to make the notes musical. This is especially true with later sections, which are even more technically demanding.

I'd be curious to know if garage band has the full version of Fur Elise, or just the "easy", abbreviated version.


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Thanks Earlofmar, I'll go back to the original.

Silver keys- they just have the "easy" abbreviated version. As Rnaple suggested, Garageband is more of a way to get people excited about playing anything on the piano. They include four classical pieces you can play and practice in ascending difficulty: Minuet in F Major (Mozart); Musette in G Major (Bach); Fur Elise (Beethoven); and Prelude in A Major (Chopin).

They also have 9 fundamental courses in basic piano (scales, major/minor chords, rhythm, etc) and 6 videos on pop piano (inversions and broken chords, 7th chords, melodic embellishment, etc).

I just think they are fun and interesting. I imagine if I were to only use Garageband as my source of knowledge I'd get on the wrong track quickly, but that is what my teacher is for. Sometimes I need something like Garageband to keep things "fun".

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Originally Posted by PianoGamer
That said, in the version of Fur Elise he has an interesting approach starting with measure 13 (the E's). It goes against the score I have, but is far easier to play. I know there is no "wrong or right" fingering, but what is your take on this?
Ivo Pogorelich and, lately, I play it this way, too.

Fingering and note distribution between the hands is one of the first tasks I do when I take a new piece to the piano.

As to the repeated A's in the second episode, the use of alternating fingers was an early practise to allow the escapement time to recover before the key was repeated. Modern actions, since the double escapement in 1821, haven't needed this but it can still help with the phrasing and grouping. Neither Lisitsa nor Pogorelich use the alternating finger technique. I haven't looked further afield.

As a side note, the measure numbering is odd. The 8th bar is 8a for the 1st time and 8b for the 2nd time in standard counting practise. The bars marked 12 and 17 in the image are 11 and 16 in the Henle urtext though I have seen this with the repeat written out in full and the bar numbers there are completely awry (versus the urtext).



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Interesting , thanks Richard. I'll get a copy of my teacher's urtext and go by that. She is always going "off" on publishers and how barely any of them get things right (especially when it comes to finger numbering). lol Let's just say she has strong opinions.

What you're saying about measure 8a/b makes sense though.

I love Valentina's interpretation by the way especially in the video below; the laughter in the beginning is priceless. I know her views on classical music and her dislike of the elitism associated with it. I wonder if her playing this piece as an encore was sending a certain message... regardless I love it :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAsDLGjMhFI


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