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What is the reason for trying a 5 against 3 trill? It's a very strange polyrhythm. Very confusing. Surely harder than playing it as written? I really don't think fast trills are the way to learn polyrhythms as you need a slow piece to do this .

I though long trills are normally slightly slower at beginning at end but you reach full speed quickly and maintain that. If you are playing fast maybe going into full speed straight away might work. I don't think playing trills are hard, it's just playing them whilst also playing something else going on. Invention 4 is easier with a long trill so you may want to try that. I could just play it by playing very slowly so I'm not sure the difficulty but as I said I learnt the piece and then added the ornaments in afterwards. My teacher wasn't focused on them tbh so I'm not sure super important if you need to adapt it.

Where are the trills in the Mozart? I listened to the start and heard none

Last edited by Moo :); 04/06/22 03:39 PM.
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Beethoven even

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Originally Posted by dusty1920
I still want to be able to play 3 against 2, 5 against 3 trills, etc.. when they're called for.
Actually, they're never called for.

As you are a learner, I suggest you should pick your battles carefully: ditch all irrelevant ones and concentrate on the ones that are essential or make a difference to your playing of classical music. The ability to play unmeasured trills - and dissociate the trilling hand from the other at will and then rejoin again at any time, at a wide range of tempi - is totally essential. Practicing, and attempting to play them in some obscure polyrhythm: totally pointless.

No concert pianist ever attempts to play 5:3 trills. If it turns out (when you slow their video down to 1/8 speed and count) that's what is happening, or - much more likely - something close to, but not quite, what is happening, it's purely by chance. They have no idea how many twiddles they actually play, and will be flummoxed that anyone would actually count them. On another occasion, likely there will be slightly more or slightly fewer twiddles when they play the same long unmeasured trill. For instance, if they ate Dover sole (Horowitz's standard pre-concert meal, without which he cannot perform), they might well play a couple more twiddles, because they felt the influence of the Master on their trilling fingers........ wink


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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Where are the trills in the Mozart? I listened to the start and heard none
Beethoven even
You need to listen to the whole movement. It's not that long, and well worth your time.

There are long chains of trills that go on until Ludwig reaches the heavens, before he descends back to terra firma. And Pollini plays them more inhumanly evenly than any other pianist, which is why I selected his video.


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Originally Posted by Moo :)
What is the reason for trying a 5 against 3 trill? It's a very strange polyrhythm. Very confusing. Surely harder than playing it as written? I really don't think fast trills are the way to learn polyrhythms as you need a slow piece to do this .

As far as I understand, the trill is not written out. You use your creative license to play how it sounds best to you. And the 5 to 3 polyrhythm is exactly how Angela Hewitt plays it and the large majority of other professional recordings are either 5 to 3 or something very close to it. (Even if they come to it from a natural place, rather than plan it that way.) So it was just a matter of me trying to get away from the boring sounding 2 to 1 which nobody uses and which would be too fast anyway.

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Bennevis, when you've got a point, you've got a point. I see what you're saying. Assuming I do play something close to 5 to 3, you are suggesting to arrive at it from an organic place rather than a calculated place. I will practice the exercise you suggested. Until I can do that successfully, I'll just keep this simple and play 2 to 1 for now so as to not get too bogged down in complicated polyrhythms.

And yes, I understand they're never "called for" by the composer, but I meant that to mean whenever I personally call for them. But that's irrelevant based on what you're saying anyway.

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Originally Posted by Moo :)
What is the reason for trying a 5 against 3 trill? It's a very strange polyrhythm. Very confusing. Surely harder than playing it as written? I really don't think fast trills are the way to learn polyrhythms as you need a slow piece to do this .

It is not really a polyrythm, it is just that the speed of the trill is independant from the other hand. The resulting is not necessarily exactly 5 to 3 and the idea is not to count but to adopt a speed that works with the nature of the piece, thats why it is unmeasured.


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Originally Posted by Moo :)
I though long trills are normally slightly slower at beginning at end but you reach full speed quickly and maintain that. If you are playing fast maybe going into full speed straight away might work.

There are multiple variations. They can stay at the same speed, accelerate or slow down toward the end. Often times baroque trills have a stop on the main note, possibly followed by a termination suffix. You have several different ones in this version. As always the trill is there to enhance the melody, so the effect must be chosen accordingly. There isnt a hard rule that works all the time.



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I think many of the suggestions so far are needlessly and inappropriately complicated for someone at the level of playing Bach Inventions(even if one of the harder ones). Why not do a much easier 6:4 or 3:2 measured trill which I think is more straightforward and technically not too hard if one plays the invention slightly slower?

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Thanks pianoloverus, that's not a bad thought. Here's what I'll probably do. I'll just practice the trill in a couple of simple calculated ways (2 to 1 and 3 to 2) first. Then separately, I'll experiment with this concept of hand independence and unmeasured trills, which I'll plan to implement in my pieces (or maybe even this piece) on down the line.

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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by dusty1920
5 to 3 might take some work since I've never tried that but it feels good to at least know what i'm striving for now.

I'll worry about unmeasured trills later once I have a solid grip on these calculated variants...
I suggest that you forget about trying to master 5:3 trills and just concentrate on playing even trills with one hand and something else - anything - in the other.

For instance, Twinkle, Twinkle in LH while playing a trill in RH (use C-D if your LH is playing in C major), then vice versa. Try to make sure both hands are playing their respective notes evenly. Then play other tunes in the 'free' hand. You'll know you've mastered the art of playing unmeasured trills (which you'll be needing all the rest of your piano life) when you can play anything that comes into your head with one hand while trilling perfectly with the other, and finishing that trill with a turn, landing with any note you fancy with the other hand.

Why, you might want to play Op.111 in due course - and where would you be without perfect trills? wink


Interestingly I was listening to beethoven bagatelle for options to learn. I finished learning one in b minor but I found one with epic long trills


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I talked to Josh Wright (the Youtube teacher) about this passage and he recommended some similar advice to what has been mentioned here a couple of times. He agreed that most of the time unmeasured trills will sound better. He said he agrees with Graham Fitch that in the early stages of learning, practicing measured first is a good idea but that I will want to master the ability to freely trill in one hand while disassociating from the other hand. That will provide me the best sounding trill. So thanks everyone for chiming in. This has all been a big help and I finally understand trills.

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I think I saw an etude for trills but I don't remember if it was by Burgmüller or Heller or someone else. It had one hand playing a melody and the other hand had 16th notes in a written out trill that eventually end up being a long unmeasured trill, and then it switches hands. Maybe someone knows the etude.

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What exactly are you doing in the adult beginner's forum?
You're like the idiot older lady who enjoys doing her misbegotten attempts at figure skating in the morning, when the 6 year olds have their training.
It's not cute, it's annoying.
Again, this is the ADULT BEGINNER'S FORUM.
Jeez.

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Originally Posted by JohnnyIssieBangie
What exactly are you doing in the adult beginner's forum?
You're like the idiot older lady who enjoys doing her misbegotten attempts at figure skating in the morning, when the 6 year olds have their training.
It's not cute, it's annoying.
Again, this is the ADULT BEGINNER'S FORUM.
Jeez.

You're right Johnny,
And considering you are acting like a child you can now have a week off, use it to learn to act like a caring adult.


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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Moo :)
I though long trills are normally slightly slower at beginning at end but you reach full speed quickly and maintain that. If you are playing fast maybe going into full speed straight away might work.

There are multiple variations. They can stay at the same speed, accelerate or slow down toward the end. Often times baroque trills have a stop on the main note, possibly followed by a termination suffix. You have several different ones in this version. As always the trill is there to enhance the melody, so the effect must be chosen accordingly. There isnt a hard rule that works all the time.


What a stunning performance of a gorgeous piece. I did not know that one, but it is in my book of Rameau's "Complete Works for Solo Keyboard". Guess what I'll be trying out tomorrow? grin Thanks for posting that link, Sidokar!

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Thank you sidokar. I am not very familiar with baroque or long trills. I am actually learning a Bach invention with long trill (sinfonia 2). My teacher said how they write them out in the book should not be followed as in a performance it's an unmeasured trill. As I said before with the invention 12 I can't remember thinking at all about it and don't think I played it measured but it was interesting hearing people thoughts. I have to be honest though, Josh Wright is my least favourite pianist in the world so if he says unmeasured I definitely will be playing them unmeasured! shocked Good luck with the invention 12.

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I realised my mistake but can't edit my post. :P

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