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practice vs ability


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#16 agricola

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 12:54

This sort of problem is sometimes caused by barline-to-barline thinking.  This prelude is typical of Bach's way of constructing in that the first pattern starts a semiquaver into the bar and ends on the first quaver of bar 2.  Then there are 3 link notes BED#, again crossing the next bar-line before the patterning repeats.  Meanwhile the LH is playing a similar pattern from Bars 2 to 3.

 

I once solved this problem for a pupil (temporarily) in a similar piece by snopaking out the bar lines and drawing them back in a beat later.  It worked like magic until I replaced the original lines.


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#17 sbhoa

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 14:57

There are many such- your teacher should be able to recommend some that you will find palatable. I find that Bach can be really good for that too.

I came to the conclusion that life is too short for Bach. 

I managed a couple of Inventions and even sinfonias but when a couple of month's effort on a fugue didn't even get me through the first four bars I decided that it really wasn't worth the effort for me. I just don't get it to listen to either so that doesn't help and there's so much piano music that most of us can't do everything.


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#18 EllieD

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 07:17

.... I could fairly quickly play my piece hands separately but hands together has confounded me! which isn't usually my problem so this was a bit of a surprise.  and even where I have managed hands-together - the ensemble isn't quite in perfect time (rests are slightly misaligned etc).

 

 

I'm pretty sure Bach intended that to be difficult in writing it - so just think what benefit it's doing to your brain to struggle through the first stages, but  eventually learn to play it!! Your hand coordination will improve so much for doing it! If you like the piece, then it's worth persevering (I agree with sbhoa though, when you get to Grade 5 or above, the amount of time needed to learn a piece does mean that for me too, I'm only going to try the ones I really like!).


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#19 sbhoa

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 10:57

 

.... I could fairly quickly play my piece hands separately but hands together has confounded me! which isn't usually my problem so this was a bit of a surprise.  and even where I have managed hands-together - the ensemble isn't quite in perfect time (rests are slightly misaligned etc).

 

 

I'm pretty sure Bach intended that to be difficult in writing it - so just think what benefit it's doing to your brain to struggle through the first stages, but  eventually learn to play it!! Your hand coordination will improve so much for doing it! If you like the piece, then it's worth persevering (I agree with sbhoa though, when you get to Grade 5 or above, the amount of time needed to learn a piece does mean that for me too, I'm only going to try the ones I really like!).

 

I've always been willing to try anything even if I don't immediately like it but there is a point at which I might realise that I'm going nowhere and it's not a good use of my time and effort.


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#20 Maizie

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 12:43

Only when you run out of all the things you do like that challenge you, do you have to turn to the things you don't get on with :D I've certainly got a lifetime's worth of good stuff to be getting on with... :rofl:


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#21 GMc

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 13:46

I am not keen on Bach when played by me although I did all the inventions and a few P+Fs. When played by some others however I am very keen!

 

Do you really not like this? DD played it for an exam once and I never tired of it.

 


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#22 GMc

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 13:58

Hmm, didnt link.  It was P+F in F minor book 1 but could also have been B flat minor book 1. Or pretty much any of them by Richter, Maria Yudina or Sokalov.   Who for me have more emotion than Angela Hewitt despite her being a consumate technician.


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#23 corenfa

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 14:57

 

There are many such- your teacher should be able to recommend some that you will find palatable. I find that Bach can be really good for that too.

I came to the conclusion that life is too short for Bach. 

I managed a couple of Inventions and even sinfonias but when a couple of month's effort on a fugue didn't even get me through the first four bars I decided that it really wasn't worth the effort for me. I just don't get it to listen to either so that doesn't help and there's so much piano music that most of us can't do everything.

 

 

Bach has certain characteristics that make it useful for exercising and strengthening fingers, I find- it was in that vein that I recommended it. I like Bach but it's not to everyone's taste. Doesn't matter if one can find other things that work


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#24 sbhoa

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 15:50

I am not keen on Bach when played by me although I did all the inventions and a few P+Fs. When played by some others however I am very keen!

 

Do you really not like this? DD played it for an exam once and I never tired of it.

 

That's not as cluttered as some. It's ok, quite pretty but about a minute too long. 

Mostly I find that I don't 'get' much of the Bach I've so far tried. I'm sure that there are thing I do and will like.

The latest I have to play is a transcription for clarinet of the allemande from the 3rd cello suite. I've kind of got the first section but haven't a clue what's going on after that. It's like a series of sequences with some linking bits that for me don't seem to fit. I think that on the whole I'm much more comfortable with more or less regular phrases and a tune though I do get variety and at least try things outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes those pieces that start off seeming rather unusual grow on you.


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#25 akc42

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 20:16

 

The latest I have to play is a transcription for clarinet of the allemande from the 3rd cello suite. I've kind of got the first section but haven't a clue what's going on after that. It's like a series of sequences with some linking bits that for me don't seem to fit. I think that on the whole I'm much more comfortable with more or less regular phrases and a tune though I do get variety and at least try things outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes those pieces that start off seeming rather unusual grow on you.

 

 

Have you seen the Benjamin Zanders series of Interpretation Classes; Lessons for Life on Youtube.  There are lots of them, several of which cover various Bach allemandes


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#26 Keron

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 22:10

As others have said, your progress is impressive. But persistence is key and you'll get past this 'rut' at some point and will wonder how it was you ever found the things you currently find difficult, difficult. 


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#27 GMc

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 01:12

I never think Bach is quite pretty apart from perhaps Prelude in C.     I quite understand the many people who play it every day -  if they are any good at although it is clearly very personal in the emotions it produces. 

 

Remember though that  it is normal to take a LOT longer on some pieces than others.  I would always start with a fast Baroque piece as I went through the higher grades as I knew it would take me the longest to get to performance standard even though they are usually the "shortest"  of list pieces as far as page numbers go. Once they are "in" your fingers (or rather in some bit of your brain that is linked to your fingers)  though they are the ones that seem to stay there best for me - I could sit and play sections from memory   40+ years later without having revisited them at any time. Yet pieces I found rather  easier and performed really well I would  struggle to get through a few bars by heart now.

 

I should hypothesise that playing multiply voiced Bach would be one of those things that slows demential progression - must see if anyone has studied that!


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#28 JudithJ

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 05:40

I consider myself to have almost no natural talent.  However, I am fortunate to have found superb teachers and I have struggled and fought to gain every little bit to progress.  Fear not, you can go beyond Grade 5 if you keep at it.

I believe that there is a natural end if you have no natural talent.  I don't know where that end is, but it is far beyond Grade 5.


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#29 Witzend

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 10:17

I don't consider my ability more than very average, but it's improved enormously with practice.
When I started again (from a very low base reached many decades previously) the pieces I can now play (or tackle) would have given me heart failure, just looking at them! It was quite a while before I could manage G2 pieces, and still found most of them a struggle.
I never thought I'd even be able to think of tackling the lovely G6 piece I'm working on now.

I'm not a terribly regular or diligent practiser, either.
It has all taken several years, though.

BTW, Sbhoa, with a few exceptions I feel the same about Bach.
I just don't get all that endless twiddling up-and-down stuff. It makes me think of those old-fashioned red and white twiddling barbers' poles.
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