Monday, June 19, 2006

Practice Log for Monday, June 19

Spent a good 20 minutes on scales, arps, inversions, and Suzuki. I'm in Book 2 of Suzuki and am working on the fourth Bach minuet in there. It's so easy. I really don't feel like I get a lot out of Suzuki, but I'm trusting my piano teacher's judgment on this one. I learned the piece by ear and played through it a few times, paying attention to the rests, the held notes, the crescendos, and the decrescendos on the CD.

Next, I spent about 20 minutes on the Bach Prelude in C# Major. This is a deceptively easy piece, but, as I've mentioned before, I'm treating it as a hard piece. It would be so easy for me to play through it quickly, learn it by muscle memory, and develop a bunch of careless-mistake-style bad habits that I'll have to go back and fix later. So I'm treading very carefully on this one. Drilled some of the trickier parts of the first 31 measures (specifically, measures 8-9, 13-17, 21-25, and 29-31). These parts are tricky because they are transition measures, where the right and left hands trade places, so to speak.

I can play the first 31 measures through pretty smoothly, and at a nice tempo, so I know I'm ready to move on to the following sections in my next practice.

I worked on the Bach Fugue in C# Major for about 45 minutes. I've divided it into the following sections so far:

Section 1: Measures 1-16
Section 2: Measures 16-22
Section 3: Measures 22-28
Section 4: Measures 28-34

Working hands-separately, I drilled different parts of Sections 3 and 4. Measure 21 has proven particularly elusive for my left hand. I love playing it, hearing the different voices and all, but it's not easy at first. (Heck, it's still not easy, and I've probably played that measure 100 times!) I absolutely love Sections 3 and 4 of the fugue. Measure 21 is one of my favorite measures for the LH, as is Measure 24--also a tricky one, but oh-so-much fun to hear!

In the RH, I love the descending motif starting in Measure 30 and going through to Measure 34. It's not the only time that motif shows up in the fugue, but it just sounds so beautiful when it's in the soprano, singing high above everything else.

I LOVE this piece. It is a challenge for my brain as well as for my fingers, particularly when I'm learning something like Measure 21, where I'm hearing (and focusing on) two melodies at once and watching my left hand play them. I did the same thing in the 2- and 3-part inventions, but this is different in that it's a bit more complex.

So I just hope my brain doesn't explode when I finally start learning it hands-together.

After practicing Sections 3 and 4, I played through Sections 1-4 twice, hands separately, slowly. I have a lesson on Wednesday, and I think I'm going to spend the next couple of practice sessions (before my lessons) continuing to practice and drill parts of Sections 1-4. I can play these sections, but they're still not cemented in my mind.

I only had about 15 minutes left for Liszt. The 9-against-4 and the double-dotted notes of Section 9, as well as the 2-against-3 with ornaments and voicing in section 10, are cerebral challenges in themselves, so I just practiced those few sections with the metronome, going v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. I'm gaining a sense for the left hand's quarter-note "pulsing"--a sense that still wants to evaporate as soon as I switch my brain to whatever is going on in the right hand. But I'm holding on to it a little more successfully with each practice. It will still take a while before I'm completely comfortable with it, but it's coming along.

That's about it for tonight. Looks like I practiced for a total of about 100 minutes today.

1 comment:

  1. I'm still practicing the simple stuff that is oh so hard for me to learn. At least this week it's somewhat easy :)

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