Tonight's Practice

I didn't have a very long practice tonight. I'm a little disturbed about what a challenge it's been to speeding up my scales and arpeggios. I can play them perfectly up to a certain tempo, but if I try to go past that tempo, my hands just start slapping at the keys, not even trying to hit the right notes. It's as if they're saying, "I can't do this, so I'm not even going to try. So there. Blah."

I think I have some idea of the reason for this strange problem. I know the notes. I don't think it's an issue of not knowing what notes to play. I think part of the issue relates to the fact that I've been slowly, over the last year or two, adopting a new technique of relaxed hands and using my arms more and my fingers less. My hands don't seem to understand how to unite "relaxed" mode with "playing really fast" mode. My hands almost feel lazy.

I worked on the Suzuki Beethoven some. Not much to report there.

For the fugue, I reviewed my work from the last practice and began work on another measure. I really felt tired, though, and didn't feel like I was benefitting much from the practice. So, after I completed the measure, I moved on to the prelude and simply worked on emphasizing the leading voices. So much easier said than done.

Then I moved on to Liszt. Resisted the urge to just sit down and play it through, and instead worked on the final line of the piece, trying to make it sound more "shaped" and less ... like a bunch of randomly twinkling stars. I worked in rhythms and was surprised (once again) that I didn't know the line as well as I thought I did.

That's about it for tonight. The entire practice lasted about 50 minutes.


Rhea said…
Hi there - Just found your blog. I'm a runner and pianist, too. Except that I haven't really played in more than 10 years! I just bought a keyboard, so hopefully I can get some flexibility and musicality back in my fingers. The last pieces I performed in solo recital as a college senior were Mendelssohn's piano concerto in g minor, and Lizst's Un Sospiro. I also used to compete every year in a California Bach competition growing up. I love Bach.

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