Thursday, September 6, 2007

45-minute practice

Thursday's practice session lasted all of 45 minutes. I basically flew out of a meeting at 12:00, got to the piano as quickly as I could, let time stand still as I practiced for 45 minutes, then ran back to the office for another meeting at 1:00.

Not much time to write at the moment. (Being important at a job has its perks, but it also means never being able to slack!) Here's what I focused on today:


This is "Elfe." After the usual scales and arps, I spent 20 minutes--20 whole minutes--on this itty-bitty little section. This sure is a complicated "intermediate" piece. It would help if I had Rach-sized hands, but oh well. I'm playing block chords in rhythms, only I can't play block chords in the last two chords of the LH in the section circled above. So, I'm in rhythms, going from block chords to rolled chords for two LH chords. I'm not playing fast, but my hands seem to be scampering elfe-like all over the place.

I also worked on the second 9-against-4 section of the Liszt. (I can't find it on the IMSLP, or I'd post it here for you.) Spent about 15 minutes on that single half-measure.

Last night at home, I worked on Bach. I can play the fugue through pretty smoothly, but each time I play it, little "speed bumps" come up here and there. So I drill and drill and drill the speed bump, and it ceases to be a problem, and allows me to focus on other speed bumps. The good news is, the speed bumps have been getting smaller and smaller and smaller.

So here's what I drilled for a good 20 minutes last night:


Yup. Three beats. Twelve notes per hand. For twenty minutes. That's all I worked on last night.

What makes this passage complicated is that the ups and downs are not quite in contrary motion. It would be so much easier if the RH and LH came toward each other at the same time, and went away from each other at the same time, as in a formal dance. It would also be a little simpler if the notes were even and in the order of the scale, with no thirds, held notes, etc. But no. Notice that the LH is a sixteenth-note behind the RH. I made arrows so you could see how the upward and downward motions of the LH are behind the RH by just a smidgen:


This is a speed bump keeps coming back every now and then. Kind of like a PMS zit. But twenty minutes of drilling fixed it.

Would that PMS zits were so manageable and fun!

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes the only way to work on a "problem" area is to play it over and over. I'm glad to hear that you are actually enjoying this process. That attitude certainly helps in the pursuit of bump elimination. Great job, Nina! :)

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