Play fast pieces

Posted In: Young Harpists

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    unknown-user on #166615

    Right now im teaching myself Au Matin by Tournier. I can play the piece at a decent speed but i know with enough practice i can get it to the right speed. Does anyone have suggestions besides “practice, practice, practice” to improve speed. *As far as i can tell its my thumb thats the slow finger

    carl-swanson on #166616

    Sam- Your post leaves WAY too many questions for a simple answer. I have no idea what your general level of playing is. A couple of questions come to mind though. 1) Is this the fastest piece you’ve ever played? 2) can you play scales, 4 notes to a beat, at 88 to the beat, minimum? 3) Can you play grand arpeggios(hand over hand, up and down the instrument 4 octaves) at the same speed, minimum? These are the technical underpinnings you need to start to play faster repertoire. Are there easier pieces you’ve already played that are as fast as Au Matin?

    Bonnie Shaljean on #166617

    I share Carl’s questions – Au Matin (one of my favourite pieces) is reasonably advanced fare for a student.

    unknown-user on #166618

    Thanks for such a long reply. I’ve played for 7 years now (im almost 15). I played tournier’s feerie last year. I will be starting lessons in less than a week. I can play the arrpegios fine its just the technical work with the right hand such as in measures 19-22. I was not looking for suggestions such as those you gave, only if you had encountered a problem (maybe in technique) before that was similar to mine. I’ll keep you’re posts in mind though, and for now im just shaping the piece anyway because i want it to be performable at a decent tempo for my new teacher.


    Tacye on #166619

    Counter intuitively I would say slow right down and examine your technique with a microscope- the articulation and placing of each finger.

    carl-swanson on #166620

    Tacye and Bonnie- I agree with both of you on everything you say. And I didn’t mean to imply in my post that playing the notes fast was my only concern. I was trying to imply that if you can’t do the things I mentioned(scales at a minimum speed for example) then Au Matin is completely out of your league.

    Sam- Your new teacher, Ina Zdorovitch, has the most awsome technique I have ever seen. Her hands move like two ballet dancers over the strings. I’ve rarely seen a more comfortable and fluid technique in anyone. What you should be doing in preparation for the first lesson with her is to brush up on some of your old pieces rather than trying to impress her with a brand new one. All she is going to want to see at that first lesson is how your hands move and what you do with a piece of music you know very well. Let her decide what you should be working on. Good luck.

    unknown-user on #166621

    There are several aspects to the use of the thumb. It helps to have the top joint slightly flexed as you place it on the string and play, so it is ready to move. It also is affected by where

    unknown-user on #166622

    Hi Everyone,

    I just thought I’d give an update to this… It turns out that

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #166623

    I am curious to hear you play it. Come to my festival.

    Maria Myers on #166624

    Closing the fingers to the palm and relaxing the hands while doing this is supposed to help.

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