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Sometimes you just have to be told . . .

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #102896
    kay-lister
    Member

    You know, I’ve been at this for over 10 years now (3rd yr. on the pedal harp)

    #102897
    Anja G
    Participant

    Kay,
    my teacher keeps telling me the same thing as I tend to rush after a few lines… And I

    #102898
    diana-day
    Participant

    Kay, this is so true and so hard to remember. There’s a saying I’ve heard, “Make haste slowly”, that I should stick on my music stand.

    I’m glad to know others have the same

    #102899

    My instructions for September: “I think for the month of September you should just play this very slowly.” HAHAHAHA…..seems to be a universal problem. I know personally when I know I have to play something for the public, I want to know that I can — at tempo — and isn’t that just the stupidest thing? LOL…..of COURSE you have to crawl before you can run.

    Briggsie

    #102900
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Kay- I agree completely with your teacher. At the beginning you have to play thing slowly. But there is another technique that can be used very effectively. This is not in stead of playing slowly, but rather in addition to playing slowly, or maybe once the piece can be played slowly, then this technique can be used. And that is to play very small segments of a piece, typically 2 or 3 beats at a time, at a much faster tempo, either at tempo or close to it. What you do is play the first couple of beats at the faster tempo. When that is going well, do the next several beats, or a measure, as a separate unit and play that up to tempo until it is going well. Then connect the first unit you learned to the second unit and play them together until they are going well. Practice new short units up to tempo and then keep adding them to what you have already practiced.

    I find this technique more effective at learning a fast piece than playing a piece slowly and very slowly speeding it up. The reason is that if you learned to play a piece which will ultimately be fast, and you’ve only played it very slowly(over and over and over again), as you speed it up(one notch on the metronome at a time) you will have to relearn some or all of the movements so that what you do works at a fast tempo. Stated another way, you can get away with murder at a slow tempo(inefficient movement, fingerings that won’t work at a fast tempo, etc.). If you practice short units of the piece close to final tempo, you learn right away the movements that are needed to play this piece fast. You will also learn right away if a fingering is not going to work at full tempo.

    #102901
    Jerusha Amado
    Participant

    Carl,

    The technique you’ve described sounds very intriguing!

    #102902
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Jerusha-I first learned this technique from Jane Weidensaul’s little book called Scientific Practice. I’d never heard of it before. It works really well once you learn to use it. I always start by playing very slowly until it starts to feel comfortable. But then, instead of speeding up by tiny increments, I cut to a much faster tempo, but only in small units, no more than a measure in one unit. It works really well for me.

    #102903
    kay-lister
    Member

    Thanks Carl, I’ll give that a try as well.

    Kay

    #102904

    I’ve never done this either, Carl, but it’s very clever, and I’m going to try it.

    Thank you.

    Briggsie

    #102905
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Let me know how it worked for you after you’ve had time to try it.

    #102906
    sherry-lenox
    Participant

    Sounds like perfect technique for practicing the beloved Naderman! I’m going to try it too.

    #102907
    niina
    Participant

    Hi Kay

    During the first year and a half of learning, I was told more than once to stop trying to perform during my practise. I was just playing through the whole thing every time, always pushing forward. Which is why although I was quick, I lacked the detailed technique. It took my father to sit with me and insist that I care about the detail and play every note really slowly, never going past a few bars in any one session. Since then, I do practise very slowly, thinking about the finger placement, the pressure on the string, the pull and the tone. I play a part over and over and over again and force myself not to move on until it’s at least 70% there. I just didn’t think I needed to do this before, now I realise just how important it is, if you really want to play well. I learn to play a lot quicker now and with better technique. I had better do anyway, as I have just been given the whole Handel concerto in B flat to play in front of a paying audience at the end of Oct. Gulp!

    Niina

    #102908
    niina
    Participant

    The other thing I do Kay, is after having played a section slowly then speeding up as Carl says, I sometimes don’t even touch the strings at all. I look at the score, imagine playing in my head, I think about how I am playing and all that is needed to play it well. Sometimes playing over the strings without touching them. This is a good technique if your fingers are sore but you still need practise.

    Niina

    #102909
    rod-c
    Participant

    Hi Kay:

    Thanks for the reminder!! I am like you–how many times do I need to hear this before it sinks in?

    I like Carl’s approach, too.

    Also, I did log on to the new forum site. I read a post by a woman who said that to keep herself motiviated she is memorizing one piece per month. I like that idea, too, for when

    #102910
    carol-michaletz
    Participant

    Carl, Very interesting. I teach piano and not only try to get my students to slow down but also I tell them to “take it apart” either line by line or 2 measures at a time and do them over and over until they come easily. A similar idea to what you are saying. Then after learning the 2 measures, do 2 more measures in the same manner, etc. then put them together and go over that several times. I’ve taken my own “advice” as I try to learn the harp and it works so much better for me than just trying to learn a song all at once. I “reward” myself at the end by doing the whole song or a large portion of it or whatever once I’ve practiced it that way. My harp teacher was surprised at how quickly I was progressing and I truly believe it was practicing in this manner.

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