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Erratic playing

Discussion in 'Technique' started by Chopinesque, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Chopinesque

    Chopinesque New Member

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    Hello,

    My playing is rather erratic. I'm learning some studies to improve my technique and have attached an example: Czerny Study no. 18 in Ab from The Art of Finger Dexterity OP. 740. Any feedback would be most welcome.

    Kind regards
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I don't find so much erratic here. If the sound was not so strangely muffled this would be quite a good recording. Not to say that some things could not be improved, like pedal usage and tempo firmness, but it seems good playing to me.
     
  3. Chopinesque

    Chopinesque New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I've had problems recording from my digital piano. I'm using Nero StartSmart and a jack lead between the piano and PC. Unless I turn the Nero volume down a lot (to 7%) it makes some truly distorted sounds - I wonder if it's telling me something :)

    It was worth recording this. By listening to myself play this piece for the first time, I've realised I'm missing a few notes in the bass in some tricky bars; I seem to have missed a beat too!
     
  4. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    I am being sincere when I say that I can't tell you how happy I am to hear Czerny! He has been my bread and butter, and I have feasted a-plenty on him. I must say that I would never attempt to record on a digital piano, though you may have no other option. I personally need the physical margin that a "real" piano allows. Having said that, the flip-side is that imperfections will be much better demonstrated so that you can pursue their irradication. Good luck! Thanks again for posting some Czerny. :)
     
  5. Chopinesque

    Chopinesque New Member

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    Thank you Eddy. Those Czerny studies are hard work :)
     
  6. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    This is nicely played and quite musical overall. I think the opus 740 set as a whole is a very useful collection: it's good to work through several of these pieces.

    With the muffled sound quality and slight overpedalling, it's hard to hear exactly what your fingers are doing, so it's difficult to make detailed comments about technique. I noticed some slight rhythmic unevenness in the rising arpeggios, which leads me to suspect that your left hand finger articulation might not be quite as good as the right hand. Also you're using a little more rubato than is usual for Czerny studies--I can't tell whether this is an artistic decision on your part or whether it indicates a technical problem.

    Can you say exactly what you mean by "erratic"? Are there any specific aspects of your playing that you're concerned about?
     
  7. Chopinesque

    Chopinesque New Member

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    Hello Alexander. Thank you for pointing out the issue with rhythmic unevenness and left hand articulation. Yes, I do struggle trying to play evenly both in terms of touch and speed (these are the things I mean by being erratic) but hand't realised my left hand is worse, so I will watch out.

    Sometimes I practice the arpeggios without the pedal but it is rather difficult to do this at speed. And I do have problems with tempo control but my hearing is corrupted and I only notice the fluctuations when I listen to my recordings, which is quite disturbing as well as time consuming.

    I am playing right at the top of my current technical ability at the moment, so it looks like I'm going to have to work in much more detail.

    Thank you.
     
  8. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    No it isn't! Just let your fingers do what they're already doing, but don't put your foot on the pedal. It's one less thing to do--it ought to be easier! Of course it won't sound as good (maybe that's what you really meant), but it will mean that you can hear clearly what your fingers are doing.

    OK, I'm being a little bit harsh there. If you're used to using a lot of pedal, then it does feel strange to play without any at all. It takes a bit of mental adjustment, but it's well worth getting used to.

    It's OK, this actually isn't unusual. Recording and listening to yourself is exactly the right thing to do (even though the process is a little painful)--try to do this at least a couple of times per week.

    To improve the rhythmic evenness, have you tried practising sections of the piece with variations? e.g. all staccato (without pedal of course), or with dotted rhythms?
     
  9. Chopinesque

    Chopinesque New Member

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    I've tried your suggestion of playing it all staccato with no pedal and it sounded so grotesque and comical! But I think it's getting slightly better now. I'm going on a long holiday where (luckily for my husband's ears) there isn't a piano, but I will definitely indulge on a staccato and dotted rhythm binge when I get back. It's not the first time I've heard such good advice but for some reason I specialise in practising a lot but in a pointless way - the "lazy way". Thanks!
     
  10. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    Right. A lot of what we do in practice should sound bizarre, so that we end up with a final product that's easy and natural.
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    I do not know about you, but to those not in the know, they never expect a real pianist to do such things: the real pianist just sits down and plays beautifully without any need to practise. :? Have you ever come across this attitutde?
     

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