Monday, December 22, 2014

missing the boat

This is not me:

I have been chipping away at the first movement of Hummel Op 5 No 3 for the past couple of months. It seems like years. I have mentioned before that it's one of those unfortunate pieces that don't sound musical when played way under tempo, and I am not blessed with the ability to navigate turns and 16th-note runs at anything faster than about 70bpm. I also practice and perform it at lessons unaccompanied, and I am cursed with an ability to hear a melody and then "hear" (imagine) chord progressions and moods that the composer never intended. So imagine my surprise today when I listened to the piece and realized I've had the wrong idea all along. Very wrong. Not even close. Ugh. How could my teacher let me just keep going in that direction? Then again, it's really my fault for not having listened to it enough. Ugh. I am going to listen a bunch to get the feel in my head, so I can make it sound as musical as possible when it's this slow. I'll run it through Speedshifter at around 60-70 and force myself to keep up, and eventually I'll have it well enough I can try to make it feel right. I want to take it into the next lesson (Jan 3) and play it all the way through, with the right feel, and hopefully then my teacher will be satisfied and I'll be done with it.

1 comment:

Lee said...

You're not the only one who gets the wrong idea about the accompaniment. And that passage around 5:50 is pretty busy for the left hand. While teacherless I've been working on reducing tension and excessive effort; I suspect you might be in a similar place, and I am confident that both of us can clear this hurdle.

I also think it isn't something a teacher can always help you with. My current hypothesis is that the comfortable, natural position of neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, etc. (the whole human physical side) for you has to be discovered by you. Being "told it" takes no account of your particular physique. This has been my problem with bow hold since Day 1. The specific length of each of my fingers means that some descriptions of a correct bow hold are simply not possible for me to emulate. I am incapable of accepting this as a reason to give up. So that leaves me on my own with the problem, and I'm working the problem.

I don't want to even try taking the Grade 5 exam right now because of the deficiencies in my fundamentals. The performance tempi are not within my reach unless I sacrifice just about everything else. They'd probably pass me but I don't want to leave these things sloppy. I'm not in pain anymore but I'm still not comfortable yet and I believe (from watching other imtermediate players) that strain is not required.