Saturday, February 10, 2007

Feb. 9 Practice

My February 9 practice was short and sweet. I worked only on the Liszt, playing in rhythms. Do you know how hard it is to play a piece in rhythms when the LH is even and the RH is all over the place, with 2-against-3 and later with 4-against-9? Don't worry--I'm not trying to be impeccably exact when I'm doing rhythms. And I've discovered what a *rut* I've gotten into with the Liszt. It's so beautiful, and part of me is content just to play it through, again and again, and be done with it.

But rhythms are forcing me to look at the seamy underside, at the 0's and 1's that make this piece what it is. And it's not an altogether pleasant experience.

But it's waking me up. The beauty of this piece has lulled me into a sort of sleepy complacency when I play it. I think that's why Deborah said not to play the piece through a single time this week. It is so tempting to just play it through and listen to the beautiful music.

But when I do that, I'm limiting myself, and I'm limiting this piece. I don't fully know this piece yet. Parts are still a little sloppy. I still trip up on the 4-against-9 section, though not always. My fingers may hit the right notes, but I'm not always certain that they'll do so. The slowness of the piece allows me to "fudge" as I play it. If I were to try to play it through faster than tempo, my hands would have no clue what to do.

Rhythms are forcing my hands to figure it out. They are forcing me to jump from chord to chord faster. They are forcing me to think, and then to not think and let my hands do the thinking.

Like I said, it's not the most pleasant experience. And it is most unpleasant, not being able to play through this entire piece that I love so much. But I know these less-than-pleasant exercises will yield wonderful results.

And so the rhythms continue ...


jazzy said...

OK, Waterfall, can you explain this playing in rhythms thing? What is it, how does one do it, and what are the benefits? Thanks!

Chopin Girl said...

Hi, there! I really like your blog. I too play the piano and am finally getting back into the groove. I'm realizing more and more that it will take more than a half an hour a day to get back to my old self, but, just like running and exercising, you've gotta start off slow.

Please don't stop blogging. It's excellent motivation!

Steinway09 said...

I actually considered working on Liszt's transcription of Schubert's Serenade. It's of a piercing beauty.

Good luck with practicing. It is good motivation

Bex said...

Which Lizst piece are you playing?