Ethereal792 wrote:Thanks for the advice. I've been practice at exactly half tempo, and (not surprisingly) it seems impossible to get up to tempo. I have a lesson with my teacher in 2 days, so she can probably enlighten me on some thoughts. Wow, and I thought I had to work hard last year >_> I've learned from the beginning to the first keychange. Feel free to post more suggestions, thanks.
PJF wrote:Right now your top priority, your ONLY priority shoud be to get the whole piece learned @ half tempo (memorized and played musically). Under no circumstances should you try to increase the tempo until you have 100% accuracy of notes and the piece's basic dynamics.
I suggest an ultra-conservative approach to all of Chopin's Etudes. Keep in mind, the fastest way to screw up is to practice too fast, too loud or with the slightest bit of impatience The etudes are lifetime pieces. Don't expect to master them right away. It took me three months to get the piece accurate to half tempo. Two years later I'm still showing weekly improvement on this etude.
The late, great pedagogue Abby Whiteside, spent TWENTY years mastering etude op25 no10. Patience, patience, patience........
PJF wrote:p.s. Why half tempo? By practicing at 1/2 tempo, you are, in effect, practicing the timing of the downbeats of the full tempo. For example, let's just say that the final tempo is to be 160. If you set your metronome to 80, you are able to play the piece half speed, where a quarter note equals 80. Keeping the same metronome setting of 80, you're also able to play at full speed, where a half note equals 80. Creating metric stability is the "Philosopher's Stone" of technique and cannot be stressed enough! Coordination begets speed. Haste begets ruin.
PJF wrote:p.s. p.s Don't use unnatural weight, (johnmar may disagree ) Know this, there is a correct amount of weight to maximize coordination. Find that weight and use it. Too little weight will lead to forearm tension and overall instability. Too much weight will cause freezing, muscle imbalances of the shoulders and arms, and sometimes, permanent injury. Pay very close attention to what works for YOU, and then do it.
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