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Thread: Practicing Gottschalk's The Banjo

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    Senior Member Brad's Avatar
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    Default Practicing Gottschalk's The Banjo

    I have recently started learning Gottschalk's incredibly fun piece, The Banjo. I'm a bit stuck on the last passage, marked Facilite at the bottom of page 12:

    http://petrucci.mus.auth.gr/imglnks/..._15_filter.pdf

    I can play it reasonably quickly, but only on some days. It's hit and miss. I was wondering if anyone could suggest any tips practicing this passage, or maybe someone encountered something like this before.

    Thanks all in advance!
    Last edited by Brad; May-05-2014 at 02:42.

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    Which are you playing, the original (lower staff/larger notes) or the facilitation (upper staff/smaller notes?)
    Last edited by hreichgott; May-05-2014 at 04:11.
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member Brad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hreichgott View Post
    Which are you playing, the original (lower staff/larger notes) or the facilitation (upper staff/smaller notes?)
    I'm am playing the original

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    Ok, the difficulty here is the repeated notes. Keep them as even as you can. Be friends with your metronome and practice slow a lot. For me repeated notes are hard if unevenness happens, esp. if I rush the second of the two repeated notes, for obvious reasons. It may help if you can find a way to combine each pair into a single movement, for example down-up where you accent the first note dropping down, and then bounce up and off the second note.
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member Brad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hreichgott View Post
    Ok, the difficulty here is the repeated notes. Keep them as even as you can. Be friends with your metronome and practice slow a lot. For me repeated notes are hard if unevenness happens, esp. if I rush the second of the two repeated notes, for obvious reasons. It may help if you can find a way to combine each pair into a single movement, for example down-up where you accent the first note dropping down, and then bounce up and off the second note.
    I will definitely be more disciplined with the metronome. Also I like the idea of thinking about each repetition as a signle movement, that seems to help. Thank you so much!!

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    Senior Member Brad's Avatar
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    I also noticed that my arms keep tensing up along with my wrist and eventually fingers. From what I know about technique, that's bad, but is it necessary for this passage??

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    That kind of tension is always bad, yes. If you are tense whenever you play octaves and large chords then you need to work on your octave and chord technique with the help of a teacher who can see what you're doing and adjust you. If you are only tense on this passage then you probably have tried to speed up too early or maybe are fatiguing yourself by playing it loud all the time during the learning stage. You can learn the notes pp and slow and they'll still get learned, probably more effectively too
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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