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Thread: Chopin Nocturne op 9 no 1 - help with polyrhythms

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    Member HolstThePhone's Avatar
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    Default Chopin Nocturne op 9 no 1 - help with polyrhythms

    So I've started learning this lovely piece, but have hit a wall in bars three and four. There's an 11 against 6 followed by a 22 against 12, and my hands just don't want to play ball. What's the best approach to learning passages like these? I'm trying to learn them both individually so they're both committed to muscle memory so I can play the right hand in a more free form manner without my left hand getting confused, but obviously if you guys know of any better techniques I would be very grateful.

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    Senior Member Balthazar's Avatar
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    The first 11 you can break up into 4-4-3. This is how it is often played (or very close thereto).

    For starters, the 22 can be broken up the same way into two sets of 11 played 4-4-3 (or alternatively 3-3-4-4-4-4). There is great variation in how this measure is played, but this will get you through it until you have greater ease and comfort and your hands will be more comfortable acting independently.

    Just my two cents...

    Have fun!
    Last edited by Balthazar; Oct-20-2015 at 10:34.
    "We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balthazar View Post
    The first 11 you can break up into 4-4-3. This is how it is often played (or very close thereto).

    For starters, the 22 can be broken up the same way into two sets of 11 played 4-4-3 (or alternatively 3-3-4-4-4-4). There is great variation in how this measure is played, but this will get you through it until you have greater ease and comfort and your hands will be more comfortable acting independently.

    Just my two cents...

    Have fun!
    This sounds an easy enough way - thank you very muchly!

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    As Balthazar has said, break the bar up into groups; that way it doesn't seem quite as daunting. Another way that works for me is to pencil in lines on each note that falls on the strong beat, that also makes it easier to break the passage up.

    Enjoy working on this one, it's one of my favourite Nocturnes. The middle section is beautiful.

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    Senior Member Crystal's Avatar
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    I'm playing it also. The first 11 I've broken to 2-2-2-2-3 and the second 22 I've broken to 2-2-2-2-3-2-2-2-2-3. Can you play the third 20?

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