Search

Simplification

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/YH9J0vx-0qg

For us pianists, it’s sometimes easy to look at a passage and think, “How the heck do I accomplish that?” Whether it’s an insane jump, a tricky passage that requires precise fingering, or even having to read three staves at once (looking at you, Liszt), it can be hard for us to begin paving a path when the final goal seems beyond our reach. But throwing ourselves at attempt after attempt can be both mentally and physically taxing; so what if we tried to find a goal in-between?

I’ve talked about cutting up passagework, securing muscle memory, and focusing on each finger’s job; but sometimes it’s good for us to find the bare bones of a passage and build up from there until the impossible becomes possible. This can come from something as complex as identifying chordal motion, to something as simple as adding a note or two (temporarily) to secure the rhythm. And this works for all ages, too! Whether you’re struggling to count a full dotted half-note or nail a run in Chopin, simplifying the “impossible” can save us a lot of frustration in the long run.

How did you come to learn a passage that was “impossible” at the start? What are some practice techniques you might be able to use to save yourself a spare headache or two next time?

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/Yv6uVl2OEkI I’ve talked a lot before about avoiding tension, and ways to alleviate it when you’re practicing. But there’s also some good tips to keep in mind as you’re

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/JILyoClNiRY I've talked before about varying rhythms for rapid passagework ( https://www.youtube.com/shorts/U86hYXuEV7k ); this can help with reinforcing the strength an

I’ve talked before about subtracting notes in order to make practice easier (https://www.youtube.com/shorts/YH9J0vx-0qg), but you can also do the opposite in some cases! If you have differing rhythms