Speed Practice and playing fast first

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Hello I was reading Hugh Brent practice tips n.1 and n.2 about speed As far as I understand it he says that we should play fast immedietaly bringing very small chunks at speed in a matter of few minutes Slow practice should be instead used for larger chunks or when you play the whole piece So let's say for example I've a bar and I want it up to speed According to Mr. Brent I should bring immediately at speed 1/4 or 1/2 of the bar and so on, small chunk by small chunk

But I was wondering, what you're supposed to do when you're not able to do the movements to play that small chunks at speed? Playing it fast from the beginning may not work is such a case?

And if you play fast from the beginning without having aquiring the technique to platy fast, how do you prevent injuries from wrong movements?

Thanks Daniel

-- Daniel (daniel_r@email.it), December 08, 2004


Firstly, you must understand, that nothing in Piano comes with speed. It is all gradual practice, and only patience will ever lead your to playing a piece at the right speed. Even the fastest of all sections are learnt slowly at the start. A great pianist, is one that can play his piece at all speeds with no mistakes. If ever you think you've mastered a piece, try and halve the speed and see if you manage to play it then. If theres some part (like you said) where you're not able to execute the technical movements, the LAST thing to do, is to play it fast. If you become impatient really quickly, you should know that that is the problem every pianist faces. Start with small sections, and advance slowly but surely, look where every sentence leads and every section ends. That's the only way to be in control over the music you're playing.

-- Inbar (inbibar87@hotmail.com), January 06, 2005.

Hi, I have a great teacher who's helping through a similar problem. You are right in wondering about injuring yourself if you try to go too fast too soon. I've come close more than once because of my eagerness. How my teacher explained it to me at my last lesson was that speed and control come from strength. If you think about it, it makes sense. Playing a grade 3 song for me is easy as pie because my technique level is around grade 8. On the other hand, I'm in grade nine, but I can't force my songs up to speed. I just have to do lots of scales and such at a speed where I can be accurated and this will build my strength. My teacher says if when you speed up, the quality drops, you shouldn't be going that fast. She alway tells me that I can't just say, "On Tuesday I'm going to play this fast." Speed comes when it's ready and not a moment before or after that. So instead of "playing" my exam this June, we're waiting until August. All my songs are memorized but I need to build more muscles in my arms to play them safely at the desired speed and to play them well at that speed. One day I'll just find that, "Hey, wow, I can play this way faster now!" Your hands stretch too when you play and become more flexible. This is also a gradual process. I've tried it my way (fast first), but I must admit, my teacher's right.

-- Laura (la_ginn@yahoo.ca), January 19, 2005.

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