velvetpage: (keyboard and sheet music)
Clocks by Coldplay. I've barely touched this one. It's easy to play.

The Raindrop Prelude by Chopin. I can play about two-thirds of this before it becomes obvious that Chopin had bigger hands than I've got. I think this is the piece that set off the carpal tunnel last fall. It's leaving me feeling well-exercised but otherwise fine.

Waltz in C# Minor, also by Chopin. I've been working on this since Thanksgiving, and I'm finally getting to the point where it sounds like I want it to sound most of the time. The third page is almost memorized, too.

Samson by Regina Spektor. Completely, totally different from anything else on this list. I love it.

Apr├Ęs Moi by Regina Spektor. Very easy to play. I'm working on being able to sing while playing this. It's a lot harder than it sounds to play and sing at the same time. I don't know if I'll ever get that UUUG sound she does, though.

20 Years of Snow by Regina Spektor. I'm starting to get the hang of this song. It feels less like sight reading and more like using the music to show me what part to play next. But it's nowhere near as smooth as I want it, and this song has to be perfectly smooth to work at all.

Chant Sans Paroles by Mendelssohn. I love this piece of music. It's a hymn to peace set on the banks of a gentle stream. I can get a feel of playing church music without the baggage. It's also deceptively difficult. I can mostly play two pages out of five, but not at speed.

And last but not least, I dipped into this. Elizabeth would be more impressed if I could play along with the game. It requires some jazz chording - sliding off black note chords onto chromatic white note chords, a technique I haven't ever used officially. I can't even remember where I learned it.

I haven't touched a fake book all week, but I'll need to get back to that eventually. At the moment, I'm having a lot of fun with this.
velvetpage: (Default)
It's a very different experience to listen to an album while reading through the sheet music for the songs. You see and hear things you don't when you're just listening or just playing. When I take the time to do stuff like this - read through the music I want to play while listening to it - I'm always reminded that the dividing line between oral, visual, and kinesthetic learning styles is never cut-and-dried.

You'd think it would be obvious. Learning to play an instrument seems like it should be first an auditory pursuit and then a kinesthetic one. Really, though, it's a perfect fusion of all three. You can often become a decent musician if you're weak at one. A not-very-co-ordinated person can still learn to play an instrument if they avoid certain musical styles and develop their muscle memory through memorization; a non-visual person can play by ear or from fake books; a tone-deaf person can learn to play from the music, though I would question why they'd want to. But to really get it, to really make the music count, you have to have the whole package.

Anyway. I read through the Soviet Kitsch album with the sheet music open in a PDF in front of me, and heard things I would have missed otherwise. It was a much more active form of listening than what I usually do, because I need to be doing something with my hands or eyes while I listen, so my attention is often divided.

My conclusion: I can play her stuff. I can probably sing most of it, though some of her vocal acrobatics do not fit my skill set. Her range is very similar to mine, and I can make it sound good, if not quite the way it sounds when she sings it. Some of the songs don't appeal to me much - Poor Little Rich Boy, for example - but several of them are intriguing. I'm going to have fun with this.

First, though, I need to clear out the kitchen sinks and do some contrast baths on my arms. I've been warned by my wonderful massage therapist that if I really do glue myself to the piano, I'm going to totally mess with my forearm flexors, and I doubt she has a lot of emergency appointments available.

I need a piano icon. I don't even know where to go to get one. Any tips?
velvetpage: (smile)
I was having some trouble with the chords in a few of the pieces I was playing. They seemed to be stretching my hands in ways they didn't want to go. But I know that I could have played them once with no trouble. Rambling that will only make sense to musicians )
velvetpage: (Default)
Hate Pachelbel's Canon? You're not alone. Well, have a listen to this and see if you still hate it.

June 2017

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