SOPP579: Definitely counting while reading new music is helping me to keep on a stable rhythm
Vidas: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start episode 579 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Amir. And he writes:
Hi Vidas, Definitely counting while reading new music is helping me to keep on a stable rhythm. I still found rapid shifts in note values and spacing of melodies in my left hand a bit challenging. Thanks.
V: Ausra, what does he mean about “spacing of melodies” in his left hand?
A: I guess he has trouble in his left hand in general...
V: Mm hm.
A: ...it seems to me. Well, because he is keeping talking about playing music in a stable rhythm. What I would suggest for him to do, since he has trouble with the left hand, that he would not sight read music with both hands together.
V: Go back to single lines.
A: That’s right.
V: Mm hm. He is working on my Organ Sight Reading Master Course, and I’m not sure which week he is on, but from the beginning, and quite a few weeks involves only one single line.
A: I see.
V: Soprano, then alto, then tenor and bass.
A: But I guess he’s talking about when he plays both hands together.
V: Mm hm.
A: Or if it’s the Sight Reading course, then maybe he just needs to take a slower tempo.
V: Yes. I think his question was aimed for this course, this particular course. And ideally, a person should take a very slow tempo and just play it through, one day. And the next day will be the next exercise. Not to master completely, one exercise, but just to sight read it. It could be done twice actually. One, and the second time through also works. But for him, I think sometimes the tempo is too fast. You know, when I say play it slowly, people are just saying to what they think is slow. And for some people, I think, or for most people, slow is not slow enough.
A: Yes. Do you think it’s really important to keep steady tempo when you sight read things, or you may slow down when things get harder?
V: I would prefer to keep a steady tempo. Even though it’s really slow. I would take it twice as slow - even more than twice as slow. You know, if you take a really slow tempo and it’s still unsteady and uneven rhythm, and it’s still too difficult for you to play without mistakes, it means that either the texture is too complicated for you, or the tempo is too fast. So you can slow down, right, but you cannot omit one line from a single line; already, it’s already too few notes. So in general, might be just a good idea to slow down.
A: Yes, I think that’s a good suggestion.
V: Yes. You guys, may be noticing a change in our audio quality, and we’re just testing the first recording we’re making on our new MacBook Pro, using Garage Band app, and I’m not sure how it will go, but so far we’re just testing it. Let us know if the quality is different or better, or whatever you feel, whatever you hear. Okay? So, and keep practicing of course, and sight reading. Sight reading from my Organ Sight Reading Master Course is really helpful, because we start with one single line, then going to two parts, three parts, and finally four parts, of Bach’s Art of Fugue. But then, in Bonus Content, we have seven weeks, seven additional weeks. We have Reger’s small chorale preludes. So basically, the entire course is baroque-like course with articulation, but the bonus material is dedicated for legato playing as well, because people were asking about modern technique as well, modern touch. Okay, and let us know how your practice goes, and keep sending more of your questions. We love helping you grow.
V: This was Vidas.
A: And Ausra.
V: And remember, when you practice,
A: Miracles happen.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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