Getting Your Pieces up to Speed

13 Jun 2021 @ 13:00 UTC

Many players can get their pieces up to a certain speed, but there appears to be a ceiling beyond which they cannot go. As the tempo increases, so the playing falls apart and loses all sense of flow - added to which the hands and arms seize up, buckling under the strain.

One of the most common questions our website readers ask is how to get a piece up to the full speed while retaining the feeling of coordination and control that is possible at slower tempos. In this workshop we explore the following topics:

  • The technical considerations for fast playing
  • Avoiding tension
  • When slow practice no longer helps
  • Practice method that delivers results
  • How to maintain speed and accuracy in old repertoire

How it works

The workshop is divided up into a set of topics with an introductory presentation for each followed by a “breakout” session in which you will be able to test out the concepts presented and associated exercises in the privacy of your own home. A worksheet with short repertoire extracts at various levels will be provided, but you can use your own pieces if preferred. Graham will be on stand-by to give assistance during the breakout sessions which will then be followed by a group discussion and Q&A.

In this extract from a recording of a previous session, Graham shows how to apply chaining techniques to the Allegro of the first movement of the Pathétique Sonata of Beethoven:

This event is a repeat of one of the most popular workshops from our Piano Day 2021 Festival. The material will be largely similar to that of the original session, but you may be interested in attending even if you have done so previously. Many participants find that they get more out of repeat sessions, hearing the same concepts covered with different examples and questions arising from the Q&A. Furthermore, because it is a practical workshop, you may also want to apply the exercises and concepts to new pieces or ask questions that have arisen after the initial session! 


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