Discussion:
Memorization technique-Bach pieces... need help
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eli
2005-05-31 23:19:05 UTC
Permalink
Any tips on memorization. Visualisation techniques... how to memorize
the first 2 minutes of Bach's Prelude BVW1006 E major.
I'm only up to 32 of 137 measures (like Nascar eh!)

There is a fingering that I like done by JW on the DVD
but not sure how it get it.

I have broke it down and found that the slurs can be good piviot point
and memorization aid at m.28... I am highlightin those and at what
point does Bach seems to use them later at least several time (seems to
be a theme of some sort). Also it seems to fall on a down beat. I have
listen to it a zillion times and want to approach it systematically by
....phrases the modulate and repeat...ornametally...or where it
modulates.

Has anybody analyze this piece at all? I don't read music very well
but I do understand music theory of that period. Ornamentations, chord
tones and such. Not much (ornaments)in the piece like others but...how
about the way he staggers and selection of phrases

Am I on the right direction? My problem, since I'm not a sight reader,
is that I have to put more effort making sense of composition
analytically for memorization aid and find a system that will work for
me. It might be to late for sight reading.
There are slow readers out there that understand the flow of the
composition.

Any experts Bach experts out there. How would your brake it down?
eli
2005-05-31 23:22:29 UTC
Permalink
Break it down.. I mean (Nascar spelling above!)
eli
2005-05-31 23:24:27 UTC
Permalink
I meant BREAK it down, (Nascar spelling above!)
Miguel de Maria
2005-05-31 23:32:06 UTC
Permalink
Eli, I'm not sure how I would brake it down, but one thing which has
helped me is to hand copy the score. It's amazing what kind of
structural things you notice. For example, I just copied the Invention
No. 1 today. It's only 22 measures, but after awhile you start to
predict what's coming next (that is, you begin to recognize the
patterns).
David Raleigh Arnold
2005-06-01 00:48:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Miguel de Maria
Eli, I'm not sure how I would brake it down, but one thing which has
helped me is to hand copy the score.
Bach said that he learned a lot from copying Vivaldi. daveA
--
The only technical exercises for all guitarists worth a lifetime
of practice: "Dynamic Guitar Technique". Nothing else is close.
Free download: http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html
daveA David Raleigh Arnold dra..at..openguitar.com
eli
2005-06-01 04:35:17 UTC
Permalink
Thanks Miguel, I will try that
Larry Deack
2005-05-31 23:38:07 UTC
Permalink
"eli"
Post by eli
I have broke it down and found that the slurs
can be good piviot point and memorization aid at m.28...
What transcription are you using? The slurs are most likely editorial. I
don't have the music with me but I can get it. Do you know of a link to a
score on the web so we can refer to it?
Post by eli
I am highlightin those and at what point does Bach\
seems to use them later at least several time (seems to
be a theme of some sort). Also it seems to fall on a down beat. I have
listen to it a zillion times and want to approach it systematically by
....phrases the modulate and repeat...ornametally...or where it
modulates.
You have not given any analysis so far. There are ornaments everywhere but
they are written out.
Post by eli
Has anybody analyze this piece at all?
Yes, I have played it for years.
Post by eli
Am I on the right direction?
Sure, you are asking questions but you might want tell us more about what
you understand and what you don't so we aren't guessing about what tools you
have to brake it down.
Post by eli
There are slow readers out there that
understand the flow of the composition.
Sure, it's possible to have a very good understanding of a piece and not
read well but that is not easy to do since it normally takes reading a lot
of music before the patterns begin to make sense enough that you can feel
comfortable about how you break the piece down.
Post by eli
Any experts Bach experts out there. How would your brake it down?
I'm not an expert but I've played this and other Bach pieces enough to have
some idea of how these pieces work. It's better to start by telling us what
you understand of the structure. You can begin with the opening E chord and
describe what you understand from there. It's a lot of music but it breaks
down nicely into chunks.
eli
2005-06-01 04:46:27 UTC
Permalink
I don't want to go overboard with harmonic analysis but just mearly
enough to recognize phrases for memorization. I want to learn the
notes as quickly as I can. I am looking for a technique taylor made for
my level( see the next posting explaining my level). sorry if i am not
clear, just looking for a quick way out.
Larry Deack
2005-06-01 21:43:18 UTC
Permalink
"eli"
Post by eli
I don't want to go overboard with
harmonic analysis but just mearly
enough to recognize phrases for memorization.
Memorization can mean many things. One thing it can mean is to memorize the
harmonic material after a complete analysis of every note. It seems you want
something to form a loose framework rather than a solid foundation. This
approach may not hold up as you scale it to the size of the piece in
question and may be more work than doing a thorough structural analysis.
Post by eli
I want to learn the notes as quickly as I can.
That would depend entirely on the tools you can use for the job. Harmonic
analysis is one of the best tools for rapidly chunking the music into a
hierarchal structure to reduce the complexity of a piece that has as many
notes as this one.
Post by eli
I am looking for a technique taylor made for
my level( see the next posting explaining my level). sorry if i am not
clear, just looking for a quick way out.
Quick way out... OK. Not sure there is such a thing for this piece of
music but there are many paths that lead to partial solutions that may
satisfy you. It's a big piece that is more like a tree you plant as a seed
that can fit in your hand, but grows into something bigger than you as you
grow musically. I'd suggest that this piece can teach you much about music
if you take the time to do some of the work that Bach did to create it for
us. It's worth the time to work out as much of the structure as you can. You
might be surprised at what you can learn from a couple of long sessions with
the score just finding the main structures.
eli
2005-06-02 04:14:39 UTC
Permalink
Brilliant, I will try to enjoy studying this piece. Back in music
class, I enjoyed harmonizing and studying bach stuff, Its was about at
least 20 years ago. I really didn't think that I would pull out that
stuff again.
It seems I had come around in big circle, back to what I was doing.
jeffretrac
2005-05-31 23:46:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by eli
Any tips on memorization. Visualisation techniques...
Very simple. In visualizing any piece of music, including Bach, you
"brake" it down into short phrases --most beginners learning
visualization technique should limit it to no more than 2-3 measures.
Without getting into all of the details, you start by memorizing the
rhythm, then the melody & harmony voices (solfege), then the left and
rh fingerings. This is all done 'sans guitar'. Try googling
"visualization" in this group. It's been covered in detail a few times.
Pizza Hola
2005-05-31 23:53:54 UTC
Permalink
Hi Eli. There are different transcriptons out there that would save you
a lot of time fingering-wise. The violin score has no bass notes and
ends on the high e in the very last phrase. A good edition is Frank
Koonce's, he solves the quirky shifts for the downwards motion in
measures 17-28 nicely, but he has some stretches (measure 78) that are
pretty hard.
Post by eli
Any tips on memorization. Visualisation techniques... how to memorize
the first 2 minutes of Bach's Prelude BVW1006 E major.
I'm only up to 32 of 137 measures (like Nascar eh!)
There is a fingering that I like done by JW on the DVD
but not sure how it get it.
I have broke it down and found that the slurs can be good piviot point
and memorization aid at m.28... I am highlightin those and at what
point does Bach seems to use them later at least several time (seems to
be a theme of some sort). Also it seems to fall on a down beat. I have
listen to it a zillion times and want to approach it systematically by
....phrases the modulate and repeat...ornametally...or where it
modulates.
Has anybody analyze this piece at all? I don't read music very well
but I do understand music theory of that period. Ornamentations, chord
tones and such. Not much (ornaments)in the piece like others but...how
about the way he staggers and selection of phrases
Am I on the right direction? My problem, since I'm not a sight reader,
is that I have to put more effort making sense of composition
analytically for memorization aid and find a system that will work for
me. It might be to late for sight reading.
There are slow readers out there that understand the flow of the
composition.
Any experts Bach experts out there. How would your brake it down?
Pizza Hola
2005-05-31 23:56:09 UTC
Permalink
Sorry I didn't answer your question. I don't know much about visualizing
and memorizing - except that it works.
David Raleigh Arnold
2005-06-01 00:46:34 UTC
Permalink
Any tips on memorization. Visualisation techniques... how to memorize the
first 2 minutes of Bach's Prelude BVW1006 E major. I'm only up to 32 of
137 measures (like Nascar eh!)
There is a fingering that I like done by JW on the DVD
but not sure how it get it.
I have broke it down and found that the slurs can be good piviot point and
memorization aid at m.28...
There are no slurs except ornaments with lute music. They just don't
work very well. Did he provide bowings? Maybe, I don't think so. They
may or may not work on guitar but they are not likely to be *Bach's* slurs.

Practice it in 4 or 8 measure chunks, or some such. That way you will be
practicing it from memory. Then you can either make an effort to memorize
as you go or defer that until you play it all and memorize it from the
beginning.

Interpretation should be fun, not agonizing. Imitate the recording
you like the best. Or don't. Just one thing: A crescendo with
slurs is an exercise in self deception. Don't buy into that. daveA
--
The only technical exercises for all guitarists worth a lifetime
of practice: "Dynamic Guitar Technique". Nothing else is close.
Free download: http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html
daveA David Raleigh Arnold dra..at..openguitar.com
eli
2005-06-01 04:52:22 UTC
Permalink
thanks, I don't understand the crescendo remark-self deception?
David Russell uses lots of echo with his Dammann seems okay when on the
crescendoes and very lyrical at times.but
JW is much cleaner and very academic.
David Raleigh Arnold
2005-06-01 13:06:31 UTC
Permalink
thanks, I don't understand the crescendo remark-self deception? David
Russell uses lots of echo with his Dammann seems okay when on the
crescendoes and very lyrical at times.but JW is much cleaner and very
academic.
There is a practical limit to how loud a slur can get. If you do them
with sufficient force to splinter the fretboard and drive the frets into
the wood the thumping sound of your fingers as they strike will be
very loud indeed. For slurs to sound good you have to limit
their volume. This is incompatible with crescendo. Almost every time you
do a slur, there is some decrescendo. Many writers for guitar have written
crescendos with slurs. They're never going to happen. It's just the way
the performer *wishes* he could make it sound, so he imagines it
instead of performing it, like a beginner not highlighting the
melody because he knows where it is and doesn't realize that his listeners
can't find it.

Take Sor-Segovia #2. There is a scale run from g to e' with slurs in it.
If you really want the even crescendo to forte that seems to be indicated,
you have to either not do the slurs at all or do the run very quietly,
with the crescendo, but only reach piano before the e', and suddenly play
the e' loud. That is what I suspect Sor meant, but there is little chance
that a postromantic like Segovia would play it that way.

What's wrong with Segovia's slur exercise? In order to make slurs
sound good, he makes them sound even. The *only* way to do that is to
make the notes which are not slurred sound like slurs. That wrong short
term goal made the effort completely counterproductive and impossible. He
should have been trying to get more power from slurs, and worked on
context *only* with music. As it was, he never discovered the obvious
power exercise, which he badly needed, entirely because of wrong thinking,
failure to think through his goals. As a consequence, his slurs were
inadequate to do HVL No. 1 with the intended fingering, as written. I
respect the man. If he could have certainly he would have. It was not
laziness, it was wrong thinking.

daveA
--
The only technical exercises for all guitarists worth a lifetime
of practice: "Dynamic Guitar Technique". Nothing else is close.
Free download: http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html
daveA David Raleigh Arnold dra..at..openguitar.com
g***@yahoo.com
2005-06-01 02:07:50 UTC
Permalink
Um ... My aproach ...Your mileage will vary....

I photocopy the music and then write out the tab on that
blank music/tab paper you get from most music stores
published by Hal Leonard.

To memorize, sure I look at the organization and whatever, but for
me, understanding the structure comes after I can site read
the piece, about 50% up to speed, even though I may
be "site reading" mostly from tab.

Once I've site read the piece 50 times or so memorization
comes effortlessly. I look away from the music and play *any*
bits and pieces that come to mind. Then I look at what I haven't
memorized yet and then I work on adding that. Eventually I
get to the point to where I can play the entire piece.

I rarely do what you are doing, which is to memorize the
first 8 measures, then the 8 measures after that.

I approach it backwards of that. I start with what
I've memorized and then fill in the missing spots with
repetitions. I refer repeititions, or rather, to playing
and site reading as "effortless memorizing". If I play
something over and over again. I memorize naturally it.
(If I haven't memorized it I haven't played it enough.)

Actually I do a little bit of effortful memorizing, but usually
what I've done with sheer repeititions makes things go easier.


As to the structure, I review the basic structure as best I
can when playing/reading/working the first 50 takes. But
I end up doing most of the structure analysis and stuff
like that later when playing the piece while playing the CD.
Sort of like getting a free guitar lesson. I listen for
notes I may have got wrong, phrasing, and to how the
right hand is nailing the strings.

I often use the Amazing Slower Downer on my Mac and slow
the piece down by 50% and play along with that. For me, going
over the entire piece at 50% and building up from there is
more effective than working on bits and pieces at 80% by myself.

After I can make it through the piece with the CD I look
around for other CDs with the same song for additional
free guitar lessons (playing tips).
g***@yahoo.com
2005-06-01 03:56:10 UTC
Permalink
Apologies for a few missing words and some strange grammer.

I posted this before it was ready and I was in a hurry.

You get the idea.
Miguel de Maria
2005-06-01 04:20:36 UTC
Permalink
I think your advice on site reading was very appropriate for braking it
down. Go Danica!
eli
2005-06-01 04:34:17 UTC
Permalink
she rocks!
eli
2005-06-01 05:00:49 UTC
Permalink
yes, I did the 18-28 first and then the 1- to 18ms. works great.
I just want a professional technique. I don't want to do rock style
attempt guitar lick learning. I don't have a problem learning solos of
the 80's on electric but for classical i feel like there are
barriers..that
only professional collegiate teacher can solve. You have great methods.
I do use tabs, but the sight reading is gonna kill me. Right now I want
to hear about recitalist and how they do it.
How long did it take you to learn the notes.
g***@yahoo.com
2005-06-01 06:14:20 UTC
Permalink
If you're refering to what I wrote ... I don't play rock. I'm all
Classical and half of what I play is Bach.

Um ..

I don't understand why you are apologizing for playing with tab...

Sure if you're aspiring to be an instructor or if you are a full time
student at a Conservatory, yeah, I agree you should toss the tab.

Yeah ... Toss the tab if you want to site read when you play
with orchestras.

But if you are a soloist, and you want to learn music as painlessly
as possible, what's the problem with using both music and tab?
Tab has been around for a long long time.

..

My first guitar teacher hated tab. But years latter I came
around to it after studying Bach's "Air on the G String", and "Jesu"
arranged by Rick Foster.

I had already memorize