WEEK ONE Updates: Main Thread - The Journey Begins!
Hello and welcome to the WEEK ONE Main Thread for this challenge!
Alright everyone - this is the thread where we'll all be posting our daily updates.
Twice a week between June 17th - July 8th I hope to be reading your daily updates in this very thread right here!
Download the music:
Please use the following format when commenting (feel free to copy & paste!):
- Variation you worked on:
- One thing you found easy:
- One thing you found difficult:
- (Optional): a video of you performing it!
Sample daily update:
- Variation you worked on: No. 1
- One thing you found easy: Learning the notes, and rhythms were rather straight-forward, and not challenging!
- One thing you found difficult: Playing the trills/ornaments in an elegant way was what challenged me the most.
Feel free to make these updates as short or long as you wish!
Hello Dominic, and tonebase, and fellow pianists.
I am going to take on Variations 8 - 14.
I can sightread these already, playing them in my own peculiar manner, stopping and starting, ignoring the harder bars, slowing down to tortoise pace when it gets difficult, leaving out some of the semi quavers, playing lots of wrong notes. My challenge will be to play it all fluidly without mistakes. I love the music.
I'm very excited about this. I do not know this piece, so the first thing I'll do is sight read my way through the whole thing, probably very slowly. My plan is not to listen to any recordings of it. I like sight reading and am very keen on improving my sight reading skills. Am very motivated by the idea of other people working on this piece at the same time as myself. My personal goal will be to spend time practicing this every day during the 21-day challenge. Good luck to everyone, and thanks a lot to our friends at Tonebase for organizing this. Best, Chad
I'm not used to playing Handel's music, so this is a true challenge for me. Here is a video of me sight reading the 2nd Variation and attempting the first page (no need to watch the entire thing!). I'm never sure how to play the trills and grace notes. Is there a "rule" about which note to start on -the upper note or the principle note-for the trills? How long should they last? Are the grace notes played on the beat or right before? Any suggestions would be appreciated!
I am starting off this challenge with tackling the theme. I think the rhythm is rather tricky to digest and make sense of in this selection! I am trying to achieve a very proud, and noble sound/atmosphere to start off this chaconne!
- Variation you worked on: Theme and first 8 variations slowly to get a feel for the piece as I am unfamiliar with it - wonderful choice for the first challenge piece.
- One thing you found easy: Learning the notes should be straight forward.
- One thing you found difficult: How to interpret the theme and play the ornaments (and fingering for trills). Slow and solemn (with lots of rubato) or more majestic?
I hope to work through the first 8 variations to a point where I can post a video in a few days. I have a tendency to rush without taking time to solidify (and write down) fingering so this is a good challenge for me to slow down a bit.
- Variation you worked on: Worked on 9
- One thing you found easy: I was able to read all the notes without much trouble.
- One thing you found difficult: I never show anything less than my best work. I am a terrible sight reader, (which I'm currently working on) and I'm especially bad at reading timing. I feel incredible vulnerable posting something so unready I would never even show a friend or family member.
It was really difficult to watch myself on camera. The only reason I can be brave is that I know by the end of three weeks I will be able to play one or two variations well. I'm shooting for easy ones 9, 10 but I do find them really beautiful and motivating.
In the spirit of the challenge, I did not start on this until last night. I don't know this music at all and I had to actually sit down with the music and a pencil to figure it all out. I also made a promise to myself not to listen to recordings or watch any videos about the Chaconne. What it made me realize is that everything I work on I already have heard, many, many times... so this was really challenging for me.
I did get a great sense of accomplishment figuring all the timing out, but it did put me behind on actually playing the notes with the correct timing. Which made the subsequent recording humiliating... but it is 1 am and I'm sticking to my goal and posting... I do believe by the end of the three weeks I won't be cringing anymore.
I really admire people who make submissions for the master classes - I really enjoy watching them and the comradery of the other Tonebase members... so this is the first baby step for me...
Glad to see so many of you in this challenge and I'm sending good vibes your way.
Hi, I am not at the same level as most of you so will take the theme , then variations 1,2, and maybe 21. This you tube video will help me with fingering as you can slow it down to 25%. I may not put in much ornamentation but want to have fingering so I can add that later. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apjvXXaxKb8
Here´s my video of 8, 9 and 10.
I find the left hand moving down the keyboard difficult, but I suppose it just requires repetition, at least I hope so.
I like to find the music first, so that is my style, despite all the wrong notes, but I hope to iron them all out for the second video later this week.
Great idea guys! Really like your creative thinking on how to virtually run a classroom ;-)
- Variation I worked on: number 10 - want to start with something easy and beautiful
- One thing you found easy: notes are easy to read so hope to quickly be able to focus on technique and interpretation
- One thing you found difficult: some places need fingering to allow for playing it smoothly - next step!
Hello Dominic and all, thanks for a great challenge!
I started out with "random" variations, nr. 4, 10, 14 and today 5. Fun to behold the difference between triplets, sixteenth, minor and major as the main focus, instead of sightreading from a to z.
easy: a sort of remembering the chords, although I do not play by heart easily, I will try to learn some of the variations by heart.
fun: changing rhythms to make it flow, make a slow siciliana out of variation 4! (video)
difficult: deciding on a fingering or a couple, working enough on that to let the movement flow.