Notching a bedpost

Well, that’s what I call the parts of pieces that you know are there, but that you keep stubbing your toes against anyway. This one is a gap between two notes at the end of the 26th measure and the start of the 27th. (Or 27th/28th, I’m not sure.)

Anyhow, there’s a gap there that bothers me, and when I wrote the thing, I recall turning myself in knots trying to smooth it out. I ended up spackling it (insufficiently) with a quick tap on the pedal, but it never sounded nor felt right to me.

Well, I’m fairly confident that I found a better way to do it by hitting the Bb with the joint of my thumb and then rocking the tip over to the Ab. It feels good, I can play it quickly, slow practice improves it, and it’s repeatable. So my aim this week is to “burn in” that move, and especially to overwrite the dozens of times I’ve played it the other way. And I need to go back and read through the old list of bedposts I made for that piece, and just knock them down one by one.

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Five-sharp thing and bedposts

I call them bedposts — those places in a piece where you invariably stub your toe without thinking.

The thing is, they’re always the same places, and if you know that, then why not write them down, go through them one at a time, and deal with them instead of being taken by surprise by them every time?

So here are the bedposts for the five-sharp thing:

  1. There’s a point where the rocking octaves turn into a set of two triplets moving from BM to F# after the first theme. *stub!* OW!
  2. The movement into Abm where I have to clean up a little skippy bit with the pedal without making everything run together.
  3. A point where an Ab chord in the left hand has to be synced with an Eb in the right thumb.
  4. That octave leap in the right hand when I move from rocking octaves in F# to the same thing in mid-measure an octave up. That one I’ve pretty much dealt with a long time ago, but if I take my eye off it, it’ll pop out of place again.
  5. The change in color when I go from rocking octaves to the fast right-hand work in C#m. Gotta look ahead to that part or else I act shocked-by-Jove-shocked! by it every time.
  6. There’s a point just before the fanfare theme shows up again in the left hand where I need to remind myself to lay off the right hand a bit.
  7. The movement from F# to EM. Whoops! Look ahead!
  8. The second BM chord in the left hand after things settle back in BM again. In fact, all of those chords need to be mentally prepared for.

Anyhow, them’s tha bedposts for that piece. 🙂