Kuropaczewski Interview - Comments on Practice & Performance

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Kuropaczewski Interview - Comments on Practice & Performance

Post by PeteJ » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:35 am

In case anyone missed it there's some great comments on practice and performance in this article.

http://classicalguitarmagazine.com/luka ... 2f078ffc25

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Re: Kuropaczewski Interview - Comments on Practice & Performance

Post by Carlos Castilla » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:50 pm

Great article. He also has a couple of videos somewhere in the cloud showing exactly how he practices slowly. I believe the piece he uses as an example is the 4th movement of the Jose sonata. Great stuff.
However, slow practice is such a general idea. When a player tells you that the key is slow practice they are just giving you a tiny part of the information.
Here are some questions that need to be answered in order to make the most out of slow practice. The answers are my personal opinion and what I apply to my practice after doing my own research on the matter. Please take it with a grain of salt.
Q: Is it the same to apply slow practice to a slow piece than to a fast tempo piece?
A: No! If we try to go from point A to point B walking and then sprinting we will soon realize that different sets of muscles and processes apply to both situations. If the piece is fast, then what works at a slow tempo won't necessarily work at a fast tempo. That brings us to the next two questions:
Q: How do we practice slowly the movements and techniques that are meant to be performed fast?
A: That's were practicing small sections comes very handy. When we are just beginning to study a piece we might not be able to sight read it at regular tempo from the get go, but we can do that with small sections. It is easier to bring up to tempo (or close to it) a couple of bars with musical meaning than a full piece right from.the start. Once you experiment and find out what movements and techniques might work fast then you can emulate them at a slow speed.
A simple example to this is that at 40 BPM you can get away with playing a C major scale in first position quarter notes with your right hand pinky alone, but does that work at 140 BPM, 16th notes and doing a crescendo at the same time?
Q: How do we bring a piece up to tempo?
A: The continuity of the piece both in the mind and the technical execution need to be practiced separately.
When it comes to tempo, the idea is to push the tempo slightly over the aimed goal,so that the actual tempo feels comfortable and not rushed. This has to be done systematically so that it doesn't yield bad results.
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Re: Kuropaczewski Interview - Comments on Practice & Performance

Post by franks59 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:55 pm

Earlier this year when he was in Baltimore, Lukas held a masterclass with some of Manuel's students. When Lukas talked about slow practice, Manuel mentioned that Lukas used to tell him the speed at which he practiced was "glacial".

It has taken me a while to understand this slow practice thing, but I think I'm understanding it better, having seen some positive results lately.
I believe the point of slow practice, to the degree that Lukas mentions, is to:

1) know EXACTLY what motion(s) you need to practice
2) train until you obtain a degree of control of that motion that did not exist before, eliminating wasted motions
3) have that control firmly established until it is second nature

I've found that once it is second nature, speed comes naturally as it is just the same motion only less time in between.

I'm still struggling to incorporate this routinely into my practice as the desire to "play" overwhelms the desire to practice. On the one hand it is a lot easier and less stressful to concentrate on practicing because I'm not working the entire piece at once, but it is also stressful thinking that I'm NOT working the entire piece and it will take me forever to finish it.

I think the problem with amateurs like me, is that our technique is so lacking in so many areas, that if we took this approach literally, we would never finish a single piece. I believe these guys are advanced enough that the areas needing work is much smaller and they learn it much quicker due to their past experience with it. But I still think it has tremendous value for me and I hope to gradually incorporate more of it into my practice.


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Re: Kuropaczewski Interview - Comments on Practice & Performance

Post by PeteJ » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:00 am

Long ago I used to slightly know the guitarist Chris Newman https://youtu.be/S1V98IJJfN8

He uses a metronome on a very slow tempo until he can easily nail the piece, then increases it one notch and starts again, and so on, never missing a stage until the piece/riff is up to tempo. The result being blistering speed.

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