Hello everyone, my name is Kim. I'm 17 years old and I just submitted a CD recording for the NFA High School Soloist Competiiton. Unfortunately I had to record very last minute because of time conflicts between myself, my pianist, and the person who was recording me. The first piece I recorded was the Widor Suite and the second was the Telemann Fantasie in F minor #10. In the first piece, there were problems with the second movement. On the first page I missed a few sixteenth notes and in the slow section the pianist and I got off... and on the second page I sped up WAY too much (thinking that I was trying to catch up to the pianist). See, the issue was that I tried to record the movement in the studio on one day, and when it wasnt meshing together, I had to go back AGAIN the next day... but I couldnt have the piano back again so I was playing along with a RECORIDING of my pianist playing the piano part. So, it was a little more difficult. I also tried to do more takes to make it better but I wasnt liking any of them... it was just way harder trying to play the pieces when I was nervous (plus, I wasnt allowed to edit anything that I did!)
Anyway, this whole process of waiting for the results stresses me out unbelievably. I really would like it if some of you could listen to my performance and tell me what you think..... If anything, please listen to the Widor Suite Movement 2 and tell me how those kind of errors would be looked at by the judges... or listen to the whole recording and offer your opinion on my chances.. I'm stressing out here! Thank you
hi, nice job..I would suggest going over the piece with a metronome before you record it, that way you will see that you have a tendency to add time during the rests, I like the accelerandos, as long as you make up the time later..
also, did you make a practice recording? are you sure you want to breathe in the places on the track, or were you nervous?
I like your tone, but you need to show extreme dynamics when playing solo, as well as change color...
Patrick has made some very good comments which I agree with completely. I'd only add that there are a few pitch issues that I heard, which may be little flukes, but should be addressed if at all possible. For example, be sure you don’t fall flat at the ends of phrases. Remember that pianos are fixed pitch instruments (they can't adjust to you), and simply because of the way they are tuned, it will require you to play some pitches in slightly different places than you would if you were solo or playing with instruments that could adjust to you, so how you practiced may not be exactly how you need to perform.
I might also experiment with vibrato a bit too. I occasionally got what I've heard described as the "egg roll" effect where you get above pitch well, but don't fall below it enough, which gives the impression of unevenness because you’re above pitch more of the time than you’re under it, as well as what came across (to me at least) as “billy goat vibrato” (that quick, stuttering vibrato). Some experimenting and exercises to round it out and vary the speed and depth could yield some excellent results.
I couldn't listen to the recordings, don't know why my computer wouldn't let me.
But, I want to add on the Vibrato thing.
I've figured out that there seems to be "rules" to Vibrato, like don't use it in Band with everyone else playing a unison part because it sticks out and sounds like you're out of tune. Or that when the peice is slow, have a slow vibrato, when you have a fast peice, use a faster vibrato.
My Private teacher explained to me on how to make it slower by practicing "whoing" into your flute while keeping a constant airstream going through, so you can feel the circulation in your stomache and it will also build more support.
That first rule you mentioned is really too general. There's nothing wrong with using vibrato in band, and a well done vibrato will neither make you stick out, nor sound out of tune. If you're playing in a more exposed section with instruments that don't use vibrato for concert music (like clarinets), then you might consider not using it at all or using it very sparingly, but for the most part, it really doesn't matter. Also, how fast or slow a vibrato you use does not depend on the overall tempo of the piece, but rather the idea that you're trying to convery at a given moment. If it's a generally slow piece, but you want to add some intensity, a faster, shallower vibrato may be much more appropriate than a wide, slow one. Vibrato should not be produced from the stomach/abs/diaphragm, but from the throat. Laurel Ann Maurer discussed this in a masterclass she gave at my university last week.
Chris is correct, that is where vibrato is produced, just put your hands on your neck while you are talking, humming or singing and you will feel the vibrations, doing vibrato from the diaphragm is in-efficient and sounds terrible...
You should not be using your throat to double tongue. It should remain open, and the air should continue moving as if you were blowing a whole note, but the tongue interrupts it (rather than the throat). Double tonguing should be produced in exactly the same way as single tonguing, but with an extra syllable thrown in to facilitate speed of articulation.
your teacher, IMHO, is partly correct, you need good air support for a good vibrato, but the abdomen should not shake when producing vibrato, it should remain firm, my cheeks puff slightly when I have a vibrato, but not my stomach...
I am a little bit confused. I still do not try any vibrato, for fear of the "goat ..."
I thought that the risk of producing the goat thing was because the student was using the throat instead of abdominal muscles.
I can do some vibrato with the throat and I think the sound is not so bad. But my teacher has discouraged me in the past, when I first tried it on my own (but it was some time ago and I have considerably improved in my general technique since then).
Could you help with an explanation on how a correct vibrato should be produced?