One of the pieces I'm working on at this time is Moquet's La Flute de Pan.
I have a nasty habit that I'm going to admit to all of you (they say that's the first step). I've always had a tendency to practice multi-movement pieces from beginning to end. Naturally by the last movement I'm tired and am not working efficiently. So today I'm working on only the second movement.
Pan et les Oiseaux. (Pan and the Birds.) This is the slower movement of the three, very melodic and soothing. However, it has a few fast fluttery passages (the birds) that have been tripping me up. Of course I go into "what's the matter with me" mode (BAD mode to be in, not productive at all. Be nice to yourself, you're going to be around you for the rest of the day) Anyway... I say to myself in a way that I would never speak to anyone else, " what's the problem, this shouldn't be that hard, these are only arpeggios!" ...."oh...." BINGO the light goes off. Time to be honest with myself when is that last time I practiced a D diminished 7 arpeggio.... we'll maybe it's about time I did.
So here's how I took care of that problem without beating myself up. First analyze the chords: Those fluttery passages in order are (I appologise for not knowing how to use superscriptsin this editor) Cm7, Dm7, this next one is a little funky and now I realise that's why I was having trouble with this one in particular. It's an Eflat Maj. 9 So Eflat major but with F's thrown in there for kicks. Then they give us a break with a simple D minor arpeggio, no 7th just clean and simple, right? Next.... Eb Maj. on the way down, but add the F again on the way up. Then there's a lovely little scale pattern that would make a nice warm up exercise. Then there's the melodious part of the piece, which I'm not going to practice at this time, because my time is needed elsewhere (it's very important to practice efficiently... I have a real job you know) ok next... Bb major? but what's that C doing there.. another 9th (or 2nd if you prefer) well ok, Then we have the doozey.. D dim 7. That one isn't as bad as it sounds. It's actually much easier on your brain than those added 9 arpeggios. The trouble with them, it that we're used to seeing this pattern without that extra note, so our mind has a tendency to want to skip over it.
If you don't have all these memorized it's really ok. Just look at the part for what the notes are.
I practice those arpeggios, from high to low spanning all octaves. I use many different rythmic patterns to do this. Don't just stick to even 8th or 16th notes.
I suggest the using the following rythms on any tricky even passages you might encounter:
By varying it you put emphasis on certain notes, and speed on other notes. This brings problem areas to light. It forces you to correct inconsistencies and work on tricky fingerings.
So try these rhythms on the passage until you can do it without making any mistakes (slowly at first then increase speed) Continue until are equally proficient at all of them. Then go back to 16th notes. You'll be amazed at how even and consistent it is. You've essentially worked the bugs out.
Back to Moquet:
There are several videos of this piece on you tube that I would recommend watching just to hear several artists performing it with their own style. One of them is played by 10 year old girl, Emma... and it's FANTASTIC. And not it an "aww that's cute" sort of way, I mean she's an incredible artist, and it's actually one of the best performance of this movement that I've seen.
Here's the link if you're interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qasy7v3JuRo