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I'm practicing this piece and I'm having trouble playing the 75th bar evenly at 125 bpm. The problem occurs on the right hand on the finger change at D♭. I'm playing this bar (right hand) 1235 1235 1235 and changing from pinky to thumb at D♭(5) D♭(1). I can play it comfortably below 100 bpm, but the song is aiming for 125 bpm.

Can you tell me what exercises or techniques I should practice to improve fluidity at faster tempos?

sheet music

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  • Does the problem occur when you play right hand alone, or only hands together?
    – Aaron
    Jun 7, 2023 at 14:59
  • Alternatively there is the Wim Winters move: As you are not able to play it at the notated speed it is impossible to do so, which means that the composer must have intended the beat not to follow each swing of the metronome, but the whole oscillation, essentially halfing the tempo.
    – Lazy
    Jun 7, 2023 at 19:29
  • @Aaron Also with right hand only. Jun 8, 2023 at 10:06

2 Answers 2

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You are most likely losing time trying to coordinate movements. Instead try to separate the whole thing into independent movements; try to get comfortable playing this:

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and combine it with a continuous movement of you arm up the keyboard. The rest is then matching these movements and getting your fingers into the right positions to hit the correct keys. You might find it useful to practice chords as these:

enter image description here

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  • 1
    My (woodwind) teacher used to advise me to "swing" things like these, so play with a dotted rhythm instead of straight semi-quavers (first elongate the "even" notes and shorted the odd, then elongate the "odd" notes and shorten the even). Basically, amuse yourself a little with the rhythm while you do a lot of repetitive practice. Is this also a technique suitable for keyboard instruments?
    – Pam
    Jun 8, 2023 at 19:39
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    @Pam Yes -- my piano teacher taught me that same technique. I find it incredibly powerful at building muscle memory for tricky runs like this, because of how you learn to play each individual pair of notes quickly before putting the whole thing together. As you become comfortable swinging pairs of notes, you can start doing larger groupings too -- like groupings of 3 (long-short-short, short-long-short, and short-short-long rhythms) and groupings of 4 (long-short-short-short, short-long-short-short, short-short-long-short, and short-short-short-long).
    – NobodyNada
    Jun 8, 2023 at 20:22
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That bar consists of (r.h.) the same 4 notes played in 3 different octaves. So the stretch of the hand will be the same for each group of 4 notes.

Start by rolling those, in any octave, back and forth, until the spread becomes automatic. Without looking. Then play the 5th note in the series with the thumb, rising. Many, many times, until you can do that without looking. At this point, your hand is first stretched, then squashed.

Next move is to continue into the second octave, all the way up. No further yet. Your thumb on the second D♭ will put your hand ready for the second octave. When two octaves are good, the third will be the easy one.

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