Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, I’m still working on the same piece, a dumbed-down version of Beethoven’s Für Elise, three weeks into piano-ownership. It’s not the only thing I’m working on, but it’s the one consistent piece I play every time I practice.
I don’t know if I’m getting any better, but I’m definitely getting faster. On Day 2, it took me 3:46 to play it; on Day 10, 2:12. Tonight, I finished the piece in 1:49. I’ve reached the point of diminishing returns when it comes to improving my speed, although I’ve also fixed that errant D-natural from the last play-through. Here’s the video:
Day 10 with the new piano, and I’m still working on Beethoven’s Für Elise. Here’s today’s practice video:
After I recorded this, the Siren pointed out a place about 2/3 of the way through where I was hitting D-natural instead of D-sharp, and explained that when a note is sharp at the beginning of a measure, it’s sharp all the way through unless there’s a “natural” symbol at some point. Who knew? I’ll get that right the next time.
It’s been a busy few weeks at the Unfocused Family compound, with a new taekwondo instructor, a trip to the emergency room, travel, surprises, and all kinds of chaos. I don’t have time to discuss any of it right now, but I will soon. Right now, I’m really excited about our new (to us) piano, a rebuilt 1971 Mason & Hamlin upright that was delivered yesterday. I took piano lessons from age 8 through 10, so it’s been 30 years since I played anything more complicated than the first few notes of the Star Wars theme. My mother said at the time that if I quit I’d regret it when I was older, and she was right, although my lessons were really, really dull. My piano teacher was kind of a young hipster, but you wouldn’t know it from the way he taught.
For now, I’m just screwing around with it. I’ve ordered some fake books off of Amazon, and I found a simplified version of Beethoven’s Für Elise on pianonanny.com, which I’ve started practicing. I’d like to get good enough to play it on Halloween as creepy incidental music, so I’m going to practice it every day for a month. Here’s a recording from my Flip video recorder of me playing it — slowly, badly — tonight. It’s a little long because I play so slowly, but I’ll keep at it and post more recordings as I get better, sort of like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.