In this post I am going to give a mini tutorial on and perform Allegro Brillante by Giuseppe Garibaldi in the video below. This piece is one of the Grade 4 flute set pieces for the Australian Music Examinations Board. I will break my points down one at a time.
Don’t run before you can walk.
As I always say, before playing a fast piece up to speed, learn all the notes at a speed which is half the set tempo. After you have done this, break down the piece into different sections so you can focus on one spot at a time without feeling like you need to tackle the whole piece all at once.
The way you determine each section is where you see the general pattern and interval sequences of the music change. For example, I have broken this piece down in my mind into 5 sections:
- Bars 1-16 is the first section because we have the opening theme
- Bar 17-33 is the second section
- 33-46 is the second section
- 46-62 is the third section
- 62-75 is the 4th sections
- 75 to the end is the 5th section.
Why break down the piece for practice purposes?
So why should you break a piece down like this? Well, one of the main reasons is if you only have limited time to practice you want to isolate particular areas and master them in one practice session, rather than trying to tackle them all at once and not master any of them.
Identify the hardest section.
Next, I am going to go to the hardest section of the piece, and that is from bar 63 to 74. The reason why this is the most difficult part is because of the finger changes between notes c and d. Plus, the right hand pinky can seize up because of the e flat making the palm of the hand tense and which affects the smooth transitions of all the other notes in this passage.
You are most likely to rush!
One thing I really want to emphasise here is that you are most likely to rush at this point. This is because, some of the finger changes are very easy, but are mixed with more complex changes-so what tends to happen is you’ll rush on the easy parts which makes you more likely to stumble on the harder parts.
To remedy this, the first thing is to practice at a slow pace with a metronome. But, beyond this we can practice this passage in the following ways:
- Dotted rhythms
- All tongued and slowly
- Accenting first note, then second note.
- Focusing on the slur from the last note of the bar to the first note of each bar.
Make sure you have really good air flow and finger coordination as you slur up to the higher note, and make that higher note sing.
Finally, record yourself playing the section once you have got this more or less up to speed and notice if you are rushing. Think of this section as a lyrical section of which you have time to be expressive, and ensure the palms of your hands are relaxed.
Watch the video below to listen to my final performance from time stamp 4:22.
What do you think?
Did you find these tips useful? How might you apply similar tips to a different piece you might be working on at the moment? Feel free to comment below and let me know!