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#1099479 - 06/30/07 11:45 PM CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
Joined: Dec 2006
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hobo57 Offline
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hobo57  Offline
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Quad Cities, IL/IA
I started reading C.C. Chang's book and find it very interesting. He suggests not doing Hanon or Czerny, but using Chopin Etudes instead.

Is anyone else doing this or have opinions about it?

Thanks....


There is nothing to it. You have only to hit the right note at the right time, and instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
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#1099480 - 07/01/07 12:29 AM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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dannylux Offline
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For a beginner or returnee, it's an absolutely ridiculous statement.


Mel


"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn
#1099481 - 07/01/07 12:43 AM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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keyboardklutz Offline
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I read Chang's book a couple of years ago and agreed with most of what he said whole heartily. Chopin is music so in that sense, even if played quarter speed, enriches you. Hanon and Czerny are body building tools. They all too easily take any meaning out of your playing.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
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#1099482 - 07/01/07 08:00 AM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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hobo57 Offline
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Quad Cities, IL/IA
dannylux, keyboardklutz,

thanks for the replies. I am a 1st year beginner just feeling my way into this wonderful world of piano, sound, and feelings.

I guess I'll keep reading Chang, but not give up on Hanon and Czerny yet, but perhaps order a collection of the Etudes for later...


There is nothing to it. You have only to hit the right note at the right time, and instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
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#1099483 - 07/01/07 10:54 AM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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keyboardklutz Offline
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There are alternatives. Heller has a whole range of studies which have plenty of heart in them. Wieck are good. There are loads of free stuff on the web now. Try here: http://www.sheetmusicarchive.net/index.cfm


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1099484 - 07/01/07 11:13 AM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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Benallpiano Offline
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Yes that's right you should be spending your time playing music not practicing exercises, there are some exercises however that don't take up much time and are very good for your playing, I think cc chang talks about them in his book


Piano Teacher, for over 4 years now
If you love to hear it then you'll love even more to play it
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#1099485 - 07/01/07 06:39 PM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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Alex P. Keaton Offline
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I read Chang and love his advice. I think that his advice on the Chopin Etudes is more like, "Find some music at your level and practice that instead of Hanon." He gives the Etudes as an example.

Probably better pieces than the Chopin Etudes (Chang also mentions these) are the Bach Inventions, all of which you can get free online. They might not be at your level yet, but they are very short.

The point is, Chang says that you should not waste practice time doing mindless exercises. I completely agree with this.

#1099486 - 07/01/07 06:48 PM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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Theowne Offline
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Theowne  Offline
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Me too. And the difference with Chopin Etudes especially is, when you're done a Hanon excercise, you say to yourself "Meh, that's good.". When you learn a Chopin etude, I'd consider it a great accomplishment and be totally overjoyed.

If only I could play that black-key etude.....


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音楽は楽しいですね。。。
#1099487 - 07/02/07 11:06 AM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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durtyz Offline
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luxembourg
As much as the musicality of these is dubious, surely the hanon excercises are in the same vein as endlessly practicing scales, harmonic yes, musicl, not really, they are the building blocks of everything, to have these practices very strong can only improve your overall playing, I would say its a very subjective thing, if a player considers it beneficial and there is a marked improvement on their skill level with no detrimental effects surely it cant be criticised?

As these excercises have been around more than a hundred years its hard to see anything lasting that long if it is without merit, I suppoose its a case of horses for courses, if a student see's no benefit to these excercises they are less likely to have any return for their effort, if a benefit can be seen or heard then the effort will return positive results.

just my tuppence worth.

#1099488 - 07/02/07 11:27 AM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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keyboardklutz Offline
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Durtyz, it is important to do exercises that use your musicality. The Hanon etc. come from a dubious 19th tradition when young people wore themselves out hammering on the piano 8 hours a day. It is possible to combine strength work with intelligent musical work with the right material.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1099489 - 07/02/07 11:47 AM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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SEODave Offline
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I agree with durtyz. They can't hurt.

The fact that they're "mindless" is their advantage. Not having to concern yourself with learning notes and rhythm means you're free to rapidly improve finger dexterity and independence.

If you just hate practicing them then they're probably not going to help very much and you'd be better off working with the Etudes or Inventions. Nothing works for everyone.

#1099490 - 07/02/07 07:30 PM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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Peyton Offline
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One thing I've noticed in my reading is that these piano virtuosos that say "don't do the exercise, just play music" all did exercises early on. Kind of makes you wonder...

I like Liszt's approach which was to play the exercises more like a musical piece. He supposedly could make them very interesting to listen to. (Then again, I also heard he would sometimes read a book while doing exercises... laugh )

as to beginners substituting Chopin Etudes for exercises. Best of luck to that beginner.


"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
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#1099491 - 07/02/07 08:08 PM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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pianist.ame Offline
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Singapore
well...I would'nt reccomend it, but if anyone wants to try that go ahead, though excellent technique is required to play Chopin's Etudes, well not all


Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata
#1099492 - 07/02/07 08:27 PM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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Tony.S Offline
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Alberta
The best way to get good at something is to do it. This works for any activity or sport.

The "theory" behind practicing scales, arpeggios, hannon, etc. is that the patterns in these exercises are used in music ... enabling you to play ... you guessed it - music ... so ... why not just practice these patterns in the music? :rolleyes:

I agree it wouldn't hurt to practice this stuff - but life is short, and you really should waste your time wisely. smile

Note: Just because something has always been done a certain way means very little. We humans are a superstitious lot, and ferreting out the kernels of truth requires an open mind.


Estonia 168 - slow down, relax, & listen
#1099493 - 07/02/07 09:10 PM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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Steve W Offline
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Steve W  Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Tony.S:

I agree it wouldn't hurt to practice this stuff - but life is short, and [b]you really should waste your time wisely
. smile

[/b]
Absolutely the best quote I've seen in a long time! I couldn't agree more.


Steve W
Omaha, NE
#1099494 - 07/02/07 11:23 PM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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DeepElem Offline
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DeepElem  Offline
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Anyone have an opinion about the value of something like Hanon if you are playing jazz or standards from a leadsheet ?

Obviously loads and loads of scale work will have immense value for that player, but it seems like the Hanon aspect would also be useful to build technique, strength, and finger independence.


------
If you knew what you were doing, you'd probably be bored.
- Fresco's Law
#1099495 - 07/03/07 10:04 AM Re: CC Chang & Chopin Etudes  
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Tony.S Offline
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Tony.S  Offline
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Alberta
A friend of mine plays jazz from lead sheets. He makes the music interesting by breaking chords, modifying with inversions and making the chords "fat".

His opinion on this issue is that jazz scale work and chord progressions were a great benefit to him ... (he doesn't read very well - so he improvises everything as he goes .. it sounds pretty good too) ... He admittedly can't play anything classical however.

He approaches his music very intellectually in that he thinks in terms of key signatures and chord progressions - (he does not rely on memory or sheet music very much at all) ... If you play this way, scales, chord work, etc. would help.

Re building technique, strength, finger independence - you do all of this while playing music as well.


Estonia 168 - slow down, relax, & listen

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