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#1313731 - 11/28/09 06:53 AM "Unlearning" bad habits  
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Sytadel Offline
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Hi guys,

I am (was?) up to the Mexican Hand Clapping Song in Alfred's book #1 when I traded in my cheap keyboard for a digital piano. Up until then I'd practiced routinely... but probably not well - and didn't pay attention to the rhythm and accents of the song. In particular, I treated the quarter rests as dotted quarter rests and the subsequent note as an eighth instead of a quarter.

I started trying to "re-learn" it on piano and found my progress very slow compared to what I was used to. My hands automatically moved towards the old, incorrect rhythm, and even the right rhythm - when I hit it - I didn't particularly enjoy. Even new passages and later bars I seemed to acquire much more slowly than what I used to. Over time I just accepted this was probably just my natural rate for learning a song on piano.

After practicing it, on average, maybe 1/2 an hour a day (in addition to other songs, scales, etc.) I decided to try O Sole Mio... and was remarkably surprised when I picked up the first 8 bars flawlessly in a little over an hour and a half. I'd learned more of "O Sole Mio!" in 90 minutes than what I'd learned playing about 6-8 hours of the Mexican HCS!

Can anyone else relate to this slow experience of "unlearning" bad habits? Did you persist with old songs you'd learned incorrectly, or throw the baby out with the bathwater and try new songs? I am debating whether I should persist with Mexican HCS or keep working at later songs in the book.

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#1313741 - 11/28/09 07:35 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Sytadel]  
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Unlearning bad habits is difficult for me too, not so much w/ timing and counting, but w/ fingering.

Yes, I did relearn the passages I had fingered incorrectly. My fingering problems had to do w/ smoothness and setting up for the next move, etc. My teacher helps me a lot w/ this though.

best wishes

#1313742 - 11/28/09 07:37 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: kdi]  
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Teachers rarely carry over repertoire from a previous teacher for that very reason. Throw the baby out!


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http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1313790 - 11/28/09 10:49 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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sytadel,
that's not a bad habit, that's just a misread piece. You understand how the piece goes now, that's the lesson.

It's a waste of time and effort to unlearn and then relearn it unless you want to perform it, or happen to love it. I would move on to something else for sure.


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#1313800 - 11/28/09 11:06 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Canonie]  
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If you can analyze that you're
using a dotted quarter rest--even
an advanced player wouldn't be
able to do that--you are doing
very well indeed and should not
be concerned.


#1313805 - 11/28/09 11:13 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Gyro]  
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Any advanced player (and most intermediate ones, too) would understand a dotted quarter rest.

Concern for playing skillfully is a good thing.

Only a troll or a crank would say otherwise.

Steven

#1313857 - 11/28/09 01:47 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: sotto voce]  
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Not to worry, you'll get there! smile It can be a pain to unlearn one thing and replace it with something better, but it's worth it.

One thing, though. When I do something like that I find a few week's break helps. Move on to some other tunes - do them - go back to what you weren't getting right. The break in time helps to see ir fresh.

#1313859 - 11/28/09 01:56 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: ten left thumbs]  
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I second kbk's advice. Put the piece away and move on. This is why it is so important to learn a piece correctly the first time, because it is almost impossible to unlearn the wrong notes or rhythms. Really, the only way to correct this now is to forget it, and maybe come back to it a year later and relearn it. Of course, by then you'll be far beyond this piece so it's probably not even worth doing that.

In the future, be sure to practice slowly enough so that you have time to pay attention to the correct rhythm and notes. Once you can play those accurately, then add the accents, dynamics, and articulations. As you become a better pianist, you'll be able to add these things right from the start, but it is easy to overwhelm yourself with too much detail on the onset of learning a piece. Focusing on notes and rhythms at first will help you to make less mistakes in the learning process.


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#1313867 - 11/28/09 02:25 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Sytadel]  
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Very very very hard, at least for me.
I "learned" piano very much on my own -- and 40 years later, I'm still struggling to "unlearn" the wrong basic ways of playing I got into.

#1313868 - 11/28/09 02:27 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Canonie]  
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Originally Posted by Canonie
sytadel,
that's not a bad habit, that's just a misread piece. You understand how the piece goes now, that's the lesson....

Great point. This specific kind of mislearning would seem to be way easier to undo and overcome than most.

#1313875 - 11/28/09 02:38 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Sytadel]  
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P.S. Another thought......just wondering:

For a piece/song like this, what's the difference if you play that particular aspect "wrong"?

Aren't there probably just different versions of it? Maybe even you were playing an alternate version according to what you had in your head, from hearing it. Such songs are usually "folk" things where it's sort of arbitrary how certain aspects are written out. I remember when I first played "Silent Night." The written version had both the melody and rhythm a bit different than usual, and in my naive child mind, I thought, "huh, everybody sings it wrong." Later I realized this was just an alternate version.

For the sake of learning to read music (and for studying other music), it's important to realize that you read it wrong from the book. But I don't see what difference it makes for playing the piece. I don't even see why you shouldn't be able to just keep playing it the "wrong" way, if you like it better. And from what you said about not "enjoying" it the 'right' way, I would guess that you DO just like it better the "wrong" way, and maybe the 'wrong' way really is better.

Here's a thing that I remember from when I was a kid: In one of the John Thompson books, there's "Shortnin' Bread." A friend played it at school, in one of those "talent shows." He played the rhythm ALL WRONG -- basically, syncopating a bunch of extra stuff. (The written version had almost no syncopation.) I was open-mouthed dumbfounded, literally. I had the grace not to say anything to him, since he seemed happy enough and the audience liked it fine. But since we had the same teacher, I did mention it to her, and she said, "Yes, I told him, but he keeps doing it wrong."

Years later, I realized that what he did was improve the piece -- even at the age of just 10 or whatever we were. The written version in that Thompson book was just 1 version -- and it wasn't a great version; it was very simplified. Update: The kid wound up becoming a big guy at MTV. And I, who played it "correctly," am just doing this. ha

If I'm right that this is a song that just has alternate versions, I would advise, sure, realize that you read it wrong, but play it however you like it, including even making other changes from the written version if you would like.

#1313879 - 11/28/09 02:49 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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(OK, let the debates begin.) smile

#1313884 - 11/28/09 03:02 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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I had assumed the OP had played the piece how it really goes rather than how it was notated. What's to debate apart from the bizarre number of posts you've accrued in 17 days? Hey, where's your life man?


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#1313894 - 11/28/09 03:18 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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I don't understand your point. I don't understand how it's for or vs. what I said.
If you're saying you don't like my posts, don't read them.
If you're wondering about my life, no need. smile

#1313902 - 11/28/09 03:28 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by MarkCannon
I don't understand your point. I don't understand how it's for or vs. what I said.
What's to debate is my point.


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#1313903 - 11/28/09 03:28 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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I agree with your main point, MarkCannon, that often these folk tunes are simplified or alternate rhythmic versions. If a student is playing Silent Night and it's written as 3 even quarters instead of dotted quarter-eighth-quarter (as it is usually sung), I will generally point out to them when I give it to them that they simplified the rhythm, but I give them the OK to play it as it should sound. Or, if I have a version with the correct rhythm, this is a great way to introduce the new note values to them by how they sound.

However, if a student is changing something that say, Chopin wrote I would have a hard time letting that go. It is one thing to play rubato, it is another to play the incorrect rhythm.

However, I thought from the post that the OP wanted to unlearn an incorrectly learned rhythm, whether it was how it sounds in its common usage or not, and not questioning whether or not he should unlearn it or leave it.


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#1313916 - 11/28/09 03:41 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Morodiene]  
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
I agree with your main point.... that often these folk tunes are simplified or alternate rhythmic versions. If a student is playing Silent Night and it's written as 3 even quarters instead of dotted quarter-eighth-quarter....I will generally point out to them when I give it to them that they simplified the rhythm, but I give them the OK to play it as it should sound.

That is truly a breath of fresh air coming from a teacher.
Don't get me started.... smile I think the opposite approach not only stifles creativity, but it makes the student wrongly question his sense of music.

Quote
....Or, if I have a version with the correct rhythm, this is a great way to introduce the new note values to them by how they sound.

....and that adds creativity on your part. smile
"Thinking outside the box," and utilizing the personal things that happen with a particular student as a takeoff for something new and useful.
P.S. One thing I like about how you put it -- and which I hope others will catch -- is that you're acknowledging the view that maybe the score has it 'wrong', and the student's instinct wants to 'correct'/improve it. And IMO that should rarely be discouraged for the sake of playing 'correctly' some alternate version that happens to be printed.

Quote
However, if a student is changing something that say, Chopin wrote I would have a hard time letting that go.

Absolutely. As I said, I'm assuming that what we're talking about it something very very different than that.

Quote
However, I thought from the post that the OP wanted to unlearn an incorrectly learned rhythm, whether it was how it sounds in its common usage or not, and not questioning whether or not he should unlearn it or leave it.

Yes -- but I thought his wanting to do that was maybe misguided and based on some assumptions about what's 'right' or 'wrong.' I was trying to do him the favor of letting him know that maybe he was going on good instincts in the first place.

#1313918 - 11/28/09 03:41 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Morodiene]  
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
I will generally point out to them when I give it to them that they simplified the rhythm, but I give them the OK to play it as it should sound.
I do exactly the same.


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

#1313923 - 11/28/09 03:51 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
What's to debate is my point.

I assumed I would get yelled at for saying it's OK and even advisable for him to just play it "wrong."
"Debate" was intended as a euphemism. smile

But mainly I realized I was introducing a new aspect to the discussion, and one on which there would be opposing sides.

#1314046 - 11/28/09 09:28 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Hey Mark I considered saying what you did about it's your own version and how that doesn't matter.. but decided to be brief for once wink

But since you've started it, my students change pieces all the time especially in the first year when the pieces are more ummmmm inspiring of improvement. It's really an understanding in my studio that the very end of a piece can be "improved" or personalised. My strongest students are usually the ones that do it the most. I'm talking extra notes or chords or re-voiced chords, not just the situation where a student makes the rhythm more authentic as this is always a good idea.

I always point out the deviation for the sake of understanding the written score, and they always say "yes but it sounds better my way" laugh I just love kids. Exceptions: when beginning a piece that is for an exam or competition i warn them to remember to play as written and explain why. And if I find their alteration tasteless shocked I'll tell them why without mincing words, but again it's really their decision. Of course as they progress there are fewer pieces that want improving. They seem to understand that Bach say is not usually improved by their efforts, but I still wouldnt stop them.

When I started teaching I didnt know that this would happen so it was pretty funny. I had only one student and each week I'd write a piece or 2 to teach him the next thing, and he'd come back the next lesson and play My pieces with his improvements. Hehe


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#1314102 - 11/28/09 11:09 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Canonie]  
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Originally Posted by Canonie
......my students change pieces all the time especially in the first year when the pieces are more ummmmm inspiring of improvement. It's really an understanding in my studio that the very end of a piece can be "improved" or personalised. My strongest students are usually the ones that do it the most. I'm talking extra notes or chords or re-voiced chords, not just the situation where a student makes the rhythm more authentic as this is always a good idea.


I'm THRILLED to see that some of our teachers on here allow that kind of thing, and even encourage it. I briefly did some teaching in the past, and I greatly regret that I wasn't attuned to that. That failure misses opportunities to tap into the student's innate musicianship and into whatever made him/her want to study piano in the first place.

Quote
I always point out the deviation for the sake of understanding the written score......

Yes indeed!

Quote
....and they always say "yes but it sounds better my way" laugh

As an adult I did that a couple of times with my teacher and nearly got killed. smile
One time when I was feeling particularly 'whatever' smile I said, "C'mon, sit down and try it my way and see how good it feels."
He didn't. ha

Quote
....when beginning a piece that is for an exam or competition i warn them to remember to play as written and explain why. And if I find their alteration tasteless shocked I'll tell them why without mincing words, but again it's really their decision.....

Just great. I'm pleasantly surprised that we're seeing such things being said on here. It looks like teaching has come a nice long way.

P.S. A 'pianist and pedagogue' of some note has this lecture which he calls: "Piano Teaching: Two Centuries of Musical Harassment." smile
It seems like he's far from alone in questioning some approaches of the past.


"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)
#1314105 - 11/28/09 11:10 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Canonie]  
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Thanks for the replies guys.

It's good to hear teachers and experienced players say that much of this behaviour is not only normal, but acceptable... as a very new pianist I don't usually trust myself enough to play it differently to the sheet music. I ask myself; "Who am I to think I know the song better than the composer?"

I do definetely strive to add my own accents, feel, and personality to the song. Looking back over the last few I've learned - I know that I play the last 6th on every 8th bar quieter than the preceding 2, even though it's not part of the music. In O Sole Mio! I play the eighth note in the bass louder than the trailing notes to give it a little pop. I'm comfortable with this.

However I am very hesitant to change the actual notes played; how long they last, or what fingering is reccommended by the book. I see this as the 'essential template' and have usually strived not to change it, even though my instincts may lead me to do so. I rarely misread in the sense that I fail to identify a note's length/position on the piano, but I may notice these things but subconsciously play it slightly differently because I prefer it that way.

#1314108 - 11/28/09 11:20 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Sytadel]  
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Off the subject but maybe very slightly relevant.... smile

When I first saw the word "Citadel," in my mind I pronounced it the way your USER NAME looks: SY-tay-dle

When I heard the right way to say Citadel, I didn't keep saying it "my" way. ha

P.S. This is on my mind because tomorrow I'm meeting a relative who went to school at the Citadel.

#1314121 - 11/28/09 11:50 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Another similar point of view from a teacher:

Specifically, when a student is playing something that (almost) everybody knows, if they correct a simplified version to make it closer to the real thing then I not only tolerate but encourage it. Correcting misprints (which is how the student perceives what they are doing, if indeed they notice anything at all) is sometimes necessary.

With particularly bright young students, or always with older students, I will point out to them exactly what they've done to improve the arrangement, and demonstrate the difference. I will often say that the publisher would have preferred to print it correctly but didn't want to make it hard to read for inexperienced players.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1314123 - 11/28/09 11:55 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: david_a]  
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Originally Posted by david_a
....when a student is playing something that (almost) everybody knows, if they correct a simplified version to make it closer to the real thing then I not only tolerate but encourage it....

You're making me feel very happy.

Quote
With particularly bright young students, or always with older students, I will point out to them exactly what they've done to improve the arrangement, and demonstrate the difference. I will often say that the publisher would have preferred to print it correctly but didn't want to make it hard to read for inexperienced players.

Beautiful!!!

#1314134 - 11/29/09 12:23 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Sytadel]  
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Originally Posted by Sytadel
... as a very new pianist I don't usually trust myself enough to play it differently to the sheet music. I ask myself; "Who am I to think I know the song better than the composer?"

I do definetely strive to add my own accents, feel, and personality to the song. Looking back over the last few I've learned - I know that I play the last 6th on every 8th bar quieter than the preceding 2, even though it's not part of the music. In O Sole Mio! I play the eighth note in the bass louder than the trailing notes to give it a little pop. I'm comfortable with this.

However I am very hesitant to change the actual notes played; how long they last, or what fingering is reccommended by the book. I see this as the 'essential template' and have usually strived not to change it, even though my instincts may lead me to do so. I rarely misread in the sense that I fail to identify a note's length/position on the piano, but I may notice these things but subconsciously play it slightly differently because I prefer it that way.


Sounds like you're on the right track Sytadel smile It's great that you add nuances to O sole mio. The score is just a map for the music it's not the music. Messing with the template after you have read and more or less learnt the written version could teach you a lot.

In a book like Alfred's a creative person could try many versions of some pieces. I'd say do this if you want to, even if you are altering notes as you'll probably learn even more that way. As a beginner you are not just learning to read, you are also learning to listen, to discover how melody and harmony work (theory), to imagine/hear music in your head and to be a little creative. Making your own versions of pieces (or making up your own) develops all these skills.

If you really want to ramp up your learning you could try to notate your altered versions with pencil and music paper, or with a music writing program. This is a good way to improve your reading!

By the way, fingering I leave as is.


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#1314178 - 11/29/09 02:50 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Sytadel]  
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Originally Posted by Sytadel
However I am very hesitant to change the actual notes played; how long they last, or what fingering is reccommended by the book.
William S. Newman describes most 'book' fingering as the work of a 'dollar-a-page man'.


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http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1314191 - 11/29/09 03:27 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Yes -- I didn't catch that!
Nobody should much hesitate to change a fingering.
Fingerings, even when indicated by the composer, are generally nothing but "serving suggestions." smile

#1314196 - 11/29/09 03:45 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by MarkCannon
Fingerings, even when indicated by the composer, are generally nothing but "serving suggestions." smile
Rubbish. Fingering by the composer is close to sacrosanct! Especially if it is Chopin.


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#1314201 - 11/29/09 03:59 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Originally Posted by MarkCannon
Fingerings, even when indicated by the composer, are generally nothing but "serving suggestions." smile
Rubbish. Fingering by the composer is close to sacrosanct! Especially if it is Chopin.

I would bet that even Chopin would disagree with that.

I'd allow that an arguable exception would be the ETUDES. Arguably but not certainly.

But aside from that, I feel quite sure that composers (including Chopin, maybe especially Chopin) would realize that different people's hands are different, different people's abilities are different, PLUS......

Different interpretations might call for different fingerings. For that reason, even the composer might well have used different fingerings at different times, even in passages where fingerings are marked.

I get the feeling you and I might be disagreeing quite a bit.
But please don't take it personally. I sure won't. smile


"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)
#1314203 - 11/29/09 04:03 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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It's obvious you have no idea what Chopin (or Bach for that matter) did for fingering.


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#1314204 - 11/29/09 04:04 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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I think something else is obvious: You're kind of rigid in judging some things, including other people.

#1314205 - 11/29/09 04:11 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Listen, post less - learn more OK?


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#1314207 - 11/29/09 04:13 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Listen, post less - learn more OK?


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ha

#1314208 - 11/29/09 04:14 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Passion]  
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Thanks ha

#1314210 - 11/29/09 04:21 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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LOOK.
A post like this (i.e. mine).......

Originally Posted by MarkCannon

I would bet that even Chopin would disagree with that.

I'd allow that an arguable exception would be the ETUDES. Arguably but not certainly.

But aside from that, I feel quite sure that composers (including Chopin, maybe especially Chopin) would realize that different people's hands are different, different people's abilities are different, PLUS......

Different interpretations might call for different fingerings. For that reason, even the composer might well have used different fingerings at different times, even in passages where fingerings are marked.

I get the feeling you and I might be disagreeing quite a bit.
But please don't take it personally. I sure won't. smile


......is no reason to tell someone that he basically doesn't know anything about the subject.

It's a DISAGREEMENT. That's all.
I think you're basically wrong, you think I'm totally wrong. But neither of us can claim to know "the one true way."

#1314212 - 11/29/09 04:31 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Sytadel, Pianists...
I wrote "By the way, fingering I leave as is." I had originally written "fingering I would leave as it is." Now I'm wondering why I changed it eek (often I read through at the end and delete a bit...).

So what I mean is that when you are teaching yourself and learning from Alfred's book one, using the fingering given is a pretty good idea smile I assumed that those who have been playing for a longish time would know that I was refering to the case of the OP. Being specific is always a good idea.

When I wrote that post I actually got out my copy of Afred's book1 and checked a few songs, and the fingering is fine. My comments and suggestions were considered, but it's up to you whether to use any ideas. So Sytadel I hope that helps wink Keep up the fast learning! O sol mio looks like a nice piece by the way.

And the debate is a reflection of the passion and interest of pianists here - I like it very much (even if it was an accident to spark this flurry). Oops


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#1314213 - 11/29/09 04:33 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Canonie]  
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Well I certainly don't mind. smile

#1314218 - 11/29/09 04:47 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Passion]  
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Originally Posted by Passion
Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Listen, post less - learn more OK?


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If it's of any interest I did my learning before my posting. (degree, performance diploma, teaching certificate.)


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#1314239 - 11/29/09 07:53 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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I don't think you realize how 'funny' you're being.....

#1314240 - 11/29/09 08:00 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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P.S. I'll tell you what......
If my posts aren't enough to tell you that I don't deserve your attitude and comments, take a look at my Scriabin video (readily found via search on google or youtube) and see if I seem like someone who does.

Or, if you wish, you can simply take my word: I do not.

#1314263 - 11/29/09 09:51 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
It's obvious you have no idea what Chopin (or Bach for that matter) did for fingering.


I'm pretty sure I don't, and I'm pretty sure I don't care all that much. I'm 6'5" tall and have fingers like pork sausages. I have very little reason to think that fingering suggestion, even by Bach or Chopin, would be workable.

I'm not even sure that note values should be sacrosanct. I'm mostly interested in baroque music, and I'm aware that composers often wrote in a way other than they performed. A textbook example example is writing pairs of even quavers beamed together, because it was quicker than writing the dotted rhythms that a particular style called for. The composer would have expected performers of the age to know the conventions of the genre and interpret accordingly.

These days it takes considerably expertise to interpret music of this era as written, and most of us rely on the good offices of pushlishers and editors to translate into a more modern representation. But there seems to be quite a bit of disagreement, and it's hard to be sure that we're playing what the original composer intended. Consequently, being too stuffy about this sort of thing might well be a waste of effort -- however well-intentioned.




#1314401 - 11/29/09 02:08 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: kevinb]  
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Originally Posted by kevinb
Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
It's obvious you have no idea what Chopin (or Bach for that matter) did for fingering.


I'm pretty sure I don't, and I'm pretty sure I don't care all that much. I'm 6'5" tall and have fingers like pork sausages. I have very little reason to think that fingering suggestion, even by Bach or Chopin, would be workable.


Yes -- someone like you is a clear example of how what that guy said is just overly rigid. I myself have a slight physical issue about my hand that limits certain normal or prescribed fingerings and sometimes enables odds ones, so I'm somewhat in your boat. And of course people who don't have any 'anatomical' issue might also well choose different fingerings from those marked by the composer, and legitimately so.

I don't disagree that there's much to learn from a composer's indicated fingerings, on both technique and the intended/implied musicality. I would agree with the other poster to the extent that we shouldn't ignore such indications; we should study them carefully and thoughtfully. But in my opinion it is wrong and frankly a little scary to go so far as to say that they are sacrosanct.

Quote
I'm not even sure that note values should be sacrosanct. I'm mostly interested in baroque music, and I'm aware that composers often wrote in a way other than they performed. A textbook example example is writing pairs of even quavers beamed together, because it was quicker than writing the dotted rhythms that a particular style called for. The composer would have expected performers of the age to know the conventions of the genre and interpret accordingly. These days it takes considerable expertise to interpret music of this era as written..... there seems to be quite a bit of disagreement, and it's hard to be sure that we're playing what the original composer intended. Consequently, being too stuffy about this sort of thing might well be a waste of effort -- however well-intentioned.


YES.
I think the way you word the first sentence will outrage some people, but they perhaps will feel differently as they go on. An old teacher of mine, Malcolm Bilson, has a lecture and DVD (called "Knowing the Score") where he talks a lot about things like what you just said. As he says it, sometimes playing the music in what seems like a literal and correct way might actually be not following it; we need to understand the composer and the style to know what the score really "says." I would also bring up my somewhat odd view on the intended rhythm of the last movement of Bach's E minor Partita, but I'm afraid that would give one or two people here a nervous breakdown. smile

Last edited by MarkCannon; 11/29/09 02:10 PM.
#1314407 - 11/29/09 02:19 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by MarkCannon
But in my opinion it is wrong and frankly a little scary to go so far as to say that they are sacrosanct.
Sorry if you got a little frightened there but you guys just don't get fingering do you? And I actually said 'close to sacrosanct'.


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http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1314420 - 11/29/09 02:36 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Originally Posted by MarkCannon
But in my opinion it is wrong and frankly a little scary to go so far as to say that they are sacrosanct.
Sorry if you got a little frightened there but you guys just don't get fingering do you? And I actually said 'close to sacrosanct'.

Yes -- as I look back, indeed you did. Sorry!
Obviously I differ from your basic orientation on this and I think you're doing a couple of us an unfair disservice in how you view us, but I'm very sorry for the misquote.

I agree that "close to sacrosanct" is quite different from just sacrosanct. BUT......I hope you realize that even just using the word sacrosanct at all conveys a certain kind of orientation -- and that's what I reacted to.

#1314425 - 11/29/09 02:39 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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I'm not sure what composers we're talking about anyhow. Chopin's the only one I know who left fingering that, and two pieces by Bach (though CPE and Couperin are a treasure trove).


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#1314432 - 11/29/09 02:43 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Nobody knows which fingering is Chopin's own. This includes the lucky (unlucky?) people with first-hand access to his manuscripts.

He used many if not most of his manuscripts for teaching purposes, and teaching means dealing in some way with the idiosyncrasies of a particular student or students. It's quite likely that much of the fingering Chopin wrote has nothing to do with his own performance, but was a special compromise for some clumsy or opinionated student. Chopin also was in an essentially constant state of desperate score revision trying to get things sent off to the publishers so he could earn some money, and in very many cases he was unable to make up his mind even about what the correct notes were, let alone the piddling matter of fingering.

SOME of the fingerings in Chopin's music are brilliant and indispensable, demonstrating important general principles at the same time. Others are merely one useful possibility, and demonstrably not the best one.

Good pianists and scholars have had a lot of time, something Chopin never had, to figure this stuff out.

I would NEVER erase a fingering written by Chopin, for any reason. But I would certainly question it, and sometimes write a better fingering, in pencil, beside it.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1314439 - 11/29/09 02:49 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: david_a]  
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Moi aussi!


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#1314870 - 11/30/09 04:40 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Originally Posted by MarkCannon
But in my opinion it is wrong and frankly a little scary to go so far as to say that they are sacrosanct.
Sorry if you got a little frightened there but you guys just don't get fingering do you? And I actually said 'close to sacrosanct'.


Just how much wiggle-room is there between `sacrosanct' and `close to sacrosanct' ? I'm generally grateful for those composers and editors who give fingering indications, because nine times out of ten they work fine, even for my huge, clumsy hands. But that other time they don't work at all.

Is nine times out of ten `close to sacrosanct?' Or is there more to it than that?

I probably don't `get' fingering, as you say. I always thought that the purpose of fingering was to get nice sounds to come out of the piano, but perhaps there's more to it than that.




#1314874 - 11/30/09 04:52 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: kevinb]  
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Of course I'm with you.
For the sake of peace I gave him the benefit of the doubt on that distinction. smile
And anyway I figured a misquote is a misquote, so I was doing a little penance too......

#1314886 - 11/30/09 05:32 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: kevinb]  
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Originally Posted by kevinb

Is nine times out of ten `close to sacrosanct?' Or is there more to it than that?
That's good enough for me and certainly not 'serving suggestions', cute though the analogy may be.


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#1314971 - 11/30/09 11:07 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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I think much can be learned from fingering suggestions, and I will usually go by them as well, unless they just don't work for me. I have no trouble scribbling out a fingering, whether it be Bach's, Chopin's, or the editor's. If their fingering hinders my ability to play, then it makes no sense to try and do it their way. I feel the same about distribution of notes between the hands. Sometimes the other hand can play the notes better/easier. Kevin is right, the goal it to be able to play the music well, not adhere to fingering. I'm not saying it's all bad, but one has to take into consideration their own hand size and facility.


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#1315027 - 11/30/09 12:53 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Morodiene]  
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kbk - 7191 posts in 2 years + 8 months (rounding here) ~ 225 posts/per month, averaged.

MC - 653 posts in less than one month.

Just thought I'd give another perspective on the "number of posts" thing. I'll leave "average number of posts per day" as an exercise for the student (as the joke about math teachers goes).

smile

Cathy


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#1315113 - 11/30/09 02:31 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: jotur]  
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Last time I exercised my maths brain MC was going at a rate of 30 a day. By my calculator now gone up to 34.8!

Well, now that my calculators out - that david_a is a nice bloke I'm sure, but 21 posts a day? To my measly 7.4? Is there some new generation of super-poster arriving? Or is it the recession?

Last edited by keyboardklutz; 11/30/09 02:49 PM.

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#1315133 - 11/30/09 03:07 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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I think my posts at least tend to be more interesting and music-related than those math ones. smile

#1315161 - 11/30/09 03:33 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by MarkCannon
I think my posts at least tend to be more interesting and music-related than those math ones. smile


Why, thank you smile

Cathy


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#1315166 - 11/30/09 03:36 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: jotur]  
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any time wink

#1315172 - 11/30/09 03:43 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by MarkCannon
I think my posts at least tend to be more interesting and music-related than those math ones. smile
I wouldn't bet on it.


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#1315179 - 11/30/09 03:52 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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I won't join you in the 'personal' stuff.

#1315181 - 11/30/09 03:54 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by MarkCannon
I think my posts at least tend to be more interesting and music-related than those math ones. smile


I agree, they are.

#1315211 - 11/30/09 04:19 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Passion]  
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#1315221 - 11/30/09 04:29 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Loves Pugs Too]  
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thanks smile


"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)
#1315343 - 11/30/09 07:52 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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If Mark Cannon turns out to be Ragtime Clown I'm going back to the banjo forum.

#1315348 - 11/30/09 07:58 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: limavady]  
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KBK- about 7 posts a day on average.

Mark Cannon-about 40 posts a day on average.

oh oh 2 in a row here. christ, now i'm doing it too!

#1315351 - 11/30/09 08:06 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: limavady]  
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Originally Posted by limavady
If Mark Cannon turns out to be Ragtime Clown I'm going back to the banjo forum.
ROFL!


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#1315364 - 11/30/09 08:34 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: limavady]  
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Originally Posted by limavady
If Mark Cannon turns out to be Ragtime Clown I'm going back to the banjo forum.

I guess that's someone I ought to know.
Or not. smile


"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)
#1315365 - 11/30/09 08:35 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Morodiene]  
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Dam.....how do I find out re this Ragtime dude (or dudette, I can't tell)...... smile

#1315369 - 11/30/09 08:43 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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mark, you don't want to know. --anyway, i'm just kidding here---besides kbk has kept that 7 post a day average up for 2 1/2 years...so i'm pretty sure he's just jealous anyway!

#1315373 - 11/30/09 08:50 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: limavady]  
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Originally Posted by limavady
.....he's just jealous....

I take it that it's a coincidence you used that word.....there's another thread where we're having a pretty good whoop-de-doo about "jealous."
And if you don't know about that, you don't want to either. ha

#1315375 - 11/30/09 08:57 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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envious is the correct word now that you mention it.

...and I'll take your word on the other thread and remain blissfully innocent, pun intended.

#1315379 - 11/30/09 09:06 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: limavady]  
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Originally Posted by limavady
envious is the correct word now that you mention it.....

I always have to think for a moment before I use either word, to make sure I'm using the right one.
And I probably don't anyway. smile

#1315391 - 11/30/09 09:18 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: limavady]  
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Originally Posted by limavady
If Mark Cannon turns out to be Ragtime Clown I'm going back to the banjo forum.


LOL LOL LOL

Cathy


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#1315425 - 11/30/09 10:04 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by MarkCannon
Originally Posted by limavady
If Mark Cannon turns out to be Ragtime Clown I'm going back to the banjo forum.

I guess that's someone I ought to know.
Or not. smile


Well, if you are Ragtime Clown, you'll probably get banned. RC was given a break the last time one of his false identities was revealed. Just sayin'. smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1315433 - 11/30/09 10:14 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Horowitzian]  
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I never heard of this other guy and I have no idea why he's being mentioned.

Actually I feel a little silly because y'all are probably just having fun, and here I am getting all worried.... smile


"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)
#1315435 - 11/30/09 10:16 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Horowitzian]  
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BTW.......why is he being mentioned? (may I ask) smile

#1315445 - 11/30/09 10:27 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Mark_C]  
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Ragtime has had something like 7 or 8 different identities, so I don't blame people for being a little suspicious. smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1315452 - 11/30/09 10:36 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Horowitzian]  
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I guess you mean I 'resemble' one or more of those identities.... cry

#1315460 - 11/30/09 10:44 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Ragtime has had something like 7 or 8 different identities, so I don't blame people for being a little suspicious. smile


I think I counted 9 finally. But it would be easy to be mistaken smile

Cathy


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#1315467 - 11/30/09 10:50 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: jotur]  
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Originally Posted by MarkCannon
I guess you mean I 'resemble' one or more of those identities.... cry


I didn't say that. smile

Originally Posted by jotur
Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Ragtime has had something like 7 or 8 different identities, so I don't blame people for being a little suspicious. smile


I think I counted 9 finally. But it would be easy to be mistaken smile

Cathy


Hehe, I'd guess you're right since you you were the one who did the research. laugh


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#1315474 - 11/30/09 10:56 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Horowitzian]  
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I think I only knew 4 of them for sure before the final debacle, but then he 'fessed up to a couple more, and someone else called him on another one or two, and then there was one last one that, believe it or not, I knew from "who's on-line" before he posted at all laugh

It was sort of a brouhaha -

Cathy


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#1315475 - 11/30/09 10:57 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: jotur]  
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Originally Posted by jotur
Just thought I'd give another perspective on the "number of posts" thing. I'll leave "average number of posts per day" as an exercise for the student (as the joke about math teachers goes).

Or the musical equivalent: "and then just learn it in all 12 keys" wink

I know this has nothing to do with the original post (but I'm not exactly the first off-topic one here), but I did look up Mark's video that he referenced, and I'm impressed. wow

#1315481 - 11/30/09 11:03 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: jotur]  
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Originally Posted by jotur
I think I only knew 4 of them for sure before the final debacle, but then he 'fessed up to a couple more....

For better or worse, probably mostly the latter, I'll never be anyone but myself. ha

#1315482 - 11/30/09 11:04 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: peejay]  
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Originally Posted by peejay
Originally Posted by jotur
Just thought I'd give another perspective on the "number of posts" thing. I'll leave "average number of posts per day" as an exercise for the student (as the joke about math teachers goes).

Or the musical equivalent: "and then just learn it in all 12 keys" wink


laugh

Cathy


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#1315483 - 11/30/09 11:04 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: peejay]  
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Originally Posted by peejay
....I know this has nothing to do with the original post (but I'm not exactly the first off-topic one here), but I did look up Mark's video that he referenced, and I'm impressed. wow

Well I think that's much more important than the topic at hand! ha

But seriously folks.......thanks very much peejay -- much much appreciated.

#1315544 - 12/01/09 12:15 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Sytadel]  
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I've read that it takes 7 times as much effort to "unlearn" something that you learned incorrectly, that is actually a good thing if you learn correctly the first time.


Cheers!!!

#1315671 - 12/01/09 08:34 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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Mark, I watched your video and pretty much read all your posts. I find you quite entertaining and it seems that since you came onboard the forums have never stop moving right along at a nice clip. BTW - You look like Picard to me ( very cool ). You really do seem to stir up emotions and thoughts that encourage members to post more than usual. I think we have seen a lot of very good exchanges as a result and maybe some folks allowed more of themselves than intended. Levelheaded counterpoints were appreciated by me anyway, even learned a few things Thanks and keep posting.
Richard


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#1315679 - 12/01/09 08:56 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Loves Pugs Too]  
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"Un sot trouve toujours un plus sot qui l'admire." —Nicholas Boileau-Despréaux

#1315689 - 12/01/09 09:23 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: sotto voce]  
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Originally Posted by sotto voce
"Un sot trouve toujours un plus sot qui l'admire." —Nicholas Boileau-Despréaux
Comme d'habitude!


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#1315710 - 12/01/09 10:17 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: sotto voce]  
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sotto voce,

You have some nerve calling me a fool!
At what point did I lower myself to namecalling?
Because you quote in French?
Nice.

I don't think I implied I admire Mark Cannon, I simply said I thought he was entertaining.
That does not call for your insulting remark.
Richard


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#1315715 - 12/01/09 10:28 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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KeyboardKlutz,
The "usual" areas I would like to place myself here is to say that I think you, and sotto voce are terrific pianists. If I were to "admire" someone it would be someone who has demonstrated a great talent as you both have, as Mark has. I have listened to some of your postings and I can only hope that in a few years from now that I can play nearly as well as both of you do, usually, and be a surprise.
Richard


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#1315727 - 12/01/09 10:56 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Loves Pugs Too]  
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Richard,

Boileau was making a broad observation about the ease with which certain people capture the attention and adulation of others. Even if it's not applicable to this specific instance, I still think it has general relevance.

I'm sure you knew when you voiced your opinion that others wouldn't necessarily share it, but they're effectively muzzled from expressing themselves by the "If you can't say anything good, don't say anything" ethos that prevails here. By offering instead an aphorism from a learned Gallic scholar, I meant no offense to you and I apologize if any was taken.

Steven

#1315739 - 12/01/09 11:13 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: sotto voce]  
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Steven, Thank you for the apology, It is accepted - I was offended as I am sure it was not hard to tell. I am well aware of the differences of opinions that you and a few others share concerning Mark Cannon. I thought I was just expessing my thoughts and felt, and still feel, that I was taking no sides or supporting anyones viewpoint. I am a raw beginner and pretty new to the forum. I take great pleasure taking in the wealth of talent and knowledge that members here have acquired with years of effort. Since even I could see that there was a good deal of tension all through the thread I would have been wise to place my comments in a calmer atmosphere. Up until these little "events" take place further into some threads, members like you and keyboardklutz, passion and many others display and post a tremendous knowledge of music and education - and I am grateful for those gifts on Piano World.
Again, thank you,
Richard


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#1315822 - 12/01/09 12:52 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Loves Pugs Too]  
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Originally Posted by barricwiley77
members like you and keyboardklutz, passion and many others display and post a tremendous knowledge of music and education -
Passion!? What was 'educational' about his bizarre, homophobic and scattalogical references in the 'No Fun' thread? That, in my time here at PW, has gotta be the most abusive post I've seen.


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#1315829 - 12/01/09 12:57 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Keyboardklutz - I agree - don't know what got into me.
I think I will go for the mentioned muzzle.
Richard

Last edited by barricwiley77; 12/01/09 01:00 PM.

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#1315846 - 12/01/09 01:11 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Loves Pugs Too]  
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I just assumed that the name was confused with someone else's.

For what it's worth, Passion has left the building.

Steven

#1315855 - 12/01/09 01:18 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Loves Pugs Too]  
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Originally Posted by barricwiley77
Keyboardklutz - I agree - don't know what got into me.
I think I will go for the mentioned muzzle.
Richard


laugh

Too funny, and much appreciated.

Cathy


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#1315866 - 12/01/09 01:37 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Sytadel]  
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It's amazing how off topic this thread has taken. I am involved in a lot of different forums and quite frankly I'm surprised a moderator has not stepped in yet. Usually these threads have some useful information for myself since a no teacher / self learner to all bad habits type of guy like me needs all the help you can get and will agree this thread did start that way but not for long. lol


While I did pick up some interesting unknown info (Keyboardklutz, I had no idea fingering was as important as it is in reference to Chopin and the like), it has been an entertaining way to start off the morning!

#1315879 - 12/01/09 01:53 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: fanatik22]  
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Originally Posted by fanatik22
I am involved in a lot of different forums and quite frankly I'm surprised a moderator has not stepped in yet.
You want to see what goes on before YD gets out of bed!


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#1315939 - 12/01/09 03:01 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Loves Pugs Too]  
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Originally Posted by barricwiley77
.....BTW - You look like Picard to me...

Thanks, Richard -- it's better than "Larry David" which is what I usually get.
Quote
I think we have seen a lot of very good exchanges as a result and maybe some folks allowed more of themselves than intended. Levelheaded counterpoints were appreciated by me anyway, even learned a few things Thanks and keep posting.

Thanks very much for the props and the encouragement!
But if I keep ruffling feathers in a bad way so often, I'll do something about it -- probably just posting less, which maybe wouldn't hurt anyway. smile

#1316377 - 12/02/09 01:06 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: sotto voce]  
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Originally Posted by sotto voce
....I'm sure you knew when you voiced your opinion that others wouldn't necessarily share it, but they're effectively muzzled from expressing themselves by the "If you can't say anything good, don't say anything" ethos that prevails here.....

If part of what you meant was what I think you might have, I thank you anyway for taking a look. smile

#1316590 - 12/02/09 10:16 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Sytadel]  
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I guess my view is that from the beginning it's best to learn a piece exactly as it's written, with the fingering and dynamics that are prescribed. I'm not very good at this because I'm impatient. I fall in love with beautiful melodies, and in my haste to hear the melody, I use my own sloppy fingering which may seem easier at the time. Then I have to go back and learn it again the right way, because I usually discover that my flawed fingering limits how well I can play the song. It takes so much discipline to learn a piece slowly, only playing passages as well as I can play them correctly. And I sometimes get in the habit of playing wrong notes because I'm not disciplined enough to make sure every note is correct as I'm learning.

Having said all that, I love to improvise. But maybe the best improv comes after we learn to play a piece straight. For me there's also the issue of respect. there's also the issue of respect. I try to be humble enough to honor the composer by learning to play a piece as close as possible to what he/she intended.

I'm a very amateur composer, and I know how much I agonize over every note, every nuance of dynamics and tempo. I wouldn't like it if someone else played from a manuscript of one of my songs and immediately started changing things without taking the time to find out what I originally intended as the composer.
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#1316631 - 12/02/09 11:02 AM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Larry Larson]  
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Larry, while it is true that it's important to have good fingering on the onset, often it is hard to know what fingering would work best. There are times that I have to adjust fingering as the tempo of a piece increases as I discover the ineffectiveness of what I've chosen before. This includes when I've used the editor's fingering to start with. Sometimes it is inevitable.


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#1316674 - 12/02/09 12:25 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Morodiene]  
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Larry, while it is true that it's important to have good fingering on the onset, often it is hard to know what fingering would work best. There are times that I have to adjust fingering as the tempo of a piece increases as I discover the ineffectiveness of what I've chosen before. This includes when I've used the editor's fingering to start with. Sometimes it is inevitable.


This is one reason I've found it so helpful to start practicing right away with hands separate in short sections (as C. C. Chang recommends in his book on practicing). This lets you play a lot of things at the correct tempo, or at least closer to it, from the beginning so that you can come up with good fingerings. Once those are more or less in place, you can then do the slow practice that is of course necessary.


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#1316679 - 12/02/09 12:34 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Piano Again]  
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Originally Posted by Piano Again
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Larry, while it is true that it's important to have good fingering on the onset, often it is hard to know what fingering would work best. There are times that I have to adjust fingering as the tempo of a piece increases as I discover the ineffectiveness of what I've chosen before. This includes when I've used the editor's fingering to start with. Sometimes it is inevitable.


This is one reason I've found it so helpful to start practicing right away with hands separate in short sections (as C. C. Chang recommends in his book on practicing). This lets you play a lot of things at the correct tempo, or at least closer to it, from the beginning so that you can come up with good fingerings. Once those are more or less in place, you can then do the slow practice that is of course necessary.


This is interesting. I have not tried this method myself except for once on Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin, Prelude. I tried memorizing each measure as I went along, bringing it up to tempo. I think I made it through the first page like that and then gave up. So for me, I guess it wasn't effective at all in the sense that I lost interest in the piece and didn't complete it. Perhaps this depends solely on the personality of the performer.


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#1316744 - 12/02/09 02:19 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Morodiene]  
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Morodienne -- I think a measure is too artificial a subdivision. I usually mark a piece out into musically logical sections, noting especially the difficult ones, and then practice those sections in all kinds of ways. The section can be as short as two measures or it can be a whole page -- depends on the piece.

This helps with a lot of different things -- understanding the structure, understanding where thematic materials is repeated and where it varies, and understanding exactly where the technical challenges are.

I do believe that even when you are playing hands separate, if you play groups of notes at the correct tempo you develop muscle memory much sooner than if you only play them slowly, and you also understand better how those groups of notes fit into the whole.


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#1316832 - 12/02/09 04:44 PM Re: "Unlearning" bad habits [Re: Sytadel]  
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I too fall victim at attempting new songs at an unreasonable fast pace. I picked up this habit from playing bass guitar, where I would only read tab notations. Since tabs doesn't notate time it's very hard to not try and pick up a song at least close to the tempo. It's the only reference to rythm you have.

Bad habits from one instrument to another. cry

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