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What grade would this piece be? #1173097
04/02/09 08:06 AM
04/02/09 08:06 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
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BarCode Offline OP
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I've been playing for just over a year, self taught and I can play up to about 2:20 of this song. I'd just like to get a general idea of what level I'm playing at, thanks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dqH7TQePyI&NR

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Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: BarCode] #1173112
04/02/09 08:31 AM
04/02/09 08:31 AM
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Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline
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What leveling system?

If it's RCM, then the guy in the video can probably handle most Level 9 or 10 stuff. (And some beyond.) I'm basing that on how his technique looks and the quality of his sound.

I can also see a situation where someone could force that piece into their hands and not be able to handle level 5 baroque works (because of the coordination required of the contrapuntal style...)


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: Kreisler] #1173121
04/02/09 08:56 AM
04/02/09 08:56 AM
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BarCode Offline OP
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Thanks for the feedback Kreisler.

I know what you mean by forcing it into your hands, that's basically what I did for the first song I've ever taught myself pretty much. Now that I'm more experienced, I take the time to analyze the best fingerings and most efficient fingerings, if that makes sense.

In the year that I've been playing, I've learned 6 pieces fluently, averaging about 1:30 in length each. No surprise here since it's all video game music, mostly from Super Mario Brothers (who doesn't love those soundtracks?).

I've been meaning to try and find a teacher for the last little bit to help my further increase my technique, as well as purchase a new keyboard, maybe even a baby grand. I currently am using a Casio LK-90, which is only 6 octaves. The major thing I've noticed is that when I play on baby grand pianos, it's more difficult for me to play the pieces, mostly due to not being used to the extra space on the ends.

Do you have any suggestions as to which keyboard is the "best buy," and any recommendations on any books or courses that help with technique and coordination?

Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: BarCode] #1173451
04/02/09 06:11 PM
04/02/09 06:11 PM
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Posts: 24
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Naku Offline
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Those Who Fight was the very piece that made me want to play the piano (again). I had fiddled about on a toy keyboard a few years as a child but the most difficult thing I could play was Fur Elise, and the interruptions were too difficult. I heard Kyle Landry perform the piece on Youtube, told my mom I should get a piano, and we went and got a new Clavinova the very next day and started formal lessons the next week.

So it's obviously one of my favorite pieces ever, as it brought me into the world of piano. I "learned" it within a few months, although I thought it was incredibly difficult (I had no technique at all and could not sight read at that point). It was a butchery, yet I felt to proud to play that wonderful middle section because it seemed like there were so many notes compared to, say, the Turkish March.

The thing is, I'm looking through the entire Piano Collections and compared to the Classical repertoire, they're very easy now. Compared to Liszt and Rach, there are hardly any notes at all, almost no ties, etc. Sight-readable and perfectable in a day or two, including One Winged Angel and Jenova. I would say it's beginner-intermediate level, honestly. I don't know what grade that would translate to...maybe 6 or 7 technically. Musically, they're probably at a higher level when perfect (w3sp plays it competently although I hardly hear any dynamics at all in the video).

It's difficult to determine what level you're "playing at." Just because you can play it doesn't mean you can play it well. If you need any assistance with the fingering at all, you probably don't have quite the technique required because it's very repetitive and intuitive. There's a reason few who play classical on youtube plays FF PC: they're just too easy. Not meant to be discouraging, but rather encouraging: with good practice, in a few years you could very well have these same feelings about the piano collections. Just make sure to practice every day wink And I encourage you to play classical (there is a lot that is reminiscent of anime/vg music) or at least try sightreading some etudes to get yourself in the mindset of "compared to that, I can tackle this piece...at least eventually."


Sorry for the mouthful but I really, really, really love Those Who Fight and have a lot to say about it :p


As far as digital pianos (keyboards are a no-no), go for the one with the best action. If you try any in-store, make sure to listen to the sound through HIGH-quality headphones or external speakers because many DPs sound like honky-tonks using their included speakers or cheap headphones. And the best "course" is a piano teacher, imo. You can't learn technique or coordination from books.

Last edited by Naku; 04/02/09 06:21 PM.
Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: Naku] #1173509
04/02/09 08:15 PM
04/02/09 08:15 PM
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BarCode Offline OP
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I totally understand what you mean Naku. After I saw Martin Leung's Mario Medley on youtube, I was instantly hooked and wanted to learn to play piano. A few months later, I finally convinced my parents to get me a keyboard, and have been playing it ever since. I learned almost all of the songs from his video, except the Air Plateau and Castle Theme from Super Mario World.

I found them to be very good beginning pieces, such as the Underwater theme, Super Mario 2 ending and Super Mario 3 Overworld 2. After finishing them all, I found it very easy to learn the other Super Mario songs I know. I ultimately turned to look for harder songs that I enjoy, which led me to learning Hyrule Castle from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Subsequently, I heard about OWA (One Winged Angel) and other Final Fantasy piano collections and decided that those were my next targets.

I started To Zanarkand, and can play the first 3/4 of it and havn't really gotten around to finishing it because the keyboard I have does not have enough range. The same thing with OWA; I decided to stop learning it due to the lack of range I had. This ultimately led to me learning Those Who Fight, which I got addicted to after hearing ManHoPark play it. Today I am now able to play up to the D.S, then decided to stop practicing because of how late it was. I'm hoping to finish it within the next week or so, looking over the coda it doesn't seem too hard; just repeating a few of the previous lines.

After I finish it, (and when I say finish, I mean perfect in every aspect where all dynamics are correct, accents are perfect, pedaling is perfect, etc) I was actually planning on trying some Liszt because of Matthew Alcazar's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 15. The only problem I see with that is that my keyboard obviously doesn't have enough range. Until I can upgrade, I may stick to learning a few more PC pieces such as JENOVA, which sounds amazing and is very simplistic from what I can hear.

As for my sightreading, I find that I can look at my sheet music, read a few bars of the song and have them memorized, and after practicing a few times I can play them quite well. I've been trying to nag my mom into getting me a teacher for the last couple of weeks, but when she phoned a few places, she said "I didn't like the person on the phone, so no, find somewhere else." Talk about a drag.

Thanks for the feedback Naku, any recommendations on which etudes or classical pieces I should attempt (keep in mind, my keyboard only has 6 octaves; 2nd line C below bass cleff to 6th space C above treble) to help further increase technique?

Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: BarCode] #1174043
04/03/09 08:59 PM
04/03/09 08:59 PM
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Acquiescence Offline
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just compleetely off topic--- which piece would you say is harder minute waltz by chopin or grand valse briliiante op 18

Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: Acquiescence] #1174057
04/03/09 09:32 PM
04/03/09 09:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,686
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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I'd say the Grand Valse Brilliant. Each section has a different feel to it and I think it is more techically demanding to play well. The Minute Waltz has a steady pulse with some romance in the middle but once you get the fingering down, it's a nice show piece that doesn't have as much challenge as the Grand Valse. Please keep in mind that "minute" does not mean to play it in a minute. It means small.

I just looked at the rating system I had floating around in my computer. The Grand Valse came up as a level 8 and the Minute Waltz as a 7. This makes absolutely no sense to me because many preludes and fugues in Bach's WTC are rated 7 and 8 and their level of difficulty is worlds beyond those two Chopin waltzes.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: gooddog] #1174064
04/03/09 09:39 PM
04/03/09 09:39 PM
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yeah i was wondering that as well--- how beethovens moonlight sonata is rated the same as level 8

Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: Acquiescence] #1174320
04/04/09 10:58 AM
04/04/09 10:58 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,686
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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Does anyone know on what the rating systems are based? Clearly there is no consistency in terms of technical difficulty.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: Acquiescence] #1174358
04/04/09 11:42 AM
04/04/09 11:42 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 625
San Diego
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Originally Posted by Acquiescence
yeah i was wondering that as well--- how beethovens moonlight sonata is rated the same as level 8


Look at the 3rd movement. ;].
And since the 1st movement is played so often...it's hard to play it well. Everyone knows how it should sound, so people know when it's played wrong.
But seriously, just look at the 3rd movement and you'll see why it's rated as difficult as many others.

Originally Posted by gooddog
Does anyone know on what the rating systems are based? Clearly there is no consistency in terms of technical difficulty.


I wish I knew. I'm playing pieces according to the Pianostreet.com are around a 7-8+. The 7 is the mozart, 8+ is the chopin prelude in Ebm. I don't know why the Ebm prelude is rated harder than the g major or the mozart, to me it's significantly easier. If I were to rate the pieces I'm playing, I'd probably to the chopin ebm at a 7-8, the mozart at a 8, and the G major prelude at 8+, it's effing hard!
Technical difficulties are all very subjective, so no rating system will ever be 100% accurate.

Last edited by xxmynameisjohnxx; 04/04/09 11:45 AM.

Chopin: Nocturne No. 15 in Fm. Op. 55 no.1.
Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: BarCode] #1174381
04/04/09 12:14 PM
04/04/09 12:14 PM
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Posts: 65
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pyanar Offline
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Hi Barcode,

I just watched the youtube video. It's amazing that you can play like that in just a year of teaching, and self-taught as well.

I've been teaching myself for 3 weeks now and am struggling with Pachelbel's Canon in D. So far I've learned the first 5 measures of the simplified version, but my technique isn't good and I keep making mistakes everywhere. Can you give me some advice on how to practice technique efficiently and how am I supposed to know how to hit the keys?

I'd appreciate advice from anyone.

Can someone also tell me what level Debussy's Arabesque is? I'd love to learn that piece. Thank you.

Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: Naku] #1174474
04/04/09 02:54 PM
04/04/09 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Naku

The thing is, I'm looking through the entire Piano Collections and compared to the Classical repertoire, they're very easy now. Compared to Liszt and Rach, there are hardly any notes at all, almost no ties, etc. Sight-readable and perfectable in a day or two, including One Winged Angel and Jenova. I would say it's beginner-intermediate level, honestly. I don't know what grade that would translate to...maybe 6 or 7 technically. Musically, they're probably at a higher level when perfect (w3sp plays it competently although I hardly hear any dynamics at all in the video).


I donĀ“t agree with this assessment of the FF Piano Collections. I would class them as late-intermediate to advanced, with more emphasis on the latter, especially for the later books (X & X-2). I know classical pianists who have mastered numerous etudes and other difficult pieces who still have to struggle with the hardest of these. Those who fight is not easy by any means, especially not controlling the dynamics and expression, but pieces like Attack from X, Vamo alla flamenco from IX or Creature Creation from X-2 to name a few set extremly high demands on the performer and require a rock-solid technique.

I put it to you that no intermediate player can perform these, and if they do they are either dropping notes or butchering them musically.

Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: xxmynameisjohnxx] #1174569
04/04/09 06:47 PM
04/04/09 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by xxmynameisjohnxx
Originally Posted by Acquiescence
yeah i was wondering that as well--- how beethovens moonlight sonata is rated the same as level 8


Look at the 3rd movement. ;].
And since the 1st movement is played so often...it's hard to play it well. Everyone knows how it should sound, so people know when it's played wrong.
But seriously, just look at the 3rd movement and you'll see why it's rated as difficult as many others.

Originally Posted by gooddog
Does anyone know on what the rating systems are based? Clearly there is no consistency in terms of technical difficulty.


I wish I knew. I'm playing pieces according to the Pianostreet.com are around a 7-8+. The 7 is the mozart, 8+ is the chopin prelude in Ebm. I don't know why the Ebm prelude is rated harder than the g major or the mozart, to me it's significantly easier. If I were to rate the pieces I'm playing, I'd probably to the chopin ebm at a 7-8, the mozart at a 8, and the G major prelude at 8+, it's effing hard!
Technical difficulties are all very subjective, so no rating system will ever be 100% accurate.


no i knew of the 3rd movement--- i was wondering why it was placed along with those waltzes because it seems a lot harder then the waltzes

Re: What grade would this piece be? [Re: Acquiescence] #1371202
02/11/10 07:05 PM
02/11/10 07:05 PM
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Old thread, but I just wanted to add something so it's here for anyone that google their asses in here.

I don't really know anything accurate, but I play Chopin - Waltz #19 In A minor, Op. Posth., which is grad 6, and Those Who Fight is ALLOT harder. In both technique, and making it sound good. It's a piece which is really easy to butch, and I can prove it! Search "Those Who Fight" on youtube, and voila!

And once I read somewhere, that a guy took his Final Bowser(Mario 64) score and got his teacher to calculate the level, and he said it was Grade 8... I struggle a little bit to believe that, but I haven't played the Bowser theme.


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