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#2118063 - 07/15/13 01:53 PM Method: how?'??  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 41
Lorcar Offline
Full Member
Lorcar  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 41
hello everyone

38yo here, started again after a 25y+ iatus, last october i rented a yamaha silent and found a school.
I got my little satisfactions, but what kills me is the fact that "repetition" is the solution.
Just repeat. And if you dont think it works, repeat again. Repeat. Repeat.
TO be honest, I find it a bit monkey-style. Repeat, be faithful, until you get it right.
I think it's silly. THere should be a method to make the efforts and time spent studying most effective and most efficient, like in every other human field.
THe school is now closed for the summer break, and I am struggling on my own with how to use the pedal on Chopin Waltz num 10, 69,2...omg, so difficult for me.
But at least I get the finger on the right keys (i am talking first two pages only). How did i do it? repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat

i feel stupid. I am loosing interest in it. I am missing the beauty and the pleasure of it.
I am not saying I dont want to study, nor I dont want to spend hours bleeding on the bench. I am just asking for a method, a smart/rational/intelligent way to study, something which has been proven to work.
Any idea? any suggested reading? is Chang' book a method? anything worth online?

thanks really a lot in advance

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#2118066 - 07/15/13 01:59 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,627
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014
sinophilia  Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,627
Italy
I would suggest Graham Fitch's ebook series. Plenty of excellent advice, concise and to the point - http://practisingthepiano.com


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
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#2118113 - 07/15/13 04:20 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 525
PaperClip Offline
500 Post Club Member
PaperClip  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 525
Amsterdam, Holland
Just repeat 5 times, then move on to the next. Repeating smaller chunks 5 times a day is enough.You need sleep in between to learn the repetition.


Chris

Playing since May 02 2009
#2118117 - 07/15/13 04:33 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 41
Lorcar Offline
Full Member
Lorcar  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 41
thanks
but which method do you guys use?

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#2118120 - 07/15/13 04:41 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,333
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012
tangleweeds  Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,333
Portland, OR
I recently got this book on practicing the piano, which has been quite helpful to me and might also be for you:

Practicing the Piano

In the meanwhile, Chang's book may have some good ideas for you, but remember that he was not so much of a pianist himself, as a parent who sat in on his childrens' lessons and took notes.

There are also a number of threads currently active which talk about practice methodology.

You are right in feeling that simple brute repetition is not the most intelligent way to practice. Progress is much aided by intelligent analysis of the piece and it's technical requirements, as well as patient and very detailed observation of exactly what is going wrong when a mistake occurs.

ETA:
Here's a web page on practicing that might give you some new ideas also.

Last edited by tangleweeds; 07/15/13 04:44 PM.

Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
#2118122 - 07/15/13 04:43 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 525
PaperClip Offline
500 Post Club Member
PaperClip  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 525
Amsterdam, Holland
I've read this, which was quite interesting:

The pianist's problems:a modern approach to efficient practice and musicianly performance by William S. Newman


Chris

Playing since May 02 2009
#2118124 - 07/15/13 04:45 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 970
dynamobt Online content
500 Post Club Member
dynamobt  Online Content
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 970
NH
No "method" here other than breaking up into small phrases and repeating ad nauseum. However, I say "ad nauseum" but I do not get sick of it. I try to play even the shortest group of notes practiced as musically as I can. I play musically right from the beginning. It's not something I add after all the notes are learned. I feel this keeps me interested.

Truth is, that I have a sense of how I want things to sound like from the beginning. It just takes my fingers and brain a while to iron out the details. Music does not come easily to me. I repeat a lot to learn. It just "is". Used to do flash card drills with math skills as a kid. Repetition works. After all, you are creating new neural pathways as you learn fingering and notes of any given piece. This takes time. Well, unless you are really gifted. I'm not. I just work hard.

Last edited by dynamobt; 07/15/13 04:46 PM.

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#2118126 - 07/15/13 04:50 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Derulux  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
There are many ways to accomplish this so you're not banging your head against the wall. I am most familiar with the Taubman method, but there are many others. I sent you a PM.


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#2118129 - 07/15/13 04:53 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,575
peterws Offline
6000 Post Club Member
peterws  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,575
Northern England.
Its interesting that so many take a few years lessons up to the early teens, as I did. But what I picked up I ran with, using my ear a lot more than the music, I`m afraid.
I lack a lot o` finesse but I`ve had more fun playing with a couple o` bands and just developing as I saw fit. Playing what I wanted, and needed in order to remain viable. I needed to read a bit more music. Since arriving at this forum, I`ve read a lot more and I`m all the better for it. . . .but learning simple chords I would consider essential to development and fun.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2118145 - 07/15/13 05:26 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,158
earlofmar Offline
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earlofmar  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,158
Australia
I learn multiple pieces at once to relieve the resistance that some times comes when you don't want to work on a piece. a side benefit is you may have more than one piece complete almost together which is a great feeling of achievement


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2118172 - 07/15/13 06:31 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 226
StarvingLion Offline
Full Member
StarvingLion  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 226
Complete Theoretical and Practical Piano Forte School (3 volumes) by Carl Czerny

There is another book by Czerny "Letters to a girl...
where he explains how to use the 3 volumes

archive.org/details/completetheoreti01czer


I'm starting the solid wooden keys revolution in digital pianos. Get'em now or be square!
#2118207 - 07/15/13 07:37 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,660
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member
jdw  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,660
Philadelphia, PA
If you are analytically minded, you might be interested in the Taubman approach. It's never about brute repetition, always problem solving. My husband is an adult beginner who's been practice-averse since childhood--couldn't stand just doing things over and over. He finds it fascinating. You have to have the right focus and persistence, though, and a good teacher!

I see Derulux has made a suggestion earlier in the thread.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
#2118246 - 07/15/13 08:35 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 935
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Michael_99  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 935
Canada Alberta
Lorcar, I have read your post, here:

38yo here, started again after a 25y+ iatus, last october i rented a yamaha silent and found a school.
I got my little satisfactions, but what kills me is the fact that "repetition" is the solution.
Just repeat. And if you dont think it works, repeat again. Repeat. Repeat.
TO be honest, I find it a bit monkey-style. Repeat, be faithful, until you get it right.
I think it's silly. THere should be a method to make the efforts and time spent studying most effective and most efficient, like in every other human field.
THe school is now closed for the summer break, and I am struggling on my own with how to use the pedal on Chopin Waltz num 10, 69,2...omg, so difficult for me.
But at least I get the finger on the right keys (i am talking first two pages only). How did i do it? repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat

i feel stupid. I am loosing interest in it. I am missing the beauty and the pleasure of it.
I am not saying I dont want to study, nor I dont want to spend hours bleeding on the bench. I am just asking for a method, a smart/rational/intelligent way to study, something which has been proven to work.
Any idea? any suggested reading? is Chang' book a method? anything worth online?

thanks really a lot in advance

__________________________________________

Fortunately, you, better than others, knows what it takes to play the piano.

If you only wish to play music in the beginner book, you should be able to play it without repeating anything, just read the notes and play the music.

I have been playing a little over a year and I can't play anything famous yet, so you are way, way, way ahead of everybody else when you say this

>>>> Chopin Waltz num 10, 69,2...omg, so difficult for me.

Everybody in this forum would be impressed because you can play Chopin Op. 10.

I am still dreaming and working as hard as I can to be able playing anything in the John Thompson grade 1 book and there are no opus numbers on those pieces.

If you remember the books or music you learned from a quarter of a century ago, it would probably be easier because you have played it before.







#2118332 - 07/16/13 12:31 AM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,182
outo Offline
3000 Post Club Member
outo  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,182
Finland
I don't believe in countless repetitions at all, because it never worked for me.

I try to repeat only as long as I can stay really focused, after that I move to something else. After a day I come back to it and usually it's a little better. I need to have several pieces to have enough to work on for an hour or two. I also divide the pieces to smaller sections that I practice. On one 2 hour practice session I usually work on one thing (piece, section of a piece, scale, arpeggio) only about 5-10 minutes (or even less), that's all I can handle before my mind starts to wander. Usually about 5 repetitions of doing an exact same thing is too much, I start getting sloppy.

I am naturally inclined to get bored easily and when I do the analytical side of my mind starts solving problems not related to what I am currently doing. Not a good thing when learning piano and I have gradually learned to do anything I can to avoid that state of mind. Practicing something while a part of your mind is doing something else is complete waste of time.

Sometimes the whole piece gets into a state where I cannot focus on it anymore. Then it helps to leave it, let it be partly forgotten. Then come back to it and it's again a challenge that can keep my interest up. In a way it is frustrating to start again and I feel tempted to just keep on playing some piece, so that I won't forget what I have already memorized. But I have seen that every time I come back, the process is quicker and the results are better, so I force myself to leave them for a while. The same thing applies to my practicing. I am always unwilling to let go of drilling something, because I feel that I must get it now. But I tell myself that even though it doesn't feel like it, it will be better tomorrow if I just drop it before drilling gets sloppy and makes more harm than good.

I don't know if this makes sense until one has gone through the process of understanding it in one's own learning process. The problem with methods is that often just reading about how to "practice smart" is not quite the same as realizing what works yourself. Unfortunately people often give up before they start understanding what actually works for them.

And I guess it is possible that some people actually can stay focused on a task for countless repetitions, but I certainly can not. Probably has something to do with the power struggle always going on with the different parts of the brain smile

Last edited by outo; 07/16/13 12:38 AM.
#2118383 - 07/16/13 02:40 AM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: tangleweeds]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014
Bobpickle  Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted by Lorcar
THere should be a method to make the efforts and time spent studying most effective and most efficient, like in every other human field.


There very much is, however, it varies a bit between each and every individual (not that every individual certainly has it) because, just like art, practicing is a very personal thing. What works for one person very well may not work for another. That being said, there are certain "recommendations" (I would say guidelines, but playing the piano is an art - there are no "rules" grin ) one can follow when spending their time trying to improve.

I'd start with the resource tangleweeds posted on the topic of establishing an efficient and productive routine:
Originally Posted by tangleweeds
Here's a web page on practicing that might give you some new ideas also.

And because the consolidated summary provided there wasn't collected by the original author, read on Here where I tried to fill in holes that may have been left by summarizer, Richard Kant.


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#2118398 - 07/16/13 04:28 AM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Lorcar]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 935
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Michael_99  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 935
Canada Alberta
Lorcar, I have read your post, here:

38yo here, started again after a 25y+ iatus, last october i rented a yamaha silent and found a school.
I got my little satisfactions, but what kills me is the fact that "repetition" is the solution.
Just repeat. And if you dont think it works, repeat again. Repeat. Repeat.
TO be honest, I find it a bit monkey-style. Repeat, be faithful, until you get it right.
I think it's silly. THere should be a method to make the efforts and time spent studying most effective and most efficient, like in every other human field.
THe school is now closed for the summer break, and I am struggling on my own with how to use the pedal on Chopin Waltz num 10, 69,2...omg, so difficult for me.
But at least I get the finger on the right keys (i am talking first two pages only). How did i do it? repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat

i feel stupid. I am loosing interest in it. I am missing the beauty and the pleasure of it.
I am not saying I dont want to study, nor I dont want to spend hours bleeding on the bench. I am just asking for a method, a smart/rational/intelligent way to study, something which has been proven to work.
Any idea? any suggested reading? is Chang' book a method? anything worth online?

thanks really a lot in advance

_____________________________________________________

If you go to a guitar store or a music store, you will see it is packed with mostly guys but women, too.

How many people do you know that can play the guitar well?

I am 63 and I only knew one guy in college in 1969 who used to sit on the stairs and sing and play the guitar. I know nobody that plays the piano except when I was 15, I knew two sisters who had a older brother who played classical music on the piano.

So the point is, that few people want to dedicate themselves enough to be able to play a musical instrument. But that is true about, any sports or any activity.

I tried a painting course - I can't draw - and to mix colour and match the colour yellow of the banana
took me many, many, many days and I still didn't get the yellow exactly, not even close, but it was a yellow. So now I know why paintings of any size or quality cost a fortune, because it is extremely difficult to do.

To be able to play the piano, you have to be committed to do what it takes. You have to enjoy the journey. What do I love?? I love to play the piano be it a beginner piece or something I have to struggle with. This last piece of 21 measures took me 8 days to be able to crawl through the piece slowly without errors, but it will take me probably 2 or 3 months to play it smoothly and musically. It could take me longer.

I will tell you this. I have lots of learning difficulties, but if you play any pieces you are learning, slower than a turtle crawls, slowly and without mistakes, it is a cakewalk because there is no stress, just play it slowly and the speed and smoothness will happen. If you push or try to push, you will be frustrated because the brain likes it slow and easy. You can fight the world but you can't fight the brain.

cheers, and join the crowd,

Last edited by Michael_99; 07/16/13 04:31 AM.
#2118712 - 07/16/13 06:25 PM Re: Method: how?'?? [Re: Michael_99]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 9,264
Polyphonist Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Polyphonist  Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 9,264
New York City
Originally Posted by Michael_99
Everybody in this forum would be impressed because you can play Chopin Op. 10.

Wait, he never said he could play Chopin Opus 10, did he? Or am I missing something?


Regards,

Polyphonist

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