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#2624130 - 03/16/17 01:11 AM Looking for repertoire advice...
Lucosgloves Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/03/17
Posts: 8
Hey there, I've done about a year, maybe less than that, of piano classes, but Im studying on my own by now. The last piece I've learned was the three movements of Clementi's Op.36 no.1. I also learned some Bach minuets, which I enjoyed pretty much.
My question is, what should I be practicing? More sonatinas? Can I move to more advanced pieces, like Bach's Invention 1 or 2? Should I play Beethoven, Chopin? (Chopin's my favorite composer so far, so is it too early to start playing some of his music? What are the easiest ones?) I'm also working on my scales and arpeggios, as my teacher had suggested. Should I work in something more, like Czerny's studies or something like that?
Anyway, now's kind of the second year of my piano studying so yeah, I'm just asking for some repertoire and practice advice.
Thanks by now.








Edited by Lucosgloves (03/16/17 01:14 AM)

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#2624132 - 03/16/17 01:26 AM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: Lucosgloves]
outo Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 2894
Loc: Finland
I would advice against Chopin without a teacher. His music needs special techniques and those are difficult to get right on your own. And the same goes for much romantic era music. Baroque and easier classical (most Beethoven does not fit into this) is safer... You may ruin the music but at least not your hands. Studies and finger exercises can also be overdone so repertoire is better for self teaching imo.


Edited by outo (03/16/17 01:27 AM)

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#2624171 - 03/16/17 07:14 AM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: Lucosgloves]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15475
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
For Bach, why not begin one of the Little Preludes? There's one in C major that is a page long I believe that would be perfect.

You can also go into the other Clementi Sonatinas in the same Opus. 36/2 is very good, and 36/3 is one of my favorites, but more challenging. Or for a change, there's Beethoven's Sonatina in G.

Do not do Czerny or Hanon without a teacher guiding you. Stick to scales, chords and arpeggios. If you are bored with them, remember there are the 3 minor modes, 2-, 3-, and 4- octaves you can work on, as well as playing in 6ths and patterns that involve contrary and parallel motion.

If you love Chopin, this may be a bit of a stretch, but I think you'd enjoy playing the Chopin Preludes No. 4, 6, or 7.

While I agree that it is better to do all of this with a teacher, I understand we all have seasons. Try on your own, and when you hit a brick wall, then it may be time for a teacher. But certainly you can play on your own for now and make progress.
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#2624255 - 03/16/17 11:58 AM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: Lucosgloves]
Piano2138 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/16
Posts: 35
I would suggest checking one of the piano examination syllabuses (RCM, ABRSM, AMEB, etc.).

I am using RCM (syllabus available online) and I see that the first Chopin pieces are at level 6, the same as some of the Bach Little Preludes (some other Little Preludes at levels 5 and 7).

To give you an idea of the RCM levels - there are preparatory A and B, 10 levels + diplomas. Bach (Anh.) minuets 113, 116, 121 and 132 are at level 4 and the Inventions 1, 4 and 8 are at level 7.
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#2624256 - 03/16/17 12:02 PM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: Lucosgloves]
bSharp(C)yclist Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/16
Posts: 586
Loc: Orange County, California
I was going to suggest something similar. Take a look at the RCM syllabus. Clementi's Op 36, No 1 is in Level 3.

https://examinations.rcmusic.ca/sites/default/files/files/RCM-Piano-Syllabus-2015.pdf
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#2624288 - 03/16/17 02:38 PM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: Lucosgloves]
Lucosgloves Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/03/17
Posts: 8
Thanks for the replies. So if I can play Sonatina's op.36 no.1 my current position is RCM's level 3? You guys suggest some other pieces on this level, or can I play harder pieces?

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#2624310 - 03/16/17 04:06 PM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: Lucosgloves]
bSharp(C)yclist Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/16
Posts: 586
Loc: Orange County, California
You can probably do more advanced pieces, but I'm not sure I can answer that smile I was just suggesting you take a look at the syllabus and see what you might like. Op 36 is from List B of the syllabus for level 3. You might like some of the pieces from List A and C as well.
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#2624314 - 03/16/17 04:13 PM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: Lucosgloves]
outo Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 2894
Loc: Finland
Why not play some Scarlatti sonatas smile

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#2624319 - 03/16/17 04:34 PM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: Lucosgloves]
sara elizabeth Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/16
Posts: 224
That's a hard one to answer. What are your goals? Do you want to learn different styles of music? How long did it take you to learn this piece and how well do you play it? There are a few of us doing RCM grade three right now, and when you work with a teacher, you play many pieces at this level before moving on, so that you can learn a bunch of techniques and get a good foundation for the next level. There's really no reason to rush to play harder pieces. There is so much great stuff at every level. Right now I'm working on Beethoven Sonatina in G, which is a really nice one. The RCM celebration series book also has lots of different styles, so you get a real range of options.

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#2624338 - 03/16/17 05:22 PM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: sara elizabeth]
bSharp(C)yclist Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/16
Posts: 586
Loc: Orange County, California
Originally Posted By sara elizabeth
There are a few of us doing RCM grade three right now, and when you work with a teacher, you play many pieces at this level before moving on, so that you can learn a bunch of techniques and get a good foundation for the next level.


Good point. My teacher so far has had me play 3 different pieces from each list, so 9 all together. Not sure if she'll want me to do more. At that's just repertoire, not talking about etudes - that's another 4 more so far. She likes to have her students do many of the pieces, and then decide which ones they feel comfortable with doing at the exam.
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#2624494 - 03/17/17 07:25 AM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: bSharp(C)yclist]
sara elizabeth Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/16
Posts: 224
Originally Posted By bSharp[C
yclist]
Originally Posted By sara elizabeth
There are a few of us doing RCM grade three right now, and when you work with a teacher, you play many pieces at this level before moving on, so that you can learn a bunch of techniques and get a good foundation for the next level.


Good point. My teacher so far has had me play 3 different pieces from each list, so 9 all together. Not sure if she'll want me to do more. At that's just repertoire, not talking about etudes - that's another 4 more so far. She likes to have her students do many of the pieces, and then decide which ones they feel comfortable with doing at the exam.


I also find with each piece I learn, it gets easier to learn them. My third sonatina is going way smoother than the first one. The first one I did was the Clementi. It never really did sound very good. I plan on coming back to some of these in about a year or two to see how experience has improved them.


Edited by sara elizabeth (03/17/17 07:26 AM)

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#2624527 - 03/17/17 11:24 AM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: sara elizabeth]
Lucosgloves Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/03/17
Posts: 8
Originally Posted By sara elizabeth
That's a hard one to answer. What are your goals? Do you want to learn different styles of music? How long did it take you to learn this piece and how well do you play it?

Good questions. As I'm still a begginer it's hard to put down some practical goals into account, but I want to play some gorgeous music I'd enjoy hearing, Rachmaninoff's Preludes, Chopin's Etudes and Waltzes and so on.
About other styles, if I study classical music, will I be able to, let's say, pick some compositions of the jazz masters of the last century and play them? Not that I want to be a genious jazz improviser, but can a classical pianist pick something like Art Tatum's Tea for Two, one of my favorites, and play it? Also music like Final Fantasy Piano songs, or something I hear in some movie, can I play it without the proper pop piano knowledge?
Clementi's Sonatinas, I don't play them that well because the tempo varies a lot during the pieces, Working to change that.




Edited by Lucosgloves (03/17/17 11:40 AM)

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#2624538 - 03/17/17 12:02 PM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: Lucosgloves]
bSharp(C)yclist Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/16
Posts: 586
Loc: Orange County, California
Try some Ludovico Einaudi smile
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#2624576 - 03/17/17 02:06 PM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: Lucosgloves]
sara elizabeth Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/16
Posts: 224
Originally Posted By Lucosgloves
Originally Posted By sara elizabeth
That's a hard one to answer. What are your goals? Do you want to learn different styles of music? How long did it take you to learn this piece and how well do you play it?

Good questions. As I'm still a begginer it's hard to put down some practical goals into account, but I want to play some gorgeous music I'd enjoy hearing, Rachmaninoff's Preludes, Chopin's Etudes and Waltzes and so on.
About other styles, if I study classical music, will I be able to, let's say, pick some compositions of the jazz masters of the last century and play them? Not that I want to be a genious jazz improviser, but can a classical pianist pick something like Art Tatum's Tea for Two, one of my favorites, and play it? Also music like Final Fantasy Piano songs, or something I hear in some movie, can I play it without the proper pop piano knowledge?
Clementi's Sonatinas, I don't play them that well because the tempo varies a lot during the pieces, Working to change that.




In this case, I think I'd stick with the same level for a while. Get good at level 3 and then move on. It sounds like you want to really learn piano, not just dink around, so I personally think slow and steady is the way to go.

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#2624582 - 03/17/17 02:51 PM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: Lucosgloves]
zrtf90 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 3416
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By Lucosgloves
...can a classical pianist pick something like Art Tatum's Tea for Two, one of my favorites, and play it?
Learning classical piano is not necessarily about playing classical music. It is about using classical music to learn to play solo piano, in any style, and developing good musicianship. The examining bodies have, in my opinion, destroyed much of the worth of piano pedagogy and put classical music on a shaky pedestal.

In classical times there was much worth in theme and variations and it was a common practice to take the hit tunes of the day and improvise on them at social gatherings.

Anyone taking classical training that isn't taught to play by ear and to improvise is being short-changed.

Classical pianists study Bach and his contemporaries because the music of the day was polyphonic and Bach's is of unequaled high quality. There is no better way of developing hand and finger independence or comprehensive fingering techniques than studying Bach.

We study the classical composers because no-one approaches them in their mastery of longer forms. Beethoven advanced piano technique so far that some of it is beyond the potential of normal pianists. The number of people who have recorded his complete sonatas is tiny.

We study the Romantic composers because they rely so much on a good cantilena, the hallmark of good, modern piano playing, with a very wide rhythmic diversity, a wide variety of musical forms, an increasing chromaticism and a more personal emotional content.

It is a good sign that the examining bodies have begun to add Jazz and modern composers to the syllabus but they still have a long way to go.

So, a well-trained classical pianist, as opposed one who's done the exams, can indeed pick up pieces from Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, et al and play them, or improvise on movie themes, show tunes and pop hits.
_________________________
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#2625147 - 03/19/17 12:18 PM Re: Looking for repertoire advice... [Re: Lucosgloves]
Lucosgloves Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/03/17
Posts: 8
Thanks for keeping me motivated guys! Started learning Bach`s 132 Menuet and Clementi`s Sonatina op. 32 no.2 by now. Cheers!

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