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Complete learning? #2776644
10/29/18 11:49 PM
10/29/18 11:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 44
India
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ManishP Offline OP
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India
I am going through Alfred's basic book 1 and also practicing first 2 pages of Beethoven's Symphony 5 for variety. While practicing I wondered if in addition to learning how to play a piece correctly, is there anything else that I can focus on related to that piece (for example, chord and chord changes in the music)? So in a nutshell my question is - how to make learning complete? What could I focus on?

Thanks,
Manish


Wish I had started earlier!
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Re: Complete learning? [Re: ManishP] #2776941
10/31/18 02:15 AM
10/31/18 02:15 AM
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Animisha Offline
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Have you seen this thread?
Now, you didn't ask this, but I also started with Alfred's and the book says nothing on keystroke and playing with a flexible wrist. I would really advice you to watch some youtube video's on these subjects because they can teach you to play so much more beautifully! This is just an example of such a video.
Good luck!

Re: Complete learning? [Re: ManishP] #2776968
10/31/18 05:16 AM
10/31/18 05:16 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,526
Florida
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I have been delving deeply into the pieces I learn recently. That includes knowing what chord I am playing, whether there is a key change (modulation) within a section, etc. This, I believe, helps me learn the piece more intimately and helps me learn music theory more thoroughly. Mortensen supports such an approach and his videos are inspiring.

As an example look at the Chopin thread.
Chopin Nocturne C sharp min


Boston 118 PE

Working On
Chopin Nocturne 20, Posthumous, in C-Sharp Minor
Pachelbel Canon in D
Re: Complete learning? [Re: Animisha] #2776993
10/31/18 07:59 AM
10/31/18 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Have you seen this thread?
Now, you didn't ask this, but I also started with Alfred's and the book says nothing on keystroke and playing with a flexible wrist. I would really advice you to watch some youtube video's on these subjects because they can teach you to play so much more beautifully! This is just an example of such a video.
Good luck!


That’s a good video on key attack.


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Re: Complete learning? [Re: ManishP] #2777163
10/31/18 11:38 PM
10/31/18 11:38 PM
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johnstaf Online crying
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If you play around with the chords, for example putting the third in the bass or the fifth, you can really get a feel for how the chords work. Try different positions in the right hand for example and double different notes in the bass. If you have say a G to C chord, listen to the difference when the bass goes from B to C. Also learn to sing the notes of the chords up and down.

Another valuable exercise is to sing the different melodic lines. Maybe just play the bottom notes in the bass while singing the melodic line, or play top and bottom voices and sing the middle line.

If you are using movable-do solfège, it's good to actually learn some lines so you that you can sing in sofège while playing others. This is fantastic for waking your ears up. You will eventually hear music and know the solfège syllables so you can just sit down and play (or write) a melody without having to work anything out. Not everyone agrees on whether movable-do is better than fixed-do, but the clear advantage (to me) of this method is that you can hear every note as it relates to the tonic. This is much more reliable than just using intervals, as a single error is not going to throw everything else off. In practice you can use both in parallel to reinforce each other.

One area where musicians (even those with well-trained ears) often fall down is in chord recognition, so I think it is a great idea to work on singing the notes of the chords and their progressions. For example, C to G dominant 7th could be (do me so me do - )(te re fa re te so) or something similar.

Some of this stuff can make you feel like your brain is melting, so don't be put off if you find something too hard.

As far as piano playing goes, it's important to realise that you're not just practising the piece you're working on, but all the pieces you will play in the future. Shaping the lines in a Chopin nocturne is the same process you will eventually do with say, the Ballades. In that sense there's no such thing as a beginner. It helps to revel in the fact that you are already a musician. There are just some things you haven't learned to do yet.

Last edited by johnstaf; 10/31/18 11:40 PM.
Re: Complete learning? [Re: johnstaf] #2777176
11/01/18 02:41 AM
11/01/18 02:41 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 44
India
M
ManishP Offline OP
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ManishP  Offline OP
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India
Originally Posted by Animisha
Have you seen this thread?
Now, you didn't ask this, but I also started with Alfred's and the book says nothing on keystroke and playing with a flexible wrist. I would really advice you to watch some youtube video's on these subjects because they can teach you to play so much more beautifully! This is just an example of such a video.
Good luck!

Thank you for posting the link to the other thread - I will take a look at that. And yes, I have seen Ilinca's video (in fact, I have been wondering if I should subscribe to her courses as I want to get deeper into dynamics and her first introductory video on the topic is good). Also, I have seen https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL21598D1259C2C8EE that have very good tips on how to sit, play and practice on a piano. These have been very helpful to me and my posture and hand movements have improved.

My interest in posting this query was more towards getting deeper into music that I play and not just the technique of playing the pieces.

Originally Posted by johnstaf

If you are using movable-do solfège, it's good to actually learn some lines so you that you can sing in sofège while playing others. This is fantastic for waking your ears up. You will eventually hear music and know the solfège syllables so you can just sit down and play (or write) a melody without having to work anything out. Not everyone agrees on whether movable-do is better than fixed-do, but the clear advantage (to me) of this method is that you can hear every note as it relates to the tonic. This is much more reliable than just using intervals, as a single error is not going to throw everything else off. In practice you can use both in parallel to reinforce each other.

One area where musicians (even those with well-trained ears) often fall down is in chord recognition, so I think it is a great idea to work on singing the notes of the chords and their progressions. For example, C to G dominant 7th could be (do me so me do - )(te re fa re te so) or something similar.


I really do not know these terms (movable-do solfege, fixed-do) but now I will explore. Thanks for your pointers.

If I sing, my piano will explode and the singers will turn in their grave wondering what sin they committed in their lives!! And of course, I will be thrown out of the house smile


Wish I had started earlier!
Re: Complete learning? [Re: ManishP] #2777244
11/01/18 11:20 AM
11/01/18 11:20 AM
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Posts: 723
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Thank you for posting the link to the other thread - I will take a look at that. And yes, I have seen Ilinca's video (in fact, I have been wondering if I should subscribe to her courses as I want to get deeper into dynamics and her first introductory video on the topic is good). Also, I have seen https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL21598D1259C2C8EE that have very good tips on how to sit, play and practice on a piano. These have been very helpful to me and my posture and hand movements have improved.


Originally Posted by johnstaf



I went thru the “how the body works” series this morning and found it very informative. The videos explains the possible (there’s a lot of em) sources of even minor tension and how it can creep into our mental aspects of learning. It’s not the most exciting part of learning piano but Mr Peter moves thru at a comfortable pace without getting boring.


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Alfred Adult Piano 1-ebook version
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Re: Complete learning? [Re: ManishP] #2777256
11/01/18 12:06 PM
11/01/18 12:06 PM
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JohnSprung Offline
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Originally Posted by ManishP
So in a nutshell my question is - how to make learning complete?


That's a dangerous word, "complete"..... In most subjects, there's usually another thing or two that can pop up after you think you have it neatly wrapped up.... And then a couple more after that.

When you think you know it all, that's the time to start to worry.






-- J.S.

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Re: Complete learning? [Re: ManishP] #2777707
11/03/18 06:57 AM
11/03/18 06:57 AM
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zrtf90 Offline
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For a deeper level of understanding the things to focus on really depend on the piece of music you've chosen and its genre. What makes that particular piece of music stand out from or blend in with similar material? How does it fit in the history and development of the genre, era or style?

Little more than a few sentences could be written about the stuff in Alfred's while chapters could be written about Beethoven's Fifth (strange supplement to Alfred's - I hope you're not learning the Liszt transcriptions!). On the other hand, the Fifth is largely tonic-dominant harmony; it's not that adventurous harmonically. The fascination is more what he does with such simple material. He doesn't let on he's in C Minor at the start, for example, it could equally be E-flat Major.

What inspired the composer to write it and what it made it good enough to publish? Do you know why YOU like it? Can you bring that element out in your performance?


Richard
Re: Complete learning? [Re: zrtf90] #2778296
11/05/18 04:01 AM
11/05/18 04:01 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 44
India
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ManishP Offline OP
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India
Originally Posted by zrtf90
Beethoven's Fifth (strange supplement to Alfred's - I hope you're not learning the Liszt transcriptions!). On the other hand, the Fifth is largely tonic-dominant harmony; it's not that adventurous harmonically. The fascination is more what he does with such simple material. He doesn't let on he's in C Minor at the start, for example, it could equally be E-flat Major.

What inspired the composer to write it and what it made it good enough to publish? Do you know why YOU like it? Can you bring that element out in your performance?



I really liked the dynamics that are there in this melody. Loved when I heard that...also the opening measures are so dramatic. I was trying to learn the piano adaption by Ernst Pauer. I wanted to bring out similar dynamics, but I think it is far too advanced for me right now, so I kept that in cold storage for the time being and moved to Minuet in G by Bach. A much simpler piece for me!


Wish I had started earlier!
Re: Complete learning? [Re: ManishP] #2779018
11/07/18 03:50 PM
11/07/18 03:50 PM
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Manne janne Offline
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Originally Posted by ManishP
I am going through Alfred's basic book 1 and also practicing first 2 pages of Beethoven's Symphony 5 for variety. While practicing I wondered if in addition to learning how to play a piece correctly, is there anything else that I can focus on related to that piece (for xample, chord and chord changes in the music)? So in a nutshell my question is - how to make learning complete? What could I focus on?

Thanks,
Manish

Well, I sas thinking to myself what remembering tunes is all about. One thought that came5to me was: do we remember lots of notes or how music moves?
Let's take this progression: G G G D7 D7 D7 D7 G G G G C...
Hear we have 16 bars (not fully written out here).
G G G D7 and G G G C is kinda similar.
Learning is easier if you see repeating patterns even if the patterns arent exactly the same.

Re: Complete learning? [Re: ManishP] #2781806
20 hours ago
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Sure, you could also grab a theory book and start working through that. Check out Fundamentals of Piano Theory by Keith Snell.


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Re: Complete learning? [Re: hello my name is] #2781876
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Originally Posted by hello my name is
Sure, you could also grab a theory book and start working through that. Check out Fundamentals of Piano Theory by Keith Snell.

Afraid I'm going to have to disagree. I really don't recommend this series for adults. I am currently working through this and am presently finishing the 3rd book of 11. It is so incredibly repetitive. For example, it teaches the same (brief) history of baroque, classical, romantic, and 20th century a total of eleven times, once in each book, each iteration adding some more detail. I feel like I am in grade school again. Maybe some people really need this repetition but not for me - I find it de-motivating and currently I am not going very fast because of that de-motivation. I do like the workbook format however. Hands on exercises. Teaching your hands as well as your brain. Snell though does lose track of what he has already taught and what he hasn't as I've found a few cases (not many though) where he has an exercise which relies on something he hasn't yet covered.

For adults, who are able to learn from books, I would suggest some college-level music theory textbook which comes with a workbook. In a thread over here, a professional pianist recommends this 3-volume series by Mark Harrison as an alternative to a classic textbook called Tonal Harmony, however I can't find a workbook for that Harrison series. I do like the idea of workbooks for beginners like me, so this makes me hesitate on the Harrison series too.


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