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How do you pick new pieces ?
#2810639 02/04/19 04:20 PM
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I'm sure we've done this before but I'm struggling again.

I have gone on my teachers with books and gone on his suggestions for the last two pieces.

But now I want to pick one again and I cant make up my mind.

I played two preludes from this and found this one in my book today so I thought I'd share as a bit of an unknown.



Not too sure if I want to learn it yet so still looking, I think I want another Mendlessohn this time.

So how to do you pick pieces ? How do you narrow them down and know if they are a good one to learn ?

Thanks x

Last edited by Moo :); 02/04/19 04:21 PM.
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Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810655 02/04/19 04:58 PM
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I work through the absrm books- but rather than pick out three pieces, work through all nine before moving on

Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810656 02/04/19 04:59 PM
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Music picks you.

Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810660 02/04/19 05:00 PM
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I like this one.


Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810662 02/04/19 05:01 PM
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Well, thankfully, it takes me so long to learn a new piece, that it's an infrequent problem! That one is quite beautiful, though, Moo. I have amassed a list of future pieces, and otherwise find things that I hear on YouTube or here at the recitals. Sometimes I play through my books, which is slow and sloppy at my level of sheet reading, and if something grabs me from musical or technical need standpoint, I might work on it further.


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Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810665 02/04/19 05:09 PM
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It can be good to spend time on a piece. I spent a couple of months just on my last piece and playing one piece for such a long time with nothing else was a bit hard. But it sounds very good for it. I normally try to go for 8-10 pieces in a year and try to avoid very hard / masterpieces / long works. Mendelssohn rondo took many months to learn but I really liked the piece so I persisted on it the second time but generally I avoid masterpieces. lol. Lyric pieces / songs without words are good options. I thought I'd play Grieg piano sonata movement 2. But I got the score and had a play throught it and decided against it. Ravel I decided against. But yes I still cant decide :S

Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810673 02/04/19 05:14 PM
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Good rate, 8-10 is nice, in five years, that's 40-50 amazing works.

I've been at generally 3 months / piece, and usually work on two at a time, plus constantly trying to rotate the completed ones almost daily so I hit them every week or two.


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Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810677 02/04/19 05:26 PM
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I think it was probably 6 weeks as I was still playing Mendelssohn prelude until the end of last year according to the youtube. I think the different is I only learn 1 piece at a time. If I play two pieces I would normally have one piece for 50 mintues in the lesson and the other I would play for the last 10 minutes. But most of the time I only do one piece now so yes probably 10 pieces a year I think is reasonable. I'm not someone that plays the 40 a year challenge. I tend to flick though books and play pieces randomly when I'm bored of practising my piece.

Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
NittyRanks #2810682 02/04/19 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by NittyRanks
Music picks you.


I was going to say something similar... grin

Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810684 02/04/19 05:38 PM
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My approach is this:

1. Listen to lots of music
2. Find something of that music which I particularly like
3. Go to Henle to find out, how difficult it is.
4. If appropriate difficulty level; learn it. If not, go back to point 1 or 2.


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Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810697 02/04/19 05:56 PM
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I play the pieces my video teacher discusses, so far never skipped a single one. On the side I have the pieces in Celebration Series. I chose them because they are very varied, which I think is good for me as a beginner. But every once in a while, some special piece of music just catches me and I try to find the score and play it. Once I tried to play the first three measures of Pathétique. Not a good idea. laugh


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Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810705 02/04/19 06:06 PM
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Since your teacher is probably much more familiar with the piano literature why not ask him/her for a list of suggestions and then choose the one you like best? While Grieg and Mendelssohn are great composers, I think there are many generally greater composers for piano so I think it's a mistake to play too many Lyric Pieces and Songs Without Words although I guess you find the length and difficulty of those work appropriate. It's quite important to listen to/study works by a variety of great composers. One final thought:masterpieces don't have to be very long or very hard.

Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810709 02/04/19 06:26 PM
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At any time, I'll have a stack of books from which I'd like to learn. Whenever a timeslot opens up, I'll pick the book I'd like to play the most at that point in time. Sometimes it's an easy pick and I know within seconds what I want to learn, sometimes it takes me two days to decide...


I've started playing January 2017, Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.

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Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
pianoloverus #2810740 02/04/19 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Since your teacher is probably much more familiar with the piano literature why not ask him/her for a list of suggestions and then choose the one you like best? While Grieg and Mendelssohn are great composers, I think there are many generally greater composers for piano so I think it's a mistake to play too many Lyric Pieces and Songs Without Words although I guess you find the length and difficulty of those work appropriate. It's quite important to listen to/study works by a variety of great composers. One final thought:masterpieces don't have to be very long or very hard.


Ok thank you very much. I tried to take some advice from here last time to ask my teacher last time. For my last two pieces I have been buying books online (rather than printing scores) and bringing them to the lesson and I decided then what to pick then.

I have been trying to diversify a bit. I played a Brahms piece and I'm learning a Rachmaninoff. My teacher suggested this from my Debussy which is a new composer for me last time. I'm not sure why I bought the Debussy book but yes I probably should try this.



So maybe I'll try to concentrate on finding interesting books by a composers rather than the piece and then the pieces can be picked in the lesson.

Would be interested if others are doing this ?

Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Animisha #2810749 02/04/19 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
I play the pieces my video teacher discusses, so far never skipped a single one. On the side I have the pieces in Celebration Series. I chose them because they are very varied, which I think is good for me as a beginner. But every once in a while, some special piece of music just catches me and I try to find the score and play it. Once I tried to play the first three measures of Pathétique. Not a good idea. laugh


I know what you mean. Sometimes music you listen nice music you want to play but cannot play. :S




Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
QuasiUnaFantasia #2810750 02/04/19 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
My approach is this:

1. Listen to lots of music
2. Find something of that music which I particularly like
3. Go to Henle to find out, how difficult it is.
4. If appropriate difficulty level; learn it. If not, go back to point 1 or 2.


Quite similar for me except for 3. I usually just get the score and look at it/try to sight read. That will tell me if it's appropriate now, if it goes to the "maybe one day list" or if it will never happen due to my hand size restrictions.

I do try to expand to new composers. But some composers require me to listen to a lot to find something I like enough to study...

Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810763 02/04/19 08:17 PM
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I have a number of books that I've bought over the years and there are lots of things that I haven't played in them yet so I look through them and see what I fancy playing. I remember, though, picking Mozart Fantasy in C minor, KV475 when I heard it in a television play (many years ago) - that was in one of my Mozart Sonata books but I hadn't realised how good it was. Scriabin Etude Op.2 No.1 was recommended by a piano tuner and, the Rachmaninov 18th variation on a theme by Paganini (a piano transcription) because I liked the tune on one of those classical compilations - just various methods, I guess, and asking on PW seems as good as any.
Link to the Rachmaninov, just for fun!


regards
Pete
Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810764 02/04/19 08:18 PM
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Once or twice year I get in a mood...when that mood strikes I'll listen to all kinds of music from books at my level and start making lists of the ones I like. They all end up in a spreadsheet that categorizes them by type: lesson pieces, recommended by a professional pieces, Etudes, this or that book I want to learn multiple pieces from. So when I finish an etude, I'll start the next etude on my list. If I'm not feeling it I use the cut and paste function to move it down the list and try a different one. If I don't get around to "feeling it" later in the year I'll assume it was a whim that could be let go.

Since you work on so few pieces at a MUCH higher level than I am, I would assume the stakes are higher in picking pieces. Happy hunting.

Last edited by HollyBytheLake; 02/04/19 08:19 PM.

but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810777 02/04/19 09:20 PM
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I listen to a lot of music, occasionally going down a youtube rabbit hole, which can unearth all sorts of goodies. When I hear a piece I really love, I try to figure out how close I am to actually being able to play it. If it's within a year or two, it goes on my "want to play someday" list, which I share with my teacher. When the time comes to pick a new piece to start on (it takes me a long time to learn pieces also), we look at what else I'm working on. I always want to have one baroque piece going, and one that's more contemporary, as in at least 20th century. I typically work on 3 pieces at a time, so the third piece is up for grabs. I was actually in this exact place at my last lesson, and we decided that most of my want to play pieces were slightly out of my grasp or were baroque (I'm in the throes of working on a Bach prelude at the moment) so I threw out the idea of maybe another Beethoven piece. My teacher sent me a few ideas this morning, and I picked the one of those I liked the best.


Schumann - Sheherazade Op. 68 No 32, Ravel Prelude in A minor 1913, Scarlatti Sonata in D Minor K32/ Soundcloud

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Re: How do you pick new pieces ?
Moo :) #2810782 02/04/19 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
My teacher suggested this from my Debussy which is a new composer for me last time. I'm not sure why I bought the Debussy book but yes I probably should try this.


I think Bruyers is a masterpiece. Here are a few other Debussy that you could consider arranged in approximate order of difficulty:
Reverie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1k3PF8bupg
Arabesque No.1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh36PaE-Pf0
The Girl With The Flaxen Hair
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEdSdtztfLQ
Serenade for a Doll
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO6TRqSIE8w
Le Plus Que Lent
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcQ6QECSs3Q
The Sunken Cathedral
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVMGwPDP-Yk
Minstrels
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhleaHWt3ww

Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/04/19 09:44 PM.
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