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Learning pieces the right way #2849831
05/19/19 06:03 AM
05/19/19 06:03 AM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 25
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Fornion Offline OP
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Fornion  Offline OP
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Since the beginning of the year to 14.04.2019 I did 201 hours doing sightreading 10min. learining some theory, three pieces for about 90 min., learning to improvise, and creating some stuff. Since 14.04.2019 I gave up. I was learning three pieces at once because it is proven to be more effective and better memorised. For jazz pieces I tried just to remember the melody, try to sing them because if you can't sing a song, you don't know it. It took me so much time and I still couldn't sing a song. One of the pieces was classical so I was learning to play the piece in all keys, cause again - it's a very good exercise and I didn't make it yet. Everything was so frustrating i stopped playing. I thought I just don't enjoy playing piano at all. I even stopped listening to music.
I even didn't do the first step and it took so long (Ok I've found chords, but I didn't find them exacly how they were used, but overal shape e.g. the shape of blues) . After singing melody there was creating chords with 4ths 5ths 6ths voicings to accompany a song. Then playing these with rythmic staff, then accompany only with one hand, then playing pieces in all twelve keys, then try to play to your accompaniament, then try to learn the piece and then to review your playing. I was in the beginning and was already overwhelmed. I didn't see any significant progress. And what's funny it isn't everything.
Pieces I was learning: Freddie freeloader, Mr. P.C. and Invention nr. 8. People say these are for beginners but I bet I wouldn't be able to play them in tempo but very slowly without any satisfaction because I tried to play some fragments. And even playing slowly it wouldn't be so even, expressive and technically correct unless I play them for another chunk of time. People around see that I constantly smash the keyboard with my headphones for so long and they don't believe that I still cannot play any piece.
Overall I have something around 700 hours of playing with similar or even worse breaks, worse knowledge of techniques of learning and playing, so these hours of work weren't that effective. I've forgotten all pieces I learned that time what proves my ways of learning were wrong. Most these pieces were classical and I had no experience with playing jazz only listening.
Should I learn jazz after learning some easier staff?
Am I doing everything wrong?
How make playing piano more satisfying?
My point is I'm playing for so long and I don't even know if it isn't a waste of time if I'm doing it correctly and efficiently. I know what will give me this exercise and that, but it takes so long I'm wondering if there is something wrong with me, and my attitude.

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Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: Fornion] #2849837
05/19/19 06:26 AM
05/19/19 06:26 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 489
Sheffield, UK
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KevinM Online content
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KevinM  Online Content
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Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 489
Sheffield, UK
I'm not normally so black and white. But I think in your specific case, you need a teacher for direction. If you find what you believe is the right teacher, let them direct you and try and let go of the feeling that what you have done so far as wasted effort. If they are a good teacher they will recognize what they can build on from what you've done but also in other areas where you need to start from scratch. I know that sounds hard.

It sounds like you are trying to achieve too much too quickly and you are just hoping that by hard work and dedication you will get the result you want.

You are diving into multiple things at the same time, and so far have not had any rewards. Learning the piano is slow and I think you need to understand it is something you are in for the long haul. That also means you need to have wins on the way, learn to play something well enough that you enjoy hearing what you play. You need that sense of satisfaction. Or at least that is my own experience.

Good luck.

Last edited by KevinM; 05/19/19 06:27 AM.

Learning Mendelssohn Song without Words Op. 19 No. 2, Schumann Bunte Blätter Stücklein Op. 99 No. 1. Jensen Sehnsucht Op. 8 No. 5. Schumann Kinderszenen Op15 No1, Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen.
Digital piano: Casio Celviano AP-470. Headphones: Superlux HD681 EVO
Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: Fornion] #2849840
05/19/19 06:39 AM
05/19/19 06:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,960
Israel
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Nahum Offline
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Israel

Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: KevinM] #2849847
05/19/19 07:04 AM
05/19/19 07:04 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,542
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by KevinM
I'm not normally so black and white. But I think in your specific case, you need a teacher for direction. If you find what you believe is the right teacher, let them direct you and try and let go of the feeling that what you have done so far as wasted effort. If they are a good teacher they will recognize what they can build on from what you've done but also in other areas where you need to start from scratch. I know that sounds hard.

It sounds like you are trying to achieve too much too quickly and you are just hoping that by hard work and dedication you will get the result you want.

You are diving into multiple things at the same time, and so far have not had any rewards. Learning the piano is slow and I think you need to understand it is something you are in for the long haul. That also means you need to have wins on the way, learn to play something well enough that you enjoy hearing what you play. You need that sense of satisfaction. Or at least that is my own experience.

Good luck.


Read this over and over. It is right on.

The part about WINS is very important.

You need to enjoy this process or you will stop doing it.

It only happens in small steps and it takes a long time.

If you want to feel more confident you are doing the right things, you need a teacher.

Maybe a teacher once a month to direct your activities and check on your progress.

Maybe every week …. if you can afford it.

Try not to treat this as a TASK that you have to do each day.

Try to enjoy your time at the piano playing and practicing wth a belief that if you keep doing it, you will get better … slowly.

There is no finish line for this …. you never get there …. you just keep going …. so you may as well enjoy it.

Good Luck


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: Fornion] #2849899
05/19/19 09:34 AM
05/19/19 09:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,301
*sigh* Salt Lake City
malkin Offline
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malkin  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,301
*sigh* Salt Lake City
I may have misunderstood, but someone who started in January 2019 is a beginner. There is no changing that. Your routine has made you miserable and you are still a beginner.

Do you feel that there is something wrong with being a beginner?


Learner
Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: Fornion] #2849905
05/19/19 09:53 AM
05/19/19 09:53 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 12
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PeegZoo Offline
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PeegZoo  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 12
Since Jan is no time at all.

I'm in the same position as you, it's normal. A bit frustrating.. wait, I'm lying.. VERY frustrating, but we just have to keep at it. Doesn't feel like I'm making progress but I am I guess.

Sounds like you've dove in head on and expect to whack out some advanced (for your level) stuff, improv, jazz, chord voicings etc etc. that's a long way away I think, at least if you want to learn properly. Not a few months in.

Starting at the beginning sucks, I know. When I got a teacher (best idea, even just once a week or every 2 weeks or something) she started me on the Alfreds book, basic stuff like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - doing it until it was perfect, sight reading, SLOWLY, not rushing etc. Felt stupid like A, .... E ..... D at a snails pace but doing it like that is how you learn I think, like the very very basics. It's slow as heck. Frustrating because it is slow, but you have to tell yourself that it'll be worth it and that piano is potentially a lifelong thing, it takes years to get half decent, there's no rush.

Actually here now because I had to get away from the piano before I smashed it - doing the Lullaby song in the Alfreds book is killing me. grin I hate that I suck, I hate that I make stupid mistakes, I hate that I can't count properly, I hate that my brain fries with the metronome on, I hate that I just can't do it! But I have to keep trying, even just a little bit, it will come together eventually

& I totally feel your frustrations about chords and improv etc. because I'm learning piano to make music and learn theory and whatnot and I wanna bang out jazz, improv, make chords, learn all that to help me make various types of music in a DAW, but it's insanely slow going.with piano and some days I get so annoyed, but it's just got to be done properly, there are no shortcuts. Train smarter, not harder. 700 hours trying hard stuff that is too advanced wouldn't be as helpful as 100 hours working from beginner level IMO.Start right at the beginning, Alfreds Level 1 or whatever, & just remember it's a years thing, not months. It'll come together in then end.


Last edited by PeegZoo; 05/19/19 09:55 AM.
Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: malkin] #2849906
05/19/19 09:55 AM
05/19/19 09:55 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,673
Florida
cmb13 Online content

Silver Level
cmb13  Online Content

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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,673
Florida
Originally Posted by malkin
I may have misunderstood, but someone who started in January 2019 is a beginner. There is no changing that. Your routine has made you miserable and you are still a beginner.

Do you feel that there is something wrong with being a beginner?

Reminds me of the surgeon who was so good, he could do a 10 minute scrub in 2 minutes.

I know, I've used that one before (Lt), but it's applicable. There are no shortcuts!


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Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: Fornion] #2849911
05/19/19 09:59 AM
05/19/19 09:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 258
W
WeakLeftHand Offline
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WeakLeftHand  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 258
Three thoughts came to mind:

1. Unrealistic expectations will set you up for failure.
2. Learn to walk before you learn to run.
3. Patience.

If you started in January 2019 with no prior experience, learning by yourself, you should probably be in level 1 or, if you’re super duper hardworking and talented, level 2 of one of the popular method books. That method seems to work for the majority of self-learners. I don’t know what method you have chosen for yourself but just reading what you are doing was overwhelming to me. It must be overwhelming to you too since you decided to quit. How about take a step back and go slowly in a tried and tested way?

Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: Fornion] #2849913
05/19/19 10:03 AM
05/19/19 10:03 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,410
Finland
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outo Offline
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Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,410
Finland
To clear some of the confuson, the OP did not start this January, this is from his post from 2017:
Originally Posted by Fornion
I was one year in music school but now I'm learning everything on my own.


It seems to me like a teacher is needed however.


Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: Fornion] #2849920
05/19/19 10:23 AM
05/19/19 10:23 AM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 25
F
Fornion Offline OP
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Fornion  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 25
Sorry for that. Since 2019 i did 200 hours. Later there was a few years in which I did overall something around 700 hours that wasn't that effective and with lots of breaks.

Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: Fornion] #2849939
05/19/19 11:06 AM
05/19/19 11:06 AM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 25
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Fornion Offline OP
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Fornion  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 25
Thanks for the answers. If it will be possible and affordable I'll try and find a good teacher. So I think that's the way it is. I just need to calm down and try to enjoy this process of learning. I'll try not to have any expectations, maybe some day I'll learn one of these pieces. Teacher can see in what areas you improved what gives a lot of motivation but for now I'll try to deal with it myself.

Nahum thanks for this study. Seems very helpful. Now I know how much I should "overlearn" and when to switch from blocked practice to random.

Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: cmb13] #2849947
05/19/19 11:16 AM
05/19/19 11:16 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 5,140
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

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Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 5,140
Originally Posted by cmb13
I know, I've used that one before (Lt), but it's applicable.

I feel like people here are acclimating to my memory and I won't be able to surprise anyone any more. LOL


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Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: Fornion] #2849955
05/19/19 11:35 AM
05/19/19 11:35 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 33
London UK
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Arty Movie Offline
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London UK
Hi Fornion I looked up those Jazz pieces you mentioned and I don't think these are for beginners - they require a lot of hand independence - and attempting to site read Mr P.C and play correctly without any mistakes in tempo and note playing would be extremely difficult for all but the most gifted after only 2 years of playing. I also got frustrated with my playing after 2 years as I felt my playing was still very poor and wasn't what I expected after 2 years of playing and a year of lessons, but after I changed my teacher I realised I was being too critical of myself - my practice is much more structured and I can now honestly see the improvements from where I was 2 years ago - if you really stopped and thought on how you played when you first started the piano then of course there are obvious improvements - I agree with the posters above that you're taking on too much and that you're possibly trying to get results too quickly.


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Re: Learning pieces the right way [Re: Fornion] #2849960
05/19/19 11:55 AM
05/19/19 11:55 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,542
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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dmd  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,542
Pennsylvania
Let me just reiterate this ….

The absolute MOST IMPORTANT factors in all of this are ….

YOUR LEVEL OF ENJOYMENT

and

YOUR RESOLVE TO DO THIS


I have been at this long enough (10+ years) now to be a fantastic virtuoso pianist but alas I am just mediocre and no particular standout pieces I can play.

However, I have a high level of ENJOYMENT when I am at the piano AND …. I never consider quitting … because I enjoy it.


I am getting better and I gain a little bit here and there depending upon what I encounter to help me …. videos, teachers, courses, books ….

I just keep going.

If you keep going without judging yourself …. you will get there … (wherever that is).

Good Luck


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs

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