Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Who's Online Now
60 registered members (Animisha, AWilley, Bett, Abdol, AYS, chipsneeze, Chopin Acolyte, Anticlock, 604Rakuda, 14 invisible), 1,183 guests, and 3 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? #2870037
07/17/19 09:24 AM
07/17/19 09:24 AM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
O
Omer Setty Offline OP
Junior Member
Omer Setty  Offline OP
Junior Member
O

Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
Hello everyone,
I want to consult with you about self-learning piano.. I will start by telling you about my experience with the piano.
If you can't or don't want to read the whole post, you can read only the 2 questions at the end, and that would be good as well.


I played the piano for the first time somewhere between 4-5 years ago, with a little background of music theory from the guitar. The knowledge was very basic - I knew only the basic chords (major and minor). Yet, I didn't know how to play the chords on the piano.
I didn't take lessons with a teacher - I preferred to see how do I deal with it by myself.
I started with a piece that I very liked that time - Where Is My Mind by Maxence Cyrin (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90Fpjwctqlw). I printed the sheet music and a page that contains the conversion of the notes in the sheet music to the keyboards, so I could know what to play according to the sheet music.
To my surprise, after a week I played it very well, with the speed of the original recording. After that, I was more confident about my skills and learned more pieces (Yiruma: maybe, river flows in you, kiss the rain; Maxence Cyrin - no cars go...) successfully.
After that, I wanted to learn a piece that was way more difficult and complex than the previous pieces - a beautiful arrangement for November Rain by g&r (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhbeNEtkgDs). After months of practicing, I could play this piece by 80% compared to the original cover (I played the whole piece, but with mistakes and without control on my hands and the feelings I wanted to express).
Afterward (this year actually), I started to hear classical music for the first time, and be very enthusiastic to learn some of them. For a month I learned the nocturne op.9 no.2 by Chopin, and now I can play it well.
I want to emphasize 2 points:
1. I didn't do anything but seating next to the piano and learn the pieces I wanted - I didn't work about my technique or the theory of music. I knew then that this is not an efficient way, but I was satisfied with the results - I could play whatever I wanted to play (I wasn't familiar with classical music then), almost without efforts.
2. I didn't play the piano constantly. There were a lot of breaks and months without playing. After I finished to learn a piece, I usually played this piece and the other pieces I knew for a few months until I started to learn a new one.

Now I will go the point.
I want to reach a level in which I could play difficult and complex pieces (mainly of Chopin and Debussy), with the right technique and without spending a lot of time studying a single piece. In my opinion, because I didn't develop technique and speed deliberately, It took me so long to learn the arrangement of November rain. I want to be able to study complex pieces in a few days. Therefore, now I want to focus on developing the right technique and the speed of my fingers.
I know that I may sound arrogant, but I believe that I can reach to the level that I want without using a teacher regularly. The playing is very natural to me, and I realize what I am playing, even though I don't have much theoretical knowledge.
Nevertheless, I think that meeting with a teacher once in a while can be beneficial, in order to fix problems that I can't see by myself. Therefore, I think I will show my progress to a professional pianist once in a while. Anyway, I plan to learn most of the things without a teacher.


I have 2 important questions:
1. How can I develop speed and excellent technique, by myself? I have learned a short period with a teacher (I stopped because I felt not enough progress), and he gave me a book of Etudes, by Carl Czerny. I can play them by myself - I usually understand the right way to play via the sheet music (i also pay attention to signs like legato-staccato, and crescendo-decrescendo), and when I can't understand the piece through the sheet music, I hear the piece on youtube and then realize how to play it.
Did this book by Czerny good for improving technique and speed?
Anyway, I will glad if you can offer me some other good ways and sources for developing those skills.
2. Unfortunately, I don't familiar with enough pieces for piano - there are less than 10 pieces I plan to learn sometime. I will glad to know where can I find a large number of pieces to play, in a gradual difficulty level - For practicing and improving my skills, and for expending the list of songs I can play. I don't want eventually to be able to play only around 15 pieces, and nothing more. I want to know how to play a lot of pieces, like an advanced piano student who learns with a teacher.

I will appreciate you guys if you could help me with those 2 things.
Also, I would be happy if you will give me tips for self-learning, and your opinion about the things I wrote.

I apologize for my lame and broken English... I hope you understood what I wrote.
Thank you very much in advance.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870070
07/17/19 12:09 PM
07/17/19 12:09 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 687
Sweden
Animisha Online content
500 Post Club Member
Animisha  Online Content
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 687
Sweden
Originally Posted by Omer Setty
How can I develop speed and excellent technique, by myself?


Hi Omer, and welcome to this forum!

A very quick answer. You cannot. To begin with, you should forget about speed and focus on technique, but you cannot do it alone. Especially not excellent technique. That will take years and years together with a teacher.

Originally Posted by Omer Setty
I know that I may sound arrogant, but I believe that I can reach to the level that I want without using a teacher regularly. The playing is very natural to me, and I realize what I am playing, even though I don't have much theoretical knowledge.

This doesn't sound arrogant to me, just simply uninformed. You don't know yet that this is impossible.

With friendly regards!


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870074
07/17/19 12:28 PM
07/17/19 12:28 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 538
North of Los Angeles
L
Learux Offline

500 Post Club Member
Learux  Offline

500 Post Club Member
L

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 538
North of Los Angeles
As was said above,to get excellent technique you need to work with a teacher.

Complex pieces from Chopin takes month to master. There is no easy way or shortcuts.

Good pieces to practice would be Burgmuller Opus 100, -105, -109.

Good luck


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T
Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870078
07/17/19 12:40 PM
07/17/19 12:40 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,793
Florida
cmb13 Offline
Silver Level
cmb13  Offline
Silver Level
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,793
Florida
The secret formula:

[(slow practice) + (excellent technique)] x (years and years) --> faster playing


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

Working On
Debussy Clair De Lune
Bach Inventions (in a not quite random order)

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Animisha] #2870081
07/17/19 12:58 PM
07/17/19 12:58 PM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
O
Omer Setty Offline OP
Junior Member
Omer Setty  Offline OP
Junior Member
O

Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Omer Setty
How can I develop speed and excellent technique, by myself?


Hi Omer, and welcome to this forum!

A very quick answer. You cannot. To begin with, you should forget about speed and focus on technique, but you cannot do it alone. Especially not excellent technique. That will take years and years together with a teacher.

Originally Posted by Omer Setty
I know that I may sound arrogant, but I believe that I can reach to the level that I want without using a teacher regularly. The playing is very natural to me, and I realize what I am playing, even though I don't have much theoretical knowledge.

This doesn't sound arrogant to me, just simply uninformed. You don't know yet that this is impossible.

With friendly regards!

First of all, thank you very much for your answer.

Is there a reason for what you said? why do you think is it impossible?
It is hard for me to accept that because I have already learned a few pieces, that I actually can play in a way that satisfies me - I press the right notes at the right time. So when I look at more complex pieces that I want to play (like 'Clair de Lune' by Debussy or 'Etude Op. 10 No. 3' by Chopin), I don't see a reason that I won't be able to play them also in the future.

My question is, what things the technique-developing requires, that I cannot achieve by myself (to be clear, I mean through books and the internet - not totally on my own)? can you elaborate?

Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870084
07/17/19 01:19 PM
07/17/19 01:19 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 146
P
Pinkiepie Offline
Full Member
Pinkiepie  Offline
Full Member
P

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 146
Originally Posted by Omer Setty
For a month I learned the nocturne op.9 no.2 by Chopin, and now I can play it well.



Pardon?
I won`t believe that until I heard it. (especially the "well" part wink )

Quote

I have learned a short period with a teacher (I stopped because I felt not enough progress)


Maybe the period was just too short?

There are things, that need time, even if you are god-blessed miracle, that can play Chopin Nocturnes out of nothing.

Don`t get me wrong. I don`t doubt that you are very talented...or whatever you wanna call it.
Nevertheless, you can`t make yourself a high skilled artist without even knowing what it really takes to become one.

It`s like wanting to invent a perpetuum mobile... it`s simply impossible.

So I rather would say: don`t mess with your talent too much, you could ruin it.



But to answer some of your questions:
Quote

Did this book by Czerny good for improving technique and speed?


It can be...if you know what you have to look after.
One is time...I know, that is probably the last thing you wanna hear, but...yeah, TIME. Probably a lot of it. Sorry for no better news.

And you really, really have to play everything slowly first.
I hated that myself, when I was a student back then...and I probalby would not have done it, if my teacher had not insisted (and almost forced(!) me) to do so.

You understand what I'm aiming at?

Quote
I will glad to know where can I find a large number of pieces to play, in a gradual difficulty level - For practicing and improving my skills, and for expending the list of songs I can play. I don't want eventually to be able to play only around 15 pieces, and nothing more.



There are a lot of graded piano anthologies out there.
Essentials of Piano Literature
Succeeding with the Masters
Developing Artist...
and many more.

Just google it.


Quote

I want to know how to play a lot of pieces, like an advanced piano student who learns with a teacher.


LOL. You`re funny (probably without even knowing it).


Good luck!


Last edited by Pinkiepie; 07/17/19 01:28 PM.
Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870086
07/17/19 01:26 PM
07/17/19 01:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 350
W
WeakLeftHand Offline
Full Member
WeakLeftHand  Offline
Full Member
W

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 350
I’m just a beginner but I also don’t believe you can “fix” yourself by yourself. Sure you can learn to play the right notes at the right time by yourself, and that’s what I did before I had a teacher. Then I went to my first lesson and my teacher had to deconstruct my playing and teach me how to play it properly! Lol. My teacher specifically told me she will NOT be teaching me how to read notes and play them in time, because according to her, I can certainly learn that on my own. Her job is to fix my technique, which I believe is at least 50% of a song.

I’m so glad I didn’t continue learning by myself because my goal is to be a good pianist, not just one who can play the right notes at the right time. There’s a lot more to playing than those 2 things.

That’s my experience and you can totally ignore it since I’m a beginner. But of course, if finances are an issue and a teacher is not in the cards for that reason, learning by yourself is the next best option to not learning at all.

Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870087
07/17/19 01:29 PM
07/17/19 01:29 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 517
P
Pianoperformance Offline
500 Post Club Member
Pianoperformance  Offline
500 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 517
I think Omer is a genius and we just don’t know it. Can you share a recital piece so us humble pianists can listen to?

Unless, you are a natural genius, you should head to the pianist forum; otherwise, you need a teacher, and it will take some serious human hours to learn, progress and master. Even all the great performing pianists out there have teachers! Learning to play the piano is humbling, and ever so gratifying to see that slow progress/results come through when you start on a new piece.


Dream came true : playing the piano
Kawai CS11/Yamaha Arius 161
lessons: 150 hours + counting
Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870088
07/17/19 01:29 PM
07/17/19 01:29 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,788
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
Gold Subscriber
BruceD  Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,788
Victoria, BC
Originally Posted by Omer Setty
[...]
My question is, what things the technique-developing requires, that I cannot achieve by myself (to be clear, I mean through books and the internet - not totally on my own)? can you elaborate?



The biggest problem that besets self-learners, particularly those that never had a teacher from the outset, is that they don't know what they don't know which means they don't know what to correct or how to correct what needs to be corrected. They may think they are playing the right notes in the right time, but the technique required to do so correctly really needs the guidance of one who knows and one who can instruct. There are examples of well-meaning, determined, self-motivators who can cause themselves injury or who simply learn bad technique which limits their progress beyond a rather basic level.

One may read books, one may watch Internet videos, but neither medium offers the feed-back that a teacher provides. Correct fingering for your hand - not for the hand of the person making the video - can be critical both to prevent injury and to facilitate execution. Developing technique while learning to control and relax the hand at the same time, proper use of arm and body weight to produce good tone, judicious use of the damper pedal, these are all aspects of learning that can't be taught by books or videos because neither the book nor the video can tell you if or when you are doing it right. If you are doing it wrong, neither the book nor the video can tell you how to do it right and when you have finally learned to do it right.

In my experience, the biggest obstacle that many self-learners face - again I stress particularly those who have never had a teacher - is the realization that they can't do it well on their own.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870090
07/17/19 01:35 PM
07/17/19 01:35 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 517
P
Pianoperformance Offline
500 Post Club Member
Pianoperformance  Offline
500 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 517
“”In my experience, the biggest obstacle that many self-learners face - again I stress particularly those who have never had a teacher - is the realization that they can't do it well on their own. “”. Well said BruceD.

I was in that category for first part of my piano journey. I am so glad I went the teacher route: night and day. Before teacher: I really didn’t know what I didn’t know, which was a lot. With Teacher: I have so much to learn 😬


Dream came true : playing the piano
Kawai CS11/Yamaha Arius 161
lessons: 150 hours + counting
Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870092
07/17/19 01:45 PM
07/17/19 01:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 687
Sweden
Animisha Online content
500 Post Club Member
Animisha  Online Content
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 687
Sweden
Originally Posted by Omer Setty
Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Omer Setty
How can I develop speed and excellent technique, by myself?


Hi Omer, and welcome to this forum!

A very quick answer. You cannot. To begin with, you should forget about speed and focus on technique, but you cannot do it alone. Especially not excellent technique. That will take years and years together with a teacher.

Originally Posted by Omer Setty
I know that I may sound arrogant, but I believe that I can reach to the level that I want without using a teacher regularly. The playing is very natural to me, and I realize what I am playing, even though I don't have much theoretical knowledge.

This doesn't sound arrogant to me, just simply uninformed. You don't know yet that this is impossible.

With friendly regards!

First of all, thank you very much for your answer.

Is there a reason for what you said? why do you think is it impossible?

I am sorry Omer, I find myself at a loss of words. But fortunately, others explain this to you. smile


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: BruceD] #2870094
07/17/19 01:51 PM
07/17/19 01:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,087
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,087
Canada
Bruce, thinking about this:
Originally Posted by BruceD
The biggest problem that besets self-learners, particularly those that never had a teacher from the outset, is that they don't know what they don't know .....

The bigger problem is actually if a person begins bad or poorish teaching, because then you get a wrong idea of what it's about. If you learn entirely on your own, these days there is actually the possibility of getting some pretty good information. Take two different "with teacher" scenarios.

1) Our poorish teacher"goes slowly" which should be the right thing for learning. But if this doesn't go further than assigning nursery rhyme level pieces at a super basic level, the ear can take over in a flash - There's a dozen things the student ends up not learning while dashing off these baby pieces. He then gets the wrong idea, actually correctly deduces that he "isn't learning anything", that this is "too slow / I'm faster than this". Because what needed to be learned never got taught. Then when he goes on to learn by himself, he's still going by the premises that got planted in those first lessons.

2) Our poorish teacher "goes fast", rushing through grade levels, giving impressive seeming pieces in a "watch me" manner or whatever. Again the student isn't getting the foundations, and has no idea what they consist of.

I absolutely agree with "don't know what you don't know", and that a knowledgeable and observant guide bridges that gap. At this point I can hear things that I literally did not hear some years ago, and other things. There are places that I didn't know to look, because I didn't know they existed. But that requires - not just "a" teacher - but a good one. It's tricky business.

Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870107
07/17/19 02:42 PM
07/17/19 02:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
O
Omer Setty Offline OP
Junior Member
Omer Setty  Offline OP
Junior Member
O

Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by Pinkiepie
Originally Posted by Omer Setty
For a month I learned the nocturne op.9 no.2 by Chopin, and now I can play it well.



Pardon?
I won`t believe that until I heard it. (especially the "well" part wink )

Quote

I have learned a short period with a teacher (I stopped because I felt not enough progress)


Maybe the period was just too short?

There are things, that need time, even if you are god-blessed miracle, that can play Chopin Nocturnes out of nothing.

Don`t get me wrong. I don`t doubt that you are very talented...or whatever you wanna call it.
Nevertheless, you can`t make yourself a high skilled artist without even knowing what it really takes to become one.

It`s like wanting to invent a perpetuum mobile... it`s simply impossible.

So I rather would say: don`t mess with your talent too much, you could ruin it.



But to answer some of your questions:
Quote

Did this book by Czerny good for improving technique and speed?


It can be...if you know what you have to look after.
One is time...I know, that is probably the last thing you wanna hear, but...yeah, TIME. Probably a lot of it. Sorry for no better news.

And you really, really have to play everything slowly first.
I hated that myself, when I was a student back then...and I probalby would not have done it, if my teacher had not insisted (and almost forced(!) me) to do so.

You understand what I'm aiming at?

Quote
I will glad to know where can I find a large number of pieces to play, in a gradual difficulty level - For practicing and improving my skills, and for expending the list of songs I can play. I don't want eventually to be able to play only around 15 pieces, and nothing more.



There are a lot of graded piano anthologies out there.
Essentials of Piano Literature
Succeeding with the Masters
Developing Artist...
and many more.

Just google it.


Quote

I want to know how to play a lot of pieces, like an advanced piano student who learns with a teacher.


LOL. You`re funny (probably without even knowing it).


Good luck!


I am ready to invest time and efforts.. Maybe I accidentally wrote in a way which looks like I am looking for shortcuts. It is not the situation. Generally, I prefer to learn things by myself, so I am looking for an option to apply it on the piano also.
Thank you very much for the anthologies !! I will check it out.

About the nocturne, I actually recorded myself 2 months ago. There were some mistakes, but anyway I would be happy if you write your opinion about it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab3vafMlGcQ


Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
I’m just a beginner but I also don’t believe you can “fix” yourself by yourself. Sure you can learn to play the right notes at the right time by yourself, and that’s what I did before I had a teacher. Then I went to my first lesson and my teacher had to deconstruct my playing and teach me how to play it properly! Lol. My teacher specifically told me she will NOT be teaching me how to read notes and play them in time, because according to her, I can certainly learn that on my own. Her job is to fix my technique, which I believe is at least 50% of a song.

I’m so glad I didn’t continue learning by myself because my goal is to be a good pianist, not just one who can play the right notes at the right time. There’s a lot more to playing than those 2 things.

That’s my experience and you can totally ignore it since I’m a beginner. But of course, if finances are an issue and a teacher is not in the cards for that reason, learning by yourself is the next best option to not learning at all.


Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
I think Omer is a genius and we just don’t know it. Can you share a recital piece so us humble pianists can listen to?

Unless, you are a natural genius, you should head to the pianist forum; otherwise, you need a teacher, and it will take some serious human hours to learn, progress and master. Even all the great performing pianists out there have teachers! Learning to play the piano is humbling, and ever so gratifying to see that slow progress/results come through when you start on a new piece.

Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Omer Setty
[...]
My question is, what things the technique-developing requires, that I cannot achieve by myself (to be clear, I mean through books and the internet - not totally on my own)? can you elaborate?



The biggest problem that besets self-learners, particularly those that never had a teacher from the outset, is that they don't know what they don't know which means they don't know what to correct or how to correct what needs to be corrected. They may think they are playing the right notes in the right time, but the technique required to do so correctly really needs the guidance of one who knows and one who can instruct. There are examples of well-meaning, determined, self-motivators who can cause themselves injury or who simply learn bad technique which limits their progress beyond a rather basic level.

One may read books, one may watch Internet videos, but neither medium offers the feed-back that a teacher provides. Correct fingering for your hand - not for the hand of the person making the video - can be critical both to prevent injury and to facilitate execution. Developing technique while learning to control and relax the hand at the same time, proper use of arm and body weight to produce good tone, judicious use of the damper pedal, these are all aspects of learning that can't be taught by books or videos because neither the book nor the video can tell you if or when you are doing it right. If you are doing it wrong, neither the book nor the video can tell you how to do it right and when you have finally learned to do it right.

In my experience, the biggest obstacle that many self-learners face - again I stress particularly those who have never had a teacher - is the realization that they can't do it well on their own.

Regards,

Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
“”In my experience, the biggest obstacle that many self-learners face - again I stress particularly those who have never had a teacher - is the realization that they can't do it well on their own. “”. Well said BruceD.

I was in that category for first part of my piano journey. I am so glad I went the teacher route: night and day. Before teacher: I really didn’t know what I didn’t know, which was a lot. With Teacher: I have so much to learn 😬


Thank you all for the answers.
My English is pretty bad (it is not my native language, and I don't write in English a lot), so I am having troubles with expressing my ideas (if you see grammar mistakes, you are welcomed to correct me).

The ideal way of the piano journey for me, is to learn how to play by myself (I have the basic foundations - I learned with a teacher few months. So I guess I know how to position my hands and press the notes properly), and yet show my progress to a teacher once in a while, in order to fix problems.
When I learned with the teacher, the lessons went like this: He gives me a piece to play --> I read the sheets and play --> He corrects my mistakes --> We move on. And at the end of the lesson, he taught me scales.
The thing is, that I knew when I made mistakes - I just approached the pieces that he gave me, so I couldn't play it perfectly for the first time. If he wasn't there, I know I could fix the mistakes (the mistakes were always playing the wrong notes) alone. So the presence of him was useless in that aspect. Does a teacher suppose to do more stuff than what I mentioned? Maybe the problem is that I choose the wrong teacher?

Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870112
07/17/19 03:04 PM
07/17/19 03:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 189
Connecticut, USA
MichaelJK Online content

Full Member
MichaelJK  Online Content

Full Member

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 189
Connecticut, USA
Yes, you need "a teacher". However, that teacher can certainly be a combination of books, videos, you yourself, etc.

I mean, come on. What is so special about piano that requires a teacher to learn? There are self-taught professionals in almost every field.

You don't sound arrogant to me. You sound like you have an idea of what you want, and you're asking what's the best way to go about getting it. I hope you don't listen to anyone who wants you to feel ashamed for this.

Here are couple things you should keep in mind:

- Difficult pieces are considered difficult for a reason. They require a high level of coordination to play them well. If you want to play them well, you will have to develop this coordination, whether you do it on your own or with a teacher. Be prepared for a ton of work. Be prepared for this to take a lot longer than you hoped it would. At times, you may need to measure your progress in years rather than in weeks.

- I have no idea how you are going to get comfortable playing pieces by Chopin and Debussy if you only plan on learning 15 piano pieces in total. You should learn hundreds of pieces. When I was a beginner, I played as much music as I could possibly get my hands on. I'm really glad I did that, instead of slaving away for months on just a couple pieces.

- About posting recordings of your playing and asking for feedback: be careful with this. You will receive much conflicting advice, and a lot of passive-aggressive criticism. You should ignore most of both. Ask for feedback only when you have a very specific question. Do not ask for feedback because you want validation or praise. Advice should be evaluated based on whether it is helping you, not whether it seems "correct".

When you practice, here's what I would recommend:

1. Find a piece you want to work on.
2. Sit down and try playing it.
3. Ask yourself, "what didn't I like about how it went?". Let's say the answer to this question is X.
4. Play it again, paying attention to whether X worked this time or not. Don't try to fix X; just notice how it went. Keep repeating this step.
5. If X fixes itself, go back to step 3.

If you feel stuck, post on the forum again.

Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870121
07/17/19 03:39 PM
07/17/19 03:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
O
Omer Setty Offline OP
Junior Member
Omer Setty  Offline OP
Junior Member
O

Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by MichaelJK
Yes, you need "a teacher". However, that teacher can certainly be a combination of books, videos, you yourself, etc.

I mean, come on. What is so special about piano that requires a teacher to learn? There are self-taught professionals in almost every field.

You don't sound arrogant to me. You sound like you have an idea of what you want, and you're asking what's the best way to go about getting it. I hope you don't listen to anyone who wants you to feel ashamed for this.

Here are couple things you should keep in mind:

- Difficult pieces are considered difficult for a reason. They require a high level of coordination to play them well. If you want to play them well, you will have to develop this coordination, whether you do it on your own or with a teacher. Be prepared for a ton of work. Be prepared for this to take a lot longer than you hoped it would. At times, you may need to measure your progress in years rather than in weeks.

- I have no idea how you are going to get comfortable playing pieces by Chopin and Debussy if you only plan on learning 15 piano pieces in total. You should learn hundreds of pieces. When I was a beginner, I played as much music as I could possibly get my hands on. I'm really glad I did that, instead of slaving away for months on just a couple pieces.

- About posting recordings of your playing and asking for feedback: be careful with this. You will receive much conflicting advice, and a lot of passive-aggressive criticism. You should ignore most of both. Ask for feedback only when you have a very specific question. Do not ask for feedback because you want validation or praise. Advice should be evaluated based on whether it is helping you, not whether it seems "correct".

When you practice, here's what I would recommend:

1. Find a piece you want to work on.
2. Sit down and try playing it.
3. Ask yourself, "what didn't I like about how it went?". Let's say the answer to this question is X.
4. Play it again, paying attention to whether X worked this time or not. Don't try to fix X; just notice how it went. Keep repeating this step.
5. If X fixes itself, go back to step 3.

If you feel stuck, post on the forum again.

Thanks a lot for this comment. It seems like you understand my position.
I posted the nocturne earlier in order to get a general feedback. I didn't play those pieces in front of someone professional, so I don't know what is the general level of my playing. Maybe I think I play OK, but actually I am missing a lot of things.. That what I wanted to check.

I agree with the things you wrote. about your second point - I indeed need to play a lot of pieces before I approach to those composers. Right now I have no idea where can I find a lot of pieces. someone here mentioned earlier some sources, but I didn't check them yet. If you can also direct me to links with a lot of pieces in a gradual difficulty level, it would be great.

I plan to learn the pieces in the future in the exact same way you depicted. It is nice to hear that it is a conventional way.

Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870122
07/17/19 03:44 PM
07/17/19 03:44 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,039
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,039
Originally Posted by Omer Setty

The ideal way of the piano journey for me, is to learn how to play by myself (I have the basic foundations - I learned with a teacher few months. So I guess I know how to position my hands and press the notes properly)

That's actually just a tiny, tiny part of being an accomplished classical pianist.

That's what students are taught in the beginning. It's also what self-taught students are usually able to do eventually.....though they won't necessarily be doing it with the kind of fluency that will enable them to keep progressing. Most self-taught pianists hit a brick wall eventually. No, make that all self-taught pianists.

There's never been a classical concert pianist who was self-taught. (Though there have been a few who claim that......).

Of course, if you're not aiming high, it doesn't really matter, because you won't be playing anything hard enough and you're not a professional. People teach themselves everything from swimming to golf to flying a plane. OK, maybe not flying a plane.......



Quote
If he wasn't there, I know I could fix the mistakes (the mistakes were always playing the wrong notes) alone. So the presence of him was useless in that aspect. Does a teacher suppose to do more stuff than what I mentioned? Maybe the problem is that I choose the wrong teacher?



In the early stages - which you are at - the priority is accurate note-reading and getting the rhythm consistently right. After all, without the right notes and the right rhythm, you have nothing.

After that, there's a lot, lot more to master. Virtuosi spend a lifetime mastering control of balance (vertical as well as horizontal), nuances, articulation, phrasing, rubato.........musicality. As well as developing speed & power to be able to play the virtuosic stuff not just accurately but with musicality.

It's not just playing all the right notes at the right time. It's also training your ears to listen carefully to yourself, knowing what you need to do, and being able to do it because you have the requisite technique.

Compare your playing of Op.9/2 to this:

https://youtu.be/YGRO05WcNDk

Leaving aside the mistakes in notes & rhythm, can you hear what your playing is lacking in?


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: bennevis] #2870129
07/17/19 04:06 PM
07/17/19 04:06 PM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
O
Omer Setty Offline OP
Junior Member
Omer Setty  Offline OP
Junior Member
O

Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Omer Setty

The ideal way of the piano journey for me, is to learn how to play by myself (I have the basic foundations - I learned with a teacher few months. So I guess I know how to position my hands and press the notes properly)

That's actually just a tiny, tiny part of being an accomplished classical pianist.

That's what students are taught in the beginning. It's also what self-taught students are usually able to do eventually.....though they won't necessarily be doing it with the kind of fluency that will enable them to keep progressing. Most self-taught pianists hit a brick wall eventually. No, make that all self-taught pianists.

There's never been a classical concert pianist who was self-taught. (Though there have been a few who claim that......).

Of course, if you're not aiming high, it doesn't really matter, because you won't be playing anything hard enough and you're not a professional. People teach themselves everything from swimming to golf to flying a plane. OK, maybe not flying a plane.......



Quote
If he wasn't there, I know I could fix the mistakes (the mistakes were always playing the wrong notes) alone. So the presence of him was useless in that aspect. Does a teacher suppose to do more stuff than what I mentioned? Maybe the problem is that I choose the wrong teacher?



In the early stages - which you are at - the priority is accurate note-reading and getting the rhythm consistently right. After all, without the right notes and the right rhythm, you have nothing.

After that, there's a lot, lot more to master. Virtuosi spend a lifetime mastering control of balance (vertical as well as horizontal), nuances, articulation, phrasing, rubato.........musicality. As well as developing speed & power to be able to play the virtuosic stuff not just accurately but with musicality.

It's not just playing all the right notes at the right time. It's also training your ears to listen carefully to yourself, knowing what you need to do, and being able to do it because you have the requisite technique.

Compare your playing of Op.9/2 to this:

https://youtu.be/YGRO05WcNDk

Leaving aside the mistakes in notes & rhythm, can you hear what your playing is lacking in?

Thanks for your answer.
About the recording, to my opinion (leaving aside the mistakes in notes and rhythm), I played it (especially the left hand part) too loud. Also there were parts where I rushed too much. I will glad to hear more aspects, in order to focus on them in the future.

Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870135
07/17/19 04:14 PM
07/17/19 04:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 189
Connecticut, USA
MichaelJK Online content

Full Member
MichaelJK  Online Content

Full Member

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 189
Connecticut, USA
Originally Posted by Omer Setty

I posted the nocturne earlier in order to get a general feedback. I didn't play those pieces in front of someone professional, so I don't know what is the general level of my playing. Maybe I think I play OK, but actually I am missing a lot of things.. That what I wanted to check.


Why does it matter what the general level of your playing is? Yes, of course I understand the desire to want to know such a thing. But, what will you do with that information? How will it help you?

In my experience, it's rarely a helpful question to ask. It will encourage you to compare yourself to others. This will make you discouraged. Most importantly, it takes your focus away from where it should be: on your practicing.

I feel very strongly about this, so if you asked me directly, "What level am I at?", I would say "you suck", and give you a long list of reasons why your playing is horrible. Because I'm able to do that.

On the other hand, if I were in a different mood, I might say "you're pretty good, actually", and give you a long list of things I love about your playing. Because I'm able to do that as well.

Would either of those responses help you? I'm actually way more interested in how you perceive your playing, what you are trying to do, and what you think isn't working quite right.

When you ask for general feedback, you will get a list of things you're missing. Will you know what to do with that list? Or, will you go on a wild goose chase, trying to satisfy every item on a list that was compiled from 10 strangers with wildly differing opinions on how music should sound? It is better to ask that question to only a few people whom you trust.

In my opinion, questions and answers should go something like this:

Q: Am I missing anything?
A: Is there anything you can see that you're missing? If so, work on that for now.

Q: I have been trying to do XYZ for several days, and I've tried everything I can possibly think of, including A, B, and C. What am I missing?
A: Try this and let me know what happens. If that doesn't work, we'll decide what to do next, OR
A: You might not yet be ready for XYZ. What else troubles you about your playing?

Q: I hear absolutely nothing wrong with my playing. Where do I go next?
A: Here are some areas you might consider exploring... (although, if I then catch you complaining about your playing, I will assume you only asked this question to get validation from me, and I will make sure you don't get it wink )

Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870152
07/17/19 04:57 PM
07/17/19 04:57 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,039
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,039
Originally Posted by Omer Setty
[
About the recording, to my opinion (leaving aside the mistakes in notes and rhythm), I played it (especially the left hand part) too loud. Also there were parts where I rushed too much. I will glad to hear more aspects, in order to focus on them in the future.

I'm not a teacher, so I'm not the right person to tell you what you have to improve on.

What I'd suggest is to listen to yourself critically (like you would listen to a student of yours) using the parameters I mentioned earlier, taken one by one - balance, nuances, phrasing et al - and ask yourself what can be improved on.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: How can i improve speed and technique, without a teacher? [Re: Omer Setty] #2870153
07/17/19 04:59 PM
07/17/19 04:59 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 146
P
Pinkiepie Offline
Full Member
Pinkiepie  Offline
Full Member
P

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 146
First of all, I think it's very bold of you, to share your records.
You have my appreciation for that. smile

You definitely have some potential (in view of the very short time you have spent so far). You can be proud of that.

But there is still much, much, much to do, until it can be called "well played".


It is not just "some mistakes", which you need to fix and then it`s done....
Are you aware of this too?

[If you are interested in honest feedback, then PM.
But I'm not a teacher, just a trained pianist.
And I have to warn you. Chopin was my first "surreal" teenage love ( blush )...so I am probably rather strict, when it comes to him ]


Most beginners aren't even aware of what they are doing wrong...so how should they be able to fix it on their own?
I think you are in that very situation now.

Seriously, a (good) teacher could do so much for you.
Why are you refusing that?

Also talent needs guidance so that it can develop fully and in the right direction.
Otherwise, you might come across your personal limits sooner than you would like.

Not even Mozart has made himself a genius. Other musicians did that for him (or let`s say with him...).

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  BB Player 

(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Bechstein
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways
New Topics - Multiple Forums
The latest on the Kawai Novus NV5
by ADWyatt. 08/18/19 10:09 PM
A YouTube Channel That Has Really Helped Me
by writebynight. 08/18/19 05:31 PM
Repertoire for Warm Up
by cmb13. 08/18/19 04:11 PM
Fallboard not as slow as it used to be
by doremi. 08/18/19 03:55 PM
What's Hot!!
PIANO TEACHERS Please read this!
-------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics193,612
Posts2,860,247
Members94,187
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1