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Is it important to play with others as a classical pianist?
#3000943 07/10/20 05:04 AM
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hyena Offline OP
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Heyo,

Recently I've been curious of playing pieces with other musicians. Such as accompanying the countless sonatas for flute, violin, etc. Currently I'm in contact with a flutist and we're planning to do Siciliano from Bach.

Those who have experience accompanying musicians, do you think this made you grew as musician? If so, how?

Also, any tips?

Last edited by hyena; 07/10/20 05:06 AM.
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Re: Is it important to play with others as a classical pianist?
hyena #3000947 07/10/20 05:32 AM
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I have found that the piano parts are usually much more difficult than the solo instrument parts. My wife plays clarinet, and can sight-read anything - "just to try it out". I cannot sight read what she brings me to try - the piano parts usually require weeks of work. By the time I get it to a decent speed, she has forgotten that she wanted to play it!

Be sure that you look at the piano part to judge the difficulty before promising to play something, and allow yourself plenty of time. The instrumentalists always underestimate how difficult the piano part is and how quickly I can learn it.

You must be able to keep going no matter what - no stopping, correcting, or going back. Practice with a metronome.

You have to know the solo part, how it sounds, so that you can jump back in if you stumble.

Yes, it's a lot of work, humbling, and a big commitment in time, but also rewarding.

Sam

Re: Is it important to play with others as a classical pianist?
Sam S #3000965 07/10/20 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
Practice with a metronome.

Sam

This - not only to know your part, but you also pratice to listen while playing, which is the same as playing with other people.

The metronome represents other people playing with you. It also means if increasing tempo for easier part you keep it steady listening to fellow musicians.


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Re: Is it important to play with others as a classical pianist?
Sam S #3001017 07/10/20 09:49 AM
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hyena Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Sam S
I have found that the piano parts are usually much more difficult than the solo instrument parts. My wife plays clarinet, and can sight-read anything - "just to try it out". I cannot sight read what she brings me to try - the piano parts usually require weeks of work. By the time I get it to a decent speed, she has forgotten that she wanted to play it!

Sam


I've noticed yup! The flute player told me that it wasn't difficult for her to sight-read though. The main difficulty / practice for her was getting the sound good.

Been looking into some of the grade pieces of flute. Telemann got some great ones too!


Re: Is it important to play with others as a classical pianist?
hyena #3001030 07/10/20 10:28 AM
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I've played with violinists, singers and other pianists, and it's a great way to form musical partnerships (and make friends & influence people whistle).

Not to mention improving your listening & rhythmic acumen, and knowing how to 'breathe' in music.

I often sight-read the music when playing for the first time in a new piece with them (they tend to plonk the score in front of me and think I should be able to sight-read a dense 'accompaniment' in two - even three - staves, while they only have to read one melodic line.....which they've played before) but at least, I can often leave out a few unnecessary notes without the music sounding odd, as long as I play in time, whereas they have to play or sing in tune without the music sounding odd...... smirk

Here's a nice and lovely little easy piece that you can play with a singer or a violinist - or a singer and a violinist wow:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgDaD85YbQM


"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: Is it important to play with others as a classical pianist?
hyena #3001038 07/10/20 10:53 AM
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I have enjoyed and I believe I have benefited considerably through accompanying other instrumentalists and singers. It does sometimes frustrate me to work with those who have no idea of what playing the piano involves. Most of them, singers and instrumentalists, are looking at and reading one line, one note at a time, while pianists ... well, we know what pianists are up against, particularly when faced with music we have not seen before.

While it's a compliment to be known as a relatively good sight-reader, and while it helps out in some circumstances to have reached such a level, some of the lesser-informed will assume, then, that a pianist should be able to sight-read just as quickly as they.

Yes, a pianist can benefit in many ways from collaborating with other musicians; it can be a satisfying experience for both pianist and soloist or ensemble. It helps hone reading skills, it forces one to forge ahead without stopping whatever is written in the score, but in the end if and when successfully performed, the collaboration can be an uplifting experience, quite different from the rewards of a solo performance.

Regards,


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Re: Is it important to play with others as a classical pianist?
hyena #3001084 07/10/20 12:26 PM
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Improves your musicianship and it's a lot of fun. Accompanying, ensemble, duets. I have been isolated since the virus lockdown and I really miss playing with others. There is nothing like the feeling when you exchange a look and you understand without words.

Re: Is it important to play with others as a classical pianist?
hyena #3001224 07/10/20 04:51 PM
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I would rate it as bonus points or extra credit. Something above and beyond what is required to be a good classical pianist.


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Re: Is it important to play with others as a classical pianist?
hyena #3001386 07/11/20 05:22 AM
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It's an invaluable experience to play with other musicians. Use every opportunity to do it.

When you analyze your part, first of all try to determine what must be played without fail and what may be omitted in case of difficulties. Keep that in mind when playing. Also note where solo instrument have pauses.


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