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What should I practice?
#3034968 10/12/20 08:43 PM
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I'm an amateur pianist.
I can play Bach Invention no 1,8,13 Chopin Nocturne 20-9 and Nocturne no 20 C sharp minor, Waltz no 6 and 7, Mozart Sonata K545 (all) and K331 3rd mov (Turkish March)
I have dropped my piano lesson since I were 16 to concentrate on University entrance exam. Now Im starting to practice again without teacher. I can play all the note and most of the piece is well. But there are some hard parts I cant play it correctly 100%. It must be lacking of practicing and skill?

What should I countinue to practice? I want to play every piece correctly without any mistake, keep the tempo constanly. And I also want to learn harder piece to. Should I countinue with Bach Invention or try synphonia, prelude or fugue? Or Czerny etude? Or Mozart sonata? And Please recommend me some books too. Thank you so much.


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Re: What should I practice?
Mike Neko #3034969 10/12/20 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Neko
What should I countinue to practice?.

Spend a significant percentage of your time (30-40%) on technical exercises: scales, arpeggios and Czerny/Hanon etc. Currently I just started Czerny Op 299 School of Velocity, per my teacher's suggestion and have found that it has really helped me improve finger strength and dexterity - especially if you get to 80% or higher of the marked tempo.

Osho


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Re: What should I practice?
Mike Neko #3034970 10/12/20 08:55 PM
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Hi Mike
When you practice, isolate the difficult phrases/measures and concentrate your practice time on those. It may mean practicing HS first, practicing VERY slowing, varying practice rhythm, etc. really you can’t play a piece until you can play all of it. Don’t let yourself start st the beginning when you practice and then skim over the problems.

Learning harder pieces is not the answer if you can’t play what you are already attempting. It takes time and patience 😊


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: What should I practice?
dogperson #3035019 10/13/20 02:25 AM
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Thank for your wisely advice.
Im sure that my teacher will say the same thing .

Actually, overall, I can play the whole piece well but there is always one or two part that not correctly 100%. Recently I've try to practice slowly and It starting to get better. But I can only play correctly when I play slowly. When playing the whole piece I get the same mistake again.Offcourse I wont try to practice any other piece until all of the old is improved.
I found that Im lacking of skill. So I think I need to practice some etude or Bach to improve it.
I learned these piece when I were junior high school student and I only practice only 4-5 hours a week. I've play for some other teachers and after listening they said that my playing is just accetable because Im just amateur player, not the professional.


Cat rule da world
Re: What should I practice?
Mike Neko #3035025 10/13/20 02:37 AM
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Mike
You can be an amateur and play well. You have a lot of control over how well you do play... if it is important to you. If it’s not, but you are enjoying what you are doing, that is fine

Otherwise, it takes dedication, attention to detail, and working on problems until they are no longer problems.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: What should I practice?
dogperson #3035042 10/13/20 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Hi Mike
When you practice, isolate the difficult phrases/measures and concentrate your practice time on those. It may mean practicing HS first, practicing VERY slowing, varying practice rhythm, etc. really you can’t play a piece until you can play all of it. Don’t let yourself start st the beginning when you practice and then skim over the problems.

Learning harder pieces is not the answer if you can’t play what you are already attempting. It takes time and patience 😊
All the above is excellent and important advice.

Re: What should I practice?
Mike Neko #3035049 10/13/20 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Neko
I wont try to practice any other piece until all of the old is improved.
That would be a mistake. What you need to do is continue to learn new music, easier and harder, as well as practise pieces that are below your personal standard.

Originally Posted by Mike Neko
I found that Im lacking of skill. So I think I need to practice some etude or Bach to improve it.
Practising etudes is for very specific technical issues. Practising Bach is for everybody all the time or, as Schumann advised, make Bach your daily bread.

Developing skills means learning new pieces and practising them for their musical content. Maintain your existing pieces in sections; the parts that you play well, the parts that need improvement and the parts that need repair. Don't just play through the pieces as pieces without targeting specific areas of improvement.

As an idea, and nothing more than that while you're returning to practise, tackle a new piece from the following sources every week or two to maintain your learning ability; the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook, the sonatinas of Clementi, Diabelli, Dussek and Kuhlau, the Schumann and Tchaikovsky Albums for the Young and the Etudes, Op 100 of Burgmuller. They are easier than your existing repertoire, meaning they are easier to underestimate but also easier to work on and easier to develop skills from. The main skill is to make expressive music out of the notes on the page. It is easier to learn this skill with simple material and gives us the groundwork to apply what we've learnt to Mozart and Chopin.

Originally Posted by Mike Neko
...there are some hard parts I cant play it correctly 100%. It must be lacking of practicing and skill?
If you used to play them correctly then the memory of that skill has faded and needs to be rekindled with slow, deliberate and accurate practise.

Originally Posted by Mike Neko
I want to play every piece correctly without any mistake, keep the tempo constanly. And I also want to learn harder piece to.
Playing without mistakes takes around ten years for most of us, if attainable at all. Better to practise smaller easier pieces with which to learn the skill of 'masking' mistakes.

When the works of Bach and Scarlatti, Mozart and Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert, Chopin and Schumann, Mendelssohn and Liszt, Brahms and Debussy no longer have the emotional pull or expressive qualities, when they're as dry as a ship's biscuit, that's the time to look into Czerny.


Richard
Re: What should I practice?
Mike Neko #3035084 10/13/20 07:53 AM
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@Dogperson
Thank you for your wise advice again. I' ll try my best to practice slowly and take atention to solve my problem. I really want to become better.
@zrtf90
Which one should I practice? Continue with Bach invention or sinfonia? Or Prelude and fugue. I haven try fugue before. Can you recommend me some? Thank you.


Cat rule da world
Re: What should I practice?
Mike Neko #3035114 10/13/20 09:04 AM
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See how much time and effort is involved when learning Invention 2, 4 or 14. If you get on well enough have a look at Sinfonias 1, 6 or 11.

You might also try Preludes in D Minor or E Minor from Book 1 or F Minor from Book 2 before looking at the Sinfonias.

Even the simplest 2-voice fugue, the E Minor Book 1, makes a meal. I recommend you listen to every Prelude and Fugue two or three times, taking only one or two a day, five to ten a week, over the next six to twelve months and consider which of them best suits your playing style and musical taste before embarking even on the first one. You might also engage a teacher before starting them in earnest as they're deceptively challenging in terms of learning them at the keyboard and bringing out the music. And each of them deserves a lifetime's study.

I think it might be well to get familiar with each Bach keyboard collection by the likes of Andras Schiff or Tatiana Nikolayeva before making your final choices. A teacher would pick ones that build on your strengths and personal preferences. I can't do that here.


Richard
Re: What should I practice?
Mike Neko #3035139 10/13/20 10:32 AM
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I dont think you really need to tackle a fugue at this point. Btw the E Minor book 1 is a 3 voice fugue. Some of the sinfonias are more difficult than the easy fugues in the wtc. The easy small preludes, the more difficult inventions and easy sinfonias are quite enough to feed you for some time. These Bach works are fine, but you should not spend too much time on it. Better to vary the pieces. Some of the easy classic period sonatinas are excellent to develop your articulation. Schumann also is excellent.

Re: What should I practice?
Mike Neko #3035401 10/14/20 01:24 AM
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@Sidokar
I had practiced Beethoven and Clementi Sonatine before and I dont have any problem with these pieces. You are right they are great pieces to develop articulation. My old teacher gave them to me before giving me harder pieces. I'll try Schumann then.
@zrtf
Thank you so much. I already have Invention 1, 13 and 8. I'll start with 14 now and practice them every day. Thank for your guidance.


Cat rule da world
Re: What should I practice?
Mike Neko #3035420 10/14/20 05:32 AM
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Everyone here has given you great advice. It's up to you now.

So why do you play? Because you enjoy playing of course. Well, now you could explore the repertoire. Go listen to composers that you may not be so familiar with. Which composers do you enjoy? Have you played Schubert, Ravel, Debussy, Haydn sonata or two.

For me, life is too short to go tackling Czerny or Clementi because it is good for me technically. But that's just me. I'm not telling you what to do, just saying what I do. Playing the Prelude from Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin also gives me plenty technically. Come to think of it, every piece from Tombeau has a unique technical challenge, as well as being musically enjoyable to play.

Good luck with your musical journey.

Re: What should I practice?
Mike Neko #3035422 10/14/20 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Btw the E Minor book 1 is a 3 voice fugue.
??
The Prelude aside, the Fugue is written in double counterpoint throughout.

Originally Posted by Mike Neko
I'll start with 14 now and practice them every day.
It's a good intention but may not be such a good strategy. Once a piece is learnt it's no longer efficacious to play it through each day. It's better to lest it rest and assimilate for gradually longer periods then spend some time with it over consecutive days until it sparkles again.

Rest five days and practise for two is a good start to a new piece, then three or four consecutive days every month or two, then a few days each year.

If you need to spend a few days prior to that getting the piece back into your fingers do it slowly over a few days just once or twice through, slowly, from the score or the memory, whichever is your preferred path, then let sleep intervene before the next try. Don't try to do it all on one day. You should find pieces come back easily, if not always quickly, this way. Some pieces just need a few days of prompting then they suddenly just flow again, others are more stubborn - usually more recently learnt pieces that haven't assimilated long enough or pieces that weren't properly mastered first time.

Once the piece is beginning to flow again then do the two or three days with the polishing cloth or grinding wheel as appropriate for the piece.


Richard
Re: What should I practice?
zrtf90 #3035567 10/14/20 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
The Prelude aside, the Fugue is written in double counterpoint.

Yes that is correct. For whatever reason, i was thinking E major !


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