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Bad Habit.. so many songs...
#3039954 10/27/20 01:42 PM
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So I am famous around my home for reading too many books... at one time. At any given time I'm probably in the middle of 10-15 books and I just bounce around them.

When I picked up piano my habits transferred and now I've got a bunch of Faber books (level 1), Piano Marvel and I enjoy TomPlay.

As a results, I'm bouncing around those as well. I might focus on Piano Marvel for a month and then come back to Faber and occasionally get caught up in a song on Tom Play. Still it's working and I'm improving.

But what might not be so helpful is the abundance of musical pieces to learn! There are so many great songs at the beginner level on TomPlay, Piano Marvel and in the Faber song books. I'm trying to learn maybe 10 songs at any given time! Old habits die hard..

Would it be better for me to focus on one piece and nail it down before moving on to another?

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Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3039962 10/27/20 02:14 PM
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When you figure that out, let me know because I am also in the middle of a bunch of half-learned songs....


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Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3039990 10/27/20 03:48 PM
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No problem with dabbling in several half-learnt songs at any one time. (Personally, I like to stick my fingers into several pies all at the same time.....to get a feel - and taste - of them, and, of course, check their temperatures).

But you also need to convince yourself that you can actually master a song or two, so why not choose one you specially like, and try to learn it to 'performance standard', i.e. the standard at which you can play it for your best friends - or alternatively, worst foes - and render them speechless with admiration (friends) or envy (foes) wink . You don't have to stop dabbling in the others.

I never do stop dabbling.


"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: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3039993 10/27/20 04:00 PM
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I almost feel like it's something that would work itself out in time. Well, at least assuming you enjoy actually being able to play songs and the sense of progression that comes from learning pieces.
When the songs go from taking days to learn to taking weeks and months just to be able to get through the whole piece, it's going to get harder and harder to juggle too many song.

Generally speaking, there's always a handful of pieces I like playing and refining at one time but I can't imagine having the time and patience to actively work on learning more than one or two pieces.

Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3039995 10/27/20 04:10 PM
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Javaslinger
An advanced player can dabble in multiple pieces st one time. I’m wondering if this is a good plan for a beginning pianist as the method books arrange the lessons and pieces so that skills are learned progressively and the next unit builds on the previous skills.

When you are working on 10-12, are they all related to the skill that is being taught/or was previously taught?

Take care that you are also not putting them on hold when you reach a problem in the piece.


"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
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Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3039996 10/27/20 04:11 PM
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You should have three to six pieces at various levels of "completion." At least that seems to be about average for many people here. Some pieces should be easier, some harder. Just one piece and you soon get bored; ten pieces and you're just flitting around without ever stopping to smell the roses.

There is no cure for so many pieces, so little time. It takes a lot of discipline to have a plan and stick to it. Just remember that the pieces will still be there for you later.


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Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
dogperson #3040018 10/27/20 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Take care that you are also not putting them on hold when you reach a problem in the piece.

There it is !!!!

That is what I and many others do.

We just cannot face the "work" it takes to fight through that "hard" part.

So, we move to something else more inviting (translation: easier).

Needless to say .... that delays the learning process for the skill involved in that "hard part".

Now,mind you, if this is a hobby .... you (and I) can do it any way we like.

But, do know ..... the reason you (and I) never seem to advance beyond mediocre is because we never force ourselves beyond that.

And ...an aside ... A teacher is invaluable for just that purpose.... to insist that we take that hard step.

Last edited by dmd; 10/27/20 05:27 PM.

Don

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Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
dmd #3040042 10/27/20 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by dogperson
Take care that you are also not putting them on hold when you reach a problem in the piece.

There it is !!!!

That is what I and many others do.

We just cannot face the "work" it takes to fight through that "hard" part.

So, we move to something else more inviting (translation: easier).

Needless to say .... that delays the learning process for the skill involved in that "hard part".

Now,mind you, if this is a hobby .... you (and I) can do it any way we like.

But, do know ..... the reason you (and I) never seem to advance beyond mediocre is because we never force ourselves beyond that.

And ...an aside ... A teacher is invaluable for just that purpose.... to insist that we take that hard step.

That there is some good stuff. Yep, hobby, yep, lazy...but do want to get better.


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Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3040049 10/27/20 07:04 PM
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What I do to stop myself from skipping over the ‘needy’ measures is to mark each of them with a transparent flag (like s post-it arrow but transparent). It is a daily reminder that there is work to be done and where it is. It also feels great to remove the flag when the problem is gone.

Not a total teacher substitute, of course, but it keeps me honest with myself.


"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: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3040095 10/27/20 09:15 PM
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Dogperson: I like your idea of marking this in the piece with the flag that can later be removed. I hate marking up my books/music but so often should to get over problems as you've just discussed. Great idea!


Coming back after a long while.
My recent Recordings: Faber
My recent Recordings: Pianote

Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3040097 10/27/20 09:24 PM
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Javaslinger: I also find myself wanting to have several pieces on the go at the same time. However, I do try to get them all to a decent playing level. As others have mentioned, having some below your level that are just fun to play, some at your level that you are learning/bringing to a performance level, and some that are currently a bit above your level to challenge you should help you learn a wide variety of pieces and a large number of pieces. This way you are maintaining skills you've already learned, polishing those same skills, and learning new skills.

If I'm in the mood to check out new music or work through a bunch of books I will keep that time separate from my practice time. When I am just playing for fun and exploring new pieces, I can go through alot of music in one sitting. Inevitably I will find a few special gems that I'd like to stick with and add them to the appropriate bucket I mentioned above (fun to play below level, at level, or challenge). Then it is here that I start working through each piece more methodically, with a learning attitude and ensuring I am working on all the various aspects of technique, dynamics, musicality of that piece. And as dogperson said no skipping over the parts that are tripping me up!


Coming back after a long while.
My recent Recordings: Faber
My recent Recordings: Pianote

Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3040114 10/27/20 10:33 PM
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I'm in the intermediate level. A beginner piece that is 1 page or less I'd be done in less than an hour.

Some pieces like a Mozart or a Beethoven Sonata you can spend weeks or even months perfecting just 1 movement. Doesn't mean you can't work on other pieces on the side.

The last piece I worked on was an old Irish tune on 1 page. The arrangement is considered very basic with long notes in the bass and a 1 line melody. Took 3 practice sessions to get comfortable playing it. I have a tendency to perfect 1 piece at an intermediate level before moving on instead of many pieces all at once.

Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3040209 10/28/20 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Javaslinger
Would it be better for me to focus on one piece and nail it down before moving on to another?

Depends how long you need to do this. You might tire of it after a while. Then you'd have to give it a rest and come back later. I reckon what you do is good. I do silmilar, but with a play list. I'm trying to hang on to what I've got . . .
For the same reason I also go to the Gym. Well, did until lately . .. frown


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Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3040311 10/28/20 12:06 PM
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It's ok to work on very many pieces if you work on each of them every day or at least every other day, otherwise it's not efficient.

Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3040321 10/28/20 12:24 PM
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So much music- so little time

Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3040348 10/28/20 01:41 PM
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Hi, a complete beginner here and working on the Alfred's 2nd book. I work on usually 3 pieces daily in different stages - one almost finished (making it sound smooth and finished), one in in the mid stage (where I am working on tempo) and lastly a relatively new song (which requires the most effort). Though not planned, I tend to spend 15 min on each piece. This way I don't exhaust myself by focusing only on new pieces and I also get the feeling of accomplishment after every piece is complete. If one of the pieces is super easy I might work on 4th piece, but never more than 4.
I also randomly pick up previous songs that I enjoyed, once in a while, and play them just for fun.
By this system I always have 1 piece ready every week for my piano lesson to play for my instructor.

My goal is to finish all the 3 Alfred's and start playing music that I like, so I am mostly focused on working on these books (unless my instructor gives me some material to work on once in a while).

Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3040488 10/28/20 11:58 PM
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Funny thing is I've found that working on other pieces can actually help me get better in the piece I actually want to work on, although the specifics of this I cannot fully explain(but it works). There are times when I get back to a piece that put off for months and when I get back to it I just get that part I was having trouble with even though I wasn't actively thinking about the piece prior to deciding to play it again. Maybe because prior to that I've been playing pieces with a lot of chords, or heavy on inversions or scales and whatnot and those happen to be prevalent in that piece I went back to as well. The value we get from our experience with any piece is fortunately cumulative and transfers to other things we work on.

Re: Bad Habit.. so many songs...
Javaslinger #3041079 10/30/20 01:42 PM
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I do it as well, with music and a dozen other projects I have going at any given time. Embrace it. Leonardo Da Vinci reportedly had a short attention span, and may have even had ADHD (according to Smithsonian Magazine). Apparently he was notorious for jumping around and not finishing projects or commissions in a timely fashion. The result was, in the short term - oh man, that is a really beautiful yellow bird right outside my window! - he got very little accomplished, but a great deal over a lifetime. It's all good, you're in good company.


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