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Posted By: Teodor Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 08:04 PM
Hey, sorry to flood the forum with so many questions but I have no friends who are into music and I have no on to talk to about this stuff except my teacher who is on vacation...

Do you think that it may be possible for me to ever play pieces of higher level? Such as

Chopin - Winter Wind Etude
Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto 2
Beethoven - Pathetique

I'm 21, I started a month ago and I've been working on it every day, I take piano lessons 2 times a week. I'd like an honest opinion. What should I expect from my piano progress? How well should I be able to play after 6 months? 1 year? 5 years? What was your progress like when you started?
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 08:10 PM
I wasn't an adult beginner but I think I can give a pretty good answer.

Those pieces represent a huge range. I'd say you'll be able to take a swing at the slow movement of the Pathetique in about a year, if you really want to, and the rest of the piece after maybe another year or two. You could be able to play parts of the Rachmaninoff as soon as maybe a year, but it'll be hard. And as for the Winter Wind etude smile ......I've gotten into a couple of fights talking about how hard I think it is. I've been playing the piano all my life and I've performed extremely difficult pieces but I don't feel able to play that. If you mean sort of playing the notes, I'd say you could sort of start doing that after maybe 2-3 years. If you mean giving a real impression of how the piece goes, I'd say at least 5 years or longer. If you mean really really playing the piece .....well, for me, the answer is probably never. ha

As for what was my progress after I started......I started as a kid and never got any "real" pieces for at least 2-3 years. At first the only things I played were the stuff in the teaching books. So my experience isn't very relevant for you that way. After a few years I was playing Clementi sonatinas and a Mozart sonata, plus a Chopin waltz and Fur Elise. Not what you're looking for, is it...... smile
Posted By: Marrissa Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 08:11 PM
And what does your teacher say? He sees your progress, but we cannot:)
I am sure anyway, that if you really want, you will play these pieces. A month ago I thought I'll never be able to play Tchaikovsky's Album for Children. And now I am! Patience, sir, you must have patience!
Posted By: Teodor Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 08:15 PM
Looking forward to the moment when I'll be able to play something like that... Even if it's a bit sloppy, being able to play the 2nd movement of Pathetique would be good and with a lot of work I can maybe even make it sound good enough. I know how it should sound and I already have some ideas about my interpretation but I don't know if my hands will listen when the time comes. Understanding something and being able to pull it off on the piano are two very different concepts...
Posted By: Marrissa Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 08:19 PM
Originally Posted by Teodor
LUnderstanding something and being able to pull it off on the piano are two very different concepts...

Yes, it will take pains...
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 08:21 PM
Originally Posted by Teodor
Looking forward to the moment when I'll be able to play something like that.....

Let me also just answer the question in the title of the thread, which is easier:

YES smile
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 08:35 PM
There are terrific pieces, masterpieces IMO, at almost every level after a few years. Even if you never make it to the level of being able to play the entire Pathetique.

Two of the pieces you mentioned require what I'd call a professional level technique, the level of a conservatory graduate. Few people ever reach that level. But just for Chopin, I'd say:
1. at least half of the Waltzes
2. virtually all the Mazurkas
3. half the Nocturnes
4. half the Polonaises
5. half the Preludes
6. 1/4 of the Etudes
7. half of the Impromptus
etc. from a technical point of view are attainable by a talented amateur within 5-10 years. The teachers here or on the Teacher's Forum may be able to give more precise estimates.


The only thing hard work can guarantee is better chance to progress more quickly. The quality of your teacher is also extremely important if you want the best chance to imporve.
Posted By: CebuKid Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 08:38 PM
Originally Posted by Teodor
Hey, sorry to flood the forum with so many questions but I have no friends who are into music and I have no on to talk to about this stuff except my teacher who is on vacation...

Do you think that it may be possible for me to ever play pieces of higher level? Such as

Chopin - Winter Wind Etude
Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto 2
Beethoven - Pathetique

I'm 21, I started a month ago and I've been working on it every day, I take piano lessons 2 times a week. I'd like an honest opinion. What should I expect from my piano progress? How well should I be able to play after 6 months? 1 year? 5 years? What was your progress like when you started?


Teordor, those are ambitious pieces for a beginner. smile

I completely "get it" too, because you probably don't want to bore yourself with "easy beginner-mary-had-a-little-lamb-stuff". I played for 3 years as a kid, and came back to piano after a 27 year layoff. I started off with some "easy" stuff, and then became bored quickly, so I took on pieces that were way above my ability...God blessed me with a nice musical memory - hahaha...this is something that I talked about alot in a different thread - so, because of this, I was able to succeed playing and memorizing these pieces just through sheer determination.

Getting back to YOU, I would mix up both "easy" and "hard" because practicing easy will make you a better sight reader and help with your development as a pianist. Hard...will keep you from getting bored.

In 2010, I plan to mix it up a bit too. I really suck at sight reading, so I'd like to learn some easy-peasy stuff to help me get better, but that's a different story and a different thread.

In conclusion, since you have a teacher, by all means, ask her first what she thinks of your ambitions. She has a better idea of your ability, and she's the real "expert"...us adult beginners kinda make up our own rules... ha
Posted By: Da-Risin-Smoke Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 09:17 PM
How long does it take for you guys to complete a piece and then polish it up?
Posted By: Teodor Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 09:19 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There are terrific pieces, masterpieces IMO, at almost every level after a few years. Even if you never make it to the level of being able to play the entire Pathetique.

Two of the pieces you mentioned require what I'd call a professional level technique, the level of a conservatory graduate. Few people ever reach that level. But just for Chopin, I'd say:
1. at least half of the Waltzes
2. virtually all the Mazurkas
3. half the Nocturnes
4. half the Polonaises
5. half the Preludes
6. 1/4 of the Etudes
7. half of the Impromptus
etc. from a technical point of view are attainable by a talented amateur within 5-10 years. The teachers here or on the Teacher's Forum may be able to give more precise estimates.


The only thing hard work can guarantee is better chance to progress more quickly. The quality of your teacher is also extremely important if you want the best chance to imporve.


Isn't that technique something you also improve over the years? Don't you think that if I take lessons for say... 15 years from good teachers and practice daily, I won't develop sufficient technique? If those pieces are beyond the reach of an adult beginner then why even try? :P
Posted By: ChopinAddict Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 09:21 PM
Why do you think they are beyond the reach of an adult beginner? I don't think they are, at least most of them.
I think you CAN be good if you work hard. smile
Posted By: Teodor Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 09:27 PM
I had pathetique in mind. I saw lots of videos of little children playing that. Can't be that hard if they can do it with 3-4 years of lessons...
Posted By: ChopinAddict Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 09:52 PM
No, I don't think it is that hard, not like a Chopin Etude for example...
Posted By: MiM Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 09:56 PM
Originally Posted by MarkCannon
I wasn't an adult beginner but I think I can give a pretty good answer.

Those pieces represent a huge range. I'd say you'll be able to take a swing at the slow movement of the Pathetique in about a year, if you really want to, and the rest of the piece after maybe another year or two. You could be able to play parts of the Rachmaninoff as soon as maybe a year, but it'll be hard. And as for the Winter Wind etude smile ......I've gotten into a couple of fights talking about how hard I think it is. I've been playing the piano all my life and I've performed extremely difficult pieces but I don't feel able to play that. If you mean sort of playing the notes, I'd say you could sort of start doing that after maybe 2-3 years. If you mean giving a real impression of how the piece goes, I'd say at least 5 years or longer. If you mean really really playing the piece .....well, for me, the answer is probably never. ha

As for what was my progress after I started......I started as a kid and never got any "real" pieces for at least 2-3 years. At first the only things I played were the stuff in the teaching books. So my experience isn't very relevant for you that way. After a few years I was playing Clementi sonatinas and a Mozart sonata, plus a Chopin waltz and Fur Elise. Not what you're looking for, is it...... smile


I like your direct answers MarkCannon! I can't answer the question myself though, mainly because I haven't reached that level, but also I'm not focusing much on classical. I feel if I can't play simple pop and some standards, including fake book stuff, why should I aim for classical?
Posted By: deAlmeida Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 10:02 PM
Teodor, I play for 6 months, I'm older than you, 30 years old, and I think in about 2 months I'll be able to play some of the Chopin's preludes. By now I'm working on Bach because I really like it and most pianists say that Bach is one of the foundations of playing piano.

Chopin itself used to play Bach every day.

I'm almost playing the minuet anh 116, but my left hand is too much tense yet, so a good thing I do is doing exercises and stretch to improve my hands muscles. And my hand is getting better and better.

I know you are anxious and play nothing by now, but be patient, great improvements will come with time pretty soon, you'll see...

Take a look at this video, this piece of Bach (minuet G major anh 116) is really nice and must be in yours +/-6 months plans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX9xo_jfxU4

It is a good objective to play this piece in 6 months, isn't it?
Posted By: deAlmeida Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 10:05 PM
The second movement of pathetic does not seems to be a 4 years serious study goal. I think serious adult beginner students can play it in 2 years or even less.

Chopin is another story...
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 10:13 PM
Originally Posted by Teodor
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There are terrific pieces, masterpieces IMO, at almost every level after a few years. Even if you never make it to the level of being able to play the entire Pathetique.

Two of the pieces you mentioned require what I'd call a professional level technique, the level of a conservatory graduate. Few people ever reach that level. But just for Chopin, I'd say:
1. at least half of the Waltzes
2. virtually all the Mazurkas
3. half the Nocturnes
4. half the Polonaises
5. half the Preludes
6. 1/4 of the Etudes
7. half of the Impromptus
etc. from a technical point of view are attainable by a talented amateur within 5-10 years. The teachers here or on the Teacher's Forum may be able to give more precise estimates.


The only thing hard work can guarantee is better chance to progress more quickly. The quality of your teacher is also extremely important if you want the best chance to imporve.


Isn't that technique something you also improve over the years? Don't you think that if I take lessons for say... 15 years from good teachers and practice daily, I won't develop sufficient technique? If those pieces are beyond the reach of an adult beginner then why even try? :P


I think people improve with time, but I also think for most people the improvement gets more gradual after a certain number of years given a steady amount of practice. I don't think that if one can never play the hardest virtuoso pieces it means you've failed and "shouldn't try". To me, that's kind of like saying if you can never climb Everest, one should never do any mountain climbing.

That was the whole point of my post.

Sure, I'd love to be able to handle any piece technically, but the fact that I can't doesn't matter that much to me because I know there are more masterpieces within my present ability than I could possibly learn even if I live to 150.

Do you think you can play tennis like Roger Federer if you practice long and hard enough(even assuming you didn't age)?
Posted By: MiM Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/29/09 10:46 PM
Many years ago I talked to a Russian pianist after a private concert...I don't remember who he was, but he blew everyone's mind that night, playing Liszt and Rachmaninoff pieces with amazing technical prowess. Anyway, I said to him: That means you can just play anything you like? Any song you hear on the radio, any movie or TV theme song, any great R&R oldie, any great ballad, any Broadway musical, etc? With a smile, he said some wise words I'll never forget. He said "It's not what you think"!
Posted By: Quagles Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 12:30 AM
I've played for 6 months, while I'm still a horrible player I've noticed some improvements. I can actually read quite hard pieces and understand them (slowly, but can understand..can't play most of them though.)

More left/right hand independence, as in I can play pieces even when the left hand isn't just playing simple block chords over and over again in different variations while the right hand plays melody as well.

In short I can play at least some pieces that I at least think sounds alright smile

Its actually hard to say what you can expect after 6 months. Probably more than my progress, because I've been slacking with playing. Well I play but I don't really practice as much as I should. Here's an example of the last song I learned just some days ago.(not me playing)

Youtube video

Might seem simple, left hand is pretty much nearly the same all throughout, but its still quite hard for my level.

So in 6 months, should probably be able to play a piece around that level without too much trouble.

Can't say anything about those pieces you requested, but what others have said earlier makes sense to me, but progress is individual to everyone some might learn fast some slower just practice practice and things will turn out well.
Posted By: ChopinAddict Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 05:33 AM
I have just taken out the Pathetique again.... It is really not hard... and beautiful....
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 05:39 AM
Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
I have just taken out the Pathetique again.... It is really not hard......

Sorry but you just gave me a stroke. ha

But seriously folks..... smile .....it depends what we mean by hard, and depends what we're trying to do. I guess if you mean being able to work on it and do an OK job with it, yeah, it's not hard in the sense that someone can do it after a few years on the piano. But IMO that doesn't make it 'not hard.'

It's hard. smile
Posted By: SF10 Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 05:50 AM
Originally Posted by Teodor
Hey, sorry to flood the forum with so many questions but I have no friends who are into music and I have no on to talk to about this stuff except my teacher who is on vacation...

Do you think that it may be possible for me to ever play pieces of higher level? Such as

Chopin - Winter Wind Etude
Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto 2
Beethoven - Pathetique

I'm 21, I started a month ago and I've been working on it every day, I take piano lessons 2 times a week. I'd like an honest opinion. What should I expect from my piano progress? How well should I be able to play after 6 months? 1 year? 5 years? What was your progress like when you started?


Working hard has something to do with getting good. Working SMART has the most to do with getting good.

There are SO many things a pianist has to learn. Getting them down in a short period is THE key to getting good.

You are still young so your brain can still develop the skills needed for higher levels. After say... age 55 or so, it can be difficult to advance into the professional level pieces.

The shortcuts your teacher gives you or you may discover on your own are THE reason you will get better quicker and be able to access those pieces you mentioned. You will also need 6-9 months of INTENSE practice at some time to really burn in skills in addition to the time you spend now.

A good teacher who is versed in smart practice routines can speed your progress tremendously.
Posted By: CebuKid Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 02:23 PM
Originally Posted by MarkCannon
Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
I have just taken out the Pathetique again.... It is really not hard......

Sorry but you just gave me a stroke. ha

But seriously folks..... smile .....it depends what we mean by hard, and depends what we're trying to do. I guess if you mean being able to work on it and do an OK job with it, yeah, it's not hard in the sense that someone can do it after a few years on the piano. But IMO that doesn't make it 'not hard.'

It's hard. smile


You guys are talking the 2nd Movement, right? The 1st movement is crazy-hard. I'd like to be able to play the 1st movement in 5 years. smile

I agree with Mark that "hard" is a relative term. The 2nd Movement, while not technically difficult is extremely difficult in terms of phrasing and dynamics. Here is a really great example of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2nG1bt7IBM

Anybody can "put their fingers in the right place" at the right time, but making the piano sing and sound nice, I'd say, is the single hardest aspect about piano.

Posted By: Teodor Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 03:13 PM
Originally Posted by cebukid70


You guys are talking the 2nd Movement, right? The 1st movement is crazy-hard. I'd like to be able to play the 1st movement in 5 years. smile

I agree with Mark that "hard" is a relative term. The 2nd Movement, while not technically difficult is extremely difficult in terms of phrasing and dynamics. Here is a really great example of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2nG1bt7IBM

Anybody can "put their fingers in the right place" at the right time, but making the piano sing and sound nice, I'd say, is the single hardest aspect about piano.



I've listened to this a hudred times already. I don't find dynamics hard, there are marked on the sheet music and if they are not you can listen to this performance and mark them yourself, it seems quite easy to me and I believe I can do it too one day because I can see myself doing it. I can't imagine myself flying and really feel like I can do it but so far with piano, anything I've set my mind to has worked. When I began I couldn't say the notes backwards, now I'm able to read simple sheet music and play everything up to speed, even when it's allegro or presto. (with 2 hands) When I listen to something I can separate the sound that each hand makes, while before I begun learning it was all the same to me, 2 hands playing together, couldn't make sense of it. I also seem to really feel everything I play, I get into a piece pretty easy and it provokes emotions I've rarely experienced before. I let those emotions guide me and usually I do fine with dynamics as long as I keep my eyes on the sheet. I recently leanrned a 6 page sonatina and I'm working on perfecting it now. It took me almost no time to go through those 6 pages and every note is played accurately and it's up to speed. Allegro then Adante Cantabile then Presto (3 different movements)

If I can do this in the short amount of time I've spend (an hour a day for the past month and a bit over), then I think harder things won't be a problem once I get more advanced.
Posted By: Rui725 Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 03:49 PM
Originally Posted by Teodor
I had pathetique in mind. I saw lots of videos of little children playing that. Can't be that hard if they can do it with 3-4 years of lessons...


I don't think its a good idea to gauge the playability a piece by "a lot children" were playing it..

If you have this competitive/comparative mind set rather than pure love for playing the piano, you will realize your practice time is a chore and may setup some potential downfalls in your piano progress. Do what you can, learn everything you can about the piano, be optimistic, keep your passion and you will reach a level where you are satisfied with yourself. Everyone really is different in regards to learning ability, so if you are in the upper 5% and have an innate ability for the piano, then great, but don't be upset if you are around the norm.

I started out the piano less then 9 months ago, and my goal was to be able to play Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 when I approached a year. I didn't care if it was a hard or easy piece i just knew I loved the piece. now, 3 months away from hitting a year, I think i've gotten through a good deal of material that I enjoy playing and am also currently ahead of my own set plan, about half way through the chopin nocturne. Not sure where the future leads but I know there a lot more pieces that I adore and would take the rest of my life to learn them =).
Posted By: Rui725 Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 04:04 PM
Originally Posted by Teodor


[/quote]

I've listened to this a hudred times already. I don't find dynamics hard, there are marked on the sheet music and if they are not you can listen to this performance and mark them yourself, it seems quite easy to me and I believe I can do it too one day because I can see myself doing it. [/quote]

That's what I thought at first when I tackled the slower, easier movement of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1, but let me tell you, polishing up the dynamics was not as easy as I thought. After learning the fingering, I do believe listening to the piece and comparing the interpretations of professional class pianists does help, as you are doing already, but never expect an easy fight with any piece, or else you may just end up:
1. practicing too fast, always practice slow when learning a piece
2. practicing a phrase wrong (ie, playing it in an easier way that sounds similar to how its supposed to be played, but ultimately still wrong)

Enjoy the music, if you can imagine yourself doing it, then most likely you can in the future. But not everyone who practices everyday can reach a very high level, and sometimes I think its because they get down on themselves and wonder "why am I not as good as I am supposd to be after 5 years, 10 years, 20 years". This kind of thought is very dangerous and is also why a lot of people stop seriously playing the piano after they plateau at a certain level.
Posted By: Jeff Clef Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 04:08 PM
"Working hard has something to do with getting good. Working SMART has the most to do with getting good."

You have very worthy goals, Teodor. Certainly, no one will reach them without putting in the work. I also like the way you describe listening to the pieces, that is one indication that your brain may have the ability to guide your fingers. Not everyone can really "hear" music that way; it is a good sign for you.

Realistically, they are goals that will take a number of years of steady work--- but that is no reason to give up your goals; they may be lofty, but they are far from hopeless. Not at all! These master composers started out as beginners, too, and one reason they went to the work to make these compositions up and write them down, was so they could come to you. Their love of music, and their friendliness to musicians, have come through time and space to arrive in front of your eyes, on your music desk. And that is just a small part of the whole story, when you think of all the things that had to happen or be invented or discovered or made. There is a lot of momentum, a lot of genius, a lot of love, that is working on your side.

"Will I be good if I work hard?"

The work you do to learn and develop the skill, will reveal the goodness that is inside you already. (That is, more or less, the meaning of the root words that make up the word "education"--- some give it as "to lead out," but it makes more sense to me as "to take it out on the road.") No one is in a position to answer the question you have asked, or make you any guarantees. My personal opinion: it sounds to me like you may have a good chance--- and I'd like to find out.
Posted By: Nguyen Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 06:05 PM
Originally Posted by Rui725
If you have this competitive/comparative mind set rather than pure love for playing the piano, you will realize your practice time is a chore and may setup some potential downfalls in your piano progress. Do what you can, learn everything you can about the piano, be optimistic, keep your passion and you will reach a level where you are satisfied with yourself.
Great point.

Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
Realistically, they are goals that will take a number of years of steady work…
… No one is in a position to answer the question you have asked, or make you any guarantees. My personal opinion: it sounds to me like you may have a good chance
And this too.

I’d like to give my honest opinion, but it’s too straightforward. We tend to like it sugar coated. I’ll pass smile
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 07:02 PM
Originally Posted by cebukid70
You guys are talking the 2nd Movement, right? [i.e. Pathetique] The 1st movement is crazy-hard. I'd like to be able to play the 1st movement in 5 years. smile
......The 2nd Movement, while not technically difficult is extremely difficult in terms of phrasing and dynamics.....

I was actually talking mainly about the 1st and 3rd movements when I said "it's hard," but I agree with that too.

Quote
.....Anybody can "put their fingers in the right place" at the right time, but making the piano sing and sound nice, I'd say, is the single hardest aspect about piano.

Yes, not to mention other aspects, like giving the music a "sweep" when called for.

You 'put your finger' on a lot of what makes me die when I see stuff like "the Pathetique is easy" or "I'm a beginner but I'm playing the Winter Wind etude." But who's to say......if someone doesn't care about the things we're mentioning and enjoys just the idea of playing the notes, who are we to argue with that.

But they shouldn't think it means the piece isn't hard. ha
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 07:05 PM
Originally Posted by Teodor
.....I've listened to this a hudred times already. I don't find dynamics hard, there are marked on the sheet music and if they are not you can listen to this performance and mark them yourself, it seems quite easy to me and I believe I can do it too one day because I can see myself doing it.....

Great -- but please understand, there is something to what we're saying which you're not appreciating -- a different level of seeing it.

Quote
.....If I can do this in the short amount of time I've spend (an hour a day for the past month and a bit over), then I think harder things won't be a problem once I get more advanced.

In the sense of how you mean it, you're probably right.
Posted By: Gyro Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 07:54 PM
These are concert pianist/conservatory-
level pieces. There is no guarantee
that anyone will be able
to progress to the point where he
can work these up like a conservatory
player can, that is, in less than
a yr. There is a talented adult
amateur of these forums who
plays at a quite advanced level,
who hired a high-priced teacher
specifically to teach him one
of the big Romantic Era concertos,
a concert pianist-level piece.
But it didn't work. He wrenched
his hand and had to give up on it.

There is an experienced teacher
on these forums, who has a masters
degree in music and plays at
a quite advanced level, who tried to
learn a Chopin Ballade--this is
concert pianist-level stuff
--under the guidance
of a high-priced teacher. But
she couldn't work it up in
a reasonable amount of time and
had to give up on it.

So you could take lessons for 10
yrs. or more, and you still might
not be able to handle advanced
pieces like this. This is why
I've suggested repeatedly on
these forums that people who
want to play concert pianist-level
stuff not wait until they have
the "foundation" for it--chances
are they will never have it--but
rather just start on what they
want to play most of all, even
if they are novices and the piece
is concert pianist-level. They'll
have to start very slowly, just
one bar a day initially, or they'll
burn themselves out on the
difficult material, and use
repetition and time to work it up.

So even if you've been playing
for only one month, pick the one out
of those three pieces that you want to
play most of all, and start on it right
now, one bar a day. For example,
if you pick the first movement of
the Rach. 2nd, at the rate of one bar
a day you get through it in about
one yr.--you will then have "played"
the first mvt. of the Rach. 2nd,
something that few people can do.
After you've gotten through it a
first time, go right back to the
beginning and continue in the same
way. The second time around, you
might find that you've gained enough
strength and experience to play
two bars a day instead of one, which
will cut the time to cycle through
it again in half, a 100% improvement in
just one yr. on a very difficult piece,
nothing to scoff at in anyone's
book. And so forth.

What you're aiming for is to
be able to play the whole mvt.
in one sitting, slowly and with mistakes,
because when you can do that, you've
essentially got it licked, because
it's then just like any other
piece, and you can just play it over
and over until it's perfected.


Posted By: gooddog Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 08:32 PM
Teodor, Gyro is an eternal pessimist. Don't let him discourage or misguide you.

You do indeed need foundation work to develop technique, physical strength and musical understanding so you can play progressively more challenging pieces and play them well. Fortunately, there is a plethora of gorgeous music to choose from along the way. Don't jump into music that is over your head or you will become discouraged. This may sound corny, but being a musician is more about the journey than about the end goals. Enjoy everything you play.

Your rate of progress depends on your dedication, the amount of time you have to devote to your piano studies and frankly, talent. Talent is very individual and difficult to measure without hearing you play. It's wonderful that you are working with a teacher and I would suggest you ask your question when your teacher returns.

As a adult beginner, it will be more difficult for you to develop dexterity and speed compared to how it would have been had you started as a youngster, but don't let that discourage you. Your obvious excitement is a great motivator. If you are willing to work hard, your progress will be remarkable and satisfying. Your long term goal pieces are very difficult and it may take many years to achieve that level of performance. (The Rach 2 may not be a realistic goal but never give up on the desire to learn it. Maybe some day....)Be patient as you work your way up to more difficult repertoire. It's great that you aspire to play difficult pieces, but don't miss out on all the fabulous literature that you can learn along the way. It's quite possible you'll be playing the Pathetique in a few years.

I can't compare my progress to yours because everyone is different and I started when I was 10. It's extremely important to avoid the trap of comparing your playing and your progress to others. Get comfortable with who you are and where you are. You'll be happier that way. I realize you want a clear answer such as: you will play (insert name of piece) in 2 years if you practice (insert number of hours a day). There is no way to predict your progress or your musical pinnacle. It's one of those things that you'll find out when you get there. Enjoy the journey!
Posted By: Nguyen Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 09:08 PM
Originally Posted by gooddog
…You do indeed need foundation work to develop technique, physical strength and musical understanding so you can play progressively more challenging pieces and play them well. Fortunately, there is a plethora of gorgeous music to choose from along the way. Don't jump into music that is over your head or you will become discouraged…
… It's great that you aspire to play difficult pieces, but don't miss out on all the fabulous literature that you can learn along the way. It's quite possible you'll be playing the Pathetique in a few years…
… It's extremely important to avoid the trap of comparing your playing and your progress to others. Get comfortable with who you are and where you are. You'll be happier that way …
… There is no way to predict your progress or your musical pinnacle. It's one of those things that you'll find out when you get there. Enjoy the journey!...
Some great points again. So many brilliant minds here. I have been following this with a lot of interests. Thanks all.
Posted By: ChopinAddict Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 09:35 PM
Originally Posted by MarkCannon
Originally Posted by Teodor
.....I've listened to this a hudred times already. I don't find dynamics hard, there are marked on the sheet music and if they are not you can listen to this performance and mark them yourself, it seems quite easy to me and I believe I can do it too one day because I can see myself doing it.....

Great -- but please understand, there is something to what we're saying which you're not appreciating -- a different level of seeing it.

Quote
.....If I can do this in the short amount of time I've spend (an hour a day for the past month and a bit over), then I think harder things won't be a problem once I get more advanced.

In the sense of how you mean it, you're probably right.


How do you know he doesn't see it at a higher level?
Posted By: Da-Risin-Smoke Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 09:38 PM
I have been without a teacher for about 2 years, but still practice.

How do I get back in the zone?
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 09:39 PM
Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
.....How do you know he doesn't see it at a higher level?

It's obvious (truly literally obvious) from his posts, and explained to a large extent in some of the posts on the previous page.
Posted By: ChopinAddict Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/30/09 09:45 PM
He has some "high" expectations which he might fulfill or not. Time will tell. He has just started, it is too early too know what will be... Let him work hard and see what happens. We shouldn't kill his enthusiasm... Maybe yes, he doesn't see it at a higher level right now, but he might in a couple of years....
Posted By: CebuKid Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 02:58 AM
Originally Posted by gooddog
<snip>

Don't jump into music that is over your head or you will become discouraged. This may sound corny, but being a musician is more about the journey than about the end goals. Enjoy everything you play.

Your rate of progress depends on your dedication, the amount of time you have to devote to your piano studies and frankly, talent. Talent is very individual and difficult to measure without hearing you play. It's wonderful that you are working with a teacher and I would suggest you ask your question when your teacher returns.

As a adult beginner, it will be more difficult for you to develop dexterity and speed compared to how it would have been had you started as a youngster, but don't let that discourage you.


Well stated! I agree 100% with the adult beginner factor, and many of us here aren't "true" adult beginners.

If I hadn't had 3 years of childhood lessons, coupled with being a childhood drummer, there's no way I'd be jumping into stuff way over my head - I'd be playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and working off Alfred Books, and there's nothing wrong with that either!

Rhythm and finger dexterity were "wired in" 30 years ago when I learned as a kid. This is just my opinion, though, but scientific studies this up as well. Here's an interesting article:

http://www.pianostreet.com/blog/articles/piano-playing-a-public-health-concept-764/

Posted By: Teodor Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 06:48 AM
Originally Posted by MarkCannon
Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
.....How do you know he doesn't see it at a higher level?

It's obvious (truly literally obvious) from his posts, and explained to a large extent in some of the posts on the previous page.


I do see it at a higher level, I just refuse to workship the work of a man. Neither Beethoven, nor Rachmaninoff were more than human. Just think about the amount of time Beethoven put into it all his life, I don't belive he was able to play crazy good when he first sat at the piano. I might never become a great composer like they were but that doesn't mean I can't one day play some difficult pieces and make them sound perfectly fine. And as some suggested, I was talking about hitting the right notes at the right time for those pieces as a first goal. Obviously if in 5 years if I could play concert-level pieces that would be quite extraordinary and it's highly unlikely for me.

What's wrong with having high hopes and aspirations? Should I start dreaming about ending being able to play The Entertainer as the hardest thing I can play? That's a too low goal and I wouldn't set it as something I aspire to.

I do enjoy all the music I play along the way. Even the easiest stuff. I appreciate it all and I'm glad I started studying piano. I hope to on day showe everyone that I have talent when it comes to music.
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 06:51 AM
Nothing wrong with the aspiration -- that's great.
It was how you talked about some things being easy (or however you put it, don't remember exactly).
They're not that simple, unless you're looking at it more simply than you may someday.

But don't worry about it. smile
Posted By: Teodor Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 06:52 AM
I know they are not but by setting your mind to think something is easy, you might actually find it easier in the long run. I never approach anything saying "ОMG this will be so hard... ok here goes nothing" smile

Plus, I'm still very green inside. I need to learn patience if I ever want to get somewhere.
Posted By: TrapperJohn Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 11:55 AM
Originally Posted by Teodor

Plus, I'm still very green inside. I need to learn patience if I ever want to get somewhere.


Yes - it's very good that you realize this - now remember it always and pace yourself accordingly - this is one of the key answers to your original question.

JF
Posted By: I'll be Bach Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 11:56 AM
And here we arrive at another occasion on Piano forums where the "adults" pat the "toddlers" on the head, shake their ever so superior heads knowingly and say...someday, you too MAY understand, what I have come to know.

Posted By: Wizard of Oz Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 01:25 PM
Hey don't bother with Gyro's advice. I don't think he can even play Fur Elise half decently.
Posted By: TrapperJohn Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 01:28 PM
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
And here we arrive at another occasion on Piano forums where the "adults" pat the "toddlers" on the head, shake their ever so superior heads knowingly and say...someday, you too MAY understand, what I have come to know.



smile

Well, in spite of your weak, flimsy attempt at sarcasm - a very typical "toddler" reaction to words of wisdom imparted by "adults" - you're absolutely correct. That's exactly what is being communicated here and the approach with which it is being so communicated - and you should remember this always and pace yourself accordingly laugh

Actually, I was just happy to see that he realized that patience was just as important as the consistency of hard work, and was trying to congratulate him for his "smarts" and to encourage his efforts.

What have you offered in this regard?

JF
Posted By: I'll be Bach Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 03:26 PM
Originally Posted by John Frank
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
And here we arrive at another occasion on Piano forums where the "adults" pat the "toddlers" on the head, shake their ever so superior heads knowingly and say...someday, you too MAY understand, what I have come to know.



smile

Well, in spite of your weak, flimsy attempt at sarcasm - a very typical "toddler" reaction to words of wisdom imparted by "adults" - you're absolutely correct. That's exactly what is being communicated here and the approach with which it is being so communicated - and you should remember this always and pace yourself accordingly laugh

Actually, I was just happy to see that he realized that patience was just as important as the consistency of hard work, and was trying to congratulate him for his "smarts" and to encourage his efforts.

What have you offered in this regard?

JF



Telling someone over the internet that someday they may have the introspective abilities to see the nuances of a particular piece that makes it difficult (reserved only for those with specific ability, who have sweated the blood from thier forehead in order to see all of the infinitessimal idiosyncracies of every strike (and absence of strike) of the piano keys (because isn't silence its own solemnity in a piece?)can come off sounding more than a bit conceited.

This place is can be awfully full of itself. That is what I have offered to this thread...a little sense of perspective to a thread that was just really willing to pat itself on the back for all of the worldly knowledge it could impart anonymously over the internets tubes to the "toddlers" who shouldn't be expected to "get it"...yet. After all they can barely walk...how could they possibly see what "I" high up on the mountain can see so clearly.



Posted By: CebuKid Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 04:24 PM
Originally Posted by Teodor
Should I start dreaming about ending being able to play The Entertainer as the hardest thing I can play? That's a too low goal and I wouldn't set it as something I aspire to.



LOL, within this thread, I've heard 2 of my 1st year adult beginner pieces, "The Entertainer" and "Fur Elise" used as examples.

Teodor, try playing the full 1902 version of Entertainer in less than a year. I did. smile

Anywho, your goals are fine. You are young and have 2 full decades head-start to aspire to those goals. I waited to take piano up after I had to work 50 hours a week, pay a mortgage and support 2 kids. My practice time is extremely limited (1/2 hour per day if I'm lucky)... Use your time wisely!
Posted By: sotto voce Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 05:07 PM
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
Telling someone over the internet that someday they may have the introspective abilities to see the nuances of a particular piece that makes it difficult (reserved only for those with specific ability, who have sweated the blood from thier forehead in order to see all of the infinitessimal idiosyncracies of every strike (and absence of strike) of the piano keys (because isn't silence its own solemnity in a piece?)can come off sounding more than a bit conceited.

This place is can be awfully full of itself. That is what I have offered to this thread...a little sense of perspective to a thread that was just really willing to pat itself on the back for all of the worldly knowledge it could impart anonymously over the internets tubes to the "toddlers" who shouldn't be expected to "get it"...yet. After all they can barely walk...how could they possibly see what "I" high up on the mountain can see so clearly.

Well, dang. I'm an adult returnee, but this reaction crystallizes why I've always felt so much more at ease in the Pianist Corner than in ABF: playing advanced repertoire and discussion of advanced technique here can be found to intimidate rather than inspire.

People who know a lot can be perceived as conceited know-it-alls whether their behavior is outright obnoxious or thoroughly understated or anywhere in between. I don't know why the knowledge and wisdom of high achievers is so often found to be smug or threatening, but there you have it.

I don't mean to depict this as a case of noblesse oblige, but it is kind of surprising that so many smart and experienced folks continue to be so willing to share their knowledge freely. Sometimes it seems like such a thankless task, and accusations of conceit, arrogance and that perennial favorite—elitism—taint the majority of novices who earnestly want to learn and are grateful for the help they receive.

Steven
Posted By: I'll be Bach Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 05:23 PM
"They're not that simple, unless you're looking at it more simply than you may someday."

Oh the nobility of just you know...knowing.

Much obliged.


And the belief that this forum doesn't have an air of superiority from some posters is really a bit funny. Having been involved in a thread recently where the worst thing in the world one poster could concieve of...was (gasp) play on an upright!

Time and again people with thousands to spend are told that they will have to suffer the consequences of their paltry sum by getting something with "muddled bass."

I think there are very strong reasons to participate in this forum and think it has great value...but there are many ways to make a point and on occasion I see the ...you just don't know any better side of it come out, and I find it unattractive.

If your experience differs, that is fine with me.





Posted By: sotto voce Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 05:34 PM
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
"They're not that simple, unless you're looking at it more simply than you may someday."

Oh the nobility of just you know...knowing.

Much obliged.

The quotation you offer looks like a prosaic statement of fact to me. If you take offense at it, I think it's because you already decided that that people who know more than you are offensive.

Steven
Posted By: I'll be Bach Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 05:44 PM
Originally Posted by sotto voce
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
"They're not that simple, unless you're looking at it more simply than you may someday."

Oh the nobility of just you know...knowing.

Much obliged.

The quotation you offer looks like a prosaic statement of fact to me. If you take offense at it, I think it's because you already decided that that people who know more than you are offensive.

Steven


Or it may simply be someone saying...once you smarten up you will know just how difficult it is to do what I do.

//we are not curing cancer here...we are playing piano.
///your experience may differ...I just calls'em as I sees them.

Posted By: sotto voce Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 05:56 PM
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
Or it may simply be someone saying...once you smarten up you will know just how difficult it is to do what I do.

It seems to me that that, too, is a simple statement of fact.

Originally Posted by I'll be Bachj
//we are not curing cancer here...we are playing piano.
///your experience may differ...I just calls'em as I sees them.

And yet there are some fundamental truths applicable to all who take their craft seriously:
  1. Musicality and musicianship take time to develop; and
  2. "Smartening up" is an on-going process for everyone, because experience and expertise are relative.
Of course it's not curing cancer, but that's not what we do. We play piano. To those who are about doing that skillfully, musical artistry is as real and important a part of our lives as curing cancer is to the scientists who answer that call.

Steven
Posted By: I'll be Bach Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 06:08 PM
Originally Posted by sotto voce
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
Or it may simply be someone saying...once you smarten up you will know just how difficult it is to do what I do.

It seems to me that that, too, is a simple statement of fact.

Originally Posted by I'll be Bachj
//we are not curing cancer here...we are playing piano.
///your experience may differ...I just calls'em as I sees them.

And yet there are some fundamental truths applicable to all who take their craft seriously:
  1. Musicality and musicianship take time to develop; and
  2. "Smartening up" is an on-going process for everyone, because experience and expertise are relative.
Of course it's not curing cancer, but that's not what we do. We play piano. To those who are about doing that skillfully, musical artistry is as real and important a part of our lives as curing cancer is to the scientists who answer that call.

Steven


We will simply agree to disagree.

Where I am from...intimating that someone will eventually be as smart as you, isn't
a) flattering to the person you are saying it too.
b) speaks volume of the person who said the words.

There are ways to guide and teach without putting someone else down.


There is no crime in taking musical artistry seriously...I certainly do, having played instruments from when I could barely hold my head up. But I don't agree that telling a person that eventually they too might summit your mountain as if their experience should be the same as yours or lead to the same likely conclusions is anything less than putting on airs.

Have a great new year!




Posted By: Phlebas Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 06:18 PM
I think it's fine to say to someone, "the more you learn, the more you realize how difficult ____ is."

There's no point in always agreeing, and saying, "you're right. the dynamics in the Pathetique second movement aren't hard at all. You just follow the markings."

It's ok to point out that with practice, time, etc., it's possible to get to the level of playing - say - the Pathetique, but during that journey you'll a lot more than how to move your fingers, and what P and F mean.

It's not necessarily stifling or discouraging to say "work on, and play stuff that's at your level. The Pathetique is going to still be there when you're able to play it." That's what my first teacher said to me, and it was a great motivation.

Posted By: Mark_C Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 06:41 PM
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
.....Telling someone over the internet that someday they may have the introspective abilities to see the nuances of a particular piece that makes it difficult (reserved only for those with specific ability, who have sweated the blood from thier forehead in order to see all of the infinitessimal idiosyncracies of every strike (and absence of strike) of the piano keys (because isn't silence its own solemnity in a piece?)can come off sounding more than a bit conceited....

Yes, it can. And if you think it did, fine.

He was asserting pretty strongly that certain things aren't hard. If your preference would have been to just let that stand, I don't agree with it.
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 06:44 PM
Originally Posted by sotto voce
.....I don't mean to depict this as a case of noblesse oblige, but it is kind of surprising that so many smart and experienced folks continue to be so willing to share their knowledge freely. Sometimes it seems like such a thankless task, and accusations of conceit, arrogance and that perennial favorite—elitism—taint the majority of novices who earnestly want to learn and are grateful for the help they receive.

Yes.
We want to be nice about it too, and I think most of us try our best.
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 06:45 PM
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
"They're not that simple, unless you're looking at it more simply than you may someday."

Oh the nobility of just you know...knowing.

Much obliged.


And the belief that this forum doesn't have an air of superiority from some posters.....

Dear I'll Be:

That was a restrained way of replying to him, given what he was asserting.
Posted By: sotto voce Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 06:49 PM
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
We will simply agree to disagree.

Where I am from...intimating that someone will eventually be as smart as you, isn't
a) flattering to the person you are saying it too.
b) speaks volume of the person who said the words.

There are ways to guide and teach without putting someone else down.


There is no crime in taking musical artistry seriously...I certainly do, having played instruments from when I could barely hold my head up. But I don't agree that telling a person that eventually they too might summit your mountain as if their experience should be the same as yours or lead to the same likely conclusions is anything less than putting on airs.

Have a great new year!

You've been putting words in people's mouths by paraphrasing and spinning what's been said simply and matter-of-factly in order to validate your premise. You've trivialized people's concerns with technique and their instruments. In your indignation over being allegedly insulted by those who know more and care more than you apparently do, you don't seem to care whom you insult.

Steven
Posted By: Nguyen Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 06:52 PM
Isn't "honesty is the best policy"?
Posted By: I'll be Bach Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 07:02 PM
Originally Posted by sotto voce
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
We will simply agree to disagree.

Where I am from...intimating that someone will eventually be as smart as you, isn't
a) flattering to the person you are saying it too.
b) speaks volume of the person who said the words.

There are ways to guide and teach without putting someone else down.


There is no crime in taking musical artistry seriously...I certainly do, having played instruments from when I could barely hold my head up. But I don't agree that telling a person that eventually they too might summit your mountain as if their experience should be the same as yours or lead to the same likely conclusions is anything less than putting on airs.

Have a great new year!

You've been putting words in people's mouths by paraphrasing and spinning what's been said simply and matter-of-factly in order to validate your premise. You've trivialized people's concerns with technique and their instruments. In your indignation over being allegedly insulted by those who know more and care more than you apparently do, you don't seem to care whom you insult.

Steven


I see them as simply stated facts.

Again...I am not asking you to agree. Just as you should not expect me to suddenly see things your way.


Posted By: sotto voce Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 07:09 PM
You've made yourself very clear.

Steven
Posted By: TrapperJohn Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 07:34 PM
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
Originally Posted by John Frank
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach
And here we arrive at another occasion on Piano forums where the "adults" pat the "toddlers" on the head, shake their ever so superior heads knowingly and say...someday, you too MAY understand, what I have come to know.



smile

Well, in spite of your weak, flimsy attempt at sarcasm - a very typical "toddler" reaction to words of wisdom imparted by "adults" - you're absolutely correct. That's exactly what is being communicated here and the approach with which it is being so communicated - and you should remember this always and pace yourself accordingly laugh

Actually, I was just happy to see that he realized that patience was just as important as the consistency of hard work, and was trying to congratulate him for his "smarts" and to encourage his efforts.

What have you offered in this regard?

JF



Telling someone over the internet that someday they may have the introspective abilities to see the nuances of a particular piece that makes it difficult ... can come off sounding more than a bit conceited.



Or it can sound helpful - advising them against impatience and alerting them to the hard, cold fact that such "introspective abilities" are often achieved only after much time and practice - both of which require patience. Those less sensitive and more rational would, ot at least should, appreciate such well-intentioned advice, especially among the young.

JF
Posted By: TrapperJohn Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 07:40 PM
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach

And the belief that this forum doesn't have an air of superiority from some posters is really a bit funny.



Not only an air but a reality also - there is a great deal of superiority here - superiority of knowledge, and experience, and intelligence, and dedication, and motivation, and ...

One should not fear and ridicule it, but rather embrace it and profit from it.

Oops - more condecension to toddlers shocked

JF
Posted By: TrapperJohn Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 07:42 PM
Originally Posted by I'll be Bach

Or it may simply be someone saying...once you smarten up you will know just how difficult it is to do what I do.



This may just be a simple statement of fact - and how one handles it may depend on one's maturity level...

JF
Posted By: ddh Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 10:39 PM
Originally Posted by John Frank
Not only an air but a reality also - there is a great deal of superiority here - superiority of knowledge, and experience, and intelligence, and dedication, and motivation, and ...

One should not fear and ridicule it, but rather embrace it and profit from it.

Oops - more condecension to toddlers shocked

JF


Thank You John Frank; who knew You held me in such high esteem ? grin

Cheers
Posted By: TrapperJohn Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 12/31/09 11:38 PM
Originally Posted by ddh
Originally Posted by John Frank
Not only an air but a reality also - there is a great deal of superiority here - superiority of knowledge, and experience, and intelligence, and dedication, and motivation, and ...

One should not fear and ridicule it, but rather embrace it and profit from it.

Oops - more condecension to toddlers shocked

JF


Thank You John Frank; who knew You held me in such high esteem ? grin

Cheers


grin

I didn't know - until now. Your superiority is only exceeded by your humility laugh

JF
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 01/01/10 12:22 AM
Originally Posted by Teodor

I do see it at a higher level, I just refuse to worship the work of a man.... And as some suggested, I was talking about hitting the right notes at the right time for those pieces as a first goal.


The technical part of playing the piano or any piece is just one aspect. The musical aspect is at least as difficult, probably much more so. It is not just a question of following the composer's dynamics and phrasing. It's hard to put a % on how much the musical part is, but I think it's at least 50%.

If you listen to a great pianist playing a piece that's considered technically relatively easy, hopefully one hear this is the case:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gszYc5aUCQY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3FzO72Vt8A
Posted By: LimeFriday Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 01/01/10 02:37 AM
I played the organ for over twenty years before I took up piano seriously. And I was so impatient to play difficult pieces I loved. I listened to them and believed I could do them because I had so much previous experience in performing. Until I sat down at the piano to do it myself!

While I could sight read my pieces and play the notes and execute all the dynamic markings as written - the delicate touch and subtle dynamics, the musicality and clarity of expression, the ability to create a mood - these were just not there in the way I wanted them to be. That takes much more experience with the piano than I have... it's going to take years of practice and listening and experimenting until I develop the ability to interpret a piece in a way that pleases me. So while yes... I can technically play pieces... I have still such a long way to go to REALLY play them.

Aiming high is great - and gives you something to work toward. I do that myself! But I think it's recognising that this is a long long journey... and hard work is part of what will get you there. But you also need the ability to appreciate that there is more to music than just being able to play it. And I think all anyone was trying to say is that in the beginning it's not always possible to appreciate just how hard that is!

Good luck! And keep playing and setting goals for yourself.
Posted By: crogersrx Re: Will I be good if I work hard? - 01/01/10 03:03 AM
Originally Posted by Teodor
... I never approach anything saying "ОMG this will be so hard... ok here goes nothing" smile ... I need to learn patience if I ever want to get somewhere.


I agree with you on that... there are some things that are simply beyond a person's current level, and they should be left until such time that the player has the ability to begin tackling a piece. I played as a kid, for about 7-8 years, and did reasonably well, then didn't seriously get back into it until a few years ago... even then there have been a few distractions. But, as someone earlier in this thread said, "rhythm and (finger dexterity) were wired into me back then..." and that helped alot with where I am now. But, I've had to humble myself and step way back from where I left off as an 18 year old.

Now, with patience and perseverence, I've surprised myself by being able to pick up some pieces that I have never played, and by looking at would think they are too difficult, and then a week later, I've putting the final touches on them and memorizing them for repertoire.

So, I think you need to pay attention to foundations: etudes, scales, chord recognition, fingerings, rhythm exercises. Then, start playing pieces that you can acheive mastery of in a week or two of two-three hours a day of practice. Practice each hand to master the nuances of the fingerings so that when you put it together you can do it smoothly and concentrate on expression and dynamics. Then commit the pieces to memory and play them with the emphasis on expression, not on hitting the notes. This is when the jump to the next level happens because you have put the technical and expressive accomplishments of that particular piece into your arsenal of abilities... and you are that much further down the line to tackling the next more advanced piece.
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