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Guide: How to learn/train Chopin Etudes if you cant really handle them yet. (Read 3482 times)

Offline gyzzzmo

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I wanted to make this topic so i can just refer people to this one. Safes me (or us) time since there are alot of topics about them and im too lazy to say stuff over and over :)

About wich etude to pick:
Try to find out what your biggest flaw is and pick the etude wich handles that flaw. For example, usually the main flaws are the fingers 3,4,5 of the right hand, and the left hand in general. You could use op. 10/2 or op.25/6 for the right hand, and for the left hand i would advice op10/9 and op10/12.

About how to study them:
1) Find a good recording. This safes time in figuring what the right notes are. I like the Lugansky recordings alot.
2) Get yourself a good book. After all, only with the correct fingering you can play it correct. Although expensive, Edition Peters rocks. And you could also copy the sheetmusic from the library.
3) Play them only at the speed at wich you (hardly) make any mistakes!!!! This is probably hard for many people, but rushing will make you screw the piece up and repairing mistakes is alot harder than doing it the right way at the start.
4) Try to NOT use the pedal and listen to your playing very carefully. People tend to use the pedal alot to cover up their mistakes. But that way you'll never get full techical controll over the piece.
5) If you can play one part of the etude decently, stop learning it and start with another part wich you can play less well. Playing certain parts too often will rape them.
6) If you have trouble playing certain parts nicely, try playing playing the notes in different rithms. For example emphasize every first, second, third OR forth 16th note.
7) Dont focus too much on one etude. Go learn some nice Schubert pieces or whatever, alternation is good to give your brains some time to remind the learned.
8) Last step is to add musicality to the piece. Practise the musicality at slow speed, the speed at wich you can play everything correctly at the same tempo.


Finally i would advice to realise yourself that it will take VERY long (months/years) to be able to play the etude at the speed as indicated on the sheetmusic. But the great thing is that you WILL notice that your technique is increasing. And training with these etudes is alot more fun than doing Czerny/Hanon/Brahms excersizes.


Good luck,

Gyzzzmo


Feel free replying comments!
1+1=11

Sheet music to download and print: Etudes by Chopin



Offline thalberg

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Finally i would advice to realise yourself that it will take VERY long (months/years) to be able to play the etude at the speed as indicated on the sheetmusic.


Feel free replying comments!

One of the best pianists I know said he had to do Op10/1 for two hours a day for quite a while before he got it.

Offline gerry

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Basically good advice not just for Etudes. I'm not sure about #1 though; I listen to recordings to get an overall feeling for the interpretive possibilities and the shape of the piece, but I'm not sure I would count on them to save time learning the right notes--that is best achieved as a result of close attention and analysis of the written notes themselves.
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Für den, der heimlich lauschet.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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The advice is somewhat general and does not tell us any way to apply the knowledge for Chopin Etudes exclusively. Proper advice would pretty much require an entire book.

As for the time required it is different for everyone. For an professional music student I really believe that you can learn and master one of the etudes in less than 2 weeks, with 3-4 hours a day work. Any longer means you are not ready to tackle the technique and should acquire it elsewhere. You should be able to sight read at least 50% of the score at first reading and know how to develop it further within days to near 100% read rate.

Want good advice for those not ready to learn these etudes? Do not learn these etudes you will waste your time. You can learn technique which builds to this elsewhere.

To use the Chopin etudes to fix your technique or to initially acquire technique from, is ridiculous. You use these etudes to affirm that your overall piano technique has solid foundation, not use it to build the foundation.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
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Offline gerry

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I don't entirely agree with you. In my case, I started tackling the 3rds and 6ths Etudes back in late high school and, even though I wasn't ready to play them up to performance standards, I'm glad I did because later when it came time to play other pieces that used the chromatic 3rds and 6ths I didn't have to slave over the pattern/section as much. Later, as my technique improved, I was able to return to these pieces and pick up where I left off, so to speak. Yes, this particular technique can be gained by focused exercises but they're not nearly as satisfying to practice or fun to play. With the Etudes one is establishing technique within the framework of a future performance piece. It really depends on how high a standard you want to set for yourself--why not aim high. I have less of a problem with anyone wanting to try these pieces than I do with those who attempt to perform them before they are ready.
Durch alle Töne tönet
Im bunten Erdentraum
Ein leiser Ton gezogen
Für den, der heimlich lauschet.

Offline gyzzzmo

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The advice is somewhat general and does not tell us any way to apply the knowledge for Chopin Etudes exclusively. Proper advice would pretty much require an entire book.

As for the time required it is different for everyone. For an professional music student I really believe that you can learn and master one of the etudes in less than 2 weeks, with 3-4 hours a day work. Any longer means you are not ready to tackle the technique and should acquire it elsewhere. You should be able to sight read at least 50% of the score at first reading and know how to develop it further within days to near 100% read rate.

Want good advice for those not ready to learn these etudes? Do not learn these etudes you will waste your time. You can learn technique which builds to this elsewhere.

To use the Chopin etudes to fix your technique or to initially acquire technique from, is ridiculous. You use these etudes to affirm that your overall piano technique has solid foundation, not use it to build the foundation.

This is a guide for people who are not technically capable to finish the etude as the title sais, so not for pro's. And practically all people asking questions about the etudes on this forum are not music students, since they wouldnt ask questions about the etudes here on the forum.

I dont agree either that you need an entire book. These are the very basics for studying any technically difficult piece. 'Entire books' are for people who shouldnt indeed start these etudes at all ;)

And i can tell you from personal experience that the etudes are great for boosting your technique even if youre not at the level to finish them to performance level. These etudes are great for 'training' compared to other concertetudes, since theyre focussed pretty much on one certain flaw, with lots of variety (so you dont get the repeatetive problems like with Hanon etc.).

Basically good advice not just for Etudes. I'm not sure about #1 though; I listen to recordings to get an overall feeling for the interpretive possibilities and the shape of the piece, but I'm not sure I would count on them to save time learning the right notes--that is best achieved as a result of close attention and analysis of the written notes themselves.
I understand your doubts about the first advice, but i inserted that one because lots of (amateur) people either stop learning an etude because the sightreading takes too long, or that they make alot of mistakes simply because they didnt read the sheetmusic well. Maybe theres a risk of people trying to copy a certain performer (also the speed  :-X ), but i think this advice helps more than its risky ;)

gyzzz
1+1=11

Offline amelialw

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Finally i would advice to realise yourself that it will take VERY long (months/years) to be able to play the etude at the speed as indicated on the sheetmusic. But the great thing is that you WILL notice that your technique is increasing.

I agree with this statement. When I chose my 1st etude, my teacher gave me many choices: op.10 no.4,5,6,8&op.25 no.1&7.

I tried no.5, found it too hard as my technique was still too weak at that point, tried no.4 ad did'nt suceed either. At last, my teacher played a recording that she had and asked me to listen to no.8. Well, I took a fancy to it and started learning it.
My teacher got pretty annoyed because I constantly forgot what she told me to correct etc. and she asked me if I was sure if I wanted to learn that one.
Last June, she decided to register me for my 1st competition and the concert class for my age group needed a concert etude for you to take part in it.
At that point my etude still was'nt very good, but my teacher saw that maybe that would perhaps motivate me and signed me up for it.

Guess what I got it mastered 2 weeks before the competition, but on the actual date I got a little panicky, used up too much energy for the 1st 4 pages and the last 2 lacked the brilliance but still I pulled through and got 82 for that etude.

Now I can play it anytime and just do it.
J.S Bach Italian Concerto,Beethoven Sonata op.2 no.2,Mozart Sonatas K.330&333,Chopin Scherzo no.2,Etude op.10 no.12&Fantasie Impromptu