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Topic: Playing Classical Vs. Other  (Read 1662 times)

Offline ivoryplayer_amf

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Playing Classical Vs. Other
on: May 29, 2006, 09:09:47 PM
I have played the piano for about 12 years now.  For about 10 of those years, I have played for a church.  I'm 19 now which means I started playing for a church when I was...about 9.  I have had three teachers in my life, and am currently studying with a professor at my university.  Here's my problem.

When it comes to church music...I can sight read and play anything you give me.  I improvise and come up with some great arrangments.  However, when it comes to Classical Music, I feel like I'm 8 years old again trying to learn how to play.  For example, This past semester at college I played some church music for my professor that he couldnt even play.  But as far as classical?  Um I was studying one of Beethoveens very early piano sonatinas that I'm sure for many of y'all would be a sinch, but for me, was one of the hardest.  At the same time though, I was playing Scott Joplin's original Entertainer and can play everything by Joplin. 

Do you have any theories as to what this could be?  I'm at a loss for why this is.  Dont get me wrong, I can play some classical.  For example, I can play clair de lune, moonlight sonata, and a few others, but it takes me for ever to learn it.

Thanks for any help.  If I left anything ouot that would help you out in helping me just let me kknow!!

Offline nicco

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Re: Playing Classical Vs. Other
Reply #1 on: May 29, 2006, 09:46:26 PM
What do you mean with church music? Is it like chorales and stuff?
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline ivoryplayer_amf

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Re: Playing Classical Vs. Other
Reply #2 on: May 29, 2006, 09:48:51 PM
What do you mean with church music? Is it like chorales and stuff?

Well yes that and just about anything.  Like hymns and stuff.  I mean, my professor told me this year that the stuff I do to the hymns (improvise) is more complicated then anything sonatina yet I still have problems playing sonatinas and the such.  Its like when I see classical music, its all new

Does that help?

Offline Bob

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Re: Playing Classical Vs. Other
Reply #3 on: May 29, 2006, 10:14:20 PM
Could be a music reading issue.  If you are improvising, you might not be actually reading the music in detail, playing exactly what is written.

The hymns might have simpler chords.  The classical pieces might throw in something a little more and that could throw you off.

The classical music could just be a different style.

I wonder what your expectations are.  To play a classical piece perfectly the first time you sit down at it? 

Something like that would be my guess.  If you can improvise, you've got some solid skills down.  Just work on preparing a piece then.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline ivoryplayer_amf

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Re: Playing Classical Vs. Other
Reply #4 on: May 29, 2006, 10:16:40 PM
Could be a music reading issue.  If you are improvising, you might not be actually reading the music in detail, playing exactly what is written.

The hymns might have simpler chords.  The classical pieces might throw in something a little more and that could throw you off.

The classical music could just be a different style.

I wonder what your expectations are.  To play a classical piece perfectly the first time you sit down at it? 

Something like that would be my guess.  If you can improvise, you've got some solid skills down.  Just work on preparing a piece then.


Well I know I dont have a music reading issue.  I can tell you exactly whats going on.  And I always play whats written first and then improvise.  I guess I do have high expectations on the classical pieces.  It just frustrates me that I can play more difficult stuff but when it comes to some simple sonatinas its like I'm a beginner.

Offline gutzalpus

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Re: Playing Classical Vs. Other
Reply #5 on: May 30, 2006, 08:38:39 AM
Improvising church hymns and playing classical piano is like apples and oranges.  I was a very good classical pianist before I ever started playing church music and when I started at church I found it difficult to make it sound good even though the music itself was fairly easy to read.

Then my improvising improved and I began to make the hymns sound good.  Of course this was also around the time I stopped playing classical music for a few years... I found I could sight read hymns and come up with beautiful improvisations, but when I went back to classical my abilities had suffered greatly due to lack of practice.  The stuff is very different both technically and musically.

I think you may be setting your expectations too high due to being so good at playing church music.  Have some patience and don't expect the classical stuff to sound perfect right away.  With time and practice I'm sure you will see your abilities at classical music improve greatly.

Offline edmundas

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Re: Playing Classical Vs. Other
Reply #6 on: May 30, 2006, 10:16:02 AM

 You shoud sit and start to play sonatinas, or orther classical piece , realy slowly, and work on the details.  You playng for 12 years, thats a lot, but, you used to play free, improvising. And its normal, that is hard for you to sit and play exactly, what is writen. Your brains work diferently. And dont ruch, it will take some time. But work on that, for example, start to play one hand, than another hand, and play with to hands only then, when you can play realy good with one. And analise piece, which you are going to play. Work on the hard technicaly place. And start only slowly. That how it works.:)

 Best wiches

 (sorry for my english :) )

Offline ivoryplayer_amf

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Re: Playing Classical Vs. Other
Reply #7 on: May 30, 2006, 06:34:06 PM
Improvising church hymns and playing classical piano is like apples and oranges.  I was a very good classical pianist before I ever started playing church music and when I started at church I found it difficult to make it sound good even though the music itself was fairly easy to read.

Then my improvising improved and I began to make the hymns sound good.  Of course this was also around the time I stopped playing classical music for a few years... I found I could sight read hymns and come up with beautiful improvisations, but when I went back to classical my abilities had suffered greatly due to lack of practice.  The stuff is very different both technically and musically.

I think you may be setting your expectations too high due to being so good at playing church music.  Have some patience and don't expect the classical stuff to sound perfect right away.  With time and practice I'm sure you will see your abilities at classical music improve greatly.

This makes sense.  Thanks for the help.

Offline walking_encyclopedia

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Re: Playing Classical Vs. Other
Reply #8 on: June 01, 2006, 03:34:29 AM
When it comes to church music...I can sight read and play anything you give me.  I improvise and come up with some great arrangments.  However, when it comes to Classical Music, I feel like I'm 8 years old again trying to learn how to play.

i'm the exact opposite. i've studied classical music for a long time and i have some experience, but when it comes to any improvising or sightreading i'm absolutely pathetic.

The stuff is very different both technically and musically.

that's absolutely right. you can't study improvisation and hymns to improve your classical playing, or vice versa. if you want to be good at both types of music, you've got to study both types of music.

Offline ivoryplayer_amf

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Re: Playing Classical Vs. Other
Reply #9 on: June 01, 2006, 03:36:53 AM
i'm the exact opposite. i've studied classical music for a long time and i have some experience, but when it comes to any improvising or sightreading i'm absolutely pathetic.

I've got a friend thats like you then.  It amazes me because for me this stuff is so easy and that stuff you can do is SOOO hard.  OH well.

Offline bartolomeo_

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Re: Playing Classical Vs. Other
Reply #10 on: June 11, 2006, 02:31:52 AM
Improvising aside there are genre-specific sightreading skills.  Anything from a hymnal is SATB so there are always exactly four voices (though they may sometimes overlap) and in nearly all cases the rhythm is the same; but once in a while there will be notes out of reach so the octavation has to be adjusted on the fly.

Which is a totally different set of issues than you might encounter in, say, something by Schubert, where there will be fewer actual voices but more supporting chords, and where there is rhythm independence, and technical passages such as scales.

You can play hymns every Sunday and never encounter a scale or an arpeggio.

Offline nervous_wreck

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Re: Playing Classical Vs. Other
Reply #11 on: June 14, 2006, 06:09:48 AM
it's all about how you're approaching it. you go at church music, learning it differently you know? you look at the whole song i bet, and try and get it right. if you don't, you do it again, (the whole thing) and you keep doing it until it's right. with classical music, you have to take the first... phrase, usually 4 measures or so. get it down, play it over and over again, and memorize it, then move to the next one do the same and then put them together. it takse more time but hte end result is much more satisfying. different styles require different work too... so i'd just say you're taking the wrong approach.
 

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