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How to practice the Chopin Etudes (Read 20440 times)

Offline rab

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #50 on: February 05, 2013, 09:34:52 PM »
Hi everyone,

Just reading through this topic and have a couple things to add......

There is a nice study guide to Opus 10 at http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=631.

Another thought on how to work on the etudes is ....with a buddy!

a colleague of mine whose playing and intellect I respect have decided to meet once a month to play etudes for each other and discuss our thoughts and ideas.  Our first meeting is in about two weeks and we will be discussing/playing 10/1 and 10/5.

I have already studied these two works on and off for many years, but the upcoming get together has enabled me to focus better and made my practicing more productive. 



Rebecca

Visit my YouTube Channel Piano with Rebecca Bogart: http://m.youtube.com/user/PianoRebeccaBogart?feature=guide





Offline chopianologue

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #51 on: February 24, 2013, 05:48:54 PM »
For op.25 no.12:

First, just play first chords as chords.
2) Play first chords as rapid scales, as original.
3) Play first 2 chords as chords, play again and again some parts.
4) Play first 2 chords as rapid scales, start slowly.
5) Play all chords as chords
6) Play as original with low bpm. With every beginning, increase metronome bpm like 1-2.
7) Be really patient.

It may took 2,5 - 3 months but it really worth this!

Offline iratior

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #52 on: March 03, 2013, 11:34:51 PM »
Chopin opus 25, no. 10 is, in my opinion, not nearly so difficult as opus 25, no. 4 or 8.  And it is such a beautiful piece.  What it conveys is rage.  Pure rage.  The rage that triggers a revolution.  The B-minor key keeps it as solemn as an overcast autumn day before a hurricane hits.  Tapping into the rage of this piece is a good way to develop the technique needed for it.  Reading about how angry Chopin was about the Russian occupation of Poland might help.

Offline rocklandpiano

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #53 on: March 07, 2013, 12:49:31 PM »
1) Make absolutely sure you are always relaxed!
2) some rhythms/groupings: CGCE, CGCE, CGCE
or C, GCEC, GCEC, and things like that
3) I find that the metronome helps sometimes with etudes. I start with a comfortable/easy slow tempo, work my way up until I am just about to lose it, then work your way back down. Everyone always gets gradually faster when they play, but I think it is even more important to get gradually slower. That way, your body is getting more and more relaxed and you are getting more and more in control of the passage as you practice.

4) Minimize your movement. Use only the motion you need to use, and get rid of everything else. Slow, soft practice is good for this.

5) Godowsky (you know his affinity for Chopin Etudes, right?) suggests several tips. I know his general approach included practing with all possible combinations of speed, articulation, and dynamic in order to get a "complete" working of the technique. For example, if you took 3 of each: (slow, medium, fast--staccato, detached, legato--soft, medium, loud) you'd get 27 different combinations! (Note: he didn't suggest running through all the combinations, but MASTERING the etude at each individual combination)

6) Check out Godowsky's Chopin Etude reworkings. He provides practice examples that are interesting. There is a new edition of his complete works in 5 volumes (or 4, I can't remember), that has these.

I remember one exercise was playing C, then the chord GCE, etc.
Piano players in Monsey, New York have relied on Charles Flaum since before 1990 for piano tuning, piano repairs and sage piano advice. Monsey, a family oriented village in Rockland County, is full of

Offline j_menz

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #54 on: March 07, 2013, 10:25:47 PM »
Check out Godowsky's Chopin Etude reworkings. He provides practice examples that are interesting. There is a new edition of his complete works in 5 volumes (or 4, I can't remember), that has these.

There are 5 volumes, but the second is already out of print.  The Chopin studies form volume 3.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline chopin2015

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #55 on: March 08, 2013, 02:23:41 AM »
Hi everyone,

Just reading through this topic and have a couple things to add......

There is a nice study guide to Opus 10 at http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=631.

Another thought on how to work on the etudes is ....with a buddy!

a colleague of mine whose playing and intellect I respect have decided to meet once a month to play etudes for each other and discuss our thoughts and ideas.  Our first meeting is in about two weeks and we will be discussing/playing






Your idea is amazing. I really got excited about that. It is a fantastic idea.
"Beethoven wrote in three flats a lot. That's because he moved twice."

Offline pianoamit

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #56 on: March 09, 2013, 10:47:19 AM »
Really you need to look at what Chopin was getting at in the study you are working on.

For example, the point of the first study (op.10 No.1) Is not really a study in extension, though it works as that too, but mostly a study in how to 'snap' your hand closed, to release tension. Try and find the techniques Chopin was working on, and devise small exercises to help with them. 

I'm afraid you're not correct at all in your choice of wording. Op. 10 no. 1 is neither a study in extension, nor should one's hand ever 'snap' shut. The secret to a good performance of this piece lies in being able to use a fluid motion of the hand (particularly the wrist and forearm moving laterally) along with smart use of the torso. The vast majority of pianists who play this etude well sway use their torso to their advantage: they move left and right from their hips in order to ensure that the support of the entire arm is always behind the finger which is playing at any given moment.

Offline pianoamit

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #57 on: March 09, 2013, 10:57:42 AM »
Me too. I bough the Cortot edition of op. 10 a while ago and while I don't think they would do harm, I believe the time spent on the Cortot exercises is better spent on the etudes themselves.

I recently had a revealing experience in the case of op. 10/1: I had been practicing it for quite some time without a teacher, and focused almost completely on the wrist motion (it looks a bit wave-like if done correctly, I think), and were actually thinking that the fingers should feel more or less passive, and the wrist be perceived at the main driver of tone production. Then when I started recently with a teacher she told me that the wrists are very good, but I should not neglect exact, _active_ finger articulation. In other words, as I now understand it, the arm transports the fingers to the keys horizontally, the wrist might adjust the position vertically and also a bit horizontally, but ultimately it is a finger that actively moves for producing a tone -- otherwise there will be no fine control and everything will sound blurry, uneven, and uncontrolled. After a couple of days of exercise in this direction (btw, I often practice slow-motion and legato without pedal), I feel I'm gaining substantial clarity in tone production and also a better feeling (at least I think so) for the coordination between arms, wrist, and fingers. Not sure if others had similar experiences or if this makes sense at all to other folks....  :)



The first bit of sense in this entire thread! Congratulations. Add to this way of playing support from your torso, so that your wrist doesn't have to move laterally on its own (and has the full support of your arm) and you'll be well-on-your-way!

Offline aksels

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #58 on: June 05, 2013, 09:04:23 PM »
I know not many people like hanon here hah.. anyways after the 30the exercise there is a collection of rhytmical exercises that can be applied to many hard passages not only chopin. they helped me a great deal in the 4th etude

Offline amelialw

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #59 on: June 09, 2013, 07:50:55 AM »
I did try the Cortot editions before and personally it never really benefited me:P

What my teacher here in Canada does is that we break down each etude that we learn and she comes up with little exercises to work on the type of technique which I struggle with in that specific etude
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

Offline virtuoso80

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #60 on: June 09, 2013, 09:53:30 PM »
As someone who performed Op. 25, No. 12, here's my tip: Take each arpeggio, hands separate, and do only two octaves back and forth, over and over again. This should be worlds easier, and it allows you to get the feel that you're looking for: The 'bounce' back and forth should be totally effortless, and you should only have to think about the top and bottom notes. Trying this led to my 'aha!' moment where I understood what I was going for. Three octaves is harder, but this set me on the right path.

Offline danhuyle

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #61 on: June 10, 2013, 02:27:47 AM »
Find a piano teacher who has MASTERED the entire set. Simple as that.

Take piano lessons.
Perfection itself is imperfection.

Currently practicing
Albeniz Triana
Scriabin Fantaisie Op28
Scriabin All Etudes Op8

Offline piano1mn

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #62 on: June 15, 2013, 02:47:58 AM »
I have a edition in Mandarin and the Schirmer edition of the Etudes. For the f minor left hand etude, my teacher said that I had to use the following left hand fingering because Chopin wrote it and that was his goal: to stretch your hands/fingers:

     541414 541414  i    >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( :P :P :P :( :( :o :o

Offline piano1mn

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #63 on: June 15, 2013, 02:54:13 AM »
Quote
Find a piano teacher who has MASTERED the entire set. Simple as that.

Take piano lessons.

I disagree. Some teachers won't teach what you want to learn, even if you pay. That's the case in my area.

Offline perprocrastinate

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #64 on: June 15, 2013, 02:56:50 AM »
I disagree. Some teachers won't teach what you want to learn, even if you pay. That's the case in my area.

I'm interested to know, for what reason do they refuse to?

Offline piano1mn

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #65 on: June 15, 2013, 04:00:25 AM »
They think it is too hard and say they don't want to ruin your technique

Offline danhuyle

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #66 on: June 15, 2013, 02:05:17 PM »
They think it is too hard and say they don't want to ruin your technique

I thought I was the only pianist experiencing this. I literally cried in tears to get a piano teacher to teach me Liszt TE #1 for my mid year technical exam (the one where you have to do 2 studies plus scales etc), and it's a teacher with a masters degree with students paying $60 per hour (could be higher now)


If you don't have a teacher to teach it, the Alfred Cortot edition of Chopin. The man has mastered all Chopin etudes, has flawless technique and considered one of the greatest pianists.

I disagree. Some teachers won't teach what you want to learn, even if you pay. That's the case in my area.

When it comes to Bach, they'll teach you ANYTHING you want. Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert Sonatas, no complaints there.

When it comes to Chopin and Liszt it rings their alarm bell.


Don't we all LOVE it when teachers refuse to teach you the pieces you want to learn?  ;D

I'm interested to know, for what reason do they refuse to?

At the time I was studying for my music degree, the common reasons teachers refuse to teach
- It's too hard (the #1 reason)
- Play your exam pieces PERFECTLY
- If you play your exam pieces well, your piano skills will "skyrocket" to new unimaginable heights
- Chopin etude is hard for you, play something easier because you can shape it and play it better.

Need I say more?


If your teacher says it's too hard for you, then LISTEN. What they say goes. I was told this by pianists and other forum members.

If you want to learn Chopin Etudes,
- look at Paul Barton's youtube videos. The man can play Chopin Etudes, and KNOWS what he's doing.
- Alfred Cortot's book
- Pay hundreds, even thousands, of $$$$ to a piano teacher who has MASTERED the entire set. There's plenty of them around.
- Figure it out yourself.

The best advice to practice Chopin Etudes -

Play it slow until they fall under your fingers
Perfection itself is imperfection.

Currently practicing
Albeniz Triana
Scriabin Fantaisie Op28
Scriabin All Etudes Op8

Offline swebac

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #67 on: December 17, 2013, 06:20:17 PM »
To play no. 1, most important element is relaxation. The hand moves smoothly, and the speed of the arm is corelated with the impulses the fingers exert, and viceversa. It's not extending, or a very little amount, more like a biproduct of the fact that you nevertheless play wide arpeggios. The size of the hands matters. For hands that reach a tenth or less, legato is not the goal. When played fast, it's legato anyway, as dampers don't  fall quickly enough to interfere. Also the pedaling will make it unnecessary to try the impossible of playing perfect legato with small or just normal hands. How it is to have huge hands, I don't know. People reaching a duodecima will probably have no problem playing legato most of the time.
  To learn the correct motion, imagine you already can play like a virtuoso, and just execute the macro movement, thinking "relax" and of course doing it. Don't try hitting the right notes. By playing the right notes by force, you obtain stiffness, pain, failure. The idea is to learn the right movement, then slowing down, coordinate horizontal movement with fine finger action. Retain overall feeling, if losing that, revisit being virtuoso with no right notes.
 The elbow has to help, for some it is a rotation, waves. I think all depends on each person's particular body construction and particularities.
  Very important, RH practice only, for a long time, well, unless you're a genius, then you don't need it ha, ha.

 Take 1 bar, up, or 2, up and down. Then, just one unit, CGCECG-CGCECG-CGCECG. Check your wrist, look on youtube for established giants and decide which feels natural for you. Some keep it steady horizontally some allow a little movement up, but not under.
 Play changing accents on other fingers, by displacing. That will cure playing certain notes too strong or too weak inadvertently.
  

Offline awesom_o

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Re: How to practice the Chopin Etudes
«Reply #68 on: December 17, 2013, 07:20:11 PM »
Find a piano teacher who has MASTERED the entire set. Simple as that.

Take piano lessons.


I'm here if anyone wants to follow danhuyle's excellent advice!  ;D