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How to know the excercise completely (Read 1899 times)

Offline rph108

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How to know the excercise completely
« on: July 19, 2004, 02:57:45 AM »
When I Play Hanon I find that I sometimes don't really know the notes, its just automated. Is this bad? Is there some way to know them more completely. I don't have much time and I'm already playing so many of the excercises that I'm afraid I will lose my technique If I try to learn them slowly again.

Offline amanfang

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Re: How to know the excercise completely
«Reply #1 on: July 19, 2004, 05:12:15 AM »
Many on this forum will tell you that Hanon is a waste of time - you can learn technique from the piano literature you are working on.  I doubt you will "lose your technique" from not playing Hanon.  However, if you MUST play Hanon, and are looking for something different to help get you out of a mechanical rut, I will suggest to play the exercises in contrary motion.  Once you get that down, perhaps try playing one hand detached and the other smooth, and then switching in the middle.  Also you should always play everything musically, whether it is an exercise or not.  Perhaps try using a different emotion for each one, such as angry, meditative, joyful, fiery, gently, and so on.  ALWAYS keep your brain on when you play.  But why waste time on Hanon when you can acquire technique through your pieces??  It's much more enjoyable.
When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there's no end to what you can't do.

Offline rph108

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Re: How to know the excercise completely
«Reply #2 on: July 19, 2004, 05:25:31 AM »
Thank you for you help. I do agree with you somewhat on the not practicing Hanon, but that is only after I have gained an initial technique that would allow me to get a piece up to speed quickly. I've only been playing for 4 years and I can usually only get a piece near perfect technically after playing it slowly for many months. Although its not enjoyable, I think that getting the fingers equal in many different aspects is very helpful to get a quicker start on new pieces.

Offline Tash

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Re: How to know the excercise completely
«Reply #3 on: July 19, 2004, 02:50:54 PM »
i play hanon but not really for anything technical- i have no idea if it's actually made a difference in my playing or not, i use it more for warmup because its continuous playing with a bit of speed helps my fingers warmup more than scales do. i tune out sometimes cos i'm not really focusing on technique or anything, but if i want to focus on it then i just concentrate more on what number i'm on and what my fingers are doing and how evenly i'm playing it
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Offline mark1

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Re: How to know the excercise completely
«Reply #4 on: July 19, 2004, 05:05:36 PM »
Why would anyone want to put so much effort into an exercise? Put your time and effort into an actual piece. Are you trying to memorize hanon? Why bother ???  There is nothing wrong with exercises, as long as someone else is doing them. :)                         Mark
"...just when you think you're right, you're wrong."

Offline janice

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Re: How to know the excercise completely
«Reply #5 on: July 19, 2004, 06:29:06 PM »
Quote
... i use it more for warmup because its continuous playing with a bit of speed helps my fingers warmup more than scales do./quote]


I'm right with you, Tash.  I am NOT a morning person, so I MUST do exercises that are mindless because my goal is to warm-up my hands every morning.  Then...as I wake up a bit more, I can move on to scales or exercises that require me to think.
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Offline rph108

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Re: How to know the excercise completely
«Reply #6 on: July 20, 2004, 12:48:20 AM »
The answer Mark, is no, I'm not trying to memorize Hanon. But, I've found that when I had begun to practice them, that my technique in every piece I played increased dramatically, and I could play them much faster and more acurately in a much shorter time. I use Hanon sort of as a tool in order to help build the other pieces more effeciently. I would like to perfect the excercises I'm playing because it will be reflected in my other pieces and although it doesnt give me all the possible enjoyment I can get from going straight to my pieces, it helps keep my overall technique ready for anything that I would want to work on.

Offline Tash

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Re: How to know the excercise completely
«Reply #7 on: July 20, 2004, 02:38:51 PM »
hanon isn't that hard to memorise anyway it's just repeated patterns over and over again it'd be hard not to memorise. and if you wanna do it properly then you kinda have to memorise it otherwise you're attempting to turn pages when there's no time to turn! and they're fun anyway! maybe i'm just weird but i enjoy playing them...
i don't think you'd lose your technique if you started again slowly- i did that and they became much better after that
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Offline rph108

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Re: How to know the excercise completely
«Reply #8 on: July 20, 2004, 04:17:56 PM »
Hmmm. That is a good idea I guess. Maybe I'll try that along with some of the other suggestions. Hanon is pretty hard not to memorize, now that I think of it.

Offline Hmoll

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Re: How to know the excercise completely
«Reply #9 on: July 20, 2004, 04:47:42 PM »
Quote
When I Play Hanon I find that I sometimes don't really know the notes, its just automated. Is this bad? Is there some way to know them more completely. I don't have much time and I'm already playing so many of the excercises that I'm afraid I will lose my technique If I try to learn them slowly again.


You will not lose technique by playing exercises or pieces slowly. Slow practice is one very important way to improve your technique and ensure clarity. It's one of many ways to improve technique.
Playing something in an "automated" fashion is never good, IMO, for a couple of reasons. First: if you play in a mindless, automated manner you won't be listening. Technique is mainly the production of the sound that you want.  Secondly, a large part of practicing  is learning how to focus, and concentrate. Mindless practice creates or reinforces a habit of unfocused practice, where there is no concentration on what your hands are doing, and what type of sounds you are producing.

I usually agree with Janice, but   the idea of mindless exercises in the morning just to warm up the hands doesn't work for me.  I find that it's my mind that needs to warm up, so I usually play something I have memorized at a slower than usual tempo, to try to get my mind focused.

As far as Hanon, lots of people don't like these exercises because thay are mindless. I never used them much, but people who have improved there playing with these exercises have been creative in the way they played them - different rhythms, articulations, transposing, etc.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline rph108

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Re: How to know the excercise completely
«Reply #10 on: July 21, 2004, 03:05:54 AM »
I usually do use my mind when playing Hanon, although hard sometimes. I try to use different sounds mainly. I was just saying that my fingers felt automated in some excercises. I could play the excercises fast enough, but I didn't always know what I was playing. I could also change the sound very well, but that one aspect of it I didn't always know well.

Offline Lacrimosa

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Re: How to know the excercise completely
«Reply #11 on: July 23, 2004, 08:53:52 PM »
Quote
When I Play Hanon I find that I sometimes don't really know the notes, its just automated. Is this bad? Is there some way to know them more completely. I don't have much time and I'm already playing so many of the excercises that I'm afraid I will lose my technique If I try to learn them slowly again.

My own feelings on this subject are that once one has reached the level of being able to perform Etudes by Chopin and Crammer, one should warm up with those. Until then, however, repetitive studies like Hanon's are excellent. I don't find Hanon at all 'mindless': if you find his studies mindless, it is only because you are not putting your own mind into it and listening to your self for beautiful, legato tone, or clear stacatto or whichever way you opt to practice them (I practice with my eyes closed). I never get bored practicing scales or studies, becuase I listen to my self so carefully. However, I never use Hanon, not because he is mindless, but because most of his studies are kind of too easy, don't you think? I much prefer the excersies by Brahms.
  As regards how to 'really know the notes', I do not agree with the comment that automation=mindless playing. When I personally preform or even just listen to music as complex as say Bach's, I find it consciously impossible to actually pay perfect attention to all the voices at high speed; so I would have to say that much of it is automatic. That doesn't however mean that I'm not listening carefully to tone and balance and articulation. So I guess that when practicing slowly, what I am actually doing is impressing within my subconcious the proper articulation, and then it just comes out automatically at fast speed. I try to do the same with my excersises.
I don't 'play' the piano - I SUFFER it!

Offline DarkWind

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Re: How to know the excercise completely
«Reply #12 on: July 25, 2004, 06:26:15 PM »
Chopin was a firm believer in exercises, making his students study things like Gradus ad Parnassum, among other studies. Only his very advanced students ever touched the etudes. Last time I checked, Chopin was a very good pianist.