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To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice? (Read 13019 times)

Offline malcolmwiss

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Hey!
What should i practice to be able to play Chopin?

I want exercises that you find useful.

How did you, as an advanced pianist get to where you are now, technically, theoretically?
The Future Belongs To Those Who Prepare For It Today

Offline danhuyle

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 09:34:07 AM »
It's hard to explain

I've never done any Hanon exercises. All I did was practice scales and arpeggios, among those other very basic stuff.

I learned a lot of theory from Chopin Scherzo No4 and Fantaisie Op49. This means I know how to analyze the music more or less.

1st breakthrough, in 2004, for me when it came to learning pieces on my own I practiced
- Chopin Etude Op10 No9 and 12

The next big breakthrough, in 2005, was through practicing Chopin Scherzo No2 which allowed me to practice bigger pieces (very exciting at the time).

In 2006, I used this metronome technique that would enable a person to learn all of Chopin's etudes, however, because I couldn't use this strategy, my teacher said Chopin Etudes were too hard. It was through practicing Liszt Transcendental Etude No5 that enabled me to understand how to utilize this strategy. Later on I tested on Liszt Sonata and it works.

For the classical piano, the top skills are
- Rhythm control
- Steady tempo
- Counting

It's my opinion only. You can be very musical, but without the rhythm and tempo, you got nothing.

The short answer, play the songs that you see yourself playing and commit whole heartedly to it.
Perfection itself is imperfection.

Currently practicing
Albeniz Triana
Scriabin Fantaisie Op28
Scriabin All Etudes Op8

Offline pianist1976

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 11:02:04 AM »
Hey!
What should i practice to be able to play Chopin?

What Chopin do you want to play? There are many difficulty levels on Chopin music. It's not the same playing one of the easiest mazurkas than playing a difficult etude, for example. Or a concerto, a sonata, a ballade...

Before giving you an answer, I think it would be useful to know your background, what have you played until now.

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 11:28:34 AM »
-
No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline mcdiddy1

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #4 on: April 24, 2013, 04:57:17 PM »
I agree with what was said. There are a number of Chopin pieces that are not advance and very approachable by a young to intermediate level player. It depends on what stage your note reading, technical, and musical skills are. Most student who have been well taught can handle a Chopin mazurka or prelude after a year or two of dedicated study. It that is you and you want o move from intermediate to advance, I would increase you understanding of keyboard geography through scales, arpeggios, some exercises, finger dexterity, tension free, and musical playing. To play Chopin ballades and etudes well you must be proficient and be able to execute these with ease and good dexterity. Play the easier repertoire with as much beauty, care for phrase endings  and starts, singing through your instrument when playing legato, exaggerate dynamics, and consider extra musical sources for making decisions. You will encounter many sections that need to played cantabile and with rubato and it will be good to start there. Once you can do this I think that is a great starting point to start to tackle the harder of chopins work and even then expect it it to take some time to perfect. Best advice I can give you is find a good, qualified teacher, practice consistently, be patient yet hard working and diligent and then Chopin will be a piece of cake.

Offline zippi

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #5 on: June 11, 2013, 06:19:21 PM »
Hey,
@ danhuyle could you tell me something about this "metronome technique" you mentioned ?

Offline Mayla

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 06:26:26 PM »
.
"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline asiantraveller101

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #7 on: June 13, 2013, 12:01:06 AM »
What exercises you practise is not so important. Important is what you learn from them. Also SLOW practice with full awareness, not trying to "develop speed and strength". I have learned most from Liszt's Technical Exercises. IMHO, the following elements are most important you need to improve to get better technique:
1) solid structure of the hand (no collapse of hand structure at knuckle bridge). This means: using skeleton properly (alignment), which takes a great burden away from muscles. No muscle tension or "bracing" to prevent collapse!;
2) always support playing fingers with arm as "center" behind them. No strange, unnatural angles of hands and fingers, etc. The latter give you feeling of "weak" fingers, but gymnastics a la Hanon will not help unless you identify real cause of those "weak" fingers;
3) proper use of forearm rotation;
4) grouping, "chunking" of convenient hand and finger positions within finger passages.
P.S.: Search for perfect convenience, not for strength. Of course, you should also LISTEN to sound result of your movements, but ears do not help much if your "choreographic" strategies are ineffective. Hope this helps. :)
Excellent, precise, and insightful! Great job!

Offline piano1mn

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #8 on: June 13, 2013, 03:45:30 AM »
 My method did not go by practicing exercises. If I was not advanced yet, I would be bored to death if I played those too much. My way is to sightread a lot and buy a lot of music books to have a lot of "repertoire". If you are an Intermediate player, you may want to start sightreading arrangements, because originals for EI are kind of uninspiring. Dover's First Book of Mozart is inexpensive and useful

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #9 on: June 13, 2013, 04:10:15 AM »
-
No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline j_menz

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #10 on: June 13, 2013, 04:37:00 AM »
I would be very grateful if you could indicate a sight-reading path for me to be able to play Chopin's op. 10 no 2 up to standard within a reasonable time limit without somehow focusing on certain weaknesses in my psychomotor skills. Thank you.

WF Bach Notebook >> Anna Magdelena Notebook >> Bach Little Preludes & Fugues >> WTC (all) >> Beethoven Sonatas (in order) >> Chopin Impromptus >> Chopin Ballades >>  Liszt TEs  >> Chopin 10/2.  Be a relative piece of cake by then.

Of course, you may have to iron out a few psychomotor issues along the way.  ;D
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #11 on: June 13, 2013, 04:48:24 AM »
-
No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline j_menz

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #12 on: June 13, 2013, 05:02:37 AM »
Which is exactly my point. In order to be effective, sight reading material should be well below the technical (psychomotoric) level of the player. I don't see how simply sight reading intermediate up to advanced material will ever get you up to advanced PERFORMANCE level.

I was being flippant (and of course you are correct), but you remind me of an important point.

Some etudes and other advanced repertoire is actually easier to read than it is to play and there is a real risk that, if one isn't careful, playing it at the speed one can read it without first ironing out some of the technical challenges it poses is highly likely to produce injury. Not sure 10/2 is in that category, but some of the others certainly are (10/1 as an example)..
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline danhuyle

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 12:19:02 PM »
Hey,
@ danhuyle could you tell me something about this "metronome technique" you mentioned ?

You practice slow like any piano teacher will tell you, then when you can hold onto the notes you learned, you play as fast as you want.

To be honest, this is a "last resort" technique I use now.

In my opinion, the metronome is THE ultimate tool for a pianist. Anyone who could play with this, consider yourself very skilled.
Perfection itself is imperfection.

Currently practicing
Albeniz Triana
Scriabin Fantaisie Op28
Scriabin All Etudes Op8

Offline zippi

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #14 on: June 13, 2013, 12:29:29 PM »
Hey,
thanks for your reply. I think i got it know  ;)

Offline j_menz

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #15 on: June 13, 2013, 11:39:44 PM »
In my opinion, the metronome is THE ultimate tool for a pianist. Anyone who could play with this, consider yourself very skilled.


I find my fingers rather more useful.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline piano1mn

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #16 on: June 16, 2013, 09:46:33 PM »
It actually helps sightreading. I did it and when I had learned 1 year of piano I was at the level of people from my area that had learned 3 years.

Offline piano1mn

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #17 on: June 16, 2013, 09:47:25 PM »
Actually 3-4. Someone  in my class who learned for 4 years played with the Nocturne no.20 by Chopin and won with it.

Offline magic_sonata

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #18 on: June 19, 2013, 07:38:28 PM »
Work on NRFAD every time you practice.

N stands for notes.
R stands for rhythm
F stands for fingering
A stands for articulation
D stands for dynamics

And, there you go. 
magic_sonata

Offline austinarg

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #19 on: June 23, 2013, 05:28:49 PM »
Liszt TEs  >> Chopin 10/2. 

Really???
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Offline 4greatkeyboards

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #20 on: June 24, 2013, 03:40:58 AM »

Richard Kant has the best method I know and from personal experience it works. You will
learn more music more quickly and be more secure with this method.


http://kantsmusictuition.blogspot.com/2007/09/secret-on-how-to-practice.html


Offline ajspiano

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #21 on: June 24, 2013, 03:51:42 AM »
Really???

10/2 is extraordinarily difficult..  not sure you can class TEs altogether as being less difficult than one piece, but certainly 10/2 may be considered more challenging than an individual TE.

..depending on your exact individual stage of development ofcourse, really they are just all in the VERY HARD basket.

Offline ajspiano

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #22 on: June 24, 2013, 03:52:59 AM »
Richard Kant has the best method I know and from personal experience it works. You will
learn more music more quickly and be more secure with this method.


http://kantsmusictuition.blogspot.com/2007/09/secret-on-how-to-practice.html



Richard Kant has committed some fairly blatant plagarism..

not that it matters, just saying you might like to read it from the original source(s).

In addition, while I agree that the method has validity I honest fail to see how 7 can possibly be a scientifically perfect number of repetitions for learning something which suggests to me that dear richard has not thought about this a whole lot, but rather straight up copy and pasted bernhards posts.

Offline j_menz

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #23 on: June 24, 2013, 06:23:34 AM »
but certainly 10/2 may be considered more challenging than an individual TE.

10/2 has one main difficulty - those 345 fast RH chromatics. The other challenges it poses are not nearly so significant. So, how difficult one finds it depends on how much of a challenge that main difficulty poses. Probably not ever actually easy, but certainly easier for some than others.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline ajspiano

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #24 on: June 24, 2013, 06:39:17 AM »
10/2 has one main difficulty - those 345 fast RH chromatics.

Can you play it?

Offline j_menz

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #25 on: June 24, 2013, 06:50:17 AM »
Can you play it?

Nope. Don't especially like it, TBH. I have read through it, though. My estimate is that I would find it (relatively) easier than some of the others. Estimates vary in reliability and this one could well come a pretty spectacular cropper at real speed. That said, sightreading fugues is a good way to give your weaker fingers a good workout in awkward figurations, so I suspect I start ahead of the curve on this one. Probably behind the curve on some of the others.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline ajspiano

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #26 on: June 24, 2013, 07:11:39 AM »
Nope. Don't especially like it, TBH.

Fair enough, I quite like it..  consequently my wife hates it..

Offline outin

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #27 on: June 24, 2013, 07:45:03 AM »
Fair enough, I quite like it.. 

Maybe one day you'll teach me to play it...after fixing my pinky :)
Which actually has gotten a lot better with the exercises I do away from the piano. It seems I did it unconsciously to avoid hitting the keys accidently with it or my 4th, because that half of my hand was just too weak to stay up. I still have to do it sometimes it but it's not so disturbing.

Offline ajspiano

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #28 on: June 24, 2013, 08:05:43 AM »
Maybe one day you'll teach me to play it..

 ;D

I'm glad your finger sorted out..hopefully the improvements continue without too much struggle.


Offline outin

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #29 on: June 24, 2013, 08:09:11 AM »

I'm glad your finger sorted out..hopefully the improvements continue without too much struggle.



Everything about the piano seems like too much struggle...maybe that's what makes it so fascinating  :)

Offline harusame

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #30 on: June 24, 2013, 08:01:08 PM »
i would advise against hanon exercises, if you really want to strengthen your technique, i would go for czerny
hanon is too monotonous. It contributes nothing to your musicality and repetition might also repeat your technical mistakes over and over, making them worse

you might want to start mozart sonatas ( C major and F major)
mozart works are generally very good too improve your techniques AND musicality
something such as schubert impromptus, and chopin nocturnes and waltzes are great too

later you can continue with chopin etudes, starting from easier pieces such as 25/7, or 10/6

good luck!!

Offline rkant

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #31 on: February 15, 2016, 03:11:22 AM »
Richard Kant has committed some fairly blatant plagarism..

not that it matters, just saying you might like to read it from the original source(s).

In addition, while I agree that the method has validity I honest fail to see how 7 can possibly be a scientifically perfect number of repetitions for learning something which suggests to me that dear richard has not thought about this a whole lot, but rather straight up copy and pasted bernhards posts.

Hi Ajspiano and everyone else,

Please note that my blogspot clearly states that these articles were not written by me. I don't know how I can make it any clearer in my blogspot. All the credit goes to Bernhard who is the author. Where is he by the way? What has happened to him?

Regards,
Richard Kant.

Offline pencilart3

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #32 on: February 15, 2016, 06:09:07 PM »
a lot
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline dcstudio

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #33 on: February 15, 2016, 07:51:09 PM »

if I could just post the answer to that question in a thread... I would.   Everyone has made their recommendations.  I will just say that I have no idea what you should personally practice to be able to play Chopin.  There are so many other elements to learning the piano in addition to the time you spend on the bench.   Read about Chopin's piano music, and about the man himself.  Learn about the things he did that were different from all pianists that had come before him... and I mean specific elements like harmonic structure and rhythmic elements.  Read about his hands and what they were specifically capable of--their physical dimensions and his views on how to use them.  Steer clear of those vague poetic descriptions--lovely, though they may be--they do exactly "squat" to help you understand how to play. 

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #34 on: February 15, 2016, 08:55:14 PM »
I'd have to disagree regarding his hands. Instead, study the music, as you suggest, and make your hands fit it rather than trying to make your hands equal to Freddy's.
If you want to play Chopin's bigger works, like the Ballades, Sonatas, and Concerti, start with his etudes. Although, that's a big place to start. Play some nocturnes and mazurkas as well.
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Offline dcstudio

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #35 on: February 16, 2016, 12:31:41 AM »
I'd have to disagree regarding his hands. Instead, study the music, as you suggest, and make your hands fit it rather than trying to make your hands equal to Freddy's.
If you want to play Chopin's bigger works, like the Ballades, Sonatas, and Concerti, start with his etudes. Although, that's a big place to start. Play some nocturnes and mazurkas as well.

apologies I don't mean to make your hands like fred's--try and spend a little time understanding that your hands are not his.   I never got that until I saw the plaster casts of his rather tiny hands...  mine are much larger and I am female.

Offline scientificpianopractise

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #36 on: March 28, 2016, 12:59:41 AM »
Try my "Hanon in 60 seconds" - it attempts to compress the useful things in Hanon into one single minute and so far it has worked for me and my kid.  At Amazon and at SheetMusicPlus.

Offline reiyza

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #37 on: March 28, 2016, 05:30:46 AM »
hanon is too monotonous. It contributes nothing to your musicality and repetition might also repeat your technical mistakes over and over, making them worse


I believe hanon has it's own uses, but not intended for speed, but rather for technique development, do not underestimate hanon's power, It can be extremely useful if one knows how to use it. The best way for it to work is, use it with an experienced teacher who knows which specific exercises the student is deficient and struggling with.

But alas, everyone has their opinion of this, and apparently one of dcstudio's amazing piano videos of the 3rd movemet of moonlight has made me realize how important hanon is. :)
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline bernadette60614

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Re: To play advanced Piano pieces, What and how should i practice?
«Reply #38 on: May 24, 2016, 08:02:50 PM »
After 3 years of piano study as I child, my then teacher had me playing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.  After 3 years of study as an adult, my current teacher has me playing exercises to correct my tonal production, the simplest of Mozart sonatas to increase the steadiness of my playing, and one of the earliest Beethoven piano sonatas since I seem to have a fanciful approach to rhythm.

I don't think my intelligence decreased, but my current teacher and I want to set a high standard of "playing" than my childhood teacher.

So, I think my question would be:  To what standard do you want to play?  There's nothing wrong with playing for fun...I think music is joyful.  However, in my experience, there's playing for fun and playing like a professional, or something akin to a professional.