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Topic: How to learn a new piece?  (Read 1751 times)

Offline swagmaster420x

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How to learn a new piece?
on: June 15, 2015, 11:41:16 PM
So, I had a conversation with someone, where that someone said that they could pretty much sightread a chopin etude at like 60-80% of the original tempo. what?? I have no idea how one achieves this. After a bit of thought, I decided the reason why such a task seems so impossible to me is how I learn a piece. Give me an easy piece, I can't sightread it smoothly at all, I'll play like a measure and then pause to play/find the right note, then continue. I keep playing like this until it becomes smooth, basically relying on gradually ingraining the muscle memory of the song. Is this really bad? I started playing again, trying to really read ahead and keep the playthrough going, but it's still hard. I think my ability to sightread is slightly improving though. Any thoughts?

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: How to learn a new piece?
Reply #1 on: June 16, 2015, 01:45:10 AM
I can't tell if your question is how to sight read or how to learn a new piece.
If it's the former, the thing that really helped me read much more fluently was (aside from reading lots of material) thinking intervalically. I practiced this with Brahms Intermezzi, works especially well since sometimes he's writing orchestrally.
If it's the latter, taking it phrases at a time isn't a bad approach. Over time, you'll pick up little tricks and things that work for you.
These skills are dependant (and therefore, build off of) each other, and as you build one, the other will improve.
For the rest, I'll let the wiser members of the forum contribute.

Offline visitor

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Re: How to learn a new piece?
Reply #2 on: June 16, 2015, 10:41:51 AM
The better your both new to score sight reading but also how effectively and efficiently you can gleam music from score ie even at 2n and third readings will determine how fast and to what level you can realistically approach new music

Also key is not so much just reading but about on even par
Is your familiarity w both the style -period - I the music and also the composer in particular

Also how well written for piano is considered as well
It chopin kapustin and lot tends to fall easier into the hand so learning tends to be faster
Brahms and related co tend to take but longer as they feel More "orchestral" vs through and through keyboard composed music (ie for piano at the piano)

You colleague is likely also at point of internally hearing the music as they read it .  They know and expect the sound they produce right before they play
I would also practice score study
Ie take the music and read it away from keyboard and hear it as you read it
I wold do this w must you have never heard recording for, as having aural memory from prev listening ie YouTube stunts this
This is really key to later being able to evaluate new scores esp when are are no recordings ( or time to seek out) available

Offline michael_sayers

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Re: How to learn a new piece?
Reply #3 on: June 16, 2015, 10:50:39 AM
Maybe as an aid to memory you can study compositions harmonically?  I think it is important to be able to read that information at a glance.  It should help to "contain" errors and keep things on track even if something goes wrong in a performance or sight reading of the details.


Offline dcstudio

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Re: How to learn a new piece?
Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 03:50:00 PM
you are on the right track with "how you learn a piece"  

when you are a student each new piece must be "learned" because that's just how it is in the beginning -- you learn how to play a piece of music--then later you forget how to play it.  

All the while though your ears and your hands are learning exactly where each pitch is on the piano.  For some, that pitch becomes linked to written notes on a staff--it becomes automatic--you see the music -- hear it in your head--then your fingers just go there without you having to tell them.  Some people are better at sight-reading then they are at playing..lol.  It tends to sound worse after they practice it.

I also have an "ear" program so to speak... if I can remember how a song goes I can hear it in my head and my fingers will play it--bass line, chords and all usually.   Again--it's pretty automatic.  I have played for decades though... and it took years before I "got it"...

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