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Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor (Read 4162 times)

Offline lexus21

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Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
« on: February 04, 2017, 08:31:56 AM »
Hello. My name is Lexus Smith, a 13 Year Old Pianist who has been playing for 8 months. I was wondering, I recently have learned the entirety of Chopins Ballade No 1 In G Minor and I was wondering, was it really that much of an accomplishment? I agree you must need emotional maturity in order to play it correctly, especially if it's Chopin, but it really wasn't that hard. I believe I played it correctly since my Piano Teacher said it was amazing. So after I showed him I asked, "Why did you let me play this piece?". He laughed and said, "Because I knew you could do it. You have an obsessive mind and I know that once you have thought of something, you cannot let it go. This was the result of willpower itself."

So I came here wondering if anyone could tell me if it was really a good idea to learn that piece. It is currently the only piece I can play.

piano sheet music of Ballade 1


Offline dogperson

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #1 on: February 04, 2017, 09:05:47 AM »
You posted this same question when you were starting the Chopin Ballade on December 20
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=62959.msg672360#msg672360

but then it was your second piece (after Moonlight Sonata). You were told then it was not a good idea, and now you are asking after you have done it?   If you have really done it, why are you asking if this was a good idea?   You  were already told it was not a good idea to do, and that it was not an entry level piece.

Sorry, I am no longer believing any of this, and I rarely say that I find someone's claim not credible on face value.  Post an audio of your playing of the Chopin Ballade.

Offline lexus21

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #2 on: February 04, 2017, 09:32:52 AM »
I'm sorry that it doesn't sound believable and I can understand that. I didn't really count myself as knowing how to play Moonlight Sonata as I never really completed it. I do not know how to use recording software and how to upload it and if I did it would probably cost to buy the recording software. I'm making more and more excuses but I tell you it is the honest truth.

I don't really know how to use forums so I may have misworded. I think what I'm looking for is guidance. I need pieces I can learn more techniques from. I know now that you don't believe me but will that stop you from helping me? I'm sure it wouldn't.

P.S I actually was looking for that past post but I couldn't find it. Thankfully here you were again to save the day.

All replies are appreciated, negative or positive.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #3 on: February 04, 2017, 09:48:54 AM »
Tape it on a cellphone, otherwise I am done; and yes, your unsupported claims will stop people from offering to help.  Forums are based on trust that the statements made are truthful and the request for help is sincere...  unless the claims are not credible in which case the response is 'show me'. 

If you want guidance in developing technique, you should go back and read the first post where advice was offered to you in December.   I would normally say 'discuss with your teacher', here.. but then that implies you actually have one, and one that is able to provide the guidance you need.


Offline lexus21

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #4 on: February 04, 2017, 09:59:41 AM »
I understand. Thank you and I apologise if I took up your time. To be honest I don't know if my aspergers or autism prevents me from listening to people or taking advice.

Offline visitor

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #5 on: February 04, 2017, 02:19:43 PM »
Maybe you learned moonlight sonata and forgot you did.
Maybe you learned piano over many years amd forgot the started from scratch again for 8 months.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #6 on: February 04, 2017, 11:15:13 PM »
Tape it on a cellphone, otherwise I am done; and yes, your unsupported claims will stop people from offering to help.  Forums are based on trust that the statements made are truthful and the request for help is sincere...  unless the claims are not credible in which case the response is 'show me'. 

If you want guidance in developing technique, you should go back and read the first post where advice was offered to you in December.   I would normally say 'discuss with your teacher', here.. but then that implies you actually have one, and one that is able to provide the guidance you need.


Yeah, team.  Very, very well put.

And, the founder/moderator of this website has obviously decided to let anyone say (unchallenged) anything they want to say, whether it be even remotely factual or not.

"I learned the G Minor Ballade at the age of 13."  Okay, vis a vis "  my dear friend "Keypeg," just turn on your cellular device, post it, and then let us all give a listen?

Offline danielo

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #7 on: February 04, 2017, 11:37:11 PM »
lexus21, you must understand that posting a claim like yours is going to be met with a great deal of scepticism. It's like an apprentice woodcarver claiming he has produced a piece of furniture as well made as a Chippendale, or a chess player who has been learning the game for 8 months saying he can play like a grandmaster.
I'm not saying it's impossible, there are famous instances of great talent emerging at a relatively early age, but these are very rare.
The G minor Ballade is something that many, many pianists aspire to play, and many never get there.
So yes, there will be scepticism on this forum from some very good pianists who have a real appreciation of the challenges that this piece presents.
Please prove us all wrong! It shouldn't be that hard to find a mic and make a recording, there are tutorials on YouTube that can help you make an accurate one.
And if you do, brace yourself for some of the criticism of your playing that will probably come your way. Don't take it too much to heart. If you can play this piece even tolerably well at the age of 13 and after only 8 months at the piano, you will have a great future.
Learning:

Rachmaninov Preludes Op10 1, 4 and 5
Chopin Ballade in G Minor
Chopin Etude Op10 No 2
Schubert Impromptu No 3

Offline keypeg

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #8 on: February 05, 2017, 12:11:59 AM »
Seeing my name quoted;
Ye Okay, vis a vis "  my dear friend "Keypeg," just turn on your cellular device, post it, and then let us all give a listen?
I have never told anyone to turn on a cellular device, or to post anything publicly.  This should not be ascribed to me.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #9 on: February 05, 2017, 12:30:52 AM »
If you google the name of the ballade and and "self-taught" you will come across a dozen recordings - one has a baby in the background.  There is the difference between playing a piece, as a mature and highly trained pianist might play it, and playing the notes of the piece - probably slowing down the fast bits.  There are all kinds of situations and all kinds of teachers out there, so what the OP is saying may very well have taken place.  A student might end up with mechanically typing out the notes after months of travail, or lurching from one passage to another, or anything in between.  Be that as it may, I would not recommend a public recording because the Internet is an unpredictable place, and can be an unfriendly one.  A recording shared privately with a trustworthy person would be the only thing that might be wise.
I ran into something like this once.  The thing is that when you haven't been taught what to hear and aim for, you also won't know what isn't there (or what is).  If this is seen as "easy" then I'm rather sure that things are missing, since top pianists spend a lifetime honing this kind of music.


Offline preludetr

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #10 on: February 05, 2017, 02:52:12 AM »
It is perplexing to me why so many people bother posting these troll threads. What do they gain from it? Does anyone think it's funny?

Offline lexus21

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #11 on: February 05, 2017, 06:03:30 AM »
Alrighty, new goal. Record myself playing Chopins Ballade No 1 in G Minor, Op 23.

Offline preludetr

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #12 on: February 06, 2017, 02:33:09 PM »
Here is my own story. I hope it will provide a more realistic aim for anyone reading this. I am 23 years old and have been playing since age 6. I took lessons for my whole childhood, but they were very casual lessons with a family friend and I got away without much practice. I did make decent progress, but not as much as I could have with more formal training.

Just about a year ago, I took it upon myself to learn the first Ballade. It was a stretch piece for me, but I loved it so much that I was motivated to do whatever it took. I could not have anticipated how long it would take me to learn it.

It took about 4 months to learn all the notes. Another 4 months for the technically difficult parts to feel more or less comfortable in my hands, so that I could consistently make it through the whole piece without crashing and burning somewhere. And finally, another 4 months to smooth out most of the mistakes and refine my interpretation to the point where I think it actually sounds good.

That's right, it's been a whole year and I'm just now getting to the point where I'm happy with and proud of how it sounds, and I've been playing longer than you have been alive! The experience I've had with this piece has led me to be very skeptical of your posts, and I hope you will understand that. I would like to see if you can prove me wrong.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #13 on: February 06, 2017, 07:36:11 PM »
Yeah, team.  Very, very well put.

And, the founder/moderator of this website has obviously decided to let anyone say (unchallenged) anything they want to say, whether it be even remotely factual or not.

"I learned the G Minor Ballade at the age of 13."  Okay, vis a vis "  my dear friend "Keypeg," just turn on your cellular device, post it, and then let us all give a listen?

Hey kettle..
The frying pan called...he says you are black.

And it was me, LAURIE, fellow student of Dr. Roberts, aka dcstudio who mentioned the cell phone. Lay off keypeg.

Offline tenk

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #14 on: February 06, 2017, 09:21:25 PM »
And, the founder/moderator of this website has obviously decided to let anyone say (unchallenged) anything they want to say, whether it be even remotely factual or not.

Oh...the irony...

Offline mishamalchik

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #15 on: February 07, 2017, 01:16:57 AM »
All questionable details of the post aside, I'm gonna do a public service and let you know that you should NEVER post your full name on a forum such as this at your age! It's really quite dangerous!

As for the Ballade, in all sincerity, I'd be very interested to see your recording!

Offline j_tour

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #16 on: February 08, 2017, 07:55:32 PM »
All questionable details of the post aside, I'm gonna do a public service and let you know that you should NEVER post your full name on a forum such as this at your age! It's really quite dangerous!

As for the Ballade, in all sincerity, I'd be very interested to see your recording!

I'm just responding because I saw Chopin's Ballade no 1 in the title, but I must say I agree with both these points.

It's not ridiculous to suppose the kid played the piece -- I actually last night sight read (poorly, not at tempo, and got bored after a few hundred bars) the piece for the first time.  I am forty years old and have been playing piano and reading for a long, long time, but my experience in Chopin was limited to a handful of chestnuts.  I don't have a problem believing a kid could play the notes of the Ballade -- it's not that hard.  A few fast bits, judicious use of the sustain pedal, good rhythm.  At that age I was playing the presto agitato from Op. 27/2 -- it sounded like dogshit, probably (every few years I take out the old G Henle when drunk alone at Christmas Eve and try it!) but I did it, because I really wanted to.

Yeah, maybe troll, but who cares?  It's a good chance to talk about some good music.

My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline lexus21

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #17 on: February 08, 2017, 09:31:38 PM »
(I have given up on convincing I'm not a troll but whatever)

On the topic of "trolling" what even is the point of a troll is this context? Would it even make sense to attempt to troll someone on a forum devoted to music?

Offline outin

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #18 on: February 09, 2017, 03:50:05 AM »
(I have given up on convincing I'm not a troll but whatever)

On the topic of "trolling" what even is the point of a troll is this context? Would it even make sense to attempt to troll someone on a forum devoted to music?

Don't worry about it too much. There are people who like to use the internet to pretend to be something they are not.  What you are telling us is quite exceptional, so people have a hard time believing it. You mentioned about autism. Sometimes it is coupled with exceptional abilities. But if one also interacts differently, "normal" people don't always react positively.

We also get people here who play pieces way too difficult for them and very badly. And then they expect to be told how special they are. But you have a teacher so I would hope you would have been told if your playing was really bad.

It would be interesting to hear your playing. If you can post a sample there are very knowledgeable people here who can provide feedback. Otherwise we can just say that if you indeed play this piece even remotely well after so little time with piano you are indeed a rare exception. Most of us work for years and may still not be able to play the more demanding parts of the piece as notated.

As for your original question: Who cares whether it was a good idea or not. It would be better to ask what to do next. Discuss this with your teacher.

Offline tenk

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #19 on: February 09, 2017, 10:06:11 PM »
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=63374.0

See this thread for why you're being met with such strong skepticism.

Offline jeslevine

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #20 on: February 09, 2017, 10:32:59 PM »
Here is my own story. I hope it will provide a more realistic aim for anyone reading this. I am 23 years old and have been playing since age 6. I took lessons for my whole childhood, but they were very casual lessons with a family friend and I got away without much practice. I did make decent progress, but not as much as I could have with more formal training.

Just about a year ago, I took it upon myself to learn the first Ballade. It was a stretch piece for me, but I loved it so much that I was motivated to do whatever it took. I could not have anticipated how long it would take me to learn it.

It took about 4 months to learn all the notes. Another 4 months for the technically difficult parts to feel more or less comfortable in my hands, so that I could consistently make it through the whole piece without crashing and burning somewhere. And finally, another 4 months to smooth out most of the mistakes and refine my interpretation to the point where I think it actually sounds good.

That's right, it's been a whole year and I'm just now getting to the point where I'm happy with and proud of how it sounds, and I've been playing longer than you have been alive! The experience I've had with this piece has led me to be very skeptical of your posts, and I hope you will understand that. I would like to see if you can prove me wrong.
Excellent perspective preludetr.

I don't recall how long it took me to fully have the g-minor ballade  under my belt, but it had to take me at least a couple of years before it was performance quality for me.

I just finished, as you put it, learning all the notes on ballade 4, and it was about 4 months.  So your assessment I think is right on.  I suspect the nuances, smoothness and eventually memorization will probably take me 8 more months, depending how much time I can spend on it.

I appreciate you assessment.  It provides an excellent perspective


Offline chopinawesome

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 1 In G Minor
«Reply #21 on: February 10, 2017, 03:23:47 AM »
I am still waiting for ur recording.
Beethoven Op 2/2
Chopin Op 20, maybe op 47/38
Debussy Etude 7
Grieg Op 16
Want to do:
Chopin Concerti 1 and 2
Beethoven Waldstein
Ravel Miroirs