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Bach - Partita No. 2 In C Minor - Some Questions. (Read 1146 times)

Offline reiyza

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Bach - Partita No. 2 In C Minor - Some Questions.
« on: March 07, 2019, 12:12:13 AM »
Hi ps forum, It's been a while. I'll cut to the chase.

1. I have been playing mostly bach inventions(2 part 1,4,8,13,15, 3 part no. 3) this past year up til now, I am wondering if the piece in question should be appropriate for me. I really like it, especially the sinfonia.

2. If so, which edition is the best? All bach invention scores that I have been using came with fingerings and phrasing. I have yet to try my skills with a clean - unfingered/unphrased edition.

3. I am still without a teacher(No one would accept me, sigh) so progress with my learning has been rather slow.

To those willing to give advice or dissuade me. Please feel free to do so. I love to hear other's opinion.
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline associatex

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Re: Bach - Partita No. 2 In C Minor - Some Questions.
«Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 06:01:42 PM »
I dont have answers for you, but I am curious to find out how (or why) a teacher would reject you??
Working on:
Clara Schumann Nocturne Op 6 no 2
Rachmaninov Prelude Op 23/5, 32/10
Chopin Nocturnes

Offline sucom

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Re: Bach - Partita No. 2 In C Minor - Some Questions.
«Reply #2 on: March 30, 2019, 07:29:43 PM »
It's not too easy to consider whether a Bach Partita might be appropriate for you, even though you have mentioned the inventions, because you are self-taught.  Being self-taught means (without seeing or hearing your playing) that it is rather difficult to work out what level you have reached in your development. There may or may not be a few or possibly many gaps in your piano technique and musical understanding.

I'm assuming that you felt ready to practice Bach inventions yourself so if you have no teacher to tell you whether you should or should not try, and you managed to find enjoyment trying the inventions, why not just do what you did with the Inventions and give the Partita a go?  It seems to me you have nothing to lose by doing so but possibly much to gain.

The whole point of learning the piano on your own, if you have no plans for teaching or performing at some point in the future, is to enjoy the hobby and develop as much as we can in order to further that enjoyment. If you like the C minor Partita and fancy giving it a try, go for it!  No-one is going to criticize you for giving it a try!  If you want to learn it for yourself, then just do it and see where it takes you.  You may find it enjoyable or you may find it too difficult and less enjoyable but without trying you will never know.  It's a win-win situation anyway because the actual effort of trying it will cause you to improve whether you succeed or not.  You may enjoy it, you may not but either way, it will be a valuable lesson for you.

If you wish to take your playing further so that you can teach or perform later on, I really do feel that a teacher would be necessary because there is far more to professional piano playing than some might realise. 

If you are learning on your own, the best thing you can do is listen to others playing the piece and watch and listen carefully - to rhythms, expression, speed, etc and also choose a copy which at least has some suggested fingerings for you to try.  Fingerings for Bach are fairly complicated and bad or poor fingering can slow down your progress to such a degree that it actually takes away your ability to succeed.  When you have done this, try recording yourself and listen with a critical ear.  How does it sound?  When you are playing only to yourself, it can sometimes be difficult to hear when you haven't leaned on a note quite enough, or your rhythm isn't quite accurate. 

I have always found that playing music which personally inspires you can be the very best music to try, even if you can't play it that well.  Remember, it's YOUR enjoyment that is the most important when you are playing for yourself.  It doesn't matter what others are doing - YOUR enjoyment is paramount.

I wish you the very best of luck and happy playing!


Offline sucom

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Re: Bach - Partita No. 2 In C Minor - Some Questions.
«Reply #3 on: March 30, 2019, 07:35:45 PM »
Just one more thing which I forgot to put into my previous post - I cannot help but wonder why you said no teacher will accept you.  Are you one of those people who go to a teacher and ask to play some ridiculously hard piece way beyond your ability and the teacher refuses because they know it's just not possible?

One of the greatest problems with adult students (I'm assuming you are so please do correct me if I'm wrong)  is that their expectancy of what they are able to do and their expectancy of how quickly they should be able to do it, tends to be a little ....hmm... how to say ......optimistic?  I remember seeing a sketch by Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore where Dudley Moore was a piano teacher and Peter Cooke requested piano lessons, stating that he wanted to play Beethoven's 5the symphony by Tuesday week.  Dudley Moore tried to dissuade him all through the sketch, saying how impossible it was, until Peter Cooke offered him loads of money at which point Dudley Moore said ...it goes like this ..... Da Da Da Daaaaaaaaa, da da da daaaaaaa....... He sold out!  One of the funniest sketches I've seen but I think it was lost some years ago.

Anyway, it was just a thought.  Would love to know why a teacher won't accept you.  Please tell me more! 

Offline reiyza

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Re: Bach - Partita No. 2 In C Minor - Some Questions.
«Reply #4 on: October 11, 2019, 10:59:27 AM »
Took me several months to reply to this post, no one responded in 2 weeks or so, so i stopped coming by to check this out. Sorry.


I'm almost at somewhat completion of playing the correct notes and at an adequate tempo for the sinfonia part.. ummm, i dropped the piece during may and june due to disappointment, but picked up where I left of by august. Will record myself in a month or so to allow you guys to check my progress.

Along the way, i have realized my mistake of biting too much of what i can eat... The proper progression of bach should be 2 part then 3 part inventions. Followed by preludes and fugues then french /english suites, then the partitas. Lol.

I hate myself for doing this, but I have invested too much in the piece so I'll try to get it to an acceptable level of playing(even slow tempo) before dropping it.

But along the way I'm learning some czerny 599 studies and another bach 3 part invention no. 2 which is going along quite nicely, I'll also record it once it is acceptable for myself, i have problems memorizing sorry.

Regarding the teacher..

It's not that he refused to teach me piano, i haven't even had the chance to talk to him about the pieces that I'd like to be playing. My former teacher(A) referred me to teacher(B) in a walkway(along the street where we bumped into him). So teacher(A) has been giving a good recommendation on how good I am and asks if teacher(B) can accept me as a student, teacher(B) replied, "what kind of piano do you use for practice?", I replied "yamaha clavinova 430R sir" then with a discontent look on his face he told me "it is of utmost importance that i get an upright piano, since there are things that can be learned on a 'real' piano that a digital just can't give" and with that, he turns and walks away.

Ever since then it's my aim to find a decent upright piano and still continue to learn on my own, bit by bit. It's sad really, I am reaching the point where I am afraid to touch other pieces but only bach since I have the most experience with him(which teacher(A) gave me).

Wall of text.. sorry.
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline reiyza

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Re: Bach - Partita No. 2 In C Minor - Some Questions.
«Reply #5 on: October 11, 2019, 11:03:23 AM »
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ia8rLf97M5s&t=395s

This is how I played before I left my teacher.. but i never got to complete the piece to an acceptable level.. teacher(a) taught me bach and some chopin waltzes and then left, then a substitute.teacher filled in for him and taught me some beethoven and told me along the way "I can't get you to the level that you want sorry". Which prompted me to leave the institution altogether, quite sad.
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline j_tour

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Re: Bach - Partita No. 2 In C Minor - Some Questions.
«Reply #6 on: October 12, 2019, 09:29:48 PM »
Back to the primary question, can you play the Cm Partita?

Yeah, probably. 

Probably anybody can who isn't physically or intellectually disabled.

I think what many people above are alluding to is the question:  "is that all you want to play?"

If so, then carve out a year or two (or more!) and just play it.  It's a pretty long, demanding piece, but it's not some robot piece like some crowd-pleaser little kid would play.  You just have to hit the right notes, like a robot, and then do it good, like a human.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Bach - Partita No. 2 In C Minor - Some Questions.
«Reply #7 on: October 12, 2019, 10:07:23 PM »
After listening to your recording, I would suggest that you need to slow down when playing this: practice to  get the notes correct, the rhythm correct and work on phrasing and dynamics. Speed is not the first thing to be the focus, IMHO.

Offline reiyza

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Re: Bach - Partita No. 2 In C Minor - Some Questions.
«Reply #8 on: October 13, 2019, 02:06:53 AM »
@j_tour - yes i know...., but i have invested too much on the piece, I'm planning to complete the sinfonia part only... Even if I have to play it on a slower level with dynamics before dropping it. It's starting to feel as if the piece is really out of reach for me at this moment..

I'm going to go back learning another three part invention (No. 7) and move forward with some 599 czerny studies(currently at no. 60 yuck right?)



@dogperson - that recording is actually from about 1 and a half year ago... I dropped the pathetique sonata and that waltz. Remember how I talked about teacher(A) being replaced by a substitute teacher? Apparently he can't provide me solutions to fix problems in my playing. So yeah... Sorry for the lousy playing.
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline dogperson

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Re: Bach - Partita No. 2 In C Minor - Some Questions.
«Reply #9 on: October 13, 2019, 02:27:32 AM »
@j_tour - yes i know...., but i have invested too much on the piece, I'm planning to complete the sinfonia part only... Even if I have to play it on a slower level with dynamics before dropping it. It's starting to feel as if the piece is really out of reach for me at this moment..

I'm going to go back learning another three part invention (No. 7) and move forward with some 599 czerny studies(currently at no. 60 yuck right?)



@dogperson - that recording is actually from about 1 and a half year ago... I dropped the pathetique sonata and that waltz. Remember how I talked about teacher(A) being replaced by a substitute teacher? Apparently he can't provide me solutions to fix problems in my playing. So yeah... Sorry for the lousy playing.


Since you donít have a teacher, you will need to be your own critic and teacher.  That means listening to how you sound and working out a plan to improve. It means never rushing to play fast just to play fast. Surely, your last teacher told you to slow down and work on the elements of the music first. There is no apology needed; you just need to decide on a plan for yourself....

Offline reiyza

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Re: Bach - Partita No. 2 In C Minor - Some Questions.
«Reply #10 on: October 13, 2019, 01:11:07 PM »
https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=65923.0

As promised, I posted a video(3 part invention no. 2) on how I played. So you guys can have a rough idea on how I play.. the partita is nowhere near for recording, too many missed notes, and you guys are right, I'm playing notes like a robot maybe I should stop the piece right now.. and move on to smaller pieces.

I find myself a bit nervous during recording, prompting mistakes. Sorry.

Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/