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Adult returner - need help with etudes, which one to play, coming back to basics (Read 761 times)

Offline timtim

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Hi all,

Before I will go to the point, just brief introduction. I am 37 year old piano returner. I was actively playing till around being 25, and level that I achieved were easy Chopin Etudes, Rachmaninov op.23 no5, Beethoven Sonata op2 no3, Brahms Rhapsodies op 79 and similar stuff. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I had a good concert upright, it had deteriorated action, which did a lot of bad things to my technique, which was always very weird to everyone. Almost last 7 years I spend with barely touching the piano, as on that upright I couldn’t do any more development, and piano was always my hobby, not basic education. I always had a teacher, but after years I realized that they were not correcting lots of my mistakes. Week ago I took from my parent my old piano, and started to play a bit… O got I play so bad, that I can’t even stand hearing myself playing lol. Within maximum one year, and if financials will let even sooner, I want to upgrade to at least Kawai CA98 digital, or Yamaha N1X/Kawai NV10. I cannot get acoustic grand, and I prefer to have digital with actual grand action, that mediocre upright.

Also, before I was spending half year (!!!) to learn simple Bach invention. What is strange, I needed same time to polish 1st movement of 5 pages Beethoven Sonata. That’s the way I was taught.

As I have an infant, I cannot play one hour a day, if I will find 15 minutes it will be good.  Also, unless my kid will be at least 1,5 year old, I do not see a point to getting a teacher, as I will not be able to do a proper progress. But maybe will take few lessons as I have few piano friends, but well, still the same bad action piano. And renovation without changing any parts costs like 1500$.
Therefore what I decided to do is:

1.   Get back to absolute basics, as I have big holes there.
2.   Start practicing easy pieces, etudes and so on.
3.   After a year get a solid teacher

I got some easy sheet music from my young years, so for free pieces I will choose them by myself. However, for  technique development I do have a question.  For the next 4 years I want to go through all of the major finger development books, but want to start with the basics. I am not in a hurry, I will not win next Cliburn, so no need to hurry, but want to get extreme solid basics. Now the questions is, can you help me with grading of those books, and tell me which can be unbeneficial? This is my initial way of exploring:

1.   Czerny op. 821 (eight bar exercises) – great due to my limited time
2.   Bartok Mikrokosmos (all books, first one should be extreme fast to do, and will be good to make my fingers work again, even though its absolute beginner level)
3.   Czerny op. 299
4.   Czerny op 740
5.   Loeschhorn – all three booked op 65-67, but I do not know how to grade them between Czerny?
6.   Clementi Gradus ad Parnassum.
7.   Bach Two and Three part inventions


For any other advices I would be glad, as I know I will get a proper instrument within maximum one year and want to achieve professional level, and this does not mean to be next Yuja Wang, but to be able Chopin Ballades, all Rachmaninov heavy stuff, Scriabin Sonatas etc. Do not need to play Scarbo though 😉 maybe giving some concerts sometimes.


Of course my childchood dream is to play Rach 3 with Berliner Philharmoniker, but I am aware that even if I will spend next 10 years plying for 10 hours a day with best possible teacher, this is in 99% far out of my range 😊 so lets skip unrealistic dreams aside.

Offline stringoverstrung

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Hello,

A break of 10 years is what happened to me.  I am by no means an expert but this is what I learned so hopefully it is useful to you:

1) To start of again you might try the etudes by Clara Wieck. It is a bit of everything. A few a day keeps the variation.
2) Scarlatti sonata's especially slow practice will bring you real progress. Pick sonata's that also have runs in the left hand. Czerny is repetitive and mostly for the right hand. If any Op. 740.
3) You can improve your mechanics on a digital (for example trill) but is important to play regularly on a good acoustic piano.
4) Read the posts by Bernhard on how to practice effectively.
5) It is not required to start with easy pieces. Just start with the level or one below that you stopped with.
6) Once in a while, study a piece that you studied when you were young. It will sound better and progress will be much faster. Apply what you discovered in the Scarlatti's.
7) focus on relaxation. In the beginning you  might tend to cramp up.
8) focus on the basics ... Listen to yourself. that is much easier when you are older.

Hope it helps. Let us know!

Regards,
Gert





Offline timtim

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  • Posts: 20
Hello,

A break of 10 years is what happened to me.  I am by no means an expert but this is what I learned so hopefully it is useful to you:

1) To start of again you might try the etudes by Clara Wieck. It is a bit of everything. A few a day keeps the variation.
2) Scarlatti sonata's especially slow practice will bring you real progress. Pick sonata's that also have runs in the left hand. Czerny is repetitive and mostly for the right hand. If any Op. 740.
3) You can improve your mechanics on a digital (for example trill) but is important to play regularly on a good acoustic piano.
4) Read the posts by Bernhard on how to practice effectively.
5) It is not required to start with easy pieces. Just start with the level or one below that you stopped with.
6) Once in a while, study a piece that you studied when you were young. It will sound better and progress will be much faster. Apply what you discovered in the Scarlatti's.
7) focus on relaxation. In the beginning you  might tend to cramp up.
8) focus on the basics ... Listen to yourself. that is much easier when you are older.

Hope it helps. Let us know!

Regards,
Gert

Thank you for all point, very valuable for me. For the most basic thing, relaxation is my biggest issue hence I was thinking about going back to basics.

I also looked for Clara Schumann Etudes - but found only one, op.40. can you tell me exact opus number or name of the work, that you are referring to?

Great idea also for Scarlatti - I am however scared as I never played him and do not know how to start, but will see and look through it. Hard task though, as he wrote many many piano works.

Fortunately I have also Robert Schumann op 68 and looked through sheet and it looked great for.my task as well.

Offline stringoverstrung

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Hello

I am sorry I meant Wieck studies (Who is the father of Clara Schumann)

http://hz.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/c/cc/IMSLP10128-Wieck,_Frederic_Piano_Studies.pdf

Offline timtim

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Hello

I am sorry I meant Wieck studies (Who is the father of Clara Schumann)

http://hz.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/c/cc/IMSLP10128-Wieck,_Frederic_Piano_Studies.pdf

I looked through the files, and it looks pretty impressive. Definitely better than Czerny! at least I liked it more.