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Topic: Intro and how to choose an etudes appropriate for your level  (Read 1324 times)

Offline joe falchetto

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TL;DR as a guideline in selecting studies of the right level, how long should it take you to learn a run of the mill (Czerny, Bertini, Cramer, Duvernoy, Heller, etc) study of an appropriate level if you are at an intermediate level? About 1 day, 1 week, 1 month? (Of course there are no absolute rules, I am asking what is a good rule of thumb to ensure that you are not doing something too easy or too hard)

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The longer version is that a bit more than a month ago I started playing the piano again, after about 20 years of not playing at all. Below my background in case it could help with suggestions. I first went back to Clementi op. 36 n.1 and then Chopin Waltz op. 64 n.1 and both came back quite smoothly. I plan to find a teacher, but for now I am on my own.

At the time I quite neglected studies but I would like for that to change hence I am looking for guidance on how to choose studies appropriate for my level.

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My background
I played piano as a teenager for about 5 years, taking private lessons. I think the most challenging piece I could play at the time was Chopin Grande Valse Brillante op 18 n.1. I also learnt Chopin (by far my favourite composer) Waltzes op 64 n. 1 and 69 n.2 and nocturne op. 9 n.2. Plus some of the usual suspects: rondň alla turca by Mozart, fur Elise by Beethoven, and other ONES.

I did not have a very large repertoire, I suppose during the year I was mostly working at the pieces to be played at the final recital. However that was not pushed to the extreme levels I have heard about: I could definitely play some other pieces and would not have felt completely lost if presented with something else of similar difficulty.

The lessons were relaxed and past a handful of Beyer exercises I did not do much if anything with regard to technique or studies. However I kept learning scales - all major, natural and melodic minor ones on 2+ octaves, similar and contrary motion. I am not sure what exactly is meant by sight reading in English, but if I were to play a piece I had never seen before with separate hands, and particularly RH, I may be able to get something out of it (depending on difficulty of course), but with hands together I'd surely struggle even with elementary stuff.
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Offline thirtytwo2020

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Re: Intro and how to choose an etudes appropriate for your level
Reply #1 on: December 09, 2020, 12:46:45 PM
In reply to your first question I would say learning a study should take up to a week, working on perfecting it up to a month.
If it takes just a day to learn, it might still be useful as a kind of warm-up, sight-reading exercise or something, but it probably won't do much for your technical skill.
If you can't play it reasonably well even after a month, it might be too difficult. Same thing here though, it might still prove useful if you treat it wisely - for example: learn to play it neatly in a much too slow tempo, then put it aside and return to it in the future, using it as a tool to measure your progress.
Congratulations on finding your way back to the piano and best of luck!

Offline joe falchetto

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Re: Intro and how to choose an etudes appropriate for your level
Reply #2 on: December 09, 2020, 11:13:50 PM
Thanks a lot thirtytwo2020, that is exactly the kind of information I was looking for!
 

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