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How many piecces do you practise at the same time? (Read 926 times)

Offline kittenyarn

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How many piecces do you practise at the same time?
« on: February 17, 2021, 03:21:22 PM »
Hii!

How many pieces do you usually practise at the same time? I'm unsure if I should work on just one piece at a time or many? How many pieces maximum should I be working on at the same time?

Thanks :)

Offline brogers70

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Re: How many piecces do you practise at the same time?
«Reply #1 on: February 17, 2021, 04:24:55 PM »
I don't think there's a straightforward answer to what you should be doing, but for what it's worth I'm working on three pieces (Mozart Sonata in Eb K282, Beethoven Sonata Opus 2 #1, and Brahms arrangement of Bach's violin Chaconne in d minor for left hand , plus a Chopin etude, and there are 4-5 other pieces that I've already memorized and which I play once in a while to polish them and avoid forgetting them. That fits into a 4 hour daily practice and leaves room for 40 minutes of technical exercises and 20 minutes of sight reading.

Offline ranjit

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Re: How many piecces do you practise at the same time?
«Reply #2 on: February 17, 2021, 05:28:45 PM »
I find 3-4 new pieces to be optimal. You should certainly work on more than one piece at a time imo. I've felt that working on 6-7 pieces at a time to be ineffective for me, and 1-2 is too little.

Offline dogperson

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Re: How many piecces do you practise at the same time?
«Reply #3 on: February 17, 2021, 08:40:02 PM »
Depends on: your level of playing, the length and difficulty or the music, how long do you practice!every day

Online getsiegs

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Re: How many piecces do you practise at the same time?
«Reply #4 on: February 17, 2021, 10:13:26 PM »
I would agree that 3-4 pieces is usually best. It always depends on what you're practicing for, though. At the end of last year I went from practicing 5 pieces at the same time (college audition repertoire) to practicing only one (I started La Valse just for myself, and it was the only new piece I practiced for about a month straight). Now that auditions have been over for awhile, I'm going back to the 3-4 range (Schumann-Liszt Widmung, Scriabin Sonata 2, Rach Op 39 No 8, Ravel La Valse) since I feel like that's best for playing a variety of pieces without starting so many that you can't finish.

 

Offline anacrusis

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Re: How many piecces do you practise at the same time?
«Reply #5 on: February 18, 2021, 08:55:08 PM »
It's difficult to give a definite number, but I find that there are diminishing returns to practising both too few and too many pieces. If I practise so many pieces I only have time to go through each of them once or twice, learning them seems to take much longer tha if I can work them over in various ways in detail. Sometimes, I can memorize something in a day or two if I can really work on it, whereas otherwise it might take over a week or more.

Practising just the same piece, on the other hand, gives diminishing returns because at a certain point more practise just doesn't improve the piece more, and then it is time to leave it for the day.

Offline lelle

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Re: How many piecces do you practise at the same time?
«Reply #6 on: February 19, 2021, 04:55:15 PM »
For a while when I worked on The Welltempered Clavier Book 1, I tried to work on all of them (24 preludes and 24 fugues) every day. It was a bit much and I don't think it was very effective for learning them  :P On a given day I seem to do the best when I work on 2-6 pieces maybe, depending on length and quantity of work needed. If some pieces are in maintenance mode I may play through some more pieces slowly.

Offline kittenyarn

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Re: How many piecces do you practise at the same time?
«Reply #7 on: February 22, 2021, 04:43:43 PM »
Thank you so much for your answers!! And wow that's a lot of pieces  :o I think I will try maybe 3-4 pieces then, personally  ;D

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: How many piecces do you practise at the same time?
«Reply #8 on: February 22, 2021, 05:02:53 PM »
My brain cannot handle more than 3
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Offline j_tour

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Re: How many piecces do you practise at the same time?
«Reply #9 on: February 22, 2021, 09:29:14 PM »
Way too many pieces at one time.

But that should be taken with a grain of salt, since classical music is a means to an end to me:  I'm isolating techniques that I find useful in other contexts, as well as improving general musicianship and knowledge of interesting repertoire.  That's what's important to me, rather than polishing a piece, which only has a small marginal appeal to me.

Yes, I do eventually try bring things to some kind of final form, but it's not always important to me to memorize works (although that's another technical goal I find useful).  It's more important that I solve technical problems as they arise.  As best I can.  Yeah, it gets easier, problem solving.

But mostly I just enjoy sight-reading different works:  sort of like a junkie, the dopamine high of discovering new and appealing works is quite a rush, even if I read something once or twice.  It all evens out:  the one's that stick in my memory as titles, I'll come back to them in an ad hoc fashion.  Read:  whenever I feel like it!  So, I'm mostly content if I can hack my way through a given piece with the score, in a way that could probably be mistaken for music, I hope:  like the old adage claims, "perfect is the enemy of good!"  In my case, anyway.
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Offline jimf12

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Re: How many piecces do you practise at the same time?
«Reply #10 on: March 01, 2021, 04:53:45 PM »
I think it completely depends - where you are in your development, goals etc..    I'm in my 50's, an amateur who has had a couple of long breaks from the piano in my adult life, and seek nothing more than to play the pieces I enjoy well for myself.   With that said, I do take my playing and practice seriously.    Given my new work at home routine, I have more time than I have ever had in my life to devote to it, and devote to it I have.

Here is what works for me.   I keep a spreadsheet that I update weekly (just started doing this actually).   I have four categories - Learning, Developing, Cleaning, and Maintenance.   I will have 1-5 or so pieces in each bucket at any given point in time.   However, rather than identify an entire piece I am working on, I identify a section where appropriate.   For example, when I am learning such and such, I'm never learning the entire thing.   At that point, I'm isolating a particular section, possibly as short as a couple of 4 or 8 measures.   So I put in my spreadsheet "Such and Such, measures 12-20".    Once a piece gets to cleaning or maintenance, it generally is the entire piece but not always.   

For cleaning and maintenance pieces I don't necessarily play those every day, but I'll make sure and hit them 3x in a week.    Learning and Developing items need to be worked on daily.   I spend 15-20 minutes per item.

I don't have more than two items in my Learning at any one time - that is the stage where I am figuring out fingering, getting my fingers to do what they are supposed to, getting up to speed etc..     I have found that working on a section until it's pretty close to perfect (perfect is perfect, but I can't always help myself and move on a tad early sometimes) is the way to go.   

So I may have, and generally do have, parts of one piece in various buckets.   I consider that two separate items of practice.   

But if I someone were to insist I give them a number of pieces I work on at the same time, my answer would be eleventy.




Offline roncesvalles

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Re: How many piecces do you practise at the same time?
«Reply #11 on: March 02, 2021, 04:19:48 PM »
I generally am actively learning about 2 pieces at a time that I'll memorize in the short term, but then I like to have a longer term project piece that is more challenging for me to practice a little (either practicing a part that is difficult for me or learning a few measures), and I devote a little time to either reading through one of the next pieces on my list or focusing on a technical challenge in one or more of the pieces on my list.   So most of my focus goes onto the two primary pieces, a little specific focus into a piece that will be more of a project, and a little familiarization time with pieces that I'll soon attempt to learn. 

Right now I'm wrapping up learning on Scriabin Op. 11 no. 9 and Busoni's Op. 37 no 8, and I've just started learning Godowsky-Chopin Tristesse Etude for the left hand, which I'm learning and practicing a few bars at a time on the side (something I probably won't memorize for months but which gives a change of pace and a challenge).  My main piano goal this year is to learn a good chunk of Scriabin's Op. 11, so when I have time I read ahead and practice some of the more challenging parts of the set.  So my main principle is to learn two pieces at a time that require a different kind of pianism, to work a little on something difficult that focuses on something technical I want to work on (in the Godowsky I'm working on touch/layering and graceful arpeggiation), as well as keeping practice varied with pieces I'll soon work on in earnest.