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Topic: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?  (Read 1736 times)

Offline deltoro

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From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
on: April 21, 2022, 11:38:07 PM
Hey everyone, I wanted to ask if I could get some tips. I'm an amateur, I have played for a while, I can play Clair de Lune pretty good now. I have not mastered it, but it's allright. I wonder how I get to the Revolutionary Etude from here? I would really like to play it. What is the fastest track to get to that level? Should I just start working on it?
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Offline ranjit

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #1 on: April 21, 2022, 11:46:40 PM
Well, in short, and my apologies if this seems too curt, you will likely need to develop your basic technical facility from scratch in order to progress to that level, which means working on stuff like scales, arpeggios and easy pieces until you can play them utterly confident without any obvious inefficiencies in movement, eventually up to a relatively fast tempo. You will need to develop certain concepts of phrasing and articulation until you can execute them very well with barely any conscious thought.

Offline lelle

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #2 on: April 22, 2022, 10:49:47 AM
I think ideally you'd work on some easier music first. There are a lot of advanced technical problems in the Revolutionary Etude and it's good to have experience tackling each of them separately until the Revolutionary Etude doesn't seem daunting but rather a natural next step for you to play.

Offline bwl_13

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #3 on: April 22, 2022, 04:06:56 PM
Ironically the fastest track is by working progressively and developing your technique thoroughly.
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5

Offline deltoro

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #4 on: April 22, 2022, 07:54:32 PM
But why can't I develop the technique by practicing the Etude? What is this magical thing I could learn by playing other things but not the Etude? If I work really slowly, and patiently, with discipline, why can't I get it? I can work on the notes super carefully and then what...? Why wouldn't I be able to play it?

Offline ranjit

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #5 on: April 22, 2022, 09:42:31 PM
But why can't I develop the technique by practicing the Etude? What is this magical thing I could learn by playing other things but not the Etude? If I work really slowly, and patiently, with discipline, why can't I get it? I can work on the notes super carefully and then what...? Why wouldn't I be able to play it?
Imagine you've never read English before, and wanted to read Shakespeare. Would the best way to improve be to read Shakespeare slowly, looking up every second word in the dictionary? No, you would first want to get good enough at the general skill of "reading" so that reading Shakespeare becomes easy for you, or at least manageable.

Online brogers70

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #6 on: April 23, 2022, 12:24:21 AM
But why can't I develop the technique by practicing the Etude? What is this magical thing I could learn by playing other things but not the Etude? If I work really slowly, and patiently, with discipline, why can't I get it? I can work on the notes super carefully and then what...? Why wouldn't I be able to play it?

Look at it this way. You need to get good at fast scalar passages in both hands, arpeggios, jumps between big chords, creating a clear line in the RH over a very busy LH, and many similar things. It will probably take, I don't know, two to three years, maybe longer, to get comfortable with those technical things. You could, in principle, learn them entirely from the Revolutionary Etude, by isolating each of the issues in the relevant measures and working on them very slowly and diligently. If you did that, after 2-3 years you might be able to play the etude passably. Or, you could work on other, easier pieces that gradually incorporate those techniques over 2-3 years. You could then learn the Revolutionary Etude relatively quickly, weeks to a couple months. The difference is that in the first case you'd have gotten no practice at all in playing pieces musically,  you'd probably have gotten thoroughly sick of the Revolutionary Etude, and you'd have no experience of feeling completely confident and relaxed at the piano (something that helps a lot if you ever play for anyone other than yourself). In the second approach, you'd have learned a bunch of interesting pieces, practiced playing full pieces musically, gotten more relaxed and confident, and you'd also be able to play the etude.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #7 on: April 23, 2022, 03:17:40 AM
I agree with what brogers is saying. If you tackle a work that is "too difficult" for you, you can end up spending a lot of time trying to solve it, where you might as well learn much easier works, build your skill levels up, so when you are ready for it you can get through it much more efficiently, even a hundred times faster than it would be to just brute force your way through it when you are not experienced enough.

You may also never master the piece and always play it with tension and errors, the tension part is the most detrimental becase you may become accustomed to poor excecution and miss out on how you really should be controlling technique at the piano.

There is nothing wrong with just giving it a shot even if you are not ready but you should be wary not to allow it to become a major focus in your piano training. This is not easy to do as piece you are obsessed with often can overrun your piano journey and can be difficult to keep as only a minor focus. If you are able to control yourself and dabble with it but keep studying works which are more appropriate then go ahead and do so. Some people actually find learning works that are difficult act as a caltalyst for their development. On the other side of the coin, it is no good being ultra careful in your approach, I have had students who have studied piano for years with other teachers but have moved onto higher grades far too slowly. So we have to find a good rate, challenge ourselves but not too much, not everything should be ultra easy and provide no resistance, how can one grow appropriately without at least some struggle in life?

The Revolutionary Etude is not terribly difficult from all of the etudes in Chopin's list, so I would suggest you just give it a go and see how you do, but do work on smaller works that are maybe one or two pages in length, build your skill level up.
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Offline deltoro

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #8 on: April 26, 2022, 09:15:56 PM
Thank you for encouraging me to give it a shot. I have trouble believing it could be so hard? I understand if you do it sloppily, but what if I practice super carefully every note so it is correct? What can be wrong if I practice every note correctly?

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #9 on: April 27, 2022, 06:14:58 AM
We already said it can take a lot unnecessary time which could be better invested in smaller works to build your skill level. Did you even read our responses?
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Offline deltoro

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #10 on: April 27, 2022, 10:44:43 PM
Yes I did. I just felt those small works are not very exciting to me, but the Revolutionary Etude is. You say I build the skills by practicing scales and other works, but I think there are scales in the Revolutionary Etude? I struggle to understand how it can take 2-3 years to build such a skill? Aren't you very inefficient if it takes you 2-3 years? What's so hard that it takes 2-3 years?

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #11 on: April 28, 2022, 03:50:15 AM
I didn't say practice scales but why would you avoid it? Why would you avoid technical arpeggios studies too? Go back and actually read what we wrote. Develop skills and you can learn revolutionary in much less time. Quote what we wrote and question that don't just create new questions and look like you read past everything we said. Small works are exciting too if you can't find enjoyment in those then your journey will ultimately be stunted and with many holes on your ability.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
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Offline bwl_13

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #12 on: April 28, 2022, 05:48:35 AM
I didn't say practice scales but why would you avoid it? Why would you avoid technical arpeggios studies too? Go back and actually read what we wrote. Develop skills and you can learn revolutionary in much less time. Quote what we wrote and question that don't just create new questions and look like you read past everything we said. Small works are exciting too if you can't find enjoyment in those then your journey will ultimately be stunted and with many holes on your ability.
Not to mention risking of injury. If a pianist doesn't have a solid technical foundation (or even if they do sometimes) injury is a real thing that can happen from overpracticing or practicing works that are significantly more demanding than they're used to (which seems to be the case here).
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5

Offline bwl_13

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #13 on: April 28, 2022, 05:52:26 AM
I struggle to understand how it can take 2-3 years to build such a skill? Aren't you very inefficient if it takes you 2-3 years? What's so hard that it takes 2-3 years?
the amount of time it takes differs from pianist to pianist, part of a reason a teacher is so helpful. 2-3 in the grand scheme of learning an instrument is not that long. If the revolutionary etude is your only goal with the piano, then sure, why not. If you want to play at an advanced level and be a well rounded player, work on your fundamentals.
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5

Offline lelle

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #14 on: April 28, 2022, 02:38:20 PM
As someone who did take on the Chopin Etudes when I didn't have good fundamentals in place, I'd absolutely recommend you to get some more experience and develop your fundamentals first.

I'm still working to iron out some of the tense habits I acquired on the way, and have probably worked on that for way longer at this point than it took me to learn them. Personally, I find that work quite enjoyable at times (and at other times terribly tedious), but I can imagine many people wouldn't. Like I can sort of play the Etudes but it is still too easy to slip into tense habits and other kinks, and it still doesn't feel effortless and easy enough for it to be at like a professional standard.

It would probably have been faster and more enjoyable to learn easier stuff for a couple more years and then tackle the Etudes. So tread carefully my friend.

Offline deltoro

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Re: From Clair de Lune to Revolutionary Etude?
Reply #15 on: May 23, 2022, 08:46:16 PM
Thank you for your replies. I have thought about it a bit after reading what you wrote. I have decided to wait with the Revolutionary Etude for now. I hope that is the right decision! I don't want to injure myself. I find it hard to believe you can injure yourself though. It's just some keys, it's like injuring yourself on a computer keyboard LOL. Is it common?

Offline dw4rn

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