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best way to study a piece

Discussion in 'Technique' started by rachmaninoff, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I believe it! I can do that with simple pieces. It's a learned skill. As with any learned skill, it helps to regularly practice it.

    Try this. Away from the piano, visualize a short sequence of notes and/or chords. It doesn't matter what, just make something up. Then, go to the piano and play the sequence. (If you can't, the sequence is too long or complicated; make up a simpler one.) You can do the same exercise with a very simple piece on sheet music. A gradual increase of the complexity and length of the pieces to be learned sans piano keeps it challenging.

    Anyway, methinks it makes a fun game for students.
    Pete
     
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I do belief it works. I do this a lot in the train and at school (especially during maths lessons, because those lessons are a waste of time. (No, I don't say maths is a waste of time!))
    If other people see this, they always look like 'What is she doing?' Some people even ask it. :lol:
     
  3. Adam

    Adam New Member

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    I do the same. I usually completely forget to study the pieces I had to learn for my piano lesson, so I just bring them all to school and then I practice them without actually playing them. It works quite well for me, and I save lots of time doing it this way.
     
  4. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Studying a piece away from the keyboard can also keep an injury from happening. Sitting at the piano for hours on end is a great way to a backache! :lol:
     
  5. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    You know I agree with this 100%. Although I use to travel on the bus and I had plenty of time to learn music while taking the bus. I find these days I just don't have that time anymore :)

    Do you also spend a certain amount of time practicing sight reading? I personally find developing both skills helpful in general for playing music.


     
  6. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

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    Practice Tips

    Hello

    I have recently found this resource on the web with some good tips about practicing:

    www.pianofundamentals.com

    - or -

    http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm


    It is a book by Chuan C. Chang (Fundamentals of Piano Practice) that he has made available free on the web with some very good pointers on this subject matter; I'm not sure I agree with what he says 100% of the time but it sure gives you some very nice food for thought.

    Marcelo
     
  7. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, if I don't practice sight reading at least a couple times a week, I notice myself slipping. Case in point, my recent (butchered, IMO) recording of a Beethoven sonata showed some egregious sight-reading errors, like misreading a key signature or ignoring dynamical marks. Oy, vey!

    Oh well. If we expect to improve or maintain, what can we do except the right thing? Skills don't grow on trees you know, but they grow just as slow.

    The best way to study a piece??? I'm gonna put this in a large font...

    HONESTLY & THOROUGHLY!

    How easily we forget. :wink:
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    For me I shorten the piece by finding all the common passages and noting on the sheet the variations - remembering the variations in order seem to make the rest automatic. There is so much repitition in pieces, that a 7 pager can quickly become a 4 pager by taking a few moments to analyze. This takes some pressure right off the top. I usually leave out the ornamentation and just get the basic melody down, and then it just seems to add itself back it naturally when the time is right.

    Also, I take a new piece, simplify it down to its basic structure , and then start filling in the details after I'm familiar enough with it. Once you have structure, you find it easy to pace yourself as you fill it back in.

    Fantasie Impromptu is the perfect example of repetition gone mad.
     
  9. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    You're absolutely right. Finding common denominators is extremely helpful!
     

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