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How do you pratice your piano??

The art and science of piano performance and technique
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How do you pratice your piano??

Postby johnmar78 » 13 Jul 2006, 18:48

Hi every one,

I have to admit when I was 23, I spend 4-5 hours a day at con. As compared to these days-I am 40 now, I found doing 1-1.5 hour a day-break up to 20 min section. I found I actually can memorise better and perform better on any new/old reportories than when I was younger-23 to 33. Is this do do with maturity or better life???

This is what I do after work. After a relaxed shower.

1)Polonaise op53 twice-moderato and full speed with out too much emotion just to keep up my retention.

2) chopin studies op25 no 1 twice. slow and fast. eg op10no 1 depends on my mood....

3) anything but with performance. speed..


break------2 hours or less depends on my childerns work load.

Back on piano again....20 minutes...any thing but at performance speed.


I have to admit, I DNT DO ANT SCALES OR TECHNICAL EXERCISE, which I have done it 20 yeras ago when doing grade 8.

I am sure the old technical school.hanon..cramer... is no longer required in modern piano trainning.....at (concert level).

Ps, my kids will STILL go thru all exercise as they need to know for their gradings.

Tell me what yoor idea and thoughts....

Thanks

Ps NO TECHINCAL EXERCISE IS REQUIRED.
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Postby PJF » 14 Jul 2006, 02:08

I love Hanon. Some people find it mind numbingly boring, (those who hate it should find a system of technical excersizes they enjoy). I do the entire Hanon, three times in a row, with a metronome, at an increasing tempo of 88, 108 and 120 every Saturday, except the excersizes that require you to hold some notes down while playing other notes with the same hand. Those are BAD and should NEVER be played, they go against human physiology.


My favorite way of technique practice is to improvise excersizes at the piano.
You know which muscles need work, make up an excersize that suits you.

There is no wrong answer.
Per Sapientiam Felicitas!

Pete
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Postby lol_nl » 14 Jul 2006, 06:58

Pete, I have a question :lol:. What do you think is the best way to get a great technique? My technique is quite poor :roll:, in comparision with my musicality, and every teacher or expert says that I need to work on my technique. The problem is, HOW to work on technique? I can spend 3 hours a day on just scales and arps, and it doesn't help much. I need to find a proper way to get my technique better. I started on Hanon, on advice of my teacher, and on several exercises, and a lot of Czerny etudes. Until now I don't see any improvement. I play very well these days, but that's just because I don't need to go to school, everyone is relaxed, and I can sleep a lot.

So what do you think is the best way, if there is a "best way" at all, to get a good technique?
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Postby elvenpianist » 14 Jul 2006, 12:12

PJF wrote: the excersizes that require you to hold some notes down while playing other notes with the same hand. Those are[/color] BAD and should NEVER be played, they go against human physiology.


lol, I'd love to hear what you think of Schumann, then.

Hmm well, I gave a rundown of my routine in another thread recently, I believe, but I usually practice 2-4 hours a day.

For technical exercises, if I bother with them, I'll do scales and arpeggios, and some of the dohnanyi exercises. I should do this more often!!!

I also do some sightreading everyday- lately I've been working through some beethoven sonatas. I particularly love sightreading what I can of the 3rd movement of the Waldstein sonata- it's so beautiful, aahh. However, some weeks I'll sightread a bunch of Schumann, or Mozart, or whatever, so it just depends. My sightreading has vastly improved over the past 6 months or so!

Then I work on something insane of Bach's, and some mazurkas. And that's pretty much all I've really seriously been working on- they compliment eachother and satisfy completely.
~Clara Glennette Georgiana Fiorkapatti

"Those little weirdnesses... Schumann- QUIRKY!" -David Dubal

"I am convinced that Bach is the greatest genius who ever walked among us." -Douglas Adams
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Postby tony » 14 Jul 2006, 13:25

lol, I'd love to hear what you think of Schumann, then.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Doesn't he have somehting like that of a trill in hi fantasie in C Major.?
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Postby johnmar78 » 16 Jul 2006, 16:10

thanks guys.

Very interetsing fom all differnt aspect of people. HAnon exercise is good for finger control. I tried few loops on etude last week using your method and just to see how it goes in 2 weeks time...I am quite open and always tried out some other ideas.

Pete, wouldnot you rather spend more time on your repotori rather than the hanon exercise-3 times.??

Sometime, I do the improvisations and COLD playing, to test out my hands adaptativity...
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Postby lol_nl » 17 Jul 2006, 06:59

elvenpianist wrote:
PJF wrote: the excersizes that require you to hold some notes down while playing other notes with the same hand. Those are[/color] BAD and should NEVER be played, they go against human physiology.


lol, I'd love to hear what you think of Schumann, then.


Well, Chopin disliked Schumann kinda, so someone who likes Chopin doesn't really always like Schumann.
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Postby johnmar78 » 17 Jul 2006, 22:49

You are quite right....almost there. I only played schumans sonata op21(g minor) prestommiso-I think thast the right op no. and his papillons. His work for me is quite hard for some reason. Perhaps this is to do with his differnt way of constructing tones as compared to schuman.

Chopin was a very self finsh man he only liked his own music but no one else. I remebered once schuman wrote a letter to him and asked Chopin's opinion on his etude, And Chopin replied as " dreadfull", soon Schuman was very depressed....

Do you know that Some of schumans later works(before his death) May be destroyed by his wife -Clara.....I was wondering , was that to do with his madness-weirdo tunes??
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Postby elvenpianist » 18 Jul 2006, 10:13

lol_nl wrote:
elvenpianist wrote:
PJF wrote: the excersizes that require you to hold some notes down while playing other notes with the same hand. Those are[/color] BAD and should NEVER be played, they go against human physiology.


lol, I'd love to hear what you think of Schumann, then.


Well, Chopin disliked Schumann kinda, so someone who likes Chopin doesn't really always like Schumann.


"Liking" the music has nothing to do with my point, as you could have realized if you were reading more carefully. My point is, which anyone familiar with Schumann's works will instantly recognize, that Schumann employs this type of technique very frequently in his works- it is not at all unusual to be playing a melody with some fingers while sustaining notes with 1 or 2 fingers in the same hand. Therefore, these types of exercises are actually very helpful in the playing of Schumann.

And aside from that, your statement "Well, Chopin disliked Schumann kinda, so someone who likes Chopin doesn't really always like Schumann" is ridiculous- as no one but a complete fanatic unhealthily obsessed with Chopin is going to dislike another composer simply because Chopin did. He may well dislike Schumann because of his own personal taste, but to dislike a composer solely on the opinion of a composer's contemporary is absurd.
~Clara Glennette Georgiana Fiorkapatti

"Those little weirdnesses... Schumann- QUIRKY!" -David Dubal

"I am convinced that Bach is the greatest genius who ever walked among us." -Douglas Adams
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Postby PJF » 19 Jul 2006, 04:24

elvenpianist wrote:
lol_nl wrote:
elvenpianist wrote:
PJF wrote: the excersizes that require you to hold some notes down while playing other notes with the same hand. Those are[/color] BAD and should NEVER be played, they go against human physiology.


lol, I'd love to hear what you think of Schumann, then.


Well, Chopin disliked Schumann kinda, so someone who likes Chopin doesn't really always like Schumann.


"Liking" the music has nothing to do with my point, as you could have realized if you were reading more carefully. My point is, which anyone familiar with Schumann's works will instantly recognize, that Schumann employs this type of technique very frequently in his works- it is not at all unusual to be playing a melody with some fingers while sustaining notes with 1 or 2 fingers in the same hand. Therefore, these types of exercises are actually very helpful in the playing of Schumann.

And aside from that, your statement "Well, Chopin disliked Schumann kinda, so someone who likes Chopin doesn't really always like Schumann" is ridiculous- as no one but a complete fanatic unhealthily obsessed with Chopin is going to dislike another composer simply because Chopin did. He may well dislike Schumann because of his own personal taste, but to dislike a composer solely on the opinion of a composer's contemporary is absurd.


I love to play Schumann. I don't dislike compositions that employ "fixed legato." I do, however, loathe excersizes that use it to abuse the pianist's hands. For the most part, I steer clear of any excersize that requires the hands to fixate. The risk of injury is too high to justify any benefit gained through them. IMO, of course.
Per Sapientiam Felicitas!

Pete
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Postby johnmar78 » 19 Jul 2006, 16:43

sounds very interesting. You are right. Now days no injuries on my hands for the last 40 years. As a golden rule, when hands are tired or slight overstrentched, thats where we sholud stop and rest.

I reckon, we should spend more time on the actual compositions/reportories tried to play the composers markings(legato) rather focused on too too many technical-legato exercises. dnt you think so?

I am working on " efficiency of learning vs results/performance.
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Postby MindenBlues » 03 Aug 2006, 05:17

I do not think that Hanon and purely technical exercises are needed.

So I play different Bach preludes and fugues from WTC1 on every piano session first as warm up. In opposite to JFK the fugues demand very often that one needs to hold down notes while playing other notes with the same hand. And more better, playing other notes with different phrasing /color. That are useful exercises.

After that there come the pieces I am just practising.

If I were a pro, and would have more time, I would try to play the complete WTC1 every day in a row. That worked for generations of pianists, why not for me!
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Postby johnmar78 » 03 Aug 2006, 20:33

you loved played Bach. Is it because he is German and you too. I have studied Bach Fugue and prelu. But I have to admit that he is not my cup of tea. Upto these days, I still admire people still playing his work.

My work is rather personal and SELF FISH... I am getting the polonaise op22. Its beautifulllllllllll and I will try to squeeze that 30m pages into my brian by end of next year perhaps or sooner.


When your are 40 or plus, you should have had more than 10 reportories memorized. I mean the advaced pieces.
Just think about that...one piece per year for the next 20 years no time restaint...its very easy and POOSIBLE for ANYONE.

Now days I have had 20 pieces in my own reportore, but its the build up sicne I was 23----where I really started to play.

Only the last few months, I being crazy and started to learn schezo op31 and walze op42 and etude op10 10. The progress is FASTER THAN I EXPECTED...probably due to RIGHT DIET AS MENTIONED BY PFJ-peter and a much mental and physical relaxzation. This is a life time experience and its no BULL. You will undertand this one day..........

I hope this helps???
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Postby PJF » 04 Aug 2006, 01:02

MindenBlues wrote:I do not think that Hanon and purely technical exercises are needed.

So I play different Bach preludes and fugues from WTC1 on every piano session first as warm up. In opposite to JFK the fugues demand very often that one needs to hold down notes while playing other notes with the same hand. And more better, playing other notes with different phrasing /color. That are useful exercises.

After that there come the pieces I am just practising.

If I were a pro, and would have more time, I would try to play the complete WTC1 every day in a row. That worked for generations of pianists, why not for me!


I agree, technical exercises are of limited value, but should not be entirely abandoned. However, the more my repertoire expands, the less I need technical exercises. I foresee the day I will be able to get everything I need, from the pieces I play.
Per Sapientiam Felicitas!

Pete
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Postby PJF » 04 Aug 2006, 01:18

johnmar78 wrote:you loved played Bach. Is it because he is German and you too. I have studied Bach Fugue and prelu. But I have to admit that he is not my cup of tea. Upto these days, I still admire people still playing his work.

My work is rather personal and SELF FISH... I am getting the polonaise op22. Its beautifulllllllllll and I will try to squeeze that 30m pages into my brian by end of next year perhaps or sooner.


When your are 40 or plus, you should have had more than 10 reportories memorized. I mean the advaced pieces.
Just think about that...one piece per year for the next 20 years no time restaint...its very easy and POOSIBLE for ANYONE.

Now days I have had 20 pieces in my own reportore, but its the build up sicne I was 23----where I really started to play.

Only the last few months, I being crazy and started to learn schezo op31 and walze op42 and etude op10 10. The progress is FASTER THAN I EXPECTED...probably due to RIGHT DIET AS MENTIONED BY PFJ-peter and a much mental and physical relaxzation. This is a life time experience and its no BULL. You will undertand this one day..........

I hope this helps???



Diet and cardiovascular health are paramount to virtuosity. Once during training for a triathalon, I played Chopin's Etude 10/1 @ ~M.M. 300. It was purely gymnastics, devoid of music, horrible! I can't quite remember how I did it. I just went a little crazy. It was probably a combination of aerobic endurance and flexibility. (I've since relaxed the tempo to a sane 152.)
Per Sapientiam Felicitas!

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