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Topic Options
#1013128 - 06/19/08 04:31 PM Good? Very Good?
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
I'm simply curious. I have no definition to propose but I'd like to know what you think characterized a good pianist, a very good pianist, etc. I'm talking in terms of amateurs here, not professionals, not conservatory trained musicians.
Slow down and do it right.

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#1013129 - 06/19/08 04:48 PM Re: Good? Very Good?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
What an interesting question.

I'd need to ponder it further to come up with anything resembling benchmarks, but it seems as though musicianship should be given as much weight as technical proficiency. (Perhaps that's a no-brainer and already taken for granted?)


"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

#1013130 - 06/19/08 07:18 PM Re: Good? Very Good?
Rickster Offline

Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8601
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi Frycek,

Great question. I think the answer is in the “eye of the beholder” or should I say the “ear of the listener”. I’ve heard some amateur musicians over the years that were very technically proficient, as Sotto Voce says, yet lacked a certain spice, accent or style that made them rather bland in spite of being technically proficient; so, they were good but not great.

On the other hand, I’ve heard amateur musicians that were not necessarily technically proficient yet had a great presentation and delivery that made them not only good but very good.

Of course, being technically proficient as a musician is a big help toward being great.

Best regards,

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

#1013131 - 06/19/08 07:46 PM Re: Good? Very Good?
bluekeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 1337
"Good" is better than I am. "Very Good" is better than I can ever hope to be. \:D

#1013132 - 06/19/08 08:05 PM Re: Good? Very Good?
AnthonyB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 661
Loc: Center City, MN
Stick me in a room with a piano and nobody else and I'll be the best piano player in the room.
Roland FP-7 / Pianoteq 4.5.1

#1013133 - 06/19/08 08:24 PM Re: Good? Very Good?
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
but I'd like to know what you think characterized a good pianist
To me, the difference between a regular enthusiast or amateur, and a good[/b] pianist is control. I was in a competition last week and I noticed that in the younger category preceding me, the winner had played the Grieg Notturno. Not a difficult piece technically, compared to some of the more daring Rachmaninoff and Beethoven that others had played, but he had played with such control over the sound he was creating that I could see how he earned that top prize. He knew exactly what sound he wanted to create and manipulated the piano accordingly.

So I think the difference between a good and not-so-good pianist is that the not-so-good one is at the piano hitting the correct notes and the piano produces the desired effect, whereas a good pianist is using or manipulating the piano as an instrument to produce the sound that he/she wants. Probably doesn't make sense when I write it...
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions

#1013134 - 06/19/08 10:01 PM Re: Good? Very Good?
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1555
I found Art Tatum dazzling..yet robotic..

#1013135 - 06/19/08 11:21 PM Re: Good? Very Good?
Stacey E Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 81
Loc: Chicagoland Area
This topic is really in line with where I'm at in my lessons. I began with a new teacher a few months ago, and the music she has been assigning is not difficult to learn. At first I thought she was under-estimating me, but then I realized I was one of those not so good, but hitting the right note players.

I just finished a fairly easy arrangement of a Mozart piece and even though it wasn't difficult to get the notes right, I was really struggling with having it sing. With weeks of technique hints from my teacher, I now think it's the best piece I have ever played, even though it is definitely not the most difficult. My husband gave the ultimate compliment and said "Now that's classical music, so beautiful!" I just hope I can put the two (technically difficult and beautiful) together one day.

#1013136 - 06/20/08 01:11 AM Re: Good? Very Good?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Tireless use of the ears.
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.

#1013137 - 06/20/08 01:33 AM Re: Good? Very Good?
mr_super-hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4289
When it comes to music, I have a built in appreciation meter; it's called goosebumps!.

While I do admire the technically difficult pieces in terms of how complicated or intricate they may be, finger gymnastics does nothing for me emotionally.

Since I only play and listen to piano music for the pleasure of the harmonic melodies, it is the performer who can give me goosebumps that I admire most.

#1013138 - 06/20/08 07:51 AM Re: Good? Very Good?
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1550
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
I think that for an amateur pianist, comfort is very important. The piece doesn't have to be totally without mistakes, but I don't want something to get in the way of me enjoying the music they are playing, whether that is their nervousness, lack of control, etc.

Stacey--Your experience with the Mozart is a wonderful teacher. Often we move on to another piece once we have the notes right, but I find that if I give it some more time, I can make it something much more than that. After an even longer period, if I let them slide and then re-learn them, they become even more solid, comfortable and beautiful.


Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

#1013139 - 06/20/08 08:58 AM Re: Good? Very Good?
Mr. Widmore Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/06
Posts: 531
Loc: Lost
A good Pianist studies a work until it's more than O.K., without errors and with plenty of technique. A very good Pianist will probably have that too, but IMHO a good Pianist has a great range of musical possibilities, and will probably understand music better than a "good" Pianist. Obviously, a Pianist becomes great with constant study and hard work, as every other thing in life.

And in my twisted face... there's not the slightest trace of anything that even hints at kindness...

#1013140 - 06/20/08 10:37 PM Re: Good? Very Good?
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
bluekeys stole my definitions. \:D A good pianist is better than me. A very good pianist is way better than me. A great pianist can bring tears to my eyes. But then, so can a really bad one. ;\)


#1013141 - 06/21/08 12:02 AM Re: Good? Very Good?
mr_super-hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4289
Originally posted by TX-Dennis:

A great pianist can bring tears to my eyes. But then, so can a really bad one. [/b] ;\)

Good one!

#1013142 - 06/21/08 12:08 AM Re: Good? Very Good?
Lisztener Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 921

I think you have just about covered the most important ones. \:D

I think your definitions are right in line with my own! \:D

[Looks like Hunk and I liked your post around the same time. Howdy, Hunk! ]


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