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#1097403 - 01/16/09 05:46 PM typical old guy, starting anew..
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Just thought I'd introduce myself and maybe pick up some advice..Typical story, took 5 or 6 years of classical lessons as a kid, didn't play a note for many years, now at 57 I'm starting lessons again. I'm ambivalent about paying a teacher, but on the other hand I figure it can't hurt...

I'd rate myself a low to middle intermediate, although I believe I've a reasonable amount of talent and some natural hand quickness. That said, I don't delude myself. Big picture-wise, I'm sure I'm very average with nothing more than a decent level of musicality.

The most difficult piece I've taught myself so far is Claire de Lune. I play it pretty well now, though it literally took me months..I've started in on Pathetique, which seemed doable at first, then I got to the cross over section on page 6 I think it is and there's no way I'm going to be able to play that at speed. PLus, I don't have the stamina yet. I started to get pain in my left hand from practicing that fast tremolo.

So. Right now I've kind of stepped back to more manageable music. Currently working on Girl With The Flaxen Hair which is easy enough for me to play fairly well in a day or two, though it will take me a week to really get it down so that it's second nature, and then perhaps another month or so to memorize it...beautiful music though..

I'm thinking now that if I can add 5 or 6 more semi-difficult music to Claire de Lune, that will be a good thing. I'm sure that will take me a few years.

Any recommendations as to music I could learn? Hopefully you've an idea of where I'm at skill-wise given the pieces I've mentioned...

Any help gratefully accepted..

CG

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#1097404 - 01/16/09 06:39 PM Re: typical old guy, starting anew..
GreenRain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/08
Posts: 888
Loc: Somewhere in Europe
Why would you spend years on 6 hard pieces, when you can start with easier pieces and in few years you will be able to play them without spending so much time?

Try first 2 mvts of Moonlight.

Second one is around Clair de lune level, first one is very easy to play, but very hard to play WELL.

If you insist on playing hard pieces, try Chopin prelude 15, which is quite hard, but beautiful.

Although i still think that you should learn numbers 2,4,6,7,9 and 20 before 15 \:D

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#1097405 - 01/16/09 08:33 PM Re: typical old guy, starting anew..
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 920
Loc: North Carolina
 Quote:
Originally posted by cardguy:
I'm thinking now that if I can add 5 or 6 more semi-difficult music to Claire de Lune, that will be a good thing. I'm sure that will take me a few years.

Any recommendations as to music I could learn? Hopefully you've an idea of where I'm at skill-wise given the pieces I've mentioned...

Any help gratefully accepted..

CG [/b]
cardguy, I think you've got a great plan there. If you're playing Claire de Lune then I think you've got a whole world of piano music available to you.

As for recommendations...stick around here & you'll likely find many piano pieces you'll want to try. Currently I have about 5 pieces in my ongoing repertoire that I found in this forum. Pay attention to anything posted by Dannylux...he has a knack for finding fun-to-play obscure pieces.

Do you have any piano music interest aside from classical?
_________________________
Jeff

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#1097406 - 01/17/09 11:20 AM Re: typical old guy, starting anew..
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Hey Opus,

Sincere thanks for the kind words. I used to play organ in a rock band 1000 years ago, and at the time developed an interest in improvization. I could do a lot with a basic blues progression at the time, but I'm lacking in the ear one really needs to excel at that kind of playing. I used to play a pretty mean boogie woogie /:>) but I've pretty much let all that go. I suppose I could get back to where I was with that, but I really only have the time and stamina to pick one thing, so I think I'll stay with the classical...

I was actually surprised I was able to wrestle Claire De Lune to somewhat of a draw, though as I said it took me months. I tried it out on my new piano teacher and she said most people would be pleased to be able to play it that well..Of course, were I a teacher I'd be stroking my new students too to make sure I've got them reeled in, and as I said in original post, I'm not kidding myself. I'm a perfectionist as I imagine all musician are..(if I can bestow such a term on myself). I know very well where I'm falling short with that piece and unless and until I can master those parts I'll continue to think of it as a work in progess. But for me, part of it is in the challenge. People ask me why I intentionally choose music that's over my head and it just seems obvious to me what I would do that..I want to stretch as much as possible.

In any case, glad to have found the forum. It's really quite a good thing to be able to speak with like-minded people.

Thanks again for your interest. Hope we can talk again...

CG

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#1097407 - 01/17/09 11:44 AM Re: typical old guy, starting anew..
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Hi cardguy,
You’re a spring-chicken compared to some of us oldies ... don’t go soppy on us telling us of the aches and pains of antiquity ... you’ve still got a lot of miles on the clock ... The Girl with the Flaxen Hair is a good 2-page follow up to your return to Debussy’s Clair de Lune .

If you haven’t dipped into Chopin ... Prelude 4 (28-4 one page) is a must ... while Etude 10-3 deserves a repertoire spot.

Mustn't bore you with a long list ... let us know of your progress.

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#1097408 - 01/18/09 06:19 AM Re: typical old guy, starting anew..
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1172
Loc: Cornwall, England
Hi cardguy

I've just turned 58 and like you returned to the piano quite late in life, in my case, two years ago. I last had lessons as a child for about 4 years and was, you might say, at 'Für Elise level' when I resumed. In my impatience I decided to learn only the music I love, difficult or not. I did start again with some 'easier' pieces (I always put 'easier' in quotes!) such as Chopin's prelude Op 28 No 7 and Schumann's 'Träumerei' amongst a few others. However, it wasn't long before I discovered Schubert and his wonderful Impromptus and I simply had to learn one of these! I do have a teacher and so, with her help, I learned and memorised the Op 142 No 2 Impromptu, a labour of love which took several months to accomplish but, I did it. I've since learned and almost memorised the hauntingly beautiful Impromptu Op 90 No3.

Anyway, cardguy, I simply wanted to recommend a Schubert Impromptu to you for consideration. Here\'s the Israeli pianist Amin Katz playing the Op 142 No 2 in rehearsal and here\'s the great Alfred Brendel playing the OP 90 No 3. As you'll see from my signature, I'm also learning a Beethoven Sonata.

Good luck and I wish you joy in the music \:\)

Michael

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#1097409 - 01/18/09 08:07 AM Re: typical old guy, starting anew..
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Wow Michael, you've come a long damn way from Fur Elise. Holy cow, to borrow an expression back from the days of my youth. And in two years. That's impressive. How many hours a day are you practicing? I'm putting in about an hour to an hour and a half split up into two or three sessions. It actually goes quite quickly. I'd do more as I often have the time, but my hands have a tendency to cramp up.

Any tips on how you made such impressive progress? (I agree, very beautiful music, especially the Op 90 No 3.)

Best,
Al

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#1097410 - 01/18/09 09:41 AM Re: typical old guy, starting anew..
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1172
Loc: Cornwall, England
Hi again, Al

I don't have any special tips to offer except to say that, in my case, if I love a piece of music so much that it hurts (if you know what I mean!) then I will practice it inside out until I've learnt it. This is, of course, only realistic within the boundaries of my capabilities. The Op 90 No 3 for example is really pushing my abilities to the limit. Mind you, when I say 'learnt it' I definitely don't mean to imply that I've mastered it. However, I'm finding the polishing phase to be very enjoyable once the hard graft is behind me. btw, I also listen to recordings of the pieces I'm learning every day to remind myself how wonderful the music is, when played by the masters.

My practice routine can best be described as 'undisciplined'! Some days I'll practice for 3-4 hours and others hardly at all. I probably don't pay enough attention to technique (other than that required for the pieces I'm lerarning), my sight-reading is poor and I find it difficult to divide my practice sessions in order to address these points. I prefer instead to concentrate on one piece, to the exclusion of almost everything else. For example, even though my signature lists a few pieces, for the last few days I've been giving my full attention only to the Beethoven Sonata.

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#1097411 - 01/18/09 10:13 AM Re: typical old guy, starting anew..
supersport Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 411
Loc: Arkansas
Hi cardguy,

I restarted about 3 years ago. Have you played First Arabesque? I like it a lot but prefer it a bit slower than some to let the chords develop a bit while playing. And I have enjoyed several pieces in Children's Corner. Chopin Nocturne OP 32 No 1 is nice too. I like the way it begins so sweet and ends dark.

Off on a different tack, Joplin's Solace, Heliotrope Bouquet and Easy Winners to have a little variety.

I am starting Debussy Sunken Cathedral but I like to have some easier pieces at the same time. Right now they are:
Harlem Nocturne-Hagen
Dreamsville-Mancini
Someone to Watch Over Me-Gershwin.

Have fun,
_________________________
David




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#1097412 - 01/18/09 10:21 AM Re: typical old guy, starting anew..
Chris G Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/09
Posts: 737
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hi supersport,

Do you use a printed arrangement of Harlem Nocturne or do you play your own version? If you do use an arrangement which one?

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