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#1174638 - 04/04/09 10:26 PM 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow?
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
I have no performance video yet, I just want to discuss whether I am slow or not.

I were stuck at Grade 7 with a terrible technique a good 30 months ago and quit playing the Piano, and started playing again last november:

- I were completely hopeless at sight reading, stilll using the mnomics to read.

- My left hand could only play slow full finger chords, pretty much one chord every second.

- My RH could only play using the first 4 fingers, finger 5 was lazy, useless and couldnt do anything, and it was just as bad on the LH too.

- My LH was far far weaker then the RH.

And I started on the Maple Leaf Rag. I started off practicing scales, then got Hanon and worked through the exercises while learning the notes to maple leaf. I was slow at first, found it difficult, lots of errors, and even pulled the little finger on my RH 3 times. While not in pain and with no pulls, I was practicing daily for several hours, both Hanon and Maple Leaf, gradually improving, building strength and controll in my LH, and improving the little fingers. Slowly but surely, I learnt the piece, finished learning all the notes in February, and could play it all some time last month. I then spent everyday grinding for hours and hours to try and perfect my technique, accuracy and power, and now can play the whole piece completely effortlessly and easilly both at normal tempo and sped up quite a lot, and playing is now nice and comfortable and I am just currently ironing out a few areas where I am prone to finger slips.

I feel like I have made much more progress in the last 5 months then I ever have in my life on the Piano, I have no idea what happened, but I thank the Hanon exercises mostly.

Now I tried moving onto learning another piece - learned a little magnetic rag and nocturne op 9, but now my reading is too far behind and slow compared to my hands that can start playing the pieces very easilly. I did want to learn 3 pieces by the end of march, but greatly I underestimated the difficulty with my reading.
I am now trying to improve my reading by stressing my mind with imaginary notes and reading scores, but I just cant get myself to do this more than once or twice a week. I want to able to learn new pieces faster now, but my music reading still needs much improvement and I hate reading practice, I just wish I were able to sit down and play everything in my signature with no effort frown. I have always felt, and still feel like musically, my body is far far slower and behind my brain, the ability and talent I feel that I have still cannot be released due to my slow reading and still improving hands.

I know I have the ability locked away to just sit down and play absolutely anything that I want to play, but my hands and eyes feel too slow, the main limit being my reading which I still find to be the hardest thing.

I want to get faster at reading music and learning new pieces, and I wish I could play anything I want right now.

Why does my body have to be so slow at learning Piano? Why cant it be any faster? frown.
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

Top
Piano & Music Accessories
#1174649 - 04/04/09 11:14 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Bhav]
Claude56 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 469
You're slow at the piano only because you were born that way. People that learn quickly are only smart because it is in their genes. But, from my experience in life, most people that I know learn very quickly and possess some skills in photographic memory. It's all genes bro!

And don't forget, memory can't be improved. What you are born with is what you are stuck with!

Top
#1174668 - 04/04/09 11:58 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Claude56]
BJones Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1043
Loc: Queens, NY
Originally Posted By: noSkillz
You're slow at the piano only because you were born that way. People that learn quickly are only smart because it is in their genes. But, from my experience in life, most people that I know learn very quickly and possess some skills in photographic memory. It's all genes bro!

And don't forget, memory can't be improved. What you are born with is what you are stuck with!


Then again, he may lack proper direction. Having the right teacher guiding him might drastically increase the rate of his progress.


Edited by BJones (04/04/09 11:58 PM)
_________________________
Some recent improvisations:

Cool School Chopin:

http://www.mediafire.com/?d1yc1mmitew

Improvisations:

http://www.box.net/shared/bjv6yc34oo

http://www.box.net/shared/8lmc3hzikl


Top
#1174836 - 04/05/09 11:11 AM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: BJones]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4437
Loc: San Jose, CA
Swimming through jello. You push hard, struggle and struggle, and yet don't get there any faster. Well: this is the mind and the emotional self, trying to take up a new and difficult thing. Essentially, I had to adjust my expectations and accept that jello is not water and requires a different technique to make progress.

I agree that the right teacher could really help you progress faster. The wrong teacher could make your sense of fright and frustration at your technical limitations worse. Part of my problem with reading is a feeling of stress and tension that wears me out before I get very far... but with jello, you have to go slow.

My new teacher waved away the Hanon book (it is good and useful--- though you can hurt yourself if you over-do it) and knocked me back from the Scott Joplin into practice pieces that (1) are more at a technical level I can handle and (2) opened my musical world up a little bit more.

She went straight for my weaknesses as a player, and not only made me realize their nature but gave me exact instructions for how to address them. I never expected it to be easy (and it still isn't) but it is better than dragging the same limitations through the rest of my life.

I think she would be delighted if I would practice five hours a day. You show some real dedication, and I hope you do find the help you need to develop your potential as a musician. Finding a teacher who is right for you takes some research, some luck, and probably some trial-and-error... but I think you could go a long way.
_________________________
Clef


Top
#1174841 - 04/05/09 11:20 AM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Jeff Clef]
BJones Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1043
Loc: Queens, NY
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
You push hard, struggle and struggle, and yet don't get there any faster.


This may be your main problem. I can't suggest reading this book more emphatically. Everyone straining to master a skill should read it. Twice! It's a short book, but wonderfully applicable:

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5656421


Edited by BJones (04/05/09 11:28 AM)
_________________________
Some recent improvisations:

Cool School Chopin:

http://www.mediafire.com/?d1yc1mmitew

Improvisations:

http://www.box.net/shared/bjv6yc34oo

http://www.box.net/shared/8lmc3hzikl


Top
#1174868 - 04/05/09 12:58 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: BJones]
buck2202 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Don't let that particular nocturne discourage you. I learned it when I was very, very new at the piano (say, a few months)...I eventually learned to play it passably, but should probably go back and try to really do it justice one of these days.

So, as someone who struggled with Op.9 No.2 largely because I was horrible at reading music, believe me when I say that you'll get there. Many of Chopin's nocturnes have very, very repetitive left hands. One thing that I did when I started out was to take each of the 4 variations on the main theme, go through the left hand for each section, and circle the (small) differences from theme to theme. Since the largest time-consumer for me was actually reading the music, knowing that the left hand of a given measure was exactly the same as one that I already knew helped a lot.

But, I'd caution that successfully interpreting that nocturne isn't as easy as passably playing it. It's quite a hackneyed piece, so it's easy to fall into just playing the notes and receiving praise for sounding like everyone else without actually interpreting for yourself.

Top
#1175823 - 04/06/09 10:32 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: buck2202]
Surendipity Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 129
Your brain and body playing tricks on you?
Can't get up the speed and acurracy you so deserve?
Well try the all new and improved
ACURE POWER

Sound familiar?

Everything worthwhile will take a while.

In the meantime it may just be a matter of looking at the theory
What key is it written in? Play the scale, triads and D7's and Arps for this key
Name ALL the cords and the inversions, look at how they relate.
Play the octaves and only the octaves in r than l
Play Left hand only
Play Right hand only
Play bars 5-8 HT so fun, and of course repetative
Memorize 2 bars a day, just 2.

Now sing the first 8 bars without playing. Can you sing it?
Can you sing it right now.

Play slowly, the speed and syncopation will start to feel it's style and than pop it'll click and you'll never loose it.
The joys..

If your hurting your pinky or your hand, stop, I say study with the music away from the piano while listening to it.
Play it for 10 minutes only, the more the mind has put its self to the task by telling itself, there's only this one moment of 10 minutes it'll go into a higher awareness. Hours at the piano will not help, but aware minutes will do wonders.

Good luck.

Miss Laura

Top
#1177597 - 04/09/09 10:23 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Surendipity]
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
Thanks for all the pointers.

The thing is, that my main obstacle is not memory or my hands anymore, it is reading the bass line and all those big chords frown.

My pinky doesnt hurt anymore and it can lift big 8 pint bottles of milk in and out of the fridge (I just try lifting big milk cartons with single fingers every morning for the fun of it - every little helps), but I am increasing the length and time I can play for everyday and occasionally the pinky side of the hand cramps but without any pain - I just stop, shake and move it around, wait for recovery and then carry on.

I practiced like crazy the last few days - I am now rolling through Hannon exercises 1-8 everyday without difficulty, and can keep on looping the Maple Leaf Rag several times.

Also, I ditched learning the nocturne for now and am learning Magnetic Rag instead as the left hand is a lot lot more simple - I finished learning the RH first section today (Treble clef reading I find easy), but next I have to start on the LH which is what will take a while.

Hopefully I can learn this piece in 2 months now because my hands can play it fine, it is just my reading holding me back.

I did like 4 or 5 sessions of practice today, each one lasts around 30-60 minutes. I get really motivated sometimes, but then I can get fed up for a few days. Listening to Piano music on youtube helps, also today I were motivated when I read up on the gorgeous new Yamaha Modus R01, and took a look at the Modus website - I want that 5 grand + white piano one day!

My other motivator is all the music in my head that I want to write, but I still cant play well enough for all the crazy stuff that goes on in my brain. The last few days, I just thought of a simple jazz chord progression, and almost instantly my head runs off and writes up a whole new piece with ease. Then I forget it the next day and Im like frown. This used to happen only in my sleep before, but now I keep on thinking up full pieces of music during the daytime, but my playing ability is still too far behind for my brain music, which is why I carry on pushing and pushing myself because I am never 'good enough' for the music that I want to play and write.

Frustration begins, and along with the frustration comes a desire to perch myself on the Piano stool and play as though my life depended on it. But Im still too slow.


Edited by Bhav (04/09/09 10:27 PM)
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

Top
#1177602 - 04/09/09 10:33 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Bhav]
survivordan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 844
Loc: Ohio
The same has been happening to me. Only now after some time playing piano am I able to play and write the music I hear in my head. TRust me, you will get there, too.
_________________________
Working On:

BACH: Invention No. 13 in a min.
GRIEG: Notturno Op. 54 No. 4
VILLA-LOBOS: O Polichinelo

Next Up:

BACH: Keyboard Concerto in f minor

Top
#1177935 - 04/10/09 02:13 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: survivordan]
Hrodulf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 831
Loc: New York City
It takes me a long time to learn pieces, then I tend to forget them very quickly. That just isn't one of my skills. It's a natural talent that can be developed to a certain extent. Józef Hofmann could reportedly play whole pieces after hearing them one time, and retain them without forgetting them even after not having played them for a long time. Not everybody has a talent on that level but there are lots of levels between that and utter incompetentce. If you work hard, maybe you can improve somewhat, but don't expect to work hard and become a Józef Hofmann. That, I think you have to be born with, from a neurological perspective.

From wikipedia:

"Hofmann, reportedly, also had the ability to hear a composition just once and play it back flawlessly without seeing the printed note. Again, this was fortunate—Hofmann was a poor sight reader. Rosina Lhevinne, wife of pianist Josef Lhevinne and a virtuoso pianist in her own right, claimed Hofmann heard her husband play Franz Liszt's Lorelei, a piece Hofmann had supposedly never studied or heard. Hofmann played it as an encore at his concert that evening."

Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present, Second Edition, Simon & Schuster, 1987, Pages 386-387

"Once Hofmann had learned a piece of music, it was apparently in his mind and fingers for good. This was fortunate for Hofmann, for he reportedly never practiced. In the diary his wife kept during his 1909 tour, she mentions his raising his eyebrows when he saw Brahms' Handel Variations on a program—a piece he had not played or even looked at for two and a half years. He played the work at the concert without a thought or hesitation."

Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present, Second Edition, Simon & Schuster, 1987, Page 385
_________________________
Learning:
Beethoven op 27 no 1 allegro vivace
J.S. Bach wtc book I prelude 10, fugue 10
Exercises

Top
#1178597 - 04/11/09 04:30 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Hrodulf]
Claude56 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 469
Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
It takes me a long time to learn pieces, then I tend to forget them very quickly. That just isn't one of my skills. It's a natural talent that can be developed to a certain extent. Józef Hofmann could reportedly play whole pieces after hearing them one time, and retain them without forgetting them even after not having played them for a long time. Not everybody has a talent on that level but there are lots of levels between that and utter incompetentce. If you work hard, maybe you can improve somewhat, but don't expect to work hard and become a Józef Hofmann. That, I think you have to be born with, from a neurological perspective.

From wikipedia:

"Hofmann, reportedly, also had the ability to hear a composition just once and play it back flawlessly without seeing the printed note. Again, this was fortunate—Hofmann was a poor sight reader. Rosina Lhevinne, wife of pianist Josef Lhevinne and a virtuoso pianist in her own right, claimed Hofmann heard her husband play Franz Liszt's Lorelei, a piece Hofmann had supposedly never studied or heard. Hofmann played it as an encore at his concert that evening."

Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present, Second Edition, Simon & Schuster, 1987, Pages 386-387

"Once Hofmann had learned a piece of music, it was apparently in his mind and fingers for good. This was fortunate for Hofmann, for he reportedly never practiced. In the diary his wife kept during his 1909 tour, she mentions his raising his eyebrows when he saw Brahms' Handel Variations on a program—a piece he had not played or even looked at for two and a half years. He played the work at the concert without a thought or hesitation."

Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present, Second Edition, Simon & Schuster, 1987, Page 385


Really? It takes you a long tme to learn pieces, Hrodulf? I know that you compose a lot and you are great with harmony. But if you are great with harmony, how come you can't use your harmonic knowlege to help you memorize pieces better? To me, it just doesn't make any sense.
Because usually, composers who are knowlegable about music theory are faster at learning music.

Top
#1179030 - 04/12/09 12:44 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Claude56]
Hrodulf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 831
Loc: New York City
I've been putting all my effort into composing, not to practicing playing, so I've already forgotten parts of "Carolina Shout" which I put a lot of effort into learning. It is frustrating but I am not a professional musician so I have very limited time to do what I'm doing and for now I want to focus on the writing. Another problem is that my memory skills are actually on the poor side so that is another issue.

As for harmony, I've been inspired mainly by Joplin's modulations from an a flat major chord to an e major chord in Maple Leaf Rag. That taught me you can do some interesting modulations between apparently unrelated chords by exploiting common shared notes. Going from a flat major to e major works because they share the same enharmonic g sharp/a flat. It creates an interesting progression. I've tried to do this in what I've been writing with different chords to try to find other ways to get around in a harmonic sense and so far its mostly been working out.

Originally Posted By: noSkillz
Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
It takes me a long time to learn pieces, then I tend to forget them very quickly. That just isn't one of my skills. It's a natural talent that can be developed to a certain extent. Józef Hofmann could reportedly play whole pieces after hearing them one time, and retain them without forgetting them even after not having played them for a long time. Not everybody has a talent on that level but there are lots of levels between that and utter incompetentce. If you work hard, maybe you can improve somewhat, but don't expect to work hard and become a Józef Hofmann. That, I think you have to be born with, from a neurological perspective.

From wikipedia:

"Hofmann, reportedly, also had the ability to hear a composition just once and play it back flawlessly without seeing the printed note. Again, this was fortunate—Hofmann was a poor sight reader. Rosina Lhevinne, wife of pianist Josef Lhevinne and a virtuoso pianist in her own right, claimed Hofmann heard her husband play Franz Liszt's Lorelei, a piece Hofmann had supposedly never studied or heard. Hofmann played it as an encore at his concert that evening."

Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present, Second Edition, Simon & Schuster, 1987, Pages 386-387

"Once Hofmann had learned a piece of music, it was apparently in his mind and fingers for good. This was fortunate for Hofmann, for he reportedly never practiced. In the diary his wife kept during his 1909 tour, she mentions his raising his eyebrows when he saw Brahms' Handel Variations on a program—a piece he had not played or even looked at for two and a half years. He played the work at the concert without a thought or hesitation."

Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present, Second Edition, Simon & Schuster, 1987, Page 385


Really? It takes you a long tme to learn pieces, Hrodulf? I know that you compose a lot and you are great with harmony. But if you are great with harmony, how come you can't use your harmonic knowlege to help you memorize pieces better? To me, it just doesn't make any sense.
Because usually, composers who are knowlegable about music theory are faster at learning music.
_________________________
Learning:
Beethoven op 27 no 1 allegro vivace
J.S. Bach wtc book I prelude 10, fugue 10
Exercises

Top
#1179041 - 04/12/09 01:12 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Hrodulf]
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
Ok, so forget about the difficult nocturne, and how long the Maple Leaf took, Magnetic Rag is turning out to be a lot lot easier then it first appeared - It took me just two days to read through and play (with the score) the RH of the first 3 sections, and the LH of just the first section.

It just has really difficult fingering at first, but once you get used to it it is a really easy piece smile

I will just carry on playing through the piece with the score, and and obviously let the memorisation happen naturally.

I think the maple leaf only took so long because I was still training my hands for all those months as well, but now my hands are very very capable, I just want to fininsh off the Magnetic rag and also be able to play both pieces without any mistakes before I record them.

I can sometimes play Maple Leaf without a single mistake, but they still keep on happening, I need to improve my concentration while playing.

Basically, I think that when I restarted playing in November, I still needed a lot of training with both the hands and sight reading, now my hands are fine, and my sight reading is improving and good enough for the Magnetic Rag, but still not good enough for difficult pieces like Nocturne OP 9.

So I will work through the rest of my Joplin pieces first, and maybe a couple of extra ones before learning more difficult stuff, I also like Pinapple Rag and Paragon Rag and want to learn them as well.


Edited by Bhav (04/12/09 01:15 PM)
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

Top
#1179674 - 04/13/09 03:48 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Hrodulf]
Claude56 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 469
Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
I've been putting all my effort into composing, not to practicing playing, so I've already forgotten parts of "Carolina Shout" which I put a lot of effort into learning. It is frustrating but I am not a professional musician so I have very limited time to do what I'm doing and for now I want to focus on the writing. Another problem is that my memory skills are actually on the poor side so that is another issue.

As for harmony, I've been inspired mainly by Joplin's modulations from an a flat major chord to an e major chord in Maple Leaf Rag. That taught me you can do some interesting modulations between apparently unrelated chords by exploiting common shared notes. Going from a flat major to e major works because they share the same enharmonic g sharp/a flat. It creates an interesting progression. I've tried to do this in what I've been writing with different chords to try to find other ways to get around in a harmonic sense and so far its mostly been working out.

Originally Posted By: noSkillz
Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
It takes me a long time to learn pieces, then I tend to forget them very quickly. That just isn't one of my skills. It's a natural talent that can be developed to a certain extent. Józef Hofmann could reportedly play whole pieces after hearing them one time, and retain them without forgetting them even after not having played them for a long time. Not everybody has a talent on that level but there are lots of levels between that and utter incompetentce. If you work hard, maybe you can improve somewhat, but don't expect to work hard and become a Józef Hofmann. That, I think you have to be born with, from a neurological perspective.

From wikipedia:

"Hofmann, reportedly, also had the ability to hear a composition just once and play it back flawlessly without seeing the printed note. Again, this was fortunate—Hofmann was a poor sight reader. Rosina Lhevinne, wife of pianist Josef Lhevinne and a virtuoso pianist in her own right, claimed Hofmann heard her husband play Franz Liszt's Lorelei, a piece Hofmann had supposedly never studied or heard. Hofmann played it as an encore at his concert that evening."

Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present, Second Edition, Simon & Schuster, 1987, Pages 386-387

"Once Hofmann had learned a piece of music, it was apparently in his mind and fingers for good. This was fortunate for Hofmann, for he reportedly never practiced. In the diary his wife kept during his 1909 tour, she mentions his raising his eyebrows when he saw Brahms' Handel Variations on a program—a piece he had not played or even looked at for two and a half years. He played the work at the concert without a thought or hesitation."

Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present, Second Edition, Simon & Schuster, 1987, Page 385


Really? It takes you a long tme to learn pieces, Hrodulf? I know that you compose a lot and you are great with harmony. But if you are great with harmony, how come you can't use your harmonic knowlege to help you memorize pieces better? To me, it just doesn't make any sense.
Because usually, composers who are knowlegable about music theory are faster at learning music.


It's possible to modulate to any key you want. In E Major, let's say you want to modulate to Gb Minor, you could go there by three common ways:

go directly to Gb Minor
take the fifth of the key you modulate to - Db7 Gbmin
Do a ii V i progression in the key you want to modulate to - Abmin Db7 Gbmin

Top
#1179808 - 04/13/09 08:02 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Bhav]
Hrodulf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 831
Loc: New York City
Don't confuse learning the notes with learning the piece. I'd advise you to listen to some recordings to get an idea about how to make a performance out of what would otherwise be just a string of notes. Nothing reminds me more of how important this is than hearing my compositions played by the computer in midi form.

Either that, or I'm just not that great a composer. Or both.

As they said on "Look Around You," "you may not turn out to be the next Mozart, but you just might be the next Grozart."

Originally Posted By: Bhav
Ok, so forget about the difficult nocturne, and how long the Maple Leaf took, Magnetic Rag is turning out to be a lot lot easier then it first appeared - It took me just two days to read through and play (with the score) the RH of the first 3 sections, and the LH of just the first section.

It just has really difficult fingering at first, but once you get used to it it is a really easy piece smile

I will just carry on playing through the piece with the score, and and obviously let the memorisation happen naturally.

I think the maple leaf only took so long because I was still training my hands for all those months as well, but now my hands are very very capable, I just want to fininsh off the Magnetic rag and also be able to play both pieces without any mistakes before I record them.

I can sometimes play Maple Leaf without a single mistake, but they still keep on happening, I need to improve my concentration while playing.

Basically, I think that when I restarted playing in November, I still needed a lot of training with both the hands and sight reading, now my hands are fine, and my sight reading is improving and good enough for the Magnetic Rag, but still not good enough for difficult pieces like Nocturne OP 9.

So I will work through the rest of my Joplin pieces first, and maybe a couple of extra ones before learning more difficult stuff, I also like Pinapple Rag and Paragon Rag and want to learn them as well.


Edited by Hrodulf (04/13/09 08:03 PM)
_________________________
Learning:
Beethoven op 27 no 1 allegro vivace
J.S. Bach wtc book I prelude 10, fugue 10
Exercises

Top
#1179853 - 04/13/09 09:41 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Hrodulf]
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
Been listening to Joplin pieces for months now and mostly learnt the Magnetic Rag by ear. The second section I didnt even have to read, I just played it from memory.

Thats why it was easier!

I want to get it learnt as quickly as I can so I can move onto the Pineapple Rag which I have just fallen in love with. The RH melody is really simple to learn, but the LH chords are what always take me forever.


Edited by Bhav (04/13/09 09:43 PM)
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

Top
#1183801 - 04/19/09 10:05 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Bhav]
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
Wheeeee!!!

Today I got through all of the LH for the second section! I still need to practice it lots, but I can read through a whole page of bass clef in a day omg omg OMG !!! I have no bottle of wine to celebrate, but alcohol is bad for me and knocks me out so never mind, I'll have lots of chocolate instead =D.

Tomorrow Im building a new PC so wont have time to practice, impulsive me spending my money on new shiny. Oh wait, that can be my reward =D.

I CAN READ AND PLAY BASS CLEF ZOMFG 111!!!!$€£¢¤ς§©®
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

Top
#1184955 - 04/21/09 11:31 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Bhav]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
like others have said its important get a good teacher.. but more importantly its important to learn how to practice correctly. Practicing correctly may be a very slow and meticulous process but by doing that you will achieve your goals much faster than you would just skimming/faking through stuff. I guess if you can find a teacher who can show you how to practice i would be ideal

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#1185030 - 04/22/09 04:55 AM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: etcetra]
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
But I can read better now!

I can read the notes in bass clef a lot lot better then I could when I started maple leaf smile.

I havnt been able to practice since monday though because Im still waiting for new PC parts and my room is a total mess full of cardboard boxes, but I should get my last parts today and be able to start practicing again.

I need to keep on improving my reading ability untill I can play both hands together by reading, that is the reason I am still slow.

I want to keep on going without a teacher because Ive made it this far without one, I am able to teach myself.

I didnt skim through stuff! I can remember all the chords I learnt in one day, just that I havnt fully memosised them yet so I need to read and play a little longer, but I memorise pretty fast. My first obstacle was my hands, my second was my reading. Overcoming those two should allow me to learn a lot faster.
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

Top
#1208379 - 05/29/09 11:20 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Bhav]
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
Just an update on my progress, in the last 8 weeks I have managed to learn the first three sections to Magnetic Rag with both hands, and the full right hand for the whole piece, as well as the right hand to the first part of Pineapple Rag.

The reason why my left hand learning is slower is still purely because I cant read bass clef as well as treble.

Would you think that my progress is ok, or am I still slow?
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

Top
#1213004 - 06/06/09 08:36 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Bhav]
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
Wow, today it took me under 5 minutes to read and play the RH for the second section of Pineapple Rag! I tried some of the LH too, and got through about half of the first section.

Now that's what I call progress =D. I hope to be able to learn both hands together as fast as my RH learns soon.

It's taking me a while to learn the fourth section to Magnetic Rag though, the fingering is really hard, but very good for building up the little fingers.

I'm also making up my own 5 finger exercises based on any 5 notes with which I can feel any difficulty in playing, and mirroring them on both hands with each hand starting on the thumb and playing the same mirror image of notes as the other. This appears to be a lot more helpful for me now than Hanon exercises are. I wonder if I can complete both Magnetic Rag and Pineapple Rag by the end of June. I will try, but it will likely take a bit longer.

My hands feel so powerful and supple now, I still wish that I had been at this level many many years ago.

This forum and youtube Piano videos keep me well motivated smile.

After that I want to learn The Chrysanthemum and Reflection Rag, neither of which are in my sig :p.
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

Top
#1214522 - 06/09/09 09:54 AM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Bhav]
Jeff23 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/22/09
Posts: 5
Loc: Connecticut USA
Bhav, I'm curious--did you do this by continuing the long practice sessions? Did you continue with Hanon, lighten up on it, or dispense with it all together? Did you do other exercises or just work with scales, chords, arps, and the music, etc.? What actual methods helped you the most in your progress?

Thanks,

Jeff

Top
#1214758 - 06/09/09 03:50 PM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Bhav]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1236
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: Bhav


The reason why my left hand learning is slower is still purely because I cant read bass clef as well as treble.


I still don't read very well, but I had a major "A-ha" moment when I realized that the bass cleff is exactly the same as treble. It's just that everything is "one lower". I visually think of the ledger line below the bass cleff as the first line, then everything is E G B D F and F A C E just like treble. There are just the "extra" notes on the top line to memorize instead of all of them.
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


Top
#1217074 - 06/14/09 12:03 AM Re: 5 months to master the Maple Leaf - am I slow? [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
Originally Posted By: Jeff23
Bhav, I'm curious--did you do this by continuing the long practice sessions? Did you continue with Hanon, lighten up on it, or dispense with it all together? Did you do other exercises or just work with scales, chords, arps, and the music, etc.? What actual methods helped you the most in your progress?

Thanks,

Jeff


Very long practice sessions. I am sat practising everyday for many many hours, I try to play for at least three 30-60 minute sessions each day, but more often I can be sat at the piano for hours untill my back hurts. My reading skills are on continuous development and are my main obstacle. I only started practicing this much after being able to get incapacity benefit for my ear disorder (Menieres disease) after it affected my second ear making my hearing and balance totally crappy. While I were at university and then working with only one ear affected, I hardly ever practiced at all and gave up for two years after I started to focus on the old day job.

The RH to the first two sections of Pinaple rag I found very easy to learn from reading and also because I have listened to it so many times, but I still need to play it from the score as I am not focusing on memorising it yet, I am trying to memorise section 4 of magnetic rag right now, and it is a very very hard section compared to everything else I have learnt so far.

Originally Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine
Originally Posted By: Bhav


The reason why my left hand learning is slower is still purely because I cant read bass clef as well as treble.


I still don't read very well, but I had a major "A-ha" moment when I realized that the bass cleff is exactly the same as treble. It's just that everything is "one lower". I visually think of the ledger line below the bass cleff as the first line, then everything is E G B D F and F A C E just like treble. There are just the "extra" notes on the top line to memorize instead of all of them.


I noticed this too, but it is still very tricky to read because of the alignment difference. I can actually immediately spot the three centre lines now - B, D, and F, as well as A on the bottom space and G on the top line, but for the remaining spaces in between I still need to take a few seconds to figure out the notes, whereas I can just look at and play everything on treble clef from reading it, but just a little slow and I often forget notes every now and then. But if I memorise the melody of a piece and then sit down with the score, I can play the treble clef through slowly with a few mistakes, but then learn how to play it fairly quickly, I've also tried sitting down and playing the RH of the Chrysanthemum first setion in just one single toime and managed very very easilly, but I cant play it without the score obviously after just that small an amount of time.

I can still just play Maple Leaf Rag, and first 3 sections of Magnetic Rag without the score, and am basically practicing them everyday to keep on improving my hands and my accuracy, as well as spending just 10-15 minutes playing something from the score like Magnetic Rag fourth section.

I'm still making a few errors when playing each piece, maple leaf + magnetic rag. I know the notes and can play them very easilly without having to think, but a mistake just keeps on happening here and there, so I just need to keep on improving my hands as well.

I can play the Minute Waltz and Entertainer RH's from my Grade 7 practice years ago, but have completely given up on the simplified left hands on the Grade 7 versions. I will learn the full LH to them once I can read bass clef better, right now I want to focus on learning new pieces, and then will go back to improve my Grade 7 pieces.

My Grade 5 and 6 pieces I learnt at age 15-17 I have completely forgotten now, so my repertoire is kind of sucky, but it should be good by the end of the year, and I plan to apply for a Music Degree for entry next year, but I need to check if I can get funding for a second degree, if not ... frown

I can get a £1700 a year grant for my ears, but that hardly covers the costs of the whole course, it would just mean I wouldnt have to work part time this time around. I really dont want to do anymore essays or presentations, but I still want a Music Degree. Also I want to go to Leeds University because their music society and facilities are absolutely fantasic, I dont have the A level entry requirements, but I already have an undergraduate degree with a minor in music and I will be able to play and read more than well enough by next september. But I also have to deal with my permanent dizzyness / lightheadness and continuous sleep pattern disruption that I have, I will hardly be able to attend many lectures and will likely just nod off asleep in most of them like I started doing towards the end of my first degree without knowing what was wrong then. I recently found out that if I had been diagnosed during my first degree, I could have gotten a 5k grant for my PC / recording equipment and Piano o.O. I might still be able to do that if I just say my DGX-630 isnt a good enough Piano for my requirements ^^.

You have no idea how badly I want this:



I only saw it recently and it appealed to me right away over any other model than my DGX-630. I should definately just try and get onto a Music Degree next year and see if I can get a disability grant for one of them lol.

Hopefully I will have learnt 5-6 Joplin pieces by the end of this year, I am trying to push myself to get Maple Leaf / Magnetic / Pinapple rags and The Chrysanthemum learnt and recorded by the end of september, but my personal goals are always set too high and I never manage to reach them. But I will try smile


I want to do this course:

http://www.leeds.ac.uk/music/ug/undergrad_bmus.shtml

I will be practicing everyday to get good enough for it, and will E mail them after I have my performance recordings done.



Edited by Bhav (06/14/09 12:27 AM)
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

Top

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