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#2011343 - 01/08/13 05:02 PM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: personne]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1498
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
I was cleaning out my bookcase, and found:

"Playing the Piano for Pleasure" -- Charles Cooke.

I haven't looked at it for 40 years. It's still good! It was first published in 1948, and it's still available both on paper and in Kindle format. Try Amazon.com and/or Amazon.ca. It has a thread here, devoted to it:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1770142/%22Playing%20the%20Piano%20for%20Pl.html

It has a few lists of "graduated difficulty" piano pieces, and several pointers to other sources.

It deals with all the difficulties that come up repeatedly in this Forum. That just shows that "learning the piano" hasn't changed much in 60 years.

Another book mentioned in that "Playing the Piano for Pleasure" thread -- newer, with excellent reviews on Amazon.com:

"The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness" -- Gerald Klickstein

The Amazon.com link:

http://www.amazon.com/Musicians-Way-Prac...4467&sr=8-1

It's also available in a Kindle edition. I don't think it has "graduated difficulty" lists, and it seems to be aimed at serious, classical-music students (according to the reviews).

Neither of those books will "teach you to play the piano", but they both give general outlines about _how you should learn_ to play piano.

I don't know if there's "helpful books?" thread here, but there should be!

. Charles

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#2011499 - 01/09/13 12:08 AM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Charles Cohen]
bluebilly Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 448
Loc: England
Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
I was cleaning out my bookcase, and found:

"Playing the Piano for Pleasure" -- Charles Cooke.

I haven't looked at it for 40 years. It's still good! It was first published in 1948, and it's still available both on paper and in Kindle format. Try Amazon.com and/or Amazon.ca. It has a thread here, devoted to it:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1770142/%22Playing%20the%20Piano%20for%20Pl.html

It has a few lists of "graduated difficulty" piano pieces, and several pointers to other sources.

It deals with all the difficulties that come up repeatedly in this Forum. That just shows that "learning the piano" hasn't changed much in 60 years.

Another book mentioned in that "Playing the Piano for Pleasure" thread -- newer, with excellent reviews on Amazon.com:

"The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness" -- Gerald Klickstein

The Amazon.com link:

http://www.amazon.com/Musicians-Way-Prac...4467&sr=8-1

It's also available in a Kindle edition. I don't think it has "graduated difficulty" lists, and it seems to be aimed at serious, classical-music students (according to the reviews).

Neither of those books will "teach you to play the piano", but they both give general outlines about _how you should learn_ to play piano.

I don't know if there's "helpful books?" thread here, but there should be!

. Charles


I have Cookes "Playing piano for pleasure", excellent book. I found THIS download site, it seems extraordinarily cheap....I'm not sure if there are "catches".

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#2011563 - 01/09/13 05:43 AM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Mohannad]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 453
Loc: Europe
Mohannad, people here on the forum are usually working in their piano learning efforts towards constancy. Don´t be surprised about the answers advising you to first build up a fundament while not supporting you so much in finding a piece which could serve you to become a one hit wonder only. Be aware that the fallacy of leaving in your piano playing apparent gaps unfilled will frustrate your future consistency as a musician. This is what (almost all) people here in the forum know, likely because they are usually older than you and therefore having had the chance to already collect more experience on this during life.

You can reach out for a top piece, and it even might work out here and there, but sooner or later you will fall if there is no fundament supporting you. Having followed your statements in your former threads on different pianoworld forum boards, and having seen which (consistent) answers you received there, and here again, I suggest that you really decide if you want to become a one hit wonder everyone smiles (once) about, or if you want become respected and saluted steadily.
I as well suggest you to first take advices to build a stable fundament serious and stop to claim that you would be "willing to (...) sacrifice a good foundation". You will have little chances to receive the answers you are looking for, if you are not bringing up the questions properly.

I just can´t help you with your question for the one hit wonder piece, because I wouldn´t know a proper piece for this. But I will at least try to help you to well develope on the long term by bringing up the following general guideline:
The brain needs time for little by little becoming programmed with what we by practicing asked it to succeed with. Once brain circuits have had enough time to interconnect better optimized on the requested task, doing the task results optimized. So, we need to frequently trigger the brain optimization process by practicing, but also need patience to let brain optimization processes happen. Each brain works at its own pace, which you can not outwit. And your own pace is usually much(!) slower than desired! Although a challenging trigger can occasionally push things forward concerning a _special_ task, things will need intelligently graduated triggers, and will need time (in case of making music: much(!) time), to develope to an all-purpose ability.

Keep this in mind, and you will have a nice journey!
_________________________
learning Piano on my Roland HP-505
before playing Drums in adults bluesband on handpicked set; before crashing E-Guitar in kids garage band; raised on home entertainment Organ and Keyboard models Eminent Solina P240, Farfisa Maharani 259R, Technics KN800, and on Mouth Organ, Recorder and Accordion

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#2011571 - 01/09/13 06:17 AM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: bluebilly]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: bluebilly

I have Cookes "Playing piano for pleasure", excellent book. I found THIS download site, it seems extraordinarily cheap....I'm not sure if there are "catches".


Thanks! I just got it, it's a decent pdf scan!
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2011823 - 01/09/13 05:27 PM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Mohannad]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3808
Loc: Northern England.
Mohannad, don`t worry about some of these guys. Glean any encouragement you get, and run with it. There are 9 year olds playing Fantasie Impromptu. . . . and getting those fiddly notes in. You can get a copy of the music free online. If you get to the end of the first line or two, you`ll be able to finish it. Eventually!

Let us know how you get on. Lots here wish you well!
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2012071 - 01/10/13 03:59 AM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: peterws]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
Originally Posted By: peterws
Mohannad, don`t worry about some of these guys. Glean any encouragement you get, and run with it. There are 9 year olds playing Fantasie Impromptu. . . . and getting those fiddly notes in. You can get a copy of the music free online. If you get to the end of the first line or two, you`ll be able to finish it. Eventually!

Let us know how you get on. Lots here wish you well!



We should be encouraging people to play piano properly, not just bang out notes. Yes they are very young people that are playing this piece, but they've been playing for 5-7 years already, and constantly made to practice and practice and practice. For an adult learner (of course anything is possible) but in 99.99999% of cases learning something of that calibre is setting up someone to fail.

Mohannad - Keep playing, keep learning new things everyday and don't give up. You will before you know it be ready to play that piece or any piece for that matter! Work on buddy!
_________________________
Essex EUP-123S


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#2012288 - 01/10/13 02:21 PM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: ju5t1n-h]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3808
Loc: Northern England.
"We should be encouraging people to play piano properly,"

Very true. But he`ll get encouragement getting through the first few bars of Fant Imp. by himself. And if he doesn`t then he`ll pull back a bit. I dunno if he has a teacher or not but that`s what I did . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2012296 - 01/10/13 02:47 PM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Mohannad]
starbug Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/09
Posts: 240
Loc: Scotland, United Kingdom, Sol,...
Bach is the man for you!

Bwv 939
Bwv 924
Bwv 926

Maybe too easy for you, but for us old dudes Bach is perfection!

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#2012350 - 01/10/13 04:28 PM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: peterws]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
Originally Posted By: peterws

Very true. But he`ll get encouragement getting through the first few bars of Fant Imp. by himself. And if he doesn`t then he`ll pull back a bit. I dunno if he has a teacher or not but that`s what I did . . .


Fair enough, everyone has their own style of learning. If anyone who's an adult beginner can hash out enough effort and dedication to play the first few bars correctly then all the power to them!

Mohannad I've thought of a piece for you! RCM Grade 3 Piece Arabesque by Johann Burgmuller. Its not too hard, but it's a fast piece and sounds awesome, I played this one for my grade 3 exam and it was a lot of fun!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aREB2y9ow_s

Tell me what you think laugh
_________________________
Essex EUP-123S


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#2012361 - 01/10/13 04:42 PM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Mohannad]
Allard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 342
Loc: Netherlands
That's an interesting youtube channel. So much music!
_________________________
David Lanz - Where the Tall Tree Grows
Nobuo Uematsu - Aerith's Theme (Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections)

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#2012592 - 01/11/13 02:49 AM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Mohannad]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
yeah he has tons of pieces that you'll see in the graded books to help you pass exams. Dr Alan Huckleberry from the University of Iowa. Now anyone who has a doctoral in piano you know is legit! :P
_________________________
Essex EUP-123S


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#2012763 - 01/11/13 12:28 PM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Mohannad]
Dominik Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/12
Posts: 8
Hi,
I Played some of the Burgmüller prior to für Elise.
Burgmüller is not easy but it is very comprehensive. You learn a lot about speed, dynamics, sound.

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#2106233 - 06/22/13 01:40 PM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Bobpickle]
Mohannad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 79
You know, in my entire life, I have never been more offended and hurt by words. Even months later, I am still hurt. I have never, in my life, seen anyone convey such a level arrogance and snobbery and such offence with very little words. Such elegance in an insult, I have never in my life seen, and I am the type of person that NEVER gets offended. I have already detracted and diminished myself to the extent that I call my self stupid in the subject line of my forum posts to attempt to lessen the ridicule I receive on this forum, but it looks like there will always be more of myself to chisel away before someone is willing to help. I'm sorry, I am not going to degrade myself more than I already have, and I am not too stupid to realize the extent of my own stupidity.

Goodbye Piano World.

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#2106244 - 06/22/13 02:01 PM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Mohannad]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Mohannad
... I am not too stupid to realize the extent of my own stupidity.

Goodbye Piano World.


Did somebody forget to take their medication?
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2106331 - 06/22/13 04:21 PM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Mohannad]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Mohannad
You know, in my entire life, I have never been more offended and hurt by words. Even months later, I am still hurt. I have never, in my life, seen anyone convey such a level arrogance and snobbery and such offence with very little words. Such elegance in an insult, I have never in my life seen, and I am the type of person that NEVER gets offended. I have already detracted and diminished myself to the extent that I call my self stupid in the subject line of my forum posts to attempt to lessen the ridicule I receive on this forum, but it looks like there will always be more of myself to chisel away before someone is willing to help. I'm sorry, I am not going to degrade myself more than I already have, and I am not too stupid to realize the extent of my own stupidity.

Goodbye Piano World.


I apologize Mohannad. I flagged the post and hope that moderators will delete it. While I probably was simply just being arrogant and trite, what I really feel I was doing is something I recurringly do in my posts, which is project advice that would work for me. I have an extensive athletic background and am used to being told things pretty straight whether I like and want to hear them or not. I understand now that this isn't effective for everyone. Now while I'm not going to lie and say what I said wasn't the truth, I obviously worded and phrased it in the worst possible way given the circumstances. I'm sorry.

If you'd like to stay on the forums, you can always go to my profile by clicking here, and click "Ignore This User".

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#2106482 - 06/22/13 10:25 PM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Bobpickle]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Bobpickle
I have an extensive athletic background and am used to being told things pretty straight whether I like and want to hear them or not. I understand now that this isn't effective for everyone. .


I had read your post. I didn't see anything really wrong there. I can understand. Only when I trained for my first marathon did I realize that I couldn't lie to myself. I had to be brutally honest. Failure was the alternative.

I can also understand what he is trying to do. It is something my teacher has me doing. But she is looking over me in the process. It is also a piece I very much take to heart. I love da blues. Da blues don't have to be a style. It is a condition of the heart. The first thing my teacher mentioned about me doing this one piece right was my hesitations...they were perfect. She couldn't believe it. That is something to watch for in a person's maturity with playing piano. False hesitations that get further and further apart. Until they are gone and the only applied hesitation's are perfectly musically applied. That usually takes years.
That is one thing you will see in these video's of people saying I did this or that in one year. They still don't have the flow they should. Why do they post this stuff? For their ego?

Also, bear in mind. My teacher says that one piece is helping me to learn my basics while my basics are helping me to learn that one piece. They work hand in hand helping each other. With her watching over me.

A statement of an athletic coach I have says: People in exercise are trying to run when they haven't yet learned how to crawl. They need to go back. Learn how to crawl, then walk, then run. The result of not following this is that people keep going through a vicious cycle of failure. Burn out, or injury, then recovery. Then back again. Quit it. Learn how to crawl first. Then make real progress. BTW: The crawling in the parable is: Mobility Work.

I've run across and worked with some of the best people in their field. Always, without exception. The very best were always extremely good at their basics. Always!
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2106516 - 06/23/13 12:17 AM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Mohannad]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1738
Loc: Australia
You come to this forum for advise your going to get it, sometimes it is not easy to take but that's the way it is.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2106552 - 06/23/13 03:25 AM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Mohannad]
Ganddalf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 688
Loc: Norway
Mohannad,
I started playing the piano when I was at your age, but already I had been playing the pump organ for several years. My agenda when I got the piano was very similar to yours, and since I was pretty clever reading music I started working with rather difficult pieces without anyone's supervision. In a couple of years I could play pieces like Grieg's "Wedding day at Troldhaugen" and Sinding's "Rustle of spring" and at an age of 20 I played Chopin's second Scherzo. These are all pretty impressive and rather difficult pieces. However, I soon realised that I actually played extremely badly, and I generally failed when I played for an audience. I rushed over difficult sections and used the pedal to cover up for my inaccuracies, skipped a lot of notes and so on.

Now I'm 63. I'm a bit angry at myself that I didn't start with simpler pieces to make a foundation for a better technique at an earlier stage. After several years I realised that I had to be able to play easyer and shorter pieces with precision before starting with the harder ones. Playing Bach is a very good idea. If you can play some of his two- and three-part inventions, you will be able to make great steps further and meet greater challenges.

Now I can play Chopin's Fantasie-impromptu. But if I had chosen the correct path as a young aspiring pianist I would have been able to play it better than I do now at much younger age.

Actually, if you want to learn about how to practice badly and wrongly you may ask me. I know everything about it.

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#2106597 - 06/23/13 06:55 AM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Mohannad]
Dumik Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/21/13
Posts: 7
All of you are saying that you can´t start with playing harder pieces. I have used this method from the start (so not very long like little under 6 months) and so far its working pretty well, i learned how to sight read pretty well, my hands and fingers are working well and I´m not skipping the hard parts nor rush over them. When should you notice that "this is not working", and how do you notice that its not working? Of course I´m not playing that hard pieces like Chopins fantasie impromptu, but still I think those are pretty high grade pieces.

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#2106609 - 06/23/13 08:14 AM Re: Challenging pieces for beginners. [Re: Dumik]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1930
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Dumik
When should you notice that "this is not working", and how do you notice that its not working?


Without hearing you play something, it is difficult for anyone to judge anything about your playing or the method you are using to learn to play.

How do you notice that "this is not working" ?

I am not sure that you do ... for quite some time, anyway. One day you will find yourself 2 or 3 years down the road and you will reflect on all of this and you may come to the conclusion that "this is not working" because you cannot play much of anything really well. Then, you will consider changing course or quitting. That is how this usually goes.

That is when "getting a teacher" usually becomes a more significant option. So, you do that and then your "new" method with a teacher begins. Your teacher assesses your skill level and begins helping you work on the "basics".

Then, depending upon your commitment to learning how to play piano, you start to make some real progress or you quit.

Now, that is not to say you cannot do it without a teacher. You absolutely can.

I am a golfer, so I liken it to learning to play golf. Golf appears to be a pretty simple game. Hit the ball down the fairway and then roll it into a cup.

Can you learn to do that without professional instruction. Yes, you absolutely can. Thousands do that all the time. You see them out on the golf course ... smacking the ball around, laughing, crying, swearing, throwing clubs, helping each other (the blind leading the blind).

I did exactly that when I was your age and into my mid 20's. Then I decided to take lessons and WOW ... the game became much easier and my scores dropped significantly. I found out that there are things involved with hitting a golf ball that are not evident by watching someone do it and that made all the difference.

You can do it without a teacher but if you are doing that ... you have difficulty assessing your progress. You also struggle with which pieces to play next, as you are now doing. But, you forge ahead, seeking advice from others and do some of what you are told and ignoring other things ... as you should. Just try not to ignore good advice.

Good Luck
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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