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Topic Options
#2024183 - 01/30/13 05:32 PM How much to practice?
Fatih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
Guys, i have a very weird question actually.

I am a beginner ( Almost finished Alfred's Adult Course Level 1 ) .

But you know, Alfred's book is not an excercise book. I have Beyer Opus 101 and books which have exercises very similar to Beyer.

There are tons of exercises. In the first couple pages there are practices like this.(Paranthesis shows finger numbers)

C(1) D(2) E(3) D(1) E(2) F(3) F(1) G(2) A(3)

C(1) E(3) D(2) F(4) E(3) G(5)


You know... The most basic exercises for piano. But i don't know which exercises to practice on and for how long? Are these most basic exercises just for beginners or even experts work on these? How am i supposed to know when to move forward?


Question 2 : How many main subjects we need to practice on for piano?

Lets say :

1- Agility of Fingers
2- Sight Reading
3- ???


Question 3 : How do i practice sight reading? Are there exercises for that or do i need to let it get better in time?



I have a teacher and he knows a lot about music but i don't think he is qualified enough in "Practicing Piano". Because i guess he never had a good practicing schedule.

I am very lost and it is very hard to ask questions in another language.

Ty very much.

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#2024185 - 01/30/13 05:38 PM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1949
Loc: Pennsylvania
These are all questions which need to be handled by your teacher.

You instructor should be directing your activities. That is one of the main functions of a teacher.

You may need to find another teacher.
_________________________
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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#2024224 - 01/30/13 06:47 PM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
ZoeCalgary Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Calgary Alberta
Hi. For sight reading try the Four Star series. I use them and they work! Also my 8 year old has used the first one and I noticed a big improvement in his reading ability. We work on a new exercise every week and do it again at the lesson.

Ask your teacher if you should do any exercises above and beyond what is in your book.

I follow the books for the Royal Conservatory of music (RCM) exams as it provides a nice roadmap for skill development. You don't have to do exams to benefit from this approach though I know for many people they don't want to spend time on scales or technique and just prefer to work on new pieces. I find doing more variety of pieces, scales, technique, etc, makes a big difference in my progress.

Your teacher may have assumed you don't want to do technical exercises so be sure to ask him what he recommends.

All the best to you.

Sight reading, ear training, rhythm, technique, scales, chords, and repertoire.
_________________________
Preparing Grade 6 RCM.


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#2024226 - 01/30/13 06:49 PM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
ZoeCalgary Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Calgary Alberta
Oh I forgot to mention the Dozen A Day series of exercises. They are short little exercises but very helpful. I try to do these at least once a day for 5-10 minutes.
_________________________
Preparing Grade 6 RCM.


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#2024297 - 01/30/13 09:49 PM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
ZoeCalgary Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Calgary Alberta
Oh I forgot to mention the Dozen A Day series of exercises. They are short little exercises but very helpful. I try to do these at least once a day for 5-10 minutes.
_________________________
Preparing Grade 6 RCM.


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#2024442 - 01/31/13 04:10 AM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
Use the piano sight reading practice website which is linked in somewhere on here. 5-10 minutes here and there and it just clicks in place. Although I know what the note is and which key it is not instantaneous i.e. my hand does not seek the note and there is a very slight hesistation. I can make up for this by memorising the piece. Which means when I start new pieces I am utterly awful.

The alfred adult beginer course 1 book does have a few finger exercises in it, namely the up and down ladders and the gap ladders IIRC.

Also there are all of the major scales as well.

TBH my teachers have all advised against lots of finger strength exercises hanon is a bit marmite some swear by it others hate it others say it can damage your hands.

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#2024476 - 01/31/13 07:21 AM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
Fatih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
Guys, ty all.

Firstly, justpin, i don't see any links about sight reading on this page. Can you be more specific please?

Secondly, another question came up my mind. I see "Practicing Scales" everywhere. But what does that mean? I know some about scales ( whole and half tones ) but i don't get how to practice that.

Look on that website. http://www.true-piano-lessons.com/c-minor-scales.html I try to understand but i get nothing. Scales is very confusing for me.

Please don't tell me that i need the help of my teacher. I want your help right now.

Note: ZoeCalgary, i am trying to get those books. TY .

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#2024479 - 01/31/13 07:40 AM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
Fatih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
Guys i read some on a website and i got what scales are a little bit. But look at exercises here : http://www.pianoscales.org/exercises.html

E major scale should have lots of sharps, but where are they in the exercise???

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#2024484 - 01/31/13 08:00 AM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2465
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Originally Posted By: Fatih
Guys i read some on a website and i got what scales are a little bit. But look at exercises here : http://www.pianoscales.org/exercises.html

E major scale should have lots of sharps, but where are they in the exercise???


I am not sure I understand your question. I saw 4 sharps on the E major scale: F sharp, G sharp, C sharp, and D sharp.
_________________________
Carl


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#2024554 - 01/31/13 10:23 AM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 696
Loc: Illinois
Quote:
E major scale should have lots of sharps, but where are they in the exercise???


Hi Fatih,
well not a lot, only 4#s in E Major
the sharps are in the key signature. You look at the key sig and must remember which are sharped. Also scales are arranged as whole step,whole step,half step, whole step,whole step, whole step, half step...if this helps you. smile
_________________________
Ragdoll

Never get directions from someone who hasn't been there.


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#2024557 - 01/31/13 10:27 AM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1949
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Fatih
Guys i read some on a website and i got what scales are a little bit. But look at exercises here : http://www.pianoscales.org/exercises.html

E major scale should have lots of sharps, but where are they in the exercise???



There are 4 notes that are sharped in the key of E. Which notes get sharps are shown at the very beginning of the diagram. Whichever notes are sharped there are sharped throughout the exercise.
_________________________
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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#2024630 - 01/31/13 12:28 PM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
Fatih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
Haha guys. Ty very much. I didn't know sharps were shown at the beginning smile. As i said, total beginner smile

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#2024689 - 01/31/13 02:45 PM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1827
Loc: south florida
faith,

A suggestion.

Pick one scale to work on at a time. Use the exact fingering given in the exercise example you showed and stick with it. By the way that is the right hand fingerings, you will need to find the left hand fingerings elsewhere. (they are both given here on a different page of the same site scales - notes and fingerings )

Start with one hand at first and play just one octave up and back down. After that feels comfortable and easy, do it for two octaves up and back down. Try to make every note equal in loudness and in time value. If you can, count or use a metronome set to a slow speed to stay at a steady rhythm. Try to play it musically and listen, listen, listen to the sound of the scale, its evenness and its steady beat.

Then try the same scale with the left hand starting one ocatve lower than you started with the right. Go through the same routine as above.

After you can play each hand alone with ease for two ocataves up and down, you can try to do it hands together for one octave.
Don't get frustrated. This is not simple and you will quickly see that it is easy to get mixed up in the fingering. Just go slowly and trust that a million players have been here before doing just what you are doing.

You are not going to do all of this in one session, at least not at first. I would limit it to no more than twenty minutes a day. Just take it as far as you can that day and then sleep on it overnight. Miracles happen overnight. Next day review what you did before and start in anew. There is no rush. There are 12 major and 12 minor scales.

Good luck.

Jim
_________________________
Nessun dorma - G.Puccini
Solfeggietto - CPE Bach
La Fille aux cheveux de lin-Debussy



Estonia L190 #7284





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#2024721 - 01/31/13 03:27 PM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
Fatih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
Jim, thank you very very much. This is exactly the kind of suggestion i needed to hear. Because when i don't get a detailed suggestion i am having tons of question marks. Now i get it. Ty smile . 1 more question about scales. Should i also work on harmonic and melodic minor scales or just regular ones?

Other than that what kind of exercises should i be doing Jim? As i said at the top, there are tons of other kinds of exercises but i don't even get why i should practice them. When you look at most basic finger exercises(that i mentioned at my first post) i don't know how long to practice them. You know i can play C E C D C F C G exercise real fast but when do i know that it is time to stop working on these basic exercises?

Ty, ty , ty smile

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#2024739 - 01/31/13 04:14 PM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1827
Loc: south florida
You are welcome, Faith. We all try to help each other around here and most of us have been in your shoes not too long ago.

Yes you can work in minor scales too. I like to work on one major scale for a full week, and then the next week work on what is known as the "relative minor" of the previous week's major scale. The relative minor is the minor scale that has the same key signiture as its major counterpart. Cmajor and Aminor share the same key signiture (no sharps or flats). G major shares the same key signiture (1 sharp) as its relative minor, E minor.

(a quick and dirty way to find the relative minor of any major key is to count backwards 3 half-steps. Three half steps back from C is A. Three half-steps back from G is E..... etc..)

I usually confine my minor scale work to the harmonic minor, which is the same as the natural minor with just a raised (which means sharped) "leading tone" which is the 7th note of the scale. So A minor scale becomes a,b,c,d,e,f,g#,a.

Other exercises? For my first two years my teacher had me do one exercise a week for the Dozen a Day series (try amazon and don't try to do a dozen a day!). But I wouldn't spend too much time on it... just 5 or ten minutes a day.

For a brand new beginner, 45 minutes or an hour a day with 20 on scales and exercises and the rest on two or three pieces (aka songs) that you work on for 10 minutes or so each. Its not about learning the song, its about getting experience with lots of music. Later as you increase your time at the bench there are other things you can add, but for a few years just some scales and a few exerercises plus lots of different pieces will keep most of us pretty busy. I would second Richard's thoughts on adding Thompson or something similar like Faber to your Alfred's. I'd also ask your teacher about all of this. He/she may have plans for your education that have not yet been revealed to you.


Edited by JimF (01/31/13 04:34 PM)
Edit Reason: to correct to harmonic minor, - thanks nice catch PS88
_________________________
Nessun dorma - G.Puccini
Solfeggietto - CPE Bach
La Fille aux cheveux de lin-Debussy



Estonia L190 #7284





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#2024742 - 01/31/13 04:19 PM Re: How much to practice? [Re: JimF]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3196
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: JimF
I usually confine my minor scale work to the melodic minor, which is the same as the natural minor with just a raised (which means sharped) "leading tone" which is the 7th note of the scale. So A minor scale becomes a,b,c,d,e,f,g#,a.

That's harmonic minor (not melodic minor), but I agree that if you're going to do just one, this is a fine one to do.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2024838 - 01/31/13 06:32 PM Re: How much to practice? [Re: Fatih]
Fatih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
Jim, thank you very much again. I guess i get everything you told me and your suggestion for me to mostly work on scales and pieces for now, comforted me truely.
I guess this is the rightest thing for me right now. Ty...

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#2024886 - 01/31/13 08:37 PM Re: How much to practice? [Re: JimF]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 696
Loc: Illinois
Quote:
I usually confine my minor scale work to the harmonic minor, which is the same as the natural minor with just a raised (which means sharped) "leading tone" which is the 7th note of the scale. So A minor scale becomes a,b,c,d,e,f,g#,a.


+1 on the harmonic scale suggestion. In the beginning study of piano I found it's the most used anyway.
_________________________
Ragdoll

Never get directions from someone who hasn't been there.


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