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#2061643 - 04/09/13 01:19 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Kreisler]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
....If there's one thing about virtuosi, it's that they'd rather practice than sit around thinking about what "virtuoso" means. smile

I didn't spend any time thinking about what it means -- I know what it means, and it's not this. ha

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#2061648 - 04/09/13 01:35 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Kreisler]
JoelW Online   content
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4829
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Ugh...every post these days seems to devolve into meta discussions and semantic sparring.

If there's one thing about virtuosi, it's that they'd rather practice than sit around thinking about what "virtuoso" means. smile


I agree with both of these statements

--

Guys, 'virtuoso' is not a word with room for interpretation. It's very specific.

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#2061650 - 04/09/13 01:43 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Kreisler]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Ugh...every post these days seems to devolve into meta discussions and semantic sparring.

If there's one thing about virtuosi, it's that they'd rather practice than sit around thinking about what "virtuoso" means. smile

It depends on what your definition of "is" is.. grin

Oh, and thank you for the other, longer post. Couldn't have agreed more (or said it any better).

I will add one thought (in the form of one of my favorite quotes) that I think thrums through your post, but you didn't explicitly mention:

"In order to be great, you must first be willing to give up being good."

This idea underlines everything Kreisler said. It's not just about practice, but practicing correctly. It's not about being able to play a piece, but about finding that nuance and perfecting it. It's not about being able to play "almost" perfectly even, or "almost" at the right dynamic, or getting it right "almost" every time. It's about taking what's good, breaking it down, finding what's wrong, fixing it, and putting it all back together again to create something better. Then, you repeat. Repeat. Repeat as many times as it takes until you get to something great. (And then, the next level is--there is still something greater to aspire to.)

In this endeavor, one must always seek to improve not only one's technical ability, but also one's ability to develop and grow. This is a lifelong pursuit of perfection, an undertaking in which the bad news is, you will most assuredly fall short (because true perfection cannot be achieved). And you MUST love the journey to reach that goal (because you will never actually reach the goal). Will you love every step you take? No. The one in the muck, or the twisted ankle, you will not enjoy. But those setbacks won't stop you from taking another step, and another, until you run out of days with which you can take steps (throw in the quote in my signature line here).

So, to that end, you have taken an appropriate first step -- asking questions. The next step is to get your technique "right". And what I mean by that is simply this: ask yourself two questions:

1. Do I experience pain when I play?
2. Am I playing the way I would like to be playing?

If #1 is a yes, stop what you're doing and seek expert advice immediately. You may cause more damage than you know. #1 aside, if #2 is a no, then there is an issue with your technique that is causing it. Technique is built upon movement, so if there is a technique issue, that really means there is a movement issue.

It is impossible to describe every single movement you need to make, but there are some basic ones (up, down, left, right, in, out, axial left/right sometimes called "rotation", and axial up/down), and a good teacher will be able to help there.

So, in terms of concept, put the "big picture" in your head, and then drill down into each vertical to find the gaps. Once you've found them, close them by any means available to you. smile
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#2061656 - 04/09/13 02:11 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
you have to work intelligently, obsessively, possibly as many four hours a day on just technical exercises (according to Sara Davis Buechner) or practice as many as 10-12 hours a day overall with a large percentage still on technique (various accounts of Liszt), and you have to be persistent

Originally Posted By: Calvin Coolidge
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.


Originally Posted By: Nicolakirwan
In my life... I've learned that oftentimes brilliance comes from being able to see things from a different angle and how to figure out how it all comes together rather than just memorizing, learning by rote, and regurgitating what one has absorbed. Real learning is about figuring out how something works and engaging it in a way that makes it all make sense to you--breaking things down until they "click". The ability to do this, I believe, is very much a part of that amorphous concept of "talent" or "giftedness".


Originally Posted By: Claude Frank
There is absolutely no substitute for slow practice. Let me embellish this by saying that, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, this slow practice should be very musical. There are very few instances in which slow mechanical practice is beneficial. Musical slow practice is the key


Originally Posted By: Dr. Clay Hyght
When it comes to training (and life in general for that matter), many people erroneously think that all you have to do to succeed is work hard. Unfortunately, this isn't true. You have to work intelligently.


Originally Posted By: John McDonald
The cause of confusion prevailing in your mind, that weakens your thoughts, is the false belief that there is a power or powers outside of yourself, greater than the power within you.


Originally Posted By: recent Teodor post
The years you spent playing the piano mean nothing at all. How many days were there in those years when you actually sat down and had a nice concentrated mindful practice? Not that many I bet just like it is with me. If you did practice correctly (includes me) for these years you'd be playing difficult repertoire right now and that "advanced" arrangement of a piece would be the easiest piece you've ever seen.

Have you seen some of those kids that play terribly difficult pieces at age 7-8? Some younger? Well they practiced a lot and they practiced correctly. Someone was there to guide them and show them the way then they liked it so much that they kept at it constantly every single day for a few years. There is nothing very special about them EXCEPT the remarkable dedication that have at such an early age. We on the other hand, as adult learners, have so many other things in our mind that we cannot afford to become really obsessed and dedicated. If you have to balance school, piano and a job and God knows what other responsibilities, it's not easy at all. This is why it's crucial we learn how to best use what little time we have to play the piano and work at it.

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#2061671 - 04/09/13 03:06 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Mr. Pickle, one of these days, I aspire to write something you quote in one of these posts. grin
_________________________
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#2061697 - 04/09/13 04:53 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
GeorgeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 635
This might not make any sense...

Practising slowly has no effect if you aren't "careful".

For me, practising slowly is like practising fast but in slow motion.
This might sound obvious but I will try to explain.
When you play a piece fast, you don't have time to make big movements for example: shifting hand positions and picking up fingers way too high.
So summing it up: you need to be aware of the speed you're going to play the piece at, so that you can be economical with your movements when practising slowly as that will make a difference when you play it up to speed.

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#2061763 - 04/09/13 08:53 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
pianoloverus Online   content
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I think many of the last 20 or so posts have all but forgotten about the need for a great teacher to explain/teach technique. Although the OP still hasn't even told us about his present level, my impressions is he may be a relative beginner on the piano, and that means there is tons for him to be taught about technique in order for any practice he does to be on the right kind of things as opposed to being highly inefficient or even a waste of time.

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#2061815 - 04/09/13 10:51 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
chopin_r_us Offline
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Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 959
Loc: UK
Start at age 4.

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#2061834 - 04/09/13 11:25 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: pianoloverus]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think many of the last 20 or so posts have all but forgotten about the need for a great teacher to explain/teach technique. Although the OP still hasn't even told us about his present level, my impressions is he may be a relative beginner on the piano, and that means there is tons for him to be taught about technique in order for any practice he does to be on the right kind of things as opposed to being highly inefficient or even a waste of time.

I don't think it's a requirement, but it certainly is a catalyst that acts both as an accelerant, and to vastly improve your chances of success.

PS, did you miss where I wrote this:
Quote:
It is impossible to describe every single movement you need to make, but there are some basic ones (up, down, left, right, in, out, axial left/right sometimes called "rotation", and axial up/down), and a good teacher will be able to help there.

grin
_________________________
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#2061856 - 04/09/13 11:56 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13802
Loc: Iowa City, IA
My take on the teacher issue:

I've met a lot of pianists in my life, and the number of expert pianists I've met who did not have regular instruction at some point in their lives is Zero.

A lot of amateurs seem to believe that they can get the same thing a teacher could give them from various sources on the internet - here, YouTube, whatever, but in 10 years of reading these forums, not once has a self-taught pianist posted a video of themselves demonstrating expert level well-rounded musicianship. Occasionally someone will have shoved the notes of some fairly difficult piece into their hands by brute force and repetition, but that's about it. (Not to minimize the feat - it's impressive to learn a bravura arrangement of Final Fantasy or whatever, but cramming one piece into your hands doesn't make you a pianist any more than my installing my own car battery and headlights makes me a mechanic.)
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#2061884 - 04/09/13 12:26 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2668
King Cole:

SPECIFIC answer here.

1 - First, play and video record your hands and feet (to see your use of the pedal) while playing the Piano I part (first 2 pages and the first few bars of page 3) of the following score in tempo. You MUST play it on an acoustic piano AND the piano MUST be a tuned/regulated piano. (good quality audio and video please)

http://imslp.org/wiki/Special:ImagefromIndex/01173

2 - Post this recorded video of yours here.

3 - I will watch your playing and then give you the SPECIFIC answer that will make you a VIRTUOSO.
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#2061890 - 04/09/13 12:38 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Cole: ^^ You might need to know Hakki a little bit to interpret that post properly. ^^ grin

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#2061906 - 04/09/13 12:57 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Derulux
I don't think it's a requirement, but it certainly is a catalyst that acts both as an accelerant, and to vastly improve your chances of success.

PS, did you miss where I wrote this:
Quote:
It is impossible to describe every single movement you need to make, but there are some basic ones (up, down, left, right, in, out, axial left/right sometimes called "rotation", and axial up/down), and a good teacher will be able to help there.

grin
I think that a good teacher goes beyond being a help. I think to develop virtuoso technique extensive technical instruction from the highest level teachers is virtually required and almost no pianist with great technique has achieved this without this extensive technical foundation through a teacher's instruction. The only great pianist of whom I'm aware who may have been almost completely self taught was Godowsky.

IMO one of the main reasons there were/are so many Russian pianists with supreme technique is that many or most of these pianists began at a very early age being drilled by the best teachers in the systematic Russian school of playing.



Edited by pianoloverus (04/09/13 02:31 PM)

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#2061967 - 04/09/13 02:25 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Kreisler]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2151
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
My take on the teacher issue:

I've met a lot of pianists in my life, and the number of expert pianists I've met who did not have regular instruction at some point in their lives is Zero.

A lot of amateurs seem to believe that they can get the same thing a teacher could give them from various sources on the internet - here, YouTube, whatever, but in 10 years of reading these forums, not once has a self-taught pianist posted a video of themselves demonstrating expert level well-rounded musicianship. Occasionally someone will have shoved the notes of some fairly difficult piece into their hands by brute force and repetition, but that's about it. (Not to minimize the feat - it's impressive to learn a bravura arrangement of Final Fantasy or whatever, but cramming one piece into your hands doesn't make you a pianist any more than my installing my own car battery and headlights makes me a mechanic.)

Which is why I'm so desperately in need a teacher! It's very difficult to improve once on is on their own...
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#2062120 - 04/09/13 08:15 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
RachelEDNC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 81
Originally Posted By: King Cole
However, I have decided to pursue my favorite instrument about 5 months ago as I am taking lessons from a former white house pianist so with all this I am not a musical novice. I've played with symphonic orchestras, jazz bands, solos and done accompaniments etc.


Have you played piano with orchestras, etc? Or are you referring to trumpet?

I am asking to try and get more of an idea of your level. I am guessing trumpet, since you say you have played piano for about 5 months. More on that later...

Your teacher, is he/she a classically trained pianist? Just because someone has played in the White House does not mean they are a good teacher. I would try and find a classically trained teacher who can guide you. I have seen many jazz/popular pianists who know nothing about technique. They can get around the notes pretty well, but that won't get you to where you want to be. When looking for a teacher, find someone who can tell you how to correct what you are doing wrong. They can tell you the movement that is involved in this, and a few different ways to practice to achieve that movement. If a potential teacher says to you, play it like this and just demonstrates with no further guidance- RUN!

Originally Posted By: King Cole
What are the most effective ways to obtain virtuoso technique???


This depends on the person. (And why I was asking about your level at piano.) If you have played trumpet for even decades, you are still probably only comfortable reading one clef at a time. You need to be doing lots of easier reading pieces to build up your ability to read two clefs at once. It is no use to slave away at one Chopin etude and not be able to apply those techniques to anything else. (This is just repeating what many other posters have said already).

IMO, you need to work on simultaneously building up your technique and reading ability. Get an appropriate method book and start going through it for reading. For technique, do scales/arpeggios. I hate to beat a dead horse, but this is where a knowledgeable teacher comes into play. Someone needs to show you what a thumb pass is, and other basic technical things. Know that one book of technical exercises will not suffice to cover the reading. A lot of exercises like Hanon will not challenge your reading ability that much. They are very patterned and not geared towards helping you become a better reader. On the other hand, many technical exercises that are meant to be more musical (Czerny 821 for example) would be too difficult for you to read to gain any significant technical benefits. This goes back to needing a method book with appropriate reading pieces.

Originally Posted By: King Cole
What is the most efficient way to improve via practice time?

I think a lot of the things you mentioned in your examples you gave for how to achieve virtuosic technique are all correct, and this is maybe why you are confused on what to do. You need slow practice. You need fast practice (but more slow, haha). You need some metronome practice. You need lots of repetitions. You need scales, you need hands alone/together. You need lots of repertoire. There is not an quick fix or straight-forward way to getting to be a virtuoso. You have heard several different paths because it is a combination of all these things that will help you. If you could sit down and play through Hanon from mind numbingly slow to fast and be a virtuoso- well a virtuoso wouldn't be that special because many more pianists would have reached that goal.

As to how long this would take? I don't know. I put in 6 hour days at least a few days out of the week (still practicing multiple hours on those other days) and have been doing so for a few years. I am not a virtuoso. It is dependent on the person. How long would it take for you to be proud of your accomplishments? Work your butt off for a month and I bet you will be happy and motivated to do it for another month...and another, and another.





Edited by RachelEDNC (04/09/13 08:20 PM)

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#2062277 - 04/10/13 05:10 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Kuanpiano]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7896
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
It's very difficult to improve once one is on their own...


I'm a bit ambivalent about that, since I like to imagine that I have improved on my own. Not that it's been exactly easy, and not that it might not have gone faster and better with a teacher, but still, I sense some real improvement.

And too, it makes a big difference where one is to begin with. There were so many obvious areas of improvement for me that it was a relatively easy matter of just choosing something and getting to work on it. I knew what was needed, and I had a pretty good idea of how to proceed.

And having PW as a sort of backdrop has helped - a lot of good ideas get bandied about, some of which I have applied directly in my practice. Sometimes it is just getting reinforcement of things I already know, but maybe haven't used as much as I could...practicing in rhythms, for example.

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#2062279 - 04/10/13 05:18 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5277
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I'm a bit ambivalent about that, since I like to imagine that I have improved on my own. Not that it's been exactly easy, and not that it might not have gone faster and better with a teacher, but still, I sense some real improvement.

Deadlines I've found are a great motivator.
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#2062436 - 04/10/13 03:30 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: JoelW]
hotcat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 105
Originally Posted By: JoelW
[quote=pianoloverus]To become a virtuoso, one must be born with the necessary talent. Without this talent, no matter how dedicated, it is impossible to achieve such status.


Is there any way of knowing if one has the requisite talent to become a virtuoso? Or does one just forge ahead? I've wondered this a lot. I know that I've got some talent, and I work really hard, and I steadily improve. But at some point will my talent "run out"? Will I just hit a pleateau someday and stop getting any better? I hope not...

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#2062458 - 04/10/13 04:55 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Kreisler]
King Cole Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Louisiana
I must say a lot of people want to know what level I am and as I said I've started 5 months ago so the skill level should be obvious and I'm not going to post any video of me just yet. Compared to my trumpet skills I feel like a clumsy kid on the keys and yes RachelEDNC I had trouble reading bass clef for a couple months but now only the really high and low notes take more than milliseconds to interpret thanks to some iphone apps and drills.

I have a teacher and he's an accomplished pianist. He hasn't taught much about body/finger movements some thumb under etc but he's persistent in that there is no perfect fingering and alluded to the fact that Chopin used his third finger like his thumb (This he learned when he studied at that Chopin institute place where he played from several of his original manuscripts). He stresses creativity and expression. He says he doesn't want me to play like him and that I have to find my own voice. He also says he hates judging these days because they are lessening the role of expression in grading and focusing more on technique. I was stunned but after some time I saw its merits of what he ways saying. He even played Chopin's op.9 no.2 regular than he played it with waves and waves of clever arpeggios, pauses etc., giving a overwhelming grandiose sound, it was stunning. I digress.

I agree with many of you in that you need a teacher especially one that'll push you and keep you accountable.

Originally Posted By: Kreisler

Occasionally someone will have shoved the notes of some fairly difficult piece into their hands by brute force and repetition, but that's about it. (Not to minimize the feat - it's impressive to learn a bravura arrangement of Final Fantasy or whatever, but cramming one piece into your hands doesn't make you a pianist any more than my installing my own car battery and headlights makes me a mechanic.)


Persistence seems to be common theme.

Kreisler I must say you have been the most insightful especially in that previous post. This last comment does raise questions however. If "..brute force and repetition" has proven to work with an amateur is that not the recipe to become a "pianist"? And when does one consider himself/herself a pianist?

Hopefully more posts will keeping coming in but a revelation I'm having is that a virtuoso is someone that can do it all and to do it all you have to practice it all. So what are those skills that one should be proficient in? Obviously sight-reading but what about improvisation? What about ability to perform new techniques? For instance if I say arpeggiate the F dim 7 chord and E major (octave) chord at the same time should they be able to do it at a blistering speed at first try?

It seems that this guy can probably do it all... lol. How long does it take to get this good? <-- Not a serious question
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#2062505 - 04/10/13 06:13 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: King Cole
I have a teacher and he's an accomplished pianist. He hasn't taught much about body/finger movements some thumb under etc but he's persistent in that there is no perfect fingering and alluded to the fact that Chopin used his third finger like his thumb (This he learned when he studied at that Chopin institute place where he played from several of his original manuscripts). He stresses creativity and expression.
You want to learn technique at a high level and it seems like your teacher doesn't give you much in that area.
Originally Posted By: King Cole
Kreisler I must say you have been the most insightful especially in that previous post. This last comment does raise questions however. If "..brute force and repetition" has proven to work with an amateur is that not the recipe to become a "pianist"? And when does one consider himself/herself a pianist?
I think you misundertood Kreisler's post.

He said brute force and repetition might work on one piece. (And the piece he mentioned was really far from what most would call a virtuoso level.) Most would say that in order to play more than one or a few difficult pieces within a normal lifespan one has to develop an overall virtuoso technique. Unless I misunderstood Kreisler's post he said that it take more than repetition and persistence. You need to find an excellent teacher.

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#2062518 - 04/10/13 06:42 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: hotcat]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: hotcat
Originally Posted By: JoelW
[quote=pianoloverus]To become a virtuoso, one must be born with the necessary talent. Without this talent, no matter how dedicated, it is impossible to achieve such status.


Is there any way of knowing if one has the requisite talent to become a virtuoso? Or does one just forge ahead? I've wondered this a lot. I know that I've got some talent, and I work really hard, and I steadily improve. But at some point will my talent "run out"? Will I just hit a pleateau someday and stop getting any better? I hope not...

"Talent" is the byproduct of "work". The harder you work, the greater "talent" you will have.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2062522 - 04/10/13 06:55 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4829
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Derulux

"Talent" is the byproduct of "work". The harder you work, the greater "talent" you will have.


I'm sorry but this is horrendously false. You're confusing talent with skill. Talent is simply the natural ability to do something. Skill is the product of talent + hard work.

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#2062529 - 04/10/13 07:15 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: hotcat
Originally Posted By: JoelW
[quote=pianoloverus]To become a virtuoso, one must be born with the necessary talent. Without this talent, no matter how dedicated, it is impossible to achieve such status.


Is there any way of knowing if one has the requisite talent to become a virtuoso? Or does one just forge ahead? I've wondered this a lot. I know that I've got some talent, and I work really hard, and I steadily improve. But at some point will my talent "run out"? Will I just hit a pleateau someday and stop getting any better? I hope not...

"Talent" is the byproduct of "work". The harder you work, the greater "talent" you will have.
I think talent is almost exclusively used to mean ability that is innate and independent of work. I think just checking in a dictionary will verify this.

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#2062557 - 04/10/13 08:22 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Derulux

"Talent" is the byproduct of "work". The harder you work, the greater "talent" you will have.
I'm sorry but this is horrendously false. You're confusing talent with skill. Talent is simply the natural ability to do something. Skill is the product of talent + hard work.

Yes.

And sometimes there's even a certain level of skill without talent. grin

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think talent is almost exclusively used to mean ability that is innate and independent of work. I think just checking in a dictionary will verify this.

Yes.

IMO a lot of this discussion isn't caring about definitions and meanings. That's OK, as long as people don't care about definitions and meanings. bah

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#2062559 - 04/10/13 08:27 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: pianoloverus]
King Cole Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

You want to learn technique at a high level and it seems like your teacher doesn't give you much in that area.


Now this is my first piano teacher so I can't measure him against anyone else, but he seems like a great teacher who is more concerned with helping me find the genius that lies within me and he seems to have a plethora of experience in teaching others although I think a lot of his other students are much more advanced than me (for the time being). Would a teacher really go through every single motion of the finger, forearm and shoulder? What does it mean to teach technique other than the obvious stuff?

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think you misundertood Kreisler's post.

He said brute force and repetition might work on one piece. (And the piece he mentioned was really far from what most would call a virtuoso level.) Most would say that in order to play more than one or a few difficult pieces within a normal lifespan one has to develop an overall virtuoso technique. Unless I misunderstood Kreisler's post he said that it take more than repetition and persistence. You need to find an excellent teacher.


So repetition and persistence wouldn't work for someone who used it successfully on one piece already? It seems to me if that person in question continued that trend with subsequent pieces they would become more and more proficient.

But Pianoloverus since it seems like you are a seasoned veteran, if you had a student just starting out who practiced 4 hours a day what would their ideal practice breakdown look like knowing everything that you know now because I understand that a teacher is essential to success but most of the time a student is not with his or her teacher. Indeed most of the time that student is alone with the piano!
_________________________
"What is genius? To aspire to a lofty aim and to will the means to that aim" -Nietzsche

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#2062580 - 04/10/13 08:58 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
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If you want to get a big technique you should get a teacher who will teach you technique from the beginning. There is technique involved in playing even the simplest pieces or even a single note. Not all teachers will do this, and it's probably not appropriate for every student but it's what you want. I think the best chance of developing a big technique is by studying with a teacher who explains the correct movements of the fingers, wrist, and arms from the beginning.

If you watch most of the best pianists I think one can see there are basic movements that most of them do despite any differences in their technical approaches. I also think it's obvious that most of these pianists were trained from an early age how to do these movements.

For example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InXYHOLEbSE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eL8rPM3Kl2w


Edited by pianoloverus (04/10/13 09:16 PM)

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#2062597 - 04/10/13 09:45 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: pianoloverus]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: hotcat
Originally Posted By: JoelW
[quote=pianoloverus]To become a virtuoso, one must be born with the necessary talent. Without this talent, no matter how dedicated, it is impossible to achieve such status.


Is there any way of knowing if one has the requisite talent to become a virtuoso? Or does one just forge ahead? I've wondered this a lot. I know that I've got some talent, and I work really hard, and I steadily improve. But at some point will my talent "run out"? Will I just hit a pleateau someday and stop getting any better? I hope not...

"Talent" is the byproduct of "work". The harder you work, the greater "talent" you will have.
I think talent is almost exclusively used to mean ability that is innate and independent of work. I think just checking in a dictionary will verify this.

I'm using your post, but in response to both you and Joel:

Find me someone who has all the talent in the world, but has never touched a piano, and then have that person play the Rach 3 note-perfect in time with a proper orchestra, and then I will agree that hard work has nothing to do with it. wink

To me, "talent" is an overused term by those who, by choice or by accident, do not work hard enough or correctly enough to get where it is they want to go.

I'm going to use a quote Bobpickle posted up a few days ago about a completely different subject, but ironically enough, I think it fits here:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”
--Calvin Coolidge

I agree with the former president. Unless you're missing a hand, in which case, playing with two hands is out of your realm of possibility, there are only two ways to get where you want to go (and/or to reach the pinnacle of your endeavor): hard work and persistence.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2062631 - 04/10/13 10:56 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4829
Loc: USA
Quote:
To me, "talent" is an overused term by those who, by choice or by accident, do not work hard enough or correctly enough to get where it is they want to go.


But it's not a "to me" kind of word. It's objective with a specific meaning.

Quote:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”


Nobody is arguing that if you have talent, you don't need to work hard. That's obviously not true. One's level of talent is their capacity for potential skill. If someone isn't born with the necessary talent for become a world-class virtuoso, no amount of blood, sweat and tears will change that.

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#2062640 - 04/10/13 11:10 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: JoelW]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Derulux
To me, "talent" is an overused term by those who, by choice or by accident, do not work hard enough or correctly enough to get where it is they want to go.


But it's not a "to me" kind of word. It's objective with a specific meaning.

But it isn't, really. I really hate getting into semantics, but if you look up "talent" in the dictionary (which pianoloverus seemed to think would be necessary, so I did it), you get everything from, "a capacity for achievement or success," to "natural ability".

I argue that there is no such thing as "natural ability". There is only "ability". That is, you are capable of doing what you have already done. No one sits down at the piano and, through sheer natural talent, plays Liszt on day one. You learn, you work hard, then you do well.

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Derulux
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”


Nobody is arguing that if you have talent, you don't need to work hard. That's obviously not true. One's level of talent is their capacity for potential skill. If someone isn't born with the necessary talent for become a world-class virtuoso, no amount of blood, sweat and tears will change that.

I'm not sure if this is in response to the Coolidge quote or not. If it is, I'm not sure you followed what Coolidge was saying. He is saying that "talent" and "genius" are meaningless. Only hard work and persistence will achieve results.

So, in order to debunk the theory, we must find some people who are highly successful, but have no talent. The trouble is, success is so often defined by and closely associated with talent, that we see successful people as talented in their field, and hence cannot find this separation. Why? Because there is absolutely no measure of talent in existence. We can't measure potential. It's not possible. We can only measure results. So, it is impossible to separate "talent" from "results".

We can, however, find plenty of "talented" people who never made it, who were never successful, who could have done anything but didn't. So, there, we can prove that "talent" is certainly not nearly as important as hard work and persistence. Can we completely deny it? No, for the reasons I pointed out earlier.

But if you're looking for a way to acquire a skill set, you're much better off counting on hard work and persistence--because they pay off.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2062655 - 04/10/13 11:42 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Why has no one here spoken about natural musical ability? There is no point in playing the piano if you have no innate musicality. Playing notes fast in a virtuosic manner is just a matter of practice, lots of it. But why bother, if your playing sounds like [censored] because it is mechanical. Talent, in the case of a person attempting to be a musician, is inborn. You either have it, or you don't. No amount of persistence, hard work, and years of practice will make a silk purse out of a cow's ear. You may become a virtuoso piano player, but you will never be a pianist.

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