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#2088907 - 05/25/13 10:59 PM How long do you practise daily
onestrokeartist Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/23/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Canada
I had about 3 years of being taught on a piano by a piano teacher years ago and now I have no piano, but a 77 key Yamaha keyboard. So my question is, how long should I practise daily? And do you recommend just playing songs or warming up with scales also? Or what do you recommend?

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#2088957 - 05/26/13 12:03 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
Sand Tiger Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 993
Loc: Southern California
Welcome to the forum Onestrokeartist.

I practice about an hour a day. I use a time allocation suggested in The Musician's Way book. I divide my time as follows 20/20/20/40:

20% sight reading, ear training, theory
20% technique: scales, arpeggios, passage work

20% old pieces, maintenance on pieces I know
40% learning and/or writing new pieces

The allocations are approximate totals for the week or the month. I do two or three short sessions that add up to an hour for the day. I might focus on one area for any given short session.

Schedule and other responsibilities are obviously huge factors. I have chronic repetitive stress issues from years of computer, flute and whistle, so more than an hour per day causes discomfort and eventually pain, so that is my limit even if my schedule might permit more.

P.S. If Sam S is reading this, it is almost time for the ABF 2013 survey. For those that don't know what I am talking about, here is a link to the 2012 survey. In the last survey, an hour to two hours got the bulk of the responses.
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#2088973 - 05/26/13 01:09 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1406
Loc: Australia
Welcome Onestokeartist, and the 2012 survey Sand Tiger was a very interesting read. I was surprised at the amount of people no currently taking lessons.

To Onestokeartist's question I cannot recommend anything being too much of a beginner (six months now). I can say this though, I really enjoy learning and playing the piano and with the luxury of time can spend quite a long time on my piano daily. I also spend quite a bit of time in research, (code for surfing the net lol). It is hard to say how much because I take it in spells. But I think Sand Tiger is correct in the break up one should be using. Scales and arpeggios cannot be underestimated, for the beginner they are the key to improvement now and later on. New pieces take a frustratingly amount of time to learn and I may be guilty of spending too much time on a piece and overworking it. I think generally I spend 2 to 4 hrs per day on the piano but could probably achieve the same result with less but more focused practice time.

As a very early beginner I have quite weak fingers. I do try to make sure I spend time each day working on this alone with appropriate exercises and over the last few months have been pleased with the results.
_________________________
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#2088981 - 05/26/13 01:45 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8415
Loc: Georgia, USA
Quote:
How long do you practise daily

It varies from day to day; today I practised 45 minutes, in three 15 minute increments (more or less).

I start out with some scales/arpeggios and gravitate to my favorite tunes/songs/boogie-woogie. smile

Today, I particularly enjoyed playing and singing "Just a little talk with Jesus". smile

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2088990 - 05/26/13 02:49 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
onestrokeartist, I have read your post, here:

I had about 3 years of being taught on a piano by a piano teacher years ago and now I have no piano, but a 77 key Yamaha keyboard. So my question is, how long should I practise daily? And do you recommend just playing songs or warming up with scales also? Or what do you recommend?

__________________________________________________

I am a beginner piano player. I started to play about a year to a year and a half ago. I had played a sax for a few years as a beginner with an excellent teacher many years ago.

I worked through a beginner piano book to be able to read and play the bass clef because playing the sax I could read the treble clef. That took about six months and then I realized I really liked learning and playing the piano so I started working through the John Thompson method book. It is a through piano method. So I have worked up to 3/4 of book 1 and there are 5 books in all, so it will take me many years to complete the books. Each book is about equal to about a year of piano. So that is my objective. From there I hope to begin learning classical piano. So I have limited myself to learning to play and read the music. I am also leaning the scales but only in the context of what has been presented within the John Thompson method course.

I read and play all the music I have ever learned since I started piano which is about 75 pieces of simply music.

The John Thompson method is very thorough so there is lots to learn and learn thoroughly. It usually takes me a day or two of practice to learn a piece in the John Thompson book of learn to read the measures of the new piece very, very slowly playing without mistakes and then it takes me many, many, many, months of playing the pieces everyday very slowly until I can play the piece smoothly and without errors, of course. Then I review that piece and all the other pieces of about 75 pieces that I learned playing them as well as I can play them. That is pretty much what I do. If I could afford a teacher I would have one but so far working through the method book has been just fine. As you know learning to play the piano is a very, very, very slow process but a very rewarding one.



Edited by Michael_99 (05/26/13 02:58 AM)

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#2089008 - 05/26/13 04:26 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
It varies....

For several months work was short and I was working about 15 hours a week, add in the fact that I was so broke I had a super slow internet connection it got to about 5+ hours a day.

Now work is a bit more stable, I have fibre internet and have to study other things as well. It is about 90 minutes per day balanced between small amounts of hanon, scales, and three new pieces a week (one rock hard one, a medium one and an easy one)

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#2089009 - 05/26/13 04:33 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Today I practiced zero; sad but true. Wanted to all day long but never got to it. frown
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2089011 - 05/26/13 04:39 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3454
Loc: Northern England.
These days I`m attempting to re rn all the stff I used to play. Classics and modern. Dammit, it`s like learning them from scratch . . .so I`m doing the better stuff first!
Like painting the Forth Bridge . . .
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#2089012 - 05/26/13 04:43 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
Allard Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 326
Loc: Netherlands
Piano is a hobby, so I practice as long as I want; no more, no less. That's one and a half hours on average, with as little as 5 or 10 minutes of pure play if I don't feel like practising.
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#2089014 - 05/26/13 04:52 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: peterws]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
peterws, I have read your post, here:

These days I`m attempting to re rn all the stff I used to play. Classics and modern. Dammit, it`s like learning them from scratch . . .so I`m doing the better stuff first!
Like painting the Forth Bridge . .

_________________________________________

And that is why, peterws, I review and review everything I have ever learned in the 1 1/2 yrs of playing, 70 tunes, because if I let it go, I have to start all over again.

cheers,

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#2089023 - 05/26/13 05:33 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: Michael_99]
niluh01 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/02/13
Posts: 16
I play most days two hours. But it also depends how I feel. At 'good' days I am able two play three to four hours. When I had no lessons, I used my time mostly playing pieces that I knew or composing/ improvising. Now that I am taking lesson, all my time is taken practicing the pieces I currently am learning and playing scales and appreggios.
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#2089039 - 05/26/13 06:54 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11439
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
My practice varies. I usually get in anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours depending on what my schedule is. I generally work in short segments of usually 15 minutes. I try to focus on one piece or one section during that time, and then when the time is up I move to a different issue in a different piece. This works pretty well for me, and sometimes I wil return to a piece later if I have time.

As far as playing old stuff, I don't bother with that, because I know if I played it once I could certainly learn it again if I had to. I have pretty good retention of music I learned really well, but any piece I have let go would require reworking to bring it back to a decent level. That's just the nature of things. There's so much great music out there that I'm always happy moving forward.

edited to add: I think the best thing as a beginner is to learn how to practice rather than how long. Practicing is not about running straight through the piece several times - although that is something you may do with the goal of memorizing or preparing for a performance. Practicing should always have specific tasks you are wishing to accomplish: Learn measure 5, figure out fingering for that scale passage in m.20-21, get the transition between the two main themes to be smoother, etc. Task-based practicing rather than simply repetition keeps the mind engaged and is much more efficient use of your time at the piano and will get you to playing beter quicker.


Edited by Morodiene (05/26/13 06:57 AM)
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#2089088 - 05/26/13 09:37 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: Morodiene]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I think the best thing as a beginner is to learn how to practice rather than how long.


This is the key to success. Learning how to practice is esssential.

As for the OP's question,I divide practicing into two basic sections.

The first is technique development. Playing the piano is at a basic level an athletic activity...pianists are athletes with their hands.

So I use scales, arpreggios, Hanon, Joseffy, and Czerny to first warm up, and second, to develop specific skills, or overcome specific problems in my technique.

So that part is mostly a physical activity.

The second part of practicing is learning new music, which is partially physical, but to me mostly a mental memory endeavor. So it requires a different approach.

I can do scales and exercises for quite a long time, because it is not specifically learning something new. But learning a new piece, figuring out the fingering, etc, is more memory specific, and I have to pace my learning to fit my memory intake capacity.

_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#2089101 - 05/26/13 10:17 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2424
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
If you can't work with a teacher right now, do what Morodiene said.
If you can work with a teacher, do what your teacher says.

Why would it really matter how much anyone else practices?
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2089116 - 05/26/13 10:44 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: Morodiene]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Morodiene, I have read your post, here:

My practice varies. I usually get in anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours depending on what my schedule is. I generally work in short segments of usually 15 minutes. I try to focus on one piece or one section during that time, and then when the time is up I move to a different issue in a different piece. This works pretty well for me, and sometimes I wil return to a piece later if I have time.

As far as playing old stuff, I don't bother with that, because I know if I played it once I could certainly learn it again if I had to. I have pretty good retention of music I learned really well, but any piece I have let go would require reworking to bring it back to a decent level. That's just the nature of things. There's so much great music out there that I'm always happy moving forward.

edited to add: I think the best thing as a beginner is to learn how to practice rather than how long. Practicing is not about running straight through the piece several times - although that is something you may do with the goal of memorizing or preparing for a performance. Practicing should always have specific tasks you are wishing to accomplish: Learn measure 5, figure out fingering for that scale passage in m.20-21, get the transition between the two main themes to be smoother, etc. Task-based practicing rather than simply repetition keeps the mind engaged and is much more efficient use of your time at the piano and will get you to playing beter quicker.


________________________________________________

Nice post, Morodiene.

As far as playing old stuff, I play it because it is a nice way to play and relax.

But you comment is a good one when you say:

Practicing should always have specific tasks you are wishing to accomplish: Learn measure 5, figure out fingering for that scale passage in m.20-21, get the transition between the two main themes to be smoother, etc.

Task-based practicing rather than simply repetition keeps the mind engaged and is much more efficient use of your time at the piano and will get you to playing better quicker.

It is good advice and I will make the change. Up until now I have had limited energy but am in a better position to move forward because
I can read and play new stuff slowly but, as you say, being specific task oriented means I will only play the the new piece once and then only repeat those parts/measures that are NOT easy to play or are problematic.

I think not having a teacher because I can't afford it, that I was reluctant to let go and now I see it in a totally different light.

And the other thing is if I can play a piece without mistakes time and time again, that should signal me to move on. Thanks.


Edited by Michael_99 (05/26/13 10:53 AM)

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#2089319 - 05/26/13 05:09 PM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
onestrokeartist Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/23/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Canada
Thanks for the replies everyone. I was also trying to establish if I actually needed to practise scales or if I should just try to play new songs. However, you have told me that scales are a good practice warm-up exercise, so I will always start with the scales warmup. Thanks again.

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#2089335 - 05/26/13 05:23 PM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
ElleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 248
Loc: NJ, USA
On my days off I practice maybe 2-3 hours. But during work days, I try to practice at night before I go to bed for 30mins to an hour. I use songs I already know how to play as a warm up before I get into pieces I'm actually learning.
_________________________
Adult beginner since January 2013. My only regret is that I didn't learn sooner.

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#2089393 - 05/26/13 06:26 PM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: onestrokeartist
I had about 3 years of being taught on a piano by a piano teacher years ago and now I have no piano, but a 77 key Yamaha keyboard. So my question is, how long should I practise daily? And do you recommend just playing songs or warming up with scales also? Or what do you recommend?

This is always a tricky question. You need to practice as much as you need to practice to get what you want out of the keyboard. Some people may be able to do this in 15 minutes. Others, four hours. Some may enjoy basic pieces. Others may want to tackle the most advanced repertoire. Same thing for sound -- some people don't mind missed notes or flubs, others hate it. So, it really depends on you and your goals.

These days, I'm lucky if I can average 5 minutes a day. But that translates into an hour or so about once a week. While I think I still have some decent chops, if I were trying to be a concert pianist, this would not be sufficient.

Conversely, if I were just trying to enjoy myself, 4-6 hours a day might be overkill.

So, it really depends on you.
_________________________
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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#2089572 - 05/26/13 10:36 PM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
mattroilanh_tt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 66
I actually don’t find the difference between practice 1 hour a day or 3-4 hours a day. The efficient of practicing diminishes when I increase the practice hours.

I think practicing everyday is more important than how long we practice a day.
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#2089656 - 05/27/13 12:52 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: mattroilanh_tt]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: mattroilanh_tt
I actually don’t find the difference between practice 1 hour a day or 3-4 hours a day. The efficient of practicing diminishes when I increase the practice hours.

I think practicing everyday is more important than how long we practice a day.



You're right on one count - daily practice is very important and an hour a day, every day is better and several hours once a week, but if you advance far enough though you'll find that hour a day is barely sufficient to keep up your repertoire.
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Slow down and do it right.

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#2089678 - 05/27/13 02:16 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: earlofmar]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 944
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: earlofmar
I think generally I spend 2 to 4 hrs per day on the piano...


Originally Posted By: ElleC
On my days off I practice maybe 2-3 hours...


Okay now I feel (just) a bit better! wink

I put in between half an hour to 1 hour daily last year, about 6 days a week, but now I'm doing about 1 hour or an hour an a half, maybe 2 when I really feel like it. I usually sit at the piano for 20-30 minutes at the time, rarely more than that. I think breaks are very useful, but then I work at home so I can manage my time as I like. I tend to be quite conservative because my hands get sore and numb quickly, not primarily because of the piano but due to typing and yard work.
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#2089711 - 05/27/13 05:17 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California

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#2089815 - 05/27/13 11:04 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
Palmpirate Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/13
Posts: 217
Loc: B.C.Canada
i come from a history of science and then the legal and accounting world.I suppose i'm naturally very analytical. AS a kid i was allowed 20 misn a day along with my 3 other sisters - guess parents could only take so much.... then as a teen because i was more advanced and the others gave up , i got an hour. that was mostly just repetitive work. Now as an adult, I am reaping the hard harvest of ingrained errors. Now, retired, I have as much time as I want and it works out at 30 - 45- mins concentration before a break, and then another session, and another session. I love it.
I never allow myself to make mistakes twice. I just stop. Look at the score, figure out what went wrong, usually a missed accidental, or a wrong fingering that led me astray, and very very slowly go through again. then I expand the measures until it flows again and i hit my next problem. but, if I keep it slower than performance level I don't make mistakes very often, and - it's true- you do speed up over time....
I allow myself a personal 'performance ' every now and again and play through the flubs. Very rewarding, and frustrating, but I'm learning to be more relaxed about it. So far I've only ever played for my other half who is not a musician himself and very easily impressed!
It feels good when you actually can impress yourself!
Keep practicing, it's worth it!
_________________________

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#2089816 - 05/27/13 11:05 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5450
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Bobpickle - thanks for the bulletproofmusician link. Lots of good information.

Last year I "averaged" an hour and a half a day, but the "average" was key. And like others here, that was rarely, if ever, all in one sitting. 3/4 hr is really kind of a max for me at one time, and 30 minutes is more likely. And at that, 15 minutes at a time on any one thing. I do take days off for various reasons - primarily being out of town, but sometimes just because it's more satisfying to, say, finally mop the kitchen floor and feel like I'm not in a pig pen!

This year I have a goal of "averaging" 2 hours a day. But I have yet to do so.

That's because I really do try to do "focused" practising, and I've found that it's difficult for me to do that for 2 hours, even when it's spread out. The "focus" part, while exhilerating, takes a lot of energy.

I can work at a client's for 6 hours in a day, but much of that really isn't focused - I can just do that job, apparently sometimes in my sleep laugh - and that's not the way I want to practice piano.

So, I ask myself, what can I do to be able to maintain that productive "focus" longer?

Some of it, I think, is just mental habit. There hasn't been anything in a long time that I've done that has required that, so getting used to it and getting my "brain muscles" in shape just takes some intention and practice.

I also think being in better physical shape helps, so eating right (another habit to develop), better posture and physical habits (I walk a lot, which helps, but other body awareness, range of motion, intricate motion - more dance again smile - I think helps) makes more energy available, both physical and mental.

Education about better/different techniques for practicing and executing piano playing I think helps - for efficiency, for not getting bored, and for making the focus fun and exciting and productive, I think is helpful. Yea Piano World!

Playing in a band and for seniors helps me - because it's so much fun to interact with other musicians, because I play a wider range of music, and because interacting with dancers is a huge energy burst smile and a whole 'nother burst of focus smile And it gives practice a meaning in addition to the intrinsic value of self-produced music.

So I'm hoping to creep up on that 2 hours a day average smile But I don't beat myself over the head if I don't make it, and I'm just glad the time I do have is getting more rewarding.

And sometimes I just sit down and play for the music and the way it fills me, and the fun it is.

Cathy
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#2089846 - 05/27/13 12:15 PM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: rocket88]
Carbonblob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 260
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca.
Hey Rocket,

I thought I played boogie! Your playing is awesome! Sorry, didn't mean to highjack the thread but your profile won't allow private email. I would be interested to know what boogie books you like. I'm having a hard time finding decent books other than the top sellers on Amazon. Ok, back to the thread......

One,

I guess I'm like another poster who responded, I play as long as I like. I play at least 2 hours a day and sometimes I'll easily play 10+ a day on weekends. I would rather play than watch TV. I break up my time between new and old music. As for scales and the like, I got a CD from "Pianowithwillie.com" called something like "Warm up" exercises. It's a lot of fun as it stresses independence and uses cool sounds like quartals. A huge variety of practice techniques keeps it interesting. I also use passages from Chopin works to sharpen up my technical skills. I'm a hobbiest so please don't think all of this playing actually works! I just have fun......blob
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#2089859 - 05/27/13 12:38 PM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: Carbonblob]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: Carbonblob
Hey Rocket,

I thought I played boogie! Your playing is awesome! Sorry, didn't mean to highjack the thread but your profile won't allow private email. I would be interested to know what boogie books you like. I'm having a hard time finding decent books other than the top sellers on Amazon. Ok, back to the thread......


Thank you for your kind comment!

Regarding books, there are none that I like. All the books I have seen lack, and the music in them sounds weak, and more like smooth jazz or pop rather than the real thing. (Just my opinion.)

When I was learning the music, there were no books, no CDs, no DVDs...so I had to do it the old-fashioned way...listen to a snippet from the record player, and work at figuring it out.

This is the way that most if not all of the famous players I know of have learned...basically by themself, carefully and doggedly studying the music.

So I suggest listening listening listening to the music, and try to duplicate it on the piano. Not just the notes, but the feel.

And, most importantly you need strong technique... Thank God I was Classically trained, with tons of technique work using Hanon and other technique instructions. So work on that...work on LH rhythms until they are steady and relaxed.
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#2089887 - 05/27/13 01:07 PM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1048
An hour passes very quickly if I'm going to try to get everything in per day that I want to. I spend at least 15-30 minutes on scales and arpeggios in all the keys and versions I want to do them in, let alone the time I need for each of the two pieces I want to work on. So ideal for me is more like two hours, which is not always possible. I would say I average about 1.5 hours a day, and on average there is usually one day a week during which I can't get the opportunity to practice at all. But some days I get lots of time and you can still find me, 3-4 hours later, playing. On mothers day, I asked for brunch with everybody, and then everybody leave me alone to practice until the evening. Five hours of playing/practicing made Mama happy.

So it kind of varies quite a bit.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2090631 - 05/28/13 12:05 PM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: rocket88]
Carbonblob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 260
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca.
Rocket,

so true, that's exactly how I feel and it's also what I do. I pick parts out. I have an extensive boogie CD collection and listen to everything from the Mr. Majestic soundtrack to very old Texas barrel boogie. Wish you were in LA, I'd sign up for lessons! Thanks for the tips, I'll keep plugging away.

Ok, all, sorry for the highjack......blob
_________________________
KAWAI RX-3 BLAK
YAMAHA GRANTOUCH GT1

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#2091139 - 05/29/13 04:35 AM Re: How long do you practise daily [Re: onestrokeartist]
maestro57 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 38
Loc: Canada
I first do about 15 minutes of scales/arpeggios/triads/chords, then an hour to an hour-and-a-half learning a new piece, and about 15 minutes at the end playing a couple of pieces I've learned and want to maintain in my repertoire so as to not "forget" them. So, about 2 hours per day.

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