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#2136159 - 08/20/13 05:21 PM One step back, two steps forward
Michael Taylor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/11
Posts: 375
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
I've decided to take a step back (from Joplin) and play music that I can pick up in a day or two. I have an old hymn book that I seems to be at my level. I like the arrangements and the music sounds good. I'm able to play songs that were drilled into my head as a child.

Hopefully, I'll be able to play Joplin (without struggling for months) someday. Good thing is that I can play 3 Joplin pieces. I'll keep playing those, but won't try any new ones for a while.
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Piano obsession started November 2010.
Ragtime Butcher
Kayserburg U123

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#2136233 - 08/20/13 08:05 PM Re: One step back, two steps forward [Re: Michael Taylor]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1389
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Don't be afraid to try and tackle music over your head. Just be sure you either:
a)know for a fact that you're resolve is strong enough to be able to withstand defeat if you just can't get the piece right (patience is also a key component)
b)know beyond a reasonable doubt how to practice to play something perfect - this comes both with experience and thoughtful research and experimentation

I, for one, rarely qualify for category a, though have experience with category b, so tread lightly. Some advice on selecting repertoire at your level to learn:
-a piece "at your level" is one that can be learned within roughly a week's time with moderate effort (subjective advice, of course, but then isn't everything)
-As a general rule of thumb, if a piece cannot be sight-read at 1/2 to 2/3 tempo (hands separate), it may be of an inadvisable level of difficulty for you currently (http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2109783.html#Post2109558)
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Bernhard - Always Have a Plan

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#2136310 - 08/20/13 11:10 PM Re: One step back, two steps forward [Re: Michael Taylor]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8415
Loc: New York City
Just to clarify, music is not "over your head" if it takes months to learn. You're not supposed to be able to master pieces in a few days, unless they're much too easy for you, or you're the next Mozart.
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Polyphonist

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#2136317 - 08/20/13 11:27 PM Re: One step back, two steps forward [Re: Michael Taylor]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1389
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Yes, "over your head" probably wasn't the best choice of words.
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Bernhard - Always Have a Plan

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#2136339 - 08/21/13 12:52 AM Re: One step back, two steps forward [Re: Michael Taylor]
BenPiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Michael Taylor
I've decided to take a step back (from Joplin) and play music that I can pick up in a day or two.


No problem with that!

Just keep learning new stuff, and you'll be growing. (a very appropriate title)
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Learning to play since June 2009.
My piano diary on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/afpaSTU1096
<- 10+ ABF recitals

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#2136677 - 08/21/13 03:47 PM Re: One step back, two steps forward [Re: Michael Taylor]
carolinagirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/13
Posts: 54
I am taking on pieces that I know are over my head (Fur Elise for one) and it's frustrating but also rewarding. But I am also doing stuff that's in my Alfred's book. I learn from both exercises.
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Yamaha CLP 440 Delivered on April 16 2013
Started playing piano April 16 2013

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#2136727 - 08/21/13 05:19 PM Re: One step back, two steps forward [Re: Michael Taylor]
Michael Taylor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/11
Posts: 375
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
I have enjoyed trying to tackle the Joplin pieces, but it takes a couple of months for me to be able to play them.....and then I still make lots of mistakes! I find that after about a month, I can play the piece from memory.....so I dont think I am improving my sight reading as much as I would like. I intend to continue playing the pieces that I have already learned, I just won't tackle any new ones right away.....besides, Christmas is just around the corner!

I can play the hymns in a day or two.
_________________________
Piano obsession started November 2010.
Ragtime Butcher
Kayserburg U123

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#2136790 - 08/21/13 07:30 PM Re: One step back, two steps forward [Re: Michael Taylor]
peterws Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 4410
Loc: Northern England.
You`re playing hymn tunes? There`s no better place to start. Wonderful grounding; There`s a lot of challenge in some of them. . . try "Jerusalem2 . . . or "Lo! He comes with clouds descending" . . .b*llocks to Joplin . . . bit naughty that lol


Edited by peterws (08/21/13 07:32 PM)
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#2137061 - 08/22/13 10:01 AM Re: One step back, two steps forward [Re: Michael Taylor]
carolinagirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/13
Posts: 54
hymns is a great idea. I think I'll try some of those myself. They are all very familiar to me, so that alone would make them enjoyable to play.
_________________________
Yamaha CLP 440 Delivered on April 16 2013
Started playing piano April 16 2013

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#2137077 - 08/22/13 10:48 AM Re: One step back, two steps forward [Re: Michael Taylor]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12925
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Michael Taylor
I have enjoyed trying to tackle the Joplin pieces, but it takes a couple of months for me to be able to play them.....and then I still make lots of mistakes! I find that after about a month, I can play the piece from memory.....so I dont think I am improving my sight reading as much as I would like. I intend to continue playing the pieces that I have already learned, I just won't tackle any new ones right away.....besides, Christmas is just around the corner!

I can play the hymns in a day or two.

Hymns are a great way to improve sight reading. In order to improve sight reading, you should play pieces that are quite a bit below your level - ones that you can do a fair rendition of the first or second time through. Don't play them more than twice though. The goal is to encounter a lot of music to get better at it, and also to play through mindfully, not just winging it.

A really good method for sight reading I've found is Sightreading and Rhythm Every Day: http://www.fjhmusic.com/piano/sightreading.htm . I'm not sure where you would begin, seeing as how you're tacking Joplin pieces, but I'm sure if you look inside these books you can determine where you are in your sight-reading ability. It's very important to start at the level you are, not where you'd like to be or where you think you should be.
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private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2137490 - 08/23/13 12:29 AM Re: One step back, two steps forward [Re: Michael Taylor]
Michael Taylor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/11
Posts: 375
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
I really like "It Is Well With My Soul". I play that piece when I need to feel uplifted. This is one of my favorite YouTube Videos of this hymn.

_________________________
Piano obsession started November 2010.
Ragtime Butcher
Kayserburg U123

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#2137515 - 08/23/13 01:59 AM Re: One step back, two steps forward [Re: Michael Taylor]
Whizbang Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 1074
Originally Posted By: Michael Taylor
Hopefully, I'll be able to play Joplin (without struggling for months) someday. Good thing is that I can play 3 Joplin pieces. I'll keep playing those, but won't try any new ones for a while.


Man, I hear you. Whenever you are ready to dip your toe back in the water, you may want to have a go at some of his easier ones: The Strenuous Life, Swipesy Cakewalk, and Something Doing. The latter two are collaboration compositions with his students, while still being full blown rags.
_________________________
Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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