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#2152860 - 09/18/13 09:30 AM How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once?
Psychonaut Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 234
How many pieces do you practice and try to master at the same time?

For now, I want to focus on Bach and Chopin, because I like them both very much, and because these two composers are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to conception and approach to the instrument. (Objective, Pythagorean vs. subjective, emotive etc.)

After two weeks or so, I've got Bach's Invention 1 (772) sort of bonged out, though I am still likely to make several stutters when playing it through, so I'll keep working... got a foothold on the first 8 bars of Chopin's Nocturne 9, 2... I have the Alfred Adult Level Two, which is relatively easy, but am making myself go through it to get better acquainted with rudiments...

Now I'm beginning Invention 2 (773)... Just wondering how many pieces self-teachers have happening simultaneously? One? Two? 8? 25? I'm already something of a piano hack, and would like to get classically grounded as quickly and efficiently as possible, but not overdo it to the point of diminishing returns, either.

Thoughts on this matter are much appreciated. Thank you.
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#2152862 - 09/18/13 09:33 AM Re: How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once? [Re: Psychonaut]
Whizbang Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 1311
It depends. Anywhere from 1 to 3, usually. If I'm having a bear of a time with a piece (as I am now), I tend to get consumed by it and tend to work on just it for weeks at a time; otherwise, I'll tend to work on more.

Even when working on one piece, sometimes I'll play through old pieces just to try to keep them brushed up. They degrade frighteningly fast.
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Whizbang
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https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeschala

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#2152865 - 09/18/13 09:40 AM Re: How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once? [Re: Psychonaut]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
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#2152891 - 09/18/13 10:27 AM Re: How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once? [Re: Psychonaut]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 18033
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I try to keep only 2-3 pieces in my "active learning" group at any time: one that I'm polishing and attempting to record; one that I've got the notes pretty much down and am working on expression and dynamics; and one that I've just started and am focusing on getting the right notes in the right rhythm.

Any more than that and it's inefficient--and I get discouraged by not making progress faster. Any fewer and I get bored, not to mention that I find it impossible to avoid adding new pieces to learn. whome

Welcome to the forum, by the way! smile

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#2152950 - 09/18/13 11:56 AM Re: How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once? [Re: Psychonaut]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
One. I'm no good at multitasking. ( Though I may be working on a couple.)
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Slow down and do it right.

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#2152957 - 09/18/13 12:04 PM Re: How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once? [Re: Psychonaut]
Polyphonist Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8809
Loc: New York City
Anywhere from 2 to 100.
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Polyphonist

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#2152996 - 09/18/13 01:24 PM Re: How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once? [Re: Monica K.]
Psychonaut Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 234
Originally Posted By: Monica K.

Welcome to the forum, by the way! smile

Thanks!

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

Anywhere from 2 to 100.


Hence your avatar name.

Yeah, working on two or three along with scales, etc. in addition to playing through stuff I've already learned (when it gets to that point) seems like a good approach at the start.

I wonder what the average "at the ready" repertoire number is for studio or concert pianists, both average pianists and great pianists?
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#2153056 - 09/18/13 03:08 PM Re: How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once? [Re: Psychonaut]
Polyphonist Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8809
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Psychonaut
Originally Posted By: Monica K.

Welcome to the forum, by the way! smile

Thanks!

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

Anywhere from 2 to 100.


Hence your avatar name.

Yeah, working on two or three along with scales, etc. in addition to playing through stuff I've already learned (when it gets to that point) seems like a good approach at the start.

I wonder what the average "at the ready" repertoire number is for studio or concert pianists, both average pianists and great pianists?

Hundreds usually.
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Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2153153 - 09/18/13 04:46 PM Re: How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once? [Re: Polyphonist]
Rerun Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 1010
Loc: Louisiana
At any given moment, I'm practicing one with my right hand and probably 20+ with my left hand ... so many tunes CAN use the same bass line rhythm pattern.
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"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2153220 - 09/18/13 06:17 PM Re: How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once? [Re: Psychonaut]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2197
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Too Many. help
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Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2153314 - 09/18/13 08:24 PM Re: How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once? [Re: Psychonaut]
earlofmar Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 2677
Loc: Australia
I always have one piece that I am really seriously working on but you can't do that all day so I have several more that will be in different stages. I also plan ahead to the next main piece and look for difficult sections or techniques I haven't come across yet that may need to be practiced/mastered.
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If this life is a simulation can I not be in the easy version where Bach was a drummer

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#2153423 - 09/19/13 12:38 AM Re: How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once? [Re: Psychonaut]
Michael Sayers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 2305
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Originally Posted By: Psychonaut

I wonder what the average "at the ready" repertoire number is for studio or concert pianists, both average pianists and great pianists?

A concert pianist needs to have at least five concertos solidly in his repertoire and five full-length (2 hr.) solo programmes.


M.

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#2153435 - 09/19/13 01:10 AM Re: How Many Pieces Do You Practice at Once? [Re: Psychonaut]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Psychonaut
How many pieces do you practice and try to master at the same time?

For now, I want to focus on Bach and Chopin, because I like them both very much, and because these two composers are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to conception and approach to the instrument. (Objective, Pythagorean vs. subjective, emotive etc.)


One. I only try to master one while learning 2 or 3. I find I cannot cope with more than that. I guess that's because I was born before the invention of texting when people actually had conversations over this thing that had a dial tone, before humans claimed that could multitask like text, facebook, tweet, while watching Netflix and make love at the same time. grin
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Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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