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#2204406 - 12/29/13 09:45 AM How long shoud one piece takes?
DanL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/27/13
Posts: 89
I was wondering about this. How long should a piece of 03:00-05:00 takes you to play it at a acceptable level? Bach's Invention takes me about 5-6 days, Rondo Alla Turca took me about 6-7 days (my teacher said I played it OK), a single movement of Beethoven's "not too difficult" sonatas takes me 1 week. I spent about 1,5-3 hours each day playing. I'm talking about the time it takes to play a piece at a acceptable level - because I never feel that I've mastered any piece, always feel like I can do something to "enhance" my performance. Was it normal or not?

I noted the day on the sheet music and wrote down the time each piece took.

I don't know if it's OK for me, was those piece fit or too difficult for me? I can ask my friend who is learning professional piano but I don't get the chance to meet him so often...

What about you, too, if you can tell me, I'd be very appreciated smile

Please help me.
Many thanks!

Edited by DanL (12/29/13 09:47 AM)

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#2204416 - 12/29/13 10:13 AM Re: How long shoud one piece takes? [Re: DanL]
Jaak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/11
Posts: 225
Loc: Tallinn, Estonia
Hi DanL,

It seems to me that you are learning considerabely quickly, if one can say so.

It of course depends on the level you work your pieces up to.

I am a professional pianist and usually working with a difficult piece (for example a ballade by Chopin) until it is ready for performance and recording takes a couple of months when I practice the 10 minute piece an hour a day averagely.

How long have you been learning the piano?

It would also be interesting to listen to some of your recordings if you have them and you do not mind sharing. (Some people are afraid to share their recordings, but I find it very developing).

Best wishes to you,

#2204419 - 12/29/13 10:26 AM Re: How long shoud one piece takes? [Re: DanL]
malkin Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 3409
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
It takes as long as it takes.
Easier music will go more quickly and harder music will take longer.

Worry about it if you like, but there isn't really any need for concern.
Everything in moderation, including moderation. --Oscar Wilde

#2204498 - 12/29/13 12:53 PM Re: How long shoud one piece takes? [Re: malkin]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1226
Loc: Southern California
I am a beginner. It takes me a long time, typically 2 to 4 months to learn a short piece. This is for performance or recording. To get to the just okay level, cut the time by 2 or 3. Polishing, memorizing and then being confident enough with a piece to perform live all take time. For pop songs, I also like to do my own arrangements, which also takes time.

You have a teacher. That person can guide you as far as time and appropriate difficulty. Some people like to learn lots of pieces at an okay level, say a B or B- grade level, and never record or perform them. Others prefer to memorize and know fewer pieces intimately.

I am in the latter group, because I like to play live and a B level of mastery usually means a C or D level performance after nerves have taken their toll. A C level of mastery typically means a crash and burn for me.

It sounds like you are in the first group that prefers to learn a lot of pieces but doesn't often perform or record. Perhaps you don't care about polishing pieces after learning the correct notes and get close to the correct tempo.

There is no right or wrong choice. However it is a choice, hopefully a conscious choice. A few like to brag about how fast they learn pieces or how many they difficult pieces they learn in a year. I say more power to them and bless them. Personally, I prefer my path of fewer pieces, memorizing, with the goal of getting pieces ready for live performance.
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