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#2551714 - 06/24/16 06:46 AM question on piano exercise ands learning
iamanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/15
Posts: 136
I was listening to an interview with Muddy Water (by Alan Lomax) in which he said that he practised the guitar for 2 hours a day.
I also watched a video with Billy Taylor in which he said something about 10 hours of practice is good for him.
I also remember meeting a concert pianist who said that he needed 6 hours practise a day but that a Concert pianist need much more than that.

If we take a look a Muddy Waters we have a guy who learned singing in Church and by doing work. Besides that he practiced the guitar. Does his Music require less pratice than the type of music Bily Taylor played? What are your views on this?

I had a piano teacher who said that one can learn a lot about Music away from the piano and Ireally Believe in this. So I would not practise for 6 hours day in front of a piano.

What are your experiences?

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#2551716 - 06/24/16 07:26 AM Re: question on piano exercise ands learning [Re: iamanders]
dogperson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/16/15
Posts: 1297
Loc: Florida
Rather than looking at total time at the piano, I have tried to look at what needs to be done, and how to make my practice more effective.... therefore, I have actually reduced my practice time in the last year but really have made more progress than when I was spending more time.

I am just a returning adult student, but here are my thoughts There have been a ton of books and excellent articles written about practice:
- I do not start from the beginning of a piece each time I practice.
- Identify what needs work and the goal of the practice session.
- Target the problem sections/phrases, working each of them separately in small chunks of the score and time.
- Split practice into smaller periods of time throughout the day, rather than one long, exhaustive practice.
- Occasionally, I will pull the score and a colored pencil, sit on the couch, and listen to how those better than me play the repertoire.. mark up the score as needed. Sometimes, I mentally play the score.. all of this 'away from the piano' does seem to help.

Of importance to me: to be really practicing, rather than playing without getting anywhere. I try to mentally ask myself 'are you really getting anywhere?' if not, that is all for that session unless I want to label it as 'playing around'.

#2551939 - 06/25/16 08:34 AM Re: question on piano exercise ands learning [Re: iamanders]
indigo_dave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/12
Posts: 254
From the questions you've been posting - questions about interval ear training and transcribing solos - it appears to me you are on the right track. Developing what I like to call your "mind's ear" is at least as important as getting your fingers to move in certain ways needed to play - in my opinion.

I like Muddy Waters (have you heard Otis Spann playing with him?). But his guitar playing didn't require fast and fluid fingers. There are many other guitar players you could find who probably need more practice than that 2 hours you mentioned. But Muddy was playing a much simpler music than Billy Taylor. 10 hours seems a bit overdone.

But I totally agree with your teacher about there being ways of developing your musicality in ways other than playing.

I'm going to throw in a mention of a book Arnold Schoenberg wrote when teaching at USC in Los Angeles. He said the book was intended to help his (college level) students develop their ears. "Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint" - see the link below. I worked through part of this book about 40 years ago and had some positive results in my mind's ear. The focus of the book is writing out counterpoint exercises according to prescribed instructions.

It seems, from your prior posts, that you know what you should work on. It's now just the heavy lifting of continuing the work you are doing. Enjoy the process.


Edited by indigo_dave (06/25/16 08:37 AM)

#2551985 - 06/25/16 12:11 PM Re: question on piano exercise ands learning [Re: iamanders]
Nahum Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 1593
Loc: Israel
Can formulate it in this way: student sitting near the instrument and explores the music being played, and the process of its performance. Indications of progress: the student finishes the session with a solid feeling that began to better understand the music, and she began to go better. This can happen after an half hour or an hour, or two hours . Sometimes depth work (when the goals are clear) makes play for hours imperceptible for the pianist itself. . There are close goals and distant goals; and they require a different time scale.


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