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#392029 - 11/09/07 03:57 PM Section by section .. or ..
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
When you are learning a new piece ..

do you learn it section by section, working on a section until it is more or less in good shape and near to the actual speed, then you jump on the next


you play through the whole piece jumping from section to the next as soon as you can just read through the previous one?

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#392030 - 11/09/07 07:01 PM Re: Section by section .. or ..
Loki Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/09/05
Posts: 1035
Loc: Texas
I do the second one just because I'm always excited when I'm learning a new piece. I would think that the first way would probably work better though.
Houston, Texas

#392031 - 11/09/07 07:33 PM Re: Section by section .. or ..
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
I always wonder this, but feel that the proper way to do it is by learning a section completely thouroughly, and not moving forwards until it is completely conquered, -despite any temptations to want to learn new sections- , unless such practise becomes so repetitive that your concentration drifts anmd you are practising inefficently. The more able you are to maintain this concentration, however, really is a determination of how good a pianist you are able to become (where practise/technique is concernered), and if one can hold the concentration for a long time, then one has the correct work ethic for sure.
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

#392032 - 11/09/07 09:15 PM Re: Section by section .. or ..
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12395
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I play through the whole piece when I first start learning a piece, to get an overall feel for it. Once I'm beyond hte sightreading point, then I really know what areas need attention, and I will often go to them directly in a practice session to fix them withotu playing through the whole piece. I prefer this because it helps me keep the detail work in context while allowing time for the detailed work to happen, which is also necessary.
private piano/voice teacher FT
Petrof 9'2, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

#392033 - 11/10/07 12:33 AM Re: Section by section .. or ..
gabytu Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 1522
Loc: Portland, Or.
I tend to work the same way as Morodiene.
I play the whole thing and mark the passages that are troublsome. Then I concentrate on them rather than going through the whole piece.
Gaby Tu

#392034 - 11/10/07 11:31 AM Re: Section by section .. or ..
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18546
Loc: Victoria, BC
Much time is wasted by "beginners" - those pianists who always[/b] start at the beginning of a piece and play through - rather than practice - to the end.

Much more productive results come from playing the piece through several times to determine a) the overall structure and form of the piece and b) to find out which are the difficult sections that will require extra work until they are well in control. What is the point, when practicing a piece, of playing over and over those sections that one can already play well? Once all the difficulties are more or less in control, then is the time to polish and refine the overall concept of the piece as a whole.

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#392035 - 11/10/07 11:39 AM Re: Section by section .. or ..
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i think it all depends on the difficult level of the piece. for an easy piece, playing through several times to learn it is a much easier and quicker way to learn. but for a difficult piece, no beginners can actually play through it to learn the piece and have to do it section by section. i do both ways, according to the piece.

#392036 - 11/10/07 12:26 PM Re: Section by section .. or ..
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Originally posted by Morodiene:
Once I'm beyond hte sightreading point, then I really know what areas need attention, and I will often go to them directly in a practice session to fix them withotu playing through the whole piece.[/b]
Focus is very important here, because what you've suggested is actually really hard to do! The temptation is to keep on going and not stop at the end of the passage; countless times, my mind has wandered and all of a sudden I realized that I was in the middle of a later section.

The focus is very important for other reasons, too -- but if you don't focus enough to stop *every single time* at the exact spot you've decided to stop at, then you won't have the focus necessary to properly practice the passage itself.


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