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#944446 - 07/24/08 07:04 PM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
DeepElem Offline
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Registered: 04/27/06
Posts: 367
Loc: USA
Frycek, everything crystal clear now ?
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#944447 - 07/24/08 07:22 PM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Loc: Canada
Page one makes sense.

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#944448 - 07/24/08 07:59 PM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
pianoexcellence Offline
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Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Charlie Parker too. But practicing scales is no guarantee of gaining 'facility' even in the playing of scales. Just like walking to work isn't necessarily going to turn you into a cat walk model. [/b]
I'm not sure what you are getting at!!??

I think we are all functioning on a certain level of assumption that just playing scales over and over means nothing...after all the title of this thread is: "getting the most out of practicing scales".

I think we all agree with you there.
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Pianoexcellence Tuning and Repairs

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#944449 - 07/25/08 01:36 AM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
keyboardklutz Offline
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Reviewing the previous 3 pages the title would appear to be "getting the most out of practicing arpeggios". So, back on topic:
To paraphrase Chopin: Don't do them evenly. There is no point as nothing in music even. It's like studying to be a cat walk model when all you need to do is walk to work each day! Why not take up ornithology while your at it?

If the question were: 'How to play scales musically?' we might have got somewhere.
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#944450 - 07/25/08 04:10 AM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
btb Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
It’s nest-building time in my garden so the klutz ornithology caper is most apt ... here’s a sketch of 5 of the wee birdies that visit my feeding tray ... because size counts for much in the avian pecking order ... the fruit for the Grey Lourie is spiked well away from the bread and seed-eaters (doves and weavers).

wee birdies

In my school we don’t play boring scales ... we find examples in the works of master composers ... which puts the importance of understanding the strategic inter-relation of the consonant and dissonant notes in the scale (not to mention those juicy "outsiders").

IMHO far more is registered in playing the universally respected inventions of the keyboard Greats ... for myself I like to get the hands warm (it’s leaning on early Spring here) with a quick trundle through the piano intro to Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto... lots of scales, arpeggios and trills to quicken the fingers.

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#944451 - 07/25/08 04:16 AM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
keyboardklutz Offline
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:
wee birdies [/b]
Much better than your bridge drawings. Maybe you should have been a naturalist?
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#944452 - 07/28/08 02:34 AM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
theJourney Offline
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Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
The turning point for me once upon a time which led to me finally treating scales seriously and with dedication was a teacher who got through to me with this:

"working on technique (including scales, broken chords, arpeggios, and (technical) exercises aimed at specifics such as Bach Inventions, Brahms 51, Czerny, Clementi, Cramer, etc.) are to skilled musicians what running laps, or lifting weights, or practicing a swing or physical condition training are to athletes."

It is hard to imagine a successful athlete not putting in the effort, next to the direct playing of his game or competing in his sport, to get his or her body into condition and to really have spent/spend the time with full awareness on the fundamentals.

This also helped instill me with the realization that playing the piano well (=being able to apply the right physical movements to create the desired sound which is experienced subjectively as "nice tone" and which creates an appropriate emotional reaction in the listener) is fundamentally a physical act requiring physical control.

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#944453 - 07/28/08 06:33 AM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by theJourney:
"working on technique (including scales, broken chords, arpeggios, and (technical) exercises aimed at specifics such as Bach Inventions, Brahms 51, Czerny, Clementi, Cramer, etc.) are to skilled musicians what running laps, or lifting weights, or practicing a swing or physical condition training are to athletes."

This also helped instill me with the realization that playing the piano well (=being able to apply the right physical movements to create the desired sound which is experienced subjectively as "nice tone" and which creates an appropriate emotional reaction in the listener) is fundamentally a physical act requiring physical control. [/b]
They don't of neccessity go together. If you're set on conquering the 'great romantic repertoire', you have a point but for some of us life's just too short.
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#944454 - 07/28/08 07:24 AM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Loc: Canada
Is it possible to have the name of the book you are quoting, kbk, so that it can be read in complete context?

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#944455 - 07/28/08 07:54 AM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
keyboardklutz Offline
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#944456 - 07/28/08 08:00 AM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Loc: Canada
You have been quoting from Chopin's own words. The link you provided appears to involve anecdotes by his students and acquaintances. Is it the same book you have been quoting? I have become interested in this book that you quote frequently, which is why I asked its name - also assuming others would be equally interested.

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#944457 - 07/28/08 08:44 AM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
They don't of neccessity go together. If you're set on conquering the 'great romantic repertoire', you have a point but for some of us life's just too short. [/b]
:p I think you are mistaking me for someone else!

Not necessarily go together. Yes, ok.

If we had the data however, I would guess there are more accomplished classical pianists who have studied and can play their scales well then those who have not or cannot. I would also guess that those who jump into repertoire over their head without building a base technique will have risked developing more bad habits including holding excess tension, not applying natural movements, spending 3 years learning the same great romantic concerto, not to mention potentially acquiring their technique more slowly.

Some of my favorite quotes come from Sandor:

"Practicing must be purposeful, not automatic and mechanical, and it must be consciously controlled by the mind.

"The purpose of practice is to establish the right habits"

"Musicianship and technique are inseperable. However, technique precedes art."

"In order to develop a good technique, the student and performer must learn and master the basic motion patterns--that is, he must make them an innate part of his physical movements. The practicing of technique is nothing other than the process of assimilating motion patterns through repetition. Once our motion habits have been correctly and firmly acquired, a need to practice technique no longer exists. All we need to do is apply these motion patterns to our repertory."

(All quotes from "On Piano Playing: motion, sound & expression" by Gyorgy Sandor)

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#944458 - 07/28/08 11:30 AM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
pianoexcellence Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
The Journey,

I definitely agree on Sandor. His book was highly influential to me...more so than Liemer or Whiteside.

You entire post is straightforward and makes a lot of sense.

Well put
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Pianoexcellence Tuning and Repairs

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#944459 - 07/28/08 12:36 PM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
You have been quoting from Chopin's own words. The link you provided appears to involve anecdotes by his students and acquaintances. Is it the same book you have been quoting? I have become interested in this book that you quote frequently, which is why I asked its name - also assuming others would be equally interested. [/b]
The bit about the impossibility of achieving(and the lack of necessity) for absolute evenness of tone and the statement that each finger has its own color is from Chopin's unfinished Method for the piano. He willed the manuscript to Alkan. If I'm not mistaken it's reproduced in the Chopin as Seen by his Pupils book.
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#944460 - 07/28/08 12:46 PM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
Thank you, Frycek.
KS

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#944461 - 07/28/08 02:04 PM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by theJourney:

"Musicianship and technique are inseperable. However, technique precedes art."
from "On Piano Playing: motion, sound & expression" by Gyorgy Sandor) [/b]
I don't agree. His attitude is symptomatic of a western industrial way of thinking. Much of it goes back to Collingwood and the search for an artist vs craftsman paradigm. I have never learnt any 'basic motion patterns' outside of pieces. Neither have I ever had to teach them outside of music. Can't you see it has Henry Ford written all over it?
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#944462 - 07/28/08 02:30 PM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
pianoexcellence Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
 Quote:
Originally posted by theJourney:

"Musicianship and technique are inseperable. However, technique precedes art."
from "On Piano Playing: motion, sound & expression" by Gyorgy Sandor) [/b]
I don't agree. His attitude is symptomatic of a western industrial way of thinking. Much of it goes back to Collingwood and the search for an artist vs craftsman paradigm. I have never learnt any 'basic motion patterns' outside of pieces. Neither have I ever had to teach them outside of music. Can't you see it has Henry Ford written all over it? [/b]
Go take a tennis or golf lesson
_________________________
Music is the surest path to excellence

Jeremy BA, ARCT, RMT
Pianoexcellence Tuning and Repairs

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#944463 - 07/28/08 03:14 PM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I've had golf lessons and...?
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#944464 - 07/28/08 07:41 PM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12043
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
 Quote:
Originally posted by theJourney:

"Musicianship and technique are inseperable. However, technique precedes art."
from "On Piano Playing: motion, sound & expression" by Gyorgy Sandor) [/b]
I don't agree. His attitude is symptomatic of a western industrial way of thinking. Much of it goes back to Collingwood and the search for an artist vs craftsman paradigm. I have never learnt any 'basic motion patterns' outside of pieces. Neither have I ever had to teach them outside of music. Can't you see it has Henry Ford written all over it? [/b]
Wow, I'm agreeing with KBK again. That's twice in one day! Scary
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#944465 - 07/29/08 02:53 AM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
I would so appreciate hearing a youtube performance of several of KBK and Morodiene's students who are "making art" (by playing the piano) without first "having technique".

You two must be doing something quite amazing with these kids!

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#944466 - 07/29/08 05:31 AM Re: How do I get the most out of practicing scales
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
You're a bit inscrutable there TJ. What are you looking for? Don't worry Morodienne - the truth is scary.
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