How do you warm up before practicing repertoire?

Posted by: RyanThePianist

How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 12/31/12 01:49 AM

Would like to hear other people's methods that are effective to them. How do you practice scales? Arpeggios? Do you use Hanon or Czerzy? Do you practice certain ones each day? Any specific techniques? Do you go straight to repertoire? Any unusual methods? Etc.

Would like specifics! wink
Posted by: JoelW

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 12/31/12 02:13 AM

I soak my hands in hot water for a couple minutes, then I just start playing repertoire. It can take a good 20 minutes for me to be totally warmed up.
Posted by: BDB

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 12/31/12 03:16 AM

Warm up with familiar pieces from your repertoire, pieces that you know well enough that you do not have to think about when you are playing them. That way you keep them available, and your hands will be flexible enough when you are working on new repertoire.
Posted by: dolce sfogato

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 12/31/12 08:11 AM

with a slow movement or a fast one very slowly.
Posted by: DameMyra

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 12/31/12 09:05 AM

Scales and arpeggios.
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 12/31/12 09:15 AM

Lang Lang posted on his Facebook page a while back saying that he warms up with slow scales followed by octaves. I've been using this since then, and it works really quite well. I also throw in the first part of the Chopin Op.10 No.12 and Op.25 No.12, as well as that left hand octaves section from Liszt's Sposalizio from Annees de pelerinage. Usually after all this I'm ready to play anything.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 12/31/12 09:19 AM

I try and accomplish four things at the same time when I warm up ...

1. I'm playing the piano, moving my fingers, thus, warming up

2. Whatever it is I decide to work on, I make it somewhat technical by playing unisons, octaves apart, for example

3. Whatever I decide to work on gets played in every key

4. I try to work on something I might actually use when improvising (patterns, scales, arpeggios, ... whatever)

So, I try and kill four birds with one stone when warming up ... I warmup simply by playing; play something technical - good for the hands; play something in every key - good for the brain; and play something I might actually use - good for future use
Posted by: carey

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 12/31/12 09:36 AM

I warm up simply by playing. The first thing I play is usually something I already know or am currently working on. If it is extremely difficult or fast, rather than jumping into it cold, the first time through I'll play it a tad more slowly - or I may tackle one of the trickiest passages first. But that's it.
Posted by: Brendan

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 12/31/12 10:28 AM

I usually jump right in with some slow practice on whatever piece I'm studying. Things usually start to flow fine after 10-15 minutes, so there's no reason to push it and risk injury by trying to play too fast too soon.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 12/31/12 11:21 AM

I just play through the first movement (with all repeats) of Mozart's K545 followed by the first Variation of Bach's Goldberg, both of which have been part of my memorized repertoire for many years. Both have lots of scales and arpeggios, perfect for warming up. I often then follow with Chopin's Minute Waltz, by which time, I'm fully warmed up and ready for anything (well, almost....).
Posted by: gooddog

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 12/31/12 11:52 AM

I have limited practice time so I don't warm up. I just dive right into whatever I am working on.
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 12/31/12 07:29 PM

Usually either with scales and arpeggios or with something I already play fluently.
Posted by: ju5t1n-h

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 01/01/13 04:08 PM

This is what I do -
For each grade I'll practice the scales that the syllabus suggests

1- hands separate scale
2- hands together
3- hands separate staccato
4- hands together
5-single hand
6- formula pattern in any key 2 octaves
7- formula pattern in any key 4 octaves
8- chromatic scale Hands separate
9- Broken triads hands separate
10- Solid triads hands separate


Takes about half an hour - but I look at it not just as warming up, scales are great practice within themselves

laugh
Posted by: Auntie Lynn

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 01/01/13 06:33 PM

That first Chopin Etude - it's a real eye-opener...

And Happy New Year - how do you like it so far??
Posted by: Ted

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 01/02/13 01:17 AM

A few minutes night and morning on my Virgil Practice Clavier maintains my technique at a level far exceeding that which I require in improvisation. I don't do the same exercises at it every day though, preferring to constantly invent new movements likely to be conducive to musical interest. Also, I have found my technique thrives physically on variation. I did plenty of the usual grinding away at monotonous conventional movements in my youth and now I wonder why I bothered. I do not find warming up at the piano itself necessary in general to my musical purpose. Everything usually settles pretty quickly once flow is established. But I suppose that is easy to say for someone who never performs, plays only a small number of pieces apart from his own, and who does little else but obsessively record many hundreds of hours of improvisation. The need and psychology are probably very different.
Posted by: DonaldLee

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 01/02/13 02:01 AM

My warm up routine:

1. Tendon stretches (take a full c major chord with 5-4-3-2 and gently move the hands side to side, repeat in all inversion)
2. Repeated notes, slow to fast
3. Double thirds, as found in the Plaidy exercises, only the hands are playing in two different keys- this is slow to fast also
4. Scales from 140-160 bpm staccato, legato, and in 2 note slurs where the hands are in two different keys
5. Octaves- from slow/powerful to fast/light.
6. "Knucklebusters"- I choose to work on a specific technique such as chromatic 3rds, 4ths, or 6ths, do more repeated notes in more complex configurations, fast broken octaves, chromatic full chords, and octaves with notes inside. I choose one to work on every day.

I devote about an hour to my warm-up/technical study a day. It's tedious, but I force myself to do it... almost like eating your veggies!

Cheers,

Donald

P.S. If anyone wanted to know, I discovered the magic of playing scales and thirds in two different keys at once from my piano professor. It's a real mental workout and broadens the physical awareness of what your hands are doing.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: How do you warm up before practicing repertoire? - 01/02/13 05:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Ted
......never performs, plays only a small number of pieces apart from his own, and who does little else but obsessively record many hundreds of hours of improvisation. The need and psychology are probably very different.


I think that when pianists improvise, they do so to their strengths and avoid doing stuff that's technically challenging for them. I certainly noticed that when I improvise, I never ever played double thirds, or trills involving the 4th & 5th fingers while playing a tune with the other fingers, because I'm rubbish at them. Art Tatum played a lot (I mean a lot) of fast RH runs in his arrangements and improvisations, because he was brilliant at them.

But classical pianists don't have this luxury and have to be able to do everything composers ask for, whether it involves getting the fingers and hands tangled up with each other (Ravel), or very fast thirds and sixths (Chopin et al), fast leaps all over the keyboard (Prokofiev), fast octaves and chords and repeated notes (almost everyone from Chopin, Liszt and Brahms onwards....). So, we have to warm up for every eventuality. Or just avoid some composers like the plague...... grin