Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute?

Posted by: ChopinLives81

Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 01:18 PM

Seems ever since I started playing the piano I've always looked towards learning the next harder or more intricate piece. I learn one, then find a harder one etc... Recently I've been asking myself "why haven't I stopped and learned the countless other pieces that should be easy by now?"

I'm learning etudes, ballades and large works by Liszt and Chopin, but I wonder why I haven't stopped to learn a majority of say Chopin's preludes or waltzes or Bach's Inventions and Sinfonias etc... Many of the pieces in these sets and similar sets should be well within my grasp, yet I don't bother to tackle them unless I get motivate to learn one randomly.

Anyone else have this thought or curious question? I would think by now there should be no reason why I shouldn't have more of these pieces under my belt.
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 01:27 PM

Originally Posted By: ChopinLives81
Anyone else have this thought or curious question? I would think by now there should be no reason why I shouldn't have more of these pieces under my belt.
Keep in mind that so-called "easy" music can be difficult to play if you want to play it well. OTOH I recently learned two easy pieces to play with my piano group because my Beethoven and Chopin are far from ready to perform. I learned Schumann's "Chopin" from Carnaval and Alkan's Barcarolle. Both are quite lovely and well "below the bar". I often sight read music that is easy just for the pleasure of hearing something new.
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 01:29 PM

I never stop "raising the bar" in the sense of trying to get better every year. That means getting better at things like phrasing, expression, and timing, not just hitting the notes of intricate pieces.

Recently my teacher suggested Chopin's 2nd Ballade; she told me she thought I was finally ready for... the opening section (!).

-J
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 01:45 PM

I never choose pieces with the goal of challenging myself with harder music. There is so much great music within my present level(nowhere near that needed to get into a conservatory)that I just choose pieces I love. As others have pointed out, this doesn't mean I don't continually try to improve.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 01:47 PM

Originally Posted By: ChopinLives81
Seems ever since I started playing the piano I've always looked towards learning the next harder or more intricate piece. I learn one, then find a harder one etc... Recently I've been asking myself "why haven't I stopped and learned the countless other pieces that should be easy by now?"

Anyone else have this thought or curious question? I would think by now there should be no reason why I shouldn't have more of these pieces under my belt.
Actually, I think based on your first paragraph, one would assume that you wouldn't have more of those easier pieces learned.
Posted by: ChopinLives81

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 01:50 PM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: ChopinLives81
Anyone else have this thought or curious question? I would think by now there should be no reason why I shouldn't have more of these pieces under my belt.
Keep in mind that so-called "easy" music can be difficult to play if you want to play it well.


Well yes I haven't forgotten that, but when I say easy I mean a piece where no one would say "no, stay away from that piece that's beyond your level". There are plenty of pieces that are far below your current skill level that really don't need to be given a 2nd thought as to whether or not it's possible for you to play.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 01:58 PM

Originally Posted By: beet31425
...Recently my teacher suggested Chopin's 2nd Ballade; she told me she thought I was finally ready for... the opening section (!).

You mean the easy part?? That makes no sense at all!!

(Just kidding.) grin

BTW, in competitions, when people play that piece, I'd guess most of them cook their goose before they're out of that opening section.


I never stop raising the bar either, and it's as Beet314 said: It's not that I go for more and more difficult pieces (not necessarily), but trying to do better and better than I've done before.

Originally Posted By: ChopinLives81
....when I say easy I mean a piece where no one would say "no, stay away from that piece that's beyond your level". There are plenty of pieces that are far below your current skill level that really don't need to be given a 2nd thought as to whether or not it's possible for you to play.

It was clear what you meant. We're just looking at it how we look at it.
Posted by: Arghhh

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 02:19 PM

It's hard for me to stop raising the bar because of my attitude towards my playing. I view my playing as "not good enough yet", and if I get assigned an "easy" piece, I wonder if it's because my teacher thinks I can't handle something harder.

Even when I'm accompanying and have the option of simplifying something, I still struggle to play it as written because I think I will learn from it and it will make me a better pianist.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 02:49 PM

Maybe it's because I enjoy challenges, whether of the physical (climbing, running, open-water swimming etc) or mental kind, but I rarely set out to learn easier pieces than what I'm currently playing. They're almost always at least the same level of difficulty (usually harder), and usually has something that's challenging to my current level of technique. Though the difficulty needn't be wholly technical - sometimes, it's just a piece that I find awkward but which others might not necessarily do. But whatever I set out to learn, it must appeal to me at some level - usually on both the musical (nice tunes and/or interesting harmonies) and technical (enjoyable to play as well as difficult): I never learn something simply for the sake of its technical difficulty. The same reason I've never played studies/études of no musical merit.

It follows that my memorized repertoire tends to be somewhat skewed towards fast music. I tend to just sight-read easier pieces for relaxation, but rarely go on to learn them properly. Such is the prerogative of an amateur who hasn't got a teacher and therefore learns and plays exactly what he wants....... grin
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 02:56 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I never choose pieces with the goal of challenging myself with harder music. There is so much great music within my present level(nowhere near that needed to get into a conservatory)that I just choose pieces I love. As others have pointed out, this doesn't mean I don't continually try to improve.


+1. I am actually a little overwhelmed with all of the music that I love that I *can* play, and other stuff that I either want to learn, have read through, and/or am working on, that I feel I can leave the virtuoso repertoire to the virtuosos. That said, I sometimes hear a piece that I am compelled to learn, and never consider that it might be beyond my level. As said in another thread, there are some things that you just want to hear come from your own hands. So, I dive into it and take the long view, put it aside when I hit a wall or a plateau, work on something else for a while, get it back out later, and find I've made progress to allow me to proceed with the piece that was giving me a hassle.

It's the love for the piece and being compelled to play it that determines what I work on. Whether it is "easy" or "hard" has nothing to do with it.

--Andy
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 02:56 PM

I'll usually play one piece that "raises the bar" each year, but the vast majority of what I play lies well within my capabilities. Lots of repeat repertoire and easier fare makes up the bulk of what I do.
Posted by: ChopinLives81

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 03:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
As said in another thread, there are some things that you just want to hear come from your own hands.


The funny thing is that it was me that said that on the thread "pinpointing what got us hooked"...lol
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 03:21 PM

Originally Posted By: ChopinLives81
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
As said in another thread, there are some things that you just want to hear come from your own hands.


The funny thing is that it was me that said that on the thread "pinpointing what got us hooked"...lol


LOL! I *thought* so!!!... Good one, CL! grin
Posted by: DanS

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 03:33 PM

Yes I have. There's a lot to learn from setting the bar high, but there's also a lot to learn from playing pieces can be learn in a relatively short period of time. I spend the second half of last year working on easier pieces, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Posted by: frenchflip

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 03:50 PM

I usually have a blend of two or three each-- stretch pieces, pieces at my level, and easier pieces. E.g., a Henle 8/9 sonata or ballade, 6/7 nocturne or waltz, and an easier prelude, maybe even a mazurka. It's just nice to be able to play something through for gratification.
Posted by: hreichgott

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 08:49 PM

I regularly learn pieces that are easy for me, either because it's my job (most choral and ballet music) or because I find something I like and want to learn it.

Eventually we all get to the point where it's not about just reaching the next level of difficulty anymore -- difficulty becomes more a measure of time (how long will it take me to learn this) rather than a measure of our status/level of advancement.

I happen to think it's good for everyone to learn short-term and long-term pieces, short-term being more about one's ability to absorb material quickly, an important skill even though the material may be easier.

BTW have you ever actually played through Chopin Op. 28? You might be surprised. There are a couple easy ones but most aren't.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 09:23 PM

Originally Posted By: beet31425
I never stop "raising the bar" in the sense of trying to get better every year. That means getting better at things like phrasing, expression, and timing, not just hitting the notes of intricate pieces.

Recently my teacher suggested Chopin's 2nd Ballade; she told me she thought I was finally ready for... the opening section (!).

If you're ready for the third movement of Beethoven's 109, you're ready for the Chopin.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 09:24 PM

Originally Posted By: hreichgott
BTW have you ever actually played through Chopin Op. 28? You might be surprised. There are a couple easy ones but most aren't.

There are no easy ones. whome Chopin says more in 45 seconds than some composers do in an entire 30-minute piece. wink
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 10:40 PM

Originally Posted By: hreichgott
....BTW have you ever actually played through Chopin Op. 28? You might be surprised. There are a couple easy ones but most aren't.

Yes. I missed the 'in passing' thing he said about the Preludes. (BTW he only said "most" of them are probably within his grasp, and they probably are. But still.) smile
It's easy to assume (because of the title) that these are relatively easy Chopin pieces. But several of them are among Chopin's very most difficult works.

And what a great set. A while back, I think there was something like a "desert island" thread -- i.e. what piece would you take if you could only take one. Chopin's Opus 28 is mine.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 10:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: hreichgott
....BTW have you ever actually played through Chopin Op. 28? You might be surprised. There are a couple easy ones but most aren't.

Yes. I missed the 'in passing' thing he said about the Preludes. (BTW he only said "most" of them are probably within his grasp, and they probably are. But still.) smile
You may have even understated their difficulty. As a group, they're among Chopin's very most difficult works.

A while back, I think there was something like a "desert island" thread -- i.e. what piece would you take if you could only take one. Chopin's Opus 28 is mine.

Mark, I think that's sort of cheating. grin
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 10:46 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
....I think that's sort of cheating. grin

You were allowed to take sets. grin
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 10:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
It's easy to assume (because of the title) that these are relatively easy Chopin pieces. But several of them are among Chopin's very most difficult works.

Tell me about it. G# minor, B flat minor, E flat major, D minor...frightening difficulties.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 10:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: JoelW
....I think that's sort of cheating. grin

You were allowed to take sets. grin

If you were only allowed the music of one composer, would it be Chopin?
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 10:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
It's easy to assume (because of the title) that these are relatively easy Chopin pieces. But several of them are among Chopin's very most difficult works.

Tell me about it. G# minor, B flat minor, E flat major, D minor...frightening difficulties.

....G major!....

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
If you were only allowed the music of one composer, would it be Chopin?

No contest whatsoever. smile

BTW, for the "1 piece" or "1 set" question, I could just as happily take the Well Tempered Clavier. Which I'm sure would seem like a saner choice to most people. ha
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 11:01 PM

Well, as Horowitz said (and we all know that quote) "Perfection itself is imperfection".
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 11:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
It's easy to assume (because of the title) that these are relatively easy Chopin pieces. But several of them are among Chopin's very most difficult works.

Tell me about it. G# minor, B flat minor, E flat major, D minor...frightening difficulties.

....G major!....

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
If you were only allowed the music of one composer, would it be Chopin?

No contest whatsoever. smile

BTW, for the "1 piece" or "1 set" question, I could just as happily take the Well Tempered Clavier. Which I'm sure would seem like a saner choice to most people. ha

But you would take Chopin's oeuvre over Bach or Beethoven? wink
Posted by: A Guy

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 11:10 PM

Would the set of 32 sonatas of beethoven count? XD
Posted by: pianorigami

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 11:15 PM

I could be happy with a set of Chopin Etudes...
Or Preludes.
Or Ballades.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 11:17 PM

I think I'd have to take the Ballades over the Preludes, but the 32 Beethoven sonatas would be my #1 choice. laugh
Posted by: pianorigami

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/12/14 11:33 PM

Yes, I suppose. Op. 52 alone satisfies almost every single emotion.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 12:09 AM

Yes, but just for a minute.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 12:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Yes, but just for a minute.

That's all you need.
Posted by: A Guy

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 12:19 AM

I would take the Beethoven first, then ballades, then études, then preludes... Though to be honest, I'm not very familiar with the preludes.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 12:38 AM

I think the last ballade wins for me.
Posted by: toyboy

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 03:03 AM

Originally Posted By: ChopinLives81

Anyone else have this thought or curious question? I would think by now there should be no reason why I shouldn't have more of these pieces under my belt.


no i haven't had this question and yes it is a curious one.
Posted by: FSO

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 03:04 AM

A sign of a truly great pianist is one who can perform the easiest, most overplayed piece and make it worth hearing again...um...I never try to raise the bar wink But then, I don't need to... frown ? laugh
Xxx
Posted by: TwoSnowflakes

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 07:34 AM

I often do this. But not for enjoyment--it's still a means to improve.

In a much harder piece, just getting the notes under the fingers is a long process, and there are lots of big leaps or unusual situations to resolve.

In an easier piece, I can instantly concentrate on relaxed playing, expression and tempo.

In this exact vein, my teacher and I started Schumann's Album fur die Jugend--playing the early pieces with exactly the kinds of approach/technique I've been (re)learning this year has been a great way to reinforce those changes she's made. I'm actually quite enjoying it. And I can see the progress. What's interesting is that my ability to simply identify the notes and play them has not really improved. Learning music as a child ensured that I read music fairly fluently, but my technique when jumping into something novel that is easy to play and read at speed has gotten better. It just sounds more mature. It's hard to see that when you are plonking your way through a harder, new piece. And even after you're putting finishing touches on something, it often feels so labored and over-contemplated, especially when you still have to think about so many things, like I do. It's nice to discover that my baseline playing has improved as well. Many things I had to specifically train into my hands are now second-nature.

It's like I was stuck in a time capsule in which I was rushing through things like a young teen often does, and while I had long since stopped being a immature kid, my playing had largely stagnated there. Which explains why it bothered me so much. My ear went ahead and grew up. My playing didn't. But now it's on its way, and playing easier pieces really helps reinforce those changes.

My teacher, for her part, is fond of the concept that nothing is easy, of course. The notes may be easy, but the technique to play well is difficult to acquire. And while there are plenty of pieces with notes easy enough to let a child murder, playing them well takes a lot of work. Maybe not on the piece itself, but on the skill to play well. Which is why it's patently obvious whether that Fur Elise is being played by a well-trained pianist or some 10 year old with a few years of lessons.
Posted by: jdw

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 08:07 AM

The desert island folks are planning to take a piano, too, I guess? smile
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 02:49 PM

Originally Posted By: jdw
The desert island folks are planning to take a piano, too, I guess? smile

grin

On the other thread I think we were talking about what we'd choose for listening. (So we still would have had to take..... something.)
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 05:05 PM

BBC Radio 4 has a very long-running series - now in its 72nd year - called Desert Island Discs, in which renowned figures are invited to choose what eight discs (previously LPs, now CDs/downloads) they'd take with them on their desert island. They are also allowed the complete Shakespeare and the Bible, and a luxury item that has no survival potential. Quite a number chose to have a piano.......(obviously wink ).

And one particular well-known diva chose eight records.....of herself singing. Guess who? grin
www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/desert-island-discs
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 06:00 PM

Originally Posted By: ChopinLives81
Seems ever since I started playing the piano I've always looked towards learning the next harder or more intricate piece. I learn one, then find a harder one etc... Recently I've been asking myself "why haven't I stopped and learned the countless other pieces that should be easy by now?"

I'm learning etudes, ballades and large works by Liszt and Chopin, but I wonder why I haven't stopped to learn a majority of say Chopin's preludes or waltzes or Bach's Inventions and Sinfonias etc... Many of the pieces in these sets and similar sets should be well within my grasp, yet I don't bother to tackle them unless I get motivate to learn one randomly.

Anyone else have this thought or curious question? I would think by now there should be no reason why I shouldn't have more of these pieces under my belt.

I don't ever stop trying to raise the bar, but I think I might define the bar differently. When I was younger, I wanted nothing more than to play the fastest, hardest pieces ever composed. Why? Because. So, I tried (and failed more often than not).

As I got older, I redefined what the bar meant. I've played some of the hardest stuff in the repertoire, so my bar changed. Now, I want to play it easier, more fluidly. I don't want to fight the piano to create the sound, but rather have the piano enhance what it is I already hear in my head. This means a lot better technique. I spent years working out the kinks (with the help of an outstanding teacher), and I still struggle with one or two things that just won't iron themselves out no matter how hot I make the iron, but that is now my bar. Consequently, it has also helped me learn pieces in days or weeks that used to take months or years. And that is much more enjoyable for me. smile
Posted by: Damon

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 06:08 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis


And one particular well-known diva chose eight records.....of herself singing. Guess who? grin


That's probably true of every singer that has eight records.
Posted by: ChopinLives81

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 07:01 PM

I think a lot of people are failing to pay mind to how I worded the title "stop....for a minute". I don't mean stop and never continue, I mean stop and backtrack a little to increase your repertoire before continuing forward.
Posted by: ando

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 08:15 PM

Originally Posted By: ChopinLives81
I think a lot of people are failing to pay mind to how I worded the title "stop....for a minute". I don't mean stop and never continue, I mean stop and backtrack a little to increase your repertoire before continuing forward.


I think people do know what you meant. It's not a unique or incomprehensible question - we all face this question! And we all deal with it in different ways - hence the panoply of different responses given.

To answer directly: I always have at least one technical challenge piece on the go at any given time, but I might just work a small section of it for a while. Alongside this, I spend time sight-reading "easy" music because sight-reading has never been my strong suit. I have also recently started playing, as you describe, pieces which are well within my technical grasp for the sake of improving expression, reducing error rate, building a repertoire of nice music. But I also do a lot of improvising. Each skill you work on will improve. You don't have to stop one thing to do another. It becomes a discipline and time-management thing. The main thing is to know what you are really doing.

So I would say it's not an all or nothing proposition. The wording of your question assumes too much - it suggests there is a need to stop raising the bar in order to accomplish the things you mentioned, when in fact, you can do a lot of things concurrently.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/13/14 09:49 PM

Originally Posted By: ChopinLives81
I think a lot of people are failing to pay mind to how I worded the title "stop....for a minute". I don't mean stop and never continue, I mean stop and backtrack a little to increase your repertoire before continuing forward.

I think I spoke directly to this when I mentioned redefining the bar to mean something other than "the hardest piece ever written in the history of the world." Check it out. wink
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/21/14 02:58 AM

I always try to include some easier songs in my practice list, so I don't get too single-minded.

Focusing only on the hardest song is kind of like focusing on only technique exercises all day, it kind of distorts your view. Going back to easier pieces gives you a clearer mind and perspective.
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/21/14 07:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I'll usually play one piece that "raises the bar" each year, but the vast majority of what I play lies well within my capabilities. Lots of repeat repertoire and easier fare makes up the bulk of what I do.


I think this is a healthy attitude. Even my senior recital contained easier pieces like Chopin's A minor Valse and Debussy's La Plus Que Lente, before finishing with the Brahms F minor Sonata which really pushed me to the limit. Some years later I paired the Schumann Fantasie with the F-sharp major Romanze. It's typical of the way I plan my recitals.

It's a healthy thing to balance things out for yourself so that everything isn't monumental for you.
Posted by: FarmGirl

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/21/14 10:57 AM

I'm challenged a lot this year. My level is early advanced at best. I've stayed in that range for a long time. My teacher told me that's because I never practiced to play it well. I stop at half ass. That really pi**ed me off. So I started using metronome to get each of those triplet right in Racmaninoff Elergie this time because I always rush them. I have one metronome setting for other parts. It's painful to surgically fix each runs. I'm determined to play it well. Anyway it's nice to have easier ones in the mix. I cannot do this sort of focused practice for all the pieces yet. I go crazy.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/21/14 12:11 PM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I'll usually play one piece that "raises the bar" each year, but the vast majority of what I play lies well within my capabilities. Lots of repeat repertoire and easier fare makes up the bulk of what I do.


I think this is a healthy attitude. Even my senior recital contained easier pieces like Chopin's A minor Valse and Debussy's La Plus Que Lente, before finishing with the Brahms F minor Sonata which really pushed me to the limit. Some years later I paired the Schumann Fantasie with the F-sharp major Romanze. It's typical of the way I plan my recitals.

It's a healthy thing to balance things out for yourself so that everything isn't monumental for you.

Definitely. It also helps you build a repertoire. If every piece you learn is so ungodly hard (for you, whatever that means) that it takes you a year or more to learn it, after twenty years of playing, you'd only know twenty pieces. I couldn't imagine doing that.

I've made far greater progress in every area of playing (sight reading, technique, musicality, touch, etc) by playing stuff I can learn in anywhere from a day to a month max, than I ever did trying to plow through something I couldn't yet play for a year or more.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Anyone here ever stop raising the bar for a minute? - 01/21/14 04:08 PM

Usually I work on hard (read: 5 months just to memorize) and easier pieces (memorized in 2 weeks) alongside. I just finished a very hard piece and I'm now stepping back to a few simpler pieces for some time. For me memorization is really the hardest part.