impact on full piece after learning easy arrangement of it?

Posted by: Marco M

impact on full piece after learning easy arrangement of it? - 01/07/13 12:40 PM

I would like to play a certain piece and have two different sheets of it:
- easy version (too much simplified arrangement)
- complex, original version (1 to 2 years over my level)

The easy version seems to be too much simplified, and the complex version contains some real challenges. I so far couldn´t find nowhere an arrangement in between this two levels and would really like to play this music.

What is your experience? Would you recommend to settle for playing the easy version only and wait 1 or 2 years until I have a stronger technical fundament for the complex version?

I am afraid that later on I might run into strong difficulties to switch to the complex version, after once having fully internalized the simple arrangement!
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: impact on full piece after learning easy arrangement of it? - 01/07/13 12:53 PM

Go for starting with the simple version.
I've done this with a couple of pieces and it is great fun.
The simple one gives you the temporary satisfaction of "dabbling" with a piece you love and getting to know it.

You may be surprised at how soon you can start on the original version!

One thing I would check though is that the simple version is in the same key as the orginal.
If it isn't you could try transposing it to the right key!

Good luck!
Posted by: Andy Platt

Re: impact on full piece after learning easy arrangement of it? - 01/07/13 02:34 PM

The first piece I learned with my teacher was Mozart's K545 piano sonata (in retrospect too difficult for me at that time but that's another story.) We picked it because when we were looking through the Sonatina book (Alfred's) I said, oh - I play an easy arrangement of that.

Did that help? Not really. Did it hurt? Not at all - except that I couldn't go back and play the easy version after learning the full one wink
Posted by: Greener

Re: impact on full piece after learning easy arrangement of it? - 01/07/13 06:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Marco M

The easy version seems to be too much simplified, and the complex version contains some real challenges. I so far couldn´t find nowhere an arrangement in between this two levels and would really like to play this music.

What is your experience? Would you recommend to settle for playing the easy version only and wait 1 or 2 years until I have a stronger technical fundament for the complex version?


For me it would depend what it is and I would generally go for the arrangement I like the most. Not necessarily the more complex. If it were a classical work though, say by Chopin or Beethoven for example, I would want the real deal and not a watered down version. I would only try to tackle it once I felt prepared for the time commitment required to learn it.

In this case, it sounds like the more complex version, is the one you would ultimately like to play.

Why not just go about learning it very gradually? Like just try and learn a couple of measures at a time while you are still developing other pieces that are more your current speed. Stay motivated by always going back to pieces you do have a handle on and don't get lost in frustration. This way, in a year or 2 years time, when you are ready for it, you'll already have learned it smile .

Posted by: Michael Taylor

Re: impact on full piece after learning easy arrangement of it? - 01/07/13 08:43 PM

I learned an easy version of The Entertainer then switched to the real thing. It didn't hurt.....probably helped a little. I also learned Cannon in "c" before learning an easy Cannon in D. I'd say start with something closer to you level.
Posted by: malkin

Re: impact on full piece after learning easy arrangement of it? - 01/07/13 09:16 PM

The original piece will remain unchanged, no matter what any of us play.
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: impact on full piece after learning easy arrangement of it? - 01/08/13 05:23 AM

It could only help, familiarizing with the melody and what-not. We're not talking about two very slightly different arrangements of the same piece; there's no harm in what you're doing.
Posted by: Marco M

Re: impact on full piece after learning easy arrangement of it? - 01/08/13 12:43 PM

Thanks everybody for your opinions!!
The simple version just does not fully convince me to transport the beauty of the piece. I therefore decided to adventure the (too?) complex one. Considering the very slow speed of the piece it seems to finally not be as difficult as I thought, regarding pure technical skills. I have had to intensively analyze (and fight with understanding) the sheet, though, in order to find this out. And I am still somehow fighting with the sheet and opened a new thread on this after not already finding all answers in old forum posts.

Now, the real challenge of it instead will be the musical part! That´s what I for sure found in the forum. But that´s a different story, then. I will start with the technical part now (carefully training to reliably span fingers over a tenth!), to have at least this ready for the time that musicality once would hit me in the future!
Posted by: malkin

Re: impact on full piece after learning easy arrangement of it? - 01/08/13 09:12 PM

I agree that sometimes simplified arrangements just don't sound good enough to be worth it, especially since there is so much wonderful music in the world!


For me it's usually best to just pick a different piece that is at my level. Sometimes I try the 'real thing' but I'm pretty quick to give up when it is clearly too hard.
Posted by: JohnSprung

Re: impact on full piece after learning easy arrangement of it? - 01/09/13 02:13 AM

Hmmm.... I disagree with the majority here. My experience is that learning one version of something makes it harder to learn another version. Even little changes like inverting a chord to make the reach easier require so much un-learning that I pretty much just do it the hard way -- once I've learned the hard way. If you do try the cut-down version, look carefully at the fingering for the full version, and transfer it over to the cut-down. That way, you're just adding embellishments, not un-learning anything.
Posted by: peterws

Re: impact on full piece after learning easy arrangement of it? - 01/09/13 08:00 AM

Simplify the difficult option. Feel the music; you`ll have trouble doing this with a simplified arrangement; might not even be in the same key.

When you come to play the bits left out, you can add selectively until you get to where you want. There is no need to go beyond this point; the music written is only somebody`s interpretation after all. It probably isn`t the composers.

My opinion.