Hey Bobpickle, it's good to see you here. Thanks for your efforts.
I am saying that you should know how
to play scales. I do not understand how a beginner can play Bach well but not know how to play scales. That's like saying you can run in the sand but you can't walk on the ground.
As you know, I never look to start arguments; I clarify things so people who read after will make the right choices for their piano journeys.
Sometimes I get worked up because it means so much to me-- I've made so many mistakes and I want to help people get through that.
I remember being in tears, because I could not play a Bach passage evenly at my lesson. My teacher made me play the same scale, going up, for five minutes straight in the lesson, before I even got a slight nod to continue the piece. This was at the performer's level.
So you should know how to play scales before you try to perfect Bach. Because scales are more basic than Bach, and Bach uses scales.
Once you know how to play scales, you're open to things like Hanon, Bach, Czerny for technique. All of these have scales but you shouldn't use these to learn
You can always tell, though. When a beginner plays Bach without knowing how to play scales first, the notes are uneven and there are weird accents everywhere. You can bet that 99% of the time, the notes aren't smooth either.
Also, there's no need to make farcical and outlandish extrapolations that trapperjohn thinks Bach is "mechanical, doesn't require musicality, or is stupid."
TraperJohn did, though. It's not outlandish at all.
Don't play scales - play Bach.
It's virtually the same thing - but then you can brag about playing Bach. Nobody brags about playing scales.
He says scales = Bach.
... mechanically playing scales well doesn't necessarily mean that you can thus play the complex music of the great composers well also - this requires interpretive ability, which is a totally different and advanced skill...
Then he says scales are mechanical.
So Bach is mechanical too, since Bach is the same thing as scales (and scales are mechanical), would you agree from his statements?
Plus, he also implies that Bach's music is simple, since he says that "complex music" requires "interpretive ability" and that's "advanced".
We are talking about whether a beginner should learn how to play scales or jump into Bach
Apparently Bach is not advanced enough to need "interpreting".
So, maybe people who pore over Bach's scores are idiots and TrapperJohn is a genius, who knows? And I'm an idiot when I paid my teacher to yell at me for Bach.
There is technique, then there is using
technique to play dazzling pieces. The point of technique is to be able to play other pieces.
Like, why do basketball players bother running laps when all you need to do is shoot baskets to win a game? Because you still have to run back and forth during games, and keep up with the other team, or else you'll lose.
If you've read my writing, you probably know a bit about the way I think (although I'm revamping my blog soon). I'm just like everyone else; I've made lots of mistakes. I'm not perfect, but I know how to make the smart choices for my goals and I hope to help others too.