Discussion:
advanced classical piano instruction video -- does it exist???
(too old to reply)
Jason W
2004-09-24 22:09:04 UTC
Permalink
Is there a DVD video that shows very specific and close-up techniques.
Something that shows exact fingerings for advanced mechanics such as:

scales: chromatic, major, minor, etc
arpeggios
hand over hand
etc...

Has any classical pianist created a video to show exactly how to play
material that's harder than Fur Elise? (e.g. Chopin etudes, etc.)

The only videos I see on a Google search are things like, "Learn Piano
in 1 hour", or "Fun with Piano", or "Play Piano like Steve Allen". I
can't believe there's no such thing as hard-core classical piano
instruction!

I see Taubman might have some videos but none of the links on that
website work http://www.taubman-institute.com/home.html

Yes, I know I can (should?) get a piano instructor, but I learn SO
MUCH FASTER from a video.
LEC
2004-09-24 23:47:02 UTC
Permalink
The scales and such can be learned from any number of scale books, there
really isn't any mystery to those. If you're interested, the full Hanon
book has all the scales and arpeggios; also Kjos publishes "Scales, Chords &
Arpeggios" edited by Bastien (aka the Waterfall book, for the illustration
on its cover). Those, and some home-made materials, are what I use with my
students.

As far as advanced repertoire goes, you can get recordings of master classes
of major pieces. They aren't addressing routine mechanics per se though.
They focus more on interpretation, and perhaps specific problems that one
would encounter in a piece. Check out
http://www.pianovision.com/shop/index.php?task=cat&parid=2&tree=0-2
they have a good selection from their conferences and other sources.

Also, check out
http://www.freeingthecagedbird.com/
the focus is on basic movement and relaxation during playing. It won't
teach you fingering, but it will help with hand, wrist, arm, body position
while playing them.

The Taubman videos are good (at least a couple of them are), but I don't
think they'd mean much without a 'Taubman teacher' reinforcing the concepts.
Post by Jason W
Is there a DVD video that shows very specific and close-up techniques.
scales: chromatic, major, minor, etc
arpeggios
hand over hand
etc...
Has any classical pianist created a video to show exactly how to play
material that's harder than Fur Elise? (e.g. Chopin etudes, etc.)
The only videos I see on a Google search are things like, "Learn Piano
in 1 hour", or "Fun with Piano", or "Play Piano like Steve Allen". I
can't believe there's no such thing as hard-core classical piano
instruction!
I see Taubman might have some videos but none of the links on that
website work http://www.taubman-institute.com/home.html
Yes, I know I can (should?) get a piano instructor, but I learn SO
MUCH FASTER from a video.
Jason W
2004-09-25 00:03:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by LEC
The scales and such can be learned from any number of scale books, there
really isn't any mystery to those. If you're interested, the full Hanon
book has all the scales and arpeggios; also Kjos publishes "Scales, Chords &
Arpeggios" edited by Bastien (aka the Waterfall book, for the illustration
on its cover). Those, and some home-made materials, are what I use with my
students.
Sure still seems like a mystery to me!

I happen to have the Hanon book but since it's not a video, I can't
see the nuances of how "experts" finger them for fast competent
playing. For example, how deep the the fingers reach into the black
keys...or the rotation of wrists, elbows, etc. Of course, some of
this is personal preference/comfort but I gotta believe there's an
"optimal" way that applies to most people. I don't want to learn any
bad habits.

Anyways, I order the following DVDs from Amazon,
"The Cliburn - Playing on the Edge"
"The Art of Piano - Great Pianists of 20th Century"

... maybe I can slow down the videos a little bit and pick up some
knowledge along the way.
Post by LEC
Also, check out
http://www.freeingthecagedbird.com/
the focus is on basic movement and relaxation during playing. It won't
teach you fingering, but it will help with hand, wrist, arm, body position
while playing them.
That link seems to be a static page that doesn't jump anywhere.
Post by LEC
The Taubman videos are good (at least a couple of them are), but I don't
think they'd mean much without a 'Taubman teacher' reinforcing the concepts.
Post by Jason W
Is there a DVD video that shows very specific and close-up techniques.
scales: chromatic, major, minor, etc
arpeggios
hand over hand
etc...
Has any classical pianist created a video to show exactly how to play
material that's harder than Fur Elise? (e.g. Chopin etudes, etc.)
The only videos I see on a Google search are things like, "Learn Piano
in 1 hour", or "Fun with Piano", or "Play Piano like Steve Allen". I
can't believe there's no such thing as hard-core classical piano
instruction!
I see Taubman might have some videos but none of the links on that
website work http://www.taubman-institute.com/home.html
Yes, I know I can (should?) get a piano instructor, but I learn SO
MUCH FASTER from a video.
LEC
2004-09-25 01:47:58 UTC
Permalink
I've embedded some comments, hope they help.
Post by Jason W
Post by LEC
The scales and such can be learned from any number of scale books, there
really isn't any mystery to those. If you're interested, the full Hanon
book has all the scales and arpeggios; also Kjos publishes "Scales, Chords &
Arpeggios" edited by Bastien (aka the Waterfall book, for the
illustration
Post by Jason W
Post by LEC
on its cover). Those, and some home-made materials, are what I use with my
students.
Sure still seems like a mystery to me!
I happen to have the Hanon book but since it's not a video, I can't
see the nuances of how "experts" finger them for fast competent
playing. For example, how deep the the fingers reach into the black
keys...or the rotation of wrists, elbows, etc. Of course, some of
this is personal preference/comfort but I gotta believe there's an
"optimal" way that applies to most people. I don't want to learn any
bad habits.
I don't think you will find a video of this (although there is some on the
Lister video). You need to strive for accuracy and relaxation. Speed will
come from these factors (accuracy is more important). The key signatures
played primarily on the black keys are played deeper into the keys, but you
just have to get a feel for it as your hand size and finger length will
dictate some of this.
Here's what I advise for scales (major keys)
- Start with the key signatures which go 123,1234 (RH); C, G, D, A, E, B.
Get that pattern really soaked into your brain.
- Then work on F (1234, 1234, 123)
- Then look at the others
- Play slowly enough that you never make an error at first. Get the
patterns wired into your hands and brain
- Play 2 octaves up and down. Later, increase to 4. This is to get the
full fingering of the pattern.
- Increase speed slowly. Play with a metronome to get a very exact measure
of speed. Start very slow, maybe 60 notes/min until you absolutely can't
make an error. Then increase maybe 4-8 notes. Play at least 3 repititions
at the new speed in a row without error, if you make an error, slow down to
the previous checkpoint.
- Ensure that your touch is consistent throughout, no thumpy thumb or
crossover fingers. If you thump, you're playing faster than your ability
(maybe try a higher wrist).
- Move your arm and wrist as you move up and down, keep a (near) straight
alignment; the thumb shouldn't have to tuck too far under since you are
moving along with the scale.

Mr Chang may check in on this thread too. He has written an on-line book
which is pretty useful, but does differ with my approach somewhat; here is a
link
http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm
Post by Jason W
Anyways, I order the following DVDs from Amazon,
"The Cliburn - Playing on the Edge"
"The Art of Piano - Great Pianists of 20th Century"
... maybe I can slow down the videos a little bit and pick up some
knowledge along the way.
Post by LEC
Also, check out
http://www.freeingthecagedbird.com/
the focus is on basic movement and relaxation during playing. It won't
teach you fingering, but it will help with hand, wrist, arm, body position
while playing them.
That link seems to be a static page that doesn't jump anywhere.
At the bottom of the page are links to the other pages. See the video link
at the bottom.
Post by Jason W
Post by LEC
The Taubman videos are good (at least a couple of them are), but I don't
think they'd mean much without a 'Taubman teacher' reinforcing the concepts.
Jason W
2004-09-25 03:54:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by LEC
I've embedded some comments, hope they help.
THEY DO!
Post by LEC
Post by Jason W
I happen to have the Hanon book but since it's not a video, I can't
see the nuances of how "experts" finger them for fast competent
playing. For example, how deep the the fingers reach into the black
keys...or the rotation of wrists, elbows, etc. Of course, some of
this is personal preference/comfort but I gotta believe there's an
"optimal" way that applies to most people. I don't want to learn any
bad habits.
I don't think you will find a video of this (although there is some on the
Lister video).
This is so strange to me. I'm more familiar with guitars, bass, and
drums and they all have advanced videos showing "shredding" and all
sorts of wild technical playing. I'm amazed there's no equivalent in
the piano world! (Especially considering that piano is older than
those other instruments.) It would seem like there's a market for
classical piano videos since so many students (and/or parents of
children) are dissatisfied with their piano instructors.
Post by LEC
You need to strive for accuracy and relaxation. Speed will
come from these factors (accuracy is more important). The key signatures
played primarily on the black keys are played deeper into the keys, but you
just have to get a feel for it as your hand size and finger length will
dictate some of this.
Here's what I advise for scales (major keys)
This is the exact helpful information I'm looking for. How about a
hand-over-hand exercise up and down the keyboard? I've seen that done
on TV and I've ALWAYS wanted to do that because it looks like fun.
Although, I'm not sure there is any piece of music that actually
requires it. Is there?

Relaxation is not a problem for me... it's the fingering.

Btw, I'm using those scale exercises to learn of pieces like:
Chopin: Op #10 Etude #4
Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata (3rd movement)
Schubert: Impromptu in Eb major Op #90 N #2

For example, I look at the opening of Schubert Op90N2 and I'm not sure
what fingers go where for all those long runs. I basically would have
to dissect the first 80 measures and pencil in the numbers 1-2-3-4-5
above each 8th note before I even start to practice it. Maybe the
sheet music version I have is bad. Is there a published version with
all the finger assignments written out?

I learned Linus and Lucy from sheet music without premapping the
fingers to each note but the density of classical stuff makes me
unsure of which fingers to put where.
Post by LEC
Post by Jason W
Anyways, I order the following DVDs from Amazon,
"The Cliburn - Playing on the Edge"
"The Art of Piano - Great Pianists of 20th Century"
... maybe I can slow down the videos a little bit and pick up some
knowledge along the way.
Post by LEC
Also, check out
http://www.freeingthecagedbird.com/
the focus is on basic movement and relaxation during playing. It won't
teach you fingering, but it will help with hand, wrist, arm, body
position
Post by Jason W
Post by LEC
while playing them.
That link seems to be a static page that doesn't jump anywhere.
At the bottom of the page are links to the other pages. See the video link
at the bottom.
Stupid alert: I have this Samsung LCD monitor that I use in
"portrait" mode. It's great for writing documents and viewing
webpages. That webpage is authored to show the links anchored to the
very bottom of the page regardless of window size. On my portrait
screen, I saw this huge pink space ad thought that was it. Had I
turned my monitor to the typical landscape mode, I would've seen it
write away.

Thanks for all the advice.
LEC
2004-09-25 04:55:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
This is the exact helpful information I'm looking for. How about a
hand-over-hand exercise up and down the keyboard? I've seen that done
on TV and I've ALWAYS wanted to do that because it looks like fun.
Although, I'm not sure there is any piece of music that actually
requires it. Is there?
Hand over hand is easy. In it's most basic form it is just the repetition
of the same chord up and down. For starters, do C Major; (LH)C-E-G,
(RH)C-E-G,etc, (LF)C, (RH)GEC, etc down.
Its fun to do (IMO) in all the keys major and minor just as a warmup.
The trick, if there is one, is common to piano; move fast, play slow. As
soon as the LH is done playing, move it up (in a quick movement) while the
RH is playing, repeat. Make the notes uniform in tempo so there fluidity
(use a metronome again while developing your skill). I think I play them
all with 1-3-5 normally.
Post by Jason W
Relaxation is not a problem for me... it's the fingering.
Chopin: Op #10 Etude #4
Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata (3rd movement)
Schubert: Impromptu in Eb major Op #90 N #2
You have picked some pretty advanced stuff for a beginner. Sometimes there
are tricks to a specific work or passage, but I wouldn't try to teach that
through the internet.
One 'trick' with the Beethoven would be to initially play the RH in blocked
chords; i.e. all four notes of the broken chord simultaneously, played with
the correct fingers as quarter notes; then jump to the next chord.
This will get you accustomed to the fingerings and the overall timing of the
movements. When you are around half-speed (accurately) start arpeggiation
rolling your hand and wrist; and if you can high hand position at the start,
lowering into the 2nd note and rising through the 3rd and 4th (which will
help provide some lightness and natural forward movement to the hand). Use
your arm weight and just stiffen your fingers (for the most part), your hand
is not a spider crawing up the keyboard.

If you can get all your scales and arpeggios (and maybe the rest of Hanon),
under control. You should consider some lessons. There is a lot which
can't be well explained on line.

These books are very good, but I think it would be too much without
direction.
"20 Lessons in Keyboard Choreography", by Seymour Berstein
"Mastering Piano Technique", Seymour Fink
"On Piano Playing", Gyorgy Sandor
All available from Amazon and elsewhere. Now that I think of it, I think
one them comes with a card to order an accomanying DVD, but I don't recall
which and didn't buy it.
Post by Jason W
For example, I look at the opening of Schubert Op90N2 and I'm not sure
what fingers go where for all those long runs. I basically would have
to dissect the first 80 measures and pencil in the numbers 1-2-3-4-5
above each 8th note before I even start to practice it. Maybe the
sheet music version I have is bad. Is there a published version with
all the finger assignments written out?
Work in small sections, a phrase or less at a time until you are proficient.
Fingering is usually quite logical, but can vary sometimes for a performers
hand and preferences. Editors of these editions can make mistakes. If you
are looking at scales or arpeggios, make them match to standard fingering
(eg if it's a (RH) C scale starting on E start with 3 and cross with your
thumb for F).
If there is a cardinal rule, it is that the thumb doesn't play on black keys
except in the most extreme circumstances; orient your fingering to follow
that.
Post by Jason W
Thanks for all the advice.
You are welcome. Good luck.

Couple more things.
Speed isn't everything; well-played with accuracy and good phrasing beats
flash in my book. Don't overdo it.
If you aren't relaxed, or if your alignment is wrong you can get tendonitis
or worse. Repetitive activities are not natural. Break up your practice
into different pieces and exercises. Stay relaxed (have I said that
enough), even if you think you are relaxed it is easy for tension to creep
in.
YYZ
2004-09-26 00:15:22 UTC
Permalink
< w/apologies, LEC deleted .. >
Post by Jason W
This is so strange to me. I'm more familiar with guitars, bass, and
drums and they all have advanced videos showing "shredding" and all
sorts of wild technical playing. I'm amazed there's no equivalent in
the piano world! (Especially considering that piano is older than
those other instruments.)
some of your ideas (thinking?) are really quite messed-up, jason :)

It would seem like there's a market for
Post by Jason W
classical piano videos since so many students (and/or parents of
children) are dissatisfied with their piano instructors.
and your source for such a broad-brush **inaccurate** claim would be?
Post by Jason W
You need to strive for accuracy ..
This is the exact helpful information I'm looking for. How about a
hand-over-hand exercise up and down the keyboard? I've seen that done
on TV and I've ALWAYS wanted to do that because it looks like fun.
Although, I'm not sure there is any piece of music that actually
requires it. Is there?
gee, y'think there may be one or two passages scattered somewhere? ..
Post by Jason W
Relaxation is not a problem for me... it's the fingering.
the problem, to these eyes, is a distinct lack of clear vision; so far.
Post by Jason W
Chopin: Op #10 Etude #4
Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata (3rd movement)
Schubert: Impromptu in Eb major Op #90 N #2
get serious! .. is this the first day of april on some other planet?
Post by Jason W
For example, I look at the opening of Schubert Op90N2 and I'm not sure
what fingers go where for all those long runs. I basically would have
to dissect the first 80 measures and pencil in the numbers 1-2-3-4-5
above each 8th note before I even start to practice it. Maybe the
sheet music version I have is bad. Is there a published version with
all the finger assignments written out?
your own words (above) demonstrate beyond all measure your failing -
a failure to acknowledge that your reach .far. exceeds your grasp :)
Post by Jason W
I learned Linus and Lucy from sheet music without premapping the
fingers to each note but the density of classical stuff makes me
unsure of which fingers to put where.
"premapping"? .. good lord .. lol .. < no offense, but .. >
jason, find that teacher which you so obviously & desperately require -
good luck ..
--
arrau / gilels / gould / richter
www.mozilla.org
Jason W
2004-09-26 01:25:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by YYZ
< w/apologies, LEC deleted .. >
Post by Jason W
This is so strange to me. I'm more familiar with guitars, bass, and
drums and they all have advanced videos showing "shredding" and all
sorts of wild technical playing. I'm amazed there's no equivalent in
the piano world! (Especially considering that piano is older than
those other instruments.)
some of your ideas (thinking?) are really quite messed-up, jason :)
Some of my ideas are not eloquently explained in a few sentences in a
newsgroup.
Post by YYZ
It would seem like there's a market for
Post by Jason W
classical piano videos since so many students (and/or parents of
children) are dissatisfied with their piano instructors.
and your source for such a broad-brush **inaccurate** claim would be?
**** I'm so embarrased!!! *** You called my bluff. I didn't do a
scientific survey or cite a respected journal with statistics stating
that problem. I said "so many" based on the fact that 3 of my friends
have kids that take piano lessons. Each family uses a different
teacher. None of them are happy with the teacher. So my real life
"sample" might be skewed. I can accept that. So, YYZ, what's YOUR
source for saying that it's an inaccurate claim?

Btw, are you a piano teacher? Perhaps I inadvertently offended you.
Post by YYZ
Post by Jason W
You need to strive for accuracy ..
This is the exact helpful information I'm looking for. How about a
hand-over-hand exercise up and down the keyboard? I've seen that done
on TV and I've ALWAYS wanted to do that because it looks like fun.
Although, I'm not sure there is any piece of music that actually
requires it. Is there?
gee, y'think there may be one or two passages scattered somewhere? ..
This was just a newbie question. To me, it seems like anything done
hand-over-hand can be done just as fast as ONE hand shifting positions
down the keyboard. So the hand-over-hand appears like it's just a
visual effect, or a personal preference in executing a piece. So, it
was a real question based out of my ignorance: does there exist any
music that explicitly states you gotta do it hand over hand? Me
stupid--you GOD---so help me out oh wise one.
Post by YYZ
Post by Jason W
Relaxation is not a problem for me... it's the fingering.
the problem, to these eyes, is a distinct lack of clear vision; so far.
This is ambiguous. What vision do I lack? Be specific.
Post by YYZ
Post by Jason W
Chopin: Op #10 Etude #4
Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata (3rd movement)
Schubert: Impromptu in Eb major Op #90 N #2
get serious! .. is this the first day of april on some other planet?
I am serious. This stuff can't be that hard. I can already do the
first 4 measures of Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement at typical concert
speed and it sounds convincing. It took about 3 months to get to that
proficiency. The Chopin piece looks a little harder because it's more
intense on the left hand. I haven't started practicing that piece
yet.
Post by YYZ
Post by Jason W
For example, I look at the opening of Schubert Op90N2 and I'm not sure
what fingers go where for all those long runs. I basically would have
to dissect the first 80 measures and pencil in the numbers 1-2-3-4-5
above each 8th note before I even start to practice it. Maybe the
sheet music version I have is bad. Is there a published version with
all the finger assignments written out?
your own words (above) demonstrate beyond all measure your failing -
a failure to acknowledge that your reach .far. exceeds your grasp :)
[Sigh.]

I'm not trying to be a concert pianist. I just want to have fun on
the piano. That's all there is to it.
Post by YYZ
Post by Jason W
I learned Linus and Lucy from sheet music without premapping the
fingers to each note but the density of classical stuff makes me
unsure of which fingers to put where.
"premapping"? .. good lord .. lol .. < no offense, but .. >
jason, find that teacher which you so obviously & desperately require -
good luck ..
At the end of the day, LEC's post was very helpful and pointed me in
the right direction. Your posting just sounds like you're a "piano
god" critcizing how I wasn't worthy to be in your presence.
KingMe
2004-09-26 16:21:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
This was just a newbie question. To me, it seems like anything done
hand-over-hand can be done just as fast as ONE hand shifting positions
down the keyboard. So the hand-over-hand appears like it's just a
visual effect, or a personal preference in executing a piece. So, it
was a real question based out of my ignorance: does there exist any
music that explicitly states you gotta do it hand over hand? Me
stupid--you GOD---so help me out oh wise one.
Actually I believe there is; don't remember exactly what the notation is,
you'll know it when you see it (just like most notations, they're not meant
to be cryptic and esoteric)
Post by Jason W
Post by YYZ
Post by Jason W
Chopin: Op #10 Etude #4
Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata (3rd movement)
Schubert: Impromptu in Eb major Op #90 N #2
get serious! .. is this the first day of april on some other planet?
I am serious. This stuff can't be that hard. I can already do the
first 4 measures of Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement at typical concert
speed and it sounds convincing. It took about 3 months to get to that
proficiency. The Chopin piece looks a little harder because it's more
intense on the left hand. I haven't started practicing that piece
yet.
I believe you; please update your progress to the group when you finish the
pieces. I have a theory that this might be actually the fastest way to
getting the high levels, just need to find somebody go through the boredom
willing to test it. I believe those pieces are about 10+ years worth of
casual piano training.
Radu Focshaner
2004-09-28 00:46:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
I am serious. This stuff can't be that hard. I can already do the
first 4 measures of Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement at typical concert
speed and it sounds convincing. It took about 3 months to get to that
proficiency. The Chopin piece looks a little harder because it's more
intense on the left hand. I haven't started practicing that piece
yet.
I could not resist this...

I SWEAR that I scanned and printed the first page of Chopin's Etude Op25,No1
(8 bars) and inserted it in my "to practice" folder (at the end of it). It
is fantastic for my right and left thumbs "trigger" condition (it stretches
the thumbs and releases them). And I can record it on the P-120 and then
change the tempo and I can hear it at Gyorgy Cziffra / Vova Ashkenazi
speed..

r.
... and it sounds ...awful
Jason W
2004-09-28 02:03:26 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 02:46:01 +0200, "Radu Focshaner"
Post by Radu Focshaner
Post by Jason W
I am serious. This stuff can't be that hard. I can already do the
first 4 measures of Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement at typical concert
speed and it sounds convincing. It took about 3 months to get to that
proficiency. The Chopin piece looks a little harder because it's more
intense on the left hand. I haven't started practicing that piece
yet.
I could not resist this...
I SWEAR that I scanned and printed the first page of Chopin's Etude Op25,No1
(8 bars) and inserted it in my "to practice" folder (at the end of it). It
is fantastic for my right and left thumbs "trigger" condition (it stretches
the thumbs and releases them). And I can record it on the P-120 and then
change the tempo and I can hear it at Gyorgy Cziffra / Vova Ashkenazi
speed..
r.
... and it sounds ...awful
I'm not trying to say it sounds "beautiful" --- it just sounds
"convincing". What I meant is that regular lay people can recognize
that it's the Beethoven tune. It's also just the first 4 measures
which is just the first 5 seconds of the tune. It's not the whole 7
minute piece! To most piano prodigies, taking 3 months to learn 5
seconds of music is rather pedestrian, is it not??

In your experience, how long does it realistically take to learn
Chopin Etude Op25#1 to sound "passably convincing"???

Btw, I believe we have different performance goals: I'm trying to
play it well enough to be "enjoyable and fun". I infer from your note
that your goal would be to satisfy golden-eared music critics and to
win piano recital competitions.
Radu Focshaner
2004-09-28 20:24:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
I'm not trying to say it sounds "beautiful" --- it just sounds
"convincing". What I meant is that regular lay people can recognize
that it's the Beethoven tune.
I wouldn't be so sure. In my experience, most of the "regular lay people"
would not recognize the 3-rd movement of the Moonlight even if it is played
by Radu Lupu/ Arrau /Schnabel . The first one... perhaps
Post by Jason W
In your experience, how long does it realistically take to learn
Chopin Etude Op25#1 to sound "passably convincing"???
I have no f***in' idea !
Post by Jason W
I infer from your note
that your goal would be to satisfy golden-eared music critics and to
win piano recital competitions.
And to make young sexy ladies from the public scream , throw their pants at
the piano and, finaly, faint at my feet !

Betsy
2004-09-28 02:11:05 UTC
Permalink
Good one, Radu.

This stuff is that hard, dear Jason W. You give yourself too much credit.
Why don't you find out how well your 4 measures impresses your family and
friends? Actually, try complete strangers, they'll be more honest.

And, Oh, the Chopin is quite a bit harder. Sorry to disappoint you.

Meanwhile, 3 months for 4 measure? I do hope you are kidding. Haven't you
got a better way to spend your time?
Post by Radu Focshaner
Post by Jason W
I am serious. This stuff can't be that hard. I can already do the
first 4 measures of Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement at typical concert
speed and it sounds convincing. It took about 3 months to get to that
proficiency. The Chopin piece looks a little harder because it's more
intense on the left hand. I haven't started practicing that piece
yet.
I could not resist this...
I SWEAR that I scanned and printed the first page of Chopin's Etude Op25,No1
(8 bars) and inserted it in my "to practice" folder (at the end of it). It
is fantastic for my right and left thumbs "trigger" condition (it stretches
the thumbs and releases them). And I can record it on the P-120 and then
change the tempo and I can hear it at Gyorgy Cziffra / Vova Ashkenazi
speed..
r.
... and it sounds ...awful
Jason W
2004-09-28 02:25:52 UTC
Permalink
I can't tell from your message if 3 months for 4 measures is taking
too long or it's unbelievably fast.
Post by Betsy
Good one, Radu.
This stuff is that hard, dear Jason W. You give yourself too much credit.
Why don't you find out how well your 4 measures impresses your family and
friends? Actually, try complete strangers, they'll be more honest.
And, Oh, the Chopin is quite a bit harder. Sorry to disappoint you.
Meanwhile, 3 months for 4 measure? I do hope you are kidding. Haven't you
got a better way to spend your time?
Post by Radu Focshaner
Post by Jason W
I am serious. This stuff can't be that hard. I can already do the
first 4 measures of Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement at typical concert
speed and it sounds convincing. It took about 3 months to get to that
proficiency. The Chopin piece looks a little harder because it's more
intense on the left hand. I haven't started practicing that piece
yet.
I could not resist this...
I SWEAR that I scanned and printed the first page of Chopin's Etude Op25,No1
(8 bars) and inserted it in my "to practice" folder (at the end of it). It
is fantastic for my right and left thumbs "trigger" condition (it stretches
the thumbs and releases them). And I can record it on the P-120 and then
change the tempo and I can hear it at Gyorgy Cziffra / Vova Ashkenazi
speed..
r.
... and it sounds ...awful
Mizz Marcia Ryder
2004-09-28 04:06:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
I can't tell from your message if 3 months for 4 measures is taking
too long or it's unbelievably fast.
<snip>
Finally, the proof!
The fact that you made the above statement means
you are either:

a) a troll
b) a person with tons more self-esteem than common sense
c) a self-taught drummer
d) an engineering school drop-out
e) both a) & b)
f) all of the above

Initially my vote would have been a) but I've been
leaning towards b) until now. I am not willing to consider
c) and d) because I have friends and family that fit those
labels but have a lot more sense than you. I'm positive
my cats have more.

The only question now is; in how many guises have you
trolled this happy band?

Marsha
Jason W
2004-09-28 10:03:30 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 04:06:42 GMT, "Mizz Marcia Ryder"
Post by Mizz Marcia Ryder
Post by Jason W
I can't tell from your message if 3 months for 4 measures is taking
too long or it's unbelievably fast.
<snip>
Finally, the proof!
The fact that you made the above statement means
a) a troll
b) a person with tons more self-esteem than common sense
c) a self-taught drummer
d) an engineering school drop-out
e) both a) & b)
f) all of the above
Initially my vote would have been a) but I've been
leaning towards b) until now. I am not willing to consider
c) and d) because I have friends and family that fit those
labels but have a lot more sense than you. I'm positive
my cats have more.
The only question now is; in how many guises have you
trolled this happy band?
Marsha, I'm not a troll. What's there to "troll" for? This is not a
"Steinway vs Yamaha" debate.

And yes, I actually am a self-taught drummer and a college drop-out!
I do dabble in a lot of things and piano is one of them.

I apologize to the group for sounding unrealistic. It's not about an
irrational ratio of "self-esteem" to "common sense". I have
admittedly very unconventional goals for playing the piano. It will
take years to learn any Chopin piece but I refuse to say to myself
that it's "hard". There are already enough challenges in his piano
works (and life in general) to beat up yourself further by saying
"it's hard it's impossible you're not worthy'".

I'm not claiming my playing is good. In fact, I'm sure it's awful.
The best phrase I can come up with to describe my skill would be, "the
tune is passably recognizable." I do know that I'm "good enough" to
enjoy it and friends can tell what I'm trying to play. No
self-delusions here.

I first heard "LVB Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement" in 1989. I didn't
realize people could play piano like that. Up to that point, I was
familiar with things like "chopsticks", "The Entertainer", or "Fur
Elise". When I recently self-taught myself the first few bars of
Moonlight Sonata at full tempo, I got very excited and came to this
group for further advice (especially on finger assignments). I don't
know if my progress is good or bad. That's all there is to it.

Cheers...
Alex Blakemore
2004-09-28 14:01:28 UTC
Permalink
Jason,

What people are trying to tell you is that the fastest and best way
to learn to play difficult music well is to gradually build up to it.

You do that by carefully studying easier pieces that progressively
build the skills needed to play the pieces at the next level.
There is always a next level. We all have dream pieces to
strive for. That is fine.

The absolute worst (and slowest) way to learn a complex piece
that is way ahead of you is to slug through it on your own
before you are ready. It will take a long long time.
(3 months is very very long for 4 measures)

You will certainly develop ingrained poor technical habits
that will be hard to break. That will make it difficult to learn
to play the piece well - even if you come back later when
you have developed the necessary skill.

A good teacher is _invaluable_ to helping you progress
through the repetoire and develop effective technique, and can
save you countless hours of frustration compared to trying
to discover how to play on your own. We all teach ourselves
to some degree, but piano playing is a very complex skill,
and people have learned alot about how to play it effectively
over the last few centuries. Find a good teacher.

There is a huge volume of wonderful music at every
level of proficiency. Use your enthusiasm wisely.
Work up to the advanced pieces gradually.
Find a teacher. Study theory. And have fun.

You will get there if you work hard AND sensibly.

Good luck,
Alex Blakemore
Edward
2004-09-27 08:12:41 UTC
Permalink
Jason W <***@att.net> wrote in message news:<***@4ax.com>...
[...]
Post by Jason W
Chopin: Op #10 Etude #4
Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata (3rd movement)
Schubert: Impromptu in Eb major Op #90 N #2
These are pretty advanced. Would you try to ride a Ducati 900cc
motorcycle if you'd only just learnt to stay upright on a bicycle?
Why not try something a little easier? Of course, I applaud your
ambition, but fear that you might become disenchanted with your
apparent lack of progress.
Post by Jason W
For example, I look at the opening of Schubert Op90N2 and I'm not sure
what fingers go where for all those long runs. I basically would have
to dissect the first 80 measures and pencil in the numbers 1-2-3-4-5
above each 8th note before I even start to practice it. Maybe the
sheet music version I have is bad. Is there a published version with
all the finger assignments written out?
Fingering is pretty subjective. A decent edition will only have
minimal fingering, and then only at the "gotcha" places. I find that
I often delete the printed fingering in favour of what suits me. For
some music (Bach, for example) I will often write the fingering for
the whole piece.
Post by Jason W
I learned Linus and Lucy from sheet music without premapping the
fingers to each note but the density of classical stuff makes me
unsure of which fingers to put where.
If the passage is tricky, you must start off hands separately, and
experiment. Sometimes the fingering is obvious - but sometimes it's
not. Also, if you play music with a lot of ornaments (such as Bach,
for example), the fingering of the ornaments is by no means intuitive,
though if you use the correct fingering you will likely progress
faster.

If you want to be pretty much self-taught, then good luck to you.
There are plenty of adequate pianists around who have never had a
lesson in their lives. You may learn a great deal from video
instruction, too. What you won't get, however, is feedback from
someone who knows what you are doing, particularly if you are doing
something wrong.

Edward
--
The reading group's reading group:
http://www.bookgroup.org.uk
Jason W
2004-09-28 10:45:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward
[...]
Post by Jason W
Chopin: Op #10 Etude #4
Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata (3rd movement)
Schubert: Impromptu in Eb major Op #90 N #2
These are pretty advanced. Would you try to ride a Ducati 900cc
motorcycle if you'd only just learnt to stay upright on a bicycle?
Why not try something a little easier? Of course, I applaud your
ambition, but fear that you might become disenchanted with your
apparent lack of progress.
It's not as ambitious as it seems LOL. I failed to mention that I'd
like to learn JUST the first 2 minutes of LVB Moonlight Sonata 3rd
mvmnt. I'm not interested in mastering the whole 7 minute piece.
Even when I listen to accomplished artists playing it, I typically
don't listen to it all the way through and stop the CD player around
the 2 minute mark.

Same with Schubert... I'm only interested in the first minute which
has the beautiful scale runs. I don't like the rest of it with the
galloping chords.

On the other hand, the Chopin piece I hope to learn all the way
through. There's not really a logical pause in the sound to break it
apart and stop. People are saying it takes 10+ years to learn it
which doesn't make logical sense because I see children play it!
Post by Edward
If the passage is tricky, you must start off hands separately, and
experiment. Sometimes the fingering is obvious - but sometimes it's
not. Also, if you play music with a lot of ornaments (such as Bach,
for example), the fingering of the ornaments is by no means intuitive,
though if you use the correct fingering you will likely progress
faster.
What's "ornaments" ?
Post by Edward
If you want to be pretty much self-taught, then good luck to you.
There are plenty of adequate pianists around who have never had a
lesson in their lives. You may learn a great deal from video
instruction, too. What you won't get, however, is feedback from
someone who knows what you are doing, particularly if you are doing
something wrong.
I'll try to find an instructor but at this point, it's just not my
biggest priority. I'm at a disadvantage because I wouldn't be able to
differentiate a good instructor from a bad one. I was hoping to use
the videos to calibrate my brain as to what competent fast playing
looks like. Besides, piano teachers can't do any practicing for you
which is 99% of progress anyways.

Thanks for the help Edward.
Radu Focshaner
2004-09-28 20:16:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
On the other hand, the Chopin piece I hope to learn all the way
through. People are saying it takes 10+ years to learn it
which doesn't make logical sense because I see children play it!
The only child I can think of is Eugene (Evgeny) Kissin . I saw a video when
the child Kissin was playing a Chopin concerto.
(he said he could recite the melody of a Bach's fugue his sister played when
he was only 11 months old...)

Read this:
Evgeny Kissin was born in Moscow in 1971 and began to play and improvise on
the piano at the age of two. He entered the Moscow Gnessin School of Music
for Gifted Children at the age of six, where he studied with Anna Pavlovna
Kantor. At the age of ten he made his performing debut playing Mozart's
Piano Concerto K. 466 with the Orchestra of Ulyanovska, and he gave his
first solo recital in Moscow at age eleven. He first came to international
attention in March 1984, when he performed the two Chopin concertos in the
Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Moscow State Philharmonic
under Dmitri Kitaenko

Now ... for the computations : he performed the Chopin concertos at age 13.
That's 11 years after he started to play . That's 7 years after ge enetered
the School of Music for Gifted Children.

Most of the concert pianists who studied in Russia, started the conservatory
at age 12 (after several years of learning privately). If a pianist could
not win an international contest by the age of 17-18, the chances to make a
career are very low. (Richter makes an exception, but he was already a
conductor when he started the Conservatory).

The famous (woman) pianist Martha Argerich complained that one of her
teachers assigned to her two Chopin Etudes each week (and by then she was
already very advanced).

Ivo Pogorelich (my precious one) continues to "take" lessons from a teacher
. And he is one of the "best sellers" of Deutsche Grammophone.
Post by Jason W
I'm at a disadvantage because I wouldn't be able to
differentiate a good instructor from a bad one.
That indeed is the biggest problem. But you are not alone.... Beethoven had
seven bad teachers....until he found the right one.
Post by Jason W
I was hoping to use
the videos to calibrate my brain as to what competent fast playing
looks like.
You can't see in a video the muscular work of the arms, shoulders, abdomen
(yes, the muscles of the chest and abdomen ). You can't see in a video how
all those muscle work in order to provide a big sound. You can't see in a
video the pedaling technique. I could not see the "leg work" (on the pedals)
of Pogorelich from the fourth row ... it was too dark.
Chris Newcombe
2004-09-25 17:19:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
Sure still seems like a mystery to me!
I happen to have the Hanon book but since it's not a video, I can't
see the nuances of how "experts" finger them for fast competent
playing. For example, how deep the the fingers reach into the black
keys...or the rotation of wrists, elbows, etc. Of course, some of
this is personal preference/comfort but I gotta believe there's an
"optimal" way that applies to most people. I don't want to learn any
bad habits.
There are fingerings for scales and advice for playing at speed, in C.
Chang's book 'Fundamentals of Piano Practice, 2nd Edition'. See
http://members.aol.com/kwanmc/scale.htm .

The entire book is available as a completely free download from
http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm .

I'd strongly recommend you read the whole thing if you haven't already
-- it's really helping me.

Chris
YYZ
2004-09-26 00:22:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chris Newcombe
Post by Jason W
Sure still seems like a mystery to me!
I happen to have the Hanon book but since it's not a video, I can't
see the nuances of how "experts" finger them for fast competent
playing. For example, how deep the the fingers reach into the black
keys...or the rotation of wrists, elbows, etc. Of course, some of
this is personal preference/comfort but I gotta believe there's an
"optimal" way that applies to most people. I don't want to learn any
bad habits.
There are fingerings for scales and advice for playing at speed, in C.
Chang's book 'Fundamentals of Piano Practice, 2nd Edition'. See
http://members.aol.com/kwanmc/scale.htm .
The entire book is available as a completely free download from
http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm .
I'd strongly recommend you read the whole thing if you haven't already
-- it's really helping me.
Chris
surely in jest, chris? . you're able to sift kernels from the chaff?
do post how you're making out w/the whole TO approach to fingering :)
< am not slamming .you., chris .. but, a little more caution works >
do not let this be your only, nor primary, reference text - egad ..
--
arrau / gilels / gould / richter
www.mozilla.org
Jason W
2004-09-26 01:29:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by YYZ
Post by Chris Newcombe
Post by Jason W
Sure still seems like a mystery to me!
I happen to have the Hanon book but since it's not a video, I can't
see the nuances of how "experts" finger them for fast competent
playing. For example, how deep the the fingers reach into the black
keys...or the rotation of wrists, elbows, etc. Of course, some of
this is personal preference/comfort but I gotta believe there's an
"optimal" way that applies to most people. I don't want to learn any
bad habits.
There are fingerings for scales and advice for playing at speed, in C.
Chang's book 'Fundamentals of Piano Practice, 2nd Edition'. See
http://members.aol.com/kwanmc/scale.htm .
The entire book is available as a completely free download from
http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm .
I'd strongly recommend you read the whole thing if you haven't already
-- it's really helping me.
Chris
surely in jest, chris? . you're able to sift kernels from the chaff?
do post how you're making out w/the whole TO approach to fingering :)
< am not slamming .you., chris .. but, a little more caution works >
do not let this be your only, nor primary, reference text - egad ..
Chris Newcombe's notes were constructive and I was able to go to the
suggested webpage, print out the text and try it out on the piano.

You, YYZ, have not said _one_ thing that I can directly try out on the
piano to improve my playing.

See the difference??? Constructive vs destructive.

Cheers.
gregpresley
2004-09-25 06:39:50 UTC
Permalink
there is a video available of Nelita True giving lectures at Eastman - One
of the 4 videos is on technique - and even though she may not get to your
specific questions, the demonstrations and explanations are very clear. An
additional bonus is that the video is shot from many different angles -
including from above the piano - so that you can see the way her arms,
wrists, fingers and body move. You should be able to google Nelita True to
find where you could obtain the videos.
Post by Jason W
Is there a DVD video that shows very specific and close-up techniques.
scales: chromatic, major, minor, etc
arpeggios
hand over hand
etc...
Has any classical pianist created a video to show exactly how to play
material that's harder than Fur Elise? (e.g. Chopin etudes, etc.)
The only videos I see on a Google search are things like, "Learn Piano
in 1 hour", or "Fun with Piano", or "Play Piano like Steve Allen". I
can't believe there's no such thing as hard-core classical piano
instruction!
I see Taubman might have some videos but none of the links on that
website work http://www.taubman-institute.com/home.html
Yes, I know I can (should?) get a piano instructor, but I learn SO
MUCH FASTER from a video.
YYZ
2004-09-25 23:54:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
Is there a DVD video that shows very specific and close-up techniques.
scales: chromatic, major, minor, etc
arpeggios
hand over hand
etc...
'exact fingerings' have very little impact upon 'advanced mechanics';
and there are .no. short-cuts of the type you quite obviously seek ..
Post by Jason W
Has any classical pianist created a video to show exactly how to play
material that's harder than Fur Elise? (e.g. Chopin etudes, etc.)
who knows? who cares? and, more importantly, why? .. to what end?
last i checked, instrument study called primarily upon touch/hearing.
and there is much more to those senses, as applied, than may appear.
Post by Jason W
The only videos I see on a Google search are things like, "Learn Piano
in 1 hour", or "Fun with Piano", or "Play Piano like Steve Allen". I
can't believe there's no such thing as hard-core classical piano
instruction!
would you even recognize 'hard-core classical piano instruction'? hmm?
Post by Jason W
I see Taubman might have some videos but none of the links on that
website work http://www.taubman-institute.com/home.html
Yes, I know I can (should?) get a piano instructor, but I learn SO
MUCH FASTER from a video.
oh please, do hold on to that delusion .. more surely shall follow :)
< though kudos for being the first, ime, to broadcast that one here >
--
arrau / gilels / gould / richter
www.mozilla.org
Jason W
2004-09-26 01:04:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by YYZ
Post by Jason W
Is there a DVD video that shows very specific and close-up techniques.
scales: chromatic, major, minor, etc
arpeggios
hand over hand
etc...
'exact fingerings' have very little impact upon 'advanced mechanics';
and there are .no. short-cuts of the type you quite obviously seek ..
Not looking for ANY shortcuts. Just looking for fingerings and
advice. Practice is practice. Practice takes time. No way around
that. I've been playing guitar for 20+ years. I know it takes to go
from "point A" to "point B". I ALSO know I wouldn't talk
condescendingly to another beginner guitarist like the tone of your
postings.
Post by YYZ
Post by Jason W
Has any classical pianist created a video to show exactly how to play
material that's harder than Fur Elise? (e.g. Chopin etudes, etc.)
who knows? who cares? and, more importantly, why? .. to what end?
last i checked, instrument study called primarily upon touch/hearing.
and there is much more to those senses, as applied, than may appear.
Post by Jason W
The only videos I see on a Google search are things like, "Learn Piano
in 1 hour", or "Fun with Piano", or "Play Piano like Steve Allen". I
can't believe there's no such thing as hard-core classical piano
instruction!
would you even recognize 'hard-core classical piano instruction'? hmm?
Look, I don't know you. But you sure sound pompous. Are you one of
those "piano snobs" that us mere mortals disdain?!?! Hey, it's just
piano---we're not trying to launch a space shuttle here. Let's put
this in perspective.
Post by YYZ
Post by Jason W
I see Taubman might have some videos but none of the links on that
website work http://www.taubman-institute.com/home.html
Yes, I know I can (should?) get a piano instructor, but I learn SO
MUCH FASTER from a video.
oh please, do hold on to that delusion .. more surely shall follow :)
< though kudos for being the first, ime, to broadcast that one here >
Not a delusion. It's true. (At least its true for me---for my
learning style.) Most piano instructors have their own agenda with
song lists and exercises I wouldn't be interested in. I could waste
weeks & months trying to find that perfect piano teacher to teach me
what _I_ want to play/learn but gee whiz, by then, I could've just
learned some songs and had some fun.
Daniel G. Emilio
2004-09-27 13:27:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
Post by YYZ
Post by Jason W
Is there a DVD video that shows very specific and close-up techniques.
scales: chromatic, major, minor, etc
arpeggios
hand over hand
etc...
'exact fingerings' have very little impact upon 'advanced mechanics';
and there are .no. short-cuts of the type you quite obviously seek ..
Not looking for ANY shortcuts. Just looking for fingerings and
advice. Practice is practice. Practice takes time. No way around
that. I've been playing guitar for 20+ years. I know it takes to go
from "point A" to "point B". I ALSO know I wouldn't talk
condescendingly to another beginner guitarist like the tone of your
postings.
Post by YYZ
Post by Jason W
Has any classical pianist created a video to show exactly how to play
material that's harder than Fur Elise? (e.g. Chopin etudes, etc.)
who knows? who cares? and, more importantly, why? .. to what end?
last i checked, instrument study called primarily upon touch/hearing.
and there is much more to those senses, as applied, than may appear.
Post by Jason W
The only videos I see on a Google search are things like, "Learn Piano
in 1 hour", or "Fun with Piano", or "Play Piano like Steve Allen". I
can't believe there's no such thing as hard-core classical piano
instruction!
would you even recognize 'hard-core classical piano instruction'? hmm?
Look, I don't know you. But you sure sound pompous. Are you one of
those "piano snobs" that us mere mortals disdain?!?! Hey, it's just
piano---we're not trying to launch a space shuttle here. Let's put
this in perspective.
Post by YYZ
Post by Jason W
I see Taubman might have some videos but none of the links on that
website work http://www.taubman-institute.com/home.html
Yes, I know I can (should?) get a piano instructor, but I learn SO
MUCH FASTER from a video.
oh please, do hold on to that delusion .. more surely shall follow :)
< though kudos for being the first, ime, to broadcast that one here >
Not a delusion. It's true. (At least its true for me---for my
learning style.) Most piano instructors have their own agenda with
song lists and exercises I wouldn't be interested in. I could waste
weeks & months trying to find that perfect piano teacher to teach me
what _I_ want to play/learn but gee whiz, by then, I could've just
learned some songs and had some fun.
Do a Google search for "practice" in this group and you will find a
great deal of help.

Good Luck,
Daniel G. Emilio
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