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Beginners, watch this !

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Beginners, watch this !

Post by jytte on Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:03 am

(these videos are actually from Circle_of_fists, but I haven't seen them posted here, and this deserves a special mention. Hope that's ok with you Circle.)

We've all seen the many videos, posted here and on YouTube, of various performances of music. Some of proud (as they should be) people who just learned their first piece, some of more advanced people playing difficult pieces beautifully. For the beginner watching the latter, it can seem impossible that we're ever gonna "get there". When we start learning our first pieces, we find out just how much work we have to put into it, learning little pieces of it, one hand at a time, and then struggling to put it together, and then practicing again and again (and again and again) till we're finally able to play it smoothly and without errors.
I don't imagine I'm the only one who ever felt like a clumsy oaf during that process. I also don't think that I'm the only one who initially had the misguided idea that "once I get good at this" I can "just sit down and play", much like one can just sit down and read a book once the language in which it is written has been learned. We quickly learn that that's not the case.

Then the other day I came across this video on the 'tube. This was so much fun to watch, because that's exactly how I work my way into the (easier) pieces that I now play. Circle is way ahead of me, so it was just nice to see that the process is the same for all of us.



And this is the end-result (which is all we usually get to see):



Circle, thank you so much for filming and showing this Very Happy

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Re: Beginners, watch this !

Post by DBCooper on Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:03 pm

Hi Jytte and Circle of fists,

Thank you very much for the videos. It clearly shows that patience is very important while learning songs. Furthermore, it changes from people who would call this an "easy piece" and claimed that they learned it in 30 minutes.

Question: How many hours did you spend to learn the whole piece? And what is the model of your keyboard?

PS: You shouldn't open the can above your nice keyboard.

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Re: Beginners, watch this !

Post by Circle_of_Fists on Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:11 pm

Thanks for posting, jytte. Ah, this brings back memories! Very Happy In hindsight, it was a fun project because it's a little different than anything else I've posted on you tube. But at the time, it was a TON of effort, not only because the piece was difficult, but the editing process took forever to cram 2 hours of video down to about 3-4 minutes!

There were 2 reasons I thought about starting the project. First, I was amazed at how the brain works and that I could spend 2 hours working on something with no improvement only to go to bed and the next day things would improve so much. Strange how that works.

The second was to show this improvement process to beginners so that they didn't get discouraged when things don't click right away.

Again, thanks for posting!

DBCooper wrote:Question: How many hours did you spend to learn the whole piece? And what is the model of your keyboard?

Ah, yes, I remember practicing A LOT! At the time I didn't have as many pieces to work on, so I could direct a lot of energy to just this piece. Also, because I was filming the learning process I didn't want to look like a slacker or slow or anything like that, so I was practicing like crazy. I would guess about at least 1 hour per night (maybe 2 some nights) in the beginning.

I think I filmed the "learning" portion of the video for perhaps the first 10 days. So during this portion it was maybe 1-2 hours per night. The video above only shows the first portion of the piece, which I think was 5 days or so. (If I showed the whole piece it would have been a very long and boring video!)

After that, I could manage my way through the song better and no longer filmed, but still practiced for 4-5 weeks before I recorded the final version (2nd video above). Practice on this piece was less per day since I also moved on to learning other pieces, so maybe 20 minutes per day or something like that.

So, the short answer - I practiced a lot!

And I still practice a lot. I average about 2 hours per night - sacrificing sleep for learning this instrument! Neutral


The keyboard above is a Roland Fantom G8. It's a great keyboard and the touch is terrific on it, but the piano sounds are awful! I've since purchased a Kawai K5 upright acoustic, but it's very loud, so most of my practice still takes place on my Fantom keyboard. (I usually don't start practice until everyone in the house is in bed Neutral )

alien
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Re: Beginners, watch this !

Post by Rickard on Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:45 pm

Circle_of_Fists wrote:There were 2 reasons I thought about starting the project. First, I was amazed at how the brain works and that I could spend 2 hours working on something with no improvement only to go to bed and the next day things would improve so much. Strange how that works.
It's actually called PPI (Post Practice Improvement), basically you improve when not practicing. Well, the best way to get as much PPI as possible is to play the segments you practiced during the session at least once slowly at the end (1/2-3/4 of final speed) but keep in mind that you should always try to use the same motions as you did for playing fast when playing slow (yep it's not easy sometimes). Also it's good to make a habit of playing slowly at least once before switching hands. Furthermore it's importiant to get enough sleep. I saw a documentary about sleep and 8h (without interuptions) is like the minimum sleeping time an adult needs per day. So try to always get at least 8 hours of sleep per day. Well, most things you need to know about PPI for piano and written in the Fundamentals of Piano Practice, mainly in these segments:
http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.II.15
http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.II.16
http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.II.17

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Re: Beginners, watch this !

Post by Liam19 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:27 pm

Nice CoF, that video shows some fustration you seemed to of had, and instead of giving up you kept going, and then seeing that outcome shows that good comes out of some hard work. It definetly shows that everyone has to start off somewhere, and not just born knowing how to play. I actually thought that looked hard to play myself. Good job, I really enjoyed your playing, keep it up. Very Happy

BTW the screen on that is big lol.
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