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Am I Doing This Right? (Learning to Play a Song)

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Am I Doing This Right? (Learning to Play a Song) Empty Am I Doing This Right? (Learning to Play a Song)

Post by Depo007 Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:24 pm

While I know there is no de facto standard when it comes to the "right" way to learn how to play a song, I was curious if my present method is a sound one (no pun intended). Currently, I am learning to play Minuet in G by Mozart. For the past 10 sessions, I've spent all of my song-practicing time strictly on the first part of it (that is, up to the first repeat). As of now, I can pretty much play it consistently at ~ 60 BPM. The actual tempo (at least the recording I've heard) is much quicker than that, however. And the fact is I'm still at the very beginning of the song.

I guess I'm just looking for some kind of reassurance that I'm not going down the wrong path with this. I realize that this song is more difficult than the ones I usually start out learning (stuff from a beginner's piano book by Schaum), but I dunno.
Depo007
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Post by d.chimeraan Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:25 am

I have the same feeling too. Not an expert, but I think you should be fine as long as you're working on the technique/scales part for a good enough portion of your time. It should feel like you're doing better each time, though. For me, the first four bars of the song I'm working on now took 2-3 days because I couldn't get my LH to move properly. It's better now (although not immensely)- I've been learning new parts in maybe 1-2 days. Hope that helps a bit.

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Post by Thomandy Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:05 am

Well, what lies in Learning?

Is it that you have memorized it or that you can play it up to the correct speed? Cause in the beginning of learning a new piece the main things isnt to play it up to the right speed. Its more important to Memorize the notes (unless you can play good with notes) So if you have memorized and are in the process of speeding the piece up to its original speed ect than you are on your way, and then you could Start to memorize the rest of the song Before you can actually play up to speed, and flawless.

How I learn a song(Im using Nocturne op9 no2 as ex)

Day one: (One hour)
Looking at the sheets, what key is it in, how does it repeat, what is the genre of the piece, listen to recordings - Memorizing 1 or 2bars

Day Two: (2hours)
Memorizing 4-5 bars

Day Three:(1-2-3 hours)
Playing through the bars to get it to stick in my head from the day before. I dont move on until I can play it (SLOW) without hesitating to much or look at the sheets. Then after 15-20 min I memorize another 4-5 bars.

Now I sort of repeat this for each session. I repeat what I have memorized from the days before, and learning new bars until I have memorized the whole piece.

For the Nocturne I used about 6-7 hours to memorize the notes, and maybe another 2-3 hours to get it to stick good.

Now after these 10 hours Im ready to get to the next step. I have over this time gotten slightly faster, and I got some dynamics down ect, but now is the time to Nail it!! Practice the hardest parts first and most in the beginning, since they take longer time. I single out these parts and play them more, like the 4finger-trill near the end of the Nocturne.

This is what takes the longest time for me on harder pieces!!
I also need to create an interpretation and recordings of different musicians is very helpful.
Andrew gave me an 82 one it, so its more I can Improve - And it took me about 3weeks after I got it down in 2weeks, and Im a bit sloppy after awhile, so I just play it 2-3times a day for that month. So the main job I do on a piece is in the beginning, then I use about 15-20 min 4-5days a week to get it to where I want it, adding some extra practice time one especially hard parts. Total hours I spendt on the piece is 20-30hours. But If you can play more on the piece than 20min a day, I think that is better! Im a bit "lazy" Razz

It must be said that I got a fairly decent memory, and that I Memorize about 100bars(3pages) from a grade 4piece in about 3hours. But the Nocturne took longer cause of a lot of different chords ect. So the time of learning is individual!

Hope this might help?! Smile
Thomandy
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Post by d.chimeraan Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:09 am

Wah, you make it sound so easy >.<

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Post by Depo007 Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:54 pm

Great post, Thomandy. Lots of good stuff in it. I think the thing that was bugging me was that I bit off more than I could chew, so today I focused solely on the first phrase, and was actually able to get it up to the proper speed (still working on the dynamics though).
Depo007
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Post by Depo007 Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:05 pm

Looks like progress is indeed happening. I can play up to the first repeat nearly a tempo (spent the last 40 minutes on it).
Depo007
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