So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

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lazyhaze
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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by lazyhaze » 11 Mar 2009, 23:53

Moonlight wrote:Chopin prelude 7 in A major Op 28. Trying to get the timing, dynamics etc ok. Will take a lifetime to prefect this one I think, deceptively simple! 8)
Ah! I just started learning this piece but there's one chord that I don't know how to play because my hand span only reaches an octave. How do you play it?
chopin.PNG

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by Moonlight » 12 Mar 2009, 14:57

Hi Lazyhaze,

Yeah bar 12 is a toughy for people with small hands that don't have much of a stretch :x but it is doable! . Some people arpeggiate this chord if its too big for them, but I don’t think Chopin had this way of playing the chord in mind – he hated people altering his scores and playing it differently to how he wrote. Try this fingering I worked out, it might make your hand into a weird shape but it does the job, at least for me.

For the last chords on bar 11 use, for the top notes in the treble RH: 5 3 2 1 and in the base LH use: 1 2 5

Then for the big chord in bar 12 for the first four notes in the treble use RH: 5 4 2 1 ( the A# is going to be taken by your LH )
so for the rest of the chord that starts with the A# use finger 1 for the A# 2 for the F and the rest is 3 4. The very last note in the base I omitted as my little finger couldn't go that far!

Pratice moving from the chord positions very slowly so you know exactly were your fingers are going, until they just go into position without you needing to look 8) .

Hope this helps, I can only streatch a 9th and can hardly do octaves very well.

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by markymark » 04 Apr 2009, 23:05

dave brum wrote:Think I'll do one stage a week, that way come the exam I'll be that confident I should be able to walk on water (well in sight reading terms anyway!!)

Oh, the book (well in fact the whole series through the piano grades) have been thoroughly revised to coincide with the new piano syllabus. I have the 2009 edition and its very different from your copy, Anna!
So when do you move into your new house?

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by Moonlight » 25 Jul 2009, 18:48

Thought I would revive this post again.

Curently learning: Menuet in G by Christian Petzold

(some) Dance in C by Beethoven

Burgmuller study No ( I can't remember the number at the moment! ) its called 'Innocence'

I have my next lesson this monday at belive it or not, the RCM 8) I'm meeting my teacher there as she is rehearsing with her violinist friend there so said I might as well come and have a lesson after work, its her old college. :)

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by Gill the Piano » 25 Jul 2009, 22:00

Royal Academy, Royal College, Guildhall, Trinity, London College.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by emmac » 05 Sep 2009, 11:20

Dave, there's a version of "I'm forever blowing bubbles" in the songbook Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay published by A and C Black. (Lots of old music hall songs etc, the piano accompaniment's probably about grade 2 to 3ish) Don't know if it's still in print but libraries might have it.

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by Moonlight » 06 Sep 2009, 14:59

I guys I’m back :) , well at least for now, I don’t have quite as much time to spend blogging away on here like I did so expect me to vanish every so often. I barely have enough time to spend practicing after work.

Oh yes I had my lesson at the RCM, very nice old posh building! Way more impressive then my university! I didn’t really get to see much, I wanted my teacher to show me about but she was busy with her homework after the lesson! Had a quick look at the rooms above the piano practise rooms that are where the harpsichords were. I was more bothered about using my time to practice on a real piano then look around. But it’s really lovely walking up to the building you can hear people practicing and rehearsing as you walk by, sound really cool 8) .

I have to say I know share my teacher's dislike for Yamaha uprights now, I don’t hate them but I do think they are very loud and bright. I don’t think I will buy one after all, they don’t sound good in small rooms IMHO. That what I used in the college.

The studio where I have my lesson was shut for the summer (stupidly, kids have more time to practice in the summer holidays!) so I haven’t really had much to talk about, as I have had no lessons for a few weeks. Practice is going ok, but more slowly, without a teacher to kick me up the backside I find I spend too much time fooling around on the piano and improvising then concentrating for long.
But all the pieces I said I was learning are coming along ok, and I’m learning others too.

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by Gill the Piano » 06 Sep 2009, 17:02

You're still learning whilst 'fooling around and improvising' - you're exploring and getting to know the instrument! :)
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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by Moonlight » 01 Feb 2010, 18:08

I’m back again to update. What’s everyone learning or playing then?

Had my first lesson of the New Year last Friday, this time in one of the practice rooms at the Guildhall had to wait a while for a room though. Played on a battered Yamaha studio piano, gosh they have a heavy action! Here’s what my home work looks like for anyone interested...

Schumann, Merry Farmer, from Album for the young Op 68, No 10

Schumann, First loss, from Album for the young Op 68, No 16

Beethoven, Bagatelle in A minor Op 119 No 9

My practice can get a lot more serious now I have a real piano! My teacher wants me to work on polyphony more with the first Schumann piece so I bring out the melody and tone down the accompaniment. Grade 3 was also mentioned! But to be honest I would really like to learn a few more pieces before that!

Sight reading I think is making some sort of improvement, I can now attempt to play an easy grade 1 exam piece as a sight reading exercise, but not very well! I’m reaching the end of Paul Harris grade 3.
You're still learning whilst 'fooling around and improvising'
Thanks Gill for making me feel better about that, I always love to have a crazy few mins, or should that be an hour of improvising! :)

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by Jellyroll » 09 Feb 2010, 10:33

Moonlight,
I'm interested to find out more about the practice rooms you mentioned in guidhall. Are they for hire? I work in London, so I'm looking for somewhere to steal an hour or so practice once in a while. Also since I don't have a proper piano at home (I've got a 'infernal electrical device' as my teacher calls it!) I want to get some practice on the real thing. If you know of any other pianos available for use let me know. Oh by the way i'm doing these grade 2 ones at the moment: Gypsy Dance, Haydn; Muzurka, Delibes; Wonderful Tonight, Eric. The Gypsy Dance is great, but sounds rather more like a Gypsy Funeral at the pace I can manage right now, working on speeding it up a bit more.
Cheers,
jellyroll

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by Moonlight » 10 Feb 2010, 16:51

Hi Jelly roll

I don’t think the practice rooms at the Guildhall or RCM are available for practice buy non students. The reason I can get in there is because my teacher is an ex-student of the RCM and is currently studying at the Guildhall, so she smuggles me in for a lesson. You need student passes to get a room at the guildhall.

You’re not missing out on much; the pianos in the practice rooms can be ok but are quite battered in music colleges. I played on a couple of not very nice Yams at the royal college and on a small one at the guildhall - it had a very heavy action! Although they did have a nice Ibach in one room.

You’re better off renting a practice room in London at a piano shop like Marksons, Jacques Samuel or Bluthners. Bet the pianos would be in better condition too. Maybe you could find a place locally with a piano like a church or hall maybe they would let you practice on it? Your local music shop might even have a practice room too, would probaly cost less to rent then one in London.

Good luck with grade 2! And don’t worry about being slow with the Haydn piece, my teacher always tells me to slow down! :mrgreen:

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by Emma » 06 Mar 2010, 14:18

Hi folks,

I've just started playing again after a long absence. I managed to find a teacher quite close to home and I've been trying to find my feet again since lessons started a few weeks ago. And, it's proving to be quite difficult. I'm not downhearted. I know I'll get better if I practice regularly. But I thought I'd be able to play better than I can with just a little practice. Sadly this is not to be and I need to give myself more time to see any results.

Still, I've just started playing The Joy of Boogie and Blues. Very simple arrangements of some old favourites, including House of the Rising Sun (Oh! the nostalgia!).

And my scales are coming on a bit. Can do most of the major scales now with both hands ... well, after a fashion.

So, I don't think I'm going to be the best pianist the world has ever seen, but I'm sure I can get roughly in the direction I want to go ... which is the point at which I can play a few fairly decent arrangements of old jazz standards. So you see, my objectives are quite modest.

Will wite again with more progress soon.

Happy practicing to everyone.

Emma

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by emmac » 07 Mar 2010, 12:07

Emma, glad you found a teacher. I'm sure if you keep practising the improvement will come...

I'm currently trying to learn Debussy Clair de Lune by heart. I'm trying to learn everything by heart these days to keep the memory cells ticking over, but all too frequently it disappears overnight...

Also I'm wary of practising too much when the neighbours are in (we live in a semi). I believe you can get dummy keyboards printed on card or plastic. Anyone ever tried them? Are they any help?

Cheers,

EmmaC (a different and probably much older Emma)

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by Moonlight » 12 Mar 2010, 18:09

Hi Guys, another progress report...

The Beethoven bagatelle notes are ok most of the time, but it’s the dynamics that are a real pain, you need to go from F to P so suddenly. Might give old Beethoven a bit of a break after this piece, I’m looking forward to learning some music from Cuban composers soon! 8)

Schuman, ***, from album for the young Op 68, 30. Lovely introspective piece this, more polyphony to work on, quite a learning curve!

Vaughn Williams, Valse lente. Saw this lovely piece on you tube it’s in the grade 4 book so I bought it and have started learning it. I really didn’t think I would be playing anything by him, he’s not really a composer I’m really bothered with but this piece is very nice.

So then Dave when’s your exam? Sounds like you are well on your way to doing it soon :) . I’m really not sure when I’m going to do mine, don’t wait for me! Having too much fun building up on repertoire, I did start to memorise the grade 3 pieces but have neglected them again. Scales are all memorised the minors could be improved though.
I believe you can get dummy keyboards printed on card or plastic. Anyone ever tried them? Are they any help?
Hi Emma(c), don’t waste your time with a roll up rubber keyboard! You just can’t get any benefit from playing on a flat surface I think. I have one, got it for £2. Maybe your budget could extend beyond £2 and you could get silent system installed into your acoustic piano?

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by Moonlight » 11 Aug 2010, 16:32

Well well well then...thought I would come back for a bit, how is everyone’s practising getting on? Have you started to learn your grade 3 pieces yet Dave? :)

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning?

Post by Moonlight » 12 Aug 2010, 17:04

Hi Dave / and guys if you’re reading

Chosen my pieces as you know, I would like to take grade 3 next year, as I have had a year to play repertoire. I have chosen the same pieces as you, but for the C piece I have chosen C2 Stroll On, sounds quite funky and bluesy. I’m happy they have Wild rider as I learned that a while back, and have just refreshed myself with it again.
At the moment I’m currently learning:

Beethoven Bagatelle 5 Op 126 – Having fun with this but there are some large intervals I’m not too sure about.

Grieg Lyric piece Arietta - I can’t seem to make this sound as nice, it’s still too loud, and sounds clumsy, on my acoustic piano.

Piazzolla, Tango final – This is the piece I’m having trouble with at the moment, it’s an intermediate arrangement. Sight reading a grade 4 piece is too hard for me, I’m not even sure if I have the rhythm right, teacher where are you? I guess I could work on the easier bits in the piece...

Bach piece for grade 3
Schumann Wild rider – I’m experimenting with how to make it sound better. :piano;
Making one of my special cakes on Sunday for Teresas birthday,
That sounds really nice, is it a Victoria sponge?

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Gill the Piano » 09 Sep 2010, 17:53

Hope you're feeling better soon!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Moonlight » 27 Sep 2010, 15:52

Haven’t had lessons for agesssssssssss :( but I’m currently learning:

The first piece in Schumann’s kinderszenen, from strange countries and people. I started this last year but never finished it; I have a bad habit of starting pieces and leaving them, I’m going to finish it off this time.

I finished memorising Arietta by Grieg, but would love to play it on another piano, is it me or do some pieces sound better played on another piano then your own?...my piano needs its 2nd tune next month.

Started the last and hardest piece in suite of short pieces by my teacher’s friend. I have been working on them over the summer, they are modern Cuban pieces. It’s a very beautiful emotional piece, full of arpeggios and quintuplets.

I still need to memorise Stroll on, the grade 3 C piece, I’m having trouble memorising it as I’m not practicing it enough and keep sight reading it (badly) , I’m so lazy :oops: :roll: .

Hey Dave did you check out that book website? its cheap init?

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Blodwen » 27 Sep 2010, 16:41

Hi!!
I'm new here! I started learning the piano again about 6 months or so again and am going to be doing my Grade 2 in November sometime! Scary stuff! It'll be my first exam so Im really nervous but excited at the same time.

Im doing:
A2 Biehl Allegro grazioso: 2nd movt from Sonatina in C, Op. 57 No. 1
B3 Reizenstein The First Snowdrop
C1 Eric Clapton Wonderful Tonight, arr. McNamara

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Gill the Piano » 27 Sep 2010, 17:14

Well done on picking up piano playing again; it's something you can do till you're 100 or your fingers seize up, keeps the brain going and is a lot of fun. We have a lot of adult learners here, and they all seem to be having a good time...you can share your highs and lows and get a sympathetic ear! Do you have lessons or are you self taught? And how long a break from playing did you have?
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Blodwen » 27 Sep 2010, 23:25

Thanks Gill! Im having lessons, I learned from my father when I was younger but as a teenager I never listened lol! now Im 29 and regret so much that I never took it seriously! Now Im making amends! Ive got myself a different teacher (not my father lol although its helpful to have a dad who plays!) Ive decided to do exams as they'll force me to improve and to challenge myself. Im so excited about doing my first piano exam but nervous too! Any tips to help overcome nerves would be really appreciated!

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Blodwen » 28 Sep 2010, 09:30

Hi Dave Brum!
Thanks for your advice, Ill certainly bear in mind not to eat a full breakfast! I hope I get a morning exam and not an afternoon one though, Ill probably get nervous if I have to wait all morning before I do an exam! Yes Im going straight in for grade 2! Allegro Grazioso is my favorite piece, I love it! in some ways Im quite excited about doing my first exam, is that normal lol? I know Ill be nervous on the day though!
I notice from your previous posts that you siarad Cymraeg! Im a Welsh speaker too! Where are you from?

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Moonlight » 28 Sep 2010, 15:04

Hi Dave :)

I’m fine, don’t worry I’ll email it to you again, the grade books are even cheaper there! Sorry to hear of the bad news, but you can still practice even without lessons. I haven’t had one for about 2 months now, I’m going to have one this week though.

I was just wondering why don’t the piano veterans of the piano page don’t ever bother to post something about their playing, in this topic. Gill? Marky? :|

Welcome blodwen! :)

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Gill the Piano » 28 Sep 2010, 18:35

The only playing I really do is for a choir of Yummymummies on a Wednesday, the organ in church,some exam accompaniment or a quick thrash through of a piano after I've tuned it. I play, but don't practice. Playing is playing a piece through, making a/lots of mistake/s, muttering 'buggrit' and carrying on. Practice is what good girls do, ie, making a mistake, stopping and playing it over and over again till it's right. I tend to compose more than I play now.
Filming?? You're talking to a woman with a grind-up whamophone here, Dave! :D
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Blodwen » 14 Oct 2010, 12:23

Had a lesson on Tuesday and did Aural tests for the first time! OMG am so nervous for my grade 2 exam now! I'm fine with the pieces and scales but nervous with the Aural, my teacher says I'll be fine but Im worrying now! aaaargh only 5 weeks or so to go! :cry:

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Gill the Piano » 14 Oct 2010, 17:54

Don't panic, you'll be fine. You can always get a CD of aural tests to help, but the aural tests are only a little section of the exam. Everyone (apart from the boffins) has one part of the exam they hate! (Scales for me.) And as an adult you're doing the exam FOR FUN!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Gill the Piano » 24 Oct 2010, 15:45

Get 'The Inner Game of Music' from the library or Amazon; helps conquer nerves. Secondly, think positive; don't keep saying/thinking/writing 'I can't...I don't...' etc, as it really does affect your performance (I was THIS CLOSE -*holds thumb and forefinger .000001" apart* - to going up to Brum to smack Dave Brum's Bum (poetry) last year over this... :lol:) Thirdly; invest in a bottle of Bach Rescue Remedy from Boots or the Health Food Shop, excellent for nerves.i
You must have regular lessons, even if it's only one every month/three weeks/fortnight; it really WILL help and improve your performance and nerves considerably.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Gill the Piano » 25 Oct 2010, 15:08

I don't know, I was talking about your bum. And now your missus will come down here and smack me...:( :D
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Gill the Piano » 26 Oct 2010, 14:41

The dominant is a 5th up. So the dominant of C is G, of F is C and so on. So you might start a piece in G major, find yourself in D then end up back in G again (pieces nearly always end up in the key they start off in unless it's a weirdie like John Cage or something).
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by markymark » 29 Oct 2010, 13:35

I am ALWAYS watching, dave..... jkl

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Gill the Piano » 06 Nov 2010, 18:37

I'm so glad you're doing so well, PL...it's lovely when it all clicks, and I bet you're still on cloud 9! :piano;
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Gill the Piano » 08 Nov 2010, 18:07

GO FOR IT! :D
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Blodwen » 10 Nov 2010, 00:01

OMG grade 2 exam a week on Friday the 19th!! Mixed emotions, excited and nervous at the same time. Practicing like mad and feel like my fingers are going to fall off lol! Went to Tesco yesterday stocked up on kalms and bach rescue remedy, just hope I dont get shaky hands! Nerves I think I can handle,if I get shaky hands Im stuffed!
Cant wait for it to be over, fed up of playing the same tunes now, need to move on!

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Qcam2010 » 10 Nov 2010, 05:08

Blodwen wrote:OMG grade 2 exam a week on Friday the 19th!! Mixed emotions, excited and nervous at the same time. Practicing like mad and feel like my fingers are going to fall off lol! Went to Tesco yesterday stocked up on kalms and bach rescue remedy, just hope I dont get shaky hands! Nerves I think I can handle,if I get shaky hands Im stuffed!
Cant wait for it to be over, fed up of playing the same tunes now, need to move on!

Good luck with your exam, I have my Grade 1 tomorrow :shock: Feeling a bit ooer now. That's not the reason for being up at 4am tho lol :piano;

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Blodwen » 10 Nov 2010, 12:19

Hey Qcam, good luck with your exam tomorrow, I hope it goes really well for you, you'll have to let me know how it goes and what it's like!

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Gill the Piano » 10 Nov 2010, 17:37

DON'T TAKE KALMS ON THE DAY!! You need to be completely alert; just use them for a good niht's sleep the night before.
You'll all be fine; it's evident that you care and practise a lot - that's the most anyone can do! Break a leg!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Blodwen » 10 Nov 2010, 22:07

Thanks Gill! Wise words! I shall stay off the Kalms the morning of exam! They probably wont work anyway, think Im more likely to need valium ha ha! So do you teach Gill?

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Re: So how is your practise going, and what are you learning

Post by Blodwen » 11 Nov 2010, 19:49

lol Dave Brummers that is waaaay out of my reach ha ha! For some reason the last 2 days Im fluffing my left hand arpeggios, so if I cant get that right then I got no hope of ever accompanying anyone lol!!

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