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Author Topic: the piano help thread! :D  (Read 1183 times)

daj

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2017, 02:35:06 PM »

I started piano in the first place and since summer's over i'll be able to start up piano lessons with my teacher again and really start making some progress. I've always liked your sheets but were always intimidated by ithem, but if I sit down and really work at it I think I'll be able to make some good progress on them. Thanks for the long answer, I really appreciate all the help you've been giving!

And it gives me great pleasure to help someone who's actually interested in my cause and the stuff that I do - so thank you for your enthusiasm, it's inspiring for me too :)



I think a lot of things you might think are impossible for you can probably just be done by putting in enough practice; whatever it is you want to learn, I'd say try giving it a few practice sessions before deciding whether it's impossible or not
Besides, if you're too scared to play anything besides things that you're confident are in your skill level, you might not make it very far.
That's true, thank you. Only way to succeed is to go forward I guess, so I'll pick up some more challenging stuff :)

Braix makes a good point, and I'd just like to add on some ideas to that ^^

~

You can more-or-less divide sheets into three categories:
1. Short-term commitment sheets that are within your technical grasp
2. Sheets you've already mastered and/or are very comfortable with
3. Long-term commitment sheets that need constant effort and deliberate work over a long peroid to even execute properly from start to end

I think the perfect balance for your standard repertoire (i.e. playlist, except all live) is as many of category 1, about 3-6 of category 2, and 2-4 of category 3 :)

~
When I was still learning classical piano, the tradition was to keep a few long-term commitment "exam pieces" in your repertoire and just drill those week by week. I saw lots of my peers stuck on those exam pieces with very little progress over months, sometimes years. It's quite easy to burn out if the only pieces you can play are the ones that demand mundane drilling and intense focus - personally, when I was doing a performance competition, I'd played one particular piece so much that I hated it to the core, which is unfortunate, because it was really beautiful as long as I wasn't playing it :p

The trick is balance. Do keep drilling the tough pieces, but don't put down the easy pieces too quickly just because you've "mastered it". It helps to go back and play something you're familiar with from time to time. Better still, find one of two easy pieces to keep in your repertoire and work on getting those as perfect as possible. If it helps, here's my current repertoire:

Easy stuff: Route 209, Lilycove City, Rustboro Nighttime Jazz, some original works ^^
Tough stuff: Battle at the Summit, Tarrey Town, Mt. Chimney

Most of my piano time is spent drilling the tough pieces and quick-learning pieces for fast recordings, but I try to keep the number of technically challenging pieces I'm doing at 2-4, because I feel I'd burn out if too much time was spent working on mundane stuff. Yes, the mundane stuff is important - but as much as building technique is necessary, I believe it's even more crucial to avoid burnout and keep the passion alive. Therefore, the easy playlist ^^

So do try out the stuff that seems impossible and work dilligently at those, but don't forget to have some easy sheets you've already figured out in your pocket for the funsies :)

Hope this helps!~
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 02:45:20 PM by daj »
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swimswamit

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2017, 05:31:44 PM »

Lilycove city is actually my favorite tune out of all of them, looks like I'll be sticking that on my list. I've definitely got some long distance goals, if I had to fill out the list you've given it'd probably look something like this currently:

1. Snowman, song of healing, possum springs.

2.Cara Mia, Silent Hill Promise (Reprise) and Not Tomorrow, Home Again, File Select (PMD: RRT), and some others I haven't played much in a while.

3. Twinleaf Town, Route 209, Lilycove City, It's Raining Elsewhere
And a long, long distance goal would be route 216, it's my favorite of yours.

I like the outline and I'll try to stick to this, will also be picking up lessons again and getting down to the nitty gritty with scales and hand exercies that should help (and I'll be learning some Beethoven) so I should be making some progress hopefully. Thanks :)

braixen1264

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2017, 07:52:23 AM »

Hah I've just realized that I'm completely lacking in those first two categories that you've mentioned, so I should probably focus a bit more on those instead and really cut down on the long-term goals...

Maybe something like this could work?:

1. Route 209, Littleroot Town, Canalave City
2. N's Farewell, An Unwavering Heart
3. Approaching Champion Cynthia, National Park HGSS, Chopin Etude Op.25 No.5, Op.10 No.12
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daj

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2017, 01:14:18 PM »

I've definitely got some long distance goals, if I had to fill out the list you've given it'd probably look something like this currently:

1. Snowman, song of healing, possum springs.

2.Cara Mia, Silent Hill Promise (Reprise) and Not Tomorrow, Home Again, File Select (PMD: RRT), and some others I haven't played much in a while.

3. Twinleaf Town, Route 209, Lilycove City, It's Raining Elsewhere
And a long, long distance goal would be route 216, it's my favorite of yours.

Looks like a good list! ^^ I feel that "Possum Springs" might be a little on the tough side, but I suppose it works based on just a few counting patterns which you can learn quite fast, so it should be okay~

As for "Route 216", it's one of those tracks that's mainly difficult because of its speed, but also rhythmically quite tough. I'm glad to hear you like it, but definitely keep that one on the bench for a little while more - honestly, I haven't fully mastered that sheet yet either xD

Quote
I like the outline and I'll try to stick to this, will also be picking up lessons again and getting down to the nitty gritty with scales and hand exercies that should help (and I'll be learning some Beethoven) so I should be making some progress hopefully. Thanks :)

Glad that this outline helps! :) And I hope the lessons turn out useful too~

Scales and hand exercises are good! But only work them with full focus, or not at all - they're the most efficient way to warm up and get used to common figurations, but nothing hides the fact that they're boring. That said, if your teacher has an approach to scales and arpeggios that doesn't involve insane boredom, do let me know ahaha :p

I reeeaaally don't recommend doing Beethoven early on in the learning phase, though. Even "Fur Elise", haha. I haven't seen you play yet, but judging by your VGM sheet choices, I'd recommend looking through the 6 Clementi sonatinas (opus thirty-something). They're a good primer to the mid-Classical style, and I think they're beautiful. Some movements are quite tough, but you should be able to tell that visually xD



Hah I've just realized that I'm completely lacking in those first two categories that you've mentioned, so I should probably focus a bit more on those instead and really cut down on the long-term goals...

Maybe something like this could work?:

1. Route 209, Littleroot Town, Canalave City
2. N's Farewell, An Unwavering Heart
3. Approaching Champion Cynthia, National Park HGSS, Chopin Etude Op.25 No.5, Op.10 No.12

ahaha i see you let go of winter wind xD

This is a nice selection! :) For your long-term projects you have three short technical studies and one slightly more complex one (National Park ahaha, welp), and I personally like to balance my tough selections that way when not working for something major~

Quick aside - I think "N's Farewell" is one of the best pieces to keep in anyone's VGM piano repertoure. Even after you're done learning the sheet, it's just so dang fun to improvise on thatmelody, and it's just so well-written. ^^

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2017, 08:31:35 PM »

I've almost finished a piece, but I'm having, and have had for years, issues on that last 5%. I can play the song with 90% accuracy, but those mistakes are rarely in the same place any time I play it.  Does anyone have tips on ironing out that last tiny bit? Most of this last bit involves a lot of leaps, so it's much harder to get simple muscle memory to take over.

Pianist Da Sootopolis

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2017, 11:31:30 PM »

What piece?
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Maelstrom

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2017, 12:22:02 AM »

http://www.ninsheetmusic.org/download/pdf/3459

edit: but this also applies to just about every other sheet I've played and couldn't get to 100%, which is most of what I've done in the past few years
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 12:54:18 AM by Maelstrom »
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Pianist Da Sootopolis

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2017, 03:35:44 AM »

Do you know what's tripping you up?

My general diagnosis for this is one of three things:

1) It's not in your ear

2) It's not in your hands, technique-wise.

3) It's in your ear, and you're playing it, but the connection from hand to ear isn't there.

Try singing it while you play? Or is it specific technical issues?
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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #38 on: September 06, 2017, 03:39:26 AM »

My piano teacher would probably say slow down, without even knowing the problem
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daj

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2017, 10:06:00 AM »

I've almost finished a piece, but I'm having, and have had for years, issues on that last 5%. I can play the song with 90% accuracy, but those mistakes are rarely in the same place any time I play it.  Does anyone have tips on ironing out that last tiny bit? Most of this last bit involves a lot of leaps, so it's much harder to get simple muscle memory to take over.

Ooh, nice - this is a topic that's quite close to me. Here's what I've got:

In a general sense, there are two types of challenges when it comes to mechanically learning a piece: familiarisation/memory challenges and technical challenges (also includes musical challenges). Both require deliberate work if you'd like to practice (and eventually execute) your pieces efficiently. ^^

PDS summarises it pretty well:

1) It's not in your ear

2) It's not in your hands, technique-wise.

3) It's in your ear, and you're playing it, but the connection from hand to ear isn't there.

1) and 3) are under "familiarisation challenges". These happen because you don't, simply, know the piece well enough, and are not ready to react fast enough when faced with the scenario of executing it in the moment.

The solution for these challenges is not to know the piece better as much as it is to know the piece on a deeper level. That's why they tell you to "go slow" - but don't just play slower: play it in time, firmly, basically with as many small details as you can fill into the space.

But the demands aren't really that high haha - usually, playing something slower and in time until you're comfortable is enough for you to internalise the notes. ^^

In summary, when faced with a familiarisation challege, take time to learn your piece in detail. In your "far" example, I forsee that the left-hand part can be hard to familiarise if you're good at guessing chords, but when you're using extra mental energy to guess the notes instead of actually knowing the notes, you might make mistakes that lead to a 90% performance every single time~

~

And 2) is the essence of a technical challenge: you just aren't skilled enough to play what's on the sheet, at your desired tempo, without slipping up most of the time.

Technical challenges require a lot more work to handle, of course - when I was working on performance quite seriously, my teacher would give me little tips on tiny things like finger attacks, elbow weight and small turns if I asked her "how do I play this part without sucking". And then I'd go home and work the techniques individually, detail by detail: if I was to learn finger attacks, I'd work staccato scales, then the passage with all accents at a super slow tempo, then the passage with altered rhythms...you get the idea xD

So a technical challenge is best faced with deliberate, detailed practice. You know, the most boring kinds of practice.

For your sheet, I think the octave melody in the last section is quite tough to hit consistently. If I was to learn this sheet, I'd spend some time playing just that octave melody: first, at a slower tempo, to make sure I'm entirely familiar with it, then build up the tempo as the details are ironed out. Along the way you're bound to find some passages or particular leaps that are really tough, so practice those separately (literally, two notes in isolation) and try to commit those to muscle memory. :)



It's a frustrating feeling to keep working on something but not achieving the level you expect and not knowing why - so if you don't mind I'll try to infer a little ^^

I'm suspecting that for this "far" arrangement of yours, you're missing a "95% performance" (90+5, hehe) because of a combination of familiarisation and technical challenges that you haven't deliberately worked on yet.

For example, I'd think the line with bar 13 would need a bit of time to familiarise. Write the fingerings down, play that bit in isolation, all of that. The section at bar 17 on, I feel, is the hardest to execute on the spot, because you're making leaps in both hands on the second beat of most bars. I think, if I were to learn this, I'd spend most of the first twenty minutes familiarising that section.

Then I think I'd spend however much time I needed to secure the accuracy of that section, especially in the left hand. I think the left hand part is one of the bigger technical challenges of this piece, because your left thumb is basically doing octave leaps every bar (there's no better fingering I think :p). Of course, I'd use some time for the octave melody too - particularly in the links between beat 3 and 1, because those are accompanied with left-hand downward leaps.

~

Hope this helps! ^^ I wish I could spend more time asking you about your experiences instead of giving hard advice, but I'm not in the best of places to do that ahaha. Do let me know if anything though!~

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2017, 01:11:07 PM »

I'll give this a shot today and see what's up. I can say for  sure the  problem is not #1. I listened to this song on and off for a few years before ever arranging it. I practiced it a lot last semester, and, you know, spend hours with it to arrange it. Oh, and the song is 90% memorized at this point. I'm coming to belive the problem might be tempo. I should also note the issues seem to lessen when playing with one hand; I can regularly perform the entire song, one hand only, at 98%, even with my eyes closed. And yes, that includes the RH in the 3rd section. Now that I think more, it has been more of the octave jumps for me. I may see if I can make a quick recording or something and PM a link to you so you can kinda see what I mean by this.

Edit: and the first section hasn't given me problems at all in ages.

braixen1264

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2017, 03:02:12 AM »

The way I practice is as soon as I encounter a measure where I make a mistake, I'll slowly go over that measure(and the surrounding ones) a dozen times or so and try it again. Don't know if this is the best way to approach learning pieces, but it's worked for me :p
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Latios212

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2017, 03:53:09 AM »

Something I've been pondering for a little while now is a good way to play the beginning section of SMW's Athletic theme. The way it's written on site right now doesn't really lend itself to being played at 300+ BPM due to repeating notes (i.e. see below, the RH plays two eighth note E's in a row several times), or at least that's why I have a problem with it. I don't really have a problem with anything else in the sheet (minus a couple of notes I cut in a place or two for simplicity), but when I try to play this section at full speed I just muddle through the notes in the chord keeping the contour of the notes roughly what they're supposed to be. Was wondering if anyone had a good way to write out this part for the right hand.

This is the first of several similar figures from this sheet here.

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Pianist Da Sootopolis

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2017, 04:50:59 AM »

That particular passage (especially awkward in the key of A, where the repeated note is made harder to repeat because of your thumb having to hit the C#) requires a lot of intricate wrist work to support the finger repetitions.. Other than that, at 300 BPM, yikes!
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braixen1264

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Re: the piano help thread! :D
« Reply #44 on: September 07, 2017, 02:37:21 PM »

You've just gotta be incredibly athletic
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