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Thread: Fundamentals of Piano pratice

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    Member Davzon's Avatar
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    Default Fundamentals of Piano pratice

    I came across this site the other day, saying about the things we do like scales, and how we attack things is completely wrong. I think in some way I understand where he is coming from, cause we learn pieces by playing scales all the time, but when was the time we ever heard songs with scales just going up and down the piano? I think the most part he was talking about, is we need to try and make whatever we do, is make it a musical practice, but to be honest he might not know what the hell he is on about, so for this I just wanted to know what others thought of his methods I have the website link here... http://www.pianopractice.org/

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    Senior Member CyrilWashbrook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davzon View Post
    I came across this site the other day, saying about the things we do like scales, and how we attack things is completely wrong. I think in some way I understand where he is coming from, cause we learn pieces by playing scales all the time, but when was the time we ever heard songs with scales just going up and down the piano? I think the most part he was talking about, is we need to try and make whatever we do, is make it a musical practice, but to be honest he might not know what the hell he is on about, so for this I just wanted to know what others thought of his methods I have the website link here... http://www.pianopractice.org/
    Apologies for being glib, but why bother learning your A-to-Zs? When was the last time you read a book with letters just going up and down the alphabet?

    I'm not a very good piano player. But I'm sure that I would have been more competent if I hadn't glossed over scales and other technical work when learning. Off the top of my head: they're good for practising and maintaining basic technique, learning to play in an even tempo, gaining control over dynamics and articulation, and developing a more instinctive sense of where your fingers should go when playing in particular key signatures (which in turn helps with sight-reading). Scales aren't the only method of developing/refining those skills, but they're an important part of that process.

    Also, I've just skimmed part of the book to which you link. If you have interpreted his book as saying that we shouldn't be spending so much time on scales, then I suspect you have severely misinterpreted what he has written. In the section on scales, he criticises the specific technique that many students are taught: as far as I can tell, he reckons that people should be learning what he calls the "thumb over" method rather than the "thumb under" method.

    This is very different to saying that we shouldn't bother with scales. In fact, as he says in bold and italic type on page 135: "Scales and arpeggios must be practiced diligently."

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    Member Davzon's Avatar
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    oh thanks good to know, I've got it wrong cause I kinda like playing scales in general, but I'm always looking for new ways to practice and I saw that come up and thought straight away that's what he meant. it's just I do practice scales and chords and I don't seem to be going nowhere, and I practice hours a day, but don't really spend much time learning pieces.

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    Senior Member CyrilWashbrook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davzon View Post
    oh thanks good to know, I've got it wrong cause I kinda like playing scales in general, but I'm always looking for new ways to practice and I saw that come up and thought straight away that's what he meant. it's just I do practice scales and chords and I don't seem to be going nowhere, and I practice hours a day, but don't really spend much time learning pieces.
    It's a matter of balance, surely. If you're literally setting aside hours a day to practise, then I doubt many people would recommend that you spend all of that time - or even most of that time - on scales or technical work. Technical work, for any instrument, isn't an end in itself: it's really designed to help you play pieces better.

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    Member Davzon's Avatar
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    ahh... I see... so that might be what he was on about then, so it's like 10 percent technical work and 90 percent learning new pieces, I'll have to get myself into that then.

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