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Thread: Learning to Play a certain Piano Piece. "Prelude in C Sharp Minor"

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    Newbies Vash's Avatar
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    Question Learning to Play a certain Piano Piece. "Prelude in C Sharp Minor"

    I have very minor experience in playing piano. I was just wondering how difficult it would be for a novice like myself to learn playing Sergei Rachmaninov's "Prelude In C Sharp Minor."
    Please & Ty.

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Very. I know this from experience. In fact, I never learned it. Just wait for a while until your piano experience is more than "minor." Believe you me, it will be worth it.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Senior Member Ignis Fatuus's Avatar
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    I am a very poor player but I managed to will myself to play that piece. But I had to practice it so much that there is no possibility of playing it with the feeling it deserves. World Violist is definitely right. Think twice before you ruin it like I did.

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    Senior Member Rasa's Avatar
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    The slow sections by themselves are hard, requiring a lot of control to render the different textures of bass line and harmonies, with the hightest note sticking out, above it.

    The fast section makes it even more difficult.

    Sure, if anyone practices long enough they might be able to play the notes, but I doubt that someone with "minor piano experience" will be able to play the music.

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    Wonderful show piece by Rachmaninoff. Played it in high school, back when I had good technique!

    My teacher's approach was to teach the rapid middle section to me at 1/2 speed or slower with metronome until every nuance, every note, every movement of my hands in between notes, every fingering was perfect, and then slowly increase the speed, but only as long as I could play it perfectly at the current tempo.
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    Senior Member Ravellian's Avatar
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    Relatively speaking, it's one of Rachmaninov's easiest pieces. The fast parts are pretty easy - I think I could play it in middle school after playing for a few years - just read it slowly at first and gradually pick up the pace. Don't be intimidated by all the sharps and double-sharps.

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    Senior Member MJTTOMB's Avatar
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    sorry, double post.
    Last edited by MJTTOMB; Nov-15-2010 at 13:17. Reason: accidental double post, read below.

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    Senior Member MJTTOMB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravellian View Post
    Relatively speaking, it's one of Rachmaninov's easiest pieces. The fast parts are pretty easy - I think I could play it in middle school after playing for a few years - just read it slowly at first and gradually pick up the pace. Don't be intimidated by all the sharps and double-sharps.
    A note: this is after a few years of experience and presumably rigorous practice, by your own admission.

    If the OP is just starting and doesn't have a very rigorous practice routine, I can't imagine he or she will have any success whatsoever trying to learn this piece and play it musically.

    That being said, I've come a long way in about 2 and a half years of playing, but I've practiced an average of at the very least 2 hours a day every single day, regardless of the circumstances. I can play a vast body of music but I still feel the Rachmaninoff C# minor Prelude will have to wait.

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    Try it. The chords on the first section will take time but are certainly do-able. I learned them when I was a beginning student. The middle section, however is more challenging. As the others have suggested, play it very slowly. Do not feel compelled to play it quickly. Speed will come with time. Make sure you have a great teacher to help you along.

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    wow this has helped...ive been wanting to learn how to play this, ive been playing for 12 years but i felt way too intimidated by this, especially the middle part....i think ill start on this tmrw.! Thank you :P

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    Senior Member Moira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash View Post
    I have very minor experience in playing piano. I was just wondering how difficult it would be for a novice like myself to learn playing Sergei Rachmaninov's "Prelude In C Sharp Minor."
    Please & Ty.
    It depends on what you mean by minor experience and how dated that experience may be. Back in the mid seventies I was practicing for three or four hours a day, working on some 'difficult' pieces. These days I have trouble reading anything with ledger lines and playing anything more demanding than Christmas carols.

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    Senior Member Sofronitsky's Avatar
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    It's not a show piece, and it really isn't that difficult

    If you can work at it, and work hard, it will be a great stepping stone for you and a confidence builder. There is nothing wrong with playing something that may seem a little out of your league, after all that is how all of the old pianists must have had to learn. (If I remember correctly, Sviatoslav Richter's first pieces were Chopin Etudes, Nocturnes, and Scherzos)

    Go for it, but practice hard and make sure you are not putting too much pressure into the keys, relax your body!

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