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All fingers & thumbs & it's doing my head in!

Happy girl

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I am practicing a piece in my tutorial which, although well within my capabilities, is doing my head in big time!

Repetition of this piece over the last 3 days to bring it up to standard has just made things worse & I am all fingers, thumbs, wrong notes & confusion because I know I could play it if I liked it better. The following exercises in the book present no problem & I am tempted to skip the page & carry on….BUT…. what about that little voice in the head that is calling for ‘Discipline’: saying if I cut this one out, then the template is in place to discard others which I don’t have a particular affiliation with.

What is the best thing to do? The piece in question is in Palmer Hughes Recital Book 3, the middle bit of Skaters Waltz with all the quavers extending over 33 bars.

This piece is played very lyrically on YouTube which is very encouraging but I am still no nearer my goal & hesitate to move on without some thoughts from learned friends on this forum
 

george garside

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a couple of thoughts

- practice it very slowly ( whilst retaining a semblance of the correct rhythm) until finger and thumbs are properly sorted and everything is working fine. Then continue the process with SMALL increases in speed. If it goes pear shaped go back to the slower speed and then try again a small increase et etc until you are at correct speed and all is well

- Skip it and make a mental note to return to it next week, month year or whatever! I don't think this will do any harm . there are plenty of other tunes to go at!

- keep in mind that the majority of players no matter how good have their achiles heel of a tune!

- the trouble with tutor books is that the tunes therein are chosen as what the writer of the book things will do you goodl but there is not necessarily a one size fits all in this respect. ( and I am speaking as a tutor book author)

george
 

Bella

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I am learning from a tutorial as well. Having learned piano for many years, I know the value of discipline and practise. BUT, if you are doing this mainly for enjoyment, I personally can't see the point in playing something you don't like. If I feel there is a valuable lesson within the piece, I think I would take out the few bars that provide that lesson and use them as a 'stand-alone' practise for 5 minutes at the beginning of each session rather like practising scales or arpeggios. That way, I would salve my conscience but avoid playing something I don't like.

There is every chance that, by continuing with other pieces in the book, if you revisited this piece some months down the line, you'll find that you've 'gone past' its difficulties just by playing other pieces.
 

Anyanka

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That is very good advice from Bella, in my opinion.

I'm currently learning bagpipes from a tutorial book, and I make sure that I practise all the technical exercises till I've got them nailed. However, I've always taken the liberty of skipping pieces that I don't like - if you don't enjoy playing it, then you'll never get really good at it, and it could put you off practice altogether and impede your progress that way.
 

Soulsaver

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I'm not sure about Palmer Hughes approach, but the Sedlon method isn't designed for every piece to be played/learned, so you could prob skip it and as George says, if necessary return in a month to find it much easier.
Also remember there are BAD days. So play something you do like learning for a while and then go back, bit at a time if necessary and apply GGs very good advice, slowly slowly catchee monkey.. :)
 

Happy girl

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Thank you all for your sensible words of support. After reading your posts I was greatly encouraged to give this excise a determined attempt instead of allowing my mind to wander.

Blow me down with a feather, I mastered it in no time & even started to enjoy the process. What a difference a day makes; I knew I could do it but I just didn’t want to!

Well George, have you been keeping your prowess as a tutor book author a secret? I would certainly be interested to hear more.
 

george garside

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My tutor book is specifically for the DG melodeon/button accordion, I originally intended to do a piano and a continental book but decided that as there are already many piano acc books on the market and the sales in the UK of a continental tutor would be fairly minimal it wouldn't be financialy viable taking into account the percentage the music shops expect.

''DG melodeon - a crash course for beginners'' ( a without the crap book) (tm) is always available on ebay as a buy now item just put in 'melodeon' for full info and feedback comments.

george
 

Anyanka

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George, I think there's definitely a market for a CBA tutorial book - there may not be that many players of chromatic buttons, but there is also nothing at all to help the few of us!
 

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