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Question about learning curve and progress

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Hi friends (especially the advanced ones and professionals) I have a question! How many hours of diligent practice do you think is necessary on piano accordion in order to get skilled to play this waltz:
And how many is necessary to play the "Second Waltz" ? (I think it is a bit easier, although when I suppose this it is not excluded that I am wrong).
Anyhow, this 2 music is my longtime wish to be able to play them... a "deep internal main tune" is forcing me to play those ones...
So, what is your opinion, how many hours of practice is necessary to achieve my goal, starting at the almost zero level? (Okay I am not on the absolutely zero level on right hand, but surely as the left hand are concerned).
 

saundersbp

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This piece reminds me (possibly too much) of the English group The Stranglers which did a piece called "Waltz in Black" in one of their very worst selling albums called The Meninblack.


The Waltz was resurrected by the permanently inebriated English TV chef Keith Floyd for the theme music to his cookery programmes where it seemed to find a happy bed fellow.

The Stranglers weren't all bad though - this is great!
 

debra

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Interesting question but unfortunately impossible to answer.
When a child starts learning music it can take 5 years of practicing 1 hour a day to reach level X, and for another less talented child it may take 10 years of practicing 1 hour a day to reach the same level X, and still other children will never reach level X.
When someone aged 65 thinks it's a good idea to start learning music and after retirement starts practicing 4 hours a day it is unlikely that (s)he will ever reach that same level, and by the age of 75 it is probably hopeless...
So really, how much practice it takes to reach a certain level depends on many factors, including talent, but by far the most important factor is age and whether or not one has learned music (perhaps using a different instrument) before. I'm afraid that for many of us forum members this is not good news, but it is what it is.
 

davidplaysaccordion

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I didn't try the second one but I did find some music for the first one on musecore so I grabbed a couple of pages to try it.
If you are a beginner, the first thing I'd do would be to transpose it down half a step to Cm instead of C#m, why make life hard!
The basic structure, from the little I tried is just three chords, so in Cm, that would be Cm,Fm and G(7?) or make them sharp if you want to play it as written, same structure, just further up the bass side but only half a note further up on the treble side (but more of those pesky black notes (in C#m) too.
Then you really need to simplify it down. The treble is not to bad as is (from what I saw) but the music for the left hand got into a lot of arpeggios.. That said, the arpeggios were still just over the basic chord structure (more or less, not getting into too much detail here) so you have to decide if you want to play it like that or simplify it down.
With music, it is my opinion that for most of it, the written notes should be considered more of a guide than a bible. So be free to interpret it as you will.
If you just stick with a basic 1,2,3 waltz on the left hand, you are only moving around the same three rows (Cm, Fm and G or the sharp version in orig key) so it should not be too difficult to get the right row, just have to get used to the fingering and actually doing it.

Time wise? How long is a piece of string? Really depends on how well you read/hear music but don't be afraid to write chords and notes on the paper if that helps, at least at first.

Cool piece though, I do like it.
 

Dingo40

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CC and Saundersbp,
Thanks for sharing the clips: interesting!🙂👍
As for how long it could take, like David said, how long is a piece of string?🤫
 
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This piece reminds me (possibly too much) of the English group The Stranglers which did a piece called "Waltz in Black" in one of their very worst selling albums called The Meninblack.


The Waltz was resurrected by the permanently inebriated English TV chef Keith Floyd for the theme music to his cookery programmes where it seemed to find a happy bed fellow.

The Stranglers weren't all bad though - this is great!
Hi, big thanks, I like this piece (waltzinblack) very much!
 

dunlustin

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The quality of The Stranglers ' Golden Brown might be down to Paul Desmond ( Dave Brubeck's alto sax player;, circa 1964 ) having written it.
( Please correct if mistaken )

Vampire Masquerade is in C# minor - one of the least PA friendly keys especially if you have a 72 bass instrument.
That said, if you had it written in Aminor and just played the violin and cello parts.... How long? - no idea, sorry
 
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JerryPH

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Asking how many hours of time is needed to learn something really is an impossible question to answer. Age, current level of competence, how fast/slow one learns and, overall level of dedication and motivation to learn and talent level are just a fraction of that equation.

The only half decent answer is "as many hours as it takes you to learn the piece!"

In my teens and 20's a song like Czardas was be a "3 days to learn, 2 days to memorize and perfect" piece. I had a 250-300 song repertoire in my head. Today if I had to, starting fresh, a similar piece is a month or more, and forget the memorization part... I have so much info in my head that when I sleep, data seems to fall out, and I seem to wake up each day stupider than before... lol

In the last 2 weeks I've committed to returning to Free Bass (again... lol), and I had set the goal of 5 pieces that I thought would normally take me 2-3 weeks to be able to play... yeah right. In to near the end of week 2 and I am at the point where I am playing the entire FIRST piece (a 7 page song), with a ton of errors... lol

The last 3-4 years time to practice has been a precious and limited commodity for me, and to force myself to take 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there to play is the very most I can find, so I am sure that is part of the issue. The 2nd issue is zero muscle memory and pretty much a relearning from scratch on the left hand, but I am actually pleased as punch that this is happening, even at this snail's pace!
 
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Asking how many hours of time is needed to learn something really is an impossible question to answer. Age, current level of competence, how fast/slow one learns and, overall level of dedication and motivation to learn and talent level are just a fraction of that equation.

The only half decent answer is "as many hours as it takes you to learn the piece!"

In my teens and 20's a song like Czardas was be a "3 days to learn, 2 days to memorize and perfect" piece. I had a 250-300 song repertoire in my head. Today if I had to, starting fresh, a similar piece is a month or more, and forget the memorization part... I have so much info in my head that when I sleep, data seems to fall out, and I seem to wake up each day stupider than before... lol

In the last 2 weeks I've committed to returning to Free Bass (again... lol), and I had set the goal of 5 pieces that I thought would normally take me 2-3 weeks to be able to play... yeah right. In to near the end of week 2 and I am at the point where I am playing the entire FIRST piece (a 7 page song), with a ton of errors... lol

The last 3-4 years time to practice has been a precious and limited commodity for me, and to force myself to take 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there to play is the very most I can find, so I am sure that is part of the issue. The 2nd issue is zero muscle memory and pretty much a relearning from scratch on the left hand, but I am actually pleased as punch that this is happening, even at this snail's pace!
Hi Jerry, I have been reading in a book written by a psychologist, that there are NO such thing that "talent" and "genius", only DILIGENCE and tons of PRACTICE...
Of course, I do not doubt that you may experienced some decline of your abilities in the playing and memorizing, but in such case I am dare to suggest you something: take a try with the "Carnivore diet"!
I also follow that, this is why there are in my nickname the first word "Carnivore".
It is a well-proven fact that the memory and physical skills both get serious improvement when the body switches from the sugar-burning metabolic state to the nutritional ketosis.
How to switch to that? Well, I think this would be here rather offtopic, but there are plenty of videos about this topic on the Youtube, and printed books too. (For example Paul Saladino: The Carnivore Code).
I did it, I am on this diet since the last 2 and half years, and I experienced only benefits (except the first 2 or 3 weeks, the transitional period, naturally). My weight was 91 kg, now only 79. I had itchy skin, aknes, chronic fatigue syndrome, and so deep depression that in multiple times I almost committed suicide. And I was so irritable that on more than one occasion I yelled back at my boss in such an insulting way that I wondered why he didn't fire me immediately. Now, all these bad things are GONE!
So I just suggest you friendly, take a try... I deeply believe, your musical skills will get serious improvement, you will be full with energy again...
I tell you these things based on my own experience! It was me a so useful great "metabolic adventure" that I had been writing even a book about this diet, of course in my native tongue, Hungarian, so I do not link it here, supposing that there are very few Hungarians in this forum, if any at all. And anyhow, that book is a sci-fi, not a detailed dietary curse. But seriously, take a try! if you have memory loss, or just less "brain resources" in general, then surely, it is a perfect sign that your brain cells have some nutritional deficiency.
 

oldbayan

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When someone aged 65 thinks it's a good idea to start learning music and after retirement starts practicing 4 hours a day it is unlikely that (s)he will ever reach that same level, and by the age of 75 it is probably hopeless...
I know people who started learning music in their teens and still at age 45 can't play anything right ;)
It's always a good idea to want to start learning anything at any age. Some people have abilities and motivation. Some don't.
Not a question of age. Some people get old at 40, some have 75 and are in better shape!
 

colinm

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That is not an accordion arrangement, so you will never be able to play that, if you find an accordion arrangement, we may be able to give an indication, say about 300 hours for a medium difficulty arrangement
 

losthobos

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Oscar Peterson was playing professional aged 12 but all through life practiced diligently... I just listened to him in an interview at a time when he was recording 4 albums a year....
He played the show till 2 in the morning, then they rehearsed as a band till 7am, went home and after sleep practiced alone for 4 hours, did live stuff then turned up ready to play the evening show again....
There's a shitload of work goes on behind GENIUS.....
 

JeffJetton

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How many hours of diligent practice do you think is necessary on piano accordion in order to get skilled to play this waltz:
[...]
And how many is necessary to play the "Second Waltz" ? (I think it is a bit easier, although when I suppose this it is not excluded that I am wrong).

I'm with davidplaysaccordion. The first waltz actually sounds fairly simple, and I think a total beginner could quickly get to a level where they could play it, if they were passionate and motivated to do the work involved. And if they had a good teacher, of course.

The piece is mostly the same few basic chords repeated throughout. The rhythm of the melody is not doing anything tricky (no syncopations or triplets or anything) and you could play that melody using just one note at a time (no absolute need for multiple notes). Your instructor should be able to create a beginner-friendly arrangement for you that would sound quite nice. (I'd probably raise it to Dm rather than lower to Cm. Fewer flats that way. :))

As others have said, it's hard to give an exact timeline. But overall I think that playing that waltz is a reasonable and attainable goal for a beginner.

Now the "Second Waltz" (I assume you mean the one by Shostakovich) is a different story. It sounds similar in many ways to the Vampire Masquerade, but the melody and harmony are both more complex. And there are many different sections to it--it is almost like you're learning three different waltzes. I would consider it at least an intermediate-level piece.
 

JerryPH

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Hi Jerry, I have been reading in a book written by a psychologist, that there are NO such thing that "talent" and "genius", only DILIGENCE and tons of PRACTICE...
In a respectful way, I tend to disagree. :)

You see diligence and practice implies decades of focused practice to attain a high level. While I 100% agree that diligence and practice is the best way to improve, how does one explain the 6 year old that can perform Mozart at professional levels in NY's Carnegie hall? How does it explain a 4 year old girl that can speak in 7 languages? There's been near ZERO time for them to practice and accumulate this info in a normal manner, which would take decades for others to reach.

The definition of genius is exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability... there is no doubt that it exists. :)

As for the rest... you've caught my attention and I will look in to it!
 

JeffJetton

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In a respectful way, I tend to disagree. :)

I land somewhere in the middle. Yes, there are people who "get" things faster/quicker than others. Certain people have a knack for certain things.

But, to quote the title of a book by Geoff Colvin, "Talent is Overrated". That is, it exists, but it's not really the main thing behind excellent performance. Most (not all, but most) of what we look at and call "talent" really is the end result of a lot of work. And the majority of people we consider to be talented aren't really any more exceptional than anyone else, apart from the passion they have for their craft and the deliberate work, over a long period of time, that passion inspired.

Even child prodigies, despite their obvious gifts, did some work to get to where they are. They were all born equally as dumb as any of us were. That piano kid starting poking around on the piano at two, apparently, then took formal lessons at 4 1/2, and practices some three hours a day. Granted, I don't think I'd be where he was even if I followed that same curriculum. Just pointing out that even he had to punch the practice clock (as did his idol Mozart too, by the way).

This is one of my pet soapboxes (is that thing?), because I feel like a lot of people give up on their own creative pursuits--or never even start them--because they've bought into this idea that they don't have "talent". Everywhere they look they see amazing performances, but seldom see the long process that resulted in the ability to create that performance. So it gives the illusion that so-and-so is "just good at" whatever--that they're "gifted". It follows then that if it doesn't come easy for you, well there's something wrong with you and you should just throw in the towel! Why bother if you don't have the "gift"?

(And don't get me started on the whole "if you can't be amazingly great at something, why bother?" idea, which so often goes hand-in-hand with the "talent required" myth. Grrrr...)
 

Valski

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I land somewhere in the middle. Yes, there are people who "get" things faster/quicker than others. Certain people have a knack for certain things.

But, to quote the title of a book by Geoff Colvin, "Talent is Overrated". That is, it exists, but it's not really the main thing behind excellent performance. Most (not all, but most) of what we look at and call "talent" really is the end result of a lot of work. And the majority of people we consider to be talented aren't really any more exceptional than anyone else, apart from the passion they have for their craft and the deliberate work, over a long period of time, that passion inspired.

Even child prodigies, despite their obvious gifts, did some work to get to where they are. They were all born equally as dumb as any of us were. That piano kid starting poking around on the piano at two, apparently, then took formal lessons at 4 1/2, and practices some three hours a day. Granted, I don't think I'd be where he was even if I followed that same curriculum. Just pointing out that even he had to punch the practice clock (as did his idol Mozart too, by the way).

This is one of my pet soapboxes (is that thing?), because I feel like a lot of people give up on their own creative pursuits--or never even start them--because they've bought into this idea that they don't have "talent". Everywhere they look they see amazing performances, but seldom see the long process that resulted in the ability to create that performance. So it gives the illusion that so-and-so is "just good at" whatever--that they're "gifted". It follows then that if it doesn't come easy for you, well there's something wrong with you and you should just throw in the towel! Why bother if you don't have the "gift"?

(And don't get me started on the whole "if you can't be amazingly great at something, why bother?" idea, which so often goes hand-in-hand with the "talent required" myth. Grrrr...)
I agree entirely, you have to have some ability and talent to play an instrument but don't stress too much. There are ways to learn songs that differ from other ones that you have already mastered the style which can be achieved by repeating more difficult passages until finger memory takes over. You may annoy others until you learn the piece but it's most likely the best way. I have found this to be effective in learning songs. Sometimes it might help to find sheet music written in a key better suited for the piano accordion and some scores are easier to follow than others so you may want to be selective with that.

You don't have to be a virtuoso however you can learn to play with feeling and be a great entertainer. I have known great entertainers who were not super competent musicians and some players are very skilled but still fall flat at entertaining an audience because they can't draw people in to their performance. When they concentrate too much on embellishments and other parlor tricks they can be competent but still lose their audience.

These days you can also take advantage of music videos where you can listen to parts that you are struggling with and you should remember that you don't have to play the piece exactly like someone else. That's what is great about live music, it's different every time.

I agree with the others that it was easier to learn a tune in my teens and twenties and that now in my sixties it does take a little longer to fully commit a song to memory, but it can be done. That's because there is so much more clutter in my musical attic. Relax and enjoy the process!
 

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