Category Archives: #Progress Tracking | Piano

#ProgressLog – June 2017

Hey everyone,

 

I really hope you are doing well! I wanted to let you know what I did throughout June and what I am planning on doing throughout July!

As you probably know, I have added the Cajón and the Ocarina to my repertoire of instruments and now I am finally able to record some videos to show my progress!

Since the Cajón is quite different to my other instruments, I plan on doing some videos on basic technique and basic workouts. The sheet music for those workouts will soon be published here on my website, once I get a hold of the basics and am able to write my own exercises !

Anyway, let me give you another update on one of my instruments: the piano! So far, I have been following a book method, called “Die Russische Klavierschule” (The russian school of piano) and I must say, that I am not quit thrilled by it anymore. That’s why I want to give my piano practice a different touch in experimenting with a new method I wrote myself. This method is a collection of stuff and chops I learnt on my other instruments (most notably the guitar). The goal of this method is to work on the fundamentals first; not just piano related fundamentals but rather musical fundamentals. I am soon going to publish an article on it but for now I want you to know that I am going to change my practice plan for the piano, starting with July 2017!

 

 

Progress Logs:

 

Guitar

A. Repertoire

  • La Claire de La Lune (own arrangement)
  • Paganini: Caprice 24 (Theme) – late beginner/ intermediate version (arr. by Lukas Wedrychowski

B. Technique

  • Etudes
    • Fernando Sor: Opus 60 No. 1
    • Fernando Sor: Opus 60 No. 3 (in progress)
  • Scales
    • C Major Scale
    • E Major Scale
  • Chords
    • C Major
    • D Minor
    • E Minor
    • F Major
    • G Major
    • A Minor (+ inversions)
  • Rhythms
  • Techniques
    • Harmonics (12th fret harmonics)

 

Violin

A. Repertoire

  • Greensleeves
  • Mary Had a Little Lamb (in progress)
  • Ode to Joy
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (in progress)
  • La Claire de La Lune (in progress)
  • Caprice 24 (Theme) – in progress (beginner version)

B. Technique

  • Etudes
    • Napolitaine by G.F. Telemann
  • Scales
    • C Major Scale
  • Rhythms
    • ♪♪♪♪
    • ♪♪♪♫
    • ♪♪♫♫
    • ♪♫♫♫
    • ♫♫♫♫
  • Techniques
    • Bowing & Posture
    • String Crossing
    • Mid-bow bowing
    • Whole-bow bowing

 

#ProgressLog | May 2017

Hey everyone,

 

I am a bit late, sorry for that! I have something big to announce, though!

Here’s my practice plan for May; what I did there and how it went

 

Let’s start with the guitar:

Technique:

  • Etude: Fernando Sor Op. 60 No. 1
  • Scales: C-/D-/E-/F- Major Scale
  • Chords: Open Chords (revised) + some inversions of C + D + E
  • Rhythms: Some Waltz Rhythms
  • Techniques: Harmonics (more to come in June 2017)

I started my first classical etudes with Fernando Sor’s Op. 60. Those studies are some of the finest I’ve come across so far and I love them! They sound beautifully, they are short and they allow me to practice certain areas in depth.

For the scales, I’ve actually revisited my common major scales because I am currently working on more arrangements of classical songs and those are mostly written in the key of C, using the major scale for their melodies. That’s also the reason why I chose to revise those open chords again.

The waltz has been something I wanted to look into, particularly for what I’ve planned for July! That’s the point where I finish my “beginner”-level stuff and move on to the intermediate section. I just want to be sure that I cover everything I set for myself as a “beginner” before I move on.

Last, but not least, the harmonics. This neat little technique is something I’m so fond of! I really love it! At the moment, I’m trying to incorporate it as much as I can, writing songs and using it for my intermediate arrangements.

Theory:

  • Chord progressions
  • Classical Era
  • Fernando Sor biography
  • Harmonics

Repertoire:

  • Irá al jardin inglés (recording)

 

 

 

Now, let’s move on to the piano:

Technique:

  • Etudes:
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 1
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 2
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 3
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 4
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 5
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 6
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 7
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 8
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 9
    • Béla Bartók: Makrokosmos 1 No. 1
    • Béla Bartók: Makrokosmos 1 No. 2a
    • Béla Bartók: Makrokosmos 1 No. 2b
    • Jelena Gnessina Etude in C
    • A. Schmidt: Etude in C
  • Scales
    • C Major Scale
    • D Major Scale
  • Chords
    • Major Chords: C – D – E – F – G -A – B
  • Rhythms:
    • 4/4 – all 4th notes
  • Technique:
    • Velocity

Theory

  • Classical Era
  • Russische Klavierschule Band 1 – p. 1-21

Repertoire

  • Ode to Joy
  • Mary Had a Little Lamb

 

 

Violin

Technique

  • Etudes: (unknown) basic bow strokes
  • Scales: C major scale
  • Bowing: détaché
  • Rhythms: 4/4 4th rhythms + 4/4 alternate
  • Technique: Bowing technique

Theory

  • Classical Era
  • David Garrett biography (documentary)

Repertoire

  • Ode to Joy (own arrangement)

 

 

#ProgressLog| Summary/Update: April

Hey everyone,

April had been pretty intense. I managed to get a ton of things down due to the remaining days of my semester holidays. In this post I like to share with you what I achieved, what I planned on doing and what I have in mind for May 2017.

Let’s start with a summary of April for the individual instruments.

 

SUMMARY

Guitar

A. REPERTOIRE

  1. Ode to Joy (L.v.Beethoven): Own arrangement
  2. Mary Had a Little Lamb: Own arrangement in Am
  3. Twinkle, Twinkle little Star: Own arrangement
  4. Irá al jardin inglés (Lukas Wedrychowski): Original piece

B. Theory

  1. Music History: Temper,
  2. Background knowledge: how sound waves work
  3. Scales: C, A, Am, E, Em
  4. Chords: Open chords (C, D, E, G, A, Dm, Em, Am)
  5. Key signatures: C, G, D, A

C. Technique

  1. Sor Etudes
  2. Scale Picking: C, A, Am, E, Em
  3. Chord Practice: C, D, E, G, A, Dm, Em, Am (+ 1st inversion)
  4. Rhythm Practice: T+2-3-2-3-1-2-3-2 | T+2-3-2-3-1-2-3-2
  5. Technique: Vibrato

 

Explanation

As you can see, I’ve managed to get quite a lot done this month. I was able to get my first arrangements going after having learnt the basic skills of orchestration. This is so much fun to do! I really love it and I am definitely going to embed this into my own songs as well, to make them richer and to see what I can explore within the frames of what I want to tell with them. I’ve also managed to finish my new piece which I’ll record soon (once the settings are done). It is part of a huge project that I have set for myself 😉  New updates soon!

In terms of theory, I was focusing on rather historical background knowledge, such as, how does sound travel and how comes the measure Hertz was set at a=440hz. Besides that I’ve been practicing my chords, which chord tones they include and what progressions they belong to etc.

From a technical point of view I’ve mainly been practicing the chords that I needed for my own arrangements of the songs. Most of them were open chords but with some inversions in them. It would technically still be called open chord because I didn’t need to barre anything, but ye… 🙂

Anyway, here comes a short overview of what I’ve planned on doing. I cannot say yet, how my schedule will exactly look like but there are some pointers that might give you a hint on what is supposed to be included.

Generally, this month will be a busy one, since I need to finish my huge project (again, soon more information about it), meaning that I have to finish my three new songs in progress while transcribing my others (in fact it’s just: Will of the unknown; Still in my heart). Once this is done I will announce what I’m planning to do and how it turns out :^)

 

Piano

A. REPERTOIRE

  1. Greensleeves: own arrangement
  2. Etudes: (various) – mainly dedicated to finger strength and dexterity
  3. City of Stars (La-La-Land): piano accompaniment
  4. Ode to Joy: own arrangement

B. THEORY

  1. Chord extensions: (some Jazz chord as well as chord progressions)
  2. Artist study: J.S. Bach and L.v. Beethoven
  3. Scales: C, D, E, G
  4. Reviews: Comparing various methods (reviews coming soon)

C. TECHNIQUE

  1. Etudes: Dexterity and finger strength
  2. Scales: C, D, E, G (both major and minor)
  3. Chord Practice: C, D, E, F, G, A, B (major + minor)
  4. Rhythm Practice: Odd rhythms (11/16; 7/16) etc.
  5. Technique: Damping (I’ve got a new pedal to test out this function; I’ve never had one like that before on my digital piano)

 

Explanation

As you can see, on the piano, I’ve also been experimenting with own arrangements, although it doesn’t yet feel as natural and intuitive as on the guitar. Anyway, the remaining stuff was mainly focused on experimenting with chords, with rhythms as well as my new pedal which is meant to damp the sound a bit. I’ve never been using one until now and I want to give it a try. I read that this one isn’t necessary so I just wanted to test it and eventually send it back if I don’t see any use in it.

May will also be quite busy since I have to finish my project (mentioned above in the guitar summary). For this I have to finish my two new pieces on the piano to finally be able to make that huge step…. Can’t tell you how excited I am…. 🙂

So for this month, my focus will mainly be on these two pieces and all that comes along with it. As I said, with the summary of May you’ll get everything you need to know but for now just stay tuned.

 

Violin

A. REPERTOIRE

  1. Ode to Joy
  2. Twinkle, Twinkle little Star
  3. Greensleeves: (at the beginning of it)

B. THEORY

  1. Hold and Posture
  2. Finger Placement 1st Position
  3. Bow sounding points

C. TECHNIQUE

  1. Etudes (bow strokes and first finger placements)
  2. Scales: C, G, D
  3. Rhythms: 4/4 (1-2-3-4; 1-2-3-4+; 1-2-3+4+; 1-2+3+4+; 1+2+3+4+; 1+2+3+4; 1+2+3-4; 1+2-3-4; 1-2+3+4)
  4. Technique: Détaché

Explanation

On the violin I’ve been slowly but surely moving towards pieces that cover the full range of the first position. I mainly focused on proper technique, getting a feeling for the new bow and the new violin (without any markers and tapes). That’s pretty difficult which is why I keep on returning to my other violin with the markers still on. Anyway, this month will also be focusing on repeating what I did during April to get a better control over my bow.

 

#PROGRESSLOG | PIANO (Y1/M2/W1)

Hey there,

for the first week of March I’m going to slow it down a bit since I feel that sometimes my technique slips and lacks strength. For that I will try to focus more on basics and also easier songs that might help me out there. For this I am going to repeat the songs I’ve learnt so far so make sure that while I work on my technique I am improving the quality of those pieces as well.

Repertoire

  1. Blood Ritual / Moonlight Serenade – by Klaus Badelt
  2. Returning Home – James Newton Howard
  3. Bard & Family –
  4. Honor Him
  5. In Dreams – by Fran Walsh & Howard Shore

Theory

  1. Sight Reading
  2. Chords
  3. Scales
  4. Keys
  5. Intervals
  6. Russische Klavierschule Vol. 1

Technique

  1. Warm-Up Etudes (Finger Power 1 & Béla Bartók’s Mikrokosmos 1)
  2. Scales (C scale, Bb)
  3. Chords (F, C/E, Dm, Bb, Gm/D, Am/C, Gm/D, C, F/C, F5)
  4. Rhythm (Whole base with quarter notes)

#PROGRESSLOG | PIANO (Y1/M1/W1)

Year 1 – Month 1 – Week 1

Piano | SUMMARY

  • Repertoire
  • Theory
    • Repeating proper right hand and left hand technique
    • Basic Major Chords
    • Sight reading
  • Technique
    • Legato
    • Chord Practice: D & A
    • Basic rhythm pattern:
    • Major Scale: C (up and both with each hand individually and then synchronized)

 

I haven’t done much besides accompanying myself on the violin this week due to the exam. However, I have set plans for a new piece for (Y1/M1/W2)! It’s going to be “Misty Mountains”. I’ll also try to keep a 2-week-cycle on the piano and do an update at the end of the first week.

Year 1 – Month 1 – Week 2

Piano | PLANNING

  • Repertoire
    • Film Music: “Misty Mountains” by David Donaldson, David Long, Steve Roche & Janet Roddick
  • Theory
    • Key signatures
    • Basic Major Chords
    • Sight reading
  • Technique
    • Legato
    • Chord Practice: Gm, Dm, Am, Bb, F, Fsus4
    • Basic rhythm pattern: 4/4 quarter notes & 8th notes

#PROGRESSLOG | PIANO (Y1/W3)

Year 1 – Week 3

Piano | SUMMARY

  • Repertoire
    • Film Music:
      • “Misty Mountains” by Ramin Djavadi
  • Theory
    • Repeating proper right hand and left hand technique
    • Basic chords (without extensions)
    • Sight reading
  • Technique
    • Legato
    • Chord Practice: [to the announced]
    • Basic rhythm pattern:
    • Major Scale: C (up and both with each hand individually and then synchronized)

I’m pretty happy to announce that I managed to fullfill my whole plan for this week on the piano! The next week will still be mainly about getting my technique right. Plus, I will work on Honor Him by the legendary Hans Zimmer! I’m really looking forward to it! 🙂

Year 2 – Week 4

Piano | PLANNING

  • Repertoire
    • Film Music:
      • “Honor Him” by Hans Zimmer
  • Theory
    • Repeating proper right hand and left hand technique
    • Basic Major Chords
    • Sight reading
  • Technique
    • Legato
    • Chord Practice: [to the announced]
    • Basic rhythm pattern:
    • Major Scale: C (up and both with each hand individually and then synchronized)