How long does it take to learn a new piece from scratch?
I was wondering approximately how long (in your respective personal experiences) does it take to learn a totally new piece from scratch (say, a 10 minute long showpiece like Introduction and Rondo Capriciosso)?
This is assuming one has (or is nearing) the technical level to play the piece
Thanks in advance, and I'm looking forward your replies!
Depends on the quality of practice.
Really depends on how much knowledge you bring in with you. If you've never practised line staccato and you want to learn, let's say, Paganini 21, then obviously it's gonna take you a while.
Of course, "it depends" is the only answer anyone can give you, but it probably isn't the answer you were hoping for. So I'll give you a concrete answer:
Depends on;-- How far you take the learning process, the length of the piece, the technical difficulty level. So, at least several days. the four stages of learning a piece: 1) Sight-reading - discover if you want to do the piece. 2) How to play it-- design your personal fingerings and bowings. 3) Able to play it --correct repetitions gradually getting up to tempo. 4) Memorization - more consecutive days and repetitions. Modern, non-tonal pieces will take longer to memorize.
Not 6 years to learn the Bruch concerto... 6 years to get from Twinkle Twinkle to Bruch. That's a fast but quite realistic pace.
I think it depends on the piece. There are some pieces where 90% of your practice time will end up going into a handful of intransigent, very difficult or just plain awkward practice. And there are some pieces which just tend to eat practice time in general, not necessarily directly correlated to raw difficulty. I suspect "awkward" causes the most difficulties in eating practice time. (But I've been wanting to play the Tchaikovsky Valse-Scherzo for a while, which my teacher warns consumes a lot of practice time in a not-worth-the-effort ratio.)
Depends on what you mean by learn.
It varies widely depending on a whole lot of factors, including age, motivation, skill level, and what particular assets you have.
It's worth pointing out, though, that a violinist can get to the point with their technique (and it sounds like Susan's son is close to that point) where one can learn to play just about anything in the musical violin repertoire, and the only things that one still struggles with are the things that were written with difficulty and crowd-pleasing showiness rather than musicality as the composer's primary objective.
Regarding Julian Bream, solo classical guitar is extremely exposed. You can hear every tiny flaw. Many of us would spend extra time polishing solo Bach too.
The Bach is humbling, Paul. Yesterday, I was promising myself I would upload the Allemande, which I had been working on for the last month and memorizing, so I kept recording takes, over and over, and invariably I would have a memory slip somewhere in the second half after feeling pretty good about the first half. What I ended up with after many takes is the one where I made it to the end, and there are some spots with some definite intonation issues. I was actually kind of horrified when I listened back, but a promise is a promise. I will be back, Allemande!
Currently, I'm learning the Bach Partita. Each section seems to take a month to really be able to play. Currently, I just started the Gigue. I'm a slow learner I guess you could say.
Christian, I have no shame: I just start over at the most recent double bar and then edit the video. I figure people would rather see the sudden "jerky movement" of the splice than listen to me murder a double-stop or lose my place.
I was considering that, but then I figured that the time spent editing would be prohibitive, and I also kinda want it sitting out there like that, taunting me. Something something rage-to-master.
The answer to this question depends on what your purpose is in learning a specific piece or part.
As others have said, it depends on what level you are trying to move the piece into and Lydia's linked discussion covers this extensively.
There is maybe one more point to add here: One does not have to "learn" a piece in one big effort. I have made good experiences with taking a piece to a certain level, putting it aside (for anywhere between months and decades!) and then take it back up. Generally one gets to the level of before quite rapidly and can then push for more quality.