Help for setting the right focus

A place to discuss Playground's main curriculum, the Bootcamp.
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eichenberg
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 3:19 am

Help for setting the right focus

Post by eichenberg » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:24 am

Hi

I’m unsure if I use my time effectively. Therefor I need some advice.
Background: I started about 1.5month ago with Playground Session. I completed the rookie bootcamp, most of the famous melody courses, most of the two hand courses and some additional courses. I can play easy rookie songs fast and can learn any of the rookie intermediate songs in about 2-5 hours (in different sessions) so that I can play them with a 3 star rating. The hard ones I think I’m not up to yet mainly because of the needed speed (tried e.g. the entertainer and I think this is way beyond my skill at original speed)
I still struggle reading sheet music (which should be normal). I learn the songs on slow speed and then I seem to memorize the important stuff so that I barely need the sheet music to play it.

All the lessons of the rookie bootcamp I could do pretty fast with 100% accuracy. Now I see my limits when the Intermediate bootcamp starts with the broken chords. I really struggle with playing them with the left hand with the needed hand position changes (without looking to the piano) and playing a melody with the right hand.

I’m really unsure now where I should set my focus. Should I just learn new Rookie songs until I also can play the hard ones? Will I even benfit from learning the hard songs if (in the end) I just memorized when to play which key with which finger? Should I continue with other courses (like the chords)? I could also do some finger trainings (hannon) but I think this is probably not what I need yet. Do you have other suggestions?
Any help or tips are highly appreciated.

Many thanks!

lucidmusicinc
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 1:14 am

Re: Help for setting the right focus

Post by lucidmusicinc » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:25 am

I would say work on the songs... Rookie and intermediate. Some intermediate pop/rock songs are easier than the classical rookie songs. With songs each practice session can always teach you something new. For example you can struggle your way through a song and manage a 100 % score finally, but did it sound musical? At a certain point you can turn the feedback off and forget about the grading and just work on playing something until it sounds good.

For me the final test is a video recording of my song performance. I record my songs almost weekly. It's by far the most challenging thing you can do because of the added pressure of being watched by the camera.

Finally choose to play what you want to play. That's the greatest strength of this particular learning platform, they have a vast and growing song selection. Set your own goals and don't worry too much about advancing.

In my estimation it would probably take 2-3 years to go from Rookie to Advanced with daily practice, given the amount of content you can acquire from PGS.

eichenberg
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 3:19 am

Re: Help for setting the right focus

Post by eichenberg » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:58 am

Thanks a lot for your reply. This helps.

FlatPanda
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:56 am

Re: Help for setting the right focus

Post by FlatPanda » Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:17 am

I can echo what lucidmusicinc wrote: take it easy, take it slow.

It's not a coincidence that not everybody is a professional musician :) With PGS you either learn to play for fun or you start your journey as a musician, both are legit goals. And both are taking enormous amount of time. Just like learning anything else.

Take it slow: I'm currently working my way through the "Wedding March". I finished the Rookie and Intermediate bootcamps, I too struggled with broken chords. I also did the courses, which opened for me, with the exception of Chords (Intermediate) and Hanon (I'm working my way through it one by one but mixed with songs). I struggle sooo much with the "Wedding March". I start playing parts on 60 or even 50 BPM (instead of the full tempo of 120), and work my way up. Every time I manage 2-3 times 100% I up the tempo with 10 BPM. When I get to 100 I hit a wall, another hour on the part of the song. 110: another wall. 120 is a total different league. It takes time, take it slow.

Take it easy: Playground Sessions. It's in the name: it's not a school, you are not struggling for grades or a certificate. It's for playing around, it's for fun. It should be fun. I have a goal: I have a couple songs, which I would like to play in a couple of years, without sheets, and just for the fun of it. So it's good to listen to. That's it. But this takes time. Up until that point I'm taking it easy: I play for fun.

One other thing, which I'd like to echo: recording your plays is a very exciting experience. I do not record videos (yet), only audio, but boy oh boy. The adrenalin hit, when you get towards ending a perfect play of a song... and the endorphin high, when you finally manage it... with both hands up in the air :) That's really fun.

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