Balancing classical and popular music practicing - Practicing

Technique, methods and advice for learners

Postby classicafila » Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:16 pm


I would like to know how I can balance my practicing between classical and popular. I love both genres and I would like to be good at both. Thank you for your time.

Note to Dr.Leland: I am sorry that I did not post a reply to your answer. I did not know how at the time, but I did send you an email. I wasn't sure if you received it.
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Postby Stretto » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:33 pm

I just pretty much simply split up the time. I practice classical first usually, then pop tunes or any other styles. Or I may be in certain moods and sometimes only practice classical one day or only practice pop and other styles another day. I sometimes get a lot of practicing of pop in by picking and choosing pieces my spouse likes and when he's home practice these. As far as pop, I think one of the best ways to learn and practice it would be to work on improvising and be able to improvise one's favorite pop songs. Do you do any improvising? I wish I was better at it as I'm sure I would be if I took more time to work on it. I think it would be more effective than trying to learn written arrangements of pop music.

Another way I get a lot more playing in of pop music and my other favorite styles other than classical is to play through easy versions for sight-reading purposes. I like to have books of pop music that are easy for me and just go through the book cover to cover picking and choosing as I go. I'm starting to do this more and more with students also - try to give them classical as their mainstay (if they are interested in classical, if not I try to sneak it in here and there) but then I give them easier pieces of pop and famous tunes as sight-reading assignments.

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Postby classicafila » Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:01 am

Hi Stretto,
Thanks for your reply. I think that I will pick some classical pieces to work on and popular pieces and practice them the same day. Or I might, as you do, play classical one day and popular the next.
As far as improvising goes, I don't have the knowledge to do so yet. I really like the " cocktail" or " lounge" style of piano and would like to learn how to play in that style. I would like to learn how to create my own embellishments to the songs like they do on the CDs I have. I have heard that playing from fake books can help players learn to create their own " take" on a song. I don't know how to read chord symbols yet though.
Thanks again or answering.
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Postby Tranquillo » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:27 am

As far as improvising pop. Most pop has chords above the staff/stave otherwise known as 'guitar chords'. What you could do is improvise the bass by following those chords. At the same time you can read what is in the right ...
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