A Digital Piano Helped Me Learn Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude

Revolutionary Etude

A Digital Piano Helped Me Learn Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude

When I was about twelve, I fell in love with Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude. It was one of the demo tracks on my mum’s Yamaha Clavinova, and I used to listen to it over and over again. Yamaha Clavinovas come with a book of music for all of the demo tracks on the piano, and I remember finding the Revolutionary Etude in the book and thinking how fiendishly difficult it was.

I was probably about grade five standard at the time, but nevertheless I was determined to play this incredibly tricky piece of music. Being able to play it became my personal goal for the next year, so I set about teaching myself how to play with the help of my digital piano. My piano teacher at the time would have no part in my mad endeavour to play such a hard piece of music when I had not yet finished learning the basics.

If you haven’t heard Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude before, I thoroughly recommend you go and listen to it. It has a haunting urgency to it, and like most of Chopin’s music, it is undeniably beautiful. Throughout the whole piece, the left hand plows away at a determined arpeggiaic  pattern while the right hand takes the tune. This is technical piano music at its hardest. And I managed to learn the piece. How? Here’s how…

Revolutionary Etude
Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude

How I Learned Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude

Firstly, it helped that the piece I happen to have fallen in love with was a demo track on my digital piano. Yamaha Clavinovas come with a feature which allows the user to slow down demo tracks and recorded music. I slowed the Revolutionary Etude right down to less than a third of its intended speed and repeatedly played the first bar of music. By hearing it at this slow speed along with reading the sheet music provided, I was able to recreate a very slow version of the music myself.

Recreating The Music Bar by Bar

After a few weeks of recreating the music bar by bar alongside the demo recording, I was able to very slowly play the whole first page. When I got to this stage, I used a metronome to make sure my timing was correct – after all there would be nothing worse than learning a piece with incorrect rhythms!

Gradually over the coming months, I was able to speed up my playing of the Revolutionary Etude until it almost resembled the speed at which the piece is designed to be played at.

Learn Hard Music With The Help of Your Digital Piano

If you are interested in learning how to play a difficult piece of music then a digital piano can almost certainly help you in the same way which it helped me. Electronic pianos from all brands come with recording features. All you need, is to ask your piano teacher or pianist friend very nicely to play the piece for you on a recorded track. You can then use this in the same way in which I did for the Revolutionary Etude! Using this method of learning, the world is your oyster and no track is unplayable!

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