Too late to start playing piano?

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  • freakzilla 25 Dec 2009 07:29:42 69 posts
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    Ok, I'm really getting into (classical) music right now and I'm thinking of playing the piano... but I'm 18, and most people who are worth listening to seem to start at 4-5 years old.

    The thing is I've been playing guitar for a little while and getting a good grasp of it now, would end up spreading myself too thin?

    I don't plan on becoming a professional BTW.

    Edit: START. NOT STARD! GODDAMIT!!!
  • freakzilla 25 Dec 2009 08:11:07 69 posts
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    white_frank_white wrote:
    18? lol, no. You're still a baby
    Really? looking through youtube I see people who are much younger than me and are already at a level that would take me half-a-decade to reach.
  • Dirtbox 25 Dec 2009 08:19:18 92,425 posts
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  • Carlo 25 Dec 2009 08:47:24 21,735 posts
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    /makes stard/tard joke
  • Deleted user 25 December 2009 08:59:49
    You'll need to be able to concentrate and be precise.

    'stard'

    Oh, well then.
  • otto Moderator 25 Dec 2009 09:02:12 49,322 posts
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    Too late to start at 18?? Are you crazy?? Of course you're not! I know people who started playing piano in their 40s and 50s.
  • StixxUK 25 Dec 2009 09:28:29 8,679 posts
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    Try just doing what you want to do and not making up imaginary reasons why you can't!
  • effinjamie 25 Dec 2009 09:55:54 998 posts
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    your learning to play guitar and now going to learn piano, How long 'till you start something else?
    the phrase jack of all trades, master of none springs to mind
  • freakzilla 25 Dec 2009 12:03:27 69 posts
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    effinjamie wrote:
    your learning to play guitar and now going to learn piano, How long 'till you start something else?
    the phrase jack of all trades, master of none springs to mind
    It did occur to me (read the OP) that I simply won't have enough time to learn both Piano and Guitar, but its sort of like the guitar isn't enough...
  • Derblington 25 Dec 2009 12:11:17 35,020 posts
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    If it helps, I'm 28 and would love to start to learn piano (and have been thinking about it for the last 6 months). I just can't afford one...
  • askew 25 Dec 2009 12:46:16 23,594 posts
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    Get a keyboard/electric piano then! You can still play chords. :)
  • rauper Founder & CEO, Gamer Network 25 Dec 2009 12:47:19 3,379 posts
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    Go for it! Never too late to start doing something you want to do.
  • erniewhatbert 25 Dec 2009 12:54:11 3,118 posts
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    Yeah why not, playing an instrument isn't a fight to the death with youtube posers.

    Can you read notation or do you learn music on the guitar with tabs? If you can read notation then you're halfway there. I learned to read sheet music when I learned the guitar as a teenager, but I've let it slip and wouldn't be able to pick up a songsheet and play anymore without tab.
  • Inquisitor Moderator 25 Dec 2009 13:26:13 14,557 posts
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    What a very odd question! I was expecting the OP to be about 80 or something, even then I'd say never too old. Don't be obsessed with being 'worth listening to'. If you really want to be the best of the best then maybe you need to start younger but I don't think there's any reason to stop yourself doing something you'd enjoy because you don't think you'd be amazing.
  • freakzilla 25 Dec 2009 13:42:23 69 posts
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    Ok, I've convinced myself that I should get one (keyboard/digital piano). How important is the number of keys? I obviously want 88 keys but they're waaaaay out of my budget.

    @bunglebonce

    Same as you, I learned enough to understand basic songs but everyone on net seems to be using tabs so I followed, should be able pick it up relatively quickly though.
  • FairgroundTown 25 Dec 2009 15:25:47 2,522 posts
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    I'd go for 61. Even in classical music, you won't encounter too much that requires more than that. Whereas with 49, you'd quite quickly find something you couldn't play.

    Weighted keys ARE big deal, to be honest - they make the instrument easier to play, but add a fair bit to the price.

    Yamaha are the brand to go for.
  • freakzilla 25 Dec 2009 16:55:33 69 posts
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    http://www.amazon.co.uk/CASIO-CTK-3000-Electronic-Keyboard-Response/dp/B001DE28RA/ref=sr_1_309?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1261756480&sr=1-309

    Any good?
  • Deleted user 25 May 2016 11:05:52
    Anyone here tinkle the ivories? I want to get back into playing some music and I'm going to get some piano lessons of an evening soon.

    I'll obviously need a keyboard to practice on at home.

    Anyone know any decent ones off the top of their head? Or any reputable sites?

    I have had a look, but I had no idea and this place is normally pretty good for that sort of thing. Budget isn't really an issue but obviously as I'm a noob I don't want to be plonking more than about 300.
  • Cappy 25 May 2016 11:32:35 14,312 posts
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    I used to play, eventually I switched over to guitar which suits me better as an instrument. Set free from the monolithic mass of a piano it opens up more opportunities for playing.

    For instance, back when I still watched TV I'd have a guitar on my knee and play through advertising breaks. For extra points try to pick up and play along with advert jingles and TV themes.

    Sorry, not much help aside from perhaps pointing you at portability as a consideration. If you want to get better you've got to play as much as possible.
  • Deleted user 25 May 2016 11:41:47
    Yeah I'm fairly decent on my guitar, I think playing piano would help me with that too.

    I'm ok with having a keyboard in my flat I can practice on and I'm willing to put the time in.

    Might have a wander up one of the music shops at lunch and ask about.
  • rockavitch 25 May 2016 11:46:52 1,276 posts
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    Did freakzilla ever getting around to writing a classic?
  • Ra_ra_rasputin 25 May 2016 14:41:07 332 posts
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    BBC had this up today which is tips about improving (I haven't actually watched it...): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03w10ql
  • Dirtbox 25 May 2016 14:52:00 92,425 posts
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  • rockavitch 25 May 2016 14:59:55 1,276 posts
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    He should've started sooner, no one to blame but himself.
  • Deleted user 25 May 2016 15:04:54
    He'd be so upset by that cat playing a keyboard video.

  • Deleted user 25 May 2016 15:32:56
    Try to find a keyboard with a good synthesis of weighted keys, I used to use a cheap keyboard with a poor approximation of control. Now we have a piano and it makes so much difference, cheap keyboards lack this control and make playing much less tactile and interesting.

    I took up piano around four years ago and am pretty proficient now, I can play by sight most things at a slow speed and can bash through quite a lot of complicated stuff now. I play almost every day and even do some scales now and again ;-)
  • Deleted user 25 May 2016 15:35:54
    Cheers, will keep that in mind then.

    4 years sounds reasonable to get up to a good standard. I can play 3 chords and chopsticks so that must take about a year off. See you in 2019!
  • Deleted user 25 May 2016 15:41:34
    I suspect the best option is to find a local music shop that has keyboards and go try some out. Test out how much control you can have, go from gentle through to heavy and see how it responds.

    Chords are a lot less important with piano, they are everything on guitar but on piano it is more about getting used to using sharps and flats and getting used to reading sheet music. I recommend Michael Aaron's books which take one through the basics really well.
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