Learning the Piano.. Page 3

  • Deleted user 19 October 2014 13:21:49
    mal wrote:
    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    a good way to get proper technique and fingering.
    Gotta work on dat fingering.
    Hah, when I wrote that I had a feeling someone would double entendre that shit.
  • Zackv4861 20 Oct 2014 07:29:50 1,191 posts
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    Cheers guys. I bought a book yesterday we'll see what that's like.

    I am seriously thinking about lessons but wsnt to get comfortable with it first. At the moment just looking at a piano i'm confused. It gets delivered today

    My wife keeps saying to learn to read music dhe was grade 7 claranet. I heard it's like learning another language and well . . . . . I got an E in French!!!

    Edited by Zackv4861 at 07:31:52 20-10-2014
  • drhcnip 20 Oct 2014 07:36:45 6,556 posts
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    nah, reading music's easy

    regarding lessons, it depends what you want to get out of it - i never had lessons and play perfectly well - all it is, is practice...i started over 30 years ago on a little casio keyboard i got for xmas and taught myself to read music, use chords etc...

    i know i've got some of the bad habits mentioned above and tend to improvise a lot rather than just use the music in front of me but i've got a lot out of it over the years, including entertaining people, playing in bands etc...

    you'll be fine - i found it easier than the guitar you mentioned, tbh..i never made it off chords and have been playing the same amount of time....:)
  • Salaman 20 Oct 2014 08:42:05 24,080 posts
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    Ka-blamo wrote:
    I used to practice fingering with my piano teacher neighbour when my parents were out in his shed, he had to move away for some reason.

    Haven't had lessons since.
    What were your parents doing in his shed? I bet they were off having kinky sex in his shed while you toiled away at the piano. The dirty fuckers.
  • Deleted user 20 October 2014 10:40:12
    drhcnip wrote:
    nah, reading music's easy
    That's a bit of an overstatement. It is easy to understand that Every Good Boy Deserves Food and that your FACE smells but converting that on to the piano and understanding how to use sharps and flats takes quite a bit of application. I think age comes into it too, taking up piano at my age meant it took a bit more time to sink in than it would have if I was a kid.
  • doctor_nick 20 Oct 2014 11:30:08 237 posts
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    Good bump to this thread; I'm looking at getting a full-size keyboard for the kids to start to learn (and so my wife has something good to play too).
    Any recommendations hardware-wise? Want something with 'proper' feel to the keys not just a light-touch keyboard.
    If this works out I might try to get beyond nursery rhymes tunes myself.
  • Deleted user 20 October 2014 12:33:51
    How much budget do you have?
  • doctor_nick 20 Oct 2014 13:21:37 237 posts
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    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    How much budget do you have?
    I'd guess 200-300 to include some kind of stand. Not sure really, only just started looking and got a bit overwhelmed online. My wife definitely wants full-size keyboard with 'real' keys.

    We've got a good independent music shop in town so will probably head there, though I've no idea what choice they have in store.
  • Zackv4861 20 Oct 2014 13:57:29 1,191 posts
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    I looked around quite a bit the last month. If you're after a digital piano with weighted keys you can get some on Ebay quite easy for that price (used). I was looking and should have started of cheaper but i got carried away as usual.

    I got mine from Fairdealmusic in Birmingham. Quite good, know their stuff and friendly but to be honest most mudic shops are like that. It's a passion thing i think. Like cycle shops.

    Anyway bit off track do you guys know of any books or stuff online i can browse/learn from. I've googled a bit but looks like a minefield.
  • Rhaegyr 20 Oct 2014 14:00:57 5,414 posts
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    A friend of mine bought this for 400 a year or so ago and says it's a fantastic entry-level digital piano (he's been playing for over ten years).

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Casio-CDP-120-Scaled-Contemporary-Digital/dp/B005N2DKDO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413809990&sr=8-1&keywords=digital+piano

    Currently going for 285 on Amazon, albeit without a stand.
  • Deleted user 20 October 2014 14:05:23
    doctor_nick wrote:
    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    How much budget do you have?
    I'd guess 200-300 to include some kind of stand. Not sure really, only just started looking and got a bit overwhelmed online. My wife definitely wants full-size keyboard with 'real' keys.

    We've got a good independent music shop in town so will probably head there, though I've no idea what choice they have in store.
    The best option for a digital piano is a Clavinova but those are very far out of your budget. Clavinova's are as close to an upright piano as one can get.

    I imagine a music shop will probably be the best port of call, it's the only way to get a proper feel for the keys and how they react.
  • Humperfunk 20 Oct 2014 14:13:12 8,549 posts
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    I obtained Grade One with distinction when I was seven or eight but gave up (biggest regret of my life really) - about ten years ago or so I decided to play a bit so would sit there with my iPod and work it out. Still do to this day, hugely satisfying. Some stuff I will look at the sheet music as whilst I only got to grade one, I can read music and for harder stuff it's all just about sitting there and persevering for a bit. Then muscle memory kicks in and off you go.

    For me it works anyway.
  • mal 20 Oct 2014 14:17:03 29,326 posts
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    It might be worth considering that proper keys might be too heavy for small children. We had a piano when I was growing up, but it got junked (frame split) before I was even in my teens, so I never really got into it.

    These days I can't even reliably read music any more. I used to be able to read treble clef when I was a kid playing recorder, but these days all I can remember is Every Good Boy Deserves Food and Good Boys Deserve Fuck-All, but I can never remember which one applies to the treble clef and which one to bass.
  • doctor_nick 20 Oct 2014 14:21:36 237 posts
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    I agree about the heaviness of real keys for small children, though they're used to a real piano from my wife's parents' house. And it would also get a lot of adult use. Something like the Casio Rhaegyr linked could work since you can adjust the sensitivity.

    @Mr_Sleep - just searched for some Clavinovas. Veeery nice and, yes, a little out of our price range ;-)
  • Deleted user 20 October 2014 14:30:57
    mal wrote:
    These days I can't even reliably read music any more. I used to be able to read treble clef when I was a kid playing recorder, but these days all I can remember is Every Good Boy Deserves Food and Good Boys Deserve Fuck-All, but I can never remember which one applies to the treble clef and which one to bass.
    EGBDF is the treble and GBDFA is the bass.
  • mal 20 Oct 2014 14:35:39 29,326 posts
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    Cheers. Evil bass, easy to remember (hopefully)
  • Lukus 20 Oct 2014 16:06:21 24,376 posts
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    Regarding lessons vs being self taught, I think a lot of it comes down to the kind of brain you have.
    According to my teacher (and my own experience I guess), there are essentially two types of successful musician/pianist -

    1.) The type who can read and follow music really well, but is somewhat reliant on the music.
    And then 2.) - the type who struggles to read music, but can improvise really well or play from memory.

    Very rarely is there a third type who can do both. They're living the dream. I fit into the first category, in that I can sight-read really well, I'm pretty musical and can learn to play pieces of a high standard (Grades 7 and 8) over time. But when it comes to playing from memory, or making something up off the top of my head, not so good.
    I'd dearly love to be able to do both.
  • Deleted user 20 October 2014 16:32:10
    I tend to play from memory while reading music, I learn by putting together the various parts. So I will start on the clef which has the most important melodic or rhythmic element and learn that first, then combine the other clef, play those barres until they are ingrained and then move on to the next. It does sometimes lead my playing to be quite blocky and transition needs smoothing out sometimes but learning any other way doesn't work. Is that not the way that all musicians learn a piece of music? Or are you able to play something from sheet music without needing to learn it first?
  • Zackv4861 20 Oct 2014 20:27:47 1,191 posts
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    @Mr_Sleep that's something i've always wondered. If you can read music can you just play anything you've never known?

    That's how i've kind of stumbled into playing the treble Clef then the bass. Very difficult to do both. I think I may be aiming to high at the moment

    Edited by Zackv4861 at 20:28:09 20-10-2014
  • Deleted user 20 October 2014 20:35:32
    I can, to some degree, play a previously unseen and not too complicated a piece of music without needing to learn it but I am talking about a pretty basic piece without accidentals or unusual keys. I won't be able to play it quickly though :-)

    In regards of playing the two hands together, it comes down to practice, as per usual. Understanding scales can make this easier but if you are struggling to coordinate then do as I recommended above and become very familiar with one hand for one phrase and then the other and try to combine the two. Although it sounds like you are doing that anyway but persevere as it will come eventually. You are trying rewire your brain and it takes time :-)

    Edited by Mr_Sleep at 20:36:19 20-10-2014
  • Lukus 20 Oct 2014 20:39:25 24,376 posts
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    It would depend on the complexity of the piece with me. I can sight read and play a lot of stuff straight away, but obviously a performance will get so much better with repeat practice and learning. And the harder a piece is, the less chance there is of me playing it correctly straight off. Anything from Grade 4 or 5 up is going to be more of a challenge to get right. And Grade 7 and 8, there are pieces you can work on for months or longer to get right and still struggle with.

    If for instance I learnt a Grade 7 or 8 piece by tackling it bar by bar over a number of weeks or months, and got it to a point where it was reasonably polished, I'm the kind of player (ha) who would be ok with the music there in front of him, but take it away and I wouldn't be able to remember how to start, let alone play all of it. It's weird.

    There are other people who wouldn't be able to play from the music, but might be better at remembering the tune and playing from memory, playing by ear or even just making it up on the spot. It's rare that you get someone who is equally adept at all things.
  • Zackv4861 21 Oct 2014 09:18:56 1,191 posts
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    When you talk about grade 4 peices. How would you know what level a peice of music is? I assume each grade is a practical exam you hace to pass to be qualified?
  • Lukus 23 Oct 2014 05:21:53 24,376 posts
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    Yeah, pretty much. In the UK at least there are two different examining boards (there might be more, I'm not sure). After a while you just get a sense of what sort of standard a piece is.
  • Deleted user 23 October 2014 06:05:37
    I learned without learning sheet music, my mom is a really good pianist so taught me, realising I'm the personality type who wouldn't GAF about notation.

    I actually learned to read it a few years ago, but it hasn't improved my playing, I'd say it's fine if you've got that brain, but is by no means a must. I'm sure it has put off a lot of potentially talented players.
  • Zackv4861 24 Oct 2014 06:40:37 1,191 posts
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    Progress report;
    I can play Mary had a little lamb, London bridge is falling down and the first 8 bars of Aeriths Theme.lol

    I know where A, B, C, D, E are without having to think about it. My 6 year old daughter is quite into it too as teaching her as I go along.

    Slow but fun
  • DUFFMAN5 24 Oct 2014 06:49:57 26,651 posts
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    @Zackv4861

    Nice one, keep with it :)
    I wish I could apply myself to my Guitars...
  • Zackv4861 3 Nov 2014 17:42:49 1,191 posts
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    Ok can't work out how to post a link from my phone but if you're interested look up zackv4861 on YouTube. I have just posted me playing a short clip 30 seconds. Two weeks play now.

    However ignore the other two videos for some bizarre reason earlier in the year I made a Spartan helmet from scratch and just went with it!!
  • Lukus 3 Nov 2014 18:04:49 24,376 posts
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    Ha, for two weeks having never played before, that's not at all bad! Be careful not to clunk at the keys though. Keep your wrists loose and treat the piano like a beautiful lady you're trying to seduce. Giggedy. You can hammer her hard when you get to know her better. Ahem.
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