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#1063673 - 11/03/04 08:43 AM Anyone learning piano having already learned another?
Kris10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 21
Loc: Ohio
I took piano lessons in the fourth grade and began playing the flute in the fifth grade. I quit playing the piano but continued with the flute. I regretted having quit by high school and began playing again, but by then, I was so good at the flute I could not make myself slow down to do what I needed to on the piano. Now as a 30 year old adult, I am trying again! It's really frustrating to be so accomplished one one instrument and slow down to completely learn a new one!

I'm having trouble with bass clef! I'm too stubborn to do what I need to do, which is to make flash cards and actually learn the notes! I can read from middle C down one octave in the bass clef and it makes me crazy that I have to count lines and spaces to figure out the other notes! What ends up happening is I play through a piece, figure out the notes one time and I end up just memorizing the way my hand needs to move to play them and I'm good to go! Except that I am not good to go because when I come back to play the same thing the next day, I'll forget what I played the day before! I don't purposely memorize the hand placements, I just have a good memory for it, short term that is.

Does anyone else experience this kind of frustration? I have this internal need to be as good on the piano as I am on the flute and I have a hard time slowing myself down. A dear friend of mine has agreed to give me lessons, but I'm afraid I'm going to be a very difficult student! I've had adult flute students before and adults have a much better idea of where they want to go and we tend to think we already know the steps to get there.

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#1063674 - 11/03/04 09:13 AM Re: Anyone learning piano having already learned another?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
try to associate keys with the bass clef whenever you play, and you could even try to play everything on bass clef only with your right hand so that you force yourself to get familiar with bass clef. the point is practice, a lot of it, in order to get everything ingrained in your brain.

#1063675 - 11/03/04 10:05 AM Re: Anyone learning piano having already learned another?
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 741
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
I spent a significant amount of time learning to read the notes on the bass cleff using flash cards and similar computer programs. My note reading is very good but somehow it didn't improve my playing. Yes I could read the music, but somehow that didn't translate into playing ability.

My piano teacher has decided to revise my practice program to include significantly more sight reading. I strugle with even simple pieces and they come out sounding awfule but I have seen a marked improvement in my overall ability to play. As soon as I develope even the smallest proficiency with a piece (i.e. it has become memorized, we move on to another and the struggle begins again). My teacher says that he is trying to get me out of the mode of translating from sheet music to notes to finger position and rather go directly to recognizing sheet music to fingering (i.e. no translation)

At first I thought he was nuts but I have to admit that the process seems to be working. While I still struggle with sight reading, when I go back and play familiar pieces that were once memorized but have been forgotten, they come out without significant mistakes. I actually find myself playing these older pieces from the sheet music and not from memory.

My point is that you could try the sight reading approach to learning the bass cleff for a could of months. You might find it gives you better results that flash cards.


#1063676 - 11/03/04 10:30 AM Re: Anyone learning piano having already learned another?
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
Or get some staff paper and put random notes in. Then read(or play) them as if they were on the bass clef. Then, turn the paper upside down, and read (or play) them again as if they were on the bass clef. Do this until you can name/play the notes with no hesitation.

I guess this is similar to flash cards. The point seems to be that the best way to improve bass clef (or treble clef for that matter) is to just practice them. No shortcuts that I know of. Those of us who played instruments in just one clef all have this problem.
markb--The Count of Casio

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