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#1063895 03/25/08 09:55 AM
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Hello, this is my first post on this forum so I'd just like to say thanks for creating such an awesome site and I'm very excited to sift through all this information.

Sorry if this is a redundant question but I did a search and couldn't find anything that really hit home for me.

I recently received my parents piano and having been practicing about 60- 90 minutes a day. I am strongly versed in the theory of piano but not the actual application.

This is my secondary instrument (drums are my first) so I'm fairly proficient at reading and have a strong sense of rhythm and timing. I study out of "The Brown Scale Book", "The Virtuoso Pianist", and "Intro to Jazz Keyboards"

I understand the fundamental concepts of practicing because of my first instrument and basically would like to know what exactly I should practice in that 60- 90 minutes?


Its all about the notes you don't play.
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#1063896 03/25/08 10:50 AM
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Hi Neil and welcome to the forum! I think a good practice regimen for an hour is:

10 minutes sight reading
15 minutes technique (scales, arpeggios, etc)
35 minutes repertoire

Note that this is practice not playing through the pieces you know. You're working on developing and/or improving new skills. If you have additional time then use that to keep the pieces you already know current.

Hope this helps and once again, welcome to the forum!


Greg
#1063897 03/25/08 12:11 PM
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You're a drummer, a skateboarder, like funk,
jazz, blues, Latin, reggae, R&B, and you're
trying to learn on an acoustic upright piano.
I see that as a problem. The design of
the acoustic piano has not changed much
in 150 yrs. and is becoming obsolescent if
not totally obsolete today. I would get the
most modern equipment available to a pianist
today, a digital piano. Digital pianos
offer so many advantages over acoustic pianos
that any pianist who is not using one
today is missing out big-time on all they
can do for him.

Good, new digitals can be had for as little
as $400 to 500 today. Used ones are an
even better value because digitals are
essentially computers and follow computer-
like pricing: a ten yr. old digital, like
a ten yr. old computer, is worth only
a couple of hundred, but will play like
a brand new digital costing thousands.

#1063898 03/25/08 03:01 PM
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at Gyro:

I'm still having a hard time understanding your post[s]...


“Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try.” -Mary Kay Ash.
#1063899 03/25/08 06:55 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Gyro:
...The design of
the acoustic piano has not changed much
in 150 yrs. and is becoming obsolescent if
not totally obsolete today...Digital pianos
offer so many advantages over acoustic pianos
that any pianist who is not using one
today is missing out big-time on all they
can do for him.
Wow, those are strong words!

There are arguments on both sides--I won't rehash here something that's been very thoroughly covered in other threads--but I think an acoustic piano is just fine for learning the fundamentals of piano technique, for any style of music. Depending on where you want to go with it, you might think about getting a different instrument a year from now, but right now it's not a problem.

(The basic design of the guitar, the drum or the human voice hasn't changed that much either, for what it's worth :-)

#1063900 03/25/08 08:03 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Gyro:
You're a drummer, a skateboarder, like funk,
jazz, blues, Latin, reggae, R&B, and you're
trying to learn on an acoustic upright piano.
I see that as a problem. The design of
the acoustic piano has not changed much
in 150 yrs. and is becoming obsolescent if
not totally obsolete today....
Private agendas and rants aside, what, if anything, does this have to do with the question that was asked?


Greg
#1063901 03/25/08 08:32 PM
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[comment withdrawn]

#1063902 03/25/08 08:34 PM
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Gyro = troll. At best.

#1063903 03/25/08 08:44 PM
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That's what I'm growing to think. I read this forum for over two years now, and whereas some of Gyros posts have valuable information, he's constantly troll-like rambling very isolated opinions about what pianists should or shouldn't play and how.

So please, when he does that, just don't feed the troll(tm). We will all benefit from it - and maybe Gyro will post valuable advice more often instead of all this.

Just my 0.02$.

M.


Mateusz Papiernik
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"One man can make a difference" - Wilton Knight
Kawai CN21 (digital), Henryk Yamayuri Kawai NX-40 (grand)
#1063904 03/26/08 12:39 AM
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Hey guys, heh, that was quite a tangent in a different direction all on the pre- tense of false information. I actually do use a yamaha electric piano that is probably 10 to 15 years old. Seems to do the trick.

What exactly do you mean by sight reading BB player, and can I go about it using the books I mentioned above?

I tend to look at my hands when I play is that bad at first?


Its all about the notes you don't play.
#1063905 03/26/08 03:19 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Neil Gray:

What exactly do you mean by sight reading BB player, and can I go about it using the books I mentioned above?

I tend to look at my hands when I play is that bad at first?
You mentioned in your post that you were "fairly proficient at reading" so I take that to mean you're familiar with reading music (bass and treble clef?) but, since you're new to piano, you're perhaps less good at hitting the right notes, moving your hands on the keyboard, etc. Many people new to the piano are new to reading music also so they have two problems: recognizing the note and finding it on the keyboard while playing at the correct tempo. So by "practicing sight reading" I mean developing all of these skills.

Although you can use the music you have, the best way to do it is to get a lot of music that's below your current level and just play it through. Do that 10 minutes a day and your facility will improve. In general, you shouldn't look at your hands relying instead on muscle memory and feel but, when you're learning, the occasional glance is ok.


Greg
#1063906 03/26/08 04:09 AM
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Piano is also my second instrument, I just started. I do 20 minutes a day and my goal is to be able to comp and accompany rather than improvise. Eventually I envisage my practice routine will be something like:
20 minutes scales/arpeggios
20 minutes technical exercise (etudes etc, sight reading)
20 minutes jazz (comping, voicings, playing standards)

Basically a 3 day routine.

BTW what BB player says is exactly what I am experiencing. Especially when the hands have to move large intervals without looking at the keyboard, I will slow down trying to feel the right position and will as often as not hit the wrong notes.


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#1063907 03/26/08 04:45 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by BB Player:
In general, you shouldn't look at your hands relying instead on muscle memory and feel but, when you're learning, the occasional glance is ok. [/QB]
Interesting to know because I've started to wonder if I'm doing it correctly or not. I've been doing exactly this because I find that I'm too busy looking and learning to read the notes to look down at my hands unless I need to find the correct keys again.

Thanks BB Player!

Key Notes smile


Music speaks where words fails.
#1063908 03/26/08 11:26 AM
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I think thats about where I'm at as well Key Notes. I am familiar with treble and bass clef as well as the rhythmic qualities of the notes and only tend to look at my hands when I'm hitting the wrong notes. I'd rather read off the page so eventually I can just grab a piece of music and hack through it as I go. Much like I do with drums.

Thanks for the info guys, I'll spend 10- 15 minutes on the piece I already know (I have backing tracks and everything!) and then move on to technique and the tune I'm trying to work on.


Its all about the notes you don't play.
#1063909 03/26/08 12:22 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Neil Gray:
I'd rather read off the page so eventually I can just grab a piece of music and hack through it as I go.
That's my plan as well. You're so blessed to have enherited your family's piano. Good luck and enjoy!


Music speaks where words fails.
#1063910 03/26/08 02:01 PM
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I grew up with many yrs. classical lessons
and acoustic pianos only, and when I restarted
as an adult, the first piano I bought was a top-
of-the-line acoustic upright (the same model
today would be in the $20,000 price range),
but since 1989 I've been playing digitals
only, and every day that I play on them I see
more and more how superior they are to
acoustic pianos. Digitals are the latest
evolution in keyboard instruments, like the
acoustic piano was an evolutionary step
up from harpsichords and clavichords. I'm
sure that when the pianoforte made it's
appearance during the age of clavichords
and harpsichords, there must have been
diehard clavichordists wo sneered at
it, saying that it wasn't a real instrument, that
you couldn't develop the proper technique on
it, that you couldn't achieve the fine nuances
that you could on a clavichord on it, etc.
These people wouldn't go near a pianoforte
and stubbornly clung to their clavichords
until their death rather than play one,
the way many pianists today will not touch
a digital piano. Well, let these people cling to
their acoustic pianos until they die.
But there are people who want to improve
as pianists, and digitals provide
the means for this in a way that acoustic
pianos cannot.

I've been playing digitals since 1989, hard
playing of the most difficult classical
repertoire, and I know what they can do for
a pianist. Digital pianos have enabled me,
essentially an advanced-intermediate-player-
for-life, to progress from playing four
page salon pieces, to playing big-time
concerto movements and other virtuoso pieces.
I could not have made the same type of
progress on an acoustic piano.

It should be noted how much a digital piano
resembles the old silent keyboards that
used to be popular with concert pianists
in the 1930's. Silent keyboards were invented
because of the inherent shortcomings in
acoustic pianos with regard to technique
development. An acoustic piano at full
volume is cacophonous and wears on the
nerves and hearing of a concert pianist
who has to practice long hrs. A silent
keyboard saves a player's nerves and
hearing and allows longer and more effective
practice.

A digital piano goes the silent keyboard
one better. You might use a digital without
the power turned on, like a silent keyboard,
but with the vol. knob set at low levels
you can save your nerves and ears and still
hear your playing, doubling the effectiveness
of the already effective silent keyboard.

In one of the last photos taken before his
death, Claudio Arrau posed in his piano
room at home with not a big grand in the
background but an ancient silent keyboard
(it looked just like a modern digital piano).
He apparently used it continuously until
his death, and it seems to have been
his pride and joy and the secret to his
great playing, which was unique in the piano
world.

#1063911 03/26/08 03:09 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Gyro:
I grew up with many yrs. classical lessons
and acoustic pianos only, and when I restarted
as an adult, the first piano I bought was a top-
of-the-line acoustic upright (the same model
today would be in the $20,000 price range),
but since 1989 I've been playing digitals
only, and every day that I play on them I see
more and more how superior they are to
acoustic pianos....
And this has what to do with practice regimen?


Greg
#1063912 03/26/08 03:51 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by J. Mark:
Gyro = troll. At best.
But he's a sincere troll. And the points he actually makes about digitals being good for convenient round the clock practice are valid. There is certainly room for a good, preferably portable, digital in every serious pianist's life, but there are techniques of shading and dynamics that cannot be learned within the range of the canned response of a digital instrument.


Slow down and do it right.
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#1063913 03/26/08 04:42 PM
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Hi Niel,
Your practice regimen should be exactly that: YOUR practice regimen. You need to find out what works best for you, and that's going to take some trial and error and probably involve a few false starts.

The most important thing is to do something now, and be willing to change if it isn't working.

My current regimen is approximately equal amounts of:
- New Pieces
- Finished Pieces
- Scales and Drills
- Sight Reading
- Jazz and Blues noodling

That's about my fourth evolution. At one time I was spending 50% on new pieces, and early on I did very little sight reading or noodling. I'm sure it will change again.

LOL! smile

P.S.
Even though he infuriates me sometimes, I always read Gyro's posts. It's sort of like a gory car crash. Painful, but you just have to look. eek


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