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#1081750 - 11/19/04 09:37 AM reading notes fast enough
unclehan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/19/04
Posts: 2
I'm 18 and even though I took some lessons when I was young, I didn't really care at the time.

Now I want to pick it up again.

It seems the hardest thing for me is reading the notes fast enough and knowing which finger to use fast enough. Of course, this can be practiced with repetition. But that'll only work for that particular piece. When a new piece come, do you have to practice again?

How do the expert piano players do it? Do they have to practice when a new piece comes along or do they just jump right in and play with no need to practice (when you get to a high enough level).

Right now, I have to practice individual pieces separetely if I want to play it. But when I get a new piece, I still have to first practice it in order to play it. I wonder if there will be a day when I can just get a new piece and play it right the first time. Is this something to be expected or is it not possible (even for the experts)?

I guess I just don't know what the "standard" is on if you can say "I can play the piano", or "I'm just a beginner at piano".

So when you ask someone if they play the piano, and they reply "yes". Does this mean I can give them a new sheet of music and they can immediately sit down and play it for me. Or do they have to practice for awhile to get it?


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#1081751 - 11/19/04 09:44 AM Re: reading notes fast enough
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2918
Loc: idaho
Most of us have to practice first. If it's simple enough, you will be able to read it, it doesn't happen overnght - takes lots of work. Unless you're some kind of genius!
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

#1081752 - 11/19/04 09:58 AM Re: reading notes fast enough
unclehan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/19/04
Posts: 2
But I hope as time goes on, it'll take less and less effort/time to learn a new piece .

#1081753 - 11/19/04 10:10 AM Re: reading notes fast enough
Kris10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 21
Loc: Ohio
This is the most frustrating aspect of playing the piano for me. I can pick up my flute and sight read anything with 90% accuracy but the piano is more like 20% accuracy. Within just a few weeks though, I have noticed that my reading is improving. I can generally sight read well something that is about two steps lower than my ability. As you improve, you will be able to have music put in front of you that you can just play, for the most part. Our church organist is sight reading 90% of the what she plays every Sunday morning. She's awesome anyway, but it does get easier.

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#1081754 - 11/19/04 10:23 AM Re: reading notes fast enough
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 741
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
I would say that sight-reading/playing a new piece is one of the hardest skills to develop. To learn this skill, (like any skill) it must be precticed. This means that in addition to learning a piece (which you memorize) you must also practice on a regular basis pieces that are not memorized.

I have started to add 10 minutes a day of this kind of training to my regular playing time.


#1081755 - 11/19/04 06:50 PM Re: reading notes fast enough
Mathilde Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 309
Loc: Decatur, Illinois, USA
Originally posted by unclehan:
I guess I just don't know what the "standard" is on if you can say "I can play the piano", or "I'm just a beginner at piano". [/b]
IRL you are going to find that this is probably the trickiest, and potentially the most problematic question you will ever have to field as a beginning pianist. When people ask you, "Can you play the piano?" it's nearly always a prelude to, "...then can you play *this* for me?" and they will hand you some sheet music and expect you to play it. You will need to learn how to say cautiously, "Well, I know how to play the piano", not assert, "I can play the piano", because the second statement is what's going to make people assume, for example, that you'll be able to accompany them during the upcoming worship service in about 20 minutes.

So you'll need to distinguish between "I play the piano" and "I know how to play the piano".

So, when someone asks you, "Can you play the piano?", say cautiously, "Well, I know how to play the piano." And you can add shyly, "But I'm just starting, so really..." And that will clarify it for them, and save you from getting stuck with having to stumble your way through the accompaniment to the gospel quartet that just cheerfully handed you their music.

#1081756 - 11/19/04 08:37 PM Re: reading notes fast enough
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
Choose from one of the following responses to the question, "Do you play the piano?"

1. (very suspiciously) "Why, who wants to know?"

2. "Sure, for a price." If the person names a price, respond, "Nope, that's not it."

3. "Do I play the piano!? Of course! ummm...you mean that big wooden thing with the black and white buttons, right?"

4. "Yes I do, but Lloyd's of London, who insures my fingers, prohibits me from playing except during performances for international dignitaries. May I see your diplomatic passport?"

5. "Sure! Would you like to join me for a Chopstix duet?"
markb--The Count of Casio


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