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Originally Posted by Rostosky
...

After all what guitarist would not want to play chords AND the melody at the same time if it was possible on a guitar?

So, if it is acceptable for a guitarist to just play chords in a rock or pop band, what makes it so bad if someone who just wants to play pop on a piano, learns chords AND the melody?...
However, if that fire is extinguished with a bucketfull of ice cold imutable dogma, then it may never be lit again, and that surely has to be avoided.
.


As a long time semi pro guitar player now teaching himself piano I'd add to that and say "if it is acceptable for a guitarist to just play chords ... what makes it so bad if someone who just wants to play pop on a piano" to just play chords and sing along (ie to not play the melody with right hand or just snatches of it or little bits of riffs or arpeggios etc. Which is my approach and is evident as a completetly acceptable approach in pop music - just listen.


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Indeed Captainkawai, absolutely, no reason why not at all, I only went so far, because the OP did not mention singing, and of course some folk cant/wont/dont want to sing?




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I totally agree with Captainkawai and have found it pretty enjoyable to pick up a guitar chord book/sheets for a popular song and just play those chords on the piano. Actually, a lot of sheet music for any instrument will have the guitar chords written at the top of the staff, or the best thing is to use lead sheets (try Wikifonia). For a "quick and easy" approach grab a chord dictionary and play those chords in your left hand. As you get better at that you can add in the melody with your right hand, or just sing along, or both!


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Wasn't that exactly what I said?




Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew
which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

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Originally Posted by wayne32yrs
Well said Rostsosky smile


I second that !


"My piano is therapy for me" - Rick Wright.
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Great responses all. Thanks you for the much needed advice. Over the weekend I believe I have settled on an approach. My daughter does not approve of me taking short cuts, and has apparently worked out a practice schedule for me including traditional learning methosds, scales, pieces with lots of fourth and fifth intervals, etc. She's quite a task master at 11.

I bought a few Easy Piano books of music I enjoy as well. I'll fit in learning those songs on the side.

Rostosky, your sharing of you moms story was excellent. Right on point. A blended approach seems right for me. Being able to play a few songs I enjoy rather poorly may be a great motivator to practice properly to learn to play well.

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My experience is that piano teaching seems to go down one of two highly distinct, non-everlapping paths. First, there is the method that is ultimately directed at turning out people who will play Chopin and Liszt at Carnegie Hall. Of course, not everybody gets to CH or even wants to, but the method caters for that. This method focuses on huge technical precision, note-perfect performance, and absolute fidelity to a written-out score.

The other path seems to be directed at people who want to play rock, pop, or jazz, in more-or-less formal settings, possibly in bands. This method focusses on chord formation, just enough sight reading to follow the melody, improvisation, and interpretive skills.

It's sad, perhaps, that there is so little overlap between these pedagogic paths.

But my point in all this is: if you engage a teacher, try to find one who caters for the style and setting in which you want to play. The traditional, 'Carnegie Hall', approach is a long, long path to follow if you want to improvise around pop songs, etc.


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ah that is strange kevinb, I am neither one nor the other, or I am parts of both. I must be a middle path rarity smile


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Originally Posted by Canonie
ah that is strange kevinb, I am neither one nor the other, or I am parts of both. I must be a middle path rarity smile


I didn't mean to imply that that there were no pianists, or even piano teachers, who were at home in both classical and contemporary genres -- clearly there are. Rather, my point was that if you sign up for 'piano lessons' (in the UK, anyway), the teacher is likely to assume that you want the traditional, classically-oriented approach.

If your goal is, for example, to play pop songs or standards from a fakebook/lead sheet, I suspect there are quicker and more productive ways to get there than by embarking on that long path that leads to Grade 8 (or whatever the local equivalent is).


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Most private piano teachers here are very classically oriented as well - not so easy to find someone to give you a lot of help with the jazz/pop. I had the standard classical piano teachers when I was ages 7 through 13, then asked my teacher at the time for help with some pop/rock songs and was refused (she said she didn't know how). I started teaching myself and figuring out how to play my favorite pop songs by ear, starting with easier songs with only a few chords like "Lean On Me" and "Let It Be", etc. Then I switched to electric organ (with pedals) and found some wonderful teachers who taught me all the great jazz/pop chords in the fake books. I agree with others here - it's all about the chords. Have fun! smile


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