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Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
#1762184 09/30/11 08:48 AM
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Can someone please help me with my situation:
I cant read sheet music notes instantly whileplaying the piano at the same time.
But i found myself very good at memorizing piano sheet music. Now the way i learn a new piece i like is: First, look at the notes in each measure of the sheet, one measure at a time, then I get my hands on the piano and play this measure. After that I do the same for the next measures and so on, until I finish the whole song. Basically I can remember the whole piece after finishing the last measure of the sheet.

I have learnt half of 'canon in d' smoothly using this method.

is this OK for me to learn the piano that way? I dont want myself to get use to a bad way/learning approach to play piano. So please kindly give me some suggestions.

Thanks!

Last edited by iExchange; 09/30/11 08:51 AM.
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Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
iExchange #1762191 09/30/11 09:02 AM
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Some folk will definately tell you that this maybe is not the correct way of going about things....
But in my opinion, anything that gets you playing the piano and reading the score is a good thing.

As you will allready have noticed, the more you read the music, the easier it gets, when you first started to do it, I bet you had to work out one note at a time and struggled to name them.

I bet you have got quicker allready... the more you get familiar with the scores, the easier things will get.

Have you got a teacher?




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which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

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Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
Rostosky #1762198 09/30/11 09:13 AM
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Thank you Rostosky!
Actually I dont have a piano teacher, and I didnt take any piano courses before.

Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
iExchange #1762208 09/30/11 09:22 AM
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Your very welcome! I heard someone say something very interesting about this and I thought it was excellent advice, here it is:

a lot of folk work through a piece of music, and they get to a "hard bit" or "tricky bit" for them, and get stuck.

Say this hard bit is in measure 28-32 , so they learn up to measure 28, and get stuck... sometimes over and over.

What was suggested ( this is the bit I thought was excellent) was dont do that,
Look in the piece of music, and find any hard or tricky bits, and learn them first, no matter how slowly, get them under your belt, and then all the rest of the piece should in theory not give as much trouble...

you wont keep stopping at that measure (28) and not getting any further...

Hope this helps..




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

Founder and creator ofRostoskys 13th crystal skull project
Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
Rostosky #1762221 09/30/11 09:37 AM
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hey thank you very much!
This is really interesting, im going to try this for my next piece, thanks!

Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
iExchange #1762226 09/30/11 09:42 AM
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I think it's fine. As Rostosky said, you'll get better at reading the notes with time. It'll just take a little longer to learn a piece with the way you're doing it, since you have to have the song memorized entirely. There's a lot of songs I've spent weeks on that I couldn't play without sheet music.

But I'm new to the piano, too, so I'll still write down the note if I'm having trouble sight reading while playing. Maybe you could trying writing down the names of all the notes, to save you the trouble memorizing everything?

Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
iExchange #1762230 09/30/11 09:47 AM
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Thank you Bissrok!
Actually yes, I do write down the name of the notes that i have trouble to read when i learn the song.

Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
iExchange #1762240 09/30/11 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by iExchange
Can someone please help me with my situation:
I cant read sheet music notes instantly whileplaying the piano at the same time.
But i found myself very good at memorizing piano sheet music. Now the way i learn a new piece i like is: First, look at the notes in each measure of the sheet, one measure at a time, then I get my hands on the piano and play this measure. After that I do the same for the next measures and so on, until I finish the whole song. Basically I can remember the whole piece after finishing the last measure of the sheet.

I have learnt half of 'canon in d' smoothly using this method.

is this OK for me to learn the piano that way? I dont want myself to get use to a bad way/learning approach to play piano. So please kindly give me some suggestions.

Thanks!


You are very talented! I cannot instantly read sheet music or memorize music in such a methodical and efficient manner.


"You are the music while the music lasts" - T.S. Eliot
Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
Lain #1762253 09/30/11 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Lain
Originally Posted by iExchange
Can someone please help me with my situation:
I cant read sheet music notes instantly whileplaying the piano at the same time.
But i found myself very good at memorizing piano sheet music. Now the way i learn a new piece i like is: First, look at the notes in each measure of the sheet, one measure at a time, then I get my hands on the piano and play this measure. After that I do the same for the next measures and so on, until I finish the whole song. Basically I can remember the whole piece after finishing the last measure of the sheet.

I have learnt half of 'canon in d' smoothly using this method.

is this OK for me to learn the piano that way? I dont want myself to get use to a bad way/learning approach to play piano. So please kindly give me some suggestions.

Thanks!


You are very talented! I cannot instantly read sheet music or memorize music in such a methodical and efficient manner.


it is the only way I learn. I guess mainly because I don't really try to sightread very often. But I can memorize music very easily. If I play a measure once or twice, I have it memorized. Then I build measure by measure, like iExchange said. I still have stuff memorized that I hven't seen the score in two years. i guess we'll see if two years from now i still have it memorized grin


Nick
Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
iExchange #1762270 09/30/11 11:14 AM
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in the beginning whilst you are just starting out recognizing notes and where to place your fingers on the keyboard you will be using id say about 80 percent memory or more. as you progress that fades and you rely on sightreading more and more because you are familiar with where the notes are and reading them and all that. hope that helps.

john


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
beechcraft409 #1762271 09/30/11 11:16 AM
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Haha glad to find someone similar to me

Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
iExchange #1762274 09/30/11 11:23 AM
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And thank you all of you above for your opinions and help!

Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
beechcraft409 #1762395 09/30/11 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by beechcraft409
mainly because I don't really try to sightread very often.

It's fine if your main goal is to memorize songs. Nothing wrong with that. But if you WANT to be a better reader, the above quote is why you could be stuck. It's obvious you CAN read music, just maybe not fast enough to play it in real time. So writing the names of the notes gives you a bit of a shortcut when you start playing it. Instead of looking at the dot and saying "that's D" you've already written D, so you won't have to recognize the note.

Since you have a great memory, you might be able to learn a bunch more songs faster by getting more comfortable reading on the fly. The issue with you, and others, isn't whether or not you can sight read music, but whether you can do it fast enough to play in real time. The solution is lots of repetition, and not writing the names to give yourself a shortcut.


-Brian
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Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
Brian Lucas #1762432 09/30/11 03:57 PM
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Brian's absolutely right. Forget about the letter names of the notes, it's just an extra step for your brain to do. You want to go from paper to finger without wasted effort.

What you need is the experience of reading fast enough to play. As a first step in that direction, just ignore everything but the melody line, the topmost note all the way along. Better yet, get some freebie leadsheets from wikifonia. Practice reading and playing single note melody lines until you get good at it. Then add more notes to make chords. It's kinda like an airplane that has to maintain a minimum speed, or it falls out of the sky.

Reserve the letter names for chord symbols and analysis.


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Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
iExchange #1762461 09/30/11 05:11 PM
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I personally see no problem with it. That's how I always did it.
Now my reading is getting better so I don't commit things to memory like I used to so there is a benefit to doing it they way you are.
In order to improve your reading just make sure you read something new everyday, that prevents you from accidentally memorizing and playing from memory.


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And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
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Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
iExchange #1762496 09/30/11 06:48 PM
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iE - there's nothing wrong with anything that works. However from your description you may find that this method limits your playing later on (e.g playing more spontaneously with others).

I wonder if the root has less to do with reading, and more to do with you feeling the need to watch your fingers constantly? If so, it will help you immensely to develop a feel for where your fingers are *without* looking at them. Try something simple first, something you know well, and close your eyes. You may surprise yourself! smile

Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
ten left thumbs #1762533 09/30/11 07:49 PM
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Thank you! I will try that. And again, thank you all of you for all the kind help!

Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
Brian Lucas #1762694 10/01/11 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Lucas
just maybe not fast enough to play it in real time. So writing the names of the notes gives you a bit of a shortcut when you start playing it. Instead of looking at the dot and saying "that's D" you've already written D, so you won't have to recognize the note.


I don't need to write letters by the notes, anymore. Not sure if that was directed towards me or not. But yes, my problem is not being able to read fast enough to play it right then. I guess what I have the most trouble with while sight reading is reading the rhythm, not so much the notes, although I can't really read them *immediately* either. It takes me a second to be like, "OK what key am I in? Is that sharp, is it flat?" It doesn;t take me more than about 10 seconds to figure out the note, but the rhythm, especially on more complex tunes, is where I run into difficulty. Rhythm is what I spend the most time on when learning a song my way, as well. I can see the rhythm and understand it, but to play it at tempo I have to go through slowly a few times before my hands get used to it.

Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
I wonder if the root has less to do with reading, and more to do with you feeling the need to watch your fingers constantly? If so, it will help you immensely to develop a feel for where your fingers are *without* looking at them.


This is something I can also relate to. When learning new stuff, I absolutely must watch my hands. When I get more comfortable with the rhythm it is not so necessary. It just kinda depends, some pieces I can play without feeling the need to see my hands, others I have to at least see one of my hands.

Someone mentioned using sight reading as a tool to memorize pieces faster. I never looked at it that way. I would definitely like to be able to do that. I guess that is something I should maybe start working on. Not that I would know where to start but I can search around.


Nick
Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
iExchange #1762712 10/01/11 06:09 AM
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Oops. Sorry beechcraft, I got you confused with the OP. But I understand what you are going through. Seeing rhythmic patterns is a lot like reading notes, it's all about the recognition. Once you realize there are a finite number of possibilities within one beat of music, it makes recognition a little easier. My suggestion to my students is to try and see how the note fits into time, and not to simply count the beats. For example, knowing that an eighth note falls on the upbeat of the third beat is easier than counting 2 and a half beats before playing it. It also helps you align both hands and see how rhythms play between them.

Visualizing and recognition, that's what I'm all about. As long as you're doing that, with no shortcuts, the speed will come.


-Brian
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Re: Is it ok for me to learn piano songs that way?
beechcraft409 #1762858 10/01/11 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by beechcraft409

This is something I can also relate to. When learning new stuff, I absolutely must watch my hands. When I get more comfortable with the rhythm it is not so necessary. It just kinda depends, some pieces I can play without feeling the need to see my hands, others I have to at least see one of my hands.



Some of the world's best pianists have been blind. It's just something to think about.

Sometimes watching a player it's like they fear if they stop looking at their fingers then the fingers will fall off! smile They won't - the worst that can happen is you make a mistake.

Developing the ability to know where they are without looking is a matter of proprioception, and your brain *will* develop it, over time, provided you challenge yourself.

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