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Absolute beginner to music and piano #1857655
03/07/12 07:08 AM
03/07/12 07:08 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
United Kingdom
Y
ysolla Offline OP
Junior Member
ysolla  Offline OP
Junior Member
Y

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
United Kingdom
Hello all
I am hoping you good folks here could point me in the right direction. I've been lurking around here for, oohhh, about a year now, but really am no further forward.

I am a total beginner to music. I love listening to it, I adore piano and just over a year ago we purchased one for my son to learn. He's 7 yrs old and started lessons at school in October past. I use his homework lessons for me too, but feel they are progressing a little too slow for me, mind you, I don't think I need to go too fast either! I just want to be able to find pieces I like and learn to play them, I'm not wanting to do my various grades/exams, etc. I did get Alfreds basic, all-in-one, level one book. But I get stuck on timing when I don't know how a piece should sound. So I've basically ground to a halt with the exception of my son's lessons, which I love, but as I say, I think I can learn a little faster than him, up to a point anyway. He is using John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course Part 1, if any of you know it - we're a couple of weeks away from finishing the book. I am still playing bang in the middle of the keyboard. Oh yes, I'm not playing with both hands simultaneously yet either. If you need more detailed info on what I do know, let me know and I'll happily furbish you with the necessaries.
I'd love a tutor, but have to do it myself as I am already paying for my son at school. What do you guys suggest I do to get me out of this hole I seem to be stuck in?
Thanks!!

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Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: ysolla] #1857657
03/07/12 07:35 AM
03/07/12 07:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,555
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Bob Newbie Offline
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try youtube videos..just type in the name of the piece/song..and in most cases you get a person learning the same piece..or a pro performer..then you can get an idea of tempo..

Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: ysolla] #1857659
03/07/12 08:03 AM
03/07/12 08:03 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
United Kingdom
Y
ysolla Offline OP
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ysolla  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2010
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United Kingdom
Thanks!!!

Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: ysolla] #1857688
03/07/12 09:54 AM
03/07/12 09:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,358
MA
Kymber Offline
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In regards to timing, before you even play the piece you can look over the music and clap the rhythm until you get to the point where you feel more comfortable with it.

Also, maybe you could do a "check in" with your sons teacher once month or something.
Then they can see what you are doing and give you some pointers. They can also gauge where you are and recommend pieces that are appropriate for your level.

Good Luck!



“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
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Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: ysolla] #1857697
03/07/12 10:19 AM
03/07/12 10:19 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,181
Toronto, Ontario
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Peter K. Mose  Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
If you phrase it right, ask your son for occasional guidance. He'll be thrilled, even if you are a bit beyond him, to demonstrate or explain to his parent.
Could be very nice bonding.

Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: ysolla] #1857834
03/07/12 03:07 PM
03/07/12 03:07 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,464
Chapel Hill, NC
Stanza Offline
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Stanza  Offline
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Chapel Hill, NC
Just remember to take it nice and slow. Remember what it was like learning to tie your shoes? You start slowly and fumble alot, with laces quickly coming untied. Eventually you do it neatly in the blink of an eye! Same with piano. Patience and time will get you where you want to go.


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Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: ysolla] #1857914
03/07/12 05:23 PM
03/07/12 05:23 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 7,009
Italy
casinitaly Offline

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014
casinitaly  Offline

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Joined: Mar 2010
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Italy
There are a lot of books that come with CDs to show you how the pieces should sound.
And there are many many tutorials on line.

If you do some searches in this forum you can find a lot of info on self-teaching.

The hardest thing to do is to be patient with yourself.

Even those who have had musical experiences/instruction in the past (like me !) find learning piano challenging - so if you have no musical background, just be sure to acknowledge that no, it isn't easy - but yes, it is worth the time and effort!

Good luck, have fun, and welcome!


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Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: ysolla] #1858057
03/07/12 10:16 PM
03/07/12 10:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 93
M
Mike Mandaville Offline
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Mike Mandaville  Offline
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Originally Posted by ysolla


...I get stuck on timing when I don't know how a piece should sound...



Hello, Ysolla. When you get stuck on timing, you need to begin counting out the music. It will sound something like 1 2 + 3 uh + uh 4, 1 uh + uh 2 + 3 4, and so on. Each measure will be different.

Originally Posted by ysolla


...I am still playing bang in the middle of the keyboard. Oh yes, I'm not playing with both hands simultaneously yet either...



Maybe you should try playing some hymns. Hymns should get you playing with two hands with a minimum of complexity. I play them with three-note chords.

Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: Mike Mandaville] #1858065
03/07/12 10:31 PM
03/07/12 10:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,333
Portland, OR
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012
tangleweeds  Offline

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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,333
Portland, OR
Originally Posted by Mike Mandaville
When you get stuck on timing, you need to begin counting out the music. It will sound something like 1 2 + 3 uh + uh 4, 1 uh + uh 2 + 3 4, and so on. Each measure will be different.

???????? Perhaps I'm not interpreting this the way it was meant?

You counting should be as even as you can humanly make it. For Alfred 1, simply counting "One and Two and Three and Four and" for each measure in 4/4 time should be fine, since I don't think there are any note values shorter than eighth notes.

It is indeed very good practice, when you're look at a new piece, to clap or tap the note lengths from the sheet music as you do your counting aloud. If the rhythms are confusing, you can do the this one hand at a time, just as you might practice one hand's part at a time on the piano. You might also try tapping the rhythms both hands at one, as practice at reading two staves at once (but without having to worry about note values yet).

Reading rhythms can be pretty confusing, and is a whole 'nother issue to deal with on top of knowing which notes to play. You should feel free to break down the process into as many sub-steps as you need to in order to feel comfortable and figure stuff out.

Finding out how things should sound on youtube is a great option, but don't neglect the challenge of also learning how to "reconsitute" music purely from flat silent pages. It's very exciting when you figure out how to do it!

Last edited by tangleweeds; 03/07/12 10:32 PM. Reason: missing words, editing glitches

Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: tangleweeds] #1858116
03/08/12 12:09 AM
03/08/12 12:09 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 93
M
Mike Mandaville Offline
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Mike Mandaville  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 93
Originally Posted by tangleweeds


...You counting should be as even as you can humanly make it. For Alfred 1, simply counting "One and Two and Three and Four and" for each measure in 4/4 time should be fine, since I don't think there are any note values shorter than eighth notes.,,



Tangleweeds, I do not have the Alfred book, and if sixteenth notes are not indicated, then, of course, sixteenth notes should not be counted out.
.
.

Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: ysolla] #1858250
03/08/12 09:04 AM
03/08/12 09:04 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 769
Michigan
GlassLove Offline
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GlassLove  Offline
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Posts: 769
Michigan
http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Timing-Pianists-Allan-Small/dp/0739008919

This is a very nice book that should help you with any timing issues you are likely to face as a beginner!!!!


Christine










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Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: ysolla] #1858364
03/08/12 12:53 PM
03/08/12 12:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,239
Maine
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PianoStudent88 Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,239
Maine
I think the difference between what Mike Mandaville is saying vs. what tangleweeds is saying is not so much about the presence or absence of sixteenth notes. Rather, do you count out a count that always uses the smallest time division (tangleweed's way) or do you just count as needed for the notes you see (Mike's way).

For example, for a measure of quarter note, two eighth notes, quarter note, two eighth notes, in tangleweed's way you would count "One and Two and Three and Four and". Pair that with tapping on One, Two and, Three, Four and.

In Mike's way you would count the same as the taps: "One Two and Three Four and". The "Two and" and "Four and" are fit into the same time as "One" and "Three" -- that is the numbers are proceeding at a steady pace, and you're only articulating the eighth notes when they appear in the score.

What I've gathered is that some people prefer to start with tangleweed's way, and maybe progress to Mike's way after they can keep steady time with tangleweed's way.


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Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: casinitaly] #1859996
03/11/12 04:37 PM
03/11/12 04:37 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
United Kingdom
Y
ysolla Offline OP
Junior Member
ysolla  Offline OP
Junior Member
Y

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
United Kingdom
Thank you so much everyone. I look around and get overwhelmed by everyone here - even the "beginners" look so experienced! I'm never too sure what is appropriate online beginners level for me. I'd love to do a check in with my son's teacher, but unfortunately I can't, although his lesson is private, it's in school, during school hours. But I do get him to explain some things to me, just to check I've picked it up right and he loves the two of us playing his pieces simultaneously once he has learnt them first.

Patience with myself is the hardest thing of all! This has been of great encouragement though...I feel I can soldier on again. If I can only convince my hands to work simultaneously independent of one another - that would be progress! Oh yes...Is an hour a day the right amount of practise or not enough? What do you recommend?

Re: Absolute beginner to music and piano [Re: ysolla] #1860061
03/11/12 06:20 PM
03/11/12 06:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,139
Nashville, TN
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Brian Lucas Offline
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Brian Lucas  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,139
Nashville, TN
Originally Posted by ysolla
I'm never too sure what is appropriate online beginners level for me.

Every level is appropriate here. No matter what level you are, there is always something to learn. Any good teacher will tell you that they also learn things from their students, a different perspective on something. All levels are welcome here.

Originally Posted by ysolla
Is an hour a day the right amount of practise or not enough? What do you recommend?

Personally I think the old "hour a day" is overkill. Some people can play for an hour, but most lose focus after 20-30 minutes. Especially a 7 year old. I believe frequency of practicing is more important than time. I'd rather have students practice 10 minutes every day than an hour every so often. Repetition is the key to success.

Welcome!


-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
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