Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Who's Online Now
103 registered members (anotherscott, 7uturu, awesome10, astrotoy, alexk3954, 28 invisible), 1,670 guests, and 7 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Music theory and general advice #1941311
08/12/12 10:24 AM
08/12/12 10:24 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 6
Victoria, Australia
K
krixx Offline OP
Junior Member
krixx  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 6
Victoria, Australia
Greetings my fellow humans!!! laugh *First post*
I have recently began my musical venture and have a question:

1. at which point in my training should i begin to learn dedicated music theory? before i start physical practice, during physical practice (example 5 days mainly physical prac with theory recaps and 2 days reserved for mainly for theory with some slight physical practice) or should i get a basic/intermediate understanding of how to play before starting to learn dedicated theory? Also any other helpful advice anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated! smile

Apologies if this is not entirely comprehensible, the time is almost 12.30am here and i am quite weary :P

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Music theory and general advice [Re: krixx] #1941401
08/12/12 01:00 PM
08/12/12 01:00 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,520
Santa Fe, NM
J
jotur Offline
Gold Level
jotur  Offline
Gold Level
J

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,520
Santa Fe, NM
Hi, krixx, and welcome. The ABF is a great place for asking questions and sharing your piano adventure!

For me, learning theory is integrated with playing. When you first start, of course, the theory is laying the very basics of what you're playing - the names of the pitches you're playing and where they're located on the written staff, how to name the relative lengths of the pitches you're playing, etc. Learning your way around the piano keys all up and down the keyboard, and where they're located on what is now called the "grand staff" - the treble and bass together. All those things in basic piano-playing books.

But as you go along there's always more - learning to hear the intervals (difference of the pitches) and how they're named, and what they look like on the page. How they are put together in linear steps to form a scale, and how that scales is written on the staff, and how it's indicated as a "key signature", and all the customs of playing/writing it down if it's a pitch that's not within the basic scale of the piece you're playing. But to me, all of that is meaningful and useful and enlightening only if it's being played and played with at the keyboard. As theory outside of playing it's a fun puzzle, perhaps, but kind of goes nowhere. (I have a degree in math, and some higher level theory there feels that way, but much of it has been, ultimately, useful in describing the physical world and how it works, too.)

So I'd say there's no time when the "theory" isn't applied to the keyboard, at all levels. At each stage the theory will begin to be automatic - you'll know the interval and play it without having to name it, and the rhythms resulting from note lengths will be engrained. And then there will be more theory that can be worked out and will become automatic - chord names and usual patterns of chords, etc.

But if you read the jazz threads here you'll find that the process doesn't end laugh There's always new ways of arranging chords, new combinations of linear intervals that make scales, new ways of understanding/making music. It's way too much fun.

Having said that, I spend some time each week, but not every session, not playing pieces but physically applying "theory" - playing chord progressions in different key signatures, for instance. But in every practice session I spend time slowly playing a piece and recognizing the chords I'm playing and the progressions in that piece, so that it becomes an "aha" moment when I see it in a new piece and helps to more quickly learn the new piece. And a little more of that becomes ingrained each time.

Which is a long-winded way of saying I'd learn theory right along with playing, and spend a little time in each practice session figuring out the basic theory behind a piece and trying to recogninze it in several pieces, and then a couple of times a week I'd spend some time dedicated to practicing the theory - sight-reading, scales, chord progressions, transposing, whatever.

But there are those who do scales, etc, every day, and use them not just as theory excercises, but as ways to improve technique - finger dexterity, evenness of tone, rhythms, etc.

So I think theory is realted to playing. For me it's overwhelming to worry very much about extended jazz chords transposed to every key at this point, even tho some of them may be in pieces I play. But if I recognize a little more each time I go along, it's helpful.

I'm sure others will have different experiences from which you can take cues for what works for you!

Cathy


Cathy
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
I'm retired!
Re: Music theory and general advice [Re: krixx] #1941481
08/12/12 03:25 PM
08/12/12 03:25 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 309
P
Para Otras Offline
Full Member
Para Otras  Offline
Full Member
P

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 309
You do the practical and the theoretical together, from the beginning.

Everything you are learning, try to 'keep up' in regards to your ears and brain.

Can you tell us what you've been doing so far to learn the piano and what you plan to do and what your end desires and goals are?

Re: Music theory and general advice [Re: krixx] #1941557
08/12/12 06:00 PM
08/12/12 06:00 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,139
Nashville, TN
B
Brian Lucas Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Brian Lucas  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,139
Nashville, TN
Agree with both of them, they go together. Think of theory as an understanding of what you're playing. Simple rote learning won't make you better. Understand what you are learning, and then physically apply that to the keys.

And ask for any help you need along the way.


-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
My Music
Re: Music theory and general advice [Re: krixx] #1941694
08/12/12 11:10 PM
08/12/12 11:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 6
Victoria, Australia
K
krixx Offline OP
Junior Member
krixx  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 6
Victoria, Australia
Hey thanks a lot for the replies guys very helpful i really appreciate it! smile
Para Otras: this is my 3rd day of practice so far and i have just been watching instructional videos on youtube and learning from a book i have, so basically all i have been doing is learning the names of the keys, a few scales and a little bit about tempo and time signatures. Also trying to memorize all of the symbols and what note value they correspond to on the staff. I think its just my usual method of learning that compelled me to ask this question (i like to absorb a lot of theoretical knowledge before partaking in any activity :P ). As for my goals.. well i don't believe in aiming low in anything i would find it very discouraging to do so however, i am trying to approach this modestly. That being said i hope to one day (perhaps in the far future) be composing my own music on the piano and maybe even for groups of instruments.. My "short term" goals would be being able to play some Chopin or Beethoven perhaps. At the moment i am only interested in classical/romantic (hopefully the correct terms) music.
smile

Re: Music theory and general advice [Re: krixx] #1943548
08/16/12 04:26 AM
08/16/12 04:26 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 388
Japan
M
MaryAnn Offline
Full Member
MaryAnn  Offline
Full Member
M

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 388
Japan
a little, but not completely, OT: I just read about the melodic minor scale and my head exploded.

Re: Music theory and general advice [Re: krixx] #1943553
08/16/12 04:34 AM
08/16/12 04:34 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,110
W
wouter79 Offline
5000 Post Club Member
wouter79  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
W

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,110
Together? You need theory to create an interpretation of a piece.


[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Re: Music theory and general advice [Re: krixx] #1943559
08/16/12 04:45 AM
08/16/12 04:45 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 309
P
Para Otras Offline
Full Member
Para Otras  Offline
Full Member
P

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 309
Krixx,

If it is only your third day, stop worrying so much. I will tell you now that worrying about piano will make your playing and learning WORSE. RELAX. It is supposed to be FUN.

What book do you have? Why are you doing scales so soon (there are more important things in the beginning!)?

Don't bother trying to memorize EVERYTHING all at once. Take your time. You don't need to know that incalzando means to get faster and louder if none of your songs are even remotely that expressive yet. Focus on learning things sequentially and within reason.

That said, I would never call 'some Chopin and Beethoven' short-term goals. Beethoven wrote many teaching pieces, but you probably are not thinking of those. Chopin's works are early-advanced as well. Take your time to develop your skills. Those are NOT short-term goals!

Focus on technique and repertoire, and make sure you become a very competent and able reader.

If you are interested in composing your own music, you should learn as much about theory as you can, and then go to a Composition forum and begin to speak to actual composers. There are many good texts out there but they won't be able to teach you everything. You should also expose yourself to other styles, not just Classical and Romantic. Baroque, Contemporary, Jazz, Blues - everything you do will provide a learning experience. You should also begin to research and experiment with improvisation RIGHT NOW. IMMEDIATELY. That is ESSENTIAL to becoming a good composer. It doesn't have to be jazz either, which is what most people usually assume. You can improvise in any style.

Re: Music theory and general advice [Re: krixx] #1943890
08/16/12 02:37 PM
08/16/12 02:37 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 7
Long Island, New York
9symphony9 Offline
Junior Member
9symphony9  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 7
Long Island, New York
I learned some of it before playing, then studied more of it as I play.

Re: Music theory and general advice [Re: krixx] #1944888
08/18/12 04:47 AM
08/18/12 04:47 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 6
Victoria, Australia
K
krixx Offline OP
Junior Member
krixx  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 6
Victoria, Australia
Para Otras! laugh

Being pedantic is just my style however i will try to take your advice and relax lol. The book i have is just a general guide on playing the piano for beginners, your standard training manual id assume.

What do you suggest i focus on mainly? What will i need to know before i can start to experiment with improv?

The scales are just in between practice when i have 5-10 minutes spare and i assumed that practicing them would aid my technique.
As for my comment about goals what i meant was i have only two goals in mind currently and learning to play some classical pieces would be the shorter term of the two (1-2 years?) in comparison to being able to compose music which would take a lot longer to learn how to do id imagine.

Re: Music theory and general advice [Re: krixx] #1945663
08/19/12 05:38 PM
08/19/12 05:38 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 161
United States
N
Nicholas Mihaila Offline
Full Member
Nicholas Mihaila  Offline
Full Member
N

Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 161
United States
If you're not learning them at the same time for whatever reason, I think it'd be better to start off with some theory. It really is important.


Follow my mixed gaming and musical ambitions through my YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/NTMihaila

My cover of Inuyasha - Every Heart: https://youtu.be/-rFKbUoO7bM

Currently working on Fantasie Impromptu and Animenz's Owari no Sekai Kara.
Re: Music theory and general advice [Re: krixx] #1950137
08/28/12 12:54 AM
08/28/12 12:54 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 52
A
alsoTom Offline
Full Member
alsoTom  Offline
Full Member
A

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 52
Interesting thread. I am enjoying the read.

Re: Music theory and general advice [Re: krixx] #1950234
08/28/12 07:12 AM
08/28/12 07:12 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,392
Sweden
TheodorN Offline
2000 Post Club Member
TheodorN  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,392
Sweden


My YouTube channel

Casio PX-5S. Garritan CFX. Prod. Voices: Grand 2 Gold, Concert Grand Compact, Est. Grand, Studio Grand LE. NI Giant. Galaxy II Bl├╝thner Baby Grand. AcousticSamples C7. AK Studio Grand. Sampletekk Black. Kontakt 5. Reaper.

Moderated by  BB Player 

Shop Our Online Store!
Shop Our Store Online
Shop PianoSupplies.com

Did you know Piano World has an online store, and that it's loaded with goodies pianists and music lovers want?
Check it out and place your order.

Special Purchase!
Keyboard and Roses Piano Bench Cushion Keyboard & Roses 14"x30" piano bench cushions Regularly sold for $79 to $100, now only $39. (while supplies last)

(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Bechstein
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways
New Topics - Multiple Forums
VALDESTA GX-5 - one key not working
by heimtun. 06/15/19 01:15 PM
1994 Baldwin R226 -negotiating
by Nashash. 06/15/19 01:09 PM
Advanced Jazz Piano: Octave Improvisation
by Dfrankjazz. 06/15/19 12:57 PM
A poor old Steinway
by edferris. 06/15/19 11:55 AM
What's Hot!!
PIANO TEACHERS Please read this!
-------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics192,535
Posts2,838,133
Members93,617
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1