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#2070454 - 04/25/13 06:31 AM First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations  
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Randalthor Offline
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Hi,
Although I'm working slowly through the basics, I'm aware that I need to start somewhere and 'learn a proper song' for my repertoire.

I'm looking for a song that requires timing, left and right hands, good range of dynamics and isn't so obscure that I would struggle to find sheet music and perhaps a recording or two, to compare against.

If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears ;-)

Regards,


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#2070465 - 04/25/13 07:20 AM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: Randalthor]  
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earlofmar Online content
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I guess you would have to qualify what you have been learning as far as songs go and what sort of music you would like to learn:

This site is excellent as it has sheet music and mp3 files (and some videos)

http://gmajormusictheory.org/Freebies/freebiesFP.html


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2070474 - 04/25/13 07:53 AM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: Randalthor]  
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Andy Platt Offline
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Bach's (well, actually it turns out, Petzold's) minuet in G has been used for exactly this purpose for centuries.

Although, personally, I subscribe to the view that it's a little harder than some would give credit for.

This is a nice cheap selection of early repertoire - the pieces get progressively harder. As your piano skills improve you can use it for sight reading:

Joy of Classics



  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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#2070492 - 04/25/13 08:26 AM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: Randalthor]  
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It really depends on what you can currently do. The above mentioned Minuet in G is great, but it's also very tricky for a beginner (I consider it early intermediate). Are you working through a method book on your own, or are there any pieces that you can currently play?


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#2070516 - 04/25/13 09:17 AM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: Randalthor]  
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Randalthor Offline
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Hi, Thanks for the replies.
I'm currently just starting with Alfreds all in one book. I don't have a teacher, but I'm going to give it a good try to learn some of the basics myself, such as from this book.

My thinking was that if I have a song I can keep revisiting it, each time a new concept is introduced in the book, Block chords, arpeggios, rhythm, etc. and apply what I have learnt?


Regards,

#2070520 - 04/25/13 09:30 AM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: Randalthor]  
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Morodiene Offline
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The most important thing to do when you are first learning piano is to encounter as much different music as you can, all within a certain skillset that you already have. You need experience more than one warhorse you keep having a go at to realize that you still don't know how to play it.

That's not to say it's wrong to have that piece as a carrot to entice you to work harder, but I think it's more importnat and more productive to work on the pieces that will give you the skills to get there.

For supplemental music for Alfred, try looking into the Keith Snell series at the preparatory level. He offers selections in Baroque and Classical, and Romantic-20th century that you might enjoy and would be very good to learn. Also, Jeanine Yeager has Fresh Impressions which is a bit new agey sounding if you enjoy that. Both of these are published by Neil A. Kjos Music Company:

http://www.kjos.com/detail.php?division=5&table=product&prod_id=GP600
http://www.kjos.com/detail.php?division=5&table=product&prod_id=GP620
http://www.kjos.com/detail.php?division=5&table=product&prod_id=WP518


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#2070524 - 04/25/13 09:37 AM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: Morodiene]  
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I am playing from the Snell series as a beginner to supplement the Alfred's All-in-One. I highly recommend it. There is alot of variety. I did not start with the Prep Level; I am working out of Level One.


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq Standard

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#2070562 - 04/25/13 10:57 AM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: Randalthor]  
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Randalthor Offline
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You guys are awesome, you've probably just saved me months of 'beating a dead horse' by working on a single piece, and never really having a frame of reference.

I going to check out the Snell books now. Thanks for the links too.

Regards.

#2070570 - 04/25/13 11:07 AM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: Randalthor]  
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scorpio Offline
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The nice thing about the Snell books (at least the one I have), are that they include a CD.

But I have to caution you. I have over extended myself with the number of pieces I am working on. You can easily start working on too many at one time. I have way too many books open. I try, really try, to keep it to five pieces at a time. But well, that does not always work.

Last edited by scorpio; 04/25/13 11:08 AM.

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#2070574 - 04/25/13 11:13 AM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: Randalthor]  
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Randalthor Offline
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Thanks for the tip Scorpio. I Intend to work out some kind of routine where I get to work through the Alfred book, practice some scales, learn some theory and finally work on a piece or two at a time.

Not quite sure yet how to do it, I'm still reading though some of the great advice found in the older pages of this site. Unless you already know of some topics on training schedules?

Regards.

#2071073 - 04/25/13 11:04 PM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: Randalthor]  
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I'm not into the idea of taking a piece far beyond one's ability and over time keep re-visiting it in the hopes of improving it as one's skill builds. I think there are some problem with that. First, over time, you become so familiar with the piece that you really do not see it with fresh eyes and you really don't improve on it. Better to wait until you actually have half a chance of doing a decent job before attempting it. But that's me. I know that's at least one person here at ABF that takes the complete opposite view.

The Keith Snell series is really good. Anything in the Preparatory level is good, and they are nice sounding too, though be aware it may be a little challenging for someone who's just starting out.


Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci
#2071172 - 04/26/13 01:50 AM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: 4evrBeginR]  
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earlofmar Online content
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Originally Posted by 4evrBeginR
I'm not into the idea of taking a piece far beyond one's ability and over time keep re-visiting it in the hopes of improving it as one's skill builds. I think there are some problem with that. First, over time, you become so familiar with the piece that you really do not see it with fresh eyes and you really don't improve on it. Better to wait until you actually have half a chance of doing a decent job before attempting it. But that's me. I know that's at least one person here at ABF that takes the complete opposite view.

The Keith Snell series is really good. Anything in the Preparatory level is good, and they are nice sounding too, though be aware it may be a little challenging for someone who's just starting out.


I could not agree more. It is nice to have a piece in your sights as a goal for when you improve, but to try to force yourself to play is disappointing and will only result in beginner mistakes only being incorporated into the piece and then hard to correct (eg finger positions.

I have started working on several pieces beyond my standard, I have let them go until I can do them properly and do them justice.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2071212 - 04/26/13 03:51 AM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: Randalthor]  
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Randalthor Offline
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Your right, know I've come back to the question, I can see where your coming from. I have order a couple of books as recommended and will benefit more from the mileage in covering a number of songs, rather than sticking to a single piece.
I think lots of easy pieces will give me more finger-time and a more rounded view also. Many thanks guys, I'll hopefully get a couple of videos up on YouTube over the summer so you can all see how bad I am ;-)

Regards.

#2071278 - 04/26/13 07:24 AM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: 4evrBeginR]  
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Andy Platt Offline
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Originally Posted by 4evrBeginR
I'm not into the idea of taking a piece far beyond one's ability and over time keep re-visiting it in the hopes of improving it as one's skill builds. I think there are some problem with that. First, over time, you become so familiar with the piece that you really do not see it with fresh eyes and you really don't improve on it. Better to wait until you actually have half a chance of doing a decent job before attempting it. But that's me. I know that's at least one person here at ABF that takes the complete opposite view.


I don't think I would have this as a goal but I disagree with your "problems." I've "re-tackled" a piece a couple of times and each time was able to improve it relatively quickly because my technique had improved so much. And professional pianists will often talk about how they approach certain pieces in a very different manner.

But, I wouldn't set out to do this deliberately. The world of piano repertoire is so broad there's almost no point. And certainly not "too early" - that's a complete waste of time.


  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3
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#2071562 - 04/26/13 01:53 PM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: Andy Platt]  
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I don't think my comment applies to you because from your signature, you're working on a Chopin Nocturn and Bach Invention both are advance pieces. I assume if you could manage those with a good job from your teacher, then you're way pass that stage anyway. I'm more talking about someone at my level who can't manage a Bach Invention but deciding to do it anyway, failing, then playing it again, failing again, etc. So my comments wasn't about those who play something now and later come back and play it better because that assumes you actually could play it now already. Hope that makes sense.


Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci
#2071587 - 04/26/13 02:32 PM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: 4evrBeginR]  
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Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Originally Posted by 4evrBeginR
I'm not into the idea of taking a piece far beyond one's ability and over time keep re-visiting it in the hopes of improving it as one's skill builds. I think there are some problem with that. First, over time, you become so familiar with the piece that you really do not see it with fresh eyes and you really don't improve on it. Better to wait until you actually have half a chance of doing a decent job before attempting it. But that's me. I know that's at least one person here at ABF that takes the complete opposite view.


I don't think I would have this as a goal but I disagree with your "problems." I've "re-tackled" a piece a couple of times and each time was able to improve it relatively quickly because my technique had improved so much. And professional pianists will often talk about how they approach certain pieces in a very different manner.

But, I wouldn't set out to do this deliberately. The world of piano repertoire is so broad there's almost no point. And certainly not "too early" - that's a complete waste of time.


Originally Posted by 4evrBeginR
I don't think my comment applies to you because from your signature, you're working on a Chopin Nocturn and Bach Invention both are advance pieces. I assume if you could manage those with a good job from your teacher, then you're way pass that stage anyway. I'm more talking about someone at my level who can't manage a Bach Invention but deciding to do it anyway, failing, then playing it again, failing again, etc. So my comments wasn't about those who play something now and later come back and play it better because that assumes you actually could play it now already. Hope that makes sense.


It might depend on how long you wait between those pieces. I'm looking over a couple of pieces (Bach) that I just couldn't "finish" for whatever reasons (I'm thinking impatience and trying to rush through certain key measures I needed to take slowly). There were at least 5 botched measures that I couldn't master. I tried to look over them a month or 3 later, I still couldn't overcome it. It's been a year at least, but now I'm seeing them through more experienced and patient eyes and those obstacles are doable. I've acquired better learning skills so now I can handle those problem areas better.

Here's a slightly relevant story. When I was 14 or so, we got a piano. No lessons, however. My mom taught me a few things about reading, gave me a basic book and some easy pop songs and let me go with it. I still remembered basic reading from my elementary music classes, which was helpful. For herself, she bought Moonlight Sonata (the full one). She taught me how to read the first part, and from there, off and on for years(I'm talking super sporadically), I learned to read both clefs quite well. I could read and find the notes very quickly - I just couldn't play them that well. I went all the way through the first movement. The downside is that I developed horrible technique and have spent probably most of my 3 years in lessons overcoming that. Combined with my impatient nature, it has been challenging.

Moral of the story: "project" pieces slightly over your level are fine, but don't go in way over your head.






Last edited by AimeeO; 04/26/13 02:33 PM.
#2071631 - 04/26/13 03:20 PM Re: First Proper Musical Piece - Recommendations [Re: AimeeO]  
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Originally Posted by AimeeO

Moral of the story: "project" pieces slightly over your level are fine, but don't go in way over your head.


Exactly.



Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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