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#2084095 - 05/17/13 08:57 AM Returning to the piano, comments on technique for me?  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 392
Allan W. Offline
Full Member
Allan W.  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 392
Maryland
I used to take lessons as a child 10+ years ago. I think I was at Fur Elise level or something, but I don't really remember anymore. I've started playing again for about a year, recently bought a nice upright and made a video.

My technique now is mostly self-taught so can anyone give me some comments on how I'm doing? Posture, height, wrist stuff? Thanks.

I'm also wondering if I should get a teacher. I'm interested in playing more contemporary pieces, mostly video game music (but good complex arrangements of it). Although now I've become also become interested in learning Lizst Consolation No. 3 and some Debussy, Clair de Lune and Arabesque (I'd also like to hear some recommendations for similar songs). But some of the rhythm and technique is a bit challenging for me, although I'm sure I can learn it fine self-taught. So maybe I can find a teacher who can work with me on these "classical" style pieces while I self-learn other pieces.

I guess I'd like to learn some theory too, to be able to write/improv arrangements like the one in my video. Jazz piano is very interesting for me but seems difficult. Would a teacher teach both classical stuff for technique and some basic jazz piano?

Anyway here is the video: I also submitted another piece to the latest recital (I'm #20)



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#2084566 - 05/18/13 03:50 AM Re: Returning to the piano, comments on technique for me? [Re: Allan W.]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014
Bobpickle  Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted by Allan W.
I used to take lessons as a child 10+ years ago. I think I was at Fur Elise level or something, but I don't really remember anymore. I've started playing again for about a year, recently bought a nice upright and made a video.

My technique now is mostly self-taught so can anyone give me some comments on how I'm doing? Posture, height, wrist stuff? Thanks.


[Linked Image]

You appear to be seated a little far back on the bench, but otherwise everything looked great from what I noticed (disclaimer: I'm not a teacher!). If the height and wrist technique allowed for your playing to be comfortable and pain-free, then it works for me.


Originally Posted by Allan W.
I'm also wondering if I should get a teacher. I'm interested in playing more contemporary pieces, mostly video game music (but good complex arrangements of it). Although now I've become also become interested in learning Lizst Consolation No. 3 and some Debussy, Clair de Lune and Arabesque (I'd also like to hear some recommendations for similar songs). But some of the rhythm and technique is a bit challenging for me, although I'm sure I can learn it fine self-taught. So maybe I can find a teacher who can work with me on these "classical" style pieces while I self-learn other pieces.


Good teachers are great because they can help you to more efficiently reach your goals. They can identify areas for improvement in your technique (how can we know if and when something's missing/lacking when we're not seasoned experts on the topic), in your musicality/interpretation, and in helping to get rid of and prevent any bad habits, be them physical or musical. As far as whether or not you think you'd click and/or have the discipline learning with one, read this post/thread here: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2084411.html#Post2084411


Originally Posted by Allan W.
Although now I've become also become interested in learning Lizst Consolation No. 3 and some Debussy, Clair de Lune and Arabesque (I'd also like to hear some recommendations for similar songs)


These aren't suggestions for pieces to learn, but simply to listen to (not that you can't or shouldn't learn them eventually):
-anything by Chopin
-anything by Debussy
-The Seasons by Tchaikovsky
-Preludes by Rachmaninoff
-pretty much anything by other Romantic composers and/or listed here: http://solo.naxos.com/mainsite/blur...%20this%20Recording&language=English

Keep in mind the Romantic Period is only one of several musical eras. While a nice doorway into listening to classical, there are many other doors waiting inside...


Originally Posted by Allan W.
I guess I'd like to learn some theory too, to be able to write/improv arrangements like the one in my video. Jazz piano is very interesting for me but seems difficult. Would a teacher teach both classical stuff for technique and some basic jazz piano?


You could learn theory from private lessons, but in my opinion it would sort of be like trying to learn high school algebra only from a private tutor - it works better in a class setting where there's more time (and where it's concurrently more affordable). Check the availability of classes at local community colleges. If this option isn't available, you can always learn from a teacher with a supplement of texts or visa-versa.

It's great you like jazz, too! While it uses similar physical techniques at the piano as classical music, the differences in styles are quite great. This means that few teachers are proficient in playing and/or teaching both in-depth - it's often one or the other (teachers do exist that can teach both, but you may need to put a little effort into finding one). Improvisation is also something few teachers seem to adequately address, but that's not to say some do. This is just another interview question for prospective teachers.


Originally Posted by Allan W.
Anyway here is the video: I also submitted another piece to the latest recital (I'm #20)



Your playing sounds superb. The ability to play such a difficult arrangement with that level of experience is really impressive - good job. Did you encounter any particular hurdles trying to do this? This would be my fear in trying to self-teach difficult repertoire like Liszt or Debussy. Be it a lack of experience with varied/proper practice methods and/or lack of experience with and/or overcoming various technical hurdles, one - or both - of these deficits would surely either slow your learning down a great deal or simply make learning whatever difficult material impossible. Meanwhile, you'd also be at risk of physically hurting yourself practicing unfamiliar techniques without the watchful eyes of an experienced teacher.


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#2085177 - 05/19/13 11:02 AM Re: Returning to the piano, comments on technique for me? [Re: Allan W.]  
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 214
curlyfries Offline
Full Member
curlyfries  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 214
BobPickle, What is this pulse advisory?



#2085193 - 05/19/13 11:45 AM Re: Returning to the piano, comments on technique for me? [Re: Allan W.]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 248
ElleC Offline
Full Member
ElleC  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 248
NJ, USA
Allan that was wonderful performance. Piano is just like riding a bike a suppose. You never really forget. If you have the means to take private lessons, I encourage you to do so. Good piano teachers can certainly build up on what you already know and show you new skills along the way. But I'm sure you already know that...it's just a matter of finding the right teacher for your style of learning and for the types of music you want to play. Good luck and welcome to ABF!


Adult beginner since January 2013. My only regret is that I didn't learn sooner.
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#2085208 - 05/19/13 12:15 PM Re: Returning to the piano, comments on technique for me? [Re: Allan W.]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 134
personne Offline
Full Member
personne  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 134
Toronto, Canada
The playing is great for the level of experience.

Just a few notes:
- The notes are not always synchronized
- Hand and fingers' position not always look right to me.

If you want to play classical music like pieces you mentioned, you would definitely benefit from having a good teacher, at least I cannot imagine doing it right without someone actually showing it to you and correcting bad practices.
Having a teacher is less important though if someone plays only popular music, not classics. IMO.


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