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#2130267 - 08/09/13 09:11 AM 5 Octave keyboard  
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 35
Randalthor Offline
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Randalthor  Offline
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HI Guys,
Like many i have a 5 octave yamaha keyboard. I am tryingto learn "Brown Eyed Girl by van morison" however, it looks like the left hand would play two octaves below middle c and then a g below that!. As i dont have that range on my keyboard, what do i do?

Do i move the whole pattern to the right and play the right hand in the upper octaves, even though they sound very shrill?

Do i play the notes as low as i can go and make do?

Randalthor.

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#2130270 - 08/09/13 09:23 AM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: Randalthor]  
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Weiyan Offline
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Weiyan  Offline
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Can the keyboard transpose?


Working on:\

J.S.Bach Prelude in C Min: No. 2 from Six Preludes fur Anfanger auf dem
Am Abend No. 2 from Stimmungsbilder, Op. 88
60s Swing No. 1 from Swinging Rhythms
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com
#2130272 - 08/09/13 09:26 AM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: Randalthor]  
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Randalthor Offline
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Possibly. lol. I would have to read the manual. I assume that would shift all the voicing by ac octave up or down, thereby leaving me to play in the noraml position?

#2130275 - 08/09/13 09:28 AM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: Randalthor]  
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Saranoya Offline
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Hi Randalthor,

If it's only one note (or a few isolated ones here and there), I would suggest that you play them one octave above where they are on the score.

More to the point, if you find yourself sticking with this keyboard playing thing beyond having learned the particular piece you are working on right now, I would suggest that you start looking for an 88-key instrument, preferably with weighted keys.

Around my neck of the woods, it's often possible to get one from a second-hand site (think the local version of Craigslist) for anywhere between €500 and €700, depending on age and model number. I can personally recommend the Roland RD series.


Plodding through piano music at a frustratingly slow pace since 9/2012.

Standard disclaimer: I teach many things. Piano is not one of them.
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#2130286 - 08/09/13 09:53 AM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: Randalthor]  
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Randalthor Offline
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HI Saranoya,
Thanks for the feedback, i do intend to get an 88key weighted, velocity sensitive electric piano at some point, but i really wanted to justify it by sticking with some keyboard practice for atleast a year. I dont think i could justify it, if it turns out im tone deaf or have two left hands lol

Thanks.

#2130290 - 08/09/13 10:04 AM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: Randalthor]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Originally Posted by Randalthor
HI Saranoya,
Thanks for the feedback, i do intend to get an 88key weighted, velocity sensitive electric piano at some point, but i really wanted to justify it by sticking with some keyboard practice for atleast a year. I dont think i could justify it, if it turns out im tone deaf or have two left hands lol

Thanks.
It can be done, but I don't recommend it. You are already experiencing some of the frustrations with having something less than ideal for the music you want to play.

It has been my experience that when you can practice on an instrument that inspires you (and not one you fight with) then you will want to practice more and thus progress faster and in general become a better pianist. Once you upgrade, you will think to yourself, "Why did I wait so long to do this?"


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#2130295 - 08/09/13 10:10 AM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: Randalthor]  
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Saranoya Offline
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Saranoya  Offline
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Originally Posted by Randalthor
I dont think i could justify it, if it turns out im tone deaf or have two left hands lol


We had someone ask here not too long ago whether it was worth it to invest in ear training, even though she thought she was tone deaf. The answer is yes, musical hearing can be trained, and there are very few people in this world who are actually completely tone deaf.

But if it makes you feel any better, you can probably learn to play the piano pretty decently even if you *are* completely tone deaf.

Unlike brass instruments, where you need to be able to *think* a pitch before you can play it (because the same hand position can produce different pitches, depending on how hard your mouth is working), or strings like violin and cello, where you need to be able to hear whether or not you put your finger in exactly the right spot (because the difference between a correct pitch and one that's too high or too low is literally a matter of millimeters), pianos produce their pitches all by themselves. The only thing you, as the pianist, need to do is remember which keys to depress when. Regular visits from the tuner will take care of the rest. And if you have a digital piano, then you don't even need to worry about those wink.

Additional bonus for the truly tone deaf: they can play on horribly out-of-tune acoustics, and it won't bother them in the slightest laugh.

As for 'having two left hands' ... I think it's pretty fair to say that we all felt as if we had two left hands when we first started playing. Playing the piano requires a level of dexterity and (especially) left-right coordination that few, if any, everyday tasks require. Getting the hang of it takes time and dedication. There's nothing else that works.


Plodding through piano music at a frustratingly slow pace since 9/2012.

Standard disclaimer: I teach many things. Piano is not one of them.
#2130315 - 08/09/13 10:40 AM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: Randalthor]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Actually, there's no such thing as tone-deafness unless there is actual deafness, which would manifest itself in many other non-musical ways. People who claim to be 'tone deaf' just have not had the training to learn to distinguish pitches very well. Most people learn this as children when singing songs with a parent, and if for some reason this doesn't happen, it can be learned, but it takes time.

That being said, learning to play piano will help develop this skill, and not having it won't necessarily hamper your ability to play, but you may have a tendency to not listen as closely while you play. This may result in playing wrong notes/rhythms and lacking dynamic contrast, but this happens to also be something that even those who are trained have trouble with while playing. So basically, you have nothing to worry about holding you back except yourself wink


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#2130318 - 08/09/13 10:45 AM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: Morodiene]  
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Saranoya Offline
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Actually, there's no such thing as tone-deafness unless there is actual deafness, which would manifest itself in many other non-musical ways. People who claim to be 'tone deaf' just have not had the training to learn to distinguish pitches very well.


Well then. I stand corrected smile.

What she said: nothing to hold you back, except you. The sky is the limit, Randalthor! wink


Plodding through piano music at a frustratingly slow pace since 9/2012.

Standard disclaimer: I teach many things. Piano is not one of them.
#2130320 - 08/09/13 10:56 AM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: Randalthor]  
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Randalthor Offline
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Thanks for the feedback guys, I'll see if there is a transpose feature in the mean time. Whilst i save for a big shiny new keyboard ;-)

#2130349 - 08/09/13 11:50 AM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: Morodiene]  
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peterws Offline
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"People who claim to be 'tone deaf' just have not had the training to learn to distinguish pitches very well."

I played the organ in a Methodist church where I lived for a time; EVERY ONE of the congregation sang out of tune. Loudly. The organ wasn`t much better . . . .!


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#2130350 - 08/09/13 11:52 AM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: peterws]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by peterws
"People who claim to be 'tone deaf' just have not had the training to learn to distinguish pitches very well."

I played the organ in a Methodist church where I lived for a time; EVERY ONE of the congregation sang out of tune. Loudly. The organ wasn`t much better . . . .!
What key was that hymn in? All of them! laugh


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#2130357 - 08/09/13 12:02 PM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: peterws]  
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Saranoya Offline
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Originally Posted by peterws
I played the organ in a Methodist church where I lived for a time; EVERY ONE of the congregation sang out of tune. Loudly. The organ wasn`t much better . . . .!


When I sing loudly, especially in a group setting, I tend to sing out of tune, too. Usually, I notice. Sometimes I don't. And while I don't have perfect pitch, I do have pretty decent relative pitch, and wouldn't say that I am 'tone deaf' by any means.

That being said, it's true that many people sing out of tune happily and enthusiastically, clueless about how bad they really sound to sensitive ears. I have no explanation for that, other than to say that if they aren't musicians (outside of singing in church), then maybe they have no point of reference by which to judge their out-of-tuneness.

I have 'scales in my head'. I know that sounds weird, but I can't think of a better way to express it. What I mean is: give me a pitch to start with, and I will sing you a chromatic scale starting from that pitch pretty accurately. I think people with less exposure to music (and especially those who have little or no experience actively *producing* music) lack this frame of reference, and so they have no idea that they are singing out of tune, as long as what they're singing is 'kinda sorta' in the neighborhood of where they need to be.

Plus, if the organ were as badly out of tune as you seem to be implying, I, lacking perfect pitch, wouldn't be able to sing 'in tune' to save my life! The organ, in that situation, would be my point of reference. And so it seems only logical to me that anyone who tries to sing along with a badly-tuned organ will be singing out of tune.


Plodding through piano music at a frustratingly slow pace since 9/2012.

Standard disclaimer: I teach many things. Piano is not one of them.
#2130377 - 08/09/13 12:47 PM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: Saranoya]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Originally Posted by Saranoya
Originally Posted by peterws
I played the organ in a Methodist church where I lived for a time; EVERY ONE of the congregation sang out of tune. Loudly. The organ wasn`t much better . . . .!


When I sing loudly, especially in a group setting, I tend to sing out of tune, too. Usually, I notice. Sometimes I don't. And while I don't have perfect pitch, I do have pretty decent relative pitch, and wouldn't say that I am 'tone deaf' by any means.

That being said, it's true that many people sing out of tune happily and enthusiastically, clueless about how bad they really sound to sensitive ears. I have no explanation for that, other than to say that if they aren't musicians (outside of singing in church), then maybe they have no point of reference by which to judge their out-of-tuneness.

I have 'scales in my head'. I know that sounds weird, but I can't think of a better way to express it. What I mean is: give me a pitch to start with, and I will sing you a chromatic scale starting from that pitch pretty accurately. I think people with less exposure to music (and especially those who have little or no experience actively *producing* music) lack this frame of reference, and so they have no idea that they are singing out of tune, as long as what they're singing is 'kinda sorta' in the neighborhood of where they need to be.

Plus, if the organ were as badly out of tune as you seem to be implying, I, lacking perfect pitch, wouldn't be able to sing 'in tune' to save my life! The organ, in that situation, would be my point of reference. And so it seems only logical to me that anyone who tries to sing along with a badly-tuned organ will be singing out of tune.
It's very possible for an untrained singer to sing out of tune even if they don't have pitch-matching problems when singing loudly. Without the proper support and functioning muscles the body isn't quite able to respond to the impulses the brain is sending and so interfering tensions get involved. The end result is the person sings out of tune, often without even realizing it!


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#2130407 - 08/09/13 01:31 PM Re: 5 Octave keyboard [Re: Randalthor]  
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This reminds me of when I started playing. I also had a 5 octave keyboard and ran into the same problems. Fortunately I had a transpose key to shift everything by an octave. It was frustrating though and eventually I went out and bought an 88-key Casio Privia. I really wish I had done it sooner! The jump from the 5-octave sprung keyboard to the weighted keyboard was far greater than I had imagined. It was almost like learning to play again.

I think if you are advanced enough to run out of keys, you deserve a new instrument.


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