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#2229183 - 02/10/14 07:29 PM Technique videos
TBlack Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/10/14
Posts: 7
Loc: Shropshire, UK
Hi, I'm a newbie here but I have some pretty specific requirements so before I get to my question, I feel I had better introduce explain myself.

I first got in to playing when I was 11 and got my first proper synth. By the age of 14 I was playing anything from Tori Amos, to J.S Bach, to Erasure in addition to composing and playing my own stuff. I then got an electric bass when I was 15 and quickly became highly proficient with that (I'm a far better bassist than I'll ever be a keyboardist). At 17 though I suffered some nerve damage to my left hand, this properly screwed up my keyboard playing. However, I was able to adapt and create my own (unusual) technique on bass which later led me on to do some session work. A few years later, due to personal reasons, I quit playing entirely. It was only when I went in to a period of ill health that I bought another (much better) synth and started playing again, however, partly because of my irritation at not being able to play like I used to and partly because of my interest in what makes sound what it is, I became far more involved in the sound design aspect of things, and that's how things have remained for many years since. Over those years I've amassed a few decent synthesisers... One of which is an 88 note hammer action workstation that I plan to use for practice.

I am (or I was) entirely self taught... Back when I was in school my talent and aptitude for music was noticed so the teachers did try to spend extra time teaching me, actually bringing in specialist teachers at no expense to my parents (Piano, cello, French horn and harp amongst others)... Lessons to which I wasn't particularly receptive. Not due to lack of interest but because they just didn't suit the way my mind worked, I seemed to learn far more simply by experimenting and doing things my own way, much to numerous tutors frustration.

It was only when I was watching a documentary at the age of 24 that I realised I had synesthesia. Until then I thought it was perfectly normal for people to see colours and shapes when hearing any sound, it really threw me for a while as I struggled to understand what other people got out of listening to music because the ever evolving landscapes it creates are such an integral and important part of the experience for me. It then became clear that it was the reason why I couldn't be taught normally and why written music has never made any sense to me in spite of my efforts to learn it. Instead I visually remember almost any passage or piece of music after hearing it just once. Because of my synesthesia I also have near perfect pitch, both relative and absolute. That said, I can't name a note, but I'd be able to hit the right one on a keyboard or the bass... Most of the time anyway, due to the way my synesthesia works I sometimes instead go for a harmonic rather than the fundamental which can either be frustrating or a party trick depending on your point of view! Strange as it may sound, I often struggle to recognise many covers or remixes as they can appear so different to me from the originals. Also, I know surprisingly few technical terms for a former professional as I've always relied on my ears, minds eye and 'feel'. To me, music isn't something that can be explained in technical terms, by dots and lines on a piece of paper, named conventions or written language... All of that simply does not translate in my mind so I gave up trying to learn it years ago... It really is like 'Computer says "no"'!

Anyways, after some recent changes in my life I'm getting back into playing again. I'm finding bass pretty easy as it seems to be an ability that has never entirely left me, and in spite of my old nerve injury which makes my left hand sluggish and imprecise, sometimes freezing up entirely in fast/complex passages. Much to my surprise, after watching and following a few videos, I've found that I am able to learn more conventional playing techniques, although it is a slow and literally painful process. I'm planning on starting to do the same with my keyboard playing very soon.

Unlike with my bass, my keyboard skills are practically non-existent these days so I might as well be considered a complete beginner. Unfortunately, due to my location, my current lack of transport (thanks to another injury for which I am awaiting an operation) and the fact that I have no reliable sleep pattern, a tutor would be impractical so I've been hunting on youtube for videos. However, I'm struggling to find a good series of videos which concentrate purely on playing technique. I've found a handful of individual ones but otherwise, all the series of videos I've found so far either have too much focus on a particular style, are of a poor standard, use songs as a tool (which is something I'd much rather avoid), have some aspects which involve being able to read music/understand/learn notes/technical terms, or are beyond my abilities at present. All I'm looking for is a series of videos where they start with the most basic techniques and scales, showing correct fingering and simple arpeggios, building up to progressively more advanced stuff with no focus on any particular style or genre. As you may be able to guess, I don't need or want any videos with twelve minutes of talking and three minutes that actually show the 'lesson', just very straight forward (and possibly very short) ones showing showing someone actually playing the practice passages would be all I'd need. Does such a series exist?

(P.S. Sorry if I've come over as quite serious in this post, it seems to be my failing online, I'm actually a rather laid back and giggly guy!)

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#2229342 - 02/11/14 01:04 AM Re: Technique videos [Re: TBlack]
earlofmar Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 3035
Loc: Australia
I can't think of anything that would suit but you mentioned scales and proper fingering. This person here has a myriad of videos but if you search her channel under scales you will be find them.

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


#2229404 - 02/11/14 06:00 AM Re: Technique videos [Re: TBlack]
TBlack Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/10/14
Posts: 7
Loc: Shropshire, UK
Ah thank you... That's pretty much what I'm after to begin with. For anyone else who's after such videos, she has a playlist... link

Edited by TBlack (02/11/14 06:04 AM)

#2229443 - 02/11/14 08:36 AM Re: Technique videos [Re: TBlack]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 14324
Loc: Canada
I'm wondering - is that technique?

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#2229453 - 02/11/14 09:05 AM Re: Technique videos [Re: keystring]
TheodorN Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1856
Loc: Sweden
Originally Posted By: earlofmar
I can't think of anything that would suit but you mentioned scales and proper fingering. This person here has a myriad of videos but if you search her channel under scales you will be find them.


+1 for Jane's videos.

Originally Posted By: keystring
I'm wondering - is that technique?

My understanding of piano playing technique, is among other things, how you use your hands, whatever you're playing. For example, I learned the "substitution fingering" from her. Don't know if it's the right word, but I mean this:

1. Play a note with one finger.
2. While holding it, put another finger on the note.
3. Lift the first finger of the note, which is then free to play a note further up (or down) the keyboard.

I never thought of doing this, but it's very helpful, to get to a new hand position, for example if the piece is moving to a new section of the keyboard.
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