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Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING #2543115
05/25/16 12:47 PM
05/25/16 12:47 PM
Joined: May 2009
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marimorimo Offline OP
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Early in my piano journey, I realized that I wanted to learn to play a little bit everything. If someone asks me "What do you want to play?" I'd answer: "Classics. And Pop. And maybe some jazz. By the way, ragtime sounds fun so I've added it to the list. I also want to learn to play from lead sheets and I want to be a good sight reader! But learning to play be ear would be so cool too!" Basically anything and everything. I'm greedy that way.

So, knowing my greedy self, and knowing that I do not have the luxury of time and virtuosic talent to devote to learning each and every single thing on the list, what would you recommend I do?

By way of background, I have been learning for a little less than a year from a teacher who teaches both pop and classical, and I believe knows jazz too. We tackle one pop and one classical piece each lesson.


Working on: Schumann Album for the Young, Clementi Op 36 No. 1 (all movements), Various Bach, Czerny 599
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Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: marimorimo] #2543120
05/25/16 12:57 PM
05/25/16 12:57 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,810
Northern England.
peterws Offline
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I reckon thats as good as it gets for now. But no harm asking for a few jazz classice to whet the appetite. .sounds like he will feed them to you in manageable chunks.

Your teacher seems like a good un!


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: marimorimo] #2543145
05/25/16 02:33 PM
05/25/16 02:33 PM
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Posts: 1,654
Warsaw, Poland
Qazsedcft Offline
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I'm the same! smile I practice a little of everything every day: sight reading, classical, jazz, technique, ear, improv. It keeps things interesting and it's very effective, although it takes quite a bit of time to do everything.


[Linked Image]
Working on:
Mozart Sonata in G major, K. 283
Moszkowski Etude op. 91 no. 18
Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp minor, op. posth.
Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: marimorimo] #2543149
05/25/16 02:56 PM
05/25/16 02:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,235
Georgia, USA
Sam S Offline

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If you look at the recitals I have participated in, I play everything except Einaudi. Hasn't hurt me any.

I wonder why have we have never had an Einaudi recital?

Sam

Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: marimorimo] #2543190
05/25/16 05:34 PM
05/25/16 05:34 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 221
New Jersey
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scgrant Offline
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Originally Posted by marimorimo

So, knowing my greedy self, and knowing that I do not have the luxury of time and virtuosic talent to devote to learning each and every single thing on the list, what would you recommend I do?

By way of background, I have been learning for a little less than a year from a teacher who teaches both pop and classical, and I believe knows jazz too. We tackle one pop and one classical piece each lesson.


My teacher is classically trained, but plays jazz professionally. So, I get scales, 2 technical exercises, two classical, one blues, one jazz, and one pop assignment at each lesson. Some pieces take hours, some take months.

Like you, I want to play a lot of different music, but (perhaps, unlike you) I want to play competently enough to improv with friends, but not at the level required to learn the most complex pieces.

My current plan is to put extra focus on sight reading and playing by ear combined with improvisation later on. My theory is that I'll be able to scan a lot of material with those skills, play it well enough to be enjoyable, but not drill down so far that I'm married to one piece for 6-12 months just to make it playable.

My teacher insists (and rightly so) that I spend as much time as it takes to "perfect" a piece as I'm a beginner, but long term I think I'm going to be happy leaving the difficult works for people with more skill and/or patience.


Adult Beginner/Early Intermediate
Knabe 1902 Grand
Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: scgrant] #2543220
05/25/16 07:46 PM
05/25/16 07:46 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,359
Upstate New York, USA
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newbert Online content
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newbert  Online Content
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Originally Posted by scgrant
Originally Posted by marimorimo

So, knowing my greedy self, and knowing that I do not have the luxury of time and virtuosic talent to devote to learning each and every single thing on the list, what would you recommend I do?

By way of background, I have been learning for a little less than a year from a teacher who teaches both pop and classical, and I believe knows jazz too. We tackle one pop and one classical piece each lesson.


My teacher is classically trained, but plays jazz professionally. So, I get scales, 2 technical exercises, two classical, one blues, one jazz, and one pop assignment at each lesson. Some pieces take hours, some take months.

Like you, I want to play a lot of different music, but (perhaps, unlike you) I want to play competently enough to improv with friends, but not at the level required to learn the most complex pieces.

My current plan is to put extra focus on sight reading and playing by ear combined with improvisation later on. My theory is that I'll be able to scan a lot of material with those skills, play it well enough to be enjoyable, but not drill down so far that I'm married to one piece for 6-12 months just to make it playable.

My teacher insists (and rightly so) that I spend as much time as it takes to "perfect" a piece as I'm a beginner, but long term I think I'm going to be happy leaving the difficult works for people with more skill and/or patience.


Except for classical, which I have practically no interest in, I'm with you 100%.

It sounds like you have an excellent, well-rounded teacher! Count yourself lucky.


Bert
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Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: marimorimo] #2543440
05/26/16 12:15 PM
05/26/16 12:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 346
Not behind my piano
JazzyMac Offline
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OP wants to do the same as I. I absolutely love music: Oldies, classical, Disney faves, etc. I also want to hear a nice beat on the radio and translate it into what's on the keys. I want everything, but I feel (or was told) that learning Classical would be a great start into theory about most everything else.

Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: JazzyMac] #2543519
05/26/16 05:38 PM
05/26/16 05:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 221
New Jersey
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scgrant Offline
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Originally Posted by JazzyMac
OP wants to do the same as I. I absolutely love music: Oldies, classical, Disney faves, etc. I also want to hear a nice beat on the radio and translate it into what's on the keys. I want everything, but I feel (or was told) that learning Classical would be a great start into theory about most everything else.


As long as you enjoy the classical pieces that works. But, if you're craving some of the pop material you might ask your teacher when that would be appropriate to bring in as a side dish. Of course, you can always play it on your own. My concern with the purely classical approach, after the first 3 years, is that it seems to get really intense/technical and I just want to goof off (in a fairly rigorous, focused way). Maybe the folks that followed the purely classical track can disabuse me of this non-fact based notion?


Adult Beginner/Early Intermediate
Knabe 1902 Grand
Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: scgrant] #2543570
05/26/16 10:24 PM
05/26/16 10:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
western MA, USA
hreichgott Offline
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Originally Posted by scgrant
My concern with the purely classical approach, after the first 3 years, is that it seems to get really intense/technical and I just want to goof off (in a fairly rigorous, focused way). Maybe the folks that followed the purely classical track can disabuse me of this non-fact based notion?

The nice thing about intense/technical training is that it puts you in a place where any commercial songbook is easy to pick up and play without having to practice it smile
serious training allows you to goof off with style!


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: marimorimo] #2543572
05/26/16 10:34 PM
05/26/16 10:34 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 691
Newcastle, Australia
AndrewJCW Online content
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How intense and technical you get depends on you and your teacher, it could be playing jazz or pop or funk or classical. I guess classical has more of a reputation for that but I can assure you there's many relaxed classical teachers that meander through repertoire as well as jazz teachers that demand precision for an exercise at 140bpm in all 12 keys.

Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: marimorimo] #2543586
05/26/16 11:47 PM
05/26/16 11:47 PM
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Posts: 2,042
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Whizbang Offline
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Originally Posted by marimorimo
So, knowing my greedy self, and knowing that I do not have the luxury of time and virtuosic talent to devote to learning each and every single thing on the list, what would you recommend I do?


Become a superlative reader. You won't quite become a specialist in some of those genres, but you can float around them well enough.

If you can add in chord, lead-sheet, ear, you'll have a huge toolbox to work with.

But if you have to focus on one, then reading will get you classical and some facsimile of the rest.

Last edited by Whizbang; 05/26/16 11:49 PM.

Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist
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Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: Whizbang] #2543860
05/27/16 04:41 PM
05/27/16 04:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,537
Southeast US
ShiroKuro Offline
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Originally Posted by Whizbang
Become a superlative reader.


This. And read/play music in a variety of styles as you're learning.


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: ShiroKuro] #2543887
05/27/16 05:50 PM
05/27/16 05:50 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,434
Owen Sound, Ontario
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Greener Offline

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Originally Posted by scgrant
... if you're craving some of the pop material you might ask your teacher when that would be appropriate to bring in as a side dish...


Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Originally Posted by Whizbang
Become a superlative reader.

This. And read/play music in a variety of styles as you're learning.

Yes,
the classical approach can always be of use for Jazz, Pop and other genres. If that is all you do though, it will be a slow road before you're playing all you want to be. If you know you want to be playing all types of music genres from the outset, then follow the classical approach for technique and reading skills but also begin learning chords and lead sheets as a secondary fast track to playing other genres.

It is not as tough as it looks and once you get the hang of it it will get you playing a wider variety of genres sooner.

You can become good in all genres.

Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: marimorimo] #2544032
05/28/16 07:43 AM
05/28/16 07:43 AM
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Posts: 246
Sweden
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ghosthand Offline
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Put emphasis on classical training, add a lot of jazz theory upon that, and you will be able to play anything.

I like to play most genres ... maybe with the exception of modern pop songs, which mostly are so boringly arranged that I fall asleep. In that case, I prefer listening instead.

Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: marimorimo] #2544382
05/29/16 02:39 AM
05/29/16 02:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 6
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Biffcooper Offline
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Have you found that most Adult Piano books arnt very helpful?
I feel its best to learn from children books then just move on to normal rep.

Last edited by Biffcooper; 05/29/16 02:40 AM.

Practice till you hate it.....only then will you be good.

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Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: marimorimo] #2544416
05/29/16 06:11 AM
05/29/16 06:11 AM
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Noonie Offline
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Like the OP, I like a variety of music. I'm getting towards the end of Alfred's book 1, and I'm not sure where I'm going next (e.g., book 2, add blues, jazz and pop?). Maybe I should just focus on book 2, and then have

My teacher will let me choose the direction, but she's mainly familiar with classical. But I'm still so raw, that I think she can continue to help me through any genre this early on. She makes references to non-classical as she's familiar with it (attends jazz festivals in new orleans, likes ragtime, for example), but probably doesn't get many students (most are young) going non-classical.

I would love to have books on each genre, that are loosely aligned in terms of skill (i.e., early part of each book requires similar skill level). Any ideas?

Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: Noonie] #2544421
05/29/16 06:32 AM
05/29/16 06:32 AM
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marimorimo Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Biffcooper
Have you found that most Adult Piano books arnt very helpful?
I feel its best to learn from children books then just move on to normal rep.


I only have extensive experience with Alfred's Adult series, and coupled with a good teacher, I was initially a fan but after I started branching out with other repertoire I started hating it. For a total beginner, I would still recommend it but with caveats.

I much prefer the really old piano method books (circa 1930s like John Thompson's or Michael Aaron). They sound more musical, and are actually challenging to play.

Originally Posted by Noonie

I would love to have books on each genre, that are loosely aligned in terms of skill (i.e., early part of each book requires similar skill level). Any ideas?


I have a few of the In Recital With Jazz, Blues and Rags series since I bought a boatload of sheet music that I would like to play (someday), and they seem to fit the bill.
https://www.fjhmusic.com/piano/inrecital_jbr.htm

However I haven't had the chance to play them yet because my current teacher has her own series of books with repertoire from various pop genres so that's what I'm using now. (I love the book but can't recommend it because it's only available in my country).


Working on: Schumann Album for the Young, Clementi Op 36 No. 1 (all movements), Various Bach, Czerny 599
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Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: marimorimo] #2549016
06/13/16 08:58 AM
06/13/16 08:58 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 201
USA
Rusty Fortysome Offline
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Originally Posted by marimorimo
Originally Posted by Biffcooper
Have you found that most Adult Piano books arnt very helpful?
I feel its best to learn from children books then just move on to normal rep.


I much prefer the really old piano method books (circa 1930s like John Thompson's or Michael Aaron). They sound more musical, and are actually challenging to play.


I am self taught for the past few years (a returner after 30+ years) and found that the most-defeating thing most people do is learn material that they can't find value in. Most of the teaching books focus on copyright-free pieces which do little to entertain or enthrall.

If you want to learn a bunch, keep an eye on what pieces you play and why you play them, once you get the basics down. In other words, you might practice with some Bach (for hand exercises) or Hanon, but then you want to be learning something recognizable and pop-jazz-ragtime-etc. in the meantime.

After a year, I quagmired in wanky classical exercises and had to dig myself out. Now I play mostly familiar or contemporary pieces while doing exercise pieces in more limited practice amounts.


Currently working on/memorizing...
"It's You" from Robotech
"He's A Pirate"
"Crazy Bone Rag"
"What The World Needs Now"
Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: Rusty Fortysome] #2549061
06/13/16 11:46 AM
06/13/16 11:46 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,359
Upstate New York, USA
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newbert Online content
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Originally Posted by Rusty Fortysome
Originally Posted by marimorimo
Originally Posted by Biffcooper
Have you found that most Adult Piano books arnt very helpful?
I feel its best to learn from children books then just move on to normal rep.


I much prefer the really old piano method books (circa 1930s like John Thompson's or Michael Aaron). They sound more musical, and are actually challenging to play.


I am self taught for the past few years (a returner after 30+ years) and found that the most-defeating thing most people do is learn material that they can't find value in. Most of the teaching books focus on copyright-free pieces which do little to entertain or enthrall.

If you want to learn a bunch, keep an eye on what pieces you play and why you play them, once you get the basics down. In other words, you might practice with some Bach (for hand exercises) or Hanon, but then you want to be learning something recognizable and pop-jazz-ragtime-etc. in the meantime.

After a year, I quagmired in wanky classical exercises and had to dig myself out. Now I play mostly familiar or contemporary pieces while doing exercise pieces in more limited practice amounts.


My background is pretty much the same, and I couldn't agree more with you. Play what interests you, as long as it's not too much over your head.


Bert
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Re: Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING [Re: Rusty Fortysome] #2549131
06/13/16 05:42 PM
06/13/16 05:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,654
Warsaw, Poland
Qazsedcft Offline
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Originally Posted by Rusty Fortysome

I am self taught for the past few years (a returner after 30+ years) and found that the most-defeating thing most people do is learn material that they can't find value in. Most of the teaching books focus on copyright-free pieces which do little to entertain or enthrall.

If you want to learn a bunch, keep an eye on what pieces you play and why you play them, once you get the basics down. In other words, you might practice with some Bach (for hand exercises) or Hanon, but then you want to be learning something recognizable and pop-jazz-ragtime-etc. in the meantime.

After a year, I quagmired in wanky classical exercises and had to dig myself out. Now I play mostly familiar or contemporary pieces while doing exercise pieces in more limited practice amounts.

Granted, but some of us really enjoy the classical pieces too. The title of this thread is "Wanting to learn to play a little bit of EVERYTHING". If that's your goal then split your time between, well, everything. wink


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Working on:
Mozart Sonata in G major, K. 283
Moszkowski Etude op. 91 no. 18
Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp minor, op. posth.

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