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What To Learn? #2770864
10/09/18 04:14 PM
10/09/18 04:14 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 31
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Finn1996 Offline OP
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Hey everyone, new to the forum!

I've just recently started to get serious with practicing/creating music, and I must say that it's quite overwhelming starting from (near) the bottom. There are so many scales, chords and concepts to go through, and they're all different yet all related in some way (I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with this feeling lol). I'm the kind of person that works better with order and organization. So, I'm looking to make a list of all the essential concepts I should learn on piano, and what order should I learn everything in? I am trying to teach myself music theory, but I'm also trying to familiarize myself with the actual physical playing of the piano as well. So if I've memorized C Major, for example, I'll still play it over and over for a few minutes just to get comfortable with playing.

I'm going to write the list that I have out, and I will edit the list as suggestions and ideas come from you all (note that some can/will be learned simultaneously, also note that some are more geared to music theory while others are more geared to playing the piano):

-Major Scales
-Intervals
-Chord Codes
-Inversions
-Minor Scales (Natural, Harmonic, Melodic)
-Key Signatures, Circle Of Fifths/Fourths, Relative Scales
-Modes

For the "Chord Codes" section, I was having trouble finding a clear list of all the possible chords, so right now I only have major, minor, augmented, and diminished triads. So, if someone could post a list of all possible chord formations, that would really help me a lot! Also, please share any ideas for additions or changes to this list, whether I'm missing any concepts or if the order should be changed.

I'll also share my 2 hour practice routine that I currently have (I spend 1 week on each major scale for right now):

-Play C Major Scale (20 mins, 10 mins each hand)
-Play C Major Scale (20 mins, all 88 keys, switch hands in the middle)
-Play C Major Scale (20 mins, both hands simultaneously)

-Play Major Chords (White & Black, 10 mins, 5 mins each hand)
-Play C Major Chords (10 mins, 5 mins each hand)
-Play Major Chord Arpeggios (20 mins, 10 mins each hand)
-Play Major Chord Inversions (20 mins, 10 mins each hand)

A lot of that seems repetitive but the approach I'm taking is to be extra repetitive to engrave all the music theory in my head. I've heard a lot of people say it's better to learn songs and play around to see how things work and relate to each other, but I'm thinking it would be better to learn everything systematically and repetitively to set me up to be in a good position when I want to start learning more advanced things like chord progressions and melodies and improvisation, etc.

Basically, I'm trying to come up with a solid way to teach myself both music theory and playing piano in a way that is highly effective but isn't too boring. I want to create this method for myself, and then eventually start to teach it once I'm good enough.


Thanks in advance!

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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2770877
10/09/18 04:49 PM
10/09/18 04:49 PM
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bennevis Offline
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My head is already spinning...... grin

But hey, if you enjoy doing all of that (bearing in mind all work and no play makes Jill a dull girl - but your 'play' may be someone else's 'work'), that's perfectly fine.

Personally, I'd follow this syllabus, grade by grade:

https://gb.abrsm.org/fileadmin/user_upload/PDFs/Piano_Syllabus_2019___2020_complete.pdf

Though I'm biased, because (knowing no better) I went through all that as a kid with my teachers, and it gave me all the skills to make me the pianist and musician I am now.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: What To Learn? [Re: bennevis] #2770880
10/09/18 05:09 PM
10/09/18 05:09 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,193
New York City
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted by bennevis
My head is already spinning...... grin

But hey, if you enjoy doing all of that (bearing in mind all work and no play makes Jill a dull girl - but your 'play' may be someone else's 'work'), that's perfectly fine.

Personally, I'd follow this syllabus, grade by grade:

https://gb.abrsm.org/fileadmin/user_upload/PDFs/Piano_Syllabus_2019___2020_complete.pdf

Though I'm biased, because (knowing no better) I went through all that as a kid with my teachers, and it gave me all the skills to make me the pianist and musician I am now.
I agree. Why try inventing your own syllabus when there are long established and respected ones and/or method books to choose from? Besides all the extra work/research it's almost impossible to do this successfully.

You should definitely try to get a teacher. If you cannot afford one then try and find a friend who is reasonably advanced or look for online resources. It's of crucial importance not just to practice a scale but to learn the correct technical aspects of playing one. This is very hard to do without a teacher.

Finally, your practice regimen seems doomed to bore you very quickly no matter how persistent you are. I think that alone means it needs changing.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2770883
10/09/18 05:20 PM
10/09/18 05:20 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,795
Florida
dogperson Offline
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Beginner practice should not be all scales and music theory. In fact, you should define what type of music you want to play (classical? Pop? jazz?) and work on learning to play that type of repertoire. Please do not re-invent the wheel, as you will be quickly frustrated and quit. If you will provide more information, you can receive some suggestions

As an aside, learning how to play does not give you the skills to teach...but I think the more you learn, you will realize that.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2770889
10/09/18 05:54 PM
10/09/18 05:54 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,290
Australia
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earlofmar Online content
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I would have probably thought a bit like this when I started nearly six years ago. I had to change as the information was just overwhelming and as the saying goes The more you know, the more you know you don't know. Take a much longer view and learn incrementally, it will be more satisfying.


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

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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2770895
10/09/18 06:25 PM
10/09/18 06:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,577
Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Quote
. . . I've heard a lot of people say it's better to learn songs and play around to see how things work and relate to each other, but I'm thinking it would be better to learn everything systematically and repetitively to set me up to be in a good position when I want to start learning more advanced things like chord progressions and melodies and improvisation, etc.


A danger in doing this:

. . . You'll quit, out of boredom.

It's like saying:

. . . I'd like to play baseball,
. . . . and I'm going to start by running on a treadmill and lifting weights in the gym,
. . . . . until I'm strong and fast enough to play baseball.

Life doesn't work that way, for most people. You may be one of the exceptions.

What happens more frequently, I think, is that somebody starts out by "just playing piano, with none of the boring theory and exercises",

. . . and then finds that, at some level, he _needs_ those things to improve his piano-playing.

I think "balance" is always good to keep in mind.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2770904
10/09/18 06:51 PM
10/09/18 06:51 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,752
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by Finn1996
[...]
-Play C Major Scale (20 mins, 10 mins each hand)
-Play C Major Scale (20 mins, all 88 keys, switch hands in the middle)
-Play C Major Scale (20 mins, both hands simultaneously)

-Play Major Chords (White & Black, 10 mins, 5 mins each hand)
-Play C Major Chords (10 mins, 5 mins each hand)
-Play Major Chord Arpeggios (20 mins, 10 mins each hand)
-Play Major Chord Inversions (20 mins, 10 mins each hand)
[...]


This must surely be the shortest cut to "crash and burn" out of sheer boredom that I have ever heard. However organized or methodical you might want to be, no one should spend one hour a day on one scale, 40 minutes hands separate, then 20 minutes hands together, and then go on to another hour of chords and arpeggios.

Practicing scales may be important at a certain stage, but in the long run it teaches two things:
1) right-left hand coordination (which can come from pieces and simple studies) and
2) how to play scales.

Unless you have extremely poor hand coordination, don't spend any more than 20 minutes - OK, 30 minutes maximum, in any two-hour period practicing scales.

If you can't have a teacher - a very high priority at this stage, a necessity, even - find a progressive introductory method book that introduces you to some music along with the technique, simple though that music may be, and begin to enjoy the experience.


Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2770924
10/09/18 08:05 PM
10/09/18 08:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,977
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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Finn:

All the negative reactions you are being bombarded with is coming at you with the years of experience that the members of this forum bring to the table.

You are new to this and you are full of enthusiasm and you are going at it with what you "know" about accomplishing goals.

You think that you just starting doing "stuff" that you have heard about or read about pertaining to playing piano and if you work hard you will accomplish your goal

The bad news is that it is not likely to get you there.

In fact, what you have outlined will most certainly end with frustration and failure.

It takes a long time (years) to learn the craft of playing piano and you need "fun" to be woven into the work you need to do or you will not survive.

As has been mention, there are already proven methods out there that work so your best plan should be to pick one of those methods and do what it "tells" you to do.

Along with that, a teacher should be a high priority at your stage of learning.

You are laying the groundwork for the years ahead of you.

If you screw that up, it will be difficult to attain the skill level you eventually will wish to reach.

AND …. left to your own devices (as in planning) you will screw that up.

So …. please get a teacher and do it the right way.

Good Luck to you


Don

Casio PX-160, Mix 5 Five-Channel Compact Mixer, DR 880 Drum Machine, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2770925
10/09/18 08:17 PM
10/09/18 08:17 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,631
Florida
cmb13 Offline
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I like lists also. I have some like this, including a thread I started on what I plan on working on. However, I don't spend more than 15-30 minutes on exercises, the rest on practicing whatever piece I'm working on or maintaining older pieces I've learned. So, as others have said, I would recommend learning to play music in addition to learning about playing music.


Boston 118 PE

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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2770940
10/09/18 11:20 PM
10/09/18 11:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
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Pacific Northwest
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PianogrlNW Offline
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I admire your ambition. Try your program for a couple of weeks and be prepared to re-evaluate. You might want to think about learning the piano in terms of enjoyment rather than a forced march, especially if this is going to be a hobby during your spare time. If you decide to pursue this on your own without a teacher, check out the numerous posts on how members learn through established methods. No need to reinvent the wheel.



Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2770942
10/10/18 12:03 AM
10/10/18 12:03 AM
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Posts: 387
Toronto, Canada
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When it comes to major scales & arpeggios, at the moment you're just playing in C. A lot of beginner's book would arrange all their songs in C for learning purposes. As you progress in your playing, you'd find a lot of original songs are not in C. Recently I invited a few friends over and ran through 5 short pieces I learned recently. Each of the pieces is in a different Key including C, Cm, Ab, F & Em.

A lot of people feel they need to run through their scales & arpeggios for practice which is good. I'd limit my practice to just the scale & arpeggio of the song I'm working on. Today I'm playing a song in Em so I'll just run through the Em scale and the corresponding arpeggio.

By the time you're playing a longer piece like 5m or longer, you'd need a lot of time just working on different sections of piece so you don't have time to do anything else than just run the scale that the piece is in once or twice. You get into playing at a higher level, you should be able to play your scales by ear without the sheet music. In my music group, our conductor would often make everybody in the group play the notes in the scale of a piece we're working on by ear so that we know which notes are natural, sharp or flat.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2770994
10/10/18 07:19 AM
10/10/18 07:19 AM
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Moo :) Offline
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Nightmare!

I hope we have not scared off Finn.

It sounded a very motivated and inspiring post - followed only by doom and gloom !

I think being systematic is a great way to start and I’m not so sure that it was such a bad way to start.

If you want to start the standard method is to start with a method book and a teacher.

Some people in piano world think this is the only way - I made jokes now about it as people post the same thing and bash any alternative view and some threads go into ww3 / electronic wars !!

There are some strange methods to piano , eg Suzuki , which is often repetition and listening focused.

Some people here have progressed without a teacher at all in a variety of methods.

I personally grew and outgrew the typical piano education - 5 grades in theory as a child, 7 exams and played all the standard scales.

I perhaps now am not so standard and have not played a scale or arpeggio for several years so am open to ideas.

Hopefully we can have an update from mr Finn !

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771000
10/10/18 07:59 AM
10/10/18 07:59 AM
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As a 59 year old fresh beginner (started in June this year) I did not appreciate how hard it is to learn piano and had to re-assess my approach a bit with a goal of making a process that keeps me motivated. I can relate to having an organized list (I am a technical person), but can't relate to the focus on scales.....scales are no doubt an important subject but as a beginner there are more important skills like learning different types of independence or your two hands and learning rhythm, not to mention basic theory. You may have some of this under your belt already, but I see that alone as a 6 month effort to get to a decent level. Any average person will get somewhat bored and impatient in the early phases of learning and most drop out. I feel good about things because I have a great teacher (25 years experience and she has 4 other adult students), and she is helping me learn songs outside of the standard method work in parallel. So learning some basic songs outside of method I think helps a lot with motivation. Keep in mind, you have time on your side - if you can stick with it you are guaranteed success on some level. I like to keep in mind that 1 year from now I will be a lot better, and in 5 years someone will think I am really good!


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Moo :)] #2771005
10/10/18 08:47 AM
10/10/18 08:47 AM
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New York City
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted by Moo
I think being systematic is a great way to start and I’m not so sure that it was such a bad way to start.
Being systematic is fine and no one was arguing against that. But virtually everyone felt, and rightly so, that the OP's self invented system was very poor.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771062
10/10/18 01:13 PM
10/10/18 01:13 PM
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Moscow, Russia
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Online content
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Concerning the exercises I think that practicing so much in one key is not efficient. I would advise to work in several keys each day and spend no more than 15-20 minutes on each key. And certainly you need to know exactly what sound you want to archieve by playing exercises and listen to yourself very carefully. Drumming on the keyboard is just a waste of time imho.

And beyond the exercises music reading practice is required and working on repertoire ('polished') pieces.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771191
10/10/18 06:00 PM
10/10/18 06:00 PM
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I pretty much did what the OP is suggesting. The first 3 or 4 months was 90% technical work 10% pieces. The only problem was that after taking up piano for 4 months I could barely play one single piece, even a simple one. I wasn't very good at scales either even though I had devoted so much time to them. One of the problems of doing a lot of technical work is you have to be extremely mindful of building tension into your playing. That's very easy to do as a beginner, thinking that hard work and sweat are somehow going to turn you into a virtuoso. You've got to be smarter than that.
I do like the idea of learning the scale/arpeggio that matches the piece that you are learning. Melanie Spanswick has a couple of books called 'play it again' and that is exactly what she does - gives you the scale and the arpeggio just before each piece.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771196
10/10/18 06:31 PM
10/10/18 06:31 PM
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Finn1996 Offline OP
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haha no I am not scared off, I'm actually loving all the responses, positive or negative, conversation is good! (shout out to dmd and Moo for being extra positive!). I'm realizing now that perhaps I should've better explained my approach and given a little more background on my goals and what I hope to achieve, so I will do that, since everyone seems to think my system looks terrible lol


First, I would like to say that I wasn't thinking this originally, but now after reading responses, although I do agree with basically everything posted, I'm also aware that there has to be a ton of bias from each poster (not necessarily a bad thing). I'm going with the assumption that everyone learns their own way, and since they learned that way, they will naturally think that that's the "best" or "only" way to do it. I kind of carry the same logic, as I want to develop my own method to teach others, after I prove that it works on myself. I also think there might be a lot of people here who were classically trained and they definitely might think that's the only way more than anyone. My goals in music are different from "the classical way", so if there are people who disagree with going against that way, I don't really know what to tell you lol.

Next, to anyone saying I need a teacher, I really don't think I do. I think I'm capable of learning on my own. I was thinking of seeing a teacher at some point down the road just to check to make sure I'm doing things right physically (posture, fingering, hand positioning, etc.). Other than the physical aspect of playing, I don't think I need a teacher. Why would I pay money for a teacher when I can use plenty of resources from online (Youtube, online PDF's, etc.) to compile my own "syllabus" that works for me personally? I've had vocal coaches and I find that teachers like to push their own view of things onto students, which is something I'm trying to avoid as a student. I think learning music and learning piano can be such a personal experience without a teacher. I'm not at all saying that having a teacher is bad, I think a lot of people could/will benefit from a teacher for sure, I just really don't have any interest in paying money and searching for the right teacher (just in case I find some and don't like them or what they teach or their teaching style), seems like a lot of time and money wasted on something I can just figure out myself and figure out a way that works best for me personally. I think if I need a teacher for a particular concept, I'm sure Youtube can give me all the help I need.

To those saying I need to play songs and gear my learning towards songs/pieces instead of learning music theory, I personally disagree.. strongly lol. I actually tried this first, and it didn't work for very long (but maybe I was trying things that were too hard lol). I'm a huge fan of C418's Minecraft Soundtrack, and I would love to be able to play every song from it. So, since everyone suggests learning by playing songs, thats what I tried to do. It was working, but overall, it was more frustrating than anything. Sure, now I can play a song or two from the Minecraft soundtrack, but I really wasn't LEARNING anything. I was just following along with the notes on a Youtube video. I was learning the song, but was I aware of the notes I was hitting? Not really. Was I paying attention to the chords I was playing? No. Was I paying attention to the RELATIONSHIPS between all the notes and all the chords? Literally not at all. I was literally just following someone elses playing, that's all. Learning songs is cool if that's all you want to do with music/piano. Learning songs is probably the last thing I'm trying to focus on, I'm trying to learn music theory by playing the piano (we'll get to this).

A lot of you are also saying that my practice routine looks like the most boring thing in existence and I will quit because of it. I don't really think so, but you all are entitled to your own opinions of course! Allow me to explain though. I thought learning songs was a boring and messy approach. My two reasons for this are: 1) You have to start off easy and slowly play harder and harder songs. Easy songs are boring. I don't want to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I would rather just play scales. 2) Learning by playing songs doesn't always mean you will play songs you like, ESPECIALLY if you have a teacher! If I'm gonna learn by playing songs, I would want to play songs I know and love. I don't really want to play easy beginner nursery rhyme songs. I don't want to play Mozart's symphonies down the road. As far as songs go, I want to have the music theory knowledge to hear a song, then figure it out on my own. When you don't know music theory, and you're just learning it along the way, you learn things out of order just as they happen, that's way too disorganized for my taste. And when you're just learning songs, you have to go online and figure out the key, then you have to learn all the chords, etc. But if you already know music theory, you can figure the key out by the notes you hear, and you can assume the possible chords by the key, etc. Would you not agree that learning music theory first would make learning songs a whole lot easier and faster? Because that's the way I see it. I like to learn the rules of the game before I play.


So, this brings me to my background and my goals. As I have said in passing, my main goal is to learn music theory by playing the piano (I think most of you have the opposite view? Learn songs and learn music theory along the way of doing that? Yes?). I don't (necessarily) want to learn classical music. I don't want to learn a method book. I want to learn music theory. I want to learn the bones of the whole skeleton so that I can learn to play all kinds of songs and music. My method focuses on learning all aspects of music theory, and FOCUSING HARD on little increments one at a time (i.e. spending an entire week on one scale). I'm currently in college for the Music Industry program (I'm only 22), and one of my teachers says, "Do not practice it until you get it right, practice it until you can never get it wrong". I thought this was amazing, and I'm trying to make it the overall theme for my method, so I also took a step further with a sister quote, "Do not learn it until you know it, learn it until you cannot forget it". I want to spend a week on each scale/concept so that I will never, ever forget each one. But not only am I learning music theory, I'm also playing the piano! So, yes I am "boringly" playing the same scale for a whole week, but learning piano along with the theory allows me to spice it up: play it with my left hand, play it with my right hand, play it with both hands at the same time, play it all the way up the keyboard with both hands, etc. This way I'm learning music theory and how to physically play the piano at the same time. Hopefully now you are seeing how the method is supposed to work. ENGRAVE the music theory in your head, and have some fun with it by playing the same thing in a variety of different ways. You guys are saying that learning this way is boring, but to me its fun! Breaking it down into small, achievable goals is fun to me, it makes me feel like I'm actually learning music, and actually progressing in my learning. Learning songs made me practice at random times, made me give up quicker than I wanted to, etc. Organizing it out like this gives me peace in my order. I've set aside certain time increments for each concept, and that makes me happy. If I'm just playing songs, all I could say is "ah I don't really know much about music, but I can play these 20 songs really well". That's not very useful at all in my opinion. So, using this method, I think in about a year or so from now I will know all major scales, all versions of minor scales, most chords and inversions, all intervals, etc. Do you know how valuable that is? Do I have to stress how valuable that is compared to just knowing 50 songs? I'm sure those who are well trained in music know what I'm talking about. I think my method might be "boring" at first, but it will ultimately make me a music superhuman, which is what I'm really interested in: mastery. Once I achieve mastery of music theory, it will make what I really want to do IMMENSELY easier: creating music. You cannot have an easy time creating music by learning a method book, by learning your favourite songs, by learning everything Mozart wrote, etc. It doesn't work like that.


So, now that I've more fully explained my method that I'm creating, I would like to ask again: Does anyone have any more concepts/details to add to my original list? Every time I search something like "list of all chords", every list is different, some are unorganized, some exclude some chords, etc., so I thought it would be easier to ask piano people lol maybe I was wrong? Idk, I think I've started a good conversation here. If you don't feel like posting in the thread, that's totally cool, you can just PM your opinions or links, PDF's, videos, etc., that have helped you.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: dogperson] #2771198
10/10/18 06:37 PM
10/10/18 06:37 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 31
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Finn1996 Offline OP
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Finn1996  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Beginner practice should not be all scales and music theory. In fact, you should define what type of music you want to play (classical? Pop? jazz?) and work on learning to play that type of repertoire. Please do not re-invent the wheel, as you will be quickly frustrated and quit. If you will provide more information, you can receive some suggestions

As an aside, learning how to play does not give you the skills to teach...but I think the more you learn, you will realize that.



Why would I put myself in a box like that? That limits creativity immensely. I'm trying to focus on learning music theory so that I can learn to play all kinds of music.

As for your other comment, I actually totally agree, but I'm thinking about it like this: One can know how to play without teaching, but one cannot teach without knowing how to play. If I learn music theory as a whole, there is very little I couldn't teach. As for teaching in general, I plan on worrying about that when I get to that point. Right now I'm mainly trying to focus on learning music. Learning how to teach isn't really hard, just be friendly and clear with instruction. The teaching part isn't really hard to figure out lol

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Charles Cohen] #2771203
10/10/18 06:46 PM
10/10/18 06:46 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 31
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Finn1996 Offline OP
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Finn1996  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Quote
. . . I've heard a lot of people say it's better to learn songs and play around to see how things work and relate to each other, but I'm thinking it would be better to learn everything systematically and repetitively to set me up to be in a good position when I want to start learning more advanced things like chord progressions and melodies and improvisation, etc.


A danger in doing this:

. . . You'll quit, out of boredom.

It's like saying:

. . . I'd like to play baseball,
. . . . and I'm going to start by running on a treadmill and lifting weights in the gym,
. . . . . until I'm strong and fast enough to play baseball.

Life doesn't work that way, for most people. You may be one of the exceptions.

What happens more frequently, I think, is that somebody starts out by "just playing piano, with none of the boring theory and exercises",

. . . and then finds that, at some level, he _needs_ those things to improve his piano-playing.

I think "balance" is always good to keep in mind.




I agree with you in saying that balance is important, yes. However, I disagree with your analogy.

It's actually more like saying:

-"I'd like to play baseball"
-"Instead of picking up a bat and a ball and going to a field and trying to figure out the whole game by myself"
-"I'll pick up a book and spend 10 minutes learning all the rules, that way when I get my friends together and we go to a field, we'll have a pretty good idea of how it works, and we can actually enjoy playing the game"


Sure, no one wants to spend that 10 minutes grabbing a book and reading through a bunch of rules, its boring, but that is how understanding of subject is acquired. You must understand all the "boring" fundamentals before you can have fun and be creative with intention (because "having fun" and "being creative" using trial and error is unintentional, it works, but its aimlessly wandering). You can go out and do a "trial and error" method all day long all year long, but I guarantee it will be harder in general, and "what you're supposed to do" won't be entirely clear, and you'll miss things that you would've have easily caught if you just read the rules. Trial and error is necessary in the process of learning, but using it as THE process of learning is a terrible idea in my opinion.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771207
10/10/18 06:54 PM
10/10/18 06:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 11,084
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by Finn1996
haha no I am not scared off, I'm actually loving all the responses, positive or negative, conversation is good! (shout out to dmd and Moo for being extra positive!). I'm realizing now that perhaps I should've better explained my approach and given a little more background on my goals and what I hope to achieve, so I will do that, since everyone seems to think my system looks terrible lol


First, I would like to say that I wasn't thinking this originally, but now after reading responses, although I do agree with basically everything posted, I'm also aware that there has to be a ton of bias from each poster (not necessarily a bad thing). I'm going with the assumption that everyone learns their own way, and since they learned that way, they will naturally think that that's the "best" or "only" way to do it. I kind of carry the same logic, as I want to develop my own method to teach others, after I prove that it works on myself. I also think there might be a lot of people here who were classically trained and they definitely might think that's the only way more than anyone. My goals in music are different from "the classical way", so if there are people who disagree with going against that way, I don't really know what to tell you lol.

Next, to anyone saying I need a teacher, I really don't think I do. I think I'm capable of learning on my own. I was thinking of seeing a teacher at some point down the road just to check to make sure I'm doing things right physically (posture, fingering, hand positioning, etc.). Other than the physical aspect of playing, I don't think I need a teacher. Why would I pay money for a teacher when I can use plenty of resources from online (Youtube, online PDF's, etc.) to compile my own "syllabus" that works for me personally? I've had vocal coaches and I find that teachers like to push their own view of things onto students, which is something I'm trying to avoid as a student. I think learning music and learning piano can be such a personal experience without a teacher. I'm not at all saying that having a teacher is bad, I think a lot of people could/will benefit from a teacher for sure, I just really don't have any interest in paying money and searching for the right teacher (just in case I find some and don't like them or what they teach or their teaching style), seems like a lot of time and money wasted on something I can just figure out myself and figure out a way that works best for me personally. I think if I need a teacher for a particular concept, I'm sure Youtube can give me all the help I need.

To those saying I need to play songs and gear my learning towards songs/pieces instead of learning music theory, I personally disagree.. strongly lol. I actually tried this first, and it didn't work for very long (but maybe I was trying things that were too hard lol). I'm a huge fan of C418's Minecraft Soundtrack, and I would love to be able to play every song from it. So, since everyone suggests learning by playing songs, thats what I tried to do. It was working, but overall, it was more frustrating than anything. Sure, now I can play a song or two from the Minecraft soundtrack, but I really wasn't LEARNING anything. I was just following along with the notes on a Youtube video. I was learning the song, but was I aware of the notes I was hitting? Not really. Was I paying attention to the chords I was playing? No. Was I paying attention to the RELATIONSHIPS between all the notes and all the chords? Literally not at all. I was literally just following someone elses playing, that's all. Learning songs is cool if that's all you want to do with music/piano. Learning songs is probably the last thing I'm trying to focus on, I'm trying to learn music theory by playing the piano (we'll get to this).

A lot of you are also saying that my practice routine looks like the most boring thing in existence and I will quit because of it. I don't really think so, but you all are entitled to your own opinions of course! Allow me to explain though. I thought learning songs was a boring and messy approach. My two reasons for this are: 1) You have to start off easy and slowly play harder and harder songs. Easy songs are boring. I don't want to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I would rather just play scales. 2) Learning by playing songs doesn't always mean you will play songs you like, ESPECIALLY if you have a teacher! If I'm gonna learn by playing songs, I would want to play songs I know and love. I don't really want to play easy beginner nursery rhyme songs. I don't want to play Mozart's symphonies down the road. As far as songs go, I want to have the music theory knowledge to hear a song, then figure it out on my own. When you don't know music theory, and you're just learning it along the way, you learn things out of order just as they happen, that's way too disorganized for my taste. And when you're just learning songs, you have to go online and figure out the key, then you have to learn all the chords, etc. But if you already know music theory, you can figure the key out by the notes you hear, and you can assume the possible chords by the key, etc. Would you not agree that learning music theory first would make learning songs a whole lot easier and faster? Because that's the way I see it. I like to learn the rules of the game before I play.


So, this brings me to my background and my goals. As I have said in passing, my main goal is to learn music theory by playing the piano (I think most of you have the opposite view? Learn songs and learn music theory along the way of doing that? Yes?). I don't (necessarily) want to learn classical music. I don't want to learn a method book. I want to learn music theory. I want to learn the bones of the whole skeleton so that I can learn to play all kinds of songs and music. My method focuses on learning all aspects of music theory, and FOCUSING HARD on little increments one at a time (i.e. spending an entire week on one scale). I'm currently in college for the Music Industry program (I'm only 22), and one of my teachers says, "Do not practice it until you get it right, practice it until you can never get it wrong". I thought this was amazing, and I'm trying to make it the overall theme for my method, so I also took a step further with a sister quote, "Do not learn it until you know it, learn it until you cannot forget it". I want to spend a week on each scale/concept so that I will never, ever forget each one. But not only am I learning music theory, I'm also playing the piano! So, yes I am "boringly" playing the same scale for a whole week, but learning piano along with the theory allows me to spice it up: play it with my left hand, play it with my right hand, play it with both hands at the same time, play it all the way up the keyboard with both hands, etc. This way I'm learning music theory and how to physically play the piano at the same time. Hopefully now you are seeing how the method is supposed to work. ENGRAVE the music theory in your head, and have some fun with it by playing the same thing in a variety of different ways. You guys are saying that learning this way is boring, but to me its fun! Breaking it down into small, achievable goals is fun to me, it makes me feel like I'm actually learning music, and actually progressing in my learning. Learning songs made me practice at random times, made me give up quicker than I wanted to, etc. Organizing it out like this gives me peace in my order. I've set aside certain time increments for each concept, and that makes me happy. If I'm just playing songs, all I could say is "ah I don't really know much about music, but I can play these 20 songs really well". That's not very useful at all in my opinion. So, using this method, I think in about a year or so from now I will know all major scales, all versions of minor scales, most chords and inversions, all intervals, etc. Do you know how valuable that is? Do I have to stress how valuable that is compared to just knowing 50 songs? I'm sure those who are well trained in music know what I'm talking about. I think my method might be "boring" at first, but it will ultimately make me a music superhuman, which is what I'm really interested in: mastery. Once I achieve mastery of music theory, it will make what I really want to do IMMENSELY easier: creating music. You cannot have an easy time creating music by learning a method book, by learning your favourite songs, by learning everything Mozart wrote, etc. It doesn't work like that.


So, now that I've more fully explained my method that I'm creating, I would like to ask again: Does anyone have any more concepts/details to add to my original list? Every time I search something like "list of all chords", every list is different, some are unorganized, some exclude some chords, etc., so I thought it would be easier to ask piano people lol maybe I was wrong? Idk, I think I've started a good conversation here. If you don't feel like posting in the thread, that's totally cool, you can just PM your opinions or links, PDF's, videos, etc., that have helped you.





Way to go! thumb

You have nothing to learn from us.......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: What To Learn? [Re: bennevis] #2771209
10/10/18 07:00 PM
10/10/18 07:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,070
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
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NobleHouse  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,070
In the Ozarks of Missouri
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Finn1996
haha no I am not scared off, I'm actually loving all the responses, positive or negative, conversation is good! (shout out to dmd and Moo for being extra positive!). I'm realizing now that perhaps I should've better explained my approach and given a little more background on my goals and what I hope to achieve, so I will do that, since everyone seems to think my system looks terrible lol


First, I would like to say that I wasn't thinking this originally, but now after reading responses, although I do agree with basically everything posted, I'm also aware that there has to be a ton of bias from each poster (not necessarily a bad thing). I'm going with the assumption that everyone learns their own way, and since they learned that way, they will naturally think that that's the "best" or "only" way to do it. I kind of carry the same logic, as I want to develop my own method to teach others, after I prove that it works on myself. I also think there might be a lot of people here who were classically trained and they definitely might think that's the only way more than anyone. My goals in music are different from "the classical way", so if there are people who disagree with going against that way, I don't really know what to tell you lol.

Next, to anyone saying I need a teacher, I really don't think I do. I think I'm capable of learning on my own. I was thinking of seeing a teacher at some point down the road just to check to make sure I'm doing things right physically (posture, fingering, hand positioning, etc.). Other than the physical aspect of playing, I don't think I need a teacher. Why would I pay money for a teacher when I can use plenty of resources from online (Youtube, online PDF's, etc.) to compile my own "syllabus" that works for me personally? I've had vocal coaches and I find that teachers like to push their own view of things onto students, which is something I'm trying to avoid as a student. I think learning music and learning piano can be such a personal experience without a teacher. I'm not at all saying that having a teacher is bad, I think a lot of people could/will benefit from a teacher for sure, I just really don't have any interest in paying money and searching for the right teacher (just in case I find some and don't like them or what they teach or their teaching style), seems like a lot of time and money wasted on something I can just figure out myself and figure out a way that works best for me personally. I think if I need a teacher for a particular concept, I'm sure Youtube can give me all the help I need.

To those saying I need to play songs and gear my learning towards songs/pieces instead of learning music theory, I personally disagree.. strongly lol. I actually tried this first, and it didn't work for very long (but maybe I was trying things that were too hard lol). I'm a huge fan of C418's Minecraft Soundtrack, and I would love to be able to play every song from it. So, since everyone suggests learning by playing songs, thats what I tried to do. It was working, but overall, it was more frustrating than anything. Sure, now I can play a song or two from the Minecraft soundtrack, but I really wasn't LEARNING anything. I was just following along with the notes on a Youtube video. I was learning the song, but was I aware of the notes I was hitting? Not really. Was I paying attention to the chords I was playing? No. Was I paying attention to the RELATIONSHIPS between all the notes and all the chords? Literally not at all. I was literally just following someone elses playing, that's all. Learning songs is cool if that's all you want to do with music/piano. Learning songs is probably the last thing I'm trying to focus on, I'm trying to learn music theory by playing the piano (we'll get to this).

A lot of you are also saying that my practice routine looks like the most boring thing in existence and I will quit because of it. I don't really think so, but you all are entitled to your own opinions of course! Allow me to explain though. I thought learning songs was a boring and messy approach. My two reasons for this are: 1) You have to start off easy and slowly play harder and harder songs. Easy songs are boring. I don't want to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I would rather just play scales. 2) Learning by playing songs doesn't always mean you will play songs you like, ESPECIALLY if you have a teacher! If I'm gonna learn by playing songs, I would want to play songs I know and love. I don't really want to play easy beginner nursery rhyme songs. I don't want to play Mozart's symphonies down the road. As far as songs go, I want to have the music theory knowledge to hear a song, then figure it out on my own. When you don't know music theory, and you're just learning it along the way, you learn things out of order just as they happen, that's way too disorganized for my taste. And when you're just learning songs, you have to go online and figure out the key, then you have to learn all the chords, etc. But if you already know music theory, you can figure the key out by the notes you hear, and you can assume the possible chords by the key, etc. Would you not agree that learning music theory first would make learning songs a whole lot easier and faster? Because that's the way I see it. I like to learn the rules of the game before I play.


So, this brings me to my background and my goals. As I have said in passing, my main goal is to learn music theory by playing the piano (I think most of you have the opposite view? Learn songs and learn music theory along the way of doing that? Yes?). I don't (necessarily) want to learn classical music. I don't want to learn a method book. I want to learn music theory. I want to learn the bones of the whole skeleton so that I can learn to play all kinds of songs and music. My method focuses on learning all aspects of music theory, and FOCUSING HARD on little increments one at a time (i.e. spending an entire week on one scale). I'm currently in college for the Music Industry program (I'm only 22), and one of my teachers says, "Do not practice it until you get it right, practice it until you can never get it wrong". I thought this was amazing, and I'm trying to make it the overall theme for my method, so I also took a step further with a sister quote, "Do not learn it until you know it, learn it until you cannot forget it". I want to spend a week on each scale/concept so that I will never, ever forget each one. But not only am I learning music theory, I'm also playing the piano! So, yes I am "boringly" playing the same scale for a whole week, but learning piano along with the theory allows me to spice it up: play it with my left hand, play it with my right hand, play it with both hands at the same time, play it all the way up the keyboard with both hands, etc. This way I'm learning music theory and how to physically play the piano at the same time. Hopefully now you are seeing how the method is supposed to work. ENGRAVE the music theory in your head, and have some fun with it by playing the same thing in a variety of different ways. You guys are saying that learning this way is boring, but to me its fun! Breaking it down into small, achievable goals is fun to me, it makes me feel like I'm actually learning music, and actually progressing in my learning. Learning songs made me practice at random times, made me give up quicker than I wanted to, etc. Organizing it out like this gives me peace in my order. I've set aside certain time increments for each concept, and that makes me happy. If I'm just playing songs, all I could say is "ah I don't really know much about music, but I can play these 20 songs really well". That's not very useful at all in my opinion. So, using this method, I think in about a year or so from now I will know all major scales, all versions of minor scales, most chords and inversions, all intervals, etc. Do you know how valuable that is? Do I have to stress how valuable that is compared to just knowing 50 songs? I'm sure those who are well trained in music know what I'm talking about. I think my method might be "boring" at first, but it will ultimately make me a music superhuman, which is what I'm really interested in: mastery. Once I achieve mastery of music theory, it will make what I really want to do IMMENSELY easier: creating music. You cannot have an easy time creating music by learning a method book, by learning your favourite songs, by learning everything Mozart wrote, etc. It doesn't work like that.


So, now that I've more fully explained my method that I'm creating, I would like to ask again: Does anyone have any more concepts/details to add to my original list? Every time I search something like "list of all chords", every list is different, some are unorganized, some exclude some chords, etc., so I thought it would be easier to ask piano people lol maybe I was wrong? Idk, I think I've started a good conversation here. If you don't feel like posting in the thread, that's totally cool, you can just PM your opinions or links, PDF's, videos, etc., that have helped you.





Way to go! thumb

You have nothing to learn from us.......


grin

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771210
10/10/18 07:06 PM
10/10/18 07:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,977
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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Well .... good luck to you.


Don

Casio PX-160, Mix 5 Five-Channel Compact Mixer, DR 880 Drum Machine, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771211
10/10/18 07:12 PM
10/10/18 07:12 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,795
Florida
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Last edited by dogperson; 10/10/18 07:17 PM. Reason: Irrelevant to OP
Re: What To Learn? [Re: bennevis] #2771214
10/10/18 07:21 PM
10/10/18 07:21 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 31
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Finn1996 Offline OP
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Finn1996  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 31
Originally Posted by bennevis

Way to go! thumb

You have nothing to learn from us.......



So, what .. you have nothing to add or say?

I'm obviously not trying to be a dick or anything, I'm just explaining my mindset and the way I see things and the way I plan on learning this stuff. I never said "let's have a contest to see who's method is the best". I never even asked for a critique on my method lol I was literally just asking for extra music theory information and a list of chord codes to add to my list of concepts. If all you guys do is play songs you know, and know nothing about music theory, maybe this was the wrong place to go. I assumed a piano forum would be more educated than that.

If you have nothing to add or say, then you're right, I guess I do have nothing to learn from you.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771229
10/10/18 08:12 PM
10/10/18 08:12 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 266
Chicago
J
John305 Offline
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Chicago
Originally Posted by Finn1996
Originally Posted by bennevis

Way to go! thumb

You have nothing to learn from us.......



So, what .. you have nothing to add or say?




You’re new here so you wouldn’t know that bennevis ALWAYS has something to say smile


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771232
10/10/18 08:23 PM
10/10/18 08:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,951
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline
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Stubbie  Offline
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You're in college, in a Music Industry program, and you want to learn music theory. Have you taken the Music Theory courses your college offers?


[Linked Image]
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Stubbie] #2771233
10/10/18 08:28 PM
10/10/18 08:28 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 266
Chicago
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John305 Offline
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Chicago
Originally Posted by Stubbie
You're in college, in a Music Industry program, and you want to learn music theory. Have you taken the Music Theory courses your college offers?



Haven’t you read his post, he’s beyond such mundane concepts such as having a teacher. A teacher would only slow him down by getting in the way of his hubris.


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771234
10/10/18 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Finn1996
I'm going with the assumption that everyone learns their own way, and since they learned that way, they will naturally think that that's the "best" or "only" way to do it


"You have taken 394 hit points of damage from Wall of Text."

Your assumption above is not true in my case. I know that I could learn more efficiently. I also know that I am kind of lazy. So I have to learn in the way that works for my personality.

Would I be a much better pianist today if I did all the best things in regards to meticulous dissection of pieces, careful isolation of passages, study of theory and improv, ear training, sight reading and memorization, scale work, arpeggio work, study of inversions, study of four part harmony, study of voice leading?

No doubt.

But this misses the fact that I might not be a pianist at all today if I'd been forced to do all that. I think most people who have replied to you believe that, while you might have a regimen that might provide you some key technical fundamentals, you've set yourself up with a system that is so psychologically unrewarding that it would be impossible to sustain long term.

The critique and skepticism you are seeing here is not because people want to discourage you and see you fail. It is because we want you to succeed!


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771237
10/10/18 09:19 PM
10/10/18 09:19 PM
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I agree with everything Whizbang just said, especially the very last line. I hope the young one has the wisdom/humility to see it.

Extra credit for your Dungeons and Dragons reference.


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771252
10/10/18 10:12 PM
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Hi Finn. Welcome to the forum! I have a few things to add to what the others have said.

First, in defense of the folks who’ve cautioned you on your approach, remember that for most of them that advice comes from years and years of watching beginners with big dreams set themselves up for failure by trying to do too much too fast. Learning any instrument takes a lot of time and the piano is no different. There are no shortcuts.

That’s not to say people here aren’t biased in their ideas about how one should learn. Some are, others not so much. But what you have heard here so far has very little to do with that.

Next thing. The advice of a teacher. You’ll find that while this forum advises everyone to do that, not everyone does for their own reasons. But most beginners who wish to play complicated music of any stripe are better served with a teacher, mainly to prevent injury. Teachers are worth worlds more than that, of course, but injuries at the piano are common and some can be serious and lifelong. Unlearning a bad habit is far more difficult than learning correctly in the first place. Not a show stopper, just something to keep in mind.

Last thing. Scales. I am a beginner too and not very good at the instrument so take my advice for what it’s worth. I found scales to be more useful as I have grown and played more complex music than when I was playing them early on. Probably the best thing I heard was advice from one of the greatest natural pianists that ever lived, long dead of course. He advised new pianists to work through D-flat major in the left hand and B-major in the right prior to the others. Those scales naturally place the long fingers on black keys and the shorter ones on white. It also is easier to learn passing the thumb this way, giving you more control and more grounding in your playing. C-major, according to this pianist, was the most difficult one to do anything with. So naturally he wrote an incredibly fast etude using it, right? That aside, this is but one more thing to think about.

I’m an advocate of doing the thing that keeps you playing. Being at the keyboard is the most important thing to learning. As long as you’re able to do that then you’re probably doing it right. As I have grown, most of the things I thought I’d do in practice have changed as my skills and needs have changed. Be careful not to box yourself in. Make sure you can adapt as you change with time to be sure you keep coming back and playing.

All the best in your journey,
-j

Re: What To Learn? [Re: John305] #2771257
10/10/18 10:26 PM
10/10/18 10:26 PM
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Finn1996 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by John305


You’re new here so you wouldn’t know that bennevis ALWAYS has something to say smile




oh haha my bad


Originally Posted by John305
Originally Posted by Stubbie
You're in college, in a Music Industry program, and you want to learn music theory. Have you taken the Music Theory courses your college offers?



Haven’t you read his post, he’s beyond such mundane concepts such as having a teacher. A teacher would only slow him down by getting in the way of his hubris.



haha man I never said that .. like I did say, teachers can be very beneficial, I just simply don't want to pay the money and would rather try to learn as much as I can by myself first. Let's not be like this.

And to answer the question, unfortunately (and weirdly) music theory is second semester, but again, its only college so it probably won't go very deep with things, definitely not as deep as a University would, but that's kind of a giant waste of money anyway (depends on exactly what you're going for really). My program is geared more to the music business and recording music in studios.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Whizbang] #2771262
10/10/18 10:49 PM
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Finn1996 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by Finn1996
I'm going with the assumption that everyone learns their own way, and since they learned that way, they will naturally think that that's the "best" or "only" way to do it


"You have taken 394 hit points of damage from Wall of Text."

Your assumption above is not true in my case. I know that I could learn more efficiently. I also know that I am kind of lazy. So I have to learn in the way that works for my personality.

Would I be a much better pianist today if I did all the best things in regards to meticulous dissection of pieces, careful isolation of passages, study of theory and improv, ear training, sight reading and memorization, scale work, arpeggio work, study of inversions, study of four part harmony, study of voice leading?

No doubt.

But this misses the fact that I might not be a pianist at all today if I'd been forced to do all that. I think most people who have replied to you believe that, while you might have a regimen that might provide you some key technical fundamentals, you've set yourself up with a system that is so psychologically unrewarding that it would be impossible to sustain long term.

The critique and skepticism you are seeing here is not because people want to discourage you and see you fail. It is because we want you to succeed!



Right, but you do see how you're assuming all these things about me then, right? That's great that you know yourself well and you know what you want out of it, but it sounds like you're assuming I, and I guess all beginners, will be like you. Maybe I'm more passionate than you, maybe I don't treat music as passively as you, we're different people. You literally know that you could be so much better at it, but you probably don't care because all that stuff doesn't interest you as much as learning songs/pieces. And again, that's you and that's totally fine. It should seem obvious by now that I have different goals than you guys. You wanna talk about your own personality and playing style/habits, and that's blocking you (all) from seeing my own personality and playing style/habits.

Check my OP, I didn't ask anyone about what they do or how they learned, because I'm aware that everyone's journey will be different, and I'm also aware of the obvious stuff like "getting a teacher might be helpful", etc. etc. I have a Psychology degree, I'm aware of things like memorization optimization, learning strategies, goal setting, etc. All I wanted was for people to supply me the info I was asking for. Like I've said before, I didn't ask to be critiqued and doubted on my method, yet I feel like I'm being attacked (not by you) for just asking for some help lol like, at this point, I would rather someone who knows music theory well to just inform me on what I'm missing in my list and educate me a bit on chords. I will just stop posting and mark this as a mistake if no one here can simply help me with that.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: jandz] #2771266
10/10/18 11:14 PM
10/10/18 11:14 PM
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Finn1996 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by jandz
Hi Finn. Welcome to the forum! I have a few things to add to what the others have said.

First, in defense of the folks who’ve cautioned you on your approach, remember that for most of them that advice comes from years and years of watching beginners with big dreams set themselves up for failure by trying to do too much too fast. Learning any instrument takes a lot of time and the piano is no different. There are no shortcuts.

That’s not to say people here aren’t biased in their ideas about how one should learn. Some are, others not so much. But what you have heard here so far has very little to do with that.

Next thing. The advice of a teacher. You’ll find that while this forum advises everyone to do that, not everyone does for their own reasons. But most beginners who wish to play complicated music of any stripe are better served with a teacher, mainly to prevent injury. Teachers are worth worlds more than that, of course, but injuries at the piano are common and some can be serious and lifelong. Unlearning a bad habit is far more difficult than learning correctly in the first place. Not a show stopper, just something to keep in mind.

Last thing. Scales. I am a beginner too and not very good at the instrument so take my advice for what it’s worth. I found scales to be more useful as I have grown and played more complex music than when I was playing them early on. Probably the best thing I heard was advice from one of the greatest natural pianists that ever lived, long dead of course. He advised new pianists to work through D-flat major in the left hand and B-major in the right prior to the others. Those scales naturally place the long fingers on black keys and the shorter ones on white. It also is easier to learn passing the thumb this way, giving you more control and more grounding in your playing. C-major, according to this pianist, was the most difficult one to do anything with. So naturally he wrote an incredibly fast etude using it, right? That aside, this is but one more thing to think about.

I’m an advocate of doing the thing that keeps you playing. Being at the keyboard is the most important thing to learning. As long as you’re able to do that then you’re probably doing it right. As I have grown, most of the things I thought I’d do in practice have changed as my skills and needs have changed. Be careful not to box yourself in. Make sure you can adapt as you change with time to be sure you keep coming back and playing.

All the best in your journey,
-j



Thanks for the response jandz, refreshingly positive!

In my defense, to your defense, there is a contradiction you guys aren't seeing. I get the sympathy, and that's nice of you guys, for real, I get it, but you guys are saying that I'm taking on too much at once AND setting myself up to be utterly bored at the same time. How is that possible? I really do feel like I'm being misconstrued because of people's personal bias. It seems that the majority of you favour playing songs over learning music theory, and that's great, but we're not talking about your methods, this is a post to improve my method, and if I'm saying my interest towards things is music theory, then I feel that those who want to help should keep that in mind rather than push their views on things on me and assume things about me.

It's only the overall plan that looks like a lot, and it obviously is, because music theory is a huge subject to tackle, but that should go without saying that it will obviously take time to learn. I said that in a year from now I would be in a much further position than now, as long as I stick with practicing every day, which is just as important, like you say, and I totally agree.

And, all of you, please don't misunderstand me again. I totally understand what you're saying as far as a teacher being beneficial, but how does that exclude the Internet from teaching me? Searching these concepts on Youtube will give me plenty of different teachers and each of their own views on the concepts. If I have more specific questions about specific things, I can come to a forum and ask a community of players. Why must I spend money on a teacher when those other resources are available for free? Is it because you all had teachers and you think that's the best way and you're pushing that on me? I think that's it. Maybe I should add "Proper Physical Habits" to my list and I'll research it? Seems like a much nicer way of offering help than telling me I'll pretty much fail without a teacher.

And lastly, I'd also like to mention that, using your words, some may think I might be "trying to do too much too fast". If people here read my all posts and honestly still think that ... I don't know man. I'm pretty sure I've clearly said that my method involves breaking concepts down into the smallest parts and focusing on one part in particular every week, then moving on and focusing on the next thing. Seems pretty slow and steady to me .. right? The big goal is .. big lol but it is achieved by reaching many much smaller goals in an orderly fashion to maximize efficiency of learning. The whole point of my OP was to ask for help on the missing blanks in my list, because I'm not a know-it-all (which I'm guessing some are thinking I am) and I can admit I don't know everything and I need help. So, I don't know, I think I'm just being misunderstood or something.

Last edited by Finn1996; 10/10/18 11:17 PM.
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771268
10/10/18 11:41 PM
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Let me make two points.

1) Getting a teacher is no panacea for anything in life. I had many in my life, and most added nothing except stress, boredom, and suppression of personal expression and creativity, for which I payed a handsome sum of money each week.

2) To answer your question as to what you should study when learning piano? Learn to imagine a sound in your mind and create that sound with the piano. I would start by listening to one simple piece very carefully. Hear that piece until it is solidly in your imagination. Study the sound and how that sound is being produced by others who are playing that piece, and then go about creating the music. That is what it is all about. It is the gesture needed to express the sound that is in your imagination through the piano. In my opinion, your current approach does not develop the appropriate skills to accomplish this. You are only hitting keys.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2771270
10/11/18 12:26 AM
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Finn1996 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Let me make two points.

1) Getting a teacher is no panacea for anything in life. I had many in my life, and most added nothing except stress, boredom, and suppression of personal expression and creativity, for which I payed a handsome sum of money each week.

2) To answer your question as to what you should study when learning piano? Learn to imagine a sound in your mind and create that sound with the piano. I would start by listening to one simple piece very carefully. Hear that piece until it is solidly in your imagination. Study the sound and how that sound is being produced by others who are playing that piece, and then go about creating the music. That is what it is all about. It is the gesture needed to express the sound that is in your imagination through the piano. In my opinion, your current approach does not develop the appropriate skills to accomplish this. You are only hitting keys.


Right, that's a great suggestion! That sounds like it's an advanced topic, so it would go later in the list, but I'll definitely add that for sure. Thanks!

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771273
10/11/18 12:38 AM
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If you study music, you will quickly come to the conclusion that the sound comes before the the theory. Theory only serves to explain discovery, and that pretty much describes every course of study in life. And as music evolves, so does theory, both of which are endless in growth.

The first step in music, or any art, is to see it, hear it, feel it, or smell it (as in cooking) clearly in imagination. Then you may develop one of an endless number of theories. Exactly which of these endless number of theories do you wish to study? Cuban Afro-Jazz?

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2771275
10/11/18 12:55 AM
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Finn1996 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Richrf
If you study music, you will quickly come to the conclusion that the sound comes before the the theory. Theory only serves to explain discovery, and that pretty much describes every course of study in life. And as music evolves, so does theory, both of which are endless in growth.

The first step in music, or any art, is to see it, hear it, feel it, or smell it (as in cooking) clearly in imagination. Then you may develop one of an endless number of theories. Exactly which of these endless number of theories do you wish to study? Cuban Afro-Jazz?


I think you're explaining what I'm imagining to be the end goal. I want to create music, and I guess I just believe that knowing music theory will make creating chord progressions and understanding relationships in the sounds much easier. Whenever I try to write a song, I'm always stumped because I don't know what works with chords and melodies, etc., and the process is frustrating and takes way longer than it could. That's one of my main inspirations to learn music theory, I want to understand all these things, it allows me to see the choices and what works and what doesn't.

Learning with one sense isn't as effective as learning with multiple. I believe your advice to becoming really familiar with the sounds of things is extremely crucial, but it's a lot easier to find and understand those sounds when I've read about them and can put a name to them as well as hear them. That's the overall point I'm trying to make. I'm trying to memorize the boring, redundant stuff systematically to graduate to more advanced playing and understanding, like the stuff you're mentioning.

Last edited by Finn1996; 10/11/18 01:00 AM.
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771287
10/11/18 02:33 AM
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Let me be blunt to the OP. You are in no position to design a method of study to learn piano because you know almost nothing about music theory or how to play the piano. Almost nothing you say makes sense. There are established and proven courses of study that work for almost everyone that have been designed by people with decades of teaching experience and you should choose one of those.

If you can afford a teacher and choose not to use that approach you are making possibly the biggest mistake imaginable. Your progress, if any, will be much slower.

Most of the time you have been practicing using your method so far has probably been a complete waste of time. For example, hitting the correct notes while practicing a C major scale is not all that is involved in correct scale technique.

Finally, your posts are almost unreadable because of the lengths of your paragraphs.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: BruceD] #2771295
10/11/18 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD


This must surely be the shortest cut to "crash and burn" out of sheer boredom that I have ever heard.


Says it all for me smile
Add to that all the other good advice and there you have it.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771302
10/11/18 04:16 AM
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If you are developing a method for others, experimenting on yourself. . . . good luck. I doubt if 0.1% of the population who wish to take up the piano would be the slightest bit interested. By all means experiment on yourself though. I'm not so sure inflicting it on others is a humane thing to do though. Read my earlier reply. I tried your method. It's junk. As a method it's absolute garbage. There's a very good reason why teachers and method books use the approach that they do, otherwise it suggests that all of them, each and every one, has been an idiot. Then again if you are so determined to prove it works then I guess it will. Just don't expect anyone else to go along with it.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Michael P Walsh] #2771317
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Originally Posted by Michael P Walsh
I doubt if 0.1% of the population who wish to take up the piano would be the slightest bit interested. I'm not so sure inflicting it on others is a humane thing to do though. I tried your method. It's junk. As a method it's absolute garbage.


I wish you'd stop prevaricating there Michael and tell us what you really think!


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771322
10/11/18 05:59 AM
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Lol! It had to be said but then again I do have actual experience of the approach. It's a practical yet highly technical approach to learning the keyboard, the key signatures, arpeggios - the building blocks of music. It misses out music. Unfortunately that last point is all important. The vast majority of people would just give up after a week. 99.9% after a month. You are left with no scales, no arpeggios, no music. They've all given up to go watch X-factor. I'm not saying it can't work. I'm saying it won't work for 99.9% of people. To pretend otherwise is just delusional.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771330
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What everyone says looks so eminently sensible in the face of the original post that I was wondering if I'm alone in thinking that the OP might be pulling our collective chain ? i.e (for those with English as a second language) whether the OP is joking??? smile


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771335
10/11/18 06:55 AM
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Maybe we should all assume the OP is honest and stop responding to this thread..,!unless someone wants to add to the exercise plan. IF the OP decides to add to/change the original plan, he should feel welcome to come back with questions


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Lillith] #2771350
10/11/18 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Lillith
What everyone says looks so eminently sensible in the face of the original post that I was wondering if I'm alone in thinking that the OP might be pulling our collective chain ? i.e (for those with English as a second language) whether the OP is joking??? smile


This is exactly what I was thinking when I first read the post. I can't believe a word of it smile


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771371
10/11/18 08:49 AM
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You had me at "hey, everyone".

Originally Posted by Finn1996
haha no I am not scared off, I'm actually loving all the responses, positive or negative, conversation is good! (shout out to dmd and Moo for being extra positive!). I'm realizing now that perhaps I should've better explained my approach and given a little more background on my goals and what I hope to achieve, so I will do that, since everyone seems to think my system looks terrible lol


First, I would like to say that I wasn't thinking this originally, but now after reading responses, although I do agree with basically everything posted, I'm also aware that there has to be a ton of bias from each poster (not necessarily a bad thing). I'm going with the assumption that everyone learns their own way, and since they learned that way, they will naturally think that that's the "best" or "only" way to do it. I kind of carry the same logic, as I want to develop my own method to teach others, after I prove that it works on myself. I also think there might be a lot of people here who were classically trained and they definitely might think that's the only way more than anyone. My goals in music are different from "the classical way", so if there are people who disagree with going against that way, I don't really know what to tell you lol.

Next, to anyone saying I need a teacher, I really don't think I do. I think I'm capable of learning on my own. I was thinking of seeing a teacher at some point down the road just to check to make sure I'm doing things right physically (posture, fingering, hand positioning, etc.). Other than the physical aspect of playing, I don't think I need a teacher. Why would I pay money for a teacher when I can use plenty of resources from online (Youtube, online PDF's, etc.) to compile my own "syllabus" that works for me personally? I've had vocal coaches and I find that teachers like to push their own view of things onto students, which is something I'm trying to avoid as a student. I think learning music and learning piano can be such a personal experience without a teacher. I'm not at all saying that having a teacher is bad, I think a lot of people could/will benefit from a teacher for sure, I just really don't have any interest in paying money and searching for the right teacher (just in case I find some and don't like them or what they teach or their teaching style), seems like a lot of time and money wasted on something I can just figure out myself and figure out a way that works best for me personally. I think if I need a teacher for a particular concept, I'm sure Youtube can give me all the help I need.

To those saying I need to play songs and gear my learning towards songs/pieces instead of learning music theory, I personally disagree.. strongly lol. I actually tried this first, and it didn't work for very long (but maybe I was trying things that were too hard lol). I'm a huge fan of C418's Minecraft Soundtrack, and I would love to be able to play every song from it. So, since everyone suggests learning by playing songs, thats what I tried to do. It was working, but overall, it was more frustrating than anything. Sure, now I can play a song or two from the Minecraft soundtrack, but I really wasn't LEARNING anything. I was just following along with the notes on a Youtube video. I was learning the song, but was I aware of the notes I was hitting? Not really. Was I paying attention to the chords I was playing? No. Was I paying attention to the RELATIONSHIPS between all the notes and all the chords? Literally not at all. I was literally just following someone elses playing, that's all. Learning songs is cool if that's all you want to do with music/piano. Learning songs is probably the last thing I'm trying to focus on, I'm trying to learn music theory by playing the piano (we'll get to this).

A lot of you are also saying that my practice routine looks like the most boring thing in existence and I will quit because of it. I don't really think so, but you all are entitled to your own opinions of course! Allow me to explain though. I thought learning songs was a boring and messy approach. My two reasons for this are: 1) You have to start off easy and slowly play harder and harder songs. Easy songs are boring. I don't want to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I would rather just play scales. 2) Learning by playing songs doesn't always mean you will play songs you like, ESPECIALLY if you have a teacher! If I'm gonna learn by playing songs, I would want to play songs I know and love. I don't really want to play easy beginner nursery rhyme songs. I don't want to play Mozart's symphonies down the road. As far as songs go, I want to have the music theory knowledge to hear a song, then figure it out on my own. When you don't know music theory, and you're just learning it along the way, you learn things out of order just as they happen, that's way too disorganized for my taste. And when you're just learning songs, you have to go online and figure out the key, then you have to learn all the chords, etc. But if you already know music theory, you can figure the key out by the notes you hear, and you can assume the possible chords by the key, etc. Would you not agree that learning music theory first would make learning songs a whole lot easier and faster? Because that's the way I see it. I like to learn the rules of the game before I play.


So, this brings me to my background and my goals. As I have said in passing, my main goal is to learn music theory by playing the piano (I think most of you have the opposite view? Learn songs and learn music theory along the way of doing that? Yes?). I don't (necessarily) want to learn classical music. I don't want to learn a method book. I want to learn music theory. I want to learn the bones of the whole skeleton so that I can learn to play all kinds of songs and music. My method focuses on learning all aspects of music theory, and FOCUSING HARD on little increments one at a time (i.e. spending an entire week on one scale). I'm currently in college for the Music Industry program (I'm only 22), and one of my teachers says, "Do not practice it until you get it right, practice it until you can never get it wrong". I thought this was amazing, and I'm trying to make it the overall theme for my method, so I also took a step further with a sister quote, "Do not learn it until you know it, learn it until you cannot forget it". I want to spend a week on each scale/concept so that I will never, ever forget each one. But not only am I learning music theory, I'm also playing the piano! So, yes I am "boringly" playing the same scale for a whole week, but learning piano along with the theory allows me to spice it up: play it with my left hand, play it with my right hand, play it with both hands at the same time, play it all the way up the keyboard with both hands, etc. This way I'm learning music theory and how to physically play the piano at the same time. Hopefully now you are seeing how the method is supposed to work. ENGRAVE the music theory in your head, and have some fun with it by playing the same thing in a variety of different ways. You guys are saying that learning this way is boring, but to me its fun! Breaking it down into small, achievable goals is fun to me, it makes me feel like I'm actually learning music, and actually progressing in my learning. Learning songs made me practice at random times, made me give up quicker than I wanted to, etc. Organizing it out like this gives me peace in my order. I've set aside certain time increments for each concept, and that makes me happy. If I'm just playing songs, all I could say is "ah I don't really know much about music, but I can play these 20 songs really well". That's not very useful at all in my opinion. So, using this method, I think in about a year or so from now I will know all major scales, all versions of minor scales, most chords and inversions, all intervals, etc. Do you know how valuable that is? Do I have to stress how valuable that is compared to just knowing 50 songs? I'm sure those who are well trained in music know what I'm talking about. I think my method might be "boring" at first, but it will ultimately make me a music superhuman, which is what I'm really interested in: mastery. Once I achieve mastery of music theory, it will make what I really want to do IMMENSELY easier: creating music. You cannot have an easy time creating music by learning a method book, by learning your favourite songs, by learning everything Mozart wrote, etc. It doesn't work like that.


So, now that I've more fully explained my method that I'm creating, I would like to ask again: Does anyone have any more concepts/details to add to my original list? Every time I search something like "list of all chords", every list is different, some are unorganized, some exclude some chords, etc., so I thought it would be easier to ask piano people lol maybe I was wrong? Idk, I think I've started a good conversation here. If you don't feel like posting in the thread, that's totally cool, you can just PM your opinions or links, PDF's, videos, etc., that have helped you.






Way too long! Seems like you've got id down. Let us know how it works out smile.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771374
10/11/18 08:58 AM
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For the chords; above the triads are all the extensions ... 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th. You are only now missing 6th and major 7. Think in scale of 3rds.

The fastest way to learn a new song is to have someone show you how to play it. The next fastest is to start learning it.

If you just want to learn theory your method is fine. If you want to learn to play, it stinks. Like having all your ducks in a row before you start anything. It's the long road , and more experienced players know this. Theory has very slow pay back to affect ability to play. Your methods logically seem to make sense until you know better. I sense you feel you know better already, which I don't really get. There are proven methods that work better is all.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771390
10/11/18 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Finn1996


I think you're explaining what I'm imagining to be the end goal. I want to create music, and I guess I just believe that knowing music theory will make creating chord progressions and understanding relationships in the sounds much easier. Whenever I try to write a song, I'm always stumped because I don't know what works with chords and melodies, etc., and the process is frustrating and takes way longer than it could. That's one of my main inspirations to learn music theory, I want to understand all these things, it allows me to see the choices and what works and what doesn't.

Learning with one sense isn't as effective as learning with multiple. I believe your advice to becoming really familiar with the sounds of things is extremely crucial, but it's a lot easier to find and understand those sounds when I've read about them and can put a name to them as well as hear them. That's the overall point I'm trying to make. I'm trying to memorize the boring, redundant stuff systematically to graduate to more advanced playing and understanding, like the stuff you're mentioning.


The study of theories is endless as musical creativity. There is no beginning not is their an end.

I can study color theory in painting endlessly, but it does not develop the brush moments necessary to create an image that I visualize in my mind, nor does it develop my ability to see an image in my mind that I wish to translate into those brush strokes. A bit of color theory is helpful, but bear in mind, artists ignore theory all the time because theory is incomplete, contradictory, and not nature.

You can study Ted William's baseball swing and all the theory that he used to create it, but at the end it was worthless to Mickey Mantle because it wasn't him. If you want to create music, you need to develop your creative, expressive skills which are no where to be found in the study of theory. So you need to ask yourself, do you want to study music as done would study history, or do you want to create music. The two are entirely different in skill sets.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771506
10/11/18 02:20 PM
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This place is ridiculous, I 100% regret posting here lol every answer is just "you need to get a teacher or good luck" or "there are tons of proven methods out there that work", yet not a single person can share a link or point me in any direction. Don't just tell me that there are methods already out there, show me where I can find them, otherwise your comment is useless. Jesus Christ. I guess I'll go look for this [censored] myself then.

Thanks for the help.

Last edited by Finn1996; 10/11/18 02:21 PM.
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771514
10/11/18 02:57 PM
10/11/18 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Finn1996
This place is ridiculous, I 100% regret posting here lol every answer is just "you need to get a teacher or good luck" or "there are tons of proven methods out there that work", yet not a single person can share a link or point me in any direction. Don't just tell me that there are methods already out there, show me where I can find them, otherwise your comment is useless. Jesus Christ. I guess I'll go look for this [censored] myself then.

Thanks for the help.


Adding profanity to your rant does little to encourage others to want to help or offer their opinions. This is not the place for that kind of language.

Funny that you should be able to voice your opinion, but decry the opinions of others because they don't agree with yours.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: BruceD] #2771522
10/11/18 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD


Adding profanity to your rant does little to encourage others to want to help or offer their opinions. This is not the place for that kind of language.


None of you are helping me anyway!!!!!! Y'all love to critique and share your own biased opinions but can't offer me any resources or practice regimens or anything. What kind of reaction do you think you're gonna get when all you're doing is bashing all my ideas without offering any helpful ideas in return???


Originally Posted by BruceD

Funny that you should be able to voice your opinion, but decry the opinions of others because they don't agree with yours.


So when I do it its wrong but when you guys do the exact same thing to me its ok? Word, sounds good.


Since no one is willing to help me with my ideas, then let me rephrase the question. What should I do to learn piano and music theory? How should I practice (keeping in mind I can't even read notation)? Can you offer any resources or any helpful threads on this forum? If nobody can simply answer these questions, I'm out.

Last edited by Finn1996; 10/11/18 03:13 PM.
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771543
10/11/18 03:46 PM
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Sorry you couldn't find anything helpful in 3 pages of comments. I wish I could direct you but I'm just an adult beginner also. FWIW I bought a theory book called Tonal Harmony - it's used in college classes. Maybe that'll be useful for you. This is a community of adult beginners and not so beginner beginners, and everyone tries to help based on their experiences. They've given me useful tips and I've passed some on to others who have found them helpful. No world experts here and nobody has the ability to predict exactly the answer you're looking for. Certainly the aggressive tone won't win you supporters and won't make anyone more likely to want to help though.


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Chopin Nocturne 72.1
Piazzolla Invierno Porteno
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771556
10/11/18 04:09 PM
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Hi Finn, check this out: https://www.piano-keyboard-guide.com/keyboard-chords.html

What I find odd is that you are asking for specifics that are easily findable for someone with a college education, like the list of chords above. There are about 135 or so, I believe. So now you have all the chords you will ever need.

I agree that the posters here are having a knee jerk reaction, but I also wonder why you are asking, you seem to have a great plan for your method, you have already outlined at least a year's work, why not just get down to it and see what happens. You really don't need any more info at this point of your musical self education.

People here are pretty nice. They want to spare you, but you are not asking to be spared, but again, if you have come this far, if all the info is readily available by googling, if you have enough confidence to begin a " new" method in depth, if you don't wish to waste money on a teacher, if a teacher is not necessary in your case, okay! But consider this, you are asking for information that most students have acquired by spending hard earned money on teachers and education. If you abjure what teachers have to offer why are you glomming info that people have gone to teachers to acquire?

I could give you a lot of ideas.... How bout this: 135, 1235 1356. 17 137 1357 13567 12357 159 1359 13569 251 2561 351 3561 369, etc. Get it? Well, I had to pay money to learn that from a great teacher. Of course her teaching about how to utilize that on maybe a dozen levels has helped me create my own music for almost fifty years. Is it fair that I give you that for nothing even if you could understand it on all those levels? I certainly believe in your right to do whatever you want to do musically, but please do not negate teachers for yourself and look to get their wisdom free of charge. Hypocritical and unfair.

In addition, you are a psychology major. Certainly you can see that you are engaged in a kind of masterbation here with your long explanations of who you are and your way of doing things. Just do it, bro. Seriously, you do not require human help as far as I understand you, best of luck, seriously.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771564
10/11/18 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Finn1996

Since no one is willing to help me with my ideas, then let me rephrase the question. What should I do to learn piano and music theory? How should I practice (keeping in mind I can't even read notation)?

This is what you need to get:

https://www.amazon.com/John-Thompsons-Easiest-Piano-Course/dp/0877180121

BTW, I'm totally serious. Look inside its pages.

I started with it, as did my friend who started learning piano at 60. He's now playing late-intermediate-advanced music.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771574
10/11/18 04:50 PM
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Finn, perhaps I was a bit harsh. You seem to be asking now for help from a beginner's perspective. If that's the case just reread the thread and find a teacher. Don't overthink it, you'll be fine.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771578
10/11/18 05:00 PM
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Yes we got into piano world ww3 again as expected.

We had all this before mr finn so dont take it personal, the same people say the same things in every post and normally new people get scared and never come back.

Good on for fighting, I support you in the war. It should be ok in beginner forum to have people being treated a bit nicer often it is hard to know what to do when starting something.

You did have a good question which is what method book would help.

I think people have used Alfred all in one piano course here and there is a long thread of many adult beginners. It looks like a good introduction book for adults so check that out.

I think from my own piano learning that scales are something relatively later and were not introduced until a few months of learning. I think if you followed the course you can learn the basics first.

There are theory books that you can learn in graded exam. I am not sure how easy this is to learn from a book so perhaps you need to find a more interactive version.

Good luck !

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771581
10/11/18 05:10 PM
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Sorry, I don't understand, Moo. Why is this piano ww3? I am new here, too.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771596
10/11/18 05:48 PM
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Piano Wars WW3...by le moo smile

- Normal starts with an innocent query from a new poster or an older poster that involves a) not learning with a teacher or b) following a 'non-piano world approved' method (e.g. not following a method book etc.).

- This is the trigger and starts a post series of by many posters stating helpful posts such as. GET A TEACHER.. and GET A TEACHER... and GET A TEACHER.

- There is a lot of i got a teacher, i am amazoid, this is only way to learn.

- This is followed by a backlash from people who dont get a teacher. Who say you can learn otherwise.

- THis is then followed by but you cant get amazoid without a teacher.

- Later it goes into low level violence and scapegoating followed by the setting up of local miliitias on each front.

- Eventually it leads to border wars with civilians and then full out warfare with tanks / submarines and later nuclear weapons.

- Then there is a break for a week.

- People regroup in the ceasefire and they wait for another poor victim here that posts another trigger post and we have another piano world war.

- Scary place X

Last edited by Moo :); 10/11/18 05:52 PM.
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771604
10/11/18 06:07 PM
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That's really good, Moo. I didn't realize having a good teacher was so controversial! Our poster is 22. When I was in my early twenties I tried to learn to improvise on my own. I had been playing since age 9 with about five years of home lessons. I know some can do it naturally, but I think they operate from a "joy of playing" place., not from a technical regimen. Well, I tried for several years and I just couldn't do it till I found a great teacher with a technique that resonated with my zennish mind. My teacher added her energy to mine. I always played my best at lessons the first few years. It was a perfect environment to risk everything. Going it on your own is pretty lonely, especially when you don't have the first clue as to what it is all about. Thinking you know how to accomplish something when you don't is an affliction of youth, don't you think? And when one goes down in flames at an early age and no one is around to help you crawl out of the wreck it is pretty tough, IMHO. Few rise into the skies again without a mentor.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771631
10/11/18 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Finn1996
This place is ridiculous, I 100% regret posting here lol every answer is just "you need to get a teacher or good luck" or "there are tons of proven methods out there that work", yet not a single person can share a link or point me in any direction. Don't just tell me that there are methods already out there, show me where I can find them, otherwise your comment is useless. Jesus Christ. I guess I'll go look for this [censored] myself then.

Thanks for the help.


You can try posting the same question on Reddit or the Piano Technique Discussion group on Facebook if you are looking for different opinions.

https://www.reddit.com/r/piano/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/243421769180517/


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771633
10/11/18 07:28 PM
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Most method books have some associated theory books which teach some theory as one studies associated pieces. Of those that are designed like this, I think the Faber-All- In-One is ac reasonable choice.

Oh the videos I've looked at on YouTube, I find the Leonard Bernstein lectures most informative and entertaining:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyPLVV5ZP3toAOnj7OcVXN8voaQKFAzUY

Also, there are free music theory courses available for many genres on the Coursera website. I started the one on Blues, but temporarily put it aside, because theory without actual experience, was rather empty and meaningless for me. The words had no meaning without the actual musical experience. As you probably have figured out by now, I mostly study how to create the nuanced language of sounds/music.

You don't need a teacher for any of this. What is necessary is patience and experience.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771636
10/11/18 07:43 PM
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Moo, you have a very weird autocorrect or you’re using new words that I’m not hip to. What is amazoid?


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771662
10/11/18 10:21 PM
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I think I would ask myself what was the most effective (not efficient, though it might be that too) way I ever learned something, and then apply that to the task at hand.

At the risk of sounding like the old fogy I am, the longer you live, the more experience you can bring to bear on that question, and the more independent learning that experience might contain.

Early on (and this is not praise of the school system) a lot of learning is controlled by the adult in the room. There's nothing wrong with the structure and drill involved - but it is rare (not unheard of, but rare) that that approach works well in the absence of a near term goal to apply it to. It certainly didn't for me, but it may for you. YMMV.

Peace.

Last edited by Medved1; 10/11/18 10:21 PM.

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Re: What To Learn? [Re: IosPlayer] #2771669
10/11/18 10:56 PM
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Thank you guys for turning the discussion around and posting links and resources, I really do appreciate it!


Originally Posted by IosPlayer
Hi Finn, check this out: https://www.piano-keyboard-guide.com/keyboard-chords.html

What I find odd is that you are asking for specifics that are easily findable for someone with a college education, like the list of chords above. There are about 135 or so, I believe. So now you have all the chords you will ever need.

I agree that the posters here are having a knee jerk reaction, but I also wonder why you are asking, you seem to have a great plan for your method, you have already outlined at least a year's work, why not just get down to it and see what happens. You really don't need any more info at this point of your musical self education.

People here are pretty nice. They want to spare you, but you are not asking to be spared, but again, if you have come this far, if all the info is readily available by googling, if you have enough confidence to begin a " new" method in depth, if you don't wish to waste money on a teacher, if a teacher is not necessary in your case, okay! But consider this, you are asking for information that most students have acquired by spending hard earned money on teachers and education. If you abjure what teachers have to offer why are you glomming info that people have gone to teachers to acquire?



Ya see that's part of the reason I came here asking, because every page I searched for chords all had different lists and different numbers, I was getting confused so I thought it might be easier to just ask some people. And I asked because I wanted to fill in the blanks to my method, because I know there are blanks. As far as scales and stuff go, I have a pretty good idea of that whole terrain, but further into advanced chords, modes, etc., is where my knowledge starts to fall off, so again, I thought I'd ask because I thought people here might know more advanced stuff.

As for the teacher thing .. ya, I mean, fair enough I guess. I see your points and I can agree with that. But its not like I'm (directly) stealing from you or your teachers, I'm just asking questions, I'm not getting the teaching experiences you guys had. I ask the questions, you give up the information you want to give and feel is necessary, I'm not asking you guys for lessons. Its kinda like how you can teach yourself a ton of college/university content by yourself, you can either pay the money and have it presented to you in an orderly fashion at a school and get a certificate after, or you can spend a bunch of time searching the messy Internet trying to figure it out yourself, the result is the same, the former is easier but costs, the ladder is harder but doesn't cost.

I am thinking about getting a teacher though. I did a search just for fun, and a studio in my city near my college offers piano lessons, so I think I might take it up (although probably more than 50% of my motivation is to hopefully get my foot in the door for a job opportunity at the studio once I graduate lol but still). I think it might be helpful to talk to an actual teacher about my method and their method and they can compare and educate me on stuff I don't know and move forward from there, rather than asking a bunch of strangers on a forum who I thought would be qualified.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771670
10/11/18 11:02 PM
10/11/18 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Piano Wars WW3...by le moo smile

- Normal starts with an innocent query from a new poster or an older poster that involves a) not learning with a teacher or b) following a 'non-piano world approved' method (e.g. not following a method book etc.).

- This is the trigger and starts a post series of by many posters stating helpful posts such as. GET A TEACHER.. and GET A TEACHER... and GET A TEACHER.

- There is a lot of i got a teacher, i am amazoid, this is only way to learn.

- This is followed by a backlash from people who dont get a teacher. Who say you can learn otherwise.

- THis is then followed by but you cant get amazoid without a teacher.

- Later it goes into low level violence and scapegoating followed by the setting up of local miliitias on each front.

- Eventually it leads to border wars with civilians and then full out warfare with tanks / submarines and later nuclear weapons.

- Then there is a break for a week.

- People regroup in the ceasefire and they wait for another poor victim here that posts another trigger post and we have another piano world war.

- Scary place X



lol jeez, if this place is actually like that on a regular basis, I don't think I'll hang around here much lol



Originally Posted by Moo :)
Yes we got into piano world ww3 again as expected.

We had all this before mr finn so dont take it personal, the same people say the same things in every post and normally new people get scared and never come back.

Good on for fighting, I support you in the war. It should be ok in beginner forum to have people being treated a bit nicer often it is hard to know what to do when starting something.



But like .. I never wanted to fight lol I'm still quite baffled as to why there even was a fight, I didn't expect the reactions I got at all.



Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist


You can try posting the same question on Reddit or the Piano Technique Discussion group on Facebook if you are looking for different opinions.

https://www.reddit.com/r/piano/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/243421769180517/




Nah, I really don't feel like getting beefed with again on other forums lol

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2771673
10/11/18 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by IosPlayer


Ya I saw that! That was actually one of the pages that confused me though. I scrolled through it and thought "wait, what about power chords? what about major/minor ninths?" etc. I concluded that there were missing chords and I marked it as an incomplete list.


Originally Posted by bennevis


Thank you for the suggestion! But from the page previews it seems I already know most of that stuff. I'm not a complete newbie, I know some things haha.


Originally Posted by Richrf

Oh the videos I've looked at on YouTube, I find the Leonard Bernstein lectures most informative and entertaining:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyPLVV5ZP3toAOnj7OcVXN8voaQKFAzUY


Thanks for the link! I may watch some of these, but judging by the titles it seems kind of irrelevant to what I'm looking for, or maybe the titles are describing what the actual content will be.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771675
10/11/18 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Medved1
I think I would ask myself what was the most effective (not efficient, though it might be that too) way I ever learned something, and then apply that to the task at hand.


That's pretty much how I derived my method. My thoughts were simple:


1) Have an overall big goal, and complete many small goals to get there.

2) Find every concept, break them down into their smallest parts, and learn them one at a time.


Again, sounded pretty effective/efficient to me, idk. I have a strong passion for music so I'm not very concerned with boredom, it never really crosses my mind when I'm practicing or thinking about my method or anything. Although my ideas may sound boring and non-expressive/creative, to me it kinda seems like the most logical way to learn things. Maybe I'm wrong, I don't really know what to think anymore tbh lol

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771680
10/12/18 12:04 AM
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My most sincere advice, for the following reasons, is to get a good teacher.
A good teacher can:
- assess your needs and tailor the teaching to those needs
- assess your goals and guide you - efficiently - towards them
- choose a method that will work best for you, whether it is that teacher's own method or one produced by someone else. (Your alternative is, independently, to cherry-pick here and there but possibly without finding what you really need)
- assess your technique and correct it when it's wrong before you learn bad technique or even practice technique in such a way that will cause injury.
- move you at a pace appropriate to your progress with technique and repertoire that will continue your advancement.

Answer me this: Why is it that good students, the best students, work with a teacher? Why is it that even the most advanced conservatory students study with the best teachers they can find? That is why many of them attend conservatories.

In case you have forgotten what you wrote earlier:

Next, to anyone saying I need a teacher, I really don't think I do. I think I'm capable of learning on my own. I was thinking of seeing a teacher at some point down the road just to check to make sure I'm doing things right physically (posture, fingering, hand positioning, etc.). Other than the physical aspect of playing, I don't think I need a teacher.


Do you really believe that teachers are not needed, that they are superfluous to the learning process, and that you can do better on your own?

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: What To Learn? [Re: BruceD] #2771686
10/12/18 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD

Answer me this: Why is it that good students, the best students, work with a teacher? Why is it that even the most advanced conservatory students study with the best teachers they can find? That is why many of them attend conservatories.


I think this is not a good argument. The best students, in classical, are going to need to launch into a career. It is not fair, but in classical music, that likely depends a lot on being in the club and that means a pedigree unless you can break the rules in the right way.

I say this as a person who has learned a huge amount about music from my teach.He knew performance conventions that I only internalized after a long time with him.

I think finding the right teacher is a godsend. And not necessarily a miracle, but just kind of a day to day listening and applying that sort of adds up. Conversely, a wrong teacher can be pretty disastrous.

Do you perforce need a teacher? I don't think so, but it comes down to your personality.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: BruceD] #2771694
10/12/18 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD

Answer me this: Why is it that good students, the best students, work with a teacher?
Regards,


Why is it that bad students work with a teacher?
Really, the argument 'everybody else does it so it must be right' won't wash at all. I don't even need to elaborate on that.

I think the OP's method sounds excellent and I am going to ditch Alfred in favour of it.
If he published it, I can guarantee that there would be many people adopt it.

I hope to see you all at Carnegie Hall in a couple of years.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Whizbang] #2771695
10/12/18 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD

Do you really believe that teachers are not needed, that they are superfluous to the learning process, and that you can do better on your own?



I didn't say they are not needed, I was saying that I don't feel I need one. I think I could, at the very least, do good enough on my own. I'm learning piano/music theory mainly to help me with creating music and producing, but also as a musical hobby and a trade. I'm not trying to play in concert halls and all that.

But my main reason against finding a teacher is this:

Originally Posted by Whizbang

I think finding the right teacher is a godsend. And not necessarily a miracle, but just kind of a day to day listening and applying that sort of adds up. Conversely, a wrong teacher can be pretty disastrous.



This is pretty much exactly how I feel about finding a teacher. I agree that all the things you listed would be great to have in a teacher, but how likely is it that I'm going to find one who does all of that on my first try? If it all? And all at a reasonable rate? Do you see where I'm going with this. With all that in mind, I think it would be wise for me, at least financially, to see how much I can learn on my own first. Having a great teacher would be great, of course, but the hassle of finding the "right" one, paying the money, taking up extra space in my schedule, etc. just doesn't seem worth it to me right off the bat, especially if I believe in my self-sufficiency and capability of learning.

So, again, just to be clear, I'm not knocking teachers, I just don't feel a teacher is a priority for me right now.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Lillith] #2771696
10/12/18 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Lillith
Originally Posted by BruceD

Answer me this: Why is it that good students, the best students, work with a teacher?
Regards,


Why is it that bad students work with a teacher?
Really, the argument 'everybody else does it so it must be right' won't wash at all. I don't even need to elaborate on that.

I think the OP's method sounds excellent and I am going to ditch Alfred in favour of it.
If he published it, I can guarantee that there would be many people adopt it.

I hope to see you all at Carnegie Hall in a couple of years.



lol I honestly can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not ... but if you're not, thank you very much lol

and I do agree with your first point, it almost seems like there is a stigma towards not getting a teacher, like if you don't get a teacher you'll be frowned upon and naturally discouraged to do otherwise.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771707
10/12/18 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Finn1996




and I do agree with your first point, it almost seems like there is a stigma towards not getting a teacher, like if you don't get a teacher you'll be frowned upon and naturally discouraged to do otherwise.


It's part of the human thing I think - everybody assumes that somebody else knows how to do things better than they do!

Look at the raft of 'life coaches' where idiots pay some other idiot to tell them how to live their lives.
And the life-coach's only qualification is that they have the nerve to ask money for telling people truisms.

Management consultants the same - don't get me started on them, but it's exactly the same.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771714
10/12/18 03:57 AM
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Nobody needs a teacher or instructor to do anything (not even to go to Carnegie Hall: you just walk in).

Not even to do a dangerous activity, like sky-diving. After all, it's only your life (as a sage would say).

As for piano playing, the worse that would happen is you hit a brick wall (or injure yourself) because of faulty technique which you didn't know you developed, and decided you're just not cut out to tickle the ivories, so you go tickle something (or someone) else instead. The piano becomes a piece of furniture, but hey, there are worse things to have as furniture.

I know a family whose brand new grand (which I helped them select grin) became an expensive piece of furniture within a year because, against my advice, they wouldn't get a teacher for their daughter and themselves, and decided they were going to teach themselves from YT videos etc. But it still looks good, and they still polish it everyday (or rather, their manservant does - yes, they are that rich).

As for me, I never had a teacher to teach me guitar, so that guitar has lain almost untouched in its case for decades. (It doesn't look good as furniture). Anyway, I don't see myself playing the Concierto de Aranjuez anytime soon, and I can still strum a few chords to accompany friends singing pop and folk songs around the campfire.

Everyone should have fun, in any way they choose.......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771731
10/12/18 06:05 AM
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Hi Finn, I think what most of us have been missing is that as a young student you are pretty pressed for cash. Very understandable! So you are looking for a way to help yourself. Very commendable! Also, you see this as furthering your knowledge for a career n the music industry. Very logical! The arguments about whether or not to have a teacher are pretty superfluous here. If you had the dough you could search for the right one till you found him or her, but you don't. Maybe you can find a fellow piano seeker who has some knowledge and explore the possibilities together. Bounce ideas back and forth, etc. it would make it more fun and you might find the perfect associate for such an endeavor.

A good teacher is awesome, a bad teacher is devasting. A more true truism no life coach could utter. I hated my education, a system designed to fit me into the workforce by preparing me for criticism and constant focus on my weaknesses rather than affirming my strengths and focusing my studies on them. So take what you can get here, Finn, and go forward. Leave the polemics to those who are invested in being right one way or the other.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Lillith] #2771769
10/12/18 08:16 AM
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If you want to become wealthy you can take advice from a junk yard mechanic or someone who is already wealthy. It' seems obvious but often we still get it wrong. The correct advise is often too tough to chew. Learning on your own is fine. Lots of us are doing it. It's loading up on theory and scales and thinking you know better that's not fine.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: John305] #2771819
10/12/18 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by John305
Moo, you have a very weird autocorrect or you’re using new words that I’m not hip to. What is amazoid?


Amazoid is a hybrid of amazing and asteroid and means you are an elephant 🐘.

X

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771822
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Have a teacher, don’t have a teacher. Blah blah blah. Choose you side. Let’s prepare for a piano world war. Boom 💥.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771832
10/12/18 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Have a teacher, don’t have a teacher. Blah blah blah. Choose you side. Let’s prepare for a piano world war. Boom 💥.


I'm Switzerland - I have a teacher but do a lot of self-learning as well. We all agree that this forum is a tremendous resource, that's why we're here. We are all self motivated. I don't think that's what is at issue here.

I think the reactions many of us have regarding this thread is the OP's strategy of learning mostly theory and little music, thinking that will translate to becoming a good musician. While theory is good, and I'm big proponent and trying to learn it myself, many of us believe that all theory and no music is not the most ideal path. Also in the very first post, the sheer volume of C major scales and arpeggios, and repetitive mindless work, seems overwhelming and nonproductive. It would be like studying the mechanics of jumping, throwing, and running, all the way from an anatomic standpoint down to the mitochondrial level, and thinking that once learned, one could be a professional or even proficient basketball player.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Moo :)] #2771846
10/12/18 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Piano Wars WW3...by le moo smile

- Normal starts with an innocent query from a new poster or an older poster that involves a) not learning with a teacher or b) following a 'non-piano world approved' method (e.g. not following a method book etc.).

- This is the trigger and starts a post series of by many posters stating helpful posts such as. GET A TEACHER.. and GET A TEACHER... and GET A TEACHER.

- There is a lot of i got a teacher, i am amazoid, this is only way to learn.

- This is followed by a backlash from people who dont get a teacher. Who say you can learn otherwise.

- THis is then followed by but you cant get amazoid without a teacher.

- Later it goes into low level violence and scapegoating followed by the setting up of local miliitias on each front.

- Eventually it leads to border wars with civilians and then full out warfare with tanks / submarines and later nuclear weapons.

- Then there is a break for a week.

- People regroup in the ceasefire and they wait for another poor victim here that posts another trigger post and we have another piano world war.

- Scary place X


I actually feel this is quite different from the usual debates on piano world. The OP is either the most arrogant kid in the world or a troll.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: sara elizabeth] #2771856
10/12/18 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by sara elizabeth
I actually feel this is quite different from the usual debates on piano world. The OP is either the most arrogant kid in the world or a troll.

Yes, I think he is a troll. This kind of ignorance seems to be very showy.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771862
10/12/18 01:46 PM
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Actually the multi-quoting did remind me of someone else a half a year or so back (the guy with 12 Steinways that argued against reading sheet music in the Pianist Corner).


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771865
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I don't think a troll, more just a 22 year old who believes his own spiel. More interesting is the ongoing debate about a teacher or not. I have taught quite a bit and find piano teachers quite perturbing generally, including my first, who told my mom not to waste her money on lessons for me. That was sixty years ago and I have never stopped playing. And much of that musical journey was enjoyed with a great teacher!

It has been my experience that a lot of musicians regard their opinions like money in the bank. The stronger the opinion the more secure the investment. Even when the opinions are patently absurd. I have spent a lot of time with jazz players, for example. It is not uncommon to hear criticisms regularly of geniuses like Coltrane and Monk, supported by lengthy reasonings as to why this is so. As if any of these guys could even approach the shadows of such greats.

If you are angered by authority teachers might be a target. If you are ruled by logic teachers might seem a necessity. Music is soooo big. Every story is true.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: IosPlayer] #2771871
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Originally Posted by IosPlayer
I don't think a troll, more just a 22 year old who believes his own spiel. More interesting is the ongoing debate about a teacher or not.

I don't think there's really much debate.

The bottom line is, if classical - and playing the advanced classical oeuvre - is your goal, a good teacher (more likely, teachers) is mandatory. At the very least, for the first few years.

For all other genres, it's optional. Quite a few poppers and jazzers pride themselves on the fact that they are self-taught. I have a jazzer friend who earns good money playing gigs with his friends, and he, like them, is self-taught and cannot read music. They play entirely by ear. He makes far more money from his music-making than I do, in fact, even though I've had ten years of non-stop lessons. (I earn precisely zilch from my performances).

If you hear someone playing advanced classical music - say, a Beethoven sonata - very well, who claims he was entirely self-taught, take that with a barrelful of salt. It strikes me as odd that some classical pianists (including someone in Pianist Corner who takes part in amateur competitions, and a finalist in the last Tchaikovsky Competition) proclaim they are "self-taught" just because they "only" had lessons for a few years when they were younger, and didn't have lessons again until older. Here in ABF too, there are one or two who have been claiming 'self-taught' status before letting slip that they had eight years of lessons as kids, but (obviously) hated their lessons and learnt 'nothing', so as far as they are concerned, they are self-taught. (No names mentioned).

Really??


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: What To Learn? [Re: bennevis] #2771880
10/12/18 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by IosPlayer
I don't think a troll, more just a 22 year old who believes his own spiel. More interesting is the ongoing debate about a teacher or not.

I don't think there's really much debate.

The bottom line is, if classical - and playing the advanced classical oeuvre - is your goal, a good teacher (more likely, teachers) is mandatory. At the very least, for the first few years.
I agree but would go even one step further and say that even for a lower than advanced level of classical(say Mozart K. 545, Beethoven Op. 49, Chopin Waltz in A minor from Op. 34), a good teacher is necessary to be able to play that level music at a good musical and technical level.

It's possible a few people could reach that level without a teacher but it would certainly take much longer that way. And it would be very likely that they still had at least some musical and technical shortcomings that were evident even in those less than very advanced pieces.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/12/18 03:07 PM.
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771886
10/12/18 03:15 PM
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I am perhaps a little late on this thread and my head is kind of spinning reading it all through. So forgive me if I am missing something, namely what instrument he is going to play on - and maybe access to it. Also, if a beginner to be able to practice for that lengths of time indicated will be difficult and possibly injurious. The advice is little and often with breaks in between.

This link may or may not be helpful. But with a degree in pyschology he should be able to understand everyone's motives.

60 tips


Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
Re: What To Learn? [Re: bennevis] #2771906
10/12/18 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis

I don't think there's really much debate.

The bottom line is, if classical - and playing the advanced classical oeuvre - is your goal, a good teacher (more likely, teachers) is mandatory. At the very least, for the first few years.

For all other genres, it's optional. Quite a few poppers and jazzers pride themselves on the fact that they are self-taught. I have a jazzer friend who earns itgood money playing gigs with his friends, and he, like them, is self-taught and cannot read music. They play entirely by ear. He makes far more money from his music-making than I do, in fact, even though I've had ten years of non-stop lessons. (I earn precisely zilch from my performances).

If you hear someone playing advanced classical music - say, a Beethoven sonata - very well, who claims he was entirely self-taught, take that with a barrelful of salt. It strikes me as odd that some classical pianists (including someone in Pianist Corner who takes part in amateur competitions, and a finalist in the last Tchaikovsky Competition) proclaim they are "self-taught" just because they "only" had lessons for a few years when they were younger, and didn't have lessons again until older. Here in ABF too, there are one or two who have been claiming 'self-taught' status before letting slip that they had eight years of lessons as kids, but (obviously) hated their lessons and learnt 'nothing', so as far as they are concerned, they are self-taught. (No names mentioned).

Really??


Thanks for the marketing pitch. This is how a creative art is turned into a business with all of the maladies associated with money pollution.

It's not a debate, it's a sales pitch. And if you need to believe this in order to justify the 10s of thousands of dollars you've paid for lessons, well I empathize. As for me, I am quite content with learning what I learn, in my own, way, and without any judges telling me I need to spend more money on lessons.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771907
10/12/18 03:54 PM
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Nice link, Colin, will read it thoroughly when time permits.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771913
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Yep, good tips. Don't forget that the right pedal is the accelerator and the centre pedal is the brake. Every pianist needs to know that.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771933
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An observation on teachers versus teaching oneself. I played piano for three years as a kid. I'm a pretty good fiddler and play in a contradance band. I'm also decent with guitar and mandolin. When I started teaching myself piano a couple of years ago, I thought I didn't need to waste money on a teacher, and I took myself through the first two Alfred books and was (I thought) doing pretty well--playing some simpler Bach pieces and so on. About four months ago, I decided to try lessons with the same teacher who's working with my grandson. I can't tell you the difference this has made for me. I believe I have made more progress in those four months than in the two years previous. The biggest help for me is with just basic piano technique. It's a whole different beast than violin or guitar. My teacher keeps telling me that even though I have a lot of musical knowledge, I just have to put in the time to develop on the piano. I also have a regimen that includes daily scales, arpeggios, chords, and Hanon, but I just sound better and pay more attention to the music. My wife studied piano at the Peabody in Baltimore, and the other night she said--wow! that actually sounds like music.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771970
10/12/18 07:39 PM
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Hey hartsfield, welcome to the forum even though it’s six years tardy. I see you joined in 2012 and this is your first post, that’s got to be some kind of record. Good first post.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771973
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Originally Posted by Finn1996
Originally Posted by Medved1
I think I would ask myself what was the most effective (not efficient, though it might be that too) way I ever learned something, and then apply that to the task at hand.


That's pretty much how I derived my method. My thoughts were simple:


1) Have an overall big goal, and complete many small goals to get there.

2) Find every concept, break them down into their smallest parts, and learn them one at a time.


Again, sounded pretty effective/efficient to me, idk. I have a strong passion for music so I'm not very concerned with boredom, it never really crosses my mind when I'm practicing or thinking about my method or anything. Although my ideas may sound boring and non-expressive/creative, to me it kinda seems like the most logical way to learn things. Maybe I'm wrong, I don't really know what to think anymore tbh lol



right, I follow the logic.

I would maybe think about the amount of time you're spending on c major scales and arpeggios - there may be something sub-optimal about what you're doing if you feel that you need to spend the amount of time you indicate. . Maybe mix it up a bit and see if what you think you learned on the C major exercises translates well to a different key, or to the various forms of minor. In the same spirit, you might want to check your learning by applying it to a simple piece of music, and see whether there is progress.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2771978
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Hi Bennevis. Are you a jazz player? More than anything else, jazz players go to school on each other. And, if you are not a dedicated jazz fan(atic) you may not hear that 90% of jazz is subpar to those who know what it is all about.

Two examples: I studied with a truly great teacher and player, the late Connie Crothers. An important part of the system she taught ( yes, she had a very defined system, taught to her by Lennie Tristano, an innovator of jazz improvisation.) was singing with jazz greats like Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Louis Armstrong ( early Louie) Billie Holiday ( especially Billie), Charlie Christian, Warne Marsh and others. The purpose being that singing with these legends took you into their world of musical feeling. You can't really do that with Glen Gould, but in jazz the masters are available as intimate teachers. It was arguably the most important part of her teaching.

Second example: I had trouble singing with Bird. His sax playing was just too fast! It was the early seventies, so when I complained I couldn't keep up with Parker's solos she advised me to get a turntable with 16 rpm. Yes, 16 rpm. Well, that cut the speed in half and I could keep up. But the more amazing thing was hearing how Charlie Parker hit every 64th note and faster square on. No blurs, hesitations, missteps. He was present with every note, with his original feeling. Always! Few other jazz musicians withstood that test. All the deficiencies in their whirlwind playing became apparent. Most accept jazz as being jazz, but it isn't. It is as demanding in attention and feeling as the best classical music. Particularly because it is not read off of sheet music but improvised on the spot. I am not saying jazz players do not have a vocabulary, they do, but the freedom the great ones have with it is perpetually flexible, like Shakespeare or Faulkner or Joyce.

So, Bennevis, it is not so simple as saying jazz players do not need teachers. The great ones all learned from mentors and peers. It just wasn't rigidly structured with weekly lessons And payments. It was taught on the bandstand from one generation to the next. Or in rehearsals, or all night jams. It was taught through records and it demanded discipline and study. I would say all the really good jazz players had or have teachers. Even guys like Miles or Bird.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2771981
10/12/18 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Originally Posted by bennevis

I don't think there's really much debate.

The bottom line is, if classical - and playing the advanced classical oeuvre - is your goal, a good teacher (more likely, teachers) is mandatory. At the very least, for the first few years.

Thanks for the marketing pitch. This is how a creative art is turned into a business with all of the maladies associated with money pollution.

It's not a debate, it's a sales pitch. And if you need to believe this in order to justify the 10s of thousands of dollars you've paid for lessons, well I empathize. As for me, I am quite content with learning what I learn, in my own, way, and without any judges telling me I need to spend more money on lessons.
I don't Bennevis' comments or my similar post have anything to do with a sales pitch.

I think the percentage of pianists who play well at an intermediate or advanced level without having taking lessons is miniscule, like 1% or .1%. And I think none of those pianists progressed as fast without a teacher as they would have with a teacher.

There are plenty of pianists, on Youtube for example, who obviously think they play well since they post videos. But many of them have major musical and technical shortcomings they are unaware of. I think the overwhelming majority of completely self taught pianists who think they play well simply don't know what they don't know.

With a single exception that I know of(Godowsky), all the great pianists have studied piano, and most did so for many years at a level of dedication unthinkable by most amateurs. If they needed lessons to reach a high level, why would one think an average person almost always with far less talent could reach a high level without lessons?



Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/12/18 08:55 PM.
Re: What To Learn? [Re: pianoloverus] #2771990
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus


I think the percentage of pianists who play well at an intermediate or advanced level without having taking lessons is miniscule, like 1% or .1%. And I think none of those pianists progressed as fast without a teacher as they would have with a teacher.




Which supports my point. The music industry is judging what is intermediate and advanced and then charging money for anyone who wishes to gain entrance into these totally arbitrary categories of musicians. Whole industries have been developed around competing exam busineses. It's all manufactured to make money.

I enjoy some folk, pop, and classical tunes and ultimately, for me, life is all about enjoying ones own discoveries and creations. I don't care one iota about any certificate bestowed upon me by the music industry, nor do I seek applause from audiences, and in the process I save myself thousands of dollars in lessons. I enjoy the little things in life and I'm not taken in by any Tom Sawyer-ish marketing pitches.

Those who wish to spend money on lessons, will do so. But to make spending tens thousands of dollars in lessons somehow a requirement for learning to play the piano is just a sales-pitch for the music industry.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2771995
10/12/18 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Originally Posted by bennevis
I don't think there's really much debate. The bottom line is, if classical - and playing the advanced classical oeuvre - is your goal, a good teacher (more likely, teachers) is mandatory. At the very least, for the first few years. For all other genres, it's optional. Quite a few poppers and jazzers pride themselves on the fact that they are self-taught. I have a jazzer friend who earns itgood money playing gigs with his friends, and he, like them, is self-taught and cannot read music. They play entirely by ear. He makes far more money from his music-making than I do, in fact, even though I've had ten years of non-stop lessons. (I earn precisely zilch from my performances).
Thanks for the marketing pitch. This is how a creative art is turned into a business with all of the maladies associated with money pollution. It's not a debate, it's a sales pitch. And if you need to believe this in order to justify the 10s of thousands of dollars you've paid for lessons, well I empathize. As for me, I am quite content with learning what I learn, in my own, way, and without any judges telling me I need to spend more money on lessons.
With all due respect, I don't understand your antagonism and cynicism. Bennevis' comments are spot on - and he does make a distinction between classical music and other genres. Ultimately it depends on your goals as an artist and the particular genre you are working in. Ove the years I've interfaced with artists in all arts disciplines. Broadly speaking, the most successful artists are those who possess a solid technique - usually achieved through some amount of formal instruction in music, dance, theater, visual arts, etc. With a solid technical background, the "creative" aspect of the artist's work can reach even greater heights.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2771998
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Which supports my point. The music industry is judging what is intermediate and advanced and then charging money for anyone who wishes to gain entrance into these totally arbitrary categories of musicians. Whole industries have been developed around competing exam busineses. It's all manufactured to make money.

I enjoy some folk, pop, and classical tunes and ultimately, for me, life is all about enjoying ones own discoveries and creations. I don't care one iota about any certificate bestowed upon me by the music industry, nor do I seek applause from audiences, and in the process I save myself thousands of dollars in lessons. I enjoy the little things in life and I'm not taken in by any Tom Sawyer-ish marketing pitches.

Those who wish to spend money on lessons, will do so. But to make spending tens thousands of dollars in lessons somehow a requirement for learning to play the piano is just a sales-pitch for the music industry.

Funny, I've never considered piano teaching to be an "industry." To me it's a profession. The distinction between intermediate and advanced is pretty obvious based on the type of repertoire played and how well it is played. Nothing arbitrary about it. You are correct, however, in your assessment of the exam business - but those competing exams are optional and certainly no guarantee of success. Certificates and/or academic degrees do have their place, however, particularly if one wishes to teach piano professionally or at the college/university level. Your own personal goals are different, and obviously work for you. That's terrifric !! But please resist the temptation to dismiss others who have higher aspirations. I haven't had (or paid for) a lesson in over 40 years, and given my personal goals (and frugal nature), that works just fine for me. ha

Last edited by Carey; 10/12/18 10:09 PM.

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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Carey] #2772014
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Originally Posted by Carey

Funny, I've never considered piano teaching to be an "industry." To me it's a profession. The distinction between intermediate and advanced is pretty obvious based on the type of repertoire played and how well it is played. Nothing arbitrary about it. You are correct, however, in your assessment of the exam business - but those competing exams are optional and certainly no guarantee of success. Certificates and/or academic degrees do have their place, however, particularly if one wishes to teach piano professionally or at the college/university level. Your own personal goals are different, and obviously work for you. That's terrifric !! But please resist the temptation to dismiss others who have higher aspirations. I haven't had (or paid for) a lesson in over 40 years, and given my personal goals (and frugal nature), that works just fine for me. ha


As someone else previously pointed out, if you wish to have a profession within the music industry, then you pay to get in. That's how the business is set up. After that, comes the marketing and sales.

I have no care about how others pursue their studies. What I do care about is the
perpetuation of the myth that it takes thousands of dollars of lessons to learn and enjoy the piano.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772106
10/13/18 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Richrf
What I do care about is the perpetuation of the myth that it takes thousands of dollars of lessons to learn and enjoy the piano.
That depends on what you mean by "to learn and enjoy". You give zero evidence that any but the most minuscule percent of people can reach even an intermediate level without instruction. But there is clear evidence that with instruction people can reach that level.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: pianoloverus] #2772109
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
That depends on what you mean by "to learn and enjoy". You give zero evidence that any but the most minuscule percent of people can reach even an intermediate level without instruction. But there is clear evidence that with instruction people can reach that level.


Intermediate?? A totally arbitrary and manufactured term, used to stratify people, so that they'll spend money to get higher in the pyramid and possibly even make a living pushing others up this mythological pyramid. It's meaningful only for those who wish to play that game. Who wish to pass a Level 5 test and hold an intermediate certificate. Fine, if that is what someone desires and wishes to pay thousands of dollars for it.

As for me, learn and enjoy is just discovering new things every day about myself and music and enjoying the process. No angst. No pressure. No self-doubt. No competition. No stress. And no one telling me how I should discover the nature of music. Just me, my piano, and YouTube. It's actually quite a lot of fun.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772157
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Originally Posted by Richrf
As for me, learn and enjoy is just discovering new things every day about myself and music and enjoying the process. No angst. No pressure. No self-doubt. No competition. No stress. And no one telling me how I should discover the nature of music. Just me, my piano, and YouTube. It's actually quite a lot of fun.


You know, Rich .... there is absolutely nothing wrong with your approach to these things. You enjoy it. Do it.

The rub comes when you lead newcomers into believing that they can achieve "any" level of accomplishment utilizing your approach.

You may wish to inform them that if they wish to be able to play music that is at a particular skill level that has been defined by the classical piano community then they probably should seek some professional help.

But if they just want to play whatever and just enjoy the day .... they should do what you are doing.

What you are doing is similar to the "Hippies" from years ago .... telling everyone (who will listen) that you should just relax in the sun and love each other and everything will be just fine. Unfortunately, that only lasted for a while and then it was time to get to work so they would have some money.

Your followers (if there are any) may find that a year or 2 of your technique does not give them the result they had hoped for.

Something to consider.



Last edited by dmd; 10/13/18 01:47 PM.

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Re: What To Learn? [Re: dmd] #2772159
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Richrf
As for me, learn and enjoy is just discovering new things every day about myself and music and enjoying the process. No angst. No pressure. No self-doubt. No competition. No stress. And no one telling me how I should discover the nature of music. Just me, my piano, and YouTube. It's actually quite a lot of fun.


You know, Rich .... there is absolutely nothing wrong with your approach to these things. You enjoy it. Do it.

The rub comes when you lead newcomers into believing that they can achieve "any" level of accomplishment utilizing your approach.

You may wish to inform them that if they wish to be able to play music that is at a particular skill level that has been defined by the classical piano community then they probably should seek some professional help.

But if they just want to play whatever and just enjoy the day .... they should do what you are doing.

What you are doing is similar to the "Hippies" from years ago .... telling everyone (who will listen) that you should just relax in the sun and love each other and everything will be just fine. Unfortunately, that only lasted for a while and then it was time to get to work so they would have some money.

Your followers (if there are any) may find that a year or 2 of your technique does not give them the result they had hoped for.

Something to consider.




You know, why don't you inform them that they only need a teacher if they want to spend tens of thousands of dollars playing the "level" game. You remind me of a car salesman trying to sell stuff people don't need. Of course, people can spend money on anything that delights them. There is a difference between must have and desire to have.

If someone asks do they need a teacher to learn and enjoy the piano, my response is most certainly not. What you need is a lot of patience and awareness of sound in your imagination, and you have to be relaxed so you can translate that sound into into bodily gestures. It is exactly the same for all arts. I would have to have teachers up the gazoots, if I had to hire one for everyone of my many hobbies.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772163
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Originally Posted by Richrf
[...]
You know, why don't you inform them that they only need a teacher if they want to spend tens of thousands of dollars playing the "level" game. You remind me of a car salesman trying to sell stuff people don't need. Of course, people can spend money on anything that delights them. There is a difference between must have and desire to have.


Why does it have to be about "playing the 'level' game"?

I've not played that game nor do I intend to, but I believe that I have profited well from one of the most basic principles of education: that there is someone (thousands of them, in fact)
- who knows more than I and can share some of that knowledge with me
- who can help me build technique in an efficient and physically non-damaging way
- who can give me immediate feedback when I am performing inefficiently
- who knows the repertoire better than I and can guide me towards repertoire that may suit me
- who can discuss with me questions about performance practice
- who will give immediate and sometimes corrective feedback about my playing
- who, through guidance and direction, can help me advance more quickly than if I were struggling on my own
- who can share with me questions of interpretation, whether or not we agree

I wonder what you have against education (or teaching), in general.

Regards,


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772167
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Self taught would mean you set a piano in the middle of the Arctic away from all people and figure it out on your own. If your watching videos, reading blogs, you are learning from others and therefore being taught. So I don't think Richard is against teachers, I think he's against paying teachers, lol.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: bSharp(C)yclist] #2772171
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Self taught would mean you set a piano in the middle of the Arctic away from all people and figure it out on your own. If your watching videos, reading blogs, you are learning from others and therefore being taught. So I don't think Richard is against teachers, I think he's against paying teachers, lol.
Some videos are very good but they can never tell you what you are doing wrong. They can only tell you what you should be doing.

It's close to impossible to know what you are doing wrong musically and/or technically without a good teacher. Most people who take lessons for only a couple of years or who are self taught don't realize what they don't know and think they are playing well.

If Richard's argument was valid it would apply to teachers of anything, not just piano.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772172
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Like Bruce, I'm not in the level game, have never taken an exam and have not plans to do so. I really don't know what level I am. I did have a great lesson today, though, that in 60 minutes taught me more than I could have figured out in hours, days or weeks, because there were principals that were not searchable, and I didn't even know the questions to ask. Little technical issues I was unaware of. Each lesson like that helps me build into a better player; I am thankful for them.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: bSharp(C)yclist] #2772174
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Self taught would mean you set a piano in the middle of the Arctic away from all people and figure it out on your own. If your watching videos, reading blogs, you are learning from others and therefore being taught. So I don't think Richard is against teachers, I think he's against paying teachers, lol.



Exactly. Life for me is about sharing, caring, and learning from each other. Once in a while I become a Patreon on YouTube, purchases an artist's book, or pay for tuition in some online or local course. But to pay weekly for teachers of drawing, watercolors, dance(multiple types) piano, table tennis, pickleball, photography, is downright preposterous and a ridiculous way to lead a life. I am more than happy to share my experiences freely to anyone who asks. I regularly tutor English online in this manner Not everyone had tens of thousands to spend on personal tutors.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: bSharp(C)yclist] #2772176
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Self taught would mean you set a piano in the middle of the Arctic away from all people and figure it out on your own. If your watching videos, reading blogs, you are learning from others and therefore being taught. So I don't think Richard is against teachers, I think he's against paying teachers, lol.
Some videos are very good but they can never tell you what you are doing wrong. They can only tell you what you should be doing.

It's close to impossible to know what you are doing wrong musically and/or technically without a good teacher. Most people who take lessons for only a couple of years or who are self taught don't realize what they don't know and think they are playing well.

If Richard's argument was valid it would apply to teachers of anything, not just piano.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: hartsfield] #2772178
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Originally Posted by cmb13

I think the reactions many of us have regarding this thread is the OP's strategy of learning mostly theory and little music, thinking that will translate to becoming a good musician. While theory is good, and I'm big proponent and trying to learn it myself, many of us believe that all theory and no music is not the most ideal path. Also in the very first post, the sheer volume of C major scales and arpeggios, and repetitive mindless work, seems overwhelming and nonproductive. It would be like studying the mechanics of jumping, throwing, and running, all the way from an anatomic standpoint down to the mitochondrial level, and thinking that once learned, one could be a professional or even proficient basketball player.


Originally Posted by hartsfield
An observation on teachers versus teaching oneself. I played piano for three years as a kid. I'm a pretty good fiddler and play in a contradance band. I'm also decent with guitar and mandolin. When I started teaching myself piano a couple of years ago, I thought I didn't need to waste money on a teacher, and I took myself through the first two Alfred books and was (I thought) doing pretty well--playing some simpler Bach pieces and so on. About four months ago, I decided to try lessons with the same teacher who's working with my grandson. I can't tell you the difference this has made for me. I believe I have made more progress in those four months than in the two years previous. The biggest help for me is with just basic piano technique. It's a whole different beast than violin or guitar. My teacher keeps telling me that even though I have a lot of musical knowledge, I just have to put in the time to develop on the piano. I also have a regimen that includes daily scales, arpeggios, chords, and Hanon, but I just sound better and pay more attention to the music. My wife studied piano at the Peabody in Baltimore, and the other night she said--wow! that actually sounds like music.


These are great responses guys, very insightful, a lot of fair points here.

I am in the process of re-thinking / revising some things. Considering the length of my practice sessions (1 to 2 hours), I think I can spend maybe 1 or 2 days on one particular scale then move onto the next thing. I also think I should include a bit of music into the lessons as well, related to what I'm learning (If I'm learning F Major that day, for example, play a simple song in F Major at the end, kinda thing). I still want to mainly concentrate on music theory currently until I feel I'm really getting somewhere with it, but it might spice things up and make things more fun/enjoyable to play songs too.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: cmb13] #2772180
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Originally Posted by sara elizabeth

The OP is either the most arrogant kid in the world or a troll.


Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev

Yes, I think he is a troll. This kind of ignorance seems to be very showy.


Originally Posted by cmb13
Actually the multi-quoting did remind me of someone else a half a year or so back (the guy with 12 Steinways that argued against reading sheet music in the Pianist Corner).


lol omg I'm not troll. Please explain to me how I'm a troll. Because my thoughts don't line up with yours I'm a troll? Because I multi-quote I'm troll? Intelligent reasoning guys lol

I'm multi-quoting because I can usually only get on here once a day, and by then theres's a full page of responses that I have to work through and some people I want to respond to individually.

If you don't have any helpful input, please leave my thread. Obviously you won't have anything helpful to add to the conversation if you're going in thinking I'm a troll and not taking me seriously before you even start typing. Kinda frustrating tbh. It's not fair to just be like "ah I don't agree with this, this sounds ridiculous to me, so he must be a troll".

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Medved1] #2772181
10/13/18 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Medved1


right, I follow the logic.

I would maybe think about the amount of time you're spending on c major scales and arpeggios - there may be something sub-optimal about what you're doing if you feel that you need to spend the amount of time you indicate. . Maybe mix it up a bit and see if what you think you learned on the C major exercises translates well to a different key, or to the various forms of minor. In the same spirit, you might want to check your learning by applying it to a simple piece of music, and see whether there is progress.


Great advice, I will definitely consider this. Thank you!

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Colin Miles] #2772189
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
I am perhaps a little late on this thread and my head is kind of spinning reading it all through. So forgive me if I am missing something, namely what instrument he is going to play on - and maybe access to it. Also, if a beginner to be able to practice for that lengths of time indicated will be difficult and possibly injurious. The advice is little and often with breaks in between.

This link may or may not be helpful. But with a degree in pyschology he should be able to understand everyone's motives.

60 tips



Ya that's one concern I was having, I think it might be beneficial to add 5 minute breaks in between things to rest my hands/wrists/arms.

Also, not necessarily man. It's difficult to understand people's (especially complete strangers) motives, degree or not, especially on an Internet forum where facial expression, vocal tone, and body language are all taken out of the picture. For example, I have a bunch of people calling me a troll for no reason (that I can see) other than that I'm just disagreeing with them lol

Re: What To Learn? [Re: pianoloverus] #2772190
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Some videos are very good but they can never tell you what you are doing wrong. They can only tell you what you should be doing.

It's close to impossible to know what you are doing wrong musically and/or technically without a good teacher. Most people who take lessons for only a couple of years or who are self taught don't realize what they don't know and think they are playing well.

If Richard's argument was valid it would apply to teachers of anything, not just piano.



My confusion is this: how does learning, let's say, proper hand technique, for example, from a teacher I'm paying for differ from just searching "proper hand technique" on Google/Youtube for free? Would I not find basically the same results either way? I would think watching many videos from many teachers on the same topic for free is more beneficial than paying for one teacher's viewpoint on the topic.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772192
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Hi Finn, simply because a YouTube video cannot correct your misconceptions. It is not always obvious to the student why a technique is not working. Your wrist is the symptom but your elbow is the cause, for example. Without a teacher you might just keep adjusting your wrist and never be able to diagnose the source of the problem yourself.

Just answer me this... If you had unlimited funds would you seek out the best teacher? Or is it some principle you are adhering to?

Also, it is esoteric, but a good teacher lends energy to the student, actually lifts the student's ability to its full potential of the moment when in the rarified environment of the lesson. That was my experience. Like my dad holding onto the back of the bike till I got my balance right. It is subtle but deep. There is more, but maybe these examples demonstrate the difference. And I never thought you were a troll. Just a certainty about things like I had at your age. Like we all had if we were smart. But you seem o be modifying your approach. I respect that.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Colin Miles] #2772193
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles


Sorry I forgot to mention this but thanks for the link! Lots of good stuff in there, definitely gave me some things to think about. I also liked how my teachers quote "Don't practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong" was in there!

Re: What To Learn? [Re: IosPlayer] #2772194
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Originally Posted by IosPlayer
Hi Finn, simply because a YouTube video cannot correct your misconceptions. It is not always obvious to the student why a technique is not working. Your wrist is the symptom but your elbow is the cause, for example. Without a teacher you might just keep adjusting your wrist and never be able to diagnose the source of the problem yourself.

Just answer me this... If you had unlimited funds would you seek out the best teacher? Or is it some principle you are adhering to?

Also, it is esoteric, but a good teacher lends energy to the student, actually lifts the student's ability to its full potential of the moment when in the rarified environment of the lesson. That was my experience. Like my dad holding onto the back of the bike till I got my balance right. It is subtle but deep. There is more, but maybe these examples demonstrate the difference. And I never thought you were a troll. Just a certainty about things like I had at your age. Like we all had if we were smart. But you seem o be modifying your approach. I respect that.



Um, probably? I think so ya ..

Honestly, I think my vocal coaches have scared me away from teachers. It was extremely frustrating going to a lesson, paying $40 for the hour, and then leaving having not advanced or learned anything new, feeling like I'm in the same place and feeling like their advice wasn't working at all for me. Piano is a different world though, because at least in the piano world there are a lot more objective concepts to follow, whereas singing, and the feeling of singing, is VERY subjective and stylistic. But money is a factor still, I am a student, I have bills and rent and stuff, I"m fine financially but sometimes money does get tight.

I do agree with you on the energy thing though. Support from others is not something I get very often, so although I did feel frustrated and like they weren't getting me anywhere, it did feel nice to have some support me and help me and tell me its ok make mistakes and not be perfect. I agree that that type energy can be needed sometimes for sure.

And ya man, like I said, I'm not a know-it-all like I may come off sometimes and I can totally admit when I need help. I'm open to suggestion. I'm a beginner so there is no way I can be here claiming I know everything and not accept help from others. I came here specifically for help, and I'm glad that people are finally giving good advice and providing links.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772195
10/13/18 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Finn1996
Originally Posted by cmb13

I think the reactions many of us have regarding this thread is the OP's strategy of learning mostly theory and little music, thinking that will translate to becoming a good musician. While theory is good, and I'm big proponent and trying to learn it myself, many of us believe that all theory and no music is not the most ideal path. Also in the very first post, the sheer volume of C major scales and arpeggios, and repetitive mindless work, seems overwhelming and nonproductive. It would be like studying the mechanics of jumping, throwing, and running, all the way from an anatomic standpoint down to the mitochondrial level, and thinking that once learned, one could be a professional or even proficient basketball player.


Originally Posted by hartsfield
An observation on teachers versus teaching oneself. I played piano for three years as a kid. I'm a pretty good fiddler and play in a contradance band. I'm also decent with guitar and mandolin. When I started teaching myself piano a couple of years ago, I thought I didn't need to waste money on a teacher, and I took myself through the first two Alfred books and was (I thought) doing pretty well--playing some simpler Bach pieces and so on. About four months ago, I decided to try lessons with the same teacher who's working with my grandson. I can't tell you the difference this has made for me. I believe I have made more progress in those four months than in the two years previous. The biggest help for me is with just basic piano technique. It's a whole different beast than violin or guitar. My teacher keeps telling me that even though I have a lot of musical knowledge, I just have to put in the time to develop on the piano. I also have a regimen that includes daily scales, arpeggios, chords, and Hanon, but I just sound better and pay more attention to the music. My wife studied piano at the Peabody in Baltimore, and the other night she said--wow! that actually sounds like music.


These are great responses guys, very insightful, a lot of fair points here.

I am in the process of re-thinking / revising some things. Considering the length of my practice sessions (1 to 2 hours), I think I can spend maybe 1 or 2 days on one particular scale then move onto the next thing. I also think I should include a bit of music into the lessons as well, related to what I'm learning (If I'm learning F Major that day, for example, play a simple song in F Major at the end, kinda thing). I still want to mainly concentrate on music theory currently until I feel I'm really getting somewhere with it, but it might spice things up and make things more fun/enjoyable to play songs too.



Great idea. I always think of practicing scales and exercises of a key of which I am playing a song / piece but never actually do it. Great plan though.

Originally Posted by Finn1996
Originally Posted by sara elizabeth

The OP is either the most arrogant kid in the world or a troll.


Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev

Yes, I think he is a troll. This kind of ignorance seems to be very showy.


Originally Posted by cmb13
Actually the multi-quoting did remind me of someone else a half a year or so back (the guy with 12 Steinways that argued against reading sheet music in the Pianist Corner).


lol omg I'm not troll. Please explain to me how I'm a troll. Because my thoughts don't line up with yours I'm a troll? Because I multi-quote I'm troll? Intelligent reasoning guys lol

I'm multi-quoting because I can usually only get on here once a day, and by then theres's a full page of responses that I have to work through and some people I want to respond to individually.

If you don't have any helpful input, please leave my thread. Obviously you won't have anything helpful to add to the conversation if you're going in thinking I'm a troll and not taking me seriously before you even start typing. Kinda frustrating tbh. It's not fair to just be like "ah I don't agree with this, this sounds ridiculous to me, so he must be a troll".


There was a guy here once who multiqouted tons of replies and tried to antagonize everyone intentionally. Regardless I think you’ll do fine here just be tolerant of ppl who are actually trying to help and realize there are always different viewpoints. Then incorporate what works for you.

:cheers:


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772196
10/13/18 03:34 PM
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Finn, as I am feeling sorry for you especially as the same people are arguing again and again in the never ending teacher / non-teacher war frown.

Scales are all pattern based your plan is not at all necessary.

With this pattern you can know what notes are in any major or natural minor scale.

All major scales and natural minors go up a pattern - up tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone, tone, semitone - and down in the reverse pattern.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhBjsK6gg2Y

So scales are not really rocket science and you dont really need to practice like you think.

Scales are only hard as they have different fingers patterns so we normally have to use scale books and many hours of practice.

I personally would recommend you something like this - free basic music theory lessons which is teaching what you are looking for.

I had a quick look and would recommend something like this as it is relatively comprehensive and practical theory which it is quite hard to find.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzgTNTgQsR9YYsyOm3k3KQ

Re: What To Learn? [Re: cmb13] #2772197
10/13/18 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13

There was a guy here once who multiqouted tons of replies and tried to antagonize everyone intentionally. Regardless I think you’ll do fine here just be tolerant of ppl who are actually trying to help and realize there are always different viewpoints. Then incorporate what works for you.

:cheers:


lol oh I see. I think quoting is helpful, I can isolate or group together responses on a topic/argument that I want to respond to. That's why its there right lol

And ya I understand that. I don't think I'm the one that needs to be told that though. I'm not out here hurting feelings and calling names because I disagree with people. Others though ...

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772198
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Originally Posted by Finn1996

My confusion is this: how does learning, let's say, proper hand technique, for example, from a teacher I'm paying for differ from just searching "proper hand technique" on Google/Youtube for free? Would I not find basically the same results either way? I would think watching many videos from many teachers on the same topic for free is more beneficial than paying for one teacher's viewpoint on the topic.


What I quickly discovered was that everyone uses different techniques and describes it differently. There is no such thing as the correct technique. What's more, there are many musicians who don't even decribe it as hand technique, but rather as whole body movements it gestures, which is my preferred way of describing it. Not only is the whole body playing every sound, but the sound begins on the imaginative mind and some say outside of the mind - and not from some note on as piece of paper.

The variations are endless and we are really just narrowly discussing one genre. For example, Jazz music is often described as improvised negotiation of sound. But having studied many arts and sports, I have learned:

1) Skill and knowledge cannot be purchased, it can only be learned.

2) It all begins in the mind.

3) The mind and body should be relaxed as possible so that the creative mind can manifest itself. This is fundamental and it comes from repetitive, stress free practice. There are no shortcuts. Any aspect within the practice that is stressful or lends itself to tension, is counterproductive.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772201
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One other thing. Besides developing skills the skills of relaxation and imagination, one also needs to cultivate awareness or sensitivity to differences and similarities. Relaxation is a prerequisite for awareness.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772204
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Originally Posted by Finn1996
Piano is a different world though, because at least in the piano world there are a lot more objective concepts to follow, whereas singing, and the feeling of singing, is VERY subjective and stylistic.


No, it is the same. Music is an art, no different from any other art. What are you alluding to is there exists a tiny segment within the classical music tradition/profession where pedigree is highly prized. Music is about as objective as women's gymnastics. It all depends on who gets in the judging box.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772205
10/13/18 04:13 PM
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Two things, Finn

One, here is a much better chord chart than the one I gave you in haste

https://www.google.com.tr/search?q=chart+of+basic+piano+chords&rlz=1C9BKJA_enTR804TR804&oq=chart+of+basic+piano+chords&aqs=chrome..69i57.13483j0j4&hl=en-US&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgdii=OUYbKJ765JJZBM:&imgrc=vL9nUlOUdhL_aM:

Two, Moo is absolutely right, the equation for a particular scale is all you need to generate them all. For ex, the equation for all major scales is Two whole steps (whole tones) and a half step ( semitone) then three whole steps and a half step. The natural half steps are b to c and e to f which makes everything a bit quirky, but without them the keyboard would just be black white black white throughout the 88 keys, quite a bit more difficult to orient by!

However, there is a lot more to scale playing, like breathing, slowness, relaxation, note to note feeling, posture, mental stance, fingering and more. My teacher taught me unusual fingerings to play the scales in both hand separately and together in synchronous and contrary motion. Fingering like 1,2. 4,5 1,3 3,5 1,2,3 3,4,5 etc.

4,5 is interesting because it helps strengthen the weaker fourth and fifth fingers which, unlike the other three fingers, share a single tendon. You can only go up the keyboard comfortably in your right hand using 4,5 and down the keyboard in your left. 1,2 is different because it gives a great workout to your thumbs and their under movement which gives you travel on the keyboard ( in some techniques). 1,3 is good for this, too. If you only play a classical fingering that under over movement with the thumb and middle finger is practiced to a much lesser degree. That was my teacher's interesting approach And it worked for me. Especially slowness which I loved. It could take me ten to twenty minutes to play one major scale up and down two octaves with one hand. That gave me a lot of time to be present at each moment of rest and movement to relax, breathe, sense the natural weight of my arm and the channeling of that weight (energy) thru my fingertips into the key and more. Not much going on and a heck of a lot at the same time. Also I felt scales like I was playing a melody and my teacher encouraged that feeling.

So maybe you start to see the intricacies and detail of any particular approach. There is a lot of misinformation on YouTube or simply not the right technique for everyone. How will you judge the right one for you?


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772222
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I've used this chord book for the best part of twenty years. It gives you 48 chords for every key.

I did a google search, this is a second-hand one, but it is available from Amazon at full price.

https://www.epianos.co.uk/shop/definitive-chord-book-jazz-popular-organ/


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772277
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Originally Posted by Finn1996

My confusion is this: how does learning, let's say, proper hand technique, for example, from a teacher I'm paying for differ from just searching "proper hand technique" on Google/Youtube for free? Would I not find basically the same results either way? I would think watching many videos from many teachers on the same topic for free is more beneficial than paying for one teacher's viewpoint on the topic.


What I quickly discovered was that everyone uses different techniques and describes it differently. There is no such thing as the correct technique.


Ok .. so how does that strengthen the argument of seeing a teacher regularly then? If you're saying that there's no correct technique and everyone describes it differently, then you're saying that everyone has their own way and therefore learning by myself would be equal to seeing a teacher because any "teacher" I talked to would have an equal chance of being right or wrong and it would ultimately be up to me to decide what was right and wrong ... unless that was just a poor choice of words, giving you the benefit of the doubt, idk. And that's similar to how I think about the Internet being a teacher.

I feel like if I were to get a teacher, I would just go see them once in a while. Because they are there to inform and to guide, but actual progress, building skill and technique, self-expression, etc., is all up to, and comes from, the individual. I think the actual practicing and progressing part of things, which is the part that counts the most, is done like 90% of the time without a teacher beside people, correct me if I'm wrong though. And with that said, nowadays I don't see why the Internet/Youtube isn't a sufficient teacher, there are many qualified piano teachers who share videos of their own version of correct technique. It's a quality and quantity situation, you watch many videos and see the commonalities between what teachers are saying and you piece it together and figure it out for yourself. I'm not sure how a teacher sharing instruction over the Internet for free somehow de-values their information.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Doghouse] #2772278
10/14/18 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by IosPlayer
Two things, Finn

One, here is a much better chord chart than the one I gave you in haste

https://www.google.com.tr/search?q=chart+of+basic+piano+chords&rlz=1C9BKJA_enTR804TR804&oq=chart+of+basic+piano+chords&aqs=chrome..69i57.13483j0j4&hl=en-US&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgdii=OUYbKJ765JJZBM:&imgrc=vL9nUlOUdhL_aM:



Originally Posted by Doghouse
I've used this chord book for the best part of twenty years. It gives you 48 chords for every key.

I did a google search, this is a second-hand one, but it is available from Amazon at full price.

https://www.epianos.co.uk/shop/definitive-chord-book-jazz-popular-organ/



Wow great links guys thanks!! This is the best info yet for sure, I was looking for chord codes and I think I got all of them with this. Awesome!

Re: What To Learn? [Re: IosPlayer] #2772281
10/14/18 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by IosPlayer


However, there is a lot more to scale playing, like breathing, slowness, relaxation, note to note feeling, posture, mental stance, fingering and more. My teacher taught me unusual fingerings to play the scales in both hand separately and together in synchronous and contrary motion. Fingering like 1,2. 4,5 1,3 3,5 1,2,3 3,4,5 etc.

4,5 is interesting because it helps strengthen the weaker fourth and fifth fingers which, unlike the other three fingers, share a single tendon. You can only go up the keyboard comfortably in your right hand using 4,5 and down the keyboard in your left. 1,2 is different because it gives a great workout to your thumbs and their under movement which gives you travel on the keyboard ( in some techniques). 1,3 is good for this, too. If you only play a classical fingering that under over movement with the thumb and middle finger is practiced to a much lesser degree. That was my teacher's interesting approach And it worked for me. Especially slowness which I loved. It could take me ten to twenty minutes to play one major scale up and down two octaves with one hand. That gave me a lot of time to be present at each moment of rest and movement to relax, breathe, sense the natural weight of my arm and the channeling of that weight (energy) thru my fingertips into the key and more. Not much going on and a heck of a lot at the same time. Also I felt scales like I was playing a melody and my teacher encouraged that feeling.

So maybe you start to see the intricacies and detail of any particular approach. There is a lot of misinformation on YouTube or simply not the right technique for everyone. How will you judge the right one for you?


Very interesting, I was never really thinking of that much tbh, good points, and thanks for the advice!

How would I judge for myself? Common sense and trial and error pretty much. I think I have a good idea of whether something sounds and feels right and when something really doesn't sound or feel right.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772325
10/14/18 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Finn1996
I've just recently started to get serious with practicing/creating music, and I must say that it's quite overwhelming starting from (near) the bottom...So, I'm looking to make a list of all the essential concepts I should learn on piano

Generally, people who train to become musicians stick with an instrument beyond four years. People who just learn an instrument tend to give up within four years. I advise you to become a musician.

Daily practise should include:
- playing from memory.
- playing from the score (sight-reading).
- playing from aural memory (by ear).
- playing from the imagination (improvising).
- playing music from the genres you're interested in and that you enjoy.
- memorising music. Not to perform without the score, per se, but to exercise the memory - hugely important in understanding music and playing an instrument. You can just do a phrase a day.

I would add:
- singing from the score and audiating (singing in your head where pitch is unlimited) from the score. You can start with three note melodies and children's rhymes. Competence comes from regular practise.
- listening to music. Dance and clap to it. Feel it and appreciate it with your whole body. Choose the genres you enjoy and experiment with music you want to get to know.

And learn some theory.
www.teoria.com is fine for online learning. Something like Music Theory for Dummies is a good resource if you prefer paper. A chapter a week is fast. Unanswered questions can be fielded on the forum.
________________

Scales and arpeggios are important for theory but you don't need to drill them every day to understand them and you certainly don't need to drill them every day if the genre of music you're playing doesn't require fine control of every finger independently.

Classically trained pianists will need to drill finger technique every day "using" scales and arpeggios. You will probably get to know a key better by playing music in that key.

The important issue (for me) is that by playing scales and arpeggios there are no dynamic contours, no accents and no other distractions. The basic goal is to hear the slightest unevenness in time or tone and allow the brain to make smaller and smaller adjustments to reach ever finer evenness and control. When that can be achieved you will able to master dynamics and rhythm with each and every finger such that they all sound equally strong and agile, which, anatomically, they are not.

This, it seems, needs to be done four to six days a week, forty to fifty weeks a year for several years in order to achieve the levels required for classical piano. It's not the playing of the scales as much as the listening that drives progress so speed is never part of the requirement. Speed will come from the volume of practice. Use pieces and other exercises for velocity.

If you aren't playing the standard classical repertoire to such a fine degree there is no need to spend hours on scales and arpeggios either before a certain stage has been reached, usually around two or three years, and after a certain stage has been reached, usually after ten to twelve years.

You probably won't have the fineness of control nor the fineness of hearing to make progress on the hardest mechanical scale, C Major, doing any more then two to five minutes day.

Start with slow scales in crotchets and quavers (quarters and eighths) somewhere around 60 bpm but not using a metronome just yet. Just play about a note per second and two notes per second. Start with B Major in RH and Db Major in LH. One hand at a time, one octave (quarters) and two octaves (eighths). Make every note exactly the same dynamic level as far as your hearing can make out (it gets better over time - count nights of sleep, not time at the instrument) and use as many dynamic levels as you think you can distinguish. You might start with quiet, normal and loud. Alternate days of staccato, legato and non-legato. Concentrate at first on making the transition from third or fourth finger onto thumb (RH rising, LH falling) audibly unnoticeable.

Arpeggios will need to be a little slower. Do a year or two of broken chords first to get to know the intervals (and the notes). Don't stop broken chords, add arpeggios to them. They tend to be dropped from the exam syllabus once you start on arpeggios but they're still worth maintaining.

If you're spending more than half hour a day at the piano do something different every ten to twenty minutes. The brain grows during sleep not during practice so spending more than a couple of minutes on something that needs brain growth is pointless and may be detrimental. Do enough to notice progress than move on and let sleep take care of the rest. Small amounts every day. Nearly every day. For years.

One of the hardest things to learn when taking up an instrument is how to practise. Many of the responders have learnt piano beyond elementary levels and your method is counter to proven paths. That's probably why your initial post provoked so much antipathy.

Welcome to the forum. Wow, baptism of fire! Well held!


Richard
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772327
10/14/18 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Finn1996
Originally Posted by IosPlayer
Two things, Finn

One, here is a much better chord chart than the one I gave you in haste

https://www.google.com.tr/search?q=chart+of+basic+piano+chords&rlz=1C9BKJA_enTR804TR804&oq=chart+of+basic+piano+chords&aqs=chrome..69i57.13483j0j4&hl=en-US&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgdii=OUYbKJ765JJZBM:&imgrc=vL9nUlOUdhL_aM:



Originally Posted by Doghouse
I've used this chord book for the best part of twenty years. It gives you 48 chords for every key.

I did a google search, this is a second-hand one, but it is available from Amazon at full price.

https://www.epianos.co.uk/shop/definitive-chord-book-jazz-popular-organ/



Wow great links guys thanks!! This is the best info yet for sure, I was looking for chord codes and I think I got all of them with this. Awesome!


Give a man a fish and you feed him for one day.

Teach him to fish and you feed him for life.

I think you have just been given a "fish".





Last edited by dmd; 10/14/18 08:24 AM.

Don

Casio PX-160, Mix 5 Five-Channel Compact Mixer, DR 880 Drum Machine, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: What To Learn? [Re: dmd] #2772331
10/14/18 08:40 AM
10/14/18 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Finn1996
Originally Posted by IosPlayer
Two things, Finn

One, here is a much better chord chart than the one I gave you in haste

https://www.google.com.tr/search?q=chart+of+basic+piano+chords&rlz=1C9BKJA_enTR804TR804&oq=chart+of+basic+piano+chords&aqs=chrome..69i57.13483j0j4&hl=en-US&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgdii=OUYbKJ765JJZBM:&imgrc=vL9nUlOUdhL_aM:



Originally Posted by Doghouse
I've used this chord book for the best part of twenty years. It gives you 48 chords for every key.

I did a google search, this is a second-hand one, but it is available from Amazon at full price.

https://www.epianos.co.uk/shop/definitive-chord-book-jazz-popular-organ/



Wow great links guys thanks!! This is the best info yet for sure, I was looking for chord codes and I think I got all of them with this. Awesome!


Give a man a fish and you feed him for one day.

Teach him to fish and you feed him for life.

I think you have just been given a "fish".






Seriously .... You need to learn the theory of how to construct chords. Then you can build them with no need to look them up in a book.

I suppose a book could be useful as a sort of "answer key" to confirm your understanding of the theory behind them but not to simply look up how to play a particular chord instead of figuring it out yourself.


Don

Casio PX-160, Mix 5 Five-Channel Compact Mixer, DR 880 Drum Machine, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772334
10/14/18 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Finn1996


Ok .. so how does that strengthen the argument of seeing a teacher regularly then? If you're saying that there's no correct technique and everyone describes it differently, then you're saying that everyone has their own way and therefore learning by myself would be equal to seeing a teacher because any "teacher" I talked to would have an equal chance of being right or wrong and it would ultimately be up to me to decide what was right and wrong ... unless that was just a poor choice of words, giving you the benefit of the doubt, idk. And that's similar to how I think about the Internet being a teacher.

I feel like if I were to get a teacher, I would just go see them once in a while. Because they are there to inform and to guide, but actual progress, building skill and technique, self-expression, etc., is all up to, and comes from, the individual. I think the actual practicing and progressing part of things, which is the part that counts the most, is done like 90% of the time without a teacher beside people, correct me if I'm wrong though. And with that said, nowadays I don't see why the Internet/Youtube isn't a sufficient teacher, there are many qualified piano teachers who share videos of their own version of correct technique. It's a quality and quantity situation, you watch many videos and see the commonalities between what teachers are saying and you piece it together and figure it out for yourself. I'm not sure how a teacher sharing instruction over the Internet for free somehow de-values their information.


Yes, I agree with all of this.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: John305] #2772344
10/14/18 09:25 AM
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I'm a terrible lurker, but I sure enjoy reading the posts.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: jandz] #2772355
10/14/18 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jandz
I’m an advocate of doing the thing that keeps you playing. Being at the keyboard is the most important thing to learning. As long as you’re able to do that then you’re probably doing it right. As I have grown, most of the things I thought I’d do in practice have changed as my skills and needs have changed. Be careful not to box yourself in. Make sure you can adapt as you change with time to be sure you keep coming back and playing.


This is probably the best advice you can receive.

And as far as "getting a teacher" advice .... That does not mean you have to have a teacher every week.

It might be wise to get a teacher to help you get started in the right direction.

Then, periodically to check up on you are see how you are progressing.

That is how I operate.

If I could have a teacher sitting beside me every day ... that would be great. I, also, cannot really justify the cost of that.

I get instruction with professionals via Skype periodically.

When you work on it yourself .... doubt begins to creep in .... and you wonder if you are doing the right thingsl.

Then, it might be nice to get a "tune-up" to get you feeling good about things again.

As the poster above mentioned .... anything to keep you in the game.

If you do not quit .... you will keep progressing.

Good Luck


Don

Casio PX-160, Mix 5 Five-Channel Compact Mixer, DR 880 Drum Machine, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772363
10/14/18 10:47 AM
10/14/18 10:47 AM
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Again awesome post by Richard (zrtf90). Big fan here. Hope he helps you as much as he's helped me!


Boston 118 PE

Working On
Chopin Nocturne 72.1
Piazzolla Invierno Porteno
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772379
10/14/18 11:22 AM
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Don, sometimes a fish dinner is quite tasty. The OP asked specifically for such a learning aid and he wishes to decide things for himself. Another poster stated he has used a similar device with great pleasure for twenty years! If you read the rest of my post to Finn you would see that you and I are in agreement, but not to the exclusion of any tool that helps someone learn. I don't think Emerson caught his own fish, but, respectfully, he did say a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070
1915 Steinway B
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772386
10/14/18 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Finn1996
[...]
How would I judge for myself? Common sense and trial and error pretty much. I think I have a good idea of whether something sounds and feels right and when something really doesn't sound or feel right.


The caution I would add to that is: The less experienced one is at playing/studying the piano (and even moreso if one is a self-study), the less one hears what one is playing and the more one hears what one thinks one is playing. Moreover, trial and error can be very time-consuming.

Time and time again, both in my own experience and in experience with other pianists in master classes over the last fifteen years, I have heard and seen students, some fairly advanced, quite surprised that what they thought they were doing (interpreting) in their performance with respect to dynamics, phrasing and rhythm was not what they actually were doing.

One of the most critical skills one can develop is to listen and to really hear what one is playing and not what one thinks one is playing. The latter leads to a certain complacent "I know this is right so I don't need to work on it" attitude that can seriously compromise performances and reduce them to a mediocre level.

So, learn to listen carefully and to hear accurately. A good tool towards this goal is self-recording and analysis of those recordings from a highly critical perspective.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: What To Learn? [Re: BruceD] #2772404
10/14/18 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Finn1996
[...]
How would I judge for myself? Common sense and trial and error pretty much. I think I have a good idea of whether something sounds and feels right and when something really doesn't sound or feel right.


The caution I would add to that is: The less experienced one is at playing/studying the piano (and even moreso if one is a self-study), the less one hears what one is playing and the more one hears what one thinks one is playing. Moreover, trial and error can be very time-consuming.

Time and time again, both in my own experience and in experience with other pianists in master classes over the last fifteen years, I have heard and seen students, some fairly advanced, quite surprised that what they thought they were doing (interpreting) in their performance with respect to dynamics, phrasing and rhythm was not what they actually were doing.

One of the most critical skills one can develop is to listen and to really hear what one is playing and not what one thinks one is playing. The latter leads to a certain complacent "I know this is right so I don't need to work on it" attitude that can seriously compromise performances and reduce them to a mediocre level.

So, learn to listen carefully and to hear accurately. A good tool towards this goal is self-recording and analysis of those recordings from a highly critical perspective.

Regards,
I agree. And to add to this, even if someone could hear exactly what one is playing that doesn't mean their are playing is good either technically or musically.

They can think their interpretation (and technical performance) is very good but in reality it might be quite terrible. One just has to listen to many amateur Youtube performances to verify this. "Common sense" as mentioned by the poster Bruce replied to is usually not at all adequate in knowing how a piece should sound.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/14/18 12:50 PM.
Re: What To Learn? [Re: dmd] #2772408
10/14/18 01:10 PM
10/14/18 01:10 PM
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Finn1996 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dmd


Give a man a fish and you feed him for one day.

Teach him to fish and you feed him for life.

I think you have just been given a "fish".



I get the expression, but could the man not teach himself to fish? I don't see why not.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: BruceD] #2772409
10/14/18 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90

Generally, people who train to become musicians stick with an instrument beyond four years. People who just learn an instrument tend to give up within four years. I advise you to become a musician.

Daily practise should include:
- playing from memory.
- playing from the score (sight-reading).
- playing from aural memory (by ear).
- playing from the imagination (improvising).
- playing music from the genres you're interested in and that you enjoy.
- memorising music. Not to perform without the score, per se, but to exercise the memory - hugely important in understanding music and playing an instrument. You can just do a phrase a day.

I would add:
- singing from the score and audiating (singing in your head where pitch is unlimited) from the score. You can start with three note melodies and children's rhymes. Competence comes from regular practise.
- listening to music. Dance and clap to it. Feel it and appreciate it with your whole body. Choose the genres you enjoy and experiment with music you want to get to know.

And learn some theory.
www.teoria.com is fine for online learning. Something like Music Theory for Dummies is a good resource if you prefer paper. A chapter a week is fast. Unanswered questions can be fielded on the forum.
________________

Scales and arpeggios are important for theory but you don't need to drill them every day to understand them and you certainly don't need to drill them every day if the genre of music you're playing doesn't require fine control of every finger independently.

Classically trained pianists will need to drill finger technique every day "using" scales and arpeggios. You will probably get to know a key better by playing music in that key.

The important issue (for me) is that by playing scales and arpeggios there are no dynamic contours, no accents and no other distractions. The basic goal is to hear the slightest unevenness in time or tone and allow the brain to make smaller and smaller adjustments to reach ever finer evenness and control. When that can be achieved you will able to master dynamics and rhythm with each and every finger such that they all sound equally strong and agile, which, anatomically, they are not.

This, it seems, needs to be done four to six days a week, forty to fifty weeks a year for several years in order to achieve the levels required for classical piano. It's not the playing of the scales as much as the listening that drives progress so speed is never part of the requirement. Speed will come from the volume of practice. Use pieces and other exercises for velocity.

If you aren't playing the standard classical repertoire to such a fine degree there is no need to spend hours on scales and arpeggios either before a certain stage has been reached, usually around two or three years, and after a certain stage has been reached, usually after ten to twelve years.

You probably won't have the fineness of control nor the fineness of hearing to make progress on the hardest mechanical scale, C Major, doing any more then two to five minutes day.

Start with slow scales in crotchets and quavers (quarters and eighths) somewhere around 60 bpm but not using a metronome just yet. Just play about a note per second and two notes per second. Start with B Major in RH and Db Major in LH. One hand at a time, one octave (quarters) and two octaves (eighths). Make every note exactly the same dynamic level as far as your hearing can make out (it gets better over time - count nights of sleep, not time at the instrument) and use as many dynamic levels as you think you can distinguish. You might start with quiet, normal and loud. Alternate days of staccato, legato and non-legato. Concentrate at first on making the transition from third or fourth finger onto thumb (RH rising, LH falling) audibly unnoticeable.

Arpeggios will need to be a little slower. Do a year or two of broken chords first to get to know the intervals (and the notes). Don't stop broken chords, add arpeggios to them. They tend to be dropped from the exam syllabus once you start on arpeggios but they're still worth maintaining.

If you're spending more than half hour a day at the piano do something different every ten to twenty minutes. The brain grows during sleep not during practice so spending more than a couple of minutes on something that needs brain growth is pointless and may be detrimental. Do enough to notice progress than move on and let sleep take care of the rest. Small amounts every day. Nearly every day. For years.

One of the hardest things to learn when taking up an instrument is how to practise. Many of the responders have learnt piano beyond elementary levels and your method is counter to proven paths. That's probably why your initial post provoked so much antipathy.

Welcome to the forum. Wow, baptism of fire! Well held!




Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by jandz
I’m an advocate of doing the thing that keeps you playing. Being at the keyboard is the most important thing to learning. As long as you’re able to do that then you’re probably doing it right. As I have grown, most of the things I thought I’d do in practice have changed as my skills and needs have changed. Be careful not to box yourself in. Make sure you can adapt as you change with time to be sure you keep coming back and playing.


This is probably the best advice you can receive.

And as far as "getting a teacher" advice .... That does not mean you have to have a teacher every week.

It might be wise to get a teacher to help you get started in the right direction.

Then, periodically to check up on you are see how you are progressing.

That is how I operate.

If I could have a teacher sitting beside me every day ... that would be great. I, also, cannot really justify the cost of that.

I get instruction with professionals via Skype periodically.

When you work on it yourself .... doubt begins to creep in .... and you wonder if you are doing the right thingsl.

Then, it might be nice to get a "tune-up" to get you feeling good about things again.

As the poster above mentioned .... anything to keep you in the game.

If you do not quit .... you will keep progressing.

Good Luck





Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Finn1996
[...]
How would I judge for myself? Common sense and trial and error pretty much. I think I have a good idea of whether something sounds and feels right and when something really doesn't sound or feel right.


The caution I would add to that is: The less experienced one is at playing/studying the piano (and even moreso if one is a self-study), the less one hears what one is playing and the more one hears what one thinks one is playing. Moreover, trial and error can be very time-consuming.

Time and time again, both in my own experience and in experience with other pianists in master classes over the last fifteen years, I have heard and seen students, some fairly advanced, quite surprised that what they thought they were doing (interpreting) in their performance with respect to dynamics, phrasing and rhythm was not what they actually were doing.

One of the most critical skills one can develop is to listen and to really hear what one is playing and not what one thinks one is playing. The latter leads to a certain complacent "I know this is right so I don't need to work on it" attitude that can seriously compromise performances and reduce them to a mediocre level.

So, learn to listen carefully and to hear accurately. A good tool towards this goal is self-recording and analysis of those recordings from a highly critical perspective.

Regards,



Excellent posts! Great advice! I will definitely keep all that in mind (although its a lot lol), thanks for the info!

Re: What To Learn? [Re: pianoloverus] #2772432
10/14/18 02:20 PM
10/14/18 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I agree. And to add to this, even if someone could hear exactly what one is playing that doesn't mean their are playing is good either technically or musically.

They can think their interpretation (and technical performance) is very good but in reality it might be quite terrible. One just has to listen to many amateur Youtube performances to verify this. "Common sense" as mentioned by the poster Bruce replied to is usually not at all adequate in knowing how a piece should sound.


What does it mean to be "good". In this context, it means to be acceptable to commonly tuned hearing habits. A teacher can tune a musical sound so that it is deemed acceptable, but other students and teachers. So normality or even mediocrity is considered good. It's a cultural tuning process.

But cultures are different, and what sounds good in one cultural might sound terrible in another. What's more - and this is the real rub - great artists break the cultural tuning mode and create totally new musical sound or art. The impressionists were ridiculed! Why? Because they were not in tune with cultural norms. Their art created enormous dissonance within their cultural milieu. In time, norms changed and cultures became more in tune with the impressionists rhythms, tones, colors, etc.

Bottom line, there is no "good" in arts. However, there is "cultural norms" at points in time. For some, it may be worth tens of thousands of dollars to have their hearing and sound so tuned. It a matter of how to allocate limited resources, e.g. money, that one has, and whether the results are worth it.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772443
10/14/18 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I agree. And to add to this, even if someone could hear exactly what one is playing that doesn't mean their are playing is good either technically or musically.

They can think their interpretation (and technical performance) is very good but in reality it might be quite terrible. One just has to listen to many amateur Youtube performances to verify this. "Common sense" as mentioned by the poster Bruce replied to is usually not at all adequate in knowing how a piece should sound.


What does it mean to be "good". In this context, it means to be acceptable to commonly tuned hearing habits. A teacher can tune a musical sound so that it is deemed acceptable, but other students and teachers. So normality or even mediocrity is considered good. It's a cultural tuning process.

But cultures are different, and what sounds good in one cultural might sound terrible in another. What's more - and this is the real rub - great artists break the cultural tuning mode and create totally new musical sound or art. The impressionists were ridiculed! Why? Because they were not in tune with cultural norms. Their art created enormous dissonance within their cultural milieu. In time, norms changed and cultures became more in tune with the impressionists rhythms, tones, colors, etc.

Bottom line, there is no "good" in arts. However, there is "cultural norms" at points in time. For some, it may be worth tens of thousands of dollars to have their hearing and sound so tuned. It a matter of how to allocate limited resources, e.g. money, that one has, and whether the results are worth it.
You're talking mostly about composition but I was talking about performance. There definitely are good and bad ways to play the piano from both the technical and musical standpoint.

BTW an earlier post saying there were many correct ways to play the piano from a technical viewpoint(so there was no use in having a teacher) was only very partially true IMO. If one looks at good professional or amateur pianists the similarities in their technique are much greater than their differences. There will also always be a few outliers with very non standard technique who still play well but why concern yourself with what works for 1%.

In terms of non musical matters the idea that one can figure everything out for oneself and that one interpretation is just as good as any other is not valid IMO. There can certainly be many good interpretations but that does not mean that every interpretation is valid or just as good as any other interpretation.

I have been to 100s of master classes where the students are generally top conservatory students. These classes almost always deal almost exclusively with non musical matters(not technique). The teachers often point out clear musical errors of students and the best master class teachers are very convincing about why what they say is correct. They also give what I would call "suggestions". i.e. alternative interpretations or ideas about how to play something where they are not saying the student played something incorrectly. The best teachers are very clear about what they consider to be just plain wrong and what they consider to be a suggestion.

If top conservatory students can still make clear musical errors I think less advanced students can certainly benefit from the knowledge of a good teacher.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: pianoloverus] #2772450
10/14/18 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I have been to 100s of master classes where the students are generally top conservatory students. These classes almost always deal almost exclusively with non musical matters(not technique). The teachers often point out clear musical errors of students and the best master class teachers are very convincing about why what they say is correct. They also give what I would call "suggestions". i.e. alternative interpretations or ideas about how to play something where they are not saying the student played something incorrectly. The best teachers are very clear about what they consider to be just plain wrong and what they consider to be a suggestion.

If top conservatory students can still make clear musical errors I think less advanced students can certainly benefit from the knowledge of a good teacher.

Where I agree with Richrf is that if one is only playing for oneself or a a few others who aren't really considering the way a piece "should be played", then short of playing in a way that can be injurious to your hands/wrists, it ultimately doesn't matter if you are playing correct or if your playing is true to the composers intent, as long as you and those you play for are enjoying themselves.

However, this doesn't mean that this way of playing should be recommended except to those of like mind. Because, for example, many people may actually care about playing a piece in the way a composer intended. For example, someone could have made those recommendations to me, and if I hadn't know better, I doubt I would have been happy with the outcomes.

So what works for Richrf and makes him and those he plays for, such as his wife, happy, won't necessarily make the random beginning piano player happy. I did set out to do my own thing - DIY too, like cmb13 - and there came a point around the 3rd month of trying by myself that I was not happy with where my piano playing was going, because what I was playing was not sounding like what I thought those pieces should sound like, or what those who were more skilled could make them sound like, so that's when I found a teacher.

I am a strong believer in self-teaching. I did credit-by-exam at the University in the maximum number of course allowed me because I thought I could teach myself some things better and faster than the professors. I've self-taught myself other things from rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, to motorcycle riding. But in the arts, I've repeatedly come up short without a hand to guide me, because for me, it is not enough just to tickle the keys. I want to make doing so sound the way I think it should sound too.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2772461
10/14/18 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I have been to 100s of master classes where the students are generally top conservatory students. These classes almost always deal almost exclusively with non musical matters(not technique). The teachers often point out clear musical errors of students and the best master class teachers are very convincing about why what they say is correct. They also give what I would call "suggestions". i.e. alternative interpretations or ideas about how to play something where they are not saying the student played something incorrectly. The best teachers are very clear about what they consider to be just plain wrong and what they consider to be a suggestion.

If top conservatory students can still make clear musical errors I think less advanced students can certainly benefit from the knowledge of a good teacher.

Where I agree with Richrf is that if one is only playing for oneself or a a few others who aren't really considering the way a piece "should be played", then short of playing in a way that can be injurious to your hands/wrists, it ultimately doesn't matter if you are playing correct or if your playing is true to the composers intent, as long as you and those you play for are enjoying themselves.
One can certainly enjoy oneself and have others enjoy your playing even if one doesn't understand musical ideas that well. I once even thought that if I ever took piano lessons again(it's been over 50 years)that I would concentrate on technique because I wouldn't be aware of my musical inadequacies(one doesn't know what one doesn't know) but I would be aware if I couldn't handle a technically difficult piece.

But I no longer think like that. Now I am at least as interested in musical understanding as in technical skill. It's the main reason that a great pianist can sound so much better than a very ordinary amateur even when playing a piece that's technically very easy. I think not having a teacher to help with musical understanding results in a major hole in greater enjoyment of music. Many people don't have the talent or time to gain a great technique but musical understanding is all mental so it's in some sense instantaneous.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/14/18 05:01 PM.
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772465
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"You're talking mostly about composition but I was talking about performance. There definitely are good and bad ways to play the piano from both the technical and musical standpoint."

No, there are just people who tell you whether it is good or bad, and they will disagree among themselves. All you are doing, in a lesson, is fine tuning your music to the sensibilities of one person at a particular point in time. The irony is that the teachers' hearing sensibilities are constantly changing over time both physically and mindfully. It is an interesting little game that is being played with the constant struggle to appeal to an ever changing target and paying for it. From a performance point view, it certainly helps to have a pedigree that no one will challenge whatever the sound that is being made. From a psychological perspective, arts and artists are an interesting study.

" Because, for example, many people may actually care about playing a piece in the way a composer intended. For example, someone could have made those recommendations to me, and if I hadn't know better, I doubt I would have been happy with the outcomes."

You should have be happy with the outcome, because no one knows what the composer heard in his/her mind when first composed. Musical notation is no where near adequate, hence the vast and never ending interpretations of a given piece. What's more, in all probability, the composer probably constantly changed his)her own interpretation as is often the case with all music. All you are getting from a teacher is a thumbs up that the way you play is somewhere in the range of current cultural norms. If that is something to you, then it may be worth the money. If course, another teacher may see it differently.




Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772467
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In any field of endeavour, there are good and bad ways of doing a task. For anyone to state otherwise is acknowledgement of their own ignorance.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772469
10/14/18 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Richrf
"You're talking mostly about composition but I was talking about performance. There definitely are good and bad ways to play the piano from both the technical and musical standpoint."

No, there are just people who tell you whether it is good or bad, and they will disagree among themselves. All you are doing, in a lesson, is fine tuning your music to the sensibilities of one person at a particular point in time.
There will be some disagreement, but on most important things the huge majority of knowledgeable teachers will agree.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: prout] #2772471
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Originally Posted by prout
In any field of endeavour, there are good and bad ways of doing a task. For anyone to state otherwise is acknowledgement of their own ignorance.


Yep, this is fundamental marketing pitch which allows conservatories to charge $1OO of thousands of dollars for their services, and yes some people believe the pitch. However, upon graduation, one does get the pedigree and all that it may entail. Maybe the money will be earned back or maybe not. Or maybe it doesn't matter, the pedigree itself may be sufficient.

What is interesting to observe is the scorn that one teacher of pedigree may heap upon another. Then it gets downright amusing.

The history of all arts suggest, bad today, good tomorrow. Human sensibilities simply change over time.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772480
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Originally Posted by prout
In any field of endeavour, there are good and bad ways of doing a task. For anyone to state otherwise is acknowledgement of their own ignorance.


Yep, this is fundamental marketing pitch which allows conservatories to charge $1OO of thousands of dollars for their services, and yes some people believe the pitch. However, upon graduation, one does get the pedigree and all that it may entail. Maybe the money will be earned back or maybe not. Or maybe it doesn't matter, the pedigree itself may be sufficient.

What is interesting to observe is the scorn that one teacher of pedigree may heap upon another. Then it gets downright amusing.

The history of all arts suggest, bad today, good tomorrow. Human sensibilities simply change over time.
Rich, I was careful to not be specific about the field of study. I offer you an example. I am a retired professional pilot, having trained in a school for 7 years and then in the airlines for 33 years. Would you accept a self-taught pilot to be captain of your airplane? What about a cardiac surgeon? No professional training required? I stand by my statement.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772482
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I see a lot of simplification and painting everything with the same brush based on probably personal experience, and thus limited.

I experienced this glorified "self-teaching" and following one's own muses, for 50 years. It is not nearly as wonderful as some seem to make it out to be. I also experienced misguided and thus poor teaching the first time I went that route, so I know about that. Ironically,most of what made it misguided is that the teacher did not want the technical side to be too scary, and so left me mostly to my own instincts. It took several years after that to figure out the ups and downs of music study.

First thing: The good teacher is rare. But if you find one, it makes a huge difference.

Secondly: If you do get a good teacher, you won't be doing the kinds of things that have been depicted so negatively here. Nor is it about following superficial things like exams or "grades" (whatever that means), nor is fear and such emotions elicited by that relationship. What does happen is you get help in solving things you can't solve yourself, and you will get insights that you aren't privy to yourself. The result of both is that you yourself will end up with more solutions; your imagination will be spurred by what you are learning, and you get to go past where you would totally on your own. This is different from regurgitation, conveyor-belt type "teaching" and the rest. ALL KINDS exist.

"Levels: Grade levels: Intermediate level" etc. ---- This does and does not exist. I played the full Fuer Elise when I was nine years old and self-taught, close to when I first got a piano. This is supposed to be a higher grade level. But don't ask me how I played it. A "grade 1" piece can be played with utter finesse by a fine pianist - a "grade 8" piece can be butchered, or it can be "studentish" in sound even if under a (careless / uncaring) teacher.

There are things you can get on your own, and things you can't get on your own. There are things you will hear, and correct, and things you won't hear. I have studied piano several years with a teacher, and I can hear things that I could not hear before. I also literally did not know what "playing with ease" felt like. Whatever I did felt normal. It was only when I experienced ease, that I knew what I was doing before was not ease.

Yes, you can get resources on-line, and there are some excellent ones. Some teachers who have platforms also give feedback; sometimes you have to pay a fee to be part of the platform, and sometimes they charge an extra fee.

And no - it is not about "pedigrees". If you find a good teacher, then you have found a good teacher, however that teacher earned the knowledge, wisdom, skill, insight etc.

Technique: It is not formulaic. If somebody gives you a formula, whether it's curled apple-holding hands or flopsy boneless loose hands, they're both equally wrong; I'd run. But there are some common underlying principles. If you find and use those principles, you will end up developing motions and shapes that are unique to you, but common in principle. One super simple example is: sit at a good distance and height from the piano, one that suits you, because that puts you in balance with the instrument --- no teacher will agree with this. That is an example of underlying principles.

Just some random thoughts.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772484
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Originally Posted by prout
In any field of endeavour, there are good and bad ways of doing a task. For anyone to state otherwise is acknowledgement of their own ignorance.


Yep, this is fundamental marketing pitch which allows conservatories to charge $1OO of thousands of dollars for their services, and yes some people believe the pitch. However, upon graduation, one does get the pedigree and all that it may entail. Maybe the money will be earned back or maybe not. Or maybe it doesn't matter, the pedigree itself may be sufficient.

Once again, you are heaping scorn on conservatories, yet it appears your favorite online piano teachers that you've posted videos of, were all trained in the conservatory. Is there not some irony in this?
  • Irina Lankova - Brussel's Royal Conservatory
  • Irina Gorin - Kharkov Conservatory
  • Ilinca Vartic - Moldovan Academy of Music

I could go on...


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2772485
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop


Once again, you are heaping scorn on conservatories, yet it appears your favorite online piano teachers that you've posted videos of, were all trained in the conservatory. Is there not some irony in this?


If someone is trained or not trained in a conservatory had no meaning to me. It just seems happens that pedigrees assist people in building a business and are therefore more likely to have a wide YouTube audience. Personally, I've listened to hundreds of jazz pianists which I love much more than any classically trained pianist I've heard, and have no such pedigree. The thing is, i didn't spend $100,000 for a diploma, so I don't need to rationalize the cost to myself. I certainly don't need to claim any high order position on the pecking order tree.

The myths of pedigree can be used as a marketing pitch, but really it had nothing to do with my enjoyment of someone's music. Heck, I enjoy listening to children who are far, far from any conservatory training. Music and the enjoyment of music is about as subject as anything can be.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772487
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Originally Posted by Richrf
If someone is trained or not trained in a conservatory had no meaning to me. It just seems happens that pedigrees assist people in building a business and are therefore more likely to have a wide YouTube audience.

You can say that you don't care, but it doesn't make it any less ironic that the ones you been posting on ABF have been trained formally. It would be like saying one doesn't care if airline pilots (to use prout's example) are formally trained, but then one flies in aircrafts which are all captained by pilots that are formally trained. It certainly makes the protestation that formal training doesn't matter a lot weaker.

As for jazz, it's a different genre. I suppose no hiphop artists have graduated the conservatory either. Would that make conservatories worthless?

As I pointed out elsewhere, there are well-known pianists that don't read music, like George Winston. Doesn't mean reading music is useless.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772488
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I reread my post, and see that one bit needs an explanation:
[quote=me].... or "grades" (whatever that means) ..... [/quote ]
It sounds like I don't know what grades mean. So explaining.

The first time I had lessons, we did "preliminary" for a couple of months, then we did "grade 1", then "grade 2" while I passed the gr. 1 exam in flying colours, then grade 3, started grade 4 - all in one year - and then I crashed. With a superficial look, the grades were "covered". This was RCM, similar to ABRSM, AMEB etc. There were scales and arpeggios for each grade, with a target tempo, etudes for technical skills, and a minimum number of pieces covering several musical periods and such - to be played to a minimum standard. I was keen. I was told a good student practices 3 hours/day, and whenever I could, I did. So I "progressed". My last assigned etude was grade 7. When it all fell apart I struggled on for several more years, and did not touch the instrument again for a decade. I spent my time learning about learning, doing a lot of this through piano and via some good teachers including my main teacher.

Now that I know a lot more, I've gone back to that old material that got "covered". When you're teaching a course, there has to be some kind of order, and sequence of skills. In public school you learn to add and subtract before you learn to multiply and divide, as one builds on the other. There was order in this graded material too. But when I looked at the etudes, there were underlying skills that could have been practised through those etudes. The simple scales also had underlying skills. You could play that "grade 1 etude" while focusing on given things - and when you do that, you get a facility that will carry through to other levels. That skill might be perceived as a "grade 4 level skill". Otoh, you could be playing a "grade 4 piece" minus those skills, and more at a "grade 1 level" or even "untaught level".

This is when "grades" became somewhat meaningless, and that is what I meant by "whatever that means".

Re: What To Learn? [Re: prout] #2772490
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Originally Posted by prout
Originally Posted by Richrf
Originally Posted by prout
In any field of endeavour, there are good and bad ways of doing a task. For anyone to state otherwise is acknowledgement of their own ignorance.


Yep, this is fundamental marketing pitch which allows conservatories to charge $1OO of thousands of dollars for their services, and yes some people believe the pitch. However, upon graduation, one does get the pedigree and all that it may entail. Maybe the money will be earned back or maybe not. Or maybe it doesn't matter, the pedigree itself may be sufficient.

What is interesting to observe is the scorn that one teacher of pedigree may heap upon another. Then it gets downright amusing.

The history of all arts suggest, bad today, good tomorrow. Human sensibilities simply change over time.
Rich, I was careful to not be specific about the field of study. I offer you an example. I am a retired professional pilot, having trained in a school for 7 years and then in the airlines for 33 years. Would you accept a self-taught pilot to be captain of your airplane? What about a cardiac surgeon? No professional training required? I stand by my statement.


I was talking about art.

As far as cardiac surgeons are concerned, they kill plenty of people, even the "good" ones with a pedigree.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2772491
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Richrf
If someone is trained or not trained in a conservatory had no meaning to me. It just seems happens that pedigrees assist people in building a business and are therefore more likely to have a wide YouTube audience.

You can say that you don't care, but it doesn't make it any less ironic that the ones you been posting on ABF have been trained formally. It would be like saying one doesn't care if airline pilots (to use prout's example) are formally trained, but then one flies in aircrafts which are all captained by pilots that are formally trained. It certainly makes the protestation that formal training doesn't matter a lot weaker.

As for jazz, it's a different genre. I suppose no hiphop artists have graduated the conservatory either. Would that make conservatories worthless?

As I pointed out elsewhere, there are well-known pianists that don't read music, like George Winston. Doesn't mean reading music is useless.


There is no irony. There are probably tens if thousands of non conservatory trained musicians that I like just as much, they just don't get visibility on YouTube or otherwise.

As for pilots, where the heck did I ever say piloting is an art? Art is totally subjective. It is a creative process. Landing a plane safely with no dead bodies on the tarmack is not. Piloting it's not and never was a creative process, though under certain circumstances, the creative mind may be called upon for creative solutions to unpredicted problems.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772529
10/14/18 09:28 PM
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Finn1996, I started piano again at the age of 54 after taking it as a child. I have taken piano lessons going on 5 years, have taken music theory 2 hours a week for 3 years and this past summer took jazz theory 2 hours a week for 12 weeks. I have only, even touched the surface of theory. I did write music, that was to learn voicing, not for the sake of writing music. But that was after learning all the keys, major and all the minors, intervals, secondary dominants, learning how to read music scores, learning figured bass, modulation, transposing, cadental progressions, sequential progressions, phrasing, learning ABA (binary, rounded binary) how music is organized, fugue and sonata form analysis. I could not have done this without a teacher, I am not suggesting you cannot.

I do have some suggestions, books I used:

Analyzing Classical From by William Caplin,
JS Bach 413 Chorales, analyze a few a week out of this book, using Roman Numeral Analysis, voicing analysis, chord progression, this was great practice.
Jazzology by Robert Rawline and Nor Bahha
Musicians Guide to Theory and Analysis Jane Piper Clendinning
The language and materials of music Kendall Durell Briggs
Fugue and Sonata form, after I went though the book, the teacher selected pieces randomly to do roman numeral analysis, cord analysis, modulation identification, exposition, contrasting middle section and recap

I have used utube, there are a lot of good videos, my issue is what if I have a question. Now I can take it back to my teacher.

Deciding to use a teacher is a personal choice, for me it was the right one. Even though I am motivated, having a teacher creates a sense of accountability. A lot of those theory concepts I could not have learned on my own. As for the piano lessons, I can think I play it right, but it takes someone who has expertise in that subject to evaluate if I did it correctly. I enjoy having a classes. However, I am done with formal academics where grades are given, this is a personal journey--mine just involves having a teacher.

I did request a person with a degree. Unlike a university setting, private music schools for profit and non-profits, there are no accreditation standards. What I found out is the school does not hire anyone without a music degree. I needed something to go on since I do not have expertise in this area.

Hope this helps.


Deb
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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772534
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Richrf I agree, getting a teacher adds stress, boredom, and suppression of personal expression and creativity, which cost money. However, it leads to an end goal.
I went to college most of my life, I could not always be creative, I was stressed during test/presentations, and my PhD cost me a fortune. My PhD was a personal goal. My friend took private cooking lessons from a chef, she told me how stressed she was, she did not stop lessons, I am stressed at my lessons but it does not mean I am quitting. People do not generally become good at something by accident, it takes years, sacrifice, money, and perseverance. I believe it comes to personal choice and goals. You can get a job without college and learn to play the piano without a teacher; it just depends what type of end result you desire.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: cmb13] #2772539
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CMB, for me it is a personal journey also, I like learning. My goal is to play a 30 minute concert at the nursing home. I played 4 songs last month, short ones, but it was about 8 minutes. At least I can get through now without my glasses fogging from nerves. I also, do not care about levels.......just want to have some fun and learn as I go.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772544
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Richrf, regarding school choice for musicians, depending on goals, I believe (from a musician friend) school can make a difference in getting auditions for big name symphonies. Just like, someone who wants to work for a Fortune 500 company business school choice may make a difference to get in the door. Just a thought.


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Richrf, are the USAF Thunderbirds shows artistic?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHexuuEujeY

I know it is subjective, I think it is artful.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772554
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Even though some people appear to have an open mind, it can be completely shut. You can talk rationally until you are blue in the face. You can decide for yourself if it is worth the effort.



Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772614
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Originally Posted by Richrf
........As far as cardiac surgeons are concerned, they kill plenty of people, even the "good" ones with a pedigree.


Ummm...ok. Now that’s just ridiculous. Are you a med mal attorney? Are you against heart surgery in general or just pointing out that training does not matter here? A diy heart surgery might be just as good, or good enough? People do die after heart surgery but they are usually so sick going in that it was their only chance. The overall mortality rate is probably about 5%. 95% get a new lease on life; an extension of years to decades, without living with a weak or failing heart or at constant risk of a heart attack.

I’m not sure that this line supports your argument that teachers are unnecessary and superfluous.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772624
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Finn, read keystrings first post. To me that is the most accurate representation of both sides of the question. It is amazing to me that people use a poster's thread to promote opinions that are totally irrelevant to the OPs needs. And who are these posters? Do they reveal their own pianistic expertise? I think each poster should post an example of his or her playing so that we have something to judge their opinions by. I do not deny any posters right to a strong opinion, I just would like to know how much credibility and prowess that poster has, as I would pay much more attention to the opinions of an accomplished pianist ( no matter what genre).

As far as any statements about jazz made in this thread ( other than my own, of course!😈) I find them rather off the mark re teaching for the most part. If it is hard to find a good classical teacher, it is almost impossible to find a good jazz teacher.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: PianogrlNW] #2772629
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Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
Even though some people appear to have an open mind, it can be completely shut. You can talk rationally until you are blue in the face. You can decide for yourself if it is worth the effort.


LOL ...
These types of arguments are what the "arguers" live for.
They check back periodically to see if anyone acknowledged their latest argument as a "good point".

However, usually they find that there is now a "counter argument" which they must (enjoyably) respond to.

So .... they make their "point" and on and on it goes.

And, as you say, there is no particular rational to it ..... mostly opinion backed by questionable supporting data.

It ends when all participants become "weary" of the process .... which can take several days to weeks or even months.




Last edited by dmd; 10/15/18 06:10 AM.

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Re: What To Learn? [Re: dmd] #2772670
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Originally Posted by dmd
[...]
It ends when all participants become "weary" of the process .... which can take several days to weeks or even months.


One can only hope ....


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: pianoloverus] #2772672
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus

... Now I am at least as interested in musical understanding as in technical skill. It's the main reason that a great pianist can sound so much better than a very ordinary amateur even when playing a piece that's technically very easy.


Better playing comes from practice mostly and relation to knowledge is far smaller. More knowledgeable does not equate to better playing. There is some relation but minimal compared to sheer practice and experience at the keyboard.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Greener] #2772680
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Originally Posted by Greener
Originally Posted by pianoloverus

... Now I am at least as interested in musical understanding as in technical skill. It's the main reason that a great pianist can sound so much better than a very ordinary amateur even when playing a piece that's technically very easy.

Better playing comes from practice mostly and relation to knowledge is far smaller. More knowledgeable does not equate to better playing. There is some relation but minimal compared to sheer practice and experience at the keyboard.

I think you and pianoloverus are talking slightly about different points in the development of pianism. Clearly at an earlier point in the development of this skill, practice has a great effect. Even if you don't have "knowledge" of what is good and what is bad, practice will allow pieces to become smoother and sound better. But I think pianoloverus is talking about a phase after you are already technically proficient. At that point, knowledge kicks in because you are proficient enough to control your hands and fingers to be able to do what you want. But what do you want them to do?

I was watching this masterclass with Lang Lang last night:

What struck me is that this student clearly has the technical skills already to make this Beethoven sonata sound as she wants, but what Lang Lang was focusing on was "how should it sound?" That is knowledge.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772700
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There is no right answer of how it is suppossed to sound. If there were, we could all sound the same. He has no such knowledge. The video is more to do with interpretation and articulation. Specialized training which is skills development.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2772701
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I'm glad you posted this example, TS:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Greener
Originally Posted by pianoloverus

... Now I am at least as interested in musical understanding as in technical skill. It's the main reason that a great pianist can sound so much better than a very ordinary amateur even when playing a piece that's technically very easy.

Better playing comes from practice mostly and relation to knowledge is far smaller. More knowledgeable does not equate to better playing. There is some relation but minimal compared to sheer practice and experience at the keyboard.

[snip] ......
I was watching this masterclass with Lang Lang last night:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plfCtMAKScE
........

When I started to watch, I thought, "Oh no, another pianist trying to push his interpretation on a student." But no, it was not that at all. It was what I have coined "applied theory" for want of a term, and am seeking myself. He was correcting counting (she was coming in too early a few times), and he also gave her a device for correcting it with his soft "tatatatata" for counting the pulses. Later it was the expression of a phrase,which has a LH harmony, as much music has, and the melody --- and he worked with the interplay of both. There is the sense of the music itself: for example, the meaning and execution of a cadence (music theory), and how to bring that into effect in both hands. When she applies this theoretical knowledge, the music refines itself, becomes even more effective.

Well, this goes straight into the argument between Pianoloverus and Greener, because it is this extra knowledge that LangLang brought in,which improved the playing. If you don't hear the slightly missed beat, you will keep practising it that way. Here the applied knowledge does equate to better playing. You're practising - yes - but what are you practising toward as you practise? What knowledge is guiding you?

By chance I just ran into similar things in my own lessons. I had a missed beat, which sounded perfectly fine to me and I only heard it once it was pointed out to me. I have learned ways of counting, so it was quickly fixed. There was also the "dotted eighth + 16th" figure that we so often have in music- you can play these literally, giving the first note 3X the value of the 2nd, or you can stretch the 1st and make the 2nd a bit shorter for a jaunty hop into the next note. I'd done a jaunty hop, but by lengthening the shorter note, it added to the slightly somber mood, giving dignity by taking away from playfulness - and the composer had sombreness in that piece even though on the surface its rhythms were playful and light. (The harmonies weren't). It was the same kind of thing, obviously at a different level, which is why this clip spoke to me.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Greener] #2772703
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Originally Posted by Greener
There is no right answer of how it is suppossed to sound. If there were, we could all sound the same. He has no such knowledge. The video is more to do with interpretation and articulation. Specialized training which is skills development.

I don't entirely agree. A missed beat is not a matter of interpretation. (It was not actually about how it's supposed to sound, though it was presented that way).

(We cross-posted so you didn't see my earlier post on the subject.)

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772705
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Wow, what a great and fun teacher he is. I, too, don't think he is teaching so much how it should sound as much as he is talking about a consciousness in the approach as well as the dramatic tensions involved. "Beethoven goes crazy here!" " You need to learn how to hold the tension here"
And he is transferring his excitement and enthusiasm about music in general. It is like going to college where we learn how to learn. He wants her to be able to think like this on her own. "Don't think it is finished... It is just beginning!" The "sound" is something that arises from all the other elements involved. Just my opinion, however


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: DFSRN] #2772706
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Richrf I agree, getting a teacher adds stress, boredom, and suppression of personal expression and creativity, which cost money. However, it leads to an end goal.
I went to college most of my life, I could not always be creative, I was stressed during test/presentations, and my PhD cost me a fortune. My PhD was a personal goal. My friend took private cooking lessons from a chef, she told me how stressed she was, she did not stop lessons, I am stressed at my lessons but it does not mean I am quitting. People do not generally become good at something by accident, it takes years, sacrifice, money, and perseverance. I believe it comes to personal choice and goals. You can get a job without college and learn to play the piano without a teacher; it just depends what type of end result you desire.


For me, my hobbies are about learning, learning about learning, and learning about how to learn by oneself. The process is never ending, and there is no concept of good and bad - just learning.

The Thunderbirds are very artistic, and as such the results are often not as predictable as one might desire. There are extremes as well as an infinite number of gradations between robotic mechanisation and creativity.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: DFSRN] #2772707
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Richrf, regarding school choice for musicians, depending on goals, I believe (from a musician friend) school can make a difference in getting auditions for big name symphonies. Just like, someone who wants to work for a Fortune 500 company business school choice may make a difference to get in the door. Just a thought.


Yes, it is all about money and industry. Without it, then it becomes just something to do in life, in any manner one sees fit. All rather neutral.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772710
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The original comparison i thought was beyond these technecalities. Of course you need sufficient knowledge so not to reinforce problems.

Everything contributes and it is all good. Just saying there is more bang for your buck spending time at the keyboard then anything. More knowledge does not give you a better sound or ability as much as more time practicing and gaining playing experience (technecalities being equal).

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Greener] #2772712
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Originally Posted by Greener
The original comparison i thought was beyond these technecalities. Of course you need sufficient knowledge so not to reinforce problems.

Everything contributes and it is all good. Just saying there is more bang for your buck spending time at the keyboard then anything. More knowledge does not give you a better sound or ability as much as more time practicing and gaining playing experience (technecalities being equal).


I agree that it is the actual experience of doing something that enables the mind, that permeates the body, to learn. Reading or observing may assist someone in choosing directions for their learning process, but it is the actual experience of doing that creates learning.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772717
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Woof. You guys can sure make something that is deep fun sound boring. The OP may be having second thoughts about the piano and go for the bagpipes. At least we know what it was made for.... Scaring the enemy! Just kidding, but remember, children are watching!


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772736
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One person's boredom is another's fascination I suppose. I don't take any reasponsibility for their emotions.

Everything is game for learning. It's even hard to really do the wrong thing provided you stay with it long enough.

For sure you need to keep it interesting and there was great advice provided earlier in the thread about this. What you actually end up with is your own path, as it should be.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Greener] #2772737
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Originally Posted by Greener
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
... Now I am at least as interested in musical understanding as in technical skill. It's the main reason that a great pianist can sound so much better than a very ordinary amateur even when playing a piece that's technically very easy.
Better playing comes from practice mostly and relation to knowledge is far smaller. More knowledgeable does not equate to better playing.There is some relation but minimal compared to sheer practice and experience at the keyboard.
It really goes without saying that better playing requires practice. Knowledge alone doesn't guarantee better playing but it's critical to improvement. Practice will help only if one knows what one is doing both musically and technically. Otherwise, a person could easily be practicing musical or technical errors.

Without knowledge progress will either be monumentally slower or not at all. Just playing the same passage over and over with the hope of solving a technical problem by brute force repetition is in no way effective. Plenty of people play the piano their whole lives and after decades of playing have minimal technical skill and minimal musical understanding. Same thing for tennis players and almost almost any skill.



Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/15/18 01:49 PM.
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Greener] #2772738
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Originally Posted by Greener
Everything is game for learning. It's even hard to really do the wrong thing provided you stay with it long enough.
I think one only has to listen to amateurs who have been playing their whole lives but with little good instruction to see that is not the case. Same for tennis players. Just go to the public courts and watch most of the people who play there regularly who cannot hit a backhand well if their life depended on it.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772740
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There may be some confusion then of what is musical understanding vs. Technical skill.

This now refers to the latter whereas the comparison was more related to the former. Ie. Musical understanding was what separated the great from not so great. Indeed it is more to do with technical understanding.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2772744
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I think you and pianoloverus are talking slightly about different points in the development of pianism. Clearly at an earlier point in the development of this skill, practice has a great effect. Even if you don't have "knowledge" of what is good and what is bad, practice will allow pieces to become smoother and sound better. But I think pianoloverus is talking about a phase after you are already technically proficient. At that point, knowledge kicks in because you are proficient enough to control your hands and fingers to be able to do what you want. But what do you want them to do?
Not really what I meant.

At every stage of development, knowledge(both technical and musical) is of critical importance. The correct technical understanding is probably most critical in the beginning of learning so one develops the correct building blocks for later technical challenges. It's true that sheer repetition may help somewhat but will be much slower and reach a plateau quickly if one does not know what one is doing.

Musical understanding is equally important at every level. The more advanced one gets the more advanced the discussion of musical points will be. What's appropriate to tell an advanced student would often be inappropriate to tell a much less advanced one.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: keystring] #2772748
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Greener
There is no right answer of how it is suppossed to sound. If there were, we could all sound the same. He has no such knowledge. The video is more to do with interpretation and articulation. Specialized training which is skills development.
I don't entirely agree. A missed beat is not a matter of interpretation.
Yes, this was not an interpretive matter but just an error this very advanced student made.

There is no one right way to how a piece should sound but that does not mean every way is right or equally valid. I think that is a basic misconception some posters make.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Greener] #2772749
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Originally Posted by Greener
There may be some confusion then of what is musical understanding vs. Technical skill.

This now refers to the latter whereas the comparison was more related to the former. Ie. Musical understanding was what separated the great from not so great. Indeed it is more to do with technical understanding.
What do "this" and 'it" and "the comparison" refer to?

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772759
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laugh

Good one ...

This ... Refers to your recent posts that are more about technical issues and not musical understanding. Yet it was Musical understanding (the former in your initial post) that made for being great vs mediocre. Nonetheles your later post clarified thumb and covered this too.

Had i used quotes would have been helpful i admit. i am using a phone and not great with it yet. Need more practice.




Last edited by Greener; 10/15/18 03:36 PM.
Re: What To Learn? [Re: pianoloverus] #2772772
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus


There is no one right way to how a piece should sound but that does not mean every way is right or equally valid. I think that is a basic misconception some posters make.


And suppose someone told you that your way is not "valid". Exactly how much money are you willing to pay to make it valid?

And such is the business of music. Playing music, intrinsically, has no hierarchy. Hierarchy is entirely manufactured by those who have the money, such as 17th royalty and those who desire to be better than someone else. Totally, manufactured by humans of such propensity. As me, I'm content with learning.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772778
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Totally, manufactured by humans of such propensity.

Conservatories don't manufacturer it. People manufacture through deciding they will listen to one performer vs. another. This is probably the reason that formal training has never mattered for some genres like hiphop or jazz. Because in those genre, listeners don't prefer performances of performers with formal training over those without - in fact, for those genres, the opposite might be true.

Classical music is a genre where there is a clear preference by listeners for those performers of higher skill. Fewer people would go to concerts to listen to you play than Lang Lang. When I go to a concert, I don't consider what degrees the performer has. I consider if I feel they are good and if their music moves me. But as I mentioned above, there appears to be a positive correlation between classical performers that move me with their performances and those that have formal training. I know no classical performers that I like that have had no formal training. It's likely self-selecting. You can rail against the tyranny of a formal training regime, but this doesn't change the fact that people who appreciate classical music prefer more highly skilled performers, all things being equal (e.g., expressiveness, etc.).

Ultimately, conservatories exist because classical music listeners (audience) demand performers with greater skills.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772780
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Originally Posted by pianoloverus


There is no one right way to how a piece should sound but that does not mean every way is right or equally valid. I think that is a basic misconception some posters make.
And suppose someone told you that your way is not "valid". Exactly how much money are you willing to pay to make it valid?
That would depend on how much money I had and how badly I wanted to improve. But I don't have the slightest doubt that some people have far more knowledge about the musical and technical aspects of playing the piano than I do and that my playing would get better if I took lessons from them and had the motivation to practice.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: pianoloverus] #2772781
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
That would depend on how much money I had and how badly I wanted to improve. But I don't have the slightest doubt that some people have far more knowledge about the musical and technical aspects of playing the piano than I do and that my playing would get better if I took lessons from them and had the motivation to practice.


Let me know what happens when the ATM runs dry. But before you quit, just remember you don't need money to learn. Your desires are you own, manufactured by your own mind, and have nothing to do with what is required to learn piano.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2772785
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop


Ultimately, conservatories exist because classical music listeners (audience) demand performers with greater skills.


Apparently, even more in demand are short dresses, high heels, and high fashion. The elite are a fickled bunch, and their tastes change. Be prepared to change with them. They are not tolerant of those that are not in keeping with their highfalutin tastes.

As for me, high school orchestras are plenty as are grade school bands. I'm just not as demanding as some.

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Originally Posted by IosPlayer
And who are these posters? Do they reveal their own pianistic expertise? I think each poster should post an example of his or her playing so that we have something to judge their opinions by.


Some, like me, post a link in their signature. Most of the recordings on my channel were recorded for the online recitals here and you can look for recordings by user name in the ABF Recital Index.

Not everyone chooses to participate in the recitals and that is just fine. But for those who want to verify the performances of a given ABF poster, Piano World is actually a pretty good resource.

You can also check the Member Recordings channels for both Classical and Non-classical forums.


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Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772797
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Richrf, I agree you do not need money to learn. It is harder to learn on your own than have an expert teach you. For instance, golf, swimming, tennis, karate, etc.... I few music as a hobby for relaxation and enjoyment, even though as I mentioned lessons can be stressful, but is is a good stress. I feel I am putting money towards improving myself, mind, spirit, and health. I have taken care (professionally) of people who had self-destructive behaviors such as gambling, drugs, and alcoholism. I am sure this well would run dry fast, cocaine is really expensive. People work and it is important to reward yourself with something you value, and in fact it may be something other than music lessons.


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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Richrf, I agree you do not need money to learn. It is harder to learn on your own than have an expert teach you. For instance, golf, swimming, tennis, karate, etc.... I few music as a hobby for relaxation and enjoyment, even though as I mentioned lessons can be stressful, but is is a good stress. I feel I am putting money towards improving myself, mind, spirit, and health. I have taken care (professionally) of people who had self-destructive behaviors such as gambling, drugs, and alcoholism. I am sure this well would run dry fast, cocaine is really expensive. People work and it is important to reward yourself with something you value, and in fact it may be something other than music lessons.


What is interesting, is that as one practices the skill of learning and self-teaching, learning skills on one's own becomes easier. Learning by oneself is a skill just like any other skill. I've taught myself many things and continue to get better at it, as I practice it. The fundamental skills needed for self-study are: 1) relaxation 2) awareness 3) sensitivity 4) flexibility 5) creative imagination.

However, if one wishes to pay money for information, then that is an individual choice. What I object to is the myth that it requires thousands of dollars to learn and enjoy any hobby of any sort. It's simply an artificial, manufactured barrier that keeps people from enjoying their creative being.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Richrf] #2772836
10/15/18 07:05 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by Richrf
What I object to is the myth that it requires thousands of dollars to learn and enjoy any hobby of any sort. It's simply an artificial, manufactured barrier that keeps people from enjoying their creative being.

I think you have manufactured that myth/strawman yourself. I certainly have never heard (or read) any statement on this forum or elsewhere that one must pay to enjoy a hobby. I think though for some people, myself included, part of the enjoyment of a hobby is to achieve a certain standard in one's hobby. Sometimes the easiest way to do that - the path of least resistance, if you will - is to pay someone to teach you. And as you say, if money is not a limiting factor, then why not? I have a friend whose hobby is sailing and certainly he has spent > 50x on his hobby than I have on mine so far, if one is comparing hobbies smile


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: What To Learn? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2772839
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Richrf
What I object to is the myth that it requires thousands of dollars to learn and enjoy any hobby of any sort. It's simply an artificial, manufactured barrier that keeps people from enjoying their creative being.

I think you have manufactured that myth yourself. I certainly have never heard (or read) any statement on this forum or elsewhere that one must pay to enjoy a hobby. I think though for some people, myself included, part of the enjoyment of a hobby is to achieve a certain standard in one's hobby. Sometimes the easiest way to do that - the path of least resistance, if you will - is to pay someone to teach you. And as you say, if money is not a limiting factor, then why not? I have a friend whose hobby is sailing and certainly he has spent > 50x on his hobby than I have on mine so far, if one is comparing hobbies smile


Well, I saw posts referencing golf, karate, flying, swimming etc... What I think Richrf said it that spending money is NOT necessary - but if one WANTS to spend money on a teacher, that is their choice. That is the way I have interpreted his comments, right or wrong grin

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2772840
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
[
I think you have manufactured that myth/strawman yourself. I certainly have never heard (or read) any statement on this forum or elsewhere that one must pay to enjoy a hobby. I think though for some people, myself included, part of the enjoyment of a hobby is to achieve a certain standard in one's hobby. Sometimes the easiest way to do that - the path of least resistance, if you will - is to pay someone to teach you. And as you say, if money is not a limiting factor, then why not? I have a friend whose hobby is sailing and certainly he has spent > 50x on his hobby than I have on mine so far, if one is comparing hobbies smile


Why not? Because of all the downsides of having a teacher, and there are many, particularly because money is involved. As a said in my opening comments in this thread, having a teacher is not a panacea, it is just different. It guarantees nothing. What happens, happens. For example, most people I know who had a teacher ended up quitting. Just one possible outcome.


As far as me manufacturing myths, then I'll wait patiently until the next question someone asks, is answered with the totally empty reply of "Get a teacher". At $60/hour per week, that is $3000 to learn a few cute tunes.

Last edited by Richrf; 10/15/18 07:27 PM.
Re: What To Learn? [Re: NobleHouse] #2772843
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse


Well, I saw posts referencing golf, karate, flying, swimming etc... What I think Richrf said it that spending money is NOT necessary - but if one WANTS to spend money on a teacher, that is their choice. That is the way I have interpreted his comments, right or wrong grin


Precisely, on target. :-)

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772849
10/15/18 07:48 PM
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I have a feeling we are talking about different objectives here.

If one wants to just enjoy learning music by oneself, they can go at it whichever way they want. There is nothing wrong with that.

But for someone who is serious about getting to play really well in a reasonable time period, lessons with good teacher(s) are almost a must.
I could try to figure out how to play one of Beethoven Sonatas technically and musically well by myself, but it might take longer than my lifespan to accomplish that.
Learning from someone with skills and experience is the solution for these people.

I used to be in "I can do all this by myself" too. Lessons from a good teacher changed that perspective.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: Finn1996] #2772854
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Hi Siros.
I know it’s not likely, but I really feel the need to ask, so I hope you don’t mind the question: any chance you are taking lessons from Paul Barton?? I can imagine he would be a wonderful private teacher


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: What To Learn? [Re: dogperson] #2772865
10/15/18 08:59 PM
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siros Offline
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Hi Siros.
I know it’s not likely, but I really feel the need to ask, so I hope you don’t mind the question: any chance you are taking lessons from Paul Barton?? I can imagine he would be a wonderful private teacher

Hi.
No, I haven't. Though it would be nice if I could. I really enjoy his videos.
I think he lives in a different city far away from me.

Re: What To Learn? [Re: pianoloverus] #2772870
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Greener
Everything is game for learning. It's even hard to really do the wrong thing provided you stay with it long enough.
I think one only has to listen to amateurs who have been playing their whole lives but with little good instruction to see that is not the case. Same for tennis players. Just go to the public courts and watch most of the people who play there regularly who cannot hit a backhand well if their life depended on it.


And watch those retired golfers. Many have been playing their whole lives and they still haven't the slightest idea of the motion that produces a "good" golf shot.


You cannot "watch" a good golfer play and then "learn" by watching. There is a subtle concept that is at work within the swing motion that cannot be observed .... it can be produced, of course, but only if you know about it. You cannot "see" it.

It is very possible that playing piano contains 1 or more of those "unobservable" concepts that produce results found in high quality playing. I would think it to be true.


Don

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