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Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2805286
01/23/19 02:56 AM
01/23/19 02:56 AM
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Sibylle Offline
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I know the definition of a "pianist" is strictly speaking simply someone who plays the piano, but I've always associated it with professionals, so I'd never call myself a pianist.

It's not particularly logical, I realise that smile But "playing the piano", in my book, is what you do as soon as you practise your first piece. It's more a technical term, describing what you do, rather than how well you do it, whereas "pianist" to me has the ring of mastery.


Sibylle

My piano background

"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
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Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2805298
01/23/19 03:48 AM
01/23/19 03:48 AM
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Toronto, Canada
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There are several people at home who took music lessons and passed a few conservatory levels. Their pianos sit at home like a piece of furniture and they haven't touched it for at least 5 years. Do you consider someone like this being able to play? Probably not.

Someone like myself I'm not a good sight-reader and tend to play a lot of intermediate pieces from memory. I got a few friends over for the holidays. Played some Christmas tunes and asked them to sing-along. Nothing too complicated. I'm not at the level of playing Beethoven Sonatas. They know I can play at an intermediate level. Once I played the first movement of the Bach "Italian Concerto" in F at a Christmas gathering from memory. The piece is about 4m long. Haven't touched it piece for a while.

Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: Sibylle] #2805309
01/23/19 04:44 AM
01/23/19 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Sibylle
I know the definition of a "pianist" is strictly speaking simply someone who plays the piano, but I've always associated it with professionals, so I'd never call myself a pianist.

It's not particularly logical, I realise that smile But "playing the piano", in my book, is what you do as soon as you practise your first piece. It's more a technical term, describing what you do, rather than how well you do it, whereas "pianist" to me has the ring of mastery.



The thing is , all pianists practice, all professionals pianists also
Even masters practice routinely

So essentially you play you learn , and overtime you get better.
The key though is masters have better analytical skills interns of theory that led them to become a master typically and are able to pick up things faster , because they recognize things better and are typically well in reading and ear because they practice repertoire and transcribing


I can play pretty nice pieces , and have been told by professionals that I’m an intermediate,
But I still feel not as such in my arranging skills and theoretical , and improv ,and transcribing skills but that is cause I don’t analyze harmonic and melodies but at same time I am a Full time working adult with responsibilities and have only so much time ,

I often run into dilemmS do I want to learn some reportiore or transcribe , I often don’t pick the latter


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2805352
01/23/19 07:27 AM
01/23/19 07:27 AM
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Also I tend to memorize , but so do the masters and pros, especially when things are tricky


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Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: lunobili] #2805439
01/23/19 11:13 AM
01/23/19 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by lunobili
4) At any given time I will be practicing two, maximum three pieces. This means that I can only "play" two/three pieces badly, because they are work in progress. Those learned in the past are forgotten.


That sounds like you may be stuck in the trap of muscle memory. Ask your teacher about how to put a few short pieces into permanent memory. One thing that helps is to memorize the sequence of chords away from the piano, in alphanumeric form.


-- J.S.

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Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2805448
01/23/19 11:24 AM
01/23/19 11:24 AM
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I think it means many things because there are many aspects to music and different types of musicians.

As far as “classical” piano, I have the opinion that if you start late, although you may play well with practice, it’d be quite a feat to play like someone who has played since childhood.- akin to learning a new language;
[Adults can’t learn a new language as well [as a child] because there are formants they lose the ability to speak. - An adult loses the ability to distinguish in hearing those subtle sounds spoken of a foreign language.]

But - as far as composing and appreciation for music, that’s completely a subjective experience more relying on the learning of composing and what one was exposed to in life to direct their tastes.
I like to think myself as someone who plays an instrument whether it’s “well seasoned” or not.
For the same reason that tastes in music are different to everyone and that there are many types of music.

So march to your own drummer… hahaha..

Even so , I still get envious when I see/hear someone playing fantastically!
And too I think there may be medicinal,- meaning therapeutic- benefits to playing an instrument and/or appreciating music on a deep level.


Cheers!!!

Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2805717
01/24/19 12:41 AM
01/24/19 12:41 AM
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Detroit
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When you can sit in front of an audience and play a piece from start to finish, you're a piano player. Ditto if you post your reordings on the www.

A pianist is similar but does it for a living.


"the lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne." -- Chaucer.
Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: JohnSprung] #2805721
01/24/19 01:10 AM
01/24/19 01:10 AM
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Posts: 79
Japan
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by lunobili
4) At any given time I will be practicing two, maximum three pieces. This means that I can only "play" two/three pieces badly, because they are work in progress. Those learned in the past are forgotten.


That sounds like you may be stuck in the trap of muscle memory. Ask your teacher about how to put a few short pieces into permanent memory. One thing that helps is to memorize the sequence of chords away from the piano, in alphanumeric form.



Thinking of it, you are probably right. Thanks, I will look into this.

Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: patH] #2805728
01/24/19 02:27 AM
01/24/19 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by patH
An interesting question.
In my opinion, if there's one piece of music you can produce on the piano the way you want, then you can play the piano. Even if the piece is 4'33" by John Cage.

It's like with other skills, like chess. If you know the rules of the game, then you can play chess. Even if most of your opponents checkmate you in less than 10 moves.

..


I'd build on this to demark the line at knowing the basic rules unique to the game. You can play chess once you know how the pieces move and what "castling" is. You can play the piano once you can read the notes and know how to strike the appropriate keys, regardless of how long it takes you to do that well.


"Motivation is simple, you eliminate anyone who isn't motivated." - Lou Holtz.
Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: Fidel] #2805729
01/24/19 02:34 AM
01/24/19 02:34 AM
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Portland, OR
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Originally Posted by Fidel
A pianist is similar but does it for a living.

That would mean there are precious few pianists in the world.


Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: Fidel] #2805731
01/24/19 02:50 AM
01/24/19 02:50 AM
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Victoria, BC
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Originally Posted by Fidel
When you can sit in front of an audience and play a piece from start to finish, you're a piano player. Ditto if you post your reordings on the www.

A pianist is similar but does it for a living.


Nonsense!


BruceD
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Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: BruceD] #2805795
01/24/19 08:10 AM
01/24/19 08:10 AM
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Posts: 2,408
In the Ozarks of Missouri
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Fidel
When you can sit in front of an audience and play a piece from start to finish, you're a piano player. Ditto if you post your reordings on the www.

A pianist is similar but does it for a living.


Nonsense!


I must agree with BruceD! thumb


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Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: Jitin] #2805833
01/24/19 09:50 AM
01/24/19 09:50 AM
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The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by Jitin
Also I tend to memorize , but so do the masters and pros, especially when things are tricky

They memorize, but I would think most professionals rely on their reading ability to get a piece into their fingers. Memorizing from the start makes little sense to me from a time perspective.


I've started playing January 2017, Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.

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Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: Keselo] #2805844
01/24/19 10:02 AM
01/24/19 10:02 AM
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Posts: 3,114
Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by Keselo
Originally Posted by Jitin
Also I tend to memorize , but so do the masters and pros, especially when things are tricky

They memorize, but I would think most professionals rely on their reading ability to get a piece into their fingers. Memorizing from the start makes little sense to me from a time perspective.


Actually, memorizing from the start is a very good technique. Break it up into sections, do whatever it takes to memorize a section, using as many different techniques as possible, and divorce yourself from looking at the music as soon as possible. Don't look at the music while practicing, except to refresh or check on problems. I also go back occasionally and play it from the score to make sure errors are not creeping in. I memorized my "half" recital for school this way, and am now working on the "full" recital. Of course, I am 65 years old - maybe this is an old man's technique...

Sam

Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: Fidel] #2805851
01/24/19 10:19 AM
01/24/19 10:19 AM
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Maine
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Originally Posted by Fidel
When you can sit in front of an audience and play a piece from start to finish, you're a piano player. Ditto if you post your reordings on the www.

A pianist is similar but does it for a living.


I would differentiate between an amateur pianist and a professional pianist. I would call both "pianists".


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Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2805859
01/24/19 10:35 AM
01/24/19 10:35 AM
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Pittsburgh,PA
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it means you have restless arm and hands syndrome and found an outlet.! smile Otherwise you'd be playing the air and people would get all nervous and stuff around you! crazy

Last edited by piano_primo_1; 01/24/19 10:37 AM.

Cheers!!!

Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: Fidel] #2805867
01/24/19 10:48 AM
01/24/19 10:48 AM
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Reseda, California
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Originally Posted by Fidel
When you can sit in front of an audience and play a piece from start to finish, you're a piano player. Ditto if you post your reordings on the www.

A pianist is similar but does it for a living.


As I've seen them used, the term pianist leans mostly classical, while piano player leans the other way. A piano player may work for tips in a brandy snifter in bars and restaurants. Some friends of mine put one with a couple bucks in it on my piano at home.... ;-)


-- J.S.

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Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: Sam S] #2805982
01/24/19 01:24 PM
01/24/19 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
Originally Posted by Keselo
Originally Posted by Jitin
Also I tend to memorize , but so do the masters and pros, especially when things are tricky

They memorize, but I would think most professionals rely on their reading ability to get a piece into their fingers. Memorizing from the start makes little sense to me from a time perspective.


Actually, memorizing from the start is a very good technique. Break it up into sections, do whatever it takes to memorize a section, using as many different techniques as possible, and divorce yourself from looking at the music as soon as possible. Don't look at the music while practicing, except to refresh or check on problems. I also go back occasionally and play it from the score to make sure errors are not creeping in. I memorized my "half" recital for school this way, and am now working on the "full" recital. Of course, I am 65 years old - maybe this is an old man's technique...

Sam
Hmm, I would say memorizing from the start has some merit for an experienced player, but not for a rank beginner. At some point (early on is better), one needs to be able to read from a score and find one's way around the keyboard without looking at the keyboard.


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In summer, the song sings itself. --William Carlos Williams
Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: Stubbie] #2805990
01/24/19 01:36 PM
01/24/19 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Hmm, I would say memorizing from the start has some merit for an experienced player, but not for a rank beginner. At some point (early on is better), one needs to be able to read from a score and find one's way around the keyboard without looking at the keyboard.

I would say a good memory can even be more a hinderance than a help at the beginning. I've found myself staring intently at the score yet realizing I see nothing... Because I actually am playing it from my head! Which is why I think people with good memories need to actually make a special effort on sight-reading as I mentioned above.


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Re: What does it mean - to be able to play piano? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2806030
01/24/19 02:34 PM
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As music becomes more complex, one has to develop the skill of looking alternately both at the music and at the keyboard. It's often the case with beginners (and I've seen it even in those who are early-intermediate (whatever that might mean)) that they can't do both. One player I know who passed an intermediate examination in piano because of the requirement to memorize, still cannot continue to play while s/he looks at the score. The pianist looks at the score, plays a measure or two and then stops while looking back at the score to find the place. There is no small amount of skill involved (geographical memory?) in being able to glance away from the score and then return to the correct spot two or three measures later and continue without interruption.

Regards,


BruceD
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