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New here #2830693 03/24/19 06:12 AM
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Cheshire Chris Offline OP
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I'm new here, so I just wanted to introduce myself. As my username suggests, my name is Chris, and I live in a small country village in Cheshire, England. I'm 56 years old, have wanted to play the piano for ages, and finally made the plunge into the great unknown 2 weeks ago by buying a Yamaha DGX660 keyboard, which I'm very happy with. I plan to buy a better instrument (probably a Clavinova CLP-645) in a few months, but I didn't want to spend a huge amount of money without knowing whether or not I'd enjoy playing first. Needless to say, I do enjoy it very much indeed!

I had music lessons when I was in school an awful lot of years ago, so I'm familiar with musical notation, etc. I've found myself a local teacher who I've now had two lessons with, and who seems very good. He teaches uses the "Schaum" book series. At my teacher's suggestion I bought the introductory "Green Book", and whizzed through it in a few days. At my second lesson my teacher decided I was ready for the "Red Book", so that's what I'll be doing for the next few months at least - far more of a challenge than the Greek Book! I want to do the ABRSM exams as a way of tracking my progress, and my teacher says that we'll start preparing for the level 1 exam after I've finished the Red Book.

My ambition is to be able to play classical piano music, but I know I've got years of work ahead of me before I'm ready to tackle anything "serious"! I'm practising for 1-2h a day, but splitting it into 3 or 4 short sessions - I find that I can only concentrate fully for 20-30m at a time; after that my playing starts going all over the place.

Anyway, it's nice to be here, and I look forward to participating.


Last edited by Cheshire Chris; 03/24/19 06:13 AM.

Chris

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Re: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830696 03/24/19 06:20 AM
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Welcome, Chris!

It seems you're doing all the "right" things, that is to say those things I keep reading more knowledgeable players advise us to do!

- Getting a good teacher.
- Practising in smaller chunks of time.
- Starting easy.
- Having manageable goals in mind.
- Realising it will take time and patience!

Keep on enjoying smile

Re: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830703 03/24/19 06:33 AM
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Welcome Chris, and congratulations on a great start!


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830707 03/24/19 06:37 AM
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+1 To what RosemaryGirl said.

I started the same thing as you about 5 months ago. I'm a couple of years younger than you. I was astounded at my initial progress, it seems I remembered far more than expected but only after reading sheet music and playing for a few weeks. Progress has definitely slowed a lot now and I'm still well below my childhood level.

Your approach seems mature in attitude and correct. It sounds like your teacher is taking a more formal approach than mine so it may be interesting to compare and contrast how we get on.

When it comes time to upgrade to a better piano make sure you find somewhere to test them out. I found Dawson's in Manchester to a bit of a disappointment. Quite a good range of digital pianos to try out but too many squeezed into a small space so you could not sit far enough back when trying them out. There was also a lot of background noise which can hide the details of the sound of the piano. For me this was the case with and without headphones on.


Mendelssohn Song without Words 19,6, Jensen Sehnsucht 8,5. Chopin Nocturne C# Minor. Schumann Hasche Mann from Kinderszenen Op15,3. Beethoven Bagatelle 119.4 https://soundcloud.com/sheffieldkevin/sets/my-progress
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Re: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830708 03/24/19 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris

My ambition is to be able to play classical piano music, but I know I've got years of work ahead of me before I'm ready to tackle anything "serious"!

If I may just make a gentle chide - you will be ready to tackle 'serious' classical stuff within a few short months.

By that, I mean original, unabridged piano/keyboard pieces by the great composers - Purcell, Bach, Mozart......Schumann, Tchaikovsky etc.

I considered myself a 'real pianist' when my teacher started me on their music (a few months into lessons), in Denes Agay's Easy Classics to Moderns. (Other similar compilation volumes are available). From then on, I never played any piano/keyboard piece that had been simplified.

BTW, Cheshire is a lovely county to live in thumb.


"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: New here [Re: KevinM] #2830714 03/24/19 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
Your approach seems mature in attitude and correct. It sounds like your teacher is taking a more formal approach than mine so it may be interesting to compare and contrast how we get on.

When it comes time to upgrade to a better piano make sure you find somewhere to test them out. I found Dawson's in Manchester to a bit of a disappointment. Quite a good range of digital pianos to try out but too many squeezed into a small space so you could not sit far enough back when trying them out. There was also a lot of background noise which can hide the details of the sound of the piano. For me this was the case with and without headphones on.



I should explain that the "formal" approach is entirely my own choice. My teacher asked me what I wanted to do, and I said that I wanted to learn in a formal way. I'm a great believer in the idea that if you don't have firm foundations you've got nothing solid to build on!

I went to Rimmer's Music in Bolton yesterday and had a long play with the CLP-645. They have an excellent selection of pianos and I was the only person in the showroom, so no distractions. I really liked the feel of the keyboard and the sound of the piano, so I'm pretty sure that is what I'll be upgrading to, but my DGX660 is fine for the time being.



Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830740 03/24/19 07:59 AM
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Welcome to the PW family, and enjoy your journey!


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Re: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830756 03/24/19 09:07 AM
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Welcome to the forum, and good luck on your journey! I’m just a few short years ahead, and I’ve enjoyed (almost) every minute of it! At your stage I also had a cheap keyboard, then got a Casio Celviano with which I was very happy, before moving on to an acoustic upright, then a grand. Same logic, wanted to make sure it sticks!

Welcome again!


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Re: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830761 03/24/19 09:45 AM
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Welcome to the forum and don't forget about the ABF recital.



"The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.”
– Maria Cristina

Re: New here [Re: cmb13] #2830776 03/24/19 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
At your stage I also had a cheap keyboard, then got a Casio Celviano with which I was very happy, before moving on to an acoustic upright, then a grand. Same logic, wanted to make sure it sticks!


I’d love to have an acoustic piano, but I live in a semi-detached house and I worry about annoying my (very nice) neighbours, so I think I need to stick with digital pianos that I can play in the evening with headphones grin.


Chris

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Re: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830779 03/24/19 10:28 AM
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The CLP-645 would be a good choice but as you are not in a hurry and as you develop, you may find your opinion changes - back and forth. Take the opportunity to play as many as possible and enjoy the journey.


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Re: New here [Re: cmb13] #2830792 03/24/19 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Welcome to the forum, and good luck on your journey! I’m just a few short years ahead, and I’ve enjoyed (almost) every minute of it! At your stage I also had a cheap keyboard, then got a Casio Celviano with which I was very happy, before moving on to an acoustic upright, then a grand. Same logic, wanted to make sure it sticks!


Your journey sounds very familiar cmb13. I started with a Yamaha P45. Now onto a celviano AP-470. I want the Celviano to last a couple of years before the next upgrade. If I am still as keen then as I am now it will be a big upgrade. But essentially I am limited by where to put the digital piano. So I will have to work out what compromises work then.

I doubt it will ever be an acoustic though.


Mendelssohn Song without Words 19,6, Jensen Sehnsucht 8,5. Chopin Nocturne C# Minor. Schumann Hasche Mann from Kinderszenen Op15,3. Beethoven Bagatelle 119.4 https://soundcloud.com/sheffieldkevin/sets/my-progress
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Re: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830803 03/24/19 11:06 AM
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Welcome, Chris! It sounds as though you are off to a great start. Enjoy the journey!

I started off with a digital and stuck with it for a couple of years. Then I decided the piano bug was permanently under my skin and bought a grand. No neighbors to worry about. I love playing my grand, but can absolutely see how having the headphones option of a digital can make the difference between playing or not playing. Playing is the bottom line.


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Re: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830816 03/24/19 11:46 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about needing to move up to a (good quality) acoustic, if you own a high-end digital - as long as the digital allows you to express your musicality. Just make sure you use your digital like an acoustic, with its volume control set (and fixed) at the right level for your headphones, otherwise your sense of touch won't be properly developed. Most of the problems I see with beginners learning on digitals is down to how they use them, twiddling the volume controls etc instead of learning to control their dynamics properly and using headphones.

Here in the UK, relatively few households - even in the countryside - have space around their homes to insulate their sound from neighbours. I live in a small apartment with neighbours on all sides, and am perfectly content with my nearly decade-old digital, which doesn't even have speakers. I do exploit every opportunity to play on acoustics of course, including my regular monthly recitals on a six-foot grand. Until I retire, I don't see myself moving to a house surrounded by a moat (or at least a garden) anytime soon, and there's no point in me having an acoustic if I can't play it at anything above mp.

When I do move, of course I'd get a mansion (surrounded by a moat) to house my Bösendorfer Imperial in - on which I fully intend to exploit its full dynamic and tonal range. wink

As here (plus cannons etc thumb):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O69hqg2Czxk


"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: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830823 03/24/19 11:56 AM
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I have my piano lessons on a Steinway grand, so I am in a position to appreciate the differences between that and my current DGX660. The biggest difference I’ve noticed so far is that it’s much harder to play with different dynamics on my DGX.


Chris

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Re: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830824 03/24/19 11:57 AM
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Hello Chris and welcome. I am a few miles up the M6 in north Lancashire. If you fancy a 'piano trip' next weekend, Saturday 30th March, the Morecambe Bay Piano group is meeting. Please send me a private message if you would like details.

Re: New here [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2830904 03/24/19 03:16 PM
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I'm new here, a noob if you may so I just wanted to introduce myself. As my username indicates it is ‘Third Son’ since I’m my mothers third son and my given name is Ron H, and I live in a small community on a few acres in the piney woods of SE Texas about 45 miles north of Houston up I-69. I'm 68 years old, have wanted to play the piano for the most of my life, and finally made the plunge into the great unknown within the past month by buying a Yamaha P125 digital piano, which I've yet to start trying to learn as of yet.

I’ve never had music lessons of any kind, ever and have never played any musical instrument of any kind, ever. Have never learned sheet music or anything that most of you all take for granted but need to know and learn I presume.

I’ve always just been way to busy earning a living and doing other things of greater importance to me and growing family to have the time but I am now retired and single again and want to learn to play the piano very much so. I suspect that I will be needing a piano teacher along the way but I’m one of those who has no real idea on how to go about finding and selecting one that will be suitable for me and will know how to train the older adult (68 yo) beginner student. And also for figuring out just what I should do first and then what would come next and so on down the line. I hope you get my drift?

IOW the ABC’s of what I need to know about what I don’t know and hopefully what I maybe should learn before searching out a music teacher, like what I should/could learn to assist me in doing those steps eventually, learning how to read sheet music, what are scales, keys and etc.. With the purchase of my new Yamaha P125 digital piano I also bought a couple of beginners books and aids as recommended by the music store salesman:

Piano Book for Adult Beginners (ISBN 9780692926437)
Self Teaching Adult Piano Courses (ISBN-10: 0-7390-7845-3)
Piano Chord Dictionary
The Gig Bag Book of SCALES for all Keyboards
A Student Keyboard Guide

I do hope these will be useful in my getting started. Any other suggestions would be very much appreciated but with the understanding of what my current skill level is. I was thinking it may be helpful if I learned some very ‘basics’ before contacting and possibly hiring a piano teacher. I hope that makes sense. Making it easier on me and also on my pocketbook even though that is not a major consideration, I just don’t want to waste my money if not necessary. Have always been in management or owned my own business most of my adult life, have always had the ability to learn quickly and consider myself to be above average intelligent. Any tips and ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.


Piano music lover. Love Boogie Woogie.
Re: New here [Re: Third Son] #2830918 03/24/19 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Third Son
I'm new here, a noob if you may so I just wanted to introduce myself. As my username indicates it is ‘Third Son’ since I’m my mothers third son and my given name is Ron H, and I live in a small community on a few acres in the piney woods of SE Texas about 45 miles north of Houston up I-69. I'm 68 years old, have wanted to play the piano for the most of my life, and finally made the plunge into the great unknown within the past month by buying a Yamaha P125 digital piano, which I've yet to start trying to learn as of yet.

I’ve never had music lessons of any kind, ever and have never played any musical instrument of any kind, ever. Have never learned sheet music or anything that most of you all take for granted but need to know and learn I presume.

I’ve always just been way to busy earning a living and doing other things of greater importance to me and growing family to have the time but I am now retired and single again and want to learn to play the piano very much so. I suspect that I will be needing a piano teacher along the way but I’m one of those who has no real idea on how to go about finding and selecting one that will be suitable for me and will know how to train the older adult (68 yo) beginner student. And also for figuring out just what I should do first and then what would come next and so on down the line. I hope you get my drift?

IOW the ABC’s of what I need to know about what I don’t know and hopefully what I maybe should learn before searching out a music teacher, like what I should/could learn to assist me in doing those steps eventually, learning how to read sheet music, what are scales, keys and etc.. With the purchase of my new Yamaha P125 digital piano I also bought a couple of beginners books and aids as recommended by the music store salesman:

Piano Book for Adult Beginners (ISBN 9780692926437)
Self Teaching Adult Piano Courses (ISBN-10: 0-7390-7845-3)
Piano Chord Dictionary
The Gig Bag Book of SCALES for all Keyboards
A Student Keyboard Guide

I do hope these will be useful in my getting started. Any other suggestions would be very much appreciated but with the understanding of what my current skill level is. I was thinking it may be helpful if I learned some very ‘basics’ before contacting and possibly hiring a piano teacher. I hope that makes sense. Making it easier on me and also on my pocketbook even though that is not a major consideration, I just don’t want to waste my money if not necessary. Have always been in management or owned my own business most of my adult life, have always had the ability to learn quickly and consider myself to be above average intelligent. Any tips and ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.


We have similar backgrounds. I think most of the teachers I know prefer a blank slate, so go for it. I showed up for my first lesson knowing the steps in the major scale, the names of the white keys, and how to construct major and minor triads. So, for all intents and purposes, I knew nothing. smile So find a teacher you are comfortable with and buckle up!

Re: New here [Re: TomInCinci] #2830937 03/24/19 05:18 PM
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Thanks for the info. I just figured that there might be be some things I should do to help me prepare for my coming journey and instead of just stumbling around blindly in the dark and wasting my time I'd ask for some guidance.


Piano music lover. Love Boogie Woogie.
Re: New here [Re: Third Son] #2830943 03/24/19 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Third Son
Thanks for the info. I just figured that there might be be some things I should do to help me prepare for my coming journey and instead of just stumbling around blindly in the dark and wasting my time I'd ask for some guidance.

A teacher teaching a beginner would far rather that beginner hasn't already developed bad techniques or learnt something wrong from whatever other source (whether YT or book), or has preconceptions (often from many so-called 'teachers' on YT) about how he should be taught.

And the problem is that if you've bought some beginners' primers and started on them, your teacher would feel obliged to continue to use and follow them even though he/she doesn't agree with its concepts and methodology.

In other words, best to begin at the beginning (always a good place to start, as Julie Andrews once sang) and start with a good teacher from scratch.


"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."
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