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Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2844946 05/03/19 09:34 PM
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Thank you everyone for the well-wishes. Reading the stories / accomplishments on this forum provides lots of encouragement.

I've set a daily schedule of no less than 45 minutes of practicing. I'm really concentrating on my sight-reading skills. I'm using a combination of my Alfred's books and an on-line website that provides sight-reading drills. What's cool about the website is I can either use the mouse via the traditional point-and-click interface (like when I'm at work and don't feel like working.. wink ) or I can use my piano's MIDI interface when I'm at home practicing on the piano.

Just after a couple of days, I caught myself looking down at the keys tonight for too long and screwing up what I should have just been reading. As soon as my eyes returned to the printed page, I was able to play better right away. Reminds of when I was taking typing classes in high school and trying to focus on what I was reading instead of looking down at the typewriter.

Speaking of typing, one of the things first taught is finding "home" on the typewriter. I know I'm suppose to use the feel of the black keys to find home on the keyboard, but I just can't seem to figure that out yet. I tend for my hands to hang off the ends of the white keys instead of maintaining contact with the black keys. I know I'll get it eventually, jut something I'm struggling with. I know, I know, "Get a teacher!"

I'm also so very glad I have the weighted keys. I can see how I need to work on muscle strength and control to play the keys at the right volume while trying to maintain tempo. And I love using the built-in metronome!


Last edited by John_C; 05/03/19 09:43 PM.

John_C - Colorado Springs
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Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2845046 05/04/19 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by John_C

Speaking of typing, one of the things first taught is finding "home" on the typewriter. I know I'm suppose to use the feel of the black keys to find home on the keyboard, but I just can't seem to figure that out yet.


You'll learn to use black keys as landmarks, but isn't really a "home" on the piano keyboard. Your hands need to move around.


Learner
Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: malkin] #2845067 05/04/19 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by John_C

Speaking of typing, one of the things first taught is finding "home" on the typewriter. I know I'm suppose to use the feel of the black keys to find home on the keyboard, but I just can't seem to figure that out yet.


You'll learn to use black keys as landmarks, but isn't really a "home" on the piano keyboard. Your hands need to move around.

+1

For John C: There isn't really a "home" position like there is on a typewriter. The closest thing that one I suppose might call home as a beginner, would be thumb on middle C and remaining fingers on next four ascending or descending notes of C major scale, depending on which hand. But that doesn't even use any black keys.

Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2845071 05/04/19 10:23 AM
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I don’t know about others, but as often as not my playing when reading music is about relative position as much as anything.

With my fingers on the current keys being played then the next notes to be played will be a relative position on the sheet music from the current notes and what I play will be the translation of that relative position.

I don’t think about a home position at all for my hands.

Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: KevinM] #2845074 05/04/19 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
I don’t know about others, but as often as not my playing when reading music is about relative position as much as anything.

With my fingers on the current keys being played then the next notes to be played will be a relative position on the sheet music from the current notes and what I play will be the translation of that relative position.

I don’t think about a home position at all for my hands.

Yep, this is referred to as intervallic reading vs. the older style "note recognition."


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2845080 05/04/19 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Yep, this is referred to as intervallic reading vs. the older style "note recognition."


Thanks Tyrone, that was an interesting read.

Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2845106 05/04/19 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Speaking of typing, one of the things first taught is finding "home" on the typewriter. I know I'm suppose to use the feel of the black keys to find home on the keyboard, but I just can't seem to figure that out yet. I tend for my hands to hang off the ends of the white keys instead of maintaining contact with the black keys. I know I'll get it eventually, jut something I'm struggling with. I know, I know, "Get a teacher!"
I don't think it is realistic to keep the fingers in contact with the black keys all the time - actually, it's not something I've ever tried and I'm pretty sure it would make playing difficult. It's nice, btw., to get a feel for how the keyboard is laid out by picking out tunes and chords with fingers without using sheet music. I tend to put the piano stool / chair in the same position each time I start - I think I am centered on (well, middle of the upper body pointing to) the E above middle C usually. When playing from sheet music it is sometimes necessary to look down occasionally to see where your hands are or should go next, but after a while that becomes less of a problem - it's all part of the so-called muscle memory I believe - you just get used to it, but getting used to finding the right place in the score afterwards can still be a pain even after years of practice.

Last edited by petebfrance; 05/04/19 11:25 AM.

regards
Pete
Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2845153 05/04/19 02:08 PM
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The two ideas I would like to share with you (I am also self-learning) are:

1) Play with a feeling of relaxation (this is true for all arts and sports)

2) Enjoy every single sound that you create.

Enjoy your new found hobby and mode of self-expression. 🙂

Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2845155 05/04/19 02:10 PM
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John C. When I started out , I am so glad I found a tutor otherwise I wouldn't know where to begin, first the tutor taught me scales, arpeggios and easy piece to learn from an exercise book. Reading the notes, timing and learning notations. It isn't easy as you get older, especially starting from scratch. You will probably want to learn how to use pedal.
I am worried that if you try and learn all by yourself, you may get frustrated and give up, which would be a great shame.
However, you may want to go to your music store and find easy playing from beginner books. For some easy tunes, Try ABRSM Grade 1 pieces, even if you don't do the exams.

Best wishes

Last edited by meaculpa; 05/04/19 02:13 PM.
Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2849010 05/16/19 07:57 PM
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Gather up as much money as you can and find the best teacher ( even Skype if necessary).
Take one lesson and you will understand why there is no substitute for a teacher.
For me I determine good teacher by going to where he is playing and listen. or reputation too.
Oh and remember it’s not the amount of time of lesson as much as extracting knowledge.

Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2849211 05/17/19 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by John_C
Regarding a teacher, not sure how to find someone locally who has experience working with adults. And how would I know if they are good or not? Plus at this point, I'm trying to limit my costs.


Have you check this site https://takelessons.com ? you may able to find one that can work with you. I never "hire" any teach from there but that something you can try.

Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2849233 05/17/19 11:08 AM
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So far, I've been really enjoying my learning routine. I'm spending an hour a day practicing, alternating days between "Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course - Level One" and I've opened a free account on PianoMarvel. When I'm not in front of the piano and have some free time, I have a sight-reading app on my phone.

This weekend, I'm going in search of a comfortable piano bench because the one I have now is not cutting it.


John_C - Colorado Springs
Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2849636 05/18/19 12:21 PM
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Self learning can be a difficult path. My problem with that approach was that there are far too many shiny things in the world that would distract me. Taking lessons helps keep me on track and practicing. That of course is me you may be entirely capable of the dedication it takes to learn on your own. Things I would recommend are:

1. Sight reading practice. This is a simple free page that you can adjust to your own level.:

http://www.sightreadingpractice.com...amp;id=32482252032&dpt=s&split=2

2. These youtube channels for the Alfred's Books. This woman has a video of herself playing each piece and lesson so you can hear what they are supposed to sound like and study her fingering techniques.:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeW-cELRAmSl9fQyFwa9BIpeSHzlxuSYM

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeW-cELRAmSlTrOaPvXTUby4HaGp-GwNE

3; If you have or can obtain an iPad they have a lot of available apps for pretty much anything musical. I would suggest forScore to display sheet music, and AnyTune if you can obtain the CD's that go with the Alfred's books. AnyTune will provide you with a track to play with that you can adjust the speed of and loop sections you want to practice. There is a free version available although it has limited functions and capacity.

I started at 61 so you have a head start on me. Good Luck!


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A lack of talent does not stop you from learning piano. It just takes longer and you have to work harder.

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Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2849649 05/18/19 12:54 PM
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Big mistake not to have a teacher, to my mind. Without a teacher you'll have nobody to point out your errors in playing technique, and the more you play with those mistakes the more ingrained they'll become. I'm all in favour of self-learning, but in the very early stages at least I'd strongly recommend at least a few lessons.


Chris

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Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2852414 05/26/19 01:36 PM
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I say just learn to enjoy your journey!


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Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2867280 07/08/19 06:31 AM
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Have you tried this course https://bit.ly/32bPVFz
Sharing my experience this was a saviour and has absolutely worked for me, after many failed attempts. Never know which clicks for oneself, need to keep trying and pushing..

Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: John_C] #2867454 07/08/19 05:49 PM
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Looks like I've got you all beat. I started at age 71 with ZERO musical background. Retired doctor, spent my career taking care of patients and writing books (half medical). I learn things by writing about them. Spoiler: You can't learn to play the piano by writing about it. But you can learn music theory that way, and in order to teach myself, wrote a basic music theory syllabus, which I have posted free online: www.lakesidepress.com/PianoSyllabus.pdf. I can now probably teach the subject as long as I don't have to demonstrate anything!

Even if music theory doesn't interest you, information in the appendices on Piano skill levels and Beginner-level resources may be of interest.

I am taking private lessons, which I highly recommend. Not just because a good teacher will point out mistakes, etc., but it's also a motivating factor to practice, when you know you have a lesson coming up. I also recently attended an adult music camp - see my thread there under Adult Beginners in the Piano World forums.


Larry Martin
Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: Larry Martin] #2867464 07/08/19 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry Martin
Looks like I've got you all beat. I started at age 71 with ZERO musical background. Retired doctor, spent my career taking care of patients and writing books (half medical). I learn things by writing about them. Spoiler: You can't learn to play the piano by writing about it. But you can learn music theory that way, and in order to teach myself, wrote a basic music theory syllabus, which I have posted free online: www.lakesidepress.com/PianoSyllabus.pdf. I can now probably teach the subject as long as I don't have to demonstrate anything!

Even if music theory doesn't interest you, information in the appendices on Piano skill levels and Beginner-level resources may be of interest.

I am taking private lessons, which I highly recommend. Not just because a good teacher will point out mistakes, etc., but it's also a motivating factor to practice, when you know you have a lesson coming up. I also recently attended an adult music camp - see my thread there under Adult Beginners in the Piano World forums.



Interesting syllabus. Thanks for sharing.


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Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: Larry Martin] #2867530 07/09/19 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Larry Martin
But you can learn music theory that way, and in order to teach myself, wrote a basic music theory syllabus, which I have posted free online: www.lakesidepress.com/PianoSyllabus.pdf.

Hi Larry, I just wonder: why the emphasis on half steps and whole steps?


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Re: Yep, another old timer thinking he can learn the piano.... [Re: Larry Martin] #2867540 07/09/19 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Larry Martin
.... which I have posted free online: www.lakesidepress.com/PianoSyllabus.pdf. I can now probably teach the subject as long as I don't have to demonstrate anything!

Wow, well done! Excellent music primer. And this is probably the only time I will ever get to say this but, your appendices are fantastic - nice snapshot of online resources.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
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