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New member advice needed
#2859164 06/16/19 01:02 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
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Jmf68 Offline OP
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Hi everyone,

I am new to the forum and would appreciate some advice. I’m in my mid 30s and would like to start playing piano. The main reason is for distraction and to help with stress and anxiety. Without going into too much detail I suffer from OCD which was mild until I had a car accident a couple of years ago and now have severe OCD and Tourette’s. I also suffer from dyspraxia (motor coordination disorder) so I’m not under the impression learning will be easy but I find music helps me zone out and gives me peace from intrusive thoughts and involuntary movements. Focusing on learning something new significantly reduces my issues.

My musical background as a child was a bit of self taught keyboard and later guitar. I can’t read music and normally relied on tab. I struggle with maintaining rhythm at guitar in terms of strumming patterns and find picking individual notes to be easier.

I will be taking weekly lessons but I am wondering is it worth getting a cheap keyboard to practice with just to gauge interest with the expectation to upgrade shortly afterwards or will this hinder my playing ability. Ideally I would like a digital piano and I am thinking of a Yamaha YDP164. If I did buy the piano would this be a good investment or should I look at a different model?

Thanks

John

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Re: New member advice needed
Jmf68 #2859168 06/16/19 01:13 PM
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That one will be fine.

Good Luck


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Mackie MIX 5 Compact Mixer.
Re: New member advice needed
Jmf68 #2859277 06/16/19 05:01 PM
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This is a common approach for beginners. That digital will not hold you back in any way for a couple years at least. I view learning piano as one the best ways to get/keep a healthy brain. Have patience with it and you will be a decent pianist after a few years - probably a different person too. Good Luck!


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
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Long Live ELP
Re: New member advice needed
Jmf68 #2859291 06/16/19 05:53 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
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Originally Posted by Jmf68
Hi everyone,

I am new to the forum and would appreciate some advice. I’m in my mid 30s and would like to start playing piano. The main reason is for distraction and to help with stress and anxiety. Without going into too much detail I suffer from OCD which was mild until I had a car accident a couple of years ago and now have severe OCD and Tourette’s. I also suffer from dyspraxia (motor coordination disorder) so I’m not under the impression learning will be easy but I find music helps me zone out and gives me peace from intrusive thoughts and involuntary movements. Focusing on learning something new significantly reduces my issues.

My musical background as a child was a bit of self taught keyboard and later guitar. I can’t read music and normally relied on tab. I struggle with maintaining rhythm at guitar in terms of strumming patterns and find picking individual notes to be easier.

I will be taking weekly lessons but I am wondering is it worth getting a cheap keyboard to practice with just to gauge interest with the expectation to upgrade shortly afterwards or will this hinder my playing ability. Ideally I would like a digital piano and I am thinking of a Yamaha YDP164. If I did buy the piano would this be a good investment or should I look at a different model?

Thanks

John

Welcome to the forum!

I was in a car accident almost 2 years ago, and it really affected my ability to play. But then I used piano to help with the conditions I developed and things have really improved. Be sure to let your teacher know of these conditions and explain how they affect you so he or she can assist you. Of course, I have no idea if piano study will help these things, but the most any of us can do is the best with what we've got, so piano study can be very fulfilling.

I highly recommend getting a digital piano right away, rather than a keyboard. The Yamaha is good, also check out Kawai ES110 and Casio PX-160 (they just released a newer model, so you might get a good deal on discontinued stock). I prefer the feel of the latter two pianos to the Yamaha GHS action, but they are all decent.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: New member advice needed
Jmf68 #2859293 06/16/19 05:59 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by Jmf68
I find music helps me zone out and gives me peace from intrusive thoughts and involuntary movements. Focusing on learning something new significantly reduces my issues.


Good reason.

Originally Posted by Jmf68
is it worth getting a cheap keyboard to practice with just to gauge interest with the expectation to upgrade shortly afterwards or will this hinder my playing ability.


A cheap keyboard will drain the joy from the experience.

A nice digital piano will be fine and has lots of advantages.

A free acoustic piano will drain the joy from the experience.

A nice acoustic piano will be fine and has advantages.

The right acoustic piano will be a friend for life but it is like finding love.


Whizbang
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Re: New member advice needed
Jmf68 #2859401 06/17/19 12:15 AM
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Hi John, welcome to this forum!
A cheap keyboard will probably not have weighted keys, which means that it is hard to learn to play well - because you cannot hear the effect of your gestures on the piano.
You are younger than a whole lot of us adult beginners, and that is a good thing. I hope you'll find the relief you are looking for when playing the piano!


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: New member advice needed
Jmf68 #2859412 06/17/19 01:35 AM
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If I may give a different perspective. I have some disabilities myself when it comes to using my arms and hands. I have an arranger keyboard that I love to download Midis on and do different arrangements of the song to suit my mood and playing ability for that day.
I would love to be able to play a true piano but because of my limitations that isn’t going to happen but I love being at my keyboard and making music the best way I can.

Re: New member advice needed
rogerc #2859417 06/17/19 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rogerc
If I may give a different perspective.

This is the best thing about a forum! People giving different perspectives, and you can chose which one appeals to you most. Roger thumb


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: New member advice needed
Jmf68 #2860065 06/18/19 02:31 PM
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Try both digital and acoustics in a shop where they have good (well tuned, feeling nice) acoustics.
Play a short piece you like, I suggest without pedal.
IIf you're like me (or Whizbang) then you'll figure out if a DP fits you or not within a minute.


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Re: New member advice needed
Jmf68 #2860069 06/18/19 02:47 PM
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It's great that you are getting a teacher from the get-go. Weekly lessons sound very good too. Learning to play piano is in fact very good tool to deal with anxiety. The only thing is that you need to accept right away that it's going to be long term project with slow progress.

The model you are looking at (Yamaha YDP-164) is really good actually. I bought YDP-163 (the previous model) 3 months ago and loving it. It was upgrade for me from Casio PX350, which I would NOT recommend. Casio DPs have too light action in my opinion. I'm coming from years of playing acoustic pianos as a child and teenager and this model doesn't feel like a compromise at all to me. There is so much written about various digital pianos in Digital Pianos sub forum, but I'm putting my 2 cents here because I have a personal and recent experience with this model.

Good luck!

Re: New member advice needed
Jmf68 #2861834 06/22/19 09:49 PM
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I used a cheap keyboard for the first two months to assess my interest in taking piano back up. It was ok for that amount of time but honestly no longer than a month or two. You’d probably be better off going for the better digital piano right off unless money is tight.


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