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Want to learn the piano.
#2880305 08/16/19 02:58 PM
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Hello

I'm almost 28 and I have this sudden urge to learn to play the piano, I keep listening to piano pieces and any music on the radio for example I imagine playing the melody on the piano etc, this has been going on for a few years or so. Part of me says this idea is healthy and awesome etc, the other part of me says it might be a waste of time and money since I've never even seen a musical instrument with my own eyes (an exaggeration, but still, never played any). I can barely make my hands do different gestures/movements, nevermind using both hands to play the keys and utilize all fingers etc. I'm a fast learner, but this is something completely different and new to me.
(My only option would be to buy myself a small piano and mostly teach myself, don't ask why, long story.)

I would really appreciate some realistic advice, how hard actually is it ? anyone been in the same situation ?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880315 08/16/19 03:16 PM
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I don't think anyone can make their hands do different things before they start.

I'd do it. The best case scenario is that you learn to play those pieces you love. The worst is that you decide it's not for you, and walk away with some musical knowledge and experience and quiet that voice that's telling you it would be awesome.

Re: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880317 08/16/19 03:30 PM
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You will make fast progress in the beginning and then the learning curve will get steeper ... Enjoy the ride and remember that every pianist before you have walked the same walk.

I suggest you buy one of these popular method books, Alfred's and whatever they are called, and follow it RIGOROUSLY. Don't think you are smart if you "cheat" a little with them, they are carefully designed. I also suggest that even if you buy a "small" piano, you try to find one with 88 weighted keys. Don't try to play pieces that obviously are a bit too difficult for you yet, even if you long for them. There is a big risk that you injure yourself during your efforts, and also that it never sounds as good as you wanted.

Remember that you just have to be a normal human being in order to learn the piano. You don't need any special, mysterious gifts, you don't have to start when you are 3 years old, but you have to be patient. It is not easy, you will never be "finished" but that is also the enchanting thing about it.

Last edited by ghosthand; 08/16/19 03:31 PM.
Re: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880333 08/16/19 04:17 PM
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Give it a whirl. I would also suggest you get a 88 weighted keyboard if you truly want to learn piano.
Unless you are a gifted individual it is going to take years. So get to it and start learning now. If you give it up at least you gave it a try.

Ghosthand gave you great advice.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880335 08/16/19 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by silence21
. I can barely make my hands do different gestures/movements, nevermind using both hands to play the keys and utilize all fingers etc. I'm a fast learner, but this is something completely different and new to me.

Any keen pianist - at whatever stage in their learning - will tell you that playing the piano is the most enjoyable thing you can do with your clothes on wink .

Apart from impressing all your friends and foes (if you have any foes) with your prowess at the keyboard in about ten years' time (the average time required to reach advanced standard) - or less -, you can enjoy listening to yourself make music that no-one else is able to do (unless he/she is also a pianist). You don't need to listen to any awful YT, or streaming service for that.

And you might also find that you can do simple tricks that fascinate your friends and foes (if you have any foes), like holding two plastic bags of shopping with your last two fingers of your left hand while fishing out a big bunch of keys from your pocket with your other three fingers, then selecting the right one and putting it in the lock and opening your front door, all with those same three fingers of that hand, without dropping any of the shopping your other fingers are holding. All the while, of course, you're also holding your cell phone in your right hand and chatting away.

Magic? No, it's easy because you are a pianist (or have become one). yippie

Did I also mention that once you've acquired sufficient pianistic skills, the whole world of music (and not just piano music) is your oyster?


"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: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880344 08/16/19 04:52 PM
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Good point bennevis about acquiring skills. You might decide another instrument is more your liking. Once you learn to read sheet music past the early stage you can try other instruments if you like. I took trumpet in High School and is was a lot easier for me because I already knew how to read music.

I have done some slight of hand too because I have the finger dexterity.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880347 08/16/19 04:57 PM
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You will have to have (learn) some basic theory knowledge to be able to read a score. I advice this site so you can listen to pieces while following the score and maybe try to replicate the result (you can search for easy pieces there) musescorehttps://musescore.com/. I learned piano when I was a teenager, and now returned to it. So I have some basic knowledge. I don't imagine how difficult it might be with no teacher from scratch.


Last edited by SarahGeoffrey; 08/16/19 04:58 PM.
Re: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880367 08/16/19 05:46 PM
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While it may not be the best or most efficient way to learn to read music, when I started out I printed a chart on a piece of paper showing each key and put it on my piano beside the music that I was trying to read. In a week or so I had that part figured out and didn't need the chart any more, as I recall.

I can't remember the exact chart that used, but it was something like this:

[Linked Image]


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We got both kinds of music: Country and Western!
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Re: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880369 08/16/19 05:57 PM
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Really wish Music and the Arts would get the funding they deserve in schools.
My parents found the money so I could have private piano lessons. I also got a paper route that helped fund my lessons when I was a pre-teenager / teenager.
I think it should be mandatory for kids to pass a basic music note reading test IMHO. This way if you decide as an adult you want to have music making in your life you're not starting from scratch!


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Want to learn the piano.
EPW #2880374 08/16/19 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by EPW
Really wish Music and the Arts would get the funding they deserve in schools.
My parents found the money so I could have private piano lessons. I also got a paper route that helped fund my lessons when I was a pre-teenager / teenager.
I think it should be mandatory for kids to pass a basic music note reading test IMHO. This way if you decide as an adult you want to have music making in your life you're not starting from scratch!


Forced music learning, in my experience, can also have the opposite effect: a complete, life-time turnoff from music. This happened in my family, and I’ve always wondered ‘what if it had never been forced? There are many adults that were forced into music by parents; I would love to see actual stats of how many returned to music later in life

I know there are many here... but we are not among the real world 😊


"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

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Re: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880388 08/16/19 06:32 PM
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Learning to play piano is a bit like learning to play golf except that you do it mostly by yourself (and that is a BIG difference, by-the-way).

It is foreign to you and you must start from scratch.


Method 1 …..

You can buy yourself some equipment and fool around a bit and see how it goes.

You can buy a book and try that for a bit.

You can get some tips from others.

And …. you will become a week-end golfer. Not very good but you enjoy it.

If that is enough for you, go for it.



Method 2 …..

The other route is to start taking lessons from a pro.

Then, you learn things much more efficiently and become much better, much quicker.

Then, you become pretty good and enjoy it a lot.



The one thing you should try to avoid is to use Method 1 and get upset because you are not getting the results of the Method 2.

That will be frustrating and you will NOT ENJOY IT.

Good Luck to you


Don

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Re: Want to learn the piano.
dmd #2880432 08/16/19 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Learning to play piano is a bit like learning to play golf except that you do it mostly by yourself (and that is a BIG difference, by-the-way).

It is foreign to you and you must start from scratch.


Method 1 …..

You can buy yourself some equipment and fool around a bit and see how it goes.

You can buy a book and try that for a bit.

You can get some tips from others.

And …. you will become a week-end golfer. Not very good but you enjoy it.

If that is enough for you, go for it.



Method 2 …..

The other route is to start taking lessons from a pro.

Then, you learn things much more efficiently and become much better, much quicker.

Then, you become pretty good and enjoy it a lot.



The one thing you should try to avoid is to use Method 1 and get upset because you are not getting the results of the Method 2.

That will be frustrating and you will NOT ENJOY IT.

Good Luck to you



I don't know if people do this with piano, but one thing I see constantly as a language teacher is people thinking they're going with method two because they're paying for classes, but they don't put in the time necessary to actually get those results. If you're not going to put in the effort, you're better off going with method 1. It's a lot cheaper.

Re: Want to learn the piano.
enw10 #2880434 08/16/19 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by enw10
I don't know if people do this with piano, but one thing I see constantly as a language teacher is people thinking they're going with method two because they're paying for classes, but they don't put in the time necessary to actually get those results. If you're not going to put in the effort, you're better off going with method 1. It's a lot cheaper.


Yes, absolutely ….

Going with method 2 is not EASIER ….. you just get better results if you do the work.


Don

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Re: Want to learn the piano.
dmd #2880474 08/17/19 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by dmd
... like learning to play golf .... Method 1 ….. buy yourself some equipment Method 2 ….. taking lessons from a pro.

To continue the golf analogy - whichever ‘Method’ you choose, it’s important to follow through all the way to the end ... the simple act of finishing what you start is pretty effective.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880480 08/17/19 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by silence21
I can barely make my hands do different gestures/movements, nevermind using both hands to play the keys and utilize all fingers etc. I'm a fast learner, but this is something completely different and new to me.

Hi silence21! You remind me a bit of me a couple of years ago. Much younger though. smile
Can you tie your shoe laces? Button your clothes? Have you thought about how complicated these movements are? smile

Originally Posted by silence21
(My only option would be to buy myself a small piano and mostly teach myself, don't ask why, long story.)

In that case, don't just learn from a book, but watch a lot of youtube videos with teachers telling you how to play.

Originally Posted by silence21
I would really appreciate some realistic advice, how hard actually is it ? anyone been in the same situation ?

Oh yes, many of us, and quite a few of us a lot older than you are. It is absolutely possible, but it takes quite some time and quite some practice before you become even an intermediate piano player.
I think it all boils down to the question if you enjoy practising. If you do, then starting to play the piano is the best decision you can take. If you don't, keep on listening and enjoying piano music. smile


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: Want to learn the piano.
Animisha #2880535 08/17/19 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
I think it all boils down to the question if you enjoy practising. If you do, then starting to play the piano is the best decision you can take. If you don't, keep on listening and enjoying piano music. smile


There is a lot of truth to this.

Practicing is all you do for a long, long, long, time.

And …. it is a very solitary activity.

You do this by yourself each day for an hour or so (some do it more than that).

You just have to accept that it may take years to get to where you are playing music you and others enjoy hearing.

However, that will not deter you IF you enjoy practicing.

The BIG advantage you have over some is TIME.

If you just decide to forge ahead and keep at it for 20 years, you will in all likelihood be a very good player before you reach 50.

Some do not start until later than that.

Good Luck

Last edited by dmd; 08/17/19 09:19 AM.

Don

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Re: Want to learn the piano.
dmd #2880540 08/17/19 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Animisha
I think it all boils down to the question if you enjoy practising. If you do, then starting to play the piano is the best decision you can take. If you don't, keep on listening and enjoying piano music. smile


There is a lot of truth to this.

Practicing is all you do for a long, long, long, time.

And …. it is a very solitary activity.

You do this by yourself each day for an hour or so (some do it more than that).

You just have to accept that it may take years to get to where you are playing music you and others enjoy hearing.

However, that will not deter you IF you enjoy practicing.

The BIG advantage you have over some is TIME.

If you just decide to forge ahead and keep at it for 20 years, you will in all likelihood be a very good player before you reach 50.

Some do not start until later than that.

Good Luck



Sage advice above.



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Re: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880607 08/17/19 12:57 PM
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Thanks so much for the responses.
I enjoy practicing, but sometimes I do lose interest/motivation if I don't feel I'm making any progress...but since I've been pondering about learning the piano now for over 2 years or so, knowing the progress would be slow etc, I think I will give it a go anyway.
Is there any advice you guys can give me as to which small piano should I buy, 88 weighted is what I gathered, but which one in particular ? Budget would be 500-800 ish I guess, I don't wanna go all out on my first one. Where I live there might not be a massive selection, probably just the most popular makes of pianos. If it helps I can list some that are sold here.

Thanks again.

Re: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880615 08/17/19 01:26 PM
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My first was a Yamaha P115, and it was fine. The newer one is a P125, which is almost the same thing. The P45 is very similar, too, and cheaper. Other frequently recommended first pianos are the Roland FP-30 and the Kawai ES110. I've never actually seen the ES110 in a store, but the FP-30 is really nice. It was $200 more than the Yamaha though, so I got the Yamaha (mine was $500, but it had just been discontinued when I bought it).

Re: Want to learn the piano.
silence21 #2880621 08/17/19 01:54 PM
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Silence21 what enw10 said but also look at the new Casio DP too. The PX-S3000 and PX-S1000.
https://www.casiomusicgear.com/products/stage-pianos

I might also look at where you would have to send the piano in for repair if something unforeseen happens.
I myself where I live would lean towards a Roland first choice, Yamaha second choice because there is local repair facility to take it too. Just something to think about.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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