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Re: "Eureka" Moments?
Tyrone Slothrop #2906908 10/31/19 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by petebfrance
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by petebfrance
One of my Eureka moments (I've had a few, but they didn't always lead to much) was from watching a Graham Fitch video on practicing.

If you found that video worthwhile, I just wanted to mention that Fitch has an entire series on practicing of multiple parts and volumes. Some are free to read for Amazon Prime members.

Thank-you, that is very interesting. Will have a look although I don't have Amazon Prime. I have watched a number of his videos and kept links to them for later use, but so far haven't needed to go back - his approach makes things 'sink in' rather well - kind of slow absorption, but goes in quite deep (or maybe I've just forgotten what they were about. wink )

Sorry, I realized it wasn't Amazon Prime, but Kindle Unlimited which I also am subscribing to. There is a 30-day free trial if you just want to subscribe, read, and cancel. This is the first in the series from Amazon.co.uk.

Thank-you. Have had a quick look and it could be useful (if I can prise open my wallet - at the moment it's staying tightly shut wink ). I don't have a kindle, but will have a look tomorrow because there must be a way to read it on a PC.


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Pete
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Re: "Eureka" Moments?
Antihero #2906911 10/31/19 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by petebfrance
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by petebfrance
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
If you found that video worthwhile, I just wanted to mention that Fitch hasan entire series on practicing of multiple parts and volumes. Some are free to read for Amazon Prime members.
Thank-you, that is very interesting. Will have a look although I don't have Amazon Prime. I have watched a number of his videos and kept links to them for later use, but so far haven't needed to go back - his approach makes things 'sink in' rather well - kind of slow absorption, but goes in quite deep (or maybe I've just forgotten what they were about. wink )
Sorry, I realized it wasn't Amazon Prime, but Kindle Unlimited which I also am subscribing to. There is a 30-day free trial if you just want to subscribe, read, and cancel. This is the first in the series from Amazon.co.uk.
Thank-you. Have had a quick look and it could be useful (if I can prise open my wallet - at the moment it's staying tightly shut wink ). I don't have a kindle, but will have a look tomorrow because there must be a way to read it on a PC.

Well, as I said, it's a 30-day free trial of "Kindle Unlimited" so your wallet can remain shut unless you want to keep it after 30 days - just don't forget to cancel before the 30 days are up. There is the free Kindle reader app for Windows. Just install and login with your Amazon account login/password.


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"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: "Eureka" Moments?
Antihero #2906936 10/31/19 06:31 PM
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Thanks Tyrone - will give it a bash in the morning (well, afternoon, I'm even dozier in the mornings frown )


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Pete
Re: "Eureka" Moments?
Antihero #2906969 10/31/19 09:08 PM
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Following the music syllabus in Australian schools in the 1950s, I’d been taught the British-English system of rhythmic value names for musical symbols: semibreves and crotchets and demisemiquavers for starters.

A (truly basic) musical ‘Eureka’ moment occurred more than half a century later, when I suddenly realised what a cumbersome scheme I’d been labouring under, and switched to the American-English naming system. Whole notes, quarter notes etc. - a far cry from breves and minims! smile


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Re: "Eureka" Moments?
petebfrance #2907099 11/01/19 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by petebfrance
One of my Eureka moments (I've had a few, but they didn't always lead to much) was from watching a Graham Fitch video on practicing. For various reasons (which I've been into before at tedious length, but basically so as not drive those within earshot barking mad...) I often used to play a new piece through as a 'sketch' - the 'main parts,' as I recognise them (all the way through, though, which is probably a bit naughty, at tempo, with expression etc.) and then on subsequent playings add more and more in, although occasionally altering which bits were added if I needed to concentrate more on the new bit added, but always with the intention of getting it all included and working to tempo and with expression whilst going along.

From one of Graham's videos it seems that this is (in part) a valid approach
I tend not to do this so much at the moment because I can play using headphones, but in fact it is / was much more enjoyable than breaking the piece up into manageable chunks and practicing slowly. However, I'm grateful to Graham Fitch for at least a 'partial validation' of my approach - which was my 'Eureka moment.'
A slow building eureka moment for me was that there is no single way to learn or practice something. Approaching the task from various angles is the way to go.


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Re: "Eureka" Moments?
MarieJ #2907130 11/01/19 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MarieJ
Following the music syllabus in Australian schools in the 1950s, I’d been taught the British-English system of rhythmic value names for musical symbols: semibreves and crotchets and demisemiquavers for starters.

A (truly basic) musical ‘Eureka’ moment occurred more than half a century later, when I suddenly realised what a cumbersome scheme I’d been labouring under, and switched to the American-English naming system. Whole notes, quarter notes etc. - a far cry from breves and minims! smile



Which reminds me of when I discovered that 'music' isn't as international as I thought. I use english, so I guess I always landed on 'american sites', and started learning the notes....
Then the very first German site I landed on had an 'h' in there, and I'm going WTH is 'h'?? And then came across a Danish site explaining (translated here) 'The notes are named after the alphabet: a h c d e f g' really? What genius put an h between a and c?


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Re: "Eureka" Moments?
Antihero #2907572 11/01/19 09:52 PM
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A lot of my eureka moments lately come after watching YouTube videos of pieces I learnt as a child and realizing I never considered voicing certain notes or phrases in a specific manner, or approaching certain hand movements differently. I also watch a lot of master classes on YT and am amazed at how much I learn about why certain parts of the score are written the way it is. I am on various Facebook Piano Technique group pages where video clips are shared and just learned a new way to approach a specific passage in a Waltz I am re-learning....to look at the notes in groups of 2s instead of just a long phrase....Now it will affect how I mentally audiate the piece as I play..

Last edited by AssociateX; 11/01/19 09:53 PM.

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Re: "Eureka" Moments?
AssociateX #2907646 11/02/19 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by AssociateX
A lot of my eureka moments lately come after watching YouTube videos of pieces I learnt as a child and realizing I never considered voicing certain notes or phrases in a specific manner, or approaching certain hand movements differently. I also watch a lot of master classes on YT and am amazed at how much I learn about why certain parts of the score are written the way it is. I am on various Facebook Piano Technique group pages where video clips are shared and just learned a new way to approach a specific passage in a Waltz I am re-learning....to look at the notes in groups of 2s instead of just a long phrase....Now it will affect how I mentally audiate the piece as I play..


After reading this I'm going to do some exploration on YT. I had been intentionally avoiding it as I learned some bad habits very early on before getting a teacher. With a little more experience maybe I can discern good vs. bad a little better.

Re: "Eureka" Moments?
Antihero #2910440 11/10/19 03:06 PM
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Stumbled across something today that may well be obvious to many but I personally found eye opening.

I wanted to evaluate/improve voicing of the melody in a piece I've been working on---So decided to play along with a recording. I turned the volume of my digital so that it was ever so slightly louder than the recording. If I could hear the recording melody notes clearer than mine I knew I was playing them too softly.

Did the inverse to highlight unevenness.

Eye opening. Simple. Effective. Possibly useful for others. Thought I'd pass it along just in case
it helps someone out.

This is probably easier to do on a digital for obvious reasons.

Re: "Eureka" Moments?
Antihero #2910588 11/10/19 08:50 PM
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Scales and modes were taking too me long to learn. So I spent a bit of time at the desk studying and memorising the basics. There are some efficiencies by bundling this stuff together but it takes some time at the desk. After returning to the piano, scales work became rather more intuitive, speedy, and fun.

I understand that most students just add new scales as they come up in repertoire.

My principal materials were:

- Alfred's "Essentials of Music Theory" is a bit dry but it packs a lot of beginner material into 120 pages ("complete" version has 3 books in one spiral binding & 2 CDs).

- Alfred's "Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios & Cadences" is an excellent and popular piano scales book.

- PW member Philip Johnston's "Scales Bootcamp" has a nifty system to visualise fingering and plenty of creative exercises.

- Additional YT videos and other basic theory texts at the library (principally for different approaches to the circle of fifths and modes). I took plenty of notes and these helped fill in a lot of blanks.

Re: "Eureka" Moments?
Antihero #2910852 11/11/19 03:54 PM
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I had a stupid-eureka moment. I have a digital piano with weighted keys. I set it up out of the box, went straight into lessons, scales, czerny. I go to lessons at my teacher's house and play on a real grand. It feels so different. It took me several months to realize I needed to dial down the volume to get the right (at least better) feel of the keys. That info is in the manual which I never read. At first having the volume low feels so frustrating. Now it's better.

Re: "Eureka" Moments?
wszxbcl #2910861 11/11/19 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
I had a stupid-eureka moment. I have a digital piano with weighted keys. I set it up out of the box, went straight into lessons, scales, czerny. I go to lessons at my teacher's house and play on a real grand. It feels so different. It took me several months to realize I needed to dial down the volume to get the right (at least better) feel of the keys. That info is in the manual which I never read. At first having the volume low feels so frustrating. Now it's better.

Have you tried changing the touch curve on your DP? It should have a heavy vs. light setting.

Also can you describe what you were doing that was wrong on your teacher's grand? Because often, the recommendation on DPs is exactly the opposite - turn the volume to max if you play on both a DP and an acoustical grand. I've never seen any suggest to turn down the volume, but your issue on your teacher's piano could be different than that experienced by others.


[Linked Image]
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: "Eureka" Moments?
Tyrone Slothrop #2910936 11/11/19 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Have you tried changing the touch curve on your DP? It should have a heavy vs. light setting.

Also can you describe what you were doing that was wrong on your teacher's grand? Because often, the recommendation on DPs is exactly the opposite - turn the volume to max if you play on both a DP and an acoustical grand. I've never seen any suggest to turn down the volume, but your issue on your teacher's piano could be different than that experienced by others.


My DP does not have that setting. Operating manual tells me to turn up volume for a light touch ("action"?) and turn down volume for heavier. I had it set on "too easy". So on my teacher's grand I found the keys so hard to press down. She told me if all I have is this DP then practice with low volume.

Re: "Eureka" Moments?
wszxbcl #2910938 11/11/19 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Have you tried changing the touch curve on your DP? It should have a heavy vs. light setting.

Also can you describe what you were doing that was wrong on your teacher's grand? Because often, the recommendation on DPs is exactly the opposite - turn the volume to max if you play on both a DP and an acoustical grand. I've never seen any suggest to turn down the volume, but your issue on your teacher's piano could be different than that experienced by others.


My DP does not have that setting. Operating manual tells me to turn up volume for a light touch ("action"?) and turn down volume for heavier. I had it set on "too easy". So on my teacher's grand I found the keys so hard to press down. She told me if all I have is this DP then practice with low volume.

What DP model are you using?


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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: "Eureka" Moments?
Antihero #2910945 11/11/19 08:02 PM
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Kawai ES100.

Re: "Eureka" Moments?
wszxbcl #2910949 11/11/19 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
Kawai ES100.

My wife has an ES110.

Check page 34 of your ES110 user manual here.


[Linked Image]
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: "Eureka" Moments?
Tyrone Slothrop #2910964 11/11/19 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by wszxbcl
Kawai ES100.

My wife has an ES110.

Check page 34 of your ES110 user manual here.


WHAT?! I had no idea!! I found no designated touch button on the piano so I just assumed it didn't offer me a choice.

Thanks Tyrone! Gee... so all this time what have I been doing?

At least, I guess I've been playing in the default setting which is "normal".

Re: "Eureka" Moments?
wszxbcl #2910965 11/11/19 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by wszxbcl
Kawai ES100.

My wife has an ES110.

Check page 34 of your ES110 user manual here.


WHAT?! I had no idea!! I found no designated touch button on the piano so I just assumed it didn't offer me a choice.

Thanks Tyrone! Gee... so all this time what have I been doing?

At least, I guess I've been playing in the default setting which is "normal".

Since you were turning the volume down, it sounds like you wanted to learn how to play with higher velocity (heavier). So you'll want to set touch to Heavy. Try it and see. But turn the volume back up before trying.


[Linked Image]
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: "Eureka" Moments?
Antihero #2911123 11/12/19 10:40 AM
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Time signature tells the fundamental rhythmic structure of piece and observing it is the key to playing the piece musically.

For a long time (before really starting to play the piano) I had dismissed the time signatures as a trivial mathematical exercise that just tell how many notes you can place in a bar of music. At some point I realized that the basic building block of music is a beat and there is always the underlying idea that notes on the beat get more emphasis and beats in different places of a bar get different emphasis.

The pattern how to emphasize the beats is given by the time signature. In 4/4 you play the 1 loudest, 3 second loudest and 2+4 least loud.

Eureka moment was just playing even quarter or eighth notes in 4/4, 2/2, 3/4, 6/8 and the time signature suddenly started to make sense. Then applying this to some simple melodies and they suddenly started to sound like music and not just a strings of notes.

Extending on this observation, reading music and sight reading in particular works better when you approach each bar by first locating the beats and then thinking how each beat is subdivided to more detailed rhythmic patterns. I.e. place the notes in your mind relative to beats, not relative to bars.

A second eureka moment was when I looked some scores and realized that music is actually written to support this kind of reading. For example a syncopated quarter note that stretches over the middle of a bar is usually written as two tied eighth notes for no other reason than to highlight where the beat is.

Re: "Eureka" Moments?
Cocorbett #2911131 11/12/19 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Cocorbett
Time signature tells the fundamental rhythmic structure of piece and observing it is the key to playing the piece musically.

For a long time (before really starting to play the piano) I had dismissed the time signatures as a trivial mathematical exercise that just tell how many notes you can place in a bar of music. At some point I realized that the basic building block of music is a beat and there is always the underlying idea that notes on the beat get more emphasis and beats in different places of a bar get different emphasis.

The pattern how to emphasize the beats is given by the time signature. In 4/4 you play the 1 loudest, 3 second loudest and 2+4 least loud.

Eureka moment was just playing even quarter or eighth notes in 4/4, 2/2, 3/4, 6/8 and the time signature suddenly started to make sense. Then applying this to some simple melodies and they suddenly started to sound like music and not just a strings of notes.

Extending on this observation, reading music and sight reading in particular works better when you approach each bar by first locating the beats and then thinking how each beat is subdivided to more detailed rhythmic patterns. I.e. place the notes in your mind relative to beats, not relative to bars.

A second eureka moment was when I looked some scores and realized that music is actually written to support this kind of reading. For example a syncopated quarter note that stretches over the middle of a bar is usually written as two tied eighth notes for no other reason than to highlight where the beat is.


Thanks for sharing this. I have never thought along these lines prior. Now I'm anxious to get home and look at some music I've been working on.

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