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Trying to start playing piano again. #2936739 01/21/20 01:29 PM
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SillyPutty Offline OP
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Hello, so i was looking for some advice.

Background, played piano when i was younger, never got good and was forced to do it so i never liked it. I don't even remember how many
years it was. Then i played trumpet in junior high, all 3 years. Was okay at that but not amazing. That is all 10 years behind me now and is a faded memory to say the least.

So about a month ago i started trying to play playing piano again. This time i wanted to play. I knew trying to jump in and play songs was
not practical so i just started with trying a scale (C major i think?). My main goal was to try and start building some finger strength so i just did random little
exercises i could find on youtube. found some common cord progressions to play and use and taught myself a simple 1 hand version of
jungle bells. That was all the first few days. I mostly stopped playing jingle bells at this point though. I have kept up with trying to
practice the other stuff everyday if i can. I can play the scale with both hands now, i have no idea at what bpm but its not really slow i know
that. I also looked up some reading sheet music videos and such and have been reviewing that. I did remember a fair amount of that after some review.

So i have been having a really hard time trying to motivate myself to continue. I feel my problem is i don't know where to go now. I know i could
learn all the scales and such but i do not have the drive to only play scales for the next year. I tried to learn a simple song from minecraft
(c418 i found a simple version, it should not be hard) but i pretty much gave up after 10 mins of staring at the sheets and trying. Part of
me wants to try and get a teacher. But from my small amount of research i don't know if i can. My reason is my work is very erratic. I could be working 3 hours here
and then two days from now do 20 hours straight. I could just leave for a day or two out of the blue. From what i saw the teachers wanted a set
day and time. Which i cant do easily at all. So this leads to another problem of i cant practice everyday, let alone everyday at the same time.
I'm currently writing this at 1 am for reference. I cant sleep. Is it worth trying to buy books? looking more at youtube for content? try to find a teacher willing to
have a more interesting schedule?
i'm just at a loss as to how i should try and go forward. i want to learn but it just feels like i have gotten no where in about a month.
I also understand i was not going to be amazing in a month. I get that, believe me. But i figured a simple song after a month would not be out of the question.

What should i do?

Thanks for any input given. i really do appreciate it.


I have no idea what i'm doing!
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Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: SillyPutty] #2936751 01/21/20 02:03 PM
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As an adult learner, I can feel the frustration and cluelessness you stated especially at the beginning months to learn piano. I think the key is just play no matter what , after a certain period (half year for me), you will find you are just at it and can have some plan for further improvement,like buy some books or get a teacher or some online tutorials. Patient is the most important thing. At least I just found no tricks to progress fast .


Currently working on:BWV1052 1st mov Bunch of WTCs Beethoven op.53 Bunch of Chopin's
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Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: SillyPutty] #2936752 01/21/20 02:07 PM
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I'm not sure what type of music you wish to play, but see either this channel inspires you?

https://www.youtube.com/user/pianocareer pay particular attention to her earliest videos.

There are many self-learners on this forum. What type of music do you enjoy? I taking the online course associated with the above videos. There are other online methods you can follow.

Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: SillyPutty] #2936765 01/21/20 02:36 PM
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I see many people here using the Alfred beginners piano book. I think you can teach yourself from that kind of structured program since you already know the basics.

Motivation is the key for adult beginners. Enthusiasm matters and one shouldn't be struggling to find it. Listen to what your inner self is telling you. Nobody has to play piano. It takes so long to learn and requires a crazy amount of commitment. I'm saying if there is something else you want to do, do that instead.


Beethoven Sonata #6 op 10 nbr 2
Scarlatti K. 466, 521, 434, 24 / Haydn Hob. XVI/35, 36
Mendelssohn Op. 54
Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: SillyPutty] #2936768 01/21/20 02:49 PM
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I just play stuff. Knowing nothing at all about music or piano, and never having actually touched a piano in my life, about five or six years ago I got the sudden idea that learning to play the piano might be interesting. So I bought a fairly cheap Casio digital piano that was on sale at Costco, thinking that it's good enough to start out with and if I didn't like it I'm not out much money.

About six months after that I decided that this was indeed something worth doing so I bought what was (at that time) the top end Casio digital piano when it went on sale on the Costo website and I've been playing it ever since.

When I started this I just printed out a chart showing the relationship between the keys and the notes on the page and kept that on my piano. Then I downloaded some simple sheet music and sat there looking up each note and playing it on the keyboard. "plunk". Ok, that's the first one. "plink". Ok that's the second one. "plunk" then "plink". Yup, that's what they sound like together. And I just kept building on that. I think I used my chart for about the first month before I was confident enough to start playing without having to look up each note before playing it. I could play a very simple (about three lines long) version of Brahm's Lullaby after about three weeks. A while after that I remember being quite proud of the fact that I managed to play Old Macdonald's Farm after just spending about three hours on it one day.

My method of learning has been to find something that I would like to play and study it and learn to play it. That's really all there is to it. If a piece turns out to be too hard, then try a different one.

I had some old Reader's Digest songbooks (and have more now) and when I started out I looked at those and thought that they look so complex that I don't think I'll ever manage to play anything like that. Today, that's more or less the sort of thing that I play routinely. Frank Sinatra songs, some 70's rock, movie music (Henry Mancini, Nino Rota, James Bond songs), pretty much the stuff that I've always listened to throughout my life. I am now at the point where I can manage to play quite a bit of the stuff that I really want to play, the main factor being how motivated I am to play a particular thing. Sometimes I'll be going through my music and decide to try something out that turns out to be far more difficult than I can do. At that point I'll either persevere or when I get tired of it or frustrated, I'll just put it on the pending list and move on to something else. There's lots of music to play, no need to knock myself out over any individual thing since I'm just doing it for my own amusement. And stuff that I couldn't play a year ago I can play today if I try.

Sometimes I come across something that I just don't understand so I post a question here and these fine folks always come up with an answer. I guess that's the closest that I ever come to what you might call a piano lesson. smile


If you're a zombie and you know it, bite your friend!
We got both kinds of music: Country and Western!
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Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: SillyPutty] #2936769 01/21/20 02:50 PM
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Welcome, Alfreds, or other beginners methods, along with online videos is how a lot of people start and you can fit it into a busy schedule. Learning piano is a fun experience.


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Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: SillyPutty] #2936770 01/21/20 02:58 PM
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perhaps one of the problems is a bit of resistance knowing that once upon a time you could play this or that, and now can't play anything. I get this myself when I try to relearn a piece I have forgotten. Giving up after 10 mins seems like you expected something to kick in and start playing straight away. It doesn't work that that: we practice a section or two and come back the next day (sleep is so important to learning) to see how it now feels. Usually there is some slight improvement, and if there is we build from there. There is no magic to piano, but a structure to my mind is essential. While I would agree a method book might help but I doubt going right back to the beginning would interest you and keep you motivated. Certainly knowing the basic scales is something everyone should do, but don't make exercises your entire practice, it will not sustain your interest.


Following Trying to follow the Ling Ling 40 hour method

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Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: selfishplayer] #2936957 01/22/20 02:47 AM
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First off thanks for all of the replies! Secondly sorry my response is a bit slow.

Originally Posted by selfishplayer
As an adult learner, I can feel the frustration and cluelessness you stated especially at the beginning months to learn piano. I think the key is just play no matter what , after a certain period (half year for me), you will find you are just at it and can have some plan for further improvement,like buy some books or get a teacher or some online tutorials. Patient is the most important thing. At least I just found no tricks to progress fast .


I will do my best to "just play" I'm fully aware there is no fast and easy trick to learn to play. But it would be nice to just plug into my computer for an hour then be amazing. Maybe in 100 years haha. Some others below recommended the Alfred's book. Ill order it and see what i think.


Originally Posted by Fidel
I see many people here using the Alfred beginners piano book. I think you can teach yourself from that kind of structured program since you already know the basics.

Motivation is the key for adult beginners. Enthusiasm matters and one shouldn't be struggling to find it. Listen to what your inner self is telling you. Nobody has to play piano. It takes so long to learn and requires a crazy amount of commitment. I'm saying if there is something else you want to do, do that instead.


Book noted, ill give it a go. I was very enthusiastic, i just think the frustration took a toll in those short few minutes.


Originally Posted by Richrf
I'm not sure what type of music you wish to play, but see either this channel inspires you?

https://www.youtube.com/user/pianocareer pay particular attention to her earliest videos.

There are many self-learners on this forum. What type of music do you enjoy? I taking the online course associated with the above videos. There are other online methods you can follow.


Honestly there is so much music that is possible on the piano i don't have a good answer. So far it seems to be a bit of everything. Which is a struggle all on its own. Looked at the youtube link. I have yet to watch the videos but did find the ones you were referencing. Ill will watch them when i get some time. Thank you!


FrankCox i'm not going to quote your whole post as its as big as my original. I have a few songs i do really want to learn. I just know they are currently out of my ability. So maybe ill give it a go in a month or so and see if it's any easier.


Originally Posted by dobro
Welcome, Alfreds, or other beginners methods, along with online videos is how a lot of people start and you can fit it into a busy schedule. Learning piano is a fun experience.


Thanks for the welcome! Again i will for sure get the first book and give it a go. I have watched a fair few youtube videos but they are much more erratic than i would like. Meaning they don't start at step 1 and go to 2 then 3. More like step 1 to 5 back to 3 then up to 6 etc. Hard to find stuff in order or work out what order is best.


Earlofmar, Quite possibly its due to what i could do. Like i said i don't remember exactly how far i got but it was for sure more than i can do now haha. This was an easy song that although learning in 10 min would not happen. Getting the first few bits would easily be possible i thought. I just could not get it to sound right. I will pick up the book mentioned above, from what i see it does start at the very basics. Which i agree with you when you say will not keep me interested. If i already know it, great ill skip it. If i don't know it then ill learn it as i realize a good foundation in anything is essential. Ill pick a couple new scales to learn to mix it up. Maybe that can help while i work through the book.


I have no idea what i'm doing!
Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: SillyPutty] #2937177 01/22/20 03:14 PM
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When you get your book you may find this site of use.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ

I’ve been slowly working my way through the Schaum beginners books and as soon as I've perfected a piece, I check this site to see if I’ve learnt it correctly.

I don’t know if this is the correct way of doing it. I just feel if I watch his video first, it would be like cheating smile

He has instruction videos for every piece from about every beginners course books including Alfreds.

Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: treefrog] #2937195 01/22/20 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by treefrog
When you get your book you may find this site of use.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ

I’ve been slowly working my way through the Schaum beginners books and as soon as I've perfected a piece, I check this site to see if I’ve learnt it correctly.

I don’t know if this is the correct way of doing it. I just feel if I watch his video first, it would be like cheating smile

He has instruction videos for every piece from about every beginners course books including Alfreds.



According to everything I have learned about playing piano …

It is not the correct way of doing it.


That is because if you are not doing it correctly and have "perfected" it this "wrong" way, it will take a lot of extra effort to unlearn the wrong way before you can learn the right way.


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)
Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: treefrog] #2937196 01/22/20 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by treefrog
When you get your book you may find this site of use.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ

I’ve been slowly working my way through the Schaum beginners books and as soon as I've perfected a piece, I check this site to see if I’ve learnt it correctly.

I don’t know if this is the correct way of doing it. I just feel if I watch his video first, it would be like cheating smile

He has instruction videos for every piece from about every beginners course books including Alfreds.


Great idea, treefog, to listen AFTER you have learned the music. You are developing the skill of self-reliance🤤 rather than reliance on a recording for rhythm and notes.


"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

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: dogperson] #2937224 01/22/20 04:31 PM
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dmd Offline
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by treefrog
When you get your book you may find this site of use.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ

I’ve been slowly working my way through the Schaum beginners books and as soon as I've perfected a piece, I check this site to see if I’ve learnt it correctly.

I don’t know if this is the correct way of doing it. I just feel if I watch his video first, it would be like cheating smile

He has instruction videos for every piece from about every beginners course books including Alfreds.


Great idea, treefog, to listen AFTER you have learned the music. You are developing the skill of self-reliance🤤 rather than reliance on a recording for rhythm and notes.


And there you have it ….. the third law of forum discussion (according to me).

For every assertion, there is an equal and opposite assertion.


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)
Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: dmd] #2937228 01/22/20 04:36 PM
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dogperson Offline
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by treefrog
When you get your book you may find this site of use.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ

I’ve been slowly working my way through the Schaum beginners books and as soon as I've perfected a piece, I check this site to see if I’ve learnt it correctly.

I don’t know if this is the correct way of doing it. I just feel if I watch his video first, it would be like cheating smile

He has instruction videos for every piece from about every beginners course books including Alfreds.


Great idea, treefog, to listen AFTER you have learned the music. You are developing the skill of self-reliance🤤 rather than reliance on a recording for rhythm and notes.


And there you have it ….. the third law of forum discussion (according to me).

For every assertion, there is an equal and opposite assertion.


Where is the opposite assertion here? I believe I was applauding TreeFrog’s use of You Tube


"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

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: dogperson] #2937230 01/22/20 04:39 PM
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dmd Offline
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by treefrog
When you get your book you may find this site of use.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ

I’ve been slowly working my way through the Schaum beginners books and as soon as I've perfected a piece, I check this site to see if I’ve learnt it correctly.

I don’t know if this is the correct way of doing it. I just feel if I watch his video first, it would be like cheating smile

He has instruction videos for every piece from about every beginners course books including Alfreds.


Great idea, treefog, to listen AFTER you have learned the music. You are developing the skill of self-reliance🤤 rather than reliance on a recording for rhythm and notes.


And there you have it ….. the third law of forum discussion (according to me).

For every assertion, there is an equal and opposite assertion.


Where is the opposite assertion here? I believe I was applauding TreeFrog’s use of You Tube



Previous post ….

Quote

According to everything I have learned about playing piano …

It is not the correct way of doing it.


That is because if you are not doing it correctly and have "perfected" it this "wrong" way, it will take a lot of extra effort to unlearn the wrong way before you can learn the right way.


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)
Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: dmd] #2937247 01/22/20 05:15 PM
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dogperson Offline
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by treefrog
When you get your book you may find this site of use.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ

I’ve been slowly working my way through the Schaum beginners books and as soon as I've perfected a piece, I check this site to see if I’ve learnt it correctly.

I don’t know if this is the correct way of doing it. I just feel if I watch his video first, it would be like cheating smile

He has instruction videos for every piece from about every beginners course books including Alfreds.



According to everything I have learned about playing piano …

It is not the correct way of doing it.


That is because if you are not doing it correctly and have "perfected" it this "wrong" way, it will take a lot of extra effort to unlearn the wrong way before you can learn the right way.






Hmmm.... I had to learn how to read music without the aid of the internet—- because it didn’t exist. My teacher did not play it for me so I could see hear how it sounds. It was just me and the score- so I never became reliant on hearing how it should be played. I learned to ‘hear it’ Based on how it is written.

I can’t see this is a bad way to learn. Yes, some things may need to be ‘re-learned’ But what is gained is the skill of learning music without hearing it first. I think it would improve reading skills

Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: dogperson] #2937249 01/22/20 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by treefrog
When you get your book you may find this site of use.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ

I’ve been slowly working my way through the Schaum beginners books and as soon as I've perfected a piece, I check this site to see if I’ve learnt it correctly.

I don’t know if this is the correct way of doing it. I just feel if I watch his video first, it would be like cheating smile

He has instruction videos for every piece from about every beginners course books including Alfreds.



According to everything I have learned about playing piano …

It is not the correct way of doing it.


That is because if you are not doing it correctly and have "perfected" it this "wrong" way, it will take a lot of extra effort to unlearn the wrong way before you can learn the right way.





So far, I’ve been spot on, which is not a surprise considering the amount of time that I spend examining each piece before I even start attempting to play it. I’m not saying you’re wrong. I just want to learn everything about reading music from the sheet itself and to research anything that I haven’t come across before. I also have a lot to learn about time signatures and feel that working them out for myself by physically clapping them is more beneficial.
This method may not work for everybody but I feel for me, if I can work something out for myself, I’ll never forget it.


Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by treefrog
When you get your book you may find this site of use.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ

I’ve been slowly working my way through the Schaum beginners books and as soon as I've perfected a piece, I check this site to see if I’ve learnt it correctly.

I don’t know if this is the correct way of doing it. I just feel if I watch his video first, it would be like cheating smile

He has instruction videos for every piece from about every beginners course books including Alfreds.


Great idea, treefog, to listen AFTER you have learned the music. You are developing the skill of self-reliance🤤 rather than reliance on a recording for rhythm and notes.


Thank you. That’s exactly why I’m doing it this way.

Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: SillyPutty] #2937252 01/22/20 05:27 PM
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dmd Offline
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Well, that is the great thing about learning to play without a teacher.

You can do things any way that you want to do it.

And, guess what ….. regardless of how you do things, you can probably be able to find someone to tell you it is the best way to do it.

And …. someone will also tell you it is the wrong way to do it.

So, whichever way you feel ….. you will have support.

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)
Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: SillyPutty] #2937705 01/23/20 05:04 PM
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Quote
. . . Part of me wants to try and get a teacher. But from my small amount of research i don't know if i can. My reason is my work is very erratic. I could be working 3 hours here and then two days from now do 20 hours straight. I could just leave for a day or two out of the blue. From what i saw the teachers wanted a set day and time. Which i cant do easily at all. So this leads to another problem of i cant practice everyday, let alone everyday at the same time.
I'm currently writing this at 1 am for reference. I cant sleep. Is it worth trying to buy books? looking more at youtube for content? try to find a teacher willing to have a more interesting schedule?


FWIW (I have bias) --

a) Getting a "method book" (Alfred's, for example), using it as a guide to what you should be learning, and in what order, and _going through it_ (rather than skipping around), is better than unguided study. you don't know enough yet, to be your own guide.

b) IMHO, getting a teacher is better than a method book. There are many, long, heated discussions on this forum, about this question.

My singing teacher is happy to take irregular-schedule students. She charges slightly more for random lessons, than for regular-time lessons. She works mostly with adults, and understands their problems. I assume that there are piano teachers who will be as flexible.

It doesn't matter _when_ you practice -- it matters _that_ you practice. 3 hours on Thursday, doesn't make up for missing an hour on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday:

. . . The closer you come to "practice every day", the easier you'll learn.

i haven't tried using YouTube. I expect that Skype lessons would work much the same as "in-person" lessons.

i can imagine a situation where you carried a reasonably-portable keyboard with you when you travelled (e.g. a Yamaha PSR-3xx), and did lessons via Skype, wherever you were. You'd need a fairly fast Internet link. I don't know anyone who has done that, though.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: SillyPutty] #2937709 01/23/20 05:08 PM
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RonaldSteinway Offline
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There are many piano teachers who will take adult students with an inconsistent schedule as long as we can be flexible.
They like adult dedicated students who can fill in gaps in their schedules.

I understand that it is hard to keep practicing every day as an adult.

Re: Trying to start playing piano again. [Re: SillyPutty] #2937922 01/24/20 07:08 AM
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akc42 Offline
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Originally Posted by SillyPutty

I will do my best to "just play" I'm fully aware there is no fast and easy trick to learn to play. But it would be nice to just plug into my computer for an hour then be amazing. Maybe in 100 years haha. Some others below recommended the Alfred's book.


Take a look at www.pianomarvel.com. At its core is an assessment engine - it provides you with sheet music, you play it, and at the end it tells you how well you did. Just like a video game there is a desire to score 100%, so you keep trying.

But for a beginner it has a graded series of lessons - both on technique (scales, arpeggios and chord inversions) and what it calls "Method" (which is tunes to play). There is also a library of songs - the recommended Alfred is in that library.

Theres a free trial, but its quite restricted. In the end I bought a years subscription (twice - nearly at the end of my second year with it).

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