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Originally Posted by Simon Ewart-Ball
. . . Playing the piano ... isn't academic. It's a matter of honing fine motor skills at the same time as learning a whole new printed language, and that takes time. The biggest barrier is getting annoyed with yourself for not making quicker progress. . .

+1 !!!

If you were in computer science, you'd say that playing the piano was a "hard real-time problem."

"Real-time", because the tick of the metronome is inexorable -- you can't sit back and figure out solutions at leisure.

"Hard", because if your response is late, you've lost the game.

It's closer to riding a bicycle, than to learning how to run Excel.


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Play (following advice in thread) for 10,000 hours.

Then, check progress.

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Originally Posted by stemPianist
Play (following advice in thread) for 10,000 hours.

Then, check progress.
A bit late though. I find myself in some way constantly checking and monitoring my progress. What works for me, what doesn't? Do I need to change my approach? Or just to tweak it a bit. It is never ending. smile


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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So many great advice. From my experience with no piano lessons prior to starting as an adult: my top 5

1. Find a good teacher. I lucked out and I am still with same teacher after 7 years. I learnt more than self taught methods, which I did for a year and a bit. Know your own style to find the teacher matches your needs. A good teacher will be adaptable.
2. Have pieces you want to play some day..it inspired me to keep practicing, and then one day it happens. Eg, Chopin Raindrop. Finally teacher gave me the green light. So happy now, as it is a beautiful piece. That said, I presented my teacher with Maple Leaf on my first lesson...I should ask again and see what my teacher’s response is this time!
3. Taking some time away from a piece, or even practice it away from the piano...really does help. Gives your brain some time to absorb lessons, otherwise you might experience a mini ‘burnout’ on a piece. Not great for your confidence
4. Slooooooooow practice. Isolate those trouble measures. It is frustrating at first, but once you have this as part of your practice, you will reap so much benefit once you pull the whole piece together.
5. The metronome is your friend. I invested in a core, soundbrenner watch. I responded better to it than the traditional aural mechanism. Find what works for you, throwing out some traditional items might be better for you. I was glad I did.

Ooh, one more: learn the scales. Tedious, but I didn’t at the beginning, and once I started, it was what stepped up my game.

Above all, find JOY and FUN. As an adult, we get to choose to play the piano, and we should always try to choose JOY.


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I was practicing a piece today over and over again when it occurred to me that the first two lines are identical.
It’s not surprising that I am extremely proficient at lines 1 and 2.
Lines 3 and 4, not so much laugh

My suggestion, if you ever come across this scenario is to practice from the beginning of line 2.
There are obviously exceptions to this rule such as if there is an awkward transition between the first 2 lines but generally imo, it makes sense.


Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.
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Quote
It’s not surprising that I am extremely proficient at lines 1 and 2.
Lines 3 and 4, not so much laugh

My suggestion, if you ever come across this scenario is to practice from the beginning of line 2last note of line 2.


Sonata Pathetique-Adagio LVB
Its All in the Game- KJarrett trans.
Gnossienne No1 E.Satie

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Originally Posted by JimF
Quote
It’s not surprising that I am extremely proficient at lines 1 and 2.
Lines 3 and 4, not so much laugh

My suggestion, if you ever come across this scenario is to practice from the beginning of line 2 last note of line 2 last measure of line 2.

Last edited by Animisha; 08/05/20 04:10 AM.

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It’s so nice seeing your advice in a post struck out and replaced.

I wish I hadn’t bothered posting now.


Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.
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Treefrog, just a little teasing. It is not so serious. It is just a piano forum. smile
Here is a group hug to you.

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Sorry treefrog, no disrespect intended. Just a shorthand way to say if you are already extremely proficient at line 2, then maybe you needn't pracice it.


Sonata Pathetique-Adagio LVB
Its All in the Game- KJarrett trans.
Gnossienne No1 E.Satie

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Originally Posted by JimF
Sorry treefrog, no disrespect intended. Just a shorthand way to say if you are already extremely proficient at line 2, then maybe you needn't pracice it.

It’s just the fact that it was advice for anybody starting a piece like this rather than what I should be doing.

Anyway. No harm done.


Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.
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Originally Posted by treefrog
It’s so nice seeing your advice in a post struck out and replaced.

I wish I hadn’t bothered posting now.

I know what you mean. When I was discussing how much I was struggling with a piece a while back someone said "...Most of us here can sight read that score..." I was like ok that has absolutely nothing to with the thread but good way to make me think I'm terrible at this. Definitely can be some pretentious posts. I often imagine most don't mean to come off that way.

@JimF fyi I'm not saying your post was just saying that some can be....

Last edited by Sebs; 08/05/20 09:33 AM.
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My "wisdom": always use your brain to control the movements of your fingers, listen carefully what you are playing and have an idea how it should sound before you play the note/key

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I am looking to play the piano and i would like to know how old an average pianist was ?
Much appreciated if you reply

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Originally Posted by jgraesser
I am looking to play the piano and i would like to know how old an average pianist was ?
Much appreciated if you reply
Anywhere between 4 and 105 years old. Appropriate for all ages.


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Originally Posted by jgraesser
I am looking to play the piano and i would like to know how old an average pianist was ?
Much appreciated if you reply

Your other posts indicate you ‘are doing market research’. And you have asked this question in a post of questions for that research. It therefore seems dubious that you are now asking this as a personal question. What gives?


"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
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I think one of the major advantages that an adult beginner has over a child is that they probably have some level of advanced problem solving and conceptual abilities. It's said that the ability for critical thinking peaks at 25, and then declines gradually. How I approached it was to gain the conceptual abilities, such as music theory, knowledge of theories of correct posture, etc. upfront. That helped guide my learning of the piano, because I could assess much more readily where I was headed.

Regardless of whether you're a child or an adult, beginner books just seem like a waste of time to me if used exclusively. You are limiting the knowledge you can obtain according to some preconceived guidelines designed by the "experts". Granted, they are tools which can come in handy sometimes. However, what I've found most success with is attacking each of the individual problems head on? Don't know your chords? Learn them. Don't know how they relate? Read up on common practice era harmony and form. Having problems with scales? Look up a bunch of videos by reliable experts, or go to forums such as this one, and do your independent research. Boil each problem down to its constituent elements as far as possible, and then try and solve each individual problem. Search far and wide, gather everything you can, and then use your own judgement. Don't be hesitant to read "grade 3" pieces or theory just because your are in "grade 1". Imo, this idea of developing "gradually" is what limits most people. Check out everything, heck, even attempt a Hungarian Rhapsody if you feel like it (but not excessively!) and KNOW what makes it difficult, rather than relying on some second-hand account of how difficult it is.

I'm not saying that you'll become an expert immediately, but you'll be well on your way.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
I think one of the major advantages that an adult beginner has over a child is that they probably have some level of advanced problem solving and conceptual abilities. It's said that the ability for critical thinking peaks at 25, and then declines gradually. How I approached it was to gain the conceptual abilities, such as music theory, knowledge of theories of correct posture, etc. upfront. That helped guide my learning of the piano, because I could assess much more readily where I was headed.

Regardless of whether you're a child or an adult, beginner books just seem like a waste of time to me if used exclusively. You are limiting the knowledge you can obtain according to some preconceived guidelines designed by the "experts". Granted, they are tools which can come in handy sometimes. However, what I've found most success with is attacking each of the individual problems head on? Don't know your chords? Learn them. Don't know how they relate? Read up on common practice era harmony and form. Having problems with scales? Look up a bunch of videos by reliable experts, or go to forums such as this one, and do your independent research. Boil each problem down to its constituent elements as far as possible, and then try and solve each individual problem. Search far and wide, gather everything you can, and then use your own judgement. Don't be hesitant to read "grade 3" pieces or theory just because your are in "grade 1". Imo, this idea of developing "gradually" is what limits most people. Check out everything, heck, even attempt a Hungarian Rhapsody if you feel like it (but not excessively!) and KNOW what makes it difficult, rather than relying on some second-hand account of how difficult it is.

I'm not saying that you'll become an expert immediately, but you'll be well on your way.
You know, I don't think you are right really. Focusing on a theory is a trap that many adult beginners seem to fall in. There are many people who are advanced at music theory and still can't get to good intermediate level pianistically. Please, read what Simon Ewart-Ball has written above in this thread. Learning to play the piano is not an academic study, playing piano is first of all a physical activity and in the beginning it requires development of totally different skills like movement coordination, "body intuition", spontaneity and technical creativity. That's what important in the beginning. In the first years knowing your chords and how they relate won't make you the littlest bit better pianist.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
You know, I don't think you are right really. Focusing on a theory is a trap that many adult beginners seem to fall in. There are many people who are advanced at music theory and still can't get to good intermediate level pianistically. Please, read what Simon Ewart-Ball has written above in this thread. Learning to play the piano is not an academic study, playing piano is first of all a physical activity and in the beginning it requires development of totally different skills like movement coordination, "body intuition", spontaneity and technical creativity. That's what important in the beginning. In the first years knowing your chords and how they relate won't make you the littlest bit better pianist.
I'm not saying that playing the piano is an academic study. I've found that all of this knowledge does help. Knowing some theory makes you read faster, and you also learn to listen more closely to tonic/subdominant/dominant function. I felt it worked for me. I had studied all of this roughly within my first year of playing.

There is also a physical aspect to it, and I suggested reading/watching every resource you could find on piano playing and technique, regardless of difficulty. This kind of autodidactic approach is something children almost never do, but adults often can. It is what I did.

While attempting different kinds of pieces, your body does get a feel for things. I'm advocating a more exploratory method of working at the piano, where you keep experimenting and trying things, regardless of difficulty. And for me, it led to very fast progress while teaching myself because I was constantly aware of why I was working on what I was trying to improve.


Also, why do you say that knowing the chords and how they relate won't make you better in the "first years"? Not sure I agree with the time frame here. I'm sure it helps once you get to any level of standard "easy" pieces, K545 or other sonatas, Chopin waltzes/nocturnes. Some basic knowledge of counterpoint such as parallel fifths/octaves, contrary motion, etc. also helps even for something like a Bach invention. I think people should be able to play those in 1-2 years. To play a Chopin waltz for example, if you do a lot of practice with a stride rhythm in different configurations, and practice on working your 'singing tone', you will get there eventually soon enough. btw, recognizing those kinds of things and working towards it is what I mean by boiling problems down to their constituent principles, and then solving them individually.

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Regarding theory, i think it all depends what level one is targetting. Being a pianist and being a musician are different. Playing the piano is a complex mix of intellectual and physical activity. So of course knowing the chords does not directly help to execute arpegios, but understanding the logic and the structure of a piece helps to better navigate, memorize (if needed), anticipate, .... i dont know of any advanced classical pianists who would not have a solid theory background. In fact, even beyond theory, general knowledge of music history, styles, evolution is indispensaible to understand how a piece of music should be played. If one is happy to always rely on his teacher to define for him/her how to play a piece, then of course no need to bother ....

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