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If you plan to play pop?
#3011582 08/08/20 02:30 PM
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Hi - I'm reposting here as a member suggested this would be good to post here in 'non classical'

My main goal is to be able to play pop music covers. By pop I mean mean classic rock covers such as guns n' roses, david bowie, U2, Queen, Pink Floyd, etc. and some of today's pop.

My teacher has me continue with Bach minuets, musettes, czerny etudes, other etudes, which I enjoy. Just wondering, in your opinion does building a foundation with these support my goals? I'd assume what she is doing is actually making me become more knowledgable and proficient and then when I get far enough along I'll play the pop stuff much better with how she is training me.

Wondering what others think?

Also would like to add I'd love to learn how to improvise, use lead sheets, play by ear, etc. If you have any suggestions or guidance on what else I should practice or study please advise.

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Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3011591 08/08/20 03:02 PM
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Hi

Your lessons certainly support your goals in some ways, as playing Bach and Czerny will teach the use of correct fingerings, good technique etc. Does your teacher know you want to do this? And is it something she can, or would want to teach you?

Regardless, you'll have to move away from relying on the written out music, as whilst you can buy sheet music for classic rock covers, the vast majority of it isn't written with solo Piano in mind.

For me (apologies to those reading this for the umpteenth time) learning to understand chords was my way out of classical and into Rock/Jazz/Pop/Funk etc. It was also my way into using lead sheets (mainly for Jazz) and improvising.

Of course there are other teachers out there who might be better suited to your goals than your current teacher. But you do say you enjoy your current teacher and studies, and that is important. And having 2 different teachers isn't realistic in my view.

In Jazz there is a lot of material on-line that would enable you study it as a separate discipline outside of your existing lessons. And if you wanted to play like Elton John or Billy Joel there is certainly teaching material out there.

However solo Piano covers of Rock tunes is quite specialised and I don't know how well it's catered for.

You might be better committing fully to one discipline or the other. You can always come back to your classical studies (as I did) or leave the Pop/Rock covers for a longer until your classical technique is better.

Others on here may have better ideas than me, but that's my view.

Cheers


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Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3011597 08/08/20 03:17 PM
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As I understand Elton John was classically trained, so no worries as long as you enjoy the ride.

"My teacher has me continue...."
- that makes me wonder though
- is it your goal too?

I've been looking high and low to a teacher that really absorb the wishes of the student and trying to help them achive that.

All I've found have their own set ways what they teach.

I would look at finding a teacher in the style that you want to learn as well, or pickup from youtube or combination there of.

Being too tied to sheet music might make you think there are rules for everything. We had a keyboard player in a band that were fine if we fed him sheets - but rather lost otherwise going by ear. Musical styles evolve from breaking the rules.


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Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3011873 08/09/20 11:25 AM
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i think if you're studying classical, you can learn to play pop music, on the side, on your own.

When i was a kid I studied classical, but purchased lots of sheet music of pop tunes I liked. I quickly learned that you don't treat pop sheets like classical, meaning you don't play every note written. You learn to drop some notes (This was fun, so I didn't want to practice hard stuff), and add others to get the feel right. It was all about experimenting with the sheet music to make is sound reasonably like the recording, at least enough so that enjoyed playing it.

Later in life I've taken up jazz, and for me, that required a teacher, as jazz is an infinitely complex form of music. But if you want to play pop tunes, even from lead sheets or by ear, just do it by listening and experimenting, and I think you'll have a lot of fun.

Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3011925 08/09/20 01:47 PM
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Excellent! Sounds like I should continue to keep at it as I am. I will try to play some on the side too. Thanks for the feedback.

Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3011933 08/09/20 02:02 PM
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Hi Sebs, I would suggest you talk to your teacher and stress your desire to add some contemporary study to your repertoire. In my experience we make the most progress in musical training when we are playing something that inspires us. Tell your classical teacher you would like to explore some rock etudes. For example, rather than a Hannon exercise to work on your left hand try learning something like the opening few measures of the song Teacher by Jethro Tull. Learning simple bass line’s like that by your favorite artist will be more fun and vauluable to you than traditional classical training. Good luck ...

Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3011955 08/09/20 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Farfisakid
Hi Sebs, I would suggest you talk to your teacher and stress your desire to add some contemporary study to your repertoire. For example, rather than a Hannon exercise to work on your left hand try learning something like the opening few measures of the song Teacher by Jethro Tull. Learning simple bass line’s like that by your favorite artist will be more fun and vauluable to you than traditional classical training. Good luck ...
As I understand the role of the modern teacher, part of his profession should be the ability to use the music editor to create specific directed piano exercises for selected students, including fragments from songs, different textures, rhythms, etc. Those who read my posts are familiar with the musical examples that I post here - this is my norm. I prefer the score instead of the words.

Last edited by Nahum; 08/09/20 02:29 PM.
Re: If you plan to play pop?
Nahum #3011986 08/09/20 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Farfisakid
Hi Sebs, I would suggest you talk to your teacher and stress your desire to add some contemporary study to your repertoire. In my experience we make the most progress in musical training when we are playing something that inspires us. Tell your classical teacher you would like to explore some rock etudes. For example, rather than a Hannon exercise to work on your left hand try learning something like the opening few measures of the song Teacher by Jethro Tull. Learning simple bass line’s like that by your favorite artist will be more fun and vauluable to you than traditional classical training. Good luck ...

Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Farfisakid
Hi Sebs, I would suggest you talk to your teacher and stress your desire to add some contemporary study to your repertoire. For example, rather than a Hannon exercise to work on your left hand try learning something like the opening few measures of the song Teacher by Jethro Tull. Learning simple bass line’s like that by your favorite artist will be more fun and vauluable to you than traditional classical training. Good luck ...
As I understand the role of the modern teacher, part of his profession should be the ability to use the music editor to create specific directed piano exercises for selected students, including fragments from songs, different textures, rhythms, etc. Those who read my posts are familiar with the musical examples that I post here - this is my norm. I prefer the score instead of the words.


Will do! I never thought to just use pieces from songs. I should keep in mind that you don't always have to learn a full song and can still get a lot from numerous pieces out there.

Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3012268 08/10/20 11:58 AM
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Hi Sebs,
As you're learning classical, I suggest your teacher instruct you on music theory so that you may analyze the music. The classical composers used chords, too. In analyzing their music, you'll become familiar with how to spell chords and form them in this inversion or that. You will also start seeing common chord progressions. That part of music theory, learning how to spell chords, how to invert them and how they all fit together, will not only help you understand classical, but you'll be able to apply that knowledge to pop or jazz as well.


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Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3013120 08/12/20 04:52 PM
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My opinion...

For me, learning classical has NOT enabled me to learn pop/rock on my own.

My understanding is that pop/rock comes from a different history, so knowing classical doesn’t seem to help me when I try to play pop or rock. It’s crazy - almost like learning a new instrument, it seems so different. Pop/rock rely more on chords, and for me, that’s not something I have learned in my classical studies, and so for me, the contemporary stuff does NOT come easily.

My teacher only teaches classical, she can improvise, but can’t really help me with learning that. I considered changing teachers, but we’re friends, so I am very reluctant.


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Re: If you plan to play pop?
MH1963 #3013128 08/12/20 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MH1963
My opinion...

For me, learning classical has NOT enabled me to learn pop/rock on my own.

My understanding is that pop/rock comes from a different history, so knowing classical doesn’t seem to help me when I try to play pop or rock. It’s crazy - almost like learning a new instrument, it seems so different. Pop/rock rely more on chords, and for me, that’s not something I have learned in my classical studies, and so for me, the contemporary stuff does NOT come easily.

My teacher only teaches classical, she can improvise, but can’t really help me with learning that. I considered changing teachers, but we’re friends, so I am very reluctant.

Makes sense. I can some what related as I really enjoy my lessons with my teacher and not sure I'm ready to change teachers or add a second lesson with another teacher and feel I am still learning a ton. However, I did buy "Pop Piano Book" by Mark Harrison, which a member that replied to this question another forum suggested and I can see what you mean. The material I'm studying just in the beginning is material I never studied or heard of with my current lessons. I think I will work on pop-rock study on my own with that book and maybe consider a trying lessons with another teacher in that area.

Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3013160 08/12/20 06:06 PM
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yep. I have found that as I work on scales and learning cadences, it’s getting a little easier. For example, I never understood how a person could select on the fly what to play when improvising. Now that I have started to understand which chords are used together, it sort of helps me in getting that. Instead of it just looking like a magical ability, I can sort of understand slightly how players choose things. It’s still really difficult, though.

Give me a sheet of music, though, and I’m good with it.


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Re: If you plan to play pop?
MH1963 #3013196 08/12/20 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MH1963
yep. I have found that as I work on scales and learning cadences, it’s getting a little easier. For example, I never understood how a person could select on the fly what to play when improvising. Now that I have started to understand which chords are used together, it sort of helps me in getting that. Instead of it just looking like a magical ability, I can sort of understand slightly how players choose things. It’s still really difficult, though.

Give me a sheet of music, though, and I’m good with it.
That's great! I plan to move towards that skill. I just started learning about Modes of the major scales and honestly had no idea how much goes into pop and just started digging into it. I feel like so a lot of people act like it's so easy but there's way more to it and it's so unique.

Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3013314 08/13/20 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MH1963
My opinion...

For me, learning classical has NOT enabled me to learn pop/rock on my own.

.
Even if you studied jazz, there would be a problem.

Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3013320 08/13/20 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Henderson Hall
The classical composers used chords, too. In analyzing their music, you'll become familiar with how to spell chords and form them in this inversion or that. You will also start seeing common chord progressions. That part of music theory, learning how to spell chords, how to invert them and how they all fit together, will not only help you understand classical, but you'll be able to apply that knowledge to pop or jazz as well.
This is a somewhat naive view, stemming from the old assertion that jazz has not invented anything new in the field of harmony, and any chord of jazz can be found in academic music of a particular era.This view excludes the 3 most important factors pertaining to both jazz and pop-rock-funk: rhythm including swing feel,(african) pentatonic foundation, and blues scale. All of these elements are tied into one knot and affect each other.

Re: If you plan to play pop?
Nahum #3013333 08/13/20 07:19 AM
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I'm thinking if I have no desire to play classical what's the point to keep playing and learning pieces I am not enjoying. I imagine there's enough music out there that a teacher should be able to teach you what you want to learn with the music you enjoy. I think many teachers use their same programs (i.e these set of 5 pieces then this set of 5) to teach all students at level their respective level.


Originally Posted by Nahum
....This view excludes the 3 most important factors pertaining to both jazz and pop-rock-funk: rhythm including swing feel,(african) pentatonic foundation, and blues scale. All of these elements are tied into one knot and affect each other.
I can already relate to this as I began using the Pop Piano Book you suggested and already learned a ton about Modal scales, pentatonic scales, etc. all things that that never once came up in classical lessons which makes sense but just shows that you might as well study in the area you plan to play.

Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3013417 08/13/20 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
I can already relate to this as I began using the Pop Piano Book you suggested and already learned a ton about Modal scales, pentatonic scales, etc. all things that that never once came up in classical lessons which makes sense but just shows that you might as well study in the area you plan to play.
In fact, the beginning of the book may be part of a textbook on classical harmony, but all the material is aimed at interpreting chords in relation to rhythms, which in classical harmony does not exist at all.At the moment when it begins to talk about rhythmic concept, the material goes far away from classical music, and sometimes touches on jazz.

Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3013426 08/13/20 12:37 PM
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Have your teacher work on Pachelbel Canon in D with you. In my opinion, this could have been written by any number of modern composers as a study in improvisation over a chord progression (D A Bm F#m G D G A) as modern as any in pop music today. In fact it wouldn't surprise me a bit if Pachelbel intended it to be exactly that. Of course since it's written down we can't call it improv, but it certainly presents a set of tools that you could make your own to use over the same, or similar progressions. Check it out and you'll see what I mean.

Last edited by Oasismfg; 08/13/20 12:38 PM.
Re: If you plan to play pop?
Oasismfg #3013472 08/13/20 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Oasismfg
Have your teacher work on Pachelbel Canon in D with you. In my opinion, this could have been written by any number of modern composers as a study in improvisation over a chord progression (D A Bm F#m G D G A) as modern as any in pop music today. In fact it wouldn't surprise me a bit if Pachelbel intended it to be exactly that. Of course since it's written down we can't call it improv, but it certainly presents a set of tools that you could make your own to use over the same, or similar progressions. Check it out and you'll see what I mean.

Thanks for the tip but those are the pieces I don't really enjoy to play much. While I do love that arrangement not sure I'd want to spend more time on pieces I don't enjoy learning. I'm really looking to play/practice/learn stuff that gets me excited and that I don't have force myself to sluggishly play and force myself to learn. I put into so much time and effort that I don't want to just keep plugging away down a path not aligned with my goals.

Re: If you plan to play pop?
Sebs #3013648 08/14/20 02:20 AM
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Last edited by Nahum; 08/14/20 02:21 AM.
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