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Music is so much more than most know
#3029132 09/26/20 12:26 AM
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I've noticed a common theme among people, something like "that's pop, it's easy... it's just a few chords anyone can play it, it's simple"

And I've had this thought in my head, before I started piano and made me wonder "why do I struggle with a pop song" it's easy anyone can play it, right?

Why do so many think any music is simple?

I've learned in my short time studying piano that no music played (perfect or not) is NOT easy, none of it... it all takes time.

I definitely appreciate and enjoy all music so much more and when I see a pop cover I can appreciate it and I know that they didn't get there after a few years. It amazes me how long it takes to develop the skills to play any music. Regardless of pop or classical.

Last edited by Sebs; 09/26/20 12:27 AM.
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Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029149 09/26/20 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
Why do so many think any music is simple?

perhaps one reason is performers make it look so easy. No one ever realises the endless rehearsals, or the countless hours of practice.


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Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029166 09/26/20 03:37 AM
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People who say so have most likely never played an instrument and/or are unmusical. When I was in school a class mate of mine said playing the piano should be easy once you know which of those keys to press to get a specific note. In his opinion the keys were like buttons of a machine and I just had to press the proper buttons to get a perfect rendition. I was playing the clarinet as well and another of my class mates said playing that kind of a "big flute" was easy because even the small kids were able to get some sounds out a recorder and my clarinet could not be any different.

Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029168 09/26/20 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
And I've had this thought in my head, before I started piano and made me wonder "why do I struggle with a pop song" it's easy anyone can play it, right?

Both pop music and classical music have a wide range of difficulty. The trick is to find the ones that you can actually play.

If you are struggling with some pop arrangements, then get easier ones. I've seen some simplifications of pop music where the editor took out the syncopated rhythms, or simplified them beyond recognition. Although I think those arrangements sound terrible, they still off you something that you can potentially play.

I had to arrange some pop music in the past. I used augmentation (eighth notes became quarter notes, etc.) in order to make the rhythm simpler to read.


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Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029185 09/26/20 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
I've noticed a common theme among people, something like "that's pop, it's easy... it's just a few chords anyone can play it, it's simple"

And I've had this thought in my head, before I started piano and made me wonder "why do I struggle with a pop song" it's easy anyone can play it, right?

Why do so many think any music is simple?

I'm not sure if I've noticed any respectable opinion that said pop is easier than anything else. I've certainly never heard anyone claim playing a piano is simple.

Still it's all relative. Just because something is simpler, doesn't mean anyone can play it. Everything can be difficult until you gain sufficient skills and/or experience.

Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029192 09/26/20 06:00 AM
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Hi Sebs

Some pop music is simple, and in some cases that defines it's greatness. Some other pop music is also simple, and let's be polite and say it's less good!

The difficulty of music doesn't define whether it's good or bad. Duke Ellington said something like "there are only 2 types of music good and bad".

Of course there is a lot of snobbery in the music world. I've seen it in all camps: Buddy Rich the great Jazz drummer denigrating other forms of music in interviews. People on these forums running down specific types and genres of music/composers/performers, and of course there are some who think all pop music is rubbish. If you believed everything the people write, there probably wouldn't be much music left......

Other peoples opinions on music may be informative, interesting, annoying, irrelevant or provocative. But in the end the only thing that matters is whether the music moves you sufficiently that you want to play it, whether it's Jazz, a Beatles song or a Beethoven Sonata.

Cheers


Simon

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Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029213 09/26/20 06:41 AM
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If we're talking about playing the piano, let's not beat about the bush - it's very tricky, and the movements required are totally unnatural, the coordination & control needed is far beyond that for any other instruments (once you get beyond just pressing keys down), and takes a very long time to master. No wonder many adult learners start by aiming to play, say, La Campanella within a year or two, only to give up when they realize they are still grappling with hand independence after one year.

But of course, you can also simplify it down to its bare essentials - just playing simple notes, as when 'learning' simple arrangements via Synthesia et al. There's no need to go any further if that's all you require to have fun making music for yourself (though you might want to think twice before posting it on social media).

On the other hand, you can also over-complicate it by believing that you need to learn lots of other stuff which has as much relevance to piano playing as studying veterinary science has to running (in case you don't get the 'connection', studying the anatomy of a gazelle - which is a fast runner - might help you to learn to run like a, er, gazelle smirk ). That's what I notice some adult learners do here. Fine if you have a great interest in all that other stuff, but pointless if you just want to learn to play the piano well - technically and musically.


"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: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029227 09/26/20 07:27 AM
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Whether classical, jazz, or pop there are pieces that are very easy, those that are very difficult, and everything in between.

Here's a jazz example that no one will say is easy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-r4sbJ7-NI

Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029329 09/26/20 01:37 PM
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Making judgements on the "other" as something less than, is a big topic today. If one doesn't know much about the "other" why judge at all? I've had similar situations with paper-bound players dismissing ear/instinctive players. Chnaces are if you take the time to investigate both sides, you'll at least respect both sides.


God Bless Leon Russell
Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029357 09/26/20 03:30 PM
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Piano is not the easiest instrument! You have to read two staffs at the same time and your hands do different things while the feet are pedaling. And yet beginners go for the digital piano instead of violin. (Some go for the guitar) Did they think piano was easier because you just match the keys to the dots on the page and press down? Ha ha ha ha...

Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029366 09/26/20 03:52 PM
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I think piano is a lot of fun even if I'm not very good at it. Sure it's very, very difficult but the trick is to enjoy what I can do and not get upset over the things I cannot.


With new students Chopin was chiefly anxious to do away with any stiffness in, or cramped, or convulsive movement of the hand, thereby obtaining the first requisite of fine technique "souplesse" (suppleness). -- Carl Mikuli on Chopin the teacher.
Re: Music is so much more than most know
earlofmar #3029388 09/26/20 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
[quote=Sebs]


perhaps one reason is performers make it look so easy. No one ever realises the endless rehearsals, or the countless hours of practice.

I heard Bob Hope once say the secret to his success was to never let them see you sweat. As I have gotten older I understand sweat was not in the performance but in the preparation.

Another country western performer was asked how it felt to be an overnight success at the age of 40. His response was it just took him twenty years.

Once you know how, things are pretty easy. The hard part is learning how.

As Tom Hanks once said: It is not supposed to be easy, if it was easy everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it Great!

Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029397 09/26/20 06:09 PM
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I wouldn't say which instrument is the hardest. People find 1 instrument more challenging than another for various reasons.

When you play a piano, at least you're always in tune. If a note is off, blame it on the technician. And the digital option you can play around with the buttons and change the sound effects. A lot of primary school students would get themselves a plastic recorder. Before learning to put the fingers over the different holes for the notes, they'd blow endlessly and make noise. The first year playing violin, most people including myself would struggle getting the fingers in the right places to get the right tuning while the other hand sounded like the bow is used to slaughter a chicken (just an exaggeration).

Besides learning to read music, a good memory & a good ear is something everybody have after years of playing.

Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029456 09/27/20 03:31 AM
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For people who only aspire to playing Three Blind Mice, the piano is one of the easier instruments. For the rest of us, every instrument tests the limits of what's humanly possible.

Re: Music is so much more than most know
earlofmar #3029480 09/27/20 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
Originally Posted by Sebs
Why do so many think any music is simple?

perhaps one reason is performers make it look so easy.
+1.

I read a book where instructions for French harpsichord players of Rococo era were quoted. One quote said, "It must never seem that you do work playing the harpsichord. Work is what peasants and servants do, you will upset the guests if they think that you do work. Instead it must all the time seem that you're having fun playing the harpsichord and that you do nothing serious. Pay special attention to your face and your look, your look must be neither focused nor absent. Place a mirror on the harpsichord while you practice and watch your face."
smile

Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029556 09/27/20 11:02 AM
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Because the piano keyboard is a sort of coded chart for music theory, many music schools won't let you touch the other instruments until one takes piano. I play a half dozen other instruments, and learned piano amoung the last. That said, i see the point of learning piano first.


God Bless Leon Russell
Re: Music is so much more than most know
Iaroslav Vasiliev #3029560 09/27/20 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
.....Pay special attention to your face and your look, your look must be neither focused nor absent. Place a mirror on the harpsichord while you practice and watch your face."
smile
I'll bet Lang Lang never did that. Or maybe he did. smile


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Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029564 09/27/20 11:15 AM
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I think for any instrument, trying to make the music yourself, with your own two hands or voice, impresses upon you just how much work and effort goes into making something pleasant/interesting to listen to. Same for running a business or playing a sport. Looks effortless. Not.

Learning to play the piano, and especially learning some theory, has made me immensely respectful of composers and those who play their music.


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Re: Music is so much more than most know
Stubbie #3029576 09/27/20 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Or maybe he did. smile
laugh

Re: Music is so much more than most know
Sebs #3029601 09/27/20 01:12 PM
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For some reason I just always had this notion in my head that certain music is easy. I'm noticing that all music seems to be complex in one way or another. I know there are some tunes that are intentionally made easy such as few notes per bar, etc. but I'm referring to nice sounding pop arrangements and some beginner classical. I have also been noticing I have developed a habit of now thinking every song is too hard unless I can play a few bars well a day. Such as the song I wanted to learn I struggled with the rhythms, so I give up on it too soon. I really need to learn how to practice an arrangment better.

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