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Getting Back Into Piano
#3050878 11/29/20 12:11 PM
Joined: Nov 2020
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Hey everyone,

I'm looking to get back into playing piano after a couple of years hiatus. I can still read music sheets pretty well with the occasional ledger line throwing me off but, I don't have much knowledge in terms of music theory.

So far, I've just been finding sheets to songs that I enjoy and playing them. Is this enough or should I be studying things like music theory alongside playing songs I enjoy?

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Re: Getting Back Into Piano
JustTheQuant #3050886 11/29/20 12:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
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Teacher ?


Don

Casio PX-S1000, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq, Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface
Re: Getting Back Into Piano
JustTheQuant #3050892 11/29/20 01:23 PM
Joined: May 2020
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Well, do you really need music theory?
It is mostly a tool to help composing music, not much for playing it.
Don't get me wrong, the more you know, the better. But I don't think you really need that if you aim at playing the songs you love.

You may just want to improve your skill at reading music sheets. This will come with time, but you can surely do extra exercises to get better more quickly.

But what is exactly your main struggle?
What do you think is missing to get you to the next level?
I wouldn't think that reading faster is so important to play better. It will mostly slow you down when you first learn a song, that's all.

There are several things that you may do to get better and I wrote a few articles on my website to help you (see my signature if you are interested).
It could be for example to set a specific goal for your practice session and have a clear focus on the outcome you want from it. It could be improving your finger speed, the dynamics, the articulation.

Tell us a bit more about how you practice, what issue you experience... so we can help you better smile


Your guide to learn how to play the piano and keyboards:
https://www.guide2music.com/play-the-piano/
Re: Getting Back Into Piano
JustTheQuant #3050910 11/29/20 02:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
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Originally Posted by JustTheQuant
Hey everyone,

I'm looking to get back into playing piano after a couple of years hiatus. I can still read music sheets pretty well with the occasional ledger line throwing me off but, I don't have much knowledge in terms of music theory.

So far, I've just been finding sheets to songs that I enjoy and playing them. Is this enough or should I be studying things like music theory alongside playing songs I enjoy?

Short answer - yes, learn some music theory. It can only help.

Longer answer - from what you've written, "I've just been finding sheets to songs that I enjoy and playing them...", it seems that you are learning pieces through a combination of reading as well as "by ear". You know how the song "should sound", and you are learning the notes visually.

But what if you wanted to play a piece you had never heard?

In that case, you would be reading the notes, one at a time, playing them at the keyboard, but you wouldn't have the context of knowing the sense of the tune.

IMO there is an valid analogy between reading music without knowledge of music theory and sounding out words in a foreign language by reading them phonetically. Reading and playing that way we might get the musical words stated, but without knowing the context, i.e., without knowing how they fit together, our performance would be mechanical and, ultimately, unmusical.

Learning some music theory - scales, chords, understanding how harmonic tension is built through leading tones - these are things that will not only make it easier to play new songs. They will also help play those songs more musically.

My opinion.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
I Make Music that Lifts People Up & Brings Them Together
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

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