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I have a problem with tension too. I play scales and arpeggios over four octaves. I’m constantly trying to work on relaxing from the shoulders right down to the end of the fingers. Not easy but I think I’m more relaxed than I was a while back

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
The guy who is teaching you now is not a teacher. He doesn't know what must be taught and how it must be taught. Unfortunately you don't learn how to play piano now, you are just developing bad habits that need to be un-learned later.

If you're really passionate about piano you need to hire a real teacher.
+1 OP needs a real teacher. 👍


Lisa

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Based on your current playing and what you've been posting:

"I can't get through the whole piece it's too boring, I think I need something to challenge me technically because I can play this in my sleep...I can play it in a normal tempo pretty easily... It's not hard, and it's really boring.
I'm not going to go through w/ prelude, I have a piano lesson weekly from a grad student at my school for basically free, and he said yeah we shouldn't go forward w/ prelude we can find something new thats less boring... Prelude I can finish, it's just a drag...
In video I'm just trying to show off that I can play Cmaj scale not just the basic way, but I can play Cmaj scale with altering the tone of notes."

Some pieces I'm considering are: Passacaglia (for piano), Bydlo, Arabesque No.1 (Debussy), Linus and Lucy, Op.12 No.1 (Grieg Lyric Pieces), and maybe fur elise/turkish march (but mozart/beethoven kind of bore me, at least their easier stuff does.

and especially this:

I don't care about learning pieces though... The only reason I want to learn any pieces is because people say you should. I only care about theory, technique, and improvisation ATM.

.......my recommendation as a teacher to you is that you should ditch your 'teacher' (who obviously doesn't know how to teach, and is just pandering to your every whim) and just learn by yourself. Forget about learning any pieces: everything on your list is years beyond you. You obviously don't care about acquiring a good piano technique - despite what you've said -, and just want to play everything your own way, so you should get yourself some good theory books (too many to mention), books on improvisation (like "The Piano Improvisation Handbook - A practical guide to musical invention" by Carl Humphries") and - if you happen to wonder about what good technique is, look at the YT videos by Graham Fitch, starting with the most basic ones.

If you get any pain when playing (or afterwards), just stop.


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Originally Posted by pablobear
Thank you

What should I record for tomorrow for you all to gauge my skill?
Nothing.


Lisa

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Originally Posted by ebonyk
Originally Posted by pablobear
Thank you

What should I record for tomorrow for you all to gauge my skill?

Nothing.

There is no reason to record anything.

Your skill level is already crystal clear.

You are possibly worse off now than if you had done nothing for the past year.

You have developed a very tension filled manner of playing that will be difficult to overcome.

If you really wish to learn to play piano, stop working with the grad student and get yourself a professional teacher whom you pay for instruction.


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I’ve booked an extra lesson on scales and arpeggios tomorrow 😁

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pablobear:

Much of the criticism in this thread, including my own, may come across as somewhat harsh if not unfriendly. Please understand that those of us who post are passionate about piano repertoire and about how to learn to play well. We like to encourage others who are starting out or who are in the early stages of their journey. What you are reading, however it may strike you, is meant to be helpful.

The best advice is advice that has already been given: get yourself a teacher who knows how to teach and who can guide you appropriately through the early stages. It doesn't have to be a teacher of classical repertoire if that is not what you want. Learning to improvise and do it well requires a good technical foundation and you can get that from the teacher who is right for you. There is much to be learned - and to be enjoyed! - even in easier pieces, whatever the genre.

I hope you find the right teacher for you.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by Wayne2467
I’ve booked an extra lesson on scales and arpeggios tomorrow 😁
I feel like scales, arpeggios, chords, and dominant and diminished 7ths are starting to haunt my dreams. 😂😂😂


Lisa

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Originally Posted by BruceD
pablobear:

Much of the criticism in this thread, including my own, may come across as somewhat harsh if not unfriendly. Please understand that those of us who post are passionate about piano repertoire and about how to learn to play well. We like to encourage others who are starting out or who are in the early stages of their journey. What you are reading, however it may strike you, is meant to be helpful.

The best advice is advice that has already been given: get yourself a teacher who knows how to teach and who can guide you appropriately through the early stages. It doesn't have to be a teacher of classical repertoire if that is not what you want. Learning to improvise and do it well requires a good technical foundation and you can get that from the teacher who is right for you. There is much to be learned - and to be enjoyed! - even in easier pieces, whatever the genre.

I hope you find the right teacher for you.

Regards,
+1 ❤️


Lisa

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Based on all that you said and your video, i would say that you greatly overestimate your level vs reality. In terms of scale, here is an example of smooth and fast scales (couple of minutes at the beginning).

https://youtu.be/7QA1GyU4Q1A

Your attempt to play the prelude is quite sketchy.
Arabesque, Rondo alla turka, ... are all way too difficult for you at this stage. With your current teacher (as some others have said) it seems you are just developping bad habits. Your hands are terribly tense and frozen. The contrary of what you should be doing. Learning the fancy staff like contrary motion, staccato, various dynamic levels is useless until you can play evenly and comfortably your major and minor scales. You should get a real strong teacher who will put on a proper track.

I am afraid that you actually do need to practice is what you call the boring staff and in fact most likely even way more simplier and boring, because even the difficult parts of Fur Elise would be a challenge. Not speaking of other Bethoven compositions because apart from a handfull of pieces, he did not compose anything easy. The issue with classical music is that it does require an incredible amount of technique and stylistic knowledge. In most cases Gould is not a very good model. Of course he knew exactly what he was doing, so his interpretative choices are very personal but based on an in depth knowledge and expert piano skills, which you dont have.

It is a frequent case that people want to run before they can walk, and dont have the patience to go through the proper and maybe boring steps. Maybe also that classical music is not for you and you would be at ease with something less strict and conventional. That said good technical basis is always usefull.

If you want to record something for further assessment, play a piece which you consider is well played.


Currently I have two teachers, the grad student one at my college who gives me nearly free lessons.

Then a teacher who is pretty good at home I've only went to 4 lessons I believe, and I have 8 more left. She is the one who actually taught me about contrary motion and said it's good to play scales in diff variations ONCE you get down playing them normally, which I can do. This teacher also who showed me contrary motion, to say she isn't strong as a teacher may be fair, but she most likely has accomplished more than anyone in this thread. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, studied w/ a famous composer son, taught at many colleges/schools all over world. The teacher at home also showed me some ways to alleviate tension which I do, I used to be MUCH more tense than I am in this video and it's getting better over time. It's just definitely bad after I have been playing for 2 hours straight and it gets built up. I used to not even be able to play 45 mins without pain, but I've been pushing through it and I can stay relaxed for like 30-40 mins at a time. The video game I played which also is much more damaging for your hands than piano + weightlifting is a contributor.



She e-mailed me today actually a. scale-work: work for 4 octaves, played with absolutely consistent comfort and accuracy;
play with a more fluid technique, with the use of cresc and decresc as you
sweep up and down through the entire range;
start moving through the relative minors also;
achieve a full and rich tonal quality

This is the first time she said to go past 2 octaves, so I guess you guys are right with her. From now on, I'm only doing my scales in 3 octaves and making sure I can do it perfectly. Today, I also worked through a major 1 octave both hands as well, tomorrow I'm going to start going up. I also learned Bb Major scale hands separate today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUiL2Q2niMg&feature=youtu.be

Here is an updated video of me playing, I wasn't happy with the 3 octave scales so I took another video which I could upload if you want. They tend to fall apart going backwards on the last octave, but I'm working on it. I think it will be perfect in a few days from now because I had one bad habit that I worked on correcting today.


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Originally Posted by BruceD
pablobear:

Much of the criticism in this thread, including my own, may come across as somewhat harsh if not unfriendly. Please understand that those of us who post are passionate about piano repertoire and about how to learn to play well. We like to encourage others who are starting out or who are in the early stages of their journey. What you are reading, however it may strike you, is meant to be helpful.

The best advice is advice that has already been given: get yourself a teacher who knows how to teach and who can guide you appropriately through the early stages. It doesn't have to be a teacher of classical repertoire if that is not what you want. Learning to improvise and do it well requires a good technical foundation and you can get that from the teacher who is right for you. There is much to be learned - and to be enjoyed! - even in easier pieces, whatever the genre.

I hope you find the right teacher for you.

Regards,

Bruce.

No offense is taken, I am passionate about learning how to play well as well. I understand that I have a long way to go to reach the goals I want, and I'm posting on this forum so people can call me out on my nooby mistakes. I think my big issue is I'm not conscious all the time on playing relaxed, but, this thread is motivation for me to fix that bad habit.

I have two teachers at the moment. Grad student teacher we only had one lesson so far, but I honestly like him better than my teacher who is much more accomplished. My other teacher studied w/ a great composer's son, taught at many schools all around world, perform at Carnegie hall, she can even play tcahik concerto 1... Yet, I don't really enjoy her style of teaching as much, but she is really fun to talk to about the music... The other teacher, the lessons are a bit shorter, but I learned a good bit and had fun. I think in the future that teacher will be able to help me play a lot of stuff, but I really just care about fundamentals ATM.


I started playing in May of 2020.

Hopefully, I can play rachmaninoff and scriabin one day. xD
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Based on your current playing and what you've been posting:

"I can't get through the whole piece it's too boring, I think I need something to challenge me technically because I can play this in my sleep...I can play it in a normal tempo pretty easily... It's not hard, and it's really boring.
I'm not going to go through w/ prelude, I have a piano lesson weekly from a grad student at my school for basically free, and he said yeah we shouldn't go forward w/ prelude we can find something new thats less boring... Prelude I can finish, it's just a drag...
In video I'm just trying to show off that I can play Cmaj scale not just the basic way, but I can play Cmaj scale with altering the tone of notes."

Some pieces I'm considering are: Passacaglia (for piano), Bydlo, Arabesque No.1 (Debussy), Linus and Lucy, Op.12 No.1 (Grieg Lyric Pieces), and maybe fur elise/turkish march (but mozart/beethoven kind of bore me, at least their easier stuff does.

and especially this:

I don't care about learning pieces though... The only reason I want to learn any pieces is because people say you should. I only care about theory, technique, and improvisation ATM.

.......my recommendation as a teacher to you is that you should ditch your 'teacher' (who obviously doesn't know how to teach, and is just pandering to your every whim) and just learn by yourself. Forget about learning any pieces: everything on your list is years beyond you. You obviously don't care about acquiring a good piano technique - despite what you've said -, and just want to play everything your own way, so you should get yourself some good theory books (too many to mention), books on improvisation (like "The Piano Improvisation Handbook - A practical guide to musical invention" by Carl Humphries") and - if you happen to wonder about what good technique is, look at the YT videos by Graham Fitch, starting with the most basic ones.

If you get any pain when playing (or afterwards), just stop.


This was the most helpful comment thank you...

All I care about is technique honestly, I want to be able to do all 24 scale fast, octave scale well, be able to regroup and use rotation great. These are the things that interest me the most, but every teacher I've had tries to focus on repertoire. I'm trying to shift the lessons with my new grad student teacher to be theory/technique/improv focused, and the one lesson we had was pretty good so far.

My other teacher is very accomplished and she is the one who gets the rep in my head, but I don't really think I can criticize her since she knows way more than me. If I ever told her I don't want to practice repertoire I think she would argue with me and say NO you have to do this.


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Hopefully, I can play rachmaninoff and scriabin one day. xD
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Originally Posted by marklings
Boring ? It's simple but but wonderful piece. Maybe you need to be a little bit more humble about all this. Music requires a lot of dedication before disclosing its grace.

Let me be critical about this, no offense:
- You stumble through the notes, your performance is very far from flowing at it should
- Why playing the first 2 notes so much louder that the others ? The first one of the arpeggio should be a tad louder and insisted upon but not the second
- It should be played way faster to appreciate the beauty of the harmony; playing it so slow one loses the sense of it entirety and it becomes boring, yes

IMHO you are 2/3 years away from playing it well. Let alone the other pieces you mention. You need to be patient about this. A piece that may seem boring may reveal all of its beauty when played as it should . . .

My 2c, no offense intended.

I posted an updated version of my Prelude in C

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUiL2Q2niMg&feature=youtu.be

I play it much better technically here, but I think my interpretation is dry and overplayed. I prefer the former one MUCH more, even though I don't think I execute my idea well on it.

I do respect the genius of the piece, it fits really well, but I just find other stuff more interesting than this. I don't think boring means it's bad, it just isn't particularly interesting to my taste.


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Originally Posted by pablobear
.....This was the most helpful comment thank you...

All I care about is technique honestly, I want to be able to do all 24 scale fast, octave scale well, be able to regroup and use rotation great. These are the things that interest me the most, but every teacher I've had tries to focus on repertoire. I'm trying to shift the lessons with my new grad student teacher to be theory/technique/improv focused, and the one lesson we had was pretty good so far.

My other teacher is very accomplished and she is the one who gets the rep in my head, but I don't really think I can criticize her since she knows way more than me. If I ever told her I don't want to practice repertoire I think she would argue with me and say NO you have to do this.
You say "every teacher you've had tries to focus on repertoire." In the end, isn't that what you're after? All the scales and arpeggios and technique exercises are in service to repertoire, improv or not. Nobody--even yourself, after a time--wants to listen to someone play scales or an exercise. All your teachers (how many?) focus on repertoire for a reason. It's where the technique rubber meets the road, as they say. smile


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Originally Posted by pablobear
but she most likely has accomplished more than anyone in this thread
That arrogant and rude attitude isn't a good way to to treat members that are helping you.

Originally Posted by pablobear
My other teacher studied w/ a great composer's son, taught at many schools all around world, perform at Carnegie hall, she can even play tcahik concerto 1..
None of this matters and it doesn't mean they're a good or bad teacher. What matters is how you progress and learning what you want. I'm still a beginner and once I accepted many pieces I wanted to learn were years away from my reach it was a relief. It took the forum here telling me it was way out of my reach. It's all about how you choose to use your time and your goals.

Originally Posted by pablobear
I think it will be perfect in a few days from now because I had one bad habit that I worked on correcting today.
Nothing in piano will ever be perfect. There will always be something that can improve or be done better, always!

Good luck and enjoy the journey.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by pablobear
but she most likely has accomplished more than anyone in this thread
That arrogant and rude attitude isn't a good way to to treat members that are helping you.

Originally Posted by pablobear
My other teacher studied w/ a great composer's son, taught at many schools all around world, perform at Carnegie hall, she can even play tcahik concerto 1..
None of this matters and it doesn't mean they're a good or bad teacher. What matters is how you progress and learning what you want. I'm still a beginner and once I accepted many pieces I wanted to learn were years away from my reach it was a relief. It took the forum here telling me it was way out of my reach. It's all about how you choose to use your time and your goals.

Originally Posted by pablobear
I think it will be perfect in a few days from now because I had one bad habit that I worked on correcting today.
Nothing in piano will ever be perfect. There will always be something that can improve or be done better, always!

Good luck and enjoy the journey.

It's not arrogant and rude when other people say my teacher isn't qualified to teach? But, when I defend her it is. Come on, I don't even think she's a great teacher, and I don't think her qualifications inherently make her a good teacher. But, I do think she is being a bit disrespected for how great of a pianist she is, and she's also taught/played w/ some really great players... I definitely think the problem is me ahaha.


I also am not denying that these pieces are past my level? I posted this thread to see what I should do, and I picked some pieces that are interesting to me

Also, I should've been more clear in my wording, it won't be perfect, but I wont mess up the fingering and be able to play it accurately with evenness in each key.

Best.

Last edited by pablobear; 02/11/21 05:36 PM.

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Originally Posted by pablobear
... I do think she is being a bit disrespected for how great of a pianist she is, and she's also taught/played w/ some really great players...

Well, teacher(s) are judged by how well their students play.

Unfortunately, what we have seen in you is a disaster.

It is my sincere hope that you can find a way to just listen and take some advice.

You need a teacher you pay and you need to listen to their instruction AND you need to learn to play musical pieces and be judged by how well you can play an entire piece of music not just a few notes here and there.

AND ... to play a piece of music well, it needs to be played on time with attention to dynamics.

When you can post that .... you are on your way.

Good Luck


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Originally Posted by pablobear
It's not arrogant and rude when other people say my teacher isn't qualified to teach? But, when I defend her it is. Come on, I don't even think she's a great teacher, and I don't think her qualifications inherently make her a good teacher. But, I do think she is being a bit disrespected for how great of a pianist she is, and she's also taught/played w/ some really great players...

I hate to assume intellectual dishonesty when meeting someone for the first time. But, you make that difficult. When you wrote the above, didn't any little warning bells go off in your head? Didn't you experience even the slightest anxiety that would normally accompany a decision to commit wrong against others? You have implicitly accused those trying to help you, out of the kindness of their hearts, of rudeness to your concert pianist teacher! Yet, you entirely omit any recognition of the FACT that YOU kept her secret from us until some 30 posts into this discussion, and until AFTER the comments you now assert as evidence of our rudeness toward her were even written. How could anyone here have been talking about her when you chose not to reveal her until after those posts?

The only evidence you allowed us was a video clearly showing very poor technique, poor rhythm, etc, and a bunch of contrived sounding justifications for obvious pianistic deficiencies. All the comments you now complain of were in response to that evidence, which was certainly good evidence of teaching deficiency. To now turn on the forum members who have been volunteering their time and efforts, and to degrade them suggests other, as yet, un-discussed deficiencies that also stand in your path:

1. Perhaps you lack the intellectual capacity to recognize when you are about err;

2. Perhaps you lack the empathic capacity to recognize that careless or intentional insults are unpleasant for your victims;

3. Or, perhaps you do possess the intellectual capacity to recognize when you are about to err, and, do possess the empathic capacity to recognize the suffering caused by your unchecked errors, but, you just don't care about those you diminish; or,

4. Something else (I leave this open since you seem to like unveiling new support when the opportunity seems right).

I think your immaturity will likely be one of the greatest impediments to your progress.

Originally Posted by pablobear
I definitely think the problem is me ahaha.

Agreed!

Last edited by Ralphiano; 02/11/21 06:48 PM.

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Originally Posted by Ralphiano
Originally Posted by pablobear
It's not arrogant and rude when other people say my teacher isn't qualified to teach? But, when I defend her it is. Come on, I don't even think she's a great teacher, and I don't think her qualifications inherently make her a good teacher. But, I do think she is being a bit disrespected for how great of a pianist she is, and she's also taught/played w/ some really great players...

I hate to assume intellectual dishonesty when meeting someone for the first time. But, you make that difficult. When you wrote the above, didn't any little warning bells go off in your head? Didn't you experience even the slightest anxiety that would normally accompany a decision to commit wrong against others? You have implicitly accused those trying to help you, out of the kindness of their hearts, of rudeness to your concert pianist teacher! Yet, you entirely omit any recognition of the FACT that YOU kept her secret from us until some 30 posts into this discussion, and until AFTER the comments you now assert as evidence of our rudeness toward her were even written. How could anyone here have been talking about her when you chose not to reveal her until after those posts?

The only evidence you allowed us was a video clearly showing very poor technique, poor rhythm, etc, and a bunch of contrived sounding justifications for obvious pianistic deficiencies. All the comments you now complain of were in response to that evidence, which was certainly good evidence of teaching deficiency. To now turn on the forum members who have been volunteering their time and efforts, and to degrade them suggests other, as yet, un-discussed deficiencies that also stand in your path:

1. Perhaps you lack the intellectual capacity to recognize when you are about err;

2. Perhaps you lack the empathic capacity to recognize that careless or intentional insults are unpleasant for your victims;

3. Or, perhaps you do possess the intellectual capacity to recognize when you are about to err, and, do possess the empathic capacity to recognize the suffering caused by your unchecked errors, but, you just don't care about those you diminish; or,

4. Something else (I leave this open since you seem to like unveiling new support when the opportunity seems right).

I think your immaturity will likely be one of the greatest impediments to your progress.

Originally Posted by pablobear
I definitely think the problem is me ahaha.

Agreed!

I thought I mentioned earlier in the thread that I have two teachers, and if you look at the whole thread, you will see a lot of people disrespected my grad student teacher, and practically disrespected my other teacher as well... I shouldn't of been as hostile because I thought I stated this previously... My grad student teacher is a great player, and he honestly gave me a lot more help in one 30-ish minute lesson than 1-2 hour lessons from the "better" teacher, but I don't care to evaluate them, I just want to be present when my lessons come.


I have only been to a total of 5 piano lessons, and there has never been any mention about my playing being tense. In the first video I sent, I was very tense because I was just filming a video of my playing after a 2 hr practice session. Also, the tension isn't purely from piano, it is from other things I've done. Over time, the tension will go down because piano is much better for my hands/wrists/forearms than the other stuff I was doing. Keep in mind two weeks ago I couldn't even do an octave scale a few times without feeling pain, now I can do it at-least 10x with no pain.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUiL2Q2niMg&feature=youtu.be

Is this better evidence of my playing? You can still definitely notice there is tension, but it is a lot better compared to the other one as I was much more fresh. A couple weeks ago, I couldn't even do an octave scale more than 2x without feeling tension, now I can do it many many times... So, it's not like I'm not working on my tension issue, blaming my teachers for it is unfair, you can say that I am ass at piano for it and I'll take that gladly, but most people in this thread were being condescending towards my teachers in my eyes...

1. ???

2. Maybe, I'm somewhat of an autist, so that isn't a great skill of mine, but like any skill it can be improved. I started being mindful about this only 2.5 years ago.

3. Kinda yeah, I was getting annoyed because people were shitting on my teacher. I don't think I'm a good representation of her skills, and I respect both of my teachers a lot, even though I haven't been to many lessons with them.

And, also yeah. I definitely am immature, I legit just turned 21 like 12 days ago. I'm aware that I am though, and I'm working on it. I can be conscious of all this stuff, but you and I both know change takes time, and won't happen overnight.


Also, if you could help guide me to a pianist who has similar anatomy to me so I can watch their technique and mimic it, it will be a great help. As you can see in the video, the Richter pinky thing I do and the intro to Rach 3 you can tell that I am much more relaxed and that's just stuff I stole from watching.


In the video also, I show my justification for the "random rhythms" and mistakes go to 6:00, and also I have another video of me doing scales across 3 octaves without making as many mistakes if you'd like to see... Stop calling them random rhythms, when it is intentional, if I mess up the evenness of my playing that's a failure and a random rhythm. But, trying to play scales using crescendo/decrescendo/dynamic variation/etc. is not a bad way to practice scales. I probably need to build more fundamentals before I can maximize the improvement from learning scales musically, but the point still stands...


My goal in piano is to be able to play Rachmaninoff and Scriabin as soon as possible, I don't really care about any other music. If I was being self-taught, I would only practice scales/technical exercises/sight-reading until I am good enough to play that stuff, but since I have teachers they recommend me this stuff. I do respect what they say and listen, even if it goes against what I feel is best. I know I will reach this goal eventually, but, I want it sooner than later. Which is what brings me here...

Best.


I started playing in May of 2020.

Hopefully, I can play rachmaninoff and scriabin one day. xD
Joined: May 2015
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I have PM'd you.


Ralph

Kawai VPC1
Garritan CFX
Pianist since April, 2015
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