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#988032 - 12/09/04 08:02 PM Cindy, I have an idea
WCSMinorCircuit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: California
Well, not just for Cindy.

This goes for everyone in the "Master of Your Domain" thingamajig.

Well, since we all may not have a piano available everyday due to vacation/travel/etc., why don't we still try to practice our musicality (is that a word?).

Some examples of this would be learing about theory, reading about a composer, learning about history, or my personal favorite, reading a score of music and trying to memorize it without touching a piano. Be creative and try all of this. That could count as practice.

just a thought...
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#988033 - 12/09/04 08:09 PM Re: Cindy, I have an idea
Cindysphinx Offline

Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
I *like* it! What say you, Domain Masters?

I was just reading my theory book the other day. I learned something that hadn't sunk into my skull yet -- chords are named after the biggest interval.

Yeah. I know. Basic stuff. But it didn't click until I saw it in print.
Vote For Cindy!!


#988034 - 12/10/04 05:46 PM Re: Cindy, I have an idea
BlingBling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/24/04
Posts: 77
Loc: NJ
That, I can do. I'm in!

I just bought a book on music theory and The Piano Handbook from Amazon. \:\)

#988035 - 12/10/04 08:06 PM Re: Cindy, I have an idea
SusieQ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 301
Loc: Bellevue, Washington
I like that idea

#988036 - 12/10/04 09:22 PM Re: Cindy, I have an idea
Vintagefingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 331
Loc: SE
I was out of town on business a month ago Jonesing on missing my routine morning and evening practices. I've only been playing 11 months and "the rest of my life" isn't as much on the sunny as it was say 20 years ago. So I'm anxious cause I have this silly notion of someday being a pianist. Actually it isn't a notion or a dream, it passed that point and became a goal. No, not great but maybe good enough to look at a score and play it. A Mozart Sonata, A Chopin prelude, a rag or two, some of the 20th century standards and a little bit of jazz, AND Brazilian, da cor do pecado, Manha de Carnaval, Anos dourados, Bossa Nova stuff, Jobim. I really love this music, to listen to it is to know its people. So this is the plan.

I decide that I have read enough, I can't concentrate anyway because this is practice time and I WANTA PRACTICE. So I run out to Barnes and Noble and go straight for the music section and find this "The Piano Handbook" by Carl Humphries. What stood out to me first was that it was spiral bound and I really like that. I get so tired of trying to flip a page when I'm playing a piece and loosing the flow, remember, I'm not a pianist, one who can hum while pedaling and left hand the next page, fold it into place while performing a cadenza with the right without missing a single note, another thing to admire of a true pianist.

So I take the book to the check out counter, oh btw, the subtitle to the book is "A complete guide to mastering the piano", the girl at the register asks me if I'm trying to learn the piano. I retort with, "well actually no, I know how to play but I'm just brushing up on some theory" and then convinced myself that is the reason I bought the book, like when you were a teenager and bought a playboy magazine and explained, if questioned, about an "article" you wanted to explore in greater depth. The theory is the reason I bought the book, not the pictures of the pianos, the music, no it was the theory and I'm sticking to it.

I'm now back at the motel room and start immediately looking at the pictures and reading the history of the piano, the evolution of the various styles of composition for the instrument and influential artists. Then into the lessons and theory. This is a condensed book on theory, well presented with excercises and even includes a CD. Well before you know it I realize that what the piano is really about is understanding the music, not just playing like us beginners are so focused on but the harmonic structure of notes played together. So the next thing you know it is 1:00 AM and I finally turn out the lights and go to sleep, tomorrow is another day.

What this book did was give me greater insight into the piano learning process in a most unexpected way, so I would say that you really don't have to be sitting at the keyboard to learn to play. If you're really lucky, you might just have an epiphany that will take you to the next step along the journey. It seems these things happen when you least expect it.

#988037 - 12/10/04 10:37 PM Re: Cindy, I have an idea
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
"The Piano Handbook" is definitely a great book when i saw it at B&N, and i wish i would have had it when i started. i'd recommend it to anyone who wants to play piano! btw, Vintagefingers, that's a great story.

#988038 - 12/10/04 11:37 PM Re: Cindy, I have an idea
DuCamp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/04
Posts: 263
Loc: Mexico City
So, the thing is to enhance your musical knowledge/abilities everyday in a consistent manner.
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#988039 - 12/11/04 03:57 AM Re: Cindy, I have an idea
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
I'm going to buy it this very day.. I came to that realization some time ago that if I want to be better I need to understand not just what notes to play, but why.. otherwise, with a sensitive ear, I still have trouble with passing tones, etc. My teacher is doing chord stucture theory now, arpeggios, five finger patterns, chord inversions, major and minor scales, etc.

Thanks for the tip!


He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

#988040 - 12/11/04 05:18 AM Re: Cindy, I have an idea
PattyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 624
Loc: Texas

Excellent idea! I was starting to sweat already and we haven’t even hit the New Year yet. When I jumped at Cindy’s original thread I’d forgotten that I’m mostly likely going to be moving in with my mother soon who doesn’t have piano. I’d be almost 1-˝ hours away from home and too far to drive everyday to practice. I’d considered having my piano moved to her place (which she’s good with) but she really doesn’t have the room and I didn’t want to add anything to her already full house. The only solution I had come up with so far is to use one of my local church’s pianos. That would be OK because I’m a member of a 2-church charge and they’re both fairly close by but it’s still not the same as being right there and just plopping down on the bench and opening the fallboard.

I’m still going to try very hard to stick with the everyday-practice schedule but this would take a little pressure off.


Thanks for the story and the encouragement! I’m going to check out “The Piano Handbook” soon.

Blessings all!


A tired dog is a good dog.

Perzina GP-187
Kawai CP209

#988041 - 12/12/04 10:38 AM Re: Cindy, I have an idea
WCSMinorCircuit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: California
I want to buy "The Piano Handbook" too. I've read it many times, but I'm a poor folk.

I did find a page that caught my attention and took a picture of it with my phone for reference purposes. I wonder I it's legal to do that?
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#988042 - 12/12/04 02:00 PM Re: Cindy, I have an idea
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2918
Loc: idaho
Getting that book - for anyone who's interested, Amazon as it 4 or 5 bucks less than B&N.
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

#988043 - 12/12/04 03:12 PM Re: Cindy, I have an idea
Vintagefingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 331
Loc: SE
Yes Ducamp, I would say this along with actually playing is every bit as important, just not as much fun. I have an extremely busy schedule as I expect many here do so the objective, from my perspective, is for each of us to find the important aspects of the learning process, understanding, not just practice, is one of them.

The reason I left my first teacher was simply because she didn't understand many questions I asked her. Although a fine player she doesn't know theory and I feel it is important to me from a learning standpoint. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. I don't believe there is as much value in focusing on the strengths as much as the weaknesses. It really takes a lot of discipline but I have personally found it to be extremely important to focus on my weaknesses, In fact I'm certain of it. Sometimes coming to understand a concept that you are having a problem with can be solved away from the keyboard. Efficiency is what we need to strive for to progress rapidly, which is what I'm looking for. I read Mound's posts with great interest. Although all his methods of practice may not work for everyone, he clearly demonstrates a plan that works for him. If we're practicing wrong and not challenging ourselves we're wasting precious time. If we're focusing on our strengths above our weaknesses, it will just take longer. Unfortunately I don't have 4 hours a day to practice or I certainly would. Motivation is definitely not a problem area, time is.

The Piano Handbook isn't a panacea but it is a great book with a lot of great ideas and learning tools. I highly recommend it for anyone. As a matter of fact I'm purchasing a copy for my teacher for X-mas, I think he'll really like it on his coffee table in the waiting room.

Just IMHO.



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