Piano World Home Page
Posted By: D7K The best thing I've learned on Piano World.... - 01/18/15 06:09 PM
Ok, list the one thing you've learned here (in any forum) that you think did the most for your piano playing.

For me it was, if you are using a digital piano turn the volume up as far as it will go to help learn dynamic playing. For me this made the difference in playing soft and/or hard with either hand.

I realized that the very loud sound of hitting the keys with the volume turned up became a "shock" and my hands/fingers adjusted very quickly to that "danger".

I play with headphones and thought that I needed to turn down the volume to protect my hearing (and maybe in the first six months that wasn't a bad idea), but I wish I would have done this at the six month stage and not the year and a half stage.

Really this advice was so simple that I thought it couldn't work (who ever posted this I'm sorry I can attribute it too you because I can't find your post). But this is by far the best advice I've gotten here or anywhere else.

Thank you, whoever you are.
A friendly fellow member PM'ed me with a link to what is now my teacher.
The best thing that ever happened to my piano playing smile

All the other things I've learned here (and there are many) will have to fight for a close second.
I think the best thing I've learned is how much people pay attention to detail.

I'm kind of a damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead kind of person.

Taking the time, discipline, and focus to work/pay attention to details has made a huge difference in my musicality.

It's still fun to play piano, tho smile

Cathy
Originally Posted by D7K
Ok, list the one thing you've learned here (in any forum) that you think did the most for your piano playing.

For me it was, if you are using a digital piano turn the volume up as far as it will go to help learn dynamic playing. For me this made the difference in playing soft and/or hard with either hand.

I realized that the very loud sound of hitting the keys with the volume turned up became a "shock" and my hands/fingers adjusted very quickly to that "danger".

I play with headphones and thought that I needed to turn down the volume to protect my hearing (and maybe in the first six months that wasn't a bad idea), but I wish I would have done this at the six month stage and not the year and a half stage.

Really this advice was so simple that I thought it couldn't work (who ever posted this I'm sorry I can attribute it too you because I can't find your post). But this is by far the best advice I've gotten here or anywhere else.

Thank you, whoever you are.


Sounds like: As effective as getting slapped on the fingers by a ruler in the "good old days", by the piano teacher.
I'll be a contrarian and say the lack of advice here has been the most beneficial. I raise the odd question hoping to have a straightforward "this is the route, start at A, go to B and finish at C" type answer. This is never the replies I get, more often than not they are usually "it comes with practice". This has been most helpful as I stop looking for solutions in a book or method and start thinking about my practice regime more.
Seems that "it comes with practice" is the answer to most of our questions laugh
It's maddening, but nonetheless true.
....when someone mentioned local colleges or community colleges as a place to look for teachers. Actually, I went to the local community college to *ask* for advice about good local teachers, and the answer was, "Look no further." The first teacher I had there was very good; the second one is excellent.
Though not specifically "piano" related, the best thing I have learned on Piano World is how to record myself on the piano. People here pretty much walked me through the process of choosing a recorder, what settings to choose when recording, software questions answered about Audacity, etc, etc, etc. I know very well that I would not have my Zoom H2n and be making recordings of myself were it not for the people on Piano World. Being able to record myself has opened up the possibility of participating in the online recitals. This has been a huge boost to my motivation as well as providing a sense of belonging on PW.

Really, if you are not recording your playing it is so very worthwile to do so. There are posts and threads on the forum that cover just about everything "how to". The recorders these days are not so very expensive. And, if I can learn how to do it, anyone can. I am no techno geek AT ALL!! And yet, I now have a recorder and pretty much standard set up and process for getting myself recorded. It is so much FUN!!!! So, if you are thinking about it, just do it!!! And I really thank the people on PW for helping me.
Best tip was to slow down, or as Graham Fitch phrases it: slowly, separate, sections. Related to this is to practice in short time windows of 15 to 20 minutes each, and to try and practice every day.

There have also been some good resources that I found through PW such as free online courses on Coursera.org, a free Yale music appreciation course, and a few Youtube tutorials. I also found the book, The Musician's Way through PW. Even though the book is more for university level music students, as a beginner, I still got one or two very valuable bits from the book that have shaped my practice habits, and my performance routine.

These indirect tips include balanced approach to time management, and what I see as several important though common sense tips for performing, such as packing the night before, arriving early, taking a deep breath, rehearsing fall back starting points in the middle of a piece in case of a fault.

Without PW I doubt I would have ever bought a digital piano, instead settling for a low priced keyboard. Participating in the recitals has also helped me.
I think one of the most important things I've learned is that "it isn't just me" -- it really does take a lot time to gain the necessary skills, and I have to be patient with myself. Knowing that others struggle with the baby steps and are impatience with (lack of) progress, really helps me hang in there when I feel I am crawling rather than stepping. It helps me keep my perspective.

(Yes, ok, I still need reminders every now and then!)


The best thing I have learned is to get a teacher.
Originally Posted by Jytte
Seems that "it comes with practice" is the answer to most of our questions...
I would prefer to say it comes with experience. Practise should be something deliberate. wink

Like dynamobt, I think the recitals are the best thing. There are several resources on the 'net for increasing the efficiency of our practise but the one I remember most begins with "Listen!" (Dr. Brent Hugh).

There's nothing that lifts our performance or ability more than careful listening and nothing that makes us listen more than making a recording for others.

I couldn't limit it to just one thing.
Right now, the top two are:

Do what your teacher tells you.

and

Go ahead and get the best piano you can afford.
I've learned many things on Piano World, but the most useful thing I've learned hasn't been 'how to do something', it's been learning that piano playing isn't easy, it's hard, and it requires multiple skills. It's been learning that every difficulty I have faced, hasn't been peculiar to me. Everyone else seems to have had the same hurdles to overcome, sometimes in exactly the same places. It's hard to overstate how encouraging that has been! It's an extraordinary motivator, to keep going, and perhaps vary my practice according to the tips I have picked up here.
Posts by zrtf90

F
Originally Posted by D7K
. . .
For me it was, if you are using a digital piano turn the volume up as far as it will go to help learn dynamic playing. For me this made the difference in playing soft and/or hard with either hand.
. . .
Really this advice was so simple that I thought it couldn't work (who ever posted this I'm sorry I can attribute it too you because I can't find your post). But this is by far the best advice I've gotten here or anywhere else.

Thank you, whoever you are.


I have given that advice, as have others. You're very welcome, and thank you for the praise.

. Charles
I've learned that unlike other facets and pursuits, piano takes an unparalleled commitment. I love measuring my progress annually. However, I'm in awe that my daughter plays for hours daily without prompting. Imagine having to tell a kid, "Enough!" Piano is an art that evolves after years of commitment. I've also learned that my bulldog is partial to Beethoven. Bach makes him anxious.

I may not post often but I read posts faithfully. I've learned a lot from PW and from those who post regularly. You all motivate me!
This is an excellent reflection. I've learned many different things ranging from the technical, business, harmonic analysts, playing technique, business, recordings, digital pianos, hybrid pianos, experimental and development pianos, and the list goes on.

For me it's just great to share my love of keyboard music with so many wonderful people.
There are so many things, it's impossible to say that any one is subtstantially the best.

I am not alone in my pursuit.
Originally Posted by Forrest Halford
Posts by zrtf90


Gosh yes, I'm in the fan club too :-)

I think the number one thing for me has been don't learn from the start of the piece.

Very close runners up are slow practice & small sections.

On any given day I might reorder those ...
Originally Posted by Forrest Halford
Posts by zrtf90

F


+1
There are so many things it's hard to pick one. My playing has improved the most due to my teacher, and I doubt I would have it teacher if it wasn't for PW, so that's probably it.
Originally Posted by BrianDX
I am not alone in my pursuit.


+1

This is such a great little community that we have here in our corner of the internet. I've been honored to be able to share what little I know and grateful to have been able to learn from those who know so much more than I. I've learned great things here that have made my practice more productive and efficient; but most of all i've learned that when pursuing a goal as complex as learning the piano, community matters.

I think the most valuable thing that I have learned is how to approach practicing. So many times, someone will mention something that sends me researching. This often ends up with a "lightbulb moment" that transforms how I approach a technique, or how I approach a new piece.

The 2nd most valuable thing is the introduction to a wealth of music to play through the quarterly and themed recitals. Many of the pieces that I play, I heard here first!
The most important piano skill I have learned is the importance of slow, sometimes super-slow, practice. I always thought playing fast was the proof I knew something; I now believe that slow playing is harder.

The most prominent overall thing I've learned from PW is that being passionate about a hobby is way more common than you think, and it makes for some really fun and interesting people!

I'm relatively new here, but have already gleaned lots of valuable things, such as:

1. That other people seem to like Ludovico Einaudi and Frederic Chopin

2. That you should never ask 'which is better, digital or acoustic?'

3. That everything will come with time, practice and effort

Medden.....

#2... not if you want a short answer, no ROFL
Originally Posted by Purkoy
I've learned many things on Piano World, but the most useful thing I've learned hasn't been 'how to do something', it's been learning that piano playing isn't easy, it's hard, and it requires multiple skills. It's been learning that every difficulty I have faced, hasn't been peculiar to me. Everyone else seems to have had the same hurdles to overcome, sometimes in exactly the same places. It's hard to overstate how encouraging that has been! It's an extraordinary motivator, to keep going, and perhaps vary my practice according to the tips I have picked up here.


+1

Without PW, I'd have been in a vacuum--I don't know anyone else who is learning to play (unless I count my niece's eight-year-old daughter, but she lives a thousand miles away smile ), so PW is where I come to spend time with other piano crazies enthusiasts. Learning that others struggle and overcome (and rinse and repeat) *is* encouraging.
It does not boil down to a single thing for me. For learning, there has been so much and more at the ready. I agree with all and specifically the comments around recording and recitals, as the most important discipline I have learned. It is really what has made all the difference for me. Never before would I work on a work smile as far, as I feel compelled to do in preparation for recording it. And just the entire atmosphere of the recitals as well, has also inspired motivation that did not exist prior. I view Piano as a serious hobby now, vs. a wandering moderate interest for many years prior to Piano World.

I really need to start doing a better job of planning for the recitals though.
I've learned it's never too late to start a new instrument and never give up.
Originally Posted by casinitaly
I think one of the most important things I've learned is that "it isn't just me" -- it really does take a lot time to gain the necessary skills, and I have to be patient with myself. Knowing that others struggle with the baby steps and are impatience with (lack of) progress, really helps me hang in there when I feel I am crawling rather than stepping. It helps me keep my perspective.

(Yes, ok, I still need reminders every now and then!)




I second and third what you have written and I have a great teacher thanks to a Piano World friend whose name try as I might can't remember. Thank you Piano World smile

The best thing I've learned here so far is that playing by ear is not a gift, it can be learned ... + a few members here told me where to go online to get that training. Paid off big time.
To make periodic recordings to critique myself and to measure my progress.
Originally Posted by alans
I've learned it's never too late to start a new instrument and never give up.

+1 And enjoy the journey ....
1) I learned how to shop for a piano. This site helped me through two piano upgrades. Until I came here it had not occurred to me that part of the reason I sounded so bad and did not enjoy practice was that my original horrid old piano should have been firewood 80 years ago.

2) MOYD has helped me to get my practice schedule going, so consistency and understanding of good practice techniques were important lessons learned.
1. Slow down, they all said again and again. I thought, "What? My beginner's default speed is near non-movement so how do I slow down?
A year or so later when each tiny incremental increase in speed brought out a joyful "Yippee, I'm learning!" the last thing I wanted to do is slow down.
Finally, three years into the process it became clear. Slow down before it all goes sideways. Really. Slow down.

2. Try to find a good teacher if time and finances allow. We tend to work only our strengths. The teacher will find and work those annoying weaknesses.

3. Don't get discouraged when the swarm of adult responsibilities gets in the way. When the gnats get thick and piano practice has to take a back seat even five minutes a day on the keys will continue forward momentum.

4. Piano is hard work from beginning to forever. Accept this as truth or risk a quick exit with tail between legs.

5. Selecting a piano is as personal as selecting a best friend. With benefits.
Only ONE best thing? Where to start?!

The very first which comes to mind is finding out that there are companies out there that will spiral bind your music albums. Thank you to whoever recommended it; I've now had all of mine done. I'd never have thought of it, and yet it makes so much difference.
Originally Posted by Tararex
............ 4. Piano is hard work from beginning to forever. Accept this as truth or risk a quick exit with tail between legs.........


+1 This would serve well as our new ABF slogan.
One of the best things I ever learned, only one of the best, that I will mention- the simple rule I first learned here which is why I came here. An accidentaled note is sharped, flatted, naturaled on the same following notes in that measure/bar but only if it is in the same octave. I don't believe I have ever read that in any workbook or theory book.
I was taught every note in the bar after the accidental, no matter what octave, is affected by the accidental. I would use courtesy accidentals just to make sure. The issue is not who's right, but more how can we reduce ambiguity.

Oh, my best thing?
P5 in equal temperament beat 0.5 beats per second narrow, not 0.25, which I thought and taught for years!

Also, that posting on a public forum is a skill in itself.
It is a rule they don't want n in writing. One of those things for those in the know.
1.) PW introduced me to the music of Ludovico Einaudi and David Nevue. 'Nuff said.

2.) Concentrate on setting the "fractures" in a piece (i.e., playing a few measures before, during, and after a particularly tricky passage).

3.) Don't just practice a tricky section until you play it right. Once you get it right, play it again until you can play it 7 times in a row correctly.
Originally Posted by LindaR
One of the best things I ever learned, only one of the best, that I will mention- the simple rule I first learned here which is why I came here. An accidentaled note is sharped, flatted, naturaled on the same following notes in that measure/bar but only if it is in the same octave. I don't believe I have ever read that in any workbook or theory book.


See for eg:
Theory Essentials 2nd ed. Connie E. Mayfield
p8 Ch I The Basics of Reading Music
Quote
When any accidental (sharp, flat, or natural) is placed in a measure of music, it stays in
effect on that particular line or space until the end of the measure, a segment of music de-lineated by a vertical line (or bar line) crossing all lines of the staff. The accidental does not
affect any other line or space on the staff, including other lines or spaces that have the same
letter name
. It is canceled by the next bar line or by a natural sign within the same measure.
This is an important rule to remember when naming notes, because a single accidental can
affect several other notes within a measure.


Practical Theory Complete A Self-instruction Music Theory Course - Sandy Feldstein
p29 Lesson 27
Quote

Flats, sharps and naturals are called ACCIDENTAL signs.
When they are placed before a note, they affect every note on the same line or space for an entire measure.
A natural sign cancels the flat or sharp within the same measure.
A bar line also cancels an accidental.
When a note is tied across the bar line, it's accidental carries acros also.



Originally Posted by Monica K.
1.) PW introduced me to the music of Ludovico Einaudi and David Nevue. 'Nuff said.

2.) Concentrate on setting the "fractures" in a piece (i.e., playing a few measures before, during, and after a particularly tricky passage).

3.) Don't just practice a tricky section until you play it right. Once you get it right, play it again until you can play it 7 times in a row correctly.


Monica - I have to say that your Youtube videos are an inspiration for me. Someday, I intend to be playing like you already can.

Regards,

Tony
How much I lacked discipline to master the skill (or really any, for that matter). This humbling realization has really helped me out in all aspects of life, let alone simply improving at the instrument.
...the wonderfulness of piano friends.

I met a lot of wonderful piano friends here and received a lot of encouragment, which helped me with my piano goals. I love being here and I hope I'll not be kicked from this subforum.

Originally Posted by verqueue

I met a lot of wonderful piano friends here and received a lot of encouragment, which helped me with my piano goals. I love being here and I hope I'll not be kicked from this subforum.



that will never happen, we value your opinions too much as well as enjoy being reading about your journey.
that "beginners" speak in an strangely advanced and unknown language.
I've learned some new skills in dissecting and analyzing problems/methods of study, through somewhat heated debates.
Originally Posted by tbonesays
that "beginners" speak in an strangely advanced and unknown language.


Amen friend! When I first looked at the postings here I was thinking "These are beginners!!!!!"

So far for me the most useful thing I've learned is that there are You Tube videos of the lessons in Alfred's Adult Beginner's book. Those have been extremely useful for me!
The most important lesson I've learned here: Piano is a long term project. no matter how hard i work or practice, it's going to take a long while. Play every day for a year and you are still at the beginning of the learning curve. i need to remind myself of this when things get frustrating (and it is VERY much at times)
Originally Posted by tbonesays
that "beginners" speak in an strangely advanced and unknown language.


.... which could be easily picked up wink
The absolute best thing I have learned from piano world. And I wouldn't have found it without piano world.
Artistry Alliance
Originally Posted by LindaR
One of the best things I ever learned, only one of the best, that I will mention- the simple rule I first learned here which is why I came here. An accidentaled note is sharped, flatted, naturaled on the same following notes in that measure/bar but only if it is in the same octave. I don't believe I have ever read that in any workbook or theory book.


I really have to share a "student" tale here. I had a very serious little girl studying with me years ago. She was very anxious to learn and obeyed my every instruction to the letter. One day I explained to her the rules of the "accidentals" ... carefully pointing out that they applied to only one measure and only one octave. I thought I'd given a stellar explanation until the following week when she came for her lesson. We opened her music and I noticed she had carefully applied "white-out" to every accidental. I was puzzled and asked her why.

"Oh Miss .... you told me they were "accidents" so I took them out."

Sometimes you have to be careful what you say to a very conscientious student. laugh

Originally Posted by LindaR
One of the best things I ever learned, only one of the best, that I will mention- the simple rule I first learned here which is why I came here. An accidentaled note is sharped, flatted, naturaled on the same following notes in that measure/bar but only if it is in the same octave. I don't believe I have ever read that in any workbook or theory book.


See Elaine Gould's Behind Bars (the current "bible" of music notation), page 78:

"An accidental holds good for the duration of a bar. It applies only to the pitch at which it is written: each additional octave requires a further accidental"
Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by Jytte
Seems that "it comes with practice" is the answer to most of our questions...
I would prefer to say it comes with experience. Practise should be something deliberate. wink

Like dynamobt, I think the recitals are the best thing. There are several resources on the 'net for increasing the efficiency of our practise but the one I remember most begins with "Listen!" (Dr. Brent Hugh).

There's nothing that lifts our performance or ability more than careful listening and nothing that makes us listen more than making a recording for others.



Yes, I am finally understanding this. Because you encouraged me to be in the ABF recital I now see how I can incorporate recording into my regular practice sessions. I'm starting my session today with the Mozart Fantasia I'm working on!
For me it was: Get a teacher!

I now realize just how ridiculous it was to try to learn on my own. smile
Originally Posted by earlofmar
Originally Posted by verqueue

I met a lot of wonderful piano friends here and received a lot of encouragment, which helped me with my piano goals. I love being here and I hope I'll not be kicked from this subforum.



that will never happen, we value your opinions too much as well as enjoy being reading about your journey.


+1
It takes years of hard work to start playing decently. But many people here are doing it or have already accomplished that. "Decently" means different things to different people, therefore my definiton is no worse than the next person's.

Learn to read intervals - this is useful in the long run.

Practice in chunks of time - 20 minutes per piece or several times throughout the day, every day.

This community makes me feel connected to mature, sensible, intelligent people who conciously pursue hard work, support one another and share their experiences productively and respectfully. This might sound a bit dull on the outside, but is such a refreshing difference from the way we live now and use social media.
Originally Posted by _silvia_
It takes years of hard work to start playing decently. But many people here are doing it or have already accomplished that. "Decently" means different things to different people, therefore my definiton is no worse than the next person's.

Learn to read intervals - this is useful in the long run.

Practice in chunks of time - 20 minutes per piece or several times throughout the day, every day.

This community makes me feel connected to mature, sensible, intelligent people who conciously pursue hard work, support one another and share their experiences productively and respectfully. This might sound a bit dull on the outside, but is such a refreshing difference from the way we live now and use social media.


I agree with the feeling of connectedness. I do not post daily but read every night before bed.
It is a journey and we are not alone. There are ups and downs in the learning and the motivation and the success. Talking about the learning makes it more fun and sometimes helps us discover ways around the obstacles.
I've decided that the best thing I've learned was to get a good teacher. Yesterday, I had another great session with my teacher. There's no way I could have advanced as far as I have without my teacher.
The best thing I've learned was to understand that I'm not alone in this journey.

The 2nd thing I've learned was that I memorize pieces with ease, so I can play by memory any piece I've learned in the past years. I only understood that I had this "skill" after reading a post about "How to memorize a piece?" - I thought that memorizing was a natural process for every player.
Ha! Non-existent in some. frown
Originally Posted by CarlosCC
The best thing I've learned was to understand that I'm not alone in this journey.

The 2nd thing I've learned was that I memorize pieces with ease, so I can play by memory any piece I've learned in the past years. I only understood that I had this "skill" after reading a post about "How to memorize a piece?" - I thought that memorizing was a natural process for every player.


Ha, I wish! Reading is one thing, memorizing, for me, poses an entirely different challenge.
In some ways being able to memorize pieces quickly can be an issue. For me, once I have pretty much memorized any piece, I tend to back off on really reading the notes on the page.

I think this leads to other issues.
Originally Posted by BrianDX
In some ways being able to memorize pieces quickly can be an issue. For me, once I have pretty much memorized any piece, I tend to back off on really reading the notes on the page.
I think this leads to other issues.


In my case it's not just "quickly"; it's also "permanent". I do nothing to memorize; I even don't think about that.
Originally Posted by BrianDX
In some ways being able to memorize pieces quickly can be an issue. For me, once I have pretty much memorized any piece, I tend to back off on really reading the notes on the page.

I think this leads to other issues.


I agree! I've found the that when I memorize something ( like a small section)I will not read and get lost when I look back at the music. My daughter is younger so I make sure she's sight reading and playing new things all of the time. She memorizes easily and that adversely affected her reading early on. I've definitely remedied that.
Originally Posted by _silvia_
This community makes me feel connected to mature, sensible, intelligent people who conciously pursue hard work, support one another and share their experiences productively and respectfully. This might sound a bit dull on the outside, but is such a refreshing difference from the way we live now and use social media.


+1. I also find the international nature of this forum inspiring, that so many people from every corner of the planet share very much the same dream to learn piano and support each other. International organizations have something to learn from us.
Best thing I've learned here -- That there can be musical communities that are really all about love of the music.
Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
Originally Posted by _silvia_
This community makes me feel connected to mature, sensible, intelligent people who conciously pursue hard work, support one another and share their experiences productively and respectfully. This might sound a bit dull on the outside, but is such a refreshing difference from the way we live now and use social media.
+1. I also find the international nature of this forum inspiring, that so many people from every corner of the planet share very much the same dream to learn piano and support each other. International organizations have something to learn from us.


I wholeheartedly concur with the above comments. I was particularly struck by the International aspect of our community this evening while listening to the submissions to the ABF Schumann Recital. Isn't it amazing how classical music can bring people together !! thumb

Live for the process, not the goal.

If your only motivation to play is some goal in the future (such as playing a specific piece, or being better than your neighbor), you will view practice as work for fulfilling a goal, rather than viewing the process as the reward, as the part of your day you look forward to.

When you start to live for the process of practicing, your practice becomes playing, and you create a motivation that is purely intrinsic. You will improve, you will enjoy yourself, and every time you sit in front of your 88 keys, you will be exactly where you want to be in your journey of a beautiful instrument.
Originally Posted by Octaves_Up
Live for the process, not the goal.

If your only motivation to play is some goal in the future (such as playing a specific piece, or being better than your neighbor), you will view practice as work for fulfilling a goal, rather than viewing the process as the reward, as the part of your day you look forward to.

When you start to live for the process of practicing, your practice becomes playing, and you create a motivation that is purely intrinsic. You will improve, you will enjoy yourself, and every time you sit in front of your 88 keys, you will be exactly where you want to be in your journey of a beautiful instrument.


Regardless of what information is being conveyed many negate the concept of "process." The outcome is revered but the application is underrated. That is, I appreciate your stance.
I've learnt I am not the only one trying to start with the piano after her 40s, and some other things I've been reading about. I can't even remember exactly, but I was getting ideas before buying my first piano like one month ago.

I am learning I have lots to learn… laugh smile
A lot of people here have started late in life. It`s no barrier to achievement either. Stuff on the recitals and piano bar bear testimony top that. Have fun! It can be hard work at times. That`s the time to have a break.
Hello, peterws smile Recitals and piano bar sounds good. I'll have to find that place.
I don't post every day but read it everyday.. one thing I learned early on (3 months ago.. lol) Get the piano tuned!

huge difference and it felt great when I sat down on the bench..

Quote
. . . This community makes me feel connected to mature, sensible, intelligent people who conciously pursue hard work, support one another and share their experiences productively and respectfully. This might sound a bit dull on the outside, but is such a refreshing difference from the way we live now and use social media.


YES ! YES !

. Charles
That I enjoy the people who are even more nerdy and geeky about Piano than me. Even when I don't understand a thing that goes on in the Piano Tuners forum!
A couple of years ago, I had bought some books with the intention to self teach until I got stuck. I didn't join here, but read some posts and realised that the advice was solid, that a good teacher is even more important at the beginning, as unlearning bad habits would be difficult.

So I decided to be patient and wait till I could have regular lessons ( although it will be fortnightly, not weekly at this point). I think it was the right decision, but without this forum I would have plunged right in at the deep end and tried to run before I could crawl.

I occasionally came back and lurked, and the way you all encourage each other is great motivation to keep going when it gets hard.
I would love to have a teacher but after paying for lots of activities for my kids (including music) I can't afford it, so the best thing I've learnt here is rather than struggle along with books to teach myself, there is pianomarvel.com, and I think it's brilliant!
Originally Posted by Springmissy
I would love to have a teacher but after paying for lots of activities for my kids (including music) I can't afford it, so the best thing I've learnt here is rather than struggle along with books to teach myself, there is pianomarvel.com, and I think it's brilliant!
thumb I agree the learning tools and approaches available to us nowadays are amazing. For Piano some of them border on miracles!
The best guiding principle I've picked up, is that all practice and learning should be focused on getting better control ... with the end goal being mastery. Mastery of yourself 1st and the instrument 2nd ...

wow
Ok, Groove On, now I'll have to start a thread to ask what is "Control at the piano".
Originally Posted by Albunea
Ok, Groove On, now I'll have to start a thread to ask what is "Control at the piano".

thumb Whee!
Earl,

I signed up for Piano World forum a long time ago and might be active regularly. It will be interesting to see what people have written and what they will write! I've already seen some intriguing posts and responses. You've written over 2000 times I see. Impressive!

-Ryan
I've learned that if I spend half as much time at the piano as I do on Piano World, I may turn out to be a pretty decent pianist after all.
That means about 6 hrs per day in the forum?
I'm new to Piano World. I just want to thank you for the words about process. As a writer, I yearn to just crank out work - but I've learned to actually love the re-write process; thinking quite technically about structure, character development and relationships, even to the sound of words and rhythm of phrases. That's what puts me in the flow, and my work has improved considerably.

Now getting back to the piano after many years, I starting to find that I can still love Rubinstein (and more and more these days, Schiff), but I'm learning to love learning. When I don't, I just get frustrated that I'm not Rubinstein and never will be, and then I just want to quit.

Now I'm pulling myself out of that trap, and starting to really love the process. As someone else said, love the process, not the goal. I'd add, love the process and the goal will take care of itself.

For me, integrating that is a MAJOR step forward both in playing and in life.

So thank you all for the inspiration. I'm so glad I found these forums!
Welcome Markmilo. So glad your realize the importance of the process. It can be enjoyable and challenging. That is what makes the goal so worth the work.

Happy piano playing!!!
The two best tips I have received here came from Brendan and bennevis. Many years ago Brendan suggested practising difficult, continuous passages, not by slow practice but by splitting them into small sections, each of which is easy at speed, with pauses between each pair, then joining them over time. I have been using this trick ever since and it has never failed to get results quickly.

The second tip came from bennevis, who suggested using baby socks as pedal bags. Brilliant !
Te best thing I learned about at Piano World (so far) is about the Roland V-Grand. Living in a condo, these are the products that can provide me the (so far) closest experience to a "real" piano (as many seem to phrase it. Thanks go out to pv-88, bennevis, and EssBrace for this.

Also, I have gotten a lot of information about self-teaching methods and approaches.

Really, both of these items are of equal importance, since one would simply not do without the other.

Tony

Originally Posted by D7K
Ok, list the one thing you've learned here (in any forum) that you think did the most for your piano playing.

Preparation to recitals. I have been given absolutely amazing and 100% constructive advices regarding practising for recitals. Many thanks to: earlofmar, dmd, Stubbie, zrtf90, BrianDX, SwissMS smile

I also play with headphones and used to keep volume on 50% but it was my teacher who changed that. Now, I tend to play without headphones which feels great when I can actually listen to piano more naturally smile
About time to add a second thing I've learned that was greatly helpful. Play every day no matter how long.I now keep some easy pop stuff on the music stand and when I don't feel well or too busy with life, I fire up the PX5S and just play a piece that I know once or twice - its lifts my spirit and I don't feel the pressure of not having played.
Hands separate (HS)...slowly. HS up to tempo. Hands together (HT)...slowly. HT up to tempo. I like learning, and the process of learning, and while my teacher would have me do this when learning new songs, she didn't say it so clearly as I've read here.
Originally Posted by Noonie
Hands separate (HS)...slowly. HS up to tempo. Hands together (HT)...slowly. HT up to tempo. I like learning, and the process of learning, and while my teacher would have me do this when learning new songs, she didn't say it so clearly as I've read here.

Great to hear Noonie; Just to take note, there are many posters here in ABF that do not subscribe to this method. But that's OK.

However, both my teacher and the publishers of my lesson books recommend this technique. I have found through trial and error that this works best for me as well.
Originally Posted by markmilo
I'm new to Piano World. I just want to thank you for the words about process. As a writer, I yearn to just crank out work - but I've learned to actually love the re-write process; thinking quite technically about structure, character development and relationships, even to the sound of words and rhythm of phrases. That's what puts me in the flow, and my work has improved considerably.

Now getting back to the piano after many years, I starting to find that I can still love Rubinstein (and more and more these days, Schiff), but I'm learning to love learning. When I don't, I just get frustrated that I'm not Rubinstein and never will be, and then I just want to quit.

Now I'm pulling myself out of that trap, and starting to really love the process. As someone else said, love the process, not the goal. I'd add, love the process and the goal will take care of itself.

For me, integrating that is a MAJOR step forward both in playing and in life.

So thank you all for the inspiration. I'm so glad I found these forums!


Markmilo,

Welcome on board......PW is a nice place to be....among pianofriends......you will find all kind of interesting things......about piano's, digital piano's, grandpiano's.....abput what other members are playing......digital recitals.......

You will enjoy it.

Kind regards,
Johan B
"Best things I've learned on Piano World" - the kind and good humored support for piano and music as a process, rather than a result. What a lift at the end of a long day to sit down and learn something. I loved the comment from markmilo that "I'm learning to love learning". So easy to forget in today's world, so important for mental health and "staying power" in the face of whatever life throws at you.
I learned about Hutchins & Rea sheet music store in Atlanta: What a wonderful resource! IMSLP is more comprehensive, and free, but one has to use copies from the printer.

Also, I discovered the value of coming in physical contact with the keyboard every day, even if I am not able to take it much further than that (on a given day).

I am pondering the wisdom of not beginning at the beginning of a piece when I practice (though I am not fully certain/convinced why this should be so).
There are more things that I realize I learned here as I go along. Much of the time, I use headphones when playing my Roland V-Grand Digital Piano (DP), since I live in a condo. I have a couple of models that I have tweaked for this purpose and they sound just fine. From time to time, I will use the speaker system during the day. On the V-Grand, it is a powerful system, with 4 60 watt amplifiers and several speakers in a multi-channel arrangement.

A couple of people have mentioned that when practicing on a DP, we should turn the volume up high to approach the dynamics of an acoustic piano, otherwise, we end up learning to pound on the keys instead of finessing them to get the sound we want.

Much of the time when practicing with headphones, I keep the sound turned down, which clearly I should not be doing. I find that when I use the speaker system, I can clearly tell that I am playing the keys too hard, and then I have to turn the volume way up so I can play more softly to get a decent sound and have "headroom" for dynamics.

There are all manner of tips in these forums that can slip by us at the time we read them, but recall when we are looking for a solution to a particular situation we find ourselves in. This is one of those cases. I wonder how many people, when trying out DPs looking to purchase, remember to do this. The sound is much better when we do, as is the dynamic response of the DP, especially on a truly high end instrument such as the V-Grand or V-Piano and the newer line of Roland consumer-market instruments.

Tony

The main thing so far is that my experience is pretty normal. I'm not learning at a very fast rate but I'm progressing. When I'm encountering things that I find difficult this place has taught me that I'm not the first to find those things and I won't be the last.

With perseverance, studious attention and some experimentation, you can find a way through.
For me...it has been the help and advice I have been given by the wonderful folks here on the forum.
Although I am a complete beginner ( age 52 ) with no prior musical knowledge, everyone has treated my ( probably heard a zillion times before )questions with respect and patience.

Thank you all.

David
When I was little, my music teacher taught me the best thing in music; that is learning by ear all the scales, arpeggios, and chords. I thought it was boring and worthless until one day when it suddenly clicks. They make playing music so much easier.
I've only been on the forums for about a month, but have learned a TON:
- that I love geeking out with fellow pianists! smile
- great advice regarding my purchase of a digital piano (settled on a Roland HP605 - LOVE it)
- that there exist amateur competitions for adults
- that I'm actually excited to give those a shot someday (!!)
- that we have our own quarterly recitals here!
- that in order to be able to play pain-free (long-standing tendinitis injury) I need to re-train with a good teacher
- that this may take a long time, and I need to focus on pain-free playing rather than any other goal right now
- that others here have traveled the same path and can now play without issues
- that there are tons of resources, and folks are happy to help
- that Opus numbers are quite arbitrary
- that everyone at times struggles with motivation (and that reading the forums actually increases my motivation!)
- that there are many ways to learn longer pieces and difficult passages, not just from the beginning, hands separately and slowly - you can also dive into the middle of the piece and work on the most challenging passages first, then reward yourself with the easier ones in between; and you can break challenging passages into tiny pieces each of which is easier and then connect them
- that Mozart isn't "easy" (as I had thought for years), but requires a "cleanliness" and consistency of playing that's actually quite challenging
- and, my favorite one so far (with thanks to Tubbie0075) - that the key to playing Chopin is to always keep the tension going, whether that means slowing down or speeding up, louder or softer; what a PERFECT way to look at it!

So excited to continue my journey here with you all!
For me, as an adult self taught beginner reading lots of posts, the best advice was don't be that affraid of pieces, just be patient and practice a lot!
I learned that nobody on the Piano World forum would ever tell me that I won't make it to become a pianist, although my progress is a total flop. And if I purchase an acoustic piano and upload a photo of it then I will be told how beautiful it looks, although it is just the same black polished wooden box like any other piano is.

In other words, I learned that even fools like me are respectfully treated and this forum is thus the one very best forum in all the Internet. THANK YOU, ALL OF YOU!

I learned that I have a long way to go to become any kind of player.... but I also learned to appreciate the dedication and work others put into it.
That I'm not the only one struggling with [fill in the blank].
I've learned a lot. Number 1 most helpful is about learning s l o w l y and carefully with zero mistakes so that you don't practice them in. This improved my playing immensely. It can't be overstated how much of an impact that made.

Second was how the ignore function works.
I've learned that I'm not the only senior out there re-starting piano after many years of not playing. Since I started as an adult some 40 years ago, I'm also not the only person who never took lessons or played as a child. It has helped me to not feel so alone in my undertakings and has given me the courage to continue. All the practice tips have also been great, especially the slow practice and breaking things down into small segments. I love Piano World.
The most important thing I have learned here is that there is a great book called Fundamental Keys. wink Which learned me the proper way to learn pieces (slowly and in parts) and how important articulation etc. are to let the music come alive. And which gives me perfect graded classical pieces to practice.

Oh, and one thing I actually learned on this forum is that it is (somehow) okay to make (little) mistakes (as long as you keep the piece going in style) or alter a piece if you can't play it physically. I always thought piano plagers were perfect... wink
Blanking out randomly - A great thread and the answers on how to recover from a bad note are extremely interesting and works for me.
Patience and the fact that I'm not struggling alone.
The best thing so far , but among many is this.
1. Don’t compare yourself to others unless you can learn something from doing so,
And
Take an easier lesson piece and learn that well (if you're stumped)
and
Take challenges in measures, however long they take to master.
mistaken post....
People get into playing piano / keyboard for all sorts of reasons including reducing stress and maintaining a sharp mind into old age (to prevent Dementia).

Visitors include the absolute beginners to the advanced. Some are just learning the instrument while others perform regularly.
How to care for my piano with regards to temperature and humidity
There are very good brands other than Steinway
What the other two pedals do
I have been introduced to new music
Thank you for sharing your experience, really practice makes us better in the ones we love the most
Being extremely new here, I have learned that I am not alone in my pursuits....
The best tip I recently learned of is a post mentioning the Taubman technique. I watched a few videos because I wondered if my piano playing was aggravating on old impact injury to my right hand pinky (5). After a weekend of extend practice time, the pinky joint would remain inflamed and made typing on the computer keyboard or using the mouse at work a struggle. So much so that I had began to wear a finger splint at work.

I'm seeing much improvement now. I didn't need the finger splint this week. I'm taking a break from a 2 hour practice this morning and the resulting inflammation is about 50% less than what it might have been 2 weeks ago.

Many thanks to the sharing & thoughtful community here at Piano World! 😀
That my best chance of success is building a solid foundation without regard for how long it takes.
I have learned so much on Piano world including, technique suggestions, pieces I have now studied because I like them so much, but more than anything else the following post from "twocats," turned out absolutely amazing after my technician raised the pitch on my piano from A440 to A443. Not only do I love how it sounds, but it seems to hold it's tune better than before. My technician was here today and was amazed how close to pitch it stayed even though the seasonal change to summer.

Thank you again Twocats!

Steve

Bösendorfer 170

P.S. If you don't use an umlaut above the o, the correct spelling would be Boesendorfer.



twocats Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 621
Portland, OR
I had mentioned trying out a higher pitch in the thread about my piano. It's been 8 months now, and changing the tuning to A443 has made an enormous difference. Now every time I sit down I'm amazed at how sweet my piano sounds smile

I wanted to share in case other owners of European pianos want to try the higher tuning. You'll risk of decreasing the tuning stability if you want it set back later, but I told my tech that I'm staying at A443!

2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!) 🐱
Originally Posted by findingnemo2010
The best thing I have learned is to get a teacher.


Lot's of fantastic info here but for this New-bie 'get a teacher' adds such a fabulous dimension.
As a guitarist for 60 years switching to piano at age 72 , I believe it is all of you who play piano that enjoy a greater sense of peace and humility than many of my guitar friends. No one on this forum seems to want to be worshipped or adored.Not so in the guitar world. There are a few that understand,but most guitar people are very competitive and do not get the 3 rings of musicians:
People who play an instrument, instrument players, and instrumentalists. There is a difference.
At my age I would be very happy to play a piano. On guitar, I am a guitar player. Unfortunately guitarists, pianists,the masters,etc.rarely become rich and famous. Kudos to those masters that have done it all. Soooo, the most I get from the forums is a “feel” that it’s ok to extract your joy from music and especially piano.
Patience, going very slow, piano teachers are often time grumpy, pedal use, and a lot of valuable info for shopping pianos. As a guitarist for 62 years I knew nothing about piano when I started playing, studying and practicing and PW really helped me w the definitions and expectations.
Nearly 74. Goal is to play one set of jazz standards for my 75th birthday.
I have learned that the stuff im proud to be playing so far is considered simplistic and repetitive. smile
T
Originally Posted by U3piano
I have learned that the stuff im proud to be playing so far is considered simplistic and repetitive. smile


ANY of us, if we compare ourselves to others, can look like we are playing repetitive and simple music😊 .. you can even find a five year old on YouTube doing the same, or better.

My advice; don’t compare. We will always get THERE at our own pace and time (wherever THERE is). Celebrate what you can do 🎹🎹🎹 which is make music with your own two hands. That is priceless, no matter the level
Originally Posted by dogperson
T
Originally Posted by U3piano
I have learned that the stuff im proud to be playing so far is considered simplistic and repetitive. smile


ANY of us, if we compare ourselves to others, can look like we are playing repetitive and simple music😊 .. you can even find a five year old on YouTube doing the same, or better.

My advice; don’t compare. We will always get THERE at our own pace and time (wherever THERE is). Celebrate what you can do 🎹🎹🎹 which is make music with your own two hands. That is priceless, no matter the level


Well said and spot on!
Originally Posted by U3piano
I have learned that the stuff im proud to be playing so far is considered simplistic and repetitive. smile

You must be talking about stuff by Einaudi, Yiruma, Tiersen, Mansell, Krug, etc! wink

OK, I'm joking here. Some of our most loved members here are big fans of some of these artists. smile Play their works and be happy!
The best thing I've learned on Piano World.... the necessity of a teacher I had finally figured out myself, and I was also familiar with slow practise, but I had never heard of interleaved practise, and when I first heard it, it did not appeal to me. But experimenting with how much time I spend with each section, and finally finding out that three minutes per section is a guideline that works very well for me, is something that would never have happened without PW. cool
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by U3piano
I have learned that the stuff im proud to be playing so far is considered simplistic and repetitive. smile

You must be talking about stuff by Einaudi, Yiruma, Tiersen, Mansell, Krug, etc! wink

OK, I'm joking here. Some of our most loved members here are big fans of some of these artists. smile Play their works and be happy!


Yup!

I play some Yann Tiersen and Einaudi so far.

Of course i was also joking, I learned better things around here than the fact these might be considered simplistic and repetitive. smile

Im just doing it my way and just love to play. So far I haven't seen a teacher or even touched a book. I just learned about 7 pieces by synthesia and YouTube tutorials.

I did try an online piano cursus before but i didn't have the patience to be playing when the saints go marching on or christmas songs at the time, so that didn't help.

I have not come to a point where i got stuck, and everytime i try to learn something that's harder to play/more complex than the last thing i learned, i have been able to tackle by hard practice so far.

I also notice the way i play is really improving and im more motivated than ever. I have really found something that's on my mind the moment i wake up in playing piano. So now i feel it's time for me to quit watching synthesia and YouTube tutorials and I just started learning to read sheet music, and looking into learning scales etc, Ill probably look for a good book to study all these things.

While i am a fan of both Tiersen and Einaudi, and this music got me into playing piano, i am confident my repertoire will expand beyond these. smile

I might even get a teacher after all! grin





Originally Posted by U3piano
I play some Yann Tiersen and Einaudi so far.

Well, let me introduce you to some more simplistic and repetitive music then! grin

Tiersen:



Yiruma:



Mansell:



Crane:



Richter:



Costlow:



Arnalds:



I know these well - my wife loves simplistic and repetitive too, so our Spotify account is always set on these every time I sign on! wink
My composer friend gave me a reference to this book, How Music Plays the Mind by Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, on repetition in music:

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/on-repeat-9780199990825

It turns out that we expect repetition, indeed, we crave repetition in music and repetition is satisfying. People on this thread seem to be using the term “simplistic” in a pejorative sense but I don’t think that has to be the case. Simple, repetitive music can be deeply moving.

The author of the book points out that we don’t recall melodies as factual entities, we regenerate them in our brains, perhaps as a set of nested predictions, according to my friend. So, we all become performers.

This is an interesting TEDx talk on repetition in pop music:

https://youtu.be/_tjFwcmHy5M

Repetition is something we expect in music, this repetition is either realized or broken. When it is broken, we form new expectations about what will repeat, and the process continues.

And then there is this talk on an attempt to create “music” that has no repetition in order to create the perfect ping for sonar systems:

https://youtu.be/RENk9PK06AQ
Originally Posted by LarryK
This is an interesting TEDx talk on repetition in pop music

Thanks for the link!

Well, there is pop music repetition, and then there is Techno repetition. The latter takes repetition to an entirely different level. My wife was hooked on techno for years. I can't count how many techno nightclubs she's dragged me to. Believe me, it is a complete relief to me she's moved on to Einaudi, Tiersen, Yiruma, Mansell, Crane, et al. grin
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
This is an interesting TEDx talk on repetition in pop music

Thanks for the link!

Well, there is pop music repetition, and then there is Techno repetition. The latter takes repetition to an entirely different level. My wife was hooked on techno for years. I can't count how many techno nightclubs she's dragged me to. Believe me, it is a complete relief to me she's moved on to Einaudi, Tiersen, Yiruma, Mansell, Crane, et al. grin


The thing that bothers me is not repetition, it is repetition at high volumes. Have we forgotten the meaning of dynamic range? I can handle transitory loudness, I cannot accept unending loudness. Does Techno ever go quiet? High volumes are a way to grab the listener’s attention but high volumes quickly fatigue the ear. Yes, I know all about the loudness war, which really should be called the dynamic range war.
Tyrone thanks for the links! I think (whatever it means), that lag fyrir ommu one is pretty nice.

Right now im working on this:


I like this version alot and i think it's is a step above the pieces i can already play in terms of difficulty, so that's a good thing too. Maybe your wife will like it too!
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
My wife was hooked on techno for years. I can't count how many techno nightclubs she's dragged me to. Believe me, it is a complete relief to me she's moved on to Einaudi, Tiersen, Yiruma, Mansell, Crane, et al. grin


So if i understand this correctly.. your wife dragged you to techno nightclubs, and after that, she gave up and started listening different music.

Since i like to always be positive whenever possible, i will just say, well done! grin
Originally Posted by LarryK
Does Techno ever go quiet?

I sometimes think subwoofers were first invented for Techno. In fact, can it be called "Techno" if you can't feel it in your gut? Sorry, my ears are not in my abdomen...

Originally Posted by U3piano
So if i understand this correctly.. your wife dragged you to techno nightclubs, and after that, she gave up and started listening different music.

Since i like to always be positive whenever possible, i will just say, well done! grin

Yes! She says she "outgrew it" but I'd like to attribute it to my "moderating" influence thumb grin I'm just glad I don't have to listen to music with my abdomen any more! laugh
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
Does Techno ever go quiet?

I sometimes think subwoofers were first invented for Techno. In fact, can it be called "Techno" if you can't feel it in your gut? Sorry, my ears are not in my abdomen...

Originally Posted by U3piano
So if i understand this correctly.. your wife dragged you to techno nightclubs, and after that, she gave up and started listening different music.

Since i like to always be positive whenever possible, i will just say, well done! grin

Yes! She says she "outgrew it" but I'd like to attribute it to my "moderating" influence thumb grin I'm just glad I don't have to listen to music with my abdomen any more! laugh


I don’t mind bass, but unrelenting bass at high volumes, without crisp articulation, is not for me, unless I just block my ears with big foam earplugs. It’s worth plugging my ears to not go deaf. I have Etymotic 15dB cut plugs that I use for all amplified concerts. Well worth $25.

It is the largest organs in your body that absorb the bass energy. The military has figured out how to pulverize those organs with low frequency sound. Isn’t that nice?

Have you ever been in a dormitory at a school for the deaf? I knew someone who lived in one, and she was a hearing person. She said that it’s about the loudest place you can imagine, with everybody trying to listen with their largest organs.
To stop wasting money and time on useless group music classes at a music school and instead seek a quality piano teacher. I couldn’t believe how much had been wasted.

The best thing I´ve learnt in music was to play by ear, to understand how music is made, chord progressions, to improvise, to make arrangements, to modify, to create real music whenever I wish, not only to repeat the frozen music from a paper.
Originally Posted by dihelson

The best thing I´ve learnt in music was to play by ear, to understand how music is made, chord progressions, to improvise, to make arrangements, to modify, to create real music whenever I wish, not only to repeat the frozen music from a paper.

Welcome to PW, dihelson!
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by dihelson

The best thing I´ve learnt in music was to play by ear, to understand how music is made, chord progressions, to improvise, to make arrangements, to modify, to create real music whenever I wish, not only to repeat the frozen music from a paper.

Welcome to PW, dihelson!


Thank you very much, Tyrone Slothrop. It´s a real great pleasure to be here among all these fellow musicians and people who loves music and piano. It´s incredible that I discovered it 6 years ago, but only now I had the opportunity to engage. So many good articles, so many ideas here. It´s all about what we love ! Thanks !
The #1 thing... well it's probably a culmination of things. Get a teacher (and the RIGHT teacher, one you actually not just like, but jive with) who will hit you with some reality. I've gotten several nuggets from mine, from "that's the wrong fingering for that" to "here's my log, you aren't necessarily progressing slowly, here is a piece that took me five years to learn."

But again, a teacher you actually click with is beneficial. He's a former marine, I'm a former sailor, so we can compare things to military life. When I saw him last week, I asked why I'm stuck on this and that and he said "when all you shoot at are paper targets, you get really good at shooting paper targets," basically saying "to get un-stuck, you have to practice in a different way." I understood what he meant and he gave me different hings to try. He could've given me different things to try anyway, but without that example, something I've actually experienced in real life, I'm not sure it would have stuck as well.

I suppose that's it.

TL;DR:
Get a teacher you click with who will keep your feet on the ground and tell you what you need to hear to keep you moving forward. I do use Piano Marvel and love it (especially its random sight reading feature) and the combination of that plus him has kept excited and interested.
Adding the minor scales to my warmup exercises.

I got an epiphany today when practicing the Natural Minor Scale. I had been struggling with the fingering and playing at a consistent tempo. Today everything came together once I could easily identify its relative key.

Looking forward to completing the remainder of the Circle of 5ths with their natural minor scale!
Be musical.
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums