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Where I Am

Posted By: SparkyLB

Where I Am - 02/10/19 07:28 PM

I bought a Yamaha F51 Black Friday-ish (more like Xmas time) at Guitar Center for a pittance. I'm a guitarist and bassist, played drums as a teen, and clarinet and bass clarinet in elementary school (43 years ago). I bought the Yamaha because I thought branching out to a keyboard would be a nice thing. (OK, honestly, Bob Dylan is my personal Jesus--forgive the blaphemy--an I saw a pic of him in deep thought as a 22 year old man, presumably writing a song on a piano). I feel it's the mother of all instruments, and McCartney, Lennon, and others have been known to WRITE songs on the keyboard, and play them afterward on a different instrument.

So I found out FAST that piano is a keeper, I love it, and longed for the feel of a real piano in less than 2 weeks. I got a Kawai ES110, and didn't need most of the effects, just wanted the action. It did disappoint in that respect. All it took was trying to set the auto-off setting on an instrument with no LCD to realize this is like a Bentley without a sound system.

I bought a Kawai ES8, and think it's the last piano I'll ever own. LOVE IT.

Anyways, the purpose of the thread. I've been playing less then 6 weeks and IMO am progressing nicely. I am fluent in the major and minor chords (know how to play sharps and flats, but still have to hesitate on the black-key-rooted chords).

Being an educator I know the importance of developing the right habits from the beginning, so posture and upside-down baseball-shaped hands is my norm. My forearms are parallel to the floor, and I'm on my way.

Here's where I'd like any and all opinions. I feel the best thing to progress is to learn (relearn) to read music. I'm doing this now. Hand independence will be a stumbling block for sure, but I want to things in the proper sequence.

Being like an old, but little kid, I've been spending a lot of time playing left hand, then right hand Riders On The Storm. I can do most of it pretty well. I can play Lennon's Imagine better then I ever thought I could in this time frame. I can left-hand and right-hand Linus and Lucy almost perfectly, but NOT at the same time. smile

I think lessons would be a good choice, but what would you all suggest I do to move forward, and in what sequence? I am completely in the dark about "what next."

Thanks for listening.
Posted By: Serge88

Re: Where I Am - 02/11/19 12:32 AM

What do you want to play ? Pop, rock, jazz or classical ? From sheet music, lead sheet or by ear ?

Get a teacher or online teacher, he will get you on the right track. Even just one lesson could be beneficial.
Posted By: SparkyLB

Re: Where I Am - 02/11/19 01:00 AM

I want to play it all. I like classical rock, I love classical. I want to read sheet music like I read the written word. I don't know what lead sheet is. I can't play by ear, but I can, one note at a time, transcribe tunes from my head onto staves, check it to sheet music and it's spot on.

What would a teacher do with me first?
Posted By: dmd

Re: Where I Am - 02/11/19 01:42 AM

Originally Posted by SparkyLB
I want to play it all. I like classical rock, I love classical. I want to read sheet music like I read the written word. I don't know what lead sheet is. I can't play by ear, but I can, one note at a time, transcribe tunes from my head onto staves, check it to sheet music and it's spot on.

What would a teacher do with me first?



A teacher would probably ask if you can play anything.

If you can …. he/she would then ask you to play.

Then, would probably ask you what type of music you like.

Then ….. discuss some sort of plan forward with you


Perhaps get you started with something to "do" for next time and off you go.




The best is to just get a teacher and let the teacher take over.

Then, all you have to do is practice and show up for your lessons.


Good Luck
Posted By: SparkyLB

Re: Where I Am - 02/11/19 09:28 PM

Thanks, Don. That sounds reasonable. I think I'm going to look into lessons and see where that takes me. I would really like to become proficient on the piano. Such an expressive instrument!
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Where I Am - 02/11/19 09:38 PM

Originally Posted by SparkyLB
Thanks, Don. That sounds reasonable. I think I'm going to look into lessons and see where that takes me. I would really like to become proficient on the piano. Such an expressive instrument!

I'd recommend you interview teacher candidates so that you can find one who is in alignment with your interests and will be able to teach you what you want to learn about piano. There are many possible directions a piano education could go, and you want to make sure that your particular journey is headed in the right direction for you.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Where I Am - 02/11/19 11:51 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by SparkyLB
Thanks, Don. That sounds reasonable. I think I'm going to look into lessons and see where that takes me. I would really like to become proficient on the piano. Such an expressive instrument!

I'd recommend you interview teacher candidates so that you can find one who is in alignment with your interests and will be able to teach you what you want to learn about piano. There are many possible directions a piano education could go, and you want to make sure that your particular journey is headed in the right direction for you.


I believe it is critical that you interview teacher candidates. As Tyrone said, you want a teacher that is able to teach you the basics PLUS what YOU want to learn.
Posted By: Serge88

Re: Where I Am - 02/12/19 12:44 AM

Originally Posted by SparkyLB
I want to play it all. I like classical rock, I love classical. I want to read sheet music like I read the written word. I don't know what lead sheet is. I can't play by ear, but I can, one note at a time, transcribe tunes from my head onto staves, check it to sheet music and it's spot on.

What would a teacher do with me first?


You want it all! It will be long journey but learning to play the piano is really fun and AB forum is a nice supportive group.
Posted By: SparkyLB

Re: Where I Am - 02/12/19 09:55 PM

Originally Posted by Serge88
Originally Posted by SparkyLB
I want to play it all. I like classical rock, I love classical. I want to read sheet music like I read the written word. I don't know what lead sheet is. I can't play by ear, but I can, one note at a time, transcribe tunes from my head onto staves, check it to sheet music and it's spot on.

What would a teacher do with me first?


You want it all! It will be long journey but learning to play the piano is really fun and AB forum is a nice supportive group.


I'm still a child! I do want it all. I am old enough to know impatience, though. Until then. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? smile
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Where I Am - 02/12/19 11:44 PM

Originally Posted by SparkyLB
Originally Posted by Serge88
Originally Posted by SparkyLB
I want to play it all. I like classical rock, I love classical. I want to read sheet music like I read the written word. I don't know what lead sheet is. I can't play by ear, but I can, one note at a time, transcribe tunes from my head onto staves, check it to sheet music and it's spot on.

What would a teacher do with me first?


You want it all! It will be long journey but learning to play the piano is really fun and AB forum is a nice supportive group.


I'm still a child! I do want it all. I am old enough to know impatience, though. Until then. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? smile


Practice, Practice, Practice thumb
Posted By: Serge88

Re: Where I Am - 02/13/19 12:31 AM

Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by SparkyLB
Originally Posted by Serge88
Originally Posted by SparkyLB
I want to play it all. I like classical rock, I love classical. I want to read sheet music like I read the written word. I don't know what lead sheet is. I can't play by ear, but I can, one note at a time, transcribe tunes from my head onto staves, check it to sheet music and it's spot on.

What would a teacher do with me first?


You want it all! It will be long journey but learning to play the piano is really fun and AB forum is a nice supportive group.


I'm still a child! I do want it all. I am old enough to know impatience, though. Until then. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? smile


Practice, Practice, Practice thumb

And have fun.
Posted By: SparkyLB

Re: Where I Am - 02/13/19 12:34 AM

Having nothin' but, Serge88. This really is a treat. I'm becoming a big proponent of "anyone can play ANYTHING if slowed down enough." That's gonna be my foray into hand independence. That metronome might be at 75 bpm, but by God, I'll get there.


Practice x3. Noblehouse, I've heard those directions before! smile
Posted By: elenmirie

Re: Where I Am - 02/13/19 09:28 PM

Should you be practicing flowchart:

https://arhtisticlicense.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/practice-flow-chart.png
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Where I Am - 02/14/19 12:07 AM

Originally Posted by elenmirie


Great chart thumb
Posted By: SparkyLB

Re: Where I Am - 02/14/19 01:35 AM

Like it!
Posted By: SparkyLB

Re: Where I Am - 02/16/19 02:54 AM

Breakthrough today. I've been trying to play the bass line to Riders On The Storm with the left hand until it was automatic. I guess it became close, because (and this is not going to sound like much) I'm able to play the D and Emin chords with the right hand while the left hand stays on track. This was a HUGE hurdle for me.

If you can all remember back. . . while I was playing the bass with the left hand, I'd mess up even when I LOOKED at the other half of the keyboard to find the D key. Now I can almost feel for it, and play the two chords and the bass at the same time. Next will be the "rain" coming down the slab starting at the B.
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