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Re: Update on Adult who only wanted to learn chords [Re: TimR] #2786510
11/30/18 03:26 PM
11/30/18 03:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,171
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


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Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I think it is a little like training for a marathon. While the marathon may be the end-goal, marathons don't happen often, so really the training could be considered to be the hobby pursuit and marathons themselves as just mileposts in that hobby of training.


Sure. But if you never run the marathon? What then?

In that case, then what I say definitely applies as it is better to think of the training as your hobby then to think you never achieved your hobby at all and you just failed!

Originally Posted by TimR
Recreational runners rarely if ever put in enough effort to reach the fitness levels of those who do compete.

Agreed. It's like piano. We all may have pieces we aspire to play, but the probability we achieve those pieces is diminishingly low. I may have taken up piano to "someday" play La Campanella (true, btw), but the probability I will ever play this is... I don't want to think about it. LOL. I'd prefer to think of piano lessons as my hobby because otherwise, if I think of learning La Campanella as the real hobby, I might as well quit now, because like chasingrainbow's erstwhile adult student, piano lessons since I started have given me a whole new level of respect for La Campanella than I had back on February 13th this year! LOL


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
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Re: Update on Adult who only wanted to learn chords [Re: chasingrainbows] #2786592
11/30/18 09:23 PM
11/30/18 09:23 PM
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*sigh* Salt Lake City
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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/29/opinion/sunday/in-praise-of-mediocrity.html

The author considers the joy of engaging in activities for pleasure. Formerly these activities were called "hobbies" and one was not expected to develop world class competence.


Learner
Re: Update on Adult who only wanted to learn chords [Re: chasingrainbows] #2786749
12/01/18 02:07 PM
12/01/18 02:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 100
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PianoWVBob Offline
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Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I think it is a little like training for a marathon. While the marathon may be the end-goal, marathons don't happen often, so really the training could be considered to be the hobby pursuit and marathons themselves as just mileposts in that hobby of training.


Sure. But if you never run the marathon? What then?

Recreational runners rarely if ever put in enough effort to reach the fitness levels of those who do compete.

Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Well...having played guitar for most of my life until recently I'll chime in.

Some styles of guitar are learned and performed just fine without learning much else, scales, theory, etc. If that's a person's goal...great!

The same goes for piano from what I see; some folks just want to sing along and play some chords and stuff..that's cool...nothing invalid with that.

I've seen many many folks who can play piano up a storm just learning to chord, embellish, and stuff from lead sheets.

If I were a teacher and a guy said that he just wanted to learn some chords, I'd gladly take his money and do just that.


I agree that one can learn chords without any knowledge of scales, but IMO, that would make learning so much more difficult. I've seen students count the steps between each note in a chord, and find it such a complete waste of time. Knowing my scales made chord learning almost automatic for me.

My goal with this man was to help him play LH chords without having to jump around playing in root position, thus, inversions with applicable fingering. He could easily have learned the melody, as you said above, following the lead sheet format - which lays out the RH melody without any accompaniment. He apparently felt that was too much to learn.

He wanted to play hymns in church services along with the congregation. In the very long time I've attended Mass, if the organist or pianist just played chords, the congregation would be lost as to how to sing the melody.

It might be "more difficult" but guitarists do it by the thousands every year. I played that way for many years before I dug in to find out HOW it all worked and I was very happy before knowing all of that.

Also, been to lots of churches where the organist or the guitarist just played chords and everyone was fine...not lost places.

Re: Update on Adult who only wanted to learn chords [Re: AZNpiano] #2786753
12/01/18 02:13 PM
12/01/18 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Some styles of guitar are learned and performed just fine without learning much else, scales, theory, etc. If that's a person's goal...great!

The same goes for piano from what I see; some folks just want to sing along and play some chords and stuff..that's cool...nothing invalid with that.

Unfortunately, in my experience, this group of students will also refuse to learn the other basics, such as reading music notation and rhythm. I prefer to teach students who are willing to learn everything that's important to music-making.

Well..you have your preference, that's fine...I'm just pointing out that it's not INVALID to want to play and not spend time reading music. A person can get along just fine and play very well and not read music at all.

I remember a famous jazz guitarist talking about the "technical names" of things and he said when he was younger they would learn things from others by saying "you just hook one of dees to one of dose...then it's one of dees...and then you finish with one of dees...."

"Dees and dos" being phrases and musical licks or riffs and other technical chunks of music...they performed just fine...yet couldn't even describe the moves in the proper technical way. I would have said "you first do a chord substitution here....then you play a partial arpeggio based on the minor second of the key...etc."

For them...it didn't matter and they weren't just dummys at all.

Re: Update on Adult who only wanted to learn chords [Re: PianoWVBob] #2786772
12/01/18 03:07 PM
12/01/18 03:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,171
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,171
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Also, been to lots of churches where the organist or the guitarist just played chords and everyone was fine...not lost places.

Churches, especially smaller ones, operate largely on the basis of voluntarism. I've been members of churches that had no musically gifted congregation members and the music service consisted of praise songs from a book sung to a Tamborine. I've also been a member of a church whose volunteer music director had a DMA and was a professor at a local college - not one of the larger churches actually, but they had the luck of the draw in congregation members. I expect that for most churches, if the only instrumentalist they have is someone who can only play chords on piano or guitar, then that person would be pressed into service and the church would just make do and be happy with what they have.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Update on Adult who only wanted to learn chords [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2786903
12/01/18 10:54 PM
12/01/18 10:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,934
In the Ozarks of Missouri
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Also, been to lots of churches where the organist or the guitarist just played chords and everyone was fine...not lost places.

Churches, especially smaller ones, operate largely on the basis of voluntarism. I've been members of churches that had no musically gifted congregation members and the music service consisted of praise songs from a book sung to a Tamborine. I've also been a member of a church whose volunteer music director had a DMA and was a professor at a local college - not one of the larger churches actually, but they had the luck of the draw in congregation members. I expect that for most churches, if the only instrumentalist they have is someone who can only play chords on piano or guitar, then that person would be pressed into service and the church would just make do and be happy with what they have.


I agree. I have also been in churches where nobody can play an instrument and they use music off a cd or mp3 player and sing along.


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Re: Update on Adult who only wanted to learn chords [Re: chasingrainbows] #2787335
12/03/18 01:06 PM
12/03/18 01:06 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,408
Owen Sound, Ontario
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Well, you don't have to insist on melody. I was suggesting this mostly for what is interesting enough to teach as a classical teacher. It is after all a 2 way street. The chords have to be in reference to something, so either you will count them out or play along to something. But, ok you could somehow work out a reasonable way to practice without including melody if he is not singing himself. If the chords are for accompaniment only they should be in RH mostly and both hands equally over time. I can't see scales would fly very well with this type of student. You could try, but they are not needed to teach chords. Stackung 3rds is easy to remember and fast way to find chords in any key. Until you memorize them of course.

I don't agree that there is a right way to learn and therefore a right way to teach. There are only some better ways towards a specific end. Mick on piano seems primitive yet this could be their next big hit.

Re: Update on Adult who only wanted to learn chords [Re: chasingrainbows] #2787359
12/03/18 02:12 PM
12/03/18 02:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,210
Virginia, USA
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TimR Online content
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TimR  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,210
Virginia, USA
Thinking out loud again:

In order to be a well rounded piano player you need to spend a huge amount of time working on things you may never need if your interests are narrow and specific. If you spend the same amount of time working on a few things correctly, you may end up playing them very well indeed, perhaps better than a more advanced player.

In one of the churches I played for, we had a woman who could not read music at all and was completely self taught. She didn't know chords, accidentals, key signatures, even had her own system for numbering fingers. (left to right, 1-5). Her left hand did only root octave tenth twelth, while her right hand did melody plus octave and usually third. But within those limitations she was the most deft and fluent church pianist I've ever run into. There was never a hesitation or stumble. Whenever she played we'd drag out the clavinova and I'd use the transpose function, because she could only play a piece in the key she learned it.

And this has me thinking, how much of my practice time is dedicated to skills that don't show? and can I focus what little time I have more effectively?


gotta go practice
Re: Update on Adult who only wanted to learn chords [Re: TimR] #2787368
12/03/18 02:22 PM
12/03/18 02:22 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,955
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by TimR
In one of the churches I played for, we had a woman who could not read music at all and was completely self taught. She didn't know chords, accidentals, key signatures, even had her own system for numbering fingers. (left to right, 1-5). Her left hand did only root octave tenth twelth, while her right hand did melody plus octave and usually third. But within those limitations she was the most deft and fluent church pianist I've ever run into. There was never a hesitation or stumble. Whenever she played we'd drag out the clavinova and I'd use the transpose function, because she could only play a piece in the key she learned it.

That's neither deft nor fluent. Hello!?

Obviously, she does not have perfect pitch, or else that transpose function would drive her insane.

I've run into enough bad church musicians to know what you are talking about, but I also have quite a few of my colleagues who have church jobs, and they are supremely competent in every aspect.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Update on Adult who only wanted to learn chords [Re: AZNpiano] #2787418
12/03/18 04:56 PM
12/03/18 04:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,210
Virginia, USA
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TimR Online content
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TimR  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2004
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Virginia, USA
Originally Posted by AZNpiano

Obviously, she does not have perfect pitch, or else that transpose function would drive her insane.


Yeah, I always wondered about that. Here's a typical case: Guitars are going to do a praise hymn in D, she's going to play with, I ask her what key she plays it in.

She says G. So, I transpose the piano up whole step. (this is pre smart phones and wifi, I have to dig out the manual)

Why one whole step? The piece is "in G," which to her this time means the first note is G, but that's the fifth degree of the scale, so I move the piano from C to D. That one was easy but sometimes her key assignments seemed random.

Her actual playing was butter smooth and always sounded effortless. She had one harmonization of one type of hymn in one two octave range. She had perfected that execution and could not play anything else.



Last edited by TimR; 12/03/18 04:56 PM.

gotta go practice
Re: Update on Adult who only wanted to learn chords [Re: chasingrainbows] #2787426
12/03/18 05:22 PM
12/03/18 05:22 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,210
Virginia, USA
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TimR Online content
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TimR  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,210
Virginia, USA
I guess I should add: that church had a Steinway grand, and she sounded better on it than on the digital. But on those occasions where she played with the praise group we had to use the Clavinova.


gotta go practice
Re: Update on Adult who only wanted to learn chords [Re: chasingrainbows] #2790243
12/11/18 07:08 PM
12/11/18 07:08 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,171
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,171
I know nothing about this book but encountered it just now on Amazon.com while looking for something else, and I just thought immediately of this thread:

The Complete Church Pianist: A Piano/Keyboard Method...


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
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