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Welcome Matt. I went through the same timeline as you. I found that without singing or being in a band, the guitar was limiting. Piano can stand on its own more easily. That’s why I switched.

I also intended on playing classic rock. However, after learning the world of classsical music, nearing 50, I headed in this direction. I found it more challenging, educational and more fun to play. Now I’ve converted nearly completely.

Best of luck in your endeavors. You’ll learn a lot and have a great time!


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Thanks for the welcome. Is there much blues in classical music? Lol!

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Originally Posted by Matt-A
Thanks for the welcome. Is there much blues in classical music? Lol!


Hi Matt
If You are interested in blues piano, you might want to explore the non-classical forum as well as the ABF

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Originally Posted by Matt-A
Thanks for the welcome. Is there much blues in classical music? Lol!

Rhapsody in Blue?


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Originally Posted by cmb13
Originally Posted by Matt-A
Thanks for the welcome. Is there much blues in classical music? Lol!

Rhapsody in Blue?

Speaking of Gershwin, there's also Copeland



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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Hell0;

I'm new here smile I recently started taking piano lessons, working with a teacher and part way through the Alfred's Adult Series, Book 2. Looking forward to learning from others here.

It was 5 years ago yesterday that I created my first post here on PianoWorld. Time goes by too quickly. I'd like to think I've had modest success and learned a few things over the past 5 years as an adult beginner. But I'm certain I would not have been able to accomplish that without a teacher. Checking in with someone, who has a lot more experience than you, on a weekly basis adds up to a lot. And reading random posts here has helped too smile Hope to see you in another 5 years!


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Hell0;

I'm new here smile I recently started taking piano lessons, working with a teacher and part way through the Alfred's Adult Series, Book 2. Looking forward to learning from others here.

It was 5 years ago yesterday that I created my first post here on PianoWorld. Time goes by too quickly. I'd like to think I've had modest success and learned a few things over the past 5 years as an adult beginner. But I'm certain I would not have been able to accomplish that without a teacher. Checking in with someone, who has a lot more experience than you, on a weekly basis adds up to a lot. And reading random posts here has helped too smile Hope to see you in another 5 years!

bSharp(C)yclist, congrats on your 5 year anniversary. All that dedication! Very admirable!


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I am a PhD student in English (I was a chemistry/physics double major who fell in love literary studies after an honors elective class on Dante). I didn't grow up around music and didn't even take music classes as a child in school, other than a handbell choir I was in in the fifth grade. When I was 19, I got into "classical" music through the mid-20th century avant-garde, admiring the freedom to do anything. From there I moved into theory, reading treatises from Zarlino to Schoenberg. The first standard repertoire I got into was Chopin, and then Liszt (who was overwhelming to me, how much was going on in his studies). I bought a keyboard, but I immediately found composition more interesting to performing pieces. Over the past several years I've practiced a lot, but without any rigor and too much of an athletic viewpoint, resulting in bad tension. At the beginning of this year, I realized that I didn't really know any pieces--if someone were to ask me to play something, I couldn't off the top of my head. The only thing I'd learned all the way through were a couple Bach Preludes, a "Transcendental Prelude" by Emile-Robert Blanchet (a pupil of Busoni whose music intrigues me for its pianism), Scriabin's Op. 11 no 4, Field's first Nocturne, and a Waltz-Poem by Godowsky, but none of these stuck in my memory.

Over the past year I've been dedicating myself to rebuilding my technique from the ground up to remove tension. Last year I was able to do it for my left hand, and this year I'm focusing on my right, because my hands are now very different in capability at the moment (my left hand is something like early advanced, and my right is like early intermediate). For the first time in my life I'm actively learning pieces, and this is exciting, because I can suddenly play pieces that I couldn't before, and I feel like I'm making progress towards my musical goals. I'm trying to learn the majority of Scriabin's Op. 11 preludes this year, and I've learned about six of them so far (which are perfect for me, since the left hand often require more technique than the right), and I'm also slowly picking up some of Busoni's Op. 37 Preludes (which require a fuller technique than the Scriabin preludes). I've approached my first Chopin Nocturnes--Op. 55 no. 1 and the posthumous C minor one are within my capabilities now, and the C# minor posthumous one is nearly there while I cautiously work on doing runs without tension. I've also tasked myself with learning a Godowsky left hand etude (the one on the revolutionary etude). I've learned a couple pages of it, but I'm currently focusing on reducing tension with the fast double notes that crop up throughout it.

For the first time in my life I feel like I'm on a real trajectory with the piano. I'm already starting to play some of the pieces I aspire to play, and I'm setting the groundwork to moving up in my abilities. Next year I hope to learn my first etude for both hands (Scriabin Op. 8 nos 1 or 3), as well as my first long piece (an impressionist era sonata). I wish I could have a teacher, but my intense work schedule and my covid-related change in living situation don't really allow for it.

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You appear very motivated, lautreamont, and capable of incisively analysing your own musical direction. If technique and the drive to create are your main drivers had you considered free improvisation at all ? It is a slow developing discipline but very rewarding long term. It would be nice if ease of execution were concomitant with musical result but unfortunately I have not found this to be the case. Fluent techniques which produce dull music are almost ubiquitous and miraculous sounds sometimes emerge from terrible execution. I wish this were not so but I rather think it is. I once had to rebuild the physical aspect too and finding ways to eliminate destructive tension without compromising athletic fingers took me a long time. Good luck !


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Thanks, Ted.
I'm not good at improv! Especially with both hands, except for the very rudimentary (chords and melody)--there's something not fluid about it, for me. I want to think, to analyze what I'm doing, which hinders flow. Sometimes when I have enough free time, I open up a book of poetry and improvise songs to develop my sense of melody. Having words, for some reason, makes it easier, because there are specific emotions to guide me, built in phrase length, emphasis, and structure. And I do a little playing around with new figurations I've never seen before. I also make it a habit of trying out anything written for the right hand with my left, and sometimes I improvise around an idea or a figuration in something I'm learning. And often times I turn an exercise in one hand into a kind of ostinato I improvise around in the other hand.

Composition is important to me, but it's one of those things that I continually push to the side, waiting for a time when I know more. I have some projects I've been thinking of this year--a long set of songs to an entire (shortish) book by one of my favorite poets. A set of variations (for the left hand) based on a Sicilian folk song--I've tried out some ideas for that. And a big suite of miniatures. Modern sonorities and harmonies are what fascinate me, but I have a love of line and melody derived from Chopin. The harmonies I tend to improvise and sketch-compose are not tonal, but sometimes I think I should "master" (or at least be able to compose with facility) the tonal style before pushing off in the uncharted.

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This thread has been around for almost two decades and I never saw it before? Wow!

I used to be a professional musician, making 100% of my living off teaching, performing, composition commissions, accompanying, and so on, until one day I had a concert and recording deal and my fibromyalgia said nope. (I am currently 43 and a dude who looks pretty much in-shape, so I don't fit the fibro stereotype at all). So, I had to back out of the concert two days before and not go into the recording studio. That was the end of that, just like that. Pretty much cold turkey.

So, now I just teach advanced adult student hobbyists late at night whenever they feel like they want a lesson (well, when there isn't a virus going around). I also record for YouTube to "keep me honest" and as an "excuse to keep playing", although the music I play is intentionally very obscure, modern music that no one has ever recorded, as well as my own weird compositions. I have a very, very tiny viewer base, but they are dedicated, and I am not recording to YouTube for any type of attention. I will record a standard piece from the canon sometimes, though. (Link in my signature if you are a wee bit curious.)

My main hobby, then, is to research currently-written music that hasn't been recorded, find a way to obtain scores from the composers themselves, gain permission to record, then learn the music and record it to YouTube. There are no reference recordings, and therefore I get to be the reference recording! I have met some awesome people this way. I got to talk with Leo Ornstein's son, I got to talk with Willian Grant Still's daughter, and so on. I haven't done much recently, though, due to the fibro thing, so now I am just learning easier, standard music that I "skipped" as a kid/teenage student.

My other hobbies include recording Flight Simulator and Minecraft let's-play and tutorial videos for a different gaming YouTube channel which gets me a few $$$ on the side, and lately I have started doing extremely difficult jigsaw puzzles. My current puzzle has 29 hours into it and I am only halfway done!

Most of my time, though, is taking care of my family. I have challenges that I deal with every day, and I have a habit of putting myself last on the list, so all those things I listed above are only during my very, very rare, elusive free time.

I used to be on these forums a lot, then I got annoyed so I took a 10-year break (with a small exception four years ago), but I have been back the past few months again with a new attitude.

My day job, though, is working with high-end technicians doing very technical, complicated things where *I* am the resource; there is nothing to Google. I got the job based on "who I know." I used to manage people with four-year degrees and master's degrees in what we do, but I just have a piano pedagogy degree. smile Then our company was sold, and I just sit at home taking phone calls throughout the day. For now. That is about to change again for the better in a few weeks. smile

I have a wife and two extremely wild boys who are the total opposite of how I was as a boy. I'm exhausted ALL THE TIME as I typically play BOTH "gender roles" in our household at the same time. We have four wild cats, wild fish, wild turtle, and wild beaded dragon. But we recently moved back to our tiny dream home, and things have been really, really good this past year, despite everything else going on in the world.

Whew!

ETA: Wait, I am 42, not 43. I think. I don't even know.


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Interesting bio Sonata, and how's the CW? I remember you had some issues after purchase. All resolved? Btw do you play any chess? I do online, but not Minecraft. I leave that to my son. I bought a very tough Jigsaw puzzle but have yet to open it.... tell me what you think of this one!.


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Hell0;

I'm new here smile I recently started taking piano lessons, working with a teacher and part way through the Alfred's Adult Series, Book 2. Looking forward to learning from others here.

It was 5 years ago yesterday that I created my first post here on PianoWorld. Time goes by too quickly. I'd like to think I've had modest success and learned a few things over the past 5 years as an adult beginner. But I'm certain I would not have been able to accomplish that without a teacher. Checking in with someone, who has a lot more experience than you, on a weekly basis adds up to a lot. And reading random posts here has helped too smile Hope to see you in another 5 years!

Wow have you come a long way!!! I hope to catch up soon!


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My name is Bob. I like long walks on the beach, and quiet dinners with friends. Okay, so I don't like the beach. That sand drives me nuts actually. I'll take mountains any day. Quiet dinners are okay. I do love to eat LOL and I can cook and bake pretty well too. I have always had a mechanical inclination and am really good at problem solving in achieving most things mechanical. I have been called MacGiver more times than I can remember. I'm one of those people that will make a tool to get a job done.

When I walked out of the piano store I said I have 12 days to prepare for this delivery. I removed a bunch of kitchen cabinets wall and base, broke them up and got them out. Then I spackled and painted the walls behind the cabinets in the room open to my piano room. I had been deep into an unfinished remodeling of my downstairs floor from months prior but work dominated my time then. I finished putting down the floor in the piano room. Removed all tools. Hung 6 frames of artwork. Ordered a rug and laid it out. Installed the new toilet (I did the bathroom too but never finished it) Then I had to clear a path through the garage. I'm a wood worker too and have tons of mahogany and teak I took out of a dumpster of a millwork shop I worked next door too. (Going to make a pair of matching mahogany acoustics after the Martin D-15. One for me and one for my brother) So a lot of that had to get moved along with the table saw, the workbench (which weighs 350-400 lbs) and my CNC router. That weighed a ton too. I also built a ramp for the movers to roll it up the only step they have to deal with. It will easily support a piano and I put a filler between the ramp and the sill plate so it doesn't tip when all the weight is at the top of the ramp. It has been a non stop race against the clock, but I did it. I even found time to practice here and there.


We had an upright piano when I was a kid. It was my mothers and she took it with her when she married my father. My sister took lessons and played it too. She has it now and her daughter played it too. So three generations have played that piano, but I was not one of them. I was given a choice between drums or piano and I chose drums with no regrets, but that urge to play never went away. I wanted to do both, but that wasn't happening.

I asked my sister what she was going to do with it as my niece did not take it. She said "I don't know". I told her I would take it if she no longer wanted it and that I was on the lookout for a used piano. When I told her I bought a piano (due to be delivered in a few hours) she said "I would have given you this one". I don't know what part of "I'm looking for a used piano" she misunderstood LOL Then she told me the piano tuner told her "it's such a good piano" (it's from the 1940s). It's never had a string replaced or the action worked on. I told her I would still take it anyway.

So here I am at 4 am waiting for my new to me piano (2011 Estonia 190) trying to fulfill a life long dream of playing the piano ay age 61. Retirement has afforded me the time to properly devote to my quest.


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great story and intro Bob A. Wishing you all the best on your new piano journey


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

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Thanks @earlofmar (Are you the 11th earlofmar?)


"An amateur practices until they get it right. A professional practices until they can't get it wrong." Julie Andrews

"Music is not a add hot water and stir kind of thing. You have to practice." Mr. Katz my junior HS music director (He was a cool guy)
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My piano journey started at age 5 with a Yamaha upright at home. Had lessons for a month. Mom felt nobody in the family had the talent for music and the piano was out of the house.

3 decades later when I took up playing again I live in a small space. Started with a 61 keyboard. After a few upgrades to 88 it's still a keyboard. A cousin gave up playing for a decade due to moving to a small space eventually settled for a Casio DP.

The last time I touched a piano was at a friend's house. He got a Baldwin upright from a church basement. Before that I played another old piano at a friend's house. The old man had not tuned his instrument for years and the keys were flat.

5 years ago a friend moved and left behind a piano made by a lesser-known German name. I lived in a small space and declined the offer for the piano. It went to another friend living in a smaller apartment. The room at the conservatory where my lessons were held has Yamaha Clavinova keyboards. Not sure if I'd eventually get an acoustic in my lifetime.

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Originally Posted by Bob A
Thanks @earlofmar (Are you the 11th earlofmar?)

I most certainly am. I have been a big fan of Genesis ever since I was a young man


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Welcome Bob. I like your choice of piano! grin


Sonata Pathetique-Adagio LVB
Its All in the Game- KJarrett trans.
Gnossienne No1 E.Satie

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