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One of the first things I tried to play, when I started about 5 months ago now, was the intro to Your Song...

Having now got to grips with a number of other intro's... I tried it again and it's now within reach smile

Anyway, I am in some kind of "intro trap" ...

Seems like I am very keen to learn intro's but don't continue with the remainder of the song...

Is this a common problem - or am I the only one?

Did anyone else have this problem - how do you discipline yourself to learn the full song?

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Because once you have the intro to Light My Fire down, the rest is easy.


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Nope, no issues with it at all.
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Originally Posted by Bebe1980
One of the first things I tried to play, when I started about 5 months ago now, was the intro to Your Song...

Having now got to grips with a number of other intro's... I tried it again and it's now within reach smile

Anyway, I am in some kind of "intro trap" ...

Seems like I am very keen to learn intro's but don't continue with the remainder of the song...

Is this a common problem - or am I the only one?

Did anyone else have this problem - how do you discipline yourself to learn the full song?

Not sure how common it is but I can absolutely relate to you on this. I believe the reason for me and maybe others is due to the fact that learning a full pop song takes much longer than we think. We learn the intro or first handful of bars and then we have so much more to go and the excitement wears and then the excitement of the next new song creeps in. Keep in mind you're still learning something from it whether you learn the intro or full song. I'm getting much better at not doing this as much as I used. I believe this is all part of the process and as I get more experience my expectations are getting much better.

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It depends on how difficult the piece is in relation to your abilities. If you struggle a lot to get a few bars then doing the whole thing is going to be a huge task. I don't blame you for loosing interest. I'd say at 5 months you should be doing beginner pieces, method books, etc. to build up your skills and once you have the basics down learning pop songs is going to be easy (-ier).

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I remember a youtube videos about guitar learning: someone said it is seductive to learn only the well known riffs, but not the entire song. But in the long run you will annoy your audience if you can only play some riffs and then jump to another riff. It is much better learn the entire song, so your audience can sing along the whole tune.

I guess this statement is also true for piano playing with intros only. In my opinion this is bad habit.

On the other hand, as long as you are a beginner, this should be fine as it builds up your skills. I mean you could also learn some pieces from method books that you don't like. And maybe in your case playing the intros only is the best motivation to learn. At least for now. You can still learn entire pieces after 1 year of learning. I would just not stick to the intro-only method for the rest of your career as pianist.

btw: to your question if you are the only one with this habit. I do the complete song. But this costs me a lot of time for a single song. Maybe my approach is also not the best one for a pure beginner.

Last edited by Wie Waldi; 06/17/21 02:28 AM.

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Originally Posted by trooplewis
Because once you have the intro to Light My Fire down, the rest is easy.

I was going to suggest Meatloaf's Bat Out Of H*ll or Springsteen's Jungleland, but same principle I guess. :D:D



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Well, intros are important and often one of the few points in the song where the piano is highlighted and, therefore, notated correctly on the sheet music.

Maybe find a way to comp some chords after the intro to try and get a whole song down.

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If I work on a piece that's appropriate for my level (somewhere in the mid intermediate spectrum), I don't have a problem working through the whole piece. However, I can readily think of a few pieces where, once I've gotten past the introduction, I realize that I've gotten in over my head. Sometimes it's a matter of the introduction being easier than the rest of the piece and sometimes it's a matter of the introduction giving me a taste of the struggle ahead if I decide to soldier on with the piece.

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Depends on the piece. Some tunes start with an intro that sounded different from the main melody. I'd skip the intro and work on the melody. Add the intro after. When practicing I'd work on a piece in sections. A lot of times with hands separate to make it easier to run through a section. Add the LH a few bars at a time.

Some songs I'd do the ending first and work back.

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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Depends on the piece. Some tunes start with an intro that sounded different from the main melody. I'd skip the intro and work on the melody. Add the intro after. When practicing I'd work on a piece in sections. A lot of times with hands separate to make it easier to run through a section. Add the LH a few bars at a time.

Some songs I'd do the ending first and work back.
My new strategy: Learn the hardest part first. So it has more time to get polished while learning the easier ones.


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Originally Posted by Wie Waldi
My new strategy: Learn the hardest part first. So it has more time to get polished while learning the easier ones.

A great strategy! I try to do the same. Sometimes hard to know which is the hardest part though... cool


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I learned Your Song last year and now all I can play is the intro. I should relearned it.



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Originally Posted by lilypad
Sometimes it's a matter of the introduction being easier than the rest of the piece and sometimes it's a matter of the introduction giving me a taste of the struggle ahead if I decide to soldier on with the piece.

Some pieces the intro is just a few bars you need to play more to get to the main section. Other pieces the intro is slow and not too technical. The difficult parts are in the middle or closer to the end. The intro can be playable while the later section is not. This is why the lower intermediate students only play the top section of “Fur Elise” and the more advanced students would do the section after.

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Thanks ... I'm already convincing myself that the intro to Your Song is good (routine) practice (for me) as it uses quite a few "new" black keys being in the key of Eb!

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Don't be scared of the black notes - the more there is, the easy it'll be to play (just ask Stevie Wonder!)

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A few Abba songs has black keys including: "The Winner Takes All" in F# (5 sharps), "Dancing Queen", "Chiquitita" & "Fernando" in A. After playing DQ, you can easily do Fernando sort of thing. Pop songs are usually to be repetitive. You repeat the same sections with few variations. You can add some improvisation to avoid playing repeated sections exactly.

People who started with Classical music tend to be readers. Those into Pop tend to play by ear. On the other hand, we wouldn't play a Pop song unless we heard it before and like the melody. Everybody have heard some version of the Beatles song "Hey Jude" or "Here Comes the Sun". Some people don't have formal music training but can reproduce a version of a Pop song that sounded close to the original by ear. Classical music is more complex and requires reading the score.

People with a good ear can play the Lead Sheet versions of Pop songs with a 1 line melody & LH chords. You can also find arrangements of Pop songs for easy piano with fewer sharps & flats than the original. People who don't like to read a lot of sharps & flats would be playing John Lennon "Imagine" in C.

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With a lead sheet, you have chords and melody of course but nowhere does it say that the chords are to be played with LH.

Since your RH is playing melody, somehow it has been assumed that your LH must play the chords, but this is wrong and better arrangements share the chord across both hands or full chords + melody in RH and single note bass in LH may suit the arrangement better. It depends. But, be willing to try them all out is a better approach for lead sheet accompaniment, IMO.


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