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My advice: learn the song as a singer. Get the vocal melody into your brain and ears and then try playing each musical phrase whilst singing the melody. Don't worry too much about what's written on the lead sheet, except for knowing on the harmonic progression (I seem to recall the original being in A Major, but that's from memory - it'd probably be helpful to check you're playing in the original key)

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This is interesting as a few have said to incorporate some form of singing/humming of the vocal melody and I have read this on other threads before too. I will admit I'm thinking how the heck will singing/humming a vocal melody do anything for playing it with my RH? This does not mean I don't believe in this process I just never tried it. I will definitely give this a try on my current piece.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
This is interesting as a few have said to incorporate some form of singing/humming of the vocal melody and I have read this on other threads before too. I will admit I'm thinking how the heck will singing/humming a vocal melody do anything for playing it with my RH? This does not mean I don't believe in this process I just never tried it. I will definitely give this a try on my current piece.

Because the decisions are made in the brain before the fingers. The fingers just respond to what you're thinking. Try just a small section of a well-known nursery rhyme to start with - sing and play it. Maybe try one that you're really familiar with (like Happy Birthday), and try playing without singing first, and then with singing, after.

Tears In Heaven is indeed in A Major (smug face), and it might be worth considering if the piece is too advanced at this point. Are you okay playing with 3 sharps?

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Originally Posted by fatar760
Originally Posted by Sebs
This is interesting as a few have said to incorporate some form of singing/humming of the vocal melody and I have read this on other threads before too. I will admit I'm thinking how the heck will singing/humming a vocal melody do anything for playing it with my RH? This does not mean I don't believe in this process I just never tried it. I will definitely give this a try on my current piece.

Because the decisions are made in the brain before the fingers. The fingers just respond to what you're thinking. Try just a small section of a well-known nursery rhyme to start with - sing and play it. Maybe try one that you're really familiar with (like Happy Birthday), and try playing without singing first, and then with singing, after.

Tears In Heaven is indeed in A Major (smug face), and it might be worth considering if the piece is too advanced at this point. Are you okay playing with 3 sharps?

Funny thing is I could play happy bday on piano from singing but I would play wrong notes but could still hear the melody.

The three sharps are not an issue I'm comfortable with the key and reading the music. This piece was his pick, I trust his judgement. I'm still a beginner and I also just started my pop studies about 10 months ago so chords and bringing your own style to the sheet is still very new to me and we're also applying new techniques we just learned to this sheet. I'm probably doing better than I think! It just still amazes me how easy a single bar or small chunk can be string it all together.... YIKES!

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As fatar760 said, the recommendation for singing or humming is because this gets your brain involved. It's what I meant in an earlier post that you need both hands and brain participating.

Also, getting the singing/humming part going is another step on the way to hand independence.

It's interesting that you mention Happy Birthday -- this is a song that most of us know so well, so it's not surprising that you feel like you could do that one.

It should also drive home the point that often, we don't know a piece (or a passage, chunk) as well as we think we do.

But knowledge relies on learning, and learning comes from doing. So, by singing or humming out loud you are giving your brain another "doing" activity, which contributes to learning and ultimately to knowledge.


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
As fatar760 said, the recommendation for singing or humming is because this gets your brain involved. It's what I meant in an earlier post that you need both hands and brain participating.

Also, getting the singing/humming part going is another step on the way to hand independence.

It's interesting that you mention Happy Birthday -- this is a song that most of us know so well, so it's not surprising that you feel like you could do that one.

It should also drive home the point that often, we don't know a piece (or a passage, chunk) as well as we think we do.

But knowledge relies on learning, and learning comes from doing. So, by singing or humming out loud you are giving your brain another "doing" activity, which contributes to learning and ultimately to knowledge.

Really well said, and explained much better than my attempt.

A little example came to mind as I was reading:

How often have you sat in a car and a song comes on the radio, a song you THINK you know really well. You start singing along and you get through it.

Then, later on, you try singing it again but without the song playing at the same time. Do you remember the lyrics? Do you remember which section comes next? Is there a note in the melody that, maybe, you usually gloss over but now you're not sure what that note is?

Like ShiroKuro says, we don't often know a piece as well as we think we do. Only when we strip it down to its fundamental parts do we start to learn it and take ownership of it.

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
It's interesting that you mention Happy Birthday -- this is a song that most of us know so well, so it's not surprising that you feel like you could do that one.

BTW this was not me saying oh yeh I could easily sing songs I know then play them. I was saying even very well known tune I'd still struggle to translate to the fingers and use wrong notes and rhythms.


Originally Posted by fatar760
A little example came to mind as I was reading:

How often have you sat in a car and a song comes on the radio, a song you THINK you know really well. You start singing along and you get through it.

Then, later on, you try singing it again but without the song playing at the same time. Do you remember the lyrics? Do you remember which section comes next? Is there a note in the melody that, maybe, you usually gloss over but now you're not sure what that note is?

Like ShiroKuro says, we don't often know a piece as well as we think we do. Only when we strip it down to its fundamental parts do we start to learn it and take ownership of it.

I have always noticed this and this and thought it was so odd how we can sing along to hundreds of songs and we think we know all the words but not even close! Or you think you know it then you read the lyrics turns out you had them wrong too. hahha

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