2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad) SWEETWATER Cyber Week Deals
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
60 members (Beansparrow, AprilE, anotherscott, 36251, Abdol, Baltguy, bwv872, 12 invisible), 1,061 guests, and 866 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Sep 2021
Posts: 12
C
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
C
Joined: Sep 2021
Posts: 12
..."theory" was going to be in the title at the end but I ran out of space!

Anyway, I am sure this question has been asked a million times here, but I just scrolled through and browsed the most recent 20 pages, and didn't see it specifically. Feel free to point me to a thread.

So I've had a couple years of piano lessons as a kid, that I never really paid attention to (much less practiced!). Started playing brass instruments in middle school, up until I majored in music for my first two years of college (then dropped it completely). Point is, I know theory, have rhythm, a very good ear, can read music, etc.

BUT I lack piano specific skills. Specifically my biggest challenge when I've tried to practice piano in the past...30 years, VERY much off and on (but never seriously), is playing with my two hands together. Maybe it's because I came from such a "solo" instrument like the trumpet, where you literally have three keys to play, and only ever use one hand to play those keys...dunno. I suspect it's also just the way my brain is wired? I can literally read the hardest piece of music that you put in front of me, WITH both hands...but it will be agonizingly slow. laugh

I have always had a hard time understanding how ANYone (especially me) can play seemingly two difference parts, with different rhythms, AT THE SAME TIME...at speed. And an ORGAN? Fuggedaboudit!

All that as a preface to say that if someone could list some software or online lessons that are made for someone like me (has the music theory and sight reading knowledge, but lacks piano skills), if there even is such a (quality) software or app, I would appreciate it!

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 19
V
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
V
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 19
There is a lot of useful info here: https://online-academy.informance.biz/ But if you can afford a good teacher that would be much better, certain things are a way easier to show and correct in person.

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,047
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,047
Originally Posted by ClemFandango
I can literally read the hardest piece of music that you put in front of me, WITH both hands...but it will be agonizingly slow. laugh

I have always had a hard time understanding how ANYone (especially me) can play seemingly two difference parts, with different rhythms, AT THE SAME TIME...at speed.
The most important concept you have to grasp is that though you may be advanced in trumpet playing, you are a beginner on piano, and start from that. Forget that you ever played a musical instrument, and think like a beginner......then you can stop beating yourself up or worrying about the way your brain is wired, but instead, start from scratch, or near it.

Co-ordinating hands together is a slow process, taking months to years. Playing at speed takes even longer. After all, a highly accomplished typist who can type a 100-page novel in five minutes has good finger dexterity and coordination for her typing, but she wouldn't expect to be able to play the piano within a few days, much less play fast. The skills just aren't the same.

There is no short cut to be gotten by using any software stuff. If you are serious about learning piano properly, the best way is to get a good teacher. You don't want to develop bad habits that can derail your progress, especially with your evident impatience (which makes it much more likely that will happen)..........


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 355
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 355
Originally Posted by ClemFandango
I have always had a hard time understanding how ANYone (especially me) can play seemingly two difference parts, with different rhythms, AT THE SAME TIME...at speed. And an ORGAN? Fuggedaboudit!

All that as a preface to say that if someone could list some software or online lessons that are made for someone like me (has the music theory and sight reading knowledge, but lacks piano skills), if there even is such a (quality) software or app, I would appreciate it!

A lot of the thing with learning piano is to trick the brain into thinking that the multiple simultaneous things you need to do are just a whole lot of sequential things. So if you look at beginner music in method books, a lot of the structure alternates the work between hands and takes advantage of the fact that you can continue a sound by doing nothing (by holding keys down) and then creates the music by alternating left and right hand tasks.

Little by little more simultaneous tasks are introduced but you work up to it. You are not trying to play multi-part counterpoint on day 1. And if you are learning something complex for your level, you can learn each hand separately until you can do each on auto-pilot to make combining easier.

The commercial apps like Piano Marvel and Playground Sessions are useful, but they are aimed at people who have no background in music and need feedback if they are playing the wrong note at the wrong time. As you can already read and hear well, a lot of that will be wasted on you.

I’d suggest the important thing for you is carefully chosen piano pieces that don’t get too hard too quickly. Method books are ideal for this and are what a teacher would give you anyway. Scales and arpeggios are important too.


Yamaha U1. Yamaha P-45.
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,680
W
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,680
I am learning the piano, sax, and violin at the same time. For the piano and sax, I had a couple of years of "not-so-good" group tuition as a child. The violin I recently started as an adult. IMHO, the reason why the piano is so much more difficult than the sax (in my case) or the trumpet (in your case) is that there are 2 lines of music for the piano (treble and bass clefs) to deal with, whereas the sax, trumpet and violin have only the treble clef. For me, it's the brain processing 2 staves, as well as translating the multiple notes (and different rhythms) on the 2 staves into the fingers of each hand that makes piano so much more demanding. There's a lot going on there! And that's compared with translating 1 note on the treble clef to 1 fingering on your trumpet. That's nothing to do about being wired differently. I think it's pretty normal what you're experiencing, especially if you're an older adult starting out again.

I'd say the best option is to get yourself a teacher and start with the mindset of a beginner who can already read music. If you cannot get a teacher for whatever reason, since you can read music already, get one of a few popular starter adult piano method books and start from the beginning, such as Faber or Alfred's or other. You might find you get through the first couple of levels quickly. I personally don't suggest software or apps. One-on-one lessons online with a teacher are very good as well. Good luck!

Oh, btw, I also played the organ as a kid. whistle

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 10/06/21 11:25 PM.

Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 2,024
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 2,024
Originally Posted by ClemFandango
if someone could list some software or online lessons that are made for someone like me (has the music theory and sight reading knowledge, but lacks piano skills), if there even is such a (quality) software or app, I would appreciate it!

Hi ClemFandango!

I hope I don't come across as harsh. However, you may have sight reading knowledge, but unless you can sight read and play this on the piano, hands together, I would call it note recognition rather than sight reading. (We have endless discussions sometimes about what is sightreading, but there seems to be consensus about that you have to be able to play it.)

I also think that you'll probably have a hard time finding online lessons that are made for someone who has the music theory, because if you take the trouble of making online lessons, why would you narrow down your group of possible students to those that already have the music theory? So when music theory comes up in those lessons, it is just for you to fast forward it.
Anyway, the very very best online lessons for wanting to learn to play the piano you can find at Piano Career Academy. You will be taught how to play with the right technique. Just as a trumpet player needs to learn the correct way to breathe into the trumpet, a piano player needs to learn the correct key attack. You will be introduced to playing hands together in a gradual way, and you will find that you can do it. cool


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,628
Silver Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,628
You didn’t say what kind of music you want to play but for non classical music there is

Pianonote
Pianowithjonny
Pianomarvel
Pianowithwillie



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 2,122
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 2,122
I follow Piano Lessons on the Web. Tim the online teacher posts new videos on YouTube regularly.

I took violin in school before piano. In the beginning you get into pieces where the LH alternates with the RH playing 1 note at a time (no overlap). Next some LH intervals & chords for accompaniment. You can lean LH & RH parts separately before putting the 2 hands together. Start slow tempo.

Joined: Sep 2021
Posts: 12
C
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
C
Joined: Sep 2021
Posts: 12
Thanks, all for the helpful responses.

Let me clarify my big but. laugh And I quote: "BUT I lack piano specific skills"

I appreciate the concept that I should approach learning piano as if I am a complete newbie to music (but that's also kinda hard to do). I saw two people mention that, and it makes sense.

Also wanted to say that I am not impatient, or trying to cut any corners. I know what it takes to truly LEARN an instrument, and fully willing to do that (and that learning, if you are serious, never stops)

And yeah, to the point that most if not all software is going to start from "This is a whole note!" and go from there, makes sense. Market opportunity? :P

Addressing specific comments:

"You didn’t say what kind of music you want to play but for non classical music there is"
Everything. Definitely classical (love me some Chopin!), but also blues, jazz and other genres. I am genre ambivalent.

"I hope I don't come across as harsh. However, you may have sight reading knowledge, but unless you can sight read and play this on the piano, hands together, I would call it note recognition rather than sight reading."
Not harsh at all, and I promise you can't hurt my feelings. laugh I agree with your correction. NOTE RECOGNITION it is (and not being snarky, that is a significantly different thing than sight reading...)

"For me, it's the brain processing 2 staves, as well as translating the multiple notes (and different rhythms) on the 2 staves into the fingers of each hand that makes piano so much more demanding. There's a lot going on there! And that's compared with translating 1 note on the treble clef to 1 fingering on your trumpet."
Excellent point, you stated the issue better than I did. I think the mental block here is dealing with two STAVES at once, as opposed to simply one hand vs two, or even 3 keys vs 88 (which is also mind blowing, for a "simple" trumpet player).

"think like a beginner......then you can stop beating yourself up or worrying about the way your brain is wired, but instead, start from scratch, or near it."
Love it, thanks.

So "the board" in general seems a bit anti-app/anti-software for learning. Any particular reason? Are you all piano teachers?! :P Seriously though, is there a component of learning via app vs say a book, that has pitfalls I am not aware of? Of course I get that you won't get posture correction, or proper hand position correction, etc., but surely they aren't BAD for self-teaching are they?

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,426

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012
1000 Post Club Member
Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,426
I’ve been using Alfred’s Group Piano For Adults to re-resume playing piano after an extended peripatetic phase where I had to concentrate on more portable instruments. This is not the same as the Alfred Adult method for true beginners, which is the method with that vast dedicated thread on the forum.

The advantage of Alfred’s Group method is that one of the intended audiences is non-piano music majors, so it spends *much* less time going over the stuff you (and I) already know. It dives right in to getting you to play and read with two hands, and presents the theory sooner and with a bit more intellectual rigor—the normal Alfred Adult methods (there are several very similar versions) work much harder to avoid “traumatizing” true beginners with too much theory. ETA: it also includes material for sight reading practice, duets/group playing, (if you wanna play along with the included recordings/MIDI), and more. So it is even more “all-in-one” than the official Adult All-in-One.

Here is the group method (you can get a better price if you look around):
Alfred Group Piano

And here is the standard adult method aimed for true beginners, the one with the mega-thread on the forum here:
Alfred All-in-One

If you were once a music major you will be able to understand everything in the group method without a teacher, though of course you will be lacking the real-time feedback on ergonomic technique that only one-on-one teaching can provide.

But one of our members here is taking lessons from a teacher who has been making very professionally produced videos to go with this Alfred Group method, which I myself have found quite helpful. Here’s the playlist (she starts with the very basics, and is gradually adding videos):

Alfred Group Piano Videos by Dr. Janci Bronson

ETA2: the problem with apps is that they really can only measure if you’re playing the right notes at the right time, and can’t yet recognize things like dynamics, and thus they will often tell the learner they’re playing well, when really they’re merely playing accurately, but not musically.

Last edited by tangleweeds; 10/07/21 12:32 PM.

Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,523
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,523
Originally Posted by ClemFandango
Seriously though, is there a component of learning via app vs say a book, that has pitfalls I am not aware of? Of course I get that you won't get posture correction, or proper hand position correction, etc., but surely they aren't BAD for self-teaching are they?
That single caveat you mentioned is a HUGE one. If you don't get feedback on your technique then you are practicing the bad technique and engraining it forever in your motor memory. It then becomes extremely difficult to get rid of that bad habit. Even if you do correct it you might revert to your old ways when under pressure - i.e. during a performance.

If you want to learn to play properly and eventually reach an advanced standard then you absolutely must have direct feedback from a real human teacher (not a computer) on a regular basis.

Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 2,024
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 2,024
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by ClemFandango
Seriously though, is there a component of learning via app vs say a book, that has pitfalls I am not aware of? Of course I get that you won't get posture correction, or proper hand position correction, etc., but surely they aren't BAD for self-teaching are they?
That single caveat you mentioned is a HUGE one. If you don't get feedback on your technique then you are practicing the bad technique and engraining it forever in your motor memory. It then becomes extremely difficult to get rid of that bad habit. Even if you do correct it you might revert to your old ways when under pressure - i.e. during a performance.

If you want to learn to play properly and eventually reach an advanced standard then you absolutely must have direct feedback from a real human teacher (not a computer) on a regular basis.

Yes, yes, yes!! This is sooooo true. And I am happy to assure you that the online piano course that I recommended (PCA) does have a very good feedback teacher.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 19
V
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
V
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
IMHO, the reason why the piano is so much more difficult than the sax (in my case) or the trumpet (in your case) is that there are 2 lines of music for the piano (treble and bass clefs) to deal with, whereas the sax, trumpet and violin have only the treble clef.

Depends on what you mean by a line of music. Here's five: Fugue in C# minor BWV 849. Of course still 2 hands only smile If you master it properly you should be able to play any one of 5 louder than the others. I haven't mastered it yet even for 3/4 voice pieces.

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 2,122
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 2,122
Recording & uploading music online is becoming common. Even a quick recording with a phone can tell a lot about someone’s playing. Definitely a good idea to record a few pieces for feedback.


In my younger days a cousin tried to teach me a few piano pieces in a beginner book. 1 piece has repeated LH chords. Having to play 3 notes together kept me away for years. I learned all the major & minor scales, chords & intervals in violin class but can’t play chords on a violin.

After starting piano, I think the hands coordination problem is over exaggerated. Start with the basic major & minor scales and get comfortable with the fingerings playing 1 octave both hands together 1 octave apart and then in contrary motion (LH going down C-B-A-G-F-E-D-C & RH going up C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C at the same time). My teacher makes her students do these basic exercises and they really help with hands coordination.

When it comes to playing 5 notes at a time I’d go slow. Try a few fingerings & get the feel of playing all the notes together evenly. When I’m learning a piece, I learn blocks of notes separately. It’s going to sound choppy. After repeating the piece a few times I get it to flow better.

Joined: Sep 2021
Posts: 64
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Sep 2021
Posts: 64
Finding a good teacher is the most efficient. If you want to focus on piano technique and choreography, frankly I do not see many good free resources. My piano teacher recently roll out a list of piano technique tutorials, which may be helpful:


Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,317
I
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
I
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,317
Originally Posted by scientistplayspian
I wondered where a bad habit of playing between the black keys unnecessarily comes from. Now I see it comes from some teachers, too. At 5:30 this lady manages to play a C major exercise between the black keys, something I think I've never seen before. Moreover she manages to demonstrate 'wrist circles' while playing between the black keys... Ouch!

And generally I have to say I dislike both what she demonstrates and what she says conceptually. Using arm weight requires only minimal wrist adjustments, and excessive wrist motions like what is demonstrated on that video are really a hindrance to using arm weight and a technical flaw in general. I would not recommend anyone to learn from this video.

Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 19
V
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
V
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
I wondered where a bad habit of playing between the black keys unnecessarily comes from. Now I see it comes from some teachers, too. At 5:30 this lady manages to play a C major exercise between the black keys, something I think I've never seen before. Moreover she manages to demonstrate 'wrist circles' while playing between the black keys... Ouch!
At 5:30 she demonstrates a circular motion and it would be very inconvenient to play it all outside of black keys, even if it's C major. Forward motion is a part of the circle and curling fingers is a big no. As for the extent of that motion, she obviously targets beginners and a bit of exaggeration is not necessary a bad idea at that stage. Also there are very few (if any) pieces where going between black keys is not required, so it's good to learn this habit early.

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,317
I
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
I
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,317
Originally Posted by Victor66
At 5:30 she demonstrates a circular motion and it would be very inconvenient to play it all outside of black keys, even if it's C major.
For the most part of the video she demonstrates her circular motions in C major correctly, playing on the wide surfaces of keys, and she doesn't seem to consider this inconvenient. It's closer to the end of the video when her focus weakens and her bad habit becomes progressively apparent, firstly starting to insert her 2nd finger between the black keys and then other fingers.

Originally Posted by Victor66
Forward motion is a part of the circle and curling fingers is a big no.
You mean moving a hand forward to the closing lid is a part of a 'wrist circle'? No.

Originally Posted by Victor66
Also there are very few (if any) pieces where going between black keys is not required, so it's good to learn this habit early.
It's not a bad habit to play between the black keys when it is necessary, it's a bad habit to play between them unnecessarily.

Originally Posted by Victor66
As for the extent of that motion, she obviously targets beginners and a bit of exaggeration is not necessary a bad idea at that stage.
It's not a bit of exaggeration, what she demonstrates is an unacceptable, technically incorrect way of playing. And she never even mentions any exaggeration. The degrees of wrist abduction and adduction that she shows are way inappropriate. She talks about alignment and at the same time shows a total misalignment. It is an awful video to say honestly.


Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
Pianos - Organs - & Keyboards, Oh My!
My first professionally recorded piece
---------------------
Visit Maine, Meet Mr. Piano World
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Ned Rorem
by Steveskates - 12/01/21 09:00 PM
When Pianist and Piano Rebuilder Get together
by Chernobieff Piano - 12/01/21 08:51 PM
Regulating a digital piano advice needed
by Purdy - 12/01/21 06:06 PM
WNG Portable Piano pounder.
by jkess114 - 12/01/21 05:16 PM
Talking while playing
by wg73 - 12/01/21 03:19 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics210,340
Posts3,150,093
Members103,487
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5