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#1003758 - 05/04/08 04:04 PM Want to learn how to play by notes
equipper Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/03/08
Posts: 3
Loc: United States of America
Hello everybody I am now on this forum and just want to introduce myself. I am from Liberia, West Africa. and I am 50 years of age. I have always wanted to learn how to play the piano all of my life but was never fortunate. Anyway I taught myself to play by ear. I also taught myself how to play the guitar. This is my question: At my age is it still possible for me to learn how to play the piano by notes? I just want to be able to take up a church hymnal and play from it.

Secondly, what must I do to achieve this goal? Can anyone recommend what I need to do or any particular tutorial designed for people like me in mind. I will be most appreciative of any suggestion that will help me realize this dream. I believe it is never too late to pursue a dream so long as you do not loose your passion.

Thanks in advance.

John

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#1003759 - 05/04/08 04:52 PM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2462
Loc: Denver, CO
Hi John,

Welcome to the forums.

Being able to play from a church hymnal is a very reachable goal.

A lot of people on the forum are using Alfred's Adult All in One Books, which would probably give the basics you need for reading and firm up your playing.

You could also add in supplemental pieces from the Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course - Sacred Books. There are two levels available for this. Here is a link to the first level:
Alfred\'s Adult Sacred Book

Rich
_________________________

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#1003760 - 05/04/08 08:09 PM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
majones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 331
Loc: Deep East Texas Piney Woods
John, your just a young pup. I'm 73 and have learned to sight read (standard notation) within the last 6 months.

Your only drawback will be time. Time away from job, family, responsibilities. But, if you want it you can carve out enough personal time each day for music.

I'd suggest a couple of decks of standard notation flash cards. One at work so you can catch a few minutes of study at lunch or coffee break and one at home by your TV chair. Study them during the commercial breaks.

Ditto Alfred's adult level one books to get you started. The Internet is full of information much of it free.

Church hymnals - have some one show you how to turn the treble clef in the hymnal into single note melody. Then use your guitar experience of jamming a I IV V chord progression to furnish the LH chord progressions. Think lead sheet......
http://www.sibeliusmusic.com/cgi-bin/show_score.pl?scoreid=110384


Good luck.

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#1003761 - 05/04/08 09:33 PM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
Late Beginner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 588
Loc: West Australia
Hi John,

Yes - your goal is definitely reachable.

The biggest mistake that I made when I started to read music was to imagine that once I knew what each dot and mark meant then I would be able to quickly play them. This is definitely not true, and that's where the time comes in.

It should not take long for you you learn the theory of which line on a score shows you which key to press on the piano. It's also not so tough to pick up what the score is telling you about the length of time each note is played for. Key signatures (where the sharps and flats go) can be tricky at first, but again it's just time to get used to it.

What does take much more time is what's called "sight reading" which means being able to play unfamiliar music straight off the page. Most of us read a new score a lot slower than we can play it. When learning a new piece we take as long as we need to work out what all the dots and squiggles mean, which fingers go where, when to play loud and soft and so on. We can only 'read' the score at playing speed later because of the slower work we've put in as we practised it.

I can 'sight read' a very simple melody line, but I can't do that for any music at the level that I currently play. Few people can pick up a complex new piece and play immediately at full speed.

So start your journey with confidence, knowing that we all learned the same way - one note at a time. \:D

Good luck,

Chris
_________________________
Who needs feet of clay? I can get into enough trouble with feet made of regular foot stuff...

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#1003762 - 05/04/08 10:04 PM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Faber and Faber book 1 for the Older Beginner
_________________________
Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.

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#1003763 - 05/06/08 11:38 AM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
equipper Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/03/08
Posts: 3
Loc: United States of America
Hello everybody! I am very thankful for the encouragement and pieces of advice you have given me. I am particularly encouraged by Majones; given her age and what she has accomplished has inspired me or to put it more dramatically 'set me on fire'. Thanks again.

I do have a second question and would need your input again: As an adult beginner I need an instrument at home to practice on. I have seen quite a lot o keyboards with piano functions on the Internet etc. What in your opinion is the best type of keyboard that I should get? wht should I look for -- such as features etc. I do not want to buy any that I will regret buying. by the way I am budgetting between $600 - $750 for the purchase. what do you think?

Thanks in advance for your encouragement and advice.

John

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#1003764 - 05/06/08 01:20 PM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1456
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Welcome to the forum!!

If your goal is to learn to play a piano, I would recommend getting something with weighted keys. Weighted keys try to simulate the feel of an acoustic piano. Others will chime in with some suggestions in your price range.

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#1003765 - 05/06/08 08:46 PM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
majones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 331
Loc: Deep East Texas Piney Woods
$600 to $700 will buy a lot of keyboard. I paid $299 plus $45 for a stand and another $20 for some ear phones and foot pedal. It does anything I ask of it. In fact it has more bells and whistles than I know what to do with.

Check out the local music stores and have fun.

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#1003766 - 05/06/08 09:27 PM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2462
Loc: Denver, CO
I would agree to getting one with weighted keys. Casio Privias are decent, inexpensive digital pianos. I have the PX310, but the newest models are the PX120 / PX320. PX200 / PX800 were last years models.

Yamaha makes good dps as well, albeit slightly more expensive than the Casio models.

The best bet is to go to some stores and play as many different models as you can and find the ones that feel and sound the best to you.

Rich
_________________________

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#1003767 - 05/07/08 04:05 AM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
huami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 59
Loc: byron bay, australia
Hi John, good luck to you & thanks for starting this thread.

As a rank beginner, I have a question i would like to add:

I am having trouble reading the Bass clef - i have to look up the chart.

with the treble i know FACE & Every Good Boy Deserves Fun ( fun is my touch ;\) )

but i cannot quickly get my head around the bass notes. Any suggestions? So far i have not seen any.
_________________________
tricia

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#1003768 - 05/07/08 09:16 AM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2462
Loc: Denver, CO
Hi Tricia,

As a kid I learned the bass clef using:

All Cars Eat Gas (or All Cows Eat Grass) for the spaces

Good Boys Deserve Fudge Always for the lines.

Rich
_________________________

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#1003769 - 05/07/08 09:32 AM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1456
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I had trouble with the bass clef as well, and my teacher gave me the same mnemonic DragonPianoPlayer mentioned, plus a few others I don’t remember. But I ended up with my own, the first 3 spaces spell ACE, and so when I realized that I said to myself, I finally ACE(d) the bass clef!!
[EDITED for spelling errors]

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#1003770 - 05/07/08 12:35 PM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
majones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 331
Loc: Deep East Texas Piney Woods
Bass clef......... I cheat and write the chord name in the margins. That's why I like to use lead sheet music. A three note block chord with some 7th or b7th added get me by.

This does not make that right, just what I do.

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#1003771 - 05/07/08 05:06 PM Re: Want to learn how to play by notes
huami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 59
Loc: byron bay, australia
Thanks Rich & Triryche.

this is now locked in the vault. (grin)
_________________________
tricia

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