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#1004841 - 01/07/09 02:23 PM Oops, I bought a piano.
hmann Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Finland
Hello,

I'm hmann and I'm (hopefully) addicted to piano.

I just wanted to say hello to everyone and ask couple questions on a side. I've been interested in starting playing piano for over ten years now. I'm 26 by the way. I've been seriously browsing the internet and thinking about buying a piano and start learning. I have never played anything and I have no idea if piano is what I want to do, but since I've been thinking about it for some time I have been more serious about trying.

I thought I would buy some cheapish digital piano over the internet, but today I went to a local music store to drool over some Yamaha Clavinovas. I ended up buying one \:D It's rosewood CLP-340. I know it should be pretty decent for me, because acoustic isn't an option where I live. I was pondering between CLP-330 and CLP-340 and decided that couple hundreds more would be too big deal anymore.

I'm waiting for the piano to arrive tomorrow at my doorstep. I'm also waiting for Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course All-in-one book from Amazon. I was planning to start by myself for a while (maybe few months) and then try to find a teacher. I have seen opinions on starting with a teacher right from the beginning, but I'd like to go solo for a while. What do you think when would it be good for me to get a teacher before I develop any bad habits?

Also, what would be good place to find sheet music (electronic or paper) for beginners to go with other practicing? I'm more interested in pop music than classical, so I'd like to have some supplemental material to go with the course book.

Finally I'd like to hear some good and bad examples about starting playing piano after teen years. Is it possible to really get excited and learn to be a good pianist? \:\) Or do you know someone who have failed miserably? (they probably are not here to expose themselves)

Well, anyway I hope that this isn't just impulse for a while. Because then I'll have pretty expensive piece of furniture that don't really match my apartment \:\)

hmann

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#1004842 - 01/07/09 02:47 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
IngridT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Netherlands
Hmann, welcome!

I like your post. And I recognize it. I am 43 and bought a piano 1 1/2 year ago. Just like you, out of the blue, just because I had this vague idea for so long already that I wanted to be able to play the piano. Never played any instrument before.

Well, to make a long story short. I took lessons (and still do) together with my 3 kids. And I'm loving it! I am addicted in fact. I just started in Alfred's book 3, and although I still view myself as a beginner I am honestly amazed with my progress. I never thought I would be able to play what I am playing after less then 2 years of study and fun. I never thought my brain & my fingers would be able to learn this new complicated thing.

My advice though: If the option is there... take lessons! Apart from the bad habits you might develop (there is a lot of technique and posture involved) it is also much more fun, and it makes it a lot easier to keep on moving forward in a steady way. Without my lessons my journey so far would have been a very different one I think.

Ingrid

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#1004843 - 01/07/09 02:56 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
great posts!

I would second IngridT's recommendation to get a teacher asap. If you are the type who is a good self-studier, you can work with your teacher in a way where you can set your own pace and set the frequency of lessons appropriately. You could compare it to learning to play golf. Anyone can buy some clubs and a rule book and go out and swing at the ball. However, once you get to the point where you are actually getting the ball on the green and into the hole, you may have taught yourself such an ineffective swing that you will never be able to get really good without going backwards and unlearning what you taught yourself.

The danger of going too far on your own (and you can go quite far on your own) is that you build up physical habits that are difficult or even impossible to completely un-learn: the neuro-motor pathways will still remain part of you and the feeling of what you feel is normal when you are trying hard in the Alfred book may not lead to a way of holding your body that will allow you to progress effectively beyond the beginner level. A good teacher will help you to be aware of your body, how you are holding yourself, excess tension, etc. and will show you how to play effortlessly, without danger of injury and in a way that will allow you to progress. Also, you may not always have the self-awareness or keen observation to "keep yourself honest" and really play what is written.

Having said that, it is cold outside, you will soon have your piano and your book. Go at it and have some fun on your own!

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#1004844 - 01/07/09 02:58 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Yahoo! Congratulations and Welcome!!!
I buy most of my music online (from Amazon) or at my local music store.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1004845 - 01/07/09 02:59 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
AnthonyB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 661
Loc: Center City, MN
Welcome to the forum hmann!

I don't think an "Oops" qualifies for describing a piano purchase. I will admit that I started off on a simple unweighted 61-key keyboard but quickly found that limiting and had to get a full 88key digital piano.

You'll have to decide for yourself (maybe once you try to get going) if you're really going to need a teacher to keep at it or simply to guide your progress.

I've been playing for just over a year now and only have a few "real" piano pieces under my belt but judging from recital comments on my playing I must be doing something right.

Just remember that some things you'll be attempting to do will seem impossible at first. Your hands and fingers will not seem to function properly. The first time you come along to a tricky rhythm will give you fits. Blow the Man Down in Alfred's Book one is usually the first road block on rhythm. But, as you see from the Alfred's thread people do eventually conquer that piece.

We look forward to seeing you progress through your piano journey. Have fun!
_________________________
Roland FP-7 / Pianoteq 4.5.1


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#1004846 - 01/07/09 03:45 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
JeanieA Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 512
Loc: Reno, Nevada
I think that's great, and hope you enjoy yourself a ton!

For a quick sheet music fix, try Sheet Music Direct, http://www.sheetmusicdirect.us/i18n/index.jsp . You can see the first page of the pieces to make sure it's something you think you can tackle, you can also search under the 'easy piano' section for titles. I've alway thought that their $3.99 price pre title's pretty reasonable, too.
_________________________
Collector of sheet music I can't play.

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#1004847 - 01/07/09 03:57 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
I highly recommend you get a teacher from the beginning. I did it your way and my teacher is still fixing stuff I learned wrong from the beginning and its 2 years later.

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#1004848 - 01/07/09 04:28 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
hmann Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Finland
Thank you for the replies and pieces of advice!

I thought I would get this response about the teacher question. And I think you got me convinced that I'll start looking for the teacher right after I've gotten my piano. That shouldn't be a problem, because there is a music department at the university in my city. Although, it might be a problem to find a good teacher...

AnthonyB, I agree, "oops" doesn't really qualify, but I still got really strange feeling outside the music store after I had typed my pin code for the credit card after the purchase: "What have I done?!" \:D

JeanieA, thank you for the site. It seems pretty good with the Sibelius Scorch plugin and I was amazed that it actually worked on my Mac \:\) And yes, the prices are quite reasonable.

Still waiting for tomorrow,
hmann

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#1004849 - 01/07/09 04:55 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
luvrofkeys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 13
Loc: New Jersey
hmann, oops should be taken out of the english language! I too bought a piano not too long ago and I assure you, though I wasn't planning on it, it wasn't an oops for me. I picked up the Yamaha Clavinova CLP240, polished ebony. I fell in love with piano playing when i was like 15, however the only instruction i've ever received was one semester in college. but i wind up getting into being a disc jockey for so many years. I just gave it up about two years ago and finally picked up the piano. One thing i picked up from being around people who can play really well is this, the piano is like a blank canvas. And you have all the brushes and colored paints you need to create a masterpiece! What can be created on the piano is entirely up to you and your desires.
You can and will be a good piano player as long as you are dedicated and disciplined enough to sit at the piano and practice, even when you don't feel like it or you would rather do something else. Professional instruction would help but as long as you get started, that will count for something. The teacher will help smooth out some rough edges later on.
That's my feelings and I believe you will be great in time.
Have fun and start painting!
_________________________
In all thine getting....get understanding!

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#1004850 - 01/07/09 04:58 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
IngridT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Netherlands
Have funn Hmann!

I felt exactly like you when I bought the piano. i did it the other way around though. i first found a teacher, and then took het to the pianostore to help me buy a piano. I felt like an absolute idiot buying something that I didn't know anything about. I didn't play a single note on my own piano untill it arrived at my home. I also got the Alfred 1 book before the piano arrived. I was so excited that I tried out the first few exercises on my kids toy-keyboard! hahaha!

Glad you are going to find yourself a teacher. i think you are in for a great adventure!

Ingrid

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#1004851 - 01/07/09 10:06 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
Monica K. Online   blank

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17815
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Welcome to the forum, Hmann, and congratulations on your new piano! Those Clavinovas are very nice digitals.

I'd recommend a teacher from the start, as well. Even very subtle differences in posture, bench positioning, how you hold your hands, etc. can make a huge difference in technique and avoiding injury. You may want to check into your local university or community college; they often have group piano classes for non-majors that could be an inexpensive way to start.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1004852 - 01/07/09 10:34 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
Busy Bee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/07
Posts: 213
Congrats Humann, that's a nice piano and if you have the passion it'll never be a waste of money.

I wouldn't recommend a teacher at first. I think it's important that you get your own style and know what you want to be taught. I am relearning what my teachers (at first) taught me. For example, teacher #1 taught me to hit those notes so freekin precisely on the beat that his music, nor mine ever had any feeling. Just pure mechanics and he is a very accomplished pianist, but his music has no soul.

Teacher #2 told me dynamics are a long way down the road when I asked when I could start putting dynamics in my playing and then she proceeded to teach me bass as if we had a real bass player in the band, in other words, the bass lacked so much and the dynamics were again none.

My husband's first lesson was with a teacher that taught him since note #1 to feel the music, not just hit the key. He had a great teacher, but he didn't stick with it. Teacher can and do teach some very, very bad habits and just cause a person can play the piano, doesn't mean they can teach. I've learned some really bad habits from my first teachers. I wished I would have learned first on my own, then hired a teacher to teach me what I knew I wanted to learn.

Good luck!!!

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#1004853 - 01/08/09 04:29 AM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Libby, I would say your experience would indicate that one should be careful about selecting the right teacher (approach several, get references, talk to their students, listen to their recitals, take trial lessons, etc.) rather than not getting a teacher from the start.

Also, don't be shy about firing a teacher and moving on.

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#1004854 - 01/08/09 09:56 AM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
garyg Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Arkansas
hmann, don't worry about starting at 26. I'm starting at 54. Just joined Piano Magic where the average student is in his/her 40's. Most have little to no (like me) prior experience. I've been very impressed with the playing of people who've been in the room for a while.

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#1004855 - 01/08/09 06:00 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
The digital piano you bought is more than
adequate for any kind of playing.

You cannot pick up bad habits when you
teach yourself, because when a person
teaches himself, he will naturally learn
in a way that is best suited to his
individual physical and psychological
requirements. It is when you take formal
piano lessons that you start to pick
up really bad habits, because when you
take lessons, you will have to do things
the teacher's way, which cannot possibly
custom-fit your individual physical
and psychological needs. For example,
when you take lessons, you will be taught
to follow the printed fingering on the
score, fingering that was devised in
the early 1900's by a hack editor based
on his physique and psychology. This
generic, one-size-fits-all score fingering
cannot possibly suit each student's
individual physical and pschological
needs, and yet this hack fingering scheme
is what has been crammed down the throats
of students for the last hundred years
as the only acceptable fingering for
classical pianists.

Sometimes teachers change the score fingering
to a "more suitable one for the student,"
but that's no good either, because that
fingering will be based on the teacher's
hand and psychology and won't custom-fit
your either. In fact, I believe that
no teacher is qualified to write in even
a single finger number, because he
can't possibly know your physical and
psychological requirements. (If you
play from the score without looking
at your hands as much as possible,
your hands will tend to find the best
fingering and technique on their own with
no special effort on your part--this greatly
simplies playing, since you no longer
have to read the finger numbers on
the score or worry about whether you
technique is correct; and the fingering
your hands find for you will be the
one that is the most natural for you.)

It is not unusual for people to become
discouraged with piano playing and quit for
a time. (This is especially true for
students taking lessons, because being
forced to do things in the teacher's
way--a way that is going to be unnatural
for them--is eventually going to catch
up with them. When your body and mind
are forced to do something that is unnatural,
they will eventually rebel and stop doing
it.) This forum is filled with adult
restarters who played as a child--even
up to the conservatory level--and then
quit for many yrs. The record here for
a restarter is something like 45 to 50 yrs.
away from the piano. I had many yrs. of
classical lessons as a child and then
quit when I was in high school and didn't
play for 20 yrs. But even after I restarted
as an adult there were still many long
periods--5 yrs., 3 yrs., 1 yr., etc.--when
I quit playing again. As recently as
2006 I quit for several months thinking
I would never play a note again.

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#1004856 - 01/09/09 02:13 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
hmann Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Finland
I got my piano yesterday! I was somehow busy not to write here ;\)

I'd like to disagree with Gyro. I'm a computer scientist myself and I've developed some really bad typing technique. I have tried to learn touch typing, but I noticed that it seems to be too hard to learn out from what I've got used with. I guess that same applies to piano playing that you should know from the beginning what you do and how you do it.

Btw, is there anyone doing lots of work with computer and then playing piano? I'd like to know if there is anything to consider when you use your hands (and wrists) a lot. I have quite ergonomic desktop at work, but I guess I should be worried about some strain issues.

But now that I have the piano and absolutely no idea what to do with it (since I'm still waiting the Alfred's book), I think I'll start with Alfred's and try to start searching for a teacher. I think that's something that doesn't necessarily happen in a day or two.

hmann

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#1004857 - 01/11/09 12:49 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
Tawny Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 14
Loc: Vancouver, BC
Hello, really liked reading this thread. Very small starting thread but some great things said.

I have very recently turned 26, never learned or have had any music experience and i started to borrow books about learning piano in Dec.

I was given a 60-key keyboard, unfortunately with a broken key. But i already thought about buying a digital piano even before i received it. Doing all the bits of research about learning and buying a piano, you cant buy a piano if you know really nothing about it or playing.

But thanks for all the posts here, i was sort of on the fence about getting a teacher at first. I have had differing opinions about this choice from people i know that do play. And this thread has helped turn the tide a bit and i will look for a teacher to start off.


...then buy a piano \:\) unless i find something first that i can not resist. Which i am not sure how,, but hey.. it could happen.


p.s. i may change my nickname, as i think people would "normally" associate with a female. of which i am not.

Cheers !

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#1004858 - 01/14/09 10:43 AM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
jnick Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 91
Loc: NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by hmann:
I got my piano yesterday! I was somehow busy not to write here ;\)

I'd like to disagree with Gyro. I'm a computer scientist myself and I've developed some really bad typing technique. I have tried to learn touch typing, but I noticed that it seems to be too hard to learn out from what I've got used with. I guess that same applies to piano playing that you should know from the beginning what you do and how you do it.

Btw, is there anyone doing lots of work with computer and then playing piano? I'd like to know if there is anything to consider when you use your hands (and wrists) a lot. I have quite ergonomic desktop at work, but I guess I should be worried about some strain issues.

But now that I have the piano and absolutely no idea what to do with it (since I'm still waiting the Alfred's book), I think I'll start with Alfred's and try to start searching for a teacher. I think that's something that doesn't necessarily happen in a day or two.

hmann [/b]
Congratulations on the piano! Use it well!

To answer one of your quesitons, yes, I also work with computers all day long. I'm 21 and am a systems technician. I'm around computers 8 hours a day at work, and it's also a hobby of mine, so I'm on the PC a lot at home too! i don't have any special keyboards or anything of the like for my wrists, and I have yet to have a problem (knock on wood!). However, if I do ever feel strain, I STOP. No need in forcing yourself to play the piano if your arms/wrists are killing you. I'd rather "slack" a day because of strain, then injure myself and be out for a month!

Unless you have a predisposed condition with your wrists, you should be fine!

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#1004859 - 01/14/09 12:27 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
rodmichael Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 334
Loc: Maryland
Dear Hmann,

Welcome to the piano.

I am 62, I started last Feb 6 after thinking about it for 10+ years. I guess I finally panicked after reading someone's thoughts about age and learning piano in which it was asserted somewhat authoritatively that after the age of 70 or 75 all hope is lost. ;\)

I also splurged for the best digital I could afford, after seriously considering an acoustic piano. I have no regrets at this point; although, I still harbor some hope to get a good acoustic grand piano sometime in the future, especially if I stick with this new hobby.

I started right off with an instructor and I'm glad I did. She has been wonderful and has given me a lot more to think about than just what is in the Alfred Book 1. She has really been good about technique hints and helps and hasn't been inflexible about fingering as suggested by Gyro. She and the Alfred have complemented each other wonderfully.

I'm just about finished with Book 1, perhaps another 4- or 5-weeks. So almost a year, especially if you count the approximately 8 or 9 weeks I was traveling and couldn't play or go to my lesson. My instructor has told me repeatedly over the past 6-weeks that I "don't sound like a beginner anymore." So I'm encouraged by that, even if I'm only still in Book 1.

I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of piano happiness.

p.s. I was most impressed with Ingrid starting in Book 3 after only 1-1/2-years. I'm thinking 2- to 2-1/2-years for me to get to that point.
_________________________
Rod Michael
Mason & Hamlin AA, SN 93018
Yamaha CGP-1000, SN UCNZ01010
Zoom Q3



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#1004860 - 01/14/09 12:56 PM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
FormerFF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 476
Loc: Roswell, GA, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by hmann:
I got my piano yesterday! I was somehow busy not to write here ;\)

I'd like to disagree with Gyro. I'm a computer scientist myself and I've developed some really bad typing technique. I have tried to learn touch typing, but I noticed that it seems to be too hard to learn out from what I've got used with. I guess that same applies to piano playing that you should know from the beginning what you do and how you do it.

Btw, is there anyone doing lots of work with computer and then playing piano? I'd like to know if there is anything to consider when you use your hands (and wrists) a lot. I have quite ergonomic desktop at work, but I guess I should be worried about some strain issues.

But now that I have the piano and absolutely no idea what to do with it (since I'm still waiting the Alfred's book), I think I'll start with Alfred's and try to start searching for a teacher. I think that's something that doesn't necessarily happen in a day or two.

hmann [/b]
I'm a software developer by trade, and was having some problems a few years ago with my right wrist, for things other than the piano. What really helped me was to get rid of my mouse and get a trackball, which I use with my left hand. The trick to making a trackball effective is to set the buttons as if they were for the opposite hand. In my case, I use the trackball with my left hand but use the left button as the click and drag button, and the right button to bring up properties menus. That way, I use my ring finger to press the button when selecting or dragging, which leaves my thumb and forefinger free to roll the ball. I find I have much better control rolling the ball that way.
_________________________
Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.

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#1004861 - 01/15/09 03:32 AM Re: Oops, I bought a piano.
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Please get the CD, too. That way you'll be able to hear the tunes played properly. You can learn a lot about note duration by looking at the printed score while you listen.

I actually prefer self-teaching until you've worked your way thru Alfred's Level One. That book does cover basic posture and hand positioning and teaches theory in the context of learning a tune. If you prefer getting a teacher right away, please consider not scheduling a lesson every week. Playing piano should be a means of self-discovery and self-expression. Having to complete assignments every week will inhibit your exploration of you.

Yes it's a good idea to study, it's also a good idea to explore. If you're feeling pressure to complete assignments, you won't be comfortable just playing whatever comes into your mind. That means that you won't actually be playing *you*.

Europeans sometimes think that they have to earn the right to play what they want to play. That's nonsense. You should be playing what you want to play from day one. Studying can give you more resources for self-expression, but you also need time.

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