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#1023568 - 12/13/04 08:35 AM Anybody want to play better?
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
I think I can speak for everyone, when I answer enthusiastically, "YES!!!" I have come up with a very simple solution. Find someone who plays piano really well and go and listen to them. If this doesn't inspire you, I don't know what will.
I was fortunate to meet a fellow PW member at a local piano dealership this past Saturday. This nice gentlemen had volunteer to help me with my ongoing search for "the piano". As a beginner, it's hard to really hear what each of these pianos can do, so having an accomplish pianist play them is very helpful. Anyhoo, Chris W and his wife met us and he put on an amazing "performance" to help demonstrate these pianos. I was floored with how incredible he played and afterward I went home and started tackling Beethoven's Pathetique out of my new "Library of Easy Piano Classics".I've pulled this out a couple of times in the past and have given up immediately, but for some reason this time I could make something out of it. I had somehow made a small leap in my skill. I think I owe it to Chris W for his inspirational playing.
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

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#1023569 - 12/13/04 08:49 AM Re: Anybody want to play better?
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
Cool. Maybe Chris W will volunteer to travel the country for the PW Adult Beginner Inspiration Tour 2005. It's great that he had such a positive effect on your playing.

On the flipside, hearing accomplished musicians really juxtaposes my lack of skill. Oh well. Back to my method books. ;\)
markb--The Count of Casio

#1023570 - 12/13/04 09:02 AM Re: Anybody want to play better?
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
I agree Jon. Someone recently sight read a piece and they improvised on top of the sight reading. I was floored! She's the type of lady who frequently accompanies at church (although she's not the regular accompaniest - *she* was in awe of the regular!!!).

She's also the type who can't play unless there's a score in front of her. This boggles my mind. She can play without a single glance at her hands as they fly all over the keyboard, but without a score, she couldn't play happy birthday. Amazing and sad at the same time. Sad because her teachers didn't round out her education. \:\(

Anyway, I could see what it's possible for me to achieve in a few years and I was inspired.

#1023571 - 12/13/04 10:16 AM Re: Anybody want to play better?
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
My teacher was trying to show me some improvisation last weekend on "My Heart Will Go On". She would look at the lead sheet and just add all this stuff
to it . Very cool. Someday..?..
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

#1023572 - 12/13/04 10:27 AM Re: Anybody want to play better?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
that's where a solid grasp of theory can really come in handy..

I agree, watching and listening to others who are way above your level is always inspriational, makes you want to run home and practice!

"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

#1023573 - 12/18/04 01:50 AM Re: Anybody want to play better?
Alanjazz. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 84
Loc: England
As someone who plays jazz I have a great deal of agreement with jdsher. My slight reservation is the possibility of trying to emulate a pianist that is of world renown and has never been even matched by others of great talent.

The have been some true genius jazz players like Erroll Garner and Art Tatum. They could perform miracles at the keyboard. It is therefore best to attempt some of their technique without getting to the point of losing one's confidence.

I suppose this analogy will apply to classical piano too.

I'm relating to melodic vintage jazz C.1920-1970's, not some weird modern misuse of the words, music/jazz.



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