Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

the Forums & Piano World

This Search is powered by Google
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Grotrian Concert
for Pianoteq out now
Piano Buyer Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyers Guide
Who's Online
73 registered (barbaram, BachToTheFuture, AJB, 8opus, ando, beeboss, 9 invisible), 1485 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1060762 - 01/07/09 02:36 PM An idea how to learn
erz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 85
I have a new idea how to learn piono.

Normally, I try to play music only from a sheet.

Maybe It is better to learn a piece by hard and later start to read it from a sheet.

I can learn, for example, a song with both hands. When I'm able to play it I start to read it from a sheet and I add a metronome.

I don't know. Maybe it is obvious and everyone learns this way. Therefore, I want to ask if this method would be harmful or not.

What is your opinion?

I know that there are notmal people that play music without knowing how to read it. But it is not good, isn't it?

Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1060763 - 01/07/09 02:55 PM Re: An idea how to learn
BarbVA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 166
I'm new myself, but have to ask. If you learned it first and then tried to read it, how would you know if you were playing it the same way it is written? And how would you know you weren't teaching yourself to read the notes wrong because of this? Just curious.

#1060764 - 01/07/09 03:14 PM Re: An idea how to learn
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
I am currently working to improve my reading and rhythm.

I learned to play Fur Elise (the whole thing) by painstakingly writing in every single note-ouch! I would play a few measures until it was commited to memory then learn a few more until I had the whole thing memorized.

That was before youtube. now if I want to learn to play something I will look it up on youtube and just copy what they do.

Some people might say this is a bad idea. But, I think it is a way to learn new songs and keep you motivated until you can learn to read. But make sure you don't use it as a crutch. Make sure you continue to work on your reading b/c if you learn to read well then you will have no limitations.

The good thing about learning it first and then reading it is that it all those funny little symbols will make sense and you will have something to associate them with. I would get a book on how to read musuc to make sure you are interpreting them correctly.

One other thing. Since I didn't know how to read rhythm well at the time I learned fur elise I had to listen to it to get the rhytym right. this was not something I was able to do without a recording... So I would be careful of that as well.

Now, since I was never taught rhythm correctly, I decided while I am working on that with my new teacher, I decided to stop playing what I have learned previously so as not to continue bad habits. I will start playing them again when I feel confident with my rhythm.

Personally I feel whatever it takes for you to learn is a good thing-just be careful not to learn any bad habits. That's my rule of thumb.
“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

#1060765 - 01/07/09 03:21 PM Re: An idea how to learn
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 10839
Loc: Georgia, USA
If I understand erz’s post correctly, he/she is learning to play the piece by ear first and then learn to read the sheet music of the same piece.

If you know the original key the piece/tune/song is written in, I think this is entirely feasible; if the key is correct, the by ear notes and written notes have to be close.

The way I see it, when I play a tune/song by ear, it is like “paraphrasing” a written quote. Reading the music directly as it is written is like “quoting” word for word what is written.

As a general rule, a tune played by ear is never an exact replica of the original piece/tune/song, although it may sound very similar (and possibly better ;\) ).

Take care,

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

#1060766 - 01/07/09 03:48 PM Re: An idea how to learn
erz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 85
For example: there are tutorials and programs like "MagicScore Maestro".
Ofcourse at the begginig and when I need I look at a sheet.

I can play easy songs from a sheet but now I'm struggling with sixteenth notes and LH which is rather difficult so I want to learn it in the easiest way

Some teacher say that you should not count but learn a melody of notes, some say that you have to count. A lot of teachers ask students to learn music by reading sheets. I don't know what I should do. You know what I mean.

Another thing is that in principle a beginner can learn how to play nocturne op.9 no.2(my fovorite) but I would sound neither beautiful nor horrible. Ofcourse I don't want to learn it now.(maybe after 40 years of playing piano) But maybe learning by hard easy song wiht LH is a good idea.

I try only to find the most efficient ways to learn( I will be able to have a teacher maybe in 3 months)

Something that I have written may be stupin and strange but understand me. I'm obssesed with piano and I even can't have lessons!

#1060767 - 01/07/09 04:09 PM Re: An idea how to learn
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
I completely understand. There are many different methods to learning and alot of different opinions on what is the "right" way to learn.

Sometimes we have to take our time and build up to things. Like 16th notes and sometimes we really have to be patient with ourselves and the process.

Remember: Everything is difficult before it is easy. So, you might have to spend a little extra time with those 16th notes and the LH.

If you see a method book or software that appeals to you then try it out.

I had alot of trouble with rhythm ended up getting a book from amazon that my teacher is now having me work with. I use the metroname and say Ta to the rhythm lines taht are in the book. This has helped me tremendously. She also said the once I start working on some songs that I should go through the song and memorize the rhythm first. I thought that a great idea.
maybe that is something you might want to try...
“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

#1060768 - 01/07/09 04:24 PM Re: An idea how to learn
erz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 85
Thanks. I feel better.

I will try to find a balance between learning by hard and learnig from a sheet.

#1060769 - 01/07/09 06:11 PM Re: An idea how to learn
RobM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 112
Loc: Plymouth, Devon, UK
I agree with Kymber - youTube can be a fantastic resource, providing almost endless amounts of material to potentially mimic.....but this should be balanced with learning to read from sheet music as well.

As long as you are content playing a 'version' of a piece that is not necessarily note-for-note perfect compared to the written score, I see no harm whatsoever in learning pieces by ear. In fact, I'd go as far as to recommend doing so occasionally - it is a great way of training your ear.

However, I speak from experience when I say that I would NOT recommend learning by ear if you later intend to learn the same piece from the score. In cases such as this, you'll often find that you've trained your brain and your muscle memory how to play certain passages slightly differently and then it will probably be a lot harder to re-train yourself to play it properly than if you simply started from scratch with the sheet music! For example, I taught myself 'Le Onde' by Einaudi entirely by ear, but I was playing a single note incorrectly for most phrases throughout the piece - so I was very very close to being note perfect. However, it took me months before I was able to train myself to play that particular note differently!
"All my life I've had one dream: to achieve my many goals." - Homer Simpson

My Videos: http://www.youtube.com/MastahUK

#1060770 - 01/08/09 05:49 PM Re: An idea how to learn
erz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 85

Now I know what to do.

#1060771 - 01/09/09 07:16 PM Re: An idea how to learn
bluekeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 1337
Some teachers say that you should not count but learn a melody of notes, some say that you have to count. A lot of teachers ask students to learn music by reading sheets. I don't know what I should do. You know what I mean.
Yes, I do know what you mean. The perplexing reality is that there's almost no approach that some teacher somewhere doesn't advocate. All you can do is pick a method and/or teacher that seems to have a good success rate and stick with it until you can figure out what works for you.

I've never been an ear player, but I recently made a 180 degree switch on whether to start by reading a piece or memorizing it. I was an early devotee of Chang, who advocates memorizing, and used to memorize all new pieces away from the piano. That enabled me to play an impressive number of pieces (for my level) from memory, but left me very poor at sight reading. My teacher tried to get me to read my pieces off the page, but I've never been able to do that as well as playing from memory.

For my last few pieces I've made a specific effort NOT to memorize. Throughout all the initial drilling I read off the page and try to minimize looking at my hands. I find the process takes longer than memorizing, but once I learn the piece I have the option of playing off the paper or from memory, which not only reduces repertoire maintenance, but improves sight reading ability.

I still end up memorizing, I just do it later in the process.

I don't know, some day I may go back to focusing on memorizing, but for now I think it's more effective to start by reading pieces.

Good luck with your piano journey!

#1060772 - 01/09/09 07:49 PM Re: An idea how to learn
gooddog Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 5419
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I have two problems with this approach.

1. You are imitating something you heard instead of interpreting the music yourself. Even when you add the score later, you will still be playing someone else's interpretation.

2. As you grow as a pianist, the music will become more and more difficult. Reading from the musical score without having heard the music is a skill that is essential, enjoyable and exciting. I believe it is next to impossible to learn harder pieces by ear unless you are an extremely gifted protege. If you are, wonderful! If not, you are sabotaging your ability to progress and may be cheating the music out of important details. Try learning a Bach fugue or Prokofiev sonata by ear. If you can do that, then go for it. Otherwise, work on the skill of learning from the score.
Best regards,


#1060773 - 01/09/09 11:08 PM Re: An idea how to learn
mr_super-hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4289
I'm also not liking this method. Instead, why not just reorganize it by learning at least a simple version of a tune as written and then improvising from that.

This way you not only will learn to read music as written (even if less advanced) and learn to improvise as well.... Kind of a 2 for 1 special sort of. \:\)


Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
Pierce Piano Atlas

Piano Summit 2017!
Piano Summit 2017!
Check out the itineraries!
Click for Details
Piano Summit 2017
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Does the Kawai CS-11 have a soft-close lid?
by Giin
02/20/17 02:04 AM
April 1, I'm performing in Carnegie Hall (not as a pianist)
by Orange Soda King
02/19/17 10:32 PM
Easy, but fast and energetic pieces?
by VijvalN
02/19/17 10:08 PM
Need Advice - May Purchase 16 Yr Old Nordiska
02/19/17 06:25 PM
My practice app of choice and how I use it
by JackMusic
02/19/17 06:24 PM
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Forum Stats
86,729 Registered Members
44 Forums
178,595 Topics
2,600,056 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

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 | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission