Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 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!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

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

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* 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
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1072545 - 06/25/08 04:09 AM When does this all click?
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
As an adult beginner, with a very good ear for music, I have been reading, practicing, listening and devoting many hours of practice to my piano.

I can play quite a few tunes by ear and on the other hand I like and prefer to read music and work my way through beginner scores in The Pianist magazine. Unfortunately a lot of work I seem to put into one particular score doesn't really seem to serve any benefits when I move to a new score.

When does all this click into place and become more fluent. Is there the possibility that I'm never going to be a competent player who relies on printed music and that my play by ear just gets better as my ear is stronger?

Top
(ads P/S)

Sauter Pianos

#1072546 - 06/25/08 07:19 AM Re: When does this all click?
Debbie57 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Kansas
Tough question. Kudos to you for having that good ear for music. My thought is that it is difficult to "see benefits" as you learn new pieces. It seems to be collective. As you learn and play new pieces you really are adding to your skill set. I think the light dawns on an individual basis. When we each have a point of realization that we have made gains in one area or another that might have first seemed like stumbling blocks.

Never say never! There is a lot to be said for being able to manage the printed music. On the flip side, I stand in awe of those folks here who do fantastic improv. I guess I want it all:). To be able to do both. However I recognize it will take time...time...and even more time.
_________________________
A Hero is one who hangs on one minute longer. Author: Unknown

Top
#1072547 - 06/25/08 07:56 AM Re: When does this all click?
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
Debbie57, if I were to start on a daily basis working through all the scales, broken chords, and arpeggios on the technique side of things are there any benefits from knowing them all?

Top
#1072548 - 06/25/08 08:25 AM Re: When does this all click?
Debbie57 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Kansas
Beats the heck out of me \:\) I don't do any of these things and I'm sure I'm paying for it in some way or another. I'm an adult re-learner (age 51) who started lessons last October. I never learned much during the couple of years of childhood lessons.

I'm going to be shot at sunrise, I'm sure - but I'm gathering technique in the pieces I work on for my lessons. There will be little aside practice things in the book like scales and cords in their various keys. My teacher knows I have no desire to be bogged down in theory and have no intentions of playing for anything other than my pure pleasure. To do that, she's giving me what I need. Paths to sight read above the ledger lines, correct counting, perhaps better fingering etc.

Actually, I think scales are fun and I love broken cords but they are not on any to-do list when I practice.

I'm 100% postive somebody else will show up and have a much better response than I did, since it seems to be nothing more than "playing the Debbie way"

Debbie
_________________________
A Hero is one who hangs on one minute longer. Author: Unknown

Top
#1072549 - 06/25/08 08:51 AM Re: When does this all click?
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4380
Loc: Jersey Shore
How long have you been playing Ragtime?

I think it takes a few years of consistant practice to get anywhere.

I have practiced 2-3 hours a day, everyday for the past 18 months and I'm still a terrible hack, but I still see progress.

Top
#1072550 - 06/25/08 09:05 AM Re: When does this all click?
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Somnetimes I think it will never click. But then I look back at the music I've learned over the past few years and compare it to the music I am learning now, and then it becomes apparent that I've made great strides. Although, on a day-to-day basis, it does seem frustrating at times.

My sister-in-law can play by ear, and it is a great gift to be sure. But after listening to her performing several pieces in a row, there is a "sameness" to all of them. She can't read a note of music, so I believe she relies on some form of muscle memory movement in the left hand. And this is what makes her music so "unremarkable."

Hang it there. It will happen!!

My best,
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

Top
#1072551 - 06/25/08 09:54 AM Re: When does this all click?
Cyborg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/05
Posts: 270
Loc: Charleston, SC
I don't know how long you've been at the piano but I ask myself this question alot as I'm sure almost every adult student does. I think Mark has a point that it takes a few years just to get anywhere. Then you realize you still aren't there. At some point reality sets in that you will never be content on where you are at on your musical journey and you will always want to go somewhere else. When I first started I had three advanced pieces that was my goal in taking lessons and practicing. That was it! Everything in between was needed filler to get to that point. I figured if I could perform those pieces, then my piano training would be complete. Thank goodness my mindset has changed over time. I still want to learn those three advanced pieces but it's no longer the endgame for me.

Back to the topic at hand, I've been at the piano for about 19 months now. I'm still not that good but I have improved drastically. I've been working through a specific book of music (intermediate level) for about a year. When I first started working through the book at only six months of lessons it was way over my head and I questioned the sadistic nature of my teacher. It would take me nearly three months to learn the first piece assigned and I was frustrated as could be. Then the second piece was two months of work with alot of frustration on my part. I figured that's the way it was going to be with this book (slow, steady and frustrating). Then the time required became shorter and shorter to learn the harder pieces in the book. At the beginning of June I learned one piece in two weeks and my current piece is approaching the two week mark and is right on track. Even though I don't notice it so much day in and day out, I've made alot of progress in one year of lessons and practice.

The bottom line is that if you keep at it, you will get better!
_________________________
I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

Top
#1072552 - 06/25/08 09:57 AM Re: When does this all click?
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
Kathleen, I think you have hit the nail on the head with your comment .... "My sister-in-law can play by ear, and it is a great gift to be sure. But after listening to her performing several pieces in a row, there is a "sameness" to all of them."

Last night I was at our daughters end of term concert and the pianist who played was superb. He played from manuscript and although the songs were all 'Sound of Music' style material, each and everyone of them had its own appeal. He executed them all superbly. The main reason I was there, apart from being there to see my daughter was that the same player is taking me on as his pupil in September.

So from the last few responses I have come to the conclusion that I am learning everyday, I will get there with lots of practice and lastly, it takes time!

Top
#1072553 - 06/25/08 10:00 AM Re: When does this all click?
Donna R. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 794
My experience is that dramatic clicks don't happen - they're more like little whispers that are so quiet sometimes you don't even notice them. For instance on Sunday I started learning a new, albeit short piece that would have seemed really difficult at the start of this year - in fact when I read it through I thought it would be a bit of a stretch but I'd have a go at it anyway. It has two voices in the left hand throughout - not very difficult, but challenging for me. To my great surprise last night I was able to play it through from beginning to end without any stumbles, though there are still some dramatic tempo variations to be smoothed out. So something has clicked, but I wouldn't have realized it if I hadn't picked up this particular piece.

Top
#1072554 - 06/25/08 11:10 AM Re: When does this all click?
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
Donna, have you had formal lessons or are you working alone?

Top
#1072555 - 06/25/08 11:34 AM Re: When does this all click?
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
I agree that it is very subtle. Sometimes I go for weeks without seeing any improvement but then something happens and I get a eureka moment!

I wish I could play by ear....great for you!!

Having said that I do agree with comments that sometimes play-by-ear-ers tend to follow a similar pattern. I think both playing by ear and from the score would be ideal. If I had to choose, I'd pick being a great sightreader....
(probably just laziness in that I'd rather not have to make something up when there's so much great music already written...)

Do you record your playing? If not, try recording something and then after a couple of weeks go by, record it again. You'll be very pleased with the difference.

How many times does my teacher say. "I know you probably don't hear the difference but....."

I've been working on sightreading more lately and just Monday I picked up Moonlight (1st mvt.) again at my teacher's suggestion to relearn it over the summer break. I tried this about a year ago and was very disheartened at how I couldn't remember anything or sightread it after not having played it for a couple of years. Monday I played right through - albeit slowly and choppily but after one day the first half is much smoother and I'm hoping that in a couple of weeks I will have it back to where it was before and then in another couple have it more polished than the first time.

I believe that sightreading is key to learning new repertioire faster - even if you plan to memorize later. It also, as I'm discovering, helps when trying to revive forgotten pieces.
_________________________
It's the journey not the destination..

Top
#1072556 - 06/26/08 01:44 AM Re: When does this all click?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
This thread makes for a very interesting read. One answer to 'clicking' is to find material to sight read that is both enjoyable and well below the level your working to. Many students only want to play music they are familiar with. The opposite should be the case. There are books and books of music out there that are well within even the beginner's ability. Learn to enjoy your own journey through the repertoire.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1072557 - 06/26/08 04:41 AM Re: When does this all click?
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
kbk, is what you are saying that I should be working through the many books I have that are not beyond me - one example being the Hal Leanord 'Note for Note' series (The Beatles, The Carpenters etc) that really match what is heard on the original recording.

Top
#1072558 - 06/26/08 04:50 AM Re: When does this all click?
totallyclassics Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 144
Loc: Houston,Tx
I don't know about you Ragtime Clown, but I am very much a "leap and plateau" type of learner! I sail along, albeit for only brief periods, at records pace, only to sit in stagnant water for eternity before I have another leap! Also, I think it depends on where you are in your learning....Beginniners can move rapidly quickly, or super slow until they master to read notes, obtain good hearing, etc. At some point I think we all do that! Now, it moves a bit faster because I can play more thngs now, AND because I can play more on my own without the guidance from a teacher to get me to the end of one measure! At the same time, as we accelerate, the music gets harder, and then.......there we are again, moving at a snail's pace! So, all in all it depends on YOU, your learning style, your teacher, if you have one...and your enthusiasm.... My teacher once said, when I asked how long it was going to take to be able to play decently...She said, "Your entire life......we will BOTH be learning for our entire lives! She said, "So, enjoy the journey, it will last your lifetime!"

Hang in there! Good luck!
_________________________
"The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul."
- Johann Sebastian Bach

Top
#1072559 - 06/26/08 05:32 AM Re: When does this all click?
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
totallyclassics, I fear I may be like you!

I will reach certain peaks but within a few weeks I force myself to get better, so I remain stagnant for a few weeks before I get a sudden burst of release from a new piece, a new technique or whatever.

Top
#1072560 - 06/26/08 09:02 AM Re: When does this all click?
Donna R. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 794
Hi Ragtime Clown,

I've taken about five months of formal lessons but have been working alone for about 10 months now.

Donna

Top
#1072561 - 06/26/08 11:24 AM Re: When does this all click?
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
Same here, lessons for about six months and my teacher emigrated. I've got a new teacher lined up for September but I'm not totally convinced yet.

Top
#1072562 - 06/26/08 02:22 PM Re: When does this all click?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ragtime Clown:
kbk, is what you are saying that I should be working through the many books I have that are not beyond me - one example being the Hal Leanord 'Note for Note' series (The Beatles, The Carpenters etc) that really match what is heard on the original recording. [/b]
Not quite. You should go through playing music you've never heard before. Many of you forget that until 100 years ago, other than seeing the performer in person, your only knowledge came from the sheet. That is the point of sheet music - transmission not reproduction.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1072563 - 06/26/08 08:14 PM Re: When does this all click?
Alan T. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 100
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Hi, Ragtime, and Debbie57:

I always wondered why scales and arps. I studied for several years as a child then again as an adult. I asked my teacher as an adult and she pointed out the obvious: There are only 2 ways to move on the keyboard, steps (scales) and leaps (arpeggios). When you master all the scales and arpeggios you can move any way you want to. You are doing the same thing learning whatever printed music you learn, putting patterns into your 'finger memory'. After some time period, different from person to person, you will realize the wealth of ability that you have amassed and now have a tremendous technical ability to let loose the music that is within you.
_________________________
Piano Tuner
Schimmel 174T

Top
#1072564 - 06/26/08 08:56 PM Re: When does this all click?
Debbie57 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Kansas
Alan,

Really nice post. I made kind of a strange choice when I finished my first book. I opted to stay at pretty much the same level in the next one. I didn't feel solid. My teacher has taken the opportunity to start teaching me improv. How to add more, for instance, to the base to make a richer sound. It speaks to what you mention about eventually being able to let loose with the music in you. Now I'm real new to this, but I love it. I'm picking up the cord progressions in each piece through the practice parts given then she showing me how to roll deeper cords and add in extra notes. Even something as simple as a single high C, when played in an octave stretch enriches my pretty low skill level material. I'm still very dependent on reading - but this added element is a true joy, even with my very limited experience with it.

Debbie
_________________________
A Hero is one who hangs on one minute longer. Author: Unknown

Top
#1072565 - 06/26/08 11:25 PM Re: When does this all click?
David Kirkham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 159
Loc: Provo, Utah
I have been playing now for almost 4 years. I practice almost every day for about an hour. I miss very, very few days.

I can BARELY read music now. I doubt I could sight read a beginners book. I play pretty advanced music (Chopin Nocturnes, a Ballade, and other pieces) but reading music is beyond me for now. But I keep trying. I just plink out the notes and repeat, repeat, repeat, practice, practice. Somehow my fingers remember the notes over time and I finally play a new piece.

Frankly, I am happy now that I don't have to think about a note when I see it. But I can't read 2 notes together and forget 3. One day I will make it. But, I love the battle with myself.

David
\:\) \:\) \:\)
_________________________
David Kirkham
Kirkham Motorsports
www.kirkhammotorsports.com
I bought my piano from www.pianocraft.net

Top
#1072566 - 06/27/08 08:37 AM Re: When does this all click?
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 612
Loc: Louisiana
Hey RC,

If you have an interest, consider jumping into something new or different for a bit, be it boogie woogie, or whatever.

It's all good, but diversity got me feeling a lot better about my clicks, particularly if some types of music just felt "right" to me.

Yep, I sometimes hear that same "sameness" too that you mention with your sister-in-law... but playing maybe a ballad, then a hymn or some 12 bar or boogie or something upbeat, and so on, or just mixing up the bass lines would probably ease that up a bit. Amazing how listening to others teach us the dos and don'ts \:\)
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







Top
#1072567 - 06/27/08 11:37 AM Re: When does this all click?
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
I have to say, this has been one of the more thought-provoking threads, for me, that I have followed for some time here.

Nothing further to add, yet, other than to say that several of you have already said what I would have, had you not beaten me to it.
_________________________

Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/

Top

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
What's Hot!!
8 Live Ragtime Piano Players on the Cape!
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Lindblad Steinway rebuilt pianos
by brahms
10/23/14 02:54 AM
Got the VPC1! Hooked up the Ivory! Played Brahms.
by TwoSnowflakes
10/23/14 02:13 AM
Pianos of Downton Abbey
by Almaviva
10/22/14 11:58 PM
Learning a piece under a deadline, good results?
by ChopinLives81
10/22/14 10:05 PM
Gors Spangenberg
by PhilipInChina
10/22/14 09:28 PM
Who's Online
84 registered (AZNpiano, ando, Alux, 19 invisible), 975 Guests and 13 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76620 Members
42 Forums
158434 Topics
2326650 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

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 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission