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#1078492 - 11/10/08 11:38 AM What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
QuackersMcDuck Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/08
Posts: 6
Loc: CT
What's holding you back in your playing that you could have started studying seriously sooner?

E.g. sight reading, practicing scales, etc.

For me, I wish I'd started ear training sooner.

I haven't really been playing piano long enough (only a month and a half) to have anything technique-based that I know I should have started sooner for it, but with guitar I know I should have started practicing scales and using a metronome sooner (actually I still haven't started it very much).
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After they amputated his toe he joked about having to learn to count in base 19

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#1078493 - 11/10/08 11:49 AM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
Mati Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 1276
Loc: Lodz, Poland
Definitely doing technical chores - scales, arpeggios, chords, cadences and others. I'm still clueless when it comes to think with patterns and not single notes, which is especially cumbersome when playing fat chords I have to read in a note by note fashion.


M.
_________________________
Mateusz Papiernik
My youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Maticomp
"One man can make a difference" - Wilton Knight
Kawai CN21 (digital), Henryk Yamayuri Kawai NX-40 (grand)

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#1078494 - 11/10/08 11:56 AM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11183
Loc: Canada
I wish I had started 40 years sooner and with a teacher, and not with the one I had for six months who thought my lesson time was the occasion for her to cook dinner in the other room. Posture, knowing what to with hands, arms, fingers by being guided through it. Scales: check - four to go. ;\)

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#1078495 - 11/10/08 12:55 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I had nine yrs. of classical lessons as
a child, from 5 reputable teachers, and
never once in those 9 yrs. did any of
them ever mention to me that when playing with
the score, you should not look at your
hands as much as possible. This is the
single most important thing in playing
and is where all other skills develop
from. I did dismally during those 9 yrs.,
and it must have been very obvious
to all the teachers that my problems
stemmed from looking at my hands when
playing with the score. Yet, never once
in those 9 yrs. was I told to not look
at my hands when playing with the score.

When I restarted as an adult, after quitting
playing for 20 yrs., I continued looking
at my hands when playing with the score,
with dismal results. Only fairly recently
did I discover this most important aspect
of playing, and it has transformed my
playing.

This most important aspect of playing
is remains hidden from students. It might
at best be in the fine print of a few
method books, and most teachers won't
mention it.

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#1078496 - 11/10/08 03:01 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17699
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Interesting question and thread. \:\)

I think I would be better at playing faster if I had worked on scales.

Does that mean I wish I had worked on scales earlier? Not really... I made the conscious decision that I'd rather spend my practice time playing the music I love than doing scales. I guess as long as I recognize the consequences of making that decision, it's okay. :p
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Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1078497 - 11/10/08 03:06 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
quiescen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 215
Loc: San Diego
Well, the one technique that's helped me (and my students) more than any other has been the open position chord.

You can just do so much with it. My only regret is I didn't start out using it sooner.

-----------------------------------
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com
_________________________
Edward Weiss
Quiescence Music
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1078498 - 11/10/08 03:25 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
I haven't read the rest of the thread, but top on my list is a faster chromatic scale fingering, one that only uses the thumb on every other white note thus mostly using 123 1234, and so on…
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Piano Teacher

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#1078499 - 11/10/08 03:27 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gyro:
This most important aspect of playing
is remains hidden from students. It might
at best be in the fine print of a few
method books, and most teachers won't
mention it.
Most teachers do mention it, a lot. It is one of the most frequent "problems" mentioned by students, basically when and how often is it OK to look at the hands…
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1078500 - 11/10/08 04:49 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
shir Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/05/08
Posts: 34
Loc: The Hague, netherlands
Hello QueckersMcDuck,

Perhaps it's sight reading. I still can't! My second teacher gave me lessons, only sight reading. I didn't make any progress, so I quit. But it would be handy I guess. Theory & solfege also.
This is what I miss. Not the answer on your question. What I should 've learned earlier: technique, to feel the connection with the piano...

Greetings, Shirley

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#1078501 - 11/10/08 05:13 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
Euphonatrix Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 518
Loc: Hessen, Germany
Interesting question. Some points come to mind:
- sight reading,
- being able to move only the few isolated muscles needed and leaving the others relaxed
_________________________
"The creative process is nothing but a series of crises."
(Isaac B. Singer)


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#1078502 - 11/10/08 09:19 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
pianoluvr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/07
Posts: 172
 Quote:
For me, I wish I'd started ear training sooner.
I am very curious about this. I have had virtually no ear training whatsoever up to this point in my musical career (and I played both guitar and flute before giving them up for the vastly superior piano). How beneficial would it be to try and incorporate these? And do any of you have suggestions for how to do so? (P.S. I hope this isn't considered "hijacking" the thread)

As for me, my greatest wish would be to have started when I was 4 as opposed to 14 (or something of the like). Also, having more theory in my regiment would be great, although I've tried to remedy the situation recently.
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Do or do not, there is no try.

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#1078503 - 11/10/08 09:42 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
maybe more exercise with scales and arpeggios. i was impatient with those stuff and rather chose to learn some music instead. but once i started to take lessons, my teacher was often talking about me lacking those trainings, when such weakness of mine would show up when i play some scale or arpeggio passages in music.

i still don't do such exercises much, because i often run out of time working on pieces for lesson.

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#1078504 - 11/10/08 10:02 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
signal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/07
Posts: 98
Loc: Florida
Scales and Arpeggios, all keys, major, and all three minor (natural, harmonic, melodic).
_________________________
Kawai US-50 52" Upright

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#1078505 - 11/11/08 04:48 AM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by quiescen:
Well, the one technique that's helped me (and my students) more than any other has been the open position chord.

You can just do so much with it. My only regret is I didn't start out using it sooner.

-----------------------------------
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com [/b]
Sounds strangely like a "sales pitch" to me . . .can't quite figure out why

Like some others my biggest problem and regret in holding me back in my playing that I "could have started studying seriously sooner" (as you say) is that I should have started studying seriously sooner - like decades sooner. To think that I could be on the verge of retiring from my job as Principal Cocktail Lounge Pianist at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC about now!

As far as playing scales, arpeggios, etc. goes I don't - there are just too many pieces and too little time (and energy) - I play pieces - practice scales and you get real good at playing scales - then what? - enter Scales-Playing competition?

Regards (but wishing won't make it so, so back to my "pieces"), JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1078506 - 02/09/09 01:23 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
Ovaltine Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 102
Loc: California
Theory. Starting as an adult, I think teachers did not want to put me through theory, thinking I'd get bored, rebel and just not be into it.

In fact, once I realized there was a rhyme and reason--structure, to most all pieces from classical to pop, I understood the music as more than just random notes miraculously thrown onto a page and somehow sounding good. Sightreading became an interesting exercise, and I started appreciating how and why the different styles sound different. I became more of a musician and less of an automaton who hit keys in the right sequence.

And yes, I should have, and still should, do more scales than I do. :-)
_________________________
Estonia L190 #6826

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#1078507 - 02/09/09 02:01 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
caracantabile Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 65
Loc: USA
1) Sight reading
2) Sight reading
3) Sight reading
4) Fingering
5) Fingering

/sigh

Having ignored both largely when I was young and rash, I ended up being unable to play advanced pieces past a certain speed error-free, and still have terrible habits with fingering that I'm fixing. It also takes me forever to learn and play pieces because my reading is horrendous.

On the bright side of things, I will never question the "need" to learn some of the more "boring" parts of piano ever again.
_________________________
- C.C. -
"It is dreadful when something weighs on your mind, not to have a soul to unburden yourself to. You know what I mean. I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Chopin

Currently memorizing for class: Debussy Prelude #8

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#1078508 - 02/09/09 02:04 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
bluekeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 1337
Answer part 1 (Classical)

I have to go with more reading/not looking at hands. We oldsters face a big dilemma on that subject. It takes years to reliably reach out and plunk notes 2 octaves away without looking away from the page. It's easier (for many of us) to memorize and look at the keys. That lets us enjoy a more interesting repertoire sooner, but limits us to playing only the pieces we've memorized and maintained at any given time.

Answer part 2 (Popular)

Improvising and playing by ear. For a lot of the reasons listed above, your popular rep is going to be very limited if you memorize every note or play from paper. Good popular players can take a simple tune or progression and expand on it endlessly and on the fly. That's something I wish I could do and am only now starting to try.

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#1078509 - 02/09/09 03:56 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
rvf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 4
Loc: Oslo, Norway
 Quote:
Originally posted by quiescen:
Well, the one technique that's helped me (and my students) more than any other has been the open position chord.

You can just do so much with it. My only regret is I didn't start out using it sooner.

-----------------------------------
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com [/b]

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#1078510 - 02/09/09 03:59 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
rvf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 4
Loc: Oslo, Norway
quiescen writes:
"Well, the one technique that's helped me (and my students) more than any other has been the open position chord."
What is open position chord ?

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#1078511 - 02/09/09 04:08 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
Babs_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 321
Loc: Gulf Coast
I wish I had learned to do the hand lifts during the sections of the pieces that would benefit from them sooner.

It was only in the last year I started to lift my hands off the keyboard while playing particular pieces.

I have now discovered that learning to do the proper hand lifts while playing does alot to relieve the stress in the hands while playing the piano. It is an excellent way to do a quick stretch in the fingers before you place your hands back on the keyboard to continue playing the piece.

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#1078512 - 02/09/09 05:14 PM Re: What are some piano techniques you wish you'd started learning sooner?
waldstein11448998 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 130
Loc: Connecticut
1. I need to work on my trills. Not only executing them properly, but how to play them in relation to the music. For example, a Mozart trill is probably played differently than a Chopin or Rachmaninov trill.

2. Not sure exactly what it's called, but the ability to play passages like 3 eighth notes over 2 eighth notes. I will really need this skill to play Chopin, where he writes weird things like 11 over 6, 7 over 6, 8 over 3, etc.

3. The ability to bring out the melody and keep the accompaniment softer.

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