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#1090653 - 09/14/04 07:36 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
David: Glad to hear you are playing again. Do you have an instructor yet or are you just working on things by yourself?
I would recommend reading some of the posts in the piano forum before rushing out and buying a Kawai or Yamaha. There are so many awesome choices for about the same money.
Just my $.02
Jon
_________________________
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

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#1090654 - 09/14/04 01:39 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
 Quote:
I think in the next world I will personally find Beethoven and thank him for writing Fur Elise.
how funny, but i do agree, even though many people are tired of it. glad too that you are back playing. Moonlight's 3rd movement will be hard, and i won't attempt at it for quite a long time. i guess Tempest's 3rd movement is easier, at least i have tried 30 some bars of its opening.

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#1090655 - 09/14/04 05:21 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
David Kirkham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 159
Loc: Provo, Utah
Luckychwee,

I certainly did not mean to offend you. If I did I sincerely apologize. What I meant to say is I never really learned any "real" music until Fur Elise. (By real I mean a piece which is more than about a page long--if that--with nothing more than a few simple notes.)

I got bored with the "simple" songs and then decided if I was going to spend my time learning something, then I was going to learn something I wanted to listen to.

Keep up the interest and the motivation in the piano! You will not learn the piano and fingerings overnight--but time in your life will pass anyway, regardless of what you do. You can spend it watching Oprah or leaning to play the piano. Either way you will grow old. In a few years you will not remember any of the Oprah--but you may play Fantasy Impromptu if you really try. (No offence meant to Oprah fans here--my wife is one of them--I am just using that as an example. I hope you understand.)

Interestingly, the same goes for me in my professional life as well. It takes just as much time to make a Pinto as it does a Cobra...so why not make a Cobra when it is so much more beautiful?

jdsher,

Thank you for your kind words. I do not have an instructor yet, but I have seriously thought about getting one. I guess I have just been turned off by my old teachers and I am impossibly overworked at my business so I have just been teaching myself. I am, however, getting to the point I think I may be teaching myself bad habits! The worst part is I don't even know what they are.

I have read the posts on the pianos and am probably more confused than when I started. I do know they all say to go and play the pianos. I have played several of them now. The Chinese pianos, IMHO, are complete junk. Of course, they may not have been prepped very well at all by the dealers. The action is heavy and uneven. The bass is simply non-existent, the treble is harsh and overpowering.

My sister bought a "rebuilt" 100 year old Steinway and I refuse to play it as it is so bad. It is a real shame. Sticky keys, runs in the finish, notes that don't play, notes that fly away from your fingers...you name it.

I am not rushing out yet...of course, I think otherwise when I play on my piece of junk! Good thing I play at night when the stores are closed. Every night I promise myself I will buy a new piano the next day but cooler heads prevail by morning and I go and study some more. I am more interested in how a piano plays, than how it sounds. I, frankly, do not like the sound of the Kawai or the Yamaha...but I do like the actions. If the piano won't repeat fast enough on a trill, then who cares how it sounds because it can't make the sounds you want it to anyway.

If you have any suggestions on a piano, I am all ears! I would love to hear from you.

Signa,

You have only tried 30 bars??? Get back out there and try the rest!!! Keep it up! Thank you for your kind words. I will never tire of Fur Elise. I was playing it the other day at my parents house and my dad came walking into the room--late at night. When I finished he asked me if I would play it at his funeral...I guess it was a sombering moment and yet, somehow special as well. He had to listen to all of his kids play that a million times over the years so I guess he wants to hear it "one more time." I, of course, told him I was glad "I had a long time to keep practicing."

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

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#1090656 - 09/14/04 06:28 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
thanks, David, and i guess i will try the rest of Tempest (at least the 3rd movement) but maybe little later, as i have some pieces waiting to be finished now. how touching that moment was with your father! i do agree with you 100% about learning piano vs. doing some useless things with the same amount of time. life is short anyway, while music lives.

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#1090657 - 09/14/04 07:34 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Luckychwee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 231
Loc: Singapore
Hi David

Why you says that ??? haha and it's absolutely not at all offending and I take every piece of advice as "Good" advice. This is a good piano forum whereby most of you share how you learn, problems you face etc etc ...

By the way, I am really new but what do you actually think is time wasting ??? I got confusion here .. Do you mean that instead of practising the same song/fingering you proceed further much faster pace ?? But problem is that if you do so, will you be facing more problems later ?

Sorry for these questions and hope someone can explain to me.

Thanks & God Bless ...
_________________________
An apple a day keep the doctor away,
A smile a day chase your sadness away,
A chat a day drive all loneliness away,
And a prayer a day never keep our Jesus away
And let's praise our Lord, our King, our God all the way ....

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#1090658 - 09/14/04 08:12 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
David Kirkham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 159
Loc: Provo, Utah
Luckychwee,

I am glad I did not offend.

What do I think is wasting time? Well, at our shop we call it "wander mode." That is when your brain shuts off and you wander around wondering what to do but can't seem to motivate yourself to do anything.

Just sitting down and mindlessly watching the TV is, IMHO, quite a waste of life. I imagine 10 years from now, few will remember who won the NCAA championships, or the Superbowl, but in 10 years you can get a BS. MS. and Phd. in pretty much anything your heart desires. (Or learn the 3rd Movement of Moonlight Sonata). \:D

I guess all I am really trying to say is time will pass for all of us. Even Bill Gates only has 24 hours in the day and no more. What you do with your time is what you do with your life, because time is what life is made of.

You can learn anything you want in this life if you will try hard enough. I started learning Polish when I was 30 and now speak it quite fluently. When I first arrived in Poland EVERYONE tried to convince me to not even try as the language was so difficult to learn. It was an unbelieveably hard battle to learn that language. Nevertheless, today I am the only person I know who is not a native of Poland who speaks their language and can readily converse on technical/engineering subjects.

(I own a factory in Poland where we make our cars. I realized from the beginning if I could not speak their language I would be at the mercy of whatever they decided to tell me and the company would fail.)

I figure if I can learn Polish then those left hand 16th notes which are so intimidating can't really be all that bad. I just have to try harder. Just another mountain to conquer in the quest of life. I guess I simply love the challenge of the struggle more than arriving at the finish line.

Will I be facing more problems later with fingerings, bad habits...well, frankly, yes. But I would rather have "bad habits" (on the piano at least) than no habits. If I never start, then it is impossible to finish. I guess I will just view the bad habits later on as another mountain to climb.

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

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#1090659 - 09/14/04 10:22 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
David, I hope you'll be able to submit your full version of Fur Elise to the CD project. I'm only going to be able to submit the first easy section, and I'll be lucky if I can get the tempo up over 100 by the end of the month. \:\(

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#1090660 - 09/15/04 07:40 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
David: If you like the action of the Kawai, I would recommend trying a Shigeru Kawai. They have a beautiful sound and nice action as well. There was an interesting thread Dear Kawai experts that you should read regarding the Kawai action. However, what I would say is the most important thing about buying a new piano is that you play as many different brands as possible to figure out what you like.
Jon
_________________________
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

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#1090661 - 09/15/04 09:00 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
David Kirkham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 159
Loc: Provo, Utah
Bob,

I don't know anything about a CD! What are you guys cooking up? Sounds like fun. Of course, you would all shoot me if I recorded anything on the piano I have right now!

Jon,

Thank you for the comments. I will definately check the Shigeru Kawai out. Is it a different version of the Kawai? Thank you for the link. I am not sure if I can play 6 notes/second or not, but I certainly would not want to be limited if I ever could play more. I will go and play some more. Thank you so much for your comments.

Why is buying a piano so hard?

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

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#1090662 - 09/15/04 09:31 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
David, here's the forum devoted to the CD project:
CD Project Forum

And here's the thread in that forum that talks about the goal of the CD project:
Piano World Member\'s Recording Compilation Project, Vol. 1

If you don't want to record off your piano, maybe you can record to a disk on a digital at a local piano store. Better yet, record from a digitalized Yamaha or similar.

"Why is buying a piano so hard?"

I think you're making it hard. You're trying to find the perfect piano in too short a period of time while you're miserable with the piano you have. Do what I did.

I wasn't ready to buy the perfect piano for several reasons, so I found a decent used Samick 5'7" for $5,000 plus about $350 moving fees. While it's not perfect, it will certainly do me until I'm ready to find my "perfect" piano.

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#1090663 - 09/15/04 10:23 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
valarking Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 2331
Loc: Dallas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Muir:
David, I hope you'll be able to submit your full version of Fur Elise to the CD project. I'm only going to be able to submit the first easy section, and I'll be lucky if I can get the tempo up over 100 by the end of the month. \:\( [/b]
You've got to be kidding me.

Seems like opinions about Fur Elise are drastically different from the Pianist's Corner in here.
I think it's an overplayed grating mediocre little miniature botched by millions every year.

That may be a bit harsh but I've heard it so many times it's driving me crazy. My school librarian banned it from being played on the library piano.

While these statement may be personal opinion, I really don't think it is up there in terms of musical calibre when compared to some of the other things.

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#1090664 - 09/16/04 02:18 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Crépy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 1
Loc: France
Hello,
"Fur Elise" seems to be hard for a very beginner like me.
I started lessons with a teatcher 5 months ago and my first piece was a Menuet of JP Rameau.
It is a baroque piece, which fingerings are simple and intuitive. I worked 6 weeks on this piece to learn and memorize it properly.

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#1090665 - 09/16/04 06:49 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
"Seems like opinions about Fur Elise are drastically different from the Pianist's Corner in here."

Um, yeah. One of the many reasons I'm glad a forum separate from the advanced players was created.

""Fur Elise" seems to be hard for a very beginner like me."

I've been playing for a year and it's very difficult for me too. Getting the notes down for the first part wasn't too bad, but getting it up to tempo is going to be difficult. Definitely doable though.

I'm probably not going to be ready for the other two thirds for another year. What a challenge they are!

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#1090666 - 09/16/04 06:19 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
David Kirkham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 159
Loc: Provo, Utah
Valarking,

I have no doubt Fur Elise is, as you say, “botched by millions every day.” I can, no doubt, be counted among those of whom you speak. I believe that is what makes the piece so great—simple enough for those of us who are so clumsy with the “ivories” that we are only able to make some small semblance of what Beethoven had in mind when he wrote the piece, yet so undeniably captivating as to entice even those of us who are beginners to at least attempt the music of the great classical composers--and possibly even motivate us to move on to more "challenging" pieces. I know it has motivated me. I know of no other piece of music which has so universally captured the musical fingers of players across the world.

As for the piece being “grating [sic] mediocre little miniature” I must confess, I wish I had 1/1000th of the genius of Beethoven to have been able to have written such a wonderful piece--which has influenced countless pianists, and non-musicians alike—for 200 years now. I doubt anything I do in this life will be of much consequence 200 years from now.

As for Fur Elise being on the CD Project Forum, I can not think of a more representative piece of music that, perhaps, all of us have learned to play, however haltingly, and all of us have certainly heard. I believe the CD should be representative of all of our abilities as I do not believe many of us here are on the level of Listz in our ability to play the piano. Now, whether or not my unwieldy fingers would be called upon to do the job of playing Fur Elise is probably a call for someone far more skilled than I. Regardless, I believe a few beginners should be represented as well.

Of course, these are only my opinions and I certainly do not mean to offend.

Bob,

You are probably correct. I am making it too hard.

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

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#1090667 - 09/16/04 06:56 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i agree. Fur Elise is a universally known piece, despite some sophisticated pianists may think it is too trivial (for them at least). i only want to point out one fact though that even some famous pianists recorded this piece, such as Alfred Brendel.

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#1090668 - 09/16/04 07:25 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
HappyGoLucky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/03
Posts: 295
Loc: Arlington, VA
I happen to think Fur Elise is one of the greatest love songs of all time -- and I think that's why it has captured the imagination of millions and why it has had such "staying" power over the last century. I remember reading the fascinating story about this piece years ago. Apparently Beethoven was quite deaf when he wrote it -- he was living with his landlord and the landlord's daughter, named Theresa. Fur Elise was not published until after Beethoven's death. "Fur Theresa" was scribbled across the top of the music, but this was mis-read by the publisher who thought it said "Fur Elise" -- and so it was published as Fur Elise -- and few realize that it was written for Theresa. Whenever I play Fur Elise I picture deaf old Beethoven totally smitten with young beautiful Theresa -- I imagine his heart drumming the beat in one section, and think of Theresa scampering away after a brief encounter with the great composer. And for some reason I find the fact that Beethoven wrote it in the Key of "C major" to be very poignant -- one might say the "perfect" key -- with just a hint of melancholy at the end of the piece. I warm up with Fur Elise on occasion. Last week while riding the Metro to work I chuckled when a beautiful young woman answered her cell phone which was playing "Fur Elise." Love always survives -- and so will Fur Elise. One of my favorites.
Virginia (from Virginia)

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#1090669 - 09/16/04 07:40 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
"for some reason I find the fact that Beethoven wrote it in the Key of "C major" to be very poignant"

The reason it sounds a bit melancholy at the end is probably because it was written in A-minor. The minor key makes it much better for an unrequited love don't you think?

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#1090670 - 09/17/04 11:52 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
rmannion Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 12
Loc: Chino Hills, CA
The first piece I learned was Rachmaninoff's C#- Prelude. The piece inspired me to learn how to play. We have a spinet that was more a piece of furniture than a legitimate instrument, so I bought a Yamaha P60.

It took about a week for me to be able to muster out the first three chords (after the slow octave intro) hands together at a reasonable tempo, and it was surprisingly painful - I have small hands and at the time could barely manage an octave. The rest of the piece was learned at a similarly slow pace; it took all summer (2003), but it was worth the effort.

Of course, it was probably a bad idea to have started with that piece, and my interpretation of it was pretty sloppy initially. This summer, I've been working on Chopin's Ballade #1...

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#1090671 - 09/18/04 09:18 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
LadyElton Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 521
Loc: Southeastern Pennsylvania
My recital piece was Mozart Minuet in F Major.
_________________________
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