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#1820549 - 01/07/12 09:11 PM What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop?
nanette0269 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 28
Curious. If you were self taught and then sought out instruction, what did they have to take several steps back to correct?

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#1820596 - 01/07/12 11:16 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2374
Loc: Virginia, USA
Tension is the biggest one. Practice technique another. Sticking with pieces. Did I mention tension? ...
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Bartók - Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56
    My Hungarian Period wink

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#1820626 - 01/08/12 01:12 AM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
RyanMortos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 21
Loc: Pennsylvania
I self taught for about 6 months before I decided to get a teacher. My big problem was playing in time. I could hit all the right keys/notes and read just fine but my timing was all over the place & usually rushed so I had to relearn everything I did those 6 months.

I think it's probably different for everybody, you don't know what things you might be overlooking without a teacher of some sort to point them out for you.
_________________________
Currently working on: Alfred's Level 2- Theme from the Overture (from the opera "Raymond"). Other stuff- Peter and the Wolf, Saber Dance, Emily (jazz tune), A fine romance (left hand chords only, right hand melody).

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#1820652 - 01/08/12 03:17 AM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
fliper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 212
Loc: Angola (Africa)

Quote from page #3 of the thread "Self-Teaching Support Thread"
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1535460/3.html

Posted by rocket88
"Here is a list of what I have seen with self-taught students as a teacher:

1. Poor body posture at the piano, which includes sitting too far back, or too close, seat too high/ too low, slumping, not sitting centered, seat not parallel to the keyboard.

2. Poor hand/arm posture, often with wrists too low, so the tendons that move the fingers must travel in a curved arc thru the wrist tunnel, which can cause serious physical damage.

Number #1 and #2 are hard to see while your thinking and attention is consumed by trying to play, read the music, etc. Another set of knowledgable eyes is invaluable, like a golf pro observing you swing the golf club.

3. No metronome usage, or counting, so tempo is unregulated. This is a hard one to incorporate later on, which is why many teachers instill it from the first lesson. Few people like the constraints of the metronome, and feel that since they can play without it, why suffer? Tempo problems are very common.

4. Little or no technique training, so finger independence is poor, and tension is high. This is very hard to overcome after muscle memory habits are formed.

5. Poor sight reading, especially the Bass clef.

6. Lack of knowledge as to how to practice efficiently. Playing a piece over and over is not practicing. I spend a great deal of time teaching people how to practice effectively.

7. Lack of knowledge of fingering, and the need to establish from the onset one system of fingering for each piece, phrase, etc.

8. Lack of knowledge of basic Theory.

9. No one knowledgeable about your playing to talk to, to receive encouragement from, etc.

10. Playing a piece unmusically. When students do that, I play the piece or the section for them, and ask them to identify the difference. Most of the time, they hear the difference, can play it, and it is a revelation to them that permanently improves their playing. Invaluable."


See these threads
"Self teaching"
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1534201/1.html

"Self-Teaching Support Thread"
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1535460/1.html
_________________________
Alfred Adult All-In-One - level 1 - "Go Down, Moses" - page 133



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#1820693 - 01/08/12 05:51 AM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
Tubbie0075 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 544
My problems before restarting lessons with a teacher were stiffness everywhere, collapse of the hands, wrist too low, unnecessary hand and fingers stretching, not listening to the tone, aimless "practice" that didn't go anywhere other than learning the notes and fingerring, not sticking to the pieces and kept wondering around, clueless where the problems were, didn't know the right things to aim for... it's just wasting a lot of time, and after getting a teacher, wasting more time to unlearn those bad habits!

Best thing about having a teacher is the previously impossible pieces becomes possible.

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#1820696 - 01/08/12 06:25 AM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: fliper]
neildradford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 148
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: fliper

Quote from page #3 of the thread "Self-Teaching Support Thread"
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1535460/3.html

Posted by rocket88
"Here is a list of what I have seen with self-taught students as a teacher:

1. Poor body posture at the piano, which includes sitting too far back, or too close, seat too high/ too low, slumping, not sitting centered, seat not parallel to the keyboard.

2. Poor hand/arm posture, often with wrists too low, so the tendons that move the fingers must travel in a curved arc thru the wrist tunnel, which can cause serious physical damage.

Number #1 and #2 are hard to see while your thinking and attention is consumed by trying to play, read the music, etc. Another set of knowledgable eyes is invaluable, like a golf pro observing you swing the golf club.

3. No metronome usage, or counting, so tempo is unregulated. This is a hard one to incorporate later on, which is why many teachers instill it from the first lesson. Few people like the constraints of the metronome, and feel that since they can play without it, why suffer? Tempo problems are very common.

4. Little or no technique training, so finger independence is poor, and tension is high. This is very hard to overcome after muscle memory habits are formed.

5. Poor sight reading, especially the Bass clef.

6. Lack of knowledge as to how to practice efficiently. Playing a piece over and over is not practicing. I spend a great deal of time teaching people how to practice effectively.

7. Lack of knowledge of fingering, and the need to establish from the onset one system of fingering for each piece, phrase, etc.

8. Lack of knowledge of basic Theory.

9. No one knowledgeable about your playing to talk to, to receive encouragement from, etc.

10. Playing a piece unmusically. When students do that, I play the piece or the section for them, and ask them to identify the difference. Most of the time, they hear the difference, can play it, and it is a revelation to them that permanently improves their playing. Invaluable."


See these threads
"Self teaching"
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1534201/1.html

"Self-Teaching Support Thread"
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1535460/1.html





In my opinion, most of these are just as applicable to a total beginner, they're not necessarily bad habits, just things the learner doesn't know yet.
_________________________
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Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
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Started lessons: January 2012
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#1820711 - 01/08/12 07:19 AM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3548
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Given the many different styles and techniques of really good piano players worldwide over the centuries - involving every possible infraction of the "laundry list of bad habits" - the only bad "habit" of any of them, self taught or otherwise, is not being committed enough and dedicated enough to practice and play hard enough and long enough to come close enough to reaching their potential - and this is something that even the best of teachers probably can't instill in their students in the long run ...

So, maybe the only really bad habit of self taught players is thinking or believing or hoping that taking on a teacher will give them this rare and highly elusive character trait - and either you have it by nature or you don't - it's called perseverance. Those who eventually quit (and this is the vast majority of those who start), self or teacher taught, never had it.

Trap


Edited by TrapperJohn (01/08/12 09:39 AM)
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#1820737 - 01/08/12 08:31 AM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: TrapperJohn]
piano joy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 807
Loc: Florida
thankfully, I've always been able to afford lessons (and desired them) but my teacher and I have had this discussion and the one thing I'd add is:

thinking "they" are better than they are. So, apparently, the teacher takes them back to square 1 or 2 and "they" find it offensive....

Best to stick with lessons, if finances allow !
_________________________
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-the Beatles




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#1820859 - 01/08/12 12:19 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: Andy Platt]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: Andy Platt
Tension is the biggest one. Practice technique another. Sticking with pieces. Did I mention tension? ...
I'm curious what you mean by "sticking with pieces". Are you talking about not knowing when something is "good enough" to move on and start something new, or staying with something that is over you level instead of putting it aside to go back to later after your skills have improved?
_________________________
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Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1820880 - 01/08/12 01:02 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
Starr Keys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 930
Loc: california


Quote:
So, maybe the only really bad habit of self taught players is thinking or believing or hoping that taking on a teacher will give them this rare and highly elusive character trait - and either you have it by nature or you don't - it's called perseverance.


+1--that is, if you don't count listening to those who tell them they can never be any good without a teacher as another bad habit.:)

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#1820968 - 01/08/12 03:17 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: TrapperJohn]
Kenatsu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/22/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Argentina
Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Given the many different styles and techniques of really good piano players worldwide over the centuries - involving every possible infraction of the "laundry list of bad habits" - the only bad "habit" of any of them, self taught or otherwise, is not being committed enough and dedicated enough to practice and play hard enough and long enough to come close enough to reaching their potential - and this is something that even the best of teachers probably can't instill in their students in the long run ...

So, maybe the only really bad habit of self taught players is thinking or believing or hoping that taking on a teacher will give them this rare and highly elusive character trait - and either you have it by nature or you don't - it's called perseverance. Those who eventually quit (and this is the vast majority of those who start), self or teacher taught, never had it.

Trap

Perseverance is nice, playing 8 hours everyday is nice, etc, but if you do it wrong you are just wasting time. Let's be realistic, a good teacher saves a lot of time that otherwise you would waste for almost nothing because while a good teacher see an error in a flash you could discover it one year later

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#1821010 - 01/08/12 04:28 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: Kenatsu]
Starr Keys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 930
Loc: california
Originally Posted By: Kenatsu
Let's be realistic, a good teacher saves a lot of time that otherwise you itve blurewoulayewaste for almost nothing because while a good teacher see an error in a flash you could discover it one year later



See my point.... Part of the problem is that people aren't always the best judge of who's a good teacher for them. There have been many here who have expressed frustration with their teachers and frustration can create tension and lack of perserverance, which can waste a lot more time than mistakes in self-teaching, by causing people to give up, sometimmes for decades -- there have also been many reports here of this being the case .

Sometimes the best teacher is the written page or combination of multi-media materials. And don't say I'm not being "realistic" because the facts don't bear you out. The fact is that there have been some great and innovative players who have been self taught, who either didn't have the means or ability to learn from a teacher but did have the ability to teach themselves.


Edited by Starr Keys (01/08/12 09:30 PM)

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#1821147 - 01/08/12 08:06 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2374
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine
Originally Posted By: Andy Platt
Tension is the biggest one. Practice technique another. Sticking with pieces. Did I mention tension? ...
I'm curious what you mean by "sticking with pieces". Are you talking about not knowing when something is "good enough" to move on and start something new, or staying with something that is over you level instead of putting it aside to go back to later after your skills have improved?


No, staying with something that's at your level but not making any progress with it and giving up and moving on to the next piece that you do the same thing with. A combination of not knowing how to practice it properly and not having the willpower to stick with it.

Note - all the issues I mentioned were my issues. I'm not saying that because someone doesn't have a teacher they would have these. I have been very impressed, since joining these forums, about how self-taught students can practice correctly and effectively. I just never could!
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Bartók - Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56
    My Hungarian Period wink

Kawai K3

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#1821322 - 01/09/12 03:55 AM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
Starr Keys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 930
Loc: california
Originally Posted By: Andy Platt
Note - all the issues I mentioned were my issues. I'm not saying that because someone doesn't have a teacher they would have these. I have been very impressed, since joining these forums, about how self-taught students can practice correctly and effectively. I just never could!


Thanks, Andy. I didn't think your post reflected any categorical judgment. I've always known you to be down to earth and helpful and sensitive to others' feelings.


Edited by Starr Keys (01/09/12 03:57 AM)

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#1821473 - 01/09/12 11:36 AM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8354
Loc: Georgia, USA
I have a problem with the concept of "self-taught". I know what it means at face value, but is it really the case simply because you don't hire a music teacher? We all learn from someone else... I have learned a lot by watching and listening to many members here on the ABF play via YT and MP3. So, you all are my teacher from the most advanced player to the true beginner... we all learn from each other.

Personally, I don't have a teacher per-se, but again, you all are my teacher... including Rockett88! I have his music CD and I listen to it often... I've picked up a few of his famous blues licks! I learn from Elssa by watching her music videos and how she always positions her hand from octave to octave as she plays... I've mimicked that practice and it has helped me to play better... maybe I should send Rockett88 and Elssa (just to name a few) a monetary gratuity for teaching me something! laugh

So, what does "self-taught" really mean? The subject comes up often here on the ABF... and there seems to be different camps on either side... I would prefer a teacher one-on-one if it was more feasible in my life at this time, but it is not.

So, is being so-called self-taught a sin? Is having a few bad habits the end of the world? I doubt it.

All the best.

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

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#1821491 - 01/09/12 12:09 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: Rickster]
nanette0269 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 28
Originally Posted By: Rickster
So, is being so-called self-taught a sin? Is having a few bad habits the end of the world? I doubt it.


Its interesting to read all of these comments....I've actually hopped on here to read every day since I posted originally. Seems that some teachers think that students should never teach themselves, else they will need to start all over. I personally think this is ridiculous, but there is obviously a balance between the two extremes. Having one or two bad habits that have been developed over a year is hardly a reason to go back to square one. While it is a financial consideration ( since we will be having 4 people in the house new to piano and I simply cant justify spending money on 4 people's lessons at the same time)....its also a time consideration. For those that say that if you want to learn it, you will make the time, this is not realistic. Either these people dont work full time or they dont have young children, or most probably they dont do either.

So, I want to teach myself, my kids (and my husband) the first steps and I felt that I was immediately dismissed by a few in the teachers forum when I suggested this. Granted, I have no piano experience, and yet my piano theory seems pretty strong considering I've never touched an instrument for 15 years. However, i think the beginning steps is more about comfort than anything else. And what I lack for personal piano experience, I more than make up for reading my children! My youngest is intimidated by the piano. He wouldnt hit a single key over christmas at my parents house! What 4 year old wouldnt do this? And no, its not the noise issue. Strange, since I think he has such great potential, moreso than my type A 5year old daughter.

So, I appreciate everything that has been written on this subject. I do plan on getting my kids to "play" the piano and just simply have fun at it for the next few months before we embark on lessons. I'll do the same with my husband and really focus him on music theory instead, since his time will be very scarce for the next 12 weeks...after that, he will gladly play daily!

But, i also appreciate all of the comments on the wide variety of things to be aware of. Playing piano is relatively easy in my mind....its the fingers that will take some adjusting smile But its also about balancing all of the things that one needs to be aware of, and thats where this post has benefitted me the most.

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#1821499 - 01/09/12 12:31 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
Stanza Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1458
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
From what I have read here on the forums over the years is the "bad habit" of working on pieces way over one's head. Many seem in a big hurry to get to their "dream piece" that they want to skip over the many, many, easier instructional pieces that accomlished pianists all had to work through to achieve their level of mastery.
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#1821840 - 01/09/12 10:16 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: Rickster]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Originally Posted By: Rickster

So, what does "self-taught" really mean?


to me it means learning without anybody sitting beside me, and looking at my hands, and listening to what I produce, while I am playing.

I like this "lonely" process.

I like the fact that I don't feel any kind of pressure all over the time I am sitting to the piano, I like the fact I don't have homeworks, and deadlines, and somebody to report my progresses, and all this kind of "stressing" environment that learning with a teacher would be.

I like that I just sit to the piano when I feel the need and the desire to do so, and this could be 5 minutes a day, or every 30 minutes the day after. But each time is just a pleasure and a relaxing activity.

As for progresses and bad habits: I know I am progressing, and I know I may have some bad habits, (maybe sitting too high, but I like to sit high smile

If I should name one person who is teaching me to play the piano I would name Kyle Landry. I think he is teaching maybe hundreds/thousands of persons all over the world, but he will never sit beside anyone of all them while they are playing...
smile

A.

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#1821848 - 01/09/12 10:30 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5423
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I'm with Rick here - I think of it as "not having formal lessons" - but I learn from everyone in the band regardless of what instrument they play, I learn from other dance pianists, I learn from watching videos of people here, I learn from the ABF, I learn from my past experience of many kinds - athletics and dance, saxophone when I was a kid and choirs, learning strategies I've used in other subjects. I also had 2 years of lessons when I was 13-15, but I certainly didn't learn to play music laugh

So I do think that some of us just have a temperament that likes to do things informally. C'est la vie smile

Cathy
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#1822205 - 01/10/12 02:03 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: jotur]
Starr Keys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 930
Loc: california
Originally Posted By: Rickster
I have a problem with the concept of "self-taught". I know what it means at face value, but is it really the case simply because you don't hire a music teacher? We all learn from someone else... I have learned a lot by watching and listening to many members here on the ABF play via YT and MP3. So, you all are my teacher from the most advanced player to the true beginner... we all learn from each other. Personally, I don't have a teacher per-se, but again, you all are my teacher... including Rockett88! I have his music CD and I listen to it often... I've picked up a few of his famous blues licks! I learn from Elssa by watching her music videos and how she always positions her hand from octave to octave as she plays... I've mimicked that practice and it has helped me to play better... maybe I should send Rockett88 and Elssa (just to name a few) a monetary gratuity for teaching me something!


Right on, Rick! If I were to define "self-taught" in this day and age of instant information access and global networking of interests, I'd say it was an oxymoran. The only way it has any meaning at all is to say it means not having one non-virtual individual as your teacher, or one teacher via skype whose authority you acccept above all others. But even that is insufficient since it's impossible to blot out all the other voices and influences one is exposed to, especially those of anyone who visits this site with any frequency. Maybe it just means the process of learning to discern which materials are most helpful and meaningful with regard to one's own temprement and stage of development.

BTW, it might interest you to know that, second to learning how to match melody notes to chord tones, learning the hand positions using octaves was the most useful thing I learned at Piano Magic. It might also interest you to know that Elssa was also a member but, from what I saw and heard, neither she nor I got much one-on-one attention from the instructor there. I can't speak for Elssa but in my case this wasn't Mike's fault. I certainly saw him give it to others. But I didn't ask for much, since I was much more comfortable taking what I found useful from the lessons and forums on my own and watching others develop under his guidance. I also learned from watching Elssa play there and from her instructional videos after I left PM. But they are not intended for beginners, while Mike's program is intended for anyone at any level of technical ability who wants to improve their ability to play by ear and on the fly.


Edited by Starr Keys (01/10/12 02:06 PM)

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#1822211 - 01/10/12 02:12 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3147
Loc: Maine
Starr Keys, what do you mean by "the hand positions using octaves"?
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#1822253 - 01/10/12 03:52 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: PianoStudent88]
Starr Keys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 930
Loc: california
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Starr Keys, what do you mean by "the hand positions using octaves"?


I can't teach Mike's course for him, or penetrate the genius of his insight into a process that takes time to build skills. But generally speaking, he teaches us to hear and play the melody as octaves and then gradually add notes within the octave to harmonize the melody.

For example if the melody note is E, we can play the E octave, adding the interval of a 3rd from the bottom of the octave (G) in between the bracketed octave (fingering 1,2,5) or a 5 (B) (fingering 1,3,5) then, after learning to distinguish between those harmonies, we can combine them (fingers) 1,2,3,5), or try another harmonization (interval of a 6th from the bottom of the octave, for instance). This is different than thinking in terms of intervals in a chord because, even though you're playing an interval of 1 and 3 (and 8), the 3rd, unless the melody note matches the root of the chord played in the left hand bass, may not even be a chord tone, so rather than learning chords and inversions, you learn to identify within the bracketed octave any tone you are harmonizing the chord tones and non-harmonic tones of the melody with its hand position, but you learn it aurally and tactily (not as an abstraction or symbol) -- you are forced to.

For instance, in a I chord in the key of C, if the melody note is B and you play the octave, the 3rd interval from B is D, which is a non-harmonic tone in a Major C chord, but if the melody note is E and you play the E octave, the 3rd note from E is G which is a harmonic tone. The hand position is the same for both. The point is it's much easier to learn a basic hand position for playing a myriad of chords than learning a myriad of chords to play with a limitied number of hand positions.

Hope this makes sense. If not, you can always join PM.:)


Edited by Starr Keys (01/10/12 04:23 PM)

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#1822262 - 01/10/12 04:10 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
Markarian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 178
Loc: Seattle Area
I'm self-taught over 20 years. I had a lot of behavioral issues as a young child, so formal lessons were briefly tried, but soon given up on. Now that I'm still at it, here's what I can offer as what I think my limitations are (echoing some of the others above):

1) I don't read music. I just don't. I've taken theory classes, and I know some basics, but it's like my friends who took two years of Spanish in high school and still can't remember much beyond "Buenos Dias"

2) I slouch at the piano, my posture is not what it should be

3) My technique is erratic and inconsistent. I play some pieces fine on some days, and find them impossible on others.

4) My repertoire in practicing sometimes gets tired and repetitive. I'm always tempted to drift back to the same blues riff or love ballad I wrote, instead of something new.

5) Pieces I think I've learned by ear end up being subtly different than the real thing.

6) Tempo is very, very hard for me. I recently just started recording with a metronome, after 20 years, and it is a painful experience, though does help me keep time.

However, there are some benefits to having been self taught, that I can see:

1) It was never a chore for me. I picked up the piano and keyboard on my own as a child and would dig into it with just as much enthusiasm as my Nintendo. I only played the things I wanted to learn, even if they were difficult. The opposite of this, I imagine, is one of the reasons most kids take an instrument for a number of years and then drop it when they have the opportunity.

2) I have a very well-trained ear, from what I'm told. Formally-educated musicians have told me they are astonished at how quickly I can begin replicating a melody.

3) Knowing chords and keys, at least, have helped me play with others, especially rock and pop stuff. I rely on basic chords for everything I want to learn how to play that I can't immediately figure out. I often joked to my friends I wished I could find the basic strumming tab sheet for Rachmaninoff.
_________________________
NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Korg Kross 61

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#1822417 - 01/10/12 10:45 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: Stanza]
prenex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: Stanza
From what I have read here on the forums over the years is the "bad habit" of working on pieces way over one's head. Many seem in a big hurry to get to their "dream piece" that they want to skip over the many, many, easier instructional pieces that accomlished pianists all had to work through to achieve their level of mastery.


That's because the good stuff is always hard and the simple stuff isn't very good music at all. Grownups just can't do Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

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#1822545 - 01/11/12 03:28 AM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: prenex]
neildradford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 148
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: prenex
Originally Posted By: Stanza
From what I have read here on the forums over the years is the "bad habit" of working on pieces way over one's head. Many seem in a big hurry to get to their "dream piece" that they want to skip over the many, many, easier instructional pieces that accomlished pianists all had to work through to achieve their level of mastery.


That's because the good stuff is always hard and the simple stuff isn't very good music at all. Grownups just can't do Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.


That's not true for everyone. I have actually come across some sweet sounding simple tunes and quite enjoy playing them. I don't mind one bit about having to play the simple stuff, even Twinkle Twinkle. Whatever it takes to keep me progressing and avoid holes in my playing then that's what I'll do.

Neil.
_________________________
Venables & Son Custom 133 Upright Acoustic Piano
Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
Started learning: October 2011
Started lessons: January 2012
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/neildradford

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#1822736 - 01/11/12 11:56 AM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
I'm with Neil on this one. My very first tunes were twinkle twinkle, mary had a little lamb etc. The next step of of music I learned was twinkle twinkle again! I don't care if it's considered little kids songs or not, if it helps me progress and teaches me something I will learn how to play it. I'm not in a big rush to learn because I'm enjoying the learning part so much. Here's an example of adult twinkle twinkle btw:
_________________________
Becca
Began: 01-12-11


Floundering and Lost
Roland RD300NX

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#1822739 - 01/11/12 12:01 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5423
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Simple tunes made fun. My all-time favorite PW ABF thread:

Mary Had a Little Lamb made fun

Cathy
_________________________

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#1822744 - 01/11/12 12:09 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: BeccaBb]
nanette0269 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 28
That is an amazing little rendition of twinkle twinkle smile

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#1822790 - 01/11/12 01:28 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: nanette0269]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8354
Loc: Georgia, USA
My particular repertoire and practice regiment is very simple and basic, but what I play puts a smile on my face every time… that’s saying a lot! laugh

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

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#1822892 - 01/11/12 05:19 PM Re: What bad habits do self-taught pianists commonly develop? [Re: neildradford]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: neildradford
Originally Posted By: prenex
Originally Posted By: Stanza
From what I have read here on the forums over the years is the "bad habit" of working on pieces way over one's head. Many seem in a big hurry to get to their "dream piece" that they want to skip over the many, many, easier instructional pieces that accomlished pianists all had to work through to achieve their level of mastery.


That's because the good stuff is always hard and the simple stuff isn't very good music at all. Grownups just can't do Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.


That's not true for everyone. I have actually come across some sweet sounding simple tunes and quite enjoy playing them. I don't mind one bit about having to play the simple stuff, even Twinkle Twinkle. Whatever it takes to keep me progressing and avoid holes in my playing then that's what I'll do.

Neil.

I realize starting simple makes sense and is the best way, but the really nice simple stuff isn't always easy to find when you don't know where to look at first. Some people will think its petty to insist on not playing childrens tunes as an adult but some of us have good reasons for not wanting to play them. I work in education and many school years it has been mostly elementary or preschool. So, I've spent my day doing things that revolve around little kids. Then I come home to my own kids and when I was starting out on piano they were also little. By the time they were tucked in bed and I had my "me" time to work at the piano I had spent all day in kiddie land and I needed grown up music. Forcing myself to play "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb" would have turned it into a chore I would not have stuck with. I've been making a point of looking for more simple things to play that I like now that I have a better idea what to look for in a piece or song to judge how difficult it may be for me.
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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