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#1978749 - 10/26/12 02:12 AM Best way to "Teach yourself" piano
BillTheSlink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/12
Posts: 108
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
I was looking at the Learn and Master Piano course, but after doing a search of these forums I am not so sure that would be the best route to take, as I do want to learn both harmony and melody in a style more akin to classical music then the chords on both hand method to play in a pop band as a back up. Is there any book/dvd/cd combo out there that teaches a more traditional method? I am disabled and lessons right off the bat wouldn't suit me although in the future I want to join one of the small group lesson classes at a local studio. But I do want to get off the ground a little first. I did play trumpet in school, but that was almost 20 years ago now and I have never touched a piano.
_________________________
Currently I am without a piano, but when I get mine back I will be working on "The Complete Piano Player", as well as Neely's "How to Play from a Fake Book. I am spending my time working on theory and learning how to construct chords currently.


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#1978755 - 10/26/12 03:05 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
If you like working through a method in the company of others, there are huge mega-threads on this forum devoted to the Alfred's Adult methods.
Here is the thread for Book 1

Alfred's All-in-One with DVD
Alfred's All-in-One with CD
Alfred's Self-Teaching Method with CD & DVD


Edited by tangleweeds (10/26/12 03:06 AM)
Edit Reason: fix broken link
_________________________
Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

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#1978857 - 10/26/12 11:10 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
As you know Bill, if you haven't riden a bike for 20 years, you can still ride a bike - maybe not with no hands - that could take a few days, but you have the basics. A trumpet is a tough instument to play - as you know - it is all about lip! There are enlightened and informed people here who can direct you to the best method books to do classical music, harmony and melody books and chords method of playing the piano. I have some of those books but you need the best recommendations. You say you are disabled and I understand - I am dyslexic, have had a stroke and have brain damage so you are probably in better shape than I am - and it has been 50 years from when I was in school. And you are more ahead of other people because you have played the trumpret, read music, know rhythm, dynamics and as you know you have to practice and practice all the time or you will remain on the same page for ever!. Cheers and good luck.

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#1978884 - 10/26/12 12:44 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
MonkeyMark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 98
Loc: UK
Hi Bill,

The Learn & Master series is, as you say, probably not best suited to some one aiming for classical. Having said that, it's not a bad program.

I am following the Alfred's route already mentioned but I also have the Learn & Master method too.

It covers a good bit of the theory side of things and has, at least I think, a good way of getting the information across with some nifty tips and tricks.

It does concentrate on chords early on and although this may not be your long term goal, it is great for confidence as it enables you to knock out some decent tunes early on.

Have a look around though, there's plenty of ways to get it cheaper than on their site.

If you want an idea of what the method is like, the method book that comes with it, telling you exactly what it goes through, is available for free download on their site because they released an updated version (though you do have to a bit of digging around for it as it's sort of hidden, I'll post a link if required).
_________________________
Ferry & Foster upright

Alfred's self teaching - Book 1
Started Mid September 2012
End Sept - Page 39
End Oct - Page ??

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#1978996 - 10/26/12 04:43 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: Michael_99]
BillTheSlink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/12
Posts: 108
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
As you know Bill, if you haven't riden a bike for 20 years, you can still ride a bike - maybe not with no hands - that could take a few days, but you have the basics. A trumpet is a tough instument to play - as you know - it is all about lip! There are enlightened and informed people here who can direct you to the best method books to do classical music, harmony and melody books and chords method of playing the piano. I have some of those books but you need the best recommendations. You say you are disabled and I understand - I am dyslexic, have had a stroke and have brain damage so you are probably in better shape than I am - and it has been 50 years from when I was in school. And you are more ahead of other people because you have played the trumpret, read music, know rhythm, dynamics and as you know you have to practice and practice all the time or you will remain on the same page for ever!. Cheers and good luck.


Actually, I know all about strokes. I had over eight when I was 15. Thankfully I made a full recovery with the use of my body, although I have memory problems and issues with time. For instance I might think something happened two weeks ago when in fact it happened four days ago. Although I am not dyslexic I can relate to writing problems because I was born with significant deafness and it wasn't until I was well up in school years and past the basics of phonics when it was corrected surgically so I am a very poor speller and if this wasn't spell checked you would not be able to read it or you would swear it was written by a third grader. My main disabilities now are that I have a very bad back and am subject to blood clots and two years ago I had a one that left my leg in bad shape.

I thank you for your words of encouragement. You're most likely right, having played trumpet would be a help, but of course we din't do chords or have the bass clef to worry about. Thanks again and I guess I will soon find out how hard it will be. laugh
_________________________
Currently I am without a piano, but when I get mine back I will be working on "The Complete Piano Player", as well as Neely's "How to Play from a Fake Book. I am spending my time working on theory and learning how to construct chords currently.


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#1979189 - 10/27/12 06:24 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Well, Bill, I have two aneurysms, one in each leg and one has a clot so I am wait for a surgery call. When they discovered the clot recently I figured that was it, but they said it is quite common for aneurysms to develope clots and they will fix it. If the clot was in the brain I think it is a different story. I actually started playing the piano by accident. I was extremely weak from poor health over 5 years. I couldn't sit for more than about 5 minutes, so I thought if I sat at the piano and played book 1 how to play the piano, I might distract myself enough to be able to sit up longer. Well, in the process of the first 3 months, I fell in love with playing the piano. My back/back muscles didn't seem to improve so I bought a chair with a back at the piano height. And a short time later my back muscles improved so I can sit on a backless piano bench again which I prefer. Stokes can do a lot of damage so I was lucky to be able to walk, talk, and play the piano - my hands are okay. A doctor on this forum mentioned that he would prefer a heartattack over a stroke because if you survive a heartattack that is the end of it - nothing else.

On memory, that too was affected from the stroke and I say: "I don't know where I put glass of water but I can always find middle C because it never moves and is always in the same spot!"

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#1979364 - 10/27/12 05:35 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5377
Loc: Philadelphia
The best way is with a teacher, so I'm confused when you mentioned being disabled and lessons not working for you in the same sentence. How'd you learn the trumpet? There are some okay ways to teach yourself, but nothing beats a qualified teacher. Why so averse?
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1979408 - 10/27/12 07:10 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 795
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Quote:
I want to join one of the small group lesson classes at a local studio. But I do want to get off the ground a little first.


The disadvantage here is that you will have to unlearn the bad habits you picked up on your own. I'm very independent, and worked for years on my own. It was a mistake -- I wish I'd started with a teacher first.
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1979592 - 10/28/12 09:04 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: Derulux]
BillTheSlink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/12
Posts: 108
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Good idea. Perhaps I'll take some lessons first. It's just that's money's tight you know and right after buying the DP it will be tight. I had my heart set on a Kawia MP6, but am thinking maybe a Casio PX-350 with its stand and its built in speakers plus lessons would be money better spent than investing in the MP6, a Z stand, and powered speakers. To my untrained ear I really can't tell much of a difference in the sound anyway. I am still hard of hearing some and if it's close I don't pick up the difference.


Edited by BillTheSlink (10/28/12 09:05 AM)
_________________________
Currently I am without a piano, but when I get mine back I will be working on "The Complete Piano Player", as well as Neely's "How to Play from a Fake Book. I am spending my time working on theory and learning how to construct chords currently.


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#1979842 - 10/28/12 09:06 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 795
Loc: Northern, Northern California
You can save a lot if you buy a DP via craigslist. It might take some patience. I got my Yamaha P90 via eBay, and once bought a Clavinova CLP560 for $60 at a rummage sale.
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1980223 - 10/29/12 06:51 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 795
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Posted this in the wrong thread -- content deleted.


Edited by TromboneAl (10/29/12 08:46 PM)
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1980739 - 10/30/12 10:28 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: Derulux]
Ojustaboo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Deleted
Originally Posted By: Derulux
The best way is with a teacher, so I'm confused when you mentioned being disabled and lessons not working for you in the same sentence. How'd you learn the trumpet? There are some okay ways to teach yourself, but nothing beats a qualified teacher. Why so averse?


Lots of things beats a qualified teacher.

Nothing worse than seeing people ask for advice, people who state they can't use a teacher at the moment for whatever reason, to have someone come along and question them. It happens all the time on this forum and in my opinion is this forums worst trait.

Personally I wish the site owner and mods would introduce a rule banning posts like yours when people have stressed they want to teach themselves.

Not everyone fits into the same pattern of learning as others do, some may find they need a teacher to learn, others may have a teacher now and wish they had gone this route many years previous.

But there's also the others. Those intelligent people who don't thrive well in a classroom environment but end up as math geniuses etc.

Many people need teachers to teach them math, physics, guitar, piano or whatever. Many many others do just as well (and often better) without.

There's also far far far too many people who are qualified at teaching their particular field as far as their qualifications and training goes, who should never ever be let anywhere near a student of any age as while these teachers have the head knowledge, they are unable to relate to their students in any way shape or form.

When I think back 35 years to when I was at school, I had a load of different teachers for many different subjects, but I could count the ones that were really good teachers on one hand if I had two fingers missing.

That all applies to a fit and well student with loads of study time spare, able to schedule study times every day, and have the financial means of paying for a teacher.

As soon as you bring illness (and many other things like wanting to be able to afford food regularly) into the equation, saying someone should get a teacher, and sort of implying you don't know why being disabled should affect that decision, well it shows me you haven't much experience as to how different illnesses can affect different people.

I'm ill. 15 years ago I was earning £42k, for the last 12 years I haven't been able to work and the hospital specialists won't let me even consider part time work. Last year I received £5200 in state benefits, £100 a week, and that's gone up by a little each year.

My wife works, we are financially fine but we don't have much spare money at all due to me not earning. She recently treated me to a Korg Kronos 88 which wasn't cheap, but she knows that I hardly leave the house, music is something I enjoy, and she is happy for the family to go without a holiday for another few years for me to have such a nice treat.

But even if I actually wanted a teacher, we couldn't afford one. But it's far more complicated than that.

Every one hour I'm up, I have to take a 15 min rest.

Watching TV, reading a book, listening to an audio book, playing my keyboard, being in a room sitting down talking to someone, none of that counts as rest. So if I'm watching a film on tv, I have to pause it and go into the other room, put on some chill out music and sit in my armchair, arms and legs relaxed, eyes closed.

If I went to see a teacher, the time putting on my shoes etc isn't rest, the walk to the car isn't rest, neither is the journey in the car. Then there's the lesson, then there's the drive home.

Chances are I wouldn't end up back in my armchair relaxing within the hour and if I don't, then the next day or two I will spend mostly asleep and won't have the energy to play my keyboard at all.

But it's worse than that, the 15 min rest every hour is for when I'm doing very little at home. As soon as going out is put into the equation or having to meet people at a certain time, that's a different thing altogether.

This morning I had a doctors appointment where all I had to do was have my blood pressure taken both standing and sitting, squeeze a handgrip three times to measure how hard I can grip things, then blow into a device three times to measure my lung capacity.

My appointment was at 9am and I was done by 9:15. She stressed she wanted me to go home and do virtually nothing for the rest of the day as that 15 mins (along with having to get there) would have been too much for me.

All that aside, often I sleep for hours in the day time, there's never two identical times I can play, I might feel up to practising at 10 am tomorrow, 3pm the next day, not have the energy to practice at all the next, and happily be able to practice/play anytime the following day, just pausing for my rests every hour.

So if I wanted a teacher, I would have to find one that could either come to me, was 15 mins or less drive away, was dirt cheap, and I can phone up and say I will be well enough to come right now, but I can't guarantee if I will be well enough in two hours time, yet alone a fixed time and date next week.

What's more, if you knocked on my front door and I answered it, you would presume I was a normal healthy man.

Many people have many reasons they can't have teachers, people with physical or mental (or both) disabilities where they are fighting with pain, breathing, headaches, not being able to concentrate for periods of time, etc, none of these can book an appointment in advance as they dont know how well they will be on the day.

Then you have those where the stress of meeting with a teacher is simply too much (hard to understand if your well, but can be very very draining if your not).

And many of us choose a musical outlet.

13 years ago I could walk miles, swam regularly, went to the gym, had a big garden I enjoyed working on etc etc etc. In the past few years I've just existed really, three months go by and I struggle to find something I've actually done except for watching tv or browsing the web (can't concentrate on books anymore, have joined audible as if I didn't listen to them, that would be another pleasure lost).

So I buy a cheap 2nd hand keyboard a year or so ago, and I finally have something I enjoy that isn't tv or computer (I used to have many synths all hooked up to my Atari computer years ago before I got ill) and my wife sees how much I'm enjoying it and how I have a sort of purpose/outlet again. So she buys me some computer synths (Native Instruments Komplete), my daughters at Uni and my wife gave her the money to buy me the educational version of Cubase for my PC, and this year she treats me to my Kronos that I've been going on about since it was mentioned early last year.

And I'm very very happy.

I want to learn to play better, I've got an online course recommended by someone on this board (play piano today) and I'm enjoying myself having fun and learning well in my opinion.

With the wealth of YouTube vids etc, there's plenty of info out there for the person like me that wants to learn themselves.

Thing is, I'm usually very very reluctant to ask questions etc on this board as I know someone will simply respond " you need a teacher"

And absolutely no one should have to explain themselves to you like I have above to justify themselves for your benefit when they say a teacher is out of the question.

If someone says they cant have a teacher, who are you to judge their reasonings and question them when they say this?

I only described my personal situation here to show you how unfair it is for you and others to keep saying this.

Please stop.

Best

Joe

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#1980770 - 10/31/12 12:15 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5659
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Thanks, Joe, for that post, difficult tho it might have been. I, too, find it tiring, when someone has specifically said "I can't get a teacher right now", if someone posts a reply "get a teacher."

I don't have any of the difficulties you do, or that others here do, but I'd go nuts with a teacher laugh So I don't have one, and I learn other ways. I did, in fact, have a couple of years of lessons when I was a teenager, and band, and choirs, so it's not that I didn't have a base. But I didn't learn how to make music, either. I've been much better off doing it my way, having started again 30+ years later.

Many people throughout the years have learned to make music on fiddles, guitars, dulcimers, pianos, whistles, and goodness knows what else, by being around people who play them and having someone show them a little at a time - no formal lessons to it. My mother learned to play piano from mail order lessons, and played for her church for many years.

Did many of those people play classical music? Maybe not. But they played and enjoyed music, sometimes for a life time.

So while I have no problem at all with folks for whom lessons are a great way to go, I in no way think it's the only way.

And, like you, if someone states that lessons aren't a possibility, whether they state the reason or not, then urging them to get lessons seems, well, rude.

So thanks again. You've done a great service here.

Cathy
_________________________

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#1980788 - 10/31/12 01:59 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
Starr Keys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 1010
Loc: california
+1, Joe and Cathy.

Joe, I share your displeasure with those "teachers are a must" posts and your anger over this particular instance of one. I wasn't going to post this time, partly because I've been ill and didn't feel up to it and partly because I've done it so many times before that I'm sure people are tired of hearing my voice on the subject and so it wouldn't add anything to the impact of the discussion, but your impassioned eloquence has inspired me.

My energy also comes in spurts, and though no where near as afflicted as you, I have very low blood pressure and it can be difficult to focus sometimes. But when I'm up, I'm really up and can really concentrate, and learning and having a creative outlet at the piano has meant the world to me. I also share a similar experience with you in terms of your experience with teachers growing up. School was a nightmare for me for some of the reasons you relate.

Also as you relate, because at least one of my piano teachers was one of those people who had no business being near children let alone students, I think having piano lessons starting at age 8 was the worst thing that could have happened to me. Had I been left to my own resources and allowed to explore music naturally and joyfully as I'd been doing from an early age, picking out songs and composing melodies and beginning to harmonize them at the piano, I think I would have been much better off.

I agree with Cathy that you've done a wonderful thing for the site. I intend to copy your thread and keep in a file, so that I have it ready to post anytime someone responds in a similar way to someone afflicted either physically or monetarily.

Thank you for using your precious energy to help others.


Edited by Starr Keys (10/31/12 02:07 AM)

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#1980795 - 10/31/12 03:22 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
I can't agree with posts that make simple sweeping generalizations that teachers are necessary and then end the conversation there.

I can, however, agree with posts that argue that teachers are often (not always) the only means of learning/correcting habits.

Though, that being said, with the existence of the internet and its vast resources now easily accessible, you could arguably now easily find a proper teacher in a combination of various sources, Piano World being one possible significant component.


Edited by Bobpickle (10/31/12 03:29 AM)

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#1980900 - 10/31/12 11:43 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5659
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
As I said, I have no problems whatsoever with people having teachers, and relating their experience with teachers.

It does get tiring, for me, when a poster has said explicitly that a teacher isn't a possibility at the moment and someone urges a teacher. I think, as Ojustaboo says, a poster shouldn't have to go into details about why a teacher isn't a possibility, in order to have other posters respect that.

I have read posters who say "if there's any way possible for a teacher, a few sessions in the beginning, for things like bench height, posture, hand postition" (or something similar), and I think that's fine - it acknowledges that there are difficulties to overcome. It's the posters who seem to assume that one is only not getting a teacher because one has just not thought this through carefully, or one is ignorant, or lazy, or rebellious, or some other remedy-able characteristic, if one would just wake up, you knucklehead laugh , that I find off base.

The ABF seems, to me, to swing back and forth about the preponderance of those with teachers and those without. It's just that I don't see the ones without teachers chiming in and saying "oh, don't get a teacher, surely you can learn this on your own."

Mostly, it would be nice if each of us remembers that everyone's circumstances are different, their goals are different, and that there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Cathy
_________________________

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#1980918 - 10/31/12 12:41 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2458
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
If you're going to be your own teacher it's worth being the best one you can be. You must do what a good teacher does as best you can.

Check your posture every time you sit at the piano.
Check your posture while you're playing.
Check you're playing the right notes.
Check you're playing in time.
Check you're using the right touch.
Check you're playing at the right dynamic level.
Check that you're making regular and measurable progress.


Keep a journal of what you do and when. Your memory of how long it takes to learn a piece of music isn't reliable. Make recordings, too, so that you're aware of the quality of what you were doing and when.

You don't know how you work best and how much more progress you make one way versus another. You must experiment working on one piece at a time or three pieces. Whether you stick with a piece until it's done, or tackle it for a short spell than return to it later, say, one week on and one week off. You must not get bored with a piece nor frustrated but you must not dismiss it just because you can't play it, either.

Don't dismiss a method book because it doesn't feature the music you want to learn. Use it as a supplement.

There isn't a good book using the 'traditional' method because of the the traditional method itself.

In a nutshell (and with sweeping generalisation) the European school responded to a need for concert platform performers when the affluent middle classes wanted to attend concerts. A teacher was the only way and the music was, perforce, not elementary.

The American school repsonded to a need for piano buyers when the piano makers began flourishing. Quality of performance was not a criterion. Banging out songs akin to guitar like accompaniment was the order of the day. It is for this niche that the method book developed. For self teaching this is the most logical approach because it's thorough and gently progressive.

Adding classical music, even at an elementary level you must be aware of how long it takes to learn simple pieces, how slowly you must go and how many different approaches to a learning methodology you must try before finding which ones work best for you.

I've been playing since the sixties and I'm still finding out what works best for me - it's changed over the years and I'm not always keeping up.

Here's a good link, there are others.
http://brenthugh.com/piano/piano-practice.html

There are many who will caution you about physical problems such as RSI and back problems. You must ensure you are conforming to good ergonomic practise to prevent long term suffering and injury. If you are used to 'listening' to your body in another discipline this may help but if not then do try to get someone with sufficient expertise to check your posture and playing actions at least once. An inch up or down on the stool can make a huge difference on long practise sessions and over long years.

If you can get a video of yourself playing, either you or someone else may be able to make an informed correction to your posture or actions.

Don't lose touch with the Piano World forums. The wealth of information here and the sheer level of support and encouragement is huge and freely given.
_________________________
Richard

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#1980970 - 10/31/12 02:29 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 995
The bottom line is... everybody learns differently and not everyone has the same goals. If you want to play in a rock band, taking years of classical lessons won't necessarily help you achieve that goal as fast as possible. The best way to learn is the way that works for you. Unless you are trying to be a professional concert pianist or trying to get a piano scholarship to a conservatory, it's perfectly acceptable to learn on your own. The only thing to consider is where you are getting your information from, since your teacher will now be a bunch of sources. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad YouTube videos out there with horrible advice. Choose your "teachers" wisely.

I will say one thing about teachers that may benefit the OP. I often have been challenged to teach people overcoming disabilities. Quite often, we're throwing all the technique out the window and trying to create a methodology that will work for that student, creating the best results with the least amount of tension. You don't have to take regular lessons, but if you are struggling, especially physically, with any aspect of music, it may benefit you to take at least one lesson and share your struggles with someone who may be able to help you overcome them.

And as Richard said, a bunch of folks here are always available to help. Good luck!
_________________________
-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
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#1981468 - 11/01/12 06:15 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: Ojustaboo]
Shey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 340
Loc: Greater Manchester, England
Thank you for your post. I work with people with disabilities and thought you explained yourself really well, but shouldn't have to at all. So many people on this site teach themselves for all sorts of reasons and that's fantastic. Thank you again. Shey
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Alfreds All In One Level 1 graduate and various other tutor sources
Alfreds Masterworks Classics Level 1-2
Fundamental Keys
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#1981485 - 11/01/12 06:52 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: Starr Keys]
Newman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/11
Posts: 700
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Starr Keys
+1, Joe and Cathy.

Joe, I share your displeasure with those "teachers are a must" posts ... I wasn't going to post this time, ...partly because I've done it so many times before that I'm sure people are tired of hearing my voice on the subject ...School was a nightmare for me for some of the reasons you relate.

...


Ditto

I entered high school wanting to "be a Beatle". In my first music lesson the music teacher announced they were not real musicians and couldn't sing and then began to draw a staff on the board ... I never listened again.
_________________________
Guitar since 1966. Piano (Kawai DP80) since 2011.

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#1981486 - 11/01/12 06:53 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: jotur]
Newman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/11
Posts: 700
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: jotur
...

Many people throughout the years have learned to make music on fiddles, guitars, dulcimers, pianos, whistles, and goodness knows what else, by being around people who play them and having someone show them a little at a time - no formal lessons to it. Cathy


Exactly
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Guitar since 1966. Piano (Kawai DP80) since 2011.

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#1981490 - 11/01/12 06:56 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: Brian Lucas]
Newman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/11
Posts: 700
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Brian Lucas
The bottom line is... everybody learns differently and not everyone has the same goals. If you want to play in a rock band, taking years of classical lessons won't necessarily help you achieve that goal as fast as possible. The best way to learn is the way that works for you. Unless you are trying to be a professional concert pianist or trying to get a piano scholarship to a conservatory, it's perfectly acceptable to learn on your own. ...


Correct.
_________________________
Guitar since 1966. Piano (Kawai DP80) since 2011.

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#1981493 - 11/01/12 07:06 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
Newman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/11
Posts: 700
Loc: Australia
I taught myself guitar in high school mostly by sharing the learning, tips and tricks with other budding guitar players. Very common among guitar players. I'm applying the same method now to piano.

I don't feel "poorer" by not having a teacher. Quite the opposite. Compared to when I learnt guitar there are vast resources available to me through the internet.

There are many roads to Rome.
_________________________
Guitar since 1966. Piano (Kawai DP80) since 2011.

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#1981584 - 11/02/12 01:32 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England
Quote:
I entered high school wanting to "be a Beatle". In my first music lesson the music teacher announced they were not real musicians and couldn't sing and then began to draw a staff on the board ... I never listened again.



OOOH! That was naughty LOL. I live in Liverpool and am from Merseyside and that teacher wouldn't have gone down well here!
My piano teacher showed me how to play a bit of Imagine on the piano last lesson. I asked him if he liked the Beatles. He said, "Well I am in Liverpool..."
He isn't from up here so knows it doesn't go down well saying you aren't keen on them ha ha.
I said it was ok if he wasn't! I don't mind them- do rate George Harrison's solo stuff- got two of his orginal LPS. I used to be mad on them when I was younger.They were good as pop music goes but not in the league of Beethoven. And Beethoven is definetly NOT rolling over!!!


Edited by EdwardianPiano (11/02/12 01:33 AM)
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"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


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#1981659 - 11/02/12 08:23 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5377
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: BillTheSlink
You're most likely right, having played trumpet would be a help, but of course we din't do chords or have the bass clef to worry about. Thanks again and I guess I will soon find out how hard it will be. laugh

Oddly enough, I can speak directly to this. I learned to play the trumpet before the piano as well, and I can tell you it helps. When I was around 8 or so, I taught myself piano by learning the names of the keys, and then "counting down" from treble to bass clef until I figured out what the note names were. I taught myself two songs before starting with a teacher: Fur Elise and The Spinning Song. So, yes, it is absolutely possible.

Trombone Al brings up a good point however, that there is a significant disadvantage, because you may have to unlearn any bad habits you pick up on your own depending on what your purpose is for studying piano. If it's for personal enjoyment, then I suppose you'd only have to worry about bad habits that could cause injury. If it's for public performance, there are other bad habits to worry about.

Quote:
Good idea. Perhaps I'll take some lessons first. It's just that's money's tight you know and right after buying the DP it will be tight.

I think if you can do this at all, it will be to your advantage. Even if it's just to get the basics down, it will help.

Originally Posted By: Ojustaboo
Nothing worse than seeing people ask for advice, people who state they can't use a teacher at the moment for whatever reason, to have someone come along and question them. It happens all the time on this forum and in my opinion is this forums worst trait.

Personally I wish the site owner and mods would introduce a rule banning posts like yours when people have stressed they want to teach themselves.

I did not copy your entire post because it would take up too much room. I am sorry for the troubles you are going through. It is clear that you are completely unfamiliar with me or my posts by the tone of your post. But I think, more importantly, you either didn't read or didn't understand what I posted, so I'd briefly like to clear that up without side-tracking the thread.

There are many reasons people don't want to work with a teacher. Beginners have a wide variety of reasons, some of which are misconceptions. I've seen people assume they can't get a teacher based on a false presumption, and once that issue is cleared up, they can actually get one. I prefer not to assume anything by reading the original post, and when I am confused, to inquire further so that I can offer the best possible advice to the person who is making the query. I feel that is only fair to them.

I am sorry you feel the way you feel, but please do not make a judgment before you understand what I posted or why I posted it.
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Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1981868 - 11/02/12 04:38 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: Derulux]
BillTheSlink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/12
Posts: 108
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Oh, I sure am sorry Joe to hear how difficult things are for you, but many of the reasons you outlined, but not all of course, are some of the reasons I knew a teacher may not be right for me. I just didn't really want to go into it, so I sort of blew it off as, "money will be tight", which of course it will be but that is't the main issue.

I do think I will strike out on my own, but maybe try to take a few lessons here or there as I need help. I know I will never be a concert performer, but I just want to be able to sit down and play music like I love to hear.

Thank you for sticking your neck out for me and explaining to people how people like use who have disabilities, or just don't do well in a structured environment, have difficulties which can be overcome.

BillTheSlink
_________________________
Currently I am without a piano, but when I get mine back I will be working on "The Complete Piano Player", as well as Neely's "How to Play from a Fake Book. I am spending my time working on theory and learning how to construct chords currently.


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#1981904 - 11/02/12 05:51 PM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
Starr Keys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 1010
Loc: california
Andrew Lypur's website is best place I know to go on line for classical training.

http://www.howtoplaypiano.ca/

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#1982059 - 11/03/12 05:11 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: Derulux]
Ojustaboo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Deleted
Originally Posted By: Derulux


I am sorry you feel the way you feel, but please do not make a judgment before you understand what I posted or why I posted it.


To quote your original post, you said

Quote:

so I'm confused when you mentioned being disabled and lessons not working for you in the same sentence. How'd you learn the trumpet? There are some okay ways to teach yourself, but nothing beats a qualified teacher. Why so averse?


To me, that reads like your almost trying to catch him out, implying that if he had lessons for the trumpet, then he can have lessons for the piano.

He learnt the trumpet 20 years ago, health changes greatly over 20 years.

I'm judging you on what you typed, I apologise if I'm miss reading it but I stand by what I said that if someone says they cant have a teacher, no one has the right to question that.

Your whole response I just quoted is basically telling him you want a full explanation of why he cant have a teacher (or you don't really believe he cant have a teacher) and if that was me, the response I would have to give would be my long post above.

Most people do not want to have to keep explaining themselves, if your ill etc it can get really really draining and tiresome.

And people are entitled to their privacy and shouldn't have to explain themselves anyway hence the OP posted

Quote:

Oh, I sure am sorry Joe to hear how difficult things are for you, but many of the reasons you outlined, but not all of course, are some of the reasons I knew a teacher may not be right for me. I just didn't really want to go into it, so I sort of blew it off as, "money will be tight", which of course it will be but that is't the main issue.


I appreciate you might not have meant it how I read it and I apologise if that's so, that doesn't get round the fact time and time again I see on this forum (and the responses to my post show that to be true) people stating they cant have a teacher, and others choosing not to believe them and either questioning them or responding that they should get a teacher and there's simply no need for it and again it needs to stop.

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#1982064 - 11/03/12 05:35 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: Ojustaboo]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5377
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Ojustaboo
Originally Posted By: Derulux


I am sorry you feel the way you feel, but please do not make a judgment before you understand what I posted or why I posted it.


To quote your original post, you said

Quote:

so I'm confused when you mentioned being disabled and lessons not working for you in the same sentence. How'd you learn the trumpet? There are some okay ways to teach yourself, but nothing beats a qualified teacher. Why so averse?


To me, that reads like your almost trying to catch him out, implying that if he had lessons for the trumpet, then he can have lessons for the piano.

He learnt the trumpet 20 years ago, health changes greatly over 20 years.

I'm judging you on what you typed, I apologise if I'm miss reading it but I stand by what I said that if someone says they cant have a teacher, no one has the right to question that.

Your whole response I just quoted is basically telling him you want a full explanation of why he cant have a teacher (or you don't really believe he cant have a teacher) and if that was me, the response I would have to give would be my long post above.

Most people do not want to have to keep explaining themselves, if your ill etc it can get really really draining and tiresome.

And people are entitled to their privacy and shouldn't have to explain themselves anyway hence the OP posted

Quote:

Oh, I sure am sorry Joe to hear how difficult things are for you, but many of the reasons you outlined, but not all of course, are some of the reasons I knew a teacher may not be right for me. I just didn't really want to go into it, so I sort of blew it off as, "money will be tight", which of course it will be but that is't the main issue.


I appreciate you might not have meant it how I read it and I apologise if that's so, that doesn't get round the fact time and time again I see on this forum (and the responses to my post show that to be true) people stating they cant have a teacher, and others choosing not to believe them and either questioning them or responding that they should get a teacher and there's simply no need for it and again it needs to stop.


Thank you for the reply. I'm glad we were able to clear at least a few things up. smile

I understand it can get tiring to explain a disability over and over again, and the energy required may not be worth the effort. However, I would hope that you can also understand it from the opposite position, where those of us on the other end have nothing to use except the poster's words in order to answer their questions. There honestly was no malicious intent in my post, merely an attempt to either get at the root of the problem to see if it was a true statement or an individual bias. That is why I never said, "You can't learn without a teacher," but rather, "Why so averse?"

At first, I thought maybe there was an injury related to the instrument, in which case there are teachers who specialize in overcoming those particular disabilities. I would argue the large portion of beginners asking questions would have no idea who these teachers are. But if that were the case, I could very easily recommend some wonderful people.

So there are a lot of ways these words can be interpreted. I don't like saying, "I can't do something." I never say it. If I want to do it hard enough, I find a way to make it work, even if I have to modify the method. So, before I discounted the possibility of anyone being able to work with a teacher and reaping the benefits, I wanted to make sure there was no way to make it happen. Sometimes I do this to a fault, and without initially explaining myself. I guess that's one of my flaws, trying to see and reach the best possible outcome for everyone. I assure you, if this person lived closer to me, I would meet them, at random, for fifteen minutes a day whenever I could. It might not be every week, but maybe sometimes it could be twice a week. Whenever it fit both our schedules, I would make it work. And I am sure there are other people out there who would do the same.

So, I guess in closing, I would ask that, before you jump on someone with a scathing reply, please check the source. I've been posting in this forum since 2005 or so (with an extended absence in the middle), and all I've ever tried to do is help people the best that I can. Sometimes that requires asking unpopular questions, but if it means I can give them better help knowing the answer, then I feel it is only fair to the poster that I ask anyway.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1982067 - 11/03/12 05:45 AM Re: Best way to "Teach yourself" piano [Re: BillTheSlink]
Jean-Luc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/12
Posts: 322
Loc: France
Time to "advertize" for my favorite free web based resource: http://www.youtube.com/user/pianoologist/videos?flow=grid&view=1 (I would start with: Piano-ology: Piano Technique Fundamentals Video Series)
You can also check his (also free) website: http://piano-ology.com/
_________________________
- Please, forgive my bad English smile

Jean-Luc

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