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#2025553 - 02/01/13 07:48 PM So what do u think?
Amir Ayyar Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 2
Hi,
I'm 24 years old and started piano 3 months ago. i finished alfred book 1 and then moved on to First impression series. I just finished book A ,which i presume, is the equal to grade 1 piano. I also did some pieces from essential repertoire series grades 0 and 1.
I have to mention that I didn't start from scratch and knew all about theory before touching the piano, as i'm primarily a songwriter and have played guitar, bass and a little bit of drums before.
I need to add that that i'm self taught. Not that i can't afford a good teacher, but i'm the kind of person who learns better on his own. The only thing that i struggle with is sight reading. Is sight reading that important?
I'm also working through Alfred complete rock keyboard method.
How good do u think my learning pace is? Am i moving too fast or too slow? And how long do u think it'll take me to play grade 8 stuff?
Thanks smile

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#2025683 - 02/02/13 01:12 AM Re: So what do u think? [Re: Amir Ayyar]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1098
Loc: Southern California
Welcome to the forum. You seem proud of your achievements so congratulations. That said, most of your questions don't mean much without more context. How much time are you spending each day? 15 minutes a day is far different from an hour a day, or four hours a day.

What are your goals? Is it to play a couple of grade 8 pieces? Or to achieve level 8 proficiency? or to pass a level 8 exam? For the latter two, sight reading is very important. If you are more interested in writing your own songs and instrumentals and/or playing popular songs from fake books, sight reading isn't as important. However, it is a valuable skill for a musician or songwriter to have, so it is worth spending some time on, say 10% to 20% of a person's practice time.

As for level 8, if a person with some musical background wants to chop up and digest one or two difficult pieces, that person probably can do that in a relatively short amount of time, especially if they can spend a lot of time each day. However, the quick approach often leads to shallow results. Experienced pianists or teachers will listen to those that rush to the difficult pieces, without building up a base of technique, and detect many minor issues, with phrasing, dynamics, or voicing. Most beginners don't understand that these are even possible issues, so can't start to address them, especially when working alone.

Many folks feel the need to be exceptional, and many fear they are below average. Most folks tend to be some what average, though there are a high percentage of exceptional people that share their music on the forum. Whatever path you choose, enjoy the journey.
_________________________
my piano uploads

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#2025742 - 02/02/13 06:11 AM Re: So what do u think? [Re: Sand Tiger]
Amir Ayyar Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 2
Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger
Welcome to the forum. You seem proud of your achievements so congratulations. That said, most of your questions don't mean much without more context. How much time are you spending each day? 15 minutes a day is far different from an hour a day, or four hours a day.

What are your goals? Is it to play a couple of grade 8 pieces? Or to achieve level 8 proficiency? or to pass a level 8 exam? For the latter two, sight reading is very important. If you are more interested in writing your own songs and instrumentals and/or playing popular songs from fake books, sight reading isn't as important. However, it is a valuable skill for a musician or songwriter to have, so it is worth spending some time on, say 10% to 20% of a person's practice time.

As for level 8, if a person with some musical background wants to chop up and digest one or two difficult pieces, that person probably can do that in a relatively short amount of time, especially if they can spend a lot of time each day. However, the quick approach often leads to shallow results. Experienced pianists or teachers will listen to those that rush to the difficult pieces, without building up a base of technique, and detect many minor issues, with phrasing, dynamics, or voicing. Most beginners don't understand that these are even possible issues, so can't start to address them, especially when working alone.

Many folks feel the need to be exceptional, and many fear they are below average. Most folks tend to be some what average, though there are a high percentage of exceptional people that share their music on the forum. Whatever path you choose, enjoy the journey.


Thanks for your reply Tiger. I'm really happy that i joined this forum smile
Actually I spend a lot of time on my practice. Say like 5 hours a day. I'd like to practice even more but unfortunately i'm very busy.
Well, truth be told, i haven't thought about my final goal yet. Yeah, sure i want to be able to play keyboard in my band, but that's not only it. I have a huge love for classical music. It doesn't hurt to be a grade 10 pianist. does it? smile Do you think it's even possible considering my age? Or should i focus on something more realistic?
Do you think that i've set up my goal too high?
You know i don't wanna just learn a piece and then move on to the next one before polishing the one i've already learned. In your words, I don't want my results to be "shallow". Yes I prefer to proceed faster but not unless i built a solid base of technique.
I'll upload some videos from me playing in a couple of days here. I'm really looking forward to all your comments. As i said i'm self taught so i encourage u all to criticize so that i can learn my mistakes. smile

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#2026036 - 02/02/13 08:43 PM Re: So what do u think? [Re: Amir Ayyar]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1098
Loc: Southern California
Five hours a day is quite a lot. For a passionate person willing to work at it, many things are possible. I am just another piano beginner, so don't lean too heavily on my comments. My suggestion is to keep it fun, and take it week by week, month by month, and see where that takes you.

The monthly piano bar thread is a good place to share your uploads. A person can also see and hear what other pianists are doing. Good luck with your piano journey.

The quarterly ABF recital is accepting uploads for the next ten days or so. It can be a good way to measure a person's progress from quarter to quarter.
_________________________
my piano uploads

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#2026949 - 02/04/13 02:22 PM Re: So what do u think? [Re: Amir Ayyar]
Barbareola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Germany
5 hours is a lot of time to practise, I'd say. However, we don't know anything about you. That you're posting in this forum suggests that you are an adult. As such, it is likely that job and family demands will not allow you to spend that much time with the piano for a longer time period.

Is it possible to reach the highest levels as an adult? I think that is possible, though depending on the system you base it on, that would be professional pianist level in my understanding. Most people who enjoy piano playing don't progress that far and still enjoy it.

Can you reach it without a teacher? Maybe. As I said we don't know how gifted and dedicated you are.

What I can tell you is that I've been taking 2 1/2 years of lessons (+ 1 year 20 years ealier, that hardly counts anymore). I am about at level 2, closing in on 3 on the ABRSM system. *I* wouldn't have been able to do that without a teacher. I wouldn't even know what I was doing wrong and what needed improvement.
Among the regular posters here, there is a gulf between those that believe that you need a teacher and those that feel you can do without. Personally, I am in the first camp.
_________________________
Currently working on: Venetian Gondola song by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

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#2026978 - 02/04/13 03:25 PM Re: So what do u think? [Re: Amir Ayyar]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11843
Loc: Canada
I couldn't find this post after it first went up, in order to respond. From what you first wrote, it is impossible to tell anything, because you only say that you played the pieces in these books. But we don't know what kinds of things you focused on as you went through the book, and what you have actually achieved in terms of skills. The piano is a tricky instrument, especially for people who already do music otherwise. It is tricky, because with other instruments you have to work on some degree of technique to even be able to produce a sound. On piano it's so easy to produce a sound that we even see videos of cats and dogs "playing" piano. So you zip ahead rapidly in the beginning, and then it bites you in the rears with advanced music where skills are finally needed.

Some things off the top of my head:
- having a degree of efficient from when you are playing that will grow with you, so that what you do is done with relative ease (that's a principal for all instruments)
- hopefully a growing ability to sight read music in both clefs and for both hands
- to get the coordination that you are able to produce an even tone at will, as opposed to some notes being louder than others because of "weaker fingers" or awkward angles. the ability to listen for and hear this
- the ability to produce dynamics
- the next coordination of being able to play the main melody louder than the accompaniment - eventually to be able to produce dynamics and articulation in any hand separate from the others
- eventually (not now) to be able to play a melodic line in one hand, while also playing other voices in the same hand, so that the ear can follow both
- pedal skill
- articulation (legato, staccato, sforzando) which begins with simple things in the beginning.

It is not just the pieces themselves that are in a book, but what learning there is inside these pieces.

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