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#2142011 - 08/31/13 10:57 PM Question
jaymes677 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 13
From reading some of the posts on this forum, I believe I am an oddity (a true beginner). Most of what I am seeing doesn't sound like beginner level conversation to me.

I just bought a song book of standards that looked about my level. However, now that I have it home, it says piano/guitar/vocal, and I am having difficulty understanding how to approach it from a piano solo perspective.

Any tips on how to interpret what I am seeing. First row has Treble staff and bass staff, with what appears to be guitar chord charts above along with piano chord symbols. Subsequent lines have the same with the addition of a 2nd treble staff. Confused. Any help appreciated. No, I don't have a teacher or know anyone else that plays an instrument.

Jim
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#2142042 - 09/01/13 12:09 AM Re: Question [Re: jaymes677]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 904
Hi Jim. Beginner is a relative term and I will say that some discussions here do get a little complex. We never mean to talk over someone's head.

Sounds like the book you got has an actual notated piano part (the 2 lines at the beginning). You should see a bracket connecting the 2 together. This bracket should exist in all the other lines too. This is how you identify the piano part. The reason for the third line is for the melody. You should see lyrics below it. If that's the case, the piano part was written to be an accompaniment, with someone singing the song along with you. The melody may or may not be included in the piano part.

If you mainly want to play songs solo style, your best bet would be to learn chords. You would then use the chords written above the line and the melody line to create a solo piano performance.

By the way, don't feel intimidated here. Everyone starts out as a "true beginner" at some point.
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#2142050 - 09/01/13 12:19 AM Re: Question [Re: jaymes677]
Polyphonist Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 6409
Loc: New York City
By the way, next time please try to think of a slightly more descriptive title than "Question."
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#2142067 - 09/01/13 01:04 AM Re: Question [Re: jaymes677]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
jaymes677, I have read your post, here:

From reading some of the posts on this forum, I believe I am an oddity (a true beginner). Most of what I am seeing doesn't sound like beginner level conversation to me.

I just bought a song book of standards that looked about my level. However, now that I have it home, it says piano/guitar/vocal, and I am having difficulty understanding how to approach it from a piano solo perspective.

Any tips on how to interpret what I am seeing. First row has Treble staff and bass staff, with what appears to be guitar chord charts above along with piano chord symbols. Subsequent lines have the same with the addition of a 2nd treble staff. Confused. Any help appreciated. No, I don't have a teacher or know anyone else that plays an instrument.

Jim

__________________________________________________________________________________________

as I understand your post, you say you are a true beginner. You also say I just bought a song book of standards that looked about my level. However, now that I have it home, it says piano/guitar/vocal, and I am having difficulty understanding how to appreaoch it from a piano solo perspective.

I am not sure what you are saying because if you are a true beginner, you wouldn't be able to play that song book and nor would you say "standards that look about my level.

I have been playing the piano close to 2 years and I couldn't begin to play any music with chord symbols.

You can go to a music store and buy one of several famous music books that will teach you how to play the piano playing the treble clef with the right hand and playing the chord symbol notes with the left hand. Working though such a book as a beginner would probably take you 6 months.

To be able to play the piano, you need to know the note names on the staff, below the staff and above the staff. You also need to know the values of the notes so you know how long the note is to be held/played.

It is not that you can't teach yourself to play the piano, but if you want to do it, you have to go to a music store and buy a book or books that will teach you the basics to learning to read and play music.

There is series of books called Piano Town that you might look at.

You should know that people that you see playing on the street for coins, have likely been playing for 10 years - so it is a very, very slow process of learning to play the piano.

If you are the kind of person who would like to sit at a piano 2 to 4 hours a day practicing the piano for most of the rest of your life, you will be a very happy person. If you think that learning to play the piano is easy and a snap to learn, then you might be surprised by the time involved.


cheers,

3G31GRA



Edited by Michael_99 (09/01/13 01:08 AM)

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#2142070 - 09/01/13 01:10 AM Re: Question [Re: jaymes677]
Whizbang Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 657
Originally Posted By: jaymes677
From reading some of the posts on this forum, I believe I am an oddity (a true beginner). Most of what I am seeing doesn't sound like beginner level conversation to me.

I just bought a song book of standards that looked about my level. However, now that I have it home, it says piano/guitar/vocal, and I am having difficulty understanding how to approach it from a piano solo perspective.

Any tips on how to interpret what I am seeing. First row has Treble staff and bass staff, with what appears to be guitar chord charts above along with piano chord symbols. Subsequent lines have the same with the addition of a 2nd treble staff. Confused. Any help appreciated. No, I don't have a teacher or know anyone else that plays an instrument.

Jim


The "top" treble staff on the subsequent systems is the vocal line. It's meant to be sung. The guitar chords/tabs are for the guitar. And the bass and lower treble staff are for you as a pianist.

Very many piano-guitar-vocal arrangements will actually just double the vocal melody--that is, the vocal line is also included in the piano line. If that's the case with your arrangement, you can just play the piano part and you'll have a complete piece and you can ignore the vocal line if you wish.
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#2142072 - 09/01/13 01:16 AM Re: Question [Re: jaymes677]
jaymes677 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 13
Brian Lucas - Thanks. That helped. I will play the chords with the left hand and the melody line with my right. I just wasn't seeing it amidst all the clutter. You're right. Beginner is very relative. Michael 99's response really drove that home.


Polyphonist - I will try to do better. I tend to be a minimalist.

Michael 99 - Your response made me realize I underestimated myself. I already sight read the notes, understand intervals, how to build chords, create the chord inversions, etc. So, I suppose to someone else I might not seem like a "true beginner". But I know better smile

thanks.
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#2142200 - 09/01/13 10:18 AM Re: Question [Re: jaymes677]
Sand Tiger Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 915
Loc: Southern California
Hi Jaymes, I was going to make the same comment about you not being a true beginner.

Anyway, the most common beginner thing to do with such scores is to play the piano part, the lower two staves and ignore the upper. That said, there are many more variations.

Do you plan to sing and play? If the chords seem too difficult for a beginner (and they are for many true beginners) a way to simplify further is the play single note harmonies on the left hand (eg: instead of a C chord, play a C note on the left).

One step up is to play two note harmonies, examples might be the high and low notes of the chord, or an octave (eg: C to C octave). If singing and playing, fewer notes can give more room for the voice part. Not to mention the difficulty most beginners and not even true beginners, have doing five things at once (reading and playing the treble part, bass part, looking at hands, reading lyrics, trying to sing).

If you get more accomplished, you might eventually play the bass line (the bottom) with the right hand, and improvise arpeggios with the left hand based on those chords, while singing.

Another common format is lead sheets. These are melody on the treble clef and chord letters above and lyrics below. The same variations of what do might apply to lead sheets.
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#2142302 - 09/01/13 02:49 PM Re: Question [Re: jaymes677]
FarmGirl Online   content

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 1800
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
As Brian mentioned above "beginner" is a relative term. I have started piano early in my life on June 6th of the 6th year of my life in accordance with tradition. But I never really knew I liked it. I went through mindless movement for 30 min each for piano an violin everyday under my nom's watch. After 7 years I quit and regretted it. Anyway years gone by until I went university for something else. About that time I felt like I really heard music speaking to me directly. Took lessons from a friend for 3 years. Then life happened (dating marriage job exam etc) and I did not play until late 2008 or 3009. So I probably have 14 years altogether. But I feel like I'm still a beginner compared with my teacher and lots of fine players I know in our local piano club.

I think there a lot of folks in the ABF forum like me. In spite of years behind me I still cannot participate in the PC discussions. I don't know music history, performers and theories as they do. So I cannot carry on a meaningfull conversation with them. So be patient with us false beginners in the forum too. I think this is a very friendly place.
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#2142324 - 09/01/13 03:37 PM Re: Question [Re: jaymes677]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 355
Hey farmgirl. What clubs? I notice you are in AZ and i'm living in phoenix!
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#2142518 - 09/01/13 10:04 PM Re: Question [Re: jaymes677]
jaymes677 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 13
The first piece I am going to tackle out of the new book is "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". I just finished going through and annotating all the chords(a lot of chords).

The first 2 pieces I've gotten under hand are "Stardust" and "Night and Day". I seem to enjoy the right hand melody with left hand chords at this stage at least. I became pretty comfortable with the 7ths on those two, but this new one has it all, 6ths, 9ths, 13ths, Sus4, Dims. LOL.

thanks for the assist.

I wonder if we have any piano clubs in the Dallas area?
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