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#2152170 - 09/17/13 01:12 PM Tom Waits: Piano Approach
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 184
Hello,

I love Tom Waits & the way he plays piano.

Does anyone have info on how he learned? Is he classically trained?

If I were to take lessons and be able to play at a similar level would I choose a classical teacher or what?

Thanks!

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#2152174 - 09/17/13 01:15 PM Re: Tom Waits: Piano Approach [Re: johnbarnesiii]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18292
Loc: Victoria, BC
This article indicates that he was self-taught :

Tom Waits

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2152209 - 09/17/13 02:08 PM Re: Tom Waits: Piano Approach [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 184
Any recommendation, what would be the best approach to learning a similar style to his? Any specific method or approach? Thank you.

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#2152221 - 09/17/13 02:29 PM Re: Tom Waits: Piano Approach [Re: johnbarnesiii]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18292
Loc: Victoria, BC
You might think of posting your question in the Pianist Corner - Non Classical. You may get more informed responses there.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2152263 - 09/17/13 03:33 PM Re: Tom Waits: Piano Approach [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4441
Loc: San Jose, CA
Autodidacts are common on guitar, a rarity on piano (at least, those of any accomplishment--- we've all heard pounders who never studied).

This may suggest a learning path for the OP. I do know accomplished pianists who have used the technique of listening to recordings of a favorite player, and then have tried to duplicate what they heard. Tom said, himself, "I didn't just marry a beautiful woman, I married a record collection."

But, who knows: maybe johnbarnesiii could contact Tom Waits, through his management, and arrange for lessons. Many of the great composers have not felt that they were above teaching. Ravel, Chopin, etc.

The Wiki article is quite good. Evidently, it was written by a serious fan.
_________________________
Clef


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#2152400 - 09/17/13 07:18 PM Re: Tom Waits: Piano Approach [Re: johnbarnesiii]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
To misquote someone (I forget whom) “why be a 2nd rate Tom Waits when you can be a 1st rate johnbarnesiii”
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

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#2153161 - 09/18/13 04:53 PM Re: Tom Waits: Piano Approach [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 184
Thanks guys! I done as you suggested & posted in non-classical forum. Cool to hear Tom is self-taught. I'll probably end up going with a somewhat traditional teacher, I spoke to someone really good, he starts people off using the John Thompson method which I know is really old but after maybe 6 months to a year of that you have a solid foundation. From there you can go any direction: classical, rock, jazz, etc.

Just been thinking about other possible directions to take. My goal is not to become a super accomplished symphony pianist... I'm a rock guy with a keen ear for melody. I simply would like to be able to write more fluidly and have a solid foundation.

I really like Tom's playing so the thought was... how did he learn, did he use a traditional approach or anything specific? He obviously has the talent to teach himself which is great. I actually spoke with a piano teacher who supposedly taught Tom's son back in the day! Which is funny to me bc if your dad is Tom Waits, why not teach him himself? But maybe he wanted a more formal approach for his son being that Tom himself apparently didn't go that route.

Cheers guys, thanks again.

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#2153175 - 09/18/13 05:16 PM Re: Tom Waits: Piano Approach [Re: johnbarnesiii]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
having a sound knowledge in traditional playing is the best thing you can do to become a great musician, regardless of style; so getting a solid foundation, as you put it, is a great idea. learning haptatonic scales, modes, blues scales, etc, is the key. talent is only part of the mixture, all the talent in the world won't create true art if you lack the effeciency to convey what you're thinking and feeling through a stable technique and knowledge, which of course is learnt purely through practise and experience, so getting it right at the beginning will be a good thing! it's like being born exceptionally strong but not knowing how to throw a punch - it'll be pure chance if you actually land a hit.
By the way i'm a fan of Tom Waits, especially his early jazzy stuff.
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

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