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#2164782 - 10/11/13 09:28 AM How Do I Learn The Piano
sirtypical Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/13
Posts: 11
Hi everyone.
I'm just a young adult who recently got a digital piano and some learning material.

First, I fully understand that nothing will ever beat getting trained by a piano teacher, I get that 100%.Unfortunately, my current situation makes it impossible to get a good teacher.So I decided that I will find myself a teacher when I move out state next year and maybe start over. But In the meantime, I want to learn as much as I possible can.

So my question is, how do I learn?
What I mean by that is, what steps do I take?

I understand that there's many parts to it, such as Music Theory, Finger placements (for scales and all), Piano techniques, and some other that I might not know of, given that I'm not a pro in the field..

I passionately want to learn how to play the piano and become a greatly skilled pianist one day, no matter how many years it takes to master the instrument. I want to learn simply for the love of it, the genuine passion for music and not necessarely for a career or financial gain..

So please, can anyone give me a step by step guide to learning?
Do I start with the music theory or do I combine piano techniques with fingering...???
I want to know the steps that a real teacher would take to teach his or her student, in details..
And if there's recommended books on the subject, please do tell..

Thanks to all reading this.

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#2164783 - 10/11/13 09:39 AM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
Mken Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/13
Posts: 96
Buy the Alfred all in one piano books?

They start off simple and get progressively more difficult, with each new piece teaching you something new.

I went through these books myself including the Aaron books.

Starts with one hand then a bit on how to read music, then introduces sharps and flats.

Introducing a scale now and again.


What you're after is the foundations and building blocks rather than the songs themselves. As you can simply learn a song by rote, or you can learn the building blocks and play anything (eventually).
_________________________
I want to be so good at Piano like VK, that Roland gives me a free piano too!

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#2164795 - 10/11/13 10:12 AM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
Farmerjones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 211
Loc: USA
Welcome sirtypical,
I recommend doctorkeys.com.
BTW Dr. Keys is a PW member.

Just about anybody with a piano has a youtube vid. teaching piano.
I think it's too much for a newbie filter.
Pick one path and stick with it for a while.
Great support right here too.

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#2164828 - 10/11/13 10:58 AM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
Steve Warner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/13
Posts: 23
Loc: New York, New York
There are many ways to go about learning the piano. I recommend the way that's the most fun for you.

You might want to start by learning a song or two without getting too caught up in theory. This may help you decide how much time you want to commit to studying and practice each day. In my opinion Fur Elise is a nice song to start with (I have easy to follow video lessons of Fur Elise at my website).

If you want to get really good, then you will probably eventually want to pay for a learning system (a book, or video program, etc.) But I wouldn't rush into spending money. Learn to play a song first, and learn a little basic theory. Then you will be able to make a more educated decision when you do decide to make a purchase.

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#2164830 - 10/11/13 11:05 AM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1520
Your gonna get a different answer from everyone. That's a pretty broad question.
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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#2164976 - 10/11/13 05:53 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
PaperClip Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/09
Posts: 522
Loc: Amsterdam, Holland
Welcome!

Search for the music you like AND the music you find should be at your level. Without a teacher this might be the most difficult, because you don't have knowlegde about what material there is out there and as a beginner you are very limited to play pieces. Playing the wrong material could be very demotivating. Take your time to search for your best material.

In the meantime you could learn notes and how to read them. So you can read music. Maybe by playing a game on the internet.

Play an half hour to an hour each day and eventually you learn the piano inside out. Have fun. That's all.

When I started with a teacher, she gave me the first 20 exercises of czerny op 599. It gave me the feeling of playing some beautiful classical music and it was for me an eye opener which finger to use for a note. You can download it from the imslp website here. The score has fingering on it, so it will help your finger movement.

You can find almost anything on classical music for free at this website. So check it out.

Edit: I did about one bar each week. Czerny gave me great fun first half year. After that I was ready for some one page classical music.

Edit2: maybe you can find a book for teachers how to teach the first year to students. I had one although quite expensive. Very interesting. A sheet music store would have such books.
_________________________
Chris

Playing since May 02 2009

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#2165056 - 10/11/13 10:29 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: PaperClip]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1098
Loc: Southern California
Another vote for choosing a method book. There are several popular ones.

I also suggest finding some video or pictures or websites about position and posture. It won't guarantee anything, but at least a person might give it a bit of thought. A percentage of beginners injure themselves, and poor posture and position can increase that percentage. Of course, a teacher would be infinitely more useful, but a few clicks for research is better than going in blind.
_________________________
my piano uploads

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#2165058 - 10/11/13 10:33 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
sirtypical Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/13
Posts: 11
Thank you all for the input, really appreciated.
It looks like songs would be the way to go?
Or maybe music theory first.

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#2165061 - 10/11/13 10:39 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: PaperClip]
sirtypical Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/13
Posts: 11
Thanks PaperClip. Could you please give me the name of the teacher's book you're talking about? And how did you use it to your advantage..
Thanks again

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#2165062 - 10/11/13 10:42 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: Sand Tiger]
sirtypical Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/13
Posts: 11
Thanks Sand Tiger
Any method books that you'd recommend??

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#2165078 - 10/11/13 11:23 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1535
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: sirtypical
Thank you all for the input, really appreciated.
It looks like songs would be the way to go?
Or maybe music theory first.


There's no "first". You learn the theory as you go, to understand how the songs you're learning are put together.

It's possible to learn music theory, divorced from any real music. But it would be a very dry, unrewarding study.

The "beginner method books" -- Alfred, and so on -- are carefully designed to match the "practical" learning (which finger, on which key) with the "theoretical" learning (why would you _want_ to put that finger on that key).

. Charles

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#2165141 - 10/12/13 03:18 AM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: sirtypical
I want to know the steps that a real teacher would take to teach his or her student, in details..


This can't be given because the best piano teacher doesn't teach in any one given way to every student - each situation is different.


Quote:
And if there's recommended books on the subject, please do tell..


There are a great many number of books, but all you need is some music (the music in piano method books provide nice progressions of difficulty), some tutelage on how to read music (which beginner method books provide), and preferably some advice on how to practice efficiently. Two good piano method books are Alfred's Adult All-in-One and Hal Leonard's Adult Piano Method (but just pick one). A nice beginner's music theory text is Michael Miller's The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory (not necessary, but a great read if it interests you). And a book that helps you with how to practice efficiently is Madeline Bruser's The Art of Practicing.

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#2165206 - 10/12/13 08:51 AM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1950
Loc: Pennsylvania
This site will provide excellent instruction for classical music.


http://fundamentalkeys.com/index.html



There is a book associated with it that you purchase and the instructor (classically trained) provides individual videos (quite inexpensive) that provides additional instruction for specific pages in the book. It is quite good as a substitute for having a real teacher. I think it would get you going down the right path immediately.

Here is one of her videos ...

http://fundamentalkeys.com/videos/warmups.html

I think it cuts out early because we are not viewing it from her site.


Edited by dmd (10/12/13 08:59 AM)
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2165219 - 10/12/13 10:11 AM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: dmd]
sirtypical Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/13
Posts: 11
Thanks for the reply dmd. But, does the book ship to South Africa too?? Or is there an Ebook version of it??
Thanks again

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#2165368 - 10/12/13 05:46 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
D7K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/12
Posts: 70
I've found Emedia Key board and Piano That uses both the piano and computer work well. Starts very basic and builds. You can get a download or from Amazon.
_________________________
Jeff
Yamaha p105 - love it, soon to be donated to a local school
Casio PX-5S Pro - my new adventure

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#2165724 - 10/13/13 04:47 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
PaperClip Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/09
Posts: 522
Loc: Amsterdam, Holland
The book is called 'Professional Piano Teaching' by Jeanine M. Jacobsen. I used this book to get me through the first year. It's a piano pedagogy textbook.
_________________________
Chris

Playing since May 02 2009

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#2165730 - 10/13/13 04:52 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
Don't learn the piano now. Learn the piano with your teacher when you start next year. For now, study music. Listen to it, analyze it, expose yourself to it as much as possible. Don't try to play it on the piano.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2165732 - 10/13/13 04:55 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
This is an interesting book, directed at the piano student, that explains the many facets of learning that the author considers essential for the piano student to know. You can check out the table of contents via the Amazon "look inside".

The Piano Lessons Book

It's meant for use with a teacher, but I've found it quite useful when studying alone.
_________________________
Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

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#2165734 - 10/13/13 05:02 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
RUSS SHETTLE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 301
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
Originally Posted By: sirtypical
Thank you all for the input, really appreciated.
It looks like songs would be the way to go?
Or maybe music theory first.


Sirtypical,

I would have to ask you first:

What do you know now about music if anything. Have you ever played anything else, like just strumming a few chords on a guitar. Have you even touched a piano before. Do you know anything about chords, at least major and minor.

Are you familiar with "Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do" ? Ever sing that in school?

We would need to know what you even think you know, right or wrong, about anything pertaining to music. Tell us what you think you know basically no matter what that may be.
_________________________
Russ
Yamaha CP5
Casio PX130
Yamaha AP Upright

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#2168291 - 10/18/13 10:42 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: RUSS SHETTLE]
sirtypical Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/13
Posts: 11
Thank you RUSS SHETTLE.

I will try to answer your question(s) as best as I can.

I've never been in a music school, only schools with music departments but was focused on other fields. But as a child, we were taught to 'sing' the Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do and how to write it on the treble clef. We didn't go in depth with it, that's why I say that we were taught to SING cauz that's how I remember it.

I know music theory. I wouldn't say I'm advanced at all, I always put myself in a beginner's position cauz I just love learning. But I learned music theory from books and interactive DVDs and the internet of course. So yes, I know chords (triads, sevenths, augmented, diminished), I know scales (major, minor harmonic and melodic), .....what else can I say, flats and sharps, octaves??
I'm sure I have a lot more to learn but I'm constantly doing that through books and music videos, and music itself.

Guitar? Yes, I have played a few strums and fingerpicks (after spending like 10 min trying to fret it the right way). I don't know how to play any instruments. I've TRIED a lot of them, but I haven't LEARNED how to like REALLY play any.

I've always loved music, I use to sing a lil in our choir when I was a kid, which didn't last long enough to know that anything a bout music like a musician would. I listen to music everyday, everywhere and IN everything (even movies and commercials).
My interest in the instrument side of music came when I bought a 25 keys MIDI controller on sale, like 40 buck. I used it with a piano software that I had long before that, and I was facinated that I could makes sounds using my hands and fingers instead of clicking my mouse..
Then I bought music theory books, I also started to read about instruments and hanging out at music instruments stores and I decied to buy myself the instrument that I love the most so I could learn it. So I bought a digital piano.

I have a lot of piano solos CDs and not a lot of things in life gives me the peace I get from that, from music in its purest form.

Sorry for the lengthy text. I hope I answered your question(s) RUSS SHETTLE.

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#2168301 - 10/18/13 11:18 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
RUSS SHETTLE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 301
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
Originally Posted By: sirtypical
Thank you RUSS SHETTLE.

I will try to answer your question(s) as best as I can.

I've never been in a music school, only schools with music departments but was focused on other fields. But as a child, we were taught to 'sing' the Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do and how to write it on the treble clef. We didn't go in depth with it, that's why I say that we were taught to SING cauz that's how I remember it.

I know music theory. I wouldn't say I'm advanced at all, I always put myself in a beginner's position cauz I just love learning. But I learned music theory from books and interactive DVDs and the internet of course. So yes, I know chords (triads, sevenths, augmented, diminished), I know scales (major, minor harmonic and melodic), .....what else can I say, flats and sharps, octaves??
I'm sure I have a lot more to learn but I'm constantly doing that through books and music videos, and music itself.

Guitar? Yes, I have played a few strums and fingerpicks (after spending like 10 min trying to fret it the right way). I don't know how to play any instruments. I've TRIED a lot of them, but I haven't LEARNED how to like REALLY play any.

I've always loved music, I use to sing a lil in our choir when I was a kid, which didn't last long enough to know that anything a bout music like a musician would. I listen to music everyday, everywhere and IN everything (even movies and commercials).
My interest in the instrument side of music came when I bought a 25 keys MIDI controller on sale, like 40 buck. I used it with a piano software that I had long before that, and I was facinated that I could makes sounds using my hands and fingers instead of clicking my mouse..
Then I bought music theory books, I also started to read about instruments and hanging out at music instruments stores and I decied to buy myself the instrument that I love the most so I could learn it. So I bought a digital piano.

I have a lot of piano solos CDs and not a lot of things in life gives me the peace I get from that, from music in its purest form.

Sorry for the lengthy text. I hope I answered your question(s) RUSS SHETTLE.


You certainly answered my question. I was perhaps thinking that you may not even know that the letter notes only go from A to G and begin over on A again and unless you're into music other than just listening, you wouldn't' even know that.

You seem to know quite a bit about music just from what you've said here and far more than I anticipated. I would say that you must be playing something on the piano already, even if it's just chords.

Do you fool around now on the keyboard with chords. Tell me what you do now, if anything.
_________________________
Russ
Yamaha CP5
Casio PX130
Yamaha AP Upright

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#2168331 - 10/19/13 02:19 AM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: Mken]
HalfStep Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/11
Posts: 206
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Mken
Buy the Alfred all in one piano books?

They start off simple and get progressively more difficult, with each new piece teaching you something new.

I went through these books myself including the Aaron books.

Starts with one hand then a bit on how to read music, then introduces sharps and flats.

Introducing a scale now and again.


What you're after is the foundations and building blocks rather than the songs themselves. As you can simply learn a song by rote, or you can learn the building blocks and play anything (eventually).


I agree with this. Theory is helpful but the application thereof takes practice. If you are not working with a teacher currently I would suggest method books. I like Alfred's too. They can keep you learning and applying theory until you can get a teacher, if you so choose.

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#2168359 - 10/19/13 05:12 AM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: RUSS SHETTLE]
sirtypical Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/13
Posts: 11
Thank you
Yes, I certainly do fool around with it everyday, trying some chord progressions and little pieces that I have. And sometimes I try to work out songs and figure out the keys they're in and their chords and how they're voiced..

I have a few Bach's, Beethoven, Chopin and Satie books that I got from a friend. I mess around learning a few pages as slow as I can (no tempo).

I guess I'd like to know what's the proper way to learn because I think I shouldn't start like that (a beginner trying Chopin's stuff??).

I'm just a beginner seeking to learn as much as I possibly can, the right way.

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#2168429 - 10/19/13 09:56 AM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
RUSS SHETTLE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 301
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
Originally Posted By: sirtypical
Thank you
Yes, I certainly do fool around with it everyday, trying some chord progressions and little pieces that I have. And sometimes I try to work out songs and figure out the keys they're in and their chords and how they're voiced..

I have a few Bach's, Beethoven, Chopin and Satie books that I got from a friend. I mess around learning a few pages as slow as I can (no tempo).

I guess I'd like to know what's the proper way to learn because I think I shouldn't start like that (a beginner trying Chopin's stuff??).

I'm just a beginner seeking to learn as much as I possibly can, the right way.



OK, well this tells us a whole lot more. Like me, you've been playing by ear and have learned much about how music is basically constructed and with the knowledge you've gained, more advanced theory should be very easy to understand. Do you know what the "Circle of 5th's" is all about?

Likely you know more about theory than you think you know. You just don't know that you do yet because you don't know what to pin against what you're able to do now along with the understanding of what you're doing now.

The first "Alfred all in one music book" teaches someone who's never really touch a keyboard before but it gives you the bare-bones basic fundamentals in theory, reading, playing by notation and that's the big question:

Do you want to "play by notation" (music) like a pro or just continue on playing by ear?

You sound like you're reading some material now in what you've figured out but reading to play by notation (music) is a whole lot different than playing by ear but that would be the best way to go in the long run. Compared to a "super beginner", you already have a HUGE advantage to the learning curve for playing by notation along with the theory behind it.

The Alfred's books are highly recommended here and I would recommend them as well regardless of how elementary they may seem based on what you can do now. Reading to play is a skill that must begin from elementary form if this is really new to you. You can teach yourself how to read-to-play but when you get to more advanced music you really should seek out a teacher at some point.

The ability to play by ear for a start is a huge advantage for any beginner because it connects them to the sound of music with the keyboard and... with structure and it's a skill that many beginners don't have or acquire when just learning to play by written music from the start.

1. Learn to read and play by notation.
2. Learn to "HEAR" music... You've got that down!

FINGERING: I would dare say that the feel of playing a piano comes naturally to you and you are doing just fine with fingering, playing chords and scales. There are plenty of YouTube instructions on fingering, scaling, hand position and such. There are fingering exercises as well but again, a teacher would be best to have when it gets more advanced and complicated.

So, the bottom line question for you is: Do you want to read and play like a pro with written music?

Understand, there's a huge difference in being able to read and understand music notation theory versus being able to play by written music. You can understand everything and you do want to understand everything you can in theory and notation theory as well....but...

But.... to play by written music (notation) is a whole other ballgame! It requires a coordination of physical skills that can only be achieved through dedicated practice regardless of what you know in theory and regardless of what you can play by ear and must begin at the elementary level. In your case, it would seem well below what you can do now by ear. You would likely breeze through the first book.

Any thoughts so far?
_________________________
Russ
Yamaha CP5
Casio PX130
Yamaha AP Upright

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#2168531 - 10/19/13 01:56 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: RUSS SHETTLE]
sirtypical Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/13
Posts: 11
Thanks RUSS
Yes, I know the Circle of 5ths, I read about in one of the theory books I have. My understanding of it was that it shows you the relations between scales, and kinda helps to remember them (the sharps and flats in scales other than C major), becauz at first I couldn't really memorize the scales smoothly. I had to work them out each time becauz I didn't pay that much attention to scales relations when I first started with scales.

You're definitely right in your 2nd paragraph, which is why I think I may be learning things the wrong way, like different topics from different angles and not really knowing what to do with what. smile

I would love to be able to play like a pro and sight read pieces with no hard time, I'd love that, definitely. I also would like to still be good at playing by ear. But yes, I'd love that, to play by notation.

From what I understand, the difference between playing by ear and playing by notation is, by notation, you play the WRITTEN piece, you sight-read it with no real need to know the sound of it, and by ear, it's being able to know the each note and chords by heart and how they sound when play. I don't know if that's correct.





Edited by sirtypical (10/19/13 02:03 PM)

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#2168544 - 10/19/13 02:16 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
sirtypical Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/13
Posts: 11
Oh, I'm okay with the fingering. There's room for improvement but still, I'm doing fine.

I will definitely get a teacher. Seeing that even pianists that have been pianists for a long time still get teaching only proves how invaluable it is to be taught by someone experienced.

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#2168569 - 10/19/13 03:58 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
RUSS SHETTLE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 301
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
You should begin a "Thread" just on the topic of theory and just start asking any question that comes to mind and usually you will have an ongoing discussion taking place. Lots of people including teachers responding who will love to talk about this stuff. The problem may be that you just don't know what to ask regarding theory. Well... you could always review sources that outline theory and then ask question on what you don't understand. Hopefully, people would ask you question to test your knowledge. I love questions like that. Makes you think. Question like: This will be just for fun...

1. Intervals? What's an interval?
2. Does... "WWHWWWH" mean anything to you? Clue: W=whole and H=half.
3. Here's an advanced notation theory question: What's the difference between an Augmented 2nd and a minor 3rd? Not a fair question if you haven't studied notation yet or even if you haven't studied intervals yet. But what the heck! Give it a shot anyway.
4. Does I IV V mean anything to you? How about 1 4 5? What is it referring to?
5. Have you read about Roman Numerals? What do you know?
6. How about P4 and P5? P=Perfect. Basically an interval question.
7. What are chords built on?

I, like you, played by ear all my life. I only began to study theory about 2 years ago. I've yet to be able to play by written music yet I can read music to some degree. It's not the same. You can learn and understand everything about theory and written music without being able to actually play by it. In fact, I have written music. I purchased notation software called Finale for about $400 bucks. Crazy I know but I learned a lot from it but I also had people, teacher's here, who have taught me and coached me on writing and understanding notation theory. A year ago I wrote Beethovens Moonlight Sonata by ear. Crazy? Yes! It took me a few weeks to complete. It's a 9 minute long piece but very easy to follow by ear. I did it by listening to a YouTube clip, stopping and starting, and keeping track of the "Time", all to concentrate on writing one single measure at a time. I didn't realize when I got started just how long it was or how long it would take me. It turned out to be 9 pages of music.

But writing and being able to read notes on sheet music is not the same as playing. To write Moonlight Sonata by ear, I would first find the notes on the keyboard, then write those notes. That was very easy but that's like going in the opposite direction as compared to looking at notes and being able to play them efficiently on the keyboard. That takes considerable practise. I can do it very slowly because I know all the notes by their letter names and I can hit the right keys but that's not how you gain any speed.

Playing by notation is like learning to read English when you were in First Grade. To become efficient you begin with the alphabet, a b c d, etc. (like notes) then simple 3 letter words, "see cat run" (simple chords). After a while you can voice "see cat run" with just a glance. You don't have to think about it first. Playing by notation is much like that.

Playing by notation is about pattern recognition of notes, intervals, chords, and developing the skill of reading ahead to what you are playing. Like reading English, one sees big words and phrases of words and you form ideas from that without looking at every single letter or word. Pattern recognition, playing what you read instantly, takes considerable repetition, practice, patients and time and you need to begin with "see cat run" so to speak.

Basically what happens is that you build up to playing recognized patterns of music "automatically". It becomes an auto-coordinated response from your eyes to your fingers to the correct positions on the keyboard. You become somewhat of a "machine", hitting keys as being instructed by the notation you observe. And then there's rhythm, time signature, knowing note values, all to make things even more complicated.

This is why you have to begin "bare bones basic" for acquiring a "play by notation" skill which most people just refer to as "reading" and apparently everyone here likes the Alfred books. You can work with people here right now doing the same thing. That's what this forum is all about. People helping people to learn music and many of them are teachers as well as students.

You will never lose your ability to play by ear. In fact, theory will greatly enhanced that ability. I started listening to music in a structured manner. That is something that every musician should be able to do. "HEAR"!
_________________________
Russ
Yamaha CP5
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#2168574 - 10/19/13 04:02 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
RUSS SHETTLE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 301
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
Originally Posted By: sirtypical
Oh, I'm okay with the fingering. There's room for improvement but still, I'm doing fine.

I will definitely get a teacher. Seeing that even pianists that have been pianists for a long time still get teaching only proves how invaluable it is to be taught by someone experienced.



Yes, "get a teacher", is probably the single greatest and best advice that could ever be given here.
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Russ
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#2168653 - 10/19/13 07:19 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: RUSS SHETTLE]
sirtypical Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/13
Posts: 11
Thank you very much for your advices, really helpful and appreciated.

I will start the thread on music theory.
So I guess the best way to start would be with Alfred's books?
I have the All-In-One Piano Course Level 1.

And should I combine my learning, like using the Alfreds and some books on theory and some exercises pieces??
Or should I tackle each one at a time? And if so, what would be be your advice on the order of what I should study??

I can see how frustrating it is to work on my own without having a teacher. But in the meantime, I want to at least take some steps towards piano mastery.

Also, feel free to recommend any book or DVD or software that could help my journey. Thanks again

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#2168680 - 10/19/13 08:55 PM Re: How Do I Learn The Piano [Re: sirtypical]
RUSS SHETTLE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 301
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
Originally Posted By: sirtypical
Thank you very much for your advices, really helpful and appreciated.

I will start the thread on music theory.
So I guess the best way to start would be with Alfred's books?
I have the All-In-One Piano Course Level 1.

And should I combine my learning, like using the Alfreds and some books on theory and some exercises pieces??
Or should I tackle each one at a time? And if so, what would be be your advice on the order of what I should study??

I can see how frustrating it is to work on my own without having a teacher. But in the meantime, I want to at least take some steps towards piano mastery.

Also, feel free to recommend any book or DVD or software that could help my journey. Thanks again


Personally, I would divide up my time on everything. Work with the books for reading, study some theory and do some fingering exercises rather than all one thing at a time. That can get monotonous and boring.

Think about theory while working through the Alfred book. Theory is something that's always with your inner thoughts while doing anything with music or any kind of practice. Theory is like this:

You play a major chord. You think about in theory what makes up that chord: A major 3rd and a minor 3rd makes a major triad. Basic chords are built from 3rds so you think that. A major triad chord is made up of: 3 notes (intervals). Now there's a term!

1. Root note: (unison interval and letter name of the chord), a Major 3rd (interval), and a Fifth (interval) note. Abbreviated: Root, M3, 5th. CEG for a C major chord. Theory is also about knowing definitions for things and terms.

An interval is a distance between notes. Think about a C major chord: CEG. So the distance between C to E is a major 3rd interval. C to G is a 5th interval. Keep in mind, it's the distance between any two notes.

A C minor (Cm) chord: Has C Eb G. C to Eb is a minor 3rd interval. Look up somewhere a table of intervals that spans an Octave.

Theory becomes how you begin to see and understand music basically. It's knowledge that builds and becomes your language for describing how music works.

A lot of what you know already is theory, only you may not know the right definitions and terms for what you already know. It will begin to all come together as you work through the books. The more you learn, the more question you'll come up with. It will show that you are thinking.

Don't hesitate to ask any question regarding theory. It's best to ask different things, each as a new topic here. It will get more attention and more responses and become more focused. So post new questions as new topics.


Edited by RUSS SHETTLE (10/19/13 08:58 PM)
_________________________
Russ
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