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#2191958 - 12/03/13 03:00 PM Which piece did you want to learn when you first started?
pianointhejungle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 18
I have been trying to teach myself how to play for about ten days, but I was skimming through the book I am currently using ("The Piano Handbook") and it has CPE Bach's Solfegietto in a much later chapter.

Grrrr...I wanna get there soon but it takes forever for me to go through many of the exercises and concepts (not that I have gone too far, I just finished my first HT piece) >_<

If I had to be honest I'd have to say I'm moving a wee bit faster than I probably should so I can play the later pieces as soon as possible. :-\

I know, I'm not the ideal beginner, but when people tell you a piece is too hard for you to play don't you just feel more tempted to try it anyway?

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#2191965 - 12/03/13 03:06 PM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1689
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: pianointhejungle
I have been trying to teach myself how to play for about ten days, but I was skimming through the book I am currently using ("The Piano Handbook") and it has CPE Bach's Solfegietto in a much later chapter.

Grrrr...I wanna get there soon but it takes forever for me to go through many of the exercises and concepts (not that I have gone too far, I just finished my first HT piece) >_<

If I had to be honest I'd have to say I'm moving a wee bit faster than I probably should so I can play the later pieces as soon as possible. :-\

I know, I'm not the ideal beginner, but when people tell you a piece is too hard for you to play don't you just feel more tempted to try it anyway?


Learning to play piano is different than anything you have ever encountered. In a nutshell, this is how it goes ...

The more you hurry, the slower you go.

Trust me, you will not be an exception to that. We all thought we were the exception early on but found out that we were not.

Get a teacher. Learn the basics from the ground up, slowly and you will be successful.

Hurry, and you will be frustrated and doomed to failure.

Good Luck
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#2191986 - 12/03/13 03:43 PM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
Greener Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: pianointhejungle

I know, I'm not the ideal beginner, but when people tell you a piece is too hard for you to play don't you just feel more tempted to try it anyway?


Yes.
And the thing is ... it likely is not to hard to play.
But it is likely to hard to sight read and play.

I think for kids, an all encompassing structured approach to teaching and learning is the best approach and is proven to work.

I'm just not so convinced this is good for all. Particularly for adults that are not so keen on feeling like they are going back to grade school.

Learning to play and learning to read, in my mind are two separate disciplines. If you just want to learn to play, I would find a teacher that is on the same page and start playing ...

My first piece was "This Guys in Love with You" by Burt Bacharach ... it was my Dad's arrangement in 5 flats. Reading it would have been impossible. Being shown how to play it though, was not so tough.

This is just a right wing view point that stems from my personal experience. And, I am not a teacher. It is just an alternative and not a mainstream one.

I'd simply suggest absorbing as much information as you can on the topic and proceed.

For example, if you really like the piece, see if you can find a tutorial on it, and learn it. Then move on to the next one and so on ... eventually you may even want to take up reading smile

Putting on my protective head gear now ...




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#2192002 - 12/03/13 04:06 PM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
Yes, it can be frustrating. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee a lot of your first year learning piano will be frustrating. So much of that early learning is just collecting building blocks. Nothing much sounds particularly musical ... or at least it didn't with me. shocked

dmd is correct: Hurrying now really will slow you down later. Do try to go slowly and really learn each element as you proceed. As you develop skills, the music you can play will become more and more fun, interesting and complex. By the time you get to the Solfegietto, you'll have the skills you need to not just muddle your way through it but to really read, understand and interpret the music.

By the way, focusing on things you find pleasing (or challenging or annoying, etc.) in each piece as you go will teach you a lot about music and yourself. You may find that the Solfegietto holds your interest over time -- but it may also be just one of many pieces you have learned to love by the time you get there.

Hope this is helpful. smile
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#2192026 - 12/03/13 04:59 PM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: piano_deb]
bolt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 183
Happiness is found along the way, not at the end of the road.

There are a lot of nice little pieces along the way.

And the end of the road will always be a moving target.
_________________________
"There is more to this piano playing malarkey than meets the eye" - adultpianist

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#2192029 - 12/03/13 05:04 PM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 355
oh my! Just SLOW down. seriously i know this isn't what you want to hear. It wasn't what I wanted to hear. I'm only 8 months deep and I'm still not even close to where I want to be. the only way I get there tho is just keep plugging away, day after day. Learn to love the journey. Relish the small victories. Take the mindset that you're literally programming your brain. If you can't play it slow, what the heck makes you think you can do it fast?

I've found much of learning piano is to do EVERYTHING at a pace where you are RELAXED. You will SOUND a ZILLION times better if you just play relaxed. The problem is that you (and me) will play fast to get it to "sound musical" quicker. In reality what you're doing by trying to go quicker is halting your progress, literally slowing it down. Because you aren't teaching your brain how to do those movements in a relaxed state. You gradually speed up only as it becomes easier and more relaxed. It comes quick tho! You'd be surprised! You have to think in terms of days.

Think of this as a lifelong journey, because it is.
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

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#2192044 - 12/03/13 05:26 PM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
255 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 89
If you have the time, after your daily hours of study, try to dedicate some minutes to the more difficult piece, just so that you don't die waiting for it. Just be sure that you don't go the way around (loose hours on the difficult piece and study some minutes) lol.

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#2192062 - 12/03/13 06:08 PM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: bolt]
dynamobt Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 608
Loc: NH
Originally Posted By: bolt
Happiness is found along the way, not at the end of the road.

There are a lot of nice little pieces along the way.

And the end of the road will always be a moving target.



These are wise words!!!
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB




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#2192102 - 12/03/13 08:07 PM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 366
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
When I started to play piano exactly two years ago, I decided early on that I was going to learn Beethoven's (Moonlight) Sonata, 1st movement. Two years later, I have painfully memorized maybe 25 pieces but am now going back to theory, scales, sight reading practice and - a teacher!

When I get going with the teacher I'll fill you in on how bad things look from a technique standpoint, but I am actually rather hoping that I don't have too many bad habits (except for overuse of the pedal). We'll see.

I'm convinced that there really isn't a good shortcut to learning the piano if you really want to have a comprehensive understanding of the music.

So - I'm playing beginner's stuff now, via sight reading, plus some challenging work, including one of the Joplin pieces. And I can play Moonlight! very passably.

Desire and perseverence can accomplish a lot, I think. And there is something to be said for tackling the things that provide a lot of satisfaction. I am really enjoying the scales and the Hanon work now - and I don't think I would have two years ago.

Anyway, a few thoughts.
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2192136 - 12/03/13 09:33 PM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2206
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
The first thing I wanted to play was a basic accompaniment to "Today is Monday" sung by a whole school full of kids with autism.

We performed for our whole gym full of parents and community volunteers. It was great fun.

Some people said to me, "I didn't know you played" and I responded "That's the beauty of it, I don't!"
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2192236 - 12/04/13 01:26 AM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
frenchflip Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/13
Posts: 107
Loc: New York, NY
I wanted to learn Chopin 9/2. Within a year, I had conquered it.

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#2192242 - 12/04/13 02:04 AM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1371
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: pianointhejungle
I know, I'm not the ideal beginner, but when people tell you a piece is too hard for you to play don't you just feel more tempted to try it anyway?


Not when you truly and earnestly understand the difficulty and amount of time it would take to be able to do the piece justice.

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#2192257 - 12/04/13 03:18 AM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: AZ_Astro]
evamar Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 528
Loc: Spanish living in UK
Funny, it seem that AZ_Astro and I have something in common here. I also started learning 2 years ago and the first piece that came to my mind was Moonlight Sonata. smile

I started with a teacher, though, and only went to the self-learning path when it was clear I was wasting time and money, as being dyslexic I couldn't read the music sheet and I was very frustrated. However I didn't want to stop playing, so I started learning pieces without a real system, with Synthesia and YouTube tutorials. Yes, Moonlight Sonata being the first one!

Now I have decided to go back to step one with Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Self-Learning book, simply because I realise how important having a good ground is. Notes are introduced really slowly in this system and hopefully it will help me making sense of all the dots in the page. I also use Piano4All, which is also greatly helping me, but want to try Alfred's too.

You need a system, and part of that system is taking small chunks easy to digest so that you actually see progress. If you go for a hard piece you'll only get stuck with it for ages, and even after getting to know what notes to hit it will be extremely hard to make it sound musically; everybody can learn how to play a piece, but dynamics and expression are extremely hard to get without some tricks and experience under your belt.

If after putting a lot of effort in a single piece you still cannot see real improvement, it is very discouraging. Playing piano at one's real level is hard enough, playing at a level too hard for one's real skills can only damage your resolution to continue practicing.

There are lots of easy arrangements for hard pieces. Not the real thing, I agree, but it will be fun to start with these, and then a couple years along the line, when you have built a good ground, try the real pieces as intended and compare your progression. You'll be amazed!

And this is how I can continue putting all that time and effort into those 88 keys! If I didn't see progression it would be hard to continue.
_________________________
Serious since Dec 2013. March 2014, Kawai CA95!

Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted



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#2192270 - 12/04/13 05:33 AM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1124
Loc: Australia
I count myself among the large number of people who originally saw a piece of music as a collection of notes simply to be memorized. So it comes as a shock when you can memorize a piece but still not play it, or more likely be able to play it but badly with little hope of improving. There is a lot more going on than just hitting the correct notes and a new piece is a large investment of time and hard work.

A little experience has taught me how high I can punch above my weight in selecting a piece beyond my current standard. While sometimes I am successful other times I have to abandon the piece and risk the wasted effort.

As someone who really needs there to be a challenge to satisfy some primal urge, it is important at the same time to still be going through the various grade/level in order. These are the important building blocks one cannot and should not skip over.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXIII-4-XXX

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#2192283 - 12/04/13 06:42 AM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 514
Loc: Louisiana
I'm trying to remember from 6+ yrs ago, but Garth Brooks' "The Dance" was right up there at the top:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7FRbeaXjvk


My mom (in her 90s) wanted me to learn many but this one comes to mind ... "Memories are made of this"- Dean Martin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS2k43NJycE


Oddly (and lucky for me), the bass line rhythm patterns are very similar. : )
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2192324 - 12/04/13 08:33 AM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
Ganddalf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 557
Loc: Norway
I wanted to play "Rustle of Spring".

After 45 years it is still not perfect:

https://app.box.com/s/zts7yz69jtue90e8y6ml

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#2192365 - 12/04/13 11:08 AM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
For me it is the so called Moonlight sonata, 3rd movement!
I have been taking lessons though and following the right path but I do go and do my few bars of that 3rd movement, slowly and makes me feel really good. Then back to my current exercises and pieces. smile
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#2192388 - 12/04/13 12:10 PM Re: Which piece did you want to learn when you first started? [Re: pianointhejungle]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3251
I wanted to play all these

http://recitals.pianoworld.com/wiki/index.php/Category:Wouter79

and more


My Solfeggio was quite crappy smile Anyway I think it was good to try it, as it learns you a lot about how to play fast stuff properly, even if you can't get it 100%
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