Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#2194030 - 12/07/13 03:10 PM Visualization
Punchslap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/13
Posts: 57
Hello Pianoworld!

UNNECESSARY STUFF

I've been a beginner since last year when I got my Casio-something keyboard,(with weighted keys, so that my fingers will adapt correctly, more so at least). I've been noodling around some since, not so much as my main instrument is the electric guitar and. I "learned" fr.kuhlau's sonatine op.20-1 1st movement(with errors and slower tempo on some parts).

I'm aiming towards being a composer and not a performer; so I figured my learning method would strive towards improvisation so I can test out ideas(if I'm not composing on paper that is, I guess both styles of writing would be good to have at hand) and see if I'll create stuff I like; you know what I mean.
I thought it would be good if I learned visualizing the piano so that I can simply play(in key), and then my motor coordination will come with time.

END OF UNNECESSARY STUFF

To visualize every key, I need to know what tones are flatted or sharped, how do I learn all of these? Is there some kind of system when remembering these?
I worked through the book "scales intervals keys triads rhythm and meter" from 1984(?) and it showed me that the "series" of fifth goes:

C G D A E B F# C# Upwards
C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb downwards
Or simply Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb F C G D A E B F# C#
(please correct me if I'm wrong)

I learned that C has no flats and sharp and that there is one more tone flatted(going down) or sharped(going up) for each step in the series. This much I remember.
(I have no knowledge of the "circle" of fifths though, would understanding it clear things up or are the terms "series" and "circle"(of fifths) interchangeable?)

I'll repeat my question, how do I remember what tones are flatted and sharped? Repetition?



Edited by Punchslap (12/07/13 03:11 PM)

Top
(ads P/S)

Sauter Pianos

#2194035 - 12/07/13 03:23 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Punchslap
I worked through the book "scales intervals keys triads rhythm and meter" from 1984(?) and it showed me that the "series" of fifth goes:

C G D A E B F# C# Upwards
C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb downwards
Or simply Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb F C G D A E B F# C#

Don't think of it in this "upwards" and "downwards" manner. The concept of the circle means that the sequence of keys repeats endlessly - the sharp keys wrap back around through the flat keys, and vice versa, thus:
C G D A E B F# Db Ab Eb Bb F C G D...
or, in the other direction,
C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb B E A D G C F Bb...
(If you're not familiar with the concept of enharmonic keys, learn that first before you try to understand the circle of fifths.)

Originally Posted By: Punchslap
How do I remember what tones are flatted and sharped?

As you go around the circle of fifths, one sharp or flat is added or subtracted from the key signature for each new key. For example, ascending by fifths, starting at C, the sequence is as follows:
C
G (F#)
D (F#, C#)
A (F#, C#, G#)
E (F#, C#, G#, D#)
B (F#, C#, G#, D#, A#)
and so on.

Or, descending by fifths, starting at C, it would go like this:
C
F (Bb)
Bb (Bb, Eb)
Eb (Bb, Eb, Ab)
Ab (Bb, Eb, Ab, Db)
Db (Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb)
and so on. Note that in this pattern the new flat for each key forms the tonic of the next key, for example, Eb contains an Ab, Bb does not, so the key with one more flat than Eb is Ab.

If you are confused by any of this, please ask and I will clarify.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2194061 - 12/07/13 03:57 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Polyphonist]
Punchslap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/13
Posts: 57
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

*Stuff*

If you are confused by any of this, please ask and I will clarify.


It made perfect sense! I can't remember any elaboration on how the circle of fifths wrapped back around through the concept of enharmonic keys in the book(they did after all call it the "series" of fifths). It certainly did clear some things up. Thanks!
But my initial question though, was how I could apply this concept when improvising; to automatically know what notes are flatted or sharped when entering a new key. Deciding to think of the key in terms of C# or Db etc.

I guess gaining extensive knowledge of the circle of fifths(right now I'm just understanding the concept(I guess), but not remembering the whole actual circle and what notes are flatted or sharped for each key) and making the information automatic would be a solution. Is there any kind of literature or book that possibly elaborates more into the circle of fifths?

Top
#2194066 - 12/07/13 04:01 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Punchslap
How could I apply this concept when improvising; to automatically know what notes are flatted or sharped when entering a new key? Deciding to think of the key in terms of C# or Db etc.

Learn all the scales, forwards and backwards (literally grin) and play in all keys every day. There is no shortcut to experience.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2194074 - 12/07/13 04:09 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Polyphonist]
Punchslap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/13
Posts: 57
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Punchslap
How could I apply this concept when improvising; to automatically know what notes are flatted or sharped when entering a new key? Deciding to think of the key in terms of C# or Db etc.

Learn all the scales, forwards and backwards (literally grin) and play in all keys every day. There is no shortcut to experience.


Heh, yes, I figure this way will take much time though crazy

To actually play it on the piano, I must know it in my head first. So I guess my quest in to memorize the whole circle of fifths with all its keys and all the flatted and sharped notes in each and every one of the keys. Would this do it? I'd appreciate tips of any resource that would help me complete this quest as well.

Dammit couldn't they design a piano with only white keys


Edited by Punchslap (12/07/13 04:10 PM)

Top
#2194080 - 12/07/13 04:19 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Punchslap
Dammit couldn't they design a piano with only white keys

It would make for pretty dull music...

Which leads to an interesting question: is there any piano music written in the last three centuries that uses only white keys?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2194085 - 12/07/13 04:25 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5293
Loc: Philadelphia
One very simple way to remember basic keys is this:

BEADGCF

This is the order of flats. When you're in a flat key, you add flats in this order. The key you are in corresponds to the letter before the last flat. Example: if you have five flats, BEADG, then the key is D-flat. Three flats, BEA, the key is E-flat.

For sharps, do the opposite:

FCGDAEB

The key is two forward this time. So, one sharp, F. The key is F-C-G. Six sharps, FCGDAE, the key is FCGDAE-B-F, F-sharp major (because F is sharp in the key signature).

Hope this is helpful. It may be what you were describing, but this is a little simpler way to think of it. smile
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

Top
#2194090 - 12/07/13 04:33 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
Brian K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 102
I'm fairly new to the piano, but not new to music in general. I've been playing guitar for about 20 years, so I find it easy to transfer a lot of what I already know over to the piano.

Anyway unlike the guitar, every key has a different "pattern" on the piano. With guitar, if you can play something in one key, than you can play the exact same thing in any key; you just have to move the pattern up or down to the correct starting fret. With piano, every octave is identical, but every key within each octave is it's own unique pattern.

As you've already pointed out the circle of fifths arranges all of these keys for you in a logical order, but you are looking for a way to really absorb this information. My advice based on my limited experience is this:

- Learn a song in a key
- Determine the key of that song
- Before practicing that song run through the scale of the key
- Also determine what the I, IV, V, and vi chords are for the key, and practice switching between them using various inversions.
- After you do this little "key warmup", you can then work on the song.
- After you get good at playing the song, try improvising on the song a little bit using the material from your "key warmup"
- Keep playing around with the song, the I, IV, V, and vi chords, and improvisation using the scale.

That process will get you both acquainted to the key and the song that you are learning. The song may have some accidentals in it, which would be great because you would then get to learn how to incorporate some out-of-key notes into the key.

If you applied this process to a song in the key of D major, then you quickly become acquainted with that key. Knowing that the key of D has 2 sharps is one thing, but actually becoming acquainted with the key and getting a great feel of where these 2 sharps really come into play and how to "feel" when to use them, is a totally different thing altogether.

Look to learn songs in different keys. Also, look for songs in minor keys as well. That way you will develop an understanding between the difference between a key having a major tonality and a minor tonality.

As I said, I'm still relatively new at the piano, but I've done this process for several different songs in several different keys. I'm not completely familiar with all 24 keys yet (12 major and their respective relative minors), but every time I learn a new song in a new key and apply this process, I get very comfortable with the new key relatively quickly.

Give it a shot.
_________________________
My personal blog/website dedicated to giving answers on the age old question - how to escape the "rat race" and make a living from your passions. I now play guitar for a living at night and learn piano during the day!

http://www.musicianlifestyle.com

Top
#2194110 - 12/07/13 05:12 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Derulux]
Punchslap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/13
Posts: 57
Originally Posted By: Derulux
One very simple way to remember basic keys is this:

BEADGCF

This is the order of flats. When you're in a flat key, you add flats in this order. The key you are in corresponds to the letter before the last flat. Example: if you have five flats, BEADG, then the key is D-flat. Three flats, BEA, the key is E-flat.

For sharps, do the opposite:

FCGDAEB

The key is two forward this time. So, one sharp, F. The key is F-C-G. Six sharps, FCGDAE, the key is FCGDAE-B-F, F-sharp major (because F is sharp in the key signature).

Hope this is helpful. It may be what you were describing, but this is a little simpler way to think of it. smile


Hm, I'd say this method would be effective when determining key when analyzing a piece. I was thinking more of already knowing the sharps or flats of a key. Thanks for your input anyway! Maybe it will come to help if I would ever happen to analyze something grin

Top
#2194111 - 12/07/13 05:16 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Brian K.]
Punchslap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/13
Posts: 57
Originally Posted By: Brian K.
I'm fairly new to the piano, but not new to music in general. I've been playing guitar for about 20 years, so I find it easy to transfer a lot of what I already know over to the piano.

Anyway unlike the guitar, every key has a different "pattern" on the piano. With guitar, if you can play something in one key, than you can play the exact same thing in any key; you just have to move the pattern up or down to the correct starting fret. With piano, every octave is identical, but every key within each octave is it's own unique pattern.

As you've already pointed out the circle of fifths arranges all of these keys for you in a logical order, but you are looking for a way to really absorb this information. My advice based on my limited experience is this:

- Learn a song in a key
- Determine the key of that song
- Before practicing that song run through the scale of the key
- Also determine what the I, IV, V, and vi chords are for the key, and practice switching between them using various inversions.
- After you do this little "key warmup", you can then work on the song.
- After you get good at playing the song, try improvising on the song a little bit using the material from your "key warmup"
- Keep playing around with the song, the I, IV, V, and vi chords, and improvisation using the scale.

That process will get you both acquainted to the key and the song that you are learning. The song may have some accidentals in it, which would be great because you would then get to learn how to incorporate some out-of-key notes into the key.

If you applied this process to a song in the key of D major, then you quickly become acquainted with that key. Knowing that the key of D has 2 sharps is one thing, but actually becoming acquainted with the key and getting a great feel of where these 2 sharps really come into play and how to "feel" when to use them, is a totally different thing altogether.

Look to learn songs in different keys. Also, look for songs in minor keys as well. That way you will develop an understanding between the difference between a key having a major tonality and a minor tonality.

As I said, I'm still relatively new at the piano, but I've done this process for several different songs in several different keys. I'm not completely familiar with all 24 keys yet (12 major and their respective relative minors), but every time I learn a new song in a new key and apply this process, I get very comfortable with the new key relatively quickly.

Give it a shot.


I guess what you're saying is that I'll have to review each and every key to remember the flats and sharps on the piano, you're probably right. Thanks for writing out a method, I guess I'll try it.

Top
#2194132 - 12/07/13 06:06 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
Brian K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 102
Well ya, you will definitely have to somehow review every single key and familiarize yourself with every key if the goal is to "learn how to play in every key" smile.

Practicing the scale of the key and the 4 most important chords (I, IV, V, and vi) is a pretty standard method with familiarizing yourself with a key. Incorporating the song and improvisation just makes the process a bit more fun and interesting.
_________________________
My personal blog/website dedicated to giving answers on the age old question - how to escape the "rat race" and make a living from your passions. I now play guitar for a living at night and learn piano during the day!

http://www.musicianlifestyle.com

Top
#2194145 - 12/07/13 07:05 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 665
Loc: Illinois
Quote:
I'll repeat my question, how do I remember what tones are flatted and sharped? Repetition?


There is a pattern for major and minor scales that is (W= whole step, 2 keys black or white) H= half step, 1 key black or white)

The pattern for Major scales in any key the pattern is WWHWWWH.

The Pattern for Minor scales in any key is WHWWHWW.

Make sense? Remember when counting steps, the keys between steps can be either black or white. You'll see why at B/C and at E/F Learn these patterns and you'll do fine with major and minor scales. Other scales will come later grin I hope this is helpful.
_________________________
Ragdoll

Never get directions from someone who hasn't been there.

Just be yourself, everyone else is already taken.


Top
#2194291 - 12/07/13 11:37 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
piano_primo_1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA
“1000 keyboard tips” by Harte is a good book for tips and quick shortcuts to learning scales .


Here’s how I remember scales – and Key signatures
For Key Sigs I use a mnemonic like the familiar “ On Old Olympus towering Tops….. “
The sharps and flats on a key signature ALWAYS follow this order

For the Sharped major keys
Farmers Can Get Deer And Even Beef.
FCGDAEB
If the Key signature has one sharp the major key is 1 tone name above the sharp
So,
F#=G Major
C#=D major
And so on….
To transcribe to a minor key Count 3 half steps back from the root of the key sig
So,
Cmaj= A minor
For Flatted key sigs I use a broken abbreviation
BEAD/GCF easy to remember the BEAD then the GCF
The Flat Key sig.note is always one flat before the last flat. on the key signature.
So if you have two flats:
B` E` The ket signature bass note is B flat major
If you have one flat in the signature it is always that last flat in the sequence( of flats)
B`=F` major
Again
To transcribe to a minor key Count forward 3 half steps from the minor root note in the key signature,
So
A minor = C major

Remember if you transcribe to a minor key, that the ROOT NOTE or FINAL BASS NOTE is not the first key signature note, but the keynote or bass note of the score you are playing:
SO, if:
KEY SIG =1# sharp, it is The scale of G major, g major is the root note, the minor would be ??? E MINOR,
If 2##’s , the Final Bass Note is A and the minor is F# minor.


The major scale pattern which the notes follow is defined in intervals or “steps”.
One key to the next is a interval or step ,
A whole step is 2 intervals , a half is the next key.
The Major \scale pattern follows this sequence:
Whole , Whole, Whole, Half, Whole, Whole, Whole Half
Remember – the half steps fall on 3 to 4 which equals 7 which is where you next half step occurs to 8.



For Minor scale patterns
Whole, Whole, Half ,Whole, Whole, Half , WHOLE PLUS HALF ,Half .. And flatten the 7th tone this has to with either using harmonic or chromatic scales… look that up.
SO----
The half steps fall on 2 to 3 , which = 5, which is where the series of half steps occur to 6 th step the 1.5 and a half , 7th a half, to the 8th step.

Hope that makes sense ....??????????

lalalalaaaa
_________________________


Top
#2194387 - 12/08/13 05:57 AM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
piano_primo_1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA
To clarify some terms
The smallest interval is a half step which is one key to the next, black or white ..
“Root note” usually refers to a chord, not “bass note” of a Scale , I used it here interchangeably with the term Bass note .

Minor scale patterns differ as to what tyoe of music you are composing , and what book you are reading. I learned what i wrote but i've read differently also .
SO do what's comfortable for you.
_________________________


Top
#2194434 - 12/08/13 09:44 AM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
Punchslap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/13
Posts: 57
Yes, I am already aware of the scale formulas, but I'd guess it's good to mention anyway as there are probably other beginners reading this(thanks I guess).

So to summarize the very useful information in this thread, and to see if I understood it correctly, here it is:

_________________________________________________

(I'm limiting this to major scales, I think minor scales should be visualized just as any other scale degree and that it's unnecessary to learn them separately(just my opinion, heh))

-----------------------------------------------Enharmonic scales that doesn't include double sharps or double flats
C# : F#, C#, G#, D#, A# E# B#------------Db
F# : F#, C#, G#, D#, A# E#----------------Gb
B : F#, C#, G#, D#, A#---------------------Cb
E : F#, C#, G#, D# -
A : F#, C#, G# -
D : F#, C# -
G : F# -
C
F : Bb -
Bb : Bb, Eb -
Eb : Bb, Eb, Ab -
Ab : Bb, Eb, Ab, Db -
Db : Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb---------------------C#
Gb : Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb-----------------F#
Cb : Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb, Fb-------------B



Where the bold text is, is where the circle gets "wrapped around"(from both the "edge" of the flat and sharp side); at the point where the double flats and sharps starts to be used(correct?).

_________________________________________________

The order of adding sharps goes like this: FCGDAEB (farmers can get deer and even beef)

To determine key from sharps, you will look at the last sharp note added in the order(you will have to remember the order to do this) and jump two steps forward in the order(two perfect fifths, that is).
If the only sharp you have is F, the key is G. If you have the sharps FCG, the key is A.
If you will have to count beyond the order, then simply count two perfect fifths(equivalent of two steps away as when counting in the order) from say, E#(key is F#) or B#(key is C#)(remember, these are sharp notes, so you must count from say, E# and not just E).

A good thing to remember would be that all keys that can be counted within the order from the sharps are natural(not sharp).

------------

The order of adding flats goes like this: BEADGCF (BEAD/GCF, broken abbreviation)

To determine key from flats, you will look at the last flat added and jump one step backwards in the order(or one perfect fifth forward, that would be equivalent to a perfect fourth backwards that is used in the order of flats), and this is the key. Key of F has one flat, that is B(F is one 5th away forwards). If you have the flats BEADG, the key is Db.

Here it would be a good thing to remember that all the keys that can be counted to within the order, from the flats, are not natural, they are flat.
_________________________________________________________________

As you may have noticed, I added some of the tips you guys posted also(like the mnemonic thing), and some of my own.
Thanks everyone for your inputs!

Yes, please critique the way I presented this and if it's correct!


Edited by Punchslap (12/08/13 10:02 AM)

Top
#2194448 - 12/08/13 10:43 AM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
Sand Tiger Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1007
Loc: Southern California
A few others might have mentioned this. While learning all the scales is a worthy goal, it is not the road I would suggest to take, if the goal is to compose and improvise.

I suggest learning the most popular scales and start writing. If a person is interested in jazz, learn the jazz permutations. Blues, the blues modifications. Similar for other genres, learn the two or three or four most popular keys for that genre and perhaps write a pieces in each of those keys. Only then perhaps broaden out, though many will come back to the popular if they want their music to appeal to broad audiences.

Too much theory can make a person lean too much towards intellectualized music, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, that kind of music tends to be less accessible to general audiences. If the target audience is other intellectuals or other composers the intellectual approach can be a good one. The downside is that kind of music can be sleep inducing unless done exceptionally well (and virtually zero beginners start out writing at a high level). Just my two cents.

To me, the key thing to do is to learn enough vocabulary to start writing, and then start and keep writing every day. Taking the side trip to learn all the keys will tend to delay that. I am a big fan of simple, especially for beginners that that are asking basic questions. For a novice that isn't a natural at writing music, jumping ahead to writing complex music (skipping the simple) is not going to be helpful. Start simple and build on that. Learn vocabulary as a person writes more, vs. learning a lot of vocabulary before trying to write.

In my experience, the tribe of songwriters is much smaller than the tribe of musicians. I probably meet ten competent musicians for every competent songwriter.
_________________________
my piano uploads

Top
#2194497 - 12/08/13 12:42 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
piano_primo_1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA
Originally Posted By: PUNCHSLAP


If you will have to count beyond the order, then simply count two perfect fifths(equivalent of two steps away as when counting in the order) from say, E#(key is F#) or B#(key is C#)(remember, these are sharp notes, so you must count from say, E# and not just E).







Originally Posted By: pianonewbie1
“1000 keyboard tips” by Harte is a good book for tips and quick shortcuts to learning scales .
Farmers Can Get Deer And Even Beef.
FCGDAEB
If the Key signature has one sharp the major key is 1 tone name above the sharp
So,
F#=G Major
C#=D major
And so on….




Just move up a half step (i.e. a tone ) to know the key of the scale. For sharps

if you know this, you know the circle of fifths; .

Flats on the left
sharps on the right


my cap key is stuck sorry


Edited by pianonewbie1 (12/08/13 01:15 PM)
Edit Reason: deleted extra and caps
_________________________


Top
#2194499 - 12/08/13 12:47 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
You could have pasted this into a Word document and converted it to mixed case.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2194504 - 12/08/13 01:09 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Sand Tiger]
Punchslap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/13
Posts: 57
Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger
A few others might have mentioned this. While learning all the scales is a worthy goal, it is not the road I would suggest to take, if the goal is to compose and improvise.

I suggest learning the most popular scales and start writing. If a person is interested in jazz, learn the jazz permutations. Blues, the blues modifications. Similar for other genres, learn the two or three or four most popular keys for that genre and perhaps write a pieces in each of those keys. Only then perhaps broaden out, though many will come back to the popular if they want their music to appeal to broad audiences.

Too much theory can make a person lean too much towards intellectualized music, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, that kind of music tends to be less accessible to general audiences. If the target audience is other intellectuals or other composers the intellectual approach can be a good one. The downside is that kind of music can be sleep inducing unless done exceptionally well (and virtually zero beginners start out writing at a high level). Just my two cents.

To me, the key thing to do is to learn enough vocabulary to start writing, and then start and keep writing every day. Taking the side trip to learn all the keys will tend to delay that. I am a big fan of simple, especially for beginners that that are asking basic questions. For a novice that isn't a natural at writing music, jumping ahead to writing complex music (skipping the simple) is not going to be helpful. Start simple and build on that. Learn vocabulary as a person writes more, vs. learning a lot of vocabulary before trying to write.

In my experience, the tribe of songwriters is much smaller than the tribe of musicians. I probably meet ten competent musicians for every competent songwriter.


I'm definitely not learning scales "because scales", I figured it would be effective to be aware of where all the scale degrees are so that I can be confident when searching for a searching for a certain sound or passage(I will develop my ability to understand the different sounds each degree conveys in time, this is my plan at least). As for the "vocabulary"; by being able to visualize the piano, and just noodle around with ideas, I will develop my own style of playing in time as I will keep good ideas and scrap bad ones and thus create my own vocabulary. If my personal style will be appealing to the general is another question though....

Top
#2194507 - 12/08/13 01:13 PM Re: Visualization [Re: piano_primo_1]
Punchslap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/13
Posts: 57
Originally Posted By: pianonewbie1
Originally Posted By: PUNCHSLAP


If you will have to count beyond the order, then simply count two perfect fifths(equivalent of two steps away as when counting in the order) from say, E#(key is F#) or B#(key is C#)(remember, these are sharp notes, so you must count from say, E# and not just E).







Originally Posted By: pianonewbie1
“1000 keyboard tips” by Harte is a good book for tips and quick shortcuts to learning scales .
Farmers Can Get Deer And Even Beef.
FCGDAEB
If the Key signature has one sharp the major key is 1 tone name above the sharp
So,
F#=G Major
C#=D major
And so on….




JUST MOVE UP A HALF STEP (I.E. A TONE ) TO KNOW THE KEY OF THE SCALE. FOR SHARPS

IF YOU KNOW THIS, YOU KNOW THE CIRLCE OF FITHS, YOU JUST DIDN'T KNOW YOU KNEW THE CIRCLE OF FIFTHS.

fLATS ON THE LEFT
sHARPS ON THE RIGHT

DRAW THIS IN A CIRCL AND CUONT IT ON YOUR PIANO ...

E A D G C F B (FLATS)
F C G D A E B (#S)

MY CAP KEY IS STUCK SORRY


You are forgiven.

Excellent! I'll have to add this(that you just have to jump a semitone after the last sharp to determine key) to my "learning log" or whatever(I try to write concepts in a "teaching" style when trying to grasp them).

As for Polyphonist's last message(I don't know how to multiquote), I'm not sure you're referring to me so I'm not sure whether I should answer or not. Heh

Top
#2194742 - 12/08/13 09:13 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5293
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Punchslap
Originally Posted By: Derulux
One very simple way to remember basic keys is this:

BEADGCF

This is the order of flats. When you're in a flat key, you add flats in this order. The key you are in corresponds to the letter before the last flat. Example: if you have five flats, BEADG, then the key is D-flat. Three flats, BEA, the key is E-flat.

For sharps, do the opposite:

FCGDAEB

The key is two forward this time. So, one sharp, F. The key is F-C-G. Six sharps, FCGDAE, the key is FCGDAE-B-F, F-sharp major (because F is sharp in the key signature).

Hope this is helpful. It may be what you were describing, but this is a little simpler way to think of it. smile


Hm, I'd say this method would be effective when determining key when analyzing a piece. I was thinking more of already knowing the sharps or flats of a key. Thanks for your input anyway! Maybe it will come to help if I would ever happen to analyze something grin



Memorize it the same way. You want to know which flats are in the key of Ab? B-E-A-D. Four flats.

If you're not asking that, then I'm not sure I understand what it is you're asking..
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

Top
#2194801 - 12/09/13 12:36 AM Re: Visualization [Re: Polyphonist]
RUSS SHETTLE Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 297
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Punchslap
Dammit couldn't they design a piano with only white keys

It would make for pretty dull music...

Which leads to an interesting question: is there any piano music written in the last three centuries that uses only white keys?


That's the same as asking is there any music composed to be purely diatonic and the answer is yes. Lots of simple music in fact but they are not all written in the key of C whereby they would be played with all white keys but some are.
_________________________
Russ
Yamaha CP5
Casio PX130
Yamaha AP Upright

Top
#2194804 - 12/09/13 12:44 AM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
RUSS SHETTLE Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 297
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
Punchslap,

The "Circle of Fifths" is merely a chart. don't let the circle confuse you. There are other spreadsheet-like chart designs that make the reference a little clearer. One, similar to like what was posted here by someone.
_________________________
Russ
Yamaha CP5
Casio PX130
Yamaha AP Upright

Top
#2194808 - 12/09/13 01:04 AM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
RUSS SHETTLE Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 297
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
The best way to learn and know the sharps and flats for any key it to just practice the major scale for all of them.

Knowing the number black keys is one thing, knowing which ones they should be is another. The major scale is easy to figure for any starting note.

Best thing to do is memorize the interval pattern to the major scale: W W H W W W H. Whole and Half steps. See how that works in C major, all white keys. Start with any key and duplicate this pattern and get familiar with it.
_________________________
Russ
Yamaha CP5
Casio PX130
Yamaha AP Upright

Top
#2194809 - 12/09/13 01:11 AM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3160
Loc: Maine
Punchslap, I like Brian K's recommendation a lot, and also Sand Tiger's. The circle of fifths can provide helpful presentation of the relationship between keys, and there are mnemonics that can help if your mind leans that way. But for really internalizing all this information, you need to practice it, a lot, starting small and slowly building.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#2194972 - 12/09/13 11:50 AM Re: Visualization [Re: Derulux]
Punchslap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/13
Posts: 57
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Punchslap
Originally Posted By: Derulux
One very simple way to remember basic keys is this:

BEADGCF

This is the order of flats. When you're in a flat key, you add flats in this order. The key you are in corresponds to the letter before the last flat. Example: if you have five flats, BEADG, then the key is D-flat. Three flats, BEA, the key is E-flat.

For sharps, do the opposite:

FCGDAEB

The key is two forward this time. So, one sharp, F. The key is F-C-G. Six sharps, FCGDAE, the key is FCGDAE-B-F, F-sharp major (because F is sharp in the key signature).

Hope this is helpful. It may be what you were describing, but this is a little simpler way to think of it. smile


Hm, I'd say this method would be effective when determining key when analyzing a piece. I was thinking more of already knowing the sharps or flats of a key. Thanks for your input anyway! Maybe it will come to help if I would ever happen to analyze something grin



Memorize it the same way. You want to know which flats are in the key of Ab? B-E-A-D. Four flats.

If you're not asking that, then I'm not sure I understand what it is you're asking..


I don't want to count the flats or sharps, I want to know before I enter a key how many flats there already are.
But I guess I didn't know by the time I replied to you that you could determine flats and sharps from the name of the key, I only thought of it from the other way first(determining key from flats and sharps). But I realized now what you meant, thanks!

Top
#2194973 - 12/09/13 11:54 AM Re: Visualization [Re: RUSS SHETTLE]
Punchslap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/13
Posts: 57
Originally Posted By: RUSS SHETTLE
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Punchslap
Dammit couldn't they design a piano with only white keys

It would make for pretty dull music...

Which leads to an interesting question: is there any piano music written in the last three centuries that uses only white keys?


That's the same as asking is there any music composed to be purely diatonic and the answer is yes. Lots of simple music in fact but they are not all written in the key of C whereby they would be played with all white keys but some are.


Oh, I didn't mean to exclude the tones that are on the black keys on my imaginary piano with only white keys, simply make them white too. The piano would indeed be much wider and it would be harder to reach, but it would make it so much easier with the problem I have right know.
I suppose you would have a hard time visualizing the tones for each key, to solve that we could use markings, as on the guitar.

I should totally do one of these.

Top
#2195024 - 12/09/13 01:37 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
RUSS SHETTLE Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 297
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
Originally Posted By: Punchslap
Oh, I didn't mean to exclude the tones that are on the black keys on my imaginary piano with only white keys, simply make them white too. The piano would indeed be much wider and it would be harder to reach, but it would make it so much easier with the problem I have right know.
I suppose you would have a hard time visualizing the tones for each key, to solve that we could use markings, as on the guitar.

I should totally do one of these.


Well, if there were only the white keys, it would be hard to tell where you are or where to begin and you would be stuck in one diatonic key but you would have all the modes as well.

There was a time in history when music was pretty much just that. Chants! Old mid-evil century chants. You've hear them in movies. Music began with just 6 notes. The history and evolution of music is interesting. What we have today is the diatonic system going back some 300 years now. This is the fundamental core of modern music structure.

Understand the diatonic system which includes the major note scale and the "cord" scale and is all clearly given by the white keys alone for the Key of C. Once you see and understand this you will see the forest for the trees. All other keys are structured the same identical way.

But don't misunderstand. All music is written in some Key which means the notes and chords are in scale but not always. Always would be something purely and 100% diatonic which can be realize in a lot of simple music that is very tonal and can be most beautiful. But music become interesting and complicated as well when notes and chords outside of Key are introduced and in written music you will see notes identified with sharps or flats called accidentals. In a sense, you could call this music near diatonic. It's not 100% diatonic.

I think it's more important to see the diatonic structure for a key that will include black keys that to be so concerned about the black keys themselves. The diatonic structure will give the reason for each black key just as clearly as to why each white key is played for C major.

The Key of Ab for example, the center black key in the group of 3. Ab, the note is the first note in the scale. The second "degree" note in the scale is Bb, why? Just look at the pattern. The second note is a whole step away. The third note is also a whole step away and that would be C after Bb. On guitar, a whole step would be two frets. All is the same with other instruments. This pattern will make you realize what black key need to be played and why.

This is all part of basic theory of music and the diatonic structure. From that you can begin to build on a more concrete understanding of musical structure. You need to know this in order to create and write and really know what it is you're doing. Understanding music is more important than merely being able to play. Enjoy the learning!
_________________________
Russ
Yamaha CP5
Casio PX130
Yamaha AP Upright

Top
#2195419 - 12/10/13 04:50 AM Re: Visualization [Re: RUSS SHETTLE]
Punchslap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/13
Posts: 57
Originally Posted By: RUSS SHETTLE
Originally Posted By: Punchslap
Oh, I didn't mean to exclude the tones that are on the black keys on my imaginary piano with only white keys, simply make them white too. The piano would indeed be much wider and it would be harder to reach, but it would make it so much easier with the problem I have right know.
I suppose you would have a hard time visualizing the tones for each key, to solve that we could use markings, as on the guitar.

I should totally do one of these.


Well, if there were only the white keys, it would be hard to tell where you are or where to begin and you would be stuck in one diatonic key but you would have all the modes as well.

There was a time in history when music was pretty much just that. Chants! Old mid-evil century chants. You've hear them in movies. Music began with just 6 notes. The history and evolution of music is interesting. What we have today is the diatonic system going back some 300 years now. This is the fundamental core of modern music structure.

Understand the diatonic system which includes the major note scale and the "cord" scale and is all clearly given by the white keys alone for the Key of C. Once you see and understand this you will see the forest for the trees. All other keys are structured the same identical way.

But don't misunderstand. All music is written in some Key which means the notes and chords are in scale but not always. Always would be something purely and 100% diatonic which can be realize in a lot of simple music that is very tonal and can be most beautiful. But music become interesting and complicated as well when notes and chords outside of Key are introduced and in written music you will see notes identified with sharps or flats called accidentals. In a sense, you could call this music near diatonic. It's not 100% diatonic.

I think it's more important to see the diatonic structure for a key that will include black keys that to be so concerned about the black keys themselves. The diatonic structure will give the reason for each black key just as clearly as to why each white key is played for C major.

The Key of Ab for example, the center black key in the group of 3. Ab, the note is the first note in the scale. The second "degree" note in the scale is Bb, why? Just look at the pattern. The second note is a whole step away. The third note is also a whole step away and that would be C after Bb. On guitar, a whole step would be two frets. All is the same with other instruments. This pattern will make you realize what black key need to be played and why.

This is all part of basic theory of music and the diatonic structure. From that you can begin to build on a more concrete understanding of musical structure. You need to know this in order to create and write and really know what it is you're doing. Understanding music is more important than merely being able to play. Enjoy the learning!


I really appreciate your intention to learn, but I think you must have misunderstood me. If there were only white keys, with all the black keys made white, all the white keys would form a "chromatic(not diatonic)" pattern. The point I was trying to convey was that all the scales in all keys are then visualized exactly alike, you would only need to shift the position to change key, as on the guitar.
Also, on the guitar, there are markings, so you won't get lost, we use these as quick reference points when trying to determine what tone each fret is. I said that we could have markings on this imaginary piano as well, again, so you can find the name of the tone that each piano key produces.
Anyway, your explanation of the system was clear as day in any case.

Top
#2195765 - 12/10/13 08:16 PM Re: Visualization [Re: Punchslap]
piano_primo_1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA
Mmmmmmmm, instead of all that , maybe buy a book on Modern Harmony and COmposition?
_________________________


Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
151 registered (36251, aesop, acortot, accordeur, 45 invisible), 1659 Guests and 15 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75896 Members
42 Forums
156840 Topics
2304575 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Ear training - what is it?
by Scordatura
Today at 05:05 PM
Speaker/monitor quieries
by Enthusiast
Today at 04:06 PM
Rubinstein or horowitz couldn't play op 10 no 1?
by rov
Today at 04:05 PM
For Sale: PE-2 PIANO PEDAL EXTENDER
by TakomaRose
Today at 02:04 PM
How is this possible?
by kaanguner
Today at 02:03 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission