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#2219340 - 01/23/14 09:21 AM Where do I start?
texretvet Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/22/14
Posts: 3
Loc: Texas
Where do I start in my adventures on piano?

Here is a little background;

I am a 39 yo 100% disabled veteran. I have all the time I could need to practice, but going to a teacher for lessons is not really something I will be able to do.

I do have a background in music. I took piano lessons for a few years from the age of 6 to 10. I never was into it and never advanced much beyond very basic playing.

I played the trumpet from 12 to 18. I can read music (although I'm VERY rusty). I know the basics of music theory. I know how to build basic chords and play major and minor scales. I understand most of the "math" of music.

I also play the guitar and sing.

I can play some fairly basic stuff, mostly that I have learned watching the youtubes. Adele's Someone like you, Journeys Faithfully, Garth Brooks' The Dance, and a few others. But I feel I know these mainly by mimicing what I see and not by really knowing the song.

What I want to accomplish:

I mainly want to play for my own enjoyment. I'm not looking to perform or play professionally. I have played in a couple of bands, and have friends that get together occasionally and may play a bar once in a while, and I wouldn't mind playing with them every now and then.

I would love to be able to play classical as well as contemporary pieces. I love all types of music.

Any suggestions as to how I need to approach this?
_________________________
If the enemy is in range, then so are you.
[image]http://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv270/texretvet/member8908.jpg[/image]

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#2219360 - 01/23/14 09:59 AM Re: Where do I start? [Re: texretvet]
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1165
Hi Texrevet and welcome to the forum. Some teachers will come to your home - do you have a piano?

You might want to post on the teachers forum and see what they
suggest.

Thank you for your service and the best of luck in learning to play the piano.

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#2219361 - 01/23/14 10:05 AM Re: Where do I start? [Re: texretvet]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 610
Loc: Louisiana
Yep, thank you for your service ... have you used your ears at all when playing any instruments or mainly reading a score?
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2219409 - 01/23/14 11:22 AM Re: Where do I start? [Re: texretvet]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
Hi, texretvet. Welcome to PW and the ABF!

A lot of self-taught folk use method books like Alfred's All-in-One Adult Piano (various titles available), Carl Humphries' "Complete Piano," and Kenneth Baker's "Complete Piano Player, Omnibus Edition." Granted, early lessons would cover ground you've previously trod, but it probably wouldn't hurt to start out with a bit of a review. Shine up those rusty skills a bit. smile

FYI, these days, there are also teachers who offer lessons via Skype, which might make it easier to take lessons -- plus there's a lot of free info, you-tube videos, etc. online that could be helpful.


Edited by piano_deb (01/23/14 11:25 AM)
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#2219420 - 01/23/14 11:36 AM Re: Where do I start? [Re: texretvet]
texretvet Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/22/14
Posts: 3
Loc: Texas
I do have a piano, well it's a full size weighted key Yamaha Clavinova. I have never been much of an ear player. I have been playing the guitar for years, and still have to look up the chords to any song I want to learn.

As far as having an actual teacher, it's not as much about travelling to one as it is about that I sometimes just have issues being around people. I know that sounds funny. LOL

Revisiting everything I have learned before would be a good thing to do. I was reading a little about the "Alfred's" books on this forum and it seems to have good reviews by many. That might be just what I have been looking for.

I want to be able to play the piano, not just be a guy who knows some songs on the piano, if you know what I mean.
_________________________
If the enemy is in range, then so are you.
[image]http://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv270/texretvet/member8908.jpg[/image]

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#2219429 - 01/23/14 11:53 AM Re: Where do I start? [Re: texretvet]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1888
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: texretvet
I want to be able to play the piano, not just be a guy who knows some songs on the piano, if you know what I mean.


Well, if classical music is of interest to you ...

I would highly recommend this site on the internet.

http://www.fundamentalkeys.com

It is supported by a classically trained pianist who provides videos (at a modest cost) for each lesson in her book.

She will even give private lessons via Skype if you would desire it.

Good Luck
_________________________
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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#2219506 - 01/23/14 02:37 PM Re: Where do I start? [Re: dmd]
texretvet Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/22/14
Posts: 3
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: texretvet
I want to be able to play the piano, not just be a guy who knows some songs on the piano, if you know what I mean.


Well, if classical music is of interest to you ...

I would highly recommend this site on the internet.

http://www.fundamentalkeys.com

It is supported by a classically trained pianist who provides videos (at a modest cost) for each lesson in her book.

She will even give private lessons via Skype if you would desire it.

Good Luck


Don, thanks! I looked this one up and think I will order this book.
_________________________
If the enemy is in range, then so are you.
[image]http://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv270/texretvet/member8908.jpg[/image]

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#2219525 - 01/23/14 03:12 PM Re: Where do I start? [Re: texretvet]
bluem00n010 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Banned
There are piano teachers offering home piano tutorial services. But I don't know if you like this idea. There are also piano teachers offering DVD courses or online courses.


Edited by casinitaly (01/24/14 11:41 AM)
Edit Reason: removed advertising for personal business

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#2219531 - 01/23/14 03:24 PM Re: Where do I start? [Re: texretvet]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1888
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: texretvet

Don, thanks! I looked this one up and think I will order this book.


You won't be disappointed.

Like others have said ... There are a million ways to go with learning to play piano.

This one will give you a good source of solid fundamentals without breaking the bank.

Good Luck
_________________________
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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#2219793 - 01/24/14 12:29 AM Re: Where do I start? [Re: texretvet]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1635
Loc: Australia
Welcome to the forum texretvet. Self teaching is fine and for some the only way to go, which ever way you go best of luck and keep posting.

In my case visiting my teacher is the only chance (except here) to have a chat with another piano player. There is another thread here just gone into the second page "non-pianists" asking what we can share with our non playing friends regarding our musical life. Most ppl seem to be sick of us yacking on about piano lol, Just saying that is all
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2220190 - 01/24/14 04:20 PM Re: Where do I start? [Re: texretvet]
Coldsalmon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 42
I have mostly taught myself to play classical piano after being a jazz bassist for many years, so I can tell you what I did. Without intending to take up piano seriously, I decided to finish learning a Bach invention that I had started learning in piano class in college. I did it slowly, one measure or one beat at a time, and eventually I learned the whole thing. By that time I was hooked, so I called a couple of pianist friends and got a few lessons to make sure that my technique was not horribly bad. After that, I just kept learning pieces. I never really worried about whether I was doing it in the most efficient way, because I am never going to be a great concert pianist, and I am just playing for pleasure. As long as you love the sound of your piano, you will keep practicing and learning pieces, so don't worry too much about the method. I think that the old book "Playing the Piano for Pleasure" has a lot of helpful advice in it, in terms of concrete techniques and in terms of mindset.

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#2220323 - 01/25/14 12:25 AM Re: Where do I start? [Re: texretvet]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: texretvet
I mainly want to play for my own enjoyment. I'm not looking to perform or play professionally. I have played in a couple of bands, and have friends that get together occasionally and may play a bar once in a while, and I wouldn't mind playing with them every now and then.

I would love to be able to play classical as well as contemporary pieces. I love all types of music.

Any suggestions as to how I need to approach this?


From your post, two book suggestions: Playing Piano For Pleasure & The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart

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#2220674 - 01/25/14 05:08 PM Re: Where do I start? [Re: texretvet]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 421
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: texretvet

But I feel I know these mainly by mimicing what I see and not by really knowing the song.


Learn about harmony and how harmony works. Learn to play by ear within this framework. Pick up a book on diatonic harmony.
Quote:

I would love to be able to play classical as well as contemporary pieces. I love all types of music.


To play classical, you need to become proficient at reading sheet music. To play other kinds of music you need to learn harmony and to play by ear.

The other thing about piano is chord voicings. You don't need to worry about this when learning about the basics of harmony. Just use simple root-position voicings. Later on you will learn some better chord voicings.


Edited by casinitaly (01/25/14 06:12 PM)
Edit Reason: removed personal advertising
_________________________
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/

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#2220830 - 01/26/14 12:03 AM Re: Where do I start? [Re: dmd]
therightmoment Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/13
Posts: 24
Loc: WA, USA
To dmd

Thank you for posting the link. I listened to her explanation about her piano book. http://www.fundamentalkeys.com/videos/introfk.html I was going to post a thread about how can I learn how to play Chopin's #15 Raindrops when I can only play basic beginner material. I thought I should scrape up some money to get an in-person teacher, and a babysitter... but this seems to be an affordable alternative to learning how to play classical music in a methodical way. Right now I am jumping around in various books searching for what to do and practice a little bit everyday. How to play popular piano in 10 easy lessons, More of the Easy Worship Fake Book, The complete idiots guide to Piano Exercises, The joy of first-year piano and Popular Hymns as well as synthesia songs, whatever I can find online. So, I play a song, I learn a song. I play it over and over. I try and find something else. I want some depth to my playing if you know what I mean. I am in love with Chopin's Raindrops song and I really want to learn how to play it and play it well with passion. So......... thanks for the suggestion!

Also texretvet I look forward to hearing how things go throughout your piano journey!
_________________________
-SY
DeColores!
mid-level beginner pianist (again) serious as of Dec 2013!

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