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#2242477 - 03/07/14 01:38 AM Advice please
Phil Greenough Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/14
Posts: 47
Loc: Liverpool
Hi, I need some advice on my first proper song that I'm learning. I've been learning for a month and have had three lessons. My first piece is, Here, there and everywhere by the Beatles and surprise, surprise I am struggling playing with both hands. Also there are no finger positions or letters above the notes. This brought a problem that I had to work out. You see I do not want to phone or text my teacher as he would not be getting paid for his time. But in I think in the fifth or sixth bar, it goes B,D and then it reads C, but when I played it, it did not sound right. So I went on You Tube and a lovely lady called Jane played it slowly. I was able to see that she played an A then G; I played it on the piano and it sounded fine. I can play all of the right hand, albeit in a fractured style and I think my fingering is more or less there, but try as I may my brain will not let the two hands play. How long do you think it will take before the two hands come together? I'm not beating myself up about it, because the forum has taught me that it is a long and winding road. Also, would you have spoke to your teacher on the phone and got it right? I'm going to speak with the teacher and ask him if I can call him and maybe pay him pro rata for his time on the next lesson. My regular Michael Aaron practise has been put on the back burner because I'm enjoying learning how to play the Beatles tune, but it's OK because the Michael Aaron practise is focusing on the Key of G and Here, there and everywhere is basically in G. So it's better to learn a real tune rather than "The windmill", although I can play "the Windmill" with no problem :-) . Any advice will be much appreciated.

Phil

PS. I'm on nights, so forgive me if i got the notes wrong, it was from memory.


Edited by Phil Greenough (03/07/14 01:39 AM)

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#2242525 - 03/07/14 06:37 AM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
CarlosCC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 1345
Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
Hi Phil Greenough and welcome to PW!

"I played it on the piano and it sounded fine" - That's the way you have to play! It seams to be a typo...

"(...)but try as I may my brain will not let the two hands play. How long do you think it will take before the two hands come together?" - It depends on your dedication and training. Try to do some simple exercises with both hands - you'll find lots of material on internet -, or ask your teacher about this.

"Also, would you have spoke to your teacher on the phone and got it right?" - Yes.
_________________________

Youtube channel
Box.com MP3 records

Self taught since 12/2009
Don't play what's there, play what's not there.

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#2242530 - 03/07/14 06:56 AM Re: Advice please [Re: CarlosCC]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11647
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: CarlosCC
H. Try to do some simple exercises with both hands - you'll find lots of material on internet -, or ask your teacher about this.

I suggest the latter. If he is any good as a teacher, then your teacher wants to give you the skills you need. If you have difficulty with something, then that is what he wants to help you with. Teachers actually delight in difficulties because that gives them something to teach. Let him know that you need strengthening in this area and ask him what to do about it.

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#2242558 - 03/07/14 09:06 AM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2494
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
I wouldn't call my teacher for fingering both because I wouldn't want to bother him and because he'd probably prefer to see the music in order to make a recommendation.

I would take the music to my lesson and ask for help with fingering. If I have identified any tricky sections I'd ask for help with those too and I'd ask my teacher to look for anything that is likely to be a problem for me.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2242571 - 03/07/14 09:59 AM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11689
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
How often do you see your teacher? If it's every week, don't contact them, just do the best you can hands separately for now and be sure to ask him at your lesson. If it's more than a week to go, then text him. Just be sure to say something to the effect of "it's OK if you'd rather wait until my next lesson to answer my question." But chances are your teacher won't mind giving advice in between lessons. While you are paying for a specific time slot, we often don't mind the occasional email or text to answer questions, but sometimes it can get to be too much.

You are only on your third lesson, but don't be afraid to be innovative in solving your problems. You are going to make mistakes and learn things wrong and have to unlearn things - it's all a part of the process. So don't worry about it, just do the best you can with your practice time. smile
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2242583 - 03/07/14 10:42 AM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1818
Loc: Pennsylvania
Considering you are very early in your development as a piano player, I would suggest that you do the things that were assigned at your lesson and nothing else.

Learn to do your assigned task very well and not just good enough. That will serve you better in the long run than hurrying from piece to piece as soon as you can get through it reasonably well.

If you have a good teacher, and if you do the the tasks assigned by that teacher, you will do well.

Good Luck
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Racvenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2242810 - 03/07/14 06:22 PM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
Phil Greenough Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/14
Posts: 47
Loc: Liverpool
Thanks for your advice everyone, I appreciate all of your input. Thanks for your welcome Carlos, I never introduced myself because I did so on the general forum. Dmd,I was assigned the piece by my teacher. I gave him one hundred pieces that I knew really well, and asked him to pick one that would be suitable for me to learn to play, as an aside to following the Michael Aaron book. Morodiene, thank you for your opinion from a teacher's perspective.

Phil

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#2242856 - 03/07/14 07:52 PM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1818
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Phil Greenough
I was assigned the piece by my teacher. I gave him one hundred pieces that I knew really well, and asked him to pick one that would be suitable for me to learn to play, as an aside to following the Michael Aaron book.


Great !!

That is absolutely the way to do it.

Good Luck
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Racvenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2242888 - 03/07/14 09:18 PM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1491
Loc: Australia
If your teacher is interested in your development they will allow you to phone or email them over the odd problem. As an expat though I can so relate to your British reserve.

As to playing hands together, this may seem daunting and is possibly something that never gets easy but when I started 14 months ago a couple of things helped me. Picking a really easy piece you know well (I was learning Greensleeves) that doesn't have a complex melody or to many chord changes. Learn the melody so your right hand does it automatically. Play blocked chords for the bass and when that's not a problem play the chord as an arpeggio. You do the last step very slowly even if it means you are not playing musically the important thing is to play the right notes in order using the correct hand. So this and sleep on it you will be surprised how quickly it starts to become natural. Good luck.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2242909 - 03/07/14 09:57 PM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
Phil Greenough Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/14
Posts: 47
Loc: Liverpool
Thanks for your advice Earlofmar. The piece I'm learning has been arranged with just two of the notes in the key of G played together with the left hand.I'll heed the advice of everyone and just practise, practise, practise.

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#2242928 - 03/07/14 10:33 PM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2050
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Phil....
Playing both hands is a major change, physiologically. Your teacher should already know that.
You'll spend the next couple years adapting.

Exercises... a thought..... do them until you can do them perfectly while thinking about something else. You should do them without thinking like you do walking.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2242937 - 03/07/14 10:48 PM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
Phil Greenough Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/14
Posts: 47
Loc: Liverpool
Hi Ron

I maybe doing my teacher a disservice by talking about my issues with all you helpful guys, instead of waiting till Sunday when I could go over all my problems with him. To be fair to myself, have I got any problems? What do I expect after a month of owning a piano? I can play the exercises in the Aaron book that the teacher has asked of me and he seems happy with my progress, so maybe I should wind my neck in and just enjoy it.

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#2242943 - 03/07/14 11:05 PM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11689
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Phil Greenough
Hi Ron

I maybe doing my teacher a disservice by talking about my issues with all you helpful guys, instead of waiting till Sunday when I could go over all my problems with him. To be fair to myself, have I got any problems? What do I expect after a month of owning a piano? I can play the exercises in the Aaron book that the teacher has asked of me and he seems happy with my progress, so maybe I should wind my neck in and just enjoy it.


Definitely enjoy the ride! If you are making progress then sit back and relax. Worrying about it won't make you learn it any faster. Playing piano is more like marathon running than it is sprinting.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2243006 - 03/08/14 06:04 AM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4937
Loc: Italy
I don't think you're doing your teacher a disservice by asking questions here.

My teacher hasn't explicity asked me not to contact him, but his replies have lead me to understand that it would be better to wait for the lessons for these types of questions. - He wants me to try things, and to explore and to make some decisions - if they aren't the right ones he will always listen to my logic and then go over where I went off track.

This is a minor sort of question and with a weekly lesson it isn't a big deal to wait. ....but smile asking questions here is a good way to calm our doubts when we really don't want to wait til the next lesson - we want to know now!!! smile
As long as you follow up with your teacher when you meet - I don't see any harm at all.

Welcome to PW!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2243292 - 03/08/14 05:34 PM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
Phil Greenough Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/14
Posts: 47
Loc: Liverpool
Thanks for the reassurance guys. In my job I've lost count of the times I have said to patients " It's no use worrying, it won't get you anywhere" But as usual you never listen to your own advice.

"This is a minor sort of question and with a weekly lesson it isn't a big deal to wait. ....but asking questions here is a good way to calm our doubts when we really don't want to wait til the next lesson - we want to know now!!!"

You summed my feelings up there Casinitaly.

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#2244180 - 03/10/14 10:29 AM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17770
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Phil, mastering hand independence is THE single hardest aspect of the early months of playing piano. The fact that you are struggling with it in your first month and after only three lessons is to be expected. In fact, it would be highly surprising and unusual if you DIDN'T have trouble with it.

The good news is that it does get easier with time, and usually dramatically so. It's as if the neural pathways in your brain get established and all of a sudden you can find yourself doing with ease what you couldn't do the week before. So just do a lot of hands separate practice until you're comfortable with each hand individually, and then combine them.... going at a very slow (I mean glacially slow) tempo to start.

But trust me; there will come a time--and probably sooner than you think--when you will be able to sit down with a new piece of music and be able to rattle off both hands together at the first sight reading. smile
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#2244813 - 03/11/14 03:50 PM Re: Advice please [Re: Phil Greenough]
Phil Greenough Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/14
Posts: 47
Loc: Liverpool
Hi Monica, thanks for your advice. I'm hoping it's sooner rather than later. I've just watched a couple of your videos on Youtube, very relaxing.

Phil


Edited by Phil Greenough (03/11/14 03:50 PM)

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