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#2285065 - 06/03/14 08:04 AM No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend.
Bigwillo7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 7
Hi everyone!!

My girlfriend's birthday is in two months. And, as a present, I got the idea of playing a music that I really love just for her.
But here's the deal: I don't play the piano and I can't read music!

But I'm determined with this and don't mind spending 2 hours a day on it.

My questions to you are the following:

1) Do you think it's possible? If yes, what's the best way to do this?
I've tried once to play this way:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sxQWq7CfJ0
What do you think?

2) Here are the songs I prefer by order. I'd love to learn Via Purifico but I heard some comments on how hard it is. Let me know whcih one is reasonably doable:

1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD-j4jBFt4w&list=PLA9281E60D25EDD6E&index=10

2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLU2xQ4nkk4&index=1&list=PLA9281E60D25EDD6E

3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NTO_3UZzVY

I'm dead serious about this. But I want your professional opinions

Thanks Everyone!!

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#2285072 - 06/03/14 08:22 AM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1491
Loc: Australia
Certainly I am no professional but can give an honest opinion. I have been playing for eighteen months and still do not have the capacity to learn one of those pieces well in two months.

If you already tried to play To Zanarkand once you will have found out just how difficult it is. A recent discussion here put that piece at Grade 7, requiring a number of dedicated years to get to that level.

It is not about spending x amount of hours per day either although being determined can get you far. However it is more about training hands and fingers to do things they have never done before and this just takes time.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2285095 - 06/03/14 09:23 AM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11689
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Bigwillo7
Hi everyone!!

My girlfriend's birthday is in two months. And, as a present, I got the idea of playing a music that I really love just for her.
But here's the deal: I don't play the piano and I can't read music!

But I'm determined with this and don't mind spending 2 hours a day on it.

My questions to you are the following:

1) Do you think it's possible? If yes, what's the best way to do this?
I've tried once to play this way:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sxQWq7CfJ0
What do you think?


2) Here are the songs I prefer by order. I'd love to learn Via Purifico but I heard some comments on how hard it is. Let me know whcih one is reasonably doable:

1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD-j4jBFt4w&list=PLA9281E60D25EDD6E&index=10

2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLU2xQ4nkk4&index=1&list=PLA9281E60D25EDD6E

3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NTO_3UZzVY

I'm dead serious about this. But I want your professional opinions

Thanks Everyone!!


No, not this music. FF is tricky to play, and often video game music is not well-written so it doesn't sit well in the hands, feeling awkward. I've been playing piano for 35 years, and if I wanted to play all of that music, I'd feel comfortable with 2 month's notice. If I had one month, it could be done as well. But that's me with 35 years of experience. You have 0.

It's a great idea, but why not plan to do it for your girlfriend's birthday NEXT year, and only plan on playing one piece? Then you can devote your time to learning how to play well starting from very easy pieces and working your way up to your goal piece - and even then you will want to choose something easier, but maybe one of these pieces would work.

Just some perspective: most adult beginners (or young ones too) after two months are still playing one hand at a time. Maybe they can play a measure or two with hands together, but mostly one note at a time, one hand at a time.

It's got nothing to do with using a tutorial, it has to do with building neural pathways between your mind and your individual fingers that have never been built before. That takes years of 2 hours a day.

At the beginning, you can't really benefit from spending 2 hours a day because there will be a limit as to what one can accomplish in one sitting. Then you must rest to allow those neural pathways to solidify. After sleep, then you go at it again, but there will always be that threshold after which you are wasting time because you won't progress any further until you sleep.

If you love the idea of playing piano, then go at it correctly: get a decent instrument (not a keyboard, but a piano), and get yourself a good teacher that can help you get to your goal in the most efficient way possible, and then do whatever they tell you to do.
_________________________
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#2285138 - 06/03/14 11:44 AM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Morodiene]
Bigwillo7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 7
Hi, thanks for the feedback.

I never intended to learn all the songs. Just one of them. The easiest one.
Basically, you're telling me it's impossible, right?


Edited by Bigwillo7 (06/03/14 11:45 AM)

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#2285142 - 06/03/14 11:54 AM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
Mken Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/13
Posts: 93
Yes and no.

In that you can learn to strike the correct sequence of keys, which will sound kinda like the piece.

This is rote learning. It has some huge weaknesses though.

You won't be able to play anything else.

You will forget it quite quickly meaning you need lots of reinforcement.

If you mess up or make a mistake because it is simply a sequence you may well be unable to play unless you start it again. As you can't gaze up at your sheet music and see where you are at.

2.5 years ago now I learned to play by rote, Moonlight Sonata via rote, its not exactly a difficult piece, but looking back I had no idea about the expression and simply put a brick on the sustain pedal. To my ears back then it sounded good, but to my ears now (as I recorded them) it looked horribly clunky.
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#2285150 - 06/03/14 12:02 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Mken]
Bigwillo7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 7
I don't want to learn or get into the piano. Just focusing on one of these pieces for two months, for her. That's it. I'm not trying to remember it afterwards.

I'll make mistakes, I'm sure of it. But are you telling me it's really impossible to get in done? I just want your honest opinion.


Edited by Bigwillo7 (06/03/14 12:06 PM)

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#2285153 - 06/03/14 12:11 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3160
Loc: Maine
What is your vision of "playing a piano piece for my girlfriend" that makes you want to do it, when you have no interest in playing the piano? What are you hoping to achieve, or impress her with, or will happen after you do this? Why pick playing a piano piece as your expression? What is different about playing the piece for her instead of listening to it together? What is different about playing the piece rather than doing something else that you already know how to do -- I don't know, making her an elegant meal, cleaning her apartment top to bottom, going on a drive to a beautiful lake, whatever...?

In thinking of the answers to these questions, you may find there are other ways to achieve the same effect.
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#2285157 - 06/03/14 12:16 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: PianoStudent88]
Bigwillo7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 7
Because I'm stubborn and this is what I want.

There are other ways, PianoStudent88. But I like this one better.

The reason? Personal.

Thanks for understanding.


Edited by Bigwillo7 (06/03/14 12:17 PM)

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#2285185 - 06/03/14 01:16 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3473
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Originally Posted By: Bigwillo7
Basically, you're telling me it's impossible, right?


Do you have any musical background? Have you ever played an instrument before? If yes, that might make things a little bit easier, but only a little bit.

No one has told you it's impossible (yet), but if we're being honest, we probably should just say, yes, it's impossible. Especially if you want to play a piece of music for her that sounds musical and is expressive and will become a treasured memory for her. If you want to just hit the notes and don't care if you sound like a robot, then it might not be impossible, but what would the point of that be?

Or, another way to think about it is this: it might be possible but involves a great deal of work and access to numerous resources. Here are some things that determine whether this is possible or not:

1) Are you able to devote several hours a day, every day to practicing? (if you have a job, the answer to this is probably no)

2) Do you have daily access to an acoustic piano that's in tune and playable, or to a decent digital piano with weighted keys?

3) Do you have access to a professional teacher who can coach you, preferably a few times a week?

4) Do you have very strong will power and patience?

5) Do you have an open, ego-less attitude that is willing to accept the teacher's advice and do as he/she advises every step of the way?

If the answer to all of these questions is "yes" then you might have a chance. If the answer to any one of them is no, it may be best for you to consider a different idea for a present for your girlfriend.

Playing the piano is no easy task that can be conquered quickly and easily. There's no benefit to underestimating the difficulty of it. And because it is so complex, very few people become able to play without being motivated by a strong desire to play. There are people who start piano because they want to play one particular piece, but those who are successful and continue tend to come to enjoy the process of learning to play itself. If your only motivation is to be able to play one song, one time, for your girlfriend, I seriously doubt that is enough to propel you forward.

I don't mean to sound harsh, nor do I want to discourage you. But I think you are underestimating the difficulty of what you're describing. Now, if you would like to prove me wrong, by all means, give it a go! I will be the first to congratulate you if you succeed. Or, if you decide that you would like to learn how to play the piano as a general goal, then stick around because this is the place to be for great advice and ideas for beginners.

Whatever you decide to do, best of luck and I hope your girlfriend is happy with whatever gift you decide on.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#2285207 - 06/03/14 02:18 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: ShiroKuro]
Bigwillo7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 7
ShiroKuro,

Thank you for your advice. I will consider another option. But I wanted a fair answer. And yours seems the most straightforward and clear.

Thanks smile

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#2285384 - 06/03/14 09:54 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
hreichgott Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 955
Loc: western MA, USA
If it's for HER birthday make sure it's something SHE really loves wink
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Sounding the depths of small pieces: Beethoven Op. 33
Daily attempts at 16th notes: Chopin Op. 10 no. 4, Pischna
Totally loving Fauré/Barcarolles and Ravel/Tombeau de Couperin
I love Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and new music

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#2285425 - 06/03/14 11:07 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: hreichgott]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11689
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: hreichgott
If it's for HER birthday make sure it's something SHE really loves wink


+1. To the OP, perhaps I wasn't clear with my response (I thought I was), but I thought I pretty much said it was impossible. Sorry for not just coming out and saying it.

There are many other ways of doing something special for your GF that can be thoughtful and not require you to be extremely talented. Best of luck to you.


Edited by Morodiene (06/03/14 11:07 PM)
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#2285446 - 06/04/14 12:22 AM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1940
Loc: Philadelphia area
Piano playing is an on-going process. It seems silly to learn one piece and then just move on.

You're obviously a romantic at heart so piano playing might be just the thing for you. I say go for it. Give it a try.

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#2285458 - 06/04/14 01:23 AM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
8 Octaves Offline

Gold Supporter until July 22 2015


Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 284
Loc: USA
I have about 2000 hours on the piano over almost 5 years, a really good teacher, and I did get some sleep in between, but that music is still beyond me. Still, you are not me.

By my calculations, there are about 720 hours in a month, so you have 1500 hours, assuming you don't need to sleep, so you'll be practicing 24x7 for the next two months. It's not the 2000 I've done, but who knows. Let's just say you are a super prodigy like Mozart. Let's say you're really young like 13 (believe me that is a big plus), you could maybe, well, no. You know why? Because you don't want to play the piano. You just want to do it once to impress a girl. That's why it's impossible.

By the way, do you like own a piano?
_________________________
Practice is never finished, only abandoned.
Studying RCM Level 5 | Yamaha C3X

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#2285460 - 06/04/14 01:29 AM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Morodiene]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1491
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
To the OP, perhaps I wasn't clear with my response (I thought I was), but I thought I pretty much said it was impossible. Sorry for not just coming out and saying it.



we are such a supportive bunch it is hard for any of us to dash anyone's hope or ambition.

As an aside but pertinent to the overall question, when I first started here at PW it seemed there was an "arms race" to bring down the presentation time of the Bach Prelude in C Major. I did my part in the race and brought it to recital at 5.5 months but I think there was someone playing it at four months. I remember getting a compliment for not using the pedal in my version but the truth was I couldn't even use the pedal lol. I have seen this work graded at everything from grade 2 to 6 but what ever your view, it requires some pretty tough dedication to get it playable in your first six months of learning piano. I should add that for my attempt at the piece I had to develop a minimum technical ability which took almost four months.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2285497 - 06/04/14 04:49 AM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 959
I was hired to do a tutorial for a guy once for this same type of situation, but it was a MUCH easier song than these are.

Yes, you're talking about rote learning, watching a tutorial and trying to mimic the actions. Extremely hard, even for simple pieces because you're relying 100% on memory, which tends to give out after a few measures. i know tons of people who can play the beginning of a song but can't remember anything after 10-20 seconds.

So impossible? Maybe not. But highly improbable. You would have to get someone to create the tutorial, playing one of the pieces slowly for you, then you would have to learn where the right notes are, then practice striking the right notes by memory (how's your memory skills?). Best guess, in 2 months you might get 30 seconds of one of them down. I think the first 30 seconds of the third song sounds the most doable, more of a repetitive pattern than the others. There may be an easier section, but I didn't listen through the entire songs.

But unless you have an amazing memory that has the ability to remember a specific sequence of many notes, I'd say it's a pretty difficult task.
_________________________
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BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 21+ year teacher and touring musician
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#2285528 - 06/04/14 07:22 AM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1179
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Bigwillo7
I don't want to learn or get into the piano. Just focusing on one of these pieces for two months, for her. That's it. I'm not trying to remember it afterwards.

I'll make mistakes, I'm sure of it. But are you telling me it's really impossible to get in done? I just want your honest opinion.


Similar to Earlofmar, and a few others, I never like to dash hopes. I seem to recall similar plans in my youth. But don't recall it working out well.

Mistakes? Yes, plenty. But, no, not impossible. Love is a powerful emotion, of course. I believe wars have been started over it.

A better option may be ... as the many already offered.

However, if you still end up going for it and you actually pull it off, I think you will be having second thoughts of never playing the piano again. When the bug hits, it is out of your control. Similar to your current feelings for GF.

At any rate, best of luck.

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#2285665 - 06/04/14 12:21 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: earlofmar]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: earlofmar
we are such a supportive bunch it is hard for any of us to dash anyone's hope or ambition.

Well, I'll do it for you.

OP, you will not be able to do this. Give up.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2285699 - 06/04/14 01:23 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
J.T.1986 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 43
Loc: Toronto, Canada.
Maybe it isnt possible, well from a musicality point of view..

But i agree with another poster, why not just go for it.. who knows , you may get the bug and want to pursue the piano for your own pleasure afterwards...

Then in the future you could compose an origianl piece for your lady wink

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#2285701 - 06/04/14 01:25 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
Bigwillo7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 7
Thanks Everyone!

I decided to give it a try.

I'm no Mozart, I'm not special. But I guess the best answer to it is to test it myself, something I usually do as a film director.

My sister owns a huge keyboard. I'll start from there. I'll let you know in two weeks if there are any progress at all.

I'm thinking of playing the Third song, for a minute grand total.

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#2285702 - 06/04/14 01:26 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
J.T.1986 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 43
Loc: Toronto, Canada.
as a sidenote when i started out learning piano i got ancy and wanted to learn a piece that i really loved (was actually a FF piece also), it did take me about 2 months....to be able to perform the FIRST PAGE musically... i be no means am especially talented... but without the necessary facility to back you up it is not an easy task..

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#2285703 - 06/04/14 01:27 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: J.T.1986]
Bigwillo7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 7
Thanks J. T.

I'll let you know how much progress I've made in a month and take it from there.

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#2285708 - 06/04/14 01:36 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11689
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Bigwillo7
Thanks Everyone!

I decided to give it a try.

I'm no Mozart, I'm not special. But I guess the best answer to it is to test it myself, something I usually do as a film director.

My sister owns a huge keyboard. I'll start from there. I'll let you know in two weeks if there are any progress at all.

I'm thinking of playing the Third song, for a minute grand total.
Best of luck to you! smile
_________________________
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MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2285709 - 06/04/14 01:40 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11647
Loc: Canada
One of the things that makes this piece is the proper use of pedal. You haven't told us what you do and don't know about music so far. The notes of a particular chord are spread out and played one at a time, and they are blended together via the pedal. Then the next chord comes along (ditto), the pedal is changed so that they don't mix with the first bunch and create mud. Here is one specific skill you would need to get a handle on in order to pull it off. It is a matter of coordination, on top of coordinating the two hands. You need some kind of plan to approach this - can you at least get someone to tutor you for the piece?

A lot of beginner music has repeated chords that are always the same, along with simple melody which mostly falls on the beat. In your chosen piece there are sequences of chords one after the other, and then varying rhythms in the right hand which fall on and between beats. That is another thing to contend with.

I'm not a teacher and I'm still learning myself, so these are only off-the-cuff quick observations.


Edited by keystring (06/04/14 01:41 PM)

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#2285772 - 06/04/14 04:04 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Greener]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 601
Loc: Louisiana

Quote:
From Greener: I seem to recall similar plans ...


Yep, I remember agreeing to take ballroom dancing with my wife about 25 yrs ago ... BW7, do you realize how long it takes to teach a dancing bear to dance? cry


But Good luck!!
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2285829 - 06/04/14 06:17 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 456
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Bigwillo7
Thanks Everyone!

I decided to give it a try.

I'm no Mozart, I'm not special. But I guess the best answer to it is to test it myself, something I usually do as a film director.

My sister owns a huge keyboard. I'll start from there. I'll let you know in two weeks if there are any progress at all.

I'm thinking of playing the Third song, for a minute grand total.




I think it's worth a try!

Use Synthesia to help you find the notes.

Learn just one part of the song. If that's all you end up learning, that's enough! I think it's very do-able if you end up playing even 30 seconds worth - for her.

And if this passion inside you carries you forward into a love affair with the piano, great!

Good luck!


Edited by AZ_Astro (06/04/14 06:19 PM)
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#2285831 - 06/04/14 06:21 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: Bigwillo7]
8 Octaves Offline

Gold Supporter until July 22 2015


Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 284
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Bigwillo7
Thanks Everyone!

I decided to give it a try.

I'm no Mozart, I'm not special. But I guess the best answer to it is to test it myself, something I usually do as a film director.

My sister owns a huge keyboard. I'll start from there. I'll let you know in two weeks if there are any progress at all.

I'm thinking of playing the Third song, for a minute grand total.


Well in that case....

What we've been discussing is to play properly with a half-decent performance. Since you are so press for time, I would say forget about learning properly and just learn to press all the notes in the right order. Forget about pedaling. You may try pressing down the sustain pedal about 1/3 or 1/4 down to fatten the sound a little and hold it there for the whole song. This works on an acoustic piano, not so much on keyboards. And worse case, you could edit out sections of the middle and just learn the beginning and end and splice the two together. Best of luck to you.
_________________________
Practice is never finished, only abandoned.
Studying RCM Level 5 | Yamaha C3X

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#2285840 - 06/04/14 07:12 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: 8 Octaves]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11647
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: 8 Octaves
Forget about pedaling.

For the third piece? I wouldn't think so.

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#2285848 - 06/04/14 07:42 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: keystring]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: 8 Octaves
Forget about pedaling.

For the third piece? I wouldn't think so.

I wouldn't think so about this whole enterprise. Unless the OP is a genius, which he (by his own admission) is not, the capability to learn to play the piano in two months simply does not exist. He has asked if it's possible, and why are we lying to him?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2285849 - 06/04/14 08:01 PM Re: No music backgroun but Play for my girlfriend. [Re: keystring]
8 Octaves Offline

Gold Supporter until July 22 2015


Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 284
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: 8 Octaves
Forget about pedaling.

For the third piece? I wouldn't think so.


Well, basically I'm saying there is no time to learn it so forget it. Or as I said, if he wants to use it, just use it a little like 1/4 pedal hold for entire piece. That is easy enough to manage so he could focus on pressing the right keys. It'll be messy for sure, and at this point, I doubt he is shooting for decent performance.
_________________________
Practice is never finished, only abandoned.
Studying RCM Level 5 | Yamaha C3X

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