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) End Stage Fright
End Stage Fright
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(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
#992633 - 08/13/08 01:51 PM just starting out at 42
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
Howdy, Im 42 and I decided I wanted to learn to play an instrument.

I have zero knowledge of music...well, a little I guess, I used to play violin in 4th grade.

What I find weird is that in some areas (I am a software consultant) I do really well picking up things on the fly but when it comes to music it seems totally alien to me. I couldnt compose a tune if you had a gun to my head. I do however have dreams of tunes and songs Ive never heard but they arent always pleasant, more of an annoyance to me. If I pick up a guitar or sit at a piano I havent the faintest idea of what to do with it so to that end I decided it should be something I should tackle and demystify. This is one of two items I added to my "bucket list" (learn and instrument and learn a foreign language....which will be Italian).

So to this end I thought about a number of instruments. I enjoy guitar, piano, violin and flute music. Of all those I made the assumption that for a raw beginner to learn the fundamentals of music and to get started, the piano would be the best choice.

Having said that there are costs involved. Here is where I make the assumption that a digital piano should suffice for learning seeing as it would be both cost and space prohibitive for me to aquire an upright. Also, when I come down from my bipolar moments (yeah, thats true but im ok with that) and think to myself "What was I thinking to get so involved with something I know nothing about and have no forte in" then I can just sell it on Ebay and move onto other things.

I understand that it will be difficult and will require lots of practice (im guessing at least an hour a day).

So my questions for the forum are:

1) is a digital keyboard sufficient to learn on?
2) if so, any recommendations of brand or price range (no matter what instrument im expecting around 400 or so in expenses)
3) Will i need private lessons to get started? If so, are the recommended after an introductory phase?
4) are there any educational software to help learn?
5) should I start by learning how to read sheet music BEFORE I attempt an instrument?
6) any other hints or real life experiences from someone who has done the same is greatly appreciated.


I live in a 4 unit condo and my three neighbors are all old grandmas. Since I am up all hours sometimes I thought it best to aquire an electronic instrument whereby I can practice with headphones and not disturb my neighbors. Digital keyboards, electric guitars and violins all do this well. (and i wasnt really interested in trumpet anyway) Fortunately for me, my downstairs neighbor plays in the Bridgeport Orchestra and shes a music teacher. Last night I had a conversation with her about it and she said she could help me get started with a few lessons but I didnt want to impose on her and I really prefer to pay for lessons (she probably wouldnt accept money so I didnt want to take all my lessons from her).

Top
(ads P/S)
Petrof Pianos

piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#992634 - 08/13/08 02:30 PM Re: just starting out at 42
rodmichael Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 334
Loc: Maryland
Howdy back at ya and welcome to pianoworld.

I am 62 and started piano 6 months ago at 61, without the "extreme advantage" of violin in the 4th grade.

At first I shopped around for an acoustic piano for several months but in the end went for a good digital piano for the advantage of not having to worry about tunng or humidification and for the advantages of having a built in player function and the ability to practice silently with headphones. The latter might be especially for someone living in an apartment.

I take lessons and my teacher uses an M&H A grand and a Bosendorfer grand for her students. I seem to go between my digital and her acoustics with minimal difficulty. This summer I went to SummerKeys where I used seveal brands of acoustics without any substantial adjustment required.

I would receommend (as with an acoustic) to get the best piano you can afford.

I would recommend an instructor, but many on this forum seem to do quite well on their own. For me, an instructor provides periodic feedback on the subtelties of sitting at the piano and also provides insight and tricks to learning some of the new skills as we go along.

I began building my music reading skills with my first lesson. I'm not sure how successful one might be doing one in the absence of the other.

I have no insights regarding software.

Best of luck and enjoy the ride.
_________________________
Rod Michael
Mason & Hamlin AA, SN 93018
Yamaha CGP-1000, SN UCNZ01010
Zoom Q3



Top
#992635 - 08/13/08 02:41 PM Re: just starting out at 42
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Of the four instruments you mentioned the
piano is easiest in principle to play, as
there is no special physical skill needed
to make it sound: you just press keys
and the instrument's internal mechanism
automatically produces the right tone
for you. Moreover, the physical force
needed to press a key is minimal, so
even a child can easily do it.

As a programmer you might note that the piano
operates in a manner similar to a
computer-controlled machine tool: your
eyes pick up the notes on the score
similar to how a program picks up lines
of code; your brain then translates
the notes into signals that it sends to
your arms and hands, like a computer
translates code into instructions to
the machine tool. Watch one of those
modern digital player pianos in action
some time, and you'll see that computers
make excellent piano players.

If you live in an apt., condo. or townhouse
today, an acoustic piano is simply out
of the question, as it can be heard a block
away and the neighbors will soon be at your
throat. There are some awkward acoustic
pianos with felt muting strips or digital
circuitry stuffed into the interior, but
a digital piano is the most practical
solution. You can get a good digital piano
with grand piano-like performance for
less than $1000--you can pay much more,
up to $30,000+, but that's not necessary
in my opinion. And you can order it
online and have it delivered to your
door in a couple of days. I see no problem
with ordering sight-unseen online, because
digital pianos are essentially a computer
with a keyboard and speakers, and just
as you can order a pc sight-unseen online
and be sure you'll get something satisfactory,
you can order a dp sight-unseen online
and get something satisfactory. Price
is a good rough guide to ordering online:
dp's in the same price range will have
similar performance, and so if you try
a dp in a store, that will give you
a rough idea of what all dp's in that
price range are like.

You cannot really learn to read music
independent of an instrument, because
music is ear-oriented and so you need
to learn to read as you learn to play.

I would not recommend learning from a
neighbor. That can turn into an unpleasant
situation over time.

People learn in various ways. Some start
with a teacher, others learn on their own
with piano course books or instructional
CD's. And you could learn free online,
since there is tons of free instruction--even
free piano lesson videos--and sht.
music there. In theory, all you would need
is a chart showing which note on the
staff corresponds to which key, and
some basic information on counting and
music notation, and you could then play
anything ever written by going note by
note.

Top
#992636 - 08/13/08 02:56 PM Re: just starting out at 42
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 918
Loc: North Carolina
hi mallard,

I'll take a shot at your questions

1) is a digital keyboard sufficient to learn on?
For the purposes you mentioned, absolutely yes.

2) if so, any recommendations of brand or price range (no matter what instrument im expecting around 400 or so in expenses)
Several years ago I was looking for an inexpensive digital keyboard. For me a portable was out of the question...I wanted something very sturdy with pedals, a piano bench, and other minimum specifications. I selected a Casio AP45 because it met my requirements and was relatively inexpensive (about a thousand dollars). I don't know if there are other digital pianos (not portables) that would have fit my own requirements for much less than that. I have been satisfied with that purchase (I also have another more expensive Yamaha digital, and an acoustic piano).
I would highly recommend you also consider purchasing good quality headphones since they can make quite a difference in terms of comfort and sound quality.


3) Will i need private lessons to get started? If so, are the recommended after an introductory phase?
Private lessons will give you a tremendous advantage but may not be necessary depending on your learning style. I am mostly self-taugh and didn't take any lessons until I started learning more advanced repertoire. Most would agree that was a very unconventional approach and while not always recommended it worked well enough for me.

4) are there any educational software to help learn?
Yes, of course.

5) should I start by learning how to read sheet music BEFORE I attempt an instrument?
Probably wouldn't hurt, but my guess is that you would be quickly frustrated without a keyboard to apply that knowledge.

6) any other hints or real life experiences from someone who has done the same is greatly appreciated.
Expect that progress can be slow at times. Learning to play the piano can also be frustrating at times but if you'll learn to view the frustrating aspects as a challenge, and you really enjoy "playing the piano", then it will be very highly rewarding.

Good Luck and let us know how things go for you.
_________________________
Jeff

Top
#992637 - 08/13/08 03:29 PM Re: just starting out at 42
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
Ok here's my 2 cents ...age 55 started in Sept of 04..bought a Yamaha P60 for $749...knowing what I know now from this forum..I'd held out and saved for at that time would've been either the 120 or P250..in today's model it be the P140
too cheap a model won't cut as you progress.. \:\)

Top
#992638 - 08/13/08 05:45 PM Re: just starting out at 42
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate the time.

I know at my age the neurons just dont make the connections as fast as they did when I was 9....but then again, I teach sometimes myself and I know it only takes practice. (i'll be doing at least an hour a day)

I did a quick look on ebay and I found digital keyboards for very cheap and then some quite out of my price range. My only requirements were 88 keys and to have headphone jack and maybe pedals. The ones with different sounds are cool, but I really just need piano if thats what Im learninf. I came across this model:

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/ProKeys88sx-main.html

which I can get in the range I am expecting (around 350 to 400).

Also, whats the difference between a digital piano, an audio interface keyboard and a keyboard controller?

Are there any particular software that would help with learning music and the notes played? I guess thats what the USB interface is for.

Top
#992639 - 08/13/08 07:42 PM Re: just starting out at 42
Mr.Joshua Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/06
Posts: 86
Loc: Plano, TX
Mallard - you should add weighted keys to that short list, or you won't develop your hand strength or touch. The Yamahas previously listed by Bob are a much better investment. The M-Audio doesn't feel like a piano; rather its a keyboard. There's a big difference in the action of the keys in this price range. You'll need to buy a used Yamaha to get into your price range, but it will be a much better option for you.
_________________________
Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.

Top
#992640 - 08/13/08 08:08 PM Re: just starting out at 42
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr.Joshua:
Mallard - you should add weighted keys to that short list, or you won't develop your hand strength or touch. The Yamahas previously listed by Bob are a much better investment. The M-Audio doesn't feel like a piano; rather its a keyboard. There's a big difference in the action of the keys in this price range. You'll need to buy a used Yamaha to get into your price range, but it will be a much better option for you. [/b]
Thanks, thats something that would make a difference.....but they do make a fully weighted version of the same board for not much more. I havent priced what the Yamahas are new.

Top
#992641 - 08/13/08 08:41 PM Re: just starting out at 42
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Welcome to the forum, Mallard! \:\)

You definitely want pedals. You may not be using them right at the beginning, but, trust me, you'll be needing a sustain pedal soon.

Look into the Casio Privia series. They get good reviews here, and I remember seeing some threads in the digital forum about a recent model going for under $400.

I believe that lessons are the best way to learn good technique the quickest, although I also believe it is possible to self-teach. Your downstairs neighbor sounds like she could be a valuable resource. By all means take her up on her offer to give you a lesson or two. It's especially critical to get started off with the proper technique (where you put the bench, how to hold your arms/hands, etc.) so as to avoid injury.

And don't be so sure she won't take money. Just call her up and ask to schedule a lesson and then just ask, matter of factly, what her lesson fees are. If she says "oh, nothing," tell her you don't feel comfortable imposing on her. If she still says nothing, call her bluff and ask her to recommend another teacher because you don't feel right taking advantage of her expertise. Or, offer to barter... wash her car for her, run errands, etc.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
#992642 - 08/14/08 01:06 AM Re: just starting out at 42
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4195
Loc: Arizona.
etc! ;\)

Top
#992643 - 08/14/08 07:19 AM Re: just starting out at 42
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Hi Mallard,

I'll chime in because I am also a software consultant.
Learning an instrument is a great decision. You mention your neurons won't work as fast as they used to, but that's precisely the case. Learning music is one of the best way to fight aging. It is a fun way to work on your memory.

Being in IT, you are probably pretty good at learning things on your own, so personally, I would start there. Spend a few months learning as much as you can on your own, fingering, scales, chords, whatever seems exciting to you.
After a short period, you'll know a lot of theory, and you won't know how to apply any of it. That's where a few lessons might come in handy. A good teacher will guide you, and with little experience you have, you'll be able to understand what he/she says much better.

Digital is the only way to go for you, but consider spending a couple hundred more.
I'd go with Bob's recommendations or something like a YPG 625 / 635. It's just a lot more fun to have tons of sounds and rhythms built in. Those can be had for $600 or so.

Stage piano means it's light, so you can carry easy.
Audio interfaces are basic keyboards, that you are expected to connect to a computer. That's what non-pianist who have studios buy. I'm in Software, but I take no pleasure in messing with recording software. I just try to play.

other tips:
- I'd forget educational software
- Reading music is a skill separate from playing music. Learn it if and only if you like to play that way.

Take care.

Top
#992644 - 08/14/08 10:11 AM Re: just starting out at 42
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
 Quote:
Originally posted by knotty:
Hi Mallard,

I'll chime in because I am also a software consultant.
Learning an instrument is a great decision. You mention your neurons won't work as fast as they used to, but that's precisely the case. Learning music is one of the best way to fight aging. It is a fun way to work on your memory.

Being in IT, you are probably pretty good at learning things on your own, so personally, I would start there. Spend a few months learning as much as you can on your own, fingering, scales, chords, whatever seems exciting to you.
After a short period, you'll know a lot of theory, and you won't know how to apply any of it. That's where a few lessons might come in handy. A good teacher will guide you, and with little experience you have, you'll be able to understand what he/she says much better.

Digital is the only way to go for you, but consider spending a couple hundred more.
I'd go with Bob's recommendations or something like a YPG 625 / 635. It's just a lot more fun to have tons of sounds and rhythms built in. Those can be had for $600 or so.

Stage piano means it's light, so you can carry easy.
Audio interfaces are basic keyboards, that you are expected to connect to a computer. That's what non-pianist who have studios buy. I'm in Software, but I take no pleasure in messing with recording software. I just try to play.

other tips:
- I'd forget educational software
- Reading music is a skill separate from playing music. Learn it if and only if you like to play that way.

Take care. [/b]
Thanks.....ive now taken a look at some yamaha keyboards like the ypg635 (and the dgx620...I dont know whats the functional difference between the two) and I noticed one feature that seemed cool.....an LCD screen which can show you the notes youre playing. I assume that would be a great benefit when learning....then again, thats just an assumption. I saw that both models have "educational suite" software built into them and I even took a look at the user manuals.

Now ive done a doubletake.....perhaps its better to learn "the old" way with just a piano and sheetmusic instead of getting tripped up with software and tools.....OR maybe those software and tools were made to fill a need and yamaha surely understands music instruction. I dont know....im used to products trying to add tons of bells and whistles (take digital cameras for example....I prefer a plain old 4X5 film view camera) which the user spends more time around rather than concentrating on the fundamentals of what theyre doing. Again, perhaps yamaha knows the holes in the fundamentals and just makes a tool to fill it.

anyhoo....thanks for the input, when starting out you gotta get some sort of equipment to start learning.

Top
#992645 - 08/14/08 11:10 AM Re: just starting out at 42
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
ypg 635 Vs 625 (dgx620). There are talks about that in the DP forum, it's explained. I'm not sure 635 is worth the extra buck.

The Yamaha suite is pretty cool. Don't totally discard the toys it has. It's very cool being able to record yourself, put it on a USB key.
It's also cool being able to easily import with USB.

It's nice to be able to view more or less any score on the built-in screen. While it doesn't work like paper, it's neat if you don't have paper...

Also it comes with a few really neat tunes, like Rock, Salsa, Boogie etc...

Playing with the built-in drum machine might also be very useful. If you like Salsa for example, in my view, a Salsa beat is better than a plain metronome.

All of this only really apply if you want to play contemporary stuff.
If all you care about is playing classical, then shoot for the best touch / sound you can afford.

And btw, leave some money aside for a decent pair of headphones. You'll wear them a lot ...

Top
#992646 - 08/14/08 11:53 AM Re: just starting out at 42
saerra Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Welcome to the forums!

I also think spending a bit more to get a good quality digital will be worth it for you in the long-run. Definitely look for weighted keys, and a full size keyboard. Oh, yes, and a sustain pedal. Even though I fight with the pedal (still!) it can really make a difference in how something sounds, it can make things sound much more polished and for some pieces, it's a necessity.

I've got a Yamaha P120. It seems good for what it is, but at this point (a little over a year into lessons) I'm really dying for a real acoustic, honestly. But even if I get one, I wouldn't get rid of the digital - it's useful for easy recording to the computer (theoretically easier than an acoustic, anyway!) and for quiet practice with headphones. (Plus I have a carrying case, though the whole thing is HEAVY, I could theoretically take it with me if I needed to travel.)

I really enjoy my lessons. I find that I get alot of out of them - things I wouldn't have thought of on my own (issues to be addressed, new music that I'm exposed to, interesting discussions on theory and analysis of music, opportunities to perform in front of others, help when I had problems with my hands, and a bit of extra motivation to stick with my practicing!) So I'd recommend them if you can find a teacher that you like. My impression has been that it's critical to find a teacher that is a "good match" personality-wise, otherwise you'll both end up frustrated and unhappy ;\)

Oh - and I'm not sure how you'd start learning to read sheetmusic without a piano? I guess you could start memorizing the names of notes, but... I don't know, without being able to hear them, it strikes me as a painful and boring exercise ;\) It's really much more fun when you can actually HEAR the sounds, even if you have to go really slowly at first figuring out where they are ;\)

Good luck, and again - welcome! Looking forward to hearing about your piano adventures!

Top
#992647 - 08/14/08 11:58 AM Re: just starting out at 42
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
Having touched neither keyboard, from what ive read the weighted key action of the yamaha makes it desirable even without the software stuff.

I dont think the M-audio has built in speakers but yes, I do have some very good sennheiser headphones to use.

At the moment im not very much interested in different types of music or mixing it up with built in songs or beats, I just wanna keep it simple and to the basics.

That being said....if I like it, theres nothing stopping me from getting a higher end model later on.

Top
#992648 - 08/15/08 09:04 PM Re: just starting out at 42
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
well, I went to Sam Ash music tonight and played around with everything they had. I discounted any synthesizer or higher end models like kurg or roland (even though I saw some in my price range). Upon playing with the M Audio model I found I just didnt like how it felt.....now keep in mind im a raw newb and its just a first impression. The Yamahas on the other hand felt great. The Casios were also nice but I didnt like the interface....and I didnt like the busy Yamahas with all the bells and whistles.

In the end its a toss up between a Yamaha P85 or a CP33.

Are these overkill for a beginner? (range from 600 to 1300). They sure sounded wonderful and looked to be a quality product.

Top
#992649 - 08/15/08 09:26 PM Re: just starting out at 42
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Hi mallard,

That was my experience with the MAudio keyboards. They also did not feel like they responded consistently to the same pressure.

You want to go for a model that has a touch that you are happy with. You can make a lot of changes with the sound by using speakers or a sound system and also by using the keyboard to control a software piano. If you are happy with the sound, then so much the better.

Rich
_________________________

Top
#992650 - 08/16/08 07:59 AM Re: just starting out at 42
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
 Quote:

Are these overkill for a beginner? (range from 600 to 1300). They sure sounded wonderful and looked to be a quality product.
there is no such thing. The better the keyboard, the more likely you are to appreciate the experience, and stick with it.

Top
#992651 - 08/16/08 12:15 PM Re: just starting out at 42
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
 Quote:
Originally posted by knotty:
 Quote:

Are these overkill for a beginner? (range from 600 to 1300). They sure sounded wonderful and looked to be a quality product.
there is no such thing. The better the keyboard, the more likely you are to appreciate the experience, and stick with it. [/b]
thanks for the encouragement....1300 is a lot to spend but i played around with all of them for about an hour and i was enraptured by the sound and feel of those yamaha stage pianos.

this will be my birthday present next month

Top
#992652 - 08/16/08 12:38 PM Re: just starting out at 42
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Hi mallard - and welcome to the Forums \:\)

Good luck in your search - I play a Yamaha Clavinova which is a great instrument - and while it's more than you're apparently looking for right now in terms of features and cost, you might want to keep it in mind as a possible future purchase when you're ready to move onward and upward.

Regards, JF

P.S. just wondering why someone named mallard has a cat for an avatar ;\)
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

Top
#992653 - 08/16/08 05:49 PM Re: just starting out at 42
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
 Quote:

P.S. just wondering why someone named mallard has a cat for an avatar ;\) [/QB]
I am mallard on several forums, including one i run (uncensoredfreespeech.com) but ive always used Squiggy as an av. Im a "cat person" but I do like wildlife. I saw squiggy posted on meankitty.com and thought he was cool.

http://www.meankitty.com/Gallery2/squiggy.htm


anyhoo.....i just went to a used music store and a new store and saw a number of really nice keyboards. a young guy at the new store really made me love the sound of the CP300 which is a step up but prolly more than I should spend starting out....however, as far as upgrade there wouldnt be any. the P85 is probably a better bet for me. I'll wait til next month to decide

Top
#992654 - 08/18/08 12:49 AM Re: just starting out at 42
dfpolitowski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/09/06
Posts: 166
Loc: New Jersey
I am responding to item 6 of your question list. To this:

I strongly suggest that you "cut to the chase" and do it right from the beginning of your piano training.

1. If moneys not an issue, from the beginning of your career or hobby in piano order a new Yamaha upright,with the sound damper feature or grand (a grand is preferable)Don't waste you time on a digital for learning purposes.

2. Then choose the best teacher you can, someone who can teach as well as they can play or better. Make sure they enjoy teaching adults and will be around for years to see you through in your progress. Don't waste time struggling to learn on your own at such a late age 42,(I myself began at 39 self taught but now under a teacher)learn correctly from the beginning this will assure the fastest progress. There will be plenty of time for self-teaching between lessons.

3. Make a plan with your teacher for which to progress through together with a suitable practice regiment that will take you to your set goals.

4. Learn Classical works (site reading) as the foundation to any other style you may desire to play in, whether it is blues, gospel, pop, etc.. but learn both styles simultaneously.

4. Take Music theory I,II,III and IV at the local Collage. If only I and II is available take those, take whats available but knowing theory is foremost after the instrument itself.

5. And lastly, since music demands a tremendous amount of time and affection in order to play well and be knowledgeable about the subject I would suggest you, make this your only hobby, don't spreed yourself thin, you need depth of study into this subject. And practice two hours a day six or seven days a week.
_________________________
David

Top
#992655 - 08/18/08 08:20 AM Re: just starting out at 42
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
 Quote:
Originally posted by dfpolitowski:
I am responding to item 6 of your question list. To this:

I strongly suggest that you "cut to the chase" and do it right from the beginning of your piano training.

1. If moneys not an issue, from the beginning of your career or hobby in piano order a new Yamaha upright,with the sound damper feature or grand (a grand is preferable)Don't waste you time on a digital for learning purposes.

2. Then choose the best teacher you can, someone who can teach as well as they can play or better. Make sure they enjoy teaching adults and will be around for years to see you through in your progress. Don't waste time struggling to learn on your own at such a late age 42,(I myself began at 39 self taught but now under a teacher)learn correctly from the beginning this will assure the fastest progress. There will be plenty of time for self-teaching between lessons.

3. Make a plan with your teacher for which to progress through together with a suitable practice regiment that will take you to your set goals.

4. Learn Classical works (site reading) as the foundation to any other style you may desire to play in, whether it is blues, gospel, pop, etc.. but learn both styles simultaneously.

4. Take Music theory I,II,III and IV at the local Collage. If only I and II is available take those, take whats available but knowing theory is foremost after the instrument itself.

5. And lastly, since music demands a tremendous amount of time and affection in order to play well and be knowledgeable about the subject I would suggest you, make this your only hobby, don't spreed yourself thin, you need depth of study into this subject. And practice two hours a day six or seven days a week. [/b]
Thanks for all the input, this is kind of what I expected...I just needed validation from someone whos been there.

As far as #1 is concerned, there isnt any way I am going to get an upright both financially and due to my living constraints.

I'm going to enquire this afternoon as to whether I can enroll for a course in a local college.

and yes, classical is made for the piano and at the moment it and ragtime are the only genres I am interested in.

Thanks for your input

Top
#992656 - 08/18/08 01:54 PM Re: just starting out at 42
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Although there are muted and silent acoustic
uprights, I would not recommend these. The
muted ones have thin felt strip that is
moved in front of the stings so that
the hammers strike the felt, which mutes
the sound. But playing in this muted
mode is very unnatural and unsatisfying.
Morever, acoustic pianos need tuning and
maintenance. Tunings are about $150 each
and you'll need at least two per yr. Dealing
with tuners can become a hassle, as some
of these people are rude and/or incompetent.
If you look inside an acoustic piano, the
complexity of the mechanism with hundreds
of levers levering other levers will give
you an idea of the maintenance nightmares
this can lead to. Repairs are common on
acoustic pianos; for example, sticking
keys are common. Another thing to consider
is that the strings on an acoustic piano
are held at high tension by metal pins
set in a wood block with friction only.
What happens if those pins start to slip
in the wood block?

Moreover, an acoustic piano weighs a ton,
and you'll need movers just to get it into,
and out of, your house. Digital pianos
are light enough for one person to move.

There are so-called silent uprights, which
are an acoustic upright with the works
of a digital piano crammed into the already
cramped interior. When you want to play
silently, the hammers are blocked from
hitting the stings and then operate the
digital circuits like in a digital piano.
And you can only play with headphones in
this silent mode. These are also expensive,
around $9000. The question that immediately
arises with one of these is: why not
just get a dp, since in silent mode that's
essentially what you have?

To give you some perspective on pianos
and playing, I've owned three dp's since
1989. The first was a Korg C-800 console
that I bought new in a store in 1989 for
$1700. My neighbor now has it, and it's
still in perfect condition and plays
not much different from today's digitals.
The second was a Casio AP-24 that I bought
sight-unseen online in 2005 for $700.
My current piano is a Korg SP-250 lightweight
console that I bought sight-unseen online
in 2006 for $900. I've been satisfied
with all three and have used them to
play all types of music including the
most difficult classical repertoire, and
they've served well for that purpose.
My favorite of the three was the least
expensive one, the Casio. This is why
I see no reason to pay more than $1000
on a dp. The console type dp has advantages
over the stage piano type because the
keyboard unit bolts to the factory stand
giving solidity and the pedals are built-in
and won't slip around on the floor and
the factory stand gives the standard ht.
from the floor to the top surface of the
white keys of 28-29 in. A stage piano
has none of this.

I had many yrs. of classical lessons as
a child, but then quit for 20 yrs. and
did not play. Since restarting as an
adult I've taught myself, and have made
great progress, progress which I attribute
to digital pianos. I consider dp's to
be the greatest thing that has ever
happened to pianists. Digitals are much
like personal computers in my view:
just as now everyone can have an inexpensive
computer in the home with the kind of
computing power that was once reserved for
reseach labs, now eveyone can have an
inexpensive dp with grand piano-like
performance.

When I restarted, I had to initially use
various adult course books, since I had
forgotten a lot. These are inexpensive
and take you from complete beginner
to about intermediate level.

Top
#992657 - 08/18/08 02:55 PM Re: just starting out at 42
alleon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 70
is it possible to stop gyro from spamming his dp man love?

ive seen his same dp response in almost every thread that has acoustic vs digital or in new member's thread.

its extremely annoying

Top
#992658 - 08/18/08 05:26 PM Re: just starting out at 42
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
1) is a digital keyboard sufficient to learn on?
2) if so, any recommendations of brand or price range (no matter what instrument im expecting around 400 or so in expenses)
3) Will i need private lessons to get started? If so, are the recommended after an introductory phase?
4) are there any educational software to help learn?
5) should I start by learning how to read sheet music BEFORE I attempt an instrument?
6) any other hints or real life experiences from someone who has done the same is greatly appreciated.

1) A digital might serve you for awhile as you get your feet wet, start learning to recognize note patterns, finger patterns, key patterns, and so forth. As you advance you may find yourself wanting a nice, real piano. I personally am biased because I've always had acoustic and only tried digitals many years ago when they were awful.
2) no comment
3) A private teacher is the best way to get started, as a teacher can keep you on target, can nudge you back into the light when you stray, and can help you to maintain realistic expectations for what is a challenging and complex new undertaking. It's easy to get sidelined, discouraged or misled without some regular guidance by an expert. On the other hand, there are some bits and pieces that it is possible to pick up on your own but you tend to have gaps in your knowledge when it's done this way.
4) No idea
5) No! Learning to read music is learning to play music. This requires some sort of instrument. I would say learn to read "sheet music" or even actual music, by learning to play. The two really cannot be separated, unless you mean you are considering learning to sight-sing before buying an instrument. But there are those of us who would consider the voice an instrument, too...it's just that you already own one.
6) Be careful never to practice in a way or to an extent that you hurt yourself. It is possible to literally hurt yourself and develop tendon and muscular problems by overdoing it or using incorrect technique. Another reason to get a competent and knowledgable teacher. At 42, you don't heal as quickly as you would have at 12. It's just a fact of life. If it hurts, there's something wrong.
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

Top
#992659 - 08/18/08 08:36 PM Re: just starting out at 42
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
@Alleon

No, we have to tolerate his garbage - blame the `age of opinion`.
_________________________
Will

Top
#992660 - 08/18/08 08:55 PM Re: just starting out at 42
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
Thanks for the advice Santa Fe and Gyro. I'll be speaking with the department head of the local university tomorrow about what classes I can take.....and yes, i'll be getting a digital I see nothing wrong with that.

Top
#992661 - 08/18/08 09:28 PM Re: just starting out at 42
Fillanzea Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/05
Posts: 26
Mallard, I have the Yamaha P85. It's definitely good enough to learn on without being overkill. I'm happy with it. I think it will take me at least to an intermediate level. Would I buy an acoustic if I had the money and space? Sure, but I don't, so it's a moot point.

If you're going to be playing mostly with headphones, it's worth it to get good ones, I think; the sound I get is pretty tinny with cheap ones.

Top
#992662 - 08/18/08 09:33 PM Re: just starting out at 42
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
I was about 43 when I bought my first keyboard. I noodled around for a year before trying lessons. I've been taking lesons now for 7 years. My best advice is patience, patience, patience. Many adults begin studying piano thinking that in a couple of months they'll be able to entertain family and friends. Of course maybe YOU will, most likely it will take longer and you reallly need to love the struggles of learning. Accept and enjoy all the baby steps along the way.
_________________________
It's the journey not the destination..

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.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
75 registered (Akshay, Asmodeus, adanepst, ando, angelsong, 24 invisible), 1206 Guests and 42 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74206 Members
42 Forums
153516 Topics
2249688 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Re-stringing an 84yr old Grand.....?
by Grandpianoman
04/17/14 01:56 AM
Theme identification
by Polyphonist
04/17/14 01:26 AM
Morning Mist: a ballade for piano
by JoelW
04/17/14 12:27 AM
Insanity
by Polyphonist
04/16/14 11:55 PM
Yamaha P140 sluggish keys : how to fix?
by Bambell
04/16/14 11:52 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
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