Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!!

Posted by: Sherdil

Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/05/12 12:38 AM

Hi guys

I have been lurking around piano world forums for about a month now and have been reading all sorts of interesting stuff, experiences etc..

I recently made up my mind to learn piano. I have always loved listening to pianos (I find them to be very calming and soothing) but as of late I had this strong urge that pushed me to take the plunge and I decided to learn this beautiful instrument. After doing a fair bit of research (mostly here), I decided to get a Kawai CN34 but ended up buying a Roland HP505 which arrived yesterday evening.. I am super excited but dont know where to begin frown I dont have much of a music background and this will pretty much be my first music instrument that I am seriously thinking to get my hands on!

I do plan to take formal lessons at some stage but I believe that there are a lot of resources on the internet that can help me to get started (not only that, I am a bit tight with the budget at the moment as well).. I love relaxing piano music (OSTs like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITAOCY6I1bo ) and would love to be able to play like this in the near future.

I dont plan to play professionally or compose music (it would be great if I could). Its more for my personal enjoyment and satisfaction. To be honest and realistic, I wont be able to put in a few hours everyday (as I am in the prime years of my career building) but am going to put in an honest effort to at least devote 30-45 minutes everyday..

I would really appreciate if you awesome guys can provide me with some advice/tips to start off with and may be redirect me to other resources that will help me to fulfill my dream!!

Thanks muchly!
Sherdil
Posted by: BenPiano

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/05/12 12:48 AM

Hi, and good luck!

I started here:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL253192EED47525A8

(you might need to crank up the volume a bit)

Lots of other good stuff out there as well to get you started. smile
Posted by: Whizbang

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/05/12 01:01 AM

In my opinion, the sooner you start lessons, the better! But it's important to find not just a good teacher, but a good teacher that matches you.

You're in for a great ride. It will get a bit dark sometimes, but you can do it as long as you don't -stop- doing it.
Posted by: Brian Lucas

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/05/12 01:02 AM

Welcome Sherdil!

You'll get a million different responses as to the best way to proceed. Everybody likes to learn differently. Just find the one (or ones) that work best for you.

I want to give you a little hope and say that the song you linked to isn't all that hard. It's slow, mostly one note in each hand, in the key of C, which means mostly white notes. Totally achievable for a beginner in a short amount of time.

Keep us posted on your progress, and give a shout if you hit any stumbling blocks.
Posted by: sinophilia

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/05/12 01:40 AM

Welcome! You have the piano, now you just need a bit of self-discipline and critical thinking. It's not always easy without a teacher to tell you what to do, but I for one have been enjoying my journey so far.

You might want to get a method book to teach yourself the basics before plunging into the music you like. The Alfred's books mix many genres so they might appeal to you.
Posted by: Bentissimo

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/05/12 12:18 PM

Welcome to the ABF smile

I may be crazy, but the impression I get is that it's better to have lessons earlier on rather than later. Early on, you are learning basics like fingering, posture, how to strike the keys, etc. which I think might be hard to learn on your own. If you get a bunch of bad habits now, they may be hard to shake. One thought would be to do lessons on the cheap - maybe get 2, half-hour lessons a month and pay around $25 a lesson. Or if you have a friend that plays piano, you could ask them to watch you and correct your technique.

Also I just wanted to say that I think 30-45 minutes a day is really great, and you shouldn't feel bad about that. Personally I'm amazed at the folks that have 3+ hours per day (amazed and jealous!). Consistency and focused practice seem to help me more than just dumping raw hours into time at the piano. Usually after 45 minutes my brain is shutting down anyway.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/05/12 01:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Bentissimo
I may be crazy, but the impression I get is that it's better to have lessons earlier on rather than later. Early on, you are learning basics like fingering, posture, how to strike the keys, etc. which I think might be hard to learn on your own. If you get a bunch of bad habits now, they may be hard to shake.



In my opinion, this is absolutely true. If you don't take lessons from the beginning you will never know what you missed because when you do finally take lessons it will too late to deal with those early techniques ... you will already have conditioned your body to play the way you play and that will be that.

I think the main thing you will miss out on is ... how to strike the keys. I believe this can make a huge difference in the way you sound on the piano down the road.
Posted by: Brian Lucas

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/05/12 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: Bentissimo
I may be crazy, but the impression I get is that it's better to have lessons earlier on rather than later. Early on, you are learning basics like fingering, posture, how to strike the keys, etc. which I think might be hard to learn on your own. If you get a bunch of bad habits now, they may be hard to shake.



In my opinion, this is absolutely true. If you don't take lessons from the beginning you will never know what you missed because when you do finally take lessons it will too late to deal with those early techniques ... you will already have conditioned your body to play the way you play and that will be that.

I think the main thing you will miss out on is ... how to strike the keys. I believe this can make a huge difference in the way you sound on the piano down the road.
Agreed. Even if you like to learn on your own, self-learners could benefit from having a teacher available for one off lessons, just to keep them on track and deal with any issues. There is a middle ground between having regular lessons and doing it on your own.

It's not impossible to change bad habits, but it is a lot harder than learning it right the first time.
Posted by: Sherdil

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/05/12 08:35 PM

Hi guys

Thanks for all your suggestions, it is much appreciated!

@BenPiano - Yeah I came across this last night too mate while I was searching for some youtube tutorials. I listened to the first 2 tutorials and actually find them helpful as he covered the very basics.. smile

@Brian Lucas - Thanks for your comments mate and also giving me hope smile I am really looking forward to it!

@sinophilia - Would you be able to point me to any other resources that you might be learning from apart from Alfred's books(since your signature block tells me that you embarked on this journey not that long ago..)? I'll surely have a look at the beginner series from Alfred.

@Bentissimo, dmd, Brian Lucas and Whizbang - I actually thought about it too guys...that I'd initially take a couple of lessons to learn the basic techniques and then may be practice on my own. Hmmm... I guess I should look into it by the sounds of it. Now I'll just have to find a good teacher! laugh

Anyone here from Melbourne (Australia) who can recommend someone?

I believe that the part that I'd find more challanging would be what's mostly done by the left hand. Its seems like that most of the notes that are played by the right hand are somewhat more precise and clear as compared to whats played by the left hand. The left hand ones are sort of supportive and provide the actual richness and depth (or at least thats what my understanding is). It sounds like that very subtle background sweet/rich music that sort of fills in and contributes to the harmony.

Cheers for now! smile
Posted by: dmd

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/05/12 09:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Sherdil
@Bentissimo, dmd, Brian Lucas and Whizbang - I actually thought about it too guys...that I'd initially take a couple of lessons to learn the basic techniques and then may be practice on my own. Hmmm... I guess I should look into it by the sounds of it. Now I'll just have to find a good teacher! laugh


That sounds great !

I hope you find one. It is so important.
Posted by: rocket88

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/05/12 10:00 PM


The first teacher is the most important teacher, because as others have correctly said, it is much easier to avoid bad habits than break them.

A good teacher is an educated set of eyes that can see things that you don't even know to look for, and guide you to avoid them.

So you don't want you to be your first teacher, because you don't yet know how to play!

Sherdl, I wish you well in your piano journey. Its worth the work!
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/05/12 10:07 PM

Welcome to the forum, Sherdil. smile

You may want to send a private message to currawong, who is a piano teacher in Australia (perhaps even Melbourne, if I'm remembering correctly) for possible teacher referrals (including currawong herself, if she is indeed in Melbourne). She posts frequently in the piano teacher's forum, so you could start a thread there, too, and I'm sure she'd see it.
Posted by: EdwardianPiano

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/06/12 05:15 PM

Welcome Sherdil. I too find pianos relaxing and wonderful! I find I don't feel right if I let 3 days go by without playing. There is no going back for me now.
Posted by: Sherdil

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/07/12 08:05 AM

Originally Posted By: dmd
That sounds great !

I hope you find one. It is so important.



I hope so too.. smile

Originally Posted By: rocket88

The first teacher is the most important teacher, because as others have correctly said, it is much easier to avoid bad habits than break them.

A good teacher is an educated set of eyes that can see things that you don't even know to look for, and guide you to avoid them.

So you don't want you to be your first teacher, because you don't yet know how to play!

Sherdl, I wish you well in your piano journey. Its worth the work!


Thanks mate! Very well said.

Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Welcome to the forum, Sherdil. smile

You may want to send a private message to currawong, who is a piano teacher in Australia (perhaps even Melbourne, if I'm remembering correctly) for possible teacher referrals (including currawong herself, if she is indeed in Melbourne). She posts frequently in the piano teacher's forum, so you could start a thread there, too, and I'm sure she'd see it.


Thanks for the details Monica, I will send her a PM and take it from there smile

Originally Posted By: EdwardianPiano
Welcome Sherdil. I too find pianos relaxing and wonderful! I find I don't feel right if I let 3 days go by without playing. There is no going back for me now.


Thanks mate! Yeah I am kinda looking forward to getting hooked too wink
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/07/12 11:52 AM

Maybe you can make a list of music that you want to play, and the types/genres that you want to learn. I would check right away with a potential teacher if he is into that kind of genre.
Posted by: sinophilia

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/07/12 02:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Sherdil

@sinophilia - Would you be able to point me to any other resources that you might be learning from apart from Alfred's books(since your signature block tells me that you embarked on this journey not that long ago..)? I'll surely have a look at the beginner series from Alfred.


I wanted to focus more on technique, so I do scales and arpeggios almost every day; then I started the 32 studies in my signature, but I only learnt the first 3 because right now all I want is to finish Alfred's book 2. I'm planning to dedicate a whole year to Alfred's book 3 and at the same time start learning a few pieces that have been tempting me for a while now.

I also have First Lessons in Bach but I was struggling too much with it, so I will get back to it when I feel ready. Actually I'm torn between pop/folk and classical music; the former is more straightforward and gives me the impression that I'm learning a lot about music in general rather than single pieces. But that's just me.
Posted by: PianoStudent88

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/07/12 03:29 PM

Originally Posted By: sinophilia
Actually I'm torn between pop/folk and classical music; the former is more straightforward and gives me the impression that I'm learning a lot about music in general rather than single pieces. But that's just me.

That's a really interesting observation, sinophilia. It's been a year and a half since I resumed piano as an adult (self-taught as a child). It's only in the last couple of weeks that I've started to be able to identify the skills that I might be learning as I learn a given piece of classical music.

I wonder if that might be a thread possibility: post pieces of classical music, and ask "what will I learn about music in general, and about piano playing in particular, by learning this piece? (*)" We could share with each other ideas about what skills to focus on.

This is the kind of thing that I would like a good teacher to point out. Since for financial reasons I'm choosing to be without a teacher at this point, I'm needing to rely on the bits of insight that I can pick up here and there.

What kinds of things do you feel you are learning from pop/folk music?

(*) of course, you can learn a piece after a fashion without learning those things, but let's take the ideal.
Posted by: rocket88

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/07/12 07:06 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

I wonder if that might be a thread possibility: post pieces of classical music, and ask "what will I learn about music in general, and about piano playing in particular, by learning this piece?


This is the kind of thing that many etudes do. (An etude is a musical piece that is designed to teach skills and improve technique)

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/etude

There are many etude books at various levels that also include a short description of what skills the etude is designed to develop.

Click on this link, and "look inside" to the first pages, and you will see what I mean.

http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Etudes-Book-...keywords=etudes
Posted by: sinophilia

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/08/12 10:56 AM

Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

What kinds of things do you feel you are learning from pop/folk music?


Let me see... mainly chords and chord progressions, and different types of left hand accompaniment like block chords, arpeggios, etc., so basically harmony.
Then I feel I'm learning a lot about rhythm, as most popular songs have a steady, easily identifiable beat, and it's getting more and more easy for me to identify a rhythmic pattern by simply looking at the score.

In a classical piece, even one that looks pretty straightforward, it's much harder for me, at this point, to identify rhythm, accents, phrases, and the general structure underneath. I guess it all comes down to practice. And probably starting from Bach and polyphonic music in general is not such a good idea after all. I will certainly go back to Burgmuller's and Czerny's studies for an easier introduction to classical music.
Posted by: Newman

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/08/12 04:50 PM

Welcome. Have fun on piano (even if it has to be in Melbourne - ha, ha). I'm in Sydney. Actually, I love Melbourne and lived there for a year or so way back. FWIW I'm self learning and enjoying it. I got started with David Sprunger's Play Piano Today.
Posted by: Sherdil

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 12/09/12 03:21 AM

Originally Posted By: wouter79
Maybe you can make a list of music that you want to play, and the types/genres that you want to learn. I would check right away with a potential teacher if he is into that kind of genre.

Yup, shall do that smile

Originally Posted By: sinophilia
I wanted to focus more on technique, so I do scales and arpeggios almost every day; then I started the 32 studies in my signature, but I only learnt the first 3 because right now all I want is to finish Alfred's book 2. I'm planning to dedicate a whole year to Alfred's book 3 and at the same time start learning a few pieces that have been tempting me for a while now.

I also have First Lessons in Bach but I was struggling too much with it, so I will get back to it when I feel ready. Actually I'm torn between pop/folk and classical music; the former is more straightforward and gives me the impression that I'm learning a lot about music in general rather than single pieces. But that's just me.


Thanks Sinophilia. Yeah I want to focus more on the technique in the beginning as well..

Originally Posted By: Newman
Welcome. Have fun on piano (even if it has to be in Melbourne - ha, ha). I'm in Sydney. Actually, I love Melbourne and lived there for a year or so way back. FWIW I'm self learning and enjoying it. I got started with David Sprunger's Play Piano Today.


Thanks mate! Yeah I'll check out David Sprunger's Play Piano Today smile

Well Melbourne weather is a bit unpredictable.. Apart from that, we beat you hands down mate!! :-P wink
Posted by: Sherdil

Re: Another beginner...but immensly excited!!!! - 01/31/13 10:13 PM

Hi guys

Good news! I got myself a teacher and yesterday was my first formal lesson which was very exciting smile I also sent a message to currawong (as suggested by Monica K.) but unfortunately she is not from Melbourne. I called my teacher a couple of weeks ago where we talked about stuff (initial questions, what sort of music I like etc etc) and overall I got a really good vibe from her. so last week she organised a first complementary lesson for me where we talked a little bit more and she gave me a basic overview of the piano etc etc. (God I was nervous!! lol). Everything went well so I decide to pursue with her..

I hope it continues to get better and better. I initially was a bit concerned as I thought that an older teacher might have more experience so was looking for them. This one seems quite young but seems like she's good (well may be for a beginner like me everyone might seem good lol). She is an active performer and has been teaching for the last 8 or so years.

All in all, I think I will learn a lot and will build good basics and technique.

Here is her website and couple of videos (http://www.krishnatmartin.com/watch.html)

What do you guys think?

Cheers
Sherdil