First post from newbie!

Posted by: captainderry

First post from newbie! - 12/09/12 09:01 PM

Hello everyone, I'm new here! I have recently taken up piano and am really enjoying it, I definitely have the bug! I did grade 8 violin about 15 years ago & would say I play to grade 6-7 standard now, albeit infrequently. I have a Challen upright piano that I bought for £1000 about 4 years ago that I just haven't had the motivation to start learning until about 2 months ago when a switch must've flicked in my head! I am now ready!

I am using Denes Agay Joy of First Year Piano and self learning - I am still at the 'all cows eat grass' stage with bass clef! I have no ambition to be a concert pianist but I would like more of a classical focus, with popular music/hymns thrown in. Long term I want to be able to sight read to a respectable level & to be able to be a competent accompanist.

I would like to know people's opinions on whether I should consider a tutor at this level or not bother!

Also, I would like to purchase a digital piano around the £500 mark (so I can 'plug in!') I would really appreciate advice on this!

Many thanks and hello!
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/09/12 09:14 PM

Welcome, captainderry! To answer your question, yes, if you are able to you should find a good teacher right away. Self-teaching is fine, but I think it only works best once you've gotten a good solid technique under your belt and all the basics. The hardest thing for a teacher (and student) is to undo bad habits - best to not have them to begin with.

As for a digital, I'm not sure of the conversion rate from USD, but a Casio Privias should be in the ballpark, or check out some of the lower end Yamaha Clavinovas. You'll be happy with either purchase for the money.
Posted by: Starr Keys

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/10/12 12:05 AM

Welcome, captainderry

There are many of us here who are self taught and do just fine, even with classical, especially those who have had prior training with other instruments. But, I agree that it's probably easier to learn classical with a teacher in the beginning.

I think for the money you have to spend on a DP you can't do better than a Casio PX330, which is what I bought in your price range. Here is a review and pricing for the UK.


http://www.ukpianos.co.uk/casio-px330.html
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/10/12 01:30 AM

I played a ccuple of treble clef instsruments in a band, so I had the same problem with the bass clef. I worked through a easy Book of Fletcher Book 1 piano 50 easy pages and by page 50 I could read the bass and treble equally well. I am sure there are others that could recommend something similar if that is not available in your area. For me, the John Thompson books are challenging enough for me and I think awesome, but hard work, too, but you are probably way past that in terms of reading and playing music. A Piano is awesome, but a digital is great, too, for practice anytime of day or night, 24/7/365. Enjoy the journey.
Posted by: Brian Lucas

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/10/12 01:41 AM

I addition to the Privia line, also take a look at the Yamaha P series. The P-105 has a good sound and decent weight to the keys and fits in your price range.
Posted by: badgerops

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/10/12 03:28 AM

I rent a P95 for $9 a week (2 cups of nice coffee.......Aus is way too expensive!), and having nothing to compare it to (and no experience with pianos), think it is great!! I guess my message is I'm sure there is a rental company somewhere in the UK, then you can maybe try a few models prior to buying.
Posted by: Starr Keys

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/10/12 04:22 AM

There may actually be a better option than either of the ones Brian and I mentioned, the Casio PX150. This review compares it to to the YAMAHA p105 and finds it superior.

http://azpianonews.blogspot.com/2012/07/review-yamaha-p105-digital-piano-very.html
Posted by: PaperClip

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/10/12 07:31 AM

I would suggest that a teacher is worth it right now. Especially because it's difficult to find good music sheets for beginners that also sounds good. A teacher can find them for you.
Posted by: Barbareola

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/10/12 09:44 AM

Originally Posted By: captainderry
I would like to know people's opinions on whether I should consider a tutor at this level or not bother!


Go get a teacher, as quickly as possible.

While there are a lot of people here that managed to teach themselves, there are also a lot of people here who hit a road block earlier or later. When they finally got a teacher, they spend months, even *years*, to unlearn the mistakes and bad habits that they had taught themselves.

Think about it: when you learned the violin - you probably had a teacher as well, didn't you? Could you imagine learning all you need for a grade 8 without a teacher?

I'll grant you that producing a decent note on a violin is certainly not easier than playing one on a piano. That doesn't make producing the notes on the piano easy. To be honest, once upon a time I thought playing the piano was just about hitting the right keys - the piano made the sound, I had nothing to do with it. (Yeah, you may cringe...) It took teacher One *weeks* to teach me a decent legato, staccato, non-legato and and and....

You already have a solid base in music, so a good teacher should be able to build on that. I'm willing to bet that you'll improve much quicker that way.
Posted by: Bluoh

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/10/12 06:16 PM

Originally Posted By: captainderry
Hello everyone, I'm new here! I have recently taken up piano and am really enjoying it, I definitely have the bug! I did grade 8 violin about 15 years ago & would say I play to grade 6-7 standard now, albeit infrequently. I have a Challen upright piano that I bought for £1000 about 4 years ago that I just haven't had the motivation to start learning until about 2 months ago when a switch must've flicked in my head! I am now ready!

I am using Denes Agay Joy of First Year Piano and self learning - I am still at the 'all cows eat grass' stage with bass clef! I have no ambition to be a concert pianist but I would like more of a classical focus, with popular music/hymns thrown in. Long term I want to be able to sight read to a respectable level & to be able to be a competent accompanist.

I would like to know people's opinions on whether I should consider a tutor at this level or not bother!

Also, I would like to purchase a digital piano around the £500 mark (so I can 'plug in!') I would really appreciate advice on this!

Many thanks and hello!

Hi and welcome!

I'd try to find a good piano teacher in your area! It sounds like you'll make more progress that way because you're motivated and you've build a good foundation for yourself!

You don't know if you're making any mistakes in posture that might damage your body if you continue-- that's always the big risk. Also, keep in mind that not all teachers are the same; get interviews with a couple of different teachers before you settle for one. And even then, you have the option of switching if something doesn't click.

Find yourself some good online resources too! smile
Posted by: neildradford

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/10/12 07:53 PM

Can only add that getting a teacher was the best move I ever made. Ok I'm only grade 2, but without her I think I'd find it hard to have a direction in my learning.

As for a DP, I can recommend the Yamaha DGX640, it's the only one I've had though, and I'm still looking to get an acoustic upright very soon. Best of both worlds then :-)

Neil.
Posted by: keystring

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/10/12 08:13 PM

There's a trap in coming from violin, because the notes are so easy to produce that we can take them for granted. Violin is difficult in the very beginning, even for just holding it, playing a single note in tune, and bowing to produce a sound. These things are instant on the piano. Then later on when you want to produce nuances on the instrument, you can't. If at all possible find a good teacher who will set you up right.

Each instrument has its own character and when playing the piano, it's good to learn to think like a pianist rather than a violinist playing the piano. Um, that's sort of hard to explain. smile

I would get a better instrument that has some responsiveness, especially when coming from an instrument that has a lot of that.
Posted by: Roger Ransom

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/11/12 08:06 AM

He said he already has an acoustic piano and just wants to add a digital so he can 'plug in'. I assume that means he wants to be able to do some of the technical thing that you can't do with an acoustic. i.e. Play other instruments, play with headphones, carry it around easily, create sequences and arrangements, accompany himself etc.

All fun stuff in addition to straight up playing.
Posted by: captainderry

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/11/12 03:03 PM

A big thank you to all of you for the warm reception and advice! I have been in touch with a teacher and am going to see them next week, I think it is most likely a good idea!

On the subject of digital pianos, I have these in mind:


Yamaha YDP-S51/P105
Roland F120
Casio PX150/PX330

Can anyone shed any light on the above pianos, and perhaps any others I should consider/disregard?

Many thanks to you all!
Posted by: Nizar

Re: First post from newbie! - 12/11/12 07:40 PM

Hi there,

I think you should consider a tutor. From my experience a tutor brings something you just cannot acquire own your own.
When I first started piano lessons I was 30. It was a group lesson so there was another student in the room, a little girl about 5 years old. My piano teacher is a young woman is her early twenties.Usually the age gap alone would have embarrassed me enough not to continue lessons, but it is has been a lifelong dream of mine to be able to play.

The first few months of lessons felt like I was at a party I wasn’t invited to. My teacher was cold and distant. She only spoke to me to either say “Play like this” or when the lesson was over “You can go”.

I told myself it was because I was still new to her and did not let it bother me. I kept going to lessons every week and played the songs taught to me without question. At this point I was playing “London Bridge is Falling Down” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

As I got more comfortable at the music school, I started going to lessons 2 hours early to practice and stayed an hour longer afterwards to practice some more. Soon, I went to practice everyday afer work. The teacher did not know about it.

She only found out a few months later when the administration clerk told her.The following week, her eyes sparkled the moment she saw me at lessons, her attitude changed and she became chatty and friendlier.

It was quite a transformation. Even the lessons became more intense as she became more interested to see me improve. Her new found passion in me forced me to practice harder as I did not want to disappoint her. Beethoven and St. Saen are now not beyond me, recently I managed to play Fur Elise smoothly.

Nizar
nizarh@hotmail.com