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#1991118 - 11/26/12 02:19 PM 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons'
Kevf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 13
I'm finally picking up playing piano again (despite years of lessons ;))

I was wondering if anyone here has used the book 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons'. It has got excellent reviews at Amazon. But the whole playing in stratum etc feels a bit awkward. I'm at page 55 now and wondering if this book really is that good?

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#1991161 - 11/26/12 04:03 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Kevf]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
The awesome aspect of playing the piano is that it is never too late. The bad part is that learning to playing the piano is just as difficult when you are 7 as it is when you are 77. The difference is that you have fewer responibilities at 7 like showing up for dinner and going off to school. At 77 you have to cook, wash clothes, shop for groceries, etc. If you look at the "Arron piano course books lessons" Grade 1 to 5 all about $10 Canadian/$5 usa a copy. Counting and rhythm, trills, etc. are nicely set out. They books are a joy to play but I cautions you, you won't sweat or feel any pain. To feel pain and sweat, you would have to work though the John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano Books 1 to 5 at $10 per copy in Canada and $5 in the USA. If you are looking for coloured pages, go to art school, but if you want awesome tunes that have a little bite, you won't disappointed. The coloured books usualy hope 20 or 30 pages of music but the uncoloured books usually hold 75 plus pages of awesome music so depends what you are looking.

for.

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#1991282 - 11/26/12 11:40 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Michael_99]
JerryG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 170
Loc: Long Island, NY
The book you are using is excellent if you want to get into popular music. I bought it many years ago and even retread it recently. The book will have greater meaning if you if you have a background in piano. If you are basically a beginner than what Michael is recommending will probably be more instructive at this time.
_________________________
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#1991360 - 11/27/12 08:02 AM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Kevf]
Kevf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 13
I'm not really a beginner. I have had years of lesson, know how to read sheetmusic, know a bit of harmonics, know most of the chords by heart and know how to create them. But the thing is, I don't know how to play the piano.

I can work out a piece of sheetmusic in a couple of weeks, but when I don'n practise is every week I forget how to play it in a few months. So yeah I have a piano background but am looking at things like fakebooks etc just to learn how to have fun behind a piano smile

With this info; will the books that Michael has summed up still be of use?

I live in the Netherlands by the way smile

And great to read that the book is excellent!

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#1991373 - 11/27/12 08:18 AM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Kevf]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11410
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Kevf


I can work out a piece of sheetmusic in a couple of weeks, but when I don'n practise is every week I forget how to play it in a few months. So yeah I have a piano background but am looking at things like fakebooks etc just to learn how to have fun behind a piano smile



I don't think any book will get around this issue that you mention. If you don't practice a song for a few weeks, then naturally, it will be forgotten. The best way to avoid "losing" a piece you've worked on is to have a running repertoire list that you rotate through in a week's time, or perhaps every other week, so that the songs you love don't disappear and need to be relearned.
_________________________
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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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#2042378 - 03/03/13 02:45 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Kevf]
Kevf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 13
I'm getting adjusted to the techniques used but have a problem with the left hand: speed!

For example when I play 'Don't know why' from Norah Jones. There are 2 chords per bar most og of the time.

The book recommends on playing in a bass, chord, bass, chord rythm (hit the bass or chord on every count). So with this song

first bar: Bmaj7, B7
1: B-B
2: Bmaj7 (inverted around middel c)
3: B-B
4: B7 (inverted around middel c)

When playing at a speed of 88 that seems really fast and way to fast regarding the total feel of the song.
Or is it just me?

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#2042383 - 03/03/13 03:01 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Kevf]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1976
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I would like to suggest to you a book. I keep suggesting this book after a reference to it in this forum. I am very impressed with it. The lady really knows what goes into playing. It is; The Art of Practicing, by Madeline Bruser.

I'm beginning to feel like I'm spamming this book. It's just that I'm so impressed with what I am learning from it. Even with all it's understanding. It is motivating me to find a really good teacher.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2042385 - 03/03/13 03:05 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: rnaple]
Kevf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 13
Thanks, the book looks really interesting! smile

And I will def. give it a go.

But even without my lack of experience: I get the feeling that the technique for the left hand is strange.

If I remember it right: my teacher used to teach me how to play chord and melody in the right and make up a bass loop in the left. That way your left hand isn't all over the piano

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#2042387 - 03/03/13 03:06 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Kevf]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1151
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Kevf
I'm getting adjusted to the techniques used but have a problem with the left hand: speed!

For example when I play 'Don't know why' from Norah Jones. There are 2 chords per bar most og of the time.

The book recommends on playing in a bass, chord, bass, chord rythm (hit the bass or chord on every count). So with this song

first bar: Bmaj7, B7
1: B-B
2: Bmaj7 (inverted around middel c)
3: B-B
4: B7 (inverted around middel c)

When playing at a speed of 88 that seems really fast and way to fast regarding the total feel of the song.
Or is it just me?




88 bpm is about right.
The version I’ve listened to is in Bb – a slightly friendlier key.
Starting at the vocal proper (I’ve not included the intro)
In the RH, play these chords at 88-90bpm.

Bbma7, Bbma7,Bb7,Bb7,Ebma7, Ebma7, D+, D+ (that last chord is quite open on the guitar but you could put a 7th in there as well)

In the LH play a root note on the first of each of every pair of chords (i.e. play on beats 1 and 3). That’s more or less exactly what the bass player does.

If you can get that to work, rather than playing the RH as 4 to the bar, try it with broken, light arpeggiated chords at 8 to the bar.

- that's just the first 2 bars!


Edited by dire tonic (03/03/13 03:10 PM)

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#2042389 - 03/03/13 03:12 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: dire tonic]
Kevf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 13
ow sorry I forgot to add the b in Bb7 and Bbmaj7

And indeed playing the chords in the left hand with maybe some melody on top feels more comfortable.

Thing is: the book I'm using teaches a different left hand using

bass, chord, bass, chord.

Now I know that offcourse I have to develop my own way of playing, but the lefthand is the one of the basics of the book smile

When you say 'play as 8 instead of 4 to the bar'; you mean I play 8 notes in the right hand?

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#2042391 - 03/03/13 03:21 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Kevf]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1151
Loc: uk south
- yes, for example, as 8ths (single notes, not chords) you could play

RH: A (up to) F (down to) D (down to) A ...play a Bb LH on the 1st note

then, similar pattern and up/down movement

RH: Ab,F,D,Bb (LH is Bb again)
RH: G,F,D,Bb (LH is Eb)
RH: Gb,D, Bb,Gb (LH is D)

(modified)

(I make no apologies for enharmonic clumsiness)


Edited by dire tonic (03/03/13 03:37 PM)

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#2042396 - 03/03/13 03:40 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: dire tonic]
Kevf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 13
thanks, that's a nice little something to add!

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#2042398 - 03/03/13 03:45 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Kevf]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1151
Loc: uk south
- can you adapt that idea for the rest of the song?

You should try and break up the regularity of the 8s here and there, e.g. on every 4th bar do something a little different rhythmically.

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#2042435 - 03/03/13 05:03 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Kevf]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
Im using this book, but only as part of my routine...

Mixing in 15 minutes of it a day with other things seems to be helping....

No shortcuts in this game though, no source of learning is quicker than another for me.... better to get a well rounded learning including this book, sight reading standard 2 clef works, scales, arps, theory course (1 to 5) burgmuller opus 100, hannon, reportoire and my weekly piano teachers recommendations.... ( just been suggested to look at polonaise in g minor by chopin.... heck YES #HIGH FIVE# !! )

All this may seem like a lot..... but a little of everything regularly is starting to pay off.
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http://www.youtube.com/user/PaulGPiano

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#2042439 - 03/03/13 05:07 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Kevf]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
Ps i am taking to the fast ( to me) chord , root left hand..... so i am practicing a little every day with chord symbols in all my beginner books..... gradually getting better :-) but slow progress.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/PaulGPiano

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#2042564 - 03/03/13 09:09 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Kevf]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 745
Loc: Hong Kong
I had borrowed it from library. The technique in the book is not easy for beginner. Left hand jump between bass and chord, its rather a stride technique. This technique is not suitable for C key songs. For melody occupy the notes around middle C, left hand hould jump to an octave below middle C which give a mud sound. Play melody and chord by right hand may easier for C songs.
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Fake Book player
Ragtime beginner
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com

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#2042568 - 03/03/13 09:18 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: UK Paul UK]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1775
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: UK Paul UK
Im using this book, but only as part of my routine...

Mixing in 15 minutes of it a day with other things seems to be helping....

No shortcuts in this game though, no source of learning is quicker than another for me.... better to get a well rounded learning including this book, sight reading standard 2 clef works, scales, arps, theory course (1 to 5) burgmuller opus 100, hannon, reportoire and my weekly piano teachers recommendations.... ( just been suggested to look at polonaise in g minor by chopin.... heck YES #HIGH FIVE# !! )

All this may seem like a lot..... but a little of everything regularly is starting to pay off.



That seems to be the best way. More time playing and less time searching for a better way.

It just takes consistent time on task.

Practice, Practice, Practice ...
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#2042849 - 03/04/13 01:24 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: Kevf]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3439
Loc: Northern England.
Kevf I`ve just been playing this! Try playing the first bar Bflat maj7 followed by B flat Aug using E as the bass root (LH). This brings you nicely to the next chord which is Eflat. You can replicate this in other places for a bit of variety.

Play it as fast or slow as you want. It becomes your song when you do!

Cheers Peter
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

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#2042897 - 03/04/13 02:47 PM Re: 'learning how to play the piano despite years of lessons' [Re: dmd]
Kevf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 13
Originally Posted By: peterws
Kevf I`ve just been playing this! Try playing the first bar Bflat maj7 followed by B flat Aug using E as the bass root (LH). This brings you nicely to the next chord which is Eflat. You can replicate this in other places for a bit of variety.

Play it as fast or slow as you want. It becomes your song when you do!

Cheers Peter


Thanks, will try this!



Originally Posted By: Weiyan
I had borrowed it from library. The technique in the book is not easy for beginner. Left hand jump between bass and chord, its rather a stride technique. This technique is not suitable for C key songs. For melody occupy the notes around middle C, left hand hould jump to an octave below middle C which give a mud sound. Play melody and chord by right hand may easier for C songs.


I'm def. not an absolute beginners, I know most of the chords or know how to make them and have had lessons. I don't understand your remark about the songs in C. In this book you play the melody on octave higher than written, that way you'll always have space to play the chord around middle C.

So bass as low as possible (although most of the time I play it a higher), chord inverted/not inverted with the highest note between C and E and the melody one octave higher

Originally Posted By: UK Paul UK
Im using this book, but only as part of my routine...

Mixing in 15 minutes of it a day with other things seems to be helping....

No shortcuts in this game though, no source of learning is quicker than another for me.... better to get a well rounded learning including this book, sight reading standard 2 clef works, scales, arps, theory course (1 to 5) burgmuller opus 100, hannon, reportoire and my weekly piano teachers recommendations.... ( just been suggested to look at polonaise in g minor by chopin.... heck YES #HIGH FIVE# !! )

All this may seem like a lot..... but a little of everything regularly is starting to pay off.



That's a lot of resources. I know it's the best way to go, but with limited time resources (I try to practice 5-7 hours a week) and a goal to play pop and maybe light jazz I try to make choices on what to read. I was planning om making this book my starting point

Originally Posted By: UK Paul UK
Ps i am taking to the fast ( to me) chord , root left hand.....


I don't understand what you are saying. Could be my English though wink

Originally Posted By: dmd

That seems to be the best way. More time playing and less time searching for a better way.
It just takes consistent time on task.
Practice, Practice, Practice ...

So true. But a bit of feedback every now and then is nice smile

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