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So I want to learn the piano...

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952
Anything I should know particularly? I'm working through Czerny's "The Little Pianist." My ultimate goal is to play fugues and things by Bach...it's gonna take forever but I don't really care. I've hit a wall with the guitar.
 

jogogonne

Member
Messages
443
Classical music is its own animal and has a very strict and incremental learning style.

If you want to just bang around and play Billy Joel and Elton John songs like I have over the years, I think it's fine, but for the stuff you want to play ... I'd recommend lessons.
 
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14,741
I wonder if the Playing and Technique forum would be better for this?
No, because it's guitar oriented. Keyboard Corner forum is better for this.

Books 1 and 2 of this series should give you a decent foundation if you don't want to hire a piano teacher, although honestly a teacher will help you not hurt yourself:

After Book 2 you should feel more confident to take on Well-Tempered Clavier (the first piece is easy anyway) and/or the Inventions. Inventions will require serious patience unless you're unusually gifted - be ready to spend weeks on end practicing one hand at a time before you'll be ready to play with both hands simultaneously.
 

DigitalTube

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,202
Anything I should know particularly? I'm working through Czerny's "The Little Pianist." My ultimate goal is to play fugues and things by Bach...it's gonna take forever but I don't really care. I've hit a wall with the guitar.
I'd suggest a good classical teacher for a while, so you don't develop bad technique , then after a while you could just study on your own, with books etc.
 
Messages
952
Thanks guys. I think you're right about me needing lessons. I'm not sure what the situation is with Covid, but I'll look into it.
No, because it's guitar oriented. Keyboard Corner forum is better for this.

Books 1 and 2 of this series should give you a decent foundation if you don't want to hire a piano teacher, although honestly a teacher will help you not hurt yourself:

After Book 2 you should feel more confident to take on Well-Tempered Clavier (the first piece is easy anyway) and/or the Inventions. Inventions will require serious patience unless you're unusually gifted - be ready to spend weeks on end practicing one hand at a time before you'll be ready to play with both hands simultaneously.
Yeah, I've been listening to Toccatas and Inventions performed by Glenn Gould and that stuff is intense. It'll be a while, like I said, but I think I want to do it. You can't play that stuff on guitar. I'll check those books out, too; thanks for the tip.
For classical I think you need a teacher. Being on the hook to show you did your homework is a needed motivation. For boogie woogie YouTube has good videos. But i think classical is different.
I'd suggest a good classical teacher for a while, so you don't develop bad technique , then after a while you could just study on your own, with books etc.
 
Messages
952
Yeah, I'm looking into it. Not sure where to start though, what with covid, and me living in a pretty small place anyway. Maybe someone at the university? I'm a student there, but I don't know if professors or grad students offer private lessons.
 
Messages
14,741
Yeah, I'm looking into it. Not sure where to start though, what with covid, and me living in a pretty small place anyway. Maybe someone at the university? I'm a student there, but I don't know if professors or grad students offer private lessons.
When I was in university, grad students posted flyers for private lessons on bulletin boards all the time - mostly in the vicinity of the music department offices and classrooms.

Professors were harder to get private lessons with but could at least be contacted for referrals to music teachers that they knew, be it their own grad students or not.
 

jdogric12

Member
Messages
2,506
I'm currently learning flute, clarinet, and violin/viola (got me a 5-string). I recommend playing around with it for a month, figure out what your roadblocks are, and then doing 1 or 2 hour-long lessons over video call just to learn basic things about the instrument like the most efficient fingerings for various scales and stuff. Make it clear to the teacher you don't need to learn "music," but "piano." Develop the tools they give you for a few months and revisit if desired. Not all teachers will want to do one-off lessons, but you can fine one who will.

I took a single piano lesson in high school and the most important thing I remember was fingering the Bb major scale: (where T is thumb, 1 index, 4 pinky) 1 T 1 2 T 1 2 3 (IIRC!) There are non-intuitive things like this that may not come to you if you just teach yourself.
 

NeuroLogic

Member
Messages
1,323
I'm currently learning flute, clarinet, and violin/viola (got me a 5-string). I recommend playing around with it for a month, figure out what your roadblocks are, and then doing 1 or 2 hour-long lessons over video call just to learn basic things about the instrument like the most efficient fingerings for various scales and stuff. Make it clear to the teacher you don't need to learn "music," but "piano." Develop the tools they give you for a few months and revisit if desired. Not all teachers will want to do one-off lessons, but you can fine one who will.

I took a single piano lesson in high school and the most important thing I remember was fingering the Bb major scale: (where T is thumb, 1 index, 4 pinky) 1 T 1 2 T 1 2 3 (IIRC!) There are non-intuitive things like this that may not come to you if you just teach yourself.
That is not the conventional T12T1234 fingering. Perhaps this is to avoid up and down movements (thumb stays on the white keys) with the thumb? I would appreciate comments from others on this.
It looks like the conventional fingering picks up with a C.
 

HomeInMyShoes

Member
Messages
1,225
Coolness. Quiet hands and economy of movement. Get lessons with someone at least a bit. Playing classical is different. It is what I grew up with until I learned to hack about on guitar more. Different experiences, but I love both. What I really appreciate is how one instrument has changed the way I approach the other. I really liked how guitar opened up goofing around and improvising on the piano. It makes each instrument more rewarding in how different they are to me.

This...
...is what I spend my time trying to learn and watching Horowitz is a great lesson in quiet and economical hands.
 

HomeInMyShoes

Member
Messages
1,225
That is not the conventional T12T1234 fingering. Perhaps this is to avoid up and down movements (thumb stays on the white keys) with the thumb? I would appreciate comments from others on this.
It looks like the conventional fingering picks up with a C.
It's about economy of motion really, there is nothing wrong with a thumb on a black key really. Some scales just don't work well with the usual fingering. F is another scale with 'non-standard' fingering (12341234 -- at least for the right hand). But scale fingering and piece fingering (in that scale) can be different. It's about figuring out what the phrase needs and where you need to be after that phrase.
 
Messages
952
Coolness. Quiet hands and economy of movement. Get lessons with someone at least a bit. Playing classical is different. It is what I grew up with until I learned to hack about on guitar more. Different experiences, but I love both. What I really appreciate is how one instrument has changed the way I approach the other. I really liked how guitar opened up goofing around and improvising on the piano. It makes each instrument more rewarding in how different they are to me.

This...
...is what I spend my time trying to learn and watching Horowitz is a great lesson in quiet and economical hands.
Man that guy has such a great touch. The piano is an amazing instrument. I used to think classical music was lame, but it's really really not...I love the harmony and the melodies of it, particularly Baroque and Renaissance music. I'd love to learn this someday, we'll see if I ever get there.
 

HomeInMyShoes

Member
Messages
1,225
Good grief. Harpsichord is definitely interesting. I've played on a few over the years. I prefer piano. Pipe organ is fun too, I started on organ lessons, but I never got the three parts working very well and it was like a light turning on for me when my teacher suggested we switch to piano. I'm definitely more romantic in my eras of music, but I can certainly appreciate Bach and Handel.
 
Messages
952
Good grief. Harpsichord is definitely interesting. I've played on a few over the years. I prefer piano. Pipe organ is fun too, I started on organ lessons, but I never got the three parts working very well and it was like a light turning on for me when my teacher suggested we switch to piano. I'm definitely more romantic in my eras of music, but I can certainly appreciate Bach and Handel.
With organ you have the feet playing the bassline, right? That must be so hard.

There's a certain precision and wit in Baroque music that I really appreciate. There's something too about it having been written during the time of the Louis XIV, armed diplomacy, Dryden, etc. that fires my imagination. Romantic music can be a bit turbulent.
 

HomeInMyShoes

Member
Messages
1,225
Organ: yep, feet too. That's tricky, but there is nothing quite like hammering out a bit of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (maybe Bach, maybe not depending on your theories) on a pipe organ in a church. Extra special sensory overload kind of thing. If a bit hackneyed, even just doing the hands with a couple of simple bass notes on the pedals will suffice for the experience.

Historical is really quite fun. Gives one a reason to learn about the things going on at the time of the music that is far removed from the now. I like that aspect. I've always loved folk stories and folk music so I am big into Chopin and his Mazurkas. I liked the romantics because it was just full of so many great shorter character pieces which suited my lack of attention span.

I hope you find a good teacher. I really did have a great teacher as hard as he was on me. Scraggly beard, road a Harley, church organist at the Anglican church, and a great lover of music and working with kids. Even terrible students like me. He passed away this year and I am still a little saddened by that. He did so much for me. Let me bring my synthesizer to the year end recital one year and play some of Jarre's Oxygene on it. And in the last few years of my lessons with him (almost thirty years ago,) the little things he would say: "you play that like it's a famous piece" and commenting after hearing me play something that he'd like to see me continue music at the university level. Those things stick with you.

I like my keyboard experience because it is such a wide range of styles and instruments and my teacher was so fabulous.
 




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