Prospective new owner !

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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seniorminnion
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Prospective new owner !

Post by seniorminnion » 05 Mar 2013, 00:13

Hi all -- I'm just about to order a Kawai K3 and have never played a note before in my life. Its something I've always wanted to do and it's a retirement present to myself. Now I know that a 1 to 1 lesson is the best way to learn, but paying for the piano has left me more than a little hard up. I'd like some advice on the best way to start to teach myself ---- ie books/ online lessons or complete courses like 'Master and learn Piano' - If anyone has any experience with any of these methods then It would be much appreciated. I'm planning to eventually have a combination of a real teacher a couple of times a month and teach myself !

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Prospective new owner !

Post by Colin Nicholson » 05 Mar 2013, 01:30

Welcome to the forum......

Congratulations on your K3...... good choice of piano...... SO? why stop there?

I know some that pay well over £3K for a piano, and WONT even buy a piano stool!

Depending on how you want venture in your music, I would wait until you can afford a few lessons - maybe one every 2 weeks. Its very easy to learn the piano BADLY!.... friends will spot it a mile away. All books are Ok to a point, but they dont correct your mistakes on-the-spot!

I teach using the "Piano Lessons book 1" by Harewood & Waterman (Faber publishers) - good for adults and kids.... but like anything else - ring a few teachers - most should have a 30 minute slot available.... so rather than "teach" yourself bad habits - and much guess work, get a teacher to guide you. If you decide to then get a teacher, they may spend many lessons correcting your mistakes (eg fingering/ legato) before you can progress further...... just a helpful tip! :)
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Kristina1
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Re: Prospective new owner !

Post by Kristina1 » 07 Mar 2013, 16:04

Hello, seniorminnion,

Congratulations to your piano !

I agree with Colin Nicholson that it is important to avoid learning bad habits,
they are very very difficult to "unlearn" later on
and I do hope you can find a teacher.

It might be also an idea to ask your library for help to find beginner-books.
They can locate for you any beginner-book you wish to see and study
and that could give you a good idea to see which beginner book
makes you feel most comfortable with.

Using your library to start off with also gives you a chance
to see many different angles and ways,
what many different writers think necessary for you to learn.
That would take into account what you personally want to learn and achieve.
(i.e. Classics or modern etc.)

Another way to find and have a look at inexpensive beginner-books
are Charity shops or second hand book shops.

It is such a great idea to start learning how to play the piano:
it will give you many hours of great pleasure
and I am sure you will have lots of fun with it.

I wish you good luck and all the best from Kristina.

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Re: Prospective new owner !

Post by SirTK » 15 Mar 2013, 08:18

Hmmmm - if you haven't yet pulled the trigger on your K3, I would wait a small while to consider what you want out of piano and why.

If you intend to play "properly" and entertain your friends and family with your excellent playing, then an acoustic is a good choice - HOWEVER - that would demand that you have private lessons from the outset, and continue to have lessons for a long while. You already have said that the cost of lessons probably precludes this route.

What that suggests to me is that if you intend to "learn" from books, you won't be learning properly and your resulting skills will possible not be fit for human consumption, hence unless you are blessed with a special piano-playing gift, you really need a digital so as to be able to play through headphones.

I first started playing as I approached retirement, never having played a note. Went to the piano shop and fell in love with a beautiful Yamaha acoustic which I immediately bought. I got a teacher who unfortunately misread what I wanted, made incorrect assumptions about my learning style and generally was a disaster, so I quit her and went to the books. I was always conscious that there isn't a real piano player in me, but that didn't stop me trying, and thoroughly enjoying my pathetic efforts. However I was always conscious that the whole house could hear those same efforts and it rather made me hold off playing too much.

When I downsized into a semi-detached cottage I felt it would be unfair to neighbours to have to hear me playing so I went digital and never looked back. I bought a Yammy CLP-470PE which I play through really good headphones and absolutely love it. It's been a revelation that I can play with complete disregard to others around me and has increased my enjoyment tenfold. Not my playing, unfortunately, just my enjoyment.

So I really think you need to know where you really stand before you commit to what may turn out to be in inappropriate choice. Whatever you decide - best of luck.

Gill the Piano
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Re: Prospective new owner !

Post by Gill the Piano » 15 Mar 2013, 19:13

You don't need a plastic piano to play through headphones, you can have the best of both worlds with a silent piano which gives you the real touch of a piano whilst playing a digital noise through the headphones, placating unmusical spouses/neighbours/kids!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: Prospective new owner !

Post by SirTK » 16 Mar 2013, 08:21

"You don't need a plastic piano to play through headphones, you can have the best of both worlds with a silent piano"/i]

'Scuse me, my piano isn't plastic - it's genuine solid top quality living breathing MDF.

So is the OP getting a silent K3? - if not, please note that all of my other - serious - points still apply.

I guess what I'm really saying is not to get too carried away with how beautiful the instrument is when that may conflict with good advice.

TK

seniorminnion
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Re: Prospective new owner !

Post by seniorminnion » 17 Mar 2013, 22:07

I want to play for me - not really family etc.. - I know it's probably a stupid reason but as well as the sound and feel of an acoustic piano - I wanted something 'real' if that makes sense ? - the practice pedal mutes the sound to about 50% and I'm going to take lessons every other week - I know the acoustic is the right choice for me as I believe that to learn something whatever it is , then you have to have the desire to do it and for me the acoustic just 'feels' right ---- whether the sound that I get from it will ever be worth listening to is another matter -- but it won't be for the lack of trying !

Gill the Piano
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Re: Prospective new owner !

Post by Gill the Piano » 18 Mar 2013, 17:08

Well good luck, and keep us posted on your progress, won't you?
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

SirTK
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Re: Prospective new owner !

Post by SirTK » 19 Mar 2013, 07:21

Seniorminnion, I agree with everything you say, which is why I wanted to cry a warning, as I went through all of those emotions myself!

The sound of an acoustic is lovely, but not through the practice pedal. What I found was that I didn't get anything like the satisfaction I was looking for through the practice pedal, so I used the pedal much less than I had thought I would. So when there was a need to be quiet, I wasn't inclined to play at all - exactly what you don't want.

I'd suggest you at least look into, as Gill says, an acoustic with a silent facility - the sound through good headphones should be wonderful - so as to have the best of both worlds.

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