Dave teaches himself piano - again.

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

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Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 11 Nov 2013, 18:13

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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Gill the Piano » 12 Nov 2013, 16:13

Don't forget the high heeled shoes; those are absolutely VITAL for the beginner pianist. And it says in today's Maily Dale (so it MUST be troo) that learning the piano can raise your IQ. So this time next week you'll be a boffin...:) Have fun! :piano;
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 12 Nov 2013, 16:38

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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 12 Nov 2013, 19:50

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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Gill the Piano » 13 Nov 2013, 17:10

The study was done by the Beijing Normal (?!) University.
I've always advocated playing as many different pianos as you can; it makes you more adaptable. Posture is v. important - a friend of mine did her shoulders a nasty by playing wrongly. An Alexander teacher put her right...
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 13 Nov 2013, 17:55

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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by pianoladybirmingham » 13 Nov 2013, 21:35

yo David! you settled ok in brum? hope the move from wales still suits u both x :piano;

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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 29 Dec 2013, 15:58

If only I knew of the existence of this video BEFORE I did my ABRSM exams. It puts a whole new angle on the whole concept of sight reading and it would have cleared all of my anxieties on the subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrRtFxbhTtQ

Carrying on and good rhythm, even when you're playing a load of unmelodic nonsense and ignoring rests, matter more than trying to pay too much attention to the dots and faltering, instantly leading to hesitation and, in my case certainly, extreme panic and anxiety.

It's that saying. If only I knew then what I know now.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Gill the Piano » 30 Dec 2013, 19:07

But we TOLD you that at the time, cherub. Praps you're ready to hear it now. The sounds gone on my (elderly) PC otherwise I'd go and have a look.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 30 Dec 2013, 19:47

Yes you did tell me but nobody else (teachers) did, or went through anything of the sort with me pre-exam, so it was a case of closing the stable door after the horse had bolted. But now with this knowledge in mind I'm going to have another go at the red Paul Harris book. I donated it to my shop and today I bought it back!!

But it's just SOOOOOOOO easy to just seize up halfway through a piece of sight reading and all the bad habits I've picked up, and it's blindingly obvious that I have done so, are going to be extremely difficult to break and to rectify. Lucky my Paul Harris book is the very first in the series (pre grade 1).
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Gill the Piano » 31 Dec 2013, 14:38

And take any pressure off yourself by going really slowly so you have time to look at the next note and locate it without panic. The more you'll do the better you'll get. Use your hymn tune book too (go and buy it back! :) ); knowing the tune alleviates a lot of stress but still exercises the sightreading muscle!
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 31 Dec 2013, 17:47

I've already got that one sorted Gill. All of the exercises I shall do at clock speed (60 cbpm) and no faster for the forseeable future. I've already fixed a clock above the piano (next to the 'The Beatings Will Continue' sign you kindly provided me with) and I'm already playing scales at that speed, listening to the clock tick for around ten seconds before I begin playing. I've been practising single octave hands together scales daily, even though it's like a giant freezer in my piano room at the moment.

Afraid I cannot buy back the hymen book. That's with an old piano teacher and Anglican organist that I'm no longer in contact with (the one wot insulted me as a matter of fact). Was way way too difficult for me anyway, proficients and fluents sort of stuff. I couldn't play a single thing from it.

Started Stage 1 this morning. The golden rules of sight reading, always count, never stop. My biggest danger is losing heart as I get frustrated and give in too easily. Perhaps aiming lower might solve that.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Gill the Piano » 31 Dec 2013, 21:28

You AREN'T aiming lower, you are revising what you know. Positivity, sir! :D
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 31 Dec 2013, 23:01

But that's just my problem. I aim too HIGH!! I have tried to do what I cannot do in too short a space of time and every time I've got frustrated and said that's that, piano's going on Ebay, Sure you've heard it all before from this end. Wrong attitude. This time I am NOT going to do what I know is beyond my Ken. I'm going to play it safe and take only one step at a time and we'll wait and see if that yields results.

I still wish there was someone as good as the Cardiff teacher here in Birmingham.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by gizzy » 01 Jan 2014, 00:56

dave brum wrote:If only I knew of the existence of this video BEFORE I did my ABRSM exams. It puts a whole new angle on the whole concept of sight reading and it would have cleared all of my anxieties on the subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrRtFxbhTtQ

Carrying on and good rhythm, even when you're playing a load of unmelodic nonsense and ignoring rests, matter more than trying to pay too much attention to the dots and faltering, instantly leading to hesitation and, in my case certainly, extreme panic and anxiety.

It's that saying. If only I knew then what I know now.
Oh dear
"The whole point of sight-reading" she says, "is to get from start to finish without stopping"

Well, she's lost the plot, there. I hear she's an examiner (with LCM) and is obviously so into the exam-oriented way of teaching - after all, this little boy of 8 who's been with her for about a year and a half learning from scratch is on GRADE 5 - how did he actually learn grade 5 pieces with sight-reading like that. I wonder?

"The whole point of sight-reading" is to try out music. She's not talking about sight-reading at all! She's talking about "doing exam sight-reading tests" and most realistic musicians, teachers or players, recognise that activity for the farce it is. What is the POINT in keeping going when you're playing gibberish?

Even when people play along with others, like accompanists or orchestral players, if they get to the point where they're going to play gibberish if they carry on, they don't carry on. They'll only carry on playing gibberish, which will be a negative contribution to the overall performance. They STOP. Maybe only for a beat, or a bar, but they stop playing while at the same time following where they should be in the music so that as soon as they can, they'll get back in where they should be. In the case of pianists, they have the ruse of playing just one hand, the left is more useful, so as to keep something going.

If you are sight-reading a piece on your own - and remember we're not talking about "doing sight-reading tests" - then the only purpose, other than the recursive objective of being able to pass the exam sight-reading, is to find out how the music goes. Well, excuse me, but how are you going to get much idea of how the music goes if it's gibberish?

And "the better you are at sight-reading, the better you'll be able to learn your pieces". Well, she's right there, see below for my description of learning pieces myself. But unfortunately she's still conflating the notion of "sight-reading" and that of "doing sight-reading tests"

I did no piano exams until grade 6, and in fact played from grade <1 up to grade 6 entirely on my own with no piano teacher (I did have a cello teacher and sang and did theory and general musicianship exams) and I became a confident sight-reader because I did ALL the things you are advised not to - stopped to look at it - of course I knew what it would sound like when I got the notes right, but you press a little pause button in your brain and when you start again it's as though the pulse never stopped. You're not playing for an audience. I went back and corrected things which were obviously wrong, I bashed the same chord or the same note several times - but as I went through, I was still working out "how the piece went".

And do you know why|? Because I could play by ear as well. And that's one skill they don't test in the exam. You don't have to know whether the notes you have played in the sight-reading are right, just keep going. In fact with the methoid this woman advocates, you're much better off if you have no idea what it's supposed to sound like. And how will you know whether they're right when you actually come to play the piece? Slow and laborious. I learnt my pieces - from the musical point of view - really fast because I was able to work out how it went by a mixture of stopping to get the notes right and hearing in my head, from looking at the music, how it should sound when I had the notes right.

Otherwise what do you do? Keep playing what you played when you first tried to read? The gibberish, remember? Boy, are you setting up problems for yourself that way, as you're practising your mistakes! This kind of s/r method is going to mean you will have to spend TWICE as long learning the music as you would if you stopped to get the notes right as you did it first time through. It might grab you a few more marks in the exam if that's your only priority in reading, but it won't help you to learn the music.

She also says "You have to get it out of your mind that you have to get everything perfect first time". Unfortunately there isn't a second time in the exam. She says get a feel for the music (by playing the rhythm but complete gibberish for the pitches) and then you can go over it a little bit at a time the second time. Well, of course, that was what I did when I learnt pieces. Except that I didn't go through the stage of playing gibberish the first time. I went straight to the second stage, which she describes, since I could tell by looking at it what the rhythm was going to have to sound like.

There is a difference between pitch and rhythm which isn't addressed here. You can get the pitch right even if you have no idea what it's going to sound like, just by trying it out and hearing the result, but actually you can't do that with rhythm, you can't play a rhythm as written on the page and then hear from your playing what it's supposed to sound like - you actually have to hear it in your head and feel it before performing it. So there's not a lot of point in trying it out, what you need to try out are the pitches.

Working in a particular way which is essentially UNmusical just in order to pass a test which proves you can do it that way - well, I think it's like having a nose-picking test in the exam. It may or may not be something which is going to help your own LEARNING and PERFORMING of the MUSIC, but heck, they give you marks out of 21 for that section of the exam, so get digging.

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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 04 Jan 2014, 10:23

I'm now on Lesson 2 of the Online Piano Tutor's 10 step course (although it's really eleven as Lesson 2 is in 2 parts) and practising 5 scales. They were my strongest point back in the day but I'm quite shocked at just how rusty I've become, especially tucking thumbs under when my 3rd finger is on a black note as I always seem to find the incorrect note.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a0bOfUW8rk
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 16 Jan 2014, 08:52

Thought, would looking down at your hands whilst doing scales and arpeggios be regarded by the piano teaching proffession and music examiners as 'cheating', if you know what I mean? When I've done exams in the past I've always brought along the published scales/arps booklet produced by the AB and pretended to play from it even though I knew all the scales off by heart. Fast forward to 2014 and no booklet but now I'm looking down at my hands some of the time, and playing with my eyes closed so I can teach myself to mentally picture the keys as they go down as I play them the rest of the time.

I can indeed play on my lap on the bus and picture the notes on the piano going down in my head amidst maximum distractions. Which brings me on to nagging query number 2, is this another obsessive trait or good old fashioned earnest studying?? Unsure.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Gill the Piano » 16 Jan 2014, 18:32

1. Yes, why not look? Why make life difficult? :)
2. Good practice, not OCD!
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 16 Jan 2014, 19:15

One thing I've never been told to do is remember to do my :piano; practice. As long as I'm doing it right, hey!

Have to remember to do it all on the 29th when I go to Bucks for the day. It'll probably be headphones at 7am and 10pm.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 18 Jan 2014, 14:26

Another upload of this weeks' practice piece 'I Know Where I'm Going', sight read went on my Youtube channel. PM me for the link if you'd like to have a gawp at it.

Tomorrow we will be going to the largest public library in Europe and if I can get on the public piano there, I shall ask my wife to film me playing to also be uploaded!
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 24 Jan 2014, 14:06

Next weeks practice piece with thanks to John Hancock. Sibelius Scorch has 'played' it for me and now I'm in the process of 'translating' it:

http://www.johnhancockmusic.f2s.com/Aud ... inging.htm

N.B appropriate software needed to display.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 24 Jan 2014, 22:21

Found that I cannot 'translate' it as I found it more difficult to sight read in my own notation than the original standard notation version. So abandon that one I think and just do more scales. Pity as it's a nice little piece.

I shall play it eventually...but not now.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Gill the Piano » 25 Jan 2014, 17:21

Just be patient and stick to standard notation; you're making a double job of it otherwise.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 25 Jan 2014, 19:59

Funny you should say that, I had a look at Lesson 3 of the online ten step course I'm doing today and it starts basic theory, including the stave, where Middle C is and the 1,2,3,4 beat note values. Think I can manage that just about, the other notes just might be a problem.....

I think I'll just do extra scales instead, or even copy out some Middle C's in the various time values and play those...in Double Dutch. I need to put a bad habit right, which is forgetting which scale I'm playing after I've started playing it! The main effect of this is that I don't put the black notes in, or, in the case of D major and D minor I put them in the wrong place AND IT'S NOT AS IF I DON'T BLXXDY WELL KNOW where these sharps and flats go. It's just that I forget and I go back to thinking I'm playing in C. The more I try not to make these careless cockups, the more I seem to make said careless cockups. Every time I sit down to play scales, it's always the same. Ok Dave, remember what scale you're playing. Ok, it's G major. G major G major G major NOT C!! and then I forget the F sharp on the way down. Only I can put this right and it's only one of the many reasons I failed in previous attempts to learn the piano.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Feg » 25 Jan 2014, 20:33

Dave, sorry if this sounds like a daft question, but do you know why you play a F# in a G major scale?

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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 25 Jan 2014, 20:56

Feg wrote:Dave, sorry if this sounds like a daft question, but do you know why you play a F# in a G major scale?
I suppose to make it a major scale, so it sounds like a C major scale but starting in a different place.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 26 Jan 2014, 14:25

dave brum wrote:Found that I cannot 'translate' it as I found it more difficult to sight read in my own notation than the original standard notation version. So abandon that one I think and just do more scales. Pity as it's a nice little piece.

I shall play it eventually...but not now.
Where there's a will.....

Pleased to be able to report that I am indeed playing the piece with a few little tweaks...at sight and with no major difficulties. I think it was because I realised I was dangerously close to breaking my New Year's Resolution of not coming on here and whingeing that I cannot play a particular piece instead of turning it into a positive and devising a method, using my own initiative, of practicing and playing that piece and adding another piece to my repertoire.

THINK POSITIVE - it gets results! Now to tackle those scales issues.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Gill the Piano » 26 Jan 2014, 15:08

It can be demoralising. My guitar teacher gave me a piece to play and I took it hom and stared at it and couldn't make head nor tail of it. I was almost in tearsof rage because I was so frustrated with myself. Next lesson he explained it again and said 'Just play the first bar. If you get that, try the next one. But no further.'
NOW I can sort of play the whole thing. And I look at the first line and wonder what the fuss was about. Slow and steady. A bar at a time.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 26 Jan 2014, 16:32

It certainly helps if you already play an instrument because you can already read the five line enigma code, the only difficulty is finding those notes/chords on the guitar. It's also helpful if you have a good, supportive teacher that's willing to acknowledge that a) different people learn at different speeds and b) that things do go wrong and that it's the job of the teacher to give the pupil the wisdom, encouragement and pointing in the right direction to put those difficulties right themselves.

Right, scales practice time. Correctly this time, even if I find them as exciting as watching Ronseal dry, or football. :?
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 26 Jan 2014, 18:05

dave brum wrote:
Right, scales practice time. Correctly this time, even if I find them as exciting as watching Ronseal dry, or football. :?
...and as sure as all cows eat grass, 'it' happened as I was trying to play D major with my left hand sixth time around I must have thought I was either playing in C major or D minor as I played the white F instead of the black F#. This is not a complex technical exercise, it's an easy peasy Grade 1 scale that somebody who has been trying to learn for a full eight years should be able to easily perform and this makes it all the more significant. But it can indeed be worked upon.

There seems to be this idle part of my brain that needs to be identified, singled out and trained into shape. I 'penalised' myself by playing the scales of D and D minor eight times each, but again I'm unsure whether such penalties would indeed teach me the hard way.....or once more kill the whole thing off which is what I do not want. Have to have a think about that one.

Again, where there's a will to take something and make it right, there's a way.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 26 Jan 2014, 19:29

P1040583.JPG
Looks simple enough, numbers are finger numbers used, commas are phrases, dots after numbers are notes longer than one beat (3. and 3.. are two and three beat notes respectively) and letters above the RH and below the LH indicate changes of hand position.

Bur still something seems awry, even though I've practised it tonight, and was okay with it this morning...
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Gill the Piano » 27 Jan 2014, 18:20

Learn to read proper music. You're making the process twice as long with your system and you aren't learning anything.
D major is not the most helpful scale you could pick; I think you'll find most piano players./teachers agree that it doesn't fall easily under the hand. If you're coming back to scales, leave that one till you feel a bit more secure. I agree with you about the paint drying bit...I never liked scales either! :mrgreen:
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 27 Jan 2014, 21:48

I only thought 'if I can't play the piece and learning to read dotty loopish is something I genuinely find difficult to do then why don't I devise a system that I can play pieces without difficulty' after reading a book on Louis Braille. But it seems I'm not the musical Louis Braille, unfortunately. That was the idea. It's no good inventing something which even the inventor cannot understand!!!

Not being able to sight read...and I know you think I have a fixation with it Gill, but it really is a hinderance for learning new pieces and enlarging your repertoire even when you're not having to worry about doing it in front of an examiner
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 28 Jan 2014, 12:23

I've uncovered another instance of being choked by my own rope as far as my easy piano system goes. I devised the system that I've given the working title of BEPS (Birmingham Easy Piano System) to operate on only one major and one minor key, so the player does not have to keep remembering to 'sharpen that F' or 'flatten that B' etc. and indeed facilitate better concentration on the printed music and make things easier. But to translate pieces in sharp and flat keys from ten line staveish gobbledigook to BEPS would indeed mean transposing pieces into either C major or A minor, which is something I do not know how to do and if I did, it would be awfully time consuming.

I only wanted to attempt to simplify the version of Guantanamera contained in Kenneth Bakers' piano book so I could upload it to my Youtube as a tribute to Pete Seeger...and I find it's in the 'one flat' major key, which I think is F major?

Oh dear....Positive thinking is what we need. And not dwelling too much on the bad news. I am uploading 'Swingtime' to my Youtube channel. I recorded it once, with ONE take and absolutely NO prior practice. If that piece had been in standard music notation, it would have taken me between ten and twenty times to perfect. I think it's fair to say in its present, unrefined form, BEPS has its strengths as well as its weaknesses.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Feg » 28 Jan 2014, 12:52

Have you ever investigated Sol-Fa? My grandmother used play from sol-fa notation :)

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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 28 Jan 2014, 13:22

Feg wrote:Have you ever investigated Sol-Fa? My grandmother used play from sol-fa notation :)
I've only seen it in Welsh hymnals but please tell me more. I'm always open to learning about anything.

It's worth investigating though.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 28 Jan 2014, 14:22

From what I can glean, it looks more useful to vocal and singing use than a way it could be used to learn an instrument like the piano. I cannot see anything on Youtube about how this could be adapted for a learner pianist, apart from a US vocal group named Tonic Sol Fa's entire disc catalogue.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Gill the Piano » 28 Jan 2014, 17:55

Brilliant idea, Feg; look it up, Dave! My friend was taught solfa and can sightsing anything as a result.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Feg » 28 Jan 2014, 18:56

Gill the Piano wrote:Brilliant idea, Feg; look it up, Dave! My friend was taught solfa and can sightsing anything as a result.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 28 Jan 2014, 19:41

Sorry, but I still don't see how it would be of benefit to a piano learner, i.e having 'do ti so re' written down for each hand. How do we know which doh we're playing, the doh above Middle Doh or another one? And how are changes of hand position, important phrases and note lengths accounted for in solfege?

I think I prefer Beps, although going onto another matter I think I may have worked out a way of conquering my scales carelessness, and that is before I play a particular scale, say its name, point to each note on the keyboard, point to all the black notes so we don't miss them, spend half a minute thinking about what I'm going to play and finally play the scale. I forgot a black note at first but everything went according to plan after I implemented this new method.

Secondly, no more pieces from next week and just concentrate on these scales, so Beps might just die the death. And practice practice and practice these scales - even if I'm playing a hundred plus scales and nothing else per night until I either get them right or I die. I'm determined to sort this out whatever it may take...and no giving up!
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Feg » 28 Jan 2014, 21:47

I suggested solfa as a sideways step to improve your understanding of the structure of music - scales and melody alike.

I think that it might be worthwhile doing some music theory to support your understanding of what you are actually playing. When I was learning, I was taught theory along side the practical side. We were taught sol-fa by our primary school music teacher, the I had theory lessons from my piano teacher. Every exercise was handwritten in a manuscript book by my teacher and I had written homework every week!

There is a lot of theory stuff online for adults and children alike. Some of the note recognition games aimed at children are really quite good fun, you know.

If I can get a few minutes to search, I'll post links.

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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 28 Jan 2014, 22:14

I have no problems with theory (I'm doing it at basic level on my online course). I know what crotchets, minims, dotted minims, quavers are, how long they last, what each line and space on the stave on the treble and the bass are in terms of notes on the piano, the only problem is I cannot turn that into an aural piece of music .

I could sit the ABRSM grade 1 theory quite easily if my arm was twisted enough and if I had a few shillings to spare - with quite a confident feeling of a high mark.

My online teacher has a theory paper marking service - and also for the AB Eric Taylor theory workbooks so I could just do book 1 when I'm ready and send it to her for marking.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 01 Feb 2014, 19:13

Sometimes I find a copious amount of cruelty and masochism is necessary.

Case in point. My practice schedule for this week has a total of 150 scales and on my fourth attempt at G major with the left hand I committed my favourite bad habit, ie ignoring the black notes. This was caused by allowing my mind to wander onto something else for a brief moment. My schedule says play this scale 8 times with the LH and 8 with the RH. I've done this too many times methinks and I need to play the scale 20 times as an act of self-penalty. Then I think that the problem needs to be sorted like a schoolteacher would make a child copy out a hundred lines, so I decided the ultimate penalty would be a hundred scales.

Next week's schedule (and all of the month of February) is 270 scales (but no pieces as I've pretty much wrote off my self-invented notation system due to the endless uncovering of flaws). Any careless mistake, or mind wandering, thinking about the current political unrest in Ukraine or how beautiful Michaela Strachan is (!) which cause me to miss out black notes will be met with severe punishment. Playing 100 scales at 40bpm, ie deeeeeeead slow would be good 'corrective education' for the awkward pianist!
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 05 Feb 2014, 21:50

Rigorous scale practice now under way, and only made one cock up in three days, and that was when my finger slipped off the black key. The secret is before you play a scale: 1) think about it 2) locate the key note 3) locate the black keys you need to play and play them and 4) proceed with care. Like a Green Cross Code for playing scales but obviously without Dave Prowse....

Going straight into a scale cold turkey and over confident 'thinking' you know where the notes are after you start playing, or playing in a hurry without thinking can only lead to disasters occuring.

And never push yourself to do too much. Even the AB doesn't ask you to play scales with your eyes closed as part of an exam syllabus - as I have tried to do in the past just to prove to myself that I can play.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Gill the Piano » 07 Feb 2014, 19:06

With the black key, try playing the notes before and after the black key on their own as a little triplet up and down a few times. Gets the finger 'used' to where it ought to go.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 07 Feb 2014, 20:00

Not sure I follow what you mean, Gill. I was an hour and a half up there last night because I cocked up one scale (D minor AGAIN but with the right hand). so had to play it 100 times. I keep thinking about the notes for D major when I should be playing D minor. It's a very very bad habit I seem to have picked up, like forgetting which key you're playing in and reverting to the 'default' scale of C major which I've touched upon many times before. Which was the basic reasoning behind my stalled BEPS system, just having one key for major, one for minor, and black notes as purely accidentals.

The idea is to move onto the next step of my online course on the 8th March, after a February of ridding my system (or at least ATTEMPTING to) of my quintisentially British tendency to commit habitual cock-ups.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 08 Feb 2014, 17:18

Just done next week's practice schedule, and I shall be playing a gruelling 350 scales every night next week, less C scales but more scales with black notes in them. Thinking that for eight years I have always enjoyed playing scales whereas 99% of piano learners regard them to be boring and monotonous. If I try and make them boring and monotonous then maybe I will succeed at things like sight reading. Don't know for certain until I experiment. If a medicine of 350 scales per night doesn't kill all the carelessness and bad habits then I really don't know what will = but it should. In the immortal words of old Clarkson 'bring it on'!

One single balls up means a 100 scale penalty, I could be sat up there at 1am with my headcans on, so great care is needed to ensure correctness and proper musicality.

350 scales on Monday night following a full day at the shop, a long journey across Brum on 3 buses, and Sarah Jane scratching and meowing at the door to distract me should be quite a challenge!
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by Gill the Piano » 08 Feb 2014, 18:37

Say you keep missing bflat in F major. For a while just play A-Bb-C-Bb-A over and over again to get the feel of the stretch into your fingers.
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 08 Feb 2014, 19:43

Not doing F major at the moment. (C G D major, A D minor harmonic, as directed by Alison online). I had a good practice session today, unhurried and (hopefully) productive. I think maybe referring to D major as 'the scale of D', no major as musicians do, then I may find it easier to remember what scale I'm playing. It's not, as I say, that I don't know where the fingers go. Hell, I've done grade 3!!! My problem is that I have a lazy, ageing brain, and 30 years of being on meds (and the lack of daylight) don't help. It needs a good kick in the goolies, if brains have goolies that is.....
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Re: Dave teaches himself piano - again.

Post by dave brum » 09 Feb 2014, 17:50

Just been into Fairdeal Music in town. Good news, there was a young guy with his wife and two sons in there playing Moonlight Sonata on one of the Rolands. Fairly reasonable news, there was a lovely restored Challen school acoustic in there, bit bashed but plays okay. Bad news, I tried to play a D scale with both hands. These are the notes I played:

D E F# G A B C# D C# B A G F E D.

One hundred and thirty D scales await me upstairs. I'd better prepare a nice cup of charlie to accompany my merriment.
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