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Hi folks

Posted: 10 Jan 2010, 12:42
by Emma
Just a message to say hello. I'm new to this forum so not sure quite where to start posting.

I'm trying to pick up playing again after a lay-off of quite a few years. I've got an old acoustic piano, which in the past was stripped down and rebuilt. It was the instrument I learnt to play on before buying a Yamaha Clavinova a few years ago. This is an amazing machine, but doesn't reproduce anything like the rich sounds of an acoustic. But I love both instruments in their different ways.

I would really like to play some of those old jazz standards, but I'm not sure if I can learn them directly from the music or whether I should take lessons. What do people think?

Any advice on this topic would be most welcome and I hope you guys can give me a helping hand over the coming months as I try to get to grips with playing again.

Hope to hear from you soon.


Re: Hi folks

Posted: 12 Jan 2010, 19:30
by markymark
You can get some music lessons in music and supporting CD packs. Hal Leonard do some simple ones that introduce jazz, blues and a variety of other contemporary styles. It may give you a starting point and provide you with some familiarisation should you decide that you need a more structured approach.

Bear in mind that jazz and its relative styles have a more laid back and fluid set of "rules". It is nowhere near as rigid as classical training and improvisation is inevitably something that will develop or have to be developed when you start into this. I would recommend the book company I mentioned. They also do tuition DVDs but perhaps have the CD lessson and accompanying books would be a good and fairly inexpensive starting point for you.

Re: Hi folks

Posted: 15 Jan 2010, 19:42
by Emma
Thanks for the replies to my Hello message, asking for advice about where to start in playing old jazz standards after a long lay-off.

Actually I live in Manchester, so there's no shortage of local gigs I can take in to observe playing techniques. Haven't been to any live gigs for quite a while. Yes, I know ... shame on me. But I promise I'll do some research in this area.

I'll also look up the Hal Leonard stuff. Trouble is, I'm sure the local sheet music shops have fallen prey to the recession and closed down. So I guess it's over to Amazon.

Anyway, on to something slightly different. Can anyone offer any useful advice on scales and chords? I can still remember how to practice most scales, and have started to practice them again, both major and minor. But I always struggled with chords, especially when it comes to what fits with what and where.

I guess it's a matter of becoming familiar with the many different permutations, but remembering even the most basic rules was something I really had difficulty with. Are there any easy ways of remembering the basics, e.g. which inversions to use, whether to use a primary chord or a variation. Yes, I know a lot is down to what you're playing and the effect you want to create, but are there easy ways to learn and remember the basic rules?

Look forward to hearing more advice.


Re: Hi folks

Posted: 15 Jan 2010, 20:45
by Gill the Piano is infinitely better for sheet music tham Amazon. The music arrives next day or the day after you order, and there's a facility to see the song index in each book. They also give a rough indication of the level of playing required.

Re: Hi folks, piano lessons?

Posted: 24 Jan 2010, 16:40
by Emma
I've been doing some research on Amazon and The Music Room for suitable places to restart my piano playing and I must say I'm pretty confused about exactly where I need to dip my toe in the water again after such a long lay-off from playing. And, yes, at some point soon, I must go into Forsyth's in Manchester. I'd forgotten all about them as a source of music books to play.

But I think people are right about looking around for suitable piano teachers when they're in my situation. I'm beginning to realise that I need to get someone who knows these things to provide me with an evaluation of my capabilities as a musician, and where, exactly, I should start.

I've been looking around on local websites and there seem to be a number of possibilities. So, I'll gather some information and contact those who look the most likely to be able to provide the kind of tuition I need.

Meanwhile, if anyone else has any ideas on where I might look for suitable piano lessons, I'd be really pleased to hear from them.

Right, must get back to practicing a few scales.


Re: Hi folks

Posted: 24 Jan 2010, 21:55
by markymark
It may not be a bad idea to pick up a selection of graded pieces for one of the exams to help you find something appropriately levelled. They will be short and suited towards the ability reflected on the cover.