I decided to have a couple of lessons because I didn't want to get into bad habits. My teacher started me off with grade 2 scales and a grade 2 piece. The lessons seemed to be concerned methodically working through the scales and the piece, finding the notes and the timings which I happy to work out myself. But there was nothing about the physical technique etc I had a couple of lessons for piano about 10 years ago and the experience was much the same. If lessons are just about helping you out with notation and timing etc then I'm happy to plod along by myself. So, my question is how much physical technique is there to piano playing i.e is there a standard way to prepare to play the notes, move the hands, position the arms, play staccato, use the wrist etc and would you expect the teacher to discuss this fairly early on ? Or is there no a standard way to play or prepare to play the keys and does everyone just find there own way ?
It's good to hear that you're learning the guitar. It's a beautiful instrument and it's great fun to play duets and ensembles. And you can take it with you I'm sure by now that you've found the delcamp guitar forum. If not then pay it a visit. If you google it you'll find it easily. I've posted a couple of recordings under the name of goodtone It's a great resource for all standards and has a huge library of sheet music for guitar.
Most of the technique I have picked up by having a teacher was by her seeing I was playing something the wrong way and then she demonstrates and I copy, then after a few goes I can play that part with the right technique. After picking it up in that piece you can then apply it to other pieces that require the same method of execution. Also a lot of the other stuff I have learned is by asking her questions if I am not sure about something. So if you are not sure you are sitting correctly, or your hand posture is not right just ask if you are doing right, I always ask my teacher lots of questions.
If you are interested in learning only technique then exercises are good for this. They are nothing but pure technique, like finger strengthening, scales in 3rds, octaves ect, scales in different touches legato, staccato ect. A very good book for this would be the famous Hanon Exercises. But there is nothing musical in this book it’s all very dull exercises that don’t sound nice. I do think they are useful for becoming more aware of finger movement though, but I dont see why some people become obsessed with going through the whole book religiously.
Personally I think learning technique is better with studies, actual pieces that cover a particular technique. And as they are a real piece of music, it will sound nice. You could try Burgmuller’s 25 studies Op 100. I’m currently going through some of these as most sound very nice and you can learn a lot through them, I think they would be good for a beginner as I think they cover grade 1-4.
Scales, arpeggios are also good for learning technique, hope this helps .
I'm getting the feeling that most people are not taught much technique with the piano and it's a case of get your hand into a comfortable position and go for it....
I have to disagree with you over the scales and arpeggios. Unlike the guitar which is a stringed instrument, the piano is technically and by its character, a percussion instrument. Because you are striking keys as well as stretching, controlling volume as well as including aspects of accuracy and speed as well, scales and arpeggios help develop this. While they will not develop technique unless reinforced by a teacher, they still serve a purpose in strengthening, developing and speeding up the hands and fingers.