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Books for learning improve for beginners (Read 1883 times)

Offline joeellis

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Books for learning improve for beginners
« on: March 16, 2010, 04:08:30 AM »
Hello,
I've actually learned piano for 7 years as a child, and have recently picked up a big interest in it again.  However, when I was a kid, it was mostly scales then "memorize this piece" and "memorize that piece" and I managed to learn absolutely nothing about music as a whole.  I'd love to just be able to sit down at the piano and play whatever comes to me, but to be honest, I really have no idea where to start.

I'm just looking for any recommended books, beginner books even, that help teach the theory behind music so that I can just sit down and play in whatever key I like.  I realize that takes years of practice, but I'm just looking to be pointed in the right direction so I am no longer at the mercy of whatever is printed on the music sheet.  Any advice / book recommendations / good learning websites (they all seem to be so shady!) would be so helpful, thank you!

Offline synthex

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Re: Books for learning improve for beginners
«Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 07:04:43 PM »
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Offline joeellis

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Re: Books for learning improve for beginners
«Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 10:07:42 PM »
Is Jordan Rudess's book just for keyboards, or for piano as well?

Offline synthex

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Re: Books for learning improve for beginners
«Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 10:23:51 PM »
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Offline venik

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Re: Books for learning improve for beginners
«Reply #4 on: July 25, 2010, 08:48:38 AM »
Is Jordan Rudess's book just for keyboards, or for piano as well?
I'd assume so, Jordan rudess is famous for improv on the piano...and keyboards are relatively the same thing.

I think every improviser has their own method really. Some take a methodical approach of memorizing relationships between chords and variations and keys, where as some train their ear and play through simply what they want to come out. My advice is to learn the blues scale, get a metronome, and play it until you feel comfortable playing whatever sound you want to hear through that scale. This took me about 6 months of improving an hour or so to get really to the point where it's "mastered" then I moved on to the gregorian which is much more complex and a wrong note can change everything. There really are no wrong notes in improv but I mean a sound you weren't trying to convey. Someday's I have it and someday's I don't. Don't be afraid of dissonance, too, dissonance makes things interesting and makes you long for the cadence.

I tried a book, but it did not help very much. I'm not sure this is something you can teach without a improvisation genius at your side. I even tried a teacher who can improv still to no avail. But try it, let us know how it goes.

Offline quantum

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Re: Books for learning improve for beginners
«Reply #5 on: August 06, 2010, 03:13:25 AM »
Sounds like you are into improvising and composing.  Really there are no rules to this, just create music you like the sound of.  

Music theory and rules are really an explanation of how other people created music.  You can use these as a formula if you want to create similar sounding music.  

Learning scales is necessary if you want to create music that follows in the same tonal directions.  For example if you wanted to improvise in a major sounding mode and in the key of Eb, you would need to learn the scale of Eb major.  Sure you could tinker at the piano until you find it by sound alone - but that is a bit like reinventing the wheel.  Learning the scale takes much less time, and you can get to composing with the scale a lot faster.  

Memorizing pieces is a good way to learn styles of music and compositional technique.  It also allows you to be "no longer at the mercy of whatever is printed on the music sheet."  You may not have like the pieces you had to memorize in the past, but do not discredit this approach.  Find pieces you do like and commit them to memory.  Then try improvising in the same style of the piece.  
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