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Topic: Young pensioner (70) learning the piano Kbd by ear...  (Read 8152 times)

Offline jjj333

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Greetings to you wonderful piano keyboard experts and acrobats,

Some 55 years ago, I practiced the piano accordion for about 10 years by ear, but then my working life allowed less time for practice. Later on I discovered my whistling to music (audition my whistled ChopNocturne1. below).
Since the late organist Klaus Wunderlich confirmed (in writing) that my hearing seems all right, thus now in my retirement try to rekindle my past piano Kbd joys on a Yamaha Tyros3. At the moment I just play my Tyros non-stop at any rhythm and fitting melody I find interesting.
It's weird that I never run out of "puff" (i.e. "melody")... says my wife. She finds it interesting and thinks its "a big song". Yet, I reckon my skills are just plain horrible, because I play just bits and pieces of yesteryear's' melodies, which come to mind. When it gets boring, I press "Transpose" and straight away a new melody springs into mind... but it really keeps me going!! :oops:
The sad truth is... my Tyros Kbd is actually "playing me" and I wonder when the day will come on which I'll be playing the Tyros? :?
Thus, since I don't like to get into notation, I would be grateful for some practical advice on how best to advance my dexterity and mind synchronization?
 I suppose it's merely a matter of practice? Yet, I imagine "the right practice" is important!
I mean, I can hear when some combinations go wrong and thus, immediately correct them, yet progress seems to be very slow. Maybe that' normal? Once a great accordion player told me something similar. Anyway, I developed the habit to practice the piano Kbd for about 2-3 Hrs. and so, hope to getting better with spit and patience.
I'm also toying with the thought of converting my Kbd to a 3-layer Janko/Uniform layout, which I already successfully built, a couple years ago over the Kbd of my old Roland D20 Synth. That would do away with learning (& keep on practicing) additional 11 major and 11 minor scales.
Warm Regards,
Johannes K. Drinda from summery Chile

Offline jjj333

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Re: Young pensioner (70) learning the piano Kbd by ear...
Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 09:46:07 PM
 
Here's a summary of the advantages of Janko keyboard layout:
As a keen hobby musician I'm very much interested in the revival of the Janko piano. Here is a summary of the benefits the Janko keyboard layout offers to hobby musicians:
The Janko uniformity is based on simplicity: like remembering a phone number of 999999999, whereas the traditional (zebra) piano's irregularity, is comparable to a phone number of: 984761359. Guess, which number is easier to remember?   :)
Thus, I believe in breaking down the barriers to playing a musical keyboard. The ideal being to making playing an instrument as easy as singing in the shower, for most people manage to sing in the shower without knowing what key they are singing in.

For professional musicians it is important to play a keyboard layout and musical notation, which is universally in use, because they have to play on pianos in different concert halls together with different musicians. - Ones pianists acquire a high level of dexterity skills on the grossly irregular zebra piano, their daily keyboard play keeps them in practice.
Yet, hobby musicians are not playing their keyboard daily and thus the grossly irregular traditional (zebra) piano requires lots more practice time to keep them in practice.

That's where the Janko shines! The Janko layout requires far less efforts to keep them in practice. - In fact, to hobby musicians all uniform keyboards, such as button accordion, Wicky, Hayden, Dualo etc. offers the same advantage, only that different layouts have different levels of learning challenges. 
All uniform keyboards cut piano scale practice by twelve, make transposing and improvising a piece of cake, and allow wider interval stretches. The Janko layout is the closest to the traditional (zebra) piano layout and thus, requires less relearning.
 
The piano keyboard, whose design dates back to before the discovery of equal temperament, simplifies the execution of one scale (C major) and complicates the other eleven. What is more, because of its physical configuration, the correct division of function between the thumbs and the remaining fingers necessitates a high level of training to master. The problems of technique specific to the traditional piano fall into the following categories:

1) Fingering: primarily a problem of placing the thumb under-tuck, through scale practice.
2) Memorization: of scales and chord shapes in all twelve keys.
3) Muscle training: physical interface problems arising from weighting, relative keyboard and hand dimensions, and responsiveness of the piano mechanism.
4) Independence and co-ordination of hands.
The fourth is a problem for the brain, and will require practice whatever improvements we make. The first three are design issues. The Janko keyboard completely eliminates the first two problems by making the fingerings the same for all keys (like a guitar), and by offering extra rows to provide total freedom of thumb under-tuck. In addition, because the danger of getting a finger stuck between two black notes is removed, a wider interval can be covered by one hand-stretch without making the keys narrower.

The Janko keys are all of the same size, offering more finger space, for all Janko keys are wider than conventional black keys, and the conventional keyboard sometimes requires the player to play in between black keys, which allows very little finger clearance. This factor is important when playing fast passages.
Also, with Janko there is no need for crossing the arms/hands and arpeggios are greatly simplified.

It is difficult to realize the manifold possibilities which this keyboard opens up for the composer and performer. Entirely new music can be written by composers, containing chords, runs and arpeggios, utterly impossible to execute on the ordinary (zebra) piano. It is not nearly so difficult for the student to master the technique of the Janko, as to become efficient on the ordinary (zebra) piano. Liszt and Rubinstein praised the system.
The main reasons for its demise of the Janko layout were:
1) Most performers could not afford to take their pianos with them on tour, and many concert halls did not have access to a Janko piano. 
2) The music that the pianists were performing was supposed to be difficult, often extremely difficult, and the Janko keyboard made it too easy. The tension inherent in listening to a performer play a complex piece of music disappeared.
3) The Janko layout required relearning.
4) Piano teachers were to lose a considerable amount of income, due to the Janko layout's simplicity.
Thus, the Janko piano failed to achieve wide popularity. Music educators were not convinced that the benefits of the new keyboard were enough to challenge the traditional keyboard. Few pianists were willing to relearn the new keyboard with entirely different fingering. Both reasons left piano manufacturers afraid to invest in this new piano design. 

Yet now, that technical advances enable the revival of the Janko keyboard, many hobby musicians rediscovered it and are keen to enjoy its layout simplicity. Please feel free to amend this summary.

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Young pensioner (70) learning the piano Kbd by ear...
Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 12:15:48 AM
.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline jjj333

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Re: Young pensioner (70) learning the piano Kbd by ear...
Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016, 07:53:07 PM
Thank you dear adodd81802 for your heart-warming comment and the good advice. Yes, that's what I was after... for some practical advice. My hope was to create some great piano-whistling recordings. As you might have noticed, I try hard to enrich the piano with my additional emotional creativity. That of course involves some additional notes, which albeit not written by the composer,  perceived and expressed by my musical feelings.
I wished I could find a pianist, keen to create some unique recordings. - A couple of facts:
1) The piano and whistling creates a relaxing affect on musically perceptive persons.
2) There are very few such recordings on the market.
I could make 20+ recordings of the same piece, until it's perfect; i.e. not too loud, not too sharp etc. and I'm also flexible to adapt to certain musical requirements, such as keeping it simple in the first part and then augment variety and complexity in the second bit etc. I'm computer literate and have heaps of audio Apps. Here's another great tune for you to enjoy: https://app.box.com/s/6f72eb90c2002db2e9fc
We then share the costs and  profit. Good news... in the meantime I got 74 years wiser!   :)

Offline keypeg

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Re: Young pensioner (70) learning the piano Kbd by ear...
Reply #4 on: July 09, 2016, 09:37:13 PM
We then share the costs and  profit.
What do you mean by this part?  Costs of what and profits from what?  I thought you were sharing your playing.  Is there something else?
What does "Kbd" mean - keyboard?

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Young pensioner (70) learning the piano Kbd by ear...
Reply #5 on: July 10, 2016, 01:01:56 AM
I have no desire to get into the advantages -- or disadvantages -- of the Janko layout, nor yet the problems of various temperaments on the piano (which, incidentally, are a good part of why some pieces are written in particular keys; the various keys on a piano do, in fact, have slightly different tonal qualities)(I might add, come to think of it, that many of the more advanced pieces are much easier to play in the written key than in what might be seen as "easier" transpositions, and fall naturally to the hands in the written keys (most of Chopin's Nocturnes, for instance; Schubert's Impromptus also come to mind).

On music and learning, however, it sounds to me as though you might profitably a)learn to read music and b) enjoy learning to work from "fake books" -- which have the melody lines and the harmony, to be added at the pleasure of the performer.  Either that or take up a review of jazz and work in that genre (and a number of very fine jazz musicians do not read music).
Ian

Offline jjj333

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Re: Young pensioner (74) learning the piano Kbd by ear...
Reply #6 on: July 10, 2016, 04:31:21 PM
What do you mean by this part?  Costs of what and profits from what?  I thought you were sharing your playing.  Is there something else? 
  I wished I could find a pianist, keen on creating some unique recordings of piano & whistling ...and share the costs an profits of marketing. Yes, that's what I meant.   :)
[quote What does "Kbd" mean? [/quote] = keyboard
 

Offline jjj333

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Re: Young pensioner (74) learning the piano Kbd by ear...
Reply #7 on: July 10, 2016, 04:48:25 PM
Thank you "iansinclair" for your good advice.  :)
I had a look at some Tyros3 players and there's a lot I can learn from them. They even are willing to share their "know how". - For my personal enjoyment that will do me fine and keep me happy. At least my Tyros3 offers me an abundance of sound colors and rhythms. The previous instruments I owned only offered me 4- 12 sound colors and I got soon tired of it. That's why it's important to discover and fulfill one's musical fulfillment.
It's only, when I aspire to join truly great musicians that I apply my emotionally creative whistling, because I noticed ...evolution is far stronger than the best practice.
For more information about this topic, click search below!
 

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