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Need guidance to walk the path of a pianist (Read 553 times)

Offline virtuoso_joy

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Need guidance to walk the path of a pianist
« on: July 23, 2021, 01:56:48 PM »
Hello Everyone,

Greetings. This is my first post on this forum. Recently I have started learning the piano, western Classical way. I have played keyboard for a few years before. So I have my fair share of exposure on sheet music and primary understanding of scales and time signatures.
I am starting fresh on the piano and I would like to consider myself as an absolute beginner. Due lockdown and covid I am unable to get a teacher for me now and online tution is never really helped me in learning music. So I am thinking to give it headstart on my own.
I know it is a very common question here, but please please suggest me excercise books / excercises which will me help developing various techniques , proper understanding of dynamics etc.
I would appreciate my heart out if someone can help me with the excercise in a specific order. Like which one to start with and which to proceed next and level up. In a such a way that each excercise help me to understand the next level of excercise.


Thank you in advance  :)

Offline quantum

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Re: Need guidance to walk the path of a pianist
«Reply #1 on: July 23, 2021, 03:01:45 PM »
Learn real music first, and learn piano technique from that music.  Use exercises to supplement the the learning  of music.  The standard scales, chords and arpeggios, will provide learning material for many years, so if you want exercises, start with those. 

Get started with improvisation early, preferably now.  Learn to develop you ear, to pick out melodies and play around with them on the piano.  Western classical music is very dependent on scores, and it is far too easy for one to become a slave to the score.  Learn to make music without paper. 

Can you list things you are currently able to do at the piano, or music you can play.  It can help people here recommend some more specific material.

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline virtuoso_joy

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Re: Need guidance to walk the path of a pianist
«Reply #2 on: July 23, 2021, 03:38:56 PM »
@quantum,

Thank you for your reply. This is what I have learnt so far-
1. I can pick up a song melody in a decent amount of time.
2. I never mistake understanding a time signature.
3. I have done ear training before , so whenever I hear a song or a piano piece , I can figure out the scale and the notes.

However , as I understand , my left hand playing skills are not at all satisfactory. If I play chords , I  don't know how how to play variations with that chords at the same time I am playing melodies in my right hand.

I am not sure what you meant by " learn piano techniques from a song and use excercises to suppliment the learning".... I am sure this is where I am lacking. As a Student I always go for the ABCD first than to write a paragraph and I need a suggestion to learn the ABCD in a right way and with proper methods.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Need guidance to walk the path of a pianist
«Reply #3 on: July 23, 2021, 10:37:16 PM »
Well, I don't know exactly.  quantum is a better piano picker than I am, as far as mechanics go.

But you could do worse than how I'm relearning the guitar at the moment:  it's painstaking, difficult work, that throws everything out of the window as far as guitar magazine type "great guitar solos in tablature" window dressing goes.

How I'm doing it in guitar (which is jazz guitar on a hollow body.....I know all about Bach transcriptions for guitar.....and.....it's challenging for me on the modern acoustic piano and the organ, so that's for later) is I picked three tunes in different keys and at different tempi.

It doesn't matter, but I picked about the easiest tunes I could think of, and I've got:  "Love Walked In" (I do it in Ab), "Solar" (Cm), "Easy Living" (Eb).  Medium swing, real fast, and ballad, respectively.

That's just to illustrate the idea of segregating and organizing one's material.  The genre doesn't matter so much:  rather that one should be attentive to what one wishes to learn. 

After all, there are only so many ways to voice a V7b9 chord. 

So, I have all these chords to learn.  From transcribing off the record in standard notation.  Now I spent two hours today using blank "chord diagram" things trying to figure out which strings to do which note.

But, each voicing, as in, for example, Jim Hall accompanying Bill Evans, is transposable by semitones.  And there are common tones.

I'd just set your sights to such:  do one or two tunes or keys, and really know it or them inside and out. 

Obviously, easier done than said, but there are some tricks that are not so difficult.

Pick a tune or two or several (not too many) and go for it.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline klavieronin

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Re: Need guidance to walk the path of a pianist
«Reply #4 on: July 24, 2021, 12:49:00 AM »
This is a book highly recommend. It's probably the only book I know that properly explains how technique relates to music and how you can use it to improve the expressiveness of your playing. It presents a series of exercises together with some music that requires the techniques learnt in those exercises. There is a beginner/intermediate version and an advanced version.
https://print.halleonard.com.au/products/e52281/tone-touch-and-technique-young-pianist

Offline virtuoso_joy

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Re: Need guidance to walk the path of a pianist
«Reply #5 on: July 24, 2021, 05:25:50 AM »
@klavieronin ,

Thank you so much for your help. This kind of recommendation is exactly what I am looking for.

I will explore this book for sure.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Need guidance to walk the path of a pianist
«Reply #6 on: July 24, 2021, 11:24:45 AM »
@klavieronin ,

Thank you so much for your help. This kind of recommendation is exactly what I am looking for.

I will explore this book for sure.

Good.  I'm glad this forum met your exacting needs.

So you gonna go ahead and learn calculus in high school, and stuff?

Pretty rad, man.  Awesome, dude.

My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline quantum

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Re: Need guidance to walk the path of a pianist
«Reply #7 on: July 26, 2021, 12:44:42 PM »
I am not sure what you meant by " learn piano techniques from a song and use excercises to suppliment the learning".... I am sure this is where I am lacking. As a Student I always go for the ABCD first than to write a paragraph and I need a suggestion to learn the ABCD in a right way and with proper methods.

When most people teach children to speak, they do not begin with rules in spelling, grammar, sentence structure, plot development, etc.  They begin by repeating simple words.  From simple words, on to simple phrases.  From simple phrases, maybe teaching the order of alphabet.  A child will gain the ability to effectively communicate, without learning the formal rules of a language.  Rules come later, as the child gains facility in the language.  Applied language before theory.

Similar in music, we want to develop a musical sense first.  So we explore the instrument with our hands, and get involved with playing and listing to real music.  When our facility at making music grows, then we learn about techniques and theory in order to make our music better.  A music first approach. 

Most people learn an instrument because they want to play music, not because they want to become good at playing exercises.  A music first approach. 


However , as I understand , my left hand playing skills are not at all satisfactory. If I play chords , I  don't know how how to play variations with that chords at the same time I am playing melodies in my right hand.

To take your specific example. 

If one were to study a few pieces with a variety of left hand patterns, one would be learning real music at the same time as broadening knowledge of how to use left hand patterns.  A music first approach.

Contrast this to, if one were given a list of left hand patterns as exercises.  One would learn the exercises, but likely come back with the question of: how does this work in real music? 

The music first approach would have taught both the left hand patterns and at the same time modelled scenarios of how those patterns were applied in real music.  A student would have a head start on applying these patterns to different melodies, because a real musical example has already been planted in the students aural and haptic senses. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach