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Is this a bad habit? (Also extra question) (Read 291 times)

Offline scott103

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Is this a bad habit? (Also extra question)
« on: September 30, 2021, 04:54:05 AM »
So I've been taking a piano class, and were just starting to learn something like 3/4 time with 2 hands.

But I feel my technique in general isn't good. How do people read sheet music and play? What I mean by that, is instead of reading the note and be like "Yep that's Ab" In certain hand positions I know that say, A is 2nd finger, etc. So I play music based on where my hand is, if music is going up on the treble, I play it as "Whole whole half" etc instead of something like A B C. Is this bad? I feel like I'm not making much sense haha.

I very much so want to get better at piano, but I feel I need to maybe do things like sight-read more, practice rhythm(one of my biggest flaws atm, I found myself breathing with the beat but I don't inhale, so I run out of breath counting) and I still play the keys with my finger muscles instead of using the strength of my arm(teacher says this is bad)

What are some things a beginner can do everyday to practice and it will benefit greatly in the long run? I feel practicing the same piece doesn't help me much, as I sort of "memorize" it instead of sight reading it.

Thank you!

Offline dogperson

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Re: Is this a bad habit? (Also extra question)
«Reply #1 on: September 30, 2021, 09:51:39 AM »
You do not want to associate notes with fingers.  What you want to learn to do is see a note in the score and immediately know where it is in the keyboard. It takes time, patience snd diligence. Play as much different music as you can find. A number of beginners on another forum find the app ‘Piano Marvel’ very helpful; I have nit tried it myself.  Once you learn more, it will become automatic. You know when kids start reading? They do not immediately recognize an ‘A’; but they will learn,  the they learn that cat is a word and not just letters.

Counting; get yourself a metronome snd continue to count out loud . Just remember to breathe,

Bd patient!!! Pisno is a long-term skill, with something new to learn all the time.  View it as a marathon, not a sprint

Offline lelle

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Re: Is this a bad habit? (Also extra question)
«Reply #2 on: September 30, 2021, 04:07:55 PM »
So I've been taking a piano class, and were just starting to learn something like 3/4 time with 2 hands.

But I feel my technique in general isn't good. How do people read sheet music and play? What I mean by that, is instead of reading the note and be like "Yep that's Ab" In certain hand positions I know that say, A is 2nd finger, etc. So I play music based on where my hand is, if music is going up on the treble, I play it as "Whole whole half" etc instead of something like A B C. Is this bad? I feel like I'm not making much sense haha.

I very much so want to get better at piano, but I feel I need to maybe do things like sight-read more, practice rhythm(one of my biggest flaws atm, I found myself breathing with the beat but I don't inhale, so I run out of breath counting) and I still play the keys with my finger muscles instead of using the strength of my arm(teacher says this is bad)

What are some things a beginner can do everyday to practice and it will benefit greatly in the long run? I feel practicing the same piece doesn't help me much, as I sort of "memorize" it instead of sight reading it.

Thank you!

It's better to learn to immediately recognize notes in the score and where they are on the keyboard in the long run. But it's still ok to do what you are doing right now, you are still learning. Just keep in mind that you need to practice recognizing stuff so that what you are doing now does not become your main habit over time.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Is this a bad habit? (Also extra question)
«Reply #3 on: October 01, 2021, 01:42:47 AM »
Here's a small analogy. 

You may or may not know that many improvising guitarists (rock, jazz, etc.) are not often great sight readers.

In fact, it's pretty rare for them to read standard notation, instead preferring to use moveable patterns, with a more-or-less accurate sense of which notes they mean to strike.

However, IME, I've found it worthwhile to do the same thing as you, just on the fretboard.  It's slightly more complicated, in that each pitch has multiple positions on the fingerboard on which it can be played, and there are differences in tone depending on one's choices.

But, it takes a long time, at least for me, to escape the pedestrian "playing within the box" and simply working with the raw pitches.

On a keyboard instrument, such as a piano?  You should count yourself lucky, in that it's comparatively simple as a task.
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Is this a bad habit? (Also extra question)
«Reply #4 on: October 01, 2021, 06:42:00 AM »
How do people read sheet music and play? What I mean by that, is instead of reading the note and be like "Yep that's Ab" In certain hand positions I know that say, A is 2nd finger, etc. So I play music based on where my hand is, if music is going up on the treble, I play it as "Whole whole half" etc instead of something like A B C. Is this bad? I feel like I'm not making much sense haha.
You have described a correct way to think. You don't want to think letters all the time it's far too slow if you are playing something on the go. There are some notes we should calculate to get postiion of our hands then we simply react with the fingers for those notes within a positional bound, this is why fingering is so important for good sight reading, if your position is poor then the reading becomes more problematic.

Good sight reading skills also require a cropping of thought, you cannot pay attention to every single note and calculate each one individually, you instead observe where these notes lie within a position of your hand and you react to that pattern.

What are some things a beginner can do everyday to practice and it will benefit greatly in the long run? I feel practicing the same piece doesn't help me much, as I sort of "memorize" it instead of sight reading it.
You generally should learn many pieces (think around 50-100) before you take on sight reading music more seriously. One just needs to know how to "speak" the piano language before reading it, everything makes more sense this way. If you know all your major and minor chords/scales because of pieces you have played and exercises, then when you read them in actual music they will already be very well known and you have something to anchor onto when developing you reading skills. Sight reading also suffers a great deal if your timing and rhythm is not natural (how well you understand beat within a bar and the many ways we can segment playing between those beats coordinating the hands in all sorts of ways), so there may require a lot of training in that department also.

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