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Technique, methods and advice for learners

Postby chasingtwins » Sat Nov 10, 2007 2:00 pm

Hi... I'm 36... I took a lot of piano lessons as a kid... tapered off in high school... took a tiny bit in college... and haven't done much since then... I was playing realtively difficult pcs. leaving off with claire de lune (something I would really like to finish as I LOVE that pc.)

I sat down yesterday... FINALLY... to some simple music... actually some Christmas songs that I'd like to play with my kids... familiar to me... so I can hear if they are just wrong... but WOW... It's like I forgot how to speak English! Have developed a studder or just had a stroke... it's soooooooo Bad.

I've tried getting back to playing... first just going over old pcs. that I USED to know... but I feel that I'm just getting back into a rut.

I'd like to learn how to play blues and jazz... as something different.

But I'd really just like to be able to sit down to something simple and go through it... and really put effort into harder pcs. I watched a guy sit down to the piano to pcs he didn't know... and he just started improvising with the chords... he wasn't playing the exact music in front of him that was clear... but it was the right tune (music that people were singing to) I was never taught that way... but I would love to be able to do that... Oh... where to start.

Also, I'd be interested in hooking my yamaha up to a computer and going through some computerized lessons (I can't afford regular lessons... I have a crazy schedule... there will be times I get to practice at midnight just to get it in...)

HELP!

ANY SUGGESTIONS??????
Chasingtwins and staring at my keyboard....
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Postby Tranquillo » Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:22 pm

(I can't afford regular lessons... I have a crazy schedule... there will be times I get to practice at midnight just to get it in...)


There are some teachers that especially teach adult students to tailor to a crazy schedule.




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Postby Stretto » Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:46 pm

You could start by learning some simple chords and learn how to play them in a few different keys. Do you know some chords, key signatures, and scales? A few of the basics of keys and basic chords a person can do quite a bit with.

Write back if you want me to try to explain a few basic chords and keys.

I'm just now trying to teach myself playing simple music and adding "extras" to it or play melodies and add to them. I was experimenting with taking some level 1 pieces from a method teaches a chord approach and taking the chords given in a beginner piece and use the same notes in "fancy" ways around the keys to spice up a simple piece. For example, if there is a blocked C chord in the left hand to a simple melody, taking the same notes of that chord (C E G) and playing them in different places on the keys with different rhythms to "fill in". Also, I'm making a goal to for Christmas to come up with an improvised version of Away in a Manger by Christmas.
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Postby chasingtwins » Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:51 pm

Stretto... thanks yes... I know my chords and such... a bit rusty... I guess I just haven't really thought in terms of just adding things in... Although I probably do it from time to time... I just have never just gone through a pc. of music and just improvised...

I had actually picked up a book of sheet music at Costco of all places... it's a readers digest... full of Christmas Carols... pretty simple... I think many of the pcs are quite simple... which is why it's probably bugging me so much that I stumble through them like a bull in a china closet....

I'll try just adding some keys in... and see what I think...
Chasingtwins and staring at my keyboard....
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Postby Stretto » Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:37 pm

chasingtwins wrote:Stretto... thanks yes... I know my chords and such... a bit rusty... I guess I just haven't really thought in terms of just adding things in... Although I probably do it from time to time... I just have never just gone through a pc. of music and just improvised...

I really never even thought of taking a simple book of songs and adding things in much either until just the other day because I've always had the mindset - play and teach to read the music "exactly" as written. I have my first beginner adult student and the goal for them is to learn some Christmas music. So I was trying to select some pieces and playing through them and thinking, I hope the student doesn't find these too basic but that's about the level the student is at. I just started fiddling around with the chords that went with the almost 5 finger melodies even sometimes adding up in the right hand when the right hand wasn't playing anything. It was really fun and I was thinking now why haven't I thought of this before all those times students were playing otherwise mundane too simplistic versions that don't sound at all like what a person wants especially if pop music. You know, the songs weren't originally written for piano so there's no need to have to adhere to exactly as written! (unless the goal is to teach a beginner how play rhythm correctly from written music - if they understand that already - then embellish away!)

I was doing this with a jazz Christmas book too I have for myself of more difficult pieces and was getting tired of the rhythm doing the same thing for too long in the piece so started taking the chords and changing the rhythm.

My experimenting hasn't always sounded great right off the bat - but that's how it goes with experimenting - doesn't always come out right every time.




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