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Topic: Learning to play piano...

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  1. #1

    Learning to play piano...

    Something interesting happened on New Year's Eve...

    A friend invited me to celebrate at their new house. The house was very nicely decorated, since his wife works as an interior designer. In a corner, they had this beautiful Yamaha Baby Disklavier, playing up a storm. "Who plays piano in the house?" I asked, since I knew my friend could not carry a tune to save his life. "No one", he replied "that's why we got the player piano. It's a must for the well decorated home. Or so my wife tells me...".
    At that moment, it hit me... Damn, I wish I could play the stupid thing!!!
    I've been playing guitar for many years, but piano is a different story. The keyboards I have at home are used mainly for 'data entry' for the sequencer. I cannot get a handle of the whole left-hand, right-hand thing. I'm not very well coordinated, I suppose...
    And so, finally, we get to my question:
    Does anyone know of a good method to play piano for adults?
    It would prolly have to be video or a very informative bood, as I don't believe I could get a teacher. My schedule is bith demanding and unpredictable
    My expectations are just to be able to play a few tunes, for personal pleasure. I don't expect to become a concert pianist at this stage of the game... Maybe lead the gang into "Auld Lang Syne" next New Year's Eve...

    Any suggestions?


    Diego

  2. #2

    Re: Learning to play piano...

    Quote Originally Posted by diegom
    Something interesting happened on New Year's Eve...

    A friend invited me to celebrate at their new house. The house was very nicely decorated, since his wife works as an interior designer. In a corner, they had this beautiful Yamaha Baby Disklavier, playing up a storm. "Who plays piano in the house?" I asked, since I knew my friend could not carry a tune to save his life. "No one", he replied "that's why we got the player piano. It's a must for the well decorated home. Or so my wife tells me...".
    At that moment, it hit me... Damn, I wish I could play the stupid thing!!!
    I've been playing guitar for many years, but piano is a different story. The keyboards I have at home are used mainly for 'data entry' for the sequencer. I cannot get a handle of the whole left-hand, right-hand thing. I'm not very well coordinated, I suppose...
    And so, finally, we get to my question:
    Does anyone know of a good method to play piano for adults?
    It would prolly have to be video or a very informative bood, as I don't believe I could get a teacher. My schedule is bith demanding and unpredictable
    My expectations are just to be able to play a few tunes, for personal pleasure. I don't expect to become a concert pianist at this stage of the game... Maybe lead the gang into "Auld Lang Syne" next New Year's Eve...

    Any suggestions?


    Diego
    The most important thing is to address the task with the proper mindset. I started playing piano when I was 4 and I practiced daily. By the time I was 8, I was still not a very good piano player. So that's 4 years of steady practice during my developmental years.

    My point is, development of proficiency on a musical instrument takes a very long time. Approach with the mindset that it will years of daily practice, and you will be happier with your results.

  3. #3

    Re: Learning to play piano...

    Hi. Bollocks to spending years to bang out a tune! - unless ofcourse you want to be Alfred Brendel. Adults, espececially if they alrready play an instrument like the guitar, can learn really quickly - it's all about knowing how to learn! - trust me! Learn the basic scales & chords and you should be reasonably proficient in a year - you should at least be able to play things like After the Goldrush & other pop standards plus minor classics like Saties Gymnopedie & some easy Bach & Beethoven.

    Go for it. Cheers, Colin D

  4. #4
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Re: Learning to play piano...

    pianonanny.com is a cool way to learn. It's very elementary at first, but for me that is what i needed.

    http://www.pianonanny.com/

    David

  5. #5

    Re: Learning to play piano...

    Quote Originally Posted by korgsp200
    you can start with this book - link
    I teach private piano and I do not use this book, but I did take a look at the link you provided. It allows one to look at samples inside the book. I looked and I can tell you that it is an excellent method. I will sincerely consider switching to this book. I used Michael Arrons Adult piano course for years. I think it is the best because it is informative and uncomplicated. I tell all my students if they applied themselves they would not need me especially using the Michael Arron Adult Piano Course, Book One.

    I just looked through the book and now I've changed my mind. I will not be switching to the Alfreds. The Aaron is clean and simple. Each lesson prepairs you for the next lesson. All the information you need to play each piece is there. I've been using this book since 1961 when I was in 7th grade. I am completely self-taught and now I play pieces like Schuberts Imprumptus in G Flat, Op. 90 and If I were not so lazy and just want to compose in Finale 2007 I could learn all of Opus 10 from Chopin's Etudes in the next twelve months.

    I tell all my students the slower they go the faster they learn and the faster they go the more mistakes they make. So find a method and take your time. Practice each piece hands separately until you have mastered the material. Put the two hands together the way a house is built--one brick at a time--meaning learn one measure at a time. Master each measure beforegong on to the next one. Finally, never leave the instrument before mastering something. Dedicated a specific amount of time for learning to master something before just playing around on the instrument. Learn to master the movement of your fingers on a kitchen table or coffee table not the keyboard. The sound of a wrong note is too distracting. Hanon's "The Virtuoso Pianist In Sixty Exercises for the Piano" is the bible of mastering the fingers.

    Follow Your Dreams If while pursuing distant dreams Your bright hopes turn to gray, Don't wait for reassuring words Or hands to lead the way.

    For seldom will you find a soul With dreams the same as yours. Not often will another help you Pass through untried doors.

    If inner forces urge you To take a course unknown, Be ready to go all the way, Yes, all the way alone.

    That's not to say you shouldn't Draw lessons from the best: Just don't depend on lauding words To spur you on you quest.

    Find confdence within your heart And let it be your guide. Strive ever harder toward your dreams And they won't be denied. --Bruce B. Wilmer
    Last edited by Samantha Penigar; 01-03-2007 at 03:32 AM. Reason: spelling

  6. #6
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    Re: Learning to play piano...

    I can't believe there exists a serious short cut to playing the piano. But for the purpose of developing basic left hand-right hand technique, I would start with a book of harmonised hymn tunes. Very simple but still effective. In the same vein, a company called Omnibus Press publishes two spiral bound volumes each containing about 300 famous tunes from the classics simply harmonised for piano. They should keep you going until next new year.

  7. #7

    Cool Re: Learning to play piano...

    here's something else to consider - it's (in MHO) easier to play jazz than classical piano (by that I mean gems like Claire de lune and Fur Elise). I've managed to play these reasonably well but if you stop serious practice for even 2 weeks you are well and truly fckued. it takes - at least for me - ages/months to be able to build up a repertoire of even 3 or 4 easy-ish classics. But jazz, grab a Berklee or two and in a few weeks your out there man - you diggin me.

    seriously cool, Cheers, ColinD

  8. #8

    Re: Learning to play piano...

    Thank you all for all the pointers/tips/suggestions.
    I ordered both books (The Alfred and the Aarons) from Amazon and I'll see what fits

    GeorgeSands, what didn't you like about the Alfred's book, specifically. I truly appreciate your opinion, given that you actually TEACH! Thank you also for the 'practice tips'.

    dermod, I'm not really looking for a shortcut... well, yes I am But I believe my expectations are reasonable (for now)... I will be on the lookout for those books...


    Thanks again!!! And wish me luck in this endeavor (I'll need it!!)

  9. #9
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Learning to play piano...

    Quote Originally Posted by diegom
    Thank you all for all the pointers/tips/suggestions.
    I ordered both books (The Alfred and the Aarons) from Amazon and I'll see what fits

    GeorgeSands, what didn't you like about the Alfred's book, specifically. I truly appreciate your opinion, given that you actually TEACH! Thank you also for the 'practice tips'.

    dermod, I'm not really looking for a shortcut... well, yes I am But I believe my expectations are reasonable (for now)... I will be on the lookout for those books...


    Thanks again!!! And wish me luck in this endeavor (I'll need it!!)
    Well, the Aarons is a good series. I remember it from long ago. Bastien is also very good. But the main thing is your determination and perserverance. You already play guitar, so that is a good start. You have a musical background which requires some understanding of harmony, more so on a guitar than for instance, a trumpet. Also rhythm and accompaniment technique are required for guitar. So you have a grand start. It will be mostly a matter of exercising your present knowledge with a new technique. From your stated intentions, it seems to me that you would do very well learning to play from chord symbols, which is really good for playing pop music of the present and of the past. When I learned about that a bit more than 50 years ago, my playing skills took a great leap.

    To quote Herr Bach of Leipzig, on keyboard, "It is all a matter of hitting the right note at the right time." And also, said he, "Anyone could accomplish what I have accomplish if the would apply themselves as I have:.

    Richard

  10. #10

    Re: Learning to play piano...

    I also recommend this book. After trying out other methods, this proved to be most adapted to how I think.
    Greetings from Vienna!
    Peter
    My website: Above the staff.net

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