I now want to learn the piano

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
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tubeman
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by tubeman » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:02 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:39 pm
At the moment I'm looking at the owners manual of the Yamaha P-115. That's looking a bit better.
But I think at this mid-price range, I'm probably asking for a little bit too much. Mind, I've played Yamaha's £3,000 electric grand, and it's not perfect - I'd rather buy a reconditioned acoustic grand at that price.
I recently bought a Yamaha P-115 for silent practicing so I don't drive my wife and/or the neighbors crazy while endlessly repeating difficult passages. For its intended purpose, it's fine (getting passages burned into my fingers and brain), but the tone, touch, and dynamics do not come close to my acoustic Yamaha B3 upright. (I'd hope it would sound better since it cost 10x what I paid for the 115!)

Never settle for a 61 key, unweighted keyboard. While they are less expensive than an 88/weighted model, that is false economy if you want to seriously play the piano as those limitations will quickly show themselves and you'll end up buying a full keyboard eventually!
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:15 pm

As I was listening to Ivor Cutler the other day, I realised that it would be nice to have a keyboard that synthesises the harmonium, but I doubt if such an animal exists, or if it does, it will have 1,000 voices, all of which will be dreadful.
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

JohnB
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by JohnB » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:28 pm

Just a a bit about my experience, for what it is worth.

A couple of decades ago I had more or less given up on the classical guitar because of frustration with my right hand.

I wondered about the piano (which I played a little some 40+ years prior) so got hold of an oldish digital piano to test out the idea. It was surprising how very quickly I picked up the bass clef and the position of the notes after such a long time and things were going OK. So I got a recommendation for a teacher.

That was when the digital piano began to be a significant problem - the feel of the action was so different to my teachers grand that the lessons were very difficult. Eventually, after some research, I decided to splash out on a Kawaii CA63 digital piano (then pretty expensive), which had a touch very similar to my teachers Schimmel grand - and things got a whole lot better.

I did reasonably well with the piano - eventually playing such things as Shostakovich Prelude in C, Janacek "Our Evenings" from "On an overgrown path", etc - bit I was seduced back to classical guitar.

One interesting aspect of the piano vs the classical guitar is that (IMO) the level of, say, Grade 8 on the guitar is significantly "easier" than the equivalent on the piano. (For example, years ago I used to play quite a few of the Grade 8 pieces on the guitar, whereas Grade 8 on the piano seemed much, much more difficult.)

[Edit] There was a point that I was trying to make, though I got a bit side tracked: keyboards/digital pianos can be a real boon, especially as far as the neighbours are concerned, but the quality and touch of their keyboard actions varies wildly. If the object is to get somewhere near the touch of a real piano - some are reasonable, a few might be very good, but many are poor. This might not matter to you, or it might prove a very significant obstacle to both technical and musical progress.

A newcomer to the piano would probably want something cheap to try out on (not the Kawaii digital piano I eventually bought, which cost £2k) but bear in mind that the cheapish keyboard/digital piano you start off on could limit your progress and your enjoyment.
Last edited by JohnB on Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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tubeman
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by tubeman » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:34 pm

Initially, I'd say the piano is considerably easier to play than the guitar, but it quickly gets more difficult!
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Michael.N.
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by Michael.N. » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:24 pm

I was a little surprised when I learned that 2 octave hands together Bb scale was in the grade 2 piano exam. Might be easy for a grade 3 or 4 player but it certainly didn't seem easy to me.
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ddray
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by ddray » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:03 pm

tubeman wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:34 pm
Initially, I'd say the piano is considerably easier to play than the guitar, but it quickly gets more difficult!
I'd say they're equally difficult but in different ways. The difficulty with piano I think is in handling polyphony, while with other instruments like the guitar and (as I'm finding out) woodwinds the difficulty is in tone production and articulation.

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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by JohnB » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:32 am

Michael.N. wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:24 pm
I was a little surprised when I learned that 2 octave hands together Bb scale was in the grade 2 piano exam. Might be easy for a grade 3 or 4 player but it certainly didn't seem easy to me.
I was intrigued by this. I see that case with the Trinity grade exams. In a way there is a certain logic: looking at the major scales covered - the Initial Grade has C maj, Grade 1 has G maj and F maj (1 sharp and 1 flat) and Grade 2 has D maj and Bb maj (2 sharps and 2 flats).

The major jump is that in Grade 1 the scales are one octave, hands separately whereas Grade 2 is two octaves, hands together.

In the classical guitar music the flat keys are notable by their rarity (apart from F maj/D min) whereas they are just as prevalent as sharp keys in the piano world (and, to me, they have a different "feel" to the sharp keys).
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by Andrew Fryer » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:38 am

The difficulty with the piano may simply be that it was so popular than more virtuoso music was written for it than for any other instrument. I guess I read that somewhere. Also, as it's so popular, there may be a glut of teachers and they may be poor quality, making it harder to learn than it is.

The major difference between one octave and two is that in one octave you only swivel on your middle finger. In two octaves you also get to swivel on your ring finger. If you'll forgive the expression(s)!

(well, that's the scale of C. Bb has two swivels in one octave. But the second octave is ring finger to thumb, which is the hardest)
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

ddray
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by ddray » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:45 am

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:38 am
The difficulty with the piano may simply be that it was so popular than more virtuoso music was written for it than for any other instrument. I guess I read that somewhere. Also, as it's so popular, there may be a glut of teachers and they may be poor quality, making it harder to learn than it is.
If the only piano piece we had happened to be Beethoven's Op. 106, it would still be massively difficult to play. I don't see where the extensiveness of the repertoire has anything to do with the "difficulty" of an instrument. I've heard the oboe is pretty tough to master, but we're not really awash in solo oboe repertoire. You must've misconstrued.

razz
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by razz » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:49 am

I purchased Yamaha digital piano (DGX-500) about 10 years ago. A friend, that plays jazz piano, taught me some basics. For the most part, I play popular songs, blues and I find it helpful if I'm working on transcriptions.
My niece plays the clarinet. We sometimes play duets (clarinet and guitar). I find it helpful in learning the melody, by playing the clarinet part, using the synthesizer mode.
My informal training serves well for my purposes

Classical piano training would be starting at square one. You need to work through all the technical studies and progress from beginning to advanced pieces (just like the guitar).

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by Andrew Fryer » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:41 am

razz wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:49 am
You need to work through all the technical studies
Whoah! I played very few studies to get to grade 8. The main ones are Czerny, but don't forget he wrote two volumes - one for speed and one for dexterity - very few people would ever play all of them - you wait for your teacher to prescribe them. I never played any of the speed ones and only ever about three of the dexterity ones, afaicr. For a start, scales and arpeggios teach you both speed and dexterity.
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razz
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by razz » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:10 am

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:41 am
razz wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:49 am
You need to work through all the technical studies
Whoah! I played very few studies to get to grade 8. The main ones are Czerny, but don't forget he wrote two volumes - one for speed and one for dexterity - very few people would ever play all of them - you wait for your teacher to prescribe them. I never played any of the speed ones and only ever about three of the dexterity ones, afaicr.
I will rephrase. "All of the necessary technical studies". ABRSM syllabus shows 5-10 scales and arpeggio requirements per grade. That's a lot of technical work.

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tormodg
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by tormodg » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:25 am

I have accumulated 5 years of piano lessons (ie, with teachers). I ended up buying the book "How to play piano despite years of lessons" after which I gave it up. :)

I'll stick with CG. But good luck on your endeavours.
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by Andrew Fryer » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:26 am

razz wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:10 am
ABRSM syllabus shows 5-10 scales and arpeggio requirements per grade. That's a lot of technical work.
Looks like you caught me just before a server replication showed you my last, additional, sentence!
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

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slidika
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Re: I now want to learn the piano

Post by slidika » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:51 pm

I was a piano major in college, and, like many others here, HIGHLY recommend weighted keys. Starting out, 5 octaves is probably sufficient, but if you can get the full 88 without too much problem, then that's what I would do -- would save an upgrade somewhere down the road.
Whenever I am not ready for my music lesson, I call it 'facing the music'.

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