Author Topic: Learning Piano  (Read 804 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline _33

  • The Inventor
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 9837
    • View Profile
Learning Piano
« on: May 15, 2022, 02:25:08 PM »
I decided to learn the piano.  I'm 38 and have no musical background except for playing (and sucking) at the trumpet in 7th grade.

Bought this about a week ago:  https://www.donnerdeal.com/products/donner-ddp-80-88-key-full-weighted-wood-colored-grill-digital-piano

Learning from this book: https://www.amazon.com/Adult-All-One-Course-Lesson-Theory-Technic/dp/0882848186

Also watching youtube tutorials and stuff like that.

Really just working on the basics right now.  Learning hand positions, which keys are which notes, etc.  Getting your fingers to press certain keys but not others is crazy hard.  And getting your two hands to do different things at the same time is also very hard right now.  BUT I played jingle bells today with two hands and pretty much mastered it! Very rewarding.

If any pianists/musicians have any pro-tips feel free to comment. I'm looking for any advice on how to get to the part where I'm awesome at piano and can play super good like that gorilla on Sing.



(Want to get rid of the ad? Register now for free!)

Offline Spracne

  • Point Plank'r
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • *
  • Posts: 15848
  • Scholar/Gentleman, But Super Earthy/Organic
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2022, 02:36:39 PM »
Sounds to me like you're already on the righteous path and you're just bragging about buying that hawt mid-century mod piece of ass. Seriously, I might buy that to mess around on. Are the built-in speakers decent at all?

I'm a very average pianist (KD: no). I taught myself to play by basically transliterating guitar to piano, as I have a decent grasp of music theory (my first job was as a guitar teacher). I can confidently tell you that the only other thing you need to succeed at this stage is to just devote tons of time to it. If you do that, you'll be golden.

Offline Spracne

  • Point Plank'r
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • *
  • Posts: 15848
  • Scholar/Gentleman, But Super Earthy/Organic
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2022, 02:39:07 PM »
Oh, and based on your trumpet comment, I assume you can read music, right?

Offline Spracne

  • Point Plank'r
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • *
  • Posts: 15848
  • Scholar/Gentleman, But Super Earthy/Organic
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2022, 03:24:31 PM »
Just stumbled across this old cell phone vid of me playing Mozart. Enjoy!

https://www.veed.io/view/54501582-b9a6-4600-bfe5-b3f03715f333?sharingWidget=true

Offline _33

  • The Inventor
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 9837
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2022, 04:45:06 PM »
Sounds to me like you're already on the righteous path and you're just bragging about buying that hawt mid-century mod piece of ass. Seriously, I might buy that to mess around on. Are the built-in speakers decent at all?

I'm a very average pianist (KD: no). I taught myself to play by basically transliterating guitar to piano, as I have a decent grasp of music theory (my first job was as a guitar teacher). I can confidently tell you that the only other thing you need to succeed at this stage is to just devote tons of time to it. If you do that, you'll be golden.

Yeah my wife LOVES anything mid-century modern so it was an easy sell.  I think the speakers are good but I have nothing to compare it to so I don't really know.  I hook up headphones a lot because I play after the kids are in bed.

I can sort of read music because of the trumpet but I only remember the most basic things.  Having to relearn most of it.

Nice Mozart! You are good.

My wife took piano for like 3 years as a kid but hadn't played in 25 years or so.  She's remembering things and picking it up extremely fast now.  She's on like page 85 of that book after a week and I'm still on 12 or something.  But it's good because she can help me out a lot.


Offline Spracne

  • Point Plank'r
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • *
  • Posts: 15848
  • Scholar/Gentleman, But Super Earthy/Organic
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2022, 04:52:48 PM »
Sounds to me like you're already on the righteous path and you're just bragging about buying that hawt mid-century mod piece of ass. Seriously, I might buy that to mess around on. Are the built-in speakers decent at all?

I'm a very average pianist (KD: no). I taught myself to play by basically transliterating guitar to piano, as I have a decent grasp of music theory (my first job was as a guitar teacher). I can confidently tell you that the only other thing you need to succeed at this stage is to just devote tons of time to it. If you do that, you'll be golden.

Yeah my wife LOVES anything mid-century modern so it was an easy sell.  I think the speakers are good but I have nothing to compare it to so I don't really know.  I hook up headphones a lot because I play after the kids are in bed.

I can sort of read music because of the trumpet but I only remember the most basic things.  Having to relearn most of it.

Nice Mozart! You are good.

My wife took piano for like 3 years as a kid but hadn't played in 25 years or so.  She's remembering things and picking it up extremely fast now.  She's on like page 85 of that book after a week and I'm still on 12 or something.  But it's good because she can help me out a lot.

Nice. I hope it brings you a wonderful sense of fulfillment.  :thumbs:

Offline DaBigTrain

  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 9038
  • stuxnet, meltdown, spectre, Bitcoin, ffChamp
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2022, 05:36:04 PM »
I would like to learn the piano as well.
"The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks"

https://blockstream.info/block/000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f

Offline Spracne

  • Point Plank'r
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • *
  • Posts: 15848
  • Scholar/Gentleman, But Super Earthy/Organic
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2022, 05:52:30 PM »
I would like to learn the piano as well.

In my experience, the best way to start is to start! But seriously, coming from a former instrument teacher, you gotta be willing to put in the time. Also, having a sense of rhythm is helpful!

Offline SkinnyBenny

  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 16320
  • good time rock-n-roll plastic banana FM type
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2022, 08:45:01 PM »
Canadian Friend of mine makes bank teaching piano to rich kids. AMA and I will relay the question.
"walking around mhk and crying in the rain because of love lost is the absolute purest and best thing in the world.  i hope i fall in love during the next few weeks and get my heart broken and it starts raining just to experience it one last time."   --Dlew12

Offline Spracne

  • Point Plank'r
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • *
  • Posts: 15848
  • Scholar/Gentleman, But Super Earthy/Organic
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2022, 08:52:29 PM »
@_33 I'm seriously considering pulling the trigger on this beaut. It's only slightly more expensive than the bottle of parfum 'clams recently talked me into buying. But I'm curious to know how the key weighting is. Does it feel like a real piano? How sensitive/responsive are the keys to varying pressure, soundwise? I don't want to end up with a corny sounding child's toy, here, nomsayin'?

Offline SkinnyBenny

  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 16320
  • good time rock-n-roll plastic banana FM type
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2022, 09:48:16 PM »
Weighted keys are really a must. However, as Spracs is saying, more specifics are needed, as in my experience, weighted keys do not always transfer to mean dynamic variation. Any chance you could upload a video of you playing the same thing two times — one loud and one soft — so we can hear the dynamic differemce if there is one?
"walking around mhk and crying in the rain because of love lost is the absolute purest and best thing in the world.  i hope i fall in love during the next few weeks and get my heart broken and it starts raining just to experience it one last time."   --Dlew12

Offline SkinnyBenny

  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 16320
  • good time rock-n-roll plastic banana FM type
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2022, 09:53:21 PM »
Although I just listened to the sample piece on _33’s link that is allegedly this keyboard, and I can hear some louds and some decent softs. Never seen a pedal setup on a keyboard that looks like that but it’s cool! Also it will def work better than the external plug-in single pedals that usually go into these keyboards.
"walking around mhk and crying in the rain because of love lost is the absolute purest and best thing in the world.  i hope i fall in love during the next few weeks and get my heart broken and it starts raining just to experience it one last time."   --Dlew12

Online catastrophe

  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 12737
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2022, 10:24:36 PM »
I have promised myself that before I die I’ll be a kick ass pianist. Still not sure when I’ll start in earnest though. Maybe when I’m as old as _33.

Offline _33

  • The Inventor
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 9837
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2022, 10:28:32 PM »
Weighted keys are really a must. However, as Spracs is saying, more specifics are needed, as in my experience, weighted keys do not always transfer to mean dynamic variation. Any chance you could upload a video of you playing the same thing two times — one loud and one soft — so we can hear the dynamic differemce if there is one?

I'll try to upload something tomorrow.  I can definitely play something pretty soft and also pretty loud with this piano.  I don't really know how similar it is to an actual piano though because I've barely ever played one.

Offline _33

  • The Inventor
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 9837
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2022, 10:31:55 PM »
@_33 I'm seriously considering pulling the trigger on this beaut. It's only slightly more expensive than the bottle of parfum 'clams recently talked me into buying. But I'm curious to know how the key weighting is. Does it feel like a real piano? How sensitive/responsive are the keys to varying pressure, soundwise? I don't want to end up with a corny sounding child's toy, here, nomsayin'?

I can definitely play things soft/medium/loud depending on the pressure I use.  It's not like one of those keyboards where any press creates the same volume note.  I can't really say how close it is to a real piano though because of my very limited experience.

Offline stunted

  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 4588
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2022, 11:36:20 PM »
if i had that piano as a kid i'd probably actually practice  :love:

Offline DQ12

  • PCKK7DC Survivor
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • *******
  • Posts: 21407
  • #TeamChestHair
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2022, 11:09:17 AM »
I play and really enjoy it.  I played as a kid and always kind of played enough to not get super rusty, but didn't really devote much time to it between ages 12-23 or so.  About 10ish years ago I subscribed to https://www.webpianoteacher.com/, which I really really liked and reinvigorated my love for those 88 ebony and ivory keys we all know so well!  My dad (who was more or less in my same boat, proficiency-wise) also swears by it. 

Essentially, it's this guy whose got a bank of hundreds of fairly popular songs (plenty of Joel/Elton) who does vimeo tutorials.  He basically writes the "sheet music" in a way that's really easy to understand, and goes through the entire pieces step by step.  The tutorials range in difficulty, but he's got plenty of stuff for beginners, including some primary lessons on technique and theory.  It was fairly expensive, but much cheaper than a weekly lesson or anything like that.  Highly, highly recommend it. 

One hot pro tip from me (that others may disagree with): if you're going to learn something, plan on going through the extra step of committing it to memory.  Playing a piece of sheet music is fun, but sitting down at any piano anywhere and playing your repertoire is 1000x more satisfying.

Anyway, good for you_33.  It seems like once you turn a certain age, you really have to work to find a creative outlet for yourself, which we humans crave, imo.  So scratching that itch and learning a new skill is very exciting. 



"You want to stand next to someone and not be able to hear them, walk your ass into Manhattan, Kansas." - [REDACTED]

Offline Spracne

  • Point Plank'r
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • *
  • Posts: 15848
  • Scholar/Gentleman, But Super Earthy/Organic
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2022, 03:09:47 PM »
I play and really enjoy it.  I played as a kid and always kind of played enough to not get super rusty, but didn't really devote much time to it between ages 12-23 or so.  About 10ish years ago I subscribed to https://www.webpianoteacher.com/, which I really really liked and reinvigorated my love for those 88 ebony and ivory keys we all know so well!  My dad (who was more or less in my same boat, proficiency-wise) also swears by it. 

Essentially, it's this guy whose got a bank of hundreds of fairly popular songs (plenty of Joel/Elton) who does vimeo tutorials.  He basically writes the "sheet music" in a way that's really easy to understand, and goes through the entire pieces step by step.  The tutorials range in difficulty, but he's got plenty of stuff for beginners, including some primary lessons on technique and theory.  It was fairly expensive, but much cheaper than a weekly lesson or anything like that.  Highly, highly recommend it. 

One hot pro tip from me (that others may disagree with): if you're going to learn something, plan on going through the extra step of committing it to memory.  Playing a piece of sheet music is fun, but sitting down at any piano anywhere and playing your repertoire is 1000x more satisfying.

Anyway, good for you_33.  It seems like once you turn a certain age, you really have to work to find a creative outlet for yourself, which we humans crave, imo.  So scratching that itch and learning a new skill is very exciting.

I only play from memory. I suck at sight reading. Also, this Joel you speak of. We talkin' 70s Joel, or that putrid 80s Joel?

Offline tdaver

  • Katpak'r
  • ***
  • Posts: 1613
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2022, 03:35:18 PM »
I took lessons for a long time.  I still play occasionally but have always regretted not continuing formally in college.  Not sure what your end goal is, but here are a few comments from my experience.

It may take years before you can just hop on a piano and wow people.  Stick with it.  It won’t always be easy to keep going but it’s an awesome skill.

Always have song or two you’re working on just for fun in addition to whatever is in your training program.  Those are what will get you to sit down and start practicing.

If your progression stalls, consider an actual teacher.

Offline _33

  • The Inventor
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 9837
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2022, 04:40:45 PM »
Great comments tdaver, thank you.

I'm open to the idea that I may never be able to hop on a piano and wow people.  Right now I'm intrinsically motivated enough that getting better and enjoying myself is it's own reward. I suppose it would be nice to show off at some point though.


Offline Spracne

  • Point Plank'r
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • *
  • Posts: 15848
  • Scholar/Gentleman, But Super Earthy/Organic
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2022, 05:32:17 PM »
You do whatever works best for you. Personally, I like learning by doing, so I would painstakingly memorize songs I liked/wanted to play. One of the first was Lady Madonna by the Beatles. It's pretty doable for a novice, such as I. Just find a good arrangement and get to learning. I find it more satisfying to learn/play songs than to practice scales or w/e.

Offline Spracne

  • Point Plank'r
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • *
  • Posts: 15848
  • Scholar/Gentleman, But Super Earthy/Organic
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2022, 05:34:42 PM »
^Also how I learned how to play guitar, at least initially. Had a MetallicA tab book and would just memorize Kirk Hammett solos.  :Skillz:

Offline Spracne

  • Point Plank'r
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • *
  • Posts: 15848
  • Scholar/Gentleman, But Super Earthy/Organic
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2022, 05:37:37 PM »
You certainly pick up on patterns and stuff, if you're analytically inclined whatsoever. This thread has me hyped to both buy the digital piano in the OP and also either a violin or a cello, because hell yeah.

Offline BIG APPLE CAT

  • smelly poor
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 3347
  • slide rule enthusiast
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2022, 09:18:38 AM »
I play and really enjoy it.  I played as a kid and always kind of played enough to not get super rusty, but didn't really devote much time to it between ages 12-23 or so.  About 10ish years ago I subscribed to https://www.webpianoteacher.com/, which I really really liked and reinvigorated my love for those 88 ebony and ivory keys we all know so well!  My dad (who was more or less in my same boat, proficiency-wise) also swears by it. 

Essentially, it's this guy whose got a bank of hundreds of fairly popular songs (plenty of Joel/Elton) who does vimeo tutorials.  He basically writes the "sheet music" in a way that's really easy to understand, and goes through the entire pieces step by step.  The tutorials range in difficulty, but he's got plenty of stuff for beginners, including some primary lessons on technique and theory.  It was fairly expensive, but much cheaper than a weekly lesson or anything like that.  Highly, highly recommend it. 

One hot pro tip from me (that others may disagree with): if you're going to learn something, plan on going through the extra step of committing it to memory.  Playing a piece of sheet music is fun, but sitting down at any piano anywhere and playing your repertoire is 1000x more satisfying.

Anyway, good for you_33.  It seems like once you turn a certain age, you really have to work to find a creative outlet for yourself, which we humans crave, imo.  So scratching that itch and learning a new skill is very exciting.

I only play from memory. I suck at sight reading. Also, this Joel you speak of. We talkin' 70s Joel, or that putrid 80s Joel?

whoa, hey buddy...you come after billy...i will know precisely why i go to extremes.

cracks knees. will travel.

unrelated, but question for any ITK pianists...whenever i (zero experience on the piano) am playing the air piano (frequently) my go-to move is thumb and ring finger hitting at the same time. What do you think? Am i probably a natural? Should i take up this instrument?

Offline _33

  • The Inventor
  • Pak'r Élitaire
  • ****
  • Posts: 9837
    • View Profile
Re: Learning Piano
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2022, 09:31:00 AM »
Some photos for Spracne to see the real thing.  The only thing I don't like is how the cords are exposed due to the minimal design, but oh well.




Now here is some audio I recorded this morning.  It it was recorded using my phone which was lying next to me on the bench so not great quality.  In the first I played some scales soft, medium and then loud.  And in the second I played jingle bells soft, then loud.  (I also added my own little flair at the end of the 2nd jingle bells for a little treat)

https://streamable.com/ped70g

https://streamable.com/wi6voi