Author Topic: Playing piano on T5  (Read 4103 times)

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Offline adrianed

Playing piano on T5
« on: August 07, 2022, 03:57:57 AM »
Hi folks,
Playing piano on the T5 or on any instrument is a different technique to playing most other voices
I cannot work out what to do with the left hand,
I have considered piano lessons but doing that seems it will take too long to play anything,
Has anyone heard of Decplay  I have tried to gain some knowledge from their three free tutorials, it looks like it is a quick learning method, especially for a person who has been practising keyboard for some years already
Just want to be sure before I commit myself to paying out money,
Has anyone tried the Declan or Decplay method am interested to know what you think
If there is a better method of quick learning I would be pleased to know about it, keeping in mind that an 86 year old person is short of years ahead to do new things
Adrian
 

Offline mikf

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2022, 09:59:22 AM »
Adrian
In a way, by choosing an arranger you have already chosen the ďquick learnĒ way to play. And you can of course play piano in a very similar way, ie lh chords and rh melody. I have no personal knowledge of the methods you mention but that is what most of these ďquick learnĒ methods I have seen really do anyway. It will almost certainly use the lead sheet or chord numbering  methods which is what many arranger players use anyway. So I donít see a downside in trying it - apart from cost.
Because there is no auto accompaniment on a piano it wil teach you how to split the chord into individual notes like a little arpeggio that can be played as a lh accompaniment.
I would say no harm in trying it,  at your age you will not evolve into a great piano player, but you will learn something, and it will also help your arranger playing. As an arranger player already you will have a leg up.
The fact is that most good piano players evolve to this type of playing anyway, especially ear players, jazz players and band players. But they usually have a big time grounding in traditional playing and all the exercises already, so they can become really good, hitting levels that will be well beyond you. These quick learn methods skip the first step, going straight to this, so keep expectations reasonable.
Mike

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2022, 10:15:41 AM »
Thankyou Mike,
I wish I had started out as a piano player, it might then have been easier to turn to keyboards later with the way we play the chords on them, ie similar to organ playing
But we only get one chance to run our lives, we canít turn the clock back, pity we canít see ahead
We see pianos everywhere and in our families homes, they canít understand why I canít play their piano.
Adrian
« Last Edit: August 07, 2022, 10:17:16 AM by adrianed »
 

Offline mcbrown

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2022, 10:46:12 AM »
I have been using this system and have found it very good for my purpose. I am originally a guitar player.

https://pianoforall.com/

Murray
Genos + MS01, TouchMix 30 Dig Mixer, Fender Strat & Tele, Cole Clark FL3, Music Man 210 75 and Behringer: FCB1010, B1200D Subs x 2 & B205D f/b spkrs x4, Boss: GT-1 Guitar Fx, Roland: GR-55 Guitar Synth, MAUI 28 G2 & 5 GO x2, Korg EK-50L Arranger, Zoom L-8
 

Offline ton37

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2022, 10:51:21 AM »
Hi @adrianed, very recognizable, a few of my family have piano's too,  but my remarq is always: I play the keyboards and allthougt it has keys, it is not a piano ( but a pianosound). I mostly explain it furthermore: I play guitar too and allthought that has strings I cannot play a violin.  ;)
Tmo better stick what you can and like on your T5. Or play along with some midifiles? Enjoy ;)
My best regards,
Ton
---------------------------
Former KB:Technics Sx-Kn7000, Tyros 5/76, Genos, S770, S975.
 

Offline Graham UK

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2022, 11:15:18 AM »
I have a DGX670 Piano but play as an arranger.
After triggering each chord I add left hand arpeggios where I feel it's needed which adds interest to my playing.
DGX670
 

Offline EileenL

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2022, 11:23:08 AM »
There are a set of Piano backing styles on the CVP piano's that work very well on tyros 5 and give you the full piano playing sound when used.
 
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Offline mikf

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2022, 11:55:02 AM »
Some instruments are just much harder to learn than others. The arranger is designed to be easy, so although it looks a lot like a piano, there is a huge gulf in difficulty. Most good piano players can play an arranger pretty much immediately, just learn which buttons to press, but it doesnít work the other way round. Some Piano players who play purely by rote ie strictly following sheet music, may have a transition time, but if they if they have chord knowledge, or can also play by ear or lead sheets, its really very simple for them to play an arranger.
Of course getting to be really good at any instrument takes talent and dedication, but some are definitely easier to get up to basic level than others. Over the years I have played a few instruments to decent level, and I see piano is way up there in difficulty, while guitar, accordion, arranger, drums are examples of instruments that were fairly easy to get started, and up to medium level, ie public performance, especially if you already play piano. Thatís why those instruments are so widely played.
Yes, there are some piano styles on the arrangers that can sound ok. But there is so much more to real piano playing than this, or even adding a few arpeggio notes in your left. Piano players play everything across both hands, chord notes in the rh, basses in the left Ö.. and so on. Itís very different to basic arranger playing.

The arranger can work well though with true piano playing, you set the fingering mode to AI Full keyboard, select a style and play pretty normal piano.
Mike
« Last Edit: August 07, 2022, 02:20:05 PM by mikf »
 

Offline EileenL

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2022, 04:05:08 PM »
If you want to play pure Piano then it is essential that you read Bass Clef music. You can't just use block chords. You also have to know how to use sustain correctly.

Offline mikf

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2022, 04:43:00 PM »
Donít know the specific system Eileen, but it probably doesnít teach traditional sheet music reading, especially bass clef. Probably works around techniques to devise your own bass and accompaniment from chords. Stride piano is a version of this, although takes much practice. I donít think the system would be harmful to an older person just wanting to play tunes, with no desire to read/play Classical or sit exams.
As I said above, many of us classically trained players evolve to this kind of playing anyway, although with all the training, we are much better at it than someone like Adrian can ever aspire to be. Listen to David Read as an example. He uses experience and knowledge to make it sound like he is reading a very complex score, but he isnít, it comes out of his head from structure and chord knowledge.  I do the same, ÖÖ..many piano players can do it well. ÖÖ..eg Oscar Peterson???
Mike

Offline Toril S

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2022, 04:57:02 PM »
I have been attending piano lessons for a year now. I play accordion and arrangers, so I still struggle with my left hand on the piano. I will never be a good piano player at my age, but the lessons have given me much more insight into how chords and arps are built. You nedd a 88 keys instrument. Good luck! It is fun, but hard work!
Toril S

Genos, Tyros 5, PSR S975, PSR 2100
and PSR-47.
Former keyboards: PSR-S970.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLVwWdb36Yd3LMBjAnm6pTQ?view_as=subscriber



Toril's PSR Performer Page
 

Offline emasters

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2022, 07:51:45 PM »
One way to strengthen your left hand's ability to play independently is to pick a T5 style you like then play only the drum part (turn off accompaniment).  Turn on the left voice and select a Bass voice (I typically set the left hand range up to the B right below middle C).  Turn on a right hand voice (say piano, guitar, vibes, etc.).  Then work on a song.  The drum part will keep you on-time with the rhythm.  Start with just the left hand playing a bass part along with the drums.  When you get a small bass section comfortable, add chords with the right hand (I typically drop the right hand down one octave so the chords are in a better range).  Once that's comfortable, you can switch from chords to melody with the right hand (octave setting back to normal for melody).  The trick is to do this in very small sections.  And with the T5, you can initially reduce the tempo as needed, then slowly bring it up to normal speed as you improve.  If you do this a lot (practice) and are patient, your left hand will develop.  For inspiration on what to play with your left hand, find some recordings you like and focus in on what the bass player is doing - transcribe that (copy it) and work on it with your left hand.  This approach can be very satisfying and over time, you'll be surprised by how much your playing will grow.

BTW, a great book to read if you're trying to improve at something that requires body/brain coordination (like piano playing) is "Mastery" by George Leonard.  Very quick and easy read (uses martial arts as an example, but same applies to music) - and helps to set expectations about how we learn and grow.  An essential read for those trying to improve their playing ability.

Offline Toril S

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2022, 09:41:59 PM »
Thanks for the excellent advice!!
« Last Edit: August 07, 2022, 09:45:01 PM by Toril S »
Toril S

Genos, Tyros 5, PSR S975, PSR 2100
and PSR-47.
Former keyboards: PSR-S970.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLVwWdb36Yd3LMBjAnm6pTQ?view_as=subscriber



Toril's PSR Performer Page
 

Offline mikf

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2022, 10:51:43 PM »
What emasters suggests has some value if you want to master bass riffs in tempo, but that is only one piano style, and quite advanced. For example, playing rubato on piano is very common, and desirable, and completely different technique, with a lot of feeling.
If you want to improve lh control very little beats the traditional pxercises - all the scales, major and minor scales, and arpeggios etc played in both hands. Boring maybe, but effective.
Because playing piano effectively is about so much more than lh improvement. Most people playing arrangers dont play properly with the rh either. You cant get away with single note melody lines with your rh on piano. You are producing it all across both hands , melody, harmony, passing notes, fills and maybe rhythm. Two hands and 10 fingers all working together.
Well, I didn't say it was easy ;)
Mike     

Offline Toril S

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2022, 11:13:10 PM »
So true Mike. I have been learning this the hard way now!
Toril S

Genos, Tyros 5, PSR S975, PSR 2100
and PSR-47.
Former keyboards: PSR-S970.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLVwWdb36Yd3LMBjAnm6pTQ?view_as=subscriber



Toril's PSR Performer Page
 

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2022, 06:28:52 AM »
Thanks for the link to Pianoforall Murray,
I took a quick look at it yesterday, might be helpful, I will have a more thorough look to see how to make use of it.
Thanks again,
Adrian
 

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2022, 06:41:14 AM »
Thanks for that advice ton37.
 I guess I just donít like to disappoint folks with excuses, there was a time when I couldnít play anything even on a keyboard, that is for most of my life
There is a challenge to learn something new, but I remember the difficult and disappointing days in the beginning so I am reluctant to go back to that
Adrian
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 07:16:02 AM by adrianed »
 

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2022, 06:49:49 AM »
Thankyou Eileen for your two replies of help, itís all good for knowledge,
Adrian
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 07:16:45 AM by adrianed »
 

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2022, 06:52:43 AM »
Hi Graham UK,
Ill see if I can do that.
Adrian
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 07:17:22 AM by adrianed »
 

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2022, 07:02:52 AM »
Mike are you quietly telling me I wonít be a concert pianist by Christmas ? thatís a blow, perhaps I should cancel the bookings
All the best
Adrian
 

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2022, 07:06:24 AM »
Thanks Toril S
Adrian
 

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2022, 07:14:57 AM »
Thanks emasters,
That sounds very interesting, I will have a go at that
Adrian
 

Offline DerekA

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2022, 11:15:52 AM »
As a *very simple* starter for 10, try plaing the chord root doubled on the left hand.

Ignore whether the chord is major, minor, diminished, flat 5 sharp 9 etc  ......

If the chord is C - play 2 C's using your left thumb and little finger.

If the chord is slashed (e.g. C/D) play 2 D's using your left thumb and little finger.

Offline stephenm52

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2022, 01:17:50 PM »
I have been attending piano lessons for a year now. I play accordion and arrangers, so I still struggle with my left hand on the piano. I will never be a good piano player at my age, but the lessons have given me much more insight into how chords and arps are built. You nedd a 88 keys instrument. Good luck! It is fun, but hard work!

I started piano lessons at a young age so I have nothing to add.  However, speaking of the left hand unless I workout exercises for both hands but especially the left hand my fingers get weak and it can be a struggle to play piano properly.  Sometimes the left hand doesn't feel as comfortable as it should. I attribute that to using the arranger so many years, the left hand gets lazy.
GENOS, SX900, Clavinova CVP 307, Korg Pa4x.........

Steve's Genos Recordings
Steve's Gig Disks
 

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2022, 10:12:52 PM »
Hi Stephenm52,
I have noticed it takes a lot more effort to press the keys on a normal piano, I have not looked at them yet but perhaps the newer keyboard type pianos are more touch sensitive even with the key weighting
Thankyou for taking the time to look into this conversation
I am not put off the idea of trying piano playing even after some negative replies,
My original question was what to do with my left hand and is there any easy methods to get me going, but it seemed to encourage one to tell me I would never be able to play and how good they are themselves
Thankyou
Adrian
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 10:27:54 PM by adrianed »
 

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2022, 10:15:06 PM »
Ok DerekA
I will try that
Adrian
 

Offline stephenm52

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2022, 10:44:35 PM »
Hi Stephenm52,
I have noticed it takes a lot more effort to press the keys on a normal piano, I have not looked at them yet but perhaps the newer keyboard type pianos are more touch sensitive even with the key weighting
Thankyou for taking the time to look into this conversation
I am not put off the idea of trying piano playing even after some negative replies,
My original question was what to do with my left hand and is there any easy methods to get me going, but it seemed to encourage one to tell me I would never be able to play and how good they are themselves
Thankyou
Adrian

Youíre welcome Adrian.
GENOS, SX900, Clavinova CVP 307, Korg Pa4x.........

Steve's Genos Recordings
Steve's Gig Disks
 

Offline mikf

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2022, 09:55:19 AM »
Adrian, actually your original question was whether anyone had knowledge of Decplay, and if they thought it worthwhile.
If you want to know simple things to do with your your lh, to get started I could tell you, - play the appropriate chord in your lh while you play the melody in your right, just like on the arranger except you hold it with the sustain pedal. When you get the hang of this, try splitting the chord into a mini arpeggio, fitting the notes into the tempo ÖÖÖ.and so on. Then start trying to alter the sequence of the notes for more interesting accompaniment, learn to play bass and chord separate like Ö. Etc etc. But that would be what the course does in much more detail than I can do here. So if you want to learnÖ.get the course.
There are many of these courses out there, they are all similar, they teach piano playing based on chords, rather than the traditional method, so you get to playing tunes much faster. The original I think was Scott Houston, ďthe piano guyĒ. You can actually get some free Scott Houston videos around the internet, that show the basics of how these methods work. Maybe that would let you try out whether you want to do this before parting with money.
But I can tell you right now that the issue is not going to be the cost. Or whether you picked the best course. Itís going to be that the arranger is made to make you sound good playing exactly this way, but the piano is not. You will probably get the hang of the basics quite quickly, especially as you already play arranger this way, but to sound good will take ages, developing improved playing style, better rh etc. The real test is will you be able stick with it when you can just revert to arranger and sound so much better 8)
Mike
« Last Edit: August 09, 2022, 10:15:24 AM by mikf »
 

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2022, 10:49:09 AM »
Mike,
The question has always been in my mind, do I want to start at the beginning again with another type of instrument.
People come to my home and if they ask me to play, I can play a tune or two but when I go to their homes and they have a piano I canít play anything on it
I believe I can learn to play few songs on piano to get me over this problem
This was what made me send in the post, trying get any tips I could from any angle.
I have received a few tips that I am going to try
I was probably in my 50s when I started learning organ and then keyboard and it seemed very difficult but it didnít stop me or my wife going for weekly lessons.
Adrian
 

Offline mikf

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2022, 01:16:51 PM »
Adrian
Playing piano well enough for your own enjoyment, I think that's possible regardless of age, in a few months, if you spend a bit of time each day. Especially since you already play and are not starting from zero. Playing well enough to sit down and play a piano for others....that's a big ask.
We all listen to our grandkids who are learning to encourage them, but listening to an adult playing an instrument at beginner level, most of us would see that as a form of torture ....LOL  ;D ;D
Mike 

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #30 on: August 09, 2022, 07:30:42 PM »
Mike,
I am lucky, my wife wants me to do it but I can silence the keyboard by wearing headphones, she hears me practice new songs on the keyboard that I play over and over again memorising the notes and also trying to find the best instrument sounds, thatís not very nice, I am a bit lucky I memorise songs almost automatically without trying
In the early days I could play for hours without sheet music, I just needed to get the first note of a song, I even printed out a stack of sheets just showing the first note of a song but after some time learning sheet music I seemed to lose some of that ability and started to always put the dots up
I remember my wife asking me how I played without the sheet music but I couldnít answer because I didnít know, I had never seen the sheet music to the songs and I couldnít have read it anyway.
Adrian
« Last Edit: August 09, 2022, 08:03:03 PM by adrianed »
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #31 on: August 10, 2022, 05:41:43 AM »
I originally learned to play keyboard on a home organ and took lessons for about 3 years, but was also taking piano courses at school.  I agree that much of what I do on a piano -- or electronic keyboard, for that matter -- involves mainly improvisation for my left hand.  I rarely look at full sheet music and play exactly what is written.  I'll usually learn a song by ear or a "fake book" lead sheet, and then use my left hand to come up with an accompaniment or bass line that sounds more or less like what is in the original song.  And while I do try to keep an accompaniment or bass line going with my left hand, I certainly cannot play like advanced Classical music players who can play sixteenth notes with both hands at the same time!

So, here is my advice...

First, if you don't already know them, learn the chords.  At least get familiar with the major, minor, 7th, and minor 7th chords, and then eventually add others, like major 7th, diminished, and diminished 7th, before going on to the crazy jazz chords.  But at least start out with the major, minor, 7th, and minor 7th.  This is one of the first things I learned when I started to learn organ.  Learn them in root position, then as you get familiar with them and used to playing by "feel" (such as a chord being every other white key, or two white keys with a black key in the middle, etc.), learn the notes so you can easily play inversions of the chords.

Now, as you know, unlike an organ, you cannot just hold down a chord on a piano, as it will fade out in short order.  So, you can try different improvised backgrounds based on the chord, depending on the song.  For example, maybe tap the chord in quarter notes with your left hand as you play the melody with your right.  Or, as previously suggested, break up the chord into a mini arpeggio, such as taking a C major chord background (which has the notes C, E, and G in root position), and repeatedly play C, E, G, E in quarter notes with your left hand.  Or, something I believe is called "Alberti bass", C, G, E, G (lowest note, highest note, middle note, highest note).  Then when the chord of the song changes, change the chord or notes you play with your left hand.

Of course, a piano does not have bass pedals, so if you just play left hand chords and right hand melody, you might find that if you play the chords in an octave where they sound clear, you don't have much bass tone to your music, but if you play the chords an octave lower, they sound "muddy."  So now, you can go to the method mentioned by DerekA earlier and play octave notes for the bass with your left hand.  Start out with just the chord's root notes, as DerekA said, but then, depending on the song, branch out.  Think of the Classic rock song "A Whiter Shade of Pale", with its slowly descending bass notes.  You can play those bass notes, as octaves, while you play the melody.

Now, adding to these left hand techniques, you will likely find that when you are playing single notes, or even octaves, with your left hand, that if you just play a single note for the melody, the overall sound will be kind of thin and lacking some of the harmonies of the chord that the song calls for.  This is where you can now introduce playing right hand chords that follow the melody.  This takes practice, but generally involves playing a combination of notes with your right hand where the top note is the melody note, and then you use other fingers of your right hand to play 1-3 other notes of the background chord called for in the song.  Keep in mind that the melody note will often not be part of the notes of the chord listed for the background at that particular measure.  As an example, a song may say that the background chord is "C major", but the melody might be something like C, B, A, D, C -- or whatever the song's melody is.  In this case you would play those melody notes as the top note of your right-hand cluster of notes, and then use other fingers to play some other notes of the C major chord.  So, for those example melody notes (C, B, A, D, C), you could play the E and G below those notes with other fingers while your pinky or ring finger plays the melody notes.  Then, if you are playing octave C's with your left hand, you now have a pretty full-sounding tune going!  And remember, if you're playing octaves, you can play them in rhythm so that your left-hand sound doesn't fade out by just holding down the notes on the piano keyboard.

Finally, there's that sustain pedal.  Of course, as I'm sure you know, that pedal allows notes to ring on after you let go of the keys.  This can be a great way to get a full, lush sound, but when overused, can make everything sound "blurred together" and even dissonant.  So, in most cases, if you are using the sustain pedal, you will want to quickly release it and then step on it again when the background chord of the song changes.  And when should you use the sustain pedal?  I would say, if you're playing a song that has quick, punchy notes, such as maybe a dance or jazz song, you'd want to limit your use of it.  But if you're playing something with full, lush backgrounds, such as many songs by Enya, or the "Chariots of Fire" theme by Vangelis, then you'd want to use the pedal, but again -- releasing it and re-applying it between chord changes.

One other thing I do is that, when learning a new song, I do not use the drum rhythm background at all.  I'm first trying to learn the notes and chords, while also slowly learning the beat/rhythm of the song itself, and I don't want the added distraction of trying to keep up with a preprogrammed drumbeat at that point.  Once I get comfortable with playing the song and it's notes, chords, and rhythm, then I add the drumbeat and "fine tune" the rhythm of my playing of the song.

I hope this helps.  I know it is a lot, but the important thing is to practice and take it a little bit every day, starting with learning the chords, then using the chords and playing them in tempo or as mini arpeggios with your left hand, then trying bass octaves while adding notes of the background chord to your right hand.

And remember, you can mix and match different playing techniques throughout a song, depending on the tone and character of the different parts of the song.  Think of Enya's "Orinico Flow".  Throughout most of the song, there are strong beats, backgrounds, and bass -- perfect for playing octave bass notes with your left hand while playing right-hand note clusters for the melody.  But in the middle, there is a slow, soft part -- Here, you might want to just play gentle chords with your left hand -- in an octave where they don't sound "muddy" -- and not worry about the bass too much, because there isn't too much bass in the original song at that point.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2022, 05:51:26 AM by SciNote »
Bob
Current: Yamaha PSR-E433 (x2), Roland GAIA SH-01, Casio CDP-200R, Casio MT-68 (wired to bass pedals)
Past: Yamaha PSR-520, PSR-510, PSR-500, DX-7, D-80 home organ, and a few Casios
 

Offline adrianed

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2022, 06:29:00 AM »
Thankyou Bob,
Spoken like a pro, perhaps I should say written,
I am sure you are a great player Bob, I envy your understanding of music, you are just the man that we should listen to
I appreciate you taking your time to share your thoughts and suggestions for playing
You are not rigidly tied to the written music and are able to play just as you want to and play as an individual, I wish I could hear you play
Thankyou very much for your advice I will try to use your suggestions, you make it sound fun to do.
Adrian

« Last Edit: August 10, 2022, 06:33:48 AM by adrianed »
 

Offline mikf

Re: Playing piano on T5
« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2022, 09:20:43 AM »
Bob has kindly described in his post - in quite a lot of detail - what most of these quick learn piano programs teach, although they will take you through it step by step, lesson by lesson.
Itís not just a learner thing either, playing as a pro I found most pro singers would carry their repertoire as a collection of simple lead sheets in their keys. Often hand written. As a an accompanist you have to be able to invent a full sounding arrangement from these simple lead sheets on the fly. And the experience to do this starts by learning the way Bob describes.
 I started Classical piano lessons at 7 years old, but added this chord based way of playing by the time I was about 10 and been doing it now for well over 60 years. And when you know the song you donít even need the lead sheet, just happens Ďby earí.
I found pretty much all the pros do it. If somebody said they needed the dots to play, we would just roll our eyes! Jazz players in particular are quite brilliant using this method because their feel for chords and harmony is usually so advanced.
Mike