Author Topic: Learning from home  (Read 1427 times)

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Offline tommac

Learning from home
« on: June 23, 2021, 03:05:18 PM »
Hi--I`ve been playing for around 10 months now ( self teaching from internet) and have managed to move away from EZ Play books (written notes) to Fake books and sheets. I have learned to read the dots for the melody but am still struggling with left hand chords.
-I must say that I am having great fun and can play things I never thought possible if i cheat on the left hand. EG November Rain, ( guitar solo still dodgy) Pirates of Caribbean,  Eagles and other 70`s stuff.
Any advice on how to progress , short of having proper lessons. -
PS I`m a senior beginner.

Offline Normanfernandez

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2021, 03:31:59 PM »
Acceptable chord cheats would be Chord Inversion ( IMO )

Like this song https://youtu.be/7q6ZdPndPos
The chord progression wasn't quite easy, so I used Inversion.
I personally would stop using Single finger Chords. ( Others here may have a different option)

You just need more practice with chords
Slow the tempo down and try using 3 fingers at least..

Norman.
 
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Offline mikf

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2021, 04:44:46 PM »
Here is what to do - play the scale in C maj with your lh, then move to C# and so on all the way to to B maj. The repeat for minor scales. Then play a major arpeggio in C, move to C#. Repeat for minor arpeggios.
This will all take about 10 mins, do it every day. This will ……
1. Train your control of your lh which is probably not your dominant side.
2. Train your brain to know where all the notes of all minor and major scales and chords are without thinking.
It may seem tedious but it’s 10 mins a day and in a few weeks you will see an improvement. Each week you will be able to do it a little quicker, a little easier and with less mistakes, until it finally becomes possible without thinking about every note.
Ideally you would repeat it all with your rh as well, because even although you think your rh is better than your left, you need to able to do it all without real conscious thought. And thinking about the rh is one of things that makes lh difficult.
If you find it all too difficult to start with, skip everything that starts on a black key ie go C D E etc instead of C C# D Eb etc
Mike

Offline tommac

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2021, 05:00:14 PM »
Thanks both. ---I`ll give it a try.
 

Offline AndyMark

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2021, 03:43:03 PM »
Hi!
tommac
10 months is not much for an older beginner. I am over 70 and when I started 6 years ago (When I 64 - they were singing The Beatles), I had to put in a lot of patience to get the fingers of my left hand used to certain configurations. However, I decided it was worth teaching the left hand to play full chords. I have set the fingering of my left hand to "Fingered", you must use at least 3 fingers. I wanted the piece to have full harmony, as it is written on the sheet of notes. I had a Psr e453 back then, now I have a PSR-sx900. I am still implementing the ambitious plan. I try to fully use the advantages of the instrument.

After a while, after many, many exercises, the fingers remember the position. However, a thinking process is needed, because a similar or the same arrangement of at least 3 fingers elsewhere on the keyboard is a different chord. Sometimes 3 fingers are enough to play chords with the note 7 or 9 ... Some even more colored (sprinkled) chords with the note 11, 13 require the use of four or five fingers.

At the beginning I focused on the keys C-Am, F-Dm, G-Em. Each of these keys can use chords built up through the scale steps. For example, in the key of C major we have: basic CEG chord and chords: DFA or D minor, EGB or E minor, FAC or F major, GBD or G major, ACE or A minor, BDF or B chord -dim. Each of these chords has the same finger position (eg 135), but finger 1 is on a different key.
In addition, each of these chords is inversed, which makes it very easy to play the keyboard with automatic accompaniment. You have to look for such a chord inversion that changing a chord to the next chord is the easiest. Then most often we keep the same position of one or two fingers. The chords in inversions have the same accompaniment. However, the left-hand chord sounds different if LH is additionally turned on. However, this does not disturb the harmony of the piece in a given key.
Three fingers are enough to play a G7 or C7 or F7 chord. In a given chord inversion, it is necessary to check which finger can be omitted. You can use four fingers if the LH function is enabled. Then the chord (guitar, piano ...) sounds fuller.
Today, years later, I am able to play about 50 songs. It is not a good result because professionals can play hundreds of songs.
I keep my memory regularly, I help myself with sheet music. I exercise for about an hour every other day.

For an amateur, a good solution is to convert notes with many ### ... or bbb ... to the keys I mentioned: C-Am, F-Dm, G-Em. These keys are the easiest to play. Most often, notebooks with works for amateurs are written in these keys.
If a song cannot be found in these keys, you can use the free MuseScore program for conversion. In addition to the computer, a printer is also useful. You then get your own musical notation in the selected key.

To play songs in any key you have to play all the keys just like Mike wrote.
However, I adopted the tactic of learning through play. If I practice or learn (invent) new special fingering, it is used to play a specific piece. I am also satisfied with my work on preparing the fingering for a new piece. If you already know the chord fingering from other pieces, then you have to rethink your right hand fingering with the fingering patterns. Often, however, special fingering is required to match the ergonomics of the hand. The possibilities of the five fingers are limited. So I wish you patience and lots of fun.
Regards,
Andy
 
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Offline panos

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2021, 07:30:35 PM »
Great tips from you guys :)

I just want to add to practice the chords of the song that you are learning without the style playing at all, which will make it much harder.
 
Afterwards, add the style playing at a slightly lower tempo and when feel comfortable with it and there is no mess playing, your left hand can leave the keybed and hit the fill in/style buttons.

While my left hand is still "searching" where the keys are on the keybed, by using chord inversions helped me a lot to minimize the movement of it in order to hit the right keys.

Not an easy thing to have hand independence when you play the piano/keyboard for the first time as an adult.
One thing that those who learned piano at a young age (when the brain connections were still developing) cannot fully understand is how much harder this gets at an older age for most of the people :)

Offline Toril S

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2021, 09:28:45 PM »
Panos, I take piano lessons now at an age of 61, and can confirm that you are right! I come from accordion, so arranger keyboards are better for me, not so much for the left hand to do :)
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: Learning from home
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2021, 11:27:21 PM »
Three advantages you have over the  “cold starter “ is that you had already learned how to use your lh to control accompaniment, had learned your way round the piano keyboard at the melody end, and grasped most of the music fundamentals. Even then it’s not easy, so imagine how hard it is for someone getting into this from no keyboard background and advanced years.

Mike

Offline AndyMark

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2021, 02:41:14 PM »
Yes,
we all support ourselves on this forum with our experience, everyone has started their adventure with keyboards once.
@ "panos", all your tips mentioned above I also usually follow. Especially if I try to play new songs in a new key with many # ... b ... signs, eg Eb, Ab.
As a few years old amateur of playing the keyboards, I am still learning. If I was 7 or 17 as a teacher, learning would be more effective, based on a firmer foundation. Hand dexterity, understanding the basics of harmony, chord relatedness, chord progression. All this makes it easier to remember chord sequences.
After 6-7 years of studying a young person in a music school, you are already a professional, not an amateur.
But I did not notice that my grandchildren were eager to learn to play the keyboard. This is a hard science.
This also explains the reluctance of old amateurs who strive for the pleasure of playing without studying music theory and practicing. The point is to play a piece that is in your head from the old days as quickly and as well as possible. Then another song, one more, and so on. There are various difficulties and doubts along the way. The most important thing is to play, make sure your fingers remember that your brain can keep up with the pace, because the memory of your fingers is unreliable.

I've noticed that even professional musicians who play dozens of popular songs at parties usually play them in a few of the same key, major and minor. I think learning and remembering chord inversion in rarely played keys is much more difficult. There is no time to think when playing.

I recommend a book translated into many languages. At the beginning of my adventure with the keyboard, the book gave me a boost to learn, learning methodology, technical tips, and increased confidence. From the book you have to choose only what you need. Opinions about the book are full of admiration.

Fundamentals of Piano Practice
Chuan C. Chang's Home Page, Jan. 1, 2020
(PhD in physics from Cornell Univ., Ithaca, New York, pianist)
for Free Download of Complete Book
http://www.pianopractice.org/
http://www.pianopractice.org/FOPP3_2Single.pdf
The book is also available on Amazon on paper.

"panos", now on the Baltic Sea we usually have Greek weather, so it's nice to spend time without being exposed to the hot sun. Spending time at an instrument or a computer.  :)
greetings
Andy
 
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Offline ugawoga

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2021, 11:18:05 AM »
Hi
I went to keyboard lessons in a music shop where i come from and after two lessons when i was about 33, i decided that i could learn from the book i started with.
Yes it takes a while learning chords, but if you start from book 1 Kenneth Baker books it all eventually comes as you progress. Learn the proper fingering slowly.
Always practice scales. keep learning chords and placing your fingers in the correct positions and things will improve. In time you will memorize them
Always practice little sections that you find hard and eventally songs come together.
Patience is the key and it has taken me 30 years to get up to a good standard.
But really if you enjoy learning and consider it fun you will succeed.

All the best
John :)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 11:41:31 PM by ugawoga »
Genos, I7 computer 32 gig ram, Focusrite 6i6, Cubase controller, Focal Alpha Monitors, Yamaha DXR8 Speakers
Cubase 10, Sonarworks, Izotope.  Sampletank, Arturia and Korg software.  Now IK Mixbox
 
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Offline Toril S

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2021, 11:56:50 PM »
I am struggling on with the piano lessons. Now I get the punishment I deserve for always using the transpose buttons instead of learning to play in all keys! Puh! My little digital piano has been on its way out the window several times. But it has managed to survive-for 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 mikf

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2021, 09:21:46 AM »
Billy Joel when asked about playing in all the keys said something along the lines of,  — well C, F and G are like English, D, A and E are like Spanish or German, but B, C# and F# are like Swahili, and who wants to learn Swahili :D
Mike

Offline Toril S

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2021, 09:38:48 AM »
Yes😀
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 jdup

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2021, 11:00:25 AM »
I have truly enjoyed all of your comments and suggestions in this thread. They are all helpful and motivating. But I have one question: what is the difference between a scale and an arpeggio?

Thanks.

Jim Duprey
Jim Duprey

PSR-S770, Bose S1 Pro (2), TC Helicon Perform-VK
 

Offline Toril S

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2021, 02:57:15 PM »
An arpeggio is a broken chord. You play the notes one at a time instead of together.
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 jdup

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2021, 11:01:16 AM »
Thanks, Toril.
Jim Duprey

PSR-S770, Bose S1 Pro (2), TC Helicon Perform-VK
 

Offline alanclare

Re: Learning from home
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2021, 08:06:35 AM »
Tommac

When I was at about the stage that you have reached, I found the books in the Easy Keyboard Library series to be very helpful when learning to play the chords of the left hand. Every song includes an illustration of the notes of the various chords used within it.

Alan
« Last Edit: October 01, 2021, 08:07:37 AM by alanclare »