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68

You will always make mistakes, so the key is practicing in a way that eliminates mistakes. "Practice makes perfect" is a Big Lie. If you don't practice in a smart method you will never get that good -- so what is important is not just practice itself, but good practice technique. When practicing a piece of music or song, there are really two modes I ...


33

A skilled sight-reader surely can (except if the piece is really difficult). And they can do more, for example they can read the music and play it in a different key, or they can read a string quartet (that is, four independent staves with three different clefs simultaneously) and play most of the important things in it, and so on. Not every good pianist is ...


28

In general I find that I am slowed by grabbing the page, not by the actual turning. You could bend the corners of the pages forward so that it's easier to grab quickly, or use those sticky flags on the pages, or something like that. As for turning pages where there's no break for one hand, you need to memorize the music. You can memorize all of it and ...


28

The first thing you need to do is: Stop writing the letter names!!! This applies to piano or any other instrument. If you keep doing this when you practice, you won't be practicing your sight reading, only your technique. In other words, this is training you to play an A when you read the letter "A", instead of the musical notation for it. If you can ...


28

Try Bach's Two Part Inventions. They were titled by Bach: "Honest method, by which the amateurs of the keyboard – especially, however, those desirous of learning – are shown a clear way not only (1) to learn to play cleanly in two parts, but also, after further progress, (2) to handle three obligate parts correctly and well; and along with this not only to ...


28

A guitarist has exactly the same problem as you do. If you just strum the chord on the downbeat, or on every beat, it sounds boring. You have to play more interesting patterns. The guitarist does have a couple of advantages over a pianist in this respect. Early on, a guitarist learns to get more rhythmic interest out of a basic chord, by varying the rhythm ...


27

I don't know what type of music you're considering playing, but consider stepping outside of the piano/guitar realm. Trombone would be perhaps your best choice. A very difficult instrument to learn and master, but it requires only enough fingers to grip the instrument securely. (You could probably get away with a thumb and finger on each hand). The trombone ...


26

One of the tricks you can use is one I have learned watching Gustav Leonhardt in concert. For difficult page turns, he uses a little copy of the start of the next page that he pastes on the side of the preceding right page as a flip. Not only is it easier on his memory but it allows to grab the page quickly and turn it efficiently. Now that scanners and ...


26

Digital pianos really have come a long way from where they were 15 years ago, when I started playing. I started on an unweighted 61-key touch-sensitive keyboard (touch-sensitivity is, by the way, essential, but implied on the weighted keyboards. You cannot play classical piano music even remotely musically without touch sensitivity. Organ music is a ...


24

Make Sure it doesn't become a crutch: The most important thing about practicing with a metronome is to avoid becoming dependent on it. It is a tool that can be used to strengthen your rhythm and time when used properly, but if you overuse it, you might become uncomfortable playing without one because the machine is creating the pulse instead of you. As a ...


24

Your notation may work for a free form melody, but that's it. How will you notate several notes played at once? How will you notate exact rhythms if you don't split up a bar into beats and subbeats and give each note an exact duration? Which octaves are those notes? I agree that standard notation (common music notation) is complicated, but there are pretty ...


22

As you already suggested, it takes time. I would say that to begin to be a good piano tuner takes at least 3 years and you still have plenty of room to improve. It helps to have a good and discerning ear, but you do not need what people imprecisely call perfect pitch. You will need a good reference tuning fork or pro electronic tuning reference. I prefer ...


20

Do you listen to jazz? I think a big part of getting into jazz as a trained musician means experimenting on your own. One of the biggest challenges for you will likely be learning the style of jazz piano, i.e. being able to play and not sound "square". If you want a listening list, check this out: "100 Greatest Jazz Pianists". The top 5 would be plenty to ...


20

The root note is always the note that is the basis for the chord, regardless of its inversion. In root position the lowest note is the root (hence the name), but other notes are the lowest in other inversions of the chord. For example, take a C Major chord. In every position, the root note is C. Whether it is voiced as C-E-G (root position), E-G-C (first ...


19

We most commonly use staff notation because it is a good compromise between expressiveness and readability for a wide range of music. There are alternatives, however these alternatives are specialized in one dimension or another, and thus, in a sense, less expressive than standard staff notation. The overall problems relate to the fundamental issues in ...


18

If you're well-trained in music theory and good at sight reading, then you've already got some strong and important assets. I have a background similar to yours, so here are some things that I remember from when I got started: get used to jazz rhythm: if you take for instance 4/4 songs, you'll notice that in many genres the first and third beats are ...


18

Most keyboard instruments of the baroque Era as well as early pianoforte had fewer keys than the current 88-standard (some modern piano like the Bosendorfer Imperial have 97 keys, 9 additional keys in the bass), and much of Bach keyboard works for instance can be played on such a restricted keyboard. With restricted high notes you will have difficulties ...


18

One exercise that my jazz teacher had advised us to do in order to develop independence was to try and play something using either hand, and slowly moving your other hand at the same time (not in order to play, but just moving it up and down the keyboard, moving things around you, ...). This can be useful on its own, but also when trying to master new pieces ...


18

In cases like this you should play the second D, cutting the first one slightly short to accommodate it. It's not a typo, just a choice by the arranger to take the least complicated & most readable approach to notating the music. Think of the printed music as communicating the intended sound, rather than exact movements of your fingers, and it should ...


18

When you began to learn to read, you would do it one letter at a time, and one word at a time. "Tuh Huh Eh -- The ... Cuh Ah Tuh -- Cat ... The cat ..." ... and so on. As you improved, you'd speed up. You'd begin to recognise whole words at a time, then whole phrases. Now you can look at a page of writing and read it aloud at normal speaking pace. ...


17

I would encourage anyone who is interested to tune their own piano. My personal experience is... (I am an amateur in the true sense (Latin: "To Love"), have played piano for 8 years and probably tuned my own piano for 5 years (when I have time)) It probably took me about a week (off and on, I suppose about 6 hours) to completely retune my old piano from the ...


17

Practice makes perfect. Really, there is no magic to it. Just keep practicing so that you won't make that mistake again. Practice or practise (see spelling differences) is the act of rehearsing a behavior over and over, or engaging in an activity again and again, for the purpose of improving or mastering it, as in the phrase "practice makes perfect". ...


17

Memorizing your scales accomplishes at least these four things: Trains your fingers to play common patterns found in music. There are a lot of scales in music. They're just so satisfying, why not write them? They can be a controlled environment for practicing other techniques, such as playing fast, playing in octaves, and playing fast in octaves. It trains ...


17

Musical memory comes in two flavours: unconscious (muscle) memory and conscious (mental) memory. Muscle memory comes with repetition and can prove to be surprisingly long-lasting - provided it has had sufficient reinforcement over time. It's something that gets ingrained every time you play a piece - provided you know it well enough to play it without ...


17

Everyone, when they first begin to learn to play an instrument with music notation, is puzzled by all the complexities and nuances. Music notation is the way that it is because it works well. You know so little about playing music at this point that you cannot fully appreciate all that is involved. The more you learn, the more sense it will make to you.


17

If you would like to see a tour de force in the use of repeated notes, have a look at Martha Argerich's performance of Scarlatti's D Minor Sonata: You will notice that she uses 321321 ...


16

Learning improvisation is a long trip. Most people start with one of two ways: going by ear, just play something that fits. Try until you think it's good. going by chords. Learn what tones fits the chords in the chart. Try until you think it's good. Soon you notice that it's not either one way or the other, it's a combination of both. Good improvisers ...


16

This image shows the note on the stave corresponding to each guitar string: The lowest string is E, then A, D, G, B and E. It might also be useful to refer to a map of the fretboard -- there's nothing there you couldn't work out from knowing the tuning of each string, and that each fret raises the pitch by a semitone: Now, lets take first chord in ...


16

It's all about the size, and therefore the length of the strings and the size of the vibrating surface of the wooden soundboard. Even a baby grand at ~5 feet is longer than a typical upright is tall. A concert grand at 7-10 feet is much, much longer. I can't do any better than what Wikipedia says, so I'm going to quote wholesale: All else being equal, ...


15

One thing one of my choir teachers sometimes did is start at the end and then move backwards through the piece as larger parts starting from the end are perfected, so that you start with some unfamiliar measures then practice the part that you already know to reinforce the knowledge. However, if you're repeatedly having trouble with a specific spot, it ...



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