Anyone who plays the piano?

Discussion in 'Your "OTHER" instrument' started by jackson56, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. jackson56

    jackson56 New Member

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    Hey guys,

    Anyone who loves to play the piano? any tips on how to learn on your own? And also since we are in the modern world is this really applicable and can be done?

    This article suggests that playing online piano, virtual piano or even piano apps can teach you the keyboard itself, any comments or reaction from those who know how to play.
     
  2. Burps

    Burps Well-Known Member

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    I grew up with a piano in my house. My mother taught me what the notes were on the keys. But I never learned to read except for the real basics and I couldn't really play much at all. One day my uncle gave me a 2 page printout he found at a yard sale that was one of those "Learn to Play Piano in 10 Minutes" type of thing.

    Since I already knew what keys were what, the info in that printout was fantastic and helped a lot. What it taught made all the difference for me. Not that I'm now a good pianist, but I can fake it pretty well with chords and can play along with most songs in a song book or sheet music that show the chords.

    The printout showed how to play 3 note chords, or triad chords. The great thing to know is that every major chord (with only three notes) has the exact same pattern, no matter which chord is played. The same is true for every minor chord. It's true for diminished and augmented chords as well. Learn that one pattern for the major chords and you're done for all major chords. Learn that one pattern for minor chords and your done. Same with augmented and diminished chords. So basically you learn just 4 patterns to make all those 4 types of chords. If you come across a 7th chord, just play a major chord and it will still sound okay because those 3 notes are still a part of the 7th chord.
     
  3. jmpd_utoronto

    jmpd_utoronto Very well Known Member

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    Do you have any music theory background? Like, are you already familiar with key signatures and scales and stuff? If not, you can for sure learn some of that from Youtube and online. If you are, though, just like drums, there's no substitute for a real live teacher. A good teacher will help you move through stuff faster, and also point out technical issues in your playing that you may not catch just from watching videos. And real time feedback is always super valuable.
     
  4. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

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    I have been trying to "teach" myself for years. We picked up an upright a few years back and it's fun. I can do Happy Birthday and the Beatles' Day In the Life.....sort of! I can do like a classical intro, then into the song, then into a psychedic jam, then into a jazzy thing, then back into DITL.......not great but it's a lot of fun!

    My 10 y.o. has been taking lessons for 3 mos and of course kicks my butt! He sits and plays and it's like - WTF, what is that? He just improvs and blows me away........in addition to playing guitar and singing in front of hundreds of people! Dang.......
     
  5. Tornado

    Tornado Well-Known Member

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    It really, really depends on your goals and what you are trying to accomplish. I took piano lessons when I was in grade school. I learned the keyboard, proper technique for basic playing, how to move around the keyboard, how to read music, some really basic theory like triads and stuff. Basically, I was taught to play songs from reading the music from a page. Later in life, I studied some theory in college. I think that stuff is pretty important if you really want to play the piano.

    In a popular music setting, you'd better know your chords. If you know your major scales, you can figure out the chords easily. But you REALLY need to know your major chords, minor chords, suspended chords, Maj7 and 7th chords, AND you need to know them in their different inversions too.

    One of the best things you can do on your own is play songs from a chord sheet. You can find thousands of them on guitar song sites. You get used to which chords are most often played together in a given key, and how you will be able to move between those chords (this is where those inversions come in).

    So, learn your 12 major scales. Learn all the major and minor chords in their different inversions. Play chord charts for popular songs. You will really suck at first, but you'll be surprised at how quickly you improve.
     
  6. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

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    Thank you Tornado - great advice.......
     
  7. Burps

    Burps Well-Known Member

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    For those who want to "fake it" like me, and don't desire to become great, here are the 4 "secret" triad patterns...(when I mention "notes", this includes all the black keys too). My wife, who doesn't know much about keyboards, thought I should mention that. The following is for the right hand only, but the left hand still has the exact same pattern, just with different fingers.

    Every Major chord pattern...Play the first note of any chord you want. Let's take the C chord.
    Press C with the thumb. Skip 3 notes and press, then skip 2 notes and press. (This will be C, E, G)

    Every Minor chord pattern...Play the first note of the chord you want. Lets take the C chord again.
    Press C with the thumb. Skip 2 notes and press, then skip 3 notes and press. (This will be C, E flat, G)

    Every Diminished Chord pattern....for the C chord...Press C with the thumb and skip 2 notes and press, then skip 2 notes and press.

    Every Augmented Chord....for C Chord...Press C with thumb and skip 3 notes and press, then skip 3 notes and press.

    So EVERY major chord has that particular pattern no matter what major chord it is. EVERY Minor chord has that particular pattern no matter what minor chord it is, and so on with diminished and augmented chords.

    Once you are comfortable with those patterns and you have basically learned the notes in each type of chord, you can play the notes in any order you want. In other words, for the C major chord, for instance, you don't have to start with the thumb on C to play the C E G triad, But it can be played E G C or G C E. Of course the pattern will not be the same now.
     
  8. dale w miller

    dale w miller Well-Known Member

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    I play piano, but not in public. I read okay and because of that I’m able to teach myself just about anything.

    If you have the basics of “every good boy does fine” , “Face”, “good boys do fine always”, and “all cows eat grass” and understand rhythms, you should be able to teach yourself just about anything that you want.

    Edit: I forgot. You need to know the keys, but that is simple enough as everything repeats.
     
  9. jlappin

    jlappin Member

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    I've tried really hard to learn piano and I can do "ok". Mine has mostly been gospel. This guy has been helpful if you are into that kind of thing.

    https://apostolicpsom.com
     
  10. Olderschool

    Olderschool DFO Veteran

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    I took video lessons. Beginner piano player here. I play just about every week at my Church gig....
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018 at 1:48 PM
  11. cutaway79

    cutaway79 Well-Known Member

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    I've been teaching myself too, and having a blast! I wish I had started years ago (I tried starting multiple times over the past 15 years or so). I got a few of those "learn to play piano" books, and DVDs (when those were still a thing), and used them for a bit, but got bored/frustrated. Finally, a few years ago, I decided to give it another go. But this time, I decided to take the same approach that many (myself included) take with guitar... Look up a song I like, see what the chords are, learn the chords, repeat. That's it! Then you can at least jam along with some songs. And the more you jam, the more natural you feel, and the more you can comfortably explore boundaries. Then, when you want to learn another song, try to find something with at least one chord you don't know in it. Before long, you'll know a bunch of chords, and be able to fake a lot of stuff. If you're a drummer, you've likely already got the rhythm part down. Now it's just a matter of a little music theory and some muscle memory.

    My ex was an awesome pianist/vocalist, and she taught me a few things that really helped make sense of some stuff in the beginning:

    1. To play a standard major scale (I'll use C), for any key, start at the first note (C), then work your way up the keys as follows - whole step (D), whole step (E), half step (F), whole step (G), whole step (A), whole step (B ), half step (C) ***whole = two keys up, half = one key up

    2. To build a standard major triad (chord), play the "1, 3, 5" notes - The first note, third note, and fifth note in the scale. For the C scale above, that would be the C (1), the E (3), and the G (5)

    3. The chords in a standard major key go as follows (I'll use C again) - Major, major, minor, major, major, minor, diminished (Google that one. I'm still not sure how to explain it.). Which means that the C, D, E, F, G, A, B (from earlier), in chord form, would be C, D, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim (m=minor, dim=diminished).

    (this part, I learned on my own)

    4. Every major scale has a relative minor (the 6th note of the scale), which uses the same notes/chords, just starting from a different place in the sequence. The relative minor to the C above, would be Am. So the notes in the scale would be A, B, C, D, E, F, G. Chords would be Am, Bdim, C, D, Em, F, G. To build the minor scale, start with root note (A), then go whole step (B ), half (C), whole (D), whole (E), half (F), whole (G), whole (A). And the chords in any minor scale go in the same order listed for Am scale - minor, diminished, major, major, minor, major, major.

    Hopefully, I've explained that well. The things above have been extremely useful during the learning process.

    I can't sight read yet. But I'm starting to learn. I figure, music is a language (some say). When learning a language, we typically learn the basics of speech, then learn to read. Not both at the same time. It seems to me that having a solid working knowledge of the piano/keyboard will help the 'learning to read' process. Just like any language. Though I could be wrong, I don't know. Hahaha
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018 at 8:57 PM

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