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Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

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Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by Klavier on Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:38 am

I finally got my piano, sustain pedal, stand, sheet music and books. I have everything I need. I am even starting piano lessons with a teacher in a month or two. HOWEVER, I don't know what to do to practice everyday! I surely thought that tackling some pieces and then progressing to harder pieces would be all I needed to progress but now I don't think it is. Neutral

I reckon I need to strengthen my hands and develop my brain into being able to use 2 hands separately but I'm not sure how to do that, some of my playing is really uneven and sometimes awkward! silent

I need help from the people who started piano a while ago or people who are progressing well, like Thomandy, Circle guy etc, to show me what they did everyday when they started out, how they got their hands to listen to them and what pieces they learned. Theres something I'm missing and I can't figure it out. :/
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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by Circle_of_Fists on Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:29 pm

I posted this in another thread about when I started about hands together play:

http://afpa.hooxs.com/how-should-we-practise-f15/i-need-help-in-playing-both-hands-t1091-20.htm#11687

Circle_of_Fists wrote:Hi,

I started learning piano last week and have also had troubles playing with both hands together.

I made up some drills to help with the coordination. Fortunately, I have gotten better with these drills and can play with both hands, but now it's only for these drills. When I try something new with both hands, it's like starting over again. I'm hoping time will take care of that, but I need some new drills.

The drills I've done so far:

Drill set 1 - C Major Scale:

Left hand plays slow scale for 1 octive going up.
Right hand plays 3 notes for every 1 note on the left - it goes 3 octives, so you need to start on very low notes on your piano. I only use fingers 1-3 on right hand all the way up.

Variations:
- Play scale going down - I can do this now too

- Reverse hands (3 notes on left for every 1 on right)- I have only just started this one, but is as difficult as when I started the very first one.

- Reverse direction of hands (left going up, right going down and reverse) - I only just now thought of this one but sounds tough to me.

- Also doing only 2 notes on right for every left hand note. I can do this up and down for right hand. Also, because the right hand scale is now only 2 octives, I would suggest working on incorporating the remaining fingers 4 & 5 on the top of the scale. I haven't yet tried to reverse hands.


Drill Set 2 - any scale

Play a simple melody with left hand while right hand is going up scale one octive. Eventually was able to go back down with right as well. Still working with other variations on this.

Example with C major scale:

R - C D E F G A B C
L - C _ _ C G _ G_


That's all I've got so far.

I didn't go beyond what I wrote above, meaning, I don't do these drills anymore and I never added any of the drills I thought I would. (I also noticed I was playing the scales with the wrong fingering, but now I know better)

I would like to say that these drills helped, but I'm not sure if it was the drills or just playing and learning new songs that helped. I really haven't done any pure technical drills in a long time as most of my practice time over the past 6 weeks has gone to learning new songs (most of the time was on a Clementi sonatina) and polishing the pieces that I had already learned.


Now that it's been a couple of months since I made that post quoted above, I can say that playing with hands together does get easier the more you do it. I can also say that it is not yet easy for new pieces! In the last couple of weeks I wasted a lot of time trying to learn a couple of songs that were above my level, and I just couldn't get the songs to click hands together (Andrew's dolphin song is one of them Crying or Very sad ), but now I've got a big stack of songs in my queue that I'm sure are within my ability that I'm going to start on next week. My goal is learn a large variety of pieces within my level which will hopefully improve my ability to play more difficult pieces with hands together.

So, I guess my advice, from one beginner to another, is to start with the most basic drills (like I mention in the quoted post) or easy songs (Like the Mozart K. 1c I posted video of last night or the mountain song that is here somewhere) and begin playing very slowly and then gradually build up the speed and the difficulty.


Crickey, I hope that made sense! And hopefully someone with more experience or authority on learning piano can help as well! (and / or correct what I said if it's rubbish! Razz )
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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by Klavier on Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:35 am

Thanks for the reply Circle guy! I've been trying really hard since that post. For the first time I've been doing 5 note scales with my right and left hand and moved onto full octaves with the tuck and overs and My hands are responding a more lot nicely. I was panicking a few days ago because things didn't seem to be getting easier but i think I just needed some time for my hands to wake up to this new situation they were being put in, for the muscles and signals to grow and adapt and they really are starting to. I think I'm going to incorporate some scales before my learning new pieces to strengthen my fingers because I feel they really need it, and so does my brain.

On a second note: I have played the middle half of I believe the second part to Clementi's sonata and it was a cracking tune, very happy and upbeat so perhaps I could move onto learning the whole thing like you have done, which is very impressive by the way. Smile

Thanks for the post! Its hard to set out as a beginner with weak hands, makes you feel like you're not genetically capable of playing piano, but now I know thats not the case!

Oh yeah and I also just impressed my mum lots and lots, she couldn't believe it was me playing, I was just playing the first few bars of Moonlight Sonata now that I've got my pedal and it sounds amazing! Razz
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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by endre on Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:20 pm

Dude, it's not days not even weeks really, it's more like months to notice real improvement.
Just get a beginner book, you can learn a lot of stuff from it, imo much more than just trying to play some tune.
It's simple in english because there's lots of books around. Just google, or check pianoworld.com forum for recommendations (it's a huge piano-related forum, there's lots of beginner threads, too)

Although I'm in no rush (hopefully got quite a few decades to play) I also take classes once every week or every two weeks (depends on my or teachers' schedule) and I start to see that that learning methodically, in an organized manner can have its benefits in the long run (at least for me, I like to know what am I doing and why).

Scales are OK to do (meaning, do them) but don't suffer too much with them. I do them, but scales are boring so not a lot. I learn lots of small "learning" pieces from some books and it's like every new piece has its meaning (I mean every piece gives me a bit of something new... some new technique, dynamics, theory, fingering or whatever).

But if you're just looking for something to kill time for a month, do whatever you seem to be able to. Just if you don't understand something better check wiki (or something) than learning it incorrectly.

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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by Klavier on Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:51 pm

I've learnt loads from books, I have like 3 teach yourself piano books and have a teacher, just my fingers weren't working and it got me worried, but I'm seeing improvement now when before I wasn't and it worried me. That is all! I just needed to know how to improve my fingers!
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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by ROBIN on Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:16 pm

Hi klavier ..i found that using some of hanons exercises are great for finger strength and agility and i also use them for warm up now before tackling anything on keys ..im sure andrew has a link on here somewhere for hanons if not just google and pick what best suits ya ..do individual hands then hands together

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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by endre on Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:06 pm

I don't specifically train fingers. I tried Hanon and it's very mechanical.
I do however Czerny, it's also technical but it sounds like music not scales so I prefer it. Some use one some another, and some both, you need to know what works for you.
Just practice whatever, it's not like you begin to do 1 thing and suddenly next day your fingers work much better. Over time (months or at least weeks) every hour of practice adds up and there will be a steady improvement. Be patient.

my $0.02

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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by Circle_of_Fists on Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:13 am

Klavier wrote:Thanks for the reply Circle guy! I've been trying really hard since that post. For the first time I've been doing 5 note scales with my right and left hand and moved onto full octaves with the tuck and overs and My hands are responding a more lot nicely.
Great! Glad to hear your fingers are cooperating - they seem to have minds of their own!

I was panicking a few days ago because things didn't seem to be getting easier but i think I just needed some time for my hands to wake up to this new situation they were being put in, for the muscles and signals to grow and adapt and they really are starting to.
You're exactly right. That is the exact same sensation I felt as well.

I would compare learning piano as a beginner to learning how to type at the computer. I realize the differences, but still, the dexterity required to type properly is astounding. The computer keys are incredibly small compared to the piano keys (or these phone keys. Razz )

I remember how imossible it seemed to type when I firstt started. But now, for example, I think the word 'sensation' and my fingers just make the word magicly appear on my screen. I wish I would have started piano 20 years ago like typing to have a similar result! Razz

On a side note, this is reminding me of how old I am now. I learned to type
at school on a real typwriter - the clickety clack type. I also am reminded that the student in our class with the fastest typing speed by far ( 2x) was an excellent piano player! And one more off topic observation, I still spell my name incorrectly 50% of the time when typing. A classic case of repeating mistakes and never correcting properly, like difficult bars of a piano piece....


On a second note: I have played the middle half of I believe the second part to Clementi's sonata and it was a cracking tune, very happy and upbeat so perhaps I could move onto learning the whole thing like you have done, which is very impressive by the way. Smile

I just simply love this piece by Clementi. It seems so intelligently crafted to sound so nice but be easy enough for a novice to play. I was practicing the second movement a few weeks ago, and my wife was there and clapped after I finished - a treasured moment for me!

[quote]Thanks for the post! Its hard to set out as a beginner with weak hands, makes you feel like you're not genetically capable of playing piano, but now I know thats not the case![\quote] and you're not alone on your
journey!

Oh yeah and I also just impressed my mum lots and lots, she couldn't believe it was me playing, I was just playing the first few bars of Moonlight Sonata now that I've got my pedal and it sounds amazing! Razz
It's one of the best feelings in the world, right? Smile
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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by Klavier on Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:19 pm

Yes it is Circle guy! ^^

I'm progressing nicely on Moonlight Sonata, faster and quicker than I thought I would, its really surprising. My mums encouragement seems to of really inspired me to progress with it, and be extra happy when I can manage a part I couldn't before.

I can do both hands at the right speed and sounding very nice for the first half of the first page, then when it gets to a 3 handed chord where its really stretched out on the black notes sometimes I have to stop, but then afterward I'm fine for a few more bars and I'm working on the stuttering before large chords so I think it'll improve quick too!

Quite a lot of the piece is the same rhythm just different notes, with a few complicated sections, but, if I can play the first page with it sounding as good as the professional recording programmed in my piano, I know I'll be able to manage the whole piece, even if it takes me a few months!

I'm gonna search out the sheets for Clementi's sonata too because I really think it will compliment Moonlight Sonata because its so different in rhythm and sequences. I can try and learn them the same time, mix it up, to get my fingers fully conditioned for 2 aspects of piano playing, not just the slow-ish Moonlight Sonata!

Thanks for the advice guys! I'm sure I'll keep you posted.. Now time to find these sheets. x_x
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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by ROBIN on Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:16 pm

great news on the first page for ya ...sounds like all is falling into place for you now ...yeah after a few practises those chords will just slot in without thought ..i have been playing 8 months now and things i thought were impossible for me to ever do,are now becoming possible ...so gd luck with your new piece Smile

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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by Klavier on Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:31 pm

Having trouble finding the sonata by Clementi you've learned circle guy! Care to give me a nudge in the right direction?
Razz
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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by ROBIN on Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:37 pm

silent

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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by Circle_of_Fists on Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:03 am

The title is Sonatina Op. 36 No 1. One version here:

http://www.free-scores.com/download-sheet-music.php?pdf=299



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Re: Finding it hard to know what to do. :(

Post by 1748 on Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:02 pm

you have same level with me when doing this
plz read what i have write in
http://afpa.hooxs.com/how-should-we-practise-f15/beginner-how-do-i-practice-t1451.htm

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