#1
Im so sorry if this question has been asked before, and feel free to remove this but...
I started learning piano 5/6 years ago,
got to grade 3,
lost the will to live (music shouldn't be drummed into you by force!),
Didn't really play for a couple of years,

And now I want to again! Have you got any advice for (re) learning? I was always really REALLY bad at sight reading, in theory, I could do it, but I always took AGES to work something out, then Id just memorise it (photographic memory) and play it from memory every time.

this didnt really rub well with my piano teacher, and he kinda hated me! THat put me off learning, but Id like to pick it back up again. Obviously, I have the basic theory knowledge (Grd3) but how would I go about teaching myself?

Any tips, advice, experiances, would help greatly! Especially on the touchy subject of sight reading! ***AlanHB edit***

Please and thank you!
#2
Dream Theater- This Dying Soul Unison.

^Kidding, that will probably make you commit suicide.

Simple pieces? Hmm.....what sort of music do you listen to anyway? Most classical pieces are usually quite hard....

Dark Tranquillity's "The Mundane And The Magic" has a more or less simple piano bit in the beginning.....
Last edited by GS LEAD 5 at Sep 14, 2010,
#3
you could get some simplified versions of classical pieces, which are more beginner friendly.
Just go to your local music store and ask.

When I had piano lessons I really liked Jürgen Moser's Rock Piano. It teaches the stuff you need for playing Jazz, Blues, etc and even has a part about improvisation.
Sadly as far as I know it's just written in German, so it may no really help you.
#4
I like a lot of stuff really, quite varied. Im not a complete beginner so it doesnt have to be like Ode to Joy or Rugrats or anything (I learnt them when I was 7!).
Does sight reading get easier? And does anybody else do what i do and memorise it, and then when it comes to the exam/performance play it completely from memory and not actually taking one look at the sheet music whatsoever!?

I find that if I spend too long on one piece I do the memorise thing, so do you think I should maybe alternate between songs?

Thanks alot
#5
Oh and I have played some classical peices so anything will do! I can read stuff up to about a Grade 4 standard atm so yeah...
#6
Quote by StarsFallForMJ
I like a lot of stuff really, quite varied. Im not a complete beginner so it doesnt have to be like Ode to Joy or Rugrats or anything (I learnt them when I was 7!).
Does sight reading get easier? And does anybody else do what i do and memorise it, and then when it comes to the exam/performance play it completely from memory and not actually taking one look at the sheet music whatsoever!?

I find that if I spend too long on one piece I do the memorise thing, so do you think I should maybe alternate between songs?

Thanks alot


Sight reading is not the same as regular reading which you are talking about.

Sight reading means sitting down with a piece of music you've never seen before and going though the whole thing at a set tempo without stopping once.

Reading in general is much easier on the piano than guitar. If you stick with it, it will become very natural, mainly because standard notation was written for the piano! If you've ever tried to sight read on the guitar, you'll know what I'm talking about.

As far as memorizing and using muscle memory, using theory would be better. By using photographic memory instead of theory, you'll almost always forget pieces. Theory you will too but less likely.

Go to your local music store, and pick up one of those books that have a compilation of pop songs. I have a few and I cycle through them and learn songs that I really like.

Very difficult to learn classical on your own without a teacher.
Last edited by jogogonne at Sep 14, 2010,
#7
I do the same thing, TS (I'm talking about the memory thing). The solution is simply to practice sight reading every time you play. Don't keep playing the same few songs. This will help your playing ability, but not your reading/sight-reading at all. You have to force yourself to be reading rather than playing from memory.

I suggest you get a book (or a few books) full of pieces that suit your reading ability. Read one until you play it right, then move on to the next one and repeat.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#8
Can't go wrong with Imagine by John Lennon and Let it be by the Beatles as begginer tunes, then work your way up to something like Don't Stop Me Now by Queen and that thousand miles song by Vanessa Carlton, looks like a fun one to learn that one lol
#9
I've edited your question slightly to remove the request for songs. If you're looking for songs to play, there's a Suggest me a Song thread that you can use.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#10
Quote by jogogonne
Sight reading is not the same as regular reading which you are talking about.

Sight reading means sitting down with a piece of music you've never seen before and going though the whole thing at a set tempo without stopping once.

Reading in general is much easier on the piano than guitar. If you stick with it, it will become very natural, mainly because standard notation was written for the piano! If you've ever tried to sight read on the guitar, you'll know what I'm talking about.

As far as memorizing and using muscle memory, using theory would be better. By using photographic memory instead of theory, you'll almost always forget pieces. Theory you will too but less likely.

Go to your local music store, and pick up one of those books that have a compilation of pop songs. I have a few and I cycle through them and learn songs that I really like.

Very difficult to learn classical on your own without a teacher.


Yeah, I know, sorry! Rubbish just tends to spill out of me!

I kind of meant THAT type of sight reading, but I need to improve on just general reding of notation to improve the reading of unseen pieces (?! rubbish...see what I mean!) .

And thanks for the suggestions too, I have a couple of those Pop music compilation books, (Imagine has already been learnt to death, I know that one by heart!). I forgot I had them, so thank you! I will definatley try them!

Ive got to get over the memorizing thing, I think not sticking to one piece would help. Do you?
#11
Quote by Housequake
Can't go wrong with Imagine by John Lennon and Let it be by the Beatles as begginer tunes, then work your way up to something like Don't Stop Me Now by Queen and that thousand miles song by Vanessa Carlton, looks like a fun one to learn that one lol


Thanks, and yeah A thousand Miles is fun to play...no fun to read, but learning by ear always provides satisfaction!
#12
Quote by StarsFallForMJ
I was always really REALLY bad at sight reading, in theory, I could do it, but I always took AGES to work something out, then Id just memorise it (photographic memory) and play it from memory every time.
I have that same problem, and I think it's an advantage that puts us at a detriment. It is because we remember music so easily that we don't bother to look too much at the sheet. It allows us to concentrate more on our hands and fingers. As a result we don't train the skill of sight reading enough, where other people with lesser memory are forced from the start to divide their attention between the sheet and the keyboard, and therefore get much better at it.
this didnt really rub well with my piano teacher, and he kinda hated me!
My teacher often yells at me when I do that, but I actually think she likes me. It's a reaction out of frustration because we work differently to how they teach us. I don't think it's easy to appreciate our situation.
Any tips, advice, experiances, would help greatly! Especially on the touchy subject of sight reading!
I think food's advice is good. I'm going to follow up on that. I recently started studying a Bach piece that is a little too long and has lots of subtle phrase changes to simply remember in one go. I hope this will force me to keep reading, before I know it by heart.
#13
Quote by Withakay
I have that same problem, and I think it's an advantage that puts us at a detriment. It is because we remember music so easily that we don't bother to look too much at the sheet. It allows us to concentrate more on our hands and fingers. As a result we don't train the skill of sight reading enough, where other people with lesser memory are forced from the start to divide their attention between the sheet and the keyboard, and therefore get much better at it.
My teacher often yells at me when I do that, but I actually think she likes me. It's a reaction out of frustration because we work differently to how they teach us. I don't think it's easy to appreciate our situation.
I think food's advice is good. I'm going to follow up on that. I recently started studying a Bach piece that is a little too long and has lots of subtle phrase changes to simply remember in one go. I hope this will force me to keep reading, before I know it by heart.


Exactly! I tend to concentrate more on HOW im playing than WHAT Im playing, and once Ive played it through a couple of times I know it by heart so I dont bother looking at the sheet again. This means I dont get alot of practice at actually reading music. Glad to know Im not alone!

Oh and the skin on my fingers is now officially dead from the guitar, so, I have no excuse not to play piano! Get going....
#14
Quote by StarsFallForMJ
Yeah, I know, sorry! Rubbish just tends to spill out of me!

I kind of meant THAT type of sight reading, but I need to improve on just general reding of notation to improve the reading of unseen pieces (?! rubbish...see what I mean!) .

And thanks for the suggestions too, I have a couple of those Pop music compilation books, (Imagine has already been learnt to death, I know that one by heart!). I forgot I had them, so thank you! I will definatley try them!

Ive got to get over the memorizing thing, I think not sticking to one piece would help. Do you?


Here is the what you want to do.

I have memorized pieces by muscle and photographic memory to the point where I was just going through the motions, I couldn't tell you what chords I was playing or what key I was in. This goes for piano and guitar. Very bad. But it's not our fault. It's hard to learn theory and memorize the fretboard/keyboard.

You want to be able to know the song and theory so well that you can alter the melody and harmony at will because you know what chords and scales you are playing. Throw in inversions and extended chord voicings and little fills whenever you want. That is truly knowing the song.

I more or less have the ability to do that on the guitar and I'm trying to do that on the piano.
Last edited by jogogonne at Sep 15, 2010,
#15
If you want to go off the beaten path a bit, there's Explosions in the Sky's, "Your Hand In Mine". I think it has the same tempo throughout, and (i think) only has a few chords. If you look on here, the piano music is the guitar music transcribed. Sheet music in .jpeg.

Link of song:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzIK5FaC38w

Link of cover of sheet music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRG_OFeUo_E

Sheet music: http://www.box.net/shared/etj1ff1or9
Caution:
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

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#16
Thanks guys, I sat and played from sheet music for the first time in abou 2 years last night (just one of those Greatest hits comilation books!) and I definately need practice! Its all in there somewhere, just need to find it again! (IT being any kind of musical ability!)