Hmmm our curiosity has to be left unsatisfied it seems....
Hmmm our curiosity has to be left unsatisfied it seems....
And I wrote such a long post -_- damn you!
Gotta love yngwies playing, his vibrato and finger tone are so great!
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Do you like Sibelius'es music?
What I know, I mostly taught myself. As a child, I played for a few years from the book, nothing classical, I stopped quite soon. My mother is a piano teacher, so there is sheet music lying all over the house (even though she has a library for that) and one day I just grabbed a piece I liked and started playing. Because it was a difficult piece, I pulled myself up to a certain level, skipping a few years of development. My sight reading is good, but because I teach myself I sometimes make major mistakes. My mother corrects me when she hears me making a mistake, but I don't really have lessons. I'm fine with it the way it is now, I make my own plan and can play whenever I want, so when I don't play for a few days no one will complain about me not studying enough.
I'm mostly self taught, I had a couple of beginning lessons that actually were very useful and allowed me to learn on my own a little. I do regret not staying with them but I take composition lessons right now so I'm always mainly focused on that aspect of music rather then performance. I think I may get a teacher over the summer however just evaluate my playing. Have you thought about getting a teacher, if only for a short while to just get an 'expert opinion'? (assuming the teacher is an expert).
I took formal lessons for a few years and learned the basics. After I went to college in 2005, I stopped taking formal lessons and only played every once in a while.
At about 2007, I embarked upon a more serious project of self-study of piano technique which carried me from easy pieces like Brahms' Waltz in A-Flat to Beethoven's "Pathetique" Sonata. My greatest progress has been in the last year when I taught myself to play Brahms' Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Beethoven's 32 Variations in C Minor, and Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier.
I spend anywhere between two to four hours a day playing; the piano brings me such joy.
It's not difficult to teach yourself, but you cannot become discouraged with difficulty. Use a piece you really want to play as a way to learn new technique. Chopin's "Heroic" Polonaise will give you great dexterity of the fifth and fourth finger of your right hand.
Taught entirely by steam and Lypur on youtube, plus a pretty intensive week of Boogie lessons with wonderful Virtuoso Danny McCormack at a blues week.
I'm still rubbish at classical, probably a grade 4 or 5 with some gaping omissions from the curriculum checklist. I can knock off a leisurely Chopin Waltz in B Minor as my show piece, i think.
I think some of the biggest improvements in my playing were just after seriously taking up the guitar - just a mental switch was flicked that made me realise how straightforward a keyboard was as an interface for expelling emotion.
"I'm a lumberjack and i'm OK, i sleep all night and i work all day."
Oh...kind of. I never listened to my teachers very well, and sort of picked it up under supervision at times, but the bulk of my technical advancement on my own, when I hadn't taken lessons in years. Its not terrific advancement, but it did happen.
Last edited by clavichorder; Jan-21-2013 at 20:17.
I was self taught for several years prior to age 13. I used a book discovered in the bench of my grandparents' piano (How to Play the Piano Despite Years of Lessons) to learn basic theory and notation, then played everything I could get my hands on. When I finally started taking lessons, my first teacher was a jazz pianist. I stayed with him for two years, then studied for a year with a respected classical pianist before passing my conservatory auditions. I continued my studies in a conservatory performance program which benefited me tremendously both technically and musically. I definately value formal education from qualified teachers who are passionate about making music and passing this on to their pupils. There were a number of issues with my technique which I had to deal with once I began studying with my second teacher. Having said that, if I had never been privileged to have had excellent formal instruction, I would still have become a music lover who could play the piano and both enjoy music as well as share with others. I do not believe I would have reached the level to perform as a classical recitalist/soloist or chamber musician without what I learned from the teaching and examples of my teachers over the years.
Last edited by cmudave; Feb-20-2013 at 16:39.
That is a great achievement to teach yourself to play piano well, but as a pianist I would say that unless you have a good teacher, you are unlikely to learn correct rules of fingering which will hold you back if you want to play difficult classical pieces. If you only want to play popular music, should not be a problem. Of course teaching is no substitute for musical aptitude and empathy, but teaching certainly has its part to play.
Where i'm from with all the people i know who play guitar we have this debate about 'music theory vs feel', all the guitarists who claim you can completely disregard music theory and play with 'feel' are the ones who support players like Hendrix, people like me, the music theory ones, support Malmsteen.
Also the 'feel' guitarists often claim Malmsteen has no feel/emotion and just plays a bunch of notes, i guess 'feel' is indescribable/undefinable because it's subjective, therefore Malmsteen could have 'feel' just depends how you interpret it
One of my previous guitar teachers claimed they don't like Malmsteen because they'll never be able to do what he does, although i don't see how that works
The vast majority of these 'feel' guitarists either have lessons but get their teacher to teach them songs, which my friends been doing for about 10 years now, not progressing at all, or had a few lessons and claimed they gave them up because all they were being taught was chords, however none of them understand the difference between a major and minor chord theoretically. They also claim they don't need theory, when they know nothing about music theory, how can you say you don't need it if you don't know what it is?
Overall i think one possibility is that they just enjoy Hendrix' music more, or that they don't have the patience to get that good and it demeans their determinism when playing guitar, so they stick with someone who's songs are easy to play.
Just my personal experiences
I got lessons for a month or so while at school before i left, then about a year and a few months passed i was teaching myself, i made a bit of progress, now i've been getting lessons for about 2 months and i've improved so much in that space.
At school the teacher started me on Grade 3/4 pieces
In the year or so i wasn't being taught i didn't play much or develop much but played anything from Avenged Sevenfold songs to attempting a Scarlatti Sonata (Didn't go too bad but definitely not great )
then i had a few lessons with my new teacher, suddenly after 2 lessons i could slightly sight read (only about a grade 2/3 standard) and now i'm working at the Grade 6 book, without Piano lessons i don't think i'd ever of got to where i am right now for another few years
Last edited by Jord; Feb-24-2013 at 22:52.
I started out by taking lessons, and when I got to an intermediate level, I took a break from the lessons and taught myself for a few years. I took a year of piano lessons again after I reached a more advanced level, and stopped after doing my last piano exam. After that I basically taught myself.
Formal lessons with a teacher definitely helped, but sometimes I feel that the teacher provides motivation and a "push" to improve more than anything else. To be honest, I didn't really explore and enjoy music until I stopped taking lessons, and the factor that contributed the most to my musical improvement is actually (unsurprisingly) my own growth in age and understanding, not lessons. But of course, I have my piano teachers to thank for my basic techniques, which continue to help me.
I've had formal lesson for about 10 years, and yes - they have been immensely rewarding. My teacher has pushed me towards pieces I would not have perhaps chosen myself, which has helped me increase my repertoire and technicality. I have always done well in examinations due to attention to detail.
However, I am slowly developing my own distinctive style which contrdicts that of my teacher. I tend to jump straight into pieces and immediately decipher my own interpretation. My teacher on the other hand prefers to learn the piece slowly. Perhaps if I was self-taught I would have found my own style quicker. But then again, I would never quit going to lessons with my teacher because there will always be those insightful views of a piece that I will miss. Also, she's a darn good teacher! I think it just depends on what you want as a performer.
With regards to the Hendrix/Malmsteen analogy, I don't remember that Yngwie was ever actually formally taught? I don't think there was really that many formal resources for electric guitar playing until the 80's shred craze and the teaching video's that became a popular way to capitalise on success for a lot of players around that time. Rock music was initially and still is to a large extent an aural tradition, with it's primary documentation being in the form of specific recordings. A large number of guitar players from the 60's reported learning by sitting in their bedrooms and slowing down records to learn the guitar parts by ear. In addition, rock music lacks the distinction between performer and composer which exists in classical music. Most famous rock groups in history played primarily original material composed by the band members, with a couple of covers as a nod to their influences. Because of this, rock musicians tend to be evaluated more on their songwriting abilities than their technical prowess, and the reason Malmsteen is cited as lacking in 'feel' is because the music he writes is considered by most people (Rightly, in my opinion) to be lacking in emotional depth in comparison to Hendrix. At any rate, drawing direct comparisons between rock guitar playing and classical piano, or classical any instrument, playing is probably a bad idea.
The problem with self-learning is that sometimes it may take you a lot of time to "discover" things that a teacher can tell you in two lessons.
For any instrument, I recommend intensive lessons with a good teacher.
My last piano teacher was very good. I really, really improved my technique, and in a relatively short time.
And technique is very important. The clarity required in, say, a fast fugue by Bach is impossible to achieve without a very good technique.
Those people who say that technique is not important are lying, those are the same who say that Einstein was bad at math. . Sorry, but having a good technique is a necessary condition for being a good pianist, in the same sense that being good at math is a necessary condition for being a good physicist, like Einstein was.
Last edited by aleazk; May-14-2013 at 12:41.