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Thread: Fastest way to improve

  1. #1
    Senior Member jani's Avatar
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    Default Fastest way to improve

    So i recently got a surge of motivation to start to play my keyboard what i bought like 9 months ago, but i haven't played it for 8 months because my guitar has kept me busy. So could you give me some tips what is the fastest way to develop a good technique ( Yea i know that there aren't any magic potions or spells, i know that i have to practice hard).
    At the moment i am playing Hanon exercises and some random chromatic and arpeggio runs.
    Also could you recommend me some good pieces to learn.
    I can read music.

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    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    I have no idea of your skill. I assume you're a beginner, so you should check out nocturne no.4 by Edvard Grieg. It's wonderful to play, and the rhythmic can be quite tough.

    only clip i could find on youtube that is not total crap



    it is much tougher to play than it sounds like

    Or maybe Suite No.7 In G Minor, HWV 432. VI Passacaglia

    By Handel



    also fun to play.

    I would recommend you to start with Grieg. Also, get yourself a good piano teacher.

    And keep doing hanon exercises, they should be a part of your warm up before you start playing.

    I would recommend doing this hanon exercise for warm up

    do it slow, first with each hand separate, then both. make sure you have your fingers on the keys at all time, and play one key at the time.
    Last edited by Ravndal; Aug-08-2012 at 00:43.
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    Senior Member jani's Avatar
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    Yea, i am a absolute beginner. My main goal is to be able to play Beethoven piano sonatas.
    Last edited by jani; Aug-08-2012 at 01:35.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    Chopin Prelude E Minor.



    This must be perfect for you now.
    Last edited by Ravndal; Aug-08-2012 at 11:26.
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    Junior Member Mun's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if there is a fast way, but if you find yourself having to force yourself to play rather than wanting and simply playing because you enjoy playing the piano. Then I wouldn't recommend you continuing, but if you genuinely want to play then I'd really be patient.

    When I was starting out (with no teacher which I'm assuming you're going to teach yourself as well) I simply put in the hours, I would spend hours and hours on the most simplest sonatas even though I did suck but I kept playing because I enjoyed playing the piano.

    If you already know all the basics then I would recommend you practise playing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (Since you're a faan of his). It's really one of those pieces where the difficulty level is overrated.

    If you can't be bothered reading the sheet music or it's too difficult to learn how to read the sheet music I suggest you go on youtube and learn how to Play Moonlight Sonata from a tutorial video, and then once you've learnt say the first part of it I would start playing it whilst learning how to follow the sheet music.

    The first 2 minutes aren't difficult, it's quite easy and can be taught to a beginner (considering that he's choosing to learn the song rather than read the sheet music) and you'll also sound like a total pro because it sounds aboslutely amazing.

    Learning Piano Sonata No. 16 (the first movement) by Mozart would also be a good idea, that piece is the one that really helped improve my piano skills. Start with playing both hands seperately (I spent atleast an hour for each hand a day, but you can practise thirty minutes each hand a day instead if you do find yourself struggling and stressing out).

    These two sonatas aren't that difficult to learn (Although it will take a while) but will be absolutely rewarding when you learn how to play them because they do make you sound like an absolute pro at playing the piano.

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    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    Actually. The best way to improve, is to get a decent piano teacher. Be active and engaged during the lessons, and the teacher will automatically like you, if it's a good teacher.

    then it's all good
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  10. #7
    Junior Member Mun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravndal View Post
    Actually. The best way to improve, is to get a decent piano teacher. Be active and engaged during the lessons, and the teacher will automatically like you, if it's a good teacher.

    then it's all good
    Agreed, But I'm assuming he is teaching himself since he said he hadn't played for 8 months after getting it 9 months ago. SoI thought I'd try giving him advice when having no teacher.

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    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    It's nice and all :-) But if he wants to play beethoven sonatas beautifully, he should take some piano lessons ^^
    "That as s."

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    Junior Member Mun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravndal View Post
    It's nice and all :-) But if he wants to play beethoven sonatas beautifully, he should take some piano lessons ^^
    I would have to respectfully disagree, I think one of the most important part of being able to play a sonata beautifully is dedication. Which includes putting in the hours and learning the specific areas you need to learn in order to play properly.

    I'm self taught and when I auditioned for WAAPA which is am area at my university that allows you to study music and gain a degree and you must pass the auditions in order to be accepted. (This is in Australia)

    I had no where near as much formal experience as the other people auditioning and yet I received one of the best responses to my performance and said that my performance was one of the most moving he had ever heard.

    I can in fact play better than most of the people I know who did have formal training in piano. (Although I would like to add that I'd probably be a lot better if I did receive training)

    Again, He will be able to successfully teach himself if he has the dedication and love for the piano.

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    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    of course it needs dedication and time. you cant just get a teacher, and expect to be a pro the day after. but a good teacher can give him guidance, and show him the right path.

    anyways, your entitled to your opinion, and i mine. and in a very rare case, a good pianist can bloom out of nothing by him/herself. that doesnt mean jani will (dont worry, we have faith in you!), just because you are a "rare case".

    And i don't know if you have read this, but i agree with almost every single word (except; brendel, ashkenazy, barenboim)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2002...a.artsfeatures
    "That as s."

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    Junior Member Mun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravndal View Post
    of course it needs dedication and time. you cant just get a teacher, and expect to be a pro the day after. but a good teacher can give him guidance, and show him the right path.

    anyways, your entitled to your opinion, and i mine. and in a very rare case, a good pianist can bloom out of nothing by him/herself. that doesnt mean jani will (dont worry, we have faith in you!), just because you are a "rare case".

    And i don't know if you have read this, but i agree with almost every single word (except; brendel, ashkenazy, barenboim)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2002...a.artsfeatures
    I think we may be arguing the same point but debating on how to get there differently.

    I'm using you're saying that people who are self-taught with much dedication will probably only get the technicalities correct but won't be able to grasp a good understanding of music?

    And that a teacher will be able to guide you not only on the technicalities but help you understand music?

    Is that what you're trynig to get at?

    To be fair even though I'm self taught, I did study music in highschool and university.

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    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mun View Post
    I think we may be arguing the same point but debating on how to get there differently.

    I'm using you're saying that people who are self-taught with much dedication will probably only get the technicalities correct but won't be able to grasp a good understanding of music?

    And that a teacher will be able to guide you not only on the technicalities but help you understand music?

    Is that what you're trynig to get at?

    To be fair even though I'm self taught, I did study music in highschool and university.
    Correct!

    And i also recommend getting a teacher, so you can learn how to approach each note, and use your fingers/wrist correctly. Because if your self teaching something totally wrong for years you will have a prob later. And possibly strain/hurt your wrist.

    Which can then lead to arthritis
    "That as s."

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    Junior Member Mun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravndal View Post
    Correct!

    And i also recommend getting a teacher, so you can learn how to approach each note, and use your fingers/wrist correctly. Because if your self teaching something totally wrong for years you will have a prob later. And possibly strain/hurt your wrist.

    Which can then lead to arthritis
    I'd like to say sorry for originally misinterpreting what you were saying at the beginning of this conversation. I thought the fingering (no dirty references intended) would be a problem, which is why when teaching yourself you look up these things. You could look up all the correct fingering all on the internet. One hundred years ago, yes I do think you wouldn't be able to teach yourself properly but because we now have the "internet" we can now learn the areas you referred to very easily, there are videos on learning how to play the piano and how to approach certain notes and what fingers you should use to avoid hurting your wrist and developing arthritis in the future.

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    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    Well, you didn't misinterpret entirely. I still think the fastest way to improve for a beginner, is a teacher who can inspire and learn away basic stuff. I believe it's easier to have someone say it right to your face, and showing examples, than searching around the internet and try to learn everything by reading.
    "That as s."

    - Mark Twain

  19. #15
    Junior Member Mun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravndal View Post
    Well, you didn't misinterpret entirely. I still think the fastest way to improve for a beginner, is a teacher who can inspire and learn away basic stuff. I believe it's easier to have someone say it right to your face, and showing examples, than searching around the internet and try to learn everything by reading.

    One hundred percent
    agree with you, I use to spend hours and hours (Serious) every night and stay up to 2-3 am practising the piano because I wasn't learning as fast as a should've been because I didn't haev a teacher.

    Sorry if everyone misinterpreted me and I made it sound like I was saying it was better to teach yourself.

    I'll say it now, At all costs avoid teaching yourself and if there is any slight possibility of having a teacher teach you piano. THAN get a teacher, teaching yourself is possibly the most difficult and worst route you can take when learning the piano.

    The chances of you being self-taught and being better than a person who's had a teacher and formal training is EXTREMELY slim.

    There are so many things you can learn from a teacher very quickly than learn on your own.

    When I first started out, it took me to learn some areas in piano maybe over an hour to learn when I could've learned it in half an hour through a teacher.

    Again, I repeat. I do not recommend anyone trying to learning the piano by themselves.

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