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Thread: Music theory beginner.

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    Default Music theory beginner.

    I will be reading through the music theory and when I'm done with it I shall, I think, take up piano lessons. The question is - can I be good (not competition good, but still play well), if I start at the age of 19 (or rather 20, as I will be of that age in January)?

    I did have a short episode of playing an instrument (1st grade at school) but the teacher had not ignited the passion in my heart so I dropped it.

    Anyways - what do you think about taking up an instrument this late?

    EDIT: removed the off topic part.
    Last edited by KaerbEmEvig; Dec-21-2009 at 00:24.

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    Senior Member handlebar's Avatar
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    I didn't take up violin and cello until after age 35. I took up classical guitar at age 40.
    So there you go. If an idiot like ME and do it then an intelligent and gifted person as yourself will have no problems. Just work at it.

    Jim

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    Junior Member colin's Avatar
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    Its never too late to learn an instrument. Put it this way, if you just sit and look at the piano, you wont get any better at it.

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    Go for it, but only if you enjoy playing the piano. I've seen so many children been "forced" to play the piano and ultimately, once it has been disposed onto a college app, it's of no use any more.

    Also, do not aim to become "professional". There are very few pianists who start in their 20s, and even starting early, the competition is too fierce. There are some exceptions though; if you have extreme passion, talent, time, and dedication, it is still possible.

    So the answer is yes, definitely, if you want to. You can still be good, but most of all it'll be something that you'll have for the rest of your life. In addition, it will increase your understanding of all genres of music.

    Personally, I don't know how I could've handled all the stress I've been through without my good ol' Kawai.
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

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    I have thought about this question a lot. The main thing I've decided is that people pay way too much attention to talent. People are always saying, I can't play, I can't write, I can't draw or paint, I don't have the talent. The sad fact is that this is just an excuse. They don't do those things because, in the end, they don't really want to.

    As Stephen King said about talent, some people are given small swords and some people are given big swords but no one is given a sharp sword. Regardless of the size of your sword, it's entirely up to you how sharp it will be. Just about anyone can learn to play the piano well enough to "wow the layman" as one of my college professors put. And if you too are a layman, cool. You just might wow yourself!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmisho View Post
    I have thought about this question a lot. The main thing I've decided is that people pay way too much attention to talent. People are always saying, I can't play, I can't write, I can't draw or paint, I don't have the talent. The sad fact is that this is just an excuse. They don't do those things because, in the end, they don't really want to.
    That's true. Although perfect pitch is harder to acquire for people who were not raised in tone language speaking family (scientifically proven - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1114235846.htm).

    I haven't been raised to be a painter (didn't take any classes). I was drawing [with pastels] because it was fun. I only drew three works, though (http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/3096/dscn3454new.jpg and http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/7...tbykaerbem.jpg I have pictures of).

    Yes, there might be a little advantage that comes with one's genetics or their upbringing, but it can't be more important than the 10 000 hours one has to spend practicing (the number's based on the SciAm article) to master a skill. It's just that people who are brought up playing piano will achieve this much earlier in their lives.

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    afaik nobody acquires perfect pitch. one must be born with it, but superb relative pitch can be developed and your practice will help that. 20 is young, go for it.
    remember to practice smart, not just practice.
    don't overlook singing and then playing the same intervals, melodies, etc.

    dj

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    Quote Originally Posted by david johnson View Post
    afaik nobody acquires perfect pitch. one must be born with it, but superb relative pitch can be developed and your practice will help that. 20 is young, go for it.
    remember to practice smart, not just practice.
    don't overlook singing and then playing the same intervals, melodies, etc.

    dj
    Like I said, it's scientifically proven that users of tone languages such as Mandarin have a much higher probability of having perfect pitch, which defies the hypothesis of inheriting it from one's parents - vide: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1114235846.htm

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    nope, they're incorrect

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    As an adult beginner myself. I would say that the obstacles that can get in the way of reasonable progress are:

    1. Self criticism - ie "I'll never be as good as (insert name of famous musician)". This can mess with your mind. That's one area little kids have an advantage, they are far more positive about their own achievements.
    2. Lack of time to practise
    3. Crappy teaching
    4. Playing music you don't really like because it's "good for you". Very demotivating.

    So I'd say go in with a positive attitude, enjoy the ride, make time to practise, play music you love, and find a good teacher.

    Happy learning!
    Natalie

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    Last edited by KaerbEmEvig; Dec-30-2009 at 14:39.

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    it isn't just say-so. please note 'with roughly 20 seconds intervening between the two' in the links.
    perfect pitch requires no time delay.

    dj

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    "No time delay" is nonsense. The question is how much time delay. Then, exactly what time delay are you going to allow to divide perfect pitch from really good relative pitch and why?

    It does seem to me that the division between these two things is ultimately arbitrary.

    I'll add that perfect pitch is not always a good thing. For the purposes of performance, I'd think really good relative pitch would serve you better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by david johnson View Post
    it isn't just say-so. please note 'with roughly 20 seconds intervening between the two' in the links.
    perfect pitch requires no time delay.

    dj
    You took it out of context. Read the paper again because it seems you misunderstood it. It was meant to show that whether it is an "immidiate" succession (it could have been 1 second instead of 20, it does not matter) or a difference of a whole day, the results stay the same (as in: outstandingly good) - huge majority of tone language speakers posses perfect pitch.
    Last edited by KaerbEmEvig; Dec-30-2009 at 16:46.

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    Another proof: The Musical Mind

    One aspect of this is the prevalence of absolute pitch in congenitally blind people. This is something which is pretty rare in the general population.
    Bear in mind that congenital does not mean genetic/hereditary (that's my point).
    Last edited by KaerbEmEvig; Jan-02-2010 at 21:29.

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