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#1 hudson1984

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 15:45

Hi all, thanks for allowing me in.....after some months! clearly a baglog on the accept invite button. 

 

Anyway, i'm an adult piano player, started at 19, and continued off and on for years. Never wanted to grade - mainly because I was 19 and far too good to need to be gratified by a certificate.... well now i'm 35 and love my certificates! 

 

I decided late in 2018 that I would start again, and go from grade 1 and work my way through. found myself a great teacher who puts up with my poor sense of humour and passed grade 1 (somehow) in early 2019. I've just completed my grade 2 exam and hope to scrape through that too. As much as I'd love to say I nailed it but for sadly nerves get the better of me in a piano exam and I seem to lose my mind completely. Which is really annoying as I practice regularly and feel very comfortable playing in front of others and I'm confident of my ability, just the exam throws me off - especially annoying as I am NEVER nervous about other things. Strange. So hopefully I'll get a pass and will look forward to started grade 3 studies in the new year. 

 

This is where i'm having an issue though.... 

 

I have hankered for some group playing, which sadly the piano doesn't seem suited for, i.e. playing violin seems to have loads of social avenues to play at largely any level but generally the pianist is of a high standard and as such, doesn't leave much space for a beginner. 

 

I actually tried to add violin to my studies but I really struggled trying to fit in the required practice time for 2 instruments. 

 

I have wondered about missing grade 3 next year and having a go at grade 1 Jazz, mainly as there are Jazz groups around so working on my improv skills might really help - but then, continuing my standard route (I.e. working toward grade 8 and beyond) would surely give me much more rounded abilities anyway. 

 

I do play a variety of other music aside from the ABRSM books, mainly Einaudi but anything around that area works for me. #

 

anyway, hope to speak to you all soon, or if anyone has a pocket piano I can play socially do let me know :) 


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#2 Latin pianist

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 15:49

Has your teacher got any students who would play duets with you? That's a very sociable activity.
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#3 hudson1984

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 15:57

no she doesn't sadly, I do however on occassion play duets with my brother in law (generally fueled but several cocktails) 

 

I had thought about looking into adding "keyboard" playing to the studies to allow me to play with friends bands when they require some extra cover (which does happen fairly often) but it seems the keyboard player has a whole lot more to do than just play the tune, it's all those extra sounds and infills that need adding. 


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#4 chris13

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 16:14

Hello hudson1984 and welcome.

 

There are a number of piano groups around the country; London,Oxford, Manchester, Liverpool,Leeds Newcastle, Clitheroe, north Lancashire and probably more that you could join. I will edit in a web address that will tell you more about them when I have relocated it for myself. New members, especially those just beginning the piano learning process are always welcome and with luck you could find somebody there to play duets with. If you are able to get to any of these you will certainly meet many like minded people.

 

https://practisingth...urces-pianists/


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#5 ejw21

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 12:37

Hi hudson1984, good to meet you. Well done on your progress so far! Chris13 is right, definitely check out either a piano meetup or an amateur musicians group. Depending on where you live, there is also a pinned post in the Events section which I'd recommend you peruse.

 

Happy playing!


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#6 Yet another muso

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 13:52

A key difference between the piano and any string, wind or brass instrument is that being an instrument with two independent hands to coordinate makes fluent music reading and sight reading so much more challenging ,especially in the early years of learning. Realistically, it can be a barrier to joining groups to play with others and having a positive experience, rather than just having a very stressful time.

 

Therefore, unless you are already doing loads of it, I suggest increasing the amount of time you spend practising sight reading every day. The piano can be a very sociable instrument, especially as an accompanist (at any level, it's not just reserved for professionals AT ALL!), but realistically your skills have to be more developed than the entry point for ensemble playing for other instruments. If you can make sight reading a strength, in the fullness of time you will put yourself in the best position to take opportunities to play with others in the future. 


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#7 musicalmalc

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 13:59

From what you have said I very much concur with "Yet another muso" but would suggest that you should not do what I did and play for decades without learning to play from chords. I was a fluent sight-reader from an early age but didn't bother with chords and jazz and am only now starting to learn by being in at the deep end playing with a couple of swing bands. It is going to take me a long time and fortunately so far about 70% of numbers seem to have actual notation,

I so wish I had learned notation and chords in parallel 30 years ago!!!


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#8 hudson1984

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 14:00

A key difference between the piano and any string, wind or brass instrument is that being an instrument with two independent hands to coordinate makes fluent music reading and sight reading so much more challenging ,especially in the early years of learning. Realistically, it can be a barrier to joining groups to play with others and having a positive experience, rather than just having a very stressful time.

 

Therefore, unless you are already doing loads of it, I suggest increasing the amount of time you spend practising sight reading every day. The piano can be a very sociable instrument, especially as an accompanist (at any level, it's not just reserved for professionals AT ALL!), but realistically your skills have to be more developed than the entry point for ensemble playing for other instruments. If you can make sight reading a strength, in the fullness of time you will put yourself in the best position to take opportunities to play with others in the future. 

 

 

 

thanks for all the replies, great advice all round. 

 

I've contacted another local teacher who teaches singing, theory and piano, she also has an active "group" it seems so I've tried to see if I could have a few singing lessons to aid in my terrible echos! but also, i'd like to do more theory outside on my main lessons so that could help in the sight reading i.e. more time looking at music 

 

but you're right, I do need to spend more time sight reading. I actually got 100% on sight reading on my grade 1, but think i'll do poorly this time around as I just couldn't seem to get it right which is irritating. So certainly need to work on it. Actually Christmas has thrown some fun into that as the wife would like more Christmas music this year so I've been learning silent night and we three kings - songs i'd of course not play otherwise. but yes playing accompaniment would be a dream 


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#9 hudson1984

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 14:04

From what you have said I very much concur with "Yet another muso" but would suggest that you should not do what I did and play for decades without learning to play from chords. I was a fluent sight-reader from an early age but didn't bother with chords and jazz and am only now starting to learn by being in at the deep end playing with a couple of swing bands. It is going to take me a long time and fortunately so far about 70% of numbers seem to have actual notation,

I so wish I had learned notation and chords in parallel 30 years ago!!!

 

ABSOLUTELY AGREE!!!! (sorry this point required caps) 

 

I play a lot of Einaudi and other "flowy" music, so my arpeggios are generally ok and I don't have much of an issue with scales. But chords are like another language all together. My brother in law enjoys Jazz so has spent time learning his chords, so whereas I can sight read a song with more of an arpeggio flow he struggles but where there is more of a chord structure he can play it almost instantly and I really struggle. 

 

With that in mind, would pausing classical gradings be a good idea and throw in grade 1 jazz piano. Perhaps even grade 2 too, then next year go back to grade 3 classical for a year. So as to mix and match the two. 

 

I don't want to do something that will hamper my playing but I assume any playing is helpful playing really. 


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#10 thara96

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 14:46

My first piece of advice is to ask your teacher about local bands etc you could join as this is great for increasing your overall confidence. Best of luck! Keep us updated too. 


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#11 hudson1984

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 19:48

Soooo. I've made some in roads. I looked into Piano groups and there does appear to be one fairly locally, but think i'll still try to progress a bit more first. 

 

With that in mind i've added a teacher! initially this started as a discussion around singing and theory (the singing mainly to be able to do the echos better) but it seems we have very common thought processes and she actually has a singing student who could use a pianist to accompany after learning the pieces so i'm adding this as a supplement to my other lesson - also i'll be upping my other lesson times too so it'll now be 2 hours of lessons a week which will cover syllabus, theory and accompaniment/Jazz (jazz to go over chords and things like that) 

 

hopefully this'll help on the road to better playing and open some doors into more social playing 


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