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MattW
06-09-2005, 12:19 PM
Not too long ago I decided that I wanted to learn to play piano, I just started off by playing a load of really easy songs (Hymns, carrols and that sort of thing) and so that I could get accustomed to correct fingerings and reading the notes correctly. I then started working through a book by Czerny which isn't too hard but the first half of the book uses two treble clefs instead of one treble and bass, and since I was trying to make sure I could do everything perfectly before moving on I was no longer at the standard required to read that level of bass clef simultaneoulsly with more complicated right hand parts.

Anyway, I'm going a bit off topic, I was just wondering if anyone could suggest some things that would be highly benificial to me at this stage, I did try playing some more complicated classical pieces but it seemed pointless (despite the fact I love the music and playing it) since I was unable to read the music at the required pace (or even slowed down) instead I was just learning it all off by heart then playing it all at once, which did not seem to improve my general coordination. Any helpful suggestions?

Sorry I can't ask any more specific questions, I just need pointing in the right direction, I can't afford lessons though before anyone mentions that.:(

fortymile
06-10-2005, 04:59 AM
i dunno, take it slower. when i was a kid, i was taught out of the Alfred's books. they seem a good place to start.

Mateo150
06-10-2005, 06:06 AM
I did try playing some more complicated classical pieces but it seemed pointless (despite the fact I love the music and playing it) since I was unable to read the music at the required pace (or even slowed down) instead I was just learning it all off by heart then playing it all at once, which did not seem to improve my general coordination. Any helpful suggestions?


Thats how it works when your first learning to read. And you didn't really try it did ya?.... cuz it does help your general coordination. Learning to read and play is somewhat tedious and boring. Depending on what kind of music you want to play, you should find the right pieces to learn. I learned from the Schumann etudes for children, a book of about 2-3 page long pieces, working on different aspects. Really, a very nice lesson set he wrote. There are Alfreds books for jazz/blues as well. Read up on how the technique should be.

Also, if you want to play jazz, a typical Haydn piece isn't what you want. Find pieces that make your arms move, not just your fingers.

Jazzman340
08-02-2005, 03:37 PM
You must learn major scales. Whatever anyone says, Jazz i based on Major scales. ASAP, get into the Jazz repetoire and start playing through the melodies, with no intention, yet, or enhancing chords. Just get by. CHoose two or three which sound good.. and begin to move a note of the left hand chord, flatten a 5th, add a 9th. Of course, you'll only know what these are if you know the major scale well enough of all 12 keys to follow it, and know which notes to modifying.

Its also how you can transpose on the spot. Easy really. :) Dont expect it to happen in one session. Id say a week. Honestly.

Dan.

silent-storm
08-10-2005, 09:12 AM
Its also how you can transpose on the spot. Easy really. :) Dont expect it to happen in one session. Id say a week. Honestly.


All sarcasm is lost on the internet, but...

I would appreciate if you would let us know how to learn in a week to transpose melodies on the spot regardless of how well you know your major scales. Almost every song I know I can play in 12 keys, but I need to play it in a few keys before it's down. I suppose if you had your scales down you could learn to transpose simple melodies at a slow tempo in a week, but anything with a large number of accidentals or of considerable length you need some time to master...let alone transposing chord progressions, because you need to recognize groups of notes as having a collective function if you want to do it at any speed.

A week?

Jazzman340
08-10-2005, 09:22 AM
Hi there. My intention was not to come here and cause friction, however, I must say that you completely answered your own question to me.

1) I suppose if you had your scales down you could learn to transpose simple melodies at a slow tempo in a week. Yes.

2) ...you need to recognize groups of notes as having a collective function... Yes.

:)

I guess its just in me, but I find it relatively easy to think a 4th up from any key and just instantly see the "collective function" of the new "group of notes". Perhaps thats because I play and study Jazz daily. But nevertheless, the level of my post was aimed at a beginner, or somebody who was not aware of how 'easy' the theory is behind transposing. Thats all. For example, if someone gave me a chord chart in Eb and wanted it in F, I wouldnt have a problem after a short time, of course depending on the complexity, to play it straight off in F. I dont really think about "oh ok hes an Abm7+9, right thats 2 up it has to go (for F) so thaaats.... ok, hang on, we're in Eb, Ab is a 4th. Hmm, a 4th of F is Bb, so ill play a Bbm7+9". Then it comes to the recognising bit. I can just see chords, thats just me. So id just play a Bb, Db, C, F, Ab in some order.

Again, the post was just for a 'beginnery' to see that counting up in major scales is quite easy when you know them well enough.

Hope that answers a bit more.
Dan

silent-storm
08-11-2005, 06:29 AM
no friction caused...

Now this is just from personal experience, although I'm probably not alone. What I failed to explain in my previous post was that when I first started learning to transpose the melodies to jazz standards I knew my scales well, but the hardest part was catching my mistakes and knowing if I had actually screwed up. When I would first take a melody into a different key it might as well have been a different melody because it sounded totally different. After I played it in a couple keys things would start to smooth out, but until then if I did screw up by a scale tone or so it was hard to catch right away. I knew my scales but my ears needed time to catch up, especially large intervals where a semi tone off in a foreign key doesn't sound that wrong. I find that transposing has just as much to do with your ears as it does with your scale knowledge, but then maybe that's just the way I play. Of course once you get about a dozen standards in 12 keys down this is all moot, but until then...

panhead
08-11-2005, 09:12 PM
one thing that helped me years ago in transposing was to look at the movement in a mathematical view.
for example, a large number of songs consist of three chords in a particular key.
take A for example.
the most basic chords would typically be A, D, and E.
if you look at the root as the 1 then you would be playing a 1, 4, 5, D being the fourth and E being the fifth.
i think it boils down to a basic understanding of intervals.
a major scale transposed from C to D will still be a major scale.
moving from c, as in ionian mode, to D, as in the dorian mode, D will no longer be a major scale but a minor, but only in the since of D now being the root.
if C were to remain the root, then the scale would simply have a different starting point and retain the notes of the major scale.
so if D were to be used as a dorian mode ( being a minor an extension of C ) the melody would no longer be correct in this context.
to be correct you would need to make D the root, it would be played as a major.
once this is understood it becomes much easier to add chordal extensions, and then substitutions.
i do hope this makes since.
i am not the best when verbalizing instructions, or so i am frequently told.
this is my first post here and i would like to say kudos!
thanks billy jack for the link.
i hope my ramblying makes since.

:confused:

Jazzman340
08-12-2005, 09:36 AM
Panhead..I like the mathermatical approach. Infact, thats exactly how I do it. I teach that jazz is numbers. Of course, as always, not until major scales are known inside out in all 12 keys ;)

Otherwise, the 'maths' means nothing. No point saying a b5 of D is Ab and saying "what is it in G" if they dont know that G is a 4th up from D to be able to find the b5 of the newly found G, you see? (b5 of G is Db)... and just to say for what its worth, I wrote this paragraph without stopping which just enforces my point about knowing them inside out before you can communicate both verbally and musically in Jazz. Simple really, as I said in my first response.
;)
Dan.

panhead
08-12-2005, 12:50 PM
Panhead..I like the mathermatical approach. Infact, thats exactly how I do it. I teach that jazz is numbers. Of course, as always, not until major scales are known inside out in all 12 keys ;)

Otherwise, the 'maths' means nothing. No point saying a b5 of D is Ab and saying "what is it in G" if they dont know that G is a 4th up from D to be able to find the b5 of the newly found G, you see? (b5 of G is Db)... and just to say for what its worth, I wrote this paragraph without stopping which just enforces my point about knowing them inside out before you can communicate both verbally and musically in Jazz. Simple really, as I said in my first response.
;)
Dan.
i agree knowing the scale is a absolute must, and has Jazzman340 has state, their is no substitute period.
sometimes just a explanation of the numbers my help, the light to come on, although i suppose their maybe an add confusion if the student is not willing to lean the scales, numbers our not.
as a friend of mine is well aware i am constantly saying scales, scales, ok, now at least learn the major scales.
their, simply put, is no substitute for practice with intent.
as a dear friend of mine was said if you have to think about it, well, its to late.
you do not now you scales, if you have to think.

kudos Jazzman340
i look forward to getting some advice from you as i a few more then a few week points myself.

:)

Jazzman340
08-12-2005, 02:13 PM
Cheers. Me too. Whats your natie language?

panhead
08-12-2005, 06:51 PM
english or i should say poor english. :)

BillyJack
08-12-2005, 08:37 PM
english or i should say poor english. :)

English my eye Hicklish is more like it. :p
Hey Panhead!

BillyJack
08-12-2005, 11:42 PM
Not too long ago I decided that I wanted to learn to play piano, I just started off by playing a load of really easy songs (Hymns, carrols and that sort of thing) and so that I could get accustomed to correct fingerings and reading the notes correctly. I then started working through a book by Czerny which isn't too hard but the first half of the book uses two treble clefs instead of one treble and bass, and since I was trying to make sure I could do everything perfectly before moving on I was no longer at the standard required to read that level of bass clef simultaneoulsly with more complicated right hand parts.

Anyway, I'm going a bit off topic, I was just wondering if anyone could suggest some things that would be highly benificial to me at this stage, I did try playing some more complicated classical pieces but it seemed pointless (despite the fact I love the music and playing it) since I was unable to read the music at the required pace (or even slowed down) instead I was just learning it all off by heart then playing it all at once, which did not seem to improve my general coordination. Any helpful suggestions?

Sorry I can't ask any more specific questions, I just need pointing in the right direction, I can't afford lessons though before anyone mentions that.:(

Hey Matt,
Let's see if I can help. Panhead and Jazzman are dead on the mark. I'm gonna try to illustrate what it is they're explaining. Let's look a Major scale. I'm sure you've heard this so, without the use of your piano, sing Do, Ra, Me, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do. This is the major scale but ask yourself, in what key? Point is, it doesn't matter. The space between Do & Ra is consistent regardless of what key you start in, same thing applies to all 7 notes in the scale. That being the case we can simply number them 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 and then you're back to one, an octave higher. Now, how do we measure this space? Each key on your piano represents what is called a semi or half tone. To create a whole tone you have to skip a key (don't forget the little black things are keys too). We're gonna make a formula using (S)semi-tones and (W)whole-tones to map out the major scale. Now, between 1&2 there is a (W)whole-tone. Between 2&3 is a (W)whole-tone. Between 3&4 is a (S)semi-tone. Between 4&5 is a (W)whole-tone. Between 5&6 is a (W)whole-tone. Between 6&7 is a (W)whole-tone. And lastly, between 7&1(1 being the octave to where you started) is a (S)semi-tone. Here's a shorthand version you can write down to remember it by.
(1 W 2 W 3 S 4 W 5 W 6 W 7 S 1)

This is an illustration of the major scale in C
http://http://members.cox.net/billy.jack/CMajorSkip.jpghttp://members.cox.net/billy.jack/CMajorSkip.jpg

Now let's see how hard it is to transpose it to lets say Eb
http://http://members.cox.net/billy.jack/EbMajorSkip.jpghttp://members.cox.net/billy.jack/EbMajorSkip.jpg

What this means is, if you were playing in C and playing C,F,C,G&C for your chord progression that would be 1,4,1,5,1 which is what Panhead meant by a 1,4,5 song. This is one of, if not the most, common of progressions. If you look at the picture of the Eb Major above, you'll see that 1=Eb, 4=Ab & 5=Bb. You have now been transposed. For melody, just move each notes number in your melody to its position within the new key.
Practice is the only way you'll ever be able to transpose on the fly so for this, you need to use the formula, Start in any key and play the W, W, S, W, W, W, S in every key, every day. Slowly at first so not to make mistakes and then progressively faster and faster, forwards and backwards one hand then both to train yourself in the mechanics of each key. All the scales have a formula based on this one so, once you've got the Major scale down, just ask and I'm sure one of use can give you the formula for the others. Minor, Augmented, Diminished so on and so on........

Good Luck!

BillyJack
08-13-2005, 02:07 PM
Hey Matt,
Me again. After rereading what I posted, I realized I got side tracked on the transpose guestion in this thread and kind of left you hanging at how to practice the Major scale. Sorry Dude. The post is still relavent cause you have to, have to, HAVE TO know the Major scale in all keys. Counting 1~7 and knowing how to get from one interval to the other is the best way I know to learn. I tought my son this way in less than a hour and within the week he was flawless in every key. (shamefully better than me at it) So please try the formula.

As for what other help I can offer, not a lot of short cuts to reading a staff. Two things I can think of though. 1st- learn the grand staff (that's Bass and Treble) as a whole from the very begining. I learned the treble staff then, found myself getting confused when I'd read the bass staff. Basically, I had to clear my head and relearn them as a whole before I could move forward. 2nd Most musicians know the phrase "Every Good Boy Does Fine" That's the line notes on the treble staff bottom to top (E, G, B, D, F). I have a somewhat extended version that covers the whole grand staff: "Good Boys Do Fine Always Cause Every Good Boy Does Fine".

http://members.cox.net/billy.jack/GrandStaff.jpg

Other than that, all I have is that's not spelled out in all entry level books is: LEARN TILL YOU KNOW all 12 notes on the piano by site. Which actually probly goes without saying :D

Again, Good Luck

Jazzman340
08-20-2005, 05:04 PM
Wow sorry for the delay chaps. I expected some email notifications when people posted but didn't. Great explanations with graphics...

I hope he can get this into his fingers (not his head, his fingers ;) ) and then we wont even need to write out a scale or give the notes. I'd just say... "Right dude, you know the majors, now go play a minor7th with a b5".. He'd sod off, and go ooooh, C, D, Eb F Gb A Bb and C. Ok, play the Gb and G and thats your blues scale, nice for m7 chords (m7+9th too) and also, just to step it up a notch, a blues scale works lovely when you play the minor 7th chord with the left hand a minor third up from the key of the blues scale you're in.

Abm7 is a m3 from F (F G Ab Bb...) so the F blues works over Abm7. C blues works on Ebm7. Worth a try and a nice little push up the ladder of sound and harmonic orientation.

I must say, I LOVE, for example in F blues, the b5 (B natural) with the Abm7+9... it gives a "RESOLVE ME NOW BSTRD" kinda feeling so acknowledge and go to the Bb or 4th (in my F key example) and you'll see what I mean.

Question. What would the equivelant be in C andG blues scales? ;) See you next lesson :cool: