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View Full Version : newbie advice needed (kinda long)



b-dude
12-16-2005, 07:29 PM
I recently dug out my keyboard from the closet to take another crack at it. I do this every few years. I play twinkle twinkle little star, move on to something more difficult, get frustrated, then back to the closet it goes for another few years. The keyboard is old and has poor sound. The only good part is it has full size keys. I’d like to get something nicer but I want to see if it’s possible for me to excel further before I spend any money.

Now that I’m older, I’d like to get serious about playing. So I found a great site that teaches you Canon (in C). I amazed myself after learning the bass chords with my left hand. Then I learned some of the melodies with my right hand. The problem comes when I try to play them together like it’s supposed to be played. Left hand…GOOD, right hand…GOOD, both hands…VERY BAD! :( I just can’t unlock my brain to play both at once.

So here’s my question: Is there some method that would help me over come this problem? Is it possible some people just can’t grasp this concept? Maybe the last time I put my keyboard away I should have thrown it in the trash instead of the closet?

If the answer is just “more practice” I can handle that, I’m ready for that, but it would be nice to know if there’s some technique or “trick” that I could practice.

Anyways thanks in advance, and sorry my post was so long.

Danster
12-16-2005, 09:38 PM
Seems to me the problem could be resolved by simply slowing down the tempo. Isn’t there a tempo you could play the song at which (while it might not sound that great) would allow you to play it correctly? If so, then play at that tempo for a day or two, then ratchet up the tempo slowly. If you teach your hands the right thing to do at a slow tempo, you should be able to increase the tempo with time. IMO, that’s a much better way to approach it than to play it at a normal tempo, but with mistakes every time. That just teaches your hands to play it wrong.

Good luck (and welcome!)

b-dude
12-16-2005, 09:48 PM
Thanks Dan. After searching around the net I found a lot of people asking the same question and the advice seems to be "SLOW DOWN!".

I'll keep at it at a very slow pace. Maybe I'll find an easier song to practice.

jade_bodhi
12-17-2005, 07:46 PM
Now that I’m older, I’d like to get serious about playing. So I found a great site that teaches you Canon (in C). I amazed myself after learning the bass chords with my left hand. Then I learned some of the melodies with my right hand. The problem comes when I try to play them together like it’s supposed to be played. Left hand…GOOD, right hand…GOOD, both hands…VERY BAD! [/font]:( I just can’t unlock my brain to play both at once.

I have been taking piano lessons for two months, and I described the same problem to my teacher. She said to slow down, as others have suggested, which does help. She also told me to be patient, that I would have a technical breakthrough. I am on a steep part of the learning curve and she promises sychronizing both hands will get easier (at which point, other, more advanced, technique will be necessary to learn). So it never gets easier, but it keeps getting better.

It's tough to be patient learning a new instrument when one is proficient on other instruments.

JB

Grovesy
12-19-2005, 11:40 AM
My advice is just to stick with it, take it in small chunks, maybe just concentrating on a bar at a time. I've noticed with myself I can sit there for ages trying to play something, and just when it seems like all hope is lost, something just clicks and I finally conquer it. And once you do 'break through' the wall it's a great feeling and encourages you to keep going.
So yeah, slow down, take it a little bit at a time, and be patient. Good luck!

b-dude
12-19-2005, 03:47 PM
Thanks for the replys everyone. I have been practicing my butt off. It has been paying off. I can now play the bass chords with my left (C - G - A - E - F - C - F - G) while rolling down the treble chords (C-B-A-G-F-E-F-G) with my right. Not very advanced but definately a milestone for me. BTW heres the lesson if anyone wants to try it.

http://www.lgonzalez.net/music/play_canon.html

PS: Also please excuse me if my above terminology is incorrect.

Zatz
12-19-2005, 08:28 PM
The only good part is it has full size keys. I’d like to get something nicer but I want to see if it’s possible for me to excel further before I spend any money.


My veeery humble opinion, but you gotta invest your money first - fortunately or not. You have to love the sound before you play. Moreover, you need to fall in love with your instrument before you start to CREATE. You'll feel the real inspriration once you've heard the right timbre - I tell you. Get an instrument and good luck to you ;)

forgottenking2
12-19-2005, 08:39 PM
You gotta be careful with that idea Zatz. Many fine musicians I know have ended up with GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) for dwelling too much in such thoughts. Do get a better instrument but don't listen to the little voice that says if you had a better keyboard you'd play better, it's not true. :p

On a serious note, I'd say save up and get something with a good action (weighted keys and what not) instead of getting something a little better thinking you are getting a bargain and having to upgrade later. I know from experience; my keyboard has no realistic action and wound up useless for real practice. I do use it for ear training exercises but that's about it.

b-dude
12-19-2005, 09:19 PM
I definately understand that. When I say the thing sounds awful I really mean it. It's painful to listen to.

I don't think a better KB would make me play any better but it would most definately be more enjoyable which means I'd want to play more. I just want to make sure I won't get fed up and stop playing after a couple of months. Even then I'm not going to spend an arm and a leg. I've been looking at the Yamaha DGX 505 which has awesome reviews and just about everyone says the piano sounds are fantastic for the money.

Also tonight I go over to the inlaws who have a real Piano. Looking foward to hearing a nice sound. :)

jade_bodhi
12-20-2005, 05:28 PM
You have to love the sound before you play. Moreover, you need to fall in love with your instrument before you start to CREATE. You'll feel the real inspriration once you've heard the right timbre - I tell you. Get an instrument and good luck to you ;)

I actually believe this, the comments of ForgottenKing nothwithstanding. I am often asked by beginners, "What kind of guitar should I get? I want to learn how to play." Most of them want to spend only a little because they don't want to invest in something expensive if they aren't going to follow through. But for acoustic beginners, it's a helluva lot easier to learn to play on a decent instrument than something cheaply made.

Back to the main point about piano. I find it easier to play on acoustic piano obviously because of the real action of the hammers and keys, but also the vibration and resonance from an acoustic piano helps me play better. I hear the instrument with my body, not just my ears.

I hope this isn't just gear talk but more toward the aesthetics of playing.