Piano Technique Series for Synthesia

Discuss methods, books, lessons, and websites you use to learn.
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Postby Laserbeak43 » 09-14-13 6:51 am

I have to agree with Jim.
Knowing myself, I tend to get excited when i see something new and want to tackle it, forgetting all of the work that i might have done on another project. I'd really like to stick to one thing until i'm good at it for a change.
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Postby kiwi » 09-14-13 6:57 am

Well depending on what sort of thing?
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Postby Laserbeak43 » 09-14-13 9:47 am

kiwi wrote:Well depending on what sort of thing?

In my life, anything. I've gotten the Piano Lessons Package for Synthesia I have the Hannon book I have the Jazz Hannon Book. I have tons of books!
I jump into one. See another book and jump into that one. I just like to try new stuff. The result, I've been reading the beginning chapters of piano books for years. :(
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Postby kiwi » 09-14-13 10:54 am

Am a self teacher i have learn 3 books on musical theory since 1 years all the 3 at the same time.
One for pure theory one for apply the scales on the fretboard and another more jazz oriented.
And i was Learning songs and try to use my knwoledge for to improvise too.
I also made some rhytm exercices all on the same years.
So it's not bad to learn different things at the same time the bad things is to don't finish the work any of sort of works ;)

However the basics are the more important things so all of this work u have done is usefull now u need to stick it for to understand what is the next step
Thats why i had said sometimes sticky is needed.
Last edited by kiwi on 09-14-13 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jimhenry » 09-14-13 11:05 am

I agree that learning music and an instrument is a multi-front battle. I also know the problem of having 10 years of training--the first year ten times. What I am suggesting is finding a comprehensive course that includes the theory and multiple aspects of learning to play and then sticking with that one course for at least six months to give it a fair shot at getting you through the fundamentals in all areas. You can be effective mixing and matching materials from multiple teachers but you have to understand what each is trying to accomplish so you can use them effectively together. It's like the difference between going to a restaurant or a supermarket. You can wind up with a good meal either way but if you go to a restaurant a lot of the decisions get made for you and the result is more assured. If you go to the supermarket you probably get a meal that is more exactly to your taste but you have to know more about what you are doing.
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http://www.VirtualOrgan.com/
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Postby kiwi » 09-14-13 11:20 am

Yeah depending on the student ,the goal student and many things; the sticky period can be long or not...
So it's not white or black
By the way the method u want use for jazz is not a good one (i don't speak about dumper pedals) but there's much to learn before this type of lesson.

I would suggest a strictly book of theory.
Listen a lot of jazz
And apply the theory with exercices and improvisation on standard.(testing/ear the result on the instrument)
Working on rythm together too but u can learn chords and play rythmic patterns with them (u can also use triad substituion and so on) so many things together.

And also make a calendar and a diary of you're progress/goals.
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Postby jimhenry » 09-14-13 12:09 pm

Laserbeak43 wrote:I have tons of books!

Taking a long hard look at your library is probably the best place to start. Is there any one book amongst them that covers all the fundamentals asked for by the 6 months to Jazz course? If so, then lock up the rest of the books and really buckle down and learn everything in that book from page 1 on without skipping the boring and/or difficult stuff. Learn to make MIDI files of the material in the book to help you practice effectively.

If you don't have one book that is complete, do you have two that look like they would fit together to make a complete course? If so, same deal except you have to work through the two books together. That means doing something from both most days, not ping ponging back and forth.

Learning piano takes discipline and imposing discipline on yourself is hard. Don't beat yourself up over it, it's hard for everyone. Much of what a teacher does for you is provide the discipline. Figure out something that will keep you accountable for making steady progress. If you start skipping a day of practice and study here and there, you will quickly get to the point where you might be maintaining but you won't be progressing. That's where the temptation to change books comes in. Regular practice and study of a method is more important than the method you choose. So make what you think is your best choice and then buckle down.
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http://www.VirtualOrgan.com/
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Postby Laserbeak43 » 09-15-13 8:00 am

jimhenry wrote:
Learning piano takes discipline and imposing discipline on yourself is hard. Don't beat yourself up over it, it's hard for everyone. Much of what a teacher does for you is provide the discipline. Figure out something that will keep you accountable for making steady progress. If you start skipping a day of practice and study here and there, you will quickly get to the point where you might be maintaining but you won't be progressing. That's where the temptation to change books comes in. Regular practice and study of a method is more important than the method you choose. So make what you think is your best choice and then buckle down.

I can take this quote with me through life in general. Thanks for this. I almost want to write it on a mirror or something.
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Postby Nicholas » 09-16-13 7:20 pm

Laserbeak43 wrote:Thanks for this. I almost want to write it on a mirror or something.

No kidding. I feel like that should be in Synthesia's FAQ or something.
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Postby TonE » 09-16-13 7:30 pm

Or on the main page, somewhere, after 'Buy the Learning Pack', so they know how to learn, or at least how not to learn, not by switching focus and material all the time.
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Postby Laserbeak43 » 09-17-13 6:57 pm

I'm actually going to start blogging about it. So far, it's been holding me accountable. I might as well put the link in my sig.
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Postby jimhenry » 09-17-13 7:43 pm

I've left you comments on your blog. If you really want to be held accountable, I would suggest starting a topic here rather than posting in a blog which will probably have the same readership as messages in a bottle. I think posts here will be seen by more people who can offer suggestions and encouragement. You might also inspire others to follow in your foot steps. A lot of Synthesia users use Synthesia to provide greater discipline in their quest to learn to play piano. You fit right in around here.
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Postby Laserbeak43 » 09-17-13 8:38 pm

I guess i'll do just that. I'd love to help the community out. I'll cross-post to my blog though. :D
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Postby kiwi » 09-18-13 7:15 pm

TonE wrote:Or on the main page, somewhere, after 'Buy the Learning Pack', so they know how to learn, or at least how not to learn, not by switching focus and material all the time.

Again i think switching material and focus is good the bad is to loose focus.
Music is based on many things not just one to follow like the words of god :)
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Postby jimhenry » 09-23-13 3:13 pm

Here is an interesting article on how to practice scales:
http://www.key-notes.com/piano-scales.html
Jim Henry
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Postby Laserbeak43 » 09-23-13 3:34 pm

noted.
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Postby kiwi » 09-24-13 3:12 am

Really good article just one thing
C major need to be learn not in last but in first for the theory side and anyway it' s not necessary to play fast at the beginning so C is playable.
More important is to learn how the scale is build how it's harmonize and therefore HOW IT SOUND.
Then practicing 5fht and chromatic together is not bad (and other intervalls too) but just stick in this tonality (at the beginning it's needed to stick often a long time.)
The pentatonic along the "relativity" major scale i seasy to learn along because it's the same notes than the diatonic with 2 less.

But we can learn pièces in others tonality together for entertaining ^^.

And when a little confident found a band or a friend for to play together :=) (to all the geek synthesia is a tutor not a Friend :D )

Really like this blog: i quote you :
"I wouldn't doubt it. I can play lots of parts of tunes by ear, simply by guessing, even wondering how I even do it. It's like a second nature that I don't even understand. Hopefully learning theory will allow me to get in better touch with that part of myself. "

Maybe it's because you're black ^^ joking but not so much black have a good ears usually and a good sense of rythm (speak only music please ^^).
Yep theory can really help you if have already a good ear.
Edit: am reading the key notes site and he think like me working on many front together with always musicality in mind.
Last edited by kiwi on 09-24-13 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jimhenry » 09-24-13 3:42 am

kiwi wrote:And when a little confident found a band or a friend for to play together :=) (to all the geek synthesia is a tutor not a Friend :D )

Or even before you are a little confident. You will learn so much playing with others that you can't learn any other way. Really, really work at finding a group you can play with.
Jim Henry
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Postby kiwi » 09-24-13 4:02 am

Sure thats why i have used "little" .

I have found this about tempo (was thinking same things after reading the laserbeak43 difficulty with his pattern on the blog).

http://www.key-notes.com/the-most-important-rule-of-piano-technique.html

Synthesia can help you to do this.

I always learn the piece or the exercice for the first time to 10% of the real speed trying to make a perfect movement for the first time. Then i replay many times depending on the difficulty and i add 10 % for to raise the 50% this is for the first day
2 day i replay from less than 50 % and i increase depending of the difficulty tempo etc...
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Postby jimhenry » 09-24-13 4:41 am

"A little confident" is probably the better standard for playing with a group. The important skills are being able to maintain the rhythm and tempo. Part of that is learning to keep going even if you make a mistake. A mistake is barely noticeable when playing with a group if it is played in rhythm and it doesn't disrupt what follows. Sometimes it is said there are no wrong notes, just notes played at the wrong time. The importance of good rhythm cannot be over emphasized. Synthesia is helpful for developing good rhythm but you do have to work at it because Synthesia is an "easy grader." You want rhythm that is A+ or better by Synthesia's standards. In other words, do play with a metronome and listen to your accuracy at least some of the time and grade yourself. Don't just rely on Synthesia.
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