Complete newbie. Very basic questions, please help.

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Postby fkuebler » 10-11-16 1:02 pm

jimhenry wrote:Does your teacher have any experience with organ or synthesizer? If not, I would find someone who does before too long.

Thanks for your valid considerations. But if I now change direction too much, there is a risk that all things come to a stop. Weighting all aspects I should stay on course at the moment. Until I have more capabilities and experience. And thus a better personal judgement of the plusses and minusses of the various options.
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Postby fkuebler » 10-11-16 1:05 pm

jimhenry wrote:There are some MIDI files that are labeled as being Klaus Schulze music: http://www.midi-karaoke.info/210e72b9.html

Wow! Never would have thought that something like this exists. I will try that out tomorrow.

EDIT: Tried it out. Doesn't have much similarities to Klaus Schulze... :lol:

Not your fault, of course.
Last edited by fkuebler on 10-11-16 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby jimhenry » 10-11-16 1:28 pm

You might want to look at the Sequetron: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/philweb/phil ... etron.html

I know you said you didn't need distractions from the work of learning to play a piano. But I'm wondering if learning to play the piano is really what you want to do. Learning to use a sequencer and other electronic music tools is its own form of musical learning experience. This post from this discussion of "How to sequence like k schulze, tangerine dream" http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewt ... =1&t=35770 (most of which I don't understand) pointed to the Sequetron:

==============

For those who want to create Tangerine Dream type sequences with creative control and relative ease I urge people to give "Sequetron" software a try (I just started using it a few days ago; and btw, I have no affiliation with the creator of the program).

It's truly a fantastic program. Introductory 4 track version is free; with this you already have a user-friendly tool that I feel is far more powerful than most hardware sequencers.

There is a modest fee to upgrade to the full version (which I feel is worth 10-20x its current cost).

I have been trying to find a method to create Tangerine Dream (Klaus Schulze, Hoenig, etc) type sequences for years using both hardware and software type sequencers. Never succeeded. Usually ending in frustration. That is until now (I was creating classic era Tangerine Dream type sequences on my first night of using the Introductory version of Sequetron). I couldn't believe what I was hearing!

The Sequetron approach is very different than other sequencers. Basically, you are using your musical keyboard as both a musical instrument and control interface (sounds like a small step (no pun intented), but I found it makes a huge difference in terms of ease of operation and ability to create on the fly). No more 'throwing darts blindfolded' endlessly tweaking knobs and DAW sliders in the hopes of fluking upon a nice sounding sequence; with the Sequetron software you have a real feel of what you're creating (almost like a instrument in its own right).

Here's the Sequetron home page:

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/philweb/phil ... etron.html

Here's a video (there are many Sequetron videos on Youtube, many more basic than this) that convinced me this was user-friendly and powerful program for TD-type sequencing (Sequetron works great with any midi keyboard btw, you don't need a big modular synth) (may look a little daunting at first but after a short learning curve it's quite easy and intuitive to use its essential features):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhOiJiTR7tc

I hope you all give it a try, and again, no downside as the introductory 4 track version is free. When you get hooked on that (as I was in one night), I'm sure most of you will upgrade to the feature-rich full version which is insanely deep but really just a natural extension of the easy introductory version.

Cheers,
Allen
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Postby fkuebler » 10-11-16 1:55 pm

jimhenry wrote:But I'm wondering if learning to play the piano is really what you want to do.

I can understand your doubt. But I'm quite sure that a fundament learnt from playing piano is what I would need for any future course.

And whether I will be able to achieve some minimal capabilities in playing piano shall also be the gate-building test for whether I will invest eventually into further ambitions.

And piano also makes sense, because for me "piano" means the Yamaha Clavinova of my wife, which contains already some very basic elements of a synthesizer (not a sequencer).
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Postby monkel » 10-12-16 4:10 am

I think Allen has some very valid points. It might be worth to re-evaluate how you can best reach your goal.

Reading your description about learning piano because you are interested in playing and possibly making synth style music reminded me of myself choosing Latin in school because it would be helpful for learning Spanish and other Roman languages. Of course I never learnt those so the time was more or less wasted.

Also I started out taking keyboard lessons from a keyboard and organ teacher and at some point switched to the piano and a different teacher, because I really like the physical aspect of controlling sound with weighted keys and being able to play on pianos and keyboards alike. And I don't like to have any kind of automatic backing music, so I sold my Casio keyboard and got an 88 key Yamaha e-Piano.

For you it may be the other way around - perhaps you spend time learning to play the (e-)piano with it's physical aspects, where you would much faster learn to play a keyboard with non-weighted keys and some kind of automatic accompaniment to your liking as they are offered in synthesizers and keyboards.

I find it is so important to actually produce something you like to listen to, even when "just" practicing. It's the difference between learning a language for an upcoming test or because you want to enjoy your holiday abroad more and actually talk to people. For you to enjoy playing and practising that may include a keyboard as support (and possibly a keyboard teacher). You might also want to take a look at Scott Houston's approach - it's based on the piano and focuses on having fun with what you are playing from the beginning on. No time spent on childrens tunes - unless you happen to like them: https://www.youtube.com/user/pianoguytv/playlists

Synthesia will support you on both platforms with regards to practicing.
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Postby fkuebler » 10-12-16 7:42 am

First of all, I have to say that the conversation with you two guys is a lot of pleasure, and although sometimes I contradict to something, it helps me much to sharpen my thinking and making my mind.

monkel wrote:I think Allen has some very valid points. It might be worth to re-evaluate how you can best reach your goal.

Possibly so. But if I would go this route now, instead of first finishing the very basics on the piano, I'm sure it would end only in some childish playing around. Like my 11-year-old boy does with the piano/keyboard, other than his sister, who is on a serious learning course.

Reading your description about learning piano because you are interested in playing and possibly making synth style music reminded me of myself choosing Latin in school because it would be helpful for learning Spanish and other Roman languages. Of course I never learnt those so the time was more or less wasted.

What a funny coincidence: I also had 9 years of Latin. I didn't chose it (I guess my parents did), but I also did not object, and at least it has helped to build some room in my brain with sort of an awareness for the origins of our western culture. And it helps to withstand my hard piano grind after having learned: Per aspera ad astra... :roll: But not to overdo my sympathy for Latin: I have forbidden my little boy to chose Latin, although he wanted this much due to his fascination for the military Romans. Instead he has to learn French and fulfill his interest for the Romans from German books.

Back to the subject: I respected Latin, but never considered it to be a good base for learning other languages. But with the Piano, even as a bloody newbie I consider it a good basis for other and similar instruments and music. Can I prove that? Sure not, but I'm very convinced... And of course not 9 years until exhaustion, but 1..2 years until I've reached a reasonable basic level.

Also I started out taking keyboard lessons from a keyboard and organ teacher and at some point switched to the piano and a different teacher, because I really like the physical aspect of controlling sound with weighted keys and being able to play on pianos and keyboards alike. And I don't like to have any kind of automatic backing music, so I sold my Casio keyboard and got an 88 key Yamaha e-Piano.

I can immediately understand - and share - the logic behind this. I bought my wife a real grand piano 10 years ago, but after some testing she felt more comfortable with the Yamaha Clavinova (CVP-210, not far from your e-Piano), and so we changed to the Clavinova. But only for reasons of placement in the room, and with regard to the key feeling:

For you it may be the other way around - perhaps you spend time learning to play the (e-)piano with it's physical aspects, where you would much faster learn to play a keyboard with non-weighted keys and some kind of automatic accompaniment to your liking as they are offered in synthesizers and keyboards.

Definitively not. Although the Grand Piano used by my teacher initially made it a slight bit harder for me to play, meanwhile I've even come to slightly prefer the key feeling of the grand over the Clavinova. Funny enough... And with regard to comparing to the feeling of a typical keyboard: some weeks ago I've bought in addition a small Yamaha PSR-E353 keyboard, because it should help decrease my hesitation to exercise "officially" on the Clavinova under the critical eyes - and ears - of my wife, and I wanted something light and easy to exercise reading and playing sheet notes, with something like Synthesia.

And funny enough, my daughter also has lots of fun playing the keyboard. And even my boy - unmusical like myself - has started to experiment. Both myself and my daughter don't use the background music offered by the keyboard (which is also offered by the Clavinova, BTW).

So the little (61-keys) keyboard obviously has its own attractions. But... I myself would never want to do real learning on the flimsy keys of the keyboard, although it has touch sensitivity. It just feels flimsy for me... If pressing a key would only be needed for triggering a flood of chords and sequences automatically generated, then I might be fine with the key feeling. But I have to say that although it still leads me to my limits, I prefer much to generate the sound by my own hands work.

I find it is so important to actually produce something you like to listen to, even when "just" practicing. It's the difference between learning a language for an upcoming test or because you want to enjoy your holiday abroad more and actually talk to people.

Conceptually I agree to you, but please don't forget, that for making that kind of decision really feasible, I must first achieve a minimal level of capability. And other than apparently yourself, I'm still way below this. And thus for me there will be no abbreviation for learning basic piano capabilities. Just basic capabilities which will then make me able to make decisions in the way you appear to mean it. Again: per aspera ad astra :mrgreen:

For you to enjoy playing and practising that may include a keyboard as support (and possibly a keyboard teacher). You might also want to take a look at Scott Houston's approach - it's based on the piano and focuses on having fun with what you are playing from the beginning on. No time spent on childrens tunes - unless you happen to like them: https://www.youtube.com/user/pianoguytv/playlists

I've shortly looked into this (and ordered his Chordwand Piano Chord Finder), but from my short looking it was not clear what else he actually wants to provide? Showing lessons at Youtube and trying to motivate his viewers to play the same? If so, it wouldn't motivate me, unfortunately, and...

Synthesia will support you on both platforms with regards to practicing.

...Synthesia seems to be a completely different animal. Due to the very direct feedback loop and feeling of progress. In my very subjective impression.

Sorry for my very lengthy post... :oops: :)
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Postby monkel » 10-12-16 9:09 am

Sounds good and well thought out. I'll stop buggering ... ;)

Just a short explanation on the Scott Houston Material - in his videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/pianoguytv/videos) and books (https://www.google.de/search?q=piano+in+a+flash+pdf) I find he has a refreshing approach that allows to practice and understand chords and learn some well known tunes in a very approachable way.

I don't want to confuse you with his material but I think it might be worth watching some some of the song and chords videos as I find them quite instructional for self studying and they help if you want to play from cheat sheets where you don't have a base line, just chord symbols.
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Postby fkuebler » 10-12-16 11:34 am

monkel wrote:Sounds good and well thought out. I'll stop buggering ... ;)

Thank you for your endorsement. And your both' "buggering" has brought me lots of insight and clarity. And motivation...

And tons of resources, such as this:
Just a short explanation on the Scott Houston Material - ... I think it might be worth watching some some of the song and chords videos as I find them quite instructional for self studying and they help if you want to play from cheat sheets where you don't have a base line, just chord symbols.

I'll definitively give it a try eventually.
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Postby Markk786 » 07-29-17 9:51 pm

I'm a newbie too...this helps me a lot too....thanks everyone
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