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    1. #1
      Expert LDer Affirmation! DeeryTheDeer's Avatar
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      Tell Me About Mastering Piano

      Pretty much all my life I've been able to play music by ear, and have played piano just as long, but I only took a few lessons on and off, here and there, and I've been complacent to tinker around with short, easy little songs from popular tunes, not using both hands most of the time... I'm sure a lot of 5 year old music students are better than me at this point, and I'm 21. I look back and think, "Man, things could/should have been so different... I should be playing advanced classical/jazz upside down with my eyes closed by now".

      So, how do I catch up? I bought a book that teaches how to read music, as well as piano techniques and even a bit about composition, improvisation and music theory... is it imperative for me to take formal lessons?

      I'd love to get as good as Billy Joel...

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    2. #2
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      This sounds exactly like where I am/was a couple years ago! When I was 4, I learned my first few songs (Mary Had a Little Lamb and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) from my grandmother. I have NEVER been able to read music, always playing by ear. Something to note about a large number of musicians; they are musically "illiterate" and play by ear (it's a benefit and a burden, depending on the situation.)

      I essentially stopped playing all together in high school (that was after 3 years of band; I played the bells/marimba, by ear of course.) simply because I would lose interest. But lately I've been composing some simpler songs with basic chords and melodies, and working on more advanced pieces by ear.

      My advice? Just start playing... If you can figure out your learning style (which I'm sure you know) just go with it. I learn best by watching/listening to someone play, rather than reading music (which I just never felt interested in attempting seriously.) I can't play phenomenal, advanced music (and probably won't be able to play that for years at this rate) but that can be attributed to how often I actually practice.

      If you CAN manage to learn how to read music, that's wonderful, and it will propel you very far! If you can't handle that type of learning? Just play and you'll develop your skills through trial and error! Lots and lots of trial and error, listening and tweaking has gotten me to basic/middle-skill pieces. It sounds generic, but it's true: practice makes perfect.

    3. #3
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      Just practice pieces which you like the sound of and for which you can get hold of some sheet music. As you get better you'll probably start liking more complex music and want to learn that too. My advice is to play pieces which you have listened to already for some time and then maybe reading the music while listening to it and then going on to try playing it. Helps to learn some scales and a bit about chords but those will come gradually. You have to practice a lot too. E.g. if there's a tricky passage, break it down into small sections and just play each section over and over until you can do it without looking.
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    4. #4
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      Practice lots of piano.

      Try to play pieces you like by ear... experiment... learn how sheet music works and start playing some.

      Just do lots of it.

    5. #5
      Expert LDer Affirmation! DeeryTheDeer's Avatar
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      Well, that's exactly what I have been doing so far. I guess I'll just keep at it.
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    6. #6
      LD's this year: ~7 tommo's Avatar
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      One you get to a fairly good skill level, like, you can play fur elise or something similar to that, and you have some money coming in, I wold get a teacher.
      Otherwise you likely will not master it, but you could depending on how much you practice and can criticise your own playing.
      Especially since you've started later than you probably should have, a teacher will help greatly.

      So, just practice as much as possible and learn to pick up your mistakes. Sort of shift your perspective and actually listen to how you're playing, instead of how you imagine it sounds, watch other people on youtube (that have good ratings lol) and see how they play the song etc.

      And just keep increasing your skill level. Start with the simplest music. You may find a website with examples of grades and the songs in them. Or just ask someone who knows, I know I don't know lol Also if you have a song you REALLY like, try to learn it even if it is way above your skill level; especially if it is. Because it will keep you interested and you will see how much better you're getting as you are progressing through the simpler music.

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