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Old 07-01-2008, 17:46   #1
Busby
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Learning Keyboard/Piano

I guess this would be the correct forum. If not can a mod please move?

I've just bought an electronic keyboard and now I'm looking for some books or video's to learn how to play the thing.

I'm a complete noob and apart from Chopsticks I can play nothing.

Any suggestions?

There are too many books on amazon and stuff for me to choose from

Thanks
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Old 07-01-2008, 20:30   #2
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I suppose the Piano For Dummies book is as good a place as any to start. Once you've got the basics down and have learnt to read a bit of music you'll pretty much be able to have a go at playing the pieces you really want to learn. Piano is not a particularly difficult instrument to get started in.

Learning to read music and understanding the theory behind it all is quite important to grasp in my opinion.

I did grade 1 when I was about 10 years old, then stopped having lessons because they were never fun. Over the next decade or so I just bought the sheet music to music I wanted to play and taught myself to play them.

More recently I've started delving into classical stuff that's a little more complex than what I was used to and found that I have improved in leaps and bounds.
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Old 07-01-2008, 21:10   #3
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I have mailed you some information but here's the real basics which you need to know.

There are 12 notes on your keyboard - repeated in octaves. White notes are the 8 "regular" notes and the black notes are the "sharps/flats"

They go:

C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C

White Black White Black White White Black White Black White Black White

each key represents a "half step" - 2 keys is a "whole step"

To create a major chord you need to create a major scale from the 12 notes.

Start on any note and apply the following pattern:

Whole Whole Half Whole Whole Whole Half

So C major - CDEFGABC
and D Major - DEF#GABC#D

To create a Major chord you need the 1, 3 and 5 notes from the Major Scale.

Therefore C Major chord = C E G
and D Major Chord - D F# A

etc etc

Minor chords have a "flat third"

So C minor - c e flat G
D minor - d f a

hope that helps a bit - seems confusing but if you sit in front of a keyboard and apply it then it makes sense I promise. I should point out that I am a guitar player not a keyboard player - this is my "hack" way of knocking together some basic chords when I need to. Obviously there's more patterns for extended chords, 7ths and all that jazz but you can just look them up when you need them.

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Old 07-01-2008, 22:32   #4
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Yeah im in the same boat, so any info would be helpful. The books i have are ancient (1979? ) and the so called "beginners" stuff on the net seems like a Tactical Manual to Aerial Combat to me...

Edit: I can rather akwardly just play Saints go Marching In with my right hand lol Thats about as far as ive got.

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Old 07-01-2008, 23:23   #5
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Noticed you couldn't get the morrisons yamaha keyboard, what did you get in the end?
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:12   #6
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Thanks guys and thanks for the pdf DeadYankee, much appreciated


mixalot : I bought one from Argos after. It was 79.99 the Yamaha PR 200 I think it's called. seems pretty good.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:17   #7
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I had lessons for 15 years. Love playing it now but for all those years it was a bit of a chore.
Learn some theory as well, it really will help to make more sense of what you are playing.

And don't leave it too long to start playing with both hands, otherwise it will be really hard to introduce your left hand into play if you are too used to playing with just the right.

Being able to play though and read music is one of my proudest achievements though - it's really great to be able to do. You really have to practice and practice though.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:53   #8
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Cheers. I've just ordered "Piano for dummies" so I guess that's a start.

deffinately something I've wanted to do for years so hopefully I'll keep at it.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:56   #9
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Good luck. If your interested in Piano at any point then a teacher becomes essential. Though you'd need a keyboard with fully weighted keys at that point.
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:29   #10
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yes, beware the difference between playing keyboard and piano.
Some folk's learning benefit from regular lesons whereas others can motivate themselves.
A good self-leaner may have to return to basics at some point to iron out bad habits from a teacher's point of view though.
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:05   #11
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I've been playing guitar for 14 years but never played keyboard. Last night I decided to try some stuff on my daughters new Yamaha and it was brilliant fun. I learned some chords and used them to learn Imagine by John Lennon, Karma Police by Radiohead and Let It Be by The Beatles. It took me about 2 hours in all. I'm using both hands too, but a proper teacher would probably see flaws in the way I'm doing it but I'm enjoying it. I take it these must be easy songs to learn? Or do I have an advantage having played guitar so long? I got the chords from a website and worked out the little infill bits myself.
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Old 09-01-2008, 13:12   #12
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I started playing piano last Nov after about 20 years off (even then I was a rank amateur using a keyboard with stubby keys). I have regular lessons and find they help keep me on track and help with technique. Teachers, like their students, have their preferences and comfort zones, so it's important that you can establish some common ground pretty quickly - luckily mine is OK with baroque AND boogie-woogie .

I haven't really got any suggestions for books - I have one called "It's never to late to play piano" which I loathe - pam wedgwood I think the author is. Mostly I've been lucky in finding plenty of material on the internet or through ebay and the like that I'm happy attempting and my teacher is gracious enough to assist me with at times. You don't necessarily have to spend alot.

I find that piano/vocal/guitar books are OK but not always ideal for the beginner - unless you are intent on singing along. The problem being that you are generally playing an accompaniment rather than the melody you want to hear. Piano solo books and simplified piano arrangements of music you know might be a better place to start.

In terms of theory, the ABRSM pocket book "first steps in music theory" is handy and is only a few quid and well worth picking up.

Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2008, 17:08   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkyboy100 View Post
I take it these must be easy songs to learn?
Probably a little, but piano is genuinely an easy instrument to learn.
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Old 10-01-2008, 13:17   #14
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I'm looking to learn too. There's some nice looking Keyboards on Ebay that look like stand up Piano's. Not really sure if they're any good though. On a related note, that Keyboard from Argos is only 64.99 on Amazon, would it be a good place for a beginner to start?
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Old 10-01-2008, 13:39   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixalot View Post
Noticed you couldn't get the morrisons yamaha keyboard, what did you get in the end?
I remembered an aunt talking about having one stood doing nothing. So i thought i may as well ask before going out and splurging cash on one.

Anyway sure enough she did, a Yamaha, but it must be about 15 year old, easy
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Old 10-01-2008, 13:39   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrVenkman View Post
I'm looking to learn too. There's some nice looking Keyboards on Ebay that look like stand up Piano's. Not really sure if they're any good though. On a related note, that Keyboard from Argos is only 64.99 on Amazon, would it be a good place for a beginner to start?
I don't know which keyboard you guys are talking about but we got this one at Christmas...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Yamaha-YPT20...9975847&sr=8-1

There's a rather helpful review by a spiffing bloke on there too!
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Old 10-01-2008, 13:41   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftHandedGuitarist View Post
Probably a little, but piano is genuinely an easy instrument to learn.
Seems bloody rock hard from where im stood! Music theory is mind boggling
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Old 10-01-2008, 14:14   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftHandedGuitarist View Post
Probably a little, but piano is genuinely an easy instrument to learn.
mmm, not necessarily.
Unlike many instruments you have to learn and read simultaneously both bass and treble clefs and achieve a certain degree of ambidexterity in the hands.
I stick to the triangle, but still don't get my rhythm right.
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Old 10-01-2008, 14:16   #19
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Music theory isn’t exactly a cinch but you should approach it with an open mind as the basics are fairly easy to apply to your instrument.

Look at the theory I posted above and actually put it into practice and you’ll be playing chords – yes it will be slowly at first but you will be playing “proper” structured music based on the fundamentals of theory. I am no keyboard player but I was able to apply theory and play some chords within 5 minutes of switching on my keyboard. That isn’t through natural ability or talent – just application of basic rules.

Let me try and simplify it further.

Look at your keyboard. See there are repeated patters of 2 black keys then three black keys?

The white note immediately before the first of the 2 black keys is always a C.

Play the C note in any of its locations on the keyboard. The next white note is a D, then E, then F, G, A, B and then C again (until you run out of keys)

To Play a “C Major” chord hold down your “C” with a “E” and a “G”

To Play a “c minor” chord hold down your “C” with an “e flat” and a “G”

Where is the e flat? It is the black note just before the E

nowif you just read this it will look incomprehensible and complicated. If you sit at a keyboard and try it then it will make sense. Then go back to my previous post and use the theory to work out the other chords. Write the notes in each chord down when you do it. Then test if you got them right by doing a google search for the chords (which should tell you which notes are in each chord)

Once you can play some chords then you can add your own little fills and at least play some basic songs. You won't be Chopin or Richard Claydermann but you could hook up with a band and get by.

Last edited by DeadYankee; 10-01-2008 at 14:17.
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Old 10-01-2008, 14:43   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkyboy100 View Post
I don't know which keyboard you guys are talking about but we got this one at Christmas...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Yamaha-YPT20...9975847&sr=8-1

There's a rather helpful review by a spiffing bloke on there too!
yep that's the one I got. Not too bad for a beginner.
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