Hello everyone


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Just registered....whaddya need to know? I'm 62, I've acquired a Yamaha E233 keyboard from a shed clearout, and due to a nasty infection that's going around I've got a bit of time on my hands to learn to play it. I've got a bit of musical experience with a guitar, and a bit of knowledge of musical theory, and the goal is to learn "Moon River", a favourite of my mother's. In the fullness of time and budget, I want to take some lessons, but for now the main question is: what are the main bad habits that I need to avoid teaching myself?
 
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SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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Welcome from me as well, @brian hughes! I just turned 62 earlier this month, so we have that in common. :)

The most important thing to know about the PSR-E233 is that it doesn't have a "touch sensitive" keyboard, so the volume stays the same no matter how softly or forcefully you play the keys, similar to the way an organ works. If you want a touch sensitive keyboard, you might want to look for a PSR-E3xx level or PSR-E4xx level model. But the PSR-E233 should be fine for learning to play as a beginner-- that is, the correct fingering, practicing scales, practicing chords, and learning songs-- as long as you don't need to learn dynamics.
 
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The thing is, I've also got a Casio CTK601 which *does* have touch response. The question is: is it useful, or a distraction in the early stages. I hear what you're saying about dynamics- search for "Ein Ton" to hear how much music can be in the dynamics.
 
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Welcome.

Neither keyboard is going to set the world on fire.

I would suggest that you continue to learn the basics of music, learn the correct posture and hand placement then music theory to a degree, scales, fingering techniques and practice, practice, practice.

There are plenty of threads on the forum, learning related that should help you considerably.

If after say three months daily practice you are thinking you need a better keyboard do seek advice here prior to purchasing.

Finally please do not be a one post wonder, post updates of your progress, your successes and problems etc
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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Finally please do not be a one post wonder, post updates of your progress, your successes and problems etc

I think that's @Biggles' way of saying that he's grown bored with talking to the rest of us, and he's desperate for someone new to talk to, so please please please don't be a stranger. :rolleyes:

:p
 
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I think that's @Biggles' way of saying that he's grown bored with talking to the rest of us, and he's desperate for someone new to talk to, so please please please don't be a stranger. :rolleyes:

:p
Almost

Its those that join, post once, come back the next day to view the thread then they disappear forever without so much as a thank-you that pi55 me off.
 
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Progress report- I've got the CTK601 set up, and I'm practicing "Moon River". The technique that I'm gravitating to is: single notes with my left hand, chords with my right hand locked into a 1-3-5 shape...good habit or bad? What is fun is playing bum notes and figuring out how they can become licks. Question- my big problem is tensing up- has anyone got any tips to avoid it?
 
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Are you the famous guitar player? Welcome home even if not. I ask because I also play guitar and playing the melody with my left hand seemed to be natural BUT it's actually not. Melody should be played with the right hand as higher notes need to ring out while the left handles the bass line or chords harmony. You will find in a few weeks as you get comfortable with playing your shoulders with relax. BTW nice choice of Moon River...play on.
 
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Are you the famous guitar player? Welcome home even if not. I ask because I also play guitar and playing the melody with my left hand seemed to be natural BUT it's actually not. Melody should be played with the right hand as higher notes need to ring out while the left handles the bass line or chords harmony. You will find in a few weeks as you get comfortable with playing your shoulders with relax. BTW nice choice of Moon River...play on.
I would be at pains to point out that this Los Angeles based gentleman, accomplished jazz guitarist, and long term collaborator with Loreena McKennitt https://brianhughes.com/bio is not me. I reside in the Millionaires Playground of Slough, UK, famed for Mars Bars, and inspiring John Betjeman to poetry. Relaxation is an issue- it has been for years, but I've got "Moon River" to a level where I played it to my mother on WhatsApp- it's a favourite of hers.
 
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Progress report- I've got the CTK601 set up, and I'm practicing "Moon River". The technique that I'm gravitating to is: single notes with my left hand, chords with my right hand locked into a 1-3-5 shape...good habit or bad? What is fun is playing bum notes and figuring out how they can become licks. Question- my big problem is tensing up- has anyone got any tips to avoid it?
...good habit or bad.

Bad, relax, the shape is OK, tension plays havoc.

A little exercise, play 1&3, 2&4, 3&5 then 2&4, 1&3 and repeat a few times, its a pretty good loosening up exercise and it sounds a lot like the opening riff of Van Morrison’ Brown Eyed Girl.

I have to correct you, there is no such thing as a Bum note, only a right note played in the wrong order.

As for Slough being a Millionaires playground, you can blame that on the resident of the Castle a couple of miles south of you and their hangers on.
 
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Update... I've now got the keyboard into a more inviting place, and having a bit of fun just noodling around. The pattern that I'm getting into- ever mindful that patterns sooner or later need to be broken is- playing right hand riffs, and adding spice with the bass notes. The big habit that I need to break, 45 years + after first picking up a guitar, is letting a mistake collapse everything. So moving forward... the thing about John Betjeman's poem inspired by Slough, is that it works set to Janis Ian's "Seventeen"- one for an Open Mic.... to be continued.
 
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So.... progress. I'm at the point where I could have a shot at a chord accompaniment to anything- I may need to google for the chords and do a bit of transposing- I will transpose guitar chords for the very worst of reasons- to avoid barre chords, rather than suit the vocal range, but the keyboard will transpose back. I'm six chord bashing C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, and experimenting with spicing them up with sus2 and sus4s, and different inversions. The big bottleneck is keeping a solid rhythm going, and keeping something interesting going in the bass- I've always been gangly and uncoordinated- and that's what's always held back my guitar playing.
 
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Encouragement. Remember you are in charge now. You decide when to stop pause and start. Play as if you are singing. No need to worry about others, you are expressing the music in your personal style...nobody plays it just like you. Yes a metronome is helpful but don't let it discourage your happiness in playing.
 

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