Learning the Janko keyboard layout


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Hi to you wonderful keyboard artists!

I'm trying to rewire my brain by playing the Janko keyboard by ear. Would you have some good advice on how to best go about it?
- So far, I just blindly guide my right hand to find the tunes I desire to find and I seem to get very slowly better at it. Maybe that's the only way to do it? I already gained some dexterity practice on a piano accordion. The Janko keyboard layout is pretty close to the traditional zebra piano keyboard, yet requires relearning.
There are no Janko keyboard tutors of any kind available, but since you great keyboard players earned your skills, you might be able to advise me on how to get on with it, for at age 79 I'm somewhat in a hurry. :)
Maybe I'm on the right track, by just keep on struggling to find the notes for every melody ...until my brain finally got remapped or is there an easier or more targeted way to Rome? As you see, my setup consists of a DIY Janko Kbd, 120 button DIY MIDI accordion accompaniment, and Tyros 3 Kbd.

Janko1.JPG
 
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Got me dude, never even heard of it before and obviously not being missed in my little world.
 

happyrat1

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There are a couple of threads on the forums regarding the Janko keyboard for accordion players.

He might want to look those up and contact the authors by private msg.

Gary ;)
 
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jjj333, some of us who are regulars here are also members at Keyboard Corner, as are you. I think you are the
only person I have have seen posting on alternate keyboard formats in online forums. Don't get frustrated if you don't get
much response here. Good luck. Don aka B3maniac
 
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Yes, you are right... dear b3maniac.
Most of the threads I found in this forum ...are my own. - So I have to ask myself for advice on that. All I actually wanted only to know are some practical guidelines, which help me to progress because I'm a bit worried that my practice might be incorrect; prolong progress.
On the other hand, I like to think that just keep playing the Kbd in any way will eventually remap my brain to the Janko layout.
Partly I noticed this is already happening. It's just a slow process and maybe my old brain is to blame.
At least I have got another ancestral musical gift to fall back if everything fails; that of whistling to good music, such as:

https://app.box.com/s/mn2n4arwbxl348av012xwdvi8vr7iivy
 
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Dear jjj333,

the Jankó keyboard layout is awesome! Thank you for the inspiring build instructions in the other threads! What pedals are you using? Maybe others can add to my post, but I've seen praise of the following resources:
  • The following advice:
it is worthwhile to start practising scales, chord shapes and arpeggios right from the start.
Take finding ergonomical fingerings as a principle, and if you study a piece, notate the fingering and stick to it. Don't fall into the trap of using only adjacent rows because that's easier to orientate; use three or four rows when that's more ergonomical.

It also seems worthwhile to mimic the hand posture of this player:
He has videos with instruments that have three different sizes of keys, and in all cases his hand posture looks very ergonomic, rounded, and relaxed.
I guess that rows and fingerings should be chosen such that the hands stay relaxed.
For keyboards in general I heard the advice to immediately stop playing when the hands become tense, relax them, and then continue.

Cheers!
 
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Thank you dear 'root' for so much good advice and Info. For the last 5 weeks, I trained my right (Janko-) hand every day for about an hour and I feel that I'm progressing. - I just allow my fingers blindly to search for the wanted notes. - In the beginning, this process was quite slow, but since I already gained some practice on the zebra piano keyboard layout, it offered me a reasonable start.
After about 3 weeks of practice, I'm amazed at how fast my fingers now already find almost all the notes of any melody. However, this process is still too slow. So, now it seems merely a matter of gradually accelerating this search-execute process via much more practice.
For now, I postpone the scales & arpeggio practice for later, because now, I'm more interested in the improvement of playing the Janko keyboard by ear.
The uniform Janko scale changes and the Tyros accompaniment help me to overcome practice boredom (...albeit occasionally I found myself fully asleep, would you believe (!!) - There's something that makes me feel that the Janko layout is logically correct because although my fingers wildly cross it raws in the search for the right notes, they somehow seem to find their way. That all shows that I'm on the right path. So, I just continue my struggle with the new elements... :)
 
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I suppose as with all keyboard layout relearning, one has to practice and play them until the notes are found naturally and effortlessly. It only a waste of time to go into too much theory. In time to come my brain and fingers are forced to remap and get used to applying the Janko layout. I guess this is the advice we should offer keen newcomers to the Janko layout.
 
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I practice my Janko Kbd. layout only about an hour daily by ear and noticed that it's pointless to carefully plan the fingering for a melody.
There's only one way of truly progressing and that is just to keep repeating the melody in its context for as long it takes until the fingering finds its way naturally. I know It can become boring, but if that's the way brain remapping works... so be it.
I would of course greatly appreciate it if someone of you seasoned Kbd. players could confirm that I'm on the right/wrong track.
 
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jjj333, I have played several different reed instruments, 6 string guitar, bass guitar, and various keyboards during the past 50 years. All of these instruments had different triggering techniques but share the same tuning system and scales. Instrument technique varied and those skills specific to the instrument did require finger and body reflex specific to that particular instrument. I can truly say that when it come to instruments and tunings outside of the mainstream, I have no basis to judge if you are on/off the right track. Best,
 
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Well, the way I observe myself... I seem to get every day just a little better at searching and finding the right note. Many years ago, I sent the great keyboard master "Herr Klaus Wunderlich" two audio cassettes of his music with my whistling, begging him to evaluate my newly discovered talent of whistling to music and the good man went into great details... that I possess great technique, most importantly good hearing, and musical feel. He went even as far as to write: "As you know, I'm a bit musical too.. and very proud to be your idol."
- So, relearning the JANKO good hearing certainly helps to correct all my missteps.
As with all musical instrument learning, there's no shortcut to success! I should be grateful to good JANKO, the inventor of this Kbd. layout, for he considerably reduced the learning of unnecessary scale & chord practice. So, the rest is just hard work (like an acrobat!) to struggle through all twists and turns of countless melodies... until finally, the JANKO layout remaps my brain.
I already notice that I make far fewer mistakes than a week ago and that should serve me as a kind of confirmation that I'm on the right track. I focus on just playing any melody, which comes to mind, and with that, I gradually gain expertise.
 
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Every evening at 7:30 I practice my new JANKO Kbd. for 90 minutes and albeit its progress seems slow, I clearly feel gradually developing a feel where to locate the notes on that JANKO Kbd. - The fact that with the JANKO Kbd. I'm able to play any scale right off, without having to learn 22 more grossly irregular scale patterns, which greatly simplifies the learning process. It also makes it more enjoyable, because my Tyros offers me countless interesting accompanying rhythm styles.
To accelerate the development of my JANKO note location mapping I choose faster rhythms, because it forces my hands to search & locate the desired notes more often and faster. My aim is to train my 80 y.o. brain to direct my hands like it is now able to direct my melodic whistling;, such as in this my whistling recording: https://app.box.com/s/l8dbqvd5xf0mv9r8r2nr722t0lodhn17
 

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