What training does everyone have?


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I've just realised that I've been learning to play piano/keyboard for around a year at some point this month! I started with a beginners keyboard book, and I think I've had about 10 piano lessons (half a dozen way back at the start, and recently started again). I can play a few piano grade 1 pieces reasonably well, but when it comes to joining in with others with the keyboard, I'm pretty limited to playing a few complimentary chords.

What sort of training does everyone here have? I'm guessing there will be a selection of self-taught and classically trained pianists and keyboard wizards!
 
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I did piano lessons up to the age of about 16, but I never took any exams. I guess I got up to about Grade 6/7, but my skills have definitely slipped since then! I wish I'd learned proper chords, it was never a focus during my lessons.
 
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I really wish I had started learning when I was younger. I'm 34 now, and it feels strange passing kids aged under 10 (who are probably way ahead of me!) as I go in for a lesson!
 
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I really wish I had started learning when I was younger. I'm 34 now, and it feels strange passing kids aged under 10 (who are probably way ahead of me!) as I go in for a lesson!
Better late than never! It's easier to learn new things when you're young because your mind is like a sponge, but there are advantages to learning when you're older. If you start later in life it's because there's a real passion there, whereas for me it felt like a chore when I was younger. Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoy it, but it took a while to come back round to that point. There are upsides and downsides to everything ;)
 

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If your mind is challenged, it will still be "spongy". Maybe not as pliable as when you were young, but sufficient to the task of becoming a good musician.

I started piano lessons when I was 5 and kept going until maybe 13 or 14. I was extremely blessed to have had a grammar-school band teacher who had himself been a working musician. He allowed me to conduct the band and I learned to read scores from him. He taught me the ranges and transpositions (and I still write for the violas in C-clef even though Cakewalk doesn't care :) )
 

happyrat1

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I wish I'd learned proper chords, it was never a focus during my lessons.
I just posted these in the Tutorial Links Thread the Other Day Becky... A marvelous explanation of chord theory and the circle of fifths.

Watch these a few times and you'll be recognizing chords and key signatures like a politician recognizes a free meal :D :D :D



Gary ;)
 
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What sort of training does everyone here have?
I started learning classical piano as a little bloke in short pants, which my teacher morphed into pop/rock (at my request) in my teens when I got sick of the stress of passing formal music exams in stuffy rooms. This was also around the time that the exams started to include a vocal component. I never could (and still don't) understand why they'd put a young lad through the trauma of singing to pass a piano exam.

I gave the formal lessons away at around age 14 when my high school academic workload started to increase, and since then my keyboard education has been self-driven.
 
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Wow! I started piano lessons in September 1962! Here in Toronto i had 3 different piano teachers. I managed to graduate to grade 9. After 10 you have to decide on whether you want to get a degree in performance or teaching. It at the time was called the royal conservative of music. In my late teens I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to be a rock musician.
I had studied music in high school, I was good at piano and I had long hair! Also, girls thought I was cute. What more was there to consider?
So, I hooked up with a band, scored a lot of keyboards, looked like Rick Wakeman and rocked the world off a lot of people in the 70's!
Could I play rock? Oh yeah!
Could I play and read classical music any more? Umm, nope.
So the big thing is, was. A better musician. Hard to say.
Today I think I'm a far better musician. My sight reading is dreadful. I can't. But I think I can sit in with any band in the world and kick ass,
 

Rayblewit

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What sort of training does everyone here have?
answer: Zip!

I grew up in a poor household. No money for food most weeks.
We could have done better but dad put all his earnings on horses and lost every week.
Piano lessons were for rich people.

I am self motivated and self taught.

Ray
 

The Y_man

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Almost Zip!

I had about 6 months of lessons in primary school grade 3 on a chord organ my parents bought for me (couldn't afford them electone things!!) ~ and that was it.

The rest was "follow the lights" on a Casiotone MT-800 decades later (in high school) as well as getting back to figuring out that everything I learnt for the chord organ (basically a piano accordion with an electric air pump) was usable on the casiotone (chords on LH, melody on RH).

When I discovered synths and MIDI, I started composing and sequencing (on a Yammy QX7 which I still own!)
Oddly enough, while I was sequencing (using my synth as a midi keyboard) I actually got better at playing as well as figuring out what sounded "nice'.

So to this day, I play largely by ear.

Being self taught on a synth means my posture, hand shape and all else is apparently atrocious (so my piano trained wife tells me....) and true, I can get about 10 minutes out of a mini grand before my fingers seize.....

Same for guitar - I was interested in the sound (effects) more than playing (to add to my recordings), so I bought one while I was at uni - only recently did I start actually getting into playing chords :eek:

...and to top it off, a few months ago, someone asked me if I wanted a drum kit...... another interesting challenge!!

The Y-man

p.s. IMHO, if you can play keyboard, you can play drums (ok, that's a serious generalization right there - but pianos and guitar are technically percussion instruments). I suspect most keyboardists can do things with their left hand, right hand and feet independently - voila! Drummer in the making.


p.p.s. Ok, so I am hoping God sends down a Bass Guitar next.... ;)
 
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No training here. I was eight years old and we had a piano in the house by virtue of my aunt who was a member of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden Chorus for thirty-odd years. She only ever used it for voice scales and such.

Anyway, back then kids in school always sang a couple of hymns in morning assembly and one day I came home from school and sat at the piano and started to play one of those hymns, As I Survey the Wondrous Cross. Very simply but pretty accurately, straight off, both hands. My mum came into the front room wondering who was playing and was as shocked as I was, and yet it seemed so natural to me. I had discovered 'root and fifth' in the left and used more than one finger in the right. In my early 20's I did briefly try lessons, but my ears were always getting ahead of me. I think I went about three times.

Over the years through playing in groups, slowly getting better and better at it, I ended up where I'm at today - competent enough, though compared with trained players, I have some serious deficiencies and, in retrospect, wish I had taken some training. Luckily, I'm a natural singer with good pitch and that, with the boon of an arranger keyboard nowadays, continue working to this day since 1959. Even at my age, I still have a powerful set of lungs (never smoked) for one thing.

Most of all, I've never lost the passion for the music.
 
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Had 4 years of classical piano training when I was in my early teens. Owned an accoustic upright and a couple of synths back in the day but did nothing more than to muck around on the synths. Suddenly discovered girls and they sounded like music to my ears... :p

Recently got back into music (after more than 20 years) and wasn't quite sure which direction to take. I am now 100% sure I want to go the piano way. Still to this day I am so sorry I didn't finish the full course of 7 years when I had the chance. I have a good job, working as a translator/graphic designer but I wish I had pursued a more musical type of career...

Anyway, getting back into classical music, and teaching myself the repertoire of Billy Joel, Elton John and Scott Joplin (amongs others).
 
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My Mum taught me to play piano, I was about 8 at the time, Piano Concerto in Bb minor was my favourite, As Time Goes By another then when I was 10 my Dad bought home a beat up spanish guitar and the piano was consigned to ornamental use.

Back to keyboards in 2016 after a long layoff (after a dabble in the eighties) and now I get most pleasure from the keys so for me it is full circle.

Completely self taught since my first piano lessons, so still terrible at whatever I pick up to play but still love doing what I do.

Did have lessons in 2016, a grand total of four, a complete waste of time.
 

happyrat1

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To be honest I've just sort of been hammering away at the keys like a cementhead for the last twenty years or so and keep picking up bits of theory along the way.

I'm pretty decent at picking up a melody but my chords are still weak so I tend to fatten up my tunes with layers stacked on top of layers of sounds.

My only formal training was in a public school classroom back when I was 8 yrs old and we learned Do Re Mi and how to read a scale.

I've toyed with the idea of hiring a tutor but at this stage of life I kind of figure, "What's the point?"

Gary ;)
 
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You might be surprised, Gary. My old drummer (I can call him that, he's older than me;)) only took up piano at the tender age of 60. He always had a decent ear and would bang out the intro to the Moody Blues' Go Now, in the key of C#, no less. For years he bugged me to teach him stuff but, since I don't know anything - well I can go by guitarists' chord symbols - I didn't want him being saddled with my bad habits.

Anyhoo, he started going to a jazz pianist for chord knowledge and, within several months he was showing me things I hadn't even attempted (too lazy, again). But, with his good ear, rudimentary reading and jazz chording knowledge under his belt he now goes out as a solo pianist playing American Song Book stuff.
 
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My Mum taught me to play piano, I was about 8 at the time, Piano Concerto in Bb minor was my favourite, As Time Goes By another then when I was 10 my Dad bought home a beat up spanish guitar and the piano was consigned to ornamental use.

Back to keyboards in 2016 after a long layoff (after a dabble in the eighties) and now I get most pleasure from the keys so for me it is full circle.

Completely self taught since my first piano lessons, so still terrible at whatever I pick up to play but still love doing what I do.

Did have lessons in 2016, a grand total of four, a complete waste of time.
See, Col, to me that's the one thing that counts more than anything. You can be the world's greatest virtuoso. but without the desire, passion, call it what you will, then it all comes to nothing.
 
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Every once in a while I think I should take lessons again but then I just seem to forget about it and muddle on. At this stage o my life it seems to work. My poor arthritic hands ain't what they used to be and I rarely if ever play with anybody any more. I'm more than happy most of the time to just putter around in my little home studio making musci, putting it up on Soundcloud to let other people hopefully enjoy.
I'm not even all that interested in getting any more keyboards. I know most of you think
I"m crazy; and you just might be right!; but since I don't even play all the ones I have and 2 need serious servicing, I figure, why bother?
Also, there's a lack of space to put them in here.
 
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Jeremy

Arthritis sucks, I know what you are suffering, I have it in all my joints, well bar one, that is now metal and plastic.

No, you are not crazy, you have great kit that you master exceedingly well so why chase tech?
 
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