The learning an instrument thread.

Discussion in 'music, bands, clubs & festies' started by xenon, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. xenon

    xenon A move in any direction

    I've played guitar for donkies years and usually had a keyboard. Fed up with kack handedly trying to work things out on keys, got a few actual piano lessons this year. not practised as much as I should have. :oops: It's an old Novation synth / control keyboard with semi weighted keys. Nothing like a proper piano of course.

    Recently trying to play this.

    It' srelitavely simple but finding a bit of a stretch with the right hand. I'm bad about learning things the whole way through TBH.

    So yes. What instrument are you learning. Lessons. How often do you practise. Do you play anything else. What pieces are you learning. Recommendations.

    All that stuff.
  2. S☼I

    S☼I bullshit bullshit my line

    Been playing piano since I was seven and had lessons til I was 16. Got to the point where I was practicing two or three hours a day - Bach's Inventions was the last stuff I learned, probably grade six level (but I never took the exam as you needed grade five theory and I wasn't much good with theory). What I do remember is that for me at least if I didn't practice scales I lost speed and flexibility. I also know that I haven't got any better since I stopped lessons because I haven't played anything difficult. Pure pleasure, familiar chords or simple improvisation is what I do on piano or keyboard.

    I taught myself guitar from age 18, and have gone through periods of playing stuff that was slightly difficult until I had it nailed. My fingers don't seem to work in the way that would allow blinding speed or fancy widdly-widdly, but I can bang out a few riffs and and some Coxon-esque stuff here and there.

    TL;Dr: practice scales often. Don't play stuff that's easy unless for pleasure. Get a metronome.
    xenon likes this.
  3. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.


    - When you learn a new scale/arpeggio/riff/lick/melody fragment take it round the circle of fifths - Circle of fifths - Wikipedia

    - Familiarise yourself with common chord progressions in every key (I,IV,V - I,vi,IV,V - ii,V7,I etc).

    - get to know the four main chord types (major, minor, dominant seventh, half diminished) in all their inversions.
  4. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Also, practice schedule: the more the better, but little and often is better than infrequent binges. A little every day will be more beneficial to your progress than the sum of those times only once a week.
  5. han

    han brixton hill hobbit

    At the moment, I'm learning bass guitar and trumpet. I'm really loving learning new instruments at the age of 44 and with the bass, particularly, I sometimes play it for hours and hours. Once or twice a week. Which I know is not what you're supposed to do, but hey. It's fun. The trumpet I play once a week in a brass band and practice it.... when I get the chance.

    Basically, I'm learning instruments in a completely free and unstructured way compared to how I learned the violin and piano, both of which I have played since I was 7, doing all the grades, doing music at uni etc, then getting a bit fed up and not playing at all in my 20s and early 30s. Until I was 18, I used to practice each instrument daily, and was a much better musician then than I am now. But I enjoy it all much more now.

    The key is really putting the hours in. In honesty, I think best to just go with the flow and feel it, practice when you feel like it, once you'e got past the basics. If you love it enough, you'll do it every day anyway. At the beginning of learning an instrument, however, it's definitely a good idea to play daily if you can.

    The key is to keep loving it. If you ever feel like you don't, you know you're taking the wrong approach.
  6. Casual Observer

    Casual Observer binoculars

    This chap seems to have a bit of the Max Richter about him but the singing is well off:

    Rosemary Jest likes this.
  7. xenon

    xenon A move in any direction

    All makes sense. When I started playing the guitar, I'd play for hours every day. There was no home internet access then and my computer was basically just a word processor...

    Danny, can I ask, when you get a mo, can you describe a half diminished chord please. Say in key of C major. I.e. just what notes would be in it?

    Simplest C major being, C, E, G. What would I change / add?

    I know a little theory. Well, the relevant minor's and seventh,s in a given key, perfect fifths etc. Main thing slowing me down with piano is getting the muscle memory, which is more practise I think. Otherwise same with guitar, i'm trying to think more about song structure, intresting rithem's, dynamics placement of stuff in a mix. And well, actually finishing more of the things I start...
  8. xenon

    xenon A move in any direction

    That dog is nearly as good as me... :hmm:
  9. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Yep, on C it'd be C, Eb, Gb, Bb. So it has a flat 3rd, flat 5th, and flat 7th.

    In the Key of C, if you harmonise the major scale in 7ths (ie stack 3rds in 4-note chords, that is miss a white note between each chord tone), you get your half diminished on B.

    On the piano that scale would be the chords:
    C E G B (C MAJ7) - MAJOR
    D F A C (D min7) - minor
    E G B D (E min7) - minor
    F A C E (F MAJ7) - MAJOR
    G B D F (G7) - DOMINANT 7
    A C E G (Amin7) - minor
    B D F A (Bmin7b5) - half diminished
    existentialist and xenon like this.
  10. keithy

    keithy or queefy

    I bought a piano and now I'm teaching myself. My first proper song will be son of a preacher man but so far I'm doing ok at merrily we roll along :cool:
    Signal 11, S☼I, bimble and 4 others like this.
  11. xenon

    xenon A move in any direction

    This has bugged me for ages. What's wrong with my ears? This is E minor IMO.
  12. xenon

    xenon A move in any direction

    Oh yeah, I got a piano too now. Digital one. Casio PX160. Fucking love it. Really nice keys and to my ear, sounds extremely realistic. you get that thwunk sort of noise of hammer hitting the strings if you hit a high note hard.

    Have you a real or digital one keithy (I don't know much about real ones TBF.)
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  13. keithy

    keithy or queefy

    A real one! Am very excite
    S☼I and xenon like this.
  14. rutabowa

    rutabowa LOSE IT

    It's somewhere between E and F on that video, I guess the pitch has been changed at some point to cut all the different versions together and have them in the same timing.
    SpookyFrank likes this.
  15. rutabowa

    rutabowa LOSE IT

    nah I'm talking rubbish all the other versions are the same pretty much. I dunno I would have said it is in E too but it is like half is in e and half in D, maybe the composer is just allowed to pick one if that is that case ha
    existentialist likes this.
  16. existentialist

    existentialist The sausages need an explanation

    I was wondering...

    There are a couple of transcriptions on MuseScore, and the pitches on that recording seem to me to correspond to the written pitches. FWIW, those transcriptions have a key signature corresponding to E minor, too :hmm:
  17. rutabowa

    rutabowa LOSE IT

  18. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Beetlejuice X 3


    Can't listen to the video where I am now, and not familiar with the piece. However, composers can and do modulate to different keys within a piece. Typically it will be named after the key it begins and/or ends in.

    Furthermore, key and key signature are not always the same thing. Key signature is a notation convention. Accidentals may, for example, change the way a piece sounds. It may not be a diatonic or tonal piece, in which case we move further away from the relationship between key signature and perceived key. Atonal music is generally notated without a key signature and so would appear to be in A minor, which has no sharps or flats. (And atonal music may in fact all be in A minor according to recent research).

    So, in summary: a piece can modulate from its named key; accidentals may alter how it is perceived; it may be non diatonic.
    Signal 11 and rutabowa like this.
  19. rutabowa

    rutabowa LOSE IT

    The piece is kind of cheesy cod classical with only 4 chords, and the 1st one is def an Emin. i reckon the composer got it wrong.
  20. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    My interest was piqued enough to look up the sheet music (sorry still can't listen!), and, if the music I found on Prof Google is accurate, it begins notated on the bass clef with an F# which makes it the key of Eminor (or G major). There's some bass droning going on which isn't in root position. But the first bass note is E, so it's written in Eminor and sounds like an E minor chord in bar one.

    The composer is messing with us.
  21. rutabowa

    rutabowa LOSE IT

    He probably got bored as he only had to write 4 chords
    danny la rouge likes this.
  22. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Maybe the speed of the playback was changed after the recording.
  23. rutabowa

    rutabowa LOSE IT

    that's what I thought first, but there are a few versions on youtube from different sources and they're all the same... and the one on spotify too
    danny la rouge likes this.
  24. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Whilst class is in session - help please.
    I found this (out by the bins) last week. It's in a minor key I'm pretty sure but I can't read music well enough to even know what the names stamped on the chimes say.
    Can't find the same model online (it says Sonor percussion on the side, who make lots of very classy looking stuff but can't find this model).
    What is this, what key is it in and what is the missing note called?
    (the upper scale is missing some sort of a 'b' but the lower b is called h-b, instead of b". What's that and what does it all mean please? It has a lovely clear sound.

    IMG_6133.JPG IMG_6134.JPG
  25. rutabowa

    rutabowa LOSE IT

    apparently in Scandinavia and Germany "B" is written as "H" in music. I never knew that.
    mojo pixy and bimble like this.
  26. rutabowa

    rutabowa LOSE IT

    And it is called a "diatonic glockenspiel" (as opposed to a chromatic one which has all the sharps/flats as well)
  27. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    My mind is blown, i think I've found the place to buy single replacement chimes for this instrument but there are thousands of them and none called h=b or with a " after the letter.
  28. existentialist

    existentialist The sausages need an explanation

    I remember being completely floored when I first encountered a piece of music that announced it was in "H-dur" :D (B minor)
    danny la rouge likes this.
  29. rutabowa

    rutabowa LOSE IT

    Oh the '''s are to do with the octave of the note. i did know that already
    danny la rouge likes this.
  30. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    The inverted comma things are to tell you which C it is. It's called the Helmholtz pitch notation system.

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