The learning an instrument thread.

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

  1. friedaweed

    friedaweed Sitting down for a wee

    Three chords and the truth according to Bono.
  2. danny la rouge

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

    NB. Other musicians:

    I've fudged the distinction between tonic and root because of the way I think Fez wants to use modes. But if you're thinking the ii, V, I chord sequence only has one tonic, you're absolutely right. But I didn't want to go there in the context of the question asked.

    Fez909 Can I ask? Are you familiar with chord theory? I, IV, V, I etc? I'm a bit concerned that you're leaping into modes without certain foundations you might have been wiser having first...
    Fez909 and existentialist like this.
  3. rutabowa

    rutabowa LOSE IT

    Can't remember if I posted in this thread already but: I do believe that for the vast majority of people some kind of weekly lesson with teacher, starting early in the learning process, gives you FAR more chance of sticking with an instrument and getting good. It give you a strong foundation and discipline; after you've got that properly then it is there for good, and you can go off and do whatever crazy thing you want.
  4. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    This is exactly what my teacher said when I asked her what a mode was. Unfortunately, I'm a dick when it comes to stuff like this...tell me "not yet", and it'll just make me want to know more.

    I even mentioned it in my question on this thread that it's rushing ahead, but I want to know :)

    I'm still prepared to put the work in on the foundational stuff, of course, but it doesn't mean I can't ask questions...

    And no, I don't know chord theory: I don't know anything yet.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  5. danny la rouge

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

    OK. So your C major scale. The white notes. Number them in order. With your right hand, put your fingers down on 1, 3 and 5. This is a C major chord. It has a root, C, a major third (E), and a perfect fifth (G). Think of those as being (major) 3rd and (perfect) 5th in relation to the C (which is under your thumb).

    (To make it C minor, play Eb instead of E. This is the difference between a major and a minor chord: a major chord has a major 3rd, and a minor chord has a minor [flattened] third).

    Move your thumb to F (the fourth note in the scale). Make the major chord shape. (Thumb on F as 1, middle finger on A as your major third, and pinkie on C as your 5th). This is an F major triad.

    Now do the same with your thumb on G. (G, B, D). This is a G major triad.

    These chords are still in the key of C, because they're built on scale degrees in your C major scale. And we number them in Roman numerals: I, IV and V. (So that we can do the same thing in any key). This is what people mean when they say you only need three chords. These are the three chords. They have technical names too, to do with their function. But for now listen to their relationship with each other as you play I, IV, V, I. (Or I, IV, I, IV, V, I. or whatever).

    Preferably do that before trying out the mode stuff I posted last night. :D
    girasol and Fez909 like this.
  6. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Thanks, I kind of knew all that, but not really the names for them.

    So, the root note is the lowest note of the chord. Makes sense (hence 'root'). How does that differ from the tonic? I assumed (probably wrongly), that they were two names for the same thing.
  7. danny la rouge

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

    Now this is awkward. I didn't want to tell you. :D

    OK, think of it this way: tonic is the note a scale is named after and root is the note a chord is named after.
    Fez909 likes this.
  8. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Actually, this isn't even true, is it...because you can play the C one octave higher and it's still a C chord?
  9. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    OK, I think I get it: so in C Major, the tonic is always C, but the root could be a G (if playing GMaj in C)?
    danny la rouge likes this.
  10. danny la rouge

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

    If you promise not to tell your tutor, I'll tell you. The root is the lowest note of your triad when it's in root position. But you can play your triad like this:

    C, E, G. (root position). [root in bass]

    E, G, C' (1st inversion). [major 3rd in bass]

    G, C', E' (2nd inversion). [perfect 5th in bass]
    Lupa and Fez909 like this.
  11. danny la rouge

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

    A C major triad is a C major triad in any octave. (And so on).
    Fez909 likes this.
  12. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    OK, yep, this all makes sense, thanks :)
    danny la rouge likes this.
  13. danny la rouge

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

    existentialist likes this.
  14. fishfinger

    fishfinger تپلی

    existentialist likes this.
  15. mojo pixy

    mojo pixy unquantifiable hazards

    After several weeks' consideration I've gone and bought a trombone. I'll be picking it up on Friday if all goes according to plan.

    More on this later :thumbs:
    Signal 11, danski, AnnaKarpik and 2 others like this.
  16. danny la rouge

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

    maomao and mojo pixy like this.
  17. mojo pixy

    mojo pixy unquantifiable hazards

    It's uncanny...
    danny la rouge likes this.
  18. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Started playing a bit more with two hands now. This week's homework was to learn Emeli Sande - Next to Me. It's only got a few chords, and they're repeated for the entire track. Pretty easy. She said we're doing Let It Be next.

    So the Sande tune was a bit boring so I've started playing around with Let It Be already. That's fairly easy, too. Got the intro bit nailed :cool:

    If anyone can think of similar tunes (basic chords, no/not many sharps or flats, etc) then let me know. Lots of the 'easy' song tutorials are still way too hard for me, so it's nice to find something I can actually play - doesn't have to be good :)
    Lupa likes this.
  19. snadge

    snadge metal alchemist

    Fez909 likes this.
  20. danny la rouge

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

    hallelujah ez p.jpg hallelujah ez p 2.jpg
  21. danny la rouge

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

    I did an arrangement of Hallelujah for you, in C, so no sharps or flats.

    It's in 6/8, so think of two beats expressed as groups of 3 notes. (You get 6/8 marches, as weepiper will testify).

    If two chords per bar is too hard on your left hand, just play one. If it's too easy, arpeggiate them (ie play as a broken chord).

    If it doesn't work, I'm sorry, but I'm a guitarist. (I tried it and had to re-do some left hand chords because they clashed with the right hand fingerings. :facepalm: )

    And it's my memory of the melody, so it may not reflect the version you know.
    OzT, existentialist and weepiper like this.
  22. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    wtf, you did that above? Amazing, thank you :cool:
    danny la rouge likes this.
  23. danny la rouge

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

    No problem. I enjoyed doing it.
    Fez909 likes this.
  24. danny la rouge

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

    Give us a shout if any of it is stumping you. Like melody rhythms or anything.
    Fez909 likes this.
  25. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Will do!

    On the thread topic of "learning an instrument", I remembered something last night that I was told when I was learning to DJ: record all your mixes. Listen back to them, see what worked and what didn't.

    I hadn't consciously decided to do this for piano, but I have been sending videos and audio snippets to friends when they've asked how I'm doing. So I already have a nice little documented progression of my learning. I recorded another thing last night and when I listened back, I could hear pauses between the chords where they shouldn't be. I didn't notice them when I was playing.

    So I put a metronome on and tried again. It was much harder, but the result was so much better.

    Recording helps!

    My first video (think that was after lesson 2):

    This is from yesterday :

    And this is from today (haven't quite got this one down yet...)

    Lupa, Signal 11 and danny la rouge like this.
  26. AnnaKarpik

    AnnaKarpik Queen of all she surveys

    I'm going to do this; brilliant idea! Just need to work out how :)
    Fez909 likes this.
  27. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Well, the first link I posted, the video, was the hardest. Filming yourself playing a piano by holding a phone in one hand, while not being very good on piano anyway, was pretty difficult.

    If it's just for your own progress, just prop your phone up somewhere and point it at you playing your uke.

    If you want to share it, then you might want to think about a tripod and proper mics and whatever else. Decide what you want to do, and if it's something a bit fancier, stick a post in the tech forums (or even in the music forum) and I'm sure you'll get some good advice.

    AnnaKarpik likes this.
  28. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    OK, I'm struggling with this. What's the best way to break it down into more managable by bar...left/right hand first...etc?

    Is there a One True Way or is it just whatever works for you?
  29. rutabowa

    rutabowa LOSE IT

    Lupa, Fez909 and danny la rouge like this.
  30. danny la rouge

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

    Well, if I'm learning a new piece I do both. I often take the bass and melody separately. But go bar by bar.

    I can write a simpler arrangement if you like.

    But what's the thing you're most struggling with? The chords? The time signature? The variations in melody rhythm? (I followed the words as I could remember them). All of the above?
    Fez909 likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice