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  #61  
Old 06.10.2014, 00:08
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Re: Ask a Musician

There are no wrong instruments.

I have never really liked clarinet, trumpet, ukulele and banjo, and I can't get enough of these past 2-3 years, weirdly enough, at least listening to them. A ukulele in a next door shop window has my name on it.

Reminds me my life long aversion to celery and some bits of dry linguistic theories. It's fun to confront one's dislikes, let stuff grow on you.

Neighbor's playing flute every day, it's beautiful.
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  #62  
Old 06.10.2014, 00:17
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Re: Ask a Musician

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There are no wrong instruments.
That's true... it was just in the sense of not quite knowing what to do with it any more; whereas if I had chosen the violin or viola I would probably have found an amateur quartet, and with the guitar or piano I would have had more scope for solo stuff.

I still consider myself fortunate to be able to read music and play an instrument though, and that is totally thanks to school, as there was no musical background in the family.
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  #63  
Old 06.10.2014, 00:46
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Re: Ask a Musician

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I can't remember the name of the singer, but "Seasons in the Sun" was also a "translation" of a Jacques Brel song.
Terry Jacks. I remember it playing loads on the radio on one particular school trip to the lake district...



Still brings a tear to my eye

Never knew of the original before though


But it really does seem to be a pretty good translation/reinterpretation of the original.
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  #64  
Old 06.10.2014, 09:00
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Re: Ask a Musician

I dont have an issue with the translation for 'seasons in the sun', but the title 'if you go away' really grates. The french translates is 'don't leave me' and 'if you go away' doesn't give that air of desperation. The french has five syllables to the 4 of 'don't leave me' and at least 'if you go away' has 5.
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  #65  
Old 06.10.2014, 09:50
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Re: Ask a Musician

Might be a bit typical indirectness of the mindset? Or poetic license, over-applied, would be my guess, personally.
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  #66  
Old 06.10.2014, 10:14
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Re: Ask a Musician

I don't suppose any of you pianists/keyboardists can point me in the direction of some good exercises to:

a) get all my fingers working efficiently with respect to correct chord fingering and arpeggios.

b) enable me to work on hand independence.

Up until now I've just been sequencing, but with actually playing the keyboard I'm just a beginner fumbling through on my own at the moment. In truth I probably need a teacher, but my lack of time simply does not allow for proper lessons.
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  #67  
Old 06.10.2014, 10:36
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Re: Ask a Musician

In default of lessons you need a decent book of excercises - being usually rather dull little pieces but which get you to focus on certain movements/positions/independent finger movement. There are thousands of these books about but the old ones are often the best and you can't go far wrong with Czerny's book of excercises for piano. Better still this is avvailable free online. https://archive.org/details/imslp-ex...99-czerny-carl

The downside is that without a teacher, these can be difficult to fathom in the first place. You know if you're ever in our neck of the woods I'd be happy to show you from time to time a few excercises which you can go away and practise - it might help motivate my son! No charge obviously ... just to help out a fellow muscian. Czerny is certainly old school and there are thousands of books out there with more modern style pieces/excercises. Teachers here are fans of the Hellbach series which are far more attractive pieces for the learner to play but perhaps lack the rigour of the old masters. A good idea would be to browse in the music section of a music shop.


In the meantime, try this little excercise which you can practise anywhere .. press down fingers 1 and 3 together, then 2 and 4, then 3 and 5, then back again (2 and 4, 1 and 3). You should be able to play this in a fluent one step (5 note) sequence, both hands. And of course boring scales and arpeggios are hard to beat for promoting dexterity and fluency.
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  #68  
Old 06.10.2014, 14:05
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Re: Ask a Musician

I prefer Bach to Czerny, personally, but while Bach pleases a baroque ear, Czerny offers better rigour for one's technique.
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  #69  
Old 06.10.2014, 20:31
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Re: Ask a Musician

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Terry Jacks.
Ah yes... the name floating around in my head was Bobby Goldsboro (the awful "Honey" was a similar kind of thing), but I knew I was wrong.
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  #70  
Old 06.10.2014, 20:49
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Re: Ask a Musician

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I prefer Bach to Czerny, personally, but while Bach pleases a baroque ear, Czerny offers better rigour for one's technique.
There is not much Bach which is suitable (or indeed profitable) for a beginner or near beginner. You need to be a couple of years in before tackling Bach.
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  #71  
Old 06.10.2014, 21:05
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Re: Ask a Musician

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There is not much Bach which is suitable (or indeed profitable) for a beginner or near beginner. You need to be a couple of years in before tackling Bach.
So I guess I'll have to "Bach" down on Bach and go for Czerny then

Thanks for your advice so far - although having had a glance at the dots Czerny seems a little dry, especially as the exercise I saw was in C major - I find major keys boring, C especially.

Nevertheless I know I need to get through the excercises and a certain amount of not doing what I want to do is necessary.

Thanks again.

Edit - I am the kind of person who will try to not only run, but sprint before I learn to walk - if that makes a difference.
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  #72  
Old 06.10.2014, 21:12
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Re: Ask a Musician

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So I guess I'll have to "Bach" down on Bach and go for Czerny then
At the end of a long Czerny you'll look forward to getting the Hellbach.
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  #73  
Old 06.10.2014, 21:22
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Re: Ask a Musician

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I don't suppose any of you pianists/keyboardists can point me in the direction of some good exercises to:

a) get all my fingers working efficiently with respect to correct chord fingering and arpeggios.
...
This is the series (ABRSM) my son used. Along with the pieces and the exams he's now very very good.
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  #74  
Old 06.10.2014, 21:35
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Re: Ask a Musician

A lot of it is just practice, boring practice. I used to practice scales and arpeggios with a ping pong ball under the palm of my hand, to keep it in proper position. For hand independence, I always learned the left hand first and then the right before combining. A good teacher will probably tell you not to do that, but whatever works. Not like anyone can tell how you learned as long as you play well.
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  #75  
Old 06.10.2014, 21:55
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Re: Ask a Musician

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A lot of it is just practice, boring practice..
I already know one neighbour that totally agrees with this.... I shall practice in the keller, hopefully I wont need gloves.. apparently this is what people do in my neck of the woods.
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  #76  
Old 06.10.2014, 22:01
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Re: Ask a Musician

I did both at once, Czerny was boring, Bach's Well Tempered Clavier Book 1 was ok, a few pieces are really not difficult. I love it on organ..

Bach - The Well Tempered Clavier Book 1 - Samuel …: http://youtu.be/OzerJmdStq8

To me it is motivating to combine Czerny and his technical exercise which are basically just prettier scales, a lil more ornate, with some real music which was written also to boost skills, like Bach's simple preludes.

I need more Czerny, never had too much patience for it. It's true it gives solid base.
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  #77  
Old 06.10.2014, 22:42
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Re: Ask a Musician

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I did both at once, Czerny was boring, Bach's Well Tempered Clavier Book 1 was ok, a few pieces are really not difficult. I love it on organ..

Bach - The Well Tempered Clavier Book 1 - Samuel …: http://youtu.be/OzerJmdStq8

To me it is motivating to combine Czerny and his technical exercise which are basically just prettier scales, a lil more ornate, with some real music which was written also to boost skills, like Bach's simple preludes.

I need more Czerny, never had too much patience for it. It's true it gives solid base.
You have, in my opinion at any rate, linked to the easiest piece in the whole of books one and two - and it is something which nevertheless I would not expect anything but the most of talented of beginners to be able to play ..

I studied the Well Tempered Clavier books 1 and 2 in my teens and played each and every one - many of them require a skill base of around 4 to 5 yrs plus playing. But still, some 25 yrs later, my fingers can happily attack just about anyone of the 48 works and it is my go-to collection before I settle down to some serious practice.

NAT has linked to a great series - especially for the home learner without a teacher - as otherwise what is in the book is very basic stuff which some teachers would drlll you in with a book being entirely unnecessary. I would stress some teachers as both teachers my son has had in CH have never bothered with scales and arpeggios - which I would consider essential. But I learnt piano 35 yrs ago and I fully understand that learning methods have changed. Does he get any less enjoyment out of the piano for his lack in rigourous excercise? Not at all. Could he pass his Royal School of Music Grade 8 exam after just 6 years of lessons? No. Undoubtedly not. And nor does he care to.

So it really is horses for courses. Slaphead knows why he wants to be able to play the keyboard, so he should pick the method that gives him the results he wants. The old masters, I rather feel, should be left to the old codgers .... (speaking as one....but I am sure MusicChick that you are not another ..)
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  #78  
Old 07.10.2014, 05:56
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Re: Ask a Musician

You are making me excited again about good old Czerny, I left it home but will pick it up again, want my kid to hear poetry in routine.. Bach moves with me, though, as I have always used it as a warm up. There are more doable pieces, than just the notorious opening, I played early and slowly, baby steps, before gaining tempo and closer interpretation, it is fun.

Approach changes with a teacher, my best one was an ancient conservatoire director, and a major violinist, actually, more than a pianist, who gave me guts to go for whatever and whenever, who made me get a book, go through it and learn a piece, if the notes spoke to me before laying fingers on the keys.. learn it patiently from scratch but ambitiously, trusting myself getting it right if I give it what it needs, irrespectively of what my perceived level was. We used to fight over it since kids were trained conservatively for safety of expression usually, not soul and guts, he pushed me for independence, empowered me to own it as long as patience and practice was there, too. I miss him and the way he understood human nature and differences.

I was accompanying my kid last night, 4 hands, it was a little piece, thinking about ways they use now to motivate intrinsically, to boost both technique, reading skills, and fun, it seems similar as before but some soviets had more respect to drill, for sure, I was lucky to have some odd birds teaching me, they pushed more for heart knowing discipline and skills will follow if heart is there..

My kid's ears are too strong, it is normal with multilanguage kids, but the over compensating audio side of hers is making her memorise the tune after hearing it once or twice so she wouldn't have to read her notes, I have to cover her hands when she plays to push her read. I will bring her to big sheet music store back home, let her pick whatever will talk to her, have it as a reward after her homework for her teacher is done..

I have noticed with her it's 2 hands at once these days, I did one by one, too..interesting. It makes sense, though.
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  #79  
Old 07.10.2014, 12:59
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Re: Ask a Musician

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Terry Jacks. I remember it playing loads on the radio on one particular school trip to the lake district...



Still brings a tear to my eye

Never knew of the original before though


But it really does seem to be a pretty good translation/reinterpretation of the original.
I wasn't aware of the Brel connection there. Well spotted.

However, Brel songs generally don't translate well, not least because they are culturally embedded and are pretty much masterpieces in poetry, even if you disconsider the music and singing completely. Sometimes Brel can be ironic or caustic or cynical and sometimes he can be dead serious and its not always immediately obvious when he's making fun and when he means what he says. Most translations tend to discard part of the extra meaning and flatten the entire experience.
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Old 26.11.2014, 21:13
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Re: Ask a Musician

I am cramming Debussy's La fille aux cheveux de lin and getting bugged by the 6 flats to constantly remind myself of...

I wonder if simply memorizing by hearing it would do the trick, since it is so short and sweet, it's such a cop out, though. How to support more fluency with decoding a music score? I need rigor but it's boring.

Last edited by MusicChick; 26.11.2014 at 21:25.
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