2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
86 members (A. Lucato, brdwyguy, Asmaa, brennbaer, c++, APianistHasNoName, 19 invisible), 1,497 guests, and 729 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 7
O
Oh_man Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
O
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 7
Hello All ... New here so this might be long.

Been at this since end of Feb and recently struggling with motivation. I'm inspired to learn Jazz / Soul Jazz / Funk / Blues and throw in some 60's-70's rock. Seeking to sight read, 'some' ear training which seems daunting but hope that'll come in time but not my focus.
Also music theory has not been tough for me - maybe that my tech background.

Have zero music background nor can I afford a music teacher right now so doing Youtube which has been good for the basics of hand positioning, scales/some chords, practice stuff, timing, what have you. But that's limited...
Found some beginner materials which have helped sift through Youtube but I struggle with just a bunch of pages in front of me and no actual instruction so started looking for something that combines both...

Motivation is waning as predicted by a great Ted Talk by Sven Haefliger who initially focuses on 'making music.
Enter my current software and music program conundrum - and it appears from reading threads here I'm not alone.

My logic having learned a few things including realizing I still want to keep theory/formal sight reading but as per Sven ... I've got start playing music, and music I like.
So enter PianoForAll BUT perhaps combing it with Synthesia [Found some similar free ones; MuseScore3, Jalmus, MidiSheetMusic], though Synthesia has a fairly polished GUI and runs with my Win 7 x86.

BTW - I've reached out with a couple questions to PianoForAll and haven't gotten anything back.
Is there no sheet music with that program?
The idea seems good. I have a musician friend and they sort of learned that way - focused on chords, progressions/voicings, etc...with music being the focus. They swear they can't or can barely read music.

Ok that was long...I'll stop there. Thoughts or point me to something similar / better than PianoForAll.
BTW - I looked Play Piano Today which looks the same as PianoForAll [?] - Website isn't working well and that's a red flag.

Thanks, O

Last edited by Oh_man; 06/24/21 02:02 AM.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,225
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,225

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,911
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,911
Learning to play by ear is 1 skill. This involves improvisation by ear, playing a melody & adding nice sounding chords by ear. Sight reading is a separate skill that involves learning to reproduce notes on paper accurately. In a performance the audience is not going to care if you “read” your pieces or play by ear as long as you make a nice sound.

If you want to improve your sight reading, check out Sight Reading Factory.

Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 7
O
Oh_man Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
O
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 7
Thanks ...unfortunately those books are too advanced for me.
I started just a number of months ago.

As for Sight Reading Factory - I'm a PC guy and "apps" don't work. So seeking Win based.

Think I should have titled the post - Is PianoForAll any good?
What 'seems' to work for me is seeing the hands, notation, with some instruction.

I'm a total beginner but have gone past the basics of how to sit, I can play the major scales pretty smooth, some minors - basically I know the patterns and slowly memorizing the notes, etc...
Now wanting to put it together.
For what it's worth I don't believe I've exhausted what appear to be some solid Youtube resources.

The 2 that have caught my attention the most are:
http://www.sharonbill.com/youtubevideos/

And the TedTalks gentlemen I mentioned.


A few others considered are PlayGround Sessions and can't remember the other that was in the same price range.
Both around $10-12 a month with a full year subscription and the Windows option.

Came across PianoForAll and as noted thought that looked interesting from a more music oriented type learning perspective but it 'seems' to lack any sheet music in the instruction so enter some type of "training" application like the ones I mentioned - I have MIDI and got it sorted.

O

Last edited by Oh_man; 06/24/21 12:17 PM.
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,911
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,911
Originally Posted by Oh_man
As for Sight Reading Factory - I'm a PC guy and "apps" don't work. So seeking Win based.

FYI: where did you get the idea Sight Reading Factory is an app for a smartphone or a tablet? It's an online program that generates notes at random and you play along with the computer. The program can be opened on a PC or a Mac. You go through the menus 1 by 1 selecting the different options. The last screen has 3 buttons [Subscribe] [More Demo] & [Login] you click on More Demo until your free trial runs out before you decide whether to register.

Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,485
G
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,485
Trying to piece together some sort of coherent and progressive learning plan from utube and disparate resources is something that would be difficult for an experienced and capable teacher, for a beginner with no experience it think it will be a colossal waste of time. I mean you will learn something, you learn every time you sit down and play something, but it is likely to be a very inefficient way or progressing and you will be constantly finding holes in your skills with no obvious way to fill them.

If you cannot afford a teacher I recommend starting with one of the 'method books' specifically targeted at self learning adults and which will provide a structure for learning and progression which you can supplement with extra repertoire from sheet music or utube etc as you go along. I started like that with the very popular Alfred's series and it works well - even though I ran away from it and moved to something more classically orientated as I hated the music in it. Initially the music choice doesn't matter too much though - you are learning skills, and you might well like Alfred's music choice more than me, many do.

There are of course online video courses that, if you are willing to pay for them and accept the restrictions of working from computer screens, may also work but I suspect some of these haven't had the same amount of thought and choice put into their methods as the traditional books. I'm a computer professional myself - but there is a freedom in being more self sufficient and able to work from paper.

Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,453
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,453
👆 +1

You need to start from the beginning no matter what you end up playing. There are some good method books out there. I myself prefer Piano Safari for the older student, they also have an excellent YouTube channel for teaching and reminding. If you don’t start at the beginning, you’ll always run into problems, waste a huge amount of time, and most likely eventually give up.

https://pianosafari.com/product/olderstudentpack/


Lisa
Chief Cook & Pot Scrubber @ Cunningham Piano Club 🎹
Cunningham Studio Grand & Yamaha CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 7
O
Oh_man Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
O
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 7
Hello ... thanks for all the input.

As for the online site reading app - from a downloadable tool perspective it appears if you want to use midi then you need the application and there doesn't appear to be a win version.
Honestly for that I've already got a few decent ones for free - they're strictly trainers - load a midi, plug my Casio in, and go. The exception is Synthesia which you pay for but has a solid GUI [that I like] with a few more functional options for training.

As for utube...yes, it's been a learning experience on several levels but it's motivation right now that seems my biggest challenge and that's why I'm considering PianoForAll.
Again, I'm not seeking to toss the formal stuff - plan is to warm up with scales for sure but seeking something that might take me more towards playing music I like and that program seems to focus on blues / jazz.

I have found a few method books like the Faber's Adult Learning and another that's more comprehensive from the Church of Jesus Christ out of Utah - it's excellent and was free. I even like the way it's structured and found some utube vids that do very similar lessons to compliment the exercises.

So no one here gives much credit to PianoForAll? One question I can't seem to find anywhere is whether it comes with any sheet music.

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,676
W
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,676
Oh_Man, welcome to the forum!

I’m not a fan of using either YouTube or apps for learning piano. YouTube is just bits and pieces of info that the learner must string together, often resulting in learning gaps. Apps are fun and motivating but are very limiting. No one likes Synthesia here...

I do like well-structured progressive video programs for self learning though, despite their drawback of not having a teacher for feedback. If you cannot have a live teacher, I think this is the next best option.

I do have Piano For All but I didn’t use it. I got it for free as a work benefit. I’m strictly following the classical stream at the moment and Piano For All is mainly chord based. There are 10 sections in the program and each section provides a booklet that contains “some” musical notation and sheet music but it’s evident sheet music is not its focus. Chords, chord progressions, and rhythm are its focus, which makes total sense because it’s focus is more jazz, blues, pop, etc, and not classical. From that point of view, I think it looks to be a good course, especially if you can wait for when Udemy has a sale, which makes the course less than $20. At less than $20, it’s a no brainer.

If you have other specific questions, I don’t mind going into the course and seeing if I can find you an answer.

Edit: There is one section dedicated to classical music and this section has more sheet music.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 06/24/21 05:58 PM.

Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 7
O
Oh_man Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
O
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 7
Thanks WeakLeftHand ... hilarious handle BTW.

Ok...so PFA has 'some' sheet music, good to know...and thank you!

To be clear I'm not viewing that as a be all end all but as stated above, rather a way to start learning actual songs to play not in the classical world. Best I can tell from it's site, vlogs, revies... he teaches music through chords and how to put them together, etc... with a focus on blues, jazz, rock, etc...not much classical and that's fine "for now" in my world. And apparently the 9th book delves into the theory. Actually the biggest slights I've seen are about the vid quality and doesn't always show the left hand well but since you've not used it, that would be news to you.

Hard to tell how good/effective it really is since the only reviews I've seen are with folks that had a music background but were I guess lacking 'playability' - so I guess being too mechanical.
Like anything you get back what you put in and there are no miracles with anything.

As for $20...Udemy just finished their sale - it was $29 CAN - [I'm Canadian BTW]. That deal is now gone...so would love to know where to pick that up for less than $20 cuz yeah that's a no brainer. Now it's sitting at 199 and funny the PFA home site still has it at $39 [assuming USD] - so not sure what Udemy is doing but I digress.

As for youtube...I listed a couple examples above that I admittedly need to spend more time with given they're fairly complete especially ... http://www.sharonbill.com/youtubevideos/
Do take a look. Me personally...I'm just lacking some motivation these days and thinking how to reignite the fire I had, hence the PFA.
For the record I don't think there's any easy route and why I've been wanting to stay more formal for at least parts of this journey but again seeking something that might produce more fruit sort of speak.

What are you currently using for a progam?

O

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,676
W
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,676
Originally Posted by Oh_man
Thanks WeakLeftHand ... hilarious handle BTW.

Ok...so PFA has 'some' sheet music, good to know...and thank you!

To be clear I'm not viewing that as a be all end all but as stated above, rather a way to start learning actual songs to play not in the classical world. Best I can tell from it's site, vlogs, revies... he teaches music through chords and how to put them together, etc... with a focus on blues, jazz, rock, etc...not much classical and that's fine "for now" in my world. And apparently the 9th book delves into the theory. Actually the biggest slights I've seen are about the vid quality and doesn't always show the left hand well but since you've not used it, that would be news to you.

Hard to tell how good/effective it really is since the only reviews I've seen are with folks that had a music background but were I guess lacking 'playability' - so I guess being too mechanical.
Like anything you get back what you put in and there are no miracles with anything.

As for $20...Udemy just finished their sale - it was $29 CAN - [I'm Canadian BTW]. That deal is now gone...so would love to know where to pick that up for less than $20 cuz yeah that's a no brainer. Now it's sitting at 199 and funny the PFA home site still has it at $39 [assuming USD] - so not sure what Udemy is doing but I digress.

As for youtube...I listed a couple examples above that I admittedly need to spend more time with given they're fairly complete especially ... http://www.sharonbill.com/youtubevideos/
Do take a look. Me personally...I'm just lacking some motivation these days and thinking how to reignite the fire I had, hence the PFA.
For the record I don't think there's any easy route and why I've been wanting to stay more formal for at least parts of this journey but again seeking something that might produce more fruit sort of speak.

What are you currently using for a progam?

O

I’m also Canadian. smile Pre-pandemic, the sale price was closer to CAD$13.99 - 16.99. Maybe prices have gone up since then? $29 seems high to me, but might still be worth it.

I started with Faber’s Adult Piano Adventures and after completion of Book 1, I moved onto the RCM curriculum with a teacher. The curriculum is mainly classical music though.


Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,676
W
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,676
Have you learned any songs yet? If you’re just learning theory and playing chords, I would understand why you are getting demotivated. I would be too. You need to be learning songs and feel a sense of accomplishment after each song to keep the fire going.

If you’re into jazz (eventually) and want to learn to play with chords, you probably will do well with Alfred’s All-in-one as another poster above has suggested. Just another resource to add to your learning a journey.


Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 7
O
Oh_man Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
O
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 7
No songs yet and why I'm looking at PFA.
I also had some minor surgery 6 weeks ago and that through me for a loop...good now but I went out of practicing so need to get back to that habit.

I read mixed reviews on Alfred's ... I have Faber for Adults as mentioned and it's not really doing it for me.
I'll take a closer look at Alfred's particularly the All in One. I'm also going to spend more time on that series I put the link. Looks pretty thorough and she has he creds. I've watched a couple of her vids and like the way she teaches.

Interesting PFA was that cheap prior to the pandemic...lots of folks, present company included decided to take up an instrument...lol. I can't stand TV and figured it was time as I had been considering it for years.
As mentioned the 29 deal at Udemy is gone but with everything going back to normal perhaps it'll drop down again.

Cheers, O

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 336
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 336
Originally Posted by Oh_man
I'm a PC guy and "apps" don't work. So seeking Win based.

You can use the training website below to practice note recognition with a connected MIDI over USB keyboard. Very configurable and easy to adjust key, number of notes, tempo, and so on. Works on PC using Edge or Chrome (not Firefox). Free with optional login - it's not commercial, just a github freeware project that has been improved by another guy. No music though - it's just a random note generator.

https://dev.ddpep.de:886/srt/

Even if you don't plan to play from notation, it's well worth learning to be able to recognise notes reliably, at least well enough to learn a new piece of music from. Even if you never reach fluent reading and playing in real time at full tempo (which is hard) it's just so damn useful to have it all written out for you. Sure, you can play basic chords and melodies by ear but unless you have an unbelievably good ear it's really tough to pick out the detail that gets handed to you on sheets.

Originally Posted by Oh_man
A few others considered are PlayGround Sessions...

I used PS for a year and was pretty happy with it. Good range of music genres, music you can keep, and a good GUI and overall platform. Decent support group on Facebook. Not ear based in any way though - it's all about reading.

If you don't have a teacher, it's worth investing a bit of time into making sure you aren't heading for injury due to bad playing technique. Check out the Golandsky Institute DVDs called "Virtuosity in a Box". They are pretty old (1980s) but the content is gold. The first 5 are appropriate to a beginner. Lots of good stuff in there about how to use your hands in a way that you won't regret later, like I did.


Yamaha U1. Yamaha P-45.
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,225
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,225
Originally Posted by Oh_man
Me personally...I'm just lacking some motivation these days and thinking how to reignite the fire I had, hence the PFA.
For the record I don't think there's any easy route and why I've been wanting to stay more formal for at least parts of this journey but again seeking something that might produce more fruit sort of speak.
Only you can decide what really motivates you but I think having a specific goal is a great motivator. I remember as a beginner I liked to take on difficult pieces that, in retrospect, were way too hard for me at that time but that didn't bother me. Just playing parts of those pieces that sounded nice was enough to motivate me to work my ass off and gain the skills to learn to play the whole piece properly. I had some motivation crises over the years but ultimately having a specific goal has been the best motivator for me. Note the word specific. Saying you want to learn to play the piano is not specific enough. But learning, say, the piece "I Giorni" by Ludovico Einaudi is a specific goal.

Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 7
O
Oh_man Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
O
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 7
Thanks all for taking the time.
I was advised not that long ago that learning piano is a process and the context included motivation smile

I'll address comments in order as I appreciate folks taking the time.

@Scirocco - I've got that online app...I've definitely spent some time there. Have another on my phone that I was using if I needed to kill some time figured might was well do some little exercises. Here's a better link to the one you noted.
https://sightreading.training/
And I'm doing some reading into the Taubman techniques - just searched it.

@Qazsedcft - thanks for the advice. I've certainly come across a couple...Nina Simone's Birds Flyin High is one I looked at. Jimmy Smith's The Cat would be another.

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 336
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 336
Originally Posted by Oh_man
Here's a better link to the one you noted..

That link is to the original, faulty version. It doesn’t work properly. Put it into a flat key like F and you’ll see it doesn’t recognise the B flat on your keyboard. Plus it has other issues like not being able to choose a tempo < 60, and a few others.

The link I gave was to the “fixed” version where those issues have been sorted out.


Yamaha U1. Yamaha P-45.
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 336
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 336
Originally Posted by Oh_man
And I'm doing some reading into the Taubman techniques - just searched it.

If you do end up with the Taubman “Virtuosity in a Box” series of DVDs feel free to PM me and I’ll send you a time stamp index that I made of all the topics covered in the first five.

The good thing about the Taubman DVDs is that it shows you a comprehensive, integrated way to move at the piano in a way that won’t injure you.

Whereas pretty much everything else about physical technique that you can find on say Youtube is just a scattergun approach, bits and pieces with not much context or explanation of how one thing relates to another.


Yamaha U1. Yamaha P-45.
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,987
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,987
Originally Posted by Oh_man
And I'm doing some reading into the Taubman techniques - just searched it.
One alternative is the video streaming at the Golandsky Institute for $14.99 per month. Frankly, I think you will make much faster progress with a teacher than self-learning.

https://www.golandskyinstitute.org/product/golandsky-institute-streaming/

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 336
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 336
Originally Posted by newer player
Frankly, I think you will make much faster progress with a teacher than self-learning.

That’s true, but a lot of people learn better if they understand the concepts of what the teacher is trying to teach them rather than just going into a lesson “cold”, so to speak.

The good thing about the Taubman DVD series is that it very clearly explains the how and why of each action that is being taught (or avoided). This will be a revelation to anyone who is frustrated by the lack of this type of explanation in piano teaching, which has traditionally turned up its nose at discussing the details of physical playing (I think it was Liszt who called it “washing dirty laundry in public” or similar).

I think this was one of Mils frustrations in the other thread that’s been going on this forum lately.


Yamaha U1. Yamaha P-45.
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  BB Player 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Vibration in new piano
by Fantine56 - 07/30/21 03:20 PM
Hardman Peck console question
by eebird - 07/30/21 02:25 PM
Auction of rare piano collection
by Sweelinck - 07/30/21 01:04 PM
Please Help Me Find This Sheet
by Shinobi - 07/30/21 12:14 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics208,294
Posts3,117,712
Members102,284
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5