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Originally Posted by JohnnyIssieBangie
In order to transpose, you need a knowledge of the keys, what they are, what are not.
How can you even consider transpose if you really don't know what it means, what it does, and how it works?
What does having a digital piano have to do with it?
Are you somehow magically copying and pasting notes or are you talking about doing all this on a computer, inside a DAW and transposing with mouse-clicks?
But then we're back to the ... unless it's in C it's boring.
Just what the.... yeah I'm totally confused.

Sorry for having confused you. My english is bad, maybe that was the problem.

I think you refer to transposing sheet music, or you think of doing some professional work?

I meant only the transpose function in the digital piano. You press some button and everthing sounds pitched up while you are playing. I do it just for fun, or to try playing along some music that is in another key sometimes. I wouldn't call myself obsessed with it, but I believe I get what you are saying, it's of course not as important as I may have made it look like.

Regarding my incorrect statements, please ignore them.

Thank you for the advice on investing my time in the correct learning, I will surely follow your advice as good as I can. I have not had the time. Also, it's a hobby for me, don't expect too much from me / reading my posts.

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Originally Posted by mrakus
I meant only the transpose function in the digital piano. You press some button and everthing sounds pitched up while you are playing. I do it just for fun, or to try playing along some music that is in another key sometimes. I wouldn't call myself obsessed with it, but I believe I get what you are saying, it's of course not as important as I may have made it look like.

That's absolutely fine to do. I once did that myself, a long time ago. I used it a lot a long time ago. I have also seen a pro-level singer/piano player with transpose enabled for one piece of music where she was playing a digital piano and also singing. Most likely used it for convenience.

But - in any case - if you haven't yet checked out lessons associated with key-change methods (aka some people call it 'modulation'), then you can check out details about it --- such as the '2-5-1' method (and the variants/counterparts). It will help spice things up.

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I would suggest learning the scales / arpeggios - see exercises 39 & 41 of the below link for the major/minor scales and arpeggios:
Hanon Part 2

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Originally Posted by mrakus
I meant only the transpose function in the digital piano. You press some button and everthing sounds pitched up while you are playing. I do it just for fun, or to try playing along some music that is in another key sometimes. I wouldn't call myself obsessed with it, but I believe I get what you are saying, it's of course not as important as I may have made it look like.

I dont see what it brings you to do that. You seem to be utterly lost, which is what happens when some people learn to play on their own. I think the best you can do it to take a teacher and start from scratch.


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One advantage of the transpose feature is when somebody is very used to playing a tune in a particular key. And the transpose will let them play the tune with all notes offsetted by an integer multiple of semitones ..... allowing somebody to easily play the tube in some other key.

And in time ..... as playing level progresses, it is certainly possible to cut down on using this feature, or not use it at all. Definitely a handy feature.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
And in time ..... as playing level progresses, it is certainly possible to cut down on using this feature, or not use it at all. Definitely a handy feature.

This is a curse for those with perfect pitch.

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Originally Posted by Nahum
This is a curse for those with perfect pitch.

Know what you mean! Those with absolute/perfect pitch that have already locked in the association of the pitch to all the piano keys probably shouldn't use the transpose feature. Or the digital piano should be set back to default concert pitch for courtesy when the digital piano is used by other people.

Good point nahum.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
One advantage of the transpose feature is when somebody is very used to playing a tune in a particular key. And the transpose will let them play the tune with all notes offsetted by an integer multiple of semitones ..... allowing somebody to easily play the tube in some other key.

And in time ..... as playing level progresses, it is certainly possible to cut down on using this feature, or not use it at all. Definitely a handy feature.


As a new pianist, rather than using the transpose key, shouldn’t you concentrate on learning to read and play in different keys? I’m afraid the transpose key could be used as a crutch if you’re not careful. Where I would find it legitimately useful, is when ac ompsnying a singer who needs the accompaniment to be in a lower/higher key to adapt to their voice range.

I would recommend to learn to play —- first


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Originally Posted by dogperson
As a new pianist, rather than using the transpose key, shouldn’t you concentrate on learning to read and play in different keys? I’m afraid the transpose key could be used as a crutch if you’re not careful. Where I would find it legitimately useful, is when ac ompsnying a singer who needs the accompaniment to be in a lower/higher key to adapt to their voice range.

I would recommend to learn to play —- first

The transpose feature is included in lots of digital pianos. Just like many features ..... the user can be educated about what that feature does, and they will learn for themselves what they want to do with it, and what they need to do for cases without it.

Acoustic pianos don't have the transpose feature. But digital ones may have it. Piano students will develop to a stage where they won't need it .... unless they want to. Or have a reason to.

I don't use transpose, as I prefer to play with default concert pitch settings.

Users will know what can be done, and what can't be done. All part of the learning experience.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by dogperson
As a new pianist, rather than using the transpose key, shouldn’t you concentrate on learning to read and play in different keys? I’m afraid the transpose key could be used as a crutch if you’re not careful. Where I would find it legitimately useful, is when ac ompsnying a singer who needs the accompaniment to be in a lower/higher key to adapt to their voice range.

I would recommend to learn to play —- first

The transpose feature is included in lots of digital pianos. Just like many features ..... the user can be educated about what that feature does, and they will learn for themselves what they want to do with it, and what they need to do for cases without it.

Acoustic pianos don't have the transpose feature. But digital ones may have it. Piano students will develop to a stage where they won't need it .... unless they want to. Or have a reason to.

I don't use transpose, as I prefer to play with default concert pitch settings.

Users will know what can be done, and what can't be done. All part of the learning experience.


It is not a matter of what can be done. Yes, I know what the transpose feature is; yes, I know it is not on acoustic pianos. I am just recommending that a beginner actually learn to play in different keys.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Originally Posted by dogperson
It is not a matter of what can be done. Yes, I know what the transpose feature is; yes, I know it is not on acoustic pianos. I am just recommending that a beginner actually learn to play in different keys.

I used transpose in the past. A lot of it. And nothing bad happened to me, and heaps of others that have used it. Or once used it ..... as beginners.

It's obvious that piano students are going to progress .... one way or another through their learning. A piano student that keeps progressing through the stages is going to be playing in different keys. And this person ..... the OP is already learning .... to play. They're on the path right now.

You're not suggesting that they (as a beginner) shouldn't tinker with the transpose feature at all, right?

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
....... You seem to be utterly lost, which is what happens when some people learn to play on their own. I think the best you can do it to take a teacher and start from scratch.

I agree.

It appears this is your only hope for any success.

AND ... If I were your teacher, I would insist that you master the B Major Scale, DB Major Scale, and then the C Major Scale played at 90 bpm with a metronome and IN TIME ..... just to find out if you can actually learn to play anything at all on the piano.

And I would tell you that if you cannot learn to play those scales satisfactorily (IN TIME) then we need go no further.... the piano is not for you.

Good Luck


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The OP is mentioned that they're a beginner, and it looks like they can play a particular tune or tunes in the key of C ---- C major. Well, that's a pretty good start actually. We can assume there are no key changes in those pieces of music.

So ----- right now, one method the OP is using is the transpose feature. That will certainly allow the OP to play the tune in other major keys. That's fine.

And the OP can either get some (or more) lessons from a personal face-to-face piano teacher --- to learn and develop more, in order to become competent with playing the piano in other 'keys'. Or they can gather more information - for doing piano and finger/hand etc exercises - that builds up experience and competence with playing both the white coloured and black coloured keys. And, of course, the various components that come along side of all this - reading music, and working sheet music with pieces in a few different 'keys' to begin with. And ear training, interval training. And - whenever ready ---- some music composition techniques, improvisation techniques etc (which can come later).

The OP is a beginner - and I can understand where he/she is coming from. Just keep at it OP. Keep learning - and these particular issues will eventually become sorted. Keep at it.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
The OP is mentioned that they're a beginner, and it looks like they can play a particular tune or tunes in the key of C ---- C major. Well, that's a pretty good start actually. We can assume there are no key changes in those pieces of music.....
The OP presented as being a beginner. But in further posts we learn that the OP had lessons as a child - it seems for a fair amount of time - on organ - and was confused about things then, slogged through as best as possible then, and is only now able to articulate that confusion in some manner. Sadly, the first things taught can give us an entirely wrong premise of how things are - in futility we then try to build on those premises, which because they are wrong, disorient, and cause further confusion. Without knowing the first ideas were wrong or poorly put, the student will believe there is something wrong with them and their own ability to learn.

That is why I wrote that lengthy workabout, giving a whole different view that brought in hands and keyboard patterns.

The OP isn't truly a beginner. Possibly a beginner to piano, having learned organ before. This will suggest possible technical handicaps because of the way each instrument functions and is played. But for reading music, the period of organ lessons will have set up how reading is presently understood. There are a lot of ways this can (and does) go wrong.

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Originally Posted by keystring
The OP isn't truly a beginner. Possibly a beginner to piano, having learned organ before. This will suggest possible technical handicaps because of the way each instrument functions and is played. But for reading music, the period of organ lessons will have set up how reading is presently understood. There are a lot of ways this can (and does) go wrong.

I know what you mean KS. Although, even if the OP had lessons, or some lessons in organ (or even if it had been piano), then if they're still at the beginner 'level' stage, in which the OP really does appear to be in the beginner level stage, then we can assume that the OP (as they had mentioned it themselves) - is a beginner.

The work-about method(s) that you wrote is all good though.

I can understand the OP's situation. I know what they mean, because I was sort of once in that same situation - but this was a long time ago. I'm sure at least some others know what the OP means too.

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There are pieces you have added black keys (sharps & flats) throughout. Transpose the music as much as you like and you still get at least 1 black key.

The song "Imagine" by John Lennon for instance is in the key of C. There is 1 spot with the connecting notes A-A#-B. You want to play the song, you have to do the black key in the middle.

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A few years after the organ lessons I began using software synthesizers and I kept my interest in music, and the wishlist grew. I thought about learning a piano piece and had some minimal success, using a Clavinova. But mostly my interest was related to playing around with the synthesis tools. It has been to not pause and think what comes next when playing, and not to make fingering mistakes, and to transpose chords, etc. Interest in classical pieces and jazz was there, but I also was a bit too shy to go to lessons, and I have some movement disorder.

So my motivation and background was a little bit difficult to explain, I should have phrased it differently. Anyway, I will try to get an online teacher, and I'd say give me two years and I would be able to show progress. I have understood the correct route and your assessments of my situation and I thank you a lot.

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With the digital transpose feature - that's if it is used (for tinkering or otherwise) --- for somebody that has worked out how to play a tune on the piano - regardless of what 'key(s)' it is in --- the transpose feature will allow the tune to be played with new sequences of pitches. This should allow the OP to get those other sounds/pitches he/she is after. And, naturally, the OP can also keep developing the piano technique from lessons etc.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
I know what you mean KS. Although, even if the OP had lessons, or some lessons in organ (or even if it had been piano), then if they're still at the beginner 'level' stage, in which the OP really does appear to be in the beginner level stage, then we can assume that the OP (as they had mentioned it themselves) - is a beginner..


We're probably on a similar page.
Speaking from experience, having a messed up background in any way can be worse than a beginner. the OP is not in the same place, or with the same attitudes or goals that I have, or some people I've interacted with have had (that is also becoming increasingly clear). Overall, any wrong premises that we start with can create a bigger mess than never having played at all, and starting from scratch say at a late age.

I saw a hilarious video the other day where there was a a walkway or cemented area of some kind, then a "curbstone", and a "lawn" behind that. A man stepped over the curbstone, onto the "lawn" and plunged straight into a small lake. When he came up and climbed out, he said "I thought it was grass." It had been covered in algae. Now supposing you don't realize it's water and algae, and you try over and over to walk on that lawn, and keep mysteriously plunging down - because you've been told this is a lawn and you can walk on it. That is what false premises are like. (The video just popped into my head.)

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Originally Posted by mrakus
So my motivation and background was a little bit difficult to explain, I should have phrased it differently. Anyway, I will try to get an online teacher, and I'd say give me two years and I would be able to show progress. I have understood the correct route and your assessments of my situation and I thank you a lot.

All is good. I knew where you were coming from. You'll be fine.

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