I've tried and failed now to learn three quite simple pieces, She Moves Through the Fair, Water of Tyne, and Down at the Old Bull and Bush, and it's been such hard work I've not gotten past a few bars on each of them. So I'm leaving off the pieces until I've spent a whole lot more time with scales and arpeggios. I was telling Chris at work about this, and he kindly pointed out that I haven't got a good ear - have to admit he's right there, he led us in some singing and he would have noticed.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
I said 'wow' out loud playing the first octave of a scale on that Broadwood in Biggars a couple of weeks ago. It's made me think. And then having got home and had some practice time on the Kemble, and it's coming out of the comparison very badly. Of course, I could get it tuned again, get something done about the sticky keys, and maybe even invest in some more significant resoration. but is it worth it? Maybe I should get a Broadwood when I'm finished in Saudi? we could make a wee holiday of it, travelling the islands, visiting second hand piano shops.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Monday, February 10, 2014
At last got through to Jeddah and bought a DGX-230. It wasn't quite what I'd aspired to, but they didn't have any Rolands or Korgs in the shop. It isn't even fully weighted, but it feels comfy to play on, and it's probably just right for the stage I'm at.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Here's a new practice regime I've started today:
- Lilliburlero (x2) - 2-3 mins
- Mozart Minuet in G (x2) - 2-3 mins
- Learning Sailor's Song - 20-30 mins
- All Grade 1 scales and broken chords, x2 - 20 mins (?)
- PianoNotes game, using keys from Grade 1 scales. (optional) - 10 mins
- Learning another piece outside Grade 1, eg Waters of Tyne (optional) - no set time
- Theory book (at keyboard) (optional) - no set time
The reasoning is that I've decided to go with the ABRSM grades to give me structure, so I should therefore use that structure in practice. Eventually, probably a month or so from now, Sailor's Song will join the repertoire, to be followed by Chattanooga Choo Choo.
And I'll start each practice playing the whole lot through, x2, plus anything else I manage to learn. This should keep me going until I get the proper keyboard and some lessons, when I can take advice about getting through the Grade 1, and in particular improving my playing of the pieces.
As for the lessons, there are no piano teachers in Yanbu that I can find online. I'll need to get some when I'm home on holiday.
Et, voila. Remotivated and heading back to the broad sunlit uplands.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Sent this week with fairly short practices, usually half an hour a day. I play through Lilliburlero and the Minuet several times each. And then some scales and broken chords, mostly C major. And then The Sailor's Song. Sometimes I'll play on PianoNotes.
But it feels like I've reached a lull. Sometimes it's a bit of a chore. And it's demotivating that after all this time and God only knows how many play throughs, I still can't really play Lilliburlero or the Minuet. I know all the notes, but there are still hesitations, they don't exactly flow.
I think the bottom line is I need a teacher and a proper keyboard to practice on. I can't see anything on line for lessons locally, so I need to think about that one. And I really need to get out of the hotel and get a flat before I get a proper keyboard. Which is a whole other story.
Meanwhile, I'll plod on with the midi keyboard and learn everything I need to for Grade 1. And just keep on practising. It's not ideal, but it's not going to be time wasted in the long run. Not counting my false start in 2010, I've really only been learning since March this year. Eight months. There's a long, long way to go...
Friday, October 18, 2013
Temporarily taken aback last night to think I'd lost Lilliburlero got me thinking. I've been too long stuck in the Minuet and G major. So this morning I played my meagre repertoire through, several times. I went back to C major scales and broken chords as well as G major. And then I got started on Swinstead's Sailor's Song, a jolly wee tune, and worked on the first three bars, RH, LH, and then both.
So, the plan is to learn the Swinstead, and then Chattanooga Choo Choo, all the while not neglecting Mozart and Lilliburlero, and also practising all manner of scales and broken chords. I'll need to work out how much time to spend on everything. I also want to study musical theory, and I've got an ebook for that. Part of my reasoning for changing focus from one piece and its key, to several pieces and keys, is the realization, (again, courtesy of my old mate Lilliburlero) that it's impossible for me to get any piece just right on this plastic midi keyboard. I can learn all the notes, but I'm going to need weighted keys to get it musical.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
A lot of practice today. Spent some time this morning with the Minuet, playing it through ten times. And then this evening I sat down at the keyboard and had another ten, but was feeling somewhat minueted-out. So I thought I'd play Lilliburlero for old times' sake, and... I'd forgotten it. I had to dig out the music, and spend I don't know how long getting it back. But it did come back. Memories of the summer in Bedford and the Bluthner where I learned it, and the midi keyboard felt very clumsy by comparison.
Having got Lilliburlero back into the process memory, I went back to the Minuet for a couple of play throughs. I know my process memory is capable of holding the two tunes, but I realised you need to keep playing the repertoire, even if it does only consist of one and a half tunes, as mine does. It's difficult to be objective, but the Minuet playing seemed better, perhaps as a result of shuggling the neurons with Lilliburlero? Anyway, in future I'll give not fixate on one piece again for weeks to the exclusion of all else.
I also did a few G major scales, and was very impressed by how fast I was doing them, without really thinking. Maybe the Minuet is feeding into that skill. I've also had a couple of games on the PianoNotes app. Some progress there.
A good day at the keys. Overall practice stamina is growing, I did at least three hours today, and it's getting more enjoyable.