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(41 Posts)
biryani Mon 12-Aug-13 10:09:02

Anyone out there who plays piano as a hobby? If so, please tell me about it!

Yes I do. Love it .. beats tv, good for relaxation..what would you like to know?

biryani Sun 25-Aug-13 09:26:23

Anything, really! E.g.:

What sort of music do you play?
What sort of standard are do you think you''re at?

Are you working towards any grades?
How much time do you spend practising?
Do you play in public?
Do you have a musical background?
Do you play with others?
Are you in a position to turn music into a living, and if so, how?

Etc. Thanks for replying,

MaryTheOwl Sun 25-Aug-13 23:34:04

I play too. Just done a couple of hours tonight.

I love it and yes, it does beat tv!

I'm re-learning Beethoven's Pathetique as I wasn't happy with it when I learnt it as a teen.

I'm also doing the Prelude and Fugue in B flat (21) from the first book of Bach's 'Well Tempered Clavier', because it looks fun and I've not played it before.

Also also, working on Bach's first English Suite, in A Major.

That's quite enough to be going on with I think!

How about you? Do you play yet or are you considering taking it up?

MaryTheOwl Sun 25-Aug-13 23:38:59

Ooh, sorry, your questions:

Not as good as I'd like! Listened to a couple of my favourite pianists tonight and thought: bugger! More effort required!

I'm not working on grades; I tend not to inflict my playing on anyone else unless they really need it; I do like playing with others though! It's always fun.

valiumredhead Sun 25-Aug-13 23:40:18

Yes me, I've been learning for about a year and a half-love itsmile

MaryTheOwl Sun 25-Aug-13 23:45:57

Hey, piano is popular!

What's your favourite thing to play valiumredhead?

valiumredhead Sun 25-Aug-13 23:47:39

A simple version of Clare de lune, took me ages to learn but sounds impressivegrin

MaryTheOwl Sun 25-Aug-13 23:56:44

Excellent choice. That's such a lovely piece.

Floralnomad Sun 25-Aug-13 23:57:35

I play ,I learnt as a child ( did grade 5) and then went back to it a few years ago . I don't play that often although am trying to do more ,infact I've just had the piano moved to make it more accessible . I play a mix of classical pieces and modern . It is very therapeutic !

I play every day. Did a bit as a child but not to any great standard. Now progressing through grades and doing theory too. New piano due in ten days!

MaryTheOwl Mon 26-Aug-13 00:23:04

New piano, that's very exciting.

I'm going to be starting a Piano Account when I've got some spare cash to save. I'd love to get a really good one. Mine does the job for now though.

biryani Mon 26-Aug-13 08:23:38

I''ve been doing it for 2 years now, as an adult. I went back to it because I had some time on my hands. I love it and wished I'd never stopped at 15. I have lessons, though-I need quite a lot of help. I''ve had a crack at the Pathetique too, and some of the Einaudi tunes which I can get on with on my own. I love some of Chopin's stuff: my ambition is the Minute Waltz.

I have done a basic teaching qualification through the Abrsm. I would love a good piano too.

My main interest is jazz, though, and I am about to start Grade 8 Jazz. I can't wait!

My ambition is to lose my inhibitions and when I am good enough, to play improvised jazz in an ensemble.

I really admire people who can perform without going to pieces.

MaryTheOwl Wed 28-Aug-13 22:53:48

Sounds good.

I'd like to be a confident performer too, but I'm not really.

I've decided my technique is a bit lacking so I'm off to buy some excercises soon. That said, perhaps a bit more practice wouldn't hurt!

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 09-Sep-13 21:16:42

Hello! Are you lot still around to chat?

I'm about the level where I can learn to play the Pathetique - is it really hard? How long will it take to learn it if you only have about 20 minutes a day? hmm

LeoTheLateBloomer Mon 09-Sep-13 21:22:16

I play! Or at least I had lessons from the age of 5-18. I did grades and somehow passed grade 7 but I never felt like I had any natural talent. I decided not to bother with grade 8 so carried on with lessons, just finding sheet music that I liked and was familiar with.

As an adult I've barely played but I recently aquired a keyboard. It's great but it's just not the same as a proper piano. I've been trying to reaquaint myself with the music from the film The Piano which I love but I'm just not good enough. It frustrates the hell out of me because I'd love to just be able to sit down and play!

Oh and I never play in front of anyone. Except DD who's 3 so she doesn't count grin

Wallison Mon 09-Sep-13 21:41:20

Ooh, a piano thread; I was just thinking of starting one the other day. Brilliant.

Leo, don't get discouraged. Received wisdom is that it only takes six months of practice to get back to where you were. And remember that all of that time you haven't been playing, you've still been absorbing music, even if it's just having a radio on in the kitchen while you're cooking or watching a film with a striking soundtrack; you may well find that you have a new take on pieces that were familiar to you before. It's a very interesting process, restarting - really!

Uptoapoint, do you really only have 20 minutes a day? It might take you a while at that rate. I think it's actually quite a demanding piece - have you 'done' any of the other Beethovens? Only there are some that are easier than that and will get you into the Beethoven style of playing. If you're really set on mastering it though, in the first movement I would say that the right hand jumping around and the left hand octaves are the difficult bit. For the right hand, I practice the notes in blocks, jumping the hand over the left. This helps you get your fingers into the right position for when you hit the notes (you won't have time to do it after you've jumped because you're straight in). With the left hand, the key is not to have any tension in your arm/wrist (easier said than done) and aim for a fluid rocking movement with slightly more weight on your little finger (you need that to counteract the strength of your thumb and stop it sounding lumpy). Good luck!

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 09-Sep-13 22:16:11

20 minutes a day is more or less guaranteed - can sometimes get more time! I've done the jumpy about type things (Eg Rachmaninoff Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5) and somehow don't imagine the big chords to be the hard part (famous last words grin) - it's the rest of the sonata that worries me... I've learned the Tempest - the third movement is the reason I bought my piano - but haven't done many Beethoven sonatas. Or at least I don't remember them from my youth.

Perhaps I will give it a go. After I'm done with a few other pieces ...

I don't usually play for others. The only people I inflict myself on are the kids and my teacher. grin

LeoTheLateBloomer Mon 09-Sep-13 22:22:59

Thanks Wallison smile The piece I've been playing this evening came back to me very quickly in my head, it's just getting that knowledge to travel through my fingers!

My boyfriend is a very keen musician, but he's totally self taught and learns by ear. We have a favourite song that we'd love to be able to play together (guitar and piano) but it's so obscure there's no chance of finding any sheet music for it so I'm having to try and learn as I listen. Bloody hard for a visual learner who relies on having it all in front of me!

LeoTheLateBloomer Mon 09-Sep-13 22:24:01

P.S. biryani thank you for this thread smile

Wallison Mon 09-Sep-13 22:24:43

I didn't mean the chordy bits but the bits where you're doing the one line tune and it crosses over the left and then back up the keyboard again. I practice those as chords just to make sure my hand is in the right configuration when I 'land'.

I love that Rachmaninoff prelude! Very satisfying to play.

Wallison Mon 09-Sep-13 22:26:55

I wish I could play by ear, Leo, and really envy people who can. You can always learn to read music - anyone can do it. But not everyone can just hear a tune and then sit down and play it straight away.

stillenacht Mon 09-Sep-13 22:29:18

Hello I am a music teacher (class secondary) and also teach piano smile

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 10-Sep-13 08:14:02

Wallison those are tricky aren't they? I'm playing Brahms' Hungarian #1 at the moment and you certainly travel up and down the keyboard a lot too. Have you tried the Rachmaninoff's prelude in G major (op32 no 5)? That's drastically different but equally satisfying.

stillenacht do you get much time to play? What are you playing at the moment? smile

Wallison Tue 10-Sep-13 10:13:25

Ooh, I've never tried the Brahms or that particular Rachmaninoff. Maybe I should give them a go. I really like the Rachmaninoff op 23 no 2 which has the added bonus of sounding more difficult than it is, so I can imagine I'm wowing the neighbours (poor old neighbours - we are a really noisy house).

As an aside, piano fans in the North (or even those willing to travel there), did you know that John Lill is playing a series of concerts in the Bridgewater Hall to mark his 70th birthday. There are 8 in total, and he's playing all of the Beethoven sonatas. They're actually doing a really good deal which would totally work if you live in/near Manchester whereby for £140 you get top price tickets to all 8 (ie works out at less than 20 quid a ticket) plus get to meet him at a gala supper after the last one (where he is playing the 111). Also, Lang Lang is playing there some time in October. Lucky old Manchester.

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