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How good can you get at piano without being musically talented?

(7 Posts)
AdventureBe Thu 18-Jun-15 23:02:15

I did some lessons as a child and reached grade 4 (35 years ago!) . I didn't enjoy it much and did the minimum of practise. Haven't played at all since.

I don't think I have any natural ability, don't have a musical ear, couldn't name or play a note from hearing it and can't sing for toffee, but I have recently acquired a teach yourself book and have gone back to basics and am enjoying it.

Is there any point me taking it up seriously?

Ferguson Thu 18-Jun-15 23:19:14

There are dozens of teach yourself books, schemes and websites. What sort of music are you interested in? And what do you mean by 'taking it seriously'?

I played semi-pro drums for forty years, and started learning electronic organ aged 45, which was great fun!

And I taught 'informal' music at primary schools, keyboard, recorder and percussion.

There are also systems for developing 'ear', and other aspects of music on line.

If you enjoy it, then it is worth having a go, and these days there is a vast amount of demonstrations and tuition on-line.

What book have you got, some are better than others?

AdventureBe Thu 18-Jun-15 23:25:23

It's the one DS2, who's just started lessons at 12yo was given by his teacher. Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course Lesson Book Level 1. It has a very old fashioned looking cover but we both seem to be enjoying it and following it OK.

suenan Fri 19-Jun-15 14:46:34

We have just rented a piano as DH wants to learn how to play. He is musical and is practising regularly. He is serious about it - in so far as he sees it as a way of relaxing.

I, on the other hand, have always thought of myself as non-musical (your description above fits me perfectly) but I have also been trying to play it a bit. I am not sure how seriously I will take this. But I am doing it because I enjoy it, and because I want to break that negative view of myself as not musical. I will never be an opera singer or perform on stage, but that doesn`t mean I can`t find it relaxing. I feel my brain working in new ways when I am concentrating on the piano. That must be good for my brain.

So, I would agree with Ferguson, do it for yourself and your enjoyment!

boogiewoogie Fri 19-Jun-15 23:12:59

If you want to take it up seriously then I strongly recommend getting a tutor even if it's for once a month lessons. Probably not what you want to hear but you will progress much quicker learning from a living, breathing expert rather than trying to decipher instructions from a book.

It is never to late to learn an instrument. If you enjoy it, then go for it.

Ferguson Fri 19-Jun-15 23:39:53

Yes, the 'Alfred' books are often recommended by piano teachers.

If you want to try another book, the Kenneth Baker books are very good, and he does them for keyboard and organ as well. Also, there are repertoire books, of music of all kinds.

[There is a lot more about music in the Education section, under 'more' and extra curricular threads.]

Raia Wed 29-Jul-15 12:05:06

I recommend reading Matthew Syed's book "Bounce" (iirc) and similar stuff on the myth of inborn talent. Musicianship is very much a set of skills you can learn and talent has far less to do with it than putting the hours in! Definitely go for it and good luck (late starter cellist here) smile

Link to the book -

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