Learning Piano
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:08 PM   #1
Synthwell
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Learning Piano

Hey everyone. Over the last few days I've been thinking about how I can get my songs to sound professional. One of my ideas to get more catchy melodies is to learn the piano. I found out that artsits like Zedd, Avicii & Hardwell all can play the piano, so I thought I'd try. Do you guys think that it will help me make better melodies?

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Old 10-09-2013, 07:25 PM   #2
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Re: Learning Piano

Yes. Learning instruments furthers your learning of music.

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Old 11-09-2013, 12:27 AM   #3
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Re: Learning Piano

Sounds a good plan. Remember though - learning to play an instrument well tends to take some time investment. This won't be a quick fix to phat tunez.

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Old 11-09-2013, 12:41 AM   #4
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Re: Learning Piano

...

Last edited by relic; 11-09-2013 at 12:55 AM.. Reason: I was being a cunt.

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Old 11-09-2013, 12:54 AM   #5
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Re: Learning Piano

I will say yes.

From the very first day of playing and finding the piano or a keyboard as a way to e press myself, it was nothing but worth it.

But understanding and learning theory as you practice will take time. I'm still learning so much as I twiddle. I thoriughly enjoy the process. Picking a new key and trying to build something from it. Even coming back to a key months later and playing stuff you thought as a one off. Midi can also assist pior ability and record things by mistake.


However some mistakes might end up being looped and quantitized for arpeggios and other melody stuff. Not all keys must be baesd off the root note.

I love melodic stuff.

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Old 11-09-2013, 01:01 AM   #6
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Re: Learning Piano

There is a video on FutureMusic where they have an 'In the studio with Avicii' episode (yes, I actually watched it) and saying that he can play the piano is an overstatement .

Granted he HAS a keyboard sitting there, but struggled to even play the melody he was working on... It was cringy!

But please aim high and learn to play the piano anyway!
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:35 AM   #7
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Re: Learning Piano

Can you guys suggest any other techniques to help me expand my knowledge and skills?
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:45 AM   #8
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Re: Learning Piano

Like something really fast and easy you mean?

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Old 11-09-2013, 06:57 AM   #9
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Re: Learning Piano

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthwell View Post
Can you guys suggest any other techniques to help me expand my knowledge and skills?
Learning piano is going to take some time .

Maybe these threads can help:
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:40 AM   #10
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Re: Learning Piano

I've been playing the piano for over 30 years and I will say you really DO need a teacher -especially in the beginning- to teach you correct sitting and hand posture or else you'll end up with a flawed technique that will prevent you from progressing.

Most importantly, at first you will have to pratice very boring scales and excercises to build up finger memory and slowly progress into playing songs. I think if you take it seriously and study at least 45 minutes a day within a year or so you'll be very well on your way and have enough skill to achieve your goals -which as I see it is making tunes for EDM/IDM.

So, definitely learn it. You're still very young so your learning curve will be very steep which gives you a tremendous amount of leverage over people that start to learn playing in their later years. You will never ever gonna' regret the decision learning to play.

Aside from making EDM/IDM piano is such a fundamental instrument and how cool would it be if you're 5 years older than now and be able to walk into a bar, sit down at the piano and play the crowd ?! Go for it!!!

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Old 12-09-2013, 10:50 AM   #11
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Re: Learning Piano

I love piano because everything is right there in front of you, unlike string, woodwind, brass instrument etc where the scales seem to be hidden inside a kind of code.

Most cities, even small towns, have piano teachers. Even if your not really academic, 12 months of tuition will get you further along in your ability then anything else. If you want to be a 'serious' pianist then, by all means, continue on after a year. A year of tuition should give you all the information and technique you need to achieve everything most composers need?
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Old 13-09-2013, 03:55 PM   #12
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Re: Learning Piano

Being forced to have a piano teacher for 3 years and show "proficiency" for my degree in music comp was one of, if not the best things that happened for my music sense. It helped me understand relationships between tones and chords. It also improved my sense of rhythm, and helped me as a performer, in every capacity(noise/FX performance, playing bass, rapping).

I would reiterate another poster and say if you do this, it will be most beneficial to get a teacher. Also to be practicing (daily). These two things were thrust on me by necessity, and I am confident I would have been too lazy to go through with them as far as I did otherwise. Now that I have that base, I am still benefiting.

Learning/mindlessly practicing scales on other instruments is also very helpful. I practice bass scales while listening to podcasts.
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Old 15-09-2013, 07:32 AM   #13
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Re: Learning Piano

Yeah since almost every DAW works through a piano scroll. If you want catchy melodies quickly major keys are the way to go. Avicii and artists like him use them a lot. Start with C major. Learn the relevant scales and chords. Move onto other keys from there and experiment.
Do you play at all yet? Or any other instruments?
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Old 15-09-2013, 06:52 PM   #14
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Re: Learning Piano

If you really want to excel get a teacher. Having a weekly lesson not only keeps you on track- as you need to have something to show for the week, but also will help you learn at a faster rate.

You will learn proper technique that you need to have in order to play a complex difficult song. A good teacher will expose you to different musical styles, composing, theory, and technical skill.

Finally you have to practice- daily. If you cannot commit to that, don't waste money or your teacher's time. Teachers are there to guild and instruct- the learning happens when you work it out with consistent practice and study.

If you do get a teacher make sure they have references and can actually play what they are teaching.
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Old 16-09-2013, 04:43 AM   #15
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Re: Learning Piano

If you want to teach yourself though.. there are resources to learn scales and such.. but I compose with my mouse, a teacher can teach you invaluable technique though. I know how to play the drums, bass and guitar but I still could not play the piano live very well for instance because it's the only instrument i've never seen a teacher for. It really depends what you want to do.. and that will effect what you want in a teacher, if you want to make trance. I'd be looking into getting a classical piano teacher over a jazz, rock or blues teacher. Seems a lot of these big name trance acts are classically trained and it shows in their music.
I think I still can't post links but if you google "Piano chords and scales" the first result is great I used it to no end.
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Old 16-09-2013, 05:26 AM   #16
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Re: Learning Piano

Honestly, I have never heard of a piano teacher being a "jazz", "blues," or "rock" piano teacher. Most teachers have been trained to play not only all music but usually have a solid classical training. (In my experience.)
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Old 16-09-2013, 06:02 AM   #17
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Re: Learning Piano

Cause classical piano is a good way to start understanding concepts like melody, structures, scales and harmony. Jazz and blues are more about timing and feeling. Of course if you understand something about harmony etc. Anyway piano is a great way to understand music and how it's working. Mainly because of the real feel of the instrument instead of fictional "notes" in your DAW. However, you can acheive skill by practicing both arts.
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Old 16-09-2013, 10:27 AM   #18
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Re: Learning Piano

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Originally Posted by Muse-ic View Post
Honestly, I have never heard of a piano teacher being a "jazz", "blues," or "rock" piano teacher. Most teachers have been trained to play not only all music but usually have a solid classical training. (In my experience.)
Well yeah all of them could do it all.. But really a lot of them are best at one sort of training.
If you're looking for just a freelance tutor you can save a lot of money and a lot of them aren't classically trained or as classically trained as your more expensive options. A lot of them will be students or musicians themselves just trying to make some extra money teaching beginners.
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Old 19-09-2013, 05:06 PM   #19
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Re: Learning Piano

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Originally Posted by Synthwell View Post
Hey everyone. Over the last few days I've been thinking about how I can get my songs to sound professional. One of my ideas to get more catchy melodies is to learn the piano. I found out that artsits like Zedd, Avicii & Hardwell all can play the piano, so I thought I'd try. Do you guys think that it will help me make better melodies?
Being able to play an instrument is always good, IE, you can put on a beat in your DAW and just sit and jam with diffrent kinds of synths etc.

Helped me alot!
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Old 15-11-2013, 09:41 AM   #20
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Re: Learning Piano

Piano is definitely a safe bet, but another possible option is electric guitar. It's sooooooooo much fun to play -- and it can do a couple neat things that pianos and synths can't -- like pinch harmonics! I spent ~1200 hours practicing and improvising scales, modes, chords, and arpeggios over backing tracks. The improvisation is how I learned to make all sorts of wonderful melodies from scratch and how to harmonize my riffs against any song or arbitrary number of instrument tracks that you could think of. Fabrication of basslines became so easy, too. I can now listen to any random song I've never heard before and instantly start jamming to it in real-time. More fun than a barrel of monkeys. At one point I actually thought it was better than sex.

Once you have a trained ear, you can make all your music with just a mouse and a computer keyboard. My drum machine and my Roland A800 Pro keyboard just collect dust.

If you go on soundcloud and search for "arpeggio_junkie", and go to the bottom of those channel tracks to the first one called "sonic cloud elevator" -- you can actually hear the guitar influence in the song -- which waned as I continued producing tracks and used the guitar less and less and started playing with other techniques and concepts.

Seriously dude, I think guitar is a wonderful way to become very competent at scales, modes, chords, and arpeggios because it's portable, cheap, and cool! (can't go wrong with a Fender Strat + MicroCube mini amp).

Really the end result that is of most value in my opinion is a trained ear. I think it's more powerful than any other instrument you could own. It will allow you to do things you never thought you could do! You'll be able to hear a strange unknown chord and be able to isolate the individual notes in your head! It'll become effortless to concoct all sorts of catchy scale runs and mutated arpeggios. Making cover songs becomes a walk in the park. You'll be able to synthesize your own chord progressions by ear -- so you won't need to borrow them out of cookbooks anymore or use fomulas! You'll be free to simply yank out whatever pops into your head and throw it down into that DAW! Good luck and best wishes! And yes, investing in this stuff, I believe, it absolutely worth every minute and dollar. It's the best thing that ever happened to me.

Last edited by arpeggio_junkie; 15-11-2013 at 09:47 AM..

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