Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The Piano

  1. Mar 21, 2005 #1
    Anyone know any sites that I can learn to read piano notes and play it from scratch?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2005 #2
    If you truely want to learn to play piano you have to get a real live person to teach you. Sure you can learn the notes and all but thats really easy. If you listen to different people playing different difficult songs, they all play the right notes but only some of them actually play it fantastically well.
  4. Mar 22, 2005 #3
    learning the notes on the piano, as said before, is quite easy. The piano is really technical, although musicality is required as well.
  5. Mar 22, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This site might be a good resource to you: download the scorch http://www.mfiles.co.uk/Scores/Fur-Elise.htm. It allows you to look at the notes and follow the music at the same time, it is good for getting the feeling of a song (sheet music can be too abstract).

    The first part of Fur Elise is easy to learn, there are many other pieces availabe too.
  6. Mar 22, 2005 #5
    I'm a pretty impatient person when it comes to learning things. I taught myself to play piano so that I could write music. I agree that if you want to do it right, get lessons, but if all you want to do is play the piano, there are short cuts.

    Learn some basic chord forms (this is really very simple with a little music knowledge you can learn the major, minor, diminished, augmented, 7th's and major 7ths just by memorizing a few interval spacings and moving them up and down the keyboard). Add to this a few of the treble cleff notes and you can play piano from any fake book in a manner of a few weeks.
  7. Mar 22, 2005 #6
    Fur Elise..? That cursed score...

    *burns, sissors, smashes Fur elise*


    The tune is nice, but ITS BEEN PLAYED TOO DANG MUCH.
  8. Mar 22, 2005 #7
    Of course, yo ucan do with easy pieces. But if you REALLY want to play majestic, romantic, sensitive music, you'll need to play pieces of Rachamninoff And Chopin to name a few. And can you really say yo ucan sight read those in a mattter of weeks?

    Take nocturne Op 9 no 2 for example of chopin. Do you know how much chords there are on there?
  9. Mar 22, 2005 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member


    I learned how to play piano, but I never was learned a single chord.. so I have to thoroughly analyze a piece before I understand it.. others listen to a song and they can imitate it right away :cry:
  10. Mar 22, 2005 #9
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  11. Mar 22, 2005 #10


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I actually got the nocturnes by chopin for my birthday, but they looked too difficult to play :frown:
  12. Mar 22, 2005 #11
    I just want to play easy songs with shortcuts and stuff. Stuff like Final Fantasy music and stuff to it's minimum. Anyone know how I can do that?
  13. Mar 23, 2005 #12
    http://www.musictheory.net/ has some good trainers and resources. Free sheet music for classical pieces can be had at http://www.mutopiaproject.org. For more recent pieces, you will probably have to buy scores or get them from someone else(or learn by ear, which is really hard for beginners) as they under copywrite protection.

    I am a self-taught piano player. I can play a few pieces such as the 2nd movement of Beethoven's 8th sonata(1st and 3rd movements are a bit too difficult for me at this stage, though). Also have the Andante from Chopin's Nocturne in E-flat down pretty well (little rought on the ending though) I am like Monique in some respects. I can sight read, but not on the fly (that boggles my mind). I usually need to hear the music first to play it correctly. I have figured out a few pieces by ear alone - though not completely. ( Most notable, the first few chords the 2nd movement of one Mozart's best known piano concertos, his 21st )

    Here's what my suggestins are.

    1. As with most education, find someone who is good who is wiling to teach you. You will learn alot faster this way, and avoid making mistakes and having to relearn to do alot of things.
    2. Practice
    3. Failing finding a good teacher, learn to read music - not necssarily on the fly, but learn what all the notes and symbols mean
    4. Practice more
    5 Find pieces which you like to play, and aren't exceedingly difficult, and that you have a good recording of
    6. Practice some more

    You might have noticed that 3 of my 6 suggestins are 'practice'. Its not an overstatment. There was this famous pianist(Rubinstein, I think) who once said "If I don't practice for a day, my critics notice. If I don't practice for two days, my audience notices. If I don't practice for three days, I notice." You really have to build up confidence and awareness in your fingers/wrists, and your basic musicianship. I don't know of any shortcuts. There's a reason why every single performing classical pianist has been studying since (at maximum) the age of 8 or so. It's no picnic. But when you are actually able to play pieces with some proficiency, it can be very rewarding.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  14. Mar 23, 2005 #13
    Agreed there.

    I personally find the concept of playing to get grades abhorrent, and that's why i don't do it for my flute or (albeit crapper skilled) piano.

    If you want to play on your own, with any instrument, you still have to have a goal for somewhat target. For me, when i play flute, i usually listen to works of James Galway, the Irish flautist. The challenges of mastering the vibrato and getting those high notes (4th octave C screeches!!) are vast, but after you master it, it is very, very satisfying.

    Anyway, for somewhat easy/decent piano pieces, I recommend The irish pianist/composer, John field's work.
    an example:http://www.carolinaclassical.com/articles/nocturnes/nocturneno5inbf.html

    I'm trying to master the major part of it with the flute. But it isn't necessarily so hard.

    @Monique: Nothing is really too difficult, if you put your mind to it. Let me quote chopin..

    'It seems to me that you don't dare to express yourself as you feel. Be bolder, let yourself go more. Imagine you're at the conservatoire, listening to the most beautiful performance in the world. Make yourself want to hear it, and then you'll hear yourself playing it right here. Have full confidence in yourself ; make yourself want to sing like Rubini, and you'll succeed in doing so. Forget you're being listened to, and always listen to yourself. I see that timidity and lack of self-confidence form a kind of armour around you, but through this armour I perceive something else that you don't always dare to express, and so you deprive us all. When you're at the piano, I give you full authority to do whatever you want; follow freely the ideal you've set for yourself and which you must feel within you; be bold and confident in your own powers and strength, and whatever you say will always be good. It would give me so much pleasure to hear you play with complete abandon that I'd find the shameless confidence of the vulgaires unbearable by comparison' "

    albeit long, but even if playing for fun, keep that in mind.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  15. Mar 23, 2005 #14
    That kind of playing takes years of practice to become proficient. I used to play a Chopin piece because I love the mood it creates. Several people I know have taken years of piano lessons and I can play better than them. I looked at Nocturn, Opus 9. There aren't a lot of chords, they are just arpeggios (walking up and down the chord form) the problem wih that piece is that the key would be a bear to play (5 flats) :yuck:
  16. Mar 23, 2005 #15
    Indeed years of lesson don't prove a monkey's exterior. However, would you say you know the theory as well as them? But then again.. your not palying for learning theory..no? :confused: :uhh:

    5 flats?? 3 Flats if im not mistaken. However, i do apologize if i had made a mistake..
  17. Mar 23, 2005 #16
    Playing in different keys gets easy as long as you practice your scales frequently enough. You fingers just naturally hit the flats when you know what key you're in and you're used to playing it. When i started, i had more difficulty playing chords. I still mostly prefer stuff written for the harpsiochord with lots of arpeggios, its just easier for me to play, and especially sight read.

    And like so-crates said, its LOADS of practice. Hopefully you have an ear for music, then it shouldn't be so hard to play little melodies. Before i ever learned to read music, i would just sit and learn popular melodies by ear. The other really easy way to add a little more character to simple melodies is just to play the I, IV, and V chords whenever it fits. That works for most classic melodies.
  18. Mar 23, 2005 #17
    Piano. A funny instrument.

    Learning to play it is really a case of getting someone to teach you. Theory lessons are almost a must as well. Not many people can handle theory and really understand what is going on.

    Music.............. hum............... You see the problem is that pieces already mentioned (like Mozart's 21st Piano Concerto and Beethoven Sonatas) is that you might be able to play then but they need musicality. You need to feel the music and I mean really feel it. Playing notes is fine but unless you can hear it before it is played or from the notes or from what you can play then problems in musicality arise. The way over it is to listen to a lot of music. Get a feel for it and learn how intervals sound in your mind. It takes practise but it helps. :smile:

    The Bob (2004 ©)
  19. Mar 23, 2005 #18


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'll get to it once I get some time on my hands :wink: (reports, reports, reports) first I want to perfect Comptine d'Un Autre Été.
  20. Mar 25, 2005 #19
    Amen to that; burn it with fire
  21. Mar 25, 2005 #20
    the chopin nocturn's arn't too bad; but i agree, i;ve been playing piano for about 7 years, going grade 8 now (grades are useful as they can earn you UCAS points!!!). BUT i suggest you take up the fantastic instrument that is the piano; some of my freinds are Jazz pienists and they've been playing a hellova lot less than i have; and they sound really good.
    I guess, also if you really want to learn something you'll do it! But don't think you'll be able to play everything in even 5 years!

    But, get a teacher; sometimes there are student teachers (like me!) who are really cheap!

    Have Fun

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook