Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

How Do *You* Keep Up Your Piano Chops?


Dave Pierce

Recommended Posts

OK, so I'm gigging again after a 12-year hiatus. I've been practicing heavily for 4 months now, and it's starting to pay off. My organ-style chops are now producing knowing smiles and high-fives at jam nights. My synth-style leads are flowing well, and I'm not thinking about them much (which is a good thing).

 

But my piano chops? Well, they, --ahem-- suck rocks through straws! :mad:

 

It seems that one of the great blessings of my life is now coming back to haunt me. My mom starting teaching me piano when I was 3. And I had professional lessons at a very young age too. So when I tried to remember how I learned the basic fundamentals....well, I don't really remember. :eek:

 

What do you do to work your piano fundamentals? Should I maybe take some lessons? Any teachers out there with feedback? Any ideas much appreciated...

 

--Dave

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 8
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Of course, it's important to have a piano, or a good weighted keyboard at the very least, to practice on. If you haven't played the piano for a long time, I'd say it's very important to do a few minutes of relaxation exercises for the arms and torso before starting. The main thing is to be conscious of the arm weight and to control it from the shoulder. You don't need any of that for synth and organ playing, but it's indispensable for the piano.

I would start with some simple finger exercise - Hanon is good if you *transpose* it. Start SLOWLY, with a natural articulation of the fingers, and try to make one single lever from shoulder to fingernail - flexible and relaxed. Bring the key to its bottom every time. Strive for a "vertical" approach of every finger. (You aren't supposed to *play* like this, you know; simply, it pays to study your technique this way).

Then I would play some scales and arpeggios - very slow, legato and with different dynamics.

For some music to read, I would start with Bach; always useful technically, musically and for reading.

 

My 1 cent :)

 

Carlo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right. That's certainly part of my problem -- I haven't purchased the S80 you guys recommended yet. Although my mouth is watering for it now. ;)

 

Thanks for the rest of the tips. Good ideas, all. Hanon is an exercise book, then? Can't recall seeing it, although for all I know I owned it when I was 5.

 

--Dave

 

Of course, it's important to have a piano, or a good weighted keyboard at the very least, to practice on. If you haven't played the piano for a long time, I'd say it's very important to do a few minutes of relaxation exercises for the arms and torso before starting. The main thing is to be conscious of the arm weight and to control it from the shoulder. You don't need any of that for synth and organ playing, but it's indispensable for the piano.

I would start with some simple finger exercise - Hanon is good if you *transpose* it. Start SLOWLY, with a natural articulation of the fingers, and try to make one single lever from shoulder to fingernail - flexible and relaxed. Bring the key to its bottom every time. Strive for a "vertical" approach of every finger. (You aren't supposed to *play* like this, you know; simply, it pays to study your technique this way).

Then I would play some scales and arpeggios - very slow, legato and with different dynamics.

For some music to read, I would start with Bach; always useful technically, musically and for reading.

 

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Dave Pierce:

Thanks for the rest of the tips. Good ideas, all. Hanon is an exercise book, then? Can't recall seeing it, although for all I know I owned it when I was 5.

This link may be useful.

 

http://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/downloads/Hanon/Hanon1.html

 

Originally posted by Magpel:

What piano chops? :freak:

I'm with you on this one. After years of messing around with synths and not really trying to get good technique on a piano, I finally decided to do it. I'm definitely improving, but it's one of those things that the more you learn, the more you realize how much there is that you don't know.

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that I have an 88 note controller I have pulled out my old books from the piano lesson days. Once I reach a point that I can play the same songs I was playing as a senior in high school I plan to put together a few practice CD's and start playing along with generate practice sets.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My piano chops are really bad right now, horrible actually. This is mostly because my piano is way out of tune and a couple of the keys need repair...I haven't been playing it much at all. I've got a guy lined up to come out and do a bunch of work on it but I've been waiting 'til my son is a bit older...he bangs on it pretty hard. :D

 

I do play a very sluggish Rhodes all the time so my technique is close enough that it won't take too long to get back into shape.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going from keys to the piano is tough alright, especially if you haven't hammered a piano in a few years. I'm fortunate to have picked up a used baby grand last year, and just from playing it regularly,my chops have improved a lot. I also had a gig playing with a guitarist last year in a piano bar in Sweden. I did most of the soloing. The first night I stank, after not playing for 2 months over there. It didn't take long to get in gear though. Just think how you'll fly on your keyboards after you do get in the groove!

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...