Sunday, February 11, 2007

How to play piano without practicing

After the landscape design class we had lunch at a Japanese restaurant across Rocklin Road. If I every run a restaurant again my host will great everyone they don't know with,
Good afternoon, would you like to enjoy your lunch here with us today? No, then perhaps we could prepare something scrumptious for you to take with you.
It really bugged me that the kid at this place barked Here2go! whenever anyone walk in the door.

My thoughts about the piano class follow.

  • Actual class title was Instant Piano for Hopelessly Busy People. It is based on the work of Robert Laughlin, Learning Pop Piano Fast and Fun.
  • It is awkward to play C major then G major. I learned about chord inversions, that can make transitions much more natural for the hands.
  • Chord inversions work well when you need a 7th. It is OK to drop the fifth.
  • Just the 7 and 8 are all you need to define a major 7th chord.
  • G7 resolves to C.
  • D7 resolves to G.
  • This class was not what I expected.
    • I was expecting to learn how to play piano by ear, to be freed from the chains of classical training into a heart opening experience of playing that wonderful music that I hear in my soul.
    • This class is for people who want to start learning piano and are motivated but for some reason have mental blocks to the classic approach generally taught to kids.
    • God how I appreciate Chris Caswell and his Guerrilla Music Theory course.
    • Go back to W.A. Mathieu's book Harmonic Experience and study!
  • Play the chords with the left hand in the octave below middle C. Any lower and the ear will not be able to make it out very well, it gets muddy.
  • Sheet music only includes the chord changes. So if a measure does not have a chord notation above the downbeat then it is implied that one plays the chord from the previous measure.
  • The top of her list of recommended books was my favorite piano book, Hanon, The Virtuoso Pianist. Boy do I love to play the Hanon etudes.
  • For a modern sound add a 6th to the chord.
  • For the sound of chimes play a parallel 6.
  • The diminished 7 chord is four notes each 1.5 steps from its neighbor. There are only three of these dim7 chords. This is what you hear when a villains enters the room or someone is falling down stairs.
  • Music box sound comes from playing the notes of a chord 1-5-3-5 repeatedly.
  • Cowboy sound is 1-5-6-5 repeatedly.
  • Blues 12 bar pattern (primary and variation)
      C C C C F F C C G G C C
      C C C C F F C C G F C C

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