So I may be crazy....

Tickle the ivories? Here's the place to talk about it.

So I may be crazy....

Postby littleboyblue » Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:11 am

I've started brewing my own beer, so I needed to clear out some space in my basement. In doing so I uncovered an electric keyboard I had forgotten about. This is something my parents had purchased when my sister and I were much younger, but I don't think it ever really got used much. I took a couple of basic piano classes when I was younger and learned how to play things like the entertainer. I of course remember none of that now. Looking at the keyboard I felt it was wrong that it wasn't getting used at all, and you guys know how I am. So I've decided on top of harmonica and guitar I should try to pick up a few licks on the ivories as well :) I was hoping you guys (I'm thinking Doc and Bubba here especially) might have some good tips for just getting started. Maybe some places to point me for absolute beginner information would be good. I recently have been watching the Eric Clapton "Sessions for Robart J." DVD that has some pretty impressive piano playing on it, so that helped motivate me in this decision. The two guys playing were Billy Preston and Chris Stainton. Thanks for any help guys.
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RE: So I may be crazy....

Postby jeffl » Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:33 pm

Nate: you are an ambitious guy...! Doc, and a coupla other guys around here are better than me on this one, since I've been piddlin' with the ivories half-assed since I was about 12 years, and I'm still not that good. But, if it's the blues you wanna play, Doc prescribed a book for me, which I've been wading through for about 6 months now: It's a Hal Leonard publication, written by a guy named Mark Harrison, entitled "Blues Piano". It's good for a little theory, chord and scale structure, and blues piano techniques. If that keyboard does not have weighted action keys, which I bet it doesn't, you will find it a struggle to accomplish anything with it, except to gain a basic knowledge of where the keys are. Blues piano is hard to play, and you eventually need weighted action keys in order to play the riffs correctly. I average a half an hour/nite on piano, and it hasn't been enough to meet my goals, but I can feel the memory comin' into my fingers, and I'm playin' much better than I was a year ago. Have a great time- if anybody's got the positive attitude necessary to learn a 3rd instrument, it's YOU!
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RE: So I may be crazy....

Postby doc williamson » Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:12 pm

Hi LBB ~ Bubba wrote about the book I recommend. I would advise playing your keyboard and seeing how far you advance and how much you like it before investing in a weighted action digital piano. I'm going to paste a post I made earlier to a beginning piano player.

A Major chord is made up of the 1st (root) note, 3rd and 5th note in the scale. You can think Do-Ray-Me-Fa, etc., if that helps. Those three notes in ANY key will ALWAYS make up a MAJOR chord. Now let's play:

Key of C:

The C chord is made up of the notes C (the 1st or root note in the scale), the note E (3rd note in the scale) and G (5th note in the scale. Now, hit them all at one time. That's is a C major chord!

Now let's try an F chord all of the notes above explain the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes. So, F major is made up of the notes F - A - C played at the same time.

Next is the G major chord which is made up of G - B - D notes played at the same time.

What those three chords represent is 90% of the chords in ALL blues songs. They may be in different keys but we are just starting.

Please let me know how you do with those and I'll explain the minor chords and chord progressions. BTW ~ you just learned the first blues progression with those three chords. You just have to listen and figure out when each is played. If you can't figure it out NO PROBLEM. I'll write how to play those chords in beats or measures if you need them. Good luck!
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RE: So I may be crazy....

Postby ricochet » Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:58 pm

I'm a newbie on the keyboard myself. Mostly playing on the melodica now, but we've got a nice electronic piano (my son-in-law's) in the basement and I sneak and play a little on that Hammond organ at the church I fixed up recently. Had 2-3 years of beginning classical piano lessons when I was a kid and didn't want to play that stuff. Learning to play a little fun stuff now.
:)
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RE: So I may be crazy....

Postby bosco » Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:49 pm

Hey gang-

I wanna be in on this as well. My wife has an electronic keyboard she bought at a yard sale years ago and I think I'll blow the dust off of that!

Whaddaya say Doc? If you offer to conduct this "beginners class" we can all take it together. Maybe you could post a new "lesson" once a week allowing those with with different schedules time to work on it.

Just a thought.

Bosco

"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it."
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RE: So I may be crazy....

Postby doc williamson » Mon Feb 07, 2005 4:24 pm

Yes, Bosco I am willing to give a lesson a week for those interested. I'll ask Bubba to help me because he can help me keep the lessons simple and also he is an advanced beginner (I think). Grady posted my one song on soundclick.com if I can figure out how to do it I can post what the lesson exercise should sound like and a few pointers on playing there and write the lesson here.
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RE: So I may be crazy....

Postby jeffl » Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:13 pm

Sounds like great fun! Doc, I am either an advanced beginner, or an intermediate with severe learning disabilities (ha!)- but I think you are right. I might be helpful in alerting people to some beginner pitfalls that you may have long forgotten.
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RE: So I may be crazy....

Postby doc williamson » Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:23 pm

Thanks Bubba for the help. OK, lessons begin now. Where do we start? Is the above short lesson helpful or should we start more basic or more advanced?
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RE: So I may be crazy....

Postby jeffl » Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:43 pm

>Thanks Bubba for the help. OK, lessons begin now. Where do
>we start? Is the above short lesson helpful or should we
>start more basic or more advanced?
Doc: if everyone's OK with it, how 'bout supplyin' the 7ths, and maybe the first inversion on the C7th...? But, I'll shut up and let the others decide. AND, I think it'd be cool if we got a couple guys to submit keyboard pieces for the next BRB comp CD, even if they're beginner level. It'd be like our first recital....! BTW, learning a little bit about piano can only help a guitar player's understanding of the blues, and even more so for a harper, I believe.
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RE: So I may be crazy....

Postby doc williamson » Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:28 pm

I have started a new topic under BRB heading "Playing Blues Piano" and titled "Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here." It gives us a fresh start and thread and is better titled than "So I May Be Crazy."
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RE: So I may be crazy....

Postby ricochet » Mon Feb 07, 2005 9:08 pm

That's nice, Doc, thanks a bunch!
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RE: So I may be crazy....

Postby littleboyblue » Mon Feb 07, 2005 10:18 pm

Awesome Doc! This is great. These are the kinds of wonderful things that occur when you combine curiosity and kind helpful people. I'm really excited now. Like bubba said one of my main hopes is to get a better understanding of the music as a whole in n attempt to improve my harp skills. Right now I just try to do what sounds right. It'd sure be nice to better grasp why something sounds right (or wrong may more often be the case for me).
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RE: So I may be crazy....

Postby jaybee » Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:32 pm

well then I am crazy too - after 30+ years of guitar, I bought a keyboard yesterday... now all I gotta do is learn how to play it, right?! ri... uhoh, if that takes me as long as guitar took, I'll be, eh let's see, 46+33=79, I'll be SEVENTY NINE by the time I can play something halfway decent... oh well, probably be the star of the retirement home... :D
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