February 8, 2019 at 4:48pm

I got myself a used piano few months ago. Started learning a bit on my own. Still thinking if I should get a teacher to have formal lessons. Any self-taught pianists here? Any tips? I've tried some youtube videos for beginners, and also bought a couple of adult books. Still fumbling with reading the doh ray me.. haha.

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Gavin Koh

Well, I have tried for fun non-paid versions like Sight Reading Trainer and Note Trainer Lite. There also paid versions, but never tried them. So, really it's up to you.

February 12, 2019 at 8:55am
Linette Choo

Hehe, of coz I'm trying the free ones first. After a day's work, I'm actually quite tired, and it's challenging to get myself to the piano.

Hope I can make it. *cross fingers*

February 13, 2019 at 1:22am
Yoke Ping

For myself, progress is faster after starting lessons. However, that may also be because my instrumental teachers have always been a very strong source of motivation for me to practice, coupled... See More

For myself, progress is faster after starting lessons. However, that may also be because my instrumental teachers have always been a very strong source of motivation for me to practice, coupled with the fact that I have to put in financial resources for the lessons. Before that, I just played at my own sweet time.

February 21, 2019 at 12:00am
Tey Aik Han

I am new to this forum. Just want to share my experience as a self taught piano player 🙂
When I was about 7, I had piano lesson for less than a year. I quit before I took grade 1 exam... See More

I am new to this forum. Just want to share my experience as a self taught piano player 🙂
When I was about 7, I had piano lesson for less than a year. I quit before I took grade 1 exam because I found the elementary pieces to be too boring and and the teacher too fierce.
When I was 12, I heard my friend playing a Richard Clayderman piece, and I instantly wanted to learn that. Took me many months to start to learn reading notes again, and painstakingly memorize the note to be able to piece the melody together.
Till today, I self-taught every piano piece that I wanted to play, and I never find practicing boring as I did when I was learning formally from a teacher.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I think the motivation of wanting to learn a song I like is a lot stronger than trying to learn piano steps by steps, hence maybe to put your aim on learning a piece that you like regardless of grades may help to push you harder.
Having said that, not having a proper musical education means that you may miss out on many technical skills requires to perform advance pieces properly. (I found it out the hard way) Therefore I think it is important to decide if you are playing for yourself or for others... if you just want to please yourself, YouTube tutorial and bashing through the notes is sufficient for you to learn the song you like.

May 16, 2019 at 3:56pm
January 11, 2019 at 8:56pm

I find that the world of pianists is very unforgiving towards adult learners. The moment they see an adult, they expect a certain level of playing.

What do you think?

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Mabel Ong

Gavin, does the forum here allow us to do the same thing? Post our video, and get feedback on how to improve?

February 7, 2019 at 3:14pm
Gavin Koh

Sure it does... but who's going to reply. Myself, yourself, Yoke Ping, and just a small handful of other regulars. The Facebook Group I mentioned has way more people from around the world... See More

Sure it does... but who's going to reply. Myself, yourself, Yoke Ping, and just a small handful of other regulars. The Facebook Group I mentioned has way more people from around the world responding, especially if you request for feedback / critique.

February 7, 2019 at 4:38pm
Mabel Ong

I see, from the world, that will get enough numbers. Are there many sg people there?

February 7, 2019 at 4:58pm
Gavin Koh

Out of 5514 members, I counted about 15 Singaporeans, well that's for those who do update their country field.

February 7, 2019 at 5:04pm
June 19, 2018 at 1:16pm

Should I buy digital or normal piano to start learning piano? Should I get one or just play at school or teacher's place? Any advice? Thanks.

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Linette Choo

Wow, thanks Zensen! That's very comprehensive. ?? I have mixed feelings la. For me, it's good to start playing casually. But if I can progress well (god knows), might as well take some exams to... See More

Wow, thanks Zensen! That's very comprehensive. ?? I have mixed feelings la. For me, it's good to start playing casually. But if I can progress well (god knows), might as well take some exams to prove something? Definitely not to become concert pianist like you mentioned. I'm working, so, being able to play at night is a big deal to me, cos that's the time I probably can practise (I hope so!) ?

June 23, 2018 at 2:09am
Goh Zensen

That being the case, I'd recommend that you start small by buying a digital piano. If space or mobility isn't a constraint for you, I'd recommend a full-fledged one with 88 keys. Depending on your... See More

That being the case, I'd recommend that you start small by buying a digital piano. If space or mobility isn't a constraint for you, I'd recommend a full-fledged one with 88 keys. Depending on your budget, a high-end one costs S$2,699 while an entry-level one costs S$700. Mid-range will be around S$1,699. But if you are space-conscious and prefer it to be more mobile (so that it can be moved around easily), then I have a 76-key version ($400+) and a 61-version (also $400+) to recommend for you. If you are ultra-budget conscious, it will be $269.

June 23, 2018 at 8:19pm
Linette Choo

Ya, I think I'd go with a really cheap one at the start. Just gonna start learning, don't think I'll need that many keys. 61 keys sounds a lot to me already. Lol.

June 27, 2018 at 11:46am
Goh Zensen

61 keys (5 octaves) is really the minimum you should start with. This is because any shorter (e.g. 49 keys, 4 octaves) won't allow you to play it with both hands (meaning right hand on melody and... See More

61 keys (5 octaves) is really the minimum you should start with. This is because any shorter (e.g. 49 keys, 4 octaves) won't allow you to play it with both hands (meaning right hand on melody and left hand on bass and chords). Also, you'd need to look for a model that has touch response/touch sensitivity. This is because some very cheap ones don't come with this, thus no matter how soft or hard you strike the keys, the volume/loudness is the same, which makes the music you play sound monotonous/robotic/expressionless!

June 28, 2018 at 7:26am
November 27, 2017 at 4:34pm

Just wondering how many in the group are adult learners (regardless of the level) who either (i) start playing piano or (ii) start taking piano lessons, as an adult?

I am one. :)

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Gavin Koh

Most Overdrive ebooks are just that - books, as in novels. At least I got one epub with a number of music pieces within. However, the NLB e-resources is great if you want to find national songs or... See More

Most Overdrive ebooks are just that - books, as in novels. At least I got one epub with a number of music pieces within. However, the NLB e-resources is great if you want to find national songs or say you miss the score for Rangoon primary school's school song, or something like that.

In summary, e-resources are still pretty weak when it comes to music scores IMHO. But not too shabby in the theory department. Better to just go to the Esplanade Library to browse through and borrow from a wide range there.

December 21, 2017 at 8:24pm
Mabel Ong

Looks like I should make a trip there soon. Never thought I would go there. Haha.

December 23, 2017 at 6:37pm
Mabel Ong

Pauline, are you taking private piano lessons, or you go to music school?

February 24, 2018 at 7:12pm
Yoke Ping

Mabel, I'm taking private piano lessons.

February 26, 2018 at 11:26pm
April 14, 2017 at 9:21am

As a piano newbie and novice, i learned piano by myself. I usually play by ears and memorization. Recently i play some songs and recorded it. i realised certain part of the songs the speed(Tempo) is not ideal. It could be a bit too fast or slow and as a result sounds a little bit messy. How do your play a song in an ideal speed (Tempo) and "Control" the whole songs seems like a hard skills to master. Any thoughts?

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Corrine Ying

How about adding some percussion (like a steady drum beat) to your playing if you're using a digital piano? Learners of classical music usually use a metronome to help control the tempo.

April 14, 2017 at 10:27pm
Sng Yong Meng

That's a nice suggestion for someone using the digital piano, since the percussion becomes an actual accompaniment to his playing.

At least, it is not as monotonous as a metronome for... See More

That's a nice suggestion for someone using the digital piano, since the percussion becomes an actual accompaniment to his playing.

At least, it is not as monotonous as a metronome for those playing on the acoustic piano, where the metronome has no musical participation, and it's purely for keeping the tempo in check.

April 14, 2017 at 10:42pm
Gan Theng Beng

Thanks for the insights and ideas. I am currently using acoustic upright piano. I also think that when you play the piano your mind need be calm and at peace and most likely you will get the '... See More

Thanks for the insights and ideas. I am currently using acoustic upright piano. I also think that when you play the piano your mind need be calm and at peace and most likely you will get the 'right' tempo.

April 15, 2017 at 12:11pm
Corrine Ying

There are apps that can provide different kinds of drum beats in varying speeds to accompany your playing. So it doesn't have to be a boring metronome beat.

Yes Theng Beng, when we are... See More

There are apps that can provide different kinds of drum beats in varying speeds to accompany your playing. So it doesn't have to be a boring metronome beat.

Yes Theng Beng, when we are nervous, our hearts beat faster and we tend to play faster.

April 15, 2017 at 9:07pm