Musicians' Café

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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby Jacqi » Jun 17, 2011 10:52 pm

Hi, Miss Rosario, glad to be here! Still getting used to everything!

I'm impressed with your violin lessons. You must be pretty good at it. Actually, for me, the accordion wasn't a favorite. I really wanted to learn piano but my parents decided I was too young and used the accordion as a trial run. What could I say...my parents were the music teachers :)

I guess you could say it's easy to play. It just depends on how complicated you want things to get. I heard some pretty phenomenal players along the way.

My flute is probably my favorite. That was my major instrument in college (I went to a conservatory). But I really like recorder because I love renaissance music. And the guitar for just hanging out and singing. Everything has its place, ya know?
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby narnian_at_heart » Jun 18, 2011 12:55 am

Wow, haven't posted in here in along time. I've been playing piano for church the past few weeks. My family is out of of town so I've played the last two Sundays and I'm playing this Sunday and then I'm leaving for a month and then coming back and playing again.

It's so hard!! I don't have a ton of time to practice the songs (we sing out of hymnals) so I basically play the melody line, leave out the harmony line in the treble clef and leave out the base line which is two notes. I scribble in chords and just play that. But the hard thing is, I can't play anything with more than one flat. And at least half the hymns in the book have two or three or four or five flats. I could learn them and play them but I don't know the chords for those key signatures (I don't even know what those key signatures are! Anything with more than one flat, I can't name off the top of my head) so I can't play those songs like a fake book. It's really irritating. I've been trying to practice the songs so I'm playing what's written instead of making up everything except the melody line but I just don't have tons of time and it'd take me a while to learn them.

I'm kind of freaking out about tomorrow. I want to know enough songs so that I'm not playing the same four or five every Sunday. The last two Sundays, I haven't played any duplicates but I'm starting to run out of ones I know well enough that I can play them with ease and still sing at least a couple verses. I get nervous playing in front of people and even though we have a small congregation and no one minds if I mess up a couple times, I'm not risking playing something unless I can play it perfectly home. If I can play it perfectly at home, that means I'll be able to play it at church with only one or two mistakes and if I do make a mistake, I'll be able to play through it without stopping and having to pick up again. I should actually log off and start practicing.
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby Jacqi » Jun 18, 2011 11:36 am

Hey, Julie, don't freak out about tomorrow...I'm sure you'll do fine. Your church wouldn't keep having you play if they weren't confident in your abilities! :)

Do you have your own copy of the hymnal? One you can write in? If so, perhaps you can borrow a trick from music theory classes: instead of thinking in terms of what key you are playing in, think numbers instead of letters. For instance, in the key of C, the tonic or home chord, the c chord, would be listed in your book as the Roman Numeral I. The other two usual chords in that key--F and G--would become IV and V. (Every other note in the scale also has its own number, too, but you don't see those often in hymns.)

What that exercise gives you is a way to "transpose" without the pain. So, for those hymns in a bazillion flats, you just figure out the chords as I, IV, and V--and mark the numbers in above the melody line just as if you were creating your own fake book. If you can play by ear, you can easily pick out the melody (if it's a song you know), and voila! No more hassling with flats!

The only problem is if the range of the song makes the highest note impossible for a majority of the congregation to sing. (Oops...test run!) Or if someone in your church has perfect pitch. :D

Well...I'll be cheering for you. Here's hoping you have an enjoyable time playing at church! You'll do great! :ymapplause:
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby narnian_at_heart » Jun 18, 2011 12:26 pm

Jacqi wrote:Hey, Julie, don't freak out about tomorrow...I'm sure you'll do fine. Your church wouldn't keep having you play if they weren't confident in your abilities! :)


Uhhh, not really. Like I said, we have a small congregation and my mom is normally who plays. Since she's out of town, I'm the only other one who can play. So if I don't play, we'll either have to sing acapella or else not sing and just watch our sermon.

Yea, I have my own copy of the hymnal and that's what I scribble the chords in. I don't really play according to numbers because it doesn't help me that much. I play inversions of chords. I used to jump around from a regular C chord (CEG or just CG) and then jump up to FC and then jump back down to something else. And then my piano teacher told me about inversions and I was like, "Oh, no duh! Why didn't I remember that?" :p

I've tried to transpose and have sort of figured out one song. The problem is I never really learned how to compose. I got a crash course when I took voice lessons but I don't remember very much of it. And no, I don't play by ear unfortunately. I'm debating taking summer lessons in August from my old piano teacher (I quit lessons when I left for college) and try to learn more of fakebook playing and transposing and stuff like that.

I did find a Gospel fake book that my mom bought awhile back for my siblings. It doesn't have a lot of hymns that are in our hymnal but it does have a few. So I will have at least 3 out of 4 new songs.

Thanks for the encouragement! I was sobbing at the piano last night. I was trying to learn some new ones and was just feeling like I royally sucked at piano because I can only play in the regular major chords: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G and I can't even name or tell by looking at a piece all the minors, flat majors, flat minors or play in them unless it's written out. I just need to learn them. I have a paper from an old music book with the I and IV chords of all the keys and the key signatures so I just need to work on memorizing them and how they're constructed.
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby Jacqi » Jun 20, 2011 4:58 pm

I was sobbing at the piano last night.


Hey, Julie, when I read that, I reallllllly felt for you!

I learned classical all the way, so it was a long time before I got the hang of playing by ear. What helped me was just learning how to play the guitar, believe it or not, because that uses a lot more fake book style music, for one, and besides, I only knew a few chords when I started. :)

It really is a matter of learning to listen, and getting the hang of what a "I" chord or a "V" chord sounds like (for instance), regardless of the key. I'd hide in my bedroom and take my guitar and play along with popular songs, trying to guess which chord would come next. I guess that comes easier to some people than others. I really think it is like a muscle memory, though--something you just gotta do, ya know? Kind of like swimming--you just have to jump in.

In the meantime, bet you're glad when your mom gets back home! :D
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby narnian_at_heart » Jun 20, 2011 6:26 pm

Well, Sunday went pretty well. I discovered that my mom, while I was away at college, had bought a Gospel music fake book for my siblings. It doesn't have a lot of actual hymns but it does have a few so I played a couple out of there because there wasn't the whole left hand and the harmony confusing me.

I love playing out of fake books but I'm still learning. I've been trying to teach myself guitar, actually, but it's coming pretty slowly.

I don't mind playing that much. It's great to get more experience playing along with people, learning new songs, playing a different piano then the one I'm used to, and playing in front of people (I get nervous).
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby Elanor » Jun 21, 2011 7:42 am

@nah: I understand. Really. I can play piano pretty well, since I've been doing it for a very long time (since I was like . . 7? 8?), but I get so nervous in front of people, and if I don't concentrate, I mess up. I'm like that with singing too. But if I concentrate on the music, and how I love it, and start really feeling it, I can forget about the people out there. :D So I love performing publicly.
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby MinotaurforAslan » Jun 29, 2011 3:27 pm

For anybody who plays the piano, watching this should be highly amusing. Towards the end it starts to get SUPER epic!

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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby Aslanisthebest » Jun 29, 2011 8:50 pm

OH. MY. WORD. O.o Only someone with mutated hands could play that. At one point it's just a big blob of a jungle of notes. xD At 2:29 it sounds like bullets. :P
Did someone really play that? It sounds like a six-hands piece or something...

Wow, I haven't posted here in a while! So far in my piano endeavors, I've picked up Chopin's Nocturne. Op 1. No 72. Something like that. And the Hungarian Dance by Brahms (not sure of the number, but the one that's well-known.) That's about it... The Chopin is being a pain. I learned bad fingering for the first page now I must perfect the second page fingering and I haven't peeked to see how many pages left. Oh well.. :P
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby Queen Susan » Jul 01, 2011 1:51 pm

@Minotaur: Haha! That video is pretty funny. :p

@Bella: Oh cool! I'm learning a Nocturne by Chopin at the moment too! Different one though. Not sure which number, but it's the "Nocturne in C# minor one. :-)
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby MinotaurforAslan » Jul 03, 2011 1:45 am

Aslanisthebest wrote:Did someone really play that? It sounds like a six-hands piece or something...

Nope, it's just a piece that somebody wrote on a sheet music program intended to be impossibly difficult as a joke. The first two thirds or so could theoretically be played by a duet, but the end is just impossible, as you saw. :P The "recording" of the song was created using a MIDI synthesizer.

So far in my piano endeavors, I've picked up Chopin's Nocturne. Op 1. No 72. The Chopin is being a pain. I learned bad fingering for the first page now I must perfect the second page fingering and I haven't peeked to see how many pages left. Oh well.. :P

Ooh, that's a beautiful piece! :D I learned it a few years back. It's only 4 pages long, if I remember correctly. The nice thing about those Chopin nocturnes is that the 3rd pages are usually just a repeated version of the 1st ones and the only new thing you have to learn are those pesky runs.
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby Aslanisthebest » Jul 03, 2011 9:45 pm

Ooh, that's neat, Queen S! I love Chopin's music, so I'll have to look that one up on youtube. Is it all minory and pretty? ;))

Ohhh. That makes sense, Minotaur. I didn't know such programs existed. :P Yeah, it would be impossible even for a virtuoso to play toward the ending. ;))

Yes, I looove the Nocturne! I mostly learnt it two years ago because I was enraptured by the chords in the beginning, now I have to learn the rest.... :P Not so much in love the second page start, but it's not bad. Ah, 4 pages? That's good! Of course now I have to do pageturns. ;)) I noticed that--the third page had some of the nice chords that the second page ended in so I hope the rest is okay to go through. Are those 16th note rows in the third page hard?
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby Queen Susan » Jul 06, 2011 12:33 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw2XzGl-AOw

Here's a link to it, Bella. :D I think it's beautiful! I play it slower than this though-- I guess I'll have to speed it up some... :p
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby narnian_at_heart » Aug 30, 2011 3:54 pm

I'm back at college and back away from my first and favorite instrument, the piano. :((

But I'm still trying to learn guitar and I took my dad's chord book with me this year. :-$ He almost never uses it and I'm pretty sure he'll never notice it's gone. Also, winterlife gave me a tuner so I'll actually be able to tune it now! I'm hoping it goes better this semester than last semester.
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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby DancingPrincesses » Sep 01, 2011 6:20 pm

Cool thread!

How long have you been playing? I've played piano for about 2 or 3 years.
Have you performed in public? My teacher has me preform in summer recitals, and winter recitals.
Are there instruments you don't play that you would like to learn? I would like to cello or guitar.
What type of music do you prefer to play? Mostly Classical and Folk songs.
Do you write music or lyrics of your own? No, I don't write my own songs.

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Re: Musicians' Café

Postby Aslanisthebest » Sep 01, 2011 9:10 pm

This is so overdue, Queen S, but I heard Chopin's Nocturne in C# minor while watching The Pianist, and I really fell in love with how beautiful it is. How is it going? Might there be any chance you might post a little of you playing it? ;;)
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