If you are reading this, I congratulate you because you are on your way to becoming a better and confident pianist that doesn’t rely on the transpose button.
Okay, I would really like to talk a bit about myself (musically of course).
My Names are Olowu Daniel. I started playing the piano 2007 (at least with understanding of what I was doing). A lot of things has happened during my journey but I won’t be talking about all that save those that are related to this series.
Getting to play all keys might be quite demanding especially for those that didn’t get to learn the piano professionally (or classically as some people will term it). I never had that privilege also. Most of what I know is as a result of the passion I had to play the Piano which of course included getting stuffs online, reading books and so on. I also had this belief that playing on all keys wasn’t necessary since there was a transpose button available and I was technically good at it that most times I don’t calculate the distance. If you have that same belief and you want to really go into The Piano professionally then you have to change that mentality.
What Happened to me?
I was enjoying my Keyboard, it had a Transpose button which made me lazy, I discarded thoughts or need of having to get to play on all keys ( although I knew what to do and practically could play on other 3 keys but I don’t play on them except I a rehearsing on my own). Then One day, The Keyboard had fault and the technician said it will take quite a while to get a spare part to fix it. Finally, a keyboard was brought from the store room to be used for the main time while the former was being fixed. That was like my worst Nightmare. The Keyboard had no Transpose Button!!! Then it dawned on me. Was I Useless without the transpose button?
What you need to know while starting this series:
-One of the Biggest Mistake I made as a Pianist was Practicing Wrongly (for years) and I wouldn’t want anyone to keep on making this same mistake. We were made to believe in the school of thought that “Practice makes perfect”. That’s quite not so true, “Consistently practicing rightly takes you closer to perfection”. There is a big and distinct difference between practicing and practicing rightly. I could stay for hours on the piano and at the end of the day end up yielding little result. I was the type of guy that practiced everything all at once (not literally). . I could spend hours on the piano, jamming, practicing scales, chords, intervals, and so on and at the end of the day, I yield little result. Just as how you can’t learn integration without Differentiation (in mathematics) so likewise there are prerequisites that are needed. So many Musicians have this problem, most times it’s as a result of how we were tutor on the piano and so on. So the conclusion of the above boring talk is that You are meant to practice every exercises that will be given in this series rightly (RIGHTLY!!!!).So you have to discipline yourself, It is usually Boring, Yes!! It is so boring. The Boring stuffs are what makes you better.
-Segregate time for practice. The exercises that are given here should not affect your normal rehearsal routine (except if you have been rehearsing wrongly) but rather appropriately partition your time. There are some exercises that will require to practice on a daily basis.
-You have to stop seeing your notes as tonic solfas only. A pianist was trying to explain something to me and he said “fa is F, soh is G” Really???? Your F is the fourth of C which by tonic solfa is “fah”… What happens when you are on Eb? F becomes the second which by tonic solfa is “reh”.. You have to understand interval to start referring to notes by their intervals. If you need more clarity on intervals you can read my lessons on intervals here or for better explanation you can read this. As from today, start calling notes or progressions by interval… 1-4-5 not doh-fah-soh.. 2-5-1 not reh-soh-doh.. Letters help you to play in ONE key. Numbers help you to play in ALL keys.
-I would advise you to get a to-do list book where you tick what you achieve probably on a daily basis. For me, I had a printed copy of some of the exercises and then I tick out the ones I achieve.
-Above all, Dedication and Discipline is highly needed. I understand it is quite difficult but you really need it. if you discipline yourself and follow this series, in the next few months you will look back and be happy you took one of the biggest steps in your musical career.
Okay, Lets name it as a project, ‘Project 2018’. That’s fine.
This post was a ‘John the Baptist’ for this series.. The next post is ready and will be posted by Thursday.. You can always drop your questions in the comment box and it will be attended to. .If you feel you need to have a physical session with me to really understand or clear some points you can always contact me. My profile should be just below this post.