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Learning Piano FAQ


TAG:musicpiano

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What are the difficulties of some of the famous piano concertos? » Improve Q

Keep in mind that piano concertos are generally considered the most difficult of any piano repertoire. We are comparing the "difficult" with "very difficult" pieces when talking about piano concertos.

  • Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 is considered the most difficult in standard piano repertoire.
  • Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 is also consider to be very technically challenging. This along with the Rach 3 are some of the most played concertos in world class piano competition due to its demanding technique.
  • Chopin's piano concertos are challenging but not the most demanding one compare to the most difficult concertos, it is comparable to his advanced solo work, keep in mind that some of Chopin's solo works are considered the most difficult in standard repertoire.
  • Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor is a popular concerto, it doesn't have as much fancy and showy passages but do create powerful sound.
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Is electronic keyboard acceptable when first start learning piano? » Improve Q

For beginner electronic keyboard would be sufficient. It lacks the weight of actual piano, and most don't have dynamic range according to the force applied to the key, neither does it have as many keys. However for beginner it helps to use keyboard to learn the position of each notes and fingering. An actual piano or a digital piano would be strongly recommended once reach intermediate level.

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What is the difference between keyboard and digital piano? » Improve Q

While not always clearly distinguished, there are two fairly distinct type of piano like instruments operated on electric, the electronic keyboard and digital piano.

Electronic keyboard are designed to produce variety of sound conveniently, it doesn't necessary have the same number of keys as acoustic piano (and usually don't) and may not have keys weighted to produce different dynamic range according to touch. However it usually comes with a variety of sound.

Digital piano is designed to be closely resemble actual acoustic piano as much as possible. It has just as many keys (88 of them), all keys would have weighted "actions" for players to feel like playing piano, and would produce more dynamic range according to the weight players apply to each key. It also comes with pedals that function similarly to pedals of acoustic piano.

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What are some music learning and certification programs? » Improve Q
  • Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) based in Canada is the popular in North America.
  • Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) based in UK is popular in Europe.
  • Yamaha Grade Examination System based in Japan is popular in Asia.
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What are some standard rate for private piano lessons? » Improve Q

Private piano lessons range considerably depending on several factors, most significantly by the teacher. $40 USD to $100 USD per hour is the most common rate. Beginner lessons usually start at half hour each lesson.

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What are the pedals for? » Improve Q

There are 3 pedals for modern piano:

  • The right pedal, the sustaining pedal, or damper pedal, is the most used pedal. It will sustain the note even after player's hand is off the key.
  • The middle pedal, the sostenuto pedal, is the least commonly used pedal, and is not seen on many pianos. It sustained notes that are being pressed at the time the pedal is pressed, but not any notes played after that.
  • The left pedal, the soft pedal, also una corda, soften the strike force of hammer attached to the key, thus produce quieter and less brighter sound. In grand piano, this is done by shifting key slightly so that the hammer would struck only 2 of the 3 strings. In upright piano, this is usually done by shorten the distance between hammer and the string, thus allow for less acceleration before hammer hit the strings.
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What is the difference between grand piano and upright piano? » Improve Q

Grand piano has strings aligned horizontally, while upright piano has strings aligned vertically. Generally speaking, the longer the strings, the richer the sound. Therefore grand piano can take advantage that because of its layout allowing for longer strings to be fitted inside the piano. Upright piano takes up less space in comparison.

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Where can I download sheet music? » Improve Q

IMSLP (http://imslp.org/) has a vast collection of public domain music for free.

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How do I get started on learning piano? » Improve Q

Getting a teacher is the most effective way to learn. Online videos are also a good source.

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