Anyone who plays the piano?

Pounder

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I suggest some lessons if you know nothing about keyboards. I took piano at around 6 years old for about a year or so. John Thompson "Teaching little fingers to Play" was my first book of any type that I learned notation from. Played through Thompson book 1, and some other stuff. If you have some experience and can read piano notation, you could probably find simple books to learn out of. Agree with all the above statements regarding theory, etc.

This made it easy when I decided I was a drummer, notation being similar etc.

That being said I play keyboards now solely to improvise parts I lay down into a mixer and along with a looper. And, based on most of the observation of Rockstars, local players, people I know who practice technique a bunch on guitar or whatever, I feel that a creative impulse of some type is important, but learning basics is good for you, especially on piano. If a person is writing music, it can be very helpful to have the technique to play what you are inspired to play.

The idea of technique to play what one hears in one's head is a sound idea. It involves generating the technique to perform the idea one has. This is practically true for most creative endeavors. As far as practicing technique for its own merits, not sure where I stand on that, I don't believe one should only practice technique and then play only technical stuff. I think a person should feel free to understand how silence and simplicity works in music, because I believe some of the best music is fairly simple, and hopefully easy to play on one's chosen instrument.
 

TeleMac

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Piano players use cord inversions to simplify chord changes and minimize movement up and down they keyboard. It is not efficient to use the 1, 3, 5 notes for major chords when a 3, 1, 5 makes more sense when you consider the other chords of a song (i'm talking scale notes not finger numbers). It is almost always about economy of movement and how you arpeggiate the notes of the chords to flow the melody.
 

SwivoNut

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View attachment 375776

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I play piano, but not in public. I read okay and because of that I’m able to teach myself just about anything.

If you have the basics of “every good boy does fine” , “Face”, “good boys do fine always”, and “all cows eat grass” and understand rhythms, you should be able to teach yourself just about anything that you want.

Edit: I forgot. You need to know the keys, but that is simple enough as everything repeats.
My piano teacher taught GBDFA = Great Big Dogs Fight Animals but the other three were same as yours. Took piano lessons for 8 years before changing over to drum set.
 

MicD

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I think its worth mentioning (maybe it already has been) to that anytime u put in at the piano is gonna make you a better drummer. Learn some scales, play with melodies, learn some melodies, write some melodies, learn some chords etc. Using piano as a way to think about music is really beneficial for drummers of all styles.
 

kickassdrummer

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Anyone have recommendations for an awesome digital piano that has relatively high fidelity to the real thing? Thinking about a console style model, but open to suggestions!
 

Angelo Zollo

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Well, no, I don't actually play the piano, but of course I know how to play it. Since I was a kid, my understanding has been that every musician, drummers included, must also play the piano. I believe, though I'm not sure, that it's even required in conservatories. My kid, a cellist and conservatory grad, is a heck of a good amateur pianist. It's just part of being a musician.

As for why piano is part of being musician, I believe the answer is really just knowing music theory, which is easiest to understand on the piano. In theory, you can learn music theory on any instrument or no instrument at all, but it's easiest on the piano (and almost everyone else knows the piano too). You want to understand how key signatures work, how chords are structured, what chord progressions are, and so on. Whether or not you actually get good at playing the piano is probably optional, but of course you should understand it.

As for how I learned, my mom did sentence me to a few months of basic piano lessons in about the second grade, and between those and basic music instruction in elementary school, I guess I've always known how to read music. In fact, I chuckle that when people started using the # sign on telephones and calling it the pound sign, I was confused. To me it is the sharp sign.

Years later I went to a music summer camp as a drummer but where keyboard classes were required of everyone, and after that I took a few months of formal piano lessons again voluntarily. They didn't take--I wasn't actually going to play the piano--so I quit. However, I gave it another try for a short spell.

I also generally had a piano in the house, and every now and then would figure out how to play a simple song. I used to play and sing my kid to sleep at night, though it wasn't a complicated song at all. I could look at sheet music and figure it out, but my fingers were never good enough to play it well and I was too indifferent to practice.

I do though remember a time when one of those music journalists who writes reviews was over, I mentioned something to her about the chord progression or some such thing in a song, and she didn't understand what I was talking about. I took her over to the piano and showed her. She went, "Wow, I never knew that." I thought, "So much for the morons who believe they can review bands," but didn't say it. In my opinion, you just really should know this stuff if you're in the business.

Though, I can't say that the piano has ever helped my drumming. I do believe that drummers are all the time changing cymbals or from the hi-hat to a cymbal at the wrong junctures in songs, and if they understood better how songs are structured they wouldn't do this. On the other hand, you should be able to hear these changes without needing to understand the theory beneath them, and if a drummer doesn't hear them, no amount of theory will compensate.

Piano just makes you a musician--though I wouldn't worry about playing it well (unless you want to). Sign up for a music theory class at your local community college and you'll be 80% of the way there.
As Tommy Igoe said, “ if you want to be a better drummer, learn piano “. The Simply Piano app is very good!
 

Ghostin one

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kickassdrummer, my wife has an old Roland HP that's really nice - 88 weighted keys, with a few stock sounds.

I figure any of the Roland HP and RP series would be a good choice.
 

jsp210

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Anyone have recommendations for an awesome digital piano that has relatively high fidelity to the real thing? Thinking about a console style model, but open to suggestions!
I went with a Roland FP-30 based on recommendations from piano player friends for its sound and feel but haven't really spent much time with it yet. Seems like a good choice.
 

jazzerone

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My first instrument, back when I was a sprout, was the accordion (good Italian boy that I was). Played that sucker for 9 years, all the way into classical accordion music (don't laugh, it's a real thing... look up Pietro Frosini "Jolly Caballero" and take a look at that chart). The end of my accordion career coincided with the arrival of The Beatles and the refusal of every band in my neck of the woods to entertain the idea of including a squeeze box.

Later in life I decided I would use my accordion keyboard training as a springboard to playing the piano. There were, however, two problems: First, my left hand was used to pushing buttons, and there are no buttons on a piano, so my left hand was basically useless which is no good with piano. Second, the only way the piano keyboard made sense to me, visually, was if I laid down on the bench so the keys were positioned like the accordion keys. You get some funny looks doing that.

Today, I am a very accomplished closet piano player, meaning that by myself, locked in my studio, I can play very well. But, if someone walks in or I have to play in front of anybody or with other musicians it is apparent that I have no idea what I'm doing. I believe this is related to Performance Perfection Anxiety, in which if I cannot hit every note and chord with perfect precision --- which, of course, is both impossible and unnecessary --- then everything falls apart. I continue to persevere, nevertheless, anticipating the day in the not too distant future when carrying even a small drum kit with lightweight stands will be beyond my physical ability and, hopefully, I will be able to transition to the piano and continue playing. Because, of course, it's much easier to carry a piano than a drum set.

Seriously, even if you don't ever play keys in a band, being able to read and understand the structure of a chart is immensely helpful. Plus, as a drummer nothing is funner than being able to tell the other sanctimonious musical snobs in your band --- the one's who don't think you play a musical instrument --- that, really, you should add a sharp 11th or flat 9th to that chord instead of the lame-ass 7th you're playing right now.
 

Pounder

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Piano players use cord inversions to simplify chord changes and minimize movement up and down they keyboard. It is not efficient to use the 1, 3, 5 notes for major chords when a 3, 1, 5 makes more sense when you consider the other chords of a song (i'm talking scale notes not finger numbers). It is almost always about economy of movement and how you arpeggiate the notes of the chords to flow the melody.
One of the other main reasons is to provide room for the Bass player to (generally) play the root of the chord in the bass. To expand on the "I took lessons when I was 6", this has held me in stead while 1st taking drum lessons, playing in jr high and high school band, and playing in band in college, also having rudimentary skills studying music theory in college while exploring music education as a degree. Later I studied traditional and jazz harmony, some keyboard mallets, and on to today. It is the backbone of music study today. I suggest a good teacher (ask the local college music school to help you out) for beginning. It should be fun. And a bit of a challenge. But fun foremost.

(who knows if the OP is even reading this!?!)
 

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