Oh god, I’m learning how to read music


Bugs on the pianoSo, firstly, I’ve slipped up. NaBloPoMo started off fantastically. I managed fifteen posts in as many days and most of them, I think, were not complete drivel. A couple of ‘album fillers’, maybe, but at least I kept it up.

Then, inexplicably, I failed to post anything last Thursday. I knew I hadn’t. It wasn’t a case of forgetting. It was a conscious choice. I just couldn’t be arsed.

So I tried and failed. I’m not entirely sure of the benefit of getting myself listed on NaBloPoMo’s website, as it seemed to provide very little in the way of referrals. None, in fact. The visitor numbers certainly crept up but I have a feeling that was more to do with this site suddenly becoming more active due to the increased concentration of new posts.

Anyway, onto the topic of this post. Anyone that cares to follow this blog (if you do, please let me know, I’d love to hear from you) will be aware that I am embarking on the no doubt long and frustrating journey of learning the piano proper. Having tinkered for over ten years in my home studio, I am now pretty desperate to learn the instrument properly. It’s an instrument I’m instantly familiar and comfortable with, yet completely clueless about. That ambiguous last sentence will hopefully make sense to people in a similar position to myself.

Last night I had my first piano lesson. I’d been debating about what I wanted to get out of this over the last few weeks and had come to the conclusion that I must learn to read music. Theory is, generally speaking, as dull as Eastenders, regardless of the subject. But when you think about it, it’s an essential element of anything you wish to learn properly. Sure, there are some pretty big names in music who profess to being unable to read sheet music (namely Paul McCartney) but that shouldn’t be reason for us all to declare it a pointless waste of time.

Once you can read music, you can pick up pretty much any score and play it, unhindered. And that’s where I want to get.  I’ll be better than one of the Beatles! Awesome!

I’ve already taught myself a couple of ‘real’ songs and going so far back to the basics was at first a little unnerving. Very unnerving, if I’m honest. Suddenly, I was faced with treble clefs, bass clefs, crotchets and quavers. The latter I have only ever associated with a form of crisp-based snack, so adjusting myself to this new way of playing the piano was like being thrown in at the deep end. I relished it, though, even if it did feel a little bit like my first day at school.

For any aspiring pianists reading this in the Northampton area, please feel free to get in touch by clicking the ‘Contact’ button at the top of this page and I’ll happily pass on the details of my tutor. Although I’ve only had one lesson so far, I instantly got on with him and his relaxed, no hassle approach certainly made me feel at ease. It’s a wonderful skill to have as a teacher and one I simply can’t relate to. I would end up smashing the key cover on someone’s flailing hands after their second poor attempt at Silent Night.

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