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  1. Registered User

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    Default Help, my keyboard playing is miserable

    I've been wanting to work on my keyboard playing, and all the music in band is way too hard. I have a hard time reading and moving up and down the keyboard. I can read bass clef decently and read percussive clef almost flawlessly. How do I work on it? I have a piano at home, so I can use that. What's the best way to work on keyboard playing?

  2. Rogue Ex-Mod

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    Can you give more detail about what is causing you problems? Is it holding the mallets? Right hand stronger than left hand? Can't read the music fast enough to keep up? Can't play without looking at the keyboard? Not getting the right sound? All of the above and more?
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  3. Registered User

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    I'll show you what happens when I get any music.
    Ok, an A, that's right there, got it. B, that's over there, there I got it. Oh, E flat. E if by F, so there's F, go to the left, go to the left again, ahh! There, I got it.

    I have to do...everything...one...step...at...at...time...
    I can hold the mallets fine and get a decent sound, I just can't read that well and move up/down the keyboard.

  4. Ignore me!

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    Buy a book called Modern School for Xylophone, Marimba and Vibraphone (or check in the music library of your bandhall) It has a blue and white cover and starts off with whole notes. Turn a metronome on at 60 BPM, then read through each line, saying the names of the notes out loud as you begin to play them. When you get to the end of the 1st page, go back and repeat the process but this time say the names of the notes and try to say the names of the notes in tune with the note you are playing. Repeat that process until you can play and say the note names out loud and in tune without mistakes. When you can do that, apply all of those concepts to page 2. Work through 1 page then stop. The next day work on the next page.

    You don't need to play those things quickly, but instead slowly and focus on learning the names of the notes, what they sound like and where they occur on the keyboard. Doing those things slowly and deliberately will over time build up your ability to play the notes and improve your sense of pitch, eventually allowing you to look at music and have an idea what it will sound like before you even begin to play it.

    Practice in this way each and every day. Learning to read music is much like learning to read a book. Remember how you did that? You started with easy words and read out loud a little everyday in class. Just do the same thing here.
    "I don't give advice. Professionals don't need it and amatuers won't listen." - Vida Chenoweth

  5. No Drum on Shabbas!!

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    Are drummers the best people to be asking for advice on this subject? I'd think piano or keyboard players would be "where it's at."

    DESPERATELY SEEKING A MHX BASS DRUM WITH A BB-3 TOM MOUNT IN WINE RED

  6. Satan lives within

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big King
    Are drummers the best people to be asking for advice on this subject? I'd think piano or keyboard players would be "where it's at."
    Do you see which section this is in?

    Anyway, it just comes with practice. When I played xylophone in percussion ensemble like 4 years ago, I just had to memorize my parts. I could read music but not fast enough to just look at the page and play it.

  7. ♪. ♪. ♪. ♪.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenErik
    Do you see which section this is in?

    Anyway, it just comes with practice. When I played xylophone in percussion ensemble like 4 years ago, I just had to memorize my parts. I could read music but not fast enough to just look at the page and play it.
    I agree. Sightreading well comes with lots of practice and muscle memory. If you need to get a part down for a concert, memorizing it so you can look down is a good way to go.

  8. No Drum on Shabbas!!

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    Keyboards = Piano etc.
    Mallet Percussion = Marimba, Xylophone etc.

    Perhaps this section could be renamed.

    DESPERATELY SEEKING A MHX BASS DRUM WITH A BB-3 TOM MOUNT IN WINE RED

  9. Satan lives within

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big King
    Keyboards = Piano etc.
    Mallet Percussion = Marimba, Xylophone etc.

    Perhaps this section could be renamed.
    Every instrument that uses a KEYBOARD is a keyboard instrument. And they are all percussion instruments too. The piano is a percussion instrument. Circular definition, I know, but it gets the point across. Marimbas, xylophones, bells, etc. all use a board of...Keys.

    Also note that the notes are set up the exact same way.

    Search Google if you have your doubts.

  10. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big King
    Keyboards = Piano etc.
    Mallet Percussion = Marimba, Xylophone etc.

    Perhaps this section could be renamed.
    No, keyboard means piano, xylophone, glock, marimba, vibraphone, tubular chimes, anything with that layout.
    With a piano, you hit the keys with your fingers. With a vibraphone, you hit the keys with yarn mallets. With a glock, you hit the keys with rubber or plastic mallets. With tubular chimes, you hit it with hammers.

  11. No Drum on Shabbas!!

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    Sorry about all this. I was shooting up at work today.

    DESPERATELY SEEKING A MHX BASS DRUM WITH A BB-3 TOM MOUNT IN WINE RED

  12. Ignore me!

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    Heh. The piano is also lumped into the category of percussion instruments since it actually uses little felt hammers to hit the strings, so is the celesta, and the hammer dulcimer.

    Anyway, I've been a band director and percussion instructor for both middle and high school for 15 years now. I feel pretty confident my recommendations to help improve a student's reading ability are sound.
    "I don't give advice. Professionals don't need it and amatuers won't listen." - Vida Chenoweth

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