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Hello from Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:00 pm
by Amos
Not sure what to say. I'm 40. Love pure piano music. Just started to learn piano this month, I'm at Rookie Tour / BOOTCAMP lesson 37 now. I'm trying to practice everyday 15 to 30 minutes. Every time after practice I felt that I learnt something new, that makes me happy and keep going. I hope in the forum here I can get some inspiration from others.

Re: Hello from Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:02 am
by sw1tch73ch
Welcome Amos! Learning something new from every practice is awesome and a great feeling. You're getting Smarter Everyday!

I just finished the Rookie Bootcamp a little while back and have been working on some of the additional course material that gets unlocked. Really amazing what you realize you've picked up when you look back across the time spent. I've been loving the app immensely.

Re: Hello from Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:26 am
by Amos
Hi sw1tch73ch, thanks for replying my post. Great to know you've already finished the Rookie Bootcamp. I'm now at lesson 42, almost half way through.

I have a quick question for you if you don't mind - When you read the notation, do you choose Numbers or Letters? Or, you don't use Numbers/Letters to assist you to read the notation at all?

I'm only using Numbers, when I switch to Letters, I cannot read/play. And if I don't use either of them, I'm totally lost.

Thank you and happy play!

Re: Hello from Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:35 am
by andrewwegierski
Welcome, Amos!

I'm one of the staff music arrangers for Playground, as well as a technical support representative.

If you have any other music or tech related questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

I think it's good to try each segment in different ways. Once you master lesson 42 with finger numbers, try playing it with finger numbers turned off.

I think the note names might be good when notes get off the staff - above or below. Note names are kind of like the "phone a friend" option to me. If you blank on something and need to be reminded quickly.


Re: Hello from Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:47 pm
by Amos
Hi Andrew,

Nice to “meet” you! :)

Thanks so much for the tip on turning the finger numbers off after master the lesson, I honestly never thought about this mothed. I’ll keep practicing in this way from now on. I still couldn’t imaging how people can play the notation without finger numbers and note names naturally, and what if they play some music that the hands are not in a fixed position… I’m working in the IT filed, I can type almost all the key on my computer keyboard without looking at them. When I was young, a friend of mine played piano very well, I asked him how can he play the piano without looking at the key, and his hands even move to a different position, he said “it’s easy, look, you can type on your computer without looking at your computer keyboard, I think that's harder than play the piano”. In that time, I believed what he said…lol, but now, I think each key on the computer keyboard has designated to a finger, but each piano key is not, I think it’s a totally different story…there must be a way to master the skill that you can play the piano in the different hand position…I’ll leave it and worry about it later when I get there.

Andrew, quick small questions for you:
1.Is there a way to stay at the current lesson on the screen but not always have to scroll down from the first lesson? I’m using iPad, after I finished and closed a lesson, the screen always goes back to the first lesson, I have to scroll down to 40, 41, 42 to find my lesson again… And, every time when I open the App, I have to scroll down to find my current lesson as well.
2.Do you know when the new iPad version will come out? Maybe the #1 feature above will be improved in the newer version hopefully.

No problem at all if we have to wait for a while, I'm happily waiting :)

Thanks so mcuh for the great app you guys have developed, I think this is really a game changing way to learn piano.


Re: Hello from Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:14 pm
by AstroMan4567
Hi Amos! I turn 46 this month and I'm also just learning to play piano. I play guitar and bass, but I've always wanted to learn piano. I'm currently at Rookie Bootcamp Level 48 and having a blast. Sometimes I feel like bashing my head against the wall, but when I complete each lesson, it's such a relief.

Re: Hello from Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:34 pm
by Amos
Hi Astroman!

Wow! You are quick! I've just finished lesson 43 today. I admire that you already playing guitar and bass, that fundamental music knowledge will benefit you to learn piano. That’s a great asset to you. I’m struggling to remember the music notes, such as “Every Good Boy Deserves Fun, FACE, All Cows Eat Grass….” But so far, still, without finger numbers on the music sheet, the notation means nothing to me LOL… There is a long way for me to go I think, but I’ll see how far I can go, and try to move as further as I can.

I totally get the bashing feeling you said, especially in the last part of each lesson, I feel like “Oh gosh! I’m going to stuck here…” But, after many times practice, I got through!!! That makes me happy :)

Good luck and keep playing!


Re: Hello from Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:51 pm
by AstroMan4567
I'm with you on learning the notes. I learned how to play guitar by using tablature, which in hindsight wasn't the best decision. One of the reasons I wanted to learn piano is that I've always wanted to learn how to read music and then apply that knowledge to piano and other instruments. I still find myself using the numbers on Playground Sessions and I need to stop doing that. I guess I'll have to retrace my steps and repeat the exercises I've already completed like Andrew suggested with the numbers turned off.

Nice to meet you Amos! Keep jammin'!


Re: Hello from Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:30 am
by sw1tch73ch
As a long time user I have some thoughts on Numbers.

1- The numbers are great to start a lesson with.

Here's why - We are learning more than reading sheet music. One of the things is to learn where to put our hands. So start the lesson with the numbers on and see where to put your hands. Just look at the music in the lesson and study where it has you putting your fingers. Then after you've done that, study what notes you will be playing. If you need to because you're that early in the Rookie Course, pull out your favorite cheat sheet to recognize which notes you will be playing and where they are on the keyboard. You might even play through the lesson a few times at a slow tempo with the numbers on.

2- You can turn them off any time you want. Change them to letters, at least when you can play the lesson to your preferred level (I aim for 100%).

Here's why - The numbers are teaching you technique and help you learn the keyboard. If you pay attention, that is. But once you can play the lesson to whatever level you've chosen as your initial target, it's time to put the numbers away. You've learned what they were meant to tell you at that lesson. You need to reinforce the letter names now. Do the same thing. Play with the letter names on to your target performance level.

3 - You can play with no notation guides, no numbers and no letters. And you want to do this too.

Here's why - You really do want to learn to read sheet music. Study the music again, with no number or letter names. Figure them out for yourself, find the notes again on the piano and match them to the notation in the sheet music. You've been playing the piece, so you can do this. Remember, there are only seven letter names so knowing the names on the keyboard will be something you learn quickly.

On the sheet music side, you need to develop landmarks. I start with the extremes - the bottom and top lines on each staff, then I learn the Cs - the Middle C, which you have most like already figured out, then the C within the bass clef and the C within the treble clef. You don't have to memorize every note in each staff right off the bat all at once. Learn the bottom lines first, the G in bass and the E in treble and find those on the piano keyboard. When you have those down after a few study sessions (which you should do before each lesson, just to warm up), learn the top two lines: A in the bass clef and F in the treble clef and find those keys on the keyboard. Once you have those down, learn the Cs, as I've said above. Just keep selecting a line or space on the staves to learn that you haven't gotten down yet and work on that before you play through each new lesson. It is helpful to choose notes that are actually in the given lesson. Just a minute or two before each lesson, over time you will build your reading skill.

You will still need the finger numbers to guide you where to put your hands. The finger numbers change, sometimes even within a lesson. The letter names and notation doesn't. Learning the finger numbers doesn't replace learning the sheet music notation.

Re: Hello from Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:58 am
by AstroMan4567
Thanks so much for your input switch, I will put your advice to work!