I am happy with my violin but I want to start learning the piano

March 18, 2019, 6:28 AM · Hi guys, I have played and enjoyed my violin for years now but I think it is time for me to step up and learn the piano keyboard, you know, so I have other things to play.
Been reading blog and articles to help me out and since I love reading it is really fun.
Anyway, I want to share this helpful article about the piano keyboards layout. This is really informative for newbies like me.
Oh and guys please share something too, if you don't mind anything that can help me understand the keyboard.
Thanks :)

Replies (16)

Edited: March 18, 2019, 8:43 AM · I’ve played the piano since childhood, and I started with the violin 3 years ago. I’m an amateur on both, but I can play interesting things on the piano while my basic beginner level on violin makes it a “musical pain”.

The piano is an amazing instrument, but it’s very different from the violin. It is more rewarding at first, since you don’t have to worry about intonation, just about coordination. Things start to get difficult later on, when you start to play pieces with lots of voices and you must decide at every moment which one has to be the main one, which one the second, third, etc. Also, music sheets are more difficult to read than violín ones.

There are lots of incredible piano/keyboard pieces, and putting in the effort to reach even the technically easier ones is well worth it.

In any case, I strongly encourage you to give it a try, even if you just want to toy a bit with a different instrument and don’t plan to get serious at it.

From my amateur experience, I can answer anything you want to ask to the best of my knowledge. Just keep in mind that I’m no musical authority or professional musician as lots of v.com users are.

Edited: March 18, 2019, 9:09 AM · There has been a piano in my home all my life, but I never really learned to play one - that was for my mother, sister and later for my wife. But I have been familiar with piano notes and relation to treble and bass clef since I was 5. I did spend a year trying learn to read a couple of piano sonatinas some 20 years ago when one of my cello students was a full-time piano teacher.

I recommend looking at some beginner piano books that teach scales and some simpler two-hand pieces WITH FINGERING INDICATIONS. I think it is very important to learn fingering patterns for different musical patterns.

I recommend reading JOSEF HOFFMAN's book on piano playing - the KINDLE version is actually free at AMAZON. Hoffman was one of the acknowledged greatest pianists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He has written of his insights into phrasing and finger use that are amazing. You would not expect a massive half-ton instrument to respond differently to different parts of a finger tip - but a fine piano will and Hoffman described it. I have tried it on really good pianos and it does make a difference and it helps even a rank beginner (like me) to a better appreciation of the instrument.

If you intend to read the music you play, you will want to learn to read the bass clef notes as well as you can treble clef. One advantage is that every octave on piano is identical to every other one - it's just the printed notes that differ.

If you intend to play improvisational music you will want to learn appropriate "music theory" if you haven't already.

March 18, 2019, 9:18 AM · Perhaps pianist.com (or whatever) may have more info on your new pursuit?
March 18, 2019, 9:44 AM · Get a teacher or experienced pianist to check out your posture at the keyboard. As with the violin it is all-important.
March 18, 2019, 9:54 AM · Craig, piano forums have an awful design. It would be great to have a “pianist.com” forum just like this one. Maybe Laurie could take the challenge and also give piano players a bit of online happiness...
Edited: March 18, 2019, 1:01 PM · Miguel, I agree with you about other forums. The cello forums, the main bass forum, they all suck compared to violinist.com. The other forums seems more intended for computer nerds than musicians. Laurie could capture a lot of their market share if she wanted to.

Kanan, the piano is a wonderful instrument. I have played piano and violin all my life, with roughly parallel skill development, and since high school I have sufficient skill, mostly as a jazz pianist, to play a variety of gigs. I still play 2-3 (paid) jazz gigs per month on the piano and I enjoy it a lot. I have accompanied my kids on their simpler stuff, but when things got harder (e.g., Kabalevsky Concerto) I had to hire an actual pro and fortunate to find one that only charges $50 per hour.

The chart you linked is fine, but you need to put your hands on the keys and start playing. The keyboard layout will still be useful because "theory is visual" with the piano. You can see your triads and your triad inversions and all of your other harmony laid out in front of you. Very convenient.

If you have been through a few Suzuki books as a violin student, my suggestion is to get the piano accompaniment books for Book 1 and Book 2 and start playing from the Twinkle Theme. Your hands will know where to go by feel. If your fingers are twisting themselves into knots, that's when you need to stop and figure out better fingerings! In Books 1 and 2, the piano "accompaniment" doubles the melody, so you'll be playing the actual pieces. The advantage is that you'll know them already. And if you find yourself wanting more simple Bach pieces to mess around with, I've got a link for you at the end of this post.

The piano is more intuitive physically than the violin. The chance that you will teach yourself terrible habits that cannot be undone or that will lead to physical harm are initially very small. If your technique is still flawed when you try to play Liszt, well then maybe then you will have some problems. Like the violin, try not to allow tension to develop in your forearms and wrists, and keep your shoulders down.

Lessons will still be useful for: General posture and hand positions; learning to finger simple passages and to "cross over" when playing scale-like passages; finding method books or simple repertoire that will help you develop.

If you don't have a piano, I recommend getting a digital piano. If you plan to spend about $1200-1500, you can get a keyboard with a very nice realistic feel, 88 keys, and some other nice features. With a digital piano you can plug in headphones and practice whenever you want. Here I am thinking of something like the Yamaha P-515. (Note: Do not try to understand Yamaha's model numbers. They are Byzantine.) If you have questions about digital pianos, I suggest you call Kraft Music and ask for Adam. Kraft Music has a demo video that you can watch for most of their keyboards. You can also find demo videos for all the latest keyboards on YouTube.


March 18, 2019, 9:40 PM · Switch to pianist dot com. LOL
March 20, 2019, 12:09 PM · I played piano on and off my first 25 years on this earth (more off than on). Started violin at age 42. Anyways I still picture a piano keyboard anytime I have to think in terms of intervals, half steps between E-F, chords. Not sure if it helps or hinders with regards to playing the violin. I feel like I'm translating.
Edited: March 20, 2019, 1:05 PM · http://forum.pianoworld.com/
Edited: March 20, 2019, 1:18 PM · Having had piano lessons for a year or two, I took organ lessons from the age of 11 or 12, against the advice of my organ teacher, who would have preferred to teach me piano. Studying the organ did teach me quite a bit, but I didn't reach much of a standard (D-minor Tocatta was about my limit of playing acceptability) and I would wish that my piano playing were better (There are few hymns that I can play without practice as written in the book, which is a disadvantage if I'm having to guide a choir or the harmony in the book is really good - and who knows, if I'd stuck to piano I might have been able to accompany properly, rather than ham fist my way through things with so many notes omitted and so many wrong notes).
Keyboard skills are really useful to any musician.
March 22, 2019, 11:52 PM · Hay. As a beginner you should go through that article. They covered most information's for beginners piano.


March 23, 2019, 7:54 AM · The only thing I don't understand about the piano is....
What are you supposed to do with the right hand?
March 24, 2019, 7:41 PM · This thread seems to be one for posting very lame links to advertising sites. So here's one from me:


I'm sure it's very helpful. I'm sure if I read it, I'd learn a lot alot.

March 24, 2019, 10:31 PM · The piano a step up.... that's debateable! You'll enjoy it however. I was always attracted to the piano, but couldn't do it justice while doing everything else.
April 15, 2019, 2:07 PM · I started out playing the piano when I was 8 or so (and I still do play) and I picked up violin when I was 13. Because of my knowledge of reading and understanding music from piano, I was able to progress through violin quite well. You should not have much difficulty with playing piano, as you don't have to worry about intonation, bow hold, etc. Yes, the fingering will be different (which confuses some musicians who play violin and piano. I did not have much of a problem with that, however) and you might find reading the music + coordinating two hands being a little difficult, but it's very worth it. Piano is one of the easiest instruments to play and (as I mentioned) with your knowledge of violin, it will be even easier. Go for it! You won't be disappointed.

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