I play by ear. Mostly too fast, mostly in the key of C. When the groove is working right, it feels like hearing a song in my head, and the fingers move without thinking. When the groove is NOT working, it sounds like someone’s three-year old jumping up and down on the keys…
Now that I’ve got a Yamaha DGX-640 I can practice with the headphones, which is great for two reasons. Most obviously, it’s not going to bother anybody if I get up at 3AM and feel like playing. But also, I’m more willing to learn. Nobody can hear my mistakes.
The headphones have a less obvious benefit: When I had to be considerate of what other people are doing (like sleeping!), my available piano-time was limited. So when the opportunity to play coincided with the desire to play, I didn’t want to waste time learning something difficult. I wanted to have fun playing familiar songs. Now that my piano-time is essentially unlimited, I’m much more willing to spend some of it learning new things.
Monique mentioned the new piano on Facebook, and asked for requests. Got 3 right off the bat. The first one I knew (Hallelujah), so fair enough… did it immediately. The next two weren’t in my playlist. One was the Linus and Lucy theme from Charlie Brown. Got the first segment down, but learning the jazzy part is just not holding my attention. Will take a break from it, and come back later. Linus and Lucy is way out of my comfort zone, but oddly enough, was on my list of songs to learn. Getting both hands to work independently was a struggle. My normal country/upbeat gospel rhythm doesn’t require any thought. Going out of that comfort zone is part of the reason I got the DGX-640. (Big Thanks to sister-in-law Ann for suggesting Hallelujah and Linus & Lucy – she gave me an easy request, and a challenging one!)
Once satisfied with that one, it was time to move on to my niece’s request, a Justin Beiber song. It sounds pretty close to my own style of music. The hard part wasn’t learning the fingering, it was remembering all the verse-to-verse variations JB put into it. More on that one later. (Thanks to niece Nichole for the suggestion!)
For now, I hope you enjoyed Hallelujah. It’s one of my favorites.