Today is my second anniversary with PianoGroove. I took piano lessons for a few years when I was a child. I did not touch piano again until I was in my mid-forties. At that time, I took up piano for a brief period. However, as owner of my own company working many hours a week, I did not have much time to devote to it and had to quit. Present day, I am in my mid-sixties and although I still have my own company, I have much more time. PianoGroove entered the scene two years ago today. Here is my journey to date.
I have memorized 39 standards. They are still a work in progress! Each new song becomes easier as I see the familiar chord progressions. I recognize the rootless voicings, those block and drop two chords that have been used in other songs as well as those quartal voicings and sustained chords resolving to the third. (By the way, I have come to love block and drop two chords!) I could no longer reach octaves with my small arthritic hands when I started two years ago. I now reach those and love the full rich sound they provide. As a side note, I had become very rusty at sight reading, especially those notes that are in the lower or higher registers. Understanding chord symbols helps tremendously, as I know which notes to look for. I rarely play from a written transcription, but if I am looking for a phrase I like, I will study it.
I wanted to pass along my positive experience for those that are starting out and new to this method of playing. The learning curve grows exponentially as you continue your journey! You begin to recognize patterns and shapes and it all starts to fall in place. So, if anyone is just starting out and think things look difficult right now…keep at it! My first year was tough, but the reward of putting in the hours of practice are paying off.
I still have a long way to go to develop my skills and so much more to learn; however I am confident that with dedicated practice, I will continue to expand my knowledge and improve my skills. Thank you PianoGroove for your rich learning environment and providing me so much joy!!!
Best to all of you and hope you all enjoy your journey as much as I do!