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Archive for September 6th, 2009

Piano

Not quite the same feeling as a real piano especially without a sustain pedal.

Not quite the same feeling as a real piano especially without a sustain pedal.

A month or so ago I accidentally opened Garageband to discover that it offered piano lessons. I have always wanted to learn to play the piano and the violin but never had the motivation or the money to do so. Free lessons already on my computer spurred me to seek out an electronic keyboard to hook up to my computer to learn to play.

I remembered that my brother had received a keyboard about nine years ago and that it had made it’s way up to my grandmothers. My next trip up there I uncovered it and hauled it back home. First thing it needed was a new power supply, easily done through RadioShack. Second was a MIDI to USB converter, not so easily done. In fact trying to find out locally was near impossible or far to expensive. This presented two options: the first to simply buy a USB keyboard and the second to just not hood it up to my computer.

Taking a step back from myself I realized that I have been swept up in the equipment and technology of the process instead of the goal of playing a piano. I forgot the MIDI cable and just started up Garageband with a keyboard in front of me.

The lessons are pretty good and they teach enough (I am only five in out of eight I believe) so it becomes fun. I have two concerns with the software: I cannot print out the sheet music from the lessons and with a laptop it is hard to see the onscreen sheet music while sitting ergonomically at a keyboard (the musical kind).

The internet came to my rescue at this juncture. I quick search on the knowing Google came up with a neat site. This site offers free sheet music at levels from just starting all the way to complex pieces. It also has simple recording of what the piece normally sounds like. It has been fun to branch out and play simple songs like Rain, Rain, Go Away and Frère Jacques.

Finding a gem of a site like this I used an internet archiving program to download the whole site as a backup in case it disappears in the future (having happened once to me before I do this occasionally for really handy sites).

I hope to eventually be able to play a fluent Für Elise.

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