Apr 25



stickman Piano

Thanks to Gillian Jeffrey for the fantastic stick-man graphic. If you would like to see more go to www.pinmandesigns.com

This is a guest post from my friend, the multi-instrumentalist Patrick Wight from saxaxeman.com

Do I detect a pang of envy that he didn’t start out on the piano??


Both my children are coming to an age now where they are staring to show an interest in learning music. I have just recently bought my daughter a Ukulele  This is a wonderful instrument for young children, and has recently experienced a major international revival (More about this soon in a future blog)


Remember that I’m a multi instrumentalist (Bagpipes, range of saxes and guitars), but there is one instrument that I would recommend to all children who want to learn music. That has to be the piano, as it has to be the one instrument that is closest to perfection.

The piano will teach children a concept and perception of music that very few other instruments can. This will set the children up musically for life. Should they then want to switch instruments, their concept of music is well established..

The most important ability any musician can have, is the ability to hear. My one regret is that I never started out on piano. I started out on guitar. It is very difficult to visualise intervals on guitar. The guitar tends to be a very mechanical instrument. Many guitarists (myself included) tend to have a very mechanical approach and way of playing. The truly gifted guitarists are the ones that from the start, can see the relationship of the notes on the guitar, and hear them.
This is the beauty of piano. It is so intuitively set out that it is almost impossible not to see the visual connection and the way the intervals sound, and the relationship between the notes.

Music consists of three aspects. Melody, harmony and rhythm. It is possible to play all 3 simultaneously on guitar. However this requires quite a level of skill, and is near impossible for the beginner to do. The piano is one of the few instruments that playing all 3 together from the start is pretty easy.

A beginner piano player can produce a good sounding note from the first touch (Unless of course the piano is out of tune) No special technique is required to to produce quality sound. A beginner guitarist always has string buzz. Beginner sax players might not even get a tone out of the sax first time, and then take years to develop a good tone.

I remember the first day I brought the bagpipes home from school. I had been playing the practice chanter for a few months, and had been doing really well. I blew the bag up very confidently, and started playing. My brother and mother stood in the passage way, and they had to hold onto each other, they were laughing so much.

The piano is the perfect instrument -1. The only short fall of the piano is that you cant play a vibrato but it is so perfect in every other way, I’m sure we can overlook this minor point.



Check out Patricks blog at saxaxeman.com


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