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Old 2008-03-13, 17:50   Link #1
Z3120
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The Piano Discussion thread

Yeah, I'm lacking a better title right now (and a proper section) and was tempted to make this thread a piano discussion similar to the Guitar Tab (and Tab related) Discussion, but I need to plan this project ahead because that's what good students do right? (like I'm close to being one, lol <==laziness personified). Maybe this thread will be changed later to a more broad discussion of piano in general if there's enough interest?

Anyway, I'm a beginner piano student, and it's my first year/semester taking a music class since elementary (use to play the clarinet). For our final exam, we're allowed to choose 2 pieces and 1 more for extra credit which leads me to ask what pieces should I do. I remember hearing a piece Piano Squall played battle themes from Final Fantasy called a FF Battle Theme Medley so I looked up the meaning of a medley while I was at it and I think it's used accordingly.

What's required by the instructor is that 2 pieces I've chosen must be memorized. As for my criteria, it would be the music must be from an anime or a video game (yes, absolutely ). What I don't know for certain is how many measures per song, but I'm assuming based on the song examples from the book called "Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book Level One," no more than 6 measures excluding Double Bars. Going to go ask my instructor tomorrow for more specifics if I could take measures out of a song.

What pieces would you think would be appropriate for a beginner student to perform? I'm considering:
Byousoku 5 Centimeter's Omoide wa Tooku no Hibi
Hikaru no Go's Mae o Muite
Air TV's Giniro
Final Fantasu 8's Fisherman Horizon
Honey & Clover's Yamanai Ame
Kingdom Hearts 2's Roxas
Tomoyo After ~ It's a Wonderful Life Dear Old Home - Piano

Any suggestions you think I should or shouldn't do? I really want to do a song from an anime or video game. It means a whole lot to me
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Old 2008-03-13, 18:18   Link #2
qtipbrit
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Originally Posted by Z3120 View Post
no more than 6 measures excluding Double Bars. Going to go ask my instructor tomorrow for more specifics if I could take measures out of a song.
Six measures? That's... really short.
I doubt there are (m)any nice songs of that length.
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Originally Posted by Z3120 View Post
What pieces would you think would be appropriate for a beginner student to perform? I'm considering:
Byousoku 5 Centimeter's Omoide wa Tooku no Hibi
Hikaru no Go's Mae o Muite
Air TV's Giniro
Final Fantasu 8's Fisherman Horizon
Honey & Clover's Yamanai Ame
Kingdom Hearts 2's Roxas
Tomoyo After ~ It's a Wonderful Life Dear Old Home - Piano

Any suggestions you think I should or shouldn't do? I really want to do a song from an anime or video game. It means a whole lot to me
If you're referring to the piano intro to Omoide wa Tooku no Hibi (the preview/eyecatch song), I think that's a good choice. There's a couple versions out there, but the arrangement on the submissions section at Josh Aggarado's site is both good-sounding and pretty easy (I don't particularly like it, since it's not a good transcription, though it sounds okay all the same.) Playing the original version of the song is a bit more difficult, though, as it involves the left hand jumping an octave or more to play some notes, often forcing you to move your right hand.
Though I'm not quite sure what level "beginner" is, Giniro is a pretty good place to start off. In my opinion, Natsukage is a great choice; it may be a bit harder, but probably not out of your reach, even if you haven't been playing long. If you play the main part of it, it will be a bit of a challenge for you, and you'll probably be pretty pleased with yourself when you get it.
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Old 2008-03-13, 18:20   Link #3
Asamidori
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I totally have no idea about anything piano-related, but try Higurashi no Naku Koro ni's "you". That one seems pretty easy. Though you'd have to turn the flute part into piano too. (Again, I know nothing about piano, so please don't bite me if it's actually hard or doesn't fit the criteria. ;_; )
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Old 2008-03-13, 19:09   Link #4
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Hm, what type of beginner are you? I mean, what are some pieces you can play, etc...

I would say that Omoide wa Tooku no Hibi is wonderful and easy. Do not touch Kanae no Kimochi, because while it sounds simple and pleasant., it's hard as hell.

A short piece would be Sayuri's World from Place Promised. It requires you to be somewhat flexible with your left hand though.

Another pretty piece is Yoru no Uta from Cardcaptor Sakura. It's pretty easy with some practice.
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Old 2008-03-14, 15:20   Link #5
Z3120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qtipbrit92
Six measures? That's... really short.
I doubt there are (m)any nice songs of that length.
Well, it turns out any music is alright with my instructor which is nice to hear. Asked her about the music selection today. All I need to do is know how to play the song I choose and present it to her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qtipbrit92
In my opinion, Natsukage is a great choice; it may be a bit harder, but probably not out of your reach, even if you haven't been playing long. If you play the main part of it, it will be a bit of a challenge for you, and you'll probably be pretty pleased with yourself when you get it.
Yeah, I was considering "Natsukage" actually, but I need to sight read better. I've only recently tried to play the notes on the sheet while looking at my fingers playing the corresponding notes.

By the way, does anyone have any suggestions how I can improve sight reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asamidori
I totally have no idea about anything piano-related, but try Higurashi no Naku Koro ni's "you". That one seems pretty easy. Though you'd have to turn the flute part into piano too. (Again, I know nothing about piano, so please don't bite me if it's actually hard or doesn't fit the criteria. ;_; )
Thanks for the suggestion though. I'll look into it although it'll be awhile since I haven't kept up with Higurashi in general.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KholdStare
Hm, what type of beginner are you? I mean, what are some pieces you can play, etc...
I've basically been playing songs from the book. I was going to hold off playing anything I truly wanted to do until after I completed the class, but since the instructor is letting us choose pieces we want to do, I've decided to start early.

Some songs I've played from the book, or up to, are "The Can-Can", "Joy To The World", "Blow The Man Down" and "Why Am I Blue?"

And thanks for the suggestion on "Yoru no Uta." I've been meaning to find that song.


As for some other songs I've considered are

Romeo X Juliet - Kimi no iru Sekai
Chrono Cross - Another Arni Village
Full Moon Wo Sagashite - Eternal Snow ~ Piano Swing Instrumental

Still wondering which 3 I'll do exactly. I might even record my final exam for fun if I can
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Old 2008-03-15, 07:00   Link #6
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Thanks for the suggestion though. I'll look into it although it'll be awhile since I haven't kept up with Higurashi in general.
It's probably the most famous song in the whole series. Youtube embed to original & score under the spoiler cut.

Spoiler for Higurashi no Naku Koro ni - "you":
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Old 2008-03-15, 13:48   Link #7
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If you want I could possibly post my transposed of Hoshizora no Waltz, since everyone loves it for some reason.
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Old 2008-03-16, 15:35   Link #8
Z3120
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If you want I could possibly post my transposed of Hoshizora no Waltz, since everyone loves it for some reason.
Really? Then I'll love to get a copy if you don't mind

@Asamidori, Man I really need to rewatch the first series and catch up the 2nd season. Really appreciate you bringing this to me.
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Old 2008-03-16, 16:14   Link #9
qtipbrit
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Yeah, I was considering "Natsukage" actually, but I need to sight read better. I've only recently tried to play the notes on the sheet while looking at my fingers playing the corresponding notes.
Well, it should be like that at a beginner's level. When I started moving into classical pieces from the beginners' books (it was pretty early, since my parents had taught me classical piano [through observation, not reading notes] before I began lessons), I had to look at the music then the piano to play the notes, and would always have to do it one hand at a time, then eventually playing them together.
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By the way, does anyone have any suggestions how I can improve sight reading?
All I can say here is practice. I was quite dreadful at sight-reading until a couple years after beginning piano, and it's mostly getting used to where the keys are, hand position, and just knowing how to play that helps you play the notes, while learning to read notes more quickly, memorising where notes fall without having to see the piano as a reference, etc. that makes you play it more smoothly.
My advice is to just give it time, and every now and then, pick up a random sheet of music and try playing it.
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If you want I could possibly post my transposed of Hoshizora no Waltz, since everyone loves it for some reason.
Is it a easier transcription?
Most (read: Josh Agarrado's) sheets have some awkward left hand movement covering three octaves or so.
Of course, everyone has to play Hoshizora no Waltz, though, so you should add some part of it into your medley.

EDIT: JA just added a TV Size sheet for True Tears' Reflectia. It sounds quite nice, and it shouldn't be too difficult if you just take the main section. It may be a bit fast for you, but it's a lot easier than it sounds.

Oh, and I'll second Hoshizora and Dear You.
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Old 2008-03-16, 17:18   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qtipbrit92 View Post
Is it a easier transcription?
Most (read: Josh Agarrado's) sheets have some awkward left hand movement covering three octaves or so.
Of course, everyone has to play Hoshizora no Waltz, though, so you should add some part of it into your medley.
I only changed two notes (double -> single) for the left hand and transposed it from D flat Major to C Major, which removes 6 flats. The E Major part of the song becomes E flat Major, which makes things simpler. Even though I seriously think that my transposition makes the song way easier, it's still not a song for beginners and really not for you, at least not the whole thing.

However, I've lost the music file for it, so I'll have to remake it. I still have the sheet though, so it won't take long for me to remake it.

Last edited by KholdStare; 2008-03-16 at 19:43.
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Old 2008-03-16, 17:25   Link #11
Excorsism
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You can try this website. Various practice drills to help with sight-reading.

http://www.emusictheory.com/practice.html

Also, try Hishoku no Sora or Tristesse from Shakugan no Shana.
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Old 2008-03-16, 18:22   Link #12
qtipbrit
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I only changed two notes (double -> single) for the left hand and transposed it from D flat Major to C Major, which removes 6 5 flats. The E Major part of the song becomes A Major, which removes a flat. Even though I seriously think that my transposition makes the song way easier, it's still not a song for beginners and really not for you, at least not the whole thing.

However, I've lost the music file for it, so I'll have to remake it. I still have the sheet though, so it won't take long for me to remake it.
Songs in C Major are generally easier to learn, since you don't spend any time going over sharps and flats and whatnot.
The thing is that Higurashi's You is also in D Flat Major, so a transition between excerpts of both songs would be much easier.

I also just spent the last two hours or so learning to play You, eating ramen, and putting together a rough medley using excerpts of Hoshizora no Waltz, You, *filler for key change*, Omoide wa Tooku no Hibi, and Natsukage.
I think it'll turn out pretty well if you choose these four songs and maybe some others; the main reason I decided to put in a longer filler segment between the You excerpt and the Omoide wa Tooku no Hibi excerpt is that the first two are both in D Flat M, and the latter two are in E Flat M. (Not to mention it's quicker and easier to make a filler key-change segment than it is to change the key of two song excerpts.)

However, it would probably also be better to change the keys of the songs because E Flat Major isn't the easiest key, and D Flat may be a bit much for beginners. I'll leave that to you and your teacher once you decide which songs you'll play, though.
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Old 2008-03-16, 20:02   Link #13
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Due to complications, I can only give you each page of Hoshizora no Waltz in one pdf format. If you want them, they're here:

http://www.sendspace.com/file/fdseft

And by the way, it's still really hard in C Major because like qtipsex said, the left hand movements for this piece is crazy.

Last edited by KholdStare; 2008-03-17 at 00:57.
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Old 2008-03-17, 00:50   Link #14
Z3120
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Originally Posted by qtipbrit92 View Post
I had to look at the music then the piano to play the notes, and would always have to do it one hand at a time, then eventually playing them together.
Rants*
Long story short, I know it's my fault for the lapse in practicing I've been doing as of late (I've been doing 2 hours each day since class started but did less because of her suggestion), but the impression I'm getting from my teacher (even if our lectures is suppose to reinforce the previous week) is that sight reading has to be second nature already by the beginning of the 3rd month with all the practicing we've done (50 minutes min. each day/6 hrs per wk). I don't think me typing on the keyboard the way I'm able to do so now took me less than 2 full months.
Ends Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by qtipbrit92
True Tears' Reflectia
Looks like I got another new anime to watch too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Excorsism
Various practice drills to help with sight-reading.
Deeply appreciate it. I've been looking for such a site. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qtipbrit92
the main reason I decided to put in a longer filler segment between the You excerpt and the Omoide wa Tooku no Hibi excerpt is that the first two are both in D Flat M, and the latter two are in E Flat M. (Not to mention it's quicker and easier to make a filler key-change segment than it is to change the key of two song excerpts.)
Thanks for going through the trouble. I'll keep that in mind when I begin writing it. I'm having trouble enough adjusting to A sharp for the D7 chord because I sometimes switch to using my 4th finger on my LH.

For now, I've just been practicing hours each day and probably won't begin until spring break starts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KholdStare
And by the way, it's still really hard in C Major because like qtipsex said, the left hand movements for this piece is crazy.
Indeed

Again, thanks for the help.
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Old 2008-03-17, 01:03   Link #15
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Sheesh, I'm impressed with you! A beginner and practicing 2 hours or so a day? I've played piano my whole life and still play in college, but I'm a complete slacker when it comes to practice. I find it highly interesting that you've chosen anime/video game songs for playing in a piano class. A couple years ago I took Azmaria's theme from Chrno Crusade and put it on piano

As for sight-reading, as said before, it's all about practice. Practice all your scales, major and minors. Get your arpeggios nailed down. Try sight-reading a new piece at least once every day. You may not notice progress for a while, but someday you'll realize that you just sight-read a piece completely through at, or close to, regular tempo without a single mistake. Also, when you get good enough, don't be too proud to start new pieces at ridiculously SLOW tempos, always using a metronome, a classical musician's best friend ^_^
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Old 2008-04-09, 02:01   Link #16
Z3120
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One piece I've memorized and ended up deciding to do is Byousoku 5 Centimeter - End Theme instead of Omoide wa Tooku no Hibi because the transcribes available (well, what I could find) didn't sound quite like it.

Anyone have any other suggestions besides
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni - You
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien - Hoshizora no Waltz

I was considering something from Air TV but I don't think it's appropriate for my final exam. Maybe my mid-term, but I want to challenge myself a little like KholdStare's version of Hoshizora no Waltz (thanks for the sheets again if you're reading this) yet a sound, melody and vibe similar to You (and thanks to you Asamidori for the advice). I have an indescribable feeling every time I'm listening to You which overwhelms me yet I feel so calm and tranquil. It's a weird feeling and I want to play another song like it as a follow up, lol. Perhaps I'm looking for a song similar to how You plays? I don't know at the moment. Any suggestions?

Again, all suggestions must be from an anime or video game.
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Old 2008-04-09, 02:10   Link #17
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Extremely overplayed by all the pianists I know, but Final Fantasy X - To Zanarkand is one of my favorite piano pieces.
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Old 2008-04-09, 02:46   Link #18
qtipbrit
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Originally Posted by Z3120 View Post
One piece I've memorized and ended up deciding to do is Byousoku 5 Centimeter - End Theme instead of Omoide wa Tooku no Hibi because the transcribes available (well, what I could find) didn't sound quite like it.

Anyone have any other suggestions besides
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni - You
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien - Hoshizora no Waltz

Maybe my mid-term, but I want to challenge myself a little like KholdStare's version of Hoshizora no Waltz (thanks for the sheets again if you're reading this) yet a sound, melody and vibe similar to You (and thanks to you Asamidori for the advice). I have an indescribable feeling every time I'm listening to You which overwhelms me yet I feel so calm and tranquil. It's a weird feeling and I want to play another song like it as a follow up, lol. Perhaps I'm looking for a song similar to how You plays? I don't know at the moment. Any suggestions?
Ah, I agree, but I haven't found anything similar to the feeling I get from You (thank you Asamidori. ). Have you started practicing You though? If not, you should definately try it out for your piano exam thingie. I spent maybe an hour or two learning it (after Asamidori mentioned it.) because of the simple repeating left hand and general repeating melody of the right, so you shouldn't take long to learn it either.
Hoshizora no Waltz may take a bit longer, even if you're playing it in C Major, but you can probably do it if you like the challenge it brings.

hmm.. of the songs I've recently (re)/learned, I would say Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~ from FFX-2's OST might be good. It was pretty much the only good sound that came out of that game, though.

This is the transcription of the 5 Centimeters eyecatch that I learned. You can get used to using your left hand more if you play it according to the sheets, but I think you can also just play several of the high left-hand notes with your right to make it easier. (playing it as written lets you do all sorts of fun stuff with your right hand, though.)
EDIT: Link doesn't work. Ehh. Click "Piano Score" at the top then "Anime" and it's the "Trailer BGM" under Byousoku 5 Centimeter.
I was also going to mention Promise from ef (though it's not one of Tenmon's better works.), but I swear it sounded a lot better as background accompaniment in the anime.

It's not from an anime, but Yiruma's River Flows in You was in a Kanon AMV.
Spoiler for Video:
It's medium difficulty at most, and not as hard as Hoshizora no Waltz.

Ah, I also recently learned Josh Agarrado's transcription of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. You can try it out if you feel confident.
And no, the left hand isn't as difficult as it looks. It's mostly the pacing and syncopation of the hands that's difficult.
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Extremely overplayed by all the pianists I know, but Final Fantasy X - To Zanarkand is one of my favorite piano pieces.
Ha!
I was able to skip over this song when a family friend got us the fat OST piano sheet book straight from Japan, but my brother was able to play it with little trouble after maybe two years of piano (because he began playing before Final Fantasy X was released), so you should be able to get it with a bit of work.
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Old 2008-04-09, 03:24   Link #19
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Well, I pretty much perfected Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (the song, not the anime) in three days with about 2 hours of practice each. It was incredibly easy for some reason, so I think that you might do well with it. Yes, I cheated and transposed it to C Major too. It also has a tempo of 85-90 unlike Hoshizora no Waltz's 140-145, so you can keep it your own pace. If you think you will like it, then please download Finale NotePad 2008 and I can send you the .mus file easily.

EDIT: The right hand for this piece is incredibly difficult to sync with. I never actually played this by the rests and note lengths, but rather just by their positions on the staff and from how I remember it in the anime.

I still can't play Hoshizora no Waltz perfectly. I partially blame it on my stubby Asian fingers, but I should try it at a slower tempo also.

Oh, and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is extremely difficult because it has the same problems as Hoshizora no Waltz--it's very hard to show the right emotions (or speak through your playing if you will). Just like how I have never made my Hoshizora no Waltz as soothing and climatic as I liked, it's very hard to feel the suspense in that YouTube link. I hope you understand what I mean... If not, go watch Nodame Cantabile now.

Hoshizora no Waltz is really one of the perfect pieces to practice the left hand though.

Last edited by KholdStare; 2008-04-09 at 03:50.
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Old 2008-04-09, 03:53   Link #20
qtipbrit
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It also has a tempo of 85-90 unlike Hoshizora no Waltz's 140-145, so you can keep it your own pace.

I still can't play Hoshizora no Waltz perfectly. I partially blame it on my stubby Asian fingers, but I should try it at a slower tempo also.
Yeah, I've played it at like ten different speeds and Hoshizora no Waltz just sounds better when played slowly. (That means yes, play it slowly.)

Speaking of which, I relearned it (again) because of you, KholdSecks.

And all of the long-fingered Asians and I who can almost play tenths are laughing at you right now.

Also, Mr. Agarrado tends to transcribe octaves for the right hand at random parts (not really, they're for climax-y parts and it's usually easy + efficient to stick in octaves in cantabile songs for emphasis.), and I remember that I couldn't play full octaves smoothly and quickly when I was a beginner, so it may be difficult for you. (or maybe it was because I was like 3 feet tall and my hands were sized accordingly, in which case, go for it.)

EDIT: Now that I have the ef OST, which may or may not have had something to do with TripperAzn, I'm going to make a medley of me own.
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