14 Answers

  1. Without self-help books, textbooks and teachers to master the piano? Theoretically, yes, it is possible. Just not very clear-why? It's like setting out to eat a plate of borscht with a knitting needle. Endlessly wetting and licking it, with a lot of time left, you can eventually cope with this. But won't this feat be a monument to stupidity and senseless waste of energy?

    If you can still” feel “the chords by ear, then in order to master the technique of playing, you need to “put your hand” – and this can not be done even with a detailed description with pictures at hand. During classes, an experienced teacher should be nearby and simply show how to do it.

    From the history of music, I know only one case when a famous musician did without teachers – but he was unique. Erroll Garner, an American jazz pianist, began playing at the age of three, repeating by ear pieces that he heard on the radio and on records (and immediately began to play with both hands). He refused to study with teachers and learn sheet music. But, as his later biography showed, he didn't need to. He developed his own virtuoso performing style and became one of the most famous concert jazzmen of the mid-20th century, the author of many tunes that became classics. In addition, as you know, jazz music is improvisational, often notes are not needed there at all.

    Garner was one such phenomenon. At the cost of heroic efforts, your friend Vasily, quite possibly, will be able to sharpen up to tap a melody with one finger (he will definitely not learn to play with five fingers, because it is almost impossible to think of the technique of “putting” his fingers), and for the left hand – to pick up some primitive accompaniment by ear – but it will sound, of course, shabby. If he is naturally extremely gifted and capable of more, then he would have done it long ago.

    History knows several other similar cases that occurred in close areas. Django Reinhard, a French gypsy, mastered banjo, violin and guitar on his own. He also developed his own playing technique – also because he used only three fingers on his left hand due to an injury. That did not prevent him from becoming an outstanding jazz guitar virtuoso.

    You can also think of Linda McCartney. As Paul's wife, as an adult, she learned how to maintain harmony on the keyboard during Wings performances – all because her loving husband really wanted her to go on stage with him. Surrounding musicians and critics, immensely respecting the ex-beatle, modestly kept silent about her musical talents. It was enough that Linda was still a talented photographer.

    There are several well-known cases where gifted people have mastered a foreign language with only books at their disposal. In particular, Jean-Francois Champollion was able to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. But he is a recognized linguistics genius.

    Give your Vasya a simple test: let him listen to Erroll Garner's play “Misty” – it may be the most famous of all that he composed. This is a slow and rather simple ballad in harmony, very beautiful. If Vasya is really as good as he says, he will be able to repeat the composition that was written by a self-taught person who does not know the notes. And if it doesn't work out, then just let him listen to good music.

  2. Maybe, but up to a certain level. There were quite a few people who independently mastered the game, for example, on the piano. They almost always learned “by ear”. If you have a good ear for music, then you learned quickly and played all your life at an average level. It's not an art or even a craft. This is simple amateurism. Some of them later regretted all their lives that they never learned to play notes from a sheet, that they did not master musical literacy. But if a person wants to deeply understand music, understand why some consonants are pleasant and others are not, and see all the beauty of the majestic building of musical harmony, then he needs help. A teacher is best, because only a living person can see its real (not imaginary) gaps, its real capabilities. But there may also be textbooks.

    In connection with this question, let me give you two examples from the lives of the great ones.

    N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov. He loved music from childhood, but became a naval officer. At the same time, he was constantly engaged in music, but he did not have a systematic school. There were tips and hints from friends. After creating symphonic and operatic works and some fame, he was invited to teach at the conservatory. And then he realizes that he can't teach what he doesn't know. He writes: “It helped me that none of my students could imagine that I didn't know anything at first, and by the time they could start to figure me out, I had already learned something.” But P. Tchaikovsky writes about him: “He fell into deep despair when he saw that so many years had passed without any benefit and that he was walking along a path that leads nowhere.” And he studies with the students.

    V. Serov. Already considering himself a master, he comes to enroll in the Academy of Fine Arts. Without waiting for exams, he goes to P. Chistyakov with the recommendation of I. Repin. He accepts it almost affectionately and insidiously offers to “draw a pencil”. It's a shame for the master, but Chistyakov did not like his drawing: “But you, my dear, don't know how to draw a pencil yet, so please take a cube.” Thus began the real teaching of V. Serov.

  3. This is a very good question. I will answer as a person whose first education is just musical-maybe.

    Not only in theory, but also in practice, you can meet many people who have learned to play an instrument without knowledge and training. For example, the black guys at the beginning of the century, who later gave an impetus to the development of blues and jazz. By the way, they often did not have the opportunity to study professionally (due to the specifics of society and racial discrimination). Often, even now, you can meet pop and rock musicians who were engaged in self-study and initially had no education or, as you put it, instructions. True, at some point, if not all, then many still received such instructions from other people with great experience and knowledge in music, but this is a different story.

    The secret and important aspect here lies in the instrument itself and in the style of music in which you will improve. If we are talking about guitar and even piano, the type of sound extraction and technique allows you to learn yourself. Of course, it is incorrect to say that these instruments are easy to play, but for example, when playing blues or punk rock, the stylistic requirements of the music itself will be limited and will allow you to level out any shortcomings in the technique. Combined with your talent, you can reach great heights over time.

    With the organ, violin, and drum kit, the situation is different. The first and second instruments will require serious skills, and classical music will additionally impose high requirements on the instrument's playing technique. The drum kit is not an obvious tool from the point of view of the complexity of self-study. In the same punk rock a lot of “self-taught”. However, to play a truly complex rhythm and use all the features of the instrument, you will need a very large set of knowledge and the right training method. True, even in this case, there is a potential for self-study, but it will be much more difficult for you to study yourself, and the training time will take a significant amount of time compared to academic ones.

    To sum up, learning to play an instrument on your own is possible even without instructions. Anyone can use their innate qualities to intuitively understand the game's methodology. Of course, it is better to have a talent for this, then it will be easier. And in fact, if you become interested in music and an instrument, at some point you will still start receiving such instructions for self-development. Just not necessarily from textbooks or from a teacher, but just from other musicians near you.

  4. This is possible, but under certain conditions and generally unlikely.

    For example, it depends on what kind of music he listened to before and in what quantities. How much effort is our abstract student willing to put into learning? Moreover, the lack of invested effort plays a huge role even under more favorable conditions(for example, the presence of a teacher and access to a wide variety of music)

    If you focus on the examples of self-taught geniuses, then their stories do not say much(and in vain). Naturally, they listened to a lot of music, they had mentors and someone to look up to, in general, there were certain influences, there was a certain cultural environment, etc. Well, it goes without saying how much effort they put into training.

    There is one axiom that no one has yet been able to refute in practice: Music does not come from nowhere. Each new performer carries the legacy of past creators and has passed certain stages of training. Even a lousy musician gets something from somewhere, let alone a good one.

    You can learn how to use the poke method if you have a hearing problem. But it will take an incredible amount of time and effort. Given that your example implies that a person is in some kind of cultural isolation. And even if it does, there is a high risk that the bicycle will be invented.

    And your friend most likely embellishes everything a lot. I can also go to the Internet right now to look at the piano chord fingerings, then play them on the piano and say that I have everything sorted out. Playing an instrument is a great variety of nuances that are understood over the years. You can't just sit down and figure it out.

  5. Most likely, you and Vasya put different meanings into the concepts of “understand” and “play well”. Of course, if you have a great desire, you can master the instrument at a primitive level and play your works even causing some effect in the audience, but in the context of world culture, this is unlikely to become a resonant phenomenon.

  6. Yes, it is possible, why not, many people studied this way. Moreover, if there is at least some example of recording how this instrument can sound, the music on it is the instrument itself, then it is only a matter of time and desire, how soon you will be able to extract the same from it.

    Time depends on the individual's musical abilities, of course, but these abilities are also developed by training.

    A few months locked up with a piano and no other entertainment – I think almost anyone would have mastered it.

  7. I think that such a possibility cannot be ruled out theoretically, in the sense of learning to play the piano completely independently. However, I would be very doubtful about a couple of weeks. I think that in a couple of weeks to master the piano at a good level in general is extremely unlikely, and independently-almost impossible. In any case, including when learning independently (by the way, a person will most likely not play quite correctly from the point of view of classical school), you need to train your fingers, hand muscles, and brain, in the end, so that the game takes place on an unconscious level. just as we walk without thinking about each next step, so when playing the piano, a person should not think about where he will next point with what finger – this should happen automatically, and it takes time and a large number of exercises to develop this automatism. At the same time, at first this type of physical activity is unusual for the muscles and therefore they will quickly get tired, and the game itself will get lost accordingly. So it's going to take some time anyway. Much more than a couple of weeks.

  8. Apparently you can, but much depends on the choice of tool. I'll give you an example. So you memorized a song and immediately began to whistle it. Lips are your instrument, a kind of flute. You don't need to understand how it works or how F major differs from F sharp. You just took it and played it, if you have a musical ear and memory.

    Of the existing instruments, I would probably call the violin the closest in meaning for such self-study.

    The opposite blokflate tool. It is simply impossible to play it without knowing the basics of music theory. The fingering there is the most difficult of the flutes. You can't pick it up yourself. You need to know the notes, and then find the combination of fingers in the table. But first, you still need to know the notes. And the table under the terms of the question is forbidden, because it is an instruction. Dead end.

    In a word, it's all different. I almost don't believe in playing the piano in the conditions of pedagogical isolation, although I can't really object either. You can probably pick up “There was a grasshopper in the grass” with one hand after spending a year. But what to do with the second hand, you will not know exactly.

  9. Yes, of course. If you understand what the instrument sounds like and remember your own ten fingers and mouth, in the case of a wind instrument. And one more small nuance – so that a person can distinguish the pitch of a sound ( at least). Not really in the subject, but there are colorblind people who do not distinguish between gray and beige. Let's start with: sit down, sing a syllable, poke your finger at the keyboard exactly there, helping yourself with your voice, and just as much as you sing, and so the whole melody will gradually line up.

  10. I don't rule out the possibility ! If you want quality, not quantity, I advise you to study with a teacher. Without a teacher, the chances are less and it will take a lot of time for independent disassembly. See for yourself, according to your capabilities.

  11. Good question. 🙂

    I figured it out on my own. But I watched some videos on YouTube. And I have access to the piano. And I didn't resort to the help of teachers. But my hearing is not very good. And I don't know how to play, I can play something simple with chords.

    I have a friend. He taught himself to play the guitar. There was no Internet back then. And he still doesn't know the notes.

    I think first of all hearing is important. It can also be affected if someone played or taught nearby in early childhood.

    There is still a point. In order to learn to play the piano, you need to train very hard. It is the motor skills of the hands and fingers.

  12. I believe that anything is possible in this world. The main desire and everything else will not be much, the power of thought and our boundless desires works wonders that have long been proven )

  13. If Vasya is phenomenally gifted, then to some extent it is possible, but is it necessary? Reinvent the wheel, risk earning yourself the wrong setting, which is fraught with clamps and muscle pain… Does Vasya need it?
    (but if we are talking about simply choosing a melody from memory without accompaniment and trying to bring the piece to the level of a concert performance, this is not so difficult if you have an ear)

  14. Specifically on the keyboard -it is difficult-playing together with the left and right hands requires many hours of exercise.Especially if the left hand is playing arpeggios. and the right one is the theme.

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