Old FAQ. Please stand by while it’s being updated.

Q: What’s with the fish/name?

A: Uhm. The fish is a simplified version of a seabass; the animal congruent with my online identity of “GermanSeabass.” The “German” I owe to my heritage and the fact that I grew up in Southern Germany (Baden-Württemberg). The “Seabass” part… I’m not too sure about. Someone in 8th grade started calling me that and the name stuck. Yay marine life.

Q: How long have you played piano?

A: I started playing when I was five due to being inspired by my parents who played at the time. I took the standard classical approach until I discovered there was more to Beethoven and Mozart, arpeggios and scales and switched to Final Fantasy and game music, all thanks to Nobuo Uematsu.

Q: What brand of piano do you have?

A: It’s a German-made upright piano; a “Schimmel,” which strangely translates to “mold.” Go figure~

Q: Teach me piano!

A: Hmm, that’s not really a question…

To start learning the piano .. hm. Well, I started out with a teacher, but I know many people who taught themselves. I still take private lessons, on a bi-weekly schedule. When I started with lessons though, my teacher came once a week. It doesn’t really matter what schedule you’re on, but having a teacher check on your status is recommendable.

If you listen to music and have a general understanding of beats, rhythm and all those other aspects of music, you have a head start. And having time is always a plus. Money’s an even bigger plus, as you’ll need to invest in some kind of keyboard or piano if you don’t have one.

The brand of piano really isn’t important. I would love to play on a Steinway Grand piano (one of the best pianos available) but they’re around $40,000 – as in, too much for a high school student. I play on an upright Schimmel piano ? a very good piano; made in Germany. But it really doesn’t matter what type of piano it is you play on, as long as it’s in tune. If you’re considering getting a keyboard, make sure that it is touch-sensitive. Normal keyboards don’t differentiate between different kinds of pressure you apply, so no matter how hard or soft you press the key, you will get the same volume level. A touch-sensitive keyboard, however, is more like an actual piano: it gives a louder sound if you press harder on the key.

About the actual piano playing part: it essentially comes down to what style of music you enjoy; what type of music you would play? There’s a big difference if you’re going to be a keyboardist for a band, an accompanist for an orchestra, the lead in a jazz band, or just a solo pianist. The style is different, but all of these have the same basis: a general understanding of music.

There’s the theoretical approach: analyzing music and discovering what sounds fit best together to create a specific mood. This involves boring theory (which I also have to learn … grumble) but it does actually help – especially with impro#faq0″ onclick=”visation and composition. And then there’s the more practical approach (my preference) of sitting down and simply playing and enjoying the instrument. Sadly, this stage didn’t occur to me until 2 or 3 years ago, as you need to have a strong foundation in an instrument as complex as the piano to play freely [improvise] and without sheet music.

Final thoughts… it’s a cliché’d line, but “practice, practice, practice.” I spend around 2-3 hours a day playing/practicing piano. For professionals, this time ranges between 8 and 10 or more. But I’m serious: the more you play, the better you become. And also: be persistent. If you want to play, you will need to keep it up, even if things come up. Never stop playing, as it will be a gift for the future. I know my talent (sorry for sounding a tad cocky) will help me in the future, and I greatly enjoy being able to perform things like the Kingdom Hearts medley and being able to share it with others.

My recommendation: dig up some numbers in the phone book or ask around for a good piano teacher (good doesn’t necessarily mean expensive!). They will be able to give you a general understanding of the instrument, and help you with the skills associated with learning it. If a teacher doesn’t work out, there are music stores filled with tutorial books that guide you through the same process…. there are many ways to learn, and I’ve only mentioned a few. I hope you’ll find something that works for you.

Q: How do you do [x]?

A: I get this pretty often; and it’s not really something you can teach online. I highly recommend Yoke Wong’s piano tutorials – covering everything from accompaniment to sight-reading and much more! Check it out:

8 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. Inspiring Seabass. To be honest, I just want to play “Desire To All That Is Lost” without messing up too badly, but playing piano is badass no matter how you look at it. X3


  2. What are some exercises to learn left hand walking bass lines? Do you just go over your two-five-ones and practice them with root/#4/5/ working your way to the next chord tone? Or are there specific exercises to help learn?


  3. I am amazed by your talent…it’s very inspiring…have you ever considered playing Requim for a Dream by Clint Mansell…I think you would do the peice justice.


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