FAQ

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

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  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?

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  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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