I’m Sitting High On A Hill Top

Dale Hill

It’s been nearly two weeks since the last update, and I just missed five days of practice in a row, because of travel, and no readily accessible piano. But! But! But! I have made excellent progress since the last post! I’ve practiced another 6¼ hours, for a total of 13 hours and 37 minutes. I’ve now past the two-thirds mark!

This practice has been very focused on direct, noticeable progress. Some of the time has been spent just playing little bits of melodies that I know, but the largest portion of the practice time was spent working on the song ‘Throw Another Log On The Fire’, sung by Richard Diamond (Dick Powell). The recording I have is rather poor, so I couldn’t really decipher the chords by listening along, and instead had to just try different things until it sounded about right. It’s not quite perfect, and I’m playing it fairly simply, but it sounds pretty good!

By learning skills through working on one song at a time (starting with the melody, followed by discerning the accompanying chords, and then making it all sound nice), instead of just generally doing things, I make real, noticeable progress, I enjoy playing piano more, and learn a song that I can play whenever I want! I’ve now developed the skill to the point that it’s really kind of fun to do!

Playing piano by ear is really a combination of many skill sets, each of which is fairly daunting on its own: ear training, relative pitch, piano technique, rhythm, and likely a couple of others. Because of the complexity of it, you’d expect progress to be slow. And yes, progress is somewhat slow, but it’s really not too bad at all. I’m really very pleased with the progress I’ve made so far, and am looking forward to where I’ll be on the 31st.

Coming up next I’m going to learn a new song or two, which will likely take me to the 20-hour mark, at which time I’ll give a full review of the month’s skill, with everything I’ve learned.

3 responses to “I’m Sitting High On A Hill Top

  1. Brav-o! I look forward to reading of any further progress.

    Have you considered documenting your newly acquired skills – perhaps at the end of each month – with some sort of audio/video recording?

    It could be interesting not only for music, but also for dancing, unicycling, etc.

    • josiahkeller

      I’m glad you enjoy the updates!
      I have considered recording, and likely will at the 20 hour mark for each skill. My piano however, while it is fairly-well tuned, doesn’t have the best tone. So I may have to find another piano to record on. But yes, some sort of audio/video skill-level demonstration would be excellent for many of these skills.

  2. Rachel Bechtel

    Congratulations on your achievements! I agree with Mark. Audio/video of your unicycling would be especially interesting.

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