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Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:31 am
by DrewCizzel
The question I keep asking myself is if I should put the time in to getting good at piano or say screw it and just learn Push without the Piano foundation. My end goal is production and not to be a concert pianist. With that being said should I just focus on getting good on playing cords and melodies on Push even though I dont have a strong piano foundation and will I be able to do so?

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:44 am
by jestermgee
My money would be on actual Piano lessons. Piano has been around for hundreds of years and will be much more worth learning other than just playing classical. Learning a bit about pianos, proper playing techniques and even theory will go further than which buttons to press on a Push.

I guess it comes down to what is important to you.

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:06 am
by DrewCizzel
jestermgee wrote:My money would be on actual Piano lessons. Piano has been around for hundreds of years and will be much more worth learning other than just playing classical. Learning a bit about pianos, proper playing techniques and even theory will go further than which buttons to press on a Push.

I guess it comes down to what is important to you.
My argument is, who cares how long Piano has been around if there is no added benefit when it comes to production. Many things get updated and or become obsolete. I am trying to determine if Push is a replacement to the Piano where I can skip the Piano foundation and not have it have an impact on my production.

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:57 am
by jestermgee
Original argument comes back into play.

Piano = Hundreds of years of acceptance. Applies nowdays often to synths and even allows the composition of complex string arrangements, basslines etc.

Remember that Push doesn't really run without Ableton and that in its "Raw" notes mode it does nothing more really than a launchpad with velocity. You may find yourself locked into Ableton simply because you cannot play another instrument.

I think if it is if YOU feel you may not get out of piano the same thing as just a push that is up to you to decide but I would much rather put my money into learning an instrument that has a backing history and proven track record. Hell, people still cannot even browse their own content using the thing and you want to put your eggs in the same basket they are still weaving.

I still prefer a piano or traditional keyboard but I also have a Push on the way just because it looks fun and I like technology too. I am NOT about to ditch my keyboard because I am sure I will still use it just as much.

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:40 am
by 33tetragammon
jestermgee wrote:
Remember that Push doesn't really run without Ableton and that in its "Raw" notes mode it does nothing more really than a launchpad with velocity. You may find yourself locked into Ableton simply because you cannot play another instrument.
That is about to change when this comes out: http://www.nativekontrol.com/PXT-General.html
From the GENIUS that is Stray.

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:27 am
by re:dream
Do you have to choose? Can't you do both?

I am a very amateur keyboard player and I love the Push.... but

- it is sometimes limiting (e.g. I have to choose a key FIRST) instead of just playing and then finding out what key the music is in :)
- I find my hands make different music on the Push than on the keyboard. If I jam on the keyboard, particular ideas will come. If I jam on push, different things happen. Both are great

I have decided I need to keep on practicing and learning both. Be one of dem what, multi, multi instrumentalists. Like Mike Oldfield, you dig.

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:30 am
by Badger45
I come from a guitar background and while I have messed around on piano before I don't know how to really play one. I found out about push while looking at midi keyboards and launchpads because I wanted to find a practical way to try different notes and "play notes in" to ableton as the whole clicking around to sample notes and drawing them in did not appeal to me and kept me from elecronic music for some time. For me it makes all the difference in being able to create the music I am hearing in my head.

After having push for about a week I am already able to play a few piano songs on it and even though the note layout confused me at first it does seem very logical after some use. Having to press octave up or down on a more complex song or to find the right key can be a bit annoying but it is still VERY useable. Most of the time all you have to do is find a better spot on the pads to play the same notes without having to do that and the same notes do light up in other places so that does help.

Push has 64 pads and the people knocking push are the same piano purists who would say you need a full 88 key keyboard because 49 or 61 keys isn't enough. Carrying a keyboard over 61 keys around just is not practical. If I want I figure I can get a midi keyboard later but for now the versatility of push has got me stoked. It can be used for live drumming, live piano/keyboard and even as a traktor controller per youtube vids...which saves me money on that as well. Having all of that instrument/control functionality in one package is invaluable IMO. The fact that it automatically maps with abes is sweet...lord knows I have enough software integration problems without having to mess with any more keyboard mappings.

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:17 pm
by yur2die4
Push = more addicting
Piano = more flexible

No matter how you dice it, Push might seem more fun and even give you easier access to some concepts, but, the piano can always take you further.

The layout of Push gives you nice patterns and amazing ways to filter out notes. Or the ability to play chromatically. The thing is, any time you even begin to attempt something more complex, you end up a speeding car slamming into a wall. In some cases even simple things. The limitations include: odd hand shapes for complex chords on buttons which are almost 'square (as in not entirely the natural spacing for fingers)'. You can get a decent note span.. for in key mode but chromatic can leave you both octaving around or wishing that one extra note was to the left or right of the edge of the grid. The shape Of the grid pretty much gets in the way. It'd be nice if Push was maybe 16 across or something silly like that:P if one hand is goin up and down and across the bottom, it often times gets in the way of the top hand. That's not as much of a problem for well thought out minimal compositions and individual instruments.

Really though, it IS addicting to play and it is really fun applying musical concepts to it. It is also exotic enough TO BE INSPIRING, which is its main novelty, and Can get you far, but I imagine will eventually lessen its charm, and then you are stuck relying on Push's methodology. Or, maybe you'll next approach the keys with new understandings of music in your head due to experiences with Push??

The keyboard, can be pretty boring. It can also be exciting, especially considering that when you know it well, you can apply nearly any musical concept quickly and with minimal preparation. The concepts the keyboard teaches in tone are nearly invaluable and the addiction to chromatic flavorings that it offers can come off very naturally. At the end of the day, I don't think you can argue that you Can do a lot more, quicker, when you: Know the keyboard's concepts, Use the keyboard for input of musical material (even drums), Are experienced with a keyboard as a player, utilizing the potential of its full span directly in front of you with minimal redundance. You can come up to any keyboard with your eyes closed and be able to play something without error, without worrying about key or scale mode.

I love Push, and I love keyboard. I can see why people would set their keyboards aside. And I agree it is 'somewhat' portable, to the extend that room can be made for it on a desk or table. At a show, I wouldn't say it is that much less convenient than a keyboard. The Launchpad is Way more portable for me than the Push though. Lighter, thinner, less table space.

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:29 pm
by re:dream
As far as hand awkwardness goes : swings and roundabouts

I can do chords (and note runs) on the push that I can't even begin to contemplate on the piano

And there are some chords that are simple on the piano that are awkward for the fingers on push - at least initially.

I am sure that with practice etc. etc.

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:52 pm
by lodott0
I am originally a bass player, but after i got push i almost completely stopped playing bass. However i learned a lot by playing bass, not only theoretical, but also on playing and jamming with other people, witch has become a great benefit on the production aspect. However, i think all of this is possible to do from scratch with push, and no experience with other instruments! In the end i would encourage to learn both playing piano and push. And thanks to youtube and the rest of the internet both can be learned for free :)

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:36 pm
by BoddAH
jestermgee wrote:My money would be on actual Piano lessons. Piano has been around for hundreds of years and will be much more worth learning other than just playing classical. Learning a bit about pianos, proper playing techniques and even theory will go further than which buttons to press on a Push.

I guess it comes down to what is important to you.
Then again, you can't even begin to hope ever becoming a notable pianist in this day and age. Everything has already been done. Being relevant as a pianist takes constant hard training. In fact, you'll probably be outplayed by some 7 year old Asian kid at the peak of your skill.

I love listening to concertos performed by great pianists but in a way learning the piano is also unoriginal and boring. I don't think the world needs another person butchering For Elise. That's lame and won't impress anybody.

Push on the other hand is new. Those who start now get a head start with a brand new instrument and if you already know and used Live for years it will quickly become second nature. You can be a pioneer instead of a try hard arriving 150 years too late to the party.

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:58 pm
by tedlogan
BoddAH wrote:
jestermgee wrote:My money would be on actual Piano lessons. Piano has been around for hundreds of years and will be much more worth learning other than just playing classical. Learning a bit about pianos, proper playing techniques and even theory will go further than which buttons to press on a Push.

I guess it comes down to what is important to you.
Then again, you can't even begin to hope ever becoming a notable pianist in this day and age. Everything has already been done. Being relevant as a pianist takes constant hard training. In fact, you'll probably be outplayed by some 7 year old Asian kid at the peak of your skill.

I love listening to concertos performed by great pianists but in a way learning the piano is also unoriginal and boring. I don't think the world needs another person butchering For Elise. That's lame and won't impress anybody.

Push on the other hand is new. Those who start now get a head start with a brand new instrument and if you already know and used Live for years it will quickly become second nature. You can be a pioneer instead of a try hard arriving 150 years too late to the party.
I like your way of thinking. Although to some people, learning piano isn't just about impressing people or becoming the best of the best. It can be a great foundation in music theory and composition, a way to simply express yourself, or for the innate pleasure it can provide once you're proficient. Whatever floats their boat.

I can't play piano by the way. But, yes, I agree with you.

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:32 pm
by jestermgee
I have actually changed my tune a bit since playing with a Push. While piano skills are more useful in terms of proper technique and learning how to move around the sound board and play melodies, I have to admit the training isn't all that fun and I am in no way a concert pianist or even really that good.

The Push is pretty cool when it comes to playing and I have had more on the fly fun and ideas with it in just 1 weeks of small use than I ever had with a keyboard.

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:21 am
by sowhoso
learn the tuba

it really doesn't matter. every instrument will take you in different directions

choose one and go

Re: Learn to play ableton push or piano?

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:00 am
by crumhorn
In 10 years time Push will be irrelevant but piano keyboards will still be everywhere.

I'm not saying don't learn Push, it's an important step in the evolution of computer music interfaces, I wish I could afford to get my hands on one and learn it.

It just isn't an either/or kind of situation.

It can be hard work to learn to play any instrument well, but if you really love making music then it's the most rewarding work there is.

One great thing about the piano is the way it lays out the (western tonal) scale structure for you. Instead of trying to remember "tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone..." just visualise an image of a piano keyboard - everyone knows what a piano looks like.