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#2690149 - 11/16/17 11:33 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I’ve got “the donkey” done. I’ve been in a bout with a lack of motivation here lately.


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#2690197 - 11/17/17 08:06 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Keep plugging away! I decided to take a break from Alfred's after the end of iBook 2 (equivalent of 2/3 through paper book 1) in an effort to complete the beginner tutorials in Playground Sessions (software based method). Those tutorials are actually taking longer than I expected as the difficulty ramps up, but I'm slowly getting there. I will then return to Alfred's at the start of iBook 3 and see how that goes. I was reasonably happy with my initial efforts on completing the first two iBooks, but I'll probably review my favourite pieces from those as a refresher.

The whole process is perhaps taking longer than I expected, but there's no hurry and I want to do it properly (or at least to a standard that I'm personally happy with). I started from scratch back in February, but wasn't able to practice regularly (daily) until April, so I guess I've been practicing on a regular basis for only 7 or 8 months in total.


Roland GP-607
#2690218 - 11/17/17 09:57 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I've been working on "Chiapanecas" page 120 for a few weeks now trying to get up to tempo, and looking forward to turning the page.

#2693002 - 11/29/17 08:02 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Hi
I've been lurking in this forum topic for awhile and have a question if anyone wants to comment on it. I've read many of the post in this forum topic but since it is over ten years old, with over 700 pages of post and over 7500 comments, it's hard to try to ferret out information.

My goal is to play my digital piano, not just play around with/on it, mostly for my own enjoyment. I want to use both hands and not be limited like I am now to playing only whole chords with my left hand and one note at a time with my right hand in a somewhat coordinated and musical fashion. Hope this makes sense. I've had the Alfred's AAIO Course books for awhile and have decided it's time to really put the effort in to complete this course the way it was intended to be used. From what I have read it seems to be one of of the better self-taught courses out there. Please don't tell me to get a teacher/instructor, it's not an option at this point for a number of reasons.

What I have been wondering is if there is any systematic (lesson plan, right way/wrong way, method or what ever) one should do to go through this course? Do you just go one page at a time till you get the exercise down to perfection or can one skip around? My biggest problem is timing and rhythm, not notes, chords, technique, etc. Does anyone think this self-taught course could help me to learn these two parts of playing a piano?

Any comments or suggestions or leads to other post where this is discussed would be appreciated.
Thanks

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#2693016 - 11/29/17 09:33 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I tried to skip ahead and the results were not good. I decided to slow down and learn vs just getting thru a piece quickly so I could jump on here and say I’ve done this and that. It has worked better for me. Having said that, it’s a nice segway into......I just finished “Money Can’t Buy Everything” and the D7 study that followed. I’m doing “Ode To Joy” in my video lessons as well. I hope everyone is making nice progress.


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#2693173 - 11/30/17 12:50 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I don't know if you can still do this but I used the print thread option (upper left) to make a pdf file. I could search through that to find posts of interest.


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#2694095 - 12/03/17 11:50 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I’ve got The Cuckoo” and the following chord studies completed. It’s not difficult but just a little tricky with the LH chord timing. I’m studying the chord inversions as well. They show the C first inversion in Alfred but I’ve expanded to learning them all as I did with the scales. I hope everyone is doing well.


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#2697292 - 12/15/17 09:45 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I’m up to “ Beautiful Brown Eyes” along with a.lot of review. I’ve went back in some lessons in both my video lessons and Alfred. As I’ve mentioned before I raced thru stuff just to feel as if I had completed it. I’ve decided that along with more short 15-20 minute practices, I’m gonna do the lessons as if I plan to teach them. I hope everyone is doing well. I shall slog along.


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#2697580 - 12/17/17 09:10 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Started Cockles Mussels yesterday. Still working on the Christmas Song (chestnuts roasting) as a project on the side. Just about got the right hand learned then will start left then put both together. Not going to be learned by Christmas, that's for sure.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone.

#2697663 - 12/17/17 03:00 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: alfstan]  
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Originally Posted by alfstan
Hi
My goal is to play my digital piano, not just play around with/on it, mostly for my own enjoyment. I want to use both hands and not be limited like I am now to playing only whole chords with my left hand and one note at a time with my right hand in a somewhat coordinated and musical fashion. Hope this makes sense.
Thanks


Hi Alfstan smile yes it makes sense. One thing that can be helpful is to be really clear/specific about your musical goals. Do you want to mostly play classical music? Do you want to play pop standards? Do you want to play hymns for your church? Do you want to accompany yourself singing Beatles songs? Do you want to play jazz? Do you want to be more of a jack of all trades? Knowing your endgame can help shape your path.


Originally Posted by alfstan

I've had the Alfred's AAIO Course books for awhile and have decided it's time to really put the effort in to complete this course the way it was intended to be used. From what I have read it seems to be one of of the better self-taught courses out there. Please don't tell me to get a teacher/instructor, it's not an option at this point for a number of reasons.


The reason everyone chimes in with "you should get a teacher" is that it's so useful in terms of helping you form the correct technique. As a beginner you're building habits of playing and if you're playing with improper technique it can at best limit your ability to progress in the future and at worst lead to real injury (sometime even requiring surgery to fix, no joke!). But, as you say, not everyone has the opportunity to work with a teacher, and if you have the drive to learn piano the lack of access to a teacher doesn't have to be an insurmountable road block.

With that said, the most important thing is to focus on learning to maintain relaxation while you are playing. Especially if you don't have a teacher this requires conscious attention to detail. Relax does not mean collapse, it means using only the muscles necessary to make a certain movement or hold a certain position and relaxing the muscles that you're not using. For example, when pushing and holding down a chord, a lot of beginners continue to push down hard on the notes that they are holding. This doesn't effect the sound (the hammers have already struck the strings), but it works to tire out the player. You alway So as you practice, practice slowing and consciously make an effort to relax. Are you holding your breath? Are your shoulders tensing? Is your elbow winging out? are your wrists stiff? Are the fingers that arent playing any notes sticking up in the air (the pinky is notorious for this!)? Don't waste energy. relax relax relax.

It can also be a good idea to film yourself playing so that you can watch and see if you're tensing up. It can be hard to notice it when you're focusing on playing as well.

Originally Posted by alfstan

What I have been wondering is if there is any systematic (lesson plan, right way/wrong way, method or what ever) one should do to go through this course? Do you just go one page at a time till you get the exercise down to perfection or can one skip around? My biggest problem is timing and rhythm, not notes, chords, technique, etc. Does anyone think this self-taught course could help me to learn these two parts of playing a piano?
Thanks


The Adult All in One course is pretty well structured on its own. It introduces new concepts slowly and gives you pieces to work on them. It does have some deficiencies. I often suggest that someone working through Alfreds should also work through Rachel Jimenez's Fundamental Keys

http://www.lulu.com/shop/rachel-jimenez/fundamental-keys-piano-method/paperback/product-6234280.html

Alfred's is a very chord centric approach and fundamental keys that will better help you develop hand independence (but FK lacks a lot of work with chords which alfred's does very well). The two methods are very complementary. I'd actually suggest starting with Fundamental Keys as it gives a much better approach/instruction about reading music from the score. You could either work through both methods at the same time (play 2 or 3 pieces from one book then switch to the other..keep switching back and forth as you work through them...or do them one after the other...or whatever. The main thing is to just keep moving forward, but recognize that learning piano is something that takes a very long time (years...actually a lifetime smile. It's going to be more frustrating than you realize and take longer than you expect. But if you stick to it the rewards can be even better than you imagine.

Good Luck!


Nord Stage 2 HA88
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#2698894 - 12/22/17 01:50 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I’ve gotten “Brown Eyes” and the note/chord studies that follow done. An arthritis flare slowed me but I made it. My obstacle now is the pedal. While playing guitar I’m a foot tapper for tempo and I’ve taken that habit to piano pedal but I’m getting it better these last few days. Looking forward to “alpine melody now.
Alfstan, I just seen your post again and notice you were looking to another method to go along with Alfred. I’ve not looked into fundamental keys myself but heard great things and want to check it out myself. I’m doing lessons at PianoVideoLessons along with Alfred and it works well for me. I figure extra study will help reinforce things in this old formally gin soaked head of mine. The lady is a great teacher and she has more study on intervals than Alfred early on. It’s free but you can buy the ebooks. Very reasonable 15 bucks. (I don’t have financial or any connection nor any bias against any others mentioned) Best Wishes

madd, How is your Christmas project (Chestnuts Roasting) coming along? I’m wanting to do that one but as you said, I’m sure it will be for next year.
I hope everyone is making good progress and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season as well as much success in your piano journey in 2018. Mb


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#2699167 - 12/23/17 04:50 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Thanks for the comments fizikisto

My goals for playing (trying to play) isn't so that I can play any particular style of music or to
play for other people or whatever and I have no desire to become an entertainer. As I said in my earlier post, I play for my own enjoyment because if find it relaxing and stimulating at the same time.
Basically I just want to be able to just sit and make up what I play as I go along as I'm not really interested in learning to play any particular song, style or piece of music. I just want to play for my own enjoyment and let the notes flow with how I am feeling. Learning to play someone else's music isn't what I am after. I “listen” to other peoples music but I want to play my own, whether good or bad. I play for myself, mostly with headphones on so I'm the only one who can hear what I am doing. If I am satisfied that is all that counts.

As for your comments about being relaxed, I don't think that I have any problem with being relaxed when I sit at a piano. I don't and can't ever remember doing any of the things you mentioned in your comments. Very often I loose track of time and find that an hour or two or three has gone by because I do find it relaxing. I've never had sore or stressed fingers, hands, shoulders or anything else and I think that after looking at the fundamental-keys video on U-tube that it would actually induce more stress and tension in my case, especially at first.

With all that being said, what I want to learn how to do is to be able to play a melody line along with more than simple whole/block chords in the left hand. I know that most notes in a melody are made up of the notes that are in the harmonizing chords and that is what I have been doing, playing a chord and making up a melody line using those notes. This is what I have been doing for the last 6 or 7 years and it's becoming increasingly frustrating to not being able to do more than that. I've managed to learn the scales, most chords and their inversions, chord progressions, etc. I can even play some arpeggiated and broken chords with my left and right hands if played separately, but I can't, for the life of me, coordinate arpeggiated or broken chords with a melody line. I play the same thing all the time and I'm hoping that by doing the lessons in this Alfred's course I can learn how to do this. (If anyone has any other ideas on how I can accomplish this, it would be greatly appreciated) If I do not go any further than that then I will be happy because, as I'm 76, it will give me another 6 or 8 years (if I live that long) to experiment with a new way to play. I have no illusion that I'll ever be able to play classical, pop, jazz or any other kind of music, even moderately well, but if I can noodle around enough to please me, then I'll be happy.

Again, thank you for your interest and comments

#2700706 - 12/30/17 03:51 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Just wondered if anyone’s learnt Chattanooga choo choo? Just started it and finding it difficult tplay the quavers one long, one short when I’m used to playing them evenly

#2701730 - 01/03/18 11:20 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I'm returning to the piano after a gap of a dozen or so years. When I quit, I was studying RCM Grade 3. Resuming lessons won't be feasible until this fall, at least, so in the meantime Alfred's All-in-One seems like a good way to bring myself back up to speed. I bought book 1 yesterday. Tonight's mission: dig out the keyboard from the back of closet. Looking forward to getting started!

#2701742 - 01/03/18 12:02 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Hi Skullie!
Welcome to Pianoworld! There are a lot of people in the same boat as you, past lessons that they quit when life got in the way who found their love of music calling them back to the piano later in life. You'll find a lot of support here in this thread, so don't be shy about asking questions or seeking advice. Good luck with your piano journey!

Warm Regards


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
#2703409 - 01/09/18 09:26 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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So, after about a week, I've hit the point where my fingers are too clumsy to keep up. I'm working on "When the Saints go Marching In" - I was able to sight read it, but I've got to go agonizingly slowly, or my fingers trip over each other, so I think I'll have to spend a few more days polishing this one to get my hands used to the movement again. Especially the right-hand-chord version.

Is anyone else working through book 1 at the moment?

#2703418 - 01/09/18 10:25 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Skullie]  
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Originally Posted by Skullie
Is anyone else working through book 1 at the moment?


I am! I started near the end of June (2017). I took a break during the holidays and only worked on Christmas tunes from a level appropriate Alfred's book. I think I will go back and do a review from the beginning to where I am now, which I think was right around the Joy to the World exercise, before resuming.


Alfred's Adult All-in-One, Book 1
#2703434 - 01/09/18 11:41 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I’m about to start “Waltz Time” and as GidgetKeys stated above, I’m gonna do more review. Good days/bad days on the motivation end.


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#2703653 - 01/10/18 08:38 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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@GidgetKeys I'm looking forward to getting to "Joy to the World". I'm one of those weirdos who doesn't get sick of Christmas songs and that's a fun one to just belt out.

#2705414 - 01/16/18 10:33 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Wayne2467]  
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Originally Posted by Wayne2467
Just wondered if anyone’s learnt Chattanooga choo choo? Just started it and finding it difficult tplay the quavers one long, one short when I’m used to playing them evenly


I found Chattanooga and the Christmas song the hardest of the review section. They're harder than most of the music in the initial review section of book 2. If you'll be doing book 2, IMO it makes sense to overlap those final book 1 songs and the the first part of book 2 (if you have the longer version with all the review songs and ending with Chattanooga).


Started January 2017. Working on Alfred Level 2 and Fundamental Keys. Yamaha P-115.
#2705473 - 01/16/18 02:30 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Graduated myself on "When the Saints" this week. Currently working on Alpine Melody, Waltz Time, and Standing in the Need of Prayer. I'm not focusing too much on the little illustrative pieces, but I've got a decent system going where I work up to the next major piece once I graduate the oldest piece I'm working on. It's definitely helping bring my theory up to speed.

I also managed to dig out my old (I'm talking publication dates around 1991 here) RCM books from grade 1 - 3, so I'm going to start adding pieces I vaguely remember studying before as supplements.

#2705545 - 01/16/18 07:29 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Oh I love that Alpine Melody. I just worked on that as part of my review a couple nights ago.


Alfred's Adult All-in-One, Book 1
#2706115 - 01/18/18 02:04 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I’ve got “Waltz Time” about done. I’m behind due to a sudden family illness that has thankfully improved. Today however is laziness I confess. The “Alpine Melody” was a neat piece. I’m glad this thread has picked up and hope all are progressing well. Mb


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#2706503 - 01/19/18 01:03 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: ID5894]  
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Originally Posted by ID5894
Originally Posted by Wayne2467
Just wondered if anyone’s learnt Chattanooga choo choo? Just started it and finding it difficult tplay the quavers one long, one short when I’m used to playing them evenly


I found Chattanooga and the Christmas song the hardest of the review section. They're harder than most of the music in the initial review section of book 2. If you'll be doing book 2, IMO it makes sense to overlap those final book 1 songs and the the first part of book 2 (if you have the longer version with all the review songs and ending with Chattanooga).


Feel like I’m starting to get there now. By no means learnt yet but considering how difficult I found it initially then I feel I’ve improved quite a bit. Not working exclusively from these books just pick out the odd one. I do have books two and three though so il check out book two as well regarding this👍

#2707629 - 01/23/18 01:42 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Jingle Bells!

I just started with my first lesson a week-and-a-half ago, and we're using the Alfred Book. Jingle Bells was the piece my instructor asked me to practice. I've mostly got it, with metronome. I tend to screw up the last two measures almost every time I play the piece straight thru: but I can nail them if I play the last line by itself. On the second or third try, anyway. smile

Next, G7 chords. I've noodled ahead a little, also watched the relevant vid on PianoTV, and practiced a little of that stuff.

Fun!

#2707646 - 01/23/18 04:03 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Finished off When the Saints and have moved on to the G position and Love Somebody. I'm all over the place on the new G position and trying to memorize new notes. I was going through Alfred's pretty quickly, 4-5 pages a week now it's starting to slow down a bit. I can't wait to get to Greensleeves one of my favorite songs.
I love to read about everyone's progress and how they keep on going.

#2707658 - 01/23/18 06:45 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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I'm on Cafe Vienna (p.94) and it's coming along fairly well. I started into the Brahms Lullaby last night. It didn't take as long to work through it the first time as I expected. I hope that means I'm improving. Still struggling a little with my note reading and that is frustrating. I feel like I should be doing better 7 months in.

I'll get a good dose of inspiration on Friday when we go see our friends in a local band. Watching the young keyboardist play will fuel my fire.

It's good to be able to sort of compare notes with other beginners who are close to my generation!

Love hearing about everyone's progress.

Last edited by GidgetKeys; 01/23/18 06:51 AM.

Alfred's Adult All-in-One, Book 1
#2707687 - 01/23/18 08:58 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]  
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Graduated myself on Alpine Melody, and Waltz Time this week and picked up Lavender's Blue and Blow the Man Down. These two seem easier to me, so I'm hoping this means my deeply buried muscle memory is kicking back in.

I also started on a piece from my old RCM grade 1 book that I studied back in the day. It's definitely coming along faster than a piece from the same book I hadn't studied would be, I'm sure.

#2707755 - 01/23/18 12:22 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GidgetKeys]  
Joined: Apr 2017
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Gibbsey Offline
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Gibbsey  Offline
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Gidget I'm close to your generation and love hearing that others are having difficult times as well as good times. It seems it goes really well then bogs down and then I get through it. Do others have the same experience?

#2710158 - 01/30/18 04:27 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Gibbsey]  
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 355
monkeeys Online content
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monkeeys  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 355
Union SC
It seems it goes really well then bogs down and then I get through it. Do others have the same experience?
[/quote]
Time and time again. I quit trying to move along fast and it has helped me a lot. I’m settled that it’s gonna take a while. Always glad to see that everyone is moving along and enjoying the progress.


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