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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2108788
06/26/13 11:20 PM
06/26/13 11:20 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 215
Canada
Daniel Corban Offline
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Daniel Corban  Offline
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Canada
Pretty much every video I see of performances from this book, there are no dynamics and the tempo or rhythm is off. I don't know if the lack of dynamics is just due to people playing on keyboards that have poor dynamics or what. I am sure that some of my performances would be similar if I didn't have a teacher show me the proper rhythms, etc.

I spend most of my time on the details, trying to perfect what aspects I think the pieces are showcasing.


Playing: Yamaha GC2
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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: sydnal] #2108857
06/27/13 02:39 AM
06/27/13 02:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,334
Australia
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earlofmar Offline
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Originally Posted by sydnal
After a few days of intense practice I had a go at recording Over the Rainbow. It turned out mechanical and unmusical as many of my recording attempts do but still I consider myself done with the piece. I hope to forget it ASAP to free some memory that could be better used for pieces I don't hate laugh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncMSstNWOLM


I thought your playing of this piece was very nice and not mechanical at all, so well done. To really make your piece sound better you could upload your midi file to True Pianos who will send it back played through their software. They return it within 10 minutes and the sound is great.

http://www.truepianos.com/demos.php


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: sydnal] #2108858
06/27/13 02:50 AM
06/27/13 02:50 AM
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mattroilanh_tt Offline
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Originally Posted by sydnal
After a few days of intense practice I had a go at recording Over the Rainbow. It turned out mechanical and unmusical as many of my recording attempts do but still I consider myself done with the piece. I hope to forget it ASAP to free some memory that could be better used for pieces I don't hate laugh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncMSstNWOLM


Well done. The melody is very nice and I feel the emotion you put into this piece. You make me have more motivation to finish book 1.


Current Work:
  • Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course Level 1
  • Methode Rose
  • Suzuki Piano School Volume 1 & 2

Start Date: 11/01/2013
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Daniel Corban] #2108859
06/27/13 02:51 AM
06/27/13 02:51 AM
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earlofmar Offline
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Originally Posted by Daniel Corban
Pretty much every video I see of performances from this book, there are no dynamics and the tempo or rhythm is off. I don't know if the lack of dynamics is just due to people playing on keyboards that have poor dynamics or what. I am sure that some of my performances would be similar if I didn't have a teacher show me the proper rhythms, etc.

I spend most of my time on the details, trying to perfect what aspects I think the pieces are showcasing.


I think Danial, you and Scorpio are ahead of the curve so to speak, and totally dedicated so that these details don't slip past you. However I can sympathise with other learners who struggle just to learn the notes and co-ordination. I would say to others though who seem to dislike some of the pieces in the series to really listen to someone playing them well and hear how a good pianist can make a dull tune sound great.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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[Linked Image]
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Daniel Corban] #2108949
06/27/13 08:27 AM
06/27/13 08:27 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 59
Perth, Australia (Originally f...
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Alux Offline
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Originally Posted by Daniel Corban
Pretty much every video I see of performances from this book, there are no dynamics and the tempo or rhythm is off. I don't know if the lack of dynamics is just due to people playing on keyboards that have poor dynamics or what.


While I can't speak for others, I will say guilty as charged!

In my case it's the equipment. At the moment I'm using a Legend DP40 which has a lot to be desired feel & dynamics wise. So much so I end up doing my best with the dynamics during my lessons as it's on an acoustic piano. So until I'm able to replace my DP40, I'll persevere as best I can with what I have.


Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2108961
06/27/13 08:55 AM
06/27/13 08:55 AM
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Posts: 1,155
Connecticut, USA
scorpio Offline
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You guys are great. I have been struggling a tad recently. And really having a teacher would alleviate many of my issues. For one example, I am trying to figure out how to play p vs. mp, and then making it work while playing. I know there is a part of me that is being way too persnickety. And I probably should let some of it go for now.

My plan all along was to get a teacher in September. I have started the process of finding a school/teacher that is suitable. I just hope I can make my schedule work.

Thank you all for sharing your comments.


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq / Garritan CFX

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. -Willy Wonka


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: scorpio] #2108968
06/27/13 09:12 AM
06/27/13 09:12 AM
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sydnal Offline
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Originally Posted by scorpio
If the book is not being used for what it is trying to attempt, then why do it? And if the songs are not liked, so that you have to race through the book, then why attempt them? I suggest to move on to what appeals to you.

In my case it's because I don't know where to move on to. And probably a lot of people are in similar position. I don't have a teacher to guide me, I could probably search the web to find some other beginner method which would interest me more but it would be a guess at best, and Alfred's seem to be one of the most popular. So I just decided every piece probably has some technique to add and I decided to stick to it till the end. It's no different than other fields of formal education, there are always some courses you hate but later on realize you benefited from.

Originally Posted by Daniel Corban
Pretty much every video I see of performances from this book, there are no dynamics and the tempo or rhythm is off. I don't know if the lack of dynamics is just due to people playing on keyboards that have poor dynamics or what. I am sure that some of my performances would be similar if I didn't have a teacher show me the proper rhythms, etc.

I spend most of my time on the details, trying to perfect what aspects I think the pieces are showcasing.


I am guilty of this as well, but I think there is a trade-off here. If you are aiming to get better, you have to use whatever practice time you have efficiently. And there must be a point at which moving on and practicing something new is more efficient than putting more polish on the same piece. This is debatable of course, this is how I came to this conclusion:
- I have read a good deal of this thread. There were some posts by users who are working on this book with a teacher, mentioning the teacher "let them move on". (or sometimes even skip entire pieces). I don't have a teacher but what this made me think was, you can move on once you think you acquired the technique the piece offers.
- Oftentimes under youtube piano videos or forums, people mention that you have to be somewhat above the technique requirements of a piece to be able to play it smoothly with emotion and musicality. So at a future date I may be able to return to a piece and play it perfectly but at the moment every piece is at or beyond my technique level, considering the pieces in the method gradually get harder.

So there I sat, considering the variables I mentioned above, looking at the problem unable to decide when and how I should move on to the next piece. Then I came up with my moving on from a piece formula: "Being able to record an acceptable video which I would not be ashamed of uploading on youtube". I try not to have any big mistakes (stammering, missing the rhytm alltogether etc.) but I make small mistakes here and there, maybe miss the rhytm for a little while or the dynamics don't really come out. This is how I will try and continue and even if it doesn't work; it may still be useful as a bad example smile


Thanks mattroilanh_tt and earlofmar. As for "http://www.truepianos.com/demos.php" I didn't know that service, thanks for pointing out. I record to a usb stick using the recording feature of my Privia PX 350, I'll check to see if there is also a midi of the record under some other folder and try it.


Casio Privia PX-350
Alfred's Adult All-in-One Book 1 Graduate
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2109254
06/27/13 07:33 PM
06/27/13 07:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,334
Australia
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earlofmar Offline
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sounds like you have thought this one through sydnal and I can't argue with your logic, exactly the same conclusions I would come to. However sooner or late you need to take one piece and really work on it to "polish" it as people say. This is a valuable lesson in that it does teach you to really identify problems and work through them. It is also a good confidence booster and if you already have the notes under your fingers the technique to polish the piece will follow.

I would concur that for me anyway my teacher does not allow me to dwell on a piece once learned. She will watch carefully over weeks as I go through a piece but once I have mastered the basics she will move me on. However it does not usually end there, I will still be playing the piece until I have it to my satisfaction but the teacher has done as much as she can do.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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[Linked Image]
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: earlofmar] #2109318
06/27/13 10:12 PM
06/27/13 10:12 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 215
Canada
Daniel Corban Offline
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Canada
I "move on" once I feel I understand what the piece is trying to teach me, but my practice time is spent playing the piece accurately. I subscribe to the theory that the piece should be practiced slowly, but accurately. If you are learning and practicing to just "get the notes", then you essentially have to restart your practice all over again when applying the dynamics. It is more efficient to learn and pay the proper dynamics while also learning the fingerings and notes. A little more time spent playing a short section repeatedly, but accurately, is more efficient than trying to get "the notes" of an entire phrase or piece, and then going back to work on tempo and dynamics.

I start each new piece playing very slowly. If I used a metronome, it would be at 60 or less. I also skip "easy" sections, usually the first few bars or even lines. I focus on the more difficult phrases or transitions. Again, playing very slowly, but accurately. This means, as I increases tempo to the intended level, my fingers, brain, and ears are already used to hearing the proper tone and dynamics. The easy sections are essentially sight read, so no need to spend time practicing them over and over just to get to the difficult sections.

I am certainly not perfect, and I'm sure my technique has problems and my playing has little "emotion" unless I am playing something far in the past (around the jazz section of this book). I'd be comfortable recording anything, say, two pieces back from where I am.


Playing: Yamaha GC2
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2109552
06/28/13 09:31 AM
06/28/13 09:31 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 8
Worcs, UK
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Hammertime Offline
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Worcs, UK
Hello everybody, fellow beginners and seasoned veterans alike. I have the book (delivered this week) and my first DP is now on its way - a Casio PX-5S - had to buy it from a dealer in Spain though as it is not yet available in the UK.

My own story is primarily I am a drummer but due to some knuckle/joint related injuries I have been forced in to early retirement. I figured the next best thing to learn would be keys so here I am. My plan is to focus on this for the next few years and get to a standard where I can get out and about with others once again as I am already missing the live action. I will not be shortcutting things though and will be looking to spend 2-3 hours most days/evening on practice. This thread (and forum) have been invaluable thus far and I hope to learn much more as I go along. Happy days.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Hammertime] #2109575
06/28/13 10:24 AM
06/28/13 10:24 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,155
Connecticut, USA
scorpio Offline
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Connecticut, USA
Hammertime, welcome to the forum! Congratulations on your new board and adventure. Keep us posted on your progress.


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq / Garritan CFX

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. -Willy Wonka


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: scorpio] #2109581
06/28/13 10:35 AM
06/28/13 10:35 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 8
Worcs, UK
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Hammertime Offline
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Originally Posted by scorpio
Hammertime, welcome to the forum! Congratulations on your new board and adventure. Keep us posted on your progress.

Thanks, will do :-)

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2109746
06/28/13 03:28 PM
06/28/13 03:28 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 215
Canada
Daniel Corban Offline
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Canada
I think you've made the right choice of lesson book


Playing: Yamaha GC2
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2109989
06/29/13 12:03 AM
06/29/13 12:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,334
Australia
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earlofmar Offline
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Australia
Welcome Hammertime, I would agree you have made the right choice in forum's and book


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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[Linked Image]
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2110256
06/29/13 04:25 PM
06/29/13 04:25 PM
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Worcs, UK
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Hammertime Offline
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Worcs, UK
Thanks both - enjoying watching some of the vids charting progress made through this and the other two books. It's inspiring me to chart via the public means of youtube my own journey. We'll see how brave I feel although I've already got some ex band vids up - might start a new 'channel' specifically for this though - I think it will aid my motivation ;-)

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: scorpio] #2110799
06/30/13 07:05 PM
06/30/13 07:05 PM
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Perth, Australia (Originally f...
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Alux Offline
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Originally Posted by scorpio
My plan all along was to get a teacher in September. I have started the process of finding a school/teacher that is suitable.



My teacher is currently studying at the local University of Performing Arts for her degree. Part of her curriculum was teaching and as part of her grade she needed to take on students. Now she's glad as it's a 'welcomed distraction' and finds it rewarding while earning some extra cash. She's good in that we're both easy going with lesson times each week taking into account my rotating work hours and her class/lecture times. Another area check out is the local primary school music teacher as they tend to take on private students. smile


Kawai CA95
Alfred's Adult All-In-One Level 2
Alfred's Adult All-In-One Level 1 Graduate
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2110894
06/30/13 11:12 PM
06/30/13 11:12 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,155
Connecticut, USA
scorpio Offline
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Connecticut, USA
The Stranger (https://www.box.com/s/4ej5hz0w65opm5fs80d2)
At first, I kind of enjoyed this one. But I learned to not care for it the more I played it. Dynamic signs changed every four measures. I tried to be as faithful as possible. I am still having trouble figuring out how to play mezzo piano vs. piano. I'm done with this one, so this recording is as good as it's going to get.

Greensleeves (https://www.box.com/s/aqtn33l7vjz44bnqagmm)
After working on this one, I feel much more comfortable with the pedal. On listen back, I noticed (and I know) that I need to work on more steady pressure from the fingers (and shoulders).

Go Down, Moses (https://www.box.com/s/n8eokwnjp7apbtcn4zzu)
I previously mentioned that this one is much more complicated than it appears. The most difficult part for me was the legato in measures 4 and 8.


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq / Garritan CFX

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. -Willy Wonka


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2110956
07/01/13 02:30 AM
07/01/13 02:30 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
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Australia
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earlofmar Offline
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Australia
Well played scorpio, the things you found hard in these pieces will seem easier the next time you come up against them.

The Stranger in particular with its alternating melodies in both bass and treble clefs is such an important lesson for hand independence.

You are near the end of the book so I am sure you are very pleased and no doubt looking forward to getting stuck into book 2


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


13x[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2110978
07/01/13 04:09 AM
07/01/13 04:09 AM
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G3ck0 Offline
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I'm looking at learning the piano, and while one day I might have lessons, I won't at first. Is this the best book I can buy to achieve that? Or is there an alternative that is recommended?

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2110998
07/01/13 06:01 AM
07/01/13 06:01 AM
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Australia
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earlofmar Offline
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Australia
G3ck0 (interesting name there). I guess if you posted this in a separate thread in the adult beginners forum you would get a couple of different recommendations. This thread being for book 1 will only be seen by a much smaller group.

Although I am biased I do believe this is one of the best methods to learn from, book 1 is a really good mix of theory and practical with each chapter following in a logical progressive manner. Books 2 & 3 build on the foundation of the first and so on. The course will take a student from zero to the ability to play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (movement 1) at completion, provided the student puts in the commitment.

While no method is perfect, this is a well thought out course. It makes no wild promises of saying you will be playing brilliantly in six weeks or less as some of the poorer methods espouse. For those who can't afford or are unwilling to take lessons this book (provided you get the versions with the CD's) can be self managed. Although I was one who thought I would go it alone but changed to having a teacher when I became too unsure if I was really missing something important. I would always recommend having a teacher, the sooner the better is the motto.

Good luck whatever you choose


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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