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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: gerhard_k] #2810396
02/03/19 11:51 PM
02/03/19 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by gerhard_k
Originally Posted by Tech-key
Played absolutely horribly in my lessons today. And I really practised this time (I swear!). The piece was the Schumann Landler I mentioned last time.
Currently, I'm playing on weighted keys at home, and today I got the un-weighted keyboard at my lesson.
>> The keys were also a lot smaller in size. <<
There is just one DP in the studio, and whoever is having a "lucky day", gets it. So I need to play equally well on both weighted and un-weighted keys.


I was just reading through this thread. The >> << quote above really struck me, and I'm surprised nobody else picked up on that. Am I reading correctly that your teacher expects you to jump from full-size keys to under-size, just like that? No wonder your fingers can't hit the right notes, they're not where you've been practicing all this time for them to be !!

I would think that the key size is much more of a problem than the weighted vs. un-weighted issue.

My first advice would be for you to find a different teaching studio, that is just inexcusable to have keyboards with under-size keys. Those lessons must be really cheap to put up with such a compromise !

My teacher hasn't laid down any expectations as such. He is both chilled out and enthusiastic at the same time. And that works for me. I don't do much good with tough love. Playing on un-weighted, smaller sized keys during lessons happens every once in a while. But I've noticed that he takes extra care to transfer me to the DP as soon as he can. As far as I can tell, the only real expectation my teacher has is rhythm. Because once he had me working on the same piece for weeks till I got the rhythm right. He has been insisting on dynamics too lately, but not being much pedantic about it. I suck at dynamics on both weighted and non-weighted instruments anyways, so I can't really compare laugh

Two weeks have passed since I wrote that post you quoted. Believe me or not, I have acquired some wisdom in the past couple weeks and not being that melodramatic about piano any more! I've brought down the un-weighted keyboard. I know it's a little unconventional, even blasphemous for some, to practice on different kinds of keys. However, its not proving to be that big of a bother as I thought it would be initially. A half hour session once a week is doing enough to drive away at least the fear of transition. I do take care to never attempt anything on it until a piece is fully learnt. I mostly run through my lesson pieces on it the day before. That shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes, but I end up playing with the non-ending voices in the keyboard and that takes up most of the time. I try to view the piano and the keyboard as two very different instruments, and this helps to keep my own expectations in check.

As for looking for other studios, piano is just not that popular in my country. There are very few teachers in my city who exclusively teach piano. Most studios I've seen just have keyboards in various sizes. A much easier option for me would be to switch to individual lessons (I go to a group class currently) with the same teacher. I'm considering that option but the available time slots don't suit my schedule that well. I'm glad you pointed out that it's unusual to play on different kinds. It reassured me that it's not just me who thinks this transition is difficult.


Think Twice, Play Once
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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2810475
02/04/19 09:10 AM
02/04/19 09:10 AM
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And I thought I had an annoying situation because the studio piano where I take my lessons is a Williams. It has crappy sound and noisy pedals but at least it is a full size weighted keyboard.


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2810502
02/04/19 10:04 AM
02/04/19 10:04 AM
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Haha.. Anything that throws us out of the comfort zone has some learnings to offer. My teacher has a rather nice DP in his studio though. That inspired me to get one myself. Otherwise, I was perfectly happy with my keyboard (still love it).


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tech-key] #2810702
02/04/19 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Tech-key
Haha.. Anything that throws us out of the comfort zone has some learnings to offer.


Totally agree! I just spend 6 weeks playing only my digital because I was away from home. I've been back playing my acoustic the last few days and I am aware of new sensations changing between the 2. Totally a good thing.

I'm closing in on the Review songs in Book 1....I know I totally have a couple months to go but I ordered Book 2 just so I can lay in on the piano like it's waiting for me smile


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Progman] #2810828
02/05/19 01:33 AM
02/05/19 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Progman
I'm closing in on the Review songs in Book 1....I know I totally have a couple months to go but I ordered Book 2 just so I can lay in on the piano like it's waiting for me smile

That's nice! I myself went overboard last month and got all the levels. And I'm not even sure, if/when I'd work out of those books!
I'm looking forward to the review songs too. Are you going to attempt all of them though, or just pick your favourites? I never completed the syllabus of any of my school/college exams. Needless to say my marks suffered laugh. But you all are so dedicated, I may yet turn over a new leaf.


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tech-key] #2810982
02/05/19 11:38 AM
02/05/19 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Tech-key

I'm looking forward to the review songs too. Are you going to attempt all of them though, or just pick your favourites? I never completed the syllabus of any of my school/college exams. Needless to say my marks suffered laugh. But you all are so dedicated, I may yet turn over a new leaf.


I have not decided - I will talk it over with my Teacher and then decide. I pretty much do what she says because she is really experienced!


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Progman] #2811253
02/06/19 05:38 AM
02/06/19 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Progman
Originally Posted by Tech-key

I'm looking forward to the review songs too. Are you going to attempt all of them though, or just pick your favourites? I never completed the syllabus of any of my school/college exams. Needless to say my marks suffered laugh. But you all are so dedicated, I may yet turn over a new leaf.


I have not decided - I will talk it over with my Teacher and then decide. I pretty much do what she says because she is really experienced!

Perfect plan thumb. Your teacher must be so proud of you!


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2811330
02/06/19 10:20 AM
02/06/19 10:20 AM
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Hey all!

It's been a little while since an update. I'm currently at Greensleeves in the book. The Stranger took more time than I really expected, and maybe the most time out of any piece in the book so far. I'm still not even sure I had it, but I had to move on to something else, or I was gonna lose my mind.

Greensleeves is proving to be much easier. I'm on day 4 today, and am able to put it all together at around 50 bpm. So once I get the pedaling correct, and bring the tempo up a bit I'll move on to the next piece. I'm honestly getting a little tired of the book, but I'm supplementing with enough outside music, that I can hopefully still trudge through it.

In addition to the book, I'm working on Burgmuller's Arabesque. I don't think I'll ever have this at the tempo it's supposed to be played, but I'm hoping I can just get it smooth enough to sound nice.

That's about it from me! Still getting around an hour of practice a day, but I'd really like to bring that up more over time. We'll see!

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: 2literpeter] #2811395
02/06/19 11:59 AM
02/06/19 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 2literpeter
Hey all!

It's been a little while since an update. I'm currently at Greensleeves in the book. The Stranger took more time than I really expected, and maybe the most time out of any piece in the book so far. I'm still not even sure I had it, but I had to move on to something else, or I was gonna lose my mind.

Greensleeves is proving to be much easier. I'm on day 4 today, and am able to put it all together at around 50 bpm. So once I get the pedaling correct, and bring the tempo up a bit I'll move on to the next piece. I'm honestly getting a little tired of the book, but I'm supplementing with enough outside music, that I can hopefully still trudge through it.

In addition to the book, I'm working on Burgmuller's Arabesque. I don't think I'll ever have this at the tempo it's supposed to be played, but I'm hoping I can just get it smooth enough to sound nice.

That's about it from me! Still getting around an hour of practice a day, but I'd really like to bring that up more over time. We'll see!

Nice work! It's funny how some songs in the book seem so easy, while others can really trip you up.

As for me, my teacher hasn't given me anything in the book since before Christmas! We've just been working on a few classical pieces (a few short ones from Chopin, "Adagio" from Moonlight sonata, and a couple of others). It's been fun!

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2811733
02/07/19 02:21 AM
02/07/19 02:21 AM
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2literpeter,
Good to hear from you! You are pretty much near the end of the book. It's natural to get a little impatient at this point. Just keep at it, and soon you'll be able to toss this book aside thumb


I have a few doubts in Chiapanecas. Someone please throw some light. I need to finish this by tomorrow. I'll go crazy, if I have to play it for another week sick

1) What should be the final speed for this song? It says "Moderately Fast". I think I play it around 120-130 BPM. How far up did you take the speed?

2) The accent signs are confusing me. For e.g., First measures of Lines 3 and 4 are similar, with dotted half notes held for the entire measure. Now these dotted half notes have been accented. First line's dynamic marking says f , second line's mf . The book says this about accents- "Play with special emphasis". Well, when I play with special emphasis, the second line's accented notes go more or less forte. I don't think this is correct. Because, if so, they'd have written just f there, right?

I think I have an understanding issue here. What does "special emphasis" mean? Louder? And also, aren't the first beats of every measure supposed to be played with some emphasis anyways?


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tech-key] #2811741
02/07/19 02:56 AM
02/07/19 02:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 2,550
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by Tech-key
2) The accent signs are confusing me. For e.g., First measures of Lines 3 and 4 are similar, with dotted half notes held for the entire measure. Now these dotted half notes have been accented. First line's dynamic marking says f , second line's mf . The book says this about accents- "Play with special emphasis". Well, when I play with special emphasis, the second line's accented notes go more or less forte. I don't think this is correct. Because, if so, they'd have written just f there, right?

My teacher says that "in general," an accented beat is two levels louder than the dynamics indication. So for example, in a section that is marked p, then an accented note would be played mf. This difference of course would reduce at higher levels. So for example, in a section that is marked f, then an accented note would be played ff

Originally Posted by Tech-key
I think I have an understanding issue here. What does "special emphasis" mean? Louder?

See above.

Originally Posted by Tech-key
And also, aren't the first beats of every measure supposed to be played with some emphasis anyways?

Yes, the downbeat is louder than upbeats. Also, the melody is in general to be played one level louder than the other notes. All of these differences combine together. Accents are stronger than the downbeat though.


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2811751
02/07/19 03:54 AM
02/07/19 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Tech-key
2) The accent signs are confusing me. For e.g., First measures of Lines 3 and 4 are similar, with dotted half notes held for the entire measure. Now these dotted half notes have been accented. First line's dynamic marking says f , second line's mf . The book says this about accents- "Play with special emphasis". Well, when I play with special emphasis, the second line's accented notes go more or less forte. I don't think this is correct. Because, if so, they'd have written just f there, right?

My teacher says that "in general," an accented beat is two levels louder than the dynamics indication. So for example, in a section that is marked p, then an accented note would be played mf. This difference of course would reduce at higher levels. So for example, in a section that is marked f, then an accented note would be played ff

Originally Posted by Tech-key
I think I have an understanding issue here. What does "special emphasis" mean? Louder?

See above.

Originally Posted by Tech-key
And also, aren't the first beats of every measure supposed to be played with some emphasis anyways?

Yes, the downbeat is louder than upbeats. Also, the melody is in general to be played one level louder than the other notes. All of these differences combine together. Accents are stronger than the downbeat though.

This cleared all my doubts regarding accents. Thanks smile


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tech-key] #2811794
02/07/19 06:56 AM
02/07/19 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Tech-key
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
[quote=Tech-key]2) The accent signs are confusing me. For e.g., First measures of Lines 3 and 4 are similar, with dotted half notes held for the entire measure. Now these dotted half notes have been accented. First line's dynamic marking says f , second line's mf . The book says this about accents- "Play with special emphasis". Well, when I play with special emphasis, the second line's accented notes go more or less forte. I don't think this is correct. Because, if so, they'd have written just f there, right?

My teacher says that "in general," an accented beat is two levels louder than the dynamics indication. So for example, in a section that is marked p, then an accented note would be played mf. This difference of course would reduce at higher levels. So for example, in a section that is marked f, then an accented note would be played ff


Thanks for the explanation of how much louder an accented note should be. Makes sense.

But isn't it quite unusual to have a dotted (staccato) HALF note (accented or not) at all? Seems like an oxymoron to me. Why wouldn't it be written as a dotted, accented quarter note followed by a quarter pause?


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: TryAnotherName] #2811834
02/07/19 09:10 AM
02/07/19 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by TryAnotherName
But isn't it quite unusual to have a dotted (staccato) HALF note (accented or not) at all? Seems like an oxymoron to me. Why wouldn't it be written as a dotted, accented quarter note followed by a quarter pause?

Actually the dot is present after the half note, signifying the duration of the note to be 3 beats (where quarter note=one beat). It's written in 3/4 time. The measures I mentioned are not staccato at all, though I see the "dotted" terminology caused confusion. I don't know, I've always referred to these as "dotted half notes". Is there any other term that's more commonly used for this?


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2811838
02/07/19 09:18 AM
02/07/19 09:18 AM
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Hey all! I'm at Scarborough Fair in the Alfred Adult Book and uhm....hmm I might be going a bit crazy because of this piece. crazy It's so hard! I feel like it's such a massive jump and nothing in the book before has prepared me for it. The entire book was LH for chords and now I have to move my LH fingers around! My LH pinky doesn't do what I want (I'm thinking of punishing him in some way), keeps pressing both keys at the same time or wrong keys ugh...

Anyway, does anyone have tips? Did you struggle with this piece?

Last edited by Superman2048; 02/07/19 09:19 AM.

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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Superman2048] #2811849
02/07/19 09:49 AM
02/07/19 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Superman2048
Hey all! I'm at Scarborough Fair in the Alfred Adult Book and uhm....hmm I might be going a bit crazy because of this piece. crazy It's so hard! I feel like it's such a massive jump and nothing in the book before has prepared me for it. The entire book was LH for chords and now I have to move my LH fingers around! My LH pinky doesn't do what I want (I'm thinking of punishing him in some way), keeps pressing both keys at the same time or wrong keys ugh...

Anyway, does anyone have tips? Did you struggle with this piece?

Hey Superman!

Looks like hand independence is your Kryptonite ATM wink. You are absolutely justified to blame the book for it. It does nothing to bring it on soon enough. I'd recommend everyone working from Alfred's book 1 to start working on simple supplemental pieces where the left hand is not just playing chords.

As for the piece you mentioned, just go as slow you can. And keep counting (aloud if possible, but not an absolute requirement). Sleep on it, then repeat. Please do not put any deadline for this one. Let this take as long as it takes. The first piece requiring hand independence is tough. It will break your brain, but the effort will be beneficial in subsequent pieces.

I have not reached till here in the book yet, but I worked on other pieces which look similar. I had the same problems which I thought will never go away. But they did with time!

I'm a little confused about the LH pinky thing you mentioned. I see that this song has broken chords all over in the LH. Is your pinky misbehaving while switching from one chord to other? Any specific measures that are causing special discomfort?

I think someone more experienced can help you better with this. But you should really look into practising at least some hand independence exercises on the side. It does help! Check out this blog post:

https://www.pianotv.net/2016/10/piano-exercises-hand-independence/

This also has a video embedded in it along with a PDF containing some exercises. Good luck thumb


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tech-key] #2811856
02/07/19 10:09 AM
02/07/19 10:09 AM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by Tech-key
Is there any other term that's more commonly used for this?

Dotted notes are just called dotted note according to Wikipedia. This diagram should explain it well.

Originally Posted by Superman2048
Anyway, does anyone have tips?

Take a look at this on hand independence.


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Superman2048] #2811874
02/07/19 10:52 AM
02/07/19 10:52 AM
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Animisha Online content
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Originally Posted by Superman2048
Hey all! I'm at Scarborough Fair in the Alfred Adult Book and uhm....hmm I might be going a bit crazy because of this piece. crazy It's so hard! I feel like it's such a massive jump and nothing in the book before has prepared me for it. The entire book was LH for chords and now I have to move my LH fingers around! My LH pinky doesn't do what I want (I'm thinking of punishing him in some way), keeps pressing both keys at the same time or wrong keys ugh...

Anyway, does anyone have tips? Did you struggle with this piece?


Hi Superman! I felt that way many times with Alfred's first book, and I played a lot of other easy pieces on the side. But I don't remember this specifically for Scarborough Fair - the piece On top of old smokey, on page 110 also has broken chords. Did you manage to play that piece? For me, Amazing grace was the worst piece. I also self-studied, and I just skipped that one, and played it later.


It is a happy talent to know how to play.
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tech-key] #2811941
02/07/19 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Tech-key
Originally Posted by TryAnotherName
But isn't it quite unusual to have a dotted (staccato) HALF note (accented or not) at all? Seems like an oxymoron to me. Why wouldn't it be written as a dotted, accented quarter note followed by a quarter pause?

Actually the dot is present after the half note, signifying the duration of the note to be 3 beats (where quarter note=one beat). It's written in 3/4 time. The measures I mentioned are not staccato at all, though I see the "dotted" terminology caused confusion. I don't know, I've always referred to these as "dotted half notes". Is there any other term that's more commonly used for this?


Yup, stand corrected. Thanks, now the explanation makes 100% sense to me :-)


Kawai GE-1
Faber All-in-One, Book 1
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: TryAnotherName] #2811952
02/07/19 01:12 PM
02/07/19 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by TryAnotherName
Originally Posted by Tech-key
Originally Posted by TryAnotherName
But isn't it quite unusual to have a dotted (staccato) HALF note (accented or not) at all? Seems like an oxymoron to me. Why wouldn't it be written as a dotted, accented quarter note followed by a quarter pause?

Actually the dot is present after the half note, signifying the duration of the note to be 3 beats (where quarter note=one beat). It's written in 3/4 time. The measures I mentioned are not staccato at all, though I see the "dotted" terminology caused confusion. I don't know, I've always referred to these as "dotted half notes". Is there any other term that's more commonly used for this?


Yup, stand corrected. Thanks, now the explanation makes 100% sense to me :-)

No problem at all thumb. There are just too many dots to keep track of. The diagram Tyrone added makes me feel, it's going to get progressively crazier from here crazy


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