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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tech-key] #2811954
02/07/19 01:14 PM
02/07/19 01:14 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 2,550
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by Tech-key
The diagram Tyrone added makes me feel, it's going to get progressively crazier from here crazy

I think us beginners really only have to worry about a single dot. Certainly in my method book, I've never seen more than one dot so far.


across the stone, deathless piano performances
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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2811958
02/07/19 01:18 PM
02/07/19 01:18 PM
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Posts: 117
India
Tech-key Offline
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Tech-key
The diagram Tyrone added makes me feel, it's going to get progressively crazier from here crazy

I think us beginners really only have to worry about a single dot. Certainly in my method book, I've never seen more than one dot so far.

Good to know! I won't have to worry for the next 5 years then laugh


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Animisha] #2812209
02/08/19 04:34 AM
02/08/19 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Tech-key

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



Hey Tech-key thank you for the advice! I'll try to take it a bit slower. I'm trying to do one piece a week and today has been a week that I've been working on Scarborough Fair but I think I need a few more days.

My pinky is indeed misbehaving and much weaker than my other fingers. It presses the wrong keys, or presses both keys at the same time, or the pinky sound is barely heard. This happens when switching from one broken chord to another. Funny thing was that when I played it in f or ff then there was no problem (I had to let out some of my anger haha)

Thank you for the site I'll check it out!



Originally Posted by Animisha


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.


Hey Animisha! Thank you for mentioning On top of old smokey! For me it's on page 68 (I use the Alfred Adult Basic Book 1) and tbh I don't remember having this much trouble with it. Shame I didn't record it but I am recording every piece I play for the 40 a year thing. I'm just going to take it slow and not yell at my LH so much grin


26-09-2018 start piano practice.
Alesis Recital Pro.
Self study.
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Superman2048] #2812233
02/08/19 07:45 AM
02/08/19 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Superman2048
Hey Tech-key thank you for the advice! I'll try to take it a bit slower. I'm trying to do one piece a week and today has been a week that I've been working on Scarborough Fair but I think I need a few more days.

My pinky is indeed misbehaving and much weaker than my other fingers. It presses the wrong keys, or presses both keys at the same time, or the pinky sound is barely heard. This happens when switching from one broken chord to another. Funny thing was that when I played it in f or ff then there was no problem (I had to let out some of my anger haha)

Haha. Your pinky definitely deserves some scolding. Mine too actually! It collapses at the most misopportune times.

The pieces in the book will steadily get more difficult from here. So you may rethink your strategies now. Instead of just one piece at a time, you can actually pick 2-3 pieces and take them all slowly. If you look at the previous page of this thread, Progman was mentioning some posts where there are some real good practice strategies for beginners like us. I'd put his quote here for your ease.

Originally Posted by Progman
There's a really good thread on ABF 'Holly's Diary' which is appropriate for us as the discussion is about details of practicing. She's about a year ahead of us. She mentioned she spends only 10-15 minutes per piece each session. Kelso ('nothing is too easy') piped in that one can just do the 10-15 minutes every other day and learn faster (he has this cup analogy that I think is true). Interesting stuff!

These guys are at it for a while now, so don't start doing everything they are doing at once smile. It may get a bit overwhelming. But there are some very interesting ideas there, which should definitely help you.


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Superman2048] #2812336
02/08/19 12:18 PM
02/08/19 12:18 PM
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Sweden
Animisha Online content
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Originally Posted by Superman2048
I'll try to take it a bit slower.


Superman2048, if you like Alfred's, they have lots and lots of free preview pdf's on their site. Download those that you like, and you have lots of complementary material that you can play.


It is a happy talent to know how to play.
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Superman2048] #2812417
02/08/19 03:05 PM
02/08/19 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Superman2048
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!


Coming in a bit late on this - I'm using Alfred's Self-Teaching (now there's a mis-nomer - how come it's still so much work for me?) Adult Piano Course, which sounds much like the regular book but uses a lot more pages to cover the same material, maybe to make up for the lack of a teacher?

Anyway, about your RH/LH problem, my book pretty early on has 'When the Saints Go Marching In' in 2 versions, the second one has the melody in the LH and the accompanying chords in the RH. I found this a bit of a brain-expander at first, but once I got it down, it's really sort-of fun to play the 2 versions in sequence.
So @Superman: I would think practicing this piece might help a lot with your LH problem. Had you tried it?


They say extra practice can make up for modesty of talent (up to a point) - I sure hope so...
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: gerhard_k] #2812443
02/08/19 04:22 PM
02/08/19 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by gerhard_k
Originally Posted by Superman2048
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!


Coming in a bit late on this - I'm using Alfred's Self-Teaching (now there's a mis-nomer - how come it's still so much work for me?) Adult Piano Course, which sounds much like the regular book but uses a lot more pages to cover the same material, maybe to make up for the lack of a teacher?

Anyway, about your RH/LH problem, my book pretty early on has 'When the Saints Go Marching In' in 2 versions, the second one has the melody in the LH and the accompanying chords in the RH. I found this a bit of a brain-expander at first, but once I got it down, it's really sort-of fun to play the 2 versions in sequence.
So @Superman: I would think practicing this piece might help a lot with your LH problem. Had you tried it?


That's funny what you say about the difficultly gerhard! It's hard for all of us.....in fact, there is a thread right now where people are 'arguing' about who is slowest! You are correct that On Top of Old Smokey has a similar broken chord LH that Scarborogh Fair has. Wait until you get to page 129 The Stranger. Now that is a song with real melody in the left hand. I do not feel unprepared to handle this however, it just takes smart practicing....


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: gerhard_k] #2812581
02/09/19 04:03 AM
02/09/19 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tech-key

Haha. Your pinky definitely deserves some scolding. Mine too actually! It collapses at the most misopportune times.

The pieces in the book will steadily get more difficult from here. So you may rethink your strategies now. Instead of just one piece at a time, you can actually pick 2-3 pieces and take them all slowly. If you look at the previous page of this thread, Progman was mentioning some posts where there are some real good practice strategies for beginners like us. I'd put his quote here for your ease.

Originally Posted by Progman
There's a really good thread on ABF 'Holly's Diary' which is appropriate for us as the discussion is about details of practicing. She's about a year ahead of us. She mentioned she spends only 10-15 minutes per piece each session. Kelso ('nothing is too easy') piped in that one can just do the 10-15 minutes every other day and learn faster (he has this cup analogy that I think is true). Interesting stuff!

These guys are at it for a while now, so don't start doing everything they are doing at once smile. It may get a bit overwhelming. But there are some very interesting ideas there, which should definitely help you.


Thank you Tech-key for the interesting pov. I will experiment with 2 pieces at the same time. My practice currently is as follows:

First block of 30 mins.

5-10 mins of sightreading from this book. Progressive Sight Reading Exercises for Piano
10 mins of scales, the ones I know so far.
15-20 mins of the piece from Alfred I'm currently on.

Second block of 30 mins.

30 mins of practising the current piece I'm at on the Alfred book.

That's my 1h practice every day. From today onwards I will try doing two pieces each day using easy pieces from this book that I have. Big Book Of Beginner's Piano Classics. So my second block of 30 mins will be 15 mins Alfred piece, 15 mins Piano Classics. I'll see how it goes and take it from there!






Originally Posted by Animisha


Superman2048, if you like Alfred's, they have lots and lots of free preview pdf's on their site. Download those that you like, and you have lots of complementary material that you can play.


Thank you Animisha that's a great link! Didn't know they did that!


Originally Posted by gerhard_k


Coming in a bit late on this - I'm using Alfred's Self-Teaching (now there's a mis-nomer - how come it's still so much work for me?) Adult Piano Course, which sounds much like the regular book but uses a lot more pages to cover the same material, maybe to make up for the lack of a teacher?

Anyway, about your RH/LH problem, my book pretty early on has 'When the Saints Go Marching In' in 2 versions, the second one has the melody in the LH and the accompanying chords in the RH. I found this a bit of a brain-expander at first, but once I got it down, it's really sort-of fun to play the 2 versions in sequence.
So @Superman: I would think practicing this piece might help a lot with your LH problem. Had you tried it?


Hello Gerhard! Yes my book contains the two versions of 'When the Saints Go Marching In' as well. Thank you for mentioning it. It seems that I have been too harsh on the Alfred book and myself. So I will change my schedule and practice 2 pieces. I very much like this idea and it makes sense to do it this way.


26-09-2018 start piano practice.
Alesis Recital Pro.
Self study.
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Superman2048] #2812610
02/09/19 08:04 AM
02/09/19 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Superman2048


Thank you Tech-key for the interesting pov. I will experiment with 2 pieces at the same time. My practice currently is as follows:

First block of 30 mins.

5-10 mins of sightreading from this book. Progressive Sight Reading Exercises for Piano
10 mins of scales, the ones I know so far.
15-20 mins of the piece from Alfred I'm currently on.

Second block of 30 mins.

30 mins of practising the current piece I'm at on the Alfred book.

That's my 1h practice every day. From today onwards I will try doing two pieces each day using easy pieces from this book that I have. Big Book Of Beginner's Piano Classics. So my second block of 30 mins will be 15 mins Alfred piece, 15 mins Piano Classics. I'll see how it goes and take it from there!



I am no expert at practice technique, but I'll share what I am experimenting and it might spur some ideas. The central thesis I understand from Holly's and Keselo's threads is that our brains can only absorb a certain amount from any 1 piece/section we play a day....something around 15 minutes. Another point I take to heart is that we all want to play the whole piece through every time, but that approach is likely inefficient. And the 3rd thing I am doing new is taking notes after my 15-20 minute slice of whatever to write what I specifically practiced so I can start from there next time.

I am also experimenting with learning a song with minimal HS practice and another song learning it only as sections (no playing through until I have the sections at speed). I am currently working 5 pieces between 4 and 9 lines in length. 4 are from the Method book and 1 from the Greatest Hits book. My practice time is 1-1.5 hours per day. My warm-up is several 5 finger progressions from different keys, 3 scales, I/IV/I/V7/I chord progressions - all for both hands. For extra sight reading Teach said I should play random pieces in the Method book that I haven't touched in some time.

I do a lot more work with sections this way, so the whole topic of how to section becomes much more relevant. Very interesting! I've only been doing this for 2 weeks but I can tell there are definitely improvements to my practicing....


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Progman] #2812670
02/09/19 11:17 AM
02/09/19 11:17 AM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by Progman
I am also experimenting with learning a song with minimal HS practice and another song learning it only as sections (no playing through until I have the sections at speed).

I want to commend you on your experimental outlook and testing out these different techniques on yourself. We all learn differently, an although even research results can be interesting, it's a starting point to see if a successful technique for someone else can work for oneself most effectively. I'm sure all of these successful techniques do fail to work for some people, while others might be more successful for a given individual. I think based on the results of others, candidates for testing out on oneself certainly should include the practices you are trying out - HS vs HT, 15 min rule, practicing alternating days, learning in sections, etc.


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2812802
02/09/19 05:08 PM
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Thanks Tyrone - I'm a geeky retired engineer so I enjoy a good experiment! I did try out skipping a day on one of my pieces and upon playing it this morning and there was a noticeable improvement with that skipped day. I need more data points.....


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Progman] #2813349
02/11/19 01:12 AM
02/11/19 01:12 AM
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Progman, I remember reading in the 2019 goals thread, that you want to become a great piano practiser. A very smart goal to have. Please keep sharing the results of your experiments!


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Progman] #2813423
02/11/19 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Progman
Thanks Tyrone - I'm a geeky retired engineer so I enjoy a good experiment! I did try out skipping a day on one of my pieces and upon playing it this morning and there was a noticeable improvement with that skipped day. I need more data points.....


ha, very interesting... my results may vary from yours but one thing is for sure... if an occasional day off winds up working for you, it will do wonders for my guilt complex when I miss a day :-)


Kawai GE-1
Faber All-in-One, Book 1
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2814224
02/12/19 06:18 PM
02/12/19 06:18 PM
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Hi! This is my first post here. smile
I took about a year of lessons as a young child, a basic keyboard class in middle school and nothing since. I’ve been going through the self-teaching all-in-one since September. I’m up to the Entertainer and Amazing Grace now. So far the hardest song for me has been, and continues to be, Little Brown Jug. Something about moving the right hand up just trips me up every time. The thing I struggle most with overall is feeling like I have the style right, not just the mechanics. I’m sure a real teacher would be the solution to that at some point, but I feel like I’ll benefit more if I’m more advanced in the mechanics first.

I’m a spreadsheet nerd and have this practice schedule system that works really well for me. The idea is once a song is learned, to practice it every day until I can play it perfectly on the first try three days in a row, then every other day, then twice a week, weekly, biweekly etc. I have graph paper with the songs written down the rows and the date across the columns at the top and fill in a check or an x as I go through each, then use little dashed lines for skip days on a song. I wish I knew how to post a picture. Anyway, I practice 45 minutes a day and really enjoy it.

I also have the Sacred Piano book that goes with it and have worked through most of those as well, as they came up in the “goes with page ___” thing. I’m considering getting the greatest hits as well for level two, but I wish they could make an updated version.

Question: How faithfully should I follow the fingering written on the pieces? For example, on the Entertainer, the 3-1 cross in measure 11 was way too awkward, and I’ve done much better playing the F# with my thumb. I also really want to play G-A-B-C in the left hand as pinkie-pinkie-pinkie-pinkie... is that ridiculously unsophisticated?

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2814326
02/12/19 09:17 PM
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Welcome Domestic Engineer. If you started in September and are nearly finished the book, that is a fast pace. The risk you might be running is developing some type of technical flaw that could be time consuming (and frustrating) to un-learn. Like the fingering stuff, I think this book is extremely well thought out and changing fingerings should probably only come from someone really experienced.

One thing I have picked up lately is the importance of practice technique. If you get really good at practicing effectively, that is the route to be a really good player. So I really like what you have done with the spreadsheet and repetitions. That bodes well for your future but recommend you get in front of a teacher soon.....even just a short series of lessons will pay off. Look for someone with significant experience and is already teaching Adults. Good Luck!


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Domestic Engineer] #2814368
02/13/19 12:40 AM
02/13/19 12:40 AM
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India
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Welcome, Domestic Engineer smile

Originally Posted by Domestic Engineer
I’m a spreadsheet nerd and have this practice schedule system that works really well for me. The idea is once a song is learned, to practice it every day until I can play it perfectly on the first try three days in a row, then every other day, then twice a week, weekly, biweekly etc. I have graph paper with the songs written down the rows and the date across the columns at the top and fill in a check or an x as I go through each, then use little dashed lines for skip days on a song. I wish I knew how to post a picture.

Very intrigued by your graph papers! This forum has this FAQ page. You'll get your answer under "How do I add an image to my message?". You will first have to upload your picture to a website like imgur. Thereafter, just follow the instructions in the FAQ section.


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Domestic Engineer] #2814370
02/13/19 01:12 AM
02/13/19 01:12 AM
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Animisha Online content
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Hi Domestic Engineer, and welcome to the forum!

Originally Posted by Domestic Engineer
Question: How faithfully should I follow the fingering written on the pieces? For example, on the Entertainer, the 3-1 cross in measure 11 was way too awkward, and I’ve done much better playing the F# with my thumb. I also really want to play G-A-B-C in the left hand as pinkie-pinkie-pinkie-pinkie... is that ridiculously unsophisticated?

The 3-1 cross in measure 11 makes use of a very basic technique, that you will need to learn and master. Also pinkie-pinkie-pinkie-pinkie for four consecutive notes is not a good idea at all. It may go well in this piece, but once you play faster, you'll need to be able to make those skips.

Originally Posted by Domestic Engineer
I’m sure a real teacher would be the solution to that at some point, but I feel like I’ll benefit more if I’m more advanced in the mechanics first.

I could not agree less. When you say "the mechanics", do you mean technique? You will need a teacher to show you.

The Alfred book hardly gives you anything when it comes to technique. They don't discuss it, and as a beginner, you run the risk of happily playing these pieces, thinking it is going well enough, only to discover later that you used the wrong technique. You could take a look at this video, just to give you an idea. (I am not a big fan of this teacher, but watching what he says is better than only working with the book.)


It is a happy talent to know how to play.
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2814431
02/13/19 06:35 AM
02/13/19 06:35 AM
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My Teacher gave me a present at my lesson yesterday! She was very complimentary and said I am her adult student role model.....then she said I am ready and gave me the score to Billy Joel's Piano Man. She knows I am not motivated by Classical Music (at this point anyhow), so I thought it was super nice of her. I sight read the first page melody and bass clef - she said just work on first 1.5 pages first. Super cool.

I am working my way through the F major/A minor section of the book right now. She is picking out the specific songs so I am not doing it exactly in order. Yesterday I got checked off on Greensleeves and really close on Go Down Moses and Auld Sang Lang. The Stranger is the hardest one, I probably have 2 more weeks on that one. I have also been doing What a Wonderful World from the Greatest Hits book - I played that one for her and did a nice job of it. We talked about the key dynamic area of the score and she said to polish it. We picked out the next song from the Greatest Hits which is the Sound of Music (for my Mom) and sight read the beginning of that one.

I think my upgraded practice approach is paying off. I am just barely 2 weeks into that and still refining how I do things, but it feels like I can fix the problems pretty effectively. I am working 10-20 minute sections and making brief notes after each section. When I get back to that song in a day or two, I review the notes from last time and start there. So more sections and less trying to play through the entire song.


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2814485
02/13/19 09:39 AM
02/13/19 09:39 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
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Progman, you are an inspiration.. If I had a hat, I'd take it off to you!


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2814542
02/13/19 11:56 AM
02/13/19 11:56 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
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(not sure this was new thread worthy so sticking this question in here)

Is this a solid book to start off for a 17 year old? I just met with him yesterday. He's had just a little piano when he was really young but it had zero to do with reading music (which isn't a problem, just pointing that out). It looks he will be a fast study but, hard to say, I've never taught someone that age before.

I remember this book existed. How is it "adult" compared to this Alfred book (which I have a copy of): Piano Lesson Book: Complete Level 1, for the Later Beginner?

Are there any alternatives that people use for adults starting out or is this pretty much a solid choice? I can supplement it but I mean generally speaking.

(I am considering "17" an adult, essentially, although I understand the brain is still developing through the 20s)

Thanks for any help


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