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#1071457 - 09/30/08 01:01 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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mom3gram Offline
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I started Cockles and Mussels a couple of days ago. There are times when I really dislike some of the chord heavy tunes in Alfred's, but I have to say that this one sounds really good. And except for the fact that my "aim" isn't always good, it's been a pretty easy piece to learn also.

On the other hand, I'm having a little bit of trouble understanding and remembering the theory stuff about chords, chord progressions, etc. How important is it for me to totally grasp this right now, at this point in the book? If I just move on when I learn each piece, will there be reinforcement and reviews of the theory about chords later in the book, and in Books 2 and 3, or do I have to stay with it now until I get it completely before moving on?


mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE
Faber Adult PA Bk. 1 Graduate
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#1071458 - 09/30/08 02:05 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Key Notes Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by mom3gram:
I started Cockles and Mussels a couple of days ago. There are times when I really dislike some of the chord heavy tunes in Alfred's, but I have to say that this one sounds really good. And except for the fact that my "aim" isn't always good, it's been a pretty easy piece to learn also.

On the other hand, I'm having a little bit of trouble understanding and remembering the theory stuff about chords, chord progressions, etc. How important is it for me to totally grasp this right now, at this point in the book? If I just move on when I learn each piece, will there be reinforcement and reviews of the theory about chords later in the book, and in Books 2 and 3, or do I have to stay with it now until I get it completely before moving on?
Great question mom3gram, I would like to know that too. Eventhough I've been retaining the theories pretty well, I'm sure that I'll forget some of them sometime down the road. But I've been moving on once I believed that I've learned them well, banking on the fact that these same lessons will continued to be reinforced throughout books 2 and 3.

BTW, big congratulations on your tap recital performances also mom3gram. What another wonderful hobby that you have. I'm sure that you'll remember and cherish those experiences forever, with or without mistakes. Keeping going after a mistake is the hardest thing one could do and you did it. Good for you! thumb

Best Regards,

Key Notes smile


Music speaks where words fails.
#1071459 - 09/30/08 08:10 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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pixy Offline
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I guys
I joined the club not long ago... but I have been "alfred's jelous" for a while. The support and drive from this group amazing.
So I got Alfred all in one book 1 this weekend to run toghether with the method I am following (classical orientated). Managed to get to the Hanon exercises by Sunday laugh


All you need is trust... (and a bit of pixie dust!)
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#1071460 - 09/30/08 09:23 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Quote
Originally posted by pixie's friend:
I guys
I joined the club not long ago... but I have been "alfred's jelous" for a while. The support and drive from this group amazing.
So I got Alfred all in one book 1 this weekend to run toghether with the method I am following (classical orientated). Managed to get to the Hanon exercises by Sunday laugh
Welcome pixie's friend! I had no idea the Alfred threads had such power... smile

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#1071461 - 09/30/08 11:12 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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pixy Offline
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Hi Mark,
thumb thanks for starting these threads.
Even in the Faber method ones the power of the Alfred's group is mentioned! wink


All you need is trust... (and a bit of pixie dust!)
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#1071462 - 09/30/08 10:05 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Taiwan
mom3gram, it seems we're on the same page smile I've also just learned Cockles and Mussels and before that Joy to the world. I also really like both tunes and they are in fact my favorite tunes so far. The Handel song has a great Xmas sound to it (I assume it is originally a Xmas song?).

I think Cockles and Mussels sounds really nice and different because it features major and minor chords from the key of C. Before that, the book only used 3 chords (C, F, G7) and no minor chords, I believe. Besides, I don't find the block chords as annoying anymore. I guess, with time and practice you get a better feel for them and how to make them sound more musical.

#1071463 - 09/30/08 10:38 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Dave123 Offline
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Looks like everyone making good progress, as for me nah hit a wall. trying to get it together again, I got through BTMD and now working on lone Star waltz and Cafe Vienna.
Lone star waltz coming along good having a few issues with the changing of hand positions.
My new teacher is a stickler for right body position, wrists up, fingers curled, back straight, that's a little distracting for me right now, but I guess it wont do to much harm correcting bad posture

#1071464 - 10/01/08 12:40 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Well I finally got up the guts to hit the live keyboard here aftert 6 weeks...
Did a jig tune and it only took 2 tries of playing it stupidly stunninly slow to get it. At least now I can say I played the live setup and that will be the last time...... the keyboard action was smooth as butter.
The lady who comes up after me said someone on campus was whistling along with my gods awful playing.
Just what I wanted to hear. I saw no one near by,and figured all would be in class...
Yah I am a such a wuss.

#1071465 - 10/01/08 09:14 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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mom3gram Offline
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I'll bet you were a lot better than you think you were, 1silkyferret. :-)


mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE
Faber Adult PA Bk. 1 Graduate
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#1071466 - 10/02/08 02:23 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Key Notes Offline
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Welcome Pixie's friend!

Dave123, That's really great! Congratulations on conquering BTMD. thumb

Yes, I can definitely relate with you in regards to Lone Star Waltz's changing of hands positions. When I read the part about "...being able to move freely over the keyboard..." and the title of "Moving Up & Down the Keyboard in 6ths", I got all excited and scared at the same time. laugh But as usual, I worked on one measure at a time, then slowly adding on more. This method which I've picked up from reading some of the other members' great advises has been helping me a great deal, especially in not feeling overwhelm by it all.

Don't worry, you've gotten this far, you'll get this one down as well. After BTMD, anything within this book is possible, I hope. smile


1silkyferret, Way to go! And after 6 weeks too! Good for you! thumb


Redeagle, How have you been? We haven't heard from you in a while. I hope you are doing well and are still enjoying your piano studies and practices.

Key Notes smile


Music speaks where words fails.
#1071467 - 10/05/08 03:49 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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I have been working on the Entertainer for over a week and have spend HOURS on it. I am getting close, but still don't have it.

I am wondering what the experience of you others have been on it?

I just started on Amazing Grace and I see why it is the last song in the book. It is hard. How much time have the rest of you spend on Amazing Grace?

#1071468 - 10/06/08 05:03 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Key Notes Offline
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Wow, you are almost done with the first book Johndyoung. That's fabulous, congrats!

Wish I could give you some input regarding the pieces you've mentioned but I'm not even close to being there. It's good to know though of the challenges that the rest of us may have to face.

Good luck to you!

Key Notes smile


Music speaks where words fails.
#1071469 - 10/06/08 07:47 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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I had a lesson today. I have been self studying. I had commented to my wife that while I was playing the songs exactly as written, that they sounded very mechanical and not musical. After I played the entertainer for the teacher, she said let me play it and you listen. It was amazing the difference. she want back and played some of the other songs, like Blow The Man Down, and they sounded so musical. So she spend the time helping me learn to play so they sound like music. She also help me with my technique, how I hold my hands, bend my fingers, how far I sit from the piano, etc. She gave me some exercises to do, scales, etc. Because my schedule is so irregular, I play a lesson every 3 or 4 weeks. So I have some things to work on. I am basically going to go back through the book and try to make these songs sound like music.

#1071470 - 10/06/08 08:25 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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I think it's wonderful that you are also focusing on the musicalities of these pieces John, since it's quite obvious that it's one of the most important aspect/technique of playing any instruments.

Everything does sound very "mechanical" for me at this point as well since I'm so busy focusing on so many things at the same time. I believe that unless I can play the pieces well, perhaps even to the point of memorizing them, it'll be quite difficult to make it sound musical or expressive.

I admire your progress and perseverance dispite your irregular schedule.

Best,

Key Notes smile


Music speaks where words fails.
#1071471 - 10/07/08 12:22 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Quote
Originally posted by johndyoung:
I had a lesson today. I have been self studying. I had commented to my wife that while I was playing the songs exactly as written, that they sounded very mechanical and not musical. After I played the entertainer for the teacher, she said let me play it and you listen. It was amazing the difference. she want back and played some of the other songs, like Blow The Man Down, and they sounded so musical. So she spend the time helping me learn to play so they sound like music. She also help me with my technique, how I hold my hands, bend my fingers, how far I sit from the piano, etc. She gave me some exercises to do, scales, etc. Because my schedule is so irregular, I play a lesson every 3 or 4 weeks. So I have some things to work on. I am basically going to go back through the book and try to make these songs sound like music.
My new teacher appears to be doing something similar, I learn the notes and play it as written, even though I feel at this stage of the game I am for the most part doing well. At first i was a little concerned about him and if I would progress, now he is looking into finer details like posture etc. and really looking at the finer points of how I am playing. It is hard to explain what he is trying to do, but as an example he will take a certain section and concentrate on the note length and eliminate pauses and other things that deter from the fluidity of my playing. very slowly I am begining to like my new teacher

#1071472 - 10/08/08 11:49 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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marrzipan Offline
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Johndyoung, I made the exact same experience as you a while ago when my teacher-neighbor came over and played some of the Alfred tunes for me. The difference was so huge, I thought it must be an entirely different piano she was playing! laugh Even the easiest tunes in Alfred really come to life in the hands of an "educated" piano player. And I also discovered that a lot of times the music is not played exactly as written. In a way you need to be able to read between the lines much more than I was expecting. If you ignore this, as most beginners do, it will indeed sound mechanical and lifeless. Technique and know-how really is key in this process. I'm glad I've had this eye-opening experience, so I have a better idea of what to aim for when I practice.

My update: I have now learned the blues songs in the book. They are quite fun to play, although it's not easy to make them sound real bluesy (or musical). I'm also playing On top of old Smoky. A nice and simple song, but again, the difficulty is in making it sound smooth and musical, esp with the pedal action. Learning the key of G is next.

At the moment I'm also delving into another piano method I bought a while ago. It's the Piano Handbook by Humphries. The layout and design of this books are really superb. I'm liking it more and more. All the material, even the beginning pieces, sound really beautiful and (again) extremely musical on the accompanying CD (it must be a Steinway grand or something similar, the sound of that piano is fantastic, not to mention a real pro is playing it). That is an advantage over the Alfred method, I think. The book also puts more emphasis on classical pieces and a classical sound which I really like. So, I will start using this method in parallel to the Alfred book to get more of that classical piano feel even at an easy level. I would recommend this book as a supplement to Alfred's.

#1071473 - 10/12/08 08:04 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Hi marrzipan
I am also trying with the blues, everything else was quite straight forward so far. I guess The problem here is that I found the first bit I don't like so much... so keeping focused is being a bit more of a challenge.
I will persevere, I somehow remember other people complaining about songs they didn't like and feeling great when they mastered them.
BTW I just received the piano Handbook, what a coincidence! I would strongly recommend it.
I have got this thing with buying books and music. Sometimes I think I need to control myself, but I like Monica's advice: Better not ti fight it and dive on it instead!!!


All you need is trust... (and a bit of pixie dust!)
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#1071474 - 10/12/08 12:50 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Mark... Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by johndyoung:
I have been working on the Entertainer for over a week and have spend HOURS on it. I am getting close, but still don't have it.

I am wondering what the experience of you others have been on it?

I just started on Amazing Grace and I see why it is the last song in the book. It is hard. How much time have the rest of you spend on Amazing Grace?
It took me a few months to play it decently. And I still play it every day. Your milage may vary...

#1071475 - 10/12/08 01:44 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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I always keep wondering if I should push myself to finish off Alfred's Book One. I halted my progress while learning an Einaudi piece and now I've learned three Einaudi pieces without going back to Alfred's. smile

Here's an audio sample of the third Einaudi piece that I've been working on. This piece may end up being my recital work, so only just a sample.

The piece is a bit repetitive so through this little bit you've actually heard most of it. I can say that this piece was great exercise for my right hand and when starting it (a week ago) I could only play parts of it a few times before my hand got tired and I had to stop. Now I can play it until my hands get tired but not sore. I can tell my hands are beginning to get tired when the tempo usually starts going all over the place. smile

The piece is so very simple but I still think it sounds absolutely wonderful. Anyway, maybe I'll finish up Alfred's Book One someday just to say that I did finish it.

Stella Del Mattino Sample


Roland FP-7 / Pianoteq 4.5.1
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#1071476 - 10/12/08 10:04 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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well I had neat thing happen.
managed to play a Mozart piece on the live keyboard with
no mistakes.
That was neat!!!

#1071477 - 10/13/08 07:50 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Way to go, 1silkyferret!!!!!!


mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE
Faber Adult PA Bk. 1 Graduate
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#1071478 - 10/14/08 01:22 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Hi pixie's friend. I didn't dwell too long on the blues pieces. I thought they weren't bad, but once I could play them half-decently, I moved on. Now I'm learning the Can-Can piece and polishing On top of old Smoky. But at the same time I'm finishing up Unit 1 of the Piano Handbook. Have you started with it? I'm gonna check if there's a special thread just for the piano handbook.

#1071479 - 10/14/08 06:35 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Hi marrzipan.
It is on my TO DO list for today, I am working on a few things at the moment (Alfred's 1, another piano method and polishing La candour from Burgmullers). I have read the first and second units though. The pace is quite fast, and it has lot a lot of information to process, but I believe there is a bunch of people working on it at the moment. Well worth its own thread thumb


All you need is trust... (and a bit of pixie dust!)
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#1071480 - 10/15/08 01:46 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Question: Are you guys and gals in Alfred's Book 1? The Entertainer is the last song in Alfred's Chord Approach level 2 which I am learning now, I have started the Entertainer. But there seems to be quite a difference. Someone mentioned Old Smoky, that is actually the second song in my level 3 book. What gives?


Stop buying things you can't afford....unless of course it's a piano.
#1071481 - 10/15/08 02:33 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Hi keykrazy, most of us are in the Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course series, using the Adult All-in-one Course. There are many other series, but apparently they contain more or less the same songs. The main difference is whether or not they contain music theory (which you can buy out of a different series as well)
There are so many different books out there that I cannot answer your question straight away, but you can check here www.encoremusic.com/piano and look for the different books, where you can access the table of contents and a few sample pages


All you need is trust... (and a bit of pixie dust!)
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#1071482 - 10/15/08 02:56 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Some of the songs in Book 1 are easier versions of the ones found in later books.

#1071483 - 10/16/08 12:17 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Well, it sounds like everyone is just having a blast. It's great to hear challenges met and conquered by all.

I just finished an 8 week beginning piano course at the local community college. The final was to play two pieces. I chose Saints and Alouette was required. It went very well, I was afraid of nerves being a problem having to play publicly for the first time, but it was fun and the pieces sounded quite nice, IMHO.

I wanted to play Alpine Melody but just haven't gotten my head around that one. Playing very slowly helps a lot. I like this one and really want to play it at speed and both octaves. I've been playing it every night.

Y'all have me a little scared of Blow the Man Down, though!


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
#1071484 - 10/16/08 02:54 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Do not worry too much, though.
BTMD is the first piece that keeps a steady rythm on your LH while playing the melody with RH.
Just be confident and give it a go (veeeery slowly at first and things will click. Promise thumb )


All you need is trust... (and a bit of pixie dust!)
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#1071485 - 10/17/08 12:18 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Quote
Originally posted by Gary Schenk:


Y'all have me a little scared of Blow the Man Down, though!
No doubt it is tough, but when you get through it you will be all smiles for you. No need to be scared (saying that I was) remember the enjoyment aspect thumb

#1071486 - 10/17/08 01:32 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Quote
Originally posted by Dave123:
No doubt it is tough, but when you get through it you will be all smiles for you. No need to be scared (saying that I was) remember the enjoyment aspect thumb
Yes, that's the way it works! :-)


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
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