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#1070677 - 02/03/08 06:22 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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BazC Offline
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Cool! Looks like we have a nice little group of total noobs here! laugh You wait in 6 months we'll be dazzling everyone with our gavottes, Boogies and Ballads!

I think you have it right 1silkyferret, it's a good idea to have some other pieces to work on. Alfred is a great book but the music in it can be dull and I soon get bored with practising the same piece over and over. I grab a few Classical pieces off the net to mess with and I just bought Improvising Blues Piano (great fun but probably a bit advanced for me) Alfred will remain my main learning resource but I'll dip into other stuff to break the monotony!


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#1070678 - 02/03/08 06:24 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Hi Everyone,

Dave here, also a Noob, rank beginner, but I already had the treble cleff down as far as note reading and theory (life long guitarist). I've been at it 1 month now and am 2/3 way complete with book 1. My hardest task was getting the left hand not to mimick the right or vice versa. I am also using the "Play By Choice" method as a supmliment.

#1070679 - 02/04/08 03:30 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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mullyman Offline
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Japan
I'll agree that the Alfred book 1 is a bit....boring, but for myself I can tolerate practicing these pieces. The way I see it is if I'm having difficulty with these simple things then there's not a snowballs chance in heck that I'll be able to do other things.

Anyway, I have a question concerning Alfred's. On the bottom of page 54 it says

"You are now ready to begin GREATEST HITS, Level 1"

What is this "Greatest Hits, Level 1"? I've looked online and I can't find an "Alfred's Greatest Hits" book. Is it the "Adult Pop Songs" book? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
MULLY

#1070680 - 02/04/08 04:51 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Pyamaha Offline
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Pyamaha  Offline
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the Netherlands
Quote
Originally posted by mullyman:

Anyway, I have a question concerning Alfred's. On the bottom of page 54 it says

"You are now ready to begin GREATEST HITS, Level 1"

What is this "Greatest Hits, Level 1"?
MULLY
Hi Mully,

I think this is the book that they mean:

Greatest Hits Book 1:
http://www.alfred.com/alfredweb/front/ProductDetail.aspx?itemnum=16505&pubnum=0

Book & CD:
http://www.alfred.com/alfredweb/front/ProductDetail.aspx?itemnum=19695&pubnum=0


[Linked Image]

And for level 2:

Greatest Hits Book 2:
http://www.alfred.com/alfredweb/front/ProductDetail.aspx?itemnum=16506&pubnum=0

Book &CD:
http://www.alfred.com/alfredweb/front/ProductDetail.aspx?itemnum=19696&pubnum=0

[Linked Image]

Have fun,

Pyamaha


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#1070681 - 02/04/08 09:28 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Thanks for such a quick reply. Wow, there isn't a tune in there that I don't know and I'd like to be able to play all of them. Now I'm really excited about getting up past page 54. hehe!! I'm still working on Jingle Bells. Not getting a lot of practice time in but I am playing a bit every day.
MULLY

#1070682 - 02/05/08 11:00 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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As others have done, I find myself working on a range of pieces and exercises. I am comfortable enough with Jingle Bells to move on to other things, but not so comfortable that I am done with it. So I will continue on it, getting smoother, while I work on the next few pages.

The C-G7 chord change, in particular, is giving me a little trouble. Nothing that some practice can't cure, I am sure, but moving from C to G7 and back again to C with the left hand requires quite a bit of concentration for me.

I really like the "Coming Home" melody from Dvorak's #9, btw. Nice tune.


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Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/
#1070683 - 02/05/08 11:50 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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I’m nearing the end of my time with Book One now, but throughout the process I too have found that “one piece is never enough”. I simply can’t just keep working on one piece until it’s “finished” and then move on to the next. I like to have a few pieces in progress so I can work on one, then get a change of pace by moving on (or rather back) to another.

I like to have one “new piece” that I’m just learning, and few earlier pieces that I’m “almost done with, but not quite”. As I made my way further and further into the book, I would also set aside one day a week to go back through all of the previous pieces. It’s a great boost to one’s self esteem when they find that a piece that once gave them trouble is now “a piece of cake”.

But that’s just me; your mileage may vary.


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#1070684 - 02/06/08 01:08 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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I got the All-In-One Book 1 today, so maybe it's a little late for this question, but:

Has it been discussed whether these adult books, with the emphasis on chords, are superior or inferior to the methods that are used for kids? I can't help but wonder if the book's goal is to get adults playing better-sounding music faster (with chords), then is it skipping through the foundation type stuff that's necessary for a real mastery of piano and hard classical music?

I'm 25 so I'd like to think I could still become pretty good and don't want to decrease my potential somehow. Though I do realize that in the piano world, 25 is old to be starting.

Anyway I'm excited! And glad to find this forum. There seem to be a lot of great people here.

#1070685 - 02/06/08 04:42 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Hi Apollo, welcome aboard! I'm a complete beginner so I can't answer with any authority but it's my feeling that it depends on what you want to play.

I read on these forums that if you absolutely, definitely are only interested in playing classical then you might be better off with a specialist clisscal method book. I don't see why studying a method like Alfred's shouldn't be used as a stepping stone to that path though, provided it teaches correct technique I would think it would offer a solid foundation to base your classical studies on?

My guess would be that the majority of adult beginners are interested in playing a range of music though and this kind of method suits that best. For instance I really want to play Blues but I'd also like to play some Classical/Baroque and some Popular/Rock .

Incidentally, I suspect that the widespread idea that if you are really serious about Piano (Violin, Flute, whatever) you have to study Classical music to really master the instrument is incorrect. I doubt that a Piano maestro of the Classical world would necessarily be a great (or even mediocre?) Jazz or Blues pianist any more than the other way around?


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#1070686 - 02/06/08 04:45 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Well, yes they get into the chords fairly quickly but most of the early stuff works stuff in both hands (several pieces get rewritten to make them easy to switch the melody over to the left hand) which is good so your left hand doesn't always get stuck in chord mode.

Chords are a great way to make the early fairly simple music sound better at least. I've not seen book two yet but you also need to look at the goal of this series. They're going to take advantage that this is an adult basic starting book and we've got full sized hands to be able to play some chords right off the bat. They are also looking for people to get some of the other materials they offer like the greatest hits and the rock/jazz books. I'm sure those are fairly chord heavy as well.

It may not be the best and it is certainly not the only teaching book out there but it gets a lot of us started and making some progress and that's what counts in the end I think.


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#1070687 - 02/06/08 11:23 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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BazC: Thanks for the welcome. I also figured it can't hurt to learn chords early... you just might have a little trouble with more contrapuntal music later (hopefully I used that correctly). Nothing that couldn't be learned.

AnthonyB: I hadn't even considered the different hand size aspect! That makes sense. When you say this might not be the best, do you have anything else in mind? I like the best smile .

#1070688 - 02/06/08 06:43 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Welcome, apollo, and thanks for asking this question. I am 39, and just started with Alfred's a week ago. It is my goal to play classic pieces. I am much more interested in this than pretty much anything else, but didn't really think about whether there would be a better first book. So if anyone else wants to chime in on this question, please do so.

Is there an Alfred's Classical Book I should track down? Or would that be a progression to take, say, after successfully completing book three? (Which should take a minimum of a couple years, based on the experiences of others I am seeing in this forum...)

To be sure, I have my hands more than full with "When the saints go marching in" right now...


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Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
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#1070689 - 02/06/08 06:50 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Quote
Originally posted by turleyfan:
Welcome, apollo, and thanks for asking this question. I am 39, and just started with Alfred's a week ago. It is my goal to play classic pieces. I am much more interested in this than pretty much anything else, but didn't really think about whether there would be a better first book. So if anyone else wants to chime in on this question, please do so.

Is there an Alfred's Classical Book I should track down? Or would that be a progression to take, say, after successfully completing book three? (Which should take a minimum of a couple years, based on the experiences of others I am seeing in this forum...)

To be sure, I have my hands more than full with "When the saints go marching in" right now...
Alfred book 3 in the "Ambitious" section at the end of the book is the following:

Prelude in major C
Trumpet tune...ie Wedding March
Toccata in D minor
Fur Elise
Prelude in A major
Moonlight Sonata

These are full versions...

#1070690 - 02/06/08 11:12 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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SHPiano Offline
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S.Central Texas
Quote
Originally posted by turleyfan:
Welcome, apollo, and thanks for asking this question. I am 39, and just started with Alfred's a week ago. It is my goal to play classic pieces. I am much more interested in this than pretty much anything else, but didn't really think about whether there would be a better first book. So if anyone else wants to chime in on this question, please do so.

Is there an Alfred's Classical Book I should track down? Or would that be a progression to take, say, after successfully completing book three? (Which should take a minimum of a couple years, based on the experiences of others I am seeing in this forum...)

To be sure, I have my hands more than full with "When the saints go marching in" right now...
I just turned 42 on Monday. I started with Alfred's back in October and I'm currently working on "Amazing Grace" while putting the polish on "The Entertainer." Like you I'm primarily interested in "classical" music defined broadly to include baroque, classical, romantic, 20th century and some modern classical. My dream is to play Debussy well.

As a diversion to Alfred's I learned one of the Minuets from the A.M. Bach Notebook. (Although it seems quite simple it's actually quite a bit more challenging than even the later stuff in the first Alfred's book.) It's a terrific pedagogical piece and fun too!

I'm trying to decide if I'll continue on with Alfred's book 2 or not. I think the Alfred's course is great and it definitely teaches on a reasonable gradient. On the other hand, there are only a handful of songs (from the first book at least) that I really like. If I don't continue to book 2 I will probably proceed by selecting pieces with the help of my teacher.

My kids are learning by the Suzuki method which is all classical music. In fact, the Minuet I learned is in the second Suzuki book. So those books are probably good from a repertoire standpoint. However, with Suzuki you really have to have a teacher.

In any case, good luck with your learning. If you have half as much fun as I've been having, you're in for a real treat.


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#1070691 - 02/07/08 12:06 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Middle England
Alfred's All-in-One inc. CD on eBay UK.

#1070692 - 02/07/08 12:29 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Quote
Originally posted by SHPiano:
I just turned 42 on Monday. I started with Alfred's back in October and I'm currently working on "Amazing Grace" while putting the polish on "The Entertainer." Like you I'm primarily interested in "classical" music defined broadly to include baroque, classical, romantic, 20th century and some modern classical. My dream is to play Debussy well.

As a diversion to Alfred's I learned one of the Minuets from the A.M. Bach Notebook. (Although it seems quite simple it's actually quite a bit more challenging than even the later stuff in the first Alfred's book.) It's a terrific pedagogical piece and fun too!

I'm trying to decide if I'll continue on with Alfred's book 2 or not. I think the Alfred's course is great and it definitely teaches on a reasonable gradient. On the other hand, there are only a handful of songs (from the first book at least) that I really like. If I don't continue to book 2 I will probably proceed by selecting pieces with the help of my teacher.

My kids are learning by the Suzuki method which is all classical music. In fact, the Minuet I learned is in the second Suzuki book. So those books are probably good from a repertoire standpoint. However, with Suzuki you really have to have a teacher.

In any case, good luck with your learning. If you have half as much fun as I've been having, you're in for a real treat.
Ok, a couple things. First, happy birthday. Second, am I reading that right? You have five pianos? How do you decide which to play (setting aside the fact that one of them is not playable)?

Third, wow, four months through the book, that is very impressive. Congratulations on completing it. You may have mentioned this before, but are / were you going through the book with a teacher, or on your own? Reason I ask is your final statement, in which you say you've had a great deal of fun. This despite your earlier statement that you haven't really cared so much for the pieces in the book. This suggests to me that either you have supplemented Alfred's with more interesting pieces (like the Bach Minuet, for example) and / or you have a teacher who has made it interesting for you.

Like many others in this thread, I am, so far, undergoing this without a teacher. And so far (heck, it's only been a month, and I have only had the book for a little while) my progress is fine. A couple of the songs have been mildly interesting... earlier, I expressed a fondness for the Going Home melody from Dvorak's New World Symphony, for example. But a lot of the pieces appear to me to be exercises to be endured, or milestones to be achieved. At this point, it's not drudgery by any means, but given that I too want to play classical music well some day, I want to make sure that the process remains both interesting and useful in the meantime. So I am interested in how you have kept it fun.

Last question... and I apologize for a couple of these being off-topic. Did you start your daughter in Suzuki from the very beginning, or did she sort of graduate to it from another method / teacher?


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Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/
#1070693 - 02/07/08 09:15 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Well, my Alfred's All-in-one book came today, and in peeking through it I can see that after the first few pages it's MUCH harder than the kids' book that I was working with. I'm going to take it one page at a time and hope it sinks in. I do like the songs better than the ones I've been working with - actually, most of the lessons in the Bastien primer book don't qualify as songs - just a couple of lines of notes with cute lyrics made up specially for that lesson. If the Alfred's works out I can give the other one back to my grandkids.


mom3gram

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#1070694 - 02/07/08 10:10 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Quote
Originally posted by mom3gram:
Well, my Alfred's All-in-one book came today, and in peeking through it I can see that after the first few pages it's MUCH harder than the kids' book that I was working with. I'm going to take it one page at a time and hope it sinks in. I do like the songs better than the ones I've been working with - actually, most of the lessons in the Bastien primer book don't qualify as songs - just a couple of lines of notes with cute lyrics made up specially for that lesson. If the Alfred's works out I can give the other one back to my grandkids.
This was EXACTLY what happened with me. And I can tell you that after, what, less than a week with my Alfred's book, I can't believe the difficulty I had with some of the pieces in my daughter's pre-beginner Schaum book. But alas, I DID have trouble with a few of those, so that's progress, huh?


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Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/
#1070695 - 02/08/08 04:07 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Take it slowly and you'll get it! One day you'll wake up and what seemed impossible yesterday suddenly seems a lot easier and more enjoyable.

Just take your time and have fun! laugh

If you're having difficulty with something specific ask about it here, someone can probably help!


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#1070696 - 02/08/08 10:18 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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I worked my way up to Jingle Bells tonight. :-) It's not the greatest arrangement of Jingle Bells I've ever heard - but it's my version at the moment.

I actually GET the concept of melodic and harmonic intervals, and 2nds, 3rds, 4ths and 5ths. That's not to say that I recognize them when I see them. If it weren't for the finger numbers they gave me for the harmonics it would probably take me a good 5 or 6 seconds to figure out each one note/finger by note/finger. Will practice a few more times before moving on.

I also entertained myself with a few of the Christmas songs in the Bastien Christmas Primer. I like these because I can actually play them correctly (most of the time) and at speed.


mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE
Faber Adult PA Bk. 1 Graduate
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#1070697 - 02/09/08 02:48 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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I just listened to a few tracks on the CD that accompanied my Alfred's All-in-one. Yikes! I thought that the complaints about poor quality must be exaggerations. Well, they are not. I can't believe how awful it sounds. I am currently playing on a relatively inexpensive keyboard, but if you took my keyboard and put in in a plastic bag and played in underwater it would sound better than this CD.

But, I suppose that it might still give me some hint as to what I am going for in any music that I am not familiar with.

Back to Jingle Bells. :-)


mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE
Faber Adult PA Bk. 1 Graduate
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#1070698 - 02/09/08 06:21 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Keep it up, mom! It took me a good three days to get comfortable with Jingle Bells. As I mentioned earlier, it required a greater degree of RH / LH cooperation than was required from my daughter's book. That's what held me up.


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Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/
#1070699 - 02/09/08 06:55 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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I remember it took me a while to get Jingle Bells down, but once I did I was prepared for the next several songs. I like the way Alfred’s builds you up a little at a time. It is a great confidence builder when you can finally play a new song that has been challenging you.

My problem now is with Blow the Man Down and Lone Star Waltz. I can't seem to make them flow. I have been working on them for a couple of weeks and I am hoping for that moment when I finally 'get it'. Have others had problems with them?

Thanks, and keep practicing.

#1070700 - 02/09/08 07:12 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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You guys are impressing me. I never spent less than a week or two on every page.

Mark, Blow the Man Down gave me fits until I started to play the LH like a pirate lifting his glass in the tavern movies (you know, punching the beats in the air, swaying back and forth).

Lone Star Waltz was OK, but not one of my favorites.

In both songs, think "OMPH Pah Pah", the standard 3/4 curse. It's hard to hear a waltz without the "OMPH Pah Pah" kicking in....


"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro
#1070701 - 02/09/08 07:15 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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I'm currently simul-tasking three songs. I'm finishing up Cafe Vienna and focusing on mastering Lullaby and Joy to the World.


Uncle Mark:
Blow the Man Down is a milestone accomplishment, in my opinion. That is the first song that really stumped me for awhile until I found the way to play it.

When I played it, I realized that the left hand was overshadowing the right hand by high volume, so I learned to play the left hand softer while the right hand play more confidently and takes the spotlight and make the melody sing.

#1070702 - 02/09/08 08:41 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
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Posts: 674
Chicago
Quote
Originally posted by gmm1:
You guys are impressing me. I never spent less than a week or two on every page.
Oh, heavens, I think my family would have nailed the piano shut had I spent a week on Jingle Bells. I must admit, I am going through the book more quickly than I thought, but that's because the progression seems, to me, very incremental. I'm still working on "When the Saints... "(this would be about day 3 or 4); it still isn't totally smooth, especially when I need to throw in that one F chord (I think it's an F chord... the book is upstairs). But some of the pieces on the pages that follow are really not that difficult, and I am already pleased with how they sound.

I think Saints will take another couple of days.


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Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/
#1070703 - 02/09/08 08:46 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,674
gmm1 Offline
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gmm1  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,674
Spokane WA
Quote
Originally posted by turleyfan:
Oh, heavens, I think my family would have nailed the piano shut had I spent a week on Jingle Bells.
Hmmm. Maybe that's why I have been relagated to the basement.....

Makes sense, now.....


"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro
#1070704 - 02/09/08 09:25 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,442
mom3gram Offline
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mom3gram  Offline
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Posts: 1,442
New Jersey
That made me laugh out loud, Turleyfan.

My adult son, who lives with me, (and whose 4th and 5th grade trombone practice I very patiently listened to years ago) bought me headphones so he wouldn't have to listen to me play. That's gratitude for you!


mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE
Faber Adult PA Bk. 1 Graduate
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#1070705 - 02/10/08 09:44 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 670
crusadar Offline
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crusadar  Offline
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Posts: 670
Middle England
Quote
I just listened to a few tracks on the CD that accompanied my Alfred's All-in-one. Yikes! I thought that the complaints about poor quality must be exaggerations. Well, they are not. I can't believe how awful it sounds. I am currently playing on a relatively inexpensive keyboard, but if you took my keyboard and put in in a plastic bag and played in underwater it would sound better than this CD.
Hi mom3gram, I too thought the accompanying CD's sounded poor until I discovered they are recorded in stereo, one side plays the part as in the book and the other side an accompaniment, not in the book, both sides still sound electric pianoish but help with understanding how the songs go.

#1070706 - 02/10/08 11:27 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 711
BazC Offline
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BazC  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 711
Cambridgeshire, UK
Yup, I'm fighting with Blow the Man Down at the moment too. Supplementing with some Blues from Tim Richards, Improvising Blues Piano, Bach's Minuet in G (just the first part) and Fur Elise (Just the first part lol)

Not sure if I'd do better to concentrate more on one thing or not. It keeps me intested though!


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Korg SP200, Pianoteq
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