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Thanks for the good wishes. Because it's a crack, not a clean break, and close to the elbow, there never was a cast - just a splint for the first few days, then a sling & a wrist support (because I did some sort of trauma to my wrist, too). They don't put elbows in a cast because it'll freeze up if they do. I did it 4 weeks ago, & have had 5 physio treatments to keep it from stiffening up too much, although it had gotten pretty stiff in the 6 days before I had the first physio. I'm now using it quite a bit, but any kind of fine finger movements (writing, typing, etc) & the tendons start to scream. Even that's getting better though - went for Chinese tonight & was able to use chopsticks with no protest from any tendons - couldn't do that a week ago.
I still have to type with my LH though.

mom3, I do want to relearn La Bamba - it made no musical sense at first but by the time I'd got it figured out I'd gotten to like it a lot. & I think it's good practice for learning syncopation.

Nguyen, maybe I should take another listen to the Book 2 CD - I played a bit of it & thought it was awful, haven't listened to it since.


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Had some initial trouble with the Hokey Pokey... specifically, I was unable to play staccato in the LH but not the right. In my lesson yesterday, my teacher pointed out that the difference between the two hands need not be significant. In fact, if I just think staccato with both hands, exception the slurs, I'd come pretty close to what the music calls for. So I did, and it works.

Not well enough to make a recording of it, mind you, but it's much better.


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I haven't even gotten good at loud and soft in different hands, and now you are telling me that I will have to play staccato in one and legato in the other? LOL!

Still screwing up "Light and Blue", "Morning Has Broken", "Hungarian Rhapsody" and "Alexander's Ragtime Band". Some days I can play them and sound almost decent, other days you would think it was my first time at the piano. Sigh! Right now I'm spending a big chunk of my practice time on two measures on the second page of "Alexander's". My brain gets it, but my fingers are just refusing to cooperate.


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Originally Posted by mom3gram
I haven't even gotten good at loud and soft in different hands, and now you are telling me that I will have to play staccato in one and legato in the other? LOL!
Hmmm... I thought that's what "Theme from the Overture" is. LH staccato, RH both staccato & legato.

LF: Phu`m_cha't_cha't_cha't__Phu`m_cha't_cha't_cha't (Stac.)
RH: Te`___te___te____te'____te'____te`__te'__te (Stac. & leg).

Taking me forever to get the Stac. & the Leg. right. I'm just about to flip the page... maybe by this weekend. laugh

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Aha! I forgot about that one. It seemed to work for me in that one, at least most of the time.


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Hungarian Rhapsody has both, too - RH is mostly staccato, LH isn't.


Carol
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Also, I looked at Canon at the end of the book and I must say that it appears intimidating. For those who have already learned the piece, is it a good arrangement of Canon?


My teacher hates Canon being re-arranged in C. It was written in D after all. That's my teacher. Canon in D is what got me wanting to play piano years ago. A girl played in my daughter's piano recital. I started piano about 5 yrs later. Now I realize that some musicians (my daughter is a serious musician) hate this piece. I guess they think it's overdone. My daughter won't have it at her wedding even though I've begged her. (wedding theoritical only)

Kim


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I love Canon in D also, and yes, even the arrangement in the AIO book looks intimidating to me. It's going to take me a LONG time to get there, but by that time I'm hoping that I can do it justice.

Yesterday my practice was absolutely horrible. I had been doing reasonably well up until then. I think the problem started when I was at my friend's house, and she asked me how my "Light and Blue" was coming along. I offered to play it for her on her keyboard. When I first started playing we bought 61 key Yamaha keyboards together. I upgraded last year to a full size digital piano with weighted keys. I couldn't play her keyboard. The keys are too small, I was stitting too high, the music was on a stand behind her keyboard and was also too high, and the touch was very different. All of this made me so disoriented that it was like I had never put my hands on a piano/keyboard before. I wasn't even sure where the notes were. I totally bungled "Light and Blue" and everything else that I tried. This carried over to my practice at home later. I just got worse and worse, and very frustrated. I did a short practice this morning and was pretty much just as bad. I know what to do. I will just pick out some easier pieces that I can play well and get my brain and fingers in sync again. Sigh! Sometimes it's one step forward and TWO steps back. LOL


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Then the next day, it's 3 steps back 4 steps forward? laugh

Perhaps you haven't played much in front of people mom? That's how I was the first time I played for my teacher. Fingers didn't move, eyes couldn't locate where notes were.

If you play for your friends often, you'll get better.

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You are right, I haven't played much in front of people. My friend knew how to read music, and had experience playing the accordion when we started learning piano together. So she had a little bit of a head start. But she still tinkers with her keyboard and the EZ-Play Today books which have one finger chords and letters inside the notes. She does have the Alfred AIO Book 2 (she thought Book 1 would be too easy????). So I had showed her "Light and Blue" when I first started it, and told her how hard it was. When she asked me how it was going yesterday, I wanted to show her how much I've improved. Hah! So it was partly overconfidence (that's gone now), partly nerves, but also very much not being able to deal with the "toy" keyboard after playing the real thing. I don't think I will offer to play her keyboard again any time soon. LOL


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Still working on "Alexander's Ragtime Band". I can play it straight through, but there's always a mistake or two or three. If it's a frequent mistake, I work on just that part until I iron out the mistake, but then another one pops up somewhere else. Still, it's coming along and sounding not bad. I'm going to keep this one in my "repertoire" for now.

As an aside, I'm also enjoying playing pieces from the "Pop Songbook" and the "Greatest Hits" books. I was not ready for them when my Book 1 said I was, but I can pick the pieces up with just a little work now, and they sound so much better than the lesson pieces. I guess that I'm treating them as a "graduation book".

OT: As I type this I am listening - not to piano - but to
"The Very Best of James Galway".


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Okay, where is everyone? I feel like I'm posting by myself. LOL

I started "Theme From Solace" yesterday - just the first 4 measures. It seems really hard. I think it's the rhythm/timing thing again. Any hints or advice?

I dropped "Light and Blue" and "Hungarian" - they are as good as they are going to get and I'm bored with them. Still working on "Alexanders". Some days it's fine, others it's awful. Today has been one of the good days. BTW, in the last line, "come on and HEAR", the F# in the LH sounds terrible. I've tried being more careful how I press the keys, but I really like it better with a F natural. Anyone else feel this way?

And OMG! I just noticed that "La Bamba" is next. I actually used to like this song when I was about 16 years old. So I don't want to just skip over it, but I've heard all the talk about how hard it is, and how bad it sounds, and how so many people either skipped it or gave up without perfecting it. I guess I will just see how it goes when I get there.


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Hi mom3,
I'm still lurking here, & still waiting for my arm/wrist to repair itself. I've started playing about 10 minutes a day - the first day, my wrist hurt for the rest of the evening (may have also been because the physio was apparently trying to twist my hand off that morning!) The next 2 days, it hurt right afterward, but stopped hurting almost immediately - this seems like progress to me. Unfortunately, last night I went to a concert & made the mistake of applauding.

Solace was hard (heck, almost everything in book 2 has been hard!) but I liked it SO much, I kept at it & eventually got it. I listened to about 4 different versions of it over & over during the time I was learning it (signed them out of the library), & I think that helped me understand the timing. Also, if you can count really carefully, it might help. It was the last 5 bars that gave me the most trouble. (Just played it again, & I haven't forgotten as much as I thought I had - a couple of false starts & then I guess the muscle memory kicked in. laugh )

La Bamba I found really difficult. That was the one where I had it slowed down so far I was counting the "ands." & my teacher gently reminded me that "rests are important, too, you know." But I eventually got it - had just got it up to tempo when I mangled my arm! - & it was starting to be fun. It seemed to me like an important one to learn because the timing is so tricky.

I like the F# in Alexander's - it's sounds kind of like a stepping stone, or maybe a yellow light that sets you up for the ending.

The ones after La Bamba got a bit boring, although I liked the Tarantella, but the next 3 after that I had just started working on & really liked. Probably be a couple of weeks before I can get back to anything like a regular practice routine, but at least I can see the light at the end of this tunnel.


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Ouch! I'm sorry that your wrist/arm injury is preventing you from practicing as much you would like. Take it real easy - you don't want to re-injure yourself. I know what you mean about the phys. therapist twisting your hand off. I had rotator cuff surgery a couple of years ago, and I had to concentrate on not screaming in therapy. Luckily this was before I started piano, but my other shoulder has been really hurting lately, and I'm trying to do all the exercises that I did in rehab hoping to head off trouble.

As for Solace, I wrote the counts in for the first few lines, but I haven't gotten the notes down well enough to count with them yet. I agree with you that all the Book 2 pieces are hard - for me anyway. I see that there are people here who have looked for more challenging pieces but to me these are challenge enough. LOL Good idea about listening to several versions to get a feel for it.

I'm not going to worry about La Bamba yet. No point in fretting about it until I get Solace going reasonably well. It looks like that could take a while.


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Just keep going. There's better, more interesting stuff (IMHO) coming down the line. I'm working on Battle Hymn of the Republic. The Chopin Etude and Musetta's theme are pretty cool.

Keep on keepin' on.


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Guantanamera is hurting my right wrist so I didn't practice it much this week. I am sure it's something I am doing wrong although my husband immediately asked if it were carpal tunnel but I haven't been playing THAT much.

How is everyone else doing?

Kim in IL

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I can't give you any advice for the wrist pain, Kim, except to mention it to your teacher. I sometimes get wrist/thumb pain when I play..er..work on the computer too long.

I see in your signature that you are currently "fighting with Guantanamera". That about sums up my aquaintance with that piece too. It was definitely a fight. You will get it though. I'm really a slow study, so if I can get it anyone can.

I'm still trying to perfect Alexander's Ragtime Band, and working on the first couple of measures of Solace, and also doing a few review pages from Book 1 every day.

Jrcallan, Battle Hymn sounds like fun, and I can't wait until I get to the Chopin. I love that piece.


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Too busy with work and life mom. I've only been able to check in here once or twice the last 2 weeks. I haven't touched Alfred much. If this keeps up, I probably will drop Alfred. I hardly have time for PA these days.

Will try to check in once in awhile to see how you all are doing though.

Happy practice.

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I see in your signature that you are currently "fighting with Guantanamera". That about sums up my aquaintance with that piece too. It was definitely a fight. You will get it though. I'm really a slow study, so if I can get it anyone can.


My teacher watched me play it and corrected my technique; I was holding my hand wrong.

Thanks for the encouragement. I am working on some supplemental material this week AND I have a migraine so I don't know how much I'm going to get done.

Kim in IL


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Hey all,
I've been playing for a few months and reading this forum, and been enjoying the general piano talk. I didn't do Alfred's book one - I did the eMedia computer program for beginners, which I don't think was quite as comprehensive (it didn't cover the minor scales), but it taught me enough that I've been able to work out the new stuff in Book 2 on my own. I've been finding the difficulty of the pieces in the book quite uneven, in that I never really got a great La Bamba, but Scherzo came really easily and now Introduction and Dance is a struggle. I don't have anything much to say beyond that; and hello, and I'm glad all of you are around so I don't feel so on my own.

Thanks,
P

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