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#2170885 - 10/23/13 10:11 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Moonraker]  
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Originally Posted by Moonraker
I finished A3 in July and am going slowly through Masterworks Classics 3 and the Kenneth Baker Complete Piano Player series. So much to learn....

I just received Masterworks Classics 3 in the post, but since I am just beginning Alfred's book 2, is this too difficult? Should I have got Masterworks Classics 1-2 first?


1978 Dittrich Acoustic Upright
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#2170938 - 10/24/13 12:12 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Johnny D]  
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Originally Posted by Johnny D
Originally Posted by Moonraker
I finished A3 in July and am going slowly through Masterworks Classics 3 and the Kenneth Baker Complete Piano Player series. So much to learn....

I just received Masterworks Classics 3 in the post, but since I am just beginning Alfred's book 2, is this too difficult? Should I have got Masterworks Classics 1-2 first?


I don't have the book in question but looked at a couple of the pieces and thought they should not be overly challenging. However this is very subjective and depends entirely on yourself. Why not try out a few of the pieces and find out. There is no harm in trying more advanced pieces as long as you continue making good progress.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2170955 - 10/24/13 12:43 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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I just thought I'd ask you people. Not sure if I'll even follow your advise. Doh!
I'm nearing the end of Alfred's all in one adult course.
From your experience. Choosing Alfred's. Would you go all in one on second book, or change to basic. From what I've seen of it. The all in one does a good job of reviewing book one and proceeding.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2171025 - 10/24/13 04:49 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Johnny D]  
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Johnny,
It depends on so many things - your natural ability, how you feel about your playing, what standards you set yourself etc.

I find that Masterworks Classics is different from Alfred's. There is less emphasis on chords and more on hand independence. I decided that I wanted to start at MC 1/2, even if it was so easy that I was using it just for sight-reading practice. That wasn't the case, though. The pieces are technically quite easy but I found myself always wanting to improve the dynamics/tempo but never getting it to sound as good as the CD. That CD is so much more inspiring than the one that came with the Alfred's course!

As far as keys and rhythms go, I don't think there's much you couldn't play in MC Level 3 - the keys tend to be C Major and F Major, mostly. There are 16th notes but not scary bunches of them. No 32nd notes that I can recall. The main problems, for me, are with coordination and reproducing the rhythm accurately.

rnaple: Why do you want to change to the Basic Alfred's course?

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#2171034 - 10/24/13 05:52 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: rnaple]  
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Originally Posted by rnaple
I just thought I'd ask you people. Not sure if I'll even follow your advise. Doh!
I'm nearing the end of Alfred's all in one adult course.
From your experience. Choosing Alfred's. Would you go all in one on second book, or change to basic. From what I've seen of it. The all in one does a good job of reviewing book one and proceeding.


rnaple, the all in one book 2 builds from book 1 but goes much further. The pieces are longer and more new technical challenges are there to keep you pulling your hair out. Of course being an All in One book it also has plenty of theory. As a lot of people have commented some of the material is not awe inspiring but I still think it is a good book and method.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2171081 - 10/24/13 08:01 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: rnaple]  
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Originally Posted by rnaple
Choosing Alfred's. Would you go all in one on second book, or change to basic. From what I've seen of it. The all in one does a good job of reviewing book one and proceeding.
I am curious why you are thinking of changing to the basic version. Is there something in the basic version that is lacking in the All-in-One series? And what does your teacher recommend?

If you continue with Alfred's, I think the way to go is with All-in-One Book 2. I am finding that learning theory is important, and fun too. As I have recently learned, there are so many directions you can take after Book 1.

Are you working on material, exercises or supplemental pieces, in addition to Alfred's?


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq Standard

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#2171234 - 10/24/13 12:21 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Moonraker]  
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
I looked at a couple of the pieces and thought they should not be overly challenging.

Both books appear to be on about the same level. For example, both books include Bourlesq by Leopold Mozart.

Originally Posted by Moonraker
I find that Masterworks Classics is different from Alfred's. There is less emphasis on chords and more on hand independence. I decided that I wanted to start at MC 1/2, even if it was so easy that I was using it just for sight-reading practice. That wasn't the case, though. The pieces are technically quite easy but I found myself always wanting to improve the dynamics/tempo but never getting it to sound as good as the CD. That CD is so much more inspiring than the one that came with the Alfred's course!

Thanks for your input. I think I'll go and order the Masterwork Classics 1-2 book.

I haven't listened to the CD for Masterwork Classics level 3 yet, but it sounds interesting that it isn't the hokey type music from Alfred's.

Late last night, I tried playing the first song, Petit Rondo. It didn't seem too difficult except for those eighth notes with the left hand, and they shouldn't be that difficult either. It just needed a bit more effort, and I didn't have the time.


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#2171246 - 10/24/13 12:37 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Moonraker]  
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Originally Posted by Moonraker
I find that Masterworks Classics is different from Alfred's. There is less emphasis on chords and more on hand independence. I decided that I wanted to start at MC 1/2, even if it was so easy that I was using it just for sight-reading practice. That wasn't the case, though. The pieces are technically quite easy but I found myself always wanting to improve the dynamics/tempo but never getting it to sound as good as the CD. That CD is so much more inspiring than the one that came with the Alfred's course!
I completely agree!



Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq Standard

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. Willy Wonka


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#2171356 - 10/24/13 04:12 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: scorpio]  
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Originally Posted by scorpio
I am curious why you are thinking of changing to the basic version. Is there something in the basic version that is lacking in the All-in-One series?

Are you working on material, exercises or supplemental pieces, in addition to Alfred's?


I'm simply coming to the end of my book one. Keeping an open mind for alternatives.

The basic has separate technique and theory books. Appears to be more involved and in depth with theory?

I am working on two other songs besides Alfred's. Exercises are held within Alfred's only for now. Would be on other material. Theory books, etc. But right now working on two hands is taking up a ton of time.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2172623 - 10/27/13 05:12 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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Just gonna use this thread for some venting..

Currently "Alexander's Ragtime Band", "Theme from Solace" and "La Bamba" is slaughtering me (why is syncopation so hard?). These probably exceed the difficulty of Book 1's final pieces, except being somewhat shorter in length and all 3 one another is definitely a challenge. I feel like I am back to "Blow the Man Down" days, only now it's on steroids and has his crew from the gym with him XD

As much as I like Alfred's I think it overdoes at times. Like why 3-4 similar syncopation galore pieces one another? Or the part with 2-3 hard blues pieces in Book 1 (I see that many people have problems with that part). You can extend these to include parts with spiritual pieces one another or the nothing but Latin tunes section of Book 2. The popular pieces section at the end of Book 1 isn't quite varied as well. I like the selection of pieces in these books but maybe they have to be arranged a little better. (Unless this is intentional)

Anyway, back to practice.


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#2172628 - 10/27/13 05:39 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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"syncopation is used in virtually all contemporary popular music" - a little quote from wikipedia so little wonder you find three pieces in a row all using it.

While I share your frustration sydnal I have had to come to terms and just admit this is how it is going to be for a long while. As long as the pieces I am learning are new to me with new technical difficulties it is always going to feel hard.

Just popped up to express that now it's back to my current syncopation horror - an intermediate version of The Entertainer (god give me strength)


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2172642 - 10/27/13 06:55 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: sydnal]  
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It's a rollercoaster, sydnal. Go through the pain now and later you'll find some pieces that are ridiculously easy, and go down on your knees to thank Mr. Alfred for giving you a break. IMO, the Alfred version of La Bamba isn't great but maybe it was just my playing. And my piano's a quiet soul, not at its best banging things out.

#2172713 - 10/27/13 10:43 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: sydnal]  
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Originally Posted by sydnal
Just gonna use this thread for some venting..
As much as I like Alfred's I think it overdoes at times. ... I like the selection of pieces in these books but maybe they have to be arranged a little better. (Unless this is intentional)


I'm still in Book One. I do know that there is very much a method to Alfred's madness. The primary purpose of each song is not to please you musically. They are written specifically to teach you something. Are you getting what those songs are teaching you?

EDIT: The more I read this thread. The more I think I'm answering my own question. I think it was perhaps wanting more theory involved. I have that on the side already. But I've been so hung up getting both hands to play. I haven't had time for my extra theory study. The amount of Theory in the All in One is enough for now.

Last edited by rnaple; 10/27/13 10:56 AM.

Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2173153 - 10/28/13 11:47 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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I'm currently working on Chopin Etude Op 10 No 3, Polovetsian Dances and Arkansas Traveller. It's a nice variety. I'm enjoying Polovetsian Dances it's an easy piece but sounds dramatic. Arkansas Traveller seems repetitive - like Mexican Hat Dance. The Chopin number, for me, is the hardest piece in the book so far.

Last edited by Ohio_Mark; 10/28/13 11:48 AM.

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#2173154 - 10/28/13 11:53 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Ohio_Mark]  
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Polovtsian Dances (Stranger in Paradise) is one of my favourites in the Alfred Series. The Chopin too. It takes time but is worth it. Hope you agree.

#2173537 - 10/29/13 04:53 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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@rnaple

I do realize they are there for a purpose for example all these pieces I mention are in F & contain some exotic thumb-unders. (Both were lesson topics before these pieces). And mad syncopations btw how can I forget those XD. But I still think a little variation of genres/styles would help.

As for progress, I have now memorized both Alexander's.. and Solace, Solace is in better shape. Looks like playing Alexander's... close to the tempo in the cd will be a challenge.


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#2173575 - 10/29/13 07:31 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: sydnal]  
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Sydnal - Why don't you get another piano book with some simpler tunes like Masterwork Classics 1-2 , and use that to work alongside of Alfred's. That way you can work on a relatively hard piece on Alfred's and an easy one or two from the Masterwork Classics instead of doing 3 relatively difficult pieces from Alfred's at once.

Suzuki Vol. 1 might be another book to consider for some easier yet beneficial companion material to Alfred's although it's a bit more expensive with the CD and half of the pieces are probably too easy. It has a few very easy children's songs but also some more difficult ones in the second half of the book. My kid is taking lessons with that book, and sometimes I like to play the songs she is learning to mix it up a bit, to have something easier to play, and to learn what she is playing so I can help her practice.


Edit: Sydnal - I'm sure you could handle Masterwork Classics 3 or Suzuki Volume 2 if you wanted something more challenging than cruising through most of Masterwork Classics 1/2 or Suzuki Volume 1. It's just that it might be good to get a base in those series of piano books rather than just starting with the 2nd book.

Last edited by Johnny D; 10/29/13 12:59 PM.

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#2173581 - 10/29/13 07:45 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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I agree with Johnny D. Working out of a second book along with Alfred's is a good idea. The second book does not have to be "classical", there are so many options available.


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq Standard

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. Willy Wonka


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#2173642 - 10/29/13 10:06 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: scorpio]  
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Yes, I agree. I have a "hard" book and a "not quite so hard" book and I work on up to 3 pieces from each at any one time. One is classical and the other is mainly pop. That way, I have plenty of variety & I make small, but tangible, progress of some sort most days. You have to keep good records of your practice sessions, though, or you give yourself a headache trying to remember where you are.

#2173738 - 10/29/13 01:16 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: earlofmar]  
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
Just popped up to express that now it's back to my current syncopation horror - an intermediate version of The Entertainer (god give me strength)

Good luck with it. That's a great classic piano song.


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#2176532 - 11/03/13 05:00 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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I thought about supplementing/the second book idea, but I decided against it for now. The problem is I am not a very motivated person, with Alfred's at least I have some notion of tracking my progress. If I was to work on stuff in parallel, even though if I was making progress I might not be able to notice it. So I don't want to dilute it for now, until the end of Book 2 or until I hit a roadblock and need some break.

Luckily though, the Tchaikovsky recital came to my rescue. I will be working on a piece for it so I have some variation!

Also updating with some progress, I recorded Alexander's Ragtime Band tonight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGmhI72HA0Y

The speed was what made it really hard for me and did not help with my tension issues either, oh well..


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#2176580 - 11/03/13 06:27 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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Nicely played sydnal


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2176758 - 11/04/13 05:06 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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Thanks earlofmar.


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#2184316 - 11/18/13 05:01 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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Bumping the thread from abyss with some progress, finally smile

I finished "Theme from Solace".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SqdHWeSLZw

It was difficult for me and took a lot of time. Still struggling with playing La Bamba up to tempo but once it's done it looks like there will be smooth sailing for a few pieces.


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#2184353 - 11/18/13 08:22 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: sydnal]  
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Quote
I finished "Theme from Solace".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SqdHWeSLZw


Very nicely played sydnal. Congratulations. yippie


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#2184357 - 11/18/13 08:35 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: sydnal]  
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sydnal, you did a great job with this one! Very very nice!


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#2184361 - 11/18/13 08:44 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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Thank you very much Ragdoll & Sinophilia.


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#2184391 - 11/18/13 10:03 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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Nice job on "Solace", syndal. You kept a nice steady beat - something that took me forever to get. And I never did get through "La Bamba". I bailed on it after more than a month. Maybe I will go back and try it again some day......Nah! I don't think so.


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#2184418 - 11/18/13 10:51 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]  
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I'm working on Battle Hymn of the Republic, The Riddle and The Magic Piper. Last one I finished was the Chopin Etude - that one took me a few weeks to get through.

Also, Seventh Street Blues, Surfboard Boogie from Jazz, Rags and Blues level 1 and We Gather Together.


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#2185320 - 11/19/13 07:17 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: sydnal]  
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Originally Posted by sydnal
I finished "Theme from Solace".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SqdHWeSLZw

Good job, sydnal.


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Currently on Alfred's 2
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Clementi Sonatina in d major no.6 (WIP)
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