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Well, I'm listening to you, sydnal. Congratulations on getting through the Latin pieces, especially La Bamba. You're quite right - the upcoming pieces are quite challenging but you'll get through them. They're quite satisfying pieces, too.
Keep going!

Last edited by Moonraker; 12/05/13 04:00 AM.
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Originally Posted by sydnal


At this point, it seems like no one is updating or following this thread and it's sort of embarrassing to use it as my personal diary, so I guess I will take a break from posting until there are other contributors. Best of luck to all threadies!


Currently taking a week away from my beloved piano while I attend Australia's longest foot race (240km) as a crew member. So just popped in long enough to say keep up the good work sydnal and do keep posting. Many of us love to hear the progress of others and I wish more would post too. But by posting you may be helping others in ways you do not know. Certainly it stands as a personal and historical record for everyone to share. All the best.


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Syndal, I appreciate your recordings and commentary. And I'm sure that posterity will too. laugh I'm not really joking. Don't underestimate many people pass through these mega-threads over the years, looking for landmarks and benchmarks to gauge their progress (or apparent lack thereof).


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Keep posting, syndal, and in my opinion, the next three pieces weren't anywhere near as difficult as the ones you've just recorded.


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Thanks all once again for the encouragement, I will keep updating with my progress.


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Hi everyone this is my first post as am New here and also to piano. Got myself a Yamaha p105 about a month ago and am currently working through Alfreds all in one book one. Managed blow the man down quite quickly but lullaby took a while, I think because it uses three chords rather than two, next step is on top of old smoky which has the broken chords which seems rather more difficult. Am also working from Carol barratts 'classic piano course' book one. Anyway hi to you all.

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Hi paul1971 and welcome. Alfred's Adult series seems to be quite popular around here, I had started it after finding this forum and seeing the Alfred Book threads. The Book 1 thread is here and it's more active: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1070137. You may want to check it out and introduce yourself there too, best of luck.


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Hi paul1971, welcome to the forum and hopefully to a long and happy time learning the piano. Great to hear your making good progress and we are always happy to listen and watch any recordings should you wish to submit them. Even if you don't post I think recording yourself at this stage is such a good idea for further down the track you might feel your haven't progressed, or just as a bit of a diary of where you were back when.


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

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Hi all; I have some new progress to report. Finished recording Festive Dance and Scherzo yesterday.

One thing I noticed about the pieces in current pages is that they move to the chords of relative key a lot. (F since the are Dm) Up until this point the left hand would usually play I-IV-V of a single key and the odd chord/run once in a while. These chord changes also result in jumps with both hands (which is hard to execute). I think learning to feel some intervals (like octaves) without looking at ones hands would benefit here, because it's not possible to look at every note for both hands in a jump. Not there yet.

Festive Dance: (Messed up getting faster gradually)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul6OZXNo1kc


Scherzo: (lots of jumps)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzLaaWJzkPk

It's heck at work because of the years end, I can barely get 30-40 minutes of daily practice before I sleep, that's if I'm lucky. So progress will probably go slow till the end of the month. I have memorized Introduction and Dance and Streets of Laredo though and may be able to polish and record them soon.

Good luck to everyone in their practice.


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syndal, nice work on the dynamic and tempo changes in Scherzo.

I received a pass from my teacher on "He's Got the Whole World".
I found that one to be one of the more challenging pieces.
Left/Right independence is tested in this one.

Working on Ballin' the Jack (Week 3), La Donna e Mobile, Frankie and Johnny (week 2).
I have no lessons for the next 3 weeks so I will add "Black is the Color" at some point also - it seems like a nice and easy slower piece (whew).


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Thank you Ohio_Mark. You seem to be advancing in a really good speed, considering the pieces around those pages are probably a lot harder than the beginning.


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As always nice playing sydnal you are making such good progress, seems like yesterday you were just finishing book 1.

Jumps are a bit scary at first and I have read good keyboard orientation isn't something that just happens overnight. People have often advised playing in the dark once in a while to help develop this skill.


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

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Happy new year everyone :-)


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I'm still working my way through this book. I find that as I progress, I start straying from the book. My teacher suggested I start working on scales, so I acquired a scale book and practice whatever scales my current pieces in Alfred's use.

I'm currently up to Rock-a My Soul, but I feel I skimmed past quite a bit (at the instruction of my teacher). Lately, I have been going back and reworking pieces that I didn't feel were up to par. In particular, the videos posted here of the Latin pieces inspired me to revisit those. I had played them until I got "the point", then moved on.

Guantanamera is the first piece I felt required and effort. I had never heard the song, so I had to do some research. I still practice it, and still feel my pedalling if off a bit.

Speaking of pedalling, the last three pieces really seem to focus on it. House of the Rising Sun, Sakura, and Waves of Danube all require fairly precise pedalling to not sound muddy or discordant. This is certainly one aspect I would have not improved upon without a teacher to observe and correct. I would have kept going with poor pedalling.

I feel I am progressing into more technical play as I go. It's no longer just about pressing the correct keys with the correct timing. It's about knowing the key signature and how the notes form chords across both staves and work together to create a pleasing sound.


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@Alux and everyone
Happy new years!

@Daniel
"I find that as I progress, I start straying from the book."
The same happened to me in the last few weeks. Although I had championed following the book strictly in the past, I just couldn't resist dabbling with some other pieces, one such piece I am working on is Petzold/Bach Minuet in G. Well, all I can say is it's different rather than difficult. There is nothing very hard in either hand but combining them together was a mess. Got better over time but I am still struggling with ornaments and playing the whole thing without mistakes.

Also I had hit a roadblock with Alfred's, realized my left hand is severely lacking. I just couldn't manage the left hand scale run smooth in Introduction and Dance and decided to give a break. Pieces like minuet help since they have a busier left hand. I feel I have improved somewhat and will attempt Introduction and Dance again soon.
Good luck to everyone in their practice.


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I "strayed" from the book about a year ago (I think I left off after Divertimento), although I have dipped into it recently to learn "Fascination", which was a piece that I loved back in 8th grade (1958??). I still think this series is great for learning the basics, and I hope to finish at least Book 2 eventually.

Syndal, good luck with Minuet in G. I learned the first section (the one everyone knows) a while back. I also felt that my left hand was weak. I'm working with the Masterwork Classics series now, and the first Snell book, in addition some of the pieces from Alfred's "Pop Songbook" and "Greatest Hits" for fun.


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Originally Posted by sydnal
Petzold/Bach Minuet in G. Well, all I can say is it's different rather than difficult. There is nothing very hard in either hand but combining them together was a mess.
Haha. I said the same thing to my teacher. His reply, "that's Bach for you."


Originally Posted by sydnal
with Alfred's, realized my left hand is severely lacking.
That is why my teacher had me leave Alfred's. I have been working through Suzuki, and that has been a struggle but fun. (well, it was fun until I saw a 6 year old play the entire book, from start to finish, without flaws!)

I have also been working on some pieces in the Masterwork Classics series. In fact, I have been wanting to start a similar thread to this one for both Suzuki and the Masterwork series.


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scorpio - what book are you using from the Masterworks Classics series. I had been looking for something to supplement to Afred books. I am currently playing from Alfred's Jazz Rags and Blues Book 2 which is good but does not have any classical pieces.

I am currently up to "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "Waltz in G Minor" from Alfred 2. On the home stretch only 8 more after these 2.


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Syndal,

Originally Posted by Syndal
There is nothing very hard in either hand but combining them together was a mess. Got better over time but I am still struggling with ornaments and playing the whole thing without mistakes.


Almost everyone is that way with their first Bach (or really any polyphonic piece). The good news is it gets a little easier with each new Bach piece you work on, so don't be discouraged. By the third or fourth one you still won't find it easy, but you will know what you have to do to keep it from being "a mess".


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Originally Posted by Ohio_Mark
scorpio - what book are you using from the Masterworks Classics series.
I am using the Level 3 book. This is a secondary book for me. I have three books that I am working out of with my teacher, and they take priority.

For what it is worth, I have changed (from my Alfred Book 1 days) how I go about each piece. I no longer "polish" before I move on. Once I have the skill down, my teacher moves me on to the next piece/skill. But I continue to work and marinate the pieces to get them up to speed and get them to sound musical. As a result I have not recorded anything since August. In any case it seems to be working out.


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq / Garritan CFX

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


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