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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2303202 07/16/14 11:42 PM
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Andrew, for your recordings, are you saying you chop off the beginning out-takes? If I can do it that way then maybe I can figure out how to edit a recording. It's the repeatedly starting all over again (and again) that made me stop trying.

I was hoping to get "Beautiful Brown Eyes" finished today, but looks like I need to give it another day of practice in order to get it up to tempo.

I took a look at "Good People." That's all. I got no advise for you, sorry. BTW, I also have the Self-Teaching book, and "Good People" is not in it. Makes me wonder why they decided to leave it out.

As for that classical piece you're working on, I saw your post about it in another thread. That song sounds really nice, and I enjoyed watching the video of it. You seem to learn quickly, so maybe you can get it done for this upcoming recital. If not, there's always the next one.


Linda

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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2303277 07/17/14 07:39 AM
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Hi all,
I'm Pete, from Adelaide, Australia.
I'm new to piano, so I'm probably in the right place here.
I'm about half way through my Alfred's basic Adult book one (page 76, Chiapanecas)
Do you guys & gals know if there is much difference between my book & the "all in one " that you are all working from?


Pete R.
Cyclist, Swimmer, and now budding pianist !
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2303299 07/17/14 09:14 AM
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I did it! grin Sort of. At any rate I'm going to move on from 'Good People'. It's frustrated me no end for two days. I wouldn't say I'm its master yet but we have a healthy respect for each other at least. I actually really like the tune but I've played it probably 100 times in 2 days and I've be happy if I don't hear it for another week at least.

[video:youtube]zET5RCkwweI[/video]

Next up 'Little Brown Jug'. I really hope this one is easier.

Bluebonnnet Yes, I cut the recording afterwards. I use a webcam and the bundled logitech software it came with to take the video, which is normally 5-10 mins, then I chuck it into Movie Maker (which is a free program you can get if you're on a PC, although mac also has good free options too I believe) and find the take I want to keep and cut 5 seconds either side. Pretty straightforward.

Good luck finishing off Beautiful Brown Eyes, it is one that gave me trouble too.

Pete Welcome! As far as I know the books are very similar. There is handful of songs that are different and the All in One has some extra stuff as well, like random pages on music theory and technique exercises. Some of these have blank question sections that you can pencil in answers too.

You're one page ahead of me in my (all in one) book. You can check out the playlist in my youtube channel for a list of all the songs in the All in One book as well. I don't think I've skipped any yet.

Last edited by AndrewAJC; 07/17/14 09:15 AM.
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2303309 07/17/14 09:36 AM
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Bluebonnet - it seems like we're making similar progress. I'm at the Alpine Melody and just when I thought I was doing well for picking that one up quickly, I realized that I was supposed to use the Damper pedal. That really adds another layer to the difficulty. Anyway, I'm almost through with that one.

One thing that is really annoying me is that for my job I tend to travel a good amount (in the next two weeks I'll be traveling Monday - Friday), so I won't be able to practice - I'll be stuck. I have a small Casio keyboard that I started on. It's small enough that I can pack it in my travel bag, but I'm wondering if it might do more harm than good. The scale is definitely smaller than normal and the keys are definitely not weighted..any thoughts?


Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
JayG42 #2303488 07/17/14 06:56 PM
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I would definitely be practising on anything available. I think pianists in general over react to crap keyboards. Of course you should be learning on the best available to you but the idea that an adult beginner would go backwards and not forwards from a couple of weeks on playing a crappy keyboard is nuts to me.

Take it this way, if a beginner guitarist could only play a toy ukulele everyday for a week, would I still recommend them do it? Absolutely. Any danger of ingraining bad techniques pales compared to the danger of falling out of the habit or losing interest altogether for a beginner!

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2303551 07/17/14 11:41 PM
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Pete: Hello and welcome! Are you working on "Chiapanecas" now, or are you done with it?

I'm not familiar with the Alfred's book you have, but here's the blurb for the All-In-One version:
Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Course is designed for use with an instructor for the beginning student looking for a truly complete piano course. It is a greatly expanded version of Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course that will include lesson, theory, technic and additional repertoire in a convenient, "all-in-one" format. This comprehensive course adds such features as isometric hand exercises, finger strengthening drills, and written assignments that reinforce each lesson's concepts. There is a smooth, logical progression between each lesson, a thorough explanation of chord theory and playing styles, and outstanding extra songs, including folk, classical, and contemporary selections. At the completion of this course, the student will have learned to play some of the most popular music ever written and will have gained a good understanding of basic musical concepts and styles.


Andrew: Congrats! I also like the tune, and I'm not exactly a fan of the blues style.

Thanks for the recording/editing information. I apparently was going about it all wrong. I went ahead and bought a webcam and will try it out. I don't plan on posting any videos online, but think it might come in handy to see myself playing.

How's your recital piece coming along?

Jay: I agree with you about the pedal adding another layer. Hard to believe at this point that it'll eventually become second nature.

As for whether or not to take your small keyboard on your travels, I'm not sure. Maybe like Andy said, anything is better than nothing. Then again, when I recently upgraded to a better DP I was surprised how different my new DP's keyboard action was. It caught me totally off guard and took a while to get used to. And I chose to go back in the book to redo songs I'd considered done that I had learned on my first DP. But even so, the more I think about, if I were traveling I'd want something to play on everyday. So if you decide to take your little keyboard, don't forget your headphones.

My update: I'm done with "Beautiful Brown Eyes." Right now I'm practicing the C major chord for the right hand. It kind of threw me that the left and right hand positions aren't the same for that chord. I did make an attempt at "Alpine Melody" today, but not being able to sight-read better is slowing me down. So that's something I definitely need to focus on.


Linda

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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2303828 07/18/14 07:22 PM
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Hi again,
Chiapanecas is a 'work in progress' at the moment:

I started learning piano in about September last year, and got as far as Chiapanecas back in Febuary, but then I put this book down, as my teacher advised me to start practicing for my first exam.
Here in Australia we have an exam board called AMEB (Australian Music Examination Board).
I spent a few months getting ready for that, but now it's over, I have decided to pick up, with Alfred's where I left it.
I am still waiting for the exam results to be posted. (Fingers crossed on the result...)

Im practicing 'Little brown Jug' & Chiapanecas this week.
I am struggling with timing of the broken cords along with the melody on the right hand the most, but a week or two more should hopefully set me straight.

When I started my journey into the piano world last year, I bought myself a Yamaha p105, which is great, but I decided that I really wanted an acoustic piano, so 4 weeks ago my new Yamaha Silent Piano arrived.
I love it !


Pete R.
Cyclist, Swimmer, and now budding pianist !
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2303842 07/18/14 08:58 PM
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Hi, I think that another great course for beginners like us is this: http://bit.ly/UgewEO is cheap and very helpful!

Last edited by maleco; 07/18/14 08:58 PM.
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2303895 07/19/14 12:13 AM
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Pete, when will you get your exam results? Is the purpose of the exam to determine if you're at a particular skill level?

Those 2 songs look scarey to me. I'm just starting on "Alpine Melody." Hopefully you'll get it figured out soon enough.

And congratulations on your new piano. I really like the looks of the Yamaha pianos. Did you get an upright or a grand?


Linda

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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2303913 07/19/14 01:55 AM
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Hi Linda,
Why did I take it? I guess I like to test myself and give myself set tangible goals. The purpose of the exam (for me) was to encourage to attain a certain level.
I think the exam had good points and bad points too:
On the good side, it got my to practice 3 pieces of music until they were very polished, encourage me to practice my scales very regularly, & to perform ( for the first time ) in front of a stranger, which is good for the nerves!

On the bad side, I felt that I could have spent more time learning 'different stuff', abet not as well, but I spent many weeks trying to make the exam pieces sound good.

As for results, they should be posted to my teacher reasonably soon. but I don't have a result date, so to speak.

I did make a couple of blunders, on my exam, but to be honest, I probably played about where I am, at the moment.
I am assuming that I passed, but pass or fail, I still enjoyed the exam and practicing for it.
I think, once I have finished Alfred's book 1, I may start thinking about the next exam...

The new piano is an Upright U3 silent. It's new to me, but not brand new.
For anyone who doesn't know, a silent piano, is a regular acoustic piano, but with the option of lifting a bar using the centre pedal, which prevents the hammers touching the strings. You can then plug in headphones, and play the piano, in the same fashion as an digital piano. It's great for me, as I like to play before I leave for work in the mornings (5am) when I would otherwise soon become divorced if playing in the normal way at that time of day ! ;-)

Last edited by Pete R; 07/19/14 02:01 AM.

Pete R.
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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2304102 07/19/14 04:35 PM
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I like the idea of setting tangible goals and going for them. Unfortunately, all of mine are based on the Alfred's book, completing each song that I judge myself on. I've seen where people have asked, "What level am I finish the first book." I suppose there's no way of really knowing without taking the type of exam that you did.

Perfecting 3 pieces songs pieces sounds like quite a challenge to me. I'll bet you learned a lot more doing that than you realize.

Kudos for getting up to play before going to work. I can't imagine doing that myself. I can't even get myself to get up to run in the cooler morning temps. No, instead I end up running in the high heat of a Texas summer afternoon.


Linda

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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2304563 07/20/14 09:47 PM
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Hope everybody's enjoying the weekend and fitting in some piano practice. I spent some time today on "Alpine Melody" and trying to make my chords sound better. Maybe I should try out those Hanon exercises that are in the book, and see if they help any. I'm open to any advise or tips.


Linda

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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2304575 07/20/14 10:20 PM
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I haven't made much progress but still got some decent time in practising split between the next few songs I'm up to, the recital piece and scales.

I was getting some discomfort in my wrists and changed my setup, and then was getting pain in my back. Maybe I just need to work through it but also going to be pretty careful the next few days.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2304681 07/21/14 04:48 AM
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Good to hear that everyone is progressing in his/her way :-)

I finally could get a digital piano (Yippee!!). I tried Jingle Bells of course and it was easier to play with the weighted keys :-) I didn't feel I need to repeat the previous exercises as I have adopted quickly to the feel. Still, I can't control the amount of velocity in a good way.

I'm keep going slow through the lessons with the same time spent (half an hour with the other tutorial and half an hour with Alfred's book). Maybe because of that I don't feel any pain in my fingers or wrist!

I bought two other (Kindle! :-D) books. One is "A First book of classical Music" and the other one is "Junior Hanon". It is very possible I will extend my daily practice time so I add these two materials (I think 15 mins each is enough).

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2304701 07/21/14 06:57 AM
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Yea to me smile
Exam results are in:
I scored an 'A' in my first AMEB piano exam !

### Happy Dance ###




Pete R.
Cyclist, Swimmer, and now budding pianist !
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2304760 07/21/14 09:55 AM
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Grats Peter on the result and EnGee on the digital piano! Which one did you end up getting? Keep us updated with how you find the supplemental books as well.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2305115 07/21/14 10:37 PM
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Andrew: Definitely take it easy for a bit, and hopefully you'll be able to sort out what's causing the discomfort. I've had some minor discomfort also in my wrists and back, which in my case I believe is tension related. So I try to relax, but easier said than done.

EnGee: Congrats on getting your new DP. I'm surprised you find it easier to play with weighted keys. That's great though that you adapted quickly, I'm sure you're glad to say goodbye to "Jingle Bells."

Pete: Congratulations for passing the exam, and with an 'A' no less! You sound quite pleased with yourself, as you should be. And I'm sure you made your teacher proud.

Me: Used up most of my practice today trying to improve my technique on "Alpine Melody." I didn't get around to trying out the Hanon exercises yet. That's next on my list, though.


Linda

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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2305197 07/22/14 03:06 AM
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Thanks Andrew and Linda :-)

I got a used Casio PX-5S (almost new in reality) but without the watch (hihi!). Never mind, I have a Casio watch so I can wear it and play the keyboard like those who appear in YouTube :-D

I wasn't very surprised for the keys feel because I have tried the piano feel once long time ago. It was upright piano. As I remember now, the upright piano had a better feel and sound (Maybe because it had a wooden keys). Anyway, Casio did a great job in the quality/feel of the keys. Although noisy, but with very good feel and built (the texture of ivory and ebony is very nice).

I like the books that I mentioned. I don't know when I start playing them, but I already wrote the first piece of the classics(Minuet by Bach) in the notation program and also the first exercise of Hanon junior. I think they are in my level. I usually write the pieces then play them again and again till I get the feel of the piece, then try to play it again and again.

Alfred's book is my primary source, but not the only one. I have the e-media piano tutorial level one as another primary source for learning. I might buy a complementary tutorial which called "EarMaster Pro 6" and extend the daily study to two hours :-)

Well, I hope all are doing fine. Sorry, I can't comment on your progress because I'm still in the beginning, but I hope you can take your time and learn slowly.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2305250 07/22/14 08:21 AM
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EnGee,
For what it is worth, I love ear master pro. I think it is well worth the $50 or whatever. I still use it about 15 min every day to warm up my ear before I practice. Be advised, if you don't already have a great ear it can be REALLY frustrating at first. When I first started with the exercises I felt like, "I'm just guessing, this is impossible!" Slowly but surely I made real progress with it, and it's really helped open up my ear. Now it's almost like a fun game. But just be aware that it can feel like banging your head against the wall until your brain starts to get it. Stick with it, and I think it will help you a lot though. Highly commended. smile


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
fizikisto #2305265 07/22/14 09:29 AM
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Thanks fizikisto for your opinion. I guessed it is a good program . I'm using their other software (Piano method) and already learnt a lot. It complement perfectly Alfred's book.

Ouch! It will be then REALLY frustrating with EarMaster! As it is now with the staff reading (I still sometimes counting F A C E or All Cows ...etc). I'm even worst in identifying the notes when hearing them (snif!)
I have escaped more than 10 years from all that and I have decided now to loose 5 years from my life doing it right (trying!).

I'm glad that my way of thinking is similar to some persons here in this forum :-)

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