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Easy Piano Music - when do you stop using this?
#2438136 07/03/15 09:06 AM
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Hi

I've noticed in music stores that there is always an easy piano music section. I was just wondering what grades/length of playing time this generally covers. At what point did you stop using this section and just buy original scores?

Appreciate that its a bit of a grey area but any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks

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Re: Easy Piano Music - when do you stop using this?
Microdot #2438140 07/03/15 09:25 AM
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Ok I am proper beginner so heed my advice with a pinch of salt but I am coming from other instruments so have experience there too.

I think this all depends on your goals and tastes. For me however, there is enough great repertoire from absolute beginner to advanced to not need to play simplified versions of pieces but simply wait until you are ready to play the real deal. There are loads of great little pieces to prep for the tough stuff.

I think the 'easy piano' style thing is more for people to just enjoy playing with a low barrier for entry as opposed to serving as progress towards a higher skill level.

Re: Easy Piano Music - when do you stop using this?
Sketches #2438174 07/03/15 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Sketches

I think the 'easy piano' style thing is more for people to just enjoy playing with a low barrier for entry as opposed to serving as progress towards a higher skill level.


I think this covers it pretty well. I bought a few "big note" and "easy piano" books early on and thought it would great when I could play them. When I got good enough to try them I found them pretty dull. Now, I use them for sight reading practice.

A lot depends on the arrangement. In my (limited) experience, the arrangements vary from just OK to abysmal. I guess I'm a tough crowd, but I'll stick with original pieces. They may not be well-known to me at first but they become familiar pretty quickly. There are so many well written original works at all levels.

The real attraction must be that the music is familiar, and pop music often doesn't have an "original" anyway. They are probably great if you just want to play some well-known songs for your friends/family. But I personally would lean toward learning to use a fake book and self-harmonize than the easy piano arrangements, if I wanted to play pop music.


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Re: Easy Piano Music - when do you stop using this?
Microdot #2438265 07/03/15 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Microdot
Hi

I've noticed in music stores that there is always an easy piano music section. I was just wondering what grades/length of playing time this generally covers. At what point did you stop using this section and just buy original scores?

With classical music, I'd recommend that you don't use any simplified arrangements at all. Great composers from Bach to Bartók have composed piano pieces suitable for near-beginners all the way to virtuoso stuff, and it's so much more satisfying to know that you're playing original music as the composer wrote it.

In my student days, as a kid of ten, about three months into starting lessons, my teacher gave me Denes Agay's Easy Classics to Moderns, and started me on a simple piano piece by Mozart - exactly as he wrote it over 200 years ago. I felt like I'd become a 'proper pianist' on that day, and told my teacher that from then on, I only wanted to play original music, not simplified arrangements of anything. I've stuck to that policy ever since, with all piano music. I only play 'simplified arrangements' (which I usually make up 'on the fly') when playing orchestral, or organ/vocal music on the piano, reading from the original full score.

With other genres of music of course, there's often no such thing as 'original', but you'd be far better off learning to play from fake books etc, rather than using someone's arrangement, as has already been said. Much more fun, and you can make it as simple or as flashy as you like grin.


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Re: Easy Piano Music - when do you stop using this?
Microdot #2438267 07/03/15 04:24 PM
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Maybe the OP wants to know when to leave "Denes Agay's Easy Classics to Moderns" etc. behind and go for the more advanced stuff, like Chopin's noturnes...?

Re: Easy Piano Music - when do you stop using this?
Microdot #2438273 07/03/15 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Microdot
At what point did you stop using this section and just buy original scores?


General questions like this are practically impossible to address, because there really aren't objective milestones for learning music. Any musical goal you set is in some sense artificial or subjective.

One of the nice aspects of dwindling breed of brick and mortar music stores is that you can generally have a quick read-through of a selection before you buy it. If your immediate reaction is "ZOMG, no way I can do this," then consider looking for an easier arrangement and see if you like it. On the other hand, if an arranged piece feels too easy or simplified, then it may be time to consider trying a more advanced version of the piece.


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Re: Easy Piano Music - when do you stop using this?
bennevis #2438283 07/03/15 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ajames
[quote=Sketches] But I personally would lean toward learning to use a fake book and self-harmonize than the easy piano arrangements, if I wanted to play pop music.
Originally Posted by bennevis


[quote=Microdot]
With other genres of music of course, there's often no such thing as 'original', but you'd be far better off learning to play from fake books etc, rather than using someone's arrangement, as has already been said. Much more fun, and you can make it as simple or as flashy as you like grin.


Both of these are along the lines of what I would suggest, however, maybe a lot of stuff you want is not available in a fake book, per se. I have, more than once, used the easy version as a type of "fake book" to create my own arrangement, as they still often have the chords listed above the staff.

Re: Easy Piano Music - when do you stop using this?
Microdot #2438284 07/03/15 05:35 PM
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In my experience some of those "Easy" piano pieces aren't so easy, there must be different levels of "Easy", perhaps? A good source of easy classical pieces, and some not so classical, are the ABRSM Graded pieces which are set for pianists taking their exams, for a beginner look at Grades 1, 2 & 3. The past books can usually bought for pennies on Amazon.

for example. ABRSM Grade 1 2011/12

A little surfing would find more.


Last edited by bluebilly; 07/03/15 05:37 PM.
Re: Easy Piano Music - when do you stop using this?
Microdot #2438341 07/03/15 11:05 PM
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I play mostly pop music from the 30s and 40s (GAS).

I tried playing from fake books and my results were awful; RH single note melody and LH chords or 1-5/7 octaves. Really bad. I bought books on how to play from fake books and tried spicing my fake arrangements by adding notes under the melody and LH patterns but I just wasn't able to get it.

I don't know exactly what you call them but the "standard" arrangements in piano books are way too hard for me. Easy piano pieces show you what notes to add to the melody and what to do in the LH and can sound pretty good if a good arranger does them. They kind of do the fake arrangements for you.

So for now I just play easy piano arrangements, mostly from Dan Coates books. Family and friends seems to enjoy music they know and so it's fun to play for them. Not good enough for gigs though.

Dan Coates makes some pretty good arrangements. They are all called easy but do vary in level of difficulty.

BTW: Using chord and lyric sheets and playing RH chords and LH 1/5 octaves is easy, fun and fine for accompaniment of singer or melody instrument. Using that technique I play gigs with a sax player using mostly Real Book stuff. Goes over well in venues like parties and restaurants.


Last edited by Edtek; 07/03/15 11:10 PM.

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