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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2492950 12/22/15 04:39 PM
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Grypol
Welcome to the forum! I would say that you want to avoid trying to force yourself to do anything. Forcing yourself leads to tension, and any unnecessary tension is the enemy when playing the piano. Instead of focusing to play with speed, focus on playing with relaxation. Check yourself constantly, are your arms tense? are your elbows winging out? are you digging into the keys as you hold down chords with more force than is necessary? Are your shoulders rising up? Try to catch and eliminate these sources of tension before they become engrained habits. Work on playing with good posture and with relaxation. If you can do that, speed will come naturally in time. So don't worry on speed, just make an effort to play with good body mechanics and relaxation.

Good Luck!

P.S. the metronome is a great tool, but I would suggest playing both with it and without it. And whether you play with it or without it, you should practice counting aloud at least some of the time.


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
fizikisto #2492962 12/22/15 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeffro Jones

Best wishes for the Christmas season, and for your playing!

thanks! you too!

Originally Posted by MeganR
I've found it somewhat annoying to have a different sound on the 1 because sometimes I need to take more time to find the correct notes and just want to be able to start back up again with the beat.

Yeah, I actually feel the same way; the use came when counting is difficult and it's more about how I "think" the time should be, but I still want to be sure.




Originally Posted by fizikisto
Grypol
Welcome to the forum! I would say that you want to avoid trying to force yourself to do anything. Forcing yourself leads to tension, and any unnecessary tension is the enemy when playing the piano. Instead of focusing to play with speed, focus on playing with relaxation. Check yourself constantly, are your arms tense? are your elbows winging out? are you digging into the keys as you hold down chords with more force than is necessary? Are your shoulders rising up? Try to catch and eliminate these sources of tension before they become engrained habits. Work on playing with good posture and with relaxation. If you can do that, speed will come naturally in time. So don't worry on speed, just make an effort to play with good body mechanics and relaxation.

This is actually an interesting advice! I was indeed thinking if I should feel a bit of back pain, or if I should be comfortable right away sitting while playing. I know that I should sit a-la "lordosis" style, but I dont really find myself that comfortable, I guess I suffer a bit, and that's my biggest concern right now (it should be added that it's been 3 days that I actually sit, of 1 and a half week playing stading up, it's a long story, and it involves me actually buying a furniture).
Does it get time to be used to?

Originally Posted by fizikisto

P.S. the metronome is a great tool, but I would suggest playing both with it and without it. And whether you play with it or without it, you should practice counting aloud at least some of the time.

So far I did everything always with a metronome, and I laugh thinking that I played the guitar for some years always avoiding it, now I feel naked without it! but I'll do! I'll try playing without it, it actually make sense.


Thank you guys so much for the answers!

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2494020 12/26/15 11:29 PM
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My first ever post to PW! I'm so glad I found this place as I've already learned so much just reading through everyone's posts. Thank you all for being so open with your experiences in tackling the piano as adult learners! So, here's a little of my own story:

After many years of wanting to learn piano, I've finally taken the plunge. Of course, if it weren't for my 14 y/o daughter it never would have happened! Here's the thing, she's a talented trumpet player and has also wanted to learn piano. (I will confess to a bad mom moment or two when she decided in 4th grade she wanted to play the horn. She's got a mild form of cerebral palsy which affects her fine motor skills and eyesight, is on the autism spectrum and has a whole slew of other learning disabilities. I frankly didn't think she'd be able to pull it off. I've never been so happy to be wrong about something in my life!grin She's a natural!) Having expressed an interest in piano I talked to her teacher and he thinks that despite her disabilities she would probably do well the piano especially if she starts with Suzuki as her ear is really good.(She's used it to make up the deficiency in her eyesight.) So we bought a used piano and signed her up for lessons.
With the piano sitting here staring at me I decided now was the time and, after much looking decided on the Alfred's All in One. The book arrived on Tues and I'm happy to say that I've gone from not being able to locate a single key to playing Mary Ann (pg. 37) almost fluently. I do have a tiny bit of "reading" experience from all the long hours of transcribing my daughter's beginning trumpet pieces to transparencies to be projected larger than life on the wall. I'm really digging being able to play something that approaches being music and am really looking forward to learning more. I so have to say I'm a bit board by many of the selections though, as they are the same ones that were projected on the wall for my then 10 y/o. To help remedy that I've ordered Humphries Piano Handbook as I've read the pieces are a bit more grown up. I plan to use it as a supplement to Alfred's. My ultimate goal with for playing is to be able to play music I love for my own amusement and maybe share a few pieces with friends. This ranges from my favorite classical artists to movie scores to maybe a little Metallica. blush I'd eventually like to take lessons, but with my schedule and my daughter taking both trumpet and piano it's out of the question at the moment. I'm hoping a bit of information from her lessons will sink in while I sit in on them. (apparently the preferred method for Suzuki)

Anyhow, that was my long winded way of saying I'm super glad to be here and looking forward to growing along with all of you!

*Yikes! Look at that wall of text! wow


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
cmybliss #2494043 12/27/15 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cmybliss

With the piano sitting here staring at me I decided now was the time and, after much looking decided on the Alfred's All in One.


Good work cmybliss smile
So nice to hear that your daughter is finding such fulfilment in music too, thanks for sharing your story.



Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Jeffro Jones #2494151 12/27/15 02:02 PM
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Thank you very much! I know it's hard to tell, but I'm really excited!


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2494164 12/27/15 03:01 PM
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Greetings from Minnesota!

At 63 years old and not having been at the keys for at least 15 years I fear I have forgotten much that I learned when I took lessons back in the 1950s. With all the support the Alfred Books have here I am thinking I should start at square one with the All In One Level 1 book. So, my question is which binding should I get? Has anyone had problems with either type? And since I am here; Does anyone know if Keiko Matsui has had any of her compositions printed in book form?

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Hammered Strings #2494409 12/28/15 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Hammered Strings
So, my question is which binding should I get?
Personally, I don't see why you'd go past the "comb binding". It lays flat smile

Originally Posted by Hammered Strings
And since I am here; Does anyone know if Keiko Matsui has had any of her compositions printed in book form?

OP posted this link some Keiko Matsui sheets, hope it helps.



Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Jeffro Jones #2494483 12/28/15 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeffro Jones
Originally Posted by Hammered Strings
So, my question is which binding should I get?
Personally, I don't see why you'd go past the "comb binding". It lays flat smile

Originally Posted by Hammered Strings
And since I am here; Does anyone know if Keiko Matsui has had any of her compositions printed in book form?

OP posted this link some Keiko Matsui sheets, hope it helps.




Thanks! I appreciate your assistance.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2494855 12/29/15 03:56 PM
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Well, I'm still working away on Mary Ann. I've almost got it up to tempo. Because I get bored easily, I continued working and have made it What Can I share which is coming along nicely. I'm also working a 2 little pieces from my Humphries book, Frere Jacques and Oranges and Lemons. It's nice to have the two different approaches to learning.


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2494929 12/29/15 07:39 PM
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Hello, i'm currently using this book as a beginner and i have a few questions.

Like cmybliss, i am also working on Mary Ann as well as the other things on the pages next to it.

I bought the Kindle version of the book and am using Youtube videos of the audio to complement the teachings.

For Mary Ann for example, the time signature is 4/4, well the standard metronome on my Piano is playing on about a 60 beats per minute rhythm but the book says moderately fast, so im confused as to whether im successfully completing the pieces on the book or not when it comes to tempo.

Im playing no where near the speed shown in this video



Another question, what should i look out for before proceeding to the "next lesson"? or before considering that i have successfully completed a piece?

Is it just me or is this book arguably making an error by not explaining actual speeds more thoroughly? Up to this point in the book the only thing explained has been the 4/4 time signature but nothing about actual speed.

Last edited by steamy; 12/29/15 07:42 PM.
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2494959 12/29/15 09:16 PM
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Hi Steamy,

You'll find there's a LOT of tempo variation on YouTube videos, especially those uploaded by beginners. One suggestion for a song is to look for videos of people singing it and go with one that has a tempo that sounds good to you. Anyway, try to have as much fun with it as these folks singing it are.



Linda

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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
steamy #2494982 12/29/15 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by steamy
Hello, i'm currently using this book as a beginner and i have a few questions.

Like cmybliss, i am also working on Mary Ann as well as the other things on the pages next to it.

I bought the Kindle version of the book and am using Youtube videos of the audio to complement the teachings.

For Mary Ann for example, the time signature is 4/4, well the standard metronome on my Piano is playing on about a 60 beats per minute rhythm but the book says moderately fast, so im confused as to whether im successfully completing the pieces on the book or not when it comes to tempo.

Im playing no where near the speed shown in this video



Another question, what should i look out for before proceeding to the "next lesson"? or before considering that i have successfully completed a piece?

Is it just me or is this book arguably making an error by not explaining actual speeds more thoroughly? Up to this point in the book the only thing explained has been the 4/4 time signature but nothing about actual speed.


Oh, I'm glad I'm not alone! I'm not as fast as this one either, but I kind of like the tempo I'm playing it at. I can comfortably play and sing which is one of the reasons I wanted to learn piano. I think tempo for some of these is a bit up to you. Yes, it needs to be played in 4/4 time, but moderately fast is in my mind, open to interpretation. You have to like the sound of your playing. Perhaps when I get a teacher at some point in the future they'll tell me differently, but for now I'm going to roll with what I like.


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
TX-Bluebonnet #2494987 12/29/15 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Hi Steamy,

You'll find there's a LOT of tempo variation on YouTube videos, especially those uploaded by beginners. One suggestion for a song is to look for videos of people singing it and go with one that has a tempo that sounds good to you. Anyway, try to have as much fun with it as these folks singing it are.



Haha! I love this. heart They're having such a great time they make me want to join in! This is about the speed I'm playing it right now, so I think I'll just spend a bit more time getting rid of the hesitation I'm having when switching between hands for the melody and call it good. Should be ready as my 1st piece for the 40 piece challenge! laugh


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
steamy #2495017 12/30/15 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by steamy

Im playing no where near the speed shown in this video


I have the book with DVD, which has a professional playing the pieces. "Mary Ann" is played much slower than the video you have linked to. That young man is playing with hubris, but NOT to the correct tempo. The video of the group singing is also played a bit faster than the tempo on the Alfred's DVD. Bear in mind, that speed, in and of itself, is fairly meaningless. It follows a long way behind accuracy and attempting a nice feeling in the music.

I don't think, as beginners, it is wise to be seduced by the magical flying fingers of piano geniuses. Sviatoslav Richter, one of the greatest of them all, said "We were taught to practice slowly!" smile


Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2495056 12/30/15 07:09 AM
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Jeffrey Jones I was finally able to try out your alternate version of BTMD, thanks again. It's nice to vary the chords, makes playing more interesting.


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2495069 12/30/15 08:12 AM
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Welcome grypol, cmybliss, Hammered Strings and steamy, enjoy the ride!

Hammered Strings definitely go for the comb binding.

steamy good question, a general guideline on tempi can be found on wikipedia.

JohnnyD made a great list of the pieces in Alfred's a while ago (from the CD or DVD tempi), see below. It's a great reference for practicing. Learn to play the piece to the speed given (or a bit faster). Once you can do that, adapt the tempo to your own taste.

100 - Ode to Joy
100 - Aura Lee
100 - Rock Along
132 - Mexican Hat Dance
100 - Au Claire de la Lune
120 - Tisket, a Tasket
116 - Rockin' Intervals
112 - Good King Wenceslas
100 - My Fifth
120 - Jingle Bells
124 - Brother John
116 - Here's a Happy Song
120 - Merrily We Roll Along
086 - Largo (Going Home)
132 - Mary Ann
120 - Rockets
090 - What Can I Share
160 - When the Saints Go Marching in
110 - Love Somebody!
096 - A Friend Like You
124 - The Donkey
125 - Money Can't Buy Ev'rything
130 - The Cuckoo
100 - Harp Song
114 - Beautiful Brown Eyes
100 - Alpine Melody
096 - Thumbs on C
104 - Waltz Time
100 - Good Morning to You
100 - Happy Birthday to You
102 - Standing in the Need of Prayer
086 - The Gift to be Simple
116 - Alouette
116 - Lavender's Blue
100 - Kum-Ba-Yah
128 - London Bridge
100 - Michael, Row the Boat Ashore
116 - Blow the Man Down
100 - Lone Star Waltz
106 - Café Vienna
124 - Rock it Away
122 - Joy To the World
096 - Cockles and Mussels
097 - Got Those Blues
104 - On Top of Old Smokey
162 - Can-Can
116 - Marines' Hymn
096 - Why am I Blue?
120 - Little Brown Jug
152 - Chiapanecas
088 - O Sole Mio!
124 - Jericho
103 - Greensleeves
094 - Go Down, Moses
102 - Scarborough Fair
100 - Raisins and Almonds
116 - He's Got The Whole World In His Hands
110 - The Entertainer
100 - Amazing Grace
090 - Over The Rainbow
062 - At Last
126 - Singin' in the Rain
100 - Laura
076 - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Last edited by Montuno; 12/30/15 08:13 AM.

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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2495082 12/30/15 09:25 AM
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damn I was scared about this
I thought I would have never been able to do it right

Turns out it's actually easy after a bit of clapping

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2495116 12/30/15 10:53 AM
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Good job grypol!


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Mark... #2495128 12/30/15 11:26 AM
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Speaking of Blow the Man Down, that was the last piece I managed to complete before Christmas. I wasn't too happy with the next one, Lone Star Waltz. My technique for moving around the keyboard was not to my liking. As was my hitting the broken 6th in the middle section.

So I decided to work on jumps and moves a bit (I discovered Josh Wright who has some fantastic helpful instructional videos). In addition I used some time to decide on supplements and ear training. And I took my family for a trip to Disneyland Paris.

Ever since I started put my first recording up here, I decided to keep recording most if not all my Alfred pieces. I think listening to your own recordings and trying to improve a piece to decent level helps a lot with improving my piano playing.

Since I didn't like to play LSW at first, I thought I would skip recording it and move on quickly once I could play it reasonably well. But I finally got the knack for it and here it is: Lone Star Waltz.



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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1
Montuno #2495181 12/30/15 01:37 PM
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Wow! That's a really helpful post. Thank you for bringing it to our attention and Thanks to JonnyD for taking the time to upload the info.


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
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