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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
Montuno #2509587 02/11/16 07:32 PM
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Congratulations! I'm right behind you on this one and your success with playing faster gives me hope! Isn't amazing how this piano thing works? Just when you start to feel like you'll never get something it finally clicks and you're left wondering why it was giving you so much trouble. This is such a fun little song that I can see myself continuing with it even after I've "passed" it.

I've been working on getting the 1/4 notes in 8th measure even. It's weird, but after the quick moving 1/8 notes my fingers get all frozen and weird when I hit those 1/4s and they wind up lasting waaaay too long. I'm getting there though! Today may be the day!

What do you thing about the next one, Song in Parallel Motion? I've had a quick play through and it seems pretty simple. I'm thinking the trick here will be getting the dynamics spot on.


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2509857 02/12/16 01:35 PM
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Good job Cymbliss and Montuno on Scherzino. I have found all of Rachel's selections very enjoyable to study and play.

Montuno, when I worked on that piece mine sounded very much like your 4 Feb post. I felt it was close to what Rachel demonstrated as the acceptable level and I moved on. I have found that as you progress, your skills improve and make it easier to go back to some of these earlier pieces and improve the musicality. I thought the UIPed recording was very fast. Still not sure I could get it to that speed even now.

Cymbliss, good idea to work on your counting and get it smooth. I have found this to be a skill that I repeatedly have to work on. Each piece seems to have it's own counting challenges to overcome to get it smooth. Like you I often find the 1/4's are held longer than they should be. But eventually it all seems to fall in place.


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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2509954 02/12/16 06:35 PM
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cmybliss
Yeah, those new things really mess up everything else. Until you get proficient at it, then suddenly you can concentrate on other things again. And play music smile

NorwichTim
I just HAD to do it cool
Seriously, I saw a number of versions on youtube and many sounded crazy fast. So I looked up another version of the score and there the tempo was Allegretto. Quite a challenge, but I felt I was ready for it. And I am glad I tried, since Scherzino is even more fun to play and listen to at speed.

And I have come quite close to getting it. Here's my new version.

Last edited by Montuno; 02/12/16 06:37 PM.

Casio Privia PX-150 - Pianoteq
Working on Classical Piano Method (Hans-Günter Heumann)

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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2509955 02/12/16 06:36 PM
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I'm glad there are others doing FK and Alfred's! I ordered the original Fundamental Keys book after someone mentioned it in the Alfred's Book 1 thread. It came this week and I'm really enjoying it so far! Rachel's teaching style really resonates with me.

I've enjoyed Alfred's but I agree with CYMBLISS, musically most of the pieces just aren't my cup of tea. I started dreading practicing. I like the songs selection in FK much better! I'll still continue with Alfred's, I like the information being taught. I think working out of both books simultaneously will be helpful.

MONTUNO your recordings sound great!


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Started Alfred's Book 1 1/20/16
Also working out of Fundamental Keys
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2509956 02/12/16 06:40 PM
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Christine5634
Thank you, you're too kind. Welcome to the Fundamental Keys thread. It's great to have another FK fan around. grin


Casio Privia PX-150 - Pianoteq
Working on Classical Piano Method (Hans-Günter Heumann)

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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2509966 02/12/16 07:37 PM
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Oh, and cmybliss: Song in Parallel Motion is very simple indeed - if you know how to play dynamics. So you should have no problem with it.


Casio Privia PX-150 - Pianoteq
Working on Classical Piano Method (Hans-Günter Heumann)

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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
Montuno #2509992 02/12/16 09:18 PM
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Montuno
Fabulous! I really liked listening to your recording. Hearing those 1/4 notes sounding nice and even is very encouraging. I gave Parallel Motion a go last night and did find it quite simple. Still working on the dynamics. My spinet doesn't like to play piano so it's a challenge! I've only had the piano for a month and am already thinking of upgrading. Luckily the shop I bought it from will take it back for full trade-in value.

NorwichTim

Thanks for the encouragement! Your right about each piece having their own counting challenges. I've just started Blow the Man Down in Alfred's and yikes! I do think my work in FK has been a big help though. And the songs are so pretty!

Christine5634

Welcome! It really is nice to have a group of us working on the two books together. I've found that the two methods work really well together. When I'm having trouble in one book I switch to the other and find when I go back to the troublesome piece it goes much more smoothly.

Last edited by cmybliss; 02/12/16 09:29 PM. Reason: pushed post too soon!

Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2510285 02/13/16 08:36 PM
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This evening I Finished Fundamental Keys new Book 1; piece #17 was simple but the hands together coordination took more time than I expected. I can play the piece a few times in a row without errors and it sounds fairly musical for a beginner; it still needs a bit of polishing.

Also, this month I had to work a bit on mechanics to address a few tired knuckles a slight pain in the right wrist, at the top/rightside. I did that by stopping at the slightest sign of fatigue or pain, so doing several short sessions per day. Then adjusting the seat height upwards slightly to relax the wrist. And finally looking at my mechanics vs. those of Rachel's.

Now moving onto Curtains Up!, page 39 of the original Fundamental Keys book.

At the same time, I will review the Fundamental Keys new Book 1 and restart the Alfred's Self-Teaching Adult Piano Course from the beginning.

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2510311 02/13/16 11:14 PM
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newer player,
Congratulations on finishing the first book! Definitely you want to avoid playing in pain. Hopefully your adjustments have resolved the issue. One thing (that you may have already considered), you may want to also adjust your distance to the piano as well as the hight of your bench. It can be a challenge to find the right position/posture that assists you with playing in a relaxed (or at least unstressed) state but it's worth the effort to try. As a beginner you're building habits that will be very hard to fix later on if you get them wrong, so you're definitely taking the right approach to pay attention to such things.

Good Luck with your piano endeavors!

P.S. I think fundamental keys and Alfred's are a fantastic combination. With Alfred's you do a lot more with playing/recognizing chords and with fundamental keys you get a much better workout in hand independence. The two together will help you build a very strong foundation with good reading skills smile


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
fizikisto #2511273 02/16/16 11:03 AM
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newer player

Well done finishing the new book 1. And well done on taking your time and not rush anything. Now you're up to real classical pieces, enjoy!

cmybliss

You play on a spinet? Haha, I can imagine that dynamics are a challenge. Good for you that you can bring it back if you desire.


Casio Privia PX-150 - Pianoteq
Working on Classical Piano Method (Hans-Günter Heumann)

My Music
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
Montuno #2511718 02/17/16 11:09 AM
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newer player

Congratulations on finishing the 1st book! It sounds like you are working your way through in a very logical and methodical way, which is great! I'll be interested to hear what you think of the 1st pieces from this book.

Montuno

I know right! That's what comes of buying a piano before you really understand the strengths and weaknesses of all your options. Also, letting your 14 y/o be the decider is maybe not a good choice either. whistle The piano does OK, and we'll probably hold onto it until next fall or until our remodel is done and it can be moved right into it's permanent home.


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
cmybliss #2511806 02/17/16 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by cmybliss
newer player

Congratulations on finishing the 1st book! It sounds like you are working your way through in a very logical and methodical way, which is great! I'll be interested to hear what you think of the 1st pieces from this book.


Thanks Cymbliss.

I quite liked the Fundamental Keys new Book 1. So far I have worked through piano without a teacher and believe the new Book 1 was excellent. Overall, the book was well paced and the exercises were very good. I've played instruments before and see the well-thought-out and logical progression of each piece.

The book is very clearly written and explained; nothing was a mystery or baffling. The early lessons are simple but I imagine Rachel is trying to nail down fundamental learning points rather than trying to skim over lots of less-relevant contents.

The last few pieces were significantly more difficult than the rest of the book, so I couldn't blow through each one in a day. I think that is partly due to introduction of more hands-together work and partly due to my prior musical experience.

As I am a beginner, you can take my assumptions with a grain of salt. Regardless, I enjoyed the book.

Last edited by newer player; 02/17/16 10:11 PM.
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
newer player #2511920 02/17/16 07:50 PM
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I'm also a beginner and working without a teacher for now. Your assumptions seem pretty logical to me. I'd love to get a teacher for myself, but all our lesson money is tied up in my daughter. Between trumpet, piano and riding there's none left for me!


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2513333 02/21/16 05:49 PM
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I've reached page 55, an introduction to articulation (staccato and legato). Only 53 more pieces to go. cool laugh
The video on this subject is really useful.


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Working on Classical Piano Method (Hans-Günter Heumann)

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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2514484 02/24/16 04:15 PM
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The articulation part is pretty hard. I was able to play staccato according to Rachel's instructions pretty soon. But the drop and lift for the legato part requires more work and getting used to. So I am taking my time here.

The instruction video for this section is extremely valuable so you can actually see and hear what it looks/sounds like. I checked out At the Playground on youtube, but the versions there are not played with the proper technique (by proper I mean the way Rachel wants you to play it).


Casio Privia PX-150 - Pianoteq
Working on Classical Piano Method (Hans-Günter Heumann)

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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
Montuno #2514501 02/24/16 05:26 PM
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Also keep in mind the f and p dynamics, here. It's not supposed to be loud and soft, but LOUD and soft. This is a study, an etude, for learning a technique, so go ahead and over exaggerate. Notice the same legato must be played very differently when the dynamics are very different; same goes for staccato. It's always fine to calm back down when playing a piece of music later but for now huge contrast for p and f.

Sorry if I'm being repetitive with Rachel's video here, since I haven't watched her videos, not sure if she already mentioned it.

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
Montuno #2514571 02/24/16 10:22 PM
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Great work making it to At the Playground! Thanks for sharing a little of your process. I've looked at it, but haven't started yet. I was too wrapped up in BTMD. Me thinks these particular dynamics are going to be tough on my little spinet! I guess I'll go for technique and hope for the best. I wonder if I can steal a few minutes on our school piano, though it's in the cafeteria and may not really be in tune.... confused


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
8 Octaves #2516427 03/01/16 06:17 PM
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8 Octaves, that's a very good tip. Rachel does exaggerate less in the video, but I try to do some of that pianoforte smile

Actually this is one of the things where playing on a digital helps. With Pianoteq I can check my dynamics better than by ear only.


Casio Privia PX-150 - Pianoteq
Working on Classical Piano Method (Hans-Günter Heumann)

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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2530516 04/14/16 06:49 AM
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It has now been well over a year since the campaign to raise funds for the production of the books and videos closed.
At that time most of the material was supposedly developed and ready for video, the new Book 1 came out a bit behind schedule and the videos for that are good, VERY GOOD.

There has been no update sine last August, so I doubt that books 2 and 3 or their videos will EVER see the light of day.

Sad to say, but I would NOT recommend that anyone embark on this method.

Last edited by R_B; 04/14/16 06:58 AM.
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2530538 04/14/16 09:18 AM
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I really enjoy the Fundamental Keys method and pace, so am a bit more optimistic. I find I make tangible progress playing the piano every single day.

I understand your frustration. From personal experience, writing, publishing, preparing videos requires a massive amount of effort and time. But why let these external logistical hurdles impact your studies at all?

When I recently completed the new book #1, I just jumped to the original book which smoothly translates from p. 39. Frankly, the method increasingly focuses on playing longer, more complex pieces, rather than explanation/rudiment pages.

I have the videos for book #1 which are professional and helpful. I may pick up her discounted videos for the original book which go through p.80. After that, I will find pieces from the internet.

Whilst I am a beginner at piano (with experience playing other instruments), I happily recommend the method to those interested in classical music. When the new books #2 and #3 are published I may pick them up but I don't worry about them. . .

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