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#2535715 - 05/01/16 09:01 AM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by fizikisto
dmd,
I thought about possibly joining the inner circle thing when I finish the crash course. From the promotional material I gather that each month he picks one song and arranges it a bunch of different ways. I saw that America The Beautiful is (probably?) one of the songs and that there are 12 songs total?. Could you share what other songs he picks to arrange in the membership?


America the Beautiful
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)
Greensleeves
The Star Spangled Banner
Whispering Hope
Auld Lang Syne
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Aura Lee
Blue Bells of Scotland
Silent Night
Amazing Grace

There you have it.
I really do not remember much about this course but I do know that I did not end up getting much accomplished.
However, I am more ready for it now and I think I will give it another try.
I just does stuff and talks to you about it as he does it.
If you work through it you will gain a lot from it.
But ... it is not EASY ... make no mistake about that.



Thanks for reminding me about this series. I looked at the web site today and signed up for it. You get immediate access to the first lesson when you sign up, and then every month after that, you are billed for that month and, on payment, get access to that lesson. You always apparently have access to all the previous lessons.

Each lesson as a PDF download of the sheet music (the original sheet music, not what Duane shows you how to do), and he constantly references it during the lesson. You also get a couple of videos that you can view online streaming or download as MP4 files.

I watched the entire first lesson (America The Beautiful) this morning. I think it is well worth the price. Duane says that he is not involved with this site in that the billing is handled by ClickBank and he does not invite questions from students. He says that you should spend the entire month every day on the lesson, mastering the tune with all the techniques and also trying the techniques on other songs. He says that you should have completed at least one or two of his other courses before starting this one, and that with this background and constantly reviewing the lesson, there is no reason to need to ask him anything. I think he is right.

The first lesson is quite good, and consists of three videos. The first two are parts 1 and 2 of him showing you all kinds of ways to play the tune. He takes left and right hands separately, showing you a bunch of ideas slowly for each and them putting both together in various combinations of those ideas. All the time, he is explaining, both in terms of the music theory and which finger is going where, what he is doing. The third video is him analyzing the sheet music to determine what the chords are. He says that once you have determined the chords to the tune, you are no longer "tied with a ball and chain to the sheet music", and can be free to play it any way you want to, never the same way twice.

The first two videos show Duane's hands in an overhead shot of his piano. Unfortunately, for some of those lightening runs up the keyboard, his will go out of the picture. I don't think it really matters because those situations are very brief and don't happen when he is teaching/slowing down what he is really doing. The third video, the analysis, shows the sheet music and he has a computerized marking pen that he uses to mark what areas belong to what chord and why. You never see Duane in any of those three videos. However, he assumes you have spent a lot of time with him already in earlier courses, so no need for the formalities anymore.

I would say, at least based on that first lesson (and he says they all follow this same format), that this is a recap of everything he teaches, but focused on one tune at a time in "real life" musical situations. It looks to me as if a person who has gotten even half way through the 52 week course (and can actually play all of that fluently) will have no trouble with these lessons. These are separate lessons, one tune at a time examined in depth, rather than a course like the 52 week course.

What you will need to be able to handle these lessons is both the fluency on the keyboard that his other lessons such as the 52 week course provides, and an understanding of theory and chords. He goes through it all slowly enough to grasp it, but so slowly as one would expect being exposed to this stuff for the first time. That is what the 52 week course is for. We have a certain amount of mental and physical "bandwidth", and if it is being taken up by trying to absorb what he is teaching for the first time exposure, then it is a lost cause. You should readily understand what he is talking about and your hands should be able to do what he is showing you. Without that, these lesson would be nearly impossible to glean anything from.

These lessons are very much like what Willie Myette does (though I seem to take to Duane's relaxed teaching style better), but done in Duane's teaching style, which should be very familiar by the time you start on these lessons.

My purpose in buying into these lessons is to download them month by month so I have them ready by the time I get finished with the 52 week course. I may even decide at some point to interleave them with the 52 week course when I get to the later lessons.

Watching the first lesson this morning, I am really motivated all over again, because this stuff really is possible for me to accomplish. Duane provides a very clear, step by step path to get the point of being ready to do all this. With the 52 week crash course, that is a given, a known quantity, a definite YES! So, watching that lesson showed me what is truly possible and well within my reach.

I would say that, in this thread, both EP and Fizikisto would both be ready for these lessons, based on what they have said regarding their progress/finishing of the 52 week course. For DMD, I would say that these lessons will give you what you are looking for without having to buy yet another course, unless these are too advanced for you (I have no idea what you already really know and are able to do, as I do when EP or Fizikisto say that they have either finished or nearly finished the 52 week course) - in which case the 52 week course would serve you well.

Tony


Last edited by TonyB; 05/01/16 09:05 AM.
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#2535735 - 05/01/16 10:53 AM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Originally Posted by TonyB
For DMD, I would say that these lessons will give you what you are looking for without having to buy yet another course, unless these are too advanced for you (I have no idea what you already really know and are able to do, as I do when EP or Fizikisto say that they have either finished or nearly finished the 52 week course) - in which case the 52 week course would serve you well.

Tony



I totally agree that these lessons provide me with most of what I wish to add to my skill set. Not necessarily in a jazz genre but very transportable to that style.

However, these lessons are like most all lessons ...

They only work if you actually work through them meticulously, inch by inch, until you can utilize those skills tastefully within multiple pieces at will.

That usually takes a long, long time and challenges your will to continue as you begin to question the suitability of the material and begin to look for "greener pastures".

That is why we have a library full of books, videos, and online courses we have signed up for and discontinued after a few weeks or months.

But, we persevere and keep moving forward, inch by inch ...



Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2535742 - 05/01/16 11:07 AM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: dmd]  
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Twin Cities
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by TonyB
For DMD, I would say that these lessons will give you what you are looking for without having to buy yet another course, unless these are too advanced for you (I have no idea what you already really know and are able to do, as I do when EP or Fizikisto say that they have either finished or nearly finished the 52 week course) - in which case the 52 week course would serve you well.

Tony



I totally agree that these lessons provide me with most of what I wish to add to my skill set. Not necessarily in a jazz genre but very transportable to that style.

However, these lessons are like most all lessons ...

They only work if you actually work through them meticulously, inch by inch, until you can utilize those skills tastefully within multiple pieces at will.

That usually takes a long, long time and challenges your will to continue as you begin to question the suitability of the material and begin to look for "greener pastures".

That is why we have a library full of books, videos, and online courses we have signed up for and discontinued after a few weeks or months.

But, we persevere and keep moving forward, inch by inch ...



I completely agree, as attested to by some of my earlier posts in this thread. I see these particular lessons (for me) as not being a new direction, but instead the completion of the path I am on using Duane Shinn's materials. You have to decide where they fit in your own journey (if at all). I hope that my previous post provides information for others who read/join this thread, who are either currently working with other materials from Duane Shinn, or are otherwise already well prepared for these lessons.

If you are looking for a more jazz-oriented approach, then Willie Myette will provide that in a similar setting as these particular lessons from Duane Shinn. Different teaching styles, you decide which is more suitable to your learning style.

Edit: If you do decide to go through those Duane Shinn lessons, it will be interesting to hear/read your experience with them, especially since at least some here will most likely follow you at some point.

Tony


Last edited by TonyB; 05/01/16 11:26 AM.
#2535749 - 05/01/16 11:27 AM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Originally Posted by TonyB


If you are looking for a more jazz-oriented approach, then Willie Myette will provide that in a similar setting as these particular lessons from Duane Shinn. Different teaching styles, you decide which is more suitable to your learning style.

Tony





Well, I believe I mentioned earlier ... regarding Willie Myette ...

His lessons tell you how to play a particular piece of music.

Duane Shinn gives you multiple options of how you "might" choose to play things ... You decide how you wish to play it.

That is a huge difference to me and is more to my liking.



Last edited by dmd; 05/01/16 11:30 AM.

Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
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#2535759 - 05/01/16 11:53 AM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by TonyB


If you are looking for a more jazz-oriented approach, then Willie Myette will provide that in a similar setting as these particular lessons from Duane Shinn. Different teaching styles, you decide which is more suitable to your learning style.


Tony





Well, I believe I mentioned earlier ... regarding Willie Myette ...

His lessons tell you how to play a particular piece of music.

Duane Shinn gives you multiple options of how you "might" choose to play things ... You decide how you wish to play it.

That is a huge difference to me and is more to my liking.




We both are starting to repeat ourselves, as I responded to that statement too. It sounds as if you have decided what you are going to do, so I wish you well on your journey.

I appreciate you reminding me of the Duane Shinn 1 year series. That will be a really good thing in my future as I progress.

Tony


Last edited by TonyB; 05/01/16 11:54 AM.
#2535793 - 05/01/16 01:44 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Tony,
Thanks for the review of the Inner Circle membership. It looks like it definitely might be a worthwhile addition to the crash course. Things have been crazy here (finals for the next two weeks, ick!) but once school is out I'll take a closer look at it.

Warm Regards smile


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
#2535847 - 05/01/16 04:20 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: fizikisto]  
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Originally Posted by fizikisto
Tony,
Thanks for the review of the Inner Circle membership. It looks like it definitely might be a worthwhile addition to the crash course. Things have been crazy here (finals for the next two weeks, ick!) but once school is out I'll take a closer look at it.

Warm Regards smile


Thanks to dmd for talking about these lessons too. Finals for you sounds similar to approaching the end of a project for me. It is always a scramble. Of course, when I was in college, finals weren't fun for the students either. smile Every time I drive past the U, I am so glad those days are behind me.

Tony


#2535877 - 05/01/16 06:52 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Today, I finished lesson 3 and started on lesson 4. Lesson 3 introduced reading the chords as notation on the bass clef, while lesson 4 continues that, introduces inversions (starting with C to G7), and swing bass (also known as stride piano). This is a lesson that I fully expect to spend some serious time with because I do not intend to move on until I can play that swing bass smoothly. Rushing that will only serve to trip me up later. The songs are simple, "Down In the Valley", "Blow the Man Down", etc. However, as far as I am concerned, that is fine. I will have my hands full learning these techniques and then going back to the previous chapters to apply the technique to those tunes.

I think from here on, my posts here will pretty much involve commenting on the lessons as Fizikisto mentioned that he is doing. I expect my progress to be decidedly non-linear, as is typical with any long term learning endeavor - with seeming jumps forward and then the plateaus. Lesson 3 was easy, lesson 4 will be a challenge. I have gotten two hours in today, and during the week will probably expect an hour to an hour and a half per day, split up in 15 - 20 minute segments as I have been doing. Fridays are my "day off" as Duane recommends taking a day per week off.

Watching the first lesson videos of the lesson series that dmd talked about (the 12 month "inner circle"), really showed me what will be possible by attending to "first things first" (the 52 week course first), a day at a time instead of skipping around. I saved that lesson to DVD and set it aside until I am nearly finished with the 52 week course. As each month's lesson becomes available to me, I will do the same - download it, save it to DVD, and set it aside for future use.

Tony


#2535897 - 05/01/16 08:21 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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TonyB,
Congratulations on finishing lesson 3. For what it's worth, it seems to me that you have exactly the right attitude to be successful. And yes, the swing bass stuff is really challenging. it took me a long time to get comfortable with it (and that's a far cry from mastery of it smile. Patience and perseverance are the keys there I think, and it sounds like you've got the right mindset for that. You're going to learn a lot of variations of it as the course progresses, so you're wise to work to get it down smooth before you move on.

I also have one other bit of advice that you can listen to or ignore as you find useful. When playing from the grand staff (both treble and bass), so many of the songs in the modern pianist series also have the chord symbols written above the treble clef. It's very easy to fall into the habit of using those as a crutch. My advice is to work to not look at those but to really focus on reading the notes from the bass clef instead. I suggest a worthy goal would be to learn to identify the chords just from their shapes. It doesn't matter if they're block chords or arpeggios or 2-1 breakups or whatever. When you can look at a group of notes and just instantly see "those are the notes of the C major chord, those are the notes of the G7 chord, etc..." it really speeds both one's reading and their ability to apply arranging techniques. I would actually say the chord out loud as I played it on some of my run throughs of the songs just to further solidify my ability to perceive the chords. Duane talks about this in lesson 3 on one of the songs, how useful it is to recognize that over a long segment the melody is just a broken up C chord.

Anyway, just throwing those ideas out there in case they might be useful.

Warm Regards.


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
#2535990 - 05/02/16 06:53 AM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Thanks Fizikisto. Considering how far you have gone in the course, I value your input. You have set my expectations much more realistically regarding learning the "swing bass" that I am about to start working on this evening.

For me, my attitude now is to being at the beginning instead of expecting things to go quickly or to be able to start with more advanced material. I taught myself to play a couple of pieces of music off of albums I listen to regularly, rather well off recordings by ear. However, that approach skips a lot of important grounding. The same (for me) would go for jumping into the Duane Shinn advanced lesson series that I just signed up for. We all learn differently, so my comments may not apply to others. For me, a structured approach to get the basics down is what I really need to do - just settle in and accept that this is simply how I learn best.

When I was teaching myself guitar, I somehow had the sense to start working through basic books for classical guitar. I learned to read standard notation right away, learned proper fingering, etc. For some reason, I found it difficult to accept that the same would hold true later in life for the piano. For me, there are no shortcuts. Hopefully, I am over that now and ready to do it right. smile

Tony


#2536310 - 05/03/16 12:13 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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I read earlier in this thread that the participants might take to PM if the thread becomes buried. I think that this is a very interesting thread because I've always wanted to hear more thoughts about this course. The course is expensive and piano isn't my main instrument and I've found very few piano dvd lessons that are structured with goals in mind.

I would like to encourage the students of the dvds to continue to post publically as your insights are invaluable to those like myself. It's also interesting to learn how much a particular course has helped you grow musically
.

#2536377 - 05/03/16 03:55 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Jusca,
Thanks for the encouragement. I'm still trying to get through later stages of the course, but I did really enjoy going back and redoing lesson 1 this past weekend. I was able to watch the lesson and get through playing everything in less than a couple of hours (it took considerably longer the first time I went through it. smile. In a way it was really nice to see how much I've progressed since then.

My plan, more or less, is to redo an old lesson every week and post my review/impressions of it. I have a bit more free time on the weekends so probably I'll use that time for redoing old lessons. I think TonyB also intends to come post his thoughts whenever he makes it through a new lesson. So I suspect this thread will drop down a page or two as we're working then get bumped back to the main page as we finish a lesson and post about it. smile

Fwiw, if you're thinking about getting the course, I'd say that it's an absolutely fantastic option. It's meant to be a beginning of a piano journey. That is, after you complete the course you should have the foundation to pursue whatever aspect of piano playing tweaks your fancy, whether that's going more into classical music, or jazz, or pop music, or whatever.

But what makes this course unique, and amazing, is the emphasis (basically from the very beginning) on not only playing what's written on the page but also being able to improvise and arrange around it on the fly.
The amount of content included in this course is amazing. I've seen the Learn and Master Piano course which has a comparable number of DVD's for $149. The 52 week crash course easily contains 10-20 times as much material. So yes, it's pricey in comparison, but there is tremendous value for the price as well. If my copy of the course were damaged or stolen, I'd replace it in a heartbeat.

Warm Regards


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
#2536436 - 05/03/16 06:49 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Weeelll, I did it! The tune in lesson 4 that uses swing bass (so far) is "Mulberry Bush". It is a children's song, but perfect for its simplicity and how well it fits the swing bass. I finished my practice for today, with being able to play through the song several times in a row at 120 BPM.

Though Duane has not mentioned it yet, I find checking my progress against a metronome very helpful. I guess that is a holdover for how I taught myself guitar, but I find it very effective when used in moderation.

Also, on this tune, the book says to use the sustain pedal after you get comfortable with playing the tune. I tried that today too. It took a couple of tries, but I got it quickly enough. The book says to press the pedal at the beginning of each measure. Luckily, my DP allows me to adjust decay, so I shortened it a bit. Personally, I think this tune works better with less pedal, but I am always open to suggestions from either Duane or the book, or even here.

I am not finished with lesson 4, but this tune was the hurdle I wanted to overcome.

Tony


#2536451 - 05/03/16 08:03 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Congratulations TonyB!
You're kicking butt and taking names. I probably need to start doing more with the metronome. I use it a bit, but I think I could do more. The metronome can be a harsh mistress. smile. As for pedaling technique, it's one of those things that will soon become second nature to you. Basically you let up the pedal whenever you change chords or whenever the sound start to get muddy.

I think I'm also going to take your advice and get the inner circle membership. I'll approach it the same way you are, just save them until I'm done with the crash course. Incidentally, Duane has some other courses devoted to specific pieces that might be worth grabbing for after you finish the crash course. Alexander's Ragtime Band, St. Louis Blues, Fur Elise, and Bach's prelude in C major are covered by specific DVD courses. The last one is called something like "Reading Music Quickly through Chord Analysis" and uses the prelude as the example tune.

In any case, congrats again on your progress. It sounds like you're doing really great! smile


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
#2536453 - 05/03/16 08:13 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: fizikisto]  
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Originally Posted by fizikisto
Congratulations TonyB!
You're kicking butt and taking names. I probably need to start doing more with the metronome. I use it a bit, but I think I could do more. The metronome can be a harsh mistress. smile. As for pedaling technique, it's one of those things that will soon become second nature to you. Basically you let up the pedal whenever you change chords or whenever the sound start to get muddy.

I think I'm also going to take your advice and get the inner circle membership. I'll approach it the same way you are, just save them until I'm done with the crash course. Incidentally, Duane has some other courses devoted to specific pieces that might be worth grabbing for after you finish the crash course. Alexander's Ragtime Band, St. Louis Blues, Fur Elise, and Bach's prelude in C major are covered by specific DVD courses. The last one is called something like "Reading Music Quickly through Chord Analysis" and uses the prelude as the example tune.

In any case, congrats again on your progress. It sounds like you're doing really great! smile


Thanks Fizikisto! This was the part that got me last time, but this time I went through it. I have some confidence now. smile

Tony

#2536558 - 05/04/16 09:10 AM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Lesson 4 has several new ideas in it. One thing I noticed this morning in the video for the week is that Duane says NOT to use the pedal yet because we have enough to concentrate on. He says he will be getting to that later in detail.

One thing that always seems to trip me up is fingering. In more traditional piano books, you spend a lot of time in a basic 5 finger position, in which your right hand never leaves a position that has your thumb on middle C and the other fingers on D, E, F, and G respectively. In the 52 week course, we are moving those fingers around quite a bit, and right away. The right hand is always switching fingers on repeated notes to position the hand to move farther up or down outside what would normally be that 5 finger range. You have to watch and learn carefully to get the fingering right. This sort of thing MUST become habit so that later on when more complex things are being learned, you are not wasting mental bandwidth on the stuff that should have been ingrained long before.

As I mentioned earlier, we get into swing bass in lesson 4. We also explore more inversions. In other piano books, inversions seem to be taught as exercises in which you run up and down the keyboard playing the inversions of a chord, much like practicing scales. In the 52 week course, we are (at least in the early lessons) learning chord inversions a bit at a time, by using them to play music. We are learning why inversions are useful and how to use them musically. Switching between C, F, and G using inversions for good voice leading and smooth transition, learning to recognize the common tones when moving from one chord to the next, all the while playing songs instead of exercises.

Though the tunes (so far) are simple children's songs, keep in mind that we are learning a lot of stuff while playing these - good fingering practices, chord inversions, timing, note reading, swing bass and other means of dressing up these tunes, etc. (Duane usually picks one of the tunes in a lesson and does it several different increasingly complex ways, showing us what is coming later and how it will build on what we are learning now). There is a lot going on, and I can readily see how useful all these things will be for putting together my own arrangements and writing my own music in the future. If I am learning this much and am only at lesson 4, I can imagine how much will be covered before the last lesson. I suspect that I will playing as second nature, music by ear and "toolbox" technique (switching it all around every time I play the tune as I feel like it), material that would look like a real mess to somebody who must read the sheet music. There has got to be much freedom in being able to do that.

Edit: On the video for this week, Duane says that from here on out, the daily practice gets much longer because he wants us to go back to the previous lessons and apply what new things we are learning, to the previous tunes. For now, that includes using the chord inversions in the left hand as well as the swing bass. He also clarified the swing bass, saying that we should use whatever inversion is closest to the bass note we are playing. This is not what the book shows, so moving forward, it pays to watch the entire lesson for the week right away, taking notes to use throughout the week.

Tony


Last edited by TonyB; 05/04/16 09:50 AM.
#2536627 - 05/04/16 01:02 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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TonyB,
Thanks for the continued progress reports! Work has been absolutely nuts here (and will be for the next 1.5 weeks), so I've been going even slower than usual. I'm still managing to get in 30-45 min practice each day, but I'm looking forward to being able to have more piano time once again soon!

I'm always amazed at just how much content Duane manages to fit into the course. And yes, you're going to learn so many techniques it's kind of mind blowing. smile

About practicing new techniques on old songs, yes I'd say that's an essential part of the course, and one that I suspect a lot of people who go through the course neglect to their detriment. On the other hand, you could easily spend an inordinate amount of time on that review and fail to progress more fully through the main body of the course (speaking from experience here!) so you'll have to find a balance.

The good news though is that you have lots of opportunity for variety. You can pick one song and run through 4 or 5 different arrangement techniques, or you can focus on one arrangement technique and apply it 4 or 5 different songs. There are no rules, and Duane encourages a lot of experimentation.

Later in the course (not much later actually!) you'll start stacking different arrangement techniques on top of each other and mixing and matching them within one song. It's so much cooler than what you're doing now, and what you're doing now is still really cool smile

Warm Regards,

P.S. About the swing bass. I think Duane's comment about the shorter distance is meant to be more a rule of thumb than a concrete law. Later you'll see techniques where you move over a greater range of the keyboard. But Duane does try to get you thinking about what martial artists often call "economy of motion" which is a very useful guiding principle to have.


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#2536780 - 05/04/16 07:49 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Fizikisto...

Thanks so much for your responses. They are both motivating and informative. I just want you to know how much I appreciate your insights.

Thanks,

Tony


#2537352 - 05/06/16 05:25 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Last Friday I went way back and redid Lesson 1 and reviewed it here. I think I'm going to try to keep that pace, working through old lessons on the weekends as I continue through the main course during the rest of the week. So with that in mind, here's my review and summary of lesson 2:

Lesson 2 begins with a review of the things learned in the first week. The names of the notes and the structure of the keyboard (repeating octaves, repeating patterns of black and white keys, etc...), several songs from the "5 note finger position," and the 3 pointer chords which correspond to the 3 primary chords (the I, IV, and V chords) in the key of C.

In lesson 2 we move from playing songs with melodies that are contained in the 5 note position to playing a melody that ranges over a full octave. Yes, very basic, but for a beginner it's the next logical step. Duane talks about how to cover 8 notes with only 5 fingers and discusses the use of fingering notation on the printed music. Duane also warns of the pitfalls of using the finger numbers to identify which notes to play instead of using the position of the notes written on the staff. The finger numbers tell you which finger to use, not which note to play.

The first song in the lesson is Du, du liegest mir im Herzen. This is a simple two chord song, still arranged as a lead sheet, but it presents the first "stretch" where you have to move your hand out of the 5-finger position to play all the notes. At this point you'll still be using the pointer chords learned in lesson one. It's actually harder to play with the pointer chords than it is to play with different inversions of the chords that are introduced later on. I think this is the right approach pedagogically. Right at the beginning you're getting used to having to move your left hand around the keyboard in jumps.

next Duane introduces the 1 octave C-major scale and demonstrates how to play it, both ascending and descending. The thumb under and thumb over techniques are introduced. Later in the course other scales will be taught, and scales that span multiple octaves, but this is an introduction to the concept of a scale.

The next song is the "Can Can Polka" which has a full descending C major scale as part of the melody. It puts the concept of a scale into the context of a song, and duane notes that melody lines very often contain whole scales or fragments of scales. Duane uses the song "Joy to the Wold" as another example of a song that contains an entire scale. Duane also uses this song (Can Can Polka) to introduce the concept of arranging, and offers the first two arranging techniques (albeit very simple ones) in the course. He has you play the song as before, with the chord played on the first beat of each new measure, and then with the chord played on beats 1 and 3, and then finally on all four beats. By varying the timing of the chords, it really affects how the songs feel.

Duane demonstrates some additional arranging techniques that are introduced later in the course, swing bass and open voice arpeggios are demonstrated. Next Duane reviews how to play the G pointer chord and then demonstrates how to add the 7th note to form the G7 Chord (technically this is a dominant 7th chord, He'll also show how to form major 7th chords later). He also introduces the concept of inverting chords.

The Next song is Oh Susana. It uses the G7th chord, and it also introduces the concept of a pick-up note (which borrows time from the last measure).

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow is another song that lets you practice the G7 chord

The next song moves the right hand to a different octave. Duane also introduces another new 7th chord, the D7th chord, which is the first chord in the course that uses a black key. Duane demonstrates how to move the hand up closer to the fall board in order to play the D7th chord more comfortably.

So now, by lesson two you willl have learned to play C, G, G7, F, and D7 chords in lead sheet notation along with simple melodies.

The next song, Faith of our Fathers gives you a chance to practice these chords. Duane also reviews how to properly count and keep time.

Next the lesson moves from the main book to the supplementary book.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Long Long Ago, Carnival of Venice, and On Top of Old Smokey are the songs covered in the supplementary book. They give you practice in stretching beyond the 5 finger position. They also give you some new rhythms (introduced with tied notes) to work through. The last two also give you a chance to practice with pick up notes.

That's all the material covered in the lesson. As before, Duane moves to the close up view to demonstrate exactly what his fingers are doing as he plays the C major scale, the new chords, etc..

Every one of these lessons is very dense with information. but the information is being given out in bite sized pieces that make everything easy to follow. That's what makes this a "crash" course, you're getting a lot of information in really short time.

I think now might be a good time to discuss expectations. This is a course that takes a lot of work. practice practice practice. I suspect that it's a rare person who can get through the whole thing in a year if they were really focused on learning as much as they could from it. If you just wanted to move through the course as quickly as you could it's probably doable, but I don't think you'd be where you want to be as a piano player. To anyone taking the course I'd recommend not setting arbitrary goals to keep the 1 lesson a week pace, but rather to just work through each lesson in your own time. It's really important that you try to get in consistent regular practice (Duane recommends that 6 days out of the week you try to get in at least an hour of practice each day, broken into 3 or 4 smaller segments). If you do that, you may not finish the course in a year, but you will make consistent steady progress through it. Just in the first two lessons a lot of material has been covered. future lessons are just as dense with information. This course is a huge undertaking.

But does everyone know how to eat an elephant?

One bite at a time. smile



Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
#2537353 - 05/06/16 05:33 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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TonyB,
You're very welcome. I'm glad that you're enjoying the course and finding it worthwhile. I'm enjoying your posts as well, and this thread you've started is helping with my motivation as well. I've let my attention be split among too many things which has caused me to move very slowly through the course with many starts and stops along the way (I'm a bit ADD). But participating in this thread is helping me stay focused on this one thing because I really want to get through the rest of the course. I'm also really enjoying going back to these old lessons. I rematched lesson 2 last night and worked through all the songs this morning. Everything in the beginning lessons is so much easier now. It makes me feel like I've actually accomplished some things for the effort that i've been putting in. smile



Nord Stage 2 HA88
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#2537355 - 05/06/16 05:37 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: fizikisto]  
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Originally Posted by fizikisto


Every one of these lessons is very dense with information. but the information is being given out in bite sized pieces that make everything easy to follow. That's what makes this a "crash" course, you're getting a lot of information in really short time.

I think know might be a good time to discuss expectations. This is a course that takes a lot of work. practice practice practice. I suspect that it's a rare person who can get through the whole thing in a year if they were really focused on learning as much as they could from it. If you just wanted to move through the course as quickly as you could it's probably doable, but I don't think you'd be where you want to be as a piano player. To anyone taking the course I'd recommend not setting arbitrary goals to keep the 1 lesson a week pace, but rather to just work through each lesson in your own time. It's really important that you try to get in consistent regular practice (Duane recommends that 6 days out of the week you try to get in at least an hour of practice each day, broken into 3 or 4 smaller segments). If you do that, you may not finish the course in a year, but you will make consistent steady progress through it. Just in the first two lessons a lot of material has been covered. future lessons are just as dense with information. This course is a huge undertaking.

But does everyone know how to eat an elephant?

One bite at a time. smile



I couldn't agree more. Of course it depends on what level a person starts at, but I think it could take many years to master the techniques to Duane's level. (Of course by then you'd have your own students!)

#2537380 - 05/06/16 07:20 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: EP]  
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Originally Posted by EP

I couldn't agree more. Of course it depends on what level a person starts at, but I think it could take many years to master the techniques to Duane's level. (Of course by then you'd have your own students!)


Well, I finished the course over the course of last night, but then the alarm clock went off and it was time to wake up. Nice dream though. smile


Back to reality - I am experimenting with applying the swing bass technique and the inversions (and the swing bass with the inversions) to previous tunes and that is going well. I can't think of a better way to get this into my hands. I am doing it S-L-O-W-L-Y, and letting those brain connections form. The main thing for me this time around is that I am able to do it at all. That is a big win for me.

Tony


#2537392 - 05/06/16 09:21 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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TonyB,
Nice dream indeed! I wish we could just plug in matrix style and download it all into our brains all at once. Sadly, we must all take the long scenic route. smile As for it being a big win, it really is. keep on keepin' on man, you're doing great! smile


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
#2537465 - 05/07/16 07:31 AM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Thanks Fizikisto. I have completed lesson 4, so I do want to take a few days to go back through previous tunes before moving on. I understand finding that balance that was mentioned earlier in this thread, between moving forward and going back over previous tunes. I want to make sure that I have the material well in hand before adding still more technique though. One thing I noticed when watching Duane Shinn is that he is playing all this at a very relaxed pace, so obviously accuracy is more important than speed in his approach.

Tony


#2537477 - 05/07/16 08:31 AM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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TonyB,

I agree. Also, I would note that speed comes with relaxation. Later Duane does play some stuff really fast (going up tempo, or down tempo is an arrangement technique of sorts too). But if you practice playing accurately and slowly, you'll be able to play accurately and faster later on if you cultivate relaxation.

Attitude is another important factor, imo. Another thing you'll notice is that when Duane flubs and hits a wrong note or otherwise screws up, he hasn't edited that out of the video, and usually it gives him a chuckle. "haha did you see me screw up on line three?!" It's purposely done to show that even when you reach a high level of playing like he has, you'll still make mistakes. As for him being able to smile and laugh when he makes a mistake, I think that's a better reaction than my occasional string of growls and expletives smile

People in the west tend to look at failure and mistakes the wrong way, imo. They feel bad about making mistakes or failing at something. A better approach is to view it as an opportunity for learning. I like the saying, "To master something you must first make a million mistakes. get started." As frustrating as they are, I know that every mistake is part of the learning process that will get me to where I want to be.

Warm Regards


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
#2537481 - 05/07/16 08:47 AM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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I don't suppose I could get either (or both) of you to post examples of what you are doing in these lessons. It might convince me that this course would be useful in my endeavors.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2537491 - 05/07/16 09:50 AM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
I don't suppose I could get either (or both) of you to post examples of what you are doing in these lessons. It might convince me that this course would be useful in my endeavors.


Yes, I will do that. As far as I am concerned, all the talk in the world proves nothing. The "rubber meets the road" when I am willing to back up all the talk with something real.

Now, the caveats...

I have never recorded myself playing piano, so I need to figure out what cabling I need, etc, etc. I will make one or more MP3s, find a place to post them, and then post here when they are ready. It might be a few days of playing around with the recording process or maybe I can just do something and get it posted somewhere.

Another caveat...I am in the very early stages of this course, so the songs will be simple children's songs with no advanced technique of any kind, and played slowly. This will give you a very real idea of where one starts in the course.

If the recording process works out well, I will seriously consider posting more MP3s periodically so people can hear whether there is any progress, and if that progress warrants buying the course. This is assuming that you can base your potential on whatever you feel my own potential is. Remember that we are different people, with different strengths.

DMD, from what you have said (i.e. playing some classical pieces), you are probably past the point that I am currently at. I can tell you that what I am doing is only the first 4 lessons, and the course really has not gathered momentum yet. That will apparently happen over the next 12 lessons or so, since lesson 17 seems to be a recap of many techniques one can apply to a song.

As for Fitzikisto, remember that the sentiments I express here about recording are my own views and should not reflect on whatever he decides to do or not do.

Tony


Last edited by TonyB; 05/07/16 09:51 AM.
#2537534 - 05/07/16 12:57 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Tony: I will look forward to hearing (or seeing) what you are doing.

The simplest means of recording that I have found are as follows ...

1. Your keyboard may have the capability to record mp3 files.

2. Pianoteq records EVERYTHING as you use it. You can then select that which you like.

3. I can use my computer webcam for video recording. Works fine.

So, anyway ... that is how I deal with it when I wish to.

Good Luck


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2537574 - 05/07/16 02:46 PM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Thanks for the tips, dmd. I just needed to get a routine down for the work flow. Now that I have it, it is really quite easy. The main issue with the V-Grand is that it is so big that you literally have to crawl underneath it to plug in the cables to the audio outs. It has all manner of jacks for professional concert hall sound connections, as well as the same 4 channel audio outs that the V-Piano has so you can add extra speakers and stuff if you really want to get crazy. This thing is really a behemoth, since it is a real baby grand cabinet (5' 6" baby grand, 375 lbs).

Here are three recordings I just made today:

https://app.box.com/s/677jd1bylozerw5sndtpvpgilt81v9io

Hopefully, whoever wants to hear these has permissions. I tried the link and it worked for me.

"Mulberry" is from the current lesson 4, and is played exactly the way Duane does it on his video (though he does it with more "authority" due to the years he has been teaching it).

"Merrily1" is the first song you learn in lesson 1, and is done exactly as Duane does it.

"Merrily2" is done with the "swing bass". I simply recorded the first time I tried it that way, no rehearsal, just to see if I could do it.

All of these are first and only takes because I wanted you to hear what I am able to do honestly, rather than trying to sound more capable than I currently am.

I would have to look back at this thread to see where I said I started the course again, but that is all the time I have put into this at this point. Prior to restarting this course, I had not been playing piano for a while at all.

Someday I may get into video recording, but for now MP3 is good enough for me. I doubt anybody would "fake it" playing at this level, so you know it is really me. smile smile If I played one of the demo tunes instead, then just maybe either the Duane Shinn course is doing absolute miracles or I am grossly misrepresenting myself. smile

I do think that recording myself from time to time would be a really good idea. Putting such recordings out there for all to hear would certainly keep me honest about practicing and whatnot, probably leading me to really get through this course once and for all. I guess all it took to get going on this was a push from you guys. smile

Tony


#2537748 - 05/08/16 08:39 AM Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB]  
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Tony: Thank you for the recordings. Now, I have a better idea of the material in the course. The beginning nature of it, anyway. It is actually very typical Duane Shinn stuff.

You sound like you are off to a good start. The trick will be staying with each "week" until you master it ... or at least become pretty fluent with it. That concept of going back through other songs with the new material is critical. That will help you become fluent with other chords and melodies.

I think you are on the right track, you just have to find the resolve to stick with it.






Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
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