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Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: EP] #2593379
12/09/16 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by EP
The course has 4 lesson books and 4 supplementary books with extra music.
While you do learn to play what's in the books, the real meat of the course is learning to enhance the music that's written. You could get through the course in a year if you tried, but to gain mastery of what he teaches could literally take you the rest of your life.


Thank you. That's what I'm looking for. I want to open up a hymnal and not just play the basic 4 part harmony that's written on the page. I want to be able to play the hymn different ways adding richness, fullness, and more beauty to it. The hymn as it's written sounds ok, but it kind of bland. It sounds like the crash course could help. I'm also looking at his pro secrets and his gospel courses.

I just want to make sure I spend my time practicing in the most productive way possible since I'm an adult learner and time is limited and the future is uncertain.

God Bless,
David


Kawai MP-11SE
Mac mini 2018/Focusrite Scarlett 2i4/KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course; Lessons 1-33 Completed
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Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2593387
12/09/16 11:18 AM
12/09/16 11:18 AM
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If you're primarily interested in hymns, you might want to check and see if Duane still has his hymn course. I don't remember what it's called, but he has about 30 or so hymns, each in a separate lesson, and teaches a lot of the same techniques he teaches in the 52-week course but applied specifically to that hymn. Partially depends on what level you are starting at - the hymns course assume you already have some piano and music-reading experience. That's probably the gospel course you're referring to. Might be worth a discussion with Duane to see what your best option would be.
The pro-secrets course is really good if you're disciplined enough to stick with it. It's designed for you to spend an hour a day for a month with each of the 36 lessons - really drilling on a lot of great piano techniques.
You might also want to check out GregHowlett.com - he has courses specifically designed for church pianists.

Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: EP] #2593410
12/09/16 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by EP
If you're primarily interested in hymns, you might want to check and see if Duane still has his hymn course. I don't remember what it's called, but he has about 30 or so hymns, each in a separate lesson, and teaches a lot of the same techniques he teaches in the 52-week course but applied specifically to that hymn. Partially depends on what level you are starting at - the hymns course assume you already have some piano and music-reading experience. That's probably the gospel course you're referring to. Might be worth a discussion with Duane to see what your best option would be.


I tried to contact Duane, but his policy is that he does not talk to students. He will not respond to emails and will not talk on the phone. Evidently he has too many students to do that. I wanted to find out if he felt the 52 week course would be redundant based on what I had studied so far (which isn't much, just L&M series). The only way I can find out is by purchasing it and going though it. Based on what I'm reading in this thread and other places, the course should take me beyond what's written to the areas of learning that I can apply where I want, e.g., hymns. Hopefully it will provide a good foundation for his Gospel series, which I would like to do as a followup. The pro secrets also intrigues me, but I'm not sure where that will fit in.

God bless,
David


Kawai MP-11SE
Mac mini 2018/Focusrite Scarlett 2i4/KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course; Lessons 1-33 Completed
Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2593416
12/09/16 01:19 PM
12/09/16 01:19 PM
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Duane's been in the business for a long time, and has had some health problems, so may be more or less retired now. Too bad he won't respond.
The Pro Secrets and Gospel series would both be good follow-ups to the 52-week course but wouldn't work as well as stand-alone courses unless you already had a pretty good grasp of the material taught in the 52-week course. (I'm not affiliated with Duane or that familiar with his current offerings but I have taken all three of these courses -back when they were on VHS and cassette tape.)

Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2593503
12/09/16 08:25 PM
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David B: EP summarized it well. Duane offers various ways to arrange the pieces in the books and you can decide to go the "extra credit" way or stick to the written music.

The reason it took so long for me (beside being slow :)) is that I had a few slow weeks due to relatives visit and I took the extra credit way for a few pieces, one of which took me almost 3 weeks to play relatively well.

You can actually buy just the 1st DVD and book for $100 and, if you decide to continue, get credit toward the entire course.
That is what I did.

--stoppa

Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2599397
12/30/16 04:35 PM
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I finished lessons 1-3 in the 52 Week Crash Course and I'm in the middle of Lesson 4. I didn't learn anything new in the first three lessons, but it's been an exercise in sight reading, which I really didn't do much of in the Learn And Master Series.

One thing I've noticed in lesson 4 is that we get right into stride rhythm in the left hand (Duane calls it "Swing Bass"). That was not introduced in the L&M series unto lesson 20 something. Another main difference between the L&M series and the Crash Course is sight reading. You don't really learn sight reading in the L&M series. Also, the L&M series just gives you an overview or introduction to various styles. For example, L&M only covered stride piano on one lesson and then we went on to other stuff and never visited it again. That's pretty much how all 28 lessons were. There wasn't a development of anything particular.

I can tell the 52 week course is going to be much, much more of what I need. I know I will learn how to sight read, and develop different techniques throughout the entire course. I like Duane's systematic approach of building upon each lesson. I can tell that this series will make me a piano player (provided I put the time in).

The Learn and Master series was not a waste of money (it was about 150.00), and it gave a good introduction to playing the piano, I just wish I would have not spent two years messing around with it. If I was starting over with both courses in front of me, I would rather start with Duane's 52 week course. I definitely won't finish this in a year (and I'm trying to get 3 hours of practice in a day), but my goal is to not just get through it, but rather learn all I can from it.

Back to lesson 4 and swing bass. I will update when I can.

God Bless,
David


Kawai MP-11SE
Mac mini 2018/Focusrite Scarlett 2i4/KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course; Lessons 1-33 Completed
Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2599513
12/31/16 02:52 AM
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yes, "swing bass" is a blast (at least for me)!😀
One day I dream I can go from swing to "rag"....I'm now at lesson 10 btw.

Thanks for the courses comparisons. I know it's early but I wonder after this 52 weeks (or rather 52 months) course, what would be a good way to move forward ?

What people do for example after finishing the 3 Alfred books ?

Happy New Year!

Last edited by Stopparde; 12/31/16 03:07 AM.
Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: Stopparde] #2599695
12/31/16 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Stopparde
....I'm now at lesson 10 btw.


Awesome! keep up the good work.

Quote
I know it's early but I wonder after this 52 weeks (or rather 52 months) course, what would be a good way to move forward ?


I went a little crazy when I purchased Duane's 52 week course. I also purchased his Pro Secrets and his praise and gospel series. Total cost was 2k for everything. The material actually costs more than I paid for my digital piano (kawai es8).

So I have a lot to keep me busy for a good 5 years or so.

God Bless,
David


Kawai MP-11SE
Mac mini 2018/Focusrite Scarlett 2i4/KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course; Lessons 1-33 Completed
Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2599732
12/31/16 05:53 PM
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I was also looking just yesterday at the pro secret course.
Beside being ~$700, it's audio only with one dvd.
Have you had the time to sift through it a bit ? How is the quality of the material?
Maybe I should order one......
Thanks and Happy Learning.
-stoppa

Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: Stopparde] #2599746
12/31/16 08:07 PM
12/31/16 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Stopparde
I was also looking just yesterday at the pro secret course.
Beside being ~$700, it's audio only with one dvd.
Have you had the time to sift through it a bit ? How is the quality of the material?
Maybe I should order one......
Thanks and Happy Learning.
-stoppa


Since you are doing well with the 52-week course, I would suggest that you just keep going and try to resist getting side-tracked with something else. The biggest road block to making progress is having too many different paths in front of you.

Stay focused on what you started and when/if you finish you will be far better off than flitting around with different directions along the way.

I know ... we all like to buy things. We think buying something will make things go much better. It doesn't seem to work that way. Too much "stuff" can be harmful to our progress.

Good Luck

Last edited by dmd; 12/31/16 08:09 PM.

Don

Kawai MP11SE, Casio PX-160, SennHeiser HD 555 Headphones, Apple iPad Mini, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor, Focal CMS 40 Monitors
Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2599758
12/31/16 09:09 PM
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Don, I agree! Focus! I'm determined to finish! No distractions 😂

Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: Stopparde] #2600159
01/02/17 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Stopparde
I was also looking just yesterday at the pro secret course.
Beside being ~$700, it's audio only with one dvd.
Have you had the time to sift through it a bit ? How is the quality of the material?
Maybe I should order one......
Thanks and Happy Learning.
-stoppa


You're right, it's just audio with one overview DVD where he demonstrates the 36 techniques. The audio is actually very poor quality, but sufficient to learn the material. He mentioned on the first CD that he was 45 years old at the time of the recording. I don't know exactly how old he is now, but I'm guessing that the recordings must be close to 30 years old.

I can't say right now whether it is worth 700 bucks or not. I have started the first technique (straddles), however, I'm not doing the one hour a day routine that the course is geared around.

I figured I start with the pro secrets techniques, but not make it the focus. The 52 week course is the focus for me. I've started the pro secrets just for variety. If it takes me 6 months to learn a single technique, I'm ok with that. I'll be that much further ahead when I finish the 52 week course.

I just completed lesson 4 tonight in the crash course and will be starting lesson 5 either tomorrow or Thursday. I have a busy week coming up. I finished lesson 4 sooner than I thought I would. Probably because I've already been introduced to stride piano in the L&M series. It's fun and I'm glad it starts with with just a few chords (C and G7), that makes it more manageable.

I've actually changed up the rhythm some. Rather than playing root on the first beat and the chord on the first beat of the next measure (like it's written), I've been playing root on the first beat and chord on 2nd and 3rd in 3/4 time, and root on the first and chord on the third in 4/4 time.

Wish I had more time to practice. I absolutely believe there will be significant improvements in my playing if I put the time in with this course.

God Bless,
David


Last edited by David B; 01/02/17 05:15 AM.

Kawai MP-11SE
Mac mini 2018/Focusrite Scarlett 2i4/KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course; Lessons 1-33 Completed
Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2600242
01/02/17 11:03 AM
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It sounds as if you are making great progress, David. Duane's course is different from other home study courses because it covers a lot of territory, and does it step by step so you are assured you are really getting it all. To keep costs down, make the process seem less intimidating (i.e. able to claim instant gratification, etc), other such courses tend to focus on just one or a few of the areas that Duane's course covers. Where Duane's course goes in depth, making sure you get it, many course really tend to gloss over important details. Duane is old school, detail-oriented, rather than the "new way" of getting through it as quickly as possible.

However, Duane's course also serves as the gateway to his more advanced courses. I have most of these - improvisation, music theory, 36 techniques, how to play by ear, how to dress up naked music, etc. All of these together serve up a quite well rounded and complete piano education whose focus is on playing songs, rather than solely on classical music.

The one problem I have had with the 52 week course is that it gets rather intense, rather quickly so that if you don't have serious time and energy at the end of the work day to practice, you will fall behind. This course takes sustained commitment. After the first round of excitement, when everything is still new and shiny, the understanding of just how much work is involved starts to sink in. Those with previous piano experience of one kind or another may slide through the first several lessons, but sooner or later, you will hit that "brick wall", where it will be a few weeks of sustained effort to get through the next lesson.

This can be difficult if you have a demanding job and/or other areas of your life are demanding. Think of it as being quite similar to finishing college at night (as I did), because it is very much like that. Anything that has real rewards, will require real sustained effort, whether it is getting that 4 year degree or really learning to play piano.

I have started and stopped this 52 week course any number of times. I am semi-retired, taking engineering contracts for a few months each year for the past few years. I can be doing fine with the 52 week course, but then once I am a week or two into a contract job, I have trouble finding the energy at the end of the day to work on the course. For this year, I am seriously considering just not working so I can continue to make progress at a reasonable pace. Being able to play piano every day, several times a day, is (to me) a good way to approach this course. This type of practice is like watering a lawn. Instead of dumping a ton of water on the lawn in a short time and having most of it just run off, this is like slowly letting the water soak in, where it does the most good. Duane even talks about this approach.

Though Duane sells this course as being for "busy adults", I find that this "busyness" tends to suck the energy out of me, leaving little left when I have time to practice. I think the course is great for retirees who want something real to sink their teeth into, providing structure for the day and real goals that have value rather than the typical shortcuts that many such courses provide.

For working folks, especially older folks whose overall energy level is starting to wane as they near retirement, the course can work, but expect to be stopping and starting as life interferes. Even so, that process helps to prepare you for fully engaging it in retirement.

One of the nice things about this course, and its related follow-on courses, is that when you buy the entire course, you get the whole thing in your home. It is there waiting for you even if you do have to set it aside for a few years. It isn't going anywhere. There is absolutely no guarantee that any of those piano teaching sites will be there that long. With a server providing the course work, it is all too easy for it to pack u and go away if the owner decides there isn't enough interest, or time to maintain it, or profit margin for the time spent, or whatever, not to mention the possibility of the site being hacked or otherwise becoming even temporarily unavailable. You own the Duane Shinn courses and they are there whenever you are ready.

The various courses are expensive compared to other home study courses, but you are getting real quality teaching, specifically designed for self-teaching. Also, you pay the price just once and then from that point on, no more cash outlay, but years of learning the material at your own pace - no missed lessons, rescheduling or having to drive somewhere to take a lesson (important if you live where the winters are long and cold...). The main thing is that you are not sacrificing teaching quality by taking the self-study route with these courses. I can't really say that about the myriad courses I have gotten from elsewhere that claim to do the same thing.

Tony


Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2600260
01/02/17 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
The one problem I have had with the 52 week course is that it gets rather intense, rather quickly so that if you don't have serious time and energy at the end of the work day to practice, you will fall behind. This course takes sustained commitment.


I know what you mean by "sustained commitment." I look at it as slowly plodding along. Although I have very specific goals in mind, the journey for me is also very enjoyable. I actually like learning these simple little pieces and trying to play them with expression. The key is to keep moving forward even if it's at a slow pace. Personally, it's hard for me to stop something once I start it. I get obsessed. I've had various obsessions that have lasted decades. I think the piano will be one of my last obsessions in life.

God Bless,
David


Kawai MP-11SE
Mac mini 2018/Focusrite Scarlett 2i4/KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course; Lessons 1-33 Completed
Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: David B] #2600296
01/02/17 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Stopparde
I was also looking just yesterday at the pro secret course.
Beside being ~$700, it's audio only with one dvd.
Have you had the time to sift through it a bit ? How is the quality of the material?
Maybe I should order one......
Thanks and Happy Learning.
-stoppa


You're right, it's just audio with one overview DVD where he demonstrates the 36 techniques. The audio is actually very poor quality, but sufficient to learn the material. He mentioned on the first CD that he was 45 years old at the time of the recording. I don't know exactly how old he is now, but I'm guessing that the recordings must be close to 30 years old.

I can't say right now whether it is worth 700 bucks or not. I have started the first technique (straddles), however, I'm not doing the one hour a day routine that the course is geared around.
...........
God Bless,
David



Thanks David,
just one more question: how the recordings are structured ? Does Duane plays the techniques, explains them, both? And how easy is to follow ? I'm more of a visual person and I'm wondering how easy is to follow the lessons with just audio.

Tony
thanks for your write-up and experience. Very interesting to know about a fellow piano student.

In my case I'm still working full time with quite a few years before getting close to any form of retirement. I always thought "when I retire I'll start learning to play piano" , to realize then that "when I retire" is going to be too late!
I started and stopped Alfred a few times and then after joining this forum I discovered Duane course.
I completely agree with you on owning the material more than "streaming" it.
With long term commitment learning such as piano, you need to own the material and have it available when you need it.

That was also the reason why I was contemplating the idea of buying a few of the pro courses. It will take quite a while before I'll be at the level to which I could start the pro though, but I know I have it there available if fancy strike.
But, as we discussed earlier, one of the goal is trying to not be distracted (too much) and keep the focus.

I feel you, when you say that it takes time and energy at the end of the day to go through the lessons. I'm at lesson 10 after 6 months, so not exactly going fast here.
I try to do at least a minimum of 15m every day, so far I skipped around a week due to vacations far from home. Concentration for me is a big issue more than anything else.

Anyway, 2017 resolutions: continue to learn piano more physical activity and of course .....lose weight 😬

Last edited by Stopparde; 01/02/17 01:19 PM.
Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2600306
01/02/17 01:40 PM
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Stopparde,

You can purchase the advanced courses and completely ignore them until you are ready. That is what I have been doing. To me, it makes sense to buy them while they are available. we really don't know how long Duane himself is going to be around to run the business, and after that, what will happen to it. He is probably well along in years by now, as some have mentioned in this thread, considering how long he has been selling the courses. If you wait to buy them until you are finished with the 52 week course, they may not be available anymore. That has happened to other courses from other places in the past. Nothing goes on forever.

Once you have gotten used to Duane's teaching style and are comfortable/productive with it, it would be a shame to have to find something else to move on to from an entirely different teacher whom you may or may not like. Staying with Duane, you have solid consistency, and those advanced courses cover pretty much anything you might want to learn.

One thing I have noticed is that the permanence that I have talked about here seems to be less important to younger generations, who are comfortable with things coming and going on the internet all the time. So it may be that what I am saying sounds really "old school" to some folks. If I find something that works for me, I want it to stay that way. That attitude may be unique to just some of us, so it may well be that this is of little importance to other folks.

Tony


Last edited by TonyB; 01/02/17 01:43 PM.
Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2600426
01/02/17 08:43 PM
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One Duane Shinn program I would strongly recommend to go along with the 52 week course is the "Specialized DVD Piano Lessons" set. This is a set of 16 DVDs, each DVD focusing on a specific subject such as pedalling, scales, modulation, etc. These fill in the 52 week course with the kinds of things you might be asking a live teacher about during the course of lessons. Rather than being a distraction, these provide additional information. This is not a course, but instead each DVD focuses on just one subject, expanding on what is taught in the 52 week (or any other) course of piano study.

Tony


Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2600500
01/03/17 03:35 AM
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Ha! I did not notice that one! Thanks Tony.
It seems (based on the dvds topics) that some of the material is covered in his videos on youtube ?
Very tempting...

Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: TonyB] #2600596
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I don't really know what Duane Shinn has on Youtube. However, what I have noticed for myself is that the computer can be a distraction, so I try to separate my piano time from computer time (which is another reason why I don't want an online subscription to a piano teaching site). I do know that each DVD in that set goes into detail about just that one subject of the DVD. To me, these DVDs collectively represent the kinds of things I would want to ask Duane as I am working through his course. He covers everything in the course itself, but sometimes we want more detail than he provides in a given lesson. He certainly does a good job in the lessons, but there are always a few more things about a given subject we want to know, and these DVDs allow us to get that without getting distracted with yet another course.

Tony


Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course [Re: Stopparde] #2600868
01/04/17 12:29 AM
01/04/17 12:29 AM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 264
The Sierras
D
David B Offline
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David B  Offline
Full Member
D

Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 264
The Sierras
Originally Posted by Stopparde

Thanks David,
just one more question: how the recordings are structured ? Does Duane plays the techniques, explains them, both? And how easy is to follow ? I'm more of a visual person and I'm wondering how easy is to follow the lessons with just audio.


So far I've only listened to the first CD on Straddles. He does go over the correct fingering and then walks you through the drill, e.g., C, Cm, Cdim, Caug, C#, C#m C#dim, etc.

He plays it on the piano and you follow along and duplicate what he is doing. If you can't duplicate it then you pause the CD and work on it until you can before going back to the CD.

I found it kind of hard to follow just the audio and was grateful for the DVD overview, but I do believe the course will be sufficient to teach the 36 different techniques.

I work on the straddles for a few minutes each day just to mix things up a bit. Straddles give your hands quite a workout. I definitely could not do it for an hour at time right now. Hope this helps.

God Bless,
David

Last edited by David B; 01/04/17 02:02 AM.

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