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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tech-key] #2837569
04/10/19 08:27 AM
04/10/19 08:27 AM
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Cheshire, UK
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Originally Posted by Tech-key
[When I had started, I would play the scales slow enough. Didn’t practice regularly. One day I found, I could play HS much faster than when I’d started. Since then, I almost always play as fast as I can, without fumbling. Sounds ok to me. I haven’t played them in front of my teacher though, so not totally sure if it’s indeed ok.


I'd suggest concentrating on maximising smoothness rather than speed, and getting your teacher's feedback ASAP. I found from my teacher that I was making several mistakes in the way I was playing scales, and the more you practise incorrect technique, the more ingrained it'll become!


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2837754
04/10/19 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
Originally Posted by Tech-key
[When I had started, I would play the scales slow enough. Didn’t practice regularly. One day I found, I could play HS much faster than when I’d started. Since then, I almost always play as fast as I can, without fumbling. Sounds ok to me. I haven’t played them in front of my teacher though, so not totally sure if it’s indeed ok.


I'd suggest concentrating on maximising smoothness rather than speed, and getting your teacher's feedback ASAP. I found from my teacher that I was making several mistakes in the way I was playing scales, and the more you practise incorrect technique, the more ingrained it'll become!

I think that's a very good suggestion, Chris. Thanks! Will try to bring it up in my lessons.


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2837891
04/11/19 03:06 AM
04/11/19 03:06 AM
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Animisha Online content
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One thing I thought about Tech-key, because you mentioned choppyness. Do you use a metronome when playing scales?


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Animisha] #2837930
04/11/19 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
One thing I thought about Tech-key, because you mentioned choppyness. Do you use a metronome when playing scales?

Nope! Putting metronomes and scales together, feels worse than Chinese water torture cry laugh I’ll try it regardless. This may be the missing ingredient. Thanks for the tip!!


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2840023
04/16/19 11:49 PM
04/16/19 11:49 PM
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After a break of almost two months, my teacher is working with Alfred’s again. We did Jericho last to last week. And started The Entertainer on Saturday. Just the first page this week. I’m super happy with the skips this time, as I wanted to learn it ever since starting this book!

Have almost completed Auld Lang Syne. I haven’t touched it for around a week though. No idea about it’s current status grin Want to start The Stranger next, so will be skipping O Sole Mio for now.

And the scales have gotten much better, after I assigned them some dedicated time and metronome. I want to thank you all again, for the suggestions on this!

Hope you all are having a great week!


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tech-key] #2840027
04/17/19 12:58 AM
04/17/19 12:58 AM
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Great news Tech-key! Enjoy the entertainer.

Originally Posted by Tech-key
And the scales have gotten much better, after I assigned them some dedicated time

Generally my experience also when I am stuck somewhere. Give it some dedicated time.

And I hope your week is great as well!


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2840266
04/17/19 05:27 PM
04/17/19 05:27 PM
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I've slowed the last couple of weeks but also right in same area of book. Working Raisins and Almonds, also Chiapanecas, also practice swing on Jericho. I found The Stranger to be pretty difficult, took me longer than normal but satisfying to play. What's taking a toll on me a bit is the outside pieces; Piano Man and Sound of Music. My patience is running a bit thin but I'll get through it. Oddly, when I do practice I seem to be carrying less tension in hands and arms which is important to me. And 4 months until I go to Piano Camp!


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2840357
04/18/19 05:15 AM
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Hey guys, just a quick update. Got to Blow The Man Down this week, what a nightmare that was at first. After a few days I got it down, but damn.

I feel most of the songs I know more by memory than anything now, BTMD for instance I can't play itwithout looking at the sheet music, like from nothing but memory, but with it I can bust it out no problem, I think because I have played it god knows how many times the sheet music becomes not much more than a sort of quick glance visual guide where I'm not really taking in the info and notes or intervals, just the basic memory outline if that makes sense. I guess that's normal?




Last edited by PeegZoo; 04/18/19 05:16 AM.
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2840380
04/18/19 08:16 AM
04/18/19 08:16 AM
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India
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Originally Posted by Progman
I've slowed the last couple of weeks but also right in same area of book. Working Raisins and Almonds, also Chiapanecas, also practice swing on Jericho. I found The Stranger to be pretty difficult, took me longer than normal but satisfying to play. What's taking a toll on me a bit is the outside pieces; Piano Man and Sound of Music. My patience is running a bit thin but I'll get through it. Oddly, when I do practice I seem to be carrying less tension in hands and arms which is important to me.
You have quite a nice mix of pieces going. The outside pieces take way too much time for me too. I'm kind of getting used to the extended time. But what frustrates me sometimes is that, I can't get some of them to a reasonable tempo, even after spending a lot of time on them. I recently had to drop one I had picked on my own, after spending weeks on it. Good to hear about the lack of tension bit!

Originally Posted by Progman
And 4 months until I go to Piano Camp!
Piano Camp!! How exciting for you! Will be waiting for your review. smile


Originally Posted by PeegZoo
Hey guys, just a quick update. Got to Blow The Man Down this week, what a nightmare that was at first. After a few days I got it down, but damn.

I feel most of the songs I know more by memory than anything now, BTMD for instance I can't play itwithout looking at the sheet music, like from nothing but memory, but with it I can bust it out no problem, I think because I have played it god knows how many times the sheet music becomes not much more than a sort of quick glance visual guide where I'm not really taking in the info and notes or intervals, just the basic memory outline if that makes sense. I guess that's normal?

Yes, this happens to me too! It used to drive me crazy, because I knew some pieces were memorised, but couldn’t play them without the sheet. I hated this weird association, though. So I had tried a couple things out of curiosity. What eventually worked for me, was putting the score away, and trying to play the piece only by memory. But really slow, so that random mistakes don’t screw up the muscle memory. And not a complete play through, but section by section. Sometimes there’d be parts where I’d blank out, and I had to refer the sheet again. I felt, the visual-guide association breaks easily with practice. However, for me, this kind of memory lasts for a shorter time, than something I consciously memorise.


Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2843825
04/30/19 03:18 PM
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Thought I would check in and report my goings-on. I am still near the end of Book 1 and will be probably through summer because I slowed way down on the method book and took up 2 'real' (still arranged but not real easy) songs. On the method book I just passed Raisins and Almonds, and also Chiapanecas - then picked up Over the Rainbow at today's lesson (did good with first sight read).

The two songs require a whole new level of patience because the fingerings are more complex and varied than anything in the method book. This has caused me to skip a day or two here and there (because of my patience) - I actually skipped 3 days in the last week! But luckily the brain keeps processing stuff so even skipping 2 days in a row I still come back improved - a nice feeling! I told me Mom and Sister they could pick out a song and I would learn it, so my Sister just told me she wants Coldplay's Clocks, and my teacher found a medium level arrangement for that, so now I have 3 outside songs.

I am to the point where I can play all of Piano Man SLOW (5 pages!), and the first 2 pages of Sound of Music SLOW and the last page will be there soon. This has taken 2.5 months. And I will start on Clocks next week. And I start Over the Rainbow this week. Whew! I go to piano camp in 3 months, so I will probably use piano camp to improve the musicality of the 3 songs that should be in decent (beginner) shape by that time. I am optimistic! Hope y'all are making progress - it's just a matter of time until we are decent players!


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2843852
04/30/19 04:30 PM
04/30/19 04:30 PM
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you're doing great, Progman! Can't wait to hear your Piano Man! I'd love to do that one.

I've reached the end of Book 1 where the last few pieces are and really need to get back on those. I've been kind of floundering of late. I know it's because I need a teacher. I've had a preliminary look at book 2 and the beginning looks like all review. I'm hoping to take a summer session of lessons and have a teacher critique where I am and make sure I'm on the right track. I need to concentrate on reviewing everything in Book 1 and try to get those end pieces in decent shape so that if I can swing it, then I can take full advantage of a teacher for a few weeks/months (until I run out of money wink )


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2844039
05/01/19 08:19 AM
05/01/19 08:19 AM
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Thanks GidgetKeys! I guess we all go through ups and downs. Having a teacher really keeps me honest in that department. Do you record your pieces so you can listen without playing? I find that real useful in preparation for my lesson - if I can do a good recording I can do it good for my teacher. It generally takes me 2 or 3 days to get a good recording.


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2844147
05/01/19 11:50 AM
05/01/19 11:50 AM
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Liverpool, NY
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Way to go, Progman!

I haven't really done anything in Alfred's since before Christmas. I got as far as "The Entertainer", but we've been working on other "real" songs: "Misty", "Color My World", "Here's That Rainy Day", and Chopin's Prelude Op.28 no. 20 among others. Also have "Ain't Misbehavin'", and my teacher wants me to try vamping (my term) with the left hand chords: for example, hit a low C, followed by the C-major chord at the next ocatve...and so on. It's a good learning experience, and it will absolutely get me to play slow.

It's been fun but challenging! Misty, especially: it's in E-flat Major. Can't say that I necessarily miss doing the book...

gidgetkeys you are doing fine, too!! I hope you can get access to a good teacher!

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2844220
05/01/19 03:21 PM
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That's quite a variety Pathguy - I think we are getting the most out of our Teachers doing it like this. There is no way I could be this successful without a great Teacher. Party on Garth! (I think your about the right age to get that reference)


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Progman] #2844454
05/02/19 10:44 AM
05/02/19 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Progman
That's quite a variety Pathguy - I think we are getting the most out of our Teachers doing it like this. There is no way I could be this successful without a great Teacher. Party on Garth! (I think your about the right age to get that reference)

Party on, Wayne!!!!! laugh

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2845640
05/06/19 01:51 AM
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Hey guys, another update, been a few weeks already? Time flies!

So I was on holiday recently and managed to get 30 mins or so here and there to practice on an old midi keyboard, had a crack at Blow The Man Down as mentioned previously.

Was a bit shaky when playing it for the teacher first lesson back but still, even if it was 'flawless' like I had it on holiday I was definitely getting ahead of myself haha.

So I can play it ok, is fine enough with the eighths and whatnot, but the teacher pointed out I was a bit early on them so she put on the metronome and man.. I hate it so much. My brain just shuts down. Literally cannot play anything with it running, it's so annoying. Like.. phew, I'm not sure it's normal for someone to get this angry and confuddled from hearing ticktickticktick. Anyway, eventually got her to let me play without it and count out loud so that was better, managed to sort out the early stuff, importantly though she has me working on having the left and right fingering techniques being independent - for example with the left hand chords making the first note 'down' as she put it and long, and the others like quick bounces off the keys, 'up' and short. Like a booooop bop bop boooooooop bop bop, which I guess is how it's meant to be played? I looked up a few youtube vids of people working on it in Alfreds and not many do it like that but I thought it was interesting and certainly sounded a lot better when she did it.

Found an example of how I was playing it, I guess quite robotically (apologies if this is anyone here!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8H1uxDuzFU

& this is how she wants it : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXSfWtw2D3w


So I'm having a go at that now, which is hard but enjoyable as it somehow comes together, well, if I kinda turn my brain off, if I think about it too much then it doesn't work! That bop in the left with a long note in the right though, very cool. Also with other songs I've sort of sporadically flicking through and trying once the main one starts driving me mad I concentrate on the chords being quieter than the melody etc. so working on that independence whenever I can. Difficult but I guess it's what makes things so better. If I didn't have a teacher I wouldn't have realised or known that was missing or that is what I should focus on, so definitely very grateful for having a teacher once a week to point me in the right direction, highly recommend the odd lesson here and there if people are learning alone just to get those pointers.

Not much else to report, been slow progress, but keeping at it. Just sat down to try Cockles & Mussels to have a break from BTMD, love the sound of it. The 1/3/5 to 2/4/ to 3/5 fingerings on the chord are a bit tough, those 2/4 fingers don't get much play together so that's quite new.

Hope everyone is coming along and enjoying playing!

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2845691
05/06/19 08:00 AM
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Nice update PeegZoo! I'm a bit ahead of you so will pass along some of my findings. The timing is super fundamental and should be one of the prime focus at this stage of the game. For me, it was around the point your at that I (again) started counting out loud EVERY piece, every time. At some point, I started to be able to count effectively in my head without doing it 'out loud'....but I still do count out loud in trickier sections and when doing slow practice. Learning to play with a metronome I think is important. It probably helps when you play with someone or have a singer. Just take's a bit of practice although I know some really hate it. You crack me up with how frustrating it was for you because I know that feeling! smile I think Patience is the most important virtue for us....

The part about the hand independence - I think what you are describing is playing legato with the melody (RH) and playing normal with the left hand. It does add a more musical sound to the piece. My teacher pointed this out to me a bit further on, but once you understand it - it becomes a pretty natural thing to do. Sounds to me like you have a very good Teacher. Playing chords quieter than melody is not something my Teacher has directed me to do, but I am conscience that it is preferred. I think she is waiting until I get better.....

Cockles and Mussels is a nice sounding piece....I like the variety in Alfred's AIO even if there are a few I really don't like too much. I sounds to me like you are doing one piece at a time? I generally have 4-6 pieces going at one time - practice each around 10 minutes per day.


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: PeegZoo] #2845721
05/06/19 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by PeegZoo

So I can play it ok, is fine enough with the eighths and whatnot, but the teacher pointed out I was a bit early on them so she put on the metronome and man.. I hate it so much. My brain just shuts down. Literally cannot play anything with it running, it's so annoying. Like.. phew,



Just some input on metronome
a) the obvious - you get even in playing not rushing off where simple and slowing when difficult
b) you listen as you play - and that means you learn to play with other people in an ensemble

Yes, it's anoying - because you find out how you rush off where simple - that we suck basically.
That is the part we don't like to be reminded of.

There is a guy I heard, extremely talented, and he is blind by the way. But really master the keyboard and play like very few can.

But he cannot play in a band - because he is not used to listening to anything but himself.

I had that problem starting in a band, like 50 years ago, as well - no comparison with guy I mentioned and on guitar.

If I would have practised with metronome from start - I would not have had that problem.

So think about it like an investment in future joy of playing with other people - in time.

Last edited by Nip; 05/06/19 09:41 AM.

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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2845731
05/06/19 10:13 AM
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Thanks guys, I did see a fella on Youtube who made a great series with the book and he uses some kind of visual metronome with lights, looks really nice. Not sure how distracting it would be in comparison as I guess you have to look at it, but using that and counting in your head maybe could work? Anyone use one?

Can see him here, skip to the end : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQnWmgaIKGI

Otherwise I just have to suck it up I guess!


With the RH it's legato/slurred yes, and the left sort of normal-staccato-staccato (I think those are the terms?). Definitely harder than it appears but kinda amazing when you can notice it happening. Not great at it by any means but there is some kind of independence going on, I just have trouble keeping the velocity the same.

For the book I usually work on one piece for like 10/20 mins as the main one, but after a short time I skip to a song a little ahead and play around, maybe one or two like yourself yeah, with just a bit more focus on the main on I suppose. At the moment it's BTMD and trying to get this independence going, when that starts frustrating me a bit I skip to Got Those Blues and get all New Orleans for 5 mins to calm down and enjoy again (sounds so good, I play it terribly but can't help feel funky banging it out), then back to BTMD, or maybe skip back to near the start of the book and run through a bunch of older songs just for fun.

I'm still super interested in chords and chord progressions /. theory etc. but.. patience, you're right! Was thinking of getting the Alfreds chord book to do alongside this one maybe? Anyone have experience with it?

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2845751
05/06/19 11:58 AM
05/06/19 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by PeegZoo
Thanks guys, I did see a fella on Youtube who made a great series with the book and he uses some kind of visual metronome with lights, looks really nice. Not sure how distracting it would be in comparison as I guess you have to look at it, but using that and counting in your head maybe could work? Anyone use one?

Can see him here, skip to the end : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQnWmgaIKGI

Otherwise I just have to suck it up I guess!


PeegZoo, I use an app called Pro Metronome. It uses flashing lights which I used to find very helpful, when the tick tick distracted me. I bloody hated that sound mad grin Getting used to the metronome took a lot of time for me, but learning to work with it has proven to be very beneficial. Some things that I did while starting out-

1) Counting alongside the metronome clicks without yet starting to play.
2) Playing with the metronome on easier songs for which counting had become natural, while counting under my breath. For eg, the earlier songs in the book like Love Somebody, etc. This helped me get used to the ticks. Please go slow in the beginning smile
3) Counting aloud so as to drown the sound of the ticks. Yeah, I really hated those, lol.

I don’t mind the metronome now, so the drilling must have helped. I use it now to check, if I have been counting right or speeding up as the song progresses. And occasionally to drill in the rhythm the night before my lesson. Very helpful tool!

Originally Posted by PeegZoo
With the RH it's legato/slurred yes, and the left sort of normal-staccato-staccato (I think those are the terms?). Definitely harder than it appears but kinda amazing when you can notice it happening. Not great at it by any means but there is some kind of independence going on, I just have trouble keeping the velocity the same.

My teacher plays with the same bouncy rhythm in the left hand. It’s much more fun to play it like that, and will come in handy with some later songs as well. Good luck with practicing it; you'll get it in due course thumb

Originally Posted by PeegZoo
I'm still super interested in chords and chord progressions /. theory etc. but.. patience, you're right! Was thinking of getting the Alfreds chord book to do alongside this one maybe? Anyone have experience with it?

Me too! Haven't seen the Alfred's chord book, but I really like this Udemy course called PianoForAll. I don’t get much time to work from it anymore, because I got sucked into classical, lol. I would still like to finish that course sometime in the future.


Think Twice, Play Once
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by goldensun. 08/23/19 10:04 AM
2nd hand grand pianos c. £8k
by NatJS. 08/23/19 08:02 AM
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Mason & Hamlin Piano Factory Tour!
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