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For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style #2879802
08/15/19 07:35 AM
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PianoWVBob Offline OP
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I just wanted to mention that I stumbled on to the "Professional Piano Chord System" lessons by Dave Higginson and found them to be quite good for what they are.

True, no system is 100% complete and exactly what EVERY person wants but I found that this system helped me in the following way:

1.) It systematized the learning of chord inversions.
For me, knowing all of the inversions is a good thing but it poses one problem (for me) in that my brain sort of gets overwhelmed with choices. I look back on my guitar playing and realize now that I didn't learn guitar that way...I learned a C chord and a G chord and an F chord and was blissfully unaware of other inversions and positions for a while. That might seem to be a bad thing but it did benefit me. It allowed me to get solid with the "cowboy chords" before chasing other positions. This system seems to do that.

2.) The chords are learned in the context of learning specific songs but the advantage that he talks about is that the technique introduced at each tune are transferrable to any tunes in the future so you learn in "chunks" that are built upon. He's careful to keep repeating that you HAVE to be proficient at the current "thing" before moving on.

3.) I've noticed that what he's REALLY doing is teaching all inversions and patterns but he's not doing it all at once...he sneaks up on it gradually so that unless you think about what's happening, you might not know that. This is good for beginners. My wife is starting to use the system with NO musical instrument background and so for her, she's just learning the ONE thing and doesn't put it into the context that I do due to my years of playing guitar and my meager 7 months of experience on piano so far.

I skipped ahead to the "add melody to the tunes" section to see how he handled that and it seems really well done. If you've NEVER had exposure to what guitarists call "Chord melody" playing then it might seem that he's going too fast or that it's confusing but to me, it makes 100% sense.

His ultimate goal isn't to teach you a "set" way of playing each tune and melody but to free you to accompany or play solo piano while changing things up; improvising.

Anyway...just thought I'd say that though it's expensive, It's fun and very well done. He's a really patient, encouraging teacher who seems to not have forgotten much in his lessons. He makes mention that it's not a QUICK method over and over and he makes sure at the end of each lesson to explain what your goal is and also at the start of each lesson he says "If you can do X...5 times without mistakes, then you are ready for this lesson" and he says (frequently) that "Slow and mistake free is MUCH BETTER than fast and sloppy..you are training your brain" He also addresses hand position, fingers, and striking the keys too.

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Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: PianoWVBob] #2879822
08/15/19 08:40 AM
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This is a very nice review, showing the positive aspects of the course. There was another thread recently about the course in which I gave some impressions. I believe that, for what it is intended, this piano course does very well. Rather than trying to teach the entire scope of piano, it focusing on doing one thing well. I hope those who participated in the other thread, read this review. It describes the course quite well.

Tony

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: PianoWVBob] #2879844
08/15/19 09:51 AM
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I should add to this that I talked to David Higginson's son on the phone just prior to ordering the course to get some additional information about the add-ons that they offer. I specifically asked him about the focus of the course. He told me that the course is focused on accompanying yourself for singing, but that they added the part about playing the melody too, due to many requests from students over the years. He said that the approach is rather limited, but gives you a good start to explore further. The solo portion is good for ballad styles, but not particularly suited to up tempo (i.e. faster tempo) or tunes with a lot of quick chord changes.

Also, the add-ons include (at the time I purchased the course) two more books and a transpose wheel. I bought both books, and they threw in the transpose wheel. The books are extensions to the basic course. Both are essentially dictionaries, one with a bunch of chord patterns, and the other with a bunch of rhythm patterns. The rhythm pattern book comes with a CD so you can hear the how the rhythm patterns should sound. I think these are worthwhile additions if you really want the widest possible coverage of tunes that work with what you learn.

Compared to other courses in this price range and coverage, this course is fun all the way through, so it is easy to stay motivated, and your playing sounds very good rather than dumbed down to fit the typical beginner material. It isn't that the material is hard to play, but rather that it just sounds really good. It gets more sophisticated as you progress, but the learning curve is never steep, so you won't find yourself stuck at some point because it suddenly got too difficult for the level of play you have reached so far.

Talking to David's son, I got the impression that these folks truly want people to learn from the course and be able to play well, rather than being a "money mill" that gets you doing something at the piano, but not what you might have envisioned after spending the money. "Play well" means not that you have to be a concert pianist, but that you can play the tunes you like an sound good doing it. There are a lot of people who don't have concert technique, but play well enough for people to recognize the tunes and enjoy hearing them played. This course can teach you to do that, and allow you to continue to grow on your own after completing the course. Instead of trying to teach you everything about playing piano, the course focuses on a particular type of chord technique, and doing that well. There are plenty of styles and rhythms so it doesn't all sound the same. The solo piano part gives you a push in the right direction, giving you what you need to play lots of ballads, and you can continue to learn in whatever direction you wish from there. No one course can do more than that unless it is for an already intermediate/advanced player, and you will be intermediate with this course. They apply the system to playing solo, so you really are not missing out on anything.

Tony

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: PianoWVBob] #2879846
08/15/19 09:58 AM
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Here is the URL, in case anyone does want to take a peek...

http://www.pianostar.com/

If you are looking for a more complete, wider scope course, take a look at the Duane Shinn 52 week crash course. It is much more expensive and requires a long term high degree of commitment and can get to be difficult to maintain the discipline. But the payoff is the ability to play a tune as a solo, most any way yo wish. The focus in that course is playing solo piano all the way through.

http://www.playpianocatalog.com/1yecrco.html

Both are good, and just maybe getting into the David Higginson course first, and then into the 52 week course could make the going a bit easier for the long term.

Tony

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: TonyB] #2879866
08/15/19 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
I should add to this that I talked to David Higginson's son on the phone just prior to ordering the course to get some additional information about the add-ons that they offer. I specifically asked him about the focus of the course. He told me that the course is focused on accompanying yourself for singing, but that they added the part about playing the melody too, due to many requests from students over the years. He said that the approach is rather limited, but gives you a good start to explore further. The solo portion is good for ballad styles, but not particularly suited to up tempo (i.e. faster tempo) or tunes with a lot of quick chord changes.


Which is fine for me, I'm mostly looking for the accompaniment. I also want a few pieces so that when folks say "play me something!" I can play a solo piece that's good enough to be impressive but not so incredibly complicated that I can't remember it without sheet music.

Quote
Also, the add-ons include (at the time I purchased the course) two more books and a transpose wheel. I bought both books, and they threw in the transpose wheel. The books are extensions to the basic course. Both are essentially dictionaries, one with a bunch of chord patterns, and the other with a bunch of rhythm patterns. The rhythm pattern book comes with a CD so you can hear the how the rhythm patterns should sound. I think these are worthwhile additions if you really want the widest possible coverage of tunes that work with what you learn.

Based on your previous comments about the chord book I bought it yesterday.

Quote
Compared to other courses in this price range and coverage, this course is fun all the way through, so it is easy to stay motivated, and your playing sounds very good rather than dumbed down to fit the typical beginner material. It isn't that the material is hard to play, but rather that it just sounds really good. It gets more sophisticated as you progress, but the learning curve is never steep, so you won't find yourself stuck at some point because it suddenly got too difficult for the level of play you have reached so far.


Which is a definite strength of the course. He's getting you to play voicings and rhythms that are actually really used by folks who play well but doing it in an easy to understand way.

Quote
Talking to David's son, I got the impression that these folks truly want people to learn from the course and be able to play well, rather than being a "money mill" that gets you doing something at the piano, but not what you might have envisioned after spending the money. "Play well" means not that you have to be a concert pianist, but that you can play the tunes you like an sound good doing it.


Which is why I started to play; so that I could play well enough to enjoy it, for my wife and family to want to listen to it. I also wanted to be able to have folks stand around the piano at Christmas and sing carols with me playing well enough to not be embarrassed or have to follow sheet music.

Quote
The solo piano part gives you a push in the right direction, giving you what you need to play lots of ballads, and you can continue to learn in whatever direction you wish from there. No one course can do more than that unless it is for an already intermediate/advanced player, and you will be intermediate with this course. They apply the system to playing solo, so you really are not missing out on anything.

Tony



Which is exactly what I'm looking for...I realized I won't be onstage with the ability to play complicated classical pieces, I just want to be able to pull a few pieces out of the holster for folks who say "play me something"

I spent 30 years playing guitar but as a part of bands and things and one thing that always bugged me was that when someone would say "play me something" I didn't have anything except "parts" and things. I started classical guitar for exactly that reason, so that I could play solo for folks who were interested. As it turned out, to me, piano is MUCH more easily grasped (mentally) than the 6 string beast we call a guitar. I play better "solo" now at 7 months than I did on classical guitar after 2 years of trying.

thanks again, TonyB for your posts..they are much appreciated.

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: TonyB] #2879867
08/15/19 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
Here is the URL, in case anyone does want to take a peek...

http://www.pianostar.com/

If you are looking for a more complete, wider scope course, take a look at the Duane Shinn 52 week crash course. It is much more expensive and requires a long term high degree of commitment and can get to be difficult to maintain the discipline. But the payoff is the ability to play a tune as a solo, most any way yo wish. The focus in that course is playing solo piano all the way through.

http://www.playpianocatalog.com/1yecrco.html

Both are good, and just maybe getting into the David Higginson course first, and then into the 52 week course could make the going a bit easier for the long term.

Tony

I think that's a good idea. I have a much better perspective now than when I tried Shinn's course (very early on) and it was so slow going and just didn't "click" for me. I think after going through the Piano Chord Pro course I could grasp it much better. I might buy a few of the supplements Duane Shinn has eventually but the full course is just too expensive for me.

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: PianoWVBob] #2880013
08/15/19 07:50 PM
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Interesting posts PianoWVBob. I, too, play guitar as my main instrument. I played full time professionally in a trio that played supper clubs, resorts, and the Holiday Inn circuit back in the late 70s for a few years. I found fingerstyle guitar to be a better fit for me than all out classical guitar. I didn't want to spend years learning how to make my individual fingers touch the strings just so, though the result is far better than what the typical fingerstyle player gets for tone. It is fun to arrange tunes for myself, rather than having to memorize what somebody else did.

That said, the piano is MUCH easier to understand, and therefore make music on. Also, it is more fulfilling to do as a solitary hobby than guitar. When playing for others, I don't get that "how come you don't sing" question because folks seem to think that is all the guitar is good for, but the piano can stand on its own for instrumental music. I have never been interested in singing.

Tony

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: PianoWVBob] #2880063
08/16/19 03:24 AM
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I have to make one correction to what I said for future readers of this thread.

He says at the end of each video "Try to play X 5 times without mistakes, go as slow as you need to, slow and correct is better than fast and sloppy. When can do X WITH EASE...then you are ready to move onto the next video"


I just wanted to make sure folks understood that he's not pitching a "quick and easy" piano method and that he's careful to make sure the student puts in the time and effort before moving on.

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: PianoWVBob] #2880088
08/16/19 05:52 AM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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I'm just curious, because I'm not a chord piano guy myself, but how is this course different from the Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course? Both focus on chord piano.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2880089
08/16/19 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I'm just curious, because I'm not a chord piano guy myself, but how is this course different from the Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course? Both focus on chord piano.

I think (and this is just my opinion) that the difference is this: Duane Shinn is VERY COMPREHENSIVE...it's a huge course that takes TONS of time....years.

This guy simplified things and his focus is more narrow.

It would be like if you asked how to play chord style and I showed you every inversion possible, every rhythm, every option you have (that's duane shinn) or If I said...put your fingers here...that's how you do a major chord...this is how you do a minor chord...you move that thumb down...etc. (that's Higginson)

I think that's a strength, it's more bite sized than Shinn.

Don't get me wrong...Shinn is good but it's THE ENTIRE KITCHEN SINK...and that's a lot of info for a beginner to wrap their mind around.

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: PianoWVBob] #2880090
08/16/19 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I think (and this is just my opinion) that the difference is this: Duane Shinn is VERY COMPREHENSIVE...it's a huge course that takes TONS of time....years.

Haha. As an outsider, that is my only complaint(?) about the Duane Shinn 52 week course. "52 weeks" is 1970's style marketing B.S. I mean, who in history has ever done this course in 52 weeks who hadn't played piano before? Any such mythical people should win a major prize and be on the cover of the D.S. course! I guess Duane Shinn thought that no one would buy this course if he called it the "Duane Shinn 52 MONTH course" laugh laugh


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2880098
08/16/19 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I think (and this is just my opinion) that the difference is this: Duane Shinn is VERY COMPREHENSIVE...it's a huge course that takes TONS of time....years.

Haha. As an outsider, that is my only complaint(?) about the Duane Shinn 52 week course. "52 weeks" is 1970's style marketing B.S. I mean, who in history has ever done this course in 52 weeks who hadn't played piano before? Any such mythical people should win a major prize and be on the cover of the D.S. course! I guess Duane Shinn thought that no one would buy this course if he called it the "Duane Shinn 52 MONTH course" laugh laugh

Yes. I actually bought it and started it but being a complete beginner it was dense. (For that matter so was Sudnow with his huge block chords)

I can't imagine anyone doing the lessons 1 per week. (and getting them down)

Higginson emphasizes that the course isn't instant but the journey is the thing, keep improving and enjoy where you are at. He says "piano is hard!" lol.

His claim is only that a beginner can do better than "triad in the left hand melody in the right.." and he's correct about that.

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: PianoWVBob] #2880101
08/16/19 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
(For that matter so was Sudnow with his huge block chords)

You mean his one weekend cocktail piano course? laugh

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
He says "piano is hard!" lol.

Well that's refreshing honesty, as compared with those that want you to think it can be learned in 52 weeks wink or better yet, one weekend! laugh laugh laugh


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2880103
08/16/19 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
(For that matter so was Sudnow with his huge block chords)

You mean his one weekend cocktail piano course? laugh

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
He says "piano is hard!" lol.

Well that's refreshing honesty, as compared with those that want you to think it can be learned in 52 weeks wink or better yet, one weekend! laugh laugh laugh


Lol...yep.

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2880132
08/16/19 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I think (and this is just my opinion) that the difference is this: Duane Shinn is VERY COMPREHENSIVE...it's a huge course that takes TONS of time....years.

Haha. As an outsider, that is my only complaint(?) about the Duane Shinn 52 week course. "52 weeks" is 1970's style marketing B.S. I mean, who in history has ever done this course in 52 weeks who hadn't played piano before? Any such mythical people should win a major prize and be on the cover of the D.S. course! I guess Duane Shinn thought that no one would buy this course if he called it the "Duane Shinn 52 MONTH course" laugh laugh


Dane Shinn originally sold the course as 52 lessons sent to the student at the rate of one per week, hence, 52 lessons - 52 weeks. However, in the course, he talks quite a bit early on about how to approach the course and to spend the time you need to master each lesson, which often cannot be completed within the space of one week.

Tony

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2880145
08/16/19 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
(For that matter so was Sudnow with his huge block chords)

You mean his one weekend cocktail piano course? laugh

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
He says "piano is hard!" lol.

Well that's refreshing honesty, as compared with those that want you to think it can be learned in 52 weeks wink or better yet, one weekend! laugh laugh laugh


Sudnow gave weekend seminars in which he taught you how to teach yourself his method. His course consists of a recording of that seminar, along with the materials that were provided in the seminar. In the recording, he addresses the question of "how long will it take?". He says that if you are truly committed to learning with this method, such questions are immaterial because it takes as long as it takes, and then he gives some examples of what to expect. He said that, for an absolute beginner, it will probably take 6 weeks or more to learn "Misty", the next tune a bit less, and each successive tune a bit less until, after 15 or 20 such tunes, you are picking them up fairly quickly since your hands "know the shape of the keyboard" by then. If you have had piano lesson in the past for any length of time, then you could expect to pick up "Misty" in a couple of weeks at most and be moving faster through the learning process because your hands already "know the shape of the keyboard".

So to be very clear, Sudnow does not claim you will learn to play cocktail piano in a weekend, but instead that he can teach you to teach yourself in a weekend, and the learning process is a lifetime process. He says that it will likely take two or three years of consistent practice for at least an hour a day, to get reasonably good at playing tunes and then you can start exploring ways to add spice to your playing because you now have a foundation on which to continue to build.

With the Sudnow method, much of the seminar time is spent on teaching you ow to teach yourself. The actual voicing "rules" and method are really not all that complicated. His approach is similar to the late jazz guitarist, Joe Pass: three types of chords - major minor, and dominant. Here is how to voice the left hand for each, here is how to voice the right hand under the melody, and then you play only block chords George Shearing style for the first 15 or 20 tunes, working from fakebooks. From there, you can find other means to learn how to move your hands around and that sort of thing.

There is a fair amount of misinformation thrown around in forums, so you have to take whatever is said with a "grain of salt" unless the poster has actual experience with whatever s/he is talking about. This has been my experience in forums in general. I hope this clarifies what the Sudnow method is about. The information previous posters here in this thread have said about the Duane Shinn method is accurate as far as I am concerned.

Tony

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: TonyB] #2880149
08/16/19 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
(For that matter so was Sudnow with his huge block chords)

You mean his one weekend cocktail piano course? laugh

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
He says "piano is hard!" lol.

Well that's refreshing honesty, as compared with those that want you to think it can be learned in 52 weeks wink or better yet, one weekend! laugh laugh laugh


Sudnow gave weekend seminars in which he taught you how to teach yourself his method. His course consists of a recording of that seminar, along with the materials that were provided in the seminar. In the recording, he addresses the question of "how long will it take?". He says that if you are truly committed to learning with this method, such questions are immaterial because it takes as long as it takes, and then he gives some examples of what to expect. He said that, for an absolute beginner, it will probably take 6 weeks or more to learn "Misty", the next tune a bit less, and each successive tune a bit less until, after 15 or 20 such tunes, you are picking them up fairly quickly since your hands "know the shape of the keyboard" by then. If you have had piano lesson in the past for any length of time, then you could expect to pick up "Misty" in a couple of weeks at most and be moving faster through the learning process because your hands already "know the shape of the keyboard".

So to be very clear, Sudnow does not claim you will learn to play cocktail piano in a weekend, but instead that he can teach you to teach yourself in a weekend, and the learning process is a lifetime process. He says that it will likely take two or three years of consistent practice for at least an hour a day, to get reasonably good at playing tunes and then you can start exploring ways to add spice to your playing because you now have a foundation on which to continue to build.

With the Sudnow method, much of the seminar time is spent on teaching you ow to teach yourself. The actual voicing "rules" and method are really not all that complicated. His approach is similar to the late jazz guitarist, Joe Pass: three types of chords - major minor, and dominant. Here is how to voice the left hand for each, here is how to voice the right hand under the melody, and then you play only block chords George Shearing style for the first 15 or 20 tunes, working from fakebooks. From there, you can find other means to learn how to move your hands around and that sort of thing.

There is a fair amount of misinformation thrown around in forums, so you have to take whatever is said with a "grain of salt" unless the poster has actual experience with whatever s/he is talking about. This has been my experience in forums in general. I hope this clarifies what the Sudnow method is about. The information previous posters here in this thread have said about the Duane Shinn method is accurate as far as I am concerned.

Tony


Thanks for clarifying, for myself, I was just joking, I knew that Sudnow didn't intend to have you playing solo piano in a weekend, and I knew Duane Shinn said the same thing. However I think you WOULD agree that Higginson is much less "dense" and more accessible than either of those.

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: PianoWVBob] #2880152
08/16/19 09:01 AM
08/16/19 09:01 AM
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A few more comments...

What Sudnow does is actually rather clever. He narrows the scope of what he is teaching to a very narrow focus, and tells you exactly how to accomplish that. You are not playing cocktail style piano with all the flourishes, arpeggiating the left hand, etc. Instead you are "grabbing the clusters" of voiced chords under the melody. You re learning how to voice chords, working them out for each melody note according to Sudnow's "voicing rules", and then practicing grabbing them in succession until you can do that cleaning and on time. He constantly admonishes you to always practice "on time, perfectly" so you don't teach your hands to make mistakes - very slow and careful practice so that, as you learn, you learn to do it correctly.

As has been mentioned, that is also what David Higginson does. The 52 week crash course covers a wide scope of material, and certainly does take more like 3 - 4 years to work through and even then, it takes much longer to really get all that into your hands.

Sudnow's method is a bit of a grind, and Sudnow makes that very clear. He says that if you stick with it, the results will be more than worthwhile. However, in actual fact, few of us stay the whole course. I have learned a lot from it, and do go back and work on it some more alongside David Higginson's course.

As for being "dense" I am not sure what that means. If it is the voicing method, I found that refreshingly clear since I already knew music theory from having played guitar for so many years. With guitar, I taught myself to read standard notation as well as "charts" (lead sheets) because I had to, to play professionally, and in the process, I taught myself diatonic theory. To me, those things are necessary to work with other musicians such as horn and piano players who learn that stuff as a part of their training. Guitar is rather odd in that many folks seem to try to avoid learning the craft of music, so much so, that musicians who play instruments other than guitar are often surprised to find that I can read.

For those who don't understand music theory, I can see how Sudow's voicing rules might seem difficult. But, then, in that course, one learns these things, so it is still a good situation. You learn to read a lead sheet and the voicing rules tell you what to do with it. That is the crux of the Sudnow method, aside from the all-important, learning how to really teach yourself. David Higginson teaches those things too, but from a different perspective that is admittedly, much more fun. smile

Tony



Tony


Last edited by TonyB; 08/16/19 09:08 AM.
Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: TonyB] #2880154
08/16/19 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
A few more comments...

What Sudnow does is actually rather clever. He narrows the scope of what he is teaching to a very narrow focus, and tells you exactly how to accomplish that. You are not playing cocktail style piano with all the flourishes, arpeggiating the left hand, etc. Instead you are "grabbing the clusters" of voiced chords under the melody. You re learning how to voice chords, working them out for each melody note according to Sudnow's "voicing rules", and then practicing grabbing them in succession until you can do that cleaning and on time. He constantly admonishes you to always practice "on time, perfectly" so you don't teach your hands to make mistakes - very slow and careful practice so that, as you learn, you learn to do it correctly.

As has been mentioned, that is also what David Higginson does. The 52 week crash course covers a wide scope of material, and certainly does take more like 3 - 4 years to work through and even then, it takes much longer to really get all that into your hands.

Tony


Agreed.

Also, I hope that we didn't come off as slamming either Shinn or Sudnow...both are good. I guess it comes down to personal preference and what a person wants at that time. I'm sure as I gain experience then Shinn or Sudnow would "look different" to my eyes and maybe I'd be able to get them to work for me. That's what I've noticed; a course or method might not make a lot of sense at one point but does at another.

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style [Re: PianoWVBob] #2880164
08/16/19 09:21 AM
08/16/19 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by TonyB
A few more comments...

What Sudnow does is actually rather clever. He narrows the scope of what he is teaching to a very narrow focus, and tells you exactly how to accomplish that. You are not playing cocktail style piano with all the flourishes, arpeggiating the left hand, etc. Instead you are "grabbing the clusters" of voiced chords under the melody. You re learning how to voice chords, working them out for each melody note according to Sudnow's "voicing rules", and then practicing grabbing them in succession until you can do that cleaning and on time. He constantly admonishes you to always practice "on time, perfectly" so you don't teach your hands to make mistakes - very slow and careful practice so that, as you learn, you learn to do it correctly.

As has been mentioned, that is also what David Higginson does. The 52 week crash course covers a wide scope of material, and certainly does take more like 3 - 4 years to work through and even then, it takes much longer to really get all that into your hands.

Tony


Agreed.

Also, I hope that we didn't come off as slamming either Shinn or Sudnow...both are good. I guess it comes down to personal preference and what a person wants at that time. I'm sure as I gain experience then Shinn or Sudnow would "look different" to my eyes and maybe I'd be able to get them to work for me. That's what I've noticed; a course or method might not make a lot of sense at one point but does at another.


Not at all. I think your review of David Higginson's course was quite good and hopefully, will interest folks wanting to learn to play that style. There are a lot of courses out there, many of which are more fluff than substance. Therefore, it is a good thing when somebody posts here to tell folks of any courses that are substance and worth the cost, as long as the person is posting after the initial "honeymoon" is over and the reality of the course's value and level of commitment has settled in.

I have talked about some of the courses I have worked with here, but that is after I have sat with it for a while. Some folks talk about courses they have either never worked with or have just purchased and that initial excitement has yet to wear off and the real work has yet to begin. When Bob posted his review, it was clear that he knows the course content well and has worked with it. That is the kind of review that does us all a service.

As for comments about Sudnow and Shinn courses, it is a good thing to let folks know that, while they are courses of substance, they are more "dense" and therefore require a higher degree of commitment to keep up that self-motivation to complete. It is good to be realistic about these things.

If a person is considering any, or all three of these, my recommendation is to start with the David Higginson course because it is a fun way to get going. A person learns enough there to just stick with that and enjoy playing tunes. For a broader scope, other courses are always a good way to continue, and these two (Sudnow and Shinn) are certainly two possible choices. Isn't it typical when one has an interest in a particular area, to want to continue to learn and enhance his or her abilities? So it is with us who work through these courses.

There are those who say you don't need to learn "from a book", here is the real way to learn. In my experience from teaching adults guitar, English as a second language, math and computer skills, etc., there is a variety of learning styles and saying that only one is valid, seems rather narrow-minded to me. Those of us who are self-teaching piano, will necessarily try a number of courses until we find that which matches our learning style. Those watching us will say that we are not committed and are simply looking for an easy way out. While that may be true in some cases, it is definitely not true in all cases. Those who post reviews such as Bob did here, are doing the rest of us a great service. Those who say that it is all BS, are not.

Tony



Last edited by TonyB; 08/16/19 09:25 AM.
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