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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Progman] #2886627 09/03/19 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Progman

--- start out HS until you have it at speed and then go HT




This is an interesting piece of advice I must admit I don't entirely understand.

Essentially everything I have played so far (essentially all of Alfred 1). playing each hand separately is almost trivial (often able to prima vista play through). The entire difficulty, for me, is playing the hands together in time! As a result, I almost never practice hands separate (the outlier is a tricky fingering section,which usually only requires 5 minutes or so to figure out, and then the difficulties is performing it correctly with the other hand). Do others find this to be the case? Am I doing something wrong??

I assume that as pieces get more difficult, hands separate makes more sense as the fingerings, speed, reach, etc. become more challenging, but I don't feel like I've found it yet!

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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2886636 09/03/19 06:04 PM
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Hey Lazarus most of these short pieces are easy to play HT but for bits that keep tripping me up I find it easier to work HS until it is firm in my mind. Otherwise I find I keep stumbling at the same place and essentially practicing my screw ups. I imagine the further a guy goes the more each piece needs to be broken down into digestible sized pieces.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tech-key] #2886638 09/03/19 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tech-key
Welcome to the forum, Janet! I didn’t completely learn the flipped version of “When the Saints…”, either. Just attempted it a few times.

I finished Chattanooga Choo Choo a day or two after I last came here. So happy to have finally completed the book. Took me so long! Have moved on to book 2. It starts with a very simple song. Nice way to lure people in! The teacher in the Let’s Play Piano Methods channel, didn’t even cover it. The first section in book 2 is essentially a review of the key and time signatures covered in the first book. But the music keeps getting more and more complex as the section proceeds. Glad to see lots of pieces with triplets here. I am not very good at those.


Congrats on moving on to book 2!

I'm right behind you, and itching to move on. I'm not really enjoying many of the end songs too much, but think I will do "Laura" and the Chattanooga Choo Choo as two of the more interesting.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Lazarus] #2886719 09/04/19 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazarus

Congrats on moving on to book 2!

I'm right behind you, and itching to move on. I'm not really enjoying many of the end songs too much, but think I will do "Laura" and the Chattanooga Choo Choo as two of the more interesting.

Thanks! Don’t worry about leaving out a song or too. It has around 70 frickin’ songs. You’ll get enough practice. smile I had kind of made a pledge to myself to record all the book 1 songs. I’m doing no such thing for book 2, haha. I think I’ll only do that for the ones I like.

Originally Posted by Lazarus
Essentially everything I have played so far (essentially all of Alfred 1). playing each hand separately is almost trivial (often able to prima vista play through). The entire difficulty, for me, is playing the hands together in time! As a result, I almost never practice hands separate (the outlier is a tricky fingering section,which usually only requires 5 minutes or so to figure out, and then the difficulties is performing it correctly with the other hand). Do others find this to be the case? Am I doing something wrong??


I don’t practice HS as a general rule. However, I find myself playing one handed sometimes. Mostly, it is to check how the melody sounds at a good tempo. My teacher often explains things by playing the harmony. It has kind of rubbed off on me. Also, after he started nagging me about playing musically, I check the dynamics, phrasing, etc. one handed on certain pieces. It’s all quite whimsical really. I don’t strategically practice these things like this.

In case of a technical difficulty, I always try to deliberately practice the hand having the tricky area, until I've solved it. I usually run into some technical roadblock even in simple pieces. Just a few days back, I was trying out a beginner’s piece I like by Bartok. Linking it below. On paper, it looked simple. But when I tried out, I couldn’t do the left hand slurs smoothly. The printed fingering is incredibly awkward for me, and I couldn’t find another way of doing those slurs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf7xeSTYPD8

I had to do slow back and forths between A-E and D-F# with just the left hand, till it felt smooth. It finally worked out over the course of 2-3 days, and now I can start learning the whole thing. Practicing both hands wouldn’t have helped me much in the beginning, as co-ordination between both hands is not going to be my bottleneck in this piece. So, yes, at times like this, I have to do one handed practice, whether I like it or not. cry



Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2886728 09/04/19 02:16 AM
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They won't let me edit my typos. This is what I meant laugh

Don’t worry about leaving out a song or two from the popular selections. Book 2 has around 70 frickin’ songs. You’ll get enough practice. smile


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2890966 09/16/19 12:39 PM
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How's everyone in here doing?

My update: I've officially moved on to Alfred 2! I decided to really cut out most of the end pieces -- I am working form several other books, so the need to branch out beyond the pure "method" songs is less strong and I'm eager to get going on new material.

For those curious, I've apparently spent a total of 71 hrs 42 minutes practicing from Alfred AOI 1 during the period 4/27-9/11

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Lazarus] #2891002 09/16/19 02:38 PM
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Hey Lazarus, congratulations!! Best wishes for your journey ahead thumb


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2891035 09/16/19 03:54 PM
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Congratulations, Lazarus! Completing Book 1 under 5 months is very good going. Have fun with the second book!

I was hoping I had found a piano teacher locally but unfortunately it turned out she was fully booked. frown So I am still progressing by myself. smile I am currently practising the pedal on the Harp Song and reviewing the previous pieces I have learned. I find that if I do not play them for a while I can no longer play them without errors and/or hesitation. Is this normal? Should I be worried?

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: JanetL] #2891037 09/16/19 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JanetL
I was hoping I had found a piano teacher locally but unfortunately it turned out she was fully booked. frown

Janet, You might also consider online teachers (that teach via video). PW has some teachers who teach online, including my own teacher, Morodiene.


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2891104 09/16/19 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by JanetL
I was hoping I had found a piano teacher locally but unfortunately it turned out she was fully booked. frown

Janet, You might also consider online teachers (that teach via video). PW has some teachers who teach online, including my own teacher, Morodiene.


Thanks for the suggestion, Tyrone. Is there a list of PW online teachers?

I am going away mid-week and won't be back until the week after so I will wait until I am back before contacting anyone.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: JanetL] #2891127 09/16/19 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JanetL
... Is there a list of PW online teachers?


There's a separate forum just for Piano teachers. You could probably pop right in there and find what you are looking for. Good luck!


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: JanetL] #2891155 09/17/19 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by JanetL
I am currently practising the pedal on the Harp Song and reviewing the previous pieces I have learned. I find that if I do not play them for a while I can no longer play them without errors and/or hesitation. Is this normal? Should I be worried?

It happens to me too. If you practice again slowly, you'll find it takes much less time to get them going again. Don't worry about it. Even advanced players can't do that with pieces at their level, I think. Or else, why will there be such a thing about repertoire acquisition and maintenance.

You had mentioned counting issues in a previous post. I had similar difficulties in counting while playing. If you're still facing that issue, you can use some of your review time to concentrate more on counting. I had found it very useful. Also, counting and clapping/tapping with just the metronome (without playing), or along with rhythm exercises on YouTube or pages like this. Don’t worry about this either. It takes time and doesn’t get completely easy, but definitely easier with continued practice.


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Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Lazarus] #2891182 09/17/19 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazarus
How's everyone in here doing?

My update: I've officially moved on to Alfred 2! I decided to really cut out most of the end pieces -- I am working form several other books, so the need to branch out beyond the pure "method" songs is less strong and I'm eager to get going on new material.

For those curious, I've apparently spent a total of 71 hrs 42 minutes practicing from Alfred AOI 1 during the period 4/27-9/11

Hey! So, I haven't posted here in awhile, but for some reason, after getting to "The Entertainer" before the holidays last year, we haven't done a thing with the book. Zilch! We've been working on other songs. This has been a lot of fun, but I have started to go back into the book to revisit some of the earlier lessons--a few of which proved to be difficult to play!

My teacher is pretty unorthodox from what I've seen, which is probably both a blessing and a curse. I think I actually need to get back into the book, because I am still terrible at reading...yet I am still reading while learning new songs (except that I still end up memorizing them after practicing a lot). The other issue with this particular method is that I don't have set "homework" necessarily...that means that I end up looking up other songs I like to try and figure those out. Not a bad thing, except the songs are typically beyond my skills blush

Oh well, I'm still having fun and must be learning something!

Nice to read about everyone's progress.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2891392 09/17/19 03:24 PM
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I'm progressing on The Entertainer. Pretty tricky! I've got hands together now, but have to spend some time with the metronome because my timing was off. It took a while to get used to it and get it into my head, so to speak. I can't exactly say that I like the metronome, but it is certainly helpful.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: JanetL] #2891419 09/17/19 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by JanetL
Congratulations, Lazarus! Completing Book 1 under 5 months is very good going. Have fun with the second book!

I was hoping I had found a piano teacher locally but unfortunately it turned out she was fully booked. frown So I am still progressing by myself. smile I am currently practising the pedal on the Harp Song and reviewing the previous pieces I have learned. I find that if I do not play them for a while I can no longer play them without errors and/or hesitation. Is this normal? Should I be worried?


I think this is pretty typical. Since most of the old songs are still likely above your level to prima vista sight read, once the muscle memory has gone it's not likely you'll be able to just look and play as you once did. Of course, it does come back pretty quickly (even just after as few as a couple run throughs to remember the tricky bits, especially for these shorter pieces).

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: JanetL] #2894517 09/26/19 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JanetL
I have reached When the Saints Go Marching In and not liking it very much. I was disappointed when I realised it has to be played twice with each hand playing the melody. lol

I understand the timing of this piece and can play the F chord with relative ease but the more I play this song the worse I seem to get. I am thinking of just moving on to the G Position chapter but coming back to it every day until I am happier with it. Not really sure yet but that is the way I am thinking right now.


I thought you were exaggerating... how tough can "When the Saints go Marching In" be. I have been stuck at 99% on this one for a couple days now and still have chords in the right hand to go. I'm assuming my hand will eventually know the difference between a G7 and a F chord and just lock into that position on command. Not so much so far.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...] #2894525 09/26/19 05:07 PM
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Thank you GidgetKeys, Tech-key and Lazarus for your help and suggestions.

GidgetKeys, now I am back from my trip I will look for an online teacher. I would prefer someone in the same room as me but I have not had much luck in finding one. Lessons via Skype might be more convenient.

Tech-key and Lazarus, I am pleased it is not just me. I was worried I would forget how to play the piano after my break but I think it seemed to help. Weirdly, when I continued with the tunes I had practised before I went away, I seemed to play with more accuracy. However, I did miss my piano during my week away. Now I am back I am consolidating the pieces I was previously learning.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: amyram] #2894528 09/26/19 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by amyram
I thought you were exaggerating... how tough can "When the Saints go Marching In" be. I have been stuck at 99% on this one for a couple days now and still have chords in the right hand to go. I'm assuming my hand will eventually know the difference between a G7 and a F chord and just lock into that position on command. Not so much so far.


I am not sure if this will help or not but I practiced the chord changes with both hands separate from the melody, just playing the chords by themselves with both hands. Once I was sure of the chord changes I then played the melody with them. This seemed the easiest way for me. Good luck.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: JanetL] #2894667 09/27/19 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by JanetL

I am not sure if this will help or not but I practiced the chord changes with both hands separate from the melody, just playing the chords by themselves with both hands. Once I was sure of the chord changes I then played the melody with them. This seemed the easiest way for me. Good luck.



That got me over the hump. !00% with right hand chords. According to my records that was 5.67 hours (340 min) to get to 100%. I will try only chords in the right hand tomorrow after work and see if I can break that record . I think your right about just chords over and over before I slip in some melody...thanks.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: amyram] #2895128 09/28/19 10:17 AM
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I often play the bits I find difficult over and over again until I think muscle memory must take over. Strangely the second version seemed easier to pick up. I hope you find the same.

I am now trying to learn Beautiful Brown Eyes. There seems to be several things to concentrate on with full chords, broken chords, length of notes and the sustain pedal etc. but I am determined to conquer it! smile

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