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Joined: Sep 2019
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Hi all, slowly making my way through this book and really enjoying it. For me, the difficulty has really ramped up with Chiapanecas! Sunk about eight hours into it so far ... can more or less play it fluently but am forever slipping in the odd silly mistake and still would nowhere near confidently play it in front of anyone. My question is do you think it is ok to turn the page?! Am getting tired of the tune but still want to be able to play it properly, do you think it is ok to press on but obviously keep going back to it? Thanks all, great forum

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Hi Speedy78! The moment you start feeling that you "press on" it is a good idea to take a break. I would say, in your case, why don't you both turn the page and start practising the next piece, and still keep on practising Chiapanecas as well. Some pieces need more days. For instance, if you practise pieces two hours every day, practise Chiapanecas twice for fifteen minutes every day, and after a week, see if it has improved.
Another idea is to give yourself a break from the piece. Practise something else, and two weeks later, start practising Chiapanecas again.


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Originally Posted by Speedy78
Hi all, slowly making my way through this book and really enjoying it. For me, the difficulty has really ramped up with Chiapanecas! Sunk about eight hours into it so far ... can more or less play it fluently but am forever slipping in the odd silly mistake and still would nowhere near confidently play it in front of anyone. My question is do you think it is ok to turn the page?! Am getting tired of the tune but still want to be able to play it properly, do you think it is ok to press on but obviously keep going back to it? Thanks all, great forum


Hi Speedy!

This is a perennial subject of debate. When is a piece "good enough" to move on?

It's important to remember that these songs are meant primarily for instruction. They exist to teach a certain concept, and once you have mastered the concept sufficiently (which may not include playing the piece flawlessly!), in my humble opinion it is OK to move on. Of course, if you want to perform the song for someone, really like it and want to add it to a more permanent repertoire, or have some other reason than by all means continue to practice it.

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Originally Posted by Lazarus
Hi Speedy!

This is a perennial subject of debate. When is a piece "good enough" to move on?

It's important to remember that these songs are meant primarily for instruction. They exist to teach a certain concept, and once you have mastered the concept sufficiently (which may not include playing the piece flawlessly!), in my humble opinion it is OK to move on. Of course, if you want to perform the song for someone, really like it and want to add it to a more permanent repertoire, or have some other reason than by all means continue to practice it.

+1! Keep in mind the concept of diminishing returns.


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Thanks for the input all, much appreciated. Am especially enthused by the pointing out that the Alfred books are indeed primarily about teaching concepts for you to grasp, rather than giving you a performance piece. Seems so simple, really! Ok will move on now 😀, thanks again

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Hi Speedy! Are you doing pieces one-at-a-time? It's totally normal to be learning several pieces at once, so for sure you can start a new one while you still work on this one. It is not uncommon to put a piece off to the side and come back to it later. If your problem is random mistakes, look closely at what those mistakes are. They might be related. Like maybe changing hand position, or certain note combinations. Understanding mistakes is very important. Your brain is trying to tell you something.

It appears you are pretty diligent which is exactly the right approach for us beginners. Good Luck!


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I am have been having fun with Alfred's Basic until I found Piano Marvel and now I discovered Alfred's in Piano Marvel....so I have the book for info and PM for the scoring/grading.

p.s I start with a piano teacher next week - I got the one my violin teacher suggested.

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Thanks @progman! I try to be diligent haha. Am certain I have not absorbed some earlier theory in the book though, so will be sure to go back and brush up on that. I will now look to having several pieces on the go, thanks for the advice!

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Originally Posted by Speedy78
Thanks @progman! I try to be diligent haha. Am certain I have not absorbed some earlier theory in the book though, so will be sure to go back and brush up on that. I will now look to having several pieces on the go, thanks for the advice!


Hey, it might be a good idea, if you are not doing it already, that you could be doing 2 handed scales (parallel) as you go along for warm-up is probably enough. You are in the part in the book where it is organized by scales, so you get a feel for notes/chords associated with that key. You can do these with a crescendo, decrescendo, staccato, legato.....have fun with it!

Last edited by Progman; 11/05/19 08:24 PM.

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Yes that is a good idea! Thanks again 😀

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Started on Alfred's last month. Managed to climb Mount "Blow the Man Down", slowly and after many hours of trying and I'm now working on lullaby. I got copy of "Playing the piano for Pleasure" a few days ago and I've been using he technique from there of finding chllenging bits (fractures) and then working on them to fix the fracture and then wokring on the rest of the piece.

At this point in my life, the whole song represents a fracture lol. I've been breaking it down into sensible measures with a bit extra then repeating that till I'm comfortable then doing the next bit. So for this song I'd practice (in terms of the lyrics) "Lullaby and Goodnight, with" then "Goodnight with roses bedlight, with" then "bedlight, with lilies o'er spread". Practicing slowly and slowly increasing the tempo, to above playing tempo, not by much. Even 10bpm gives a very nice feeling when going to normal play speeds.

I've popped forward to some of the other songs. It's weird. I've had no problems with some of them (the blues ones) ESPECIALLY compared to lullaby and BTMD. Even Lone Star Waltz and cafe Vienna were easy compared to them!

Really enjoying it so far. I know a lot of people think the songs are hokey and naff, but I'm enjoying it. My catchphrase right now is "I'll not get my ass kicked by x" where x is the song I'm learning.

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Welcome to PW, Koombot smile

I like to follow some of the posts in here. One of these days I have to buy the darn books, just to know what y'all are talking about LOL


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Welcome to the forum, Koombot. It is great to hear you are enjoying the journey.

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Hi all, 10 years ago I gave up playing piano because of wrist pain. I played more than 3 hours a day where I should have taken it easier. Anyway, this week I started Alfred's again. I forgot everything about playing piano but I'm a bit wiser now smile

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Welcome, hope you find lots of useful info here. I started Alfred's in Aug and now up to Alpine Melody. Slowly my fingers figure it out.
Have fun and let us know your successes and stumbling blocks. We are all in this together.

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Hi everyone!

This is my first post to this forum. I'm working through Alfred's Book #1 and I've made it up to Little Brown Jug. I'd say I'm having trouble with the piece, but I have trouble with every piece until I learn it, and for this piece I'm almost there. smile

I take one 30-minute lesson each week and I try to practice at least a few times a week. I'm happy to proceed methodically through Alfred's for now, and I won't add anything else unless I get bored.

Looking forward to knowing and learning with all of you. smile


Orange County, California. Not quite 40 years old, but almost.

Took about one year of piano lessons in 2009-2010, and then I quit. Back at it again since October 2019.

What's I love about learning piano is that I get to watch myself grow through methodical/patient work and incremental improvement.
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Originally Posted by CoolMom
Hi everyone!

This is my first post to this forum. I'm working through Alfred's Book #1 and I've made it up to Little Brown Jug. I'd say I'm having trouble with the piece, but I have trouble with every piece until I learn it, and for this piece I'm almost there. smile

I take one 30-minute lesson each week and I try to practice at least a few times a week. I'm happy to proceed methodically through Alfred's for now, and I won't add anything else unless I get bored.

Looking forward to knowing and learning with all of you. smile

Just wanted to welcome you to PW, CoolMom!


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"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
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Welcome along @CoolMom, you will find good people here on PW. It helped me to read back thru this thread for comments and suggestions that people have had about specific Alfreds pieces. Please keep us posted on your progress.


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Thank you, Tyrone and Dobro smile


Orange County, California. Not quite 40 years old, but almost.

Took about one year of piano lessons in 2009-2010, and then I quit. Back at it again since October 2019.

What's I love about learning piano is that I get to watch myself grow through methodical/patient work and incremental improvement.
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Is this thread still active? I wonder how many people still use these books. I'm coming back to them at the moment.



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