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Originally Posted by WBLynch
Rather than try shortcuts I’m going to try following the 52 Lesson Crash Course to make sure I don’t miss any fundamentals and to allow myself to build that muscle memory I will need. I hope I don’t Crash.

-Bill L.

It will be a fun experience and I'm sure your level of skill will enable you to incorporate the techniques much faster than I did. Keep us posted on your progress. We'll be rooting for you.

God Bless,
David


Yamaha AdvantGrand N1X
Duane Shinn - 52 Week Crash Course - Completed
Duane Shinn - Praise and Gospel Course - In Progress
Greg Howlett - Inspirational Improvisation - In Progress
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Well my materials arrived last evening (thanks Don - dmd) and I’m eager to get started.

I flipped through the books then binge watched the first 8 lessons (!) just to get and idea of what to expect. Duane finally starts making suggestions of things you can do to fill out the music at lesson 8.

So, since I did play some before, I’m comfortable that I will be able to work through those first 8 fairly rapidly. I intend to stay focused and disciplined to not skip steps but as soon as I can play the beginner songs clean and to tempo I will go ahead.

One thing I like about the videos (yes, they are dated) is that he uses a spinet piano (Baldwin Acrosonic?) and not a fancy grand and not some god awful digital keyboard. So you get the feeling you’re taking lessons from a live teacher.

I’ll start my first lesson later this morning.

-Bill L.


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
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Originally Posted by WBLynch
So, since I did play some before, I’m comfortable that I will be able to work through those first 8 fairly rapidly. I intend to stay focused and disciplined to not skip steps but as soon as I can play the beginner songs clean and to tempo I will go ahead.

Sounds like a good plan. Let the fun and work begin. smile

God Bless,
David


Yamaha AdvantGrand N1X
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Originally Posted by WBLynch
Well my materials arrived last evening (thanks Don - dmd) and I’m eager to get started.

Glad to hear everything arrived intact.

Enjoy


Don

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As a veteran of the 52-week (ha ha) course I would like to add a couple of things.

First off, you will never be finished with this process. If you get through it in 52 weeks (shame on you) you will just have an overview.
Second, watch your tempos and timing - use a metronome, start slowly.
Third (OK, three things), you are learning to improvise if you continue to apply the techniques to new songs, especially if you can do it at tempo. One technique at a time, preferably. It comes slowly. See suggestion two.
I'll probably think of more to add later. It's a good course. RIP Duane, he was a good guy.

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Originally Posted by EP
It's a good course. RIP Duane, he was a good guy.

Amen.


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Originally Posted by WBLynch
Well my materials arrived last evening (thanks Don - dmd) and I’m eager to get started.

I flipped through the books then binge watched the first 8 lessons (!) just to get and idea of what to expect. Duane finally starts making suggestions of things you can do to fill out the music at lesson 8.
-Bill L.

It will be a good journey Bill! I got through the first 8-10 lessons in no time, but things have REALLY slowed for me now. I am working through lesson 15. The more in depth the arranging techniques get, the slower I am going. It is very difficult for me. But no pain, no gain. My piano skills are improving each week though and that's the idea. I imagine it will take 3 years to get through the course like it it did David B. But it's a fun journey. There is definitely a sense of satisfaction that comes with playing a song and it actually sounds pretty good haha

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Originally Posted by Dmoss3
It will be a good journey Bill! I got through the first 8-10 lessons in no time, but things have REALLY slowed for me now. I am working through lesson 15. The more in depth the arranging techniques get, the slower I am going. It is very difficult for me. But no pain, no gain. My piano skills are improving each week though and that's the idea. I imagine it will take 3 years to get through the course like it it did David B. But it's a fun journey. There is definitely a sense of satisfaction that comes with playing a song and it actually sounds pretty good haha

Nice to hear from you David. And I’m glad yo’re sticking with it.


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Okay, here’s my first week’s report.

Although it has been closer to two decades since I tried playing piano, I got through Book 1 and Supplemental 1 this week. Lessons 1-10 cover both books. So it was more of a refresher for me.

I had some trouble with tricky timing on a few pieces but I was disciplined enough to work on each piece until I could play them cleanly through, to tempo, at least 10 times. The numbers at this stage are very rudimentary and all in the key of C.

I think it’s great course for absolute beginners.

Duane doesn’t start making suggestions for alternate stylings until lesson 8 and by lesson 10 he’ll have two or three per song for you to try. I took notes from the videos so I knew what to practice according to his suggestions. I also noted the time on the video for easy reference.

I should mention that I copied all of the DVD’s to MPG files on a laptop so I don’t have to mess with DVD menus and load delays. It works out perfectly. If anyone has trouble doing that, pm me or email me and I’ll describe my method. It was a pain and took me 10 hours to do. But this is a slow laptop.

A funny happening is the final lesson (#52) has a fault on my dvd and the last half of the lesson fails to play. I’m not worried because I’m sure it’s just congratulatory comments for finishing the course.

So, here I am, ready to start lesson #11 and Book 2. There are some techniques I have trouble with, specifically “tremolos” with octaves in the right hand. I just can’t do them yet and I know it’s a matter of practice and building the skill. I’m not going to sit on “Polly Wolly Doodle” for a month though. I’m sure it will come up a lot along the way and I’ll have plenty of chances to learn that.

My short term goal is to get through lessons 11-13 in the next couple of weeks. That will put me 1/4 through the course. I’m sure it’s about to get hard.

-Bill L.


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One other note... (sorry so long winded tonight)

One of the pieces is “My Bonnie”. But it’s only the chorus and he offers some alternatives to try. For fun I decided to reconstruct the verses “by ear” and work out the chord sequences on my own. It gave me great satisfaction to be able to do that wihout the written score.

Haha, small victories, huh?

-Bill L


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Originally Posted by WBLynch
I should mention that I copied all of the DVD’s to MPG files on a laptop so I don’t have to mess with DVD menus and load delays. It works out perfectly. If anyone has trouble doing that, pm me or email me and I’ll describe my method. It was a pain and took me 10 hours to do. But this is a slow laptop.

A funny happening is the final lesson (#52) has a fault on my dvd and the last half of the lesson fails to play. I’m not worried because I’m sure it’s just congratulatory comments for finishing the course.

I also copied the DVDs onto my SSD for easy access.

I also had a problem with lesson 52 on the DVD. Around the last third of the lesson got cutoff (when he was going through the Fake-book songs). I contacted Duane's office and they sent me a new DVD that did not have the problem. I really wanted to hear Duane's final comments at the end of the lesson to help bring the course to completion.

Quote
My short term goal is to get through lessons 11-13 in the next couple of weeks. That will put me 1/4 through the course. I’m sure it’s about to get hard.

-Bill L.

You're doing great! Keep up the good work. It pays off.

God Bless,
David


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Thanks for the encouragement David. I bought my course second hand but I suppose I could try contacting them.

Another note, Duane introduced open arpeggio in the left hand and it’s something I always wanted to know but never learned. It came easier than I thought and with some practice I hope it becomes natural.

What excited me is times when substituting a note in the pattern is a much better choice. (Say a B instead of a D in a G chord pattern). Just from what Duane taught me already I was able to detect where to make the alteration. Yes, it will require a lot of practice and learning but I’m really excited just to be able to hear it.

This is going to be great. My only regret is I never knew about this course when I started. These are the things that would have made me a successful player all that time.

-Bill L.


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Well...after having bailed out once, got a refund, and a year goes by, I bought the download version now.

I understand a lot more than when I tried this the first time. I have quite a bit more coordination now and I've gotten "somewhat" proficient at using left hand patterns coupled with melody+supporting notes in the right hand so I feel like I'm ready now.

I've downloaded the videos, the printed materials are on their way, let's go!

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Welcome back Bob


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I wish you lots of success (and fun!) with this course, Bill L. (WBLynch) and PianoWVBob!

To anyone interested: According to Duane Shinn's today's newsletter, there's a labor day sale – 30% off all products. Coupon code is laborday2020. Expiration date is September 7. Just thought I'd let you know.


at home: Kawai MP11SE; Yamaha LG800; Yamaha HS7; Ultimate MS-100B; Sennheiser HD558 | office: MP7SE; K&M 18820; Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro

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Yes! I took advantage of that!

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Thanks!

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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I've downloaded the videos, the printed materials are on their way, let's go!
So, the online version of the course is only partly online since you are waiting for the books, isn't it?

Enjoy the course!


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Yes, the DVDS STREAM/download now but the printed materials are still paper

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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Yes, the DVDS STREAM/download now but the printed materials are still paper

It's good to know that the online courses are downloadable.

Does anyone know whether they always have a sale around labor day (or at other times)? So far, this is the first occasion I've seen.


at home: Kawai MP11SE; Yamaha LG800; Yamaha HS7; Ultimate MS-100B; Sennheiser HD558 | office: MP7SE; K&M 18820; Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro

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