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Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
TonyB #2885089 08/30/19 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by TonyB
When I mistakenly thought that tm3 was referring to David Higginson books on amazon.com, I took a look and saw a few used books for that course. One book I found there was:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HPHW8QY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

In case that product description goes away for some reason, it is the apparently now out-of-print "Fake Book of the World's Favorite Songs: Professional Chord System Paperback – 1990". It apparently contains 300 tunes of various kinds. I have the usual assortment of fakebooks that any of us who have gigged professionally would have, but I figure that this may be tied into the course, which could provide further guided practice in the method. It is scheduled to arrive between Sept. 5th and the 10th.

Here is the description:

More than 300 Songs for any occasion-- all in one incredible collection! Includes: Children's Songs, Christmas Carols, Classics, Country/Bluegrass, Folk Songs, From the Musical Stage, Inspirational, International Favorites, Marches, Patriotic, Sentimental, Singalongs, Special Occasion, Standards, and Waltzes. Hal-Leonard 1990, ISBN # 0793546443

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Hal Leonard Publishing Corp (1990)
Language: English

If it wasn't for that little misunderstanding on my part, I would never have known that book existed. smile

Tony



Thanks for the tip..just for the heck of it, I bought a copy too though I have a several fake books now.


In one part of the lesson book, there is discussion about choosing songs to play, once you start getting a handle on the techniques being taught. I would assume that, since this fakebook was created by the David Higginson folks, though it seems Hal Leonard published it, that the tunes in it would be compatible with the course. That would be a great way to start moving away from the lessons and into creating your own arrangements.

Tony


Good point! I can't wait to get it and see how it goes.

BTW: I can play Silent Night without mistakes very easily now. I'm starting on "Today" now. My wife is going to start Silent Night, she's been practicing the C, and G chords in 6 note voicing. I can tell she's improved in the week she's been messing with it even without the printed materials.

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Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
PianoWVBob #2885095 08/30/19 09:09 AM
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WTG Bob
Seems like your new piano has given both you and your wife the practice bug 😊😊😊. That’s the way it should be... and I’m so glad it has happened in your family


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
dogperson #2885096 08/30/19 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
WTG Bob
Seems like your new piano has given both you and your wife the practice bug 😊😊😊. That’s the way it should be... and I’m so glad it has happened in your family


Thanks!
I'm glad I got through the "nothing sounds right or feels comfortable" stage smile

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
PianoWVBob #2885307 08/30/19 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by TonyB
When I mistakenly thought that tm3 was referring to David Higginson books on amazon.com, I took a look and saw a few used books for that course. One book I found there was:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HPHW8QY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

In case that product description goes away for some reason, it is the apparently now out-of-print "Fake Book of the World's Favorite Songs: Professional Chord System Paperback – 1990". It apparently contains 300 tunes of various kinds. I have the usual assortment of fakebooks that any of us who have gigged professionally would have, but I figure that this may be tied into the course, which could provide further guided practice in the method. It is scheduled to arrive between Sept. 5th and the 10th.

Here is the description:

More than 300 Songs for any occasion-- all in one incredible collection! Includes: Children's Songs, Christmas Carols, Classics, Country/Bluegrass, Folk Songs, From the Musical Stage, Inspirational, International Favorites, Marches, Patriotic, Sentimental, Singalongs, Special Occasion, Standards, and Waltzes. Hal-Leonard 1990, ISBN # 0793546443

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Hal Leonard Publishing Corp (1990)
Language: English

If it wasn't for that little misunderstanding on my part, I would never have known that book existed. smile

Tony



Thanks for the tip..just for the heck of it, I bought a copy too though I have a several fake books now.


In one part of the lesson book, there is discussion about choosing songs to play, once you start getting a handle on the techniques being taught. I would assume that, since this fakebook was created by the David Higginson folks, though it seems Hal Leonard published it, that the tunes in it would be compatible with the course. That would be a great way to start moving away from the lessons and into creating your own arrangements.

Tony


Good point! I can't wait to get it and see how it goes.

BTW: I can play Silent Night without mistakes very easily now. I'm starting on "Today" now. My wife is going to start Silent Night, she's been practicing the C, and G chords in 6 note voicing. I can tell she's improved in the week she's been messing with it even without the printed materials.


Watch in the lesson on "Today" where he shows you how the song is structured, making it really easy to memorize the progression. You will find that progress comes rather quickly in this course. In the Teacher's Guide, he cautions about that, saying that it is all too easy to master each song, but still not be able to really know the chords and patterns. He suggests playing the chords for each lesson randomly until you are very comfortable with the chords so that, by the time you finish the books, you can put together any tune instead of just knowing the tunes he teaches. I believe he says that somewhere in the lesson book too, but talks more about it in the Teacher's Guide.

Tony


Roland V-Grand
Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
PianoWVBob #2885364 08/31/19 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyB


Watch in the lesson on "Today" where he shows you how the song is structured, making it really easy to memorize the progression. You will find that progress comes rather quickly in this course. In the Teacher's Guide, he cautions about that, saying that it is all too easy to master each song, but still not be able to really know the chords and patterns. He suggests playing the chords for each lesson randomly until you are very comfortable with the chords so that, by the time you finish the books, you can put together any tune instead of just knowing the tunes he teaches. I believe he says that somewhere in the lesson book too, but talks more about it in the Teacher's Guide.

Tony




Ahh..thank you. I'll keep an eye out for that, I know exactly what he's saying.

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
Tyrone Slothrop #2885428 08/31/19 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by tm3
I'm also curious and hope that some feedback gets posted. Misspiggy's enthusiastic endorsement is helpful, but beyond that there is a sparse description on Amazon, very few reviews, and no preview pages.

The author was apparently a very highly regarded teacher, however.

I'm something of a piano book collector. I already ordered a complete set of 3 books. I'll do a mini-review when I get it.


Great! Looking forward to it!

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
newbert #2885432 08/31/19 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by newbert
I have the Higginson course materials, but had gotten away from it. This thread has motivated me to give the course another try.

But it would be quite helpful to have the DVD videos on my iPad. Can anyone explain how to transfer them to iPad (if it's at all possible)?

Thanks!


It is definitely possible, but I believe that you are going to have a desktop computer to do it. If you own a Mac, there is a free program called Handbrake that is pretty simple to use to convert the DVDs to the proper format and then they can be transferred to the iPad by hooking the iPad up to the Mac. There is probably an equivalent in the PeeCee world but I'm not familiar with that.

I'm not able to give you step-by-step instructions off the top of my head, but you can find explicit instructions by doing a Google search on "DVD to iPad" or similar, and/or looking at the Handbrake home page. It is a fairly simple process, but of course "simple" only if you know exactly how to do it!

Good luck! Feel free to ask me if you have other questions.

Last edited by tm3; 08/31/19 08:53 AM.
Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
PianoWVBob #2885471 08/31/19 11:25 AM
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I don't use Apple products, not because there is anything wrong about them, but because it would be rather expensive to get involved in their ecosystem at this point. I use PCs and switch freely between Windows 10 and Linux instead, so the tools I use would not be relevant to a Mac user. tm3's post would be much more helpful in that area.

One thing to watch for though is that the DVDs are menu driven with several lessons on each. What you will want to do is identify the individual lesson files and convert those. I found that I could copy an entire DVD just like copying files off of any attached media and then the menu system worked fine on my PC using the Open Source program VLC as my video player.

However, I use an inexpensive commercial program called Transcribe! (which is available for Apple products as well as Linux and Windows) to play the videos because I can loop sections of any size and slow the playback way down without changing pitch. Especially in the lessons on playing the melody, this is extremely helpful. For that, I convert the individual lesson files to MP4 format and use those with Transcribe!.

Again, how I do that would probably not translate well to Apple products, so look to other Apple users for that information.

Tony


Roland V-Grand
Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
PianoWVBob #2886665 09/03/19 07:36 PM
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My used copy of the David Higginson fakebook from the 1990s arrived today and looks brand new. To me, having both the Teacher's Guide and this particular fakebook, along with the two add-on books for chord and rhythm patterns completes the course material such that you can't fail. Since we are teaching ourselves, we are both student and teacher, so it is only logical that a teacher's manual that helps the teacher teach the student this material would make a lot of sense to have. Having a 300 tune fakebook that was put together by David Higginson for use with the course also makes a lot of sense. Having a large vocabulary of the chord and rhythm patterns to use with such a fakebook also makes sense to me to get the most out of what you can do with all these additional tunes.

What I don't understand is why all of this couldn't be offered as a "complete" version of the course. In other words, having a choice of bundling at various price points which involve how much you get in one shipment and how many items you would optionally add later when you are ready for them. The fakebook is out of print, but I would think they could bring that back if there was enough demand. Maybe the market for a course like this might be very small. Not being in the business, I really don't know those figures. I am only looking at it from the self-study student perspective, which is what this course is aimed at.

Tony


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Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
TonyB #2886749 09/04/19 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
My used copy of the David Higginson fakebook from the 1990s arrived today and looks brand new. To me, having both the Teacher's Guide and this particular fakebook, along with the two add-on books for chord and rhythm patterns completes the course material such that you can't fail. Since we are teaching ourselves, we are both student and teacher, so it is only logical that a teacher's manual that helps the teacher teach the student this material would make a lot of sense to have. Having a 300 tune fakebook that was put together by David Higginson for use with the course also makes a lot of sense. Having a large vocabulary of the chord and rhythm patterns to use with such a fakebook also makes sense to me to get the most out of what you can do with all these additional tunes.

What I don't understand is why all of this couldn't be offered as a "complete" version of the course. In other words, having a choice of bundling at various price points which involve how much you get in one shipment and how many items you would optionally add later when you are ready for them. The fakebook is out of print, but I would think they could bring that back if there was enough demand. Maybe the market for a course like this might be very small. Not being in the business, I really don't know those figures. I am only looking at it from the self-study student perspective, which is what this course is aimed at.

Tony



I agree!

My book didn't come yet (and hasn't even shipped yet). Could you describe how the fake book works or is designed? Does it follow his system in any way or is it just another generic fake book?

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
TonyB #2886765 09/04/19 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
I don't use Apple products, not because there is anything wrong about them, but because it would be rather expensive to get involved in their ecosystem at this point. I use PCs and switch freely between Windows 10 and Linux instead, so the tools I use would not be relevant to a Mac user. tm3's post would be much more helpful in that area.

One thing to watch for though is that the DVDs are menu driven with several lessons on each. What you will want to do is identify the individual lesson files and convert those. I found that I could copy an entire DVD just like copying files off of any attached media and then the menu system worked fine on my PC using the Open Source program VLC as my video player.

However, I use an inexpensive commercial program called Transcribe! (which is available for Apple products as well as Linux and Windows) to play the videos because I can loop sections of any size and slow the playback way down without changing pitch. Especially in the lessons on playing the melody, this is extremely helpful. For that, I convert the individual lesson files to MP4 format and use those with Transcribe!.

Again, how I do that would probably not translate well to Apple products, so look to other Apple users for that information.

Tony



Wow. I just downloaded Transcribe! (and G-streamer) and looped the first two bars of "Tammy" from video #61 and it was awesome!

thanks for mentioning this valuable resource.

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
PianoWVBob #2886819 09/04/19 09:13 AM
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TonyB; I also am checking out musescore because I'd like to notate "Tammy" from video 61. It helps me solidify things in my mind if I write them out even if I don't need it to play the tune.

If I did that would you like a copy? I'm not promising that I can or if I can that I'll finish or that it will be 100% accurate in notation but the pitches will be correct and I think it would convey the way it's played, after all, the Tammy that he's playing is fairly simple and short.

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
PianoWVBob #2886823 09/04/19 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
TonyB; I also am checking out musescore because I'd like to notate "Tammy" from video 61. It helps me solidify things in my mind if I write them out even if I don't need it to play the tune.

If I did that would you like a copy? I'm not promising that I can or if I can that I'll finish or that it will be 100% accurate in notation but the pitches will be correct and I think it would convey the way it's played, after all, the Tammy that he's playing is fairly simple and short.


Thanks Bob. I was able to figure out what he was doing in that video too, so I don't really need notation for it. I tend to not write stuff out that I learn by ear, but I can read and write standard notation. I find that I memorize material that I learn by ear much faster and more thoroughly rather than by reading it from a page. I am sure there are theories as to why this is so, but I just know that is how it works for me.

Tony


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Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
TonyB #2886828 09/04/19 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
TonyB; I also am checking out musescore because I'd like to notate "Tammy" from video 61. It helps me solidify things in my mind if I write them out even if I don't need it to play the tune.

If I did that would you like a copy? I'm not promising that I can or if I can that I'll finish or that it will be 100% accurate in notation but the pitches will be correct and I think it would convey the way it's played, after all, the Tammy that he's playing is fairly simple and short.


Thanks Bob. I was able to figure out what he was doing in that video too, so I don't really need notation for it. I tend to not write stuff out that I learn by ear, but I can read and write standard notation. I find that I memorize material that I learn by ear much faster and more thoroughly rather than by reading it from a page. I am sure there are theories as to why this is so, but I just know that is how it works for me.

Tony


That's cool.

So what do you think of the fake book? I'm very curious about it. Is it integrated with the system in some way or is it just another fake book? Do you think that the tunes were selected because of their suitability to the system or something like that?

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
PianoWVBob #3003419 07/16/20 04:54 PM
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Hello everyone!

Just tried the method, and after a few weeks, I guess it's not for me... If anyone is interested to get it for cheaper, please contact me :-)

merlin

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
PianoWVBob #3026298 09/18/20 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
TonyB; I also am checking out musescore because I'd like to notate "Tammy" from video 61. It helps me solidify things in my mind if I write them out even if I don't need it to play the tune.

If I did that would you like a copy? I'm not promising that I can or if I can that I'll finish or that it will be 100% accurate in notation but the pitches will be correct and I think it would convey the way it's played, after all, the Tammy that he's playing is fairly simple and short.

Thanks Bob. I was able to figure out what he was doing in that video too, so I don't really need notation for it. I tend to not write stuff out that I learn by ear, but I can read and write standard notation. I find that I memorize material that I learn by ear much faster and more thoroughly rather than by reading it from a page. I am sure there are theories as to why this is so, but I just know that is how it works for me.

Tony
That's cool.

So what do you think of the fake book? I'm very curious about it. Is it integrated with the system in some way or is it just another fake book? Do you think that the tunes were selected because of their suitability to the system or something like that?

The fakebook is just a standard Hal Leonard C instrument fakebook with Higginson’s name on the front cover only. There’s nothing inside about Higginson’s chord system, and his name isn’t even on the title page. It appears the book was simply rebadged with Higginson’s name on the front as an adjunct to his course in the 1990s. It contains “more than 300 songs,” and includes guitar chord diagrams.

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
PianoWVBob #3026556 09/18/20 09:31 PM
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Anybody here had success with these lessons?


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
WBLynch #3026653 09/19/20 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by WBLynch
Anybody here had success with these lessons?

I have.

These lessons taught me how to play with both hands in a professional sounding manner from a lead sheet.

Personally, I have never found anything better at demonstrating how to do this.

Of course, it focuses on one particular style .... arpeggio accompaniment .... but it does a good job of that.

If fact, just commenting here might motivate me to pick it up again and run through one of the lessons that I didn't complete in the past.


Don

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Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
WBLynch #3026713 09/19/20 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by WBLynch
Anybody here had success with these lessons?

Yes. Enough about this method has been discussed in detail earlier in this thread, so I won't repeat it. I will address the quoted question...

The problem I ran into with self-teaching is that it is essentially a lonely road since there is no live teacher or interaction with others beyond a forum. Unfortunately, a forum is not a substitute for being a part of an in-person group in which people get to really know each other well enough to interact as a close study group that keeps members motivated on a specific learning path for the long haul.

There is no question that piano is a "long haul". I have found that the antidote to this problem is to have immediate gratification. This is something that most of us would find embarrassing to admit to, but not doing so becomes an impediment to the learning process. If we can admit that having a series of quick "wins", seeing immediate progress, would keep us coming back to the piano, then our chances of success go way up. A long slog with little visible improvement is a tough road to hoe when working completely alone or even trying to not be alone by constantly posting in a forum. That is just the way it is, and those of us self-teaching can attest to that after a number of failed attempts.

So when we ask if a particular self-teaching method would work for us, we really want to know is if it would be motivating enough for us to go at least far enough through it to see real results. It is unfortunate that many methods that promise quick results, provide those results at such a basic level that it really isn't worth the time. At the other end of the spectrum are those self-teaching methods that really do teach to a decent level, but the road is long and rather difficult. An excellent example of this is the Duane Shinn 52 week course. Very few have completed it because it is long and difficult, and you really have to be of a single mind for a very long time to do so. As a result, many of us have tried, but few have succeeded beyond the first 10 or so lessons.

What the Professional Chord System (PCS) provides is a way to get immediate gratification that sounds good, and continues to deliver in that manner throughout the course. When you finish the course, your hands will be able to get around the keyboard - both hands, in such a manner that you now have a choice to continue playing at this level or tackle another course that takes you beyond where you are.

The most difficult aspect of self-teaching is getting both of your hands to move fluidly around the keyboard. It takes time and an awful lot of practice to get to that point. This is where all that I said about motivation comes into play (pardon the pun...). The PCS course will provide that, all the while, seeing results that are worthwhile and motivating.

One thing about the course is that it is focused on accompanying yourself singing, rather than on playing solo piano. It does cover playing solo piano, but more as an add-on. I called the PCS folks and specifically asked them about this, and they told me that in any live playing situation, their experience is that singing takes priority over solo playing, so that is the focus of their course. You can learn to play nicely solo, but there is much more to explore in that area than this course provides.

My suggestion (i.e. what is working best for me) is to go through PCS, and I mean all the way through, and then when your hands are moving freely around the keyboard, tackle another course that focuses on playing from fakebooks to add to the techniques you have learned in PCS.

There is a little known book that I have never seen discussed in these forums that I would recommend as a nice follow-on to PCS called "Let's Enjoy Piano". In this book, you learn by doing. So you pick a tune in a fakebook and then find the techniques you wish to use in this book and learn them in the process of playing the tune in the fakebook. It is a unique method that works. You could skip PCS and just use this book, but then you run into the problem again of staying motivated while you struggle to get your hands moving about the keyboard.

Here is the web site to order the book: http://www.letsenjoypiano.com/

Here is the youtube channel, whose videos are done by the guy who wrote the book and are very helpful in understanding what the book is about: https://www.youtube.com/user/LetsEnjoyPiano

So again, to recap:

1. Use PCS to get going in a very pleasant manner.
2. Use Let's Enjoy Piano to explore much further into solo piano playing

None of this involves classical music, so it is useful if you want to play pop tunes and standards on the piano.

I don't post here much anymore because I simply don't enjoy any of the arguing that comes up from time to time in forums, but will read here for a few days in case there is need to follow up with this post (i.e. if any questions about what I said here come up). Hopefully, I have attended to all one would need to make a decision about PCS and Let's Enjoy Piano in this post, long as it is. I described the problem as I have experienced it, and the solution that has worked best for me.

Tony


Roland V-Grand
Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style
PianoWVBob #3026736 09/19/20 11:29 AM
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In addition to purchasing the PCS course itself, I also bought all the add-ons. These include the fakebook with 300 tunes in it, the additional patterns and rhythms, and the teacher's book.

The fakebook is good because it is meant to be used with this course, so the chosen keys and tunes line up with the course even though the format is as a standard fakebook. The additional patterns greatly expand the vocabulary of patterns taught in the course, and likewise with the additional rhythms.

The teacher's book is good because it points out what the focus of a given lesson is and what the student should get from it. For me, as a self-teacher, having that information is important. In other words, it explains how to teach the lesson to a student. Since I am both student and teacher, I think such information is useful.

Clearly, many people don't see the need for the extras and do just fine without them. I like to have the whole story when I dig into something.

Tony

Last edited by TonyB; 09/19/20 11:31 AM.

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