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Hey there,

I'm a 34 year old beginner who bought a Kawai MP7SE a short while ago, to finally get back into playing piano. I've played before but I've never properly learned technique and playing from sheet music. I'm a big jazz lover and I've always just messed around, mostly improvising, relying on the blues scale way too much. I'd love to 'properly' learn to play this time, focusing on the fundamentals of playing piano. Although I don't expect classical music to ever be my 'specialization', I do love classical music too and I'd love to be able to learn some pieces, and to have the freedom of accessing sheet music/books more easily. I also think the technique and skills for classical piano transfers very well to jazz piano.

Due to the current Covid situation I am currently learning on my own. I started with some of Alfred's method books, practicing from several of their series' first books (young beginner, later beginner, adult beginner), but I still feel like I'm not getting enough practice material before new concepts are introduced. I'd say I'm fairly musical, but it's all in the ears; I feel very uncomfortable and slow-learning (almost dyslectic) when it comes to playing from sheet music. Having said that, my perfectionism might play a role in this too, and maybe I should start playing each piece at an even slower tempo. The lack of a teacher is annoying here, as it's hard to pinpoint the exact weaknesses and know how to handle this.

One of the other piano methods I have is Die Russische Klavierschule (as well as The Piano Handbook and The Piano Workbook), which I'd love to use because of its beautiful melodies/pieces. However, this one is even more fast-paced than Alfred, so supplemental practice material is even more necessary.

Any ideas on how to proceed would be very much appreciated - this could be books, websites, or just general tips.

Have a great day!

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You can find a huge amount of practice material for free online. Just search, and search some more!

And now for the unasked-for advice!

Originally Posted by Kewner
The lack of a teacher is annoying here, as it's hard to pinpoint the exact weaknesses and know how to handle this.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Piano career academy. The video piano course is based on Nikolaev’s Russian School of Piano Playing. In the beginning, it is the opposite of fast-paced, because a lot of attention is given to teaching the basics of piano technique. Every week you can make a recording of your playing, and get feedback. It is great!

Animisha


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Thanks Animisha, are you studying there? How much does it cost?
I do have to admit the way the website looks always tend to steer me away from things like that.

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Thanks for your post. I didn’t know “Die russische Klavierschule”. Just ordered volume one. smile

Last edited by zeitlos; 01/21/21 04:03 AM.
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Originally Posted by Kewner
Thanks Animisha, are you studying there? How much does it cost?
Hi Kewner, yes, I am studying there, and it costs 47 usd per month, or 470 usd per year. I am extremely happy with the quality of the teaching. Even with very even pieces, Ilinca analyses them and tells you how you can play them as expressively and beautifully as possible.

Originally Posted by Kewner
I do have to admit the way the website looks always tend to steer me away from things like that.
They are building a new website, that is almost ready, but personally I don't bother much about the website, it is the lessons that I am interested in and they are so good.


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Originally Posted by zeitlos
Thanks for your post. I didn’t know “Die russische Klavierschule”. Just ordered volume one. smile
My kid is learning based on that school. It's not bad, but very, very dry.


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Yes, I saw it from some sample pages. I think for children it’s maybe not the first choice, at least if you compare it to other works. I also checked the website mentioned here. I suppose it’s rather suitable for advanced players who want to refine their play?

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Thanks Animisha, I'll have a look at it.

Yeah I wish Die Russische Klavierschule was a bit less fast-paced, as I prefer their pieces over the ones that Alfred has. Not sure what you mean with 'dry' though MHirsch, as in no pictures maybe? I've also been considering giving the European Piano Method a try, which is the opposite in that regard, as it's beautifully illustrated smile

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Originally Posted by Kewner
Thanks Animisha, I'll have a look at it.

Yeah I wish Die Russische Klavierschule was a bit less fast-paced, as I prefer their pieces over the ones that Alfred has. Not sure what you mean with 'dry' though MHirsch, as in no pictures maybe? I've also been considering giving the European Piano Method a try, which is the opposite in that regard, as it's beautifully illustrated smile
Hi Kewner. I agree with you. I really love the pieces from RKS. However, I think it is really not so useful for self-learning as technical info and tips are really scarce after the first fifth of the book. What you can perhaps do is to search for the Opus number of some of the pieces you are working on right now from RKS (since not all of them are reported in the book) and then go to IMSLP and see if you find the full opus of than composer. Since usually they are beginners sets of pieces, they should be somehow in the same level of difficulty or perhaps target similar skills.
On addition, Faber books for example have separate repertoire books. I purchased the classics and pop books from the Piano Adventures Vol 1. There you have some additional pieces to those included in the main book.

Last edited by AndresVel; 01/21/21 04:58 PM.

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Originally Posted by zeitlos
I think for children it’s maybe not the first choice, at least if you compare it to other works.
It's not the first book she's going through. For a bloody beginner it'd be too much, I agree.

Originally Posted by zeitlos
I also checked the website mentioned here. I suppose it’s rather suitable for advanced players who want to refine their play?
Are you looking for some training material for yourself? smile


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Originally Posted by zeitlos
I also checked the website mentioned here. I suppose it’s rather suitable for advanced players who want to refine their play?
Actually, it is for players of all levels. For beginners, there is a course that starts with a video on how to play one note with one finger - that is, teaching the fundamental key attack. The course very gradually builds up your technique, simultaneously gradually introducing more complex pieces. For instance, Bach's Little Prelude in C Major is in lesson 96. I think it is the best course you can get for those who really want to build up a good technique.
But there is also lots of material for the intermediate and advanced player, for instance with detailed Masterpiece tutorials. There is a Scale course, a sightreading course, piano myths, and lots and lots of tutorials on technique, on piano tone and expression, etc etc.


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Thanks AndresVel, that's a useful tip!

And thanks for the Faber recommendation as well, I forgot about Faber. Would you also recommend their method books (maybe compared to Alfred or others)?

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For anyone dealing with a similar problem, I've found this book called 'Improve Your Sight-reading!' by Paul Harris, and so far it seems very helpful!

Last edited by Kewner; 01/29/21 06:38 AM.
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Originally Posted by Kewner
Thanks AndresVel, that's a useful tip!

And thanks for the Faber recommendation as well, I forgot about Faber. Would you also recommend their method books (maybe compared to Alfred or others)?
Kewner sorry, I did not notice you replied to my post.
I enjoyed the Faber books, but I did not use them for too long. Therefore, I do not know, if I had enjoyed the pieces that much on the long run. But I liked that small bits of theory are mentioned with each new piece.
I have never seen the Alfred books, so I cannot really comment on those. What I remember, back then when I was reading about material to buy, was that Faber was less chord based, so you could develop better skills on both hands, therefore more suitable if you were interested in classical music. But again, I cannot confirm if that is the case.


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Thanks AndresVel smile


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