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self teaching (books? advice?)

Posted By: axis_d

self teaching (books? advice?) - 12/04/12 01:16 AM

Hello everyone, I want to get back into learning piano, and specifically get good at sight reading. I took lessons when i was 8 years old, until about 11 when I stopped. I've always had a piano around my house so I play in some form almost everyday, usually just goofing off, or trying to play things by ear. I learn stuff by sheet music once in a while, but I have to "count" the notes starting at C, and it takes me forever to learn a song. not to mention, I usually need to know what the song sounds like in order to play it too. Do you guys have any advice on teaching myself? any particular books that are good for a gradual progression in sight reading? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!
Posted By: dmd

Re: self teaching (books? advice?) - 12/04/12 02:24 AM

Posted By: Michael_99

Re: self teaching (books? advice?) - 12/04/12 05:19 AM

First off, you have a piano. Secondly you can play a little piano. You should know that if you could play grade 1, 2 or 3 or whatever level you got to when you quit, you will be able to play to that level very, quickly. The rule is, generally, 6 months. It works like this. If you played when you were 8 and you are now 80, it doesn't matter to the brain, the brain will remember everything you learned, but the brain has a s l o w processsor chip that takes 6 months to bring it all back. To if you have the books, or you know what books you learned from, you can either go back to them 1, 2, 3, 4, what number of books and just start playing from the start of each book. But you must remember that you must play very slowly wihout any errors. If you are making any errors, you are going to fast. Your brain cannot play faster than the brain can process old knowledge through your fingers. You cannot play any faster than your slow brain will allow you to play accurately, error free. If you don't have those books or want different books, go to a music store and look at the piano music method books. There are at least a dozen to 2 dozen or more methods. They are pretty much all the same except some are colourful, have expensive cds included, whatever your needs are. You are a plano player so you know what it takes to play the piano and the priceless joy it will bring you.
Posted By: axis_d

Re: self teaching (books? advice?) - 12/12/12 12:16 AM

thanks so much for the replies!
Posted By: CarlosCC

Re: self teaching (books? advice?) - 12/12/12 02:14 PM

Hi, and welcome to PW.
I agree with comments above. In your case, you have to give a chance to your brain (and fingers) to remember what you have learned before. Start with easy pieces until you get some confidence. Then try to increase some dificulty (with small steps) and keep going.

Advices? First, enjoy every single note you play. Then, do not give up... I'm on the "self learning" side too and, sometimes, I lose track of the progress that I have and I get a little "disoriented" in this adventure. So, stay focused, and do not hurry. Playing piano is fun, but requires dedication and love.
Posted By: qwert

Re: self teaching (books? advice?) - 12/12/12 03:07 PM

This will sure get you up to speed with stuff smile.

Take it daily, 5 minutes only.

Posted By: tangleweeds

Re: self teaching (books? advice?) - 12/13/12 07:32 PM

A good book for getting started with sight reading practice is Progressive Sight Reading by Hannah Smith. It starts very easy with hands playing in unison, and progresses from there. The little melodies are not very inspiring, but the book has lots and lots of them, which really helps you gain familiarity.

I also very much recommend keyboard note trainers. like the ones at

or for something a bit different

There are also similar apps for smartphone.
Posted By: Stubbie

Re: self teaching (books? advice?) - 12/13/12 11:24 PM

How about the Alfred Adult All-in-One books? Books 1 & 2 have active threads here on PW, so you will have plenty of company. There are CDs that come with Books 1 & 2, but they're poor, IMO; YouTube is a better way to find out how the pieces sound).

Good luck with re-entry!
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