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Posted By: TonyB Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/27/16 12:35 AM
This thread is an attempt to form a study group for anyone interested in the Duane Shinn 52 week crash course:

www.playpianocatalog.com/1yecrco.html


Another forum member and I who are working through this course have been discussing starting this thread, so here we are. Anybody who is interested in this course of study can feel free to participate.

A year is a long time to stay committed to a course of study, especially when going it alone. Hopefully, this thread can help alleviate that problem. We will be discussing the lessons as we work through them, and any other issues associated with the course of study.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/27/16 01:58 AM
I have the course, and I've worked through a good chunk of it. I'm not a beginner but I got the course to learn arranging and improvising. I've learned a lot from it already. It's a lot of work but it's really fun too. I've posted in other threads how impressed I am with it. It's not perfect (what course is?) but there's a lot of great content in it. I've been thinking about going back to the beginning and reviewing all the old lessons as I continue with the course. This thread will give me a good opportunity to do that. So count me in.

If anyone else would like to join in, please feel free smile



Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/27/16 08:24 PM
I suspect this thread will get lost in the shuffle. If it does we can just continue via PM. Anyway, a few comments as I have completed the first couple of lessons.

Duane starts us out with what is called the "Pointer System" (and assures us that we will be moving beyond this soon). This consists of 2nd inversion chords (which he does explain in the video) in which the middle note of the triad in the left hand is played using your "pointing" finger and is the root of the chord. The melody is played with the right hand. The songs are public domain such as "Lightly Row", Merrily We Roll Along", "Go Tell Aunt Rhody", etc.

However, the purpose is not to play the latest cool tunes, but to use very familiar melodies and basic chords to get your hands moving on the piano, get started sight reading, and get a sense of rhythm. In other words, this is a basic starting point. Subsequent lessons very gradually introduce moving the hands around more, such as the right hand playing outside the initial 5 finger position, the left hand moving between chords at the rate of two per measure, etc. while continuing to introduce music theory. From lesson to lesson, you can see definite progress and expansion on previous ideas.

Each video lesson has Duane discuss the lesson, go through the tunes in the lesson playing and talking through them, explain any relevant theory and practice ideas, and then finally, playing everything in that lesson from an overhead view so you can see how your hands should look when playing.

There is a definite sense of moving forward, but not too fast, and a sense that everything you need is, and will, be covered.

Duane suggests spending a week (or longer as necessary) on each lesson, breaking the daily practice into 4 smaller segments, starting with maybe 15 minutes per session, and taking one day off each week. He has three extra DVDs outside the 52 lessons, in which he describes in detail how to practice, maintain a practice log and why, etc. He tells you when to watch each of these DVDs - one before starting the lessons, one at the end of the first lesson, and one at the end of the second lesson, reviewing any time after that as needed. This is solid, detailed, guidance, answering many of the types of questions beginners will ask in these forums just as a decent "live" teacher would do.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 12:49 AM
TonyB,
It may indeed get lost in the shuffle, but if we keep posting it will keep getting bumped back up to the main page. Maybe it will be useful for someone who is on the fence and considering the course, or for someone who tries it later and finds this thread through google search of the forum.

Someone actually emailed me and asked about the pointer chords, which are mentioned but not explained in Duane's promotional material.

This is what I wrote to them in response:
---------
It put me off getting his course for a long time because I didn't understand what that meant. I didn't know what a pointer chord was, but I knew the name sounded like a gimmick *smile*

Turns out that it's nothing to worry about. A pointer chord is simply a chord in the second inversion. If you think of a C major chord, it consists of the notes C-E-G. If you play the notes in that order (left to right), it's known as the root position of the chord. But you can rearrange the order. If you move the C on top to play in the order E-G-C, that would be the first inversion of the chord. Similarly, if you then move the E on top to invert it again and get G - C -E then you have the 2nd inversion of the chord.

The normal way to play a 2nd inversion chord with the left hand has you playing with the pinky, pointer (index) finger, and thumb. The reason they call it a "pointer chord" is because in that inversion/fingering you're playing the note that has the same name as the chord with your pointer finger. The first songs you play in the course use lead sheet notation (right hand melody and chord symbols telling you what to do with the left hand). For that application, the pointer chords might be slightly easier to learn first than the root position chords. But honestly I don't think it really matters which way you learn first.

In any case, other inversions of the chords as well as playing songs from the grand staff (both treble and bass clefs) are introduced very quickly in the course. The pointer chord thing is just how chords are introduced. Most methods introduce chords in the root position, but it's not really a big deal either way in my opinion.

-----------

Anyway, I'm going to go back and redo lesson one this weekend. I'll post whatever comments come to mind when I do so. I'll probably try applying some of the arranging techniques from later in the course just to make it more interesting, as those first songs are quite basic (great for beginners) but I'll keep my comments to what's actually in the lesson.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 01:58 AM
I m on lesson 3. Currently, I am really focusing on that "eye flip" technique.

Though I can read music, I have always felt that in its essence, music is a HEARING art (for both performer and listener - music is sound, after all) whose inspiration comes from the heart just like any other art form.

I don't really want to ultimately play other people's music any more than I want to walk around quoting other people all day or retyping somebody else's post in this forum instead of expressing myself in my own words. To me, we all should have something of our own to say, verbally or musically. A writer strives for original material, rather than copying another writer verbatim, though s/he may get ideas and inspiration from reading other people's writing. For that reason, I consider being able to sight read to be a valuable skill, well worth the time to develop, as well as to be able to play what we hear (such as picking up music off recordings).

My goal is to gain fluency on the piano so I can develop my own musical ideas.

I know that probably sounds weird to many people, but think about it. Writers expect to come up with their own words even if the subject is ages old. Painters strive to come up with their own interpretation of whatever they are painting, though many do study the works of others. I don't see why music can't be treated with the same sense of originality and inspiration. Somehow, we seem to culturally look at music differently than other art forms, when I personally feel that there is no difference in terms of the object of our pursuit.

Studying what came before and intuitively understanding why what attracts us to it, works, seems reasonable to me. That, to me, is where playing other people's music has value, and therefore the ability to sight read.

Eye flip allows you to quickly look down at the keyboard as needed while still retaining your place in the sheet music. My problem is that I wear glasses and the eye flip forces me to look below my glasses. It is a bit hard on my eyes.

Anyway, I want to develop that technique while keeping my hands working without losing time, so I am spending the time now while the music is easy. Later on, I will have enough trouble with more difficult music and techniques, and feel that "eye flip" should be automatic by then. I intend to get everything I can for the time expended working on this course.

Also, the third "DVD" is really a CD with approximately a half hour of Duane talking. He talks about how to do ear training at the piano, and that we should be doing this every day as well as listening critically to all the music we hear around us (paying attention to the rhythm, the intervals in the melody, and the chords). Learning to hear all this is something Duane really emphasizes, as well as the fact that it doesn't happen overnight.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 02:47 AM
Yes, the eye flip thing is a challenge for me too. Part of the problem is that my arms are a little short, so I need to sit a bit closer to the piano. That puts part of the keyboard out of my peripheral vision. I can sit back a bit and take in the whole keyboard, but then my arms stretch and I feel tension in my neck/shoulders when I play. So I've had to find a good balance of having a good seating position and being able to see as much as I can, using the eye flip when I can, leaning to the side and even moving my head when I can't.

One thing I do (not really recommending this but I do do it) is that I practice a lot to be able move around the keyboard without looking at it at all. Even on some of the later stuff like swing bass and continuity bass patterns, I can basically do them with my eyes closed. Often I'll establish the distance with an eye flip then rely on my spatial senses rather than my eyes for further, similar movements. I do this with lots of different things, like chord changes and moving through different inversions of chords.

Also re: your goals, I think the crash course is an excellent fit for them. That seems to be very much Duane's philosophy too. Be able to read the printed music, but also be able to understand it, rearrange it, and make it your own.

Also, just an unrelated aside, you mentioned glasses. I've read that some people get piano-specific reading glasses. The music score on your piano tends to be a bit further away from your eyes than most people would read a book, so they have their optometrist give them reading glasses that will help their eyes focus in the right spot. I know that's not really germane to your specific problem, but I thought it interesting.
I have his crash course also and did about a third of it quite a while ago.
Then I wanted to do something else, probably more classical oriented. I think I got fed up with the kind of pieces he's using in the course.
Now I'm into Czerny's introductory material for the beginning pianist. Totally new and original melodic and musical ideas, coupled with specific technical challenges.
I might return to the crash course later to complete it.
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 10:19 AM
RaggedKeyPresser,
Yes, that's the problem with most beginner's methods, they use a lot of old public domain compositions as their base which are cheesy and not very inspiring to play (see the popular Alfred's method as another example of this). Also, a lot of the arrangements in the method books as written are somewhat repetitive. So that can be frustrating. But as a counterpoint to that, the very cool thing about the course is that duane gives you so many tools to take those rather uninspiring songs and make them really pop and sound cool. It lets you exercise your creativity.

The other thing is that this course is really about giving you a really broad foundation from which to explore piano. Someone who works through the course would have a really broad range of skills that would let them then go on to explore classical, or jazz, or pop/rock, or whatever type of piano playing they were interested in.

If you know that you want to play primarily classical music, something like the fundamental keys method might be a better fit for you (certainly it's cheaper smile. But if you want a more comprehensive approach to learning piano, imo the crash course is hard to beat.

Warm Regards,
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 11:00 AM
Originally Posted by fizikisto


One thing I do (not really recommending this but I do do it) is that I practice a lot to be able move around the keyboard without looking at it at all. Even on some of the later stuff like swing bass and continuity bass patterns, I can basically do them with my eyes closed. Often I'll establish the distance with an eye flip then rely on my spatial senses rather than my eyes for further, similar movements. I do this with lots of different things, like chord changes and moving through different inversions of chords.



I think this is a really good idea. I have known a number of blind musicians and they all seem to have far more facility getting around i interesting musical ways on their chosen instrument than sighted people often do. I knew a blind accordion player, for example, who would take requests at gatherings, and as long as he knew a tune enough to be able to hum the melody, he could whip up a full arrangement of the piece in no time. You would never hear a player like him to say he didn't know the piece, or worse, I don't have the music for that.

Sometimes I think it might be better to practice piano blindfolded and really get to know the keyboard. smile

Regarding the special keyboard glasses, my problem is that my glasses end where the keyboard starts in my field of vision, so I either see mostly my frames or the keyboard, but not clearly. I think with enough practice my hands will get to know their way around the keyboard so that won't be an issue anymore. "Seat to the bench" can cure a lot of problems over time, I think.

Looking over the Duane Shinn course, I fully agree with your comments about the foundation it provides.

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 11:03 AM
Originally Posted by RaggedKeyPresser
I have his crash course also and did about a third of it quite a while ago.
Then I wanted to do something else, probably more classical oriented. I think I got fed up with the kind of pieces he's using in the course.
Now I'm into Czerny's introductory material for the beginning pianist. Totally new and original melodic and musical ideas, coupled with specific technical challenges.
I might return to the crash course later to complete it.


In the crash course, Shinn talks on the CD "Things I Learned the Hard Way", about playing any and all kinds of music outside the course as practice in sight reading. So any other materials are fair game while you are working through the course. As Fizikisto says though, if you want to focus on classical music, there are other courses that provide just that focus.

Tony

Posted By: newbert Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 12:38 PM
Interesting thread. Let me be clear that I do NOT own this course. However, the comments so far about Duane's philosophy have definitely caught my eye.

I'm currently at low-to-mid intermediate level (by my own definitions/standards). I can read sheet music and play mostly pop, easy jazz standards (from sheet music) and Great American Songbook stuff. I have no interest in classical. My goal is to learn how to improvise a bit and "embellish" (for want of a better word) the written score. I have done some of this, but only by writing it down on the score itself and playing from there. I would love to be able to do it "on the fly" in realtime, though.

So, I'm wondering whether this course would be right for me?

One problem with other courses that I've always had issues with working through (and it's definitely MY ISSUE, not the course's) is that many want you to go way back to the beginner's level, essentially starting your whole piano journey over. I just don't have the patience for that.

Is that the case with this course too? If so, how do those of you who had some experience prior to starting the course deal with that?

Thanks!
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 02:57 PM
Newbert,
I think this course might be a really good fit for you. Arranging songs from the score in real time is an emphasis of the course. Yes, the first 6-7 lessons are all beginner stuff. The course starts out assuming that you don't really know anything about the piano and starts from square one, but arranging and improvisation techniques are introduced surprisingly quickly.

Even though it starts from the very beginning, it includes a lot of stuff that is not traditionally taught to beginners which keeps it interesting. For example, I had never played from a lead sheet before. But that's introduced in the first lesson.

I think it's like lesson 7 or 8 where Duane starts assigning you to play pieces with completely different arrangements from what's written (doing it on the fly). I think I started the course with a similar level to you, and I found that stuff really challenging, and also fun.

For example, there might be a piece where the bass consists of arpeggiated chords and the assignment is to play it in an alberti bass pattern, or to play it as swing bass pattern, or a swing bass pattern combined with a 1-2 breakup, etc.

So playing the piece as written is fairly straightforward in those early lessons, but doing the arrangement techniques requires a whole other level of mental processing. Instead of playing the notes just as intervals, you start to also have to see all the notes in the measure as the chords they're made of. Ok, that's an F chord broken up, that's a G7 block chord, that's a C block Chord, that's a D7 broken up, etc... and then convert that on the fly to whatever arrangement pattern you're trying to play.

By the way, even though they might be a bit remedial, you'd probably want to go through the first 5 or 6 lessons just to make sure you're not missing anything, but given your skill level you could probably do that in 3 or 4 weeks pretty easily, faster if you pushed. Then even though in lesson 7-8-ish and later the pieces are still fairly simple (but starting to ramp up in difficulty), what you're asked to do with them isn't.

Also, Duane gives "official" assignments and then "previews" of future arranging techniques. He encourages you to explore those techniques too if they strike your fancy, though they get covered in detail later in the course so you don't have to. Duane provides a very structured course with specific assignments, but also has built in a tremendous amount of flexibility for you to explore different things.

And when Duane teaches a new arranging technique, he frequently encourages you to go back to previous songs and apply the new techniques to them, even the simplest songs from the very beginning of the course. He teaches tons of arrangement techniques for both hands. So it's just a huge amount of material to go through. And as far as I have seen, there's really nothing else out there that's even remotely like it.

Warm Regards


Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 03:13 PM
PS to Newbert. That whole business of looking at the different measures and seeing the notes in terms of chords rather than just individual notes or intervals applies to both treble and bass clef staves, and I think it's really helped my reading skills a lot. It's not ALL about chords though, Duane does cover seeing intervals and other aspects of reading too, it's just that it gives you another tool in the toolbox, but a very useful one to have.
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 08:48 PM
I too have been through this course and think highly of his method, especially if you are interested in developing a style that might be described as popular, cocktail, etc. Not jazz, but an arrangement style that gives you an essentially unlimited number of ways to play a tune. I think you could spend years developing the techniques you learn in this course. He teaches them in a way that there is material there for anyone from an absolute beginner to someone who is pretty advanced. JMHO
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 09:34 PM
EP,
Very cool, I hope to join you in the ranks of those who have completed the course. smile I agree it's definitely not a jazz oriented course, but I do think it would give someone a really solid foundation with which to pursue jazz after the course if that's where their interests lie. Much more so that a lot of the traditional methods like the Alfred's course would.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 10:02 PM
This idea of "spaced repetition" is working really for me. First, I can come home tired and face 15 minutes of practice easy enough. That "breaks the ice", so to speak so that I am interested in doing more. also, if I do this in shorter sessions, I seem to relax rather than wanting to just get through it and move on to the next thing. This idea really makes a big difference for me.

One thing I am finding is that I know when I have learned the tunes in a lesson. When I was working on this course previously, I tended to be able to "kinda sorta" play a tune, getting through it maybe 2 out of 3 or 4 tries, and felt ready to move on. I am staying with a tune until I can play it again and again with the sense that I "own" it. Only then can I go on to the next one. That does not mean I have to memorize it, but that my hands have learned what they need to know to play that tune and, much more importantly, other tunes like it (i.e. similar chord structure, etc.).

The problem is that when we don't stick with a tune long enough to REALLY get comfortable with it, we have not really learned some basic technique. After we accumulate a whole lot of half-baked techniques, the more advanced stuff quickly becomes unmanageable and it seems that just maybe we were not cut out to play piano after all.

This is the "big lie" or "myth" as David Sudnow called it, about talent (i.e. the belief that "some got it, some don't"). He said (and I believe this) that ANYBODY can learn to play piano IF THEY WANT TO. It is all about having the desire and the motivation to stick with it and do the work, making sure we really learn what it is we are supposed to have learned at each lesson. It may well be that talent makes the difference between playing in a local piano bar instead of Carnegie Hall, but either one is far past what many who just enjoy playing want to accomplish. So, anybody can learn to play and enjoy both the process and the result of the efforts regardless of level of talent.

However, if we don't really learn each thing we are presented with so we can more easily master the next thing, we will soon not be able to play much of anything, and that is at a time when we feel we should have learned something by then.

I am on lesson three, and was fully expecting that I would blast through it in a day or two and move on because I had gone well past that lesson when previously working on this course. However, I realize now that I didn't REALLY learn that lesson previously, so I am spending the time to do it right this time. Lesson four is not going anywhere. It is in the book and on the DVD waiting for me.

If, by the time I get to, say, lesson 7 or 8, I am really struggling, I probably should go back a few lessons and go through them more carefully because my hands don't know yet what they should know by that time.

So, the moral of the story is to slow down and learn each thing in turn thoroughly before moving on. In a course such as the 52 week course, there is clearly a reason why each lesson is as it is. The course was well thought out end to end by a very experienced teacher, and not somebody slapping something together to give internet marketing a shot. Trusting the teacher is huge, whether a "live" teacher or via a course such as this one. If you really trust the teacher, then you can relax into the learning process and let him or her guide you accordingly through it.

From this perspective, I honestly feel that the 52 week course is well worth the money. It can be fun to jump from one shiny new course to another, but I would bet it would be much more fun to be able to really play the piano.

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 10:24 PM
One other thing...today I dug out my box of Duane Shinn materials. I bought these some years ago back when engineers were getting big hiring bonuses, big annual bonuses, etc. I see that I have every "big" course Duane did (along with a couple of smaller courses such as playing by ear and how to dress up naked music)- the Pro Secrets, the Improv course, the Chord Piano course, the Runs and Fills course, the Chord Progressions course, the Music Theory course, etc. At that time, his were really the only "serious" self-study materials I had seen. Now, everybody seems to have something in the marketplace. I would bet that even today, Duane Shinn would stand up against the best of them.

This is a lifetime of study, all by the same guy who created the 52 week week course - a lifetime of guided learning. He does not seem to have put out any new courses at that level, so that is pretty much it. My intention was to work on these in retirement when I would be on a fixed income (i.e. buy them while I was raking in the cash...). So the 52 week course is the start, but it doesn't have to end there for me. Between Duane Shinn and Willie Myette, I have it covered, and I have finally figured out how to approach all this material as mentioned in my previous post. Between all that and my V-Grand, what more could I possibly need? I may have to decide not to work any contract engineering jobs next year so I can stay focused on this stuff.

Tony

Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 10:38 PM
If you take a look at Lesson 17 he gives you a good rundown of the techniques he's taught to that point. Don't expect to master those techniques right away, but that doesn't mean you can't keep going with the course. You can still keep going through the course and gradually apply those techniques as you go.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 10:48 PM
I really appreciate the discussion going on here. As I mentioned, I had bought all these courses some years ago, stored them away for future use, took out the 52 week course once or twice with serious intent to dive into it, and then gave up as life intruded and because I had some things to learn about approaching the course in a manner suitable for the long haul. I really think that if I had just relaxed into it and minded the spaced repetition idea, I could have weathered even those periods when life intrudes. I would rather not think about how well I could have bee playing today, had I stuck with it. I had completely forgotten about all the other courses, so that was a really pleasant surprise.

Well, it is time to jump ahead and take a look at lesson 17 just to see what Duane says...

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/16 11:23 PM
Originally Posted by EP
If you take a look at Lesson 17 he gives you a good rundown of the techniques he's taught to that point. Don't expect to master those techniques right away, but that doesn't mean you can't keep going with the course. You can still keep going through the course and gradually apply those techniques as you go.


I just watched lesson 17 - Rosie O'Grady. I can really see there what Fitzikisto says about taking a simple tune and really dressing it up. These other courses I have most likely cover that kind of material, but in much more depth, since each is intended to be 7 months to a year or more long. This is really good stuff!

I can imagine what somebody who only reads the notes would see if all that stuff that Duane did to Rosie O'Grady was written out. I would MUCH rather make the decisions as to how I want to play it, while I am playing it as Duane does in the video. That seems like a whole lot more fun AND much more musically satisfying.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/29/16 12:34 AM
TonyB,
I'm glad to hear that the course is working out for you so well this time around. And I'm thrilled that our little thread seems to be generating some great discussion! I think you have some really great insights on playing pieces until you own them. Someone on this forum (can't remember who and haven't seen it in ages) had one of my all time favorite signatures, it said "Amateurs practice until they can get it right, professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."

I also agree with you in not trying to rush the course. I think it may be somewhat unfortunately named. I wonder if there have been people who have tried it and found that it was taking them 2 or 3 weeks to complete each lesson and gave up because they thought it should be doable on a strict 1 lesson/week format. They should take as much time as they take, and it will be different for every person.

And really, It seems to me like there is so much material in the course that one could easily revisit it for years and still get new things out of it.

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/29/16 12:46 AM
EP Oh yes, Lesson 17 is awesome! That's actually one of the cool things about the course. It's just got so much variety. There are lessons like that which focus on doing a ton with just a few songs (or one smile and then there are lessons where he goes through so many pieces it's like, "holy crap he's going to assign ANOTHER piece this week!!?" *grin*

I also find it interesting how there are lessons taught completely from bird's eye view, and lessons taught entirely from close up, and lessons that have both. By necessity, there is a lot of repetition in the course, but Duane really does a great job of keeping things fresh.

May I ask, did you have a lot of prior experience before taking the course? or did you start as a beginner? And what did you do after you finished, piano-wise? Did you take any of duane's other courses? or pursue more classical repertoire? or jazz? or just use what you learned and apply it to new pieces? or something else entirely? smile
Posted By: newbert Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/29/16 01:17 AM
Great info here. I'm impressed that everyone here gives the course such glowing reviews. I'm considering purchasing but have two remaining questions:

1. Has anyone tried any of Duane's other courses? What were your impressions of those, and are they all (or most) incorporated in the 52 week course? Or do they cover totally different material?

2. Other than this thread, is there a support forum for the 52 week course somewhere and/or is there a way to contact Duane directly if/when you get stuck and have a specific question?

Thanks!
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/29/16 03:10 AM
Newbert,
I think it really depends on the course. For example he has lots of small courses on specific topics. As an example, he has a course on left hand arranging patterns, and another on right hand arranging patterns. This material is covered very well in the crash course, so I suspect that they would be redundant. On the other hand he has courses like his in depth improvising course or his pro secrets course. They seem to go much more in depth than the crash course.

I don't think there's a specific forum dedicated to support, and Duane has largely retired from teaching (he had a pretty bad heart attack a few years ago). But I have exchanged emails with him and he seems really nice. So if you really are having an issue with something you might be able to contact him and get some help. Or likely you could also get help here. If not from one of us, there are an amazing number of really talented and knowledgeable people who frequent these forums.

Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/29/16 04:01 AM
I think the Pro Secrets course is good if you really want to get in depth with a lot of the things he teaches you in the 52-week course. Pro Secrets is really designed to be a 3-year program, where you drill on one technique for an hour every day for a month, then move on to the next technique, for 36 months.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/29/16 10:50 AM
Duane has another product tat really isn't a "course", but is a collection of 14 DVDs, each focused o one subject. These are modulation, pedaling, improvising using minor 7 chords, transposition, waterfall runs, 2-1 and 3-1 chord breaks, music box style, straddles, chord progressions and substitutions, gospel styles, inversions, modal scales and fingerings, major scales and fingerings, and minor scales and fingerings. This collection could easily go along with most any other self-study piano course or even with a live teacher.

As far as I am concerned, I feel that this collection is worthwhile. Think of it as asking your teacher for more information/demonstration about some specific aspect of what you are being taught.

Also, though I intend to participate in this thread, I think that support groups can be as much a distraction as helpful. It is all too easy to avoid practicing by just talking about it. I go through periods in which I post a lot and other times where I am too buys doing to post about it. We each have to decide which we want to be doing.

When I was working with the Sudnow method some years ago, he really talked up the idea of a study group. For the first year, I worked alone on the course and made good progress, and had several tunes memorized and ready to play. A guy in town formed a study group and I attended. It was there that people who had previous piano lessons and already played well (and probably did not really understand Sudnow's way of thinking) talked me out of what I was doing on my own and it wasn't too long before my whole practice regimen fell apart and dwindled to nothing.

I can't blame anybody but myself because I let myself be talked out of what was working for me. In that group, everybody talked a good game, but few ever played for each other as Sudnow recommended we do. Here in the forum, everybody talks a good game. Unless people sign up for the monthly recital or otherwise put up videos or MP3s of their playing, you really have no idea whether the person is talking from a position as a player or a wannabe who just doesn't get it together. So far, I am the latter, and it is only by ultimately shutting up here and getting into the work that this will change.

There seem to be very few in these forums who have said that they actually finished any of these home study courses, but many of us (including me, have collected enough of them). I would say now that I have read of more that either finished or went far along with the 52 week course than any other. Fizikisto has gone through most of it, EP has apparently completed it, and there was a guy some years ago here who had finished it. I have only read of one person here who said she finished the Sudnow method, and that was SwinginBarb, who hasn't posted in a long while. I hope to among these rare few one day.

To me, probably more than any other course I have seen yet (and probably better than many piano teachers), Duane explains everything in the course very well. I am not convinced we really need outside help as we go along. Every concept is explained in the course and in context, from what I have seen just grabbing DVDs and watching the lessons. Remember too that you can watch a segment over and over, as much as needed.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/29/16 11:26 AM
TonyB,
I think having a good teacher who can watch you and give you feedback can speed your progress tremendously. They can also help you correct bad habits before they become ingrained in you. And of course, if you had had a good teacher that you were seeing every week and that you trusted, you probably never would have been talked out of your progress by others. A good teacher can help you keep on track. I've had in person teachers and I've done the self-learning thing and I think that if you can get a good teacher that's better than going it alone.

But with that said, getting a good teacher is just not practical for everyone. First, not every teacher is a good teacher. And even if you have a good teacher in your area, as I noted in a different thread, it can be really really expensive. $50-100/week starts to add up pretty quickly. Other people have the money, but they have crazy schedules that prevent regular lessons or they live in some small town where there's not a teacher to be had. And sometimes teachers simply don't fit with you personality-wise or whatever. As far as the crash course goes, I suspect that among piano teachers, there is a pretty small % of them that can even do all the stuff that duane teaches, much less teach it to others. So depending on what you want to learn, your financial situation, your work/schedule/travel situation, an in person teacher may simply not be practical.

For someone that has to go it alone, I remain convinced that this is one of the best all around methods available.

One thing that I would suggest to you as a self learner is focus on eliminating tension when you play. It's so easy for tension to creep in when you're focusing on other things, especially if you don't have a teacher to watch you. So you can make a conscious effort to check yourself periodically as you play. Are you forgetting to breathe? Is your posture getting out of line (especially your neck and head)? are your shoulders rising up or hunching? is your elbow winging out? are you grinding your teeth or is your jaw relaxed? when holding down longer notes or chords are you holding down keys with more force than is necessary? is your pinky lifting up when you're not using it? These are all signs of unnecessary tension that can inhibit your playing later on. It can be a good idea to periodically check yourself for such signs

Warm Regards
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/29/16 10:34 PM
Fizikisto,

Thanks for the follow up post. As for a teacher, I had a bad experience with a guitar teacher. after I left the road as a professional guitar player, I decided I really wanted to get into chord melody playing along the lines of Johnny Smith, Joe Pass, etc. I decided to take lessons. I spent that entire summer working through the Johnny Smith method with a teacher, 3 hours a day with scales, arpeggios, chords, etc. The idea presented to me was that, at the end of the summer, we would work on applying all this material to chord melody. at the end of the summer, the teacher got a gig in Japan and that was that. I went to several other teachers to find one to continue on. They all wanted me to start over again.

I refused, and have continued to learn on my own whatever I need on the guitar. I was always self-taught and played professionally for two years in a trio that played Holiday Inns, higher end supper clubs, and resorts. It wasn't some BS bar band that gigs once every few months and spends the rest of the time bragging about the gig. We worked 6 nights a week, every week, for two years. It was all AF of M union work.

Anyway, with the piano, I simply could not find a teacher that would teach the kind of material that Duane Shinn teaches. They were all about classical music. So, no go there either.

One problem I rarely hear people talk about here when they say that a teacher is the way to go is the QUALITY of the teacher. Just as there are decent mechanics, cooks, doctors, etc., and not-so-good of the same, it is also true with teachers. Those of us here who went through college remember the "good" professors - those who really cared about their subject and the students, and went the extra mile during their time off to bring in new material for the next semester or year, while the other professors simply taught the same thing every class ad gave the same tests, and were boring.

During much of my career in engineering, I did a lot of travel and worked a lot of hours. There was absolutely no way I could say that I would be available on a certain day at a certain time, week after week.

Since I did well teaching myself to play guitar, I figure I can do likewise with the piano.

The following is really me reminding myself of these points, more than it is to anybody else, and especially it is to no one in particular (except myself as a reminder):

As for people being able to talk me out of doing what worked for me, I consider that "lessons learned". That is why I said that, on the internet, we really don't know who the people are whose posts we are reading. They may rarely, if ever, touch the piano, but have tons of advice for people. Over time, it becomes apparent when you see the same people posting over and over, who among them is "for real" and who is not.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that honing your skills on the bandstand as a professional will really change one's view of the academic approach to music. If all one has is book learning and not real life, proven, experience, maybe that is not the person to listen to for advice. Duane Shinn is an experienced teacher and performer, and his approach in his course shows that "honing". Robet Conti is the equivalent on guitar. I have yet to find a "live" piano teacher like that, though obviously they exist - Duane Shinn is but one of these.

At this point in my life, I really don't want to spend the kind of money you are talking about for a teacher. I learned through the Sudnow group that I really don't need a group to keep me motivated, though a small effective study group would be a great thing. I have to be careful not to spend too much time in such a group, and take EVERYTHING said with a grain of salt.

There are people who seem to almost live in these forums, and I wonder how much piano playing actually gets done. I don't think high post counts prove a person is a good piano player, in fact, probably the opposite (unless that person already was a good player before coming to the forum). Unfortunately, the process of learning to play a musical instrument is NOT a social enterprise. There is lots of time spent "butt to seat" alone.

Consider all the words in these forums wasted on the "10,000 hour rule", as yet another thread is going on now. What a complete waste of time! Who cares? If one is practicing and making progress, what does it matter what somebody else says in some book? The forums are full of this kind of stuff that has nothing to do with what I am doing at the piano.

Today is my "day off" as per Duane Shinn's recommendation. On my piano days, I will be making myself a bit more scarce around here because I really want to focus on playing. My participation, outside occasional posts in this thread, should really be for participating in the monthly recitals sharing that I really am able to do something on the piano instead of just talking about it, once I get to the point of having something to offer.

If all this sounds harsh, all I can say is that the people I have known, including myself, who have accomplished something worthwhile, were not socialites gabbing endlessly about doing instead of actually doing it. Instead, a decision is made to do the thing, and come out when we have something to show for the effort, and not listen to garbage such as the 10,000 hour rule or anything else that might cause us to question whether we can achieve our desired outcome.

I have, up to this point, not done this with the piano, but have done this with everything I have done successfully, so I have no excuse. I know how to do success, being an engineer with patents, having taught myself guitar and played professionally, finished college at night at the top of my class while working a full time job, etc. Most of us have had successes in life, so mine are but one person among many. All we need to do is remember the decisions we made to not listen to the garbage talk, and instead stay focused on the task at hand.

I really like your advice about watching for tension. Your points about why a teacher is a good thing, are well taken. It is heartening to know that at least a few people have either finished the 52 week course or are close to it, and that the journey was worthwhile.

Thanks,

Tony
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 12:34 AM
TonyB
Thank you for the long and thoughtful post. I appreciate you sharing your history. By the way, on reflection, I fear my mentioning your having quit before may have come across as harsh or insulting. I hope not, but if so I apologize. It certainly wasn't intended to be. And yes, I agree with your broader points. Having a teacher is simply not a viable choice for a lot of people. So the chorus that often appears on this forum lambasting people who choose self learning over getting a teacher is misguided at best. For some people, because of the reasons we mentioned or others, the choice is not between teacher or no teacher, it's between self-learning or no-learning. But for those whose only option is self learning, what a great time to be alive, right? There is such a wealth of different material available. And I do think this course is among the best options for anyone choosing to go that route. smile

Speaking of practice, I'm about to go get mine in. I finally have a bit of time to rewatch lesson 1 and work through it again. I'll post my Lesson 1 review sometime tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have some useful things to say about it. smile

Warm Regards,
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 12:57 AM
Originally Posted by fizikisto
TonyB
Thank you for the long and thoughtful post. I appreciate you sharing your history. By the way, on reflection, I fear my mentioning your having quit before may have come across as harsh or insulting. I hope not, but if so I apologize. It certainly wasn't intended to be. And yes, I agree with your broader points. Having a teacher is simply not a viable choice for a lot of people. So the chorus that often appears on this forum lambasting people who choose self learning over getting a teacher is misguided at best. For some people, because of the reasons we mentioned or others, the choice is not between teacher or no teacher, it's between self-learning or no-learning. But for those whose only option is self learning, what a great time to be alive, right? There is such a wealth of different material available. And I do think this course is among the best options for anyone choosing to go that route. smile

Speaking of practice, I'm about to go get mine in. I finally have a bit of time to rewatch lesson 1 and work through it again. I'll post my Lesson 1 review sometime tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have some useful things to say about it. smile

Warm Regards,


Fitzikisto,

Nothing you have said has been insulting or harsh, so no worries. smile

One thing I should mention is that none of the piano players I listen to regularly had piano lessons - they are self-taught. I find it interesting that the people I know who took formal piano lessons to learn to play, seem to be really saddled with having to read sheet music, while those who I know as well as the ones whose CDs I have who are self-taught seem to be inventive (i.e. they create and perform their own music) and rely more on hearing, though many can also read. I know this sounds stereotypical, but it really is true.

Tony

Posted By: PianoStudent88 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 02:37 AM
TonyB, could you share some names of pianists you listen to?
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 03:28 AM
Michelle McLaughlin, David Nevue, David Lanz, Liz Story, to name a few.

Tony



Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 04:12 AM
Originally Posted by fizikisto
I'll post my Lesson 1 review sometime tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have some useful things to say about it. smile


Looking forward to your comments! And I think I am now committed to starting the course next week . . .
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 05:14 AM
As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to use this thread as an opportunity to review the course and solidify what I have learned and am learning from it. So I’m going to (more or less) try to go back every week and review an old lesson starting from the beginning of the course. My hope is that my thoughts and comments will be useful for someone who is considering taking this course, and also for someone who is going through it. In any case, I just went back and rewatched and played through all the pieces from lesson 1. Here are my comments.

Lesson 1 of 52:

The course uses an old series of method books from the 1960’s-1980’s that seems no longer in print outside of Duane’s course, though apparently they used to be more widely sold. The versions that come with the course (at least the set I have) are in black and white. The originals were in black/white/red. For example, they used red dots on top of an image of the keys to show which notes to play for the various chords. On any such chord diagram with black note, the red dot doesn’t show up in the black and white reproduction. That’s a minor annoyance (Duane shows you exactly what notes to play in the videos) but it is a little annoying.

Some of the songs in the very beginning label every note with its letter name (C E G etc…). I’ve never liked that, but I bet a lot of beginners probably appreciate it. In the original versions of the method books, those letter names are also in red print. Actually, if you’re going to put the letter names next to the notes I think the black and white is probably better; it’s easier to read and less distracting. (For the curious, I managed to find a complete set of the original method books in pretty pristine condition on ebay so I now have both sets)

What’s really annoying about the versions that come with the course is that the page numbers are offset compared to the originals. The effect of that is that for a great many of the two page pieces that come in the books the pieces are on the front and back of a page, and thus require a page turn. I HATE turning pages. In the original books all the two page pieces were formatted on left-right page so that no turning was required. I use my original set for that reason (and for me, thankfully they do stop printing the note names next to the notes after a few pieces). If the need to page turn bother you, one can always make photocopies of the pages to avoid that:

Beginner Tip: I always like to make photocopies of scores that I play from books. I don’t like to mark up the originals, but I freely mark up the copies. I suggest that beginners should always feel free to make notes on the score to help them read it. Sometimes I’ll change the suggested fingering for something that’s more comfortable to my hand, for example, or I’ll highlight things that are tricky as a reminder to myself. Write in notes, draw arrows, do whatever will help you!

Beginner Tip #2: if you have an iPad or an iPad Pro (or presumably an android tablet) you can get a bluetooth pedal that will let you turn the page of any score you have on your device as a PDF or whatever. I don’t own one, but it might be something worth looking into if like me you hate page turning smile presumably one could use the camera to photograph the score and then turn the pages with the pedal. Note: I find the iPad just barely large enough for sheet music to be readable to my not quite old yet but getting there eyes….For sheet music applications I’d definitely recommend the larger iPad Pro tablet.

Anyway, I’ll quit rambling and get on to the lesson.

Lesson 1 starts with an introduction to the keyboard, the islands of black keys among the whites, and naming all the notes from A to G through various octaves, and then showing the location of middle C (next to two black keys, etc…). So pretty much like every first lesson of every beginner piano course ever. smile. It also introduces the use of the “magic keyboard chart” which fits behind the keys and shows the names of all the notes. This is meant to be a temporary crutch to help total newbies find the notes, but duane recommends using it only at the very beginning (if needed) and discarding it as soon as possible. In fact, I think it’s a gimmick and not needed, but if you have the course and are a complete beginner try it out to see if it helps.

The first piece introduced is a right hand melody line of “Merrily We Roll Along.” Then Duane introduces the first two pointer chords C and G. As mentioned before, the pointer chord is just the second inversion of the chord, which is useful because when you play it with your left hand you’re pointing at the root note of the chord (which gives the chord its name) with your index finger. It’s a bit weird to call it a pointer chord, but I suppose that for a beginner “C pointer chord” sounds much less intimidating than “second inversion of the C chord.” smile

Next Merrily we roll along is revisited in lead sheet format. So we see the melody notated in the treble clef and the chord symbols for the G and C chords indicated above the melody line in the appropriate place.

Before you play your first piece, Duane goes over how to hold your hands, how to find a proper and comfortable sitting position in front of the piano, etc…

Duane discusses the technique of practicing hands alone then hands together, and then has you playing your first piece (eventually)with both hands. Largo and Lightly Row are taught next in the same way.

Next is a discussion of of the Treble clef staff with ledger lines, how bar lines define different measures of music. Duane then discusses the three main elements of music, melody, harmony and rhythm. Quarter, half, dotted half, and whole notes are introduced along with a discussion of counting and how to do it properly

Next Duane introduces the F pointer chord and it is used in lead sheet version of Jingle Bells (the bass clef is later introduced in lesson 3)

Pop goes the weasel introduces the concept of 3-4 time signatures.

Drink to me only with thine eyes introduces the concept of tied notes (and is by far the prettiest tune covered in the first lesson)

Next is a further discussion of reading music. Duane talks about intervals (the distance between notes (steps and skips, 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, etc…) and how it relates to the written music).

Duane then discusses how to manage/balance the need to watch the score and see your hands as you are playing.

Aunt Rhody is the next song to provide more practice.

Beautiful Brown Eyes introduces the concept of rests (and makes use of the quarter rest) Another pretty tune.

“Folk song” is the next tune. Then there’s a (written) quiz of the material covered.

Then the lesson material is finished up with two additional practice songs, an old hymn, Jesus Lover of my soul and “melody” which is a simplified lead sheet arrangement of a Schuman piece.

Duane uses the supplementary songs to give a preview of what’s to come, as he shows you how to play it as written and then arranges it a few different ways on the fly (this is not an assignment yet, but just a demonstration). This really gives you an idea of how different this course is compared to others. And he only shows a few different techniques here, there are dozens and dozens taught through the course.

As is often the case, duane then recaps the lesson by demonstrating all the important points (which fingers are used on the melody, how to construct the pointer chords, etc… in a “close up” view which zooms in on his keyboard so that you can see exactly what his hands are doing.

As you can see, the first lesson actually covers quite a lot.

———————————

A note about the songs: Like many beginner methods, most of the music is old standards from the 1800’s that are out of copyright (there are also some classical pieces introduced in later lessons). A lot of folk song type stuff that can come across as a little cheesy. But I would say don’t be put off by this because when you start applying g arrangement techniques taught later in the course to these songs, you can really put your own spin on them and make them interesting and musical. it’s a lot of fun.

Anyway, my ramblings aside, I hope that was useful or interesting. If not, feel free to hit the back button and move on to another thread smile
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 05:30 AM
Originally Posted by pwl

Looking forward to your comments! And I think I am now committed to starting the course next week . . .


Pwl, Very cool! I hope that you'll pop in and let us know how the course is going for you. The more the merrier!
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 10:17 AM
The early stages of the course may seem easy and/or over simplified, however Duane makes the point that everybody should play through all of it, not skipping anything. One reason for this is, as he says, the books are only a part of the course. There is a lot of information and tips n the videos that the books do not contain. Also, it is in the early stages, when the going is relatively easy, that we form the habits and the pace that we will probably adhere to throughout the course. Therefore, if we are to stick with it, forming good habits and a relaxed pace now, will pay off big dividends later on.

Duane talks about really learning each piece. There is good reason for that. If we "kinda sorta" learn these pieces, we are not really getting into our hands the things they need to be able to do, that the later lessons are built on. We can risk gradually falling behind until we reach a point at which it is a real struggle to move forward.

It is in the second lesson, I believe, that Duane starts talking about things we can do with our left hand that are not written in the book at that point. He demonstrates playing the left hand chord on counts 1 and 3 (i.e. twice per measure) and on every beat. This may seem trivial, but it goes a long way toward developing hand independence, not to mention adding interest to the arrangement. It is an invitation to begin experimenting with ways we can play a tune that deviate from the written music. He presents these ideas as suggestions, saying that we don't have to do that now because these ideas will be introduced in the playing later on. Duane will make suggestions of things to experiment with, but he does not want to overwhelm us by making these ideas mandatory too early in the course.

On the CD that you listen to at the end of the second week, he introduces the idea of ear training, and suggests incorporating this into our daily practice. He suggests learning to hear the various intervals (which he explains quite well), and then later on, chords and their inversions. In the main course, as well as on that CD, he explains and demonstrates all these terms as they are introduced. He further suggests we begin to really listen to the music we hear all around us, from the car next to us pounding out the big beat, to music we hear in stores, etc. Begin hearing the rhythms, then the intervals in the melody, and then the chords, as we become more familiar with these in our ear training and lessons.

In a sense, as you progress through the course, the piano becomes more and more a part of your life. We begin to become much more aware of the music around us, incorporating what we hear into our playing. If we see another person do something interesting on the piano such as a particular run or chord pattern, Duane suggests we ask that person to show us what s/he did. Be curious, soaking up all the musical activity going on around us and incorporate that into our own playing.

In this course, essentially Duane is leading us into becoming musicians so that our involvement with the piano is fed from all other aspects of our lives. There is a whole other dimension to the lesson books, and Duane shows how to find and incorporate that into our practice. If we do the things he suggests, we will always be thinking about and experiencing music and the piano, which is far more interesting than just sitting at the piano doing exactly what the sheet music tells us to do, and having that as our only goal. In Duane's course, music becomes a living and vibrant part of our lives, lesson by lesson.

Edit: Duane also addresses the question of whether to stick purely with the music in the lessons or if we should also play other music. He says that, by all means, play all manner of music. The more you read, the better you get. In one of the additional DVDs that you watch early on, he explains how to analyze sheet music so you begin to recognize the chords, the sections of the overall piece, etc. He demonstrates this on a couple of classical pieces. As we learn more about music theory in the course, we become more able to do this sort of analysis, which in turn helps us memorize pieces and understand better how music is put together. This will certainly help us to create our own music, should we choose to do that too.

So, Duane encourages us to explore all manner of music outside the confines of the course books. The more we do this, the better we get at doing this and the more interested we remain throughout the course. It is up to each of us individually how much exploring we do, but the invitation is definitely there to apply what we are learning in the course to any other music we wish to play.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 01:09 PM
TonyB
Lots of good advice there. I've been thinking a lot about how I've been approaching this course and I wonder if I'm going about applying the arrangement techniques in the best way. Typically I go through a lesson piece by piece. That is, I'll play a piece as written. then I'll play the assigned arrangement techniques for that piece before moving on to the next piece. That approach is kind of implied, but I don't think ever stated by Duane. I may try experimenting with that. Like work on all the pieces in the as written first then going back and arranging them. That will have me playing the pieces for a few days going back and forth between them, which might help my learning (another kind of spaced repetition) so that when I start arranging them I might have them better under my fingers because I've already been working on them a few days. Or maybe it wold be better to do it in chunks. go through 3 or 4 pieces as written and go back and forth with arranging them before moving on to the next set of 3 or 4 pieces. I think I'm going to experiment with that over the next few weeks and see if it makes a difference. It may not matter at all. But there might be a more efficient approach. When you went through some of the course before did you experiment with anything like that? Of course, it might be that the most efficient approach for me is the least efficient one for you (and vice verse). I know you're restarting at the beginning as you redo the course so it will be awhile before you have to address this again, but I thought it might be worth thinking about so I thought I'd mention it. smile
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 01:35 PM
Fizikisto,

When I was working with the course prior to this, I tended to just play the pieces until I got through them. I stopped at the point when Duane was introducing "stride" in the left hand. He has another name for it that I don't recall offhand, but most people know it as "stride" with the left hand playing the root or octave down low and "striding" up to play the chord, sort of "boom chick" sound under the melody in the right hand. In other words, I really didn't develop my hands' ability to really move around on the keyboard enough to be able to get through that lesson on "stride". I am approaching it differently now.

Based on re-listening to the extra DVDs and CD, my approach will be to work on each lesson as Duane says, and then OUTSIDE my lesson practice time, experiment applying those techniques to other music (also, as Duane says). I have plenty of fakebooks, from easy to the standard stuff pro musicians use (i.e. the Real Books).

One thing I have been thinking about as I post here, is that I am barely into the course (halfway through lesson 3), so I really don't feel I have the "right" to speak authoritatively on it yet. The burning question (I would think) if I were reading this thread would be, "yeah, a lot of words and posts, but can he REALLY play?". I want to set a goal for myself that after I complete lesson 17, I want to put up either a video or an MP3 of myself playing a tune and applying the techniques as Duane does in the video for that lesson. At that point, I will be much more comfortable telling everybody how great the course is. Until then, there is always the possibility that I suddenly disappear after having posted hundreds or thousands of words about this wonderful course. The real questions to be answered for a prospective student are whether one can stay motivated in a course like this long enough to really learn to play, and does the course REALLY deliver. I will be able to directly answer both of those if I can deliver as the lesson 17 video does. This, then, is what is missing from most every thread about any self-study course. The exception was Seaside Lee, who posted many videos of himself playing what he learned from the Piano Magic site. I wonder what happened to him, since I have not seen anything from him in quite some time, nor from Swingin Barb, another who posted her playing as learned in the Sudnow method. Those are the only two I can think of who did this, among the many who have posted about having started one or another of the self-study courses. This fact is always brought up by those who are taking formal lessons and are posting in monthly recitals.

I am not saying that you or anybody else should (or should not) post videos or MP3s (and maybe you already have), but instead naming the "elephant in the living room" about these kinds of threads. I feel a bit of a phony "waxing poetic" here about a course I have barely touched. You have almost completed it and have, in a sense, "earned your stripes" with it. I have not (yet...).

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 02:35 PM
Before going off to my activities for the day (including the piano), I should address the points you (Fizikisto) brought up in your last post.

People have said that I am a "linear thinker". I tend to start at the beginning and work through to the end of a project. If I skip around or stop at some point, it is really difficult for me to get going again. I say that because we all have different ways of approaching things, so the things I express in this thread may have absolutely no bearing for anybody else. By telling how I work, at least you will have context for why I say and do the things I do. It is a matter of "take what you need and leave the rest".

So, my approach to the 52 week course will be very linear in that I will work on the lesson every day, starting the next day where I left off the previous day, and taking enough notes as I go along to be able to do that. It may take a few days to get through a lesson, or it may take a few weeks, but either way, it is still lesson after lesson for 52 lessons.

Duane, as I mentioned in a previous post, suggests several activities that are optional, similar to extra credit work in a college course. These activities will serve to deepen the musical experience and make us better musicians in the end.

To me, these suggestions are things to do outside the practice time I set aside for the course. That way, I can approach the course in my linear fashion, which will help insure that I really do complete it, while at the same time, I can skip around with various other pieces of music and the ear training activities, and have no negative/distracting impact on my work with the course itself. These activities I want to approach in a curious and playful manner, enjoying playing around with the things I am learning in the course.

For my style of learning, this will provide a nice balance and will keep things interesting. However, I will also be spending much more time with the piano, and much less time talking about it here.

The remainder of this post is finishing out the commentary about myself and self-learning the piano in general that has been a thread-within-a-thread for the past several of my posts...

I have needed to take an honest and rather blunt look at myself to really get in touch with why I am so good at spending the time to find and buy these courses and even a Roland V-Grand, and so good at posting a lot, but still can't play piano anywhere near where I would be if talking about it was as good as actually doing the work. It is harsh, but hopefully not interpreted as being toward anybody else. I needed to get things said that others in various sub-forums have long hinted at about us self-learners so that I could look at the real truth fearlessly and admit it in public. Only then can I get straight about what I am really doing here.

What I have said need not apply to anybody else here. If any here feel that these do apply, then it is up to you, and not me, take your own "inventory" and get straight with yourself about what you are really doing and why. What I am saying in my posts is really taking my own inventory in public, and reflecting on how true the observations others who do have "real" teachers are as they apply to me and self-study courses. The only way I know of to fix it is to identify and admit it head on, rather than rationalize or deny the truth about myself, and then move on in a (hopefully) better direction.

I don't feel that I need to continue posting about this aspect of my approach (or, rather, not approach) to the 52 week course. The only thing I can do from here is to either do it or don't do it. Every day from here on presents that simple choice. If I am still working on it by lesson 17, I will know that there is success with it in my future and I will have something to show others for all the talk and effort.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 02:58 PM
TonyB
Good points! Though I still have a long way to go before I'm finished with the course! I have made good, if slow, progress through it. I actually enjoyed going back through the very first lesson last night. I remembered how much I struggled with those damned arrows! LOL (the ones indicating a repeat chord, the first time I went through the course I always wanted to switch chords when I saw the arrow). Anyway, it really did show me how far I've come since then. I just spent a couple of hours playing all the pieces, I even played them with some different chord inversions than the pointer chords to to play around with different sounds. I may go back later this week and play around with arranging them before i redo lesson 2.

And yeah, one of the reasons i've moved so slowly through the course is because I tend to do stuff with other "more interesting" music from fake books and chord charts. So playing from outside stuff can be good but it can also slow your progress. Going slow is not a bad thing, and It can be more fun that way. But one does have to balance it with actually keeping progress through the course imo. I think there's a certain momentum that one should try to maintain. But at the same time, one could blaze through the course and really end up being a bit sloppy. I tend to want everything yesterday so I may be a bit guilty of that at times. That's one of the reasons I wanted review the old lessons on this thread. As i go through the old lessons, I'm trying to be very strict. Slow steady progress...that's my goal. I know how compound interest works. that's my model. smile

Re: the "stride" yes, that's hard. I think it's like lesson 7 or 8 where you really start applying it, and it took me a month to get through that lesson. Did I mention that it's hard? Also, you may be misremembering the terminology because Duane calls it by different names. In the books it's called "pointer bass" so Duane calls it that when he's going through the book, but when he's just talking about it he calls it by other names. Generally in 3-4 time where you play root-chord-chord he calls that swing bass, and in 4-4 time where you're playing root-chord-root-chord he sometimes calls that continuity bass.

But whatever you call it, it's hard. (yeah there's a theme heheh) So don't feel bad if you get stuck on it for awhile. I know I did. I think the secret to getting it down is to practice it slowly. Nope...let me try that again. the secret is to practice it S-l-o-w-l-y smile. I also found that with lots and lots of practice I could learn to do it with my eyes closed about 80-90% of the time - which is not great, but if I combine it with looking down only occasionally it lets me keep my eyes on the score more than looking down for every jump. For me that's been kind of a goal with songs that use that technique (or when I'm using it to arrange a song that doesn't), keep my eyes on the score as much as possible. For me, that's helped a lot. Your mileage may vary of course.

The good news is that once you get it down on a few songs, it gets MUCH easier to do with new songs. I still have to slow way down when I practice it on a new song because the chord progression is different and of course my right hand is doing different things, but I can pick it up a lot faster on a new song now. I think by the time I get all the way through the course it will probably become second nature for me.

by the way, I'm glad that you started this thread. I'm enjoying the discussion and I think it will help keep me focused and motivated as I continue to progress. smile
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 03:40 PM
The way I am approaching the course now, I should have at least (probably more) 60 - 70 hours of solid, focused time PLAYING the piano by the time I get to that "swing bass" lesson again. That is where I was sorely lacking the first time. As far as playing slowly, I get it. I taught myself to play fingerstyle guitar with that alternating bass like Chet Atkins and Merle Travis. It took me an entire summer of focusing on little else, but when I got it, I have it for life and it is as natural as walking regardless of what chord I am playing.

The piano will be more difficult because the entire hand is having to move very specific distances AND that same hand has to grab very specific clusters AND the right hand is playing something else entirely. However, I have proved to myself with the guitar that I can do these things.

I can post more response as time permits...

Tony
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 03:58 PM
TonyB,
I hear you. Sometimes you just gotta fish or cut bait. I think one of the things that duane suggests at one point is keeping a journal of your progress. So I think this thread could serve that purpose, at least that's how i'm going to look at it. smile So I think I'll keep posting here regardless. I hope that you'll keep posting here as you go through lessons, even if it's only occasionally, but either way don't ever feel obligated to respond to my ramblings. Respond, or not, as you have time and inclination. smile I got some really good practice in this morning. I tend to post here a bit more because I find that I get good benefit out of short intense practice. So I'll work on something for 15-20 minutes very focused, then I'll stop and come goof off online or watch tv for 20 or 30 min, or do chores or something, then back to the piano for another 15-20 min. I find that over the course of a day I can get in 3-4 hours of good practice that way, whereas if I try to push through for an hour or more in one sitting I burn out from the piano for that day.

Anyway, I'm going to try to get in another bit of practice before I have to head into the office. Have a great day!
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 06:50 PM
I haven't completely read through all the posts, so forgive me if I'm off-base, but my recommendation is to think of the lessons in "layers", meaning that it's OK to go through the lessons as a beginner, say, and not try to master all the techniques the first time through. The second time through you already know the easier material so you review it, then work on the next layer, etc. Otherwise you can get hung up on a lesson because, realistically, it would take you a long time to really master all the techniques he covers in a single lesson (e.g. the aforementioned lesson 17). Do what you can, master the easier material, move on and come back through it later. JMHO
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 07:06 PM
EP,
That's kind of been my approach. I've gone through a bunch of the lessons, now I'm starting back at the beginning and reviewing them as I try to continue to progress through new lessons. My workload is at work is going to be crazy for the next two weeks, then I'll have a lot more time to devote to the course. When people have asked about the course before, I say that even though it's called the 52 week crash course, there's literally years worth of material to work on here, it just depends on how deep into the rabbit hole that you want to journey. smile
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 07:16 PM
Hi Tony and Fiz,

I am considering purchasing this course.

You may be able to help me decide.

I have been playing for about 10 years and can play simple classical pieces by rote and for about 3 years I have been working on jazz standards. I wish to pick up a jazz fakebook and work up an arrangement (my arrangement) in a short period (less than a week) that will sound like I know what I am doing. I also wish to not play it exactly the same everytime I play it. I wish to do some deciding about how to play it as I am playing it.

I see Duane Shinn doing that sort of thing and I am wondering if you see that sort of thing at some point in this course.

I need it to be to some really full versions of jazz music and not simple tunes like Go Tell Aunt Rhody, etc ...


Do you see the later lessons presenting instruction of that nature ?

Also, I am wondering if each lesson is presented in video form as well as written material ?
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 08:11 PM
dmd,
Hmmmm....that's a difficult question to answer because the answer is definitely maybe. Let me try to explain that a bit better:

Here are some points that one might use to argue that the answer to your question is "No." This is not a course geared towards playing jazz. The pieces played are not part of the standard (or even atypical) jazz repertoire. The instruction is not jazz specific. if you go through this course you're not going to be playing the music you want, so it might not be very useful to you.

Here are some points that one might argue to say that the answer to your question is "Yes." The course is all about reading music (both from traditional notation used in classical music as well as lead sheet notation more commonly used in jazz), analyzing it and understanding it, and then arranging it in a myriad of different ways. The specific (admittedly cheesy) pieces used in the course are immaterial. The course is not about learning to play those specific pieces it's about learning to really understand chords and use that knowledge for arranging. You might even call it a course in arranging. So, you'll learn all kinds of techniques, different chord voicings, runs, fills, etc...that are directly applicable to jazz arrangements. So yes, you want to sit down with a lead sheet from a fake book and play the song 20 different ways, this course will give you that if you work through it. So while it's not jazz specific, it will give you a springboard from which you can then further your jazz education.

I know that's probably not very helpful. I'm hesitant to recommend the course because it's so expensive...I'd hate for you to spend all that money and say "this is of no use to me!" but then again, it actually might be of use to you so I don't want to give a definitive no.

I'm going to send you a PM with some additional information that might be helpful for your decision.

Warm Regards,



Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 08:30 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Hi Tony and Fiz,

I am considering purchasing this course.

You may be able to help me decide.

I have been playing for about 10 years and can play simple classical pieces by rote and for about 3 years I have been working on jazz standards. I wish to pick up a jazz fakebook and work up an arrangement (my arrangement) in a short period (less than a week) that will sound like I know what I am doing. I also wish to not play it exactly the same everytime I play it. I wish to do some deciding about how to play it as I am playing it.

I see Duane Shinn doing that sort of thing and I am wondering if you see that sort of thing at some point in this course.

I need it to be to some really full versions of jazz music and not simple tunes like Go Tell Aunt Rhody, etc ...


Do you see the later lessons presenting instruction of that nature ?

Also, I am wondering if each lesson is presented in video form as well as written material ?


Given what you have said here, I would recommend taking a look at Willie Myette's courses. He has shorter courses that focus on specific things. He will walk you step by step through tunes, doing exactly what you have said here that you want to learn. If you really have been playing piano 10 years, I would think you would be able to work with his courses without too much trouble.

I have pretty much wasted my time with piano so far, as I have discussed quite frankly and openly in this thread. However, when I was teaching myself to play guitar, I was focused and driven, and was playing professionally in fewer years than that. 10 years is a decent length of time to become at least very familiar with the instrument. Willie has many courses that would take anywhere from a week to maybe a month or two to get through IF you are already playing piano as you describe. You choose the song from among hi library of courses.

I have purchased several of these for use in the future. He also has a subscription if you wish to go that route instead. What I can say with certainty is that what you want to learn is his forte. Duane Shinn's course, from what I have seen of it so far (including looking ahead) would prepare you to be able to work with Willie Myette's materials. I doubt you would need that preparation.

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 08:38 PM
In response to both EP and Fizikisto...

I too am practicing in several 15-20 minute segments. I have done three so far today. During the week, I do 4 of these in the evening. I am aiming for 6 per day during the weekend. Currently, I am halfway through lesson 3. I MAY get through the lesson this weekend. If not, then I just continue with it into next week - as long as it takes to go beyond just "kinda sorta" being able to play the tunes.

David Sudnow talked in his course about how, when you are learning a tune, you are learning many skills that you may not be aware of at the time. That is why I am taking care instead of charging through it this time. Michelle McLaughlin says that on her web site where she talks about learning to play George Winston's music, album by album by ear off the recordings. she says that this is how she learned to play piano. It is in the process of learning and getting it right that we are learning to play.

The "layered" approach does make sense and I don't mean to argue against it. I can see revisiting a course of this magnitude several times rather than getting it all the first time through.

As for posting here, I will - but only when I am sure I will make my practice quota for that day. I just don't want to get derailed with all the "talk talk". I can tend to get lost in that if I am not careful. I don't get into social media because I don't want to get swallowed up in it. I see my wife's Facebook page, and people seem to want to tell the world every time they brush their teeth or something. I don't want to get that way about what I am doing on the piano.

Tony

Posted By: cmajornine Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 08:40 PM
$997? isn't somebody gonna mention the astronomical price of this course? When I first started to learn to play the piano I did look at this course but the cost put me off. 

I have purchased some Duane Shin courses. But I have not started any of them yet, you can see which ones by looking at this dedicated page on my website. www.cmajornine.webspace.virginmedia.com/page13.html


If anyone has any Duane Shinn courses you would like to sell at a bargin price get in touch. Looking for "Pro Secrets" ,"52 week", or any " Hymn or Gospel" courses. So come on all you procrastinators get in touch


Sent from Samsung tablet
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 09:27 PM
Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by dmd
Hi Tony and Fiz,

I am considering purchasing this course.

You may be able to help me decide.

I have been playing for about 10 years and can play simple classical pieces by rote and for about 3 years I have been working on jazz standards. I wish to pick up a jazz fakebook and work up an arrangement (my arrangement) in a short period (less than a week) that will sound like I know what I am doing. I also wish to not play it exactly the same everytime I play it. I wish to do some deciding about how to play it as I am playing it.

I see Duane Shinn doing that sort of thing and I am wondering if you see that sort of thing at some point in this course.

I need it to be to some really full versions of jazz music and not simple tunes like Go Tell Aunt Rhody, etc ...


Do you see the later lessons presenting instruction of that nature ?

Also, I am wondering if each lesson is presented in video form as well as written material ?


Given what you have said here, I would recommend taking a look at Willie Myette's courses. He has shorter courses that focus on specific things. He will walk you step by step through tunes, doing exactly what you have said here that you want to learn. If you really have been playing piano 10 years, I would think you would be able to work with his courses without too much trouble.

I have pretty much wasted my time with piano so far, as I have discussed quite frankly and openly in this thread. However, when I was teaching myself to play guitar, I was focused and driven, and was playing professionally in fewer years than that. 10 years is a decent length of time to become at least very familiar with the instrument. Willie has many courses that would take anywhere from a week to maybe a month or two to get through IF you are already playing piano as you describe. You choose the song from among hi library of courses.

I have purchased several of these for use in the future. He also has a subscription if you wish to go that route instead. What I can say with certainty is that what you want to learn is his forte. Duane Shinn's course, from what I have seen of it so far (including looking ahead) would prepare you to be able to work with Willie Myette's materials. I doubt you would need that preparation.

Tony



Yes, Willie's site is all about what I am trying to learn.

However, the material never seems generic enough for me. I want generic techniques with which I can build my own arrangements instead of simply "memorizing" his arrangements.

I am finished with memorizing someone else's arrangement. That is just not attractive to me anymore. A memorized piece only is applicable to that particular piece of music and there seems to be little carryover to another piece of music. Oh, I am sure there is some but I just do not want to spend all that time perfectly some fancy way of playing something when I could build a simpler but very nice arrangement in an hour of my time using generic techniques.

I know Duane Shinn's course teaches generic methods but since it does not utilize the jazz genre I may get bored with the music and stop doing it. I know that can happen.

I pick up one of Willie's courses from time to time and I never really finish it because it either gets too hard or I lose interest in it.

I am at a point now where what I do from time to time is pick a piece out of a jazz fakebook and just play a single note melody line with the right hand and the bass note in the left hand and run through it with "feeling". Then perhaps do the root and fifth with left hand with melody and cord tone in right hand and build that up to an arrangement. That is the sort of process I wish to pursue now ... not doing exactly what someone else tells me to do. I need some help with that sort of process of building an arrangement.

I Duane Shinn's course did that I would give him the $997 in a heartbeat.

But, alas, there seems to be nothing like that anywhere.

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 09:37 PM
cmajornine,
I think I did actually mention the cost earlier, but maybe that was in another thread (too lazy to look back). Expensive is a relative thing. The course is modeled on the idea of 52 weekly lessons on DVD. That's less than $20/lesson. It's the exact same material that Duane used to teach to his private, in person, students. Private piano lessons can easily cost $50-100/hour. So probably for a year of lessons you're looking at $3000/more. And the lessons on the crash course are very dense. There's easily enough material for 2 or 3 years of lessons if you really delve deep into the content.

So if you're comparing it to buying the Alfred's Method books for $30-40 then yes it must seem crazy expensive. If, on the other hand you're comparing it to private lessons (which the course is modeled on), then it's quite inexpensive in comparison. Plus, if you work through the crash course you'll learn far far more than you would learn with something like the Alfred's method.

Now for some people, the price is going to be a disqualifying factor. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. The course is not for everyone. If someone wanted to focus on classical music exclusively, or like dmd, focus on jazz exclusively then probably it's not the best course for them.

But, for those who just really want to build a solid and diverse foundation in playing piano, for those who want to learn arranging and improvising as well as playing from the written score, for those who want to learn to read traditional music notation as well as lead sheets, there's really not anything comparable in the market. Duane is able to charge that high price (and presumably sell a good number of courses) because what he has to offer is valuable to those who want to learn it.

Warm Regards
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 09:50 PM
dmd,
Duane does have some smaller courses on arranging techniques, runs and fillers (including a large section of jazz related runs/fillers), etc... Some of those smaller courses might be much more in line with what you want, or at least give you a better piece of it.

http://www.playpiano.com/musical-courses/block-chord-styles.htm

http://www.playpianocatalog.com/piano-runs--fills-galore.html

http://www.playpianocatalog.com/karhowtodoit.html

etc...might be of use to you.
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 09:56 PM
Originally Posted by fizikisto
dmd,
Duane does have some smaller courses on arranging techniques, runs and fillers (including a large section of jazz related runs/fillers), etc... Some of those smaller courses might be much more in line with what you want, or at least give you a better piece of it.

http://www.playpiano.com/musical-courses/block-chord-styles.htm

http://www.playpianocatalog.com/piano-runs--fills-galore.html

http://www.playpianocatalog.com/karhowtodoit.html

etc...might be of use to you.


I have a few of his courses and I think I am going to take another run at ... How To Dress Up Naked Music.

That course has some good material and I may be ready for it now.

Thanks to this thread I now have the necessary motivation to pick it up again.

Thanks
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 10:18 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by dmd
Hi Tony and Fiz,

I am considering purchasing this course.

You may be able to help me decide.

I have been playing for about 10 years and can play simple classical pieces by rote and for about 3 years I have been working on jazz standards. I wish to pick up a jazz fakebook and work up an arrangement (my arrangement) in a short period (less than a week) that will sound like I know what I am doing. I also wish to not play it exactly the same everytime I play it. I wish to do some deciding about how to play it as I am playing it.

I see Duane Shinn doing that sort of thing and I am wondering if you see that sort of thing at some point in this course.

I need it to be to some really full versions of jazz music and not simple tunes like Go Tell Aunt Rhody, etc ...


Do you see the later lessons presenting instruction of that nature ?

Also, I am wondering if each lesson is presented in video form as well as written material ?


Given what you have said here, I would recommend taking a look at Willie Myette's courses. He has shorter courses that focus on specific things. He will walk you step by step through tunes, doing exactly what you have said here that you want to learn. If you really have been playing piano 10 years, I would think you would be able to work with his courses without too much trouble.

I have pretty much wasted my time with piano so far, as I have discussed quite frankly and openly in this thread. However, when I was teaching myself to play guitar, I was focused and driven, and was playing professionally in fewer years than that. 10 years is a decent length of time to become at least very familiar with the instrument. Willie has many courses that would take anywhere from a week to maybe a month or two to get through IF you are already playing piano as you describe. You choose the song from among hi library of courses.

I have purchased several of these for use in the future. He also has a subscription if you wish to go that route instead. What I can say with certainty is that what you want to learn is his forte. Duane Shinn's course, from what I have seen of it so far (including looking ahead) would prepare you to be able to work with Willie Myette's materials. I doubt you would need that preparation.

Tony



Yes, Willie's site is all about what I am trying to learn.

However, the material never seems generic enough for me. I want generic techniques with which I can build my own arrangements instead of simply "memorizing" his arrangements.

I am finished with memorizing someone else's arrangement. That is just not attractive to me anymore. A memorized piece only is applicable to that particular piece of music and there seems to be little carryover to another piece of music. Oh, I am sure there is some but I just do not want to spend all that time perfectly some fancy way of playing something when I could build a simpler but very nice arrangement in an hour of my time using generic techniques.

I know Duane Shinn's course teaches generic methods but since it does not utilize the jazz genre I may get bored with the music and stop doing it. I know that can happen.

I pick up one of Willie's courses from time to time and I never really finish it because it either gets too hard or I lose interest in it.

I am at a point now where what I do from time to time is pick a piece out of a jazz fakebook and just play a single note melody line with the right hand and the bass note in the left hand and run through it with "feeling". Then perhaps do the root and fifth with left hand with melody and cord tone in right hand and build that up to an arrangement. That is the sort of process I wish to pursue now ... not doing exactly what someone else tells me to do. I need some help with that sort of process of building an arrangement.

I Duane Shinn's course did that I would give him the $997 in a heartbeat.

But, alas, there seems to be nothing like that anywhere.



You probably have not looked at all of Willie's catalog. He has courses in which he teaches you how to do this arranging, and in the courses that he teaches specific songs, he is teaching you how to arrange any tune in that genre.

Another possibility is the Sudnow method, which has been discussed in the forums.

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 10:42 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by fizikisto
dmd,
Duane does have some smaller courses on arranging techniques, runs and fillers (including a large section of jazz related runs/fillers), etc... Some of those smaller courses might be much more in line with what you want, or at least give you a better piece of it.

http://www.playpiano.com/musical-courses/block-chord-styles.htm

http://www.playpianocatalog.com/piano-runs--fills-galore.html

http://www.playpianocatalog.com/karhowtodoit.html

etc...might be of use to you.


I have a few of his courses and I think I am going to take another run at ... How To Dress Up Naked Music.

That course has some good material and I may be ready for it now.

Thanks to this thread I now have the necessary motivation to pick it up again.

Thanks


Now that is enough to convince me to continue posting here as I progress. Whatever course you choose, I hope you do coninue in this thread.

As a relative beginner on piano (the perpetual beginner syndrome...), the choice for me was easy. Duane Shinn's 52 week course starts at the beginning and assumes nothing in terms of prior experience.

However, for you with 10 years in, the decision might be a bit more difficult. Any course that does not start at the very beginning, can pretty much start anywhere and it is up to you to determine if that starting point is where you are. Unfortunately, I don't know how one would do that without buying the course first.

I also have the "How To Dress U Naked Music". That course pretty much assumes you have been playing a while and it really is showing you various licks and runs and how/where to use them. The assumption is that you can play well enough to handle those runs and licks, and that you are already playing songs to begin with. You might be there and ready to go. I certainly am not...yet. smile

I bought these other Shinn courses knowing that I needed to get through the 52 week course first, so there really are no surprises for me when I look through where these other courses start.

Tony

Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 10:44 PM
Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by dmd
Hi Tony and Fiz,

I am considering purchasing this course.

You may be able to help me decide.

I have been playing for about 10 years and can play simple classical pieces by rote and for about 3 years I have been working on jazz standards. I wish to pick up a jazz fakebook and work up an arrangement (my arrangement) in a short period (less than a week) that will sound like I know what I am doing. I also wish to not play it exactly the same everytime I play it. I wish to do some deciding about how to play it as I am playing it.

I see Duane Shinn doing that sort of thing and I am wondering if you see that sort of thing at some point in this course.

I need it to be to some really full versions of jazz music and not simple tunes like Go Tell Aunt Rhody, etc ...


Do you see the later lessons presenting instruction of that nature ?

Also, I am wondering if each lesson is presented in video form as well as written material ?


Given what you have said here, I would recommend taking a look at Willie Myette's courses. He has shorter courses that focus on specific things. He will walk you step by step through tunes, doing exactly what you have said here that you want to learn. If you really have been playing piano 10 years, I would think you would be able to work with his courses without too much trouble.

I have pretty much wasted my time with piano so far, as I have discussed quite frankly and openly in this thread. However, when I was teaching myself to play guitar, I was focused and driven, and was playing professionally in fewer years than that. 10 years is a decent length of time to become at least very familiar with the instrument. Willie has many courses that would take anywhere from a week to maybe a month or two to get through IF you are already playing piano as you describe. You choose the song from among hi library of courses.

I have purchased several of these for use in the future. He also has a subscription if you wish to go that route instead. What I can say with certainty is that what you want to learn is his forte. Duane Shinn's course, from what I have seen of it so far (including looking ahead) would prepare you to be able to work with Willie Myette's materials. I doubt you would need that preparation.

Tony



Yes, Willie's site is all about what I am trying to learn.

However, the material never seems generic enough for me. I want generic techniques with which I can build my own arrangements instead of simply "memorizing" his arrangements.

I am finished with memorizing someone else's arrangement. That is just not attractive to me anymore. A memorized piece only is applicable to that particular piece of music and there seems to be little carryover to another piece of music. Oh, I am sure there is some but I just do not want to spend all that time perfectly some fancy way of playing something when I could build a simpler but very nice arrangement in an hour of my time using generic techniques.

I know Duane Shinn's course teaches generic methods but since it does not utilize the jazz genre I may get bored with the music and stop doing it. I know that can happen.

I pick up one of Willie's courses from time to time and I never really finish it because it either gets too hard or I lose interest in it.

I am at a point now where what I do from time to time is pick a piece out of a jazz fakebook and just play a single note melody line with the right hand and the bass note in the left hand and run through it with "feeling". Then perhaps do the root and fifth with left hand with melody and cord tone in right hand and build that up to an arrangement. That is the sort of process I wish to pursue now ... not doing exactly what someone else tells me to do. I need some help with that sort of process of building an arrangement.

I Duane Shinn's course did that I would give him the $997 in a heartbeat.

But, alas, there seems to be nothing like that anywhere.



You probably have not looked at all of Willie's catalog. He has courses in which he teaches you how to do this arranging, and in the courses that he teaches specific songs, he is teaching you how to arrange any tune in that genre.

Another possibility is the Sudnow method, which has been discussed in the forums.

Tony



Yep ... many options. I have tried most of them.

I was a Sudnow member a few years back. That works somewhat, also.

I just remembered I was a member of Duanes "Inner Circle" a few years ago and I tried logging back onto it and I got in so I may take another run at that.

Lots of options ... LOL .... it just goes on and on ...

Thanks
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/30/16 11:34 PM
dmd,
I thought about possibly joining the inner circle thing when I finish the crash course. From the promotional material I gather that each month he picks one song and arranges it a bunch of different ways. I saw that America The Beautiful is (probably?) one of the songs and that there are 12 songs total?. Could you share what other songs he picks to arrange in the membership?
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/01/16 12:01 AM
Originally Posted by fizikisto
dmd,
I thought about possibly joining the inner circle thing when I finish the crash course. From the promotional material I gather that each month he picks one song and arranges it a bunch of different ways. I saw that America The Beautiful is (probably?) one of the songs and that there are 12 songs total?. Could you share what other songs he picks to arrange in the membership?


America the Beautiful
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)
Greensleeves
The Star Spangled Banner
Whispering Hope
Auld Lang Syne
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Aura Lee
Blue Bells of Scotland
Silent Night
Amazing Grace

There you have it.
I really do not remember much about this course but I do know that I did not end up getting much accomplished.
However, I am more ready for it now and I think I will give it another try.
I just does stuff and talks to you about it as he does it.
If you work through it you will gain a lot from it.
But ... it is not EASY ... make no mistake about that.







Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/01/16 12:07 AM
dmd
Thank you so much! I appreciate it smile
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/01/16 01:35 AM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by dmd
Hi Tony and Fiz,

I am considering purchasing this course.

You may be able to help me decide.

I have been playing for about 10 years and can play simple classical pieces by rote and for about 3 years I have been working on jazz standards. I wish to pick up a jazz fakebook and work up an arrangement (my arrangement) in a short period (less than a week) that will sound like I know what I am doing. I also wish to not play it exactly the same everytime I play it. I wish to do some deciding about how to play it as I am playing it.

I see Duane Shinn doing that sort of thing and I am wondering if you see that sort of thing at some point in this course.

I need it to be to some really full versions of jazz music and not simple tunes like Go Tell Aunt Rhody, etc ...


Do you see the later lessons presenting instruction of that nature ?

Also, I am wondering if each lesson is presented in video form as well as written material ?


Given what you have said here, I would recommend taking a look at Willie Myette's courses. He has shorter courses that focus on specific things. He will walk you step by step through tunes, doing exactly what you have said here that you want to learn. If you really have been playing piano 10 years, I would think you would be able to work with his courses without too much trouble.

I have pretty much wasted my time with piano so far, as I have discussed quite frankly and openly in this thread. However, when I was teaching myself to play guitar, I was focused and driven, and was playing professionally in fewer years than that. 10 years is a decent length of time to become at least very familiar with the instrument. Willie has many courses that would take anywhere from a week to maybe a month or two to get through IF you are already playing piano as you describe. You choose the song from among hi library of courses.

I have purchased several of these for use in the future. He also has a subscription if you wish to go that route instead. What I can say with certainty is that what you want to learn is his forte. Duane Shinn's course, from what I have seen of it so far (including looking ahead) would prepare you to be able to work with Willie Myette's materials. I doubt you would need that preparation.

Tony



Yes, Willie's site is all about what I am trying to learn.

However, the material never seems generic enough for me. I want generic techniques with which I can build my own arrangements instead of simply "memorizing" his arrangements.

I am finished with memorizing someone else's arrangement. That is just not attractive to me anymore. A memorized piece only is applicable to that particular piece of music and there seems to be little carryover to another piece of music. Oh, I am sure there is some but I just do not want to spend all that time perfectly some fancy way of playing something when I could build a simpler but very nice arrangement in an hour of my time using generic techniques.

I know Duane Shinn's course teaches generic methods but since it does not utilize the jazz genre I may get bored with the music and stop doing it. I know that can happen.

I pick up one of Willie's courses from time to time and I never really finish it because it either gets too hard or I lose interest in it.

I am at a point now where what I do from time to time is pick a piece out of a jazz fakebook and just play a single note melody line with the right hand and the bass note in the left hand and run through it with "feeling". Then perhaps do the root and fifth with left hand with melody and cord tone in right hand and build that up to an arrangement. That is the sort of process I wish to pursue now ... not doing exactly what someone else tells me to do. I need some help with that sort of process of building an arrangement.

I Duane Shinn's course did that I would give him the $997 in a heartbeat.

But, alas, there seems to be nothing like that anywhere.



You probably have not looked at all of Willie's catalog. He has courses in which he teaches you how to do this arranging, and in the courses that he teaches specific songs, he is teaching you how to arrange any tune in that genre.

Another possibility is the Sudnow method, which has been discussed in the forums.

Tony



Yep ... many options. I have tried most of them.

I was a Sudnow member a few years back. That works somewhat, also.

I just remembered I was a member of Duanes "Inner Circle" a few years ago and I tried logging back onto it and I got in so I may take another run at that.

Lots of options ... LOL .... it just goes on and on ...

Thanks


Wow! What is his "Inner Circle" like? I remember getting emails from him about that, but figured that I should wait until I finished the 52 week course. It sounded like a really good program though.

Edit: Reading on through the rest of the thread so far, you guys do a pretty good job of answering my question.

Tony


Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/01/16 02:01 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by fizikisto
dmd,
I thought about possibly joining the inner circle thing when I finish the crash course. From the promotional material I gather that each month he picks one song and arranges it a bunch of different ways. I saw that America The Beautiful is (probably?) one of the songs and that there are 12 songs total?. Could you share what other songs he picks to arrange in the membership?


America the Beautiful
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)
Greensleeves
The Star Spangled Banner
Whispering Hope
Auld Lang Syne
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Aura Lee
Blue Bells of Scotland
Silent Night
Amazing Grace

There you have it.
I really do not remember much about this course but I do know that I did not end up getting much accomplished.
However, I am more ready for it now and I think I will give it another try.
I just does stuff and talks to you about it as he does it.
If you work through it you will gain a lot from it.
But ... it is not EASY ... make no mistake about that.



Thanks for reminding me about this series. I looked at the web site today and signed up for it. You get immediate access to the first lesson when you sign up, and then every month after that, you are billed for that month and, on payment, get access to that lesson. You always apparently have access to all the previous lessons.

Each lesson as a PDF download of the sheet music (the original sheet music, not what Duane shows you how to do), and he constantly references it during the lesson. You also get a couple of videos that you can view online streaming or download as MP4 files.

I watched the entire first lesson (America The Beautiful) this morning. I think it is well worth the price. Duane says that he is not involved with this site in that the billing is handled by ClickBank and he does not invite questions from students. He says that you should spend the entire month every day on the lesson, mastering the tune with all the techniques and also trying the techniques on other songs. He says that you should have completed at least one or two of his other courses before starting this one, and that with this background and constantly reviewing the lesson, there is no reason to need to ask him anything. I think he is right.

The first lesson is quite good, and consists of three videos. The first two are parts 1 and 2 of him showing you all kinds of ways to play the tune. He takes left and right hands separately, showing you a bunch of ideas slowly for each and them putting both together in various combinations of those ideas. All the time, he is explaining, both in terms of the music theory and which finger is going where, what he is doing. The third video is him analyzing the sheet music to determine what the chords are. He says that once you have determined the chords to the tune, you are no longer "tied with a ball and chain to the sheet music", and can be free to play it any way you want to, never the same way twice.

The first two videos show Duane's hands in an overhead shot of his piano. Unfortunately, for some of those lightening runs up the keyboard, his will go out of the picture. I don't think it really matters because those situations are very brief and don't happen when he is teaching/slowing down what he is really doing. The third video, the analysis, shows the sheet music and he has a computerized marking pen that he uses to mark what areas belong to what chord and why. You never see Duane in any of those three videos. However, he assumes you have spent a lot of time with him already in earlier courses, so no need for the formalities anymore.

I would say, at least based on that first lesson (and he says they all follow this same format), that this is a recap of everything he teaches, but focused on one tune at a time in "real life" musical situations. It looks to me as if a person who has gotten even half way through the 52 week course (and can actually play all of that fluently) will have no trouble with these lessons. These are separate lessons, one tune at a time examined in depth, rather than a course like the 52 week course.

What you will need to be able to handle these lessons is both the fluency on the keyboard that his other lessons such as the 52 week course provides, and an understanding of theory and chords. He goes through it all slowly enough to grasp it, but so slowly as one would expect being exposed to this stuff for the first time. That is what the 52 week course is for. We have a certain amount of mental and physical "bandwidth", and if it is being taken up by trying to absorb what he is teaching for the first time exposure, then it is a lost cause. You should readily understand what he is talking about and your hands should be able to do what he is showing you. Without that, these lesson would be nearly impossible to glean anything from.

These lessons are very much like what Willie Myette does (though I seem to take to Duane's relaxed teaching style better), but done in Duane's teaching style, which should be very familiar by the time you start on these lessons.

My purpose in buying into these lessons is to download them month by month so I have them ready by the time I get finished with the 52 week course. I may even decide at some point to interleave them with the 52 week course when I get to the later lessons.

Watching the first lesson this morning, I am really motivated all over again, because this stuff really is possible for me to accomplish. Duane provides a very clear, step by step path to get the point of being ready to do all this. With the 52 week crash course, that is a given, a known quantity, a definite YES! So, watching that lesson showed me what is truly possible and well within my reach.

I would say that, in this thread, both EP and Fizikisto would both be ready for these lessons, based on what they have said regarding their progress/finishing of the 52 week course. For DMD, I would say that these lessons will give you what you are looking for without having to buy yet another course, unless these are too advanced for you (I have no idea what you already really know and are able to do, as I do when EP or Fizikisto say that they have either finished or nearly finished the 52 week course) - in which case the 52 week course would serve you well.

Tony

Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/01/16 03:53 PM
Originally Posted by TonyB
For DMD, I would say that these lessons will give you what you are looking for without having to buy yet another course, unless these are too advanced for you (I have no idea what you already really know and are able to do, as I do when EP or Fizikisto say that they have either finished or nearly finished the 52 week course) - in which case the 52 week course would serve you well.

Tony



I totally agree that these lessons provide me with most of what I wish to add to my skill set. Not necessarily in a jazz genre but very transportable to that style.

However, these lessons are like most all lessons ...

They only work if you actually work through them meticulously, inch by inch, until you can utilize those skills tastefully within multiple pieces at will.

That usually takes a long, long time and challenges your will to continue as you begin to question the suitability of the material and begin to look for "greener pastures".

That is why we have a library full of books, videos, and online courses we have signed up for and discontinued after a few weeks or months.

But, we persevere and keep moving forward, inch by inch ...

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/01/16 04:07 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by TonyB
For DMD, I would say that these lessons will give you what you are looking for without having to buy yet another course, unless these are too advanced for you (I have no idea what you already really know and are able to do, as I do when EP or Fizikisto say that they have either finished or nearly finished the 52 week course) - in which case the 52 week course would serve you well.

Tony



I totally agree that these lessons provide me with most of what I wish to add to my skill set. Not necessarily in a jazz genre but very transportable to that style.

However, these lessons are like most all lessons ...

They only work if you actually work through them meticulously, inch by inch, until you can utilize those skills tastefully within multiple pieces at will.

That usually takes a long, long time and challenges your will to continue as you begin to question the suitability of the material and begin to look for "greener pastures".

That is why we have a library full of books, videos, and online courses we have signed up for and discontinued after a few weeks or months.

But, we persevere and keep moving forward, inch by inch ...



I completely agree, as attested to by some of my earlier posts in this thread. I see these particular lessons (for me) as not being a new direction, but instead the completion of the path I am on using Duane Shinn's materials. You have to decide where they fit in your own journey (if at all). I hope that my previous post provides information for others who read/join this thread, who are either currently working with other materials from Duane Shinn, or are otherwise already well prepared for these lessons.

If you are looking for a more jazz-oriented approach, then Willie Myette will provide that in a similar setting as these particular lessons from Duane Shinn. Different teaching styles, you decide which is more suitable to your learning style.

Edit: If you do decide to go through those Duane Shinn lessons, it will be interesting to hear/read your experience with them, especially since at least some here will most likely follow you at some point.

Tony

Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/01/16 04:27 PM
Originally Posted by TonyB


If you are looking for a more jazz-oriented approach, then Willie Myette will provide that in a similar setting as these particular lessons from Duane Shinn. Different teaching styles, you decide which is more suitable to your learning style.

Tony





Well, I believe I mentioned earlier ... regarding Willie Myette ...

His lessons tell you how to play a particular piece of music.

Duane Shinn gives you multiple options of how you "might" choose to play things ... You decide how you wish to play it.

That is a huge difference to me and is more to my liking.


Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/01/16 04:53 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by TonyB


If you are looking for a more jazz-oriented approach, then Willie Myette will provide that in a similar setting as these particular lessons from Duane Shinn. Different teaching styles, you decide which is more suitable to your learning style.


Tony





Well, I believe I mentioned earlier ... regarding Willie Myette ...

His lessons tell you how to play a particular piece of music.

Duane Shinn gives you multiple options of how you "might" choose to play things ... You decide how you wish to play it.

That is a huge difference to me and is more to my liking.




We both are starting to repeat ourselves, as I responded to that statement too. It sounds as if you have decided what you are going to do, so I wish you well on your journey.

I appreciate you reminding me of the Duane Shinn 1 year series. That will be a really good thing in my future as I progress.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/01/16 06:44 PM
Tony,
Thanks for the review of the Inner Circle membership. It looks like it definitely might be a worthwhile addition to the crash course. Things have been crazy here (finals for the next two weeks, ick!) but once school is out I'll take a closer look at it.

Warm Regards smile
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/01/16 09:20 PM
Originally Posted by fizikisto
Tony,
Thanks for the review of the Inner Circle membership. It looks like it definitely might be a worthwhile addition to the crash course. Things have been crazy here (finals for the next two weeks, ick!) but once school is out I'll take a closer look at it.

Warm Regards smile


Thanks to dmd for talking about these lessons too. Finals for you sounds similar to approaching the end of a project for me. It is always a scramble. Of course, when I was in college, finals weren't fun for the students either. smile Every time I drive past the U, I am so glad those days are behind me.

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/01/16 11:52 PM
Today, I finished lesson 3 and started on lesson 4. Lesson 3 introduced reading the chords as notation on the bass clef, while lesson 4 continues that, introduces inversions (starting with C to G7), and swing bass (also known as stride piano). This is a lesson that I fully expect to spend some serious time with because I do not intend to move on until I can play that swing bass smoothly. Rushing that will only serve to trip me up later. The songs are simple, "Down In the Valley", "Blow the Man Down", etc. However, as far as I am concerned, that is fine. I will have my hands full learning these techniques and then going back to the previous chapters to apply the technique to those tunes.

I think from here on, my posts here will pretty much involve commenting on the lessons as Fizikisto mentioned that he is doing. I expect my progress to be decidedly non-linear, as is typical with any long term learning endeavor - with seeming jumps forward and then the plateaus. Lesson 3 was easy, lesson 4 will be a challenge. I have gotten two hours in today, and during the week will probably expect an hour to an hour and a half per day, split up in 15 - 20 minute segments as I have been doing. Fridays are my "day off" as Duane recommends taking a day per week off.

Watching the first lesson videos of the lesson series that dmd talked about (the 12 month "inner circle"), really showed me what will be possible by attending to "first things first" (the 52 week course first), a day at a time instead of skipping around. I saved that lesson to DVD and set it aside until I am nearly finished with the 52 week course. As each month's lesson becomes available to me, I will do the same - download it, save it to DVD, and set it aside for future use.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/02/16 01:21 AM
TonyB,
Congratulations on finishing lesson 3. For what it's worth, it seems to me that you have exactly the right attitude to be successful. And yes, the swing bass stuff is really challenging. it took me a long time to get comfortable with it (and that's a far cry from mastery of it smile. Patience and perseverance are the keys there I think, and it sounds like you've got the right mindset for that. You're going to learn a lot of variations of it as the course progresses, so you're wise to work to get it down smooth before you move on.

I also have one other bit of advice that you can listen to or ignore as you find useful. When playing from the grand staff (both treble and bass), so many of the songs in the modern pianist series also have the chord symbols written above the treble clef. It's very easy to fall into the habit of using those as a crutch. My advice is to work to not look at those but to really focus on reading the notes from the bass clef instead. I suggest a worthy goal would be to learn to identify the chords just from their shapes. It doesn't matter if they're block chords or arpeggios or 2-1 breakups or whatever. When you can look at a group of notes and just instantly see "those are the notes of the C major chord, those are the notes of the G7 chord, etc..." it really speeds both one's reading and their ability to apply arranging techniques. I would actually say the chord out loud as I played it on some of my run throughs of the songs just to further solidify my ability to perceive the chords. Duane talks about this in lesson 3 on one of the songs, how useful it is to recognize that over a long segment the melody is just a broken up C chord.

Anyway, just throwing those ideas out there in case they might be useful.

Warm Regards.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/02/16 11:53 AM
Thanks Fizikisto. Considering how far you have gone in the course, I value your input. You have set my expectations much more realistically regarding learning the "swing bass" that I am about to start working on this evening.

For me, my attitude now is to being at the beginning instead of expecting things to go quickly or to be able to start with more advanced material. I taught myself to play a couple of pieces of music off of albums I listen to regularly, rather well off recordings by ear. However, that approach skips a lot of important grounding. The same (for me) would go for jumping into the Duane Shinn advanced lesson series that I just signed up for. We all learn differently, so my comments may not apply to others. For me, a structured approach to get the basics down is what I really need to do - just settle in and accept that this is simply how I learn best.

When I was teaching myself guitar, I somehow had the sense to start working through basic books for classical guitar. I learned to read standard notation right away, learned proper fingering, etc. For some reason, I found it difficult to accept that the same would hold true later in life for the piano. For me, there are no shortcuts. Hopefully, I am over that now and ready to do it right. smile

Tony

Posted By: Jusca Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/03/16 05:13 PM
I read earlier in this thread that the participants might take to PM if the thread becomes buried. I think that this is a very interesting thread because I've always wanted to hear more thoughts about this course. The course is expensive and piano isn't my main instrument and I've found very few piano dvd lessons that are structured with goals in mind.

I would like to encourage the students of the dvds to continue to post publically as your insights are invaluable to those like myself. It's also interesting to learn how much a particular course has helped you grow musically
.
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/03/16 08:55 PM
Jusca,
Thanks for the encouragement. I'm still trying to get through later stages of the course, but I did really enjoy going back and redoing lesson 1 this past weekend. I was able to watch the lesson and get through playing everything in less than a couple of hours (it took considerably longer the first time I went through it. smile. In a way it was really nice to see how much I've progressed since then.

My plan, more or less, is to redo an old lesson every week and post my review/impressions of it. I have a bit more free time on the weekends so probably I'll use that time for redoing old lessons. I think TonyB also intends to come post his thoughts whenever he makes it through a new lesson. So I suspect this thread will drop down a page or two as we're working then get bumped back to the main page as we finish a lesson and post about it. smile

Fwiw, if you're thinking about getting the course, I'd say that it's an absolutely fantastic option. It's meant to be a beginning of a piano journey. That is, after you complete the course you should have the foundation to pursue whatever aspect of piano playing tweaks your fancy, whether that's going more into classical music, or jazz, or pop music, or whatever.

But what makes this course unique, and amazing, is the emphasis (basically from the very beginning) on not only playing what's written on the page but also being able to improvise and arrange around it on the fly.
The amount of content included in this course is amazing. I've seen the Learn and Master Piano course which has a comparable number of DVD's for $149. The 52 week crash course easily contains 10-20 times as much material. So yes, it's pricey in comparison, but there is tremendous value for the price as well. If my copy of the course were damaged or stolen, I'd replace it in a heartbeat.

Warm Regards
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/03/16 11:49 PM
Weeelll, I did it! The tune in lesson 4 that uses swing bass (so far) is "Mulberry Bush". It is a children's song, but perfect for its simplicity and how well it fits the swing bass. I finished my practice for today, with being able to play through the song several times in a row at 120 BPM.

Though Duane has not mentioned it yet, I find checking my progress against a metronome very helpful. I guess that is a holdover for how I taught myself guitar, but I find it very effective when used in moderation.

Also, on this tune, the book says to use the sustain pedal after you get comfortable with playing the tune. I tried that today too. It took a couple of tries, but I got it quickly enough. The book says to press the pedal at the beginning of each measure. Luckily, my DP allows me to adjust decay, so I shortened it a bit. Personally, I think this tune works better with less pedal, but I am always open to suggestions from either Duane or the book, or even here.

I am not finished with lesson 4, but this tune was the hurdle I wanted to overcome.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/04/16 01:03 AM
Congratulations TonyB!
You're kicking butt and taking names. I probably need to start doing more with the metronome. I use it a bit, but I think I could do more. The metronome can be a harsh mistress. smile. As for pedaling technique, it's one of those things that will soon become second nature to you. Basically you let up the pedal whenever you change chords or whenever the sound start to get muddy.

I think I'm also going to take your advice and get the inner circle membership. I'll approach it the same way you are, just save them until I'm done with the crash course. Incidentally, Duane has some other courses devoted to specific pieces that might be worth grabbing for after you finish the crash course. Alexander's Ragtime Band, St. Louis Blues, Fur Elise, and Bach's prelude in C major are covered by specific DVD courses. The last one is called something like "Reading Music Quickly through Chord Analysis" and uses the prelude as the example tune.

In any case, congrats again on your progress. It sounds like you're doing really great! smile
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/04/16 01:13 AM
Originally Posted by fizikisto
Congratulations TonyB!
You're kicking butt and taking names. I probably need to start doing more with the metronome. I use it a bit, but I think I could do more. The metronome can be a harsh mistress. smile. As for pedaling technique, it's one of those things that will soon become second nature to you. Basically you let up the pedal whenever you change chords or whenever the sound start to get muddy.

I think I'm also going to take your advice and get the inner circle membership. I'll approach it the same way you are, just save them until I'm done with the crash course. Incidentally, Duane has some other courses devoted to specific pieces that might be worth grabbing for after you finish the crash course. Alexander's Ragtime Band, St. Louis Blues, Fur Elise, and Bach's prelude in C major are covered by specific DVD courses. The last one is called something like "Reading Music Quickly through Chord Analysis" and uses the prelude as the example tune.

In any case, congrats again on your progress. It sounds like you're doing really great! smile


Thanks Fizikisto! This was the part that got me last time, but this time I went through it. I have some confidence now. smile

Tony
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/04/16 02:10 PM
Lesson 4 has several new ideas in it. One thing I noticed this morning in the video for the week is that Duane says NOT to use the pedal yet because we have enough to concentrate on. He says he will be getting to that later in detail.

One thing that always seems to trip me up is fingering. In more traditional piano books, you spend a lot of time in a basic 5 finger position, in which your right hand never leaves a position that has your thumb on middle C and the other fingers on D, E, F, and G respectively. In the 52 week course, we are moving those fingers around quite a bit, and right away. The right hand is always switching fingers on repeated notes to position the hand to move farther up or down outside what would normally be that 5 finger range. You have to watch and learn carefully to get the fingering right. This sort of thing MUST become habit so that later on when more complex things are being learned, you are not wasting mental bandwidth on the stuff that should have been ingrained long before.

As I mentioned earlier, we get into swing bass in lesson 4. We also explore more inversions. In other piano books, inversions seem to be taught as exercises in which you run up and down the keyboard playing the inversions of a chord, much like practicing scales. In the 52 week course, we are (at least in the early lessons) learning chord inversions a bit at a time, by using them to play music. We are learning why inversions are useful and how to use them musically. Switching between C, F, and G using inversions for good voice leading and smooth transition, learning to recognize the common tones when moving from one chord to the next, all the while playing songs instead of exercises.

Though the tunes (so far) are simple children's songs, keep in mind that we are learning a lot of stuff while playing these - good fingering practices, chord inversions, timing, note reading, swing bass and other means of dressing up these tunes, etc. (Duane usually picks one of the tunes in a lesson and does it several different increasingly complex ways, showing us what is coming later and how it will build on what we are learning now). There is a lot going on, and I can readily see how useful all these things will be for putting together my own arrangements and writing my own music in the future. If I am learning this much and am only at lesson 4, I can imagine how much will be covered before the last lesson. I suspect that I will playing as second nature, music by ear and "toolbox" technique (switching it all around every time I play the tune as I feel like it), material that would look like a real mess to somebody who must read the sheet music. There has got to be much freedom in being able to do that.

Edit: On the video for this week, Duane says that from here on out, the daily practice gets much longer because he wants us to go back to the previous lessons and apply what new things we are learning, to the previous tunes. For now, that includes using the chord inversions in the left hand as well as the swing bass. He also clarified the swing bass, saying that we should use whatever inversion is closest to the bass note we are playing. This is not what the book shows, so moving forward, it pays to watch the entire lesson for the week right away, taking notes to use throughout the week.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/04/16 06:02 PM
TonyB,
Thanks for the continued progress reports! Work has been absolutely nuts here (and will be for the next 1.5 weeks), so I've been going even slower than usual. I'm still managing to get in 30-45 min practice each day, but I'm looking forward to being able to have more piano time once again soon!

I'm always amazed at just how much content Duane manages to fit into the course. And yes, you're going to learn so many techniques it's kind of mind blowing. smile

About practicing new techniques on old songs, yes I'd say that's an essential part of the course, and one that I suspect a lot of people who go through the course neglect to their detriment. On the other hand, you could easily spend an inordinate amount of time on that review and fail to progress more fully through the main body of the course (speaking from experience here!) so you'll have to find a balance.

The good news though is that you have lots of opportunity for variety. You can pick one song and run through 4 or 5 different arrangement techniques, or you can focus on one arrangement technique and apply it 4 or 5 different songs. There are no rules, and Duane encourages a lot of experimentation.

Later in the course (not much later actually!) you'll start stacking different arrangement techniques on top of each other and mixing and matching them within one song. It's so much cooler than what you're doing now, and what you're doing now is still really cool smile

Warm Regards,

P.S. About the swing bass. I think Duane's comment about the shorter distance is meant to be more a rule of thumb than a concrete law. Later you'll see techniques where you move over a greater range of the keyboard. But Duane does try to get you thinking about what martial artists often call "economy of motion" which is a very useful guiding principle to have.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/05/16 12:49 AM
Fizikisto...

Thanks so much for your responses. They are both motivating and informative. I just want you to know how much I appreciate your insights.

Thanks,

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/16 10:25 PM
Last Friday I went way back and redid Lesson 1 and reviewed it here. I think I'm going to try to keep that pace, working through old lessons on the weekends as I continue through the main course during the rest of the week. So with that in mind, here's my review and summary of lesson 2:

Lesson 2 begins with a review of the things learned in the first week. The names of the notes and the structure of the keyboard (repeating octaves, repeating patterns of black and white keys, etc...), several songs from the "5 note finger position," and the 3 pointer chords which correspond to the 3 primary chords (the I, IV, and V chords) in the key of C.

In lesson 2 we move from playing songs with melodies that are contained in the 5 note position to playing a melody that ranges over a full octave. Yes, very basic, but for a beginner it's the next logical step. Duane talks about how to cover 8 notes with only 5 fingers and discusses the use of fingering notation on the printed music. Duane also warns of the pitfalls of using the finger numbers to identify which notes to play instead of using the position of the notes written on the staff. The finger numbers tell you which finger to use, not which note to play.

The first song in the lesson is Du, du liegest mir im Herzen. This is a simple two chord song, still arranged as a lead sheet, but it presents the first "stretch" where you have to move your hand out of the 5-finger position to play all the notes. At this point you'll still be using the pointer chords learned in lesson one. It's actually harder to play with the pointer chords than it is to play with different inversions of the chords that are introduced later on. I think this is the right approach pedagogically. Right at the beginning you're getting used to having to move your left hand around the keyboard in jumps.

next Duane introduces the 1 octave C-major scale and demonstrates how to play it, both ascending and descending. The thumb under and thumb over techniques are introduced. Later in the course other scales will be taught, and scales that span multiple octaves, but this is an introduction to the concept of a scale.

The next song is the "Can Can Polka" which has a full descending C major scale as part of the melody. It puts the concept of a scale into the context of a song, and duane notes that melody lines very often contain whole scales or fragments of scales. Duane uses the song "Joy to the Wold" as another example of a song that contains an entire scale. Duane also uses this song (Can Can Polka) to introduce the concept of arranging, and offers the first two arranging techniques (albeit very simple ones) in the course. He has you play the song as before, with the chord played on the first beat of each new measure, and then with the chord played on beats 1 and 3, and then finally on all four beats. By varying the timing of the chords, it really affects how the songs feel.

Duane demonstrates some additional arranging techniques that are introduced later in the course, swing bass and open voice arpeggios are demonstrated. Next Duane reviews how to play the G pointer chord and then demonstrates how to add the 7th note to form the G7 Chord (technically this is a dominant 7th chord, He'll also show how to form major 7th chords later). He also introduces the concept of inverting chords.

The Next song is Oh Susana. It uses the G7th chord, and it also introduces the concept of a pick-up note (which borrows time from the last measure).

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow is another song that lets you practice the G7 chord

The next song moves the right hand to a different octave. Duane also introduces another new 7th chord, the D7th chord, which is the first chord in the course that uses a black key. Duane demonstrates how to move the hand up closer to the fall board in order to play the D7th chord more comfortably.

So now, by lesson two you willl have learned to play C, G, G7, F, and D7 chords in lead sheet notation along with simple melodies.

The next song, Faith of our Fathers gives you a chance to practice these chords. Duane also reviews how to properly count and keep time.

Next the lesson moves from the main book to the supplementary book.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Long Long Ago, Carnival of Venice, and On Top of Old Smokey are the songs covered in the supplementary book. They give you practice in stretching beyond the 5 finger position. They also give you some new rhythms (introduced with tied notes) to work through. The last two also give you a chance to practice with pick up notes.

That's all the material covered in the lesson. As before, Duane moves to the close up view to demonstrate exactly what his fingers are doing as he plays the C major scale, the new chords, etc..

Every one of these lessons is very dense with information. but the information is being given out in bite sized pieces that make everything easy to follow. That's what makes this a "crash" course, you're getting a lot of information in really short time.

I think now might be a good time to discuss expectations. This is a course that takes a lot of work. practice practice practice. I suspect that it's a rare person who can get through the whole thing in a year if they were really focused on learning as much as they could from it. If you just wanted to move through the course as quickly as you could it's probably doable, but I don't think you'd be where you want to be as a piano player. To anyone taking the course I'd recommend not setting arbitrary goals to keep the 1 lesson a week pace, but rather to just work through each lesson in your own time. It's really important that you try to get in consistent regular practice (Duane recommends that 6 days out of the week you try to get in at least an hour of practice each day, broken into 3 or 4 smaller segments). If you do that, you may not finish the course in a year, but you will make consistent steady progress through it. Just in the first two lessons a lot of material has been covered. future lessons are just as dense with information. This course is a huge undertaking.

But does everyone know how to eat an elephant?

One bite at a time. smile

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/16 10:33 PM
TonyB,
You're very welcome. I'm glad that you're enjoying the course and finding it worthwhile. I'm enjoying your posts as well, and this thread you've started is helping with my motivation as well. I've let my attention be split among too many things which has caused me to move very slowly through the course with many starts and stops along the way (I'm a bit ADD). But participating in this thread is helping me stay focused on this one thing because I really want to get through the rest of the course. I'm also really enjoying going back to these old lessons. I rematched lesson 2 last night and worked through all the songs this morning. Everything in the beginning lessons is so much easier now. It makes me feel like I've actually accomplished some things for the effort that i've been putting in. smile

Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/16 10:37 PM
Originally Posted by fizikisto


Every one of these lessons is very dense with information. but the information is being given out in bite sized pieces that make everything easy to follow. That's what makes this a "crash" course, you're getting a lot of information in really short time.

I think know might be a good time to discuss expectations. This is a course that takes a lot of work. practice practice practice. I suspect that it's a rare person who can get through the whole thing in a year if they were really focused on learning as much as they could from it. If you just wanted to move through the course as quickly as you could it's probably doable, but I don't think you'd be where you want to be as a piano player. To anyone taking the course I'd recommend not setting arbitrary goals to keep the 1 lesson a week pace, but rather to just work through each lesson in your own time. It's really important that you try to get in consistent regular practice (Duane recommends that 6 days out of the week you try to get in at least an hour of practice each day, broken into 3 or 4 smaller segments). If you do that, you may not finish the course in a year, but you will make consistent steady progress through it. Just in the first two lessons a lot of material has been covered. future lessons are just as dense with information. This course is a huge undertaking.

But does everyone know how to eat an elephant?

One bite at a time. smile



I couldn't agree more. Of course it depends on what level a person starts at, but I think it could take many years to master the techniques to Duane's level. (Of course by then you'd have your own students!)
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/16 12:20 AM
Originally Posted by EP

I couldn't agree more. Of course it depends on what level a person starts at, but I think it could take many years to master the techniques to Duane's level. (Of course by then you'd have your own students!)


Well, I finished the course over the course of last night, but then the alarm clock went off and it was time to wake up. Nice dream though. smile


Back to reality - I am experimenting with applying the swing bass technique and the inversions (and the swing bass with the inversions) to previous tunes and that is going well. I can't think of a better way to get this into my hands. I am doing it S-L-O-W-L-Y, and letting those brain connections form. The main thing for me this time around is that I am able to do it at all. That is a big win for me.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/16 02:21 AM
TonyB,
Nice dream indeed! I wish we could just plug in matrix style and download it all into our brains all at once. Sadly, we must all take the long scenic route. smile As for it being a big win, it really is. keep on keepin' on man, you're doing great! smile
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/16 12:31 PM
Thanks Fizikisto. I have completed lesson 4, so I do want to take a few days to go back through previous tunes before moving on. I understand finding that balance that was mentioned earlier in this thread, between moving forward and going back over previous tunes. I want to make sure that I have the material well in hand before adding still more technique though. One thing I noticed when watching Duane Shinn is that he is playing all this at a very relaxed pace, so obviously accuracy is more important than speed in his approach.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/16 01:31 PM
TonyB,

I agree. Also, I would note that speed comes with relaxation. Later Duane does play some stuff really fast (going up tempo, or down tempo is an arrangement technique of sorts too). But if you practice playing accurately and slowly, you'll be able to play accurately and faster later on if you cultivate relaxation.

Attitude is another important factor, imo. Another thing you'll notice is that when Duane flubs and hits a wrong note or otherwise screws up, he hasn't edited that out of the video, and usually it gives him a chuckle. "haha did you see me screw up on line three?!" It's purposely done to show that even when you reach a high level of playing like he has, you'll still make mistakes. As for him being able to smile and laugh when he makes a mistake, I think that's a better reaction than my occasional string of growls and expletives smile

People in the west tend to look at failure and mistakes the wrong way, imo. They feel bad about making mistakes or failing at something. A better approach is to view it as an opportunity for learning. I like the saying, "To master something you must first make a million mistakes. get started." As frustrating as they are, I know that every mistake is part of the learning process that will get me to where I want to be.

Warm Regards
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/16 01:47 PM
I don't suppose I could get either (or both) of you to post examples of what you are doing in these lessons. It might convince me that this course would be useful in my endeavors.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/16 02:50 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
I don't suppose I could get either (or both) of you to post examples of what you are doing in these lessons. It might convince me that this course would be useful in my endeavors.


Yes, I will do that. As far as I am concerned, all the talk in the world proves nothing. The "rubber meets the road" when I am willing to back up all the talk with something real.

Now, the caveats...

I have never recorded myself playing piano, so I need to figure out what cabling I need, etc, etc. I will make one or more MP3s, find a place to post them, and then post here when they are ready. It might be a few days of playing around with the recording process or maybe I can just do something and get it posted somewhere.

Another caveat...I am in the very early stages of this course, so the songs will be simple children's songs with no advanced technique of any kind, and played slowly. This will give you a very real idea of where one starts in the course.

If the recording process works out well, I will seriously consider posting more MP3s periodically so people can hear whether there is any progress, and if that progress warrants buying the course. This is assuming that you can base your potential on whatever you feel my own potential is. Remember that we are different people, with different strengths.

DMD, from what you have said (i.e. playing some classical pieces), you are probably past the point that I am currently at. I can tell you that what I am doing is only the first 4 lessons, and the course really has not gathered momentum yet. That will apparently happen over the next 12 lessons or so, since lesson 17 seems to be a recap of many techniques one can apply to a song.

As for Fitzikisto, remember that the sentiments I express here about recording are my own views and should not reflect on whatever he decides to do or not do.

Tony

Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/16 05:57 PM
Tony: I will look forward to hearing (or seeing) what you are doing.

The simplest means of recording that I have found are as follows ...

1. Your keyboard may have the capability to record mp3 files.

2. Pianoteq records EVERYTHING as you use it. You can then select that which you like.

3. I can use my computer webcam for video recording. Works fine.

So, anyway ... that is how I deal with it when I wish to.

Good Luck
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/16 07:46 PM
Thanks for the tips, dmd. I just needed to get a routine down for the work flow. Now that I have it, it is really quite easy. The main issue with the V-Grand is that it is so big that you literally have to crawl underneath it to plug in the cables to the audio outs. It has all manner of jacks for professional concert hall sound connections, as well as the same 4 channel audio outs that the V-Piano has so you can add extra speakers and stuff if you really want to get crazy. This thing is really a behemoth, since it is a real baby grand cabinet (5' 6" baby grand, 375 lbs).

Here are three recordings I just made today:

https://app.box.com/s/677jd1bylozerw5sndtpvpgilt81v9io

Hopefully, whoever wants to hear these has permissions. I tried the link and it worked for me.

"Mulberry" is from the current lesson 4, and is played exactly the way Duane does it on his video (though he does it with more "authority" due to the years he has been teaching it).

"Merrily1" is the first song you learn in lesson 1, and is done exactly as Duane does it.

"Merrily2" is done with the "swing bass". I simply recorded the first time I tried it that way, no rehearsal, just to see if I could do it.

All of these are first and only takes because I wanted you to hear what I am able to do honestly, rather than trying to sound more capable than I currently am.

I would have to look back at this thread to see where I said I started the course again, but that is all the time I have put into this at this point. Prior to restarting this course, I had not been playing piano for a while at all.

Someday I may get into video recording, but for now MP3 is good enough for me. I doubt anybody would "fake it" playing at this level, so you know it is really me. smile smile If I played one of the demo tunes instead, then just maybe either the Duane Shinn course is doing absolute miracles or I am grossly misrepresenting myself. smile

I do think that recording myself from time to time would be a really good idea. Putting such recordings out there for all to hear would certainly keep me honest about practicing and whatnot, probably leading me to really get through this course once and for all. I guess all it took to get going on this was a push from you guys. smile

Tony

Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/08/16 01:39 PM
Tony: Thank you for the recordings. Now, I have a better idea of the material in the course. The beginning nature of it, anyway. It is actually very typical Duane Shinn stuff.

You sound like you are off to a good start. The trick will be staying with each "week" until you master it ... or at least become pretty fluent with it. That concept of going back through other songs with the new material is critical. That will help you become fluent with other chords and melodies.

I think you are on the right track, you just have to find the resolve to stick with it.




Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/08/16 04:00 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Tony: Thank you for the recordings. Now, I have a better idea of the material in the course. The beginning nature of it, anyway. It is actually very typical Duane Shinn stuff.

You sound like you are off to a good start. The trick will be staying with each "week" until you master it ... or at least become pretty fluent with it. That concept of going back through other songs with the new material is critical. That will help you become fluent with other chords and melodies.

I think you are on the right track, you just have to find the resolve to stick with it.






Thanks dmd! I was thinking this morning while going over material I played yesterday (not the recordings, but the lesson), how this process is similar in some ways to when I was learning to drive. I learned to drive a car with a stick shift, so there was a lot more to organize than just pressing on the gas to go and the brake to stop.

With those simple recordings I did yesterday, there was a lot going on - reading as I played, getting the fingering right, making sure that the left and right hands stayed together while doing different things, and doing all that in some semblance of time.

All of that comes into play every time I sit down to the piano to play, and if I do it often and regularly enough, much of it will become automatic so I can focus instead on playing music, rather than just notes being counted. It is a question of mental bandwidth - the brain can only actively process a few things at a time, while those things that become ingrained take up very little of the active processing, giving more time to the the things that need attention and focus. It was like that with the guitar, and any new thing that I learn to do.

I have noticed that the 52 week course seems to introduce variety to keep us on our toes. For instance, timing is varied from tune to tune by using tunes that have a variety of the placement of various note lengths in a measure, or switching between the various techniques we have learned and applying several in one tune and to a variety of chords. I am sure this will continue as I get farther into the course. Over time, this will really cement these techniques into my hands.

In the current lesson (now lesson 5), Duane talks about finding a chord among those we know to fit a melody note that does not sound right with the chord given in the book. He frequently invites us on the video to think for ourselves and play with the tunes he assigns to come up with more interesting ways to play them.

I think there are a couple of very good reasons to put up recordings from time to time. The main one is that it keeps us honest about what we are really doing. Anybody can be anything on the internet, and nobody is the wiser unless proof is asked for and not provided. It is entirely possible that, due to my enthusiasm, I could have given the impression that I was farther along than I really am. If so, it was not intentional, and listening to my recordings would bring out the facts very quickly.

Another important aspect is that it can keep us motivated because now, instead of just hiding in our room with an endless stretch of time ahead of us to spend however we feel at the time, such as doing anything but practicing, we have now made a commitment to show something of our efforts, which requires us to have something ready.

It seems to me as I think about it, that an online study group focusing on a particular self-study book series or course such as the 52 week crash course or some of the other study group threads here, would want to have its members put up recordings periodically because that takes it from the realm of talking about doing the thing to actually doing the thing, and motivation then becomes much less of an issue. This should be optional, but invited, because there will be people who simply either are not equipped to record for a variety of reasons, and people who are too shy. Those folks should not be ruled out of such a discussion, but for those who are willing to put themselves out there, they will probably get the most out of the book or course.

Tony

Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/08/16 05:10 PM
Tony:

Your concept of the value of posting recordings of your progress from time to time is absolutely right on. It will force you to demonstrate your progress and not just talk about it.

The ideal would be for you and a few others to do that throughout this particular course to help each of you with motivation and a dose of reality from time to time.

However, the issue that usually arises is that one or more of you will begin to "fall behind" and will then feel less enthusiastic about posting because it now demonstrates that you are not doing as well as the other person(s). If you (and others) can avoid that comparison issue then the posting thing will work. Otherwise, it will result in the end of the postings for those that fall behind and the process will probably end for everyone involved.

As you know, almost any method is GREAT in the early stages of the process because it is being buoyed by the anticipation of success. However, the reality of the length of the journey can erode that sense of being successful and a new direction will be sought.

I, personally, have experienced that process numerous times. In fact, maybe that is the process of learning to play piano. I am quite sure it is rare for someone to pick a "method" and just stay with it through the years and become a fine player. More than likely they utilized various methods and just keep working and the finished product is the summation of all those methods.

In any event, I think the Duane Shinn material is as good or better than many if your goal is to be able to play piano without simply memorizing songs.

I would be most interested in hearing a post from you from time to time demonstrating progress.

Keep pluggin'

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/08/16 11:39 PM
dmd,

Yes, I am aware of how few people seem to get through the various courses. There are a lot of testimonials on Duane's site for the 52 week course. The course has been around for many years, so it is possible that there could be people who finished it - especially before there were forums such as this to distract them and easy availability to every possible course and book that anybody who wanted to sell something and make money puts up on some site. It could well be that there might have been a time when there were fewer distractions and people's attention span and willingness to take on such a long term commitment was different than today.

To me, it seems this is a daily commitment. We each have a choice every day in these forums - are we going walk the talk, or talk the walk. I sincerely hope that I have the fortitude to choose the former from here on out. However, only time will tell. I did it with the guitar, with getting through college, and a few other long term commitments in my life, so I should be able to do it with the piano too. This is one thing I still want to accomplish in my lifetime.

If somebody else puts up a video or MP3 that is ahead of me, it will be inspiring, knowing that one day I too will sound like that, since I am working from the same materials. It would give me more confidence in the capacity of the course for leading us to a good outcome for the time and effort expended. I find it curious that people would not react that way. I would think that knowing what is possible would be inspiring. If anything could suck the life out of such an endeavor as this, it would be all that insipid talk about "talent", making it seem that there is no point in bothering at all because "some gots it, some don't". I personally do not believe that philosophy, but it does come up every time some 4 year old posts a video of him or herself wailing away at the piano. When I taught guitar, it seemed to be a huge issue for adult students, but kids never seemed to give it a second thought - they just plowed ahead because they simply wanted to play guitar and nobody told them it was hard.

By the way, you have been around these types of courses for quite some time, from what you have said. You even recognized what I was playing in my recordings as typical of Duane Shinn's approach.

Could you put up a recording or two of your own efforts, and maybe even join this thread on an ongoing basis with whatever course you choose to pursue? I think you have some really good insights.

Thanks,

Tony



Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/16 01:00 AM
As of this evening, I have decided to increase my practice session to a half hour each instead of the initially recommended 15 minutes, and keeping 4 of these per day. The reason is that it is becoming very obvious to me that 15 minutes a few times a day is really just playing around, rather than getting really focused. It is quite clear to me already, that there is a lot for my hands to learn.

The intellect seems to grasp things far more quickly than the hands can physically perform, which is probably it is so much easier to "talk than walk" when it comes to self-study courses. So, instead of getting farther buried with the lessons, I intend to step up. Already at lesson 5, it is time to make that decision.

I know I have been one of the most active posters here so far, but I think it is time to post just a few times per week at most, and put the most time into "the walk" from here on out if I am to make any progress. Really, this is a very demanding course, and it would be a good idea before investing this much money in it, to understand that it really is a serious time commitment. Anything worthwhile in this life is, when it comes down to it. I am certainly waking up to that fact now. I sincerely hope someday to be able to say that, I, like Fizikisto, have made it through 47 lessons and am a better player for it. That, takes a real commitment and I hope I am up for it now.

Tony

Posted By: PianoStudent88 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/16 01:51 AM
I would like to join Jusca in saying that I am not currently doing this course, but I appreciate this thread.
Posted By: Ralphiano Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/16 02:10 AM
TonyB, I commend you for recording, and for posting the recordings. For all the reasons mentioned by others, I am convinced that recording is a HUGE benefit for developing pianists, and PARTICULARLY HUGE for those of us who are self-taught.

I have chosen to record all of my "40 Pieces a Year" efforts, and, recording has been amazingly helpful to me.

Keep up the good work. Good luck to you.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/16 09:29 PM
Originally Posted by raubucho
TonyB, I commend you for recording, and for posting the recordings. For all the reasons mentioned by others, I am convinced that recording is a HUGE benefit for developing pianists, and PARTICULARLY HUGE for those of us who are self-taught.

I have chosen to record all of my "40 Pieces a Year" efforts, and, recording has been amazingly helpful to me.

Keep up the good work. Good luck to you.


Thanks raubucho. I will listen to some of your recordings soon.

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/16 09:30 PM
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
I would like to join Jusca in saying that I am not currently doing this course, but I appreciate this thread.


PianoStudent88,

I hope there is some worthwhile content even if only inspirational. smile

Tony

Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/16 09:50 PM
Hi,
1st post, after some weeks reading this thread.
I'm also looking at a self-study piano package.

I started (and stopped) a few times to learn piano in my youth and now I want to try to get a bit more focused and determined.

I will start a night community class for one month in May and the teacher will use the Alfred All in One book 1.

I also have the Learn and Master Piano, but the I'm not sure I like the chord approach.

I'm considering the Duane crash course, but the 1K cost is delaying my decision...granted on a weekly basis, $25 is better than an actual teacher will cost.
One question I have, is if you can buy the Duane course by the month, basically 1 dvd at the time, instead of all at the same time.
I can see on his website you can buy the 1st month, but I could not understand (the web page is not exactly an example of modern layout.. ) So if anybody had experience I would appreciate and information you may have.

In the mean time I may order the 1st month lessons.

Thanks!

--stoppa
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/16 11:05 PM
Originally Posted by Stopparde
Hi,
1st post, after some weeks reading this thread.
I'm also looking at a self-study piano package.

I started (and stopped) a few times to learn piano in my youth and now I want to try to get a bit more focused and determined.

I will start a night community class for one month in May and the teacher will use the Alfred All in One book 1.

I also have the Learn and Master Piano, but the I'm not sure I like the chord approach.

I'm considering the Duane crash course, but the 1K cost is delaying my decision...granted on a weekly basis, $25 is better than an actual teacher will cost.
One question I have, is if you can buy the Duane course by the month, basically 1 dvd at the time, instead of all at the same time.
I can see on his website you can buy the 1st month, but I could not understand (the web page is not exactly an example of modern layout.. ) So if anybody had experience I would appreciate and information you may have.

In the mean time I may order the 1st month lessons.

Thanks!

--stoppa


I thought there was something about buying the first 4 months, and then if you like the course, you can go ahead and buy the rest of it in one purchase. However, that maybe isn't true anymore, I don't know.

When the course was VHS tapes, I think it was sold on a month by month basis, but when I bought it, you bought the whole thing at once. The price does not seem to have changed in that time, which is unusual for any product that has been around that long.

I think the real question is twofold:

1. Does the course teach for the direction you want to go musically? I think that Fizikisto's posts here have described it really well, so you have the information in those earlier posts to make that decision for yourself.

2. Are you willing to make the commitment to see it through?
This course really does demand consistent effort over a long time. I have started and stopped twice already. Hopefully, now I have the discipline and fortitude to see it through. I have recently broken through the part that was tripping me up, so I now have confidence that I really can do this. It is a real decision only you can make. In the purchase decision process, this is probably the most important thing, especially considering the cost. I had the money at the time, so that wasn't an issue for me (though now, I would have to think long and hard...), but for somebody who will have to watch the cost closely, this could be a real issue. It is too much money to have the stuff gathering dust. The upside is that you will know how to play piano by the time you finish the course. smile

Tony

Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/16 11:07 PM
Originally Posted by Stopparde
One question I have, is if you can buy the Duane course by the month, basically 1 dvd at the time, instead of all at the same time.


Absolutely you can. There is an icon entitled: Subsequent Crash Course Lessons. If you click on that, you will have the option of selecting from 4 lessons packs. It will get a little bit more expensive for all 52 lessons doing it that way, but it might not be a bad idea in case you stop for some reason along the way. That DOES HAPPEN from time to time. LOL ...

In fact, not to be pessimistic .... but I could probably say that it USUALLY HAPPENS ... at least in my experience.

Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/16 11:20 PM
Originally Posted by TonyB
Could you put up a recording or two of your own efforts, and maybe even join this thread on an ongoing basis with whatever course you choose to pursue? I think you have some really good insights.


Well, I could do that ... but I am not sure what purpose it would serve other than you hearing me play.

I am really not pursuing any "course" at the moment and have really reduced my effort level (practicing) to a crawl. I am pretty much just relaxing and playing whatever I feel like playing and letting it go at that. I do take a lesson from a jazz pianist (via internet) now and then but only to feel that I am at least involved with some semblance of improvement.

I pretty much just play things from jazz fake books utilizing what I already know how to do and if I can add a new thing here and there ... fine. There is basically no more "Working at it". I am not progressing very fast but it is a lot more fun.

I will be watching this thread to see how things develop for you and other participants. Good Luck
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/16 11:34 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by TonyB
Could you put up a recording or two of your own efforts, and maybe even join this thread on an ongoing basis with whatever course you choose to pursue? I think you have some really good insights.


Well, I could do that ... but I am not sure what purpose it would serve other than you hearing me play.

I am really not pursuing any "course" at the moment and have really reduced my effort level (practicing) to a crawl. I am pretty much just relaxing and playing whatever I feel like playing and letting it go at that. I do take a lesson from a jazz pianist (via internet) now and then but only to feel that I am at least involved with some semblance of improvement.

I pretty much just play things from jazz fake books utilizing what I already know how to do and if I can add a new thing here and there ... fine. There is basically no more "Working at it". I am not progressing very fast but it is a lot more fun.

I will be watching this thread to see how things develop for you and other participants. Good Luck


dmd,

That is fine. I was just curious. I do understand exactly where you are at with this because I have been there too - and it is a great place to be. My "problem" is that there are some styles I really want to learn, so I just have to get going again to do that. But what you are doing is really fun, and enjoying music is the main thing.

I hope you do stick around and jump in...

Tony

Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/16 11:47 PM
Don, Tony,
thanks for your inputs.

Based on a few youtube videos from Duane, I feel that is the direction I would like to go in learning piano.

I can (with some efforts) already play a relatively simple melody with chords accompaniment. Duane course seems to add those techniques that makes you sounding better.

I will check the link to the "Subsequent Crash Course Lessons".

Thanks again.

--stoppa
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/16 11:49 PM
Here is a new recording I just made after a practice session. The tune is "carry Me Back To Old Virginny" and it is in this week's lesson. I use the term "this week" loosely, because a lesson could take a few days or a few weeks, but they are measured by weeks in the course as a means of identifying them.

https://app.box.com/s/677jd1bylozerw5sndtpvpgilt81v9io

The link goes to the entire folder, so feel free to listen to whatever, but the new one is the one I am talking about.

I don't intend to post every song I learn, but since there seem to be people watching this thread who might be considering starting the course, I thought this would be a good example of some things Duane does in the course.

When you listen to the tune (and...yes, I messed up briefly in one spot...), it will sound really simple, and I suppose to an experienced player, it is. However, the fingering is changing all the time and there are some spots with chord changes one after the other in the left hand while the right hand is keeping the melody going.

Also, in this lesson, Duane says that if a melody note sounds bad against the written chord, feel free to change the chord and find one you like better. I did that in a couple of spots - it is the beginning of arranging your own way and he encourages that.

As I get comfortable with this tune, I will be applying "swing bass" and some of the next techniques - in this lesson we start on arpeggiating the left hand.

It took me several hours of practice to be able to play this tune, so it was a breakthrough that I just had to record. As I say, it really doesn't sound like much, but Duane sure packs a lot of little things into it that make you really dig in and put in the time to get through it. When you come out the other end of this tune, your hands are better prepared for what comes next. If you short-change this tune just to get on to the next thing, then the next thing will be that much more difficult. I must say that Duane Shinn is an experienced teacher who knows the "tricks" students will try to just get on to "the good stuff" - and he won't let you. smile

As a side note, when I record these tunes, I do the recording in one shot - no do-overs - just sit down and play it. I want people to hear how I really sound, rather than cut-and-paste to make it seem as if I can do more than I really can. To me, there is no point in recording as I go unless you get to hear what it really sounds like - warts and all. If it was a recording to be marketed, then I suppose every trick in the book to make a quality product, but that isn't what this is. smile

Tony



Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/10/16 12:16 AM
Very nice Tony.

The chords were clean and on-time. The melody was clear.

What Duane says about "Short Changing" a tune just to get to the "Good Stuff" is absolutely right on. If you do that, you will come out the other end (After 52 lessons) and you won't have much of anything. You will "know" a lot, but you won't have it in your hands.

You will move on from time to time without really "mastering" everything in a lesson (to keep your sanity) but it is important for you to recognize that and go back to pick it up before getting too far ahead. That which you have difficulty with is likely to be part of "The Good Stuff". Some things take a long time to become fluent with and you may have to work on that skill a little at a time during many lessons. Just don't stop with it entirely. You might even wish to go back to the lesson where it was first introduced just to have a sense of how much easier it has now become for you.

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/10/16 12:39 AM
Wow,
Our little thread is blowing up smile Tony you're continuing to do very well, way to go! I'm absolutely swamped at work this week. I didn't even get any practice in yesterday, and the only reason I got some in this morning is because I left the lights on in my car yesterday and I had an unanticipated half hour this morning waiting for my car's battery to be recharged by the charger. *sighs* No rest for the weary. I just wanted to pop on and say that I haven't abandoned the thread, I'm just snowed under. I'll be back sometime next week when work things have calmed down. smile

Back to the grindstone...
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/10/16 09:35 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Very nice Tony.

The chords were clean and on-time. The melody was clear.

What Duane says about "Short Changing" a tune just to get to the "Good Stuff" is absolutely right on. If you do that, you will come out the other end (After 52 lessons) and you won't have much of anything. You will "know" a lot, but you won't have it in your hands.

You will move on from time to time without really "mastering" everything in a lesson (to keep your sanity) but it is important for you to recognize that and go back to pick it up before getting too far ahead. That which you have difficulty with is likely to be part of "The Good Stuff". Some things take a long time to become fluent with and you may have to work on that skill a little at a time during many lessons. Just don't stop with it entirely. You might even wish to go back to the lesson where it was first introduced just to have a sense of how much easier it has now become for you.



Thanks dmd. I think I will address some of the rest of your insightful post in a separate post here.

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/10/16 09:35 PM
Originally Posted by fizikisto
Wow,
Our little thread is blowing up smile Tony you're continuing to do very well, way to go! I'm absolutely swamped at work this week. I didn't even get any practice in yesterday, and the only reason I got some in this morning is because I left the lights on in my car yesterday and I had an unanticipated half hour this morning waiting for my car's battery to be recharged by the charger. *sighs* No rest for the weary. I just wanted to pop on and say that I haven't abandoned the thread, I'm just snowed under. I'll be back sometime next week when work things have calmed down. smile

Back to the grindstone...


We will be waiting for you to back to play with us. smile

Tony
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/10/16 09:52 PM
Here are some thoughts about attitude and practicing. I will try to keep this short so I can get more practice time in.

David Sudnow, in his piano course, talked about motivation. Basically, he said to listen to the questions you ask of yourself and others. If you need to know how little practice you can get by with, or how long it will take to learn to play piano, or any of the myriad issues that are often discussed in these forums along those lines (including all that stuff about "talent" and the 10,000 hour rule), then these are very clear indications that we really are not all that interested in learning to play. Instead, such questions and issues indicate that we are interested in getting the results of being able to play (i.e. admiration from others, or any other self-esteem boost from already having the skills) without having to really work at it.

To be successful, we have to love the journey and not be overly concerned about the destination, other than wanting to achieve it regardless of what it takes to do so. We have to learn to accept what each day brings and not worry about how long it takes to complete the journey, which is never really completed anyway. Attitude is everything. When we can actually look forward to practicing, to being able to enjoy when we accomplish the little things that tripped us up last week or last month, then we can know that we have the attitude that will keep us on the path.

There is a book called "Mastery" by George Leonard that is a good, short read along these lines: www.amazon.com/Mastery-Keys-Success-Long-Term-Fulfillment/dp/0452267560

In this book, the daily ritual of practice becomes the important thing - the daily commitment for that day to do what it takes to stay on the path. It is the little things that make the difference between success and failure, and attending to these daily is key. There is much in these forums to completely distract and derail us, and I am seeing that more clearly as I get into my daily ritual. So I have backed away completely now from the forum that discusses/argues about digital pianos, and from posts in this beginner's forum that can get me all excited about the next shiny new method that guarantees my success. This thread and the monthly recital are of primary interest to me now.

For me personally, rather than lengthy discussion about this (which becomes an "avoidance" of practicing in and of itself), what I said here is really good enough for me. Others here can accept or reject as they see fit. I got the book "Mastery" some years ago for $1 at a rummage sale, and it is doing me some good to be reading it again. Mindset is important, and this book is simple and direct and short, so it is excellent for that extra boost of focus from time to time.

Tony

Posted By: Ralphiano Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/10/16 09:59 PM
Originally Posted by fizikisto
Wow,
Our little thread is blowing up smile Tony you're continuing to do very well, way to go! I'm absolutely swamped at work this week. I didn't even get any practice in yesterday, and the only reason I got some in this morning is because I left the lights on in my car yesterday and I had an unanticipated half hour this morning waiting for my car's battery to be recharged by the charger. *sighs* No rest for the weary. I just wanted to pop on and say that I haven't abandoned the thread, I'm just snowed under. I'll be back sometime next week when work things have calmed down. smile

Back to the grindstone...


You're wasting too much time grading. Just give them all "Cs" and get back to piano! laugh
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/11/16 02:07 AM
"To be successful, we have to love the journey and not be overly concerned about the destination, other than wanting to achieve it regardless of what it takes to do so. We have to learn to accept what each day brings and not worry about how long it takes to complete the journey, which is never really completed anyway. Attitude is everything. When we can actually look forward to practicing, to being able to enjoy when we accomplish the little things that tripped us up last week or last month, then we can know that we have the attitude that will keep us on the path."

Well said, TonyB. My sentiments exactly.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/11/16 11:04 AM
Thanks EP. When I post something like this, I am especially reminding myself, as much as I am saying "out loud" to anybody else who might be interested. David Sudnow always referred to this as our "level of caring" about what we are doing. I had all but forgotten these lessons until just recently when I was looking for a way to obtain a mindset for successfully approaching the 52 week course. I need to remind myself daily of the commitment I am making to myself and here in this thread to stay on that path.

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/12/16 02:35 AM
Yesterday, I completed playing through the remainder of the songs for Lesson 5. Today, I reviewed them and then spent the rest of my time applying the techniques to previous tunes and to the tunes in this lesson. This would be no big deal, since it is expected by now. However, a couple of things worth mentioning:

1. The remainder of the lesson was pretty much anti-climatic in that the tunes were much easier than the one that I had struggled with. Maybe that struggle gave me the skills to go through the tunes that followed more easily, I don't know.
2. Instead of using the various techniques exactly as Duane taught them so far, I have been experimenting with variations on them. This is really FUN, making practice really something to look forward to. I can only imagine how much more fun it will be as my hands become better at doing this stuff and my repertoire of techniques to use expands with future lessons.

For what I want to do eventually musically (I have absolutely zero interest in playing something exactly as somebody else wrote and/or played it), it is the experimenting and playing around with the tunes that really interests me. I would say this course is a really good match for me because it is this area that Duane seems to really encourage.

Just some observations...

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/14/16 06:10 PM
Just an update...I have started working on lesson 6. There isn't much to say other than that at this point, there is now a lot more to work on each week, both new and review.

I don't expect this thread to get much activity moving forward. I (and anyone lese here who is doing the work) will continue to progress, lesson by lesson, and it is a combination of daily commitment and seeing myself progress through the videos and books that is keeping me moving forward.

For those reading this, or just talking about doing the work, I don't see much in this thread that will remain of interest once the initial flush of excitement about this shiny new thing starts to wear off and it becomes just a matter of doing the work one day at a time. That part is engaging to those actually doing the work, but probably rather boring to those watching. I will continue to post periodically until the thread gets buried several pages back. However, I will continue to move forward day by day and eventually complete the course. Somewhere toward that end, yo will probably only hear from me in the monthly recital thread, once I have something to offer there.

I sincerely hope that those who have been reading this thread and considering starting a journey of their own, will take that leap and go for it. It really is a lot more fulfilling than just talking about playing piano. Every day, we have a choice as to which "keyboard" we will engage - the computer keyboard or the piano keyboard. Nobody can make that choice for us.

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/19/16 11:40 PM
This thread really died! It is back 6 pages already, and it took a while to find. Anyway, I have not played piano since last weekend because I had to dig pretty deep in one of my fingertips to get an old splinter out.

I realized how easy it would be to let the momentum I had, just slip away the longer I succumbed to that slippery slope, and made an effort to get back on it tonight. This may not seem like a big deal, but those who have been through this cycle will know exactly what I mean, even if they don't openly admit it here. It always starts with a missed day, and then another, and another. Even with legitimate reasons, a person can get completely derailed. It felt really good to "be back", as it were. I reviewed lesson 6 and played through some of what I had already done. I will be working on it for most of next week, including the weekend.

The real motivation for me to stay with it is that I admitted to being little more than a BS'er earlier in this thread, touting this method and that, giving advice here, when I was going nowhere. I would be ashamed to fall back into it, so in a sense, continuing is now the "less painful" path. Even if this thread continues to die and get relegated farther and farther back in forum history, I will remember being brutally honest in an effort to change and really walk the talk. So, in the long run, this is a good thing for me (even "cleansing" in a manner of speaking), as uncomfortable as it has initially been, especially knowing how many people actually read this thread.

Tony

Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/20/16 01:31 AM
Hi TonyB,
I've been following this thread and am one who hopes you don't get derailed from your path.
It's really a matter of how strongly you desire to pursue it. You can't let things like a sore finger get in your way! Power on, no matter what - we're rooting for you, and please keep us posted!
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/20/16 02:14 AM
Originally Posted by EP
Hi TonyB,
I've been following this thread and am one who hopes you don't get derailed from your path.
It's really a matter of how strongly you desire to pursue it. You can't let things like a sore finger get in your way! Power on, no matter what - we're rooting for you, and please keep us posted!


Thanks EP. I am glad that I took the time to let my finger heal this time. I got that sliver some years ago and was playing guitar in a jazz group at the time, so I did just "power on". When it started bothering me again this time, I decided that since I am not gigging at the moment, I would take the time and fix it. i am glad I did, but thanks for the support.

We each probably have different things that motivate us (or not), and mine might not be the most positive thing right now, but it is a powerful motivator and it is working. smile I definitely want to be among those few who actually finish a course of self-study and can play as a result. Both you and Fizikisto have been really motivating in your comments about this 52 week course, and that got me back on track.

By the way, chapter 6 - new inversions of C, F, G7, and D7, as well as strong focus o sustain pedal technique using the "swing bass". Also, counting dotted quarter and eight note combinations while maintaining left hand chording using the various techniques covered so far.

Tony
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/20/16 02:56 AM
TonyB

I missed last week because of crazy work obligations, and an illness, and got very little practice in. I know exactly what you mean about having your momentum derailed. It can be crazy frustrating. But as a very wise man once said, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans." I think when we have setbacks the thing is to just pick yourself up and keep going. Beating oneself up over such things seldom helps. Piano is a lifelong journey, not a short term destination. Things are finally back to normal for me so I'll be resuming my weekly Friday review of old lessons tomorrow. Hopefully this thread will continue, and continue to be of use to people.

Also that sucks about your finger. I hope that it is feeling better!

Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/20/16 04:15 AM
TonyB, I'm glad you took care of your finger - you need all 10! I didn't mean to imply that you should just ignore it and work through the pain, at risk of further damage.
It just reminded me of a guy I know who suffered a stroke which paralyzed his right side, but it didn't stop him from playing the piano. He still works at it, and is now quite good at one-handed piano. I hope I would have that kind of commitment!
Anyway, congrats at getting back on track.
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/22/16 05:13 PM
Wanted to share my experience with this course.

I’m an old beginner (still working a demanding high tech job) , and after buying a few courses (Alfred all in one, Master and Learn Piano, piano for all) starting and stopping many times in the past decade, I finally decided to take piano lessons.

I started with my neighbor, which teaches piano to kids, but did not like her seemingly erratic approach so called it quit after a few months.
I then signed up for a night group class at the local adult enrichment education program , but the class was cancelled for low enrollment….bummer.

I read around the forum about Duane course and watched a few of his videos on youtube.
I liked his playing style and teaching approach and decided to give it a try and ordered the 1st month (4 lessons) of Duane Shinn 52 weeks of Exciting Piano Course.

The total cost was $110, 100 for the lessons and 10 for shipping from Oregon.
The package came in relatively quickly, I ordered on Tuesday May 10, it was shipped via USPS Priority Mail on Fri May 13 and finally received on Monday May 16. So expect to wait around a week, if you buy the course by the week.

The package consist of a binder with a sleeve containing two DVD, one with the four lessons and one with an introduction to the course.
In addition you also get two books, a note/finger chart and a few leaflets advertising additional Duane piano courses (a lot of them!).

The two books are Hal Leonard “Modern” Pianist Book method and a supplemental song book.
Now I put “Modern” in quotes since the book was published in …1962! I could not find it anywhere on the interweb.
In the videos Duane says that the complete method consist of of 4 books plus one supplemental song book for each for a total of 8 books.

I use iPad/Mac so 1st things on order was to rip the DVD to mp4 format , as I do not have DVD players anymore. I did it on a old windows PC I still have around for situations like this. After an hour or so I had the mp4 videos uploaded to my iPad to watch and follow.

In the first introductory video, Duane tells you how to practice and some general info on the course. Quality is bad with VHS tracking noise at the bottom, but is is short (not sure why the separate DVD instead of putting the video on the lesson DVD).

I watched the first 2 lessons, 1st lesson is around 43 minutes, while the others are around 25m each.
At first I got a bit disappointed. Duane jumps right in (which is good) but literally reads from the modern pianist book and tells you to go through the various pieces and exercises. He plays the pieces for you a few times and tells you how to count, hands positions etc. and explains some of the theory. Video quality is VHS, so no HD 1080p 16x9 here smile

In the videos, you can see him sitting at the piano in full figure for most of the lesson, and only toward the end he will switch to the “aerial” view showing his hands on the piano. I like the approach. It is like having the teacher there in your room with you, instead of a headless person talking while playing. In his youtube videos, Duane only shows his hands. He actually call himself the “headless piano teacher” smile

For 1000 dollars, respect to what other courses offer, Duane course seemed a bit of a rip-off, but for some reason I like Duane explaining the book, as a teacher would for definitely more than $25 a lesson I’m sure.
He’s straightforward and tells you that not everything you will learn is in the book (as a matter of fact there is also a sheet of paper saying exactly the same thing, almost as a warning) and that he will provide tips, tricks, techniques in the videos.

So I decided to go give it a try and see how far I can go before price vs what you get is not worth or most likely motivation goes down again.
I just completed the first two pieces in a couple of hours and will start the 3rd one (lightly row) next.
Will see where the first month of lessons will take me.

Hope this helps if you are looking to try Duane 52 weeks piano course.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/22/16 10:49 PM
Stopparde:

Thanks for the "fresh eyes" view of the beginnings of the course. I am sure that many who are reading this will appreciate your honest appraisal. To be sure, the video is definitely not up to today' standards, but the teaching contained within is certainly well worth it. All the DVD are transferred from the original VHS tapes.

As the course progresses (I am only on lesson 6), you will find that Duane does give extra information and explanation, but he does continue to read the book lesson verbatim (throwing in comments as he goes along).

One thing I would suggest is watching the entire video lesson for the week when starting a new lesson. The reason is that he seems to deviate on some things from what the book says. At the bottom of the page on some lessons, the book will say to start using the sustain pedal. Duane, on the video, will say not to. However, when he does start getting into using the pedal, he will explain what all three pedals do, and then really focus in on how to use the sustain pedal. At the end, where he gives you the overhead shots, he will show you exactly what proper pedal usage looks like.

What I do is watch a lesson completely, and take notes. I write down what pages/songs to work on for the week, as well as any extra information he provides. I will go back to certain sections of the video during the week if need be, but having some notes from the video really helps.

I purchased the entire course at once, so I have no idea what does and does not come with it when you buy it in pieces. In that packaging, at the time I purchased it (2003 - 2004), there were two extra DVDs and one CD that were collectively about how to practice and get the most from the course, along with several sheets of paper such as the story "Message From Garcia", the main points of power practicing, etc.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/23/16 01:49 AM
Whew!
One week off from playing and it's like my fingers forgot everything! lol. I started lesson 31 last week but didn't really make any progress because I basically had no time to practice. I went back through lessons 29 and 30 and ugh! I need to spend more time with them. #frustrating #that'sLife. I finally took some time this evening to go back through lesson 3 so that I could do my "pseudo weekly review." Finally something easy smile It's funny, I found all that fake book stuff so hard when i went though it the first time. I would change chords when I wasn't supposed to, flub even simple melody stuff, etc...

Now I just do it. I can throw in swing bass or alberti bass, or walk downs or walk ups, or with my right hand play octaves or chord notes along with the melody or do a dozen other things. The difference between me and Duane is that he can just do it, and I still have to work out what I'm going to do ahead of time and practice it a bit with each song I put the technique to. But I can do it and that's fun and huge progress. I kinda have this goal in mind of finishing the course by christmas, but i'm going to be in europe for 3 weeks this summer with no (or limited) access to a piano so we'll see. I think I can do it, but it's taking me 2-3 weeks to get through a lesson now, sometimes 4. In the end though, it doesn't matter how slow or rapidly I move through the course, I've learned so much, I'm learning so much, and I'm having fun (and only occasionally wanting to rip my hair out smile

In any case, I plan to keep reviewing the old lessons here more or less once a week (missed this past week already doh! but it was finals week and I had a bad cold so hopefully I'll get a pass *grin*). Anyway, here's my review/comments on lesson 3
------------

the lesson starts with Duane giving advice about how to effectively practice. In particular he discusses the virtues of spaced repetition. Rather than practicing in one long block, it's much better to have several shorter practice sessions spaced throughout the day. He advises also focusing on only one thing at a time as you practice. First get the notes down with the left hand, then the right. then add the correct timing, then add dynamics. then put them together, etc... He also describes the value of keeping a practice journal which I strongly agree with.

Then we move on to the songs. the first is Beautiful Isle of Somewhere. Duane begins it with a discussion of how different chords relate to the key of the piece. He talks about how (so far) all the songs we've had are in the key of C. He discusses which chords are most likely to be found in a song and how you can use that to predict which chords are going to be most likely to be found in a song.

The Beautiful Isle of Somewhere has 5 chords in it, C, G, G7, F, and D7. So it gives you a good workout in reading chord symbols and changing chords quite a bit in one song.

The next song is Bicycle Built for Two. In this song he notes that there are patterns evident in the melody, that there are broken up chords. If you see the notes as part of the chord as well as individual notes, it can help you with your reading.

The next song is Aura Lee, which is presented in lead sheet notation, and then the course introduces the Bass clef. Chords are taught by their position on the bass clef. Again, you are learning to recognize them as groups of notes.

He talks about both clefs and using acronyms to learn the names of the note positions on the staff. I personally don't think that's necessary, and it's counter productive. Fortunately Duane covers it but doesn't really do too much with it. It's much better (imo) to have a bunch of landmark notes and then recognize which notes one should play by intervals. This is also something that Duane teaches (though not in this lesson specifically). I suppose the old acronym approach works well for some people with a different learning style than mine, so it's probably good that he presents a variety of approaches.

Then it's on to the supplementary book. The next song is Down in the Valley which goes back to working with lead sheets. This song is really simple and easy. The next song is a little bit more complex, The cowboy's dream (aka My bonnie lies over the ocean). That was actually interesting to me, I didn't know that My Bonnie had a completely different set of lyrics. smile One thing that's interesting in this song is that (since we're still using the pointer chords), the chord note overlaps with the melody note. Duane teaches how to handle that. (Later on we'll learn that you can just move to a different inversion). The final song of the lesson is One, Two, Three, Four. It's another simple song (the melody is really simple, lots of half notes and dotted half notes...lots of space for throwing in fills smile.

So that's lesson 3 in a nutshell. I'll try to not be such a slacker and get a review in of lesson 4 next friday and get back to my regular schedule. I plan to try to keep the pace of reviewing an old lesson once a week at least until I catch up to where I am in the course. As always, we'll see how it goes.






Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/23/16 01:59 AM
Stopparde

Yes, Clearly the videos were made long ago. Somewhere in the course he's moved his computer, a Mac SE into the frame of the shot. So this course is probably older than some of the people reading this forum. smile. The content though, that’s the important thing! The presentation is not very pretty (we'll be kind and call it utilitarian smile. But the content is great!

And yes, each lesson is short. But as Duane points out, in an “in person” lesson you would be talking with the teacher, they would play stuff for you, then have you practice it, etc….but on video he’s providing a one way transmission of information. That’s not ideal as you’re not getting feedback directly from a teacher, but it’s good in the sense that there is a LOT of information conveyed in that 25-30 minutes of the typical lesson and it’s also good that you can watch it over and over. You can literally watch it every day as part of your practice because it’s short enough to reasonably do that. It’s a feature not a bug.

I hope that you’ll give the course a fair shake, It’s not for everyone, but it really does give a huge amount of information. And you’ll be practicing a LOT of different songs. And not just that, you’ll practice each song multiple different ways as you learn new arranging techniques.

It’s crazy hard work, but it’s so worth it! Good Luck with your study of the course! smile

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/23/16 02:07 AM
TonyB,
Just FYI, there's actually one mistake that Duane makes in his discussion of pedal usage (not sure if it was in lesson 6 or later on). He describes the middle pedal as the sostenuto pedal and describes its function as sustaining the bass notes of the piano (so that you can sustain some bass notes then move both hands up to play melody). It's true that on a great many pianos that is indeed the function of the middle pedal, but that's not a true sostenuto function. A proper sostenuto pedal sustains only the notes that are currently playing (regardless of where you are playing them on the keyboard). So, for example, you could hit a chord and sustain it by holding down the sostenuto pedal then play some other notes and not have them sustain (which could make them all run together).

That's a minor nitpick. But I'm a scientist and a teacher, I'm pretty particular about the definitions of things. smile
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/23/16 02:19 AM
I will have to try that on my V-Grand sometime. When I saw that part of the video, I quickly tried the middle pedal on some bass notes and it worked as he describe, but maybe it also works higher up too. I will try to remember to try that. The left pedal seems to make the piano play quieter. I just figure that when I have the technique and the need for those pedals, I will deal with that.

Tony

Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/23/16 02:44 AM
TonyB,
Yes, the leftmost pedal is called the soft pedal. It's also called the Una Corda (or one string). When you play a note on an acoustic piano, the hammer is generally striking multiple strings (for the same note) simultaneously, which gives more volume. The Una Corda pedal moves the hammers so that they only strike one or two strings. This has two effects: One it makes the piano play softer. Two it changes the way the strings sound (though it's a subtle effect) as there are different resonances at play. On almost all digital pianos, I think the una corda pedal just lowers the volume. I think the korg kronos actually has separate una corda samples to bring out the different tonal characteristics as well. Probably your V-piano does it as well, since it's simulation rather than sample based. A pianist could play their whole life and never use the una corda or sostenuto pedals. I've only ever seen a few scores with their use indicated. Actually, I think the Sostenuto pedal wasn't invented until the 1840's, so a lot of classical repertoire predates its existence.

Cristofori's (what a friggin' genius!) original pianoforte had an una corda function, though I think it was a lever that the hand would use to scoot the hammers over) so that function's a bit older. I think the effect was possibly more pronounced on those old pianofortes, with modern pianos the effect is, as I said, subtle which is probably why it's not used so much.

Warm Regards
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/23/16 10:44 AM
Fizikisto,

Yes, the tone changes on the V-Grand when using the leftmost pedal. I probably neglected to say that. Thanks for all the info.

Tony

Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/31/16 09:45 PM
OK, I almost completed the 1st week lesson...and it will take two weeks instead of one.
I missed two days during last week due to working late, but I also got stuck on the second to last piece in 3/4 (sorry forgot the title of the song and I'm writing from work).

I still have to go through the last remaining piece and then the two in the supplementary book. That will definitely need the rest of the week. I typically practice for less than an hour, in a few sessions of 20-30m each. if I spend more time I do not make any progress, so I stop for dinner for example and do another 20-30m again.

For those of you going through this course, was it the same or it is just me ? Any experience you can share also based on your progress through the rest of the lessons.

--stoppa
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/31/16 10:03 PM
Stopparde,
Yes, I find that most of the lessons take me 2-3 weeks to get through, and I was not a beginner at all. I can imagine a complete beginner could take even longer (especially when you get to some of the later lessons -- around lesson 6 or 7 when you not only work on playing the songs as written but start learning different arranging and improvising techniques to apply to those songs, it can take a lot of time to get everything down). Some people consider it a bug rather than a feature that each video lesson is only 30 or so minutes long, but I suspect that they don't realize just how much content is packed into each lesson. I think the idea of completing this course in a single year is, extremely ambitious. But who cares how long it takes if you're learning cool stuff and enjoying making music along the way? Even if this course takes you 2 - 3 years to complete, if you stick to it you'll develop some pretty impressive skills and you'll have built a really solid foundation for going into whatever area(s) of piano playing strike your fancy.

Posted By: TinaLynnLove Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/12/16 10:27 PM
I know this is probably a stretch but I will ask anyway. Does anyone have the course that is not using it / maybe have moved on or didn't like it and wouldn't mind donating it to someone in need... me preferably. I am really wanting to learn and would love this course. If not, no biggie. You can contact me anytime. Thanks.

Posted By: CRTT Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/16/16 06:03 AM
Originally Posted by TinaLynnLove
I know this is probably a stretch but I will ask anyway. Does anyone have the course that is not using it / maybe have moved on or didn't like it and wouldn't mind donating it to someone in need... me preferably. I am really wanting to learn and would love this course. If not, no biggie. You can contact me anytime. Thanks.



Same here I searched e-bay, etc... I would be a buyer if I can find it used somewhere
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/16/16 11:27 AM
I suspect that when we spend that much money on a course, it is a lifetime investment. Even after finishing the course, there is so much in it that we will want to go back to certain parts of it as needed. I see this as somewhat similar to DPs. I have the Roland V-Grand, and would not even think of trading/selling because something newer comes along, as I might with something I didn't pay nearly as much for. The 52 week course is an investment for the long term. Of course, it is possible that somebody somewhere will eventually have reason to sell the 52 week course, but I am not at all surprised that it doesn't often show up used.

Tony

Posted By: Jusca Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/20/16 03:45 AM
Originally Posted by CRTT
Originally Posted by TinaLynnLove
I know this is probably a stretch but I will ask anyway. Does anyone have the course that is not using it / maybe have moved on or didn't like it and wouldn't mind donating it to someone in need... me preferably. I am really wanting to learn and would love this course. If not, no biggie. You can contact me anytime. Thanks.



Same here I searched e-bay, etc... I would be a buyer if I can find it used somewhere


Hah, that makes 3 of us. Unfotunately, in the years I've been eyeing this course, I've never seen it show up used on ebay or anywhere else. frown
Posted By: Martin-H Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/20/16 07:38 AM
There will be one on Ebay UK in the next week.
Posted By: Alan F Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/07/16 01:10 AM
I purchased lessons 1-4 of the 52 week crash course a few months ago.
After working through them, I have decided that I want to take a different path and sell lessons 1-4.

They are "like new" condition and I would sell them for half of what I paid in September. Is there someplace on the Pianoworld forum where I could list them without paying a listing fee? The "products and services for sale" area seems intended for businesses, not individuals.

Thanks,
Alan
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/05/16 04:17 AM
Any Updates on this course?

I'm an adult beginner (2 years playing) and I just finished "Learn and Master Piano" by Will Barrow and Legacy Learning Systems.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to purchase Duane's 52 week crash course. It's a substantial investment (1k), but I'm committed to spending the rest of my life - as my health will permit - learning to play to the piano.

Where is everybody at with their lessons? Has the Shinn course been worth it so far for you? Thanks.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/05/16 06:37 AM
I just finished the first book. It took me 6 months.
So far I'm enjoying it.
For me I need a method that goes slow and add small challenges with every piece.

The pieces are all quite old (all public domain) but so far very melodic.
You having finished L&M Piano, not sure though if there my be material that is too easy. I also have L&M Piano but never quite liked.

Stoppa
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/09/16 08:32 AM
Originally Posted by Stopparde
I just finished the first book. It took me 6 months.
So far I'm enjoying it.
For me I need a method that goes slow and add small challenges with every piece.


Isn't there like 8 books? Do you think it will take you 4 years to finish the crash course?

I read somewhere that the Learn and Master series could take up to 1.5 years to finish and it took me 2. However, I didn't work on it consistently. I worked on other pieces in between lessons. If I do the Shinn Course, I want to just focus on that and really try to get it done in a year.

Quote
The pieces are all quite old (all public domain) but so far very melodic.
You having finished L&M Piano, not sure though if there my be material that is too easy. I also have L&M Piano but never quite liked.

Stoppa


I feel like the learn and master lessons gave me a good introduction to different styles of playing, and good foundation for chords, and got me started on sight reading, but I still don't feel like a piano player. I want to be able to play more than what is just written on the paper. I'm hoping the Shinn course will help me to do more.

Are you just learning to play what's in the book, or are you learning to improvise and enhance what's in the book? Thanks.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/09/16 12:47 PM
The course has 4 lesson books and 4 supplementary books with extra music.
While you do learn to play what's in the books, the real meat of the course is learning to enhance the music that's written. You could get through the course in a year if you tried, but to gain mastery of what he teaches could literally take you the rest of your life.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/09/16 03:53 PM
Originally Posted by EP
The course has 4 lesson books and 4 supplementary books with extra music.
While you do learn to play what's in the books, the real meat of the course is learning to enhance the music that's written. You could get through the course in a year if you tried, but to gain mastery of what he teaches could literally take you the rest of your life.


Thank you. That's what I'm looking for. I want to open up a hymnal and not just play the basic 4 part harmony that's written on the page. I want to be able to play the hymn different ways adding richness, fullness, and more beauty to it. The hymn as it's written sounds ok, but it kind of bland. It sounds like the crash course could help. I'm also looking at his pro secrets and his gospel courses.

I just want to make sure I spend my time practicing in the most productive way possible since I'm an adult learner and time is limited and the future is uncertain.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/09/16 04:18 PM
If you're primarily interested in hymns, you might want to check and see if Duane still has his hymn course. I don't remember what it's called, but he has about 30 or so hymns, each in a separate lesson, and teaches a lot of the same techniques he teaches in the 52-week course but applied specifically to that hymn. Partially depends on what level you are starting at - the hymns course assume you already have some piano and music-reading experience. That's probably the gospel course you're referring to. Might be worth a discussion with Duane to see what your best option would be.
The pro-secrets course is really good if you're disciplined enough to stick with it. It's designed for you to spend an hour a day for a month with each of the 36 lessons - really drilling on a lot of great piano techniques.
You might also want to check out GregHowlett.com - he has courses specifically designed for church pianists.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/09/16 05:57 PM
Originally Posted by EP
If you're primarily interested in hymns, you might want to check and see if Duane still has his hymn course. I don't remember what it's called, but he has about 30 or so hymns, each in a separate lesson, and teaches a lot of the same techniques he teaches in the 52-week course but applied specifically to that hymn. Partially depends on what level you are starting at - the hymns course assume you already have some piano and music-reading experience. That's probably the gospel course you're referring to. Might be worth a discussion with Duane to see what your best option would be.


I tried to contact Duane, but his policy is that he does not talk to students. He will not respond to emails and will not talk on the phone. Evidently he has too many students to do that. I wanted to find out if he felt the 52 week course would be redundant based on what I had studied so far (which isn't much, just L&M series). The only way I can find out is by purchasing it and going though it. Based on what I'm reading in this thread and other places, the course should take me beyond what's written to the areas of learning that I can apply where I want, e.g., hymns. Hopefully it will provide a good foundation for his Gospel series, which I would like to do as a followup. The pro secrets also intrigues me, but I'm not sure where that will fit in.

God bless,
David
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/09/16 06:19 PM
Duane's been in the business for a long time, and has had some health problems, so may be more or less retired now. Too bad he won't respond.
The Pro Secrets and Gospel series would both be good follow-ups to the 52-week course but wouldn't work as well as stand-alone courses unless you already had a pretty good grasp of the material taught in the 52-week course. (I'm not affiliated with Duane or that familiar with his current offerings but I have taken all three of these courses -back when they were on VHS and cassette tape.)
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/10/16 01:25 AM
David B: EP summarized it well. Duane offers various ways to arrange the pieces in the books and you can decide to go the "extra credit" way or stick to the written music.

The reason it took so long for me (beside being slow :)) is that I had a few slow weeks due to relatives visit and I took the extra credit way for a few pieces, one of which took me almost 3 weeks to play relatively well.

You can actually buy just the 1st DVD and book for $100 and, if you decide to continue, get credit toward the entire course.
That is what I did.

--stoppa
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/30/16 09:35 PM
I finished lessons 1-3 in the 52 Week Crash Course and I'm in the middle of Lesson 4. I didn't learn anything new in the first three lessons, but it's been an exercise in sight reading, which I really didn't do much of in the Learn And Master Series.

One thing I've noticed in lesson 4 is that we get right into stride rhythm in the left hand (Duane calls it "Swing Bass"). That was not introduced in the L&M series unto lesson 20 something. Another main difference between the L&M series and the Crash Course is sight reading. You don't really learn sight reading in the L&M series. Also, the L&M series just gives you an overview or introduction to various styles. For example, L&M only covered stride piano on one lesson and then we went on to other stuff and never visited it again. That's pretty much how all 28 lessons were. There wasn't a development of anything particular.

I can tell the 52 week course is going to be much, much more of what I need. I know I will learn how to sight read, and develop different techniques throughout the entire course. I like Duane's systematic approach of building upon each lesson. I can tell that this series will make me a piano player (provided I put the time in).

The Learn and Master series was not a waste of money (it was about 150.00), and it gave a good introduction to playing the piano, I just wish I would have not spent two years messing around with it. If I was starting over with both courses in front of me, I would rather start with Duane's 52 week course. I definitely won't finish this in a year (and I'm trying to get 3 hours of practice in a day), but my goal is to not just get through it, but rather learn all I can from it.

Back to lesson 4 and swing bass. I will update when I can.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/31/16 07:52 AM
yes, "swing bass" is a blast (at least for me)!😀
One day I dream I can go from swing to "rag"....I'm now at lesson 10 btw.

Thanks for the courses comparisons. I know it's early but I wonder after this 52 weeks (or rather 52 months) course, what would be a good way to move forward ?

What people do for example after finishing the 3 Alfred books ?

Happy New Year!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/31/16 08:22 PM
Originally Posted by Stopparde
....I'm now at lesson 10 btw.


Awesome! keep up the good work.

Quote
I know it's early but I wonder after this 52 weeks (or rather 52 months) course, what would be a good way to move forward ?


I went a little crazy when I purchased Duane's 52 week course. I also purchased his Pro Secrets and his praise and gospel series. Total cost was 2k for everything. The material actually costs more than I paid for my digital piano (kawai es8).

So I have a lot to keep me busy for a good 5 years or so.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/31/16 10:53 PM
I was also looking just yesterday at the pro secret course.
Beside being ~$700, it's audio only with one dvd.
Have you had the time to sift through it a bit ? How is the quality of the material?
Maybe I should order one......
Thanks and Happy Learning.
-stoppa
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/01/17 01:07 AM
Originally Posted by Stopparde
I was also looking just yesterday at the pro secret course.
Beside being ~$700, it's audio only with one dvd.
Have you had the time to sift through it a bit ? How is the quality of the material?
Maybe I should order one......
Thanks and Happy Learning.
-stoppa


Since you are doing well with the 52-week course, I would suggest that you just keep going and try to resist getting side-tracked with something else. The biggest road block to making progress is having too many different paths in front of you.

Stay focused on what you started and when/if you finish you will be far better off than flitting around with different directions along the way.

I know ... we all like to buy things. We think buying something will make things go much better. It doesn't seem to work that way. Too much "stuff" can be harmful to our progress.

Good Luck
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/01/17 02:09 AM
Don, I agree! Focus! I'm determined to finish! No distractions 😂
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/02/17 10:09 AM
Originally Posted by Stopparde
I was also looking just yesterday at the pro secret course.
Beside being ~$700, it's audio only with one dvd.
Have you had the time to sift through it a bit ? How is the quality of the material?
Maybe I should order one......
Thanks and Happy Learning.
-stoppa


You're right, it's just audio with one overview DVD where he demonstrates the 36 techniques. The audio is actually very poor quality, but sufficient to learn the material. He mentioned on the first CD that he was 45 years old at the time of the recording. I don't know exactly how old he is now, but I'm guessing that the recordings must be close to 30 years old.

I can't say right now whether it is worth 700 bucks or not. I have started the first technique (straddles), however, I'm not doing the one hour a day routine that the course is geared around.

I figured I start with the pro secrets techniques, but not make it the focus. The 52 week course is the focus for me. I've started the pro secrets just for variety. If it takes me 6 months to learn a single technique, I'm ok with that. I'll be that much further ahead when I finish the 52 week course.

I just completed lesson 4 tonight in the crash course and will be starting lesson 5 either tomorrow or Thursday. I have a busy week coming up. I finished lesson 4 sooner than I thought I would. Probably because I've already been introduced to stride piano in the L&M series. It's fun and I'm glad it starts with with just a few chords (C and G7), that makes it more manageable.

I've actually changed up the rhythm some. Rather than playing root on the first beat and the chord on the first beat of the next measure (like it's written), I've been playing root on the first beat and chord on 2nd and 3rd in 3/4 time, and root on the first and chord on the third in 4/4 time.

Wish I had more time to practice. I absolutely believe there will be significant improvements in my playing if I put the time in with this course.

God Bless,
David

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/02/17 04:03 PM
It sounds as if you are making great progress, David. Duane's course is different from other home study courses because it covers a lot of territory, and does it step by step so you are assured you are really getting it all. To keep costs down, make the process seem less intimidating (i.e. able to claim instant gratification, etc), other such courses tend to focus on just one or a few of the areas that Duane's course covers. Where Duane's course goes in depth, making sure you get it, many course really tend to gloss over important details. Duane is old school, detail-oriented, rather than the "new way" of getting through it as quickly as possible.

However, Duane's course also serves as the gateway to his more advanced courses. I have most of these - improvisation, music theory, 36 techniques, how to play by ear, how to dress up naked music, etc. All of these together serve up a quite well rounded and complete piano education whose focus is on playing songs, rather than solely on classical music.

The one problem I have had with the 52 week course is that it gets rather intense, rather quickly so that if you don't have serious time and energy at the end of the work day to practice, you will fall behind. This course takes sustained commitment. After the first round of excitement, when everything is still new and shiny, the understanding of just how much work is involved starts to sink in. Those with previous piano experience of one kind or another may slide through the first several lessons, but sooner or later, you will hit that "brick wall", where it will be a few weeks of sustained effort to get through the next lesson.

This can be difficult if you have a demanding job and/or other areas of your life are demanding. Think of it as being quite similar to finishing college at night (as I did), because it is very much like that. Anything that has real rewards, will require real sustained effort, whether it is getting that 4 year degree or really learning to play piano.

I have started and stopped this 52 week course any number of times. I am semi-retired, taking engineering contracts for a few months each year for the past few years. I can be doing fine with the 52 week course, but then once I am a week or two into a contract job, I have trouble finding the energy at the end of the day to work on the course. For this year, I am seriously considering just not working so I can continue to make progress at a reasonable pace. Being able to play piano every day, several times a day, is (to me) a good way to approach this course. This type of practice is like watering a lawn. Instead of dumping a ton of water on the lawn in a short time and having most of it just run off, this is like slowly letting the water soak in, where it does the most good. Duane even talks about this approach.

Though Duane sells this course as being for "busy adults", I find that this "busyness" tends to suck the energy out of me, leaving little left when I have time to practice. I think the course is great for retirees who want something real to sink their teeth into, providing structure for the day and real goals that have value rather than the typical shortcuts that many such courses provide.

For working folks, especially older folks whose overall energy level is starting to wane as they near retirement, the course can work, but expect to be stopping and starting as life interferes. Even so, that process helps to prepare you for fully engaging it in retirement.

One of the nice things about this course, and its related follow-on courses, is that when you buy the entire course, you get the whole thing in your home. It is there waiting for you even if you do have to set it aside for a few years. It isn't going anywhere. There is absolutely no guarantee that any of those piano teaching sites will be there that long. With a server providing the course work, it is all too easy for it to pack u and go away if the owner decides there isn't enough interest, or time to maintain it, or profit margin for the time spent, or whatever, not to mention the possibility of the site being hacked or otherwise becoming even temporarily unavailable. You own the Duane Shinn courses and they are there whenever you are ready.

The various courses are expensive compared to other home study courses, but you are getting real quality teaching, specifically designed for self-teaching. Also, you pay the price just once and then from that point on, no more cash outlay, but years of learning the material at your own pace - no missed lessons, rescheduling or having to drive somewhere to take a lesson (important if you live where the winters are long and cold...). The main thing is that you are not sacrificing teaching quality by taking the self-study route with these courses. I can't really say that about the myriad courses I have gotten from elsewhere that claim to do the same thing.

Tony

Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/02/17 04:44 PM
Originally Posted by TonyB
The one problem I have had with the 52 week course is that it gets rather intense, rather quickly so that if you don't have serious time and energy at the end of the work day to practice, you will fall behind. This course takes sustained commitment.


I know what you mean by "sustained commitment." I look at it as slowly plodding along. Although I have very specific goals in mind, the journey for me is also very enjoyable. I actually like learning these simple little pieces and trying to play them with expression. The key is to keep moving forward even if it's at a slow pace. Personally, it's hard for me to stop something once I start it. I get obsessed. I've had various obsessions that have lasted decades. I think the piano will be one of my last obsessions in life.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/02/17 06:14 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Stopparde
I was also looking just yesterday at the pro secret course.
Beside being ~$700, it's audio only with one dvd.
Have you had the time to sift through it a bit ? How is the quality of the material?
Maybe I should order one......
Thanks and Happy Learning.
-stoppa


You're right, it's just audio with one overview DVD where he demonstrates the 36 techniques. The audio is actually very poor quality, but sufficient to learn the material. He mentioned on the first CD that he was 45 years old at the time of the recording. I don't know exactly how old he is now, but I'm guessing that the recordings must be close to 30 years old.

I can't say right now whether it is worth 700 bucks or not. I have started the first technique (straddles), however, I'm not doing the one hour a day routine that the course is geared around.
...........
God Bless,
David



Thanks David,
just one more question: how the recordings are structured ? Does Duane plays the techniques, explains them, both? And how easy is to follow ? I'm more of a visual person and I'm wondering how easy is to follow the lessons with just audio.

Tony
thanks for your write-up and experience. Very interesting to know about a fellow piano student.

In my case I'm still working full time with quite a few years before getting close to any form of retirement. I always thought "when I retire I'll start learning to play piano" , to realize then that "when I retire" is going to be too late!
I started and stopped Alfred a few times and then after joining this forum I discovered Duane course.
I completely agree with you on owning the material more than "streaming" it.
With long term commitment learning such as piano, you need to own the material and have it available when you need it.

That was also the reason why I was contemplating the idea of buying a few of the pro courses. It will take quite a while before I'll be at the level to which I could start the pro though, but I know I have it there available if fancy strike.
But, as we discussed earlier, one of the goal is trying to not be distracted (too much) and keep the focus.

I feel you, when you say that it takes time and energy at the end of the day to go through the lessons. I'm at lesson 10 after 6 months, so not exactly going fast here.
I try to do at least a minimum of 15m every day, so far I skipped around a week due to vacations far from home. Concentration for me is a big issue more than anything else.

Anyway, 2017 resolutions: continue to learn piano more physical activity and of course .....lose weight 😬
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/02/17 06:40 PM
Stopparde,

You can purchase the advanced courses and completely ignore them until you are ready. That is what I have been doing. To me, it makes sense to buy them while they are available. we really don't know how long Duane himself is going to be around to run the business, and after that, what will happen to it. He is probably well along in years by now, as some have mentioned in this thread, considering how long he has been selling the courses. If you wait to buy them until you are finished with the 52 week course, they may not be available anymore. That has happened to other courses from other places in the past. Nothing goes on forever.

Once you have gotten used to Duane's teaching style and are comfortable/productive with it, it would be a shame to have to find something else to move on to from an entirely different teacher whom you may or may not like. Staying with Duane, you have solid consistency, and those advanced courses cover pretty much anything you might want to learn.

One thing I have noticed is that the permanence that I have talked about here seems to be less important to younger generations, who are comfortable with things coming and going on the internet all the time. So it may be that what I am saying sounds really "old school" to some folks. If I find something that works for me, I want it to stay that way. That attitude may be unique to just some of us, so it may well be that this is of little importance to other folks.

Tony

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/03/17 01:43 AM
One Duane Shinn program I would strongly recommend to go along with the 52 week course is the "Specialized DVD Piano Lessons" set. This is a set of 16 DVDs, each DVD focusing on a specific subject such as pedalling, scales, modulation, etc. These fill in the 52 week course with the kinds of things you might be asking a live teacher about during the course of lessons. Rather than being a distraction, these provide additional information. This is not a course, but instead each DVD focuses on just one subject, expanding on what is taught in the 52 week (or any other) course of piano study.

Tony

Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/03/17 08:35 AM
Ha! I did not notice that one! Thanks Tony.
It seems (based on the dvds topics) that some of the material is covered in his videos on youtube ?
Very tempting...
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/03/17 03:52 PM
I don't really know what Duane Shinn has on Youtube. However, what I have noticed for myself is that the computer can be a distraction, so I try to separate my piano time from computer time (which is another reason why I don't want an online subscription to a piano teaching site). I do know that each DVD in that set goes into detail about just that one subject of the DVD. To me, these DVDs collectively represent the kinds of things I would want to ask Duane as I am working through his course. He covers everything in the course itself, but sometimes we want more detail than he provides in a given lesson. He certainly does a good job in the lessons, but there are always a few more things about a given subject we want to know, and these DVDs allow us to get that without getting distracted with yet another course.

Tony

Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/04/17 05:29 AM
Originally Posted by Stopparde

Thanks David,
just one more question: how the recordings are structured ? Does Duane plays the techniques, explains them, both? And how easy is to follow ? I'm more of a visual person and I'm wondering how easy is to follow the lessons with just audio.


So far I've only listened to the first CD on Straddles. He does go over the correct fingering and then walks you through the drill, e.g., C, Cm, Cdim, Caug, C#, C#m C#dim, etc.

He plays it on the piano and you follow along and duplicate what he is doing. If you can't duplicate it then you pause the CD and work on it until you can before going back to the CD.

I found it kind of hard to follow just the audio and was grateful for the DVD overview, but I do believe the course will be sufficient to teach the 36 different techniques.

I work on the straddles for a few minutes each day just to mix things up a bit. Straddles give your hands quite a workout. I definitely could not do it for an hour at time right now. Hope this helps.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/04/17 05:07 PM
That sounds like a good workout that would condition your hands to play boogie woogie. If that interests you, check out Doctor K on Youtube. He has some very complete boogie woogie piano courses. He has each course conveniently set up as a playlist, so it is easy to download these. You can then purchase the books that go with them at very reasonable cost from his site, which the blurb under the videos provide a link to. So, the videos are free, and the books are very reasonable and are pdf downloads.

Tony

Posted By: Classic123 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/06/17 11:49 PM
Is there anyone interested in buying the first 4 lessons of the Crash course from Duane? I have it, but decided to take a different route. Everyone is different and learns in different ways. You might like it as many others in here like it. I'm selling it for $80.00, no shipping cost to deliver it in the US. Please let me know. Thanks.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/13/17 12:34 AM
A few comments on the Duane Shinn course...

I got away from working on it for a few months because I took a contract engineering job and I was too tired when I got home to do anything that required concentration as does this course. The contract finished shortly before Christmas and I promptly got back in to the course. I decided to start over again, and made quick progress through to the 4th lesson, at which point I really slowed down with that "swing bass". I am working through that now.

From what I have read among piano students in general (not just with Duane Shinn), this swing bass (stride piano) is not easy for most folks, but once you get it, you have it for life. In the Shinn course, this is but one of many techniques you will work through.

The thing is that you really have to be able to play all through a lesson comfortably, not just "kinda sorta" fumble through and call it a day. If you do move on too quickly, you will only trip up later on, and probably enough to want to just quit. These skills are presented in an order in which they build on each other, so short-changing one, makes those that follow far more difficult or impossible to learn. I can really see why so many of us buy a course like this and then never get very far. It takes real self-discipline to stick with a lesson for as long as it takes, rather than just moving on after a few days or week in a rush to get to the "good stuff". Without the skills built slowly day by day before the "good stuff", the "good stuff" will never happen. It simply can't.

One of the advantages of a course such as the Duane Shinn course is that you can screw up, quit, think on it for a while, and come back with a renewed interest and a "lessons learned" attitude to do it better this time. There are as many chances as we need to get it right.

To have the self-discipline to really follow through, we have to really, really want these skills. If we can focus on that, we can work through the tough parts, a bit like keeping your eyes on the horizon when trying not to get seasick.

So, if anybody is considering buying this course, you really need to know this is what you want to do. This course IS different from the many self-study courses out there. I know because I have many of them. One thing this course does, that a good teacher does, is to have you build all the skills you need to play well, and doles them out in bite-size pieces so you are not struggling beyond where you should be. You will struggle at times, but not because it is above where you should be. So many course, by the time you are finished, will leave you with holes in your abilities. Maybe you just learn how to accompany a singer, or maybe just learn chord forms and not how to read, or you just learn to noodle with a scale and some chords, or you don't learn striding and different ways to play a tune to keep it interesting. There is a lot to the Duane Shinn course. It is intense, but doable IF we have a strong enough desire to follow through and give ourselves the time it takes to master a lesson before moving on. When you finish this course, you really will have accomplished something worthwhile.

Tony
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/13/17 06:46 AM
+1. Well said Tony. Completely agree.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/15/17 07:46 AM
I finished lesson 5 and will be starting lesson 6 tomorrow. I uploaded a video to youtube of me playing one of the songs in lesson 5 (Alouette) while incorporating a swing bass rhythm in the left hand that was taught in a previous lesson. The music wasn't written with the stride rhythm, but Duane encourages us to incorporate things that we previously learned to create our own arrangements. Therefore this is my first arrangement using what I've learned so far in the course through lesson 5.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMe8VMD-Q18

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/15/17 11:50 AM
Originally Posted by David B
I finished lesson 5 and will be starting lesson 6 tomorrow. I uploaded a video to youtube of me playing one of the songs in lesson 5 (Alouette) while incorporating a swing bass rhythm in the left hand that was taught in a previous lesson. The music wasn't written with the stride rhythm, but Duane encourages us to incorporate things that we previously learned to create our own arrangements. Therefore this is my first arrangement using what I've learned so far in the course through lesson 5.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMe8VMD-Q18

God Bless,
David


Terrific !!!

Now ... the question I have is this ...

How much of that is coming from things you learned in the Duane Shinn course ?

I am assuming you had been taking lessons or were working in some other method book prior to purchasing the Duane Shinn course. Am I right ?

Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/15/17 04:30 PM
Originally Posted by dmd


Terrific !!!

Now ... the question I have is this ...

How much of that is coming from things you learned in the Duane Shinn course ?

I am assuming you had been taking lessons or were working in some other method book prior to purchasing the Duane Shinn course. Am I right ?


Thank you. As I mentioned earlier in this thread I've been playing for 2 years and I completed the Learn and Master Piano lessons (28 of them) by Legacy Learning and Will Barrow. However, everything I did in the Alouette song has been covered by Duane through lesson 5. I just probably picked it up a little quicker because to some degree it was already covered in the Learn and Master series. There was one lesson in the Learn and Master series that introduced swing bass/stride piano.

So far the biggest difference between the two is that Duane is teaching the complete package. Sight reading, improvisation, theory, etc., in a very systematic way. The Learn and Master series really only gives an introduction to lots of things without getting in depth with anything. It's a good series, but I wish I didn't mess around with it for two years. I truly believe that I would be much further ahead if I had started Duane's crash course two years ago.

Today is going to be a fun day. Watch a little Football and start lesson 6.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/15/17 06:59 PM
Hi David,
nice video ! Now now, the arpeggios and little embellishment are not (yet) part of Duane course.....but very well played (for what is worth coming from me..)

Were the arpeggios covered in Learn and Master ? which lesson , do you rememeber ?

Anyway, I should be able to finish lesson 10 by end of next week, now mastering "Wally Polly Doodle" from supplemental book 1.
--stoppa
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/15/17 07:38 PM
Originally Posted by Stopparde
Hi David,
nice video ! Now now, the arpeggios and little embellishment are not (yet) part of Duane course.....but very well played (for what is worth coming from me..)


Thank you. Actually the arpeggios are covered. In lesson 5 there are two songs that break up the chords in closed arpeggios, and even though it's not in the songs yet, Duane contrasts the difference between closed and open arpeggios. Of course I opened the arpeggio up in the song I played, but you're right, technically, the open arpeggio isn't covered yet in the book material. However, I get the feeling that a lot of the good material isn't going to come from the books, but rather carefully listening to Duane.

Quote
Were the arpeggios covered in Learn and Master ? which lesson , do you rememeber ?


Arpeggios are introduced in lesson 10 with a simplified version of Amazing Grace using the 1st 3rd and 5th of a broken chord in the left hand. Then they are actually one of the central themes of lesson 12. However, it doesn't really build on the technique after that. Like every other subject in the course, you just get a basic introduction, and then you're on your own to figure out how to develop it in the future. The course is good for what it is.

Quote
Anyway, I should be able to finish lesson 10 by end of next week, now mastering "Wally Polly Doodle" from supplemental book 1.
--stoppa


That's wonderful. Keep up the good work. I do believe it will be worth all the time and effort. We will reap what we sow and Duane is giving us good seeds to plant that I believe will produce much fruit if we do our part. I wish you all the best in your journey.

God bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/05/17 06:51 AM
I finally finished lesson 7. It took me two weeks to finish. This is the first lesson in the series that took me more than a week. I actually had the music in the books competed in the first week, but then I spent the second week applying previous techniques into the songs. This type of practice is something that Duane encourages, and in lesson 7 he gave some instruction on what could be done with the songs. I can tell this course is going to take more than a year (for me) since a lot of the practice is going to include more than what is written in the books. I would imagine as I learn more techniques, the practice is going to get longer and more difficult.

Here is an upload of a song from lesson 7 ("Sonata Theme") that I arranged using techniques from the previous lessons. I added a little more intricate swing bass, and arpeggios in the left hand, and a little more harmony to the melody in the right hand rather than just the single note melody as written in the book. I can't wait to start lesson 8 tomorrow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owPbGUIy31E

God Bless,
David



Nice job.
Hang in there!
And don't rush to the next song.
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/05/17 11:40 AM
Very well done.

It appears you have the right idea.

If you just keep "inching" along and you will come out the other side as a very good player.

Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/07/17 06:56 AM
Originally Posted by RaggedKeyPresser

...And don't rush to the next song.


That's a good counsel. A lot of the songs in the books don't appeal to me from a melody standpoint. Therefore, I don't spend the time to really get them perfect since I'm probably never going to play them again. However, I've had to think about when is the appropriate time to move on.

So far through lesson 7 the course has mostly been an exercise in sight reading for me. Therefore, when I stop reading the music and start playing the song from memory, I figure it's time to move on even if the song is not perfect. Some songs I stay a little longer with because I like them better.

Lesson 8 is introducing a new technique (Alberti bass), so combining that with the swing bass and broken chord rhythms, the practice time is going to get longer with the songs I want to apply those techniques to.

I guess for me it's going to be whether I like the song and I feel it's worth spending the extra time on it. One of the songs in lesson 8 is a hymn (My faith looks up to Thee) and I really love the hymns. So that song is going to get some special attention.

I think that slowing down and enjoying the journey is good counsel. Thanks.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/07/17 06:58 AM
Originally Posted by dmd
Very well done.

It appears you have the right idea.

If you just keep "inching" along and you will come out the other side as a very good player.



That's what I'm hoping for. Thanks for the encouragement.

God Bless,
David
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by RaggedKeyPresser

...And don't rush to the next song.


A lot of the songs in the books don't appeal to me from a melody standpoint. Therefore, I don't spend the time to really get them perfect since I'm probably never going to play them again. However, I've had to think about when is the appropriate time to move on.

Some songs I stay a little longer with because I like them better.

Lesson 8 is introducing a new technique (Alberti bass), so combining that with the swing bass and broken chord rhythms, the practice time is going to get longer with the songs I want to apply those techniques to.

I guess for me it's going to be whether I like the song and I feel it's worth spending the extra time on it.

I think that slowing down and enjoying the journey is good counsel. Thanks.

God Bless,
David

David,
Some thoughts...
One way might be to clearly establish what is being taught in each lesson, and what needs to be worked on and conquered. And make sure it is a step-by-step process, with the steps not too far apart.
Then abandon the worn out, sometimes uninteresting melody, and replace it with something else since the melody itself serves no purpose at all really in this case.
Be creative, turn the melody upside down, play it backwards, replace it with scale fragments, chord arpeggios, use some other melody or make up your own, anything, if you actually really need something for the RH.
The point is to work on the stuff what seems to matter for the LH mainly at this stage. Otherwise come up with melody or scale fragments in 3rds or 6ths for the RH...or anything that fits in, and combine it with the LH.
What is scary and what might seem difficult is to abandon the strict teaching material. But it is possible to return to it at any time.

I think the trick is to take control of the material being learned and master it at every level, but only what is of importance. And that includes all the theory behind each piece. When you know that, there is nothing to memorize and the current piece is just there. It doesn't have to be saved in permanent memory for all eternity.

Might seem like a daunting task, but not too bad at this level of music. And it gets easier with the habit of always doing it.

I've been exactly at the same situation and working on the same course. I didn't know at that time what I know now, though. It also takes time to develop the ear...really.

I would say, stick to the course, sort out what is important and master that, don't be a hostage to the melody...abandon and replace at will.
I dug out my copy of the same course. It's been a long time since I looked at this and I've taken on a different learning course of action later. I thought I would find it interesting to see my view of the material at this point of the game.
I checked out lesson 5 and the song Faith Of Our Fathers.

My first impression is that there is WAY too much spoon feeding for my taste (I don't speak for anybody else). All the extra material gets in the way of the real stuff. I had to sort out and discard a lot of unessential stuff.

I thought I would explore how to most efficiently (for me anyway) to learn the song (Which really is the main objective here...no difficult keyboard finger skills to work on here. Not a technical skills lesson. So it's really a song learning lesson.), I disassemble it and reduce it to:

Key C
3/4 time
No modulation...just an extra chord for flavour (can be used as a memory aid)
Structure in multiples of 4 bars
Organised as verse...verse...tag
One chord strike for the whole bar repeated throughout
Every repeated chord is using the same established fingering

Bars 1-4: I I IV I Main melodic idea...call
5-8: IV I V7/V V7 response

9-12 I I IV I Original idea
13-16 IV I V7 I Variation of response

17-20 IV I V7 I Tag...call
21-24 I IV V7 I ...response harking back to orig. melody...ending on perf. cadence

Learn the simple melody in RH (No harmonizing notes etc) by ear and memory
Drill the chord changes in the LH (Nothing unusual...spend a bit extra time on the V7/V to V7 memorize the chord name and finger movements)
Memorize the sound of the chord movements

That's about it...

No need to do anything more with this. No unique chord progressions to memorize long term...all standard.
No need to long term memorize this. Once learned, then next time referring to my reduced notes it would only take a few minutes or less to relearn into short term memory.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/07/17 03:40 PM
Originally Posted by RaggedKeyPresser

Some thoughts...
I've been exactly at the same situation and working on the same course. I didn't know at that time what I know now, though. It also takes time to develop the ear...really.

I would say, stick to the course, sort out what is important and master that, don't be a hostage to the melody...abandon and replace at will.


Thank you. I've read your post in it's entirety and I appreciate the thoughtful advise and I can see the wisdom in it.

Did you eventually complete the course?

God Bless,
David
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by RaggedKeyPresser

Some thoughts...
I've been exactly at the same situation and working on the same course. I didn't know at that time what I know now, though. It also takes time to develop the ear...really.

I would say, stick to the course, sort out what is important and master that, don't be a hostage to the melody...abandon and replace at will.


Thank you. I've read your post in it's entirety and I appreciate the thoughtful advise and I can see the wisdom in it.

Did you eventually complete the course?

God Bless,
David


Thanks David,
I finished lesson 16 and started on lesson 17. Then I ran out of steam/interest, and started looking at other options.
Probably because I realized that I needed to work on, or else miss out on, learning real traditional classical techniques.
Stuff that is for now anyway simple harmonically, but very challenging (and sometimes rapid) finger techniques, LH - RH coordination etc.

It's not that I've totally written off this course, though. Not at all.
I'm planning to go through it later song by song with more patience, after reaching a certain standard on the classical techniques, or possibly even before on and off.

And then I will sift through all the stuff to make it structurally easy to know and learn quickly. Like a road-map of the piece.
Once finding the way to Grandma's...map not needed anymore.
Only for later reviews.

I'm not satisfied with just playing from sight-reading.
And my mind is really balking at the idea of memorizing a piece from start to end without understanding anything, but the sound. I guess that is after I realized that it can be played both without sheet music and without the process of memorization.
And that done just from knowing the structure and knowing all the details of the song.
So that's why I like to break it down into smithereens, sort, classify, and the job is done.
Reverse engineering.
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/16/17 07:10 PM
Originally Posted by RaggedKeyPresser
Thanks David,
I finished lesson 16 and started on lesson 17. Then I ran out of steam/interest, and started looking at other options.


This is an all-too-common occurrence.

We buy the "Final Solution" with great hopes for nirvana.

But, alas ... it does not turn out as we had hoped.

For that reason I would be reluctant to spend that kind of money on piano instructional materials.

In the final analysis, it seems that lessons with a teacher can end up being the best option. With maybe some software lessons or books adding to an occasional lesson.

Or NOT !!

Who knows. We all are searching for "the answer" but there does not seem to be one size fits all.

Good Luck


Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/06/17 02:03 AM
I finished lesson 9 and will be starting lesson 10 this week. Here is an arrangement of a hymn from lesson 8 (I love the hymns) in which I have found a way to work in all the techniques covered by Duane through lesson 9. It has Alberti bass (which was new to me), stride rhythm in the left hand, a walk up, and contrary movement. The piano sound is my new Ravenscroft 275. I can't wait to start lesson 10. Duane keeps giving a preview of what we'll be learning and it makes me wish I had eight hours a day to practice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbxT-oQGoNU

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/06/17 02:15 AM
Originally Posted by David B
I finished lesson 9 and will be starting lesson 10 this week. Here is an arrangement of a hymn from lesson 8 (I love the hymns) in which I have found a way to work in all the techniques covered by Duane through lesson 9. It has Alberti bass (which was new to me), stride rhythm in the left hand, a walk up, and contrary movement. The piano sound is my new Ravenscroft 275. I can't wait to start lesson 10. Duane keeps giving a preview of what we'll be learning and it makes me wish I had eight hours a day to practice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbxT-oQGoNU

God Bless,
David


Hi David,

I must say .... You are doing very well with this course.

If you keep at it in the focused manner which you apparently have you are going to get your money's worth from this course.

That sounded very, very good and near professional level.

Bravo !!!!!!!!!!!

You are doing well, David
I will see if I can work on this in parallel with the other stuff I'm doing.
My idea is to vocalize at the same time, learning each song away from the sheet music, and work it up to tempo.
I'm no singer, so far anyway. But belting out the tune at the same time should be good for ear training. I don't have to worry if somebody is listening, so I can totally let go.
I started arbitrarily on "Faith Of Our Fathers", since that was discussed recently.
Just doing held chords while learning the structure first. But I find that some of the chord changes at tempo, are not as smooth as they ought to be.
So doing some work on that first.
T.c.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/06/17 04:01 PM
Originally Posted by dmd


That sounded very, very good and near professional level.



Thank you for the kind affirmation. I did laugh out loud when I read the quote above. laugh

I painfully regret not learning to play the piano as a child. Now as an adult learner I have to spend so much time learning just the basics. That's why I laughed when I read "professional" while thinking about how challenging it was for me to learn the Alberti pattern, or the molasses like pace I have to take while reading the single note melody songs in the books that accompany this course.

However, I do feel more like a piano player after 9 lessons of Duane's course than I did after 28 lessons of the Learn & Master course. At least with Duane's course I'm learning complete songs and getting the opportunity to apply the techniques he is teaching to the songs. The L&M series never did that. You would learn a technique and then move on never getting a chance to develop it. At the end of the course I felt like all I could do was play a few riffs in different styles.

So much to learn. I hope I can live long enough to get past the basics and play beautiful music that speaks to my heart. Thanks again for the kind response.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/06/17 08:40 PM
Originally Posted by David B
So much to learn. I hope I can live long enough to get past the basics and play beautiful music that speaks to my heart.


Oh ... I would not give that a second thought.

You are young enough so you will absolutely accomplish that ...

IF ...

If you just keep pluggin' away without too many detours.

Good Luck
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/06/17 10:48 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by David B
So much to learn. I hope I can live long enough to get past the basics and play beautiful music that speaks to my heart.


Oh ... I would not give that a second thought.

You are young enough so you will absolutely accomplish that ...

IF ...

If you just keep pluggin' away without too many detours.

Good Luck


Good counsel. Thanks.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/17 05:22 AM
I started lesson 14 and below is a song I just uploaded from lesson 12 that I like. It's a hymn (We Three Kings in Am). As usual we first learn to play the music as it is written (very simple single note melody and basic block chords in the left hand), then Duane gives us arraigning techniques and encourages us to arrange the song in a creative way. The arranging techniques are getting progressively more difficult and it's taking me longer to complete a lesson. I believe this course is going to take me over two years to finish. So far the journey has been enjoyable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOeu5eIIFB0

God Bless,
David



Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/17 06:24 AM
That's beautiful, David. Your playing always impresses me.

You've probably answered this before, but I don't recall - are we hearing an unprocessed ES8 sound? If so, which one?

Oops, sorry! Didn't look at your signature. Is this Ravenscroft or . . .?
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/17 06:33 AM
Originally Posted by pwl
That's beautiful, David. Your playing always impresses me.

You've probably answered this before, but I don't recall - are we hearing an unprocessed ES8 sound? If so, which one?

Oops, sorry! Didn't look at your signature. Is this Ravenscroft or . . .?


Thank you.

I've experimented with some virtual pianos (pianoteq and TrueKeys), but I keep coming back to the ES8 internal sounds. In the most recent song I uploaded (We Three Kings) I'm using the SK-EX concert grand internal sound. I do have my keyboard touch sensitivity set to Light+ which gives it a brighter sound, and I have the internal bass boost setting on as well which obviously enhances the lower frequencies. I think it sounds very nice though my monitors. That's pretty much it.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/17 05:06 PM
Welll played David! Keep it up.

How long it took to master it like that ? I just started lesson 13 now.
Lesson 12 took me almost 2 months but with a few forced pauses in between!

--stoppa
Nice!
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/17 07:46 PM
Originally Posted by David B
I started lesson 14 and below is a song I just uploaded from lesson 12 that I like. It's a hymn (We Three Kings in Am). As usual we first learn to play the music as it is written (very simple single note melody and basic block chords in the left hand), then Duane gives us arraigning techniques and encourages us to arrange the song in a creative way. The arranging techniques are getting progressively more difficult and it's taking me longer to complete a lesson. I believe this course is going to take me over two years to finish. So far the journey has been enjoyable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOeu5eIIFB0

God Bless,
David



You are playing beautifully.

I have to ask, though ....

Why are you pausing between each phrase ?

Is it because you need the time to get ready for the next phrase or do you just like the sound of doing it that way ?

If it is because you need the time for preparing then I would suggest working that pause out of there before going on.

Anyway .... you are playing very beautifully and your technique looks great. Keep it up.

Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/17 11:03 PM
Originally Posted by Stopparde
Welll played David! Keep it up.

How long it took to master it like that ? I just started lesson 13 now.
Lesson 12 took me almost 2 months but with a few forced pauses in between!

--stoppa


Thank you.

I started lesson 12 on March 21st (which is when I would have started that song). Some songs in the lessons I learn well enough to move on (not perfect) and then never play those songs again. However, the hymns I'm keeping in my repertoire. Therefore, I end up playing those on a regular basis and get comfortable with them.

I could easily see this course taking over two years to finish, maybe even closer to three. I've been pretty consistent in my practice with the exception of a few days here and there where I just didn't have the time.

God Bless,
David

P.S. Edited to add that it took me three recordings of that song and it was the third one that I uploaded because that one sounded the best to me. So I don't think I can play that song on demand perfect every-time.

Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/07/17 11:20 PM
Originally Posted by dmd

You are playing beautifully.

I have to ask, though ....

Why are you pausing between each phrase ?

Is it because you need the time to get ready for the next phrase or do you just like the sound of doing it that way ?

If it is because you need the time for preparing then I would suggest working that pause out of there before going on.

Anyway .... you are playing very beautifully and your technique looks great. Keep it up.


Thank you.

I've added the pauses in there because to me it seems to add a little tension to the song. Perhaps tension is not the right word, but that melody in the key of Am seems to have a darker feel to it, and the pauses to me seem to add a little more drama to the song. I guess it's just my way of trying to be expressive. Thank you for noticing that.

I'm am working on another song to upload in the next day or so from lesson 11 and it is totally different in feel from We Three Kings. Pauses would not enhance this song. There is a lot of tripletized walk ups that make it really fun and upbeat to play. It's also a great hymn as well. My favorite one in the course so far. Duane gave us a lot of fun things to do with it.

God Bless,
David

Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/09/17 12:33 AM
Here is a song from lesson 9 that I really like. Duane gave us some fun things to do with this song. The techniques were new to me. Octaves with 3rd and 6th harmonics added in, tripletized walk-ups and downs.

As it's been noted before, the biggest benefit to this course is not only learning how to read music because that's what we have to do every lesson with numerous songs, but in my opinion, the value in each lesson is Duane's instruction on theory, improvisation, and arranging. That's what takes the most time for me with each lesson. Duane keeps giving us teasers by showing us what we're going to learn in the future and I just wish I could accelerate my learning process, but I have to accept that it's going to take time, effort, and consistent work at the bench. One thing I realize now is that there are no short cuts. If you want to learn, you have to put the time in. I wish I had a child's brain because as an adult, I think the learning process is a lot slower.

This has been my favorite song to learn so far because it's a great hymn with an incredibly positive message (for me).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbAVvD9rOgA

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/25/17 06:03 AM
Here are a couple of songs I like from lesson 14 (I'm in the process of finishing up lesson 15).

This song is Volga Boatman and it was mostly arranged by Duane. It was a tough song for me to learn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLNIancAX64

This next song is Artists Life Waltz and it is arranged by me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2VECr4YhDM

The lessons are getting longer and harder, but the journey is fun. I'm still hoping to be halfway through this course by the end of the year.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/25/17 07:38 AM
As always, David, very nice! I do enjoy your work at the ES8!

Can you talk a bit about the ways in which Volga Boatman was difficult, and also a bit about your arranging process for Artists Life Waltz?
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/25/17 07:33 PM
Originally Posted by pwl
As always, David, very nice! I do enjoy your work at the ES8!

Can you talk a bit about the ways in which Volga Boatman was difficult, and also a bit about your arranging process for Artists Life Waltz?


Thank you.

Volga Boatman was difficult for me to get the piece up to the right tempo (75-80 bpm). I was stuck for a while playing is slower. It was the chord inversion transitions that was stumping me up. I wasn't used to them.

For Artists Life Waltz I switched up the left hand between chording and arpeggios. With the right hand I added some some harmony notes (the score is single note melody) and on the second verse I re-harmonized the melody (that's what Duane calls it).

Most of the songs in the lesson books I don't care to play again after I learn them, but these two I kind of like.

God Bless,
David

Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/07/17 06:27 AM
I finally finished lesson 15 after several months. I've been traveling a lot (most of July and August) and only recently purchased a keyboard to take with me when I travel.

Here are two cool songs that I like from lesson 15. I've done something a little different. I played a few bars of the song the way it's written in the lesson book. Then I played it using the techniques Duane has taught us so far. I wanted to show the diversity of what is being taught. I like the way Duane explains the theory and builds on the lesson after we've learned how to read/play the song the way it's written.

The first is called Bicycle Made for Two. I like the walk-ups and downs from C to F or G to C. They are fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NEa56xGmD8

Then next song is Salut D'Amour. After I played it the way it's written, I play through the song two more times using different arrangements that Duane showed in the lesson. This is also a fun song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04C_RG8AbXA

I'm looking forward to starting lesson 16, but unfortunately I'll be traveling for another couple weeks this month and don't know how much time I'll have to practice.

God bless,
David
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/07/17 12:37 PM
Hi David ....

Great Job !

You are absolutely doing things in the right way.

You seem to have become the "proof" that this course will work if you do things the way Duane suggests and do it well before moving on.

Keep it up.
Posted By: dogperson Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/07/17 01:08 PM
Hi David
I second the accolade of "great job" I was impressed how you were able to vary the original score based on your training
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/07/17 07:49 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Hi David ....

Great Job !

You are absolutely doing things in the right way.

You seem to have become the "proof" that this course will work if you do things the way Duane suggests and do it well before moving on.

Keep it up.


Thanks. Lessons with Duane in person would be ideal, but this course is the only option. I'm glad I learned about it here.


Originally Posted by dogperson
Hi David
I second the accolade of "great job" I was impressed how you were able to vary the original score based on your training


Thanks. This is something I appreciate about Duane's course. I'm not only learning how to read music, but all the additional instruction that Duane teaches with each lesson makes it interesting. So far he has been building on the some of the basic concepts. The songs in the lesson books are pretty boring (necessary to learn how to read) and if that's all I was learning, I probably would have given up on the course by now.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/21/17 12:19 AM
I'm currently on lesson 19, but here is song from lesson 17 (Sweet Rosie O'Grady), which was the hardest song for me to learn so far in this course. It's even harder than the songs in lesson 18 and 19. Duane introduced several new arrangement techniques that were new to me. I'm not able to do them all e.g., multiple octave runs, but I do what I can. Duane doesn't expect us to learn everything perfectly, but to be aware of what is possible while slowly adding to our arrangement techniques.

In the video below I'll play the song once through the way it's written in the lesson book and then the way Duane arranged it. I don't play it perfectly and I don't think it's a song I'm going to continue to practice, but it was necessary to learn since it's the only song Duane covered in lesson 17 and we have to get comfortable with the techniques before moving on.

God Bless,
David

Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/21/17 12:40 AM
Hi David,

Well, you have done it again.

Great Job !!!!

You just about have me ready to jump into that course. LOL ....

I do not think I would discard that one if I were you.

That will sound really nice after you get more comfortable with it.

Keep it up.
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/21/17 06:16 AM
VERY impressive, David - and such fun, too, in the Shinn arrangement! And that MP11SE is sounding pretty durn nice!!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/21/17 06:15 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Great Job...
I do not think I would discard that one if I were you.


Thanks. It's a nice song, but since I have a limited time to practice, I'm hesitant to continue adding songs to my repertoire that will require more time to keep up. My ultimate goal is to learn how to make hymns more beautiful. I actually have Duane's Praise and Gospel Course, which I hope to start after this 52 Week (more like 120 week) course is done. At this point in my experience keeping a large repertoire up can be very time consuming.


Originally Posted by pwl
VERY impressive, David - and such fun, too, in the Shinn arrangement! And that MP11SE is sounding pretty durn nice!!


Thanks. Duane does make it fun that's for sure. Currently I'm using one of the SK Concert Grand presets. They've tweaked a number of the parameters.The sound was actually buried in one of the sound banks (M1 or 2) under the title "12 Foot Grand." It's very close to sounding like their main SK grand sound with just a bit bigger and brighter feel. I like it.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: MuddyFox Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/22/17 09:10 AM
Originally Posted by David B


Most of the songs in the lesson books I don't care to play again after I learn them, but these two I kind of like.



Originally Posted by David B

Thanks. This is something I appreciate about Duane's course. I'm not only learning how to read music, but all the additional instruction that Duane teaches with each lesson makes it interesting. So far he has been building on the some of the basic concepts. The songs in the lesson books are pretty boring (necessary to learn how to read) and if that's all I was learning, I probably would have given up on the course by now.



I just stumbled across this thread looking into various online learning resources and I just have to pick your brain about this. smile

You seem to be doing really, really well. How good does one have to be to realistically to be able to get the most out of this course. I read that you were a 2-year beginner when you started (a few pages back), how far along were you really at that time? Do you think you could have started on DS sooner or even that you should have started later?

I like what I read about the course and the way it's laid out to make one not only learn to read music but also various concepts needed to actually make music with it. That's exactly the structure I'd need (as a rank beginner on piano of a few months but not new to music) but what's stopping me are your two quotes. I simply don't find any of the songs stimulating enough to put the required time in. None of them sound like anything I'd like to be able to play at a drop of a hat or retain indefinitely so it's very hard for me to dedicate that amount of time (that's crazy for me, given my schedule) over the period of x years (and yes, that's how much it'd take if you think it'll take you three years to finish it). That's just not the kind of music I'd look forward to practicing day in and day out, sadly. And I'm not aware of any other online resource that works this way but employs a different genre of music as a learning vessel. So I'm pretty torn about it right now... smile

And while I have your ear, I was just curious... what exactly made you switch from ES8 to MP11SE?
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/22/17 04:08 PM
MuddyFox,
The course assumes no prior experience. So yes, a complete beginner could work their way through the course. But here's the thing. The only real negative to this course (imo) is that there's a sense of false expectation created by the model. 52 weekly lessons. I don't think any beginner could reasonably be expected to work through the course in just one year. Each lesson takes about 30 min of video, but the difficulty of the assignments ranges considerably throught the course. Some lessons, even late in the course, you might be able to get through in a few days. On the other hand, some of the lessons might take a month or more to master. So if you feel like, oh geez I spent two weeks on this lesson and I'm still not getting it, I think the temptation to give up would be very strong. Around lesson 7-ish, duane introduces swing bass. That's the first really hard and a huge hurdle, and it happens pretty early in the course. I suspect that a lot of people who try the course give up around then. But if you commit to just working through the course and not giving up, you'll make real progress and you'll be amazed at how much you can learn from it. Compared to a lot of options, it's a very expensive course. Though, if you think of it as being in some way (roughly) equivalent to 2-3 years of private lessons it's not quite as bad, price-wise. It's a waste of money if you're just going to buy it and have it sitting on a shelf. But if you work through it, it's totally worth the money imo. I would say if you're willing to make that commitment, and you have the means, buy the course.

As for the cheesy music, I don't think there's any course out there that's going to be satisfying in that regard. Most courses use public domain music (the crash course does) because 1) most of the songs are familar so you have an idea what the music should sound like and 2) it's free. If they had beatles tunes or whatnot they'd have to pay royalties which would make things more expensive.

There are some method books that have attempted to use more interesting/popular music, ken baker's complete piano player method book for example. But even that had only short sections of popular songs, and very limited beginner's arrangments. I don't think using a book like that would be any more satisfying than a more usual method that uses traditional (cheesy) standards.

But here's the thing. The course is all about learning to arrange music. You can apply the techniques to any sheet music you have. So there's nothing that says you can't supplement the material in the course with more interesting music. One of the things the course teaches you is how to play from a lead sheet/fake book (it teaches you how to read/play from traditional notation as well). You could an inexpensive fake book of popular music and add a couple of popular songs from it to each lesson; for example, and then you could work on applying the techniques from that lesson to the more interesting music. Of course that would mean the course took even longer to work through, but it also might make it a lot more fun for you. It's not a race after all.

Also, here's the other thing. Some of the arrangments that duane does/teaches are really cool. He actually makes some of those cheesy songs really fun and interesting. You can also view that as a personal challenge. Rather than, "god I have to get through this awful song" you can have the attitude "making this cheesy song fun is going to be a challenge, let's see what I can do!" I think that sort of mind frame can help a lot.

Warm Regards,
Fizikisto
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/22/17 04:46 PM
Originally Posted by MuddyFox

I just stumbled across this thread looking into various online learning resources and I just have to pick your brain about this. smile

You seem to be doing really, really well. How good does one have to be to realistically to be able to get the most out of this course. I read that you were a 2-year beginner when you started (a few pages back), how far along were you really at that time? Do you think you could have started on DS sooner or even that you should have started later?


Hello Muddyfox,

I'll second everything that fizikisto just wrote. He is spot on.

Regarding my experience prior to the starting the Duane Shinn course at the beginning of this year, yes I had two years of experience with another course (Learn and Master Piano). It was a 28 lesson course and it took me two years to finish. Prior to that I had never played piano before. However, I really, really wish I would have started the Shinn course first and not spent anytime with the previous L&M course. Without getting into a comparison between the two courses, I would highly recommend any beginner to start the 52 week course. Just remember what fizikisto said, it's really not possible for a beginner to finish the course in 52 weeks. Take your time and enjoy the journey.

Quote
I simply don't find any of the songs stimulating enough to put the required time in.


Everyone should have a long-term goal. If your long-term goal doesn't include a repertoire with these songs in it, but it does include knowing the other things the course teaches, i.e., reading music, arranging music, understanding music theory, a toolbox of arrangement techniques in multiple styles, etc., then you'll recognize that the songs in the course are a means to an end and not an end within themselves. Personally, I want to learn how to apply what I'm learning in the Shinn course to hymns. I have no doubt this course will get me there.

Quote
And while I have your ear, I was just curious... what exactly made you switch from ES8 to MP11SE?


Purely for the upgraded action and that's it. I'm really enjoying the MP11SE and I feel the upgrade was definitely worth it.

God bless,
David

Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/22/17 06:22 PM
I also completely agree with fizikisto and David.
I just started lesson 16, after 1.5 years, mixing a bit of “as written” and arrangements playing. I got stuck on lesson 15 due to some additional work responsibility and a drop of energy. Slowly recovering now.
If you find difficult arranging the songs, you can just follow the as written in the book , which introduces difficulties and arranging techniques gradually.
You need to give it time and not let go, especially do not get distracted by other new, fancy, superfast , interactive , holographic piano programs...stick with it.
Posted By: MuddyFox Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/23/17 09:00 AM
Wow... excellent info! Exactly the kind of digest that I needed. Thanks fellas!

Right now, I'd even be willing to suppress my ADD and try to stick with something like this for 252 weeks that it'd likely take me, but the price is indeed rather steep. With the shipping and tax and import duties to my little third world country here, it'd probably end up costing twice the list price. And it doesn't seem likely they'll be coming out with a downloadable version. Shame, that, because I've been known to spend nearly that much on stuff that sits on the shelf in my other music endeavors over the years. smile

Again, thanks for the input, much appreciated and I will revisit this idea from time to time for sure...

Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/23/17 05:02 PM
Well it’s thanksgiving, I would try to send an email to Duane to see if he can make you a special price , considering shipping to croatia...it’s worth a try.
The course is not cheap here in US too, but it is comparable with what you would spend on a teacher lessons, actually way cheaper than that based on the amount of content in the videos.
You could also buy a few lessons at the time.
Posted By: MH1963 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/24/17 03:14 AM
I’m considering this course and have two questions:
1) Is there interaction with the teacher, or is it just the videos?
2) Is there an option that an iPad-only user could use? I don’t have a PC anymore, I only use an iPad.
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/24/17 04:18 AM
mH1963,
1). It's mainly just the videos, but if you have questions you could try emailing Duane or ask here.

2) The course doesn't need a computer at all. It uses DVD's and method books. So all you need besides a keyboard/piano, is a TV and a DVD player.

If you have access to a PC (through a friend or whatever) it is possible to rip the DVD's into video files you can transfer to your iPad, which I think is considered fair use and legal as long as it is for personal use.

Warm regards,
Fizikisto
Posted By: MH1963 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/24/17 05:07 AM
I don’t have (or want) a tv in the room where my piano is. Since there are so many DVDs, I don’t think they’d all fit on my iPad, but I could do it in chunks. I’d have to use Dropbox or something, since the pc I would use is not one that I would want to sync the iPad with.

I’m an intermediate classical player and a good sight reader but have no improvisational skills whatsoever. My teacher doesn’t teach that sort of thing, and I am a bit torn about changing teachers since she is very good at what she does teach.

I may have a discussion with Santa. 😃
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/24/17 02:53 PM
MH1963,
I sent you a private message about getting the video files on your ipad. There was some other stuff that was Off Topic, so I PM'd you rather than threadjack the thread with my tangents. You can read private messages under "My Stuff" at the top of the forum page. smile
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/02/17 01:44 AM
Here is a song from lesson 18 that I really like. It’s a totally new style that hasn’t been covered before. Duane calls it “playful.” I’m not sure what genre it would fall in, but it really speaks to me. It’s a great example of how syncopation can totally change a song. Some of the techniques in this song Duane covered are, color tones (6th and 9ths), turns, grace notes, and fast runs (which I cannot do, so I slow them down). The fast runs are the only technique taught in this lesson that I’m not capable of doing. However, I emailed him and he gave me some encouragement and said speed comes with time.

I’ll play the song through once as it’s written (no syncopation) and then the way Duane arranged it (totally syncopated). The song is, My Wild Irish Rose.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/02/17 07:49 AM
I love it, David! Magnifico!!
Posted By: Epee Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/03/17 03:27 PM
I signed up for the first month course. I have been playing piano all my life, primarily classical pieces, and religious solos for my church. I don't know chords or any music theory, and have to have the score in order to play something. I'm hoping these lessons will teach me chords and improvisation. What I'm hoping is this old dog can learn new tricks.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/03/17 03:55 PM
Originally Posted by Epee
I signed up for the first month course. I have been playing piano all my life, primarily classical pieces, and religious solos for my church.


Awesome! That's my dream/goal. Hymns and religious solos (not classical). I don't necessary have to play them in church, but it would be nice to achieve that level of proficiency where other people can be blessed besides myself.

Quote
I don't know chords or any music theory, and have to have the score in order to play something. I'm hoping these lessons will teach me chords and improvisation. What I'm hoping is this old dog can learn new tricks.


I think Duane might have courses more specifically designed just for that. For example, he might have a shorter course just on improvisation or one just on chords. You'll have to look at the offerings on his website (there are many courses) or email him for advice on what would be best for you. The 52 week course is expensive and more designed for beginners like me who don't know how to read music and or much of anything else. Definitely investigate more because you might be able to save money and get more specifically what you need.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/03/17 10:17 PM
Originally Posted by Epee
I signed up for the first month course. I have been playing piano all my life, primarily classical pieces, and religious solos for my church. I don't know chords or any music theory, and have to have the score in order to play something. I'm hoping these lessons will teach me chords and improvisation. What I'm hoping is this old dog can learn new tricks.


Epee,
Very cool! The course does teach a lot about chords, and it gives a good foundation in music theory that will allow you to take a piece of sheet music and play it as written or play your own arrangement of it (i.e. improvise around the sheet music). The nice bonus of Duane's approach is that it will help you see the notes on the staff in terms of the chord families instead of in terms of the individual notes. That will really help with your ability to read music, and it will also teach you to be able to basically treat traditionally notated sheet music like a lead sheet. Another bonus of the approach is that it teaches you to play from lead sheets as well. Duane will teach you so many things to do with chords, and with other embellishments for the melody line that you won't ever have to play a song the same way twice, unless you want to. smile

The crash course doesn't really teach much about improvisation in terms of just sitting down and creatively improvising. And I don't recall if there were any 4 part harmony style hymns in the course (I think not, but if so it's definitely not an emphasis). Duane does have other courses on those topics, but I've not seen them so I can't really comment on how good they are. I will say that the crash course is pretty foundational for a lot of what duane teaches in his other courses. Even though a lot of it will be review for you, you'll learn so much from it that I think it would be worth going through it before trying any more advanced courses. In any case, you can try out those first 4 lessons to see if Duane's style of teaching fits with your style of learning. smile
Posted By: littlebunny Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/04/17 07:27 PM
Hi. Thanks for this thread. I bought the course years ago but never went through it. I've dabbled a little for fun, but when work is required, I grab my flute. Now that I've happened upon a group of friends-to-be, I'm inclined to start again, although I may wait until after the Christmas busy season. So, everyone have a great holiday season, and as the saying goes, see you next year.
Posted By: MuddyFox Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/05/17 08:07 AM

Originally Posted by David B
The 52 week course is expensive and more designed for beginners like me who don't know how to read music and or much of anything else.


Which brings us to the question I keep forgetting to ask you... smile
I can't really tell from your vids... how much do you use sheet music in your playing? I see it's always up on the stand but I can't figure out how much are you using it (or if at all)?
Originally Posted by littlebunny

I bought the course years ago but never went through it. I've dabbled a little for fun,

Like me.
I've brought it out again, and reviewing the first few pieces. Now at Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere.
Now I work on singing/howling the tune at the same time.
Possibly that will help me to go further into the course this time, until I get derailed again.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/05/17 10:00 AM
Originally Posted by MuddyFox

Which brings us to the question I keep forgetting to ask you... smile
I can't really tell from your vids... how much do you use sheet music in your playing? I see it's always up on the stand but I can't figure out how much are you using it (or if at all)?



The first thing I do is learn how to play a song as it's written. That's what Duane says we should do. I practice right hand, left hand, and then both hands together. When I can play the song as it's written, then I start working on the arrangement Duane has for that song. Usually the score is mostly memorized by then. However, when I'm finally ready to record the song and I first play it how it's written, I have to reference the music some since I've been primarily working on the arrangement and forgot how it was exactly written. So in my videos I'm looking at the music some while playing the song how it's written, but I'm not looking at the music at all when I playing the arrangement.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: MuddyFox Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/05/17 10:06 AM

So you're getting pretty good at actually reading score by now? Seeing how these aren't easy chopstick pieces by any means smile

I'm actually considering getting this course on a month-by-month basis. Four lessons for $100 plus shipping and import taxes is pretty steep but it seems that there's at least three month's work in there so it might be a way to spread the cost, even if it does accumulate to probably twice the price by the time I'm done with it. But since 52 weeks are likely to spread over 520 weeks, it might not be too bad. smile

How far do first four lessons take a person?
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/05/17 10:30 AM
Originally Posted by MuddyFox

How far do first four lessons take a person?


Here is a link to the course syllabus if you haven't seen it already.

http://www.pianolessonsbyvideo.com/syllabus.htm

God Bless,
David
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/05/17 12:45 PM
Originally Posted by MuddyFox

So you're getting pretty good at actually reading score by now? Seeing how these aren't easy chopstick pieces by any means smile
How far do first four lessons take a person?


The first four lessons cover a lot of the basics (which they have to do in a comprehensive course), so depending on your prior experience there may or may not be a lot of new stuff in them. Some of the things covered include

1) an orientation of the keyboard and how to find middle C
2) How to play songs in a five finger position
3) How music is put together (Melody/Harmony/Rhythm)
4) An introduction to note values and timing (quarter, half, dotted half, whole notes, dotted quarter notes and eighth notes with their equivalent rests)
5) The C F G G7 and D7 "pointer chords" - pointer chords are simply the 2nd inversion of the chord where the pointer (index) finger is playing the root note of the chord. Other inversions of chords are introduced later in the course, and of course other chords as well
6) Playing the melody line in the treble clef and then adding chord symbols (an introduction to playing from lead sheets)
7)The C-scale and moving beyond the five finger position (thumb under/over technique)
8) An introduction to arranging techniques based on lead sheet
9) pick up notes and stealing time from the last measure
10) playing in different registers (octaves)
11) playing in different time signatures 3-4 and 4-4 time covered
12) Effective practice strategies
13) The family of chords associated with a scale and how to predict the most likely chords used in a song
14) The bass clef and the grand staff
15) Using different chord inversions for smoother transitions
16) An introduction to swing bass
17) 30-35 songs covered

There's probably a lot more that I didn't write down in my journal, but that should give you an idea. smile
Posted By: MuddyFox Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/06/17 09:30 AM

Thanks for that, F.!

While I'm generally familiar with most of these topics, I'm sure that when push comes to shove I have way too many holes in my knowledge than I care to admit smile

I guess it'd be a fair assessment that these alone would take me a better part of a year to go through, so I'm leaning towards the month-by-month scenario right now as it's financially more bearable that way...
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/06/17 01:04 PM
Muddyfox,
Duane recommends that you practice using a principle of spaced repetition. So if you have an hour per day it would be better to break it into 30 min in the morning and 30 at night. Or 20 min three times per day. If one can commit to that, I think the first four lessons would take a complete beginner anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks to get through the first 4 lessons. I would guess about 6 weeks as an average. an experienced player who can already read/play but is using the course to learn arranging techniques could probably get through the first four lessons in a week or two. The next 4 lessons deal much more with the grand staff, introduces new, more challenging techniques, and gives more complex songs for you to learn. The thing is, Duane recommends that when you learn a new technique that you go back and practice it on some of the older songs. Most ppl probably ignore that advice, but I think it is an essential part of the course, because instead of just mimicking Duane's arrangements you really learn to make your own. So if you follow that advice you can spend an arbitrarily long time working on older lessons. So if you really want to go the 1 DVD of four lessons every few months there will be plenty for you to do even if you get through a batch of the official assignments pretty quickly.

Warm regards,
Fizikisto
Posted By: MuddyFox Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/06/17 03:37 PM
Good stuff...!

I think that's exactly what I'll do. Even though I have many other things on my beginner piano plate, I think I'll give these first four lessons a go and see if it catches on. We all respond to different ways of teaching/learning and I think it'd be worthwhile to see if DS course resonates with me in a positive way.

Posted By: littlebunny Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/19/18 08:52 PM
Ok, I've started. I'm on the infamous Lesson 8. I'm doing 15 minute practice sessions. 15 minutes seems like about the right amount of time to get through the lesson as written. Then in other sessions I can work on other styles & tunes. I was getting befuddled & not sure of what I was even supposed to do, so I made a little blank chart that I can fill in with columns for the name of the tune, & then the styles Duane has covered so far. That way at a glance I can see what I've done & what to do next. Styles so far: Block Chords, Swing Bass, Broken Chords, Low Note plus Broken Chord, Alberti Bass, 2-1 Breakup, Low Note plus 2-1 Breakup. I'll probably be on Lesson 8 for a few days.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/20/18 11:18 PM
Originally Posted by littlebunny
Ok, I've started. I'm on the infamous Lesson 8.


I'm not too far along in the course, but I don't remember what was infamous about lesson 8?

Quote
... I made a little blank chart that I can fill in with columns for the name of the tune, & then the styles Duane has covered so far. That way at a glance I can see what I've done & what to do next.


That's a good idea. I've been using an app called "Activity Tracker" that enables me to see exactly how I'm spending my time while at the piano. It automatically compiles the data into graphs and other useful analytics.

Keep up the good work. I believe it will pay off if we're patient.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: littlebunny Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/21/18 12:16 AM
Swing Bass & all the new chording styles. Lesson 8 according to Fizikisto: "It took me a month to get through that lesson. Did I mention that it's hard? ... Whatever you call it, it's hard." I heartily concur, at least when it's all new. I presume someday it will seem easy, but not yet.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/21/18 01:56 AM
Originally Posted by littlebunny
Swing Bass & all the new chording styles. Lesson 8 according to Fizikisto: "It took me a month to get through that lesson. Did I mention that it's hard? ... Whatever you call it, it's hard." I heartily concur, at least when it's all new. I presume someday it will seem easy, but not yet.


I see.

You're right, with practice and time, it will get easier. Duane likes to say that learning piano is not linear, but a series of plateaus and inclines. It might seem like we're not getting any better until one day when we reach the next incline and realize we are a little bit better.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/21/18 08:01 PM
Thanks for all the info in this thread. I ordered the first 4 lessons yesterday. I just started playing last September and this course sounds like it might fit my needs very well.
Posted By: littlebunny Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/21/18 10:41 PM
Welcome Aboard!
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/21/18 11:13 PM
Thanks, I retired in September and started playin then. I have played upright and electric bass for years. I have tried a couple different methods of learning and the only thing that has really clicked is the sound of emotions course which I really like but not sure will teach me the types of songs I really want to play which is gospel hyms and older pop or rock stuff. I spent a long time watching Duane on YouTube and he looks like what I need to play the stuff I want to someday be able to play. I will give my thoughts once the dvds get here.
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/25/18 09:37 PM
I got the first 4 lessons this afternoon in the mail. In this day of instant gratification I was not sure about ordering through the mail but it was a smooth process. I ordered Saturday morning and they arrived Thursday afternoon.

I watched the intro video and the first lesson. I thought the quality of the video was good enough, even though it was taken from vcr it was certainly clear enough to see and understand what was going on. I also thought the lesson was really good. I am starting from scratch and it explained things in a way I could understand.

I played my first song with both hands using the melody and the pointer chords Duane explains. It was slow but I was able to do it and it actually sounded like music, slow simple music but music none the less.

This course is expensive but time will tell if it makes me into a piano player.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/25/18 10:31 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright


This course is expensive but time will tell if it makes me into a piano player.


It will. It's making me into a piano player. Of course it's not the only series of lessons that we can learn form, but it I think it really has it all. You'll learn how to read music, different arrangement techniques and styles, and theory. I started lesson 21 and Duane is summarizing everything he covered up until this point. There is plenty of opportunity to practice every technique he teaches because there are so many songs in the course (eight books), therefore you constantly have the opportunity to apply what you learn. Duane's arrangements are can be challenging and fun.

Congrats on the journey and blessings as you learn.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Epee Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/26/18 01:22 AM
How young do you think you could start a person on this program, of course with teacher guidance? I was considering this course for an eight year old.
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/26/18 03:12 AM
Thanks David, this is a very encouraging theard.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/26/18 05:16 AM
Originally Posted by Epee
How young do you think you could start a person on this program, of course with teacher guidance? I was considering this course for an eight year old.


I have a six year old and an eleven year old and if they wanted to learn how to play the piano, I wouldn't start them on this course. I think it moves along pretty quickly and is more geared for adults.

I'd be inclined to start with a traditional children's method book and a teacher.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Epee Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/26/18 11:17 AM
Thanks David B!
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/27/18 05:59 PM
One question I have for those of you further along in the course, is whether Duane goes over how to back a singer or other instrument

Thanks
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/27/18 08:45 PM
DCupright,
Duane doesn't specifically address this in the course (except maybe in passing) but the course will give you a foundation that you can easily adapt to accompanying a singer or working in a group.

In most western music you have rhythm, melody (tune) and accompaniment (the chords). If you're playing instrumental music where you're doing it all, generally you want to play the root note of the chord as the lowest note of the piano, the melody note as the highest note of the piano, and then different chord notes in between (in different patterns). There are lots of ways to do this. You can play the melody in your right hand and the chords in the left. You can play the root note with the left hand and the whole chords (with melody note on top) in the right. Or you can split the chord notes between the two hands.

When you want to accompany a singer, you generally leave off the melody note because the singer is singing that note. If you're playing with a bass player, you generally can leave off the chord root note because the bass player is playing it. That's a bit of an oversimplification, but it gets the general idea across. The main difference in accompanying is that you have to get out of the way of the other muscians by leaving some stuff out.

What Duane teaches you is the hardest part, playing everything solo style. Duane does sell follow-up courses that delve into things like accompanying, improvising, etc... or you can find other courses from other people to help you with the specifics of doing these kinds of things. But the different runs and fillers and chording patterns and playing techniques that Duane teaches in the crash course are all applicable to playing well with others.
Originally Posted by dcupright
One question I have for those of you further along in the course, is whether Duane goes over how to back a singer or other instrument
Thanks


I sing those tunes while playing them.
Are you looking for more sophisticated backing arrangements?
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/28/18 12:36 PM
Thanks for the answers, not looking for anything in particular just did not read where backing a singer was covered and wondered if he went over that.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/01/18 07:11 AM
I'm currently on lesson 22, but here is a song from lesson 19 (Just A Wearyin' For You). We cover a lot of songs in the lessons and occasionally a song will stand out that I really like. This is one of them. It's mostly Duane's arrangement with my own imprint on it (Maybe 70/30). I'll play it once through as written in the book and then arranged. The piano sound is Pianoteq 6 Grotrian. I kind of like this piano sound. It's nice to have variety. Enjoy.



God Bless,
David

Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/01/18 02:58 PM
Hi David,

Wow ... you are absolutely the best advertising this course could have.

I have come to look forward to your next demo ... LOL ....

Great Job
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/01/18 03:38 PM
Thanks for posting the videos David, it is very encouraging to see what is possible.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/01/18 07:08 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Hi David,

Wow ... you are absolutely the best advertising this course could have.

I have come to look forward to your next demo ... LOL ....

Great Job


Thank you. Your affirmation inspires me to keep uploading songs here.

Originally Posted by dcupright
Thanks for posting the videos David, it is very encouraging to see what is possible.


Duane has a good method of teaching. The plethora of songs that are covered in the curse provide plenty of opportunity to develop the techniques he teaches.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/02/18 09:30 PM
I have a question for those of you learning from Duane’s course. When do you move to the next lesson. I have been on Lesson 1 for 8 days now. I can play all of the songs ok, some of them are not quite up to speed but can play the majority in time. There are a couple still giving me a little trouble changing the left hand chords.

Should I stay on this lesson until everything is up to speed and can pretty well play perfectly or move on with the above mentioned issues. I will note I am in no hurry to move on but want to know when the time is right.

Doug
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/02/18 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright
I have a question for those of you learning from Duane’s course. When do you move to the next lesson. I have been on Lesson 1 for 8 days now. I can play all of the songs ok, some of them are not quite up to speed but can play the majority in time. There are a couple still giving me a little trouble changing the left hand chords.

Should I stay on this lesson until everything is up to speed and can pretty well play perfectly or move on with the above mentioned issues. I will note I am in no hurry to move on but want to know when the time is right.

Doug


I am not taking the course but .....

Generally speaking ..... keep at a lesson until you can play it very, very well.

If you move too fast, there is a high probability that you will get through the lessons and find that you still cannot play anything and that is a bummer.

I would take the attitude .... If I can't learn to play this, why am I doing this at all ?

Hold yourself accountable and work on it until you can do it.

Then you will feel much better about the progress you are making.
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/02/18 09:54 PM
Thank you Don, i can play everything in the lesson just not quite up to performance standards so to speak. I can play all of the songs in time. Since I am a beginner at the piano I don't expect to play anything up to performance standard in a weeks time which is why I asked the question. I am willing to take as long as it takes but on the other hand I don't want to stay there longer than I need to. I have played upright and electric bass for years and finding going back to square 1 interesting.

I appreciate your wise advise.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/03/18 02:38 AM
Originally Posted by dcupright
I have a question for those of you learning from Duane’s course. When do you move to the next lesson.


This is a really critical question when going through this course. It was easier at the beginning of the course because Duane showed you very carefully everything he was doing, and what he was teaching was appropriate for a beginner level player. That changes as you get toward the middle of the course. Knowing when to move on becomes more challenging as Duane starts covering more advanced techniques as "examples of what could be done" when arranging a song. Here is my method:

The first thing I do is watch the lesson before I even sit at the piano just to see what's going to be covered. Then I start learning the songs for that lesson as written (right hand, left hand, then both hands). Once I can play the songs as written, I'll go back to the video (this time while sitting at the piano) and let Duane teach me.

When to move on is kind of challenging now because Duane (Starting around lesson 20/21) doesn't breakdown slowly everything he is doing like he did at the beginning of the course. Now it's up to me to decide how far I want to go in arranging a song and how well I want to play that song before moving on. I find that some songs I'm not interested in doing much with while others I'm more motivated. Regardless of what songs I'm focusing on, I don't move on until I understand and can begin to play the techniques that are taught.

Duane says that we should not expect to play things as good as him (if we could we wouldn't need lessons), and the opportunity to work on those techniques will emerge again in the future given how many songs there are in this course, and we'll also have the rest of our lives to develop the techniques.

Bottom line is that I move on when I feel like I've learned everything I can (at this time) from the lesson. That includes playing the music as written while understanding and playing what Duane is teaching to a level that I would consider acceptable given my beginner status.

So I think there is always going to be a subjective consideration as to when we can move on (particularly toward the second half of the course) unless the standard is to play everything exactly like Duane does before moving on. It would probably end up being a 10-20 year course if we did that. This is a question I've had to consider quite a bit and even emailed Duane about it. He was gracious and gave me some good counsel which I've tried to highlight in this response. Hope this helps.

God Bless,
David




Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/03/18 03:15 AM
Thanks David, that makes lots of sense. I think I will spend a few more days on the couple of songs that are not as smooth as the others.
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/03/18 04:38 AM
I would like to add one more thing about the "when to move on" dilemma.

David did not mention it but he does one important thing which (I think) is his way of holding himself accountable for how well he masters the material before moving on .....

He comes here periodically and demonstrates a piece that he has arranged and plays it for us.

That by itself insures that he will not just "kid himself" into thinking he is ready to move on when ... in fact ... he is not.

I am not suggesting that everyone has to do that.

However, it is a good way to measure your readiness for the next lesson.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/03/18 06:57 AM
Originally Posted by dmd
I would like to add one more thing about the "when to move on" dilemma.

David did not mention it but he does one important thing which (I think) is his way of holding himself accountable for how well he masters the material before moving on .....
He comes here periodically and demonstrates a piece that he has arranged and plays it for us.
That by itself insures that he will not just "kid himself" into thinking he is ready to move on when ... in fact ... he is not.
I am not suggesting that everyone has to do that.
However, it is a good way to measure your readiness for the next lesson.


That's true. I find recording myself playing gives me a good indication of where I'm at and it helps me to fulfill my short term goals. I actually upload the songs to youtube for a few friends and family members who are interested in my progress. I link to them here because this is the forum that introduced me to Duane Shinn (and the ES8 and MP11SE and Pianoteq, TrueKeys etc.,). Most of my piano information comes from this forum. I don't post much here, but I feel like I have benefited from reading the contributions of other players. Plus, posting takes time and I seem to have less of it the older I get.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Notime Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/05/18 08:39 PM
Hi everyone,

This is an interesting thread. It actually taught me that this is not the right course for me based on various comments made here.

It took me a few sessions to work my way through the thread, but it was well worth it for me as a new to piano, older adult learner. I found it very informative as to what everyone seems to go through when learning, and finding tutorial products, and getting the best from them.

So thanks to everyone for their various inputs, and congrats to David on his excellant videos - great work! You’ve got me interested in Gospel music again!

TC
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/13/18 08:03 AM
Here is a song from lesson 21 (My Gal Sal). It was the only song covered in the lesson in which Duane took to opportunity to summarize everything (arrangement techniques) that have been covered so far. However, there was a new technique covered at the end of the lesson. Switching from 4/4 to 3/4 time to freshen up the song. That was a new concept for me. It took an otherwise boring song and made it fun. The music of course isn't written in 3/4 time so I had to just feel it out.

He left it up to the student to arrange the song anyway we want. So I tried to put a few things from the past in, e.g., some runs which I stink at, but will have to do for now. I'll play a few bars as written in the book, then my own arrangement (with Duane's help) in 4/4 time, and then halfway through switch to 3/4 time with some syncopation. The piano sound is the SK-5 Concert Grand.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: MuddyFox Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/13/18 10:07 AM

Great job, D.!

Please keep 'em coming! Very motivational stuff!
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/13/18 08:18 PM
Motivational AND inspiring! Love the move to 3/4 - awesome!
Posted By: littlebunny Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/13/18 09:10 PM
Wow, very nice. You make it look easy but I know better. Thanks.
Posted By: dobro Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/13/18 10:40 PM
I enjoyed this and agree on the time change. Nice job.
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/28/18 04:43 PM
Hi, need some help here..
I’m stuck at lesson 17 for almost 2 months now.

The lesson is devoted entirely to arranging one song with like 6 different techniques.
I’m definetely a slow learner and admittedly stopped for a week or so due to discouragement, but trying to master all the various arranging
techniques will take me months. I managed to work through two of the techniques (melody in octaves with 3rds and walk up bass, with swing bass and alternated root/fifth)

At this point I was contemplating to move to next lesson, going back to this one from time to time or in parallel.

What do you think ? Should I keep going with the same lesson until I can play all the different arrangments or move forward ?

Thanks in advance for your opinion.

stoppa
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/28/18 06:39 PM
Originally Posted by Stopparde
Hi, need some help here..
I’m stuck at lesson 17 for almost 2 months now.


I can completely empathize with you. It's definitely the hardest song (Sweet Rosie O'Grady) covered in the course up until that point. It was a source of frustration for me too.

Quote
The lesson is devoted entirely to arranging one song with like 6 different techniques.
I’m definetely a slow learner and admittedly stopped for a week or so due to discouragement, but trying to master all the various arranging
techniques will take me months.


You are not going to "master" all the techniques. I don't believe that is what Duane expects. For example, I still cannot do the multiple octave runs like he does. If you go back to page 7 in this thread and watch my video of this song, you'll see that I cheat on the runs by slowing them down.

It's shortly after this lesson (maybe 18 or 19) where Duane in the introduction explains to us that he doesn't expect us to do everything as good as he does. Otherwise we'd be as good as him. Some of these techniques will take years to refine. He's showing us what is possible to do with a song. It would have been nice if he put that caveat in at the beginning of lesson 17.

Quote
What do you think ? Should I keep going with the same lesson until I can play all the different arrangments or move forward ?


I think this is the main philosophical conundrum that has emerged in this thread. This is my only criticism of the course so far. Duane doesn't always tell us what he expects us to learn before moving on. Of course we have to learn how to play the song as written, but as far as arranging goes, it's really up to us and our own personal determination on far we go with the arrangement techniques taught.

It's not really going to hurt anything if you decide to stay 6 months on one song before moving on, but I don't think that is what Duane intended for us to do. It's not a 10 year course. It's a 3 year course (according to Duane's office staff) condensed into 1 year. I'm fully expecting to take 3 years with it.

You have to discern what techniques are too far beyond your level (for me it's the multiple octave runs in that song) and do the best with the song given your current level. At least try to become familiar and understand all the techniques because you will have ample opportunity to practice them throughout this course with all the songs that we cover. Lesson 17 is a hump. It gets easier as we progress.

I'm currently on lesson 24, but still working on songs from lesson 23 because it includes techniques from the past and a few new ones. Hang in there. You can do it too. It will be worth the work. I really believe that.

God Bless,
David

P.S. I've added my video of this song (it's also on page 7 of this thread). As you can see I don't do everything exactly the way Duane does. I do the best I can with it.

Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/28/18 08:53 PM
Hey David,
before posting I actually went and watched your video...I think you do play that song arrangements quite well.
Thanks for the encouragement and all your comments. Especially thanks for the info on the course potential length - 3 years seems more reasonable than a year !
Yes the multiple active runs are quite challenging and will need dedicated technical development, before using in a song context.
I think I will start with the next lesson and go back to this one for a while, I feel less bad/guilty now smile
I guess one advantage of going with self-learning is that you can go back, revise, stay on a lesson or technique as much you want.

stoppa
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/28/18 09:10 PM
Originally Posted by Stopparde

I think I will start with the next lesson and go back to this one for a while, I feel less bad/guilty now smile
I guess one advantage of going with self-learning is that you can go back, revise, stay on a lesson or technique as much you want.

stoppa


Amen!

I'll be 45 years old in a few months and I really wish I didn't have to spend so much time working on basic stuff. But that's the reality for adult beginners. It's a challenge to our character. We have to be patient, learn to enjoy the journey, and believe that this tedious work will eventually enable us to achieve a level of playing where we have freedom of expression and can just play without having to concentrate so much on hitting the right notes. I believe Duane's course is a great foundational course for a beginner. Hang in there and I will too. I know we can do it.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/28/18 10:00 PM
Ah! 53 here.....not a minute pass that I regret the time I spent on reading comics and watching 90125 instead of nailing down those scales and arpeggios during my free time!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/28/18 11:15 PM
Originally Posted by Stopparde
Ah! 53 here.....not a minute pass that I regret the time I spent on reading comics and watching 90125 instead of nailing down those scales and arpeggios during my free time!


Man, I hear ya.

For me it was wasting so many years shooting guns. The amount of time and money I spent in that hobby is depressing.

It seems impossible to avoid regrets in life.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/26/18 02:46 AM
Here is a beautiful song from lesson 23 (I'm currently on lesson 25) entitled "All Through The Night." I would put this song into the hymn category and I'm really glad these songs are sprinkled throughout the lessons. I'll play it once as written in the book and then arranged. It's mostly Duane's arrangement with my own flavor and dynamics added to it. The piano is Pianoteq 6 Grotrian Prelude. I think it sounds good for this song.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/26/18 11:56 PM
Another beautiful piece, David - WOW! The dynamic variations really deliver an emotional impact. Thanks, once again, for sharing.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/29/18 01:07 AM
Originally Posted by pwl
Another beautiful piece, David - WOW! The dynamic variations really deliver an emotional impact. Thanks, once again, for sharing.


Thank you. That's one of the reasons why I liked this song.

Currently in lesson 25 we're covering two songs that I really don't care for (Man On The Flying Trapeze and Jingle Bells), and I'm finding Duane's arrangements challenging with the syncopated rhythmic patterns, chord substitutions and counter melodies. It's important to go through the process and learn what he is teaching, but I'm not really inspired enough to record them.

There is a lot of songs in this course like I mentioned above. Although, while I don't enjoy the songs very much, they are good for practicing and developing what Duane is teaching. Learning the songs means learning the skills being taught. Hopefully all this - not so fun - work in the 52 week course will make the Praise and Gospel series that I bought from Duane easier when I eventually get to it.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/27/18 07:31 PM
I finally finished lesson 25. There were only two songs in this lesson, but they were both arranged with a similar syncopated rhythmic style, which I found to be a bit challenging to learn. It can be a temptation to move quickly through the songs in this course that I don’t find particularly enjoyable, but I knew my brain and body needed to be “wired” with the coordination to play these two songs. I did have a little fun with Jingle Bells. Duane adds some “playfulness” to it.

I normally only post the songs that I really like, but I’ll post both songs from this lesson since it took longer than I would have preferred to learn them. I’m happy to be moving on.

As usual I’ll play them as written and then arranged by Duane with the techniques he taught for this lesson.

The first one is Jingle Bells. The Second one is Man On The Flying Trapeze. The sound for both songs is the Kawai EX Concert
Grand.





God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/27/18 09:22 PM
Thank you for posting your progress David. It is encouraging to see what is possible. I got hung up on lesson 2 and decided to take private lessons which have helped a lot. I started tackling lesson 3 a few days ago. It probably takes me closer to a month to get through each weekly lesson, although I am waiting until i can do as good as I think I can do in these early stages. I appreciate you sharing.
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/18 12:01 AM
Mercy, David - you ought to be really proud of this jazzy version of Jingle Bells . . . and you don't even like the song!

PLUS . . . I'd say it's about time Duane started sending you checks (let's call 'em "performance royalties"!) for creating and posting these videos. I can't think of a better advertisement for the course!!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/28/18 12:31 AM
Originally Posted by dcupright
...It probably takes me closer to a month to get through each weekly lesson, although I am waiting until i can do as good as I think I can do in these early stages.


It took me a month to get though lesson 25. Hang in there. At first I really wanted to get through this course as fast as possible so I could move on to Duane's Praise and Gospel series that I already bought, but then I realized that taking my time (like you're doing) is an important part of the journey. There are no shortcuts. We just have to put the time in. I think most people can do it if they work hard. I wish you the very best in your musical journey. Thanks for the feedback.

Originally Posted by pwl
Mercy, David - you ought to be really proud of this jazzy version of Jingle Bells . . . and you don't even like the song!

PLUS . . . I'd say it's about time Duane started sending you checks (let's call 'em "performance royalties"!) for creating and posting these videos. I can't think of a better advertisement for the course!!


LOL smile

I've been emailing Duane with the links to my youtube uploads and most of the time he responds back with some sort of affirmation. He even answered a question I had once. I'm surprised there isn't more on youtube regarding this course. I would have never known about the course if it wasn't for this forum. I'm really grateful to have this material.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/02/18 01:27 PM
Ok ..... David ..... your rendition of Jingle Bells has done it !!!

I purchased the course !!! LOL ....

That "jazzy" style you showed is what did it.

It appears this course and your dedication to doing it right is working.

While I have been playing for awhile and can play some nice stuff, I know my basic piano skills are weak.

I think this course AND my dedication to doing it right will help improve those skills.

Your postings have served to motivate me, and probably others.

Thank you

Don
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/02/18 10:29 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Ok ..... David ..... your rendition of Jingle Bells has done it !!!

I purchased the course !!! LOL…

Wonderful!

I’m glad you’re getting involved with the course. I’ve always appreciated your thoughtful comments and suggestions in this thread and your contributions on other subjects in pianoworld.

Personally, I’ve never needed help with motivation when I find something I’m interested in (like piano), but it’s always helpful when there are other people to share the experience with.

Quote
I think this course AND my dedication to doing it right will help improve those skills.

I think you’re right. I didn’t have any skills coming into this course. So as an adult beginner I’m learning almost from scratch. It takes me a lot of effort just to learn the songs as written since I didn’t really know how to read music either.

Also, Duane’s lessons have beginner and more advanced material in them, therefore, there are things he teaches that I just cannot do given my level of playing. I believe a lot more could be obtained from this course by more advanced students who already have a better understanding of musical theory and the chops to do some of the things Duane teaches.

Quote
Your postings have served to motivate me, and probably others.

Thank you

Don

Wonderful!

I feel very blessed to have this material and I know it requires a lot of hard work (for a beginner) to get through, but I’m confident it’s going to help me achieve my musical goals. If it wasn’t for this forum I might never have known about the Duane Shinn course. It’s a privilege to share my experience with it here. I’m looking forward to hearing your input as well once you start the course.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/02/18 11:54 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Duane’s lessons have beginner and more advanced material in them, therefore, there are things he teaches that I just cannot do given my level of playing. I believe a lot more could be obtained from this course by more advanced students who already have a better understanding of musical theory and the chops to do some of the things Duane teaches.


Well, I would not call myself "more advanced". However, I do KNOW a lot about playing piano in the jazz genre where I have been focusing for a while now.

I have always described myself (to prospective teachers) as someone who knows a lot but cannot DO a lot.

I have tended to gloss over things that are very difficult and just get the general gist and then moving on .... telling myself that I could do that ..."If I wanted to"... LOL ....

That catches up with you eventually and you find you (me) know a lot but cannot do a lot.

So ... my focus as I work through this course will be doing my best to come away DOING instead of just knowing.

But right now ... this is just talk.

I will know more about this in 6 months. LOL ...

Thank you again for your inspiration.
Posted By: dobro Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/03/18 12:41 AM
Hey Don, I was just lurking around reading and your post about glossing over things rang a bell. Do you think it’s a patience related issue? You are quite more advanced than me and you Know what the problem is. I ran into this a while back and I realized that I was in a hurry to finish Alfred and the units in my video lessons. Once I settled in and accepted that just turning a page wasn’t going to help me to be a better player it seemed to get better. I’d be interested in your thoughts on it.
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/03/18 12:54 AM
Originally Posted by monkeeys
I’d be interested in your thoughts on it.


I believe you are right about it being impatience.

When I watch Law and Order .... I just watch the last 10 minutes ... The trial.

If I read a book ... I want to get to the end as fast as possible.

With piano ... I always want to get on with the "good stuff" and I will try to skip things I think are only incidental.

Or if the technique is very difficult, I will tell myself I will skip that for the time being and then come back to it when really wish to utilize that technique.

That stuff works to a degree but eventually you find that you just cannot do things that would make you a good player so you remain so-so and never advance to a higher level.

So ... as I said ... I will try to stay with something in this course until I can do it and then move on.

I have to reiterate that seeing David's progress has given me that assurance that this course can help me develop the skills I wish to have.

I just have to DO THE WORK.

My track record in that area has not been too good so as I said .... I will know more in 6 months.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/05/18 02:33 AM
Here is a simple song from lesson 26 which is a nice change of pace from the rhythmically syncopated songs from the last lesson. There are two songs covered in lesson 26 and the second one is much harder for me because it has optional runs in it which I cannot do. However, I’m going to keep working on it for a couple weeks and then just record it and move on with the choppy runs and all.

For now here is a nice simple little song called “The Loreley.” I learned it pretty quick and it's not really polished. I’d never heard of this song before and Duane has us work on hand crossovers in the arrangement. This is one example of the many songs in this course that I learn and then never play again. The piano sound is the Kawai SK Concert Grand. I’ll play it once through and then arranged.



God Bless,
David



Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/05/18 06:51 PM
Ooh . . . a (surprise) glissando - YES!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/05/18 09:19 PM
Originally Posted by pwl
Ooh . . . a (surprise) glissando - YES!


Yep. I believe this is the first time it has been introduced in the course. I'm glad you spelled it because I wasn't even sure what he called it. smile

God Bless,
David
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/18 08:12 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Ok ..... David ..... your rendition of Jingle Bells has done it !!!

I purchased the course !!! LOL ....

That "jazzy" style you showed is what did it.

It appears this course and your dedication to doing it right is working.

While I have been playing for awhile and can play some nice stuff, I know my basic piano skills are weak.

I think this course AND my dedication to doing it right will help improve those skills.

Your postings have served to motivate me, and probably others.

Thank you

Don



Well, Don, here we go again! smile I started this thread and went a ways into the course, around lesson 17 or 18 before I started to fade away again. You and I seem to have followed each other around the self-teaching course circuit. I think the last one for me was the profesional chord system, which s good, but limited for those of us who want to play solo instrumental piano. I really don't know of any other course that will provide it all to us they way the Duane Shinn course does.

Reading the more recent entries to this thread (which I started, by the way), and then seeing that you are here too, I decided to pick it up again. Of course, after being away from it for a while, I felt it best to start over and work my way back to where I was. One of the things Duane says to do is to continually review previous lessons and try adding new techniques we have learned, to those songs we played in those previous lessons.

Anyway, if you really are interested in making a go of this course, then since there are more than one active student now, this thread can serve as our study group. I believe that some folks are motivated enough to go the distance on their own, but many more of us tend to get bored or otherwise side-tracked unless we have other folks to share the journey with. Make no mistake, the Duane Shinn course is a lot of effort for a relatively long period of time. Though it is advertised as a 52 week course, I have read from folks that have been through it, to expect to take twice that long.

I recognized a lot of similarities between you (Don) and myself as we seem to swing from one self-study course to another. As you observed in your posts here, we end up knowing a lot of information, but are quite weak on actually playing anything. Clearly, what we each have been doing has not worked, while the videos posted by David B, show real results. We need to do what he is doing - consistently working with the course, and sticking to it.

If you and anyone else reading this thread are interested, we should commit to a study group here to keep each other motivated. In college, those study groups were often the difference between graduating and not. I think that can work here too.

David B, you are an inspiration, with your posts, and especially your videos showing that you are walking the talk for real. smile

Tony


Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/18 08:30 PM
Tony I have just started lesson 4. I am enjoying the course a lot. I just looked and I got the first 4 DVDs 1-25 so it is taking me a complete beginner about a month to get through each lesson. However I have never played before.

At first I thought it was too expensive but I am certainly satisfied with where I am at this point in the game. Now I think it is reasonably priced. Thanks for starting this thread as I had never heard of the course before finding it here. Also thank you David for all the videos, they really help encourage me.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/18 09:10 PM
Originally Posted by TonyB

David B, you are an inspiration, with your posts, and especially your videos showing that you are walking the talk for real. smile

Tony


Originally Posted by dcupright
Also thank you David for all the videos, they really help encourage me.


Wonderful! I'm happy to do it.

It's great more people are getting involved in the course.

I wish everyone the very best in their musical journey.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/18 09:25 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright
Tony I have just started lesson 4. I am enjoying the course a lot. I just looked and I got the first 4 DVDs 1-25 so it is taking me a complete beginner about a month to get through each lesson. However I have never played before.

At first I thought it was too expensive but I am certainly satisfied with where I am at this point in the game. Now I think it is reasonably priced. Thanks for starting this thread as I had never heard of the course before finding it here. Also thank you David for all the videos, they really help encourage me.


I think that you will find this course to be quite complete. If you look through the many threads here in the beginner's section at the various questions asked, the Duane Shinn course answers all those and more. More importantly, he does it in the context of the planned structure of the lessons, so that the information is carefully doled out, rather than being given piecemeal, and even possibly wrong (both of which are the risks of depending on the internet for things like that). Here, we have a complete course of study.

If we want to go farther on completion of this course, Duane offers other courses, some as big and complete as this one. So you have a guide through the whole process, which is carefully planned out.

I hope you will continue in this thread with the rest of us. I don't think it really matters which lesson each of us is on, but rather, that we are here sharing our experiences and keeping each other motivated. Those farther ahead can help those on earlier lessons as needed.

Tony
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/18 09:28 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by TonyB

David B, you are an inspiration, with your posts, and especially your videos showing that you are walking the talk for real. smile

Tony


Originally Posted by dcupright
Also thank you David for all the videos, they really help encourage me.


Wonderful! I'm happy to do it.

It's great more people are getting involved in the course.

I wish everyone the very best in their musical journey.

God Bless,
David


Thanks David. The problem with many self-study courses, and especially one as big and demanding as the Duane Shinn course, is that many of us start them with good intentions, but very few finish. I have only read posts from two people in this forum over all the years I have been reading it, that have finished this course.

When I was going over my credits with my adviser, preparing to graduate from college, I commented something about how often he must have to go through all this with students. He commented that very few going through college in the night classes ever finish. I did, and it was well worth it. I suppose similar can be said for something like the Duane Shinn course. smile

Thanks for you inspiration...

Tony
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/18 10:26 PM
Wow .... there seems to be a movement started here .... LOL ....

I wished I could say, unequivocally, that I AM IN !!!!

However, I know who I am and my tendencies. smile

About the best I can do is promise to give it a good try and if I accomplish something significant (to me) I will post it with pride.

My problem is that even though I do need work with basic piano skills (that this course provides) I also am able to work out my arrangements of jazz standards and I am reluctant to give that up .... so I will be doing a little of each.

I will just have to see how it goes.

I have noticed something significant (to me, anyway) about this course and that is that it only covers 3 key signatures .... no sharps or flats, 1 flat, and 1 sharp.

Those particular keys are not widely used in jazz material so I am a bit disappointed with that.

However, once again .... this course is for BASIC skills and it does address those very well.

If one finishes the course after having gone through it thoroughly (as in David B) you will be very well prepared for working in any genre you wish.

Good Luck to you all.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/18 10:40 PM
I learned to be comfortable in all keys equally via the David Sudnow course. As a result, I can voice chords under the melody from a lead sheet, whatever key the tune is in. The Duane Shinn course provides a lot of the basics that are not covered in the Sudnow method, as do probably many courses. I had not looked that far ahead in the 52 week course to notice that it only covers three keys. I will check into that.

Also, Shinn has several follow-on courses, such as the music theory course, the rhythm course, and the 33 pro techniques. I purchased several of those back when I purchased this course when I was working full time and anticipating retirement on a fixed income. I figured that sooner or later, Duane Shinn might retire and these courses might no longer be available. I am glad to see that has not happened, but I also have no regrets having gotten them when I did. There are years of study in all that material.

The most recent course I purchased from Duane Shinn was a collection of 14 DVDs, with each DVD covering some aspect of piano in detail. One is on pedalling, a couple are on playing the scales, etc. To me, that collection is essentially the stuff you would ask your teacher at a lesson, each a relatively small piece of information that might otherwise fall through the cracks.

There are many paths to get where one wants to go these days in terms of piano courses, and that is a double-edged sword. It is good to have so many teaching styles and courses available to choose from, but it is also a distraction for folks like me who find it difficult to stay focused when the going gets a bit difficult, and the 52 week course does have its challenges.

Well, Don, if you do see your way to going the distance and want to do so here, the more the merrier as the saying goes. smile

Tony

Posted By: littlebunny Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/18 10:44 PM
Hi all. I'm one of those who has started & stopped several times. The fact remains that the piano is not a flute, & I can't just breeze through anything that drops on my stand. Bah humbug, I have to work at this? Work like washing dishes & mopping floors? On occasion I ask myself, so, how good would you be by now if you had stuck with it? So ok, I'll try again. With our little group to cheer each other on, hopefully I'll get all the way through this time. Thanks.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/18 10:55 PM
That is great, littlebunny! We could be gathering momentum here.

Tony
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/02/18 05:12 AM
I finally made it halfway through this course. It took me a year and half so I’m hoping maybe around this time next year I’ll be close to finishing it.

Here is a song from lesson 26 (Vienna Life Waltz). This song addressed (for me) the main dilemma for a beginner taking this course, i.e., when to move on to the next lesson? This song is particularly difficult for me because it has lots of runs in it. It’s not the first time runs have come up and it won’t be the last time in this course since there are still over 100 songs left to cover.

I’ve worked on this song for several weeks and I’ve gotten to the point where I realize that there isn’t going to be any significant change in my runs anytime soon. I can execute smooth runs if I slow the song way down (which is how I practice it), but it’s too slow to sound very good. So I’ve got it up to 80bpm (Duane does it at around 100bpm) and I only do three octave runs (Duane does some 4 octave runs), and I realize my runs are not too smooth at this speed, but it's time to move on.

The good news is that there are over 100 songs left in this course and I’m sure I’ll have a chance to develop runs as I continue to progress. That’s the beauty of these lessons. Everything Duane has taught so far has been repeated throughout the course. I’ve gone as far as I care to go with this song. I’m excited about the second half of this course. The piano sound is my new VSL CFX (which I love).



God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/02/18 04:43 PM
Thanks for posting, I have had lots of problems figuring out when to move on also. I came to the conclusion that it was time to move forward when I feel I am playing the song as best I can considering my limited time playing piano.
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/03/18 12:07 AM
Originally Posted by dcupright
Thanks for posting, I have had lots of problems figuring out when to move on also. I came to the conclusion that it was time to move forward when I feel I am playing the song as best I can considering my limited time playing piano.


My dentist tells me .... "You only have to floss the teeth you wish to keep".

The same goes for this also.

Only practice to perfection those skills you wish to have.

If you leave a piece before you can play it .... you do not have the skills presented on that piece.

If you leave (for mental health reasons ... LOL ...) .... come back to it as soon as possible and work on it a bit more and work on it periodically until you can play it perfectly.

If you do that, the course will give you the skills you wish to develop.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/03/18 12:35 AM
Originally Posted by dmd

If you leave (for mental health reasons ... LOL ...) .... come back to it as soon as possible and work on it a bit more and work on it periodically until you can play it perfectly.

If you do that, the course will give you the skills you wish to develop.


That's great advice, Don.

I'm not really happy with how I play the last song (Vienna Life Waltz) at 80bpm. It doesn't sound good to my ears and it doesn't feel good to play it. I think I'll take your advice and keep working on it slow and smooth until something starts to change. I'll still move on to the next lesson, but I'll keep working the song with the runs in it until they start to smooth out at speed. I was looking forward to leaving this song in the rearview mirror, but you're making too much sense and have changed my mind. wink

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/03/18 12:48 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by dmd

If you leave (for mental health reasons ... LOL ...) .... come back to it as soon as possible and work on it a bit more and work on it periodically until you can play it perfectly.

If you do that, the course will give you the skills you wish to develop.


That's great advice, Don.

I'm not really happy with how I play the last song (Vienna Life Waltz) at 80bpm. It doesn't sound good to my ears and it doesn't feel good to play it. I think I'll take your advice and keep working on it slow and smooth until something starts to change. I'll still move on to the next lesson, but I'll keep working the song with the runs in it until they start to smooth out at speed. I was looking forward to leaving this song in the rearview mirror, but you're making too much sense and have changed my mind. wink


Well, unfortunately that advice is easier to give than to take ... myself. LOL .....

I know it is the right way to do things but it is hard to follow sometimes because we always want to go "faster".

After listening to you on Vienna Life .... I think you have to the skill, you just haven't go it up to the speed you want.

If you come back to it periodically you may find you can do it faster just from gaining general keyboard skill from playing other things.

I am currently trying to take my advice as I am hovering around page 50 to the end of book 1.

I keep going back and forth though those pages and lessons 7-9 trying play things cleanly.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/03/18 01:30 AM
Originally Posted by dmd

After listening to you on Vienna Life .... I think you have to the skill, you just haven't go it up to the speed you want.

If you come back to it periodically you may find you can do it faster just from gaining general keyboard skill from playing other things.


Yeah, the runs feel more natural paying them slow but the melody doesn't sound good slow. That's why I bumped it up to 80bpm. Duane plays it around 100bpm and has 4 octave runs that are buttery smooth. I'll keep working on it.

Quote
I am currently trying to take my advice as I am hovering around page 50 to the end of book 1.

I keep going back and forth though those pages and lessons 7-9 trying play things cleanly.


I remember from that portion of the course, Sonota Theme pg. 50 and My Faith Looks up to Thee pg. 17 supplementary book. I recorded both of those songs. Alberti bass was introduced and was new to me at the time. I've kept My Faith Looks up to Thee in my repertoire and played it today on an actual acoustic grand.

It's great to get an update from you.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: fizikisto Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/06/18 04:48 PM
David_B,
I have a supsicion that if someone else posted a video and asked what you thought, you wouldn't be nearly as critical of them as you are of yourself. I don't think your runs sound bad at all! Of course they aren't going to be as good as Duane's (he's been doing this for decades and you're on year 1 or 2), but you seem to be keeping the runs in time and they flow. That's all that's required! There's nothing jarring or disconcerting about them at all. I humbly suggest that you should cut yourself some slack smile Your progress is fantastic and you should be very proud of it!

Way to go! I hope that you'll continue posting and I look forward to seeing your continued progress.

Warm Regards
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/06/18 08:23 PM
Originally Posted by fizikisto
David_B,
I have a supsicion that if someone else posted a video and asked what you thought, you wouldn't be nearly as critical of them as you are of yourself. I don't think your runs sound bad at all! Of course they aren't going to be as good as Duane's (he's been doing this for decades and you're on year 1 or 2), but you seem to be keeping the runs in time and they flow. That's all that's required! There's nothing jarring or disconcerting about them at all. I humbly suggest that you should cut yourself some slack smile Your progress is fantastic and you should be very proud of it!

Way to go! I hope that you'll continue posting and I look forward to seeing your continued progress.

Warm Regards


Very encouraging words, thank you!

There are two songs in lesson 27 and both of them offer the opportunity to work on runs. I’m hoping to have lesson 27 done sometime next week and I think I will record Santa Lucia which is one of the songs.

God bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/14/18 06:39 AM
Here is a song from lesson 27 that I like. I don’t know most of the songs in this course but I remember hearing this one (Santa Lucia) growing up. No new arrangement techniques were taught in this lesson. It’s arranged based on what was taught in the past. I’ll play it first as written and then arranged. The piano sound is my new VSL CFX



God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/29/18 04:51 AM
I finished lesson 28. There are two songs covered in this lesson and no new arrangement techniques are introduced. Duane gives some ideas on how to arrange the song I recorded by mixing up chords and arpeggios.This lesson marks the advent of the key of G. The song I recorded coincidently happens to go along with the holiday weekend. The piano sound is the VSL CFX (Karvala Preset). I'll play it once through as written and then arranged.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/29/18 11:15 PM
Very nice! And as you point out - timely! I'm anticipating September Song in a few months . . .
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/30/18 12:40 AM
Originally Posted by pwl
Very nice! And as you point out - timely! I'm anticipating September Song in a few months . . .


America is a fun song to play. The tempo I selected is too fast for me to perform smooth runs at the end, but I like the tempo for the rest of the song.

Is "September Song" in the course? There are so many songs covered that many of them are a blur now in my mind.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/30/18 05:28 AM
Alas, I don't think "September Song" is in the course.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/20/18 05:38 AM
I hope everyone is having a pleasant summer. Traveling over the past few months has disrupted my regular practice, but now I'm back on schedule. Here is a song from lesson 28 (I’m currently on lesson 30). This song is fun because it’s my arrangement using the techniques taught in the previous lessons, e.g., Alberti bass, swing bass, arpeggios, and runs. I feel like my runs are starting to smooth out a bit and I’m not having to think about them as much (if that makes sense). I feel more relaxed doing them. The song is Camptown Races and I’ll play it as written and then arranged. The Piano sound is VSL CFX.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/20/18 07:09 AM
What a coincidence - literally at approx. the time you posted I was thinking about you and your progress with the Shinn course. Thought maybe you'd just been busy - pretty sure (and hopeful) you hadn't given it up. So this is a VERY nice surprise tonight - thank you (from all your fans, too, I'm sure)!

I REALLY like when you get down at about 2:08 and take us on home - some serious funk from that point!

Btw, I'm bettin' on the bay . . .
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/20/18 03:51 PM
Originally Posted by pwl


I REALLY like when you get down at about 2:08 and take us on home - some serious funk from that point!


Thanks.

That's one of the benefits of this course. The opportunity to develop the techniques that are taught will always be there by virtue of Duane's teaching style and the shear amount of songs covered in the course.

If I never took this course I'd only be able to play the song as written, which of course is pretty boring.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/21/18 06:28 PM
For those who are fans of Duane, sadly he passed away on July 26 at the age of 79.
He'll be missed - after almost 15 years of using his instructional materials, I am still learning.
RIP Duane!
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/21/18 07:06 PM
So sorry to hear that,
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/21/18 08:44 PM
Originally Posted by EP
For those who are fans of Duane, sadly he passed away on July 26 at the age of 79.
He'll be missed - after almost 15 years of using his instructional materials, I am still learning.
RIP Duane!


I thought it was strange that he didn't reply personally to the last video link I sent him like he had been accustomed to doing in the past. His son Garth responded, but there was no mention of Duane's passing. I found this link to a memorial.

https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/medford-or/duane-shinn-7945936

I'll have to say that this past year and a half using Duane's materials has been one of the most enjoyable musical experiences in my life. His kindness in responding to my questions and constant affirmation served to help motivate me as I plodded along through the lessons.

My determination to finish this course has never wavered, but I feel even more inspired now to finish it in honor of Duane and his commitment to education.

Thank you Duane for touching my life with your gifts and talents. RIP

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/31/18 03:32 PM
Thought I would update where I am with the 52 week crash course. I ordered the first 4 lessons this past January. Having never played before starting this course I found it to be a real challenge. It took me about 4 months to get through the 4 lessons.

I decided I needed a teacher at least for a little while so I sought out a lady close by and she has helped fill in the blanks rally well for these last few months.

However I don’t think her style is where I want to end up so I stopped the lessons and started lesson 5 of Duane’s course this week. Things went real well but I still see each lesson taking more than a week but that is ok as I am in no hurry.

The main reason I started back is because of David’s wonderful videos he posts. Thanks to everyone who posts here for the inspiration.

Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/31/18 06:12 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright


The main reason I started back is because of David’s wonderful videos he posts. Thanks to everyone who posts here for the inspiration.



Amen! smile

Different lessons have taken me a month or more to complete also. I find is hard to believe that any beginner could finish this course in a year. When I ordered the material Duane's office staff told me that the 52 Week Crash Course was three years of study material condensed. I wanted to finish it as quick as possible so I could move on to his Praise and Gospel series that I bought. However, it's been a year and a half since I started and I'm on lesson 30. So I'm on track to finish it in three years. I think the foundation this course provides is worth taking the time even if it takes three or more years to complete.

Thanks for sharing your progress. Enjoy the journey. The reward is not only at the end, but also through the process of learning week by week and day by day as you see your ability improve. Soon you'll really start for feel like a piano player.

God Bless,
David



Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/03/18 04:34 PM
I just started lesson 7 today. This lesson seems like a little bit of a turning point as he really starts talking about arranging songs in different ways.

The more I get into this course the more I am convinced it is a really good way to learn to play. I don’t know much about the piano yet but what I have learned has seemed to sink in ways other courses have not provided at least for my simple mind.

One thing I did was buy a easy Fake book and have started applying what I have learned to songs that I enjoy and would want to play a long time. When I learn a new technique I start adding it to songs out of the Fake book.
Posted By: newbert Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/05/18 08:18 PM
Sorry for jumping into this thread, but I'm interested in Duane's 52 Week Course, but have a few questions on whether it's right for me. (I started a separate thread here , and Doug has been kind enough to respond to it, but I'm hoping to hear from others here as well.

As I said in the other thread, I currently play at a low intermediate level and can read sheet music well, can play competently from sheet music at "my" level, but have had trouble learning to play from lead sheets. (Although I know most of the chords, I need to learn different ways of arranging, particularly to add some "meat" with the right hand.). This course looks like it might be just the ticket for me but, frankly, the price is holding me back. My questions for those kind enough to comment/respond:

1. Did you start the course as a total beginner? If not, at which lesson did you find the course to begin being useful to you (assuming that you're happy with the lessons)?

2. If necessary, can separate DVD's be purchased out-of-order? (ie - purchase DVD #3 first?) I'm pretty sure that the answer to this is NO.

3. What types of songs are used in the lessons? (Could someone perhaps provide an abbreviated listing?) Do you find them useful to "carry over" the skills you learn to other songs? ( I play mostly Great American Songbook and 70's/80's pop.)

4. Right now I'm stuck on playing (somewhat competently) from full sheet music, but am interested in "freeing" myself from the written score. If any of you found yourself in the same place, did this course help you?

Thanks!
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/05/18 10:35 PM
Newbert:

What you wish to be able to do, is exactly what this course will train you for.

If you do each lesson very carefully and thoroughly learn each skill well before moving to the next lesson, you will progress very nicely.

Not fast, mind you …. I would estimate a time period for the course of at least 2 years, and maybe 3.

However, if you finish it, I believe you will be a very fine pianist and able to play from leadsheets for material in the Great American Songbook.

And as you know from your history …. 3 years is not a long time to invest for a goal like that.


The problem you run into, as in every other self-learning course, is that you have to provide the motivation and self-discipline to do the work and not get impatient to where you begin to skip through things before you have mastered them.

You will not have a teacher to "prepare for" each week so it can get lonesome and depressing when things do not go the way you had hoped.

Only you know how you will handle that.

I am not good at that and I have started many of these courses with high hopes only to find a reason to quit a bit later.

There are some (not many) within this thread who have done very well and you will probably be hearing from some of them.

Bottom line ? This course contains exactly the material and training you are looking for.

The only question is whether or not you will stick with it long enough to benefit from it.

Good Luck
Posted By: newbert Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/06/18 12:20 AM
Originally Posted by dmd

You will not have a teacher to "prepare for" each week so it can get lonesome and depressing when things do not go the way you had hoped.

Only you know how you will handle that.

I am not good at that and I have started many of these courses with high hopes only to find a reason to quit a bit later.

.............................................................

The only question is whether or not you will stick with it long enough to benefit from it.

Good Luck




Yes - Unfortunately, that's been my experience with a few courses as well.

Thanks for your input, Don!
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/06/18 03:06 PM
I agree with what Don said, but would emphasize that the way the material is presented, you should start from the beginning and go through it in order rather than try to pick and choose. You can always come back to certain lessons, and you will certainly spend more time on some than on others, but the course is progressive and each lesson builds on previous lessons.
The material used is mostly pretty basic tunes; what he does to enhance and arrange them is where the meat of the course is.
I would also add that the course is not going to teach you much about jazz piano - I would say it's more oriented toward popular styles. Nor is this the only place you are going to find the information he presents.
I think the real benefit of the course is that it is presented in a progressive, approachable manner - you just need to go through it, stick with it, and you will learn a lot. If you don't commit to spending the time and doing the work, it will be just one more item on the shelf.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/06/18 11:46 PM
Originally Posted by newbert


1. Did you start the course as a total beginner? If not, at which lesson did you find the course to begin being useful to you (assuming that you're happy with the lessons)?


I was pretty much a beginner when I started Duane's course.

Quote
2. If necessary, can separate DVD's be purchased out-of-order? (ie - purchase DVD #3 first?) I'm pretty sure that the answer to this is NO.


I don't know. An email to Duane's office should answer that question. Even though Duane has recently passed away his lessons and material will still be available.

Quote
3. What types of songs are used in the lessons? (Could someone perhaps provide an abbreviated listing?) Do you find them useful to "carry over" the skills you learn to other songs? ( I play mostly Great American Songbook and 70's/80's pop.)


I really only want to play mostly gospel songs, so I don't find the song selection in the course particularly inspiring. There are a lot of songs (several hundred) that you'll go through. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to make a list. Sorry.

However, I do feel everything I'm learning easily translates into the type of music I ultimately want to play.

Quote
4. Right now I'm stuck on playing (somewhat competently) from full sheet music, but am interested in "freeing" myself from the written score. If any of you found yourself in the same place, did this course help you?


Reading music is the hardest thing for me. I don't know if I'll ever be good at it. This course is helping, but that's just one of several things being taught. Another is what you're interested in. How to arrange songs beyond what's written. Every lesson builds with different techniques and plenty of opportunities to develop them through the course.

I'm pretty sure everything I wrote is covered more extensively throughout this thread. If you haven't read through it from the beginning, you might consider it. This thread is what got me involved in Duane's course and is a wealth of great information regarding the 52 Week Crash Course.

God Bless
David

Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/06/18 11:54 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
If you do each lesson very carefully and thoroughly learn each skill well before moving to the next lesson, you will progress very nicely....The problem you run into, as in every other self-learning course, is that you have to provide the motivation and self-discipline to do the work and not get impatient to where you begin to skip through things before you have mastered them.


In my humble opinion, this is singularly the most important counsel given in this thread.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/07/18 12:06 AM
Originally Posted by EP

I think the real benefit of the course is that it is presented in a progressive, approachable manner - you just need to go through it, stick with it, and you will learn a lot. If you don't commit to spending the time and doing the work, it will be just one more item on the shelf.


Amen!

The progressive nature and systematic approach of this course really appeals to my temperament. I'm committed to finishing it, but I've ran into a problem the last two months with my work schedule and traveling. I've only clocked a few hours of practice in September. I'm really disappointed because it's thrown off my personal goal for how many hours I wanted to practice this year.

That being the case, the progressive nature of this course along with the repetitious structure has really ingrained within me what I've learned so far. That makes coming back to the piano after not practicing for weeks a lot easier.

Hopefully, by the end of October I can be back on track. This is the problem being an adult beginner. Adult situations arise.

God Bless,
David

Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/07/18 12:40 AM
Originally Posted by David B
This is the problem being an adult beginner. Adult situations arise.

God Bless,
David




Very wise words David, I think I will print them out and put it above my piano for the times I start beating myself up when life gets in the way.
Posted By: Steven Carr Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/23/18 11:59 AM
It seems to me that what you learn in Duane Shinn's course you can learn for 1/10 of the price at the Steve Lungrin site and have more up to date videos to learn from.

Of course, there won't be a complete overlap, but Steve Lungrin has far more than 52 lessons and it will take me years to master it all. Not that I will master it all, of course.

Every video is a mine of information.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/23/18 04:52 PM
Originally Posted by Steven Carr
It seems to me that what you learn in Duane Shinn's course you can learn for 1/10 of the price at the Steve Lungrin site and have more up to date videos to learn from.

Of course, there won't be a complete overlap, but Steve Lungrin has far more than 52 lessons and it will take me years to master it all. Not that I will master it all, of course.

Every video is a mine of information.


Sorry, not even close. I am not saying that the lessons you are promoting aren't good for what they are, but they don't look at all look like a well thought out curriculum the way Duane Shinn's course is. Instead, it is a large collection of lessons. There is a difference, whether you recognize it or not.

Tony

Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/03/18 02:54 PM
I am back …. LOL ….

I know I need to develop the skills in this curriculum so I am making another run at it.

I am sharing my thoughts on it because others who have jumped in and then out may have the same problem with continuing the course.

The plan I have this time (LOL …. we always have a plan, don't we ?) is to print out every page from the Method book and Supplementary Songs book that are a part of a particular lesson (1,2,3,4,5, etc ….) put them into a folder and then when I practice this material, I just keep cycling around through those pages until I can play every single one of them. That keeps me focused on that lesson without thumbing around through those books and does not tempt me to be looking ahead and coming up with some reason to move on before I can play those pages.

When I can play those pages to the level I feel comfortable with …. I can put those away and start a new lesson and the cycle continues....

I think this will work as long as I do not allow myself to move on before mastering the present lesson.

It will take as long as it takes.

I will know more in 6 months.
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/03/18 03:40 PM
That is exactly what I am doing Don, I feel like I am making real progress( slow but moving forward). I am currently on lesson 8 and it takes me 3 or 4 weeks before I move on.

Good luck
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/03/18 04:02 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright
That is exactly what I am doing Don, I feel like I am making real progress( slow but moving forward). I am currently on lesson 8 and it takes me 3 or 4 weeks before I move on.

Good luck



Keep forging ahead … a little at a time …. that seems to be the formula
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/03/18 10:29 PM
Originally Posted by dmd

Keep forging ahead … a little at a time …. that seems to be the formula


Amen!

Work and travel prevented me from moving forward with my lessons in September and October. Thankfully, starting tomorrow, I'm getting back on schedule. I'll be picking up in lesson 31 right where I left off.

I just ordered a new Mac Mini that should be here next week. Now I will have a dedicated computer to run my VSL CFX. My little work laptop was just not able to handle the load.

I'm really looking forward to the second half of this course. I'm going to take as much time as I need to finish this properly. Then it's on to Duane's Praise and Gospel series which is what I've really been longing for.

Hang in there guys. We can do.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/09/18 10:43 PM
Here is a song from lesson 31 (Chiapanecas) don't ask me to pronounce that. smile This song is not arranged yet, only played as written. I'm going to start working on the arrangement today. I'm a little worried because in this lesson Duane doesn't breakdown very clearly everything he does. He just plays the song different ways while saying, "you can do this and you can do that," etc. I will have to pause the video every few seconds to see where he's putting his fingers and then figure out why it works.

This is a departure from previous lessons where he slowly tells you exactly what he is doing and why he's doing it. Hopefully the rest of the lessons aren't like this. Let's see how long it takes for me to get the arrangement down. The arrangement is going to be semi-custom because he gives several examples of what can be done with the song.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/10/18 07:00 AM
David -

I enjoyed your lively "as written" version and am looking forward to what else you do with it.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 01:27 AM
I finished lesson 31. Here is Chiapanecas arranged. It's not really polished, but I'm ready to put this song behind me. No new techniques were taught in this lesson. Just more arrangement examples. I'll play it as written and then arranged. I've started lesson 32 and it doesn't look like there is anything new in lesson 32 either. However, there is a Czerny exercise that seems to have a nice melody to it.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 04:33 AM
I am SERIOUSLY impressed, David! And . . . you've provided a really nice musical interlude, to boot.
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 05:03 AM
Thank you for posting your progress David, you do a wonderful job on these songs. I want you to know i Find great encouragement in your playing. I sometimes go through this thread and listen to some of your videos when my head tells me I can't do this. Listening to you has helped keep me going.
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 05:32 AM
Man! I’m reading through this thread and I have to say that I’m impressed!
The videos are demonstrating just what i want to be able to do, myonly issue is the price...yikes, thats a chunk of change.

Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 05:56 AM
Maybe goes down a little easier if thought of as $25/month over the 3 years it may take you to complete the course. (Various posts suggest that mastering a lesson per week is not realistic.)
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 06:16 AM
Originally Posted by pwl
I am SERIOUSLY impressed, David! And . . . you've provided a really nice musical interlude, to boot.


Amen! Part of the fun is figuring out how to arrange the songs. Even us beginners can be creative.

Originally Posted by dcupright
Thank you for posting your progress David, you do a wonderful job on these songs. I want you to know i Find great encouragement in your playing. I sometimes go through this thread and listen to some of your videos when my head tells me I can't do this. Listening to you has helped keep me going.


Your affirmation encourages my heart. I don't have any special aptitude for playing the piano. We just need to put the time in and we can all succeed in improving our ability to play. Duane (RIP) has put together a very practical series of lessons. We can be grateful for his contribution as an educator.

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Man! I’m reading through this thread and I have to say that I’m impressed!
The videos are demonstrating just what i want to be able to do, myonly issue is the price...yikes, thats a chunk of change.


Yeah, it's definitely the more expensive material out there. However, you'd pay a lot more money for weekly lessons with a private instructor in one year. Also, take into consideration that the 52-week course is actually three years of material.

I had in interest free (for one year) credit card offer that I used to purchase the materials. I also purchased Duane's Praise and Gospel series and Pro Secrets at the same time with the 52-Week Crash Course. It took me about eight months to pay it all off. I also received a 200 dollar cash reward for using the credit card and spending 1000 dollars in the first 3 months. So I had an interest free loan and 200 discount on the materials. Not a bad deal.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 10:43 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by pwl
I am SERIOUSLY impressed, David! And . . . you've provided a really nice musical interlude, to boot.


Amen! Part of the fun is figuring out how to arrange the songs. Even us beginners can be creative.

Originally Posted by dcupright
Thank you for posting your progress David, you do a wonderful job on these songs. I want you to know i Find great encouragement in your playing. I sometimes go through this thread and listen to some of your videos when my head tells me I can't do this. Listening to you has helped keep me going.


Your affirmation encourages my heart. I don't have any special aptitude for playing the piano. We just need to put the time in and we can all succeed in improving our ability to play. Duane (RIP) has put together a very practical series of lessons. We can be grateful for his contribution as an educator.

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Man! I’m reading through this thread and I have to say that I’m impressed!
The videos are demonstrating just what i want to be able to do, myonly issue is the price...yikes, thats a chunk of change.


Yeah, it's definitely the more expensive material out there. However, you'd pay a lot more money for weekly lessons with a private instructor in one year. Also, take into consideration that the 52-week course is actually three years of material.

I had in interest free (for one year) credit card offer that I used to purchase the materials. I also purchased Duane's Praise and Gospel series and Pro Secrets at the same time with the 52-Week Crash Course. It took me about eight months to pay it all off. I also received a 200 dollar cash reward for using the credit card and spending 1000 dollars in the first 3 months. So I had an interest free loan and 200 discount on the materials. Not a bad deal.

God Bless,
David










Ok! Im in...just purchased.
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 03:42 PM
Now that I have the course..I'm looking forward to fiddling with some lead sheets.

What Fake-book do you recommend for a beginner or are they basically all the same?
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 04:36 PM
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Now that I have the course..I'm looking forward to fiddling with some lead sheets.

What Fake-book do you recommend for a beginner or are they basically all the same?


i have been using the Scott Houston Fake Book to apply the things I am learning in Duane's course. Everything is in the key of C, which is the only key that is taught in the first 8 lessons so it fits well. I like the songs and it helps me have a little variety. It takes me a lot longer to get through a lesson but that is ok, I am enjoying the journey wherever it takes me.

There are tons of easy Fake books out there just Google that and you will find plenty of options no matter what your musical taste is.
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 04:41 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Now that I have the course..I'm looking forward to fiddling with some lead sheets.

What Fake-book do you recommend for a beginner or are they basically all the same?


i have been using the Scott Houston Fake Book to apply the things I am learning in Duane's course. Everything is in the key of C, which is the only key that is taught in the first 8 lessons so it fits well. I like the songs and it helps me have a little variety. It takes me a lot longer to get through a lesson but that is ok, I am enjoying the journey wherever it takes me.

There are tons of easy Fake books out there just Google that and you will find plenty of options no matter what your musical taste is.

Thanks Doug, I did see that one on Amazon and thought it looked good.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 04:46 PM
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Ok! Im in...just purchased.


Congrats on the purchase. I hope you enjoy the journey.


Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Now that I have the course..I'm looking forward to fiddling with some lead sheets.

What Fake-book do you recommend for a beginner or are they basically all the same?


I'm not sure what "fake-books" are. Sorry for my ignorance. Keep in mind that there are eight books that come with the 52-week course. They include around 200 songs. I've found that to finish this course in any reasonable timeframe doesn't leave much room for extracurricular work. However, that just might be a quirk of mine. I tend to hyper-focus on stuff I get involved with. Please keep us updated on your progress once you start the course.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: littlebunny Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 08:36 PM
A fake book is a big book of songs that only shows the notes for the melody, with the chord names listed above. Sound familiar? You might like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Hymn-Fake-Bo...p;sr=8-1&keywords=the+hymn+fake+book


Oh, here's another one: https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Fak...words=the+ultimate+fake+book+5th+edition
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/19/18 09:36 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Ok! Im in...just purchased.


Congrats on the purchase. I hope you enjoy the journey.


Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Now that I have the course..I'm looking forward to fiddling with some lead sheets.

What Fake-book do you recommend for a beginner or are they basically all the same?


I'm not sure what "fake-books" are. Sorry for my ignorance. Keep in mind that there are eight books that come with the 52-week course. They include around 200 songs. I've found that to finish this course in any reasonable timeframe doesn't leave much room for extracurricular work. However, that just might be a quirk of mine. I tend to hyper-focus on stuff I get involved with. Please keep us updated on your progress once you start the course.

God Bless,
David

Thanks! I will certainly do that.

I'm just a bit hyper when I start something, I tend to go overboard. I'd rather have more to read and study than less though I know I will be busy!

My DP comes today but the bench, stand and sustain pedal won't be here until tomorrow!!! arggg...
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/24/18 07:33 AM
Well, im in lesson #1
Im 100% beginner, no previous experience. So far i can say that playing is harder than I thought it would be (with my dreams of grandeur).

I can see that it will take me more than a week for each lesson which is fine with me.
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/24/18 09:46 AM
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Well, im in lesson #1
Im 100% beginner, no previous experience. So far i can say that playing is harder than I thought it would be (with my dreams of grandeur).

I can see that it will take me more than a week for each lesson which is fine with me.


The only absolute requirement needed for eventual success is that you do not quit.
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/24/18 12:57 PM
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Well, im in lesson #1
Im 100% beginner, no previous experience. So far i can say that playing is harder than I thought it would be (with my dreams of grandeur).

I can see that it will take me more than a week for each lesson which is fine with me.


I spend about a month on each lesson
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/24/18 01:01 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Well, im in lesson #1
Im 100% beginner, no previous experience. So far i can say that playing is harder than I thought it would be (with my dreams of grandeur).

I can see that it will take me more than a week for each lesson which is fine with me.


The only absolute requirement needed for eventual success is that you do not quit.





I'm not much of a quitter, I have a personality quirk that makes me steam ahead and not quit. Sometimes that's good and sometimes it's bad smile
Originally Posted by dcupright
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Well, im in lesson #1
Im 100% beginner, no previous experience. So far i can say that playing is harder than I thought it would be (with my dreams of grandeur).

I can see that it will take me more than a week for each lesson which is fine with me.


I spend about a month on each lesson


I'm guessing that's what will happen with me. On a brighter note, the first few pieces were much easier after practicing a couple of days and sleeping on it.


One question not related to this particular topic; how do I see updates to this thread? I don't get emails when someone posts nor is there a "see your followed threads" button that I can see.
Posted By: littlebunny Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/24/18 02:25 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright
[quote=PianoWVBob] I spend about a month on each lesson

Wow. Actually, that's encouraging. I've started several; times, go as far as I can sight read, then say I can't do this, and quit. So maybe I'll try again in the new year. Meanwhile I have flute tunes to learn for December Sundays. Have a wonderful holiday season, all!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/04/18 04:29 AM
I finished lesson 32 and there was nothing really notable in this lesson, but I did have some fun arranging a little Czerny exercise called Melody In Thirds. It’s my arrangement using the techniques that I’ve learned in the course so far, i.e., chording, arpeggios, walkup/downs, and runs. It’s a nice tune to practice some of those earlier skills that Duane taught. I change the tempo and feel in the second half of the song. I do make mistakes playing it, but I’m ready to move on. I’ll play it once through as written and then arranged. The piano is my new Garritan CFX lite.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/04/18 06:28 AM
Nice job!

That helps me to look ahead at what's possible while I'm still on Lesson 1.
Posted By: newbert Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/04/18 05:00 PM
David - To say that I'm impressed with your progress would be a huge understatement! Well done.

Your posts and videos here are the best advertisement for this course, and I find myself considering the purchase more and more. The only thing holding me back at this point is the cost. To save me the effort of searching thru this long thread, could you answer a few questions for me? (PM me if you don't want to post answers here...)

1. Did you start the course as a complete beginner or did you have any experience with piano beforehand?

2. What key(s) are the lessons presented in?

3. At this point, do you also play from fake books/leadsheets from outside the course? If so, I'd love to see a video of that.

4. I can't really tell, but you don't seem to look at the score while playing. Do you memorize each song in its entirety, or is it a goal of yours not to depend on the sheet very much?

Thanks, and keep up the great progress!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/04/18 06:44 PM
Originally Posted by newbert
David - To say that I'm impressed with your progress would be a huge understatement! Well done.


Bless your heart.

Quote
1. Did you start the course as a complete beginner or did you have any experience with piano beforehand?


I started playing two years prior to the Duane Shinn course, but I had no formal instruction and did not learn much. Pretty much everything that I can play right now I've learned from the 52 week course.

Quote
2. What key(s) are the lessons presented in?


So far we've covered C Major, A minor, and G Major. I think we'll be moving to F Major soon. I don't know how many keys are covered, but probably not much more than that.

Quote
3. At this point, do you also play from fake books/leadsheets from outside the course? If so, I'd love to see a video of that.


No. I have worked on a few hymns outside of the course using what I've learned from Duane to play beyond what's in the hymnal. However, this course takes my full attention.

Quote
4. I can't really tell, but you don't seem to look at the score while playing. Do you memorize each song in its entirety, or is it a goal of yours not to depend on the sheet very much?


I have to read the music to learn the songs but since the songs are so simple, they are easy to memorize. It just happens that way. Of course I don't remember songs from previous lessons so I would have to read the music to play those again. Reading music is the hardest part of this course for me. I don't know if I'll ever be proficient at it. I couldn't read at all before starting the course and I'm a little better at it now.

Quote
Thanks, and keep up the great progress!


Thank you. I'm going to keep doing the best I can. I really look forward to these lessons and I wish I didn't dilly-dally for two years prior to this course. This course has helped feel like I'm actually beginning to learn how to play the piano.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/04/18 07:54 PM
David do you practice each song in the lesson individually before moving to the next song or do you work on them as a group? I am starting lesson 9 tonight, and have always played one song then the next. After learning them all as written I start adding in the few arrangement techniques I have learned so far. I am wondering if this is slowing me down.

I was thinking about only playing the first song in lesson 9 until I can play it fairly well before moving to song 2.

Since you are getting such great results I wondered if you would share the way you do things.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/05/18 02:03 AM
Originally Posted by dcupright
David do you practice each song in the lesson individually before moving to the next song or do you work on them as a group?


As a group while I'm learning the songs the way they are written in the book. Once I can play them as written in the book, I then work on them individually for the arrangement.

Quote
I am wondering if this is slowing me down.


It's taken me two years to get to lesson 33. Slow and steady has been key for me. I haven't been focusing on anything else, only this course. I believe these lessons would benefit more advanced players and they could move at a faster pace. Nothing I've learned in this course has come easy. I would take as much time as necessary to learn what is being taught. It sounds like you're doing a good job. Keep it up.

Quote
I was thinking about only playing the first song in lesson 9 until I can play it fairly well before moving to song 2. Since you are getting such great results I wondered if you would share the way you do things.


That's what I generally do.

Keep in mind that there are some things that can only develop with time. We need to consider intelligently what an adequate level of performance is before we can move on. Some of the syncopated stuff (such as Jingle Bells) was really hard for me to learn, but I felt my brain needed to be wired for that before I moved on. Now the syncopation comes a litter easier.

Runs were really difficult for me at first, however, I feel like they are getting a little better now. If I would have waited for my runs to smooth out before moving on, I'd still be in lesson 17. That's the beauty of this course. There is ample opportunity to develop the techniques being taught throughout the course because of all the songs that are covered.

I've been taking a slower approach doing one song at a time like you suggested. It might be another two years before I finish this course because that's as fast as I'm capable of learning it to the degree I'm comfortable with. I did not think it was going to take this long when I started it. It is called a 1 year course. I wish I could learn these things faster, but my 45 year old brain doesn't have the plasticity it once did.

Thankfully, Duane makes this course very interesting and practical. He mentioned in the last lesson that we will be getting into chord substitutions soon and I'm really looking forward to that.

Hang in there. We shall bear fruit.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/05/18 02:19 AM
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions so throughly David. Nothing has come easy for me either, but I am loving the journey.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/20/18 03:37 AM
Here is a song from lesson 33 Liebestraum by Liszt. This is not arranged but played only as written in the lesson book (except for the lower octaves at the end that I added).

I'm tempted not to arrange this because Duane says the arrangement is more advanced, and I can tell I'm not going to be able to play it the way he does. He also mentions in the lesson not to worry if the arrangement is above our ability because the course has to reach a spectrum of skill levels.

I think I'll try the arrangement for a little while and if it proves to be too difficult then I'll move on. There are only two songs in this lesson and the other is a short Bach piece that is not arranged by Duane and I already learned that one. I'll give this Liszt song a shot, but it might be the first song in this course I skip over.

Here it is as written in the lesson book. It's a nice little song that I never heard before. The piano is my new VSL Steinway D. I've been spending a lot of time messing around with this Steinway to try and get the sound right.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/20/18 06:03 AM
Nicely done.
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/20/18 12:28 PM
That was really nice. I didn't recognize it either. Thank you keeping this up, it's helpful.
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/21/18 04:55 AM
It sounds nice as written. Your playing is really sounding good. I thought I knew the melody when you first start playing but as I listened i don't believe i have heard it either. Does not matter, another great job showing the power of Duane's teaching. I appreciate you taking the time to post your progress.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/27/18 11:52 PM
I finished lesson 33 and here is Liebestraum arranged. This is a very simplified version of Duane's arrangement. There is no way I can do what he does and I was tempted several times to skip this song, but once I accepted that the arrangement has to be at my level and I quit trying to copy Duane, I was ok.

With the help of a forum member (Karvala), I finally got my VSL Steinway D sounding really nice. The arrangement of this song has the most updated sound profile and it has become my favorite piano sound. I'll play the song as written and then arranged with the new VSL Steinway sound.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: Moo :) Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/28/18 12:30 AM
Its sounding good to me David. The course seems to be working for you.

What exactly was different about Duane's arrangement ?
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/28/18 02:12 AM
Originally Posted by Moo :)


What exactly was different about Duane's arrangement ?


He added a lot more to the song. He had chord substitutions, a counter melody, and simply many more notes. The bridge was full of beautiful chords and straddles. It all flowed together seamlessly and wonderfully and sounded much more rich and textured than my simplified version.

That's why he's the master and I'm the grasshopper. smile

God Bless,
David
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 12/28/18 04:37 AM
You sound great!
I appreciate you posting these for us.
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/10/19 03:56 AM
I watched the lesson 10 video tonight after spending way too long on lesson 9. After all these months I finally feel like my fingers are starting to do what they are supposed to. I have a long way to go but can see where this will all pay off somewhere down the road. This journey with Duane has been very exciting.

I just want to encourage folks to not quit and keep going, there are newer shiner ways to learn out there but at least for me this is a good way to learn. I believe it will take me 3 to 5 years to get through this course.
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/10/19 09:10 AM
Originally Posted by dcupright
I watched the lesson 10 video tonight after spending way too long on lesson 9. After all these months I finally feel like my fingers are starting to do what they are supposed to. I have a long way to go but can see where this will all pay off somewhere down the road. This journey with Duane has been very exciting.

I just want to encourage folks to not quit and keep going, there are newer shiner ways to learn out there but at least for me this is a good way to learn. I believe it will take me 3 to 5 years to get through this course.

That's great to hear. I ended up refunding the Piano Marvel and Pianote and kept with this. I'm still on lesson 2. smile
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/10/19 01:52 PM
Interloper here but I read this thread every once in awhile and something has always bugged me, so I thought I would get it out there: Does anyone have any theories of why Duane Shinn would think lessons would take one week when real people sometimes spend months on a single lesson? Is this just some inside joke of his? Marketing hype? Or does he have an unrealistic view of what non-pianists are capable of learning and doing? Is he targeting younger students who may learn faster? Is it targeted at people who have 8 hours a day to spend at piano?

Also, has anyone actually heard of anyone at all who has done the 52 week course in a real 52 weeks? Sounds like something someone should try as that would probably go in the record books... From reading this thread, I would bet Duane Shinn couldn't have gotten through his own course in 52 weeks when he was just starting! laugh

[Ok, as you were... interloper out! smile ]
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/10/19 03:03 PM
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by dcupright
I watched the lesson 10 video tonight after spending way too long on lesson 9. After all these months I finally feel like my fingers are starting to do what they are supposed to. I have a long way to go but can see where this will all pay off somewhere down the road. This journey with Duane has been very exciting.

I just want to encourage folks to not quit and keep going, there are newer shiner ways to learn out there but at least for me this is a good way to learn. I believe it will take me 3 to 5 years to get through this course.

That's great to hear. I ended up refunding the Piano Marvel and Pianote and kept with this. I'm still on lesson 2. smile



This course has been very much a mental game for me at times. There are only a few of the songs so far that I would want to keep playing long term and sometimes that makes it tough. As a long time bass player it is hard to go back to square one but for whatever reason things I have learned in Duane’s course seem to stick with me in a way no other course has. I am just getting to the arraignment part and it is very exciting to me to think some day I will be able to play a song different ways depending on how I feel and my mood. This is what I do on bass, I never play a song the same way twice, maybe close but not the same.
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/10/19 03:09 PM


Ib
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Interloper here but I read this thread every once in awhile and something has always bugged me, so I thought I would get it out there: Does anyone have any theories of why Duane Shinn would think lessons would take one week when real people sometimes spend months on a single lesson? Is this just some inside joke of his? Marketing hype? Or does he have an unrealistic view of what non-pianists are capable of learning and doing? Is he targeting younger students who may learn faster? Is it targeted at people who have 8 hours a day to spend at piano?

Also, has anyone actually heard of anyone at all who has done the 52 week course in a real 52 weeks? Sounds like something someone should try as that would probably go in the record books... From reading this thread, I would bet Duane Shinn couldn't have gotten through his own course in 52 weeks when he was just starting! laugh

[Ok, as you were... interloper out! smile ]


I can’t speak for others but there is no way I could do a lesson in a week, I don’t mind though because I am enjoying the journey. One of the reasons it takes me so long is because I take what I have learned and apply it to songs outside of the course, and Duane suggests going back over the earlier songs and trying what you just learned. I don’t know if I will ever finish or not but that is not as important to me right now as sitting down with what music I am capable of playing today.
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/10/19 03:25 PM
I guess a person "could" go through the course one-per-week but I found that I make progress when I let things "percolate" for a couple of days. If I keep at the same thing over and over I seem to not make progress but if I leave the tune or lesson and just mess with other things or take a day off, when I come back I can see that I'm doing better at it.
That's what I've noticed...it's as if the brain needs time to assimilate the information and you can go faster than that.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/10/19 05:05 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright
I just want to encourage folks to not quit and keep going, there are newer shiner ways to learn out there but at least for me this is a good way to learn. I believe it will take me 3 to 5 years to get through this course.


Thank you for the encouragement. I've been at it two years (currently on lesson 34) and I'm hoping to get through one lesson a month this year.

Keep up the good work folks. As Duane would say, "you reap what you sow."

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/10/19 06:07 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by dcupright
I just want to encourage folks to not quit and keep going, there are newer shiner ways to learn out there but at least for me this is a good way to learn. I believe it will take me 3 to 5 years to get through this course.


Thank you for the encouragement. I've been at it two years (currently on lesson 34) and I'm hoping to get through one lesson a month this year.

Keep up the good work folks. As Duane would say, "you reap what you sow."

God Bless,
David




I think 1 one lesson a month is probably a good pace, I did 9 in 2018 having never played before when I started and i stopped and did private lessons for a few months, so hopefully should be able to get in 12 this year, but we will see. I appreciate your videos so much, they have kept me going more than once when i was discouraged.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/10/19 06:50 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright
I think 1 one lesson a month is probably a good pace, I did 9 in 2018 having never played before when I started and i stopped and did private lessons for a few months, so hopefully should be able to get in 12 this year, but we will see.


I've noticed that the last few lessons are definitely getting harder for me. There is more theory involved with chord substitutions and counter Melodies. One lesson a month this year might be a little overly optimistic given how much time I actually have to practice, but that's my goal.

Quote
I appreciate your videos so much, they have kept me going more than once when i was discouraged.


It's my pleasure. Actually, making and posting the videos helps keep me going. smile

I'm happy you and others are sticking with it. Please keep posting your progress as well. It's encouraging to me also.

God bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/10/19 06:55 PM
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I ended up refunding the Piano Marvel and Pianote and kept with this. I'm still on lesson 2. smile


Wonderful and best wishes. Please keep us posted about your progress since it's inevitable that you will improve as you put time in.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 01/10/19 07:22 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I ended up refunding the Piano Marvel and Pianote and kept with this. I'm still on lesson 2. smile


Wonderful and best wishes. Please keep us posted about your progress since it's inevitable that you will improve as you put time in.

God Bless,
David

Thanks!

I will certainly do that. I started at ground zero at Christmas having never played keyboards.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/14/19 05:07 PM
Here is a song from lesson 34, Old Susanna. Duane introduced chord substitutions, counter melody, walkups/downs, and alternating bass, i.e., 1st, 5th, 1st, 5th, etc. Some of these concepts have all been covered before. I’ve never played the arrangement of this song without making mistakes. I’ve added syncopation and it makes it challenging for me. I’m putting this song behind me never to play it again. The piano sound is the N1X CFX. I'll play it as written and then arranged.



Here is a hymn from lesson 35 which I love. I’m keeping this one. Nothing new taught in the arrangement. The piano sound is VSL CFX played as written and then arranged.



I’ve started lesson 36, but there is one other song in lesson 35 that I really like and will record soon.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/14/19 08:34 PM
Once again thanks for sharing David, Oh Suzzana sounds great, I love your choices. As someone who loves hymns Just As I Am is very moving. I enjoyed both of these videos a lot
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/14/19 08:56 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright
Once again thanks for sharing David, Oh Suzzana sounds great, I love your choices. As someone who loves hymns Just As I Am is very moving. I enjoyed both of these videos a lot


Thank you.

That's funny, as I was reading your post I realized I was mistakenly calling the song Old Susanna instead of Oh Susanna.

These are the kind of things about me that make my wife laugh. blush

God bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/15/19 02:19 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by dcupright
Once again thanks for sharing David, Oh Suzzana sounds great, I love your choices. As someone who loves hymns Just As I Am is very moving. I enjoyed both of these videos a lot


Thank you.

That's funny, as I was reading your post I realized I was mistakenly calling the song Old Susanna instead of Oh Susanna.

These are the kind of things about me that make my wife laugh. blush

God bless,
David



Tonight I was going back through some of the old songs in the course practicing swing bass(I don’t think I will ever get smooth) and there was Oh Suzanna early in the course. Thought was funny since you just posted your version.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/15/19 03:08 AM
Originally Posted by dcupright
Tonight I was going back through some of the old songs in the course practicing swing bass(I don’t think I will ever get smooth) and there was Oh Suzanna early in the course. Thought was funny since you just posted your version.


That's interesting. It's been so long since I started this course (2 years and 3 months) that I don't even remember that song being covered earlier in the course. Although I do recall at least one other song making two appearances.

I really wish this course had all hymns in it. It's hard to stay motivated to learn some of these songs. Oh Susanna is one of them.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/16/19 09:23 PM
Originally Posted by David B
[quote=dcupright]I really wish this course had all hymns in it. It's hard to stay motivated to learn some of these songs. Oh Susanna is one of them.

Well,*I* loved your version - really, really entertaining!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/17/19 11:08 PM
Here is another song from lesson 35 called Lagoon Waltz. I kind of enjoyed arranging this song, but I have no desire to play it anymore. It's not perfect, but good enough to move on. No new arrangement techniques were taught. The piano sound is the N1X Bosendorfer Imperial. I really like this sound. I'll play it once through as written and then arranged.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/18/19 12:02 AM
Beautiful, David, you keep me going. Thank you for that. I put lesson 10 behind me tonight and plan to start 11 tomorrow. I notice your iPad on the music stand, have you moved your music on it? I am asking because I go back and forth.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/18/19 12:06 AM
Originally Posted by dcupright
Beautiful, David, you keep me going.

As an outside observer not doing this series, I am really impressed that David has made it 35 weeks. That is some dedication. I can only imagine the overwhelming majority of those who started this course have quit long before week 35. David is well past the halfway mark.

Keep it up, David! I guess the new piano was one of the incentives for you to finish? smile
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/18/19 12:42 AM
Originally Posted by dcupright
Beautiful, David, you keep me going. Thank you for that. I put lesson 10 behind me tonight and plan to start 11 tomorrow.


Wonderful! It feels good to move forward.

Quote
I notice your iPad on the music stand, have you moved your music on it? I am asking because I go back and forth.


I purchased the Yamaha UD-WL01 (wireless adaptor) so that I could try the Smart Pianist App to control the N1X. It works ok. I can record a wav file right onto the iPad.

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

As an outside observer not doing this series, I am really impressed that David has made it 35 weeks. That is some dedication. I can only imagine the overwhelming majority of those who started this course have quit long before week 35. David is well past the halfway mark.

Keep it up, David! I guess the new piano was one of the incentives for you to finish? smile


I was hoping to be done with this course by now, but there is still more to go. It's hard for me to quit once I start something. Also, I really believe this material is helping me learn how to play the piano. After this course is done, I'll start Duane's Praise and Gospel series.

I'm definitely more motivated to practice with the N1X compared to the other digital pianos I've owned. It's a beautiful instrument.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/18/19 12:58 AM
Originally Posted by David B
After this course is done, I'll start Duane's Praise and Gospel series.

I'm definitely more motivated to practice with the N1X compared to the other digital pianos I've owned. It's a beautiful instrument.

God Bless,
David

After 52 weeks and the Praise/Gospel series, there better be an opening in your church for a new volunteer pianist, because you'll be fully qualified! grin
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/18/19 01:56 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

After 52 weeks and the Praise/Gospel series, there better be an opening in your church for a new volunteer pianist, because you'll be fully qualified! grin


Occasionally I will slip to the piano and play a couple songs in-between services when nobody is really paying attention. That is all I feel comfortable doing for now. Maybe in 10 years if I'm still alive I will be able to do more.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/18/19 02:59 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Maybe in 10 years if I'm still alive I will be able to do more.

You've already progressed so far from the Alouette on your YT channel. I think you will end up surprise yourself! smile
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/18/19 04:49 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

You've already progressed so far from the Alouette on your YT channel. I think you will end up surprise yourself! smile


Yeah, that was way back at the beginning of the course. I think that was the introduction to swing bass. I remember really struggling to learn that.

I was looking ahead to lesson 37 and there is one song with some crazy ascending and descending runs. I can tell that's going to take a long time to learn.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: chongjasmine Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/25/19 08:34 PM
The course is really expensive.
Is it worth the price?
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/25/19 08:38 PM
Originally Posted by chongjasmine
The course is really expensive.
Is it worth the price?


It probably is …. if you do it.

There is a clear path (step by step) leading you toward being a very good piano player.

BUT …. you have to do it.

That is not always what happens.

It depends upon the type of person you are.

Bulldogs that never let go …. do well.

Those looking for a fast or easy way … fall by the wayside.

Only you can judge which you are.
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/25/19 09:34 PM
Originally Posted by chongjasmine
The course is really expensive.
Is it worth the price?

For me it is. What I do is buy 4 DVDs at a time for 100.00. This last me 3 months or so as I can’t do a weeks lesson in a week( partly because it costs a lot and I want to make sure I understand what I need to). I do lots of reviewing and applying the techniques to other songs so it takes me a while.

Your mileage may vary, from the posts on this thread it appears most people don’t stay with it or at least they seem to quit posting. It is not worth the price if you don’t stay with it.

Good luck whatever you decide to do. There are lots of ways to learn.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/25/19 09:59 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by chongjasmine
The course is really expensive.
Is it worth the price?


It probably is …. if you do it.

There is a clear path (step by step) leading you toward being a very good piano player.

BUT …. you have to do it.

That is not always what happens.

It depends upon the type of person you are.

Bulldogs that never let go …. do well.

Those looking for a fast or easy way … fall by the wayside.

Only you can judge which you are.




Since I started the thread, I will respond to this, strictly speaking for myself. I have found that, for myself (i.e. others may feel differently about their own experience), posting in forums all the time becomes my piano life. I don't want that, so I don't often post anymore. I do occasionally skim through one or two of the sub-forums, but otherwise prefer to spend my time playing piano. I find, again for myself (i.e. again, others may feel differently about their own experience), that talking about playing piano seems to detract from my own motivation to play. Playing motivates me to play.

So, just because some of us don't post frequently, does not at all mean that we fell away because we were looking for a fast or easy way. Quite the contrary - we may well be actually playing piano instead of posting frequently to online forums. Clearly, there are those who do post AND are playing regularly, as evidenced by the videos that one person here has been posting of his progress.

Tony


Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/26/19 03:08 AM
Originally Posted by TonyB
So, just because some of us don't post frequently, does not at all mean that we fell away because we were looking for a fast or easy way. Quite the contrary - we may well be actually playing piano instead of posting frequently to online forums.


Hi Tony,

Clearly, you took exception to my comment about "falling by the wayside".

You read more into it than was intended.

I never implied that you could identify those who have "fallen" by noting their lack of postings on this forum.

It was my intention to stress the point that the course would not be worth it if the user was looking for a fast and easy way to learn.

It is not.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/26/19 03:08 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by TonyB
So, just because some of us don't post frequently, does not at all mean that we fell away because we were looking for a fast or easy way. Quite the contrary - we may well be actually playing piano instead of posting frequently to online forums.


Hi Tony,

Clearly, you took exception to my comment about "falling by the wayside".

You read more into it than was intended.

I never implied that you could identify those who have "fallen" by noting their lack of postings on this forum.

It was my intention to stress the point that the course would not be worth it if the user was looking for a fast and easy way to learn.

It is not.




What I took exception to is how you worded your opinion regarding the course and the folks working through it. As you must know, since you seem to comment on nearly all of them, there is a multitude of self-study courses available these days. I believe that the Duane Shinn course has been around longer than many of the other courses, and may well be more intense than some of the newer courses. Someone who has real experience with a wide variety of such courses could comment knowledgably on that. Each course has its own approach and ultimate musical goal for teaching folks to play piano. This is a good thing, since there are many learning styles and at least as many individual musical goals.

Just as a person might shop for a "live" teacher by interviewing and even taking a number of lessons from each teacher being considered, so might a person try a number of courses before finding those that are best suited to a given person's musical goals and learning styles. It can take time to determine what one's musical goals really are, and possibly to discover what one's learning style is. This process does not necessarily have to indicate that a given individual is looking for an easier way, but instead a more individually suitable learning path. I suspect, but cannot prove, that those who find what is right for their individual needs, will tend to stick with it, even if, to those watching that individual's process of searching for that "right" course of study, might wrongly conclude otherwise.

Tony


Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/26/19 04:03 PM
Ok Tony,

Now, I get it.

You think that since you may not have continued with the course (yet, anyway) I am including you as someone looking for fast and easy methods and "falling by the wayside".

I truly never intended that.

I would have to have included myself in that category.

I understand that one must "try" a course before determining whether there is a "fit"

I guess I was just trying to warn the op that it is not a quick and easy method in terms of being "worth it".

Probably worded it badly. Sorry.

Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/26/19 05:49 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Ok Tony,

Now, I get it.

You think that since you may not have continued with the course (yet, anyway) I am including you as someone looking for fast and easy methods and "falling by the wayside".

I truly never intended that.

I would have to have included myself in that category.

I understand that one must "try" a course before determining whether there is a "fit"

I guess I was just trying to warn the op that it is not a quick and easy method in terms of being "worth it".

Probably worded it badly. Sorry.



Not at all. What makes you think I am not working my way through this course? That seems quite an assumption on your part, since I never said anything to indicate that I am not working on the course.

This isn't about me, but instead about exactly what I explained in my earlier response. I think this concludes our little discussion. There really isn't any more to say here without just repeating ourselves.

Tony


Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/26/19 07:01 PM
Originally Posted by TonyB
What makes you think I am not working my way through this course?


Well, I did not say you were not …. I said MAY not have …. I knew you might be (are) a bit sensitive on that point.

Since you asked …. I now think you are not working through it because you are (I think) overly sensitive about that point.

I certainly could be mistaken.

You can clear that up very easily …. if you choose to ….. just indicate that you are … indeed … still working through the course.

Are you ?
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/26/19 07:10 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by TonyB
What makes you think I am not working my way through this course?


Well, I did not say you were not …. I said MAY not have …. I knew you might be (are) a bit sensitive on that point.

Since you asked …. I now think you are not working through it because you are (I think) overly sensitive about that point.

I certainly could be mistaken.

You can clear that up very easily …. if you choose to ….. just indicate that you are … indeed … still working through the course.

Are you ?



OK. Yes, I am working through the course. Now, return the favor. Are you working through the course? You are participating in the course thread and doling out opinion and advice about the course to folks interested in it.

Tony
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/26/19 07:44 PM
Originally Posted by TonyB
OK. Yes, I am working through the course.



Well, good … I am glad you found it to be a "fit" for you.

Quote
Are you working through the course?


I am not.

It is not a good fit for me.

Quote
You are participating in the course thread and doling out opinion and advice about the course to folks interested in it.


Yes I am. I have the entire course and have experienced a good portion of it.

Do you find something wrong about that ?
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/26/19 07:53 PM
I have stated elsewhere in this thread that I feel the Duane Shinn crash course is the closest thing to a "live" teacher of any course that I have personal experience with. Like many self-teaching folks here have shared over the years, I have several of these courses. Each has its merits and its "lacks", but the Duane Shinn course seems to me to be very complete for providing a solid foundation for a lifetime of enjoying playing the piano without having to go through the rigors of a purely classical piano study. It is by no means a shortcut, but instead is intent on laying a decent foundation for those wishing to pursue playing piano outside of a full blown classical course of study.

That said, over the years here, folks have discussed some of Duane Shinn's other, shorter courses, often expressing the feeling that these are too short and don't do a good job of covering the intended material. Being personally familiar with a number of his courses that I personally own and use, I can safely say that the crash course is the centerpiece of Duane's products, and that the other course I own all assume the student has a level of competence equivalent to one having completed the crash course. Skipping that experience, whether obtained from the crash course or elsewhere, will only lead to the kinds of complaints some folks have expressed about the other courses in his product line.

I bought the entire crash course, along with the other large courses such as the one on improvisation, the pro secrets, and the music theory course a number of years ago, with the intention of pursuing these in retirement. I felt that I may be difficult to afford on a fixed income, so I decided to purchase these while I had a pile of disposable income. I now feel that was a wise choice, though I am financially doing just fine in retirement. Other people might move to a location on or near a golf course, the beach, or where ever best suits their desired activities in retirement. I planned on teaching myself to play the piano, and on staying right where I am. Now I am in retirement, and have been for a few years. I bought a Roland V-Grand digital piano new about 6 years ago, and have been enjoying pursuing, as a hobby/avocation, the piano.

At the center of this pursuit has been the courses I purchased from Duane Shinn those years ago. Along with these, I also take time to explore other courses I own, some of which were recommended by Don (dmd). But the center of my piano playing has been, and remains, Duane Shinn.

Duane Shinn's crash course actually takes YEARS to complete, and the process is to be savored, not rushed. That is exactly what I am doing. However, I have found that, for me (not necessarily for others!!!), posting often in forums and talking about what I am doing, seems to dissipate my interest in actually playing, and becomes instead an ongoing conversation ABOUT playing the piano. I tend to work better alone.

What I am sensitive to is not directly Don or any of his posts, which are often quite helpful. Instead, it is the language that people use at times that can be demotivating for those engaged in self-teaching. This isn't usually in Don's posts, and I probably just happened on one that used some of that terminology. However, I have seen, over the years, folks taking lessons from "live" teachers, taking a rather dim view of those of us who have chosen the self-teaching route rather than going with a "live" teacher. It is in those posts, rather than Don's, where we usually see claims that we self-teachers don't stick with anything and therefore make no progress, along with the idea that we therefore are simply seeking a shortcut rather than being willing to do the work.

Though clearly Don wasn't saying any of that, he did use some of that terminology to explain his reasoning regarding the crash course. I just wanted to make sure folks didn't feel like failures if they didn't stick with the crash course, even if that is not what Don intended to imply.

My only reason for addressing SOME of Don's post was to address the idea of the "easy" path or way out. It is especially true in this thread about what is probably one of the longest and must rigorous self-teaching courses, that motivation and support are very important. I get that Don was simply saying that the course isn't for everybody, and I agree with that. However, for those who choose a different path, I applaud you and fully support you in whatever alternative path to your own musical enjoyment you eventually decide upon. That, in short, is my entire point.

I truly don't want to spend a lot of time posting here and going around in circles about this thing. If folks take exception to what I am saying, that is fine. If you agree, that is fine too. If you simply don't care one way or another, even better, because it is best to stay focused on your own path regardless of what others do or don't think about that path.

Hopefully, this post explains my position, addresses the fact that I am actively engaged in the Duane Shinn crash course, and puts an end to this exchange before it gets out of hand.

Thanks,

Tony
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/27/19 12:47 AM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by TonyB
OK. Yes, I am working through the course.



Well, good … I am glad you found it to be a "fit" for you.

Quote
Are you working through the course?


I am not.

It is not a good fit for me.

Quote
You are participating in the course thread and doling out opinion and advice about the course to folks interested in it.


Yes I am. I have the entire course and have experienced a good portion of it.

Do you find something wrong about that ?


No. Just curious since you asked me after suggesting that maybe I am not working with the course and have some sensitivities as a result. Why not just stop this back and forth now? I really am not interested in spending my time verbally jousting on an internet forum. It is a poor substitute for actually playing piano. I feel that I have explained my position enough now and will leave you to accept or reject that as you wish.

However, I intend to drop in here for time to time, since I am actively involved with the course, and will be for a long time to come, and the fact that I did start this thread. Rather than engaging in this back and forth with you, I will avoid that in the future and engage with the folks here who are involved with the course or are considering doing so, since that was the intention of the thread in the first place.

Tony
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/27/19 12:55 AM
Originally Posted by TonyB
I have stated elsewhere in this thread that I feel the Duane Shinn crash course is the closest thing to a "live" teacher of any course that I have personal experience with. Like many self-teaching folks here have shared over the years, I have several of these courses. Each has its merits and its "lacks", but the Duane Shinn course seems to me to be very complete for providing a solid foundation for a lifetime of enjoying playing the piano

I am really impressed by those that stick with the 52 week crash course. It's awesome what they've accomplished. I've seen some of the videos - people making their own arrangements based on what D.S. apparently teaches in his course. I haven't purchased his course and as an outsider, I have two small nits about it. One just came up and I am not sure that it's a nit about the course or D.S. per se, perhaps it's just a nit with your point of view about this course.

Originally Posted by TonyB
It is by no means a shortcut

The first nit is the name. It embodies everything that I think is wrong with late night TV-style marketing. This name of the course is dated and hype-y. Makes me feel like something from the 60's. The webpage is modern, but modern Internet marketing which is a take off from late night product shows. It screams "5-day diet," "12 weeks to a Charles Atlas physique," etc. That something isn't worth starting unless one can accomplish it fast. Why should piano be any different? How many would buy a "D.S. 208 week crash course?" The worst thing for me is how misleading the title really is. There have been a few that have finished this course, however I have not seen anyone that has finished it in 52 weeks. I've asked this almost rhetorical question already on this thread before: Could D.S. himself finish his own course in 52 weeks if he didn't already play the piano?

Originally Posted by TonyB
without having to go through the rigors of a purely classical piano study ... but instead is intent on laying a decent foundation for those wishing to pursue playing piano outside of a full blown classical course of study.

My second nit, as I said, is not so much with the course perhaps as it is with what you said about it. But what you said about it also reflects the D.S. literature I've seen. Yes, I looked at the course myself when I was just starting and was turned off by nit#1 above. But the other thing I was almost taken in by was that the D.S. course is a general course of piano study, only done in a self-study format.

Well that, not really it, is it? D.S. teaches a certain style/school of piano playing and it is no more a general piano course than a course in pop/rock/jazz/gospel vocals is a course in general singing, is it? So I think your line here presents a false dichotomy: the D.S. approach vs. "full blown" classical course of study with rigors.

By using the phrase "full blown," it makes it seem as if the D.S. course is an alternative to traditional piano teachers teaching classical piano, when actually, the D.S. course is an alternative to classical piano altogether, whether "full blown" or not. Because a classical piano course in a self-study format such as PCA is also an alternative to a "full blown" classical course of study, and yet one would still be learning classical piano in that case, in a non-fullblown way.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting something different from classical piano, but it really is not the case that D.S. is on one side of the two-pan balance and piano teachers are on the other side. One can learn classical piano self-study, as mentioned above. One could also learn the non-classical piano D.S. teaches with teachers. There are a lot of alternatives to "full blown" and other alternatives to "classical course of study."

Tying in with my first point, the idea that one is not engaging in a "full blown" course of study is also misleading because the course is not typically completed in 52 weeks. I think the few that complete it (because it's very clear to me that of those that buy the course, something much less than 25% actually complete it, and the real number might be much much much less than 25%), they appear to take closer to 3 years. But how is that different from a classical course of study? How is there no "rigors?" PCA also takes 3 years to complete, only PCA doesn't try to bill itself as a 52-week course.

There is no shortcut here even if D.S. himself tries to make it seem like his 52-week course is a short-cut. If D.S. renamed his course to the 208 week course, it would more accurately express that "there is no free lunch." Learning piano, whether classical, jazz, blues, gospel, pop, rock, etc. as a fine motor-control activity just takes time. There is no "rigorous" vs. "non-rigorous" if you want to learn to play well. There is only the need to do and practice over a period of time.

Again, I want to say that I'm in awe of those, like David B, who have made it so far in this course. Your results prove the method works! Keep it up! Keep posting your videos David B! But it seems obvious to me that those who have gone far in the course have mentally moved pass the "52 week" slogan, and treat piano as something which takes effort to do well and are taking what time it takes to learn it and not something one can blow though in a 52-week flash and end up with Ray Charles skillz. So big thumb thumb to you few and proud! grin
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/27/19 01:27 AM
That was a long post with a lot of points. Due to the length of that post, I didn't want to quote it here. However, I don't intend to address and engage in all of that. I don't really take issue with any of Tyron's points, since anyone considering a course such as this will have his or her own perspective for considering it.

I will say that I really wasn't concerned at all with the "52 week" aspect of the course, but instead with what it covers. I do think that being concerned with how long it will take is much less productive than accepting that the process takes consistent time and effort, and then just enjoying the journey. I am speaking for myself here, so others may view it differently, have still more "nits" with what I am saying.

I will leave it to others to address more fully the post from Tyrone Slothrop. He has clearly thought through all his points and therefore deserves much more response than I want to spend time on at this time. I am just not into posting all that much anymore, but felt I should say at least something in response since one of my current posts was being quoted.

Tony
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/27/19 01:49 AM
Originally Posted by TonyB
Why not just stop this back and forth now?


Be my guest.


Quote
I really am not interested in spending my time verbally jousting on an internet forum.


Could have fooled me.


Quote
Rather than engaging in this back and forth with you, I will avoid that in the future and engage with the folks here who are involved with the course or are considering doing so, since that was the intention of the thread in the first place.


Thumbs up on that.

Good Luck To You
Posted By: stevechris Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/27/19 09:32 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Here is another song from lesson 35 called Lagoon Waltz. I kind of enjoyed arranging this song, but I have no desire to play it anymore. It's not perfect, but good enough to move on. No new arrangement techniques were taught. The piano sound is the N1X Bosendorfer Imperial. I really like this sound. I'll play it once through as written and then arranged.



God Bless,
David


Bravo David. Your playing sounds wonderful to me. Your whole setup is fantastic. Good equipment, good mix of tech, high quality video. You set the bar high for me.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/27/19 06:11 PM
I’m still on lesson 36, but here is a song not from the course. I wanted to share it because it illustrates how the course has benefited me. It shows exactly why I bought the course and why playing many of the less than inspiring (boring) songs in the course is worth it for me.

Someone at church gave me this piece of sheet music after we had sung it in worship. It’s in a key we haven’t covered in the course yet (D Major), but I could tell right away based on the simplicity of it that it was within my wheelhouse. I applied what I have learned from Duane.

First, I analyzed the score and determined the primary chords used in the song.

Second, I learned it as written. It didn’t take me long thanks to all reading and songs I’ve been going through in the course.

Third, I arranged the song with a few basic techniques learned from Duane. Chording and arpeggios in the left hand and fuller chord notes combined with the melody in the right hand. These are fundamental techniques taught by Duane and seem to be the bread and butter of the course so far. Although, more advanced techniques have been covered in the course, e.g., chord substitutions, runs, counter melodies, walkup/downs, varied styles of playing, etc.

A few observations:

Thanks to Duane, I can take this piece of music, which is simple and pretty on it’s own, and I can do more with it making it even better (IMO).

All the undesirable songs (that I’ll never play again) that I’ve been going over in the course has enabled me to learn and arrange this song in a just a few days. I could do none of this before I started the 52 Week Course. It’s very gratifying. It motivates me to keep moving forward in the Duane Shinn course even though I don’t feel connected to most of the music covered.

Here is A Clean Heart played as written and then with a simple arrangement. The piano sound is the internal N1X CFX Binaural Sample.



Now back to lesson 36 and On Top of Old Smoky. lol smile

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/27/19 06:16 PM
Originally Posted by David B
I’m still on lesson 36, but here is a song not from the course. I wanted to share it because it illustrates how the course has benefited me. It shows exactly why I bought the course and why playing many of the less than inspiring (boring) songs in the course is worth it for me.

Someone at church gave me this piece of sheet music after we had sung it in worship. It’s in a key we haven’t covered in the course yet (D Major), but I could tell right away based on the simplicity of it that it was within my wheelhouse. I applied what I have learned from Duane.

First, I analyzed the score and determined the primary chords used in the song.

Second, I learned it as written. It didn’t take me long thanks to all reading and songs I’ve been going through in the course.

Third, I arranged the song with a few basic techniques learned from Duane. Chording and arpeggios in the left hand and fuller chord notes combined with the melody in the right hand. These are fundamental techniques taught by Duane and seem to be the bread and butter of the course so far. Although, more advanced techniques have been covered in the course, e.g., chord substitutions, runs, counter melodies, walkup/downs, varied styles of playing, etc.

A few observations:

Thanks to Duane, I can take this piece of music, which is simple and pretty on it’s own, and I can do more with it making it even better (IMO).

All the undesirable songs (that I’ll never play again) that I’ve been going over in the course has enabled me to learn and arrange this song in a just a few days. I could do none of this before I started the 52 Week Course. It’s very gratifying. It motivates me to keep moving forward in the Duane Shinn course even though I don’t feel connected to most of the music covered.

Here is A Clean Heart played as written and then with a simple arrangement. The piano sound is the internal N1X CFX Binaural Sample.



Now back to lesson 36 and On Top of Old Smoky. lol smile

God Bless,
David

Great job! Love your arrangement!
Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/30/19 05:46 PM
To TonyB:
you bought also the improvisation course, and I wanted to ask you a few questions:
1. Does it comes with videos for each book/month or just book/audio ? from the website is not clear, beside mentioning the “bonus dvd Using Chords To Improvise". Basically what are the media doming with the course ?
2. In your opinion, or for what you could experience so far, how much it overlaps with the 52 week crash course ?
3. Any overall opinion, comment, recommendation , advice , for anyone wanted to start this course

I’m starting lesson 19 of the crash course, but I took an hiatus of almost a year after lesson 18, to explore other pieces (I was admittedly a little bored about the pieces in the crash course).
I’m now ready to get back to a more structured course like the crash course, but blues and improv is something that I like a lot and wondering if the improv course follow the same style of the crash course, especially the videos that for me are super important.

Thanks in advance !

//stoppa



Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/31/19 01:50 AM
Originally Posted by Stopparde
To TonyB:
you bought also the improvisation course, and I wanted to ask you a few questions:
1. Does it comes with videos for each book/month or just book/audio ? from the website is not clear, beside mentioning the “bonus dvd Using Chords To Improvise". Basically what are the media doming with the course ?
2. In your opinion, or for what you could experience so far, how much it overlaps with the 52 week crash course ?
3. Any overall opinion, comment, recommendation , advice , for anyone wanted to start this course

I’m starting lesson 19 of the crash course, but I took an hiatus of almost a year after lesson 18, to explore other pieces (I was admittedly a little bored about the pieces in the crash course).
I’m now ready to get back to a more structured course like the crash course, but blues and improv is something that I like a lot and wondering if the improv course follow the same style of the crash course, especially the videos that for me are super important.

Thanks in advance !

//stoppa





Stopparde,

The improv course is touted as a 7 month course (assuming we are talking about the same thing). It has 8 CDs and 8 books. There is an 8th month review/checkup. The DVD must be a new addition to the package, because mine only came with a single sheet on using chords to improvise. In my personal opinion, The 52 week course is the foundation, and all these other courses build on it.

One set I purchased from Duane Shinn was a set of 14 DVDs, each covering one aspect of playing piano, rather than being a cohesive course. One is on using the pedal, another is on proper scale practice, etc. To me, these fill in areas in the 52 week course that I feel I would be asking a "live" teacher for more guidance on.

I have not started the improv course yet, but have listened to some of the CDs and looked through the books, just because I have it and was curious. Any of these big courses takes a long time to work through, and I am no hurry. I want to complete the 52 week course (more like 104 weeks ++) first. If there is any overlap among these courses, that can only help to enhance our knowledge and abilities in playing piano, so I wouldn't worry about that.

One thing I would say is that, at the time I purchased all this material, there really wasn't that much stuff available for learning to play piano. These days there is a lot of material available, covering a variety of teaching styles and focuses. Willie Myette is another guy with a bunch of courses, and his equivalent of the 52 week course (but not nearly as long or as wide in coverage) is his Home School Piano course, followed by all manner of shorter courses on playing various styles of piano. Then, there are courses that focus specifically on learning how to arrange/play tunes from a fakebook, how to jam on the blues, etc.

Compared to these, the Duane Shinn materials are expensive. While I do think the Duane Shinn courses still have their place, I agree with what Don (dmd) said in an earlier post - you really have to be committed if you intend to pay that kind of money for such a long term commitment.

If you like the teaching style of the crash course, then you would be a good candidate for Duane Shinn's other courses. But you might want to look around at other courses as possible lower cost alternatives. As an example, Quaver Box is an improvisation course that might be worth a look: http://quaverbox.com/. Maybe somebody here has that and can comment. Though that would be switching teachers and teaching styles, so if you work well with Duane Shinn, maybe staying with him despite the cost, might be worth considering, as you already are. I personally like the way Duane Shinn eases you into the course. He seems to do that with the improv course too.

Edit: what you said about taking a break after lesson 18 is pretty much what I have done. It seems that I work with the course for a while, take a break to explore other materials, and then come back for more. Doing that, it takes even longer to get through the course, but it is better than stopping altogether and not completing it at all (unless you find that the course isn't right for you, in which case doing something else is far better than quitting piano). I always come back with renewed interest and motivation, and new perspectives that I learned elsewhere.

Tony



Posted By: Stopparde Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/31/19 02:59 AM
Thanks Tony! I appreciate the comprehensive and clear response !!
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/31/19 03:46 AM
Originally Posted by Stopparde
Thanks Tony! I appreciate the comprehensive and clear response !!


Sure thing! Best of luck with your next steps.

Tony
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/01/19 11:55 PM
I finished lesson 36. There were only two songs covered. Here is On Top Of Old Smoky. This is a simplified version of Duane's arrangement. The only new technique was the use of a tremolo. Duane has mentioned it before, but this is the first time I have ever used it in an arrangement. I think I need to slow the tremolo down a little bit and it would sound better.The piano sound is the N1X CFX binaural sample. I'll play the song as written and then arranged.



Lesson 37 is going to be really hard. There is a song with new techniques in it (2-1 breakups) and lots of runs. I can tell it's going to take me some time before I feel comfortable moving on. So it might be a month or more before I'm finished with it.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/21/19 09:17 PM
Lesson 37 is in the books. Only two songs covered and one was fairly easy, but this one (God and Silver Waltz) was a bit of a challenge. I can't do the runs as fast and smooth as Duane does at speed. In the middle of the song when the melody switches to the left hand, Duane does ascending and descending multiple octave runs in the right hand. I can do it at a much slower speed, but not at the tempo where the rest of the song sounds good. Therefore, to make it musical and up to speed, I only do slow ascending runs in the middle of the song to make it easier.

I can't spend a year working on smoothness and speed in runs before I more on. When Duane was alive he told me that if I practice smooth and slowly, speed will come with time. Individual techniques can be honed in throughout the course and when its done. As long as I can do it slow and relaxed, I'm comfortable moving on even though I can't do it at speed right now. Here is God and Silver Waltz (never to be played again smile ) as written and then arranged. The piano is the N1X CFX binaural sample.



God Bless,
David

Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/05/19 10:12 PM
I finished lesson 38. There were only two songs and one of them was not arranged because Duane felt that the score itself was enough work since it was a bit more complicated compared to what is normally presented in the books. The other song was a hymn (Holy, Holy, Holy), which I had a lot of fun with. Duane emphasized "walking through the chords with the left hand" in quarter notes, but when I arranged the song, I added some of the old staples of chording and arpeggios in the left hand to mix it up a bit. Duane also added some chord substitutions, passing tones (2nd to 1st) and a suspended 4th.

I played this song in church the other day and got an "Amen" from a few people who happened to be paying attention. It was very gratifying. If I had known people were listening, I probably would have messed up more. blush

I'll play the song as written and then arranged. The piano sound is the N1X CFX binaural sample.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/05/19 10:24 PM
Originally Posted by David B
I finished lesson 38. There were only two songs and one of them was not arranged because Duane felt that the score itself was enough work since it was a bit more complicated compared to what is normally presented in the books. The other song was a hymn (Holy, Holy, Holy), which I had a lot of fun with. Duane emphasized "walking through the chords with the left hand" in quarter notes, but when I arranged the song, I added some of the old staples of chording and arpeggios in the left hand to mix it up a bit. Duane also added some chord substitutions, passing tones (2nd to 1st) and a suspended 4th.

I played this song in church the other day and got an "Amen" from a few people who happened to be paying attention. It was very gratifying. If I had known people were listening, I probably would have messed up more. blush

I'll play the song as written and then arranged. The piano sound is the N1X CFX binaural sample.



God Bless,
David


Good job David! You've either been progressing faster or these lessons have been getting shorter smile
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/05/19 10:35 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Good job David! You've either been progressing faster or these lessons have been getting shorter smile


This was a short lesson since the other song was not arranged. This song was fun and the other song was work. Although, an important part of this course is learning how to read music also. That just happens to be really hard for me.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/05/19 10:47 PM
I should clarify that Holy, Holy, Holy was a lot of work also, but it was fun work, whereas reading music is not so fun.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/05/19 11:54 PM
Originally Posted by David B
I finished lesson 38. There were only two songs and one of them was not arranged because Duane felt that the score itself was enough work since it was a bit more complicated compared to what is normally presented in the books. The other song was a hymn (Holy, Holy, Holy), which I had a lot of fun with. Duane emphasized "walking through the chords with the left hand" in quarter notes, but when I arranged the song, I added some of the old staples of chording and arpeggios in the left hand to mix it up a bit. Duane also added some chord substitutions, passing tones (2nd to 1st) and a suspended 4th.

I played this song in church the other day and got an "Amen" from a few people who happened to be paying attention. It was very gratifying. If I had known people were listening, I probably would have messed up more. blush

I'll play the song as written and then arranged. The piano sound is the N1X CFX binaural sample.



God Bless,
David




I love this song, your version is beautiful David. Thanks so much for sharing.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/19 12:46 AM
Originally Posted by dcupright


I love this song, your version is beautiful David. Thanks so much for sharing.


Thank you. There are a few more hymns in the lessons coming up.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/04/19 05:15 AM
I'm diligently working on lesson 39. It's a long lesson with four songs that are arranged. However, here is a song from lesson 38 that I didn't want to rush past. It's one of the few songs in the course that Duane does not arrange. Evidently, Duane felt that learning the song as written would be enough work. I was tempted to rush past it, but I figured I'd better learn it. The title sounds familiar, but I don't recognize the melody. Here is a picture of the music that Duane felt would be challenging enough for a beginner like me. I'm kind of glad he didn't arrange it because it was a bit challenging for me to learn and I don't like spending a lot of time on songs that I don't particularly care about. The piano sound is the N1X CFX Grand.

[Linked Image]



Now back to lesson 39. Three of the four songs in the lesson are hymns.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/04/19 01:29 PM
I remember that song from my childhood, I think my grandmother used to sing it. Thanks for bringing back good memories, and once again thanks for sharing!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/04/19 06:12 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright
I remember that song from my childhood, I think my grandmother used to sing it. Thanks for bringing back good memories, and once again thanks for sharing!


It does have a nice melody to it.

I played it for my father-in-law (he's 70) and he started singing the words. grin

According to Wikipedia the song was published in 1854.

There are no contemporary songs in this course since the lesson books were published by Hal Leonard in 1962.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/04/19 06:16 PM
Originally Posted by David B
There are no contemporary songs in this course since the the lesson books were published by Hal Leonard in 1962.

Really? Duane Shinn first published his course in 1962? Wow...

This totally explains the name of the course though. The "52 weeks" thing would have gone over well in the 60's.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/04/19 06:17 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by David B
There are no contemporary songs in this course since the the lesson books were published by Hal Leonard in 1962.

Really? Duane Shinn first published his course in 1962? Wow...

This totally explains the name of the course though. The "52 weeks" thing would have gone over well in the 60's.


I think he published it in the 80's.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/04/19 06:21 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by David B
There are no contemporary songs in this course since the the lesson books were published by Hal Leonard in 1962.

Really? Duane Shinn first published his course in 1962? Wow...

This totally explains the name of the course though. The "52 weeks" thing would have gone over well in the 60's.


I think he published it in the 80's.

So he first published the books and then the videos? Or does this course use someone else's books that were published in 1962?
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/04/19 06:31 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

So he first published the books and then the videos? Or does this course use someone else's books that were published in 1962?


The course uses an 8 volume set published by Hal Leonard in 1962 called Modern Pianist Book.

I contacted Hal Leonard to see of I could get the colored copies that Duane uses in the videos and I was told that the books are out of print. I guess Duane has been making his own copies for the course.

God Bless,
David

Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/04/19 06:33 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

So he first published the books and then the videos? Or does this course use someone else's books that were published in 1962?


The course uses an 8 volume set published by Hal Leonard in 1962 called Modern Pianist Book.

I contacted Hal Leonard to see of I could get the colored copies that Duane uses in the videos, and I was told that the books are out of print. I guess Duane has been making his own copies for the course.

God Bless,
David

That's interesting! I had always assumed Duane made his own piano course - I didn't realize he had based his course on an existing series of books. Thanks for the info!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/04/19 06:35 PM
Yeah. The books were already in print (or maybe out of print) before Duane developed his course.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: macuaig Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/04/19 09:27 PM
Are all the books printed one page off from what he uses in the videos? What appears as an open pair of pages in the video requires a page turn in my book. (I have the trial 4-lesson package.) Not a huge problem of course, but enough to trip over now and then.
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/04/19 09:31 PM
Originally Posted by macuaig
Are all the books printed one page off from what he uses in the videos? What appears as an open pair of pages in the video requires a page turn in my book. (I have the trial 4-lesson package.) Not a huge problem of course, but enough to trip over now and then.



I ran into that a few times, I scan all the songs from the lesson and put them in a binder.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/04/19 09:55 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright
Originally Posted by macuaig
Are all the books printed one page off from what he uses in the videos? What appears as an open pair of pages in the video requires a page turn in my book. (I have the trial 4-lesson package.) Not a huge problem of course, but enough to trip over now and then.



I ran into that a few times, I scan all the songs from the lesson and put them in a binder.


That's what I did also (photocopy and binder). No page turning on the songs that are +1.

I contacted Duane's office once to inquire about the "pagination issue" to see if I could get the version of the books that Duane has (no page turning) and I was told that page turning was part of learning how to play the piano. laugh

I need 100% of my brain power just to put my fingers on the right keys... there is none to spare for turning pages. smile

God Bless,
David



Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/06/19 11:25 PM
I'm methodically working my way through lesson 39. There are four songs and three are hymns. I'm a little disappointed because I like the hymns and Duane did not teach anything new in this lesson beyond the concept of creating a medley. He mentioned how he could put in chord substitutions and runs, etc., but he didn't show any of that and instead focused on medleys. Therefore, I'm just arranging the songs based on what he's taught so far.

Here is Sun Of My Soul played as written and then arranged. Piano is N1X CFX Grand.



God bless,
David
Posted By: PianoStudent88 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/06/19 11:59 PM
Does Duane Shinn suggest experimenting with playing the medley with very different styles for each piece in it, vs. playing with similar styles? If not, you might experiment with this. Do you prefer one approach or the other? Are there different circumstances where you might use one approach or the other?
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/07/19 12:10 AM
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Does Duane Shinn suggest experimenting with playing the medley with very different styles for each piece in it, vs. playing with similar styles? If not, you might experiment with this. Do you prefer one approach or the other? Are there different circumstances where you might use one approach or the other?


That's a good question. He specifically mentions that we should use different styles for each song in the medley. He talks about styles and dynamics, but does not introduce any new concepts beyond the medley concept. I just decided to take each song by itself. After I've arranged each song I'll probably go back and try the medley per his instruction.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/08/19 07:38 AM
Your arrangement of Sun of My Soul is beautiful, David.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/08/19 04:04 PM
Originally Posted by pwl
Your arrangement of Sun of My Soul is beautiful, David.


Praise the Lord!

However, I have to admit that I'm getting just a little bored with the limited arranging techniques covered so far. I feel like I'm ready to do more but I don't have the tools.

There are four songs in this lesson (#39) and three are hymns. I don't feel impressed to arrange one of the hymns because there is nothing new to do with it. Even the one song that's not a hymn Duane went back to the western bass "because we haven't done that in a while." I'll arrange that song because it's good practice with its rhythmically challenging syncopation.

As this course winds down it will be interesting to see what Duane adds to the great foundation that he has already laid.

God Bless,
David



Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/08/19 04:52 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by pwl
Your arrangement of Sun of My Soul is beautiful, David.


Praise the Lord!

However, I have to admit that I'm getting just a little bored with the limited arranging techniques covered so far. I feel like I'm ready to do more but I don't have the tools.

There are four songs in this lesson (#39) and three are hymns. I don't feel impressed to arrange one of the hymns because there is nothing new to do with it. Even the one song that's not a hymn Duane went back to the western bass "because we haven't done that in a while." I'll arrange that song because it's good practice with its rhythmically challenging syncopation.

As this course winds down it will be interesting to see what Duane adds to the great foundation that he has already laid.

God Bless,
David

Have you taken a peek ahead at the hymn course to see if he adds new techniques there?

And congrats on approaching the "wind down" phase of the course! I'm confident you will be in the less than 5% (my wild guess) that actually finish this entire course! whome wow No dropping out of anything, for you! thumb whistle yippie
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/08/19 07:52 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Have you taken a peek ahead at the hymn course to see if he adds new techniques there?


I haven't looked ahead at the Praise and Gospel series. My mind works better in a linear fashion and I have to follow the instructions precisely. My wife says a dominate character trait in me is "all or nothing." grin

Duane said that the 52 Week course was the foundation for the Praise and Gospel series so my mind won't let me do anything until I finish the 52 week course.

I suspect that more advanced techniques will be covered in the Praise and Gospel series based on how it was advertised on Duane's site.

Thanks for the encouragement.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/08/19 11:49 PM
Originally Posted by pwl
Your arrangement of Sun of My Soul is beautiful, David.


I agree, beautiful job David.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/09/19 01:54 AM
Originally Posted by dcupright
I agree, beautiful job David.


Praise the Lord!

I feel more emotionally connected to the hymns compared to the other music I've had to play in this course.

God bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/07/19 11:24 PM
Here is a song from lesson 39. I'm currently working on lesson 40 although there is one more song in lesson 39 that I need to tighten up before I can feel done with the lesson. Duane did not arrange this song but left it up to the student. I'll play it as written and then arranged. The piano sound is the Garritan CFX Concert Grand.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/08/19 12:39 AM
A piece transformed!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/08/19 12:53 AM
Originally Posted by pwl
A piece transformed!


Thanks.

I threw into that song a lot the basics that Duane has taught in this course. Alberti bass, runs, chording and upward inversions in the left hand, octaves and chord notes under the melody in the right. I had to practice the runs a lot.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/08/19 02:42 AM
Outstanding David, I loved your arrangment!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/08/19 02:52 AM
Originally Posted by dcupright
Outstanding David, I loved your arrangment!


Thanks.

I'm glad these hymns are sprinkled throughout the course. It's interesting to transition from practicing this beautiful hymn to the next song in the lesson called There Is A Tavern In The Town. grin

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/01/19 09:19 PM
Here is a pretty song from lesson 40 (In The Gloaming). Nothing new covered in this lesson. In this song Duane had us focus on "color tones" e.g., 6ths 7ths and 9ths. He left most of the arrangement up to us so I threw in some runs in part B. As written the song was recored using the VSL 1895 Bluthner, but for the arrangement I switched to the Garritan CFX because I think it sounded better for this song.

I've started lesson 41, but I still have another song to finish in lesson 40 before I officially finish that lesson.



God bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/01/19 09:26 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Here is a pretty song from lesson 40 (In The Gloaming). Nothing new covered in this lesson. In this song Duane had us focus on "color tones" e.g., 6ths 7ths and 9ths. He left most of the arrangement up to us so I threw in some runs in part B. As written the song was recored using the VSL 1895 Bluthner, but for the arrangement I switched to the Garritan CFX because I think it sounded better for this song.

I've started lesson 41, but I still have another song to finish in lesson 40 before I officially finish that lesson.

When I saw you'd posted, I had to have a listen smile Great job! Very pretty. Like that last run. smile

Big celebration when you finish lesson 52? You will really be in the tiny minority to make it. You already are in the tiny minority to get this far smile
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/01/19 09:42 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
When I saw you'd posted, I had to have a listen smile Great job! Very pretty. Like that last run. smile

A big +1!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/01/19 10:32 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

When I saw you'd posted, I had to have a listen smile


I travel a lot in the summer which totals over a month away from home. Thankfully, that's all done for this year.

Quote
Great job! Very pretty. Like that last run. smile


Thanks. I worked that out in a hotel room last week. smile

Originally Posted by pwl

A big +1!


Thanks. It is a pretty song. Like many songs in this course, I never heard it before. I had to look up what "Gloaming" meant. It's an Old English word for twilight/dusk.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Liquidmantis Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/04/19 04:16 PM
Huzzah! My account got approved finally. Long[ish] time lurker, first time poster. I read through this thread over the weekend and ended up purchasing the Crash Course based solely on David B's videos. I've always blown off the course as overpriced and outdated, especially with no real information on what to expect from it, but now that I've seen the real world results (based on dedication and a lot of effort, of course), I'm excited to start. It was the Jingle Bells video that sold me, too. When playing the "as written" portion you [David B] looked as excited to play it as I was to listen to it, but at the "Now Add Shinn" mark we both came alive laugh
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/04/19 04:20 PM
Originally Posted by Liquidmantis
I've always blown off the course as overpriced and outdated, especially with no real information on what to expect from it, but now that I've seen the real world results (based on dedication and a lot of effort, of course), I'm excited to start.

Welcome to PW! Dedication and effort seems to be key. Maybe if you start posting your efforts week by week, this can also serve as an incentive to keep it up. You'll need the incentive and motivation. Based on my research here and on PianoStreet, few make it to David B's point in the course. Good luck!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/04/19 05:07 PM
Originally Posted by Liquidmantis
Huzzah! My account got approved finally. Long[ish] time lurker, first time poster.


Welcome. Thank you for introducing yourself.

Quote
I read through this thread over the weekend and ended up purchasing the Crash Course based solely on David B's videos.... It was the Jingle Bells video that sold me, too. When playing the "as written" portion you [David B] looked as excited to play it as I was to listen to it, but at the "Now Add Shinn" mark we both came alive laugh


Fantastic observation. That's exactly how I feel (board to death!) playing many of the songs as written, but then the arrangement happens and the song comes alive.

Jingle Bells is the first time I ever played in a Jazz style (Duane calls is "playful"). It was fun to learn that arrangement. I believe Duane has a course dedicated to Jazz. Besides the 52 Week Course, I also purchased His Praise and Gospel course so that I can learn how to make hymns come alive through arrangements. I'll start that course when I'm finished with the 52 Week course.

I want to encourage you to stick with the course. Put in the time and you'll get the results. It might be a long course, but it will lay a strong foundation for whatever type of piano genre you're interested in.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/04/19 05:21 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Maybe if you start posting your efforts week by week, this can also serve as an incentive to keep it up. You'll need the incentive and motivation.


This is very true for me. Just knowing that there are a few people (a few friends a family, and some following this thread) bearing witness to what I'm doing, serves as a great incentive to do it right. I would have probably completed this course by now if I was't posting my progress online. I would have gone over some lessons quicker and maybe not learned some songs as well, etc.

Having someone witness what you're doing can help to keep you honest. I'd suspect that's what it's like with a piano teacher. You don't want to show up unprepared for the lesson.

This thread originally started out as a study group for the 52 week course and I can see the benefit and need for that given the length of this course and commitment required to finish it.

We all need encouragement sometimes and it feels good to receive it from people who know what we are going through.

God Bless
David
Posted By: Serge88 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/04/19 09:55 PM
I always follow your progression.

thumb
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/04/19 10:31 PM
Originally Posted by Serge88
I always follow your progression.

thumb

+1
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/05/19 12:56 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Serge88
I always follow your progression.

thumb

+1

+2
Posted By: NobleHouse Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/05/19 12:07 PM
Originally Posted by pwl
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Serge88
I always follow your progression.

thumb

+1

+2


+3
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/05/19 01:36 PM
You guys are awesome! thumb
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/05/19 01:52 PM
I recently bought two courses from Duane:

1.) How To Think In the Key!

And

2.) How to dress up naked music!

I also was inspired by DavidB's accomplishments and though I'm a 52-week-course dropout, it did cause me to lower my overall expectations and just get these two CD's which should be plenty anyway!

Posted By: dcupright Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/05/19 02:49 PM
I also follow your progress David. I am glad to see you getting close to the end. Very inspirational
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/06/19 12:37 AM
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I recently bought two courses from Duane:

1.) How To Think In the Key!

And

2.) How to dress up naked music!



When you've had some time with them, we'd love to get your review. Tell us everything!
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/06/19 12:36 PM
Originally Posted by pwl
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I recently bought two courses from Duane:

1.) How To Think In the Key!

And

2.) How to dress up naked music!



When you've had some time with them, we'd love to get your review. Tell us everything!

I will do that...they are due to be delivered today.
Posted By: PianoWVBob Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/07/19 10:04 AM
Originally Posted by pwl
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I recently bought two courses from Duane:

1.) How To Think In the Key!

And

2.) How to dress up naked music!



When you've had some time with them, we'd love to get your review. Tell us everything!

Ok...I'm going to give you the "day one" review for the two courses.

1.) How to think in any key.
I'm starting with Eb because i'm also doing the Higginson course and the tune I'm working on is in Eb so I thought it would help. (and I was right)

Basically the course amounts to Duane talking about each key and it's unique properties/layout. He mentioned a couple of things that I wouldn't have noticed. He recommends that you pick a key and play ONLY in that key for a month to force yourself to start thinking in that key. For myself, I know the key of C backwards and forwards because I've learned a lot of theory using C as an example so C is second nature to me, but Eb not so much. I've been playing in Eb for one full day now and I can say that I think he's right. It's a matter of making myself as familiar with Eb as I am with C. He has a preprinted blank list that you fill out during the month of things unique to Eb (or whatever key you are working on) and I think what he's doing is just forcing me to really get INTO the key...to get intimately familiar with each note, it's relationship to the chords, the relationship of each chord to each other...how they sound and feel under the fingers. He says that each key has a unique sound and feel and because of the physical layout of the keys...they will cause your fingers to do certain things more than others and I see that he's correct already.

It comes with audio CD's and a DVD showing him playing in each key and a book of tunes to practice with (no chords noted so that they are universal to any key) The cool thing about the book is that on the inside and back covers he notes ways to embellish and play each "style" like "arpeggiated or broken chords" and "waltz pattern" and "alberti style" etc. That was really cool. He also has many little notes on how to harmonize the melody going from very simple (just one note the 6th or 3rd underneath) to a full blown block chord thing in both hands. Very very cool. I tried just the 3rds and 6ths and it really worked like a charm. I'm just playing I-IV-V and VI-ii-V-I and stuff in the key and embellishing with color tones and melody/harmony notes...all just to get familiar with each note in key.

I'm pleased with it, I really needed this.


2.) How to dress up naked music.

Oh boy...this is extremely cool. He takes a bunch of standard tunes (Londonerry Air being the first one) and starts with you playing it as written and then embellishing from easy to incredibly complex. I just read through it and it looks great. I can't wait to pick some technique to apply to some tunes.

For myself, I think the combination of getting familiar with each key and also how to embellish simple chord and melodies is a powerful combination that really suits what I'm aiming for. I don't want to play printed music by rote/patterns, I want to be so fluent in chords and so familiar with melody notes that I can pull out some simple tunes on the fly.

In any case..I'm very pleased with the material. They both come with a binder full of materials, CD's DVD's and printed stuff. (and a book just like in the other course with different tunes and no chords noted and suggestions on how to embellish)

While the 52 week course was too overwhelming for me (as a beginner) this stuff is bite-sized enough that I think it will really do me good.

In the future, I'd like to revisit the 52 week course after I've had some experience and perspective, maybe in a year or two.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/07/19 12:08 PM
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
While the 52 week course was too overwhelming for me (as a beginner) this stuff is bite-sized enough that I think it will really do me good.

In the future, I'd like to revisit the 52 week course after I've had some experience and perspective, maybe in a year or two.

Yet the DS52WCC is indeed a course for beginners. When I look at a task that seems difficult or which I think will take a lot of time, I like to think of this quote:
Quote
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

- Theodore Roosevelt, November 4, 1910
Posted By: NobleHouse Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/07/19 08:13 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
While the 52 week course was too overwhelming for me (as a beginner) this stuff is bite-sized enough that I think it will really do me good.

In the future, I'd like to revisit the 52 week course after I've had some experience and perspective, maybe in a year or two.

Yet the DS52WCC is indeed a course for beginners. When I look at a task that seems difficult or which I think will take a lot of time, I like to think of this quote:
Quote
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

- Theodore Roosevelt, November 4, 1910

Great quote by Teddy!
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/11/19 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by dcupright

For me it is. What I do is buy 4 DVDs at a time for 100.00. This last me 3 months or so as I can’t do a weeks lesson in a week( partly because it costs a lot and I want to make sure I understand what I need to). I do lots of reviewing and applying the techniques to other songs so it takes me a while.

Your mileage may vary, from the posts on this thread it appears most people don’t stay with it or at least they seem to quit posting. It is not worth the price if you don’t stay with it.

I think this is the right approach to me. Supposing a pace of 1 lesson per month and seeing the difficulty to stick at it - David B is a real model - and fearing to be a quitter, I prefer doing a moderate investment - let's say the first three months, twelve lessons if I have understood - and I have work for a year, or more.
In this way I will miss the bonuses:
- Secret of Power Practice
- Chart
- Chords
- Take a message to Ga.
- How to get a quick start
- Good stuff you need to know
- The most used chords

Are any of these bonuses really needed?

I still hesitate...

Thank you for the good thread.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/11/19 05:10 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker

In this way I will miss the bonuses:
- Secret of Power Practice
- Chart
- Chords
- Take a message to Ga.
- How to get a quick start
- Good stuff you need to know
- The most used chords

Are any of these bonuses really needed?

I still hesitate...

Thank you for the good thread.


I don't think those bonuses are important. I don't even remember going through all of them. I think the "Secret of Power Practice" is just advise about spaced repetition when practicing. The "Chart" is just a chord chart that I've never used. I really don't remember what the other bonuses are. One of them I think is just a story that you read. Frankly, I think the bonuses are gimmicky. I would not make any decisions based on the inclusion or exclusion of them.

I bought the entire 52 week crash course (and a few of Duane's other courses) when I started because I'm an all or nothing type person (according to my wife smile ). I put it on a credit card (received cash back bonus money) and paid it off over a 6 month period (interest free).

I like to use credit cards to my advantage. I never pay interest and always look for deals where I get cash back. I purchased my Yamaha N1X with a credit card and so far I've gotten around $1000 in cash back bonuses that I've used to pay down the N1X bill.

The 52 Week Course is a major investment of time and money, but it's a great foundation for a beginner. It's definitely taught me how to play the piano. I'm looking forward to being done with it and moving on to the next piano learning adventure, Duane's Praise and Gospel series. I also have the late (RIP) David Sprunger course Play Piano Today Pattern Piano. I'm looking forward to that course as well. I've got a lot to keep me busy.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Liquidmantis Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/11/19 05:29 PM
The bonuses are very unnecessary.

* The topics of The Secret of Power Practice is in the videos and is literally a sheet of paper with:
* use spaced repetition (break up your practice throughout the day)
* focus on one area of playing at a time
* Keep a journal of progress.
* Chart is an unnecessary label of the keys. You can do the same thing with some masking tape if you really want to.
* Chords chart is a cheat sheet with pictures of a hand playing the 12 major chords and a table of the root position chord variations and extensions for all 12 root notes
* The message to Garcia is a short story that boils down to "don't shirk work". Cowboy up and put in the effort.
* How to get a quick start is short video and not anything really revelationary. Take your time, practice right hand, then practice left hand, then practice hands together.
* The most used chords chart is just for the key of C, and has the notes for the I, ii7, iii7, IV, V7, and vi7.

The most used chords is discused in the first few lessons and you'd be better served by learning a dash of theory and building them yourself.

So that's all to just say that you shouldn't feel like you're going to miss much by not getting the bonuses.


I'll also add that I found www.pianowithjonny.com just after I ordered the Crash Course, and PWJ also teaches in a similar fashion, albeit with a jazz bias. I think I'll be checking it out in parallel and it might be a good option for those that can't justify the cost of the Crash Course.

[Edit] D'oh, David B beat me to the punch. So yeah, just ditto what he said. The bonuses are just artifacts from a different age. smile
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/11/19 06:04 PM
Originally Posted by David B

I put it on a credit card (received cash back bonus money) and paid it off over a 6 month period (interest free).

I like to use credit cards to my advantage. I never pay interest and always look for deals where I get cash back. I purchased my Yamaha N1X with a credit card and so far I've gotten around $1000 in cash back bonuses that I've used to pay down the N1X bill.


You are not only a model learner but a serious expert on credit card usage.
I am going to buy the first twelve lessons and wait for heaven to illuminate me.
Now earnestly. I'm not sure if I am the right man for this course. I think a year is quite an important endeavor.

Originally Posted by Liquidmantis
I'll also add that I found www.pianowithjonny.com just after I ordered the Crash Course, and PWJ also teaches in a similar fashion, albeit with a jazz bias. I think I'll be checking it out in parallel and it might be a good option for those that can't justify the cost of the Crash Course.

I have seen some of the PWJ youtube videos and they look great, but I think I need step by step progression. I'll be happy to hear the results of your checking out on PWJ.

Thank you,
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/11/19 06:11 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
I am going to buy the first twelve lessons and wait for heaven to illuminate me.
Now earnestly. I'm not sure if I am the right man for this course. I think a year is quite an important endeavor.

You do understand that this teaches you a different sort of piano playing than you have been learning in previous courses, right? You aren't going to learn how to play Schumann's Happy Farmer or Bach, any faster with this course, right? I've gone through your previous posts, most recently about Jenny Macmillan's classical piano lessons, and this course seems a major course change for you. Can you share with us why you decided to take a different route entirely toward chord and cocktail piano, accompaniment, and improv? Have you been getting frustrated with classical piano? Can you share some of your thinking and decision making?
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/11/19 09:22 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

You do understand that this teaches you a different sort of piano playing than you have been learning in previous courses, right? You aren't going to learn how to play Schumann's Happy Farmer or Bach, any faster with this course, right? I've gone through your previous posts, most recently about Jenny Macmillan's classical piano lessons, and this course seems a major course change for you. Can you share with us why you decided to take a different route entirely toward chord and cocktail piano, accompaniment, and improv? Have you been getting frustrated with classical piano? Can you share some of your thinking and decision making?

I am not dropping classical nor MacMillan’s. I am following MacMillan as she teaches a lot of things I was unable to discover by myself. I really didn’t know how to listen to those little études.
I am admired by David’s progression and I want to give it a try.
I enjoy blues and bar piano and I know the crash course is not exactly about that but having seen other people’s results - and the difficulty and persistence needed for the endeavor - I am going to try it.

I am a beginner and I may have been making stabs in the dark for a long time but
1. I think MacMillan’s videos are helping
2. Shinn’s might help too, even though I still hesitate because it seems a very demanding task.

I like playing the piano. I even enjoy doing scales, arpeggios and broken chords. So, if the course makes me improve in whatever way, be welcomed.

I know kind of joke that goes:
- I love loosing playing poker
- And winning?
- Winning? That has to be amazing!


So, if I love doing scales, Czerny - not much - and so, being able to do some comping and easy improv has to be great.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/11/19 09:28 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

You do understand that this teaches you a different sort of piano playing than you have been learning in previous courses, right? You aren't going to learn how to play Schumann's Happy Farmer or Bach, any faster with this course, right? I've gone through your previous posts, most recently about Jenny Macmillan's classical piano lessons, and this course seems a major course change for you. Can you share with us why you decided to take a different route entirely toward chord and cocktail piano, accompaniment, and improv? Have you been getting frustrated with classical piano? Can you share some of your thinking and decision making?

I am not dropping classical nor MacMillan’s. I am following MacMillan as she teaches a lot of things I was unable to discover by myself. I really didn’t know how to listen to those little études.
I am admired by David’s progression and I want to give it a try.
I enjoy blues and bar piano and I know the crash course is not exactly about that but having seen other people’s results - and the difficulty and persistence needed for the endeavor - I am going to try it.

I am a beginner and I may have been making stabs in the dark for a long time but
1. I think MacMillan’s videos are helping
2. Shinn’s might help too, even though I still hesitate because it seems a very demanding task.

I like playing the piano. I even enjoy doing scales, arpeggios and broken chords. So, if the course makes me improve in whatever way, be welcomed.

I know kind of joke that goes:
- I love loosing playing poker
- And winning?
- Winning? That has to be amazing!


So, if I love doing scales, Czerny - not much - and so, being able to do some comping and easy improv has to be great.

Thanks for responding. That all makes sense! You are trying to broaden your piano vistas, so it's a broadening, not a course correction! thumb
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/20/19 08:59 PM
I have been over the piano crash course webpage and I have found two possibilities:
Buying either the entire course or the first 4 weeks. Is there a possibility of buying the first two or three months?
I have found no contact information.

Thank you for your help.
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/20/19 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
I have been over the piano crash course webpage and I have found two possibilities:
Buying either the entire course or the first 4 weeks. Is there a possibility of buying the first two or three months?
I have found no contact information.

Thank you for your help.


No.

Either the entire course ($997) …. or buying them in lots of 4 at a time for $100 for each block of 4. That comes out to $1300.

If you buy all 13 groups of 4 weeks. I am betting you won't get all of them. I have never encountered anyone who has finished this course.




Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/21/19 02:22 AM
Originally Posted by dmd

If you buy all 13 groups of 4 weeks. I am betting you won't get all of them. I have never encountered anyone who has finished this course.


I'm finishing up lesson 41.

There is one song in lesson 40 that I can play, but not very good. I don't particularly like the song, but I can't feel done with the lesson until the song is a little bit more polished and then I'll never play it again. smile

Lesson 41 has has like five songs in it (some of them are just exercises), but none of them are arranged and the lesson focuses more on music reading. Duane specially says not to arrange the songs but to learn them as written.

I'm hoping to start lesson 42 in a couple weeks. I'd like to get 4 or 5 more lessons done by the end of the year. Realistically, I probably won't be done with the course until the spring/summer of 2020. By then it will have taken me 3.5 years to finish. I don't know if I'll still be posting on this forum at that time, but you can be sure that if I'm still alive, the course will get finished.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/21/19 02:31 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by dmd

If you buy all 13 groups of 4 weeks. I am betting you won't get all of them. I have never encountered anyone who has finished this course.


I'm finishing up lesson 41.

There is one song in lesson 40 that I can play, but not very good. I don't particularly like the song, but I can't feel done with the lesson until the song is a little bit more polished and then I'll never play it again. smile

Lesson 41 has has like five songs in it (some of them are just exercises), but none of them are arranged and the lesson focuses more on music reading. Duane specially says not to arrange the songs but to learn them as written.

I'm hoping to start lesson 42 in a couple weeks. I'd like to get 4 or 5 more lessons done by the end of the year. Realistically, I probably won't be done with the course until the spring/summer of 2020. By then it will have taken me 3.5 years to finish. I don't know if I'll still be posting on this forum at that time, but you can be sure that if I'm still alive, the course will get finished.

God Bless,
David


I do not doubt you.

Unfortunately, that does not change the fact that …..

I have never encountered anyone who has finished this course.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/21/19 02:41 AM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by David B
I'm finishing up lesson 41.
There is one song in lesson 40 that I can play, but not very good. I don't particularly like the song, but I can't feel done with the lesson until the song is a little bit more polished and then I'll never play it again. smile
Lesson 41 has has like five songs in it (some of them are just exercises), but none of them are arranged and the lesson focuses more on music reading. Duane specially says not to arrange the songs but to learn them as written.
I'm hoping to start lesson 42 in a couple weeks. I'd like to get 4 or 5 more lessons done by the end of the year. Realistically, I probably won't be done with the course until the spring/summer of 2020. By then it will have taken me 3.5 years to finish. I don't know if I'll still be posting on this forum at that time, but you can be sure that if I'm still alive, the course will get finished.
I do not doubt you.

Unfortunately, that does not change the fact that …..

I have never encountered anyone who has finished this course.

The only PW forum member who I've seen say that he/she finished the entire 52 week course (as well as a number of other of Duane Shinn's courses) is EP.
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/21/19 05:59 AM
Originally Posted by dmd


No.

Either the entire course ($997) …. or buying them in lots of 4 at a time for $100 for each block of 4. That comes out to $1300.

If you buy all 13 groups of 4 weeks. I am betting you won't get all of them. I have never encountered anyone who has finished this course.



Supposing I buy now the first lot, where is the form to buy the second lot?

Thank you
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/21/19 02:00 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by dmd


No.

Either the entire course ($997) …. or buying them in lots of 4 at a time for $100 for each block of 4. That comes out to $1300.

If you buy all 13 groups of 4 weeks. I am betting you won't get all of them. I have never encountered anyone who has finished this course.



Supposing I buy now the first lot, where is the form to buy the second lot?

Thank you



Here you go ….


http://www.playpianocatalog.com/sucrcole.html
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/21/19 02:04 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Realistically, I probably won't be done with the course until the spring/summer of 2020. By then it will have taken me 3.5 years to finish. I don't know if I'll still be posting on this forum at that time, but you can be sure that if I'm still alive, the course will get finished.

3.5 years is the equivalent of a college degree in chord piano smile Well David, if you are still on this forum in spring/summer 2020, I hope you will consider giving a "graduation mini-concert" on this thread - taking some of your favourite hymns or songs and "dressing them up" and playing them for us smile thumb
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/21/19 03:12 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

3.5 years is the equivalent of a college degree in chord piano smile Well David, if you are still on this forum in spring/summer 2020, I hope you will consider giving a "graduation mini-concert" on this thread - taking some of your favourite hymns or songs and "dressing them up" and playing them for us smile thumb


They told me (Duane's office staff) when I purchased the course that it was 3 years of material for a beginner starting from scratch. So I was prepared for the long haul. Of course more experienced players could finish it much quicker.

I know a few piano players that play in church and they can open up the hymnal and play any song on the spot perfectly as written, (which I don't think I'll ever be able to do), however, they can't arrange the song or do anything else with it. I think they would be able to finish Duane's course very quickly (probably less than a year) because they wouldn't have to spend any time learning how to read music. Their piano skills would greatly improve.

One of these (only as written players) was very impressed with my progress because they never learned to do anything beyond what was written. They were going to purchase the course but then decided to take a call to the mission field and open up a health clinic in Bhutan.

God Bless,
David

Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/21/19 03:21 PM
Originally Posted by dmd


Done!
I have just bought lessons 1 to 8.
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 09/21/19 09:12 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by dmd


Done!
I have just bought lessons 1 to 8.


Good Luck
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/03/19 12:10 AM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by dmd


Done!
I have just bought lessons 1 to 8.


Since my life is starting to settle down again into a nice routine (other than a week out of town later this month), I am getting back into the Crash Course again.

DavidB mentioned that he was informed the course typically takes 3 years for a beginner to go through. I wish that the ad copy had said something along those lines to set expectations. I ran into some tough spots and figured I wasn't ready for what was to come in the course. From comments I have seen from others who have worked with the course, it is quite common to run into a bit of a wall when we start getting into some of the stride styling of playing a bass note in the left hand and jumping up to a chord form while playing other stuff in the right hand.

I went in some other directions with a couple of other courses, which was not a bad thing. I got some more fluency with my hands and am ready to come back and tackle this course again. I will say with the experience of some shorter courses that have been discussed, that by far, the Crash Course is the most complete and the closest thing for self-study to having a live teacher that I have seen yet. This is not to dismiss other courses because it all depends on what you are looking for, but to me the "granddaddy" of this type of course is the Crash Course. I can't say the Crash Course is necessarily better than other courses of self-study, but instead that it seems to be the most complete (i.e. widest in scope and depth) of those that I personally have experience with. Other courses are more focused and shorter, and can therefore produce the intended results in less time. But to learn all that you get in the Crash Course, you would be taking a number of such shorter courses and end up spending just as much time in the end.

At the time I purchased the Crash Course, I was not planning to dive into it until I retired. You have to have the time and energy for something as big an undertaking as this course, and the hours I was putting in gave me plenty of money to buy these courses, but little personal time. In addition to the Crash Course, at the time I bought a bunch of other of Duane's courses that seemed to follow on to the Crash Course, such as the Pro Secrets, Improvisation, Harmony and Theory, and several others.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been reviewing the Crash Course to find a good place to begin my focus and I just finished ripping all the CDs and DVDs to my Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and of course, backed up on a couple of hard drives. This all takes up about 150 GB. Now, I can play these using Transcribe! so I can loop and slow down sections of either the MP3s from the CDs or the MP4s from the DVDs. Also, I don't need to be concerned about the CD and DVD media going bad, since it will take a number of years to get through this material.

So now I am settling into the long term. I don't intend to be continually posting here, but just wanted to let others here who are tackling the course that they are not alone. I will pop in here from time to time, but mostly prefer to just do the work.

I wish any here who are diving into the course all the best. It becomes rather difficult to stick with it, once you get past lesson 8 or so as the going starts getting to be quite a challenge requiring increasing amounts of time and attention, but then we need to remember that any piano course that has you playing with any sort of sophistication, regardless of musical style, poses that same issue. It isn't Duane's teaching, but instead the technical challenges of playing piano to a decent level that make this such a challenge.

Also, consider that as you get farther into the course, you will naturally start spending more time with it. Think of it like any college course, for those of you who have done that. At the beginning of the semester, you are just getting started, so there is not a lot of backlog to review and sift through. As you approach mid-term, you are spending a lot more time reviewing what you have already covered as well as taking in new information. By finals, you are scrambling to get projects finished, study for the final, etc., and there is a lot more information to work with.

So goes a course the size of the Crash Course. Duane strongly recommends that you continually review completed lessons and try newly learned techniques on old tunes. All of this adds up. I am not sure how a person could limit it to an hour a day at that rate. But, then, that is how you get good - focus and a solid plan to follow.

Some have commented here that there are few we know of who have actually finished the course. I can easily see why. This course is a large commitment over a long period of time, and the first couple of lessons don't really give you a true sense of just how big a commitment it really is. We now know to expect a good 3 years or so. As somebody commented in this thread, it is like getting a degree in piano performance. In retirement, I want a long term worthwhile goal to take my free time with a positive structured focus. This is good for that, but when I was working full time, I couldn't see it happening. I am not sure how I would balance this when I take engineering contracts again next year, but I will have to figure something out, and probably will stop doing that sooner than later anyway. The younger folks need those jobs anyway. smile If I wait too long to get going again, I never will, and that would be a terrible shame.

Tony
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/03/19 01:16 AM
Good luck TonyB, and may this time be the time you break through. thumb
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/03/19 01:05 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Good luck TonyB, and may this time be the time you break through. thumb


Thanks Tyrone.

Tony
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/03/19 06:18 PM
I have just received the first eight lessons, and preparing the videos for the iPad I have seen that lesson 8 ends abruptly at 23:29.
Am I missing much?

Thank you.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/03/19 09:59 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
I have just received the first eight lessons, and preparing the videos for the iPad I have seen that lesson 8 ends abruptly at 23:29.
Am I missing much?

Thank you.


Lesson 8 is 26:58 min long and shouldn't end abruptly. The last song he covers in that lesson is "My Faith Looks Up To Thee." It's one of my favorite songs in the course because I like hymns.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/03/19 10:11 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
I have just received the first eight lessons, and preparing the videos for the iPad I have seen that lesson 8 ends abruptly at 23:29.
Am I missing much?

Thank you.


Lesson 8 is 26:58 min long and shouldn't end abruptly. The last song he covers in that lesson is "My Faith Looks Up To Thee." It's one of my favorite songs in the course because I like hymns.

God Bless,
David




I just checked my Lesson 8 and got the exact same result as DavidB, so Sol is missing the last few minutes. You do want the whole thing because at the end, Duane often makes useful comments in closing of the lesson.

Also, since I am posting again, be sure to listen CAREFULLY, and usually more than once, to a given lesson. Duane will give you extra information and ideas for practicing, often several ways to experiment playing the tunes assigned for the lesson. Try all that stuff and practice it too, because there is where the Crash Course differs from other courses of similar quality, such as Hugh Sung's course on Artist Works. Instead of just playing the tune as written, Duane leads you into making it your own all through the course. You can skip all that if you want to and just do the initial assignment, but you will be a far more interesting and inventive player if you follow Duane's lead.

Tony
Posted By: 20/20 Vision Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/03/19 11:16 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
I have just received the first eight lessons, and preparing the videos for the iPad I have seen that lesson 8 ends abruptly at 23:29.
Am I missing much?

Thank you.


May I ask what software you use to convert your DVDs to a format usable on the IPAD? (I am not technically proficient.) Also, how long did the conversion take? Finally, how does the crash course compare to the David Higgnison course? I tried emailing the Higginson people, but noone has responded to my inquiry off their website after a week, which does not give me a lot of confidence in the company.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/03/19 11:42 PM
Originally Posted by 20/20 Vision
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
I have just received the first eight lessons, and preparing the videos for the iPad I have seen that lesson 8 ends abruptly at 23:29.
Am I missing much?

Thank you.


May I ask what software you use to convert your DVDs to a format usable on the IPAD? (I am not technically proficient.) Also, how long did the conversion take? Finally, how does the crash course compare to the David Higgnison course? I tried emailing the Higginson people, but noone has responded to my inquiry off their website after a week, which does not give me a lot of confidence in the company.


Since I don't have an iPad, I can't answer your question for that platform. I can make a comparison between the Higginson course and the Crash Course, however, since I have both and have worked extensively with both.

The Higginson course will give you faster results because its focus is on only one, very specific style of playing. It is a good course, since it covers its scope well. However, if you want to go beyond what it teaches, you will probably end up looking at something along the lines of the Crash Course anyway. Also, if you are interested in playing solo piano with the melody, chords, and bass line, then the Higginson course is somewhat limited in its approach. It can work well with slower tunes, ballads, but not for uptempo type tunes. The main focus of the course is accompanying a singer. When I asked them about that in a phone discussion, Higginson's son insisted that for most professionals, they are mostly accompanying singers, and that this is likely true for amateurs as well. I disagree, but then what do I know? The Higginson course is good. You can get through it within a couple of focused months and will sound pretty decent on the piano.

The Crash Course is quite extensive. You will learn "chord style" piano that is well suited to a variety fo solo piano styles as well as accompanying singers, such as being a church pianist. Also, you will learn to read music and to understand what you are playing (i.e. music theory). The course is long, with 52 lessons. It has been established here in this thread that you can expect to take at least 3 years to get through it. I believe it. When you are finished, though, you will be quite a good player, especially with non-classical styles, but still being able to play classical music and continue to develop that if you wish. The course is not designed to be quick, so it will take serious commitment to get through it, but then the results are commensurate with that effort. In my personal opinion, this course is probably the closest self-teaching thing you will find to having formal lessons with a "live" teacher. Each lesson is a video lessons that runs between a half hour and an hour, and expect to take at least a week with each lesson.

Tony
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/03/19 11:59 PM
I should add that, since the Crash Course is such a big commitment, both financially and in terms of effort and time, for those who are not (yet) willing to make such a commitment, the Higginson course is a great way to work towards such a commitment (or not make that big commitment at all if you are satisfied with what you learn from the Higginson course).

I started the Crash Course and made it through about 20 lessons before life got in the way and I lost my momentum. The Higginson course allowed me to work my way back to the Crash Course, giving me more technique which is really helpful when tackling the Crash Course. In other words, though I drifted away from the Crash Course for some time, I was still playing piano, enjoying myself, and continuing to learn.

So it doesn't have to be either/or. You could get the Higginson course and work on that while saving up for the Crash Course, and when you finally do get the Crash Course, your hands will already know their way around the keyboard reasonably well, so you have a bit of a head start.

Tony
Posted By: 20/20 Vision Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/04/19 12:31 AM
Thanks, Tony. This really helps. The sample videos of the Crash Course on Duane's site appear to be grainy and unclear. Further, some of the recordings appear to have some minor drop outs. It looks as if the video was transferred over from an older medium. Does the video's sound and appearance cause any problems from the learning end (i.e., is it difficult to hear him at times or to see his fingers while playing?)

Also, do his solo offerings go into greater depth on a topic than the crash course? Or is the same material covered with the same depth in the crash course?
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/04/19 01:54 AM
Originally Posted by 20/20 Vision
Thanks, Tony. This really helps. The sample videos of the Crash Course on Duane's site appear to be grainy and unclear. Further, some of the recordings appear to have some minor drop outs. It looks as if the video was transferred over from an older medium. Does the video's sound and appearance cause any problems from the learning end (i.e., is it difficult to hear him at times or to see his fingers while playing?)

Also, do his solo offerings go into greater depth on a topic than the crash course? Or is the same material covered with the same depth in the crash course?


The Crash Course was originally offered back in the days of VHS as a subscription in which the student got one lesson per week for a year. Watching the videos, it is clear that it was taken from VHS tape. As for dropouts, I don't have that problem. However, I bought the course probably 20 years ago on DVDs. It was shipped in a three ring binder with those plastic sheets that hold DVDs and CDs, and the various printed materials including the 8 books.

I suppose it is possible that there may be some degradation of the originals and the copying to make new product, but I can't say that with any degree of certainty. All I can say is that there is nothing wrong with the media that came with my copy of the course.

I have several of Duane's courses that I purchased around that same time. In my opinion, the Crash Course is the gateway to the other courses. He assumes, at least in the courses I have, that you have the knowledge that the Crash Course teaches. Whether that is true for all the little courses he offers, I can't say. The only course I purchased more recently, probably 10 years ago or so, was the one that has 14 DVDs, each teaching some specific aspect of piano, such as a DVD on pedaling, another on scales, etc.

None of my courses has any problems with the media, but most of them look as if they were transferred from VHS tape for the DVDs and cassette for the CDs. Since I just finished copying them to my hard drive and then onto my Microsoft Surface, I am certain that there are no problems with any of the media.

Here is my take on the quality of the media itself. It doesn't matter to me that the quality of the video is no better than VHS tape or cassette, because it is the CONTENT that is important to me. Also, the songs chosen are a bit corny by today's standards. I suspect that a large part of that is to keep cost down by not having to pay royalties on copyrighted music. Again, this really doesn't matter because the songs are just vehicles to learn the techniques being taught. You can then apply these techniques to whatever music you choose.

Maybe it is because cassettes and VHS were a portion of my life, being older, but I don't know where else you can get this material taught in this manner, and that is what is important to me. Maybe for a younger crowd, this material might seem old and dated. But compared to what Duane Shinn is offering across the Crash Course, the Improvisation course, the music theory course, the 33 tips course, and the Pro Secrets course, every other course is just a small slice of this long and carefully guided journey to being able to really play the piano. It isn't that these other courses aren't good as they are, they are fine and probably much better media and flashier packaging. But having this series of courses from Duane Shinn is like having a very consistent and patient teacher who isn't going away and is always there when you are ready to do the work.

Tony
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/04/19 05:34 AM
Originally Posted by 20/20 Vision
The sample videos of the Crash Course on Duane's site appear to be grainy and unclear. Further, some of the recordings appear to have some minor drop outs. It looks as if the video was transferred over from an older medium. Does the video's sound and appearance cause any problems from the learning end (i.e., is it difficult to hear him at times or to see his fingers while playing?)


It's home video (VHS) quality on DVD. You might be disappointed if you've never seen old school home video before and you're only used to HD. However, any degradation from the original recordings is negligible. The quality of the video and audio should not impede the learning process at all. Duane transitions between two camera angles, i.e., close-up of his hands and a wider profile/over the shoulder shot. Both angles are sufficient to see what's going on. I've gone through 41 lessons and haven't encountered a problem.

God Bless,
David

Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/04/19 06:00 AM
Originally Posted by 20/20 Vision


May I ask what software you use to convert your DVDs to a format usable on the IPAD? (I am not technically proficient.) Also, how long did the conversion take? Finally, how does the crash course compare to the David Higgnison course? I tried emailing the Higginson people, but noone has responded to my inquiry off their website after a week, which does not give me a lot of confidence in the company.

I'm using MacX DVD Ripper Pro, and it takes a few minutes per lesson, depending on your cpu - maybe something between 4 and 10 minutes
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/04/19 06:05 AM
Originally Posted by TonyB


I just checked my Lesson 8 and got the exact same result as DavidB, so Sol is missing the last few minutes. You do want the whole thing because at the end, Duane often makes useful comments in closing of the lesson.



Is there anyone there who could possibly send me the few minutes I am missing? I have the bill, I have the originals, so...
Four minutes ripped video should take up around 40-50 Mb...

Thank you.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/04/19 12:59 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by TonyB


I just checked my Lesson 8 and got the exact same result as DavidB, so Sol is missing the last few minutes. You do want the whole thing because at the end, Duane often makes useful comments in closing of the lesson.



Is there anyone there who could possibly send me the few minutes I am missing? I have the bill, I have the originals, so...
Four minutes ripped video should take up around 40-50 Mb...

Thank you.


Rather than ripping the DVDs, I simply copied the content to my computer because VLC can play that just as if it was on the DVD itself so that I can select the lesson from the menu. I doubt that would do you any good. I did rip the CDs to MP3, but that isn't what we are talking about here. What you really should do is contact Duane Shinn's organization and get them to send you a proper DVD, since you did buy it not too long ago.

Tony
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/04/19 01:03 PM
Originally Posted by TonyB


Rather than ripping the DVDs, I simply copied the content to my computer because VLC can play that just as if it was on the DVD itself so that I can select the lesson from the menu. I doubt that would do you any good. I did rip the CDs to MP3, but that isn't what we are talking about here.

I do not have any CD, and the book is in B/W
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/04/19 01:05 PM
Originally Posted by TonyB

What you really should do is contact Duane Shinn's organization and get them to send you a proper DVD, since you did buy it not too long ago.


I am going to contact. But I had to pay a customs fee for the parcel. I'd rather they sent me the DVD with the next order...
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/04/19 01:53 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by TonyB


Rather than ripping the DVDs, I simply copied the content to my computer because VLC can play that just as if it was on the DVD itself so that I can select the lesson from the menu. I doubt that would do you any good. I did rip the CDs to MP3, but that isn't what we are talking about here.

I do not have any CD, and the book is in B/W


Sorry about the confusion. I have several of Duane's courses. Some have CDs, some have DVDs, and some have both. As for the books, yes, mine are B/W too. I think the color versions were probably available back when the course was distributed on VHS.

For more information about Duane's courses and his approach to teaching piano, his youtube channel has over 1,000 videos:

https://www.youtube.com/user/chordsgalore/featured

https://www.youtube.com/user/chordsgalore/videos

I seem to be getting more involved here than I intended, but hopefully have helped with some of the questions. I think the youtube videos can provide quite a bit of information. As I continue through the course, I don't intend to be posting videos frequently as DavidB so generously has, but might post one on occasion. My tendency is to just disappear and do the work on my own. Forums become something of a "time suck" after a while. Some folks can manage to balance things probably better than I can with this sort of thing.

Years ago, when working with the Sudnow method for cocktail style piano, there was a local group of folks that formed around the method as a sort of study group. There were mostly folks who had years of formal piano lessons who wanted to learn something besides reading/playing classical piano music as was typically taught in piano lessons then. The unfortunate thing was that the group served to dissipate the core intentions over time because these folks who already played seemed to steer the group away from Sudnow's core teaching and more toward territory familiar to them. Since then, I have tended to shy away from that sort of thing and go my own way.

Tony



Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/04/19 02:39 PM
Thank you.
Now I have to allocate the time needed for the course.
I spent yesterday quite a long time between ripping, watching the guide and following the first lesson. Which with the help of house/family duties let me no time for classical.
Today - I have a couple of hours before going out with my wife and meeting friends TGIF - I am going to play classical first and repeat the first part of the first lesson afterwards.
I need a plan.
And I'm spending a lot of time here, talking about time management.
Happy Friday.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/04/19 02:57 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Thank you.
Now I have to allocate the time needed for the course.
I spent yesterday quite a long time between ripping, watching the guide and following the first lesson. Which with the help of house/family duties let me no time for classical.
Today - I have a couple of hours before going out with my wife and meeting friends TGIF - I am going to play classical first and repeat the first part of the first lesson afterwards.
I need a plan.
And I'm spending a lot of time here, talking about time management.
Happy Friday.

Rather than spend the same amount of time on classical as you did before, and just add on chord piano on top, it is usually better to do less of each so you don't end up burning out on piano. If it works, then you could ramp it up over time.
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/13/19 07:01 PM
I didn't know the course was for sheer beginners.
I have finished lesson 7 and I am a bit disappointed about the progression. I hesitate now about spending another $200 in the next 8 lessons.

Originally Posted by Liquidmantis

I'll also add that I found www.pianowithjonny.com just after I ordered the Crash Course, and PWJ also teaches in a similar fashion, albeit with a jazz bias. I think I'll be checking it out in parallel and it might be a good option for those that can't justify the cost of the Crash Course.

I think I am going to wait for Liquidmantis' experience with PWJ
Posted By: Liquidmantis Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/14/19 12:40 AM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker

I think I am going to wait for Liquidmantis' experience with PWJ


I’d highly recommend just signing up for the two week trial at PWJ, maybe even just taking a month. I’ve had some personal issues that interfered a bit with my practice volume, but I’ve stalled a bit on the Crash Course and have solely focused on PWJ. I’m not giving up on the CC, I just need to integrate the two, and I’m really enjoying PWJ. Honestly, if I had found it first I’d probably wouldn’t have spent the money on the CC.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/14/19 12:55 AM
Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by TonyB


I just checked my Lesson 8 and got the exact same result as DavidB, so Sol is missing the last few minutes. You do want the whole thing because at the end, Duane often makes useful comments in closing of the lesson.



Is there anyone there who could possibly send me the few minutes I am missing? I have the bill, I have the originals, so...
Four minutes ripped video should take up around 40-50 Mb...

Thank you.


Rather than ripping the DVDs, I simply copied the content to my computer because VLC can play that just as if it was on the DVD itself so that I can select the lesson from the menu. I doubt that would do you any good. I did rip the CDs to MP3, but that isn't what we are talking about here. What you really should do is contact Duane Shinn's organization and get them to send you a proper DVD, since you did buy it not too long ago.

Tony


In case anybody is interested in converting DVDs to, say, MP4 (or most any other format), for that I use Any Video Converter. This software converts most anything to anything, CD or DVD media or disk file. It can also download and convert from web sites. However, since VLC can work with the files from a DVD just as if it was a DVD (i.e. honoring the DVD menus correctly), I prefer that with the Duane Shinn Crash Course since there are 4 lessons on each DVD. I could rip the individual lesson video files, but VLC just seems easier. If I needed the space on my SSD, I would go through the extra work to do that.

Tony

Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/27/19 08:49 PM
I can finally put lesson 40 behind me. I'm actually finishing up lesson 42, but I did not want to close lesson 40 until I finished this song (There is a Tavern in the Town). I'd say it's the hardest song I've had to learn in the course so far. It's hard for me because there is so much going on between both hands. It would be easier if I didn't have to use the pedal. It's written with no pedal, but we use it in the arrangement. It's Duane's arrangement with a bit of my own personality sprinkled throughout. It's played as written with the Garritan CFX and arranged with the VSL Steinway D. I tried to make the VSL Steinway D as dry as possible because the song didn't sound good with all the reverb in the Garritan CFX.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/27/19 08:55 PM
Very nice arrangement. Really like night and day between the original and the arrangement. But I wonder why there are so many detached notes in the right hand? I guess I'm not familiar with this folk song. Is it supposed to be choppy like that because of the folk lyrics?

Congrats on finishing Lesson 40! 🎉
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/27/19 09:12 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Very nice arrangement. Really like night and day between the original and the arrangement. But I wonder why there are so many detached notes in the right hand? I guess I'm not familiar with this folk song. Is it supposed to be choppy like that because of the folk lyrics?

Congrats on finishing Lesson 40! 🎉


I add a bit more syncopation in the right hand than Dwayne does. Depending on what portion of the song you’re talking about, it could be my flavoring sprinkled in.

God bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/28/19 07:04 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
But I wonder why there are so many detached notes in the right hand? I guess I'm not familiar with this folk song. Is it supposed to be choppy like that because of the folk lyrics?

Yep, a "drinking" song - sometimes even played on a honky tonk piano!
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/28/19 12:12 PM
Very nice, David.

It occurs to me that it would sound perfectly natural to put those 2 versions together as a single performance.
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/28/19 12:23 PM
Originally Posted by David B







Superb! I love your arrangement. Keep posting your videos, please.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/28/19 04:33 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker


Superb! I love your arrangement. Keep posting your videos, please.


Thanks. I never heard the song before and I'll never play it again, but it was rewarding to learn. It took longer to learn than any other song in the course for me. I included it in my daily practice for over a month.

Duane doesn't really arrange songs in lesson 41 and 42. The emphasis in those lessons is on reading music. However, there is one song that sounds decent as written in lesson 41 and I'll probably record that.

Lesson 42 has a simple little boogie piece that might be worth recording. There is a nice song in lesson 43 that I'm looking forward to learning with Duane's arrangement.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/28/19 04:47 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Very nice, David.

It occurs to me that it would sound perfectly natural to put those 2 versions together as a single performance.


Ha, ha, it's hard enough to get through one version without too many mistakes. blush

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/31/19 07:52 PM
Lesson 41 is finished. There were no arrangements in this lesson. Duane suggested to learn the music as written. All the songs were pretty boring except for this one. It has a little beauty to it. Actually, there is really no arranging in lessons 41 and 42. It's good for me because I need to practice reading music more.

Here is a pic of the sheet music for this song.

[Linked Image]

The piano sound is my VSL Steinway D.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/31/19 08:03 PM
Nicely done! 👏

You are almost down to a single digit number of lessons left.

You realize that when you do finish, you must give us a profound essay on what the last 3 years of Duane Shinn have taught you! 😀
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 10/31/19 08:21 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Nicely done! 👏

You are almost down to a single digit number of lessons left.


I should be done with lesson 42 next week. Duane got playful on a little boogie song that's kind of cute. However, there is nothing much in the lesson to speak of. I hope to have lesson 44 or 45 done by the end of the year.

Quote
You realize that when you do finish, you must give us a profound essay on what the last 3 years of Duane Shinn have taught you! 😀


It definitely taught me how to play the piano. I really didn't know much at all prior to the course. I'm looking forward with great anticipation to Duane's Praise and Gospel series and his Pro Secrets course. I will start both after the 52 week course is done.

God bless,
David
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/02/19 09:50 AM
Originally Posted by David B

It definitely taught me how to play the piano. I really didn't know much at all prior to the course. I'm looking forward with great anticipation to Duane's Praise and Gospel series and his Pro Secrets course. I will start both after the 52 week course is done.



Good luck with it!
I finished lesson 7 and I'll wait for a reseller to turn up. The course, interesting as it might be, is too expensive for me.

Thank you for posting your videos.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/02/19 10:55 AM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
I finished lesson 7 and I'll wait for a reseller to turn up. The course, interesting as it might be, is too expensive for me.

There are other chord piano and cocktail piano courses, some of which have been reviewed in this thread and other threads here. You might want to take another one here which better fits your budget. Chord piano and cocktail piano existed before Duane Shinn made a course about it. It may be the most systematic teacher-less course though, but I'm sure you can find something else adequate to your needs.
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/02/19 11:31 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
I finished lesson 7 and I'll wait for a reseller to turn up. The course, interesting as it might be, is too expensive for me.

There are other chord piano and cocktail piano courses, some of which have been reviewed in this thread and other threads here. You might want to take another one here which better fits your budget. Chord piano and cocktail piano existed before Duane Shinn made a course about it. It may be the most systematic teacher-less course though, but I'm sure you can find something else adequate to your needs.

Agreed.
In fact, I am doing right now the Five Essential Seventh Chords Course totally free, and even though I don't agree with the order of the practice sessions - who am I - I am satisfied with the progression.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/02/19 02:43 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by David B

It definitely taught me how to play the piano. I really didn't know much at all prior to the course. I'm looking forward with great anticipation to Duane's Praise and Gospel series and his Pro Secrets course. I will start both after the 52 week course is done.



Good luck with it!
I finished lesson 7 and I'll wait for a reseller to turn up. The course, interesting as it might be, is too expensive for me.

Thank you for posting your videos.


I'm thinking about selling my 52 Week Course when I'm done with it. I don't even know if selling things on this forum is allowed. I wouldn't know where else to sell it. I would let it go for close to have the price. PM if you're interested and we can figure something out.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/02/19 04:27 PM
Originally Posted by David B


I'm thinking about selling my 52 Week Course when I'm done with it. I don't even know if selling things on this forum is allowed. I wouldn't know where else to sell it. I would let it go for close to have the price. PM if you're interested and we can figure something out.

God Bless,
David

I suppose if someone is interested in whatever, he can expose it on the forum and receive a PM about it.
V.gr. "I am trying to find a 1902 mahogany upright Steinway. Should somebody knows about one, please let me know via PM"

Moderators may think otherwise though.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/15/19 12:36 AM
Here is a little Boogie riff from lesson 42. I really don't care for this style, but it was interesting training my brain to learn it. The arrangement is Duane's. He threw in syncopation and more chording in the right hand. There are a few songs with this pattern in lessons 42 and 43, but I'm not going to record anymore of them. I'll play it as written and then arranged. The piano sound the N1X CFX binaural.

Lesson 42 is finished although there is one other song l'd like to record before I officially call it complete.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/16/19 08:12 AM
David - Really a fantastic job on that arrangement! I'm thinkin' - somewhere down the line a few of those riffs right in the middle of a hymn . . . get folks toes a tappin'!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/16/19 09:06 AM
Originally Posted by pwl
David - Really a fantastic job on that arrangement! I'm thinkin' - somewhere down the line a few of those riffs right in the middle of a hymn . . . get folks toes a tappin'!


Yeah, Boogie always seems to be a crowd favorite. It's a style of playing that I can only listen to for a short period of time. After a few minutes it starts to grate on me. Although it is fun for those few minutes. smile

God bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/20/19 11:56 PM
Lesson 42 is in the books. This song (O, Canada) was not arranged by Duane but I like it because I grew up playing hockey in the northeastern US and in Canada. I heard the Canadian National Anthem quite a bit growing up, therefore, I really wanted to arrange it.

I used some of the bread and butter techniques taught in this course, i.e., arpeggios, chording, runs, walks ups/downs, (counter motion) etc. It's very gratifying because I could do none of this before the course and it gives me confidence that the time I've spent with this course has been worthwhile.

The piano sound is the VSL Steinway D. I've been experimenting with a very dry Steinway sound and I like it. The song is played as written and then arranged.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/21/19 12:04 AM
Great job on arranging O, Canada, David B! thumb
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/21/19 12:25 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Great job on arranging O, Canada, David B! thumb


Thank you. It's nice to practice the techniques in a song that I actually enjoy.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: ˆTomLCˆ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/21/19 12:48 AM
Really nice, David. Clean sounds, nice runs. You are doing great. thumb
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 11/21/19 01:56 AM
Originally Posted by TomLC
Really nice, David. Clean sounds, nice runs. You are doing great. thumb


Thank you.

It really is nice to have these beautiful instruments to play.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Boboulus Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/09/20 09:48 PM
Hi,

I’m looking for this course but not sure if you need the DVD’s?

I’m thinking of buying this book:

https://www.amazon.de/dp/0912732687...1284802&sprefix=duane+shi&sr=8-1

Is it the crash course? smile
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/09/20 10:08 PM
Not even close. The DVD's are 90% of the course, I would say.
Posted By: Boboulus Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/09/20 10:14 PM
Originally Posted by EP
Not even close. The DVD's are 90% of the course, I would say.


Great thanks, I will just have to keep looking smile
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/09/20 10:32 PM
I see that you are in Sweden, so I don't know what it would involve to get them to you, but if you go to playpiano.com they still offer the Crash Course. Duane passed away recently but I believe his widow still runs the business offering his courses. Maybe you'll get lucky and find it on eBay or somewhere like that.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/10/20 03:14 AM
From what I understand, Duane’s son is revising the website and will make his materials available for download maybe sometime this year. I doubt the cost of the materials will go down, but they will be a bit easier to acquire.

God bless,
David
Posted By: Boboulus Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/10/20 10:04 AM
Originally Posted by David B
From what I understand, Duane’s son is revising the website and will make his materials available for download maybe sometime this year. I doubt the cost of the materials will go down, but they will be a bit easier to acquire.

God bless,
David


This sounds amazing, hope this will come soon. It would make a lot of sense to just be able to get the content as digital download.
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/10/20 10:43 AM
Originally Posted by David B
From what I understand, Duane’s son is revising the website and will make his materials available for download maybe sometime this year. I doubt the cost of the materials will go down, but they will be a bit easier to acquire.

God bless,
David

I had customs issues with the delivery and one of the DVDs lacked the last 4' recording.
The delivery address was also innacurate.
So this is a step in the right direction
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/10/20 09:06 PM
Originally Posted by Boboulus
Originally Posted by EP
Not even close. The DVD's are 90% of the course, I would say.


Great thanks, I will just have to keep looking smile



Not sure what you are trying to do.

Find the course ?

Or find it somewhere other than playpiano.com ?

To find the course .;... just login to playpiano.com and sort products from HIGH price to LOW price and it will appear on top.

Good Lucki
Posted By: Boboulus Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 02/10/20 10:37 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Boboulus
Originally Posted by EP
Not even close. The DVD's are 90% of the course, I would say.


Great thanks, I will just have to keep looking smile



Not sure what you are trying to do.

Find the course ?

Or find it somewhere other than playpiano.com ?

To find the course .;... just login to playpiano.com and sort products from HIGH price to LOW price and it will appear on top.

Good Lucki




Thanks, i was looking for places to buy them locally or digitally if possible. I was also a bit uncertain exactly what the 52 week course included. But for now I don’t want to order from the The states as I will most likely need to pay tull fees.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/12/20 11:52 PM
A couple more songs and I'll be done with this course. I'm currently on lesson 52 (Although there is one song in lesson 48 I like and might record). Here is a song from lesson 43 (Roses from the south). I wanted to record this song because it provided a good context to practice a number of different techniques particularly in the left hand. There are a few variations of the chording technique that I wanted to make sure I could play before I finished the course. I'll play the song as written, then arranged (mostly Duane's arrangement) and then I'll give a short demonstration of how the chording technique developed throughout the course. The piano sound is ViLabs Modern U.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: Serge88 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/14/20 03:38 PM
thumb and good explanation !
Posted By: navindra Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/14/20 10:06 PM
Originally Posted by David B
A couple more songs and I'll be done with this course. I'm currently on lesson 52 (Although there is one song in lesson 48 I like and might record). Here is a song from lesson 43 (Roses from the south). I wanted to record this song because it provided a good context to practice a number of different techniques particularly in the left hand. There are a few variations of the chording technique that I wanted to make sure I could play before I finished the course. I'll play the song as written, then arranged (mostly Duane's arrangement) and then I'll give a short demonstration of how the chording technique developed throughout the course. The piano sound is ViLabs Modern U.



Thank you for sharing your learnings, David B. Very interesting indeed. With COVID-19, I no longer have a teacher, so I may look into Duane Shinn.

May I ask what kind of memorization techniques you use, especially since you don't care much for the song? You seem to be able to memorize every piece you play.

Thanks!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 03/14/20 11:21 PM
Originally Posted by Serge88
thumb and good explanation !


Thanks. There are so many good techniques taught in the 52 Week Course (Chording only being one) that I wish I could do a summary of each one like I did for the chording. However, I don't have the time right now. Although, that could change if COVID-19 shuts down our church services and other gatherings.


Originally Posted by navindra

May I ask what kind of memorization techniques you use, especially since you don't care much for the song? You seem to be able to memorize every piece you play.

Thanks!


This course has taught me how to read music, but I do it so terribly that I can't rely upon it to play music. Out of necessity I have to memorize songs in order to play them. I begin by learning the song as written, and because of the simplicity of the songs, I think my brain defaults to memorizing it rather than relying on reading it. When the time comes to actually start working on the arrangement, it's 100% memorization then because the arrangements aren't scored.

I believe my deficiency in reading results from never learning to read music as a child. It's like an adult learning a new language. They might learn a broken form of the language or have a strong accent. It's enough to communicate, but not fluently. It's the same with me for reading music. I can barely get by.

That's why the last 6 or so lessons have taken me so long. There are almost 100 songs covered in the last few lessons. Duane is trying to finish all the content in the books. There is not much arrangement going on after lesson 45. It really becomes a music reading and theory exercise. So the last few lessons have become very tedious for me because of my poor music reading skill.

To answer your question, I don't have a memorization technique, I think it's just my brain compensating so I can play music. Thank you for the nice question and I'm sorry I can't offer a better explanation.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/05/20 03:54 AM
The Duane Shinn 52-Week Crash Course is complete! laugh

It took me 3 years and 3 months to finish. The last song I’ve chosen to upload is a hymn that is covered in one of the last few lessons. Actually, in the lesson book it’s called Greensleeves, but in my hymnal it’s “What Child Is This.” The lesson book did not have the chorus in it so I had to figure out the extra chords in the song from the hymnal. This course has taught me how to analyze music and it gave me a basic understanding of key signatures.

I’ll play the song as written, then with my own arrangement, and finally with Duane’s arrangement. One of the benefits of this course is learning how to play songs in different styles. My arrangement uses hand-over arpeggios which was taught in the course and Duane’s arrangement uses a more “playful” syncopated rhythm. I could play my arrangement in church, but I’m not sure about Duane’s. Duane’s arrangement was definitely harder for me to learn. I do enjoy playing it his way also. The piano sound is the VSL Steinway D.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: EPW Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/05/20 04:56 PM
Hooray for you David. Now I will look forward to your adventure with the Gospel course. Please keep us updated on your progress.
Posted By: EPW Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/05/20 05:05 PM
Quote
I could play my arrangement in church, but I’m not sure about Duane’s. Duane’s arrangement was definitely harder for me to learn


That brought back some memories. My soon to be wife and I were helping in music ministry and the Music Director had "Soon and Very Soon" with a upbeat jazzy arrangement which was always fun to play. We got married and moved to the suburbs. New parish and we joined the music ministry wife and flute and me on keys. We played "Soon and Very Soon" and the Music Director was having none of the jazzy arrangement from the old Church smile

The Music Director said I love it but the Pastor will not approve and he will have a talk after mass if we play all funked up is the words he used. The small contemporary choir loved it though.

Anyway as I said before David keep us posted on your progress.

Peace
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/05/20 05:57 PM
Originally Posted by EPW
Hooray for you David. Now I will look forward to your adventure with the Gospel course. Please keep us updated on your progress.


Thank you. I'm going to start both Duane's Praise and Gospel series and Pro Secrets this coming week. The first song in the Praise and Gospel series is Amazing Grace and the first of the Pro Secrets are Straddles. Straddles are brutal, but I can see how useful they can be. Straddles have already been introduced in the Crash Course and used in a few songs (even in What Child is This), but in Pro Secrets they are drilled in every key with 7ths, aug, and dim chords. shocked

Originally Posted by EPW

The Music Director said I love it but the Pastor will not approve...


I like Duane's version of the song and it's important as a pianist to be able to play those types of rhythms, but I do think some people in the church might feel unfordable with it. I would have no problem with it personally, but for the sake of not offending the sensitive souls, I probably wouldn't play it. That's the beauty of learning different styles. You can pick the appropriate style for the context.

God bless,
David
Posted By: pwl Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/06/20 06:51 AM
Beautiful playing, David. I really like your version! Also - pretty darn nice Steinway D sound. Oh and let's not forget - CONGRATULATIONS!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/06/20 02:06 PM
Originally Posted by pwl
Beautiful playing, David. I really like your version! Also - pretty darn nice Steinway D sound. Oh and let's not forget - CONGRATULATIONS!


Thank you.

The Steinway D sound is a patch setting developed by karvala. He is really good at getting the best sounds out of VSTs. Unfortunately, according to his profile he stopped participating on PW back in Oct of last year. I've tried reaching out to him via private message, but I've gotten no response back. Hope he is doing well.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: misspiggy Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/10/20 09:27 PM
Great work David! Sounds amazing!

How do you feel about things now? Can you just tackle a lead sheet and get on with it? Or does it still take a lot of practice? Do you feel it was worth the investment in time?
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/11/20 06:02 AM
Originally Posted by misspiggy
Great work David! Sounds amazing!

How do you feel about things now? Can you just tackle a lead sheet and get on with it? Or does it still take a lot of practice? Do you feel it was worth the investment in time?

Thanks.

The last few songs in lesson 52 were made up of lead sheets and Duane encouraged us to apply the techniques that were taught throughout the course to them. That is the only experience I've had with lead sheets. I can apply everything I've learned in the course, but I can't do it effortlessly. My fingers don't naturally go where they are supposed to without thought and effort. However, that's not an issue with the course, it's just my experience level.

I definitely feel the course was worth the investment. It's taught me how to play the piano. I've got a good basic foundation now to build on. I've started Duane's Pro Secrets and Praise and Gospel course. I believe these materials are going to take my playing to another level. It's going to take a lot of work, but the results (IMO) are worth it.

I was considering making a final video sharing my thoughts on the course, but it just doesn't seem like there is enough interest here. Other courses mentioned in the ABF seem to generate much discussion, but not Duane's course. I don't know why that is. I'm grateful I found this thread and learned about Duane Shinn, but I'm surprised there aren't more people engaging with his materials.

God bless,
David
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/11/20 06:35 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Other courses mentioned in the ABF seem to generate much discussion, but not Duane's course. I don't know why that is. I'm grateful I found this thread and learned about Duane Shinn, but I'm surprised there aren't more people engaging with his materials.
One caveat here - and it is only my opinion - is the price. You can find and give a try to several online courses with a small investment.
Another issue is customs. If you live in the USA you do not have any delivery problems but it is another question overseas.

Big congrats to you!
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/11/20 12:19 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Other courses mentioned in the ABF seem to generate much discussion, but not Duane's course. I don't know why that is.

You don't ?

Come on .... of course, you do.

Cost ! The thought of paying $1000 or more (100 per month, max) seems too high for most.

And ... it is high .... if you just buy it and then set it aside after a week or 2 .... and look for the next fantastic course.

This is the usual scenario for many (I might even venture MOST) piano hobbiests .... myself, included.

We (I ?) enjoy the "promise" of that next adventure into a piano learning method.

The work involved ? Not so much.

So .... we purchase and purchase and purchase ......

Those who actually do some practicing (work) with these courses find most of them to be helpful.

You, for example .... purchased an expensive course .... went through it thoroughly and did the work .... and BINGO ... you got the result you were looking for..... Well, not BINGO ... LOL ..... but ... years of work .... and you got the result you were looking for.

Most do not have the level of stick-to-it-ivness you demonstrated.

Congratulations
Posted By: WeakLeftHand Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/11/20 02:33 PM
Congratulations, David B! Your dedication is admirable. I have never bought something and finished it. How long did this whole course take you?

Can someone please explain to me what kind of piano course this is? Is it “chord piano”? It is a category that I have very little understanding but would like to learn more. I’m only familiar with classical, pop or jazz. I’ve looked at the website and am a bit confused.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/11/20 02:51 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by David B
Other courses mentioned in the ABF seem to generate much discussion, but not Duane's course. I don't know why that is.

You don't ?

Come on .... of course, you do.

Cost ! The thought of paying $1000 or more (100 per month, max) seems too high for most.

And ... it is high .... if you just buy it and then set it aside after a week or 2 .... and look for the next fantastic course...

I can understand what you're saying, but the cost as a deterrent had not really crossed my mind. I'm not a wealthy person and I barely make enough to support my family. I purchased Duane's materials with a credit card and got some cash back rewards and eventually paid off the material (interest free) after several months.

I guess I'm used to investing financially in my pursuits. As a firearms enthusiast for years (shooting competitively) I conditioned myself to the continual financial sacrifice necessary to accomplish my goals. When I was looking for piano resources I was thrilled at the one-time investment and I actually thought Duane's prices where a good deal compared to what I would have to pay for private lessons.

Duanes course is just under 1k (it's three years of material). I would have paid over 4k for private lessons for 3 years. However, I would have gladly paid that If I could have taken lessons from Duane personally.

On top of that I just recently sold the 52 week course to someone here on the forum for 500 dollars. So my financial investment was only around 400 dollars.

My personality type is all-or-nothing. So it's hard for me to see the financial cost as an obstacle if I believe it's worth it. I could tell right away that Duane's materials were going to be worth it (even before I purchased them). However, if I was inclined to not follow-through and accomplish goals, I would be reluctant to spend money on Duane's course when there are cheaper options available.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: EPW Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/12/20 12:16 AM
You did really good Dave selling the course and someone got a good deal on it. Now get cracking on the Gospel course. You have lots of time on your hands now with no Easter Service now. At least I hope you are not having a Easter Service with Covid-19
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/12/20 01:19 AM
Yep, lots of time on my hands. I recorded this summary video today. These are just some final thoughts on the course.



God Bless,
David
Posted By: WeakLeftHand Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/12/20 01:58 AM
What a wonderful review! Thanks for posting it!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/12/20 04:29 AM
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
What a wonderful review! Thanks for posting it!

Thanks. I tried to keep it as short as possible. People never complain that a sermon is too short, but you'll hear it if you go too long. I can always count on my wife to let me know when I preached too long. blush

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Duaner Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/12/20 01:41 PM
Thank you, David. I too, have been a Duane Shinn fan for a while now although I have not taken it (unfortunately) as far as you have yet I am always, seems like, into his stuff. I should say also congrats on your accomplishments thus far and congrats also on giving all of us very good and eloquent review.

Stay safe concerning this pandemic.....Duane.
Posted By: navindra Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/12/20 05:32 PM
Originally Posted by David B
These are just some final thoughts on the course.

Thanks David!

Could you give some examples of the songs the course includes?

If I go to the website, there are a bunch of other courses like "Chord Progressions", "How to Improvise on the Piano", etc. Does this crash course include all that?
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/12/20 05:48 PM
Originally Posted by navindra
Could you give some examples of the songs the course includes?

If I go to the website, there are a bunch of other courses like "Chord Progressions", "How to Improvise on the Piano", etc. Does this crash course include all that?

Since I sold the course I don't have the books anymore (although, I still have my backup copies of the DVDs), therefore I can't give you a list of all the songs that are covered (it's somewhere around 200). I did upload 40+ songs from the course in this thread. That should give you an idea of the type of songs covered.

I'm not sure what's covered in Duane's "Chord Progressions" and "How to Improvise" beyond what the titles suggest. I think those are more specialized while the 52 Week Crash Course is more general that includes some basic elements of the courses you mentioned.

Sorry I can't be more help.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 04/14/20 10:48 PM
Originally Posted by Duaner
Thank you, David. I too, have been a Duane Shinn fan for a while now although I have not taken it (unfortunately) as far as you have yet I am always, seems like, into his stuff. I should say also congrats on your accomplishments thus far and congrats also on giving all of us very good and eloquent review.

Stay safe concerning this pandemic.....Duane.

Thank you for the kind words and may you and your family stay safe also.

God bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 03:05 AM
Originally Posted by David B
The Duane Shinn 52-Week Crash Course is complete! laugh

It took me 3 years and 3 months to finish. The last song I’ve chosen to upload is a hymn that is covered in one of the last few lessons. Actually, in the lesson book it’s called Greensleeves, but in my hymnal it’s “What Child Is This.” The lesson book did not have the chorus in it so I had to figure out the extra chords in the song from the hymnal. This course has taught me how to analyze music and it gave me a basic understanding of key signatures.

I’ll play the song as written, then with my own arrangement, and finally with Duane’s arrangement. One of the benefits of this course is learning how to play songs in different styles. My arrangement uses hand-over arpeggios which was taught in the course and Duane’s arrangement uses a more “playful” syncopated rhythm. I could play my arrangement in church, but I’m not sure about Duane’s. Duane’s arrangement was definitely harder for me to learn. I do enjoy playing it his way also. The piano sound is the VSL Steinway D.



God Bless,
David
Wow David! Congrats! You are may be the first PW'er that has finished this course in full view of PW! In fact you started it and finished it in full view! Your discipline has been unbelievable! I'm simply in awe that you pushed through with this! You and EP need to go in a Duane Shinn Hall of Fame. If someone said you were in the less than 1%, I would believe them as the PW'ers that started and quit this this course, including ones that went through multiple cycles of starting and quitting, just litter this thread. In fact, of the 564 posts on this thread, besides EP, you are the only one I recall that has finished this course!

Woot! Woot!

This course is not for the faint of heart

[Linked Image]
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 04:31 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Wow David! Congrats! ...besides EP, you are the only one I recall that has finished this course!

Thanks.

I think more people would finish if there was a forum dedicated to this course where students could interact with each other and the teacher (unfortunately, Duane has passed, RIP). It's tough to go at it alone. I think Duane's course might have been more popular if he would have developed it in the 21st century and made it internet based.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 11:49 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Wow David! Congrats! ...besides EP, you are the only one I recall that has finished this course!
Thanks.

I think more people would finish if there was a forum dedicated to this course where students could interact with each other and the teacher (unfortunately, Duane has passed, RIP). It's tough to go at it alone. I think Duane's course might have been more popular if he would have developed it in the 21st century and made it internet based.

God Bless,
David
I believe you are right. There are modern ways to get through difficult, involved, and time-consuming material, and his course is not it. It isn't an exemplar of best practices in instructional methods, by today's standards. Perhaps there was a time when people had patience for a mail-order course like this, but no longer.

The interesting thing is that the course still sells because so many do think they can make it, even acquire the course, often the whole thing, but then naturally winnow out. Those people don't know themselves as well as they think they do.

I do know myself - maybe not great but enough to know that I look at this course and even if it was what I wanted to learn, I realize that I would just not be able to do it. I'd be in the 99% that drop out. There is no way that I'd get through the 52-weeks (more like 156-208 weeks!) and graduate as you and EP have.

But all this only makes your achievement, and that of EP's, even more notable, and you were the only one who shared your weekly/monthly progress with the course with the rest of us here on the thread. I truly believe that if you could get through Duane's 52-week course, you can get through anything, no matter how difficult. You are one of those rare people that just needs to set your mind to something and you will put your shoulder to the plow and by and by, the entire field will be done... 👍 🙇‍♂️ (LOL... I've just made Duane Shinn's course something like an archetype of real life, or something! 🤣)
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 02:54 PM
In reality, it's never finished - the course is a start. As one of my former teachers (Andy LaVerne) told me, the work is pretty much always the same, it just gets more fun (I'm paraphrasing).
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 03:25 PM
Originally Posted by EP
In reality, it's never finished - the course is a start. As one of my former teachers (Andy LaVerne) told me, the work is pretty much always the same, it just gets more fun (I'm paraphrasing).

I'm beginning to realize this now that I've started Duane's Praise and Gospel Course. The arrangements are more complex with chord substitutions and non-familiar ways of voicing chords.

My brain got used to a certain formula for arranging during the 52 Week Course, and now the Praise and Gospel Course has added much more to the palette. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, but I'm going to plod along like I did with the Crash Course.

I don't think I would have been able to start the Praise and Gospel Course first. It would have been too much information. I'm glad I started with the Crash Course.

Here's to the journey. Cheers.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 03:47 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
You are one of those rare people that just needs to set your mind to something and you will put your shoulder to the plow and by and by, the entire field will be done... 👍 🙇‍♂️ (LOL... I've just made Duane Shinn's course something like an archetype of real life, or something! 🤣)

Yep, my wife always says I'm not a good multitasker. I like to do one thing at a time and put all my energy and focus into it. It was a stress on our marriage early on (we've been married over 21 years) because I put all my energy into wooing her and drawing out the true affections of her heart, and then after we were married, I turned my attention to other things (work/ministry).

I've learned to have better balance in my life as I've gotten older. That's one of the reasons why the Crash Course took 3 years for me to complete. I had to balance my priorities of family and ministry along with my pursuit of learning to play the piano. If I was single or didn't have children, I think I could have completed it in half the time.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: WeakLeftHand Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 04:11 PM
David, how long do you estimate your Praise and Gospel Course will take you? Just curious, is all.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 05:23 PM
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
David, how long do you estimate your Praise and Gospel Course will take you? Just curious, is all.

Thanks a good question. When I originally started the 52 Week Crash Course I thought I'd be doe a lot sooner than I was. The same might be true for the Praise and Gospel Course. I originally thought one year, however, now that I've been getting into it and looking ahead, it quite possibly will take longer.

I'm saying a year, but I really don't know. It depends upon my brain and the amount of time I spend practicing. It's mystery right now.

I do know that the Pro Secrets Course is going to take me more than 3 years to finish because I'm spending 30 hours on each technique (there are 36 of them) and I know that I can't do an hour a day consistently on each one.

It's going to be a marathon.

God bless,
David
Posted By: WeakLeftHand Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 05:42 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
David, how long do you estimate your Praise and Gospel Course will take you? Just curious, is all.

Thanks a good question. When I originally started the 52 Week Crash Course I thought I'd be doe a lot sooner than I was. The same might be true for the Praise and Gospel Course. I originally thought one year, however, now that I've been getting into it and looking ahead, it quite possibly will take longer.

I'm saying a year, but I really don't know. It depends upon my brain and the amount of time I spend practicing. It's mystery right now.

I do know that the Pro Secrets Course is going to take me more than 3 years to finish because I'm spending 30 hours on each technique (there are 36 of them) and I know that I can't do an hour a day consistently on each one.

It's going to be a marathon.

God bless,
David

Wow! You’re going to be busy for a very long time! From the sounds of it, the courses you bought are actually cheap, for all the hours of instruction you’re getting out of them!

Good luck and if you continue to post your progress here, I’ll be following along.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 05:45 PM
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Good luck and if you continue to post your progress here, I’ll be following along.

Thanks. I'd like to post my progress. It helps motivate me in the learning process. I have a few family and friends that are interested also.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 05:53 PM
David B, I have a question about the Praise and Gospel Course, if it's the same course I have or if it's something different.
I have the "Three-year course in Gospel Piano Playing" (bought about 20 yrs. ago, it came on 36 cassettes). Each tape is a different Hymn, starting with Amazing Grace and the last one is Jesus Loves the Little Children. On each one he helps you analyze the hymn and shows different ways to play and arrange it.

If it is, then you can understand that you will never really finish it because he is essentially teaching you to play and arrange any hymn in the book. (And by extension most any song or lead sheet, although naturally he doesn't really get into jazzy extended harmonies, etc., it being about hymn playing.)
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 06:33 PM
Originally Posted by EP
David B, I have a question about the Praise and Gospel Course, if it's the same course I have or if it's something different.
I have the "Three-year course in Gospel Piano Playing" (bought about 20 yrs. ago, it came on 36 cassettes). Each tape is a different Hymn, starting with Amazing Grace and the last one is Jesus Loves the Little Children. On each one he helps you analyze the hymn and shows different ways to play and arrange it.

If it is, then you can understand that you will never really finish it because he is essentially teaching you to play and arrange any hymn in the book. (And by extension most any song or lead sheet, although naturally he doesn't really get into jazzy extended harmonies, etc., it being about hymn playing.)

I'm not sure if it's the same one. It sounds similar. I have 4 DVD's that are around 2 hours long each and one song book with 14 hymns in it.

The course starts with "Amazing Grace" and ends with "Have You Any Room For Jesus?" Jesus Loves The Little Children does not seem to be in it. Here are the songs:

Amazing Grace
Cleanse Me
O How I Love Jesus
Whispering Hope
Footsteps Of Jesus
Where He Leads Me
Precious Memories
Londonderry Aire
Pass Me Not
Higher Ground
Just As I Am
Life's Railway to Heaven
Only Trust Him
Have You Any Room For Jesus

With the exception of the first and last songs, the order might be different. Duane says that the intent of this course is not just to learn these songs, but to use these songs as a basis to learn arranging techniques that can be applied to all songs. In that sense, it will never be over. However, I do have to learn all the songs in the course in order to learn the techniques. I'm not sure how long it will take to go through all the songs/DVD's.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 06:42 PM
David, do you think it might be time for you to start an "Advanced Duane Shinn courses" thread to be a potpourri of the other courses, such as Gospel and Pro Secrets, so as not to confuse future readers of this 52 Week thread?

And I too encourage you to keep posting videos of your progress! thumb
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 07:12 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
David, do you think it might be time for you to start an "Advanced Duane Shinn courses" thread to be a potpourri of the other courses, such as Gospel and Pro Secrets, so as not to confuse future readers of this 52 Week thread?

And I too encourage you to keep posting videos of your progress! thumb

Yeah, I will probably start a new thread for the Praise and Gospel Course. I'd rather keep threads course specific in the infinitesimally small chance someone else might be interested in acquiring Duane's materials. smile

God Bless,
David
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 07:18 PM
Here are the ones in my course: (I think it's been quite a while since it was listed on his website) (titles are shortened)
It's quite a different list than yours.
My apologies if this is OT


Amazing Grace
Ivory Palaces
Mighty Fortress
Holy, Holy, Holy
Just As I Am
Face to Face
My Faith Looks Up
Like a River Glorious
He Arose
When the Roll is Called
Sweet Hour of Prayer
In the Garden
What a Friend
Come thou Fount
Jesus Loves Me
Turn your Eyes
I Have Decided
Stand up for Jesus
Abide with Me
There is a Fountain
All Hail the Power
Softly & Tenderly
Morning is Broken
The Old Rugged Cross
Battle Hymn
Fairest Lord Jesus
I Surrender All
Beyond the Sunset
Just a Closer Walk
Bring Them In
Sweet By & By
Jesu, Joy of Man
My Hope is Built
I Love to Tell the Story
Jesus loves the little Children
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 07:25 PM
Congrats David, this sounds like quite a singular achievement! Wishing you a similar level of achievement in whatever you do next!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 08:13 PM
Originally Posted by EP
Here are the ones in my course: (I think it's been quite a while since it was listed on his website) (titles are shortened)
It's quite a different list than yours.

Yeah, that's a lot longer course than the one I have. When I purchased the Praise and Gospel course, the one I ordered was considered the long one because it contained all 4 DVD's. The DVD's are titled:

1. Praise and Gospel Piano
2. More Praise and Gospel Piano
3. Still More Praise and Gospel Piano
4. And Even More Praise and Gospel Piano

Either way, it's going to take some considerable time to complete.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 05/06/20 08:14 PM
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Congrats David, this sounds like quite a singular achievement! Wishing you a similar level of achievement in whatever you do next!

Thank you my friend.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/19/20 06:39 PM
I have taken the plunge into Duane’s 52 week course. My piano history is sparse. I took 2 years of lessons as a child around age 10-11 then never played until I took it back up as an adult in the mid 2000s, going through Alfreds books 1 and 2 and getting into book 3 before life got in the way. Now I am ready to get more serious about becoming a good player. I completed Lesson 1 and am almost through lesson 2. Nothing too difficult to this point. I must say I have enjoyed reading through a good bit of this thread, finding it after seeing some Duane Shinn videos on YouTube. I was saddened to see that Duane is no longer with us.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/19/20 07:36 PM
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
I have taken the plunge into Duane’s 52 week course.

Wonderful! Keep us posted on your progress. It's going to be a rewarding journey for you.

Quote
My piano history is sparse. I took 2 years of lessons as a child around age 10-11 then never played until I took it back up as an adult in the mid 2000s, going through Alfreds books 1 and 2 and getting into book 3 before life got in the way.

You are already ahead of most beginners. Those early years of exposure are beneficial (IMO).

Quote
I was saddened to see that Duane is no longer with us.

Yeah, I was just thinking about him. I'm taking his Praise and Gospel course and I wish I could ask him some questions. I think he was 80 years old when he passed. That's a respectable age to live to. It seems like he would have been a nice friend to have.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/21/20 09:45 PM
The first 4 lessons of the 52 week crash course are complete. I imagine things will be getting more difficult. I’ve enjoyed learning of pointer chords and swing bass and such. I am enjoying this course very much and since I am 55 years old, I remember and know most of the songs (if not all of them so far) in the course.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/22/20 01:24 AM
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
The first 4 lessons of the 52 week crash course are complete. I imagine things will be getting more difficult.

Wonderful!

You'll keep playing songs as written for a few more lessons and Duane will begin to give you previews of what you'll be learning in the future. By lesson 10 I was going back and arranging earlier songs I liked with the techniques taught up to that point.

Keep up the good work.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/22/20 05:40 AM
I am looking forward to the arranging! One of my problems is with the two years of lessons I had as a boy and the Alfreds adult books I went through is I was never taught certain things. For example, if someone said to me, now play that song in the key of G I wouldn’t have a clue how to do it. I also never was taught the chord families and things like that. My playing was simply rote playing of notes on a written sheet of music. I want to be able to do all of those things plus be able to play some things by ear. Thanks for the encouragement, David!
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/22/20 05:53 AM
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
My playing was simply rote playing of notes on a written sheet of music. I want to be able to do all of those things plus be able to play some things by ear. Thanks for the encouragement, David!

You've got the right course for learning how to play beyond what's written.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/23/20 08:35 PM
Very interesting (th)read!

A question to those among you that opted for the DVD (and not the online) version of the course: What region code do the DVDs have? I'm wondering whether they would work here in Europe...

I'm still not sure which way to go, though. I already registered for Hugh Sung's course at ArtistWorks, which I like a lot. Could it be wise to follow two paths at the same time?

(And just to say it once more, David B: Your progress is highly inspiring!)
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/24/20 02:51 AM
Originally Posted by Mickey_
Very interesting (th)read!

A question to those among you that opted for the DVD (and not the online) version of the course: What region code do the DVDs have? I'm wondering whether they would work here in Europe...

I sold the course after I finished it, therefore, I don't have the DVD's anymore. Perhaps an email to Duane's office would provide a quick answer. The online resources weren't available when I started, but if you could download each lesson for offline viewing, that's what I would do. DVD's wouldn't be necessary if you could download lessons.

Quote
I'm still not sure which way to go, though. I already registered for Hugh Sung's course at ArtistWorks, which I like a lot. Could it be wise to follow two paths at the same time?

I'm sure you know what you're capable of, i.e., how much time you have, your current level of development, etc. I know that for me the 52 Week Course took all my attention. I didn't have the time or discipline to work on anything else. However, I've never been a good mulititasker. I'm like a spotlight and not a floodlight. I like to focus on one thing and put all my energy into it.

Quote
(And just to say it once more, David B: Your progress is highly inspiring!)

Thanks. I'm really enjoying Duane's Praise and Gospel series. I'm finding it more challenging, but in a fun way because it's centered around the music I enjoy.

Here is a link to the thread I started regarding it.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...raise-and-gospel-course.html#Post2984736

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/24/20 08:54 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Mickey_
A question to those among you that opted for the DVD (and not the online) version of the course: What region code do the DVDs have? I'm wondering whether they would work here in Europe...

I sold the course after I finished it, therefore, I don't have the DVD's anymore. Perhaps an email to Duane's office would provide a quick answer. The online resources weren't available when I started, but if you could download each lesson for offline viewing, that's what I would do. DVD's wouldn't be necessary if you could download lessons.

Good point! I sent an e-mail to Duane's office, but haven't yet heard back from them. I'd definitely prefer online lessons, but yes, only if they are downloadable. Somehow, I fear that this is not the case with these videos, but I'll see.

Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Mickey_
I'm still not sure which way to go, though. I already registered for Hugh Sung's course at ArtistWorks, which I like a lot. Could it be wise to follow two paths at the same time?

I'm sure you know what you're capable of, i.e., how much time you have, your current level of development, etc.

Well, you know, David B, that's the thing with me: I'm not so sure I know what I'm capable of... or rather: I'm not sure I'm honest with myself! :-) It's kind of like "the G.A.S. of learning the piano": seeing this course and that course and yet another course... being sucked in by all the promises and hopes and expectactions... and pushing aside the fact that I'm a mere beginner who'd rather spend his damn time sitting at the damn piano than thinking about this and that and yet another course. :-)

Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Mickey_
(And just to say it once more, David B: Your progress is highly inspiring!)

Thanks. I'm really enjoying Duane's Praise and Gospel series. I'm finding it more challenging, but in a fun way because it's centered around the music I enjoy.

Here is a link to the thread I started regarding it.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...raise-and-gospel-course.html#Post2984736

I'll make sure to follow your progress there as well! Seriously, you have reason to be proud of yourself.
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/24/20 02:21 PM
Mickey, I have the online version of Duane's 52 week course. If there is a way to download the lessons for offline viewing, I have not found it yet. Purchasing the course online give you login information which enables you to access the video lessons on the website. I have found that the wifi has to be good to get the lessons to play smoothly. At times, my signal strength has been poor which causes some buffering to occur, which is annoying to say the least.

If I had it to do over again, I would buy the DVDs. It's an extra $100 though. Of course, you would also have to have a DVD player.

As for the course, I am enjoying it very much. I am on lesson 6. David B has been an inspiration to show that this course can accomplish whatever our goals are to get proficient at piano playing; provided we put in the work.

Hope this helps
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/24/20 04:08 PM
David,

Good to know you have this other thread! Will be following!
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/24/20 09:13 PM
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
Mickey, I have the online version of Duane's 52 week course. If there is a way to download the lessons for offline viewing, I have not found it yet. Purchasing the course online give you login information which enables you to access the video lessons on the website. I have found that the wifi has to be good to get the lessons to play smoothly. At times, my signal strength has been poor which causes some buffering to occur, which is annoying to say the least.

Thank you so much, Dmoss3! Yes...

Originally Posted by Dmoss3
Hope this helps

...this helps a lot. I guess I'd go for the DVDs in case I decide to follow in Duane Shinn's (and David B's and your) footsteps.

I'm glad to hear that you're happy with this course so far! May I ask what makes it appropriate, or even great, for you?
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/24/20 09:50 PM
Originally Posted by Mickey
[/quote]

I'm glad to hear that you're happy with this course so far! May I ask what makes it appropriate, or even great, for you?

Some of my biggest weaknesses as a player has been the lack of ability to play by ear, play in a different key if I chose to, and the ability to do runs and fill ins. I have heard from David B and others that Duane's course enables you to do that, as David B's videos attest to. I am on lesson 7 now and enjoying it. As far as the videos go, I usually watch an entire video lesson through, then practice the material out of the book, and refer back to the video if need be.
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/25/20 10:21 AM
Originally Posted by David B
I do know that the Pro Secrets Course is going to take me more than 3 years to finish because I'm spending 30 hours on each technique (there are 36 of them) and I know that I can't do an hour a day consistently on each one.

David
What's the Pro Secrets Course about?
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/25/20 10:31 AM
Thanks for sharing, Dmoss3!

I have now ordered the first four DVDs to find out whether Duane Shinn's way of teaching suits me. If I then want to go on, that's perfect, if not, it's one hundred dollars lost – but at least, I'll know.

But now... off to practicing! :-)
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/25/20 11:13 AM
Originally Posted by Mickey_
Thanks for sharing, Dmoss3!

I have now ordered the first four DVDs to find out whether Duane Shinn's way of teaching suits me. If I then want to go on, that's perfect, if not, it's one hundred dollars lost – but at least, I'll know.

But now... off to practicing! :-)
Unless you are a complete beginner IMHO you're not going to get much out of the first four lessons...
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/25/20 03:37 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
What's the Pro Secrets Course about?

Description from Duane's Website.

Quote
Learn the secrets of professional pianists — how they voice chords in 4ths, make “blue notes,” construct those “jazz chords,” create those “waterfall runs”… and lots more…

Duane has put 36 “piano playing secrets of the pros” into 36 one-hour AUDIO CDs. He explains each technique, then DRILLS you for a solid hour on that technique. You’ll play along with him on each technique until you understand each technique and can execute it by yourself. This is HARD WORK, and not for beginners. While it is far better to subscribe to the entire Pro Secrets series, there are some people who would rather purchase them one at a time.

These are drill CDs, each an hour long, and they drill you on just one subject. The idea is to spend an hour a day for 36 days on just one technique, and then move on to another technique.

This course contains 36 Audio CDs, one DVD Summary Video, and 36 Guide Cards

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/25/20 03:43 PM
Originally Posted by David B
These are drill CDs, each an hour long, and they drill you on just one subject. The idea is to spend an hour a day for 36 days on just one technique, and then move on to another technique.

This course contains 36 Audio CDs, one DVD Summary Video, and 36 Guide Cards

God Bless,
David
That means tons of hours. Great for you!
Posted By: WBLynch Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 02:44 AM
I just spent the better part of 2 days reading through this entire thread. I went from interested to excited to disappointed. So I guess I saved myself $1000 and three years. Lol

But seriously I wish I knew about this course 30 years ago when I first bought a piano for my kids (who never took to it) and tried many different ways to learn. All along I just wanted to gain the knowledge and skills presented in the 52 week crash course.

I did self taught with a dozen systems and plans, tried private lessons, bought video tape series (Learn To Play Piano Overnight - that didn’t work).

So I did learn to play some stuff, got pretty good at reading music and memorizing pieces. But then “life” got in the way and I haven’t touched a piano in 15 years.

My problem is not How to play but What to play.

I guess I need to learn the chord concepts and how to improvise. I know I can’t spend the money and time for the 52 week crash course but if anyone has an idea of where I should look for a condensed course on those subjects it would be most welcome.

Thanks, Bill
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 03:04 AM
Originally Posted by WBLynch
I guess I need to learn the chord concepts and how to improvise. I know I can’t spend the money and time for the 52 week crash course but if anyone has an idea of where I should look for a condensed course on those subjects it would be most welcome.

Thanks, Bill

Hi Bill,

Duane had numerous courses available - besides the 52 Week Crash Course - that are shorter, more specific, and less expense. Visit his site and peruse through the options.

https://playpiano.com

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 02:12 PM
Hi Bill,

I know where you are coming from. I've tried some learn the piano quickly courses etc, but the reality is that like anything in life, you get what you put into it. I don't see how it's possible to become a really good piano player in a microwave. We live in a society where everyone wants it right now. I've figured out in my own case that if I want to be really good, then I've got to put in the time and effort. I am going through the 52 week crash course and I want to put in the time to get good at piano. I'll be 56 next month and I've toyed with the piano since I was 10 but just haven't put in the time to really be any good. I figure it's now or never for me now, so that's why I opted to do the crash course. Hopefully, it will make me a much better player and enable me to accomplish some of the things I'd like to do, which is be able to sit down and play a song or two with style and flair and sound like a decent piano player. It's really fun to me

Thanks,
David Moss
Posted By: WBLynch Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 02:58 PM
Thanks David B and David M.

A little more info... I am well past the belief that I will become a really good player. My goal is to be able to play casually from lead sheets or by ear. So what I want to learn now (which really is what I wanted from the beginning) is how to improvise on the fly over typical American music. For example Camptown Races or Take Me Out To The Ballgame.

I can play that stuff as written, often at first sighting, and I can memorize even complex pieces. My problem is I can’t remember the things I could play 20-30 years ago.

I had a bit of a cry last night when I pulled out a 2 foot high stack of music and books and realized that, now I have gone blind in one eye and with failing sight in the other, I’ll never be able to use 90% of it.

So my hope now is to learn the concepts, methods and techniques to arrange and embellish pieces without the need of a written score.

The Duane Shinn 52 week crash course is exactly what I neeed when I started out, if I had known about it. Of course there was no internet or YouTube then. I would have ended up with the vhs and cassette version. Lol.

I think I will look at the other DS offerings as David B suggested.

Thanks guys, Bill
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 04:03 PM
Originally Posted by WBLynch
I know I can’t spend the money and time for the 52 week crash course but if anyone has an idea of where I should look for a condensed course on those subjects it would be most welcome.
I think it would be a good public service message if there was a big banner in this thread that said, "WARNING! The '52-week' course will take a minimum of 156 weeks to complete!"

Maybe David B, the only known course-finisher who both started and finished this course in full view of PW forum members, should write a few paragraphs in this thread describing his overall effort, dedication and focus required for him to finish the 52-week course in 168 weeks, so that other future course starters can make sure they have what it takes. For example, talk about whether there were times he despaired of finishing and what he did to overcome any doubts.

So many people on this thread started and bailed. I'm guessing that David B (and EP!) are among the 5% of course purchasers who actually finished the course! David B's 168 weeks is a long time. I have not even been learning piano with a piano teacher that long. Anyone who finishes may not have climbed Everest, but definitely achieved a significant accomplishment in their lives.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 05:56 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I think it would be a good public service message if there was a big banner in this thread that said, "WARNING! The '52-week' course will take a minimum of 156 weeks to complete!"

Maybe David B, the only known course-finisher who both started and finished this course in full view of PW forum members, should write a few paragraphs in this thread describing his overall effort, dedication and focus required for him to finish the 52-week course in 168 weeks, so that other future course starters can make sure they have what it takes. For example, talk about whether there were times he despaired of finishing and what he did to overcome any doubts.

So many people on this thread started and bailed. I'm guessing that David B (and EP!) are among the 5% of course purchasers who actually finished the course! David B's 168 weeks is a long time. I have not even been learning piano with a piano teacher that long. Anyone who finishes may not have climbed Everest, but definitely achieved a significant accomplishment in their lives.

Hi Tyrone,

I think my short summary video in this thread address those issues. Also, you have to remember that this course is 30 - 40 years old. I don't think the handful of people in this thread who started the course and didn't finish is indicative of the outcome of the majority of participants.

I think David Moss is right in observing that today there are so many learning options available that it makes skipping around from course to course much easier. However, that wasn't the case when Duane created the 52 Week Course (before the internet as we know it existed). I'm sure thousands of people stuck with the material (like I did) and finished the course. Some might have finished it in a year, some longer, but I would suspect finishing it wasn't as much of a problem as it is now.

The 52 Week Crash Course is no greater of a commitment than if you were to take private lessons from a teacher. You'll actually cover more material in the 52 Week Course (3 years worth) than you would studying one year with a private teacher.

God bless,
David
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 06:31 PM
Originally Posted by WBLynch
So my hope now is to learn the concepts, methods and techniques to arrange and embellish pieces without the need of a written score.

Here is an option for you ....

https://www.pianomagic.com/
Posted By: WBLynch Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 07:41 PM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by WBLynch
So my hope now is to learn the concepts, methods and techniques to arrange and embellish pieces without the need of a written score.

Here is an option for you ....

https://www.pianomagic.com/

Thanks Don, I will check it out.

Reading their web page though it sounds like the typical sales hyperbole that everyone espouses. Like that old system, “Learn to Play Piano While You Sleep”. Haha, sure, wake up the next morning a virtuoso.

But a cost effective program like that could work for me. I hope I can find some real people’s comments and maybe videos of their progress.

I still haven’t ruled out the 52WCC. But whatever I do I need to get going while I can still see,

For now I’ll spend some time going through some of my old stuff just to get back in the mode of playing, practicing and refamiliarizing me with the experience.

Best success to you all.

-Bill
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 08:26 PM
Originally Posted by WBLynch
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by WBLynch
So my hope now is to learn the concepts, methods and techniques to arrange and embellish pieces without the need of a written score.

Here is an option for you ....

https://www.pianomagic.com/

Thanks Don, I will check it out.

Reading their web page though it sounds like the typical sales hyperbole that everyone espouses. Like that old system, “Learn to Play Piano While You Sleep”. Haha, sure, wake up the next morning a virtuoso.

But a cost effective program like that could work for me. I hope I can find some real people’s comments and maybe videos of their progress.

I still haven’t ruled out the 52WCC. But whatever I do I need to get going while I can still see,

For now I’ll spend some time going through some of my old stuff just to get back in the mode of playing, practicing and refamiliarizing me with the experience.

Best success to you all.

-Bill

I was a member of the site a few years back.

It works if you do what he tells you to do.

I didn't.

I have seen the results with those that did things his way.

It can work for you and he is the real deal, he will provide you with personal assistance along the way.
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 08:35 PM
Originally Posted by WBLynch
I had a bit of a cry last night when I pulled out a 2 foot high stack of music and books and realized that, now I have gone blind in one eye and with failing sight in the other, I’ll never be able to use 90% of it.

Bill, I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry about your failing sight – and that I wish you success in learning to play as much as possible as soon as possible. <3

Will you let us know which course you went for?

I wish you all the best!
Posted By: dogperson Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 08:43 PM
Originally Posted by WBLynch
Thanks David B and David M.

A little more info... I am well past the belief that I will become a really good player. My goal is to be able to play casually from lead sheets or by ear. So what I want to learn now (which really is what I wanted from the beginning) is how to improvise on the fly over typical American music. For example Camptown Races or Take Me Out To The Ballgame.

I can play that stuff as written, often at first sighting, and I can memorize even complex pieces. My problem is I can’t remember the things I could play 20-30 years ago.

I had a bit of a cry last night when I pulled out a 2 foot high stack of music and books and realized that, now I have gone blind in one eye and with failing sight in the other, I’ll never be able to use 90% of it.

So my hope now is to learn the concepts, methods and techniques to arrange and embellish pieces without the need of a written score.

The Duane Shinn 52 week crash course is exactly what I neeed when I started out, if I had known about it. Of course there was no internet or YouTube then. I would have ended up with the vhs and cassette version. Lol.

I think I will look at the other DS offerings as David B suggested.

Thanks guys, Bill


Hi Bill
My piano teacher had an adult student who was severely visually impaired— his solution was to use an extremely large computer with a flat screen (basically large music stand size) and scan his music into it
He could then display even a single page into a very enlarged view
Posted By: WBLynch Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 10:06 PM
Originally Posted by Mickey_
Bill, I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry about your failing sight – and that I wish you success in learning to play as much as possible as soon as possible. <3

Will you let us know which course you went for?

I wish you all the best!

Thanks Mickey. That’s the risk for putting things off. But I’m still here. I have a good number of friends that didn’t make it out of their 50s.

I keep thinking of what it would have been like if I found the Duane Shinn program back when.

Originally Posted by dogperson
Hi Bill
My piano teacher had an adult student who was severely visually impaired— his solution was to use an extremely large computer with a flat screen (basically large music stand size) and scan his music into it
He could then display even a single page into a very enlarged view

Thanks DogPerson, I have thought of how I might be able to make that work for me. Great suggestion.

-Bill
Posted By: WBLynch Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/26/20 10:16 PM
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
... I am going through the 52 week crash course and I want to put in the time to get good at piano

David M, how are you getting along with the DS 52WCC? Where are you now? I was really impressed with David B’s progression and his periodic videos were fun to watch.

Also, to the group, is the Crash Course something I could sell on after I am done with it? I saw that David B did sell his. Maybe that’s a path that would make sense for me?

Take care, Bill
Posted By: littlebunny Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 01:07 AM
Hi. Excuse me for interrupting. I thought it might be helpful to mention that many years ago, for playing by ear Duane recommended Germaine Griggs.

https://www.hearandplay.com/
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 02:12 AM
Originally Posted by WBLynch
David M, how are you getting along with the DS 52WCC? Where are you now? I was really impressed with David B’s progression and his periodic videos were fun to watch.

It's going well! Im on lesson 8. Things have progresses really quickly because I do have some history playing the piano. I am making sure I have a good grasp of the methods being taught before moving on with the next lesson. I am practicing anywhere from 30 mins to 2+ hours a day. Things will slow down remarkably for me soon I am sure. Im looking forward to learning about arranging and runs and fillers. I will post my progress and may even post some videos of me playing like David B did (if I don't embarrass myself haha)

David M
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 02:19 AM
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
Originally Posted by WBLynch
David M, how are you getting along with the DS 52WCC? Where are you now? I was really impressed with David B’s progression and his periodic videos were fun to watch.

It's going well! Im on lesson 8. Things have progresses really quickly because I do have some history playing the piano. I am making sure I have a good grasp of the methods being taught before moving on with the next lesson. I am practicing anywhere from 30 mins to 2+ hours a day. Things will slow down remarkably for me soon I am sure. Im looking forward to learning about arranging and runs and fillers. I will post my progress and may even post some videos of me playing like David B did (if I don't embarrass myself haha)

David M
You should! I have this theory that posting progress videos of one helps keep the momentum up on a difficult courses like this one. Certainly didn't hurt David B smile
Posted By: EP Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 02:34 AM
I think David B is spot on about learning today vs. years ago. When I bought the 52-week course it was on VHS and cassette, and Duane was a phone call away. You went through the tapes and didn't have the option of switching to another YouTube channel or whatever. I think it was probably easier to stay the course and not chase all the other options out there. Maybe now there are so many choices it's harder to stay on a path.
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 06:54 AM
Originally Posted by WBLynch
Also, to the group, is the Crash Course something I could sell on after I am done with it? I saw that David B did sell his. Maybe that’s a path that would make sense for me?

Take care, Bill
I think it’ll be easy to sell within the USA.
I had an issue with customs when I bought the first two weeks and wouldn’t buy the course in its original form.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 07:16 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
I will post my progress and may even post some videos of me playing like David B did (if I don't embarrass myself haha)

David M
You should! I have this theory that posting progress videos of one helps keep the momentum up on a difficult courses like this one. Certainly didn't hurt David B smile

Yeah, you definitely should. One of the challenges with this course is the lack of support available. You can't connect with other students or the teacher.

This thread was started as a study group for the course and it would have been great if folks remained active with the material. It's always more interesting and helpful when you can share ideas and collaborate with other students. It's a tremendous support.

Remember Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 07:54 AM
Originally Posted by WBLynch
Also, to the group, is the Crash Course something I could sell on after I am done with it? I saw that David B did sell his. Maybe that’s a path that would make sense for me?

Take care, Bill
If you become a reseller some day, I'd be interested in lessons 9 to ...
... always depending on price and format.

David M, has the online course a time limit or have you been granted access forever?
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 08:46 AM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
You should! I have this theory that posting progress videos of one helps keep the momentum up on a difficult courses like this one. Certainly didn't hurt David B smile
I agree.
We have in the ABF the 40 Pieces a Year Club that is helping me a lot.
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 09:18 AM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
David M, has the online course a time limit or have you been granted access forever?

52 weeks! (Just kidding. :-))

That's one of the questions I sent to Duane Shinn's office last week. So far, I have not yet received an answer from them.

And, I agree: Reselling this course should be a quite easy. Heck, I'd be interested too!
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 10:30 AM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
I had an issue with customs when I bought the first two weeks and wouldn’t buy the course in its original form.

May I ask you what the issue was, or more precisely, who was responsible for the issue: customs or Duane Shinn's office? My order of the first four DVD's will have to cross some borders as well...
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 11:06 AM
Even though they had a web form, the address was a mess and the postal office had problems finding me. In addition, since it was a parcel from outside EU, I had the misfortune the be among the selected parcels which had been charged with customs duties.
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 12:56 PM
Bill,

I failed to comment on your failing eye sight. I am so sorry to hear that! I am an Optometrist in the Memphis TN area. If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask me and I’ll do my best to answer.


David
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 01:36 PM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
I will post my progress and may even post some videos of me playing like David B did (if I don't embarrass myself haha)

David M
You should! I have this theory that posting progress videos of one helps keep the momentum up on a difficult courses like this one. Certainly didn't hurt David B smile

Yeah, you definitely should. One of the challenges with this course is the lack of support available. You can't connect with other students or the teacher.

This thread was started as a study group for the course and it would have been great if folks remained active with the material. It's always more interesting and helpful when you can share ideas and collaborate with other students. It's a tremendous support.

Remember Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."

God Bless,
David

Thanks David. I’ve always liked that verse. And definitely agree. I’ll see what I can do about videoing as I go along!
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 01:41 PM
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by WBLynch
Also, to the group, is the Crash Course something I could sell on after I am done with it? I saw that David B did sell his. Maybe that’s a path that would make sense for me?

Take care, Bill
If you become a reseller some day, I'd be interested in lessons 9 to ...
... always depending on price and format.

David M, has the online course a time limit or have you been granted access forever?

No time limit that I have seen. I’m sure my login information would allow me access for as long as the site is up
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 01:52 PM
So I have gone through the first 8 lessons of Duane Shinn’s 52 week course. I am going to go back and play through all the songs of the first 8 lessons again at this point and reapply the techniques taught so far.

What has been taught so far is mainly left hand stuff. The right hand is still playing one note melodies. With the left hand, we have gone thru block chords of C, F, G, G7, D7. We started with the pointer chords which is the 2nd inversion of these root chords. We played many songs using Pointer chords.

Then we went to first inversion of these same chords and have played many songs. He has added chord breakups, 2-1 chord breakups, swing bass, Alberti bass etc. I am going go back thru all the songs so far playing each one with all of these different methods. I have already been doing that but want to get more proficient before moving on. We have also been introduced to playing with the damper pedal which most of the songs in the last 3 lessons or so are using.

Duane has also introduced straddles and has given a foretaste if things to come such as right hand chords, walk ups, walk downs, convergences etc. Lesson 9 will finish the first book in the piano course. I forget how many total books there are.

I am due to receive a Casio PX870 digital piano on Monday so that I can practice more without disturbing my family members 😂
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 02:51 PM
Thanks for your review, Dmoss3 (David M)! Sounds like you're happy with this course – and eager to carry on. Have you experienced any downsides so far?

Oh, and have fun with your new digital piano... you and your family! :-)

Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Even though they had a web form, the address was a mess and the postal office had problems finding me. In addition, since it was a parcel from outside EU, I had the misfortune the be among the selected parcels which had been charged with customs duties.

Yep, customs duties... I'm (not so much) looking forward to mine as well. Hopefully, they labeled my package correctly, at least.

Are you currently "on hold", waiting for a good second-hand offer? Or are you thinking about ordering the remaining (52-8)=44 lessons?

I'm close to taking the plunge.
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 02:59 PM
Originally Posted by Mickey_
Yep, customs duties... I'm (not so much) looking forward to mine as well. Hopefully, they labeled my package correctly, at least.
How can you tell?

Originally Posted by Mickey_
Are you currently "on hold", waiting for a good second-hand offer? Or are you thinking about ordering the remaining (52-8)=44 lessons?

I'm close to taking the plunge.
I'm always waiting for a good offer. And no, I'm not paying the official rate for the remaining lessons.
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 03:16 PM
Originally Posted by Mickey_
Thanks for your review, Dmoss3 (David M)! Sounds like you're happy with this course – and eager to carry on. Have you experienced any downsides so far?

No, no downsides. Duane seems like a very nice man. Sad to know he's no longer with us. He explains things well and the videos give us a listening ear to how the tunes should sound. I may say that if there is a downside, it's that there aren't many piano closeups as he plays until the end of each lesson. It is at that time that he will show the hand and note positions of any new techniques taught. Nowadays, the teachers have everything digitized so you not only have closeups of the notes being played, they are also highlighted on the screen. That is not the case in this course because the videos were probably filmed 30 years ago, but the instruction and content is really good. The songs are older. Depending on your age, you may not recognize a lot of them.
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 05:32 PM
I see: My impression was correct. I'm especially happy to hear that you find the video quality at least okay. That is (or was) one of my main uncertainties: whether I can identify the notes I need to play easily enough. You are, of course, right about modern courses and their modern means to highlight those notes/keys...

The songs are fine for me: Even though born in 1980, "my" music was written and recorded in the Fifties and Sixties... and I love Stephen Foster and the like, hymns too... so that works perfectly well! Plus, as soon as it's about re-arranging songs, any song is interesting, right? :-)
Posted By: WBLynch Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 06:28 PM
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
Bill,

I failed to comment on your failing eye sight. I am so sorry to hear that! I am an Optometrist in the Memphis TN area. If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask me and I’ll do my best to answer

David

Thanks David. I’m actually going to seek out a new ophthalmologist after covid passes. The last one, after IOL replacement refused to do anything further and it seems he got the prescription wrong but wouldn’t consider changing it.

So I may have a question or two if I can send a future PM?

Take care everybody, it’s a gorgeous day outside.

-Bill
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 07:00 PM
Originally Posted by Mickey_
The songs are fine for me: Even though born in 1980, "my" music was written and recorded in the Fifties and Sixties... and I love Stephen Foster and the like, hymns too... so that works perfectly well! Plus, as soon as it's about re-arranging songs, any song is interesting, right? :-)

Yes, I love hymns and I am looking forward to the arranging styles, and right hand chords too!
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/27/20 07:01 PM
Originally Posted by WBLynch
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
Bill,

I failed to comment on your failing eye sight. I am so sorry to hear that! I am an Optometrist in the Memphis TN area. If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask me and I’ll do my best to answer

David

Thanks David. I’m actually going to seek out a new ophthalmologist after covid passes. The last one, after IOL replacement refused to do anything further and it seems he got the prescription wrong but wouldn’t consider changing it.

So I may have a question or two if I can send a future PM?

Take care everybody, it’s a gorgeous day outside.

-Bill

Absolutely. Ask anything you want.
Posted By: WBLynch Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/28/20 04:07 AM
So, earlier today I sat down at the piano and played around for 3 hours. I haven’t touched it in over 15 years.

I pulled out the Alfreds All In One Afult book Level 3 and walked through about 10 or 12 of the first pieces. I was excited that I could read the pages well, with lots of golden sunlight pouring in. My sight reading was ok and I was surprised how easily my hands fell to the keys and patterns. (Like riding a bike? Haha).

Well not exactly but I did much better than I anticipated. Granted the pieces were not so hard but I imagine they were more complex than what I’ve seen from Duane Schinn’s course. With more time and practice I think I’d be doing passably well in the next week or two.

So this got me thinking... I might spring for the 52 LESSON Crash Course and see how far I get in six months. Then I could let it go to the next person that could put it to use. I really think I can pull everything I need out of it in that time.

Either that or realize that I’m doomed 🤣

-Bill
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 06/28/20 12:42 PM
Originally Posted by WBLynch
I pulled out the Alfreds All In One Afult book Level 3 and walked through about 10 or 12 of the first pieces. I was excited that I could read the pages well, with lots of golden sunlight pouring in. My sight reading was ok and I was surprised how easily my hands fell to the keys and patterns. (Like riding a bike? Haha).

Well not exactly but I did much better than I anticipated. Granted the pieces were not so hard but I imagine they were more complex than what I’ve seen from Duane Schinn’s course. With more time and practice I think I’d be doing passably well in the next week or two.

Congratulations, WBLynch (Bill). That is so good to hear!

Originally Posted by WBLynch
So this got me thinking... I might spring for the 52 LESSON Crash Course and see how far I get in six months. Then I could let it go to the next person that could put it to use. I really think I can pull everything I need out of it in that time.

...and congratulations for renaming (and, thus, reframing) this course! In doing so, you might be responsible for saving dozens, if not billions, of beginners (me included) from nervous breakdowns. :-)

Enjoy your time at the piano!
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/05/20 06:52 PM
Originally Posted by Mickey_
Originally Posted by Sol Finker
David M, has the online course a time limit or have you been granted access forever?

52 weeks! (Just kidding. :-))

That's one of the questions I sent to Duane Shinn's office last week. So far, I have not yet received an answer from them.

They are pretty good at sending out promo newsletters, but unfortunately, I fear, not quite as good at replying to customers' emails. Still no info about the DVDs' region code, still no info from them about the duration of access to their online courses (I saw that Dmoss3 wrote that there is no time limit, but I had sent my email already by then). It's been two weeks now...

Has anyone among you made the same, or a totally different, experience with Duane Shinn's office?

To be clear, this doesn't take anything away from the crash course's appeal to me, but admittedly, I'm a bit old-fashioned when it comes to buyer/seller relationships: I prefer dealing with institutions where I'm convinced they'd be here for me in case anything doesn't work to my satisfaction. (No, I'm not talking about my piano playing. :-))

Maybe I'm just unlucky?
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/05/20 09:01 PM
Originally Posted by Mickey_
Has anyone among you made the same, or a totally different, experience with Duane Shinn's office?

Living here is in the U.S. it was easy for me to call the office. I would leave a message and receive a call back usually that day or the next.

I did correspond with Duane via email a few times when he was still alive. I know his son now runs the business.

It's unfortunate you haven't gotten a response back yet. Hopefully that will be remedied.

God bless,
David
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/05/20 11:32 PM
After lesson 8, I went back played through every song covered to that point in different left hand chording styles: block chording, broken chords, alberti bass, swing bass etc.

I have completed lesson 9 and thinks are slowing down in lesson 10 as right hand chording as 3rds or 6ths are being added as well as “echoing” in the Song ‘Polly Wolly Doodle’.

It’s coming along but things will be slower.

Funny story: My wife walked by my piano as she was cleaning the other day and my piano book was open to the song ‘I wish I was single again’ 😂. She was curious about that! Haha

Happy playing all
David
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/06/20 12:48 AM
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
Funny story: My wife walked by my piano as she was cleaning the other day and my piano book was open to the song ‘I wish I was single again’ 😂. She was curious about that! Haha

Happy playing all
David

That's funny. There are so many of those old folk songs in the course.

"when I was single,
my pockets did jingle,
I wish I was single agin" smile

God bless,
David
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/06/20 05:07 AM
Haha yes David! How are things going with your playing?
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/06/20 06:07 AM
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
Haha yes David! How are things going with your playing?

Wonderful!

I just started the 3rd song in Duane's Praise and Gospel course. Practicing everyday is a real pleasure since I'm working on songs that I enjoy.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/06/20 07:20 AM
Originally Posted by Mickey_
They are pretty good at sending out promo newsletters, but unfortunately, I fear, not quite as good at replying to customers' emails. Still no info about the DVDs' region code, still no info from them about the duration of access to their online courses (I saw that Dmoss3 wrote that there is no time limit, but I had sent my email already by then). It's been two weeks now...

Has anyone among you made the same, or a totally different, experience with Duane Shinn's office?

To be clear, this doesn't take anything away from the crash course's appeal to me, but admittedly, I'm a bit old-fashioned when it comes to buyer/seller relationships: I prefer dealing with institutions where I'm convinced they'd be here for me in case anything doesn't work to my satisfaction. (No, I'm not talking about my piano playing. :-))

Maybe I'm just unlucky?
I had a couple of issues with them. First the address. It didn't match the form, they contacted and changed the original address for something not understandable.
The second was I received the 8th lesson lacking the last 2 minutes. I mailed them and nothing ever happened.

I found help here in this thread but not from DS family.
Posted By: Mickey_ Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/07/20 04:07 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Mickey_
Has anyone among you made the same, or a totally different, experience with Duane Shinn's office?

Living here is in the U.S. it was easy for me to call the office. I would leave a message and receive a call back usually that day or the next.

It's unfortunate you haven't gotten a response back yet. Hopefully that will be remedied.

Thanks for your reply, David B. I'm glad to hear that you were taken care of by the office. Living in quite a different time zone, I usually much prefer contact by email, plus, I'm always happy to get replies to questions such as mine in written form anyway. You never know...

Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by Mickey_
Has anyone among you made the same, or a totally different, experience with Duane Shinn's office?

I had a couple of issues with them. First the address. It didn't match the form, they contacted and changed the original address for something not understandable.
The second was I received the 8th lesson lacking the last 2 minutes. I mailed them and nothing ever happened.

I'm sorry to hear that, Sol Finker. At least, I don't have to take it personally then. :-)

I seriously don't get why companies treat their (actual or potential) customers like this. If one has a contact form or email addresses on one's website, one makes sure to answer enquiries sent to those. It's as simple as that. (By the way, I don't like contact forms, especially if I don't get a copy of what I sent. But that's another matter.)
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/23/20 02:37 PM
I am through lesson 12. I am finding that so far, I am no good at arranging "extras" during the several beats of no new notes on the original sheet music.
I am getting fairly comfortable with broken chords, Alberti bass, swing bass, and the newest, open voice arpeggios, which I love because of the sound it produces.
I have also been getting more comfortable with right hand octaves, and octave 3rds, or just plain 3rds and 6ths.
I have been on vacation with my wife all week, so I haven't touched a piano for almost 5 days now and expect I'll be very rusty when I get back.

My hopes: That Duane will teach, as time goes on, how to improvise much better than I am able to now. I watch David B's videos and at the stage I am at now, he was TONS better at improvisation. David is an excellent player though. I am hoping to get better and Im sure I will.

The Duane SHinn may be old, but it will make you a better player, quickly. Just have to put in the time.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/23/20 03:58 PM
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
My hopes: That Duane will teach, as time goes on, how to improvise much better than I am able to now. I watch David B's videos and at the stage I am at now, he was TONS better at improvisation. David is an excellent player though. I am hoping to get better and Im sure I will.

I really can't improvise at all. That's no exaggeration and I'm not feigning modesty. Everything I've ever played including what I'm playing now in Duane's Praise and Gospel Course is painstakingly prepared.

Duane does improvise a lot when he is teaching, e.g., he'll say, "you can do this... or you can do that..." and then he does things spontaneously. However, he doesn't really teach how to improvise because that takes a vast knowledge of musical theory and advanced playing ability. I don't think I'll ever be able to improvise because I've started playing too late in life. I'm not excluding anyone else from learning how to improvise, but I just think it's too late for me.

Quote
The Duane SHinn may be old, but it will make you a better player, quickly. Just have to put in the time.

I totally agree. The 52 Week course was a tremendous blessing for me and I'm thoroughly enjoying Duane's Praise and Gospel Course. Putting in the time with Duane's materials will yield results for the person who acquired the materials to learn.

Keep moving forward. It only gets better.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: WBLynch Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/26/20 03:31 AM
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by WBLynch
So my hope now is to learn the concepts, methods and techniques to arrange and embellish pieces without the need of a written score.

Here is an option for you ....

https://www.pianomagic.com/

Hi DMD,

I spent some time looking at that site and everything was quite vague (as it always is when someone is selling their magic pill). But I found a listing of student recordings from one week up to eight years as a student. It was most unimpressive. Everything seemed like simple made up pieces with elementary components. Even after 5+ years. Nothing like what we saw David B. Post over his 3 years.

I still haven’t decided to invest in the DS52wCC but I did learn that Piano Magic is not a plan for me.

I do thank you for the suggestion.

I hope everyone is well and safe. -Bill
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/26/20 12:07 PM
Originally Posted by WBLynch
I spent some time looking at that site and everything was quite vague (as it always is when someone is selling their magic pill). But I found a listing of student recordings from one week up to eight years as a student. It was most unimpressive. Everything seemed like simple made up pieces with elementary components. Even after 5+ years. Nothing like what we saw David B. Post over his 3 years.

I still haven’t decided to invest in the DS52wCC but I did learn that Piano Magic is not a plan for me.

I do thank you for the suggestion.

It works for some .... not for others.

Keep playing ....
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/28/20 02:29 AM
Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
My hopes: That Duane will teach, as time goes on, how to improvise much better than I am able to now. I watch David B's videos and at the stage I am at now, he was TONS better at improvisation. David is an excellent player though. I am hoping to get better and Im sure I will.

I really can't improvise at all. That's no exaggeration and I'm not feigning modesty. Everything I've ever played including what I'm playing now in Duane's Praise and Gospel Course is painstakingly prepared.

Duane does improvise a lot when he is teaching, e.g., he'll say, "you can do this... or you can do that..." and then he does things spontaneously. However, he doesn't really teach how to improvise because that takes a vast knowledge of musical theory and advanced playing ability. I don't think I'll ever be able to improvise because I've started playing too late in life. I'm not excluding anyone else from learning how to improvise, but I just think it's too late for me.

Quote
The Duane SHinn may be old, but it will make you a better player, quickly. Just have to put in the time.

I totally agree. The 52 Week course was a tremendous blessing for me and I'm thoroughly enjoying Duane's Praise and Gospel Course. Putting in the time with Duane's materials will yield results for the person who acquired the materials to learn.

Keep moving forward. It only gets better.

God Bless,
David

David, you could've fooled me! Got back to the piano Saturday and very little rust! Working on lesson 13 and in the first 11 mins Duane is throwing all kinds of new things at me! Its going to be slow going from here on out and but the process is tons of fun.
Posted By: David B Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/28/20 03:15 AM
Originally Posted by Dmoss3
David, you could've fooled me!

Maybe we're not clear on what we mean by improvising. When speaking about improvising I'm referring to making things up spontaneously on the spot. Duane does that a lot because he knows what chords work well together, he knows every inversion of every chord in every key. His fingers/brain naturally find those forms effortlessly. Take all that knowledge, along with years of developing skill/technique, and all that is left to do is make music. That's what Duane does/did. He makes music.

I can't do any of that. I don't have the knowledge, skill/technique, and almost everything I do it's like I'm doing it for the very first time. Nothing comes natural. It's all hard work. However, once the work is done and I can play a song, I'm happy, but it took forever to get the work done to play the song. That's why I say everything I play is painstakingly prepared and practiced (not improvised/made up on the spot).

I wish had the basic skill/technique, knowledge, and experience so that I could just focus on the music. Unfortunately, I can't just download the aforementioned attributes (matrix style). Those must be cultivated from youth.

Quote
Got back to the piano Saturday and very little rust! Working on lesson 13 and in the first 11 mins Duane is throwing all kinds of new things at me! Its going to be slow going from here on out and but the process is tons of fun.

The fruit of the work is very enjoyable. If it wasn't incredibly satisfying to play a song, it wouldn't be worth putting in all the work. For me, once the song is learned, then it can speak to my heart.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Dmoss3 Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 07/29/20 05:04 PM
Yes David that makes a lot of sense. It's hard work but very rewarding. I see myself in it for there long haul.
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/06/20 02:06 PM
I have decided that I am too far along in my jazz journey to continue with my Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course.

So .... I am willing to sell it at a considerable discount.

I won't negotiate here.

PM me if interested.
Posted By: Sol Finker Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/12/20 04:02 PM
I wonder if you are selling the hardware or the online course.
I had some customs issues and I don't want to repeat the same story.
Is there someone there selling his online course?

Thank you Don.
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/12/20 08:03 PM
I am selling books and DVDs.

I rebound the books with spiral bindings for easier use on music stand.
Posted By: dmd Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/15/20 01:12 PM
As of right now .... My copy of this course has been sold.

If that changes, I will update here.
Posted By: BeesHobby Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/17/20 01:52 PM
Hello PW Friends! Looking for Duane Shinn courses. Please PM me course/price for resale! Thanks! Beas
Posted By: WBLynch Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/18/20 07:56 AM
I spent this afternoon viewing a couple dozen of Duane Shinn’s YouTube videos. He has so many techniques and tidbits available. Seeing them after watching David B’s progress here I can see that they represent most of what David demonstrated learning through his journey.

One thing Duane said is people with a quick mind can grasp the concepts easily but get frustrated because they can’t execute them. It’s because physiologically you have to develop the muscle memory. So the translation from the brain to the body/hands takes time, effort and practice.

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.
Posted By: Lucubrate Re: Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - 08/18/20 08:14 AM
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.

Excellent!

You got This


~Lucubrate