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For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style

Posted By: PianoWVBob

For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/15/19 11:35 AM

I just wanted to mention that I stumbled on to the "Professional Piano Chord System" lessons by Dave Higginson and found them to be quite good for what they are.

True, no system is 100% complete and exactly what EVERY person wants but I found that this system helped me in the following way:

1.) It systematized the learning of chord inversions.
For me, knowing all of the inversions is a good thing but it poses one problem (for me) in that my brain sort of gets overwhelmed with choices. I look back on my guitar playing and realize now that I didn't learn guitar that way...I learned a C chord and a G chord and an F chord and was blissfully unaware of other inversions and positions for a while. That might seem to be a bad thing but it did benefit me. It allowed me to get solid with the "cowboy chords" before chasing other positions. This system seems to do that.

2.) The chords are learned in the context of learning specific songs but the advantage that he talks about is that the technique introduced at each tune are transferrable to any tunes in the future so you learn in "chunks" that are built upon. He's careful to keep repeating that you HAVE to be proficient at the current "thing" before moving on.

3.) I've noticed that what he's REALLY doing is teaching all inversions and patterns but he's not doing it all at once...he sneaks up on it gradually so that unless you think about what's happening, you might not know that. This is good for beginners. My wife is starting to use the system with NO musical instrument background and so for her, she's just learning the ONE thing and doesn't put it into the context that I do due to my years of playing guitar and my meager 7 months of experience on piano so far.

I skipped ahead to the "add melody to the tunes" section to see how he handled that and it seems really well done. If you've NEVER had exposure to what guitarists call "Chord melody" playing then it might seem that he's going too fast or that it's confusing but to me, it makes 100% sense.

His ultimate goal isn't to teach you a "set" way of playing each tune and melody but to free you to accompany or play solo piano while changing things up; improvising.

Anyway...just thought I'd say that though it's expensive, It's fun and very well done. He's a really patient, encouraging teacher who seems to not have forgotten much in his lessons. He makes mention that it's not a QUICK method over and over and he makes sure at the end of each lesson to explain what your goal is and also at the start of each lesson he says "If you can do X...5 times without mistakes, then you are ready for this lesson" and he says (frequently) that "Slow and mistake free is MUCH BETTER than fast and sloppy..you are training your brain" He also addresses hand position, fingers, and striking the keys too.
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/15/19 12:40 PM

This is a very nice review, showing the positive aspects of the course. There was another thread recently about the course in which I gave some impressions. I believe that, for what it is intended, this piano course does very well. Rather than trying to teach the entire scope of piano, it focusing on doing one thing well. I hope those who participated in the other thread, read this review. It describes the course quite well.

Tony
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/15/19 01:51 PM

I should add to this that I talked to David Higginson's son on the phone just prior to ordering the course to get some additional information about the add-ons that they offer. I specifically asked him about the focus of the course. He told me that the course is focused on accompanying yourself for singing, but that they added the part about playing the melody too, due to many requests from students over the years. He said that the approach is rather limited, but gives you a good start to explore further. The solo portion is good for ballad styles, but not particularly suited to up tempo (i.e. faster tempo) or tunes with a lot of quick chord changes.

Also, the add-ons include (at the time I purchased the course) two more books and a transpose wheel. I bought both books, and they threw in the transpose wheel. The books are extensions to the basic course. Both are essentially dictionaries, one with a bunch of chord patterns, and the other with a bunch of rhythm patterns. The rhythm pattern book comes with a CD so you can hear the how the rhythm patterns should sound. I think these are worthwhile additions if you really want the widest possible coverage of tunes that work with what you learn.

Compared to other courses in this price range and coverage, this course is fun all the way through, so it is easy to stay motivated, and your playing sounds very good rather than dumbed down to fit the typical beginner material. It isn't that the material is hard to play, but rather that it just sounds really good. It gets more sophisticated as you progress, but the learning curve is never steep, so you won't find yourself stuck at some point because it suddenly got too difficult for the level of play you have reached so far.

Talking to David's son, I got the impression that these folks truly want people to learn from the course and be able to play well, rather than being a "money mill" that gets you doing something at the piano, but not what you might have envisioned after spending the money. "Play well" means not that you have to be a concert pianist, but that you can play the tunes you like an sound good doing it. There are a lot of people who don't have concert technique, but play well enough for people to recognize the tunes and enjoy hearing them played. This course can teach you to do that, and allow you to continue to grow on your own after completing the course. Instead of trying to teach you everything about playing piano, the course focuses on a particular type of chord technique, and doing that well. There are plenty of styles and rhythms so it doesn't all sound the same. The solo piano part gives you a push in the right direction, giving you what you need to play lots of ballads, and you can continue to learn in whatever direction you wish from there. No one course can do more than that unless it is for an already intermediate/advanced player, and you will be intermediate with this course. They apply the system to playing solo, so you really are not missing out on anything.

Tony
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/15/19 01:58 PM

Here is the URL, in case anyone does want to take a peek...

http://www.pianostar.com/

If you are looking for a more complete, wider scope course, take a look at the Duane Shinn 52 week crash course. It is much more expensive and requires a long term high degree of commitment and can get to be difficult to maintain the discipline. But the payoff is the ability to play a tune as a solo, most any way yo wish. The focus in that course is playing solo piano all the way through.

http://www.playpianocatalog.com/1yecrco.html

Both are good, and just maybe getting into the David Higginson course first, and then into the 52 week course could make the going a bit easier for the long term.

Tony
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/15/19 02:59 PM


Originally Posted by TonyB
I should add to this that I talked to David Higginson's son on the phone just prior to ordering the course to get some additional information about the add-ons that they offer. I specifically asked him about the focus of the course. He told me that the course is focused on accompanying yourself for singing, but that they added the part about playing the melody too, due to many requests from students over the years. He said that the approach is rather limited, but gives you a good start to explore further. The solo portion is good for ballad styles, but not particularly suited to up tempo (i.e. faster tempo) or tunes with a lot of quick chord changes.


Which is fine for me, I'm mostly looking for the accompaniment. I also want a few pieces so that when folks say "play me something!" I can play a solo piece that's good enough to be impressive but not so incredibly complicated that I can't remember it without sheet music.

Quote
Also, the add-ons include (at the time I purchased the course) two more books and a transpose wheel. I bought both books, and they threw in the transpose wheel. The books are extensions to the basic course. Both are essentially dictionaries, one with a bunch of chord patterns, and the other with a bunch of rhythm patterns. The rhythm pattern book comes with a CD so you can hear the how the rhythm patterns should sound. I think these are worthwhile additions if you really want the widest possible coverage of tunes that work with what you learn.

Based on your previous comments about the chord book I bought it yesterday.

Quote
Compared to other courses in this price range and coverage, this course is fun all the way through, so it is easy to stay motivated, and your playing sounds very good rather than dumbed down to fit the typical beginner material. It isn't that the material is hard to play, but rather that it just sounds really good. It gets more sophisticated as you progress, but the learning curve is never steep, so you won't find yourself stuck at some point because it suddenly got too difficult for the level of play you have reached so far.


Which is a definite strength of the course. He's getting you to play voicings and rhythms that are actually really used by folks who play well but doing it in an easy to understand way.

Quote
Talking to David's son, I got the impression that these folks truly want people to learn from the course and be able to play well, rather than being a "money mill" that gets you doing something at the piano, but not what you might have envisioned after spending the money. "Play well" means not that you have to be a concert pianist, but that you can play the tunes you like an sound good doing it.


Which is why I started to play; so that I could play well enough to enjoy it, for my wife and family to want to listen to it. I also wanted to be able to have folks stand around the piano at Christmas and sing carols with me playing well enough to not be embarrassed or have to follow sheet music.

Quote
The solo piano part gives you a push in the right direction, giving you what you need to play lots of ballads, and you can continue to learn in whatever direction you wish from there. No one course can do more than that unless it is for an already intermediate/advanced player, and you will be intermediate with this course. They apply the system to playing solo, so you really are not missing out on anything.

Tony



Which is exactly what I'm looking for...I realized I won't be onstage with the ability to play complicated classical pieces, I just want to be able to pull a few pieces out of the holster for folks who say "play me something"

I spent 30 years playing guitar but as a part of bands and things and one thing that always bugged me was that when someone would say "play me something" I didn't have anything except "parts" and things. I started classical guitar for exactly that reason, so that I could play solo for folks who were interested. As it turned out, to me, piano is MUCH more easily grasped (mentally) than the 6 string beast we call a guitar. I play better "solo" now at 7 months than I did on classical guitar after 2 years of trying.

thanks again, TonyB for your posts..they are much appreciated.
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/15/19 03:01 PM

Originally Posted by TonyB
Here is the URL, in case anyone does want to take a peek...

http://www.pianostar.com/

If you are looking for a more complete, wider scope course, take a look at the Duane Shinn 52 week crash course. It is much more expensive and requires a long term high degree of commitment and can get to be difficult to maintain the discipline. But the payoff is the ability to play a tune as a solo, most any way yo wish. The focus in that course is playing solo piano all the way through.

http://www.playpianocatalog.com/1yecrco.html

Both are good, and just maybe getting into the David Higginson course first, and then into the 52 week course could make the going a bit easier for the long term.

Tony

I think that's a good idea. I have a much better perspective now than when I tried Shinn's course (very early on) and it was so slow going and just didn't "click" for me. I think after going through the Piano Chord Pro course I could grasp it much better. I might buy a few of the supplements Duane Shinn has eventually but the full course is just too expensive for me.
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/15/19 11:50 PM

Interesting posts PianoWVBob. I, too, play guitar as my main instrument. I played full time professionally in a trio that played supper clubs, resorts, and the Holiday Inn circuit back in the late 70s for a few years. I found fingerstyle guitar to be a better fit for me than all out classical guitar. I didn't want to spend years learning how to make my individual fingers touch the strings just so, though the result is far better than what the typical fingerstyle player gets for tone. It is fun to arrange tunes for myself, rather than having to memorize what somebody else did.

That said, the piano is MUCH easier to understand, and therefore make music on. Also, it is more fulfilling to do as a solitary hobby than guitar. When playing for others, I don't get that "how come you don't sing" question because folks seem to think that is all the guitar is good for, but the piano can stand on its own for instrumental music. I have never been interested in singing.

Tony
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 07:24 AM

I have to make one correction to what I said for future readers of this thread.

He says at the end of each video "Try to play X 5 times without mistakes, go as slow as you need to, slow and correct is better than fast and sloppy. When can do X WITH EASE...then you are ready to move onto the next video"


I just wanted to make sure folks understood that he's not pitching a "quick and easy" piano method and that he's careful to make sure the student puts in the time and effort before moving on.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 09:52 AM

I'm just curious, because I'm not a chord piano guy myself, but how is this course different from the Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course? Both focus on chord piano.
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 09:55 AM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I'm just curious, because I'm not a chord piano guy myself, but how is this course different from the Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course? Both focus on chord piano.

I think (and this is just my opinion) that the difference is this: Duane Shinn is VERY COMPREHENSIVE...it's a huge course that takes TONS of time....years.

This guy simplified things and his focus is more narrow.

It would be like if you asked how to play chord style and I showed you every inversion possible, every rhythm, every option you have (that's duane shinn) or If I said...put your fingers here...that's how you do a major chord...this is how you do a minor chord...you move that thumb down...etc. (that's Higginson)

I think that's a strength, it's more bite sized than Shinn.

Don't get me wrong...Shinn is good but it's THE ENTIRE KITCHEN SINK...and that's a lot of info for a beginner to wrap their mind around.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 10:02 AM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I think (and this is just my opinion) that the difference is this: Duane Shinn is VERY COMPREHENSIVE...it's a huge course that takes TONS of time....years.

Haha. As an outsider, that is my only complaint(?) about the Duane Shinn 52 week course. "52 weeks" is 1970's style marketing B.S. I mean, who in history has ever done this course in 52 weeks who hadn't played piano before? Any such mythical people should win a major prize and be on the cover of the D.S. course! I guess Duane Shinn thought that no one would buy this course if he called it the "Duane Shinn 52 MONTH course" laugh laugh
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 10:24 AM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I think (and this is just my opinion) that the difference is this: Duane Shinn is VERY COMPREHENSIVE...it's a huge course that takes TONS of time....years.

Haha. As an outsider, that is my only complaint(?) about the Duane Shinn 52 week course. "52 weeks" is 1970's style marketing B.S. I mean, who in history has ever done this course in 52 weeks who hadn't played piano before? Any such mythical people should win a major prize and be on the cover of the D.S. course! I guess Duane Shinn thought that no one would buy this course if he called it the "Duane Shinn 52 MONTH course" laugh laugh

Yes. I actually bought it and started it but being a complete beginner it was dense. (For that matter so was Sudnow with his huge block chords)

I can't imagine anyone doing the lessons 1 per week. (and getting them down)

Higginson emphasizes that the course isn't instant but the journey is the thing, keep improving and enjoy where you are at. He says "piano is hard!" lol.

His claim is only that a beginner can do better than "triad in the left hand melody in the right.." and he's correct about that.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 10:32 AM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
(For that matter so was Sudnow with his huge block chords)

You mean his one weekend cocktail piano course? laugh

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
He says "piano is hard!" lol.

Well that's refreshing honesty, as compared with those that want you to think it can be learned in 52 weeks wink or better yet, one weekend! laugh laugh laugh
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 10:36 AM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
(For that matter so was Sudnow with his huge block chords)

You mean his one weekend cocktail piano course? laugh

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
He says "piano is hard!" lol.

Well that's refreshing honesty, as compared with those that want you to think it can be learned in 52 weeks wink or better yet, one weekend! laugh laugh laugh


Lol...yep.
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 12:33 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I think (and this is just my opinion) that the difference is this: Duane Shinn is VERY COMPREHENSIVE...it's a huge course that takes TONS of time....years.

Haha. As an outsider, that is my only complaint(?) about the Duane Shinn 52 week course. "52 weeks" is 1970's style marketing B.S. I mean, who in history has ever done this course in 52 weeks who hadn't played piano before? Any such mythical people should win a major prize and be on the cover of the D.S. course! I guess Duane Shinn thought that no one would buy this course if he called it the "Duane Shinn 52 MONTH course" laugh laugh


Dane Shinn originally sold the course as 52 lessons sent to the student at the rate of one per week, hence, 52 lessons - 52 weeks. However, in the course, he talks quite a bit early on about how to approach the course and to spend the time you need to master each lesson, which often cannot be completed within the space of one week.

Tony
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 12:52 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
(For that matter so was Sudnow with his huge block chords)

You mean his one weekend cocktail piano course? laugh

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
He says "piano is hard!" lol.

Well that's refreshing honesty, as compared with those that want you to think it can be learned in 52 weeks wink or better yet, one weekend! laugh laugh laugh


Sudnow gave weekend seminars in which he taught you how to teach yourself his method. His course consists of a recording of that seminar, along with the materials that were provided in the seminar. In the recording, he addresses the question of "how long will it take?". He says that if you are truly committed to learning with this method, such questions are immaterial because it takes as long as it takes, and then he gives some examples of what to expect. He said that, for an absolute beginner, it will probably take 6 weeks or more to learn "Misty", the next tune a bit less, and each successive tune a bit less until, after 15 or 20 such tunes, you are picking them up fairly quickly since your hands "know the shape of the keyboard" by then. If you have had piano lesson in the past for any length of time, then you could expect to pick up "Misty" in a couple of weeks at most and be moving faster through the learning process because your hands already "know the shape of the keyboard".

So to be very clear, Sudnow does not claim you will learn to play cocktail piano in a weekend, but instead that he can teach you to teach yourself in a weekend, and the learning process is a lifetime process. He says that it will likely take two or three years of consistent practice for at least an hour a day, to get reasonably good at playing tunes and then you can start exploring ways to add spice to your playing because you now have a foundation on which to continue to build.

With the Sudnow method, much of the seminar time is spent on teaching you ow to teach yourself. The actual voicing "rules" and method are really not all that complicated. His approach is similar to the late jazz guitarist, Joe Pass: three types of chords - major minor, and dominant. Here is how to voice the left hand for each, here is how to voice the right hand under the melody, and then you play only block chords George Shearing style for the first 15 or 20 tunes, working from fakebooks. From there, you can find other means to learn how to move your hands around and that sort of thing.

There is a fair amount of misinformation thrown around in forums, so you have to take whatever is said with a "grain of salt" unless the poster has actual experience with whatever s/he is talking about. This has been my experience in forums in general. I hope this clarifies what the Sudnow method is about. The information previous posters here in this thread have said about the Duane Shinn method is accurate as far as I am concerned.

Tony
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 12:56 PM

Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
(For that matter so was Sudnow with his huge block chords)

You mean his one weekend cocktail piano course? laugh

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
He says "piano is hard!" lol.

Well that's refreshing honesty, as compared with those that want you to think it can be learned in 52 weeks wink or better yet, one weekend! laugh laugh laugh


Sudnow gave weekend seminars in which he taught you how to teach yourself his method. His course consists of a recording of that seminar, along with the materials that were provided in the seminar. In the recording, he addresses the question of "how long will it take?". He says that if you are truly committed to learning with this method, such questions are immaterial because it takes as long as it takes, and then he gives some examples of what to expect. He said that, for an absolute beginner, it will probably take 6 weeks or more to learn "Misty", the next tune a bit less, and each successive tune a bit less until, after 15 or 20 such tunes, you are picking them up fairly quickly since your hands "know the shape of the keyboard" by then. If you have had piano lesson in the past for any length of time, then you could expect to pick up "Misty" in a couple of weeks at most and be moving faster through the learning process because your hands already "know the shape of the keyboard".

So to be very clear, Sudnow does not claim you will learn to play cocktail piano in a weekend, but instead that he can teach you to teach yourself in a weekend, and the learning process is a lifetime process. He says that it will likely take two or three years of consistent practice for at least an hour a day, to get reasonably good at playing tunes and then you can start exploring ways to add spice to your playing because you now have a foundation on which to continue to build.

With the Sudnow method, much of the seminar time is spent on teaching you ow to teach yourself. The actual voicing "rules" and method are really not all that complicated. His approach is similar to the late jazz guitarist, Joe Pass: three types of chords - major minor, and dominant. Here is how to voice the left hand for each, here is how to voice the right hand under the melody, and then you play only block chords George Shearing style for the first 15 or 20 tunes, working from fakebooks. From there, you can find other means to learn how to move your hands around and that sort of thing.

There is a fair amount of misinformation thrown around in forums, so you have to take whatever is said with a "grain of salt" unless the poster has actual experience with whatever s/he is talking about. This has been my experience in forums in general. I hope this clarifies what the Sudnow method is about. The information previous posters here in this thread have said about the Duane Shinn method is accurate as far as I am concerned.

Tony


Thanks for clarifying, for myself, I was just joking, I knew that Sudnow didn't intend to have you playing solo piano in a weekend, and I knew Duane Shinn said the same thing. However I think you WOULD agree that Higginson is much less "dense" and more accessible than either of those.
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 01:01 PM

A few more comments...

What Sudnow does is actually rather clever. He narrows the scope of what he is teaching to a very narrow focus, and tells you exactly how to accomplish that. You are not playing cocktail style piano with all the flourishes, arpeggiating the left hand, etc. Instead you are "grabbing the clusters" of voiced chords under the melody. You re learning how to voice chords, working them out for each melody note according to Sudnow's "voicing rules", and then practicing grabbing them in succession until you can do that cleaning and on time. He constantly admonishes you to always practice "on time, perfectly" so you don't teach your hands to make mistakes - very slow and careful practice so that, as you learn, you learn to do it correctly.

As has been mentioned, that is also what David Higginson does. The 52 week crash course covers a wide scope of material, and certainly does take more like 3 - 4 years to work through and even then, it takes much longer to really get all that into your hands.

Sudnow's method is a bit of a grind, and Sudnow makes that very clear. He says that if you stick with it, the results will be more than worthwhile. However, in actual fact, few of us stay the whole course. I have learned a lot from it, and do go back and work on it some more alongside David Higginson's course.

As for being "dense" I am not sure what that means. If it is the voicing method, I found that refreshingly clear since I already knew music theory from having played guitar for so many years. With guitar, I taught myself to read standard notation as well as "charts" (lead sheets) because I had to, to play professionally, and in the process, I taught myself diatonic theory. To me, those things are necessary to work with other musicians such as horn and piano players who learn that stuff as a part of their training. Guitar is rather odd in that many folks seem to try to avoid learning the craft of music, so much so, that musicians who play instruments other than guitar are often surprised to find that I can read.

For those who don't understand music theory, I can see how Sudow's voicing rules might seem difficult. But, then, in that course, one learns these things, so it is still a good situation. You learn to read a lead sheet and the voicing rules tell you what to do with it. That is the crux of the Sudnow method, aside from the all-important, learning how to really teach yourself. David Higginson teaches those things too, but from a different perspective that is admittedly, much more fun. smile

Tony



Tony

Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 01:03 PM

Originally Posted by TonyB
A few more comments...

What Sudnow does is actually rather clever. He narrows the scope of what he is teaching to a very narrow focus, and tells you exactly how to accomplish that. You are not playing cocktail style piano with all the flourishes, arpeggiating the left hand, etc. Instead you are "grabbing the clusters" of voiced chords under the melody. You re learning how to voice chords, working them out for each melody note according to Sudnow's "voicing rules", and then practicing grabbing them in succession until you can do that cleaning and on time. He constantly admonishes you to always practice "on time, perfectly" so you don't teach your hands to make mistakes - very slow and careful practice so that, as you learn, you learn to do it correctly.

As has been mentioned, that is also what David Higginson does. The 52 week crash course covers a wide scope of material, and certainly does take more like 3 - 4 years to work through and even then, it takes much longer to really get all that into your hands.

Tony


Agreed.

Also, I hope that we didn't come off as slamming either Shinn or Sudnow...both are good. I guess it comes down to personal preference and what a person wants at that time. I'm sure as I gain experience then Shinn or Sudnow would "look different" to my eyes and maybe I'd be able to get them to work for me. That's what I've noticed; a course or method might not make a lot of sense at one point but does at another.
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 01:21 PM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by TonyB
A few more comments...

What Sudnow does is actually rather clever. He narrows the scope of what he is teaching to a very narrow focus, and tells you exactly how to accomplish that. You are not playing cocktail style piano with all the flourishes, arpeggiating the left hand, etc. Instead you are "grabbing the clusters" of voiced chords under the melody. You re learning how to voice chords, working them out for each melody note according to Sudnow's "voicing rules", and then practicing grabbing them in succession until you can do that cleaning and on time. He constantly admonishes you to always practice "on time, perfectly" so you don't teach your hands to make mistakes - very slow and careful practice so that, as you learn, you learn to do it correctly.

As has been mentioned, that is also what David Higginson does. The 52 week crash course covers a wide scope of material, and certainly does take more like 3 - 4 years to work through and even then, it takes much longer to really get all that into your hands.

Tony


Agreed.

Also, I hope that we didn't come off as slamming either Shinn or Sudnow...both are good. I guess it comes down to personal preference and what a person wants at that time. I'm sure as I gain experience then Shinn or Sudnow would "look different" to my eyes and maybe I'd be able to get them to work for me. That's what I've noticed; a course or method might not make a lot of sense at one point but does at another.


Not at all. I think your review of David Higginson's course was quite good and hopefully, will interest folks wanting to learn to play that style. There are a lot of courses out there, many of which are more fluff than substance. Therefore, it is a good thing when somebody posts here to tell folks of any courses that are substance and worth the cost, as long as the person is posting after the initial "honeymoon" is over and the reality of the course's value and level of commitment has settled in.

I have talked about some of the courses I have worked with here, but that is after I have sat with it for a while. Some folks talk about courses they have either never worked with or have just purchased and that initial excitement has yet to wear off and the real work has yet to begin. When Bob posted his review, it was clear that he knows the course content well and has worked with it. That is the kind of review that does us all a service.

As for comments about Sudnow and Shinn courses, it is a good thing to let folks know that, while they are courses of substance, they are more "dense" and therefore require a higher degree of commitment to keep up that self-motivation to complete. It is good to be realistic about these things.

If a person is considering any, or all three of these, my recommendation is to start with the David Higginson course because it is a fun way to get going. A person learns enough there to just stick with that and enjoy playing tunes. For a broader scope, other courses are always a good way to continue, and these two (Sudnow and Shinn) are certainly two possible choices. Isn't it typical when one has an interest in a particular area, to want to continue to learn and enhance his or her abilities? So it is with us who work through these courses.

There are those who say you don't need to learn "from a book", here is the real way to learn. In my experience from teaching adults guitar, English as a second language, math and computer skills, etc., there is a variety of learning styles and saying that only one is valid, seems rather narrow-minded to me. Those of us who are self-teaching piano, will necessarily try a number of courses until we find that which matches our learning style. Those watching us will say that we are not committed and are simply looking for an easy way out. While that may be true in some cases, it is definitely not true in all cases. Those who post reviews such as Bob did here, are doing the rest of us a great service. Those who say that it is all BS, are not.

Tony


Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 01:55 PM

Originally Posted by TonyB
Those who say that it is all BS, are not.

You have misunderstood me. I said, "'52 weeks' is 1970's style marketing B.S." I never said the D.S. course was B.S., marketing or not. I said that phrase from the title of the course is marketing B.S., and I will stand by my remark. because "52 weeks" is indeed marketing B.S. regardless of whether the fine print inside the course tries to explain it away. People buy the course looking at the cover, title, and "liner notes" and not reading inside where the author explains how the course really isn't 52-weeks - just a turn of phrase actually!

When I was a kid, I saw an ad in the back of my Boy Scout magazine for:

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Well, I was always good in math and this meant for me that if I got the Charles Atlas mail order course, in 15 x 7 = 105 mins, I could be a New Man! So I counted my coins, tapped them to a card, put in an envelope and sent away for it.

I don't think I need to tell you the rest of this true story. All I can say is LOL.

So I think I am fully qualified to spot marketing B.S. in the D.S. course title - Charles Atlas taught me how! laugh

(BTW, this again says nothing about the content of the course - I am giving two thumb to David B. who is in his 40th "week" - David B. should be an inspiration to all picking up the D.S. course!)
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/16/19 02:14 PM

My comment was not strictly about you, but in general there will be folks who pop in to these discussions and say that sort of thing. I read what you said about 70s marketing BS and took no offense because it likely is true in this particular case. In another thread on this subject, somebody posted saying that you can't learn from a book what you need to do is... It is that kind of thing I was addressing, so please don't take my comments as directed at you. There are many more threads than this one that discuss this subject.

It is both funny and quite telling that you felt the need to respond to a Charles Atlas ad. I remember those and never considered sending for that stuff. As I mentioned in one of my posts, there are the equivalent of that kind of thing with self-teaching piano courses, so it is a good thing when people who find something of substance, posts about it AFTER they have worked with it for a while.

As for posting videos, I have done that with the Shinn course too. I don't usually do that sort of thing, preferring to just go my own way, and would much prefer not to fight about this stuff in a forum. Maybe I should consider that before posting in these types of threads again - lesson learned and relearned. My time is much better spent at the piano, and I doubt those who truly reach a level of competence did so by hanging out in forums anyway.

Tony

Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/17/19 12:16 AM

For those considering the David Higginson course, now that you have seen this thread, I think that it can be compared to how the guitar is typically taught if you are not studying the classical guitar technique and repertoire.

Usually, to begin with, you learn the names of the notes on the strings, and then you learn simple melodies at the open strings and first three frets. Then you begin to learn chords, the "simple" chords, often referred to as the "cowboy" chords because those are what are typically strummed for simple songs such as "Home On the Range", "Red River Valley", etc. These, you learn as forms to grab and strum. You might learn some picking patterns to go with those chords.

In the Higginson course, you learn the notes on the keyboard. Then you learn some simple chords, C, C minor, and C7. These are voiced similar to the Sudnow method as what are often refrred to as "spread chords" in which the left hand plays part of the chord and the chord is spread across both hands so it sounds more full. You might play Root, 5, Root (or b7) in the left hand and 3 (or b3), 5, and Root in the right hand. Then you learn "picking patterns", or what he calls "rhythm patterns". Then, you build on these by adding G major, G minor, G7, etc., and then you start learning to "strum" these in songs.

After you get to the lesson on how to use the pedal, when you have also learned a couple of simple tunes (Silent Night and Today), he says you can skip ahead to the last section to learn how to play the melody with these chord and rhythm patterns, starting with Silent Night. As I mentioned either earlier in this thread or in the other thread about this subject, he first demonstrates the process of adding the melody using the song "Tammy". I suggested getting the lead sheet for that (it is in movie fakebooks, since it was the theme song for a movie in the 1950s) and following along to really grasp what he is talking about.

Then, you go back to the earlier lessons and continue learning more chords and rhythm (picking) patterns and applying them to songs. Several of these songs he shows you how to add the melody to in that last section, so you can then jump ahead and learn that once you can play through the chords to the tune.

So there are two parts to his style: what he calls "chord patterns", which are the voicings as I explained above, and what he calls "rhythm patterns", which are like fingerpicking patterns on the guitar. Then, to these two parts, he will show you how to weave in the melody for several of the tunes in the book.

There are two other books available as add-ons to the course. These include a book with many more "chord patterns", where he delves further into altered chords (b5, #5, etc.) and "color tones" (9, 11, 13, etc.), and a book with many more "rhythm patterns" (picking patterns). That book also comes with a CD demonstrating how these are supposed to sound.

The pace is quite easy and the teaching is, in many ways, quite similar to Sudnow, with his spread voicings and lush chords (those come later in the Higginson course). Where Sudnow focuses on the Great American Songbook, Higginson focuses more on pop tunes, Christmas tunes, etc., though his style is also very complementary to the Great American Songbook too.

I hope that helps folks decide whether this is what they want to learn or not, along with Bob's excellent review at the start of the thread. Unless somebody has a direct question for me, I think I have done what I can to answer questions. I feel that if I stick around this thread too long, I might end up with another silly "dust up" and I am really not interested in forum politics and post misinterpretations. I would much rather be helpful in providing my own experiences if those can directly answer questions from people serious about finding a good course of study, and hearing of others' experiences in their own studies. We can learn from each other.

Tony
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/17/19 06:51 AM

Thank you TonyB, you've sewn this thread up nicely.

Very good summary.

I appreciate your observations in this thread and the previous threads that I read on the subject. I guess that does it for me unless someone comes along and asks questions about it.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/17/19 10:13 AM

Originally Posted by TonyB
It is both funny and quite telling that you felt the need to respond to a Charles Atlas ad. I remember those and never considered sending for that stuff. As I mentioned in one of my posts, there are the equivalent of that kind of thing with self-teaching piano courses, so it is a good thing when people who find something of substance, posts about it AFTER they have worked with it for a while.

Yes, since you are too diplomatic name it, yes, I've always. been too trusting. Some might call that what it is - gullible. It's been a process over my life to decide some people aren't worthy of trust - for example, recently, an interior designer that I paid a $250 deposit to who never came over to my place for a site visit in almost 3 months but hasn't bothered to give my deposit back. This character flaw of mine is why I am especially sensitive to D.S.'s title. It's just a cheap trick in what sounds like an absolutely fabulous and comprehensive course for those looking for a chord piano course.

If anyone came to me and wanted to self-learn chord piano for church playing, for example, I know I would direct them to the D.S. course - and now if they look like they need a less comprehensive course, I might steer them toward the Dave Higginson course (because honesty about the difficulty of piano) should be rewarded.
Posted By: tm3

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/17/19 03:19 PM

I want to provide some additional clarification, lest anyone who comes across this thread makes the mistake of thinking that the Sudnow Course is similar to the Duane Shinn or Charles Atlas hype.

The link provided above (https://www.amazon.com/Weekend-Piano-Seminar-David-Sudnow/dp/B005JKED0E/) is to a 1999 book titled, The Weekend Piano Seminar. The Sudnow Course was originally taught in a weekend seminar format, thus the title of the book is accurate -- it is a book about the weekend piano seminar.

Sudnow never claimed that his course would enable someone to "learn piano in a weekend" or any other exaggerated time frame. He was very upfront about the need to practice and realistic expectations. His passion was in providing a challenge to traditional piano instructional pedagogy as applied to adult students.

The current website for the Sudnow Method (https://www.sudnow.com) has this statement on the opening page, as a response to the FAQ of, "How long will it take to play reasonably well?"

That depends on the care with which you practice, more than the amount of time put in. ”Caretaking” is discussed in detail in the seminar, in practical terms. Very clear guidance is given on a proven way to increase the rate at which you learn new things at the instrument. Those with significant prior experience will often grow faster than beginners. The average newcomer will have a repertoire of a half dozen tunes, played with truly professional sounds, in six to eight months. Within a year a novice can perform at a party. Students with any good prior study may get there twice as fast or faster. In either case, it’s just a couple of months, at the most, before you’re playing your first tunes in a way that will really amaze others!

This description essentially mirrors that of students who have taken the course and followed the guidelines.

Echoing TonyB's excellent point about how different people learn differently, the Sudnow Method may not be everyone's favorite, and it may be a really bad fit for some, but its advertising is clear and fair.

I'll add that I had not visited the website in quite a while, and was amazed to see that the course now costs only $25. Given that other online course run into the $100s, I think that is an amazing deal. Additionally, I know of a couple of times that students who were dissatisfied with their purchase were given full refunds, further emphasizing my main point -- Sudnow's course may fall short for some people in some aspects, but the integrity is beyond reproach.
Posted By: misspiggy

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/17/19 07:56 PM

Hi Guys

If you want a book that will get you to play chords in a sensible way, which you can use for piano solos, I recommend this: https://www.amazon.com/Four-Way-Keyboard-System-Bk-four-Way/dp/B00B3NU8LY
It changed my piano playing life. You do not have to absorb everything in every lesson, but just use the general concept. There is a book two as well for more advanced chords. You may have to order direct from Swain. You will basically learn how to spread chords over two hands and know all the 3rds and 7ths at the very least. Very valuable information!!
Posted By: misspiggy

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/17/19 08:46 PM

And a quick reply to myself!! If you can find a teacher who will help you play through the Swain lessons if you are not too confident at reading music, that may help!
Posted By: j&j

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/17/19 10:53 PM

I myself ran across a workbook that helped me learn all the arpeggios and chord cadences and made all my music theory classes was “Alfred’s Basic Piano Library The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios & Cadences”. It’s like the cheat sheet or Cliff Notes to Major, Minor{Natural, Harmonic, Melodic} & Chromatic Scales. It includes a detailed Circle of 5ths with Major and relative Minor keys with appropriate key signatures. It has all the proper fingering for scales, arpeggios and chord cadences. It only cost me $8.50!!!! I wished I found it a couple years earlier. If you’re studying chords, buy that inexpensive workbook. It explains it clearly.
Posted By: misspiggy

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/17/19 11:14 PM

Looks like a great book from the preview j&j. In fact, if you learnt the basics from that book then moved on to Swain, you would have pretty much everything covered
Posted By: TomLC

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/17/19 11:53 PM

I want to jump in here as I signed up for the Sudnow Method course a few days ago. I have been playing almost six years and I read fairly well. Plus, Willy Myette's PWW emphasizes theory, chord voicing, substituting chords, etc. So I have a little background and am sort of an intermediate player of standards (ballads). But I am not satisfied with my current situation because it takes quite awhile to learn an intermediate piece of sheet music. Months in fact. I have always admired those guys, some I know, who just sit down and play. And they usually don't even know how to read music! The Sudnow course is actually very difficult because after the first song you learn, where he shows you the voicing on a keyboard chart, you start on voicing your own chords from a fake book. His chord voicing's require a five, usually a six, note chord. The flat 7th or the fifth is usually in the left hand with the root. The right hand includes your melody note, the third, the fifth, the ninth, the eleventh ( sometime sharped). And sometimes the sixth, and the 13th. What I like about it, is that if you can stay with it, you will be able to play any song you know the melody to without music and the key won't make a difference. But yes, it will take years. I wish I had started this five years ago. We'll see if I can stay focused. frown
Posted By: j&j

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/17/19 11:55 PM

Originally Posted by misspiggy
Looks like a great book from the preview j&j. In fact, if you learnt the basics from that book then moved on to Swain, you would have pretty much everything covered

I’ve taken two college level online music theory courses that kicked my butt. That workbook saved me.
Posted By: j&j

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/18/19 12:05 AM

But I did score a 4.0 in both classes. 😁
Music and playing piano is fun. But difficult. You had better come to grips with learning the ins and outs of fractions.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/18/19 12:44 AM

Originally Posted by misspiggy
Hi Guys

If you want a book that will get you to play chords in a sensible way, which you can use for piano solos, I recommend this: https://www.amazon.com/Four-Way-Keyboard-System-Bk-four-Way/dp/B00B3NU8LY
It changed my piano playing life. You do not have to absorb everything in every lesson, but just use the general concept. There is a book two as well for more advanced chords. You may have to order direct from Swain. You will basically learn how to spread chords over two hands and know all the 3rds and 7ths at the very least. Very valuable information!!



I can't find the books available anywhere. All of the sites I have found say it is out of print...
Posted By: misspiggy

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/18/19 09:58 AM

That is a pity. I found it a really good way to start playing chords in both hands. I ordered the books directly from his website about five or six years ago, but that seems to have disappeared as well. He must be getting on a bit now and is probably winding things down.

To be honest, what Sudnow teaches is not very different, except he starts with the end product rather than teaching the logical steps required to achieve this. In my opinion (for what it is worth!) this actually makes things MUCH harder....
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/22/19 07:08 AM

One thing about the Higginson course, they aren't very communicative about when or if they've shipped the materials.

I have really had a hard time getting ahold of Dave Jr. I got one email from him after me sending him 2 or 3 about my address to send the materials and haven't heard from him since. No shipping date, time or anything. I don't even know IF he's shipped anything and it's been a week.

Hopefully they are in the mail and on their way. frown
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/22/19 07:52 AM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
One thing about the Higginson course, they aren't very communicative about when or if they've shipped the materials.

I have really had a hard time getting ahold of Dave Jr. I got one email from him after me sending him 2 or 3 about my address to send the materials and haven't heard from him since. No shipping date, time or anything. I don't even know IF he's shipped anything and it's been a week.

Hopefully they are in the mail and on their way. frown

Is it one of those weekly instalment systems?
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/22/19 07:54 AM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
One thing about the Higginson course, they aren't very communicative about when or if they've shipped the materials.

I have really had a hard time getting ahold of Dave Jr. I got one email from him after me sending him 2 or 3 about my address to send the materials and haven't heard from him since. No shipping date, time or anything. I don't even know IF he's shipped anything and it's been a week.

Hopefully they are in the mail and on their way. frown

Is it one of those weekly instalment systems?

No, it's a one-time thing. I ordered the "downloadable" version which is to say you download the videos and then they mail you the printed material part of the course.

The other option was to mail the entire thing, DVD's and all.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/22/19 07:58 AM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
One thing about the Higginson course, they aren't very communicative about when or if they've shipped the materials.

I have really had a hard time getting ahold of Dave Jr. I got one email from him after me sending him 2 or 3 about my address to send the materials and haven't heard from him since. No shipping date, time or anything. I don't even know IF he's shipped anything and it's been a week.

Hopefully they are in the mail and on their way. frown

Is it one of those weekly instalment systems?

No, it's a one-time thing. I ordered the "downloadable" version which is to say you download the videos and then they mail you the printed material part of the course.

The other option was to mail the entire thing, DVD's and all.

Ah. Then I understand. Your original review above was based on just the downloadable materials.
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/22/19 08:00 AM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
One thing about the Higginson course, they aren't very communicative about when or if they've shipped the materials.

I have really had a hard time getting ahold of Dave Jr. I got one email from him after me sending him 2 or 3 about my address to send the materials and haven't heard from him since. No shipping date, time or anything. I don't even know IF he's shipped anything and it's been a week.

Hopefully they are in the mail and on their way. frown

Is it one of those weekly instalment systems?

No, it's a one-time thing. I ordered the "downloadable" version which is to say you download the videos and then they mail you the printed material part of the course.

The other option was to mail the entire thing, DVD's and all.

Ah. Then I understand. Your original review above was based on just the downloadable materials.


Well..sort of but sort of not.

He shows the material and how to use them in the videos..it's integrated. Also, I made one of the fingering aids out of cardboard that I could use while I wait. So no, I didn't have the materials but yes...I know how they are being used and made a temp version while I wait.

I hope that's clear.
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/28/19 09:54 PM

Bob,

Did you get your materials yet? When I purchased the course with the two extra books and CD, it took about two or three weeks to arrive. I just order the Teacher's Guide two weeks ago and it arrived today.

I ripped the DVDs into MP4 files of each lesson myself, so I have those and the DVDs as backup. With the MP4s, I can use them with Transcribe! since it has been able to display video for some time now. I can loop a small section and slow it down without changing pitch or watch the whole thing at any speed, so I can be sure to get every drop from each lesson. Transcribe! is a great tool for learning either piano or guitar music by ear, but it also can do the same thing with videos as well as MP3 or WAV files. I thought about the download version, but when I realized it was just the videos, I decided to just do that myself.

In case you are interested, I definitely recommend the Teacher's Guide. It is thicker than the lesson and song books together, so it has quite a bit of material. This book does not teach the course, since that is what the other books and DVDs do, but instead for each lesson, it gives plenty of guidance for how to help a student master the material in each lesson. For the solo piano lessons, it provides more information to help clarify what you are trying to do and how to go about it, as well as how to make sure the student has sufficiently learned the previous lessons to be able to handle this material.

The intent of the book is for typical traditional piano teachers who want to include something of playing pop music in their lesson plans. The book is a thorough guide for the teacher, explain what to expect from the student in terms of difficulty learning a given lesson and how to deal with that, ideas for extra practice of each lesson and assignments to really get a solid handle on the material, etc. In short, for someone teaching him or herself, this book serves as a very nice guide through the territory.

Tony
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 05:51 AM

Originally Posted by TonyB
Bob,

Did you get your materials yet? When I purchased the course with the two extra books and CD, it took about two or three weeks to arrive. I just order the Teacher's Guide two weeks ago and it arrived today.


Not yet. He said they'd be here by Wednesday and they weren't. I emailed him AGAIN and he said they'd definitely be here by Thursday or Friday that he'd check the tracking number.

I have to say that in this day and age of easy communication with the customer, this is the worst customer service that I've seen. There's no excuse to not give a tracking number or at least let you know when the package was mailed and an expected delivery time. A confirmation email would have been nice too. It seems to me that not doing that and having customers have to email to ask about it is less efficient than just providing it in the first place. It makes me not want to order anything else from Dave.

Quote
I ripped the DVDs into MP4 files of each lesson myself, so I have those and the DVDs as backup. With the MP4s, I can use them with Transcribe! since it has been able to display video for some time now. I can loop a small section and slow it down without changing pitch or watch the whole thing at any speed, so I can be sure to get every drop from each lesson. Transcribe! is a great tool for learning either piano or guitar music by ear, but it also can do the same thing with videos as well as MP3 or WAV files. I thought about the download version, but when I realized it was just the videos, I decided to just do that myself.


The download version does include all of the other stuff, it just comes separately.

Quote
In case you are interested, I definitely recommend the Teacher's Guide. It is thicker than the lesson and song books together, so it has quite a bit of material. This book does not teach the course, since that is what the other books and DVDs do, but instead for each lesson, it gives plenty of guidance for how to help a student master the material in each lesson. For the solo piano lessons, it provides more information to help clarify what you are trying to do and how to go about it, as well as how to make sure the student has sufficiently learned the previous lessons to be able to handle this material.

The intent of the book is for typical traditional piano teachers who want to include something of playing pop music in their lesson plans. The book is a thorough guide for the teacher, explain what to expect from the student in terms of difficulty learning a given lesson and how to deal with that, ideas for extra practice of each lesson and assignments to really get a solid handle on the material, etc. In short, for someone teaching him or herself, this book serves as a very nice guide through the territory.

Tony



That actually sounds pretty cool, I might look into it after I get the other materials and I feel better about it smile
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 06:32 AM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Not yet. He said they'd be here by Wednesday and they weren't. I emailed him AGAIN and he said they'd definitely be here by Thursday or Friday that he'd check the tracking number.

I have to say that in this day and age of easy communication with the customer, this is the worst customer service that I've seen. There's no excuse to not give a tracking number or at least let you know when the package was mailed and an expected delivery time. A confirmation email would have been nice too. It seems to me that not doing that and having customers have to email to ask about it is less efficient than just providing it in the first place. It makes me not want to order anything else from Dave.

When I've been told stuff like this and ask for a tracking number and don't get it, it usually means it was never sent.

There have been only few exceptions my latest package being one - I ordered a closed terrarium to be shipped from the UK to our flat in Amsterdam. I did get a tracking number and I can see the package has been in Amsterdam but undelivered by the carrier for the last 13 days. This constitutes the worst delivery service I ever experienced. Fortunately I bought this item through an Amazon.de 3rd party seller and after the seller couldn't resolve, Amazon is refunding my money in full, so this just shows the importance of having an adult (e.g., Amazon) in the supply chain!

I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling PianoWVBob. Given my recent experience with this waylaid terrarium, you have my sympathies. Hope you will get what you ordered and be continuing to make music soon.
Posted By: tm3

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 11:30 AM

Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by misspiggy
Hi Guys

If you want a book that will get you to play chords in a sensible way, which you can use for piano solos, I recommend this: https://www.amazon.com/Four-Way-Keyboard-System-Bk-four-Way/dp/B00B3NU8LY
It changed my piano playing life. You do not have to absorb everything in every lesson, but just use the general concept. There is a book two as well for more advanced chords.



I can't find the books available anywhere. All of the sites I have found say it is out of print...


These books are now available on Amazon.
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 12:24 PM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob


Not yet. He said they'd be here by Wednesday and they weren't. I emailed him AGAIN and he said they'd definitely be here by Thursday or Friday that he'd check the tracking number.

I have to say that in this day and age of easy communication with the customer, this is the worst customer service that I've seen. There's no excuse to not give a tracking number or at least let you know when the package was mailed and an expected delivery time. A confirmation email would have been nice too. It seems to me that not doing that and having customers have to email to ask about it is less efficient than just providing it in the first place. It makes me not want to order anything else from Dave.

The download version does include all of the other stuff, it just comes separately.



That actually sounds pretty cool, I might look into it after I get the other materials and I feel better about it smile


My understanding is that the download version includes the physical books shipped to you, and the only items that are downloaded, are the videos instead of also shipping the DVDs. It was with that understanding that I just ripped my DVDs to MP4s since I already have the DVDs with my version of the course.

I am sorry that you are having this trouble with getting the course. When I purchased it, I called and talked to David's son about the course. It took a couple of weeks to arrive. I later ordered the two additional course books (one, the rhythm book, comes with an additional CD). Those were backordered and took another several weeks to arrive, but they let me know that was the case. At the time, they had another product called a transposing wheel, and he included that at no extra cost.

So there was a time when they were responsive to phone calls, though it always did (and does) seem to take them a while longer than most companies to get stuff shipped. I figure they are a very small shop and probably do all that work themselves instead of farming it out.

I hope things work out for you, but do think your experience may well have to be the "cautionary tale" for others. It may well be that there is some problem on their end, but if so, they should be letting you know what to expect. When I purchase an item online, I am less concerned about how long it takes to arrive, than I am knowing what is happening and what to expect. Simple communication from the vendor is all it takes to set my mind at ease. Apparently, you are not getting that.

Tony
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 12:29 PM

Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob


Not yet. He said they'd be here by Wednesday and they weren't. I emailed him AGAIN and he said they'd definitely be here by Thursday or Friday that he'd check the tracking number.

I have to say that in this day and age of easy communication with the customer, this is the worst customer service that I've seen. There's no excuse to not give a tracking number or at least let you know when the package was mailed and an expected delivery time. A confirmation email would have been nice too. It seems to me that not doing that and having customers have to email to ask about it is less efficient than just providing it in the first place. It makes me not want to order anything else from Dave.

The download version does include all of the other stuff, it just comes separately.



That actually sounds pretty cool, I might look into it after I get the other materials and I feel better about it smile


My understanding is that the download version includes the physical books shipped to you, and the only items that are downloaded, are the videos instead of also shipping the DVDs. It was with that understanding that I just ripped my DVDs to MP4s since I already have the DVDs with my version of the course.


That's exactly right.

Quote
I am sorry that you are having this trouble with getting the course. When I purchased it, I called and talked to David's son about the course. It took a couple of weeks to arrive. I later ordered the two additional course books (one, the rhythm book, comes with an additional CD). Those were backordered and took another several weeks to arrive, but they let me know that was the case. At the time, they had another product called a transposing wheel, and he included that at no extra cost.


That would be nice if they included that. I also think that it would be good business to be clear about when things ship, how long they take, what to expect..etc. That's just basic good business.

Quote
So there was a time when they were responsive to phone calls, though it always did (and does) seem to take them a while longer than most companies to get stuff shipped. I figure they are a very small shop and probably do all that work themselves instead of farming it out.


I'm sure that's the case but no excuse.

Quote
I hope things work out for you, but do think your experience may well have to be the "cautionary tale" for others. It may well be that there is some problem on their end, but if so, they should be letting you know what to expect. When I purchase an item online, I am less concerned about how long it takes to arrive, than I am knowing what is happening and what to expect. Simple communication from the vendor is all it takes to set my mind at ease. Apparently, you are not getting that.

Tony



You are 100% right. It's not the time, it's the idea that I have an expectation that they aren't meeting because they didn't let me know what to expect so I filled in the blanks based on other shipping scenarios that I've been through.

It's not so bad for me, I've got several months under my belt to doing a screen shot of the next chords doesn't bother me that much but my wife is also starting from scratch...no prior experience with any musical instrument so she's less apt to just plow into it than I am.
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 12:34 PM

Originally Posted by tm3
Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by misspiggy
Hi Guys

If you want a book that will get you to play chords in a sensible way, which you can use for piano solos, I recommend this: https://www.amazon.com/Four-Way-Keyboard-System-Bk-four-Way/dp/B00B3NU8LY
It changed my piano playing life. You do not have to absorb everything in every lesson, but just use the general concept. There is a book two as well for more advanced chords.



I can't find the books available anywhere. All of the sites I have found say it is out of print...


These books are now available on Amazon.


The books I just saw on Amazon are used, rather than that Higginson is now selling also on Amazon. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, and there may be some advantage to somebody buying those instead of the full course. If Higginson is now selling on Amazon, I didn't find those products.

Tony
Posted By: tm3

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 12:46 PM

Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by tm3
Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by misspiggy
Hi Guys

If you want a book that will get you to play chords in a sensible way, which you can use for piano solos, I recommend this: https://www.amazon.com/Four-Way-Keyboard-System-Bk-four-Way/dp/B00B3NU8LY
It changed my piano playing life. You do not have to absorb everything in every lesson, but just use the general concept. There is a book two as well for more advanced chords.



I can't find the books available anywhere. All of the sites I have found say it is out of print...


These books are now available on Amazon.


The books I just saw on Amazon are used, rather than that Higginson is now selling also on Amazon. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, and there may be some advantage to somebody buying those instead of the full course. If Higginson is now selling on Amazon, I didn't find those products.

Tony



I was referring to the David Swain books Four Way Keyboard System I and II that misspiggy mentioned and that NobleHouse could not find.
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 01:07 PM

OK, sorry about that. I reread your post and see that indeed you are talking about the Alan Swain books. I forgot that we are talking about multiple products in this thread.

Tony

Posted By: VladK

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 05:03 PM

Originally Posted by tm3
I was referring to the David Swain books Four Way Keyboard System I and II that misspiggy mentioned and that NobleHouse could not find.


Yes, I bought first 2 Alan Swain books for my wife last week from his Amazon page. It looks like he just orders new small print batches when it gets out of stock. If the books are listed as unavailable, then come back later until you see them in stock.
I am still waiting to buy the 3rd book though (and this should be the most interesting volume for my wife I guess).
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 05:25 PM

Originally Posted by VladK
Originally Posted by tm3
I was referring to the David Swain books Four Way Keyboard System I and II that misspiggy mentioned and that NobleHouse could not find.


Yes, I bought first 2 Alan Swain books for my wife last week from his Amazon page. It looks like he just orders new small print batches when it gets out of stock. If the books are listed as unavailable, then come back later until you see them in stock.
I am still waiting to buy the 3rd book though (and this should be the most interesting volume for my wife I guess).

To satisfy my curiosity what makes these books good? What is the method he's using to teach his system?

is it just a bunch of chord charts? I guess I'm asking why I'd want to buy these over anything else?

Just curious about it.
Posted By: tm3

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 05:51 PM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by VladK
Originally Posted by tm3
I was referring to the David Swain books Four Way Keyboard System I and II that misspiggy mentioned and that NobleHouse could not find.


Yes, I bought first 2 Alan Swain books for my wife last week from his Amazon page. .

To satisfy my curiosity what makes these books good? What is the method he's using to teach his system?

is it just a bunch of chord charts? I guess I'm asking why I'd want to buy these over anything else?

Just curious about it.


I'm also curious and hope that some feedback gets posted. Misspiggy's enthusiastic endorsement is helpful, but beyond that there is a sparse description on Amazon, very few reviews, and no preview pages.

The author was apparently a very highly regarded teacher, however.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 06:03 PM

Originally Posted by tm3
I'm also curious and hope that some feedback gets posted. Misspiggy's enthusiastic endorsement is helpful, but beyond that there is a sparse description on Amazon, very few reviews, and no preview pages.

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

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

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 06:08 PM

Good news...the materials came!

So all in all, it took 16 days to get the materials.

Now...on to piano practice!
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 06:11 PM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Good news...the materials came!

So all in all, it took 16 days to get the materials.

Now...on to piano practice!

Congrats! And it is indeed Thursday!
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 08:47 PM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Good news...the materials came!

So all in all, it took 16 days to get the materials.

Now...on to piano practice!


Glad to hear it, Bob! I hope you both enjoy, and get a lot out of the course.

Tony
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/29/19 09:08 PM

When I mistakenly thought that tm3 was referring to David Higginson books on amazon.com, I took a look and saw a few used books for that course. One book I found there was:

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

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

Here is the description:

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

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

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

Tony

Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/30/19 05:35 AM

Originally Posted by TonyB
When I mistakenly thought that tm3 was referring to David Higginson books on amazon.com, I took a look and saw a few used books for that course. One book I found there was:

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

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

Here is the description:

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

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

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

Tony



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

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/30/19 12:23 PM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by TonyB
When I mistakenly thought that tm3 was referring to David Higginson books on amazon.com, I took a look and saw a few used books for that course. One book I found there was:

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

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

Here is the description:

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

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

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

Tony



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


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

Tony
Posted By: newbert

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/30/19 12:26 PM

I have the Higginson course materials, but had gotten away from it. This thread has motivated me to give the course another try.

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

Thanks!
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/30/19 12:40 PM

Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by TonyB
When I mistakenly thought that tm3 was referring to David Higginson books on amazon.com, I took a look and saw a few used books for that course. One book I found there was:

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

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

Here is the description:

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

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

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

Tony



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


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

Tony


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

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

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/30/19 01:09 PM

WTG Bob
Seems like your new piano has given both you and your wife the practice bug 😊😊😊. That’s the way it should be... and I’m so glad it has happened in your family
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/30/19 01:11 PM

Originally Posted by dogperson
WTG Bob
Seems like your new piano has given both you and your wife the practice bug 😊😊😊. That’s the way it should be... and I’m so glad it has happened in your family


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

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/30/19 10:11 PM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by TonyB
When I mistakenly thought that tm3 was referring to David Higginson books on amazon.com, I took a look and saw a few used books for that course. One book I found there was:

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

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

Here is the description:

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

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

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

Tony



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


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

Tony


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

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


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

Tony
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/31/19 05:25 AM

Originally Posted by TonyB


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

Tony




Ahh..thank you. I'll keep an eye out for that, I know exactly what he's saying.
Posted By: tm3

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/31/19 12:43 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by tm3
I'm also curious and hope that some feedback gets posted. Misspiggy's enthusiastic endorsement is helpful, but beyond that there is a sparse description on Amazon, very few reviews, and no preview pages.

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

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


Great! Looking forward to it!
Posted By: tm3

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/31/19 12:52 PM

Originally Posted by newbert
I have the Higginson course materials, but had gotten away from it. This thread has motivated me to give the course another try.

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

Thanks!


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

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

Good luck! Feel free to ask me if you have other questions.
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 08/31/19 03:25 PM

I don't use Apple products, not because there is anything wrong about them, but because it would be rather expensive to get involved in their ecosystem at this point. I use PCs and switch freely between Windows 10 and Linux instead, so the tools I use would not be relevant to a Mac user. tm3's post would be much more helpful in that area.

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

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

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

Tony
Posted By: TonyB

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 09/03/19 11:36 PM

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

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

Tony
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 09/04/19 08:24 AM

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

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

Tony



I agree!

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

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 09/04/19 10:31 AM

Originally Posted by TonyB
I don't use Apple products, not because there is anything wrong about them, but because it would be rather expensive to get involved in their ecosystem at this point. I use PCs and switch freely between Windows 10 and Linux instead, so the tools I use would not be relevant to a Mac user. tm3's post would be much more helpful in that area.

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

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

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

Tony



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

thanks for mentioning this valuable resource.
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 09/04/19 01:13 PM

TonyB; I also am checking out musescore because I'd like to notate "Tammy" from video 61. It helps me solidify things in my mind if I write them out even if I don't need it to play the tune.

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

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 09/04/19 01:29 PM

Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
TonyB; I also am checking out musescore because I'd like to notate "Tammy" from video 61. It helps me solidify things in my mind if I write them out even if I don't need it to play the tune.

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


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

Tony
Posted By: PianoWVBob

Re: For any adult needing a systematic way to play chord style - 09/04/19 01:33 PM

Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
TonyB; I also am checking out musescore because I'd like to notate "Tammy" from video 61. It helps me solidify things in my mind if I write them out even if I don't need it to play the tune.

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


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

Tony


That's cool.

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