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#2634082 - 04/18/17 11:42 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: J van E]
ID5894 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/17
Posts: 15
Loc: England
Originally Posted By J van E
[quote=Peakski]
Hm, I thought FK had lots of extra info on HOW to play...? And on sight reading, landmarks...? You make it sound it is just a book with tunes. wink


There is only a little at the beginning, in the landscape printed section, but once it starts with the "proper" songs (the portrait printed section), there's minimal info other than the sheet music. The "theory and technique pages" have some warm-ups and scales and little more. But I'm not criticising the book, the selection and printing of the songs alone is worth the price to me, it's all I wanted from it. I'm sure you can find videos of proper pianists playing most of the tunes in FK if not all of them.

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#2634100 - 04/18/17 12:46 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
zrtf90 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 3420
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By Unkabin
What I'm finding is that I'm surprisingly, frustratingly slow at replaying songs even two weeks after moving on. This makes me question if, when I finish the last song in the book, it will truly be time for me to move on to book 2. I almost feel as if I should go back to the middle of the book and go through the second half of it again.

I'm wondering how normal is this quick return to what feels like incompetence.
Perfectly normal.

Very often in the learning process we reach a point after working a certain amount of time on a piece that it's really quite playable after about twenty minutes or so of practice. When you play at your lessons or cold at the beginning of your practice session it's not so hot. It's this playing cold that needs to be fixed before a piece is set aside or finished. While the techniques in it are not at your fingertips they aren't really learnt.

With Alfred's material this isn't a problem. You'll soon* be at a stage when you can read the entire volume without batting an eyelid. *Soon is relative but it's never soon enough.

If you're spending longer on your current pieces you may need to rethink the amount you're doing each session (or each repeat) and how much you're actually carrying forward from previous lessons. Do you revisit the warm-up material where you play the basic I IV v7 chords in block or arpeggiated form at the start of some pieces? This should really be done every day in all keys covered so far until you don't need to do it every day.

Likewise the 12 bar blues progression should also be practised every day in C, F and G. Try using different songs and picking out new melodies. Sometimes the last four bars need to change a little. They often start with four bars of I, 2 each of I and IV then V-IV-I-V, I-V-I-I, V-V-I-I or something along those lines.
_________________________
Richard

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#2634103 - 04/18/17 12:48 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
J van E Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/17
Posts: 56
Well, well, well... I said I found all those books confusing and boy, was I right...!!! I think a warning is in place here for other newbies to all this! wink So here it goes.

As posted above I ordered the Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Course books 1, 2 and 3. After doing so I noticed there also is a course called Alfred's Self-Teaching Adult Piano Course and this one also can be bought as an ebook. The ebook has THREE volumes, just as the above mentioned Basic Adult All-in-One Course . In my previous posts I asked of those three ebooks of the self-teaching course would offer the same content as the Basic Adult All-in-One Course. The general concensus was (well, sort of) this was so. Well, read on.

I just received books 1 and 2 from Basic Adult All-in-One Course and although I was planning to return them, I decided to open the package and compare the content with that of the three ebooks of the self-teaching course. Guess what...

The self-teaching ebooks as well as the printed self-teaching book ONLY COVER the FIRST book of the Basic Adult All-in-One Course!!!

They divided book 1 of the Basic Adult All-in-One Course into three parts (and added some stuff)! (Which also means that the ebooks aren't cheaper: in fact, they cost a lot MORE than just book 1 of the Basic Adult All-in-One Course.)

Suffice to say I am keeping the printed copies I just received!!! (I have to add that having the books in your hands which text you can clearly read and music you can clearly see feels better than having to watch everything on a tiny iPad screen.) You can also fill in things as a test which you can't in the ebook as far as I can tell. The books are bigger and thicker (is that the right English word?) than I expected.

Anyway, WARNING FOR NEWBIES: the self-teaching ebooks number 1, 2 and 3 do NOT correspond with the printed Basic Adult All-in-One Course books number 1, 2 and 3: the ONLY give you the content of book 1! Just so you know. wink

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#2634123 - 04/18/17 02:41 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
J van E Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/17
Posts: 56
I am going through book 1 right now and I am having a ball. Yesterday I was playing (well, sort of) Schumann's Träumerei and now I am having big fun with Beautiful Brown Eyes LOL! I have to add that Beautiful Brown Eyes took me a few times before I could play it without mistakes... seriously! Haha! That first C you have to repeat with the right hand kills me LOL because I want to repeat it too often (together with the left hand) and I also notice I often play what I THINK I should play or what feels logical. Anyway, I went rather flawlessly from page 1 to 65 but it seems I am already at the point where I have to slow down. wink Having a ball here nonetheless.

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#2634136 - 04/18/17 03:42 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: J van E]
ralarcon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/17
Posts: 3
I recommend pianist magazine for ipad. It has good classical pieces for all levels and music recording is included for every piece. Beginner pieces have plenty of tips and instructions along side the score and the harder pieces have a master tutorial explaining how to tackle it. I also have a roland piano with Bluetooth, so i can listen to the pieces directly on the piano when i practice.

The pieces as mainly classical but the tend to have one or two popular songs; like ABBA thank you for the music, and Bod Dylan Make you feel my love.

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#2634138 - 04/18/17 03:51 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: J van E]
ID5894 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/17
Posts: 15
Loc: England
Originally Posted By J van E
I am having a ball


That's what's all about, enjoying the process. You'll progress fairly quickly until about Blow The Man Down. Some are easier than others, but I found that Good People and Chiapanecas took longer than the rest so far (currently finishing The Stranger).

I enjoyed the "drama" in O Sole Mio so much I learned the Italian lyrics for that section and sang along while playing lol, fortunately nobody was watching! blush

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#2634139 - 04/18/17 03:59 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: J van E]
ralarcon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/17
Posts: 3
Yes; Beautiful Brown Eyes is the first real challenge i found; before that i could get a song down in a couple of days practice. Beautiful brown eyes took me the week. Bar 3 in particular when you hold the second C and left hand keeps the 3/4 timing going. I kept hitting C again.

I think the way the progresses, some pieces introduce new skills and some semment it . Lavender's blue was another song that made think i had gone backwards but it just introduced something new; in fact those pieces are actually easier than subsequent ones but they seem harder because it is firts time encountering such technique, chord change or rhythm.

I am having fun with book and surprised how it actually builds on each follow on piece without feeling overwhelming.

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#2634145 - 04/18/17 04:21 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: ID5894]
J van E Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/17
Posts: 56
Originally Posted By ID5894
Originally Posted By J van E
I am having a ball


That's what's all about, enjoying the process. You'll progress fairly quickly until about Blow The Man Down. Some are easier than others, but I found that Good People and Chiapanecas took longer than the rest so far (currently finishing The Stranger).

I enjoyed the "drama" in O Sole Mio so much I learned the Italian lyrics for that section and sang along while playing lol, fortunately nobody was watching! blush


LOL So luckily you really lived the song (O lonely me). wink

I think from now on my main problem will be when to move on. Up to now I learned nothing new when it came to theory and I could play everything in one go. I suppose that right now I will have to wait with moving on until I can play a piece perfectly... but the problem is that I'd like to learn to sight read music (and to play something without mistakes) and I have the idea I am not learning that if I keep on practicing a tune until I can play it without having to read it anymore.

I have the feeling I am not actually learning something new: I just reached my sight reading limit so... how to proceed? I guess THIS is the problem you have with teaching yourself to play the piano with a book. wink Should I simply limit myself to a few pages a day? I might as well start playing various simple pieces from other books...?

But well, I am having fun playing these simple pieces and reading everything, pretending it's all new to me, wink so I will continue following the course, of course. I bought the piano because I want to enjoy myself making music and I like what I am doing now: that's what it is all about.

EDIT
One thing I plan to do more often, also for practice, is to look at the intervals all the time and play with them in mind. I never ever did that in the past. Alfred's book also talks about this. It does help already with some pieces, like Brown Eyes where I at first wanted to play a higher note than the music dictated and I noticed the interval was smaller than it seemed to me and I automatically played the right note because my fingers 'knew' the right interval... yeah, well, it's kinda hard to explain. wink


Edited by J van E (04/18/17 04:28 PM)

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#2634154 - 04/18/17 04:39 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: ralarcon]
J van E Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/17
Posts: 56
Originally Posted By ralarcon
Yes; Beautiful Brown Eyes is the first real challenge i found; before that i could get a song down in a couple of days practice. Beautiful brown eyes took me the week. Bar 3 in particular when you hold the second C and left hand keeps the 3/4 timing going. I kept hitting C again.


Yes, that second C! Killing! smile

BTW I just actually laughed out loud when I looked at a video of this tune. Somewhere else on this forum I read someone with the nickname tinymozarts played all these tunes and I was wondering how she did it. (Also to see if I have the speed right.) Turns out she simply played one C in that bar LOL! And the second time too! And when she reaches the D7 and plays the A with the right hand she skips the D in the next bar! LOL She has the music in front of her (so you can check what she is playing!) but apparently she doesn't look at it? Haha! That's kinda what I meant to say earlier on that you sometimes tend to play what you THINK you should play. The first time I played this song I totally missed that second C and that high D.

Again, I am having a ball in all possible ways. wink

Here is the video:
https://youtu.be/TgigkWgm0HM


Edited by J van E (04/18/17 04:41 PM)

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#2634160 - 04/18/17 05:11 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: zrtf90]
unkabin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/15
Posts: 14
Loc: Minnesota, U.S.
Originally Posted By zrtf90
Originally Posted By Unkabin
What I'm finding is that I'm surprisingly, frustratingly slow at replaying songs even two weeks after moving on. This makes me question if, when I finish the last song in the book, it will truly be time for me to move on to book 2. I almost feel as if I should go back to the middle of the book and go through the second half of it again.

I'm wondering how normal is this quick return to what feels like incompetence.


If you're spending longer on your current pieces you may need to rethink the amount you're doing each session (or each repeat) and how much you're actually carrying forward from previous lessons. Do you revisit the warm-up material where you play the basic I IV v7 chords in block or arpeggiated form at the start of some pieces? This should really be done every day in all keys covered so far until you don't need to do it every day.

Likewise the 12 bar blues progression should also be practised every day in C, F and G. Try using different songs and picking out new melodies. Sometimes the last four bars need to change a little. They often start with four bars of I, 2 each of I and IV then V-IV-I-V, I-V-I-I, V-V-I-I or something along those lines.


Thank you, zrtf90. I think you've identified a weakness in my practice that definitely relates to this issue. I'm not spending much time with the warmups. I glance at them, quickly go through them until I'm sure I understand what they're introducing, and then I move onto learning the song and almost never revisit them. When I return to previous songs, I have little connection in my mind between that song and any specific principle for which it was chosen by the author.

In short, I think I'm learning songs and developing better coordination and touch, but I'm not learning music as well as I should.

Thank you for the analysis.

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#2634169 - 04/18/17 05:47 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: J van E]
ID5894 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/17
Posts: 15
Loc: England
Originally Posted By J van E

LOL So luckily you really lived the song (O lonely me). wink


"Sole" in Italian means sun, apparently, but your interpretation certainly made more sense in my "performance"!

Originally Posted By J van E

I think from now on my main problem will be when to move on.


True, it also depends on personality types. Perfectionism can be a hindrance, but you need to make sure you absorb the key points of each piece. I don't worry too much with sight reading, you get better with time. Changing songs frequently probably makes reading improve faster, but reading ability is meant to be behind your playing ability from what I hear. I plan to incorporate the exercises in the Super Sight Reading Secrets book at some point, but I think it's too early, there are other priorities right now.

I find that writing summary notes of key points on a notebook helps me reinforce the reading too, for example if I write down the notation for the chords for each of the keys covered so far. Also getting some music paper and trying to write down a song from memory is a good exercise.

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#2635020 - 04/21/17 10:35 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Rosewood17 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/11/17
Posts: 1
Hi All, Just thought I would weigh in as I am also in Alfred's Adult All-in-One Course. I have taken lessons in the distant past, but haven't played for about 20 years, so my teacher and I decided to start at the very beginning. I believe that I missed some basic concepts previously. I am currently on page 52. My assignment this week is pp. 52-60. I like this book so far, as it seems to be introducing theory that I did not get before. My major weaknesses are theory, sight reading, and ability to identify notes that are not on the grand staff (that have the little ledger lines added). LOL! That's just about everything! smile Mostly what I did when I was younger was to figure out the notes for a piece and then pretty much memorize it. I didn't really pay much attention to dynamics or counting other than to get the teacher to play the piece & then imitate him or her. I think I am kind of like a kid who learned to read just by memorizing individual words but never learned the underlying phonics. I am also working in another book (Fundamentals of Piano Theory by Snell and Ashleigh). Both books require writing, which I like, as I tend to be a visual learner. I am finishing up the Preparatory Level of that book this week (kind of like kindergarten level as the next level will be Level One). I really like both of these books and hope that this time I will get a solid foundation in theory and eventually be able to sight read music. I just recently purchased a Roland RP501R and I am finding it a joy to play. My previous piano was a Yamaha Clavinova (now about 25 years old) which unfortunately has been somewhat damaged by children over the years. Anyway, I look forward to continuing to learn from this book and hopefully learning to actually PLAY the piano rather than just trying to figure out and memorize individual pieces! It is interesting to hear others' comments about their experiences in the same book I am working in!


Edited by Rosewood17 (04/21/17 10:37 AM)
_________________________
Rosewood17
“Elizabeth was not playing for the sake of exhibiting her virtuosity: she played for joy.”
― Mary Street, The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

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#2635051 - 04/21/17 11:34 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: ID5894]
Stellaria Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/16
Posts: 43
Originally Posted By ID5894

I enjoyed the "drama" in O Sole Mio so much I learned the Italian lyrics for that section and sang along while playing lol, fortunately nobody was watching! blush


This is my first time posting in this thread, but I HAD to jump on ID5894's comment. I also loved the "drama" in O Sole Mio. There's just something about that B-flat minor in bar 10... my SoundCloud recording reveals a fermata AND crescendo there, lol. (Sorry Alfred!) I couldn't help it - it was the first piece in this book where I was truly moved at the piano. I practice it regularly so it's part of my repertoire. I think this one is the sleeper hit of Book 1!
_________________________
“It is the special province of music to move the heart.”
― J. S. Bach

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