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The book gives you appropriate voicings for those chord progressions, and also goes beyond the "II V I" stuff by introducing chromatic movement, passing chords, and reharmonization. Which makes it richer and more appropriate for cocktail piano.

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I just bought it from Amazon. Unfortunately, this is my busy time of year at work, so you'll all be ahead of me....


-- J.S.

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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
I just bought it from Amazon. Unfortunately, this is my busy time of year at work, so you'll all be ahead of me....


There is a business motto that goes something like this...

Quote
If you need something done on time, give it to the busiest person to do


And remember ... this is not a race.


Don

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newbert: how are you coming along with this?

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Originally Posted by Michael Martinez
newbert: how are you coming along with this?


Unfortunately, at a standstill at the moment. As usual, I find myself being pulled into many directions and have difficulty focusing on only one thing/course/book (including one of yours...).

That, plus I'm going thru some health issues currently which have taken time away from the piano.


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Hang in there Newbert. I've found playing the piano very helpful when I'm not well. Hope you can back into it soon.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
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Originally Posted by Dave B
Hang in there Newbert. I've found playing the piano very helpful when I'm not well. Hope you can back into it soon.


Thanks, Dave.

I've suffered from anxiety issues on and off most of my life, and am going thru a difficult spell right now. Unfortunately, I'd say that I'm an "impatient perfectionist", but a mediocre pianist. Bad combination that results in frustration, which doesn't help matters.


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For me, the view is worth the climb. I find joy in music and it can be spiritually uplifting. I'm not a "perfectionist" and I'm still learning "patients", yet there are times when I get lucky and play a few passages of real music. Keeps me coming back.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
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Originally Posted by Elssa
I think this book has some useful stuff, chromatic progressions, but I don't really think it's too good for learning to play by ear, especially if you're a beginner.


Indeed, this is the result of a misplaced emphasis in the translation of the title, "So Spielen Sie Barpiano, Frei und Ohne Noten". It's really "How to Play Bar Piano, Freely, and without Sheet Music". He uses a lot of both lead sheet and grand staff notation. You pretty much have to read the book at the piano or keyboard, and play the music that's interspersed between the words.

So far, I like his approach of describing the chords as eccentric characters in a family, with their likes, dislikes, and interactions. He also distinguishes between chords made entirely of notes from the key and those that "borrow" -- I haven't seen that anywhere else. His chord notation is somewhat different than we use -- just "j" instead of "maj", using the little circle instead of "dim". The one substantive difference is that his diminished isn't just the triad, it always includes the seventh. I'm on page 58....

The examples do go pretty quickly from dead easy to farther than I can comfortably stretch.


Last edited by JohnSprung; 04/07/14 05:24 PM.

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Hey everyone! I see this thread is about 9 months old, but was wondering if any of you who were doing this have finished the book. And what your thoughts were? Did it help?

I'm going through the book right now, am on page 70. I feel like I'm going through the book too fast. I find myself looking more at the staff notation than just the chord indications in each of the examples. I got some Post-It notes to block out the staff notations so I could focus on the chords. I know I'm not necessarily playing the correct melody when I do that, but I feel like it's helping me drive in what the chords actually are.

Coupled with Paul Abrahams' Learn Jaxx Piano Online, I feel like if I stick with these 2, by the end of the year I should be leaps and bounds ahead of where I am now. This book doesn't point it out...not that I've seen yet, but I realized these Dm7-G7 progressions he's teaching now are II-V progressions. I tend to end each example with a C chord then - the I - and it sounds very nice. I know II-V-I is a popular progression based on my learning so far from Paul Abrahams.

Anyway, anyone who has actually finished the book, I would like to hear some final thoughts and feed back.

Cheers!

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Originally Posted by Brandon Sip

I'm going through the book right now, am on page 70. I feel like I'm going through the book too fast. I find myself looking more at the staff notation than just the chord indications in each of the examples.

yep you're going through it too fast. Try to learn a few different chords or chord progressions, then put aside the book, and concentrate on playing just the chords and listening to how they sound. The idea is that if you are playing melody, you can pick one chord or the other at a (more-or-less) appropriate moment, based on how it sounds. Really the melody is important, so focus on playing the right melody while you do this. But also work on just playing the chord progressions with the two-handed voicings he gives you.

One of the differences you'll notice between Schott and Abrahams is that Abrahams takes the typical "II-V-I" (totally valid), while Schott jumps right away into using Cmaj-Ebdim-IIm7-V (with variations on the V) (also totally valid) - and so forth. These diminished passing chords are favorites among cocktail pianists.

another difference is that Schott teaches you how to voice the chord depending on where the melody note falls. So for a particular chord, you have various two-handed voicing that you use with the melody note on top. He does this, of course, because he wants you to be able to add chords to any melody. He is giving you the building blocks so that no matter where a melody note falls, you can pick a chord and voice it properly. So I would recommend you find the places in the book where he gives you a single chord or a two-chord sequence, where the top note appears in different places, and you spend time focusing on it: learn it and then put aside the book and practice that chord with the different locations up and down the keyboard.

It sounds like you're doing very well so far. Keep it up and you'll find the two paths converging later on.


Last edited by Michael Martinez; 01/20/15 05:13 PM.
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Ok. Thanks for the advice. I went back in the thread and noted everything else you've been saying, too. I appreciate it!

This book is gonna take me all year to get through! But that's ok. A year or two spent learning this and Abrahams' lessons should be well worth it in the long run.

Last edited by Brandon Sip; 01/21/15 02:28 PM.
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