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I bought the rhythm course and for $129 it just seems like a very old PDF and a poor quality tape recording of him counting out loud. Is this what is to be expected with the supplemental courses? Maybe the 52 week course or other ones are different?

Last edited by Sebs; 12/28/20 08:01 PM.
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Hi Sebs!

Yes, I just feel like a lot of Duanne's courses will feel like they're from the 80s. It's lucky if you get video. Many would be audio. There is definitely a book or some pdf ... but depending on the course, it will be some audio/visual material that seems dated. I usually don't mind since the information he gives is pretty spot on. Think of it more like a seminar.

Yes, nowadays, there are a lot of more contemporary and modern material, but I just find Duanne's to be really good - especially the 52 week course. I feel like that's the only one you should contemplate on getting for now. In the past, he said, that normally you would have to finish this crash course first before moving on. If you want to test the waters, I think you can purchase 4 lessons at a time and see if it's a good fit.

But just out of curiosity - what is the rhythm course? What drew you to it? Are you just learning to read notes or are you actually doing different rhythms? I was just curious as that's an interesting course to choose ...

Last edited by Lx20; 12/29/20 02:55 AM.
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There was a Duane Shinn series called Buried Treasures. It was pretty good for showing many improvisational methods and how to apply them to twelve pieces. Videos and PDF of the music. Intended for one to work through one piece a month for a year. I didn’t see it in their online page but you might call and see if it’s still available.


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Originally Posted by Lx20
Hi Sebs!
If you want to test the waters, I think you can purchase 4 lessons at a time and see if it's a good fit.
Unless Sebs is a complete beginner the first 4 lessons are going to disappoint him. And $100 is a lot of money.

I think prices should be adjusted, but I'm not a marketing expert, so...


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Originally Posted by Lx20
Hi Sebs!

Yes, I just feel like a lot of Duanne's courses will feel like they're from the 80s. It's lucky if you get video. Many would be audio. There is definitely a book or some pdf ... but depending on the course, it will be some audio/visual material that seems dated. I usually don't mind since the information he gives is pretty spot on. Think of it more like a seminar.

Yes, nowadays, there are a lot of more contemporary and modern material, but I just find Duanne's to be really good - especially the 52 week course. I feel like that's the only one you should contemplate on getting for now. In the past, he said, that normally you would have to finish this crash course first before moving on. If you want to test the waters, I think you can purchase 4 lessons at a time and see if it's a good fit.

But just out of curiosity - what is the rhythm course? What drew you to it? Are you just learning to read notes or are you actually doing different rhythms? I was just curious as that's an interesting course to choose ...

I too don't mind material being dated as it's more about the content and learning. The course was "How to Master Rhythm Problems -- Once and For All! (Digital)". While I have a teacher already I was simply looking for some side work to add to my routine. I picked this course because I feel like my rhythm skills are behind all my other skills. The teacher I had before we did no rhythm work my new teacher is having me do a lot more with rhythm. My reading skills are pretty good I really just want to get some rhythms under my fingers where I can recall them quicker and not feel like I have to learn a rhythm likes it brand new every time I see one.


Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by Lx20
Hi Sebs!
If you want to test the waters, I think you can purchase 4 lessons at a time and see if it's a good fit.
Unless Sebs is a complete beginner the first 4 lessons are going to disappoint him. And $100 is a lot of money.

I think prices should be adjusted, but I'm not a marketing expert, so...

I have a couple years down now so not complete beginner but still beginner. That's what I was thinking too, the prices seem too steep for the one offs. I think the 52 week course might be better bang for the buck but the one offs and supplemental, $100, $129, Yikes! I did however, ask for a refund as I said the course didn't suit me and they kindly approved which was nice, great support.


Originally Posted by WBLynch
There was a Duane Shinn series called Buried Treasures. It was pretty good for showing many improvisational methods and how to apply them to twelve pieces. Videos and PDF of the music. Intended for one to work through one piece a month for a year. I didn’t see it in their online page but you might call and see if it’s still available.

I didn't see that one. I'll look a bit more again.

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Just finishing Lesson 7. Duane mentions going back and applying new techniques to previous pieces and I made sure to do that as this was the lesson that started me down the road in previous attempts of falling behind due to mastering the lesson pieces, but not the lesson material. So, this time Two 30-40 minute sessions daily. I don’t find 30-40 minutes daunting or tiring, though I can understand how a beginner would. This is the first lesson in which I went to two longer sessions; all the others were 3-4 daily sessions, and all lessons through #7 have been 24-25 total sessions before moving on.

Started each #7 session playing the swing bass exercise on p 49 four times without looking at LH or keys. Then played the lesson pieces and keyboard pointers through 3-4 times each. Supplementary piece No 17 I played twice through as written, twice through using LH broken chords, then twice through using LH swing bass. If I had a rough go of it, I still limited my time with each piece as noted. Rome wasn’t built in a day and frustration impedes learning.

For the first session of the day I then played Supplemental pieces 1-16 using LH swing bass on pieces in 3/4, and as written for pieces in 4/4 (playing them both with the chord set using pointer C chord, and also with the chord set using 1st inversion C chord.

For the second session of the day, I played the lesson pieces from page 30-47, using the same system as in the prior paragraph.

Although playing the swing bass to this extent in Lesson 7 is probably more than Duane asks, I can tell that my LH keyboard education has made significant leaps forward over any prior time I started the course. I sense that I am beginning to develop feel for the interval leaps, often hesitating because the leap didn’t feel right, and sure enough, it wasn’t.

I’d be interested in variations that others have found that boosted their learning.


John F
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Completed Lesson 8, and made a lot more progress than in prior attempts at the course. Spent a bit over 2 weeks on #8, and it looks as though #9 will take longer with the new bass styles and the RH added enhancements.

Duane demonstrates new styles and enhancements, but usually with the comment that he is showing the student what we will be learning down the road. It’s not clear to me if he intends one to start learning these variations in the lesson in which he is showing them, or if one is to just have one’s appetite whetted but is to wait until formal introduction/instruction before starting to try them.

I am currently spending the first several days learning the new lesson pieces as written. As soon as I can play each through three times ‘perfectly’, 3P, as written, a couple days in a row, then I start to work on learning the new things he demonstrates, but I don’t require perfection for the future stuff before moving on, but do want some degree of competency. I stick with a minimum of 24 practice sessions on a lesson.

How have others who have completed the course handled these ‘future’ enhancements within the lesson in which Duane first introduces them as previews? Did you learn them when demonstrated as future things we’ll learn? Did you wait to learn them later when they were more formally introduced?

Thanks,


John F
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Originally Posted by Docc
How have others who have completed the course handled these ‘future’ enhancements within the lesson in which Duane first introduces them as previews? Did you learn them when demonstrated as future things we’ll learn? Did you wait to learn them later when they were more formally introduced?

Thanks,


I sounds like you're doing great and have an effective systematic plan for advancing through the course.

Concerning "future" enhancements, I never tried to learn anything that was intended to be taught down the road. I focused exclusively on the material for each lesson.

What I found difficult is that as you progress through the course Duane's demonstration of the arrangements becomes more complex and he doesn't breakdown slowly what he is doing. He'll just breakdown the basics, but adds a lot more flair when he plays it. Sometimes he'll play an arrangement more than once, but will play slightly differently each time. I don't think he was thinking about it. When you're that good the music just flows and sometimes if flows differently each time.

For me it was difficult because I was trying to figure out what he was doing beyond the basics. I'd have to pause the video to see where his finger placement was. It was very tedious. In the end my arrangements never sounded like his. Mine were very basic while his were tastefully dressed up.

Keep going, you're doing great.

God Bless,
David


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Oh boy, tell me about Duane and his arrangements. I think I figured out the DVD situation with Macs so that's good - because yes, definitely have to revisit, stop, replay, stop, replay.

I am currently at Lesson 19. "Good Night Ladies" took me all of last week to kind of take it to a point I was okay. Duanne demonstrated 3 styles 😧 .... I thought I could do it all ... but nope! So I kind of meshed it together. I did that country-is bass with some of his ragtime styles. Definitely could not do at his speed. Tremelos were killer. I guess I can say I did baby tremolos. Also, practicing ... and feeling like your playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" - a little rough mentally. This week I am still at Lesson 19 trying "O Promise Me" - this is another doozy. It's suggested to play an arpeggiated style. Hands are so busy and putting in the hours everday. Feels like I'm going nowhere. But I do know progress is being made. Due to the complexity of this piece, I feel like it almost has to be memorized and muscle memory - there is just too much going on with hands to track fingers and track music. Well, that's how I currently feel anyway. Metronome has been activated, and it's going slow, but (arranged) piece is still challenging (written score not so much).

It is neat that a bunch of us are going through this program. It's tough, but it's fun (if I don't pressure myself with things like timelines).

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Maybe I should make a list of things he demonstrates that will be covered later, but cross reference them where he first shows them. Perhaps the earlier demonstrations will make it easier to see what he is doing when the time comes.


John F
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Originally Posted by Docc
Maybe I should make a list of things he demonstrates that will be covered later, but cross reference them where he first shows them. Perhaps the earlier demonstrations will make it easier to see what he is doing when the time comes.

What you are experiencing now is one of the things that soured me on the course.

He is totally "winging it".

He appears to have not done anything to organize things and present them as planned.

He is just sitting at the piano and going through the books and adlibing his instruction as it occurs to him.

It is still valuable instruction (see David) but I like to see an organized approach for that kind of money.

There is evidence of that in the way he goes through the supplementary books, also.

He does not respect the author's recommendation for that material.

He just plays through them willy nilly according to the "time" he has left to fill up the lesson for the day.

From what I have seen, all of his material is like that.

He just sits down at the piano and talks while playing and anything that comes to mind is it.

He knows a lot so it is useful but I would like to see more professionalism.

Now ... this is my take on it. Others may not feel this way and that is totally great.

Last edited by dmd; 01/29/21 06:21 PM.

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Originally Posted by dmd
He knows a lot so it is useful but I would like to see more professionalism.

Now ... this is my take on it. Others may not feel this way and that is totally great.

I wonder if professionalism is the right word? He is definitely competent at teaching the material, but his teaching style seems to be geared more toward experienced players. He makes sure to get the basics in for the beginner, but it seems like he is more naturally gearing the conversation toward non-beginners. I think it's just his personality and method of teaching.

I'm experiencing the same challenges with Duane's Praise and Gospel series. Spending a lot of time tediously trying to figure out what he is doing on the arrangements after he has shown the basics. While that is a negative part of Duane's courses, IMO, it does not negate the benefit of his instruction.

I've started this course by Greg Howlett and his method of teaching is the exact opposite of Duane's. It's very organized in the approach. Greg's assignments are intended to help you thoroughly understand the theory and how to put it into practice. It's just a different approach to teaching.

I think they are both professional, but they have different approaches toward communicating their material. It's the same with preachers. Two pastors can take the same topic, but because the organization and presentation will be uniquely different, some people will find one delivery preferable to the other.

God Bless,
David


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Through the 9th lesson, at least, I have found it pretty clearly stated which techniques we have already tried and can apply to the current lesson pieces, and maybe a new technique to try on the current pieces, versus which techniques are being demonstrated as things we will get to later. These are the tease which keeps the student looking toward the target. Perhaps that becomes more muddled as the course progresses.

Maybe the way he does it helps people of varying skill levels get something out of each lesson. But I clearly see to what you are both referring. The series of books gradually increase in difficulty, which provides the underlying course progression, as I see it, and Duane gradually increases the challenge of the enhancements he introduces. But, as stated, I am only into lesson 9, so my comments only apply that far. One thing is sure: I am a whole lot better already than I ever was on previous attempts at the course.


John F
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One other observation: what few lessons I have had from live teachers were fraught with difficulties also. One just followed a standard lesson series and it was practice this song this week. If played well at the next lesson, then it was practice the next song all week and play at the lesson...rinse and repeat. Play the notes as written. No instruction in accoutrements that might dress up the music. No addressing techniques and how they apply to other pieces. Then another abortive attempt at a live teacher resulted in someone who thought I should be able to play much better than I could, and chose music for me to work on that I just couldn’t play. No matter how much I struggled, he was adamant that the music was not too difficult. After 3 months on page one of a two page piece, I gave up and fired him. I wasn’t learning anything.

Duane’s course is different. The music starts easy and builds gradually in difficulty, and one is encouraged to review prior pieces adding newly learned techniques. It’s a theory lesson into how music is constructed, and how complexities, or layers, are built into music as a composer might do it. It also teaches techniques that can apply to any piece of music, written or memorized. At least through lesson 9. Some cups are half full; some are half empty. It’s what an individual finds best works for self.


John F
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Originally Posted by Docc
One other observation: what few lessons I have had from live teachers were fraught with difficulties also.

Yeah, before I started Duane's course I had completed the Will Barrow Learn and Master Piano Course. It was around 20 something lessons. At the end of it I couldn't play a single song. I couldn't arrange anything. I really didn't feel like a piano player at all. Even though Will Barrow seems like a nice guy and a really good piano player, the course was a waste of time for me.

Originally Posted by Docc
One thing is sure: I am a whole lot better already than I ever was on previous attempts at the course.

Duane's course actually taught me how to play the piano. I can open up a Hymnal and understand the key and chords of the hymn. I have learned a number of different techniques to apply stylistically to the music for a more enhanced sound. I can be creative with the few tools I've learned. What a blessing it's been. Duane's Praise and Gospel course is even more fun because it's all hymns. I'm very excited about what I'm learning.

The 52 Week course was very hard for me. It took a lot of effort, but it was worth it. Keep going and you'll reap the rewards also.

God Bless,
David


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Been a while since I visited the site and posted but my personal update is I'm starting lesson 6 tomorrow after being happy with my progress on lesson 5 now. I'm setting no goals as such, no specific timeline and no dedicated practice schedule other than playing each day in a spaced repetition style as suggested. I'm lucky that I work from home and my piano is in my home office (see the pic I posted ages ago) - so as and when takes my fancy I jump on the seat and spend some time until I feel my concentration is wavering, then I stop and get back to work. My work can get a bit full on too so December saw my practice take a back seat. At the outset of this course I provisionally thought that this would be a 2-3 year project for me to get through the material and I have no reason to currently change this view. I may take a video of "Home on the range" tomorrow if I end up with nothing better to do :-) Wishing you all safe and well wherever in the world you are.


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OK, so here it is - my video of Home on the Range from week 5.



I may also record and upload to the channel a personal intro video too for those who wish to follow my journey :-)


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Originally Posted by Hammertime
OK, so here it is - my video of Home on the Range from week 5.



I may also record and upload to the channel a personal intro video too for those who wish to follow my journey :-)

That sounded very nice.

It was musical and played (pretty much) on time.

Well done.


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Originally Posted by dmd
That sounded very nice.

It was musical and played (pretty much) on time.

Well done.

Thanks Don, appreciated and yes, not perfect by any means ☺️ always a work in progress but sufficient progression to move forwards I think :-) (oh and it's your old materials that have found their way to this side of the "pond" 👍🏻)


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Originally Posted by Hammertime
OK, so here it is - my video of Home on the Range from week 5.



I may also record and upload to the channel a personal intro video too for those who wish to follow my journey :-)

Well played. Thanks for sharing.


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