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After I complete my Alfred's Adult All-in-one Books 1-3 method books, I am considering going with specific beginner and early intermediate Schirmer Books and similar. Then a couple of Jazz Books.

It's a multiple year plan. After the 3 method books, I will probably be a late advanced beginner to early intermediate? But I'm trying not to go too far into intermediate with the books below.

Here is what I am thinking:

Schmitt Op. 16: Preparatory Exercises (Schirmer)
Practical Method for Beginners, Op. 599 (Schirmer)
Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook (Vitta Publications)
First Lessons in Bach, Complete (Schirmer)
Bach -- 18 Short Preludes (Alfred's - Palmer)
Scales and Finger Exercises (Schirmer)
Czerny: The School of Velocity, Opus 299 (Alfred's - Palmer)
Czerny: Art of Finger Dexterity for the Piano, Op. 740 (Schirmer)
Inventions And Sinfonias - Bach (Henle)
Piano Masterworks: Early Intermediate Level (Schirmer)
Hal Leonard Jazz Piano Method Book 1
Hal Leonard Jazz Piano Method Book 2

Any feedback would be appreciated in regards to choices in general, specific books, specific order of the books. Are they all late advanced beginner to early intermediate?

Thanx!

Erik


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Casio PX-870
Working on Alfred's Adult AIO Book 2
1970's: Took piano lessons. 2021: This old man is giving it a 2nd go.
Posture, Technique, Dynamics, Articulation, Metronome, and Practice Daily
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You might look at Easy Classics to Moderns Vol 17. YouTube has a couple of playlists that feature most of the book's selections.

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Hi Erik
IMO, your plan is too heavily weighted toward Czerny. When you complete whatever method series you start, which should take a couple of years of more, look at imslp.org for the Czerny’s you have listed and choose one

You need, at that point, to focus on repertoire, sprinkled with scales. I don’t see why you can’t start on AMN while you are finishing the repertoire books.

Easy Classics to Modern, following one of the exam syllabi, the jazz books are all good options. Certainly Bach.

Please wait to decide until you get closer to finishing the method books. You will have a better idea of the direction and the books you need. Please do not rush through the method books. As mentioned in your other thread, you can find supplemental repertoire to go along with the method book.

Last edited by dogperson; 03/01/21 04:44 AM.

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Thetre are several comments on these choices. In my view there is too much of Bach and Czerny. The opus 299 is really for advanced students. And generally Czerny exercices are quite repetitive so a well chosen selection is more than enough.

Then several of these books are partially redundant. The Bach lessons, Anna Magdalena, little preludes overlap. The inventions are intermediate and the sinfonias are something you can consider at a later stage. For a beginner the pieces in AnnaM are quite enough plus maybe a couple of simple preludes after that.

Now, i am not sure what is the time span you are considering here, as to me this selection can cover several years and there is no point planning so far ahead. Plus these books are not meant to be method books. For most of them they are not intended to be played entirely.

The most important is to select pieces from a variety of types. Some exercices like scales, arpeggios, ... some studies like Czerny that focus on specific technical areas, and pieces to be played with a good selection of different composers.

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Yes and a last point, most of the pieces are available on imslp, in particular if you pick only a few. Not that i want to take away any business from Schirmer or Alfred !

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Can't comment on the content of what you selected, but I will add that I bought one Intermediate Beethoven book from Schirmer, and I regret it:
- The print quality is god aweful, it's so bad that sometimes the notes blend into each other and I have to look into another source to find out what the note is
- The page layout is also bad, really cramped with very little space to give your eyes room to orient
- The content is HEAVILY edited, I mean sure if you are interested in the historical interpretations by von Bülow this is interesting, but I'd rather start with what is assumed to be the original

In summary, the little money I would save on Schirmer editions in comparison to quality publishers like Henle or Wiener Urtext are absolutely not worth it. Maybe it's different in the US and Schirmer is a lot cheaper then the others, but the 3-5€ I save per book is not worth looking a that sub par publishing quality every day for practice.

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TBell: Love the book and the YouTube recordings. Will definitely get this within the first 3-4 years of playing.

dogperson: You're right. I got rid of all the Shirmer's stuff. Not really my style anyhow. I'd rather learn by repertoire. But maybe some day, I'll get some. Great advice. Yep, will definitely start on AMN early on.

Sidokar: I agree about the Bach and Czerny. Thanx for letting me know that Op. 299 is for advanced students. Thanx for mentioning imslp.org.

FloRi89: Yes, I've seen others comment on the very low print quality of some of the Schirmer books. Thanx for mentioning that. I'll take your advice and stick with Henle and Wiener Urtext.

So, I've taken valuable advice from each of you who were kind enough to help me decide and for your wisdom. I've narrowed down my list so that I don't get frustrated or in over my head. Here is a revised list that thanx to you all, is much more to my liking. It's in the order I intend to purchase and I've added a couple of my own ideas:

Music Theory For Dummies
Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course Book 1
Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course Book 2
Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course Book 3
Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook (Vitta Publications)
Hal Leonard Jazz Piano Method Book 1
Hal Leonard Jazz Piano Method Book 2
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Composition
The Festival Collection - 8 levels of great repertoire (FJH - Helen Marlais)
Easy Classics to Moderns Vol 17

I'm thinking this list of books will last me for about 5 years. I'll probably toss in books from other genres such as Rock, Ragtime, World music, Romantic, Fusion. Classical is the best backbone and Jazz is a good expansion for more complex chords and a free-form and very different mindset.

What are your thoughts?


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I certainly wouldn't summarily dismiss Schirmer on the basis of one volume's print quality. Schirmer has been in the music publishing business for decades, and over those decades their sources and their quality have changed with the times, with the editors' choices and with printing advances.

Schirmer's Bischoff edition of the Bach Two- and Three-Part Inventions has small print with as many as seven systems per page and is rather cramped although readable.

Schirmer's two-volume (New! - that's their word) "Centennial Edition" of the Haydn Sonatas is nicely printed, it is bound in such a way that it lies flat on the music stand, and it even incorporates blank pages to help avoid awkward page turns. It may not be backed by the same research nor include the commentary of the Henle edition, for example, but for someone who wants to play only a few of the Sonatas or who wants the score for reading / listening purposes, the Schirmer is more than acceptable; it is serviceable to all but the most discriminating piano student. Moreover each volume is around $15.00 while the Henle are $65.00 and $50.00 respectively.

This is one area where we might seriously regret the absence of music stores where we can browse through and assess the quality of music publications.

Regards,


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In my local store, according to their online page:
- Schirmer Haydn Sonatas per book: 24,99€ so roughly 50€ for both
- Henle Haydn Sonatas per book 31,50€ so 63€ for both

As I said, it might depend if you live in the US or not, but for me Schirmer is actually quite expensive for how bad the quality is. And if I learn a piece, I look at the score each day for possibly months. A few € extra so that I look at perfect print is fine for me.

Might be that their newer editions are better, but the Beethoven book was published last year and they didn't care to make it look better, they just took their old low quality stuff and printed it again. That was really dissapointing to me, it felt like a "how can we make quick buck" type of thing.

I'm not buying anything from them again and if you can't go to a local store I would advice to order from somewhere were you can send it back if it's bad.

Edit: In my local store "Edition Peters" is 18,90 per book for the Haydn Sonatas and the one book I have from them is acutally quite nice. So considering other publishers certainly can't hurt.

Edit 2: Aha, but they split it into 4 parts, sp 75€ in total laugh. You certainly have to look twice...

Last edited by FloRi89; 03/01/21 12:30 PM.
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The Henle editions of Haydn has 3 volumes so roughly 100 euros vs the 50 euros for Schirmer in 2 volumes. The Wiener has 4 volumes so about 120 euros.

The general quality is lower than Henle and Wiener, but there are plenty of prints that are not available with Henle nor Wiener. Usually those are reprints from previous editions similar to Kalmus. The quality is very variable from not very good to good, but there are plenty of scores that are quite acceptable. Price wise it varies also. If one wants a modern latest edition, then Henle , Wiener, Barenreiter are top notch quality, but there are good opportunities also with Schirmer. One has to be selective.

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The Henle editions of Haydn has 3 volumes so roughly 100 euros vs the 50 euros for Schirmer in 2 volumes. The Wiener has 4 volumes so about 120 euros.

The general quality is lower than Henle and Wiener, but there are plenty of prints that are not available with Henle nor Wiener. Usually those are reprints from previous editions similar to Kalmus. The quality is very variable from not very good to good, but there are plenty of scores that are quite acceptable. Price wise it varies also. If one wants a modern latest edition, then Henle , Wiener, Barenreiter are top notch quality, but there are good opportunities also with Schirmer. One has to be selective.

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Thanx for the additional comments on print quality and price comparisons.

What do you think of my revised lineup?

What do you recommend for other genres that I listed near the bottom of my revised list post?

Thanx


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1970's: Took piano lessons. 2021: This old man is giving it a 2nd go.
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Masterwork Classics has an excellent series, I highly recommend it.


Lisa

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Thanx Ebonyk. I listened to levels 1-5 on YouTube. I like it from level 3 and up. I'll be sure to get it once I start Alfred's Adult All-in-one Book 3 or perhaps when I am close to finishing it.


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Originally Posted by Erik Beginner
It's a multiple year plan.

Hi Erik,

Have you thought about that you might change during this time? When learning new music, you might learn to like it, or not. When I started out, I wanted to learn Beethoven's Moonlight sonata. Now that piece is the last one on my list. My method book has a couple of Russian folk songs. The first one, I didn't like very much, but slowly I started to appreciate them, and now I would like to learn lots of Russian folk songs. smile


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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Erik Beginner
It's a multiple year plan.

Hi Erik,

Have you thought about that you might change during this time? When learning new music, you might learn to like it, or not. When I started out, I wanted to learn Beethoven's Moonlight sonata. Now that piece is the last one on my list. My method book has a couple of Russian folk songs. The first one, I didn't like very much, but slowly I started to appreciate them, and now I would like to learn lots of Russian folk songs. smile


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Hi Erik,

I would not bother thinking about so many advanced goal books. I am constantly "refining" my learning goals in a lot of areas so future book goals change frequently. So I don't have a lot of material well above my level in any field.

Having a nearby music store to browse thousands of books from time to time at (and somewhat above) your level is invaluable and a lot of fun.

Groth music is close to Minneapolis and seems to have a ton of piano books to look through; you can take a "virtual tour" of the shop here.

https://www.grothmusic.com/t-virtualtour.aspx

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It's okay to have some goals, but don't overdo it: leave some room for experience-based changes of mind.

As dogperson said, don't rush through the method books. A lot could change between now and then in terms of your taste, interests, and level of playing. Definitely don't go out and buy all those books right now, unless you have spare change lying around and are prepared to have books on your shelf that you never open. Not that I ever would have done that. Ahem. smile


A word about learning theory. I found Music Theory for Dummies worse than useless. A better choice, in my experience, would be an academic theory book such as the Benward and Saker Music in Theory and Practice books, but they are not to everyone's tastes and are expensive. Online resources such as Musictheory.net and Teoria may suit your needs.


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Animisha - Good advice on changing taste. I've been expanding my taste for decades now and will continue to do so.

DogPerson - Yep, I will continue to keep my options wide open. I discover new music all the time and love doing so.

NewerPlayer - I to plan ahead but also refine goals as needed. I've always heard about Groth, but never stopped by there. Thanx a ton for the virtual tour link. I will go to the store (and even drag my wife with). What a candy store. So many different types of instruments. Love the printed music section from the virtual tour. I will be spending some time looking at books for sure.

Stubbie - I won't buy too many books at once. Just ordered 3. The first method book, a theory book, and Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook (won't tackle that one until I get a short ways into the 3rd method book). Interesting theory book you've recommended, thanx.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Casio PX-870
Working on Alfred's Adult AIO Book 2
1970's: Took piano lessons. 2021: This old man is giving it a 2nd go.
Posture, Technique, Dynamics, Articulation, Metronome, and Practice Daily
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