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#1013431 - 02/19/05 06:43 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Jerry Luke Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 969
Loc: Tillamook, Oregon
 Quote:
Originally posted by Cindysphinx:
We're talking apples and oranges here, so it isn't fair or right for the apples to say the poor misguided oranges are wasting their money and their time.

[/b]
Where do us grapefruits fit in?

(Is grapefruits the proper plural of grapefruit, or is it just grapefruit (like fish)?)
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#1013432 - 02/19/05 07:39 AM Re: Piano Magic website
dgoddard2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/04
Posts: 484
Loc: los angeles
 Quote:
Originally posted by Cindysphinx:
Doug, Doug, Doug,


I have no idea who is the better musician,
Well, yesterday, you were probably the better musician, but by today, I am. Last night, I learned to play "Rach II" using only the toes of my left foot. It was easy.

Doug - Who is thinking of changing his name to "Doug,Doug, Doug" based on his recent experience in this thread. . .
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#1013433 - 02/19/05 08:52 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
Originally posted by Matt G.:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Seaside_Lee:
Music is based on chords...not scales.[/b]
Sorry, but this statement is just so freaking flat-out WRONG that it makes my blood boil. (I'd add more, but there's a limit of eight!)

[/b]
I'll join the battle here, because MattG is 100% right.

I'm a little worried that this is becoming a pretty heavy-duty sales spin with users in and offering "testimonials," rather than just discussing music.

(edited)

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#1013434 - 02/19/05 09:16 AM Re: Piano Magic website
dgoddard2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/04
Posts: 484
Loc: los angeles
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nina:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Matt G.:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Seaside_Lee:
Music is based on chords...not scales.[/b]
Sorry, but this statement is just so freaking flat-out WRONG that it makes my blood boil. (I'd add more, but there's a limit of eight!)

If this is the kind of brain-dead nonsense that Piano Magic is teaching, then the only thing I can say is that while they might turn you into a passable parlor piano playing drone, this kind of crap (pardon my language) will NEVER make you a musician. [/b]
I'll join the battle here, because MattG is 100% right.

I'm a little worried that this is becoming a pretty heavy-duty sales spin with users in and offering "testimonials," rather than just discussing music. [/b]
Sigh. This will be my last post on this subject. Nina, I can't give MattG a 100% on his comment (maybe a 90%) because he does not allow for the great many of us for whom being a "parlor piano playing drone" is exactly what we aspire to. I think the word drone is a bit harsh, though. I expect that I could take lessons for 20 years, and many in this forum would still consider me a drone. I have a great deal of fun with the piano without knowing anywhere near what Matt does. Playing simple chord based music is a good part of how I do that. I enjoy sources that help me do that better or in a more interesting way (to me.)

Doug the Drone
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#1013435 - 02/19/05 09:26 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Doug, Doug, Doug \:\) :

I'll edit my post-- the part that I was commenting on was the fact that music is based on scales, not chords.

As to being a parlor playing drone, I have no problem with it. I've known many a parlor player and I wouldn't classify any of them as drones.

I do think it's a bit of an apples-and-oranges thing. If the pianomagic method works and gives you what you want, great! I truly think that is a good thing.

But it is not the be all and end all of piano playing. I took a look at the website and picked up on these:

people who play traditional music are "performers."
people who play using pianomagic methods are "artists."

Cough, cough, ack, ack. Which would you rather be, a drone, a performer or an artist? ;\)

I'm just not sure how many more testimonials are necessary versus discussion on the methods, questions, etc.

Nina the Performer

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#1013436 - 02/19/05 09:33 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Matt G. Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 3789
Loc: Plainfield, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Seaside_Lee:
hi Matt G

please explain your definition of musician?

Lee \:\) [/b]
The difference between a player and a musician is rather analogous to the difference between a driver and a mechanic. One can drive a car perfectly well without having a clue as to what's going on under the hood. Similarly, one can play the piano just fine without understanding what is going on behind the scenes (with the music, not the piano).

There is far, FAR more to music than playing the piano for enjoyment. Likewise there is far, far more to being a musician than being a piano player. If one wishes to stop at being "just" a piano player for a pastime, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that goal. However, if this is as far as one progresses with one's musical education, one is in no position whatsoever to comment upon the knowledge of those who have actively pursued the depths of the study of music.

Let me also counter a few of the "points" you offered earlier. Stating that music is based on chords shows a profound and complete lack of any knowledge of the history of music. Music has always been a HORIZONTAL, TEMPORAL structure, not a stack of tones. Music started with singing. One cannot sing a chord.

Second, the analogy of learning music the way one learned to speak is flawed. To begin with, anyone familiar with child development learns that the brains of infants are specifically adapted to the learning of language through listening and imitation. This process works very well in the first few years of life, and children can often learn multiple languages that way. But adults do not learn that way, not for languages, nor for music. Listening and repetition, for adults, results in only surface knowledge, with no perception of deeper meaning. Talk to someone who learned a new language simply by listening as an adult and just try to have a meaningful conversation with him. He might be able to express simple desires or statements, but the command of the language just won't be there. Adults are far too attached to symbology to be able to learn with no visual guidance.

The type of instuction being offered by Piano Magic doesn't sound new or revolutionary. In fact, it sounds almost exactly like the kind of piano instruction my grandmother received. She could harmonize and play just about any melody she could plunk out. She was the life of the party. All of the songs sounded suspiciously similar. She could only barely read music. She was a fair piano player, but she wasn't a musician.
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#1013437 - 02/19/05 09:56 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Matt G. Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 3789
Loc: Plainfield, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by dgoddard2:
Sigh. This will be my last post on this subject. Nina, I can't give MattG a 100% on his comment (maybe a 90%) because he does not allow for the great many of us for whom being a "parlor piano playing drone" is exactly what we aspire to. I think the word drone is a bit harsh, though. I expect that I could take lessons for 20 years, and many in this forum would still consider me a drone. I have a great deal of fun with the piano without knowing anywhere near what Matt does. Playing simple chord based music is a good part of how I do that. I enjoy sources that help me do that better or in a more interesting way (to me.)

Doug the Drone [/b]
Doug, I did not mean to be harsh, but realize in retrospect that "drone" is probably not the best term. I suppose I just bristle when things are said about music that I know, through years of academic study, are incorrect.

I see the biggest issue here is that proponents of Piano Magic find it necessary to denigrate the "other" camp's ways in order to lend validity to their method. The problem is that there are lots and lots of bad teachers (likely who had bad teachers themselves) out there teaching all kinds of piano playing. You and others have obviously had bad experiences with "traditional" teachers. Others, I'm sure, have had bad experiences with "pop" teachers.

Learning to play various types of music ISN'T[/b] an us vs. them thing. But the only way to learn the commonalities that bind all types of music together, the things that apply whether you're playing a Beethoven sonata or "Fly Me to the Moon," is to learn the deeper structure of music itself. Failure to do so explains why an outstanding Classical pianist can't play "Happy Birthday" or why someone who can play all the standards in any key can't handle a Bach minuet.

The point is there is so much more to music that's available to you if you're willing to go beyond just playing. Doing so takes time and perseverance, but the end result can be far greater than the sum of its parts.
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#1013438 - 02/19/05 10:11 AM Re: Piano Magic website
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i happened to step in and didn't even realize there were much of disscusions on music here. i agree with MattG, and music has many kinds, and polyphony for one thing doesn't fit in 'chord based' music. so, there, i have much more respect for MattG's knowledge in music.

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#1013439 - 02/19/05 11:13 AM Re: Piano Magic website
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
Matt G. wrote: "Learning to play various types of music ISN'T an us vs. them thing."

Exactly!

Matt also wrote: "The point is there is so much more to music that's available to you if you're willing to go beyond just playing. Doing so takes time and perseverance, but the end result can be far greater than the sum of its parts."

For many of us, it's not a matter of being willing. It does take time, and I, for one, don't have that much of it. If I had it to do over again, I would have stuck with music consistently from third grade; however, I didn't and am trying to play catch-up with almost no time. Therefore, we seek out resources that will give us the most individualized bang for the buck. This bang is different for all of us, and no one should make someone else feel bad because they're searching for the elusive bang in a different manner.

Now, before we turn into the Coffee Room Jr., can we all hold hands and sing Ebony and Ivory and promise not to pick on the various approaches that have been discussed here?
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#1013440 - 02/19/05 11:32 AM Re: Piano Magic website
dgoddard2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/04
Posts: 484
Loc: los angeles
Ooooh! Post number 1000 coming up for MarkB!

D'oh! I wasn't going to post here any more.


Doug
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#1013441 - 02/19/05 02:10 PM Re: Piano Magic website
hmr516 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/08/05
Posts: 36
Loc: Merrick, Ny
Wow. I started this discussion to get some information. It seems like I got a lot more in the way of opinions then information. Maybe I will skip that site, and purchase a few piano lesson DVD's.

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#1013442 - 02/19/05 05:53 PM Re: Piano Magic website
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Matt G

I like the sound of your gran...she'll do for me \:\)

 Quote:

I see the biggest issue here is that proponents of Piano Magic find it necessary to denigrate the "other" camp's ways in order to lend validity to their method.
Could you point out where I have "denigrated" the "other camp"?...the only thing that I have commented on is that I find playing the piano "fun and easy"...the "other camp" from what I read on here...evidently don't? (although some seem to enjoy the struggle...all I can say is ...good for them \:D )

I'll stick with having fun ;\)

 Quote:

posted by Matt G
Originally posted by Seaside_Lee:
Music is based on chords...not scales. [/b] .
Erm...slight correction... originally posted by Seaside_Lee quoting (i.e.cut and pasting) from the pianomagic website...okay?


That sounds like a really good plan "Hmr15" ...you seem to have totally ignored my helpful advice and I notice your next post states how hard you are finding it after 4 days....hmmmm?

Lee

Funny how this thread has become soooo busy...since Doug came back and posted that it kinda aint too weird at pianomagic! and that I actually am a genuine person and not some shrewd marketing tool. Seems to me like some of you were hoping he was going to say that it isn't very good? ;\)

Hey and Doug has only been there a week! ...just wait until he's been a member for 6 months or so and the "pennies" really start dropping and the "light bulbs" are really switching on!!
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#1013443 - 02/19/05 06:16 PM Re: Piano Magic website
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Cindy

I don't think it matters who is right or who is wrong? ...we are both learning to play a piano...you obviously enjoy the hard work (I think?) and I enjoy having fun...horses for courses I suppose?

I came to pianoworld many months ago to join in discussions about keyboards as I want to trade in my second piano/keyboard (a casio PX100) for a stage piano. I stumbled into this forum and answered a question about the David Sprunger course which I also own ( and don't like because I cant sing)

Then HMR15 posted a question about "piano magic "I am a member there...have been a member there for 16 months. In those 16 months I have become truly addicted to playing the piano, so far I find it very easy to play...I'm sorry if that is offensive to other members who prefer to be in some sort of differing levels of hell...but, that is the way it is with me and many, many, many, many others.

I know only too well how hard traditional lessons are ..I started when I was around 8 or 9 and took around 2 or 3 years of lessons. Despite the fact that I was told I was talented I grew to hate them and jacked them in (a decision I have regretted all my adult life \:\( ). I tried again in my mid 20's with piano lessons and lasted 5 weeks and that is where I have remained until 16 months ago.

I have dreamed all my adult life of just sitting down at a piano and playing it like Matt G's gran and being the life and soul of the party!!!

I know what it is like to get applause ( I DJ in my spare time and am a very popular wedding/party DJ in my local area and have bookings week in week out)...I crave applause ....I love it when crowds are screaming for one more...but, I have never had a buzz like the one I got a couple of weeks ago when, I was encouraged/persuaded to play a baby grand that sits in a local restaurant ..and in front of only 60 or so people (which is still quite daunting) I left the stage after playing a couple of songs to rapturous applause and cheering for more!!!

I was born to entertain...I need it... I crave it
and being over 40 years of age and starting over this dream would have never seemed possible...but, now it seems *very* possible and probable! \:\)

I am enjoying myself playing piano more than I have enjoyed anything since being a child...I came on here to give advice to someone who was thinking about learning to play the piano the way I do...and I told them straight...if that offends some on here....you know what?...I don't really care.

IMHO its a great way to learn to play the piano...you either believe me or ya don't?


Lee
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#1013444 - 02/20/05 05:18 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Jasper

I have responded to your email questions within this thread also

 Quote:

via email by Jasper

Hey Lee,

I'm not as proficient as you yet. I am *almost* done learning my first
real
piece, a Minuet in G Major by J.S. Bach (not THE Minuet in G, a
different
one... there are a few). Maybe once I figure out how to record with
this MIDI
stuff I can send a copy and you can listen.

Of the three songs that you sent I'm most familiar with "How Deep is
your Love?"
and it seems to be coming along quite nicely. I really like the way it
sounds
at around 1:10.

Do you use sheet music to play at all? I'm not exactly sure what it
means to
play by ear. I thought when people played by ear it meant like using
fake book
music to get the "bare bones" of a song and then make up the rest. Is
this how
you do it?

Jasper
[/b]
Glad you enjoyed the midis \:D

and... yes Jasper I would love to hear you play once you get your midi thang sorted...okay?

To answer your question...playing by ear means to be able to speak melody with your fingers as easily as you speak words.

It means to be able to play any song that you can sing, whistle or hum.

Yes you can use fake books but, if you only learn how to play using fake books then you will often have to use them as a memory jogger, and you will never truly develop the skills to have the freedom to play without some sort of memory jogger.

The above skills are taught at pianomagic home of the "pianomagically insane" ;\)

does that help?


Lee
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#1013445 - 02/20/05 07:01 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Cindysphinx Offline


Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
Seaside, you asked where you have "denigrated" the other camp (the other camp being people who take traditional lessons).

To be honest, yeah, I think you have done that, although to your credit you have been rather sly and subtle about it. Your opinion seems to be that playing piano is easy, and those who don't find it easy are simply doing it wrong. They are wasting their time (this can be done in months) and money (after all, it should $80). The whole premise of what they are doing in traditional lessons is wrongheaded (music being based on chords and not notes).

I don't believe the reason that people are coming out of the woodwork to take issue with you is because they feel threatened. I think it is that you've implied pretty strongly that what you are doing is easy, cheap and fun, and there's no reason for mastery of the piano to be anything else. It's that latter part -- that there's no reason for piano study to be difficult or expensive -- that is bothersome to me.

Here's an analogy for you. Say I happen to meet up with figure skater Michelle Kwan. She tells me about her expensive skates, her pricey coaches, her hours doing figure 8s on the ice when she was 6, her months working up one routine, her attention to detail where every arm movement is planned with a choreographer.

And then you come along. You tell her skating is easy and fun, and anyone who believes otherwise isn't doing it right. Your coach took you on for $80, so she's wasting her money. And you can skate around the rink 10 times in the time it takes Michelle to do it twice on account of all those prissy spins and jumps she is doing. Who needs prissy moves; just skate already.

She would probably think this shows a fundamental lack of understanding of what it means to "skate."

You haven't been rude at all in this discussion, and I appreciate that and thank you for it. I think you and other PM adherents can and should post here. I do think, however, that if you plan to stand at the side of the rink while folks are practicing their jumps and spins and point out that they all need to see the light . . . well, that would be kind of problematic.

My view of Piano magic is simple. In life, there are people who are looking for shortcuts. They want to lose weight without exercise. They want six-pack abs without doing crunches. They want to learn piano without the effort and expense. There's nothing wrong with it, although they won't wind up in the same place as someone who doesn't take the shortcut. If someone wants to take on the marketing challenge and convinces them to buy the shortcut, fine by me.

But I've yet to see anything that would convince me that the PM approach (or any play by ear training) will leave a person a better (or even equal) pianist than traditional lessons. I know two excellent play-by-ear pianists. They both wish they had a classical background because there are many, many things they can't do. One of these play-by-ear pianists (who is so good he was asked to play at the wedding of the daughter of a Supreme Court Justice) even put his 4 kids in traditional lessons because he knows what is missing from his own playing.

That's my take on PianoMagic. I don't believe in "something for nothing," and that's how PianoMagic is being marketed, based on what I've seen here.
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#1013446 - 02/20/05 09:20 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
I thought I might jump in here with my interpretation of the "music is based on chords vs scales" thing.

I think what the owner of the Pianomagic web site is trying to say is that "popular" music isn't DIRECTLY based on scales but rather on chord progressions over melodies. Of course chord progression are derived from scale degrees, so yes all music is based on scales but for people who aren't ready to delve deeper into understanding music theory YET, the explanation provides just enough information to start the journey.

I also want to point out that there are actually three ways to play a piano (or any instrument for that matter):

1) Classical Solo (no explanation required)
2) Popular Solo (Harmony through chord progressions on the left hand and melody on the right hand)
3) Improvise Accompaniment (back-up another lead "melody" instrument or vocals)

One doesn't need to learn all methods to call themselves a musician but clearly each has its place. Unfortunately, from my experience, classical teachers ignore styles 2 and 3 while chord method books and courses for style 2 or 3 ignore the importance/value of style 1.

Obviously style 3 requiring the least amount of note reading and co-ordination so we can assume it requires the least amount of effort and time to develop (assuming of course that you can sing or have someone else who can play lead). Improvising in this style does requires building a library of two handed patterns but once memorized they can be applied to any chord in a song. Every new pattern improves your improvisational possibilities.

Style 2 requires more effort than 3 but PW forum members seem to feel that you can become more musical with less effort and time than style 1. The student must learn to read chord symbols and treble clef melody lines which many feel is easier than learning to read the grand staff. I think that getting started with this method is initially (let the flames begin.... easier) BUT to become truly masterful requires as much or more effort than style 1. This is because popular music is made up of MANY sub styles (Jazz, Bee Bop, Dance, Techno, Ballad, Country, Cocktail, Blues, Rock, Rap, Gospel, ...). Sure you can relatively quickly learn one sub style, but then all of your music will essentially sound the same. Developing the skills to play more than one sub-style is a huge effort and requires a lifetime of study and practice.

Style 1 which we are all aware of has a VERY steep learning curve. There are a lot of things to learn at once which can be overwhelming for many people. For this price comes a huge reward... The ability to play the best pieces of music ever composed for the instrument and many that just plain stink.... (my point is that you learn the skills necessary to play any piece of music "AS WRITTEN").

I for one have grand ambitions.... I want to play in all three styles. There are many great pieces that are only possible from the original score (who would really want to improvise over a master's composition) so classical training is the only option for these scores (Style 1). As for popular music, and playing by ear, most pop musicians never play their music live the way it was scored for the studio, therefor I don't necessarily want to play it that way either (style 2). Finally when playing Christmas tunes with the family and friends (singing) or backing-up the church choir, you don't play melody so this requires you to know how to provide pure harmony. Just try and play the melody line while others are singing or while you play in a band with another lead instrument... You will not be playing for very long ;-) Learning proper accompaniment techniques is (style 3) and absolutely required if you ever plan to play in a band or with vocalists.

Rodney

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#1013447 - 02/20/05 11:09 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Cindysphinx Offline


Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
Rodney, I think what you're saying makes lots of sense. I only quibble with one point.

Classical music teachers *do* teach you how to accompany, if you want to learn that. At my teacher's last recital, there were a few duets, a flute/piano performance, a classical guitar/piano performance and a violin/piano classical performance. We've also had voice/piano in prior recitals.

I'm currently working on a piece for two pianos. The very reason I am doing this piece is to learn to accompany others (well, and because I like the piece and the solo version is over my head).

My classical teachers teach their students to arrange, to compose, to accompany and to solo. The only thing they tend not to do is teaching improvisation.
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#1013448 - 02/20/05 11:44 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
Thanks Cindy,

I updated my post to reflect that I meant to say "Improvise Accompaniment". When I discussed this issue with my teacher, he explained that playing pure Harmony is generally not taught until the higher grades (RCM) and advanced techniques aren't covered at all. You usually need to study music at the college/university level to get a thorough education in this style.

That reminds me,... I guess I forgot a 4th style...

4) Harmonizing the melody line (taking a single note melody line and converting it to right hand chords with the melody note at the bottom) Actually this is an advanced function of style 2 but I believe it is often taught seperately.


BTW Cindy:

Your teacher sounds like a real gem!!! Finding a teacher who can cover all the basis is a real challenge.


Rodney

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#1013449 - 02/20/05 04:03 PM Re: Piano Magic website
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Cindy


Thanks for such a long and detailed post and for taking the time to post such a great analogy...I get your point...but, you seem to have missed *the* point of this whole thread and you seem to have created problems where they don't exist.

So lets go back to the "ice rink" shall we...

I am skating around the rink having fun...and by the side of the rink I see a young boy hesitant to take his first steps on the ice...

I get off near the boy and he says..."hello I am not sure what to do its my first time?"

I say...hey I learned to skate off that guy over there hes the best skater I have ever seen around here ...he showed me how easy and fun it is to skate why don't you have a chat with him?

then I bump into a mates girlfriend Cindy she skates really good ...much better than me...shes going to go onto the regional skating team...and she buts in with my conversation with the young guy and says "howdy fella trying to learn to skate?"

yes he says I'm thinking of taking Lees advice and speaking to mike that great skater over there

"Don't do that" she says "I've been skating for 5 years I am going to get on the regional skating team I have a great coach...but, its really been tough ...he works me real hard because skating to get into the regional team is really tough...but, I love the hard work...no, I really do honest!"

I say "but, hey that guy over there makes it fun...who knows one day I may reach the regional team too ...I just get better every day"

Cindy says..." nah that guy knows nothing I've heard it all before"

I say "have you spoken to him?...do you know what he is all about?"

she says..."nope but, I've heard all about his sorts...now if you don't mind, I am off for my next lesson...but, don't worry we regional team skaters don't mind at all that your sorts are allowed to skate here...okay?"

I say to the boy..."hey Cindys a great skater but, from what I see she never seems to have a smile on her face \:\( ...I hope to be as good as her one day who knows? but, I am having plenty of fun at the rink!"

-----------------------------------------------


IMHO I feel that is a much fairer reflection of this thread

And I am afraid I am going to have to disagree with you again...

You think that I've been sly?...I think that I've been...H*O*N*E*S*T ! \:\)

Lee \:\)

BTW..thanks for allowing me to post here Cindy ..it is most appreciated \:D
_________________________
Twitter: @Seaside_Lee

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#1013450 - 02/21/05 04:37 PM Re: Piano Magic website
Scott Prell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 101
Loc: Diamond Bar, CA
What a lot of fuss.

I signed up for Piano Magic today. ($130 per year, not $80.) If I don't GROW, I won't GO! (Uh-oh . . . starting to spout Piano Magic-like rhymes already!) So come drink the Kool-Aid with the rest of us.

Thanks, Doug, for posting your newbie experience. That was the clincher for me!

(P.S.: Very impressed with Michael's [Piano Magic's] candidness. Over the phone, I had mentioned my interest in jazz piano specifically, and HE REFERRED ME TO SCOT RANEY'S WEBSITE AS ONE ALTERNATIVE BEFORE I HAD EVEN PLUNKED DOWN MY MONEY ON HIS!)
_________________________
"Amateurs practice until they get a piece right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."

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#1013451 - 02/22/05 08:32 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
What do ya mean Scott?

After all the hours I've spent talking about it and telling y'all my story


(only kidding)

Welcome to the "dark side"...do try not to become too much "the life and soul of the party" though...eh? ;\)


Lee
_________________________
Twitter: @Seaside_Lee

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#1013452 - 02/22/05 07:55 PM Re: Piano Magic website
Scott Prell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 101
Loc: Diamond Bar, CA
Hey, Seaside: It was Mark's "newbie" status that struck me. I might have perceived you as a biased, brainwashed vet.

Looking forward to seeing you on the "other" forum...
_________________________
"Amateurs practice until they get a piece right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."

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#1013453 - 03/10/05 07:56 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
So how are the PianoMagic newbies doing? Any progress?

Thoughts?

Rodney

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#1013454 - 06/25/06 01:16 PM Re: Piano Magic website
psychopianoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 608
Loc: Oklahoma
Just want to bump this to see how the once newbies are doing. Let us know your progress with piano magic.
_________________________
pianolessonaddicts.com

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#1013455 - 06/25/06 01:16 PM Re: Piano Magic website
psychopianoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 608
Loc: Oklahoma
Just want to bump this to see how the once newbies are doing. Let us know your progress with piano magic.
_________________________
pianolessonaddicts.com

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#1013456 - 06/25/06 05:42 PM Re: Piano Magic website
s54mo827 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 1231
Loc: New York
 Quote:
Originally posted by psychopianoman:
Just want to bump this to see how the once newbies are doing. Let us know your progress with piano magic.
Like all things, like life, PMMO goes in its cycle. Having feasted and satisfied my appetite for knowledge at this time, I now have plently to work with and am no longer going crazy trying to figure it all out (the play by ear method). When I do come to a bump in the road, I step back and reevaluate where I'm going with the song and try to simplify it as best as possible. Of course, if all else fails, I am quickly drawn to the boards to post my request for assistance.

All in all - going quite well.

(Good that you bumped this up, Psy ;\) ).
_________________________
~Sharon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv7-qjprix4

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#1013457 - 06/26/06 07:27 AM Re: Piano Magic website
groovygarden Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/30/06
Posts: 17
Loc: UK
Yes, well bumped.

After a couple of years of lessons, a decade of tinkering and a not inconsiderable amount of PianoWorld lurking(!) am considering signing up for PianoMagic. I'm very hesitent though - £110 is a lot of money (especially considering my digi piano only cost £330!).

Keen to see how the newbies have got on!

Just to check my understanding: Piano Magic teaches you about chord patterns, so you can work out what chords come next in a song and it also teaches you how to break up the chords and add "stuff" to your playing to make it sound good. Right?

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#1013458 - 06/26/06 10:01 AM Re: Piano Magic website
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
Right. The method teaches how to play by ear. Playing by ear in the context of the course means you can play a tune that you can hum all the way through.

To play by ear, you need to know how chords change within a tune and you need to be able to follow a melody up and down the scale. This is what PM teaches.

PM absolutely teaches breaking up the chords and adding spice and decorations to your playing. After all, most popular tunes are only about 30 - 45 seconds long, (or less), and it wouldn't be very interesting at all if we played the same short verse over and over again with the same accompaniment.

However. While PM has a ton of information on how to play, and it's going to take me several years to get through it, I would consider it the basics of playing. I think the value of the course is the theory work that is so simple and makes so much sense that it's scary.
 Quote:
£110 is a lot of money
Yep. I would recommend investing the money only if the following applies:

1. You understand that the primary purpose of PM is to teach playing by ear in general. If you insist on trying to play tunes that are above your level, then you'll be frustrated and quit. Too many people want to run before they can even walk.

2. If your goal is to play a specific artist's songs, or if your goal is to play specific new age tunes, or if your goal is to play classical music, then playing-by-ear is not the best way to get there. If all you want to do is play Billy Joel tunes for example, then you'll get there much faster by learning the sheet music. Most new age artists initially played their own pieces by ear because that's how they wrote it. But it's very difficult to play a new age song that you didn't write by ear and unless you're Mozart, it's virtually impossible to play classical music by ear.

3. You understand that you'll be restricted to C-major for quite some time. The PM philosophy is to learn one key inside and out before moving on to minors and then other keys. Minor key songs change chords differently than majors. As for the other keys, once you've learned C-major and a minor key, then all that knowledge is easily transferred to other keys.

4. Finally, and most importantly, you need to participate in the forums to succeed. If you're not comfortable sending recordings of your playing to the instructor and communicating with the instructor and other students, then you'll very quickly be frustrated and quit.

PM is not a step-by-step method with defined parameters. Only the barest basics are set out that way. If you follow the guidance of the instructor, you WILL learn how to play the songs you love without being restricted to a single sheet music arrangement. You WILL make your own arrangements, on the fly, and with your own special flair!

I don't remember seeing this thread before. I'm glad that psycho bumped it up. But Groovy, if you do a search for Piano Magic or Pianomagic in this forum and the non-classical forum, you'll find more information that you can shake a stick at. Much of it will be from fellow Brit Seaside Lee.

Whatever you decide, have fun!

Bob

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#1013459 - 06/26/06 11:26 AM Re: Piano Magic website
groovygarden Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/30/06
Posts: 17
Loc: UK
Thanks Bob,

What makes a song "easy" in PianoMagic terms? Is it just the number of chord changes, and, I guess, the complexity of the chords? Would "Let it be" by the Beatles be at PM beginner level, for example? I think a simple version of that has about 4 diff major chords.

I read through points 1-4 in your post, and I think they all fit my understanding of PM / what I want to get out of it, and I have read a lot of what you guys have written about PM (thanks for that btw - is really invaluable! You must get sick of answering these questions!). Am convinced PM is a good course, but then I think about my £110! I'm such a skinflint!

One thing though, am not too fussed about playing by ear - right now playing from a fake book would be good enough for me. Perhaps I should just get a "teach yourself" book (I have "How to play the piano despite years of lessons" but not had a chance to use it yet) and try that, then think about PM later

eeek! Can't decide!

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#1013460 - 06/26/06 09:22 PM Re: Piano Magic website
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
 Quote:
What makes a song "easy" in PianoMagic terms?
A song is considered easy when only three chords, I, IV, and V/V7 are required to play it. A songs is super basic easy when the IV and V chords alternate with the I chord.

The difference is that the former can be dolled up later with lots of other chords, but the former not so much. I finally found time to get to the piano and I'm pretty sure that "Let it Be" would be of the not basic easy variety. It *can* be played with just three chords. There is one spot where it goes I-V-IV-I but otherwise, it's fairly basic easy.

Even so, I wouldn't take on that song in the first few months. Most folks are used to hearing the substitute chords and turnaround progressions used by the Beatles and it's better to wait until you learn where and when they can come into the picture before jumping in to the deep end right away.

If you have "...Despite years of Lessons", then you can definitely use that to learn how to play from a fakebook. You would pick up many of the same styles and decorations that PM teaches. The only thing missing out would be the chord theory which is where PM earns its money. IMO

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