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#2300887 - 07/10/14 08:03 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
TX-Bluebonnet Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 105
Loc: Central Texas
Barry, it looks like you're just about ready to start on "Blow the Man Down." From what I've been reading, it's a tough one for most people, but doable of course.

I'm still working through the saints marching on songs. I think it'll be a couple more days before I'll be able to play through both versions back to back. I'm thinking I might maybe try to record an audio file of it once I get to that point, assuming I can figure out how.
_________________________
Linda

Started my piano journey June 2014 at age 54.
My digital piano: Casio Privia PX-850.
Working on "Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course" Book 1

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#2300981 - 07/11/14 05:18 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
EnGee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Auckland, NZ
I'm still in Jingle Bells :-) In "Harmonic 4ths & 5ths". I don't know which page is that because in Kindle it doesn't show pages! Only progressing and 'strange' location (180 of 556). It is the first time that I'm using both hands in playing something and this is a big challenge for me. It is almost done good (that is, Jingle Bells), but still not 100% correct (I feel). It is not easy to be self-critical but when I can reach playing the piece comfortably with relaxed (almost) hands/fingers, I know I did it. I think I need about 5 years to reach my goal in learning the Piano (intermediate level), but it is just a guess!

I don't have a teacher and I don't have Piano :-O but I hope next month I can get a digital piano. About the teacher, hmmmmmm, I don't know really. I wish I could have a 'good' teacher, but I think a good teacher is not easy to find and costs a lot.

So, for my learning with Alfred's book level 1, I use a notation software and my Midi keyboard (synth action feel) to enter the notes. It is a nice way of practising as well.

My plan is to get a digital piano first, then finish level 1 of Alfred's books then start Level 2 and then 3 later. I have also a software tutorial as well and I'm going through level 1 (there is level 2 later) and of course PianoWorld Forum is a great place to learn/read advices from other users/teachers :-)

Good luck to all and have fun learning :-)

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#2301142 - 07/11/14 01:58 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
JayG42 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 2
Hi guys!

Glad to see that there are others in the same boat as I am. I'm 37 and I started with my first lesson in early June. I'm using the Alfred's book and I'm on page 62. I try to practice for an hour a day (sometimes that is impossible) and when I do I go through the last 20 or so pages in the book, playing through the songs and exercises. I also go through some scales and other exercises that my teacher showed me.

Anyway, just wanted to say hi! Also, I'm wondering what the other competing beginner books are...I started Alfred's because that is what my teacher has, but maybe there are others? Better ones?

Good luck guys and keep practicing!

Jay

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#2301185 - 07/11/14 03:57 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2413
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Welcome Jay!

Just do what your teacher says.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2301216 - 07/11/14 05:29 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: JayG42]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1392
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: JayG42


Anyway, just wanted to say hi! Also, I'm wondering what the other competing beginner books are...I started Alfred's because that is what my teacher has, but maybe there are others? Better ones?

Jay


Teachers I think are generally happy to work from several books as long as the student is learning. There is no one method and no one method book. If you like classical music this link to Fundamental Keys has gotten a lot of good mentions of late but I have never used it.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXIV-5-XXX

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#2301275 - 07/11/14 07:51 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
AndrewJCW Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 25
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
Hello people!

I bought a keyboard and some learning books (including Alfred's) at the start of the year but only lasted around 3 or 4 weeks before seemingly running out of time and energy. However this last week or so I'm getting excited about music again.

I have played guitar at what I would describe an advanced beginner level for a number of years, as well as drums and bass. I would love to learn to play the piano too, so my time is split between the two. My short term goal for piano is to finish Alfred's book one.

I am also documenting the process on a youtube channel, I have found there is a world of difference between thinking I can play something, and being able to play it cleanly to a metronome with a camera on record! I find this process helps me focus on each piece properly and helps combat my natural desire to rush through the learning as quickly as possible.

Anyway nice to meet you all and see you around.

The last song I have properly played is Beautiful Brown Eyes, here it is on my youtube channel if anyone is interested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK7P5dj_CDs
_________________________
Beginner working through Alfred's Book One My youtube channel

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#2301288 - 07/11/14 08:24 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
TX-Bluebonnet Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 105
Loc: Central Texas
EnGee: Hello and welcome! Since I'm not very far along in the book, I still do Jingle Bells every day as part of my review/practice routine. It was also the first time for me to use both hands, and it did not come easily to me.

I can't imagine doing Alfred's from the kindle. Actually, I didn't even know that was an option. How do you do the worksheet sections?

Do you already have a DP picked out? I just upgraded from a Yamaha 76 key DP to a Casio 88 key DP, and wow what a difference. So different, that I'm actually back-tracking and running through everything from the beginning to help me get used to the action of the keys. I strongly recommend that you try to get something as soon as possible. And good luck to you too!

JayG42: Hi Jay! Which book are you using? That's some nice progress. If it's the AIO book then you're about half way through already. Did you just recently start using the damper pedal? If so, how did that go? It's great that you started out with a teacher. Hopefully that's working out well for you.

As for your question about other methods, you may want to start a new thread about it in the Adult Beginner's Forum.

AndrewAJC: Hi there Andrew. I checked out your video, and I think you did a great job. BTW, I like the black sleeves on black. Gave it that disembodied hands looks, sort of like Thing in the Addams Family smile. Maybe if you keep coming back here it'll help keep you motivated. Hint, hint!!


Edited by TX-Bluebonnet (07/11/14 08:31 PM)
_________________________
Linda

Started my piano journey June 2014 at age 54.
My digital piano: Casio Privia PX-850.
Working on "Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course" Book 1

Top
#2301387 - 07/12/14 03:57 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: TX-Bluebonnet]
AndrewJCW Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 25
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
Originally Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet
Maybe if you keep coming back here it'll help keep you motivated. Hint, hint!!


That's certainly the idea! This thread is quite inspiring in itself. It feels like I'm in a distance education class with people from all over the world. smile
_________________________
Beginner working through Alfred's Book One My youtube channel

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#2301393 - 07/12/14 04:46 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
EnGee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Auckland, NZ
Thank you TX-Bluebonnet :-)

It is the third day with Jingle Bells and still couldn't feel comfortable playing it! I believe everything is little bit hard when 'new' but repeating it and practicing more make it easier. I'm not in a rush, I want to take my time (slow indeed!).

How much time do you spend daily? I'm spending one hour (Half an hour with e-media piano tutorial and half an hour with Alfred's book). I think one hour daily is enough for our levels, maybe we can increase it later to two hours with level 2 of the book.

Well, I chose the kindle version because mainly I use the computer for learning so it is easier for me to use Kindle in one half of the screen (27" with 1920x1080 resolution) and the other half is the notation program. My workflow in learning Alfred's book is to have a pen and papers (with musical staff printed) for exercises and the notation program to enter the notes of the exercise. I try to figure out first how it sounds before playing it then playing it in the notation program to hear it, and then start making my noise :-)

Yes, you are right. I need a DP as soon as possible, so that I'm trying to progress very slow because mostly I would repeat everything when purchasing a new DP.

I think you made a good choice by choosing Casio Previa (is it PX 850? I think I read in another thread, maybe). Well, I just spent my saving for the past months on a new desktop computer parts, so I need to save again for a digital piano. I was almost sure to have Kawai ES100 (I love the Kawai brand! I had a nice memory with their keyboards in the 90's!) Anyway, because PX 150 is cheaper with nice keys, I think I will choose Casio PX 150. I need it also as a Midi Controller (just the keys because I have another midi controller with knobs/sliders) to practice/play with software tutorial and other music applications. But I also considering PX 750 (the same price as Kawai ES100) and might put it the other side of the room and plug it to my laptop (you see? I can't do without computers :-O). I still need to go to the shop and play little with them but mostly it is between Casio PX 150 (or PX 750) and Kawai ES100. Casio/Kawai have reasonable prices here while Yamaha DPs are way overpriced and Roland is always expensive.

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#2301439 - 07/12/14 08:48 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
AndrewJCW Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 25
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
Think I just hit my first real hurdle on page 89 with 'Blow the Man Down'. The constant bass line with melody on top is a bit much for my brain at this stage. Think I've had enough for today but I should get time tomorrow to tackle it. The good news is I actually like the song so it shouldn't be too much of a grind.

I don't think I can contribute much to a discussion on gear. I do know my keyboard is a Yamaha p105. I don't have much to compare it to but I feel that it's more than adequate for my needs at this stage.


Edited by AndrewAJC (07/12/14 08:52 AM)
_________________________
Beginner working through Alfred's Book One My youtube channel

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#2301582 - 07/12/14 04:58 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
TX-Bluebonnet Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 105
Loc: Central Texas
EnGee: It took me quite a while to get my hands coordinated on "Jingle Bells." The trickiest parts for me were the 2 'one-horse o-pen sleigh' sections. I ended up ignoring the rest of the song and played just those trouble spots in slo-mo until I finally got it well enough to add back into the song.

If you haven't already, I suggest adding the next page into your practice routine, which includes "Measuring Harmonic 4ths & 5ths" and "Dueling Harmonics." It's good review stuff and will help relieve the monotony of playing JB over and over again, in July no less. crazy

I don't know anything about MIDI controllers. Is it for recording? I was just doing some research on how to connect my DP to my computer so I wouldn't have to record to the USB stick first. I think I have it figured out, but I need to buy a cable first in order to try it. Once the two are connected I'll use the Audacity program to do the recording. Or so I hope.

Andrew: Yeah, "Blow the Man Down" does seem to have popped up now and again during the history of this thread, and not in a good way. laugh What approach are you using? Hands separate before HT? That is good news that you like the song. I can't imagine struggling for days/weeks with a song I didn't like. I also like that song. I've seen quite a few videos of people playing it, and I prefer the versions where it's not being played quite so fast as a lot of them are. Keep us updated on how it's going.
_________________________
Linda

Started my piano journey June 2014 at age 54.
My digital piano: Casio Privia PX-850.
Working on "Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course" Book 1

Top
#2301584 - 07/12/14 04:59 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
TX-Bluebonnet Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 105
Loc: Central Texas
Oh, and a progress update: I now have both versions of "When the Saints go Marching in" completed to my satisfaction. cool Until I try to record it, that is. mad I might try again later to get a decent recording of it, but until then I am going to move forward to the G position.

(ETA for EnGee) I don't really keep track of my practice time and sometimes it's in bits and pieces, but I'll guesstimate about an hour a day during weekdays and probably around 4-5 hours during a weekend.


Edited by TX-Bluebonnet (07/12/14 05:06 PM)
_________________________
Linda

Started my piano journey June 2014 at age 54.
My digital piano: Casio Privia PX-850.
Working on "Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course" Book 1

Top
#2301635 - 07/12/14 07:56 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
fizikisto Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Hernando, MS
Linda,
Congratulations on your progress! Despite having some setbacks, you're continuing to move forward and you seem to be having fun along the way. Way to go! smile

Warm Regards
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Yamaha P-250

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#2301671 - 07/12/14 10:30 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
EnGee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Auckland, NZ
Thanks TX-Bluebonnet. I will see the next page tonight. I have the same difficulty in the same place as you are, but today I'm going to finish Jingle Bells because I'm about 80% there to play it in a good way.

About the MIDI and how to connect your Midi instrument to your computer, you can read section E-35 in your Casio's manual for precise steps on how to connect it. It is in general like connecting your printer (Using the same cable as in a USB printer, so if you have a USB printer, you can use the cable and test your Casio). The Midi in short is a protocol to transmit instructions data (not audio) between the devices/applications that implement Midi. There are two popular ways, the Midi in/thru/out cables and ports, and the Midi over USB.

In relation to Midi, I find the Notation software is very useful for learning and also for recording Midi data sent from my Midi Controller (which is a device/keyboard with or without knobs/modulation wheel/pads ..etc to send Midi instructions usually to Software or another Midi devices, for example I use my Keyboard, Oxygen 49, to record Midi in my notation program or to play/control a software synthesizer). Anyway, I don't want to complicate the things for you. What I suggest is to look at Finale Notepad. It is a free notation program (the catch is they want you to get used to it and then buy a higher edition of Finale, which is a good policy). Finale Notepad can receive/send Midi from your DP after you choose your Midi device in the preferences of the program. What the advantages? Well, the advantages are many, some of them are; easy editing, seeing exactly how the notes are played, and you can record your notes either by playing your DP or entering them by hand (by mouse!).

The other free nice notation program is MuseScore. It is a free open source software, and without limitations (while Finale Notepad is limited to 8 staffs). I still prefer Final Notepad of the two because it is for me easier/nicer to use, although I'm using Notion 4 now which is a commercial software which I like a lot. Choose whatever you feel more comfortable with.

Happy Midi(ing) :-)

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#2301725 - 07/13/14 01:44 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
AndrewJCW Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 25
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
I got Blow the Man Down okish and the next couple as well, although things will definitely be slower from here for me. I actually found a Alfred's Lesson Book Level 1 which has a lot of the pieces from the All in One book as well as many others, so I went through a lot of them today. I am now up to Lullaby which I seem to be able to play ok until I turn the recorder on, but should get it down soon enough as well.

_________________________
Beginner working through Alfred's Book One My youtube channel

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#2301747 - 07/13/14 03:13 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1392
Loc: Australia
Very nice playing AndrewAJC but I had to smirk, you have the heater close enough to roast you....just like me. Australian winter's are fairly mild (unless you live in certain areas) but even on the east coast where I live it still feels quite chilly.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXIV-5-XXX

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#2301751 - 07/13/14 03:56 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
AndrewJCW Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 25
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
Yeah my town is pretty bad for aus. Range today was -2 to 11. Also that heater's a piece of crap, it looks a lot hotter than it is.


Edited by AndrewAJC (07/13/14 09:14 AM)
_________________________
Beginner working through Alfred's Book One My youtube channel

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#2301825 - 07/13/14 11:19 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: AndrewJCW]
BrianDX Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 371
Loc: Lewes DE
My how which hemisphere you live in matters shocked

35c today with 90% humidity on the east coast here...
_________________________
2013 Yamaha C2X "Utsukushi kuro no piano"

Current Goal: "Teach my fingers to play what I feel"
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"

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#2301846 - 07/13/14 12:49 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
TX-Bluebonnet Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 105
Loc: Central Texas
Andrew: You sure got over that BTMD hurdle very quickly. Very well done, congrats. As for that heater tiki, I'm embarrassed to say I thought it was a light of some sort. It didn't occur to me that it's cooler in other parts of the world right now. blush Today's weather forecast for my location is 102deg (39C) and for tomorrow 104deg (40C).
_________________________
Linda

Started my piano journey June 2014 at age 54.
My digital piano: Casio Privia PX-850.
Working on "Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course" Book 1

Top
#2301849 - 07/13/14 12:55 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
TX-Bluebonnet Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 105
Loc: Central Texas
EnGee: How's "Jingle Bells" coming along? I got my DP connected to my computer via the MIDI, so all set with that, thank you. I'm not sure if I want to do the notation software stuff, but if I do and I run into any problems, I'll send you a PM.
_________________________
Linda

Started my piano journey June 2014 at age 54.
My digital piano: Casio Privia PX-850.
Working on "Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course" Book 1

Top
#2301959 - 07/13/14 07:28 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: TX-Bluebonnet]
AndrewJCW Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 25
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
Originally Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet
Today's weather forecast for my location is 102deg (39C) and for tomorrow 104deg (40C).


Wow. Even as someone who prefers hot weather I would take a 5C day over a 40C day any day of the week! As a kid I used to live in a place that could (but would rarely) hit those temps and it gets old real quick.

I am still struggling with lullaby, I can play it at a very slow tempo though which is a good sign. I feel if I can play something even at a very slow tempo I can sit down to practice for 10 mins and it feels productive compared to making endless errors.

I also picked up some music from church last night! Church music is on lead sheets similar to Jazz, but the songs are usually very simple chord progressions and simple clear melodies. Great fun for a beginner pianist. Here's one I recorded before https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddnttg-9334 I might try to get some more like this passable enough to record as well. I think the chord style learning is a good way to break up the frustration of notation based learning, you feel like more of a musician anyway. For me though playing a song out of the middle of the Alfred's book is much harder than bashing along chords to a church song.


Edited by AndrewAJC (07/13/14 07:52 PM)
_________________________
Beginner working through Alfred's Book One My youtube channel

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#2301979 - 07/13/14 08:32 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
EnGee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Auckland, NZ
TX-Bluebonnet: Glad you sort it out and you are welcome to PM me if you have any question.

Well, I didn't do well yesterday with Jingle Bells! I don't know, I need a DP. Training with synth action is not the way to go.

AndrewAJC: Nice/warm video ;-) Is the pause at 18th second intentional? Another question, how do you know what is the tempo? In the book they don't mention the tempo (or is it only in the beginning of the book?).

I'm currently training Jingle Bells at 140 bpm (is it 'Alegro' maybe).

After all it is a great experience (Learning Piano with Alfred's books). I love it. I should have done that years ago! It opens for me so many things and I'm only in the beginning! I like this book a lot, I feel it very good thought of.

I'm thinking of buying Kawai ES100 because it says it has built in Alfred's books lessons, although it is not the All in one series. I think it has Level 1A and 1B. Let's see what my final decision will be when I go to the shop next month :-)

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#2301989 - 07/13/14 09:04 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: EnGee]
AndrewJCW Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 25
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
Originally Posted By: EnGee

AndrewAJC: Nice/warm video ;-) Is the pause at 18th second intentional? Another question, how do you know what is the tempo? In the book they don't mention the tempo (or is it only in the beginning of the book?).

I'm currently training Jingle Bells at 140 bpm (is it 'Alegro' maybe).

After all it is a great experience (Learning Piano with Alfred's books). I love it. I should have done that years ago! It opens for me so many things and I'm only in the beginning! I like this book a lot, I feel it very good thought of.


The pause is intentional! It is a 'fermata' sign. It is described on page 76 in my book as a pause on a note, whereby you roughly double the time value of the note.

Not saying I did it perfectly, but that's what I was going for at least.

The tempo for BTMD is given as Moderately Fast. I think all the tempos are pretty vague, really just play it as it sounds good to you I think, at least that's what I'm doing. I guess you could listen to the CD if you have it hah, mine's sill safely in the pocket at the back of book. I just youtube a few examples if I'm curious to how the song is meant to sound.
_________________________
Beginner working through Alfred's Book One My youtube channel

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#2302058 - 07/14/14 01:49 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
TX-Bluebonnet Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 105
Loc: Central Texas
Andrew: I was looking at your YouTube channel. Wow, you're really flying through the songs! shocked

I liked the way you played "Harp Song." It sounded really nice. But unless I'm misunderstanding, there are actually two suggested variations. The first one is to play the 3rd and 4th measures one octave higher (but don't move the 1st and 2nd measure), so it's played across 3 octaves, not 4. Same thing for the second variation, just the other way. Looks like you combined the two together and made a third variation. whome

For some reason I'm not able to get the church song to play. I'll try again later.

EnGee: Don't be too hard on yourself. You're trying to get your hands to do something your brain isn't used to. Just give it some more time and I'm sure you'll get it worked out. If I remember correctly, it took me more than a few days to get it. And are you really trying to learn it at 140 bpm? Can you do it HT at a slower speed?

I wouldn't make a DP buying decision based on having Alfred's lessons built in. Just get the best one you can afford.

I've noticed the Alfred's Books song tempos are all over the place on YouTube. I know I play some of the songs slower than most people. For example, "When the Saints go Marching in." I mean, they're marching along, not running. laugh Here's a tempo article on Wiki.

Me: Today I worked on "Harp Song" and the 2 pages after it, so up through page 63. I'm going to stop here for a bit (maybe a week or so) in order to review and practice everything I've been learning up to this point. Plus I have some other songs I'm working on:

"You are my Sunshine" from Alfred's Pop Song Piano Book.
"The Yellow Rose of Texas" from Alfred's Country Piano Book.
"Minuet" from 42 Famous Classics Arranged for Easy Piano.

I hope everybody is having fun. I know I am. smile
_________________________
Linda

Started my piano journey June 2014 at age 54.
My digital piano: Casio Privia PX-850.
Working on "Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course" Book 1

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#2302071 - 07/14/14 02:49 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: TX-Bluebonnet]
AndrewJCW Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 25
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
Originally Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet
Looks like you combined the two together and made a third variation. whome


blush whoops! Oh well it can be my first original composition! I tried to read the fine print a couple of times and it was too confusing for me.

I was able to get through the book fairly quickly to this point but I'm not really a total beginner. I have been playing drums and guitar in church for 10 years now! Probably about only once or twice a month but still pretty regular, although really I play those instruments at a very basic level it is usually enough for church.

I had the basics of reading treble clef (as long as it stays in the lines!) and I know how chords work fairly well from guitar. I have even played keyboard at church once or twice (with a band) just slowly playing 4 easy chords or something like that.

I've certainly stopped breezing through the book now though, the last few songs have taken a lot of effort but it is nice to enjoy the process of not being able to do something to be able to do it as well.

I'm tempting to put in another order to amazon for some more books soon. Is the famous classics one good? I think I will try to pick up a beginners Classical book and maybe a Jazz or Blues beginner level book as well (and of course Alfred's Book 2!)
_________________________
Beginner working through Alfred's Book One My youtube channel

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#2302079 - 07/14/14 03:43 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
TX-Bluebonnet Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 105
Loc: Central Texas
Yeah, I agree, they could have made those instructions a little clearer.

I tried teaching myself guitar once, 10-12 years ago, but didn't even last a week. As for learning to play piano, right now I need to slow myself down to make sure I'm getting all the dynamics of each song, and to work on my sight reading and forming chords more smoothly. Lucky for me I rather like all the songs so far, so I don't mind doing them repeatedly.

I bought 2 books of easy classics: Big Book of Beginner's Piano Classics and 42 Famous Classics Arranged for Easy Piano. I don't know enough about them to recommend them or not, though they both have good reviews on Amazon and I think I'll make good use of them. But if you're interested in easy classical pieces in their original form (instead of arrangements) then maybe someone else can help you find some, since I don't know where they are.
_________________________
Linda

Started my piano journey June 2014 at age 54.
My digital piano: Casio Privia PX-850.
Working on "Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course" Book 1

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#2302099 - 07/14/14 05:49 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
EnGee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Auckland, NZ
AndrewAJC: Yes you are right about the pause (fermata sign, I don't know it yet). I found it after searching a lot in the book (they really should numbered the pages in the kindle version the same as the paperback version).
You are quite ahead Andrew. Have you finished the book? Or almost?
Will you buy additional book beside Alfred's level 2?

I bought the kindle version of the three levels of Alfred's books. They are great books when I was looking fast at the pages. Actually, I bought two books before that: "Understanding Basic Music Theory" and "The Complete Book of Scales & Chords". You might find the second book in your level (the notation is still hard for me now).

TX-Bluebonnet: I took your advice tonight and I'm slowing down. I'm almost there with Jingle Bells, but I want to be without mistakes every time I play it.
In the other tutorial, I did "When the Saints Go Marching in" (only melody without chords), and the teacher said in a video that there is two versions a slow one and a fast one (I think the slow one is the original one). I did it moderate (110 bpm).

I also self taught myself playing a Classic Guitar a long time ago. I did it for one year then for some 'life' reasons I couldn't continue. I had a great book at that time (forgot its name now!) but most of the pieces were in a Spanish style. I loved it. I chose the piano for now. I don't think I can play the classic guitar at the same time because I need to grow my right hand's nails again which won't do for the piano!

It is a great idea to review from time to time. I will do the same maybe after two weeks.

A question for all, do you memorize the pieces you play? Do you think we should memorize it and play it by heart?
For me I have a weak memory (if not very weak!), so memorizing is really tough for me, but if I play the piece, say, for 30 or more times, I might be able to play it without looking at the staff! :-O

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#2302106 - 07/14/14 06:33 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1392
Loc: Australia
The best classical books for the early beginner I have found are "The Joy of First Classics" Books 1 & 2 edited by Denes Agay. Both volumes are the same level with around 80 original miniatures works per book. For me they have a secondary use
as sight reading material at a level suitable for me.

Another series of books I use is Keith Snell's "Essential Repertoire of the 17th 18th & 19th Centuries". I can't speak for the early grades of this series as I began on book three. But I like the choice of works they have included, so much so that it is the basis from which I have chosen a lot of the pieces I have learned. These books come with a CD as well and are very reasonably priced in my opinion.

Beginners keen to learn classical work will often be advised to learn from "Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach". This I believe to be great advice and you can purchase the notebook(s) in various selections. The Essential Repertoire series also has more than a few pieces from the notebooks.

So if you did not know already, so much of the classical works are free to download and the most popular site would have to be imslp.org. It seems you can find just about anything there and probably all the content of the books I have mentioned as well. Though the quality can be a little poor, lack of fingering etc, and I personally prefer to have a book as someone has selected the works to be compatible with a particular learning level in mind.


Sorry to go off topic, I would not want to tempt you away from Alfred Book 1 which I think is an excellent book. But soon enough everyone starts to ask what is next and what other books are there.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXIV-5-XXX

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#2302122 - 07/14/14 07:48 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: EnGee]
AndrewJCW Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 25
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
Thanks for the advice on books guys, might order next week or something and make a decision then. Will definitely have your recommendations open in tabs on amazon.

Originally Posted By: EnGee
AndrewAJC: Yes you are right about the pause (fermata sign, I don't know it yet). I found it after searching a lot in the book (they really should numbered the pages in the kindle version the same as the paperback version).
You are quite ahead Andrew. Have you finished the book? Or almost?
Will you buy additional book beside Alfred's level 2?


No not really even close. I am at Joy to the World which is about 2/3 of the way through the book by pages. However, I think the songs get more demanding as they go along and the last 5 or so songs will require some serious work to get down so I think I'm safe from running out of material for quite a while yet.

I don't memorize the pieces. Sometimes I do 'accidentally' which I'm sure you've experienced as well. You just play it 10 times in a row and it's really quite a simple piece and then you suddenly realise you don't even need the music anymore.

Learning to efficiently memorise stuff is an important skill but for now I'm trying hard to develop my notation reading skills so I try not to play stuff from memory but make the connection with what I'm seeing.

I think if you really want to nail the performance of a piece it should be memorised even to the point where you don't need to think at all about what to play anymore, in my experience on guitar at least. Then 100% of your focus and concentration can be on phrasing and dynamic expression.

Likewise I think focusing on dynamics and expression too much before you are sufficiently comfortable with just the notes and rhythm of the piece might bog down your learning as well.


Edited by AndrewAJC (07/14/14 07:51 AM)
_________________________
Beginner working through Alfred's Book One My youtube channel

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#2302132 - 07/14/14 08:29 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
fizikisto Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Hernando, MS
If you guys are interested in learning classical pieces, I strongly commend Rachel Jimenz's "Fundamental Keys" Method. It's a beginner's method, but the repertoire is all built from classical music. And with one or two exceptions, the pieces are not simplified versions of songs, they are the original pieces written by well known composers (who wrote them for teaching their own students back in the day - so they are pieces at an appropriate level written by accomplished musicians).

I think fundamental keys would be an excellent companion to Alfred's, as the pieces have a very different character. For example, the pieces in Fundamental keys will really work your hand independence more than the Alfred's method, where as the Alfred's method will get you more grounded in playing different chords. The two together would be a fantastic combination for a beginner to learn from.

Warm Regards,
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Yamaha P-250

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