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#2316087 - 08/15/14 10:36 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: MandyD]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 934
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: MandyD
Dancer I can't speak for the others but if I waited until I had things at 100% before moving on I'd still be playing the first song in the book lol. I wait until I feel reasonably confident with a song and can play it sort of accurately (or I'm totally sick of it blush ) and then move on to the next one. But when I practice I go back a good 5 or 6 pages from the song I'm working on and play the old songs through once again.

MandyD I do sort of the same thing. Even after I've passed a piece, I tend to keep playing a few pieces backwards, just to really try to nail down the skill that is being taught.

In some cases, if I really like the piece I will keep for quite a while.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2316097 - 08/15/14 11:13 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: 274
Loc: Central Texas
Today I went over the material about measuring and writing 7th & Octavies. Then I started in on learning "Cafe Vienna." Just working on the right hand to begin with, trying to make it sound waltzy.

Mandy: I'm sure you noticed the poor sound quality of my recorded piece. So, like you, I need to get that Audacity thing figured out.

EnGee: I'm doing great, thanks. As for learning the piano and piano forums, I think I have that very same addiction. smile

Brian: Are you saying you play some pieces from the end to the beginning?!? I can't even imagine doing that.
_________________________
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
XXXV

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#2316098 - 08/15/14 11:28 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
AndrewJCW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 45
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
Nice showing in the recital guys. I spent a fair bit of time over the last few days listening to different ones and am really enjoying them. I think our less polished beginner paces are great contribution (if I do say so myself).

There's something really nice in hearing something that isn't played or recorded perfectly in a way, it's still lovely music, and it's still your interpretation of it, and the flaws very rarely diminish the song itself, they just remind you there's a person trying their best at the other end who is eager to learn and put themselves out there even if it's not ready to go on an album yet!

By far the least enjoyable song I've had to listen to out of all of them is mine by far! I'm sure part of that is just because it is mine and I feel able to be very critical of it, but I wish I'd played it slower and with more feeling. Mandy and Linda's songs are a real joy listen to, you obviously love the songs you've played and they're played with great care and taste. The main problem with both of them is they're too quiet! I can hear it fine with my speakers right up though haha. Recording is a learning experience and the first step is the hardest so I'm looking forward to hearing more things from you guys.

I'm not sure I can be of any help with your recording MandyD, I've never used MIDI and it's a very different to how I record my piano. I'm recording my piano with the sound it makes, as if I were recording what you'd hear from a headphones jack so to speak. This requires some specialized equipment which I've had lying around from my guitar days (one of these thingoes http://www.presonus.com/products/audiobox-usb). MIDI as I understand it records what you play, if you play a C note for 2.5 seconds and you hit it this hard etc, but no actual sound. Because of this it's a pretty different process recording and using it on computer (but still very powerful and useful if you know what you're doing!).

I had my second lesson yesterday, and I'm getting a feel for my teacher now. He's definitely a JAZZ guy through and through, learning with lead sheets, chord progressions, keys, extensions, very heavy theory stuff etc. I have decided this is a really good fit for me, and it is the direction I want to be taking. Alongside that though (or even as the basis of that in a way) I'll be working hard still with Alfred's, sight reading, classical pieces etc.

I think my teacher is still very much working out what I know and where I'm up to. In a few minutes we went from constructing a C Major triad (which is really simple and easy for me) to playing progressions with inverted chords through a cycle of fourths (as in through 12 keys) with 7th chords - which I can understand if I sit down and work it all out but is way beyond me to just sit down and play it. Anyway I have some fun stuff to work on this week, playing through autumn leaves with rootless voicing and playing a blues song which is entirely dominant 7th chords in the key of F major.

I absolutely have to get the next two Alfred's Book songs done this weekend too and get a wriggle on on learning Amazing Grace, looking forward to signing off on Book One but still quite a bit to do there (for those that play cricket the tail is wagging hard!).


Edited by AndrewJCW (08/15/14 11:31 PM)
_________________________
Beginner working through Alfred's Book One My youtube channel

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#2316105 - 08/16/14 12:20 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 725
Loc: Hernando, MS
DancerJ
I was taught a "3 and done" rule. That is you have to play a song correctly 3 times in a row before moving on. That doesn't mean that you're really done with the piece. It just means that's a good time to break and either review old pieces or start working on new ones. Sometimes I'll do that and then revisit the song again later in the practice session, or (more often) in the next day's practice.

You want to establish the habit of actually being able to play a song correctly to the end. That's just the beginning, once you can play all the notes correctly (right pitches and right rhythm), you can start working on playing them more musically. And 3 and done can be a lot harder than it sounds. Sometimes i'll play a piece many many times before I get through it 3 times in a row without a mistake. On a long song, I'll sometimes apply that rule to sections within a song. 3 and done with the first section before I let myself work on the next section.

And being able to play a piece 3 times without a mistake by no means indicates mastery of the song. It usually just means you practiced it a lot. smile

Other advice I actually picked up from someone on this forum I think, but i like a lot, is to never finish practice with a mistake. Always make the last thing you play in practice be something you played correctly. It might be a whole song, or section, or a phrase, or even just a couple of measures. But always end on something played correctly.


Now, you'll probably get other suggestions than mine. There are no right or wrong answers, as people have different learning styles. you have to find what works for you. But anyway, those are some suggestions that might be useful to play around with.



Warm Regards.
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2316106 - 08/16/14 12:23 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 725
Loc: Hernando, MS
AndrewJCW
Congratulations on finding a good teacher that seems to match up very well with what you need. I also think it's a great idea to continue with Alfred's method and learn the classical approach as well. It sounds like you're on your way to becoming a very well rounded musician! smile
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2316143 - 08/16/14 04:49 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: MandyD]
EnGee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/14
Posts: 76
Loc: Auckland, NZ
Originally Posted By: MandyD
If someone (Andrew grin ) can help me with advice as how to record properly I'd really appreciate it, as for the life of me I can't get Audacity to work.


I'm not Andrew, but I will try to help smile

Audacity records only Audio, it is not for Midi. Ok, let me explain.
Midi is instructions only (like what notes played, how much velocity, ..etc). It doesn't include sounds. So, when you connect Midi from your Piano to your computer, it just sends 'signals' without sounds. When your PC receives the signals, there must be something to do with these signals. Audacity doesn't know what to do with Midi because there is no Midi support. So, in the preferences you see 'Audio' configurations but no Midi.

You need a program that supports Midi, and an instrument that play that Midi signals from your piano. This either achieved by having a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) or a host like Logic or Cubase or Sonar or ...etc and using a piano instrument if the host has it, then send Midi from your piano to this program and record Midi, then record Audio, then export to mp3 file. It sounds very complicated, but in fact it is not.

There is another way. Recording Audio direct from your Piano (which I think what you want). You need Audio Cable from your headphone jack to either to your 'mic' or 'audio in' jack in your computer, but if you choose this way, I really advice you to buy an Audio Interface with Audio in jacks.
I have this one Saffire USB 6 but there are new models which replaced it. I think something like this one will be ok for you: Scarlett 2i2.

If you noticed, there is in the diagram two audio cables going from the keyboard to the audio interface. With some adjustments in the volume in your piano and audio interface you will have a good balance to record in Audacity or Live lite 8 (a light version host comes free with Scarlett audio interface).

For your Piano, I think you will need Y-Split cable, which is one stereo to two mono, so you plug the stereo in one of your headphones jacks, then the two mono in the audio interface, which connects to the computer through the usb interface.

I suggest also to take photos to your headphone jacks in your piano and your audio connections in your computer, print this reply and show all to your music dealer and ask explain to him/her what you want to do. Let's see what he/she says.

For Linda, I think it is easier because she already has USB port to plug in her USB flash/pen and then record. She needs to open the file in Audacity and choose 'Normalise' from audio processing to increase the volume. I don't do this really, I prefer adjusting the EQ and compression in my DAW instead. But I use Audacity for mp3 export because none of the DAWs I have support mp3 export crazy

[edit] Just forgot to mention, that you can send Midi and Audio from your piano at the same time to your host (say Live lite), in this way you can record the midi and audio or one of them direct to your Midi/Audio host. The signal is like this:
Piano (sends midi) -> Live lite (sends midi back to your piano) -> Piano (sends audio) -> Scarlett 2i2 (sends audio) -> Live lite which records it cool [/edit]


Edited by EnGee (08/16/14 04:58 AM)

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#2316440 - 08/17/14 02:05 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: 274
Loc: Central Texas
I spent most of the day listening to recital pieces. I don't mean to make it sound like a chore, since it was actually a pleasure listening to them all... just that it took up a lot of time. So my practice time was maybe only 15-20 minutes today. Most of that was spent on "Cafe Vienna." I want to make sure I get those 3 measures that go from p to f smoothly increase in volume. Right now I only have 3 levels, low for m1, medium for m2, and high for m3. So basically I'm increasing it from measure to measure, instead of note to note. I'm thinking this may take a while to get the hang of.

Andrew: You are seriously selling yourself short to be so critical of your recital piece. I thought the tempo was perfect and seemed to be full of feeling to me. So instead of being self-critical, you should be proud of it.

I appreciate your comments on my recital piece. That does happen to be one of my favorite songs. I didn't realize the sound level was so low. It sounded fine on my computer. Thanks for pointing that out. I will need to figure out how to take care of that so it's right for the next rectial.

That's great that you found a teacher who you feel is a good fit for you. Sounds like you covered a lot in that one lesson. What is rootless voicing?

Also, just curious, but why do you need to get the next two songs done this weekend? There's no deadline that I know of. smile

fizikisto: Hmmm. A "3 and done" rule sounds interesting. I'm not sure that I could do that with any of the songs that I "passed" myself on. I'm going to keep moving forward, but also take some time to go back and see if I can play each older song 3 times with no mistakes, paying attention to dynamics and all that fun stuff. Worst case scenerio is that I get more practice in.

Engee: AKA tech support. Thank you very much for all the tips. I've tried recording to a USB stick, but it's a bit of a hassle, and I keep getting mixed up with which buttons to push. So I think I want to do something with a cable connection. Is your edit for Mandy or me, or both?
_________________________
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
XXXV

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#2316462 - 08/17/14 05:30 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: TX-Bluebonnet]
EnGee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/14
Posts: 76
Loc: Auckland, NZ
Originally Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet


Is your edit for Mandy or me, or both?


Hi Linda, yes for both.

You have 2 line out (like mine), so you can buy two cables (like this) if you want to connect to 2 ins in your audio interface. Of course there are many kind of cables, so best to take photos of the 'out' jacks of your piano and the 'in' jacks in your audio interface or computer and show them in the shop smile

Everyone:
Please be careful when you test the sound, always put the volume down. If you don't hear anything, Don't raise the volume a lot in a sudden movements. Always try with minimum volume and raise it slowly till you hear the signal. If you reach half way and there is nothing, then lower the volume and inspect the configurations/connection and try slowly again after any change.

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#2316652 - 08/17/14 06:43 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
AndrewJCW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 45
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
Thanks Linda, I'm already looking forward to the next recital. Next one is at the end of the year I take it? Almost as impressive as the entries is the amount of effort people put into listening and giving thoughts and advice to them in the discussion thread.

The voicing of the chord is the order of the notes you play it. The C Major chord is made up of the C, E, and G notes, so if you played E - G - C or G - C - E chord you're still playing a C chord but with a different voice. The root of a chord is the base note that the chord is built on, in this case the C. Usually you can play the root note in the left hand (or with a bass in a band) so it's not necessary to play it with the right hand, and this frees the right hand to do more interesting stuff like adding in other chord notes like 7ths and other cool things.

I'm working on Amazing Grace for now, and a little bit on Over the Rainbow. Both are really nice songs. Both are proving a big challenge for me, it may take the rest of the week to get them recordable.

Here's my Entertainer video, had some good fun learning it.





Edited by AndrewJCW (08/17/14 06:44 PM)
_________________________
Beginner working through Alfred's Book One My youtube channel

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#2316794 - 08/18/14 01:53 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: 274
Loc: Central Texas
I made some good progress with "Cafe Vienna" today. After some serious focus and a lot of reps I can finally increase the volume gradually from p in measure 1 to f in measure 4. So just a little more practice and I should be finished with it tomorrow. Then I'll start in on "Lullaby."

EnGee Thanks for clarifying, and for the volumne warning. I was kind of busy this weekend, so I'll plan to work on that stuff next weekend.

Andrew: great job with the Entertainer. And thanks for explaining the chord voicing. It was very helpful.

fizikisto: After reading your response again about lead sheets and chords I decided to give it a try so I picked a really simple song from one of my fake books. Don't laugh - it was "Eensy, Weensy Spider." It's in the key of E major with just 2 chords, E and B. Which maybe I should know but I didn't so I looked them up in my chord chart, how handy. smile I ended up doing block chords at the beginning of each measure. I thought it sounded fine like that. I didn't try broken chords because it's in 6/8 time and I couldn't quite figure it out. I want to try another song, "Green Green Grass of Home," but I have a question about it. It's in 4/4 tie and the chords are C, F, G & G7. So how would I do broken chords when some of the chords only have 3 keys?
_________________________
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
XXXV

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#2316845 - 08/18/14 07:59 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 725
Loc: Hernando, MS
Linda,
When you break up a chord like that, you can use the sustain pedal to hold the sound of the chord through the measure. You play the chord on the first 3 beats, then you have the whole chord sounding on the 4th beat because all three notes are being held by the sustain pedal. Or, you could play the chord (with or without the sustain pedal) in a 4 note pattern. So, for example you could play C-E-G-C (and if you want, you could make that second C be a C an octave up). Another common pattern is alberti style C-G-E-G (bottom top middle top). You can also come up with your own ideas of how to play the chord. There really aren't any rules. Experiment and find what sounds good.

You can also do things like play the C and then the whole chord (and it's nice to do that with the solo C an octave or two below the chord but that's a big leap and takes some good practice), or the C by itself then the E-G as a block chord.

You can also play with different voicings of the chord. C-E-G (root), or E-G-C (first inversion) or G-C-E (2nd inversion)

Why would you you want to use a different inversion? There are three main reasons. Some inversions just sound better with a particular song (depending on what's going on in the melody). Probably the most common reason is that it can make changing chords easier. When you change from a C chord to an F chord, that's a pretty big jump. But if you pick two voicings of the chords that have the notes very close to each other, you can play the two chords without having to move your hand very much. That lets you transition from one chord to the next more smoothly, and perhaps without the need to look down at your hands.

And you can of course mix up the various inversion so that the sound doesn't get monotonous.

In fact, It's a good idea to go through just the chords in the lead sheet and experiment with the transitions using block chord. So for example, Pick a voicing of the C chord (root or one of the inversions), and figure out how to transition from it to the 3 possibilities of the G chord (or whatever chord is next). Then pick another voicing of the C chord and do the same. Pick some variations that let you change from chord to chord with the smallest possible movement and then practice those changes over and over and over until you can do them without thinking about it.

You can play the song different ways, for example using the same voicing of the chords and letting your hand do the necessary leaps to get from chord to chord (when you do this you can often keep your hand's position fixed, like a claw (but NOT tense) and just move from position to position) or by playing chords in different voicings so that you minimize how big the jumps are.

That's just scratching the surface of what you can do, but hopefully it will give you some ideas. The main thing is to experiment and have fun. And don't let it overwhelm you. There is SO much you can do. Just pick couple of different things and practice them until you can do them well, then pick another way.

couple of other tips -

You can also mix and match. I like to arpeggiate the chords and then play a block chord at the end of the phrase.

If you do the low root note then chord pattern (With the big leap), it generally sounds better to end the song on the low single note.

Warm Regards
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2317096 - 08/18/14 09:09 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: AndrewJCW]
pwl Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/13
Posts: 207
Loc: Bay Area CA
Andrew -

I loved watching/listening to your Entertainer! And now I'm checking out some of your other performances on YouTube - much enjoyment - thank you!

PS: Very nicely done video, btw.

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#2317109 - 08/18/14 09:48 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
alans Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/12
Posts: 89
Andrew I love your entertainer. I don't usually visit this topic because I don't use Alfred but I happened upon your clip and I really enjoyedi it.

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#2317119 - 08/18/14 10:15 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
AndrewJCW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 45
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
Thanks guys, I didn't initially have it in my post but I think it helps liven up the thread a bit with a few recordings here and there. I'm a bit overwhelmed with so many piano things to do at the moment let alone other life things. I probably need to sit down and work out a practice plan with short term goals and stuff I guess.

Amazing Grace is slowly coming along. slowllllly. I think it is the last song in the original Book One, but the re print has extra songs at the end.

Haven't even touched my old recital piece or Air on the G String in a week...
_________________________
Beginner working through Alfred's Book One My youtube channel

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#2317121 - 08/18/14 10:19 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: 274
Loc: Central Texas
I felt like my practicing wasn't getting enough in the technique department, and I'm concerned about my stiff playing, so I bought A Dozen a Day and the 3 level 1 books of Pathways to Artistry (Technique, Repertoire, and Masterworks). This evening, in addition to starting on "Lullaby" in the Alfred's book, I also worked on the 1st 3 exercises of the Dozen's book and the 1st section of the Artistry book, which is titled Elastic Wrist. So far I really like what I see in these books and they seem to be exactly what I need right now.

fizikisto: A huge thank you for all that information on different ways to play the chords, as well as for all the tips you've given. Between not being creative and lacking in chord knowledge I was at a bit of a loss, so your guidance is very much appreciated. Now it's time for me to get busy making use of all this great info. A little at a time, though, as you suggested. 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
XXXV

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#2317123 - 08/18/14 10:25 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: AndrewJCW]
TX-Bluebonnet Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 274
Loc: Central Texas
Originally Posted By: AndrewJCW
Thanks guys, I didn't initially have it in my post but I think it helps liven up the thread a bit with a few recordings here and there.

If you want I can add some drama and/or comedy (dramedy?)to my daily "what I did today" postings. grin laugh whome
_________________________
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
XXXV

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#2317128 - 08/18/14 10:37 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Mike407 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/14
Posts: 53
Loc: Florida, USA
TX - speaking of stiff playing, my teacher told me O Sole Mio was spot on, but too mechanical. Now I have to unlearn it and make it musical. It's always something!

This piece is all the drama I can take smile
_________________________
Mike

103 year old Schmoller and Mueller
Slightly newer Kawai ES 100

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#2317131 - 08/18/14 10:43 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 561
Loc: Connecticut, USA
It is so good to see this thread active again. I enjoyed my Alfred days. Keep up the excellent work... it is all worth it!
_________________________
Kawai MP11 :: JBL LSR305 :: Focusrite 2i4 :: Pianoteq Standard

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#2317134 - 08/18/14 10:52 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: 274
Loc: Central Texas
Mike: Sounds like you have a good teacher not to let you get away with playing that way. I realize that might not be much fun to have to re-do it, but better now while we're just starting out. Are you going to allow some time to go by to "unlearn" it? That'd be just a day or two for me. laugh

scorpio Hi there, and thanks for stopping by. Every bit of encouragement is most welcome. 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
XXXV

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#2317223 - 08/19/14 08:06 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: TX-Bluebonnet]
Mike407 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/14
Posts: 53
Loc: Florida, USA
For me, slowing way down and practicing small parts helps me "forget". It's funny that I can see the notation, phrasing, etc. but just run right past it. Then, when it's pointed out - duh.
_________________________
Mike

103 year old Schmoller and Mueller
Slightly newer Kawai ES 100

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#2317519 - 08/19/14 10:47 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: 274
Loc: Central Texas
"Lullaby" is coming along nicely. Just starting to put hands together on it. I was looking forward to getting out of the 3/4 time pieces, but I'm actually enjoying this one, so I'll probably work on it more than I did on the last couple of waltz-style songs.

Mike: I know what you're talking about. Sometimes I end up highlighting and/or marking up a piece I'm working on. Some people make copies and mark up the copies instead. Then once they've got a decent handle on it they put the marked copy aside and continue working/polishing from the original.
_________________________
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
XXXV

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#2317534 - 08/20/14 12:00 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: TX-Bluebonnet]
Mike407 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/14
Posts: 53
Loc: Florida, USA
Linda - Lullaby is an early "keeper" for me. It will probably be replaced in time but a nice song to start a repertoire at my stage. The performance blues song is another and so is Love Me tender from the companion "Greatest Hits". Gotta start somewhere, right?
_________________________
Mike

103 year old Schmoller and Mueller
Slightly newer Kawai ES 100

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#2317603 - 08/20/14 06:22 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
MandyD Offline
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Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 110
Loc: Australia
EnGee - thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I will definitely look into one of those DAW's before the next recital.

Linda, so glad your still happily plugging away and are going so well. Those new books sound really interesting, it's good to get your feedback on them as in all honesty I haven't heard of them before.

Andrew, I loved The Entertainer, well played as always. I'm glad your lessons are going well too.

Mike I have the same "unlearn and learn again" problem with my teacher. I have been told that I am not to start new stuff before she can teach it in a lesson. So I was like a puppy with my tail between my legs lol. So from here on in I can see my progress being very slow, but at least I wont have to unlearn all my bad mistakes.

I've been super busy the past couple of days but have managed to get short daily practice sessions in. I also had a look at the Schumann recital music that I stupidly dobbed myself in for, and I'm more than a little worried I have bitten off more than I can chew. It probably didn't help that my teacher paled slightly when I told her I'm doing it, I thought I was going to have to get out the smelling salts for a second lol. I'll take the music to my next lesson and hopefully she can help me make sense of it. I have until March, surely I can play it by then???
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#2317891 - 08/20/14 08:40 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: MandyD]
Mike407 Offline
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Registered: 07/30/14
Posts: 53
Loc: Florida, USA
MandyD - I haven't had to hold up yet but sometimes I do recognize I'm racing to complete a piece. I need one of those mechanical arms to smack me when that happens. I have also warmed up before playing with the melody hand alone lately. Just a few measures. That seems to help my fingers, head and tightness. Then I find it easier to get into the song and play it as well as I am able. When I start up cold, it's harder. I attribute that to tightness - mental and physical. Regardless, it helps me relax.

Of course, when you get to Carnegie Hall, you can't do that smile

Mike
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Mike

103 year old Schmoller and Mueller
Slightly newer Kawai ES 100

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#2317980 - 08/21/14 01:43 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
TX-Bluebonnet Offline
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Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 274
Loc: Central Texas
I didn't get a lot of practice in today, but I was able to spend some quality time doing technical exercises. tired

Mandy: Regarding the Schumann recital, I know what you mean about being worried. We're not alone, though, as there's a support thread for it. I printed out a copy of "Melodi" which is the one I selected, but I don't know if it's true to the original. Where did you find the music sheet for your Schumann piece?
_________________________
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
XXXV

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#2317998 - 08/21/14 02:26 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: TX-Bluebonnet]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1775
Loc: Australia


Quote:
Mandy: Regarding the Schumann recital, I know what you mean about being worried. We're not alone, though, as there's a support thread for it. I printed out a copy of "Melodi" which is the one I selected, but I don't know if it's true to the original. Where did you find the music sheet for your Schumann piece?


Music for Album for the Young can be found at imslp.org which is the go to site for free classical music. There are generally several versions of a piece (or book of pieces) which may or may not have fingering. This one here has fingering.

The pieces you guys have selected are well within your range even now (based on recent recital performances) and are not played very fast either. A guy called "cubusdk" who often pops up when you search youtube for a piece has done very nice versions of both pieces so check him out.

Nine months is a long time, especially in your first year of piano when obviously there is quite a big improvement from zero to end of year. After looking at the more complex of the pieces I chose, I am depending on it lol.
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I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2318010 - 08/21/14 03:05 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: 274
Loc: Central Texas
Originally Posted By: earlofmar
The pieces you guys have selected are well within your range even now (based on recent recital performances) and are not played very fast either.

Nine months is a long time, especially in your first year of piano when obviously there is quite a big improvement from zero to end of year. After looking at the more complex of the pieces I chose, I am depending on it lol.

Thanks for the vote of confidence. smile In that case I think I'll also sign up for #15 Frühlingsgesang. Haha, not really. My biggest concern is that my piece won't sound musical. But, you're right, it's a ways off, so I've got some room for improvement between now and then. Anyway, it's all Mandy's fault, what with her swooning teacher and panic-inducing hysteria. mad grin

ETA: Oops.. forgot to thank you for the music sheet link. Thanks for that, I'm printing it out now!


Edited by TX-Bluebonnet (08/21/14 03:12 AM)
_________________________
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
XXXV

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#2318033 - 08/21/14 05:35 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
MandyD Offline
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Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 110
Loc: Australia
Linda you make me laugh. Thanks Earlofmar for the encouragement, but I really am wondering about getting that left hand moving, I sort of have the melody half reasonable, but your right there is a lot of time left to practice. Oh Linda here's a link that may help too, Melody is a beautiful piece and I'm sure you sill do it justice - http://petrucci.mus.auth.gr/imglnks/usim...d_-_Opus_68.pdf

As for the Alfred's book, still slowly plugging away, even slower now that my darn teacher has banned me from moving ahead lol. I will still be in this thread when you have all off and left months before to go to the L2 one.

Mike I was aiming for the Sydney Opera House, but I suppose Carnegie Hall will do!
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#2318367 - 08/22/14 12:24 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: 274
Loc: Central Texas
A new book arrived today, Alfred's "The First Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios & Cadences." This evening I started in on the first page with C major in parallel motion in 2 octaves. Just hands separate for now, trying to get used to the fingering.

With that book, plus "A Dozen a Day", "Pathways to Artistry", and Alfred's AIO method book, I feel like I've finally got some good stuff to work with. I have other programs and aps to work with, but those 4 books will be my main focus for daily practice. Then for fun I have a variety of easy music books and a few large fake books to play around with.

As for "Lullaby," I believe I've done as much as I can with it so I'm calling it done. Next up is the flat sign and "Rock it Away."

Mandy, thanks for the link. I've slowed myself down with the Alfred's AIO book, so I'll be hanging around here in L1 for a while yet. Besides, more people may come along to join in all this fun.
_________________________
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
XXXV

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#2318421 - 08/22/14 03:10 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: TX-Bluebonnet]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1775
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet


With that book, plus "A Dozen a Day", "Pathways to Artistry", and Alfred's AIO method book, I feel like I've finally got some good stuff to work with.



Just like to share my experiences from last year, (my first year), with regards to scales and exercises. Like every beginner I thought I had to do scales (although my teacher was indifferent about them). Also when my fingers didn't achieve the dexterity of Lang Lang within the first few months, I thought I had to do exercises and I chose Hanon as my punishment of choice. I drew the line at arpeggios though; they were a bridge too far.

After a month or so at Hanon I didn't find my fingers were getting any more nimble, rather each drill was more like learning a piece, difficult with a long learning period, without the enjoyment. My scales were ok but unconfident, definitely slow and of course daunting with there being so many ways to play them (staccato, contrary motion, thirds, etc). After a while of not seeing improvement and more and more time being devoted to exercising I gave up. Asking myself why I wasn’t improving I started reading the anti scale and exercise discussions which made a lot of sense. Primarily the thinking is the early student should not do scales or exercises and the more extreme view is both are worthless to successful repertoire. Of course this is contrary to the exam system which focuses heavily on scales and arpeggios from the outset so there are as many people defending scales and exercises as opposed to them.

Reading the "anti" views gave me the excuse I needed to stop just about everything except repertoire, but I always planned to return. Partly because as a young man learning guitar, six flats or sharps used to scare the bejesus out of me and I wanted to get over that, but also because it just seems to be intrinsic to learning the “right” way. So I found myself returning to scales in May this year, by then I had 17 months experience since starting piano and it really showed. All the small technical pieces I had been learning had built my technique and confidence up gradually and instead of a steep learning curve I envisaged I learned every major and harmonic minor scale in two octaves over a single month and now have a daily regime of using them as my warm up. So my opinion is don’t feel you need to push yourself into scales right away. It is good to be aware of them early on and learning what you need, but remember you may be playing them for the rest of your playing days, there is plenty of time.

My thoughts on exercises are pretty much the same but again are formed by practical example. Since my first days of piano when I realised 43 years of guitar gave me no edge as far as weak fourth and ring fingers, I have seen this as an obstacle to good technique and tried many different things. Nothing has worked until recently, now 22 months into my journey where I am seeing a major shift in dexterity. I give scales some credit but I give most credit to time at the piano and a slow gradual change in muscle development over the period much the same as we see in sport. In trail running we used to talk of a two year entry before you “found your feet” for the sport. In addition to time, technical pieces from Bach, Clementi, Gurlitt and any composer who wrote with the beginner in mind have been invaluable. While no single piece will do it I am currently working at an intense level of a technical piece I hope to present in the next recital which has helped enormously.

What about arpeggio’s I hear you ask well I fear there may be an intervention later this year to get me to start playing arpeggio’s, I think my teacher is waiting for the right moment (or a straight jacket ordered from ebay).

So you made it to the end of my little post....ready for your reward?.....would you like to see what you will be like it you get addicted to piano exercises?......ok be warned it’s not pretty.......miss the beginning and go straight to 12:26 here
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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