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#1439538 - 05/19/10 07:44 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: SmokestackLightnin]
Doug F Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 186
Loc: Victor, NY
Great job GlassLove, I keep flipping ahead to the end of the book, & I think I will enjoy playing most of the remaining pieces. I have a lesson this afternoon and am hoping to pass at least Good People (finally) & Little Brown Jug (ugh!) and possibly Chiapanecas (probably not but I like playing this anyway). I am intrigued that you are not continuing with the series and have been meaning to ask my teacher if he plans on going on to book 2 when we finish book 1.

I have worked through Auld Lang Syne and the first few measures of O Sole Mio! and they don't seem like they'll be too difficult.

I am getting very frustrated at my lack of progress on What A Wonderful World. I need some advice from my teacher on what to do. I spend a lot of time working on it but don't seem to be making much progress. It's 4 pages so it's the longest piece I've attempted but it is not very difficult. There are sections of it that I have no trouble with at all so I don't spend much time on them but it's the repeating sections of the main verses that I can't seem to get down. There are 3 sections that kind of repeat but each one has a few differences so I think that's my problem. For most of the pieces in Alfred's I seem to finally get good at them when I have them pretty well memorized but I don't seem to be getting this one memorized because of the differences. I can read the notes as I play but not fast enough to play it smoothly so I keep stumbling through it over and over without ever really getting familiar enough with it to play it smoothly. I have tried note reading drills to try to improve my reading speed (bass clef) and just sitting down with the sheets and reading through them again and again but neither seemed to help.

SmokestackLightnin, I am working on the D and Bb Major scales right now. I have C, F & G down pretty good but contrary motion hasn't given me any trouble. I do have a hard time remembering my fingering in similar motion unless I really think about it and then I hesitate too much.

Nice job on the signature tags.
_________________________
Doug

I have a great memory, it's just short.



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#1439569 - 05/19/10 08:43 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Doug F]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
Thanks, Doug. The last two pieces are the most challenging. I think Amazing Grace sounds a bit like A wonderful World in that there is a lot of jumping around. Being a good sight reader would definitely help. I don't know if my teacher's expectations are low, but she said that she wouldn't expect that I could sight read Amazing Grace right now, that if I wanted to practice sight reading, I should be able to read and play my son's music (level 1 of a Bastien children's book) upon first sight. I decided to get another book to do that. I thought it might be difficult or demoralizing for my son to hear me playing his music for sight reading practice.
_________________________
Christine











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#1439626 - 05/19/10 09:57 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GlassLove]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4858
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: GlassLove
...if I wanted to practice sight reading, I should be able to read and play my son's music (level 1 of a Bastien children's book) upon first sight. I decided to get another book to do that. I thought it might be difficult or demoralizing for my son to hear me playing his music for sight reading practice.


Now that's a loving mom!
I have a Bastien book for adults - shall I send you a sample? smile
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1439654 - 05/19/10 10:43 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: casinitaly]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
Thanks, Casinitaly. I actually found an old level 1 Alfred's book from my older son's early piano days. It is actually pretty fun...many of the songs are even "easier" versions of my all-in-one book (i.e., less busy left hand).
Getting excited for your recital? cool
_________________________
Christine











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#1439662 - 05/19/10 10:59 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GlassLove]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4858
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: GlassLove
Thanks, Casinitaly. I actually found an old level 1 Alfred's book from my older son's early piano days. It is actually pretty fun...many of the songs are even "easier" versions of my all-in-one book (i.e., less busy left hand).
Getting excited for your recital? cool


Glad you found something you are happy to work with Glasslove!

I'm actually on hold a bit.... I will definitely play the duet with my 6yr old buddy, but I'm waiting to hear if any other adults are playing. I spoke to my teacher and told her that if it is only going to be the youngsters playing, I'd feel really out of place playing on my own. She does thing that there are enough adults to make it work though, and I continue to work on my pieces - Lilla and Verde Smeraldo smile
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1439681 - 05/19/10 11:44 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: casinitaly]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
I am the only adult student my teacher has. She let me off the hook this past recital but is likely to put some pressure on me to play in the next. While I thought I would feel positively goofy being the only adult to play (one of the many many many reasons I had for not playing eek), now that I have attended her recital (my son played beautifully in it), I think otherwise. I think the audience may have appreciated hearing a more "adult-type" piece (even if I didn't play it perfectly). The two pieces you are working on are so enjoyable....I say....Go for it regardless of the number of adults. Who knows, you could even inspire a few adult audience members to pursue their piano dreams. I am sure your teacher would thank you for that laugh
_________________________
Christine











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#1439692 - 05/19/10 12:01 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GlassLove]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4858
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: GlassLove
I am the only adult student my teacher has. She let me off the hook this past recital but is likely to put some pressure on me to play in the next. While I thought I would feel positively goofy being the only adult to play (one of the many many many reasons I had for not playing eek), now that I have attended her recital (my son played beautifully in it), I think otherwise. I think the audience may have appreciated hearing a more "adult-type" piece (even if I didn't play it perfectly). The two pieces you are working on are so enjoyable....I say....Go for it regardless of the number of adults. Who knows, you could even inspire a few adult audience members to pursue their piano dreams. I am sure your teacher would thank you for that laugh


Well, ohhh............. ouch....... I'm at least re-thinking after reading your post......You have a point - the kiddie songs are readlly cute (and the kids even cuter!) , but very simple (not a criticism, hey these kids can barely read books, and they're reading music too!)...Maybe something more grown up would be nice.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1439705 - 05/19/10 12:22 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: casinitaly]
GracieCat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 340
Loc: USA
Doug, are you playing "What a Wonderful World" too fast? My teacher is always telling me to play slower. I'll be playing fast and doing well, then I come to a spot where I tend to mess up and it's like hitting a speed bump at 50mph. LOL Play the whole thing S L O W L Y.

It would be great if we could all share recordings of our playing. I'm thinking of getting a digital recorder...

GlassLove, congrats on getting to the last piece. Those last pieces look hard to me. I've been working some on Amazing Grace, but the right hand only. By the time I actually get to that page, I'll have half the song finished. smile

nancymae, I'm on the same pieces with you! I worked a little ahead of where my teacher stopped me so we'll see what she passes me on today.

mom3gram, are you around? Thanks so much for recommending the (WP41) Religious Favorites by James Bastien. I love it. There are so many in there I can play with a little practice. My favorites so far are pages 22 & 87. Many many many good ones in this book. I bought a used one from Amazon for like $8 which included shipping. Great book for anyone here wanting to do some basic hymns. The whole book is playable by anyone reaching page 100 or so in Alfreds. It shouldn't take much work for most of the songs.

If I had to choose between Alfreds Sacred Book or Bastien's Religious Favorites, I'd choose Bastiens. BUT, Alfreds progresses by difficulty and is better for learning from in my opinion.

Someone here asked about scales. I hate them so much I've stopped practicing them. I'll do 2 octaves, hands separate only. (Key of C, G F) I guess I have a hard time seeing what the point is.

I'll update after my lesson.
_________________________
Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue

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#1439728 - 05/19/10 01:03 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GracieCat]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1129
Loc: New Jersey
Yes, I'm around. I'm glad that you like the hymn book. I picked that one because there were more hymns that I recognized than in the Alfred one. There are a few chords that we haven't learned yet, but it's easy enough to figure them out and write in the notes.

I'm working on a lot of the same supplementary books as you Book 1'ers, and the Book 2 thread isn't very active, so I do come here and read every day. Glad to see so many of you getting to the end of the book. Maybe the Book 2 thread will be picking up soon. :-)
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1439806 - 05/19/10 03:30 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: SmokestackLightnin]
GracieCat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 340
Loc: USA
Another lesson over. Passed on Good People & Little Brown Jug. I was just lucky on getting passed on Little Brown Jug. Have to polish Chiapanecas (maybe more than just polish smile ). She assigned Auld Lang Syne (which I'm almost finished with because I worked ahead) and O Sole Mio!

I've already touched on Jericho a little so I'll be working on that too.

She didn't sign off on anything in my classical or sacred book. I didn't play much out of there this past week anyway. She did assign a fun "looking" piece out my classical book. Looking forward to trying that out. It's in 6/8 time so that's different.

To be honest, I'm just not liking my lessons. I have several pieces in my sacred and classical book that I've been working on since Fed-March. They aren't perfect, so she won't sign off on them. Week after week we go over them. I'm so freaking sick of the songs. They aren't hard. I can play them. They aren't polished because I'm sick of them. I just don't care about them. I am looking forward to my lessons being over. I'll pick up lessons again after I progress further. Maybe next Jan.
_________________________
Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue

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#1439828 - 05/19/10 04:18 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GracieCat]
Doug F Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 186
Loc: Victor, NY
That's really a shame about your lessons GracieCat, they should be enjoyable not a discouragement. I really lucked out with my teacher. He is very encouraging, patient and understanding. He knows when I am having trouble because of performance anxiety and when I don't fully comprehend something. He also listens to me and wants me to enjoy playing, practicing and most of all learning. It's the way it should be for us adults. I hope you are able to find a more suitable teacher when you are ready.

I just got back from a very good lesson. I also got passed on Good People and Little Brown Jug. I also still have some polishing to do on Chiapanecas but I am almost there on it. I just have a couple things to work on, mainly getting the dynamics correct. We worked through Auld Lang Syne and I should have that down by next lesson and we did a quick run through of O Sole Mio!.

Then he helped me with my problems with What A Wonderful World. GracieCat, you suggested slowing it down and I am already doing that out of necessity. We pretty much decided that my problem is just not being able to read the notes well enough for the left hand. I almost have them memorized and can do them fine hands separate but there's a lot going on with hands together and it's just to much to process all at once. He gave me a little confidence boost by saying that the piece is a notch or two above my abilities but it was a good challenge. He wants me to put away the 3rd and 4th pages for now and concentrate on the first 2 until I have that in hand. He also wants me to give more attention to hands separate until I am better at it and told me to call out the note names as I play them.

I asked him if thought we would move on to book 2 upon completion of book 1 or if he had other ideas and he said this series is a good one and we should stick to it if I was comfortable with it. Might as well order book 2.
_________________________
Doug

I have a great memory, it's just short.



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#1439864 - 05/19/10 05:26 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Doug F]
SmokestackLightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Leicester, United Kingdom
Id love to learn What a Wonderful World aswell. Are you playing it from a book or if its from a sheet music website could you give me the address please ? love that song.

Im pretty much sticking with the whole series as I dont have a teacher and need to try and keep myself focused and only use the one method series for a uniform progression.

Starting Greensleeves tonight! been waiting ages for this smile
_________________________
M-Audio ProKeys 88sx

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#1439868 - 05/19/10 05:29 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GracieCat]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1668
Loc: south florida
Quote:
Someone here asked about scales. I hate them so much I've stopped practicing them. I'll do 2 octaves, hands separate only. (Key of C, G F) I guess I have a hard time seeing what the point is.


Hi Gracie. At least when it comes to classical pieces, you will find many, many of the pieces you will learn have scale runs in them in one hand or the other or both. This might be anything from just 4 or five notes to three or four complete octaves. I'm not that much further along than you and one of the pieces I'm now working on has several long runs such as: (ascending) b,c,d (decending) c,b,a,g,#f,e,d,c,b,a,g,#f,(ascend)g,a,b,c,d,(decend)c,b. All of which you will recognize as just running up and down the G scale. These types of things come up time after time in many pieces. Practicing scales is really practicing the nuts and bolts of much of the music I hope to play in the future.
_________________________
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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#1439870 - 05/19/10 05:36 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: JimF]
SmokestackLightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Leicester, United Kingdom
Its an old old story...you ask any seasoned musician what they would go back and change about when they learned to play the answer you'll most often get is "studied my scales"

I got this when I learned to play guitar and didnt listen. Im now telling my son in law the same thing. learn your scales !!

Think of scales as your musical vocabulary. I really wish I knew more scales for the guitar. hoping to not make that mistake with the piano.
_________________________
M-Audio ProKeys 88sx

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#1439964 - 05/19/10 08:28 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: SmokestackLightnin]
Doug F Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 186
Loc: Victor, NY
SmokestackLightnin - I started the version of What A Wonderful World in the Alfred's Greatest Hits book. I didn't like the arrangement at all because it had the melody in both hands and just didn't inspire me. So I went in search of a better simple version and found the one I am using at Yamaha's Digital Music Notebook site. I have a Yamaha digital and the stuff that came with it got me connected to that site. Owning a Yamaha is not necessary to use the site and they have quite a library of material available and it provides some nice practice components if you have a computer near your piano. I can't send you the sheets because of the limitations to the digital copy and you can only print it twice per purchase but it was only $3.99 for the sheets. It's the big notes version and you can view a page or two of it before you buy.

This should get you to it:

What A Wonderful World
_________________________
Doug

I have a great memory, it's just short.



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#1439998 - 05/19/10 09:23 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Doug F]
SmokestackLightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Leicester, United Kingdom
Thanks for that Doug. That Digital Music Notebook software looks really cool. I dont have a Yamaha but im definetly going to give it a go. Looks like there is some free piano tuition stuff for it.

Do you use it a lot ?
_________________________
M-Audio ProKeys 88sx

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#1440113 - 05/20/10 06:02 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: SmokestackLightnin]
Doug F Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 186
Loc: Victor, NY
I don't use it a lot, but only because there never seems to be enough time. I've bought a few selections from it, a half dozen classic rock songs I hope to be able to play some day. In my case, with a Yamaha digital I can transfer the files to my instrument and it has some learning tools built in but so far they are way beyond my abilities so I didn't get anywhere with them. For What A Wonderful World I am only using the printed sheets so far but if I ever get it to where I can play it smoothly there's accompaniment to it. I can set up my laptop next to me while I play and the player feature of the software lets you isolate the left/right hand parts and remove the backing track so it helps hear what it's supposed to sound like.
_________________________
Doug

I have a great memory, it's just short.



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#1440354 - 05/20/10 02:27 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Doug F]
GracieCat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 340
Loc: USA
JimF and SmokeStackLightning, I will never admit to hearing you guys say that scales are important. laugh

Doug, glad you had a good lesson. We're at the same spot in the book. Do you want to know what "landmarks" I used when learning the Bass notes?

-The three spaces (between the lines) on the lower part of the staff spells "Ace".
-Know where F is on the staff (on the line between the dots on the bass clef). Page 18 of Alfred's All In One.

From there I know all the notes as long as they don't go below the bass staff.

I had to go back a couple weeks ago and really study the bass notes. I also printed up some bass clef note worksheets to work on and my theory book is keeping me drilled every day or so now. I don't think we'll be able to read and play very quickly until we progress a little further and get into CONSISTENTLY playing harder stuff in the left hand. Good luck with that. I'm playing one classical piece that feels impossible to my left hand.

Anyway, spent time today concentrating on O Sole Mio!. I really like it.
_________________________
Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue

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#1440532 - 05/20/10 08:02 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GracieCat]
SmokestackLightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Leicester, United Kingdom
Im a bit depressed tonight with my piano journey thus far. I see a lot of you guys talking about being 'signed off' on the pieces we're working on. Not having a teacher ive had to do that myself and move to the next piece on when I feel ive gotten good enough. I have to admit however that ive probably moved too fast and havent spent enough time polishing or even learning properly some of the pieces.

So ive gone back. far back. as far as Lullaby and im going to do all the pieces from there on in all over again.
_________________________
M-Audio ProKeys 88sx

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#1440541 - 05/20/10 08:13 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: SmokestackLightnin]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1129
Loc: New Jersey
I have felt the same way, SmokestackLightnin. I've moved too fast at times (if two years can by any stretch of the imagination be considered too fast), haven't polished or even properly learned some of the pieces. I guess that happens when you don't have a teacher. I hit a wall in Book 2, and am back reviewing my Book 1 pieces too. I went back a bit further than you, starting with my nemesis, Blow the Man Down. I actually like the darn thing now. I'm actually doing Lullaby right now. LOL This isn't the first time I've gone back to review, and I think it helps a lot - with note knowledge, with confidence, and with picking up some of the theory that I didn't understand the first time around. The last time I did a review I got as far as Good People, and then I got too busy with Book 2 to continue. This time I'm going to do review all of them - while I continue to work on my two current Book 2 pieces.

How is the review of Lullaby going for you? Did you know that it comes up again in Book 2? :-)

Don't get depressed. It takes as long as it takes. I'm enjoying my reviewing.
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1440562 - 05/20/10 08:43 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: mom3gram]
GracieCat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 340
Loc: USA
SmokeStack, don't get depressed. Going back is a great idea. I redo the book about every other week myself.

My teacher told me when I first started that I had to have the basics firmly under me before we could more forward. She said the music only gets harder, and it's frustrating to tackle without a good foundation.

She's really strict on dynamics, rhythm, and good fingering. (At times I can get away forgetting to use the pedal.) She'll also start me at various places in the music so I can't rely on my memory so much. She points to this measure, and then to another measure...and so on.

When you think you have the piece down completely, spend another 3-4 days on it. LOL You'll only get better.

mom3gram, Alfred has a good theory book. LINK HERE I'm working through this one. Bastien also has a similar book to ALfreds All In One that I've been working through as time permits. If you're tired of Alfred's #1, then maybe switch to Bastien. It's the same basics and progresses the same way. You might enjoy something a little different to reinforce the basics. Link Here
_________________________
Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue

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#1440563 - 05/20/10 08:43 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: mom3gram]
SmokestackLightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Leicester, United Kingdom
Thanks for the peptalk smile was much needed and its much appreciated.

I did go back and play BTMD down earlier and played it through about 5 times without missing a note which I was very happy with.

Lullaby is going better than the first time around since im getting into a new habit that I picked up from this forum of reading out all the notes before I play and during.

Some of the pieces after Lullaby I was able to play really well first time so I wont go over those again for too long. The 3 bluesy ones for example.

and yeah funnily enough I noticed today that Lullaby is in the 2nd book aswell. Its in a different key I think but listening to both versions off the cds I couldnt actually say which I preferred.

thanks again lass wink
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M-Audio ProKeys 88sx

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#1440831 - 05/21/10 08:47 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: SmokestackLightnin]
sorenlorensen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/10
Posts: 15
Loc: Scotland, UK
Funny you should mention that SmokeStack - I just did that yesterday too. I'd got as far as The Can-Can, but I really was feeling I was rushing and not taking everything in; particularly the theory bits. I do have a reasonable understanding of musical theory from years of guitar playing, but it just seemed that latterly I've just been battering through the book, just to get to the end. Whilst I have been making sure I've got every piece to a reasonable standard, I don't think I've been learning that much and as you say, without an objective listener to tell me when something's not up to scratch, it's too easy to do.

So, last night I went right back to Standing In The Need ... and played through each piece until the first one that I had any trouble with, which turned out to be The Lone Star Waltz, of all things. Seemed that I haven't really mastered the necessary hand placements for the jumping around the keyboard that that piece needs. Back to school for me, and I'm going to try to take it all a bit slower and more methodically from now on.


Edited by sorenlorensen (05/21/10 08:52 AM)
_________________________
"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." - Thomas Jefferson

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#1440845 - 05/21/10 09:27 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GracieCat]
Captain Zero Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/09
Posts: 55
Loc: Mulberry, Florida
Had a good week or two, managed solid practice sessions every day. Steady progress in AIO, I am starting The Entertainer this week. I feel good about that.

Then in Jazz, Blues and Rags I have hit a big problem. Surfboard Boogie is nice left and right hand boogie woogie. I am okay with the left hand runs. But I just don’t get the right hand rhythm. I can hear it in my head, but I cannot play it. I have been able to work through all the other 8th note challenges, swing 8th, straight 8th, syncopation, triplets. I am okay on all of that. Eight to the bar in boogie rhythm... it’s just not coming to me. I am open to any and all suggestions. If playing it a million times will get it done, I may succeed. But other than that option, I’m stuck.

I have not been playing scales much at all. I don’t see the point… I am willing to be wrong. In any case my teacher is not stressing scales, at least not yet. As I start work in a new key we do them once as a concept or exercise, and then move on. I do a lot of Hanon, daily sets, but not scales.

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#1440880 - 05/21/10 10:32 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: SmokestackLightnin]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: SmokestackLightnin
Im a bit depressed tonight with my piano journey thus far. I see a lot of you guys talking about being 'signed off' on the pieces we're working on. Not having a teacher ive had to do that myself and move to the next piece on when I feel ive gotten good enough. I have to admit however that ive probably moved too fast and havent spent enough time polishing or even learning properly some of the pieces.

So ive gone back. far back. as far as Lullaby and im going to do all the pieces from there on in all over again.



Don't feel depressed and don't assume that you didn't learn it properly if you can't play it perfectly a few weeks later. I don't think that my teacher has "passing" criteria nearly as strict as Gracie Cat's, but I have been passed on pieces that I, while practicing, revisit several weeks later. I am astonished by how I struggle with them and wonder how I ever passed them in the first place. I suspect it has a lot to do with the muscle memory thing (at least to a certain extent). I have played Raisins and Almonds every day since learning it and I can play that very well. Others that I haven't played in a bit would take some time to bring them to the point they were when I passed them.
Another additional perspective: Bringing a piece to "perfection" isn't the only way to develop our skills. Think back on the earliest piece with chords....didn't your hands feel perfectly awkward with certain chords? I bet they don't any longer feel that way. Sure, a small step, but a step nonetheless. Any playing, whether the result is something you regard as adequate, or not, is useful.
Don't be so hard on yourself, I am sure that you are making wonderful progress. Play the pieces you like the most and enjoy them.

Captain Zero: I am working on The Entertainer too. I have all but that nasty measure 11 at tempo with dynamics. It has taken two weeks though. I am also working on Amazing Grace. I have made some progress with it. The coolest thing is the arpeggiated chord (which I absolutely hated just three short days ago). Once you master it, it sounds really cool.
_________________________
Christine











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#1440948 - 05/21/10 12:58 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GlassLove]
GracieCat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 340
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: GlassLove
...Another additional perspective: Bringing a piece to "perfection" isn't the only way to develop our skills.


I totally agree with that statement. That's a big frustration point with me and my lessons. I get a piece down but if I play it at the lesson with a mistake, then she won't pass it. I'd much rather be able to play 2 songs pretty well with a full understanding of fingering, rhythm, dynamics and fingering then I would to play 1 junky song to perfection.

I would think a person would learn more doing 2 songs well, rather than spending the same amount of time perfecting one.

Thoughts anyone?
_________________________
Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue

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#1440966 - 05/21/10 01:18 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GracieCat]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
Yes, I think that is absolutely true!!!!!
I have even had a piece that my teacher has encouraged me to put away for awhile. She believes working week after week on the same piece (at least as a beginner), isn't very useful at all. If I learn other pieces, improve my skills and then come back to the piece we put away for a bit (a sonatina), I will be happily surprised with the result (according to her, I haven't taken lessons long enough to go back to the piece, but I am trusting her at this point). The only time I saw her insist on perfection (or one's closest approximation to it) was when she helped my son with his recital piece (which my little guy and his nerves of steel performed perfectly thumb)
I have played a total of two pieces in the Alfred book for more than 1 week: the dreaded blow the man down and the entertainer. In each instance it was because I truly hadn't mastered a big component of what the song is there to teach (BTMD: a timing thing; Entertainer: Fingering in the 11th measure). I suspect I will be playing amazing grace for two weeks as well (I can play it but I am VERY SLOW).
_________________________
Christine











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#1440981 - 05/21/10 01:44 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GlassLove]
Captain Zero Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/09
Posts: 55
Loc: Mulberry, Florida
For the learning experience, I think 2 pieces played well is more important than one piece at perfection. At some point perfection matters, for a recital or performance. But for developing as a pianist, I think it is better to gain more exposure to a broader range.

I have been tasked with the same Alfred's piece more than one week - on many occassions. I accept that, it takes me awhile to get to smooth on many pieces. Anytime I don't pass a piece, we talk about why and specifically what to do to improve. Even with multiple weeks of effort, I won't claim have attained perfection on anything. But I have gotten incredibly better over that time. Maybe that's a shot at how poorly I start... ha!

I guess I don't see a lot of benefit between one piece played well and the same piece played perfect. If perfection was the absolute standard for advancement, then my progress would very poor indeed. I would be only pages from the start. Instead I am within pages of the end of book 1 and feel competent on all preceeding material. Competent but not perfect. Even being my own harshest critics, I am satisfied with that.



Edited by Captain Zero (05/21/10 01:45 PM)

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#1441018 - 05/21/10 02:40 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Captain Zero]
GracieCat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 340
Loc: USA
It generally takes me two weeks to play an Alfred song well. One week to learn it and one week to polish. These last 2-3 weeks I've been working very hard on just Alfred's book trying to get as far as I can since my lessons are over next week.

On the other hand, I have 4 easy supplementary pieces I've been working on for months. One I started in Jan (before I started lessons), and the others in Feb. These aren't hard pieces, and I can play them. However, I always make mistakes in them. Usually it's a wrong note, or I hesitate somewhere. She'll start counting or tapping if I hesitate and that just throws me completely off. Carry on a conversation with me while I play, but DON'T count! wink

Last week I played 12 songs for her during my 45 minute lesson. I find it's hard to transition into some songs. I get tripped up if one song is in the key of G and the next is in F. Or, I go from a Blues Song to a Mexican song...or to a Religious song or heaven forbid into my classical book. It's hard to transition between the different types of songs as well.

She really wants the song perfect before she signs off on it. It's easy to play a song 5 times in a row and play it very well the last time, but it's hard to play that same song "perfectly" right out of the gate when it's in a line of 11 other songs. I've told her so many times and it's almost like she doesn't "get" it. But then I think of the lady that plays the piano on Tuesdays when our trio gets together to sing. The girl will play anything you put in front of her. She's a good sight reader, but I just find it amazing how she can just go from song to song without problem. We'll easily go through 10 songs that day, and 2 those songs will be new to her (or at least the arrangement will be new to her).

That's my frustrations with lessons. When my last lesson is over next week I'm putting away those pieces I've been working on forever and moving onto something else. I can't wait.
_________________________
Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue

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#1441247 - 05/21/10 08:43 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GracieCat]
Doug F Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 186
Loc: Victor, NY
It usually takes me 2 weeks to get an Alfred's piece good enough to get passed on it also. There have been a few exceptions (Good People took about 4 weeks because of rhythm errors).

I normally have 3 or 4 pieces going at a time, one that I am ready to get passed on, one that still needs polishing, one that I have just started and my supplemental piece.

I've said it before that the criteria of being passed is not perfection but rather a real good grasp of what is being taught and now it seems that I need to be able to do previously taught techniques better than when they were first introduced. Makes sense.
_________________________
Doug

I have a great memory, it's just short.



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