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#1380995 - 02/23/10 09:50 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: dmd]
Zenobe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 76
Loc: Newtown CT
Hi Everybody -

Just a quick introduction and hello to all the people on the AIO Book 2 thread. I recently finished up Book 1 and am now moving on to Book 2. I am an adult beginner, 44 yo, never played piano before last May, when I picked up Book 1. Since September I have been taking lessons from my son's teacher.

My son is 12 and has been playing since he was 7 or so. Even though it can be frustrating and tedious at times to practice every day, we both love piano and it is a great bonding thing for us. My son is just finishing up Fur Elise (the full version) for a recital this Saturday, and it is so beautiful just to listen to him play. He's not the second coming of Horowitz or whatever, but he is my boy, and listening to him play Beethoven with soul and feeling is about as good as it gets for me.

Anyway, my teacher prefers Piano Adventures and John Thompson's Modern method over the Alfred Adult, but she is fine with me keeping in the Alfred Adult books if I want to. I am in PA level 3A, and half way through the Thompson book 1.

In the AIO Book 2, I am just getting started with Guantanamera, and unlike the other recent postings, I love that song. I like the way it swings. [Also it reminds me of a funny skit I saw one time on Saturday night live, featuring Dan Ackroyd (?) - he stuffs his pant leg... I tell you he stuffs his pant leg... :)]

Best wishes to all --- music making, especially as an adult beginner, seems almost spiritual to me. Peace
_________________________
Piano Adventures 3A, Alfred AIO 2

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#1381027 - 02/23/10 10:39 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: Zenobe]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
Welcome Zenobe, congrats on finishing book1!
_________________________

Korg SP200, Pianoteq

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#1381093 - 02/23/10 12:12 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: BazC]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Zenobe
…He's not the second coming of Horowitz or whatever, but he is my boy, and listening to him play Beethoven with soul and feeling is about as good as it gets for me…
Congrats on your son’s accomplishments Zenobe. Best of luck to you and him this Saturday. Very glad to see you here. It feels quite homey seeing a lot of familiar faces.

No progress for me lately. My teacher assigned reviews of primer & level 1 of piano adventures. We just started 2a and she gave me lots too. I am still at Down in the Valley and haven’t touched Alfred for 2 weeks. frown
_________________________
Nguyen - Student Pianist

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#1381124 - 02/23/10 12:45 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: Nguyen]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1150
Loc: New Jersey
That's okay, Nguyen. You are laying down a good foundation. Between having a teacher, and doing the Faber series, you will probably not struggle as much with the Alfred 2 pieces when you get to them.

Hi Zenobe! You are the first one I've seen who likes "Guantanamera". It sounds really awful when I play it. :-(
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1382321 - 02/24/10 10:18 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: mom3gram]
wj3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 317
Loc: Salem, Or/Las Vegas, Nv
My teacher has been gone for two weeks. So I have been spending some time on Alfreds. Gave myself a pass on the Theme from the overture today. Learned and Recorded...Now to be forgotten. Coming along with Light and Blue. This one will be a keeper...

I too like Guantanamera altho it was hard to get it to flow smoothly. It took some exta work.

My teacher is back now so we will probably be working on something else next week....
_________________________
wj3

2010 Roland KR-115m, Yamaha clp-430
Working on Alfred Adult AIO 3 Super Special sorta song,Simply Joplin Bethena,Solace,Burgmuller


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#1386180 - 03/02/10 03:51 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: wj3]
gintarec Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 129
Loc: UK
Hello all, do you mind if I join you here?

I have been playing piano now for 5 months and I had my Book 1 certificate signed yesterday by my teacher (oh yes, she HAD to sign it!). We started on Book 2 and tried playing Down the Valley (not bad for first time), Bridal Chorus (a bit of a struggle) and right hand Guantanamera (it really doesn't sound good when played one handed!).

I am also taking Step 2 exam (London College of Music) in April, so I have to practice for that.
_________________________
Alfred's All-in-One: Level 2 - started March 1st!
Still playing 'Overture'
Clavinova CLP-240

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#1386230 - 03/02/10 06:06 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: gintarec]
jrcallan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 373
Loc: Pennsylvania
Welcome aboard. Guantanamera's pretty challenging. Good luck.
_________________________
Baldwin M
Casio PX-330
Casio AP-45

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#1386266 - 03/02/10 07:45 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: jrcallan]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
Yes welcome Gintarec! Many of us have struggled with Guantanamera, maybe it's Book 2s Blow the Man Down? smile

I hated it, honestly, more than any other tune I've attempted in the Alfreds books! Yet now that it's under my fingers it's growing on me so I find I want to polish it a bit more! I still don't like the tune but it bounces along nicely and is quite fun to play. Funny thing music!
_________________________

Korg SP200, Pianoteq

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#1386402 - 03/02/10 11:25 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: BazC]
joyoussong Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 747
Loc: Canada
Thinking people might 'get' Guantanamera more easily if they knew the words, I went looking for lyrics & found a (to me) really interesting article about the song's history. It's a Cuban song, originated probably in 1929, & a Guatanamera means a girl from Guantanamo. But Guantanamera is also a song structure that invites impromptu verses, and the lyrics that Pete Seeger sang & translated in the 60's were written by a revolutionary poet. Sorry if this is more than you ever wanted to know about Guantanamera, but sometimes knowing the origins of a piece can be helpful...?

& now I'm going to look at what Wikipedia has to say about La Bamba, because THAT's the piece that's giving me problems right now!!


Edited by joyoussong (03/02/10 11:27 AM)
_________________________
Carol
(Started playing July 2008)


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#1386434 - 03/02/10 12:10 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: joyoussong]
Zenobe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 76
Loc: Newtown CT
Good to see you Gintarec! I think we started Book 1 at a similar time, maybe you got through it a bit faster than I did. Anyway glad to see we're all hanging in there. Piano still gives me lots of pleasure and peace.

Loving the background and history lesson joyoussong - thanks! How weird about the "girl from Guantanamo" angle! Who knew? Kind of creepy considering what Guantanemo is known for now. Keep it coming - my take on La Bamba is limited only to the fact that it's the one song that Los Lobos (one of my all time favorite bands) had a real hit from, even though they didn't write it and it is way more commercial than their other stuff.

For me, I'm still working G-mera in Book 2, and lots of other stuff from Piano Adventures 3A (including my very first Sonatina fragment - exciting!) and good ol' John Thompson Book 1. Adios for now ---
_________________________
Piano Adventures 3A, Alfred AIO 2

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#1386710 - 03/02/10 05:42 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: Zenobe]
joyoussong Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 747
Loc: Canada
Had a lesson today & got some serious help on the La Bamba timing from my teacher. It seems like a lot of the Book 2 pieces have R & L hand parts that are so intertwined, neither makes sense without the other - in other words, there's not really 2 distinct lines, so the 'learn each hand separately, then play together' routine hits a serious limitation. For me, anyway. This is one of those times when it's going to feel SO good when I'm past it.

BUT I also asked my teacher what I was doing wrong with the series of repeated notes in Mexican Hat Dance & the second line of Tarantella, because it was making my wrist/forearm tired, & she showed me how to strike the note with my wrist really loose - it's an upward motion, really, kind of like the flopping fish hands someone pointed out on the Meade Lux Lewis video on another thread - on the first 2 of 3, then come down on the third (the last of each series of repeats). It's going to take some practice, but I'm sure it'll make a big difference. And for these small things is why my teacher is SO worth what I pay her.
_________________________
Carol
(Started playing July 2008)


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#1387048 - 03/03/10 05:30 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: joyoussong]
gintarec Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 129
Loc: UK
Thanks all! I think my Down the alley is sounding ok now, and I am getting along with Bridal Chorus. I'll tackle the Guantanamera after this. We have our own 'humoristic version' for lyrics of this song in Lithuania and everytime I play/hear it, it reminds me of home (I live in UK now).
_________________________
Alfred's All-in-One: Level 2 - started March 1st!
Still playing 'Overture'
Clavinova CLP-240

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#1390166 - 03/07/10 02:42 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: gintarec]
bolt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 212
I'm having a hard time with House of the Rising Sun. Can anyone give any advice on that one.

The trouble I'm having is not being able to read the left and right hand in real time as I play the piece so the only way around that seems to be to memorize the left hand changes and read only the right hand as I play it.
_________________________
"There is more to this piano playing malarkey than meets the eye" - adultpianist

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#1391188 - 03/08/10 10:48 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: bolt]
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
Where I'm at, the pieces seem to come quickly. Polishing them, not so much, but my teacher and I have a mind towards making some fast and furious progress in Alfred's over the next few months, so perfection ain't gonna happen.

Case in point, the Divertimento in D. I probably put two hours into it, and should speed it up some, and improve the differentiation in dynamic range. Not gonna do it. Time to move on.

http://www.box.net/shared/pbeuaj5nol
_________________________

Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/

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#1393942 - 03/11/10 07:08 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: Always Wanted to Play Piano]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
Hi book two-ers!! Haven't posted here in a while. I'm just starting to work on Canon in D then I'll be moving on to book 3. Anyone else tackling the Canon?
_________________________
Carol
Kawai RX 2


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#1394195 - 03/12/10 05:24 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
Originally Posted By: HeirborneGroupie
Hi book two-ers!! Haven't posted here in a while. I'm just starting to work on Canon in D then I'll be moving on to book 3. Anyone else tackling the Canon?


Ooooooo congrats on getting to the end of book 2! It seems an awful long way off to me smile Currently working on Morning has broken.
_________________________

Korg SP200, Pianoteq

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#1394388 - 03/12/10 01:26 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: BazC]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1150
Loc: New Jersey
I'm still working on "Light and Blue". It's just not sounding remotely musical HT, although it isn't quite as bad RH only. I just listened to John Frank's version at the beginning of this thread, and now I'm really depressed. His sounds really great! He has a great rhythm going there that I wish I could get in mine. I KNOW I'm going to be thoroughly sick of this piece long before I get it to sound good.
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1395857 - 03/14/10 09:58 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: mom3gram]
wj3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 317
Loc: Salem, Or/Las Vegas, Nv
Ok I am finished with Light and Blue... Got it recorded and put to bed....I am still going to work on it, but its time to move on.... Had Hungarian food for lunch yesterday, I wonder if it will help be with the next song.
_________________________
wj3

2010 Roland KR-115m, Yamaha clp-430
Working on Alfred Adult AIO 3 Super Special sorta song,Simply Joplin Bethena,Solace,Burgmuller


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#1396191 - 03/15/10 10:14 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: wj3]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1150
Loc: New Jersey
How long did "Light and Blue" take you, wj3? I'm still stumbling through it. I can play it without wrong notes, but slowly and haltingly. I can't get any discernable musicality or rhythm to it. The date in my book says I started it on 2/16, so I've been working on it for a month. Maybe time to give it a rest and come back to it at a later date?
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1396250 - 03/15/10 11:30 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: mom3gram]
wj3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 317
Loc: Salem, Or/Las Vegas, Nv
Mom3gram, I finished the theme from the overture on 2-23-10 and started seriously working on Light and Blue then. So about three weeks. But I really probably started a learning it a few weeks earlier. I tend to play it too fast, I should be kind of a lazy rhythm. In my recording I started off ok but then speeded up toward the end. So I will need to keep polishing it to play it well. Maybe I'll make another recording.
_________________________
wj3

2010 Roland KR-115m, Yamaha clp-430
Working on Alfred Adult AIO 3 Super Special sorta song,Simply Joplin Bethena,Solace,Burgmuller


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#1396265 - 03/15/10 11:57 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: mom3gram]
joyoussong Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 747
Loc: Canada
I remember having a hard time with Light & Blue, too - by the time I got it to work, I had it memorized. But the musical structure always made sense to me - don't know if it'll be any help to you, but I'll try to explain the patterns that I see there. It's kind of like a narrative, or maybe a conversation.

My knowledge of terminology is pretty weak, but musically, the piece seems to be structured into 2 sections; to me, the 2nd half almost seems to respond to, or comment on, the 1st.

Within each half, there are three bars, then an "echo" (the 8va bit), repeated twice. Then, the echo is replaced by bars 9-10-11-12 that make a sort of bridge leading into the 2nd half.

Within each 3-bar chunk, the first bar seems to present an idea; the 2nd seems to consider it, & the 3rd seems to reach some conclusion. The next 3 bars repeat the pattern, but bar 5 (which is the start of that bit) seems to introduce some kind of complication - it's resolved, though, by bars 6 & 7, which are exactly the same bars 2 & 3.

The 2nd half divides up pretty much the same way, but it's much more "confident?" than part 1 - it knows what it's talking about.

To learn the RH, I practiced the chunks until I could play them with some fluency. Pay attention to the rests, too (as my teacher is ALWAYS telling me!)
I worked on the LH separately until that regular rhythm was automatic. It's just a regular 4 beats - I think I play it ta-TAH-ta-tah, because my thumb + F2 or F3 land harder than my pinky.

Keep at it, mom3gram! After a while, you'll be able to play it in your sleep.

btw, to give credit where it's due, I read a book a while ago, "All You Have to Do is Listen," that explains musical structure, & I think I may have been reading it while I was learning to play L & B - hence, the analogy with literature. (I also teach English, so breaking it down that way made sense to me.)
The book is by Rob Kapilow, & there's an accompanying web site - can't find it at the moment, but it's there - where audio clips of all the examples used in the book are posted.
_________________________
Carol
(Started playing July 2008)


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#1396304 - 03/15/10 01:02 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: joyoussong]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1150
Loc: New Jersey
Carol, I like the way you explained the structure of "Light & Blue". I can make the right hand sound pretty good most days. And I practiced the left hand alone to get the rhythm of it after listening to John Frank's version. But I can't play it HT and keep the rhythm going. So basically I'm thinking RH only here, now HT, watch - the LH note is immediately after that RH one, etc. Correct notes - timing in my mind but not in my fingers = terrible sound. I suppose I will get it eventually. I always do. But I'm getting really tired of it. I need a break, but I don't want to go ahead. Time to get out one or more of my level 1 books and play from them for a few days.
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1396314 - 03/15/10 01:29 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: mom3gram]
joyoussong Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 747
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: mom3gram
Time to get out one or more of my level 1 books and play from them for a few days.


I've been doing that a LOT lately. In between bouts of learning La Bamba at such a slow speed, I'm almost going backwards! It's coming along, though - I can play it hands together now, at about a quarter normal speed. Strangely enough, the pieces after La B seem a lot easier, & I wonder why they put this ridiculously complicated piece so early in the book. At least for me it's ridiculously complicated, & I don't usually have much difficulty with rhythm. Last lesson, my teacher suggested I use my metronome on about 72, & count the "&'s" as beats, too (so really, I played it at about 36 bpm) And count along with the metronome & play, first one hand, then the other. And eventually together. I've now got the metronome up to about 96 (=48!) & I've figured out the rhythm. Yippee!!! & I can even do it (at that speed) without the metronome. Do you suppose learning a new piece ever gets any easier?????
_________________________
Carol
(Started playing July 2008)


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#1396368 - 03/15/10 02:47 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: joyoussong]
wj3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 317
Loc: Salem, Or/Las Vegas, Nv
My teacher has me going real slow also. I have to name all the notes as I play them. I can only go as fast as I can name all the notes. Its hard when there is chords. Then I can slowly increase the speed if I can still name the notes. Its the old thing of walking and chewing gum at the same time for me.....
_________________________
wj3

2010 Roland KR-115m, Yamaha clp-430
Working on Alfred Adult AIO 3 Super Special sorta song,Simply Joplin Bethena,Solace,Burgmuller


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#1396376 - 03/15/10 02:54 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: wj3]
nancy_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: wj3
My teacher has me going real slow also. I have to name all the notes as I play them. I can only go as fast as I can name all the notes. Its hard when there is chords. Then I can slowly increase the speed if I can still name the notes. Its the old thing of walking and chewing gum at the same time for me.....


Nobody told me that walking and chewing gum was an essential skill for piano. I better start practicing smile

My teacher still has me go very slow with songs HT. I get to where I can play all the notes, but the timing isn't right (oh you mean it's supposed to sound like a SONG? hahah) so I get out the metronome and start very slow so I can play everything correctly. Then as I can do a certain speed almost perfectly; I'll bump it up a notch or two. It's actually amazing how quickly you get to a faster speed when you do it this way. It seems like it's taking longer - but really it's not.

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#1398764 - 03/18/10 04:42 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: nancy_w]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1150
Loc: New Jersey
I can't walk and chew gum at the same time, either. :-)

My first page of "Light & Blue" is actually beginning to sound pretty good - not great, but pretty good, none of the hesitations and the timing is pretty decent. I haven't tried the second page in several days as I was getting excited with the first page sounding better and just wanted to continue to play it. Now I gotta get the second page caught up. This is the first blues piece that I think I'm going to actually like.

Every piece goes through similar stages.
1. Oh, wow, this is too hard, I can't do this.
2. Okay, I've got the fingering if I would just quit making mistakes.
3. Not too many mistakes, why does it still sound so awful.
4. Timing is not bad, a little slow, but it still sounds awful.
5. All Right!!!! Now it sounds like something.

I'm somewhere between #4 and #5 right now. It still needs a lot of practice and polishing, if I can hold my interest in it a little longer. I'm not moving on to the next one yet.
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1398770 - 03/18/10 04:49 PM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: mom3gram]
nancy_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: mom3gram


Every piece goes through similar stages.
1. Oh, wow, this is too hard, I can't do this.
2. Okay, I've got the fingering if I would just quit making mistakes.
3. Not too many mistakes, why does it still sound so awful.
4. Timing is not bad, a little slow, but it still sounds awful.
5. All Right!!!! Now it sounds like something.



I love this description! It's very accurate for how I seem to learn also. Although on number 4 I still sometimes have mistakes in the pieces I'm working on smile


Edited by nancy_w (03/18/10 04:49 PM)

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#1399127 - 03/19/10 08:22 AM Re: Introduction (and dance?) [Re: nancy_w]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
Haha I still have mistakes at stage 5! smile

Yay! 500 posts! smile
_________________________

Korg SP200, Pianoteq

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#1399133 - 03/19/10 08:33 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]
DragonPianoPlayer Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2422
Loc: Denver, CO
bump to try to restore title.

It appears that someone tried to change the title and this thread is showing up as " Introduction (and dance?)" This seemed to happen on 1/20/10 with Eddy Boston's post.

Rich
_________________________

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#1399221 - 03/19/10 11:17 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1150
Loc: New Jersey
Oh, yeah, I still have mistakes at stage 5. I didn't even mean for stage 5 to be the end, just the stage where it starts to come together for me. There are probably many more stages of getting it up to tempo, making it musical, getting it really polished. And I would probably have mistakes in all of those stages too.

Thanks for changing the thread title back, Rich. I had trouble finding it yesterday.
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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