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#1463819 - 06/27/10 11:24 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Day Dreamer]
nancymae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Welcome Day Dreamer!

I was a beginner too, as of Christmas 2009. I am almost done with Book one. Yes, some of the music is very rudimentary, but it was not made, I don't think, to be entertaining, but to help us learn a certain technique or scale. If you use it as a learning experience, and build up...you will be able to play the songs you want. I have a book of songs that I want to play, but I know it will frustrate me if I don't go through the learning experience first. Think of it as, for example, learning the multiplication or addition tables in school. Totally borning, but necessary. You are getting a foundation for later.

Good luck with you..and most of all..enjoy the experience!

Nancy
_________________________
Piano Obsession Log:
Began Piano 12/25/09 on Yamaha starter digital keyboard
Playing on circa 1917/18 Chickering Grand Piano since July 2010
Finished Alfred Book 1-August 2010
Started Book 2--August 11, 2010
Alfred Favorites Book







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#1464511 - 06/28/10 05:31 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Day Dreamer]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 318
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
Day Dreamer - You have expressed the desire that is near and dear to most of the posters in this thread, namely, playing a favorite song or piece that is currently beyond our capabilities. You're not alone in that by a long shot! I also empathize with your dislike of some of the material in Alfred's. There are some songs in that book where I'd rather be "waterboarded at Gitmo" than be forced to play them! For me, "He's got the Whole World in His Hands" comes to mind. Arrrgh! I only like that song if Jessye Norman or Kathleen Battle is singing it! Everyone has their own list of "dogs"

I've tried to alleviate boredom with some of the songs by learning about the history behind them. For instance, Scarborough Fair ...it started in 1253 as a "trade show" in England. That song has been indelibly burned into my brain by Simon and Garfunkel (can you tell I'm a Baby Boomer?) I wonder if its composer started singing it in "Old English" as a "Top 40 Hit of 1254". Well, no pianos in those days ..everyone get out your Lute to play along! Hey, for our UK friends, "Is Scarborough anywhere near Penzance, with those pesky Pirates?"

Raisins and Almonds was a song I didn't really know. Alfred's authors label it a folk song. I found it was written by Abraham Goldfaden, the father of Yiddish musical theater with the melody composed by his cousin in the late 1800's. It was a well-known song to the European Jewish population. It was probably sung by mothers to their children as they were herded into trains on their way to Auschwitz. For me, that thought conveys a poignant sadness to the song that the label of "folk song" in Alfred's cannot.

So, I've tried to make lemons into lemonade whenever possible! It does make me feel good to go back and play some of the songs I was not fond of and discover that my ability has progressed to the point where I can easily play them. That alone, makes them somewhat more enjoyable!

Day Dreamer - I think we all wish we had a crystal ball that would tell us "in only 2 years, 3 days and 47 minutes, we'll all be playing that one piece that we so desire to do! But if we stick with it, we'll get to that magic moment! (He said hopefully!!!) BTW, Richard Clayderman had a piano teacher father ...lucky stiff!! He has about a 40 year head start, so keep practicing!!! You'll get there!!!


Edited by Emissary52 (06/28/10 06:04 PM)
Edit Reason: Grammar
_________________________
I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate

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#1464662 - 06/28/10 10:17 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Emissary52]
Day Dreamer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 32
Hi Emissary and Nancy,

Thank you for the inspiring and encouraging words. It really motivates me.

Well, you are absolutely right. Yesterday I tried to play the piece and soon got frustrated. The problems were bigger than I thought:

1. I was struggling with 2 octaves span. Not less than 10 times I hit the notes incorrectly. My hand doesn't seem to estimate the distance well.

2. Tricky rhythm. There are a lots of rhythm changes in the song and there are numerous triplets (16th note / 8th notes, 12 notes / 8 notes).

3. Co ordination between 2 hands.

... and etc

It seems clear to me that I need to let this go. And hope that one day i can take a "revenge" laugh. Hope that day isn't too far. I will resume with the Alfred journey from now on. I hope even though the music isn't so exciting to me, it will eventually reward some techniques.

Thank you all and have fun playing

Steve


Edited by Day Dreamer (06/28/10 10:21 PM)

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#1464752 - 06/29/10 12:44 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Day Dreamer]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 318
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
Steve - Tackling a few measures from musical pieces that you really desire to play is a good thing. I do it myself! It makes you realize just how much work you have to put into learning piano, but can also reward you in that, as you progress further, you gain much better insight into those pieces, as well as getting incrementally better at playing some of those measures that comprise them.

Looking at some of the music I would like to play, it reminds me of a third grader learning multiplication looking at the calculus homework of a college freshman. It looks daunting from that perspective. But after getting through algebra, geometry and trig, that calculus homework starts to appear less intimidating. Playing a piano well is definitely something that requires a lot of time and commitment, but I wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't worth it!

I would like to think about the time that I can play a fairly difficult piece and daydream a little, yet not make a single mistake. I wonder if that's what the pros do! Oh well, hope springs eternal!! grin

Craig
_________________________
I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate

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#1464768 - 06/29/10 01:16 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Emissary52]
AaronT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Hawaii
I've been in Book One, Lvl One for four days. I'm up to page 41. Most of it isn't too difficult (I have a background reading music). Its the chord fingerings that are getting to me. The book recently introduced the "G position.." What is this for? I've been playing from the G position since... is there a time when I go back to the "C position?" Will charts specify? Is it up to me?

I bought a method book in hopes of aiding my learning. As a trumpet player, I drilled and drilled in method books to improve my articulation. I opened this method book and was disappointed to learn that I'm not that far along yet.

I've been doing my own drills... back and forth with different chords sets. I just feel like I'm missing something. Rather, I feel that the book offers a lot.. but its not offering what I need. This could be completely incorrect, I'm well aware. I might be a bit impatient.. but seriously.. I know what sharps and quarter notes are.. I need a book that focuses on the things I don't know.

Any advice is much appreciated. Even if its, "suck it up," which I've been telling myself since Friday.
_________________________
-with a laxative, never take more than the recommended dose

Aaron
"Pride Runs Deep"

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#1464796 - 06/29/10 02:37 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: AaronT]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 318
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
Aaron - Don't feel bad at this point! Sometimes, I think it's harder for people who have musical knowledge to get through this sort of material, than for absolute noobies who barely know where middle C is. You might be able to play the theme for Masterpiece Theatre with your toes ...in your sleep, on the trumpet, while here you're pretty much presented with "Row,Row,Row Your Boat" type pieces, which may be a big let-down for you! Part of the difference, is that with the piano, you will end up playing multiple melody lines, many of which, are constructed with chords. As a trumpet player, you just have your one line to play. Piano may be analogous to playing a trumpet and clarinet at the same time with a bassoon thrown in for good measure. When you add up the musical lines of these three instruments, they are probably sounding out chords along the way. I play guitar, so I'm used to chords and end up "seeing them" in measures when I play, even if they're not so marked in the Alfred songs. I miss those guitar chord fret boxes in Alfreds's (LOL). Too many old songbooks (Piano,Guitar,Vocals) I guess!

So, Aaron, you have to make that instrument adjustment, which might be a bit painful for a while, but in the long run, will increase your musical knowledge and perhaps, give you a greater appreciation for your trumpet as well as some new-found respect for the piano as a musical instrument! Hang in there!!! smile


Edited by Emissary52 (06/29/10 02:38 AM)
_________________________
I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate

Top
#1464803 - 06/29/10 03:00 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Emissary52]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 318
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
Sorry Aaron, I forgot to answer your main question! Yes, the C and G positions are basically a place to park your hands, and start out from, especially when learning to play these simple songs. You'll learn a few more over the course of the Alfred series. They'll tell you where to put your hands. It's like an "initial comfort zone", located over the major chord in each key, where you can branch out from. As you play more complex material, these positions gradually fade in importance.


Edited by Emissary52 (06/29/10 03:12 AM)
_________________________
I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate

Top
#1464821 - 06/29/10 03:54 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Emissary52]
AaronT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Hawaii
Ha thanks a lot smile
_________________________
-with a laxative, never take more than the recommended dose

Aaron
"Pride Runs Deep"

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#1464825 - 06/29/10 04:16 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: AaronT]
Ejay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
Hi Aaron,

I started piano as an adult from a previous background in classical guitar . I also learned the guitar from drill type exercises, with pieces at the level the exercises were preparing me for, placed in the method book appropriately.
Alfred's uses a Left Hand chord style to give a fuller sound, but misses out the drill type finger exercises that are in children's slower speed of learning books.
You can buy various exercise books such as Czerny,(lots of books some much easier than others, level usually shown on website stores) Hanon and Dozen a day and/or supplement with easy classical pieces, such as joy of classics/ classics to moderns in order to supplement your learning.

ETA: Do not worry over hand positions. This is only a way of telling a beginner where to place their hands at the start of a piece. The hands will not stay in one position as your skills develop, but move in a fluid motion up and down the keyboard. Instead of fingers sitting closely together e.g. 1 on C and 5 on G, they will learn to stretch, squeeze, cross under etc. So don't start thinking finger 1 on C in C position, on G in G position etc. just look at where the fingers should be placed in order to start the piece. Fingering will develop naturally as you progress.
_________________________
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
Maya Angelou


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#1464826 - 06/29/10 04:22 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Ejay]
Ejay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
Fordotted to say, scales, broken chords and arpeggios are also a great way to learn and develop dexterity too.
_________________________
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
Maya Angelou


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#1464945 - 06/29/10 10:07 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Ejay]
nancymae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Emissary:

THANK YOU for your explanations of the history of the songs. I had NO IDEA!! I'm a Baby Boomer too, but did not realize about Scarborough Fair..nor Raisins. Makes me appreciate them all the more! I love SF--and melody and background harmonies in that song.

There is so much to learn and it is so exciting! That is one thing that I appreciate--the experience of the learning of the piano and/or songs is ALMOST (and I repeat ALMOST) as good as mastering a song.

I'm working on The Entertainer now, bought myself a digital recorder and will attempt to record myself. I find that learning the Entertainer gives me a greater insight on the rhythms--how both hands work together to give a specific outcome. It's pretty cool! I'm not looking forward to those triplets in Amazing Grace..but will carry on!

I CAN'T WAIT TO PUT THE GRADUATE SIGNATURE ON MY POSTS!!!! But I must be patient!! :-)

Enjoy!!

Nancy
_________________________
Piano Obsession Log:
Began Piano 12/25/09 on Yamaha starter digital keyboard
Playing on circa 1917/18 Chickering Grand Piano since July 2010
Finished Alfred Book 1-August 2010
Started Book 2--August 11, 2010
Alfred Favorites Book







Top
#1465286 - 06/29/10 08:34 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: nancymae]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 318
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
nancymae - I find that when I know the history of the song, I tend to work on it more and end up playing it better. I worked on Raisins and Almonds as if Steven Spielberg was planning to use it in the soundtrack to Schindler's List.

I'm going to spend alot of time with The Entertainer and Amazing Grace perfect them, even if it means delaying moving on to Book 2 until sometime in mid-July. I've got The Entertainer almost there and can go through AG at a good pace. Those triplets aren't so bad, but are a little overdone! Poor Willard Palmer and the rest of the crew ...everyone's a critic! LOL!

I've tried recording my performances, my piano has it built in. But I get sooo nervous as soon as I hit the record button, that I make 100 times more mistakes. It's as if I found myself naked in Carnegie Hall with a broken Steinway Grand in front of 2300 people and Clint Eastwood is holding a gun to my head saying "You better not make a mistake, Buster!" Oh well, I'll just have to try it a few more times until I relax a bit. I played part of The Entertainer over the phone to my brother and he thought it sounded pretty good. So it's back to the piano or a partial NCIS rerun!


Edited by Emissary52 (06/29/10 08:38 PM)
_________________________
I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate

Top
#1465620 - 06/30/10 11:12 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Emissary52]
nancymae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Emissary52--

Your recording is JUST THE SAME AS MINE!!! I feel like my hands are wobbly spaghetti when I hit the dreaded 'record' button! My hat goes off to GracieCat for being able to record.

That is such an awesome way to feel about doing the songs...like you are doing them for a soundtrack, not just trudging along, but putting some feeling into it. I practiced R & A last night..and it's amazing how, when your attitude changes, your playing changes as well.

I wonder how the stars deal with the fact that they play the same pieces for 20-30 years...like Elton John and Billy Joel? How do they keep the passion for the song? Off topic...I know. Just wondering.

Good luck on your recording adventures..if I ever get a recording I'll be sure to post!

Nancy
_________________________
Piano Obsession Log:
Began Piano 12/25/09 on Yamaha starter digital keyboard
Playing on circa 1917/18 Chickering Grand Piano since July 2010
Finished Alfred Book 1-August 2010
Started Book 2--August 11, 2010
Alfred Favorites Book







Top
#1465724 - 06/30/10 01:37 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: nancymae]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 318
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
Nancy - I find that the more emotional "hooks" I can get into a song, the better I play it. Playing the piano is its own "internal passion" of sorts. The more "life" you can breathe into a musical piece, the better you can play it whether it's from Alfred's or one of Chopin's glorious creations.

Here's some motivational sources just for "Raisins and Almond"

Sung by Netania Davrath
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdKkPupLiYM

Jane Seymour singing it to her son in "War and Remembrance"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9b3hxYFB068&feature=related

Music doesn't really exist in an emotional vacuum! I suspect that the authors of Alfred's are as much influenced by popular culture as the rest of us. I doubt some of the selections in Alfred's that we are now working on wouldn't be in the book without artists that popularized them in one form or another.

Scarborough Fair - If Simon and Garfunkel had not sung Scarborough Fair/Canticle in 1968, I doubt we'd be playing it.

The Entertainer - Without Marvin Hamlish's piano version integrated into the movie "The Sting", it wouldn't be in the book.

Amazing Grace - If Judy Collins hadn't made it a hit in 1971, I don't think it would be played at every policeman's and fireman's funeral as well as Mr. Spock's and it wouldn't be in the book either!

Your question about keeping performances fresh is certainly relevant and not off-topic at all. I do it myself with our limited repertoire of pieces like BTMD and Can-Can. LOL! In the case of artists like Elton John and Billy Joel, I think they view their songs like "children" who must be constantly nourished and grow and change with time!

As far as an emotional hooks in a song, here is an example by Judy Collins singing a song she composed about the suicide of her 33 year old son in 1994. I don't see how she can perform it without crying through it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK6FWx675m4

- Craig
_________________________
I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate

Top
#1465747 - 06/30/10 02:02 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Emissary52]
GracieCat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 340
Loc: USA
Doug, you on vacation?

Nancy, do you have any recordings to share? Can't wait to hear something. It doesn't have to be perfect. We all make our share of blunders on the keys.

I like seeing a bunch of people posting here.

DayDreamer, just hang in there with the kiddie songs. You'll be past that quickly enough. I'm not crazy about the songs either, but frankly, I can't begin to play anything that I actually do like. Seriously, who over the age of 6 like "When The Saints Go Marching In"? It's just getting the basics under your belt. Find a good easy supplemental book that you'll enjoy. Not something hard that you'll get frustrated with though.

I've been playing piano for 6 months and I couldn't begin to touch Marriage D' Amour. Maybe after another 1-1.5 years.

I don't remember where I was before I left on vacation. BUT, I've finished The Stranger and Go Down Moses. I'm polishing Scarborough Fair as I can't seem to get the 9th measure down, and I've been neglecting the pedal for the most part. Only 3 more songs left till I'm finished the book! (I'm almost done with Amazing Grace too.)

I also started "Beauty and the Beast" from Alfreds Greatest Hits book. It's easy enough for me to learn and polish in about 4 days with not much practice. Well, it's still choppy so maybe it'll take a few more days. I don't even like this music, but between you and I...I enjoyed playing it.


Edited by GracieCat (06/30/10 02:13 PM)
_________________________
Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue

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#1465811 - 06/30/10 04:13 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
Quote:
Doug, you on vacation?


Nope, just hanging around enjoying the conversations between everyone while I plug away at the last bunch of pieces in the book. We don't take our vacation until after school resumes in September.

I just got back from my lesson and am happy to report that I have finally got passed on O Sole Mio!. That one took a long time, teacher was being a real stickler on the pedaling and dynamics and each lesson seemed to reveal a new flaw. Glad to be past that one at last. I also got passed on The Stranger. I would have to say that was probably the toughest one in the book so far; it has so many things going on - melody switching hands, dynamic changes between hands and on the repeated lines, changing rhythms, and on and on. I liked all of the pieces from the jazz rock book so far but that one didn't do much for me. I probably won't play that one again.

I also got passed on Greensleeves as it is written in the book but he has me trying an arpeggiated chord instead of the block chords. When he demonstrates it it makes this piece sound WAY better. It goes like this - 1-3-5-3-5-3 1-3-5-3-5-3 and needs to be played softly compared to the melody.

I have been working on Go Down Moses and need to polish it a bit more in the dynamics and am almost there on Scarborough Fair. GracieCat, I know what you mean about the 9th measure. Sometimes I get it right and other times I have to stop and think about it. Gotta smooth that out. Still working on adding the pedal too. I really like this piece.

I have also started Raisins and Almonds and should get that one pretty quickly since it's very similar to Scarborough Fair, rhythmically. He assigned He's Got The Whole World (we need pieces with shorter titles!) and wants me to be able to do it with straight eighths and swing eighths.

We also decided I should pick a new supplemental piece to work on since I have lost interest in What A Wonderful World. I still work on it but only a couple times a week. I will return to it in a few months. I am looking through the Greatest Hits book for something to work on.

Oh, and I finally bought the Level 2 book. It felt quite satisfying to get to the point where I felt it was time to order it.
_________________________
Doug

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



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#1465839 - 06/30/10 04:51 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
Thanks for the idea on Greensleeves. I just tried it and it's MUCH more interesting to play like that! I wasn't going to polish this one until Christmas, but I'll go ahead and work on it with broken chords. It's kinda tricky but with some work it'll be worth it.

Started that video course today that I bought a little while back. Didn't learn anything during the first session as it was just the basics, but I did teach my child to play When the Saints Go Marching In.

Haven't bought book #2 yet. If I do I know I'll start working ahead in it. smile


Edited by GracieCat (06/30/10 05:03 PM)
_________________________
Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue

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#1465923 - 06/30/10 07:10 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Doug F]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 318
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
Welcome back Doug!

It sounds like you found a good teacher! He gave you a great hint of what's to come in Alfred's using that left-handed accompanyment for Greensleeves. It's call Alberti Bass and is used extensively in many classical and pop pieces. Everybody and their grandmother from Mozart to Carole King has employed it! So if you can master that you'll be ahead of the game. Alfred's doesn't even mention it until Book 3!!! I must be an optimist - I bought all 3 books at the same time. Whenever I play Greensleeves I change that F# in the third measure to an F. That F# just sounds "off" to me!

Doug - I think that one of the problems with measure 9 in Scarborough Fair is, that after playing all those D minor chords, your brain is just primed to keep playing another one. From a left-handed point of view, its just a second inversion of a G chord DGB. I think the authors used it because if you had to play a regular G chord GBD from our famous "G home position", it would screw up the repeating D bass line and make it sound clunky without that repeating harp-like arpeggio effect. I've noticed alot of non-Alfred songs also use this chord inversion technique so you don't have to have your hands flailing about, to find a "distant chord". Think G chord when you hit that spot! I hope this long-winded explanation helps.

- Craig


Edited by Emissary52 (07/01/10 01:19 AM)
Edit Reason: sp.
_________________________
I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate

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#1465956 - 06/30/10 08:25 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Emissary52]
Doug F Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 186
Loc: Victor, NY
Quote:
It's call Alberti Bass and is used extensively in many classical and pop pieces.


Yup, that's what he called it! I couldn't remember the name of it.

It's interesting that it doesn't come up until book 3. It's something I have heard often and like the sound of. Getting the hang of it will be a challenge but as you say definitely worth it.

Thanks for the explanation of the chord changes in SF. Makes sense.
_________________________
Doug

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



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#1466068 - 06/30/10 11:50 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: nancymae]
AimeeO Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 803
Loc: New Orleans
Originally Posted By: nancymae


I wonder how the stars deal with the fact that they play the same pieces for 20-30 years...like Elton John and Billy Joel? How do they keep the passion for the song? Off topic...I know. Just wondering.


I think it helps that they know those songs are what keeps people coming to their shows and paying their bills.. grin

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#1466101 - 07/01/10 01:16 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: AimeeO]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 318
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
How true AimeoO! Familiarity is a kind of comfort! grin
_________________________
I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate

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#1466183 - 07/01/10 06:29 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
xiangjiao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 63
Loc: California
Hey guys,
New to this thread smile nice to meet you. I started playing piano a couple weeks ago, and am also using Alfred's book I.
I'm really surprised it's such a popular book! I just went to the music store and liked the diagrams and such inside the book and arbitrarily picked it up.

I am on the alpine song now. I have been here for a couple days now- not because I find the song difficult, but rather I don't like the following "middle 'C'" position. I was already thrown off when they switched from "C" to "G" but I figured they would link them together or something. Instead they introduced this awkward position where you have two fingers on the same key!! I think I will sharpen my note reading skills before moving on, as I find these different positions greatly confusing.

Anyways thats my introduction and my thoughts on the book so far smile It is pretty easy to follow and enjoy it way more than my "learn and master piano" DVD (in which I think the instructor has an ego which is way too big).

Also, I was wondering if I should seek an actual piano instructor. I was going to wait until I hit a road block in my book learning, but on the other hand I don't want to damage technique and have to repair it later. What are your thoughts?

xiangjiao

*edit: I also have the Alfred's greatest hits level one book, which is supposed to go with the learning book, but I find the songs in there much more... awkward to play.
I think the songs in the book seem familiar because they correspond with the lessons and seem to be in a progressive order. Contrastively, the greatest hits book seems much more unfamiliar, and I find myself unable to play the songs in it. Anyone else have similar trouble?


Edited by xiangjiao (07/01/10 06:33 AM)
_________________________
book// Alfred's Book I
song// Blow the Man Down
dreams// Cruel Angel Thesis, Just communication, I Say Yes, Cannon in D, star fox 64 opening theme
_________________________

Yamaha p85// started 6-11-2010

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#1466190 - 07/01/10 07:35 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: xiangjiao]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1133
Loc: New Jersey
xiangjiao, I was thrown by the "C" position too, figuring that I had enough trouble remembering where to put my fingers with C & G, but you are right - it does all tie together and the "positions" are just a beginner thing. There's no hurry, so don't move on until you are comfortable.

As for the "Greatest Hits" book, yes, the pieces in there are more difficult than the lesson book, and I had a hard time playing them at first. But since most of the pieces are familiar to me, it is fun learning how to play them. Maybe just get a little further in the lesson book before going back to them.

A teacher would surely help, although I don't have one myself.
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1466225 - 07/01/10 09:01 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: mom3gram]
Doug F Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 186
Loc: Victor, NY
Welcome to the thread xiangjiao!

Just "play along" with the hand positions thing. Like mom3gram said, it's only a temporary thing to get you familiar with starting positions on the keyboard. Before long they won't refer to them any more.

I also have the Greatest Hits book and am not a big fan of it. They are greatly simplified versions of the pieces and to me they don't sound very good either. Some of them are harder to play than others and even when Alfred's says you are ready to play them they might be a little harder than expected.

I highly recommend a teacher if you are able to do so. There have been more times than I can count that I would have sworn I was playing something correctly (even after comparing it to the CD rendition) and my teacher showed me that I was not. He has also been a great source of motivation and encouragement. I can honestly say that I probably would not have made myself pay as much attention to the details (like dynamics) as he has made me do. I was very lucky to find a good teacher that makes lessons something I look forward to.
_________________________
Doug

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



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#1466385 - 07/01/10 01:25 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Doug F]
AimeeO Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 803
Loc: New Orleans
Hi xiangjiao!

I'm finding that finger positions are something you should definitely just go along with. Sometimes they're to help maintain your form, or to help you play a piece smoothly. Sometimes it's just not apparent at the time smile

I agree with Doug and mom3gram on the teacher - if you can, get one. Like Doug, sometimes I'll be off on a piece and not even know. I waited until I hit a wall (which was Little Brown Jug, by the way), but I wish now I'd gone to one sooner. Not only have I been moving along at a faster pace (being ready for that next lesson is a great motivator), I'm getting exposed to different pieces.

Regardless, welcome and congrats on starting piano!

Aimee

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#1466446 - 07/01/10 02:36 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: AimeeO]
GracieCat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 340
Loc: USA
Emissary52, I also think the F# (3rd measure) in Greensleeves does sound a little off. I would go as far as to say the whole song sounds off played in A minor. I went and searched to find other scores written in the same key and found one the same except they don't sharpen the F in the 3rd measure treble line, but they do sharpen the other F's in the score. Interesting. Link here.

I agree with everyone else. Hand positions are just a starting point to get you familiar with what keys are what notes.

xiangjiao, welcome! I agree with your thoughts on the Greatest Hits book. I'm now on page 138 of Alfred's All-In-One book (Raisins and Almonds) and have just now started to play in the Greatest Hits book. If I go slowly and concentrate, I can play through several songs (with several errors and with a slow uneven tempo). But none the less, I can get through them. For me, the songs are uninspiring, but at this stage in the game I don't have the skill to play anything I think is inspiring. Know what I mean?

I found the song on page 18 is relatively easy. Take it slow. You mostly only use 10 fingers without moving, with the exception of 3 spots. No pedal, no dynamic change, and when one hand is moving, generally the other hand is not.

Originally Posted By: nancymae
I wonder how the stars deal with the fact that they play the same pieces for 20-30 years...like Elton John and Billy Joel? How do they keep the passion for the song? Off topic...I know. Just wondering.
I know what you mean. How can they possibly play the same songs 75,000 times without feeling totally bored with them. Maybe the inspiration is money. wink I'd smile all the way to the bank. Hope to hear some recordings soon. thumb
_________________________
Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue

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#1466505 - 07/01/10 04:01 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: GracieCat]
nancymae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: NE Wisconsin
:-) Graciecat!! Yes, I'm going to work very hard this weekend not to freak out when I hit that dreaded RECORD BUTTON!! I signed up for that Box.net..so I'm set! Just need my fingers not to act like spaghetti!

I do have other news though.....I work for a family that owns a ranch in NE Wisconsin. I work and get to live here as well. We are 20 miles from the nearest grocery store. I see more animals than I do people in the winter. Today one of the family GAVE me a GRAND PIANO!!! (No more dining room...now it's a MUSIC ROOM!) It's a Chickering & Son's, from approximately 1918. I will need to get it in tune--it hasn't been tuned in quite some time..and the action on a couple of keys is a bit off...but the Piano Forum told me about this online place where you can get certified technicians.

Soooooo....I practiced during lunch...what a difference it is from my keyboard...you really have to hit those keys! I will work at it this weekend. I did play Greensleeves, Can Can, Ole Sole Mio, Scarborough Faire...it was AWESOME!!!

WHAT A WONDERFUL GIFT!!!!!!!

Just wanted to share with everyone!

Nancy
_________________________
Piano Obsession Log:
Began Piano 12/25/09 on Yamaha starter digital keyboard
Playing on circa 1917/18 Chickering Grand Piano since July 2010
Finished Alfred Book 1-August 2010
Started Book 2--August 11, 2010
Alfred Favorites Book







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#1466583 - 07/01/10 06:03 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: nancymae]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1133
Loc: New Jersey
Wow! That IS an awesome gift. Enjoy!
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1466857 - 07/02/10 05:48 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: mom3gram]
Doug F Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 186
Loc: Victor, NY
Congratulations Nancy! That's a great gift and something you will enjoy for years to come.

When I started learning piano last year I bought my digital piano and told myself it would be all I would ever need and I had no interest whatsoever in an acoustic. I read post after post in the forum of how once you played an acoustic the digital would never feel the same. I said hogwash, I love my digital and would never consider an acoustic.

Well now that I've had about 6 months of lessons on a Yamaha Studio Upright I can say, they were right. The acoustic has a much different feel and now I find myself looking at ads for acoustics every week just to see what's available. We don't have room for one right now but maybe someday the pool table will find itself looking for a new home to make room for an acoustic.

You're very lucky Nancy.
_________________________
Doug

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



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#1467059 - 07/02/10 01:40 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
Enjoy your new piano Nancy!

Doug, you know what we did with our pool table? We put our table up on heavy duty casters so we could move it. It's in our basement and the kids have their train table there too. There isn't quite enough room for both so the pool table is moved some when we want to use it. (We don't play that often.)

Probably not something I'd do to a nice new table though. Ours is old.
_________________________
Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue

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