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#1224984 - 06/30/09 10:14 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Key Notes]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3550
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Key Notes - ARB is not an easy piece to play well - you've got a real good start - keep working on it and it will fall in place soon - good luck!

Regards, JF
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#1225224 - 06/30/09 05:37 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: TrapperJohn]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
As a quick update, I've passed Theme from 6th Symphony and Fascination and am currently hard at work on Deep River.

I'm very ambivalent about DR. Overall, I like the piece, it sounds nice and is fun to play: but rolling the chords all over the place is a major drag and sometimes I think it would sound better (at least for my playing) if I didn't roll them at all.
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#1225231 - 06/30/09 05:46 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Waltz]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
I have a question for everyone out there and here:

When you are practicing a piece you've learned (by learned I mean have the capacity to play fluently), what do you do when you make a simple error while playing (missed note etc)? Do you:

A. Keep going
B. Go back to the error and replay the mistake correctly, then keep going.
C. Go back to the beginning and replay.

I'm very curious and I would like to hear from everyone. . .
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#1225252 - 06/30/09 07:06 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Waltz]
nancy_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Seattle, WA
Waltz: I just started working on Fascination this morning; seems like it won't be too bad. It is mere distraction though because I'm also working on Canon in D at the back of book 2 and I bought the Dan Coats arrangement of Canon in D that's a bit more complex. I'm very pleased to know that the arrangement in Alfred book #2 has prepared me well for the harder version.

As for practicing I'm curious what others say as well. I think once you learn a piece you should just keep going. If you were in a recital you shouldn't stop and backup and replay.

That said, I tend to stop and replay that section; but I don't think it's good. If you keep stumbling over the same area, focus on playing just that section to get it absolutely correct and then go back to playing it.

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#1225268 - 06/30/09 07:33 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: nancy_w]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
But you are saying you don't return to the very beginning of the piece in attempt at a "perfect" play-through?
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#1225272 - 06/30/09 07:38 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Waltz]
nancy_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Seattle, WA
Oh yes, I will attempt to play the piece again perfectly from the beginning; but I think it is good to try and get to the end if it's only a minor stumble. If I botch it big time I'll stop completely and start over smile

Sometimes I practice late at night though and when my fingers start stumbling, I know I've been at it too long so I'll hang it up for the night to return again another time.

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#1225287 - 06/30/09 08:26 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: nancy_w]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
Yea, that's what I meant, for minor errors. . . This is the habit I'm trying (difficulty) to break.

I adore the feeling of running through an entire piece flawlessly, but the odds of it happening in any one run (depending on the length of the score) aren't very high. This is especially true of pieces with damn repeats (Ballin' the Jack comes to mind immediately)

I feel that I waste much precious practice time "redoing" the same areas over and over in an attempt to play it through, beginning to end, without any erroneous notes or botched dynamics.

Even though it feels "nice", I hate myself for wasting, and I stress wasting, so much practice time for that petty exultation.

Can any of you relate? Nancy W or anyone? Thanks. . .
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#1225375 - 06/30/09 11:56 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Waltz]
nancy_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Seattle, WA
Waltz:

That's a tough one. Even the songs I'm pretty good at - I still make mistakes on; but if I'm playing just for the pleasure of making music then I might utter an obscenity under my breath, but try to keep going. I don't consider that part of my 'practice' necessarily, just playing to enjoy it. I'll make less mistakes as time goes on.

I think if you're getting too stressed over getting it absolutely perfect then you might want to move on to a different song for a while. There's nothing saying you can't go back to the song again in a week or two. Or even flip back and forth between a few for a while. If you really enjoy that song; then it could be worth more concentrated effort; but I find setting it aside for a bit sometimes helps me play it better in the long run.

If I'm having fun - I keep it up. smile I'm an adult and nobody can make me do pushups in Karate class anymore if I don't want to!

-Nancy

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#1225405 - 07/01/09 02:14 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: nancy_w]
Wrenn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 26
I try and continue playing if its a minor mistake and I dont lose all my concentration. Then when I have finished I'll go back to the place I made the mistake and play the section 4-5 times to see if it was just an accident, or if its a more serious issue with that section that needs more work.

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#1225469 - 07/01/09 08:06 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Wrenn]
Undone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/08
Posts: 415
Loc: USA, CT
If I’m “practicing” a piece I’ve already learned, I will always try to keep going. If you ever play a live recital, in a group, or accompanying a singer it’s an important skill to learn and if you get in the habit of stopping at each mistake, it can be hard to break that habit.

Now, if I’m trying to make a recording of a piece, then I will more likely stop and start over. But whether its practice or recording, I know that I can only keep working on a piece for so long before I start making more and more mistakes. So I find it important to know when to stop working on one piece for the day and move on to something else. Sometimes the “going for a good recording” will take longer (in terms of days) then the initial “learning”. I don’t think of it as a waist of time (for me), and feel that I have benefited some from the process.

If I keep making the same mistake in the same place, then it’s time to work on just that section for a while.

Undone
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#1225559 - 07/01/09 11:18 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Undone]
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
I try to keep going. I found awhile back that when I stopped and revisited a measure where I had made an error, I sort of train myself to make the error and go back. Don't know if that makes any sense, but it's almost as if I were practicing the error into my performance of the piece. Sort of musically stuttering. So instead, I play through to whatever subset I had intended to cover in the first place, then go back if the error was a particularly egregious one.

One of the unintended benefits of this is that errors don't throw me off track quite as badly as they once did. OTOH, I find I very rarely play an error-free version of something, even if I know it very well.
_________________________

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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#1225589 - 07/01/09 12:17 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Always Wanted to Play Piano]
nancy_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Seattle, WA
AWTPP: I think I've seen myself doing that as well - playing the same mistake, backing up and playing it right; then moving on. I'm going to try harder to just keep going. It's something I know I should do anyway; but I need to make more of a concious effort.

-Nancy

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#1225783 - 07/01/09 05:55 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Undone]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Undone
Sometimes the “going for a good recording” will take longer (in terms of days) then the initial “learning”. I don’t think of it as a waist of time (for me), and feel that I have benefited some from the process.



Undone

This sounds, to me, as though you spend the days actually becoming better at playing the piece. When I waste my practice time, I mean the process of repeatedly restarting from the very beginning and hoping to make it to the end without any error. This process relies on mostly LUCK as opposed to ability. It's frustrating because it is hard, for me, to break this habit. One absurd effect of this is that I generally become much more skilled/familiar with the first 1/2 of the piece and less so with the second 1/2 for obvious reasons...
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#1225785 - 07/01/09 05:56 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Always Wanted to Play Piano]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Always Wanted to Play Piano
OTOH, I find I very rarely play an error-free version of something, even if I know it very well.


I'm glad someone else here experiences this. That is the exact essence of "my issue". frown
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#1225849 - 07/01/09 08:37 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Waltz]
angelojf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/06
Posts: 742
Loc: PA
For all you Book 2 newbies, how did you find the "Bridal Chorus from 'Lohengrin'"?"

To you advanced Book Twoers: Was this song a bear? I guess the complexity even goes up from there, huh?!?

Anyway, its a challenge for me!


Edited by angelojf (07/01/09 09:24 PM)

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#1225887 - 07/01/09 09:34 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: angelojf]
wj3 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 313
Loc: Salem, Or
Angelojf. Bridal Chorus is a bear. I finally gave myself a pass on it. Its harder than it looks to play smoothly. It took me twice as long as I thought it would take. Now I am working in Guantamera. Its just as bad.
_________________________
wj3

2010 Roland KR-115m
Alfreds AIO Level 2:
Working on (Simply Joplin) Solace, Peacherine Rag, A Breeze from Alabama:, (Burgmuller) Progres, Limpid stream.




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#1225996 - 07/02/09 02:43 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: TrapperJohn]
Key Notes Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 744
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: John Frank
Key Notes - ARB is not an easy piece to play well - you've got a real good start - keep working on it and it will fall in place soon - good luck!

Regards, JF


Hi JF,

Thanks for the positive thoughts and encouragements. I definitely appreciate it and it's good to know that I'm heading in the right directions. smile

Yes, I recognized that it's quite a difficult piece and that I didn't have a perfect recording, but I wanted to share it anyway. Shall have to tame this beast as well. Listening to yours and AWTPP's recordings of it has helped me tremendously. Many thanks to you both. smile

BTW, I love your customized version of "Come Back To Sorrento". Definitely a beautiful song and performance. I learned so much from your write ups, especially about "Parallel Keys".

Thanks again and best regards,

Key Notes smile
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Music speaks where words fails.

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#1225998 - 07/02/09 03:11 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Waltz]
Key Notes Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 744
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Waltz
I have a question for everyone out there and here:

When you are practicing a piece you've learned (by learned I mean have the capacity to play fluently), what do you do when you make a simple error while playing (missed note etc)? Do you:

A. Keep going
B. Go back to the error and replay the mistake correctly, then keep going.
C. Go back to the beginning and replay.

I'm very curious and I would like to hear from everyone. . .


Hi Waltz,

Both A & B for me, depending on wether it's a minor or major mistake.

What I’ve been doing is when I first learn a song, if I found that I’ve been consistently stumbling or slowed down at a certain point, I would stop and work on just those particular measures or phrases until I felt that I’ve gotten them up to speed and under my fingers pretty well, before starting back from the beginning again. Then from here I would continued to work on each stumbling blocks, and string them together as I go along.

For the songs that I’ve already learned and can play them pretty well, if I made a minor mistake, I would continue to play right through them until the end. But sometimes if my mistakes are major enough, I would go back to just the beginning of that particular measure or phrase and continue to play from there until the end instead of going all the way back to the beginning of the song.

This process of starting at mid-points or at problem areas of a song forces me to practice and sharpen my note reading skills, so that I can quickly identify them at any given point instead of relying only on playing by intervals or muscle memories. In addition, it also helps to prevent exactly what you’ve already aptly pointed out, that if we kept going back to the beginning every time we make a mistake, we would only get better at playing just the beginning part of the song instead of the rest of the more difficult areas.



Originally Posted By: Waltz
Yea, that's what I meant, for minor errors. . . This is the habit I'm trying (difficulty) to break.

I adore the feeling of running through an entire piece flawlessly, but the odds of it happening in any one run (depending on the length of the score) aren't very high. This is especially true of pieces with damn repeats (Ballin' the Jack comes to mind immediately)

I feel that I waste much precious practice time "redoing" the same areas over and over in an attempt to play it through, beginning to end, without any erroneous notes or botched dynamics.

Even though it feels "nice", I hate myself for wasting, and I stress wasting, so much practice time for that petty exultation.

Can any of you relate? Nancy W or anyone? Thanks. . .



Umm...kind of a sensitive subject here but “Waste”, in my humble opinion and point of view, is another adjective that belongs in the realm of relatives.

I would like to believe that none of the efforts that I’ve put into whatever I’ve selected to do, regardless of my rates of improvements, is a waste of my resources or time. Of course we each have to write our own happy mediums and fulfilling recipes.

Cheers and happy playing to you.

Key Notes smile
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Music speaks where words fails.

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#1226003 - 07/02/09 03:32 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: angelojf]
Key Notes Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 744
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: angelojf
For all you Book 2 newbies, how did you find the "Bridal Chorus from 'Lohengrin'"?"

To you advanced Book Twoers: Was this song a bear? I guess the complexity even goes up from there, huh?!?

Anyway, its a challenge for me!


Hi Angelojf,

grin Cute grumbling smiley you have there. Although I'm definitely not an "advanced Book Twoer" since I'm still near the beginning of the book myself, but since I've already passed that song, I thought that I should give my input. I found that this song was fairly easy to learn, but the levels of difficulties for the subsequent pieces escalated rather quickly, for me at least.

But never fear, if you can play book one's "Amazing Grace" that well, you can definitely attack anything, well... the pieces that I've encountered so far anyway.

Regards,

Key Notes smile
_________________________
Music speaks where words fails.

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#1226242 - 07/02/09 03:18 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Key Notes]
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
Quick update here... after about two weeks, I am nearing recordability (what, that's not a word? it should be...) on the Mexican Hat Dance. Maybe this weekend some time.

I can play it at about 2/3 tempo, but over time, should get that up to, um, speed.
_________________________

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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#1226290 - 07/02/09 05:36 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Key Notes]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
[quote=Key Notes][quote=Waltz]I have a question for everyone out there and here: When you are practicing a piece you've learned (by learned I mean have the capacity to play fluently), what do you do when you make a simple error while playing (missed note etc)? Do you: A. Keep going B. Go back to the error and replay the mistake correctly, then keep going. C. Go back to the beginning and replay. I'm very curious and I would like to hear from everyone. . .[/quote] Hi Waltz, Both A & B for me, depending on wether it's a minor or major mistake. What I’ve been doing is when I first learn a song, if I found that I’ve been consistently stumbling or slowed down at a certain point, I would stop and work on just those particular measures or phrases until I felt that I’ve gotten them up to speed and under my fingers pretty well, before starting back from the beginning again. Then from here I would continued to work on each stumbling blocks, and string them together as I go along. For the songs that I’ve already learned and can play them pretty well, if I made a minor mistake, I would continue to play right through them until the end. But sometimes if my mistakes are major enough, I would go back to just the beginning of that particular measure or phrase and continue to play from there until the end instead of going all the way back to the beginning of the song. This process of starting at mid-points or at problem areas of a song forces me to practice and sharpen my note reading skills, so that I can quickly identify them at any given point instead of relying only on playing by intervals or muscle memories. In addition, it also helps to prevent exactly what you’ve already aptly pointed out, that if we kept going back to the beginning every time we make a mistake, we would only get better at playing just the beginning part of the song instead of the rest of the more difficult areas. [quote=Waltz]Yea, that's what I meant, for minor errors. . . This is the habit I'm trying (difficulty) to break. I adore the feeling of running through an entire piece flawlessly, but the odds of it happening in any one run (depending on the length of the score) aren't very high. This is especially true of pieces with damn repeats (Ballin' the Jack comes to mind immediately) I feel that I waste much precious practice time "redoing" the same areas over and over in an attempt to play

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#1226291 - 07/02/09 05:37 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Always Wanted to Play Piano]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Always Wanted to Play Piano
Quick update here... after about two weeks, I am nearing recordability (what, that's not a word? it should be...) on the Mexican Hat Dance. Maybe this weekend some time.

I can play it at about 2/3 tempo, but over time, should get that up to, um, speed.

Congrats. That was a great piece, difficult, fun, but very challenging. I played it for quite a while after I "passed it". Undone has a phenomenal recording on page 1.
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#1226297 - 07/02/09 05:51 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Waltz]
nancy_w Offline
Full Member

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

I am making the effort now, especially, in anticipation of Danny Boy and Canon in D. Both pieces are LONG and DIFFICULT. If i restart from the absolute beginning for each minor error, I may never actually make it to the ending of either.

About "waste" being relative, well, I suppose I cannot say it isn't. What I will say is that if my goal of practicing is to improve at (and enjoy) playing piano, and if this "habit" of mine does more harm than benefit, I will feel safe in calling it an absolute waste. Which I do. Maybe I don't explaining myself well, if so, my apologies. I do not wish to imply that others may waste their time as well with a similar process, I never stated such. For me, however, I know it is an impediment to progress and enjoyment (unless, obviously, I have a lucky day).


I am having a problem with Canon in D where I don't know how I can turn the page while I'm playing! smile I end up holding the last notes on the 2nd page, while I reach up and try to quickly flip the page to the next one. I don't have a page turner that will sit with me while I practice.

I keep meaning to copy the last two pages so I can set them all out next to each other, no page turning necessary, but for longer songs how do you deal with this during practice?

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#1226343 - 07/02/09 07:45 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: nancy_w]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
Hava Nagila was a 4 pager as well. During practice, I would piece it together without caring if I had to pause for the page turn. This was the one piece on which I was less strict. It took me so long to learn, however, that I unintentionally memorized much of it. In my "youtube video", I had the book opened to the first two pages, the last two pages were played completely from memory. . .

Canon in D tough?
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#1226692 - 07/03/09 03:29 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Waltz]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
Here is my recording of Deep River:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNK8LG5w8ss

I didn't record 6th Symphony Theme or Fascination, mainly because I didn't have the time, but also because I didn't particularly care for either of them, they were all right, just not favorites. . . Deep River was a change of pace, and different, so I definitely wanted to grab a recording of it. I don't know what happened to my post at the top of the page... I suppose just disregard it.

For the Americans on A#2, our big day's coming tomorrow, happy 4th to all,

W
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#1226874 - 07/04/09 12:45 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
"I took piano lessons as a child (from 9 to 11). Recently, when my daughter started taking lessons, I caught the bug. My wife took a semester of piano from the local community college 9 years ago, and they used Alfred All in One Book 1. She decided she wasn't all that interested after one semester, so didn't continue. I opened up her copy of Alfred last month and started learning from the beginning. I quickly discovered this book is a lot of fun!"

That's my intro in the Book 1 thread. I just started book 2 last night starting from the beginning, Down the Valley. I got through Guantanamera, so tonight, I'll start to work on Overture.

I'll hang out here a while; looks like book 2 will be just as fun as book 1, I hope.
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Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#1226876 - 07/04/09 12:53 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Waltz]
nancy_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Waltz
Hava Nagila was a 4 pager as well. During practice, I would piece it together without caring if I had to pause for the page turn. This was the one piece on which I was less strict. It took me so long to learn, however, that I unintentionally memorized much of it. In my "youtube video", I had the book opened to the first two pages, the last two pages were played completely from memory. . .

Canon in D tough?


I don't actually think this version of Canon in D is too tough - it's got a lot of pattern to it; so my mathematical mind likes that. smile It did take me a week or so to understand all the patterns in it; and from then on practicing them slowly and making sure I have my timing fairly consistent. I'm still a little rough on the 4th page; my transition between each line on that page isn't very smooth. That and I need to work on the dynamics a bit more - keep the 'p' sections softer.

I like to read the music as I play as I sometimes space out and don't remember if I just played a particular line as they are all quite close to the previous one, just changing a little bit. I'll copy the pages at some point so I can get rid of thta huge pause between page two and three.

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#1227043 - 07/04/09 02:45 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: nancy_w]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
I, as well, like a piece with some patterns in it. I actually passed Loch Lomond today, I only have three more pieces until Canon in D. I have only just begun to learn "Love's Greeting", but it seems fairly tough. If you do scan the first two pages of Canon in D, could you post them here or somewhere? I would like to have them as well, but I don't have a scanner. . .
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#1227248 - 07/05/09 06:02 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Waltz]
jrcallan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 361
Loc: Pennsylvania
4evrBeginR:

Welcome, and yes, it is fun. For me, I really liked Overture, it was one of the first things that souned, to me, like I was playing piano. Guantanamera took me a while.

Keep it up.


Edited by jrcallan (07/05/09 06:03 AM)

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#1227461 - 07/05/09 06:04 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: jrcallan]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: jrcallan
4evrBeginR:

Welcome, and yes, it is fun. For me, I really liked Overture, it was one of the first things that souned, to me, like I was playing piano. Guantanamera took me a while.

Keep it up.


When I started Guantanamera, I had no idea what I was playing on first pass. Then then on the third pass, suddenly I realize what the rhythm needed to be, then it was like "oh". Not my favorite either.

Overture was tricky first couple of pass then I realize what to do with my hands. It forced me to put my LH over my RH with LH slightly forward. I don't have a teacher, but it seemed that was the way to deal with it. I also like the mixed staccato/legato; quite fun.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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