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#1233799 - 07/19/09 01:19 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: marimorimo]
romolo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Canada
Ok, I have a question now about counting...
How exactly do you count? Does it depend on whether or not there are eighth notes present in the piece?
Cause when there are only quarter, half, and whole notes in a piece, like with most of the earlier pieces in the book, it was easy to count...it was just 1,2,3,4
But when there are eighth notes, I know you're supposed to count 1 and 2 and...or 1 n 2 n (the way I do it) but sometimes it just slows the tempo down cuz if I try to count faster I get confused trying to count at a certain pace while playing the notes.

So those of you who have a teacher...how did they explain to you how to count?
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Practice makes perfect...blah blah blah - Romolo

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#1233801 - 07/19/09 01:22 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: romolo]
romolo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Canada
Oh yea, forgot to mention...
I'm almost done with Scarborough Fair. I'm just making 1 or 2 small mistakes with it each time. I've got the first to lines down perfectly but I keep messing up at measure 14. And sometimes I find it hard to go from the last measure of the line and on to the next measure on the line underneath...sometimes.
_________________________
Practice makes perfect...blah blah blah - Romolo

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#1234002 - 07/19/09 09:21 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: romolo]
marimorimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 429
Loc: Kingdom of Nodame
@romolo: Congratulations on making it all the way to Scarborough fair! laugh That's definitely one of the songs I'm looking forward to. Though I'm surprised you got that far without having a clear understanding of counting! I suggest you go back to some of the earlier pieces and practice them while counting the rhythm, and NOT relying on how you know the rhythm of the piece sounds like. That is the biggest hurdle to correct counting of rhythm, IMO. Some Alfred pieces have slight variations from the rhythm patterns of the original songs that you won't notice unless you count carefully. Some examples off the top of my head : the first measure of Lullaby (took me quite a bit of effort counting to get right. My teacher pointed out to me that I was relying on my familiarity of the piece and not counting! Well, she was right blush) The very first note of Little Brown Jug (my teacher said most people play it as a quarter note, but it's an eighth. The correct counting is "4-AND" (silence on 4, play the note at "and"). My current piece, "Auld Lang Syne." Again, the biggest hurdle here is that everyone is familiar with this song. This piece has a lot of dotted quarters and eighth notes, so it's good practice for counting wink

How I count. There are counting purists who insist on counting a steady 1-and-2-and-3-and.... but that doesn't work for me. I only count the "ands" when it's necessary in the piece. That is also how my teacher taught me. It worked for all the pieces I'm learning so far. Some examples of my method in 3/4 time:

quarter quarter eighth-eighth ------ (1...2...3-and)
dotted quarter eighth quarter ------ (1...2-and-3...) - hold first note until "2," play the eighth at "and"
eighth eighth half note ------------- (1-and-2...3....)

I'm particular about rhythm because I am a very rhthmically challenged person (can't dance!) so I have to work harder at it than others grin Hopefully you get something useful from this post and get the the hang of counting - I heard it's necessary to advance in piano wink
_________________________
Alfred's AOI Course Bk 2
Frances Clark Contemporary Piano Literature, Bk 1
The Festival Collection Bk 3
30th Week Playing Piano
--------------------------------------------
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#1234157 - 07/20/09 10:01 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: marimorimo]
Zenobe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 76
Loc: Newtown CT
I also struggled mightily with BTMD, and felt great when I mastered it. It has become a running joke, affectionate of course, among my family members how proud I was to finally nail such a silly little song.

I had a similar feeling on Friday of last week, while trying to finger the F-major scale, hands together. That's the one with a flat at B, and the right hand fingering is different from the left hand fingering.

When I first tried it a couple of weeks ago, I thought - no way! this is going to be what completely halts me in my tracks. Then I just turned off that voice, and tried it hands separate, very slowly, then hands together, very slowly. And then on Friday, without thinking, I nailed it at a pretty good speed, hands together! What an unexpected and delightful surprise to teach myself something new after all these years.

BarbVA, my happy scales moment on Friday agrees completely with your observation about taking it slow, slow, and gradually building up speed. Something just kicks in, much to my surprise.
_________________________
Piano Adventures 3A, Alfred AIO 2

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#1234308 - 07/20/09 02:54 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Zenobe]
Quagles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/09
Posts: 174
At least having some improvement on "Blow the man down". I can play half the song up at the speed that I think it is, but the eight notes seems a bit rushed at times, and rhythm is a bit awkward, such as rushing it sometimes and sometimes I will also kinda just bang one of the notes down in a rush to get it right so the sound gets uneven. So still some way to go.

Can do most of 2nd part but at start of third line my hands keep trying to do one of those C chords with C-E-G for some odd reason. Other than that the rest is pretty much down except the last 3 notes is a bit of a problem as well, but I think ill have the song down in a few days. At least to some degree, maybe not exactly musically but enough to play it the right pace and hitting pretty much all the right notes.

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#1234321 - 07/20/09 03:16 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Zenobe]
Strings & Wood Offline


Gold member until Dec. 2012


Registered: 05/22/08
Posts: 1839
Loc: USA
Zenobe
Small steps... but huge morale boosters!
I have come expect difficult task to "click" on the 4th day if I practice it (3) times a day for (3) days.
_________________________







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#1234421 - 07/20/09 06:13 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Strings & Wood]
romolo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Canada
I have just mastered Scarborough Fair! smile
Taking a break from a song really does help. I have learned not to get frustrated cause I now know that it'll just come to me the next day.
I'm on to Raisins and Almonds now...doesn't seem too hard. I've got the first half done without error so far.

smile I'm almost done with Book 1!!! smile


Edited by romolo (07/20/09 06:14 PM)
_________________________
Practice makes perfect...blah blah blah - Romolo

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#1234475 - 07/20/09 08:15 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: romolo]
romolo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Canada
More good news...
With half an hour of practicing, I got Raisins and Almonds down perfectly. smile
I thought this was going to be another one of those pieces that would take a few days of practicing to master. But I practiced it for 30mins and at the end I was able to play it perfectly over and over again.
I feel like learning new pieces is getting easier and easier the more I practice which is good.
_________________________
Practice makes perfect...blah blah blah - Romolo

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#1234637 - 07/21/09 03:16 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: romolo]
Tak13 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 8
@romolo:
Wow, you 're really fast.
May I ask how long have you been learning the Book 1?
If possible could you also tell me what is your practice routine? Thanks.
I just want to compare my practice routine with yours since I am really slow.

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#1234774 - 07/21/09 12:20 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tak13]
Quagles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/09
Posts: 174
Have pretty much blown the man down now. Hitting the right keys pretty much everytime, though I think I might actually be playing it too fast. And first line it seems I act more on instinct than the rest where it might seem to flow just a bit better. So first line kinda just seems to sometimes have me hitting the keys sometimes too hard making an uneven sound overall.

Other than that the rest is down, so I think just a bit more practice and I should be ready to give Cafe Vienna a try, I think that is the next one at least, maybe ill give the rest of the day to perfect this. Think I'm gonna have to use blow the man down as a warm-up for quite some time to master it.

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#1234892 - 07/21/09 03:38 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Quagles]
romolo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Canada
Tak13,

I started with book 1 back in February. I pretty much practice everyday but I don't really have a set routine. I just practice whenever I have time, even if its just 15mins. But I try to practice for about 30 mins at a time. Sometimes I practice twice, sometimes 3 times a day. Just whenever ive got a few mins to spare really.

Someone told me its better to practice for no more than 30mins and take breaks in between. It lets your brain register what you have just learned.

I think as long as you practice everyday for whatever period of time, even just 10-15mins, you'll see improvement.

There was one time back in May where I went a week without practicing and when I came back to it, it was difficult. So I think practicing everyday or every other day is best.
_________________________
Practice makes perfect...blah blah blah - Romolo

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#1234896 - 07/21/09 03:45 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: romolo]
Zenobe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 76
Loc: Newtown CT
ramolo - fantastic! It's great to hear that you are picking up steam as you progress through the book. I also noticed that my ability to feel comfortable with a song is speeding up. Where it took me a week before I could make BTMD sound remotely accurate, now I am working on LBJ and Chiapanecas and both are progressing nicely after three days. Good job!

My practice routine is settling in to 35 minutes on my 61-key unweighted digital in my office during lunch hour, and 15 minutes of scales and Hanon on the real piano at home in the evening. That way I keep my finger strength up. It's hard playing at home though, because after the privacy of headphones it seems like the whole world can hear my fumbling on the acoustic.
_________________________
Piano Adventures 3A, Alfred AIO 2

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#1235070 - 07/21/09 08:44 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Zenobe]
romolo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Canada
Today was a really wet day here so after work all I day was practice practice practice smile

And guess what...I got He's Got The Whole World In His Hands down perfectly.

It was pretty easy cuz once you learned how to play it in the first key, then the other two keys were easy. Its a real fun song to play once you get it.

There are a few syncopated notes in this which makes it a bit difficult in the beginning but once you get those its easy.

So now, I'm on The Entertainer which looks really difficult and I'm guessing this one is going to take awhile but I'm looking forward to it cuz I'm so close to finishing this book smile

This last week of practicing has been very good for me. My ability to learn new pieces seems to have greatly improved. Now when I look at a new piece, I'm eager to learn cuz I know I'll get it eventually whereas before I'd look at a new piece and question whether I'll be able to learn it.


Edited by romolo (07/21/09 08:46 PM)
_________________________
Practice makes perfect...blah blah blah - Romolo

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#1235075 - 07/21/09 09:00 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: romolo]
BarbVA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 166
Congrats Romolo and Quagles on your accomplishments. I too am finding songs easier to learn as my skills and sight reading has improved. I spent so much time on Blow the Man Down compared to anything I've touched since then. I still think something happens in your brain with that song and it makes furture songs not seem so hard, its like it turns on a switch to be able to play hands together in a way you couldn't before that song.

I've got Good People Down with the exception of one measure I think my rythm is off just a bit, I'm going to go back and listen to CarlMc's recording and see if I can sort it out. I've got Little Brown Jug at about a quarter of the speed it should be. Funny thing about LBJ is that there isn't a single difficult section or measure in the entire song, but something about putting it all together at the right speed seems to be a challenge, but I just started it today, so hopefully that will come in a couple of days.

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#1235097 - 07/21/09 09:44 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: BarbVA]
marimorimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 429
Loc: Kingdom of Nodame
Wow Romolo, you've been picking up a lot of steam as you near the end of the book! I'm excited for you...you'll be in the Book 2 thread soon smile It's going the other way for me, though. I'm working on a couple of other pieces with my teacher that are harder and/or longer so I'm slowing down with Alfred. I miss the time at the start of the book when I could present 5 new pieces to my teacher every week, LOL. Though most of the time I had to go back and rework them for technique issues. I'm having my lesson later today and I'm hoping to get a pass on Chiapanecas and Auld Lang Syne, though I'm worried because I still get an occasional stumble in both pieces. I wish my mind-hand coordination was fast! frown And I'm STILL working on "All I Ask Of You" which now sounds smoother but still needs a work...I think it'll take me over a month just getting this song consistently and up to speed.

Quagles seems to be the fastest among us, though! Cafe Vienna is somewhere in the middle of the book if I remember right. And wasn't it just about 3 weeks ago when you were at "Jingle Bells?" grin You must be working really hard practicing. My mind-hand coordination was nowhere near the level of "Blow the Man Down" after 3 weeks blush

BarbVA & Zenobe We're at about the same point in the book! I agree BTMD felt like a milestone back then..took a lot of work for me to get the LH - RH rhythm right, and eventually got it down perfectly rhythm and note-wise. Only when I proudly showed my teacher she pointed out my chronic problem of LOUD LEFT HAND so I had to rework it all over again <sigh>. Thankfully, the problem seems to have been cured as of recent.
_________________________
Alfred's AOI Course Bk 2
Frances Clark Contemporary Piano Literature, Bk 1
The Festival Collection Bk 3
30th Week Playing Piano
--------------------------------------------
+ CASIO PX-720 and PX-730 +
--------------------------------------------

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#1235306 - 07/22/09 10:38 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: marimorimo]
Quagles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/09
Posts: 174
I'm not that fast :P and I said wrong, I'm on Lone Star Waltz actually, not Cafe Vienna. I didn't have the book in front of me so I forgot which of them was the next. Still didn't give all that much attention to Hannons like I should because I was too eager to learn new songs. And I probably should have given slightly more attention to the theory as well at some point, even though I probably know all the expressions like ritardondo, dotted notes etc.

Blow the man down still isn't completely down and I'd just feel like I'd cheat myself if I did continue with a new song. While everything is down I just can't seem to do the 4th and 5th finger 8notes in the start properly they just seem very rushed and too fast, and if I slow down the rhythm falls off or I make mistakes. I can do it with one hand but once I put them together those 2 eight notes just seem awkward.

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#1235633 - 07/22/09 09:17 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Quagles]
hotkeys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 788
Loc: Massapequa, NY
I decide to revisit the Alfred books as a break from the material my teacher uses (He wrote his own material). I realized there is some subtle differences between the Alfred basic and all in one books. The All in one book has "Auld Lang Syne" and "The Stranger" while the basic does not. You would have to really go through both books to notice the differences.

- Mark
_________________________
...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...

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#1236307 - 07/24/09 01:36 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: hotkeys]
Tak13 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 8
I have a question:
How do I know that I been improved?
I just started play piano for about 4 weeks now and I ended up to p.62 after a private lesson today. I know it hasn't been a long time so maybe it doesn't really show up. I just follow the book play songs after songs along side with my teacher.
The teacher doesn't really teach me anything I think, all he did what give me stuffs to do from the book and check whether I did it or not. He sometimes give out some advices here and there. So by playing all the songs from the book, will I be improve?

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#1236440 - 07/24/09 11:09 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tak13]
Quagles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/09
Posts: 174
Hotkeys:
I believe here is also one or two songs that is not n the all in one books and its in alfred basic. Which is the gift to be simple.

Tak13:
I guess you could try going back to some of your old songs and see how much esier you can play them now than you could before. Once you move on to harder pieces you'll be learning more and omore. Just once you get past these you should know you're improving. It is once you get past a piece that you really struggle with that you know you're improving I think because then you know that is something you could never do a few weeks ago because you were so fresh. Someone else sohuld probably give you a better answer.

Lone Star Waltz almost down, much much easier than blow the man down actually.

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#1237736 - 07/26/09 05:06 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Quagles]
dukeofhesse Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 91
Loc: wilmington nc
Romolo,
I am also now working on Entertainer and am excited that there is just one more lesson piece before going on to the level two book. (except there are five additional practice pieces at the end of the book I have which I may or may not do)

But I have a story to tell; just started on Entertainer when I spotted an ad for a used Yamaha that seemed priced right. Talked to owner who said it was in really good condition. scheduled a technician to go over it and based on my guess that the tech would find no problem, I listed my old Lester on Craig's list.

Someone bought it before we could even see the Yamaha. We see the Yamaha, it's in mint condition but hasn't been tuned in its entire life of twenty years so it would need a series of tunings to get it right. I made an offer based on the tuning needs. Ixnay. I upped my offer. Ixnay. I said screw it, but a little more colorfully.

Now my Lester was gone. So now I'm back practicing on my antique Casio 66 key mongrel. I hate it! BUT..........
I ordered a brand new Yamaha T118 that is due to arrive within about a week. YAHOO! My lovely bride who hated my Lester because it was butt ugly decided that rather than have me possibly drag in another Lester look-a-like, she would spring for something she wouldn't have to try to hide by putting plants in front of it and 'things' all over it, like pictures, more plants, anything so it could be seen less.

So I guess I am going to have to work really hard on my lessons to justify the expense of a beautiful new Yamaha. But I've never looked forward so much to practice as I am now.

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#1237801 - 07/26/09 07:50 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: dukeofhesse]
Strings & Wood Offline


Gold member until Dec. 2012


Registered: 05/22/08
Posts: 1839
Loc: USA
Congrats on your new piano...how exciting! Now that should be inspiration to get "The Entertainer" up to speed.
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#1237812 - 07/26/09 08:25 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Strings & Wood]
Tak13 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 8
If I know I would get an upright piano, man oh man I would practice day and night. haha. Congrats on getting your new piano!

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#1237851 - 07/26/09 09:25 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tak13]
romolo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Canada
Hey duke,
Congrats on your new piano. I need to get one too just not sure which one or what kind.

I've been working on The Entertainer for the past 2 days. It's difficult frown but its starting to sound better and more musical. I should have it done within the next week. Hopefully smile

Message to everyone....keep practicing :P
_________________________
Practice makes perfect...blah blah blah - Romolo

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#1237924 - 07/27/09 12:00 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: romolo]
Quagles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/09
Posts: 174
Grats on your new piano wink

Been working on Cafe Vienna now, and its hard smirk reading the sheet itself confuses me as well.First line, easy straight forward but then it gets a bit confusing. First of all, will the 4th finger always play the same key? And on 2nd line is the interval an octave after the eight note? smirk That one keeps going on and on but I'm not sure if its an octave interval or whatever it is. Otherwise, it seems just a bit harder than blow the man down.

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#1237972 - 07/27/09 04:22 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Quagles]
Tak13 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 8
After read some posts in this thread, I feel like I really lucky being young. There are some people who started playing piano at really old age and they are really struggling. I am barely 18 and I thought I started out late. This really gonna give me significance motivation on my practicing.

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#1238027 - 07/27/09 09:07 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Quagles]
Strings & Wood Offline


Gold member until Dec. 2012


Registered: 05/22/08
Posts: 1839
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Quagles
Grats on your new piano wink

Been working on Cafe Vienna now, and its hard smirk reading the sheet itself confuses me as well.First line, easy straight forward but then it gets a bit confusing. First of all, will the 4th finger always play the same key? And on 2nd line is the interval an octave after the eight note? smirk That one keeps going on and on but I'm not sure if its an octave interval or whatever it is. Otherwise, it seems just a bit harder than blow the man down.


Quagles

In the first line the 4th finger will play the G in the first measure. In the third measure the 4 & 5 finger shifts to the right and the 5 finger plays B and the 4 finger plays the A note.
I am not sure of what you mean- when asking about the octave interval in the second line. There is an octave interval at the very end of the piece, but I do not see one in the second line.
This is three quarter time, so don't forget to count. It should sound like this.

te te da da te te da da te te da da da da da ...
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#1238094 - 07/27/09 11:18 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Strings & Wood]
Quagles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/09
Posts: 174
Thanks Carl, saw it now actually, have been reading the notes wrong all along some places.


Edited by Quagles (07/27/09 11:44 AM)

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#1238203 - 07/27/09 01:43 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Tak13]
eltonjohnskid Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 7

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#1238207 - 07/27/09 01:47 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: romolo]
dee180 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 64
Loc: NH
I've mastered Scarborough Fair also - fairly recently. Did you have any problems with the pedalling????? It took me a while to get that down.
I too started Alfred's #1 in Feb. We seem to be progressing at the same pace.

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#1238223 - 07/27/09 02:06 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: dee180]
Zenobe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 76
Loc: Newtown CT
I am having flashbacks to Blow the Man Down as I work my way through Chipanaces (sp?) - there are a few lines on page 2 where the left hand has to be doing one pattern, moving up the keyboard, while the right hand is doing something else going down. Or vice versa. My brain hurts!

As always though, with a little a day (30 to 45 minutes is what I'm averaging these days) it comes gradually, and pretty soon is automatic. That is so cool!

Little Brown Jug is coming along also. I'm doing that one, Chipanecas, and Good People as a trio. Another week or so and I'll be moving on to O Sole Mio...

Congrats on the new piano duke... we have a new piano in our home as well, that I purchased mainly for my son who's been at it for 4 years. It is such a great addition to the home, no buyer's remorse whatsoever.
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