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#1994330 - 12/03/12 08:16 PM self teaching (books? advice?)
axis_d Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/10/09
Posts: 4
Hello everyone, I want to get back into learning piano, and specifically get good at sight reading. I took lessons when i was 8 years old, until about 11 when I stopped. I've always had a piano around my house so I play in some form almost everyday, usually just goofing off, or trying to play things by ear. I learn stuff by sheet music once in a while, but I have to "count" the notes starting at C, and it takes me forever to learn a song. not to mention, I usually need to know what the song sounds like in order to play it too. Do you guys have any advice on teaching myself? any particular books that are good for a gradual progression in sight reading? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

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#1994354 - 12/03/12 09:24 PM Re: self teaching (books? advice?) [Re: axis_d]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1927
Loc: Pennsylvania
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Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#1994400 - 12/04/12 12:19 AM Re: self teaching (books? advice?) [Re: axis_d]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
First off, you have a piano. Secondly you can play a little piano. You should know that if you could play grade 1, 2 or 3 or whatever level you got to when you quit, you will be able to play to that level very, quickly. The rule is, generally, 6 months. It works like this. If you played when you were 8 and you are now 80, it doesn't matter to the brain, the brain will remember everything you learned, but the brain has a s l o w processsor chip that takes 6 months to bring it all back. To if you have the books, or you know what books you learned from, you can either go back to them 1, 2, 3, 4, what number of books and just start playing from the start of each book. But you must remember that you must play very slowly wihout any errors. If you are making any errors, you are going to fast. Your brain cannot play faster than the brain can process old knowledge through your fingers. You cannot play any faster than your slow brain will allow you to play accurately, error free. If you don't have those books or want different books, go to a music store and look at the piano music method books. There are at least a dozen to 2 dozen or more methods. They are pretty much all the same except some are colourful, have expensive cds included, whatever your needs are. You are a plano player so you know what it takes to play the piano and the priceless joy it will bring you.

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#1998031 - 12/11/12 07:16 PM Re: self teaching (books? advice?) [Re: Michael_99]
axis_d Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/10/09
Posts: 4
thanks so much for the replies!

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#1998245 - 12/12/12 09:14 AM Re: self teaching (books? advice?) [Re: axis_d]
CarlosCC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 1428
Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
Hi, and welcome to PW.
I agree with comments above. In your case, you have to give a chance to your brain (and fingers) to remember what you have learned before. Start with easy pieces until you get some confidence. Then try to increase some dificulty (with small steps) and keep going.

Advices? First, enjoy every single note you play. Then, do not give up... I'm on the "self learning" side too and, sometimes, I lose track of the progress that I have and I get a little "disoriented" in this adventure. So, stay focused, and do not hurry. Playing piano is fun, but requires dedication and love.
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#1998264 - 12/12/12 10:07 AM Re: self teaching (books? advice?) [Re: axis_d]
qwert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 37
Loc: Switzerland
This will sure get you up to speed with stuff smile.

Take it daily, 5 minutes only.

http://www.emusictheory.com/practice/pianoKeys.html

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#1998991 - 12/13/12 02:32 PM Re: self teaching (books? advice?) [Re: axis_d]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
A good book for getting started with sight reading practice is Progressive Sight Reading by Hannah Smith. It starts very easy with hands playing in unison, and progresses from there. The little melodies are not very inspiring, but the book has lots and lots of them, which really helps you gain familiarity.

I also very much recommend keyboard note trainers. like the ones at
http://www.emusictheory.com/practice.html
http://www.musictheory.net/exercises
http://www.teoria.com/exercises/index.php

or for something a bit different
http://www.prestokeys.com/

There are also similar apps for smartphone.
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Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

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#1999102 - 12/13/12 06:24 PM Re: self teaching (books? advice?) [Re: axis_d]
Stubbie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 475
Loc: Midwest USA
How about the Alfred Adult All-in-One books? Books 1 & 2 have active threads here on PW, so you will have plenty of company. There are CDs that come with Books 1 & 2, but they're poor, IMO; YouTube is a better way to find out how the pieces sound).

Good luck with re-entry!
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