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#2098539 - 06/08/13 10:17 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: mattroilanh_tt]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Still on Book #1. I think my left and right brain hemispheres are finally beginning to communicate. Currently doing Auld Lang Syne.
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Monty -- KORG Pa600

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#2098634 - 06/08/13 02:07 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: NoteBender]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
BTW I meant to mention that this simple little book has helped me quite a bit: A Dozen A Day by Edna-Mae Burnam.

For supplementary pieces I've been using The Complete Piano Player Omnibus Edition by Kenneth Baker (ISBN 9780825624391) and Alfred's Basic Adult Country Piano Book.
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Monty -- KORG Pa600

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#2100932 - 06/11/13 01:18 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
applejack Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/08/13
Posts: 6
Output has slowed a lot in the last few weeks, but I'm still plugging along. I'm working on Go Down Moses now. Here are some videos I've posted in the last month or so:

Why Am I Blue?
Chiapanecas
O Sole Mio
Jericho
The Stranger



Edited by applejack (06/11/13 01:21 PM)

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#2101155 - 06/11/13 08:14 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Daniel Corban Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 215
Loc: Canada
I just got through Jericho today. I haven't done much with my book, since I have still been focusing on the Masterwork book as well as Mikrokosmos and Alfred's Technical Skills. I did go back and play through the previous few songs and had only a few bad moments, so I think I am improving steadily, especially in regard to playing without looking at the keyboard.
_________________________
Playing: Yamaha GC2

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#2102016 - 06/13/13 02:19 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Boostybleep Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/13/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Mexico
OK, so im the new old guy. I started Alfreds Book 1 and hit the dreaded Blow the Man Down within two weeks. Brick wall describes this perfectly for me.

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#2102051 - 06/13/13 03:49 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Blow The Man down unfortunately introduces something new and hard -- different rhythms off the beat in the LH vs. the RH -- without any preparation whatsoever.

Let me know if you'd like me to post some suggestions on learning how to play this.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2102064 - 06/13/13 04:26 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: PianoStudent88]
Boostybleep Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/13/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Mexico
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Blow The Man down unfortunately introduces something new and hard -- different rhythms off the beat in the LH vs. the RH -- without any preparation whatsoever.

Let me know if you'd like me to post some suggestions on learning how to play this.


Due to the brick wall effect of that song, I seriously thought I had been doing something wrong as I had breezed through the book up until that point. I then moved onto another method which is a little less of a steep incline. My basis was that I would do all the basics again(no bad thing was my reasoning) and once I get to the level and skill for playing Blow the Man Down then I would be more capable of tackling it and moving on with both methods.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated as im sure im not the only one who has bruises on their forehead from that particular wall.

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#2102216 - 06/13/13 10:57 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1607
Loc: Australia
Welcome to the forum Boostybleep, I can't comment on that particular piece but had a similar experience in book 2 of the Alfred series. I should say I have had more than one piece which really stumped me but one in particular was my brick wall for a long while. Unfortunately any method book with introduce something completely new which is not or could not be built upon from earlier works.

You are not alone in hitting the wall on a piece, my advice is to learn the piece hands separate until you know the piece extremely well. For the bass of this one it is just practicing the chord change so it becomes automatic. When ready put the hands together and play extremely slowly. Eventually it will come, may take a while but will come. Should not stop you going on with the book but keep coming back to this one until you can manage it for next time you encounter a similar problem it will be easier to deal with


Edited by earlofmar (06/13/13 10:58 PM)
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#2102239 - 06/13/13 11:49 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
One of the good things a teacher can do is to prepare for these kinds of new things, and to break them down into smaller parts.

I'm not a teacher, but here is one way to break down problems like this into smaller parts:

One thing to do is certainly to practice hands separate, so you can play each part with great ease. I think that beyond that, there is an issue of coordinating hands together in a particular alternating rhythm.

A few exercises to start:

Play the piece veeeeeerrrrryyyy slowly, without regard to precise rhythm, but just playing both hands in the correct relation to each other: either both hands together, or one hand plays a note or chord while the other sustains its notes.

Tap the rhythm, slooooooowly, tapping the LH rhythm with the LH and the RH rhythm with the RH. Write counts 1 to 8 in each bar, one number per eighth note. Say the numbers out loud as you tap. (Not silently: saying them out loud makes the count physical in a way that silent counting does not.)

Don't do the whole piece over and over like this. Instead, isolate the troublesome measure or couple of beats and repeat it. As you get good at that, expand your selection slightly on both sides.

Once you have the feel of getting just the correct rhythm alone, add the notes back in. Veeeeeeery slowly, using the 1 to 8 count, play the notes in rhythm. Did I mention slowly? It might take several seconds per eighth note, that's how slow I mean. Try singing the numbers to the melody as you play. I find this helpful, but some people find it overwhelming, so I'll leave it as optional.

Gradually build up speed, but only as it is easy to do. A faster tempo will come easily when you are sufficiently comfortable with the notes and rhythm. Never struggle and sacrifice ease and accuracy for speed.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2102483 - 06/14/13 01:05 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Daniel Corban Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 215
Loc: Canada
In a month from now you will be able to flip back to that song and play it with minimal effort. Personally, I got a little stuck around Good People, but now I feel like I am on a roll and can play pretty much anything in this book without too much trouble and an hour of practice.

Today I polished off Go Down Moses, Greensleeves, and Scarborough Fair. I don't even know what is after that, but I'm sure I'll be playing again later. I find the latter two great songs to practice pedalling. I'm trying to maintain the constant sound, but sometimes I still find myself lifting the pedal too early.
_________________________
Playing: Yamaha GC2

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#2103620 - 06/17/13 12:49 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Alux Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/13
Posts: 37
Loc: Perth, Australia (Originally f...
Keep at it Bootsybleep as the advice given by Earlofmar, PianoStudent, & all the others is gold.

Like you I've come across my stumbling blocks (currently The Stranger with it's hand gymnastics) but with patients I'm slowly working my way thru it. As Daniel C pointed out you'll find you'll pop back to the pervious song you learned and play them with no problems. I myself use some of the ones I found more difficult as part of my warm up exercise to keep it all fresh in my mind.

At the moment I'm working on The Stranger, Go Down Moses, Scarborough Fair & just started Raisons and Almonds. Once I get these all polished off I'll be tackling the last three songs one at a time.

Have fun & keep at it smile


Edited by Alux (06/17/13 12:51 AM)
_________________________
Kawai CA95
Alfred's Adult All-In-One Level 2
Alfred's Adult All-In-One Level 1 Graduate

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#2104064 - 06/17/13 09:26 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 523
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Originally Posted By: NoteBender
BTW I meant to mention that this simple little book has helped me quite a bit: A Dozen A Day by Edna-Mae Burnam.

I use the same for warmups. The exercises have helped with rhythm and timing.

Originally Posted By: Boostybleep
OK, so im the new old guy. I started Alfreds Book 1 and hit the dreaded Blow the Man Down within two weeks. Brick wall describes this perfectly for me.

Looking back, I think "Blow the Man Down" is an important exercise. You really need to tap and/or count the beats (before you start to play) to get the rhythm. You are going to run into those eighth notes soon enough. Obviously the prior comments are wise and should be used for any song that causes issues.

I was lucky, I had learned Ach Du Lieber Augustine (https://www.box.com/s/hm93smglyhdeouayrzuj) before I started Alfred's.
_________________________
Kawai MP11 :: JBL LSR305 :: Focusrite 2i4 :: Pianoteq Standard

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#2104076 - 06/17/13 09:47 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 523
Loc: Connecticut, USA
In some sense I feel like I just mailed these in. All three have their issues, some glaring some not so.

Auld Lang Syne (https://www.box.com/s/hojubul68mi4vdi9rakg)
My least favorite of the bunch. This is not a polished take, but we are going with it for now. I skipped the last two notes on purpose; I didn't like them there.

O Sole Mio! (https://www.box.com/s/eqctudk61bhkxq4nkp1l)
The longest recording I have made so far; and boy, if you mess up toward the end, UGH! Anyways, my legato leaves much to be desired. If anything, this one has pointed out issues that I need to address.

Jericho (https://www.box.com/s/cxzrrtt1biymygb5g21i)
I had fun with this one. There are a few issues in there, but I like how this one gets the fingers moving.

-----------------

I have been working on "The Stranger" and "Greensleeves". I am starting to appreciate why these tunes, and others, have been included in the method book. "The Stranger" is a bit tough but I like how it gives the fingers a workout. And "Greensleeves" is helping me to conquer the pedal.
_________________________
Kawai MP11 :: JBL LSR305 :: Focusrite 2i4 :: Pianoteq Standard

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#2104109 - 06/17/13 11:00 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
mattroilanh_tt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 66
scorpio: You are learning fast recently. I have just passed "Little Brown Jug" and started to learn "Chiapanecas".

I am waiting for "Greensleeves". I like the melody of this piece.
_________________________
Current Work:
  • Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course Level 1
  • Methode Rose
  • Suzuki Piano School Volume 1 & 2

Start Date: 11/01/2013

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#2104133 - 06/17/13 11:44 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Daniel Corban Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 215
Loc: Canada
I took a couple days off, but today I perfected Raisins and Almonds. I also mostly completed the next few pieces and started on The Entertainer.
_________________________
Playing: Yamaha GC2

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#2104227 - 06/18/13 06:01 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
My lessons with my teacher are done for the Summer. I start again in September.

I've had a cool electronic keyboard since October 2012, but never took the opportunity to utilize any of its features so I decided I would delve into this over the Summer.

1 - I decided to start by spending some time learning to program-in some basic drum beats. I picked up the book "Drum Programming" by Ray Badness to help.

2 - Although I will be continuing on with the A-AIO books in September I thought I would jump into the world of chords a little more and just started the book "Chord Piano Is Fun" by T.K. Goforth.

3 - Finally coming in the mail is the book "Playing Keyboard Bass Lines" by John Valerio.

I'm hoping the 3rd book like the first two is fairly elementary so messing about over the Summer will be fun. I'm hoping I can report back in September if the books and going off on a tangent were any value to me.


Edited by NoteBender (06/18/13 08:14 AM)
_________________________
Monty -- KORG Pa600

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#2104238 - 06/18/13 07:38 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 523
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Originally Posted By: mattroilanh_tt
scorpio: You are learning fast recently.
Actually I feel like I have stalled a bit. I have not been able to practice as much I as want. I am focusing on Alfred's so I can complete the book in the next several weeks.

Originally Posted By: mattroilanh_tt
I have just passed "Little Brown Jug" and started to learn "Chiapanecas".
I am sure you are doing great! Keep up the good work. I always look forward to hearing your progress.
_________________________
Kawai MP11 :: JBL LSR305 :: Focusrite 2i4 :: Pianoteq Standard

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#2104239 - 06/18/13 07:43 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: NoteBender]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 523
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Originally Posted By: NoteBender
1 - I decided to start by spend some time learning to program-in some basic drum beats. I picked up the book "Drum Programming" by Ray Badness to help.
I am really intrigued by this book. I have been thinking about messing around by adding some bass and/or drums to the mix, just for fun. But I have no idea where to start. I am interested to hear what you think about it.

Enjoy your summer! It will be a great time for you to experiment and expand your repertoire.
_________________________
Kawai MP11 :: JBL LSR305 :: Focusrite 2i4 :: Pianoteq Standard

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#2104743 - 06/19/13 05:05 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: scorpio]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Originally Posted By: scorpio
I am interested to hear what you think about it.
The Drum Programming book consists mainly of tables of drumming patterns for each of the main elements - kick bass, snare, hi-hat, ride cymbal, tom-toms, and misc cymbals. Its intent was to help musicians program their drum machine, but it's equally useful using the same patterns for the drum track of my keyboard.
_________________________
Monty -- KORG Pa600

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#2105552 - 06/21/13 02:52 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
sydnal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 126
Hi all;

This is going to be my first post on the forums and these Alfred's Adult Course book threads were what encouraged me to register. I have bought a digital piano in February and I have been using the Adult All-in-one book 1 since March. I started recording my progress in this youtube account: http://www.youtube.com/user/sydnal

I have some questions; I finished Amazing Grace and I'm now at the last part of the book with 7 popular selection pieces (Somewhere over the Rainbow, At last, Laura etc.). I am working on Somewhere over the Rainbow but what I realized is it's hard, and includes some new techniques that were not introduced in the book. (More counterpoint-like left hand rather than chords, notes held through while the same hand plays another note..). Should I consider these as supplementary pieces and move on to Book 2 while working on them in parallel? How is the difficulty level of these last 7 pieces compared to pieces at the beginning of Book 2? And can I consider myself a graduate of Book 1 at this point, seeing that some versions of Book 1 do not have these pieces and end at Amazing Grace? smile
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-350
Alfred's Adult All-in-One Book 1 Graduate

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#2105601 - 06/21/13 07:52 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: sydnal]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 523
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Hi sydnal, welcome to the forum. This question is really for the ones that have progressed to Book 2. But I can tell you my plan as I am not quite there yet. Yes, once "Amazing Grace" is complete, I would consider yourself a Book 1 graduate. I plan to do a few of the supplemental pieces at the end, the ones I am interested in playing. But I will move on to Book 2, and continue with my other supplemental studies. Really, you can do whatever you want. The canvas is open, and that is both good and bad.
_________________________
Kawai MP11 :: JBL LSR305 :: Focusrite 2i4 :: Pianoteq Standard

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#2105609 - 06/21/13 08:06 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Daniel Corban Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 215
Loc: Canada
Those pieces at the end were not originally in the level one book. Somewhere along the way, they were added from various other Alfred books. Maybe they are intentionally more complex to entice you into buying the level two book.

I tinkered with Over the Rainbow, but I am not spending any time on the others. I got Entertainer down reasonably well, did Amazing Grace once or twice, and moved on to level two.
_________________________
Playing: Yamaha GC2

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#2106550 - 06/23/13 03:22 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Daniel Corban]
Alux Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/13
Posts: 37
Loc: Perth, Australia (Originally f...
Originally Posted By: Daniel Corban
Those pieces at the end were not originally in the level one book. Somewhere along the way, they were added from various other Alfred books. Maybe they are intentionally more complex to entice you into buying the level two book.


I suspect it's more a case of giving you a taste of things to come...
_________________________
Kawai CA95
Alfred's Adult All-In-One Level 2
Alfred's Adult All-In-One Level 1 Graduate

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#2106593 - 06/23/13 06:35 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
sydnal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 126
Thanks for the comments. I was free yesterday so I was able to work on Somewhere over the Rainbow and it isn't as terrible as it used to be. Though it will still take me a lot of time with correct pedaling and all. I also peeked at the next piece (At Last) for a few bars and it looks easier. Here is what I decided: I will work on Over the Rainbow and At Last, then start Book 2. If the first songs happen to be easier, I will continue with Book 2 and work on remaining Book 1 pieces in parallel. If they are not easier, I will just force myself through the remaining pieces.
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-350
Alfred's Adult All-in-One Book 1 Graduate

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#2106732 - 06/23/13 01:00 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Johnny D Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 189
Loc: Brazil
Sydnal, just to clarify, there are 5 extra songs at the end of the self-teaching book (not 7). The Entertainer and Amazing Grace are not optional - they had their study notes before hand. Anyhow, you said you already completed those two pieces, so good job on completing the main part of the book, and it's great that you are looking forward to continuing with book 2 and piano in general.

Personally, I wouldn't ignore the bonus songs, as they are nice songs, and they help you transition to other things. The most difficult thing I find about them is that they don't give you as much help as to which fingers to use. They help you a little, but then you have to learn by yourself or guess which is best.

I'm on Laura, been on it for months. The song is exposing the fact that I haven't learned sight reading well enough because it sometimes takes me a few seconds to figure out what note is what on the staff, and this song is hard to memorize probably because there are lots of sharps and flats, and the melody seems to involve both hands.

It has helped to learn the piece line by line instead of always starting to play it from the beginning. I was wasting time earlier by playing it from the start and then I'd get to the 3rd line, struggle with it for a few minutes and then quit. So, I decided I would just skip the first 2 lines which I had already learned and just work on the 3rd line as if it were the beginning. That seemed to have worked to have got me over the hurdle. Now the 4th line is almost learned and lines 5 and 6 are pretty much just repeats of lines 1 and 2 so only 2 more lines to learn and then it's Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas which doesn't look too difficult.
_________________________
Dittrich Piano ~ 1978
Graduate - Alfred's Book 1
Suzuki Volume 1
Masterwork Classics 3
Alfred's Level 2

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#2106823 - 06/23/13 03:16 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
sydnal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 126
Johnny D I think we have different versions of the book, mine has 7 songs from page 144 to 159 (Over the Rainbow, At Last, Singin' in the Rain, Laura, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle, Chattanooga Choo Choo).
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-350
Alfred's Adult All-in-One Book 1 Graduate

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#2106847 - 06/23/13 04:34 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Elysia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/10
Posts: 193
Loc: Canada
Keep up the great work everyone. The books I use for my adult students are the Faber and Faber books, they are good. Never underestimate finger exercises before practise.
_________________________
Follow me on twitter, @elysia3012

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#2107056 - 06/24/13 04:52 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: sydnal]
Johnny D Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 189
Loc: Brazil
Sydnal - sorry about the mistake. My book does not have Gilligan's Isle and Chatanooga Choo Choo.
_________________________
Dittrich Piano ~ 1978
Graduate - Alfred's Book 1
Suzuki Volume 1
Masterwork Classics 3
Alfred's Level 2

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#2108486 - 06/26/13 03:16 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
sydnal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 126
After a few days of intense practice I had a go at recording Over the Rainbow. It turned out mechanical and unmusical as many of my recording attempts do but still I consider myself done with the piece. I hope to forget it ASAP to free some memory that could be better used for pieces I don't hate laugh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncMSstNWOLM
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-350
Alfred's Adult All-in-One Book 1 Graduate

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#2108737 - 06/26/13 09:13 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 523
Loc: Connecticut, USA
There is a lot of debate on how to approach Book 1. But for me, I want to build a strong foundation so that as I work on more difficult pieces I don't get slowed down on trivial stuff that I should have worked on now. Hate the pieces or love them, all of the "songs" are included for a reason, not to develop a repertoire but develop technique. For instance, "Go Down, Moses" at first glance looks simple, but if you approach it as written, it is much more complicated. There is the legato and all the dynamic changes, it is far more complex than it appears. The notes in "Go Down, Moses" are almost as simple as "Jingle Bells", but compare the two.

I get very confused. If the book is not being used for what it is trying to attempt, then why do it? And if the songs are not liked, so that you have to race through the book, then why attempt them? I suggest to move on to what appeals to you. I am not speaking to anyone in particular. But I do see all the videos out there, and there is very little attention paid to the details of the pieces in Book 1. What is even more fascinating, is that those same players seem to stop posting videos after the book is complete.
_________________________
Kawai MP11 :: JBL LSR305 :: Focusrite 2i4 :: Pianoteq Standard

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