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#2179941 - 11/10/13 06:22 AM Serious course or method book
zerohe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/09/13
Posts: 4
Hi, I'm an intermediate beginner and I'm looking for a course that doesn't require you to take shortcuts or that gives you abridged or simplified arrangements.
I want to learn with the help of theory and practice. I've got the intermediate theory down but my practice time is wasted, as I don't know how to practice scales and arpeggios with a context. I know I should pick up Hanon and just do it, but I'll surely quit after a few scales. I need a book that gives me a practice routine. It should include both pieces to learn and practical exercises, you know.
I'm not really interested in classical music, but if it aids my learning, I'm ok with it.
My ultimate goal is not Fantaisie Impromptu, but more like jazz or neoclassical players like Rick Wright, Jordan Rudess, Bob Katsionis and the huge number of jazz pianists out there.

tldr:
*an early intermediate player looking for no nonsense course\book;
*it should contain:
-practice routine with pieces and exercises in all keys.
-gets into harmony,maybe counterpoint, modes, jazzy chords and soloing with the right hand
-gives me pieces to create a repertoire: easy classical pieces to being able to play Jordan Rudess-ish arps and solos, rock, jazz, blues, rag ;
-ear training
* if not a singular course or book, could you please point me to some useful sources that are able to forward me into being able to play and have knowledge?

Thank you for your patience and help!

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#2180155 - 11/10/13 03:33 PM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: zerohe]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
zerohe, I have read your post, here:

subject: Serious course or method book

Hi, I'm an intermediate beginner and I'm looking for a course that doesn't require you to take shortcuts or that gives you abridged or simplified arrangements.
I want to learn with the help of theory and practice. I've got the intermediate theory down but my practice time is wasted, as I don't know how to practice scales and arpeggios with a context. I know I should pick up Hanon and just do it, but I'll surely quit after a few scales. I need a book that gives me a practice routine. It should include both pieces to learn and practical exercises, you know.
I'm not really interested in classical music, but if it aids my learning, I'm ok with it.
My ultimate goal is not Fantaisie Impromptu, but more like jazz or neoclassical players like Rick Wright, Jordan Rudess, Bob Katsionis and the huge number of jazz pianists out there.

tldr:
*an early intermediate player looking for no nonsense course\book;
*it should contain:
-practice routine with pieces and exercises in all keys.
-gets into harmony,maybe counterpoint, modes, jazzy chords and soloing with the right hand
-gives me pieces to create a repertoire: easy classical pieces to being able to play Jordan Rudess-ish arps and solos, rock, jazz, blues, rag ;
-ear training
* if not a singular course or book, could you please point me to some useful sources that are able to forward me into being able to play and have knowledge?

Thank you for your patience and help!

______

Great, Great post.

Firstly, there is no such thing as a serious anything. There are only serious people who are serious in their endeavours.

You have posted a lot of stuff so I will deal with it like any piano player would deal with a piece of music by working through the measures slowly, step by step until I reach the end.


zerohe, you say Hi, I'm an intermediate beginner and I'm looking for a course that doesn't require you to take shortcuts or that gives you abridged or simplified arrangements.

I say The mystery of your post will forever be a mystery unless you reveal what you have learned and how well you have learned it.

zerohe, you say I want to learn with the help of theory and practice. I've got the intermediate theory down but my practice time is wasted, as I don't know how to practice scales and arpeggios with a context. I know I should pick up Hanon and just do it, but I'll surely quit after a few scales. I need a book that gives me a practice routine. It should include both pieces to learn and practical exercises, you know.

I say, first of all the most precious gift to a piano player of any age or ability is time. For the average person on the planet whether he is working or a student or living on a disability trying to survive day after day - he has approximately 3 to 4 hours a day. Let me explain. When you get up in the morning, you go to the bathroom and do magic and that takes anywhere from 20 - 30 minutes, you grab food, put on clothes and straighten your tie as you head to the door. You have got the picture. Now you know why the average person has only 3 to 4 hours a day be a serious piano player of any age or ability.

zerohe, when you say Theory and practice, what do you mean, and how did you learn it and what level did you learn to?

I say, Let me just take scales for a minute. Learning piano is about reading the notes on the music stand and letting the brain figure out how to play the notes after you have taught the brain what value the note is and how long to play that note for. So first of all you have to learn the note and then learn the value of the note because it is only then yourbrain can then instantly read the music or note and play it.

For me to do that, I write out the scales on music paper because by writing out the scales it enables me to learn the notes and how to recognize them when I later read them on the music stand to be read and played by the brain.

It is like when you were a child and you would copy down stuff off the blackboard and then when you copied it into your notebook, you could read it over and over, but having just copied it in the notebook is almost a perfect memory thing.

zerohe, you say I'm not really interested in classical music, but if it aids my learning, I'm ok with it. My ultimate goal is not Fantaisie Impromptu, but more like jazz or neoclassical players like Rick Wright, Jordan Rudess, Bob Katsionis and the huge number of jazz pianists out there.

I say, If you look at the piano, it has 88 keys. If you put your right thumb on middle C and then you want to play any other note on the piano - without looking at your hands because you are reading the music to be play on the music stand, how are you going to play - key 88 - at the high end of the piano. Yes, you can do a jump, yes, you can do a leap, but you could go nuts trying to do leaps and jumps at metronome speed of 200 MM or presto. The answer is to learn technique and that is buried deep, deep, down inside classical music. If you want to see that for yourself, then I suggest you go to a local music store and ask the clerk to help your find the John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano. It is dirt, dirt cheap I have a copy that says $ 1.25 but the newer copy cost me about 10 dollars in Canada. There are 5 books, but the first 2 books, 1 and 2 are chuck full of awesome pieces and chuck full of piano technique that will get you moving around the 88 like a dream at presto 200 MM.

Now is the time to remind you that as an old guy, I am slower than most, but when I learn a piece, before I play the piece, I look through the piece to make sure I know the names of the notes in the piece and where to find those note and play them. If I don't know the name of any note then I have to find out what that note name is else I won't be able to play that note when I read it and try to play it. Then I look through the piece again but this time I look at each note in the piece I am learning and I look at and make sure I know the value of the note is - so that I will play the note for the correct length of time - else the piece I am learning won't sound right or correct when I hear the notes played. It is only at this time I sit down a the piano and begin to play the piece very, very slowly because I don't want to make a mistake because as you know as an intermediate beginner, if you play a wrong note, you have to retrain the brain to play the correct note and that takes a lot of time to do that and if you a busy piano player - you can't afford wasted time at the piano.

As you you know, when you can play the piece very slowly and without mistakes, it is relaxing and a joy sitting at the piano listening to yourself play the piano. Now for me, being an old guy, it takes me about a day to play a piece of music at my level playing it slowly without mistakes, which is year 1 of piano that I am still doing that in my second of piano playing.

But then I will over 3 or 4 months playing that piece slowly without mistakes increasing the speed of the piece and to make it musical and at performance level - if I was ever to perform for someone in my lifetime.

So as you remember - daily - that learning the piano is a very, very, very slow adventure.

When I think of jazz, I think of when I was a beginner sax player and jazz seemed to me to be a melody and chord symbols all over the place and is very, very complex, sharing chords over both hands, etc., and jumping and leaping all over the place - but for me, I want to have a sold foundation of piano playing before I can begin to think of playing jazz because it looks simple and easy but to my brain - it just can't do it at this time - if ever.

cheers, and the best of luck on your journey. Like you, I love playing the piano every day, and I hope to play the piano until it die.

3N10GP


Edited by Michael_99 (11/10/13 03:49 PM)

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#2180212 - 11/10/13 05:41 PM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: zerohe]
Brian Lucas Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 909
If you're interested in jazz, you should own "The Jazz Piano Book" by Mark Levine. Great, practical theory exercises. He's also good at describing complex concepts and showing you how to apply them to the piano.
_________________________
-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 21+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
My Music

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#2180271 - 11/10/13 07:05 PM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: zerohe]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1124
Loc: Australia
Difficult to say as you describe yourself as an intermediate beginner meaning you may have one, two or even three years of playing experience. Sound like you are lacking direction so my best advice is to get a teacher if you can afford one, it will be money well spent and may save you years of not making progress. Failing that the Alfred All In One series is worth a look. There are three levels and you should be able to find your level easy enough by reviewing the book threads on this forum. However this course does not really meet all of your criteria, but is a start.

A practice routine is not something a book or course will generally get into and for most of us it is something we develop by ourselves or with a teacher. However I think you may be referring to having a structured method of progress that books like the Alfred series are.

Originally Posted By: zerohe
as I don't know how to practice scales and arpeggios with a context. I know I should pick up Hanon and just do it, but I'll surely quit after a few scales.


Scales and arpeggios may seem boring and that is why self teaching beginners will avoid them. You need to find the determination to practice them daily, five or ten minutes is considered enough, is that so hard. The aim (or context) is to be comfortable in any scale which will be beneficial to your playing technique, sight reading, improvisation, theory development etc etc.

You may also wish to look at Piano Marvel, ideal for the person looking for a structured online learning course. This requires having a digital piano you can attach to your computer as it is an interactive course. There is a 30 day free trial which you can take to assess if this meets your requirements.

Good Luck
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXIII-4-XXX

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#2180277 - 11/10/13 07:27 PM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: zerohe]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1370
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: zerohe
* if not a singular course or book, could you please point me to some useful sources that are able to forward me into being able to play and have knowledge?


The best useful source would be a private teacher. Only a real and experienced individual would be able to analyze where you are, what your tastes and habits are, and suggest how to best move forward. Obviously you're aware that in addition to what you practice being a large factor in how you progress, how you practice is arguably an even bigger factor and learning how to do that is best learned from someone in person.

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#2180305 - 11/10/13 08:20 PM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: zerohe]
malkin Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2206
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
My screen displayed this thread as:
Serious course or meth

Given that option, I'd say go for the course.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2180418 - 11/10/13 11:16 PM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: zerohe]
Psychonaut Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 232
Originally Posted By: zerohe
Hi, I'm an intermediate beginner and I'm looking for a course... I need a book that gives me a practice routine. It should include both pieces to learn and practical exercises...


I really relate to this (though I am much more interested in classical piano than you), and joined these forums in part to look for a serious, comprehensive method of study that will get me from pt. A to pt. B from where I'm at.

What I've concluded is that I just need to work. I'm practicing a couple of pieces that I sort of have a handle on, a couple that are a bit above me, and one that is way above me. I got a scale and arpeggio book, and also downloaded a simple finger chart for the majors and various minors, and pretty much just pick a key or two at random and practice scales until I tire of it. I also practice the blues riffs, stride and lounge lizard-like stuff that (in my fashion) I already know how to do. But I push forward daily, and that's the critical thing.

Since I'm not budgeted for lessons, I still want to find a good teacher for a one-time consult for putting a syllabus together, and perhaps for "once in a while" check-ins and follow-ups. I can at least afford that. If I don't find one, I'll put the syllabus together myself, but in the meantime I have plenty to work on if I have the discipline to actually do the work.

There's probably no "magic course" especially designed for you. If you're not an absolute beginner, then your dress suit needs to be tailored, rather than bought off the rack, so to speak.
_________________________
Yamaha P120, MO6, Steinberg MR816, Galaxy Vintage D, Komplete 8 & various other VIs, Reaper

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#2180532 - 11/11/13 09:09 AM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: zerohe]
dannac Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 595
Loc: USA
Check out the websites below ... along with one mentioned already, lots of bang for the buck.

http://www.playpianotoday.com/full-index-of-all-online-piano-lessons/

http://www.quaverbox.com/

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#2180567 - 11/11/13 10:34 AM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: dannac]
Charles Cohen Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 949
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
As well as Levine's book, Tim Richards has a 3-volume set on blues (1 volume) and jazz (2 volumes) playing.

They're beautifully designed, progressive lessons. They don't have full "practice regimens", but they have pretty good guidance for self-study. I think there's a "Tim Richards" thread -- try the "Non-classical" section.

For exercises, you might try "Jazz Hanon", by Peter Deneff. It satisfies your "all keys" requirement -- the patterns go up chromatically.

If you want to be technically competent, there's no substitute for doing Hanon (at various tempi, with various articulations and rhythms, _transposed_ into all keys) and plain old scale practice.

. Charles

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#2180672 - 11/11/13 02:56 PM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: zerohe]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2987
Loc: Maine
If you want to be technicallly competent, I think having someone to work with you so you're doing those exercises with good technique is also important. If you practice scales, or Hanon, with poor technique, all you'll do is ingrain poor technique.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2181270 - 11/12/13 08:35 PM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: zerohe]
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Take a good look at Keith Snell at Kjos.

When I started out I thought I would go the jazz route but for the last 10 years it has been classical all the way for me.

Kjos is the publisher, they have a web site.
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#2181375 - 11/13/13 02:13 AM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: Stevester]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 646
Loc: Switzerland
I agree with many others here and suggest that you find a teacher, if you can. It is at the early intermediate stage that you start developing habits that shape the quality of your playing. It is easier to learn how to correctly move, than to unlearn bad movement.

For method books, Alfred's Adult All in One is very popular here. When I returned to piano I used Alfred's Premier Series, which has separate books for lesson, performance, and Theory, and comes with CD's. In my opinion the music is more interesting, and the theory is more thorough. If you are early intermediate then grade 4 is a good place to start. It has all genres of music. It was really helpful to me when I was getting my fingers back on the keys.
_________________________
XXXIII-5-XXIX,XXVII-4-XXIV

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#2181437 - 11/13/13 07:48 AM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: zerohe]
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
You need a teacher. I have one that I only work with about once a month.
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#2181618 - 11/13/13 01:21 PM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: malkin]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 841
Originally Posted By: malkin
My screen displayed this thread as:
Serious course or meth

Given that option, I'd say go for the course.


You never know. Meth is probably one way to get through those scales very, very, very, very quickly.

Seriously, though, I don't know what I would do without a teacher, and almost ESPECIALLY for the scales and arpeggios because so much of the basic fundamental technique flows out of these basic exercises in chords, cadences, arps, scales, chromatics, thirds, sixths, double thirds, etc.

I came back to piano with a pretty solid intermediate foundation behind me, and I had to almost start from scratch with several parts of my scale routine. We obviously do not need to discuss fingering or the notes themselves. I know my keys, and I know how to form scales in the most common modes. But the touch, flow, approach and general movement of them had to be scrupulously observed and corrected. Still is.

If you already have the theory, then I am not sure there's much more to learn from a book outside of someone really watching you play. There are some good youtube videos on scale technique, but again, it's so hard to know if YOU are doing it properly. It's taken me six months to get to a point where I feel like I'm where I need to be on a fundamental level and the academic understanding of it was, at best, only half of it. The rest I truly needed feedback.
_________________________
Currently:
Shostakovich, Trio e Minor, Op. 67
Glinka, Trio Pathetique in D Minor
Schumann, Album für die Jugend, Op. 68
Grieg, Four Norwegian Dances, Op. 35

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#2183358 - 11/16/13 12:35 PM Re: Serious course or method book [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
zerohe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/09/13
Posts: 4
Thank you all for such warm and useful advice! I decided to go with piano marvel, as I had two teachers before and I left the last one because he just wanted to me learn pieces and that was it.

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