Need help for beginner books, and other learning materials

Posted by: Ruri

Need help for beginner books, and other learning materials - 02/24/13 08:12 AM

Hello! Well the subject line has limited characters so I'll explain more in here as well a some introductions (new member here laugh ).

So I started taking piano lessons from a teacher which plays the piano for around 20 years or something now, I think, I started around 2 years ago, and I continued for around 7 months, after that I went into a hiatus and practiced at home on and off.

During that time I gathered learning materials about Piano from the internet, like I usually do for other things, researching and taking all I can find and studying them to supplement my own, and absorb what is needed.

As of now though, I finally cleared my schedule so I can use a major part of my time everyday to practice and study regarding playing the piano.


I was wondering if any of you has any more books, and websites to add to my learning materials that should help me?

Right now I look for the ones that can help me strengthen my piano playing basics...

I'm still a newbie so I really don't know much regarding the "basics" I need to strengthen, umm, if it's not too much, can anyone also point out to me what are the basics I need to strengthen as well as some techniques I should practice in order for me to play them classical music, modern music (I lean more around them Japanese Songs like Vocaloid, anime music, game music and such too) and chord accompaniment (as a keyboardist in a band)? I would really appreciate it a lot as well. laugh

Right now what I've learned so far is reading notes, I can read them but not that fast, I also can't sight read yet. And then the chords C Major, G7 and F Major, and then the C scale (and I feel that I need to learn more about these too) that's all right now, really. XD


BTW, I have these books so far:

-John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course books 1, 2 and 3. (my teacher uses these to teach me)

-A Dozen A Day by Edna Mae Burnam. (my teacher uses this as some sort of warmup before the practice)

-Sound's "You can play" book. (I told my teacher that I want to be in a band as a keyboardist, so she said I must study chords as well, and this is the book she chose)

Here is the website of the book: www.soundpublishingcorporation.com (Can be found at Products>Organ Books>Product Lines>Sound You Can Play), I can't find any reviews online though, but it does lists and teaches a considerable amount of Chords.


These are the other ones I found from the internet:

-http://fastpianolessons.com/blog/crash-course-chords-101/
(password is: ilovepiano)

-http://pianofundamentals.com/book/en/chapter_1

As for the ones I found in the internet... what do you guys think? I read both positive and negative reviews on the Piano Fundamentals thingy, and I got kind of afraid that I might produce a bad habit in playing the Piano. DX

In any case, right now, I am planning on self studying and finishing John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course 3rd book, Sound You Can Play book, and A Dozen A Day book before going back to my teacher.

Might as well gather as many learning materials as I can that is being used by piano players more advanced than me. XD

Thank you so much in advance everyone.
Posted by: malkin

Re: Need help for beginner books, and other learning materials - 02/24/13 10:25 AM

I too, love the idea of buying materials.
Working with a teacher is really a better way to learn to play.
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: Need help for beginner books, and other learning materials - 02/24/13 11:34 PM

All I would suggest is maybe setting aside a little time each day (another good option is finding a local community college at which to take classes) to learn music theory.

Aside from that, just make sure you're being efficient with your practice time. A few great resources are Seymour Bernstein's With Your Own Two Hands: Self-Discovery Through Music, Graham Fitch's blog and new eBook, How To Practice Piano (http://practisingthepiano.com/?p=2295), and Josh Wright's YouTube videos (http://www.youtube.com/user/joshwrightpiano?feature=watch).
Posted by: dmd

Re: Need help for beginner books, and other learning materials - 02/24/13 11:44 PM

First off ... You will make much better progress with a teacher.

Second ... You should try to settle on one main book to work through instead of jumping all around.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: Need help for beginner books, and other learning materials - 02/25/13 12:54 AM

"""...First off ... You will make much better progress with a teacher.

Second ... You should try to settle on one main book to work through instead of jumping all around.

..."""

Don, you are so right - providing the student does practice the 7 days between the next lesson and not the night before the lesson.

Yes, there are some awesome books of piano study usually consistinig of 5 books of music progressively more difficult for the student.

It is never how good the teacher is or how awesome the college course.

It is the student who spends his time on the piano bench playing and practice day after day, month after month and year after year that makes the difference.
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Need help for beginner books, and other learning materials - 02/25/13 02:16 AM

I'm not convinced that it is important to stick with one book.

If you really don't want to work with a teacher right now, then you have to pay attention to what the books are offering - what are the purposes of the pieces? What techniques are they teaching?

If you do a bit of study on organizing the pieces so that you work on the techniques presented I see no reason to lock yourself into one book at a time.
Posted by: Ruri

Re: Need help for beginner books, and other learning materials - 02/25/13 06:24 AM

Hmmm, I see, thank you so much everyone for the inputs! smile

Oh and thanks for additional links as well Bobpickle, I will try to include them to my schedule.

Hmm alright, I'm still starting again to where I left off so adjusting my time is quite tough at the moment, but I am expecting that I will get used to it around a week or two.

Maybe since I finally got a hold of a complete 88-Wieghted Keys digital piano, I think it's a good idea for me to do a quick review again to all of these books so I can refresh my memory. XD

=====

Anyway guys, I want some opinion from you regarding this article:
http://www.jazclass.aust.com/piano/default.htm

I've been using the technique mentioned when I found about it in the internet around a year ago, though I often used my right hand to practice so my left hand can't press the keys as good as my right. DX

In any case, how is the article? Are you guys also following the technique mentioned or somehow doing something close to it?

I'm not really good with anatomy. XD
Posted by: Kristina1

Re: Need help for beginner books, and other learning materials - 03/02/13 04:27 PM

I went to a second-hand music shop
and selected different beginner-books to learn from.

Every beginner-book seems to have a different priority
and using different ones gives me a better chance
to learn as much as possible.

Good luck from Kristina.
Posted by: Eglantine

Re: Need help for beginner books, and other learning materials - 03/02/13 08:25 PM

Hi, Ruri, good luck with your studies.

A Dozen a Day is a good series for exercises.

It's also worth having a good book of scales, chords etc. I think the best one is the Alfred
"Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences: Complete Book" by Willard Palmer et al. Cheap and comprehensive.

For pieces to play, as you are interested in modern, also worth checking out is perhaps the ABRSM Spectrum series. This is exclusively contemporary/new music and sometimes quite interesting. Spectrum volumes 4, then 2, and 3 each have pieces in what I think is your range. [Each book has a range of pieces of different difficulty, and the book volumes don't seem to be in any particular order.]
Posted by: rnaple

Re: Need help for beginner books, and other learning materials - 03/03/13 01:08 AM

I would like to make one suggestion. Before you keep going buying books. It is because this one is extremely good. It will give you good insight into what people have done wrong. How to do it right. Made me understand why people say not to do Hannon exercises without a teacher making sure your using correct technique. Gave me a good understanding of what I am getting into. Has motivated me... The book is:
The Art of Practicing, by Madeline Bruser.
Posted by: btb

Re: Need help for beginner books, and other learning materials - 03/03/13 01:47 AM

I was fortunate many moons ago, when my younger sister
bought for me the “Oxford Companion to Music”
by Percy A. Scholes M.A. (1195 pages)
Oxford University Press London New York Paris 1955.

This reference has proved invaluable throughout a lifetime providing easy pointers to any subject under examination.

What you need is a firm base from which to start your
musical adventures ... such a book is the corner stone.