Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1

Posted by: Mark...

Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/18/07 04:32 PM

Although this is the Adult Beginners forum, many here seem to be very advanced or just amazingly gifted. I don't see many true beginners here (Like me) so I thought I'd start a thread dedicated to the "True" beginner, especially those using Alfred's Adult Piano Course Level one, book one.


What I want to use this thread is for those starting out using the Alfred book. I started playing everyday in November and started the Alfred book in the beginning of December and find it to be an excellent learning tool. I have the first 55 pages down pretty well with pages 56-73 that need a lot of work. And thats were I'm at...

So where are you? Let talk about Alfred book one and whats working and whats not? Lets use this thread to help us advance and motivate...

Mark

Alfred Book Two Thread

Alfred Book Three Thread

The Alfred Adult Users Supplement Pieces Thread

Alfred Graduate List

Alfred Book One - You Tube Video Pieces

Some other pieces from our users from book one:

Harp Song performed by Choppin'

Liza Jane performed by Choppin'

Beautiful Brown Eyes performed by Choppin'

The Cuckoo

Why am I Blue? Performed by Carl Mc

Good People Performed by Carl Mc

The Stranger performed by wj3

Greensleeves

Scarborough Fair Performed by Key Notes

Rasins and Almonds performed PianoN00b
Rasins and Almonds Performed by Carl Mc

The Entertainer performed by Bob Griffin

Amazing Grace
performed by angelojf

Posted by: free_samples

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/18/07 05:36 PM

Hi Mark!

I just wanted to say that yes, I am quite familiar with that course myself, however, It's more of a supplement to what my teacher provides me. Anywho...I'm TECHNICALLY on page 65 but like I said I don't often use that book as much as my instructor's material. Currently I'm working on Minuet in G --Bach ~feel free to ask any and all questions~
but really, this thread can be of use to many--Great Idea!

Cheers
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/18/07 06:02 PM

Wow...I'm also working on Minuet in G for the last couple of weeks. Its almost there too...
Posted by: Mr.Joshua

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/18/07 08:30 PM

I'm a true beginner, working my way through the Alfred book 1. I'm currently on page 82, and can play Alouette like nobody's business \:D , but I haven't played much in the past 3 weeks due to the holidays, and then the weather, and then the kids needed to go to the mall...ok, ok, I've been slacking off...
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/18/07 08:46 PM

Page 82...nice, but how is your Can Can song doing? :lol:

It amazing how some songs you can breeze through and others are really clunkers...
Posted by: TsonicTsunami

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/18/07 09:52 PM

Great Idea Mark.... I had my first lesson last Thursday and I purchased the Alfred book from my teacher ( only $50.00 ..............kidding, kidding just kidding!!!! ) I covered some ground on my own so we worked up to page 27 and 29. When the Saints come Marching In ( Getting ready for my Super Bowl performance). I like the way the bass and melody switch from hand to hand. I'm getting it up to speed and really enjoying the practice time. I get carried away and relax and that when the best efforts come through. Also learning the thumb tuck method for the Cmajor scale. I have read that contemporary methods frown on the thumb under technique but I will perceiver with the teachings of my instructor until I can make a decision based on experience. Happy Playing..... Tom
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/18/07 10:15 PM

Hi TsonicTsunami, looks like your moving fast. I also have been banging away at both versions of Saints...perfect timing for this week.

One trick I do with the Alfread book is I go back each day from about page 16 and do the book up to 73, where I'm at...

By doing this the earlier songs become easier and I build up the later songs. As I improve I move up my start page and leave out the super easy stuff...then I add a new page as I get better on the newer stuff...

Keep us posted on your progress. As the book goes deeper the progress does slow down. At least for me...

Mark
Posted by: bigbeardale

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/18/07 10:37 PM

I am on both of the Saints versions too. I looked ahead a little in the book, and tried out the G position for about 10 minutes, and that was kind of confusing after being in the C position for a few weeks. What are some of the other books you guys buy to go with this Alfred's course?

Dale
Posted by: zoso

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/18/07 11:55 PM

Mark, Im in the same book, page 88, and have a suppplement book, Alfreds All Time Favorites and am working on Finlandia. The G position is strange as you have a lot of the same notes played with different fingers than with the C positions. It looks like a few of us are grouped really close in this book.
Posted by: OrdinaryGirl

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/19/07 12:20 AM

Ok, I'll play. I started lessons in the first part of October. Started with Alfred Adult Beginner Book 1. My teacher spent the first lesson figuring out where to start because I did have about a year of lessons (however unproductive) as a kid, and played flute. I finished the book just in time to start playing some christmas music the first week of November.

Now that the holiday season is over I started book two January 4th. I liked book one, but like the music in this second book even better. I'm now through page 21.

Anyone else playing from this book?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/19/07 06:20 AM

I'll have to check out Alfreds All Time Favorites.

OrdinaryGirl, you must be doing very well to go through book 1 so fast. I was moving at a fast clip to page 50, then it's been slow progress to page 73...

As for the G position, I kind of like the change after a while...Hey were talking f# now...lol

Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/19/07 09:13 AM

Oh sweet I was excited to see this thread. I started on Alfreds last January and in about 7 days I will have been taking piano lessons for 1 year.

I didn't move through alfreds as quickly as some of you and I think it's due to how much my teacher gave me. One alfreds song every week and sometimes 4 supplemental from other sources. Would we have cut it down i would have been done much quicker but oh well water under the bridge.

I'm on book 2 now and this week I'm on page ummm ummm ummmmm ummmm. I'm at work so I'll have to call my husband at home so he can look for me. One sec while I call him.

I'm back I'm on page 28-31 and i start page 32 tomorrow. \:D

I also picked up faber and faber book 2 a couple of weeks ago and my teacher liked what she saw so I'm playing out of that one as well in addition to some other supplements.

Last week she found this guild repetoir book and she asked me to start on Tchaikovsky Italian Song. bleh leggato one hand stacatto the other. she says i have no trouble with playing one hand leggato while the other plays stacatto \:\( so I'm stuck with that.
Posted by: Copper

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/19/07 09:43 AM

I went through the Alfred's Book I about 2 years ago. I think I spent about 6-8 months with it. I was also using other books at the same time.

I got Alfred’s Book II a year ago and I got the CD with it. I thought the CD was disappointing. It was low quality. It sounds like it was created on a very old electric piano. The piano part is on the right channel and some horrible accompaniment on the left channel. If you just want to hear the piano you have to turn off the left channel.

The Piano Handbook: A Complete Guide for Mastering Piano (with CD) Carl Humphries $29.95 [/b] is kind of expensive but I think it is a great book for a beginner who is interested in getting an introduction to classical piano music. It comes with a high quality CD with all the music and exercises from the book. I found it to be a good complement to the Alfred’s.

Scott Houston’s book Play Piano in a Flash! Play Your Favorite Songs Like a Pro--Whether You've Had Lessons or Not![/b] is also a good book for beginners or anyone who wants to learn to play popular music from a fake book. The title is obviously outrageous but don’t get hung up on that, the book is worth reading just to pick up some of the author’s enthusiasm.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/19/07 05:37 PM

So loly, do you still go back to book one to maintain those songs or do you just move on?...As for the time frame I can see it taking a while. Like I said earlier I moved fast through the first 50 pages but now I'm at a snails pace. But as long as your learning and improving thats all that matters. I did buy book two as an incentive...

So loly as you progress with Alfred does that allow you to play other material at the same level without too much trouble?

Hi Cooper...Scotts book and TV show is what got me back into piano. I'll have to check out Humphries book...
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/19/07 05:39 PM

So zoso, let us know when you hit book two...I know the end of book one gets demanding...
Posted by: Bob Griffin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/19/07 06:44 PM

Hi all. Luckily I have alot of time to practice so I am a few songs away from completion. I can tell you that there were alot of times when I felt hopeless, and then after sleeping on it went back and the songs started clicking. When you are sitting there and struggling, take a break. The idea of going back and replaying songs each time up to where you are is good, as your timing improves and you can concentrate on the dynamics and pedaling. There are a few songs toward the end that are beating a dead horse and I think my teacher will let me skip a few. Once I got the rythym of blow the man down, I went back to my c version of linus an lucy and now can play that in full. I mistakenly thought you get the left hand going and simply do the melody with the right hand. Like patting head and rubbing tummy. No way. You have to take it frame by frame and get the timing down before moving to next measure. While doing this book I learned a few from Thompson's book, which were actually tougher but kept practicing interesting. Funny, just the other day I downloaded Minuet by Bach and thought that would be a doable classic piece. Not as easy as it looks but halfway there. Teach has me doing scales on the side,and we already did major chords and variations of each of those. There is a nice version of the Entertainer at the end of the book. Sounds pretty good. I tried the Joplin version and had to give up for now. I am looking forward to book two, but am committed to mastering book one first, except for a few songs that I just can't listen to.(mexican hat dance)(on top of old smoky) to name a few. I remember that when I hit Lavender Blue, it started actually sounding like a piano. That's when I decided to buy a piano, as I was playing a digital and the feel would throw me off when I went to lessons and flubbed. I am finally starting to not "clam up" when playing for others or teach. Use a metronome and go back and play songs you thought you were playing well and you will see that they sound even better when played in perfect time. Use the record feature on you digital and that will give the same(pressure) feeling that you need to overcome when playing for teach or friends. I hope you are all enjoying this as much as me.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/19/07 10:24 PM

Hi Bob, welocme to the group. You sound alot like myself. Some songs I try and say no way. Then I take a break and then slowing tear it down. Sleeping on a song does help.

What is it about blow the man down that makes it so difficult. I'm just starting to get it to click, but its been the worst song for me so far...

I also like Lavender Blue as well as Standing in the Need of Prayer...and I'm also starting to like "Got those Blues" which was strange at first.

I'm going to have check out linus an lucy...

So how long have you been working on book one bob?...and when you finally get to book two,,,keep us posted...

Mark
Posted by: bigbeardale

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/20/07 01:09 AM

I think I will order that Scott Houston book, and give it a try. Thanks for sharing your favorites...

Dale

 Quote:
Originally posted by Copper:
The Piano Handbook: A Complete Guide for Mastering Piano (with CD) Carl Humphries $29.95 [/b] is kind of expensive but I think it is a great book for a beginner who is interested in getting an introduction to classical piano music. It comes with a high quality CD with all the music and exercises from the book. I found it to be a good complement to the Alfred’s.

Scott Houston’s book Play Piano in a Flash! Play Your Favorite Songs Like a Pro--Whether You've Had Lessons or Not![/b] is also a good book for beginners or anyone who wants to learn to play popular music from a fake book. The title is obviously outrageous but don’t get hung up on that, the book is worth reading just to pick up some of the author’s enthusiasm. [/qb]
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/20/07 06:14 AM

hi mark sorry for not responding immediately

I haven't gone back to alfreds book 1 I tend to move on, but I do sometimes spend a little time on the previous piece as I read somewhere that it's good to spend at least 10 minutes on your previous piece.

Yes to your other question. My teacher gives me a lot of supplemental music and all I can say is that it works. With alfreds method and a good teacher I've been able to tackle other stuff with no problems except for the usual mistakes and you know how it goes, the distractions. Oh I think I heard a pin drop, doh I missed a note. \:D

Your teacher once you start lessons will be able to pick out other music for you from different sources that'll match where you are with alfreds and sometimes might give you a tad harder piece to keep you challenged.

thanks for this thread looking forward to more. I can always go back to my book and look to see the notes I have written on them from my lesson.
Like "Stretch fingers quit jumping" he he my teachers big into finger stretching
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/20/07 07:16 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
thanks for this thread looking forward to more. I can always go back to my book and look to see the notes I have written on them from my lesson.
Like "Stretch fingers quit jumping" he he my teachers big into finger stretching [/b]
My pleasure, it should be fun. Keep us posted on book 2...and your progress...

Mark
Posted by: Bob Griffin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/20/07 01:24 PM

Blow the man down has a different chord speed than the melody, like linus and lucy. You need to just work on the first two measures until it "clicks" and then move forward. Don't try to play left hand and then add the right hand. You only have one brain and it doesn't work that way. Think of piano as a typewriter. You have to use both hands and hit the notes in the right sequence with both hands. All of a sudden it "comes together" and you can hear the song. I will check on this thread and see how everyone is doing. One thing I told myself is not to compare my progress(good and bad) to anyone else. The more you practice, the faster it goes and I probably have more time to practice than alot of you. I am one of those "gung ho" people that dives in heavily to new things and I am slowing down and incorporating scales and fingering exercises(hanon) so that I am ready for what's to follow. Scales are real good for fingering technique. I suggest everyone search for some threads here on scales as I have picked up some real good ideas that make learning them fun. I really like playing them hands toward each other and then away from each other. I can only do C and G and D major right now, but hope to be able to do most major scales. This sounds cool and really forces you to know the sharps in each run, as they pop up in different places for each hand. What I find most gratifying about the whole piano trip is how you feel lost when trying something new and somehow through practice and time it "clicks." What's weird is as soon as you get good at something, you are thrown back to the level of incompetence as you move forward. I guess that will be the case for the next ten years or so, so try to focus on how far you have come rather than where you are at the moment. If you are serious about this, go buy yourself a quality piano as it makes even the simplest things sound better and calls you to the room for more practice. Look at slightly used pianos on www.craigslist.com in your area and you will pay half of new. I am playing a 52" Kawai upright that was ten years old and hardly played and paid 5300.00 total delivered from a private party. Comparable models is the K6 or Yamaha U3. Back to practice.
Posted by: OrdinaryGirl

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/21/07 11:59 AM

Yeah, I moved fairly quickly through book one. I didn't start from page one. The first lesson we just sight read through the book to figure out where to start. If I could sight read the piece well, we moved on. I think we ended up starting about page 80. He assigned four songs from there the first week, and I remember thinking, "Yeah right." But I practiced enough to get them all done because I thought that was the expectation. He was suprised they were all polished, but then I'd set the expectation and got in the routine of practicing quite a bit. It's slowing down a bit more now in book two. Plus, the songs are even better so it makes sense to polish them more.

I don't do much other than what is in the book at this point, because I haven't brought other things in that I want to do. So, that helps with the pace some too.

I do go back and revist things from the previous. I like the little arrangement of Amazing Grace at the end of book one, so I go back and play that. I also love the piece Light and Blue in the beginning of book two. What did you think of that loly?
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/21/07 12:21 PM

oooo OG, kind of funny that you should mention light and blue. When I look at those arrangements I cringe but surprisingly enough I tend to pick up on them rather quickly.

I also tend to play them with a different rythym which at first didn't go well with my teacher because she wanted me to play it the way the composer intended for it to be played.

So I broke myself from the habit of making it my own and then when we got to another similar piece she actually told me to make it my own. She liked my rythym better but unfortunately it was hard for me to pick it up again.


amazing grace actually made me cry as I played it. I was going through some tough times when I came upon it so I was putting my soul into it.

Right now I'm on mexican hat dance and that one is extremely easy to pick up.
Posted by: bigbeardale

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/22/07 11:32 PM

Do any of you guys use some of the Alfred's books they have printed inside the Level 1 and Level 2 Adult course? I am trying the Basic Adult Christmas Piano Book, Level One, and the first song, Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, is very easy after finishing When the Saints go Marching In from the course book.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/25/07 09:56 AM

I used the alfreds adult christmas book level 2 back in november. I liked the arrangements they were a little different from the traditional ones.

there were about 16songs in all, my teachers intention was that I learned all 16 songs by christmas. hahahahahahahh I still chuckle over that one.
Posted by: hobo57

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/25/07 10:53 AM

Hi all, thanks for starting this thread.

I'm using "Alfred's Basic Piano Library Chord Approach for the Later Beginner" Level 1 (ISBN 0-7390-1553-2). It doesn't sound like the book you've been discussing. Though I did finish "Saints Go Marching In" a couple weeks back. It's on page 35 & 37 in my book.

I also got into the Hanon challenge in another thread, but couldn't keep up, so will drop out of that and do the Hanon at your own pace thread. I have #1 fine, but realized that I had the fingering wrong for #2, so will try to fix that this week.

My teacher gave me "Easy Piano Classics" last night and it has 3 versions of Bach's Minute in G. I wonder which one y'all are doing?

She thinks I can tackle an easy version of Beethoven's "Fur Elise" after I mentioned watching "Immortal Beloved" movie. I'm just now starting pedaling in Alfred with "Harp Song".

I too enjoy the challenge and accomplishment of starting a new piece and being completely bewildered, and then take it apart, "fix the fractures", and put it back together.

The term "fracture" came from Charles Cooke's book, "Playing the Piano for Pleasure" - wonderful old book, but if interested, new copies are $60. I bought mine used via Amazon.com and it was $20 and the good parts are already underlined. Much of the book is over my head now, but many of the suggestions are great.

I also purchase Humphries "The Piano Handbook" and Larry Fine's "Piano Book", but I held back from buying an acoustic piano for now. I want to be sure that I'm going to stick with this. However, I upgraded from my soft key Yamaha P-510 to a Yamaha P-140 with weighted keys.

Sorry to ramble, but I too was imitated but so many adult beginners that were so far ahead. Good to be amongst peers closer to my level.

Thanks, Mark
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/28/07 12:11 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by hobo57:
Hi all, thanks for starting this thread.

I'm using "Alfred's Basic Piano Library Chord Approach for the Later Beginner" Level 1 (ISBN 0-7390-1553-2). It doesn't sound like the book you've been discussing. Though I did finish "Saints Go Marching In" a couple weeks back. It's on page 35 & 37 in my book.

I also got into the Hanon challenge in another thread, but couldn't keep up, so will drop out of that and do the Hanon at your own pace thread. I have #1 fine, but realized that I had the fingering wrong for #2, so will try to fix that this week.

My teacher gave me "Easy Piano Classics" last night and it has 3 versions of Bach's Minute in G. I wonder which one y'all are doing?

She thinks I can tackle an easy version of Beethoven's "Fur Elise" after I mentioned watching "Immortal Beloved" movie. I'm just now starting pedaling in Alfred with "Harp Song".

I too enjoy the challenge and accomplishment of starting a new piece and being completely bewildered, and then take it apart, "fix the fractures", and put it back together.

The term "fracture" came from Charles Cooke's book, "Playing the Piano for Pleasure" - wonderful old book, but if interested, new copies are $60. I bought mine used via Amazon.com and it was $20 and the good parts are already underlined. Much of the book is over my head now, but many of the suggestions are great.

I also purchase Humphries "The Piano Handbook" and Larry Fine's "Piano Book", but I held back from buying an acoustic piano for now. I want to be sure that I'm going to stick with this. However, I upgraded from my soft key Yamaha P-510 to a Yamaha P-140 with weighted keys.

Sorry to ramble, but I too was imitated but so many adult beginners that were so far ahead. Good to be amongst peers closer to my level.

Thanks, Mark [/b]
Welcome!

It nice to know that others are in the same boat as yourself. I liked your description of breaking down a song. Sometimes when I start a new song and it looks like Greek, I do the same thing.

Your book does sound a bit different, but no matter were all just trying to keep each other motivated.

Keep us posted on your progress...

mark
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/28/07 12:20 AM

Here is my update:

After much research I bought a used Kawai ES4. What a difference from playing with soft keys.

As for Alfread, I'm almost at a stand still. I have been practicing like a dog, but some of the songs in the 65-75 page area are really giving me a tough time. Can I fire my left hand?
I hope I can break through this tough stretch and move on...

I've been working hard on my major scales and was just given Moonlight Sonata. What a great sound. Just playing the first few measures is a thrill...its going to be a long term project. Hope I'm not over my head...

After 6 weeks of playing teacher tag, I hope to have my first lesson on Monday...

Have a great weekend everyone...keep practicing...

Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/29/07 10:49 AM

what songs are they Mark? I'm at work and my alfreds 1 is at home. \:D
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/29/07 11:48 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
what songs are they Mark? I'm at work and my alfreds 1 is at home. \:D [/b]
The little Brown Jug is a real pain...lol
Why am I blue is also going very slow

Thanks
Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/29/07 12:58 PM

why am i blue i remember well. i don't particularly like the blues, ragtime or jazz but for some reason i pick up on them quickly. same thing for legatto and stacatto. i can do legatto with one hand and stacatto with the other without thinking so my teacher sticks me with stuff like that.

anywayyyy if i remember correctly it's the rythym that's a little tricky for why am i blue? i couldn't get the rythym right away so i did it the old fashioned way played the right hand and got a nice syncopated rythym there. the left hand was fairly easy but i practiced it anyway by itself. then of course i put both hands together and i didn't get the rythym right at the start but i did after a few tries. once you get it one time and it sounds right you'll be able to get it for the rest of the measures.

it'll get better though. i'm finding book 2 easier than book one so those struggles you're going through are going to pay off. also book 2 has those type of pieces so it won't be the last time you see them. alfreds seems to be repetitive imo. so once you get it down the ones to come will be a piece of cake.

do you have the disc for that book? mine came with a disc if you don't have it, i'll post the pieces you're having trouble with so you can have a listen. \:D
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/29/07 03:07 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
do you have the disc for that book? mine came with a disc if you don't have it, i'll post the pieces you're having trouble with so you can have a listen. \:D [/b]
I dont have the disc. And I think my left hand is my problem. It just wont work on its own...lol The way things are going I might be in book one for a loooog time...

Thanks for the reply

Mark
Posted by: Bob Griffin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/29/07 05:13 PM

Mark, start any new song so slow that you think you are going to fall asleep doing it. Take maybe three or four bars and make sure you get every note right. Go as slow as you have to in order to play every note correctly. After playing it correctly(four bars)four times in a row, increase the speed very slightly, and then more and then more until you get it up to speed. Make sure you have NO tension in your body, anywere. Tension causes lack of speed and misnotes. Do not go on to the next four bars until you have the first four completely correct. The speed will come with confidence and familiarity and before you know it your fingers will just react from memory and you will come up to speed. This is something I have to do as I am always in a hurry to get through a song and get to speed. I was training myself to be under stress and misnote. Some songs I never got right. If you do the above, you will find your progress actually much faster. Try it.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/29/07 05:31 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Griffin:
If you do the above, you will find your progress actually much faster. Try it. [/b]
Sounds like a plan Bob, thanks for the advise.

Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/29/07 09:02 PM

Mark,

ill post the song up and link it by tomorrow so you can listen to the rythym that might help you a bit.

i brought my book 1 out and played it it brought back good memories. wish we lived in the same city it would be neat to get together and help.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/29/07 10:07 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
Mark,

ill post the song up and link it by tomorrow so you can listen to the rythym that might help you a bit.

i brought my book 1 out and played it it brought back good memories. wish we lived in the same city it would be neat to get together and help. [/b]
Thanks, but if one us has to travel. I'm going to Florida!!

Looking forward to the links...
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/30/07 04:45 AM

he he he it's a bit nippy down here right now.

here's the link hope this helps you, if you need anymore from book 1 let me know

http://www.box.net/shared/5vprn2k8l3
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/30/07 08:19 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
he he he it's a bit nippy down here right now.

here's the link hope this helps you, if you need anymore from book 1 let me know

http://www.box.net/public/xfr0fhh71x [/b]
Well its single digits here tonight.

That was great, thanks! It would be nice if we could get all of book one songs here for everyone. Anyone willing to upload, go for it.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/30/07 10:00 AM

yewwwwwwww that's alot of pieces not sure box.net would let me upload them all.

give me a list by name since my book is the all in one and the pages don't match. that one piece was on page 116 of my book and i'll try to get them uploaded.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/30/07 02:55 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
yewwwwwwww that's alot of pieces not sure box.net would let me upload them all.

give me a list by name since my book is the all in one and the pages don't match. that one piece was on page 116 of my book and i'll try to get them uploaded. [/b]
I didn't mean for you to do all the work...maybe others here too...lol

Thanks!

Mark
Posted by: OrdinaryGirl

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/31/07 05:22 PM

I haven't bought the discs. I feel a bit like that is cheating. Sort of akin to having my teacher play the piece for me and then playing it myself - which he won't do. If I can hear the rhythm playing it isn't the issue. Seems to me a big part of learning (at least if we are learning this way and not by ear) is counting things out slowing and figuring out how they sound. Especially since part of the goal, or at least mine, is to evenutally not have to take lessons and be able to pick things up and work them out for myself.

Any opinions???
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/01/07 09:26 AM

My opinion is I wouldn't categorize it as cheating and more like a helpful tool when you just can't get it right.

In essence everyone is different but we're all trying to reach a goal of learning to play the instrument.

I personally will try my best to figure it out but if I reach a point of frustration I will use the disc (I've used it twice by the way) or I will ask my teacher to play that section. I don't feel any less for having done so.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/01/07 05:36 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
I personally will try my best to figure it out but if I reach a point of frustration I will use the disc (I've used it twice by the way) or I will ask my teacher to play that section. I don't feel any less for having done so. [/b]
You link definitely helped. Hearing the song helped it click...

Today was one of those good practice days when you feel you made some progress. Some days you just shake your head and say &&^%%$$^@##@* :lol:

Mark
Posted by: John WI

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/01/07 08:47 PM

It is soooo good to hear from people who are "true" beginners, like me!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/01/07 09:01 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by John WI:
It is soooo good to hear from people who are "true" beginners, like me! [/b]
Thats why were here John...welcome...

Are you in the Alfred book and hows it going?

Mark
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/05/07 10:28 PM

Well I finally connected with the teacher and did I get my butt kicked regarding timing...
Posted by: zoso

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/10/07 10:42 AM

After lots of practice the past few weeks I'm within 10 pages of completing book one. I had been stuck half way throuth it for months then something just clicked and shifting between the positions got a lot easier. Its hard not to race through the rest of it so I can start book two!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/10/07 12:13 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by zoso:
After lots of practice the past few weeks I'm within 10 pages of completing book one. I had been stuck half way throuth it for months then something just clicked and shifting between the positions got a lot easier. Its hard not to race through the rest of it so I can start book two! [/b]
Congrats!

Glad its just not me. I've been hanging arounf pages 65-75 for weeks and can't move on...

I'm looking forward to breaking though...

Keep us posted...

Mark
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/07 11:49 AM

Does anyone know if I can get MIDI files of the songs in Adult Basic 1? Mine didn't come with a CD for some reason.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/07 01:52 PM

choppin

give me a list of the 5 songs you will be working on including what you're working on right now and I'll post them for you.

after you've downloaded them I'll post another 5 and so on.

i need the names of the first five songs though because if you don't have the all in one course our pages won't match

loly
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/07 04:03 PM

hey loly!

I have basic adult level 1.

Here are 5 songs I will be working on...

Mary Ann
Rockets
What Can I Share
When the saints go marching in
When the saints go marching in (LH and RH swapped)

It would be great if you can help me out. Thanks!
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/07 06:24 PM

okie dokie look for them sometime tonight. i'll have a link for you. glad i could help
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/07 06:56 PM

loly, if you get a chance I could use chiapanecas the mexican hat dance.

Thanks
Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/07 07:22 PM

Links to copyrighted material deleted.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/07 07:28 PM

Links deleted.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/07 08:57 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
chiapanecas

[/b]
You are the best loly!!!

Links deleted.
Posted by: Gingerbaker

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/07 09:42 PM

Hello everyone, I have been lurking for a while and thought I would post to this thread. I find this forum helpful and motivating.

I little history, I started January 2006, Schaums adult level one and learned the first 30 pages in 2 weeks. My instructor was way too slow and would not ramp up his sessions. After 3 weeks I bailed and went looking for another teacher. She started me on Alfred's Adult Basic Cousre book 2 only to challenge me and see how I would do. If it was too hard we would go to Book 1. In March, 06, I was laid off from work and spent 4-6 hours/day practicing for the next 6 months. My teacher ramped everything up including theory. It took 4 months to complete Book 2.
September, 06 working again but laid off December 22. Back to 6 hours/day practice.

I left her for a college level teacher last month. We started on classical stuff and heavy drills and Hanon while working in book 3, page 24 now.
I have memorized Bach's Menuet in G and Schumanns Frolicher Landmann. I did the Menuet in G at a recital and bombed. I was so nervous I don't remember playing the tune.

Besides book 3 I'm working on Bachs Preludium 1, E. Satie, Gymnopedie 1, Mozart's, Seranade [Eine Kleine Nachtmusik]. After these I'm going on to Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise.

I hope to play Canon in D and Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude at a friends wedding in September.

I'm looking to put together a group of adult students to hang out, talk about playing, playing for each other and maybe some cheese and wine. Maybe once a month. I live in the Pottstown area in PA. Anyone from that area and would there be any interest?

Ginger
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/07 09:59 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Gingerbaker:
Hello everyone, I have been lurking for a while and thought I would post to this thread. I find this forum helpful and motivating.

I'm looking to put together a group of adult students to hang out, talk about playing, playing for each other and maybe some cheese and wine. Maybe once a month. I live in the Pottstown area in PA. Anyone from that area and would there be any interest?

Ginger [/b]
Welcome...the way you are practicing your next job will be a music teacher! To be in Book 3 so fast is excellent..congrats...
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/07 10:11 PM

Amazing work, Ginger! It sounds like you are having a great time and making wonderful progress.

Welcome to the forum. You can do a search in the community directory and see who is around your area from PianoWorld. You also might ask your teacher to make an announcement at any of the local organizations she's in. Certainly other teachers have adult students who would be interested in getting together.

Nancy
Posted by: wysiwyg

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/07 10:29 PM

Hi there everyone. New guy here. Going through this thread brought back some memories. I am also on the Alfred's Books and I agree with some of what you people have been saying about some song just bog you down, but others can come as easy as pie.

I am into the 3rd Book and I am into my 3rd year of piano lessons. My piano teacher has me playing the Adagio in A Major. Came real easy but thankfully it was slow in tempo. I'm still scared of the Metronome. \:\)

I'll have to keep reading through the forum.
Cheers.
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/12/07 07:52 AM

Thanks loly, you are a star!
Posted by: statik

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/13/07 05:50 AM

Hello,
I’ve bought books of Αlfred’s Adult Piano course Level 1,2,3 but without CDs. Unfortunately here in Greece these books are sold without the CD. Is it possible for you to find a way to give me these Cds, for example by uploading them to the site rapidshare.com?

Many thanks, in advance!
Posted by: zoso

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/15/07 09:26 AM

The last 10-15 pages of book #1 are tougher than I thought, with different fingerings than Im used to with the C, middle C, and G positions. This really throws me off, and forces me to think about each note again. So, book two will have to remain on the shelf for awhile.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/15/07 09:37 AM

hi zoso,

have you trained yourself on reading by intervals? if not you might want to look into it not to undermine or discontinue reading notes (I learned to read notes first then intervals). If you learn to read by intervals you'll see that playing in any key will become easier.

once you get through book one you'll find book 2 to be very easy (well so far). I think book one builds a stronger foundation than you think and you should be pleasantly surprised when you get into book 2. \:D
Posted by: zoso

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/15/07 10:23 AM

Loly, I havent learned to play by intervals other than the interval lessons in Alfreds, BUT, I cheat using intervals all the time! Or at least I thought it was cheating until you mentioned reading by intervals. Now Im curious. Heres what I sometimes do; With right hand, thumb on D, going from E to G with fingers 2and 4, sometime it will click in my brain as a third and I will skip a key as opposed to thinking 4th finger G. Like two different paths to the same note.
Now, if you think a different approach reading by intervale wouldnt hurt my alfreds progress I'd love to see how it works.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/15/07 11:05 AM

If you're hitting the notes with the correct finger without identifying the notes as being e or g then you're playing by intervals.

you're on the right track it takes practice. by the time you're done with book one you'll be doing it without even thinking. \:D

If you can read notes then concentrate on intervals from now on. My teacher stressed it almost every lesson until I started just doing intervals once I had my initial finger positions I read by intervals unless it was something that was too far up the keyboard.

It's kind of funny because it's true what they say about practicing. After a while you'll be doing things without even thinking and recognizing chords without thinking. One day you'll be sightreading and hit chords correctly without a thought and you'll get such a warm fuzzy feeling.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/15/07 12:24 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by zoso:
The last 10-15 pages of book #1 are tougher than I thought, with different fingerings than Im used to with the C, middle C, and G positions. This really throws me off, and forces me to think about each note again. So, book two will have to remain on the shelf for awhile. [/b]
I hear you...it is very slow going late in book one...I'm just staying the course and working hard. Every so often you get a small break through and move ahead...

Good Luck...

Mark
Posted by: zoso

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/19/07 05:35 PM

Are we all on the same page on what book were in? There are three different Alfred,s Basic Adult Piano Course series of books, one I just mentioned, one also entitled Play Piano Now, and an all in one book. I have the Play Piano Now series, spiral bound. I think it might be easier than the all in one book. Not that it really matters I was just wondering who has what and if anyone knows if a certain series would be better than the others.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/19/07 05:59 PM

Zoso, I'm in the 3 book series myself...
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/07 04:45 PM

I thought I'd bump this up. I was rereading this thread and find it funny that I was complaining about a couple of songs that I now have under my belt and now have new problem songs. I guess its the nature of the beast...

So how is everyone doing in Alfred?

Mark
Posted by: zoso

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/07 08:35 PM

Mark, what songs are you working on now? Im going over the last twenty pages and am having trouble with Listen to the Mocking Bird. The end of the song is really cool with the right hand holding sixths and the left playing an arpeggio, sounds great together. Just got to smooth it out.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/28/07 07:26 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by zoso:
Mark, what songs are you working on now? Im going over the last twenty pages and am having trouble with Listen to the Mocking Bird. The end of the song is really cool with the right hand holding sixths and the left playing an arpeggio, sounds great together. Just got to smooth it out. [/b]
The Mexican hat and Solo meo are giving me a hard time. Probably because I just dont like the songs at all...

My goal now is to finish the book by the end of June. I think its doable if I can keep up my practice routine.

Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/28/07 07:34 AM

OOOOO mexican hat dance. wheww I'm glad I'm over that but don't dismiss it totally cause book 2 has another mexican fiesta waiting for you guys. he he he he he
Posted by: zoso

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/01/07 11:39 AM

Wow, Im almost finished with the first book. Of the two songs left, Cafe' Vienna is just about under my hands but not up to tempo yet. This is one sweet little tune that I plan to memorize. So far the only one Ive memorized is A Gift to be Simple. How are you all doing?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/01/07 11:53 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
OOOOO mexican hat dance. wheww I'm glad I'm over that but don't dismiss it totally cause book 2 has another mexican fiesta waiting for you guys. he he he he he [/b]
Just great!! lol...I really hate that song...
Posted by: 80z_Chick

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/08/07 06:40 PM

I finished book 1 in September of 2005. I am currently about half way through book 2. This book doesn't get as much attention as it once did because I am taking my Royal Conservatory exams.
I think it's a great series for adult beginners.
Posted by: CarolinaCA

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/09/07 12:24 AM

Hi Bob G, I'm currently working on Linus and Lucy and was interested to see your comment on it. I am having the hardest time getting the tempo right so it actually sounds like Linus and Lucy! I can play the hands separately and it sounds great (I'll take your advice and not try that again), but put them together and it's a disaster. I type 90 wpm so you'd think maybe I would have been able to transfer that skill to the piano, but it never occurred to me to think of a piano as a typewriter. Thanks for pointing that out. I'll try that and see if that helps.
Thx!
Posted by: Bob Griffin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/09/07 12:50 PM

Carol, maybe by now you "have it." If you can play "blow the man down" in the alfred's book, then you can do Linus and Lucy. After the intro(left hand) play with both hands but go extremely slow. The first three note with both hands are pretty much on the same time. Then hit the low C with the pinky, Then hit the EDC with the right hand as a triplet while playing the GC with the left hand. You will hear it. then from there it is all downhill. When you transition to the DAH DAH DAH DUMM , make sure you "cheat" and position your right hand where is goes so you are ready to thump it when moving the left hand over. I know this will help you and look forward to hearing your smile.
Posted by: Bob Griffin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/15/07 10:30 AM

The second to last song in book one is entertainer, I thought I would post my recording in case there is anyone out there that is not familiar with the tune.

http://www.box.net/shared/mf1h5zkcl9
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/15/07 11:24 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Griffin:
The second to last song in book one is entertainer, I thought I would post my recording in case there is anyone out there that is not familiar with the tune.

http://www.box.net/shared/mf1h5zkcl9 [/b]
Nicely done Bob. I'm looking forward to it. I'm up to Green Sleeves and working on cleaning up pages 73-84

Thanks
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/17/07 03:19 AM

Hi all

Do you guys learn each song to a point it is memorized complete in your mind?

Or do you practice it until you can play just play it well and then move onto the next one?

Because I can't even remember how to play jingle bells now. Well unless I have the sheet music in front.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/17/07 06:19 AM

I have a week to practice my pieces and if my teacher is satisfied we move on which averages one week sometimes 2 depending on the piece and if it's giving me trouble.

I don't memorize them because we work on 3 pieces and to me it's not productive to memorize them especially since they're method book pieces and so early into the learning process.

I did start memorizing a repertoir piece she gave me though and those I will memorize as they come along and as I advance more.

When the time comes for serious repertoir memorization I'm planning on a small list

2 classical
1 pop
1 religious
happy birthday
wedding song

and i'll carry another 5 pieces of music sheet of well learned pieces with me wherever I go just in case. \:D
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/17/07 08:44 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Choppin':
Hi all

Do you guys learn each song to a point it is memorized complete in your mind?

Or do you practice it until you can play just play it well and then move onto the next one?

Because I can't even remember how to play jingle bells now. Well unless I have the sheet music in front. [/b]
I play the songs with the sheet music. Just memorize the technique to play it up to speed. It takes some time to get them up to speed without errors. I do the entire book each day and it keeps the songs fresh as I slowly add more songs from the book...
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/18/07 04:09 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
I do the entire book each day and it keeps the songs fresh as I slowly add more songs from the book... [/b]


How do you find the time? ;\)
Posted by: Bob Griffin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/18/07 06:32 PM

For me they get "memorized" just from being played so many times.

For titles I haven't played in awhile I would need the sheet music to refresh.

I work on about five from the Alfreds's book and get "checked off" one or two per lesson when they meet the teacher's requirements.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/19/07 06:31 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Choppin':
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
I do the entire book each day and it keeps the songs fresh as I slowly add more songs from the book... [/b]


How do you find the time? ;\) [/b]
Initially it didn't take too long, but now about an hour...
Posted by: edpiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/19/07 08:05 PM

Where do you buy your book from online?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/19/07 08:32 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by edpiano:
Where do you buy your book from online? [/b]
I bought mine on Amazon, but if you do a search there are tons of places.
Posted by: disposable income

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/07 08:44 PM

Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/25/07 02:56 PM

So how is everyone doing? My teacher has stopped me at Scarborough Fair till we clean up and go over the rest of the book to make sure I didn't miss anything. I just started lessons with her about a month ago.Its amazing the little hints a teacher can make that makes the learning process so much easier.

Many of the songs are starting to fall into place with the daily practice. On the side I'm still working on Moonlight in Dm.

Mark
Posted by: nrrdgrrl

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/28/07 01:42 AM

Hi Mark737 (are you a pilot?). I am using the Alfred Book 1 also, but my teacher has me on 4 different books: Piano Town Book 2, Faber & Faber Adult Piano Adventures (a title that always makes me titter) and a really great collection of Carl Orff pieces. I like having the very different songs, arrangements and philosophies to keep me interested. For instance, the Alfred and the Fabers don't introduce different keys that quickly, but the Piano Town has me flying all over sets of sharps and flats with different fingerings. And if I'm not doing that well on one of the songs, I can always try a different book to build my confidence. And then I go back and attack the other one.

btw, this is my first post. I've been a lurker since I started playing the piano, which was in July of last year. I'm 31 and I have 2 signs above my piano: HOW OLD WOULD YOU BE IF YOU DIDN'T TAKE PIANO LESSONS? and try|umph. The last one is from Happy Feet. Jeepers.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/28/07 10:58 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by nrrdgrrl:
Hi Mark737 (are you a pilot?).

I am using the Alfred Book 1 also, but my teacher has me on 4 different books: Piano Town Book 2, Faber & Faber Adult Piano Adventures (a title that always makes me titter) and a really great collection of Carl Orff pieces.
btw, this is my first post.

I've been a lurker since I started playing the piano, which was in July of last year. I'm 31 and I have 2 signs above my piano: HOW OLD WOULD YOU BE IF YOU DIDN'T TAKE PIANO LESSONS? and try|umph. The last one is from Happy Feet. Jeepers. [/b]
Pilot... \:D , no just the thread starter.

Welcome to the forums glad you finally posted. Using 4 books must keep you really busy and give you a great variety. I'm going to ask my teacher what she thinks will be the best way to proceed when I'm done with book one. I like the idea of different formats as you mentioned.

Were are you in book one by the way?

And finally, I like the age sign...it works well for me. \:D
Posted by: nrrdgrrl

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/28/07 11:23 AM

I'm exactly where you are, I think. I'm memorizing Greensleeves and learning Scarborough Fair this week. I smiled at what you wrote about Chiapanacas, because I had the HARDEST time with that, too. And I played Can-Can for a few days before I realized, oh, it's the CAN-CAN! Like with the dancing legs! I know that song! Like, four or five days, I'm telling you.

I really like the Piano Town book, though it has a picture of 2 little kids on the front and they're standing in a big amusement park with piano keys as the frame and everything's in bright colors. I think there might even be a dinosaur. So yeah, I have to laugh at myself whenever I see it. But it has nice little songs and exercises different skills.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/28/07 12:18 PM

Is it the Can Can song or is it the Shoprite commercial? \:D

With the teachers help Chiapanacas is finally sounding good. That and solo meo. Scarborough's fingering needs lots of work, but all in time.

I'd really be happy to finish book one by late June or so. I'm trying to accelerate my learning curve...:lol:
Posted by: angelojf

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/29/07 03:56 PM

OK, I took the plunge....

I bought the book today...

Wish me luck!

-angelojf
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/29/07 06:42 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by angelojf:
OK, I took the plunge....

I bought the book today...

Wish me luck!

-angelojf [/b]
Good Luck! Let us know how you like it. The thread has lots of info on the different songs, so use it as a resource.

Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/01/07 07:45 AM

choppin here you go. couldn't find the donkey though

http://www.box.net/shared/5vprn2k8l3
Posted by: John WI

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/14/07 12:56 AM

Mark737

Thanks for asking. I am kind of a drop out from this board (and my desire for piano has dimmed).

I was in the Alfred Adult All-In-One Course. I liked it, and can relate to a lot of these posts. However, as I neared the end of the book, I was just overwhelmed (just a bit past p. 100). I just couldn't seem to get it any more.

I told my teacher that I wanted to start over with another book. My theory being that I wanted to review what I had already learned but do it in a slightly different form. We chose Nancy and Randall Faber's Adult Piano Adventures.

It's going so-so. I think I started too late in life (age 58 -- no previous music experience) and am not practicing enough (not enough time). But, I still go to lessons weekly and practice when I can, but not daily. Now that Lent and Easter are over, I'll have more time to practice -- I hope. We'll see.
Posted by: zoso

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/14/07 01:13 AM

Im confused, the ABAPC book Im in I think is somewhat different than most of yours. For instance, my book one ends with Cafe Vienna and Lullaby and runs 149 pages. Book two began with On With The Show then went into the tetrachord. Well, Im just starting Take me out to the ballgame and its going a bit slow, but fun as always.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/14/07 09:13 AM

hmmm zoso what does the cover of your book say?


Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course

or

Alfred's Adult All-in-One Course

John,

it's never too late. It takes practice and if you don't practice regularly it'll take a little longer for things to fall into place.
Posted by: zoso

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/14/07 11:30 AM

Loly, the cover says 'Play Piano Now-Alfreds Basic Adult Piano Course'. As far as I can tell it has pretty much the same song list as the other two series of books, just not as many. It has alot of away from the piano material as well as sight reading exercises. Im going to follow it until the end of book three then pick up with the all in one course on whatever song my series cuts out on, probably somewhere in the all in one's book two.
To John, hang in there, youre doing great-youre past wehre I am!
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/14/07 12:14 PM

ya zoso, it is different in the way that you say it is.

if you know what songs you're missing out of the book 2 I can post them up for you. that way you won't have to buy the book just for those few songs.
Posted by: zoso

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/14/07 05:03 PM

Thanks Loly, I'll let you know when Im getting close, it could be awhile though as Im staying on each lesson to really absorb it.
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/15/07 03:42 AM

Pals! I bought Alfred's course beginner book in Amazon. Mine did not come with CD. Is there any way to buy only the CD? Are there any websites which sell only the CD?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/15/07 12:59 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by John WI:
Mark737

Thanks for asking. I am kind of a drop out from this board (and my desire for piano has dimmed).

I was in the Alfred Adult All-In-One Course. I liked it, and can relate to a lot of these posts. However, as I neared the end of the book, I was just overwhelmed (just a bit past p. 100). I just couldn't seem to get it any more.

I told my teacher that I wanted to start over with another book. My theory being that I wanted to review what I had already learned but do it in a slightly different form. We chose Nancy and Randall Faber's Adult Piano Adventures.

It's going so-so. I think I started too late in life (age 58 -- no previous music experience) and am not practicing enough (not enough time). But, I still go to lessons weekly and practice when I can, but not daily. Now that Lent and Easter are over, I'll have more time to practice -- I hope. We'll see. [/b]
I don't think its ever too late. Its just about having the time to practice. Making it to page 100 was excellent. The songs at the end get tough so I expect it to take some time. Let us know how you make out with the new program.

Mark
Posted by: jotur

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/15/07 01:47 PM

John WI - your learning style seems to be like mine - go until I hit something way over my head (or, as I do, start with something way over my head), try for a little while, and then go back and nail the stuff I've been learning - as you say, consolidate. I call it learning in spirals. I have lately, for some reason, started going thru a transition of some sort which I haven't figured out yet, and it's involved *lots* more piano playing, but for sure for adults finding the time is problematic. But it's the *learning* that's fun, and frankly, it never occurs to me it's taken a couple of years to learn something that it might have taken someone else 2 weeks to learn - I've just had so much fun, and while I'm learning time stops. As I said in another thread - it's a good thing I've got a quarter of a century left to live, because I've got a quarter of a century worth of things left to learn on the piano! More - so now I'll have something to do in my next life \:D

Cathy
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/15/07 03:50 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Vijay:
Pals! I bought Alfred's course beginner book in Amazon. Mine did not come with CD. Is there any way to buy only the CD? Are there any websites which sell only the CD? [/b]
I'm not sure where to get only the CD, but if you go through this thread loly has kindly uploaded most of the CD'd songs...

Mark
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/15/07 09:18 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
I'm not sure where to get only the CD, but if you go through this thread loly has kindly uploaded most of the CD'd songs...

Mark [/b]
Thank you Mark. Let me dig and find it out.
Posted by: nrrdgrrl

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/24/07 02:32 PM

Hi. How is everyone doing in the book now? I'm playing through Amazing Grace, and I really love the arrangement. It's better than I think I should be able to play. Really, really gorgeous. How's everyone doing?
Posted by: pixie purls

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/24/07 02:40 PM

I ordered this book a few days ago and I am SO ANXIOUS waiting for it, but I wanted to get the version with the CD so I had to order it from some little weird website.

How many of you used this book on your own without a teacher? Where you able to learn on your own with it?
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/24/07 07:38 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pixie purls:
I ordered this book a few days ago and I am SO ANXIOUS waiting for it, but I wanted to get the version with the CD so I had to order it from some little weird website.

How many of you used this book on your own without a teacher? Where you able to learn on your own with it? [/b]
Yes. You are right. I also order the CD and Midi Dics from an unknown website. Since I am also a beginner using this book, I'd also like to get the expericences of other people with this book.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/25/07 12:53 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Vijay:
 Quote:
Originally posted by pixie purls:
I ordered this book a few days ago and I am SO ANXIOUS waiting for it, but I wanted to get the version with the CD so I had to order it from some little weird website.

How many of you used this book on your own without a teacher? Where you able to learn on your own with it? [/b]
Yes. You are right. I also order the CD and Midi Dics from an unknown website. Since I am also a beginner using this book, I'd also like to get the expericences of other people with this book. [/b]
I started with this book as a self teacher while I was looking for a teacher. It took me a couple of months to find a teacher and I moved through book one at a good clip for a while...page 55 ish. Then things slowed down. More difficult pieces. When I started lessons at the end of February. We went over my work up to page 70ish. She needed to correct some errors I was making and has helped me with a lot of issues I didn't see. We have been cleaning up everything up to Scarsbough Fair and I expect we are now ready to proceed with the rest of the book.

Can you do this alone? Yes, but you can miss some nuances of the learning curve without a teacher...
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/25/07 04:24 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by nrrdgrrl:
Hi. How is everyone doing in the book now? I'm playing through Amazing Grace, and I really love the arrangement. It's better than I think I should be able to play. Really, really gorgeous. How's everyone doing? [/b]
You are just about done with book one. Well done! How long have you been working on it and are you going to use book 2?

Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/26/07 02:04 PM

nrrdgrrl wrote


 Quote:
btw, this is my first post. I've been a lurker since I started playing the piano, which was in July of last year.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/26/07 02:07 PM

ohhh mark, book 2 is so easy so far.

fabers book 2 for adults is a bit more difficult, i'm on swing low sweet chariot and it's all chord inversions. yikes alfreds doesn't go into chord inversion till later in the book but then alfreds has book 3 while faber doesn't.
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/26/07 06:13 PM

Today I got my Alfred's level 1 CD and MIDI disks. I am in page 35 now. I have a question lingering in my mind.

I know I am a bit slow in note reading. I can practice (am practicing) to learn piano myself by using Alfred's All-in-one level 1 book for around 1 hour everyday. If I go at this pace, how long will it take to complete Book 1 comprehensively?

Please advise.
Posted by: pixie purls

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/26/07 06:56 PM

Oh good luck Vljay! I'm still waitng for mine and have done some online tutorials in the mean time.
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/26/07 06:58 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pixie purls:
Oh good luck Vljay! I'm still waitng for mine and have done some online tutorials in the mean time. [/b]
Thanks Pixie. As per my research ;\) , all good online tutorials are based on Alfred's adult Book. Good luck for you too, Buddy.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/26/07 07:05 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Vijay:
Today I got my Alfred's level 1 CD and MIDI disks. I am in page 35 now. I have a question lingering in my mind.

I know I am a bit slow in note reading. I can practice (am practicing) to learn piano myself by using Alfred's All-in-one level 1 book for around 1 hour everyday. If I go at this pace, how long will it take to complete Book 1 comprehensively?

Please advise. [/b]
Everyone's abilities are different. And Alfreds songs do get increasingly more demanding. I'd say a mimimum of 8 monthe to a year or more...
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/26/07 07:38 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
Everyone's abilities are different. And Alfreds songs do get increasingly more demanding. I'd say a mimimum of 8 monthe to a year or more... [/b]
Thanks for the reply Mark. This statistic will be helpful for me to define short term piano goals.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/26/07 10:53 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
ohhh mark, book 2 is so easy so far.

fabers book 2 for adults is a bit more difficult, i'm on swing low sweet chariot and it's all chord inversions. yikes alfreds doesn't go into chord inversion till later in the book but then alfreds has book 3 while faber doesn't. [/b]
Looking forward to it...I think... \:D
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/26/07 10:57 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Vijay:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
Everyone's abilities are different. And Alfreds songs do get increasingly more demanding. I'd say a mimimum of 8 monthe to a year or more... [/b]
Thanks for the reply Mark. This statistic will be helpful for me to define short term piano goals. [/b]
Let me add something. I just was going through this whole thread looking for a song and after reading the posts, don't let my time frame mess you up. It seems some people can breeze through the book pretty fast. My time frame might be off.

Just out of curiosity maybe we can have everyone who has completed book one tell us how long it took...
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/26/07 11:13 PM

While looking for a song, I found these sites. It's for those who have compatible Yamaha pianos...

http://www.sheetmusicdigital.com/clavisoft.asp
http://www.stagepass.com/midi/browse_item_detail.hperl?cat=373&invnum=502547
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/27/07 02:39 AM

Just wanted to share this with Beginners. I was learning with Alfred's All-in-One book for a couple of weeks. I felt something was missing and I am not progressing well. Today I got the CD of the book. Man! It made a lot of difference. I compared all the songs which I played earlier and got the errors I made. I was able to understand better now. I highly recommend the CD and midi disks for beginners using Alfred's.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/27/07 12:26 PM

It took me 9 months for alfred's doing 1 song out of alfred's at a time. I wish I could have talked my teacher into doing 3 songs from alfred's instead of from other books but it doesn't bother me very much now. I play better and better everyday and I get more variety from using other sources.
Posted by: z32

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/04/07 12:56 AM

Hi everyone! I've been a long time visitor of this site, but just never got around to posting until now.

Anyways, I started learning the piano about 2 months ago, and I had this book as my main learning material. I'm self-teaching myself, so I pretty much just go on my own pace. I just finished up learning how to play "Amazing Grace" which is the last song of the book, so I'm pretty much done with it.

The funny thing with me is that despite knowing how to play every song in this book, I literally have no clue whatsoever concerning the piano theory of the book. For example, usually before each song of in the book, they give you a little lecture about new things like new chords and their names and how they relate to one another, but I pretty much just skipped over these and went straight to the songs. I really didn't have any problems playing the songs since I can read sheet music pretty well, but as far as theory goes, plain and simple I suck LOL. So my question is for you all now is should I go back and try to relearn and truly understand the piano theory in all those chords I've been playing up to this point, or should I just continue on with what I'm doing?
Posted by: Matt H

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/04/07 10:02 AM

z32, welcome to the forum. I would say, yes. Why not do both?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/04/07 01:32 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Matt H:
z32, welcome to the forum. I would say, yes. Why not do both? [/b]
I have to agree with Matt.

It also wouldn't be a bad idea to go over the songs with someone who really knows music to make sure you are doing things correctly and that you have no bad habits developing. When I started with my teacher she found some things i was wrong and helped fix them...

No matter what you have done a great job in 2 months...
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/04/07 01:33 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:] Sorry double post
Posted by: z32

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/04/07 03:32 PM

Thanks for the replies! Yea, I'll definitely go back and relearn those theories then. To tell you the truth, I guess I just became a little lazy when it came to those theories. I was just really antsy to get to playing each new song in the book that I just skipped over those parts. Yea, I know that's bad. Hehe, anyways I'm planning on getting a teacher soon to really teach me the right way. Until then, hopefully I can rely on you all here if I have any questions! \:\)
Posted by: johnsimon2004

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/06/07 09:46 AM

Hi z32, there are 3 theory books that accompany the 3 practical books
in the Alfred's Adult Series..

Their titles are, 'Alfred's Basic Adult Theory Piano Book level X'
(X being one, two or three).
The practical book only provide the bare minimum to introduce the
new concept, the theory book provides you with a bit of 'pencil and paper' time.

The theory books contain nothing you can't find other places but it is
convenient. The books also have notes that tie the worksheets to the piece
you are working on. (i.e. assign with pages 20-21).

I found them worth every cent of the 7 or 9 dollars they cost
Posted by: KetchupandJam

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/06/07 10:20 AM

While I was using these books, I found, since I actually had to write something down, I would go out on the Internet, solidify the concept, then write it down.

They're good.
Posted by: z32

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/06/07 02:14 PM

I actually just finished ordering 3 new books in the Alfred's line: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book Level Two, Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Sight Reading Book Level 1, and Alfred's Basic Adult Theory Piano Book: Level One. These should keep me busy for a good while! \:\)
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/07/07 04:48 AM

I am looking for a good Sight Reading book. Has anybody used Alfred's[/b] Basic Adult Piano Course: Sight Reading Book [/b] Level 1? Could you share your opinions on it?
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/07/07 08:09 AM

I'm waiting on this sightreading book by Helen Marlais. I have her books succeeding with the masters books and love them.

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/store/smp_detail.html?item=7863953&cart=33875138075485962
Posted by: z32

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/08/07 01:09 AM

I'll make sure to let you know what I think of the Sight Reading Book once I get the chance to actually start using it.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/08/07 07:30 AM

I'm cursing under my breath, I don't know why I don't like the blues music in Alfred's but i don't and for some reason there are a lot of them. funny thing is when I see a blues song come up I grit my teeth, but when I play it I pick it up quickly can't figure that one out.

I was kind of happy go lucky until last week,when I turned the page and my teacher got this wicked look on her face, kind of like a sneer. I think she knows I don't like the bluesies, boogie woogie stuff and to top it off the next piece in my fabers was another bluesies, boogy woogie. I've been hit by a double whammy 2x4 this week and I'm hating life right now.
Posted by: z32

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/09/07 06:28 PM

I just finished relearning all those theories that I skimmed through my first read, and I must say, I'm SO GLAD I did this. Now, every song in the book makes more sense to me, and I can play each one SO MUCH easier! Hehe, now it's on to Alfred's Course Level Two!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/11/07 09:20 AM

A little update.

With the teachers help I'm finally moving to the end of book one. I should be doing the Entertainer next week followed shortly by the last song, Amazing Grace. Looking through book 2 tell me it will take much longer than book one.

On the side I'm still cleaning up Moonlight in Dm. It drives me nuts that I can't get that clean recording. And finally I'm on the top of page two in Nefeli.

So how you doing class?... \:D
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/11/07 11:19 AM

I'm currently working on some recording issues, but it would be nice if the people in book one could upload their songs to help everyone else. Kind of a minature recital...
Posted by: Bob Griffin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/11/07 12:04 PM

Me too. I am polishing up Amazing Grace, and have been playing other stuff on the side and it will be nine months total on book one for me.

My teacher has agreed to let me give book two a break as I work on some of Thompson's books. He has alot of classical pieces and I am almost ready to record "claire de lune" which is a four page synopsis and I love the way it sounds. I have been working on that for two months, and also am working on "time to say goodbye". I became bored with Alfreds. I don't know if I will ever go back to it. That said, I did learn alot from book one and I still play entertainer and a few others now and then from memory.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/11/07 12:48 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Griffin:
Me too. I am polishing up Amazing Grace, and have been playing other stuff on the side and it will be nine months total on book one for me.

My teacher has agreed to let me give book two a break as I work on some of Thompson's books. He has alot of classical pieces and I am almost ready to record "claire de lune" which is a four page synopsis and I love the way it sounds. I have been working on that for two months, and also am working on "time to say goodbye". I became bored with Alfreds. I don't know if I will ever go back to it. That said, I did learn alot from book one and I still play entertainer and a few others now and then from memory. [/b]
Hi Bob, good to hear from you. Sounds like your doing very well. Do you feel the Thompson books will build off what you have learned so far from Alfred? I know what you mean about some song selections, but I figured that the process is to build off each song, no matter what the song. I hoped that if I complete the series, playing well will take care of it self. Kind of like paying your dues so to speak.

Keep us informed on your progress, it might be a better way to go.

Mark
Posted by: Marv

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/11/07 06:00 PM

Hi Everyone,

I'm on my second week on the Alfred's Adult Level One book.

I just finished "Lavender's Blue" on Pg. 52 and I think I'm progressing pretty well.

I don't have any formal piano lessons, but my gf's mom is a piano teacher and she gave me this booklet. Once a week I will go to their house and she'll just tech me a thing or two and I learn everything else from the book.

It's been great so far. Before I did this book, she gave me a small piano/music theory booklet which I breezed right through in two days. I have some music background (church choir/trumpet player im middle school and hs). So everything else as far as music theory is just a review.

I'm relearning everything from scratch because I don't want to miss anything. It's been a little more than 10 years.

With Piano, my mom was a piano teacher but I was a very stubborn child so I never practiced. I did everything by ear and I was good at it. I new a few songs which I learned by ear (windowing?).

But now I am learning how to play the piano the correct way.

Here's my video on Lavender's Blue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrPInBtu6oY

Comments/critics welcome as I need it since I do not have fulltime piano teacher. \:\)
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/11/07 11:46 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Marv:
Hi Everyone,

I'm on my second week on the Alfred's Adult Level One book.

I just finished "Lavender's Blue" on Pg. 52 and I think I'm progressing pretty well.

I don't have any formal piano lessons, but my gf's mom is a piano teacher and she gave me this booklet. Once a week I will go to their house and she'll just tech me a thing or two and I learn everything else from the book.

It's been great so far. Before I did this book, she gave me a small piano/music theory booklet which I breezed right through in two days. I have some music background (church choir/trumpet player im middle school and hs). So everything else as far as music theory is just a review.

I'm relearning everything from scratch because I don't want to miss anything. It's been a little more than 10 years.

With Piano, my mom was a piano teacher but I was a very stubborn child so I never practiced. I did everything by ear and I was good at it. I new a few songs which I learned by ear (windowing?).

But now I am learning how to play the piano the correct way.

Here's my video on Lavender's Blue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrPInBtu6oY

Comments/critics welcome as I need it since I do not have fulltime piano teacher. \:\) [/b]
Hi Marv and welcome. Sounds like your moving quite well though the book. And by having a music teacher to help you even occasionally will help you immensely. I was doing the book by my self up to around page 55-70 and then started lessons and the teacher was able to fix some mistakes and help me get though some ruff areas.


Nice job with Lavender Blue. The only thing I noticed was that you didn't do the repeat after the 8th measure where you go back to the beginning and then play through to the end. the double dots with the thin and heavy bar mean to repeat.

So keep up the good work and keep us posted. I like the video too, it really helps the thread...

Mark
Posted by: Marv

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/12/07 12:57 AM

Oh man! I totally missed the repeat ":" on that measure!!! I'm used to seeing the repeat at the end of the song and I was also too focused on playing the notes correctly.

No wonder I was like, "this is a really short piece". hahaha

I will have to play it again and redo the video. =P

Thanks for correcting me!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/12/07 08:01 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Marv:
Oh man! I totally missed the repeat ":" on that measure!!! I'm used to seeing the repeat at the end of the song and I was also too focused on playing the notes correctly.

No wonder I was like, "this is a really short piece". hahaha

I will have to play it again and redo the video. =P

Thanks for correcting me! [/b]
Its funny, I did the same thing. My teacher corrected me...:lol:
Posted by: Bob Griffin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/12/07 01:34 PM

I would say that you should be trying to play some stuff outside of Alfred's as soon as you can. I have started and stopped alot, but learned from those as well. I started book two, but quickly became bored with it. I might not go back to it other than select a few songs that interest me.

I guess at this point I don't want to take the time on some songs in the book that I don't enjoy hearing. The thompson's books are more difficult, but the pieces sound "better" and more enjoyable to hear while you are learning. I have no regrets though about doing the Alfred's book.
Posted by: Bob Griffin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/12/07 03:15 PM

Here is a song that I am working on for example. It's claire de lune from a different book.

http://www.box.net/shared/s18vmo0hs9
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/12/07 04:33 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Griffin:
Here is a song that I am working on for example. It's claire de lune from a different book.

http://www.box.net/shared/s18vmo0hs9 [/b]
Thats a classic song. Very nice Bob.
Posted by: z32

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/12/07 08:58 PM

Nice song Bob! I recognize that from the song played at the end of the movie Ocean's Eleven! Hehe, I might have to give that one a try myself! Sounds soothing!
Posted by: pennylane

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/13/07 11:23 AM

i just started the book..i'm on page 25. just seems like they way the put finger numbers and the letters on the notes messed me up a bit.
Posted by: Bob Griffin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/13/07 05:58 PM

Marv, Lavender Blue was the first song in the book that made me feel like I was "playing" the piano. The notes sounded fuller and you could really pound it out and get "into" it. I think that's when my piano shopping began too.
Truth be know, I never noticed that repeat after measure eight too. LOL Keep plugging away all. Also "standing in the need of prayer" was one that I really loved.
Posted by: Marv

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/13/07 11:30 PM

Mark737,

I have asked my piano teacher for some more "challenging" pieces that aren't in the book so she gave me some. At the same time I'm still gonna go through the Alfred's book.


Bob,

That's a great song. I think I want to learn that too in the near future. =) Went to see my piano teacher over the weekend and she liked my progress. She also gave me the Hanon finger excercise booklet. Looks like fun, although I've been playing most of the stuff in there by ear since I didn't have the book before. hahah
Posted by: Marv

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/14/07 11:19 AM

Here's one song I printed from online. Practiced it for a few hours. \:\)

"Sonatina"
from Sonatina in C, Movement One

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru5__cy6ZgE
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/17/07 12:09 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Marv:
Here's one song I printed from online. Practiced it for a few hours. \:\)

"Sonatina"
from Sonatina in C, Movement One

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru5__cy6ZgE [/b]
Well done Marv...clean and smooth
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/17/07 07:36 AM

Very nice Marv. Keep up the good work!!

Bob very nice as well, I loved it.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/18/07 03:09 PM

Ok...here is a short song from Alfred book one to test my recording abilities...

Standing in the need of prayer page 46

http://www.box.net/shared/giejvvzz4s

Let me know how it recorded please.
Posted by: Marv

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/18/07 03:23 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
Ok...here is a short song from Alfred book one to test my recording abilities...

Standing in the need of prayer page 46

http://www.box.net/shared/giejvvzz4s

Let me know how it recorded please. [/b]
Good job Mark737! Keep up the good work.

Recording sounds good to me. \:\)
Posted by: jotur

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/18/07 03:44 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
Ok...here is a short song from Alfred book one to test my recording abilities...

Standing in the need of prayer page 46

http://www.box.net/shared/giejvvzz4s

Let me know how it recorded please. [/b]
This is great. I felt as much accomplished when I got my first mp3 made and sent to boxnet as I did when I thought I was ready to record my recital piece \:D Nice work.

Cathy
Posted by: Mario Ajero

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/20/07 11:41 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
Ok...here is a short song from Alfred book one to test my recording abilities...

Standing in the need of prayer page 46

http://www.box.net/shared/giejvvzz4s

Let me know how it recorded please. [/b]
Mark,
Your recording quality sounds fine.

Just a couple suggestions on the performance:

1. In the 4th full measure on the word "prayer", be sure to hold the E for the full 3 beats. I usually tell my students to sing (or say): "standing in the need of prayer - 2 - 3" while they play that.

2. You can make the eighth notes between the E and D# a bit smoother or more legato. The most common cause of this that I've seen in my students who have played this piece is that their 3rd finger plays on the E key too low. That forces the hand to keep moving back and forth so that the 2nd finger can reach the D# each time it alternates with the E. If you play your 3rd finger higher on the skinnier part of the E key, you'll be able to get a smoother legato between that note and the D# because your hand can stay up there for the whole phrase, "Not my brother, Not my sister..."

I hope that helps. Keep up the good work!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/20/07 01:16 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mario Ajero:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
Ok...here is a short song from Alfred book one to test my recording abilities...

Standing in the need of prayer page 46

http://www.box.net/shared/giejvvzz4s

Let me know how it recorded please. [/b]
Mark,
Your recording quality sounds fine.

Just a couple suggestions on the performance:

1. In the 4th full measure on the word "prayer", be sure to hold the E for the full 3 beats. I usually tell my students to sing (or say): "standing in the need of prayer - 2 - 3" while they play that.

2. You can make the eighth notes between the E and D# a bit smoother or more legato. The most common cause of this that I've seen in my students who have played this piece is that their 3rd finger plays on the E key too low. That forces the hand to keep moving back and forth so that the 2nd finger can reach the D# each time it alternates with the E. If you play your 3rd finger higher on the skinnier part of the E key, you'll be able to get a smoother legato between that note and the D# because your hand can stay up there for the whole phrase, "Not my brother, Not my sister..."

I hope that helps. Keep up the good work! [/b]
Thanks so much for the advise Mario. I will use it. I have been a fan of your Pod-casts since I started a few months back. Loved the Coldplay riffs and watching your students do their teaching demos. I always check to see if you add new teaching segments.

Thanks again

Mark
Posted by: pennylane

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/22/07 03:18 AM

i do have a question, i've been reading that alot of people using this book with teachers say that this is supplemental to other material that their teacher has given them. My teacher goes just by the book and only by the book. It's a little aggrivating sometimes b/c she has me clapping the notes and it just seems as if my 30 minutes goes by and i didn't learn much. Am i wrong to feel that way?
Posted by: muziki

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/23/07 05:28 PM

Wow! Iam really glad I found this forum.

I recently decided that I need to learn to play at least one musical instrument in my lifetime, so I walked into a piano store and asked for a book that can get me started. Alfred's Basic piano lessons was highly recommended and I have since then (2 weeks ago) started practising. So far I am doing good although I found out pretty quickly that I need the accompanying CD so I ordered it as well.

I just want to let you all know that reading your posts has been an inspiration for me...you are all awesome! I will keep you posted on how it goes and hopefully soon I will be able to contribute to this discussion as well.

Keep playin'
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/23/07 07:27 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by muziki:
Wow! Iam really glad I found this forum.

I recently decided that I need to learn to play at least one musical instrument in my lifetime, so I walked into a piano store and asked for a book that can get me started. Alfred's Basic piano lessons was highly recommended and I have since then (2 weeks ago) started practising. So far I am doing good although I found out pretty quickly that I need the accompanying CD so I ordered it as well.

I just want to let you all know that reading your posts has been an inspiration for me...you are all awesome! I will keep you posted on how it goes and hopefully soon I will be able to contribute to this discussion as well.

Keep playin' [/b]
Welcome muziki glad you found us. There are many of songs that you will be learning in this thread, so use them to help yourself. Keep us posted and feel free to ask questions. Most importantly be patient with yourself. It takes time to progress. Some days you will get frustrated but remember with practice, you will succeed. And let the practice be fun, because practice is playing the piano...

Mark
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/23/07 07:29 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pennylane:
i do have a question, i've been reading that alot of people using this book with teachers say that this is supplemental to other material that their teacher has given them. My teacher goes just by the book and only by the book. It's a little aggrivating sometimes b/c she has me clapping the notes and it just seems as if my 30 minutes goes by and i didn't learn much. Am i wrong to feel that way? [/b]
Have you spoken with your teacher about what you stated above? Communication is the key. Tell the teacher what you want. Your actually in charge...
Posted by: Cille

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/25/07 07:15 AM

I ordered my level #1 book the other day from amazon and can't wait to start learning - I have played rythmical/chord based piano for several years but really need to boost my technique and I also really feel like getting to know the piano better even though it's not my primary instrumient. Am so glad I found this thread, since I can imagine I could end up slacking a bit on my own - so I am really looking forward to participating in this part of the forums once I get started \:\)
Posted by: Mario Ajero

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/25/07 09:24 AM

Cille,

You might want to find other material to supplement Alfred if you already have a "chord based" piano background. Alfred is very centered on the primary chords (I - IV - V7) especially in the first book.

If you're looking to build up technique and reading, you may want to look at something like a sight-reading series.

I might recommend "Sight Reading & Rhythm Every Day" by Helen Marlais with Kevin Olson, and published by FJH. They contain sight-reading examples that aren't necessarily in a C Position, G position, or Middle C Position (since Alfred focuses on that in the first book). The Marlais book also contains more bass clef/left hand sight reading examples, and that's something that I think the Alfred Course lacks (at least in the first book). The Marlais book also contains daily rhythm exercises that you should clap or tap out. Of course, most of the material from the sigh-reading books is most effective when you do it with an instructor to give you direct feedback on where your weaknesses are.

I hope that helps.

- mario

 Quote:
Originally posted by Cille:
I ordered my level #1 book the other day from amazon and can't wait to start learning - I have played rythmical/chord based piano for several years but really need to boost my technique and I also really feel like getting to know the piano better even though it's not my primary instrumient. Am so glad I found this thread, since I can imagine I could end up slacking a bit on my own - so I am really looking forward to participating in this part of the forums once I get started \:\) [/b]
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/01/07 07:32 AM

Yesterday started working on Amazing Grace with my teacher, which is the last song in book one...

It's a little tricky to learn but it will be nice to graduate to book two...
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/01/07 10:43 AM

very nice Mark, \:D made me want to play it again.

Nice feedback from Mario, very fresh. I have the sightreading books he talks about. Move to Jacksonville fl mario, I need a new teacher \:D
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/01/07 12:42 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
very nice Mark, \:D made me want to play it again.

Nice feedback from Mario, very fresh. I have the sightreading books he talks about. Move to Jacksonville fl mario, I need a new teacher \:D [/b]
If you have seen him play and seen his you-tube videos you would drive to Texas each week for lessons... ;\)
Posted by: Mario Ajero

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/02/07 09:18 AM

Thanks loly and Mark737 for the kind words.

Actually, if you guys are interested in a little experiment, I would love to give you a few long-distance piano lessons.

I'm doing some presentations at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy on podcasting, long-distance learning, and YouTube videos.

So what I'd like to try is to teach you guys through YouTube. For example, make a video of yourselves playing a piece (i.e. Amazing Grace) and post it on YouTube. Then I would post a video response giving you feedback on certain things that you could do to improve it. And then after you've worked on those things, then you post another video response to my video. And we continue this cycle further if necessary.

If you feel a bit self-conscious about playing in front of a large internet audience on YouTube, there are ways that we can keep all these videos 'private' so that only we will be able to view them.

Let me know if you guys are interested in participating in this long-distance YouTube private lesson experiment.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/02/07 02:40 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mario Ajero:
Thanks loly and Mark737 for the kind words.

Actually, if you guys are interested in a little experiment, I would love to give you a few long-distance piano lessons.

I'm doing some presentations at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy on podcasting, long-distance learning, and YouTube videos.

[/b]
I'm not that brave. I'm sure we will have a few people interested. Thanks for the offer Mario
Posted by: Perplexed

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/03/07 02:07 AM

My first lesson was yesterday, and I survived it relatively unscathed. To my pleasant surprise, the book the teacher is using for me is none other than Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course (Level 1)

In the short amount of time during the lesson, starting from the very beginning, I progressed up to page 12, with my only real error happening on the "repeat" marker (I accidentally went back to the beginning of the second line of the song, instead of the very beginning).

At home later that night and today I did a little skipping ahead in the book, going page by page from where I left off, making sure to practice each piece until it's error-free and played at a relatively good tempo.

It was smooth sailing until page 36, where the G and D7 chords are introduced for the right hand. While my teacher did show me proper finger and fingertip placement, I'm unable to figure out a comfortable hand position for that right hand D7 (1>F#, 4>C, 5>D) chord without using fingernails or a sore hand (or finger 2 for that F#, which isn't right).

I know I should be waiting until next Friday for my next lesson and ask my teacher then, but I'm impatient. What's the secret to playing that right hand D7 chord without getting cramps?
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/03/07 06:50 AM

that sounds like fun Mario. I'm looking for a teacher right now and I'm hoping to start lessons in two weeks. I've been without lessons now for 2 weeks and I'm getting antsy.

I'm on book 2 of Alfreds and book 2 of fabers and my supplemental material is arabesque and although I was working on the first page of arabesque, I stopped completely 2 weeks ago when I had to fly to VT and get my new pup. I'm going to start that one again when I get my new teacher.

I'll talk to my husband today and teach him to video tape me or I'll see if I still own a tripod. \:D Somewhere in the deep recesses of my closet.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/03/07 09:01 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Perplexed:
My first lesson was yesterday, and I survived it relatively unscathed.

In the short amount of time during the lesson, starting from the very beginning, I progressed up to page 12,

At home later that night and today I did a little skipping ahead in the book, going page by page from where I left off, making sure to practice each piece until it's error-free and played at a relatively good tempo.

It was smooth sailing until page 36, where the G and D7 chords are introduced for the right hand. While my teacher did show me proper finger and fingertip placement, I'm unable to figure out a comfortable hand position for that right hand D7 (1>F#, 4>C, 5>D) chord without using fingernails or a sore hand (or finger 2 for that F#, which isn't right).

I know I should be waiting until next Friday for my next lesson and ask my teacher then, but I'm impatient. What's the secret to playing that right hand D7 chord without getting cramps? [/b]
Congrats on the first lesson!

You will find that you can move fairly fast through the Alfred book up until around the 55 page mark and then things slow down. (At least for me and many others who have been using the book). In fact I probably spent 4-6 weeks on the first 55 pages and then 3-4 months on the next 40 pages. So if your pace slows down don't get discouraged, the pieces get increasingly more complex as you forge ahead. But it means you are getting better.


Since I'm not a teacher I will leave the D7 question to someone else, but maybe some hand exercises might help. Speak with your teacher.

Keep up the hard work and keep us posted. You can even record some of your pieces and upload them here...

Mark
Posted by: bigbeardale

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/03/07 08:05 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mario Ajero:

Actually, if you guys are interested in a little experiment, I would love to give you a few long-distance piano lessons.

I'm doing some presentations at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy on podcasting, long-distance learning, and YouTube videos.

So what I'd like to try is to teach you guys through YouTube. For example, make a video of yourselves playing a piece (i.e. Amazing Grace) and post it on YouTube. Then I would post a video response giving you feedback on certain things that you could do to improve it. And then after you've worked on those things, then you post another video response to my video. And we continue this cycle further if necessary.

If you feel a bit self-conscious about playing in front of a large internet audience on YouTube, there are ways that we can keep all these videos 'private' so that only we will be able to view them.

Let me know if you guys are interested in participating in this long-distance YouTube private lesson experiment. [/b]
Hi Mario,
I would like to try this too if you don't mind, although I am only half way thru book one. Can you explain how to keep them private? Do you have a email that we can use too?
Thanks,
Dale
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/04/07 12:30 PM

Dale you can keep them private, when you post it up to youtube it'll have a form you have to check off and one of the check off's is to keep it public or private.

I made a bit of progress, I found my tripod but was in bed with a stomach bug all day yesterday and today I had to call off work because im still feeling poorly.

my tuner is coming today so hopefully by tomorrow I'll be able to post something.
Posted by: ninja8701

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/05/07 12:20 AM

I'm a little confused on the Alfred Adult piano lessons book #1. Is there a version with and without a cd? Or is the CD the one with Alfred's Adult piano lesson for windows? We have yet to find an instructor but are looking to supplement Alfred with one.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/05/07 08:38 AM

Ninja, the Alfreds adult all in one course comes with or without a cd, you have to do a search and find the one with the cd. here's a link to it

http://www.allegromusiconline.com/Mercha...egory_Code=AAOA
Posted by: ninja8701

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/05/07 09:53 AM

Ok, I ordered it this morning with CD. That's a neat site too. Thank you.
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/05/07 04:26 PM

Hi Guys,

Its been sometime since I posted in this forum now. I am currently in Page 88 of "Alfred's All-in-one course" working on "London Bridge" and "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore".

Working with six or more notes for the right hand (using Right Thumb for C & D) looks a bit tricky for now as against to C, Middle C and G positions which were easy to play with intervals. Anyway, I will keep working my way through it.

Anybody in the same boat as me?? \:\)

Also I need to ask u guys something. Currently I am simultaneously working with the pieces of my level from Alfred's and Bastien's course books. I would like to play some easy classical pieces. Could you suggest me some?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/05/07 04:43 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Vijay:
Hi Guys,

Its been sometime since I posted in this forum now. I am currently in Page 88 of "Alfred's All-in-one course" working on "London Bridge" and "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore".

Working with six or more notes for the right hand (using Right Thumb for C & D) looks a bit tricky for now as against to C, Middle C and G positions which were easy to play with intervals. Anyway, I will keep working my way through it.

Anybody in the same boat as me?? \:\)

Also I need to ask u guys something. Currently I am simultaneously working with the pieces of my level from Alfred's and Bastien's course books. I would like to play some easy classical pieces. Could you suggest me some? [/b]
You might try Moonlight Sonata in Dm. Its an easier version yet has a very nice sound none the less. Its three pages. Its taken me a few months to get it down, but it's worth the effort.

Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/07/07 08:30 AM

Here's my very first recording ever on this forum. It's from my faber book and extremely short. sorry, I did it on a whim and by take 9 I got a recording I felt I could post. \:\(

criticize me (Mario I hope you see this. teehee), as I mentioned on the alfreds 2 thread, I have no talent, not gifted but I do love to learn so any criticism will be well received.

I did set my camera up last night and hopefully I'll be able to record something on tape for Mario to see.

ps I have an appt with a russian teacher who graduated from music in russia tomorrow and another appt with a teacher who is retired but still wants to teach on monday. her backround is playing for 40 years, plays for church and does voice in choir. Both are strong on teaching technic, yay. wish me luck, I still have 4 more to go through after these 2.

http://www.box.net/shared/kbzkpr08ty
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/07/07 09:48 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
Here's my very first recording ever on this forum. It's from my faber book and extremely short. sorry, I did it on a whim and by take 9 I got a recording I felt I could post. \:\(

http://www.box.net/shared/kbzkpr08ty [/b]
That was nice loly...you should put it in the June piano bar where more will hear it...
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/07/07 09:56 AM

good idea Mark, I'll do that
Posted by: Don Pittman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/12/07 07:43 PM

Well here is my first post the the forum and I am so happy I found a thred that dont make me feel completly dumb. Mark737 it is helpfull to see how others are cooping. I for some strange desire decided to take another shot at learning piano at age 60 I tried it a few years back but gave up. I am using The Older Beginner Piano Course by James Bastien. It sounds like the Alfreds book is similer . I have yet to get a teacher but I might some time. Right now I am some place in the Key of G and F . I look forward to folowing this thread.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/12/07 08:19 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Don Pittman:
Well here is my first post the the forum and I am so happy I found a thred that dont make me feel completly dumb. Mark737 it is helpfull to see how others are cooping. I for some strange desire decided to take another shot at learning piano at age 60 I tried it a few years back but gave up. I am using The Older Beginner Piano Course by James Bastien. It sounds like the Alfreds book is similer . I have yet to get acher but I might some time. Right now I am some place in the Key of G and F . I look forward to folowing this thread. [/b]
Welcome to Piano World Don. There is a thread here called "Its never too Late" which is so true. So don't let a delayed start get you down. It's all about enjoying your practice, being patient and getting better each day, week, month and year.

In regard to a teacher, I personally recommend one, although many self teacher very well. In my case I started with a teacher in February and she has helped me get though some tough areas.

So don't be a stranger and enjoy Piano World...

Mark
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/13/07 12:35 AM

I guess I am just about at the same level as Don with my return to piano playing, or should I say learning to play, except I'm 63...but please don't spread it around. \:\) . I had piano lessons in my early teens when it was considered necessary, or compulsory, to learn to play a musical instrument; I think I gave up at 14 or 15. I played Classical Guitar for several decades so I'm fortunate to have the rudiments of music theory to help me a little. I've found great inspiration by lurking around this site and am using the Alfreds method too. I bought a low end digital piano which I will change up once I'm sure I'm truely addicted. It's slow going at the moment but I just keep taking a rest then going back to it and find things are beginning to sink in. A great site, thanks Folks.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/13/07 11:40 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by redcoat:
I guess I am just about at the same level as Don with my return to piano playing, or should I say learning to play, except I'm 63...but please don't spread it around. \:\) . I had piano lessons in my early teens when it was considered necessary, or compulsory, to learn to play a musical instrument; I think I gave up at 14 or 15. I played Classical Guitar for several decades so I'm fortunate to have the rudiments of music theory to help me a little. I've found great inspiration by lurking around this site and am using the Alfreds method too. I bought a low end digital piano which I will change up once I'm sure I'm truely addicted. It's slow going at the moment but I just keep taking a rest then going back to it and find things are beginning to sink in. A great site, thanks Folks. [/b]
Welcome Redcoat, it sounds like with your back-round you should progress pretty fast. Keep us posted with your progress and any questions.

Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/13/07 11:44 AM

yay more newbies \:D Welcome all glad to have you here. It's never too late, just enjoy the journey and keep us posted.
Posted by: Don Pittman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/13/07 06:47 PM

redcoat All I can say isn't it great to be young.Now if I could just get so I change cords to what the music says, instead of what my mind tends to want to do I might make it to the next page . Hang in there with me.
Posted by: Mario Ajero

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/13/07 07:44 PM

Mark737 and loly,

When you get a chance, let me know the URL of your YouTube channels if you got them. I'll then send out a "Friend Invite" so that we can start our "Private" YouTube piano lessons. I probably won't be able to record anything for you guys in the next couple weeks. But I will likely have time starting in July.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/14/07 03:00 PM

Ok Mario, I'm hoping to record something this weekend. I keep trying but my new little puppy has different ideas. I got the firecracker of the litter and he eats up so much time. he goes full blast from the time I get home till almost bed time.

he's usually down for some serious napping on weekends because we have so much time with him that it wears him out. I have it planned out pretty good for tomorrow. we bought him a good sized pool and after he swims he goes down for the count, so i'm setting the camera up before his pool time so I can record while he's napping. wish me luck!!!

Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/16/07 02:17 AM

I took delivery of the CD to accompany my Alfred’s Method yesterday. I actually ordered it before loly kindly uploaded some of the tracks earlier. I ordered it online from the USA so the shipping was longer and our customs probably held it for awhile. Anyway, my decision right off is - I’m glad I bought it, I’m trying to self teach so any help I can get is good. I found I had been cracking on through the book at too fast a pace and the CD has persuaded me to slow down a little. I hadn’t been paying enough attention to dynamics and tempo…I was playing far too slowly and when you speed up playing things gets harder, so I’ve back tracked to the earlier part of the book and started again. Thankfully I had only been playing a couple of weeks so I haven’t wasted too much time. A teacher would have picked me up on a number of points which the CD has helped me with. The CD is recorded in two parts, one stereo track is the student part, the actual song written in the book, and the other stereo track is an accompaniment, which would normally be played by the teacher. If you use in-ear headphones you can plug just the side playing the accompaniment into one ear and play along with it on your piano, there’s nothing like having to keep up with someone else playing for sharpening up your timing. As mentioned earlier in this thread, it’s disappointing they used such a tinny, electric, sounding piano to record the student part but the plus side to that is it makes my entry level digital piano sound great \:\) .I guess I shouldn’t advertise but I bought my CD from www.music44.com .
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/16/07 10:02 AM

good job redcoat, glad it's working out for you.

If you have a vhs recorder that you can record yourself, it would be awesome for you to upload the videos so that Mario, can critque them.

BTW Mario, I recorded the 3 pieces I'm on. There are some mistakes especially when my neighbor was mowing his lawn outside my window. going to upload them to youtube this evening. I'll give you the url and I'll make it private.

thanks so much for doing that. You rock \:D
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/19/07 06:14 PM

 Quote:
good job redcoat, glad it's working out for you. If you have a vhs recorder that you can record yourself, it would be awesome for you to upload the videos so that Mario, can critque them.
Thanks loly but I'm afraid it's way too early for me to commit my playing (fumbling?) to recording, but once I think I've got something useful to put online I'll connect my piano up to my PC. Anyway, I'm enjoying playing my piano at the moment which is the object of the exercise for me.

Hey Don[/b] , how're you doing? One thing I've discovered is I need to get a new eye test as my present reading specs aren't up to reading the music for too long before I need to rest my eye's, that's a job I need to get sorted next week. Apart from that I'm beginning to make steady progress, I'm just fumbling around page 59 now.
Posted by: Don Pittman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/19/07 07:46 PM

Well I did it. I started lessons last night. I am not sure how it's going to work out yet as I felt the instructor was distracted by her cell phone and in a hurry. I will give it and her a fair try however it was only my first lesson at least in a lot of years and it was more of a get to know each other and for her to figure out where I am at. I am sure it will help in the long run. :Redcoat talk about fumbling I was a case of nerves last night and could not play much of anything right. My hands were shaking.
Good luck on the new eyes. :rolleyes:
Posted by: Perplexed

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/19/07 10:25 PM

I'm making good progress so far with my lessons.

My second lesson was almost 2 weeks ago (third lesson will be this Friday). In the time between the 1st and 2nd lessons, I managed to blast through most of the first half of Alfred's book 1 (up to "Lavender's Blue" on page 52).

My pride got the best of me at my second lesson, and proudly told my teacher how far I got in the book. She asked me to play the song, which I did with no real problem, and then quickly put my pride in check by having me play the songs on page 54 and 55 (the progress "brick wall" which I am now noticing in a big way)

"London Bridge" was quite manageable, but Michael wasn't able to Row the Boat Ashore, as for some odd reason I made the weirdest of mistakes (forgetting to play the left hand notes, next try I forgot the right hand notes of the second line, and more). And no, I couldn't at all Blow the Man Down.

However, I've been practicing those songs as well as the following songs ("Lone Star Waltz" and "Cafe Vienna"), and I feel like I'm figuring things out little by little. A good feeling.

When I get brave enough I'll post a recording of an attempt (I know you're not laughing at me, you're laughing with me)
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/20/07 02:41 AM

 Quote:
Alfred's book 1 (up to "Lavender's Blue" on page 52).
Hi perplexed, I think I must be using a different Alfred's Method book, page 52 in my book has a song called "The Bandleader". I also picked up a second hand piano method book the other day called "The Older Beginner Piano Course" Level 1 by James Bastien, it follows much the same way of teaching as the Alfred's but without a lot of the additional theory, intervals, etc., which I find confusing. Although, I'm sure the Alfred's is more comprehensive and a lot of people use it, so it must be the better way to learn. I'm musing on getting a teacher at the moment, I'll have to see if I can get one recommended by someone.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/20/07 11:36 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Perplexed:
I'm making good progress so far with my lessons.


My pride got the best of me at my second lesson, and proudly told my teacher how far I got in the book. She asked me to play the song, which I did with no real problem, and then quickly put my pride in check by having me play the songs on page 54 and 55 (the progress "brick wall" which I am now noticing in a big way)

[/b]
Great news on the lessons.

And you are so on the money about the page 52-55 page brick wall. From here on things will slow down.

As I stated earlier in this thread, it took me about 4-6 weeks to get to page 55 and then 5-6 months to finish the book, which I still visit today. I don't think I could of done it with out my teacher too. She got me through some tough spots.

So don't let the harder and more difficult pieces get you down, its all part of the process. Keep up the good work

Mark
Posted by: Perplexed

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/21/07 11:58 AM

redcoat: Maybe you and I have different revisions of the book, or possibly yours is more advanced, as I haven't yet seen the Bandleader song yet.

Getting multiple instruction books is a good thing I think, that way one can select the best way from the book they are most comfortable with. I've found that the Alfred's book has the most gentle learning curve so far (for adults, anyway)


Mark737: Thank you. I'll definitely consider the slow progress of Book One's second half a "badge of honor" for even getting that far. I see you have topics for Books Two and Three now, have you already made it to the third book? Congratulations either way, especially for surviving Book One.

Also, I forgot to mention the update on my "right hand D7 chord" dilemma (hard to reach and/or using fingernails on the keys), which I will now. I did ask my teacher about it, and she offered the most obvious solution, to move the necessary fingertips up to the back half of the key. I felt a little silly when it was pointed out, but that way does make sense. Also explains why the white keys are designed the way they are.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/21/07 01:02 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Perplexed:

Mark737: Thank you. I'll definitely consider the slow progress of Book One's second half a "badge of honor" for even getting that far. I see you have topics for Books Two and Three now, have you already made it to the third book? Congratulations either way, especially for surviving Book One.[/b]
I wish I was in book three, but I'm just at the beginning of book 2 right now. I posted the book three thread for those who are there and those trying to get there \:D .

I'm still polishing the last two songs in book one as well, Amazing Grace and the Entertainer".
When I first looked at the back of book one, I said, "Man, I'll never be able to play that", but after a lot of practice and some time, bingo, you get there...

PS: There will be songs and days you say, this isn't working, but if you stay the course it will eventually...

Keep practicing...

Mark
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/21/07 04:36 PM

 Quote:
Getting multiple instruction books is a good thing I think, that way one can select the best way from the book they are most comfortable with. I've found that the Alfred's book has the most gentle learning curve so far (for adults, anyway)
Perplexed: I'm definitely sticking to the Alfreds method, I think it's slow but sure progress. I think it's a restful diversion to play other material occasionally though, to avoid getting bored, I found that piece "Sonatina in C" that marv played for us on his U Tube site really good for an "*easy" piece in the middle "c" position, I downloaded it from web page

* I say "easy", nothings really easy for me yet.
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/24/07 03:29 AM

Hi Guys,
I am at Page 106 "Got Those Blues" in Alfred's All-in-One book. I am making a bit of slow process with my work and family schedule and Also, I am studying some music theory side by side when time permits at my work. Most of the times, I play the piece in the book and it does not come out quite well. If I listen to the CD and then play the piece, it sounds like how it really should be. Am I doing anything wrong here?

I am reading the notes of the piece by mixing intervals and note names. This is helpful at times and confusing some times. How do you people read pieces. Please educate me.
Posted by: Chris H.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/24/07 12:02 PM

Hi, I am a frequent poster on the teacher's forum. Please don't feel that I am being nosey but Mark737 made a request that some of the teachers looked at these threads to see if they could help.

I have to say, it seems like all of you are doing a great job with this book. I haven't used it much but it certainly seems to be very popular. If anyone has any technical or musical questions that just can't wait until the next lesson I would be happy to help out.

The recordings and videos some of you have posted were extremely good. I think that Mario's idea of an on line lesson is worth taking up. I hope you consider it.

Vijay, you are not doing anything wrong by listening to the CD. If you are working through the book on your own the CD is essential. It's important to know how a piece should sound. If anything, I would guess that rhythm and counting could be the issue if you find it sounds wrong before listening to the CD. The way you are reading the notes sounds fine but don't forget the counting.

Please say if this advice is not welcome. I wouldn't wish to intrude.
Posted by: sarabande

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/24/07 09:15 PM

Hi all,
I'm teaching too and came over to check the threads on Alfred's as requested in the teacher's forum. (By the way, thanks for all who gave such helpful imput on my thread here in the ABF forum re: opinions on method's for adults.)

I taught for quite a while from the Alfred's Basic Piano Library and it sounds like although not all but some of the pieces are the same so I might be able to help on those pieces that are duplicated in Alfred's Basic Piano Library but hopefully won't stick my nose in where it doesn't belong. I do have an interest on opinions of those learning from the Aflred's Adult method as I would really like to have some adult students and want to have some options ready if I were to acquire any adult students.

On the "Blues" piece, I'm taking a wild guess that the difference between the sound playing straight from the page as written vs. the cd might be if the rhythm is meant to be played in a "blues style". Is there somewhere on the page that says, "play eighth notes in long-short pairs?" That is pretty a vague statement. Instead of playing even eighth notes (as written), if each pair of eighth notes is played with the first eighth note longer and the second one short, you get sort of a "lilting" rhythm, (sort of a galloping horse sound - is that the difference you hear on the cd vs. how it's written). You get a blues rhythm or sound vs. what otherwise looks and sounds like "boring" old even 8th notes. Hope this isn't barking up the wrong tree, but if I were guessing, it might be what the difference is on the sound of the cd. If it is the case, play the rhythm like it sounds on the cd and you'll be playing it with the intended rhythm.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/24/07 09:38 PM

To everyone who has been following and/or participating in the Alfred threads, I just wanted to let you know that I started a thread in the teachers forum asking for teacher volunteers to help us in our learning journey. Since most of us are beginners I thought it would be nice to have some excellent resources to help us when we run into problems. I want to thanks Chris and sarabande for their help and anyone else who would like to offer their advise.

Mark
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/25/07 01:47 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:

Vijay, you are not doing anything wrong by listening to the CD. If you are working through the book on your own the CD is essential. It's important to know how a piece should sound. If anything, I would guess that rhythm and counting could be the issue if you find it sounds wrong before listening to the CD. The way you are reading the notes sounds fine but don't forget the counting.

Please say if this advice is not welcome. I wouldn't wish to intrude. [/b]
Hi Chris,
I totally agree to your advice and thanks for making me think on my problem. Yes, I think the counting is the problem. I will work on my internal metronome. Had it been a famous Classical Piece, I will have an idea of how the piece will sound (as I am an ardent listener of Classical music). But I agree to the fact that playing the piece without listening it before is actual playing. Well, it is good feeling that some teachers too are there to answer in this forum.
Posted by: Perplexed

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 06/25/07 11:51 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
To everyone who has been following and/or participating in the Alfred threads, I just wanted to let you know that I started a thread in the teachers forum asking for teacher volunteers to help us in our learning journey. Since most of us are beginners I thought it would be nice to have some excellent resources to help us when we run into problems. I want to thanks Chris and sarabande for their help and anyone else who would like to offer their advise.

Mark [/b]
I think that's a fantastic idea. I know I always need all the help and advice I can get.

And here's a small update on my progress, since I had my third lesson last Friday.

I arrived 10 minutes early, so I did the usual "wait outside the piano studio and contemplate the hundreds of potential mistakes I would make on each song, if I could remember how to play them at all" thing. But then I reversed course and tried to boost my confidence, saying "I'll do fine", and that seemed to work when the lesson started.

My teacher had me play both "Lone Star Waltz" and "Cafe Vienna", to see my progress. I noticed that Cafe Vienna seems like the easier song of the two. Maybe it's the sudden change to 6th "chords" in Lone Star Waltz.

While my Cafe Vienna attempt wasn't bad, she pointed out that I have a tendency to play slurred notes in a staccato "hard and fast" style. That I'll blame on my switching my keyboard's voice from Piano to Glockenspiel. That resulted in every note sounding like the sustain pedal is continually held, regardless of key press duration. Truly a bad habit I need to break.

I don't think my Lone Star Waltz attempt fared as well. There were the typical (to me) uncomfortable pauses at the points of the song where it switches from RH melody to RH 6ths (desperately trying to find the correct hand position for the 6ths) and then the same when it switches back to RH melody. I'll be practicing those two songs some more.

And my teacher thinks I did good enough on "Rock It Away", so I'm thinking my next lesson will be introducing me to scales (quite intimidating currently). I better start practicing those so I can get some experience.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/07/07 02:19 PM

I notice the last post on this thread was by Perplexed on 25th June, I trust we're not falling by the wayside....?
I was advancing pretty rapidly through Book 1 and playing other pieces I had to hand but I've decided to consolidate where I'm at in Alfred's Book 1 now. Presently I'm stuck on "Alpine Melody" on Page 69. On first reading through it it looked fairly easy but I find it is not, especially when I try to pedal in the right bars. I think the best way to tackle is to learn the hands on keys part then apply the pedalling once that is mastered, trying to learn both hands plus pedalling seems to be my problem. Is there anyone else stuck here, or can advise please? I've still not got around to getting a teacher, perhaps thats where I'm going wrong.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/07/07 04:18 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by redcoat:
I notice the last post on this thread was by Perplexed on 25th June, I trust we're not falling by the wayside....?
I was advancing pretty rapidly through Book 1 and playing other pieces I had to hand but I've decided to consolidate where I'm at in Alfred's Book 1 now. Presently I'm stuck on "Alpine Melody" on Page 69. On first reading through it it looked fairly easy but I find it is not, especially when I try to pedal in the right bars. I think the best way to tackle is to learn the hands on keys part then apply the pedalling once that is mastered, trying to learn both hands plus pedalling seems to be my problem. Is there anyone else stuck here, or can advise please? I've still not got around to getting a teacher, perhaps thats where I'm going wrong. [/b]
My teacher told me to always learn the piece without the pedal first and when you have it down, then add the pedal. I have a problem with pedaling in general. so it makes sense to not add it till later. But this is just one persons thought process. I'm sure there are other opinions.

Also don't let difficult pieces get you down. Try to look at it as a challenge to work through and give it a lot of attention. I'm having the same problem with a piece in book two and had a few in book one. My teacher real helps when I get stuck in these situations also.

Hang in there...

Mark
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/07/07 05:39 PM

Thanks Mark737, I've just finished an hour of practice on "Alpine Melody" and without pedalling it seems OK, I'll start the pedalling in it tomorrow.
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/09/07 11:03 AM

Hi there,

Just stopping in to say hello and cheer you all on in your practicing.

Mark, I agree with your teacher. Getting your eyes to read and your two hands to go where they need to is the first step. Pedaling can be added.

Redcoat, keep in mind that adding any "new bit" (such a pedaling, dynamics, tempo changes) might cause you to feel as though you've gone backwards on what you've already done. Realize as you go into it that you'll need to slow down and you may not play as well as you did at your last practice -- it's totally normal. You're adding another layer of complexity to what you're asking your body and mind to do.

Happy practicing!

Kim
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/09/07 11:16 AM

Hi Kim,
Thanks for stopping by...I have a pedaling question:

After I have a song down pretty well, I start adding the pedal, and because it changes the tone of the notes it tends to throw me off. Is this a common beginner problem? Any Suggestions? I would really like to get the pedaling down because it really makes songs so much richer and full.

Mark
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/09/07 05:24 PM

Thanks Kim and Mark,

I did as you recommended and I've cracked the "Alpine Melody" pedaling, I've moved on now. However, my PC's gone on the Blink and I'm using my grand daughters, so my online time is limited.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/09/07 06:37 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by redcoat:
Thanks Kim and Mark,

I did as you recommended and I've cracked the "Alpine Melody" pedaling, I've moved on now. However, my PC's gone on the Blink and I'm using my grand daughters, so my online time is limited. [/b]
Good to hear redcoat...there will be tough pieces that take lots of work and some that just click right of the bat.
Posted by: Perplexed

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/09/07 11:23 PM

Good to see this thread is still here.

I'm still continuing on with my weekly lessons and the studying of Book One, but I wasn't sure if replying to one's own post was considered kosher.

What I'm still noticing before each lesson is that I'm getting a slight nervous feeling before the lesson starts (It's almost a "Not sure if I studied or practiced enough" feeling, although I do). But on the other hand, it very well might be the excitement of learning something new.

The last two lessons went rather well, despite my worrying of the contrary. Currently up to "Got Those Blues" and "On Top of Old Smoky".

There was something interesting in the last lesson though. My teacher had me try playing "Joy to the World", and for one attempt, wanted me to purposely ignore all pedaling in the song. I don't know why, but removing the pedal from the song actually made the song trickier to play (I stumbled many times in that attempt).

Little by little, I'm (very) slowly figuring this all out.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/10/07 06:41 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Perplexed:
Good to see this thread is still here.

I'm still continuing on with my weekly lessons and the studying of Book One, but I wasn't sure if replying to one's own post was considered kosher.

What I'm still noticing before each lesson is that I'm getting a slight nervous feeling before the lesson starts (It's almost a "Not sure if I studied or practiced enough" feeling, although I do). But on the other hand, it very well might be the excitement of learning something new.

The last two lessons went rather well, despite my worrying of the contrary. Currently up to "Got Those Blues" and "On Top of Old Smoky".

There was something interesting in the last lesson though. My teacher had me try playing "Joy to the World", and for one attempt, wanted me to purposely ignore all pedaling in the song. I don't know why, but removing the pedal from the song actually made the song trickier to play (I stumbled many times in that attempt).

Little by little, I'm (very) slowly figuring this all out. [/b]
Feel free to post anytime. Thats what these threads are all about. Even if you want to use it as a blog.

Sounds like you are doing well. "On top of old Smokey" was always and still is kind of tricky for me.

Mark
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/10/07 03:57 PM

Hi gang!

Mark, your question:

 Quote:
After I have a song down pretty well, I start adding the pedal, and because it changes the tone of the notes it tends to throw me off. Is this a common beginner problem?
Short answer: yes!

The longer you play, the more pedaling you do, the more your brain will learn how to anticipate the sound changes that the pedals cause. Right now, piano is still new enough to you that any change (dynamics, pedaling, articulation) is a big deal to your brain.

Think about it this way: you've practiced your song. You've got it down. Your brain has learned it a specfic way, with specific body movements resulting in a specific sound -- then you add the pedal. To your brain, it's a whole new game! New sounds, new movement, new results. New song, really. No wonder it throws you off a bit!

So - treat the addition of pedaling as though you were learning a new song. It won't take as long, of course, but if you give yourself permission to slow down and listen, for your body to learn the new movements, you'll have an easier time.

In other words, expect pedaling to be a learning process of it's own, not just a sort of quick addition to something you already know. Part of the challenge for us grown-ups is managing our own expectations of our playing and speed of learning. \:\) I still have to do this with my own playing!

Best,

Kim
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/10/07 04:06 PM

Hi Perplexed,

Hope you don't mind me poking in and commenting! \:\)

You said,

 Quote:
What I'm still noticing before each lesson is that I'm getting a slight nervous feeling
What about good, old-fashioned "wanting to do well for your teacher?" ;\) I feel as though sometimes, my students get nervous because they want to impress me or be perfect, as though only if they play perfectly will I understand that they've done their work. It's not true though. I can tell if you practice, even if you make mistakes.

Of course, none of us want to play mistakes, but I can tell the difference between nervous fingers and a learned-in error. Just wanted to give you a teacher's view -- we love students who practice and love to play, and are enthusiastic. Mistakes are not so important!

 Quote:
My teacher had me try playing "Joy to the World", and for one attempt, wanted me to purposely ignore all pedaling in the song. I don't know why, but removing the pedal from the song actually made the song trickier to play
Yep. Same concept as I spoke of above in my response to Mark. When you change something fundamental, and the sound is so different, it's like a completely different song!

AND... playing without the pedal does expose any tricky bits that were eased by the sounds blending, so that can make it a bit harder, too.

It sounds like you're doing great! Keep it up!!

Best,

Kim
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/10/07 05:32 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PianoTeacherKim:
Hi gang!

Mark, your question:

 Quote:
After I have a song down pretty well, I start adding the pedal, and because it changes the tone of the notes it tends to throw me off. Is this a common beginner problem?
Short answer: yes!

The longer you play, the more pedaling you do, the more your brain will learn how to anticipate the sound changes that the pedals cause. Right now, piano is still new enough to you that any change (dynamics, pedaling, articulation) is a big deal to your brain.

Think about it this way: you've practiced your song. You've got it down. Your brain has learned it a specfic way, with specific body movements resulting in a specific sound -- then you add the pedal. To your brain, it's a whole new game! New sounds, new movement, new results. New song, really. No wonder it throws you off a bit!

So - treat the addition of pedaling as though you were learning a new song. It won't take as long, of course, but if you give yourself permission to slow down and listen, for your body to learn the new movements, you'll have an easier time.

In other words, expect pedaling to be a learning process of it's own, not just a sort of quick addition to something you already know. Part of the challenge for us grown-ups is managing our own expectations of our playing and speed of learning. \:\) I still have to do this with my own playing!

Best,

Kim [/b]
I never thought about pedaling in that way. It makes a ton of sense. What great advice! I was shying away from the pedaling because of the errors, but will now put in the extra time to start getting the pedal down. Plus the pedal really makes songs so much better.

Thanks Kim
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/11/07 10:24 AM

You're welcome! Happy to help!

Kim
Posted by: grandkey

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/11/07 06:05 PM

I just registered for this forum today. I've been watching this thread for a few weeks now and I decided it was finally time to post. I'll go into where I'm at right now.

I have been doing Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course Book #1 for about 3 weeks. Unfortunately, I just came back from a 1.5 week break. I was out of town and didn't even get to touch a piano. I played again today and I caught up to where I was.

Right now I am on page 69. I'm working on Beautiful Brown Eyes and Alpine Melody. I keep stumbling a bit throughout them. It's probably because of all the broken chords and the pedaling. Oh well, nothing repetition won't smooth out.

And I do have a teacher helping me out although she hasn't helped me with this book yet. I ended up buying this book after our last lesson and since then I couldn't meet up with her because of conflicting schedules. Our next lesson is next Thursday so I'll have plenty of time to practice.

Anyways, I'm glad I registered and I'm hoping to finish this book. From what I've heard, The Entertainer and Amazing Grace are great pieces! \:\)
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/11/07 06:14 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by grandkey:
I just registered for this forum today. I've been watching this thread for a few weeks now and I decided it was finally time to post. I'll go into where I'm at right now.

I have been doing Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course Book #1 for about 3 weeks. Unfortunately, I just came back from a 1.5 week break. I was out of town and didn't even get to touch a piano. I played again today and I caught up to where I was.

Right now I am on page 69. I'm working on Beautiful Brown Eyes and Alpine Melody. I keep stumbling a bit throughout them. It's probably because of all the broken chords and the pedaling. Oh well, nothing repetition won't smooth out.

And I do have a teacher helping me out although she hasn't helped me with this book yet. I ended up buying this book after our last lesson and since then I couldn't meet up with her because of conflicting schedules. Our next lesson is next Thursday so I'll have plenty of time to practice.

Anyways, I'm glad I registered and I'm hoping to finish this book. From what I've heard, The Entertainer and Amazing Grace are great pieces! \:\) [/b]
Welcome Grand Key! It sounds like you are doing well with the Alfred book. And your right about the practice, with time and hard work you will just get better and better and work your through the book in no time. You will truly enjoy the Alfred Amazing Grace and Entertainer...followed by book two of course.

We have some great knowledgeable teachers who keep an eye on us beginners here in these Alfred threads, so if you need anything please ask...

Mark
Posted by: Perplexed

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/14/07 01:33 AM

Mark: Thank you for the encouragement. I'll definitely continue to post my updates here (at least until I reach book two, of course. Plenty of time until then though).

One of the funny things about "On top of old Smokey" is the ending (last couple of measures), which caught me off-guard at last week's lesson. The song was tricky to sight-read, but as I continued on I noticed the second half was identical to the first (or so I thought).

Some time around that halfway point my brain decided to stop trying to decipher the notes and just go from memory. And then I saw the ending, and my playing turned into a musical train wreck (including the mis-reading of a tie as a slur).

Getting a little better at it now, thankfully.


Kim: No worries at all, your comments and encouragement are highly appreciated. And yes, I forgot about the obvious "wanting to do well for my teacher" feeling. In that case, maybe the pre-lesson nervousness is a good sign.

Although today (my latest lesson), I arrived a little later than usual, so I didn't have any time to sit outside, ponder my fate, and think of nervous thoughts. I didn't even notice that until after the lesson ended. Surprising in a way.


In my latest lesson, the G-major scale was introduced, I attempted "The Can-Can" a few times (why is it so hard to resist playing that song at a fast tempo), and started on "The Marines' Hymn", with its tricky second measure (playing the same note once with each finger).

Looking forward to the next lesson.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/14/07 01:36 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Perplexed:
Mark: Thank you for the encouragement. I'll definitely continue to post my updates here (at least until I reach book two, of course. Plenty of time until then though).

One of the funny things about "On top of old Smokey" is the ending (last couple of measures), which caught me off-guard at last week's lesson. The song was tricky to sight-read, but as I continued on I noticed the second half was identical to the first (or so I thought).

[/b]
"On Top of Old Smokey" was giving me so much trouble I had to highlight (yellow marker) where the A, G and D kicked it with the right hand. Its one song I still try to go back to because it was a tricky one for me.

And your getting close to "Why am I Blue" which is one of my favorites from book one. It has a real full sound. I think you might like it.

Stay the course...

Mark
Posted by: grandkey

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/14/07 04:46 PM

Mark737, thanks for the welcome. \:\)

Right now, I'm on page 74 (Good Morning To You!) and I'm ready to move on to page 75 (Happy Birthday To You!). I have a few questions though.

Did any of you follow the Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course Greatest Hits - Level 1 book? On page 54 of the course book it says you are ready to being Greatest Hits, Level 1. Fortunately, I discovered I already owned the book and had played a few (maybe like 2 or 3) songs from it. So as of now I'm following it. I've played Love Me Tender, which was pretty simple and I've been trying to get through Edelweiss. I think part of the problem of playing Edelweiss was that I was unfamiliar with the song. Apart from the challenge of playing the notes, I couldn't "piece together" what I was hearing. Well after a couple rounds of it, I'm happy to say I can hear it better somewhat but I still need to work on it. \:\) I looked ahead and the next two songs are not as difficult as this one.

And one more question. When you got around page 75, how fast did you progress through the book? I feel like I could go a little faster, but I don't want to miss anything. Everytime I sit to play, I start from page 65 (Beautiful Brown Eyes) and play onward, adding maybe a few pages to where I was at. I figure I should be able to play the previous pieces smoothly. What do you guys think about this?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/14/07 08:05 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by grandkey:
Mark737, thanks for the welcome. \:\)

And one more question. When you got around page 75, how fast did you progress through the book? I feel like I could go a little faster, but I don't want to miss anything. Everytime I sit to play, I start from page 65 (Beautiful Brown Eyes) and play onward, adding maybe a few pages to where I was at. I figure I should be able to play the previous pieces smoothly. What do you guys think about this? [/b]
Your welcome!

First I'm not a teacher so take this with a grain of salt. I agree with your method of playing back through the older stuff and cleaning it up as you add new material. Its always fun to play familiar stuff to warm up before you go to new heavy duty playing. As for going at a faster rate, go for it. You will know when your having problems and then you can back off.

I just did that on my vacation. I was going strong and then kind of hit a wall and needed to stop and work on some stuff before moving ahead. If you have a teacher they also can judge when to speed up or slow down your pace. And best of all no matter how bad a time your having with a piece, if you stop at it and give it some extra attention you will eventually get through it.

So stay the course my friend, your hard work and dedication will pay off.

Mark

PS: If you find a piece your not familar with, try asking someone hear to upload the song or check out You Tube for examples.
Posted by: grandkey

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/17/07 11:24 PM

I'm glad to say that I've progressed and I am now on page 84 (Lavender's Blue). I was glad I got through eigths. I was thinking I would have trouble keeping the count, but I actually played Alouette through the first time fairly decently.

And I'm also feeling a little more comfortable sight reading. Identifying notes on the staff has gotten easier since I started this book.

Oh yeah, I also took up learning a piece. I'm trying to learn Cristofori's Dream by David Lanz. Before I started this book, I was trying to learn John Lennon's Imagine, but right now I think I'm more interested in Cristofori's Dream. It flows so much better (and I think it's easier than the sheet I had for Imagine \:\) ). I've gotten through the first page so far.
Posted by: grandkey

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/19/07 07:53 PM

I had my piano lesson today. I'd say she was pleased with my progress (she hasn't seen me since I started this book). \:\)

Right now I'm on page 89, Blow the Man Down!. I'm having a little bit of trouble with the different rythms in measures 2, 4, 8, and 16 (The treble clef is a dotted quarter note, eighth note, quarter note and the bass clef is three quarter notes). I know the solution is to practice, but does anyone have any suggestions?

I want to get this differing rythm down because a similar rythm appears in the piece I am working on (Cristofori's Dream). Thanks for the help! \:\)
Posted by: kinghippo423

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/19/07 08:39 PM

Hello guys,

I've been surfing in that first book for quite a while but today, I've hit a HUGE wall. The reason of my wall is the song Blow the man down on page 55.

My problem with that song is getting my left hand to play at the right time. At the beginning of the song, the left hand is playing broken chords on beat but the right hand has a dotted quarter with a 8th note. I can't "tell" to my brain to play the 2nd beat of my left hand right before that 8th note. I've listened tje song on Youtube to get me some pointers but with no results.

Anyone had the same problem with that song? How to "tell" my left hand to play right before the 8th of my right hand?

Thank you because this book is GREAT !
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/19/07 09:10 PM

Blow the man down and after that Top of old Smokey are both tough ones. I still go back and try to fine tune Smokey.

The best way to approach them is probably doing hands separate very slowly and the work them together slowly.. But the bottom line for me was just play them a ton of times for a long time. My teacher said Blow the man down always was a tough one for her students, so you are not alone.

I'm sure some of our teachers will drop by and give you guys some real pro advice.

Mark
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/20/07 11:59 AM

Hi all,

Re: Blow the Man Down and learning complicated rhythms...

Being able to recognize rhythm and get your hands to play different rhythms (work independently) at the same time is definitely a new skill. It can be one of the frustrations that leads people to think "It's just too hard." So -- the difficulty isn't just in your head.

Here's my method:

Between the staves, write in your counting, as detailed as you need to. Make sure you understand each rhythm that you're playing.

Now you're going to put your hands on the piano. Look at each measure as a chunk of information. On each beat, or half beat, either your hands will be playing something together, or you'll have one hand or the other, playing separately. You're looking at the sequence of movements you're asking your hands to make.

So you'll have a sequence of movements, for instance: together, right, right, together, left, together, left, left.

See what I mean? (It's so hard to do this via email!) And not only do you play it, but you speak the words out loud as you play. You're telling yourself what to do!

By focusing on the movement, and working in small chunks of information at a time (measures) you can break down songs and teach your hands what to do in complicated passages.

This is a slow-down method that totally takes you out of hearing the 'song' and gets you to focus on movement instead of on sound. I always found that saying "slow down" was kind of a hit-or-miss instruction... what is slow? What students believe is slow is not nearly what I call slow!

I've not had any tea yet this morning so if this all doesn't make much sense, please say so and I'll try to explain it better! ;-)

Best,

Kim
Posted by: kinghippo423

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/20/07 03:33 PM

First of all, it's nice to hear others teling me that I'm not alone with this problem. This motivate me a lot to practice more and more.

Second, I will assure you that your post really make sense. I can't wait to try your suggestions. The moment my brain will "click" my problem will be solve. Tonight, I will put efforts to make my brain "click".

Before my purchase of that book, I was avoiding the things I wasn't able to do. I'm faced to battle my skills...and I love it now. After the realisation, you really feel you accomplished something great. Piano is great !

Thansk again for the words,

kinghippo423.

P.S. I might cut my poker session in half to be able to touch my piano sooner \:\)
Posted by: grandkey

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/20/07 08:36 PM

kinghippo423, what a coincidence we were both seeking advice on the same piece and at the same time! \:\)

Mark and Kim, thanks for your advice. I just finished practicing and I got through Blow the Man Down! somewhat easier. I think the trick for me was to realize the counting and which note goes with which count. So in the trouble sections, I'm counting: ONE (TC and BC's quarter note), TWO (BC's quarter note) AND (TC's quarter note), THREE (TC and BC's quarter note). (TC=Treble Clef, BC=Bass Clef)

My last run through it was probably one of the better ones. I also proceded to the next piece, Lone Star Waltz and I have got to say... these pieces are getting more and more challenging! With all the moving sixths, 1 moving between C and D, and the moving hands, I've got to say I'll spend some quality time with this piece, lol.

Again, thanks for the input. I'm super glad I registered for this forum!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/20/07 10:27 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by grandkey:
kinghippo423, Lone Star Waltz and I have got to say... these pieces are getting more and more challenging! With all the moving sixths, 1 moving between C and D, and the moving hands, I've got to say I'll spend some quality time with this piece, lol.

Again, thanks for the input. I'm super glad I registered for this forum! [/b]
I'm glad the thread is helping.

Like I've mentioned before. People tend to go through the first 50ish pages fast and then things start slowing down. very normal and expected.

After reading the posts here I went just about all the way back to the beginning of book one to see how things played out, and I was amazed how much easier things went, even after not playing some stuff for a couple of months. It just proves that all the hard work pays off if your patient.

Stay the course..
Mark
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/21/07 05:16 PM

Mark said:

 Quote:
After reading the posts here I went just about all the way back to the beginning of book one to see how things played out, and I was amazed how much easier things went, even after not playing some stuff for a couple of months. It just proves that all the hard work pays off if your patient.
Isn't that great? I'm glad you did that. It's awesome to do when you're feeling stuck, or as though you're not progressing. Or when you're just getting frustrated with your practicing, and need to get back in good mood! ;\)

Hope everyone's having a great Saturday!

Best,

Kim
Posted by: grandkey

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/21/07 11:03 PM

Mark, that's awesome how things are easier now. Everytime I practice, I start from Beautiful Brown Eyes and play onward. Those beginning pieces seem to get easier and easier.

I just finished practicing. Everything went well. One thing I noticed was that I was really relaxed. Usually my shoulders tense up when I'm in a troublesome piece, but they didn't this time! \:\)

Blow the Man Down! went smooth (I only messed up on occasion, not every single time -- progress!). As for Lone Star Waltz, it's getting better as well. I need to work on moving my hands to a different spot on the keyboard. Any advice for this?
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/22/07 09:02 AM

Hi all

I have had a huuuuuge break from the piano. I formed a band so I was concentrating on my guitar. Now we have hit a bit of a dry spot and I want to get back to the relaxing piano.

Does anyone know where to buy the Alfred CD for Adult couse book 1 in the UK? I have the book but no CD. I think I would be more inspired to practice if I heard the songs first. I only really feel comfortable playing songs I have already heard. Or could someone upload the songs in MP3 possibly? Even MIDI files would be great.

thanks
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/22/07 12:29 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Choppin':
Hi all

Does anyone know where to buy the Alfred CD for Adult couse book 1 in the UK? I have the book but no CD. I think I would be more inspired to practice if I heard the songs first. I only really feel comfortable playing songs I have already heard. Or could someone upload the songs in MP3 possibly? Even MIDI files would be great.

thanks [/b]
I'm not sure where to get only the CD, but if you go through this thread loly has kindly uploaded most of the CD'd songs...

Also you can ask the thread followers to upload a song if its not here.

I'd love to get all the songs from the book uploaded to the thread.

Mark
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/22/07 12:33 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by grandkey:
I need to work on moving my hands to a different spot on the keyboard. Any advice for this? [/b]
Thanks Grandkey, I'm going to leave this quote for Pianoteacherkim to address...
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/23/07 03:51 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Choppin':
Hi all

Does anyone know where to buy the Alfred CD for Adult couse book 1 in the UK? I have the book but no CD. I think I would be more inspired to practice if I heard the songs first. I only really feel comfortable playing songs I have already heard. Or could someone upload the songs in MP3 possibly? Even MIDI files would be great.

thanks [/b]
I'm not sure where to get only the CD, but if you go through this thread loly has kindly uploaded most of the CD'd songs...

Also you can ask the thread followers to upload a song if its not here.

I'd love to get all the songs from the book uploaded to the thread.

Mark [/b]
I can find about 8 of the songs on the other page. Where are the rest?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/23/07 04:01 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Choppin':
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Choppin':
Hi all

Does anyone know where to buy the Alfred CD for Adult couse book 1 in the UK? I have the book but no CD. I think I would be more inspired to practice if I heard the songs first. I only really feel comfortable playing songs I have already heard. Or could someone upload the songs in MP3 possibly? Even MIDI files would be great.

thanks [/b]
I'm not sure where to get only the CD, but if you go through this thread loly has kindly uploaded most of the CD'd songs...

Also you can ask the thread followers to upload a song if its not here.

I'd love to get all the songs from the book uploaded to the thread.

Mark [/b]
I can find about 8 of the songs on the other page. Where are the rest? [/b]
I guess I misspoke, I thought there were more. If there is a particular one you need, I'm sure someone here will be kind enough to upload it for you. One of my goals for these Alfred threads is to get them all uploaded here.
Also don't forget You Tube as a song resourse.

Mark
Posted by: doremi

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/23/07 05:53 PM

Do you all re-start with book 1 ?

Say, you left off, decades ago perhaps, at ABRSM grade 3 going to 4, wouldn't you want to re-start with a subsequent book?
Posted by: Perplexed

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/23/07 11:06 PM

Interesting lesson today, going from "really good" to "need practice".

I began my previous lesson reviewing the G major scale songs (pages 70-73) and seemed to play them with no real problems (And Mark, you're right about "Why Am I Blue" being a good sounding song. It's my new current favorite in the book so far).

But then the introduction of the F major scale. For the bottom of page 74, the book says to "play only with Hands Separate", but I decided to try it with Hands Together and quickly found out why it said to play only with "HS". Playing that HT is quite complicated (but slowly doable I think).

And I ended the lesson with a pitiful first attempt at "Little Brown Jug". Every mistake that exists, I made. It's a good song though, it and the following song (Chiapanecas) bring back memories of watching old Warner Brothers cartoons.


doremi: Even though I haven't much piano experience, I'm not too sure if the Alfred's series book numbering is equal to that of the ABRSM grading. But a refresher course would always be good in any case.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/24/07 08:13 AM

Sorry, I meant to post the following on this thread instead I started a new thread:-

Is it just me? I refer to "Blow the Man Down" Page 89 Alfred's Bk1, From bar 8 through to bar 16, the G7 chord sounds dischordant...sort of...I wonder if it should or is it me?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/24/07 08:20 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Perplexed:
But then the introduction of the F major scale. For the bottom of page 74, the book says to "play only with Hands Separate", but I decided to try it with Hands Together and quickly found out why it said to play only with "HS". Playing that HT is quite complicated (but slowly doable I think).

And I ended the lesson with a pitiful first attempt at "Little Brown Jug". Every mistake that exists, I made. It's a good song though, it and the following song (Chiapanecas) bring back memories of watching old Warner Brothers cartoons.

[/b]
Little brown Jug will come to you in a couple of days. Its a nice song, but needs repetitions to get down.. But (Chiapanecas) was tough for me and not a favorite...

Sounds like your doing great and moving pretty fast...

Mark
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/24/07 08:23 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by redcoat:
Sorry, I meant to post the following on this thread instead I started a new thread:-

Is it just me? I refer to "Blow the Man Down" Page 89 Alfred's Bk1, From bar 8 through to bar 16, the G7 chord sounds dischordant...sort of...I wonder if it should or is it me? [/b]
I know what your saying, but I believe its right. Maybe Kim can help,,,

Mark
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/24/07 08:37 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by grandkey:
As for Lone Star Waltz, it's getting better as well. I need to work on moving my hands to a different spot on the keyboard. Any advice for this? [/b]
Are you speaking of GE, FD, EC, DB on the top of page 57? If so the trick for me was to nail down the first 2 notes with the 5-1 and just work off of those notes down and then later up. Does that make any sense?

Mark
Posted by: grandkey

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/24/07 11:52 PM

Yeah, as soon as I nail the first note, the rest follows. The question was aimed at getting to that first note though. However, I'm pretty sure it's coming to me. I just need to practice it some more.

redcoat, Blow the Man Down! does sound a little wierd. I'm still trying to get used to it.
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/25/07 02:58 PM

Hi all!

 Quote:
Originally posted by grandkey:
I need to work on moving my hands to a different spot on the keyboard. Any advice for this?
I always have my students working on something beyond whatever lesson material we're using, and this is one of the primary reasons. \:\)

I'm a big fan of the Piano Adventures PreTime to BigTime graded music books. They're separate from the lesson books, and don't let the names, and the fact that they're in the kid book section put you off! At every level, there's a huge range of books: pop, jazz & blues, ragtime, marches, classical, Christmas, hymns, etc. Just flip through until you find the level that most closely matches where you're at.

Any 'extra' music will achieve the same goal, whether you like the play show tunes or Top 40. Find some beginner books in a style you like and have at it! This will get you outside the box of sequential hand positions.

Best,

Kim
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/25/07 03:03 PM

Hello again!

 Quote:
iginally posted by redcoat:
Sorry, I meant to post the following on this thread instead I started a new thread:-

Is it just me? I refer to "Blow the Man Down" Page 89 Alfred's Bk1, From bar 8 through to bar 16, the G7 chord sounds dischordant...sort of...I wonder if it should or is it me?
OK, tonight I'm bringing my book home so I have it by my desk, then I'll be able to give a more in-depth answer.

But for now I'll say: there are several songs in book 1, with 7th chords, that many of my adult students responded to exactly the way you did. I think that this particular voicing of the 7th chord (which is, in fact, an 'abbreviation') just isn't quite satisying to our ears, it's too simple.

Also the fact that it's low on the keyboard, which can get murky when you have chord tones that are too close together.

Finally, if your piano is even slightly out of tune, that voicing of the 7th with grate on you a bit!

I'll play it myself today and check back in.

Best,

Kim
Posted by: FLMikeATT

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/25/07 04:01 PM

Hi, I'm new to the forums.

I took lessons for about 4 years when I was a kid, but I stopped playing for over 10 years. I'm 19 now, and my interest in piano was recently rekindled.

I started playing again about 3 months ago. Right now I'm on Alfreds Basic Piano Book Level 3. It didn't take me too long to get to the 3rd one.

What definately helps you to learn is playing music you like outside of Alfred's. For instance, one of the reasons I took up piano again is so I can play songs from Final Fantasy and other video games. Along with Alfred's, I have been playing songs from Final Fantasy 7-10 OST's. There are some really nice beginner/intermediate songs in those books, and they are lot more interesting.

I've also picked up the Michael Aaron Piano Lesson books, which IMO have better songs than Alfred's.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/26/07 02:33 AM

 Quote:
I'll play it myself today and check back in.
Thanks Kim.

 Quote:
What definately helps you to learn is playing music you like outside of Alfred's.
That's so right, here in the UK we have "Pianist" magazine which is published bi-monthly, it contains a lot of free sheet music and an important accompanying CD. The level starts from beginner upwards, even the beginner pieces (songs?) sound far more difficult than they are to actually play, which impresses the occasional audience I have here. The music does tend to be classically biased though, which suits me.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/26/07 03:15 AM

Hi Choppin
www.musicroom.com are offering the CD for £9.95
Judith
Posted by: kinghippo423

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/26/07 11:27 PM

I can't beleive it !

I worked 30 minutes a day for 3 days on Blow The Man Down and I didn't felt that I was progressing. Trying unsuccessfully to play hands seperately. But tonight, I passed Blow The Man Down in 20 minutes at the speed its supposed !

My brain just clicked today and it feels GOOD !

Can't wait tomorrow to start the 7ths on page 56 of book 1.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/27/07 12:22 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by kinghippo423:
I can't beleive it !

I worked 30 minutes a day for 3 days on Blow The Man Down and I didn't felt that I was progressing. Trying unsuccessfully to play hands seperately. But tonight, I passed Blow The Man Down in 20 minutes at the speed its supposed !

My brain just clicked today and it feels GOOD !

Can't wait tomorrow to start the 7ths on page 56 of book 1. [/b]
Thats great, I love it when a piece or part of a piece finally clicks.

Mark
Posted by: dat99

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/28/07 09:42 PM

I am returning to piano after a 6 year absence. I did have 14 months of lessons. I am on page 92-93- The Entertainer. I think the timing is going to be hard on this!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/28/07 11:56 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dat99:
I am returning to piano after a 6 year absence. I did have 14 months of lessons. I am on page 92-93- The Entertainer. I think the timing is going to be hard on this! [/b]
Its a great piece. Play it the way your feel it, and I bet the timing takes care of itself...

Mark
Posted by: Nin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/29/07 08:00 AM

Hi everybody there,

I've just bought a digital piano and I will order soon the Alfred's basic all-in-one piano course. I can not wait to start practicing after reading this thread.

I would love to have the midi files of the book to practice, but I would have to order it additionally. Unfortunately, I am living in Germany, and to order additionally the 2 GM (midi) disks (In USA), I would have to wait 2/3 weeks.

Does anybody of you have these disks?, If yes, would anybody be so kind to upload/send it for me? I would appreciate it so much!!!!

I was checking the files of Loly (thank you very much), but these are mp3 or wavs, not midis. Moreover, uploading the complete 2 disk would be only 2.8 MB).

If nobody have them, I will surely order them, and upload for the forum here, I think this is a very good help for the beginner.

Thanks in advance!

PS: I have the Hannon midis, if somebody is interested please contact me!
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/29/07 08:14 AM

Hi Nin,

you can't play mp3's or wavs on your pc?

I don't have a converter to convert to midi I don't think, but I'll take a look.
Posted by: Nin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/29/07 08:21 AM

Hi Loly,

I can play both mp3 and Wavs in my computer. I just wanted to have the midis to use the piano digital features to practice (score presentation, practice with left and/or right hand).

Thank you very much for your message and your attention!!
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/29/07 09:19 AM

Ohhh, sorry Nin, I searched through all my programs and none of them convert to midi. I can upload all the mp3's maybe someone has a converter.
Posted by: Nin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/29/07 09:38 AM

no problem Loly,

I have never heard that is possible to transform from mp3 to mid, anyway I will start with the book as soon as I get it, and have a look to the mp3s you uploaded, which I think is better than nothing.

Thank you very very much!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/29/07 09:56 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Nin:
Hi everybody there,

I've just bought a digital piano and I will order soon the Alfred's basic all-in-one piano course. I can not wait to start practicing after reading this thread.

I would love to have the midi files of the book to practice, but I would have to order it additionally. Unfortunately, I am living in Germany, and to order additionally the 2 GM (midi) disks (In USA), I would have to wait 2/3 weeks.

[/b]
Welcome to Piano World and the Alfred thread, you are going to enjoy learning piano.

I don't have the disks, but some songs have been uploaded to the this thread. (Most by loly) Also You Tube is a great resource for music examples.

Mark

PS: Someday I'm going to get all the songs uploaded. Anybody want to help? Here are a few of the early songs in the book kindly provided by loly:

http://www.box.net/shared/5vprn2k8l3
Posted by: Nin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/29/07 01:59 PM

I would love to help. Uploading the whole CD seems to be quite a lot of MBs (I guess around 700 MB). I would offer you my site to upload it, or my private FTP-server for that. I will upload the Hanon series and some other midis as well.

Of course the files hosted there, would be deleted by the user just after test/lisent to them, to avoid copyright issues, the files would be exclusively used just to test them, \:\)

Just contact me if you want to use my site to upload the files, so that you share them all with other folks here.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/29/07 03:07 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Nin:
I would love to help. Uploading the whole CD seems to be quite a lot of MBs (I guess around 700 MB). I would offer you my site to upload it, or my private FTP-server for that. I will upload the Hanon series and some other midis as well.

Of course the files hosted there, would be deleted by the user just after test/lisent to them, to avoid copyright issues, the files would be exclusively used just to test them, \:\)

Just contact me if you want to use my site to upload the files, so that you share them all with other folks here. [/b]
Thanks for the offer. I don't want to have any copyright issues. I was thinking of just having our users upload their playing of the pieces in the book.

Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/29/07 05:29 PM

I have them all converted to mp3's just don't know where I can put them. how much room does box net give?
Posted by: Nin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/30/07 04:13 AM

Box.net provides 1GB of data to be uploaded. Besides that, it confers you certain anonymity, because the urls given by the server are not indexed by search engines.

In resume, Box.net seems to be a good possibility for sharing those mp3s... and mp3 is a compression format, they are much smaller than wavs.

Can I help you somehow?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/30/07 09:47 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Nin:
Box.net provides 1GB of data to be uploaded. Besides that, it confers you certain anonymity, because the urls given by the server are not indexed by search engines.


Can I help you somehow? [/b]
When you or anyone has a piece from the book recorded, upload it to box.net or other site and provide a link. I'm adding them to my opening post, so everyone can use them as a reference. This goes for all the Alfred book threads,

Thanks

Mark
Posted by: sarabande

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/30/07 10:20 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PianoTeacherKim:
Hi all!

 Quote:
Originally posted by grandkey:
I need to work on moving my hands to a different spot on the keyboard. Any advice for this?
I always have my students working on something beyond whatever lesson material we're using, and this is one of the primary reasons. \:\)

I'm a big fan of the Piano Adventures PreTime to BigTime graded music books. They're separate from the lesson books, and don't let the names, and the fact that they're in the kid book section put you off! At every level, there's a huge range of books: pop, jazz & blues, ragtime, marches, classical, Christmas, hymns, etc. Just flip through until you find the level that most closely matches where you're at.

Any 'extra' music will achieve the same goal, whether you like the play show tunes or Top 40. Find some beginner books in a style you like and have at it! This will get you outside the box of sequential hand positions.

Best,

Kim [/b]
"Extra" music even if one has time only for a little, I think really important vs. strictly sticking to lesson book pieces. If anyone really likes classical, a good 'extra' is a series by level called Masterwork Classics by Jane Magrath published by Alfred's (comes with a cd of the pieces). The pieces are all original classical piano literature not arrangments and comes in levels 1 - 10. I believe it tells on the first page in the book which bood corresponds to which level in the Alfred's lesson series.

Anyone used the Masterwork Classics books?

Bastien has a piano literature series that has nice pieces that progress gradually in order of difficulty and Everybody's Perfect Masterpieces is another nice piano literature series. I like these series because one can play "real" classical piano literature that progresses gradually in difficulty.

For moving hands to a different spot on the keyboard, what works best for me and I try to show students is to get a picture of the keys in my mind first before I get there. If I picture what the keys are in my mind (even if I have to at first or at times glance down real fast to get a picture of where they are), then my hands will typically likely go right to the keys they're suppose to. To test this, look at the piano keys and with your hands in your lap, without touching any keys pick out one key (any key) just by looking at it. Then when you have that visually in your mind, use any finger and with your hand starting relaxed on your lap, see if you can automatically hit that key you had picked out. You can test this out too by playing one note keeping your hand resting or relaxed on that note without reaching at all toward the note you want to jump to, pick another note that would be a jump visualizing where it is on the keys before attempting to move your hand there and then see if you can automatically hit or jump to that key.
In short, it helps me to get a visual picture in my mind of the key my hand needs to jump to.
Posted by: new_2_piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/30/07 04:55 PM

Hello all,

I have been following this thread and was about to purchase Alfred's Adult All In One Piano Course online but then I read a bad review of the book in the sense that its approach is based on chords (similar to a guitarist approach) and they said this is not a harmonic, pianistic way to play.

Is this claim true? I am sure many people will disagree with it, but I want to know your arguments because you know this course better than anybody else.

I tried to find the book just to be able to browse through it at my local bookstores but they do not have it on stock (needs to be ordered).

Your comments will be appreciated. Thanks.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/30/07 06:01 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by new_2_piano:
Hello all,

I have been following this thread and was about to purchase Alfred's Adult All In One Piano Course online but then I read a bad review of the book in the sense that its approach is based on chords (similar to a guitarist approach) and they said this is not a harmonic, pianistic way to play.

Is this claim true? I am sure many people will disagree with it, but I want to know your arguments because you know this course better than anybody else.

I tried to find the book just to be able to browse through it at my local bookstores but they do not have it on stock (needs to be ordered).

Your comments will be appreciated. Thanks. [/b]
If you are referring to the "Fake Book" approach you are wrong. The Alfred series is more of a classical approach I believe. I've read that some people don't like the broken cord arrangements, but that's not in reference to "Fake Book" type of arrangements.

I'm just a beginner here too, so I'm no expert. I'm sure some our guest teachers will drop by and answer your question more clearly.

And by the way Welcome to Piano world and the Alfred thread...

Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/31/07 05:05 AM

Hi new_2 I have a link to some of the pieces on book 3 of alfred's. check it out.

http://www.box.net/files#05544194
Posted by: sarabande

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/31/07 09:48 AM

These are my observations in my "quest" to find the perfect method.

In looking various methods over (for example, Faber and Faber, Alfred's, Bastein's older and newer versions, Glover older and newer versions, Thompson, Schaum, Noona, Aaron's, Piano Town, Music Tree, and several others I can't think of the names right now), at the music store several times, and teaching from or trying out a few different ones, I feel the vast majority (perhaps all although I haven't seen every method that exists, of course), - it seems that most methods start out either teaching hand positions like C position, G position, or start out with both thumbs on C and reading from the staff right away learning letter names above and below middle C or a combination of positions and "both thumbs on c".

Some methods like Alfred's do a really good job stressing reading by interval and emphasizing chords (although I feel most methods take too long to get to teaching chords at least for older students), while these methods are weaker on teaching letter recognition of notes on the staff and where they are on the keys because of the emphasis on reading distance between notes which is excellent to be able to do. However, I've had students so good at reading by interval from methods like Alfred's, for example, I discovered after a few years they were still not always able to look at a note and say, "that's an E", and find it right away on the keys. Methods that start with both thumbs on C are good at teaching letter recognition of the notes on the staff and where they are on the keys while perhaps not emphasizing intervals and chords quite as much (although the information on chords seems to still be there but doesn't "stand out" as much), although they tend to start out reading from the staff from the beginning.

Most methods tend to keep a person in 5-finger position so long that when it comes time to play notes outside of 5 finger position it can be tough to think outside that mode. Some of my younger students of elementary age have literally believed that all music stays within 5 finger positions if kept in music with 5 finger positions too long. Faber and Faber tries to compensate for this by adding some notes that stray out of position earlier on, although I've not taught from it. In looking at Faber and Faber, I feel it probably doesn't do this enough to make a huge difference in choosing it over other methods although many teachers really rave about using it. Many adult students seem to rave about using the Alfred's Adult method as well.

I feel there are so many similarities in methods as far as learning musical elements that it doesn't matter too much the choice of method one decides to learn from although some do cater more toward a chord approach. If I was learning from a method that was big on interval and chord reading, I would use other means to make sure I learned letter names of notes on the staff and know readily where they are on the keys. If I used a method that didn't teach interval reading and less on chords, I would use other means to learn intervals and chords.

Whatever method used, while there are some nice pieces in every lesson book that we could all agree are fun to play, tuneful, and are nice arrangements, we could all agree there's some pretty outright horrible sounding pieces too! Pieces in lesson books are usually written to emphasize a certain concept, for example, practice playing intervals of a 6th, so the whole piece might be written with 6th's all over the place so it may or may not sound that great when a piece is primarly written to emphasize a certain concept. Also, easier pop or familiar pieces don't always meet one's expectations in sound because the piece has to be simplified and a lot of elements have to be left out that haven't been yet covered at that point in the levels. In addition to lesson books, it's best to try to find supplemental books or music with pieces that appeal to you and the sound of the pieces appeal to you the best it can.

Some lesson books do cater more to classical technique while others to me cater more to a pop/rock or familiar, famous tune type of playing while some seem to sort of ride the fence on both of these. If I had a lesson book that seemed to cater more toward classical style, I'd supplement with a lot of other music of styles I liked. If I had a lesson book that catered more toward pop or famous tune style of playing, I'd supplement with classical piano literature like the books I mentioned a few posts back (for example, Masterwork Classics), if I liked classical. Then you get the best of both worlds either way.

My personal criteria in choosing a lesson book isn't so much how the material is presented or what concepts are emphasized over others because as I mentioned one can study concepts not emphasized in a method by other means, but my criteria is based on: Would I like the majority of the pieces in the book? Do most of the pieces have a nice sound as far as the way they are arranged? If one finds the majority of a lesson book unappealing in selection of pieces and sound of pieces, it might be worthwhile to try out a different method.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/31/07 11:32 AM

I bought the kasschau method from a neat music book store I found and I find it fetching. it's caught my eye, and I'm going to mess with it after I do my regular alfred's and fabers.

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/store/smp_detail.html?item=3164379&cart=33948708785549651

I also ordered these books, I can't wait to get them.

My teacher has mentioned looking for a supplemental piece for me but we haven't gotten one yet. maybe I'll find something nice in these books

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/store/smp_...l&item=16573844
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/31/07 01:47 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by sarabande:

Most methods tend to keep a person in 5-finger position so long that when it comes time to play notes outside of 5 finger position it can be tough to think outside that mode. Some of my younger students of elementary age have literally believed that all music stays within 5 finger positions if kept in music with 5 finger positions too long. Faber and Faber tries to compensate for this by adding some notes that stray out of position earlier on, although I've not taught from it. In looking at Faber and Faber, I feel it probably doesn't do this enough to make a huge difference in choosing it over other methods although many teachers really rave about using it. Many adult students seem to rave about using the Alfred's Adult method as well. [/b]
Some great info, thanks,

In regard to going outside the 5 finger position, I'm doing much more of that in the early part of Alfred book 2 and it is a chore to get it down. They keep referring it to the "extended position" They seem to have a plan with it and keep building this skill up as you go,

Mark
Posted by: sarabande

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/31/07 05:04 PM

Thanks,

Now that you mention it, on the 5 finger positions, the Alfred method does gradually work you past this without even realizing it so much and most of my students doing the Basic Piano Library of Alfred's (it follows basically the same concepts as the adult method just at slower pace and maybe some differences in pieces) by level 3 in that series, you wouldn't even know it had been a problem. The tougher thing especially comes when trying to do supplemental material that goes outside of 5 finger positions when a person is still on mostly 5 finger position pieces. For example, I had students doing level 1 in the "kids" version of Alfred's and then wanted to assign them a piece from a supplemental book in level 1 in Glover or Bastein or others, and then it was fairly tough the first 2 or 3 pieces of having to think outside of 5 finger positions. After that they started catching onto it. It may be worthwhile to try a few easier pieces that go a little bit outside of 5 finger early on as soon as one can read some notes before getting stuck in the "5 finger mode". Either way, one gets past that in time and as I said, it's only tough when trying to do supplemental music outside of the lesson book that goes outside of 5 finger. - It's probably quite a bit harder for kids to get this while adults could make the transition in thinking outside of 5 finger more readily.
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 07/31/07 05:34 PM

Whats the difference between Basic 1 and All-in-one?
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/01/07 01:46 PM

All in one has the theory in it as well and has more pieces to play.
Posted by: new_2_piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/01/07 04:47 PM

Thanks Loly and Choppin....
I had exactly the same question Choppin asked. Finally after reading all your suggestions I decided to rder Alfred's. I think I am at level 2, but anyway I ordered the All in One Level 1 book AND the Level 2 book from amazon yesterday.

However, I did not realize that the level 2 I purchased is the basic one so I guess I will retturn it.
Posted by: Betty Patnude

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/02/07 12:08 AM

Extentions make sense it you think of it as 2-3-4-5 moving away from a 5 Finger Position leaving one new white key "empty" as you move to:

6ths - C - EFGA
Posted by: Betty Patnude

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/02/07 12:21 AM

.....sorry, I accidently posted before being finished!

so...starting over with the explanations:

all fingering is RH 1-2-3-4-5

5ths - CDEFG - adjacent keys "full"
6ths - C-EFGA - Skip the "D" note C is 1, E is 2
7ths - C-FGAB - Skip the "D-E" notes F is 2
8ths - C-GABC - Skip the "D-E-F" notes G is

all fingering in LH is 5-4-3-2-1
5ths - CDEFG - adjacent keys "full"
6ths - C-EFGA - Skip the "D" note C is 5, E is 4
7ths - C-FGAB - Skip the "D-E" notes F is 4
8ths - C-GABC - Skip the "D-E-F" notes G is 4.

I like my student to know all 12 Major 5 Finger Positions, because we can learn to do inversions and arpeggios from knowing the Root Positions (Tonic Chords).

Also with the hand expansions above, students can read by interval, and know how many keys to leave out between the bottom note and the top note to have their hand span pre-measured to find the keys needed in the music.

I hope this make sense - you need a piano handy to test it out.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/03/07 06:11 PM

I sat at my piano this evening, fitted my headphones and switched on. I began to play "Cafe Vienna".. but the sound was awful, no volume and kind of distant and muffled, I adjusted the volume up, the treble and base, the reverb to no avail. I began to think something had gone untoward with my hearing. I persevered with my playing, trying several other songs but they sounded just as bad, then, disparingly, I glanced down and saw my headphone jack lying beneath the piano. Is it my age do you think? My wife had listened to me play and remarked how good it sounded, when I knew she could hear me playing it all went wrong.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/03/07 08:18 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by redcoat:
I sat at my piano this evening, fitted my headphones and switched on. I began to play "Cafe Vienna".. but the sound was awful, no volume and kind of distant and muffled, I adjusted the volume up, the treble and base, the reverb to no avail. I began to think something had gone untoward with my hearing. I persevered with my playing, trying several other songs but they sounded just as bad, then, disparingly, I glanced down and saw my headphone jack lying beneath the piano. Is it my age do you think? My wife had listened to me play and remarked how good it sounded, when I knew she could hear me playing it all went wrong. [/b]
I have the same problem. Can't play in front of anyone and lets not talk about my Red Dot fever... \:D But I did learn a trick to beat the Red Dot recently, well at least a little bit...
Posted by: Perplexed

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/04/07 05:17 AM

What is your secret to overcoming that red dot, is it something like putting an object in front of the dot so it's not visible?


And an update of my last couple of lessons. I tried playing "O Sole Mio" for my first time at the lesson, my worst attempt ever, with multi-second pauses while I try to reassure myself that I am pushing the correct key (even though I wasn't).

It seems to be another of those "Just needs repetition" songs like Little Brown Jug, as today it seems to be very manageable. Jericho wasn't too bad, so today my teacher let me move on and try Greensleeves, right hand only.

My teacher noticed that the song has a strange finger positioning throughout the song. Then she asked me if I want to try just playing right hand only, or both hands together. I wasn't about to take any chances, so I took the easy way out ("Easy" being relative in this case).

I must repeat: Practice, practice, practice.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/04/07 01:29 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Perplexed:
What is your secret to overcoming that red dot, is it something like putting an object in front of the dot so it's not visible?


And an update of my last couple of lessons. I tried playing "O Sole Mio" for my first time at the lesson, my worst attempt ever, with multi-second pauses while I try to reassure myself that I am pushing the correct key (even though I wasn't).

It seems to be another of those "Just needs repetition" songs like Little Brown Jug, as today it seems to be very manageable. Jericho wasn't too bad, so today my teacher let me move on and try Greensleeves, right hand only.

My teacher noticed that the song has a strange finger positioning throughout the song. Then she asked me if I want to try just playing right hand only, or both hands together. I wasn't about to take any chances, so I took the easy way out ("Easy" being relative in this case).

I must repeat: Practice, practice, practice. [/b]
"O Sole Mio" was one of the songs that gave me a ton of trouble. It was just at that point I started with my teacher and she fixed it right away. The song was on my not like list initially and now I play it at least once a day...go figure... \:D

As for the Red Dot trick, I set my recorder on and just let it go, after a while I forget its on and eventually get a decent recording and then edit out all the bad stuff that came before the good take...
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/07/07 12:43 PM

I've just arrived at, and got to grips with, the Blues Songs in Alfred's, not my kind of music but I'm going to treat them as exercises not to be skipped, I doubt I will add them to my future memorised reportoire. However, I researched some Piano Blues performances on You Tube and I think I could warm to that kind of music, I'll see.

I downloaded "Solitude" by David Nevue, a song I think I can tackle at my level, I'm disappointed there's no indication of fingering but I think I can work something out for myself with a slow, simple, song like that. I wonder if the reason there's Piano sheet music around without fingering is because they use computer software to write the music and it doesn't put in the fingering?
Posted by: grandkey

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/07/07 11:14 PM

I just got back from a short break (I had a school project to finish up and then I went on vacation). Anyways, I'm surprised that I didn't lose any skill. I actually improved on a few things actually.

I was playing Blow The Man Down and I played it pretty well. I was pretty surprised that a few things felt like they were on automatic. It was a weird (but very good) feeling.

Anyways, I just wanted to pop my head in and report where I'm at. I'm sure I'll have a question soon enough.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/07/07 11:37 PM

Originally posted by: grandkey
 Quote:
just got back from a short break (I had a school project to finish up and then I went on vacation). Anyways, I'm surprised that I didn't lose any skill. I actually improved on a few things actually.[/b]
Hi grandkey, your right, I'm not sure why but I get the same thing, I take a break, I sit down at the piano and stuff which as previously had me lost just falls into place...I'm not complaining...I guess it must be the learning process.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/08/07 07:05 AM

Hi
I've just started Amazing Grace and wondering if I will ever find the speed to make those triplets with arpeggiated chords. In fact I am wondering if I will ever be able to play arpeggiated chords when I am supposed to, though I have no problems playing them when I'm not. I am finding it quite hard to bring the latter pieces up to speed. I bought Book 2 yesterday. Should I move on, keeping these later pieces under review, and trust that speed is something that will creep up on me? I'm still not sure that Alfred is quite my cup of tea, but I am happy to give the second book a go.

Redcoat, I wasn't impressed with the Blues songs till I read the welcome advice, from Sarabande I think, to think galloping horse. That little note at the foot of the page suddenly made sense and now I enjoy those pieces. If I could only say the same for Little Brown Jug....

I found this quite helpful for The Entertainer. LH is not quite the same as in Alfred, but I think it's close enough. I like the speed it is played at \:D It is listed under Level 3


http://www.gmajormusictheory.org/Freebies/freebies.html#Level%203
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/08/07 08:06 AM

Would you say it is bad to rush through the early parts of this book?

I started learning about 8 months ago. Had a big 5 month break and have now got back to it, but I got the CD since. While before I spent time trying to figure out how the songs sounds because I was doing complete sight reading and didn't have a clue how the song *should* sound. I guess this might be bad practice but it was a major turn off.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/08/07 02:54 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sundew:
Hi
I've just started Amazing Grace and wondering if I will ever find the speed to make those triplets with arpeggiated chords. In fact I am wondering if I will ever be able to play arpeggiated chords when I am supposed to, though I have no problems playing them when I'm not. I am finding it quite hard to bring the latter pieces up to speed. I bought Book 2 yesterday. Should I move on, keeping these later pieces under review, and trust that speed is something that will creep up on me? I'm still not sure that Alfred is quite my cup of tea, but I am happy to give the second book a go.

http://www.gmajormusictheory.org/Freebies/freebies.html#Level%203 [/b]
I've been in book 2 for about 6 weeks and I just recent have Amazing Grace up to speed. I go back into book one everyday and play pieces that I like or that give me trouble. I feel if you work on the stuff that drivers you nuts, then in time it makes you that much better. Give Grace some time, you will succeed!!

Mark
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/09/07 10:03 PM

Hi Mark and thanks for the encouragement. I think you may well be right about the nutty stuff lol. I had all but shelved Alfred just before I found this forum. This thread and your enthusiasm inspired me to give him another airing. \:\) I finally realised tonight that my timing for 'whole world in his hands' is somewhat off. I was playing what my mind told me from knowing the song, and not what was written.
I've bought the all in one book 2, having wished I had done so for book 1. I had a go at the first one, and even though Loly and you had mentioned it was easy,it was a pleasant surprise to find how well I managed it.
I hope you are enjoying Book 2.
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/10/07 04:14 AM

Help. Help.

I'm going through Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Adult All-in-One Course and I ran into a dilly of a pickle. On page 60, the book shows how you should play G Major and D7 chords for the right hand. I find the D7 chord's fingering a bit strange...

When I was still in the class, my teacher said to never use your thumb to play the black keys unless it's absolutely necessary. Is this an exception?

The book says to place the thumb on F#, 4 on C and 5 on D. This forces my hand in a strange position.

However, I find that sliding my pinky and ring finger (well, my whole hand actually) to the upper part of the keys feels more natural, but the transition feels a bit slow. Is this how it should be done?
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/10/07 06:12 PM

I just received All-in-one book 1 today. I already have Basic book 1 but it was cheap so I thought what the hell. I hope it is a worthy upgrade.
Posted by: Mario Ajero

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/10/07 07:34 PM

Hi Tuan,

You should try to avoid using the thumb on black keys particularly in scale-like passages.

In cases like this with the G to the D7 chord in the right hand, yes, the thumb is probably the best finger to use on the F#.

Just a couple things: try not to twist your hand to get the thumb on the black key. If you feel some tension or pain on the outside of your forearm while you're playing this chord, then you're definitely doing something wrong.

As you said, play your 4th and 5th fingers higher on the C and D (on the skinny part of the white keys), to naturally fit the contour of your hand. Your thumb should just play on the edge of the F# black key.

Switching back and forth between G & D7 might feel like you're doing more work than usual. I usually tell my students to play the G chord higher than you normally would play it so you're using as minimal movement as possible.

Hope that made sense and helps!

 Quote:
Originally posted by Tuan Vo:
Help. Help.

I'm going through Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Adult All-in-One Course and I ran into a dilly of a pickle. On page 60, the book shows how you should play G Major and D7 chords for the right hand. I find the D7 chord's fingering a bit strange...

When I was still in the class, my teacher said to never use your thumb to play the black keys unless it's absolutely necessary. Is this an exception?

The book says to place the thumb on F#, 4 on C and 5 on D. This forces my hand in a strange position.

However, I find that sliding my pinky and ring finger (well, my whole hand actually) to the upper part of the keys feels more natural, but the transition feels a bit slow. Is this how it should be done? [/b]
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/10/07 08:21 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sundew:
Hi Mark and thanks for the encouragement. I think you may well be right about the nutty stuff lol. I had all but shelved Alfred just before I found this forum. This thread and your enthusiasm inspired me to give him another airing. \:\) I finally realised tonight that my timing for 'whole world in his hands' is somewhat off. I was playing what my mind told me from knowing the song, and not what was written.
I've bought the all in one book 2, having wished I had done so for book 1. I had a go at the first one, and even though Loly and you had mentioned it was easy,it was a pleasant surprise to find how well I managed it.
I hope you are enjoying Book 2. [/b]
Thanks for the kind words! I think it's important that we support each other in our quest to play piano. Its a great challenge and can be difficult, and after failing at this in the past, I now believe it will happen to all those that try hard and don't let the bumps throw you too much. It's quite amazing when you get those little growth spurts and become just a little better. So hang in there and in time we will make it...

And book two is going well, I'm enjoying the larger pieces and the growth I'm seeing.

Stay the course my friend...

Mark
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 01:16 AM

Tuan Vo asked:

 Quote:
However, I find that sliding my pinky and ring finger (well, my whole hand actually) to the upper part of the keys feels more natural, but the transition feels a bit slow. Is this how it should be done?
Great question!

Yes, you're right on. Sliding your hand into the keys allows your thumb to reach the black key without twisting your hand or wrist. It does feel a bit strange at first, but soon your hand will adjust and the movement to achieve that chord will come naturally.

Everyone's hands are different, and finding the optimal positions for your hands on any given song is part of the learning process. Make sure you don't allow tension to creep into your hands, wrists, shoulders, and back -- you are trying to push those keys without any unneccesary tension or exertion.

Someone else asked about fingerings on sheet music (sorry, my memory has eluded me!).

Generally, unless you're inside a piano curriculum or specific editions of songs made for learning, you won't find finger numbers.

Fingering is somewhat subjective. There are, of course, standard patterns and fingerings (think arpeggios, scales, and common chord voicings), but the goal is to play as efficiently as possible. It can actually be a good challenge to work out fingering for yourself! Then, have a teacher (or more advanced pianist) give you tips and ideas.

When looking for fingerings, you'll start to notice patterns in the music, where on the keyboard your hands spend time, where notes fall into easy reach, and where you have to make a shift. Learning fingering on your own in this way can actually help you learn the piece -- because you're kind of excavating the notes for yourself.

Happy practicing!

Kim
(Who must have loaned her Alfred's books out and not gotten them back, can't find 'em anywhere!)
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 04:48 AM

Thanks Mario!

Thanks Kim!

You both gave great advice. No wonder you both have a 5-star rating! You get my vote too. \:D

Tuan
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 10:39 AM

Ok since I have All-in-One and the CD I am now back into learning piano.

I learning The Cuckoo. Just to confirm on the first line I am not supposed to hold the G and D7 chords down until the next bar right? Thats what the ties on the second line are for?

I know this is basic but I have forgotten a lot since I had a long break.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 11:31 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Choppin':
Ok since I have All-in-One and the CD I am now back into learning piano.

I learning The Cuckoo. Just to confirm on the first line I am not supposed to hold the G and D7 chords down until the next bar right? Thats what the ties on the second line are for?

I know this is basic but I have forgotten a lot since I had a long break. [/b]
You are correct. And on the second line you hold the cords for the addition measures as you indicated.

If you want I can record it for you.

Mark
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 12:18 PM

yes please!!

One thing that annoys me about the Alfred CD is that there is too many other instruments.
Posted by: Mario Ajero

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 02:05 PM

Alfred also made MIDI recordings of all the pieces in the All-in-One series. I couldn't find it on their website, but I found where you can purchase them from piano-pal.com .

MIDI is advantageous in that you can:
1. Turn off the accompanying tracks if you want
2. Speed up or slow down the piece to whatever tempo

The sound quality is going to depend on what type of MIDI output instrument that you use.

You can also use MIDI files in software programs like Home Concert Xtreme or Synthesia .

 Quote:
Originally posted by Choppin':
yes please!!

One thing that annoys me about the Alfred CD is that there is too many other instruments. [/b]
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 03:19 PM

I always wondered where to get the MIDIs. But those prices are far too high! Thanks for the links though.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 06:22 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Choppin':
yes please!!

One thing that annoys me about the Alfred CD is that there is too many other instruments. [/b]
Here is The Cuckoo:

http://www.box.net/shared/6xs2dqmco8

Disclaimer...I'm a beginner too... \:D
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 06:40 PM

 Quote:
One thing that annoys me about the Alfred CD is that there is too many other instruments.[/b]
Hi Choppin, The CD is recorded in stereo, so if you can turn off either one of your speakers, or one side of your headphones, you can hear the accompaniment or the piano part which you play in Alfreds.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 06:41 PM

 Quote:
One thing that annoys me about the Alfred CD is that there is too many other instruments.[/b]
Hi Choppin, The CD is recorded in stereo, so if you can turn off either one of your speakers, or one side of your headphones, you can hear the accompaniment or the piano part which you play in Alfreds.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 06:42 PM

Sorry, double post above.
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 07:38 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by redcoat:
 Quote:
One thing that annoys me about the Alfred CD is that there is too many other instruments.[/b]
Hi Choppin, The CD is recorded in stereo, so if you can turn off either one of your speakers, or one side of your headphones, you can hear the accompaniment or the piano part which you play in Alfreds. [/b]
Oh my god!!!!

Thats excellent. Thanks redcoat ;\)
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 07:41 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Choppin':
yes please!!

One thing that annoys me about the Alfred CD is that there is too many other instruments. [/b]
Here is The Cuckoo:

http://www.box.net/shared/6xs2dqmco8

Disclaimer...I'm a beginner too... \:D [/b]
Nice recording there Mark \:\) But now Im even more confused.

On the CD, you can clearly hear the chords are being held down until the next bar. What do the dots next to the notes mean?
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 07:57 PM

Heres my recording

http://www.box.net/shared/hmh4a12brl

Can anyone tell me if I am playing it correctly? I know the timing is a bit off. I got totally nervous when recording lol.
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 08:13 PM

Dots next to notes means you hold them longer. You play them 1 and a half duration of the notes original value.

For example, half a 1/4 note is an 1/8 note, so when you see a 1/4 note with a dot, you hold it in duration of a 1/4 note plus an 1/8 note.

Or if you like multiplication terms, a dot simply means you hold down the key 1.5 times it's normal value.

Here is a guide:

1/2 note (with dot) = 1/2 note plus a 1/4

1/4 note (with dot) = 1/4 note plus an 8th

8th note (with dot) = 8th note plus a 16th note
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 08:53 PM

Thanks Tuan Vo. I will have to get my head around that \:D

I wish I didn't take a break from piano, I have forgotten a lot of the theory. Then again I don't think Alfred mentioned what these dots are.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 09:35 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Choppin':
Thanks Tuan Vo. I will have to get my head around that \:D

I wish I didn't take a break from piano, I have forgotten a lot of the theory. Then again I don't think Alfred mentioned what these dots are. [/b]
Your recording was good. You just need hold some of the notes a little longer. If you work on the note values as Tuan Vo demonstarted it would help a lot.

The dots mean to hold the note (what ever it is) an extra half of its value.

Some of our online teachers will stop by and give you some more detailed info I'm sure...
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/11/07 11:03 PM

Thanks for the tips. I will continue to work on it.

I have created a new blog to track my progress.

http://girliehands.wordpress.com/

Its a good way to keep myself disciplined, as I tend to lose interest in things. I am determined to stick with the piano now though!

Also anyone who doesn't have the Alfred CD can download my recordings as I go along I guess.
Posted by: Nin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/12/07 09:28 AM

Following the recommendations of this forum, I ordered Alfred's book level 1 approximately 2 weeks ago. I have already a very basic piano experience, so I went through the book easily. I found that the way Alfred teaching on how to memorize the chords "in blocks" is very good (it saves so much time when reading!). However, the songs in the book are not that amazing (in my humble opinion), maybe cause they're almost all in C-major. Anyway, it took me some discipline to sit at least 30 min/day these last 2-weeks.

Well, I have a couple of questions:

1.-When I play the songs of the book, I try only to "read" and not to memorize the songs. Then, after a couple of times, after checking that everything went OK, I give up and go further. Another additional problem is that once I know the song, I do not read more, cause my fingers goes to the right keys by "feeling". Are these things OK or should I focus more in the technique?

2.- A small problem came when I practice the 6hts (exercise 57: Lone Start Waltz[/b]). Playing without looking to the piano was OK till now, but now "jumping" in 6ths is more difficult (for example for bar 8 to 9) and it does not work that nice. Should I have a look to the keys, or do I have only to read a little bit in advance an in this time look at the keyboard?

I read that 6th are very common in the classic music, therefore I would like to learn them properly.

Thank you very much for your help!
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/12/07 10:08 AM

Thanks for the comment on my blog Nin \:\)

I am working on the Harp Song. I am finding it difficult playing the D7 chord with my right hand. The book suggests to use the thumb to play the F# note. However it is most uncomfortable! I find it easier to use my index finger.

Is it ok to use the index? Or should I really be using the thumb?

I know some things are going to be uncomfortable and might be something I need to get used to. But this just feels downright unnatural!

EDIT: hmm silly me. I always thought to play the note at the bottom of the key. I guess if I use 4&5 horizontal to the bottom of the F# key its fine.
Posted by: Nin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/12/07 10:25 AM

Hi Choppin,

Hope you are doing OK with Alfred's. Do you plan to buy the level 2 when you finish level 1?

The Gymnopedias of Erik Satie are very good to learn to use the damper pedal. They are easy too. Just let me know and I could send you some.

By the way, do you do the mp3s with the computer?
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/12/07 10:33 AM

Hi Nin,

I tried to learn Gymnopedias before. I can play it the lazy way. But having to constantly move the left arm up and down the keys was too difficult for me! Maybe I will give it a go now.

I have the sheet music already, it came with my piano. Thanks though.

I'm not sure if I will go with level 2. As you said the music is not terribly exciting. I would rather just stick to classical for now. Hopefully when I find a teacher he/she can advise on which book I will continue with.

Yep I record with a rubbish PC mic and convert it to MP3.
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/12/07 02:03 PM

Harp Song - http://www.box.net/shared/glr6qtaxmc

Blog updated http://girliehands.wordpress.com/2007/08/12/broken-chords-and-the-damper-pedal/
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/12/07 06:46 PM

I was confused with the pedaling for Harp Song. Are you suppose to let go of the pedal and step on the pedal again between every grand staff? Or are you suppose to hold down the pedal throughout the whole song?
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/12/07 07:03 PM

There is that line underneath the staff.

So if we look at Harp Song specifically:

Hold pedal for (in bars)

4
4
4
2,2

So basically whenever you change chord.
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/12/07 07:12 PM

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. Thanks a lot!

I didn't think of it like that (changing of chords). That really cleared things up. I was really wondering what was the purpose of letting go of the pedal just to step on it again a split millisecond later...
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/12/07 07:19 PM

Yup. If you just hold it all the way through, I guess its just going to get a wall of sound and won't be nice to listen to.

I have a question too, you are supposed to hold the first key of every 2 bars right?

Thats what I did in my recording anyway.
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/12/07 09:34 PM

I don't think you are suppose to hold them. The tie across all of the notes means you play it legato, so it's just a smooth transition (notes played in unbroken succession) of notes. You achieve this by releasing the current key after pressing the next key to give it an unbroken transition... Or at least that's how I see it.

Also, since you're using the pedal to sustain the notes, you don't have to hold onto the key anyway.
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/13/07 02:43 AM

Hi everyone! Looks like you're all practicing well!

Nin asked a couple of questions:

 Quote:
Well, I have a couple of questions:

1.-When I play the songs of the book, I try only to "read" and not to memorize the songs. Then, after a couple of times, after checking that everything went OK, I give up and go further. Another additional problem is that once I know the song, I do not read more, cause my fingers goes to the right keys by "feeling". Are these things OK or should I focus more in the technique?

2.- A small problem came when I practice the 6hts (exercise 57: Lone Start Waltz). Playing without looking to the piano was OK till now, but now "jumping" in 6ths is more difficult (for example for bar 8 to 9) and it does not work that nice. Should I have a look to the keys, or do I have only to read a little bit in advance an in this time look at the keyboard?
#1 - It's completely natural that your hands "learn" what to play, and that you don't need to focus so much on reading the notes as you did when you first learned the song. If by technique, you mean learning to read music more smoothly and better, there are various things you can do! For instance, download free sheet music, and sit and name notes out loud! You can do this even with advanced music. Being away from the piano and reading the notes will force you to focus *just* on reading, and not on sound.

#2 - It's also natural to look at your hands during transitions and leaps. The ability to move over the keyboard without looking, when you're skipping around, comes from deep familiarity with the keyboard. In other words, time! Of course it helps to practice not looking, and you don't want to be staring at your hands all the time, but looking to make sure you've moved the correct distance is quite OK.

In fact, I'd say it's more than OK, it's necessary. You want to build correct repetition on top of correct repetition so your brain and hands learn how far away the keys are from each other. If you just guess, force yourself to not look, you'll make more mistakes, so it will take you longer to learn!

I discovered that I must have loaned out my Alfred's books -- and never gotten them back!! I'm going to re-purchase them.

Question for you all:

Would it be helpful if I recorded the songs, and gave my "teaching hints" for each of them? I could put them on my website (or my blog).

Let me know! I've been thinking about it and if it would be useful, I'll do it.

I'll be on vacation for the next 2 weeks (but I'll check in every so often) -- so this would be more like a September endeavor. Maybe I could start at the beginning of each of the books and do a few songs at a time, so that those on level 2 wouldn't have to wait for me to finish level one.

Just an idea!

Musically,

Kim
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/13/07 03:40 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PianoTeacherKim:
Hi everyone! Looks like you're all practicing well!

Question for you all:

Would it be helpful if I recorded the songs, and gave my "teaching hints" for each of them? I could put them on my website (or my blog).

Let me know! I've been thinking about it and if it would be useful, I'll do it.

I'll be on vacation for the next 2 weeks (but I'll check in every so often) -- so this would be more like a September endeavor. Maybe I could start at the beginning of each of the books and do a few songs at a time, so that those on level 2 wouldn't have to wait for me to finish level one.

Just an idea!

Musically,

Kim [/b]
I think that would be great Kim. Anything that gives us more information is excellent. We would appreciate anything you can add. And don't forget the book 2 and book 3 people... \:D

Mark

PS: Have a great vacation
Posted by: Perplexed

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/13/07 04:32 AM

I second that. A most excellent idea, Kim. Thank you (and enjoy your vacation in the meantime).

And in one month I'll hopefully be one of those book 2 people.

I'm up to "Raisins and Almonds" now, it's a little tricky since I've never heard the song before (The previous song "Scarborough Fair" was easier because I've heard the Simon and Garfunkel version).

Although I'm a little worried since now there's only one more song between the current song and "The Entertainer", which is intimidating and foreboding to me for the simple fact that it is The Entertainer (Gives me a kind of "I'm expected to play this?" feeling).

But then, if the progress brick walls of "O Sole Mio" and "Blow The Man Down" can be overcome, The Entertainer should be as well, I hope.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/13/07 04:53 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Perplexed:
I second that. A most excellent idea, Kim. Thank you (and enjoy your vacation in the meantime).

And in one month I'll hopefully be one of those book 2 people.

I'm up to "Raisins and Almonds" now, it's a little tricky since I've never heard the song before (The previous song "Scarborough Fair" was easier because I've heard the Simon and Garfunkel version).

Although I'm a little worried since now there's only one more song between the current song and "The Entertainer", which is intimidating and foreboding to me for the simple fact that it is The Entertainer (Gives me a kind of "I'm expected to play this?" feeling).

But then, if the progress brick walls of "O Sole Mio" and "Blow The Man Down" can be overcome, The Entertainer should be as well, I hope. [/b]
Scarborough Fair still gives me trouble, I really like "Raisins and Almonds", and you will find the Alfred version of the Entertainer pretty easy. When you play it you actually feel like your a piano player...

Enjoy the journey...book two is right around the corner...

Here's Rasisins and Almonds on You Tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG_Bro_6tLw

Mark
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/13/07 07:27 AM

Although I'm up in the Blues songs in Alfred's Book 1, and playing other songs at the same level outside of Alfred's, there is one song which I have to keep going back to which causes me grief....LULLABY on page 95. I can't understand why because on observation it looks a simple arrangement, I'm going to spend whatever time is necessary to get that song down before I move on, I can't let a cradle song beat me.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/13/07 12:48 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by redcoat:
Although I'm up in the Blues songs in Alfred's Book 1, and playing other songs at the same level outside of Alfred's, there is one song which I have to keep going back to which causes me grief....LULLABY on page 95. I can't understand why because on observation it looks a simple arrangement, I'm going to spend whatever time is necessary to get that song down before I move on, I can't let a cradle song beat me. [/b]
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger...lol I have had a few like that, particularly Top of Old Smokey which I final beat after many attempts..

Great attitude that will pay off in time...

Mark
Posted by: Nin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/13/07 02:33 PM

Thank you very much for your answer Kim,

Of course I support your idea, specially about the "teaching hints". I think this is the most valuable thing.

I will go soon through the level 2, but I would not mind to repeat the level 1 again with your hints!
Posted by: PMcG316

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/14/07 07:52 PM

Hi everyone, I am also doing Alfred's beginning book, the name's Pat. I am currently at "Little Brown Jug" and finding it to be a little bit more difficult than the last 5 or 6 pages, but I know that's to be expected.

I thought I'd post a few recordings and see if anyone could offer some critiques. I am self-teaching so any input would be great!

P.S I am using a keyboard, as I don't have piano at this time!

Joy to the World

The Can Can
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/14/07 08:28 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PMcG316:
Hi everyone, I am also doing Alfred's beginning book, the name's Pat. I am currently at "Little Brown Jug" and finding it to be a little bit more difficult than the last 5 or 6 pages, but I know that's to be expected.

I thought I'd post a few recordings and see if anyone could offer some critiques. I am self-teaching so any input would be great!

P.S I am using a keyboard, as I don't have piano at this time!

Joy to the World

The Can Can [/b]
Hi PMcG316,
We have to get you a proper name...lol

Welcome to Piano World and the Alfred thread. Seems like you are progressing nicely. Your songs sounded very nice. Keep up the good work.

Mark
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/15/07 08:52 PM

I hit my first challenging piece today - Beautiful Brown Eyes. New chord, usage of the damper pedal. It was like the beginners worst nightmare lol

I was really struggling at first. But I managed to do it ok in the end. But I listened to the CD after and its too fast nooooo!

http://girliehands.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/omg-my-hands/
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/15/07 09:48 PM

How fast is it? I bought the book without a CD, so all of the songs I've played so far are my own interpretation...

I listened to your recording. I played it just as fast as you do.
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/15/07 09:51 PM

The version on the CD is slooooow.

My second recording is a bit slower than the first but its kinda in between.
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/15/07 10:21 PM

Ohhhh. I completely misunderstood your other post. I thought you meant the CD version was too fast and that you couldn't keep up with it.

I'm certainly glad that's not the case. \:D
Posted by: imdonald

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/16/07 08:08 PM

Mark and all,

Last week I took delivery of my new piano, and started right off with Alfred's level 1 book. I bought all three, so I'm committed now. So far, so good.

I'm with Choppin', now trying to master Beautiful Brown Eyes. I like the books quite a bit. As for the CDs, I wish they just played the piano without the accompanying strings and whatnot. I find the extra music distracting.

I will begin formal lessons later in September when my instructor returns from vacation.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/16/07 10:32 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by imdonald:
Mark and all,

Last week I took delivery of my new piano, and started right off with Alfred's level 1 book. I bought all three, so I'm committed now. So far, so good.

I'm with Choppin', now trying to master Beautiful Brown Eyes. I like the books quite a bit. As for the CDs, I wish they just played the piano without the accompanying strings and whatnot. I find the extra music distracting.

I will begin formal lessons later in September when my instructor returns from vacation. [/b]
Congrats on the new piano and your pursuit to learning to play. If you go to my first post in this thread there are a few links to some of the songs in book one. (I think they might be for the CD though)Nevertheless if you need a certain song, I'm sure we can get it uploaded for you or at least dig it up on You Tube which is a great resource. When you get your teacher, he or she will also demo it for you for sure. So welcome aboard, stay the course, and although you will hit some rough spots at times, if you stick with it you will succeed.

Mark

PS: Nice piano (Stated like the little boy in the Verizon commercial) \:D
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/16/07 10:39 PM

If anyone has a clean recording of any of the Alfred pieces, I'd love to link them on the first page as a resource for others.

Thanks Mark
Posted by: Choppin'

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/16/07 10:57 PM

Welcome imdonald! Always a pleasure to see someone join the adventure.

As redcoat[/b] had mentioned earlier in this thread, the piano is recorded on the right channel. So either unplug the left speaker or pan it all the way right and tada! solo piano.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/17/07 06:26 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by PianoTeacherKim:

Question for you all:

Would it be helpful if I recorded the songs, and gave my "teaching hints" for each of them? I could put them on my website (or my blog).

Let me know! I've been thinking about it and if it would be useful, I'll do it.


Kim, that's a lovely suggestion. Yes please! \:D
Hope you have a great holiday.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/17/07 06:43 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Tuan Vo:
[QB] How fast is it? I bought the book without a CD, so all of the songs I've played so far are my own interpretation...

As a beginner, with no CD, I've thought, from time to time, that a metronome indication in the book of the tempo we should be aiming for in each piece, would have been useful. I suspect some of my endeavours are too slow rather than too fast.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/17/07 06:55 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger...lol I have had a few like that, particularly Top of Old Smokey which I final beat after many attempts..

Great attitude that will pay off in time...

Mark [/QB]
I'm busy lifting weights! ;\) Top of Old Smokey was one of the easiest pieces for me. I still can't get my head and hands around that Brown Jug. In fact, I have been tempted to dash it to the floor and smash it to smithereens. LOL

I see you have lost your wings Mark..... :p Well done on your recital piece, I really enjoyed listening to it. It had me thinking that I should be breaking out of the method books. However, I've just acquired the Faber Adult Piano Adventures and am delaying further forays into Alfred Book 2 until I've been through the Faber. Or get bored.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/17/07 02:12 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sundew:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark737:
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger...lol I have had a few like that, particularly Top of Old Smokey which I final beat after many attempts..

Great attitude that will pay off in time...

Mark [/b]
I'm busy lifting weights! ;\) Top of Old Smokey was one of the easiest pieces for me. I still can't get my head and hands around that Brown Jug. In fact, I have been tempted to dash it to the floor and smash it to smithereens. LOL

I see you have lost your wings Mark..... :p Well done on your recital piece, I really enjoyed listening to it. It had me thinking that I should be breaking out of the method books. However, I've just acquired the Faber Adult Piano Adventures and am delaying further forays into Alfred Book 2 until I've been through the Faber. Or get bored. [/QB]
Thanks for the kind words. That was one of my side project pieces to keep me happy while I do the Alfred method. Even though I'm enjoying many of the book 2 songs.

When you finish book one and enter book two I believe you get what I like to call a growth spurt. All of a sudden your playing larger fuller more complicated pieces and you actually feel like a piano player.

Its funny, but Brown Jug wasn't to bad for me if I recall, but Smokey was a problem just up until recently. I kept going back to it because I wasn't going to let it beat me...lol
Posted by: imdonald

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/18/07 01:33 AM

Choppin' - Thank you for the tip ... tada, solo piano \:\)
Posted by: ninja8701

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/18/07 03:51 AM

This is really a beginner question since I'm only on page 35 of book one with CD. There are two songs on the page that require going back and forth from c major to g7. My teacher told me to keep my thumb on g when reaching for b. I'm doing this but find that my wrist gets sore after 10 or 15 minutes.

I'm trying to relax my left hand and haven't really had any problems with my wrist since high school. That was the last time I fractured my left wrist but it has been fractured 3 times. Anyway, is this the only way by keeping the thumb on g? Is there another way? I wonder if this will affect me later when there are further stretches required but I hope not.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/18/07 05:12 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ninja8701:
This is really a beginner question since I'm only on page 35 of book one with CD. There are two songs on the page that require going back and forth from c major to g7. My teacher told me to keep my thumb on g when reaching for b. I'm doing this but find that my wrist gets sore after 10 or 15 minutes.

[/b]
I don't have the all in one book, what are the songs names? In my version its the Cuckoo only on page 35.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/18/07 06:07 AM

Hi Mark & Ninja, The two songs are "Merrily we roll along" & "Largo". I just tried the two chords on my piano and had no difficulty at all, I hardly had to stretch. That could be due to practicing and playing Hanon exercises, etc. perhaps. I can stretch easily across nine white keys with my right hand anyway. Ninja, it may be worth talking to your teacher, perhaps you are stretching too much when it's not necessary.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/18/07 07:14 AM

Hi Ninja. I found it was the back of my hands that hurt a bit when I started but that has improved. I don't move my wrist for those 2 chords, I extend my little pinkie down a key and keep the back of the hand horizontal. Are you rolling the wrist over slightly or is it just the movement of the fingers causing the problem? Do you give your hands short rests? I shake mine out from time to time.
I can extend my hand over an octave but I do feel the stretch of the fingers in the wrist of my RH.

I gained the impression from the Barratt book that we should keep our wrists still. I would appreciate advice on that. \:\)
Posted by: ninja8701

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/18/07 01:44 PM

Ok, thanks. I tried this with my right hand with no problems. I think alot of it is I rarely use my left hand and it is really uncoordinated and I notice the left hand gets tense even though I try to relax. So I have to use muscles I never had to before. It did help a little to keep my wrist parallel. I'll just keep doing it and practice that movement with my left hand until it becomes second nature. Again, thanks.
Posted by: ninja8701

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/18/07 02:06 PM

Ok, I think I've figured out what I'm doing. I hope I'm not over analyzing such a simple move but when I go from c major to g7, I do reach out with my pinky and it straightens out a bit. When I go back to c major, I get the pain because I hit that chord from then on with my pinky still straightened out instead of going back with it curved. This causes alot of pressure on my hand/wrist because I have to put more pressure on my pinky to hit c. It's awkward for me but I need to work on hitting c major as I do the first time with my pinky curved.
Posted by: ninja8701

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/18/07 09:54 PM

Ok, last post on this. Now I feel silly cause it's no problem now. I need to give these things some time. A couple of hours and the coordination came without pain. Shaking out the hands helped.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/20/07 07:26 AM

Glad to hear of the improvement Ninja.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/20/07 07:28 AM

I am struggling with the triplet tempos in Amazing Grace. I wonder if someone would be so kind as to post either an example or the whole song. It would be much appreciated.
Posted by: Nin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/27/07 07:23 PM

Hi there,

after a month of daily practice, I am almost done with the first book of the Alfred's series. I found the book very useful, and interesting for people like me, who has some gaps in music theory and technique.

I realized that the book 1 only deals with the C-Major, G-Major, F-major, A-minor and D-minor scales (the rest are in the books 2/3, I guess). After practicing the songs of the book referring these scales, it came out that I know the songs almost by heart (or at least I know how they sound). So, it makes no more sense to practice sight reading with these songs, because now I play by hearing, and not by reading :S

I would like to practice more these scales (and the chords involved in it) . Would anybody recommend me some other books or songs?

I am just waiting for the books 2 and 3 to come to Germany (2/3 weeks...).

thank you ALL in advance.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/28/07 06:45 AM

I'm presently just getting "Why am I Blue" down in Bk1 and I'm aiming for "Entertainer" in a month or so, providing nothing happens to interrupt my practicing, although, I prefer to call it playing rather than practicing. One thing I'm noticing in Alfred's Bk1 is there is a far greater emphasis on chord make up and building and not so much on counting notes. thankfully I still remember how to count note patterns from my Guitar playing days. You can hit a number of wrong notes, or chords, and still get the gist of a song providing you get the counting right, if you get the counting wrong the song will sound like something completely different. It's most useful when playing a song from sheet which you've never heard before. Just my thoughts to keep the thread going.
Posted by: Nin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/28/07 03:15 PM

Hi Redcoat,

I completely agree with you. Alfred's book emphasize chord formation, and I really appreciate this approach, because it helped me to improve my reading of the left hand. However, There's one song about patterns in the Alfred book 1, called "oh solle mio" if I recall it properly. Anyway, ...I never tried to count note patterns , I only try to play what's on the sheet.

Just waiting the delivery of books 2 and 3... I guess they will emphasize more on patterns and rhythms and new scales.
Posted by: pumphead

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 08/29/07 01:35 PM

could someone upload it for me please??
i can't find the book...
*sorry...*
Posted by: Perplexed

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/01/07 04:46 AM

Surprised me, "The Entertainer" is quite doable, with the exception of that one tricky measure on the second page. It's nothing some more practice won't fix, though.

But I like its "Not Fast!" tempo. I can brag to my teacher and say "I can finally play a song at its indicated tempo".

Now, just a little more practice with Amazing Grace (for now I'll call it "Amazingly Hard"), and I can join in on the book 2 thread.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/01/07 06:30 AM

Originally posted by pumphead:
 Quote:
could someone upload it for me please??
i can't find the book...
*sorry...*
Hi pumphead, I think we may have missed what you are looking for, could you be more explicit please?
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/01/07 07:08 AM

I hope I'm not making a mistake. I started getting impatient and flipped through the book. I found Scarborough Fair (which is around 50 pages ahead from where I should be) and just started practicing it. It's such a nice song and I want to learn it before resuming the book. The pedaling is fun too.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/01/07 01:00 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Tuan Vo:
I hope I'm not making a mistake. I started getting impatient and flipped through the book. I found Scarborough Fair (which is around 50 pages ahead from where I should be) and just started practicing it. It's such a nice song and I want to learn it before resuming the book. The pedaling is fun too. [/b]
I guess it's not a problem unless you never go back and do the preceding pages. I like to let the series play out and let the program work at building my skills. Some songs build you up for the next piece so you can be missing some info if you jump ahead...
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/01/07 01:03 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Perplexed:
Surprised me, "The Entertainer" is quite doable, with the exception of that one tricky measure on the second page. It's nothing some more practice won't fix, though.

But I like its "Not Fast!" tempo. I can brag to my teacher and say "I can finally play a song at its indicated tempo".

Now, just a little more practice with Amazing Grace (for now I'll call it "Amazingly Hard"), and I can join in on the book 2 thread. [/b]
The end of the top line on the second page going to second line. Thats the only real tough measures. It sounds pretty darn good too. I play it every day.
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/07/07 04:57 AM

Huzzah! I got back on track, picking up where I left off in the book.

I have just slain "Beautiful Brown Eyes" and "Alpine Melody" in one sitting.

I really enjoy pedalling now. \:D

Oh.. and I had to use the search function to revive this thread. Huzzah!
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/07/07 11:19 AM

good for you tuan, I didn't like pedaling until I read one of my methods that explained it in detail.

Up until then I didn't know you had to hit the note first then bring the pedal down.

Can these posts be stickied? It would be nice
Posted by: Perplexed

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/09/07 03:24 AM

Mark: Yes, that's the trouble spot. It still causes a small amount of problems, but it's quite manageable. For being an easy version of the song, it does have a great sound to it.

While waiting for the newest lesson (which was yesterday), I went through the second half of book #1 and tried playing each song. It's surprising how I've gained progress since starting the book.

I could play almost every song correctly the first time without any real problems, other than Amazing Grace (of course), and Little Brown Jug (surprised me).

And although I now have Book #2, I'll definitely continue to practice from Book #1 if only to get all the songs up to par.
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/09/07 03:29 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Oxfords Gal:
Up until then I didn't know you had to hit the note first then bring the pedal down.
[/b]
Wow. I didn't know that either. I always simultaneously pressed the pedal as I pressed the note. But I can see the logic behind stepping after pressing the note. It prevents those awkward silences and pauses.
Posted by: PianoN00b

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/09/07 05:55 AM

Can anyone upload all of the songs from the CD? There are just some songs that I have no clue how it sounds like, so it is hard to play it...
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/09/07 11:56 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PianoN00b:
Can anyone upload all of the songs from the CD? There are just some songs that I have no clue how it sounds like, so it is hard to play it... [/b]
The opening post will link you to a few of the pieces. Also go through the thread, there might be a few more.

Mark
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/09/07 11:59 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Perplexed:
Mark: Yes, that's the trouble spot. It still causes a small amount of problems, but it's quite manageable. For being an easy version of the song, it does have a great sound to it.

While waiting for the newest lesson (which was yesterday), I went through the second half of book #1 and tried playing each song. It's surprising how I've gained progress since starting the book.

I could play almost every song correctly the first time without any real problems, other than Amazing Grace (of course), and Little Brown Jug (surprised me).

And although I now have Book #2, I'll definitely continue to practice from Book #1 if only to get all the songs up to par. [/b]
Its amazing, (pun intended) \:D , how working the books improves your skills. Amazing Grace does take some time. I just about have it 100% and I'm well into book two.

Mark
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/09/07 07:21 PM

 Quote:
Can anyone upload all of the songs from the CD? There are just some songs that I have no clue how it sounds like, so it is hard to play it...
You can try a search in You Tube, there's usually a video of someone playing songs from Alfred's. I just typed in "Beautiful brown eyes" and came up with this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kv_kRi6srM
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/09/07 07:39 PM

That version is slightly different from the book's. It has a few 8th notes placed here and there. It should give an idea of what the song sounds like nonetheless.

I've been going through the book without the CD and I think it's all for the better. At first I was really struggling with rhythm, but now I can follow through with the sheet music quite easily. The only thing I won't know how to distinguish is the tempo, so I usually try to play every song slowly, moderately, and if I'm bold enough, fast.

I think it's important to try for yourself all the way through a song first, then listen to see if you made any mistakes and then learn from those mistakes. Also, by trying it out first, you'll have your very own interpretation of the song. \:\)
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/09/07 07:52 PM

In view of todays date I will now be posting as "crusader" formerly "redcoat".
Posted by: IamElise

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/15/07 03:59 PM

I am also a true beginner, been playing for nine months now. I started on Entertainer and Amazing Grace today - gosh!

I'll probably be on Amazing Grace for 4 weeks and also my piano teacher will probably get impatient and move me onto book two. \:\)
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/15/07 05:59 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by IamElise:
I am also a true beginner, been playing for nine months now. I started on Entertainer and Amazing Grace today - gosh!

I'll probably be on Amazing Grace for 4 weeks and also my piano teacher will probably get impatient and move me onto book two. \:\) [/b]
Amazing Grace takes some time to polish...see you in book two soon...
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/18/07 03:13 PM

hi elise,

that's the nice thing about these 2 threads, we're all true beginners in here. It's a nice haven to come to after listening to all the freaking talented veterans out there.

We'll see you in book 2 soon. yay
Posted by: PianoN00b

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/23/07 04:36 PM

http://youtube.com/watch?v=_2Yl-E3Jyd0
that is me playing the Raisins and Almonds in the book one. I am not sure if that is the way it should sound like. If there are ANY suggestions I would love it.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/23/07 06:30 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PianoN00b:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=_2Yl-E3Jyd0
that is me playing the Raisins and Almonds in the book one. I am not sure if that is the way it should sound like. If there are ANY suggestions I would love it. [/b]
Well done. Sounds right to me...
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/24/07 12:08 PM

that's very nice pianonoob, keep it up you're doing really well.
Posted by: IamElise

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/24/07 06:38 PM

Yes, I agree - great job. My teacher made me play it a tad slower.
Posted by: pennylane

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/25/07 02:36 AM

you sound great pianonoob...i envy you..lol
Posted by: PianoN00b

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/25/07 03:28 AM

Oh I am flattered.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/25/07 07:55 PM

Well done PianoN00b, that's great progress in 3 months. Just a small point which you have probably corrected, the final 4 LH notes are a hand stretch with the thumb, not finger 2, playing the final note. ;\)
Posted by: PianoN00b

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/25/07 11:02 PM

Sundew, my teacher told me that too haha, but it is hard to undo a mistake. And I do not see any difference if i play it with my second finger.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/26/07 07:06 PM

Well done PianoN00b, I'm envious, I'm still working on O Sole Mio. That's a smart looking piano your playing, what kind is it, is it yours?
Posted by: PianoN00b

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/26/07 11:48 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by crusader:
Well done PianoN00b, I'm envious, I'm still working on O Sole Mio. That's a smart looking piano your playing, what kind is it, is it yours? [/b]
Yeah, my parents were trusting enough to buy me that 3,000$ piano. It's a Cable Nelson CN116. It's not bad.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/27/07 04:05 PM

I took a stab at amazing grace last night and started to record it, but grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr guess who doesn't like it when i sit at the piano?

I tell you this pup hates it when I play. He'll sit by me and start crying, he'll then look at me to see if I'm paying attention to him. I started ignoring him.

Yesterday when I was about to record amazing grace he got every cotton pickin toy out and started racing from one end of the house to where I was throwing his toys at me.

it's funny now that I think about it but it wasn't last night.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/27/07 11:06 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Oxfords Gal:
I took a stab at amazing grace last night and started to record it, but grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr guess who doesn't like it when i sit at the piano?

I tell you this pup hates it when I play. He'll sit by me and start crying, he'll then look at me to see if I'm paying attention to him. I started ignoring him.

Yesterday when I was about to record amazing grace he got every cotton pickin toy out and started racing from one end of the house to where I was throwing his toys at me.

it's funny now that I think about it but it wasn't last night. [/b]
lol...my new puppy loves to sit by me while I play and takes a nap. He's my only fan.... \:D
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 09/28/07 11:07 AM

He used to up to a couple weeks ago. He used to run from outside in and lay down when I would start playing but he's kind of in that stage now and extremely spoiled. he wants me to give him all the attention all the time.

either that or i'm getting worse. hahahahaha
Posted by: Sherwood

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/03/07 10:33 PM

Greetings, everyone! I'm a 36 year old beginner.

I'm attempting to use Alfred's Basic to learn to read music, after 10 years of noodling around and playing piano by ear. I took a few Celtic harp lessons four years ago - but I gave them up after I learned proper fingering technique, and now just play my harp by ear as well.

Alfred's is proving to be slow going for me. I'm on page 39 ("Beautiful Brown Eyes") after one month of sincere effort.

My goals are modest, I only hope to learn to read "Easy Piano", and possibly up to early intermediate, notation. For example, I'd like to play some easy arrangements of John Williams' compositions from the "Harry Potter" movies.

I'm very, very happy to have found this forum, and all of you.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/03/07 10:43 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sherwood:
Greetings, everyone! I'm a 36 year old beginner.

I'm attempting to use Alfred's Basic to learn to read music, after 10 years of noodling around and playing piano by ear. I took a few Celtic harp lessons four years ago - but I gave them up after I learned proper fingering technique, and now just play my harp by ear as well.

Alfred's is proving to be slow going for me. I'm on page 39 ("Beautiful Brown Eyes") after one month of sincere effort.

My goals are modest, I only hope to learn to read "Easy Piano", and possibly up to early intermediate, notation. For example, I'd like to play some easy arrangements of John Williams' compositions from the "Harry Potter" movies.

I'm very, very happy to have found this forum, and all of you. [/b]
Welcome Sherwood to Piano World and the Alfred threads. I think you will like the helpful and fun people we have here. Feel free to ask questions, as we have a few teachers who drop by and help out.


Mark...
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/04/07 05:18 AM

Hi Sherwood, welcome to the forum glad you found us.!!!
Posted by: ninja8701

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/04/07 11:44 AM

Welcome Sherwood. I am beginning my 3rd month of lessons now. I bought a large book of "Easy Piano Songs" which is my short term goal of being able to play. I have a question for you all. I am on page 69 or so, which in my book is the next song after Beautiful Brown Eyes (I started this song and can't remember the darn name). I wanted my teacher to start me out on one of the songs which was "Moon River".

I forgot what it was specifically but I ditched that one and asked to start on "Edelweiss" which looked easier in the book. The first week was a disaster and the teacher said I needed to move my thumbs around. The second week, I'm still kind of lost.

Anyway, at what point were you all were ready to play some "Easy Piano Songs"? Is it too early for me yet? Also does anyone have Edelweiss in easy piano so I could hear it. I went to youtube and I think they're playing the full version but even my first line doesn't sound like the full version ones on youtube.
Posted by: Sherwood

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/04/07 11:44 AM

Thanks for the welcomes! It is nice to know others are working through this, too.

By the way, has anyone any idea what Alpine Melody is supposed to sound like? My way can't be right, and I can't find any postings for it on Youtube.
Posted by: ninja8701

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/04/07 11:46 AM

Sherwood, I have the CD version so I can send you the file when I get home. That's the song I'm on that I couldn't remember. If you get it beforehand just PM me and let me know.
Posted by: Sherwood

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/04/07 11:51 AM

Thanks! I appreciate the help.

Edit: Ninja8701[/b], is the Edelweiss you speak of from the Alfred's greatest hits book? I have that one and the Christmas hits. I haven't successfully played anything out of either one, I seem to be stuck in the method hand positions, and can't seem to figure them out. The fingerings seem weird.
Posted by: ninja8701

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/04/07 11:19 PM

No, it's another book I bought. Called "Best Songs Ever" in easy piano version. By Hal Leonard 6th Edition. Look it up. Beautiful songs. Did that file work for you on windows media?
Posted by: Sherwood

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/06/07 01:30 PM

I got your pm ninja[/b] and sent you my email addy, but I haven't gotten the file yet. I'll check my spam folder, it is sometimes overly zealous.
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/09/07 08:52 PM

Yay, my book finally came. Now I can finally start learning the piano tomorrow. This was the only book I can afford for now so this is all I have. I'm sure I'll have tons of questions about the stuff in the book soon \:D I'll probably also feel like I'm going to slow and get mad =[
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/10/07 01:20 AM

Ogrt48, When you get into Alfred's BK1 a short way, and can play songs at that level, there are lots of free sheet music sites on line, the following link is to a site which starts with very easy songs:-

http://www.gmajormusictheory.org/Freebies/freebies.html
Posted by: PianoN00b

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/10/07 01:37 AM

Ok guys I am pretty much done with book 1. I just bought book 2. \:\)
Posted by: Crom

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/10/07 03:19 AM

Hi guys,

I'm completely new to the forums and this is my very first post.

I'm 35 yrs and have always loved the piano. I did 2 years evening classes of theory when I was about 14 so that part is not entirely new (but quite rusty of course).

I've got the 3 Alfred Adult All-In-One series and I've started book 1 on my own for the time being.

I'm currently on the first piece that requires HT: "Jingle Bells" and now I'm experiencing my first troubles. I get it right 1 every 5 attempts when I do it at the same tempo as track on the CD (just how annoying is the accompanying music to the piano on the CD!). Otherwise I can manage it very well HS and I do ok if I go very slowly.

This is my first week.

My question is this: I'm eager to continue with the book, so do I have to have this piece 'nailed' before I can do so.

I was thinking about going back to it every now and then to revise.

Regards
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/10/07 05:58 AM

'Ello and welcome. I remember gnashing my teeth a few times over Jingle Bells as my first HT piece. Now it's a doddle. I wouldn't worry about the CD tempo. I found that speed is something that comes over time, though with new pieces I am still very slow. If you can manage it very well at your own temopo, then if I were you, I would move on. Which is what I did and found that the later pieces brought an improvement in the earlier ones. I doubt I had any piece 'nailed' before moving on. I've 'nailed' some of them since. To the mast LOL With a little note to self saying -"you CAN do it!" I'm in Book 2 but still go back to Book 1.
Enjoy.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/10/07 08:07 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Crom:
Hi guys,

I'm completely new to the forums and this is my very first post.

I'm 35 yrs and have always loved the piano. I did 2 years evening classes of theory when I was about 14 so that part is not entirely new (but quite rusty of course).

I've got the 3 Alfred Adult All-In-One series and I've started book 1 on my own for the time being.

I'm currently on the first piece that requires HT: "Jingle Bells" and now I'm experiencing my first troubles. I get it right 1 every 5 attempts when I do it at the same tempo as track on the CD (just how annoying is the accompanying music to the piano on the CD!). Otherwise I can manage it very well HS and I do ok if I go very slowly.

This is my first week.

My question is this: I'm eager to continue with the book, so do I have to have this piece 'nailed' before I can do so.

I was thinking about going back to it every now and then to revise.

Regards [/b]
Welcome to the Alfred threads Crom!

I'm told if you turn one of your speakers off you can just get the piano sound from the CD.

Also, don't worry about nailing a piece perfectly. If you can play it fairly well move on to the next piece, but for a while go back and review the old stuff and gradually the old stuff will be pretty consistent.

Good luck in your piano journey. Post your playing here, in the piano bars as well as the quarterly recitals.

Mark...
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/10/07 10:49 AM

 Quote:
originally posted by Com: (just how annoying is the accompanying music to the piano on the CD!)[/b]
Crom, I think you may be refering to that annoying music which accompanies the piano part of the Alfred's songs..? Did you know that the CD is recorded in Stereo so if you turn off one of your speakers, or one side of your headphones, you get just the one track playing...just a thought?
Posted by: IamElise

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/10/07 11:11 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark...:
Welcome to the Alfred threads Crom!

Also, don't worry about nailing a piece perfectly. If you can play it fairly well move on to the next piece, but for a while go back and review the old stuff and gradually the old stuff will be pretty consistent.

Mark... [/b]
Mark, I wish this were the case with my piano teacher, She still has me on Amazing Grace even though in my opinion it is slow and perfect. :rolleyes:
She approved light and blue last week and I move on to Roman Holiday and hopefully Morning has broken this coming lesson.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/10/07 01:25 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by IamElise:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark...:
Welcome to the Alfred threads Crom!

Also, don't worry about nailing a piece perfectly. If you can play it fairly well move on to the next piece, but for a while go back and review the old stuff and gradually the old stuff will be pretty consistent.

Mark... [/b]
Mark, I wish this were the case with my piano teacher, She still has me on Amazing Grace even though in my opinion it is slow and perfect. :rolleyes:
She approved light and blue last week and I move on to Roman Holiday and hopefully Morning has broken this coming lesson. [/b]
I guess every teacher is different. Many of the songs I do in Alfred aren't letter perfect, but she lets me move on as long as I get the info out of the piece and continue to fine tune it.

I did tell her at my last lesson that I was having some trouble cleaning up some stuff (pieces are getting more complicated)and she talked about going into a holding pattern until we are happy with some pieces.

Sounds like you are doing well, so it sounds like your teacher knows best...

Mark...
Posted by: ninja8701

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/10/07 03:16 PM

Same with me. I practiced 3 songs before my last lesson my instructor told me to keep practicing the last one for next time as I messed up on it and didn't play it well. Then I move forward from there and try the next few songs for next week. I listen to the CD on my IPOD and just remove the left side from my ear to hear just the piano.
Posted by: Crom

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/11/07 03:01 AM

Thanks for the replies guys and the welcome.

Well lo and behold, after some diligent practicing it seems that I have reduced the ratio of good renditions to bad ones to 1 is to 3. Amazing what a good night's sleep can do \:\) I'm still not entirely happy with it....too much going on for this beginner's mind.

Thanks for the tips regarding the accompanying music on the CD.

I've decided that there is no point remaining too long on a difficult piece, this is for fun after all in my case. Just as long as I don't leave too many loose ends I reckon I will be fine.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/11/07 12:46 PM

I'm up to "Oh Sole Mio" but I can play through all of the songs in Book 1 including "Entertainer" and "Amazing Grace", however only slowly and full of mistakes, but I know I will soon be able play them quite well. There's no rush so I'm digging in on "Oh Sole Mio" until I get that down perfect before I move on, and also playing over a lot of the previous songs in the Book as revision excercises. My practicing/playing was curtailed somewhat because we had vistors arrive from Spain at the end of June to stay for a "few days"....they stayed for two months!!!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/11/07 01:31 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by crusader:
I'm up to "Oh Sole Mio" but I can play through all of the songs in Book 1 including "Entertainer" and "Amazing Grace", however only slowly and full of mistakes, but I know I will soon be able play them quite well. There's no rush so I'm digging in on "Oh Sole Mio" until I get that down perfect before I move on, and also playing over a lot of the previous songs in the Book as revision excercises. My practicing/playing was curtailed somewhat because we had vistors arrive from Spain at the end of June to stay for a "few days"....they stayed for two months!!! [/b]
"Oh Sole Mio" is a tricky one. It took me a long time to get it down. I'm half way into book two and I'm still cleaning up a few songs in book 1...so its no rush, just keep up the good work...

Mark...
Posted by: mamawatchman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/11/07 11:24 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ninja8701:
No, it's another book I bought. Called "Best Songs Ever" in easy piano version. By Hal Leonard 6th Edition. Look it up. Beautiful songs. Did that file work for you on windows media? [/b]
I have this book and have done several of the songs in it along with my Alfred. My teacher suggested it shortly after I started Alfred's Adult book 2. She has me doing "Moonglow" right now. We tend to jump all over in the book. I just finished "Yesterday" a couple of weeks ago. Probably my best song ever. Some of the songs are a little bit of a challenge at first,(for a beginner) but are so much more fun than the method books. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Char
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/12/07 01:31 PM

Well I've had the book a few days now and I've been stuck at page 17 or so. Basically this is where he stops putting finger numbers by notes, and takes away the letter from inside the note so you actually have to memorize where each note is. I can figure out what each note is but it takes a long time for each note =[
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/12/07 05:29 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Ogrt48:
Well I've had the book a few days now and I've been stuck at page 17 or so. Basically this is where he stops putting finger numbers by notes, and takes away the letter from inside the note so you actually have to memorize where each note is. I can figure out what each note is but it takes a long time for each note =[ [/b]
You are at the very beginning of the process of reading notes. It takes time, practice and patience to get it down, In fact we are all doing it, but at different levels. So practice often and as time goes by you will get better and better,

Welcome to the Alfred threads and keep us posted on how you are doing...it does get better, we promise...

Mark...
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/12/07 05:49 PM

 Quote:
originally quoted by Mark: it does get better, we promise...[/b]
Mark, Too true, I'm really amazed at the pogress I've made and I'm only just getting into a practice routine, It's been said many times before...practice, practice, practice. Although, at times it helps to take a rest, when you get back to the piano everything falls into place like magic.
Posted by: Lewbo

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/13/07 02:58 PM

Hello to Everyone,

I am happy to find this forum, and have enjoyed reading all your ideas. There is a positive feel from all.

I am starting piano at age 61, and having a ball. I like all the combo learning in the Alfred books.

I value my teacher, but like the idea of connecting with folks on the same path. The ideas you all are sharing help me with questions I thought about but was not sure how to ask.

So I am in the Alfred book 1, but dreaming of Jerry Lee Lewis and Elton John stuff in a few years!!

Thanks,

Lewbo
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/13/07 04:21 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Lewbo:
Hello to Everyone,

I am happy to find this forum, and have enjoyed reading all your ideas. There is a positive feel from all.

I am starting piano at age 61, and having a ball. I like all the combo learning in the Alfred books.

I value my teacher, but like the idea of connecting with folks on the same path. The ideas you all are sharing help me with questions I thought about but was not sure how to ask.

So I am in the Alfred book 1, but dreaming of Jerry Lee Lewis and Elton John stuff in a few years!!

Thanks,

Lewbo [/b]
Welcome to the Alfred threads Lewbo!

The reason I started these threads was to help everyone stay motivated (Especially myself \:D ), and it seems to work. Everyone here is very nice. So keep us posted, We also have a few visiting teachers to help us out.

Elton pieces might be sooner than you realize...

Mark...
Posted by: ninja8701

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/13/07 05:19 PM

mamawatchman: I guess that's why I am having trouble. I'm only halfway through book I and find it extremely difficult to do the songs. I'll hold onto it though. How do the songs sound compare to the full version? Are the songs alone really pretty to hear?
Posted by: mamawatchman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/14/07 05:49 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ninja8701:
mamawatchman: I guess that's why I am having trouble. I'm only halfway through book I and find it extremely difficult to do the songs. I'll hold onto it though. How do the songs sound compare to the full version? Are the songs alone really pretty to hear? [/b]
I'm not sure how to answer your question. To me they sound like the full versions, only not quite as rich since they are simpler. When my teacher plays them, she adds more to them and polishes them up so that they sound more like the originals. Having said that, I enjoy playing them as I feel more like I'm really playing piano when I play these songs as opposed to practicing when I work on my Alfred lessons.
Hope that makes sense.

Char
Posted by: Jermaine

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/16/07 12:43 AM

I think it would of been nicer if they'd put the whole song in the book rather than a few melodies
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/16/07 07:05 AM

welcome Crom!!! Playing the piano is like that. You're going to have some good ones and some bad. I think it's all in concentration. I can play a piece I'm working on perfect and I'll be so pleased and puff my chest out and do it again only to mess it up. teee heee

So my philosophy is, take a bow while the going is good. If it came out perfect, let it go till tomorrow.

Iamelise, that Amazing Grace is actually a really nice arrangement IMO. I suspect your teacher wants you to keep on it, because it is a piece that you can go back to when you've moved up further and it doesn't sound like typical alfred's piece.

I played it for my mom and pop about a month ago and they were really moved. I practiced it the night before on my digital with headphones so they had no idea I had to brush up on it. \:D

Welcome Lewbo, nice to have you onboard.
Posted by: Lewbo

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/16/07 06:47 PM

I play on a Yamaha electronic keyboard at home. Sometimes I go over to the local college and use their practice rooms. They have studio Bostons. Its nice to feel the real action and louder sound. I have my Alfred books in the car, or make xerox of the pieces I am on. I am coming to the end of the first book, and each day is more fun. A good thing I learned was to practice each hand separately first, then together, then with the metronome.
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/17/07 02:09 AM

I'm still stuck on page 17 or so, I just can't memorize where all the notes are on the bars. lol. I'm not giving up though... I must learn To Zanarkand =[
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/17/07 06:50 AM

Doh Ogrt, look into playing by intervals that will help you tremendously.

By all means learn the notes but look into intervals. Intervals are mentioned in alfred's not sure but if not either fabers all in one adult course does or bastiens. I'll have to look in my books at home.

I'll scan an example and post it when I find it this evening.

http://library.thinkquest.org/15413/theory/intervals.htm

http://hobbies.expertvillage.com/videos/piano-intervals-chords.htm
Posted by: pianoluvr

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/17/07 11:21 AM

Keep at it Ogrt! It may seem tough at first but after some practice it'll become natural. And you'll be thankful that you've developed this skill later on! \:\)
Posted by: gmm1

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/17/07 02:56 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PianoN00b:
I just finished with book 1 of the piano alfred book. I am on the fourth song in book 2 currently. It seems that I learn the songs pretty quick (less than 2 hours each song). What grade would I be if i can play everysong in Book 1? Am I progressing fast?
[/b]
MORE OT - good question. Anyone know? How about at the end of book 2?
EDIT - I'm moving my question and Noob's quote to the Alfred's thread.
_________________________________________________

I would be interested in the answer if anyone can venture a guess....
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/17/07 04:01 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by gmm1:
 Quote:
Originally posted by PianoN00b:
I just finished with book 1 of the piano alfred book. I am on the fourth song in book 2 currently. It seems that I learn the songs pretty quick (less than 2 hours each song). What grade would I be if i can play everysong in Book 1? Am I progressing fast?
[/b]
MORE OT - good question. Anyone know? How about at the end of book 2?
EDIT - I'm moving my question and Noob's quote to the Alfred's thread.
_________________________________________________

I would be interested in the answer if anyone can venture a guess.... [/b]
I believe PianoNoob is progressing very fast. Until I heard him play, you couldn't tell if he was rushing, but after hearing him play, I know he's flying...

As for where we are at each book level, I guess it would take a teacher to let us know. I'm curious as well.

Mark...
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/17/07 04:12 PM

I've gotten back into to the book after a long break without a piano. \:\) I am on "Blow the Man Down" right now, which is kind of hard, but really fun to play.

I wish I could practice everyday though. As it currently stands, I can only practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays after class for an hour or two.

I'm thinking of snagging a free upright from Craig's List, but I'm not sure that my landlord would be too happy with me having a piano.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/17/07 04:16 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Tuan Vo:
I've gotten back into to the book after a long break without a piano. \:\) I am on "Blow the Man Down" right now, which is kind of hard, but really fun to play.

I wish I could practice everyday though. As it currently stands, I can only practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays after class for an hour or two.

I'm thinking of snagging a free upright from Craig's List, but I'm not sure that my landlord would be too happy with me having a piano. [/b]
Some prectice is better than none. Even if you knock out a Alfred piece every week or two you will still move through the book at a decent pace. It's not a race, but a lifetime quest...
Posted by: Sawdust

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/20/07 03:15 PM

Hi all.

I stumbled across this forum and found this thread on the Alfred's books. I ordered the book online (Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One, book 1) and received it about two weeks ago. I got the book with the CD based on people's recommendations here.

So far, so good. I was able to play Aura Lee (p.17) and the Mexican Hat Dance (p.21) okay. I still can't read the music as I play. Usually I have to memorize the music before being able to play it at normal speed.

The only problem I've had so far is the CD getting stuck in my old stereo and scratching it a little with the screwdriver I was using to pry it out! :-) The stereo I ended up having to buy a new shelf stereo (the old one had some problems before I opened it up, anyway). Hopefully the CD won't have too many tracks lost from the scratch
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/20/07 06:21 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sawdust:
Hi all.

I stumbled across this forum and found this thread on the Alfred's books. I ordered the book online (Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One, book 1) and received it about two weeks ago. I got the book with the CD based on people's recommendations here.

So far, so good. I was able to play Aura Lee (p.17) and the Mexican Hat Dance (p.21) okay. I still can't read the music as I play. Usually I have to memorize the music before being able to play it at normal speed.

The only problem I've had so far is the CD getting stuck in my old stereo and scratching it a little with the screwdriver I was using to pry it out! :-) The stereo I ended up having to buy a new shelf stereo (the old one had some problems before I opened it up, anyway). Hopefully the CD won't have too many tracks lost from the scratch [/b]
Welcome to the Alfred threads Sawdust.

In regard to memorizing vs reading, its kind of the way it works. As time goes by your reading will improve. I'm still memorizing most of what I play, but can pickup stuff better as time goes by.

It's all about the practice...

Mark
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/22/07 07:39 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PianoN00b:
I just finished with book 1 of the piano alfred book. I am on the fourth song in book 2 currently. It seems that I learn the songs pretty quick (less than 2 hours each song). What grade would I be if i can play everysong in Book 1? Am I progressing fast?
I would ask your teacher. She'll know what level music your capable of.

My teacher has me on book 1, 2, and 3 of Helen Curtis and mentioned a piece in book 4 she wants me to do. Helen Curtis is different from alfreds though. It goes in leaps and bounds. I'll have to scan something from book 3 tonight.

I was looking in fabers book 3 and 4 and the pieces are too easy for me now.

You might want to browse through some repertoir books and see what you can tackle according to the level. That would give you a ball park answer.

Gyros post holds true in doing music that is harder while you're learning. In the 2 months I've been with my current teacher I've progressed more than what I would have in 6 months with alfreds alone.


It usually takes me about 2 days 20 minutes practices on alfreds pieces. I can only spend 15 or 20 minutes due to the other 5 pieces she has me working on.

I love alfred's though, it's slow but it progresses in small steps which I like.
Posted by: PianoN00b

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/22/07 12:53 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sawdust:


So far, so good. I was able to play Aura Lee (p.17) and the Mexican Hat Dance (p.21) okay. I still can't read the music as I play. Usually I have to memorize the music before being able to play it at normal speed.
[/b]
That's OK! When I started it was the same way; then as you progress you will tilt to half memorizing and half reading, and then when you are really good you go all the way to reading. I am at the half reading half memorizing stage... I have to play a song a few times to make it go smoothly.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/22/07 05:52 PM

I'm not sure who wanted to see some stuff from Helen Curtis,but here are a few examples of whats in book 2 and book 3. I'm not sure if it's even in this thread. I'll post in both. Sorry but I'm taking this quick break to scan and post.

book 2 page 1 and page 2

http://www.box.net/shared/qt6ayhd7l3

http://www.box.net/shared/bqr6bp3ps6

Book 3

http://www.box.net/shared/9khcivp0hg

http://www.box.net/shared/tbnkexnfvi
Posted by: watchyourmind

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 10/31/07 06:06 PM

I'm working from a different book. I'm working on Alfred's Basic--Electronic Keyboard Course. But I notice that a lot of the songs in this thread are the same in this book that I'm using so I think I can contribute to this thread.

Anyway I'm only new. So I'm currently working on Jingle bells with harmonic 4ths and 5ths \:\)

BTW--I'm buying my new keyboard today w00t \:D
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/01/07 07:18 PM

hiya watchyourmind, congrats on your keyboard. yay!!
Posted by: Lukeozade100

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/02/07 09:57 AM

Just got the all in one book through yesterday, was so nice to see my progress over the past two months shown by just playing through to page 90 with no problems, having a break now having just got to Rock It Away, but have skipped ahead and played auld langs syne and feel that the O sole Mio will be when i'll have to start taking it slowly again... \:\)
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/02/07 12:32 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Lukeozade100:
Just got the all in one book through yesterday, was so nice to see my progress over the past two months shown by just playing through to page 90 with no problems, having a break now having just got to Rock It Away, but have skipped ahead and played auld langs syne and feel that the O sole Mio will be when i'll have to start taking it slowly again... \:\) [/b]
Thats some great progress.
Posted by: watchyourmind

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/02/07 07:01 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Oxfords Gal:
hiya watchyourmind, congrats on your keyboard. yay!! [/b]
Thanks Oxfords Gal \:\)

It's a totally different experience from my old one, lol.

old
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee213/okyep/keyboard.jpg

new
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee213/okyep/newkeyboard1.jpg
Posted by: David Sprunger

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/02/07 07:19 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Oxfords Gal:
[QB] Doh Ogrt, look into playing by intervals that will help you tremendously.

This is a super comment - and one that really gets overlooked in learning to read music. Most of the time, students are asked to memorize the staff by rote ("all cows eat grass..."). This works, but is where most students stop.

The problem with the exclusive use of the above technique is that your reading will never get very fast.

Alfred was a pioneering company in recommending that students also learn to see intervalic distances.

What I always taught my students to do was to use the sentences ("All Cows...) to find the first note of a staff, and then learn to see the distances between the notes from there. My opinion is that the combination of the two methods really seems to be the most efficient method of reading.
Posted by: JustForNow

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/03/07 04:19 AM

hi all,

I'm currently on page 80-something, doing alouette. going well so far, i hope to finish book 1 by Nov 26 so i can play The Entertainer for my mother when she comes to visit me from Wales.

I do like the alfred books since they provide a structure of learning easier pieces first and progressing onto harder pieces. The songs are nicely arranged as well. My favourite so far is the Harp Song. I'm a sucker for simplicity!

My only real gripe would be that the book doesn't explain chord theory quite as much as i think it should. For instance, the introduction to the G7 chord provides no instruction as to why it's called a G7 chord, and makes no mention of it being inverted, or that the fifth note has been omitted from the true G7. I'm very interested in learning the theory, and I actually began lessons with a teacher who explained all this to me, so when I read that in the book i thought it was a little odd. I know that overloading beginners with theory would be a little wearisome, but a few sentences of explanation wouldn't go amiss I'm sure. But maybe Alfred goes into more detail later on, or I do believe there's an extra book.

Now, I just had one quick question. Is the Alfred book series related at all to grades? I mean, what grade would a person be able to master after conquering book 3 for example?

Cheers,
JFN
Posted by: pianoluvr

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/03/07 09:13 AM

 Quote:
My only real gripe would be that the book doesn't explain chord theory quite as much as i think it should. For instance, the introduction to the G7 chord provides no instruction as to why it's called a G7 chord, and makes no mention of it being inverted, or that the fifth note has been omitted from the true G7. I'm very interested in learning the theory, and I actually began lessons with a teacher who explained all this to me, so when I read that in the book i thought it was a little odd. I know that overloading beginners with theory would be a little wearisome, but a few sentences of explanation wouldn't go amiss I'm sure. But maybe Alfred goes into more detail later on, or I do believe there's an extra book.
That's one of the things I dislike about Alfred. I've always been very interested in theory-REAL theory, not just here's a scale and here's another. But my teacher has not seemed that interested in it yet and neither has Alfred. Although, I do have to say that Book 2 does contain a bit more theory, inverted chords and such.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/03/07 11:14 AM

 Quote:
What I always taught my students to do was to use the sentences ("All Cows...) to find the first note of a staff, and then learn to see the distances between the notes from there. My opinion is that the combination of the two methods really seems to be the most efficient method of reading.
Thank you David. This is how I learned. I first learned to read music through flash cards and such but noticed how slow I was reading all the notes.

That's when Intervals was suggested by my teacher so now it's so much faster identifying the first note then doing intervals thereafter. After a while it's automatic and if you stop to think about it you say "Oh my I'm just playing without even thinking about notes or intervals anymore".

You learn to recognize intervals without even thinking after a while.
Posted by: PapaBear Ian

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/05/07 02:47 AM

"Chase Away the Blues" - Alfred's Adult All-in-One Book 1 (without CD.) Pulling my hair out and I don't have any.

Is it me, or does the left hand sound more like a marching rhythm than the blues? I'm whizzing through this book at a pretty good clip, but get very frustrated with some of the Alfred arrangements that sound so horrible/hokey. \:\( Certainly they can keep it simple (for us beginners) while still challenging, but be more ... musical? Maybe it's just me ...

Does anyone have a clip of this tune they can post?
Posted by: PapaBear Ian

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/05/07 02:48 AM

"Chase Away the Blues" - Alfred's Adult All-in-One Book 1 (without CD.) Pulling my hair out and I don't have any.

Is it me, or does the left hand sound more like a marching rhythm than the blues? I'm whizzing through this book at a pretty good clip, but get very frustrated with some of the Alfred arrangements that sound so horrible/hokey. \:\( Certainly they can keep it simple (for us beginners) while still challenging, but be more ... musical? Maybe it's just me ...

Does anyone have a clip of this tune they can post?
Posted by: Crom

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/05/07 07:35 AM

I'm really impressed with the progress some people are making here.

I posted earlier in this thread about my first problems with hands together during Chopin's Etude no.4

......er I meant 'Jingle Bells'. \:D

I'm glad to say that it is not so much of a problem now \:\) when I do play it now I realise that my mind is not so much concerned about hitting the right keys at the right time but about how it sounds too.

Must be a good sign that.

I have just left my piano after another dreadful rendition of 'Lone Star Waltz'. For heaven's sake it seems so simple on paper, I've been at it for almost 2 days now and will move on and come back to it later this week.

I'm trying to figure out what is stumping me, and I think it's this: the fact that with these new pieces more of the keys are being explored, not to mention that 6ths are very new to me.

In previous pieces the hands basically stay in the same 'C' or 'G' position which I have gotten quite used to. The fact that I can do a decent 'Blow the Man down' is probably testimony to this.

Was just wondering what you guys think and how you managed.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/05/07 08:59 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Crom:

Was just wondering what you guys think and how you managed. [/b]
The fact that your playing "Blow the man down" means you are progressing. It can be tricky. Keep working on the stuff thats giving you problems.

It's all about the practice. If you keep at it. you develop slowly but surely.

So when you going to upload a song for us... \:D

Mark
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/06/07 03:53 AM

I've been trying to learn by myself how to play piano for the past 6 months. I am working on "The Entertainer" and "Amazing Grace" now. I was pretty happy with myself with my playing level because with my busy work schedule and my 1 year old kid son, I was not able to allocate much time for any of my other activities including practicing.

I am also reading some technique books. With the information I get from those, I feel I did quite Okay with my work with Piano. I was highly motivated with those.

But when yesterday when my wife wanted to make a video of my playing after my 1 hour practice session, I made a lot of mistakes hitting wrong notes. Of course, she laughed at me and was making fun by saying "Hey you were practicing all time and you are not even able to play a single piece properly". That hurt me a lot and now, I am low on confidence.

I am really at the end of the world. In my whole life, this is the only activity I enjoyed. I love music.. especially classical and new age music a lot. How do you guys achieve perfection? Please pour me some advices to play pieces perfectly all time. \:\(
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/06/07 04:59 AM

Well done with reaching the end of Book 1 in six months with restricted practice time! I started in February. I don't seek perfection but strive to play competently within my current level whilst working on those pieces which will hopefully move me forward. I still make oodles of mistakes, particularly when aiming for a faster tempo and when recording myself and even more so when others are within hearing. It's as though knowing I have an audience turns my fingers into fumbling digits disconnected from the brain. I think {hope!} it is not uncommon. I think it's called red dot fever.

If I may offer a couple of female thoughts on your wife's comment. Does she appreciate just how important this is to you? Perhaps her comment was a loving teasing. I bet your practice session was better than the recording so perhaps she offered to make the video out of pride in your accomplishment. Lastly - a one year old - can take a heck of a lot out of a mum if they have been with them all day. I know mine did.

Amazing Grace is, in my opinion, a leap in difficulty over the other Book 1 pieces. Don't be too hard on yourself. Look back on that recording in six months or a year and I bet your thoughts will be more like Wow, haven't I come a long way. I find a confidence boost when I play some of the earlier pieces I've worked on and find where once was difficulty now it's easy.

Look forward to seeing you in the Book 2 thread.
Posted by: pevawi

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/06/07 05:08 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Vijay:
Please pour me some advices to play pieces perfectly all time. \:\( [/b]
Honest answer is: you never will.. there is always room for improvement. But no despair! You can play to your own satisfaction. That everything fails when recording it is something we all suffer from (some worse some less) but that will become better as well. The key is to keep learning, you will advance to next levels playing more difficult music and when you go back to the "simple ones" you notice how easy they've become. Sure you will make mistakes but you be able to repair them and the next time you play the song they are gone. Look at it this way: you study at level 5 and be able to play with ease level 3 (these are just random numbers to give you a idea).

To overcome the red-dot syndrome there is only one cure: do it regularly and it will become less of a obstacle.

Just don't worry.. keep trying!! And don't let anybody convince you otherwise than: Piano playing is fun (period!) and practice does make perfect!
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/06/07 07:43 AM

vijay, hang in there and don't let anything or anyone bring you down.

The piano is one of the most difficult instruments IMO besides the Oboe to master. I think your wife just doesn't know how much is involved in learning an instrument. Sitting her down with you might give her an understanding.

First of all you're reading music on 2 staffs, your brain expects you to read these 2 staffs at once, while your hands are doing 2 completely different tasks from each other. In addition you have to know how to read music, know phrases, counts, tempo, and make your fingers land on the keyboard comprised of 88 keys.

Pat yourself on the back for accomplishing this against all odds, and don't feel bad about making tons of mistakes. I go into mistake mode as soon as my record button is turned on.

On mastering the piano, well it's possible but playing with no mistakes whatsoever is virtually unheard of.

when you make mistakes you just continue as if nothing ever happened. Concert pianists make them all the time but know how to cover them up.

good luck and welcome to Piano world.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/06/07 07:52 AM

Vijay, six months with limited time is very fast to progress through book 1. Maybe too fast.

Sometimes it takes a long time to play pieces clean. I finished book one in June and I'm still cleaning up Amazing Grace and the Entertainer as well as others. So you are not alone. Just keep practicing and as time goes by you will play cleaner and cleaner.

Mark
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/06/07 12:48 PM

 Quote:
But when yesterday when my wife wanted to make a video of my playing after my 1 hour practice session, I made a lot of mistakes hitting wrong notes. Of course, she laughed at me and was making fun by saying "Hey you were practicing all time and you are not even able to play a single piece properly". That hurt me a lot and now, I am low on confidence. [/b]
I've suffered from that from time to time but treat it as part of your practice routine, playing in front of an audience, even just your wife, is preperation for things to come, just close off of your mind and concentrate on your playing, just ignore the obtuse comments, that's what I did when I played classical guitar too. A friend of mine used to play guitar in Folk Clubs and had to withstand constant mindless heckling from the audience...I still dont know how he kept his temper. Anyway, if your on Amazing Grace you've left me behind, my practice schedule has been interupted, for various reasons, several times since I started in June and I'm just breaking out of O Solo Mio.
Posted by: VJ.

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/06/07 02:42 PM

Guys! Thank you for all your replies. I am very pleased to have so much support from these many people. I think I feel Okay now. Whenever I am down, I will check some posts in this forum for boosting my confidence. And, it helped this time too. Let me keep up my spirits.

I, very much agree with Crusader, with the fact that there will be a lot of critism from people for any artist. Why should I be an exception \:\) . Thanks for reminding me that, Crusader.

Mark, well, I thought I was progressing slower than other people. While I started, I rushed at times. Eventually, I learnt it is not possible to learn to play in short period. Hence I slowed down and practice most of the pieces in the book during my daily practice sessions. Though I am working on the last 2 pieces, I keep working on all other pieces too. While doing so, I learn my earlier mistakes and feel satisfied figuring it myself. I also feel 6 months is a bit fast. So planning to hang around with Course 1 up until for one more month atleast and get confident with each and every piece before moving to next one.

Oxfords Gal, you lined out the fact about Piano Learning. Yes, I totally agree with you. Man, it is tough but enjoyable and self-satisfying. Why should I let it down myself. Let me work on my playing ignoring all distractions. Thank you very much for your inspiration.

Pevawi, I always wanted to spend more time for practice. Let me organize my time on a whole. I think that should help me achieve near perfection. As you said, I felt the ease on the earlier pieces. I will keep doing it and increase my practice duration.

Sundew, I totally understand my wife's situation and I don't take her criticism or teasing so seriously. It just hurt me for that moment. The last thing I want was discouragement. I can very well take the criticism if it is somewhat constructive. But I believe I just love her too much to take it lightly. I will learn to ignore things like these affecting my spirits.

I got enough encouragement and inspiration from you guys to keep practicing. Thank you all.
Posted by: SHPiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/07/07 02:56 PM

Another Alfred's Beginner.

Hello everyone. I've been lurking on this board a while and figured it was time to post. About a month ago, I started what I hope will be a life-long journey in piano-playing.

Some background. I'm 41. I've never played piano before, but I did play sax and a bit of oboe between the ages of 11 and 14. Looking back on it, I never really felt inspired to learn and I definitely felt that I never made a true connection between music theory and music playing. At the same time, I've always loved music of all sorts and have always admired those who can play.

About 2 years ago, my two eldest children began taking piano lessons with a wonderful teacher. She started them with a "traditional" approach. Somehow she sensed that they would do better with Suzuki and switched them to that method about 8 months ago. They have really flourished using Suzuki--especially my 9-year old son who seems to learn and play effortlessly. In turn, I was inspired to try to learn.

So, a little more than a month ago, I bought the "Teach Me Piano USB Kit". It combines music teaching software with a MIDI to USB cable. I also purchased a copy of Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Piano Course (Book 1) along with the CD and the MIDI disks. I've been working through the TMP lessons as well as the Alfred's. In a strange way, they go well together. The TMP lessons have emphasized rhythm and a more extensive use of the right hand, while the Alfred's has had more theory and hands-together. They both end with pretty similar versions of the "Entertainer". What's really terrific about the TMP program is that I can load the MIDI songs/sheet music from Alfred's into the TMP "Songbook" and listen to and practice them that way. The TMP sofware lets you practice a piece by focusing on just the rhythm, just the notes or both together and also let's you practice hands seperate and hands together! When you practice, the software starts a little metronome and follows along with the music. At the end of segment or song it'll grade you and tell you where you need work (e.g. "in measure 4 you played an extra note."). You can speed up or slow down the metronome as well.

So, I've been using TMP (and Alfred's) on our little digital piano and then go and practice what I've hopefully learned on our new (to me) Bluthner grand. [I've also been trialing Earmaster Pro to work on my pitch recognition. It's a pretty cool but tough program].

Anyway, I'm about half-way through the TMP lessons. On the Alfred's side, I've just started Lavender's Blue and Kumbaya. I've taken one lesson with my kid's instructor and will try to take them as often as possible. Unfortunately with my schedule, I'll be lucky to see her once every few weeks. I'm trying my best to put in at least an hour of practice every day that I'm home.

What I find so strange (magical almost) is how one day you can be really struggling with a new piece (thinking that you'll never get it) and then the next day it just seems to fall into place as if it were always a snap. This phenomenon has happened a couple of times already and has motivated me to keep practicing even when it seems impossible.

Of course, this forum has also been an invaluable resource on many different levels. So thanks everyone for your posts and encouragement.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/07/07 03:11 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by SHPiano:
Another Alfred's Beginner.

Hello everyone. I've been lurking on this board a while and figured it was time to post. About a month ago, I started what I hope will be a life-long journey in piano-playing.


What I find so strange (magical almost) is how one day you can be really struggling with a new piece (thinking that you'll never get it) and then the next day it just seems to fall into place as if it were always a snap. This phenomenon has happened a couple of times already and has motivated me to keep practicing even when it seems impossible.

Of course, this forum has also been an invaluable resource on many different levels. So thanks everyone for your posts and encouragement. [/b]
Welcome SHPiano, it looks like you have a great plan on learning piano.

As for those magical moments, I like to call them growth sputs. They really do keep you motivated.
But its just the reward for practice...

So when you get a chance upload some of your work and join our quarterly recitals...

Mark...
Posted by: SHPiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/17/07 11:52 PM

I've been trucking along as best I can. I was out of town last week but I've been practicing whenever I can. I've finished "Lavender's Blue", "Kumbaya" and "Blow the Man Down" and I've started the "Lone Star Waltz" and the "Lullaby." "Blow the Man Down" is certainly tricky and I will probably continue to work on it especially to smooth out the right hand while keeping the left staccato and softer.

I had my first real lesson today. I played a few of my pieces. My teacher and I've decided that she'll focus her efforts on technique and skill development. For example, today we worked on playing the right hand in "Standing in Need of Prayer" more legato and working the crescendo and decrescendos of the phrases into and overall approach for the piece. In short we worked on the musicality of it.

I've also been working through the lessons on Teach Me Piano. However, for now I think I'll probably focus on the next few Alfred's pieces and a couple of others (a simplified Moonlight Sonata and a simplified "Christmas Time is Here") I've always liked.

Now that my Bluthner's all tuned up, I'm feeling pretty good. The Moonlight in particular sounds great even though I've only got a few measures under my fingers.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/18/07 12:14 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by SHPiano:
I've been trucking along as best I can. I was out of town last week but I've been practicing whenever I can. I've finished "Lavender's Blue", "Kumbaya" and "Blow the Man Down" and I've started the "Lone Star Waltz" and the "Lullaby." "Blow the Man Down" is certainly tricky and I will probably continue to work on it especially to smooth out the right hand while keeping the left staccato and softer.

I had my first real lesson today. I played a few of my pieces. My teacher and I've decided that she'll focus her efforts on technique and skill development. For example, today we worked on playing the right hand in "Standing in Need of Prayer" more legato and working the crescendo and decrescendos of the phrases into and overall approach for the piece. In short we worked on the musicality of it.

I've also been working through the lessons on Teach Me Piano. However, for now I think I'll probably focus on the next few Alfred's pieces and a couple of others (a simplified Moonlight Sonata and a simplified "Christmas Time is Here") I've always liked.

Now that my Bluthner's all tuned up, I'm feeling pretty good. The Moonlight in particular sounds great even though I've only got a few measures under my fingers. [/b]
If you are playing the D minor version of Moonlight you will really like it. And on your Bluthner it will be outstanding. It took me a few months to get it down and it could still use some work, but it a fun full piece to learn. Its one of my keeper songs...
Posted by: Flat7Blues

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/28/07 01:36 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by SHPiano:
I've been trucking along as best I can. I was out of town last week but I've been practicing whenever I can. I've finished "Lavender's Blue", "Kumbaya" and "Blow the Man Down" and I've started the "Lone Star Waltz" and the "Lullaby." "Blow the Man Down" is certainly tricky and I will probably continue to work on it especially to smooth out the right hand while keeping the left staccato and softer.

I had my first real lesson today. I played a few of my pieces. My teacher and I've decided that she'll focus her efforts on technique and skill development. For example, today we worked on playing the right hand in "Standing in Need of Prayer" more legato and working the crescendo and decrescendos of the phrases into and overall approach for the piece. In short we worked on the musicality of it.

I've also been working through the lessons on Teach Me Piano. However, for now I think I'll probably focus on the next few Alfred's pieces and a couple of others (a simplified Moonlight Sonata and a simplified "Christmas Time is Here") I've always liked.

Now that my Bluthner's all tuned up, I'm feeling pretty good. The Moonlight in particular sounds great even though I've only got a few measures under my fingers. [/b]
I am up to Lavender'sBlue also. New at keyboards, but I did a lil guitar when I was younger, so I can read the treble clef pretty well. Bass clef is tripping me up here and there, but hope to get it down. Trying to learn without the teacher for right now.

-7
Posted by: SHPiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/28/07 11:35 AM

-7:
Welcome! I think Lavender's Blue was the first piece that really sounded like music to me.

I just started The Can Can yesterday and I think it's coming along reasonably well--certainly faster than I thought it would. I also ejoyed Cockles and Mussels, Smokey and the Lullaby (which still trips me up sometimes). But I find that I frequently return to Lavender's Blue.

Anyway, good luck!
Posted by: vayapues

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/28/07 11:51 AM

I began Alfred's three and a half weeks ago. I am addicted. I have been practicing upwards of 4 and 5 hours a day.

My poor wife
Has to listen to my terrible playing all day long.

Just a comment to Vijay. I am the same way. I can play a song all day long, and think I have it just right. I then try and record myself, or think someone is listening, and I mess up every measure.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/28/07 02:30 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by vayapues:

Just a comment to Vijay. I am the same way. I can play a song all day long, and think I have it just right. I then try and record myself, or think someone is listening, and I mess up every measure. [/b]
Welcome!

And the recording issue you mention is called "Red Dot Fever"...its a killer... \:D
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/28/07 03:19 PM

Hi Gang!!

Good to see lots of activity around here. Sorry I haven't checked in for a while (eeek, a couple months). My husband and I moved across the country at the beginning of October, rather unexpectedly. I'm just now getting back to my normal routine!

If I may, I'll jump in on a few issues:

About recording...[/b]
It'll lose it's mystique and all the fear associated with it if you record all your lessons and practice sessions. :-) I'm not saying you have to listen to them (although listening to your lessons can be so helpful.)

Just have a few tapes and stick one in every time you play. Pretty soon, you'll just forget it's there. But voila! If you do something awesome you'll have proof!! Also, getting over your fear will allow you to do fun things like record one part of a duet and play along with yourself. I love doing that.

About spouses, friends, and negative comments...[/b]
Understand that even those closest to you may have no experience relating to you learning to play an instrument as an adult. It's not something our society is really supportive of. I mean, now you're supposed to have your whole career figured out in grade school so that you can get into the right college and get the right job! Sheesh!

My husband and I have both inadvertently hurt each other in new endeavors, by just saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or making a joke during a vulnerable moment. Ouch. It might sound trite, but we've resorted to, "Hon, can I just say that what I need from you is exactly _________ because this is pretty hard for me to do." Fill in what's most important. Encouragement? Uninterrupted time to practice? Supporting me in front of other people? Whatever the case may be. Sounds overly simple, but it works. Can also be used on friends and other family as needed! LOL!

What else are you all practicing for Christmas? I've got my Jim Brickman books out...

Best,

Kim
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/28/07 03:25 PM

Hi Kim! Welcome back.

What did you do with your studio? Do you have to start all over?

I'm not doing anything in the Christmas area, but cleaning up Alfred Greensleeves for the holiday recital we will be having here at the forum,

Otherwise I'm deep into book two.

Mark...
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/29/07 10:54 AM

Hi Mark,

Yep, I had to refer my students to other teachers. It was so hard.

The problem here is that I don't have an accessible place to teach. My husband works at home so teaching out of my place doesn't work (plus parking is very limited); renting a studio is way too expensive; and driving around here is nuts, so I'm not really up for traveling to students' houses. I'm just waiting to see what develops. Several friends have asked me to teach their kids.

In the meantime I'm trying to use the time to really pour more information and tutorials into my piano site. My Alfred's Level One is on my desk as I type! Who knows, maybe that will be where my focus is for a while. I certainly have more time to play piano myself now!

Happy Holidays!

Kim
Posted by: gmm1

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 11/29/07 11:08 AM

Hey Kim - welcome to the great state of Washington. If you're close to Oregon, don't forget they have no sales tax.


 Quote:
Originally posted by Vijay:
But when yesterday when my wife wanted to make a video of my playing after my 1 hour practice session, I made a lot of mistakes hitting wrong notes. Of course, she laughed at me and was making fun by saying "Hey you were practicing all time and you are not even able to play a single piece properly". That hurt me a lot and now, I am low on confidence.
[/b]
Hey Vijay, I hear ya, buddy. My wife played as a child, has no interest now, but she "knows" what it takes, and tries to be kind to me. But, every once in a while, she will hear me play something I think was perfect, and she says "That was great. I can't wait for you the get the tempo right, and you need to correct your left hand from pounding, and smooth it out". ARGGGGG.

She is alive today because I am a coward and cannot cook.
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/06/07 10:18 AM

Hi Gmm1,

Well, I moved *from* the great state of WA (with no state income tax, hurray) to MA (also known as Taxachusetts). Sigh. But my husband, tech-guy and breadwinner to my 'starving artist', can get much more work here.

How's the practicing going, everyone? Are you making a little piano time in the midst of holiday craziness?

Best,

Kim
Posted by: gmm1

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/06/07 11:13 AM

Ah, I see. Was thrown by your "from" box, but see it's now correct.

My dad was born in Boston and I still have tons of family in the area. I am still a Red Sox / Bruin / Celtic fan. It's in my blood.

I love MA (and all of New England), but I hear ya on the taxes. I love to visit, but returning home feels good. Generally, my family is ready for me to leave after a week or two of "you know, I pay no state income tax, how about you?".
Posted by: vayapues

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/07/07 09:49 AM

I am learning Joy To The World, on page 103. I was very proud of myself, because I played it by sight the first time.

But I have to laugh. For the life of me, I cannot play this song without thinking in my head 'joy to the world, the school burned down, and all the teachers are dead...'

Guess I sang that a bit too much as a kid.
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/07/07 10:57 PM

Vayapues,

Your post made me laugh twice, once reading it, and once reading your sig line. LOL!

Perfect timing for Joy to the World. And hey, if you ever needed proof that scales do indeed exist in written music, there you go!

Gmm1 - my husband and I are both self-employed, so the tax thing is even more of a thing. It's one of the only downsides to moving back! That, and oh, the money to set up his Corporation here. Yikes.

Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season!

Kim
Posted by: redcard

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/10/07 09:44 AM

Okay.. so I picked up the book and am going to start on it. I also got into pianomagic, which is a fun course, but I think it's not for me. I'm going to stay with it, though, as it'll let me play around, but my primary method of instruction needs to be self-driven and a bit more "regimented" than what PianoMagic offers.

So.. here we go \:\) This should be fun \:\)
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/10/07 12:22 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by redcard:
Okay.. so I picked up the book and am going to start on it. I also got into pianomagic, which is a fun course, but I think it's not for me. I'm going to stay with it, though, as it'll let me play around, but my primary method of instruction needs to be self-driven and a bit more "regimented" than what PianoMagic offers.

So.. here we go \:\) This should be fun \:\) [/b]
Good luck, be patient and keep us posted. Remember we have Piaboteacherkim and others who visit here that can offer advice...
Posted by: vayapues

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/10/07 02:57 PM

On page 112 it says 'keep your wrists loose and quiet'?

loose I can understand, but what does it mean to keep your wrist quiet?

thanks kindly
Posted by: gmm1

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/10/07 03:17 PM

I think they mean still. Don't be floppy around and moving your wrist up/down.
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/16/07 01:24 PM

redcard said:

 Quote:
Okay.. so I picked up the book and am going to start on it. I also got into pianomagic, which is a fun course, but I think it's not for me. I'm going to stay with it, though, as it'll let me play around, but my primary method of instruction needs to be self-driven and a bit more "regimented" than what PianoMagic offers.
I'd like to hear more about your thoughts on Piano Magic! If you're interested in sharing more about about it, feel free to PM me. Eventually (time and $$ being the necessary factors) I want to review all the major learn-at-home lessons on my site, so that beginner pianists can really know what they're choosing from.

I think it's a great thing for you to stay with something like Piano Magic, which teaches you how to be creative at the keyboard, and also work on something with a bit more direction. I'll be interested to hear how you progress, and how you're enjoying it!

Well, Alfred's users, I finally started my tutorials for the All-in-One course. I've gotten four up this week (which are all the 'intro' pages in book one), and hopefully I can continue at the rate of at least 2-3 per week. I'll probably finish another couple today. These are just text tutorials; after the new year I'll work on getting out the video camera and doing some that way too. (Big learning curve on the video editing!!)

In January, I'm also going to start tutorials for level 2 and 3 of Alfred's -- not waiting to finish level 1, because I know a lot of you are way into the higher levels.

Anyway, if you're interested, here's the main tutorial page. Scroll down to the links for Lessons 1-4.

Happy practicing!

Kim
Posted by: redcard

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/16/07 01:38 PM

KIm ,

I'll organize my thoughts on that and send it to you. All in all, though, I think Piano Magic is a great tool for people who want to learn to play fast. The music CAN sound good. Imagine that Scott Houston went indepth and offered a lot of personal one-on-one advice, and then taught you how to remove sheet music from the mix.

It is intriguing.. but.. the benefit is also the curse. It requires you to have some extremely creative and playful streaks in you.

All in all, it by no means is money wasted. Something to note.. .without that course, I wouldn't have a piano at all, much less Piano Magic, or Alfred's \:\)

So if you could pm me what you want to know, and I'll tell you what I can \:\)
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/16/07 03:57 PM

Well, Alfred's users, I finally started my tutorials for the All-in-One course. I've gotten four up this week (which are all the 'intro' pages in book one), and hopefully I can continue at the rate of at least 2-3 per week. I'll probably finish another couple today. These are just text tutorials; after the new year I'll work on getting out the video camera and doing some that way too. (Big learning curve on the video editing!!)[/b]

Thanks Kim, For your time and generosity, I'm sure all of us Alfred's students will benefit from your expert tutorials.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/16/07 04:33 PM

Great Job Kim, can I link your pages to the opening of the Alfred threads?
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/17/07 11:00 AM

Crusader - you're welcome. My passion really is helping and encouraging adult beginners, so I hope that what I write is useful.

Mark - of course, I'd be honored!

Redcard - I'll send you a PM today! Thanks!

Have a great Monday everyone. The sun's shining here today after some nasty weather this weekend (if it had just been snow, it would have been so much better!).

Kim
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/17/07 10:06 PM

Last week, I got to Cafe Vienna and Lullaby. I am quite content with my progress so far.

Now that I am on break from school, I have no piano to play for 3 weeks. I hope I don't forget anything.
Posted by: redcard

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/18/07 09:55 AM

Couple of questions that the book doesn't make clear. As I'm learning by myself, I'd like to get it right.

1. The suggested method is to learn right hand, then left hand, (or reverse), and then build up to tempo, correct?

2. I'm having real trouble hitting things on finger 4 in my right hand. Harmonic intervals are especially difficult, as is the C chord. This is due to the tendon tie between 3,4, and 5. (Yay biology) Flipping forward, I actually see a diagram from Gray's in there. Are the exercises given after that diagram a good idea of exercises?

3. I'm certain I'm doing the hand position wrong as well, any advice on that?
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/18/07 10:17 AM

Tuan Vo: I love Cafe Vienna! \:D That's one of my favorites in the whole book! I think you'll be fine without a piano. Did you bring your book home with you? You can "play" on a tabletop, you know. It can be a great exercise in reading music!

Redcard, your questions:

1) Well, there are various schools of thought on learning. The method you described is probably the most common way of pulling apart a song, and will work fine. Just be careful that you don't EXPECT that when you put your hands together, you'll be able to play as well or as fast as you do with your hands apart. In fact, it may feel as though you've gone back to the beginning. In a way, you have -- controlling two hands (and pedal, etc) is very different for your brain than controlling one hand.

Another way of learning songs is to take them apart measure by measure and beat by beat. So instead of just doing RH, you'd just look at beat 1 of measure one and see what you have to do with both hands. Then look at beat 2. And then link them together. Then, when you've worked through the song, you can pick apart RH or LH to work on the melody line, or articulation, dynamics, whatever the case may be. Try it and see what you think. Different ways of learning might work better with different songs!

2) Ah, finger 4, and the tendons in the hand, bain of the piano player! Yes, I like those exercises... as always, you just have to make sure to be completely relaxed as you work on finger strength and independence.

3) Could you be more clear about this question? Are you talking about the hand position in the exercises? Or in a certain song?
Posted by: redcard

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/18/07 10:37 AM

I'm talking about the general positioning of the hands above the keys. I find myself not doing the "holding a bubble" enough, and wonder what I can do to increase that.
Posted by: PianoTeacherKim

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/18/07 12:41 PM

OK, I understand now!

First, let me say that as you play songs, your hands change shape continually, so you're not aiming for the perfect "bubble" all the time.

What you're aiming for is:

- relaxed, no-tension hands
- no "wrist droop" where your wrists fall (like what happens when you type at a keyboard with your wrists resting on the desk)
- allowing your hands to slide into the keyboard (toward the piano) as needed to play chords or reach notes

I like to think of this whole "curved fingers/holding a bubble" thing a different way: think of playing with the very tip-tops of your fingers instead. This allows you the freedom to change your hand shape to fit what the music is asking you to play. (I'd personally break my bubble when I play a 7th, for example, from C up to B).

For me, that helps. I had quite a few adult students who let that holding a bubble idea develop into tension. Don't want that!

Hope that helps!

Kim
Posted by: preston08

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/25/07 09:19 AM

I am a college student, and am going to take up the piano next semester in January. I am most likely going to buy a Casio PX110.

A question... is the Adult All in One book the same as the Basic Adult Piano Course book but with more Theory and more Songs?

I think I'll buy the All in One series and see how far I can get this semester. (I'm a pure beginner so if I get into the tough stuff on book 1 I'll be pleased)
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/25/07 07:16 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by preston08:
.

A question... is the Adult All in One book the same as the Basic Adult Piano Course book but with more Theory and more Songs?

[/b]
From what everyone has been saying I believe you are correct...
Posted by: vayapues

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/26/07 05:31 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark...:
 Quote:
Originally posted by preston08:
.

A question... is the Adult All in One book the same as the Basic Adult Piano Course book but with more Theory and more Songs?

[/b]
From what everyone has been saying I believe you are correct... [/b]
It is absolutly identical, but it is all in one. You can buy the lessons, theory, and technical all in seperate books, or you can buy them all in one book.
Posted by: preston08

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/26/07 07:12 PM

All in One it is. I'm starting in January when I'm back at school. I'll certainly use this thread for guidance, and to ask questions.
Posted by: SHPiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/27/07 12:09 AM

It's a pretty good course. The AIO has some theory, but it's pretty limited. I think they've could have beefed the theory up a bit more, but what the heck. I've supplemented the theory in the book with some of the on-line sources recommended here.

BTW: I'm polishing O Sole Mio, Chiapanecas, The Stranger and starting Greensleeves.

Good Luck.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/28/07 06:38 AM

I must confess I haven't been doing the ammount of practicing of the Alfred's songs as I should have been, I've sidetracked and been playing music from other sources. I can play through all of the songs in Alfred's Book #1 so my sight reading is progressing well, the only thing holding me back is the pedaling, but I'll get it down eventually. I have Alfreds All-in-one Book #2 here waiting for me to start once I think I'm finished with Book #1, or once I think it can't hold my interest any longer and I need to press on. That's my progress update.
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/28/07 06:56 AM

I'm in the same boat as you Crusader. My new teacher shifted me to Helen Curtis and we do Alfred's because I asked her if I could stay on it but it's one piece every 2 weeks.

However I trust her fully (have I mentioned what a brilliant pianist she is?) and I got a really nice surprise last week.

She critiqued me and put me at level 3 and I owe it all to her because she gives me challenging music and makes sure I do it perfectly.

Although I love Alfred's I'm finding that taking lessons with her will get me where I want to be faster without missing anything.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/28/07 07:26 AM

I've also had Alfred on hold. I got him out again yesterday and reviewed 3 familiar pieces, The Entertainer, Guantanamera and Theme from the Overture. My hands hurt. The other, non-Alfred, pieces I work on do not create that level of discomfort. I am inclined to think it is due to the chords as my LH hurt the worse. Obviously a fault in my technique. I just received a couple of volumes by Helen Marlais, Succeeding With The Masters, so I rather think my focus will shift to those. Much more my thing.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/28/07 10:52 AM

Hi, Oxfords Gal, I think I would progress faster with a teacher, I need someone to set goals for me to aim for.

Hi Sundew, Which Helen Marlais volumes did you purchase, I may buy a couple myself to add to my music library? You could always check your technique by watching the pieces being performed on You Tube.

I purchased a number of other piano methods before I settled on Alfred's and I found Alfred's to be the best of the bunch, as I'm self learning. All methods tend to have some pretty corny old tunes in them, they just have to treated as exercises. Considering I really haven't put the practice time in I'm pleased that Alfred's has got me through to my present level.
Posted by: Pete105

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/29/07 06:33 PM

I got a HUGEEEE Questions about this book, I am on London Bridge, in and around page 57 (intervals of 6ths coming up next). But I look down the book (Can Can etc) and it seems like there is different fingerings for every song after...where does all this tie in??? I think between 70 and 75 will be tough!

Is this something my teacher will be showing me or what (different finger positions etc)?
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/30/07 03:31 AM

Hi Crusader - I have the Baroque and Romantic Vol 1. It is early days to comment on them but I like the idea that each piece is introduced with tuition on technique and the accompanying CD will be useful.

Alfred was my first method, like you I have tried a few! I think most give something. Alfred Book 1 has given me a good base to explore other methods and move forwards. I could never focus on one particular method - I flit about, which probably holds me back but I enjoy the flitting. I'm going to follow Kim's lessons with interest {thanks Kim}and limit my Alfred time so my hands don't hurt.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/30/07 01:23 PM

I got a HUGEEEE Questions about this book, I am on London Bridge, in and around page 57 (intervals of 6ths coming up next). But I look down the book (Can Can etc) and it seems like there is different fingerings for every song after...where does all this tie in??? I think between 70 and 75 will be tough![/b]

Sorry Pete105, fingering is one of my weak points, so far I have difficulty playing music without fingering. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will answer your question soon, in which case I too will be following the answer with interest.
Posted by: Pete105

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/30/07 06:10 PM

Thats ok crusader, I am slowly reading through the book, the different fingering positions (oppose to C,mC,G so far what Ive learned) comes from the different intervals (4ths 5ths 6ths etc) again, from what I can see of it...thats what it is...havent had a lesson yet since XMAS...anyone feel free to correct me ofcourse!
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/31/07 11:52 AM

I'm not sure what you're asking Pete.

Depending on what key the music is played in the fingering is going to be different.

Most music you buy will have fingering in it for you, sometimes you have to insert your fingering in some places on the pieces and you figure it out the more you've taken lessons.

For instance you'll automatically know when to do thumb under sometimes to get the fingers further up on the keyboard according to the music played.

I'm still not sure what the question is but as I mentioned most music you run into will have the fingering outlined.
Posted by: gmm1

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 12/31/07 12:03 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Pete105:
I got a HUGEEEE Questions about this book, I am on London Bridge, in and around page 57 (intervals of 6ths coming up next). But I look down the book (Can Can etc) and it seems like there is different fingerings for every song after...where does all this tie in??? I think between 70 and 75 will be tough!

Is this something my teacher will be showing me or what (different finger positions etc)? [/b]
Pete, are you asking if you play a note, say C, with a different finger from another piece?

If that's your question, then the answer is yea. Don't think of a finger "owning" a key. Depending on what you just played and what you will play next, the fingering may be different for notes from song to song.

Once you get the hang of it, it is not a problem, and as you play more and more, you don't even notice....
Posted by: Oxfords Gal

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/01/08 08:28 AM

Oh I hope you weren't thinking that only certain fingers play certain keys as gmm1 mentioned \:D . No such thing with the piano.

That kind of thing is true for the flute, recorder and tin whistle, those kind of instruments but for the Piano anything goes if I could use my toes I would. he he he he

Sometimes I have to figure out my own fingering in some situations and you have to do it logically by seeing what the highest note is in that measure will kind of tell you what finger to use for that first note and use thumb under if necessary and stretches etc.
Posted by: Pete105

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/01/08 10:10 AM

Thats exactly what I am asking \:\) So a finger doesnt own a key (like I said I am sure Ill learn this in my next lesson hehe I am just curious). I am on lonstar waltz now in the book...and from what I see the positions are all totally different from all the previous songs.
Posted by: ninja8701

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/07/08 03:16 PM

It's going very slow now. On about page 99 or so with Cafe Viena and Lullaby (don't have the book in front of me so I may have mispelled). Does it get slower as you progress towards the end?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/07/08 06:28 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ninja8701:
It's going very slow now. On about page 99 or so with Cafe Viena and Lullaby (don't have the book in front of me so I may have mispelled). Does it get slower as you progress towards the end? [/b]
yes...I was doing a piece a week on average unless it just clicked and then once in a while two pieces. The pieces get longer as the book progresses too...

If your doing other stuff like side pieces that will slow you down too.
Posted by: SHPiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/07/08 07:07 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark...:

If your doing other stuff like side pieces that will slow you down too. [/b]
Indeed it will. After polishing up Greensleeves I decided to go outside the book and work on Bach's Minuet in G. It looks pretty easy, so I thought "What the heck." I worked on the first section (page 1) for a few days and was very pleased with myself for getting it "under my fingers". I proudly played it for my teacher. Now, I've got all kinds of work to make it more musical. I'll work on Scarborough Fair simultaneously but I'm guessing to really play the Minuet well will take a bit of time.

I've written it before, but it's worth repeating: There are things you (at least I) learn from a teacher that might never pick up on your own.
Posted by: Late Beginner

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/07/08 07:29 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Pete105:
I got a HUGEEEE Questions about this book, I am on London Bridge, in and around page 57 (intervals of 6ths coming up next). But I look down the book (Can Can etc) and it seems like there is different fingerings for every song after...where does all this tie in??? I think between 70 and 75 will be tough!

Is this something my teacher will be showing me or what (different finger positions etc)? [/b]
Hi Pete,

This is something that I've been grappling with recently too. Once you get away from the beginner books it's common to have to work out fingering for yourself, and there are always several options. Not everybody will finger the same piece in an identical way.

For instance, I have some simple versions of songs that I can play on guitar, so I want to try them out on piano. But no fingering is shown on the scores.

As others have said, on some instruments it's pre-set - each finger always performs the same task. Either that, or there are general rules or guidelines to suggest which finger plays each note, or covers all the notes across each fret.

But on piano you need to make many more decision about which finger to use on each note, and when to change hand position for a while. Sometimes it's no more than a simple extra stretch and at other times it's a complete change of hand position. It seems that the most effective choices can depend on your hand size, general skills, and even musical style.

I was struggling recently with working out the fingering for what had been a very simple piece on guitar - a basic melody line for Loch Lomond - and asked a friend for advice. The problem was that no matter which position I started from, the same logic and 'scale style' fingering would always collapse at some point, either going up or down, depending on the way the notes followed each other. It was intriguing to note that (despite her undoubtedly advanced skills) she still spent a considerable amount of time experimenting with a variety of possibilities before she settled on the one she felt was most efficient, and suited her best. I eventually ended up using something similar, but still a bit different.

There are lots of little tricks and twiddles, and although there are probably a great deal of of wrong ways, there can also be more than one 'right way'. For instance, another experienced teacher told me that if you need to play the same note more than once in succession it often pays to change fingers. I think his reason on that occasion was more to doing with control, expression or smoothness of playing, but it certainly fixed my 'change position' problem with Loch Lomond. I was able to play the same note in quick succession with different fingers, and my hand was then set up to avoid what had been a problem further along the line. But there are always opportunities to move your basic hand position for as long as needed. It feels a bit odd at first, but you soon get used to it.

Cheers,

Chris
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/07/08 08:33 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by SHPiano:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark...:

If your doing other stuff like side pieces that will slow you down too. [/b]
Indeed it will. After polishing up Greensleeves I decided to go outside the book and work on Bach's Minuet in G. It looks pretty easy, so I thought "What the heck." I worked on the first section (page 1) for a few days and was very pleased with myself for getting it "under my fingers". I proudly played it for my teacher. Now, I've got all kinds of work to make it more musical. I'll work on Scarborough Fair simultaneously but I'm guessing to really play the Minuet well will take a bit of time.

I've written it before, but it's worth repeating: There are things you (at least I) learn from a teacher that might never pick up on your own. [/b]
Thats why I'm totally dedicated to finishing Alfred and do minimal side work. Since I've taken this approach my progress in Alfred has increase markedly...and hopefully my piano skills
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/08/08 11:48 AM

Well my book arrived today so I'm starting right from the very basics. Anyone else out there starting from scratch?
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/08/08 04:19 PM

Hi BazC, Welcome, We all started from basics here on Alfred's and many thanks to Mark for starting this thread. If you meet problems as you progress through Alfred's just post it here and you will be overwhelmed with advice.
Posted by: Triryche

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/08/08 04:28 PM

After a year and a half of mostly theory lessons, I am taking a break from lessons due to financial and time constraints. So I guess it’s back to Alfred’s for a while!!
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/08/08 05:35 PM

Thanks Crusader, I'm probably going to need all the help I can get! \:D
Posted by: mullyman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/08/08 06:14 PM

After recommendations from people around here I placed an order with amazon.com for the first 3 books. I know I don't need more than the first one right now but I'd hate to get through the first one in a year or so then order the next one and find they changed the cover or what have you. I'm a stickler for things matching if they're in a set.
MULLY
Posted by: TTigg

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/09/08 02:57 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by BazC:
Well my book arrived today so I'm starting right from the very basics. Anyone else out there starting from scratch? [/b]
Yep me \:D
Got books 1 & 2 (inc theory) so 4 books for Xmas so I intent to open them up this week now work has died down a little..

Good luck
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/10/08 12:54 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by TTigg:
Yep me \:D
Got books 1 & 2 (inc theory) so 4 books for Xmas so I intent to open them up this week now work has died down a little..

Good luck [/b]
Cool! Good to know I'm not alone \:D best of luck to you!
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/10/08 02:40 PM

Thats why I'm totally dedicated to finishing Alfred and do minimal side work. [/b]

Thanks Mark, In the absence of a teacher I was in need of guidance, for an objective, I'm going to adopt the same policy.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/10/08 02:57 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by crusader:
Thats why I'm totally dedicated to finishing Alfred and do minimal side work. [/b]

Thanks Mark, In the absence of a teacher I was in need of guidance, for an objective, I'm going to adopt the same policy. [/b]
I enjoy adding a piece a week and watching the book come to an end. By March, I should be hitting book 3...

Book one Dec 2006-June 2007
Book two June 2007-March 2008
Book three March 2008-probably close to a year...
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/14/08 03:56 AM

I may have mentioned earlier in this thread that the pedaling, more advanced pedaling, is the thing holding me back from finishing book 1, and I don't won't to move onto Book 2 until I've squeezed the last drop of knowledge from Book 1. Reading The more advanced pedaling is sort of like reading another stave/line of music.

Which brings me to the pedaling shown in "O Sole Mio", bars 4,5,6&7, I feel the pedal is held down too long, I think it sounds better if the pedal is lifted off after the first chord(C7) beginning bar 5, applied again at the first chord(C7)in bar 6....I could be wrong...again.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/14/08 07:30 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by crusader:
I think it sounds better if the pedal is lifted off after the first chord(C7) beginning bar 5, applied again at the first chord(C7)in bar 6..... [/b]
Hiya, I've tried it a few times both ways, and hear what you mean. It is also the only place in the score where the pedalling is carried across bass clef rests. I think pedalling as you suggest accentuates the melody in those 3 notes. Nice one.

just my 'alfpenny worth \:\)
Posted by: SHPiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/14/08 03:04 PM

FWIW: When I played O Sole Mio for my teacher she had me pedal much more freqently than is shown in the music--basically at every chord change or when the right hand is stepping down or stepping up with every note. I think the piece sounds much better this way (less muddled) and it's forced me to improve pedalling to boot.
Posted by: jimjjin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/14/08 10:27 PM

Ahh this book is great, I kind of got stuck but I still progress.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/15/08 01:56 AM

 Quote:
Ahh this book is great, I kind of got stuck but I still progress.[/b]
Welcome Timestopper, Where have you got to in Alfred's...are you stuck at the moment?
Posted by: RayMetz100

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/15/08 12:15 PM

I added my first recording to my signature. It's the first song in Alfred Basic Adult Piano Course "Greatest Hits" book. I'm trying to learn the Titanic theme song next. That seems easier than the second song, Edelweiss, to me.

I'm really struggling with "Blow the Man Down!" getting my right and left hands to work differently. I'll get it eventually though. Having some other Alfred books like greatest hits to try while I'm stuck on a song in the main book really helps.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/16/08 02:02 PM

Hi RayMetz100, I think everyone struggles on "Blow the Man Down", the way I tackled it was to practice for 10 minutes then go away from the piano for a half hour then back to practice, I don't know why not playing helps in playing. Strangely, the pieces later on in the book are much easier, I've just been playing "Raisons & Almonds" a really easy piece.....including putting the dreaded pedal in.
Posted by: jimjjin

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/16/08 08:23 PM

Hey crusader, I'm not really stuck, I kind of got stuck on "The Marine Hymn" but I eventually got past it. Right now I'm doing "Little Brown Jug", the dynamic changes are somewhat hard to do, but I shall still progress!
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/31/08 10:05 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by BazC:
Well my book arrived today so I'm starting right from the very basics. Anyone else out there starting from scratch? [/b]
You're way ahead of me. I only decided this evening to go out and purchase this book at my earliest convenience. It won't be my first book, exactly, as I have just completed my daughter's Schaum Green book. But I won't make it far before encountering new material.

Yes, I will be visiting this thread often. Thanks in advance for all the help I am sure to need.
Posted by: Kdana

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 01/31/08 11:28 PM

Hi Everyone!

I started Alred's All In One about 2 weeks ago - I'm up to page 36 - trying to focus on taking it slow. I've had my digital for about a year now and haven't made any progress. I've been writing the notes on relatively easy music and then memorizing. I've stopped doing that - I really want to be able to read the music and play without looking!
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/01/08 02:38 AM

Turleyfan and Kdana, good to have you on board! I'm finding it hard not to rush past the boring stuff in Alfred, some of the tunes are painful! Still when I get too fed up with them I find something on the Web to work on. I'd like to find a collection of Christmas carols, not too basic, not too difficult so I can have a bit of a repetoire for next Christmas. Might have a look round some music shops at the weekend \:D
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/01/08 12:57 PM

Hey, BazC and Turleyfan, I just ordered the book too, so I will be starting it with you. I move really s_l_o_w though, so I'm sure you will leave me in the dust shortly.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/01/08 02:21 PM

Looking back through this thread, it's almost like there are new waves of freshman classes beginning at various intervals.

mom3gram, don't count on my leaving you in the dust. I am truly a never-ever, with about three weeks' experience. But I had some light bulbs go on when I was helping my daughter through her book, so I hope they will carry me through the first few pages of Alfred's.

Just to be clear (this goes to Kdana, BazC and mom3gram), you are going through the Adult Piano Course Book One, is that correct? Not the All-In-One? (I haven't bought mine yet, just making sure I am getting the right one...)
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/01/08 02:26 PM

Good luck everyone. Remember its a marathon not a race. And enjoy the views as you travel...
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/01/08 02:59 PM

Turleyfan, I ordered the "all in one", but I think they are basically the same course. It looks to me as if the regular Adult Piano Course Book one has the lessons and songs, and you can supplement with the Theory book and the Technic book that go with it. The "all in one" combines all three of these, and I would imagine condenses it somewhat. But people on here using both book 1's seem to be doing the same songs and lessons with slightly different page #'s.

In the meantime, I'm finishing up a Bastien's Primer level book for kids, and I ordered the Level 1 too, just in case I get too stuck in the Alfred's. Here's hoping I won't though, because the song list on Alfred's sounds like MUCH more fun than the little kiddie tunes made up special for the Bastien exercises.

I just started a few weeks ago too, and I seem to need to repeat lessons many times before I can play them without too many mistakes. (And this is with the kiddie book). So I know you guys are going to leave me in the dust eventually, but it's okay. I'm not in any hurry.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/01/08 07:09 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by turleyfan:
Just to be clear (this goes to Kdana, BazC and mom3gram), you are going through the Adult Piano Course Book One, is that correct? Not the All-In-One?[/b]
Yup, that's the one I'm working on!
Posted by: Kdana

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/02/08 12:50 AM

Hi turleyfan -

I'm working on the All-In-One but I think mom3gram is correct - they are very similar.
Posted by: Kdana

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/02/08 01:00 AM

Hi BazC!

I found this on sheetmusicplus.com - "Alfred's Adult All-in-One Course - Merry Christmas Book (Level 1)". Just search for "Alfred's level one" and I think it brings up all of the Alfred's books on our level \:\)

About Alfred's Adult All-in-One Course - Merry Christmas Book (Level 1)
(Easy Solo Arrangements with Optional Duet Accompaniments) Arranged by Dennis Alexander. Songbook for easy piano and voice. Series: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course. 31 pages. Published by Alfred Publishing. (AP.17385)
ISBN 9780739009802. With easy piano notation, fingerings, lyrics, harmony part (for the teacher) and introductory text. Sacred. 9x12 inches.

These collections by one of our most popular composers are full of easy solo arrangements of favorite Christmas carols for adults who are studying Alfred's Adult All-in-One Course, Books 1 and 2. Each selection will bring enjoyment and inspiration to lift holiday spirits!


Contents:
Away in a Manger
Deck the Halls
The First Noel
Good King Wenceslas
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Jingle Bells
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
O Christmas Tree
Once in Royal David's City
Silent Night
Up on the Housetop
We Three Kings of Orient Are
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
What Child Is This?
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/02/08 04:03 AM

Kdana, that looks brilliant! Exactly what I was looking for, thanks a lot! \:D
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/02/08 06:26 PM

My update... went to Borders and Barnes and Noble, and came up empty. Last stop was the local music shop, where I should have gone in the first place. I picked up the all in one book, and have spent a couple hours with it this afternoon.

I made it all the way to Jingle Bells without spending too much time on anything. Jingle Bells requires a little more LH / RH cooperation than my daughter's Schaum book did, so it is going to take me a little while to get smooth with it.

I have already learned a great deal. I am surprised how quickly the book moves into intervals and chords. And I am unpleasantly surprised how useless my LH is at this juncture.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/02/08 07:06 PM

Congratulations on getting your book, turleyfan. Have fun with Jingle Bells.

I know what you mean about that left hand. I came to a LH note today and my mind went blank. So I tried to figure it out from the notes next to it, drew a blank on those too. Started to panic. I KNEW all those notes yesterday. :-( I'm working with my homemade flash cards now.

Hoping my book comes soon.
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/02/08 11:55 PM

I started the alfred book Dec 4 and am only on page 54 or so. Its going slow and its gonna be slower this next 5 weeks or so as I am on the road again.
Man this is going slow. On the other paw I have been looking at some other sheet music sometimes. Espcially when I get bored bored bored.

its good to know I am not the only rank beginner. Real rank at this point. I really stink at this. I just want to get to the point where I can play passibly so I can get on the carillon keyboard in 2 months or so and not make a fool of myself.
How much music theory do we really need???I slept thru music theory classes in high school.

cindy
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/03/08 05:22 AM

Cool! Looks like we have a nice little group of total noobs here! \:D You wait in 6 months we'll be dazzling everyone with our gavottes, Boogies and Ballads!

I think you have it right 1silkyferret, it's a good idea to have some other pieces to work on. Alfred is a great book but the music in it can be dull and I soon get bored with practising the same piece over and over. I grab a few Classical pieces off the net to mess with and I just bought Improvising Blues Piano (great fun but probably a bit advanced for me) Alfred will remain my main learning resource but I'll dip into other stuff to break the monotony!
Posted by: Dave_E

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/03/08 05:24 PM

Hi Everyone,

Dave here, also a Noob, rank beginner, but I already had the treble cleff down as far as note reading and theory (life long guitarist). I've been at it 1 month now and am 2/3 way complete with book 1. My hardest task was getting the left hand not to mimick the right or vice versa. I am also using the "Play By Choice" method as a supmliment.
Posted by: mullyman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/04/08 02:30 AM

I'll agree that the Alfred book 1 is a bit....boring, but for myself I can tolerate practicing these pieces. The way I see it is if I'm having difficulty with these simple things then there's not a snowballs chance in hell that I'll be able to do other things.

Anyway, I have a question concerning Alfred's. On the bottom of page 54 it says

"You are now ready to begin GREATEST HITS, Level 1"

What is this "Greatest Hits, Level 1"? I've looked online and I can't find an "Alfred's Greatest Hits" book. Is it the "Adult Pop Songs" book? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
MULLY
Posted by: Pyamaha

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/04/08 03:51 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by mullyman:

Anyway, I have a question concerning Alfred's. On the bottom of page 54 it says

"You are now ready to begin GREATEST HITS, Level 1"

What is this "Greatest Hits, Level 1"?
MULLY [/b]
Hi Mully,

I think this is the book that they mean:

Greatest Hits Book 1:
http://www.alfred.com/alfredweb/front/ProductDetail.aspx?itemnum=16505&pubnum=0

Book & CD:
http://www.alfred.com/alfredweb/front/ProductDetail.aspx?itemnum=19695&pubnum=0




And for level 2:

Greatest Hits Book 2:
http://www.alfred.com/alfredweb/front/ProductDetail.aspx?itemnum=16506&pubnum=0

Book &CD:
http://www.alfred.com/alfredweb/front/ProductDetail.aspx?itemnum=19696&pubnum=0



Have fun,

Pyamaha
Posted by: mullyman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/04/08 08:28 AM

Thanks for such a quick reply. Wow, there isn't a tune in there that I don't know and I'd like to be able to play all of them. Now I'm really excited about getting up past page 54. hehe!! I'm still working on Jingle Bells. Not getting a lot of practice time in but I am playing a bit every day.
MULLY
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/05/08 10:00 AM

As others have done, I find myself working on a range of pieces and exercises. I am comfortable enough with Jingle Bells to move on to other things, but not so comfortable that I am done with it. So I will continue on it, getting smoother, while I work on the next few pages.

The C-G7 chord change, in particular, is giving me a little trouble. Nothing that some practice can't cure, I am sure, but moving from C to G7 and back again to C with the left hand requires quite a bit of concentration for me.

I really like the "Coming Home" melody from Dvorak's #9, btw. Nice tune.
Posted by: Undone

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/05/08 10:50 AM

I’m nearing the end of my time with Book One now, but throughout the process I too have found that “one piece is never enough”. I simply can’t just keep working on one piece until it’s “finished” and then move on to the next. I like to have a few pieces in progress so I can work on one, then get a change of pace by moving on (or rather back) to another.

I like to have one “new piece” that I’m just learning, and few earlier pieces that I’m “almost done with, but not quite”. As I made my way further and further into the book, I would also set aside one day a week to go back through all of the previous pieces. It’s a great boost to one’s self esteem when they find that a piece that once gave them trouble is now “a piece of cake”.

But that’s just me; your mileage may vary.
Posted by: apollo33

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/06/08 12:08 AM

I got the All-In-One Book 1 today, so maybe it's a little late for this question, but:

Has it been discussed whether these adult books, with the emphasis on chords, are superior or inferior to the methods that are used for kids? I can't help but wonder if the book's goal is to get adults playing better-sounding music faster (with chords), then is it skipping through the foundation type stuff that's necessary for a real mastery of piano and hard classical music?

I'm 25 so I'd like to think I could still become pretty good and don't want to decrease my potential somehow. Though I do realize that in the piano world, 25 is old to be starting.

Anyway I'm excited! And glad to find this forum. There seem to be a lot of great people here.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/06/08 03:42 AM

Hi Apollo, welcome aboard! I'm a complete beginner so I can't answer with any authority but it's my feeling that it depends on what you want to play.

I read on these forums that if you absolutely, definitely are only interested in playing classical then you might be better off with a specialist clisscal method book. I don't see why studying a method like Alfred's shouldn't be used as a stepping stone to that path though, provided it teaches correct technique I would think it would offer a solid foundation to base your classical studies on?

My guess would be that the majority of adult beginners are interested in playing a range of music though and this kind of method suits that best. For instance I really want to play Blues but I'd also like to play some Classical/Baroque and some Popular/Rock .

Incidentally, I suspect that the widespread idea that if you are really serious about Piano (Violin, Flute, whatever) you have to study Classical music to really master the instrument is incorrect. I doubt that a Piano maestro of the Classical world would necessarily be a great (or even mediocre?) Jazz or Blues pianist any more than the other way around?
Posted by: AnthonyB

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/06/08 03:45 AM

Well, yes they get into the chords fairly quickly but most of the early stuff works stuff in both hands (several pieces get rewritten to make them easy to switch the melody over to the left hand) which is good so your left hand doesn't always get stuck in chord mode.

Chords are a great way to make the early fairly simple music sound better at least. I've not seen book two yet but you also need to look at the goal of this series. They're going to take advantage that this is an adult basic starting book and we've got full sized hands to be able to play some chords right off the bat. They are also looking for people to get some of the other materials they offer like the greatest hits and the rock/jazz books. I'm sure those are fairly chord heavy as well.

It may not be the best and it is certainly not the only teaching book out there but it gets a lot of us started and making some progress and that's what counts in the end I think.
Posted by: apollo33

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/06/08 10:23 AM

BazC: Thanks for the welcome. I also figured it can't hurt to learn chords early... you just might have a little trouble with more contrapuntal music later (hopefully I used that correctly). Nothing that couldn't be learned.

AnthonyB: I hadn't even considered the different hand size aspect! That makes sense. When you say this might not be the best, do you have anything else in mind? I like the best \:\) .
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/06/08 05:43 PM

Welcome, apollo, and thanks for asking this question. I am 39, and just started with Alfred's a week ago. It is my goal to play classic pieces. I am much more interested in this than pretty much anything else, but didn't really think about whether there would be a better first book. So if anyone else wants to chime in on this question, please do so.

Is there an Alfred's Classical Book I should track down? Or would that be a progression to take, say, after successfully completing book three? (Which should take a minimum of a couple years, based on the experiences of others I am seeing in this forum...)

To be sure, I have my hands more than full with "When the saints go marching in" right now...
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/06/08 05:50 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by turleyfan:
Welcome, apollo, and thanks for asking this question. I am 39, and just started with Alfred's a week ago. It is my goal to play classic pieces. I am much more interested in this than pretty much anything else, but didn't really think about whether there would be a better first book. So if anyone else wants to chime in on this question, please do so.

Is there an Alfred's Classical Book I should track down? Or would that be a progression to take, say, after successfully completing book three? (Which should take a minimum of a couple years, based on the experiences of others I am seeing in this forum...)

To be sure, I have my hands more than full with "When the saints go marching in" right now... [/b]
Alfred book 3 in the "Ambitious" section at the end of the book is the following:

Prelude in major C
Trumpet tune...ie Wedding March
Toccata in D minor
Fur Elise
Prelude in A major
Moonlight Sonata

These are full versions...
Posted by: SHPiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/06/08 10:12 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by turleyfan:
Welcome, apollo, and thanks for asking this question. I am 39, and just started with Alfred's a week ago. It is my goal to play classic pieces. I am much more interested in this than pretty much anything else, but didn't really think about whether there would be a better first book. So if anyone else wants to chime in on this question, please do so.

Is there an Alfred's Classical Book I should track down? Or would that be a progression to take, say, after successfully completing book three? (Which should take a minimum of a couple years, based on the experiences of others I am seeing in this forum...)

To be sure, I have my hands more than full with "When the saints go marching in" right now... [/b]
I just turned 42 on Monday. I started with Alfred's back in October and I'm currently working on "Amazing Grace" while putting the polish on "The Entertainer." Like you I'm primarily interested in "classical" music defined broadly to include baroque, classical, romantic, 20th century and some modern classical. My dream is to play Debussy well.

As a diversion to Alfred's I learned one of the Minuets from the A.M. Bach Notebook. (Although it seems quite simple it's actually quite a bit more challenging than even the later stuff in the first Alfred's book.) It's a terrific pedagogical piece and fun too!

I'm trying to decide if I'll continue on with Alfred's book 2 or not. I think the Alfred's course is great and it definitely teaches on a reasonable gradient. On the other hand, there are only a handful of songs (from the first book at least) that I really like. If I don't continue to book 2 I will probably proceed by selecting pieces with the help of my teacher.

My kids are learning by the Suzuki method which is all classical music. In fact, the Minuet I learned is in the second Suzuki book. So those books are probably good from a repertoire standpoint. However, with Suzuki you really have to have a teacher.

In any case, good luck with your learning. If you have half as much fun as I've been having, you're in for a real treat.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/06/08 11:06 PM

Alfred's All-in-One inc. CD on eBay UK.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/07/08 11:29 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by SHPiano:
I just turned 42 on Monday. I started with Alfred's back in October and I'm currently working on "Amazing Grace" while putting the polish on "The Entertainer." Like you I'm primarily interested in "classical" music defined broadly to include baroque, classical, romantic, 20th century and some modern classical. My dream is to play Debussy well.

As a diversion to Alfred's I learned one of the Minuets from the A.M. Bach Notebook. (Although it seems quite simple it's actually quite a bit more challenging than even the later stuff in the first Alfred's book.) It's a terrific pedagogical piece and fun too!

I'm trying to decide if I'll continue on with Alfred's book 2 or not. I think the Alfred's course is great and it definitely teaches on a reasonable gradient. On the other hand, there are only a handful of songs (from the first book at least) that I really like. If I don't continue to book 2 I will probably proceed by selecting pieces with the help of my teacher.

My kids are learning by the Suzuki method which is all classical music. In fact, the Minuet I learned is in the second Suzuki book. So those books are probably good from a repertoire standpoint. However, with Suzuki you really have to have a teacher.

In any case, good luck with your learning. If you have half as much fun as I've been having, you're in for a real treat. [/b]
Ok, a couple things. First, happy birthday. Second, am I reading that right? You have five pianos? How do you decide which to play (setting aside the fact that one of them is not playable)?

Third, wow, four months through the book, that is very impressive. Congratulations on completing it. You may have mentioned this before, but are / were you going through the book with a teacher, or on your own? Reason I ask is your final statement, in which you say you've had a great deal of fun. This despite your earlier statement that you haven't really cared so much for the pieces in the book. This suggests to me that either you have supplemented Alfred's with more interesting pieces (like the Bach Minuet, for example) and / or you have a teacher who has made it interesting for you.

Like many others in this thread, I am, so far, undergoing this without a teacher. And so far (heck, it's only been a month, and I have only had the book for a little while) my progress is fine. A couple of the songs have been mildly interesting... earlier, I expressed a fondness for the Going Home melody from Dvorak's New World Symphony, for example. But a lot of the pieces appear to me to be exercises to be endured, or milestones to be achieved. At this point, it's not drudgery by any means, but given that I too want to play classical music well some day, I want to make sure that the process remains both interesting and useful in the meantime. So I am interested in how you have kept it fun.

Last question... and I apologize for a couple of these being off-topic. Did you start your daughter in Suzuki from the very beginning, or did she sort of graduate to it from another method / teacher?
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/07/08 08:15 PM

Well, my Alfred's All-in-one book came today, and in peeking through it I can see that after the first few pages it's MUCH harder than the kids' book that I was working with. I'm going to take it one page at a time and hope it sinks in. I do like the songs better than the ones I've been working with - actually, most of the lessons in the Bastien primer book don't qualify as songs - just a couple of lines of notes with cute lyrics made up specially for that lesson. If the Alfred's works out I can give the other one back to my grandkids.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/07/08 09:10 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by mom3gram:
Well, my Alfred's All-in-one book came today, and in peeking through it I can see that after the first few pages it's MUCH harder than the kids' book that I was working with. I'm going to take it one page at a time and hope it sinks in. I do like the songs better than the ones I've been working with - actually, most of the lessons in the Bastien primer book don't qualify as songs - just a couple of lines of notes with cute lyrics made up specially for that lesson. If the Alfred's works out I can give the other one back to my grandkids. [/b]
This was EXACTLY what happened with me. And I can tell you that after, what, less than a week with my Alfred's book, I can't believe the difficulty I had with some of the pieces in my daughter's pre-beginner Schaum book. But alas, I DID have trouble with a few of those, so that's progress, huh?
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/08/08 03:07 AM

Take it slowly and you'll get it! One day you'll wake up and what seemed impossible yesterday suddenly seems a lot easier and more enjoyable.

Just take your time and have fun! \:D

If you're having difficulty with something specific ask about it here, someone can probably help!
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/08/08 09:18 PM

I worked my way up to Jingle Bells tonight. :-) It's not the greatest arrangement of Jingle Bells I've ever heard - but it's my version at the moment.

I actually GET the concept of melodic and harmonic intervals, and 2nds, 3rds, 4ths and 5ths. That's not to say that I recognize them when I see them. If it weren't for the finger numbers they gave me for the harmonics it would probably take me a good 5 or 6 seconds to figure out each one note/finger by note/finger. Will practice a few more times before moving on.

I also entertained myself with a few of the Christmas songs in the Bastien Christmas Primer. I like these because I can actually play them correctly (most of the time) and at speed.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/09/08 01:48 PM

I just listened to a few tracks on the CD that accompanied my Alfred's All-in-one. Yikes! I thought that the complaints about poor quality must be exaggerations. Well, they are not. I can't believe how awful it sounds. I am currently playing on a relatively inexpensive keyboard, but if you took my keyboard and put in in a plastic bag and played in underwater it would sound better than this CD.

But, I suppose that it might still give me some hint as to what I am going for in any music that I am not familiar with.

Back to Jingle Bells. :-)
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/09/08 05:21 PM

Keep it up, mom! It took me a good three days to get comfortable with Jingle Bells. As I mentioned earlier, it required a greater degree of RH / LH cooperation than was required from my daughter's book. That's what held me up.
Posted by: uncle mark

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/09/08 05:55 PM

I remember it took me a while to get Jingle Bells down, but once I did I was prepared for the next several songs. I like the way Alfred’s builds you up a little at a time. It is a great confidence builder when you can finally play a new song that has been challenging you.

My problem now is with Blow the Man Down and Lone Star Waltz. I can't seem to make them flow. I have been working on them for a couple of weeks and I am hoping for that moment when I finally 'get it'. Have others had problems with them?

Thanks, and keep practicing.
Posted by: gmm1

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/09/08 06:12 PM

You guys are impressing me. I never spent less than a week or two on every page.

Mark, Blow the Man Down gave me fits until I started to play the LH like a pirate lifting his glass in the tavern movies (you know, punching the beats in the air, swaying back and forth).

Lone Star Waltz was OK, but not one of my favorites.

In both songs, think "OMPH Pah Pah", the standard 3/4 curse. It's hard to hear a waltz without the "OMPH Pah Pah" kicking in....
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/09/08 06:15 PM

I'm currently simul-tasking three songs. I'm finishing up Cafe Vienna and focusing on mastering Lullaby and Joy to the World.


Uncle Mark:
Blow the Man Down is a milestone accomplishment, in my opinion. That is the first song that really stumped me for awhile until I found the way to play it.

When I played it, I realized that the left hand was overshadowing the right hand by high volume, so I learned to play the left hand softer while the right hand play more confidently and takes the spotlight and make the melody sing.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/09/08 07:41 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by gmm1:
You guys are impressing me. I never spent less than a week or two on every page.
[/b]
Oh, heavens, I think my family would have nailed the piano shut had I spent a week on Jingle Bells. I must admit, I am going through the book more quickly than I thought, but that's because the progression seems, to me, very incremental. I'm still working on "When the Saints... "(this would be about day 3 or 4); it still isn't totally smooth, especially when I need to throw in that one F chord (I think it's an F chord... the book is upstairs). But some of the pieces on the pages that follow are really not that difficult, and I am already pleased with how they sound.

I think Saints will take another couple of days.
Posted by: gmm1

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/09/08 07:46 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by turleyfan:
Oh, heavens, I think my family would have nailed the piano shut had I spent a week on Jingle Bells. [/b]
Hmmm. Maybe that's why I have been relagated to the basement.....

Makes sense, now.....
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/09/08 08:25 PM

That made me laugh out loud, Turleyfan.

My adult son, who lives with me, (and whose 4th and 5th grade trombone practice I very patiently listened to years ago) bought me headphones so he wouldn't have to listen to me play. That's gratitude for you!
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/10/08 08:44 AM

 Quote:
I just listened to a few tracks on the CD that accompanied my Alfred's All-in-one. Yikes! I thought that the complaints about poor quality must be exaggerations. Well, they are not. I can't believe how awful it sounds. I am currently playing on a relatively inexpensive keyboard, but if you took my keyboard and put in in a plastic bag and played in underwater it would sound better than this CD. [/b]
Hi mom3gram, I too thought the accompanying CD's sounded poor until I discovered they are recorded in stereo, one side plays the part as in the book and the other side an accompaniment, not in the book, both sides still sound electric pianoish but help with understanding how the songs go.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/10/08 10:27 AM

Yup, I'm fighting with Blow the Man Down at the moment too. Supplementing with some Blues from Tim Richards, Improvising Blues Piano, Bach's Minuet in G (just the first part) and Fur Elise (Just the first part lol)

Not sure if I'd do better to concentrate more on one thing or not. It keeps me intested though!
Posted by: SHPiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/10/08 12:13 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by turleyfan:
Ok, a couple things. First, happy birthday. Second, am I reading that right? You have five pianos? How do you decide which to play (setting aside the fact that one of them is not playable)?

Third, wow, four months through the book, that is very impressive. Congratulations on completing it. You may have mentioned this before, but are / were you going through the book with a teacher, or on your own? Reason I ask is your final statement, in which you say you've had a great deal of fun. This despite your earlier statement that you haven't really cared so much for the pieces in the book. This suggests to me that either you have supplemented Alfred's with more interesting pieces (like the Bach Minuet, for example) and / or you have a teacher who has made it interesting for you.

Like many others in this thread, I am, so far, undergoing this without a teacher. And so far (heck, it's only been a month, and I have only had the book for a little while) my progress is fine. A couple of the songs have been mildly interesting... earlier, I expressed a fondness for the Going Home melody from Dvorak's New World Symphony, for example. But a lot of the pieces appear to me to be exercises to be endured, or milestones to be achieved. At this point, it's not drudgery by any means, but given that I too want to play classical music well some day, I want to make sure that the process remains both interesting and useful in the meantime. So I am interested in how you have kept it fun.

Last question... and I apologize for a couple of these being off-topic. Did you start your daughter in Suzuki from the very beginning, or did she sort of graduate to it from another method / teacher? [/b]
It's only 4 pianos. The old Shoninger isn't tunable to A440, so we really don't play it (except for "The Entertainer" - it sounds great for that). The old Yamaha isn't a full keyboard and isn't weighted, so I don't play it anymore. The kids still do occasionally. So my choice is really between the Bluthner and the Roland. Guess which one I ordinarily play? I like the Roland, but I love the Bluthner.

I'm making pretty good progress through Alfred's but I'm not done yet. I'm taking my time with "Amazing Grace". As others have pointed out, it's a challenging piece to play well. So I've been taking it more slowly than other pieces. I think once you get into the book, you'll find that some pieces are much more difficult than others. So, you progress in fits and starts - at least I did.

I do have a teacher. (She's my kids' teacher as well). Our lessons have focused less on the Alfred's book than on technical points (how to play legato correctly, recognizing chords, how to pedal, etc). I think she's ambivalent about Alfred's.

I think that the "fun" part for me extends beyond either the book or my teacher (although she's become an important part of our family). It has more to do with the fact that I'm actually accomplishing something I had convinced myself I could never do. . .play piano. I'm discovering something I had convinced myself I didn't have. . .musical ability. I've really found that playing requires a wonderful combination of mental, physical and emotional/spiritual skills. I know that each song or skill I learn is taking me closer to my dream. Sounds corny but there it is.

Your last question is a good one and is actually related to all of this. Although some Suzuki students start right off with the Suzuki method (my youngest will) my older children started with a more traditional method with the same teacher. I think she makes a decision after a while which method will be best for a particular child/family (Suzuki is kind of a family deal). In fact, on more than one occasion she's hinted that she views each Suzuki book as about a year more advanced than a "typical" course. (e.g. Suzuki Book 1 is appropriate for student beginning their second year of piano). When I told her that I'd decided to learn the Minuet she said "Well you've jumped ahead about a year." (The Minuet is in the middle of Book 2 of Suzuki).

If you really want to focus on classical music I think there are probably "methods" or "courses" that have a repertoire more geared for classical music. On the other hand, Alfred's does teach some very important skills and gets you off the ground pretty quickly. So it's by no means a waste of time.

At some point, you really may want to try to find a teacher. Every time I have a lesson I really learn something important and new and fun. In fact, talking of fun, I've just started learning "Gymnopedie No. 1" with my teacher. It sounds simple but it's going to be a challenge.

Good luck!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/10/08 01:02 PM

 Quote:
It has more to do with the fact that I'm actually accomplishing something I had convinced myself I could never do. . .play piano. I'm discovering something I had convinced myself I didn't have. . .musical ability. I've really found that playing requires a wonderful combination of mental, physical and emotional/spiritual skills. I know that each song or skill I learn is taking me closer to my dream. Sounds corny but there it is.

That pretty much sums up how I've felt about piano playing. Alfred's organized system and my great teacher have made my dream that much more realistic. I'm not there yet, but at least I know in time its doable...
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/08 12:03 PM

Woo Hoo!!! I am playing Largo (Going Home) now!!! I'm slow switching between the two chords, but it's coming along. I'm getting excited now. I know this is baby stuff to most of you so please bear with me. :-)
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/11/08 01:17 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by mom3gram:
Woo Hoo!!! I am playing Largo (Going Home) now!!! I'm slow switching between the two chords, but it's coming along. I'm getting excited now. I know this is baby stuff to most of you so please bear with me. :-) [/b]
I really liked that, too. It was nice to play something that sounded familiar, but wasn't, say, Mary Had a Little Lamb.
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/13/08 03:39 PM

I'm very new to this and a complete begginer but I had a question about the early music in this book. Jingle Bells sounds completely correct but when I play Mexican Hat Dance from this book it sounds NOTHING like any version of Mexican hat dance that I've heard before. Are some of these versions in this book new or something?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/13/08 03:58 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Ogrt48:
I'm very new to this and a complete begginer but I had a question about the early music in this book. Jingle Bells sounds completely correct but when I play Mexican Hat Dance from this book it sounds NOTHING like any version of Mexican hat dance that I've heard before. Are some of these versions in this book new or something? [/b]
Many times the pieces are simplifed for beginners and this gives then a slightly different sound that you are used to hearing.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/13/08 04:27 PM

Ogrt48 is right, it sounds nothing like Mexican Hat Dance, not even a really simplified version. That confused me a bit at first, because it's easier to know if you are playing something correctly if it sounds familiar. Doesn't matter now though, I practiced it several times and moved on.

Michelle
Posted by: mullyman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/14/08 01:04 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by apollo33:

I'm 25 so I'd like to think I could still become pretty good and don't want to decrease my potential somehow. Though I do realize that in the piano world, 25 is old to be starting.
[/b]
I've discussed this with a few people around here and to be totally honest, I just turned 40 on Feb. 12. I started learning the piano at the end of November last year, so I'm like 3 months into it. Personally, I haven't set any limitations on what I can accomplish. I don't believe that an old dog can't learn new tricks. Kids pick up so quickly because they don't know the words "This is difficult" adults, on the other hand, have learned to put up barriers. The only thing that can stop you from being a great piano player is yourself and the limits you allow yourself to set. My advice to you would be to set that "I'm already 25 and it's too late" thinking to the side and just do what you have to do. Good luck with it. It may take a bit longer to achieve your goal but you'll get there.
MULLY
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/14/08 11:13 AM

I'll chime in with an update. It's been a few days.

Saints gave me some fits, but I feel like I have it down now. In fact, I have practiced it so much, I have it memorized. The next couple of pieces (Love Somebody!, A Friend Like You, Money Can't Buy Everything and The Cuckoo) came pretty easily, I thought. I still go back to these when I need a confidence boost. Of these, my favorite would probably be The Cuckoo.

Then we added the D7 right hand chords. This is where I am stuck. I posted on this in a separate thread, and from I got there, I concluded that I just need to practice this. But the transition from G to D7 is not coming easy for my right hand. This means that I have had some difficulty with any of the pieces that require this transition, like Harp Song and Alpine Melody. The last few days, I have been slogging through Beautiful Brown Eyes, and I can't quite put my finger on what gives me trouble with it.

So that's where I am. If I can get some good practice time in the next couple of days, I bet I will overcome these difficulties and move on to... 8th notes!
Posted by: jnick

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/14/08 04:05 PM

That's the same spot I'm in turleyfan! I've played through beautiful brown eyes, the waltz and am on Good morning to you. However, I'm not completely confident in those pieces and will still practice them.

For the D7 chord, I had the same problem. Here's what my teacher recommended that really helped.

Play a G chord. From there, lift your hand off the piano into the air, and come straight down on the D7. At first, you will miss completely, however in time you will begin to get it.

This will get you comfortable with the move. From there, you work on not making such a big jump into the air and onto the keys. Eventually it will seem like second nature.

Another problem I had with the G to D7 was my finger positioning. For the D7, use your 1, 4, and 5 finger on your right hand.

Good luck, buddy!
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/14/08 06:02 PM

Wow! You are moving right along there, Turleyfan. I'm just finishing up Mary Ann and ready to move on to whatever's next.

jnick, I will keep your solution in mind for when I get to that point. This thread is great.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/14/08 06:13 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by jnick:

Another problem I had with the G to D7 was my finger positioning. For the D7, use your 1, 4, and 5 finger on your right hand.

Good luck, buddy! [/b]
This is a very good point. My first difficulty I had with this transition was that 2 wanted to do 1's job. I have that pretty well solved, but now that you pointed this out, I am noticing that 3 is tending to get involved instead of 4.

Progress has slowed significantly while I try to solve this.
Posted by: jrcallan

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/14/08 07:38 PM

I got completely stuck on "Beautiful Brown Eyes" - I just couldn't make it sound like music. For me, a lot of what comes right after that is much easier. Now I'm wrestling with "Blow the Man Down." My problem is with the songs that really require completely independent stuff happening with the RH and LH -- I'm just not that coordinated. But for me, the challange is accepting that I;ll never be great, yet continuing on. I'm having fun so far.
Posted by: mullyman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/15/08 12:40 AM

For switching those chords all you can really do is practice. When I have a problem with a chord change I like to play the first chord over and over and over with the metronome, about 10 times, then slowly move my hand into the next position and do the same thing. Once I get to where I'm comfortable making that shape with my hand I'll do the first chord like 5 times and try to switch over to the next chord for 5 times and then back etc... Once I'm comfortable there I cut it down to 3 times, 2 times, etc...

Is that boring? You bet your backside it is, but for me it helps me a lot to get a lot of repetition on each one so my hand gets used to making the shape.
MULLY
if that doesn't work I take a hammer to it \:D
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/15/08 09:05 AM

Can anyone make a metronome recommendation for me? I think it's time...
Posted by: Triryche

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/15/08 09:50 AM

Not sure if your piano is close to a puter, but there are free ones online, like this one:

http://www.metronomeonline.com/

There are also ones you can download.

As far as physical metronomes, I have no recommendations, but I in the market for one.
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/16/08 01:32 AM

Well I've been working through this book for a few weeks now and I really suck! I think part of it is that I hate my current keyboard so I don't practice more than 20 minutes a day. I can only play upto rockets so far in book 1 and I still am kinda slow switching my left hand from c to g7, both my hands always get messed up at that point! I want to move forward but right after that part it introduces the A note and g position.. I think I should just keep working on rockets and the pages before it til I get it down pat?

Btw, I'm using some Yamaha psr 290 which is only 61 keys, and feels like a plastic toy. I just blew most of my tax return at music123 ordering a casio px200 + x stand. Im hoping this gives me some motivation to practice more..or I'll just cry myself to sleep about all the money I just spent :p I just wanna get good enough to play game music like To Zanarkand and Suteki da Ne =[
Posted by: jrcallan

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/16/08 05:20 AM

Please report your reactions to the new keyboard. It's got to make a world of difference.
Posted by: jrcallan

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/16/08 05:32 AM

Please report your reactions to the new keyboard. It's got to make a world of difference.
Posted by: apollo33

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/16/08 07:26 PM

Ogrt48, Congratulations on getting a new keyb.. digital piano! \:\) I got this same one (from the same site) just 2 weeks ago! (I still have to remind myself I've graduated from a keyboard to a digital piano \:\) ) I was actually going to recommend it on here but never got around to it. I tried it at a Guitar Center before buying it and thought the keys and action felt better than a lot of other keyboards... though admittedly I've hardly played a real piano so I didn't know exactly what it should feel like. Anyway, for under $500 I think it's the best deal ever. I think you'll be happy with it. It's really inspired me to practice, after also having a cheap 61-key keyboard like you.
Posted by: mullyman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/17/08 05:15 AM

Ok, fellow beginners (under 6months). How long do you stay on one piece? Do you sit there until you can play it by reading it or do you just add it to rote memory and move on? Ok, more experienced players, should we sit on one piece until we can read it or just add it to rote memory and move on?

I'm taking my time and trying my best to add the notes on the page into my head but it's going to take forever like this. I can work something out, memorize what my fingers should be doing and then play along with the CD with no mistakes. I see the chord for the left hand on the staff and my head wants to explode. I look up and see, for example G7, written above it and I'm like "Oh, ok." Is this not a good thing to be doing? I really want to be comfortable looking at the chord and knowing what it is by looking at it on the staff.

I feel that I should probably be patient and work on the reading. On the other hand Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder have done well enough without reading what's on the page. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
MULLY
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/17/08 06:31 AM

Hey Mully, I'm working pretty much the same way as you. I practice a piece, reading the music in order to learn it initially, but as the piece starts to become smoother I'm playing mainly by memory and following along on the page. My sight reading is appalling and chords? Forget it!

I'm not proud of my lack of ability in sight reading but I'm not too worried about it either, from what I've read on these forums becoming a good sight reader even to intermediate level can take years and i know from previous efforts on the guitar that it doesn't comes easily to me. So after a month and a half of piano I'm cool with being crap! \:D

What I feel is important is that you keep trying to read and follow along while you're playing. Hopefully reading will s-l-o-w-l-y become second nature, if you keep looking at that cluster of notes with the c above it you will eventually see that pattern of dots and know it's a c chord.

I doubt concert pianists are actually looking at the stave and thinking e, c, d, etc more likely seeing the note sends a signal to the fingers and bypasses the brain, at least to a degree.

That's what I'm counting on anyway! \:D
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/17/08 08:52 AM

Well, Basc and Mully, after a month and a half for me, I'm pretty okay with being crap also. :-) It certainly doesn't come easy to me either. Right now I'm only up to the first version of "When the Saints Go Marching In".

I usually practice a piece until I can play it three or four times in a row without mistakes or serious hesitation. Then I move on to the next one, but I also continue review several of the previous pieces at some time during each day. I think my memory kicks in a little, because I notice sometimes that I will lose my place in the book but continue to play anyway. But I haven't actually memorized anything (not even Jingle Bells or Merrily) so that I could sit down without the book and play them.

Both my sight reading AND my memory are pretty bad, so I'm hoping with practice both will improve.

My biggest problem right now, besides sight reading, is right hand chords. It's SO much easier to play a chord in the left hand. I wouldn't have expected it to be hard with the right, since I'm right handed.
Posted by: Undone

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/17/08 01:54 PM

I have had just the opposite problem. I moved too quickly through Alfred’s first book. I would get to where I could play a piece “kind of – sort of – good” and then move on. I was in a hurry to get to “bigger and better” things.

Then came the current recital. I thought I should enter a piece that I had learned. When it came to making a decent recording I found that I had too many bad habits. Whenever I would make a mistake (something that happened quite frequently), I would stop, think, re-group, and then either start over or replay the measure where the mistake took place.

Now I am continuing to progress through Alfred’s, but at a much slower pace. I am also going back through all of the earlier pieces and I’m playing them until I can get at least one good recording of the piece in question (just for me). [Learning to record what I’m working on has been a big plus in gauging how I’m doing.]

I don’t have the benefit of working with a teacher or of playing for others, so I’ve had to take a step back and reassess how well I’m doing on each individual piece. I still don’t think we need to make a “recital” out of each and every piece in the book, but I have learned that getting “that last ten percent” out of a piece can take even longer then the first ninety percent.

So I think that taking your time and really learning all you can from each piece is good (someting the rest of you all seem to be doing well at). But I also believe that you need to continue to stretch out into unfamiliar territory; I’ve found that I progressed faster by continuing to keep one foot in the “new and unfamiliar” while the other foot is “perfecting what I’ve learned”.

But that’s just me; your mileage may vary.

Undone
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/17/08 03:03 PM

Yes, Undone! That's basically what I'm doing - one foot dipping into the new and unfamiliar, and one foot in the old - mostly to be sure I don't forget what I've learned, but also to perfect it. It's good to go back and review once in a while. I haven't tried recording anything yet. My piano (keyboard) is downstairs and my computer upstairs.
Posted by: jrcallan

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/17/08 04:22 PM

Me too, to almost everything. I've been at it since Thanksgiving and I'm up to "Cafe Vienna." I'm just starting to make use of the recording capabilities of my AP-45 DP. Hit two buttons and away you go. Recording is a great measure of "how ready am I?"
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/18/08 11:09 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by BazC:
Hey Mully, I'm working pretty much the same way as you. I practice a piece, reading the music in order to learn it initially, but as the piece starts to become smoother I'm playing mainly by memory and following along on the page. [/b]
Great question! I mentioned in another thread that my goal was simply to well enough not to annoy myself. I admit that this is a totally subjective criterion, but it works for me. I give myself permission to move on to the next piece / page / topic in my Alfred's book when I am no longer annoyed with how I play it.

BUT...

I still work on it until I feel like I have reached the point to where I could perform it. This means I end up working sort of a range of pages at any one time. Some pieces I am in the final stages of refining, others I am still learning and watching people play them on Youtube.

At the moment, though, I am in a new situation. I have everything up to Lavender's Blue down pat, but I haven't yet made it through Lavender's Blue in such a way that I feel comfortable enough to go on to the next thing. Probably spent 4 hours with it this weekend. I'm close, but not there yet. So my entire range, at the moment, consists entirely of that one piece.
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/19/08 12:00 AM

Finally learned both versions of Saints Go Marching in about 25 pages into the book. I'm just getting used to these notes and still working on switching between chords quicker during the songs.. and the book throws the g position at me. /cry Btw, music123 skipped the px200 today, should be here wed but they "forgot" to ship the stand. -_-
Posted by: mullyman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/19/08 08:27 AM

I do hope they're going to ship the stand at no charge to you.
MULLY
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/19/08 11:42 AM

Well, no practicing at all yesterday - spent all day in a dentist office, and then an endodontist, waiting for an emergency root canal. By the time they called me in I was holding my head in my hands and rocking. I'm feeling much better this morning (on painkillers).

I am trying to move on to the second version of Saints - but I'm having an awful time with the right hand chords. My right hand is very awkward, and hurts when trying to play chords - which is odd because I'm right handed, and my right hand is much better at single notes than the left - it just can't handle chords. I haven't even tried to play the tune yet, just practicing changing from C - G - F and back again.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/19/08 12:51 PM

If you're on antibiotics, eat yogourt. (having preceded your journey by a few months). Oh, and whatever you do, if you tend to grind your teeth or clench your jaw when doing difficult things on the piano ... don't! An excellent time to get over a usually visible bad habit.

Can't advise about the playing: Have your teacher check how you're doing chords and where the tension is coming from. My dominant hand (left) would also be the mischievous one.
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/19/08 03:09 PM

I'm having the same problem as you mom3gram. I've been stuck on the 2nd version of Saints for days now. I can play the first version almost perfectly now but on the second version I hesitate and take too long switching to the F chord for the most part, and sometimes g7.
Posted by: jrcallan

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/19/08 07:37 PM

Patience, grasshopper...

I'm only a beginner too, but you won't get stuck in any one place for too long..

Don't forget, the two guardians of wisdom are fear and confusion.

(I can't believe I just said that!)
Posted by: gli

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/19/08 10:08 PM

I have questions about how to play the harmonies with sharp or flat signs.

Examples can be found in “The Stranger” on page 129 of Alfred’s adult all-in-one course #1. The fourth measure in the RH has a harmony of G and B plus a sharp sign. Should I play the G sharp only, or the B sharp only, or both G and B sharps? A similar question goes to the sixteenth measure in the RH, with a harmony of B and D plus a flat sign.

Thank you very much for your help!
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/20/08 03:09 PM

Well the px200 came today.. Now I really understand why people laugh and call my 4 year old 61 key yamaha a toy, lol. This casio is so beautiful, the photos online don't do it justice. I went through some of the songs in Book #1 using grand piano 1 and they finally sound so beautiful. I'm having some new problems since getting it though. I'm so used my old yamaha which had no pressure on the keys themselves . Now when I try to play the fast notes in songs such as the saints go marching in I have to press down so much harder to get the sets of notes to play. I'm used to just pressing the keys down 4 times or however many times required extremely fast but now with this pressure its not so easy! Saints Go Marching in actually sounds nice on this digital piano. I was regretting spending the $450 on it while waiting for it to come, but after practicing for 30 minutes on it I've already fallen in love with it. I'm sure I'm going to start going through this book much faster now since it's a joy to practice on.
Posted by: Triryche

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/20/08 04:32 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Ogrt48:
Now when I try to play the fast notes in songs such as the saints go marching in I have to press down so much harder to get the sets of notes to play. [/b]
You will get used to it soon enough. You may experience a little pain as your fingers gain some strenght, just don't over do it like I did when I switched to weighed keys.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/20/08 04:40 PM

Your PX200 sounds wonderful, Ogrt48! I'm still playing on the "toy". I have a lot of things I have to pay for before I can think about upgrading - new roof and garage doors, dental bills, etc. It is my plan to upgrade eventually though. I will keep the PX200 in mind.

I am getting better at the 2nd Saints with the right hand chords. I know I shouldn't panic when I first try a new lesson. Some of the older ones that I thought were so hard are a piece of cake now.
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/20/08 04:44 PM

I'm fine with the first version of Saints now too. I'm having a little trouble with the second version but not as much as I was a couple days ago. I basically pause and mess up when switching to the RH F chord.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/20/08 05:13 PM

mom3gram, I have a question for you. Are you doing both the Alfred's and the Bastien books? How do they compare? Does Bastien have a series like Alfred's?

I have my hands full with Alfred's, to be sure, but I am interested in how other method books compare, too.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/20/08 06:09 PM

I'm mostly doing the Alfred book. I have a level 1 Bastien set for kids, lesson, theory, technic and performance books that my grandkids outgrew. I used the primer level ones before I started Alfred, and I have done 3 lessons so far in the level 1 lesson book. So far it is mostly sharps and flats. I haven't really been spending much time with it, as you said, I have my hands full with Alfred. I may go back to it when we get to sharps and flats in the Alfred book. I actually never finished the primer set because the last three lessons were in G position, and I wasn't ready to add a new position. I see that we will be coming to that soon in Alfred. So I will just dip into the Bastien kids books when I need reinforcement for something I'm learning in Alfred. I think the Alfred book explains things better, but the music in the Bastiens are a little easier.

Bastien DOES have a series for adults. I had seriously considered that one because I liked their kids' version, but I decided on Alfred because of this study group. I also read some very good reviews on the Faber adult series.
Posted by: jrcallan

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/20/08 07:35 PM

Good for you. Best of luck with your new PX-200.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/20/08 08:14 PM

Holy cow. I felt good about finally getting Lavender's Blue down. And the next couple of pages presented no real challenge (although I do admit I am skipping the Hanon introductions for now... I will probably buy the Alfred Hanon's book later and do these for real...).

Then I turned my attention this evening to Blow The Man Down. Sounds like I have never touched a piano before.
Posted by: Triryche

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/20/08 09:16 PM

turleyfan
Hanon intro??
I don't seem to have in my book, do you have the all-in-one?

congrats on the upgrade!!
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/20/08 10:35 PM

Yes, the All In One. So far there have been three Hanon exercises introduced, but I can't do any of them at any sort of tempo whatsoever. Which means they are really boring.

I understand some people swear by Hanon, while others seem to prefer Czerny. Plenty of time to form my own opinion, I reckon.
Posted by: Triryche

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/20/08 11:06 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by turleyfan:
I understand some people swear by Hanon, [/b]
and some swear at Hanon!!

I have the Hanon book, I did like the first 2 and quit after trying 3, one of these days I'll pick it back up, probably when I go back to lessons, but for now I'm having fun with Alfred's Adult Level 1, I just started the Can Can Song (right now it's the can't can't! \:D )
Posted by: Undone

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/21/08 07:43 AM

Does anyone have an answer for the question gli asked on the 19th? I meant to take a look at the music last night (not that I’d necessarily have an answer), but forgot. Now I’m out of the house once again and don’t have the book with me.

Gli, if all else fails, you could try and PM Erin_J who played this piece in the recent recital.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/21/08 07:57 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Undone:
Does anyone have an answer for the question gli asked on the 19th?[/b]
I haven't gotten to that yet in the book, but I was interested in hearing an answer to that too.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/21/08 08:28 AM

In response to gli's question on the 19th concerning how to play certain note combinations in measures 4 & 16 of "The Stranger" on pg. 129 of Book 1 here's the scoop: since this piece does NOT have a key signature (thus, is in the key of C Major or in this case the relative key of A minor) any sharp or flat sign that appears in the music ("accidentals") applies only to the note on the line or space where the sign is placed. In measure 4 only the G is sharped. In fact, as I'm sure you already know, there is no such thing as a B sharp - or to put it another way, since there is only an interval of a half-step between B & C, B sharp is C. That is, they are "enharmonic, i.e. two different ways of designating the same note. In some rare instances a B is actually sharped, but not often. In measure 16 since the flat sign appears on the B line & not the D line only the B note is flatted. The fact that the notes are played together in a two-note chord (chord of sorts - actually a "harmonic interval") doesn't change the rule about applying accidentals. Also, just in case you weren't sure, only the right hand is played 8va (an octave higher) in measures 13-16, and not both hands (otherwise there would be a separate 8va indication for each hand or the one existing indication would say " ... both hands". Or anyway, that's how the compilers of this series of methods seems to use this indication & I assume this conforms with standard usage. JF
Posted by: mullyman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/22/08 12:46 AM

mom3gram, I have to say that I did the same as you. I chose the Alfred's course because of 2 things 1. Everyone here recommended it and 2. Everyone here recommended it. Although those 2 things sound 1 in the same they are actually different. The first one refers to the fact that a lot of people here hold it in high regard. The 2nd one refers to the fact that since everyone has it that it will be convenient if I have any questions. It's so easy to say "On page 36...."
MULLY
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/23/08 03:20 PM

I've been stuck at the part where you learn the G position for days now. It's like I'm completely starting over at learning piano now. The g position just isn't clicking to me.. GET THOSE NOTES BACK ON THE STAFF /cry
Posted by: mullyman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/23/08 10:42 PM

Has the mistake in the Albert's book been discussed here yet? I've got the "All in One" with the CD. Track 51 in the book is Lavender's Blue but track 51 on the CD is Kum-ba-yah! Track 52 in the book is Kum-ba-yah but it's track 51 on the disc. I'm assuming this hasn't gone unnoticed on this forum but I'm not going through 25 pages looking for it. If anyone else is just starting out with this book and CD and you haven't seen this discussed then here ya go. The book and the CD are reversed at tracks 51 and 52.
MULLY
thinking about notifying whoever makes Alfred's and letting them know I want an updated CD
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/24/08 03:41 PM

I thought there was a mistake on page 85 (Kum-Ba-Yah). In measure 8, the music calls for a RH D and a LH G (both whole notes). For the life of me, I could not get this to sound right. I ended up crossing out the LH and playing a LH D / F second, which felt right.

On to Lone Star Waltz now. Those of you who have completed this, have you gotten to the point where you didn't need to keep your eyes on the keyboard? There is a lot of movement going on in this piece, and my aim is poor right now. I have to watch the keyboard.
Posted by: apollo33

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/24/08 10:34 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
I thought there was a mistake on page 85 (Kum-Ba-Yah). In measure 8, the music calls for a RH D and a LH G (both whole notes). For the life of me, I could not get this to sound right. I ended up crossing out the LH and playing a LH D / F second, which felt right.[/b]
It sounds right as written to me. It's another form of the G7 chord, and it occurs again right before the end of the piece. Did you change it there also? Without the G I think the D and F sound more like a D minor chord instead of G7.

 Quote:
On to Lone Star Waltz now. Those of you who have completed this, have you gotten to the point where you didn't need to keep your eyes on the keyboard? There is a lot of movement going on in this piece, and my aim is poor right now. I have to watch the keyboard. [/b]
I just tried and had to look. But I think you should be able to play the first 8 without looking, then look at the right when it does sixths, and then at both when the left does sixths. I find that if I try to watch either the music or my hands the whole time, it always screws me up. Memorizing is a big help.


Going back to earlier parts of the book, I hardly remember the songs, and it's kind of like starting over... except that I recognize the chords a little better. Is that normal?
Posted by: Naked Shaman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/25/08 03:35 PM

Hey Boys & Girls,
Chris here. Brand new member. A good friend of mine (who is also my piano tech) gave me a copy of Grand Obsession yesterday. OMG , I have only read the first three or four chapters but it is amazing how I relate to this book. It's receipt was very timely I as was getting very discpuraged with my lessons.

I am 51yrs old and started taking lessons for my 50th Birthday. I actually don't count the first year as I was so intimidated and overwhelmed by the process that I have only just gotten to the point where I feel as if I am actually learning something. Am using the Albert book along w/additional pieces my Teacher gives me.

It is so cool that I have found this site. Between this and the book I have a whole new attitude towards my journey to becomming a PLAYER!!!!

Lots more later,
Chris
Posted by: Grumbles

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/26/08 12:19 AM

A quick introduction; I am 30 (as of 2 weeks ago *gulp*) and I have been messing around with piano for a few years. NOTHING SERIOUS, just fiddling with the piano that my wife got from her family. After reading this thread, I broke down and picked up the book on Saturday. I previously had been messing around with some elementary school versions of movie themes, but that is about the extent of my piano skills. I did play brass for years, so I am familiar enough with the bass clef, treble... Well, don't get me started.

I made it up to Jingle Bells in a day or so, but this one has got me going crazy. I can play the first 3 lines, but that forth line gets me every time. What I am wondering is how do we not go crazy as we practice? I am SO sick of hearing myself play this one. If it were any other song, I would be fine. But why oh why did they introduce the hands together with Jingle Bells?!?

I will get over it soon. My goal has been to master each song before moving on, but I am tempted just to say good enough on this one. I will force myself through it though. \:\)

I must say, this site is great. I just found it last week; I can't even say how inspiring it is to hear the recital songs. It is cool to hear where other people after about a year or two into their playing. I can't wait to learn a few numbers; I am looking at you Raisons and Almonds... ;\)

Does anyone have any suggestions for a brand new player? Anything you know now but wish you would have known earlier?
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/26/08 01:16 AM

Hi, Grumbles! It was just a week or two ago that I was struggling through Jingle Bells, and now I'm pretty much done with the two Saints. I still get a little hung up sometimes with the right hand F and G7 chords, but most of the time I'm okay with them. Suggestions? Practice, practice, practice, and patience, patience, patience.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/26/08 03:20 AM

Hi Everyone,

I'm a true beginner, still looking for my digital piano. In the meantime, I'm doing some research into what type of classes or instructions I will need.

Will it be practical and effective to work through what seems to be the popular instruction books series Alfred's Adult Method Book 1 or All-In-One on my own, or is it better to have an instructor by my side, or is it better to have both? What you all find is effective and working for you so far?

And are there any other beginners' instruction books or resources that you would recommend?

Thanks.

Key Notes
Posted by: IamElise

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/26/08 09:11 AM

I would say definately get the alfred's book 1 - it just seems better to me. However I also got the all in one because it has more songs and looked interesting.

Definately get a teach. you will see much much progress as oppose to going it alone.

I thought I was doing well on my own but gosh did I take off when I got my teach.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/26/08 09:57 AM

Hi Keynotes and welcome.

Alfred is OK. I'm not his most enthusiastic proponent and my impression from the teachers forum is he isn't overly popular over there. Apologies for any wrong impression. I think you will find the consensus is we move forward faster and/or better with the right teacher but it isn't essential to get going. If you do decide to go with a teacher it might be worth seeing what methodology they use before you buy anything.

I was bored with Alfred after 3 months {the basic, I never tried the All in One} and have tried several methods. They each bring something new for me, but methods such as Aarons I think would be best for a complete beginner to leave alone or work through with a teacher. Quite a few forum members have used Faber Adult Adventures. I've completed Book 1 and enjoyed it. I also like the Hal Leonard Adult, which has pretty tunes on the accompanying CD's, and is much slower paced than Alfred IMO. Good for a complete beginner.

There is so much supplemental material available it can be hard to discriminate as to what may or may not help. I glean ideas from reading old forum posts and see what others recommend or suggest. I have also spent a lot of time in music stores!

Good luck and whatever route you take, enjoy. \:\)
Posted by: Naked Shaman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/26/08 10:13 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Naked Shaman:
Hey Boys & Girls,
Chris here. Brand new member. A good friend of mine (who is also my piano tech) gave me a copy of Grand Obsession yesterday. OMG , I have only read the first three or four chapters but it is amazing how I relate to this book. It's receipt was very timely I as was getting very discpuraged with my lessons.

I am 51yrs old and started taking lessons for my 50th Birthday. I actually don't count the first year as I was so intimidated and overwhelmed by the process that I have only just gotten to the point where I feel as if I am actually learning something. Am using the Albert book along w/additional pieces my Teacher gives me.

It is so cool that I have found this site. Between this and the book I have a whole new attitude towards my journey to becomming a PLAYER!!!!

Lots more later,
Chris [/b]
Umm , I meant ALFREDS , up to page 30. And I am discouraged. And I play piano as poorly as I type.............
Posted by: rodmichael

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/26/08 11:18 AM

I'm 61 and got my absolute first exposure to reading music and the piano two weeks ago. I started Book 1 then and have my third instructor lesson this afternoon. I'm on page 26 or so, just learning how incapable I am with my 4th & 5th fingers in trying to execute harmonic thirds. I've been stumped there for the past week just trying to get my fingers to obey (they're improving, slowly).

Generally, I try to repeat a lot of the first pages before I advance forward in the book, just to warm up the digits and reinforce some fundamental techniques.

I have an instructor who corrects my technique, gives me encouragement and weekly goals, and listens to my progress each week. Advancement through the book has so far been at my pace, and I feel I'm moving quickly, but I have no certain reference point for that. In some ways, skimming through this forum, I get the impression that I may be a laggard.

I try to practice 1 to 2 hours daily in 30 to 40 minute segments.

My major supplemental to Alfreds has been to order (not yet received) Alana's Beginner Finger Exercises and Hanon and Czerny's exercises in an effort to improve flexibility and independence of my fingers.

I am registered for Summer Keys in Lubec, ME for this July and hope that experience will provide a bit of oomph to Alfreds.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/26/08 02:21 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:
Hi Everyone,

I'm a true beginner, still looking for my digital piano. In the meantime, I'm doing some research into what type of classes or instructions I will need.

Will it be practical and effective to work through what seems to be the popular instruction books series Alfred's Adult Method Book 1 or All-In-One on my own, or is it better to have an instructor by my side, or is it better to have both? What you all find is effective and working for you so far?

And are there any other beginners' instruction books or resources that you would recommend?

Thanks.

Key Notes [/b]
Hi, Key Notes. And welcome. Fellow true beginner here... I have been learning for all of 6 weeks or so now.

So far, I am going solo. I am trying to supplement what I am learning from Alfred's by using Youtube videos and asking questions here. I am sure that if I had a teacher, I would be making better progress than I have, but I am not disappointed at this point. HOWEVER, I am under no delusions about how far I can take myself. I understand that I will have to get a teacher at some point.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/26/08 02:25 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by apollo33:

 Quote:
On to Lone Star Waltz now. Those of you who have completed this, have you gotten to the point where you didn't need to keep your eyes on the keyboard? There is a lot of movement going on in this piece, and my aim is poor right now. I have to watch the keyboard. [/b]
I just tried and had to look. But I think you should be able to play the first 8 without looking, then look at the right when it does sixths, and then at both when the left does sixths. I find that if I try to watch either the music or my hands the whole time, it always screws me up. Memorizing is a big help.


Going back to earlier parts of the book, I hardly remember the songs, and it's kind of like starting over... except that I recognize the chords a little better. Is that normal? [/b]
Thanks for the response, apollo. I would like it very much if you could continue to revisit this thread periodically. One of the most informative things about this thread is hearing from those of you who have already gone down this path. In particular, I find it very useful hearing about the difficulties y'all had with various pieces, and how you were able to overcome them.

As to Lone Star Waltz, I have played it enough to where I don't really need the music. It is a VERY simple piece, musically. So I do find myself looking at the keyboard pretty much all the time. The transition I am having the most trouble with is the transition from the D.C. al Fine back to the beginning.

More practice.
Posted by: apollo33

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/26/08 08:59 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
Thanks for the response, apollo. I would like it very much if you could continue to revisit this thread periodically.[/b]
You actually welcomed me to the forum in this thread back on page 23, and that's when I started the book \:\) . So I'm by no means an expert, and I'm still always coming to this thread 'cause it's the book I'm on. I'm probably just going through it faster than I should be.

If anyone's interested or would like to help me with constructive criticism, the other day I posted a video on YouTube of me playing "Good People" from Alfred's All-In-One on page 117 (I embellished a few sections, in case anyone wonders). This and two other jazz songs in nearby pages make me really glad I got this version of the book. I could play these songs all day.

Basically I just want to know if my technique is decent, but looking at the video myself I think it's pretty hard to tell anything. Can anyone recommend a technique book that's good enough for me to understand how I should be playing, or is it just impossible without a teacher?
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/08 01:44 AM

I started this whole mess in Dec and am sort of up to page 80 in Alfred's. I need to clean up a few pieces but mostly have Alouette down.
Its taking real disipline with the tasty drum jams wiyhe 50 feet from my door. Last night I hit the jam. Considering the killer weekends here I only get 3 or 4 practce sessions a week!

When I am not on the road I get 4 or 5 sessions a week depending on what my paws say.

how long do most of you guys take to learn one of these pieces.
This 2 hands together stuff is HARD!
I looked at the Hanon stuff, looks hard and boring. Any ideas?
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/08 03:37 AM

Thank you Sundew and Always Wanted to Play Piano for your warm welcome and responses. I truly appreciate them.

It's quite encouraging and inspiring to learn of yours and some of the others' learning experiences. I did suspected that eventually I will need to get an instructor as well, but until I find the right one, I wanted to get going on my own first. Your input and suggestions on the various materials and resources are greatly appreciate it.

Congratulations on all of your progresses and keep up the great work! \:\)
Posted by: Naked Shaman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/08 09:05 AM

I have ordered the CD for Book 1. Does anyone else have it and does it help??
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/08 09:15 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Naked Shaman:
I have ordered the CD for Book 1. Does anyone else have it and does it help?? [/b]
Yes I find it useful, be aware that the backing is on the left channel and the piano is on the right so you can isolate them to hear the piano more clearly or you can silence the piano and play along to the backing.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/08 09:46 AM

Yes, the CD does help - I haven't tried playing along, but when I have doubts about what I am playing I can pop the CD in and hear how it's supposed to sound. But, PianoNoob has recorded his playing of all the Alfred songs on Youtube for anyone who can't get the CD.

I've just dropped the previously dreaded Jingle Bells from my daily practice, and picked up Love Somebody. That's the first song in G position - a little confusing, but not as much as I expected. It's nice to have the fingering numbers to fall back on.

On Saturday I will be leaving for a trip that will keep me away from my keyboard for about 10 days. I'm wondering how far I will backslide with no practice for 10 days. Have any other "true beginners" missed 10 days of practice, and how badly did it hurt your ability to play?
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/08 10:05 AM

Hi Mom! I've recently missed about 5-6 days due to a combination of illness and work pressures. I haven't regressed as much as I thought I would so I wouldn't worry too much! Maybe you could get your hands on a piano for a quick tinkle while you're away? Music shop or maybe bar or hotel. Just a few minutes here and there might help to keep things in your memory?
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/08 10:12 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by mom3gram:
PianoNoob has recorded his playing of all the Alfred songs on Youtube for anyone who can't get the CD. .....

[/b]
This is the link - not the Pianonoob {Yang}who posts to the forum. This guy {Alex} started in September and seems to have zipped through 1 and 2! Well done to him. \:\)
http://youtube.com/profile_videos?user=PianoNoobAlexMan&p=r

Have a good trip - I had 8 days off last September for the family holiday, I didn't feel it impacted too much on my slow progress.

I did find it helped to move on in the book then review earlier pieces, something like Jingle Bells was easier when I went back to it. The only pieces that really caused me grief were Little Brown Jug and Amazing Grace; The latter I never did complete, I dislike the arrangement sufficiently for the dislike to get in the way.
Posted by: Naked Shaman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/08 10:24 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by BazC:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Naked Shaman:
I have ordered the CD for Book 1. Does anyone else have it and does it help?? [/b]
Yes I find it useful, be aware that the backing is on the left channel and the piano is on the right so you can isolate them to hear the piano more clearly or you can silence the piano and play along to the backing. [/b]
Thanks , BazC.

Cheers....
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/08 02:26 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sundew:
 Quote:
Originally posted by mom3gram:
This is the link - not the Pianonoob {Yang}who posts to the forum. This guy {Alex} started in September and seems to have zipped through 1 and 2! Well done to him. \:\)
http://youtube.com/profile_videos?user=PianoNoobAlexMan&p=r

[/b]
I do NOT have the CD, and so have relied extensively on Alex's recordings. Some have errors, and in a few cases, I don't know that he was aware of his mistakes. But these recordings have helped in two ways:

1. They let me know what the music, generally, is supposed to sound like. This is especially helpful during that dark, early phase of picking up a piece, when it is still mainly a mystery to me.

2. More subjectively, watching his progress has been an encouragement to me. He is also recording all his Alfred's Book Two pieces, which will be useful later this year (I trust).
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/08 02:46 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by apollo33:
You actually welcomed me to the forum in this thread back on page 23, and that's when I started the book \:\) . So I'm by no means an expert, and I'm still always coming to this thread 'cause it's the book I'm on. I'm probably just going through it faster than I should be.


[/b]
Ok, that was careless of me. Given your progress, I misplaced you, and thought you were one of the veterans. I flew through the first 70 or so pages, but the last two or three pieces have been multi-day undertakings. My progress has slowed significantly. I bet my Father In Law that I would have a production-level version of the Entertainer ready May 1, but now I am less sure.

I will take a look at your link and give you the rookie-level feedback when I get home.
Posted by: dvs cycles

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/08 07:34 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by 1silkyferret:
I looked at the Hanon stuff, looks hard and boring. Any ideas? [/b]
I just started them and they are hard though I feel improvement happening quickly.
Whenever I get bored with any of these lessons I change to another voice on my digital piano.
Harpsicord, vibraphone, organ whatever I want to play around with.
Works for me, YMMV.
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/27/08 09:23 PM

Thank you. good idea, I will try that if the hanon stuff sounded more like Teleman they would be more interesting.
Posted by: gli

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 02/29/08 01:44 PM

JohnFrand & Triryche,

Thank you very much for your replies. They really helped me to learn/play this wonderful piece.
Posted by: Lewbo

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/01/08 02:39 PM

I agree with Naked Shaman, Grand Obsession, both the book and the web site are lots of fun. Another good one is "Piano store on the Left Bank"
Posted by: Amygdala

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/04/08 09:37 AM

Hi, everybody!
I had less than a year of piano lessons at age 26 (27 years back!) with a teacher, but I never really felt I made any progress. It got to be that I was "warming up" for 45 minutes with the scale book and Hanon. Ultimately "life got in the way" I had to move and let my piano (old "Princess") go to a neighbour, and did not think about it again till around Christmas this year when an older lady told me how much she was enjoying continuing her piano learning. I'd always thought, even at age 26, that I was really too old to start playing, so this opened up a new world for me. My husband dug out a Kawai X30 (touch-sensitive - velocity, I think) keyboard we had given our daughter when she was a child for group lessons she had at school. She went on to become a drummer,BTW, saying that the counting at the piano provided a good basis for this. Anyway, there were sooo many resources online (for sheet music addicts, try the newsgroup "alt.binaries.sheet-music"), and I've been really all over the place, but loving it! Then I was offered free lessons and my teacher gave me Alfred's Book 1 to work through. My first lesson was on Saturday, I just kept playing through the pieces. I did not think I needed a teacher, but really had previously been trying to play peices too difficult for my skill level, and had no guidance to progress. Now I am very excited, especially hearing what others have done with some of the later pieces in the book -- lovely!!!! I have not yet reached the place in the book where I'm as challenged as with other pieces attempted previously, but that is not to say I've not yet learned from it! I completed Page 25 yesterday, and realize that my fingers need to gradually build up to the level as I learn, and my teacher says this will take a few months. He has also asked me to play the scales I know followed by chord inversions. He recommends Hanon exercises, too, which I'm a bit familiar with, but I'm not going to get lost in that stuff this time around.... well, maybe a little, but after reading the criticisms in the Wiki article
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Virtuoso_Pianist_In_60_Exercises, I really want to concentrate on musicality.
This forum is wonderful and I do apologize for such the long post, but I'm just brimming!
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/04/08 05:14 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by gli:
JohnFrand & Triryche,

Thank you very much for your replies. They really helped me to learn/play this wonderful piece. [/b]
gli: you are welcome - glad the info helped! FYI - if I remember correctly (Ha, always a dubious undertaking) there's a version of The Stranger somewhere out there on Recital #9, if you were interested in hearing what someone else did with this piece.

JF
Posted by: mullyman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/04/08 06:44 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by 1silkyferret:
I looked at the Hanon stuff, looks hard and boring. Any ideas?
Interesting. I really enjoy the Hanon exercises that I've learned so far. My teacher has the book and just looking at the pages intrigues me to no end. Hopefully someday I will be a master of all of them.
MULLY
Created my own Hanon type exercise....unless it's in the book already
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/04/08 08:42 PM

We could use some more recordings for the first page to use as demos...that includes the easiest of the early stuff.

Thanks!
Posted by: mullyman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/05/08 10:09 PM

Does anyone else agree that the administrator should make this topic a sticky so it stays at the top, easy to find?
MULLY
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/05/08 10:24 PM

Well, when it drops down, I take it as warning that we need to get back on the ball!

I haven't, sadly, been in my Alfred's book at all this week. Not since Sunday. I do miss it, I must say.
Posted by: apollo33

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/05/08 10:29 PM

It wouldn't be necessary if people would just post more! \:\) I've been wondering lately why it's almost dropping off the page. Of course I'm not helping much either. Lately I'm just not loving these songs. I guess Auld Lang Syne is alright, on page 123 of the All In One. Is anyone else that far?

Back on the "sticky" subject: Is there any way to "subscribe" to threads? I think in a lot of forums that's standard, but I haven't seen a way to do it here. It's annoying when I make a post somewhere and then I forget the thread title and have to go searching.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/06/08 12:14 AM

Do to so many important threads the forum management decided a while ago to have a master sticky thread called

"Important Topics on the Adult Beginners Forum"

and the Alfred threads are listed. And I thank the mods for allowing us Alfred users to have that option.

but like everyone says, a busy thread needs no sticky... \:D
Posted by: GregoryP

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/06/08 03:34 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Naked Shaman:
I have ordered the CD for Book 1. Does anyone else have it and does it help?? [/b]
I bought the CD, and was not terribly impressed. I thought that it would just be piano, but there is a whole orchestra playing. I suppose you could try to isolate the piano, but that seems like a lot of work for little value.
Posted by: mullyman

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/06/08 07:46 AM

Yeah, I'm not entirely impressed with the CD that comes with the All in One book. I stepped out of my comfort zone last night and bought a book of "50 Jazz Standards" that are dumbed down for the beginner.....that's me. Anyway, it's pretty straightforward and I think with practice I should be able to tackle some of these tunes pretty soon. It came with a CD and I would like to thank whoever put this book together that the only music on the CD is the piano playing what is on the page.
MULLY
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/06/08 11:35 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by GregoryP:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Naked Shaman:
I have ordered the CD for Book 1. Does anyone else have it and does it help?? [/b]
I bought the CD, and was not terribly impressed. I thought that it would just be piano, but there is a whole orchestra playing. I suppose you could try to isolate the piano, but that seems like a lot of work for little value. [/b]
The Piano is on the right channel, the backing is on the left. If you want to isolate the piano just change the balance so that you only hear the right channel. \:D
Posted by: GregoryP

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/06/08 11:34 PM

My teacher has had me using the Alfred books, and I really like them. Took me the better part of a year to get through Book 1 and it's associated Theory Lesson book. I am now on book 2 and it's Theory Lesson book, also very nice. I agree with those of you that had difficulty, or did not like "Blow The Man Down", I told my teacher that I refused to play it. She sympathized with me. FYI, Alfred also has a sight reading book, and a book called "Finger Aerobics" although I think that they are meant for someone a little younger, they are actually pretty good.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/07/08 05:55 AM

YES! I've finally nailed Blow the Man Down \:D It's been kicking my butt for ages but I can finally play it. This feels like a landmark, I actually feel that one day I may honestly be able to say I can play the piano!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/07/08 12:57 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by BazC:
YES! I've finally nailed Blow the Man Down \:D It's been kicking my butt for ages but I can finally play it. This feels like a landmark, I actually feel that one day I may honestly be able to say I can play the piano! [/b]
Excellent. That piece has given many of us a hard time. It also means your left hand is progressing on its own... \:D
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/07/08 01:37 PM

Congrats, BazC. It took me the better part of a week, that one did.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/07/08 03:12 PM

Thanks folks! It took me a bit longer than a week but I got there! \:D
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/07/08 04:34 PM

Would it make you feel better if by "week" I mean "give or take ten hours"?
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/08/08 03:15 AM

LOL! No that's cool it's not a race, I'm just glad I finally got it under my fingers! \:D
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/09/08 05:00 AM

Pedaling is the main obstacle stopping me finishing Book One. Any suggestions as to how, and when, to practice the pedaling parts? If you take "Scarborough Fair" on Page 135 as an example, do you practice LH, RH and Pedaling right off until it all comes together or practice RH first, then LH, then RH and LH together until perfect and only put pedaling in once you have the hands part down? The other question is should pedaling be put in at all this early in the learning process?
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/09/08 06:16 AM

Learn the piece first then work on adding the pedaling when you are comfy with the hands together.

Alfred isn't alone in introducing pedaling fairly early on. I'm not yet particularly proficient at it, I didn't have a pedal for ages {spot the excuse}but it is coming along. I wouldn't let lack of pedaling proficiency be the sole reason to delay moving on to another piece. That's just me.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/09/08 08:19 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sundew:
I wouldn't let lack of pedaling proficiency be the sole reason to delay moving on to another piece. That's just me. [/b]
I'd agree with that, I don't even own a pedal but I won't let that stop me finishing the book if I can.
Posted by: gmm1

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/09/08 08:52 AM

WARNING - Total beginner advice follows:

I think, for beginners, the pedal is just not important now. Sure, when Alfred's first introduced the concept, I worked on it, and for me for some reason, I did not have any issues (at this level) with it. I decided that I will add pedal only when I cannot hold the notes.

I remember a while back a thread on pedal and it's abuse by beginners (over-useage). I took the advice given to heart and do not consider it necessary with the pieces I am currently working on.

I have no fear that adding it later will not be a big deal. Time may prove me wrong, but I do fear I will use any crutch that comes my way, so for now I avoid it when I can.

I say move on, Mike. Book two is fun.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/09/08 08:58 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sundew:
Learn the piece first then work on adding the pedaling when you are comfy with the hands together.

[/b]
Thats my teachers recommendation also. Learn the piece then add the pedal.

The pedal was tough when I first started but I'm getting used to it and it makes the pieces so much better...
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/09/08 06:05 PM

Ok, after a week's hiatus, I am back into Alfred's. I am comfortable enough with Cafe Vienna to start on the next piece (Brahms Lullaby), which, after an hour's work, hardly resembles the real thing. It requires quite a bit of RH movement.

I'll probably update the blog tomorrow.
Posted by: RayMetz100

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/09/08 10:47 PM

I'm finally getting a little better at blow the man down this weekend. Seems like I memorized it without trying and I'm able to play it best without the book looking at my hands. The shakiest part is now the transition between C and G at measure 8. I've been trying to practice just a couple measures before and after to nail it, but I still seem suprised by the transition when I play the song from the beginning. I got it all the way through a couple times last night with the metronome as high as 87, but timing without the metronome and playing by memory still needs a lot of work.

This song has just about stopped me in my tracks. I'm really hoping to finish it and the next few pages so I can get into the jazzy stuff for a while.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/10/08 06:25 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
Ok, after a week's hiatus, I am back into Alfred's. I am comfortable enough with Cafe Vienna to start on the next piece (Brahms Lullaby), which, after an hour's work, hardly resembles the real thing. It requires quite a bit of RH movement.

I'll probably update the blog tomorrow. [/b]
Damn! I should have got th all in one, I quite fancy playing Brahms lullaby! I'll have to try and find it on the net cos it's not in the basic copy of Alfreds.

RayMetz, I reckon you're just about there with Blow the Man Down, when I got to that stage it came together quite quickly, hang in there! \:D
Posted by: gmm1

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/10/08 07:25 AM

Hey bazC, Brahms Lullaby is on page 32 of Level 2.

I really wish Alfreds would have kept the various versions closer together. I never heard of the All-In-One until after I purchased the first 3 adult levels....

The version is not that difficult and would have fit in Book 1 just as well. I don't remember where you are in the book, but with the exception of arp. chords, it did not present any challenges beyond my humble abilities.

Anyway, it's in your future if you move on to Level 2....
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/10/08 07:54 AM

Cheers! I'll have to wait a bit then, I've just finished Blow the Man Down and I'm working on Lone Star Waltz (nearly there!) so I've got a way to go before I get to book 2! \:D
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/10/08 12:28 PM

Hmm. Maybe that explains why it isn't on my expected Youtube channels. I will have go back and see if it is in any of the Book Two recordings.

In the All-In-One Book (Book One, that is), Brahms' Lullaby immediately follows Cafe Vienna. And it's interesting, I do find that the two pieces have a LOT of similarities, which I don't think I would have ever perceived just listening to them.

Next up is Rock It Away (first use of a black key!), but I am not ready to put Brahms' Lullaby to bed yet. (Snicker.)
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/14/08 11:08 AM

Sharps! G-Position! "Money Can't Buy Everything"! Yikes!!!!

That about sums it up. I've been brought to a standstill again. I know I'll work it out eventually.

Also, yesterday I tried my friend's keyboard with weighted, touch sensitive keys and what an awakening! At first I kept telling her she needed to turn the volume up, but she said it played loud enough for her. Then I realized why it wasn't playing loud enough for me. I wasn't hitting the keys hard enough! Concentrating on that threw me off so I had trouble playing the songs I knew well. I can certainly see why it's not a good idea for a piano student to practice on an unweighted keyboard, but that's all I have and lots of home, car, dental and surgical bills to pay before I can think about upgrading. Social Security and a small pension only takes one so far. It's okay - I can live with my little keyboard for now.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/14/08 05:40 PM

Welcome back, mom3gram. You reminded me that I mis-typed earlier, when I suggested that I was just now getting to the first use of black keys. Of course we had the G7 chord quite awhile back (from where I am, anyway). Obviously it has been awhile.

I am noticing that when I revisit older pieces, I don't play them quite as well as I would have thought. For each of them, I had, at one point, been able to do each of them in tempo, without errors. But now, when I pick up something from weeks ago, I find it takes me a few takes to get back to that proficiency. I wonder if I should spend more time on those. As it is, my practice time is purely devoted to whatever I am "learning" at the moment.
Posted by: Metric

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/14/08 10:32 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by mom3gram:
Sharps! G-Position! "Money Can't Buy Everything"! Yikes!!!!

That about sums it up. I've been brought to a standstill again. I know I'll work it out eventually.

Also, yesterday I tried my friend's keyboard with weighted, touch sensitive keys and what an awakening! At first I kept telling her she needed to turn the volume up, but she said it played loud enough for her. Then I realized why it wasn't playing loud enough for me. I wasn't hitting the keys hard enough! Concentrating on that threw me off so I had trouble playing the songs I knew well. I can certainly see why it's not a good idea for a piano student to practice on an unweighted keyboard, but that's all I have and lots of home, car, dental and surgical bills to pay before I can think about upgrading. Social Security and a small pension only takes one so far. It's okay - I can live with my little keyboard for now. [/b]
Same thing happened to me. I practice on a keyboard at home, but I tried the piano at school and it was hard to play. I'm going to see if I can stay there and practice now.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/15/08 05:29 AM

Mom3gram, I used an unweighted keyboard until I was well past Book 1. I could probably have continued with it but allowed myself to be seduced into buying an upmarket stage piano. It took but a short time to become used to the weighted keys. My wrists ached a bit for a couple of days, and my pianissimo left something to be desired, ie some actual sound, but I quickly adjusted. My key control could be better but I think the same could have been said for the touch sensitive keys. From reading other threads it seems even adjusting between various acoustics can take a short while as there is so much variance. When I tried them I found some much harder than others. So, don't worry about your keyboard. You may be surprised where it will take you.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/15/08 07:48 AM

I'm using a 61 key semi weighted controller keyboard which I think will do me for a while. I'd love an 88 key piano action DP but finances won't allow that for a while yet. So you're not the only one Mom3gram! \:D
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/15/08 11:33 AM

Thanks, Sundew and Basc. It's good to know that I can take my time, learn the basics with my keyboard, and make the transitition to a better one when/if the time comes without major trauma.
Posted by: Davinci

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/16/08 12:41 AM

Hello everyone,

It's great to find a place where everyone share the same interest here and talk about it. I do have a little story to tell on my initial encounter for piano lessons.

It was rather demoralising when i first step into one of the YAMAHA music school. There's seems to have no rooms for adult begineers except kids and the staffs seems shocked and rather discouraging adult learner. Anyway it was really upsetting especially one could think that even a "more better known" school could have such response not to say the rest. But anyway i never give up and manage to find another school near my work place and upteens time i emphasis my queries to the school whether adults can eventually master the piano. The school encourage me commenting that although kids do have the flexibility but that doesnt mean adult cant master it. And of coz it was a real big boost for me to start off with.

Well so far, i progress pretty well with first 2 lesson and of coz the alfred book 1 currently at page 32. The teacher commented i'm the fastest adult learner she ever taught and this is really encouraging and put me away abt the doubt of myself. My teacher also recommends the alfred classic editions because my finger techniques are poor and not well cordinated. However the side reading was rather difficult although i do have music background playing the flute etc. But reading base clef is confusing at times. Anyway practise makes perfect although sometime self practising for hours is lonely at times.

Btw can anyone recommend a piano to buy? coz basically i dont own one and currently i had my practise at the public library.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/16/08 10:13 AM

Hello, Ms Davinci, and welcome. Congratulations on your success, and on finding a teacher. I am amazed that you are able to practice at the library. Wow, that would be awesome.

As to your question about purchasing a piano... might I suggest that you pose this question on the piano forum? What they will tell you, however, is that only you can know which piano is right for you. And you learn this over the course of trying many different makes, sizes, and price points. Only by visiting many retailers and spending significant time playing a wide variety of pianos can you develop a sense of what truly meets your needs.

And as a starting point, it is generally recommended that you purchase The Piano Book by Larry Fine, and the 2007-8 supplement that accompanies it. You can purchase this book by clicking on the link on the right side of this screen.
Posted by: joepiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/16/08 12:34 PM

Noobie here. What a great resource! I especially appreciate the posts of adult beginners performing the Alfred pieces online at YouTube, etc.

I have lame questions that "oldbees" are probably tired of hearing but...

How long do you posters practice? An hour a day every day? A few days a week? Whenever you can?

Do you make sure a song is perfect before you move on? (I get bored with a piece and just want to do something else.)

Have lots of other questions but those are my most urgent right now.
Posted by: joepiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/16/08 12:42 PM

Ooops... found out how to search... got answer to practice question.

Still curious about how "perfect" a piece should be. I think I may be racing through Alred's to fast. (I'm self teaching...A teacher would be nice... but not in my budget right now.)
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/16/08 02:48 PM

I too get bored with a piece after a while. I'm working through Alfred's on my own, and I stay with a piece until my brain and fingers "understand" it. I may still be slow or make a few mistakes, but if I can play it mostly correctly, I move on to the next lesson, BUT I continue to play several of the earlier lessons also, dropping the earliest each time I add a new one. This way I don't get bored, eventually each piece gets as close to perfection as I am capable of, and I always have a new piece and a few older pieces to work on.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/16/08 04:25 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by joepiano:
Noobie here. What a great resource! I especially appreciate the posts of adult beginners performing the Alfred pieces online at YouTube, etc.

I have lame questions that "oldbees" are probably tired of hearing but...

How long do you posters practice? An hour a day every day? A few days a week? Whenever you can?

Do you make sure a song is perfect before you move on? (I get bored with a piece and just want to do something else.)

Have lots of other questions but those are my most urgent right now. [/b]
hi Joe

I try to average 2 hours a day, but I'm on a mission... \:D

Getting a piece perfect is nice, but if I get it close and its not a keeper I move to the next piece but visit the old piece often to try and clean it up...

Mark...
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/16/08 05:21 PM

JoeP - I'm now just past the 3/4 point in Book 2 and all along thru Book 1 right up to this point I've pretty much used the same "system" as mom3gram & it's a real good one - while I'm working on my current, new piece I'm also working on one or two of the pieces I was studying roughly 4-6 months ago.

This is a good way to do review, which you normally should do periodically anyway, but which in this method you're doing concurrently, as an ongoing system.

So, you're always working on something new and old at the same time. As mom3 said - then as you move on to your next new piece also move ahead on 1 or 2 new review pieces.

This not only breaks up the monotony but there's a double benefit for your forward progress - attacking new works increases your skill level little-by-little and makes it easier to review the older, simpler pieces. But also, working on and polishing off the earlier works ads to your technical ability in the long run, making it just a little easier each time to take on the newer, slightly more difficult pieces. You get alot of positive reinforcement this way.

In general, you should try to get each piece nailed down to where you can play it to your satisfaction at the indicated tempo while not hesitating too much or making too many mistakes (don't worry about a few mistakes - mostly you'll usually make a few, but as you get better the mistakes will decrease in number; just don't too compulsive about them or let them bother you too much). Keep it upbeat & have fun!,

One thing you don't want to get in the habit of doing is letting a difficult technique or section of a piece discourage you to the point where you give up on it and just move on to get away from it. Getting away from these things for a little while is ok if they're driving you crazy, but make it a definite point to go back to them and keep working on them until you reasonably "master" them - keep in mind that every little difficulty that you give up on & don't ultimately conquer (to a fair degree anyway) will come back to haunt you later (and they accumulate)!

Practice as much as you can as long as you're enjoying yourself, but take a break in your routine once in a while.

Good luck,

JF
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/16/08 05:27 PM

JoeP - one more thing - the pieces only get more interesting as you move thru the series - I have Book 3 and the pieces in there look really great (although a little challenging). I'm looking forward to getting into it.

JF
Posted by: joepiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/16/08 06:15 PM

Thanks for all the comments!

For "interesting" pieces I'm also working on Bartok's Mikrokosmos. That's my reward for suffering through "Little Brown Jug" and the like.

Must say, though, that some of the "recitals" on YouTube, etc. of pieces that I thought were far beneath my level of intelligence sound incredible when played correctly and at tempo by others. The casual listener would never realize that the performer was "only up to page such&such in Book 1"

Adult beginners ROCK!
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/16/08 07:11 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by joepiano:
Thanks for all the comments!

For "interesting" pieces I'm also working on Bartok's Mikrokosmos. That's my reward for suffering through "Little Brown Jug" and the like.

Must say, though, that some of the "recitals" on YouTube, etc. of pieces that I thought were far beneath my level of intelligence sound incredible when played correctly and at tempo by others. The casual listener would never realize that the performer was "only up to page such&such in Book 1"

Adult beginners ROCK! [/b]
Welcome Lil Brown Jug fellow sufferer! If it is any consolation, working on the joys of Little Brown Jug will pay dividends when you get into Book 2. At least it did so for me.
I have never perfected a piece before moving on. Going back to review and improve seems a logical part of self directed progress. It also serves as encouragement when once hard pieces become actually quite easy or something I've missed clicks into place.

I've been using Mikrokosmos Book 1 for sight reading practice. I'm getting to the difficult bits now. :rolleyes:
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/16/08 07:21 PM

Made some good progress this week. I am working on the first couple of Blues numbers. From what I have read in this thread, not just on this page, mind you, I am NOT looking forward to Little Brown Jug. It looks so innocent on the page... but so many have gone before me and struggled with it.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/17/08 03:33 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
Made some good progress this week. I am working on the first couple of Blues numbers. From what I have read in this thread, not just on this page, mind you, I am NOT looking forward to Little Brown Jug. It looks so innocent on the page... but so many have gone before me and struggled with it. [/b]
AWPP, never fear, I suspect just as many have breezed through it. \:D

I enjoyed the blues pieces, particularly when I had got the hang of the 'galloping' tempo.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/17/08 06:08 PM

I mentioned this in a blog entry I just posted, but I really like Got Those Blues! Mark had mentioned earlier that Lavender's Blue was the first time he felt like he was really playing the piano... that one didn't do it for me, although it was more complex than anything I'd done to that point. However, the feeling he was describing... I have that with Got Those Blues! I feel like, for the first time, it sounds like I know what I am doing.

Can't wait to hear what it sounds like when I actually make it through at tempo, without errors. I'm close, it may not be long.
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/18/08 03:25 AM

Its been a week since i hit the keys
I'm in New Orleans now and there is just too much fine live music for me to hit my keyboard. Disipline is flat gone.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/18/08 03:33 AM

I just started seriously practicing "Entertainer", I still haven't got the pedaling down for "Scarborough Fair" or "Raisons and Lemons" yet but I can go back to them. It's surprising how easy "Entertainer" is, I guess it brings together everything you've learned in Book one, and there's no pedaling indicated.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/18/08 03:47 AM

Hi Everyone,

I'm a complete adult beginner newbie and I look forward to learning from many of you who've blazed the keys before me. My long awaited DP is finally arriving tomorrow and I'm so exited. I'm very glad to have found this PW Adult Beginners forum, particularly this thread because while I feel I can definitely learn a lot from all of the others, I believe this is where I can go for related beginner's level technical and moral supports. I'll also be using the Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course, Level 1.

Here's to a new beginning and a new challenge for me.

Cheers!

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/18/08 10:38 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:
Hi Everyone,

I'm a complete adult beginner newbie and I look forward to learning from many of you who've blazed the keys before me. My long awaited DP is finally arriving tomorrow and I'm so exited. I'm very glad to have found this PW Adult Beginners forum, particularly this thread because while I feel I can definitely learn a lot from all of the others, I believe this is where I can go for related beginner's level technical and moral supports. I'll also be using the Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course, Level 1.

Here's to a new beginning and a new challenge for me.

Cheers!

Key Notes \:\) [/b]
Welcome Key Notes, enjoy your new piano and enjoy your musical journey.

Mark...
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/18/08 01:11 PM

Welcome to another Alfred Book 1 newbie. Enjoy your new Digital Piano.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/18/08 02:56 PM

Thanks Mark and mom3gram for your warm welcome and encouragements.

It's here! I'll try to assemble it tonight if I don't get home too late.

Thanks again!

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/19/08 10:36 PM

I traded up from a real cheap Yamaha that did have a great metronome to a Roland d10 and I love it. Except its far heavier than the Yamaha and it needs an external sound source. I yes earbuds.

So how many times can we abuse Alpine Song with 10 voices.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/08 03:37 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by 1silkyferret:
I traded up from a real cheap Yamaha that did have a great metronome to a Roland d10 and I love it. Except its far heavier than the Yamaha and it needs an external sound source. I yes earbuds.

So how many times can we abuse Alpine Song with 10 voices. [/b]
Good for you 1silkyferret. Congrats and have fun!

I just went through my first 12 pages of the Afred's Adult's All-In-One Book 1. Love the feel of the weighted keys and the grand piano 1 sounds. Still have another 140 tones to try out. \:\)
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/08 05:50 AM

I wonder if anyone can clear up a question that I have with Got those Blues! on page 67 of the basic book.

On the IV chord you play E flat and C with the right hand (black and white notes) this brings the hand forward on the keyboard so to play the G-A-G that follow you either have to play between the black keys or move your hand back to play in front of the black keys. So which is correct/best?

Both feel awkward to me, moving my hand back and forth feels less fluid and playing between the black keys feels clumsy. \:\(
Posted by: jrcallan

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/08 05:59 AM

I love paying that tune. I'm trying to get completely comfortable playing the G-A-G between the black keys. SO far so good.
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/08 06:55 AM

I play between the keys, which I understand to be the correct technique. I know what you mean about the clumsy feel but I think that is probably because you are not used to it. I made a good job of depressing 2 keys at once when I started but it will begin to feel natural. That is one of my favourite Book 1 pieces.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/08 08:55 AM

Jrcallan and Sundew, thanks for the advise! I'll persevere with it, I'm sure you're right about it feeling more natural with practice \:D
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/08 12:04 PM

BazC - probably very good advise from both jrcallan and Sundew - playing between the keys is the proper technique to use because (1) you're already there in position and (2) there's less chance for mistakes than you would have by rocking your hand back & forth. If you're anything like me - with slightly chubby fingers - it will feel a little clumsy or awkward at first, but you will get used to these "tight quarters" and you'll do so fairly quickly.

A much more important reason to use & master this technique is that as you progress onward & upward in your studies you'll come across any number of more advanced works that require even tighter finger positioning involving even more fingers (and for most of them rocking back & forth won't be an option).

I'm past the 3/4 point in Book 2 now, but I remember liking this piece and having alot of fun with it. After you get it nailed down pretty good you might want to spice it up a little by (1) repeating it at least once by playing the next to last measure twice in a row the 1st time thru (temporary omitting the last measure) which is a better transition back to the beginning and (2) at the end of the repeat play the last two measures as written, but start the ritardando at the beginning of the next to last measure and also gradually decrease the volume level (decrescendo) and finally (3) hesitate ever-so-slightly before playing the last chord (also, to add an extra little edge to this last chord, play the right hand with a E along with the Bb).

Above all - have fun!

JF
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/08 12:10 PM

BazC, that is EXACTLY where I am. Measures 9 and 10 are my nemesis... I'm nowhere close to being able to handle that progression.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/08 12:11 PM

John, thanks for your continued presence in this thread.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/08 01:55 PM

John - Thanks for your input, I appreciate it! I'm just about to settle down to some practise, lets see if I can get it flowwing a little more smoothly \:D

AWTPPP- Snap! \:D Hang in there, I'm sure you'll have it cracked before too long!
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/08 04:04 PM

AWTPP & BazC - You're welcome.

JF
Posted by: johnnymb

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/08 08:07 PM

Long time since I chimed in. I am in Alfred's chord approach book 2 and recently played this song, Got Those Blues. It is amazing to me how something so perplexing in the beginning, can be learned and played fairly well after some diligent practice. I will say that I still have problems playing eighth in the "swing" long-short-long-short pattern as many of Alfred's songs require. I'm getting it slooooooowly.
Posted by: jovial

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/20/08 10:30 PM

I just had my first piano lesson and my teacher assigned me some songs from the Alfred book #1.

When she set up the lesson she told me she usually started with the Alfred book, so I went ahead and checked it out of the library.

Turns out she thinks my musical interests and commitment steer me in another direction, so I'll just be in the Alfred book until the library wants it back.

She had me sight read a bit through the book and then assigned me the first two Hanon exercises as well as Cafe Vienna and Lullaby.

Cafe Vienna hasn't been too hard to pick up, and I have a feeling lullaby will come as soon as I can drill the timing into my muscle memory.

I'm a total piano newbie, but I've been playing electric bass for about eight years pretty diligently. I think that helps me in some ways...

So, I just thought I'd pop in and say hello to the other Alfred folks.

Fun book, nice pace, and so on.
Posted by: Grumbles

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/22/08 03:07 AM

Question about the G position. I find that when I get to this section, I don't really keep track of which note that I am playing, but I am able to hit the right keys without really thinking about it. From what I can tell, I recognize the interval and just play accordingly. Does this happen to anyone else as well?
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/22/08 09:06 AM

Grumbles, I am still unsure of which note I'm playing in the G position also. I usually recognize that "this note" means "this key", but if asked what note it actually is, I would have to stop to figure it out. Once I've played the lesson a couple of times, I can usually play the right notes, but if I'm tired I get really confused.
Posted by: Undone

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/22/08 04:47 PM

Grumbles, I think this means “you’ve reached the next level”. Congratulations! Some people make the comparison to learning a foreign language; when you start out you need to translate each and every word to and from your native tongue. But when you get good at it, you start to be able to do without the extra translation step.

It sounds like your starting to be able to simply look at the music and your fingers know where to go. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still valuable to be able to translate what you see into the name of the notes, especially when talking or writing to someone about it. But at least in my book, it’s better to spend that extra moment doing the translation when you need to speak or write about it then when you are seated at the piano playing.
Posted by: Grumbles

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/23/08 12:36 AM

Undone- I think the next level may be an overstatement, but I suppose it is a new level from where I was before. I am a newbie and am only on pg 38ish of Alfred. I suppose I have the one advantage of knowing how to read music from previous band experience, but I still need to really practice each piece if I want to play on tempo. I am enjoying working through the book though; I am starting to itch for a few new songs that I can sit and play for a few minutes rather than the 30 seconds of Rockets, etc.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/23/08 03:27 AM

Please Help! I'm confused! At the bottom of page 26 of the Alfred's All-In-One Course, Level 1 has a "Duet Part" that looks like it's meant for 2 pianists to play together but I don't understand how the "RH" be played for the first music line when the Bass Clef sign is there. Seems kind of contradictory to what I learned earlier in the book that the Bass Clef are to be played by the left hand.

This question might seem kind of silly for most experienced pianist here but not for a complete beginner without an profressional music instructor like me, does both pianists plays with their left hands, assuming you have someone to play a duet with? If so, what does that "RH" notation mean?

Thank you so much for all of your help.

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: gmm1

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/23/08 03:47 AM

Hey Key Notes...

The bass clef is USUALLY played with the left hand and the treble clef is USUALLY played with the right.

The real purpose of the clefs is to allow for the majority of the notes to fit on the staff, not necessarily which hand plays it. At least so far in my experience, the RH part is on top of the grand staff and the LH part is on the bottom, but the clef mark can be either one (or even something else, but piano music is always treble and bass (so far). If there is a melody clef, then it will be on top of the grand staff.

(The grand staff are the two clefs connected by the brackets).

I think of the staffs as a tool to help me read. Think of all the notes a piano can make from the lowest A to the highest C written on a piece of paper in order. Then the staff slides up and down the range of notes until it stops at a point where most of the notes being used will fit somewhere on the staff. The clef sign just tells you where in the range of notes that the staff is being used. The treble clef is also called the G clef, as it marks the G above middle C as a reference point, and the bass clef is also called the F clef, as it marks the F below middle C.

For some reason, I find it easier to think of the clefs as a marker for where the staff is in relation to the bigger picture, and not as individual staffs.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/23/08 07:47 AM

Key Notes - gmm1's explanation is right on the money, especially about the general use of the combined staves to encompass most of the notes and about the RH usually playing the notes on the treble staff and the LH usually playing notes on the bass staff.

However, in the future in your studies you will run across many examples where the LH will play certain notes up on the treble staff and the RH will play certain notes down on the bass staff (typically to make the execution of the notes easier at that point).

Even stranger (at least to you at this point) is that in some (more advanced) pieces you will see an occassional change of CLEF ON A GIVEN STAFF, say from the treble clef to the bass clef (usually temporary) and then back to the treble clef. This usually happens when the RH, for example, would have to be playing notes that would normally appear on the bass staff for maybe several measures or more.

As far as the Duet Part at the bottom of pg. 26 (to be played by another student or your teacher) both hands are assigned a separate "line" of notes which just happen to be down in the range where it's easier to use the bass staff to show them - the upper line is played by the RH and the bottom line is played by the LH, as indicated.

In summary, either hand can play notes on either staff at any time.

JF
Posted by: joepiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/23/08 12:51 PM

Maybe this is a typical newbie questions but...

Does one have learn EVERY song in the Alfred book?

I'm doing pretty well with "Little Brown Jug" and "Mexican Hat Dance"? Why so many songs in F major?

I've always liked "Greensleeves"; can I just move on to Am? I promise to return to "Auld Lang Syne"-on December 31st- it's just not the thing for sunny spring mornings.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/23/08 01:37 PM

Thank you very much gmm1 and JohnFrank for your unlightening and clear explanations. I see now. It would've helped if they give us real beginners some background information such as yours before they ask us to play this piece.

I could've skipped it but I wanted to learn everything right and not misunderstand anything at tis point. I wish I could play this hands together but I guess I'll do it hand separate for now.

Thanks again and have a fantastic day!

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/23/08 08:55 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by joepiano:
Maybe this is a typical newbie questions but...

Does one have learn EVERY song in the Alfred book?

I'm doing pretty well with "Little Brown Jug" and "Mexican Hat Dance"? Why so many songs in F major?

I've always liked "Greensleeves"; can I just move on to Am? I promise to return to "Auld Lang Syne"-on December 31st- it's just not the thing for sunny spring mornings. [/b]
Great question. For those of us without teachers, I guess we're on our own. I have every intention of skipping the Can-Can, for example... that piece annoys me when it is played well, to say nothing of what it would sound like the first hour or two I try it.

But I am pretty much playing everything else. I feel like the repetition of themes across pieces reinforces whatever I am supposed to be learning.
Posted by: joepiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/24/08 01:26 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by jovial:
I'm a total piano newbie, but I've been playing electric bass for about eight years pretty diligently. I think that helps me in some ways... [/b]
You're probably far ahead of many of us in being familiar with the bass clef.
Posted by: joepiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/24/08 01:34 AM

Thanks for the reply!

You say about Can-Can "That piece annoys me..."

Right, so many pieces in Alfred's annoy me... "Go Tell Aunt Rhody", "LIttle Brown Jug", etc.,

Oh well... I realize that there's a certain pedogic method behind the madness.

Still, it's annoying.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/24/08 07:55 AM

You will find some "naff" pieces of music in any method you use, I have Bastiens, Thompsons, Arron and Piano Handbook here, you just have to consider that "naff" music as studies. I've used Alfred's as my main teaching method but constantly look for nice music outside of the method which is at my level. As I'm self learning I have to keep as close to the method programme as possible, I have not the luxury of a teacher for guidance...yet. Bear in mind that you are learning to play piano for enjoyment, if your not enjoying what you are doing look outside of Alfred's for inspiration, there's loads of free stuff online too.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/24/08 01:29 PM

Finishing up "Money Can't Buy Everything" - I don't know why I had so much trouble with that one. Working now on "Cuckoo" and "Harp Song". They seem easy enough. Will stick to those three for a couple of days, then review everything from "Saints" on up before moving on to the next victim.

How do you remember all the chords? I can see this getting to be very confusing.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/24/08 03:27 PM

Cuckoo was one of my favorites from that part of the book. As to the chords, what do you mean by "remember"? Remember the fingering for them, or remember which to play when?
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/24/08 03:46 PM

Hmmm... both, I guess. I can figure out the fingering, but I didn't have to when I was only using C & G7. I could tell by their shapes and by their "names". Now that I have added F, G and D7 with both hands, and I know there are more to come, how do you remember which ones are which?

Okay, I know there are pictures of them on the page, but that won't last forever. :-)
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/24/08 05:37 PM

Ok, I'm with ya. To me, there is no "identification" per se... I would equate that with being able to sight-read (a noble goal, but I'm years away). Neither the chord names (G, D7, what have you) nor the chord numbers (see page 106, where Alfred tells us that "It is important that you now think of the C, F, and G7 chords in the key of C MAJOR as the I, IV, & V7 chords!") do me any lick of good whatsoever. At this point, it is a matter of practicing the piece enough times to know that one or another of these is coming, and my LH needs to get ready to render the chord.

What I hope for is this... that somehow, by sensing what my RH is doing, I am developing some sort of automatic system that "knows" which chord is appropriate on the LH side. This is the sort of thing I tell myself as I am playing some of these pieces over and over again. And it's also the underlying hope for the last thing I wrote in my blog today, about key signatures. I mean, do accomplished musicians just know, without thinking about it, what the appropriate intervals and chords are for a given key? Or does this sort of thing come about over time, as you go from one key to the next?

Sorry for the drift, but in my mind, all these things are related.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/24/08 07:05 PM

I guess I shouldn't worry too much about it then, as long as I can play the piece in the lesson. Hopefully it will all sink in with enough repetition. Right now I'm still a little iffy on the notes in G-position also. Have to keep going back to review that little one octave scale.

I read your blog, Always Wanted to Play Piano - and chuckled, as I've put aside anything with more than one flat or sharp myself. I figure I have enough trouble with the natural notes. But I'm sure in another month or two we will be playing them with no problem.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/25/08 04:01 AM

I'm so exited I have to share. I've just started learning "Jingle Bells" tonight from the Afread's AIO Book 1 and for the very first time in my life and dream of playing the panio with both hands, I started to do it tonight! It's so nice to hear that the music is coming out from very my own hands.

It was very awkward at first trying to coordiante everything, reading all of the notes, knowing where all of my fingers are and which keys they're on, etc., but somehow it got better after many repetitions. I'm still having quite a bit of trouble with that last 2 measures though. Will have to conquer that too.

Thanks for reading and sharing my special moment with me.

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: BazC

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/25/08 07:23 AM

That's fantastic! Congratualtions Key Notes! \:D
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/25/08 09:49 AM

Congratulations, Key Notes! I'm not that far away from Jingle Bells myself, and I remember the feeling of the struggle, and then it all coming together. You will have some more feelings of awkwardness, struggle and then accomplishment and pride coming up in Mary Ann and When the Saints Go Marching In. Enjoy!
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/25/08 01:04 PM

Thanks BazC and mom3gram! I appreciate it.

mom3gram, you must've started on your book at similar time as I did? It's so nice to know that there are someone out there who are at a similar place as I am.

If I may ask, are you working on your own or in conjunction with an instructor? While I understand that everyone learns differently and at different rates, I was wondering if we can learn, not just correctly, but also faster with an instructor. I've read about this subject on another thread but just curious as to what you think.

Thanks to both again for the encouragements.

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/25/08 01:24 PM

I'm working on my own. I'm sure that I could learn more correctly and faster with an instructor, but I don't have a real piano, which would be a problem with an instructor, plus I just don't want the committment or expense that outside lessons would involve.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/25/08 01:54 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by mom3gram:
I'm working on my own. I'm sure that I could learn more correctly and faster with an instructor, but I don't have a real piano, which would be a problem with an instructor, plus I just don't want the committment or expense that outside lessons would involve. [/b]
I understand and can definitely relate to all that you've mentioned. I'm also trying to learn as much as I can on my own until I feel that I need and can afford an instructor. I have a lady friend who is a classical piano instructor and she was nice enough to offer to help me free of charge. I may take her up on it someday but for now, while I'm a firm believer in taking lessons with whatever i would like to pursue, I think it would be fun to challenge myself in this case. So onward and upward hopefully.

Have a good day and happy playing to you!

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/25/08 08:07 PM

Hi Key Notes,

I started Alfreds in Dec of last year and sort of up to page 80 or so. I haven't seen my teacher for 2 months so we have 40 pages to go over. That reminds
me I need to write in the stuff. I have 2 lessons tomorrow so its gonna be a busy day.
Carillon lesson in the am, piano in the pm.
Need the keyboard to learn carillon. I honestly figured once I learned the notes on piano, I could drop it but that was a very WRONG assumption.
I have worked on Alouette and am mostly done with it.
nice to see there are other true beginners here.
Posted by: Zwischenzug

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/25/08 09:26 PM

lol funny story...

i've been playing for about two months and today started thinking well you know i should probably check out these alfred's books everyone kept talking about, just to make sure i'm learning everything i should be bla bla bla...

i came home and told my girlfriend i was interested in some book series for piano called alfred's adult beginner's something...

she laughs at me and pulls out alfred's books 1-6 for both technique and theory \:\)

so i've got some playing to do hehe :p
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/26/08 03:57 AM

Greetings 1silkyferret,

So it took you about almost 4 months to get to page 80. I wonder how long it'll take me since I tend to go back and redo many of the fingers warm ups and practice pieces before moving on to new pieces just to reinforce them. I didn't know that they have Alouette in there. Looking forward to it since it'll definitely bring back some fond childhood memories.

Interesting that you are learning to play Carillon as well. Curious as to why you didn't see your teacher for 2 months. Seems like quite a long interruption to me but glad to hear that you are back on track again.

Yes, I'm also glad to have found this PW forum which is filled with many talented individuals at varying levels where I can also learn from.

Thanks for the note and good luck with all of your lessons.

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/26/08 04:25 AM

Zwischenzug,

That's a funny coincident and very convenient indeed that your girlfriend already has Alfred's books. So I presume she's also playing or is learning as well? I'm curious as to what you've been using instead of Alfred's during this past two months.

The instructions in Alfred's All-In-One, book 1 has been pretty clear so far and I'm really enjoying learning on my new dp. I also decided to go with this one because so many people on this beginners' forum are talking about it and are using it, so I figured its popularity couldn't be too bad. Plus I'll also get lots of help and advice when I needed them.

Good luck on your lessons.

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/26/08 01:39 PM

Hi Key Notes,

I have this friend who is this absulutly infreakin carillon player.
he was and is the reason why I wanted to learn. Its a real complex to play and I'm having to learn how to use both paws instead of playing anything below middle c with left and above with the right. I'm only on quarter notes but need to learn basic technique correctly from the start.

I was on the road for 2 months so no lessons.
Posted by: Zwischenzug

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/26/08 02:21 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:
Zwischenzug,

That's a funny coincident and very convenient indeed that your girlfriend already has Alfred's books. So I presume she's also playing or is learning as well? I'm curious as to what you've been using instead of Alfred's during this past two months.

The instructions in Alfred's All-In-One, book 1 has been pretty clear so far and I'm really enjoying learning on my new dp. I also decided to go with this one because so many people on this beginners' forum are talking about it and are using it, so I figured its popularity couldn't be too bad. Plus I'll also get lots of help and advice when I needed them.

Good luck on your lessons.

Key Notes \:\) [/b]
My girlfriend took lessons as a kid so i guess they have been using alfred's for quite some time hehe...

before these books i was using some other piano books that just had simple piano peices in them...learning minuets etc...
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/26/08 09:27 PM

Hi Key Notes and all,
I had an ego booster from my piano teacher. We managed to go thru a lot of the pages I did on the road. We went thru 20 pages. I had about 10 more pages to play for him.
he was full of complements on my progress after feeling like a total idiot this am, that was nice.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/27/08 03:15 AM

Nice indeed. Keep up the good work!
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/27/08 11:23 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by 1silkyferret:
Hi Key Notes and all,
I had an ego booster from my piano teacher. We managed to go thru a lot of the pages I did on the road. We went thru 20 pages. I had about 10 more pages to play for him.
he was full of complements on my progress after feeling like a total idiot this am, that was nice. [/b]
Maybe you covered this elsewhere, and if so, please forgive me. But how did you make progress on the road? I have a convention coming up in April, and will be gone for eight days. I figured I would take my daughter's little 31 key rollup with me, just to keep from regressing... but if there is a way to make real progress, I am all ears.
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/27/08 09:22 PM

dear Always Wanted to Play,

I would not worry about 8 days away. I got a small movable keyboard, and put aside 45 minuits to an hour 3 days a week to practice. This of course after trail and much error. Not wanting to embarass myself in front of Larry. I find out that most of these teachers don't take students with less than 2 years of piano training. So needless to say I am busting my tail.

cindy
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/28/08 07:58 AM

Earlier this month I missed about 10 days of piano when I attended a week long art workshop in SC. Five days of class plus travel time, and then came home to no electricity or heat. Obviously, I didn't learn anything new in this time, but surprisingly I didn't notice regressing any either. I was able to pick up right where I left off with no noticeable disintegration of my "skills". As for making progress on the road, I guess it depends on how good that little roll-up piano is, and how much time you have at your disposal. Good luck!
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/28/08 05:16 PM

Hi mom3gram, 2 months of no carillon and I am back at sqauee 1. Except not hitting the crud out of by knuckles.

No heat or lights, sounds like you had my last housesitters.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/28/08 05:18 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by mom3gram:
As for making progress on the road, I guess it depends on how good that little roll-up piano is, and how much time you have at your disposal. Good luck! [/b]
not very and not much.
Posted by: Triryche

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/28/08 05:24 PM

Yeah, my daughter has one of those rock-a-roll-a things. I brought it with me when we stayed at an indoor water park for a weekend. They are relatively useless, luckily a wal-mart had a digital piano set up and I was able to sneak in a quick 5 minute paino fix.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/28/08 07:21 PM

1silkyferret, where is the carillon that you are learning to play? What type of music will you be playing? I've looked at a few youtube videos and it looks difficult.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/29/08 12:51 PM

I started "Beautiful Brown Eyes" yesterday. I think this one is going to take me a while. I'm having trouble remembering/reading which group of notes to play with the left hand. I find myself playing all those two chords by the fingering hints instead of the notes, because it takes me too long to figure out the notes.
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/29/08 05:09 PM

Man, about a month ago I made it to "Money Can't Buy Everything" and learning the g position. I've been having a real hard time learning it, its like starting all over >< I haven't practiced in about a week since it made me so angry sucking all over again. I guess I'll go practice some right now, I just want to get good enough to play To Zanarkand
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/29/08 05:23 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by mom3gram:
I started "Beautiful Brown Eyes" yesterday. I think this one is going to take me a while. I'm having trouble remembering/reading which group of notes to play with the left hand. I find myself playing all those two chords by the fingering hints instead of the notes, because it takes me too long to figure out the notes. [/b]
Is this song from the Alfred's book? I tried looking for the song to see what you are referring to but I didn't see it. I do understand what you are saying regarding looking at the hints. While I try very hard to read the notes only, sometimes I noticed I still glanced at the finger number hints too.

I recorded my "Jingle Bells" for the first time on my dp last night. Playing it back definitely helps me hear where I've paused to try to either read the notes or switch fingers. These recording and play back features are so fantastic in helping us learn.

Good luck on learning your new song mom3gram.

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/29/08 05:31 PM

I know what you mean Ogrt48 - I had a lot of trouble with "Money Can't Buy Everything", but I finally conquered it.

I was doing pretty good until that G-position reared it's ugly head. I just can't get a handle on it - and the new chords that go along with it are confusing the heck out of me. I almost want to stop and not learn anything new for a few weeks and just practice what I have, but I know I will get bored if I do that.

I hope "Money..." comes together for you soon.
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/29/08 10:56 PM

Hi mom3gram,

I am in Houston and I am learning on the "live"as in this puppy is
loud as are my mistakes the practice console isnt working.....
however there is a small practice keyboard at a church that I use once a week or so. Its only 2 octaves chromatic but most of what I am doing is tecnical exercises so its plenty for my poor fluteplayers brain. Smaller is less overwelming and since its a practice set up, I can repeat the same dam bar over ad nauseum.
The crummier part of this is I gotta split in 3 weeks for the deserts of OK where I will have no access

I will never get any good at this but its fun and maybe one of these days I will figure what way is up.

I really do need more boring icky piano type keyboard experience at this
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/29/08 11:01 PM

I just started learnig the C major and G7 chords today, my left pinky is a little sore. It was fun but I have problems switching between the two chords quickly and efficiently in "Merrily We Roll Along", page 35 of Alfred's AIO, Book 1. Finger coordinations seems difficult but hopefully with a lot of practice it'll get better. If anyone have any tips or advice in this regard, I would appreciate it.

Thanks!

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/29/08 11:17 PM

Hi mom3gram,

I am in Houston and I am learning on the "live"as in this puppy is
loud as are my mistakes the practice console isnt working.....
however there is a small practice keyboard at a church that I use once a week or so. Its only 2 octaves chromatic but most of what I am doing is tecnical exercises so its plenty for my poor fluteplayers brain. Smaller is less overwelming and since its a practice set up, I can repeat the same dam bar over ad nauseum.
The crummier part of this is I gotta split in 3 weeks for the deserts of OK where I will have no access

I will never get any good at this but its fun and maybe one of these days I will figure what way is up.

I really do need more boring icky piano type keyboard experience at this
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/29/08 11:22 PM

my piano keyboard isnt icky just the "music"
only because I am such a rank beginner.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/30/08 10:30 PM

Key Notes, I still have trouble switching between chords (only now there are even more of them). I hear you about the sore pinky too - especially my RIGHT one, when I do the right hand chords. (They are coming up for you soon).

I'm beginning to HATE "Beautiful Brown Eyes". I just can't make my fingers cooperate.

1silkyferret, hope you get some not-so icky music to practice on soon.

Ogrt48, how's "Money Can't Buy Everything" coming along? I can play that one now with only a little bit of hesitation when I change chords.

Always wanted to play piano - have you conquered that brown jug yet? I hope you are remembering just how you did it, so you can help me when I get to it. Oh, wait, didn't I say I didn't want to learn anything new for a while? Sigh!
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/31/08 02:33 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by mom3gram:
Key Notes, I still have trouble switching between chords (only now there are even more of them). I hear you about the sore pinky too - especially my RIGHT one, when I do the right hand chords. (They are coming up for you soon).

I'm beginning to HATE "Beautiful Brown Eyes". I just can't make my fingers cooperate. [/b]
Thanks for the heads up mom3gram. I already started on the right hand chords last night, but I didn't get too deep into it since I was already pretty tired after doing about 2 to 3 hours of the left ones. They got a little better at the end of the night. I kept telling myself that I own these fingers and they own me. \:D

This morning, the first thing I did was got up and started right into the same song with the left hand chords again without even going through my usual warm up routines such as reading notes, right and left hand exercises, etc. just to see if my fingers' coordinations would still remember from last night, and to my surprise, they did. It wasn't as bad as I thought they might be. Yes, I think things are getting kind of serious for me now, learning to read music notes, chords and switching back and forth between them. Coordinating everything is difficult but wow, it's so much fun when they start to come together.

Oh dear, sorry to hear that you are so exhasperated with this "Beautiful Brown Eyes" song. But somehow I'm not too worry because I know it takes a very strong will and positive person to teach yourself how do or learn anything, so I believe that you will also conquer this one too! Remember, what doesn't kill you will make you stronger, so keep on plugging away.

Good luck and best regards!

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/31/08 01:21 PM

mom3gram: Money can't buy everything is fine now for me but I'm still stuck on the g position songs before and after it. I want to learn them before trying to move on to Beautiful Brown Eyes..which looks like its gonna kick my *** anyways \:D
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/31/08 01:36 PM

Just a Tip to our new members "struggling" with Alfred's Book 1, if you go back through the thread you will see this mentioned several times, when things don't seem to be going right leave the piano and rest, even go back the next day, everything seems to fall into place, don't ask me how not playing the piano at times helps to play the piano but it does.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/31/08 02:03 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by crusader:
Just a Tip to our new members "struggling" with Alfred's Book 1, if you go back through the thread you will see this mentioned several times, when things don't seem to be going right leave the piano and rest, even go back the next day, everything seems to fall into place, don't ask me how not playing the piano at times helps to play the piano but it does. [/b]
Thanks Crusader for this wonderful reminder. Yes, I've read this great advise somewhere on this forum before and took it to heart, most of the time. ;\)

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/31/08 03:41 PM

Beautiful Brown Eyes gave me a few days' worth of grief, too. As I recall, I had some good momentum coming into it. I took a few days to get When the Saints... down, but most of the pieces that followed it came quickly. Beautiful Brown Eyes, not so much. My progress seemed to screech to a halt on it for a good two or three days. At the time, I didn't know why, and looking back, I still don't. It seemed perfectly innocuous, but something about it made it tough.

Just posted a new blog entry... have any of you seen our friend Apollo's Youtube clips? Check out his (I believe "his", anyway) version of Good People . This is truly phenomenal.

Questions for you, Apollo... do you have a teacher? How much are you practicing? Could you post more clips, as you progress?
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 03/31/08 03:56 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by mom3gram:

Always wanted to play piano - have you conquered that brown jug yet? I hope you are remembering just how you did it, so you can help me when I get to it. Oh, wait, didn't I say I didn't want to learn anything new for a while? Sigh! [/b]
Nope. I have been reading Chuan Chang's "How to practice piano" online book (see Pianofundamentals.com ), and trying to use some of his theories. What applies to me right now is his recommendation that you get a tough piece "down" hands-separate first, to the point where you can play it at tempo, or even time-and-a-half tempo. I am not going to turn this thread into a discussion of his claims and theories... some of them are pretty hard to believe, and there have already some threads discussion his claims and theories. But I thought I would give it a try. At this point, I can almost play the RH part of Little Brown Jug at tempo, but not quite. And I absolutely CANNOT play it using the Alfred's suggested fingerings.

I have actually shelved Little Brown Jug, for the time being, and returned to Good People, spurred on by Apollo's recording I mentioned above. And I leave Saturday for eight days, so Little Brown Jug might be on my to-do list for quite some time.
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/01/08 06:05 PM

Have a Great trip
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/03/08 06:13 PM

I'm making a little progress. I can actually play through "Beautiful Brown Eyes" without too many mistakes (sometime) - but not smoothly. There are just too many places where I still have to stop and think for a second, or rearrange my fingers for a chord, for it to be smooth. And so NOT at tempo! I played at my friend's house today, and she actually laughed, until she tried it and I think I was actually better. We purchased our keyboards at the same time, but she has some piano experience and I am starting from scratch.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/04/08 11:35 PM

Good for you mom3gram! A little progress is a lot better than no progress at all, so keep up the great work. It's so nice that you have a piano friend that you can hang out and play with. I wish I do.

As for me, my left and right hand chords switching skills are much better now. In fact, I think my left is somewhat better than my right at the moment. Maybe I've over compensated and practiced my left one too much. Hmm, will have to fix that.

I've noticed that the angles of my hands and the way that I stretched them to strike the chords are a lot different now then when I first tried to learn them. It feels so much more comfortable and easier on my poor pinkies. They were sore for a few days after last weekend. It's interesting trying to be ambidextrous. \:D

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: joepiano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/05/08 03:06 PM

[/QUOTE]Nope. I have been reading Chuan Chang's "How to practice piano" online book (see Pianofundamentals.com ), and trying to use some of his theories. What applies to me right now is his recommendation that you get a tough piece "down" hands-separate first...[/QB][/QUOTE]

My favorite Chuan suggestion is to play a difficult part in isolation over and over. So much more efficient than playing the entire piece just to practice maybe a few notes or a chord change that's causing the problem.

PS: I've been teaching myself for 3 months. Have my first meeting with a teacher on MOnday. She's willing to meet once a month. We'll see how it goes...
Posted by: crusadar

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/05/08 06:02 PM

I'm bogged down at the end of Book One so I'm trying new tactics. I'm working on getting "Scarborough Fair" and "Raisins and Lemons" down, including pedaling, they're getting easier. Also "He's got the whole world in his hands" with those damned syncopated notes, I just couldn't stop myself playing the tied D in the 3rd, 5th & 7th bars so I blocked them out with small sticky pieces of "post-it", not being able to see the note helped remind me to just hold the previous D, cheating perhaps but it works for me. "Entertainer" is surprisingly easy so it just leaves "Amazing Grace" to tackle, but I'll leave that for awhile. The last thing to do before I leave for Book Two is brush up on all of the theory in Book One.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/05/08 07:13 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:

As for me, my left and right hand chords switching skills are much better now. In fact, I think my left is somewhat better than my right at the moment. [/b]
Same here, Key Notes. I wonder if this is a natural result of the Alfreds' approach?
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/05/08 08:46 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:

As for me, my left and right hand chords switching skills are much better now. In fact, I think my left is somewhat better than my right at the moment. [/b]
Same here, Key Notes. I wonder if this is a natural result of the Alfreds' approach? [/b]
I don't think so. It's more like my approach eventhough Alfred's AIO, book 1 did start the chord lessons out with the left hand first. Since I'm right handed, I just thought that I should make the left hand work a little harder, that's all.

Which book are you using and how long have you been playing? have you learn how to use the pedals yet? I'm kind of nervous about adding one more part into this already difficult mix, but I'm determine to learn it.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/05/08 10:00 PM

My left hand does the chords better too. They are easier to play and to switch, they sound smoother, and my left pinky doesn't get sore like the right one does. That's not to say that I'm great with the left hand chords, just better than the right. :-)
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/05/08 10:05 PM

Key Notes, I am using the Alfred's All in One Book One, and pretty much nothing else. Nothing except the help and support I get here on these forums, and a handful of very helpful commenters on my blog.

The reason for my comment about this perhaps being a natural result of Alfred's method is that those who disparage it do so by dismissing it as merely a chord-based approach to learning the piano. I haven't found this to be the case, but I don't have a lot of experience here (obviously).

I will say this... at this point, the idea of doing something like a Bach 2 part invention, where the left and right hand are both doing lively and someone disconnected thing, absolutely terrifies me. My left hand is used to doing chords, not carrying its own melody.
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/06/08 02:41 AM

I am such a wuss. I can now go to the tower I am learning at. However I can't seem to get the nerve to play on the live keyboard and the practice one is down. When my teacher is with ne I just deal. He knows when to nudge me.


Got any ideas?
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/06/08 04:15 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
....

The reason for my comment about this perhaps being a natural result of Alfred's method is that those who disparage it do so by dismissing it as merely a chord-based approach to learning the piano. I haven't found this to be the case, but I don't have a lot of experience here (obviously).
...

My left hand is used to doing chords, not carrying its own melody. [/b]
I hope you don't mind my highlighting these 2 parts of your post. For me, therein lies the problem, the LH becomes used to doing chords. I'm trying to recall where I was in Book 1 before I got restless and looked around for something more method wise. I did find supplemental stuff useful. It helped keep the boredom at bay and I think that by going outside the Alfred box my LH note knowledge, dexterity and independence is better than if I had not. I don't regret Alfred by any means, he opened a door for me as he has for many others.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/06/08 07:28 AM

Hmmm...it's not like you can have everyone in hearing distance of the tower wear earplugs. :-)

I don't suppose that there would be another practice keyboard anywhere within driving distance?

You never said where the tower is. Is it somewhere where perhaps there aren't a lot of people around on certain days, or times of day?

Can you make yourself up a "paper keyboard" like the ones piano students used to practice on, only lots bigger?

I don't have any real practical solutions for you, 1silkyferret. I guess you will just have to take a deep breath and go for it. You know, if you practice your songs very slowly it may just sound like random "gongs" and no one will try to recognize the tune.

In any case, good luck with it.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/07/08 02:17 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sundew:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
....

The reason for my comment about this perhaps being a natural result of Alfred's method is that those who disparage it do so by dismissing it as merely a chord-based approach to learning the piano. I haven't found this to be the case, but I don't have a lot of experience here (obviously).
...

My left hand is used to doing chords, not carrying its own melody. [/b]
I hope you don't mind my highlighting these 2 parts of your post. For me, therein lies the problem, the LH becomes used to doing chords. I'm trying to recall where I was in Book 1 before I got restless and looked around for something more method wise. I did find supplemental stuff useful. It helped keep the boredom at bay and I think that by going outside the Alfred box my LH note knowledge, dexterity and independence is better than if I had not. I don't regret Alfred by any means, he opened a door for me as he has for many others. [/b]
May I ask which supplemental materials you've found helpful to you in terms of learning LH note knowledge, dexterity and independence? I may look into it.

Thanks!

Key Notes
Posted by: Sundew

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/07/08 04:58 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:

May I ask which supplemental materials you've found helpful to you in terms of learning LH note knowledge, dexterity and independence? I may look into it.

Thanks!

Key Notes [/QB][/QUOTE]

Hello
I've given some thought to your question. I did post, back in September, in Mark's Supplement thread {see post one of this thread} on the additional material I was finding useful 6 months into learning, but I thought I would add some qualification.

My view of course is personal and subjective and very much that of the lone beginner. As well as becoming bored my left hand began to ache, then hurt. Also, I can read treble, but bass clef was a new ball game for me so I wanted something that would help me more with the bass clef than I felt Alfred was achieving. I initially looked for simple pieces that offered more to the LH. I cannot say that my choices were the right ones but I footled about with rather more than I mentioned in the supplement thread! I am slow and it maybe that my predilection for variety has contributed to that slowness, but I am not unhappy with what I have achieved. I looked at other methods and etudes eg Czerny and material relating to ABRSM, preliminary and grade 1. I recently discovered Mikrokosmos, the first book of which I have found relatively easy. Admittedly I am somewhat further on now but I think Book 1 might work as an Alfred Book 1 supplement. There seems to be quite a bit of free easy music online that might be worth investigating.

I did work my way about a third into Book 2 and there have been pieces I enjoyed. I may pick Book 2 up from time to time, I may not. So much out there, it is the start of a journey of discovery, helped by the forums of course. For now, Alfred gathers dust.

I admire anyone who can spend a week practicing a piece from Alfred Book 1 and nothing else. I can't. It would have driven me nuts and probably ended my adventure!I have however, several times gone back to the beginning of the book {and others}. I find moving on then covering previous ground again helpful.

It's just me of course and YMMV. \:\)
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/07/08 09:00 PM

Ok I'm still stuck only a few pages after switching to the G position. I really think that I should pick up a 2nd book to learn with for the moments I don't feel like dealing with this book? Does anyone have any suggestions on books for me considering how little progress into book 1 I've made so far?
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/07/08 10:25 PM

Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/07/08 11:13 PM

hi Mom3 gram,

I did the chicken route and just used the practice board at the church. Knuckles hurt a bit. Now i know why frank wears gloves I am starting to think I am not coordinated enough for this. You need to move your hand on the keyboard a lot further then on piano.
Wend is gonna be "d"day.
Now I really understand the idea of getting 2 to 3 years of piano training in. I have learned if I work the music pieces on the piano, it helps but it doesn't find all the hard spots.
does anyone think the little finger nos over some of the Alfred's pieces is distracting. The more stuff on the page the harder for me to read and react to.
Any ideas?
I tend to read music 3 bars at a time at most.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/08/08 05:29 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by 1silkyferret:
does anyone think the little finger nos over some of the Alfred's pieces is distracting. The more stuff on the page the harder for me to read and react to.
Any ideas?[/b]
Hi 1silkyferret, I find that those numbers both helped and hurt me at the same time. Help in a sense that they'll allow me to make quicker and smoother transitions between measure, etc., but also hurt in terms of making me dependent on them too much instead of learning how to read those particular notes on my own.

Once I realized that I'm relying on them a bit too much, I tried to visually blurred them out and just focused on the actual location of the notes themselves. But this is hard to do concistently because sometimes I can still see the numbers. I'm hoping that somewhere down the line within this book they'll eliminate these numbering hints all together.

Just a thought but if they bother you that much then perhaps you might try filling them in and blacking them out all together.

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/08/08 10:17 AM

Let us know how it goes Wednesday, 1silkyferret.

Key Notes, whenever I get stuck in Alfred (which is happening more and more as the songs get harder) I play from a few of the Bastien lesson books that my grandchildren had. I've even purchased a few of the Bastien supplemental books - Classic Favorites, Christmas Favorites and Hymn Favorites. They are easier than what I'm working on in Alfred's, so I can relax and just enjoy playing after struggling with my current Alfred piece. I've also ordered a notespeller to help me with learning/remembering the notes. There is so much out there for beginners, it's just a matter of figuring out what you need help with first.
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/08/08 12:25 PM

I decided to do some shopping on Amazon for some books to kill time with when I don't feel like looking at my Alfred Book. G position makes me wanna quit So I ordered: The Piano Handbook, Disney Collection (easy piano), Alfred's Basic Piano Course Notespeller 1a, and A Dozen a Day Preparatory Book.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/08/08 02:09 PM

Those sound like good supplements, Ogrt48. Let us know how they work out for you.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/09/08 03:45 AM

Oops! Sorry I double posted. \:\(
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/09/08 03:51 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by mom3gram:
[qb] Key Notes, whenever I get stuck in Alfred (which is happening more and more as the songs get harder) I play from a few of the Bastien lesson books that my grandchildren had. I've even purchased a few of the Bastien supplemental books - Classic Favorites, Christmas Favorites and Hymn Favorites. They are easier than what I'm working on in Alfred's, so I can relax and just enjoy playing after struggling with my current Alfred piece. I've also ordered a notespeller to help me with learning/remembering the notes. There is so much out there for beginners, it's just a matter of figuring out what you need help with first. [/b]
Hi mom3gram,

Thank you so much for all of your encouragements and recommendations as always.

Yes, from my web searches and readings through many of these postings, I did realized that there are a ton of supplimentary materials and options out there for both beginner and expert piano students alike. As you had aptly pointed out, it's a matter of knowing when and in what areas I needed help in. Being that I'm without a teacher, I will have to make those observations and decisions for myself and hope that they are the right ones.

While I can see why some people may be bored with learning and playing such simple elementary pieces in the beginners' lessons in Alfred's AIO, book 1, I've been enjoying the learning process itself and am pretty happy with it so far.

As some people here have already mentioned, they put up with repeatedly playing these simple tunes so that they can learn the basic skills, and I'm doing the same thing. I think that I will be sticking to it for a while until I feel that there's a need to add other supplimentary materials. I could be wrong but until I feel that I've comfortably grasped the basic skills first, I'm afraid that I can easily be confused and overwhelmed by adding too many of the other materials.

This notespeller materials sounded interesting. If you don't mind, please keep me posted on its effectiveness on wether it does helps you read more quickly and effeciently or not.

Thanks again for your thoughtful note and suggestions. Have a fabulous day.

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/09/08 10:55 PM

Hi there
Mom3gram and others I survived my 1st practice session at the tower. Took me a while to actually START playing! I would run thru the pieces lightly touching the batons then play them. Now parts of Skater's Waltz are recognizable sort of.

I went thru some Disney songs that my teacher gave me as well. After about 45minutes or so of playing, I did the close down of closing the windows and turning off the audio system , I climbed down the stairs.
Opened the door to leave and found a lady and her 2 kids waiting. Thought "oh sh@t"closed the door and waited a few minutes thinking " u h now what do I do?!and maybe she'll leave. She didn't. She wanted to see the carillon and how it was played. I told her that I'm pnly a beginning student but the practice keyboard is downstairs so they were able to see it. The practice keyboard doesn't work at this point.
I just was not prepared for that at all!!! This is a totally new element for me. Carillon players are generally anonymous and LIKE it that way! Rank beginners like me do to.
my teacher and I have never had anyone approach us and he is GREAT!
Now crawling back to my happy hole....

Have a piano lesson as well tomorrow. I haven't worked on the alfreds stuff much. Carillon keyboard time doesn't really count for piano keyboard time I discovered.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/10/08 12:19 AM

Good to know that you survived, and that your songs were more or less recognizeable. :-) Next time will be easier.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/10/08 12:21 AM

For those who are having trouble with the G position may I suggest you stick with it. In time it wont be an issue. Its just another hurdle of a zillion hurdles we must go through. In a few months you will look back and wonder why you had a problem in the first place.

Learning this wonderful instrument is one challenge after another, don't let anything stop you.

Mark...
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/10/08 01:12 PM

the only problems I had with G position was recognizing the bass clef.
I had a harder time learning "saints"
now on standing. I tend to play the 8th notes as swing
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/11/08 06:36 PM

Whew! I can finally play "Beautiful Brown Eyes" at least moderately well, and am getting close with "Alpine Song" too, although I'm not crazy about the sound of the right hand D7 chord on my keyboard. (Too "plinky") My brain still blanks out sometimes when in G position but for the most part I can muddle through. We're not talking beautiful music here yet, (I definitely don't sound as good as the PianoNoob videos on you.tube) but I am feeling a lot more confident.
Posted by: Ogrt48

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/11/08 11:35 PM

I haven't been able to practice as much as I'd like to lately due to illness. However I just dusted off my DP and got in some practice. I have Money Can't Buy everything down pat. I actually found it to be easiest of the first few G position songs. I still mess up the Donkey song. Money Can't Buy everything was probably just easy for me because I find it really catchy to listen too, especially when I speed play it \:D . Harp song is so beautiful for my simple ears and yet so simple to play. I haven't moved on to Brown Eyes yet, that song is gonna kick me butt. Just looking at it gives me a headache. I'm hoping my other practice books come tomorrow, if not Monday I guess \:\( Don't get me wrong through, I really love Alfred's Book and it will be my main book still. I would have never made it this far on my own with any other book. I just need some other types of songs to practice when the current song in Alfred's is giving me trouble.
Posted by: Fatbacktaffy

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/11/08 11:48 PM

I started the book a few months ago then stopped due to other things going on in my life. Now I am getting back into routine. Got the book out the other day wiped of all the dust but can't seem to find the CD anywhere. Is there anywhere online where I could download the CD files as I need them before I can continue.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/12/08 12:15 AM

1silkyferret, Sounds like you made it through the first hurdle on Wed. and even made a big enough impression to an absolute stranger. Good for you, keep up the good work.

Mark, Thank you very much for your very reassuring and encouraging advise on our efforts to tame the chords. C major and G7 are much easier to do for me now, and I've just started on the F chord. As usual it seems new and difficult, so reading your post helps me tremendously. Thanks again.

mom3gram, I told you that you will tame that "Beautiful Brown Eyes" beast soon enough. Congrats! Keep up the great work.

Ogrt48, I don't think that there's anything wrong with your looking into using other supplimentary materials. If they help make your learning process more effective and enjoyable, then all the better for you. I haven't gotten up to Beautiful Brown Eyes yet but from hearing you and mom3gram talking, it sure makes me nervous.

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/14/08 10:51 PM

Hi Key Notes.

My lesson was well , not that great. I still do not have the 1st piece down at all. There are a lot of bars that repeat themselves and its real easy to get lost! Not that I need any help in theat dept. It only took me
3 days to get the nerve back up to practice again. I went on Sunday when the shops were closed. (neat trick huh)I spent most of the time on one piece and still do not have it anywhere near down.
at least I dont play 3 bars,stare,play 2 bars,stare at the music,keyboard and my hands,play 3 bars ect.. Now its about 6 bars. I really need to just bit the bullet and do scales endlessly for about a half hour.
AS far as Beautiful Brown Eyes is concerned the hard part for me was the last 3 bars...I do not know why that piece was so darn hard.
Standing is hard because I cant play straight 8ths. Now I know why at least. I listen to a lot of Mid Eastern and East Indian stuff. I went to a great concert last night and looked at one of the mdunga players and said "gee now I know who to blame..."Right now I have a Viper's cd in.
It took me a while to get the bars for the left hand that requier your fingers to play 3 separate things.
Now I am on Aloutte. I have a tendency to play what I hear. Not whats on the paper!
I found a great Scaretti piece but it begs for flute and not keyboard. I played about 3 bars of this and said "forget this!"
My piano lessons are going nowhere now. I am spending more time on the carillon keyboard. (mew mew mew)
Mom3gram, the good news is that the next 2 pieces are a little easier then Brown Eyes.
Some one is asking about the cd. I have one and I am not impressed. there is this odd sound quality and you barely hear the piano thur the bad eletric add ons.
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/15/08 10:25 PM

I may be getting somewhere after all!
I spent about 45 minutes on one of the pieces I need to learn and got it to the point where I only make about 3 mistakes.
Maybe I can do this...(just maybe) :rolleyes:
Posted by: PianoBeast

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/16/08 02:14 AM

I dont know......Am I the only one who just isnt with Alfred. I bought the book. I am on page 30 but have honestly dedicated 2 hours at most to the book. I have just taken on challenging peices instead. I mean after completing a few pieces I went back to Alfred and breezed through it like no tommorow.Am I causing future trouble. I should be getting a teacher in a few weeks
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/16/08 02:47 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by 1silkyferret:
Hi Key Notes.
AS far as Beautiful Brown Eyes is concerned the hard part for me was the last 3 bars...I do not know why that piece was so darn hard.[/b]
You are the third person that I've heard that said that this piece is hard. Hmm.

Now I am on Aloutte. I have a tendency to play what I hear. Not whats on the paper! [/b][/QUOTE]

Another cute and familiar song for me to look forward to. Yes, I have to also be very careful whenever I'm playing a familiar piece because I can easily skip a note and not realize it. Good observation because that means we're not actually reading every note or paying attention to the counts and lengths of each note at all. This may be good for the experienced pianists who can improvise but definitely not for us beginners at this point.

My piano lessons are going nowhere now. I am spending more time on the carillon keyboard. (mew mew mew) [/b][/QUOTE]

That's really too bad. Why is that? But it's good that you are working hard with the carillon, and even made great progress according to your later post. Congrats! It goes to show once again that hard work does pay off. Good for you. Keep up the great work!

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: redeagle

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/16/08 10:43 AM

I'd like to introduce myself. My daughter has studied piano for almost 2 years (and loves it) using an inexpensive Yamaha keyboard. She really likes her lessons and we finally went ahead and purchased an acoustic upright for her. I've always wanted to play an instrument but thought I was "too old" to start and my fingers were "too short" for piano. However, when we received the piano, there was some great feeling about just sitting at the bench and playing with the keys. I decided I just had to try and learn.

Like most new members, I lurked the PW forums for a while and learned a lot...browing this forum showed me you could start at any age and that it was not as hard as it looked. I've purchased the Alfred's Adult All-in-one books 1 and 2 and so far am on pg 47. I have just mastered playing the two versions of "Saints go marching on" and it feels really great. I will try and participate as much as possible in the forum, but don't get to the PC very often. Thanks and good luck to everyone here.
Regards,
Al
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/16/08 11:30 AM

welcome, redeagle. Please keep us updated on your progress.

It's not specifically germane to this thread, but I would be interested in knowing what upright you ended up with, and how you made your decision.
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/16/08 11:30 AM

Hi, Al, welcome aboard. It's very helpful to be in this thread and know that you can find someone who is a little ahead of you, and someone who just starting out, and that every song that you get stuck on someone else went through and conquered. There's a lot of good advice here - this thread is where the "real" beginners hang out.
Posted by: redeagle

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/16/08 12:21 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
welcome, redeagle. Please keep us updated on your progress.

It's not specifically germane to this thread, but I would be interested in knowing what upright you ended up with, and how you made your decision. [/b]
Sure. I hope everyone doesn't mind this reply posted here in this thread.

My answer is "Not the one I would have had I read this forum in advance :-) ... just kidding. Despite the often negative comments about chinese-made pianos, I am very happy with the new George Steck (Sejung) upright we acquired. A summary of my decision points are:

1) It will have lots of student use for the next 5 to 7 years (myself and my two young daughters are all learning to play).
2) No spinets, I wanted a full-size piano action for the feeling it provides. No grands since they cost more and we don't have the space.
3) I wanted a new piano (even though I have no problems with used products) for several reasons.
4) Under 5K since we are on a tight budget.
5) I found this piano a great value. Good quality parts, materials and production and I think most of the price difference to "better" brands in this price range comes from labor costs.
6) It felt and sounded nice to us and our piano teacher (who owns two *very* good grands and an upright.
7) I expressed to the dealer that I felt that prep was very important and did not just want the 2 free 'tunings'. He agreed and his PTG tech spent about 3 hours working on it about a week after delivery and another 2 hours about a month later.
8) A call to Sejung USA with some questions about their models was responded to very nicely and promptly.

So far, we are very satisfied.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/16/08 12:56 PM

Thanks. I am in a similar situation as you were when you were buying... I am learning, my 6 year old daughter is learning, and my 5 year old son will begin lessons next year. So whatever we end up with is going to get a great deal of use, but we're in no position to spend as much money as I would like. Maybe later on down the road (you too, perhaps?).

I still don't know if we are going to end up with a digital, a used upright, or a new upright. But I do believe that if we go the new acoustic route, I think it is most likely that we'll end up with a Chinese piano. So you're among friends here.
Posted by: redeagle

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/16/08 01:49 PM

Always Wanted to Play Piano,
Thanks. We all love having the acoustic piano, but I will add one comment.

My kids can practice after school. When I come home there is lots of family stuff to do and our youngest (3) is in bed at 8:30. Basically, my schedule best allows me to practice an hour or so each night, preferably late. I would think hard about a digital because the volume control and/or headphones is the single best way for me to be able to maintain or increase my practice time.
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/16/08 06:14 PM

Al, we're living in the same world. The arguments for a digital at this point are pretty compelling.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/17/08 08:57 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by 1silkyferret:

AS far as Beautiful Brown Eyes is concerned the hard part for me was the last 3 bars...I do not know why that piece was so darn hard.
[/b]
1silkyferret - not that you necessarily want to make Beautiful Brown Eyes any harder, but you can make it a little more interesting musically.

Hrere's how: once you get it "down" fairly well, do this: repeat the last line, slowing down slightly starting with the 3rd to last measure, and instead of the left hand pattern in the next to last measure (that you played the 1st time thru) simply play the full G chord, and hold it for the length of the last two measures (6 counts).

Too much to ask at this point? Well, maybe. But give it a try. This technique can be used to add an enhanced ending to any number of the pieces you'll play in the future. In fact, if you really want to get a little fancy, you can take the last few measures of a song (usually the last "phrase") and use it as an "intro" at the start of a piece.

Good luck and above all have fun!

Regards,

JF
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/17/08 11:52 AM

My update... I have three things I am "working on" (meaning I can plod through them at various levels of success):

- Why Am I Blue? - Have just a little trouble with the fine...
- Good People - Just can't quite this... I'm close.
- Little Brown Jug - I've made it through this twice at tempo without errors.

I've also begun the painful introductory phase of learning Chiapanecas. It's the first piece, to my recollection, where the LH and RH have comparable levels of difficulty.
Posted by: redeagle

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/17/08 11:32 PM

So far, I really like this Alfred's Adult All-In-One Piano Book 1. I have several other piano books laying around, but this is my main learning tool and I plan on working my way through Alfred's as much as possible before supplementing with too much other stuff. I am also getting lots of good tips and info from this forum. Thanks to all of you, especially those who have posted their renditions on youtube or box.net.

The past few days, I have become quite expert at making those Saints March. Today, I was able to go past that point and focused on "Money Can't Buy Everything", which is the intro to the G position. At first, it was like taking a big step backwards. When I try to play the notes, I stop and start and get a bit confused with the fingering, but when I ignore the notes (except the first one) and play the whole thing by intervals, I go through it pretty easily.

So far during my first 3 weeks of using Alfred's:

1) It is great fun and I am enjoying it very much.

2) I have easily picked up a lot of the music theory (beyond what is in the Alfred's books) and have very little problem reading sheet music. My biggest challenge right now is perfecting the physical coordination and dexterity to actually play the songs I see on the sheets. I wonder if this is the norm or the exception?

3) Although I know the notes and staff well, I find myself going through all the songs by fingering to the note intervals...its just so much faster and I realize that while I am playing I really couldn't tell you what note I need to play or is coming next. Is this ok or should I try to force myself to play by the recognition of the notes?

4) It is easy to advance with practice, but it is hard to get enough time to practice. This week has been a bit tough to advance in the book. My practice times kept getting cut short. I normally start with a warmup by going back a few pages earlier in the book, but I have been getting "stopped" each day just when I get to new material. I have to come up with a good practice routine to address this. I am thinking maybe just some quick scales and right into new material, and them wrap up with older stuff to reinforce past lessons. It doesn't seem like the best way, but it will maximize my time on working through to new stuff.

I think the rest of this week and the weekend will be focused on perfecting "Money Can't Buy Everything" and "The Cuckoo" and improving my ability to switch between all the chords in both LH and RH. I am looking forward to getting to more challinging parts of the book like Blow the Man Down & Little Brown Jug, of which I have read a lot about in this thread.

Good night all...
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/17/08 11:46 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by JohnFrank:
 Quote:
Originally posted by 1silkyferret:

AS far as Beautiful Brown Eyes is concerned the hard part for me was the last 3 bars...I do not know why that piece was so darn hard.
[/b]
1silkyferret - not that you necessarily want to make Beautiful Brown Eyes any harder, but you can make it a little more interesting musically.

Hrere's how: once you get it "down" fairly well, do this: repeat the last line, slowing down slightly starting with the 3rd to last measure, and instead of the left hand pattern in the next to last measure (that you played the 1st time thru) simply play the full G chord, and hold it for the length of the last two measures (6 counts).

Too much to ask at this point? Well, maybe. But give it a try. This technique can be used to add an enhanced ending to any number of the pieces you'll play in the future. In fact, if you really want to get a little fancy, you can take the last few measures of a song (usually the last "phrase") and use it as an "intro" at the start of a piece.

Good luck and above all have fun!

Regards,

JF [/b]
Hmm, very interesting. I might have to try this too. Thanks JF. \:\)
Posted by: PMcG316

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/18/08 01:02 AM

Okay... I need some serious help with "He's got the whole world in his hands" I simply cannot bring these rhythms together. I can play the melody & bass line perfectly by itself, but bringing them together seems beyond my brain power. Reading the connected 8th notes and syncopated notes does throw me off a little, but I think it's more of a hand separation issue.

Any ideas on how to tackle this one?
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/18/08 01:06 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:
 Quote:
Originally posted by 1silkyferret:
Hi Key Notes.
AS far as Beautiful Brown Eyes is concerned the hard part for me was the last 3 bars...I do not know why that piece was so darn hard.[/b]
You are the third person that I've heard that said that this piece is hard. Hmm.
if it involves reading little black notes on staff paper and its on on flute its hard.!

Now I am on Aloutte. I have a tendency to play what I hear. Not whats on the paper! [/b]
Another cute and familiar song for me to look forward to. Yes, I have to also be very careful whenever I'm playing a familiar piece because I can easily skip a note and not realize it. Good observation because that means we're not actually reading every note or paying attention to the counts and lengths of each note at all. This may be good for the experienced pianists who can improvise but definitely not for us beginners at this point.

My piano lessons are going nowhere now. I am spending more time on the carillon keyboard. (mew mew mew) [/b][/QUOTE]

That's really too bad. Why is that?

Its real simple,I only will have another week to enjoy this wonderful instrument then I hit the road for shows in OK,OH and VA as well as KS. I wont be back until 6 months,. so its gonna a bell-less existance for a while. So I am on this for 3 days a week for about 45 minutes at a time. I also have a tendency to practice the rhythems for the carillon stuff on the piano so the alfred's stuff isnt gettiing the practice it needs.
I used to look forward to hitting the road...now its crud I gotta leave...wish I could take a year off and learn this wonderful amazing instrument. But I need to work for a living and I am real fortunate that I have been able to do what I am doing and know it.
Once I get to OK,and hang with the buddies I will be ok.

I am thinking about doing VARf because there are 2 carillons withen 2 hours of the festival site. If thats not a bullsh*t reason for chosing a show,I dont know what is. its a long drive from OK to VA however and I would be there for 3 weeks then have to haul butt to Ohio. I would rather come back here,get 3 weeks of lessons and then head to ohio. My business partner thinks I am nutz for this. He keeps saying TCB, take care of business. I get more done in 1 day then he does in a week.

then its back to the piano and Alfred's when I am on the road.
when on the road,I hit the piano for 45 minutes for 3 days.
But it's good that you are working hard with the carillon, and even made great progress according to your later post.

Went back today and worked on the 2nd piece a bit. Here is the spooky part,I have most of Skater's memorized. I have to play the same stuff over and over again so I learn it. thus it gets memorized. I did not realize I was memorizing the piece until today. I have about a half hour to go I think until I get it down to passable.. (I hope). There was a couple sitting outside the restaurent so I quit before I had it done. I did not know they wer there until I wsa getting ready to do some real slow stuff. No one wants to eat dinner to the same darn piece being played ad nausuem. (oh gods) wish the practice keyboard was working..... :rolleyes:

Congrats! It goes to show once again that hard work does pay off. Good for you. Keep up the great work!

Key Notes \:\) [/b][/QUOTE]
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/18/08 01:11 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by redeagle:
I'd like to introduce myself. My daughter has studied piano for almost 2 years (and loves it) using an inexpensive Yamaha keyboard. She really likes her lessons and we finally went ahead and purchased an acoustic upright for her. I've always wanted to play an instrument but thought I was "too old" to start and my fingers were "too short" for piano. However, when we received the piano, there was some great feeling about just sitting at the bench and playing with the keys. I decided I just had to try and learn.

Coolness, glad you're here. The more the merrier.
I have real small hands. When I was in Ireland I was going to get a custom D flute. A tracing was done of my hands and the flutemaker said he didnt make flutes for children! I was 19. When I started piano lessons I could span 7 keys. Now its 9. I trashed the back of my right hand for that however.

Like most new members, I lurked the PW forums for a while and learned a lot...browing this forum showed me you could start at any age and that it was not as hard as it looked. I've purchased the Alfred's Adult All-in-one books 1 and 2 and so far am on pg 47. I have just mastered playing the two versions of "Saints go marching on" and it feels really great. I will try and participate as much as possible in the forum, but don't get to the PC very often. Thanks and good luck to everyone here.
Regards,
Al [/b]
Sounds like you are real talented.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/18/08 07:34 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:
Hmm, very interesting. I might have to try this too. Thanks JF. \:\) [/b]
Hi Key Notes - yes, it can be very interesting and you should try it - it's just a matter of adding a little enhancement or embellishment to your practice pieces as you expend alot of time & energy working thru them with dedication day by day and week by week.

Relatively simple techniques like adding a 2nd ending or intro onto a piece can really spice it up somewhat and make your whole experience a little more enjoyable - besides adding another dimension to your growing skills as a pianist and an "artist".

Note, in this regard, that it isn't always necessary to repeat the entire last line - usually just the last phrase is good enough (which may sometimes start in the middle of a measure). Use the phrase marks over the melody as a guide. Try using this same phrase as an intro. In both cases it's often effective to play this phrase a little slower (and softer) when used as a repeat of the ending or as an intro.

Another often used technique is to take that last phrase and repeat it as a 2nd ending - but then double the values of each note in the phrase. This, of course, doubles the measures in the phrase. And it has the natural effect of slowing down the tempo and emphasizing the finality of the ending. This is used alot in pop music.

There are several other techniques you can use for enhancement but I'll save them for later.

As usual, nice "talking" to you and have fun!

Regards, JF
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/18/08 11:01 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PMcG316:
Okay... I need some serious help with "He's got the whole world in his hands" I simply cannot bring these rhythms together. I can play the melody & bass line perfectly by itself, but bringing them together seems beyond my brain power. Reading the connected 8th notes and syncopated notes does throw me off a little, but I think it's more of a hand separation issue.

Any ideas on how to tackle this one? [/b]
Uh, oh. This one is coming up soon for me. I was counting on it being easy, as Little Brown Jug and (now) Chiapanecas gave (are giving) me fits.
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/18/08 09:36 PM

Fed my addiction. Man that was fun.
Have another lesson tomorrow.
I will have access to practice keyboards when I am doing Ohio and KC
doing the happy dance!!!!
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/18/08 10:51 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by JohnFrank:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:
[qb] Hmm, very interesting. I might have to try this too. Thanks JF. \:\) [/b]
an "artist".[/b]
:)

Note, in this regard, that it isn't always necessary to repeat the entire last line - usually just the last phrase is good enough (which may sometimes start in the middle of a measure). Use the phrase marks over the melody as a guide. Try using this same phrase as an intro. In both cases it's often effective to play this phrase a little slower (and softer) when used as a repeat of the ending or as an intro.

Another often used technique is to take that last phrase and repeat it as a 2nd ending - but then double the values of each note in the phrase. This, of course, doubles the measures in the phrase. And it has the natural effect of slowing down the tempo and emphasizing the finality of the ending. This is used alot in pop music.

There are several other techniques you can use for enhancement but I'll save them for later.

As usual, nice "talking" to you and have fun!

Regards, JF [/b][/QUOTE]

You know JF, too bad you live so far away or I would've love to and ask you to be my piano instructor and, umm..., "borrow" your hands-on expertise, with the explecit permission of your dear wife of course. \:\)

Thank you so much for such wonderful insider's tips and advise as always! It definitely makes sense and I will definitely try it. The beginning and ending of any pieces would definitely be the perfect places to add embellishments.

I know that you are spoon-feeding me with your piano knowledge and wisdoms, and it's always nice and comforting to know that there will be more coming. Ater all, you are wise enough to know not to overwhelm a complete beginner.

Just a bit of an update if you care to know, I started to play "When the Saints Go Marching In" (With RH Melody & LH Chords) last night and it's super fun switching and coordinating the timing between all of the bass chords. I've already gone beyond what I thought that I would be able to do on the piano at this point, just a little over four weeks. I have huge dreams of how well I would like to be able to play and while I may or may not ever get there, I'm already extremely happy just knowing that I can and will be able to learn how to play this wonderful instrument after all.

Thank you so much once again and have a fantastic day!

Best Regards,

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/19/08 05:15 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:
I know that you are spoon-feeding me with your piano knowledge and wisdoms, and it's always nice and comforting to know that there will be more coming. Ater all, you are wise enough to know not to overwhelm a complete beginner.

[/b]
Well, the hard, cold truth is that I'm not really "spoon-feeding" you, as you say, since I'm not that particularly knowledgable or wise (especially compared to alot of veteran players/posters here at PW) - I just have a few tidbits of little "tricks" that I've picked up along the way so far that I enjoy sharing.

And I'm not too sure how much longer they will keeping coming - I'm "running on fumes" now ;\) and I couldn't overwhelm a beginner if I tried since I'm pretty much still one myself.

Like I said in a previous post, one of these days in the not too distant future you'll be giving me tips and little tricks to try! \:\)

And do you really think that California & Pennsylvania are too far apart to get together for a jam session now and then? I guess we could do that electronically!

Regards, JF
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/19/08 07:54 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PMcG316:
Okay... I need some serious help with "He's got the whole world in his hands" I simply cannot bring these rhythms together. I can play the melody & bass line perfectly by itself, but bringing them together seems beyond my brain power. Reading the connected 8th notes and syncopated notes does throw me off a little, but I think it's more of a hand separation issue.

Any ideas on how to tackle this one? [/b]
Since you have the hands separate down, now only do hands together really slow and build up speed over time. It might take a while to get it to full speed. But over time you will get it...

good kuck

Mark...
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/19/08 08:05 AM

Just a reminder I'm still looking for good recordings for book one pieces to use as a reference. I will add them to the opening post. It doesn't matter how early in the book the piece is either...

Thanks

Mark...
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/19/08 08:30 AM

I can't believe that I'm still up at this hour practicing "When the Saints Go Marching Home".

JohnFrank, I just got through trying what you suggested and it made the songs sounded so much better, with so much more dimensions and a lot more fun to play. I'm not sure that I was doing it correctly though but I added the last measure to be the soft intro of the beginning of the song and repeated it slowly and softly at the end of the song as well.

I actually got a recording of one of my better attempt. Yeah! I love the instant record and play back feature of the dp. It really helps me to hear where I've made all of the mistakes, especially the slightly longer pauses that I can't hear while playing.

Thanks again.

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/19/08 10:52 PM

Well I got the 1st complement from my carillon teacher today!!!He said I am finally getting it!
I spent over 4 hours on the 2 pieces this week. Knuckles hurt a bit. I am a wimp.
My sightreading still sucks. I tend to play a few notes, and stare,2 bars and stare. I just have no business trying to do that. On piano when I have a piece I look at it for about 10 minutes and then try the right hand 1st. Then after a few times the left. And mind you that is with Alfred's. Far simpler stuff then I do on carillon.

John Frank has some great ideas on how to make Alfred's more interesting. Thank you John.
Why do jigs sound so bad on piano????

Flute filter works far faster.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/20/08 07:58 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:
I can't believe that I'm still up at this hour practicing "When the Saints Go Marching Home".

JohnFrank, I just got through trying what you suggested and it made the songs sounded so much better, with so much more dimensions and a lot more fun to play. I'm not sure that I was doing it correctly though but I added the last measure to be the soft intro of the beginning of the song and repeated it slowly and softly at the end of the song as well.

I actually got a recording of one of my better attempt. Yeah! I love the instant record and play back feature of the dp. It really helps me to hear where I've made all of the mistakes, especially the slightly longer pauses that I can't hear while playing.

Thanks again.

Key Notes \:\) [/b]
Key Notes - way to go! I'm glad you tried it and liked it - just simple things like that add a nice, more artistic touch tio even the most basic pieces.

If, as you say, you added the "last measure" as an intro and then repeated it as a 2nd ending, that's fine.

As an alternative, you could have done the same thing with most of the original last line, statrting with the E above the word "When" in the 1st measure of the last line, and then using that entire 3 1/2 measures as your intro and 2nd ending. When you play it as a 2nd ending hold the C in the very last partial measure for 2 counts, so that when you go back to the 1st measure in that last line you'll be playing the E on count 3 (balancing out the counts).

Maybe that's a little too much right now, but it will give you an idea of the possibilities.

And, yes, you're right about recording everything you study - you get immediate feedback and it helps you smooth out your playing. I use this feature on my DP all the time.

Good luck and above all have fun! \:\)

Regards, JF
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/20/08 09:45 PM

I'm still working on "Brown Eyes", "Alpine Melody" and the song without a name that comes right after "Alpine Melody". Wonder why they didn't name it?? It looks like the next few are easier ones in Middle C position which I've already had experience with in the Bastien books.

I also purchased the Fabers Adult Book and have started on it. I haven't gotten very far yet, so I don't know how I'm going to like it. It's quite a bit different than Alfred's so far.

1Silkyferret - good going on the carillon. Your knuckles will get used to it. Wish I could hear you play.

Key Notes - sounds like you are having fun improvising with "Saints". I'll have to try that next time I review that one.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/20/08 11:36 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark...:
Just a reminder I'm still looking for good recordings for book one pieces to use as a reference. I will add them to the opening post. It doesn't matter how early in the book the piece is either...

Thanks

Mark... [/b]
Hi Mark..., I don't know if you are referring to the CD that comes with the Alred's All-In-One, book 1, or the Adult Beginner, book 1 and someone's personal recordings of those pieces. Just a suggestion and I'm not sure if you've already done this but perhaps someone in book 2 or 3 thread may be able to help you out since they've already went through them(?).

Good luck to you.

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/20/08 11:46 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by mom3gram:
I'm still working on "Brown Eyes", "Alpine Melody" and the song without a name that comes right after "Alpine Melody". Wonder why they didn't name it?? It looks like the next few are easier ones in Middle C position which I've already had experience with in the Bastien books.

I also purchased the Fabers Adult Book and have started on it. I haven't gotten very far yet, so I don't know how I'm going to like it. It's quite a bit different than Alfred's so far.

1Silkyferret - good going on the carillon. Your knuckles will get used to it. Wish I could hear you play.
HI Mom3gram,
Trust me,your not missing anything. I still suck at it.
I do this for fun. I went to the tower again today. Its in a mall that is closed on Sundays. NO ears to assault. Plus my mate needed to do an errand 6 miles from it. 2 birds one stone..gas is 3.40 a gal now. Played some scales which I do very little of normally. Anyway I was playing some Tull today. Bouree,and the Last Huzzah. Works different on flute,trust me. I only got in 30 minutes but that is better than nothing.

Key Notes - sounds like you are having fun improvising with "Saints". I'll have to try that next time I review that one. [/b]
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/21/08 12:00 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by JohnFrank:
[/qb]
Key Notes - way to go! I'm glad you tried it and liked it - just simple things like that add a nice, more artistic touch tio even the most basic pieces.

If, as you say, you added the "last measure" as an intro and then repeated it as a 2nd ending, that's fine.

As an alternative, you could have done the same thing with most of the original last line, statrting with the E above the word "When" in the 1st measure of the last line, and then using that entire 3 1/2 measures as your intro and 2nd ending. When you play it as a 2nd ending hold the C in the very last partial measure for 2 counts, so that when you go back to the 1st measure in that last line you'll be playing the E on count 3 (balancing out the counts).

Maybe that's a little too much right now, but it will give you an idea of the possibilities.

And, yes, you're right about recording everything you study - you get immediate feedback and it helps you smooth out your playing. I use this feature on my DP all the time.

Good luck and above all have fun! \:\)

Regards, JF [/QB][/QUOTE]

Fantastic! It sounded even better! It definitely added so much more demensions and moods. I love it! Luckily it's not too much for me to absorb at this point, I understand exactly what you are saying since you were so explicit in your instructions. Thank you so much for taking the time to spell it all out. I truly appreciate it. \:\) \:\) \:\)

Yes, it does makes a lot of sense that you would have to hold down the C in the last partial measure for 2 more counts to have a smoother transition and to combine and complete the last and the first half measure of the last line to be 4 counts. I don't know if that makes sense but I'm sure you know what I mean. \:D

Once again, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and knowledge with me, and adding even more joy into my learning experiences. \:\)

Best Regards,

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/21/08 12:15 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by mom3gram:

Key Notes - sounds like you are having fun improvising with "Saints". I'll have to try that next time I review that one. [/b]
Hi mom3gram, Yes! I'm having lots of fun. I stayed up until 4:30 am on Fiday just to practice until I can't focus anymore. But then I knew that I didn't have to get up too early on Sat. morning.

You should definitely try what JohnFrank suggested. It sounded so much better, more rich and well, sophisticated, if you can imagine with a song like "When the Saints Go Marching In".

By the way, how is your "notespeller" materials working out for you? Does it help you read the notes better and faster?

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/21/08 02:08 PM

Mark, I haven't figured out a reasonable way to record on our old upright. Of course, given its flaws, I am not sure I would want to subject the rest of you to anything I might record, even if I could.

I am talking to someone about a Craigslist posting on a used Privia... if that works out, I will begin posting recordings soon on anything that's missing.
Posted by: Ken62

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/22/08 05:01 PM

Hello everyone,

I'll soon be joining you all in travelling through Alfred's All-in-one Book One.
I expect my book to arrive on Thursday.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/23/08 05:01 PM

Key Notes (and anyone else interested) - here is an example of what you can do to "embellish" a simple piece, which will show you how much difference even a few enhancements can make to a short, basic work.

This is a piece from near the end of Alfred Book 2 called "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair" (title is almost as long as the piece). The first version is played just as it appears in the Book (with no repeats, etc.). Here it is:

Black is the Color

The second version repeats the entire piece, with a short transition between the first & second play-thrus, and then repeats the last phrase with a slight slowing of tempo. Here it is:

Black is the Color - embellished .

You can add endings/intros/repeats to just about every piece you study to increase their appeal - but always learn the original book arrangement well first.

Regards, JF
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/23/08 05:17 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Ken62:
Hello everyone,

I'll soon be joining you all in travelling through Alfred's All-in-one Book One.
I expect my book to arrive on Thursday. [/b]
Good to hear Ken...welcome. There are many nice methods out there but Alfred has really worked well for many of us...

Mark...
Posted by: Ken62

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/23/08 05:27 PM

Nice

My book arrived a day early, love when that happens.

I get to start alittle in the book before heading out to work tonight.
Gonna be away all weekend though, so will have re-start again Monday.
--------------------------------------
JohnFrank,
Nice... am not quite ready for that, but alittle foreknowledge is a good thing.
Looking forward to applying the technique.
Posted by: hotkeys

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/23/08 10:12 PM

I am working from the Alfred book one as well.

I have the all in one and basic editions. There is more theory in the all in one and I started over from the beginning when I realized my hand was in the wrong place on the keyboard. Getting use to it now!

I have a tendency to rush through lessons in the book so I slow down and repeat the exercises slower. I learned a lot in the past few weeks and additional exercises as well. I also viewed the piano exercises at Expert Village as well (Dani Rhodes is the instructor).

I feel I am getting better at my playing, even if these are baby steps. \:\)

- Mark
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/23/08 10:48 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:

I am talking to someone about a Craigslist posting on a used Privia... if that works out, I will begin posting recordings soon on anything that's missing. [/b]
That would be great...let me know
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/24/08 12:40 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
Mark, I haven't figured out a reasonable way to record on our old upright.
Could you stick a microphone in the piano?
as in a few inches above the strings? And a little tape so it doesnt fall ON the strings.

Of course, given its flaws, I am not sure I would want to subject the rest of you to anything I might record, even if I could.
Heck I subject folk to my bad playing. Only because I don't have an alternative now if I want to work on more than 3 octaves but I am going to use the practice set up tomorrow so I can practice "endless scales"and not worry bout the ears around.!!!



I am talking to someone about a Craigslist posting on a used Privia... if that works out, I will begin posting recordings soon on anything that's missing. [/b]
Craigslist is great isnt hit??
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/24/08 12:50 AM

I found a good site for free sheemusic but most of it is "one liners." freescores.com,they seem to have a little bit of everything.
I got a few Irish trad songs there. They look like they are scored for C instruments and I will use one for sightreading tomorrow. Set dance pieces are hard to find. Also if you have more than 4 couples they are long.
The last two times I practiced,it seemed like an unintentional concert. Once there was a lady and her kids,this last time it was a lady and her kid.
that is unnerving. very unnerving....I wont even touch a keyboard in a music store.
Posted by: Wimbwicket

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/24/08 01:31 AM

I'm currently at page 40 after 4 weeks. Is this about the normal speed? And after how long do you guys think i'll be done with this book. Because it'll get harder and harder every week :p
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/24/08 01:45 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Wimbwicket:
I'm currently at page 40 after 4 weeks. Is this about the normal speed? And after how long do you guys think i'll be done with this book. Because it'll get harder and harder every week :p [/b]
Took me 7 months to finish book one, but I was still cleans up stuff while I was in book two. Your milage may vary. Remember its not a race, take your time and enjoy the journey.

Mark...
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/24/08 10:12 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by 1silkyferret:
Craigslist is great isnt hit?? [/b]
Daily stop for me. Unfortunately, somebody beat me to the $200 PX-575R. It's a shame I wasn't downtown that day.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark...:
Took me 7 months to finish book one, but I was still cleaning up stuff while I was in book two. Your mileage may vary. Remember its not a race, take your time and enjoy the journey.

Mark... [/b]
I'm glad you reminded me of this. There are some pieces I worked hard to polish. After moving on, I've gone back to play some of these, and find, to my utter annoyance and dismay, that I can no longer play them well first (heck sixth) time through. I figured once I "finished" Book One, I would take another month or so to fly through the book a few times, and see if I can get some of these back up to speed. In theory, each lap through it should be quicker, and the level of polish should improve. That's my plan, anyway.

7 months is probably about the time frame I am looking at as well. I already have Book Two, but my eyes glaze over and roll back into my head when I look at what's in there.
Posted by: Wimbwicket

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/24/08 10:53 AM

 Quote:
Remember its not a race, take your time and enjoy the journey.
I know it isn't a race, i have the feeling i can play the songs good. And that's what my teacher says too \:D . By the way i'm 15 years old. I just hope to go through the first book fast because the second book has much more fun songs because of the knowledge you already have gained from the first book. \:\)
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/24/08 12:06 PM

See, for me, I know it's not a race, but that doesn't make me less impatient. I want to improve quickly, as I assume the more interesting (and difficult) music is more fun than, say, Chiapanecas.

That said, I am falling short of my practice time goals these days, and may not catch up until late summer.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/24/08 12:13 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark...:
Took me 7 months to finish book one, but I was still cleaning up stuff while I was in book two. Your mileage may vary. Remember its not a race, take your time and enjoy the journey.

Mark... [/b]
I'm glad you reminded me of this. There are some pieces I worked hard to polish. After moving on, I've gone back to play some of these, and find, to my utter annoyance and dismay, that I can no longer play them well first (heck sixth) time through. I figured once I "finished" Book One, I would take another month or so to fly through the book a few times, and see if I can get some of these back up to speed. In theory, each lap through it should be quicker, and the level of polish should improve. That's my plan, anyway.

7 months is probably about the time frame I am looking at as well. I already have Book Two, but my eyes glaze over and roll back into my head when I look at what's in there. [/b]
Its all relative. I still play the Entertainer and Amazing Grace from book one and once and a while play around with other pieces. Some take a few takes to play right.

Book two was initially scary but now I look back from book three and say wow, I can play many of them ok. (Not all), I'm still cleaning up many pieces in the back 1/3 of book two especially Canon.

When I looked at book 3, I again was scared, but it does start to come together. Some work out really well, some I hack to hell... \:\) By the way I'm very average and struggle to play anything clean. Just by brute force and lots of practice can I make anything from this wonderful instrument sound remotely like music. Maybe in time I can play like those that sound so gifted. Because I'm sure not...
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/25/08 12:01 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by JohnFrank:
Key Notes (and anyone else interested) - here is an example of what you can do to "embellish" a simple piece, which will show you how much difference even a few enhancements can make to a short, basic work.

This is a piece from near the end of Alfred Book 2 called "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair" (title is almost as long as the piece). The first version is played just as it appears in the Book (with no repeats, etc.). Here it is:

Black is the Color

The second version repeats the entire piece, with a short transition between the first & second play-thrus, and then repeats the last phrase with a slight slowing of tempo. Here it is:

Black is the Color - embellished .

You can add endings/intros/repeats to just about every piece you study to increase their appeal - but always learn the original book arrangement well first.

Regards, JF [/b]
Hi JohnFrank, Very nice demonstrations and beautiful playing. Thanks for taking the time to record and shared them.

I can now see where we can add intros and endings, but how do you select which parts to use for the repeats?

Thanks again for all of your wonderful tips.

Regards,

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/25/08 01:26 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
[QUOTE][qb]Originally posted by 1silkyferret:
Craigslist is great isnt hit?? [/b]
Daily stop for me. Unfortunately, somebody beat me to the $200 PX-575R. It's a shame I wasn't downtown that day.

Man that sucketh!!!!!(ya want some van seats?) I got my 1st keyboard from a pawn shop. I was looking for the cheapest thing I could find. Now I have a Roland d-10. Big enough for the nieghbor cats to hang out on. The b takes a while to sound until I play it a few times.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/25/08 06:16 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Key Notes:
I can now see where we can add intros and endings, but how do you select which parts to use for the repeats?

Thanks again for all of your wonderful tips.

Regards,

Key Notes \:\) [/b]
Key Notes - I'm not sure which "repeats" you're referring to so I'll cover the possibilities:

1. You can, of course, repeat the entire piece (if you wish to do that) even if there are no repeat symbols at the end of the piece. Or, if the piece is in two separate, distinct parts or sections (say like alot of pop songs with a verse section and a chorus section) you can choose to just repeat perhaps the second section (it's your choice - there are no firm rules - whatever appeals to you and/or sounds good).

2. Instead of the above (or in addition to it) you can repeat just the very ending part of the piece. This would be perhaps just the last several measures (or more precisely, the last phrase as indicated by the phrasing marks over the music - again whatever sounds good.

So, you could have a case (like I used in "Black is the Color...) where you play the piece thru once, then go back to the beginning and play it thru completely again, and finally repeat the last ending phrase again (the 3rd time it would have been played).

If the piece was in two sections you could, for example, play the entire piece thru once (sections 1 & 2), then go back to the start of the second section and play thru to the end, and then repeat the last phrase (3rd time played).

Or you could have the case where you simply play the song thru once and then repeat just that last phrase as a finishing touch.

There are usually several choices when you're enhancing a piece according to your own desires and tastes - there is no right or wrong way, just your way. And this isn't even considering the possibilities involved with choosing how to do intros (which can really round out your interpretation).

Hope this helps.

Regard, JF
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/25/08 09:56 PM

Thanks JohnFrank! IOU big time. I love all of these ideas and the different variations and options to personalized any piece of music. I'll definitely have to try them out along the way as I get better.

Thank you so much once again and have a fabulous day!

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/27/08 11:46 PM

I am sort of messing with dropping stuff an octave,.or up an octave. so play the 1st verse,then the 2nd up the octave.

fingering is the same. Just move paws up or down the octave. Simple. Works on Irish music well.

My sightreading still sucks but I did run thru 3 pieces today. Finished one of them. Stopped at a few bars on the others.
Posted by: Triryche

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/28/08 10:22 AM

JF,
Those are some great ideas for spicing up Alfred's!!
If I ever finish the Can-Can song, I will have to try them!!
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/28/08 01:39 PM

Thanks Triyche - yes, do give them a try - I think you'll find they enhance the music, and your enjoyment, a great deal.

Regards, JF
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/28/08 04:57 PM

Well, I've moved on through the Middle C position songs, "Waltz Time", "Good Morning to You", "Happy Birthday" and a couple of short one liners. They were easy, probably because I spent so much time in the Bastien beginner book which started with Middle C. I'm still butchering "Brown Eyes" and "Alpine Melody" some days, but today I tried "Standing in the Need of Prayer". It looked hard, but it's actually not that bad. I'm still playing it slowly, but WAY better than I did with "Brown Eyes" and "Alpine". I think I'm going to like this one.

I'm also working on "Morning Mood" in the Bastien Level 1 Classics and "Lean on Me" in the Faber Adult All-in-one". I'm only on page 32 in Faber, and "Lean on Me" is a very easy song in middle C position with no chords, but I'm having trouble with the timing because it's slow. I've set my metronome to 50 and feel like I'm waiting a year to play the next note.

On an slightly off topic - two of my grandkids are in their piano recital tonight, and I'm worried about how they will do. They are doing a duet, and the older one reads music well, but occasionally makes a mistake. The younger one has a really good ear, but doesn't read music well, so she has memorized her part to compensate. They can't seem to coordinate their playing and have been arguing more than practicing. I can't be there to see them play and am kind of relieved, because I'm afraid that if anyone makes a mistake or slows down it will be a disaster. They are both in their second year of piano. Keep your fingers crossed for them.
Posted by: Triryche

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/28/08 05:08 PM

"Standing in the Need of Prayer" so far is one of my favorites from Alfred's. When I first started learning it, it was the most intimidating looking piece I had encountered in the book.

I will keep my fingers crossed!! \:\)
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/28/08 09:52 PM

Standing in the Need is hard only because the eights are triky because the piece if you ever heard it sung gospel style like i have is normallyu done with swing notes. That means the 8ths are not equal. I can not play it with straight 8ths because if that.
I have beenstuck on that for weeks. I am about to just give up on this one. My teacher is not real happy about that.
on a waltz for me ( lot of alfred's stuff)I dont have that problem
Posted by: Triryche

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/28/08 10:49 PM

1silkyferret,
can you swing the 8th's instead of playing it straight?
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/29/08 09:35 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Triryche:
1silkyferret,
can you swing the 8th's instead of playing it straight? [/b]
my teacher doesnt want me to do the swing 8ths. I have been on this piece for over a month. Now its kind of a moot point. I am going to OK for a show there for a while so I will be on my own there. I also have the same problem on Alouette.
I am hoping to get a lesson or two there.
I can sort of get the 8ths if I am not doing the left hand part.
my left paw is still kind of useless. I also picked up a Bastiens book of real simple looking stuff (its a kid's book with cute pix/)
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/29/08 10:31 AM

1silkyferret, don't fret. Soon, you'll get to the Blues stuff, where Alfred's ASKS you to swing the 8ths...
Posted by: billyshears66

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/29/08 08:16 PM

Just got my Afred's Adult Complete Course Level 1 today in the mail... son is sleeping for the night, so it will have to wait till morning \:\(
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/29/08 08:36 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by billyshears66:
Just got my Afred's Adult Complete Course Level 1 today in the mail... son is sleeping for the night, so it will have to wait till morning \:\( [/b]
Welcome to Alfred and good luck!

Mark...
Posted by: 1silkyferret

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 04/29/08 11:19 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
1silkyferret, don't fret. Soon, you'll get to the Blues stuff, where Alfred's ASKS you to swing the 8ths... [/b]
Thank you,

Looking forward to that part of the equation.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/04/08 04:17 AM

Yes, I did it! I faced "Beautiful Brown Eyes" and the use of the damper pedal for the very first time, and I'm happy to report that it's not as bad as I had originally thought that it would be. But then, I know that this is just the beginning.

I also liked and needed Leschetizky solution exercises for developing equal skills for all of the fingers, since my fourths and fifths are definitely weaker then the others. I was going to post and ask for suggestions on how to improve in this area but then I came upon these exercises.

BTW, I broke one of my own rules and peeked a few pages into the future and saw "The Amazing Aerobics of Hanon, No. 1 & No. 2" on pages 78-79 and I'm freeking myself out right now. \:\( I knew that I shouldn't have looked.

Hope everyone has been enjoying your practices and playing.

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/04/08 05:00 PM

Key Notes, you know I am as much a rookie as you are. I toyed with those Hanons... it turns out there is a pattern hidden in the complexity. It looks much tougher than it really is. But I also admit that I am not playing those any more, as I find them utterly boring. Maybe when I get a teacher, I can be convinced that it's worth it, but right now, I don't think I am missing anything.

Recently, I haven't gotten anything as polished as I worked to earlier in the book. I talked about this in the blog recently. My standards for "it's time to move on" have lowered as the pieces have become more complex. Nevertheless, I keep working on the things that aren't perfect, so the list of things currently in progress has gotten pretty long. At this point, I am working on everything from Little Brown Jug to The Stranger.

I must say, The Stranger is BY FAR the most musically interesting piece in the book so far.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/05/08 01:17 AM

AWTPP, It's interesting informations regarding the Hanon pieces, although I'm not too surprise to learn of this hidden, perhaps repetitive patterns within them since most pieces of music does tend to have this common characteristics.

Looks like you are almost done with book 1 since you are up to The Stranger, page 129. "Rookie" or not, you are 64 pages ahead of me, and that's really great regardless of how rough you are currently feeling about the unpolished statuses of your pieces.

I agree and have found this to also be true for myself as well in terms of knowing when I should be moving on. I can definitely be wrong being so new at this but what helps me in determining this is as follow. I feel that there's a difference between learning how to play a particular piece well versus learning all of the intended techniques in that particular piece or lesson well. Because at some point, I found that I've already learned the techniques but still haven't yet been able to concistently play those piece(s) as expressively, smoothly or as flawlessly as I would like them to be. So as long as I felt that I've learned the techniques well, I can then move on to the next lesson or pieces with the intentions of going back to replay and review them for as long as necessary for reinforcement. Thus, I also have a list or a few pieces that I always go back to for warm-ups and to do fine tuning with.

Thanks for your reply and insights. I'm looking forward to discovering The Stranger with your positive review.

Regards,

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/05/08 11:49 AM

Key Notes, what happened was this. Early on (think Alpine Melody, for example), I was able to get to the point to where I played the pieces without error, with some sense of musicality, over and over again. Lately, I have gotten to the point to where I could play most of the notes, with some errors, pretty consistently. But my practice sessions (which have been admittedly sparse lately) could not progress me past that point. I would spend hours and hours, spread over the course of many days, consistently making the same errors over and over. Or maybe there would be three phrases that give me grief, and I would get one or two of them right once in awhile, only to trip up on the third.

Chuan Chang discusses this phenomenon in his book. His solution is to practice the difficult parts over and over again until they are basically automatic. This hasn't worked for me. I bet if I had a teacher, he / she could probably get most of these errors cleared up in no time. But alas, I don't have a teacher, and won't for the time being. So instead of playing the same imperfect phrases over and over again, I have simply come to accept imperfection (for now), and move on simply if I can limp my way through something.

Wish I had a way to record, so you could see (well, hear) what I mean. Maybe I'll post a Youtube clip or something. I keep threatening to do that on my blog, but haven't made good on it.

When I am "done" with Book One, I figure I will take some time, maybe a few weeks or a month or so, to go back through the second half of the book, and see if there was any improvement on the things I couldn't perfect. My instinct tells me to expect some improvement.
Posted by: redeagle

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/05/08 06:35 PM

Hello everyone working on Book 1. Here's a small update of my progress.

Keynotes, Congratulations. I'm basically at the same spot. I just hit "Beautiful Brown Eyes" this weekend and hope to play "Alpine Melody" sometime during this week. I move on to new songs about the same way you do. It seems that the first few times I get a song right, I still don't feel I have "mastered" (if that word can be used) the technique being presented. That's why I also go back and start 3 or 4 songs back each time to continue to "burn in" those lessons.

I am working on a few other things at the same time as the Alfred's. Because of that, I am working my way through Book 1 a bit slower than I would like. It's taken me about 3 weeks to get from "When The Saints Go Marching In" to get to "Beautiful Brown Eyes". I am looking forward to some of the later songs in the book that I have heard via recordings and that I really want to be able to play. However, I enjoy the variety of mixing in stuff with the Alfreds. Besides the Alfred's Book 1 songs, I am working on the Czerny Op. 599 exercises 11, 12 and 13, which I find fun and a decent challenge at this point in Alfred's Book 1, plus it gives me a bit of that "classical music" feel that I don't get playing the tunes in Alfred's.

I peeked ahead too (actually, I scanned the whole book the day I got it). I think these two exercises are actually Hanon 1 and Hanon 9 of his original 60. I also find them mechanical and repetitive, but helpful in my case. I have been doing each one a pair of times for a warmup during the last two weeks. Once you memorize the pattern you don't need the sheet music and it takes literally 4 or 5 minutes max to run through both of them twice.

AWTPP, Have you made a decision on the piano/keyboard yet? I really like playing on our piano, but only get 2 or 3 practices a week where I am not asked to cut it short because of the kid's bedtime. I broke down and sold off a few things via craigslist so I could get a Privia PX-200 to practice each night using headphones. I can't wait until it arrives!!

Good luck and lots of fun to all of you still working on Book 1.
Posted by: redeagle

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/05/08 07:19 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
currently slogging through Alfred's All-In-One Book One
Blogging the process at http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/ [/b]
This is a bit OT but I hope you all don't mind....

Always Wanted to Play Piano.
I just jumped over to read you blog. Besides the fact that, in regards to learning to play piano, we are facing many of the same issues and reaching many of the same conclusions, the story of your mom almost made me fall out of my chair laughing.

My mother-in-law came to visit for a week this past Saturday (from up north, she lives in Savannah, GA so I call her a yankee). She has not been to visit since before we acquired our piano. She loves classical music, studied piano when she was younger, and has always been supportive of our daughter learning to play because she believes musicality is a very important part of raising children. She was very happy for us when we told her on the phone we had bought a real, acoustic piano for my children to practice.

Well, for the past two years, she never, ever, not even once, touched the cheapo electronic keyboard my daughter kept in her bedroom to practice her lessons. I've never heard her play a note. Anyway, so she arrives, unpacks, we have dinner, etc... I tell her all about my Alfred's Book 1 and play "Saints" & "Money Cant Buy You Everything" and tell her how much fun I am having learning to play. She thinks it is great that I am learning and is impressed with the Alfred's method book for Adults. She looks at it and says, "Oh, I love this song (O Sole Mio). I tell her to go ahead and play it and she agrees with a "don't laugh because I haven't touched a keyboard in over 40 years" (YES, Fourty!)

Well, she does "O Sole Mio", "Raisins and Almonds", and "The Entertainer", all one right after the other, sight reading, at a good tempo. She hit a few wrong notes and fat fingered a chord or two, but boy was I impressed. She hasn't had a piano since she went to college and never played since then because she was embarrased she could not play as well as she had been able. She has now inherited (kidnapped) my daughters keyboard and my copy of "The Library of Piano Classics" (which I can't play anyway) and is excited that now that she has retired, she can dedicate time to regain her skills.

A funny sidenote is that she doesn't "know" the sheet music notes. She was educated using the french Solfege "do-re-mi" system so she is using my Alfred's to try and learn our CDEFGABC notes on the Grand Staff. To her, a "Prelude in D Minor" is a "Prelude in Re Minor" and if I ask her to play a "G" she doesn't know which key to press.

Life can be funny. Have a nice day!!!
Posted by: mom3gram

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/05/08 08:08 PM

I started Alouette yesterday - not bad, I can play it without mistakes, albeit a bit clumsily. So far, nothing has stumped me like "...Brown Eyes" did, and I still seem to have a mental block about that one sometimes. Yes, it's beginning to sound a little bit more like music now.

OT: I mentioned a few days back about my grandchildren playing a duet at their recital. Well, they did okay, although my granddaughter evidently turned around and glared at her brother a few times, indicating that either he made a mistake or was playing to slow for her. But at least they finished together and didn't get into an argument. Unfortunately, Dad forgot to charge the video camera, so I won't get to see the recital. Evidently most of the kids did a duet with a piano playing parent, and one kid played with her grandmother. My son mentioned that maybe next year..... I told him not to even think about it. :-)
Posted by: redeagle

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/05/08 08:25 PM

mom3gram,

Take a look at "The 5 Browns". Maybe it will inspire your grandkids (and you! :-))

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQAJTL5ztBY
Posted by: car5car

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/06/08 10:54 AM

I jumped from page 27 to Entertainer and it was good decision. The reason is pretty simple: play music you love and you'll do fine. Next thing I am going to do is real Entertainer (you know that Alfred's is simplified 1/4 of real one) and then "Maple Leaf rag".
About teachers. I am sure that having a teacher is very important to keep their families well financially. 99% you can get from books.
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/07/08 03:23 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Always Wanted to Play Piano:
Chuan Chang discusses this phenomenon in his book. His solution is to practice the difficult parts over and over again until they are basically automatic. This hasn't worked for me. I bet if I had a teacher, he / she could probably get most of these errors cleared up in no time. [/b]
It's interesting to know that Chuan Chang's technique of repeated playing of problem areas such as this has not worked out for you. It has worked for me, and from what I've read on this forum, a few others as well. Yes, perhaps a teacher would definitely be helpful at this point, but until then, perhaps more practice time may also help.

 Quote:
Wish I had a way to record, so you could see (well, hear) what I mean. Maybe I'll post a Youtube clip or something. I keep threatening to do that on my blog, but haven't made good on it.[/QB]
I'm sure when you are ready to, you will. You can also post and share your recordings via http://www.box.net, as many people here has done.

When I am "done" with Book One, I figure I will take some time, maybe a few weeks or a month or so, to go back through the second half of the book, and see if there was any improvement on the things I couldn't perfect. My instinct tells me to expect some improvement. [/b][/QUOTE]

As a true beginner, I constantly have this fear that once I can play a piece well and then stop for even a day or two, I would forget and have to start working slowly back from the beginning all over again, but amazingly I've been finding that the opposite to be true. I can still pick it up where I left off and start playing it again with minimal mistakes.

I would like to believe and hope that you would also find the same to be true for you when you do decide to go back and work on them again.

Good luck to you!

Key Notes \:\)
Posted by: Key Notes

Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 - 05/07/08 04:04 AM

 Quote:
Originally po