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#2058421 - 04/02/13 07:01 PM Flash Cards
Bruce B Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 10
Loc: Florida, USA
Howdy...before I choose what to buy can anyone recommend the most effective flash cards to assist me in learning the notes etc. and improve my memory? I have now completed my sixth lesson and not feeling too comfortable with reading up and down the staffs without always pausing. We are now exploring major scales so I feel the need to speed my reading capabilities. The cards I have in mind are the small ones I used in school days affectionately called "cheet sheets"...many thanks.

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#2058425 - 04/02/13 07:15 PM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Bruce B]
ElleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 248
Loc: NJ, USA
Hi Bruce...I just posted this in another forum, in any case, it's an iphone/ipad app called Music Tutor. it's a free app that offers a good sight reading drill for beginners and intermediate. Works just like a flashcard. If you have the volume on, it even plays the note for you. it's fast paced and logs your achievements..you can also challenge your friends! anyway, i've already noticed an improvement in my sight reading skill. Good luck!

-Michelle


Edited by ElleC (04/02/13 07:15 PM)
_________________________
Adult beginner since January 2013. My only regret is that I didn't learn sooner.

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#2058442 - 04/02/13 08:21 PM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Bruce B]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1118
Loc: Australia
Hi Bruce......I made my own flash cards by cutting up a scale sheet, easily found on the web. Worked really well in the first month of learning. I then invested in what I thought was a cheap program called Prestokeys which runs on my laptop attached to my digital piano. Basically it shows notes either as flash or scroll and you play it on the piano. You have to hit the correct note before proceeding. Too many features to write here but the main one is as you get better so the program can be increased in difficulty. I think I will get years out of it. However, I always have to remember it is just one tool. Scales, technique, hand independance, diversity of material all come into play.
One other recommendation is Bartok's Mikrokosmos which you can find free on the web. Book 1 is all in the five finger position and is excellent in confidence building.
All the best
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXIII-4-XXX

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#2058457 - 04/02/13 09:36 PM Re: Flash Cards [Re: earlofmar]
Bruce B Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 10
Loc: Florida, USA
Thank you!

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#2058459 - 04/02/13 09:38 PM Re: Flash Cards [Re: ElleC]
Bruce B Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 10
Loc: Florida, USA
I am way behind the times...I do not own a "smartphone"...but sure sounds neat. Thanks.

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#2058463 - 04/02/13 10:25 PM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Bruce B]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

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

Howdy...before I choose what to buy can anyone recommend the most effective flash cards to assist me in learning the notes etc. and improve my memory? I have now completed my sixth lesson and not feeling too comfortable with reading up and down the staffs without always pausing. We are now exploring major scales so I feel the need to speed my reading capabilities. The cards I have in mind are the small ones I used in school days affectionately called "cheet sheets"...many thanks.

Ultimately, what works for you is awesome. I am old, dyslexic and have memory problems.

In the little piano books it says:

Fist, play and say the letter-names of the notes.
Slow and even counting is essential. Endeavour to maintain strict time in all exercises. Correct fingering as shown must be used to ensure smooth playing. Begin these exercises slowly and gradually increase speed. Don't memorise the sound, --> but READ every note and PLAY it as written with its correct time value.

Learning to play the piano is a very slow process, like 10 or 20 years, and it is spent on the piano bench. My book doesn't have lessons but has numbered pieces and there were 50 pieces which I would review everyday. So if you review your six lessons that you have learned and played them several times a day, a week, a month, month after month on the piano bench playing your lessons over and over, slowly, without mistakes, you will have a wonderful journey learning to play the piano. It is that simple, just your piano book, your hands, fingers, piano and brain all workking together at the piano.

It is no different than any sport. If you are playing basketball, you have shoot the ball into the basketball hoop everyday for many years. Piano is the same thing. Enjoy the journey.

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#2058568 - 04/03/13 07:06 AM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Bruce B]
Jean-Luc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/12
Posts: 318
Loc: France
It's maybe not exactly what you are after but here are a few links with (free) online note trainers (and more).

http://www.musictheory.net/exercises
http://www.emusictheory.com/practice.html
http://www.vicfirth.com/education/keyboard/speednotereading.html

I am also a beginner and while I can identify the notes pretty fast (I never used any trick like "every good boy.." to learn them and I think it helped) I still hesitate a lot when actually reading music (especially if the voice in the bass travel in a different direction than the melody) so do not worry, it takes time, try to work as much as possible with very simple reading material and preferably at the piano if you can (it's one thing to be able to name a note, it's another one to play it).
One thing I also noticed, if you go the flash card way, try to have flash cards representing the full grand staff, even if they only show a bass or treble note in the question. I noticed that when you get used to the grand staff it's quite disorientating to see only half of it and you tend to make more mistake.

Good luck, learning to read is a lot of work but I am sure it's very much worth it smile
_________________________
- Please, forgive my bad English smile

Jean-Luc

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#2062550 - 04/10/13 08:13 PM Re: Flash Cards [Re: ElleC]
JazzyMac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/13
Posts: 45
Originally Posted By: ElleC
Hi Bruce...I just posted this in another forum, in any case, it's an iphone/ipad app called Music Tutor. it's a free app that offers a good sight reading drill for beginners and intermediate. Works just like a flashcard. If you have the volume on, it even plays the note for you. it's fast paced and logs your achievements..you can also challenge your friends! anyway, i've already noticed an improvement in my sight reading skill. Good luck!

-Michelle


Thanks very much. I purchased musictheory and Tenuto for the iPhone before seeing this. I like it very much!
_________________________
Hobby 1: Photography. Bucket List 1: Learning Piano

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#2062612 - 04/10/13 10:08 PM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Michael_99]
Polyphonist Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 6345
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Michael_99

It is no different than any sport. If you are playing basketball, you have shoot the ball into the basketball hoop everyday for many years. Piano is the same thing. Enjoy the journey.

Personally, I think practicing piano is a bit more interesting than shooting baskets over and over and over...
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2062650 - 04/10/13 11:34 PM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Polyphonist]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Polyphonist,

I have read your post, here:

Personally, I think practicing piano is a bit more interesting than shooting baskets over and over and over...

Oh, absolutely, absolutely, but my point is flash cards I can't relate to - - but playing and saying the notes will be enough. It is what you will continue to do for the rest of your life - piano life.

By playing simple pieces from a beginner book many times a day, week, month, I easily learned the notes by saying and playing the notes on the staff as I played them.

I have never heard or read that a person was so excited that he/she learned all the notes on the staff and could play them all without any problem and was a joy by using flash cards.

Looking at any music and not knowing the name of any
note should tell you what you need to know.

In fact, start at middle c and go up to the next c and back down to middle C and then go from middle c down to the c below middle C. Write it out on staff paper and play it and say the notes when you read them and play them. Believe you will know the notes in quick order if you do that every morning before breakfast for 10 minutes.

It is about real live action of reading and play the notes as you read them and play them on the piano.

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#2062654 - 04/10/13 11:42 PM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Michael_99]
Polyphonist Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 6345
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
Polyphonist,

I have read your post, here:

Personally, I think practicing piano is a bit more interesting than shooting baskets over and over and over...

Oh, absolutely, absolutely, but my point is flash cards I can't relate to - - but playing and saying the notes will be enough. It is what you will continue to do for the rest of your life - piano life.

By playing simple pieces from a beginner book many times a day, week, month, I easily learned the notes by saying and playing the notes on the staff as I played them.

I have never heard or read that a person was so excited that he/she learned all the notes on the staff and could play them all without any problem and was a joy by using flash cards.

Looking at any music and not knowing the name of any
note should tell you what you need to know.

In fact, start at middle c and go up to the next c and back down to middle C and then go from middle c down to the c below middle C. Write it out on staff paper and play it and say the notes when you read them and play them. Believe you will know the notes in quick order if you do that every morning before breakfast for 10 minutes.

It is about real live action of reading and play the notes as you read them and play them on the piano.

Of course, I understood your point. Thanks for clarifying. smile
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2062673 - 04/11/13 12:48 AM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Jean-Luc]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4648
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Jean-Luc
It's maybe not exactly what you are after but here are a few links with (free) online note trainers (and more).

http://www.musictheory.net/exercises

I'm trying to keep an open mind here, so I went to this page. I tested the site with the idea of finding out how many notes would be in an exercise. So at 101/101 I quit. Of course I'm not going to miss any. I've been playing since age seven or so and teaching for more than 40 years. But I note that only the treble is used, by default. Please, if you use this site, pick both clefs or work more with the bass clef.

When I reset to four lines above or below either staff, it became very hard to focus because of the way the notes appeared, in isolation, in a way that we NEVER see notes in real piano music.

I have also played and taught brass instruments using both clefs, but you NEVER have clefs alternate this way when playing a single line. So I would never recommend this exercise as useful to a student.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2062681 - 04/11/13 01:00 AM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Jean-Luc]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4648
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Jean-Luc

Continuing check:

This site allows use of grand staff. Much better test for pianists. I could only pick the correct answers at perhaps 1/4 the speed at which I could instantly play them, so it still felt a bit weird to me.

For grins it would be nice to have the program pick bass on top, treble at the bottom, two treble clefs and two bass clefs. All these formations are common in advanced music.

My conclusion is that this still has very little to do with actual reading though.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2062689 - 04/11/13 01:12 AM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Jean-Luc]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4648
Loc: South Florida

This one is really bad, in my opinion. It made my LH thumb sore. I use a trackball with my left hand.

There is a pitch that has nothing to do with the pitches of the notes shown, and the keyboard shown does not bear any resemblance to that of a piano.

I would suggest staying away from this one...
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2062702 - 04/11/13 01:50 AM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Gary D.]
Polyphonist Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 6345
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

This one is really bad, in my opinion. It made my LH thumb sore. I use a trackball with my left hand.

There is a pitch that has nothing to do with the pitches of the notes shown, and the keyboard shown does not bear any resemblance to that of a piano.

I would suggest staying away from this one...

This one is ridiculous. How am I supposed to quickly find notes on a piano keyboard where instead of white and black keys you have pink and pink?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2062791 - 04/11/13 08:23 AM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Bruce B]
BrainCramp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 215
Loc: USA
Bruce,

I don't think anyone has mentioned this online tool yet:

http://www.musicteachers.co.uk/namethatnote/?service_path=namethatnote

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#2062810 - 04/11/13 09:22 AM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Bruce B]
DanS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 469
I use these with my students. I've tried a bunch, these are the most comprehensive that I've found, and they're inexpensive.

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/Bastien-Music-Flash-Cards/289239
_________________________
"Most pianists are poor musicians, they dissect music into bits-and-pieces, like a roast chicken" -Debussy

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#2063263 - 04/12/13 02:37 AM Re: Flash Cards [Re: Bruce B]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1369
Loc: Cameron Park, California

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