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Page 211 of 211 < 1 2 209 210 211
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#2396303 - 03/10/15 01:23 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Dru Morgan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/15
Posts: 45
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
OK, I am "stuck" (not in a bad way) on page 94-95, Café Vienna / Lullaby and am slowing down to really work on these. In addition, I bought the Greatest Hits book and am working on Love Me Tender.

So, I am just going through these three to really learn them and play them up to speed with no mistakes. It feels like a good time to slow my pace through the book and really make sure I am playing something well before turning the page.

Sort of related to the other (reading/memorization) thread, as I practice, I find myself, while reading, actually memorizing the notes. Is that normal? I am only looking at the book and am reading along as I play.
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#2396396 - 03/10/15 04:30 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Dru Morgan]
blackjack1777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/14
Posts: 31
Loc: California
Dru, I'd say it's pretty normal to memorize the pieces. In general I have to practice the pieces many times to get to a level where my teacher will "pass" me that I end up memorizing each piece anyway.

In fact now a days, I usually start off by first memorizing the piece because it's one less thing to worry about. It's the dynamics, the phrasing, accents, and all of the little detailed musical touches that I end up focusing on throughout the week that takes 90% of the work.

I'm currently on "Why Am I Blue?" and I have memorized every piece up to this point. Memorizing also makes it nice because I can then play a "repertoire" of all my past pieces whenever I like for fun without needing the book.
_________________________
The awful daring of a moment's surrender which an age of prudence can never retract. By this, and only this, we have existed.
T.S. Eliot

Adult Beginner - Started learning September 2014
2/3 of the way through Alfred's Adult All in One - Level 1

Knabe WMV-121
Yamaha P-35

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#2396433 - 03/10/15 06:02 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
_Jorge_ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 11
Dru, I do a mix of reading and memorizing. I would be unable to play without the music sheet any song (except blow the man down). However, when playing, I dont look at every note, I just recognise the measure and just play it, sometimes without even thinking if I have played it enough times.
One funny thing is, when I thought of memorizing before start playing piano, I supposed it was memorizing the keys. However, when I play blow the man down by memory, I dont think in the keys, I dont even look at the keyboard, I have like a mental image of the music sheet in my head. Dont know if other people do the same when playing.

I am really really struggling with Lullaby, this is the best I have done so far. I feel clumsy and hesitant all the time playing this song:

http://youtu.be/KqomQSnuE3w

I think I will move to next song by now, and will try to play it at least once a day to gradually improve, because I dont really like Lullaby and was starting to get bored of it. I must admit however that it is a great exercise to train the hand move across the keyboard, as opposed to previous songs where you mostly keep the hand in one position of move only one note.


Edited by _Jorge_ (03/10/15 06:09 PM)

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#2396436 - 03/10/15 06:10 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Dru Morgan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/15
Posts: 45
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I feel like I do the same thing. Thanks.
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#2396515 - 03/10/15 09:38 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
_silvia_ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/28/14
Posts: 11
Loc: Southeast PA, USA
Dru, Jorge, people with more experience call this "muscle memory". At least this is what I believe happens when you don't need the sheet to play a piece. Part of it is visually memorizing the notes, another is the muscle memory. It is similar to the movements you make when you brush your teeth. Try using your left (opposite) hand and watch what happens. crazy

blackjack, I like your approach. I try not to intentionally memorize anything so that I can practice sight reading to some extent when a piece gets a little dated as I move on through the book.

I am happy with Lullaby and have moved on, but after two weeks and lots of pages covered without a lesson/teacher feedback, I wonder if paced myself well.


Edited by _silvia_ (03/10/15 09:39 PM)

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#2396516 - 03/10/15 09:41 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Dru Morgan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/15
Posts: 45
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
What do you think about starting at page 1 and going through to where I am again? I am helping my son learn (with the Bastien Primer) and his lessons are very easy for me, simply because I am ahead of him.

Is there a benefit to starting over in my book and doing it again with the knowledge I already have? Is there an optimal time to do this, perhaps at the end of the book, before buying Book 2?
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#2396548 - 03/10/15 10:49 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: _silvia_]
blackjack1777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/14
Posts: 31
Loc: California
Silvia, I completely agree regarding the sight reading. In order to get around this my teacher uses a technique book with much simpler phrases and will randomly pick some for me to play each lesson and assign others during the week.

The nice thing about the simpler phrases is that they're more manageable to sight read at our level than a lot of the pieces in Alfred's.

BTW congrats on Lullaby that's a difficult one but I find it quite satisfying to play. You'll be coming up to Joy to the World and the blues songs which I really enjoyed.


Edited by blackjack1777 (03/10/15 11:12 PM)
_________________________
The awful daring of a moment's surrender which an age of prudence can never retract. By this, and only this, we have existed.
T.S. Eliot

Adult Beginner - Started learning September 2014
2/3 of the way through Alfred's Adult All in One - Level 1

Knabe WMV-121
Yamaha P-35

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#2397316 - 03/12/15 08:54 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
_silvia_ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/28/14
Posts: 11
Loc: Southeast PA, USA
I had a lesson today and it felt good to go through part of the material I had covered. I got good suggestions for further work on Hannon's exercises - faster and louder, specifially, to make them harder and derive a greater benefit.

But I made so many mistakes... playing songs I had practiced and polished... or so I thought. It was frustrating. The piano in my teacher's studio felt very different from mine this time, the keys and the pedal. My teacher warned me about this challenge. I wonder if I will ever show decent progress if I practice 10-12 hours per week on my piano and only 30 minutes on my teacher's piano. That instrument just felt awkward and it is a Steinway grand piano, no less. Who in their right mind would complain that a tune comes out better from a low-end digital piano!

This must be a problem for most people who take piano lessons. Any words of advice or at least consolation?

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#2397324 - 03/12/15 09:23 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: _silvia_]
blackjack1777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/14
Posts: 31
Loc: California
Silvia, I can offer consolation I had the same problem with my lessons.

I have a weighted Yamaha that I use to practice at night for silence and in the beginning that is all I had. When I would go to my teacher's for my lesson and play her upright I had a very difficult time to play the same as I had at home.

I now have an acoustic and it is much easier for me to play on her piano. Even with weighted keys I feel like my digital is a very poor approximation for what an acoustic feels like. And I would venture to guess that if my teacher had a grand piano it would be an even larger difference.

I'm not sure how to get a better approximation using a digital unfortunately. Some other people on this forum might though.
_________________________
The awful daring of a moment's surrender which an age of prudence can never retract. By this, and only this, we have existed.
T.S. Eliot

Adult Beginner - Started learning September 2014
2/3 of the way through Alfred's Adult All in One - Level 1

Knabe WMV-121
Yamaha P-35

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#2397328 - 03/12/15 09:29 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: _silvia_]
earlofmar Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 2072
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By _silvia_


But I made so many mistakes... playing songs I had practiced and polished... or so I thought. It was frustrating. The piano in my teacher's studio felt very different from mine this time, the keys and the pedal. My teacher warned me about this challenge. I wonder if I will ever show decent progress if I practice 10-12 hours per week on my piano and only 30 minutes on my teacher's piano. That instrument just felt awkward and it is a Steinway grand piano, no less. Who in their right mind would complain that a tune comes out better from a low-end digital piano!

This must be a problem for most people who take piano lessons. Any words of advice or at least consolation?


Hard to blame a Steinway but lets do it anyway smile I actually changed teachers because I thought the piano was unplayable and so happy I did. My current teacher has a better piano and I no longer dread the lesson but the change in setting, lighting, touch, and pedal all contribute to unsettle me. Not to mention just having an other person sitting there watching your every move. Now with over two years of lessons, my fingers have become a lot stronger and I notice this is helping me adapt better to strange pianos but not the different setting. Consequently my lessons are riddled with mistakes and I just have to put up with that for now. However when you do think about it, we probably make endless mistakes at home but don't really notice which cannot go unnoticed at a lesson.
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#2397923 - 03/14/15 02:19 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: earlofmar]
_silvia_ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/28/14
Posts: 11
Loc: Southeast PA, USA
Originally Posted By earlofmar

Hard to blame a Steinway but lets do it anyway smile

grin

Quote:

Not to mention just having an other person sitting there watching your every move.


That is probably the only thing that doesn't bother me.

Quote:

However when you do think about it, we probably make endless mistakes at home but don't really notice which cannot go unnoticed at a lesson.


Probably, this did not cross my mind.
I tried lowering the volume when practicing with headphones. Now I have to press the piano keys harder and that approximates the experience at my teacher's piano. Is that a mistake?

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#2397931 - 03/14/15 02:39 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: _silvia_]
earlofmar Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 2072
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By _silvia_

I tried lowering the volume when practicing with headphones. Now I have to press the piano keys harder and that approximates the experience at my teacher's piano. Is that a mistake?


if it works then I would see no problem with doing that
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I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXVII-8-XXX

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#2399308 - 03/17/15 02:21 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Kellandzo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/27/15
Posts: 1
Loc: Sammamish, WA
Hi everyone! i'm new to the forums and to piano. I'm 39 and just started playing over Christmas week and am absolutely hooked! I'm working my way through Alfreds adult all in one level 1 and have a teacher once a week. I am up to Little Brown Jug and Chiapanecas but was a bit frustrated by LBJ and skipped ahead temporarily to Scarborough Fair and that one has come together quite nicely and is so soothing. I honestly feel like it's magic when a song comes together and my hands seem to sometimes move even when I lose my place in the notes. Magical. On the side I'm working on easy versions of Bach Minuet in G, Clair de Lune, Moonlight Sonata, but I'm also loving the blues pieces in Alfred and just bought the supplementary jazz/blues piano course. Thanks for all the great tips and encouragement I'm finding in these forums!

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#2399698 - 03/18/15 01:50 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Kellandzo]
blackjack1777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/14
Posts: 31
Loc: California
Welcome Kellandzo! I'm also at Little Brown Jug and it's quite tough to get the hang of, I think it's playing so high up in the keyboard that's getting to me. I've managed to get the first half of the song roughly memorized so I should have it all together in another week or so.

Were the other songs in F Maj just as difficult for you or did you skip all the way up to Scarborough Fair?
_________________________
The awful daring of a moment's surrender which an age of prudence can never retract. By this, and only this, we have existed.
T.S. Eliot

Adult Beginner - Started learning September 2014
2/3 of the way through Alfred's Adult All in One - Level 1

Knabe WMV-121
Yamaha P-35

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#2402028 - 03/24/15 10:00 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Spitfire Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/10
Posts: 77
Loc: OhiO
Well. I got the book to check out but mistakenly got the one without the dvd. Is there more in the dvd than just the music? Are there videos? Is it worth investing another $20 to buy it again or can I find mostvofvthe material on YouTube?

Thanks in advance.

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#2402036 - 03/24/15 10:17 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Spitfire]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I am a big fan of the DVD version. Mostly because the videos show how to play each piece. You can hear what it is suppose to sound like, and get the fingering down. As a beginner, especially if learning on your own, it is worthwhile. Having said that, you can find similar content on youtube (maybe you try that out first). Good luck!
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#2402048 - 03/24/15 10:52 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Spitfire]
Dru Morgan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/15
Posts: 45
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By Spitfire
Well. I got the book to check out but mistakenly got the one without the dvd. Is there more in the dvd than just the music? Are there videos? Is it worth investing another $20 to buy it again or can I find mostvofvthe material on YouTube?

Thanks in advance.


All the songs in the book
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#2402458 - 03/25/15 11:46 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Dru Morgan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/15
Posts: 45
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Finally got past Caffe Vienna and Lullaby (with some proficiency) and the next part with the blues song, I just about played it through the first time by sight reading cold. So thrilling.


I am concurrently working on the "Greatest Hits" book to supplement. I got Love Me Tender down cold (concert ready smile ) and now Edelweiss has me back at the "bungling beginner" stage again. This one has me twisted up. But, that is what practice is for. smile
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#2402496 - 03/25/15 02:46 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Dru Morgan]
jimb100 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/14
Posts: 73
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By Dru Morgan
Finally got past Caffe Vienna and Lullaby (with some proficiency) and the next part with the blues song, I just about played it through the first time by sight reading cold. So thrilling.


I am concurrently working on the "Greatest Hits" book to supplement. I got Love Me Tender down cold (concert ready smile ) and now Edelweiss has me back at the "bungling beginner" stage again. This one has me twisted up. But, that is what practice is for. smile


In the book, I'm around page 70 but I also bought one of Alfred's song books and I'm working on Heart and Soul. I spend about 15 minutes per practice on this song and its been a struggle getting the fingering, etc. right for me. I can play the song through fairly comfortably but it still doesn't sound right to me.

The melody sounds right when I just play the right hand and the accompaniment sounds right when I just play the right hand but when I put both together I lose the distinctive sound of the melody. I think I need to work more on playing the right hand more softly so the melody comes through better.

I'm in no rush and continue to progress through the book. I also use the Emedia course which I find somewhat frustrating, but very useful as it doesn't let you get away with anything. If you don't hold the notes properly or don't get the rythem right it lets you know. Good feed back in real time that compliments the Alfred's course materials.
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