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#2584681 - 11/05/16 12:53 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Ree Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/16
Posts: 2
Hi people, I really hope that there's still some of you here lol
I just started my journey 2 days ago, I was stuck at the Jingle bells piece for most of the time (because it's the first that uses both hands)
but now I can do it just fine, I have a few question since I'm self-teaching myself, and I really don't know any musician irl let alone a pianist.
first question is how/when to use the pedal ( sustain ), because so far I didn't encounter anything in the book mentioning it, and will it be written in the music sheet or is it just an instinct thing.
and what I do is first start with some scales ( a lot really ) and then playing Jingle bells couple of times and then start going through the book, am I " practicing " good ? or do I have to add something too ?
I'm still not thinking of trying any of the pieces that I really want to play, because from what I see it's so hard and not in my level yet, is that the right decision or should I spend some time trying ?
I read some of the posts up and I'm really happy that there are a lot of people like me, maybe even better, but doesn't matter, though I don't really know what are the pieces you're talking about, and how long will it take me to get there, but I'm SO happy all the same.

so thank you for being here laugh

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#2584858 - 11/05/16 11:06 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Theory Grl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/16
Posts: 55
Loc: Oklahoma
Your Alfred's book doesn't introduce the pedal until page 37, so no need to jump ahead. There's plenty to learn in the beginning of the book, so if I were you, I'd stick to that for the time being. If you skip over the basics, especially when self teaching, it will just make things more difficult later on. I took lessons many years ago. Then I gave up playing the piano for my career. Once I retired, I started playing again. I was trying to teach myself for about a year when I finally got a teacher. She has already helped me to progress tremendously. If you can find a qualified teacher that would be the thing to do. You would be amazed at the new things you learn that you can't get from a book. Good luck and stay with it. It will be worth every minute of the time you spend practicing.

#2585220 - 11/07/16 01:32 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Falsch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/11/16
Posts: 117
Loc: Netherlands
The Alfred AiO course introduces the pedal on page 61.

I'm now up to page 69, and I can still sight-read all of the pieces and play them within a few minutes, but I'm worried when they get more complicated.

My eyesight is very poor, and I can only *just* read the notes when leaning a bit forward. (I'm using my computer glasses; maybe an extra, cheap-as-possible set for the somewhat longer distance at the piano would be an idea.)

Getting into trouble with complicated notes was one of the reasons why I quit classical organ as a kid and switched to keyboards and home organs, playing from lead sheets.

THE reason for me to go through the Alfred books is to slowly try to relearn reading the bass clef again.

Edited by Falsch (11/07/16 01:33 PM)
Roland LX-17 PE | Kawai MP7 + Pianoteq (Ruckers II Harpsichord, Kremsegg I & II historical collections) + Focal Alpha 80 speakers

#2587777 - 11/16/16 02:14 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
greensam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/23/16
Posts: 7
Anyone have any tips for breaking through pages 65 and on? This has become difficult, very quickly! Right now I've set the metronome to 40bpm to try to play very slowly to break into true independence but I'm a mess.

I'm only playing the portions (along with their transitions) that I find difficult to save time.

Do you guys have any tips? Should I move onto other material so I don't grow sick and tired of Beautiful Brown Eyes? Revisit the piece every couple of days or so?

I'll take any ideas...

#2587830 - 11/16/16 05:08 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Theory Grl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/16
Posts: 55
Loc: Oklahoma
I recently got my first pair of prescription "piano" glasses. What a difference they make! Before I had to enlarge all my music. No need for that anymore. I was amazed at how clearly I could see the notes and differentiate the lines and spaces that were blurry even with my trifocals. I had no idea how much my eyesight had held me back in my piano playing. It was like a dream come true when I first looked at a score with my new glasses. You should give it a try.

Don't give up. You will get it. some pieces just take longer than others. Maybe try the next piece or two in your book, then go back to Beautiful Brown Eyes if you're sick of it for the time being. I wouldn't jump too far ahead, however, or things could get even more difficult later on. Also, make sure you understand all the technical information that's presented with each lesson. Good Luck!

#2587882 - 11/16/16 08:05 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
momboc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/12/16
Posts: 1

Is it the left hand or right hand or both together that is causing you difficulty?

If it is the left hand then I suggest you Use the exercise on the bottom of page 64. Practice the chord changes very slowly. When you have this mastered then expand the exercise to play the chord changes (without the broken pattern) in the sequence they are shown in the song on page 65. i.e. play G then C then G then D7 then G then C then D7 and then G. When you have mastered this then play the chords as written with the broken pattern.

If it is the right hand then play the right hand alone until you have the melody mastered.

Then start to play both hands together. Accuracy BEFORE speed - so take your time to play the notes in the song correctly and then gradually increase the tempo.

Remember practice makes permanent so always play slowly enough that you play the correct notes - otherwise you are teaching your brain to make mistakes

Edited by momboc (11/16/16 08:07 PM)

#2587890 - 11/16/16 08:35 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Theory Grl]
greensam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/23/16
Posts: 7
momboc and theorygrl, thank you. I'll give those tips a shot. Great point with the accuracy before speed.

#2587956 - 11/17/16 07:43 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Montuno Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/15
Posts: 114
Greensam, in addition to the good advise you have already received, some more tips:

Practice hands separate more. As a beginner we have a tendency to move too fast and make subsequent steps harder. What I would do:

- first go back to the left hand. Use the exercise as mambo advises. Then play the left hand only. When you can play through at tempo, loop the piece. Keep repeating from the start without a break in between. Got it? Now try the same while watching tv (or talking to someone or some other distraction). If you can play the left hand without thinking about it hands together will be much easier.

- now the right hand. Take each phrase and try to play it as a unit. Important point: don't play with your fingers only, try to play more from the wrist/arm. For instance, the first phrase: play the repeated B with the middle finger by turning your wrist/lower arm back and forth, then turn into the thumb for the G. From there to the high C should be one fluid motion, then use a wrist flip again for the repeated C. Experiment (at tempo) to find efficient and flowing movements and hand positions for this phrase. Once you have something that feels (and looks) good, it can be beneficial to practice these motions very slowly. Got it? Play at tempo and faster, do your movements hold when you play at crazy speed?

- put the phrases together. Harder pieces might require more attention to connecting individual sections (connecting one by one, play a phrase including the first not of the next phrase etc), but since the sections of BBE all end on a long note this shouldn't be hard. Make sure you are still using the movements/positions from the previous step. Play at speed and faster (that helps a lot for the next step)

- Now HT. Alternate between the following:
a. play very very slow
b. play a bit faster, but still slower than regular tempo. Focus on the left hand completely. The right hand should just play along automatically. You must not make errors in the left hand. If you drop notes in the right hand, that is ok, with repetition that will improve. If you keep making errors, play through hands separate a couple of times to reinforce the correct way to play.
c. do the same as b, but now focus on the right hand.

I find b and c extremely valuable practice.

Does that sound like a lot of work? Well, actually, my experience is that it is much quicker than other approaches. Even though there are a lot of steps involved, the steps are often pretty short. No more endless repetitions, it feels like I am making steady progress.

Once you get more experienced, you can be less strict with these steps since you will have enough knowledge about your learning process so you know when and where you can make shortcuts.

Try it out sometimes, it might change completely how you approach practice (for me this and related techniques where an eye opener at least). And, above all: have fun practicing!

By the way: the repeated high C together with the left hand chord pattern in the third measure is extremely hard at this level. As a case in point: quite a number of Youtube examples get this measure wrong. So don't despair and keep at it, eventually you'll get it.
Casio Privia PX-150 - Pianoteq
Working on Alfred's Adult All-In-One Book 1 / Fundamental Keys

My Music

#2588506 - 11/19/16 10:31 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Montuno]
greensam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/23/16
Posts: 7
Thank you. I can tell already that with the material in Alfred's that I should be practicing the songs that have more variability with the left hand a bit more.

How would we apply the findings of this study to Alfred's book? Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/12/how-to-learn-new-skills-twice-as-fast/

Johns Hopkins found that motor skills are learned faster by introducing significant variability into your practice. Would that be playing your material at several different speeds? Playing material that is too difficult for you during every practice session? Any ideas?

Edited by greensam (11/19/16 10:32 AM)

#2588642 - 11/19/16 06:53 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Wry Meanders Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/10/16
Posts: 2
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
That's helpful information Montuno. I think I've been doing similar things as I work through book one as a complete beginner. I've been doing about one piece a week and even if I get to the end of the week and the piece is not very polished I'll move onto learning the next piece, but keep practicing the older ones during my daily practice sessions.

Eventually it comes together, but not just by persisting with one piece to the neglect of all others. That's probably related to the link you shared greensam. Play a bit of variety smile

Just started on Chiapanecas. Each new piece seems hard to begin with, but I like the way the book is structured, so that everything builds on earlier work.

#2590432 - 11/27/16 09:35 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Ree Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/16
Posts: 2
Hi again and thanks for the helpful replies guys
I reached page 77 and currently learning " Standing in the need of prayer "
I learned the eighth and decided to learn " Davy Jones theme " by Hans Zimmer
Since I really love that song and it has a lot of eighth notes actually which what I think is very good for me right now
and if you have any beautiful pieces that has eighth notes , please share it and I would be grateful
Thank you and good luck to all of us laugh

edit: I forgot to ask you guys, is it okay if I moved the chair to the right if all the notes I would need in a specific song is there ( on the right I mean ) or should I stay in the middle and just move my hands ?

Edited by Ree (11/27/16 09:39 AM)

#2590886 - 11/29/16 06:28 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #1 [Re: Mark...]
Montuno Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/15
Posts: 114
You make some great progress there Ree, well done!

Resist the temptation to move the chair. You want to learn to keep the same chair position right from the start. Always playing with a fixed chair position lets you learn were the keys are by feel.

Use the 'specific song' to learn how to reach for those keys to the right using your whole body for balance.

Have fun!
Casio Privia PX-150 - Pianoteq
Working on Alfred's Adult All-In-One Book 1 / Fundamental Keys

My Music

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