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I used to play the clarinet in middle school. Now I'm 18 and it's been quite some time since I've read sheet music. Playing guitar for six years literally ruined my ability to read the stuff, because I would always use tabs instead. But eventually I grew jaded with the guitar, and I decided to choose a new and fresh direction -- the piano!
This book is very well-written, and leaves no gaps. Within just a few days I found myself relearning all that I had forgotten from band class years before, and I've now reached the point where I know more than I did! And I haven't even finished the book yet!
Plus, it tests you on theory and technique. You get to fill in parts of the book, which really helps you get involved with what your learning.
One reviewer downrated this book because of the song choices, and its accompanying CD. I feel that this is in err. I believe the song choices are just as good as any. If the tunes were familiar, then they wouldn't be as challenging to learn. And as for the CD...I did notice that the piano parts are rather quiet, but I always thought this was because it was a play-along CD (which is what I use it as). It's as good as it needs to be.
Besides, the pieces get more interesting as you progress, some of the final pieces being "Greensleeves", "Scarborough Fair", "The Entertainer" and "Amazing Grace" (and written in a way so that each hand will be dually occupied). And by the end of the third book in the series, you'll be playing some of Beethoven's most popular pieces, like "Fur Elise" and "Moonlight Sonata"!
Also -- something that concerned me when I bought this book: do you need a full-fledged piano? The answer is...no!! A sizable keyboard will do you just fine.Read more ›
I am using this book for piano lessons I started taking in early January. I've wanted to learn how to play the piano my whole life and now at 40 I decided to do it. This book makes it very easy, so far anyway! The pace is steady, I look back now at the songs in the beginning that I struggled with and they are so easy! The combination of warm-ups and songs are just right. I highly recommend this book!
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Okay, I am a "middle-aged" adult, and for years wanted to learn to play an instrument and be able to read music. I first started out with the violin because I really liked the instrument, but didn't continue because it was too much at once (violin + reading music). Anyhow, I recently picked up the Alfred's Piano course, in conjunction with a keyboard purchase, mainly to teach me how to read music. The piano was a learning tool more than anything. But this book has sparked my interest in the piano! I'm actually having a lot of fun "playing" the lessons (the keyboard helps too). Overall, this is a great book that combines lessons, theory, and technique.. It's exactly what I was looking for. If you order the book, I'd recommend getting the book/CD combo.
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About a month ago, I decided I wanted to learn to play the piano. I have been playing guitar for almost 5 years but had no experience with reading music or any professional training, and since I want to start recording some songs soon, I thought it would be nice to have some piano skills.
I chose this book based on other reviews, and they had me convinced. Well I've been using this book for about two weeks now and I cannot be happier! It's ultra-comprehensive, and starts simply but moves quickly. I love the exercises included in the book; they have helped very much with reading notes (which I am finally learning!) I'm almost on page 40 (out of more than 150, I believe.) The songs to practice are fun, and I can't even believe how much I've learned in the small span of time I've been practicing.
If you want to learn how to play the piano, buy this book! I can't say whether it's a substitute for a good teacher, since I've never had one, but if you are self-motivated and prefer to work at your own pace (and thus enjoy learning even more!) I would recommend this book 100%!
Hope this helped!
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This book is good for adult beginners in that it starts them playing songs right away. It uses a Middle C approach, however, which I do not care for as I think it makes it more difficult to play later on. I teach piano for all ages and I've found that when I use the Music Tree series (for adults and children) my students have an easy time reading music. When they use a Middle C approach, they associate the fingering with note names and have a hard time telling me that the 2nd space in treble clef is an A (and so on). Re-learning to read music is always frustrating. That being said, I do think adults have an easier time breaking this habit, so I would not say not to purchase this book. There is also theory in it, which is a plus. I would say it is good, not great.
No single book will take you from piano newbie to concert level performer. No single one hour practice session, not even a week of piano lessons from the best teacher in the world teaching 24/7. Just not possible and really not what learning piano or any instrument is about. It's not a contest. People have different reasons for and expectations from learning piano and books should try to match those reasons/expectations with what they offer, but really a good piano teacher is the best guide. I'm not a piano teacher but if I were recommending the book I'd say it is well suited to new players who wish to delve into performing popular music (e.g. Christmas tunes, Billy Joel, Elton John, etc.) more so than those seeking a 'classical' piano education- but there's nothing wrong with that or the approach in general. In fact, I think it's a great way to motivate new players who will come across familiar tunes that have pretty simplified arrangements. One big bonus in the book is having a CD accompaniment. I of the camp that believes knowing what a piece should sound like helps new students.
I've read critiques that say the book is strong on C position fingering which is completely false. It covers other major and minor scales. Some also state it is weak on theory but for it's size it actually covers quite a bit without being too overwhelming. All in all I think it's a great starter book for most learners HOWEVER there are a couple of weaknesses.
One weakness is it's lack of discussing the circle of fifths. It's nice to be spoonfed a couple of easy keys but it wouldn't hurt to cover this very important concept early on.Read more ›