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166 Reviews
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351 of 358 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro
Having studied piano minimally as a child (six months?), I decided at the age of 49, while at my daughter's recital, that I'd like to learn, but perhaps without the cost (at least at first) of lessons. So after looking through several books at the local music store, I bought this one, with CD (very important, but seems not to be the version sold on Amazon). It was just...
Published on September 27, 2003 by Louis Gudema

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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Alfred's Basic (Non-Adult) Course
I have used Alfred's Basic (non-adult) Piano Course for years with my students with great success. When I began to teach an older beginner, I thought I'd try the adult course. I am not as pleased with it. The adult course focuses mostly on chords in the left hand, so one does not learn to read the independent notes as readily in the left hand. The left hand does not...
Published on April 20, 2008 by Booklover


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351 of 358 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro, September 27, 2003
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This review is from: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (Paperback)
Having studied piano minimally as a child (six months?), I decided at the age of 49, while at my daughter's recital, that I'd like to learn, but perhaps without the cost (at least at first) of lessons. So after looking through several books at the local music store, I bought this one, with CD (very important, but seems not to be the version sold on Amazon). It was just the ticket.
In four months I have completed the book, and now can play moderately complex beginning pieces (for variety, I've supplemented it with a few pieces from getsheetmusic.com, and can play level 3 and occasional level 4 pieces from there). Each page teaches just the a little bit more, and gives you the practice pieces to master it before going on. A very steady, satisfying rate of progress. You also learn notation, musical terms, intervals, and a smattering of music theory, such as keys, although this is not real strong. I found it useful near the end of the book to go back and review just the theory pages in one sitting; they then came together much better for me than when I ran across them one by one through the course.
The musical selections are uneven, but most are fine. They are all public domain, in a wide range of styles from jazz to folk to spiritual, and some are quite beautiful (a haunting arrangement of "Scarborough Fair," the rousing gospel "Standing in the Need of Prayer" -- and I'm Jewish <g>). You end with the first part of Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" (somewhat simplified arrangement, although they don't say that, but still quite nice) and "Amazing Grace."
I think it's very important to get the book with CD. The CD contains all the practice pieces, and helps you realize if you have the notes or rhythm wrong (like a teacher stopping you and saying, "no, like this.")
Alfred is a major musical instruction publisher, and they offer many companion books at all levels, from theory to technique ("Finger Aerobics") to music in all styles (and for all instruments).
A few nits:
(1) the CD is midi; it would be nicer if it were a real piano
(2) they teach three methods of chord notation -- full notation on the staff, names (i.e., G, D7), and primary chords (I, IV, and V7), but are uneven in providing the name and primary chords for the pieces throughout, so you can't always practice that
But those are minor nits. My playing continues to steadily improve, and what I'm learning makes me a much more educated listener, too.
It's time to move on to book two.
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109 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alfred is Awesome!, March 24, 2005
This review is from: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (Paperback)
After taking piano lessons for three years, spending a considerable sum for the teachers time/expertise while utilizing the "lastest teaching method" which I did not care for I almost gave up playing the piano completely. However one day I was looking through a homeschooling catalog when I noticed the "Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course". I liked the review I read of the product and decided to order it. What did I have to loose? I sat down at the piano the very next week with my lesson book, after playing through several of the lessons I was hooked! Alfred's course takes you back to the fundamental basics of music and piano. After all if you don't learn the basics you are lost. The lesson book I ordered came with a CD which has been very helpful in doing the lessons. Alfred produces other books to round out the series: finger aerobics, theory, sacred, christmas and greatest hits music. This program is great for those who love independant study or are limited in the amount of time/money they can spend on piano lessons. Alfred also produces a series for children in a kid friendly format,Music for Little Mozart's, Alfred's Prep Course, and Alfred's Basic Piano Course. Alfred makes music fun for everyone!
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90 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to learn classical piano, this is the series for you!, November 29, 2006
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This review is from: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (Paperback)
Like so many other reviewers of piano books on Amazon, I have purchased enough books to replenish the rain forest, but unfortunately, very few were helpful -- except for the Alfred series -- My goal was to read sheet music/musical scores; not necessarily just play "Raindrops keep..". The "popular" books teach you chords and shortcuts, but if you want the foundation, these are the books. They are well-written; the exercises are very well designed (I hate 'Jingle Bells', but its the first song using both the left and right hands, and I feel good!). I'm also taking one lesson a month to review what I'm doing in the book(s) and get some pointers from a pro. For me, this is the best way to learn, and I think the Alfred series for adults are the best books to help me along my pianistic journey.
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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Alfred's Basic (Non-Adult) Course, April 20, 2008
This review is from: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (Paperback)
I have used Alfred's Basic (non-adult) Piano Course for years with my students with great success. When I began to teach an older beginner, I thought I'd try the adult course. I am not as pleased with it. The adult course focuses mostly on chords in the left hand, so one does not learn to read the independent notes as readily in the left hand. The left hand does not get the strength and independence that the right hand does because of this emphasis on chords. Therefor I will be switching back to the regular Alfred Basic (non-Adult) course.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed!, March 21, 2007
By 
robyn (Westchester, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (Paperback)
I am a thirty-something person learning the piano with no musical experience at all. This book has definitely taught me to play, and no other book I picked up came close. The Alfred book starts at the very beginning with pictures of numbered fingers and numbered keys. And within a few pages you're reading music and playing with two hands! The pace is appropriate for an adult, progressing quickly, but with full explanation of each new skill.

I would still recommend getting additional beginner books if you're serious about learning the piano, because it's useful to have a variety of resources, but this book is the one that taught me to play.

Good luck!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent piano teaching book!, December 28, 2006
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This review is from: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (Paperback)
The last time I played piano was when I was 9 years old... I recently got a keyboard, and needed some help starting all over from level zero. Being that I knew nothing about music theory what-so-ever, this book really helped me get started. The book is a nice big size and there is a page or two devoted to each lesson, with room throughout each page that makes you feel uncrunched and at ease as you learn. The explanations are wonderfully simple and after a few lessons, I actually started reading and playing new music pieces that I saw for the first time! I think this is an excellent self-teaching tool for the first-time piano student. The only minus about this book is that it does not have spiral binding, so you have to devise a way to keep the pages open while you play (I paperclipped the edges of mine). I was also slightly dissapointed that the version did not come with a CD, which I can do without, but which would have been helpful to hear the melodies and know if you're on the right track. Also, as I figued out a little ways into the book, it constantly refers to another book with sheet music, saying "you are now ready for Christmas Classics", and I was dissapointed that it was one extra thing to buy and there was no way to know that before I bought the book. The additional sheet music book is not absolutely necessary, but it would have been nice to be able to learn some new melodies appropriate for the level you're on, rather than just go through the one-or-two examples for the lesson in the book over and over.
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107 of 126 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not recommended, March 28, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (Paperback)
This book tries to teach piano the way rock and folk guitar is often learned: it tells you to form chords by putting your hands in certain positions, giving short shrift to the principles of chord construction and voicing and virtually ignoring the principles of voice-leading. The inevitable result is a confused and unmusical pianist. For adults and older children I use John Thompson's MODERN COURSE FOR PIANO. I often supplement this with John Clough's SCALES, INTERVALS, KEYS, TRIADS, AND METER. I advise those of my students interested in jazz and rock music to use Jeff Burns's PENTATONIC SCALES FOR THE JAZZ-ROCK KEYBOARDIST.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT...for a late beginner!, March 7, 2003
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This review is from: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (Paperback)
This book was recommended to me at the Leiphold Music Store in LaCrosse, WI. I had some knowledge to playing, but was limited to the upper hand...and single notes. It's only been a couple of weeks and I'm now playing chords, and reading upper and lower music, as well as playing it! I found this book easy to follow, and recommend highly to those who are looking for a good course. There are quite a few books in this series, and I have also purchased the LEVEL ONE ...Sacred Music. I look forward to obtaining the rest of this series as I pass from one level to another. What's great is that no matter where you are...there are pages that let you know what books you can begin playing in. I LOVE IT! From pluncker to really playing!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a very good book!, August 10, 2006
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This review is from: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (Paperback)
I bought this book along with the Adult All-In-One Course. And I love it. In one week I have learned to play four songs and can recognize the music notes by sight instead of trying to remember the letter/number of the keys. It also teaches techique and theory at the same time. This is a great beginners book for anyone who wants to learn how to play the piano. It is well worth the money. I definetly recommend this book.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for adult beginner, January 2, 2003
By 
J. S. Heron (Surfers Paradise, Qld Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (Paperback)
I am 52 and have spent the last 9 months learning to play the piano. This book was recommended by my piano teacher.
I have found this to be the almost perfect learning aid. Each page adds a little something new, and I am now playing more and more complex pieces with little difficulty.
For a 'later' starter this book should be ideal. Also, it's a must to get the CD that accompanies the book.
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Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One
Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One by Willard A. Palmer (Paperback - Dec. 1983)
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