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36 Reviews
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4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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94 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the way to go!
I have to say, given all the choices for keyboard instruction available, I got really lucky in choosing this one! After just 5-6 weeks, I am halfway thru book 1 and they've got me playing loads of songs with 2 hands(something I thought I wouldn't be able to do for awhile!). This book takes a very 'hands-on' approach(this is key!), and includes a CD for you jam along to...
Published on October 17, 2001

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the songs but needs more text to truly be self teaching
The songs are a big improvement over most other self teaching books. Words cannot express how good it feels to hear yourself playing a song that you like. The text was too brief to be good for self teaching. At one point the fingering specified would require that the hand is moved, but the text makes no mention of this. Then at a later point in the text the author...
Published on January 7, 2011 by Timothy R. Darrough


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94 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the way to go!, October 17, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: FastTrack Music Instruction - Keyboard, Book 1 (Fasttrack Series) (Paperback)
I have to say, given all the choices for keyboard instruction available, I got really lucky in choosing this one! After just 5-6 weeks, I am halfway thru book 1 and they've got me playing loads of songs with 2 hands(something I thought I wouldn't be able to do for awhile!). This book takes a very 'hands-on' approach(this is key!), and includes a CD for you jam along to. The keyboard parts you are intended to play are panned to the right, so that you can hear what they're supposed to sound like, and later pan to the left in case you no longer wish to hear them. I also like the book's laid-back 'take it easy on yourself' attitude, while teaching the reader music theory one piece at a time. Granted, you do start out playing some songs you've probably heard too many times already("skip to my lou", for example), but they are good teaching exercises, and later on the book has you playing material that is more rock, blues, and classical-oriented. I can't wait to start book 2!
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good book to learn with, April 9, 2009
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This review is from: FastTrack Music Instruction - Keyboard, Book 1 (Fasttrack Series) (Paperback)
I recently finished this book, and I'm very glad I got it. I am a much better player than I was when I started this book. I am now beginning Book 2 in this series. As I get better, practice is becoming more fun. It can be discouraging in the beginning when simple songs are hard to play. Don't get discouraged, just push yourself to stick with it. Practicing roughly 30 minutes every day, it took me about 4-5 months to finish the book.

I'm not giving it five stars because there are some areas where the book could be improved. Most importantly, I think the songs on the CD are too fast for absolute beginners. The CD is great for demonstrating how the music should sound, but it is too fast for absolute beginners to play along with. I generally didn't use the CD, except when I didn't know what a song was supposed to sound like.

A second gripe is that the songs on the CD have four clicks before the song starts, but sometimes the first click is barely audible, so it appears that the song is beginning after only three clicks. This makes it harder to know when the songs on the CD are starting.

A third gripe is that some lessons in later parts of the book were too easy by the time I encountered them. When I encountered the easy lessons, I would think to myself that they should have been presented earlier in the book so the book did a better job of progressing from easier lessons to harder lessons. I would have moved most of the one-handed lessons to earlier in the book and moved the two-handed lessons to later in the book.

A fourth gripe is that several times the book used a chord or bit of music notation that had not yet been explained. This just requires looking through the later parts of the book to find the explanation. In the very last lesson, the A5 chord is used even though it is never explained anywhere in this book or the FastTrack Keyboard Chords & Scales book. You actually have to look at the second-to-last page of Book 2 for an explanation of 5 chords. (The A5 chord consists of only two keys: A and E.)

Don't let my criticisms prevent you from buying the book. I'm just pointing out the flaws. On the whole the book is a good one.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was and still is great help to me, August 14, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: FastTrack Music Instruction - Keyboard, Book 1 (Fasttrack Series) (Paperback)
If your looking for an excellent book to help you on your quest to learning how to play your keyboard and read music. Then this is the book for you. It really makes learning a fun part of the proccess. I liked the cd and the way this book was written. I will defintaly buy more fasttrack books in the future.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the songs but needs more text to truly be self teaching, January 7, 2011
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This review is from: FastTrack Music Instruction - Keyboard, Book 1 (Fasttrack Series) (Paperback)
The songs are a big improvement over most other self teaching books. Words cannot express how good it feels to hear yourself playing a song that you like. The text was too brief to be good for self teaching. At one point the fingering specified would require that the hand is moved, but the text makes no mention of this. Then at a later point in the text the author discusses moving the hand as if it were something new. The text introduces four note chords without any discussion of how to play them. There is absolutely zero discussion of theory or technique.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple introduction to playing keyboard/piano, September 5, 2011
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This review is from: FastTrack Music Instruction - Keyboard, Book 1 (Fasttrack Series) (Paperback)
I've played guitar for 17 years and have been wanting to learn keyboard for a while now. I recently picked up a keyboard and got this book. I've only been using this for a week and have gone from playing 5 notes to using both hands and playing chords. This book presents the material in a way that's easy to understand. The songs are typical nursery rhyme kind of things that I haven't heard since I was a kid, but they are simple and aid in reading music and learning proper fingering. The included CD, while being corny, really helps by giving you a full band to play along with to each song and most exercises in the book. I gave this book 5 stars because it does what it is meant to do: give an easy introduction into playing keyboard.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i'm happy, January 4, 2012
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This review is from: FastTrack Music Instruction - Keyboard, Book 1 (Fasttrack Series) (Paperback)
I've always wanted to play the keyboard. I've never had lessons, so when i got one for christmas, I looked for a book that would teach me from the beginning. I settled on this one and am really happy with it. It's only been 2 weeks and I've learned 6 chords, i'm playing with both hands, which was a major accomplishment, and my husband says i don't sound awful. I'm looking forward to working my way through the book. If you're starting from scratch, and don't mind learning a few children's songs along the way. I recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, December 26, 2011
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This review is from: FastTrack Music Instruction - Keyboard, Book 1 (Fasttrack Series) (Paperback)
My 14 year-old daughter received this along with her keyboard for Christmas (yesterday). She has never played a note on a keyboard, piano, etc prior to this and is already playing songs. And not just picking at notes with her fingers, but with chords and with all ten fingers. I am VERY impressed with this instruction booklet (as well as my daughter) :0
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars works for both kids and adults, August 29, 2010
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bktw (san francisco) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: FastTrack Music Instruction - Keyboard, Book 1 (Fasttrack Series) (Paperback)
Got this along with electronic keyboard. It is surprisingly easy to use and my 8 & 10 year olds are successful as am I. The book is clear, set up in bite sized pieces, and immediately rewarding in that you play songs right away.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for a Beginner, October 2, 2013
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This review is from: FastTrack Music Instruction - Keyboard, Book 1 (Fasttrack Series) (Paperback)
I'm using this book in an adult beginner piano-keyboarding class. I had music lessons as a child which was over fifty years ago and this book is bringing it all back. Very informative and easy to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introductory book to learn to read music and play the keyboard with lots of basic songs to practice, September 13, 2014
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Science lover "Sophia" (4 Feet firmly planted on the ground) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: FastTrack Music Instruction - Keyboard, Book 1 (Fasttrack Series) (Paperback)
I love this book. The authors have great writing styles and the instructions are easy to understand.

Learning to read music is presented in a simple straight forward manner with a sense of humor. Keyboard lessons are written well, and progress from simple notes to the slightly more complex. Great for beginners.

This is my first attempt to learn to read music. It is not as difficult as I thought it was going to be.

... I think that I can do this!

BTW: There is no difference between this book and the Mini Keyboard Book 1 (ISBN 0634009400), although the ISBN is different. And the same goes for the Keyboard & Mini Keyboard Songbook which are oldies rock music. You only need one instruction book, and 1 song book.

I hope this saves you some moola.
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FastTrack Music Instruction - Keyboard, Book 1 (Fasttrack Series)
FastTrack Music Instruction - Keyboard, Book 1 (Fasttrack Series) by Gary Meisner (Paperback - February 1, 1997)
$7.99 $7.81
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