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The Piano Handbook: A Complete Guide for Mastering Piano Spiral-bound – December 1, 2002


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The Piano Handbook: A Complete Guide for Mastering Piano + The Complete Book of  Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences: Includes All the Major, Minor (Natural, Harmonic, Melodic) & Chromatic Scales - Plus Additional Instructions on Music Fundamentals + Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic: Level 1
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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (December 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879307277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879307271
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carl Humphries is a pianist, composer, and music journalist. He studied piano and composition in London, Turin, and Berlin, and has performed at some of the most prestigious classical and jazz venues in the UK. His workshops and lecture/recitals are in demand at music academies and university music departments throughout Europe and in the US.

More About the Author

Carl Humphries is a pianist, composer, and music journalist. He studied piano and composition in London, Turin, and Berlin, and has performed at some of the most prestigious classical and jazz venues in the UK. His workshops and lecture/recitals are in demand at music academies and university music departments throughout Europe and in the US.

Customer Reviews

You can actually learn to play piano just by reading this book.
arubeito
It begins with very basic piano technique and moves into more complicated areas of playing the piano and understanding the music.
Anna M Clark
I consider myself an intermediate piano player, but I love this book.
Bill Evans

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

182 of 186 people found the following review helpful By DFE on March 23, 2003
Format: Spiral-bound
Although this book is designed to be a complete keyboard coarse, it is so densely packed with information and moves so fast from one subject to the next, that it would not make a good self-study guide for someone who knows absolutely nothing about playing the piano. The information is all there, but in a no nonsense fashion, not in a more user-friendly, take the time to really make sure anyone can grasp the concepts that are commonly found in beginner courses with much more modest goals. That said, as a comprehensive reference to playing styles, techniques and methology it is unsurpassed. Anyone with a basic grasp of piano playing, will find it most useful. Are you trying to play some Bach or Mozart but can't remember or never knew how to play a trill or mordant? This book will not only show you all of the various ornaments and explain not only how to play them, but offer many examples of what is in stylistic keeping for a given time period for a piece of that tempo. If that is not cool enough, it also explains the reasons for why it was used and relates it to later developments not in that style of music but in current styles of music, so you have a basis of information to make your artistic choices. Want to know how romantic music such as Debusey is traditional pedaled; this book will show you and explain what you are trying to acomplish soundwise. Maybe you studied classical music for year and now want to play a bit of bluegrass or jazz, this book will teach you about that too. Or maybe you want to just pick up some pop sheet music and be able to improvise a bit of additional accompanent, because what is provided sounds so empty. The answers are in this book too.Read more ›
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514 of 539 people found the following review helpful By Lorenzo Gonzalez on July 16, 2003
Format: Spiral-bound
This really is the best of the few decent books in this category - and one of only a small handful that don't treat you like an idiot. Concomitantly, if you ARE in idiot, this book won't work for you. As other reviewers have noted, the pace is definitely fast compared to the 'graded' lesson books commonly used by piano teachers. But using the CD, and practicing every exercise until you truly understand it - you WILL go far, and fast, with this one. I've carefully checked every other "teach yourself piano" title I've seen in the local stores, and even bought and returned a few. This one, however, is a keeper. By the end of the book, you'll be playing some fairly impressive classical pieces (more than enough to impress your friends - unless they're experienced pianists!). Along the way, you get a very nice background in piano history (great photos an illustrations!), and you'll gain a good, solid understanding of reading music. (hm - except for all those british musical terms. Feh. Luckily, American-style is included as well.)
Generally, you really, really should try to get a teacher. But if you just can't afford it, this book is the next best thing. Combine it with a few videos/DVDs (like the "Van Cliburn competition" - YES!, or even buy "The Pianist" or "Shine" right here on Amazon) so you can get an idea of how pianists hold and move their hands. (not that you'll move like these people for a long while!).
There is a crazy typographical error in my edition of the book, where an entire paragraph is repeated! This is only a little sad, because the space could have been put to use for more of the author's great information. It's not enough to drop my rating! The binding (at least in my edition) is spiral - a VERY SMART move, as it sits nicely on the music desk.
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158 of 163 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 13, 2003
Format: Spiral-bound
The Piano Handbook: A Complete Guide For Mastering Piano by pianist, composers, and music journalist Carl Humphries is a straightforward, "user friendly" tutorial for mastering the art of piano playing. An erudite text (illustrated with both black-and-white and color photographs) deftly detail various styles of play ranging from romantic, to classical, to jazz, rock, blues, and more, as well as technical matters such as hand positions, pedaling, tonal balance, chord progressions, etc. The Piano Handbook is enhanced with an accompanying music CD which has tracks relating to 69 different exercises. Highly recommended to piano players of all skill and experience levels seeking to improve, The Piano Handbook is designed in a spiral bound format which will conveniently lay open flat while practicing music.
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful By "pkherman" on February 7, 2003
Format: Spiral-bound
This is the greatest single book on piano that I have ever seen. It is amazingly dense with information, yet never boring or excessive. It covers EVERYTHING from history of piano, what brands to consider for purchase, how to play from A-Z including basic music theory, performance technique, various styles of music (classical, rock, blues, etc.), who to listen to, what CD's to buy, what reference books are good, etc. etc. I just can't believe what a great book this is- it would have saved me countless hours of wasted time with "sheet music" which gives you nothing but the notes. This book gives you lots of notes (hundreds of songs, along with CD to hear them), but it goes 10 steps beyond that- it gives you history of the song, the composer, things to strive for in performing the song, and all in a step-by-step (actually, unit by unit) fashion. It is bound on a spiral spline so it stays put on the piano rail (thank you!) and sports a very attractive color hard-cover that looks nice just sitting there! THe CD is a great added value, since you can hear what the songs are "supposed" to sound like before launching off on your own. This is especially useful if you are somewhat "rhythm challenged" like me. If this book cost [money]it would be worth it. My only (minor) complaint- the pages are printed on fairly glossy paper which can glare if I don't set my light at just the right angle. Carl Humphries, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Peter
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