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Showing 1-10 of 367 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 387 reviews
on January 6, 2009
Scales are not fun but form the foundation of all music understanding. This is an excellent book providing many exercises in all the foundational principles of music. Regardless of what instrument played, all good musicians benefit from a strong understanding and mastery of the content of this book.
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on June 21, 2011
The Alfred Complete Book Of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences is an extraordinarily well put together format. They spend the first dozen or so pages explaining the theory behind how scales and chords are put together. They do indicate that they are best learned by practice, but the theory at the beginning of the book is an excellent resource.
They formatted the scales extraordinarily well. Starting around page 16 you start the key of C Major, with every major and minor scale following that as well as two pages of Chromatic scales at the end, a page on harmonizing the scales, a page with blocked scales and accelerating scales followed by Expanding scales, and scales in double thirds, double sixths and octaves. After that they have Scales in the Grand Form, followed by broken triads, triad chains and cadences. The back of the book finally has a scale fingering chart.
Back to the format of the regular scales though. I'll illustrate what they do with C Major, which they do for the rest of the scales. All of C Major is listed on the two pages you have open when you turn there. First there are parallel motion in octaves, followed by contrary motion starting on the same note, parallel motion in thirds or tenths, parallel motion in sixths. On the following page (which you're already opened to) they have the C Major Triads: Root Position along with the primary chords, the C Major Cadences, C Major Arpeggios, and Dominant Seventh Arpeggios. This is an excellent resource for any student pursuing understanding in piano.
I have been playing piano for several years and never have grasped such a great understanding of the instrument until purchasing this book. I find that songs come so much more easily now just as long as I practice the scales before playing. The brain is a wonderful thing, but you do need to give it some fundamentals to work with, and this book of scales are the answer.
Well worth the cost, I would've been willing to pay more for this book than the $9 I payed for it. Highly recommended.
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on December 28, 2016
I've not gotten far into this book, but what I've covered has helped me. I'm a guitar player who decided to learn piano. My goal with this book is to learn some basic chords and chord progressions, as well as digging into the scales that go with them. This book has provided what I need. It provides some good fundamentals in connection with scales, chords, arpeggios and cadences. The chord progressions are simple, as well as the chords. You're primarily covering triads. Yet, challenging enough to keep me busy for quite a while. All the scales and arpeggios are covered in detail, along with suggested practice exercises. I'm really enjoying it so far, and see no reason that I won't feel this way about the rest of the book. The beginning of the book provides a nice explanation of basic theory. Along with basic theory, inverted chords are also covered in the early stages. Those chords are included with root position chords in the cadences. That's the pattern all the way through the book. All in all this book has been good for me, a startup pianist. And it's a no brainer for the cost. Add it to your library. Let me though sound a warning: If you purchase the Kindle copy and want to print it off, you'll have to convert your kindle format to a print friendly format. If you don't like that idea get the paper copy. But if you're a beginner like me, you'd do well to add this book to your library.
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on December 27, 2013
I took piano lessons for nearly 11 years in my youth. Over the ensuing years, I followed the 'playing is practice' school of thought, when I managed to 'practice' at all. My manual skills deteriorated and I forgot which sets of sharps and flats go with which keys. A little while back I decided I really wanted to try to regain at least some of my former capability and began a more serious practice. (We meet again, Mr. Hanon.)
This book has been a big part of that practice. With the scales, chords, etc. for each key on two pages, I enjoy playing through all of the constructions to train my ear, as well as my hands. There's some well-written material at the front of the book as well.

This is the best book of scales that I've ever run across and I recommend it to anyone needing such a book.
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on March 17, 2014
I've been playing the piano for about two years. When I started, I learned the circle of fifths/fourths and practiced the most common scales. I understood how to form a major scale with whole steps and half steps, and I could easily figure out the notes for any major scale. However, there were a lot of scales I had not really practiced so I was not familiar with the fingering for those scales.

This book has been a great tool to help me become more familiar with all the scales (major, minor). The theory section is also good (from what I have read of it).

When I was purchasing this book, I looked at the reviews and a few of them said that this book was good for those who had some knowledge of the piano (can read notes, scales, theory) already. They said that it would not be that helpful to an absolute beginner (especially one without a teacher). I do somewhat agree with this. I am not really a beginner. I could not see this book being nearly as helpful if I was just learning to play.

Overall, this is a great tool to learn and practice scales (chords, arpeggios, etc.). If you are considering purchasing this book, do it.
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VINE VOICEon April 30, 2013
I am a five month adult beginner, and yes, even I find this COMPLETE book useful. With theory and learning, if one is consistent then you will need this book and not get a beginner book. This is not my only theory book, but THS book addresses SCALES, triads (chords) and araggios (a little later for me!); with easy to follow theory pages at the beginning of the book. The rest of the book covers the 12 major and minor scales with their variations for practice. Each scale gets a double page, and yes it would be great if it came in spiral forma, but I have since purchased a binder to create my spiral binding! As a beginner, there is plenty in each scale for you to dig your teeth into. I just started piano lessons, and I will be working on this with my teacher! I do recommend you have started to learn to read and write the scales, as that will help to use this book as a practice material.
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A sheet-music-sized book, staple-bound, well worth the money if you are at the beginner's level of piano or keyboard and need to "run scales." Also includes a rudimentary "Circle of Fifths" and table showing major/minor key equivalents. Not as easy to keep open as a spiral-bound book, but easier than a small one, and you're not going to get a spiral-bound book for this amount of money. If you can run scales sight unseen, or if you don't know what I'm talking about, this book is probably below or above your level -- otherwise, it does its job.
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on September 25, 2015
I'm a piano teacher and was really glad to discover this book for my students. As an aside, it doesn't just have all the major and minor scales in octaves. It also has them in contrary motion, and in thirds and sixths. And the arpeggios aren't only for triads in root position. The arpeggios are also for triads in inversions, and seventh chords. Highly recommend this book.
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on July 23, 2013
If you are serious about perfecting your piano playing, this is what you need. It walks you through the importance of learning scales and chords with lots of exercises to help your hands strengthen. I suffer from mock tunnel syndrome - a side kick condition from a back condition, when my doctor encouraged me to play to strenthen my hands, I recalled the exercises my piano teacher insisted i play (at 10-13 I was bored with this routine - however now, I find the importance of playing these exercises before playing actual songs. And if you play the classics this is a must!
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on June 3, 2013
I just started taking lessons a month ago and my teacher has me working on basic stuff, which is normal for her older beginning students. But I wanted more. This book has answered a lot of questions for me. I highly recommend this book for someone who isn't content to just learn to play well enough to play from the beginner books, but who really wants to learn to play the piano. I am 54 and want to understand music theory. Playing scales may not seem like fun, but by learning the scales and chord progressions, playing many pieces will actually become easier. GREAT book!
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