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Piano For Dummies Paperback – September 18, 1998

3.8 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Instruct: to provide with knowledge, especially in a methodical way. That is, in fact, what Phillips and Chappel of Cherry Lane Music do in this logical, pedagogic introduction to keyboard instruments, music theory, and piano technique. The chapter on the famous?or is it infamous??"Part of Tens" includes information about past and present masters of the instrument, ways of expanding your interest beyond the scope of the book, and tips on finding a teacher. Printed musical examples are plentiful, and an accompanying audio CD is included. This book intends to be fun and funny and succeeds in a vaudeville sort of way. Students are encouraged "to continue to seek knowledge about your instrument long after you tire of the jokes" and told that "piano teachers and method books shouldn't be forsaken forever." The do-it-yourself phenomenon has made the "Dummies" books very popular. This one is particularly appropriate for school media and public libraries.?Janet Brewer, Murray State Univ. Lib., KY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

Play-along audio CD included! The fun and easy way to get started on the piano

A Reference for the Rest of Us!

Perfect for all keyboards?not just piano

Find out how to have some fun with your piano

Don't leave your keyboard in the corner collecting dust! Open the book, run through a few simple exercises with virtuoso Blake Neely, and soon you'll be tickling the ivories with the best of them. From basic scales to old favorites, classical themes, blues, boogie-woogie, and more, this friendly beginner's guide and songbook doesn't miss a beat.

All 97 songs and exercises from the book on audio CD

Play along with "Oh Sussannah." " The Beautiful Blue Danube." "Swanee River," " Ode to Joy," " Greensleaves," " Danny Boy," Berry-style blues, a boogie-woogie bass line, " Hank the Honky-Tonk" riff, and much, much more

Discover how to:

Familiarize yourself with the keyboard

Understand the language of music

Have fun when you practice scales

Impress friends with great grooves and riffs

Play classical, rock, blues, and country

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Product Details

  • Series: For Dummies
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1st edition (September 18, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764551051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764551055
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was looking for an introductory book for adult piano student. Although I could do without the title "dummies," the cartoons, and the jokes, the meat of this book was the best of all the others on Amazon.
Most of the other books teach very little except simple popular ditties. This book actually had -- yes -- scales and other exercises for both the left and right hands, with fingering techniques simply applied, but fully explained.
And for those who want some tunes, there are (in addition to the standard ditties) actually some worthwhile classical adaptions, such as some of the best-known themes from the Bach cantatas.
I was quite impressed with how much basic and even intermediate material was included in the book, and explained with clarity and simplicity.
Since I read music already, I was able to skip many of the first chapters and get right into the practice and technique material, so I can't comment on how clear the music-reading chapters would be for a total beginner. However, I expect that if they are as good as the rest of the material, they should be fine for that purpose as well.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book 2 months ago and started practicing an hour from it daily. The results were shockingly great and speedy. After a week of practice I would go back and shoot through the preliminary songs as if they were child's play!
My one problem with it is the way you're presented with practice material. It's never specified how long or often you should practice something before moving on. Just be patient and ONLY MOVE ON ONCE YOU'RE COMFORTABLE WITH A PIECE. Do that and this minor problem won't affect you at all.
I really like the play along cd. It does help alot. Also, the humorous way in which you're presented with all of the material this book contains will have you learning great amounts of theory and technique without even realizing it. This book is great as a reference book as well.
So, although it's challenging (sight-reading in particular), you'll soon learn that with a little consistence and assiduity you'll be on your way to "tickling the ivories with the best of 'em"!
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Format: Paperback
As a stone cold adult beginner, I thought why not go for the book that sounded as if it was for a stone cold beginner - "Piano For Dummies"?

Well, I certainly am a 'dummy' - shelling out over $20 for this discouraging pap is the dumbest thing I've done in years.

I wrestled with it for quite a few weeks - trying to eke out hard information between the stupid humour and piano facts that I never asked for in the first place, dumb drawings and unhelpful layout. Then I called for a professional, feeling really discouraged. This book doesn't really even let you know at what point you might sit behind a piano and actually try playing? It's that bad.

So I booked myself in with a professional piano teacher who within minutes made me realise it was the book and not me. I showed her the book which she referred to as "dreadful and patronising". She won't even allow me to have it back!

She then handed me these two which are ideal for the older learner:

- Piano For Adults (Bastien) ISBN 0-8497-7300-8
- Accelerated Piano Adventures (Faber) ISBN 1-56939-132-7

The former is my slight preference but both are leagues ahead of "Piano For Dummies". Sorry if that personally offends anyone, author included, but it is truly awful. I've now progressed more in a week than I did in two months with the Dummies book.

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Format: Paperback
I bought several books on learning the piano at the same time. I found this book to be the least useful. As several other reviewers mentioned, the author's sense of humor is pathetic and he tries to throw in a "zinger" every other paragraph. "Thats's right, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, pengiums and parakeets...". Believe me. I not exaggerating on this. I cringed at almost every one of the author's attempts to be humorous. However, this was not enough to discourage me from continuing to read the book. That occurred after having to read over 50 pages before the author presented the first exercise. An excercise that it does not use a middle C hand position, requires you to move your hand, does not indicate which fingers to use for which keys, etc. After looking at this first exercise, I decided not to continue. I suspect that the author has never taught a single piano lession.
I also picked up two books called "Total Piano" and "Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course" both of which I've found quite good so far. If you have a digital piano with a MIDI interface, check out "Teach Me Piano". I've been using it for a few days now, I can't say enough good things about this piece of software.
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Format: Paperback
Contains a wealth of music theory for the beginner, and as such it's a valuable addition to the beginning student's resources. However, it's not a really good exercise book. The CD included with the book contains blurbs of the music examples in the book, but I don't know WHERE they got the performances, which are of uneven quality and are not particularly good for the listener trying to hear a good piano line.
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