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Play Piano in a Flash!: Play Your Favorite Songs Like a Pro -- Whether You've Had Lessons or Not! Paperback – January 14, 2004

3.7 out of 5 stars 171 customer reviews

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  • Play Piano in a Flash!: Play Your Favorite Songs Like a Pro -- Whether You've Had Lessons or Not!
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Play Piano in a Flash! is the winner of our 2002 Pinnacle Award in the category of "how-to" books. -- National Association of Bookdealers Exchange (NABE) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Scott "The Piano Guy" Houston's background combines a degree from Indiana University with over fifteen years of experience in the music industry. From teaching to playing professionally to managing a music publishing company, he has been a part of many aspects of the music world. Realizing that most students do not aspire to become concert pianists, but rather want to enjoy being able to sit down at a keyboard and play their favorite music, he has taught thousands of students successfully at universities and colleges nationwide.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1st Hyperion Ed edition (January 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401307663
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401307660
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard N. Rust on February 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Ask yourself two questions:
Question One: Do you want to play classical piano on a world stage?
Question Two: Do you want to play piano in your own home for your own entertainment?
If your answer to the first question is "yes," then this book is not for you. And Mr. Houston says as much on several occasions in both the book and the video.
It seems that those reviews that express a strong negative opinion of this work, start with the assumption that one should only answer "yes" to the first question and one should never approach music in the spirit of the second.
People considering this work should ask themselves specifically what their goal is.
If your answer to the second question is "yes," then this work will spend half of its energy overcoming any reservation you might have about your ability to play the piano for personal enjoyment.
In this work, Mr. Houston has to battle in two directions.
One, he has to overcome the "piano anxiety" that people accrue as the result of years of taking lessons in a style of teaching that prepares the student to answer "yes" to question one.
Two, once he has cleared away assumptions learned from "classical" piano lessons, he demonstrates an approach to piano playing that is easier to implement then it is to explain. I don't think one should fault Mr. Houston simply because his method is easy to implement, once you understand it.
It is true that Mr. Houston does not outline a complicated and intricate regimen that explains the many aspects of music. That is not his goal. Rather he wishes to put the individual at a keyboard with music that can be learned as rapidly as possible.
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Format: Paperback
I'm 43 years old and have never played piano before. That is, not until now. I got Scott's book about 2 months ago after seeing his special on PBS. The reduction from 2 staffs to a single staff with chord symbols made sense to me, so I took a chance. And boy, I'm glad that I did. As others have said, the book is very entertaining and helps build your confidence that "Hey, I can really do this." Page 36 is especially helpful in showing you how determine finger placement for all major, minor, seventh, etc. chords.
So, armed with this new-found knowledge and confidence, I made another wise decision. I ordered several "fake books" by Hal Leonard Publishing (all can be ordered through Amazon) containing the lead sheet music with chord symbols that Scott suggests. I now have "Your First Fake Book," "The Best Fake Book Ever," "The Ultimate Fake Book," "Gospel's Greatest," and "The Ultimate Christmas Fake Book."
Now, here's where I get to brag. I have learned 14 new songs in just over a month! These are the songs that I have learned in the order I learned them:
Alexander's Ragtime Band
Do-Re-Mi
When The Saints Go Marching In
Seventy-six Trombones
Blue Suede Shoes
Maria
Beauty and the Beast
Can You Feel the Love Tonight
Angels we Have Heard on High
Auld Lang Syne
Away in a Manger
Frosty the Snowman
Deck the Hall
Do You Hear What I Hear
And the best part is that I have learned them all by heart now. That will leave my books free for those who want to sing along because all of the books I have mentioned come complete with the lyrics. As you can see, I'm quickly trying to learn some Christmas songs to impress my family and friends this year.
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3 Comments 221 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
"Play the Piano in a Flash!" teaches how to play the piano using chords and melody lines instead of the "classical" technique. Why would you want to learn this method? Actually that is easy to answer, other than classical piano pieces, most piano players use this method and it is the easiest method to learn.
Scott Houston teaches you to play in this style and has you playing your favorite pieces in just hours of practice instead of weeks and weeks of learning to read notes and painstaking lessons. You will not learn classical concert piano techniques, but you will learn to play your favorite pieces with confidence.
If you just want to learn to play piano for the purpose of having fun or entertaining at a party or playing for a pop, rock, or similar group then this is a wonderful guide. If you want to learn classical piano then it is not what you need. Absolutely the easiest method and a lot of fun, I enjoyed the book greatly.... and can actually play a few tunes after about four hours of practice.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great tool for those who don't want to be a classical pianist but just want to have fun! The author gets to the point quickly with no "fluff" and tells you exactly what you need to do to sound good immediately. Although I had taken a few piano lessons as a child many years ago, I couldn't play a thing. Now I am able to play songs that I want to play, not songs my teacher wanted me to play... Will it take some effort? Yes, but now I am looking forward to playing what is fun instead of "Chopsticks"! It is also a lot cheaper than lessons...
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