Alfred's Basic Adult All-In-One Piano Course: Level 1 [ALFREDS BASIC ADULT ALL-IN -OS] Paperback
Author: | Language: English | ISBN: B0029I6HD0
| Format: PDF, EPUB
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- Publisher: ALFRED (January 31, 2007)
- ASIN: B0029I6HD0
I used to play the clarinet in middle school. Now I'm 18 and it's been quite some time since I've read sheet music. Playing guitar for six years literally ruined my ability to read the stuff, because I would always use tabs instead. But eventually I grew jaded with the guitar, and I decided to choose a new and fresh direction -- the piano!
This book is very well-written, and leaves no gaps. Within just a few days I found myself relearning all that I had forgotten from band class years before, and I've now reached the point where I know more than I did! And I haven't even finished the book yet!
Plus, it tests you on theory and technique. You get to fill in parts of the book, which really helps you get involved with what your learning.
One reviewer downrated this book because of the song choices, and its accompanying CD. I feel that this is in err. I believe the song choices are just as good as any. If the tunes were familiar, then they wouldn't be as challenging to learn. And as for the CD...I did notice that the piano parts are rather quiet, but I always thought this was because it was a play-along CD (which is what I use it as). It's as good as it needs to be.
Besides, the pieces get more interesting as you progress, some of the final pieces being "Greensleeves", "Scarborough Fair", "The Entertainer" and "Amazing Grace" (and written in a way so that each hand will be dually occupied). And by the end of the third book in the series, you'll be playing some of Beethoven's most popular pieces, like "Fur Elise" and "Moonlight Sonata"!
Also -- something that concerned me when I bought this book: do you need a full-fledged piano? The answer is...no!! A sizable keyboard will do you just fine.
Based on a few recommendations, I decided to give this book a whirl as my first introduction to piano playing. I can read music thanks to the high school music course several years ago, but I'm pretty rusty. Trying to fit this in between university studying and homework, I decided to go the self-taught route, though I absolutely recognized this as generally being a poor decision. But hey, I'm pretty self-motivated, so why not?
I made it through level 1, and part-way through level 2 before deciding to switch books. There are several major problem with the series that I've noticed and that eventually drove me away from it, as well as various minor issues.
The first problem is the music. It sucks. No better encompassing word for it. The music is simplistic and boring. A lot of the music consists of simple Christian hymn-style tunes. I might have expected "When The Saints Come Marching In" and its friends in a children's piano course, but this is being aimed at adults. The music has no atmosphere, no texture, and overuses simple refrains (again, a lot of this is what one would expect to hear in a church). I'm not religious, but I'm not opposed to good classical religion-inspired pieces; these are not that. Level 1 ends with a simple arrangement of "Amazing Grace" as its anticlimactic grand finale. It's hard to remain motivated when, no matter what you do, you don't like the sounds that are coming out of the instrument.
Another problem is the hand positioning it teaches you. The book picks a few very rigid positions and sticks with them. Your hands will be in C, G, or middle C positions (with both thumbs on middle C). That's it.
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