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Piano Instruction books - any recommendations?

Old 12-13-20, 10:47 AM
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skidder
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Piano Instruction books - any recommendations?

Anyone have any recommendations for a piano instructional book? I recently got a great deal on the Yamaha P-45 keyboard from a co-worker, now looking for a beginner's book to go through to get up-to-speed on it. I've already got musical knowledge (guitar/ukulele/some woodwind experience). Anyone have any recommendations?

FWIW: I've got both a Sam Ash and a Guitar Center near me, both have all but eliminated their sheet music departments in favor of private lesson booths (the books are bundled in with the lesson packages).
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Old 12-13-20, 02:58 PM
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I have the Adult All-In-One Course from Alfreds that I got on Amazon. It's 3 books and I just used it as a refresher (took piano lessons for years but didn't play for a couple decades). It seems pretty good and reasonably comprehensive.

Last edited by Marylander; 12-13-20 at 06:01 PM. Reason: autocorrect on phone changed a word to spanish :)
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Old 12-14-20, 12:41 PM
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Old 12-14-20, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Marylander View Post
I have the Adult All-In-One Course from Alfreds that I got on Amazon. It's 3 books and I just used it as a refresher (took piano lessons for years but didn't play for a couple decades). It seems pretty good and reasonably comprehensive.
Thanks for that. I found the three-book course on Amazon, also noticed they had an 'Alfreds' course that was one book. When I compared the table of contents on both it appears they are the same instruction course, just that the 3-book course has more 'basic' instruction and the single book course is a stripped down version of the same thing! Decisions, decisions . . .

I've been playing around with the piano based on Yamaha's YouTube demos and all the functions (including all the sounds) seem to work. Should be fun ramping this up.

Once again, thanks for the recommendation.
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Old 12-14-20, 08:44 PM
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Almost forgot, you can also find videos of people demoing a lot of the exercises. I don't so much need that as I'm an ok sight reader but I did use it for one song that had tricky syncopation.

Good luck!
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Old 12-14-20, 09:37 PM
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I've played violin since very little, and nowadays play in my local civic orchestra (or did until the March lockdown canceled our upcoming concert), so I have a lot of musical experience. But I've always wanted to add piano as a foundation.

I wanted to find a 'piano for musicians' kind of curriculum, but everything seemed too basic. (I didn't look all that hard though).

I ended up just picking slow music I loved online, and teaching myself to play it. After many hours (maybe 40?) of practice, I can play the Aria from Bach's Goldberg variations, and variation #7, at VERY slow tempos. Also the Cmaj and Fmaj Preludes from Shostakovitch's 24 Preludes & Fugues. My sons can sightread all of that faster and better than me.

What I would really like to get to is to be sufficiently proficient to sit down and sight-read pretty much any SATB hymn in your average hymnal. But pianists I know have told me that's actually not that easy, you have to build up a lot of other proficiency to get there.
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Old 12-15-20, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I've played violin since very little, and nowadays play in my local civic orchestra (or did until the March lockdown canceled our upcoming concert), so I have a lot of musical experience. But I've always wanted to add piano as a foundation.

I wanted to find a 'piano for musicians' kind of curriculum, but everything seemed too basic. (I didn't look all that hard though).

I ended up just picking slow music I loved online, and teaching myself to play it. After many hours (maybe 40?) of practice, I can play the Aria from Bach's Goldberg variations, and variation #7, at VERY slow tempos. Also the Cmaj and Fmaj Preludes from Shostakovitch's 24 Preludes & Fugues. My sons can sightread all of that faster and better than me.

What I would really like to get to is to be sufficiently proficient to sit down and sight-read pretty much any SATB hymn in your average hymnal. But pianists I know have told me that's actually not that easy, you have to build up a lot of other proficiency to get there.
Its pretty much the same on a guitar, it takes quite a while to develop confidence in playing and knowledge of the fretboard to site-read (or easily figure out how to play a piece). I still don't think I'm that good at it as I still need to take some time to slowly work through new tune.
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Old 12-15-20, 10:39 AM
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Yeah, due to the crossover skills from violin (as well as a little bass for strings a fourth apart instead of a fifth), I can doodle around melodically on a guitar pretty good, and I can chord around a little bit, but I don't have the hand strength for bar chords all the time. I can do an F occasionally, but that's about it. My go-to song is The Beatles' I Will, in G.
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Old 12-15-20, 11:25 AM
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Not a book, but there are some good free online classes on Coursera.
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Old 12-15-20, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
What I would really like to get to is to be sufficiently proficient to sit down and sight-read pretty much any SATB hymn in your average hymnal. But pianists I know have told me that's actually not that easy, you have to build up a lot of other proficiency to get there.
When I was in my teens and very proficient at sightreading I helped the church choir practice for their cantatas and such. I would play the SATB from the cantata book along with them and would often have to play it for them on my own to demonstrate more difficult parts. I remember one that had a tough syncopation between the TB and the SA (so, left and right hands on piano). I nailed it on the first try and was so excited to have gotten it that I still remember ~32 years later. It's a lot of pressure doing that live in front of 40-50 people. It would be great to get even a little bit close to that skill now but I haven't managed to find the motivation just yet. I can go through a hymnal and play most anything in a country-gospel style though, albeit real sloppy.
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Old 12-15-20, 06:29 PM
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Yeah, even just being able to sightread SATB hymns that are 100% quarter-notes in all 4 voices, I'd be happy to achieve that goal. Let more complicated stuff take practice.

live in front of 40-50 people

Maybe the best musical experience of my life: our civic orchestra was doing the Bruch vln cto. It was early rehearsals and we usually don't get the featured soloist until the dress. I had played the Bruch in high school (but not since high school), and the conductor let me play the solo for rehearsing the slow movement. It had been like 30 years, I was dropping notes all over on the runs, but the slow parts came out sweet, and to have an orchestra behind me -- magical!
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Old 12-16-20, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Maybe the best musical experience of my life: our civic orchestra was doing the Bruch vln cto. It was early rehearsals and we usually don't get the featured soloist until the dress. I had played the Bruch in high school (but not since high school), and the conductor let me play the solo for rehearsing the slow movement. It had been like 30 years, I was dropping notes all over on the runs, but the slow parts came out sweet, and to have an orchestra behind me -- magical!
Very neat, I'll bet it is fun to have an orchestra backing you up.
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Old 12-16-20, 01:15 PM
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It was amazing! Back in high school, I actually would practice 'with an orchestra', playing the Music-Minus One record in the background. But of course that thing just went along at whatever speed(s) it went along. With a conductor paying attention to you, and directing an orchestra to be in sync, the joint energy of everyone making music together is another level!
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Old 12-16-20, 01:37 PM
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Ah, yes, I understand that. I played bass with some salsa/merengue guys. We would often warm up with someone playing some kind of improvised groove and everyone else would jump in. It was very interactive and something I've hoped to repeat ever since. Unfortunately those guys weren't the most reliable.
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Old 12-16-20, 01:38 PM
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Sounds fun!
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Old 03-08-21, 08:12 AM
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Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course Lesson Book



is realy good i started with it
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