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Jim Bress

Tired of not playing music!

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Hi all.  I've never been on this part of MN before, buts it's never too late to start something new.  I've been a lame duck since last summer with left shoulder problems.  MRI shows arthritis, bone spurs, and tendinitis.  In all likelihood I probably have a minor tear(s) in the rotator cuff as well.  I generally don't do things half way.  <_<  

 

After many rounds of physical therapy, cortisone shots, and more physical therapy, I'm finally going under the knife in April.  The problem is that I'm so tired of not being able to play my violin that I keep trying to just sneak in a few minutes of playing which is really counter productive.  I'm not even a good player!  Anyway, so that I don't torpedo my recovery (estimated six months), I've decided to start playing piano.  I have an old upright with a pleasant tone.  

 

What lesson book would you recommend for a complete beginner adult for self instruction?    

 

Thanks,

Jim

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I can answer that one!  :)

Alfred's Basic Adult Course! 

I don't have the books in front of me, but there's Level 1, 2 and 3!

http://www.amazon.ca/Alfreds-Basic-Adult-Course-Lesson/dp/0882846167

I had one official piano lesson...and then taught myself. I branched out from the Alfred books into the beginner RCM material (up to Grade 3)...

Then I seriously returned to the violin (and now also the bassoon)...and the piano is on the back-burner. I can handle 2 instruments, but not three. :wacko:  But I'm very glad I took those few years to learn as much as I did...it really helped with my overall 'music education'.

 

BTW...does your Player play?  Or has it been gutted?

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My professor for my piano performance classes at university recommended these beginner books for a friend of mine who was interested in playing:

 

Adult Piano Adventures All-in-One Lesson Book 1

http://www.amazon.com/Adult-Piano-Adventures-All-Lesson/dp/1616773022/ref=pd_sim_14_7?ie=UTF8&dpID=51jGtaOebfL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR119%2C160_&refRID=0Y8PPEYFE8A6RX2FMM2N

 

There is a second book in the series as well. 

 

If you are look for repertoire in addition to pedagogy, the Celebration Series issued by the RCM ((Canadian) Royal Conservatory of Music) has books in different "grades" of difficulty for their exams which tend to be short and sweet and span different genres from baroque through modern.  I prefer these because they are not "simplified" versions of difficult pieces and the skill and technique involved are commensurate with the "grade" level.

 

As an example, this year's (2015) Repertoire level I - http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/celebration-series-piano-repertoire-1-sheet-music/20063167

 

Of course as with everything YMMV.  Good luck, I am obviously biased but piano is a lovely instrument too :)

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Thanks for the recommendations Rinamy,  I love listening to piano.  My son has temporarily (I hope) abandoned the violin for the piano.  For me playing the piano was a learning experience, but not something that brought me any joy.  Go figure.  Fortunately, my left shoulder has fully recovered and I'm back to playing violin.  I don't know why the violin has that certain something for me that the piano doesn't.  Eventually I plan on making a viola.  I'll give that a try  when I do.

 

-Jim

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No suggestions for the piano but

sympathy on the shoulder.........

been there with the rotator cuff (without the surgery) 

I can play again but not with the former freedom.

I was warned off surgery as a sure fix.

'Time is also a healer' and muscles do adapt a little.

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Hi all.  I've never been on this part of MN before, buts it's never too late to start something new.  I've been a lame duck since last summer with left shoulder problems.  MRI shows arthritis, bone spurs, and tendinitis.  In all likelihood I probably have a minor tear(s) in the rotator cuff as well.  I generally don't do things half way.  <_<

 

After many rounds of physical therapy, cortisone shots, and more physical therapy, I'm finally going under the knife in April.  The problem is that I'm so tired of not being able to play my violin that I keep trying to just sneak in a few minutes of playing which is really counter productive.  I'm not even a good player!  Anyway, so that I don't torpedo my recovery (estimated six months), I've decided to start playing piano.  I have an old upright with a pleasant tone.  

 

What lesson book would you recommend for a complete beginner adult for self instruction?    

 

Thanks,

Jim

The Jessupe Goldastini way! Actually the piano teaches you how to play itself, and or theory kinda at the same time if you understand a couple of tricks...This knowledge will be very helpful for playing any instrument and for writing songs, diddy's, pieces and even full scale operas if you want to go there...

 

We will do little bites at a time...

 

So...go to the piano...assuming you know where middle C is....starting on the C, for now,, with one finger, go up one white key at a time until you hit the next C and or octave above your starting point...

 

observe that between the 3rd and 4th and 7th and 8th...and or the E and F and the B and the C there is no black key, not having a black key makes the interval between the 3/4 7/8 a half step...

 

Intervals can for now be defined by a whole step or a half step, a half step will be defined as playing any key, and then moving one step or key up from that, such as C to C sharp, the black key right next to the C you are on....Or a whole step which is two keys/notes or steps from the note you are on such as C to D.

 

Ok back to the scale pattern for the major scales...so 3/4 7/8...now if we keep this in mind that this is where the half steps fall, we have a very cool trick in that you can now pick any note on the piano, which will establish the key center, say F major, and now if we adhere to the "trick" and simply play the half steps at the 3/4 and 7/8 we now have a F major scale. And as long as you adhere to the rule 3/4 7/8, you will be able to play any and all major scales.

 

This is why the fingering will be different for any given scale, the fingering changes, but the rule 3/4 7/8 for the half steps remain constant.

 

For Minor Keys, it is as simple as changing this to 2/3 5/6...this is for natural minor, we will leave out melodic and harmonic minor for now.

 

Now the thing that gets visually confusing is hitting the right intervals, a good trick for that is ask your self if you have a note in between the two notes you are playing .....Foe example are you playing a C Csharp, or are you playing a C D, if you look at the C D you will seethe C sharp between those two notes, so practice interval training visually, this will help get the scales easy to see and then play....

 

Once you learn your scales, then you can take the 1.3.5.8 degrees/notes/keys {same thing in this case} and make a full chord 1 and 8 * being the ocatave, or if you were playing a  C chord the 1 is a C and the 8 is a C eight steps away from your starting point...

 

so if you can grasp this one thing, you will see how you can teach yourself {or how the piano teaches you} all scales both major and minor as well as be able to play all chords in major or minor in all keys....understanding this one thing that the piano visually shows you is literally the "key" to understanding music.

 

if that helps we an do more....just see if you can grasp the concept first, you may need to read this many times....also look at youtube, someone will have some explanation of this which may be helpful.....good luck have fun....

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Piano is a musical instrument, so there is a physical side of playing, though it's much less obvious than when you start an instrument like violin.  The books can give you the notes, but not the technique.  It tends to catch you out later on, since even cats can "play" the piano as far as getting notes out of it.

 

http://playingpianoblog.com/is-self-teaching-piano-possible/

 

This teacher also has a course on-line which I'm familiar with.

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Thanks Jezzupe, CM Sunday, and Stillnew, for your recommendations.  I really appreciate it.  However, I'm guessing that you guys might have missed my post #7.  On the other hand you may have been putting out the information for future reference.  There's always some one else with the same question.  In either case I appreciate the participation.  BTW I went with Rue's suggestion on the Alfred book, which worked out fine.

 

For Omobono, Time was definitely not working in my favor and surgery was my best option.  I did not have a rotator cuff tear, but the arthritis was worse than expected.  my acromioclavicular joint (AC joint) had so much arthritic growth that they had fused.  Stubborn me was was just moving through the pain with a frozen ac joint.  The surgeon had to shorten my clavicle to regain full range motion.  Last thing I said to him before I went under was "watch my right arm, I need my left arm to do this (demonstrating the range of motion for playing violin), do what you gotta do".  Recovery sucked!  But I got full range of motion back in 6 months.  I'm back to playing violin and making wood chips.  Ok, I never stopped wood working, but it's a lot easier with two healthy arms.

 

Cheers,

Jim

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My thinking is, when someone asks a question, other people with the same question might come upon the thread to find answers.  Nobody had mentioned the physical and technical side of piano and that is important so I mentioned it.  I have worked with the teacher whose link I put in.

From what I've heard, Alfred and Faber are decent, while there are concerns about John Thompson because of the extensive finger numbers that can interfere with acquiring reading skills.  It has interesting music, I've heard.  Some students (and their teachers) opt for the non-adult version of Alfred because it goes into greater depth, while others like the adult version for what it gives.

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