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Haha, Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Course, Book 1: Learn How to Play Piano with Lesson, Theory and Technic: Lesson, Theory, Technique (Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course) was the one I bought, I got confused at the ABCDEFG part because it was showing me a real (88?) keys piano... I guess I'll need a mix of book and research to translate to my 61 keys?
I started piano as an adult with a teacher and we basically used an all in one book like Alfred all in one adult piano course. I actually went through all 3 of these books with my teacher. They do a decent job of covering a lot of different music topics and progress well.
I'm not sure what you mean by method series, but This is the book that my teacher is teaching from. Today in my lesson I showed my teacher some of the pieces that I had gotten from musescore and they said that one of them was alright for me to play, and that the others probably weren't. Other than that he said that I should just focus on practicing the same boring songs that are in my book :(
Alfred's All in One Adult Piano, book 1. The only difference should be whether it comes with or without an audio CD, or if you want it digitally, and which you choose there is entirely up to you. I think the version with the CD costs $20, while the print version without it is around $15.
Here's the Amazon US link for the version without the CD. Most music stores that carry sheet music will have a copy in stock, or they do around me.
I found this one:
But is seems that it is focused on piano lessons, does someone know if it have a reasonable amount of music theory as well? Is it enough?
[link] I used this book when I was starting to learn piano, but I will admit it's a little dull. This particular book puts a lot of emphasis on technique and theory as opposed to just learning some songs. I've seen other books that you learn more songs, and sort of pick up the technique and theory through playing them but this one is a bit different.
Go much easier than you think you need to. One of the biggest mistakes that people taking up piano (or really any instrument) as a secondary instrument make is assuming that more of their previous musical ability should translate to the new instrument than it will.
No matter how much you understand about music broadly, the technical fundamentals are pretty much always brand new and you should treat them as such. Never assume anything is below you. If you think something is, then prove it! Put your hands on the keys and prove it. I think most people who assume something is too easy for them will find that they are wrong like 90% of the time.
I made this mistake with piano (which is the instrument I primarily play in my career). I'd finished music school. I'd actively gigged on trumpet a lot and was very good at many aspects including sightreading on trumpet and I kept trying to make it happen on piano... I kept trying to play and practice where I thought I should be rather than where I actually was.
The more instruments I've picked up the more I've learned to not do this and to much better effect. The instruments where I get impatient (or have to cut corners due to gig preparation) are the ones where I start building it lots of bad habits that are harder to fix than they would've been to prevent.
I have no ego about this. I literally was playing children's songs on a new instrument within the last few months because despite being a full time musicians for around 12 years and having gigged in some capacity for the better part of 20, that's where I am on that instrument.
Another warning... and not to crap on your friend. I'm sure his help will be great, but great players aren't always great teachers. You speak English, but could you teach someone English from scratch? You can walk, but could you rehabilitate someone to walk after an accident?
Skills that people have always had lead to the curse of knowledge bias or the paradox of expertise. Pianists are often the worst because pianists frequently start so young that they don't remember when these skills were new and hard and exactly how they learned them much like you likely don't remember the details of learning how to walk.
I continue to run into a ridiculous amount of absolutely shit advice from experienced pianists and a lot of very popular pieces of advice never go away..... it's like they are just in the ether past on from generation to generation without anyone taking a critical look at them.
I'd still recommend a book like the Alfred All-in-One to pretty much anyone starting out as an adult. Bite size, simple, and honestly kinda shitty pieces that will nevertheless give you a better technical foundation.
The goal is to solve a constant stream of very small problems rather than overwhelming yourself with a lot of different hurdles at once.
Think from a guitar standpoint of learning a new, difficult chord shape, while simultaneously trying to learn a new an complex strumming pattern with awkward palm mutes, while simultaneously singing a song you don't know... in a foreign language.
It's a fucking stupid approach to do them all at once, but man does every pianist try to do this every damned day. They pick hard music where they have uncomfortable arpeggios in the left hand with syncopated rhythms they aren't used to while doing giant leaps in the left and or whatever. It's too much and they are learning one bar at a time by brute force.
You want to isolate as many elements as possible and bring up as many technical limitations as possible on their own before trying to combine them. That's what's great about working out of a simple book. You're not trying to learn lots of crazy stuff at the same time. I mean, as a beginner it's all gonna feel like hell for a bit, but it's a much better place to start.
Don't fall into that trap. People have a really big problem when starting secondary instruments in assuming that their prior knowledge will let them skip some parts. That can be true, but unfortunately too many people end up actually harming their long-term progress because of the mentality they come in with.
The most important part is that you can't fast forward the technical side of a new instrument. You aren't going to be able to pick up piano and quickly be at a similar level to your current primary instrument. While this is true for pretty much any instrument, it's even more true for piano.
If you're coming to piano, it's likely from a monophonic instrument and those are just easier. Or maybe it's from guitar and so that approach is very different because you don't really need to know which notes you're even playing on guitar to play it passably.
It just seems common for people to feel like they are above beginner books... like it's somehow offensive and patronizing to work through materials that are telling them things they already know. Been there. Made that mistake. Now when I pick up new instruments I absolutely respect that I'm not above that. I'm literally working on a new instrument at the moment and absolutely just toughing it out through beginner method books and playing lots of children's tunes despite my degree in music, 25+ years of experience, and over a decade as a full time freelance musician.
I'm not above it and neither is anyone else.
Any competent piano book SHOULD be explaining theory along the way. So rather than looking for one that doesn't, you should see it as a red flag if a book isn't trying to give that context.
If you already know the material it'll take mere moments to skim over it. But even when you think you know something, often coming back to it and going over it within the context of a different instrument might give you a different perspective on it.
For example you might know how dom7 chords work basically, but there's a lot to know that you might not know if you just skip over things. So if you're coming from guitar where you don't have to actually know the notes you're playing, you might not be able to spell them. Or maybe you can spell them and have some formal theory training. Maybe you even know that you can leave out the 5th.
But then you might see a section about dom7 in a book and decide you know all about them and you missed an explanation of tritone subs or secondary dominants, or common alterations or extensions for them. Maybe there are some interesting voicing options or other ways to mentally approach them like a FMaj7/G in the key of C for example.
Presumption of knowledge tends to make you miss a lot of details.
I frequently find that when I review old materials and books that I've already worked through in the past... I catch new thing that just didn't stick or maybe I glossed over the first time. Sometimes a concept resonates more because I'm bringing other information I learned in the interim to the table.
Never think you're above something, especially when learning a new instrument. Prove it! If you think something is below you, put your hands on the keys and prove it. If you can't sightread it effortlessly with all of the phrasing an musicality necessary, then there's obviously something you can learn from it.
I tend to recommend the Alfred Adult books for most people.
I always recommend using www.musictheory.net/lessons for the basics of reading/music, and working with a method book such as Alfred's Adult All-in-one. Additionally, you'll want to work on exercises such as major scales to start. Here's a great book for all of that.
I see Alfred All-in-One recommended often. I'll vouch for the Schaum series since my teacher used it when I was a kid.
Here it is for $10 on Amazon
Bach-Petzold minuet in G major is a great one to start with. Otherwise, method books like these will have short, fun things you can play.
Sure. At some point it will depend on your goals and you might need to dig deeper into one thing or another, but I think almost regardless of your goals (classical, jazz, blues, improv, pop) there are basic fundamentals that will apply across the board.
I personally like the Alfred Adult All-in-One book, but any book is fine. Whatever method book you like or your teacher likes is fine. They all have things they do better or worse, Alfred included. But I do think the most value part of these method books is probably just the fact that they aren't big pieces. They are lots of short, small hurdles to clear. Most books are build in a systematic format where the skills just keep building on each other.
I also really like Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer. A lot of people struggle with basic rhythm reading. Something that's extremely troublesome for beginners is that they are absolutely overwhelming their mental bandwidth when reading because they are dealing with trying to figure out which note on the staff is which key, what finger to use, what the rhythm is, how to shape and move both hands, etc.
But if you can isolate one aspect that helps a lot. I think the lowest bar and easiest to master is the rhythm reading and coordination part. I'm not saying it's inherently easy, but it's the thing that you'll conquer long before all of the other complexities because it's relatively limited in scope.
Once you cognitively understand the basic math of beat subdivison and then practice the coordination part of various rhythms you quickly hit a point where rhythm and coordination of rhythm between the hands is an afterthought.
That frees you up spend more mental bandwidth on all the other complicated stuff going on in music.
This book basically is just rhythms on two staves and they get progressively harder. I'd recommend just patting them on your lap or other stable surface. You could just pick one pitch in each hand and play them on the piano if you want, but the beauty is that you can practice them anywhere. And once you're good with coordination you can always use them as rhythmic sightreading practice as well. They are going to be nearly impossible to memorize.
Scales, Arpeggios and Cadences are important foundations for basically everything and this book is a good collection of them.
I would say to prioritize the basic hands-together 2 octave scales, triad arpeggios, and cadences first. Then you could start working on the dominant 7th arpeggios. You can then dip into the scale variations that I think are of slightly less practical use.
You can also always check out my youtube channel if you like. I'm not super consistent because it's hard to find time as a full time gigging musician. But I aim to mostly talk about practice strategies and a lot of the things I find that teachers overlook or take for granted based a lot on my personal experience as someone who start piano as an adult (after my music degree) and now plays full time.
you start with something like
ideally with a teacher.
don't just pick some song you like and beat your head against it for a year.
If you haven't already gone through the Alfred Adult books I'd start there. For context, I did this somewhat early in my career while working as a gigging pianist because skills were so uneven. Despite having playing some pretty difficult music at that point and having pretty good comping skills, my reading was terrible and there were a ton of holes in my fundamentals. Super humbling, but necessary.
Beyond that or in supplement to that, you could always look for various graded lists. While I'm not a huge fan of the way ABRSM and RCM style things are used in the wild, the fact that there are graded lists of material does make it easy to find things that are level appropriate until you're a little more capable of judging for yourself. Henle also has its own system for this. The absolute numbers for each system are irrelevant, but finding things at level 1 and working on those is a good place to start. I still sometimes go to these syllabi when looking for random period music.
ABRSM also has a pop syllabus that might be interesting to you, though I've never used it personally and now I'm at the point where I can just use almost any off-the-shelf collection of pop tunes I want as reading material.
With the classical stuff you can usually find free sheet music on IMSLP. You can also buy them in various collections noted on the ABRSM syllabus. I tend to buy collections, though not directly from ABRSM. I tend to just do my research and get good editions from elsewhere.
While I can understand people not wanting to drop a lot of money on book when IMSLP is an option for free scores, it honestly will make it much harder for people without experience. Beyond the stuff about all the editorial notes and edition accuracy that some people worry a lot about, to me it's more about the issue that nice editions are fingered. For someone who isn't confident in their own ability to make fingering decisions, that can be a huge benefit to how quickly they can learn some new material.
It also will make you aware of a lot of fingering options you may not have considered which makes you better in the future at choosing fingerings for unfingered pieces (which is most music).
Check out the FAQ on the sidebar, it has many resources. Additionally, I recommend starting with Alfred's All in One (or some other method book, like Faber). You can use musictheory.net/lessons to learn how to read music. A book like this one is great (but optional) to learn your scales and arpeggios. Good luck!
It sounds like you haven't tried yet, so why give up before even trying? Playing any musical instrument is going to be hard and having a teacher would definitely help, but if you've got the motivation and tenacity, it's far from impossible. If I'm not mistaken, several posts here have been made by people who were self taught.
Of course, I had a teacher as a kid, so perhaps if a self-taught pianist could back up (or refute, if that's the case) what I'm saying, that'd be great.
PS: This seems to be a good resource for starting out:
I would recommend ordering this book to start with if you can [link]