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Reddit reviews on Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (BK 1)

Sentiment score: 20
Reddit mentions: 35

We found 35 Reddit mentions of Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (BK 1). Here are the top ones.

* Introduction to Playing* C Position * The Grand Staff * Playing C-G on the Grand Staff * Introduction to Chords * G Position* Expanding the 5 Finger Position* Scales and Chords* Middle C Position

Found 35 comments on Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (BK 1):

u/Yeargdribble · 82 pointsr/piano

A Rant and Thoughts on Cross-Instrumental Pedagogy

Well, you're in a world of double suck for several reasons. First of all, most people who have previous instrumental experience have an even harder time with piano rather than any easier one. Why? Because they want to jump in the deep end immediately and ignore their fundamentals. It's like saying, "I can drive a car... so flying this plane can't be that much different... let me take over the controls mid flight!" Sure, you understand the basic concept of using transportation to get get form point A to point B and the idea of not running into obstacles, but that doesn't make you any better at knowing how to control planes, trains, and boats.

Even if you have a deep understanding of a lot of things, the technical work still has to be done for every instrument you pick up. If you end up picking up even more instruments, you can generally get better at the process by understanding it, but you just can't skip the fundamentals.

What makes this problem worse is asking for help from pianists. It seems logical, but they tend to exacerbate the problem. Most of them started as children. They have no background in music education and they take for granted so many of the skills they picked up as a kid. Their advice is about the equivalent of handing someone a guitar and telling them just to go transcribe Steve Vai solos to get better when they can't even play a single chord. It's a serious issue in the piano world. Having trouble with and independence? Can't play Mary Had a Little Lamb out of your beginner book with both hands? Just practice this and you'll be fine.

The reality is that you're just going to have to spend a lot of time on basic stuff and likely put the jazz stuff on hold for quite some time until you get more basic concepts under your fingers. I-IV-V, sure. ii-V-I, not so much. On guitar most chords have a similar difficulty. Heck, I'd argue that most of the moveable jazz chord shapes are easier than some of the triads because they require less barring and tend to cover less strings.

The other advantage on guitar is that if you learn how to play chord, or even a progression, you've pretty much learned it in every key. You don't even have to think about how to play that progression in another key. The physicality of a ii-V-I on guitar is enough that you just need to know which fret to start you ii on and the rest falls into place. Sure, you can learn several variations and voicings of various chords, but the principle still holds. If you want to do something cool like put a 13 on a G7 chord, you just learn the shape. You don't need to know that the 13 of G is E. You sure as hell don't need to know what it is for every other key. You just think, "Well, if I play this on the 7th fret I get C13."

That's probably why piano seems overwhelming. I assure you it does get better and there is a certain amount of similarity in that over time progressions feel the same in every key believe it or not. The thing is, if you learn them in every key, you realize the motion is the same. The voice leading is the same. You're just navigating white and black keys more. But if you spend time practicing scales and actually know you key signatures and such, you start to feel home and instinctively get that same feeling of same-shapeness that guitar has. Though obviously on guitar you can learn a single scale shape and play it in every key.

Although, I think guitarists often get the better deal by playing scales modally from different positions where as classically trained musicians on pretty much every other instrument think every scale begins and ends at the octave and really aren't as fluent in their use unless it fits that mold. Ask most people to play their E major scale starting on B or C# and they'll likely run into problems. Guitarists often have less trouble with that due to the physicality of the instrument.

Some Recommendations

You probably won't like all of these and might be afraid they don't fit your goals, but hear me out.

Alfred - You really should start getting used to reading music on the piano. I don't know what your reading background is and I don't care if you think you can skip this step. It really will help. Virtually every resource you use will use notation. Investing in reading now will pay off immensely in the long run just saving you time and headaches when you want to digest new material and all the resources are written in standard notation. Additionally, playing a lot of the concepts in context will help a lot. And if you don't have reading experience now, learning on piano and then maybe going back and applying it to guitar might be a fun thing for you. Spend a little time in this book daily.

  • Practice slowly and accurately.
  • When you've gotten a piece pretty much down, move on to the next, but review your previous pieces each time. Maybe when you're 10 tunes in, you can start culling the the very first exercises and just reviewing the last 5-10, but don't just complete a piece and scratch it off never to return.
  • As you get things under your fingers and are reviewing, you can start doing things like trying to look at the page rather than your fingers and making sure you're associating what you're playing with what's on the page.

    Scales, etc. - This book has scales, arpeggios, and cadences in every key cleanly written out with recommended fingerings.

  • Start with scales. Just learn the hands together scales in every major key first. You'll probably have to spend lots of time playing each hand individually to make sure it's under your fingers and then put them together agonizingly slowly where you're literally bouncing your brain from hand to hand trying to think which finger comes next. Do it. Eventually it will be like breathing.

  • Pick a nice comfortable tempo that you feel decent at with hands together and then move on. I'd suggest getting to about 60 bpm.

  • Review old scales daily at your target tempo. Do NOT waste practice time trying to speed up old scales. This likely won't be a problem for you, but the tendency of most non-guitarists is to work on the speed of something like C major trying to get it just a little faster while they can barely blunder their way through F#. I guess it's similar to being able to blaze your root position pentatonic on guitar, but not being able to play majors, minors, or other modal shapes because you spent all of you time on the velocity of the easy scale. Just get everything to 60 or so before you even think about speed.

  • Continue reviewing once you have all 12 keys and maybe try to raise the tempo on review. So maybe aim for 65 with everything. Not 120 with C and 65 with everything else. If you can't play B major at 65, you shouldn't try playing C any faster. Eventually they will all be pretty solid. Over time you'll find that you'll be able to review all 12 major scales over 2 octaves in under 5 minutes. Speed will come with time and accurate repetition rather than fighting the metronome for gainz. #scalegoals

  • While reviewing scales, move on to cadences. Same approach. Add a key every time you can and review all previous keys at a comfortable tempo.

  • While reviewing both of the above, move on to major arpeggios. Same deal as above.

  • Now you might want to dabble with minors taking the same approach. You'll find that due to your previous experience, they will move by much more quickly. Many of them share the same "shapes" the way guitar chords do, but they aren't related. For example, doing arpeggios, C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major, and A minor all feel the same. So do C# major, Eb major, F# minor, and Ab major. You get the idea.

  • Many of these technical concepts will be reinforced and put into practical perspective in the Alfred book.

    From here there are tons of directions to go for jazz stuff. My go-to recommendation is this one for getting the basics of how to think about, use and apply jazz concepts for those starting out.

    There are tons of other resources that might fit your goals better. A purely technical approach approach is this one, but I'd still recommend the Mark Harrison book first. There are also much deeper jazz texts, though I'm not sure it's even worth recommending them at this moment since you're likely months or years away from being able to approach any of that material.
u/BookThemDaniel · 25 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Source: I play piano (3 years of lessons, 2 years self-taught) and have started picking up guitar (6mo self-taught)

Piano and violin can be rough to learn without a teacher. If you just want to play music, there are a lot of free resources available for guitar - justinguitar.com is fantastic. There is a subreddit for learning guitar which has a very helpful and supportive community.

Now, if you maintain that classical piano is really your thing, then I can certainly relate, but I will warn you that the available free video lessons are largely missing. There are tutorials on youtube around specific songs or specific topics, but nothing as structured as justin's site (at least that I've found).

My recommendation is to pick up a method book - I used Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One, which is about 10$ on Amazon - and work through it page by page. Join a forum like the adult beginner forum at pianoworld, where you can post videos of your progress and people can help you with the trickier items like posture and hand positions.

There is a subreddit for piano here as well, which is worth subscribing to as well.

u/comited · 10 pointsr/piano

I started 2 years ago, @25yo. This is how I progressed.

Step 1: I picked up Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One and played out of it for about a month. At the end of that month I felt confident enough to play for my grandmother, who inspired me to begin. She encouraged me to go go no further without the instruction of a teacher

Step 2: Got myself a teacher. We began mostly with scales and exercises, then moved on to Keyboard Musician. This book is made up of smaller pieces ranging in difficulty, and incorporates some theory.

Step 3: Practice, practice, practice. I have been at it for two years. I try to practice on my lunch break on every business day, typically for 45 minuted to an hour. Which usually means I get 3-4 days of good practice in a week. Its not enough but I have been able to make progress, and am definitely glad I made the commitment.

I am now choosing bigger pieces to play, typically spending a month or two on each, but I always have 3-4 things going at once. Here are some examples of what I am currently playing or have played: example 1 (1st movement only), example 2 (not me playing ;) ), example 3

Of course you could be looking to go a different route. Many people learn to play by ear and skip the whole reading music part. Learning to read music has been one of the hardest parts for me. Anyway that you do it, just do it. Good luck to you.

u/SocialIssuesAhoy · 9 pointsr/piano

Hey there! :)

Your question is a VERY difficult one to answer, as it depends on a lot of variables concerning both yourself and the route you decide to take. However, the EASY answer is to say that you cannot achieve a masterful level of proficiency at the piano on your own. This does not hold true 100% of the time, but MOST of the time it's true.

That being said, you can certainly learn a lot on your own before being held back by your lack of a teacher. It will probably go slower, and take longer, and most importantly you won't know for sure if you're doing things correctly or not (this is the biggest thing) and also you won't have someone to ask questions. But it's of course better than nothing and I would never discourage you from it if it's your only option right now!

When I say that you can't know if you're doing things correctly or not, that really is a huge thing. That feedback which a teacher can provide is essential to knowing that you're learning things right. Teachers also can teach you things that will just be glossed over/skipped otherwise, they can guide you to various things that you'd never think of, and they can tailor your lesson plan to you and adjust it as needed.

Here's what you CAN do, right now:

  1. Try learning songs by ear. Don't bother with anything except the melody, playing it with the right hand. Pop songs that you like are going to be the best place to start. This may be hard to do for awhile and will require persistence before you can pick up on it but it's a good skill to have. It's ear training :).
  2. If you go on youtube, you can find all sorts of tutorials for songs. This will not teach you proper technique, nor will it teach you how to learn songs "in the real world", meaning sheet music, which is the preferred way to distribute music and learn it and preserve it. However, it will give you a way of learning songs which you like (again, pop songs are usually best) and it'll start working on your finger dexterity.

    The most important thing though, is that you need a lesson plan. Since you don't have a teacher to give you one, you need something to replace that. My suggestion would be to look up the Alfred's adult beginner lesson book. Click here for an amazon link to see it! You can just order it online, or find a local music store and look for it/ask for help finding it. Personally I shop at Evolas, I think they may be fairly local though (I'm in Michigan). A piano lesson book provides structured learning and will cover things that you need to know in an ordered way. Lesson books are not perfect; they don't take the time to explain things in TOO much detail because you're supposed to have a teacher going through it with you, and explaining things themselves. However they DO have some explanation of every lesson, and once you know what you're SUPPOSED to be learning about, you can always turn to google for more information about it.

    The lesson book is my single huge recommendation to you. It's probably your best bet. It's by no means perfect, but I don't know what you can do better. You will have to pace yourself; do your best to make sure you understand a concept completely and learn the associated song well before progressing to the next lesson. Again, this will be difficult without a teacher but it's doable!

    My source for all of this is that I've been playing piano for twelve years, and have been teaching for the past 3-4. I'm generally an observant, thoughtful person and this is the sort of thing that runs through my mind :). I would like to close by making you an offer... I will still maintain that you cannot do better than to get an actual teacher and take regular lessons. HOWEVER! Should you choose to seriously pursue this to the extent possible, I would like to help you as much as I can! So at ANY point, if you have ANY question whatsoever, you are free to PM me, and I will do my best to answer! I will teach you things that you're confused about or want to know more about, or anything at all that you can think of. So I'll essentially offer myself as a teacher over the internet. It's very limiting, but it may help you to have someone who you can ask those questions that hopefully you'll have :).

    Good luck, whatever happens!
u/Metroid413 · 6 pointsr/piano

You will find more recommendations in the FAQ on the Sidebar, but a short version would be that most people recommend getting a teacher if in any way possible. If not:

  • Use method books like the Alfred's Adult Basic Piano (here's a link to Book 1 on Amazon).
  • Use the exercises on musictheory.net to learn how to read music and identify note positions on the keyboard.
  • Start working on basic major scales, hands together in parallel motion. (Link to a good resource).
  • For practice, you want an 88-key, fully-weighted keyboard if you do not have an acoustic piano. Specific model recommendations in the FAQ.
  • Some people around here recommend Hanon exercises to self-taught folks. I suggest not doing it without a teacher, as bad technique with those exercises can cause bad habits at best and injury at worst.

    Comments on general technique:

  • Fingers should be slightly bent, you want to strike keys with your fingertips. Don't lay them flat (people do this a lot with their pinkies).
  • Relax, relax, relax. Make sure your shoulders are down and not tense. Your wrist movement should be smooth.
  • Never push through pain. My professor says that pain is almost always because of errors in technique, and if you feel any pain you should stop and find that error so you can correct it. If you don't, you can cause permanent injury. Of course, there are a few exceptions and sometimes you will feel a light bit from muscle exhaustion if you're new. But never anything severe.

    If you have any questions, you can always ask us here. Cheers!
u/__JeRM · 6 pointsr/piano

I just got these - I ordered books 1, 2, & 3.

The reviews were good, so I thought I'd give them a shot. Anyone have their own reviews on them for a self-leaner?

u/EstebanLimon1998 · 5 pointsr/piano

Take this and this; that's all I needed to read, play and write music.

Paying for lessons is recommended, they are a shortcut.

My advice: You have to keep your motivation alive: Watch videos of other people playing pieces you would like to play, it's as important as brushing your teeth. You require ambition but also you must acknowledge the nature of the process of learning; you will invest time, emotions and money to get there, keep that in mind.

Enjoy your journey, music is a beautiful investment.


u/looneysquash · 3 pointsr/piano

If you click the Look Inside link here you can see the table of contents. On page 18, you start learning chords.

If what you really like is classical Indian music, why not learn the sitar? Although I don't know much about sitar playing, it may have all of the things you hated about the guitar. There are other Indian instruments though.

If you have a pretty low drive, I don't see how you'll get anywhere self teaching. Doesn't your low drive mean you need a teacher pushing you to practice every day, etc?

u/Cloveny · 3 pointsr/piano

Short answer: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course

Long answer: You really really really should get a teacher. People come here constantly saying thinking they don't want a teacher, it's not worthwhile, costs too much. I did the same. It is completely worthwhile. No book can ever teach you what a teacher can. Find a teacher AND a book. Work with them both, it is without a doubt the best way to get yourself learning music properly and way quicker than you ever could on your own.

u/bmberlin · 3 pointsr/piano

Do you want to play jazz? The real book is a lead sheet book that lists chords and has single melody lines. This will not help you to read sheet music.
Start with a primer book like Alfreds. This will work you up through reading.

Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One https://www.amazon.com/dp/0882846167/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_N3cgAbNWPYG4M

u/nugnoy · 2 pointsr/piano

I'm so sorry to hear that. I hope you get your accordion in top form soon!

Alfred's books are the ones my teacher recommended to me and all her students. I liked it a lot. They have multiple books for different levels, so read few pages and pick the one right for you!

They also have a complete book of scales and arpeggios that I highly recommend.

u/joubertina · 2 pointsr/Sleepycabin

Start off with a cheaper electric keyboards with less keys at first and then move on to larger ones as you get better. I also recommend Alfred's Basic Piano Library. I started on this book here: Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One https://www.amazon.com/dp/0882846167/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_CJgpybB2GKRD4

I hope this helps.

u/solidh2o · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Most piano teachers will give you this book to start:


I spent a long time learning as a child, went back to teachers a couple of times as an adult to get a refresher. If you can get through book 1 and book 2 in the series, you can pretty much play any pop song, and holiday type song and it allows you to start to gauge tracks at an intermediate level. From there it's how much you want to practice.

1 hour a day every day for 2 years will do more for your ability than any number of lessons. Teachers are a guide, it's all about your willingness to work at a new skill. If you can't do an hour, do 30 minutes, or even 15. But daily practice is the key. If you can't commit to 15 minutes a day, you should consider what else you're prioritizing if you really want to learn to play.

Also, the whole 10,000 hours to mastery is especially true for any kind of music. an hour a day means 30 years to mastery. 8 hours a day means 5 years. This is why musicians typically get really good in high school - by around 6th grade most people are crossing over from hobby to passion, and then start committing real time to their passion before real world problems get in the way ( like work, marriage, kids, etc.).

u/blackmarketdolphins · 2 pointsr/ableton

> courses or apps for electronic artists who want to learn how to play

To be honest, piano is piano no matter the genre. I want get really good at jazz piano, but you still gotta develop the same foundation as pianist from every other genre. I went with one of those boring old Hal Lenoard or Alfred books for adults, and grind out the absolute basics. Learn your major and minor scales and how chords are built, and you pick up the basics to how to read music on the way. It's gonna suck, and you should experiment on the side as you're grinding this out. Once you got that down, you'll be in a really good place to go on to more difficult and style-based topics.

u/Kuebic · 2 pointsr/piano

Are you trying to work on reading music? If so, it's just like reading words. Remember when learning to read how you did it? Taking it slow, like first recognizing 26 letters and the sounds they make, then you sound out groups of them called words, then groups of words for sentences, etc. You get better the more you do it. There may be tips/tricks promising quick results, but even with them, you just have to do it over and over.

I would suggest adult beginner piano books.

Amazon Link

Example PDF

They don't go painfully slow like kids beginner books, and taking it from the beginning is nothing to be ashamed of. Having a solid foundation will make future skills more stable. Best wishes!

u/Kalarin · 2 pointsr/piano

I'm 26 and started playing piano 2 months ago! I can't stress the impact a teacher has had on my learning!

I've been going through Alfreds Basic Adult Piano Course Music and Theory and have found it a great introduction.

This has also been supplemented with additional pieces from my tutor (I've just finished learning Motzart Minuet in F K2 and am nearly finished with Bach Minuet in G minor, BWV Anh. 115 ) which I though were challenging but fun pieces to learn :)

I guess I could have picked these books up and learnt myself, but I'd say my progress would have been a lot slower. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have as I am in a similar situation?

u/tenforty82 · 2 pointsr/Parenting

As a pianist, that's so cool! I wonder if she might be cool if you gave her something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Alfreds-Basic-Adult-Piano-Course/dp/0882846167/

u/Boggster · 1 pointr/Jazz

would any of these be adequate?










u/KFung · 1 pointr/piano

Hey there!
Since you don't have any musical background, a great place to start is learning how to read sheet music and general music theory. A great website for you is http://www.musictheory.net/
Under lessons, you can learn a ton about sheet music.

To be honest, I'm not a great Piano player. I just recently picked it back up. I do, however, have a musical background and even with the information I have, it is still difficult to pick up. I don't have a teacher but I will eventually get one whenever money isn't so tight. Piano isn't something you learn how to play overnight nor is it something you can "master". You can always improve and there is always something to learn.

The last piece of advice I could give you is buy a workbook! It's especially helpful. I personally recommend:

Good luck and have a blast on this new journey you're about to embark! Remember, don't give up! You got this!

u/missmuffins · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I started with the Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course It teaches you how to play with the right hand first while learning how to read the sheet music (you do learn the sheet music at the same time, it's just starts out VERY basic.) I had a teacher (it only cost like $12 a lesson) and I sped through all three books in a year and I'm now grade 5 conservatory. It takes practice, practice and more practice. But the Alfred's course was really helpful and it explained everything perfectly.

u/keyofw · 1 pointr/piano

There's the adult books and the kids ones. I personally use the kids books.

Kids Series 1A

Adult Series 1

u/JuanPRamirez · 1 pointr/piano

I am building off of this comment tree so work with me :P

16 year old here, been playing piano for about a month and other instruments for almost 10 years. One thing I have found that has helped me learn basic theory (such as note reading and the likes) was musictheory.net. I'd say work with this for a bit, do the exercises and such when you feel you are ready.

As for books, the Alfred's Adult Piano Course:Book 1 has been a huge help because of the way they put the learning. They start with teaching notes, note values, then get into positions and starting music. Where mainly the left side of each open section of the book is the lesson and the right is the music that goes along with it. (BTW all 3 books are around $25)

Finally, I would say taking a look into Lypur's youtube piano course. He has crazy hair, a nice personality, and a general fun way to teach piano. He goes over complete basics in music theory too. So you don't have to know anything about music when watching his videos.

Good luck and have fun! Don't over stress yourself and keep on learning!

Edit: This is my personal opinion so please don't hate. I would say to try and stray away from the synthesia/guitar hero style youtube videos that you find online. Mainly because they do teach you how to play, but they don't teach you how to play piano. (sorta like "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, Teach a man to fish and he'll be eating for a lifetime")

u/Vargatron · 1 pointr/piano

It's never too old to start. Invest in a digital piano with a weighted action and find a teacher. A Yamaha P-45 is a good starting point.


A book like this is a good starting point, but a teacher would also have some great suggestions for beginner material.

u/Joename · 1 pointr/piano

Start really really small with reading sheet music. You'll get overwhelmed by just googling around. I suggest starting off with Alfred's Book 1( https://www.amazon.com/Alfreds-Basic-Adult-Piano-Course/dp/0882846167 ). Feel free to skip over stuff, but this book introduces reading music in a progressive manner. Some of the songs are boring, and the beginning is especially basic, but you'll have a much firmer grasp on reading music by the end.

I'm two years into learning (and lessons) and far from an expert, but I'm no longer intimidated by looking at a piece of music now. It actually looks like something now.

u/jack_spankin · 1 pointr/Guitar

Get a cheap keyboard and a beginners music book.


It's also way easier to compose on the piano than just about anything.

u/rdmhat · 1 pointr/piano

You can most definitely be self-taught. Whether or not a teacher would help you learn faster is dependent on what teacher you get.

I do, though, suggest you get a "guide" of some sort. That way, you don't wander off in youtube land learning about things that... you're not really ready to learn because you haven't learned the basics.

I used the "later beginner" version of this exact course: https://www.amazon.com/Alfreds-Basic-Adult-Piano-Course/dp/0882846167 I'm turning back to the piano now and grabbed this adult version and liked it (oddly enough, it was a tad too easy for me -- probably because I was playing other instruments in my absence from the piano so my sight reading and theory is still good).

It's $16 physically, cheaper electronic (only get it electronic if you can print it or if you have a full sized tablet). I bet you can get the physical copy super cheap used. Let this (or some other course) guide you on what supplemental material you should be looking up on youtube. :)

u/Blu- · 1 pointr/piano

I'm self teaching myself but don't use any of those online apps since I don't have a laptop. I bought this instead:

I complement it with youtube videos to see how it sounds.

u/Jamondo · 0 pointsr/piano

> Is there a similar book for violin which doesn't really focus on pieces but just reading notes?

You should specify in your post. At any rate, I recommend Alfreds All in one adult book