It’s now been about three weeks since I started this Piano For All course. I really think I’m getting the hang of this. I just finished books four, five and six. Of course I’m going through the course on how to play the piano rather quickly, so I can document my experience. I mean, I’ll have to spend quality time on each of the books after the first one to make sure I thoroughly get the piano lessons being taught.
So let’s get right into it. In book four Advanced Chords, we started off with a nifty little formula for kind of bluffing my through several popular chord change ups and combinations. I don’t want to get into explaining the trick, because I suspect that it’s something Rob Hall, (the author of the series) came up with. Don’t want to spoil it for you. With this little trick, I can play several chord progressions, sort of a walking chord sequence. I was surprised at how many musicians and composers build most of their pieces off a combination of these types of progressions.
We went through lots and lots of progression practice. I have some of them stuck in my head. They’re really catchy. I now see why we learned in the previous chapter the need for doing the three inversions:
- The Root Inversion
- The Mid Inversion
- The Backward Inversion
They’re used in this set of piano lessons.
On a side note, I downloaded the course to my Kindle Fire (which is an Android type tablet) without any problem and I’m playing my piano, using the Kindle, setup on the music stand of my piano. It works great. You could also do this with an IPad or any other type of tablet or even notebook computer for that matter. It’s very convenient and simple. Everything is all right in front of me just as though it were sheet music. Some of the course is sheet music, but I didn’t notice I was reading notes at first. The course in ingenious that way.
Well, on to book five Ballad Style. This book started out with the six simple steps for the ballad style
- Learn the left hand pattern
- Put the pattern into chord progressions
- Learning the 5 note scale for great sounding chords
- Play with all of it and have fun experimenting and breaking the rules
- Finally, applying what I’ve learned and using them in melodies (This was exceptionally satisfying)
The remainder of book five dealt with Improvising ballad styles and melodies and applying structured ballad styles and melodies. It was all broken down into three easy steps. Another great inside tip in Piano For All, piano for beginners.
We went on to apply the ballad style to several popular songs and to Christmas songs as well. That was both fun and seasonal; it is November now. We even got into some Blues and a little jazz, although book six handles jazz piano.
So let me tell you a bit about book six. Jazz Piano Made Easy.
Continuing my discovery on the quest for how to play the piano, book six first introduced a simple and easy method for playing the blues and using the “C” blues scale and riffs. I imagined myself in a dimly lit club somewhere. It was awesome.
Then the jazz piano lessons started. It was kind of like learning to play the piano by ear, but Piano For All has a definite structure. It just seemed so organic. We played standard jazz and show tunes. I learned easily from the examples. Of course I need a lot more practice. I stumble to be sure. We mixed up popular songs and played them in a jazz and in a blues style. When I say we, Rob Hall is just so personable in the videos, I feel I have a friendly relationship with him, like he were my personal piano teacher, teaching me how to play the piano.
This book is just jam packed with stuff… for lack of a better word. It’s nearly one hundred pages and just full of examples and ideas, once the concepts in the beginning are laid down. It’s just full of all different types of jazz and blues. I mean WOW! This is what I signed up for.
Sorry to go on so long in this post, I just wanted to make sure I got it all down and I am just so excited about this bit of the online piano lessons, because it’s some of my personal favorite type of music. I’m looking forward to learning the advanced Blues in Book 7, but I think I better make sure I have this material down first. This is going to require practice and re-reading. What Fun!
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