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Listen to the repertoire samples, to me I prefer Afred's.


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Nothing new here, lol.


Lisa
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I used the Alfred's method and my wife started with Faber. I would agree with her assessment at the end. Alfred is faster paced, more interesting arrangements of the same tune, etc.

Last edited by bSharp(C)yclist; 11/27/21 01:51 PM.

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I thought the reviews of Alfred’s and Faber were outstanding: comprehensive re strength and weaknesses, content and clarity. This would be great for any beginning pianist to watch who is trying to choose.

The other two got very low scores and don’t seem to be used by anyone here. Those reviews can be skipped and would be better at the end of the video, IMHO


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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The other two got a lot of raving reviews on Amazon. Look how low ratings they got in the video. Isn't that hilarious!
IMHO, those two bad books exactly show why Faber and Alfred's are wonderful.

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Originally Posted by scientistplayspian
The other two got a lot of raving reviews on Amazon. Look how low ratings they got in the video. Isn't that hilarious!
IMHO, those two bad books exactly show why Faber and Alfred's are wonderful.
Yes, but there’s other method books out there that deserve a look. Faber and Alfred aren’t the only ones in the world.

This is why Amazon reviews shouldn’t be the final word, they can be extremely fake.


Lisa
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Just hard to imagine a book with > 9000 reviews and 4.5/5 ratings is of such low quality. I guess beginners really do not know what to look at.

What are other good method books out there? I am interested in taking a look. I feel either Alfred's or Faber did a good job with techniques.

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My teacher recommended (and I used) the Hal Leonard adult series, all the way through. I thought they were excellent. You could see how each new piece introduced some new technique in a way that was carefully chosen so as not to overwhelm you.

Quite a lot of the pieces are composed by one of the four authors or are reworkings of well known tunes (but classical style, not rehashed pop). There weren’t any I disliked.

You also get downloadable backing tracks at two different tempos (70% and 100% of indicated) that you can play against once you’ve learned them.


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Alfred and Faber are the only two books that come to mind. I never heard of the other two. Some people have expressed interest in Fundamental Keys. However, that isn't really supported anymore.

I would chose Alfred over Faber, only because the arrangements sound better to me. I would supplement either with a teacher ;0


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Piano Safari is excellent, they have a series for children and older beginners and a great YouTube channel. I also like Fundamental Keys very much. Rachel’s website is still up and running, and I believe her videos are still available.

http://fundamentalkeys.net/

Hal Leonard, also very solid.


Lisa
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This reviewer not liking the Ferrante books doesn’t mean that other people won’t like them, or that they are without merit. Not everyone has the same opinions. Obviously many people on Amazon like them a lot. I see that the reviews are verified purchasers, so they seem to be legit. I wouldn’t write them off without looking at them personally.


Lisa
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It's funny you mentioned "Amazon reviews shouldn’t be the final word, they can be extremely fake." now changed your mind about the merit of those reviews?

No offense, I think reviews are highly personal, and should be, as long as they are backed up with facts and legit reasons.

I actually own the Ferrante book, which comes with very good marketing, and loads of "free" stuff, videos, sheet music etc. For completely beginners, these sound attractive, but soon you will find out quality matters. That's why this review has merit, not "nothing new". I could have saved a few bucks if this came out earlier.

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I think this is a good, thought out comparison which is interesting to see.

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Originally Posted by scientistplayspian
It's funny you mentioned "Amazon reviews shouldn’t be the final word, they can be extremely fake." now changed your mind about the merit of those reviews?
Nope, not a change of mind, I simply researched further. 😂

Do you use Amazon much? I do. Amazon has only started marking reviews with “verified purchase” in the last couple years. Before that, anyone could leave a review and you had no idea if they did so for legitimate reasons. People could easily leave good or bad reviews for their own purposes, one of which being they were given free products by the seller. Having “verified purchase” on a review makes it at least a bit more certain that the reviewer is honest. Old reviews are still up, however, so checking reviews from “most recent”, instead of “top reviews”, gives a better idea of how people like the product.

It’s fine if you don’t like the series. I’ve never seen it. Lots of people on Amazon do, and that’s fine, too. This isn’t a contest. 🙄

I said that this review is nothing new because the same method books are trotted out, instead of comparing others that people may not know about. How about the others I mentioned? How about still others, such as the Russian School of Piano Playing series. There’s more than Alfred out there, lol.


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I wish I had had access to these kinds of reviews (whether YT or Amazon) when I first started piano.

As a side note re Amazon: I discovered recently that you can't ask questions about books. If you've ever bought something (non-books) on Amazon, you may have noticed the Q&A above the reviews. You can search the Q&A and if your question hasn't been asked, you post a question. I've gotten a lot of helpful answers that way, and I try to answer questions when they pop up for products I've purchased.

Well, I've been looking a books for jazz piano, and I've also been looking for a present for my niece (non-piano, but a how to book for drawing). I found a few that I was curious about, but the "look inside" tool didn't show enough to give me an idea. That's when I realized that you can't ask questions about books. It makes sense that maybe you don't need to ask a question about a novel. But if it's a piano method book or other kind of non-fiction how-to book, well, it seems like it would be very helpful to be able to ask "does this book include repertoire" or "is this suitable for an 11 y/o."

Sorry, that thread drift was longer than intended! whome


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Originally Posted by ebonyk
This reviewer not liking the Ferrante books doesn’t mean that other people won’t like them, or that they are without merit. Not everyone has the same opinions. Obviously many people on Amazon like them a lot. I see that the reviews are verified purchasers, so they seem to be legit. I wouldn’t write them off without looking at them personally.


A beginning pianist may very well like the method book they buy, but the flaw in relying on their evaluation is beginners do not have the knowledge and experience to know what should have been included in a beginner training book but isn’t.

I would rather rely on reviews by professional teachers.

Last edited by dogperson; 11/28/21 02:35 PM.

"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
That's when I realized that you can't ask questions about books. It makes sense that maybe you don't need to ask a question about a novel. But if it's a piano method book or other kind of non-fiction how-to book, well, it seems like it would be very helpful to be able to ask "does this book include repertoire" or "is this suitable for an 11 y/o."

They really should allow questions for books!

Originally Posted by dogperson
A beginning pianist may very well like the method book they buy, but the flaw in relying on their evaluation is beginners do not have the knowledge and experience to know what should have been included in a beginner training book but isn’t.

I would rather rely on reviews by professional teachers.

True, I would hope that new students are doing their research and not jumping in blindly. 👍🙂


Lisa
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To dogperson, you really nailed it.

Even for some experienced pianists, if they do not teach piano, it's hard to evaluate these books.

Teaching and performing are two different skills. It only occurs to me recently why Czerny and Clementi are hailed as great pedagogues. Their pieces provide a necessary ladder towards more advanced levels, though on surface they seem frivolous. Many beginners made the mistake thinking they should play Chopin first and only play Chopin to be able to play it well.

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I don't know why nobody mentions The Classical Piano Method by Heumann.

It may lack in theory and require some additional research (which should not be a challenge for an adult), but musically and progression wise it is just amazing, IMHO.

Many pieces include accompaniment lines for a teacher, but are good as solo as well.

And it has nice supplementary technique and repertoire books for each of its 3 levels.

And as follows from its title, it is for those who are interested in classical music.


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Originally Posted by VladK
I don't know why nobody mentions The Classical Piano Method by Heumann.

The reason is that she chose four bestsellers from Amazon, and Heumann is not one of them.


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